Clean House

Clean House Author: Theresa Moss Research Before you begin organizing your home, back a list of where you'd like various item to go such as: donation centers, individuals/giveaway, laundry by the pound, drycleaners, buy and sell retailers, appraisers you may wish to invite over to take a look at items, alteration shops, jewelry repair etc. Contact these businesses after researching them online at www.bbb.org and reviewing their reliability reports. The Better Business Bureau also has free reports on services such as storage units, carpet-cleaning services etc.

Gathering Use clear 55-gallon garbage bags, which can be purchased at Ace Hardware/Home Depot, also large Tupperware bin that can be used for gathering items and storage. You will want to use a separate bag for items like clothing-darks, and clothing-whites, which are scattered throughout your home, and other articles which aren't breakable. Large Ziploc bags are great for compiling cds, movies, etc. Large cardboard boxes can also be used for gathering, you may want to label the outside of each to keep track of what's inside. When you are done with the gathering phase, every room in your home should literally be in a box, bag, or bin.

Sorting Now this phase will be the most time consuming. Try not to spend a lot of time figuring out what you want to keep and get rid of. If you are not sure, simply place it in the keep bin and move on.

To keep garbage/throwaways separate use only black 55-gallon bags. There will be about 14 different sorting categories that you will want to focus on Repair, donations, giveaway, pawnshop, laundry, dry-cleaning, alterations, jewelry design, bottle return, recyclables, coins, buy/sell, consignment, garage sale, and storage. Label the outside of each bag so that you do not confuse, and mix-up items.

For this phase, large Ziploc bags may be used. Cleaning After sorting your items, you then want to wipe off and properly clean and dust what you Have such as the top of spice containers, your appliances, electronics etc. Sort out the clothing you plan to giveaway or put in the garage sale.

If the article is dirty, stained, torn, or smells of mildew or is outdated simply throw it away. Running Errands If you have help doing this, that would be great, each clear bag has to be labeled and it would be a good idea for you to give the helper a list of instructions for each item. Make sure he/she is carrying their identification in case its needed. And make a note during your research calls if a deposit will be required for large orders like laundry by the load. The instructions should look something like: Laundry Mike's Laundry 1234 Main/Allen St. 345-678-9090 Contact Marian price .

45 per pound 2 days to complete deposit: $20.00. A receipt should be brought back for each item dropped off so you know what the balance due is, and when you can pick up your belongings. Place everything in a binder so you can keep track of receipts. If you have decided to rent a storage unit, this would be a good time to inventory, photograph the items before having them moved out of the home.

Also make sure to sketch the last four digits of your social security number with your initials in a hidden spot on each. A rented fold out table would be good to place these items on during this process. Testing Before you start cleaning various items, make sure they work. Start place things on a table, get a long extension cord and start plugging things in, have batteries and bulbs of all sorts nearby as well.

This is also a good time to inventory what bulbs and batteries you will need to stock up on. Partial lists of things you may want to test are electronics, appliances, power tools, light fixtures, toys, and extension cords. A battery tester would also be an ideal help at this time of the process, as there will probably be many loose batteries that will need to be tested. If you have someone to help with sorting as them to open board games and make sure all the pieces are inside, and count playing cards.

Sharpen knives and scissors before storing them, or putting them away. Maintenance Repairs Once everything has been sorted, tested, and taken out of your home, you are ready for the next step of your project, minor maintenance repairs. If you are selling your home, this is necessary. In the event you are not moving, relocating all the items you will want to keep (after they have been cleaned) into another room preferably a garage if one is available would be ideal. In the event, your moving things to storage, you might want to consider using the U-Haul truck to store your items while the house is being cleaned and repairs are being done.

Once you finish maintenance repairs on each room, and clean it from top to bottom, and lets hope that includes the windows/window coverings, walls, and floors, you don't want to place dirty furniture or items there, I hope not? Now you are ready to begin putting things away. I wish you well, and hope this article has been helpful to organizing your home. Author Theresa Moss is a professional organizer and the author of How to Declutter your Home (Secrets of an Organizer) http://www.


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