Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Box

When it is time to straighten the house, I tend to have ADD.  I start in the kitchen, but then I see the package of toilet paper on the table that needs taken upstairs.  I take it upstairs to the bathroom and notice the towels need straightened.  As I straighten them, I spot a pair of shorts left on the floor.  Picking them up, I take them to the laundry basket in my room. There are stacks of clean laundry on the dresser.  I stop and put it away. Once I can see my dresser top, I find a tube of medicine left out.  I take it downstairs to put it away in the medicine cabinet above the refrigerator.  While up on the chair the dirt accumulation on top of the refrigerator distracts me and I decide to wipe it off.  Whew, I'm about worn out, and I haven't cleaned a room yet!

To help solve my problem about ten years ago I came up with the laundry basket method.  I place a laundry basket in the room I'm cleaning.  As I clean that room I place anything that doesn't belong in the room in the basket.  When I finish the room, then I empty the basket taking each item to it's appropriate place.

The Box
Another thing that has helped with keeping my house clutter free is the box.  Children tend to leave toys, books, and belongings where they do not belong.  I keep a box downstairs in the corner of the kitchen.  Whenever I find an item throughout the day that needs put away by one of the children, I place it in the box.  I expect the children to pick up after themselves, but there are always those few stray things left laying around.  If I call them to put it away every time I find an item, I feel like I spend all day telling them to pick up.  I sound like a nag.  Once a week, I have one child empty the box taking the items to the appropriate child's room.  Every once in awhile the box will overflow before the end of the week, and I have to ask the children to all come check it for their items, but that doesn't happen often.

I discovered after using the box for over five years now that there is another plus side to it.  The children hardly ever ask me where there things are.  When they are looking for something they check the box first thing. 

These are just a couple of tips that I've found that have helped me in maintaining a tidy house.  I would love to hear from some of you what practical house cleaning tips you have learned over the years.  Please feel free to share in the comments section.

Linking to 
 Another site that shares many homemaking ideas.


  1. I love your idea! This is really helpful. I do this, sort of, but I like the simplicity of it! Visiting from Raising Homemakers!

    Becky B.
    Organizing Made Fun

  2. I like the idea of the box. At this point in my life the box would be filled with mine or my husbands things. :-) It is a creative way to keep things picked up without nagging. I'll pass this idea on to my daughter.


  3. This problem must run in the family. Christina and I have discussed this ADD issue in the past.

  4. I have heard that for every interruption we experience, it is like going an hour without sleep. I think that makes sense in light of all the "ADD" I seem to have, as well...