Call 1-844-AV-Clean
32355 Howard Ave. Madison Heights, MI 48071

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Organizing Your Home in the New Year: Part 2

Part 2 in Art Van Clean Team’s series: Organizing Your Home in the New Year.

In the first part of the series, brought to you by Art Van Clean Team, we defined clutter and outlined its negative effects on your health, and suggested you start de-cluttering your home consistently and in baby steps. We’ll pick up where we left off with this post on developing and maintaining a schedule to keep your home clean and organized.

Develop and maintain a cleaning schedule

Think of all the gifts you’ve received over the years. Wouldn’t the gift of a sparking clean home have been a fantastic surprise? Here’s the good news: You don’t have to wait for someone to get the bright idea to surprise you with a professional cleaning; you can treat yourself!

Start the year off right by hiring professional housecleaners to give your home a good cleaning, taking care of jobs you haven’t had the time or heart to get to over the past year. There’s nothing like starting with a fresh slate to keep you motivated: a fresh mattress, sparkling, like new floors, and clean carpets will make your home look and feel fantastic.

Once your home has had its once-over, make a cleaning schedule to keep it looking fantastic all year long. Here’s a simple schedule to get you started that is straightforward and easy to follow:

Develop Daily Habits

Starting with a clean house is important, but strong daily habits are a must if you want to keep your home organized. Don’t treat organization like one big project that happens once in a while. Organization begins with changing your mindset and daily habits. A weekend spent throwing away and donating unwanted items is great, but if you don’t change the underlying thinking and behaviors that led you to a disorganized home in the first place, you’re almost sure to end up right back where you started; with a mess!

If you want to change your habits and learn to maintain an uncluttered lifestyle, spend time every day moving towards your goal. Make organization part of your daily routine. The easiest way to accomplish this is to address problems as they occur. When children’s papers, new clothing, mail, or anything else comes into your home, find a home for it immediately. If it sits out on countertops or tables without a designated home, it will soon become more of the clutter you fought so hard to eliminate.

Some people do well to handle items as soon as the come through the door, others by setting aside 15 minutes at the start or end of their day devoted to organization. A small time investment will quickly pay off in the form of a habit – and once you develop good habits you'll stay organized effortlessly!

Know there will be setbacks in your journey towards a clutter free, organized home. But setbacks are only temporary. Once you get back on track, you’ll soon find the peace and calmness you first yearned for, and that magical feeling will keep you going.

Take inspiration from professional organizer, Ramona Creel, “Just set aside a day or two to regroup – go systematically through the piles, create a list of to-do's in order of urgency, and tackle each task one step at a time.”

When you’re ready to tackle the extra tough projects in your home, or give yourself the gift of a top to bottom professional clean, call the experts at Art Van Clean Team. We look forward to helping you keep your home beautiful, clean, and organized. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Organizing Your Home in the New Year: Part 1

Part 1 - in a two-part series: Organizing Your Home in the New Year.

When January rolls around, many of us vow to take control of our surroundings. It makes sense;  the first month of the year offers a clean slate and fresh start, and this can be a great motivator when it comes to organizing. Getting clutter under control won’t just make your house look better, it will also affect the way you feel; researchers at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute suggest clutter has negative effects on our mental health.

In an effort to help you de-clutter your home and your mind, this is the first post in a series on 
organizing your home, brought to you by Art Van Clean Team.

Unclutter.com explains the research on the link between clutter and wellbeing; “When your environment is cluttered, the chaos restricts your ability to focus. The clutter also limits your brains ability to process information. Clutter makes you distracted and unable to process information as well as you do in an uncluttered, organized, and serene environment.”

To truly get a handle on clutter, begin by defining what clutter actually means. Clutter is anything that makes you overwhelmed; many people use the word “drained” when referring to their clutter. You might really like that empty water bottle from Hawaii and, hey, it was a cheap souvenir. Or you might hang on to things that you don’t need but perhaps you paid a lot of money for. Sometimes clutter is sentimental, or it’s piles of paper with things you plan to get to or look at later. No one else but you can define your clutter, but when you look around your home, ask yourself what things make you feel suffocated, drained, overwhelmed? That’s clutter.

Second, we need to internalize and truly understand that clutter is bad for our health. Research shows “multiple stimuli present in the visual field at the same time compete for neural representation by mutually suppressing their evoked activity throughout visual cortex, providing a neural correlate for the limited processing capacity of the visual system.” What does that mean? It means when there are too many things competing for your attention you get overwhelmed. This overwhelmed feeling can lead to stress and feeling out of control. When your surroundings are pleasant, controlled, and systematic, your brain reacts in a more pleasant, controlled, systematic way.

So what should you do about clutter?

1.     Start by making decisions. Some will be hard. But you can do it! Should it stay or should it go? If it stays, it needs to have a home. If you don’t have the space, then that item will have to go. In addition, each time something comes into the house a decision needs to be made on the spot as to where it belongs. Take the mail for example; does it get thrown away or filed? If it stays it should be put in a dedicated spot. If it’s a bill it goes into a designated area. If it’s ads or coupons, it goes into the spot you create to look at when you’re meal planning or before going shopping. If you find the items you file aware are not actually being looked at later, rethink what you’re hanging on to.  Make that tough decision, telling yourself, I” don’t ever end up looking at sales or using coupons, maybe I’ll be bold and just throw this all away”. Try it! Getting rid of clutter is a great feeling and very freeing!

2.     Utilize junk drawers. This is a big help when decluttering. Sometimes you simply have to keep something and it just doesn’t have a place. Having a junk drawer doesn't mean you're disorganized, it means you have a designated place for things that don’t yet have designated place! If your junk drawer (or room or closet) gets full? It's time to declutter!

3.     Start small. If your clutter has gotten out of hand, tackle just a little at a time. When you organize one thing, even if it's as small as a corner of your bathroom counter, you will see how great it makes you feel and it will keep you going.

Your goal this year should be to define clutter, understand the benefits of ridding yourself of clutter, and moving toward a more peaceful, controlled home. If Art Van Clean Team can help you with any of your goals, contact us at artvancleanteam.com.