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Ask Nancy - Orginization

Nancy Bock 2012

Nancy Bock, Senior Vice President of Meetings & Education at the American Cleaning Institute®

Q: This year my resolution is to do a better job keeping my home clean and organized. Things always get so cluttered once the kids go back to school after the holidays. Do you have tips for how to start the year off on the right foot?

A: The New Year is a great time to reset your cleaning routines and put some new organizational systems in place. Here are my top five cleaning resolutions:

  1. Make It a Family Project. Assign different family members specific areas that they’re in charge of tidying every day. Dividing up the work and responsibility will make it much more manageable. If you have younger kids, consider setting up a sticker chart to reward them for doing their tidying job every day.
  2. Update Your Storage Options. Does it seem like your leftover containers are constantly missing their lids? The New Year is a great time to stock up on new food storage containers. It’s much easier to stay organized when you have the supplies you need.
  3. Refresh Your Cleaning Supplies. When was the last time you checked the expiration date on that dusty bottle of cleaner under your sink? How long have you been using that dingy duster? The New Year is a great time to get new cleaning supplies.
  4. Wash Your Hands. There’s nothing worse than getting sick right after the holidays. There’s no way you’ll stay organized if you’re stuck in bed. According to the CDC, the single most important thing we can do to keep from getting sick and spreading illness to others is to clean our hands. Critical handwashing times include:
    • Before and after preparing or eating food
    • Before and after tending to someone who is sick
    • Before and after treating a cut or wound
    • After using the toilet
    • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
    • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
    • After handling an animal or animal waste
    • After handling garbage
  5. Give Back. Donate handwashing supplies. The MLK Day of Service is a great way to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday on January 15th. The goal is to "Make It a Day On, Not a Day Off" by getting involved in community service that helps solve social problems and tangible needs. Homeless shelters and food banks are always in need of handwashing and cleaning supplies. For more ways to give back, check out ACI’s tips for reducing clutter, and donate what you no longer need to those in need.