Organizing Habits: My Weekly & Monthly Reset
One of the most important things you can do when it comes to getting and staying organized is to establish strong organizing habits. If you ask me, it’s the easiest way to ensure that you’ll maintain your organizing systems — and reap the rewards of all that hard work you’ve put into getting organized in the first place!
Today I’m going to share with you how I stay on top of it all. Spoiler alert: it does not involve cleaning all day, every day. Sure, I used to clean and organize all day. But I felt like I could never stay on top of the laundry, the cleaning, or the errands. And I couldn’t because my goal was a totally perfect home and blank to-do list 100% of the time.
Instead, I’m going to share my top organizing habits: my weekly and monthly reset routines.
Making a Case for Organizing Habits
If you’re like most of my clients, you’re overwhelmed with the number of responsibilities you have daily. Whether or not you have kids, and whether or not you have a job outside the home, our days can get hectic. I imagine that at the end of the day, the last thing you want to do is clean and organize.
The couch and TV are so much more enticing, I get it. But I also get the strong desire you have to be more on top of everything, including your home and schedule.
It wasn’t until I shifted my goals that I could let go of this notion of a perfect home. Now, I have a weekly and monthly reset. I realized that if I could achieve my baseline (which, admittedly, is very high) once a week, that I would be able to let go of all the little messes and additions to my to-do list every day. A full laundry basket? That’s OK. It’s not laundry day. I’ll worry about it when it is.
This organized mindset shift opened up so much space in my life. So much so that I was able to create this business!
You CAN Do It!
Before I share what I do in my weekly and monthly resets, let me answer your first question: where do I find the time to do all this?
The answer is, I make the time because this is a priority for me.
I waste plenty of time on social media, don’t get me wrong. But I try to keep my pockets of low-productivity to a minimum. Unless, of course, I need a mental health break.
For me, being organized does more to keep me happy and calm than any vice. I really believe that anyone can fit this weekly reset into their routine. It’s just one night a week, and it feels so good when it’s done. And, once it is all done, you can unwind with a glass of wine and your favorite TV show!
And for your second question, yes, I have an amazing woman who deep cleans my house weekly (including washing sheets) — so that’s why you won’t see all of the cleaning responsibilities listed on my reset checklists. It’s a huge luxury, but it’s so worth the time it saves me. I am a big fan of outsourcing things when I’m able.
First Things First, Purge!
My house is basically purged of everything I don’t want, and everything that I own has a very specific spot. Since I don’t have excess stuff, everything goes into its specific spot at the end of every week.
Spend some time thinking about where your priorities are in this current season of your life. They may shift and change, so take an honest look at what you want, and then take action to get there. Decide what your baseline organization looks like, and try to reset to that point weekly.
The items on the weekly reset checklist are meant to move my week forward and take off the stress, regardless of any mess and chaos around me. I do it on Sunday because I like to keep my weekdays focused on work and my weekends for home and family. This means getting the kids and my husband involved. You can read more about that in my post on Organization Hacks.
Weekly Organizing Habits
We know that having daily routines is important, but having a weekly routine can be just as beneficial! Here’s a rundown of the things we do every week to stay on top of things.
First, we do a family grocery trip on the weekends. I know many moms that would rather poke their eyes out with pencils than do a family grocery trip. But for us, it works. We usually get the kids breakfast treats from the bakery to eat while we’re walking around, and we can get their input on what they’ll want for school lunches and dinner.
Once we’re home, we usually have a dance party while unloading the groceries. As part of the grocery unpacking process, I cut up fruit and veggies for the week, distribute snacks into snack bags, and pack lunches. We also make sure the kids’ backpacks are set for Monday since they hang in the mudroom off our kitchen.
I typically do a load or two of laundry on the weekend while I’m getting other things done around the house. As part of laundry, the kids lay out their outfits on their dressers for Monday (even if we’re doing this on a Saturday).
Since every single item in my house has a home, I make sure everything is put away in its correct spot. This looks like me going from room to room, opening drawers, and straightening up. All-in, this takes about 20 minutes.
I spend some time responding to any calls or emails or scheduling them in for the week. While I’m doing that, I take some time to map out my next six days and schedule in any to-dos directly into my calendar.
We then usually take the gang outside. While the kids play, my husband and I vacuum and wipe out the cars and restock center consoles with snacks and quarters. If the forecast looks good, I’ll get a car wash and fill up my gas tank while I’m out, which is usually close to empty by then.
We also sweep the garage. I’m pretty sure my garage floor is cleaner than my kitchen floor!
All of these tasks are slotted around our weekend activities — soccer games, gymnastics class, plans with friends… whatever it may be.
I dedicate one night per weekend, usually Sunday, to self-care. I whiten my teeth, do a facial, tweeze my eyebrows, and take a bath. I also make sure my purse is restocked and my outfit is picked out for the next day. Then I set my alarm for the morning, and I’m ready to go for a fresh new week.
All in all, that is my weekend reset! Sometimes I do it all on a Sunday, and sometimes I spread it out over the whole weekend. It usually takes around 2 hours in total, plus the grocery shop. It seems like a lot of time all at once, but when I think about the calm it brings to my week, it is more than worth it. In the end, it probably saves me more than two hours of lost time spent looking for things or feeling frustrated or stressed.
Monthly Organizing Habits
Next up are the monthly items, which I’ve listed below.
I try to do these tasks around the first of the month. Sometimes not all of this happens every month, and that’s OK! But I like to have the list to refer to because it gets it out of my head.
If, for example, I’m proactive about checking when light bulbs are out around the house, I can change the four that need replacing all at once, and not every time one burns out. This sort of batching of activities builds efficiencies in our daily lives.
Without further ado, here is the list of cleaning and organizing habits for our monthly reset:
- Clean out the washing machine. Yes, it infuriates me that I have to do this. But, so it is.
- Clean out the dishwasher. I realized that my dishwasher was accumulating a film in it. A monthly cleaning does the trick.
- Refill Finish rinse agent in the dishwasher. It really does make the dishes more sparkly.
- Clean vacuums and vacuum filters. This makes a huge difference in prolonging their lives and getting the dust out of the home.
- Refill soap dispensers. Because if it’s not on the list, will it ever get done?
- Check light bulbs, because see above.
- Clean light fixtures. I love a sparkly, clean light fixture.
- Clean the oven. Because we’re adults and we should do that.
Check out this article for some additional monthly habits you might want to consider building into your reset.
One last thing...
My final tip is this: be nice to yourself. Don’t look at my, or anyone else’s, standard for what you should do. You have the power to be whoever you want to be. If that’s an organizing ninja, be that. But if that’s someone who can turn a blind eye to mess and relax each night, then be that! Just make sure it’s really what you want, and not what you think you should be.
While being kind to yourself and recognizing your priorities, do you think this weekly and monthly reset could be helpful to you? Do you feel like you could add any of these organizing habits into your routine to help set you up for a less stressful week? Let me know in the comments below.