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I often hear my clients say they need to clean their house before the cleaning service comes to clean. But what they actually mean is they need to organize their house. So what does it mean to be organized versus clean? To me, there is a distinct difference!

Organize: to systematize

Clean: free from dirt, unsoiled, unstained

Technically, your house could be organized but not clean.  If it was organized but not clean, people might not even notice. If I had to pick one, I would pick organized versus clean any day! But you probably could have guessed that would be my choice.

Did you know that getting rid of excess household clutter will eliminate 40% of the housework in the average home?**  If your house is not organized, it takes so much effort to move the clutter around in order to clean. Who wants to pick up all the clothes off the floor in order to vacuum? Or move all the stacks of mail from counter to counter in order to clean the kitchen? Nobody, including your cleaning service!  I’d much rather be organized and have less housework like cleaning!

How to Stay Organized

Getting organized is often the easy part and staying organized takes regular discipline. (More thoughts on how to stay organized on my blog.) That means putting things back where they belong after you’ve used them. If your house needs picking up before it gets cleaned, this probably means your organization could be better. I strive to set up organizational systems that are effective but simple to use.  This helps get everyone on board with putting things back where they came from when they are done because it is easy. This way, when the cleaning people are coming you’re not scurrying around picking up after yourself so they can actually see the surfaces they need to clean. And your cleaning people will thank you because you made their job easier. I think they do a better job when they’re not having to move piles around too. (And if you are the cleaning person in your house, you’ll be thanking yourself!) Check out the history of cleaning in this short article.

Organized versus clean? If you had to choose one, which would it be? What can you organize better to reduce your housework?

**Source: The National Soap and Detergent Association