We're Calling it -- This is the Year You Get (and Stay) Organized

Getting organized is more than a weekend project. It's a lifestyle that must be maintained every day, week, month and season. Luckily, we've got it down to a science -- and we're happy to share what we know.

Six Things to Do Every Day

Make the Bed

Tidiness begets tidiness. A crisply made bed makes the whole room seem more orderly, which makes it less likely that you'll let other things -- such as clothes and papers -- pile up around it.

Manage Clutter

Whenever you leave a room, take a quick look around for anything that isn't where it should be. Pick it up and put it where it belongs. Insist that everyone in the household do the same.

Sort the Mail

Take a few minutes to open, read, and sort mail as soon as you bring it inside. Keep a trash bin near your sorting area for junk mail. Drop other mail into one of four in-boxes: personal correspondence, bills, catalogs, and filing.

Related: 47 Ways to Maximize Space in Your Kitchen

Clean as You Cook

Instead of filling the sink with pots and dishes, wash them or put them in the dishwasher as you prepare a meal.

Wipe Up Spills While They're Fresh

Whether it's tomato sauce on the cooktop or makeup on the bathroom counter, almost anything is faster and easier to remove if you attend to it immediately.

Sweep the Kitchen Floor

Every evening, once you've finished washing up after dinner, sweep the floor. This will keep tough-to-clean dirt and grime from building up, which will make the weekly mopping much quicker.

Weekly Cleaning

Weekly cleaning is the backbone of any housekeeping regimen. Delegating tasks to each member of the family will get things done faster and easier.


Change and launder bath mats, towels, and washcloths.
Clean toilets, bathtubs, showers, and sinks.
Dust light fixtures.
Empty trash bins and wipe the insides and outsides.
Vacuum and mop floors.
Wipe mirrors.


Change and launder sheets and pillowcases.
Discard magazines and catalogs on side tables; store those you want to keep.
Dust surfaces, including furniture, objects, and light fixtures.
Empty trash bins.
Fluff pillows and comforters.
Vacuum floors.

Related: Martha Stewart's Top Organizing Tips

Dining Room:

Dust surfaces and objects, including furniture and light fixtures.
Vacuum upholstery and floor.
Entryways, Stairs, and Hallways:
Dust staircase banisters, furniture, objects, and light fixtures.
Launder machine-washable throw rugs and runners.
Vacuum stairs and landings.
Vacuum and mop floors.
Wipe mirrors.

Home Office:

Dust surfaces and objects, including furniture, light fixtures, and electronics.
Empty trash bin.
Sort through in-boxes: pay bills, file paid bills and paperwork.
Vacuum floor.


Discard foods and beverages past their prime.
Dust light fixtures.
Flush drain with boiling water.
Wipe surfaces, including sink, countertops, the outside of the ventilation hood, refrigerator and cupboard doors.
Wipe the inside of the oven, microwave, and toaster oven.
Wipe the inside and outside of trash and recycling bins.
Vacuum and mop floor.


Dust the tops and spines of books, shelves, and light fixtures.

Living Room:

Discard magazines and catalogs on coffee or side tables; store those you want to keep.
Dust surfaces and objects, including furniture, light fixtures, and electronics.
Fluff and rotate sofa cushions.
Vacuum upholstery and floor.
Throughout the House:
Wipe hand and pet prints from windows and glass doors.
Vacuum vents.

Monthly Cleaning

A few hours every month spent hunting down that hidden dust or clearing out that overstuffed freezer will keep your household humming and save you time when it comes to spring-cleaning.


Scrub grout.
Wipe insides of medicine cabinets.
Wipe tub and shower surrounds.


Launder duvet covers, pillow protectors, mattress pads, and shams.


Dust shelves and storage bins.
Vacuum floors and baseboards.


Discard food in the freezer that's past its prime.
Wash ventilation hood filters.

Living Room:

Vacuum fireplace screen.

Utility Spaces:

Vacuum floors.
Wipe insides and outsides of trash and recycling bins.
Throughout the House:
Buff waxed stone, masonry, concrete, and wood floors.
Dust portable and ceiling fans.
Flush drains with vinegar, boiling water, and baking soda.
Vacuum window treatments, moldings, and windowsills.
Wipe interior and exterior doors and trim.
Wipe switch plates.
Wipe telephones.

Seasonal Cleaning

Over time, even the cleanest, most organized home develops pockets of disorder. The change of seasons is a great time to peek into your kitchen cabinets, oven, and fireplace to see what needs attention.


Launder pillows.
Turn mattresses.
Vacuum mattresses, box springs, and bed frames.


Clean hanging pot rack and polish copper.
Clean ovens.
Organize pantry, discarding expired food.
Replace baking soda in refrigerator and freezer.
Remove contents of cabinets and clean interiors.
Wipe kitchen ceiling.
Wipe the inside of the refrigerator.


Rotate stacked books to prevent warping.

Living Room:

Clean leather furniture.
Sweep out fireplace.
Throughout the House:
Wipe baseboards and moldings.

More from Martha Stewart:
15 Kitchen Shortcuts That Will Change the Way You Cook
19 Tips for Perfect Laundry Every Time
Inspirational Bathrooms You'll Want to Live In
Spend Less, Eat Better: Grocery Shopping Tips for Thrifty Foodies

Don't be intimidated -- start small. To the closet!