Cleaning vs. Organizing

I like having a clean home, but I utterly detest cleaning. Most people are surprised to hear this. Especially because they know how much I love organizing.

In fact, I frequently find myself in conversations in which I’m pointing out the differences between cleaning, tidying and organizing. In my mind, all three are entirely distinct undertakings involving different activities and a different thought process (and perhaps even a different state of mind!)

What’s the difference?

  • Cleaning. Involves the use of cleaning products and/or tools (e.g., rags, brushes, paper towels, brooms), as well as elbow grease. Examples of cleaning activities are sweeping, vacuuming, scrubbing, etc (click here to learn more about Maid2Match Perth).
  • Tidying. In other words, picking up a mess or de-cluttering. This might mean putting things back where they belong or simply shoving everything into a closet before the guests arrive.
  • Organizing. Means actually sorting out the clutter and accumulated possessions. This involves making honest decisions about your belongings in terms of their use in your home and their value to you, and putting those decisions into action (sell, donate, give to friends, recycle, trash, etc.) Most importantly, organizing means creating systems of organization, so that future tidying is easier.

Which ones do you do?

Because I fervently dislike cleaning, for the past few years I have used a housekeeping service – folks who comes every other week to clean my home. This leaves me time to do the the types of housework I actually like to do (such as laundry, dishes, meal planning, cooking, etc)

The fact that the housekeepers are coming gives me the motivation to tidy the house the day before they arrive. (Tidying allows the housekeepers better access to the floors and surface areas for cleaning purposes.)

Tidying is easy for me because the house is now (finally!) organized – meaning everything now has a place where it “belongs” and can be put back accordingly in the “right” place.

Readers, I wonder what you think. If you have thoughts about this or other ideas, post a comment or write to me and let me know!