Many dictionaries define the word, clean to be free from dirt or unstained, and the word, organize to arrange in a system. Often times, both terms are grouped together. If you are washing the dishes, you are clearing the dirt off of them, which is cleaning them. And then, once they are dry, you arrange them in cupboards where you can find them again, which is organizing them. When you are cleaning kitchen counters you remove the items that are cluttering the counter tops and then you wash the dirt off of the surfaces. The counter is not only clean, but also organized. Nevertheless, on both of these occasions they are considered cleaning. Dishes are rarely viewed as being clutter; and cleaning off counters are not usually referred to as de-cluttering.
I like to use the words organize and clean together because I believe they go hand in hand, working synergistically to produce order. Nevertheless, organizing and cleaning are definitely two separate and different things.
When you organize a space, you place it in a condition where you can easily locate things that exist within that space. An organized home is one of order. You and others living there can find things without digging or searching because things are placed in logical areas to be practical and functional according to how you would utilize each item. You have a keen understanding of your inventory, and you have a place for everything and everything in its place.
When you clean a space, you remove dirt from the surface. Cleaning spaces de-contaminates the area and raises the standard of hygiene. Places become more appealing and naturally more desirable to be in when they are clean. If a house is not organized, cleaning will be challenging. First of all, it will be more difficult to reach areas that need to be cleaned, especially if spaces are covered with junk in disarray. Second of all, it is difficult to be motivated to clean anything when it doesn’t look much better even when the dirt is removed.
To receive the full benefits of order, organizing and cleaning should be done together. Often I will take a few days with my clients to de-clutter and clear spaces, and then I will call in a fellow house cleaner to work simultaneously with us. After a space is organized, the house cleaner will deep clean places that haven’t been cleaned in a long time because they have been buried under things. After we organize and clean, it is remarkable how much energy is generated.
Once you have organized and cleaned, then you can set up a simple de-cluttering and cleaning schedule to maintain the orderly, healthy, and pleasing environment you have worked so hard to create.