If you missed part one, Homemaking 101 - Introduction, you might want to read this post.
Organization is your best friend when it comes to having a neat home. If all of your stuff has its own place it will be easier to find/use/put away. First make sure your stuff is as near as it can be to where you use it. Then decide how/where you can store it best. An example, I don't have a lot of storage in my bathroom (I can't wait til we redo it!) but my linen closet is right next to it so I keep my cleaning supplies & extra soap, toilet paper, etc. on the floor in there.
Smaller places call for creative storage - when we lived in our studio apartment I kept my linens under the bed in plastic storage containers, I had wire shelving in the few cabinets we had & a portable closet became my pantry. Use a bookcase for a makeshift pantry or to store linens. If you don't have a linen closet use a dresser. Put shelves anywhere & everywhere.
Let's start with entries. Make sure you have a closet or at least some hooks for jackets & bags. If you have children place a rod or hooks at their level so they get in the habit of hanging up their stuff. You should also have a table or some other flat surface for packages, purse, keys. If you have a large household buy small bins or baskets for each person so they'll know where their stuff is. Then add a shelf or 2 for hats & gloves; a dresser or cabinet here could probably serve both purposes.
Since you just came in there is a good chance you have mail. First separate out the junk, do this before you even close the door. Then place everyone's mail in their basket. Put the junk immediately into the shredder, fireplace, whatever you use just get rid of it!
Family/living rooms are probably the easiest to get messed up. Try o have separate areas for each use in the rooms. Our living room is more 'formal' than our family room so dog/baby toys are limited in the living room. Bigger toys go in the family room, this is also where we have our vcr, dvd, music, computers & bookcases. Make sure you have cabinets for tapes, cd's, toys. Storage benches/ottomans can be a good idea since they provide seating as well as storage.
Bedrooms - for ours all we have is our dressers, bed, a hamper & my make-up table so the only real mess is hubby's dirty clothes on the floor. Closets should have shelves, rods & hooks. I have 2 upper shelves for purses, hats & bulky clothes. I have some floor shelves too where I keep shoes. We have a double hook on the back of the door for our robes.
Bathroom - I keep a sponge & glass cleaner under the cabinet since I use those the most. I also keep a bottle of Shout in there so I can pre-treat stains (my laundry room is downstairs so this is a time saver)
Kitchen - pots & pans go under the cooktop, the cabinet next to the sink has cutting boards, colanders, my chopper. The drawers above these cabinets hold my utensils; flatware in one, serving/cooking utensils in another, miscellaneous stuff n a third (veggie peeler, potato masher, skewers etc) I keep my glasses in the cabinet next to the fridge & my dishes next to that. The cabinets & drawer above & below my stove is where all my baking stuff goes...cookie sheets, cake pans, flours, sugars, etc. I have smaller canisters on my counter for every day stuff...sugar, coffee.
Next week I'll be posting a master cleaning list as well as a break down of when certain chores should be done..