I have a love/hate relationship with 2 story-house living. Advantages, disadvantages, depends on the day which one is winning.
I love that when my son has friends over they can do their own thing on one level and I can have my own space (and quiet). I also always try to make sure my downstairs is cleaned and has order, ready if guests come over – the upstairs is our zone.
But those stairs! I wonder how many times in a day I go up and down. The first few weeks when I moved into my first two-story house, my calves ached. I guess it helps keep me fit, lol. And so often you need something that is on another floor.
Both homes that I’ve owned have been two-stories. Over the years I’ve discovered a few hacks that help my home to run smoothly. The easier you make it for everyone in the house to keep things in order, the smoother a house runs. And as a self-employed single mom, I need ways to make my life easier!
1 – Cleaning supplies on both floors. I have one set in my upstairs laundry room and one set under my kitchen sink. Cleaning is not a popular chore, so to ensure it gets done its best to make it as easy as possible. Have two sets of cleaning supplies, one for each level. Also makes it easier to get a mess right away since cleaning supplies are so accessible.
Tip – label everything in your house. Its a subtle reminder to everyone where things go. My containers are labeled “upstairs cleaning supplies” and “downstairs cleaning supplies”. Less chance of all the cleaning supplies ending up on one level.
2 – Two sets of recycling containers. I strongly support recycling but the easier you make it, the more it will be done. We often have magazines or empty soap containers on my second floor but no one was taking them all the way downstairs to the recycling container in the garage and instead of tossing in the trash. I bought two plain trash cans from Ikea and using my Silhouette added the recycling symbol with vinyl. One is in the kitchen and one is at the top of my stairs.
3 – Pantry laundry basket. My laundry room is on the second floor. In the kitchen, we use cloths instead of paper towels and paper napkins. Because of this, we create a lot of laundry in the kitchen so I’ve found it easiest to add a laundry basket in my pantry to collect the used cloths. Then once a week I carry it upstairs when I do the laundry. Also makes it an easy place to toss socks that I find around the house (I have an 11-year-old son, I find his dirty socks everywhere!)
4 -Stair baskets. When straightening up daily or after a shopping trip there are always items that need to go upstairs. But not wanting to go up and down a million times a day they would get piled at the bottom of the stairs and it looked messy and dangerous as I was tripping over it. The solution was a basket for each member of our household. At the end of the day everyone must empty (and put away) everything in their basket. Its so simple to just carry the basket upstairs instead of stuff that had been piled up.
5 – Have a pool? Store the beach towels closest to where they’ll be used. My philosophy is to store things where they will be used. My linen closet is on the second floor. After way too many times ending up wet after swimming with no towel, I decided to store the beach towels near the back patio door. Easy to grab a towel without running through the house freezing and soaking wet. In the winter I swap out the towels, with cozy blankets for curling up on the soda.
6 – Store garbage bags on both floors. My son is in charge of trash each week. So often he would head upstairs to empty the trashcans and realize he forgot a trash bag and would get frustrated (adding to a chore he already hated). Simple solution – I bought a second set of garbage bags that I store in my upstairs laundry room. Now the weekly chore is simpler, and we’re more prepared if we have a bigger mess to deal with at any time (like when I suddenly decide to organize and purge a room).