Spring Cleaning – Declutter Winter Gear

Spring is (almost) here. Let’s clear out winter clothes & gear!

Winter clothes, coats, hats, gloves, boots, shovels, sleds are just part of what can be either decluttered from your home or stored away until next winter.

When you go through your winter gloves make sure if you are going to keep them that:

1) They all have a match
2) They still fit your children and there are no holes in them.

If they are in good shape but are too small for your children, then put them in the donate bag.  If you only have one, then don’t keep it, and certainly don’t throw it in the donate bag (someone one other end of sorting will just be the one to have to get rid of it)

gloves

For your hats and coats and boots – Go through the same thing. For those items that will still fit next year and are in good shape, store them in a clear bin and label it.

For your snow shovel and sleds and skies.  Ski racks on your garage wall would be ideal.  The same for the snow shovel if you have the space.  Look UP in your garage. Use your wall space.  If you have rafters in your garage… use those for storage!

snow shoves

8 Easy Steps to Transferring The Clothes

1) Get your supplies ready. White (donate) and black (trash) trash bags, sharpie
marker, labels -sticky address labels work great, bins (clear are best).

white and black trash bags

2) Go through the drawers & closets. Pull out each piece of clothing and evaluate it quickly.

* Will it fit someone in the family in the future? (If not dontate)
*  Is it in any condition to save? (If not then throw away, don’t donate clothes
that are torn, stained or are better for rags)
* Will the next child wear it? Was it worn at all this season? (Do they like it?)

dresser drawer

3) Make piles

* Save for next year
* Donate (white bag)
* Trash (black bag)

4) Get out the summer clothes from storage.

5) Go through the new season clothes and do the same thing as you put them away in
the kids drawers. Make sure they will fit your child this year and it is
something they will wear.

6) I prefer using clear bins if possible. Get ones that fit your space to store and latch closed. They will go from season to season. Now for really long clothing storage, you might want to look into another form (but I don’t suggest long term clothing store of any one item …usually)

spring clean clothes 37) Take the bins you have for next year and be sure to label them.  The labels don’t have to be fancy printed out labels!  Just get something you can see clearly and you can peel off or stick over for next season.
Put either sex or child’s name, season and size on each label. For instance, Boy – Summer – Size 10

8) Your donate bags can be taken to friends who can use them, sold at a garage sale or resale
shop or taken to a facility such as Good Will, but get them out of your house as soon as possible.

We have so much cold winter gear, that just putting it away or giving it away makes you feel less cluttered doesn’t it?

I’d love to see how you clear out your winter clutter!  Blog about them and then come back and

link it to my Organizing Mission Link party – Mission Spring Cleaning !!

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Spring Cleaning – Dust or Vacuum First?

March 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Cleaning

Cleaning Debate Here We Come!

vacuum

What do you do?  Do you Dust or Vacuum first when you are cleaning?

Hasn’t that been one of the long standing debates?  Kind of like the chicken or the egg.

When dust, the dust that doesn’t stick to the dust cloth falls down onto the floor.  (So then you can suck it up by the vacuum right?

But…. when you vacuum, it stirs up dust and makes things dustier.

So – Which do you do first?  If you dust first, the vacuum will pick up the dust that falls on the floor. But when you vacuum, it stirs up dust and then you need to dust?

Which do you think I do first? hmmmm…. you’ll have to read and see.

Dusting

Dust… ewww….   how can you watch one of those 60 Minute TV shows on dust mites and ever look at dust the same way again?  lol  It’s much easier not to think about that isn’t it?

I’m sure not all of your homes get this dusty, but I’m sure we’ve all been there at some point. I have two dogs, carpet and seven people in the house. All of those add up to dust. It doesn’t matter that the windows have not been open, and no one has been digging a foundation right near my house in dry weather stirring up all the dust. It’s just life.

dusting

When I dust, I prefer to use a spray cleaner.

dustingI’m not endorsing Endust. I usually use it, but I’ll also use other products.  You pick what ever product you like to dust with, it makes no never-mind to me (that reminds me of my Grandmother talking… lol)

I prefer to spray the Endust directly onto the dust cloth, not the furniture. Why? Because that is how my Momma taught me.  Simple as that.

dusting

Dust away…..

dusting

Doesn’t it look great after you have dusted?  Are you a good duster?  Do you always dust the entire piece of furniture, down the legs, behind it… the sides?  Or are you a surface duster?  Me…. I tend to me a little in between.  I probably lean more on the side of surface dusting on most days. What about you?

Vacuuming

Dogs?  Sometimes I wonder why in the world I have them.  Their dog hair (Sadies’ fur) gets everywhere.  Their dander creates so much dust and dirt, there are those occasional accidents (Gizzy) and muddy paws.  But the love, licks, and smiles you get from them every time they see you is worth it (I think)

This shot is of a little end table that is right between the wall and the couch. The green basket is the dogs toy basket, you can see (not only one of their toys, but some ear phones) all the dog hair and dirt on the carpet and edging.

dusting

How about these stairs.

dirty stairs

Look at that baseboard along the stairs. and all the dog hair stuck in the edges of the carpet.

Yes… Vacuuming is essential.

vacuumingHere is another question for you.  Do you like the lines in your carpet after you have vacuumed?  I have a good friend who says she gets upset when her kids come in and ruin the lines in the carpet, from the vacuum cleaner.   Does the carpet feel cleaner when there are lines?  I think that is what the represent to me. “Freshly vacuumed carpet”

vacuuming

When you vacuum, do you go in the same pattern?  Do your lines have to be straight?  Aren’t these fun questions?

To answer my own question, I vacuum first and then dust.  Again, that is what my mom taught me to do.

I’d love to see your dusting/vacuuming or spring cleaning tip! Blog about them and then come back and

link it to my Organizing Mission Link party – Mission Spring Cleaning !!

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Spring Cleaning – Vents & Accessories

March 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Cleaning

Vents

This is another thing we don’t think to clean! (At least me… isn’t this gross?) Check your furnace filter first. More than likely it needs to be changed.   Be sure to check your furnace filter. From what I have read the 1″ filters should be changed every month and 4″ ones are every 3 months. But there is much debate about that.

dirty vent

This doesn’t have to be hard to do. I again suggest making a sink full of hot soapy water. Arm yourself with a Phillips head screw driver and start going to the rooms that have the vents and take them off the wall.

dirty vent

Wash them and use a scrubby brush (but one that isn’t too course, you don’t want to scratch off any pain)

Make sure to dry it well.

Also get a rag and or your vacuum wand and clean inside the area of the vent.
Replace the vent and look how much nicer it looks!

clean vent

There are so many things around our house that get dirty and dusty.  I have a glass candle tube on my mantel and it was filthy too!

cleaning candlesInstead of just dusting it like I normally do… This got a good hot soapy water bath along with all of the rocks inside it .

Now look at the difference just a little soap and water can make!  You can also use a vinegar water mixture instead of soapy water if you’d prefer.

cleaning

What can you find around your house that you don’t normally think of really cleaning well?

Get that soapy water going again and get a screw driver and tackle those vents.. and then let me know what other items you cleaned for spring!
Then come back and link it to my Organizing Mission Link party – Mission Spring Cleaning !! (You can link any of your organizing or cleaning posts.. they don’t have to be your lamps)

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Spring Cleaning – Lamps

March 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Cleaning

Are you ready to open those windows?  Ready to feel that nice warm air coming into your house to help “air” it out as so many people say?

cleaning supplies

Unfortunately spring cleaning involves a little more than just opening the windows.  Spring is a GREAT time to not only clean, but organize!!  Putting away winter gear, clothing have to be done anyway, so why not work on organizing some other areas of your home .

But we are going to do a little bit on some cleaning.

Let’s start with a couple things that you might not even think to clean.  They aren’t hard things, but just getting them done can make a difference.

Lamps

I suggest doing this project after you have already vacuumed and dusted the rooms involved.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think about cleaning the inside of the globe that is above my head.. at least very often.  But there is so much dirt in there.

Take apart the lamp globes of the lights you have downstairs that can be washed.  Here is another one that needs it really bad.

This is looking inside the globe of a lamp. It is filthy!

dirty lamp

 

Make a big sink full of hot soapy water.

Washing them really good.

Dry with a towel so you don’t get water spots.

Doesn’t it look better?  (even though there was still a sticker on the under side that I didn’t see until I saw this picture!)

Wipe down the rest of the lamp with a cleaner of your choice.
Then take the clean and dry lamp globe and put it back together.

Then you have the finished clean lamp…  to let more light in!

 

Looks much better doesn’t it?

So what do your lamps look like?  Do they need a little Spring Cleaning?

I want you to get that soapy water going and clean your lamp globes!  Then come back and link it to my Organizing Mission Link party – Mission Spring Cleaning !!   (You can link any of your organizing or cleaning posts.. they don’t have to be your lamps)

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Organizing Mission Link Party – Mission: Spring Cleaning- Week 11

February 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Cleaning, Organizing & DYI Monday Link Party

Are You Starting To Get Spring Fever?

organizing mission monday

Spring isn’t very far off. I know I am more than ready to open the window and let the nice cool spring weather into my house to air it out. What about you?

I’m going to start a series on spring cleaning and organizing for the Organizing Mission link party for the next several weeks. Join in and link up your spring cleaning and organizing posts!

Featured Bloggers For This Week

Parents of a Dozen – How We Organize Our Laundry Room

I love how organized this laundry room is. Can you imagine keeping twelve kids organized? Wow.. you can imagine what a house of that size would look like if she wasn’t organize can’t you?

I love how she has all the kids pictures across the wall too!

parents of a dozen Look at the shoes and boots! Shoes coming off at the door can be problem can’t they?

parents of a dozen

I also love how she took off the cabinet door so she had a place to put the empty laundry baskets when they weren’t being used.

parents of a dozen You can see the rest of her laundry room if you go to her blog: Parents of a Dozen!

Denise from Pink Postcard – A Gun Rack and A Skirt

I love inventive ideas and uses of items that can be turned into an organizing tool. Denise took a gun rack and used it to make an organizer for her ribbon.

pink postcardShe painted it and made rods to go across and hung her ribbon on it. Easy to get to and nice to look at. She attached scissors so being able to cut a piece of ribbon is easy.

pink postcard

Then she finished off her craft room with making a skirt to help cover up the table she uses for her sewing machine. She loves a vintage look. I loved this because it brought back such sweet memories of that trim with the little balls… my mom used to have some that she used for things and it sat in her sewing basket for years.

pink postcard

You can see the rest of her craft room make over on her blog Pink Postcard.

Be sure to stop by both of my featured bloggers today and give them some “comment love”

For those of you who were featured this week, please pick up your button (code below the button) for your blog!

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Link up any organizing or cleaning post to my link party!!

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1) Link to your specific post – not your blog

2) Please Link back to my blog with my button or link (link just above underneath my button)

3) I’d love if you’d follow me on google and/or FB. The google is new and I’m trying to build it

4) Blog post related to Organizing or Cleaning

5) No sales pitches or web sites.

6) If I feature you I will use one or more of your pictures with a link back to your blog.

8) Feel free to link up more than 1 post.

Be sure to check out my list of link parties! If you have a link party.. please link it up! Underneath the daily buttons there is a list of text links I have compiled too! (Many more there!)

If you aren’t sure how to link up… see my link party tutorial here. It is simple.

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This will be open until Saturday night March 19th.

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Donate to the Elderly!

See The Joy You Can Spread!

donate stuffed animals

I LOVE getting stuffed animals and my husband knows it.  But how many stuffed animals do I need?  I keep one on my dresser and then I end up putting the rest of them in a chest at the end of my bed.  I do donate them every few years, but I had six that were just sitting shut up in the chest, not doing anyone any good.

What about my memories?  I have them!  I took pictures of them when I got them and I have the feeling of love that I got when my husband gave them to me.  TIME TO PASS IT ON!!

I got in my chest today, because I knew I had at least two from Valentines day. What better time to give them away?

donate stuffed animalsI actually had three of them.. and three from Easter.  We have a small nursing home right here in town.  I called them first thing this morning to ask if it would be alright if we stopped by this afternoon after school.  I told her we would have six stuffed animals and could she find six residents that do not normally get any visitors that we could give them to.  She was very helpful and told me to ask for her when we got there.

donate stuffed animalsDo you think any of them would care that the foot says 2010 on it?  I don’t think so.

donate stuffed animalsSo I bagged them all up to get them ready to go.

donate stuffed animalsI picked up the kids after school and we stopped by the nursing home.

nursing home

The kids were all excited and each picked out the two they wanted to donate.

donate stuffed animals

The residents had just finished their Valentines party. There were balloons and decorations on the walls.  I didn’t take many pictures inside because I wanted to protect their privacy.

The nurse took us around to six different residents that do not receive visitors.  The black dog went to a man who was almost blind. The big purple bunny went to a woman who started crying and kept saying, “It’s so beautiful!”

This woman said we could take her picture (I didn’t ask all of them). I just missed her little smile.  But she had a hold of that bear.

Do you think she cared that it said 2010 on it’s foot?

donate stuffed animals

Then the last resident we gave a stuffed animal to was a hoot.  She wanted the kids to come over to her bed. She talked to them and asked them questions. Found out they were triplets.  I asked if I could take her picture and she loved it.  She wanted to know when I was printing them out.  I told her I normally don’t anymore but asked if she would like a copy. She said she would love it! So we will take her back a copy of it.

donate stuffed animalsThis was an awesome experience for my kids!  They were talking about it all the way home.   They were uncomfortable in the nursing home, I was too.. and that is ok.  We talked about it.  We talked about what it would feel like to never get a gift or have anyone visit you.

I think they realized all on their own… just seeing these faces and the smiles and how every one of the residents hugged those stuffed animals as soon as they got it!

So next time you go into your child’s room (or look in your own chest if you have some stuffed animals yourself) think if that stuffed animals would be doing more good where it is… or if it would be good to donate it to someone who could really use a pick me up!
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Pens & Pencil Clean Out

How many pens and pencils does one household need?  We are going to be cleaning out a desk drawer next, and this is part of that. But I wanted to break up the post.

pens and pencilsWhen you open that desk drawer, or junk drawer – do you always find a bazillion pens and pencils?  But of course when you are on the phone and need to take a message or you are in your car… can you find that pen in your purse or car? Nope… never. lol

I want to share with your my simple way to help decrease some of the pens/pencil clutter in your home.

pens and pencilsWhen you are cleaning out that desk drawer I want you to gather all the pens and pencils together in one place. Markers too.  (My markers are in another basket)

Now, often when we are organizing we gather all of the pencils and pencils that are everyone in the office, in the drawers, on the floor etc.  and just put them in a basket like this and close the drawer back up. I would bet that the majority of these pens haven’t been used in quite a while.

Do they work?

pensI want you to get some scrap paper and get ready to test them… yes… all of them!  I am willing to bet you that at least 25% of them don’t write, or are broken or leaking.

Do the fast test, don’t sit and work to make that pen write. Grab it and try it, if it doesn’t write a nice line within the first few squiggles… pitch it. Are you going to use it? No, you will grab it.. try to use it, get frustrated.. put it back and grab another. So … you are just getting rid of the frustration first.

markersDo the same for your markers.  If they write like this pink one.. pitch them.  Ok… so you can’t stand to pitch it until it is completely empty?  Are you going to want to use it?  If you WILL use it… ok, then keep it.  If you just can’t stand to waste it, but know you won’t use it… what about your kids? Can you put it somewhere they will use it?

pen squigglesThis was my paper tester when I went through my pens and markers.

highlighterI had several pens and highlighters….. that went into the trash

pensThis is my trash can (dumb question…. can you recycle these?)

pensAfter I sorted out the pens that were dead or dying… and got rid of those, I still had a lot that I didn’t need.

I put several in the drawer, several on top of the desk in the green bucket and I didn’t need these. I mean really…. they have been sitting in that desk drawer untouched for how long?

I can do several things with them (and would love to hear more of your ideas in your post about organizing your office)

1) Put this bag of pens in your car, so you have a pen when you need it
2) Donate them to a local school, shelter or nursing home
3) If they are all pens you have brought home from work, return them to your office
4) Donate them to the troops
5) Disperse them through out your home (only if you need them) by the phones or bedside.

Your Mission if you chose to take it is: Declutter those pens and pencils!

Organizing Mission Monday

Link up Your Office Mission Post

Just take a half hour and declutter those pens and pencils. Take some pics and join the party.  I’d love for you to link it to my Organizing Mission Monday link party. This link party will be left open for a month to go with the Mission – Office that I am working on with my link party.

I would love it if you could vote for my blog! You can vote up to once per day. Just click the button. Thank you!

I would love it if you could vote for my blog! You can vote up to once per day. Just click the button. Thank you!

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What Would Sandy Suggest – Week 5

I’m in an Office Mood I think

When I think about what I would suggest when I walk into a room…. I have to stop…. and think.

cluttered room You first off have to find out what the client wants out of the room.
1) What do they want to use this space for?
2) What is their vision for this room?
3) What storage is available?

You can’t fit 20 gallons of gas into a 10 gallon tank right? So if you have too much “stuff” and not enough space to store it… then something needs to go.

Organizers aren’t miracle workers, we can’t create more space in a home. We can help to utilize the space that there is to the fullest.

“Life” happened to this person. A spouse died expectantly a year or so before, and things went kind of crazy. But they wanted some help and guidance.

There were several cats in the home, and thank goodness I didn’t have allergies. But getting used to the smell wasn’t easy either.

Suggestions:

1) Sort through the Clutter. Separate into A) keep B) Donate C) Store D) Trash/Recycle

2) Rearrange if needed to make a usable space – Move bill area to the sturdy desk and decrease need for the folding table.

3) Use existing supplies (client didn’t have finances to purchase new)

4) Clean the space (cat droppings, dust, dirt)

5) Support the client in her decisions

It was a very long day but we were able to accomplish making a livable, usable space. Simple but workable.

If you are wondering… this person was not a hoarder. The rest of the house wasn’t not this bad. This was the “catch all” room that got out of control.  They were open to getting rid of stuff and were very excited to have the room back.

What Happened:

1) We cleared out most of the clutter.

2) We kept the arrangement of furniture the same. The client liked having 2 separate desks and was not open to combining the work spaces.

3) We did basic cleaning. (Carpet cleaning and deep cleaning were still needed)

4) We separated paperwork into boxes  to go through later.

5) There was still several boxes to the left of this picture that the client had to go through. The budget did not allow for me to come back to help as we had planned. But I gave the client the basic knowledge so that they were able to ask themselves the same questions that we did when we worked together.

Not every space has to be organized to be “pretty”.  Being able to help people with the basics and to utilize what they already have is important. Often times I go into situations that the client really needs help. They might not have the finances to do anything but get the help – meaning… we work with what they have.

So… keep that in mind if you feel you don’t have the “money to organize”. I have heard that so often. Going through your things and deciding what to keep or give away doesn’t cost a dime. It just takes time.

Before:

After:

You can do a lot in one day. It wasn’t perfect, and there was still more work to be done… but together we were able to accomplish a lot.

If you have any spaces that you would like help on and would like to be featured in an upcoming week, please leave me a comment that you would like some help.

If you have any blog posts of an office that you have reorganized and would like to link it to my Organizing Mission- Monday link party – please add it to my Link party by clicking my button

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Cleaning – Reviewing Mr. Clean

Everyone Knows Mr. Clean Products!

Mr CleanOrganizing is my thing.  Cleaning… well… isn’t as much. (hate it!)  Yes.. you do clean when you organize, but the general house cleaning… and deep cleaning are no fun for me. I do wish that i was a bit OCD about it (only a little) and kept on top of it like I would love to.

I will admit that my husband got me the best early birthday present ever! I had a (almost entire house) deep cleaning done professionally.  There were 4 people that came in my house and were here from 9am-7:30pm!  Honest!  Everything… vents on walls, lamp globes and shades, behind the washer & dryer and refrig and oven! They did the windows!  I have been so busy and my house needed it… and I was getting more and more frustrated because I couldn’t get it done.  I’m not superman…. I can’t do it all!

I recently was asked to review a couple of Mr. Clean products. Mr Clean.. Mr. Clean… (can’t you just hear the song in your head?  Ok…if you can’t it’s because you aren’t old enough.. sigh)

Mr CleanFirst thing I did was the downstairs bathroom.  It needed it.

Mr CleanThe first thing I noticed was the smell. I even looked at the bottle again. Oh..that is right it has Febreze in it! That is why it smelled so good.  Clean with a fresh smell… ahhhh..

Mr CleanDon’t forget those pesky tools you hide behind the toilet…

Mr CleanIt says that it kills 99.9% of bacteria…. that I like!

Especially when cleaning these areas.

mr clean

Now upstairs to the master bath.  Here is something that I have been using daily.. but not too fond of at the moment… lol

Mr Clean

The shower track. Oh… what a pain that is to clean. But how nice it is to have clean.

Mr Clean

They also sent me a Mr Clean Magic Eraser bath scrubber.  I love these things! They are amazing!

Mr CleanThis is bigger than the normal Magic Eraser, and has the little texture to it. Plus a curved edge to help with the grip but also makes it easier to get in the corners.

mr clean magic eraseThis also came with that nice scent of Febreze!  The other thing that I liked about it was that it wasn’t falling apart when I scrubbed hard. That was the only negative thing about the Magic Eraser was that it kind of fall apart as you were cleaning.

mr clean magic eraserThis is one area of our shower that gets so much soap scum. That bar of soap drains down the side and leaves a terrible soap scum.  I love that I have the new Magic Eraser Bathroom scrubber to keep on top of it.

A clean bathroom is a happy bathroom.. is a happy mom!!

Disclosure: Mr Clean sent me 1 bottle of the Mr. Clean with Febreze Disinfecting Bath Cleaner and 1 box with 2 Mr Clean Magic Eraser Bathroom Scrubbers.  I was not compensated in any other way for this post. (other than a clean bathroom) The pictures and the thoughts are my own.

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Decluttering Toys Before Christmas

December 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Basement or Garage, Blog, Cleaning, Family & Friends, Playroom

Where Will All The New Toys Go?

toys

If you declutter the kids toys before Christmas hits – it is much easier to find places for the new toys after Christmas.

I had someone make a comment this week that prompted this post.  She said that she will have to find room for all the new toys that will be coming in at Christmas.

I’m sure that is how many of you think when you think of all the new toys, etc… that come in.  Toys from Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles and of course you.

It is a simple solution, but not one that many people do. It can also be hard to do…. want to know what it is?

Here you go….  Get rid of toys NOW…. and make more room.  Simple as that.

One in – One out!  But do it ahead of time…. get the “Out”  ….out now and it will make bringing in the “In” much easier.

The advantage there is to clearing out the older toys now is that there hopefully will be some other children that will benefit from it on their Christmas morning!

Decluttering the Toys

Go through the kids toys (personally I prefer to do it when my kids aren’t home – I’ve never yet had them be upset because I got rid of a toy) and clear out toys they don’t use.

* If you have a toy box – look at the bottom.
* Get rid of broken toys (don’t donate those please – it just makes more work for the people who volunteer when they have to throw it away).
* Stuffed animals usually always need to be cleaned out.
* Be careful not to keep a toy just because you know what was spent on it. Keep it only if they really play with it still.
* Try to decrease by as many toys as you can estimate that are coming in.

It can be hard – but it is necessary if you want to keep a handle on the amount of “stuff” in your house.

But also keep in mind  that kids get overwhelmed by too much stuff.  We might think that you can’t have too many toys – but in a child’s eye – that is their “stuff”… their “clutter”.  So… think to yourself how you feel when there is too much “stuff” around… why would we think that a child wouldn’t feel the same when there are too many toys around?

Less is more – It doesn’t mean you are a bad parent if you don’t have as many toys as your neighbor… honest!

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Organize your Car

Decluttering Your Car

Car organizing
Our cars can get so messy… so fast – can’t they? We are in and out of them…. carrying school papers, drinks, food, groceries, etc…. Getting out of the car and getting just the necessities is common. Our hands are full, we are racing here and there and things accumulate.
So – we have to clean them out….frequently – to keep them under control. Right?

Make the same rules for your car. If you don’t need it, clear it out. During football season for the kids, I keep a canvas folding chair in the back of the car – but as soon as football season is over, that comes out and gets hung back in the garage.

I just wanted to share just a couple things you can do to help keep some of that little “junky” but necessary things cleaned up.
I have the above little organizer above my driver visor. It holds pens, a little notepad, some extra business cards and an extra pair of reading glasses. It also has a glass breaker/ seat belt cutter that my husband bought me.
CD car organizer
I use this CD holder on the passenger side visor. If I find that I am getting more CD’s accumulated in the car than I have slots for in the organizer – guess what? I take out some of the ones that I’ve listened to for awhile and put in the new ones. Then I take the older ones back into the house and put them away.

car organizingThis is in the center console between the seats.  It is a little cubby area.  I’m looking down into it in this picture.  In the tissue box I put extra napkins that I get from fast food restaurants.  I also have a few other things in there, hand lotion, some gloves etc… But be sure they are things that you use… and you don’t just shove everything in there.

car organizingUtilize those nukes and crannies of your car. This is in the door of my car.  Good place to tuck the umbrella, a book for when you are waiting for a child to come out of a practice or school etc..

first aide kitThis is a first aide kit that I got from Toyota when I went on their tour. It is a really nice little one – but packed full of things.  I keep it in our little car. (In my big car I have the pink organizer in back that has my first aide kit)

There are all kinds of organizing products to use for your car. Keep in mind that just like anything else – Organizing products will not organize you!  You have to use them properly for them to have any benefits.  The same goes for your car. If you are going to buy something to organizer your car – use it.  If it doesn’t work… get it out and either give it to a friends or donate it.

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Organizing Your Car – Prepare for an Emergency

Is Your Car Ready with What You’ll Need in an Emergency?

Of course hopefully you never have any kind of emergency while in your car – but let’s be realistic… people do all the time.

Car organizing

Not necessarily an accident – but what about your car breaking down, or running off the road in snow/ice, a dead battery or someone gets a minor injury.

Do you keep supplies in your car to help cover those things?

You may be saying – “Are you kidding? I have so much other junk in my car, I don’t have room for anything extra!”  Or it might be something you’ve just never thought of before.

I remember when I was in high school. My mom made me put a shovel and some sand in the back of my Toyota wagon because it was so light weight and slide around in the snow and ice.  She wanted to add some extra weight to the car, but also for me to have the sand if I needed it.  I did end up using it in the high school parking lot. There were about 3 cars and we were all stuck on the ice. There were boys trying to push the cars out, but no one could do anything.  Then I told them I had some sand and a shovel… even though I not a popular girl in school… at that moment you would have thought I was homecoming queen or something.  It worked…. they threw the sand under the tires to get some traction and they all got out.

The above picture is what I have in my car.  I have a kit I bought from TomBoy Tools that is made for woman. It has pink jumper cables in it, a tire gage, gloves, and LED flashlight – and it’s in that cool organizing bag! (Yeah… I love it!) I also have a blanket, a portable shovel, a plastic bag, paper towels and a first aide kit.  I just made my own and put it in some of the pockets of the organizer. But I have a pre-made one for my other car.

Think Snow/Ice and Cold

What if your car went off the road and either your cell phone didn’t work there, or it would take AAA a long time to get there. There are some things that you should have to be prepared and stay warm from the elements.

- A blanket
- A small shovel
- Sand or Salt
- Gloves, hat, boots
- Coat (of course! – but you’d be surprised!)
- Water

Car Breaks Down

- Jumper Cables
- Flashlight
- Tire Gage
- Flares
- The above “Cold Weather supplies” if it is cold or even cooler
- Spare Tire and Tire jack

Accident

- Exchange information
- Insurance card
- First Aide Kit
- Blanket
- “Car Breaks Down Supplies”

These are just the basics – What other supplies do you think are necessary?  Do you have them?  How do you have them organized in your car?  Do you think these items are necessary?  What are your thought?

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Rubbermaid Reveal Mop

August 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Cleaning, Reviews & Giveaways

Winner of the Reveal Mop

Random.org #6 is Emma Horton! Congrats Emma

Rubbermaid reveal mop

Mopping made easier

I don’t know about you..but I don’t like to mop.  Rubbermaid has made this chore a little easier with the Reveal Mop. But as we organize, we need to clean. Our floors can get incredible dirty..even if they were clean before we started the job.

Here is a view of the new Rubbermaid Reveal  mop.  Please keep in mind that your mop will come already assembled if you purchase it in the store. It will come with 1 pad and only 1 refillable bottle.  (not 2)

I usually try to do my reviews on the same amount of info that I might have just walking into a store. I like to be “you” if that makes sense and not have all the info under my belt before I do the review. I want to feel fresh when I see the product. But sometimes like this…it can mess up my video a bit because I realize that I may mess up some of the info a bit.  But that is it… only 1 bottle, 1 pad and comes already put together when you buy it in the store.

Here are some “recipes” for cleaning solutions that Rubbermaid provided me with for you.
Cleaning Solution 1
2 Tablespoons ammonia
½ cup white vinegar
½ teaspoon of baby shampoo
Fill the rest with hot water
This solution works well on hardwood floors.

Cleaning Solution 2
2Tablespoons white vinegar
2-3 drops liquid soap
Fill the rest with hot water
This solution is perfect for glazed tiles, vinyl, soft tile, cement, brick, and laminate.

Cleaning Solution 3
2 Tablespoons baking soda
2-3 drops liquid soap
Fill the rest with hot water
This solution is great for unglazed tiles, marble, stone, and slate.

Cleaning Solution 4
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
Fill the rest with hot water
This solution also works well on hardwood floors.

Please follow all manufacture recommendations when choosing products to clean your floor.

The pad is made out of microfibers that are ultra-thin. They are 1/100 the thickness of a strand of hair. (wow!) the wide pad reaches further into cracks and crevices to pick up 50% more dirt than sponge mops according to Rubbermaid. This pad also helps your floor to not only get cleaner, but helps them to dry faster.

To Purchase:

You can find the Rubbermaid Reveal Mop online here or at Home Depot. They will be coming to Walmart and Target in August (so start watching your store for it!) .

To Win a Rubbermaid Reveal mop:   **CONTEST IS CLOSED**

To ENTER:  Go to Rubbermaid Reveal Mop online and watch the video then tell me how much money on average you will save per year by owning a Reveal Mop **Be sure to come back here and leave me your answer in your comment. Your e-mail has to either in your comment or on your profile.

 

You can see my other giveaways going on here:  Bissell Lift-Off MultiCyclonic Pet Vacuum (ends 9/16)

Disclosure: I was sent this Rubbermaid Reveal mop free of charge.  I used their recipes for mixture and used some of the information about the pad for my desciption.  The pictures and video and opinions are all my own.

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The Organizing Fairy

Excuses don’t get the work done but the Organizing Fairy can right?

(You can’t see a fairy’s face you know….they won’t come to visit if you see their face….don’t you know anything?  Duh? lol)

I know..I know…we all wish we had one (I do too some days….although I would much rather have a cooking & cleaning fairy). But unless we do have an organizing fairy…guess what? The job still needs to get done.  Unless you always want to be living in a messy zone.  So even though we can have a zillion excuses….we still need to find a way to get the job done.

I know…that is the yucky part right?  So the question now is..how?

The first Step is schedule the time to do it. Get out that calendar.

I know it would be wonderful if we could add 4 hours to each day in order to get more done….but unfortunately life doesn’t work that way.

Block out a couple hours in your schedule a few times a week.  If there is a way you can devote several hours to get started…that would be wonderful, but if not – do what you can.

Maybe turn off the reality show (DVR it!) and use that time if you work during the day.
It might have to be after the kids are in bed if you can’t get anything accomplished while they are up.
It might be that you need to bring in a babysitter for a few hours or have in in-law watch them.

It is all about priorities. If this is a priority to get done in your life, then you need to put it on as a priority in order to get it done.

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Clutter

June 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Cleaning, How To Organize, Time Managment

Does it drive you Crazy?

Does this look familiar to you?  Piles of things all over. The floor littered with things because you don’t know where they should go?  Your life is so busy it is easier to just “throw and go”?

I understand.  Life can get crazy.  But if your home constantly looks this way…it has to be causing you more stress…on top of the stress you already have.

It if is to a point that you can’t walk into rooms, or you have no where to sit down…and you can’t throw things away – then you might have more than just a clutter problem. You might have a hoarding problem.

For clutter you have to make THAT DECISION to correct the problem.  It is just like losing weight or stopping any bad habit….it isn’t fun. But the results of clearing out the “stuff” is live changing. It will free up your space, free up your home and free up your mind.

Here are a few other related posts that I have written:

Clutter in your Home = Clutter in your Head

The 12 Step Program for Surface Abusers

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Keepsake Box

It’s Ok to save a little

You can tell your teen (or yourself) that it is ok to keep a few keepsakes.  Keep in mind however that if they are really special, they should be on display somewhere so you can enjoy them.  But to display things – do it in small numbers.

However, if you would like to have a great way to give your teens some freedom to keep some things (thus making it easier to purge other things) – the easiest way is to have a defined limit on how much can be saved.

Keepsake Box

Find a container. It can be a box – from shoebox to larger box.  Be sure it is not too big to fit on a shelf in your basement or closet. I would suggest a clear box, so you can see what is inside.

The Limit – They can keep no more than what can fit into their keepsake box (you can make up your own name for it). One of my clients and I named it her “Happy Box”.  If they have more than one box…then they have to make decisions.  Which item is it that is really worth saving?

Remind them that they can take pictures of items they give up.

Keep the goal in mind: To clear out the clutter. To have a room that is peaceful and calm – a place to think and getaway.

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Teenage Rooms

Usually the first step is to find the floor!

Usually teens (like most of us) have too much “stuff”. There is more stuff than places to put the stuff – so it is easier to just throw it on the floor. Keep in mind this isn’t always the case. My oldest son (at home) has plenty of storage space…but stuff is still on the floor – but he could still stand to declutter again.

Starting at the Beginning means starting with Sorting

Be armed with Black trash bags (trash) and white trash bags (donate).

Then remember your sorting basics.  Don’t spend more time on each item than about 5-10 seconds.  You don’t want to start reminiscing or you will never get the job done.  If they still have all kinds of stuffed animals or toys from their childhood (and they are teens)..help them pick out a couple special ones to keep (if they want to keep any). Take pictures of others if they are having a hard time deciding or not sure about getting rid of things.

If there are clothes that you need to keep to pass down to other children in your family. I suggest clear bins (so you can see what is in them) and be sure to label them well.

Work with them and have them decide: Make paper sorting cards to help remember what to do with their things.

1) Keep – Do I LOVE it? Do I WEAR it? Do I USE it? Does it FIT?
2) Donate – I DON’T like it and will not wear it, It DOESN’T fit, I DON’T use it.
3) Move – It doesn’t BELONG in my Bedroom
4) Storage - This can be season sports supplies or things they need to keep but don’t use but once or twice a year.
5) Trash – It is trash, broken, torn or worn out

Let them just make piles (they love piles anyway right?)  on the floor for the different categories.  If there is not floor space to begin with. I suggest piling everything in one big pile and then going through it.

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Teen Room

June 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Bedrooms, Blog, Cleaning, Family & Friends

What is it with Teenagers and the need to have a messy Room?

I decided to go take my camera and take a completely candid picture (I just opened the door and shot the pictures…I didn’t move a thing – oh believe me….it was difficult for me to do!) of all 5 kids bedrooms.

I have to admit – I used to go spastic on my 4 boys growing up with their rooms.  I would come in the morning to either wake them up or say good morning…I would open that door and instantly get mad.  Who likes to be woken up with “This room is a mess! You need to pick up your clothes, put trash in the trash can and clean off that dresser!!”.  Nope….not a nice way to start their day and would instantly put me in a bad mood.

So….once I was a single mom of 4 boys (in 1999) I decided at some point to let it go.  I had to discipline them in so many other ways…they had chores to do around the house and their rooms were just a constant source of irritation to me (and them).  I had a friend tell me that I need to pick my battles. That hit home. I decided that I didn’t need to make their room MY battle.   So for the most part I try to avoid the teens bedrooms.  I will let it go a week (maybe even 2 sometimes) before I get on them and really make them clean it. I don’t insist that their beds be made every day (although they know that I want them to do that), and I don’t hang them by their toes if they don’t put their dirty clothes in their dirty clothes hamper …right in their room).

Today I will show you the “Messy” Teen rooms….and over the next few days we are going to talk about teen bedrooms.  (I’d love your pictures of your candid teen bedrooms!!)

The oldest we have living at home (17 years old boy)   Note how the futon is down. He sleeps there.  We were lucky enough last year to get a Bedroom Makeover From Walmart & Your Zone. (you can see what the room should look like in the video) At the time he picked the loft bed. I thought he would get real tired of climbing up there because if he really had his way, he would sleep on the floor over the heater/air conditioning vent. (Yes…really)  But he thought the bed  was cool. I told him that if he got the loft bed…he had to sleep in it. The futon that we had and moved in here was to sit on.  ”Mom..I will sleep in the bed…it is cool. I promise!!”.  LOL ….yeah..sure.

Example #2.  My step son is 16.  He chose to have his bedroom in the basement when we got the room make over. They used to share a room. We gave the older of the two – first pick. Did he want the basement room (unfinished basement) or the room makeover. He said he was fine with either and let his step brother pick.  ”D” (step brother)  picked the basement.  He loves his “man cave”.  I’ll do a post this week on how we made this room over.  But…note here – no pillow cases on the pillows! Ewww….!  why?  That just seems so yucky to me.  I have a whole basket of pillow cases that he could pick from if for some reason when his sheets got washed….he couldn’t find his pillow cases.  Bed is not made (its hard to tell in this shot)…here, I’ll give you another look from a different angle.  You can see the unmade bed…and the stuff all over his dresser in this shot. But over all the room is not too bad.  Keep in mind this is after his Dad told him to clean his room yesterday.

I also got pictures of the triplets rooms.  They aren’t teens, they are 9 1/2 years old, but I thought I’d show you anyway.

The boys A&Z share a room.  It’s not too bad. But we do try to stay on them more to keep it clean.  A is great about cleaning his portion of the room (most days). Z really could care less.  You frequently hear A saying, “Z your stuff is a mess in here. You need to clean it up.” LOL  So if A wasn’t in the room with him and if we didn’t have them pick up their room daily…I’m sure Z will certainly turn into the typical “messy room” teen.  I’m not so sure with A.  I think he will keep his room clean on his own….like his sister.

Now…my step daughters “E” room almost always looks clean.  She gets up and makes her bed (as does A – but Z rarely does) every morning.  She keeps things picked up. Don’t you love the fish pillow?  Her pick when we went shopping at Cabelas last year!

So – I have “bared all” in my kid’s bedrooms to you. See..I always say my house is far from perfect…I’m human just like you guys!!  But I want you to show me some of your teens rooms.  Tell me what the hardest thing for you is?

Do you “stay on them” like I used to do with my kids? Or do you just “chill” and try not to get worked up over their rooms?   (at least for 1-2 weeks..I just can’t take more than that).  Do you ever make the really clean them?

Please share!

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Summer Schedule – Kids Chores

Kids need routine – even in the summer

I believe this.  I think kids do better if they  know what to expect and what is expected of them.  I’m not saying that summer shouldn’t be fun.  I’m not saying that it has to be completely rigid without any give.  But I think there should be things that are done daily. (I don’t think this is only for the summer…but there is more free time during the summer).

Chores

I’ve said several times that I think kids should have chores.  But in the summer my kids have extra jobs.  I’ve done this post called, 1) “How Do you Get Your Child To do their Jobs?”  2)  “Should Kids Help in the House?” 3) “Kids Chores – Cleaning Buckets can Help” and 4)  Kids Chore Boards – Make Your Own.”

Here is an example of the Chores my kids have:

Normal routine:

Make Bed  -  Clean Room  and 1 other chore (set table, clear table, help in kitchen)

In the Summer

I will add 2 more jobs to their lists:

Vacuum, clean bathroom  (either sink, toilet or tub), dust, playroom in basement

My thoughts are this. It is our responsibility as parents to train our children so that they can be self sufficient when they are on their own.  I have 3 boys on their own now. They have thanked me. That says it all.

We do the jobs in the morning and get them over with.

What jobs do your kids do?

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My Interview with Peter Walsh! (part 1)

Interviewing the King of Organizers!!

I was thrilled to be able to interview Peter Walsh today via web cam.  He could not see me (thank goodness because I was sitting with my sweatshirt on and no makeup!) but I was on the phone.

I was asked by Office Max if I wanted this opportunity. Heck yes!!

Peter is coming out with a new line (they are soooo cool) of organizers for the office called the you.organize series and we are lucky enough to get a preview here.  I am glad….I was sure hoping he would.  My favorite is the wall modular system! I love the look of it and it is so functional.

I asked him about filing though. That seems to be my biggest challenge when I work with clients. I wanted to see what his thoughts were. Also on the programs where you log all the information into your computer and each file folder gets a number. Then you put in a key word and it shows you where your file is.  They work great and I have used a version or one with one client. But….I do not like that you can’t open the file drawer and find your file without logging onto your computer first.  *The client I had use this system, I still labeled the front of his files with the file name & the number.

Enjoy my interview (as nervous as I was…) with Peter Walsh. Plus the fact that I could see him in the video but was talking to him on the phone. Well when we were  making this…his voice didn’t match his mouth! I felt like I was watching a foreign film. LOL  So I had to keep looking away from the screen because it was throwing me off. (You know as I get older it doesn’t take as much to throw me off! ) Thank goodness on the final video he talks just fine!

Thank you SO Much Office Max and Peter for this opportunity!

You can follow Peter’s Facebook Page to get answers to even more of your questions.

Tomorrow I am going to share some tips that are from Peter.

Disclosure:  I was not paid for this interview with money or products. I also did not have to pay them to have this interview.  My reward? I got to interview Peter Walsh!!!  yippee & squeels!

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