Monday, December 14, 2009

Under Bed Storage

I love being able to roll out my gift wrapping station from under my guest bed. Not only do I keep paper, tissue, gift bags and some ribbon in the tote, but also scissors, tape, and kid's birthday card and gift I picked up from Tuesday Morning (and the Dollar Store) for that last minute birthday party. Easy and convenient!

Great Bin Sale

Bins are on sale at Home Depot for CHEAP and they are cute colors too!

It's a great week to update any of the boxes you have been using in the the past for storage bins. Purchase plastic bins to keep your belongings safe from the the elements. Different colored bins make organizing and locating items easy.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

"Kick Your (Dirty) Shoes Off!

Today's Tip:

DON'T WEAR YOUR SHOES IN THE HOUSE. It's as simple as that!

Here is what My Guest Speaker Castle Keepers has to say about staying Squeaky Clean:

"In an episode of the TV show “Sex and the City,” fashionista Carrie Bradshaw went to a party where the hostess asked the guests to remove their shoes. Carrie balked at the request because her high-priced shoes were the perfect complement to her outfit. Well, what Carrie didn’t realize is that she could take some steps to a healthier home by leaving her shoes at the door.
We track a lot of icky stuff in on the soles of our shoes, so it’s a good practice to remove your shoes at the door. You limit the wear and tear on your carpeting and floors and you cut down on the dirt and toxins in your house.

The cleaning industry estimates people track 85 percent of the dirt in their homes from the outside. The biggest culprits are shoes and pet paws.

Having a “shoes off” policy makes sense and is one that can be easily implemented.

· Put a basket, shelf or rack at your door so it’s convenient – not to mention a good reminder – to remove shoes.
· Leave some socks or slippers near the door, so you can slip something on your feet if you don’t want to show your bare toes or to stay warm.
· Look for a mat that reads “Please remove your shoes” and place it at the door as a gentle nudge to guests that you have a “no shoes in the house” policy.
· Place a good quality mat at the door so in the instances where shoes are left on, you and your guests can thoroughly wipe the soles and remove a good portion of the dirt.

In a majority of countries, it’s common practice and polite to remove your shoes before entering the home. So err on the side of caution and remove your shoes. Or, if you are unsure about the homeowner’s preference, just ask.
If you don’t have a “shoes off” policy at home, give it some thought. Think of all the places you walk in a day and whether you want to bring all that into your home – especially if you have small children who crawl or play on the floor. Plus, you can save yourself some time with the broom or vacuum cleaner – and that’s reason enough to kick off your shoes at the door."
Source:, Accessed December 12, 2009.

She took the words right out of my mouth! Thankfully, I didn't have to take time to write it all down too.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Good (Safe) Clean

Professor Gerba (Charles Gerba, a professor at the University of Arizona who specializes in environmental microbiology) offers these tips: Wipe down sinks and drains each day with a cleanser containing chlorine bleach. This will knock out 99.9 percent of fecal organisms. Countertops, appliances, and faucet handles should get the treatment two or three times a week, and toilets, tubs, and showers once a week. Use separate cutting boards for meat and vegetables, lest you transfer germs from one to the other. Throw cutting boards, kitchen sponges, and dishcloths in the dishwasher (or, in the case of the latter items, the washing machine) after use. Alternatively, soak them for five minutes in a sink full of water containing a cup of bleach. When doing laundry, make underwear the last load. Don't sort by colors (or at least don't put colored underwear with other colored items). Use chlorine bleach, which will clean both the clothes and your washing machine. Use bleach tablets in your toilet bowl. And take it from me, if you do nothing else, put your toothbrush back in the medicine cabinet after use.
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What's Living In Your Toothbrush?

Today's Tip: Keep your toothbrush as far as possible from the toilet.

It is said that dental toothbrushes and toilet bacteria are somehow connected. How unpleasant it wouldn’t be, but these rumors are absolutely true, and if not considering some strict rules in keeping the dentistry toothbrush clean than it can be easily considered that while washing your teeth you are putting the toilet brush into your mouth.

It may sound rude and impolite but latest discoveries show that your dental toothbrush is full of influenza virus, herpes simplex I, streptococci, staphylococci, bacteria that cause gum disease, cavities, and even diarrhea illness. All of them can survive and even thrive in high numbers on your toothbrushes.

Scientists have found more than 10,000,000 bacteria living on a single toothbrush. This huge number does not vary a lot. Now think how dangerous becomes the everyday procedure of ‘cleaning’ your teeth if not to take the right care about your dental toothbrush. Millions of bacteria infects the oral cavity and can badly infect your damaged gums, too.

The main reason of all this is considered the wrong bathroom design, easily met in many today houses. The restroom and the bathroom are usually situated in the same area. When you flush the toilet many water droplets are expelled from the toilet bowl into the air and affect toothbrush.

To find out more read:

Dental health Magazine; June 8th, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hair Everywhere!

I don't know about you, but my hair seems to fall out all year long! I was told by my hair stylist that humans shed about three times a year. From the amount of hair around my house, it seems like I go through a major shedding process daily. Yes, I do clean up the hair daily, so I know. Because I lack a proper plug outlet in my bathroom for my Dust Buster to stay plugged in and out of the way and don't want to get the Swiffer out before work each morning, I generally lean over and swipe the floor with a tissue to pick up run away hair (and wipe the dust off the floorboards) to keep a clean bathroom. It helps slow down the need for a "big clean."

Tip for today: Keep your drawers closed when brushing your hair! (and flushing!)

Plus, pull the dead hair out of your brush often and pick up any loose strands that may be lounging in your drawers. They can add up!

Find out proper care for your brush:

While we're discussing bathroom drawers. Please wash out and dry off (wash cloth) your tooth brush prior to returning it to it's happy home. Unless you have a private little room for your throne, I'd suggest placing your toothbrush in a closed drawer or cabinet. Make sure to read tomorrow's post to find out more!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Less Mess

Tip: Open your milk containers with caps or screw tops over the sink. The milk that dries on the container opening always crumbles off when opening the cap. Have you noticed? Just think, that mess is now all over your kitchen, depending on where you open the container. Create a new routine today to open the milk container over the sink. One less mess to have to clean.

Don't drink milk? You can use this new routine of opening containers and ingredients over the sink any time you cook/eat. Flower, sugar, screw top cinnamon/spice containers, cooking sprays, new cereal or cake/bread mixes are all disasters waiting to happen. For less mess, do it over the sink!

Also, check out my tip on using a new sponge each month, "Start the Month Off Right" (January, 30th, '09) for a cleaner kitchen.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Clean Drawers!

Tip: Don't eat, bake, or cook over open drawers. Keep them clean!

The amount of crumbs I've seen in kitchen drawers could keep a mouse family fat and happy for a lifetime. Before opening a drawer, wash your hands or wipe them off. No need to make your drawers and cabinets look twice their age just because you're being lazy. If need be, use your pinky to open them. If you notice dust/crumbs in your drawers take time right then and there to wipe it clean. Don't wait for cleaning day - you'll forget!

Friday, December 4, 2009

How to Stay Organized - 3 Tips!

How do you start your day? It's a brand new day and with it comes new challenges and accomplishments. Some wake up to chaos and others to calm. Which do you have...which would you like??? Everyone has a different level of chaos that they can handle. In a perfect world we would all wake up to a calm, serene household; whether you live by yourself or in a full house!

Because of who I am, my house is picked up prior to going to bed - meaning, the last few items I used were put away. Therefore, when I rise, the first thing I do before starting my new day is fluff/put back the couch pillows from my husband the night before and put away all the pots and dishes on our bamboo drying rack. It's a routine and makes for a clean slate. I do have to admit, to my husband's dislike (because he's still in it), I make my half of the bed when I get up, so I don't have to come back later.

You'll hear me state this many times, "Change is challenging, but GREAT!"

Start these 3 new routines: only touch something once, clean up as much as you can before you eat, and put an object away in it's "happy home" right after using it.


Only touch something once! Mail: while walking from the mailbox, sort through the mail. Junk mail in the front of your palm, bills in the middle and cards/information to be saved goes in the back. Walk right to your trash and recycling bins and dump the junk mail/empty envelopes. Put your bills in their "happy home" (separate from other mail - possibly with your check book) and pin up the informative pieces on the bulletin board/write the dates on your calendar. DON'T JUST PUT IT DOWN ON THE COUNTER - nor the "In Box/To Do" bin you think you've organized! Touch it ONCE!

Clean up before you eat - at least small meals! Breakfast and lunch should be made and put away (Not including pans - put in sink with water) before you eat. Leave the kitchen looking like you never made your bowl of cereal/sandwich/etc. when you sit down to eat. Then, all you have to do is clean up the bowl/plate when you're done. Put condiments/spices away while you're cooking. Clean the mixing bowls/put them in the dish washer as you're moving through your recipe. It also a good deal if two individuals make a deal that one cooks and the other cleans.
Don't go read your e-mail while waiting for the item to cook - clean up!

Put the item away - well, if you only "touch something once" you've already put it away. But if the phone rings just as you're finishing wrapping that last gift, go back and put the tape, scissors, ribbon, and paper away in your wrapping storage bin so it's all ready for next time! YES, you should keep all wrapping materials and supplies in one spot. No need to go running around your house for tape or scissors each time you need to wrap that last minute gift. Another great idea is to keep extra cards and gifts (those "It's just not me" gifts you can re-gift) in a bin near the wrapping bin/station. Other classic items not put away are jackets and clothes! Do it right when you walk in the door or when you undress. No more clothes out of place! That's not why that chair/top of your dresser is in your room. Touch it once!

After accomplishing these three new routines, your mornings will start off on a brighter, more serene note and your day will be more organized and less stressful. Everything is in its place!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sometimes We Need Help

"If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten."
- Tony Robbins

As a professional organizer, a common phase I hear repeatedly when people find out what I do for a living is, "I can organize that myself." From experience, the time span from a first casual conversation to a "I need your help" call is about a year, give or take.

After many individuals realize that their same way of "organizing" over and over isn't working, I get the "white flag" call. I'm thrilled to jump in and put my talent and "obsession" (husband's word choice) to use. After listening to my client's need, daily schedules, and patterns, I look at the space with a different set of eyes and come up with an organized system that works best for them. Then I dive in with an abundance of (sometimes to clients) overwhelming energy and I even forget to slow down for a water break. (One day I worked 13 hrs in a classroom and wouldn't sit down with my sandwich after 12 hrs of working w/o eating. I'm addicted to finishing a job!) No matter how many times a client has tried to organize a space prior to hiring me, I always hear the exuberant statement, "I've been looking for that!" A HUGE smile spreads over my face and I'm reminded once again why I'm thankful that I get to put my passion to use.

My goal is to sprinkle "organizational dust" over everyone I meet, help make lives less stressful, and give the gift of time. I share tips with anyone willing to listen and am thrilled when the positive feedback comes barreling back like a tidal wave. Not only does it spread over me, but out over many other individuals in need of organization. I'm truly grateful that my business has always grown from word of mouth.

No matter who you call, get a second (not someone living/working in your space) set of eyes to help you make a difference. Change is challenging, but EMPOWERING!

It's OKAY to ask for help!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Have you started your 31 Days of Giving - for Free??? What did you give today?

On my way to Yoga Sculpt, my new found passion this year, at CorePowerYoga(.com; check it out!) I found myself quickly getting irritated at the driver next to me, who speed up after the light turned green and then slowed down, not letting me into his lane. I took a deep breath, slowed down even more, and waved at the driver behind me who patiently waited for me to merge in front of him. I smiled, looked in the review mirror, and waved a gracious "Thank You" again before turning right. A simple second positive gesture hopefully let the kind driver know I truly appreciated his act of kindness.

As my tired aching body laid on my yoga mat (muscles exhausted from yesterday's Hot Yoga, a new class for me) the thought crossed my mind if I should be taking the class or should have stayed home. Then to my greatest surprise, as my instructor entered the studio, she began her class with a quote from Amelia Earhart that answered my question out loud. Had I not done anything else today but lay on my mat in Savasana (Dead Man's Pose/body flat on the ground, face up), it was meant for me to hear that quote. (It was a fantastic class by the way. I feel soo much better and learned to let go of the competition within myself and the thought of what other's were thinking of me, and didn't use weights for the first time in Sculpt!) I gave myself a gift and therefore was able to be a better person and give more to others. I had a very productive day of giving!

What does this quote stir up in you?

"No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves." Amelia Earhart

Just think of all the trees you can help grow in your next 30 days of giving!

Monday, November 30, 2009

31 Days of Giving - For Free!

I started my 31 Days of Giving - for Free a day early! After donating my numerous items to the Boulder Humane Society, dropping off items to the used children's clothing store and used book store, and finally Savers Thrift store (Supports local non-profit charities), I still had a load of books from my mother that I was going to donate to the library. During my last errand, I struck up a conversation with my sales associate about fiction novels and asked if she would like to have any new books. She was delighted with the choices and took all but four of the hard back novels. The expression on her face showed her true feelings. She was ecstatic with her gift. It's truly joyous for me to be able to see the happiness that I can offer to someone else for so little effort on my part. I love to donate to many different charities, but I rarely get to see the expressions of those who receive the gifts. It's truly a bonus!

That takes me back to my thoughts of teaching my students about Random Acts of Kindness. (I even came upon my "Random Acts of Kindness" pin yesterday.) Random Acts... A random act of kindness is a selfless act performed by a person or persons wishing to either assist or cheer up an individual or in some cases an animal. Although I'm a personal organizer now vs an elementary school teacher, I still find myself participating and urging others to participate in Random Acts of Kindness.

So, here's your goal: 31 Days of Giving! It's free and YOU benefit too!

For the next 31 days give something of yourself each day! Be spontaneous, have fun and share those extra material possessions that are not being truly used or loved. (I did give away my R. A.of K. pin! Someone needs it more than I do!) Can you give away something everyday for the next 31 days? Perhaps it's a hug or a smile to a random individual, a wave to the person who made it possible for you to merge into their lane, eye contact and a thank you to the frazzled sales clerk, a few coins to the shopper in front of you searching for a penny or two so they don't get back 97 cents, gathering up your free bathroom samples and hotel soaps and delivering them to the women's shelter. Once you open your eyes to giving, I'm sure you'll find plenty of items and gestures to share. Smiles are contagious!

Invite your family and friends to join in on the 31 Days of Giving! For those who are Humbugging your idea, ask them to share with the less fortunate and give their toys and clothing to those in need, therefore making way for new items to have a useful place after the holidays. (Or call me and I'll sweetly compliment them on the good job their going to do. It works every time!)

NO excusses! If you're too tired one day, put an item out on the curb in the morning and I bet it will be gone by the end of the day - especially if you put it on Craigslist, under the FREE category. Other ideas: put a "Thank You" in the mail or milk box. Shovel someone's sidewalk after the next snow, put a flower in a clean jar and leave it on a random neighbor's door step.

Have fun, be creative, and SMILE! (and share your stories with me!)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Best Dollar-store Deals and Duds

Here is MSN's Money's guide to the 5 best Dollar-store deals and several products you should leave on the shelves.

Deals: Household cleaners
Duds: Vitamins and drugs
Deals: Shampoos
Dud: Toothpaste
Deals: Spices
Duds: Batteries
Deals: Kitchen utensils
Duds: Electrical products
Deals: Party goods and gift wrap/bags
Duds: Jewelry and vinyl lunchboxes

To find out more details go to:

No need to purchase these five great items for an extra cost, just visit your local Dollar-store and save a bundle! I truly love the clear shoe containers for storage, the pop-up room fresheners, gift bags and tissue. Not to mention the choclate covered pretzles; all for a dollar each!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Don't Put It Off!

So very often, disorganization is a result of procrastinating--putting things off until a later date. Part of being organized is realizing that if you just do it now, you can save yourself a bunch of time later on.

1) Put it back. Once you're done using something, always put it back in its designated home. Avoid putting it down someplace temporary, like the kitchen table. Very often, these temporary homes turn into permanent homes. Keep adding more stuff to those areas and you'll end up with tons of clutter. Then you'll have to spend tons of time putting it all away. As soon as you're finished using it, put it back where it belongs. It only takes a second, and clutter will never have a chance to form.

2) Do it daily. Many tasks, if left undone, end up turning into mountains of clutter or hours of wasted time. For instance, if you sort through your mail each day, it will take less than 5 minutes. Let it go for an entire week, and it can take an hour or more. If you wash a load of laundry each day, it will never grow. Let it go for three or four days, and you'll have so much to be laundered, you may not even know where to start. If you lightly clean the bathroom after everyone showers each day, it will never require a deep cleaning. If you wait a week or more, intense scrubbing and quite a bit of time will be required to get it back to a sanitized, clean state.

3) Handle it once. Paper shuffling--picking up the same sheet of paper two times or more--wastes both time and energy, and can result in mounds of paper clutter. When you pick up something that requires an action, such as responding to an invitation, instead of putting that paper down on the kitchen counter for later, perform that action right away. If a sheet of paper requires filing, rather than placing it in a To Be Filed tray, get it into your filing system. Realistically, you won't be able to handle every action immediately, but if you keep paper shuffling to an absolute minimum, it won't get out of hand.

4) Make a note. Even those people who are good at remembering things, occasionally forget. The average person can only keep so many thoughts in his or her head. Why take a chance? When you have to remember something, write it down into a planner or a notebook. Don't put it off, because other thoughts are bound to take over and there's always a chance something will be forgotten.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

28 Uses for Everyday Items

Here are six excellent helpful hints for everyday needs. "The many hidden talents (both new and tried-and-true) of inhabitants of your kitchen and bathroom."

Rubber Bands
1. Open jars with ease. When a small lid won't budge, wrap a rubber band around it several times to give you a better grip.

5. Label meat. Are these burgers rare or well-done? They all look the same on the outside. Identify just-off-the-grill meats with different-colored toothpicks and they won't get mixed up.

10. Clean up a cracked egg. Cover the mess with a handful of salt, then wipe up with ease.

Post-It Note
14. Clean a keyboard. Run the sticky side between the keys to collect crumbs and bits of lint.

Felt Circles
19. Secure slinky garments. Stick a felt circle onto each arm of a hanger to keep clothes from sliding off.

Clear Nail Polish
26. Avoid rust stains in the bathroom. Coat the bottom of a shaving-cream can to fend off rings on the ledge of the tub.

Check out all 28 fabulous ideas on:

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Enjoying the Chill

Garden Getaway

Thanks to Heather Jondle, Salem, NH, for sharing what she does whenever she feels a hint of the winter blues. "I go to my local garden center and visit the greenhouse. It's like a mini-vacation for the senses. The quiet beauty surrounds me, and the warm tropical air and scents of gardenias make it a great place to linger."

To prepare for spring gardens, take a field trip to to your local nursery and enjoy all the colors of spring. Be careful though. Are you just going to look or buy? Have a goal in mind, a time line, a location, and/or a budget. I know I've been over zealous and bought more plants than I could plant in a given time and a spring snow storm or heat wave have gotten the best of my new baby plants, and my money has gone down the drain.

Take pleasure in awakening your senses. Happy Spring!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Procrastinate NO More!

Do you have a "To Do" list? Whether it be written down or in your head, we all create lists of hopes and aspirations. Whether is be personal, work, family, or home related, we all have goals we'd like to achieve, but something holds us back from fully attempting the task at hand.

Today's the day. What have you been wanting to accomplish? Go write your goal down, with a BIG BLACK PERMANENT MARKER, on a HUGE piece of paper. On the back side, write down everything you think of that is keeping you from accomplishing your goal. Now rip up the paper and throw it in the recycle bin (feels good already!).

They're ALL EXCUSES. Get out there and attack the most difficult task first! It may be emotional, physically demanding, or time consuming, but get OFF the computer and get to work. YOU CAN DO IT!!! What an immense sense of pleasure you will feel when you've completed your goal, and all the other "To Dos" will be a piece of cake.

I'm off to accomplish my undesirable task! Have FUN!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Change Out Your Sponges

Get ready to change out your sponge tomorrow - the first day of each month.

Be prepared! Do you have a new color for April? Or, another new sponge waiting in line for its debut tomorrow?

If this is the first time you're hearing about trading out sponges once a month, here are a few tips (or reminders):

Use two sponges in your kitchen each month, one for dishes and one for the floor/cabinets. Be pro-ative and pick up crumbs/wipe up splashes right when they happen;

Use different colors to differentiate months and uses, Feb. = pink, March = green, April = yellow, May = blue, etc. OR, if you use the same color each month - No Scratch blue sponges - cut a corner off after one month's use, two after the 2nd month (when it gets moved into the house cleaning or garage bin);

Throw your sponges in each time you use your dishwasher, to sanitize them;

Wash and wring them out after each use. Don't let food, soap, or water sit in the sponges. Mold/bacteria will begin to build quickly. (This goes for wash cloths too!)

Friday, March 27, 2009

What's Living in Your Pillows?

How long have you owned your pillows? When was the last time you washed your Pillows? If you have a pillow cover, or two, when was the last time you truly looked at your pillow? Experts say the life line of a pillow seems to be between two to ten years, depending on the care and fill of the pillow. Over time, dust and oil accumulate on your pillows, and it is very easy for bacteria to reproduce.

Along with everything else you do to spring clean, take time to evaluate ALL the pillows in your home. Even the ones tucked away in closets and on your guest bed. When was the last time you took them all outside and gave them a good old fashioned whack, like our grandmothers did, or hung them up to air out? Take time to wash your pillows every few months (see washing instructions on your pillows) and the pillow covers every time you wash your sheets. Even though you use a pillowcase, every pillow should have a pillow protector. This will act as a barrier against impurities and help prolong the life of your pillow.

"PILLOWS: Replace after Two years; Why: Pressure on the pillow as you sleep causes it to flatten, and develop uncomfortable bumps and lumps, says GHI's Huddy. To test if your pillow still has life in it, she says, fold it in half and rest your hand on top for 30 seconds. Then let go. "If the pillow pops back, it's fine," she says. If it remains folded, it's time to buy a new one." ( And, donate the old ones to the Humane Society.

Find out what Martha Stewart has to say: "Proper care will keep your down pillows comfy for a long time."

If you're interested in knowing when to replace other household items, check out:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Flip the Switch

Get ready to participate in the largest voluntary power-down this Saturday evening, March 28th, and "take part in Earth Hour and turn off your lights from 8:30 - 9:30 p.m." More than 50 million participants powered-down in 2008. (body+soul)

Do you and your family members/housemates know how to locate all of your candles and lighters?

Get ORGANIZED and PLAN with your friends and family how you are going to spend 60 minutes, this Saturday, with the lights out!

Check out, and be inspired, as I was, to sign up and be a part of EARTH HOUR! It's just a click away and so worth the few minutes of your time. And, watch

Monday, March 23, 2009

Organize Time for Yourself!

Make sure to take time for you too! Here are a few simple ways to better your life:

Go herbal, drink HIBISCUS TEA, known to significantly lower your blood pressure - if you drink a few cups daily.

See Red, Seeing the color red can boost heart rate and adrenaline, which can rev up your energy.

Walk Away Cravings, a brisk 15 min walk can help eliminate the need to eat foods you crave, like chocolate. Get out for a walk rather than grabbing for that next unneeded snack.

Eat vegetarian, go meat-free and help out your digestive track and the planet. Curious? Check out The Great American Meatout @, and try it for a day.

Hit the Mat, make the ancient practice of yoga a part of your regular workout routine. It's amazing how our bodies will slow down - no matter how fast pace our lives truly are - and we will truly be in a better place to support all the other individuals in our lives.

Write it Down, "Research shows that when we write down our goals, we are as much as 30 percent more successful at sticking to them." (body+soul)

Share the Water

"For World Water Week (March 22-28), join the Tap Project and donate $1 or more at restaurants nationwide for the tap water you usually get free. Proceeds support UNICEF's global clean-water programs. Find a spot near you or make a direct donation at" (body+soul)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What's for Dinner?

Here's a great site that my mother-in-law sent me. It searches thousands of recipe blogs that are using a particular ingredient you are wanting to cook with. Saves time looking through cookbooks. I just put in 'fresh mint' and now have some ideas on how to use stuff in my fridge.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Holiday Cards

Have you taken down and thrown out/recycled your holiday cards? Did you put them in a pile and left them on the counter or tucked them in a drawer to "deal" with them later? Perhaps they're still sitting in the basket that you tossed them in a few months ago.

Holiday cards are now an opportunity to share family photos with loved ones. But, unless you're going to take time to place those photos in a photo album or scan them - leave no paper trace - then give the photos one last look and toss them in the trash (Because, we all know where those other pile of photos, waiting to be put in albums, are sitting.)

On the other hand, instead of tossing old paper holiday cards, "mail them to St. Jude's Ranch for Children ( The nonprofit uses donated greeting cards to create new card sets, and the proceeds help abused children." (body+soul, Feb)

If you're having a hard time disposing holiday photos of family and friends, purchase a nice frame or bulletin board from Michael's and make a collage with all the photos. Switch them out each year.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Garage Sales - Set A Date!

Now is the time for constructive spring cleaning. A little organizing here and a little organizing there is great. But, when push comes to shove, do you truly have an organized home? EVERYTHING may be in it's place, but how CROWDED is that space?

Downsize! Ask yourself, What truly do you need? What would you take with you if your home was on fire? What would you take with you if your neighbor's house was on fire, yours was next, and you had time to get more items out?

Do you have two of something? WHY???
Do you have cans of unused paint, that you thought you might use, but disliked the color?
How often do you truly use that mini fridge in your garage? Yes, the one frozen shut with frost buildup.
How many pairs of tennis shoes do you have? Just in the garage?
How many bikes/scooters/golf clubs do you have - that are broken/rusted/damaged?
How many candles do you have? Old picture frames?
You get the gist.

Get a calendar out and set a date for a late spring garage sale. ONCE YOU HAVE A DATE, YOU HAVE A GOAL!

Here's the fun part; Ask your neighbors to participate. They can set up in their own yard or combine their items with yours. Everyone has something to sell. You can even ask friends who don't live in your neighborhood to participate. Then, decide who gets to bring coffee/juice and bagels!

This is that perfect opportunity to invite your neighbors that you don't know to get involved in the neighborhood. Or, invite those neighbors that have WAY TOO MUCH STUFF in their garage - that you wish they'd keep their garages closed. Be pro-active and ask, that way you don't have to complain about their garage to your significant other. (Believe me, I know!) Plus, you can always drop a hint and place one of my cards/handouts in their door jam (or a personal organizer in your town.)

Spring is in the air, and so are the garage doors.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Spring Cleaning!

Spring is in the air! The tulips are popping, hoses are being turned back on, and windows are being swung open yet again. Although the calendar still says it's winter, our beautiful, sunny Colorado weather is telling us to start shedding the winter layers. As the days are staying lighter longer, allow the new found energy to stimulate your spring cleaning.

1st, Get Out in Your Yard! Shed layers on you, while shedding the winter dirt layer on your lawn and garden. Listen to the natural tunes of nature, or your own tunes, and get down with your rake. Lunges, squats, triceps curls, etc.; yard work gives your body a fantastic work out! I bet you'll feel your hamstrings and rib cage tomorrow! (Whether it's 15 min or 3 hrs, you'll feel something!)

2nd, Go through your closets/baskets/etc. and eliminate the hats/gloves/winter coats/clothes/boots that you told yourself you'd wear this winter BUT YOU HAVEN'T! Do two things: one, donate them to someone who will cherish them like no other before winter ends, or two, bag them up and separate them form the other similar items. If you don't miss them and have not dug back in the bag by the end of winter/middle of spring, then donate the bag that is all ready to go!

3rd, Open your garage. Now go stand across the street or walk up and down the block past your house. Look at your garage as though seeing it through someone else's eyes. What has accumulated over the winter - especially in the dark nights, when you didn't feel like putting anything away. Take FIVE! Take five (plus) items and put them away. Take five more items and eliminate them from your home! Check out the paint that was left in your garage when the temperature dipped under freezing. Or, what about the caulk that was left with out a lid/nail and dried up. Find your local Resource/waste management location and drop off unwanted hazardous materials or list the good but unneeded materials on Craigslist "Free" posting and place them on your curb.

Enjoy all the new signs of spring!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"You're One Pant Away From the Perfect Day."

I truly support BornFit and love their clothing. I met the owners at a Fleet Feet training walk and became impressed with their line. They were one of the main supporters of the Rocky Mountains Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, which I participated in last summer. I wore one of their Oxford Skorts for the 1/2 marathon and loved the cute, comfortable design.

Check out this great deal on their Crestone Charcoal Pants. Now only $24!

Not only are they great for, as they say, going shopping and running after the kids, but for ORGANIZING in too!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Z Gallerie is going out of business - everything in store is 40 - 70-% off‏

My friend was running errands today and stopped by the Boulder 29th Street Mall. She noticed a 40% off sale sign in the window of Z Gallerie, and realized everything in the store was 40% - 70% off. The salesperson told her that they are closing the store at 29th Street Mall on March 15. She got some really great deals on glassware, bedding, incense, picture frames, etc...

Take a field trip to Boulder's 29th Street Mall. If you don't have time, go on line, and then ask a friend who lives in Boulder to take a field trip for you!

With spring right around the corner, consider swapping out throw pillows/comforter covers/silk flowers/candles/etc. for a fresh look. Just a dab of color can refresh a room, at a low cost, and you can feel rejuvenated by your living space.

Remember: One item in = one item out. Take this opportunity to clean out your linen closet or kitchen; YES, AGAIN!

Don't roll your eyes at me! Look at your closet/cabinets with an organizer's eye. You may be able to let go of something now that you were holding onto before.

Check out:
if you just want a Z Gallerie coupon, for a store near you.

One Item In = one Item Out!

My true philosophy is: one in, three out (Clothes). But, when it comes to linens and glassware, etc., it can be an even trade. Don't hold onto an item for "Some day..."

Yes, this is a phrase that needs to be repeated over and over, because we all know how we can talk ourselves in or out of something - quite easily if we want to!

So, when the next sale comes up, remember this phrase: "One in = one out!"

Saturday, February 21, 2009

As Seen on Oprah

The Container Store is having a GREAT SALE. Check out the link for excellent deals on items to help you stay organized; colorful files for that "Ten A Day..." organizing task I suggested. Elfa is having 1/2 off selected items too - for "Front Entries..." and closets.

There is a 20% off coupon to download. Have fun shopping - for items YOU NEED!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tip: Photo Albums...I'll Get Around to Them One Day.

"Organize and Protect Your Entire Photo Collection in as Little as 10 Days...Without Losing Your Mind. Have you got years and years' worth of photos that have never even made it out of the film developers' envelopes? Worse yet, have you got rolls and rolls of film that haven't even been developed? Perhaps you're up to your eyeballs in boxes and stashes of photos that are a jumbled mess? You're not alone . . . and there is help." Visit:'s Challenge of the Week

"Organize your messiest drawer. Your challenge this week is to locate the messiest drawer in your home or office--a junk drawer," underwear drawer (Panties in the back, that never get worn), "sock drawer, tool drawer or whatever--and clean it out. Ditch the trash, relocate the stuff that doesn't belong there, and reorganize the keepers back into the drawer." (Socks make excellent dusting puppets!)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

10 File Folders a Day!

Home Office: Weed out your filing cabinet. Too big of a job to do at once? No problem. Just go through 10 file folders each day until you're done. Before you start, have three bags and a plastic file box next to your chair; trash, recycle, shred, archive. Get rid of anything that is outdated or no longer necessary to keep. Purge your home files/utility bills every year; ex: April to April; same goes for your bank statements. You can always get a copy from your bank if need be. Shred any paperwork that contains personal information such as social security numbers or bank account numbers. Check the bottom of the back right corner; generally, your account number is posted again. Remember, you can't recycle shredded paper. Only shred what's important; rip off the rest of the statement to recycle. Archive important documents that aren't needed at a daily fingertip's reach. Label the box and store in a out of the way space - loft in garage, crawl space, attic, etc. (That's why it's a PLASTIC file box.) You'll be surprised at your momentum, once you get started, and you'll complete more than ten files a day.

If you're ready to take on a big challenge, color code your files: Green = finance, Red = medical, Blue = house, Yellow = personal, Purple or Orange = second house, etc. Purchase the same color for file folder, hanging folders, and labels. (Even colored pens to match too!)

Also, create a TO DO file and place at the front of your filing cabinet, for the items that need attention within that week/month, to keep them off your desk top!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

First Impressions

What does your entry way reveal about you? Besides the smell (see What Does Your House Smell Like?), the entry way (no matter which one) is the first visual impression of how you live. You may have two main entrances - one for guests and one for family (garage.) You may be saying to yourself, " We never go through the front door. It's decorated beautifully." But, how many times have you said to someone entering through your garage, " Oh, just close your eyes and come on in"? Generally, the entry way (no matter if it's your front door or garage entrance) is a major dumping ground. How do you get passed the entrance with out creating an overwhelming obstacle course? Baskets and hooks; they are a phenomenal addition to any entrance, AND organization!

Believe me, I have been in too many homes to count, that have the right tools - baskets and hooks - but they don't have a system down. First, there are tooooooo many items. PURGE!!! Someone else will truly benefit from the next coat drive - or Safe House. Second, the tools aren't in the right location for optimal use - too high, tucked behind loose items, wrong size, etc, and item start sneaking their way into random places - window wells, book shelves, dinning room tables, KITCHEN COUNTERS!
Every household is different, and so are their needs. I live a very simple lifestyle -
LESS IS MORE! - yet, my family is like every other, Drop and Go when you enter the home. I'm 5'5, my husband is 6'5, and our son is 46 inches; we have different needs for the front entry closet space. My husband decided to raise the coat hanging bar and top shelf in the closet and utilize the lower space better. He added hooks onto the wall (next to the three level shoe rack) and on the door for our canvas shopping bags, son's coats and backpacks, etc. Everything has a Happy Home.
Plus, now we've removed the bags from under the entry table (no matter how simply placed) and hung them on the closet hooks. Each one of us has now has our own basket, vs just one. Funny how you have to reconform your space as the children get bigger and so do their clothes/gear.
Remember, only one pair of shoes is allowed out. We take our shoes off as we enter the front door (or leave them on the second shoe rack in the garage) and allow them to dry (and air out) on the tile - or under the entry table - before putting them away. If your shoe racks are overcrowded, it's time to LET GO! And, EVERYONE needs to be responsible for their OWN items! One more GREAT organizer for winter gear/individual items is a Hanging Shoe Rack that hangs on the inside of the closet door. Instead of shoes, place gloves, hats, goggles, sunscreen, etc in the shoe slots. Canvas can be better than plastic, so you don't see everything in the slots, but, plastic can be wiped out with a (cleaning) sponge.
Just because it's in a closet doesn't mean it can't have an effect. Your entry is the first and last part of your home that you see. The space's energy can be very persuasive in your mood.
Give it a go! Let me know if you still need help designing, purging, and organizing.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

To Drink or Not to Drink

Here's the next task to accomplish, your Liquor Cabinet. This is the perfect time to go through your liquor cabinet - if you have one. Anything that is opened shouldn't be kept any more than a year or two. Colorings, flavors and other additives begin to break down as soon as they are exposed to oxygen. If you do entertain on a regular basis, keep a basic bar available with red and white wine and a few select bottles you might think you will need--such as vodka, scotch and tequila. If you don't know anyone who drinks gin for instance, don't buy gin. (If you did buy it, give it away before it goes bad!) How long has that bottle of vodka been in your freezer? There's no reason to keep something around, "just in case." Same goes for your bar equipment. Keep only the basics that you actually use, not what you think you might. (Get Organized Now!)

Have an "I'm Emptying Out the Liquor Cabinet" party and serve all the up to date liquor you don't want to keep. Or, serve it at your next Book Club. Plus, lay out the unwanted bar equipment with a sign, "Up for Grabs." (This is also a perfect time for a clothing swap. Have everyone gather up and bring gently used clothing they'd like to share/donate and have a swap. Anything not chosen goes to a charity. You and your friends can bring the items from your 365 days bin!)

House Beautiful's Makeover Ideas

Here are three out of "30 Makeover Ideas" from House Beautiful, I found on today;

They coincide with my post, "What Does Your House Smell Like" and a mixture of other posts - go back and refresh your memory.

"I don't use fragrance normally, but there's nothing quite like Santa Maria Novella's potpourri. People walk into the house and say, 'Oh, what is that?' It's just incredibly clean and fresh." -Jackie Terrell

"I was visiting a friend in the south of France, and every night she would light a Jo Malone candle in my bedroom and close the door. When I walked in to go to bed, there would this waft of scent — basil, lime, and mandarin orange. Now, whenever I light this candle, I think of France." -Katie Ridder

"Make your bathroom feel like a spa. Get rid of the clutter. Buy fabulous over scale towels in a new color. Add a few small candles and light them at night when you have guests." -Mary Douglas Drysdale (Tuesday Morning is great for inexpensive, very nice towels - and other home items too.)

If you're looking for some fun, inexpensive ways to brighten up and change your home, check out what House Beautiful has to say.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Being pro-active is always the best when it comes to cleaning. Less is better! Using a make-up sponge keeps the soap scumb to a minimum. I only wipe out the dish and wash the sponge once a month. (My razor is actually resting behind the soap dish.)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Little Housecleaning Tip or Two

I was asked for a few tips on how to keep a housecleaning routine ongoing, rather than feeling like, "I'm always catching up."

Here are a few ways I clean at my home, perhaps they will be helpful tips to you.

1.) Keep the house clean all the time, so it's never a big overhaul cleaning.

How do I do that, you ask???

- Keep the washcloth next to the faucet (as mentioned before), and wipe the bathroom counter/faucet down each use.

-Pick up the lint/crumbs as I walk by them. (Pick the crumbs up right when they fall - use of 2nd sponge, right! Or, I lick my finger tip and poke the crumb and wash my finger tip.)

-Keep a tiny dust pan and brush (the ones that connect - can be found at the Dollar Store) under the kitchen sink for larger spills. Kids love to use these and feel as though they have contributed with clean up after a meal/art project.

-Take shoes off at the door. Don't trace dirt around your home - especially winter chemicals from the street.

-Only eat at the table or counter (That goes for everyone!); and definitely not over any open drawer or cupboard.

- Keep a Swiffer ready to go (Duster and Sweeper) and use it while you're on the phone. If you know you call relatives or friends once (or more) a week (My mom on Sundays), then be prepared and walk around your house with a Swiffer as you're having a phone conversation. Mindless and effortless work being accomplished while doing something you enjoy.

-Put things away the first time (ONLY TOUCH SOMETHING ONCE!) If you're making sandwiches, put all the ingredients away before eating. Your kitchen should look like nothing just took place in its space. When finished with your sandwich, don't leave the empty plate on the counter or sink, open the dishwasher and pop it right in! Wash out your sponge every use, AND wring the water out completely - or mold will grow.

-Purchase a small ceramic dish or flat surfaced/no holes soap dish (mine is an olive oil dish to match my bath travertine stone) for your shower bar soap. Also purchase/use a flat, round makeup sponge to soak up any excess water/suds. The sponge is small enough to be hidden under your soap, yet will keep you from cleaning the shower's excess soap scum.

-Hose down your shower each time you finish. If you don't have a shower head hose, nor a handy family member to install one, leave a bucket/pitcher in your shower to collect the wasted water, while you're waiting for it to warm up. Toss the extra water over the walls and shower curtain. This simple task will conserve water and keep your shower walls from having to be scrubbed so often.
Take 30 seconds now and you'll save yourself hours in the end.

Okay, enough tips for now.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

"Get Rid of 365 Things in 365 Days"

Although the new year has had a running start, pick up your first of 365 items and place it in a donation bag/box. From today on, choose one - or more - items a day to donate. Get everyone involved! With your family members, choose a donation bin and a location, and start donating. Make a tally sheet and attach it to the bin (or a small calendar, to write down the items - for a tax write off.)

This is a wonderful time of year to go through your over stuffed closets and toy shelves. The holidays have passed and the closets have become swollen. Take time to go through your closets with a decluttering eye and let go of unworn items.
If you're holding on to that particular shirt/dress/pair of shoes because of fond memories, take a picture and keep the image on your computer - less clutter!
Purchase/create tags for each hanger. Write the date on the tag each time you wear the article of clothing. If the item hasn't been worn at least THREE times in a year, it needs to be passed on (with the exception of fancy dresses/clothes.) Plus, you'll start to realize which clothes you wear often - generally only about 30 items - and which clothes are just collecting dust.

"One man's trash is another man's treasure'!

"Viewing your home with an eye for decluttering helps you see more and more things you no longer need. It may also change your world view about possessions, clutter, and what makes a home." (Body and Soul, March, 09)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Do You Know What's in Your Laundry?

"Bacteria thrives in warm, moist places like the washing machine." says Weida, M.D.

If you're anything like me, I multi-task and do the laundry at random times in the day... or night. Until now! I just read an article from my Vigor Magazine; Healthy Living for the People of Colorado, and was dumbfounded when I read the article Home Clean Home. Three important facts I learned from Weida, M.D., were: (1.) "Be sure to dry your clothes quickly to avoid bacteria formation." Don't go off for three hours (or eight) and let your clothes sit in the wash; they aren't clean anymore! (2.) Wash your whites in hot water, using bleach, to kill the most bacteria (not just to turn them their whitest whites!) And (3.) - (most important and shocking!) "Wash your underwear separately from the rest of your clothes," he says. "Every pair of underwear contains about a gram of feces, and you don't want this transferring to other clothes." Who would have thought!

Now you need four separate bins for your laundry; whites, darks, misc., and UNDERWEAR!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I'm Simply Asking...

Did you follow my suggestions from my post last week, "Banish Paper"? If you haven't, here is another sweet reminder: Publications. It's time to toss all publications, newsletters, magazines, newspapers from 2008 and older. (I'm sure you did this when you ripped off the company address to send them a 'Stop Sending Me Your Publication' notice.) Resist the urge to say, 'but I might need it or have to refer back to it.' The bottom line is, you probably won't. You will continue to have more arrive and the pile will just get larger. If you're saying, out loud to me, "BUT, I HAVE TO KEEP THOSE ..." Then call/e-mail me and we'll set up a time to create a filing system - one that holds those 'have to have' articles/future purchases.

Ask For What You Want

Whether it's the "best price for a multiple night deal," an upgrade to a suite, or breakfast, at your next hotel, ask for what you want. There's a difference between being a "squeaky wheel" and asking politely, with a smile, for what you desire.

My motto is: If you don't ask (with a smile), you don't get!

I called the hotel where I would be staying last week, the day prior to my arrival, and asked for exactly what I needed for my client - who needs handicap accessability. After repeating my needs twice, I was guarantied that everything would be ready. Therefore, when entering my room, I was shocked that three of my requests were not met. I asked for a new room - AND BREAKFAST for three. The following day, when our second set of rooms were not acceptable, I asked for something more appropriate - I was given a SUITE. At a late dinner, I was cold and asked if the air conditioning could be turned down (only two other tables in the restaurant,) and I was told there was a problem with the controls and we were OFFERED TEA or COFFEE.

I want to add that I use or for all of my travel plans; yet, I always call the hotel to ASK if they have any special deals going on at the time. (I travel every six weeks with a particular client, and numerous other times throughout the year.) For example; when I checked for prices on line one day, Travelocity's price was $284. A few days later it was posted at $168, same as the hotel's new price. When I called the hotel to inquire about multi-night deals, or any other deals, I was quoted $111 - if I was willing to for it to be nonrefundable. You bet I did! Representatives are not willing to reveal any deals unless you ASK.

I truly believe it's how you ask, and that this motto can be used in anything you do in life.
It goes along with my other motto: If you think you can, you will; If you think you can't, you won't!

Be assertive, not aggressive, and ask for what you desire - of YOURSELF and others.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Paper Cuts - Banish Paper!

I'm leaving today for an Organizing Business Trip to CA, for the next four days. Yes, that's right, no new blogs till next Thursday! Therefore, I am leaving you with a big task - BANISH PAPER! It will keep you so busy, you won't have time to go online - except to delete mail from your inbox!

Here are 9 fantastic tasks (with help from to help you delete paper:

Paper Cuts: 9 Ways to More Effectively Handle Paper

While paper is a big part of our daily lives, that doesn't mean it has to take over or get out of hand. Here are 9 ways to more effectively handle paper.

1. Don't top it. Never put a large sheet of paper over a small sheet of paper. The small piece of paper will be hidden, and therefore difficult to find and/or easy to misplace.

2. Banish piles. It is extremely difficult to find a particular sheet of paper in a large pile. Avoid piling papers at all costs. Sort and file them into file folders, and put those folders in a filing cabinet or hanging file holder. (Ask me about my colorful filing system!)

3. Keep it together. While sticky notes are OK for quick temporary notes that you discard fairly soon after using them, they're not effective for notes you need to retain. If your environment is overrun with sticky notes, write your notes in a single spiral notebook instead. You'll still have to transfer these notes to your planner, PDA, address book, etc., but at least all of your notes will be in one single place where you can find them.

4. Open and dump. Open your mail right over your recycle container. Immediately discard outside envelopes, inserts you don't need and any other mail you're not interested in. Do this daily, and going through the mail will never be a chore again. TOUCH IT ONCE!
Place the rest in it's "Happy Home." Bills w/other monthly/bi-monthly bills in the desk organizer slot. To Do fliers/invites on your magnetic/cork board.

5. Use technology. Rather than using paper all the time, enter the technology age and use your computer whenever possible. I store my ideas, phone numbers, how-to notes and more right on my computer--no paper needed. Scan the rest, and then recycle it!

6. Don't get the measles. Every time you pick up a sheet of paper, draw a red dot in the bottom right corner. If your paper begins to look like it has the measles (tons of red dots) then you're spending too much time paper shuffling. Do the action on the paper, give the paper to whoever it belongs to, file it or get rid of it.
7. Save some trees. Don't forget that each sheet of paper has two sides. Many trees could be saved if you used the back of many letters or memos instead of using a brand new sheet all the time. Just a few perfect uses are grocery lists, kids' art paper or scrap paper to help you plan a party.

8. Shred it. Keep a small shredder attached to a small recycle container in your home office or business office. As you come across papers that contain personal information, you'll be able to shred them immediately. It's a lot quicker to shred necessary documents on an as-needed basis, then to save them all up for a major shredding session.

9. Eliminate a good amount of the paper you receive. Reduce the number of catalogs you are receiving by tearing off the name/address label and mailing it with a 'please remove me from your list' note to the catalog. To remove the amount of junk mail you receive, write to:

Mail Preference Service
DMAP.O. Box 9008
Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008

Include your name and address and a request to be removed from any list. And finally, stop the pre-approved credit card offers by calling Trans Union at 1-888-567-8688. They have options to remove your name for two years or permanently. They share data with Experian and Equifax, so you won't have to call them to make the same request.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Start the Month Off Right!

To Do List: Be prepared for new month:

1.) Go to Store
Shopping List: SPONGES - four different colors (two per month)
Large Sharpee Permanent Marker - fat tip on one side, skinny on the other. (Always handy to have in the kitchen "useful drawer.")
Scrub Brush - or sponge brush w/soap dispenser

2.) Throw out old sponges. Take two new sponges and decide which color for dishes/counter tops and which color for floor/cabinet doors, etc. If you just purchased a new sponge - turn it into the floor sponge. Optional: Use the perm. marker to make a symbol in the corner of each sponge, so you/your family remembers which one is for dishes vs floor. I pick a color for each month; pink for Feb. green for March, yellow for April, etc.

-Rotate your sponges every month: dish sponge becomes floor sponge next month, floor sponge becomes bathroom sponge, bathroom sponge becomes anything you want it to be - garage or trash! You don't want to know what lives in your sponge! If you don't believe in using sponges - dish rags are the same!

-Each time you run your dish washer, throw your sponges in with the load. This will disinfect the sponges. Please, wash and squeeze out the water from your sponges each time they are used - this will help from mildew buildup. Do not let your sponges sit in the sink w/water, much less food on them.

3.) Place four - or more - washcloths under each bathroom sink - in little square basket if possible.

- Keep a wash cloth folded in eighths, behind your bathroom sink faucet. Wipe down the bathroom counter top each time you use the sink. (Teach your family members to do this too.) By wiping down the counter and faucet each time, the sink will have less water spots/liquid soap residue/toothpaste, etc., and keep you from having to clean it as often. Plus, if your family members are spitting out blue gunk into the sink - it means, A. they're not brushing long enough before spitting; And/Or, B. they have too much tooth paste. Have them wash it down the drain while they're brushing, so it doesn't stick to the sink, dry up, and leave a big mess! Wipe the mirror down too please.

- Depending on your family, toss the wash cloth in the laundry every/every other day, and grab a new cloth from under the sink.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Power of Accomplishment!

From what I can tell, there is a strong sense of accomplishment buzzing around; and there should be. Congratulations to all of you that have accomplished a new organizing task this week, and it's not even the weekend yet.

In response to a few comments, yes towels are also a fantastic item to donate - anywhere! Right before the Winter Break, I sent out an e-mail to my son's classmate families asking them to sort through their linen closets for extra towels to donate to the Boulder Homeless Shelter. I received a terrific response and delivered a HUGE amount of towels to the shelter. Towels are easy to accumulate - and hold on to. If you haven't used the towels in over a year - DONATE them NOW! I'm sure you (and your family members) have your favorites. The towels from pre-marriage/college can make their way into your garage, and be used as rags. I use one of my old towels for a car floor mat cover, under my son's feet. That way, I don't have to fret what he is bringing in to my car on the bottom of his shoes. I simply shake out the towel or throw it in the wash - w/the rags or house rugs - and I don't have to wash my floor mats as often, because they still look new. My son uses my husband's favorite childhood Snoopy towel for the pool, and gets a lot of comments.

Say it with me now, slowly, "Let go, (pause) just let go."

Good, now go get a bag and start donating. It takes less than five minutes to pull things out of your linen closet. You can tackle the reorganizing of sheets by room/size/color (same for towels) tomorrow (or this weekend.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Dropped Off Items to the Humane Society Yesterday; How About You?

"Linen Closet. Go through your linen closet. This is a perfect time of the year to make donations. Animal shelters especially will take old sheets, towels and blankets. Keep a maximum of 3 sets of sheets per bed (Two is best.) For a guest bed, only one set is really needed. There's no reason to keep extra mattress pads, dust ruffles, etc. One each per bed is plenty." During your purge, tri-fold your towels. It's amazing how much more room there is on your shelf, or in your drawers, when you tri-fold your linens and clothes.

"Home, Sweet-Smelling Home"

While distracted and bored on the elliptical, at the gym this morning, I ran over to grab the last remaining magazine on the rack. To my most utmost surprise, as I opened the April, 2007, issue of domino magazine, I read one of the titles "Home, Sweet-Smelling Home" in the index. I was ecstatic and had to close my mouth, so drool wouldn't short circuit the machine, when I realized the magazine had confirmed my blog entry yesterday. "Whether airing out last night's takeout...", (pg 104.) Domino's suggestion, amongst others, was "Incense has come a long way... Acqua di Parma's citrus and rose version neutralizes food odors in a flash! 'Colonia' $19 for stores." See, I wasn't just pulling your leg. I do know what I'm talking about. It's in black and white! (With a little pink.) Candles and incense are great neutralizers. Check out domino's web site for the whole article and which candles they suggest for different ambiances your looking for.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Today's Quick Tip.

1) Fridge and Pantry. Start out the New Year fresh by cleaning out your fridge and pantry. Be sure to toss or donate (I'm sure EFAA would be soo thankful!) all food that you have not used in the last six months. If you haven't used it in that time frame, you're not going to. Challenge yourself to use all of the food in your freezer that is older than two months old. Get rid of all of your old herbs and spices. Just because your spice rack has a bottle labeled 'Cardamom,' it doesn't mean you need it. (Empty, clean, and relable the bottle with a herb/spice you do use - from Whole Foods bulk herb/spice bins. Much cheaper!)

Cents About Scents

When asked, What are possible solutions to unwanted scents? (especially in a CLEAN home), my two initial thoughts are: memories of returning home from the gym, before the sun rises, and detecting exactly what I made for dinner the night before; and air purifiers. If I remember correctly, smell is the most powerful memory recall agent - it can take you back to your childhood it's so powerful. The scent of your home is generally, besides curb appeal, the first impression a guest has about your house. Sometimes, a scent can even be detected before one enters a building, and therefore creates a connection and a memory. What kind of lasting memories can your residence portray.

So, what to do about these smells? Financially, I haven't gravitated towards the idea of purchasing an air purifier, but that's not to say the thought doesn't linger in my brain. I do have prior knowledge of different types of air purifiers, and although Honeywell makes a presence in a room visually, it deletes the unwanted smells that are present.
Check out: Honeywell scores high and has a great cost.

What I do to eliminate negative smells - no matter how great my dinner was the night before - is two old fashion and cheap remedies: open up the house and let it breath - yes, even on cold days - and use candles. Remember the effect a match has in the bathroom? Same idea with a candle. Choose one that is sweet and simple - not overpowering, or no scent at all. Burn a few around the house - direct area and the highest point in your home where smells travel - like heat! Then there is good ole, Lysol - my son always knows when I have emptied and sprayed the bathroom trash can.

Most of all, be pro active; take your trash out after making dinner. Use a small trash can and grocery store plastic bags - no need to buy name brand bags - and throw your trash out every night you make dinner. (To use less bags, dump your trash into one large garbage bag. But make sure to tie it each night or put a rock on the outdoor trash can lid, so the trash doesn't end up in your yard - or your neighbors!) Go around your house and fill up the bag from your other trash cans. plus, for those of you who compost, use a lid on your Tupperware compost container (one of the large bowls, w/a cover, that rarely gets taken out of the back of your cupboard.)

Those thoughts are just the beginning of my opinions, but I'm off for now to create my own kitchen smells. Cheers

Monday, January 26, 2009

Every Home Has It's Own Scent

Do you truly know what your home smells like? Have you entered your house and been able to detect the lingering smell? Here's a few examples: We used to have our cat box inside the house, and since we've moved the box to the garage, we can't believe that stench was in our home. And, although I am ecstatic that Boulder, CO has curbside compost, some residents are unaware of the fowl smell coming from their kitchens. Before walking around your home later with a bottle of "Fresh Air" or some other chemical, trying to cover up "some scent," invite a GOOD FRIEND to come over. Ask him/her to be as frank as possible with you, as you walk through your home, about the different smells. Because, every home has it own scent! Now put on the gloves. Method is a great planet friendly product - for sale at all Target stores.

Just Once!

Take the extra 15 - 30 seconds to put something away in its "Happy Home" the first time you touch the item. My Motto is: Only touch something once! (That doesn't mean leave it where you dropped it coming in the house!) Your life will be much simpler if you just "take time NOW!"

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Organize your Drawers

I am a true believer of the home store Tuesday Morning and expandable drawers. Before purchasing any home item/gift/kid's birthday party favor, etc, from another store, go to Tuesday Morning first! I purchased all the bamboo expandable drawers on sale yesterday(10), for a third of the price. Let me know if you're interested in purchasing one or more from me, at the same price ($15.99 or $19.99, depending on size.) I'd be happy to organize your drawers too.

Take 15

What are you doing right now? Are you being productive? Take 15 minutes right now and organize your pile by the door - or wherever you dropped your things when you came in last, and put them all in their "Happy Homes!" You will be surprised what you can accomplish in 15 minutes. GO!


I'm truly grateful to Terra for creating my blog and all the time she diverted from her family to make this debut possible. THANKS TERRA!