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!