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11 Key Habits of an Organized Lifestyle

11 Key Habits of an Organized Lifestyle

Organizing Is A Lifestyle

Many say they need to become more organized, especially each January. Some will even call an Organizer. However, those unwilling to adopt new habits will always struggle with clutter. No matter how easy or difficult that initial push to get the home in top shape might be. That is just a start. Without maintenance, that initial organization is just a waste of time and money. Organizing is not a project; it is a lifestyle. So, here are 11 key habits of an organized lifestyle. These will make a big difference in your home and how you live.

1. Make The Bed Every Morning

Making your bed makes the room feel in order and makes you feel accomplishment from the time you get up. In addition, this action helps you face the date with a can-do attitude.

2. Keep A Donation Bag In Each Closet

Having a bag for things you no longer need or want allows you to make those decisions when you think about them. You will have a designated place for these items and won’t need to remember to gather them later. When the bag is full, schedule a donation run. The moment you put on a piece of clothing that you feel is no longer suitable or is ripped or screams dated, instead of hanging the clothing back (or God forbid, throw it on the bed or a chair), you will place that item in the bag.

3. Create A Home For Everything In Your House

You will decide where things should go based on their use pattern in the home. The important thing is to assign one specific place to each category of items, preferably. If using an item requires storing it in more than one space, formally set those spaces up. Also, labeling storage areas allows everyone to know where to put things back. Finally, remember that If anything can go anywhere, everything will go everywhere. 

4. Put Things Back In Their Place

To maintain an organized home, everyone must put things back where they belong every time. Hence the importance of labeling spaces until everyone knows the proper place of things. “I will put this here for the moment” does not work. It never has. It never will.

5. Shop Intentionally

The words “free,” “save,” and “discount” act like a drug on the brain. Please don’t fall for it. Before you buy, ask yourself if you need the item and have the space to store it. If not, please walk away. The less you own, the more living area you enjoy in your own home, and the less you have to take care of.

6. Remove Extra Packaging 

When bringing home bags or boxes, remove the contents and strip those items of outer packing as much as possible. That is making the stuff truly yours. It also makes the item(s) ready to be organized within your home. This process is a critical step we follow when organizing a space. You want to have everything as visible and ready to be used as possible. Removing all unnecessary packaging also saves lots of space and makes all items of the same kind look the same. The more homogeneous your collection, the more functional the system is and the prettier your areas look.

7. Discard Trash At Once

Entertained garbage makes up for most of the clutter in every household. If you commit to removing the packaging of what you bring home, then go the distance and trash the garbage instead of allowing all the extra packing to linger around your home until who knows when. 

8. Process Mail Efficiently

Keep a recycle bin, a shredder, and a tray or sorter to process the mail. Preferably have your filing cabinet where you process the mail. Most of the mail you receive is junk. Throw it away before it can clutter your home. Also, be a knowledgeable shredder; only those documents with account numbers, social security numbers, medical information, or bank offers need to be shredded. Having a shredder right where you sort the mail allows you to take care of this immediately. Too often, I find boxes full of documents that need shredding cluttering my clients’ lives. Over concerns about safety compounds the problem. When we do not know what we should destroy, we accumulate more paper over time. Also, it is critical to have a mail sorting and filing system that works for you. This way, you process bills on time, and things needing filing won’t float around the home. Every piece of paper to keep needs a file.

9. Plan Ahead

Take a few minutes to prepare for the next day at the end of each day. Evaluate your “to do” list and set out everything you need to go through your planned errands the next day.

10. Practice Strategic Scheduling 

Scheduling is logistics 101. College business programs include courses on administration and logistics, with algorithms to determine the optimal sequence of events to complete a project or the most efficient routes to get around. Of course, you don’t need to go to such an extent, but you can gain significant efficiency and add more time to each day with some planning ahead.

11. Clean Out Bags Daily

Whether it is your handbag, weekender, kids’ sports bags, or suitcases, emptying the contents of all bags allows you to assess what needs replacement, needs to be washed, trashed, or placed somewhere else. This practice is particularly beneficial in helping you plan for the following day or week. If you are a paper kind of person and love to write little reminders and notes to yourself throughout the day, emptying your bag consistently helps you remember that idea you wanted to pursue. Those reminders might be the start of more significant plans in the scope of your life.

Consistency Is Key

These 11 steps might not seem like much, but when combined and executed consistently, they will show a big difference in your life.

For The Love Of Dogs

For The Love Of Dogs

Let’s discuss some aspects of caring for, living with, and loving a dog that sometimes even dog owners ignore.

If you know me, you know I love animals more than words can express. In particular, I adore dogs.

When working with a new client with dogs, I ensure those little ones have an adequate, clean, and comfy place to sleep (I will celebrate big if I hear they share your bed!).

I will note where they eat and drink and inquire about (and observe) the type of relationship my clients have with their pups. It’s in my nature to look out for these defenseless, loving beings.

Many never notice when I clean their companions’ bowls and feed them fresh food from their pantry and serve them fresh water. I try to be discrete to avoid my fellow humans from feeling self-conscious.

But today, I’d like to address a couple of things about living with dogs. I might ruffle some feathers, but I am not apologizing for that — not this time.

Dogs deserve all our love, compassion, and more! As humans, we owe them big. Dogs, as we know them, did not exist in nature. We created them by domesticating their wild ancestors. We created this type of creature that depends on us. It would be absurd to turn our backs on them by neglecting their complex needs. Dogs are intelligent, sentient, social beings, and often caring for them with “just the basics” won’t do.

Why do you “own” dogs? If the answer is purely practical, please look for a loving, deserving family for them. Dogs love and need love. They are much better than us at seeing through our intentions and feelings. Dogs know when they are not loved. That can break a dog’s heart and spirit. So, if you have dogs but do not love them — truly love them, do yourself and the dogs a favor and rehome them asap.

Now, continue reading if you have dogs because you genuinely love and respect them. On behalf of my canine friends, I have some pointers that might not be the usual things we consider.

Safety First

Microchip your dog(s) and keep the national registry updated about pertinent changes like moving (duh!). Also, don’t forget to include them in all possible national registries. Registering your dog(s) will substantially increase the chances of finding your fur babies if they ever get lost. There is no point in using the technology if you drop the ball by not keeping the registries up to date.

Create a name tag with your phone number and address (not the vet’s) for the dog’s collar. If the dog gets lost, it is easier to reunite him with the owners if he has a tag on the collar with the home number, given that the vet’s office is not open 24/7.

It is essential to have that tag because not everyone will be willing or able to take the dog to a place to scan the microchip. And, as I learned the hard way once (happy ending, though!), not all sites have scanners that can read all kinds of microchips.

If your animal sleeps in the room with you and the metal sound of their ID plate bothers you, consider following a routine to remove the collar last thing before going to be and putting it back on first thing in the morning.

Adopt, Do Not Buy!

Millions of animals need a good home out there! Don’t pay hundreds of dollars for an animal when so much love dies every day in shelters! Dogs get depressed and heartbroken in those places. They know why they are there. They feel the rejection and void in their hearts. Yet, ironically, these are the most grateful, intelligent, and graceful creatures you will ever find.

Besides, whenever money is involved with animals, inevitably unscrupulous behavior follows at some point. Nothing good ever comes from seeing animals in terms of dollars and cents. If you only knew the horrors these animals go through in places like puppy mills (that supply pet shops), you would definitively consider adopting instead of buying.

Spay or Neuter

Be a responsible owner and spay or neuter your dogs. There are way too many pups out there in shelters waiting for a loving family. Avoid the heartache of dealing with a litter of puppies. Chances are puppies will end up in houses where they are less than cherished, especially if the owners of these puppies did not have to pay a hefty price for them.

Adequate Shelter

If you have chosen to share your home with an animal, be kind. Animals deserve so much better from us. They did not choose to be your pet. You did.

Do not get a dog and ignore him or leave him outside. Dogs have socialization and love needs. They also feel the heat and the cold. The “house dog” is okay for cartoons and stories (perhaps), but it does not cut in real life.

Kenneling

If you kennel your dog(s) when you are not home, ensure that the kennel has adequate ventilation and that the dog has access to clean water. 

There are water bottles for kennels that work with gravity and water demand as the dog drinks. These eliminate the mess.

Remember that the dog will do his best to avoid soiling the kennel, but do not push their limits or abuse their good nature and respect for you. You don’t want their bladder to explode or the dog in pain. Keep in mind that you have a kenneled dog at home. Either go home at the usual time and allow them to go potty or make arrangements with a neighbor or paid service to walk the dog at some time during your absence.

Ensure the kennel has a soft surface for the dog to rest. For example, get a kennel cushion or place a couple of plush (clean) towels inside the kennel.

Find a good location for the kennel. For example, avoid direct sunlight or dangerous spaces with access to electrical cables. When the kennel is in an area with a fan or windows, leave the fan on and window blinds or shutters open for the dog to enjoy natural light. It is best not to cover the kennel with towels or blankets. The dog enjoys seeing the surroundings. 

Maybe leave the tv on or the radio at low volume for entertainment? 

Consider also leaving a chew toy inside the kennel.

When the dog is very young or getting used to living in your home, leave a piece of clothing or bedding with your scent.

By the way, a kennel that is the appropriate size allows the dog to stand upright and move around. Ensure the kennel is the correct size for your dog. Can you imagine spending your days in a cage where you can’t even stretch your legs? That is a form of torture (and even then, the dog still loves you. Dang! We don’t deserve them).

Cleanliness

Some breeds are supposed to skip bathing (or so I’ve heard — like the puli dog). Even if your dog does not share your bed, please bathe them from time to time, groom them, clip their nails, express their anal glands (yep, that too!). Don’t want to do this yourself? Hire a grooming service. Don’t have the resources for that and don’t want to do it yourself? Don’t have a dog!

I have heard many times, “we don’t want the dog inside because he smells.” And who’s fault is that? I bet you would smell ten times worse than any dog if you stop showering for several weeks.

When bathing your animals regularly, homes with pets tend to develop strong odors when not following proper hygiene. Therefore, wash their beds and clean their quarters as often as possible. Make this part of your cleaning routine (as in schedule it!).

Walking The Dog

Smile, for God’s sake! I can’t tell you the many times I have crossed paths with people walking their dogs that look so miserable and act so anti-socially that they don’t even answer a “hello.” 

It is your privilege to be in the company of such a magnificent creature that loves you! If this thought does not make you smile, read the seventh paragraph above again.

Allow your dog to sniff around. What is the purpose of walking your dog if you constantly pull the leash when all the dog wants is to “read the news”? Smells are to a dog like Facebook or Instagram is to you. That is how they know who is around and what is happening. Their daily walk might be the only socialization the dog will get in his entire day!

Consider using a harness instead of latching the leash to the dog’s collar. When the dog pulls away or if you pull the dog, the collar hurts tender tendons in the neck. This kind of injury can be serious. And speaking of leashes, avoid those retractable ones. There have been too many instances of those leashes causing severe injuries to dogs and humans alike!

Food And Water

Thoroughly clean your dog’s bowls daily with soap and water, regardless of the type of food you feed your dogs. If your dog eats wet or raw food, you must adhere to a schedule to remove and discard leftovers and wash the bowls after every feeding.

When it comes to the water dish, it is not just a matter of replenishing the water. Every time a dog drinks water from a bowl, the saliva goes into it, and mixed with the water, it creates a slimy film in the bowl. So let’s keep those bowls squeaky clean and grant them constant access to fresh, abundant water.

Consider a raised feeder for their bowls for medium or large dog breeds. It is hard for taller dogs to eat or drink from a bowl on the floor. These raised feeders also help their digestion, given how they eat their food more comfortably.

Avoid human food. Yes, to human-grade food for dogs, but the food should be prepared according to their particular needs and calibrated in composition and caloric value. 

Do not give dogs your chicken bones and things like that. Some dogs might behave as if they were garbage disposals. But they are not and should not be treated as such. Avoid feeding them the family’s leftovers, and much less, the food that has spoiled in your fridge. You and the dog will both pay for awful consequences.

If your pup eats dry food, transferring the food to a sealed plastic container in your pantry (floor level) will keep the food clean and fresh. Also, you will quickly know when to buy more, and the food will be accessible and easy to serve. Do not keep the dry food bag open in the garage!

Zzzzzz

Hopefully, your dog has a comfortable bed of his own or at least a comfy, cozy corner to sleep in and feel safe. Wash the bed at least every month if the bed has a removable cover. When dogs sleep on blankets or towels, wash all that stuff regularly. Dogs need a clean place too!

Invest In Training

Better to have a trained dog than to spend the few years he lives with us yelling at the poor creature when he does the wrong thing. Dogs are intelligent creatures. It is us, humans, that are inconsistent and impatient with them. How are they supposed to learn when we do not show them what we expect? (But then again, we all know some people should have taken IQ tests before having human children!)

Keep Them Healthy

Vet care

The least you can do for your dog is to ensure that he has an annual checkup with the vet to receive their shots and, at minimum, one thorough dental cleaning per year. Bacteria from the gums can easily affect the heart of a dog.

Of course, every time the dog looks or acts strangely, you should take them to the vet to ensure his wellbeing.

Prevent heartworms

Do not forget the heartworm medication every single month. It is deplorable to see a dog suffering from heartworms when this is easily avoidable.

Treat those fleas!

Can you imagine what the dog goes through living with an infestation of fleas 24/7? Well, don’t treat the fleas, and you won’t have to imagine it for long. Enough said!

Preparing For Baby

Put that baby blanket to good use

Before bringing your new baby home, allow the dog to familiarize himself with the baby’s scent. A used baby blanket is great to place in the dog’s kennel or bed. The reception of your baby by your furry friend will be much different.

Don’t break their heart!

Please do not neglect your dog or feel you have to keep the dog out now that you have a baby. That is a sure way to break a dog’s heart and create resentment towards your baby. Dogs are (or should be) part of the family. They naturally bond with babies and love caring for them! If you feel you do not have enough love to share now that you have a child, find a loving family that does not feel that way. The dog deserves it!

Train early on

Consider engaging a trainer before the baby arrives. A trainer can help you and the dog work on walks with a stroller and other foreseeable situations you might want to prepare. Advance training will decrease stress arising from bringing the newest family member home. Primarily, work on barking at the door and greeting visitors. These are two areas where significant challenges arise upon bringing a new baby to a home with dogs.

Dogs And Kids

Dogs and kids are a great combination only when the children have learned to respect the dog. 

Some people think it is pretty funny or speaks highly of the dog when their children do all kinds of things to their dog, and the dog does not bite or snarl. This only speaks highly of those persons’ stupidity, I’m afraid. They are pushing their dogs’ limits, potentially creating a dangerous situation for both child and dog. The dog is being harmed, abused, or at least disrespected. Adults model a terrible example for their children this way.

Children need to learn, early in life, that dogs need to be respected and cherished, and that is why the dog shares the home with the family. What part of this is funny or should make the dog owner proud? I do not have a frigging idea!

Things We Do That Dogs Hate

Play dress-up

Think it is so cute and funny to dress up your dog for Halloween or whatever other occasion? Newsflash! they do not share your views on this. So do not do this ridiculous thing! Dogs don’t like the feel, and they know how stupid they look.

Face to face loving

Do not love your dog by placing your face in front of theirs. Dogs hate it! They might tolerate it because it is you, and they love you and do not want to disappoint you. But they do not like this a bit.

Leaving them outside

Some dogs are suited for cold climates, but others are not. If it feels cold to you and your dog is not a furry snow beast (like our Great Pyrenees), consider getting them a size-appropriate jacket for those moments when there is no other option than going outside. 

Do not presume that being dogs and having fur is automatic protection. Freezing weather is probably an instance when your dog won’t be bothered if you dress them warmly (just jacket and booties, no clown customs, please!)

If your dog sleeps outside, bring them inside unless outside is their choice (some breeds are like that)! They are part of the family. If you do not think a dog’s place is inside the home, again, DO NOT HAVE A DOG! 

It is a crime to leave a dog outside when it is too hot or too cold in many states. There is a reason for that — it is an aberrant act of cruelty!

Shaving off their fur in the summer

The dog’s fur not only protects him against the cold but also insulates him in the heat. Some people think they are doing their dog a favor by shaving off the hair when it is too hot out there. Unfortunately, this makes the dog lose their natural protection against the heat. Unless the dog is very matted and there is no better solution than shaving the hair, do not do such a thing!

Final Thoughts

Do not ignore your dog(s). Dogs look for eye contact as a reassurance of your love. So please look at them, smile at them, talk to them. Often. 

Tomography images of the dog’s brain have shown that when a dog sees his beloved human, the brain lights up in the same manner the human brain behaves in the presence of a loved one.

Whoever abandons an old dog because he has become an inconvenience or no longer as much fun as they used to be, deserves the same treatment by their children. 

In neglecting or rejecting an older dog, that is the lesson they are teaching their children. So, wait for it — Karma is a bitch and is coming for you one of these days.

If you have the privilege of sharing your home with an animal, then honor that. Honor them! Don’t consider that a privilege? Then allow someone else to give those creatures the love, happiness, care, and honor they deserve.

For the love of dogs!

7 Steps To Ease Your Pill Pain

7 Steps To Ease Your Pill Pain

Let’s Simplify Pill Management

Whether you are a caregiver to an older adult or a mom managing a family who values wellness, you might find that administering pills can become almost a full-time job. But here are 7 steps to ease your pill pain.

I want to share a system that can simplify pill management and increase consistency in taking meds and supplements for everyone. The secret is the pillbox!

What You Need

 Here are some tools you might need for this process.

  • Pillboxes with morning, noon, evening, and bedtime compartments that you can find at your favorite pharmacy or Amazon)
  • Label maker (optional)
  • Sharpie
  • Medium to large plastic bin or container (these Multi-Purpose bins work wonders, as well as my favorite plastic box ever created).

Devote 30 minutes to this task every week. Make it a commitment and calendar this activity!

The Steps

  1. Place all prescribed and OTC meds and supplements that household members regularly take in the plastic bin or tote. The amount and size of pill bottles on hand determine the size of your container or box. This step only happens once because this bin will become the forever home of ingestible medicines and supplements at home. You may benefit from a second plastic container for all OTC medicines NOT taken regularly (like cough syrup, pain killers, allergy medicine, etc.)
  2. Write each person’s name (or initial) on each bottle lid. Include the intake frequency of that product. For example, “M 1-am/2-pm” indicates that person “M” takes one of those pills in the morning and two in the evening. Repeat this process with all bottles to make it easy to identify from the top inside the bin.
  3. Label each side of each pillbox with the person’s name taking the meds/supplements from that box. Assign a pillbox to each person taking any product regularly.
  4. Line all pillboxes on your counter or table and open their lids
  5. Select all bottles of one person and place in their pillbox all medication and supplements that person takes, according to the timing and dosage needed. Alternatively, you might prefer to work with one product at a time. In this case, distribute that medication into the pillboxes of everyone that takes that product.
  6. Repeat the process for each person or per product bottle (depending on your preferred method).
  7. Close all pillbox lids when each box is complete with all medications and supplements for that individual.

Where and Why

Ingestible medicines and supplements are best kept in the kitchen, not in the bathroom. The bathroom humidity affects the product’s power. It also makes sense to keep medication and supplements in the kitchen because we ingest these, usually with water or another beverage. The pantry or a cabinet in the kitchen are optimal places for these pillboxes and the container with bottles.

On the other hand, things we apply to our skin, hair, teeth, or nails go in the bathroom. This group includes things like rubbing alcohol, H2O2, antibiotic creams, muscle pain patches, cotton, gauze, bandages, and the like.

It is simpler to take medications and supplements when we do not need to sort the product, open several bottles, and make the same decisions over and over, several times per day. Therefore, it makes sense to streamline this process.

When medicines and supplements are in one single place, it is easier to find what we need at any given moment. This central location of meds and supplements also facilitates knowing what needs reordering and when. It also eliminates having multiple open bottles of the same product.

The best thing about this process is its inherent accountability – we can easily see who did not take their supplements or medicines and when just by looking at the pillbox. Thus, this system also increases the consistency in taking medications.

Make It Happen

Hopefully, these five steps described above will make it easier for everyone to take their meds and supplements consistently. But to make it happen:

  • Devote 30 minutes to this task every week.
  • Place this activity on the calendar as a recurrent, weekly activity.
  • Make it a commitment.

 

Pro-Tip: Consolidate medicine when it arrives at your home. Usually, medication bottles come half empty. There is no reason to have several half-empty bottles of the same product, which takes a lot of space and leads to expired medication around the home.

Some Clutter Truths

Some Clutter Truths

How Would That Look Like?

Imagine a beautiful store window. But then you can’t focus on any particular item in it.

Think of a beautiful And then clutter covers countertops, cabinets are packed to the brim, and there are boxes all over the place.

Visualize a hotel room with a closet full of empty wire hangers, every inch of the walls has some artwork or painting, blankets (with prints of all colors and different types) are folded on the bed, and bathroom cabinets are full of toiletries to last for three months (with daily use).

What if showroom was full of mismatched hangers, many pieces of clothing on top of each other, and store supplies boxes under the clothes?

Clutter Truths

The above scenarios convey the following truths about clutter:

  • We can’t organize clutter
    • We can’t organize clutter
    • A cluttered place will never look elegant, inviting, organized, or appealing
    • Clutter will ruin the beauty in any space
    • Clear space is to a home what a wide, white mat is to a work of art – It highlights the beauty of its surroundings

Why Can’t We Let Go

We often find it hard to let go of things we no longer need or want. This difficulty might come from something when we need it (if we ever need it). But we often don’t even know what we own and end up buying duplicates anyway!

Other times we think discarding some expensive item is throwing money away. But the money was spent when buying that thing, not when tossing it—keeping expensive things that we no longer want, will not bring the money back. And frequently, keeping those things costs us more money than letting those items go.

In the meantime, the fear of letting go holds us hostage to a cluttered environment – a home in disarray and chaos. Whether we notice it or not, our life energy gets sucked into a tornado of . And the cluttered space prevents us from enjoying the things we do keep. When everything seems unique, then nothing really is.

I invite you to take the plunge and free yourself of useless possessions. Re-evaluate your relationship with things. The less we own, the easier it is to keep up with what we have, and the more we start appreciating everything – material possessions or otherwise.

I can partner with you on this journey!

Talk Dirty To Me (And I Will Tell You Some Cleaning Secrets)

Talk Dirty To Me (And I Will Tell You Some Cleaning Secrets)

In the minds of most, cleaning and organizing are two activities that go together. We think of a messy place and we imagine it both disorganized and dirty. For the same reason, Organizers get asked over and over if we clean, too. When asked this question, I politely smile and say, “Well, I clean my house, of course!” So, you talk dirty to me and I will tell you some cleaning secrets now.

I do have to say that most Organizers, myself included, refuse to place items neatly organized in dirty spaces. Therefore, we do our best to clean some or engage the client in doing the cleaning, so the project ends at its best. But I am the first one to tell the client to please postpone any special cleaning project until the home is organized – for best results on the cleaning.

So Many (Unused) Products!

As an Organizer, I admit I am impressed by the number of cleaning products I find in every household, especially those that need the most cleaning. There is often a plethora of products for every purpose imaginable, as well as multiples of the same products and cleaning tools.

Another factor that confounds me is the presence of dirty cleaning tools. It does not make sense to clean with dirty tools. It would make sense to clean those tools when we finish cleaning, so we keep the clean tools in our newly clean space.

But since it seems like this rarely happens, I feel free to suggest to my clients a handful of multipurpose products and tools that accomplish many cleaning jobs and eliminate most of the extra work.

What You Need

In my opinion, these are the only products and tools you need. Don’t overcomplicate your life and save space in your cabinets and laundry area.

NOTE: These cleaning alternatives might not be preferred options for the environment since they are chemicals and disposable items. Some are not the most cost-effective either. But these products get the job well done with a minimum of effort, which is what most people need. They keep the tasks simple and are a less expensive alternative than engaging a professional cleaning company. You can also research natural alternatives to the chemicals, especially recipes created with Young Living essential oils, baking soda, and vinegar.

1) Swiffer Sweeper Dry + Wet All Purpose Floor Mopping and Cleaning Starter Kit with Heavy Duty Cloths Swiffer wet (initial kit)

Swiffer Kit - Talk Dirty To Me (And I Will Tell You Some Cleaning Secrets)

2) Swiffer Sweeper Dry Refills – forget the broom and dustpan!

Swiffer Sweeper Dry Refills - Talk Dirty To Me (And I Will Tell You Some Cleaning Secrets)

3) Swiffer Sweeper Wet Mopping Cloths – you do not want to deal with a mop and a pail anymore, right?

Swiffer wet refills - Talk Dirty To Me (And I Will Tell You Some Cleaning Secrets)

4) Swiffer Dusters 360 Extended Handle (long handle kit plus refills)

Swiffer Duster Kit - Talk Dirty To Me (And I Will Tell You Some Cleaning Secrets)

5) Clorox Ultra Clean Disinfecting Wipes (1 container per bathroom and 1 in the kitchen)

Clorox Wipes - Talk Dirty To Me (And I Will Tell You Some Cleaning Secrets)

6) Clorox Free & Clear Multi-Surface Cleaner

Clorox Multipurpose Cleaner - Talk Dirty To Me (And I Will Tell You Some Cleaning Secrets)

7) Scotch-Brite Multi-Purpose Scrub Sponge (4-6) – these are the best sponges, even for doing the dishes manually

ScotchBrite Sponges - Talk Dirty To Me (And I Will Tell You Some Cleaning Secrets)

8) Ajax All-Purpose Powder Cleaner with Bleach or Comet Cleanser (one or the other, but just one) – for when additional scrubbing power with bleach is needed.

Ajax - Talk Dirty To Me (And I Will Tell You Some Cleaning Secrets)
Comet - Talk Dirty To Me (And I Will Tell You Some Cleaning Secrets)

9) Assortment of brushes with and w/o handle and different kinds of bristles

10) Gloves (you need to protect those hands!)

11) Arm & Hammer Clean Shower Daily Shower Cleaner (1 bottle per shower or tub) – this product is truly a miracle. Tilex has its own version as well.

Clean Shower - Talk Dirty To Me (And I Will Tell You Some Cleaning Secrets)

12) Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Sponges (tough stains, marks on walls, even cleaning the tub w/o bleach)

Mr - Talk Dirty To Me (And I Will Tell You Some Cleaning Secrets)

13) Microfiber rags (4-5) – Use dry with Windex for stainless steel, glass, and mirror. Use it to dry off washed surfaces. Use wet with the multipurpose cleaner to clean all surfaces.

Microfiber Towels - Talk Dirty To Me (And I Will Tell You Some Cleaning Secrets)

14) Clorox toilet wand kit (one per toilet) – The kit leaves in the bathroom by the toilet. The sponge is single-use, disposable. The sponge contains the cleaning agent, so there’s no need to have an additional product. Do not flush the sponge. Dispose of it in the trash.

Clorox ToiletWand System Kit - Talk Dirty To Me (And I Will Tell You Some Cleaning Secrets)

15) Windex (regular kind – just 1 bottle)

Windex - Talk Dirty To Me (And I Will Tell You Some Cleaning Secrets)

16) Pledge Multi Surface Antibacterial Everyday Cleaner – If you have special surfaces such as wood, use this product instead of Clorox Multipurpose. Use with a dry microfiber rag.

Pledge - Talk Dirty To Me (And I Will Tell You Some Cleaning Secrets)

17) Cleaning caddy – Keep all your products in the caddy, so they can be moved around your house. Only one set of products is needed. You want a caddy that is rectangular, with straight angles, and not overly divided.

Cleaning Caddy - Talk Dirty To Me (And I Will Tell You Some Cleaning Secrets)

18) Trash bags in sizes according to trashcans in the home (very important to always line your trashcans. To avoid ruining the look a nice-looking trashcan, use transparent bags. Pro tip: knot the rim of the bag to make it fit the border of the trashcan. Hide the excess bag between the trashcan rim and the bag rim.

19) If you have dogs/cats, you will want these two things:

a) Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lithium-Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum

BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum - Talk Dirty To Me (And I Will Tell You Some Cleaning Secrets)

b) Evercare Pet Extreme Stick Plus 100 Sheet Lint Roller (and extra rollers) Or some other product with this purpose. Pro-tip to use lint rollers: do not dispose of the cover. After using the product, peel off the used sheet and leave the new sheet ready to use protected with the original cover.

Lint Roller - Talk Dirty To Me (And I Will Tell You Some Cleaning Secrets)

Follow A Process

  1. Assign a day to wash towels and bedsheets. A good idea to simplify your life: have only one complete set of towels per person, per bathroom, and one set of sheets per bed that truly complement the décor. When it is laundry day, wash, dry, and place them back in use. No need for storage space. No need to fold.
  2. Wash bathroom rugs at least once a month.
  3. Assign a day for each household person to do their laundry (from start to finish on that day). That way, family members take turns and there are no loads of clothing waiting around for washing.
  4. Accumulate all dirty dishes and utensils inside the dishwasher. At night, run the dishwasher. Empty the dishwasher completely and put everything away, first thing in the morning (or before bed). There is no need to keep that strainer or piles of dirty dishes around the kitchen day after day.
  5. If you have dogs or cats, it’s probably a good idea to vacuum once a day or at least once every other day. With the cordless vacuum, this is truly therapy.
  6. Keeping disinfecting wipes in the kitchen and bathroom makes it easy to wipe off surfaces as often as needed.
  7. At least once a week, clean the inside of toilets with the toilet wand and the outside with the Clorox wipes. Clean all surfaces with wipes and clean the mirrors with Windex.
  8. Keeping a bottle of Clean Shower in your shower or tub helps you use this product daily. When you do this, this product virtually eliminates the need to clean the shower! Probably once a month you’ll want to scrub the tiles and all other areas with Ajax or a Mr. Clean Eraser sponge.
  9. Dust all that you can see with the duster. It is so easy to work with this product, that you’ll get in the dusting mood quite fast. When finished, just trash the duster.
  10. Always clean top to bottom and left to right so you can keep track of what has been done. Also, dirt falls on the floor and you want to leave the floor for last.
  11. Finally, use your vacuum all over, go over the floor with the dry Swiffer if desired, and finally, use the wet Swiffer to clean the floors.
  12. Don’t forget to dress your beds, re-place bathroom towels, and change all trashcan liners at the end.
  13. Get yourself a wonderful glass of wine and take a bubble bath in your clean tub!

All this is exponentially easier if your house is uncluttered and organized. If it is not, let’s start with that, shall we? Then you’ll see how easy it is to maintain your home clean.


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