fbpx
Holiday Décor (Oh Joy!)

Holiday Décor (Oh Joy!)

When Chaos Shows Up

Few things bring domestic chaos to the surface, like the holiday season: the gatherings, the cooking, the decorations – Holiday Décor (Oh Joy!).

The cold weather makes us stay closer, inside.

Our environment’s stability is tested like at no other time of the year during the holidays.

It Affects Everyone

Some people live in a mess, yet they get preoccupied with seasonal décor, gift-giving, entertaining, and baking. 

I can’t help but wonder if that is just a defense mechanism to avoid seeing the elephant in the room. What sense does it make to decorate a house in total disarray?

Some might seem oblivious to the underlying disorganization of their environment. However, whether we notice it or not, a chaotic environment affects us all.

Clutter affects us, both consciously and subconsciously. Clutter drains our energy.

What Would It Feel Like?

But if only we could experience a different way, what would happen? How many possibilities would open up? How much more efficient could we become? How much more relaxed and joyful?

Our environment is our foundation. If the foundation is not in order, we are on shaky ground.

Rather than being a roadblock in life, your home environment should be your support and bring you joy. That joy starts with having an organized and optimized space.

Then, the whole family can have a wonderful time decorating, sharing, cooking, and eating together instead of fighting about the dusty boxes, the decorations they can’t find, or just being in a bad mood because the house is a mess.

Have A Proper Closure

Having an “exit strategy” is equally important. How you close your holiday season will directly impact next year’s celebrations. If holiday decorations were not in order before, this is a good starting point. Decide to mindfully and purposefully store your seasonal décor to properly preserve them and keep them accessible for the following year. Commit to putting your home environment in order. You will feel the difference!

Make Your Environment Work For You

Stop fighting your environment. Make it work for you instead. Want a joyful holiday season? Get your environment in order first. 

If you feel overwhelmed by the task, contact My Space Reclaimed! Let’s set a time to chat and see how we can walk that road together. You don’t have to do this alone

No Clothes In Your Laundry Room

No Clothes In Your Laundry Room

The Laundry Nightmare

The laundry room and the process of “doing the laundry” are recurrent household nightmares among people who feel their homes are messy. It might seem like a mistake, but no clothes should be in your laundry room. Keep reading to understand how to make peace with your laundry process.

Laundry never ends, and that room is constantly in chaos. Many homes have this area as the entrance to the house from the garage, and this complicates matters. The space becomes the dumping grounds for bags, sports equipment, briefcases, papers, lunch boxes, shoes, shopping bags, and everything else we bring into the house from our day out. We are tired when we get home and whatever we dump at this entry point usually stays there indefinitely. But add to the mix piled up shoes, coats, clean and dirty clothes from everyone, plus the cat litter box, the dogs’ supplies, and the Costco bulk purchases. Not pretty.

Where The Clothes Are

If we could at least remove the clothes from the scene, things would be more straightforward. But isn’t the laundry room the place to gather dirty clothes to wash and clean pieces of clothing to hang dry? Not necessarily! Here is why.

Clothes should be:

  • on the person wearing them
  • in the hamper
  • inside the washer or dryer (in the process of washing or drying)
  • hung in the closet or folded in the drawer where they belong

There are two exceptions to this: clothes air-drying and pieces waiting for ironing (only if the ironing happens in the laundry room, which is not typically the case). 

In any instance, these clothes should remain in this space only for a short time. We should manage the whole laundry process on the same day, meaning that clothes should end up where they belong by the end of that day.

To Be Clear

There are two concepts that people often confuse: hamper and laundry basket. These are not the same.

The hamper holds dirty clothes and lives where we change clothes. Laundry baskets transport clean clothes from the laundry room to the clothes’ storage place (as in the closet or drawers). It lives (empty) in the laundry room.

Also, know that the washing machine, the dryer, and the laundry basket are NOT approved permanent storage for clothing! (And you know who you are!) It might be the easy way to use them as such, but eventually, this creates the chaos you loathe.

The Process That Helps You

Crush the laundry room mess by assigning each person in the home their hamper. Place this hamper where they change clothes. It also helps to individually wash each person’s load. This eliminates the need to sort the clothes for each household member.

Here is the process you might want to follow to keep the order in your home.

• Designate a laundry day per household member.

• On laundry day, bring the hamper to the laundry room (this should be only one load).

• Wash that load of clothes. Then dry it. Pay attention to that end-of-cycle chime to avoid wasting time.

• Return the empty hamper to where it belongs (it does not stay in the laundry room)

• Once the load is dry, place it in a laundry basket (empty baskets live in the laundry room)

• Take the basket full of clean clothes to put these clothes away. Do it immediately.

• Return the empty basket to the laundry room (where it lives).

Plan For It To Happen

Try these steps and place the laundry process in the calendar. Leaving the laundry halfway done signifies that it interferes with your schedule. When you include this chore in your calendar, plan for it, and make it part of your household life, it stops intruding upon your time.

Need some help with your home systems? Contact My Space Reclaimed, LLC. We specialize in developing strategies to simplify your life.

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.

All That Packaging!

All That Packaging!

What the deal with all that packaging! Medicines and supplements come with an extraordinary amount of packaging that they no longer need once those items get home. Remove all that at once and make the product part of your home.

Medicines and supplements are usually found all over the home. New bottles, half-empty bottles, expired products, OTC stuff… Medicines and supplements take a lot of space in our home. It is hard to account for the meds and supplements on hand and even harder to track them for expiration and re-ordering.

Here are a couple of suggestions about the medicines and supplements we take and keep at home. Specifically, how to make more space when storing them and how to better track your supply and reordering process.

Simplify

Whether you get your medicines and supplements by mail or you pick them up at the store, you probably have an excess of bottles and extra packaging complicating your space.  

Many medicines and supplements come with excess packaging. It is unthinkable having to go through it every single day to get your medicines. 

Thus, it makes sense to strip your medicines and supplements from all unnecessary packaging as soon as they enter your home.  Better be done with that at once!

Consolidate

Most supplements and medication bottles come half empty. How about consolidating all that product? Do so when the product is the same type, with a similar expiration date.

I have consistently decreased the number of bottles I get by half, by consolidating their contents. The amount of unnecessary packaging I remove is considerable.  I gain amazing space in my cabinets just by doing this. 

Allocate

Store ingestible medicine and supplements in a single place in your home, preferably in the kitchen.

The bathroom is a suitable space for therapeutic and medicinal products that are not ingested. These are products we apply to the skin, hair, nose, mouth, and teeth (both OTC and prescribed). This group includes items contained in a first aid kit, for example.

Having these two distinct categories of medication properly allocated and stored allows you to better track the product on hand. This also facilitates the management of prescription reorders with the pharmacy.

Finally…

It boils down to how diligent can you be at managing packages that enter your home and what you do with them, medication or otherwise.

That Defining Moment

That Defining Moment

That moment when you re-enter your home from a day out defines how organized your home will be and how organized it will remain (or not). That is the defining moment.

From groceries and mail to a briefcase or your children’s school and sports gear, chances are you are carrying things into your home each time you come back from a day of errands, work, or a trip. 

So, what do you do at that moment? Do you put things down, or do you put things away?

There is a big difference between putting things down and putting things away. If you needed to put everything away in your home right now, could you? 

The answer depends on whether everything in your house has a specific place to belong. Ideally, everything in your home should have a single, designated, permanent space where that item or item category lives. By recognizing and following this principle, your daily life may turn easier and more efficient.

When items have a permanent, specific storage place, you find everything easily. It also facilitates putting things away since items have a known space where they should go.

But if in your house anything can go anywhere, then everything will go everywhere. So, day after day, this way of going about your environment won’t yield positive results.

When you “put things down for later” instead of taking the time to put things away, several things happen:

  1. “Later” never seems to arrive (it is not an actual date on the calendar!). Every day’s residue accumulates all over the house day after day.
  2. Your home becomes cluttered because clutter invites more clutter. It’s a vicious cycle.
  3. You can’t find what you need when you need it because nothing is in a logical or proper place.
  4. Looking for things, you waste lots of time. Also, you spend money buying replacements for items you have but can’t find.

Then one random Saturday morning, when the sun is shining, and you feel great, you decide to clean up your place. You spend hours sorting through the clutter and finally put things away. 

When finished, your home is manageable again, but you’ve spent the whole day cleaning up instead of being outside, enjoying the possibilities that await you. 

You are tired, sore, and frustrated. Yet, ironically, you conclude that being organized is a drag – something that intrudes on your life, preventing you from living your life. 

As a result, you put off “organizing” or “cleaning up” again for as long as possible. The senseless circle of events repeats itself.

What if you took a moment or two to put everything away (as in “where everything should permanently go’) instead of “putting things down until later” every time you come home? Your home would remain organized. 

If your home remains organized, there is no need to spend an entire day organizing later. Yes, it takes a few minutes every day, and it might take some time to make the practice a habit, but it indeed pays off in significant ways. 

Besides, spending a few minutes every day to keep our environment organized is more manageable and less time-consuming than spending hours cleaning up or trying to find what we need.

The next time you enter through that door carrying all that “stuff,” think about it – It is a defining moment.


Deprecated: Directive 'allow_url_include' is deprecated in Unknown on line 0