Archives for May 2013

Cleaning And Organizing And Following Instructions

To declutter means to be more organized.  Being more organized can make cleaning go faster, easier and produce better results.

My sister kept several of my old books on cleaning and organizing. They are the books that were used in teaching those organizing classes years ago. She gave them back to me to review again.

Household Hints & Handy Tips, It’s Here Somewhere and The Messies Manual, to name a few.

Again, I can save you time and money. All of the books say basically the same thing. Start with getting rid of stuff you are not using. If it doesn’t add value to your life then sell it, give it away or toss into the trash. If you are ready to clean, then here is a word of warning;

If you think you have a clever idea about cleaning with things around the house then google it first, learn from others.

My dumb mistake.

I was hoping to tidy up my backyard. Getting rid of things that were no longer being used, a few toys, and some weathered chairs and then there were some things for the trash. There are 6 iron chairs that were looking dirty and dull. First I washed off with soap and water, then I got the bright idea of using pure olive oil. The oil was natural so I thought it would make them shiny. It worked, they were shiny and pretty. A few days later I sat down on one those chairs and my arm stuck to the arm of the chair.

This isn’t good, why were the chairs all sticky? It was the olive oil. They were shiny but not fit to be used. It took me days to scrub off the stickiness. Even after that, someone would come over and sit in one of chairs and tell me that there was sap on them. I was always too embarrassed to tell them what I had done.

baking sodaThere is something satisfying with using natural things around your house to clean. Cheaper and healthier, like lemons, baking soda, vinegar and oil to name a few. Before concocting a recipe with things around the house, try and research first. Chances are someone else out there has tried and retried.

On wikihow it says I should use, baking soda, water, sponge and a soft cloth.

I will let you know if it works!



What To Do With Old Towels

old towelKeeping old towels in the garage or in a closet is something most of us do. You never know when the toilet will overflow and you need to have something around to soak up all that water. (Well, hopefully it’s water)

Other uses for old towels could be for cleaning the house, drying off pets, washing the car, drying the car, or wiping feet before entering the house. Whatever the reason…we have lots. Some of my towels were 25 years old. I remember because I bought inexpensive towels one Christmas and sewed on lace to give as gifts. They were pretty, but after 25 years of keeping, for the just in case, was over. old towel with lace

Using old towels for cleaning didn’t always work out for me. They were often the wrong type of material for cleaning and left little fur balls. Even though they were handy I always seem to grab the paper towels. Having a few around for the dogs worked but I didn’t need as many as I had in the garage.

The reason these old towels caught my attention was because in my recent trip to a big discount store, I bought some bright inexpensive new towels. This added some extra color to the bathroom and also meant I had more old towels to store.

Most were put in the trash and some of the better ones ended up in the goodwill bag. No need to freak out over getting rid of towels. Towels can be inexpensive. In fact, some of the more expensive towels are too cushy and don’t soak up the water. Not to mention the fuzz they leave behind.

Declutter your towels today!

 You just don’t really need that many!

Going Paperless

paperworkIs it possible?

Paper is one of the biggest challenges of all. We are told we have to keep records for 7 years, some say 3 years and my accountant says FOREVER.

The paper work generated in a single household can be staggering. If you own a business then it is down right ridiculous the amount of paper we face everyday.

Let’s start with the mail. If you want to save money and have less paper work then head right for the trash can. Those coupons and advertised great deals are a trap.

You don’t need them.

How many copies do you need of your high school transcripts? My husband makes lots of copies just in case. Drives me crazy. Easy on the copies, you really don’t need that many.

What would happen if you lost all of your files in a fire? Would it be the end of the world? Have you scanned important papers?

Like all of the other areas in our homes this is no different and will forever need attention. However there are systems out there that will help you get organized to make it easier to find the papers you need. That system is called a computer. Make sure and back it up.

So whether you need old files for a tax audit or needing info for filling out a job application or maybe you are gathering papers for a home loan, you need those files at your fingertips. It is terribly frustrating to spend hours looking for those documents.

Keeping electronically is the way to go, with paper back up just in case.


If every electronic file says “important’ and every paper folder says “for the year 2013”, then you are in trouble and will be searching into the night. Not good! Call it what it is.

This will take time but it will be worth it.




Never Say Never To That Garage Sale

One of the reasons I didn’t want to do a garage sale was because I had already donated many bags of stuff. Had I known that a garage sale was in my future I possibly would have kept some of the nicer stuff in hopes of making  a little money.

If you are just now beginning to think of decluttering, a garage sale, yard sale, flea market or a rummage sale is something to consider.

One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Who first cointed this phrase?

Once we let the word out several family members added to the growing pile. Knowing I might fetch a buck or two was enough motivation to get rid of stuff that I had been holding back.

Good things about a garage sale:

Your neighbors come out to visit. I met neighbors I had not met before.

You can make some money. Most of you won’t get rich on garage sales but making even a little money is motivation.

The best thing about a garage sale is getting rid of stuff you are not using.

The next day we had a non-profit group pick up the leftovers. Freedom and Relief!

Garage sales are much easier to do with help. If this is something you are considering then ask your friends and neighbors. They may want to participate and then it becomes something fun and social.

I can’t tell you how great if feels to finally be rid of things that I didn’t want, use or need.

 Someone out there was happy to get a good deal on my old stuff.