Got 60 Minutes?

TACKLE THE WINDOWS.  Raise blinds or shades and wash windows with glass cleaner using a microfiber cloth.   Lower blinds and shades and dust with a duster like swifter. Vacuum fabric shades and drapes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

-OR-

GO BEHIND FURNITURE

Clean the spots you skip all year.  Pull away from walls and vacuum behind and under it.  Do the woodwork and air vents while you’re back there.

 

 

 

 

YOUR HOME CLEANING ADVICE

Article written by ASK CAROLYN askcarolyn@goodhousekeeping.com

 

Got 30 Minutes?

WHITEN DINGY TILE GROUT.  Spray grout with GH Lab pick CLR Kitchen & Bathroom Cleaner.  Let it set for several minutes, then scrub with a stiff brush (we like the Casabella Smart SCRUB GROUT  BRUSH). Rinse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-OR-  

NAB HIDDEN DIRT. 

With an extendable duster, attack ceiling fans,  bookcases, hanging and recessed lights, molding, etc.  Vacuum lamps/shades and bases with your machine’s soft dusting brush.

 

YOUR HOME CLEANING ADVICE – ASK CAROLYN askcarolyn@goodhousekeeping.com

Got 15 Minutes?

CLEAN THE RANGE HOOD Pop out the mesh filter and swish it in hot water, rinse and dry.  Clean the hood with a grease-cutting kitchen cleaner, wipe the knobs and the light, rinse and dry.

-OR-

 VACUUM FURNITURE

With an upholstery tool, clean the sides and backs of chairs and the sofa.  Vacuum both sides of cushions and underneath them.  Use the crevice tool along trim and stitching.

Your Home Cleaning Advice/ASK CAROLYN – askcarolyn@goodhousekeeping.com

Got 5 Minutes?

No time for a full spruce-up?  Get “Wow!” results whether you have an hour or only minutes.

CLEAN OUT A DRAWER

Pick your messiest kitchen, bedroom or desk drawer and empty it.  Toss or relocate any items you no longer need or that don’t belong there.

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BEFORE

Be sure that what goes back in is organized!

 

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AFTER

 

-OR-

FRESHEN WALLS with a moistened Mr. Clean Eraser in one hand and a dry cloth in the other.  Go from room to room rubbing out scrapes, smudged and crayon marks on painted walls and trim. 

YOUR HOME cleaning advice, ASK CAROLYN askcarolyn@goodhousekeeping.com

 

 

 

 

 

A Clean Kitchen Inspires Me To Whip Up A Delicious Meal

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As much as I enjoy creating home cooked meals and baked goods from scratch, I must admit that I have standards and requirements that need to be met before the magic can begin, or as my mother would say “I can’t be bothered!”  For starters, the table and countertops must be free of clutter,  the sink has to be clean, and the stove has to be ready to go.   I find that when all of these factors are in place, it helps me to feel motivated and focused, and ready to put in the time, energy, and love that is necessary to whip up a delicious meal, or mouth watering dessert.

Beginning with the end in mind, prior to getting started, I make it a point to fill up the basin that I keep in the sink, with hot sudsy water so that I’m prepared to clean up as I go.  Also included in the process is loading up the dishwasher,  wiping up any spills or splatters that have occurred, as well as wiping down other apparent surfaces with antibacterial wipes.  This way, after consuming a meal, there will only be minimal things left to do, and  I will have the luxury of being able to kick back and relax much sooner, instead of stressing myself out by lingering in the kitchen.

On the other hand, if your household is shared by other members, it is also their responsibility to make sure that the kitchen (which is usually the heart of the home where a lot of time is spent) is well maintained even if it means drawing up a weekly schedule and posting it in an area that is visible so that everyone has their fair share of chores to, do including the kids.

Article written by Dottie Komara/Clutter Free Lifestyle Solutions

 

 

You’ve Got Mail

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Although we live busy lives and have more than enough things on our plates to deal with on a daily basis, it’s still important to make it a top priority to take the mail out of the mailbox shortly after it arrives, or if you should happen to have a mail slot in your door, you may want to remove the pile that has landed on the floor so that you don’t trip over it, it doesn’t accumulate, and become outdated….especially if it requires immediate attention such as, the gas/electric bill that you forgot to pay.

  • As soon as I take my mail out of the mailbox,  and bring it inside of the house, I make it a point to sort, open, shred junk mail, and file everything that needs to be filed, like clock work.  This is simply a habit that I have developed over the years, that is now second nature.  I don’t really think twice about it, I just do it, like Nike.
  • However, just in case you don’t have time to process your mail right away,  it would be a great idea to quickly look through it to make sure that it isn’t an urgent matter that needs to be dealt with ASAP, otherwise it can be temporarily stored for a few days in a small basket of your choice, purchased mail sorter, mail in-coming/outgoing tray or a 3-4 tier letter file that can be hung or placed on a table in the office, family room, or another area, just as long as the pile doesn’t land on top of the kitchen or dining room table, sofa, chair, end table, or any other place where it sticks out like a sore thumb in-contained.
  • As soon as possible, designate a day, and time to open up the mail, and stick to the same schedule.  build-your-own-galvanized-system-components-mailorganization

Here’s a list of tools/supplies that may come in handy to organize your space:

  1. Paper shredder (keep what’s confidential, CONFIDENTIAL)!
  2. Letter opener
  3. Scissors
  4. Stapler/staples & remover
  5. Trash can
  6. Paper clips
  7. Three (3-4) tier bin
  8. File folders
  9. Memo boardc3604b680659430739570b3f7a22287c4cbd4757shredder

Now, here comes the fun part, it’s time to physically sort and open up the mail.   If you reside in a household with other people, the first step is to separate mail by name.  Next, deliver the mail directly to the receiver or place it inside of a bin with their name on it, and the next step is their responsibility.

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Status mail according to the following options (also known as the T-R-A-F System).

  1. Trash/recycle – If you have no purpose for it, including envelopes, do not put it into a pile because it will only become unnecessary clutter that you will have to  sort through at a later date.  This includes junk mail such as, coupons, newspapers, magazines, and paper in general.  Always shred personal information such as your name, account number, address, telephone number, social security number, and confidential document content.
  2. Read – Read it now or create a read pile/folder.  Keep it in a visible location, perhaps in the office, night stand.  Books and magazines can be displayed on bookshelf or magazine rack to cut down on clutter.3091112203390p
  3. Act on it (respond), now or ASAP! – Respond immediately if it’s of an urgent matter, by contacting the sender to address the issue.  If you haven’t already, create a bill folder or bill payment system that works for you.  Instead of receiving hard copy bills in the mail, you can request to have them emailed to you in advance before they’re due to be paid.  Another helpful tip would be to contact companies via telephone or on-line to make arrangements to have payments automatically drafted from your bank account on an on-going basis when they are due, but be sure to enter the transaction in your credit or debit registry. Opting to make a one-time on-line payment through your financial institutions website or company’s website is another convenient way of paying bills.  Planning ahead helps to avoid the waste of stamps, envelopes, ink, your time and energy, it helps to cut down on the amount of paper that enters your mailbox, and companies save money too.  Not only that, but paying bills on-time can help to boost your credit score.   Memos, notes and invitations can be posted on a bulletin board to cut down on paper clutter, but they should be removed once they have expired, or they are no longer significant.
  4. File – Create a folder for documents to be filed ASAP, designating a specific day/time and sticking to the schedule!  Also, create an alphabetized filing system (cabinet or  portable sectioned file folder or file box to house hard copy documents for preservation and quick access.  However, nowadays with advanced technologies, some may prefer to scan documents using some sort of device, or an electronic scanning machine which sends and saves documents to the computer.  This method also helps to reduce paper clutter, however, if the computer crashes and you don’t have a back up plan in place, you’re out of luck.

by Dottie Komara ~ Clutter Free Lifestyle Solutions

 

 

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