Category Archives: Cleaning

What’s hiding in the cupboard?

Now that the kiddos are back to school, it is time to focus on organizing something not associated with a backpack, kids clothing  or back to school lists.  Enough already, let’s move on!  What do you have lurking in the depths of your cupboard or pantry?  Is it time to do a little sort, shuffle and purge dance in your kitchen?

Here are a few ideas and tips for organizing your cupboards;

1.  As always, the first step is to clean it out and edit.  Check expiration dates and get rid of things that you can no longer use.  Also, donate unexpired items that you won’t use to a food pantry.

2.  Use glass or clear containers to store opened items such as sugar, flour or pastas.  Don’t crumble half used bags in the back of the cupboard where they can’t be seen.

3.  Use elevated shelves for the back row so that you can see what you have and items won’t get buried or lost.

4.  Use lazy-susans, pull down spice racks and handled totes to allow for easy access.

5.  Most important – don’t over buy.  Normally if a product is priced 2 for $5.00, you can purchase 1 for $2.50.

6.  Empty the shelf or cupboard completely, wipe it down and replace items with “like” things together.  Baking goods together, spices together, cereals together.  This will make it much easier to see what you need before going to the grocery.

7.  If it seems overwhelming, then take it one cupboard or shelf at a time.

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Need vs. Want

As you’ve read from my previous posts, we recently returned from a three plus week vacation to Alaska and then to visit family.  The thing I hate most about travel are the heavy suitcases.  Under the guise of being prepared, I tend to over pack and over think what’s really needed for the trip.  This time around I packed lightly.  One duffel that both of my girls shared and one medium suitcase for me, (FYI my hubby packs for himself and he had his own suitcase).

I learned an amazing lesson on the trip.  I can live with less.  I had four outfits with me that I just rotated around and I was totally fine.  Now I’m at home and looking at a relatively full closet and I’m wondering why I have most of it.  I certainly don’t wear all of it.  I need to spend the week seriously editing my closet.  I’m in the right frame of mind and so now is the time to act.

What about you?  Do you have more than you need?  What are your thoughts on need vs. want?

Perfectly Savvy Finds

I hope that all of you had a chance to read my post earlier this week about cleaning your car.  Your Perfectly Savvy Finds this week are all items that will help you get your car in order and ready for spring.

1.  Let’s begin at the top with a fun little organizer that could be used to store sun lotion, bug spray and other summer essentials.  The handle on top will make it easy to transport back and forth and the bright pink will make it easy to see and remember.

2.  The all important trash can.  I like this option because it has a nice sturdy base so that it wont tip and it is easy to get the bags in and out.

3.  The bright flowery bin would be a good solution for storing car essentials or toys.  Easy to carry back and forth from house to car.

4.  The red tool box can store a first aid kit or other must haves.

5.  I love the green and brown totes from the Container Store.  Perfect for toting everything to and from the car in complete style.

6.  The blue/turquoise bins are perfect for storing toys/books and other kid items.  Easy to pick-up and stack away.

Spring Cleaning – The Car

Most people spend a lot of time in their cars going to/from work, shuttling kids and running errands.  Without a system in place for keeping your car properly cleaned out and maintained it can begin to look and feel like major chaos inside.  I find that the car is the last place that people consider when putting organizing processes in place. A car is a major investment and in most situations vital to keeping life in order.  Take the time to clean and organize your car to protect your investment and keep a sense of order and calm.

Here are some ideas to help keep your car properly maintained:

  • Get your car cleaned and detailed to start your spring off on the right foot, (or the right wheel;).  Vacuumed, wiped down, crumbs out – you get the idea.
  • Summer is on the way and you’ll need sunscreen and bug spray ready for action.  The potency of the sunscreen can seriously degrade in a hot car so set up a little kit that can be easily transported from car to home.  Possibly something bright and colorful that you’ll notice heading out the door and within easy reach inside the car.
  • Keep a trash receptacle in the car lined with the plastic bags you receive when shopping.  Tuck some in the bottom of the receptacle as spare and it is easy to remove the trash when you exit the car.
  • Purchase a couple of recyclable bags to keep in the car that can help transport items to/from your car.  Don’t let things build up inside.  If you transport many items then use a plastic bin or tote.
  • Keep a small caddy of toys or books and projects for your kids to keep them occupied.  Make certain that they put everything back into the caddy at the end of each trip.  Soon it will become a habit and they won’t need a prompt to get the job done.
  • Make or purchase a small first aid kit and essentials to keep in the car in case of emergencies.

On Friday I’ll be back with some Perfectly Savvy Finds that will help you keep your car in order.

Cleaning – Quick tips for the week

I do NOT have a perfect home.  I’m a mom, business owner and all around busy girl.  However, I have a few quick cleaning routines that give me a sense of peace throughout the week.  Yours might be different than mine.  They key is to determine what must be clean and done in YOUR home in order to stay in charge and keep your home in order.

Here are my quick cleaning bursts for each day that help me keep my home in order:

1.  I put one load of laundry in each morning.

2.  My bathrooms and kitchen get wiped down EVERY day.  I use Method multi-surface with lavender.

3.  Hardwood floors get a quick once over in high traffic areas with a microfiber mop.  It is so quick and easy to do.  I just spray the microfiber cloth with a vinegar solution and give a pass over high traffic areas, under my dining room table (to catch the extra crumbs) and in the kitchen.  The microfiber picks up just about everything.

4.  I have a handy little cordless stick vacuum that will pick up hair on the bathroom floor and is great for a quick zoom on my carpets.

These quick little cleaning bursts help me stay on top of the brewing chaos and help to give me a sense of calm about my home.

What are your “cleaning must-dos” for the week?

Three, Four, Out The Door

What is your “out the door” routine?  Do you walk out of the door calm, confident and with everything you need?  Or, are you stressed out a frazzled before you begin your day?  Do yourself a favor and take the time to set up a system for heading out the door in the morning so that you can begin your day on the right foot.

Here is an example from my own home and I’m going to work on getting more examples for you this week.  I have a station right by the door where I keep a tube of lipstick, (for quick touch-ups out the door) a brush, my keys, my Blackberry, business cards and a few other little essentials.  Behind my door I have my purse as well as a bag for toting out everything I need to take care of that day.  Mail, returns, grocery list, etc… 

This prep work makes walking out the door in the morning a breeze.  It take a little thought the night before, and I also got in the habit of adding action items to my bag right away so I don’t forget. 

What is your “out the door” routine?

Motivation 2010 – The Linen Closet – Let’s Organize Together

Let’s take a peek in the closet, shall we?

Here is my rule for the closet – are you ready? 

Just because the space it there, it does not mean you must fill it up.  

End of lesson.

Seriously, if you have a big closet it is not part of the challenge to see if you can fill it up.  Purchase only what you need so that you are not wasteful. 

Let’s focus on some techniques and ideas to make your closet look neater, more efficient and easier to manage.

  • Rolling towels instead of folding creates more space and makes them more accessible.
  • Using totes to corral washcloths and hand towels can help keep them tidy.
  • Use clear containers for storing like items so that you can see what’s inside.
  • Rolling carts can make it easier to get to things in hard to reach spaces.
  • Create zones for things such as cleaning supplies and use totes if necessary. 
  • Dividing trays for small items such as cotton balls, Q-tips and toothbrushes keep things out of sight but easy to navigate.

What questions do you have about your linen closest?