Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Creative Uncluttering for Cash

If you are an avid reader, books are found all through the home. However, you might not really NEED all of them...if you reference things often, create a special section on your bookshelves for the reference books and group them according to category.

If you need cash more than keeping the books for reference, you can sell them. Amazon.com is a great place to sell your old books. You can also check out usedbookscentral.com

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring is here: does your home look like it?

We welcomed spring last Saturday and I still see remnants of last season's outdoor decorations all around town. Are you guilty of not cleaning up and putting away wintertime decor in your home as well?

  • Time to lighten up the interior scape. Put away the woolen blankets and bring out the cotton ones. Cashmere throws are great for all times of the year, but lighter colors seem more appropriate for spring and summer.
  • Wash any slipcovers to freshen them for the upcoming season.
  • Use your vacuum! Vacuum the window coverings at least monthly and while you're at it, vacuum the window too. Less dust accumulation means less washing later on.
  • Keep your home smelling fresh by using only natural cleaning products. You can clean your entire home with baking soda and vinegar. Use up all nasty chemicals and replace cleaning systems with cheaper and healthier alternatives.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Clearing the Clutter

What kinds of clutter are you tolerating in your home? Stand in your most cluttered area for five minutes. Don't do anything, just absorb its energy. Now stand for five minutes in your least cluttered area. If your whole house is cluttered, stand outside for 5 minutes. See how you feel now. When I do this exercise with my clients, the resposes are usually along the lines of : "I felt like I was choking in the cluttered room, hopeless and lost. Outside I could breathe and feel the clarity."

Take a few mintues to see what kinds of clutter you are tolerating:
  • no garbage can in the laundry room for the lint
  • junk mail
  • piles of twisted cords and you don't know what they're for
  • running out of AA batteries
  • running out of essential kitchen supplies like milk
  • socks that don't match and have no hope of finding a mate
  • too many plastic bags
  • bits and pieces to "something"
  • items to give away but you haven't
  • missing scissors, tape, staplers
  • clothes that don't fit or don't flatter you
  • wobbly chairs and tables
  • too many clothes hangers (ususally tangled)
  • junk drawers
  • expired coupons
  • outdated, expired cosmetics
  • stacks of magazines or papers you'll never find time to read

Tolerating clutter takes up a lot of time and energy, but resolving it can be a quick process. Just choose five items from your personal list and vow to resolve them by Friday. You'll be glad you did!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Twofer Tuesdays

Twofer Tuesday: two organizational tips today on one of my favorite subjects, laundry!

Tip 1: Give each member of your family a mesh lingerie bag (available at Target, etc.) in which to put their dirty socks. This way no socks get lost and you have all the pairs available to fold. Another bonus: no socks stuck inside other pieces of clothing!

Tip 2: Schedule your laundry time in your dayplanner just like an appointment. When you drop off an item to the dry cleaners, they tell you a specific date your item is ready. Treat YOUR laundry the same way. Would you go to a dry cleaner that would clean your clothes when they got around to it or had a slow day? Twice a week is usually sufficient to handle laundry for a family of four.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Safety First Friday

Be sure to store an extra key in a safe but accessible place. Under the doormat or over the door is not a safe place: choose the garage, a rock in the garden, or a specially designed "key hider" sculpture for the garden. You can also give a key to a trusted neighbor who is often home...nothing worse than locking yourself out of your home.

Enjoy the weekend,

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thursday's Thrifty Tips

Everyone is looking to save money in today's economy. Here's a few tips on how to redecorate you home using your own stuff!

1. Take a good look at your artwork. Is it hanging in a great location? You might think about shifting pictures around to keep the room fresh.

2. Hang artwork over a piece of furniture to anchor it. About 3-6 inches above a table top and 8 inches above a sofa or chair looks best.

3. Most people hang their artwork too low--if yours is scooting near the ceiling, hang about 6 inches lower than it currently hangs. You'll be amazed at the difference!