How to Do Everything You Need to Do

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So…how can you do everything you need to do when you have a completely unrealistic work load?  Find answers at Oprah.com…

If you’re trying jam 20 hours worth of tasks into a 10-hour day, it’s going to be nearly impossible to stay organized. Who has time to clean up?

Solution: Track yourself for a week, noting everything you get done, as well as what you don’t. Then take a hard look to see what tasks on your list are superfluous. If everything must get done, get help. Consider delegating tasks to other family members, or hiring an outside service.

Source: http://www.oprah.com/home/Discover-Your-Clutter-Problem/

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To Level 2 and beyond!

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Congratulations!  You have successfully completed Level 1 of spring cleaning — according to Oprah.com.  Today we move on to Level 2 . . .

Level 2: External Realities

These are environmental forces that limit how organized you can be. Recognizing them empowers you to address the true source of the problem, and stop feeling like there’s something wrong with you. Identify the source(s) of your disorganization and use the solutions below to put them into perspective.

The “Other” Person

There’s nothing more frustrating than having your organizing efforts undermined or disregarded by someone you live or work with.
Solution: Whether it’s your spouse, child, roommate, co-worker, or employer, appeal to their own priorities by finding out what the clutter is costing them—your spouse may hate being late for work everyday, your child may be frustrated by losing game pieces, your boss may be embarrassed in front of visiting clients. Design systems together so you both have ownership—and they’ll be more motivated to put things away.

Source: http://www.oprah.com/home/Discover-Your-Clutter-Problem/

Does Organizing Make You Yawn?

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Does organizing make you yawn?  Hopefully not — after reading today’s blog!

Organizing Is Boring
Lets’ face it—organizing and putting things away everyday is a dull, repetitive chore.

Solution: Make it more appealing and fun by adding a sense of personal style. Get containers you love instead of withering baskets, broken-filing cabinets and leftover moving boxes. Don’t underestimate the power of pizzazz—it can make a big difference in whether you feel inspired to use and maintain your organizing system.

Source: http://www.oprah.com/home/Discover-Your-Clutter-Problem/

Up the Ladder We Go?

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Today we continue our April blog series – Spring Cleaning Tips!  Enjoy these suggestions from Oprah.com . . .

Storage Is Inconvenient
Is it too much of an ordeal to put things away? If you have to go climb a ladder, move a piece of furniture out of the way, or cross the length of your house just to put something away—you’ll never do it.

Solution: Store things where you use them to make them easily accessible. For example, if you do your bills in the kitchen, store your financial files and calculator there, not in the spare bedroom upstairs. Look for where your piles are and create storage there.

Source: http://www.oprah.com/home/Discover-Your-Clutter-Problem/

Spring Cleaning – More Stuff Than Space

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What do you do when you’re spring cleaning and you end up having more stuff than space?  Check out this helpful hint from Oprah.com…

More Stuff Than Space

If your closets, drawers, cabinets and shelves are all packed full—and you still have lots of surface piles—you’ve got more stuff than storage space.

Solution: You’ve got two options: (1) Lighten your load, or (2) Add more storage space. Make sure you’re using the space you do have as efficiently as possible. Find hidden pockets of storage between cabinet shelves spaced too far apart, under the hanging clothes in your closet, on the insides of closet doors. Maximize vertical wall space and look for dual function furniture (end tables, coffee tables and ottomans) items that feature storage.

Source: http://www.oprah.com/home/Discover-Your-Clutter-Problem/

Spring Cleaning – De-Clutter Time!

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Oprah.com has provided us with more helpful tips that will help us de-clutter our homes!

Items Have No Home

Simply put, you can’t put things away if there’s no place to put them. If items are piles all over the place, it is likely that you never designated a particular spot for them. In other words, the item has no “home.”

Solution: Take the time to assign each item a single, consistent home, e.g. hats always go in this basket; scissors always go in this drawer. Label everything so you’ll always remember where it belongs and easily find it when you need it.

Source: http://www.oprah.com/home/Discover-Your-Clutter-Problem/

Spring Cleaning – Living Room, Family Room and Dining Room

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Okay, so you’ve cleaned the bathroom, bedrooms and kitchen.  Now what?

2 P.M.–5 P.M.: Living Room, Family Room and Dining Room

Dust ceiling fans. Donna Smallin, author of The One-Minute Cleaner, prefers an extendable duster with a microfiber head that bends to a 90-degree angle so she doesn’t have to get on a ladder. It’s also useful for the tops of bookcases and shelves.

Vacuum and wipe walls and ceilings.

Care for your couch. Sofas and upholstered chairs get tons of use. Yet, says Sim Fern, co-founder of Mod Restoration, a furniture-repair shop in Brooklyn, some people never clean them. Just because you don’t see stains doesn’t mean there aren’t dust mites present (they feed on skin flakes shed by humans and animal dander). Many Lowe’s and Home Depot stores rent upholstery-cleaning machines or carpet-cleaning machines with upholstery wands, which will give your sofa and chairs a deep clean.

Wash your lightbulbs. Give them a wipe with a damp microfiber cloth, since a dirty bulb emits 20 percent less light.

Clean window treatments and wash the insides of windows.

Clean and dust electronics. Spray compressed air into crevices. Then, moving from top to bottom, use microfiber or electrostatic cloths. Clean underneath speakers, stereos, computers, DVD players and TVs too. Wipe away from ventilation areas so you don’t push dust back in.

Sweep out your fireplace, storing unused logs.

Clean the carpets.

Order pizza for dinner.

Source: http://www.oprah.com/home/Spring-Cleaning-Checklist-Room-by-Room_1/4

On to the Kitchen!

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Look at all you’ve accomplished in your morning!  Cleaning the bathroom, bedrooms and now on to the kitchen (better grab a quick bite to eat before you start)!

12:30 P.M.–2 P.M.: Kitchen

Clean the refrigerator and freezer. Empty the contents, store them in a cooler, turn off the fridge, and let the shelves and drawers come to room temperature before you wash them, since glass and ceramic parts could crack if they come into contact with hot water when they are cold. (You can move to the next task while you’re waiting.) Once they’ve warmed up, wipe with a mixture of 2 tablespoons baking soda and a quart of hot water. Rinse and dry. Go over the door seals with hot water and mild dishwashing liquid, and pluck out crumbs and other debris. Dry them well.

Degrease cooking appliances. Take off stove grates and other removable parts, and scrub them with soapy steel wool pads (if the grease just won’t come off, try letting them sit overnight in an airtight bag with a quarter cup of ammonia; the next day, wipe them with a clean cloth). Clean the oven. To get stuck-on food particles off the inside of the microwave, put a microwave-safe bowl of water with some lemon juice inside and heat it to boiling for 2 or 3 minutes. The steam will loosen gunk, and the lemon’s acid will help lift grease.

Clean window treatments and wash the insides of windows.

Wash surfaces and cabinets. The tops of cabinets and the fridge may be sticky from grease, so a solution of warm water and dishwashing liquid will work best. You can also use the mixture in drawers and on shelves (and spray antibacterial cleanser inside the cabinet where you store trash). Pay attention to the utensils drawer and the pantry, since they collect the most crumbs.

Sweep, vacuum and mop floors.

Source: http://www.oprah.com/home/Spring-Cleaning-Checklist-Room-by-Room_1/3

Spring Cleaning in 8 Hours? cont…

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We’re back with more tips from Oprah.com!  Yesterday we gave you tips of what to do from 9-10 am.  Now we’re on to the next time segment…

10 A.M.–12:30 P.M.: Bedrooms

Vacuum and wipe walls and ceilings, and dust all surfaces. Pay special attention to switch plates and the outside edges of doors, where people tend to grab.

Let it breathe. A good airing will reduce the allergens and germs in mattresses, even if you can’t lug them outside. Follow the advice of the Victorian era’s go-to guide, Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management: “Throw the bed open, by taking off the clothes; open the windows (except in rainy weather), and leave the room to air.” In Mrs. Beeton’s day, housemaids left the windows open for a half hour, but if it isn’t too cold, a few hours is even better.

Head to the washing machine. Once all the linens—sheets, pillowcases, quilts, duvet covers, mattress pads, dust ruffles, shams—are off the beds, wash them in order of what goes on the bed first (i.e., start with dust ruffles and mattress pads; end with shams) so you can put them back on the beds as they come out of the dryer and not have to worry about them sitting in a heap and getting wrinkled. If you’re switching over to lighter quilts, wash the winter bedding before putting it away, because moths and other insects are attracted to body oil, perspiration and perfume.

Clean window treatments. For heavy drapes, use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum, or have them dry-cleaned; light drapes can go in the dryer on the fluff cycle with a dryer sheet.

Wash mirrors and the insides of windows.

Shampoo or steam-clean wall-to-wall carpets and area rugs. Some manufacturers will void the warranty if you can’t prove that you’ve had your carpets professionally cleaned every year. Either buy a professional-grade carpet cleaner (which costs around $400) or rent one (many supermarkets now offer this service).

Source: http://www.oprah.com/home/Spring-Cleaning-Checklist-Room-by-Room_1/2

Spring Cleaning in 8 Hours?

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We’re here to provide you with your very own spring-cleaning checklist for every room — and you can do it all in 8 hours.  We found these tips on Oprah.com and could hardly wait to share them with you…

9 A.M.–10 A.M.: Bathroom

Vacuum and wipe the walls and ceilings. If you clear them annually of the almost imperceptible grime that builds up, then you won’t have to deal with the impossible-to-remove kind that can accumulate if they’re left untouched for a few years. Vacuum first, using the brush attachment. Then, wipe them with all-purpose cleaner, which is fine for painted walls. Don’t forget the wall that’s behind you every morning when you do your hair and makeup; it could be coated in hairspray, perfume or other beauty products.

Toss any throw rugs into the washing machine.

Wash mirrors and the insides of windows. Use microfiber cloths (they won’t leave lint).

Spray and soak. Steve Mulloy, director of housekeeping at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, recommends rubbing strong cleaning agents into shower walls, tubs, floors and sinks and then leaving to handle a task in another room. Fifteen or 20 minutes later (you can go move the rugs from the washer to the dryer), come back and rinse everything from the top down, starting with the showerhead. Take the same tack with the toilet, moving from the top of the tank to the rim, bowl and base. And don’t use the cloths you used in the bathroom anywhere else before laundering them in very hot water.

Rinse the floor. After you’ve let the cleanser soak, as mentioned above, wipe the floor with a water-soaked mop on your way out.

Source: http://www.oprah.com/home/Spring-Cleaning-Checklist-Room-by-Room_1/1