Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Groovy Shaker for Your Baking Soda Cleaner

Say goodbye to toxic old powdered cleansers, and hello to your baking soda in cute shakers! I got this brainstorm last night when I was decluttering a cupboard containing spices and baking supplies. I used the salt shaker, but didn't really need the pepper shaker since I'm a big fan of freshly ground pepper from my trusty pepper mill.

So...I rescued the pepper shaker, let it soak in the sink in some soapy water for a bit, gave it a good scrub and it's now my all purpose baking soda shaker! It just feels better to shake baking soda out this way, instead of from a boring box.

If you have an old pepper shaker that is similarily ignored, bring it back to life as a new addition to your cleaning kit! are some of my favorite shakers for baking soda...(I prefer slightly oversized shakers, so you won't have to be refilling it all the time.)

Okay, your baking soda is beautifully presented - now use it, slobbo darlings! Here are my favorite baking soda tips for cleaning (from the website & this blog):

Baking Soda Uses Database
Baking Soda as a Natural Air Freshener
Baking Soda Carpet Powder Recipe
Use Baking Soda to Clear Clogged Drains
All Purpose Baking Soda Spray Cleaner
Baking Soda for Cleaning the Walls
Baking Soda for Washing Dishes
Baking Soda Crayon Stain Removal Tip

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Few Survey Responses - What Area of YOUR Home Needs Organizing/Decluttering Help

A while ago I posted a question about organizing and delucttering and what specific areas of YOUR homes you had the most AGGRAVATION with! Here are a few of the replies:

  • The Kitchen - Kathleen wrote: "Hi, my number one problem area is the kitchen. Keeping track of food is the pits-expiration dates, freshness, food not gotten into the refrigerator, old stuff rotting in the back of the refrigerator, etc. My daughter sits in front of the refrigerator on weekends and tosses stuff. I have started to try this, but need a backbone to remember to do this. HELP!"
  • The Bedroom - Naomi wrote: "My biggest place for clutter seems to be the bedroom. If I want to remove things and can't decide whether to throw out, give away or keep, then everything seems to end up in the bedroom. I suppose the biggest problem is my indecision about what to do with things not being used at the moment.
    Anyway I much appreciate your column. "

Others mentioned the bathroom, home office and kids rooms. SOOO....I'll be trying to help you with occasional organizing tips for these areas that you're the most frustrated with! And that includes MY ongoing battles with tiny closets -- meaning, I need to continue to tackle my own closet clutter. :) Keep reading the blog regularly for more updates on organizing, and thanks for your responses, everyone!

Happy Slob's Housecleaning - Making Your Cleaning Bursts More Effective

So, you've read my book The Happy Slob's Guide to Housecleaning. You're pumped up, you're ready to clean like you've never cleaned before, you're dedicated to this new routine of cleaning. Hurray!

But...maybe after a while you find that you'd like to increase the effectiveness of your cleaning bursts. Lately, I've been thinking the exact same thing! And so I've made some tweaks to help all of us get the maximum 'punch' out of our morning and evening cleaning bursts.

Here's what I've done to make MY cleaning bursts have more BANG:

  • Create a list of cleaning burst essential activities. When you're first starting out, do as the book says - just tidy and clean whatever you possibly can in the time you've allotted for yourself. But, as you become (ahem!) a cleaning burst PRO, you'll want to take the cleaning up a level or three - make a list of essential activities for morning and evening cleaning bursts.

Here's what MY Cleaning Burst Essentials List looks like:

AM Cleaning Burst (I do it first thing in the morning!)

  1. Wipe down surfaces in kitchen
  2. Deal with the dishes (meaning - unload the dishwasher from the night before, and make sure the sink is empty of all dishes)
  3. Make the bed
  4. If time leftover - pick up in bedroom/living areas - wherever needs it most

This works great for me, because the night before I've already done another cleaning burst before I head to bed. So...moral of the story is -- for easier, less hectic and stressful mornings, make sure to do your evening cleaning burst!

My PM Cleaning Burst Routine

  1. Deal with the dishes - again, that means making sure that the sink is emptied out entirely. Pots that were left to soak after supper are scrubbed and set to airdry on the countertop. (And then put away in the morning.)
  2. Wipe down the surfaces in the kitchen AND bathroom. This sounds like such a minor thing, but having nice clean surfaces makes the whole room feel utterly lovely. And it takes (honestly!) just a few minutes to do. My cleaner of choice? Our Very Vinegar spray recipe - which is so easy you can hardly call it a 'recipe' at all! (Just pour a few tablespoons of white vinegar into a clean spray bottle. Add a few drops of natural liquid dish soap and then top off the container with water. Shake to combine and you're ready to go!)
  3. Sweep
  4. Clean cat litter & put on the Lampe Berger to destroy the stinky lingering odors. (What would I do without my Lampe Berger??)
  5. Throw out 5 things (decluttering). I honestly don't do this every single day, but I try to as often as possible, to keep clutter under control.
  6. Check garbages/recycling

That's it! So, your assignment for today is to make your own Cleaning Burst Essentials list, and then stick it on your fridge or a bulletin board - wherever you'll be able to easily refer to it when you're in the middle of cleaning.

And remember...this list will take some time to tweak and develop. I started with a different list, but then tweaked my own cleaning burst list until it did all that I needed it to. It's just a cleaning burst list, not rocket science - so have fun with it, adjust it, and don't stress about it. :)