Spring is here, and it’s time to think about spring cleaning and decluttering! Let’s adapt to the mindset of – out with the old, in with the new!
With the sun shining, the longer days, the singing of the birds and the blossoming flowers, it’s the time of year when we’re all ready to relive. I’m very grateful to spring for finally showing its face! It has been a rather hard winter, and it seems that we have passed the dark and stormy days of that season.
Time to Plan and Prepare
Now is the time for planning and preparation, time for dreams, and time to take steps towards them.
First, we must clear the way to our dreams. We must free ourselves from the darkness of winter and, literally, make room for the new things we want in our lives. It is the natural cycle of the seasons, and spring is the season of rebirth, growth, and expansion.
Now that you’ve opened up to the power to free the old to make room for the new, I have some Spring tips to help you declutter and organize your home.
Here is a list to help you start decluttering your home from room to room.
Declutter Your Home
Decluttering the Garage, Basement, and Attic
It is said that spaces like your basement reflect the subconscious. It is these hidden areas that we often throw things that we no longer need but do not have the strength to face or eliminate.
With these areas, it’s best to start with one place and one element at a time, making sure to complete it first before moving on to another. For example, if you are going to do your garage, I suggest you start with the workbench area first before tackling your storage containers.
Get Rid of Excess or Unused Tools or Instruments
Do you ever struggle to find that one tool you need? It’s a sign you need to declutter your toolbox!
Chances are, you own more than at least one of the same tool. I understand that decluttering your workbench is a difficult thing to do, especially for men, but it’s even harder when you have to dig good and hard around the extras to find the one tool you need.
Get rid of the clutter by minimizing how many tools you actually need and how many you use. Prepare a small tool bag for the car, one for the garbage drawer at home and then carefully weed things out to keep on your workbench.
Dispose of Old Paint, Oil Cans, Containers, Newspapers, and Boxes
Some places accept donations of paint, oil, and chemicals that they check and then give to someone else who could actually use them. Keep only a limited number of boxes and newspapers if you use them for projects or packing. Once the area or shelf is full, do not store more than the assigned amount.
Sell Your Old Exercise Equipment
If you haven’t already used it, you won’t use it. Go for a walk instead! Going outside for a walk will help you get some exercise, more fresh air and will give you a more pleasant-looking basement that’s not cluttered with unused equipment.
Declutter Your Home Office
Everyone has a place to keep documents. Even in this age period without paper and digital material, it seems that there is still a load of paper that enters our lives, and that needs to be dealt with regularly. If you continue to do so, you will be grateful later.
It is necessary to bring together all the paperwork together in one place, so go around and get all the documents together. Then separate them into the categories such as “reading/files,” “read/recycle,” “read/do something” etc. Try not to get distracted and do them until you have decluttered your documents.
Declutter the Bedrooms
Be ruthless with decluttering your clothes. This is an especially hard one to do too! Throw everything away that is old, torn (and that you know you’re not going to fix), that you don’t wear, is obsolete or too small.
Do the same with accessories like jewelry, bags, scarves, shoes, and ties. Be picky! So many of these things are outdated, or you are saving for “just in case.” Go ahead and get rid of them! Many of them no longer fit into your lifestyle, and you need to face that fact and get rid of them.
Remove anything in your bedroom that you don’t use for sleeping and dressing. Do not use the bedroom as a spare room. Your bedroom is particularly essential while decluttering your home.
In decluttering your home, you will find you make mental room for yourself to take on the tasks that are a high priority. Decluttering is like giving your brain a cleanse, and it’s completely worth it and is incredibly freeing!
Please share in the comments: Which of these decluttering tips are you going to start implementing this spring?
Do you know anyone that has not
been touched by cancer?
The big C. I can honestly say
that I wish I knew not one person living with cancer. I believe that cancer has touched us in some
way, a family member, a friend, an acquaintance, a co-worker.
I first heard of Cleaning for A Reason ten years ago while cleaning at the Cancer Support Community of Greater Philadelphia, formerly known as Gilda’s Club, located in Warminster, PA. Giving back to my community has always been of importance to me.
As a single mother of four, I understand the immense responsibility and work it takes to maintain a clean and comfortable home. Over the past twenty plus years cleaning for my community, my customers have become like family. We share our struggles, joys, and milestones with each other. We not only celebrate our successes but also empathize with each other’s hardships. This is why I have partnered with Cleaning For A Reason.
Moreover, Cleaning For A Reason ensures those suffering from cancer and undergoing treatment are able to have a clean, comfortable home and environment. They are able to focus on their recovery while we focus on their home.
In fact, many of my clients that
we have served through Cleaning For A Reason have stated that having a clean
home not only takes care of the physical aspects of recovery but also the
heart, mind, and soul.
The nonprofit organization
originally started with a phone call from a woman with cancer to Bucket and
Bows Maid Service located in Texas. That
woman could not afford the service and hung up.
Debbie Sardone, the owner of that maid service, then started Cleaning
For A Reason.
Additionally, Cleaning for A Reason initially provided free home cleaning services to women across America and Canada. This year Cleaning for A Reason has opened up their services to women, children, and men. We believe that no one should face cancer alone and until there is a cure, there is Cleaning for A Reason. To date 33,000 women have been served, 1200 participating maid services and 11,000,000 donated house cleaning.
Being part of this movement and non-profit gives me great satisfaction to serve many people struggling with this illness. Not only have many of my customers undergone cancer treatments, but I have witnessed many friends and family struggle with it as well.
PLEASE HELP US GIVE THE GIFT OF A
CLEAN HOME TO MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN NEED!
Lastly, if you are interested in donating to this cause and being a part of a movement to support those battling cancer, please consider making a donation to Cleaning For A Reason.
As a thank you for your support and donation, your name will be entered to win a Top to Bottom Deluxe Cleaning valued up to $500.00 with your minimum pledge of $10.00. Kindly make your donation at the button above. Winner must reside within 15 miles of Warminster, PA. This campaign will run from April 12, 2019 thru Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12, 2019.
Every once in a while we look at our homes and think: this really needs to be flipped up! Whether that be changing up the furniture, rearranging everything, or just giving it a thorough clean, we just want a change. Reorganizing your home is a great excuse to declutter and finally cycle out the things you no longer need (and why not throw a deep clean into the mix?).
Having a clean home is one thing, but an organized one helps you increase your productivity and be more effective for certain tasks. In fact, studies have shown that cluttered homes tend to cause stress, anxiety and even depression. A study conducted by CELF from 2001 to 2005, which looked at several family homes, concluded that “the American workplace is intense and demanding; when we come home, we want material rewards”, “It’s difficult to find time to sort, organize and manage these possessions. Thus, our excess becomes a visible sign of unaccomplished work that constantly challenges our deeply ingrained notions of tidy homes and elicits substantial stress.”
With spring just around the corner, it’s a great time to start getting rid of clutter! We thought about a few tips that are really useful when you’re going through the process of decluttering your home. Here they are!
What’s Your Goal
To begin, it’s always a great idea to identify the reason that you want to declutter and re-organize your space. Do you want some spaces to be more effective? Do you want to dispose of items you don’t really use, or do you want to start living a more minimalist lifestyle? Think about which benefits decluttering will bring to you so you can have a plan in mind and complete the task in such a way that it’ll have the exact result you were looking for.
What’s Your Plan
To really get to that goal you have to think about how you’ll do it, the best guess is to work in one space at a time. Think about which parts of your home need the most work and which ones are more important to you. Once you have a good idea, you can start tackling each of them in order of priority. Now to do this, you’ll also need a method.
How Will You Get it Done
There are tons of ways to start tackling decluttering. We’ve heard of the konmari method, going minimal and keeping only what you need, etc. There are many ways to do this, but the simplest is to pull out all the things you have in a certain space (closet, drawer, countertop, coffee table) and then sort it all. To do that, you can sort them in a “three bin” fashion: what you’ll keep, what you’ll donate/gift/sell and what you’ll throw away. Alternatively, you can sort them by category depending on the items and then look through each of them to see which ones you’ll be keeping or disposing of.
We love to use the six-month rule as well, it’s very simple: if you haven’t used it in six months, it’s time for it to go!
What to do with Unwanted Items
When you decide what it is that you want to have out of your house, it’s time to see where those things are going. Anything that is useless or too damaged to be repaired should go in a trash bag. Then, see what could be repaired and decide whether you’d like to keep it after it’s working again. If not, you should put it alongside anything that you would be donating or selling. Remember: someone’s trash is someone else’s treasure.
Reorganize Everything Immediately
Finding the most effective ways for you to organize certain spaces in your home is the best way to maintain order. Look for what best suits you and try to really stick with it, that’s the secret to keep your home how you really want it to! Some of us look for ways to make our spaces more functional, others simply want it to look more put together, and others want to optimize their storage. Depending on what you’re looking for, you should always plan ahead and see if your current systems are effective or if they should be changed.
Implement Long-Lasting Change
It’s one thing to declutter and organize as a single act, but keeping it that way may not always be so easy. Making the lifestyle change to a tidier, scaled down home takes consistent practice. Some recommended reading to help adapt these changes over time are, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and Declutter Your Way to Success, The Key to Organize Your Life by Terri Savelle Foy. These reads will help you maintain the mindset of a decluttered home.
Remember that having fewer things equals less cleaning, it’s in your best interest to only have the essentials. Keep what’s useful and what brings you joy!
This holiday season, I would like to pause and reflect on what I am personally thankful for. As a business owner, life moves pretty fast. It is easy to focus my energy on the next “to do” on my list instead of taking the time to remember why I do it in the first place.
Like most people, I work hard to support my family, who mean everything to me. However, I am so fortunate to also be able to help my community as a business owner.
It is such a blessing to be able to participate in Cleaning For a Reason. It gives me the opportunity to clean for men, women, and children that are battling cancer in our local community. This level of charity would not have been possible without the success of running my own business. So for that, I’m truly thankful. In my opinion, making a difference in people’s lives is why we exist on this earth. Lucky for me, I get to do that each day at Maid For You.
I am also lucky enough to have the best team in the industry by my side. The Maid For You team is some of the most genuine and hard-working people that I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. I’m so thankful each day to have them by my side. They look forward to brightening the days of others every day and continually work to represent our company in the most positive light possible. I’m so incredibly proud of them and blessed to work with them each day.
When all is said and done, my family is the foundation for what I do. My beautiful daughters, Gianna and Olivia, and my amazing sons Anthony and Mario surprise me every day and remind me what is really important in this life. Without them, I could never have made it this far and with them, it only motivates me to keep going.
So, yes, this post was sappy; but it is important to take time out of our hectic lives and remind ourselves what truly matters. My family, employees, and our community are my reasons for getting up in the morning. What are you thankful for this season? Feel free to send me an email telling me your story or share it with the Maid For You team on Facebook!
We aren’t just cleaning; we are cleaning for a reason!
Maid For You is a proud partner of the non-profit organization Cleaning For A Reason; which has been able to provide almost 40 free cleanings for our local cancer patients to date.
House cleaning is not something that goes away or pauses when you get sick. Unfortunately, it continues to pile up and gets increasingly harder to maintain once cancer treatment has started, and energy depletes.
Maid For You is here to help!
Cleaning For A Reason is a non-profit organization founded by Debbie Sardone. Its focus is to give cancer patients a clean home so they can take care of their health and families.
The organization matches people battling with cancer with professional house cleaning services that have pledged to donate free house cleaning to their local cancer patients.
Sardone founded Cleaning For A Reason after receiving a call from a cancer patient asking for an estimate. On an interview withTODAY.com, Sardone told her story. “She said, ‘Maybe I’ll call you when I can afford it,’ and hung up. And that was before Caller ID. I had no way to call her back”.
Right after that, Debbie made the decision that the next time a woman going through cancer treatment needed her home cleaned, she would do it for free.
Debbie shared the story at a professional cleaning convention and many other company owners, big and small, said they wanted to do just the same.
That’s when she finally took it upon herself to make it happen and created Cleaning For A Reason. Currently, the businesses who offer their services do not charge anything to the patients. However, the employees do get paid for their work.
Its an honor for Maid For You to be a part of this organization. So that we can bring happiness and relief to many women in our town, it is a blessing to lighten a load for these patients by relieving some of the burdens of their situation.
“To be able to provide a little light on their darkest days is a feeling unlike any other” – Lisa Ciao, Owner
Currently, there are 1200 maid services associated with Cleaning For A Reason. We only hope to see the number grow! Please share and help us help our community!
You may have heard that putting a dirty sponge in the microwave will sanitize it or get rid of 99.99% of the bacteria in it. If this is the case, we are sorry to say this to you, but this is a huge misconception. Microwaving a dirty sponge will make things worse!
As it turns out, if you try to sanitize your sponge by leaving it to microwave for a few minutes, you’ll do the complete opposite. It only gets rid of the weakest bacteria. The strongest ones will survive and use the newly-found space to propagate and thrive for time to come.
Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?
In fact, sponges are great ecosystems for bacteria to harvest. They are warm, moist, and could potentially be full of nutrients that bacteria can and will live off of.
There are a lot of articles on the topic. However, an article in The New York Times written by Joanna Klein brought the issue to the mainstream. The article’s main focus was on a study done on 14 different kitchen sponges that were previously used for cleaning.
As Klein wrote: “By looking at the DNA and RNA in samples from 14 used sponges that may be as dirty as the one sitting in your sink right now, Markus Egert, a microbiologist at the University of Furtwangen in Germany, and his team identified 362 different species of bacteria living within them. And the scientists were surprised to find how densely microbes occupied such close quarters: About 82 billion bacteria were living in just a cubic inch of space”.
If this isn’t enough to throw you off, we don’t know what will!
Sponges are one of the dirtiest items to find around your house. Surprisingly, many people don’t replace them as often as they should. Here’s a rule of thumb: if it’s smelly, it’s time to do something about it.
It makes sense to desire to replace your sponge quite often. They are the number one cleaning supply most use for cleaning dishes and kitchenware.
In fact, they could even harbor mold or yeast, yuck!
We recommend you swap out certain cleaning utensils regularly to make sure they’re not making things dirtier. But after a while, it may become slowly less and less cost effective. Of course, after some time you’ll have to swap out your sponges no matter what; however, there are ways to stretch their lifespans a bit in harmless ways.
One method that will kill a lot of the bacteria currently living in your sponge is to soak it in water with some bleach. It will get rid of a considerable portion of the bacteria and give you more peace of mind when it comes to using a semi-old sponge for doing the dishes. After this, you may want to soak it in water with lemon juice to deodorize and give it a pleasant smell.
Although this is a good solution to the problem, we don’t recommend you do this all the time. After all, you’ll have to buy new sponges eventually; however, you can stretch some time before the next trip to the store.