Cleaning Tips and Tricks, Home Organization, Unclutter Your Life

How to Get Your Kitchen Clean and Organized

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Is storage space at a premium in your kitchen?  Do you dread cleaning the kitchen?  Or, like I used to be – dread even cooking in your kitchen?  I will admit, I was all of these about 18 months ago.  We had a small galley kitchen in the condo so I had to try to use every nook and cranny for storage.  Sometimes I even forgot I had items because they were stored in the utility room on the lower floor.   Now, we are in our forever home, with a BIGGER kitchen, I have lots of cabinet space.  Does it mean, I am totally organized?  LOL!  Definitely not but I do have a cabinet or two that is empty.  I have lots more counter space and do love spending time cooking.

Here are some tips to help you get and stay organized in your kitchen – regardless of the size…

1. Use Magnets:  Are you using your cabinet doors as a clever way to give yourself additional storage? I honestly never remember this one.. I have LOTS of cabinets and even though there is lots of counter space, I would like to “hide” some of the kitchen utensils.  Cabinets are a great to store knives so you don’t have to use a knife block or take up counter space… just make sure you use a strong enough magnet to keep the knives in place.  I think this will be one of hubby’s next projects – to install some for me.

2. Labeling System:  Labels are a great way to help you organize your kitchen or for that matter any space in your home. It takes the guesswork out of where to put things when others want to help or are looking for something.  Labeled cubes have been the saving grace in our new house.  It allows hubby to look for things by me simply telling him which closet and which cube to look in.  Putting things away is easy for everyone when they can see where things are supposed to go. Your labeling system could be as simple as plastic storage containers with small a labels OR clear containers so people can see what is inside.  Maybe it is plastic crates with labels or even just a piece of tape to say what goes in it.

3. Add Storage By Hacking “Unopenable” Drawers:  We all have those “fronts” in our kitchen, right?  I had them in the condo and this would have been a great way to gain some counter space.  Unopenable drawers look like a drawer but don’t have a handle.  What if you could make use of those un-openable drawers beneath the sink or above a counter?  We have sink drawers in our new kitchen. I was surprised I actually use them and remember things are there.  LOL.  I keep the bottle brush and extra scrubbies.

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4.  Use A Tension Rod To Hang Cleaning Products.  A tension rod can be a great way for storing and organizing spray bottles so you have additional space in an otherwise cramped under-sink cabinet.  I think I would put it a little further back in the closet so I had more space in the front.

5. Clean Your Blender Quickly.  Do you love smoothies but hate cleaning the blender?  Do you use your blender to chop up the garlic?  Here is a quick cleaning tip: pour warm water in it with a tiny bit of dish soap. Put the lid on the blender and turn it on. Now it’s all clean! Just be sure to give it a quick rinse after to get rid of the soap residue.

6. Clean Your Stainless Steel Appliances With Flour.  Tired of chemical in your cleaning products?  Here is a tip from Mother Nature Network. Just apply some dry flour onto a microfiber cloth and buff it into your stainless steel appliance, sink or counter. Then rinse it off and the surface should shine like new.  If you are looking to clean your stainless steel pans………try heating some water with vinegar in the pan.  Use a wood spoon or non-stick spatula to loosen the stuck on mess.  Let it cool and then wash as usual.  I hate to admit I use this trick more often than I want to.  LOL

What are some of YOUR best tips for keeping your kitchen clean and organized?  Share them with us.  Have an Epic day!

Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Want to Get to the Next Level?

Do you know how to get to the next level?  No, I am not talking about an online or video game.  I mean if you are striving to reach another level in your business or in life…. Can you guess what it is?

If you said “tell yourself the truth“, you are right!  The funny thing is, most people don’t take the first step.  Why?  Because it is hard.  But the truth is the only thing which will empower you to breakthrough to your highest potential.  Whether the truth is about a bad habit, or the truth about a relationship, or the truth about your circumstances, acknowledging it is freeing.

The next step after facing the truth takes Courage.

I want you to think about the last time you said the phrase

I hate to admit, but _________________________.

We have all said it at some point.  Perhaps you are okay in your career or business, but there is a nagging feeling it is time for a change.  Been there, done that!  Maybe a relationship looks great from the outside, but you know something isn’t quite right.  Or maybe someone has pointed out a problem with your child, and you are defensive because you did your best to teach them,  but if you’re honest, you’ve noticed the same problem.

The reality is this little a phrase allows you to notice the smallest grain of truth just might be surrounded by many positives. It is time to embrace the truth.  It is a chance to address what needs to be addressed.  It is the chance to be open enough to ask for help, find a creative solution, and let go of perfectionism in favor of true happiness.  Remember it is progress NOT perfection we are aiming for.

In order for us to move to the next level, we have to be willing to face the challenges before us instead of ignoring them.  We need to step out of our comfort zone so we can stretch and grow. In the process, we will develop courage and wisdom which will take you to a new a new level.

So what is the grain of truth holding you back in an area where you want to thrive and grow?

For me, it is the lack of confidence combined with the brain fog which keeps me from stepping out of my comfort zone.  For me, the sentence would be:

I hate to admit it, but I still play the comparison game.

UGH!  An ugly truth but I am so ready to take the step to change it.  So, how did you complete the sentence?  Once, you have stated the truth, have the courage to ask yourself these questions:

  1. What next step could you take to address this challenge?
  2. How can you be the bravest version of yourself today in your creative work and life?

For me, it is to stop doing what everyone else is doing and do what works for me.

Maybe for you, it’s showing up to your laptop, sitting down, doing work, and sticking with it even when it feels scary and tough.

Maybe for you, it’s saying no to distracting things which keep you from building the impactful, fulfilling, and sustainable life you’re yearning for.

Maybe for you, it’s finally getting started on a new project, podcast, book, or product but you’ve been too afraid to pursue.  For me it is putting myself out there with videos.

Maybe for you, it’s replying to an email, returning a phone call, or saying yes to a coffee date which may lead to an exciting new opportunity.

Maybe for you, it’s reaching out to a friend, coach, or mentor, asking them for help, giving yourself permission to not walk this journey alone anymore.

Fear!  It isn’t going to disappear overnight. Fear will always be part of the journey.  The challenge (one of the biggest for me) isn’t to become fearless.  The challenge is to live taking action towards our goals even when fear is along for the ride.  It is stomping on those inner gremlins letting them know who is boss.

I challenge you to join me, in asking yourself every morning how you can be the bravest version of yourself today?   And when the “day” seems to overwhelming and fear, and self-doubt, creep in ask yourself – how can you be the bravest version of yourself in this moment? What small courageous step can you take in the direction of the work and life you are longing for?

Share your “statement” with us.  I would love to celebrate and encourage you along the way!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Cleaning Tips and Tricks, Home Organization

Declutter and Organize the Playroom

The holiday season is moving in and when Belinda was little, it used to mean a time to declutter and purge her toys.  When she was little, she had the toy box my dad made for me when I was little.  It had a “secret compartment”.  Actually, it had a board halfway down to make it easier to reach things.  So, the toys which were on the bottom of the toy box were placed under the board.  As time went on, those toys were forgotten about so it was easy to move them out.

Here are some tips which might help you get the kids ready for a declutter and purge project with the focus on cleaning out and not getting new stuff!

1. START THE CONVERSATION

Start by watching what the kids are playing with and what they aren’t.  You will notice some things have not moved off the shelves or out of the coset for awhile.  Once you have an idea of what those toys are, start casually mentioning it might be time to let those go.  As a social worker, Belinda loved to help me at work by giving things to other kids who may not have things so it was always a great way to get her to clean out the toys.

Was I always right on which ones should go? NO!  There were times when I thought something should go and she had a totally different opinion.  As a result, her level of attachment to something made a difference too on whether it went out the door.

2. GO IT ALONE FIRST

There were days when I would start to declutter on my own in her room.  I got rid of things which really needed to go (think: broken toys, unsafe things or worn out, trash, etc.).   I didn’t get rid of things she was really attached to but more things I knew she would never miss.  Remember the toys under the “secret compartment” or at the bottom of a toy box.

3. ADD THE KIDS

On a set morning of cleaning, or as Belinda would say “not attached, don’t have a purpose – mom is tossing” – I would ask for her help.  She knew, most of the time, what’s missing pieces, or hasn’t worked for a while, or what she is not using anymore, etc.  As much as she hated cleaning, she did like an organized room since it wasn’t very big.

Depending on the age of your kids, this process can be different.  If your kids are really small, you may want to go through things yourself and only ask them when something is borderline whether to keep or toss. As they get older, they might help for a little bit and them move on to playing or something since attention spans vary.  Be ready to be flexible with your kids since each one will process things differently.

4. DONATE AND/OR SELL!

This was always the fun part.  Belinda liked to share her things with other kids who may not have as much or better yet, sell them at a local yard sale for some pocket money.  Times have changed and now things are sold on Craiglist or in Facebook yard sales or maybe even the occasional garage sale.  I will admit, my favorite is donating to the local church rummage sale or homeless shelter.  Check out the various options in your area and let the kids help especially if you are donation them to a local mission or organization.

5. TIME TO ORGANIZE

This was when we had the most fun.  It usually meant new paint for Belinda’s room and as she got older, she got to pick the colors.  Then it was all about making things easily accessible – to get things out and to put them away.  All this while making the very best of a small space.  We did closet organizers, and a loft bed which left lots of floor space to work with.

I really wish I had know about Thirty One back then.  From Your Way Cubes to baskets to totes and more.  A great way to organize things with practical, fashionable and durable products.

Here are some ideas:

    

Your Way Cube: Each Cube comes with side handles for ease of transport and either a clear PVC window or chalkboard panel on the side so you’ll always know what’s inside. Add a Your Way Cube Lid to allow for space-saving stacking and to protect items inside. Cubes are all collapsible when not in use. Holds up to 35 lbs.

Hang-It Pocket Organizer: This is a convenient catch-all for all the loose odds and ends. Use it to hold pencils, pens, staplers, paper clips, file folders and calculators in the office; note pads, mail, coupons, keys, batteries and flashlights in the kitchen; or gloves, hats, pet products, ice scrapers, shoe horns and more in the mud room.

Stand Tall Bin:  With 2 exterior handles and a sturdy frame, it’s easy to carry anywhere and capable of holding up to 50 lbs. Put one in each of your kids’ rooms for laundry or to store toys, games, play clothes or sports equipment, or place it in your guestroom to store extra towels, bedding, blankets and other useful items.

What is your favorite organizational tool works for you?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Cleaning Tips and Tricks, Unclutter Your Life

Clean Your Makeup Brushes

We are in between holidays – Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It is a great time to clean your makeup brushes.  I don’t use makeup a lot BUT I am learning the importance of cleaning them on a regular basis.

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Cleaning your makeup brushes can be a bit of a chore, but it’s vital not only for a flawless application but hygiene reasons too. Here are some of the best tips on how to clean your makeup brushes I found online.

  • Washing your brushes should be a regular part of your beauty routine, as when you use your brushes, bits of makeup, oil, dirt and even bacteria get trapped in the bristles – skipping cleaning can often lead to clogged pores and spots too.
  • Not only will cleaning your tools help keep bacteria off your face but it will also condition those expensive brushes – if you look after them they should last a very long time.

Professional make-up artist, Louise Young shares the best way to keep large powder brushes super soft is by using a conditioner will keep them super soft.

Here is a STEP-BY-STEP on how to wash your brushes:

  1. Rinse the bristles under lukewarm water, and make sure you don’t get water into the handle of the brush as this will loosen the glue over time.
  2. Squirt a small amount of brush cleanser/gentle shampoo in your hand and use a swirling motion to lather up the product into the brush. Remember to keep the brush tilted downwards at all times.
  3. Run through the water, and once the water is running clean you’ve successfully removed all of the product out of the brush.
  4. Then gently press on the bristles with your fingers to release excess water.
  5. Lay the brush or brushes flat on a towel on the edge of a table overnight – always lay them flat so water doesn’t get into the brushes handle.

I know, now the question is “what products can I use to clean the brushes?”.  There are many cleaners on the market, and if you have a fav company/product, be sure to check with your consultant for their recommendation.  Here are some inexpensive and probably already in your home clean solutions:

  1. You can use unscented bar soap, dish detergent, or baby soap mixed with lukewarm water to clean your brushes.
  2. For extra cake-y brushes, use a dab of almond or olive oil to break down the residue before you wash.

Now, cleaning your brushes is a big help to getting rid of bacteria BUT did you know bacteria lingers in your make-up.  How many of you have products older than 6 months or a year you use?

Do you know the rule for hanging onto make-up products? It is all about the water content – I had no idea!  The drier the product e.g. powder, the longer its shelf life. Here are the products to be more cautious of:

  • Mascara & liquid eyeliner – The dark damp environment and frequent contact with eyes makes this high risk for infection.  Throw both away after 3 months
  • Foundation – This is a typical product to cause problems. We often use our hands to apply and then put them back into the bottle. We may be covering up blemishes which easily transmit infection. Bases often start to separate after a few months and lose efficacy, so change your fluid base every six months
  • Powder & Concealer – These will last longer but make sure to keep cases closed and lids on. Once exposed to air products may start to dry and lose their consistency, also airborne bacteria may also be a problem
  • Eye & Lip Pencils – These will last between 1 and 2 years but be careful using them if you have a cold sore or eye infection. Never share lip or eye products and be careful with make-up sponges. Frequently clean and sharpen pencils to stay protected.

Do you have a tip on how to clean your brushes? Or are you in the beauty business and have a product to help clean brushes?  Please share below.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Cleaning Tips and Tricks, Clear the Clutter

How To Keep Your Car Clean and Organized

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The first day of September AND just before the start of a LONG holiday weekend.  Some may be getting ready for a road trip while others are getting their car cleaned out and ready for a new school year.

Here are some tips that may keep your car clean and tidy….

1. Put cupcake wrappers in cup holders for easy clean-up.  Use the silicone ones – they fit perfectly in the cup holders.  Easy clean-up and inexpensive.

2. TWO OPTIONS for keeping food on laps and off the floor.  Either a shower caddy OR a Double Duty Caddy.

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3. Keep groceries intact with the help of totes.

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4. Forget a $30 phone holder, use a rubber band instead.5. Use a cheap paint brush to dust between vents.

6. Use a squeegee and a water bottle to get rid of unwanted animal hair in your backseats.

7. Sprinkle baking soda on your seats before vacuuming to get rid of any lingering smells.

8. Use an old toothbrush to remove gunk from seats, on dashboard or from cup holders.

9.  Need an easy “small” trash bag for the car? Use the Littles Carry All with those little handle bags that you get from the dollar store or Walmart (to clean up after puppies or put diapers in). Two mini binder clips to hold the bag in place. The handles are great just grab it tie it up and throw it out-nice clean car.d0c426bd10124e1683237f66eadccd74

What is your best tip for keeping your car clean and tidy while you are playing mom taxi?  Share with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!