Clear the Clutter, Home Organization, Unclutter Your Life

Home Organization Quick Hits

It’s easy to ignore the little spaces in your house when cleaning, after all, out of sight, out of mind, right? But in reality, clutter under your bathroom sinks, in your laundry room or in the trunk of your car can be resolved in minutes with the right combination and sizes of totes, bags, storage bins and caddies.

Check out these “quick hit” home organization solutions which only take a few minutes to complete. All you need are the right small space storage solutions, and we can help with that. Read on!

Shown: Double Duty® Caddy in Tip Top Chevron; Your Way®Rectangle in Tip Top ChevronQuick Fix: Bathroom Organization

Let’s start under the sink with cabinet clutter. Get everything out of there to start and separate the items into groups of how you use them. For example, put all your bath and shower products together, all your towels together, beauty and hair care, etc., then ask yourself:

 

  • How many groups do you have?       
  • How much of each group do you have? 
  • What size containers will I need to hold these items?
  • What type of containers do I need?
    • One with a handle for carrying?
    • One that makes it easy to see what’s inside?
    • One that will fit inside the space comfortably?

Once you have your answers, it’s time to find your storage solutions. We can help! In addition to the products shown above, we recommend:

  • Your Way® Cube for towels, toilet paper rolls, cleaning supplies
  • Tiny Utility Tote for hair accessories, curlers, brushes
  • Littles Carry-All Caddy for small toiletries like toothpaste, eye drops, first aid supplies

 

Shown: Double Duty® Caddy in Tip Top Chevron personalized with Background Initials in True Turquoise.

Next, let’s tackle the jumbled mess on top of the sink. Do you share a bathroom with a roommate, husband or kids? You might need to organize the drawers in your vanity or even the counter space around the sink. While it’s important to have easy access to things, you don’t have to sacrifice counter space to achieve it.

A couple of personalized Double Duty®Caddies or Deluxe Double Duty® Caddies not only help organize toiletries and cosmetics, they help you quickly identify what’s yours. Even if you share your bathroom, you can still have your personal space and belongings neatly organized.

Depending on the size of your counters and drawers, you might want to consider these recommended storage options, too:

 

Shown: Large Utility Tote in Denim Distressed Pebble personalized with Headline Font in Navy Blue; Tiny Utility Tote in Denim Distressed PebbleQuick Fix: Laundry Room Organization

Laundry rooms can become a messy dumping ground for piles of clothes that need sorting. Instead of a family free-for-all of dirty laundry, why not get organized with storage solutions for clothes, detergents, and all your other laundry needs?

Our Large Utility Totes are way better than laundry bags or baskets, because after everything is washed and dried, clothes and be folded neatly, packed, and carried over the shoulder hands-free to their destination.

Need to organize your laundry supplies, too? Try a Tiny Utility Tote or a Medium Utility Tote if you need more space. Have to go somewhere outside your living space to do your laundry? Our unique laundry totes make transporting your clothes and laundry needs easy.

Depending on your needs, we have a bunch of other great laundry storage options for you and your family. Here are a few of our faves:

  • Stand Tall Bin – makes a great easy-carry hamper for any bedroom or bathroom
  • Move It All Bag – ideal for college students or anyone carrying clothes to a laundromat
  • Your Way® Cube – keeps all your laundry products together and easily accessible

 

Shown: Takealong Weekender in Vintage Slate personalized with Large Signature Initial in Caramel; Expanding Travel Case in Vintage Slate with Large Signature Initial in Caramel; Multi Bottle Thermal in Windowpane Plaid; Zipper Pouch in Windowpane Plaid personalized with Headline font in WhiteQuick Fix: Diaper Bag Organization

New moms know the importance of good diaper bags and baby totes. These essentials help keep you organized when you have errands to run and a baby to bring along. Instead of shoving everything you need into one large bag, separate items into small totes and then place those bags into a large tote for easy carrying.

We have a lot of great diaper bag and baby tote options to choose from. Consider these baby organizing solutions for your daily needs:

 

Shown: Large Utility Tote in Charcoal Crosshatch personalized with Modern font in Black; Foldaway Tote in Off to Shop; Quick Cinch Thermal in Buffalo PlaidQuick Fix: Vehicle Trunk Organization

When you have kids who play sports, pets that love the park and lots of places to be, then your car, van, or SUV’s trunk may look like a disaster area. Never fear. We have ideal trunk storage solutions and trunk organizers for your car or SUV.

Our car storage totes help keep grocery bags from tipping over, sports equipment from rolling around and emergency supplies organized and ready for use. Have some other car storage needs in mind? Here are a few more recommendations to help you get organized:

  • Deluxe Utility Tote – our biggest storage tote can handle tools, sporting goods, groceries and more
  • Deluxe Double® Duty Caddy – perfect for holding small tools, flashlights and other emergency needs
  • Your Way® Cube – keep pet toys, car washing supplies, or road trip necessities ready for action

Have questions or need help picking out the perfect organizing solution…… send me a message, I will be happy to help!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Products shown are from Fall 2020 season, available from Sept 1, 2020 to Feb 28, 2021. For more information about product availability, contact your Consultant or go to mythirtyone.com

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel, Unclutter Your Life

Do You Have Passion?

What are you passionate about?

Passion is defined as: a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.

Passion is an emotion which requires action.  Emotions as well as feelings are tough for me since MS.  I have some feelings but emotions tend to be missing which is a struggle. BUT I won’t let it kill my passion!

As I reflect over the years, my passion for things changes based on what is happening in my life.  I have to admit I don’t think I was really passionate about anything until I started volunteering with the South Jersey AIDS Alliance.  That’s when I began to understand what the word passion was all about.  My passion for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS continued for many years (about 13+) and everyone I talked with knew it.  As I left the field of HIV/AIDS and began working for Bethel (a non-profit), my passion became a larger group of underserved populations (the homeless, the underemployed, etc.). To this day, I still do what I can to be an advocate for those who struggle.  These communities will always have a piece of my heart.

When Thirty One entered my life almost 10 years go, another passion found its way into my life.  In the beginning, it was a hobby with just a mere thought it could be more.  When I made the decision to leave Bethel after 7 years due to the long commute (4 hours round-trip daily) and health issues, there was a growing glow of passion for my Thirty One business.  I began to see it as a way to continue to make a difference in the lives of others

Every time I do a party or talk to someone about the company or the products – my passion glows.  The sparks are flamed by my hostesses, my customers and my team.  I LOVE seeing them grow and their passion get fueled by the possibilities this business has for them.  I LOVE solving organizational challenges and the smile it brings.

So, why do I let Satan steal my passion some days?

We have all struggled over the last year as life as we know it has changed to a “new” normal.  I will admit, I saw my passion waiver. I saw my JOY turn to a numbness which made me question everything.  Maybe you know what I mean.  I was letting fear take hold of my life and question my faith.  Nothing was going right in the world.  There were no parties on my calendar.  I was afraid to ask people to order or even join my team.  I spent a lot of time in prayer, reflecting on whether or not I wanted to live my life in fear, even continue in my business or if I wanted to enjoy life.  Once I made the decision to enjoy life and embrace the changes, I started to find my passion again.

Is my passion always “pink clouds and rainbows”?  NO! Let’s be honest, we all have days when the pink cloud brings rain, right?  No matter what your business, there are days when we forget about the passion that got us to where we are.  Will you let it defeat you or will you BREATH and give yourself a break?  Why not take a moment and remember all of the reasons you were passionate about your business?  Focus on the positive, letting go of the negative doubts and fears.

So, I ask you again – what are YOU passionate about?  Share your passion with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Recovery, Unclutter Your Life

How Honest Are You?

 The “Just for Today” reading this morning was about growing honest.  Think about how honest  you really are.  Do you return extra change to the cashier? Would you admit if you hit a parked car? 

Now, how about being honest with yourself.  Do you honor the person you are on the inside by honestly sharing with those are around you?  Maybe you are like me and don’t always know who the person is on the inside.  Maybe you have “white lied” or left out parts for so long, you have honestly lost the person inside….

We all say we want “the truth” but are we always ready to hear the “truth”???

I remember telling Belinda when she was growing up  “if she was honest with me, she wouldn’t get in trouble.”  I know you are probably thinking  “she’s CRAZY”, right?  Who is crazy enough to tell a child they wouldn’t get punished?  Was I scared of what she would tell me?  YES!  I wanted her to know I would always be there for her.   I stuck to my guns. When she did something wrong or thought I wouldn’t approve of some thing, she told me and she didn’t get punished.  I’m not foolish enough to think she admitted everything but I do know there were times when she did and I was grateful.  I think it helped us in building a strong relationship.

My first time in recovery, I was honest to myself.  I wanted the values I was learning (re-learning from my childhood) to be instilled in my daughter.  Sadly, as I made my way down the spiral to a relapse, those things were lost.  My “white lies” or not whole truths kept me from being the honest person I wanted to be.  It sent mixed messages when there should have been complete trust.  I chose pride over honesty until things were such a mess, I had not choice but to get “honest” with myself and others.

As I entered recovery for the second time, the phrase “honesty is the best policy” haunted me.  Doubt and fear had me convinced those I loved would walk away, never speaking to me again.  They trusted me.  They believed what they saw on the outside while I was trying to close the door on the inner gremlins seeking to get out on the inside.  How could I be honest with them?  I feared the pain I would cause.  I feared the outcome.  I feared the losing the people I cared about the most.  But we are only as sick as our secrets.  It was time to get honest and take the good with the bad….

With 22+ months clean, I am learning honesty is more about having faith.  It is trusting my Higher Power will be there to guide and protect me.  Do I still struggle with being honest about my feelings?  YUP!  I play through how I think the other person will react.  I play through all of the “what ifs”.  Then I turn it over (or at least try to) and trust in the process.

After losing a sponsor, I looked for another.  I valued this person’s honesty at meetings. In a conversation, they told me “you worry too much about what the result will be, just share your feelings.  Be honest because it is about YOU getting better”.  I tried their suggestion and it backfired. Because when stating my feelings, I lost all compassion for the person I was speaking to. I realized their honesty was often self-centered, without a caring and compassionate concern for others. NOT the person I wanted to be.  I learned compassion and honesty had to work hand in hand for me.  I’m learning there is a time and a place to be honest.  What I mean is maybe sharing my feelings is NOT appropriate at this moment and may be better done at another time….the feelings still get shared BUT it is done with compassion towards the other person.

”Honesty is the cornerstone of all success, without which confidence and ability to perform shall cease to exist.”~Mary Kay Ash

This quote was in an early blog I wrote about honesty in business.  It can be applied to any aspect of your life.  Do we have self-confidence when we tell those “little lies” to hide our feelings?  Do we let doubt and fear take hold, so honesty goes out the door?  If you are lacking confidence, maybe you should look at how honest you are being to yourself and others.

For some honesty is the only way they have lived.  For others, being honest is something they have to re-learn because of past experiences.  How often have we thought we were being honest yet we were not sharing “everything”.  

When we are NOT 100% honest, we weave a tangled web.  We are being deceptive.  Believe it or not, after awhile we start to believe our own tales.  One small tale leads to another sort of like digging a ditch (one shovel full at a time).  Before long you are confused and lost in your own stories.  Reflecting, every time I lied or left out details (the times I remember) I was usually convincing myself I wasn’t good enough.  I was afraid of not living up to the expectations of others (which probably wasn’t there to begin with) or I just wanted to fit in.

Honesty cuts through the red tape, the distractions, the frustration and the indecision. Honesty gets you where you want to go faster because you live how you really feel. Believe it or not your intuition will give you a feel for what is in harmony with your heart.

Start by being honest with yourself. Be honest about your thoughts, words, actions and wants. Then think about your interaction with others and your personal relationships. Do people know your true self? If not, what are you afraid of?  Tough as it may be, own your feelings when you talk.  Don’t blame others!  I will admit this takes some practice.  I’m still learning!  Isn’t our immediate response to defend when we are hurt or angry?  I know mine is.  I easily react to something someone says instead of expressing my feelings honestly and openly.

Be honest with your friends, family and co-workers.  If you mess up – ADMIT it!  They will appreciate the honesty.  If we are viewed as “perfect”, others may hesitate to approach us.  The way you present yourself to others, being true to yourself and your values will shine through.

Honesty can lead to better health….. “Telling the truth when tempted to lie can significantly improve a person’s mental and physical health, according to a “Science of Honesty” study.  Makes sense, right?  Less stress.

Have a blessed day!

Unclutter Your Life

How To Make the Most Of Thanksgiving

As I start thinking about Thanksgiving, I am filled with A LOT of mixed emotions.  Growing up, it was a day filled with football games (Neptune vs Asbury), family and lots of food.  Then, life changed and I don’t really remember much of the time between family gatherings and being a mom.  I know we celebrated but they are some of the memories lost in my brain.  Then came Belinda and recovery.  Reuniting with my dad and the other side of the family.  Thanksgiving was one of the two holidays which were “dad” holidays.  This year, is filled with LOTS of emotions.  I am celebrating eighteen months clean and blessed to be having TWO thanksgivings.  Hubby took Wednesday off so we will celebrate with mom on Wednesday and then Thanksgiving Day with Patti and the crew.  I’m sure I will cry lots of tears.  Sad Belinda will again not be home for the holidays and for those who are no longer with us (definitely going to miss Dad’s mashed potatoes.)

The best advice I can give it to take time out to truly appreciate this special day of thanks.  Here are some tips to make this year’s Thanksgiving the most festive and fun-filled yet.

1. Plan ahead for the day you want

It sounds simple, but your ideal holiday won’t materialize unless you make it happen. Maybe you envision a formal Thanksgiving dinner complete with centerpieces, nameplates and an elegant menu. If that’s your plan, spell it out ahead of time. If you want potluck, paper plates, jeans and football, plan it and let people know. Share your desires openly with family, i.e. “I hope you will stay all day so we can have lots of time together”—to create the day you want.

2. Think about timing

It may sound like a no-brainer, but the timing of your dinner can impact the entire day. If you call your mealtime too early, you might get stressed with the-time crunch of meal prep (unless you’ve done most of it in the days before). Some like to eat later in order to enjoy appetizers and the anticipation of the holiday meal all day. Or maybe you have guests who are going to be glued to a particular football game during the day. Growing up dinner was always at 5PM, it gave everyone time to get home from the game, rest and be ready to eat since mom-mom very seldom let us in the kitchen to help (or at least I don’t remember her letting us).  Be sure to consider all of these variables and plan accordingly.

3. Relax your expectations

When I have company, this is the toughest thing for me to do!  Without dwelling on it, acknowledge something will likely go wrong with your day, but that’s OK. A quirky uncle might say something, well, quirky. Someone might not show up who said they would. If you want to have the best possible holiday, roll with the punches. (Rest assured: No one’s Thanksgiving is perfect.)

4. Set up a kids’ table

LOL.  A random memory of when we had family dinners at our house.  The kids table was ALWAYS in the kitchen but close enough to the dining room.  I know this isn’t the kin of table they are talking about but it was a great random memory.  How about letting the kids help make construction-paper place mats for their special table. It’s fun for kids to eat away from the adults, and you are likely to hear lots of giggles, too.  We still have two tables when we eat Thanksgiving – one in the dining room and one in the kitchen.  Unfortunately, there aren’t many little ones (yet) to have kids and adults at separate tables.

5. Take a moment to observe

Take a moment during the festivities to stop doing and just notice what is happening all around you. Watch your family as an observer; what do you see? When we stop scurrying around in host (or guest) mode, we can absorb our blessings: family, friends, a nice home, good food, our health, a break from work, laughter and more. When you stop to pay attention, we enjoy the day more fully and create vivid memories.  This has been one of the greatest gifts of recovery…. being present in the moment!

6. Take a walk

So much food, so many people, so much indoor time—you could really use a little fresh air to slow your day down and take a moment to breathe in the crisp air. Walking after a big meal wakes you up and helps you digest. Even if it’s cold, bundle up and enjoy your holiday with a brisk walk.

7. Don’t clean up right away

Thanksgiving dinner can take hours to prepare, and if you start cleaning up as soon as your meal is finished, when do you actually get to enjoy it? Cleaning up also can send the unintended message it’s time for guests to stop conversing and start helping or even leave. Enjoy the conversation fully before you pick up all the plates. Consider having dessert an hour or more after dinner to encourage family members and friends to relax, connect and stick around for a while.

8. Remember what the day is about

It’s isn’t just turkey, football and pies. Thanksgiving is truly about coming together as a family to give thanks. Focus on your blessings, and your own happiness and appreciation will infuse your holiday and guests with joy.

Share your favorite Thanksgiving memory with us…. Have a blessed day!

Home Organization, Unclutter Your Life

Household Items You Should Toss

Thank you Real Simple for today’s post….

Fall is time for seasonal cleaning, right?  I grew up on when homes were deep cleaned at least every season – spring, summer, winter and fall.  We sorted through clothes, moved furniture and got things ready for the next season (decorating, changing curtains, etc).  In the hectic world we live in, I’m not so sure it happens anymore but there are definitely some things which should be tossed on a periodic basis….if you hang onto these household staples longer than you should, and you risk spreading germs, dirt, or dust around your entire home. YUK!  The good news: replacing these household essentials shouldn’t take long at all and cost very little.  So, tack this onto your weekend to-do list and avoid all of the icky consequences of keeping these items around.

Kitchen Sponges

I’m sure you know this and if you didn’t, I’m sure you can SMELL when these get nasty.  The reality is porous kitchen sponges are the ultimate breeding ground for germs. New research shows the old cleaning-sponges-in-the-microwave trick doesn’t really work, the only solution is to replace your sponge more often. You’ll avoid spreading E. coli and salmonella to every dish you think you’re washing—making it well-worth stocking up on this cleaning essential.How often should you replace it? It is recommended at least once a week. Or consider an alternative sponge, like Norwex’s Envirosponge (one of my favorites)  The soft EnviroCloth microfiber side also has the ability to remove up to 99% of bacteria from a surface when following the proper
care and use instructions.  The best part, it can be used repeatedly; use, wash and use again, no need to continually reach for a new sponge or dispose of old one

Bed Pillows

Research shows after two years of use (how long have you had your pillows?), more than one-third the weight of the pillow is actually comprised of dust mites (both living and dead) and dead skin. If this doesn’t make you want to toss your pillow out the window immediately, we don’t know what will.
How often should you replace them? A synthetic pillow you have never washed, plan to replace it about every 6 months. If you wash your synthetic or down pillows at least twice a year (here’s the best method), they should last up to 3 years.

Shower Loofah

A loofah is basically your shower’s equivalent of the kitchen sponge. YUK!!! Luckily, it doesn’t need to be clean enough to eat off of, but its crevices do harbor bacteria, which the moist environment of the shower helps to grow.
How often should you replace it? Replace a plastic loofah about every two months. Besides spreading bacteria, they will also tend to lose their shape, which defeats their exfoliating abilities.  An alternative is Norwex’s Body Scrub Mitt. This product will help you to uncover fresh, new and glowing skin as it removes dead skin cells, revealing beautiful, smoother skin with just one hand.  Best part, you can wash and use it again.

Water Filter

If you have a refrigerator with a built-in water filter, chances are you don’t replace the filter as often as you should. When it isn’t replaced often enough, the filter can’t do its job of separating out impurities from your family’s drinking water. Even if you don’t notice a difference in taste, mineral buildup could be slowing down the flow of water.  Maybe you don’t have one of these and you have a Brita filter system…. the ones where you put water in the top, it filters out the junk and you keep it in the fridge so you have cold fresh water all the time.  Do you replace this filter as often as it says on the box?  Probably not.  How often should you replace them? Check the guidelines for your refrigerator model, but many brands recommend replacing the filter every 6 months or so.  If you use a Brita, I think it is at least once a month!

Old Plastic Containers

When shopping for plastic food storage containers nowadays, you’ll probably notice a little sticker or note assuring you they are “BPA-free.” But BPA, a plastics chemical some believe can affect development, was once common in such containers. While the FDA reports exposure to low levels of BPA is safe, if you’re still concerned, you might want to toss out those containers you’ve had stashed for decades.  If you have “old” tupperware containers, time to trade them in for some of the new ones….Throw away older plastic containers, and invest in BPA-free options or these stylish glass alternatives.

Need some help finding some awesome “clean products”… Check out Meredyth’s Norwex website.  Never heard of Norwex???  Their mission is to “improve the quality of life by radically reducing chemicals in our homes.”  I use A LOT of their products and they do really work….

Have a blessed day!