Clear the Clutter

Fall Cleaning Tips



The summer has ended  – okay so there is 10 more days till the official start of Autumn but for the most part, we are all shifting into a new season.

Who can resist the urge to refresh and clean the house after a long summer? A chance to start cleaning out BEFORE the holiday craziness hits us, right? For many, we have had the air conditioning running non-stop for what seems like forever.  It is a great opportunity to open the windows, let in the fresh air and start fresh.  I mean, let’s be honest, how many of us really did much cleaning during the lazy days of summer?

Here are some tips to make fall cleaning easier and more effective.8058e40a360a443d9acb526c528fa7e61. Start with the closet.  As we switch out the summer clothes and move in the fall/winter clothes, it is a great opportunity to purge what we don’t wear.  You would be surprised at how many clothes and accessories are piled up on the closet. Rather than keep unnecessary things around, follow this rule: If an article of clothing hasn’t been worn for at least a year, it’s time to get rid of it.

2. Fall cleaning means cleaning from the top to the bottom. As people clean, dust and grime floats through the air and settles on furniture and flooring. To keep the areas that were just cleaned free of residue while working, dust the tops first, then the bottoms. Clean floors the very last.

3. Go through kitchen utensils and dishes while fall cleaning. A lot of clutter can build up in the kitchen over the course of a year. It is a perfect time to match the Tupperware bottoms and lids, then toss the lids that there is no bottom.


4. Go through the linen closet and discard shabby towels or linens. Turn them into dish towels, cleaning rags or get rid of them entirely. If bed sheets have lost the elastic around the corners, it’s time to let them go.

5. Organize the pantry. Put things in groupings together, such as dry or canned goods. This helps everyone keep track of just what groceries are really needed, and can prevent duplicate buy due to pantry disorganization.  Make sure you check the expiration dates too.  If you stock your pantry with staples that you use a lot, make sure you rotate them so you use the oldest first.

6. Rearrange the furniture.  I actually LOVE this part of fall cleaning.  Now, if you don’t have a lot of space, a  simple change of the wall hangings, or arrange the end tables differently can make a difference. Those little things can add a sense of freshness to a room, and can inspire a sense of fun to the fall cleaning. Wash the curtains in the room and add a plant or a focal decorative point.

7. When the housework is done, scrub all the floors completely. If it is carpet, shampoo it. If it is linoleum or wood flooring, get in the corners and scour and mop. This is also the time to use a floor polish or shining product on the floors. At the end of the work, the house will be left gleaming and everything will be organized and in easy reach.

These small tips can make a house an oasis of comfort.  What are your best tips for Fall cleaning, share them with us!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!


Unclutter Your Life

SMART Shopping


The warmer weather is finally here and it is time to pull out the spring/summer clothes.  I know you are wondering what does that have to do with SMART shopping right?  SMART shopping is actually not about finding the cheapest clothes or the best deal.  The truth is it a way to STOP the impulsive shopping so that we don’t have a closet full of “nothing to wear”.  Now, we all want to spruce up our wardrobes from last year, right?

Here are 5 simple steps that I found in a blog that makes sense and will let you do it without the “nothing to wear” syndrome.

S: Start with your Shape.


I am so tired of having my shape compared to food, aren’t you?  So let’s try this one.  Once you understand your body type, you will be able to shop for essential items that fit and flatter you. Knowing what works for your body helps you channel your efforts and save time.

M: Make a list.


Start with the items you know are missing from your wardrobe. This is an especially useful step after a closet overhaul, when you are better able to identify the gaps in your closet, and the new trends you want to add to your wardrobe.  I carry the list in my wallet so that I am always ready, just in case I run into a GREAT deal!

A: Avoid an unplanned splurge.


If it’s not on your list but you see it, love it, and absolutely positively have to have it, then put it on hold until the next day. If you still want it, go for it.  This step is SO HARD for me.  I am the proverbial impulse shopper.

R: Repeat the piece 3 ways.

Before purchasing an item, make sure that you can wear it 3 different ways.  If it doesn’t work with your wardrobe, it needs to go back.  Since I am a jeans girl, there may not be 3 ways but I am starting to think – casual, business casual and dressy.  Can’t wait to try this one out!

T: Tags stay on until worn.


We are all in a hurry to wear the newest, cutest items in our closets, so if it’s still hanging there weeks later, unworn (and it’s in season), return it!  I started doing this and I keep the receipt.  Of course if I shop at Kohl’s and use my charge, I don’t need the receipt.  This way I get credit for what I paid instead of the current selling price.

So, who is ready to do some clothes shopping?  Be sure you are SMART!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Home Organization

Saturday Morning – Kids Room Clean Up


Does this look like a room in your house?  Chances are if you have kids, there is at least one bedroom that looks like this.  I can’t count how many times I have seen on Facebook posts about messy kids’ rooms.  From the frantic mom who is tired of yelling about cleaning it to the mom who cleans it and tosses (actually hides) everything that was on the floor.  I mean we have all been there, right?  I actually used to close the door to Belinda’s room so I didn’t have to see it as I walked down the hall.

Yup, I was one of those moms that didn’t clean their child’s room.  Dirty clothes not in the hamper, they didn’t get washed.  Friends stop by and room a mess – No, you can’t hang out in the living room.  It took a little while but it eventually worked – she at least kept her room neat.

Great advice from Organized Home for younger children:  “Get down to your child’s eye level to help him or her get organized. Look at your child’s space, storage, furniture and possessions from his or her vantage point. The view may surprise you!”

WOW!  Did that hit home… I wish someone had told me that when Belinda was younger.  Sticky dresser drawers are hard for small hands to manage. Folding closet doors pinch fingers and jump their rails when pushed from the bottom. Closet hanging rods are out of reach. Traditional toy boxes house a tangled jumble of mixed and scattered toy parts.

Here are some solutions:

Remove closet doors entirely.  I was so ahead of my time and I didn’t even know it.

Resist the urge to wade into the mess alone, garbage bags flying with gritted teeth and threats of “You will keep this room clean!”.  I’m sure you know that doesn’t work and is more stress than a busy mom needs, right?  As tough as it may be to bite the bullet, play the role of organizational consultant for your child.  Find out what’s working, what’s not, what’s important to them, and what is the problem.  A lot of times they will have the solution, they just don’t know how to tell you.  This one will take some time, but it will be so worth it in the long run.

Lower clothing rods and invest in child-sized hangers.  We put double rods in Belinda’s closet which allowed the things she didn’t need all of the time to be hung out of the way.


Kids are short so why not organize from the bottom to the top or the room. Most used toys and belongings on lower shelves, or in lower drawers. Higher levels are for less-used possessions or those “display” items that they can’t play with.  Don’t roll your eyes, we know that we have all put those kinds of things in our kid’s room.

Use floor-level open containers to hold toys, store socks and underwear.  We had lots of these in the closet.  The cubes could be turned around so when company came, they didn’t see what was in the cubes.

your way cubes - 8

As adults, we rotate our clothes closet, right?  Why not do the same with our kid’s room?  Show them how to do it at an early age.  What clothes are out-of-season or have they outgrown?  Toys that they have outgrown – donate or share with them with other children who are less fortunate.  Toys they don’t play with but are willing to part with, box up and put away for a little while.  If they don’t ask for them again, then donate them.

To make things easier to maintain so that their room is clean and they can put things away – label, label, label 



Let’s make life easier for us as busy women by making things work for our kids.  Wouldn’t this be a more welcome site?



What is your best tip for keeping your kids room clean?  Share it with us, we can always use a new way of doing things.

Have a ThirtyOne-deful day!



Hope Wissel, Unclutter Your Life

Tips On Organizing Your Closet

  closet b4 & after - post 15

Would’t you like your closet to be neat and organized?  I can remember my mom always talking about “Fall Cleaning”.  This was when we cleaned out the closets and got organized.  They usually didn’t stay that way for long but that was the plan.

The Joyful Organizer is always sharing great tips on getting and staying organized.  I LOVE her goal for the closet – if only it was that easy, right?

The goal of closet organization is simple… Get your clothing, shoes, and accessories in order so that you can get dressed quickly and easily, wearing outfits that you love! 

Here are her top tips for Closet Organization:

  1. Start by trying on everything in your closet. This is tedious, however, it is the only way you will really know what fits, what looks great, and is still in good condition.
  2. Face all of the hangers in your closet in one direction. As you wear items, have them laundered, and return them to your closet, turn them and face them the other way. This is a great way to separate the clothes you wear from the one’s you don’t.  This is a GREAT idea because I always say “of course I wear everything in here”.
  3. Ask yourself the following questions about a garment before deciding to keep it?
    Do I love it?  Is it in good condition?  Does it make me feel great about myself?
    It is in style?  It is comfortable?  Could someone else use it more than me?
  4. Take a look to find any wasted space in your closet, and try to maximize it. Consider adding another hanging bar, or shelves close to the top or bottom of the closet. These changes are quick, inexpensive and can add a lot of space to your closet.  I did this when I moved into the condo because the closet space was small.  It really did help.
  5. An easy way to make a big difference in your closet is to use hangers that are all the same type. This creates a uniform appearance in your closet. The goal is to have all of your garments hanging at one height, on a hanger that is uniform in width. This way you will never lose clothes by not being able to see them.
  6. Use your door space. By adding an organizational tool, like an over the door shoe rack, you can add a significant amount or storage space to your closet. Keep in mind these are also great for scarves, belts, etc.
  7. Just like you would sort through your clothes, its important to sort through your shoes. Shoes that are not worn frequently, such as occasion shoes, can be stored in a small plastic box on a shelf in the closet. This keeps them out of the way and also prevents them from getting dusty and beaten up. Again, ask yourself the questions above in Number 3, and make decisions about what shoes to keep.

Organize your closet how it works for you. Some organizers suggest grouping by genre, other suggest grouping by color, and some by outfit. It’s not important how to group items, just make sure it works for you.

If you need some organizational products for your closet (or any area of your home), check out the “For Your Home” by Thirty One.  Need some help in deciding what products work best for your home – try a Product Experience.  Contact me for more details:

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!