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!

Favorite Products

How to Make a Gallery Wall

If your walls could talk, what stories would they tell? For some, like me, that would be a scary thought.  LOL.

For many of us, we would like them to simply share our milestones, memories and mottos, right?  I created one of these one our walls of our wedding pictures – some of the family who are in the pictures are no longer with us so it has great memories BUT is definitely doesn’t tell the whole story.  I am hoping to add some memories to it by using some of these tips.   Whether it’s in your kitchen, above your couch or along your staircase, choosing unique pieces is the key to making your display so special.

Here are some GREAT tips for adding one-of-a-kind elements to more traditional framed photographs and oversized initials – all to help you create something truly personalized.

1. Game boards & pieces

What was your favorite childhood sport to play? Which board games does your family reach for over and over on rainy evenings? Your local Goodwill or thrift store is a great place to score retro board games and sports equipment you can use to add character to your gallery wall or shelves. (That broken-in, well-loved look actually boosts the cool factor!)

2. Vintage numbers

Whether they’re antique license plates, framed playing cards, tin stencils or old scoreboard tags, vintage numerals are a fun way to express a number that holds a story or memory for your family. Do a quick online search or browse flea markets, yard sales and antique shops for the digits of your address, anniversary or favorite Bible verse.

3. Flowers & wreaths

Add a sweet touch to the gallery wall in a nursery, craft space, laundry room or even your front porch with an arrangement of dried flowers or an artificial wreath. Check your local craft store for oversized fabric blossoms to match your décor, swap in a seasonal sprig for a traditional frame, or create a cute wreath with fabric scraps – we tried this easy-to-make one from Kelly at Typically Simple. And faux greenery looks great mixed with antique window panes and grapevine wreaths arranged on an outdoor wall to welcome guests.

4. Quotes on canvas

Share the special names, dates and words in your life with customized Statement Canvas Wall Art. Scour a social site like Pinterest® for cute quote ideas, then choose from a variety of sizes and printed designs, including white text on black canvas, your choice of 16 colors on natural canvas and even your personal photos! Have a budding artist in the family? Scan your kids’ original artwork and have it printed on one of our durable canvases.

5. Shadowboxes

These deep-set frames are built to hold dimensional keepsakes and, depending on their size, the options are practically limitless. Highlight a single object like a sculpted key or bridal bouquet. Simply fill one with wine corks, seashells, fabric flowers, bottle caps or Christmas tree bulbs. Or adhere some items to the back, layering pieces over each other to add visual interest – think baby shoes, blocks and photos; use wooden letter game tiles to spell out names or places; arrange keys, ticket stubs, medals or pressed flowers; or design your own artwork out of buttons or plastic building blocks – even crayons! (Jamie at The Trendy Treehouse offers step-by-step instructions for putting together your own crayon letter shadowbox.)

6. Photo tag galleries

Turn moments to remember into personalized keepsakes to treasure with Thirty-One’s Close to Home™ Collection. We make it simple to tell your family’s story on your gallery wall with pieces like our Close to Home™ Table Gallery and 9″ Close to Home™ Round Frame, both available in Natural or Grey Wash Wood. It’s easy to switch out the keepsake-quality iron Photo Inserts for the season and to commemorate trips and events as your family grows. Remember to personalize the wood frame with your family name, saying or special date in your favorite laser-etched design.

Bonus tip: Don’t forget the sofa underneath!

Fluff up a few perfectly personalized Statement Canvas Pillows in black and natural – choose an embroidered monogram, printed design or your own family photos to continue your theme even below your gallery wall. Toss a cozy Super Soft Blanket over one arm of the sofa, and you’ll be ready to hibernate all winter!

Share your gallery wall with us….. Have a blessed day!

Hope Wissel

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

I know, the holidays are barely over AND maybe you are just putting your decorations away.  The kids just went back to school and you are trying to get a grasp on the New Year…..Have you been in the stores lately?  Christmas sales are GONE!  Valentine’s Day, St. Pattys and even Easter decorations are out. It is CRAZY!  So I figured I would jump on the bandwagon since Thirty One is having an AWESOME Outlet sale. What better time to shop then during a sale, right?

Thanks to a little help from Thirty-One Gifts, you can convey a message to leave a lasting impression on that special someone’s heart. Forget the box of chocolates – there’s nothing sweeter than a shared memory or sentiment which holds a special meaning. If you want to touch someone’s heart with a truly special gift, check out these customized ideas sure to become their all-time favorite gifts.

Straight from the heart

It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without giving someone your heart, right? But if you’re not quite ready for a commitment, why not give a heart on a pillow or tote instead? The new heart-themed print designs allow you to add a heartfelt message to your gift. Each is a graphic print you can add to any of several Statement Canvas products including throw pillows, custom wall art, a Mini Shopper or Zip-Top Pouch.

Bundles of love

There are lots of things which come in small packages, BUT think of all of the AMAZING things which could come in a BIG Thirty-One bag! Why settle on one gift when you can pack lots of love in a tote, caddy or bin?  Create a special gift set with everything your sweetheart can appreciate throughout the year.  Check out some of these ideas:

Design a bin just for him

Put together a sports-themed Essential Storage Tote with game tickets, his home team’s jersey, sports magazines, signed memorabilia or a new pair of running shoes or cleats. Or design a fishing-themed Catch-All Bin with new tackle supplies like bobbers, hooks and lures or packed with a new tackle box or fishing hat!  Guess what??? Those Catch-All Bins are part of the outlet sale (you can save up to 70%)!

Create a special spa package

Fill a Mini Storage Bin with bath bombs, sugar scrub, slippers, beauty products, a sleep mask or even a gift certificate to a local spa or massage therapist. On a budget? Search for DIY bath product recipes on Pinterest. And YES, these are also part of the outlet sale…

Have a romantic indoor winter picnic 

Treat your honey to a personalized Picnic Thermal Tote with chilled champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries, fancy cheeses and crackers. (The Leak Lock® lining means you can fill it with ice!) Just spread out a blanket in front of the fireplace, grab a couple of champagne flutes and toast to the perfect Valentine’s Day!  The best part is you can use this year round when you want to take the picnic outdoors.  It is great for tailgating, trips to the park or even road trips.

Add a little sparkle

Were you thinking more of jewelry??? If you want to whisper sweet nothings in her ear, make sure they’re properly dressed for the occasion. Our Gallery™ Earrings and Luxe Loop Dangles are the perfect start to any romantic dinner or a night on the town.

Make her blush

While we have your attention, gentlemen…you should probably know she’s had her eye on these fashion-forward styles in her current favorite color since we introduced them this season! For a fail-safe Valentine’s Day gift she’ll love to carry all year long, choose a Convertible Belt Bag, Rubie Mini or Studio Thirty-One™ bag in Rose Blush Pebble and personalize it with her monogram in tone-on-tone Blush embroidery. (You can thank us later.)

Share the love, ladies!

Even if without a significant other this Valentine’s Day, you can always be Valentine-mates with your best friends, your kids, your mom, your dad, your brothers and sisters – anyone and everyone you love. Valentine’s Day is about appreciation and letting others know you care. We want you to know we care, too! Lots of love to you this Valentine’s Day.  Thank you Thirty One for today’s tips….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

How To Kick Off Your Holiday Shopping

 

October has arrived and I am super excited.  There is so much happening this month and Thirty One is no different.    October also means football is in full swing.  So if you hear  A LOT of yelling coming from our house on game day, it is just me coaching the J-E-T-S!

At Thirty One – October means the kick off of some many things….

There is tailgating, football, Halloween, birthdays (in our family), and anniversaries. Which then leads into Thanksgiving and yes, Christmas!  So, why not get a jump on your holiday shopping season or do most of it from the comfort of your home?

Check out Thirty One’s NEW Holiday Gift Guide:  It is full of greta gift ideas for everyone on your list.  From Little Snackers in adorable prints to our Close to Home Celebrate Plate to pillows and throw blankets.  The best part is 95% of the products can be personalized so your gift now becomes something special for this special someone’s in your life.

 

#1Have you every thought about being a part of Thirty One?

Want to have debt-free holiday?  How about some girl time after playing mom taxi?  OR do you want to solve your holiday gift giving with awesome discounts on amazing products?  I have ONE pink ticket for someone who wants to get kick off their business this holiday season.  This ticket will allow YOU to purchase the Signature Kit (regularly $99) for just $15 and the Deluxe Kit for just $95 (regularly $179).  This offer is limited and will only last until October 15th.  Ask for details to be sure I still have a ticket left.

Don’t worry, if you miss out on the pink tickets, the Enrollments Kits are still available.  They are packed with some of this seasons top sellers – the Retro Metro Bag (my favorite) and the large utility tote which has been a company top seller since it was introduced!  You will not only be able to earn back the price of your kit with your commission check but you will also have a chance to earn some added bonuses.

During your enrollment month AND the following 4 months of being a consultant you get to earn MORE!  In addition to your 25% commission, you will earn Wishes Rewards!  Rewards are good for FREE product, business supplies, VISA gift cards or Disney bucks.  You get to pick how you will use YOUR rewards!  Mix and match them to get the most savings this holiday season.

Oh, there is one more thing…. join in October and submit a $1000 or $2000 or $4000 in sales and YOU will get MORE FREE products:!  WHAT???  Here is what you can get for just a $1000 in orders in October!

#2Be a Hostess with the Mostess!

Not interested in joining our pink bubble – how about hosting your own party?  Did you know for just $200 in orders, YOU can have a qualified party.  You will get $25 in FREE product, 1 half price item and 1 hostess exclusive.  Did you know it is only takes 6 orders of $35 to have a qualified party?  Thirty One just increased there FREE products for hostesses at the $600 level to $120 in FREE products, TWO half price items and TWO hostess exclusives!  This is super easy to reach since my average parties are about $640.  When you hit a $600 party, you will also be able to grab, TWO items from the Holiday Gift Guide at 70% off!!!  

I offer home, catalog/online, on the go and Facebook parties. Fundraising opportunities are also available!  Which one will fit into YOUR busy schedule?

#3 – Don’t want to join, and not interested in being a hostess…..

How about getting a jump on your holiday shopping with one of Thirty

One’s TOP sellers….. This month ONLY you can get the Medium Utility Tote for $15 with a $35 purchase.  BUT what’s even better than one tote is TWO totes for $20 for the same $35 purchase!  Can you believe it???  Get one for you and give one as a gift.  The medium utility tote is the perfect size for kids to carry their treasures in.  Quick trip to the grocery store or even to cart the holiday gifts to friends and family.  What will you use yours for?

Would you like to get JUST what you want this holiday season?  Why not send me your holiday shopping list and we can put you on the budget/layaway plan for 3 months with everything being delivered to you in plenty of time for your gift giving events.   OR tell your hubby, children, significant other to call me and I will make sure YOU get what is on your wish list. Yes, I will set up a gift registry to make sure you get the Thirty One products YOU want.  I would say it is a win – win for everyone, right?

So, who is ready to get started on their holiday shopping?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Home Organization

Easy Decorating Hacks

I dream of uncluttered shelves, do you?  Yes, I may be the proverbial bag lady but organizing my own home is a challenge mainly because I have “a gatherer (aka hubby)”.  He likes to pile things.  Don’t get me wrong, I used to be a piler BUT since I have trouble processing things, piles don’t work anymore.

Do your bookshelves look just like the stacks at the local library? Home libraries have much more leeway to turn away from the uniform and instead make a bookshelf more colorful, more fun and more YOU! A few decorating tips can take this utilitarian piece of furniture beyond the basics to become a bastion of your favorite books…and more.

Highlight your hobbies

Books may be windows to your soul, but your hobbies and interests say a lot about you, too. Combine them both on your bookshelves! Strategically place collections of your favorite items beside and in front of your books. Turn stacks of books into stands for small objects that you adore. Make every bookshelf represent the things that you and your family care about most.

Go beyond alphabetical

If your books are arranged from Austen to Zafón, you aren’t alone. But look past strict alphabetization (and the Dewey Decimal system!)  Instead group your books in a pleasing way to the eye – by size or by color. Mix things up by lining some books horizontally, stacking others vertically or even turning them spines-in! Don’t worry: We won’t tell your librarian!

Leave empty space, too!

Even if you have enough books to fill the Grand Canyon (I know we do in our house), squeezing them all onto your bookcase may not be the way to go. Leave some space and give your books room to breathe. Empty space on your shelves can not only give your bookcase a clean look, but it can even make a small room appear larger. (Best yet, this may be the perfect excuse to get a new bookcase!)

Forget the books

Believe it or not, books aren’t even a requirement on every shelf. Instead of banishing photos and artwork to the top of a bookshelf alone, try surrounding the books you love with the people you love! Set framed photos, pieces of art, houseplants and even layer empty frames to add personality and show off the items you love.

Hide the clutter

Bookshelves are very practical places to hold important papers and other items to be kept close at hand. But who wants to see a bunch of folders lining a bookcase? Use baskets to hide the mess within, and containers to keep files handy while portraying a much more pleasing facade.

Choose a Fold N’ File in one of your favorite Thirty-One prints to line up on your shelves, or a Close to Home Décor Box or Close to Home Caddy to add a natural wood accent to your bookcase.

Look at what’s behind

Pay attention not only to what’s on your shelves, but what’s behind them, too! Hanging wallpaper or painting the space behind your bookcase is a great way to add some zing and draw eyes to the shelves. Unsure about which color to choose? Start by looking at the hues that already fill your room on items like chairs and pillows.

How have you made your bookshelves uniquely your own? Do any Thirty-One products line your bookcase? What are your favorite items on your shelves? Share your thoughts with us….
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!