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!

Business Tips and Tricks

Theme Parties Can Make the Difference

I am back from National Conference and reviewing my notes to put a plan in place to ROCK the upcoming season. The most talked about parties this year were theme parties.  I will be the first to admit, this is not something I ever really thought about. I tried it once but is was so far out of my comfort zone I quickly moved back to safety with a standard party.  I was not the mom who did theme birthday parties for my daughter, just the usual birthday parties.

When it came to my business, I only thought of “theme parties” when it came to home parties.  With the increased amount of business being done on social media, why couldn’t you translate the same theme parties into Facebook parties or online parties, right?

I will admit, for me it will take stepping out of my comfort zone but I am ready to do it!  Are you ready to step out of your comfort zone to ROCK your business this season?

What is the benefit of a themed Facebook Party?  A theme party is a cohesive, professional, and guaranteed way to get your guests to take interest!  It is not just about selling the best bag (or substitute in your product); it is about your guests having fun.  Be creative, include a playlist with Spotify, the options are endless!  Include funny videos or recipes or tips from Pinterest.

Starting this month, my goal is to have at least one themed Facebook parties per month with the ultimate being one per week.  I know, a huge undertaking but it is worth it.

Let’s look at the season to plan out our Facebook parties.  Once a quarter, hold a themed party to introduce new products and seasonal items. This will ensure direct sales success all year round and keep your customers interested in your awesome products!

Despite the fact many direct sales companies have launched their Fall catalogs, we are still in summer.  It is up to you, if you still want to party with a summer theme here are some ideas:

Summer Fun: 

Bright summer graphics, fun summer music, and summer related products will shine with any of these Facebook Party Summer Themes! Create “this or that” graphics and have attendees choose their favorite product to celebrate the seasons!

  • Grillin and Chillin
  • Pool Party
  • Hello Sunshine
  • Travel Tips

Fall Themes:

Leaves crunching, weather getting cooler, clocks going back! Incorporate fall into your Facebook Parties by using any of the themes below! Create a fun graphic which asks your guests what their favorite part of fall is!

  • Harvest Time
  • Back to School
  • “Fall” Back
  • Trick or Treat

Winter Time:

Winter is a special time to spend with friends and family. Use Winter Facebook Themes as inspiration for your holiday online parties! Use a graphic asking for the guests favorite seasonal song and add it to your Facebook party playlist!

  • Thanksgiving
  • Twinkling Lights
  • Gifts for All Occasions
  • Snow Day

Spring Themes 

The days are getting lighter and the sun is shining brighter! Spring is the time to refresh and rejoice for warmer days are ahead! Have guests share their favorite part of the Spring Season! I know mine is longer, sunnier days!

  • Dad’s & Donuts
  • Celebrate Mom
  • Flowers & Blooms
  • Spring Clean

Facebook party themes are great to spark your creativity.  It will help you to increase your sales and entice hostesses for future parties!

Struggling with boring Facebook parties?  Don’t have much interaction.  Want to stand out in the crowd of Facebook parties?  Facebook Party themes are a great way help you grow your business and your team.  Find graphics with tips and ideas, use funny memes, customize the products you will highlight, and even include a customized music playlist for your guests to listen to while they participate!

What are some of your best tips for a themed Facebook party?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!


Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel, Unclutter Your Life

Monkeys Gone Wild

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Does Spring and warmer weather bring thoughts of cleaning out?  You know “de-cluttering” all of that stuff that had been gathering over the winter.  Our garage is my “clutter spot”.  I can’t wait to get in there and clean out the mess.

Many would say that a cluttered space = a cluttered mind.  I would have to agree because when my office is a HOT mess – I can’t work or even think about what needs to be done.

I love this visual:

monkeys gone wild

Buddhists often refer to an overly-busy mind as the Monkey Mind.  Our thoughts become like monkeys gone wild – running amok, swinging wildly from here to there, with the occasional temper tantrum, and pout.  Why or how do we let this craziness happen?  Here are some reasons that we get “monkey mind”:

  • Unconscious procrastination (something we need to do but don’t want to)
  • Feeling uncomfortable, frustrated, or angry about a situation or project
  • Feeling overwhelmed (tons to do and simply doesn’t know where – or even how – to start)
  • Habit (it’s a coping mechanism)
  • The thing is, though, he recognizes that mental clutter leads him down this rabbit hole of stress and torment and away from focus, calm, and productivity.

Do you recognize when the monkeys have taken over and you are feel like you are in a rabbit hole of stress and torment?



So, how do we de-clutter our mind? Here are some tips:

declutter the mind

A great list of ideas but if you are like me the biggest obstacle is to “LET IT GO”.  Yes, I am sitting here humming the song to myself.  The key is that we need to de-clutter our minds more often.  As we approach the weekend with an endless list of chores, errands, incomplete work, or kids activities – take a moment to de-clutter.  Make a list of all that needs to be done.  Prioritize that list.  Novel concept – ASK for help (that is part of letting go).  Then be kind to yourself.  I mean what is the worst that could happen if something on the list doesn’t get done – BE HONEST!

Deep breathing, yoga, long walks, running, swimming, or even meditation are magnificent ways to de-clutter your noggin’.  This is also a great way to be kind to yourself.  You will be surprised at how much focus and energy you have when you take some time to gain perspective an de-clutter.

So, who is ready to de-clutter their mind before the weekend?  Share with us how you de-clutter or de-stress.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

Spring Clean Your Wardrobe

Today is HUMP day!  I am not big on Spring Cleaning – you know that once a season HUGE cleaning frenzy but I am thinking about spring cleaning my clothes closet.  A devotional on  Crosswalk.com got me to thinking.  I know -scary, right?

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.'” Hebrews 13:5 (ESV)

Then a blog by Chelsea Spear made me wonder again what my style really is….do, I need more clothes or do I just need to coordinate and consolidate.  Chelsea had these questions when she talked about cleaning her closet:

1. Does it need mending or replacing?  Let’s be honest… are we really going to mend anything?  Get rid of it.  Keeping items around that aren’t being worn is CRAZY, right?

2. Have I worn this in the last season (or if it’s “special” ask yourself if you’ve worn it in the last year)?  Chances are if you’re not wearing it this year, you won’t be wearing it in the future.  Guess it is time to get rid of the dresses that have been hanging in my closet for oh so  long.  I mean really the last few times that I wore a dress was on formal night on the cruise or when I walked the stage at National Conference.  Do I really need 5 of them with skirt options in my closet?

3. Does it have stains or holes or runs? Okay, this one was easy for me because I get tide of things easily like this.

4. Does it fit? Is it flattering?  WOW!  That means that all of the jeans, capris and tops that have gotten a little big need to be donated.  I know the clothes that I wear that I get complimented on, so I need to stick with them.  This one is probably the most difficult, because it requires you to be 100% honest with yourself. 

5. How many of these do I need?  Okay, I am definitely guilty of this one.  I LOVE Old Navy tami tank tops.  I have LOTS of them – multiple in the same color and a few in different colors.  I wear them all year long.  These are a definite need to have lots.  Multiples of any other kind of shirt is crazy!  I can (and do) only wear so many jeans so I need to let the rest go.  No more just in case clothes.  You know the jacket that I bought for Belinda in HS and she never really wore.  It fits, so I kept it just in case so I could use it.  Guess it is time to donate it.

Are you ready to re-vamp your closet?  I am so excited about the chance to re-vamp my closet so that there are NOT a lot of options.  I mean the truth is, I am not good at coordinating things so I need to stick with basics.  There will be some donating to a great cause -a friend collecting clothes for a missions trip.  Some selling – I mean there are things that still have tags on them.   And finally maybe even some tossing of things that I have been holding onto and will never use.  The key to all of this, is NOT to shop and replace these items – just clean out and be content for awhile.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!



Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel


What is the old saying about March – “in like a lion and out like a lamb”?  Well that was definitely NOT the case this past week at the Jersey Shore.  Yes, the weekend got warmer but not before we had that last blast of winter.  I am SO over winter, the cold and SNOW!  As we approach April 1st, some start to think about spring cleaning.  I know that my mom does this ALL the time.  I am not one for the whole house cleaning in preparation for Spring but I am ready to Spring Clean my business.

Spring cleaning your business gives you a chance to take a look out what you did during the winter (or the first quarter of the year) and make some changes to either get you back on track for the rest of the year or to keep you moving forward towards your goals. So, here are some steps from Matthew Anderson of theselfemployed.com:

Evaluate Your Overall Goals – The first quarter of the year is done, are you on track?  If not, what happen?  Did you get a case of the winter blues?  This is the time to JUMPSTART your business.

Eliminate Anything That’s Not Working – This can be a difficult since you have to take responsibility for what is NOT working in your business.  What are the things that are NOT working and that are holding you back?  Don’t be afraid to prune these things and make room for what you truly want – growth.

Begin New Growth –  Now that you know the direction that you want to go in, and you’ve gotten rid of practices that will hinder you, set out to begin to grow your business. Double your customer care calls. Commit to a new level of customer service to attract more repeat business. In short, break out of your comfort zone and watch your business improve!

Straighten Your Office – Don’t let this be a time waster – Take a day or two and overhaul your workspace to get ready for spring. File old documents, organize your desk, and take care of any old business. Make sure you have your systems in place.  You may even want to move your furniture around to give everything that “new” feeling. 

After Boot Camp Thirty One style this past weekend, I am ready to spring clean? Do you do any entrepreneurial spring cleaning this time of year? Share your stories with us in the comments section below.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!