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

Direct Sales – Shame or Share?

Do those words make you cringe?  Do you dread when a friend or family member joins a direct sales company?  Or have you joined one and now hesitate to share the fact with others?

When I retired from social services about six years ago to do my direct sales business full-time, I was excited and a little scared.  I wasn’t worried about making money because I was but I was worried about telling people I was in direct sales.  I worried about what they would think.  I mean there are lots preconceived notions about direct-sales companies and whether or not they are a scam.  The truth is the ones with solid product lines offer a legitimate opportunity for someone looking to earn an income.

Yes, there are some illegitimate pyramid scams (most mainstream companies are not) or over-enthusiastic, pushy reps who get consumed with their new world and shun those who haven’t “seen the light”.  Isn’t your Facebook feed full of people like this?

Growing up, I don’t remember ever hearing much about direct sales/network marketing companies.  The occasional Tupperware party, maybe.  As I entered the work force, I heard more and more about these kinds of companies.  There were insurance companies and financial companies, then Avon entered the picture.  I looked at many and dabbled for personal use in some.  There was Fuller Brush, Watkins, Tupperware, and Avon in the beginning.  None of them seemed like the right fit.  I loved their products but I was not ready to share my love with the world.  Enter Thirty One many years later.  A fit but not the right time the first time around.  Yes, I was admittedly one of those who joined and then went inactive only to join again about a year or so later.Yes, I squirreled… with a low cost to start, many of these companies provide a great opportunity for professionals who feel stuck in nine-to-five jobs, or who want to make some extra income and in some cases, replace their income.  You don’t need to be a salesperson because believe it or not, it is not a sales job!Maybe you have considered joining a direct sales company, but when you shared it with someone they tried to discourage you.  Why?  Did they tell you “your dreaming”, “you can’t make any money”?  Why do people react negatively to someone joining a direct-sales or network- marketing company?  Would those same people tell you not to go to school to be a lawyer or go to work as a sales rep for a name brand company? Of course not!

On the flip side, direct sales business owners need to temper their approach so they don’t come across as an over-enthusiastic, pushy, flavour-of-the-month network marketer.  This makes people feel icky and turns them off.  Or maybe you know one of those direct sales junkies, the ones who belong to and try to sell multiple companies.  They can make you feel icky too.

Here are some things to think about as you build your direct sales business:

#1 It is hard work. Don’t kid yourself. Just like any business, you need to do enough of the right activity consistently for a long period of time to get results.  If you love your product, the company and their (your) mission, it will not seem like work but it will take time on your part to be successful.

#2 It’s not the ONLY option. I always stress “go for the no”.  Why? Because what you are offering may not be for everyone.  Just keeping talking, asking and sharing.  When someone says “No”, they are not dissing you or the company, it just means they aren’t interested at this moment.  Think of it like a waitress offering dessert.  Today you may say no but tomorrow you may say yes!  Direct Sales is one option for a fulfilling career and your goal is to find the people who believe it is the right choice for them.

#3 Be clear about what you do. Yup, this is where I stumble.  When someone asks you “What do you do?”, be able to clearly and succinctly tell them. Don’t be coy, don’t use wishy-washy, vague, mystery-building phrases to answer the question. This can send the message you’re embarrassed about what you do. Successful business owners communicate confidently, not from a position of sounding embarrassed or secretive.

#4 Separate “networking” and “selling”. The point of introduction at social settings and professional events is not the point of sale.  Networking allows people to build the know, trust and like factors so you can “sell”.

#5 Earn the right to ask deep questions. Build a relationship with people before you jump into those deep, what some would consider personal questions.  Those kinds of conversations can either cause people to shut down or others will pour out their heart.  Read their body language so you accurately judge when you’re pushing too hard.

What is your best tip for someone starting out in direct sales?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!