Saturday, February 28, 2015

Office Cleaning Tips

It is so hard to get your work done in a cluttered, dirty office, and it can be so easy to take control of the chaos.

Office Cleaning Tips

Start with a plan. Look around the office and make a list of what needs to be done - the two common things are organizing and cleaning, but an awful lot can go into those two broad categories.

  • Grab a pen and paper and give yourself five or ten minutes to make that list mentioned above. Don't worry about putting things in any order, just write them as you see them. 
  • Review the list to see which things you can group together. For example, if you have one area that is dirty and needs industrial strength cleaner, coat the area with cleaner while you tackle a smaller mess for ten minutes while the cleaner soaks in. Then go back and wipe up the cleaner - if it has soaked long enough, you won't even have to scrub. (That's a tip from my days working for a cleaning service - and it really does work as a time saver, and saves your arms from scrubbing, too.
  • Use the list as your guide as you clean the office, and make sure to check off each thing as you complete it, because checking things off a list is an emotionally satisfying thing to do - it says, "Success!" 

Professional Cleaning Tips

I already let one of my professional cleaning tips slip in the section above - let the cleaner have time to do its job and use the time while you wait to tackle something else.

Have two brooms and a mop for cleaning hardwood floors. Sweep, mop, then sweep again with the clean broom - this is another tip from my days with the cleaning service. It just gets your floor so much cleaner and it's worth the few extra minutes.

Set up several baskets, so you can sort clutter as you sift through it. This reduces the time you'll spend later when you're ready to file papers or deliver lost items to other offices or rooms.

Office Carpet Cleaning

If the carpet in your office is looking shabby, you can either replace it, clean it yourself, or hire a carpet cleaning service to do it for you.

  • Since it typically isn't practical to replace it due to expense, you can decide between doing it yourself or having it professionally cleaned by checking to see just how dirty it is. 
  • If it is lightly soiled, you can generally pick up a steam cleaner and tackle it yourself. 
  • If it is deeply soiled, however, a pro can get it much cleaner, and often make it look like new.

Green Cleaning Products

Grab some eco-friendly products for green cleaning the office, and be kind to your skin, your lungs, and still get your office sparkling clean. 

Take full advantage of the tip above about letting the cleaner soak in - you'll use less cleaner in the long run and you'll save your arms and hands from a lot of abrasive scrubbing.

Organizing Tips for Office Efficiency

I already touched on this tip, too. Put out bins or baskets - one for each type of thing, or each destination - sort of surround yourself with them if you're cleaning a large mess - so everything you need to reach is within arm's reach. Then drop items into the different containers. 
  • Then, as you deliver the containers, put everything in the container away before you do anything else. 
  • Finally, move the containers as you expand your arc of cleanliness - so everything stays easy to reach.

Make cleaning the office as easy as possible, so you can get back to work and enjoy a stress-free work area.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Underbed Storage Tips

When I was a kid, one of my family's favorite "cleaning tricks" was to stuff things under furniture to hide clutter when company was coming over, and I hated it because I could never find my things after our company went home.

Imagine my surprise, and delight when I discovered there was a way to make use of the space under the bed for something other than an abyss for hiding things that should have been put away right in the first place!

Underbed Storage Tips

  • I like to store things under the bed that won't be needed for at least a season, so my first tip is to neatly pack the container you are using. 
  • My second tip is to be aware of the underbed conditions, such as prone to mildew - or mice - or moths, and pack necessary things to battle any known problems along with the things you are storing down there. (It's easier to tuck some fabric softener sheets in the containers to repel critters than it is to find your favorite sweater or high school sweetheart's love letters  chewed to shreds.)
  • My third tip is, don't underestimate the value of accurate labeling. Use a P-Touch or Dymo labeler, or just grab a Sharpie and list the container's contents on an easy to see spot. That way, you don't have to pull it out and unpack it every time you can't find something - you will know at a glance exactly what is in the storage box under your bed.

Container to Store Garments

While storage units are great and serve a purpose in certain situations, at home storage is tops for  convenience, even when it's physically under the furniture. Some natural fiber textiles do best when packed in breathable cedar-lined trunks or drawers, but most clothing can safely be stored in plasticized storage containers for at least a couple months.

Shallow Underbed storage

Long, narrow, and shallow, plastic box storage containers are the most common type of underbed storage container.

Plastic Bins for Storage

As far as brands, the best way to find the perfect container for your needs is to take measurements of your available space, and start by looking at the selection of Rubbermaid underbed storage container units.

  • I suggest starting with the brand name, at least as far as the shopping and comparison stage, because the Rubbermaid logo is easy to spot, and it lets you see the available features offered by the company that pretty much sets a high quality standard in storage containers. 
  • That in no way means I'm recommending one brand as the best, because there are a lot of excellent storage container brands, but Rubbermaid containers, in my experience, are good and worth checking out while you make comparisons.

Cardboard Boxes

For short term underbed storage, cardboard bed boxes provide a less costly alternative to plastic, and are every bit as effective at keeping your stored items neatly organized - as long as you label the boxes.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Simple Tips for Decluttering

While the biggest and most important tip I can give you about decluttering is just to take the bull by the horns and get started, there are a few smaller things you can do to break the task into manageable parts.

3 Easy Tips for Decluttering

  • Make a plan before you begin. Make it an easy plan, though, decide where you will put garbage, dishes, laundry, and items for each of the home's occupants. If the mess is small, like the clutter in this photo, there won't be much to the task, but if you're tackling a clutter hoarding situation, it's especially helpful to know where each type of item goes.
  • As you fill each container, stop and deal with it. If it's dirty dishes, sometimes it's easier to deal with a sinkful and go do something else, rather than spending hours bent over the sink washing every dish in the house. Same for laundry, or any other chore.
  • Limit your time organizing to what you feel is reasonable. I know you want it DONE, but getting overtired with achy muscles will set you back in the long run.

Clutter image courtesy of MorgueFile


  • Give yourself a pat on the back for every small achievement as you work, and don't talk about what you've achieved to anyone who won't be supportive. People who don't struggle with clutter problems don't understand, and family members often find it easier to blame others for the mess in the first place, rather than taking responsibility for their roles in it.

How to Declutter

Find, make, or buy things to put the  clutter in - you cannot tackle a clutter problem if you don't have places for everything. Baskets are great, because a basket contains some of the clutter while looking nice on your shelf or tabletop.

Declutter Your Home

There are so many great reasons to get rid of clutter.

  • Clutter creates stress.
  • It makes you feel bad about yourself and your life.
  • You can't find things you need if they're lost in clutter.
  • Clutter attracts unwanted critters (mice, roaches, bedbugs, and silverfish, just to name a few.)
  • Life is easier when your things are organized. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Best, Easy Tips for Organizing Your Home

I am always on the lookout for organizing tips to share here, plus reducing stress by reducing clutter is a favorite topic of mine.

Best, Easy Tips for Organizing Your Home

No matter how big the mess is, getting organized almost always starts at the same place.
  • You have to sort things and you have to have a place to put them. 
  • If every inch of space is filled with clutter, then you have to make a new space to put things as you sort them.  
  • Plastic bins for storage are perfect for creating a space to put things, so the sorted items are separate from the rest.  
  • This also lets you see your progress by simply looking into the storage containers. 
  • Get at least one large storage bin, because when you really start making progress, your storage containers fill up fast! 
  • A large bin lets you work longer without stopping or shifting your focus away from your organizing task. 
  • If you don't need it, throw it away, sell it, or donate it to charity.
  • Pace yourself - if you over-do it and end up with an aching back or sore legs, it's tempting to give up.
  • Make daily progress and record it in a diary or photo journal. This gives you something to be proud of - and increased self-esteem reduces the chance of you becoming a clutter-re-offender.
  • Ask for help or share your  stress with someone who has been through it - or someone who is going through it now.
Feel free to share your best organizing tips with others in the group, or ask for ideas if you find you're just stumped on how to tackle an organizing project,

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Organizing Tips for Real Life

I recently received a free, digital copy of a book I really enjoyed and found personally helpful on organizing in exchange for a review on Amazon.

I liked the book so much, in fact, that I decided to share it here, too.

It is called Getting Organized: Best Tips for a Less Stressful Life, and it is written  by author Debby Rodgers.

 If disorganization is a problem, as it is for so many people, and if chaos surrounds you, using the tips in this book can make a huge difference in how successful you become, as you work on getting organized.

Here is what I liked most about the book:
  • It included tips for different areas of everyday life. 
  • I especially enjoyed the tips on organizing finances, because that is an area I find so many people struggle with - and the tips are easy to add to a daily routine, which makes them even more brilliant and excellent.
The book provides tips on many different aspects of everyday life, and that can make it hard to follow, but if you decide to read it, I recommend that you take the time to book mark the parts that pertain to your life, so you can refer back to them, because they are based on the author's real life experience and she offers tips on implementing them, to make it easy for readers to do the same.

google-site-verification: google07cad212e1e4f725.html

Sunday, November 30, 2014

What are the steps for using the RCA Systemlink Code Search function?

Use the RCA Systemlink code search function by turning off the device being programmed then pressing and holding the button labeled Code Search on the remote. 

Then, quickly press the button for TV, VCR- or Cable and watch for the little light on the end of the remote to flash once before releasing the Code Search button.

After enabling the code search function, begin pressing the On/Off button slowly until the device being programmed turns on. 

After it turns on, press the Channel down button one time to confirm the set-up process has worked. 

If the Channel down button works, hit the Enter key to finish the programming session.

If the Channel down key does not work, shut off the device being programmed and continue pressing the On/Off Key and testing the Channel down key to make the remote search more codes. 

If the remote flashes twice, then all available codes have been tested.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cleaning With a Shovel

I recently took on a cleaning task that was almost overwhelming, for both me and the gentle lady who owned the property.

For the purposes of this post, I'll call her Meg. That's not her real name, but she agreed to let me share her story on the condition of anonymity, so here goes...

Meg's kitchen was piled about two feet deep with, well, kitchen things, garbage, and some assorted things that were dropped there in moments of absent-mindedness. (That was Meg's description of the situation, not mine.)

The bigger problem arose when a water pipe under her sink broke, and she did not know, as the kitchen was barely usable.

Over the course of days, or more likely, weeks, sulphur water seeped from the pipe and across the floorboard of the kitchen, completely saturating everything in the pile of kitchen things.

By the time Meg realized what had happened, everything porous in the pile had been soaking in tar black sulphur water for who knows how long.

Almost everything was completely ruined, but, as a hoarder, throwing anything away was torturous for Meg, so she asked me to help her out, which I gladly did.

Let me tell you, this was no small job.

Imagine a room, a good sized room, piled two feet deep with wet, heavy, extremely smelly stuff you can't even identify to determine if anything is savable, as  a compulsive hoarder stands there wanting to see every single thing you throw away.

Each trash can carried out weighed in at about fifty pounds, some more.

A shovel was the only reasonable way to tackle digging through this particular mess.

I scooped and lifted each heavy shovel to the edge of the trash can, and with rubber gloves on, I shoved debris bit by bit into the can.

This allowed a chance for Meg to confirm that the few salvageable items left in the room, were salvaged and tucked in boxes, to be washed in bleach water later.

I could have requested that she leave and simply tossed everything, but I wanted to respect that these were her things, and they represented more to her than the rotted clutter they appeared to be.

After about eight hours of heavy lifting and sorting, and hauling away trash, the floor of Meg's kitchen was visible.

It was caked with muddy sludge, which I continued to shovel.

Finally, it was time to mop - and mop - and mop some more.

Finally, when leaving the room for the evening, knowing no one else would be in the room overnight, I coated the floor with a misting of bleach, as it was badly stained.

By morning, some of the stains had faded a bit more, but the linoleum is damaged beyond repair.

Satisfied with my work, and my respect of her things, Meg has asked me to stay on to help her finish turning her kitchen into - well - a kitchen she can use.

Welcome to the Get Organized Club, Meg - so glad you're here!

Now, on to Meg's cupboards....

I'll let you know how that goes in my next post.