Monday, January 31, 2011

How to Achieve Sweet Dreams in a Clutter-Free Master Bedroom - Week #4

This month we have been focusing on de-cluttering your bedroom. If you have not completed the de-cluttering you may want to continue working on that before you begin the cleaning process. If, however, you are ready to get down and clean the dirt, yet you are so stretched for time… this is my answer for you. Each day set your timer for 10 minutes and see how much you can tackle. During the 10 minutes don’t answer the phone, don’t even go to the bathroom, you will be amazed at how much you can accomplish in a little amount of time! Some of these challenges may be done under 10 minutes and, depending on your own situation, some may need more time. If the timer rings and you are not done with your challenge, simply reset the timer for 10 minutes. One final warning: don’t obsess, do the best that you can do!
7 Steps to a Clean Master Bedroom 10 minutes a day
Recommended items:
  • Bucket
  • Dry mop
  • All purpose cleaner & window cleaner
  • Microfiber Cloth
  • Germicide Cleaner
  • Special extras: Fresh flowers and Lavender essential oil
 Monday: Walls & Ceilings – We are working from the top down this week, so grab your dry mop (I use the Swiffer mop) and give the walls a good thorough wipe down. Don’t forget to clean off your ceiling fan! If you can live without your curtains being up, you may want to take them down today and wash them (according to the manufacturer directions) so you will have them ready for your next day’s challenge.
Tuesday: Windows & windowsills – Take down your curtains and either wash them or at least take them outside and give them a good shake. You can also use the upholstery attachment of your vacuum for heavier dry-clean only drapes. Don’t let the evil head of perfectionism creep in, do the best you can do in the time you have available. Don’t get stuck! Next, grab your window cleaner and wipe down your windows and wipe off the windowsills. Finally, hang your curtains back up. 

Wednesday: Sanitize – Grab your bucket with hot water and germicide cleaner (something that will kill bacteria) and a microfiber cloth. Clean all the germ infected areas and items such as: switches, doorknobs, telephone, remote control, etc. Anything that you or your family have touched with your hands, give a good wipe!
Thursday: Furniture and knick knacks – Use your all-purpose cleaner (or whatever you use that is safe for wood and other surfaces) and wipe down all of your furniture and knick knacks. Once again, don’t get obsessed with one item, just do the best you can do and be as thorough as you have time for.

Friday: Bedding – Strip your bed and wash all your bedding. For your ten minute challenge I want you to take your vacuum onto your bed and give it a good vacuuming. Next, flip your mattress and vacuum the other side as well.

Saturday: Carpet & Flooring – If you have wall to wall carpet give your bedroom a thorough vacuuming, if it is hard wood or another surface, it is time to mop.

Sunday: Rest and enjoy – If you have made it this far you deserve a little treat! Place fresh flowers in your bedroom. For an aromatic treat, take out the light bulbs in your lamps and rub lavender oil, with a cotton ball, all over the bulb. Screw it back into the lamp and enjoy the fragrance each time the bulb heats.

Sweet Dreams!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

How to Achieve Sweet Dreams in a Clutter-Free Master Bedroom - Week #3

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I truly believe that the master bedroom sets the tone for the family. If you feel overwhelmed in your life, make it a priority to keep your bedroom as free from stress as possible. For the past few weeks we have been talking about clearing out the clutter in your master bedroom. This week we are going to focus on all that stuff that has somehow accumulated on top of the surfaces.

The best way to tackle this job is to box and banish the items. Grab a box, set your timer for 5 minutes, and clear off one surface area, dumping everything into that box. During this same five minutes take a microfiber dusting cloth and give the surface a thorough cleaning. Do not obsess over making it spotless as our main goal is to de-clutter. Now, set the timer for 5 more minutes and this time shop through your box and place back onto the surface area only the necessary items. Place the trash in the garbage can and leave the items in the box that need to go somewhere else. Before you attack another surface area you must put the remaining items that are left in the box away. Do not make the common mistake of “out of sight…out of mind” and just tucking this box away for another day.

If you do this every day this week, spending just 10 minutes a day, you will be amazed at what can be accomplished!!

BONUS: What are the 5 things that every Master Bedroom should have?:

Soft lighting: Replace any harsh lighting with the glow of soft bulbs. You will feel more relaxed almost immediately.

Wedding pictures or other happy pictures: Try to keep things in your bedroom that make you thankful for the day and hopeful for the future.

Candles: It is amazing what a little inexpensive candlelight can do to make a space calming and romantic!

Tablet and a pen- By placing these items next to your bed at night you have the ability to write down your “to-do” list that wakes you in the middle of the night and prevents you from going back to sleep.

A little bit of color- Try sprucing up your bedroom with a little inexpensive paint. Think warm and spicy! If you are unable to paint, have some pillows or curtains to add a little pizzazz to your space.

Have fun this week reclaiming your bedroom!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How to Achieve Sweet Dreams in a Clutter-Free Master Bedroom - week 2

When I go into a client’s home to completely overhaul and organize a closet, the average time is normally around 3-4 hours, and that is with at least two of us working, the client(s) and myself. It is quite understandable that a job like this can become very overwhelming and inevitably a major procrastination issue. How can you tackle this job in 10 minutes a day? You may not achieve perfection, and may need to spend additional time on this project one day this week where you have a little extra time, but 10 minutes a day can be quite surprisingly productive!

Set the timer for 10 minutes and attack as many drawers as you can, using the following system.

Grab 3 bags and label each one the following 3 categories:

- Sell
- Donate/Give Away
- Throw out

Attack one drawer or small section in your closet at a time and toss the items into the appropriate bag. Once you have cleared out the drawer, place the keep items neatly back.

What to Keep?

I have heard all different strategies on how to decide what to keep. My system is quite simple. If I would not buy the item TODAY it does not get kept. Try to not think about how much (or how little) you paid for the item. It’s time to take the emotions out of the things around you! Also, do not keep items that no longer fit you. I clearly remember hanging onto a dream size wardrobe. What I discovered is when I hit my dream size, the clothes were not as spectacular as I had envisioned. If you are trying to fit into a certain dream size, tear out a picture of an outfit from a catalog. When you reach your goal, try the outfit on before you buy it. This is especially true if you are a woman holding onto clothes that fit you before children…5 + years ago!

What to Sell?

Prior to trying to sell your item(s), it is best to research what is the current market price. If you choose to use an online auctions site (such as eBay) it is very easy to find out the current market price by looking at what final prices similar items have successfully sold. Next you need to decide if you want to sell it or donate it. One thing to keep in mind when selling your item(s) on online auction sites is that there are no guaranties your item will sell at the price you would like it to, or will sell at all, even if similar items have sold.

What to Donate/Give Away?

If you plan on donating your items to a non-profit charity make sure you keep a good record of what was donated and have the charitable organization sign your receipt. When you donate to a non-profit organization that is accepted by the federal government as such, you can claim each item for its fair market value. A good rule of thumb to use when trying to come up with a fair market value would be 25% of the retail price. For more information, check out the IRS publication for charitable giving.

Another suggestion is to give your items to someone, perhaps a friend or family member. My only request is that you contact this person first and ask if they would like your items. You do not want to make your good intentions become their clutter.

Throw Away:

Throw away overly used and damaged undergarments, shoes and clothing. If it is no longer of any use to you, or anyone else, it is garbage.

It’s time to evaluate what areas of your closet and drawers were the most cluttered. If it was your shoes, place a shoe shelf in the bottom of your closet, or an under the bed storage unit. Perhaps it was the shelf above the closet that was overwhelmed with stuff. Measure the area and place bins or baskets and designate each; purses, belts, etc. Before you run right out to your nearest “mart” store to get bins, baskets, etc. make sure that you don’t already have something in your home that would work just fine.

I promise you that it feels amazing to let go of those items that you don’t need, meanwhile gaining more appreciation for the things that are left. As I mentioned last week, if you find great sadness and an inability to attack the clutter yourself, contact someone for help. You owe it to your family, but more importantly yourself, to have a bedroom in which you can rest.

Sweet Dreams!

Monday, January 10, 2011

How to Achieve Sweet Dreams in a Clutter-Free Master Bedroom - week 1

Want to create a dream bedroom in 10 minutes a day? For the next few weeks we are going to focus on the master bedroom, or as I call it, the new heart of the home. Week 1 will focus on planning and purging in 5 quick and easy steps.

I have often heard that the heart of the home is the kitchen. Instead, I would like to suggest that the Master Bedroom is the true lifeblood of the home, which is why I found it imperative to start the “Around the House Overhaul” in the master bedroom. So often we focus our attention on the rooms in which everyone else sees, and put our own needs last. When your bedroom is clean and organized, you will sleep, love, and live more fulfilled. In turn you will be healthier and happier, which makes everything more manageable in life.

For the next few weeks I am going to give you the steps to create a haven for yourself. This week we are going to focus on planning and general purging. Following are the steps for your clutter busting challenges for this week:

Step 1: Sit down with your spouse and share the frustrations with your current bedroom. Try and listen to each other and not get defensive. Perhaps come up with a reward for your room for when the bedroom de-cluttering project is complete.

Step 2: Create a timetable of when you would like to complete your project. I have 4 additional clutter busting challenges for you throughout the following month, but you may adjust the time-table to your own needs.

Step 3: Locate the closest donation center and get the details on donation criteria and rules. In addition, get the information for the recycling center in your area.

Step 4: Grab a couple garbage bags and set your timer for 5 minutes a day and start purging the trash from your rooms. Trash is something that is no longer of use to you, or anyone else. Now, just because it is trash, there is no need to clutter up the landfills. Make sure to recycle all that you can! We will focus on donating clothing and other items during a future weekly challenge, so for this week simply attack the garbage.

Step 5: Set the timer for 5 minutes a day and put away items that have found themselves in your room, but don’t belong there. Put clothing back into drawers and place shoes away.

Attempt to do these simple 10 minute challenges each day this week. If at the end of the week you find yourself still overwhelmed with clutter, don’t fret. Throughout the following four challenges we will attack every nook and cranny in your master bedroom. If you find great sadness and an inability to attack the clutter yourself, contact someone for help. You owe it to your family, but more importantly yourself, to have a bedroom in which you can rest.

Sweet dreams!