Posted in Fall, Timely Tips

Skin Care and Recycling – A Curious Combination?

A few years ago, someone suggested that I add pieces of lemon to my water. (I’m one of the diligent ones, drinking lots of it every day, all day long.) Why? She said that it helps the complexion. It’s something about keeping pores open. Lemon is also good for us internally; something about controlling bacteria. (I’m not a doctor and I also don’t play one on television. Ha!) For more information about the many benefits of lemon, you might google it.

Here in Vermont, fall is transitioning to winter, with snow on the way tomorrow. As we start to hunker down for the cold months ahead, adding lemon to our daily water intake is an easy way to take good care of ourselves. Lemon also reminds us of warmer weather, which WILL return, though not soon.

After tossing hundreds of pieces of lemon, it occurred to me to recycle them in a useful way. What to do? Drop them into the garbage disposal, then run it. The result? It keeps the disposal unit from getting smelly.

Lemon helps our complexions and helps to maintain the garbage disposal, too!
Lemon to the rescue!

Photo credit – Claudia Crespo, through Unsplash.

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Planning Ahead, Seasons, Timely Tips

Grills Just Wanna Have Fun!

Do you have a grill, either the old kind that uses charcoal or a gas item? Regardless, if you clean the grate now, before storing it for the winter, you’ll save time. By next spring, any leftover “gunk” will have had that much more time to get attached and will take more effort to clean. Besides, when you want to barbeque for the first time, about the last thing you’ll want to do is struggle with removing months-old residue. After all, grills just wanna have fun!

About De-clutter Me!

De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing “chaos to calm” since 2013. Call or email today! Ellen is at 802.598.3639 or ellen@decluttermevt.com.

 

Posted in Fall, Planning Ahead, Seasons, Timely Tips

Do Some Fall Tasks NOW

As spring comes to Vermont, and oh-so-slowly, everyone looks forward to shedding big jackets, gloves, hats and other cold-weather clothes.

Even though it might not be an attractive idea, NOW is a good time to wash all of that stuff – sweaters, scarves, and everything else listed above. Why? When you want to wear them as the weather gets cold again, won’t you prefer to put on clean clothes, rather than “threads” that were shoved away somewhere for the summer, and aren’t clean?

You also might want to polish boots, or treat them with leather cleaner, or whatever else will extend their usefulness.

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Home Maintenance, Suggestions, Timely Tips

A Little-Known Cleaning Use for Salt – It Really Works!

Some time ago, I heard or read somewhere that salt can be used to clean silk flowers. Really? I’d never tried it.

I’ve been working with a client whose dining room table has been full of stuff, including books, bills, unopened Christmas cards, tax documents. A few days ago, we made some serious progress and could see about half of its surface. Good timing, since family will soon visit for February school vacation week. I spotted a silk flower arrangement on the floor, under a lovely antique breakfront piece. It looked dusty. I told her about the salt cleaning method, adding that I’d never tried it.

There’s a low silk flower and foliage arrangement near my desk. Okay, time to try it. Timing is everything, though. Since I’d just washed the kitchen floor and didn’t want to clean up after myself, I carefully thought through the process. I pulled one of its stem sections, placed it in a clear plastic bag from the grocery store that had held some fruit or produce, then put that bag into another, similar bag. I then poured in some kosher salt, thinking that its size and relative coarseness might make it clean better than “regular” table salt. After tying off both bags, I held them in the sink and shook them vigorously.

Untying the bags and carefully lifting out the stem section, it had worked! The flower blossoms and foliage looked better than the rest of the arrangement. Some grains of salt remained on some of the stems. I carefully blew them off, thinking that a hair dryer would work better. Indeed, the whole cleaning process would be done better in another way – outside! That’s not realistic in Vermont in February, but it’s good to know that the cleaning “solution” really works.

I emailed my client. Will she try it? That’s to be determined.

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Seasons, Timely Tips, Winter

To Protect Dogs’ Paws from Winter Salt

First posted last winter, this still works; or, I hope so! It’s about to become punishingly cold and we have some, though not a lot of, snow in this part of Vermont.

Paw Wax Recipe

3 ounces beeswax
3 tablespoons calendula oil
3 tablespoons avocado oil
3 tablespoons coconut oil

Melt together in a pan on low heat, mix well, then pour into a small tin or other container. Let cool at room temperature overnight. To use, rub the bottom of your dog’s paws in the Paw Wax and go!

You also might want to give some to friends, both human and canine.

About De-clutter Me!

De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Planning Ahead, Timely Tips

It’s a Great Time to Start a Gratitude/Happiness Jar

What’s a Gratitude/Happiness Jar? Is there a way to capture those feelings and place them somewhere? While not exactly, it is possible to record them to be enjoyed later on. How?

First, find a big jar that you can easily reach every day. On a small piece of paper, write something that you’re thankful for that day. It can be as simple as enjoying the sunshine, or something big. You choose!

Not meaning to be “Pollyanna-ish” here, but we all have both good and bad days. Finding something good in each day can boost our spirits when needed and positively affect our health.

I started one for the year yesterday, and dated the entry. I’ll try to use colored paper, so they look nice. Next New Year’s Day, I’ll dump them out to read and enjoy. Happy New Year – and cheers!

Fill the jar!

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Fall, Gardening, Seasons, Timely Tips

Seasonal Gardening Tips

Local gardening expert Charlie Nardozzi spoke yesterday on a Vermont Public Radio call-in show. He shared some excellent tips. Knowing the always-smiling Charlie to be an affable guy, I’m sure that he wouldn’t mind my passing along a few gems. A professional organizer, I’m also an enthusiastic gardener, though certainly not all-knowing!

• Don’t lay down winter mulch now. It’s much too early, and would provide a home for critters that you don’t want taking up residence in your garden(s). It’s better to wait until late November.
• As you cut back garden perennials, leave hydrangeas at about a foot high. That will be enough for them to bloom next season. (I made this particular mistake last year, cutting one back to just a few inches high. Not good! It’s taken all season for it to finally recover to a foot’s height, and without any flowers. I look forward to gorgeous blossoms next year.)
• With Halloween on a Wednesday this year, schedules may require cutting jack-o-lanterns the previous weekend. Carve them, apply petroleum jelly to the cuts, then immerse them in water. That will preserve them until the 31st.

Happy gardening and Halloween!

About De-clutter Me!

De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing “chaos to calm” since 2013.

Posted in Fall, Garage, Home Maintenance, Timely Tips

Seasonal Garage Cleaning, Even for a Professional Organizer

Today, I swept my garage and stored wicker summer furniture, placing the chairs on some old rubber car floor mats. That way, once winter snow melts off the car, the furniture legs will be protected. No old floor mats? You might lay down a used shower curtain liner. (Reduce, reuse, recycle!) No liner available, either? A small tarp would do the trick.

Another possible way to store and protect summer furniture or other delicate items – on top of horizontally-laid tires! If your garage has enough vertical space (and maybe limited horizontal room), that might be another useful option.

Another good use for used shower curtain liners – to cover bikes and other objects that aren’t fun to dust. After all, when spring returns, wouldn’t you rather use these items than spend time cleaning them?

While sweeping the garage each spring and fall isn’t fun, it feels good, in a way. It provides a timely opportunity to clear any clutter that’s accumulated during the previous few months. A great idea – this morning, colleague Steve Ertle, from BTV Creative, suggested using a leaf blower! It does a very thorough job of clearing dust, and is much faster than sweeping. A professional organizer, I was a bit embarrassed that I haven’t thought of that. It must be because I don’t have a leaf blower.

Be careful that no garage items are in the path of the dust, though, or you may have some extra wiping to do. Happy fall!

About De-clutter Me!

De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing “chaos to calm” since 2013.

Posted in Mental Clutter, Reduce, Timely Tips

Tasks Completed and Mental Clutter Gone!

Many, if not most of us, put off tasks that may take lots of time, or challenge us, or otherwise cause stress.

Two such tasks  (figuratively) hovered over my head, with daily reminders that they existed. I sing in the Bella Voce Women’s Chorus, and serve as our historian. I write our history, which I actually enjoy, and also update our scrapbooks, which I obsess about and always avoid. (While scrapbooking was a recent fad, it may have faded out within the last year or so. Having our seven scrapbooks provides a wonderful, and fun, visual record of our history. As we begin our 15th season, it’s easy to forget details about our early years.)

Within the last week, I updated both our written history and our current scrapbook. Though neatly arranged, the pile of music scores, concert programs, Scotland tour information, Annual Meeting and other notes is gone from my office floor. Poof! Magic! The area looks physically neater, and I actually feel lighter.

It’s like when I ask my clients if they feel lighter as we clear their clutter.  They always smile and agree. It’s the same for me. I’m “smiling out loud,” and now can turn my free-time focus to other hobbies and some other household projects.

About De-clutter Me!

De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been “bringing calm to chaos” since 2013.