Posted in Clever Re-Uses, Suggestions, Timely Tips

Just This Morning…

…I re-used some dryer sheets to clean the blinds in a bedroom. It really is easy-peasy, and so fast.

After using them in their usual way, tuck used dryer sheets away. They actually have multiple uses. For more suggestions, see my post, from January 2018. It’s under Timely Tips, and Clever Re-Uses. Good ideas keep!

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 Clearing Clutter, Timely Tips

Working Around the Virus

It WILL end, though we don’t know when.

Yes, COVID-19 is with us, and will be for some time to come. How long? We can’t predict that. Rest assured that, when we work together, I do all possible to protect everyone’s health. That’s also to clear mental clutter.

First, I take temperatures – yours and mine – to ensure that it’s safe. I wear a mask, and ask that you do, too. I also wear gloves. We socially distance. We also laugh, as we always do, perhaps noting both the importance of being careful and the challenges of talking clearly through masks. Onward!

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 Clearing Clutter, Suggestions, Timely Tips

Supporting Your Efforts!

Ready to work!

Like many millions of people around the world, you may be spending lots of time at home. Are you having fun? Using time well? Are you de-cluttering and organizing? If so, is it going well? Yes, it can be hard work, requiring energy, patience, and decisions.

If you’d like help, I’m here for you! We could work by Zoom. Another option – sending photos, then talking on the phone. I did just that with a high school classmate last summer. It went well, as I suggested specific actions for David to follow, and supported him about returning some items to his former wife.

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 Electronic Clutter, Suggestions, Timely Tips

Before Recycling or Trashing an Old Computer

I have a 10-year-old dinosaur of a desktop computer. It’s time to bring it to the county recycling depot. How to remove information from its hard drive, to protect my privacy? I called a local computer retailer, and was told that the store would do it for $100.00. Telling the kind gent that I didn’t want to spend that kind of money, he actually advised throwing the computer down a flight of stairs. The fall likely would break the hard drive. No thanks!

A colleague then suggested slamming the computer against a tree. That would feel like very strange behavior; plus, my neighbors understandably might wonder if I’ve lost my mind. There also likely would be lots of little pieces to pick up from the snowy ground. Not a good option, either.

Someone else suggested drilling through the monitor to poke holes in the hard drive. Now, just to figure out exactly where it is, within the “guts” of the monitor. Client Mike, who used to have a construction company, agreed to drill through it for me. He’s as comfortable using tools as I am uncomfortable.

Solution!

Thanks for photo credit to Matt Artz 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 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 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 Clever Re-Uses, Timely Tips

Clever Reuses – for Dryer Sheets!

I recently saw an article about clever reuse, and thought to pass along its suggestions. If you use dryer sheets to keep your clothes static-free, keep them. Put a container in the laundry area to hold used ones, then use them to make any of the following household tasks easier.

Around the House

  • Wipe one over clothes or furniture to help remove pet hair.
  • Run them over baseboards and other molding to lift dust and help repel it. (Much easier than hauling around a vacuum!)
  • Keep window blinds clean longer by wiping them down with a used dryer sheet to repel dust and lint. (This is my favorite, since cleaning the blinds never seems easy, and is oh-so easy to skip.)
  • Wipe ceiling fan blades. (How to do this? Maybe secure one to a yardstick with a rubber band.)
  • Remove soot from candle holders with a light scrub from a used dryer sheet.

For the Laundry

  • Stuff two into stinky shoes to help freshen them.
  • Clean a gunky iron by rubbing a used dryer sheet over it.
  • Wipe down the inside of the dryer and the lint tray with a used dryer sheet to help pick up stubborn dust and lint.
  • Remove deodorant marks on clothes by lightly rubbing with a used dryer sheet.
  • Tuck a few used dryer sheets in dresser drawers for a nice, light scent.

In the Office

  • Wipe and dust the television or computer screen. Dryer sheets’ anti-static properties help repel dust and lint.
  • Freshen a musty book by putting it into a large plastic baggie with a used dryer sheet or fold a piece or two within the pages of the book itself.
  • Wipe dull scissor blades with a used dryer sheet to sharpen them for clean cuts.

In the Bathroom

  • Wet a used dryer sheet with a few drops of water and wipe it on bathroom surfaces (faucet, shower doors, etc.) to remove soap residue.
  • Help remove glitter nail polish by soaking a used dryer sheet in nail polish remover.
  • Eliminate “hat head” and flyaways by running a used dryer sheet on hair.
  • Scrub toilet rings with used dryer sheets.
  • Polish eyeglass lenses with a used dryer sheet (don’t use on plastic lenses).

In the Kitchen

  • Clean up dry spills (like flour in the kitchen or sawdust in the garage) with a used dryer sheet. The tiny particles will stick better to a clingy dryer sheet than to a rag or paper towel.
  • Wet a dryer sheet and use it to clean stubborn food off cookware.
  • Toss a used dryer sheet into a sheet pan that’s soaking to help loosen cooked-on food.
  • Help keep garbage can odors at bay by tossing in used dryer sheets.

In the Yard

  • Put a used dryer sheet in the bottom of a planter or pot to keep soil from falling through the drainage hole.
  • Stuff used dryer sheets into toilet paper rolls to use as a fire starter for camping or a backyard bonfire.
  • Wet a used dryer sheet, then scrub bugs from the front of your car.
  • Dust your car’s console and dashboard with used dryer sheets.

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.