Lots of fall cleaning going on around us! When we do a residential cleaning walk thru the two most common requests (in addition to the housecleaning services we provide) are for windows and carpet cleaning - but those aren't in our wheelhouse. You are probably familiar with the adage a jack of all trades, master of none. We prefer to be the master of housecleaning and let others be the masters of carpet and window cleaning. Here's why we defer to the masters:
Carpet cleaning is an easy answer. In order to do a good job you need a truck mounted steam extractor, and knowledge of chemical composition of both stains and products used to treat them. Here in northern Minnesota we are lucky enough to have a steam cleaning company that not only cleans carpet (and rugs, tile, grout, air ducts, etc.), but they've taken their chemical composition knowledge and created a commercial product line for rug cleaning. You can learn more here.
Windows, on the other hand, seem like a no-brainer. Here's the thing - we don't LIKE doing windows - they inevitably look great when we are done, the client comes home with the sun in a different position and suddenly streaks appear in new places. It is a tough job, and another one of those best left to the professionals (of window cleaning). We love messes - not window cleaning. We want our clients to have the best service possible, which is why we suggest they contact a company that deals specifically with windows, like Exterior Professionals.
Happy fall cleaning, my peeps! Do you have cleaning tasks you hate doing and outsource? Please comment below - I'd love to hear how others deal with them!
Ever walk into a room with the intention of getting it organized, start moving things around, but never really make a decision on what to actually DO with the stuff? Organizers call that "churning", or shuffling things from one place to another. It can be anxiety producing and lead to frustration - expending energy but not achieving organization.
How do we avoid churning? There are multiple methods, but I'm going to share my two favorites - hula hoops and white sheets. Personally I like the saying "Aim Low and Overachieve" - sometimes I modify it to just "Aim Low and Achieve" and both these tools help us do that.
The Hula Hoop Method
For example, we want to organize our entire craft room....that's a very large goal. To avoid churning, we are going to lay a hula hoop on a horizontal surface and only deal with what is within its circumference. Being confined to that space not only helps set an achievable goal, but it is much less overwhelming than organizing the entire room. Once we've made decisions on what is inside the hula hoop we can move it and repeat the process.
Next week I'll explain how I use a white sheet to organize. Stay tuned!
We live in what is considered a “throw away culture” yet storage units are everywhere! Is it quantity over quality? I estimate that 95% of the client storage units I’ve been in have been delayed decisions – the clients all knew what needed to happen with the items inside, but they couldn’t bring themselves to take the next step.
I'm not the only one who sees this throw away culture. Jim Gaffigan gives us some spot-on insight into this trap we've set for ourselves. Take two minutes (actually 1 minute 58 seconds) to watch his views on the subject.
Are you holding on to a storage unit? What’s inside? Have you ever figured out what the unit is costing per year and then salivated over what could be done with that money instead? What’s keeping you from taking action on emptying the unit? Inquiring minds want to know – please share below!
It was a mess. And yes, we do love messes, but....the floor in my office had "perimeter piles" for several months. I cringed going in there, and had taken to spreading my grad school homework out on the kitchen table instead of working in the office, as the space was intended.
A few weeks ago I couldn't take it any longer; feeling completely overwhelmed and in over my head, I reached out to one of my co-workers to see if she could spend a couple hours with me in the office. She was all over it, and the process began.
I was stressed about having her there, mortified by the state of my office, overwhelmed by the feeling that I "should" be able to do it all and the awareness that....I wasn't! I heard the same things come out of my mouth that clients say during almost every organizing session.
My point? Every now and then things just get to be too much, and it's not only OK, but GOOD to call in some support - whether it's a friend, neighbor, kid, spouse or professional organizer! At the end of the day what we all want is for the person we are helping to feel better!
Tell me I'm not the only one this has happened to - I'm cruising down the road in the midst of a packed-to-the-rim day, glance down, and I'm on "E". Big deal. Stop at the gas station and fill up. Except....the schedule is back to back and that 10 minutes makes me late for a stop, which snowballs the rest of the day. It feels like I'm barely holding on to my grasp on the day.
Who. In. The. World. Doesn't. Have. 10. Minutes? OK - I DON'T. On certain days/weeks, that is. My husband is aghast that I can essentially live in my car and not be cognizant of when it is on, or about to be on, empty.
Time to reflect! There reaches a point where the empty gas tank becomes a neon blinking sign saying that I'm not refueling myself, either. Burning ourselves out so there is nothing left in the tank means there is nothing to give out when working with clients, parenting, being a friend, etc.
I've used the oxygen mask analogy before in blog posts - if you don't put your oxygen mask on first you won't be able to help the person sitting next to you. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to use my Daily Calm app to meditate and recharge for 10 minutes!
What are YOU doing to take care of yourself? Let's encourage and support each other. I am doing this by giving away a FREE Strategy Session! Just LIKE this blog post and you'll be entered to WIN!
You know the one. She always has her hair and make-up and clothes and shoes and... oh, you get the point. She is ready. For everything. Her kids always smile. And they must be brilliant because they are forever posing with awards on Facebook. And this mom's house. Wow. Spotless. Her life must be A.Maze.Ing. Just like her.
So.... we all think we know this mom. But I'm guessing that she is about as real-life as Holiday Barbie. This Mother's Day, let's all get real. Stop the envy-induced Mom Crush. Support each other. End the perfectionism. Take more time to lift each other up every day. We will ALL be so much better for it. And if, as in this song, you want that amazingly clean house, treat yourself for Mother's Day and give me a call. We all need a little help!
So you think your closet is messy? Scientists estimate there are more than 100 million pieces of space junk in orbit, posing a growing threat to future space exploration. It is easy to ignore the things we can't see everyday... until one day we are faced with the reality that something just needs to be done.
Piles for donation. Boxes for recycling. Bags for consignment stores. We have options for our extra "stuff", people. But what about that space junk? In December Japan launched an epic cleaning machine into space, designed to gather debris and do a little spring cleaning of its own. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned and the "space junk collector" malfunctioned and burned up upon re-entry into the atmosphere. So they have to try again.
We (collectively as the planet's population) can't just ignore that we are sending up junk into space that has to go....somewhere. And we also can't ignore the overflowing closet. We have to look under the bed. We have to stare down the piles in the garage.
Ignoring the problem-piles and hoping they won't affect us too much just isn't a doable option. So we have to get creative, get working, and be OK with the idea that we just might not get it right on the first try. Organizing is not a one-size-fits-all experience! We just have to make sure we try again.
If you need a little help with the trying, give me a call or send me an email!
Is there such a thing as healthy clutter? Find out my thoughts on that, and more, in this recently published interview. Here is a sneak peek!
"I look at life like a book — the chapters of a book," Schotzko said. "Things are a little different from one chapter to the next."
Some things that were important to people in past "chapters" of their lives may no longer have the same importance. Hanging on to those things may make it impossible to find space for the things that are important now.
Schotzko advises people to take a look at what they've brought into the home and think about "how these things came to live there," she said, "and what purpose they serve."
Her goal is to start conversations and make clients look at their space in a new light, she said.
Keep reading the rest of the article - and let me know what you think!
Welcome to 2017 and a fresh start! Each week this month we're going to talk about Julie Morgenstern's S.P.A.C.E. (Sort, Purge, Assign, Containerize, Equalize). Organizing doesn't get easier than these 5 steps - I promise. Big space or small, it works - although if you've heard me speak you'll remember that starting small is the key to success. Let's DO THIS!
S Is for Sort
It is impossible to make a decision about an item if we don't know how many or what kind we have. Sorting is an essential first step to a sustainable, organized space. Ever bought something only to realize that you already own it? Happens all the time. To know what we own we have to sort like with like and get it all in one spot to give us visual representation.
I worked with a family that didn't have closets in the bedrooms (old house built when storage wasn't really a necessity!), so clothes were all over the house. We talked about quantity, and Mom guesstimated that her daughter had about 25 sweatshirts. When we got them all together there were over 70. Mom was a bit surprised. Actually, I was too!
Let's use a pantry for example. Pull out all the canned goods, stacking each type of food in a separate spot. Baking supplies go in another area, pots, pans, lids in another. You get the idea. I like to wipe down the shelves as I go - or get the kids in the house to help out - let's make this a 2 for 1 deal!
Next week....how to do the Purge - and it doesn't mean getting rid of EVERYTHING!
What space are you going to tackle? Comment below and let's take this journey together - I love to hear from my readers! :)
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Tammy Schotzko is a Certified Professional Organizer who