Travel….it can be both exhilarating and exhausting. Personally, a good jolt out of reality and routine does me good…occasionally! If you know me, you know I’m a creature of habit and I like my comfort zone.
Recently I zeroed in on the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI) conference as a chance to hone some of We Love Messes’ cleaning skills, and to connect with other professionals in the field. I was apprehensive about attending the conference solo…but hey, the edge of the comfort zone is where things start happening! I attended lots of seminars, walked the trade show floor, and met people like Amar, Chris, and Courtney (in the picture) who run the Zenmaid software we use.
I mixed a little fun in there, too – forcing myself out of my hotel room (where I usually hole up after a day of networking and talking to people). My quick tips for being a tourist - in Vegas or elsewhere?
Even in the land of ten thousand lakes where water abounds, many of us appreciate the serenity of garden water fountains - and as fall approaches - these need our cleaning attention, too. Thank you to Sally Perkins, busy mom and homeowner, who is sharing her tips for cleaning those outdoor fountains.
Tips for a Clean Fountain
A fountain makes for a beautiful and eye-catching centerpiece for any back yard or large garden. Although it may be running on water, it still requires regular maintenance to ensure it is free from buildup and mold. Your fountain will run better with a little care and attention, so getting in a professional to clean it regularly may also be of benefit. If you're ready to do this on your own, grab the following items before tackling the cleaning:
We keep searching for things that fit. The right shoes. A comfy pair of jeans. Maybe even a career or relationship. It is the struggle to right-size - make decisions based on the life we are living today - and preparing for changes we might encounter in the future.
A great example is the baby boom generation - they've raised their kids, had careers, and are now retiring and moving on to the next "life chapter". This phase can mean a smaller house with less maintenance, more free time to spend with the grandkids and for traveling, or even launching a new, entirely different, career.
A Closer Look at Right-Sizing
Right-sizing our homes doesn't have to involve grand, dramatic changes. In fact, right-sizing can often be a series of related steps that work together to make sense for your personal situation.
For a baby boomer, right-sizing might look like moving from a four bedroom where we raised our kids, to a one or two bedroom just for us. We let the space itself define what we keep - 2 beds instead of 4 mean we "need" fewer sheets, blankets and pillow cases. These simpler, smaller decisions that can be made right now pave the way for the harder, more emotionally laden ones we might face later.
The less we have to maintain the more free time we have to spend with loved ones, or pursuing new interests. Those big lawns, gardens, and driveways and the machines that helped us maintain them can be right-sized as well.
Remember: Just because we've always done it one way doesn't mean we can't ask ourselves what it would look and feel like if we changed our strategy - perhaps doing less of something - letting go of a time and energy-taker. The answer can, and often does, surprise us!
What have you right-sized in your life that has freed you up to spend time and energy elsewhere? Do you wish you would have done so sooner or was the timing just right?
So, there's these slippers. Slippers that are well loved and worn thru on the soles. I knit them about 7 years ago, and then felted them. If you've ever seen me knit you know it's a painful process...shoulders hunched, pure concentration. What should be a relaxing hobby gives me a neck cramp. I've since given up knitting. But that's a story for another blog post....
My daughter keeps telling me I need to give the slippers up, too. They've served me well, and are quite past their prime. I keep meaning to throw them out. And, I....just cannot let them go. I think, "just one more wear" or "tomorrow. Definitely tomorrow".
What it boils down to is the heart and soul, sweat and tears I put in to them. Throwing them out, even after they've served me well, just isn't that easy. They are one of the few material things to which I'm actually attached.
I've learned over the years that often clients need the opportunity to tell the story of an item before they can release it. I feel the same way - now I've shared the story and they can go. Letting go is a process - whether it's material things, emotions, relationships - it doesn't matter. Telling the story helps validate the process and keep us moving forward.
Have a letting go story to share? Please share in the comments below - I'd love to hear about it!
Tammy Schotzko is a Certified Professional Organizer who