wcia 3 current

I’m headed out the door to chat with Cynthia Bruno LIVE on WCIA 3 Current this morning between 9am-10am. I’ve had a lot of coffee–I’m pretty fired up. And I even wore green.

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So tune in, ok?

No worries if you miss it–I’ll post the video here as soon as I can.

Here’s the link.  Oy. I was so nervous. But I survived. Ha.

. . .

Are you stopping by the blog for the first time today? Well then–hey there and welcome, first-timer. Start here. Or here. And keep stopping by, ok?

Here’s a link to the big, bad house decluttering series we discussed this morning on WCIA 3 Current. And here’s proof that I finally figured out how to fold a fitted sheet–thanks to my Aunt Cathy. Boom.

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And here are a few of my favorite posts.

Enjoy. And Happy St Patrick’s Day. I’ll be back tomorrow with a easy salmon patty recipe for your Friday. See you then. XOXO.

 

the big, bad house decluttering series. part four.

We made it! Four weeks of decluttering and deep cleaning–part one, part two, part three and now part four–in the books! I saved the best (or maybe the worst?) for last.

Closets. They’re probably my least favorite area to organize–but in my opinion–they’re the most rewarding once they’re done.

We’re going to take it one day at a time this week–so hang in there with me. And I’m saving the bedroom closets for the weekend–because if yours are anything like mine–they’ll take a little longer to organize.

Mark Waldhoff–Licensed Realtor with Waldhoff Gard & Associates is back to coach us through week four with more expert tips. Mark is a licensed broker with Keller Williams Realty in Champaign. He and his family have been decluttering and deep cleaning right along with us. I had a lot of fun organizing Mark’s daughter’s closet this weekend–so keep reading and check out the pics down below.

There’s still time to call Mark for a free home market analysis. He’s happy to meet with you, answer any questions you may have about buying or selling a home AND provide you with details about your current home’s value–which is obviously sky-rocketing as you wrap-up this blog series. Boom.

Let’s get after it.

Week Four–Cleaning Out Your Closets

Monday–Mudroom/Coat Closet

  • Start in your mudroom, if you have one. Remove every item from the hooks, cabinets and drawers–and wipe each of those areas with a damp cloth.
  • Look at every single item you just pulled out of your mudroom and ask yourself the following questions: Have I worn/used this item in the past year? Will I wear/use this item in the coming year? Does this item still fit me? Is there a better place to store this item?
  • Separate (or combine) everything accordingly–into three piles–keep/donate/toss.
  • Group like-items together and try to group items by each member of your family. Place the items back into your mudroom cabinets and drawers and onto your hooks. It’s easy to find inexpensive storage containers or baskets to help keep items like hats, gloves and scarves organized. Dollar Store for the win, again.
  • Repeat these steps in your coat closet. You can ask your hubby, wife or kids to help you with their coats. Or–who are we kidding–just do it without their help–sometimes that’s easier.
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Still need a good place to store my vacuums?! The coat closet isn’t ideal, but it’s convenient.

Mark says, “Mudrooms are a key feature for potential home buyers. When you prep this area for a showing keep in mind: No more than one coat per hook, leaving a few hooks empty. Minimize the number of shoes laying around before a showing. If you don’t have a mudroom, but you have a coat closet consider taking the closet doors off and converting it to a mini-mudroom. It’s a relatively easy project (a good DIY tutorial here) and adds lots of character and value to a home.”

Tuesday–Linen Closet

  • Remove every item from your linen closet-–and wipe each shelf with a damp cloth.
  • Look at every single item you just pulled out of your linen closet and ask yourself the following questions: Have I used this item in the past year? Will I use this item in the coming year? Is this item stained or damaged (like those old, gross flowered sheets you got for your bridal shower? Time to buy a new set!)? Is there a better place to store this item?
  • Separate (or combine) everything accordingly–into three piles–keep/donate/toss.
  • Group like-items together. And place items back onto your shelves. Here’s Martha Stewart’s tutorial on how to fold a fitted sheet. And she also suggests folding the fitted sheet, flat sheet and extra pillow cases for each set of sheets into one of the set’s pillow cases. I LOVE that idea. I watched her tutorial over and over and over again. I tried to fold my fitted sheet for a good thirty minutes and couldn’t do it?! So I just gave up. My linen closet is still a mess. Someone, anyone–please come show me what I’m doing wrong!
  • Repeat these steps in every linen closet you have. And maybe change the sheets on each of the beds in your house too–because there’s nothing better than clean, crisp sheets. I also washed the boys’ pillows. Just threw them in the washing machine on warm and then let them tumble dry on low.
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Martha Stewart? Are you out there? Someone, anyone? Please come help me fold my fitted sheets.

Wednesday–Play Area/All the Toys

 

  • Start with some coffee. And crank some tunes. This may be one of the tougher areas to declutter.
  • Remove every item from your kids play area–-off shelves, out of drawers out of containers–and wipe each area with a damp cloth. Go ahead and vacuum underneath everything too.
  • Look at every single item you just pulled out of your playroom and ask your kids (or yourself if they’re still little) the following questions: Have you/they played with this item in the past year? Will you/they play with this item in the coming year? Is this item age-appropriate? Does this item have sentimental value? Is this item stained or damaged or does it need new batteries (then replace the batteries!)? Is there a better place to store this item?
  • Separate (or combine) everything accordingly–into three piles–keep/donate/toss.
  • Group like-items together. And place items back onto shelves or into drawers and containers. I’m a big fan of big bin containers for my kids’ toys. We just throw like-toys into each bin to clean up–and it makes it easy to transport their toys to another room too. I think I found our bins at Meijer, but I’ve also seen some really cute, colorful cubes, bins, baskets and totes from Thirty One (shout out to my girlfriend Angie Kerr who rocks the thirty-one game around Chambana).
  • Repeat these steps in every play area in your house or any area that hold toys (your kids’ rooms, toy chests, toy boxes, stuffed animal collections, etc).
  • Toy organization doesn’t have to be perfect. Our playroom is usually always a mess, but it’s functional–and I’m ok with that. My kids are playing in it every day–so it should be a little messy. But our kids should be able to find their toys, so try to keep things organized and accessible. And the playroom should be easy to clean-up when you need it to be.
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Mark says, “Child play areas are a great spot to show off the “warmth” of your home. Whether it’s a little corner in the basement or a true playroom take the opportunity to make it look fun, usable and orderly. Potential homebuyers get emotionally attached to a home just thinking about how their kids would play in that home. The same staging rules apply here too–for showings keep surface tops as empty as possible with the exception of purposefully placed games or books.”

Thursday–Arts and Crafts/Pet Area

  • Remove every item from your arts and crafts area–-off shelves, out of drawers and out of containers–and wipe each area with a damp cloth. Go ahead and vacuum underneath everything too.
  • Look at every single item you just pulled out of your arts and crafts area and ask your kids (or yourself if they’re still little) the following questions: Have you/they worked with this item in the past year? Will you/they work with this item in the coming year? Is this item age-appropriate? Is this item old, over-used and/or damaged? Is there a better place to store this item?
  • Separate (or combine) everything accordingly–into three piles–keep/donate/toss.
  • Get rid of the broken crayons. Get rid of the old, hard Playdough. Group like-items together. And place items back onto shelves or into drawers and containers.
  • Tackle your pet area now too. Combine old food. Throw out old pet toys or tattered leashes. We don’t have pets, so I don’t really know what all may be in this area–just get rid of the old stuff and organize the stuff your keeping.

Mark says, “Not everyone loves pets and it can be a major turn-off for some potential home buyers. Whenever possible, hide all traces of your pets for showings–food, toys, beds and litter boxes.”

Friday–Library, Entertainment Center

  • Start with your library, then move to your kids’ library. Remove every book from each shelf-–and wipe each shelf with a damp cloth.
  • Look at every single book you just pulled off each shelf and ask yourself the following questions: Have I read this book in the past year? Will I read this book in the coming year? Does this book have sentimental value? Is this book stained, damaged or missing pages?
  • Separate (or combine) everything accordingly–into three piles–keep/donate/toss.
  • Group like-books together. And place books back onto your shelves. I like to keep a few books on our nightstands, and rotate them every so often. So rotate those now, if need be.
  • Repeat these steps in your kids’ libraries too.
  • Do the same for your entertainment center. DVDs, CDs, VHS tapes, whatever. Do you really need any of them? If so, it’s time to dust them off and organize them. If not, it’s time to donate them.

 

Saturday and Sunday–Bedroom Closets

  • Start in your own bedroom. Remove every item from your closet–and dust any surfaces. Also vacuum the floor while it’s empty.
  • Look at every single item you just pulled out of your closet and ask yourself the following questions: Have I worn/used this item in the past year? Will I wear/use this item in the coming year? Does this item still fit me? Does this item have sentimental value? Is this item stained or damaged? Is there a better place to store this item?
  • Separate (or combine) everything accordingly–into three piles–keep/donate/toss.
  • Get rid of any old, extra hangers. Group like-items together. And place items back into your closet. I’m a big fan of organizing by season and by color. Try it–and see if it works for you too. Here are 10 easy closet organization ideas too., if you’re really feeling it.
  • Repeat these steps on every closet in your home. Ask your hubby, wife or kids to help you with their closets. Or–who are we kidding–just do it without their help–sometimes that’s easier.
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Mark (getting caffeinated) and Tessa Waldhoff before we started organizing.

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Tessa, very proud of her ^^BEFORE^^ closet!

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Kacy and Tessa looking at each and every item. Keep? Donate? Toss?

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Mark Waldhoff “helping” by finding an empty storage container.

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Lauren Rae and all her new clothes (hand-me-downs from a stylish sister are the best!) Thumbs up!

. . .

That’s it. You made it. Your house is decluttered and deep cleaned! Doesn’t it feel good to greet spring with an already spring-cleaned-house? Yesssss.

I know there’s always more to do–the dreaded garage, the dreaded car (or minivan) clean-out–but those are posts for another day. I think we’re sitting pretty right now.

If you didn’t finish organizing and deep cleaning all the areas in the series this month–just catch-up next month. Work at your own pace–even if it’s just one area a week. It’s going to take me all of March to clean out under my bed, yikes. And feel free to refer back to this series each year–as Mark’s tips are pretty timeless–I’ll even give the big, bad house decluttering series its own category on the blog for easy access.

Thanks for hanging in there with me this month. Please let me know how things went in the comments below. And special thanks to Mark Waldhoff for all the good tips–we really learned a lot.

Happy Spring (cleaning is done!), Chambana!! XOXO.

the big, bad house decluttering series. part three.

Week three. Anybody still hanging tough? It’s ok, I’m losing steam too.

We’ve all been sick around here. So for a week I’ve been running on very little sleep–and a steady stream of Art Mart coffee, my kids’ Valentine’s candy and Sudafed. So, ya–I’m running on empty.

Let’s take it easy this week, shall we? The fridge and freezer. The pantry. The kitchen cabinets and your dining room buffet and/or hutch. And then if you have any energy left this weekend, we’ll tackle some deep-cleaning in the kitchen and bathroom.

Nothing too crazy. Just take it one day at a time this week–we can do it.

And good news! Mark Waldhoff–Licensed Realtor with Waldhoff Gard & Associates is back to coach us through week three with more expert tips. Mark is a licensed broker with Keller Williams Realty in Champaign. Your house is getting so organized and clean, right? Now’s the time to call Mark for a free home market analysis. He’s happy to meet with you, answer any questions you may have about buying or selling a home AND provide you with details about your current home’s value–which is obviously going up as you’re completing this blog series.

So let’s get after it. Part three, here we go. (Here’s part one and part two, if you’re just joining us.)

Week Three–Cabinets, and Kitchens and Bathrooms–Oh My!!

Monday–Fridge and Freezer

  • I spent the morning yesterday reading all about fridge and freezer organization. There are hundreds of articles on Pinterest about food storage hacks. I think I read half of them, but I didn’t do anything they said to do. I have a food storage system that works. You probably do too. So this week, we’re just going to concentrate on wiping down your fridge and freezer surfaces and drawers and getting rid of expired items. You can handle that.
  • Empty everything from your fridge first. Shelves, drawers, doors all of it. Spray every surface with a non-toxic cleaning spray–let is sit a minute or two to get to work on any stickiness or spills. Wipe everything down. If you can take shelves and drawers out, do that and wipe all the cracks and crevices. Also wipe the tray under your water/ice dispenser. Gross, right?
  • Check every item’s expiration date–and pitch the old stuff.  I had some salad dressing that expired in 900 BC, gotta go. Combine any like-items. I know you have three bottles of almost empty yellow mustard, just like me. Combine them.
  • I found one container hidden in the back of the fridge with mystery contents, covered in mold. I can’t even go there. Nothing grosses me out more than the “mystery content container” hidden in the back of the fridge. I didn’t open it, it went straight into the trash, Tupperware and all. Don’t judge.
  • Place all the items back in your fridge, grouping like-items together.
  • Repeat this same process with your freezer. And empty your ice-maker of the old, funky ice and make a fresh batch. Sometimes it’s a good idea to do this once in awhile if you don’t use much ice.
  • Once you’re done, marvel at all the food you’d forgotten you had. Ha. And get to work eating up the old stuff this week before you grocery shop again.
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Found four bags of frozen breastmilk from 2012. WTH?! Time to let these go.

Mark says, “The fridge and freezer are interesting areas. 4 out of 5 potential homebuyers won’t peek inside, but if someone does it’s best to have yours neat and clean. It’s not a deal-breaker, but a clean fridge and freezer is a reflection of your overall housekeeping and first impressions of your home are lasting for a potential buyer.”

Tuesday–Pantry

  • Take everything out of your pantry (or whatever you use to store dry goods, I have cabinets), off the shelves and the floor. Wipe down any surfaces.
  • Check every item’s expiration date–and pitch the old stuff. Combine any like-items.
  • Group like-items together. And place all the items back in your pantry.
  • Here are some pantry organizational hacks–knock yourself out if you have the energy. Maybe someday, I’ll get after these.
  • If you find items that aren’t expired yet, but you don’t think you’ll ever use them–bag them up and drop them by the food pantry. Here’s a link to The Eastern Illinois Foodbank’s website  with some donation guidelines Their warehouse hours are 7am-4:30pm Monday through Thursday and 7am-12:30pm on Friday. No donation is too big or two small. They also accept unopened toiletries, cleaning supplies and pet food.
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Mark says, “If you have a large pantry, make sure it’s neat and clean–and organized. If you have a small pantry or just shelves, they should be staged. Make sure there are open spaces and the impression of extra space. All potential buyers love extra storage space!”

Wednesday–Kitchen Cabinets

  • Take everything out of your cabinets. Wipe down the surfaces.
  • Check dishes, glasses and service items for cracks, chips and damage. And ask yourself if you really need that item. Have you used it in the past year? Will you use it in the coming year? Is there a better place to store that item?
  • Separate everything accordingly–into three piles–keep/donate/toss.
  • Group like-items together. And place everything you’re keeping back into your cabinets.
  • Repeat this process with any bar cabinets you may have.

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Mine were all in pretty good shape, but I wiped them down a little.

Thursday–Dining Room Buffet and/or Hutch

  • Take everything out of your buffet and/or hutch. Wipe down the surfaces, and the dishes too if they’re dusty. Mine were.
  • Check dishes, glasses and service items for cracks, chips and damage. And ask yourself if you really need that item. Have you used it in the past year? Will you use it in the coming year? Is there a better place to store that item? I get that you may store antiques or heirlooms here, so keep what makes you happy, but get rid of the other stuff.
  • Separate everything accordingly–into three piles–keep/donate/toss.
  • Group like-items together. And place everything you’re keeping back into your buffets and hutches.

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Again, mine weren’t too bad. I gave them a quick dusting. My mother-in-law’s dining room hutch–on the other hand–could use some attention. Ha! Love you Nanny Pat.

Friday–Oven, Microwave, Dishwasher, Counters

  • If your oven has a self-cleaner, fire that baby up. Just make sure you’re home to monitor  the entire cycle as a safety precaution (it gets so hot). Wipe whatever ashes are left from the bottom of the oven once it’s completed and cooled. If you want to clean your oven by hand, here’s the way to do it.
  • Spray your microwave with some non-toxic cleaner and let it sit for a few minutes. Wipe down all the surfaces. Here are some other cool ways to clean it.
  • You can buy dishwasher cleaner. If you do that just run a dishwasher cleaning cycle, as directed. I use a cup a vinegar in my normal cycle once a month and that keeps the build-up away. If you really want to get down to the nitty-gritty, here’s the way to do it..
  • Wipe down all your countertops with some non-toxic cleaning spray, and also any appliances you have sitting on your counter. Now’s a good time to decide if you really need that item to sit on your counter. Do you use it often? If not, find another place to store it.

Mark says, “Just like the fridge and freezer, most potential buyers won’t check the oven. But if one does it’s important for it not to look like a college kid has been baking pizzas in it for four years straight.”

*He’s saying this because he saw mine. And mine looks like this. Ha

Saturday–Showers, Toilets, Mirrors

  • I’m a fan of a good old scrub brush for shower and bath cleaning. I spray all my surfaces with a tub and tile cleaner and let it sit a few minutes, and then I scrub everything with a soft-bristled scrub brush. It takes the majority of soap scum and hard water off tile and glass doors. Just do it while you’re showering and then rinse everything off. Clean the shower head and check your shower curtain liner now too. Gross? Is it time for a new one? Dollar Store for the win, folks.
  • Do the same for your bathtub. Scrub-a-dub-dub.
  • Toilets–my least favorite thing to clean. But it’s time to really clean them all well. I do use an anti-bacterial spray for my toilets. And don’t forget to clean around the base.
  • Windex all your mirrors, in your bathroom and everywhere else. I used a coffee filter to wipe all the mirrors and windows in my house yesterday and it worked like a charm. I’ve heard newspaper works too.

Mark says, “The master bath is one of the key zones for potential house buyers. Your shower shouldn’t have a large inventory of shampoos and soaps. Hide your shower scrubber and washcloths. No one wants to see the inside of your toilet bowl either–no matter how clean–so keep the lid closed during any showings. Also make sure the shower is mildew free. Check the corners and seams, and the shower head. Those areas need to be in pristine condition.”

. . .

Week three. You made it. And the end is near–just one more week! Phew.

If you don’t finish organizer and deep-cleaning all these areas during the week, just catch-up on the weekend. I built in a day off for you, just in case.

Let me know how your week goes in the comments. And thanks to Mark Waldhoff for all the good tips. We’ll see you back here next Monday for the fourth and final post in the series.

the big, bad house decluttering series. part one.

January 1, 2016. I resolved to declutter and deep-clean one area of my house every day for the next 31 days. I finished organizing our master bathroom on the 1st–right before pressing play on Netflix’s Making a Murderer. And the rest was history.

We finally finished watching the series–and every other tidbit of Steven Avery coverage. And now it’s time to get back to my New Year’s Resolution. This month I’m excited to partner with Mark Waldhoff–Licensed Realtor with Waldhoff Gard & Associates to bring you the big, bad (in a good way) house decluttering series.

When I started this blog, Mark was one of the first to inquire about a potential partnership–and this home decluttering and deep-cleaning series seems like a perfect fit. Mark is a licensed broker with Keller Williams Realty in Champaign. He’s been selling real estate in our area since 2004. Since then he’s built a business based on personal relationships–and providing excellent customer service to all his clients.

Mark and his wife Kacy (and their girls Tessa and Lauren Rae) are going to declutter and deep-clean their house right along with me. And Mark’s going to give us some expert tips on home organization from a realtor’s point of view.

And who knows?! Once your house is decluttered and deep-cleaned, you may start thinking you’d like to sell it. If so, you can call Mark for a free home market analysis. He’s happy to meet with you, answer any questions you may have about buying or selling a home AND provide you with details about your current home’s value–which will obviously go up after you complete this blog series. Ha.

OK, so–four weeks to a cleaner, more organized home. Only five or six areas to clean and organize each week–so you’ll have an extra day or two to catch-up if you get busy, lazy or caught up in a Netflix documentary. And I’ll give you detailed instructions on how to clean and organize each area–plus some expert tips and some links I love.

You can do this. Let’s get to it.

. . .

Week One. Underneath it All; The Hidden Areas of Our Lives (That are Chock-Full of Crap)

Monday–Under the Bathroom Sink

  • Pull everything out from underneath the sink–and wipe the empty area with some multi-surface cleaning spray. I use Young Living Thieves Cleaner for everything–it’s the best, non-toxic cleaner I’ve found. And it smells amazing.
  • Look at every single item you just pulled out from under the sink and ask yourself the following questions: Is it old, icky and/or expired? Have I used it in the past year? Will I use it in the coming year? Can I combine any items to save room?
  • Separate (or combine) everything accordingly–into three piles–keep/donate/toss.
  • Find some containers (Rubbermaid, old baskets, shoeboxes, whatever) and group the items you’re keeping into those containers.
  • If you store towels under your sinks, look for the bad ones (stinky, stained, old, holes) and donate or toss. Refold the good towels in three piles–bath towels, hand towels and wash cloths. I taught myself the towel tri-fold yesterday–link below.
  • Repeat these steps under every bathroom sink in your house.

Nice and neat. And look, Ma–I learned how to fold towels like a boss!

Mark says, “Some potential buyers love to look in cabinets and drawers out of general curiosity. But there IS actually a valid reason to poke around under the sink–to check for a water leak. The effects of a slow drip an be minimal, but in some cases the damage can be severe. So it’s a great idea to keep this area of your home organized and to check under your sink for slow drips periodically.”

Tuesday–Under the Kitchen Sink

  • Pull everything out from underneath the sink–and wipe the empty area clean.
  • Look at every single item you just pulled out from under the sink and ask yourself the following questions: Is it old, icky and/or expired? Have I used it in the past year? Will I use it in the coming year? Can I combine any items to save room?
  • Separate (or combine) everything accordingly–into three piles–keep/donate/toss.
  • Group like-items together–dishsoaps, household cleaners, bathroom cleaners, etc.
  • Repeat this step under your laundry sink and bar sink too (this process works for kitchen cleaning supplies, laundry supplies and booze).

I put three of those Target plastic bags at the bottom of each trash can  all around the house–underneath the plastic bag lining the can. So the extras are right there and ready to use every time we take out the trash and need a new liner.

Wednesday–Under the Beds

  • Take a Claritan if you’re allergic to dust. Ha.
  • Pull everything out from underneath the bed. Vacuum the area with a vacuum (or sweep the area if it’s hardwood or tile–a Swiffer Sweeper works wonders). Move the bed to reach the entire area.
  • Look at every single item you just pulled out from under the bed and ask yourself the following questions: Why is this under my bed? Is there a better place to store this item? Is this something I really even need (Has it been under there, untouched for more than a year? And will I use it in the coming year?)?
  • Separate everything accordingly–into three piles–keep/donate/toss.
  • You can find cheap storage containers designed to slide under your bed. These containers would provide easy access–and keep your items organized and dust-free. Not a bad idea–especially if you’re like me and hoard tons of stuff under your bed.
  • Repeat this step under every bed in your house.

I didn’t take an under the bed pic. Because mine is so bad–it’s a project for another day. Plus, keep reading–Mark says it’s ok for it to be a mess. Ha.

Mark says, “Opposite of cabinets and drawers, I’ve never seen a client look under a bed. Feel free to hide as much junk as you can under there! It’s a great place to hide clutter before a showing.”

Thursday–Under the Couch Cushions

  • Remove all the couch (and chair) cushions in your house.
  • Grab your kids. Give them a bag. Instruct them to go around to each couch and chair and pick up any toy (or piece of loose change) they find that was hidden underneath the cushions.
  • Vacuum all the seen and unseen surfaces of all your couches and chairs. Make sure to really get down into all the cracks.
  • Vacuum or sweep the floor under all the couches and chairs too. Move them if you have to–to really get all those dust-bunnies. If you have any energy left, do the same thing under your rugs, coffee tables and end tables.

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This was my favorite area to clean–and my kids’ favorite too. We found alllll the things under our couch cushions–our play-kitchen spatula, a Batman, a Lego Star Wars Storm Trooper helmet, and three old, stale Goldfish (which Deano ate right then and there, gross).

Friday–Inside your Purse, your Briefcase and your Diaper Bag

  • Empty the contents of all these bags onto your kitchen table.
  • Look at every single item you just dumped onto your table and ask yourself the following questions: Why is this in my purse/briefcase/diaper bag? Is this something I need on my person at all times or can it be stored in a better place? Are any of these coupons/gift cards/credit cards expired?
  • Separate everything accordingly–into three piles–keep/donate/toss.

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My everything bag. And yes, my computer is ginormous.

So many receipts–and those CVS Extra Bucks I *always* forget about. And all the schoolwork from last week–including toilet paper binoculars. Also some raisins from Labor Day.

. . .

That’s it–that’s week one. Easy and painless, right?

I completed this entire week’s decluttering and deep-cleaning plan in one afternoon. So you can definitely follow along and do this with me–just a little bit every night this week. Each area on this list took me less than thirty minutes to organize and clean. And now I feel amazing–I’m relaxed and I feel like I can breathe again. Everything’s in it’s place, even if that place is a recycle bin–and that’s going to save me time and energy. Boom.

If you don’t finish all these areas during the week, just catch-up on the weekend.

If you do finish everything and you’re feeling motivated (and really caffeinated) tackle your floorboards, window ledges and wall art on Saturday or Sunday. Just grab a few old rags and a bowl of warm water (to rinse the rags as you go) and/or some cleaner–and wipe every dusty floorboard, window ledge and piece of wall art in every room of your house. Dust loves floorboards and window ledges–and wall art. So it will take you awhile to get through your entire house, but you’ll feel so good once it’s done.

Mark says, “Cleaning is the most important aspect of preparing your home for sale. And I don’t mean just surface cleaning–your home really needs to be deep-cleaned. Areas that sellers sometimes miss are dusty air vents, ceiling fan blades, baseboard trim, wall art and windows and window ledges.”

. . .

Let me know how your week goes in the comments. And thanks to Mark Waldhoff for all the good tips. We’ll see you back here next Monday for the next post in the series. Happy Organizing!