Sometimes it’s hard to get rid of items, even though they do absolutely nothing but take up space and eliminate room for actual necessities. Here’s 10 baby steps you can take to begin to declutter your home to make things more organized and to free up some space:
1. Flip Your Closet Hangers
A very wise designer once said,”Buy less. Choose well. Make it last. Quality, not quantity. Everybody’s buying far too much clothes.” Organize your closet by having all of the closet hangers facing the same direction. Once you wear an article of clothing, flip the corresponding hanger to face the opposite direction. Once a month or two has passed, take a look at which hangers haven’t been flipped. Most likely, you can donate those articles of clothing since they aren’t worn very often.
Do a quick sweep through your kitchen and bathroom and check the expiration dates on the label. A lot of times, especially when it comes to medication, we’ll forget we even stored them in the cabinets due to how infrequently we use them. This is a quick way to get rid of things you won’t be needing anymore.
Gather up all of the items that you have just laying around the house, ex. an old mason jar, store everything in a box and set it aside for a week or two. Afterwards, see if you can re-purpose any of the items in there. If not, you can probably get rid of the items in that box.
Look around to see what you have available, whether it be a book or a candle. Write a well-wishing note along with it and give it to friends, family, or even donate it. Not only will you make a little more room within your home, but you’ll also bring a smile to someone’s face.
Now that technology is more present than ever, it is important to make sure your desktop and phone is well organized. Sure it might not have a big impact on your home, but with the amount of time the average person spends on their phone and computer, its important to also ensure that the mind isn’t cluttered and overwhelmed. You can easily create a new folder on the desktop to better rearrange files or even organize the apps on your phone by grouping them in a folder, or by colour.
If you have children with numerous toys, try motivating to clean up or donate some of their toys by offering prizes. Prizes can be anything from allowing them a few more minutes on their gaming device, their favorite snack, or even just a good old bear hug.
See what pieces of furniture are used and which aren’t. Sure the teal accent table might look nice next to the sofa, but if it is used for absolutely nothing more than to just brighten up the room with a pop of colour, maybe consider getting rid of it.
More often that not, closets and kitchen cabinets get extremely cluttered. See if you can sort that out by creating sections and labeling all of the items. Designate shorts, skirts, jeans, and slacks to separate drawers. Reposition the spices by how frequently each one is used. Even if you still end up with the same number of items you had at the start, at least it’ll be better organized and therefore seem less cluttered.
Identify a part of a countertop or a section of a room to always keep clutter free. Once you’re used to having that one small space nice and neat, challenge yourself to choose another small area to keep clutter free. Keep this process going as a gradual, surefire way to decrease cluttered spaces within your home.
Sure, reading and thinking about reorganizing your home is easy, but it’s hard to get started. Read about the benefits of having a well-organized home to help you motivate yourself to get started. Once you have started, take before and after photos to help encourage yourself to continue.
Would you hire someone to clean your house who is already stealing money from you? If you hire someone directly without having them fill out a W4 or W9 tax form, you are most likely participating in the black market.
The black market is a cash economy that enables workers to receive an income without “paying in,” to the system. Our taxes go towards maintaining public education, public health, improving roadways, safety, crime prevention, etc. etc. Most of the house cleaning companies that operate on the black market or individual house cleaners that work privately are stealing from the system, and indirectly stealing from you, the consumer.
What are your alternatives? In California, you have 2 alternatives.
You can hire a traditional maid service. If you hire a maid service, make sure that they have a business license, and they pay workers comp. Business licenses are public record. You can find them through the county clerk online. Most cleaning companies that pay workers comp are going to charge around $50 per hour per house cleaner because workers comp costs them 22-40% of their overall revenue. The laborers normally get paid very low wages and are expected to work full time. This makes their business model unstable because new workers are coming in and out like a revolving door.
Most house cleaning “companies” are operating illegally. They want to avoid paying taxes, workers comp etc. They claim to have a license, bond, insurance, but truthfully, most companies don’t. Since they are not paying in, they can lower their prices, giving them a competitive advantage.
The best option is to use a domestic referral agency. If a domestic referral agency is in compliance with the California Civil Code, they will have the word “maid agency, or referral agency,” written near their logo on their website and other advertising materials. Referral agencies are more affordable. The workers benefit by receiving higher income. Since they are paid better, they will work harder to earn and keep your business. Most important, referral agency run a background check on each worker to first make sure they are legal to work in California and second, to make sure that they have not broken any laws and are safe to send you your home. Aloha Maids is a domestic referral agency.
There are a number of dates on the calendar that bring equal levels of excitement and panic, usually for the same reasons. Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter are times of the year when families get together to celebrate, and while that is generally fun, there is still the stress of making sure that things are as close to perfect as possible when everyone gets together. Let’s take a look at some ways that you can prepare for Easter and make things easier on yourself:
1.Determine the reason – Easter is a holiday that is very much steeped in religious overtones. That’s not to say that it a holiday that is solely reserved for people of faith. If you are planning an Easter event, make sure that what you do is suitable for everyone in attendance.
2. Determine a location – Don’t start making plans until you figure out exactly where you are going on the holiday. Even if you are responsible for hosting the Easter event every year, don’t just assume that no-one else will want to take a turn.
3. Create a guest list – Only you know how many people you can comfortably fit in your home if you do decide to host. That may mean making some tough decisions, so find out who is and isn’t available before deciding who to invite.
4. Get the invites out ASAP – While an Easter gathering is not a formal event like a wedding or anniversary dinner, you should still give your guests plenty of warning. If you wait too long, people that you want there might well make alternative plans.
5. Make it a potluck – Cooking for a large group can be a stressful, expensive chore, so think about asking for help. Asking your guests to bring food along makes everyone feel as though they are playing a part in putting the dinner together, whilst also meaning you have a great selection of food to choose from.
6. Remember the kids – Kids often have a different view of Easter than the grown-ups do, so think about having some games ready to go, or perhaps even an Egg hunt that they can take part in before everyone sits down to eat.
7. Divide and conquer – There are going to be a lot of things that need to be done in preparation for Easter, so don’t try to do them all at once or all on your own. Ask for help, and don’t leave everything until the last minute. The more prepared you are, the less stressed you will be.
8. Create a space – Easter falls right in the heart of spring, and if you live in a place that has a temperate climate, you may want to take your celebrations outdoors. Wherever you choose to set-up, make the space as fun and holiday-themed as possible.
9. Think about the after party – Even if you only have a handful of guests visiting for Easter, you are still going to be left with a bit of a mess once it’s all said and done. Asking your guests for help may be considered rude, which leaves you with another option….
10. Hire aprofessional house cleaner – Bringing in the house cleaners to get your home ready for a big event is always a great idea. It’s just one less thing to worry about, and if you know they do a great job, you just might consider bringing them back to help with the clean up duties. A good way to find house cleaners is to look for them on Yelp.com. We highly recommend if you live in Orange County, California to check out Aloha Maids. They have excellent reviews.
Moving out of your home is something that tends to bring high levels of stress, but most of that is brought on by being totally unprepared and leaving things to the last minute. Moving can actually be pretty straightforward if you follow the 10 simple tips outlined below:
Plan Ahead – This doesn’t just mean getting things prepared on this side, it also means making sure that all of your ducks are in a row at your destination. Having cable, electricity, gas and other utilities turned on and ready to go on the day in which you arrive. If you have pets, find a vet. Make sure schools are picked out for the kids, and get your banking all set up at your new place of residence.
Get Help – Don’t be too proud to ask for help when you need it. Hire house cleaners to come in and get your old house cleaned up and your new one ready to move into. This is a chore that most people hate when moving, so leave it to the pros.
Get Rid of Junk – When you are doing that sorting, toss out those items that you know you are never going to use. Taking them with you just means having more stuff and making the job that much bigger.
Buy Packing Supplies and Boxes – Once you are all organized, you will have a much better idea of what you will need in terms of packing supplies. This will save you having to make more trips to get more boxes and tape.
Pack Your Stuff – Make sure to clearly mark all the boxes so that you know what goes where when you get to the other side. Playing the mystery box game just adds time to the process.
Load The Truck – If you have hired a professional company to move you, the loading part should be left to them. If not, get some friends in to help expedite the loading, but don’t rush. Take time to properly utilize the space in the truck so that everything is well packed and free from potential damage during the move.
Unpacking – If you have properly marked your boxes, you should know where everything goes. Get to the essentials first and then take your time with the rest.
Stay Organized – It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the move, especially when you arrive at your new home. Keeps things as organized as possible, as this will prevent items from becoming lost or damaged.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time – Like we said at the start of this piece, leaving things till the last minute is often what causes the biggest problems. There are plenty of things you can take advantage of weeks before you move, so do them all as soon as you can.
Most people have a home cleaning schedule that they try to adhere to as strictly as possible. It’s a relatively stress free approach to keeping your living space looking presentable, yet many folks feel a sudden urge to go with a deeper clean once the seasons change and the weather turns warmer. It’s almost as though the clocks going forward an hour shine a little extra sunlight into the spaces in the home that may have been overlooked during the course of the year. That is when the cleaning gloves go on for real, and the desire to do a little spring cleaning becomes too hard to ignore.
While you may feel the need to get out the cleaning supplies once spring rolls around, you probably have no idea where the whole idea of spring cleaning began. There has been some debate about the subject, with many believing that it dates back to ancient Jewish times, when people would cleanse their homes in preparation for Passover. The deep cleaning was done in search of breadcrumbs that may have previously gone unnoticed, since leavened or fermented foods were not allowed in the home during the Passover period.
No matter the religion, it’s tradition!
Christians adopted the spring cleaning practice in the days leading up to Easter, while some parts of Europe started cleaning up forreasons that were more practical than religious. In certain parts of Europe, predominantly were wet weather commonly strikes, spring represented a time when windows and doors could be opened to the warmer weather, and some serious dusting could be done. This was, of course, in the days before vacuum cleaners could easily pick up the tiniest little piece of dust that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye.
While many of the reasons for performing the act of spring cleaning are no longer really essential, there is still a need to prepare the home for the warmer months ahead. Perhaps it is much like what went down in Europe, in that throwing open those windows and doors to welcome in the warm rays of the sun almost feels like we are laying the inside if the house bare for all to see. It is much like when you are having a party with lots of people coming to visit in that it serves as an inspiration to get you property spick and span, and as neat and tidy as possible.
The need for a good Spring cleaning still exists in many people, but it’s not everyone that has the time to undertake what can feel like a monumental task. That is where we at Aloha Maids can help, as we would be happy to come into your home to give it the spring cleaning that it deserves. Our cleaning professionals can have the work done in no time at all, and at a price that is probably way more affordable than you are imagining. Why not contact us today and allow us to take care of all your spring cleaning needs
When you make a mistake, don’t look back at it long. Take the reason of the thing into your mind and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power. Hugh White