Category Archives: Common Household Chores

Five Organizing Tips for the New Year

If you’re like most people, you made a resolution for the year 2012. You probably also made one for 2011, 2010, 2009… going back as far as you can remember. You may have kept these resolutions and you may not have. Whatever your goals and your intentions, I have some quick helpful hints for organizing yourself that are so simple, yet so effective, you will be wishing that you made it your resolution.

You don’t need to tackle the whole house in one day.  And if you’ve developed bad habits over time, you obviously won’t change in one day.  If you start with these five small tasks (try 1 per week) you will see such a difference that you will be inspired to keep going all year long.

1. The kitchen junk drawer.  Do you have a drawer in your kitchen that has so many tools, utensils, and gadgets that you don’t even open it anymore?  Take all the tools out and put in a few drawer organizers. Since you know you haven’t used most of the things in this drawer sort out the stuff you use from the stuff you don’t.  Put the most used items near the front and the least used items in back.  If you really don’t use anything at all, get rid of it.

2. The Sock drawer.  Just take it out and dump it.  Throw away any socks with holes and any socks without partners.  You can get clear plastic draw organizers very cheaply these days.  I think these are great for socks, underwear and t-shirts.  When you put your socks back in the drawer again put the most used socks in front and lesser used ones towards the back.  It’s always easier to keep things organized when the things you reach for quickly are actually within reach.  This is a technique you can use for all of your drawers, once you are inspired.

3. The dumping spot.  Do you have a dumping spot where you put everything when you walk through the door.  The keys, the mail, etc.  Rather than have a dumping spot that accumulates clutter, create a station where you can keep your items.  When you create this station look at where you naturally go when you come in the door, the station should be located within the path that you naturally follow when you come in the door.  If you you have to go out of your way to use it, you won’t.  Use a couple of hooks to keep your keys hanging and not lying on a surface where they will get moved around.  Near the hooks keep a standing file or a magazine type of file where you can put your mail and other items.  I actually have my entire station hanging on the wall where I can put my mail and keys all in one.

4. The puzzles.  A while back, I wrote a blog entry about how to organize and store all the kids puzzles.  Take the time now to get them organized and you’ll never have to do it again.  At least not until you buy more puzzles.

5. Batteries.  I hate batteries.  They always create a mess. You can never find them when you need them. The best way to organize batteries is to put them in a battery organizer.  There are some great ones out there that you can put in drawers or hang on the back of a door or a wall.  I like this one.  Since it has spots for specific types of batteries, it helps you know when you are almost out, so you won’t be stuck in an emergency without batteries.  Don’t forget that old batteries have to get recycled and not thrown away.

Good luck. May the organizational ideas keep coming to you all year.





Filed under Big Projects, Common Household Chores

Tip of the Week – Playdough in the Rug

Green Play-doh with can and accessory toy (Pla...

Image via Wikipedia

We love playdough in our house.  It’s something that is used on a daily basis.  My son mostly makes “chocolate pies” that wind up in various places throughout the house, including the refrigerator (that’s always a fun find while looking for breakfast in the morning).  He also prefers to take all the colors and mash them together.  There is no respect for color separation at all. Our playdough usually looks like tie died poop colored mess.

So when it got stuck in the rug last week, I was not at all happy.  I went on-line to look for some ideas for getting it out.  The myriad of solutions was amazing.  I saw a lot of suggestions from rubbing alcohol to hot water. Some of them looked like theories that had not actually been tested, so I was a bit skeptical.  I also saw a warning on the Hasbro website:

When attempting to remove PLAY-DOH compound do NOT use hot water or cleaning solutions of any kind. To remove PLAY-DOH compound from carpet or fabrics, allow it to dry completely, and then loosen with a stiff brush. It may be necessary to vacuum clean or wash with gentle soap and cold water. You may need to repeat the process in order to completely remove the PLAY-DOH compound.

Great. This goes against most of the suggestions that I saw online, as well as everything I ever learned about cleaning things up before they have a chance to set.  But, I had instructions directly from the manufactures.  I decided to let go of my inhibitions and ignored the online theories and went with the Hasbro suggestion.  Well, I was ready to clean it, but it was not ready for me. It would be at least a day before it would be dry enough to work.  The best I could do was scrape up the majority of the mess so that there was just a tiny layer on the rug.

Now, tonight it was dry.  So I tried it.  I have to admit the mixing of the colors actually worked in my favor because it made the grayish blob difficult to find on my rug.  I used a plastic hair pick and just scraped it with the prongs.  The spot was about 2″ in diameter and it only took about 3 minutes of scraping to get the playdough out. And I did use a little bit of warm water just to clean up the dusty bits that were left. It worked beautifully.

So far I have posted ways to get candle wax and playdough out of carpets.  Have you had any troublesome products stuck in your carpets?  What were you able to do to get them out.  I would love to hear about it.

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Filed under Common Household Chores, Tip of the Week