Non-Toxic, Eco Friendly Cleaning TIPS & RECIPES

non toxic cleaners

Have you been too busy to do your spring cleaning?  It’s never too late to do so. However, most commercial cleaning products you use on a daily basis are made with toxic ingredients, which can be harmful to your home, you, your children and pets, as well as to the environment.

Read the labels on containers such as bathroom disinfectants, furniture polish, glass and toilet bowl cleaners, and in bold text you will see Poison, Warning, Danger, and Caution. Instead of bringing these toxic ingredients into your home, consider going ‘green’ (non-toxic) with your cleaning products, and create them yourself! You will save money, time, and natural resources by using environmentally friendly cleaning methods for your home or office. By using vinegar, borax, baking soda, and nice smelling essential oils you can create various safe cleaners to use on windows, mirrors, sinks, toilets, tubs, floors, etc. (these products can be found at your local supermarket.)

GREEN TIPS

  • Clutter accumulates dust, so clear out the clutter and save time cleaning.
  • Don’t buy smelly, toxic air fresheners, but bring plants into your home for better air quality, open windows, or place dried herbs such as lavender or orange rinds in an attractive bowl to freshen the air.
  • In warm weather to save electricity, and get some fresh air, hang your clothing on an outside line to dry.
  • Use a micro-fiber cloth to dust the furniture, and any hard surface instead of toxic furniture polish.

GREEN RECIPES

  • Glass Cleaner: Mix equal quantities of water and vinegar, or club soda in a spray bottle to clean. To avoid streaks on the glass or mirror, wipe with a lint-free cloth or a paper towel (use sparingly).
  • Floor Cleaner: In a spray bottle, combine a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water, and add a couple of drops of peppermint or lavender oil for a pleasant scent.
  • Bathtub and Sink Cleaner: Sprinkle baking powder on the tub or sink surface, scrub and rinse.
  • Toilet Cleaner: Sprinkle 1/4 cup borax (can find in your supermarket’s cleaning aisle) or baking soda, plus a few drops of essential oil (antiseptic tea tree or eucalyptus oil) into the toilet, scour, leave for a few minutes, scour again, and flush once or twice.

If you lead a busy lifestyle, and prefer not to make your own cleaning products, you can purchase them in local health food stores, Trader Joe’s and usually in generic grocery stores. Just be sure that the container’s ingredients consist of natural fragrance from essential oils, are derived from plants, and are free of phosphates, phthalates and chloride.

Do you have any Green Cleaning Tips or recipes?  I’d love to know.

If you live in the Boston area, and would like a FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation to discuss your clutter issues, contact me at clutterclearercoach@comcast.net

Non-Toxic, Eco Friendly Cleaning TIPS & RECIPES

Letting Go of Stuff You Don’t Need

catalog clutter

It’s easy for some people to let go of unneeded items. But, you may feel reluctant or guilty getting rid of sentimental items, as well as everyday mundane stuff, knowing these things bring no value to you anymore. Could this be you?  What are some of your best excuses, including guilt, for holding onto sentimental items, or just any old clutter?

• I’d feel guilty if I got rid of it
• I might need it someday
• I might read it someday
• I might fit into this again
• It was a gift I can’t give away
• I’m saving it to give as a gift

Below is a list of some of the things that
some people feel fine about parting with:

• Old notes on small pieces of paper
• Old shopping receipts and unneeded invoices
• Recipes cut from magazines but never used
• Cookbooks, other books no longer in use
• Outdated cosmetics and toiletry items
• Saved pieces of wrapping paper for re-use
• School notes and school books from the past
• Letters and birthday cards not meaning much
• Gifts you’ve kept from guilt rather than pleasure
• Scrap-booking supplies you’ll never use
• Desk clutter; too many pens, highlighters
• Clothing that doesn’t fit, or has gone out of fashion
• Old extension cords, outdated electronic gadgets
• Broken lamps, used light bulbs

Yes, other folks may have an easier time letting go. But, it really is OK to get rid of stuff. If it’s ‘guilt’ or some other reason that keeps you from doing this, give yourself permission to let go of your stuff ‘guilt-free’. 

What are your excuses for holding on?  Can you feel good about yourself if you let something go?

 

If you live in the Boston area, and would like a
FREE 1/2 hour phone consultation
to discuss your clutter issues, contact me at:
ClutterClearerCoach@comcast.net
Letting Go of Stuff You Don’t Need

The Difference between Cluttered and Organized

before Tye office

Have you ever thought about the meaning of these words? And how they relate to you?  Below are distinguishing definitions I have quoted from http://Dictionary.com/
with some of my own thoughts added.

after Tye ofice

CLUTTER

noun: clut•ter
1. A confused or disordered state or collection; a jumble: “It’s impossible to find anything in all this clutter.”

verb: clut•tered, clut•ter•ing, clut•ters
1. To make disorderly or hard to use or find by filling or covering with things. “Boxes filled with all kinds of stuff cluttered the living room.”

ORGANIZE

verb: or•gan•ize, or•gan•ized, or•gan•iz•ing, or•gan•iz•es
1. To put together into an orderly, functional, structured whole. “We are organizing all of the books.”
2. To arrange in a coherent form; systematize: “Organize your file cabinet using the alphabetical, chronological, color-coded, or like-with-like method.”

I imagine that you’d prefer an organized space over a cluttered one. It’s never too late to begin to sort through your things and make decisions as to what to do with them; give away, throw away, recycle, shred, keep. Start today using baby steps to get rid of your clutter and get organized. Ask a friend, family member, or professional organizer to help so you don’t have to do this alone. And, let me know how it goes.

To schedule a complimentary 1/2 hour telephone consultation, contact Judy at ClutterClearerCoach@comcast.net

The Difference between Cluttered and Organized

Procrastinating? How to Make Chores or Organizing More Pleasurable

dish washing

Do you procrastinate, and put off the daily organizing tasks that you need to accomplish because it’s just not fun doing them? 

I used to put off doing the dishes after a meal because I didn’t like doing so, and was too busy in my life. I didn’t and still don’t have a dishwasher to clean them. Before my move, the dishes used to pile up in the sink. It’s not a pretty site to see them sitting there with the food sticking to the plates, pots and silverware.

Sometimes it’s easier to ignore what needs doing until the next day, or the next day, or…… If, like me you care about your home, and really dislike the clutter (e.g.  dishes in sink, clothes piled on the floor, too many papers on the desk) I bet you’re thinking, how can I find pleasure in doing so?

Plan something fun/enjoyable to do during or after you’ve finished the chore.

  • Create a ‘chore reward chart’ to stick colorful stars, flower or animal stickers on after each task is completed.
  • If you wash the dishes right after eating or load the dishwasher, there will be less to take care of, and it will be quick. Leaving you more time to do fun things.
  • Once the task is done (or while doing it), listen to your favorite music, book-on-tape, or talk show to educate and inspire yourself.
  • Reward yourself with a pedicure or manicure, or sit down and read a favorite book or magazine.
  • Ask a friend or family member to help you, tell you some jokes, sing with you.
  • Call a friend you enjoy talking to, and brag about your accomplishment.

If you choose some of these practices while doing these tasks, and take care of them regularly (making them a habit) you will feel really good when you get up in the morning and the sink is clear of dishes, or the clothes in your bedroom are hanging in the closet instead of piled on the floor. I know I do!

Try some of my suggestions to make doing tasks and getting organized fun. Do you have some other ideas?  Let me know.

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NOTE: I will be teaching a ‘Free Yourself from Paper Clutter’ class

Tuesday, 7:00-8:30 PM – March 5, 2019 – $28 

And same class on:

Wednesday, 7:00-8:30 PM – April 24, 2019 – $28 

Contact – Brookline High School
115 Greenough Street, Brookline
https://bacep@brookline.k12.ma.us/   617-730-2700

To register: http://register.asapconnected.com/courses.aspx?coursegroupid=6373

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For a FREE 1/2 hour phone consultation
to discuss your clutter issues, contact Judy at:
ClutterClearerCoach@comcast.net or 857-919-4735

JANUARY: ‘National Clean Out Your Closets Month’

clothes in color order

Not only is January known for making New Years resolutions, but it is also ‘National Clean Out Your Closets Month’

Is your closet a jumble of clothes, shoes and accessories that are hanging disorganized on clothing rods, and also piled on the closet floor?

If so, try the following suggestions for cleaning out your clothes closet:  

• Before you begin this process, gather up some large bags or cardboard boxes, some grocery sized bags, and clear plastic containers with lids for distributing the extra closet clothes you’ll be storing elsewhere or giving away.

• Pull out all your clothes and pile them on a bed or large surface.  Sort these items into separate categories; dresses, pants, blouses, sweaters, shoes, scarves, etc….

• Then pick up one item at a time and ask yourself if you love it, need it, dislike it, or don’t need it. Items that don’t fit any more, that you don’t love or need can be donated. Hang up the ‘keepers’ in the closet temporarily.  (More regarding this step later} or if they are worn during another season, pack them away to store elsewhere in your home.

• If you haven’t worn any items in a year, give them away. (this can be a difficult decision, but be realistic). Chances are you’ll never wear them. Clothing that is torn or beyond repair can be donated as rags for charity if not too far gone.

Try the following suggestions for organizing your clothes closet: 

• If you don’t already have the popular velvet style hangers, invest in some. These are inexpensive, and clothing will not slip off them. They can be purchased at Home Goods, Target,  or any other store that sells household items.

velvet clothing hanger

•  Using your new hangers, I recommend arranging all clothing in the closet in a color coded fashion. Kind of like a full spectrum rainbow. In my closet, I put all the black clothing on the left part of the hanging rod. Then the grey’s to the right of the blacks. The next color-by-number sections are the purples and dark blues. Light blue clothing hung next, followed by reds, oranges, and then whites. You can hang them via color, but in categories.

• Wishing you had a closet organizer? Stop wishing and buy one. There are over the door closet organizers for shoes or scarves.  And containers or cubes that stack.

Hanging shoe holder        clothes in plastic container

• Stack certain categories of clothing such as sweaters, gym sweats, or jeans on your closet shelves instead of in the dresser. I do, and it works very well.

• Keep only one season of clothing in your closet and store the other season’s clothing elsewhere. You could even store seasonal clothing in vacuum-sealed storage bags to free up space.

• Hang just one outfit for the next day on the hook or knob outside your closet door.

• Keep a small bench or step stool near your closet for easy access to clothing on high shelves.

During this January month, cleaning the closet and organizing your clothes closet can result in less chaos and an easier time locating your clothes; thus simplifying your life.

For a FREE 1/2 hour phone consultation
to discuss your clutter issues, contact Judy at:
ClutterClearerCoach@comcast.net or 857-919-4735

 

EXCESSIVE CLUTTER and how it affects your life

cluttered office

Does having too much clutter affect your life in a negative way?

Clutter can be defined as things you do not use or need, untidy or disorganized things, too many things in too small a space, and anything left unfinished.

Excessive clutter can affect your life in some of the following ways:

Relationships:
• Can keep you from inviting people to your home
• Keeps you from being close to others

Emotions:
• Can cause feelings of embarrassment, shame or guilt that holds you back.
• Clutter drains your energy. Items that are not used or cared for hold stagnant energy.

Low Self Esteem:
• Not being able to stay organized can cause you to feel bad about yourself; thinking that you don’t have the skills that other people have.

Stress:
• When you can’t find something, or want to clear the clutter but can’t seem to do so, your stress levels rise.

Money issues:
• You buy duplicates because you can’t locate the original item you purchased.
• Bills that are paid late as they are hidden beneath clutter
• Compulsive buying via credit cards
• Spending money by moving to a larger home in order to store more stuff
• Spending money to rent storage units

Time:
• Not being able to locate things
• Having too much stuff sucks up your time
• Too much stuff leads to procrastination and being late

If you can relate to this post, and live in the Boston area,

and would like a 

FREE 1/2 hour phone consultation
to discuss your clutter issues, contact me at:
ClutterClearerCoach@comcast.net or 857-919-4735

Save the Environment: Use Re-usable bags

 

re-usable bags

Did you know that it takes one 15 to 20 year old tree to make 700 paper bags? That’s chopping down a lot of trees to provide thousands of grocery stores, gift shops, and large box stores with bags.

All stores in Cambridge, MA, no longer give out free paper bags, but charge ten cents per paper bag if you haven’t brought your own. (Sometimes, I still forget to bring my re-usable bags with me when I go shopping, and have to pay this fee.) Many towns are now or in the process of banning plastic bags. You know, the ones with that cut-out for handles. This link will give you details of the statewide bag laws in Massachusetts.  http://www.baglaws.com/legislation.php?state=Massachusetts#StatewideLegislation

To do your part in helping to save the environment and conserve resources, use strong reusable bags instead of paper ones for all of your shopping errands (not only food/grocery items). Bags that are manufactured from natural fibers, or 100% recyclable material come in all shapes and sizes. Some are even insulated.

So, here are some tips to help us go greener by using recycled bags:

• Use two sets of bags that can be alternated between your home and your car.

• Assign one convenient and visible area in the home and car for each set of recycled bags. You could keep the bags on the front car seat for easy access and near your home’s exit door closest to the driveway or garage. NOTE: If you travel as a pedestrian without the use of a car, keep the bags near the exit door you use most.

• Jean Bambara is a sales rep for the company ‘Thirty-One Gifts’. You can purchase canvas carry bags in a number of sizes, colors and patterns from Jean. I bought two bags from her; one for gardening tools, and one for organizing supplies.  Cell: (412) 977-9146  jmbambara361@gmail.com

• If you are out and want to make a spur-of-the-moment purchase, carry a fold-able recycled bag in your purse or backpack. ‘ChicoBag’ is an online company whose mission is to help humanity stop the single-use habit. Most of their reusable shopping bags compact into an attached pouch to make them easy to keep in your purse or pocket so you’re never without a reusable bag again. http://www.chicobag.com/. 

• Keep four to five bags grouped together either in one reusable bag, or purchase the reusable bag organizer, the ‘Chalk It Tote Buddy’. It comes with an erasable chalk pen for writing to-do or shopping lists on the outside of the tote. ‘Tote Buddy’s’ help you to de-clutter and stay organized and can hold ten reusable bags. http://www.TheToteBuddy.com/

Do you have re-usable bags that you don’t use? Begin utilizing them now to save those trees! Or, purchase some to use again and again. Let me know what kind of bags you re-use.

To schedule a complimentary 1/2 hour telephone consultation, contact Judy at ClutterClearerCoach@comcast.net