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

Duplicate Buying

duplicate soaps

‘Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends…Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.’ – Henry David Thoreau

How many of you go to the grocery store, hardware store, clothing store, etc., and buy an item you think you need, and then get home and find that you already have at least one or two of the same item?

I’ve done this before. I’ll buy a bag of popped popcorn and realize that I already have two unopened bags on the pantry shelf. This could be a good thing, as when I run out of the first bag, I’ll already have more popcorn. The same goes with the soap I buy. I think I need another package of soap and then find I have some at home.

If you do this kind of buying, chances are you are spending money you don’t need to spend, plus the items are taking up space on a shelf that could be used for something else.

Can you identify with this? Do you have a ‘what if I run out’ way of thinking behind buying in quantity? Are you afraid there might be a shortage and you won’t be able to get what you need? Don’t worry, stores are well stocked, plus most items can be purchased via the internet.

Or, ‘do you have so much clutter that you don’t know what you have’ on the shelf or in the closet because things are stocked so tightly, or piled up and covering up stuff underneath. And, once you buy the item you think you need, you find it at home and exclaim “I didn’t realize I already had this!”

To conquer this habit, the next time you are going shopping, take a photo on your phone of the pantry shelf or closet. While at the store, refer to this image and be aware that you already possess the item. Or, to keep track, keep a written/typed inventory of the things you buy regularly, and put a check next to each item you finish or use up. Or, tackle your clutter and let go of excess stuff so you aren’t Duplicate Buying.

Let me know if you buy ‘extras’ and how you control this habit.

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

‘Free Yourself from Paper Clutter’ Class

Free Yourself from Paper Clutter

Free Yourself from Paper Clutter

Need some help clearing your paper clutter? Then take this adult education class I will be teaching at Brookline High School:

From junk mail to important documents, we all have paper clutter in our homes and offices. If we don’t spend time getting rid of it, it will completely take over. Organizing the pile can be an overwhelming task, and this class will explore the causes of clutter, systems to organize it, and habits to maintain organization. Through a focused presentation and discussion, you will explore with a professional coach how to overcome the roadblocks to clear your paper clutter. You’ll soon be on your way to prepare your paperwork for tax season.

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

http://www.campusce.net/brookline/course/course.aspx?catId=64

Presenter: Judy Eisenberg, Professional Organizer – Clutter Clearer Coach

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

Free Yourself from Paper Clutter

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

Organize Your Home Office

organize your office

Organize Your Home Office – a disorganized office

Organize Your Home Office: More and more people are setting up home offices. They may work virtually, manage their own business, or just take care of basic bill paying and other finances from home. Like any other room in the household, the office can get cluttered, messy, disorganized and dusty.

End of March 14, 'National Clean Out Your Office Day'.

Organize Your Home Office – an organized office

‘National Organize Your Home Office Day’, observed this March 12, 2019 (the second Tuesday of the month) reminds us to stop, take a look around our home offices, and take some time to straighten up. Imagine thousands of people, including yourself, getting motivated by this national holiday! It could be like a secret national club, or even a real group of friends and neighbors who take on this task simultaneously. ‘Organize Your Home Office Day’ is a good excuse to clear your desk, throw your trash away, recycle the empty soda cans, wash coffee mugs, file those stacks of papers, wipe away the accumulated dust, and more.

Here are some tips to organize your home office on/before March 12:

1. Clear your desk and other surfaces.  If paper, office supplies,  dirty coffee cups, or other items cover your desk,  you need to clear them off.  Paper usually piles up on any flat surface if it has no designated storage space. Getting all of this stuff organized can be overwhelming, so focus first on removing it to another surface for sorting, before you take the next step.

2. Sort, shred, recycle and purge.  Bring the items to be washed and recycled to the sink and recycle bins. Throw out the trash,  pick up the scattered office supplies, and put them back into their proper containers. Then sort the papers into categories to be filed.

3. Dust off the newly clear surfaces, before you put items back on the desk. Notice how big your desktop looks? 

4. Allow  plenty of storage space in your filing cabinet. You need to have enough room to store regularly used files, and reference/archival files (papers that you don’t need to deal with on a daily basis).  If you don’t have this type of storage, invest in a two level clear plastic file drawer cabinet on wheels for convenience, or in some attractive covered boxes for keeping documents. Be sure you have enough filing room so your papers do not end up in piles, but in organized files. And, keep personal and business documents filed separately.

5. Leave plenty of room on your desk to work. Decide whether you have room on the desktop to keep all of your electronic equipment such as your computer, printer, scanner, landline or digital phone, calculator, etc. If your desktop computer takes up too much room, replace it with a laptop if possible. Transfer some of this equipment to another table top if needed. Designate areas on the desk for doing paper work, and for keeping your desktop folder holder, your pens, stapler, paper & binder clips, and other supplies.

5. Purge files regularly. Look through your files at least once per month, every quarter, or twice a year to get rid of outdated paperwork, and to make room for the new. Doing so, will keep those papers from piling up on your desk, and even your floor. Do the same with your computer files, getting rid of old email, digital folders, or programs you don’t use anymore.

6. Are you happy with your office environment?  If not, make some changes so you enjoy being and working in the room. Is your desk and other furniture including shelving functional?  Buy a new desk with drawers if working on just a flat desk surface is not sufficient, add more shelving if needed, get a more comfortable ergonomic chair, hang new curtains, bring in photos, artwork, plants. Make this a pleasing place to be.

Following the tips mentioned above, you will have less on your desk and work area, will feel better, think more clearly, and be more productive. If you need assistance, you can contact me for help.

Be sure to Organize Your Home Office again before March 10th, 2020!  

(Let me know if you, friends and family decide to organize your home office this national holiday – and the steps you take to create a clear, comfortable, enjoyable office)

If you live in the Boston area, and would liker a FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation to discuss your clutter issues or need help to organize your home office, contact me at clutterclearercoach@comcast.net

 

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.

________________________________________________________________________________

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

______________________________________________________________________________

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

‘February is National Time Management Month’

Organize Your Time

Organize Your Time

I know I have the best plans to be on time. And, I’m sure many of you do too.
Yet, even in the best of circumstances, we mess up again and again.

Here are ten helpful tips to be on time:

  1. Set all of your clocks, manual and digital, to a standard time that you’d find on your phone, computer or radio. And, keep all of your clocks at the same time. Don’t have one clock be 5 minutes late or 5 minutes early, as this could ultimately confuse you, and cause you to be late.
  2.  Make preparations for the next day, the night before. Double check your calendar, choose the clothes you’ll wear, pack your work bag and put it near your exit door, make your lunch, and charge your phone.
  3. Set up a schedule for getting ready in the morning. This includes eating breakfast, packing lunch if you haven’t already, showering, drying your hair, and gathering things you need to take with you when you leave the house. If you know it takes you more than an hour to accomplish these tasks, give yourself extra time.
  4. As a reminder, set an alarm to go off 15 minutes before you have to leave.
  5. Keep track of the time lapses that could make you late; such as, filling your gas tank, dropping off the dry cleaning, or mailing letters.
  6. Gauge the amount of time it will take you to reach your destination; be it by car, subway, bicycle, or walking. Then add on a cushion time of 15 minutes to be on the safe side. You never know when traffic or weather may delay you.
  7. Set a limit for last minute tasks just before you leave for an errand, or for the day. Don’t take that last minute phone call, or check your emails. Having done this before, I know that it will stress me out and make me late.
  8. If you are early to an appointment, or early to pick someone up, bring a book to read, or check your emails while you are waiting. Double check your to-do list, or confirm scheduled appointments.
  9. If you know you are going to be late, let the person/s you are meeting know so they won’t be counting the minutes before you arrive, and can accomplish a last minute item on their own to do list.
  10. Practice, practice, practice! If you mess up, be kind to yourself and keep trying. Remember, practice makes perfect. OK, we’ll never be completely perfect, so if you do slip up, be sure to get back on track immediately.

Do you have any tips to add to help us all be on time?  Let us know!

If your home or office needs a ‘clutter tune-up’  
contact me at: ClutterClearerCoach@comcast.net or call me at 857-919-4735

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