Deep cleaning your house

A Room by Room GUIDE

Robyn Correll

Robyn CorrellApril 1, 2021

Woman Cleaning and Organizing

Keeping up with laundry, dishes and vacuuming from one week to the next can go a long way to maintaining a tidy house, but once a year, it’s a good idea to dive in and scrub those spaces that might be neglected during routine cleaning. Give your living space a little extra love by following this room-by-room checklist on how to deep clean your home this spring or throughout the year.

Before you begin

1. Clear away the clutter. 

https://www.seattle-organizers.com/organizing-services-in-seattle.html

Before you embark on a deep clean, you’ll need to do a light one. Pick up any items that have accumulated on the floor, on top of counters and tabletops or that are draped across furniture, so that you can get to the places you need to clean.

2. Make a game plan. Plot out which rooms you’ll tackle and when, keeping in mind how much time you think it will take to do a thorough job. Don’t be afraid to break the work up into multiple days or even weeks. If you’ve got limited time, or a bigger house, you may want to hire quality house cleaning help near you. Remember: Deep cleaning is a marathon, not a sprint!

3. Take stock. Set yourself up for success by making sure you have everything you’ll need before you dig in. After getting started, the last thing you’ll want to do is mess up your rhythm by running out of something you need. Suggested supplies include: 

  • Baking soda
  • Broom
  • Brush with stiff bristles
  • Cleaning caddy (optional, but helpful)
  • Dish soap
  • Dusting cloths (microfiber works best)
  • Garden hose (for yard work)
  • Gloves to protect your hands
  • Lint roller
  • Mineral oil
  • Mop
  • Multi-purpose cleaner
  • Sponges
  • Telescoping pole for high and hard-to-reach spaces
  • Vacuum cleaner with extension accessories
    • White vinegar
  • Window and glass cleaner
  • Wood cleaner and/or polish

Bathrooms

Clean and Organized bathroom

https://www.seattle-organizers.com/organizing-services-in-seattle.html

Scrub all showers, bathtubs, sinks and toilets. Before getting started in the bathroom, spray down your tub with multipurpose cleaner so that it can soak for a while and break up any soap and oil that have accumulated. Do the same with the toilet bowls and sinks. That will make scrubbing that much easier when you circle back to it later on.

  • Tip: Don’t forget to wipe down the base of the toilet near the floor, where dust and dribbles can sometimes land.

Wipe down light fixtures, mirrors and window treatments. Take extra time to carefully clean out gunk that has made its way into corners and around edges. Remove any grime or dust that has built up by wiping items down with a little vinegar on a damp rag.

Wash glass shower doors. To clear off that soap scum or water spot, apply some warm distilled white vinegar and let it sit for a half an hour or so, reapplying if needed. Then sprinkle some baking soda on top, and gently scrub the spots away.

  • Tip: A slightly damp dryer sheet will also remove buildup.

Toss any cloth curtains or bath mats in the washing machine. Just be sure to check care tags to verify what cycle items should be washed on. To keep anything from wrinkling in the dryer, set the heat setting on low and take items out when they’re still a little damp. Then, hang them back up in the shower to finish drying completely. If you also have a plastic shower curtain liner, wash it in the laundry on cold, and rehang it to dry, or replace it with a new one.

Clean out under the sinks and inside drawers. Over time, these spaces tend to get cluttered. Take everything out so that you can wipe out the bottom of the cabinets and drawers and clear out any cobwebs that might have formed. As you’re putting items back, toss expired items and what you no longer need, and organize the rest, taking care to put items you’ll use most frequently near the front for easier access.

Don’t forget the grout. You can make a homemade grout cleaner using vinegar, baking soda and water. First, spray down the grout with a half-vinegar/half-water solution until the area is good and saturated. Let it sit for a few minutes, scrub with a bristled brush (an old toothbrush will do!), and then rinse. Then, mix some baking soda with water until it forms a paste, apply it to the grout using your brush, and spray it with the water and vinegar. The bubbles that form will start to clean away some of the grit and grime, and your brush will do the rest. When you’re done, rinse the grout with warm water.

  • Tip: In a pinch, carpet cleaner also works great on grout.

Disinfect handles and doorknobs. These neglected pieces of hardware are some of the germiest places in the house. If you haven’t wiped them down in a while, it’s a good idea to give them a thorough cleaning with a multipurpose cleaner or disinfectant wipes.

Kitchen

Organized Kitchen

Wipe down cabinets. With a damp rag, gently clean off any dust or dirt on the inside and outside of the cabinet doors, as well as all sides of the cabinets themselves — including the top. For grease splatter, dip your cloth in undiluted vinegar to rub off the grease, then rinse the rag in warm water to wipe off the vinegar. Some cabinets will swell if they encounter too much moisture, so be sure to always ring out your rag well before wiping down the wood, and dry the surface quickly with a paper towel after cleaning.

  • Tip: After wiping down the top of the cabinets, cut a newspaper to size to fit the space. As the months go by, the paper will collect the dust — not your cabinets — and you’ll only need to swap out the paper for next year’s spring cleaning.

Vacuum out the refrigerator coils and vent. Use the vacuum’s hose or brush extension to remove all the dirt and dust from the fridge coil and vent, or rent an air compressor to blow it out.

Clean out the fridge and defrost the freezer. Take everything out, so that you can remove food debris from the shelves and inside walls — starting from the top and working your way down. When you put food back, be sure to check expiration date, and toss anything that’s past its prime. Don’t forget to wipe down the fronts of the fridge and freezer, paying close attention to disinfecting the door handles.

https://www.seattle-organizers.com/organizing-services-in-seattle.html

Throw out old sponges. These kitchen tools are germ magnets. Even zapping them in the microwave won’t kill all the bacteria that find their way inside. Disinfect sponges every few days by letting them soak in a bleach-water solution (¾ cup bleach to 1 gallon of water) for five minutes. After a couple of weeks, however, they should be thrown out completely and replaced, or swapped for reusable silicone scrubbers that can be more easily disinfected. 

Scrub down the stove top and vent. For range hoods and stovetops covered in greasy dust, use a mineral oil to wipe away the film, and then remove the oil with some warm water and dish soap.

  • Tip: Coat gas stovetop surfaces (not the grates) with car wax, then wipe it off. This will make it easier to clean up future spills. 

Clean the oven. If your oven doesn’t have a self-cleaning function, you can make a DIY cleaner by mixing 5 tablespoons of baking soda, 5 drops of dish soap, and 4 tablespoons of vinegar into a paste and slathering it on the worst spots. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub at it with a sponge or non-abrasive brush. For extra stubborn grease stains, place a few drops of dish soap on half a lemon, and rub it on the problematic areas. Then, scrub or wipe it clean. 

Organize the pantry. After you’ve removed everything from the shelves and wiped them off, replace and organize the pantry items by purpose. For example, instead of having baking items stacked on a shelf or spread throughout the pantry, place all ingredients used exclusively for baking inside a clear bin or tub. That way, when you’re ready to make cookies, you already have everything you need and can easily carry the items to the counter and back. Similarly, use racks and clear containers to separate breakfast items from snacks or dinner ingredients, and so on.

  • Tip: Mount a dry-erase board inside your pantry to keep notes of what you have or what you need.

Clean out the microwave. While a spaghetti-splattered microwave can seem daunting, this might be the easiest task in the whole kitchen. Mix a tablespoon of vinegar with a cup of water, and microwave it on high for five minutes. The vapor from the boiling solution will coat every inch of food debris and make it easier to wipe away.

Disinfect the sink. If you cook with raw meat in your home, chances are the kitchen sink is the germiest spot in the whole house. Give the basin a good scrub with a disinfectant or bleach solution to kill any bacteria lurking inside.

Wipe down the countertops. Remove any items on the counters, including appliances and knife blocks, and then use a disinfectant spray or cleaning wipes to get corners and spaces in the back that might not get as much attention throughout the year. While you’re there, wipe down the walls or backsplashes, too.

Common areas

livingroom-mod

Take off all cushions from couches and chairs, and vacuum the spaces underneath. Pay special attention to the nooks and crannies where crumbs or dust might have made a home.

  • Tip: Use isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) to remove stains from microfiber fabrics by dabbing it on with a white sponge — to avoid any dye transfers — and scrub with a white bristle brush.

Shampoo your rugs and carpets. Or, if you’d rather not spend the time, money or effort to shampoo the whole house, spot clean stains using pet stain remover or a steam cleaner.

  • Tip: In a pinch, the “steam” function on your clothing iron works great as a steam cleaner.

Polish your wooden furniture. Remove any items from bookcases or coffee tables to clean every surface with a dust rag, followed by wood cleaner or polish. Fix scratches by rubbing a walnut along the scratch or by using a stain pen.

  • Tip: Remove water stains on your wooden furniture by blasting it with a hair dryer at close range and treating the wood with a furniture polish or mineral oil. 

Wipe down baseboards, window treatments, light fixtures and ceiling fans. Use a telescoping pole or the vacuum cleaner extension attachment to reach high ceilings and corners. Remove and launder the drapes, and clean the windows with glass cleaner. Don’t forget to disinfect door handles!

  • Tip: Use a lint roller on lamp shades to remove any dust or pet hair that have accumulated there.

Dust your decor. Gently wipe or brush away dust from all of your knickknacks, picture frames and clocks. Depending on how many decorative items you keep in your home, this may be the most time-consuming activity you do during your spring cleaning.

Clean your electronics. Another germy place in your house? The TV remote. Just think of all the (sometimes sticky) hands that touch it. Give your electronics a good wipe down, including the top of your TV, streaming device and DVD player. Dust the front of any screens with a microfiber rag or a feather duster, making sure to get the corners.

Bedrooms
Clean and organized Bedroom

Wash the bedding, including bed skirts, shams and duvet covers. If some of the items are too big to fit in your laundry machines, take them to a laundry mat or dry cleaners. Don’t forget the pillows!

Flip your mattress. Or if you have a pillow top, rotate it to prevent grooves from forming due to sleeping in the same spot for too long. Freshen the mattress by spreading on some baking soda, letting it sit for 45 minutes to an hour, and vacuuming it back up.

  • Tip: Use foam shaving cream to remove mattress stains by letting it sit for 15 minutes before wiping it off with a slightly damp rag dipped in a half-water/half-vinegar solution

Dust neglected surfaces, like window treatments, headboards and ceiling fans. If you have drapes, vacuum or launder them, too.

  • Tip: Be careful wiping off ceiling fans, as dust clumps can fall on you while dusting. To prevent this, slide each fan blade into a pillowcase to get the bulk of the dust off before taking a rag to it.

Vacuum or mop under furniture, including behind dressers and under beds. Pay extra attention to corners and baseboards.

  • Tip: If your furniture is too heavy to move, use the vacuum cleaner attachments or a telescoping pole to swivel a mop head or rag to get to hard-to-reach places.
Closets
Closet close-up

Sort through items and get rid of anything you no longer need or use. If you’re really wanting to keep something, ask yourself: 1. Does it fit? 2. Is it flattering on me? 3. Have I used it in the past year? If you answer “no” to any of the above, strongly consider donating or selling it.

  • Tip: Turn around all of the hangers so that they are hanging backward, and throughout the year, only turn each one back the right way if you’ve worn the item. If something is still hanging backward during next year’s spring cleaning, you’ll know which items to get rid of first.

Rotate seasonal items. If you’re doing spring cleaning in the spring, pack up those bulky sweaters and heavy coats and store them on a shelf or in the back of your closet until next winter. The same can be done in the fall for summer clothing and accessories.

Vacuum carpet and ceilings. Remove any items from the floor, and vacuum up any dust that might have built up under your shoe rack or nostalgia box. Don’t forget to get into the corners of the ceiling to capture any cobwebs or dust bunnies.

Wipe down shelves and inside drawers. Remove all items, and wipe down the space with a damp rag. As you replace the items, think about how they can be organized so that you’re more likely to keep the space tidy.

  • Tip: Use drawer dividers or fabric bins to organize small items like hand towels or underwear.
Laundry room

Wipe laundry machines and countertops. Use a damp rag to remove the light dusting of lint that tends to settle on every surface in the laundry room.
Toss any rogue dryer sheets and empty detergent bottles. Look between the machines, behind doors and under cabinets to catch any pesky dryer sheets or lint clumps. Dispose of any outdated cleaning supplies, taking special care to follow your city’s instructions, as not all cleaning supplies can go in the regular municipal trash pickup. 
Organize supplies. If things have gotten a little cluttered, neatly line up cleaning supplies, so you can more easily see and access the items you need. If small children are in the home, ensure dangerous cleaning supplies are out of reach or kept in a secured cabinet.
Sanitize your washing machine. After every load of laundry, it’s a good idea to leave the washing machine door open to let it air out and prevent mold from growing inside. Once a year, however, it’s a good idea to sanitize the machine to remove any mold and get out detergent that has started to build up. Use multipurpose disinfectant or a vinegar solution to clean the rubber seal around the door of the machine, as well as inside the dispensers. If your washer doesn’t have a self-cleaning cycle, run the empty machine using hot water and a little bleach.
Clean out your lint trap filter and dryer vent. Clogged dryer vents can pose a fire hazard for your home, and poor airflow can allow condensation to accumulate behind your walls, so it’s especially important to keep these passageways clean. After every load of laundry, remove lint from your lint trap, and at least once a year, vacuum out any lingering debris on the trap itself, as well as the space where it’s housed inside the dryer. Then, unplug the dryer, and disconnect the dryer duct — a 4-inch pipe, typically located in the wall directly behind the machine. Gently pull the dryer away from the wall just enough to access the duct. If you have a gas dryer, be extra cautious not to mess with the gas line. You can use a vacuum or special duct cleaning kit to remove debris inside the line, as well as wherever the dryer’s vent is housed outside your home. When you’re done, reconnect everything, and place the machine back into its position.
Tip: If your vent line is much longer than your vacuum hose can reach, or the outside vent outlet is inaccessible, consider hiring a professional duct cleaning service every few years to ensure the entire line is clear.
Mop or vacuum the floor. When you’ve cleaned everything else in the room, vacuum or mop the floor, taking care to reach the corners and behind the machines, using periscoping handles or vacuum extensions.

Mudroom

Remove items and wipe down hooks and shelves. Use a damp rag or multipurpose cleaner to clean dirt off of any shelving and hooks, especially where shoes are kept.
Toss or store unused items. Get rid of any items you no longer use or items family members have outgrown, including seasonal jackets or shoes. Wash and store items you want to keep, and donate or sell the rest.
Organize items by purpose and practicality. It doesn’t take much for the mudroom to fall into disarray. Give yourself and your family the best chance at keeping the space clean by thinking through where items are normally placed, and organize from there. If shoes are often thrown on the ground, for example, bins to store them should be on or near the floor. Baskets can be used to catch small items (like keys or earphones), and multiple hooks are great for storing winter gear and backpacks.
Garage
Organized and Clean Garage

Declutter. Now’s the time to take a good, long look at everything in your garage and ask yourself, “Do I need this?” Dispose of old cleaners, broken equipment, abandoned projects, and anything else that no longer has a use.

https://www.seattle-organizers.com/organizing-services-in-seattle.html

Sweep the floors. If you can, remove everything at ground level in the garage, and use a broom to sweep out the dust, leaves and mystery gunk that have settled there.

Maximize your (vertical) space. Many garages have empty space above the garage door or near the ceiling that can be used for storage. Investing in sturdy shelves near the ceiling is a great way to store those rarely used items like Christmas trees or beach umbrellas. Similarly, bikes and seasonal garden equipment can be hung from the ceiling or high up on a wall to best utilize the space available.

Outdoor spaces
Backyard with white, round table and 2 chairs

Get out the hose. Spray down patios, decks, porches, lawn furniture, playground equipment — and any other large item or space you have outside your home. For the siding, you may want to rent or invest in a power washer to remove buildup on the outside of the house.

Tidy the yard. Pull any weeds sprouting up in your lawn or garden. Lay down mulch or compost (if needed), and plant any flowers or edible greens you’d like.

After you’ve tackled every room in the house, it’s time to take the most critical steps of all. Sit back, relax and enjoy. 

Thinking of Running Your Small Business from Home? Consider These Important Steps for Success

by Kris Louis

Despite the many setbacks from the COVID-19 crisis, home-based small businesses are growing. Nationwide, it is estimated that there are 38 million home-based businesses—proof that small businesses play a big role in both local and national economies.

No matter your industry or size, home-based businesses often share a common challenge: creating the right space to get work done. Are you starting a small business or moving your current business into your home? Not sure how to get started? Take a moment to read these tips for setting up your home-based business office.

Need to turn your home office into a productive workspace? Partner with the skilled experts at Seattle Organizers! Book an appointment today!

Zoning Regulations

Depending on your location, your city, county and even the Homeowner’s Association may have zoning regulations that can impact how you operate your home-based business. Generally speaking, most communities are content as long as your business doesn’t disturb your neighbors or cause difficulty with parking. But it’s still important to understand the specifics.

If the zoning laws in your current home aren’t agreeable for running a business, you may need to consider buying. Discover suggests looking at things like whether you’ll be able to install signage for your business and how affordable the property is. Be sure to consider a separate entrance if you’ll be meeting clients—good for therapists, accountants, yoga and fitness instructors. Tour homes that will give your business some space and privacy from your home life, so you can limit daily distractions and focus on a healthy work-life balance.

Workspace

Small business owners and entrepreneurs need plenty of space to work. While a writing desk looks sharp and stylish, you’re probably not going to have enough space for your computer, paperwork and other equipment. And if you need to store inventory or have a place to meet with clients, you’ll want to have the space to scale. When it comes to creating the most productive workspace, you may want to look into renovating your attic, garage or spare bedroom.

If you haven’t already, consider forming a limited liability company so you apply for loans and credits that can help you finance these important upgrades. An LLC grants you access to tax breaks and means you have to file less paperwork at the end of the year, and you might even be able to use business funds to purchase property. The regulations and formation process can be a little daunting for some, but there are companies out there that can process the paperwork for you.

Organization

Just as with any business, you’ll need to figure out a design and organization that helps you focus and work productively. It’s easy to rush out at the end of a long day (and most days are long for small business owners) without first tidying up. Consider designing your home office with an organizational system tailored for you. Furniture that doubles as storage is a great way to start. And keep all your office supplies in your office so you don’t have to go hunting them down in other areas of the home.

You will want a layout that isn’t too cozy, but also makes you feel at home. Plenty of natural light and green plants will keep your mind and the air clear. A neutral color palette is calming and very inviting for clients and customers. And if your small space has big storage needs — look up! Vertical shelving can help you keep inventory close by without feeling crowded.

When it comes to creating a productive workspace, your best bet is to call on an expert Professional Organizer from Seattle Organizers to organize your space!

Before running your business from home, consider your area’s zoning regulations and your workspace needs. If you’re ready to elevate your home-based business into a new and vibrant space, talk with an experienced realtor.

Procrastination Nation

Why we Procrastinate Organizing our Homes and Lives

Procrastination Organizing

The Psychology of Procrastination

Of course, we associate procrastination with home organizing. Gratefully, last week I read a great article in the NY Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/25/smarter-living/why-you-procrastinate-it-has-nothing-to-do-with-self-control.html I highly recommend the read. After researching and participating in DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) and also CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), I can indeed relate to “emotional regulation” as being a core reason why we procrastinate. It is not that we are lazy, it is that there is an emotional detachment or attachment to procrastinating.

“Procrastination is an emotion regulation problem, not a time management problem,” said Dr. Tim Pychyl, professor of psychology and member of the Procrastination Research Group at Carleton University in Ottawa. It is not laziness.


It is not in capability, talent or lack of skills and education – it is an emotional block.

“Overwhelmed” is the description that I have heard for decades from clients about how they feel when they look at their unorganized closet, home-offices, kids rooms, bedrooms, cluttered kitchen cabinets and their over-all lives. I understand the burdonsome procrastination phenomena, as I have procrastinated writing this procrastination article for one week. Irony 5000!

HOW TO STOP PROCRASTINATING?

1.) Write down your intentions every morning or as soon as you can. Give purpose and meaning as to WHY you want to get the task done and how it will make you feel.

2.) Give yourself a reward after completing it: a food treat, a self-care treat or something that you don’t normally allow yourself to take the time to do. For me, it is painting my nails or toenails – getting them painted.

3.) Prioritize which task will bring the best rewards- professional or personal tasks. Then, organize your time to do it asap.

” In the case of procrastination, we have to find a better reward than avoidance — one that can relieve our challenging feelings in the present moment without causing harm to our future selves.”, said psychiatrist and neuroscientist Dr. Judson Brewer, Director of Research and Innovation at Brown University’s Mindfulness Center. He calls it the B.B.O. – Bigger Better Offer.

When we procrastinate we feel guilt, shame and self-loathing, which are not productive feelings.

However, the longer we procrastinate, the worse we feel about ourselves. I think of the consequences of “not doing it” versus the consequences of “Getting it Done”. The feeling of how I will feel after I have completed the looming task. Sit down and “Do it now” Prioritize first and then start doing it. Whether it is your best work or not, start doing it and the motivation will follow.

4.) Think of how you will “feel” after you have tackled this task and plan out your reward.

5.) Plan out your days – a big battle for me and for many of us. If you work for yourself, this is a MUST. If you work for others – this is a MUST. If your work allows you the option of not constantly getting emails, pick a time to get emails. Our brains do not multi-task well, according to neuroscience. Another blog on that later…

Productivity Hacks and Procrastination Hacks are all over the internet

I found that the above New York Times article by Charlotte Lieberman summed it all up very well and also gives the “why” and what to start doing to uncoil the evil procrastination demon. Emotional regulation takes time and work but the only way to start being consistent is to “Do It Now.” . Procrastination and Home Organizing go hand in hand, but they don’t have to!

Contact us Now for a Free Organizational Consult and we can figure out how to create a plan to move forward and to start “New Habits” so the clutter won’t keep piling up in your home and most importantly, in your mind.

Editors’ Picks

Didn’t pick one yet!!

5 Things Busy Parents Can Do to Keep Their Homes Clean Between Real Estate Showings

Image via Pexels

Buying a House and Parenting Is Possible

Once you decide to sell your home, you may wonder how you’re going to juggle parenting, working, and cooking meals with cleaning and decluttering your house for real estate showings—especially when you and your kids continue to eat, sleep, and live in the home. Since buying a new house before selling your current home isn’t always possible, a few simple tips and tricks can help you to keep your home market ready. Read on to learn more!

1. Eliminate Clutter

Decluttering and de-personalizing are two of the best things you can do to prep your home for sale. Not only will a tidy, organized, and depersonalized home appeal to prospective buyers, but a de-cluttered home is easiest to clean and maintain between showings. The biggest bonus is that  it gives you the opportunity to get a jump on packing.

Before listing your home, be sure to thoroughly declutter each room and storage space in your home. Then, get rid of anything you don’t need or move excess furniture, appliances, toys, and family photos into storage. To get the most out of your decluttering efforts, hire a professional organizer through Seattle Organizers. These professionals specialize in decluttering and organizing closets, garages, kitchens, storage spaces—you name it.

2. Clean a Little Bit Each Day

Before listing your home, you’ll also need to deep clean every room in the house—making sure to wipe down and wash any countertops, walls, windows, and floors.

After deep cleaning your home, however, it’s important to devote a few minutes each day to cleaning and maintaining your house to keep it tidy and show-ready. As part of your daily speed cleaning, don’t forget to:

  • Make the beds.
  • Load the dishwasher and wipe down the kitchen counter.
  • Wipe down bathroom mirrors and countertops.
  • Wash and dry dirty clothes.
  • Fold and put away clean laundry.
  • Pick up loose toys and objects.
  • Sweep and vacuum the floors.

3. Invest in a Robot Vacuum

If you don’t have the time or energy to regularly vacuum and sweep your floors when you’re busy trying to sell a home, a robot vacuum can be the life-saver you need to keep your house clean and tidy. A good robot vacuum will remove dirt, dust, and crumbs from your floors, helping you to keep your home clean and fresh between showings with minimal fuss.

4. Keep Spare Laundry Baskets Handy

When you live in the house you’re trying to sell, there’s no way you’ll be able to keep your floors and countertops free of clutter at all times. However, Apartment Therapy says this is where spare laundry baskets come in. When your real estate agent contacts you about scheduling a last-minute showing, toss any loose objects into the spare basket—whether it’s toys, dirty clothing, or mail—before loading it into your car and driving off before your prospective buyers arrive.

5. Make a Checklist

Even if you eliminate clutter, clean your home every day, and keep empty laundry baskets handy for picking up loose objects, you’ll need to ensure that everything is clean and in its place before a real estate showing or open house.

When you’re busy cooking meals for your family and tired from the work day, it’s easy to forget to put dirty dishes in the dishwasher or take out the trash as you prep your home for a showing. However, putting together an open house task-list that includes things like securing your valuables, opening the curtains or blinds, turning on all the lights, eliminating odors, and taking out the trash can help you to ensure that your home will look clean and spotless by the time your prospective buyers arrive.

A Final Note

Selling a home that you continue to live in with your family isn’t easy, but these five tips will save your sanity, alleviate some stress, and keep your house clean and tidy until it sells. You probably won’t be able to keep your kids from leaving their toys and books on the floors or countertops, but these simple tips will make the cleanup process a whole lot easier. And thanks to your efforts, you’ll have the house sold soon!

Laundry Solutions-How to tackle your Laundry Issues

Dirty Laundry – Create a Laundry Solution

Don’t wait until the dirty laundry pile is huge

There are two types of people – people who do laundry a lot and in small loads and people who wait to do laundry until it is 3K loads and overwhelming. So, yes, there are many types of “laundry-doers”. However, in my many years at Seattle Organizers.com and helping clients with organizing their homes and finding laundry solutions, these are the basic two types of “laundry doers”. Which one are you? Are you another kind of “laundry doer”?

Be Economical and also Time Effective with Laundry Solutions

  • Unquestionably, doing smaller loads with low water levels, cold water, and phosphate free detergent is both environmentally and economically smarter
  • Doing large loads, depending on if you are single or a family, debatably, may be more economically wise but don’t do more than 2 large loads in a day unless you have scheduled your time to actually fold it and put it away
  • Obviously, everyone’s lives vary in size and style. So, no matter which size or what lifestyle you have, try doing small loads as often as you can
  • Schedule laundry times in – yes, set alarm and schedule it on your phone
  • Get it done!


SORT – FILL – PUSH BUTTON – Go do another planned home TASK or whatever you want – SET PHONE ALARM & TIME IT – PUT IN DRYER – REMOVE – FOLD, ROLL and HANG IMMEDIATELY – PUT AWAY – DONE!! 

EASY PEEZY!

The key thing to take with you on this is to not let it pile up too much and schedule it in to be doing while doing other things you want to do or need to do, like the dishes or looking at Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook or whatever you want!!

SCHEDULE A FREE VIRTUAL SESSION with Kathryn to discuss your personal laundry issues – not your “Dirty Laundry”, so to speak 😉
https://seattle-organizers.com/emailus.php

SeattleOrganizers Likes–>

Is Clutter-Making Genetic?

Order Chaos

I was recently with a client and working with her on her entire home that had been bombarded by her own past and that of her parents. In our first conversation she said, “I don’t want to be like my parents who I believe are “collectors” or maybe even hoarders.”  I can’t tell you how many people say a similar comment in regard to their family. They may blame their parents or a parent for why they can’t let things go and let their “stuff” pile up. Is clutter-making genetic? Therein, leaving their mind cluttered; wasting time looking for things and effecting their self esteem because they are so overwhelmed by all of it that they become stunted. I started researching and found some stunning insight and research based facts regarding inheriting the “clutter gene”. It is still debatable between the professionals. I believe that it is a combination of hereditary and learned behavior.

After doing Residential Professional Organizing for 21 plus years, I do believe that people can change their habits (the 60 day thing) if repetition is consistent and daily. However, it is quite a challenge for many of us in this land of fast-paced living and the “Distraction Crisis” with social media sucking up so much of people’s time where they could be purging ancient relics from their homes. I have some of my own personal habits that seem impossible to conquer. The first step is being aware. My client with her fear of becoming like her parents and many other clients with the same dread, have taken the first step – getting professional help. So, I will leave theory or fact of inheriting a “clutter gene” open for discussion. Here are a few professional views on this.

“Exactly what triggers hoarding compulsions
and desires is still under investigation. Like OCD, it may be related, at least in part, to genetics and upbringing.”
Mayo Clinic

“But biology is not destiny. Just because somebody has a genetic
predisposition to develop a certain behavioral condition, that doesn’t
mean they are doomed.”

-David F. Tolin, Ph.D., founder of the Anxiety Disorders Center at The Institute of Living in Hartford, CT

“People who have a compulsive urge to collect and clutter their homes with junk can partly attribute their problem to genes, according to a British study.”

Researchers from King’s College London used a twin study to find that genetic predisposition explained a large amount of the risk for compulsive hoarding – a mental health problem in which people have an overwhelming desire to accumulate items normally considered useless, like old newspapers or junk mail.

Of the more than 5000 twins in the study, roughly two percent showed symptoms of compulsive hoarding and genes appeared to account for half of the variance in risk.

Researcher Dr. David Mataix-Cols said it has long been known that compulsive hoarding tends to run in families.

But he told Reuters Health that what has not been clear is whether that pattern is due to genes or to something in the home environment, like parenting practices.

“Twin studies allow us to separate these two sources,” Mataix-Cols said.

The study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, included both identical and fraternal twins. Identical twins share all of their DNA while fraternal twins share roughly half of their genes, making them no more genetically similar than non-twin siblings.

If genes are a more important factor than shared environment in a given disorder, then identical twins would be more similar in their risk of the problem than fraternal twins would be.

Mataix-Cols and his colleagues found that among female identical twins, when one twin showed compulsive hoarding symptoms, the other twin also did 52 percent of the time. Among fraternal twins, that figure was 27 percent.

There was no evidence, however, that environmental factors shared by twins contributed to compulsive hoarding. Instead, “non-shared” environmental factors – those unique to individuals – seemed to be at work.

Past research has shown that many people with hoarding problems have a history of traumatic events, according to Mataix-Cols. In particular, they have elevated rates of sexual abuse and “loss” – of a loved one or a home, for instance.

“What the study suggests is that genes are important, but probably some environmental stressors are needed to cause or trigger the hoarding problem,” said Mataix-Cols, adding more research is needed into this topic.

He said the hope was to find better therapies for compulsive hoarding as behavioral therapy and antidepressants are now the main forms of treatment, but they have met with limited success.

– Reuters

Easy DIY Repairs to Keep Your Home Looking New


Do you ever feel like your home always has some small thing in need of repair?



Your first instinct may be to pick up the phone and call in a professional, and sometimes hiring a pro is best. But there are plenty of easy fixes and preventive maintenance tasks you can do yourself.



HVAC Maintenance


Keeping your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system working properly is an absolute must for homeowners. No one wants to be faced with a broken air conditioner on a hot day. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can also become an emergency situation.
You don’t have to be an HVAC expert to conduct regular maintenance and do minor fixes. According to Family Handyman, a few HVAC maintenance tasks any homeowner can do include keeping your system clean, fixing fins that are out of alignment, and unclogging the condensate drain tube. If you fail to do these, you may end up with a frozen coil due to a dirty filter. When this happens, the first solution is to replace the filter, but if that doesn’t work, it may be time to call in a local AC repair professional to get the problem fixed.
Doors, Windows, and Cabinetry
One of the most common sources of household problems is when things like doors, windows, and cabinetry get old and don’t work as well as they used to. They may be more of an annoyance than a major problem, but most of these issues can be easily fixed.
Doors that stick – According to This Old House, older doors are especially vulnerable to sticking due to changes in the weather. They recommend several different options for fixing this problem, including checking hinges, planing the door, or rehanging it. The right solution will depend on the source of your problem.
Dealing with drafts – Drafty doors and windows can be a problem any time of year. Drafts leave you too hot or cold, while wasting energy and raising your utility bills. Fix those drafts by adding weatherstripping, new door sweeps, or foam tape around windows.
Loose drawer handle – Having a loose handle on a cabinet or drawer is a nuisance, and you can’t always fix it by simply tightening the screw. In this case, an easy fix is to remove the handle and add some washers to the back before screwing it back in place.
Cosmetic Repairs


I’s normal for our homes to start showing wear and tear over time, but many of these cosmetic issues are easy fixes.
Patch a hole – The steps you need to fix a hole in your wall vary depending on whether it’s a small dent, such as a dent made by a doorknob, or a larger hole that needs to be patched. This tutorial from Lowe’s will walk you through the correct steps and tools needed for different situations.
Peeling wallpaper – If you have corners of wallpaper that are peeling, Real Simple recommends using a sheet of paper, covered with wallpaper paste, to get a smooth look when reapplying it. Simply press the peeling wallpaper against the wall with the sheet of paper underneath it, then slide the paper out and smooth any bumps.
Cracked molding – Cracks in molding and baseboards are common in older homes especially, but all it takes is a quick fix to make them look like new. You may need a scraper to remove peeling caulk, and then replace it with a caulking tool and new caulk.
Repair hardwood floors – Even though hardwood floors are made to be durable, any surface that gets foot traffic is prone to issues. Deep scratches take a little more effort than minor surface scratches, but most can be repaired with a little work.
Whether the tasks you tackle are cosmetic or serious, you don’t want to let these problems go. After all, you live in your home, and any problems are likely to get worse if you don’t intervene. Fixing them now will keep your home looking its best and will help you avoid more expensive repairs down the road.