Tuesday, November 20, 2007

2 Minute Organizing Challenge

Sometimes the smallest things make me feel better. Like having a small space be organized. As we use things, the tend to get a little disheveled. So it's good to take a few minutes every day to tidy things back up.

For instance, I have a cleaning tote that I carry around with me while I'm cleaning. Inevitably it gets disorganized b/c while I'm cleaning, I don't bother to put things back in an orderly fashion. I probably should. But why? I'm just going to pull out the Comet again in the next bathroom.

So I take 2 minutes (usually less) to reorganize the tote, line up the bottles, straighten the sponges... and a small piece of my world has righted itself.

What else can you organize in two minutes?

Make sure it's something that's supposed to be organized (as in, you've gone through a purge, sort, organize phase already).

* nightstand
* kitchen drawer
* utility / junk drawer
* cleaning supplies
* laundry room
* a drawer or basket in an entry table or living room
* DVD or CD collection
* your desk or maybe a portion of it
* your bathtub / shower (remember to combine & toss to keep your bottles to a minimum)

What else can you tidy in 2 minutes or less?

Products I love...

I'm always interested in what products other people love, hate, or would recommend or not. I have a few things I've come across in the last year (one way or another) that I really like.

First off, the Magic Eraser. Couldn't live without it. Really couldn't. It cleans things that nothing else can (at least without a ton of elbow grease). I don't know what this magical little sponge is made of but I love it to pieces and I'm always sad to throw an old one out.

ELECTRASOL® Powerball® Tabs I saw a commercial for these and thought what the heck, I'll give 'em a try. We have a dishwasher and lets just say, it's not top of the line. It's not at the bottom either, but it's probably closer to the bottom than the top. We used liquid Cascade. And I used a combination of Jet Dry or those jet dry baskets (which seems to run out FAST!) and never felt my dishes were as sparkling as they could be. After almost a whole box of the Tabs, I can say I love these things. They smell great, the clean really well, and my dishes come out sparkling! I was always embarrassed before if company saw my dishes before I had a chance to polish the water marks off the glasses. No more. From the dishwasher to the cabinet the only thing I now worry about are fingerprints. LOL

Now for a not recommend. I recently bought a small stereo from WalMart. The company name was Durabrand. The CD player skipped a LOT. After about 2 weeks the CD player stopped working all together. We took it back.

We went for a model up, from Philips. LOVE IT! Can't recommend it enough. The radio presets were so easy to set I didn't even need to read the instructions. CD player works great. You can even hang it on the wall.

So how about you? What are some of your favorite and not so favorite products?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Letting Go...

I come from a long line of folks who "keep stuff" and "buy stuff." Attics and basements fill up quickly. As do closets. Sometimes it's just hard to let stuff go. You might need it some day, you say. You like the memories that object embodies.

I hate the feeling of clutter. I hate the look of clutter. Visual clutter is what I call it.

I hate it so much that I went with the simplest centerpiece possible for the tables at my wedding. Roses. That's it. Just roses. No filler. No leafy towering fluff balls. Just spherical glass vases filled to the brim with a single color of roses. It was gorgeous.

Now I'm trying to decide on a centerpiece for thanksgiving. I see plenty I like. But I keep coming back to something really simple. So simple it's elegant. And dressy while being casual. What's the idea? A pedestal of apples.

We'll see if that's what I decide on ultimately.

How do you let go of things?

Here's one tip that I've discovered.

Start with the trash. There's probably something in your room, wherever you are, that qualifies. Maybe it's a gum wrapper you just opened, or a box you just emptied. Perhaps it's an item surrounded by packaging. Maybe it's a leaf on the floor. Start with the trash. Get it out of your space. Throw things away.

It's cleansing. I promise.

Once you've gotten rid of trash, look for things to donate.

Getting Ready for T-day

6 days and counting...

The table clothes are freshly washed and pressed. The dishes have been gathered and are awaiting a rinse. Everything is pretty much a go. I have some last minute shopping to do next week. And right now I'm just trying to decide how to fold the napkins and where to put the place card. Envelope style or book style? I can't decide.

Luckily I have a few more days to figure it out.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Since I posted yesterday about being Thankful I thought that today I'd post a meme called Thankful Thursday. I'll post what I'm thankful for. You post what you're thankful for on your blog and come back here and add a link to your post.

1. I'm thankful that my parents are still in good health and can come visit me.
2. I'm thankful that my grandmother is going to finally get to see our house next week when she comes for Thanksgiving.
3. I'm thankful that I can try new recipes with my husband and have food on the table.
4. I'm thankful for my pets and the joy they bring me and the love they lavish upon me.
5. I'm thankful for my husband.
6. I'm thankful for my health.
7. I'm thankful for my home.
8. I'm thankful for life.
9. I'm thankful for my talents and the things I can create.
10. I'm thankful for vacuum cleaners.
11. I'm thankful for my goals and achievements.
12. I'm thankful for autumn and colorful trees and big piles of leaves.
13. I'm thankful it rained last night.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Green Thanksgiving

Just stumbled across this post today at Nature Moms and I thought it was such a coincidence and wanted to share.

So how am I being green this Thanksgiving?

Well for starters, we put in new energy saving bulbs in the entry way today while waiting on lunch to heat up. This was a big deal b/c our ceilings are 18ft high and you can imagine the climbing, dangling, twisting and turning to get those bulbs in the light fixture. But it's done. I'm not thrilled with the look of the bulbs or the amount of light, but they should last forever (b/c the light is hardly ever on) and when they are on, it should save us $$.

According to the list in the post above... we are:

* using our fine china, not paper products
* using cloth napkins
* moved the compost can closer to the deck

And we made all those decisions without considering them to be "green." Not a bad step toward progress. IIMSS

New Habits

Mom over at Garden Glimpses recently participating in the Getting Real Mondays and the habit she wants to cultivate is writing... the old fashioned, snail mail, put a postage stamp on it sort of writing.

I totally agree. This is a habit I want to get into and stick to. Birthday cards that actually get mailed and not just addressed and left on the pinboard. Packages that get sent on time. Thank you cards written in ink. Thinking about you and wanted you to know... written on paper, addressed in my neatest writing and stamped with a lovely stamp.

Surely it's worth a few minutes of my time and $.41. Surely.

The Power of Thanks

Yesterday we discussed habits and I shared a few of mine. I have a new one to start.

I heard an author on a local radio show discussing her new book. The summary is that being thankful and saying thank you can really help you out in life. By being thankful you're seeing the positive things that happen to you.

Here's some info about the book, but whether or not you (or I) decide to read it, I think the message is powerful. Not just now because Thanksgiving is right around the corner (I have 2 turkeys in my freezer to prove it!) but all year long. I just feel better when I look at the positive side of things. There's too much negativity in the world.

"Thank You. Can such small words hold life changing power? Yes!

Deborah Norville's groundbreaking and persuasive book argues that gratitude is the secret key to unlocking your full life potential. Rooted in science, presented from a spiritual perspective, Thank You Power details the surprising life improvements that can stem from the practice of gratitude.

Norville brings together for the first time the behavioral and psychological research that prove what people of faith have long known: giving thanks brings life blessings. Beginning with those two small words, thank you, Norville shows how you can be happier and more resilient, have better relationships, improved health, and less stress.

The list of benefits is long. You'll exercise more, be more creative, bounce back more quickly from adversity, have a higher immune response, live longer, be better liked by others, and have more creativity in solving problems. Each of these outcomes is backed up by published research. The key? Gratitude.

Ever heard the one about being able to catch more flies with honey than vinegar? If you want to eliminate many of the negatives of daily stress and better deal with the realities of your day, then read on. Deborah Norville may have found the real secret to happiness. You'll find the answer inside.
--Dr. Mehmet Oz, Vice Chairman and Professor of Surgery, Columbia University; and Author, You Series"

More info about the book

Ceiling Fan Rotation

According to BobVila.com, ceiling fans should turn counter clock-wise in the summer and clockwise in winter.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Let's Get Real Monday: Habits

Thought I'd join in the Let's Get Real Monday.

---What is one good habit that I have?

I work hard to make those around me comfortable, especially guests.

---What is one bad habit that I have?


---What is one habit that I would like to cultivate in my life?

Finding something good about each and every person I meet.

A pretty Christmas decoration

Loved this natural bough of greenery. All you need is a metal coat hanger and a bit of wire. I have a feeling I might do several of these.