Friday, June 25, 2010

Finally! It's Friday!!!

Good Morning!

I've done my "Swish About" and am about to go and do my Bible Study time. I do so love getting into the scriptures, reading and searching.

After my study time, I think I'll have a "Fling Boogie". So much fun! Then I have a chore to do on the computer, it's time to eliminate all those bookmarks that I've put in that I planned to come back later and read but haven't. Funny how clutter can gather everywhere, even in your computer!

My day will officially began at 8:30 am when I go pick up my co-worker and head to our first appointment. I thank God I have a job in this economy when so many do not.

I was thinking this morning as I swished, about how I could begin to get the master bedroom more like my living room. My living room was redone last year, we took out the carpet and put in hardwood floors everywhere except the bedrooms. I really wish we'd put hardwood in there as well. I love the ease of keeping the hardwoods clean, and the not so nice smell of old carpet being gone.

I cleared the entire room when we did the install and when I put things back I did it with a firm and slow hand. If I didn't love it, if it didn't have a specific function, it didn't go back into the room. For me, it would be considered bare. I love it. No cluttered table tops, no dust catchers. Now all that stuff is in boxes in the basement. I feel a yard sale coming on!

I looked around my bedroom and brother there is quite alot of clutter, aka: stuff, in there that wouldn't come back in should it ever get moved out.

Hummmm.....there's an idea. Maybe I should pretend that I'm putting in hardwood, take it all out and reload the room like I did the living room. Yes! That's it! Okay....I have a plan for tomorrow....I think I'll call it, "Serious Saturday"!

Well, I have my weekend planned! I hope yours is a wonderful one.

Now go out and make this day yours!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Terrific Thursday!

Thursday is an odd day to me. I don't know whether to be glad that we're over the "hump day" of Wednesday or dreading Thursday because it is usually a long hard day.

Usually a busy day because my clients like me to come on Thursday and Friday's so they have a nice neat house for the weekend. But well, there is only so much time in the day and only so much of me to go around!

Something came to me this morning as I was doing my "Swish about". The cleaner that I use doesn't have a strong smell because I use natural products like vinegar and water. I do sometimes use Clorox, but I mix it well with water and make sure not to over do it because I get such a terrible headache when I use it alot. The end result is that my whole house doesn't smell like a bleach factory or a flower garden. You see, clean and I mean really clean, doesn't have a smell.

When you clean your home using products that you purchase at the store, you get clean, it's true, but you also get harsh chemicals that can do damage. They can cause damage to some surfaces in your home and they can cause damage to your family should there be residue left on the surfaces you use them on.

There are many websites that you can look at that will give you the recipes for making your own natural or very close to natural cleaning products. The ones you make yourself will save you quite a bit of money in the long run too. You can buy a bottle of white vinegar, water is "free", and if you have to have a color and fragrance you can use natural oils and food coloring.

So, do yourself and your family a loving favor and try to use these homemade cleaning products for at least a month and see if you don't agree with me that you like them better than the high priced cleaning products you get at the store.

Now go out and make this day yours!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday!

Wonderful Wednesday!

It’s Wednesday and it’s one of my favorite days of the week.

Why you ask?

Well, it is the middle day of the week, so it’s all downhill to the weekend from there. It’s Bible Study Day at our house and we’ll have at least two wonderful guests to study the scriptures with. And, best of all, “This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it!”

I’m so grateful to be a citizen of a country that allows me the freedom to sit down in my home with people I love and study God’s Word in perfect peace. No fear of gun toting vigilantes coming in to shoot us for it, and no fear of being cast out for loving Jesus.

Okay, I’m stepping down off my soapbox now.

Wednesday has some unusual chores included in it. These are to make our meeting this evening more enjoyable. I usually serve some cookies or a light desert with coffee or other drink. So, I get up and if I’m serving a homemade item, I prepare it and put it into the fridge to hold till I get home and can put it in the oven.

I also set up our table and prepare our Lord’s Supper. I don’t put the elements out; just get the service ready to place them. Then I sit down and do my mornings study. This isn’t anything unusual, I do that every morning. These “chores” are why on Wednesday’s I don’t do my usual “swish about.”

What is a “swish about” you ask?

Well, I’ll just tell you.

It is one of the little ways I keep my home in some semblance of order. I go into the master bathroom, spray the tub with cleaner, put some cleaner in the toilet and swish the cleaning brush around in it. Then I spray the sink, being careful not to forget the faucets and spouts. While those are sitting, I wipe down the exterior of above mentioned toilet, then I wipe down the vanity top and even do a “swish” across the mirror over the vanity. Then I rinse the tub, flush the toilet and rinse the sink. TA DA! A sparkling clean master bathroom in less than five minutes.

I do a “swish about” every day except Wednesday.

Now, your schedule will not be exactly like mine, you’ll find your best time for a “swish about” and all will be sparkly in the master potty!

So my blessed reader……….

Go and make this day yours!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday Truly....

It's Tuesday, and the day is a beautiful one already. Last Saturday Doug brought us a message at the Imlack, GA Covered Bridge that has played through my mind more than once in the last few days. You see we'd ridden over there with our CMA group for a fellowship and friends ride.

It was a hot, hot and I do mean hot day. The sun blazed down from the robin's egg blue skies and cotton candy white clouds danced around in the upper wind swept atmosphere. We all were ready for some cool breeze and feeling the wind on our faces and knees so we mounted up and headed out.

The Red Oak Creek Covered Bridge aka: Imlack Covered Bridge is an amazing piece of construction, even without the fame of being the longest and oldest covered bridge in Georgia. We turned down a two lane tar and gravel road that had a sign warning us of the pavement's ending. One thing a biker hates is gravel so in many of us it struck a note of apprehension. But, the pavement didn't really end, it just got more and more narrow and uneven. It was as if they threw a patch here and there of left over pavement, right down to the bridge. There was an interesting arbor of sorts that would only allow a passenger car width to pass through onto the bridge. Yes, this bridge is still in use today as a means to cross Red Oak Creek, just as it has been for last 150 years. While we were there a late model Ford Mustang crossed over it.

The interior of the bridge is a lattice work design created by noted designer of the day Ithel Towns. Horace King is the builder of the bridge, one of many he and his sons built in Georgia, it is the last one remaining of their work using this design. Standing inside you see the lattice design clearly, the wooden hand hewn pegs and thick beams in the roof supports. It is however, marred by the painted messages of childish passersby wanting their name to remain after they'd gone.

We all inspected and marveled at the wonderful workmanship. We gathered at the opposite end of the bridge and listened as Doug brought our message. He included the history of the bridge as part of it. As often my mind does, I dwell on his messages and begin digging into the scriptures as I "chase rabbits".

I began to mediate on the strength of different types of construction, how some will last hundreds, even thousands of years, while others fall within a few years. It all begins with the design, the care with which the designer takes in testing his or her methods.

God is the ultimate designer, His creations last millions of years and some of them even renew themselves as part of their wonderful design. Man's designs have a much more limited existence. None of them are so wonderfully made, able to renew themselves.

There are so many wonders of this world, both God and man made for us all to see, while the most wonderful, strongest and the only creation that will last until the return of our Lord and Savior is a very simple bridge. It is made up of a small insignificant wood called Dogwood.

While few recognize it for the true bridge it is, the called see it as the bridge that crosses the deep cavern of Hell and leads them to the road to salvation. It's name is a simple one, The Cross.

Now go out and make this day yours!


Monday, June 21, 2010

Manic Monday Madness!

Monday. It is just a day of the week, nothing special. Unless......

How can you make Monday's less mad? Start it out right!

Declutter your mind. After a good night's sleep, you should (should I say!) awake refreshed and ready to begin the week. That however is in a "perfect world", which as we all know doesn't exist. So, I'm going to give you a recipe I use for rightness to begin your week on the right track.

First, the minute your eyes pop open and you slap the alarm clock to turn it off, sit up and throw those legs over the side of the bed, stretch and then have a little talk with your heavenly Father. Ask Him to help you put your feet on the right path for the day, keep your feet walking in the light and ask Him to come along with you on your walk today. Then, get up and get moving!

Get dressed (you really should have already selected your mode of dress for the day before going to bed last night, but that is another topic for another day) all the way down to your shoes. Yep, even if you are not leaving the house, get those shoes on. This will help you put your brain in gear. Now take care of those personal chores, what ever they might be.


Okay~ now go and make that bed. A made up bed sets the room right. Even if there is clutter all over, just making the bed will make it look cleaner and neater. It also tends to encourage you to finish the room!

Now get out of that bedroom and get to it! You should be in a ready to go mood by now. It works for me! Try it and see if it works for you.

One more thing...I don't listen to the "news" first thing in the morning. It is such a u downer! Oh but what about the things that happen that you should know about, you ask? Well, in my opinion, if it is earth shattering, I'll know cos I'll feel the vibrations, if it's isn't, I'll read about it when I sign on the internet. I like to get my "information" that way so I can pick and choose what I want to put into my mind. Challenge: go for one week, not listening the the morning news programs, instead listen to some good Third Day CDS or what ever music you perfer and see if you don't have a much better day. You can get all the bad news you want on the noon day news, should you want to hear it.

Now go out there and claim this day for yourself!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fling Boogies and Grandkids: It's a Game Son!

Yesterday my daughter called me for help. She is a mother of three bio babies and 2 stepbabies, ages ranging from 12 down to 2 years. She and her husband both work, she works part time (cough, cough) and he works full. The coughing is because we all know that she works full time PLUS, but only gets paid for a fraction of it.

She called to tell me that the cable repair man would be arriving at her house at 4:00 pm, and could I go and be there as someone over 18 had to be on site. My daughter is fortunate in that her wonderful employer allows her to have her 2 year old son with her at work so the 12 and 9 year old were home "alone". Not really, they live just 300 feet from our house and we "keep an eye on them". They just think they are allowed to stay home alone.

I went to the house, a mere 2 minute walk if I'm taking my time and brother it is toooo hot in Georgia to go faster unless there is a fire or something, and let myself in the front door. The house was nice and cool, but OURCH! The kids had been having a wonderful time, playing computer games, having snacks and what ever their little hearts desired, but they had not completed their chores for the day. They had it figured that Mom wouldn't be home for at least 3 hours, StepDad wouldn't be home till shortly after Mom and their own Dad wasn't picking them up for their vacation visit for at least 2 hours, so they had plenty of time. HA! The joke was on them! Nana the tyrant was now in the house!

I walked around and took inventory so to speak. I asked my Granddaughter, heretofore known as "Tate", what their chore list had on it for the day. Grandson "Bran" says, "Oh, we just have to clean up the kitchen." look at that kitchen told me that they'd not even begun. So, I asked when they planned to get it done and they detailed their theory for me.

I gathered up two of the largest store plastic bags I could find and set the timer on the microwave for 15 minutes. The Grands watched me with the cutest puzzled looks upon their faces. I told them to come and stand in front of me and handed one bag to each of the two Grands. (The StepGrands were at their mother's home) Then I asked them had they ever heard of a game called "Fling it Boggie"? They hadn't, so I gave them the "rules of the game". I explained that they were to start at opposite corners of the room and when the timer was started they were to pick up trash and anything else that could be thrown away and put it into their bags. Then when they had completed that, they were to clear the counters, load the dishwasher and get it started, wipe down the counters and table and then sweep the floor. "All that in just 15 minutes?" they asked. "Yep, all that in 15 minutes!" I replied. "Should you finish before the timer goes off, you've beaten Father Time and won the title of "Champion Fling Boggier" for the week. But if the timer goes off before you finish, your penalty would be that you have to finish the job anyway."

To my surprise they were up for it. The timer was started and off they went. Now to be honest I did lend a small hand, not much as I've injured my shoulder and couldn't move my arm very well.

The best part? The looks of enjoyment on their faces as they raced around doing their chore and the looks of pride when they finished with 2 minutes to spare!

The moral of this looonggg story? With the kids of today and their fast paced lives, we parents have to be clever and on the ball. We have to remember that if something is fun or is a challenge, it is more enjoyable, even if it is work!

Now, go gather your supplies and do a "Fling Boggie" in the car....I know that it could use it! How do I know, because mine needs it too!


Monday, June 14, 2010

Everybody Up! It's "Fling Boogie" Time!

Okay! This is one of my very favorite activities when cleaning my home. I also us a modified version at my clients homes. I got this idea of the "Fling Boogie" from the FlyLady Website. I highly recommend it for a quick pick up for your home. It will give you immediate feedback.

Here is what you do:

A: Get a box, bag, small trash can or what ever you can carry in one hand. I use the plastic bags I get from stores and unless a messy item is involved I can use it again.
Gather your timer and set it for 15 minutes.

B: MUSIC! You need to put on some music that makes your toes tap, your feet move and you smile!

C: Pick a room.

D: Now start your timer and FLING! You are going to go into the chosen room and anything that can be TRASHED is going into the bag. This includes the trash basket, unless your in the kitchen and that tends to be biger job.
The items can include anything from used tissues to apple cores. Toss it in! Keep going until you have cleared the room of anything that can go into the trash or your time goes off.

E: Go to the door, turn and look and there you have it! Immediate gratification! You will see a major change in that room just by doing this small 15 minute job.

On the FlyLady site they call it the 27 Fling Boogie. That is because you are to toss up to 27 things. Me, I say push the limits! Go the distance! Sorry, I get excited when I do the Boogie......

I hope this tip is a help to any of my dear readers. Oh, and that music? My choice of playlist on my ipod is labeled, Christian Music to Boogie By.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hot Spots. Where's yours?

Everyone home has a place that we call a "Hot Spot". This is where clutter tends to gather momentum and grow. Some (really most) homes have several hot spots, mine does.

Let's focus on the "Traveling Hot Spot". This is the hot spot that is usually the first stop you make when entering your home. It gathers all the stuff you have in your hands when you come in the door, mail, keys, gloves, your handbag, kids book bags, all sort of things

My Traveling Hot Spot was the Dinning Room table. It is in the room that we enter from our carport and anything in our hands tends to land there to be "put away later", only later must have been light years away because it never arrived! That was then, now my hot spot has been cooled down and is a helpful spot rather than a stress producing area.

Lets list some ideas to help you deal with your hot spots. Some of these I've tried, some not. I've found a good working plan for my hot spot, I hope that from this writing that you will find a working plan for your home.

Okay let's go:

Step one: Let's identify your hot spot. Most of the time it is in or within ten steps from the door that you use to enter and exit your home. It can also be a closet that is near the door, one that you endanger your life when you open the door.

Step two: Once you've identified your hot spot, stand back and look at the area. What do you see? Mail? Car keys? Kid's stuff such as diaper bags, book bags or now that Summer is here, camp bags? Here is where it gets fun! We are going to clear that hot spot in 15 minutes!

A. Gather your tools together. Three boxes, laundry baskets or even trash bags. In two of these you'll only have things in them for a short while.
Label them: TRASH, PUT AWAY and REMAIN.

B. Get a kitchen timer and set it for 15 minutes.

C. Now GO! Sort all the items in that hot spot into the three containers you've gathered. Be brutal, remember you've more than likely not seen the top of the space you're working on for a while. In the case of mail, you'll trash most of it. Bills and other important correspondence will go into the Put Away container. Don't stand there and agonize over the items, move quickly through them. You'll more than likely notice that the most items will go into the Put Away container so you may want to use a large basket for that one.

As you're working, put on some music and let it help you move. You'll be amazed at how much you will accomplish in just 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, stop. Step back and see your progress. Admire the clear surface and enjoy a 5 minute break.

Reset the timer for another 15 minutes and start on the containers, first the "Put Away" container. Do what it says, take the items in it and put them where they live. As you're going through the Put Away container, again be brutal. Do you really need that item? You may be able to move it to the "Trash" container!

At the longest, clearing your "Traveling Hot Spot" should be about 45 minutes. With two 5 minutes breaks. Should you finish clearing, sorting and putting away before the timer goes off, HURRAH!

Before you start, take a photo of your "Traveling Hot Spot". You will enjoy looking at the before and after photos of your work.

Once everything is cleared, trashed and put away, begin to unload the container labeled "REMAIN" into the area. May I suggest that now you consider this area by a new name? How does the "Family Action Center" sound?

You will need a basket for your mail and bowl or smaller basket for your keys and cell phone. A small trash can to put the junk mail into immediately, don't bring it into the house any further.

Maintenance of your "Family Action Center" will be easier with these efforts. You will find that you like the way it looks and a nice bonus will be that things are located in a logical location for going out the door.

We will discuss routines later to help you keep this area functional and clutter free. Keep that kitchen timer handy, you'll need it!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Clutter of the mind = ?

Hello again!

I've been pondering again, it's a favorite past time for me. Clients often ask me the following questions: Why am I such a clutter bug? What makes me "save" things that in my heart I know I'll never use? What makes me not "see" the clutter building up around me? Why can't I keep "it" clean (this is always asked after a crisis cleaning) and not let it get that way again?

Frankly there are no simple answers to these questions. Many reasons for clutter exist. Every person is different and the reasons behind their actions fit them and no one else. So every client's situation is handled differently, thus my motto, "Cleaning tailored to fit your needs".

Today I'm going to mostly hit on the "Cluttered Mind" syndrome.

Life today is hectic, scattered and more often than not, filled with stress. By the end of the day we are for the most part wrung out like a dirty dishrag. Limp with fatigue both mental and physical.

I've found a wonderful solution to my end of the day blues. I listen to relaxation music on my ipod. I often fall into a light sleep to this music. It honestly helps me to work through the movie playing in my head of the day that I've just gone through. When I finish the relaxation process the days stresses, disappointments and issues seem to fall into a category of less importance. I realize that that which hasn't killed me will serve to make me stronger and my mind has become less cluttered.

That is where most clutter begins, in our minds. If our thoughts are scattered and unorganized, then it will show in our surroundings. Our cars, homes, job sites all will be affected by our cluttered minds.

Try this exercise, if you have an Ipod go to the "Apps" and download the FREE app called "Relax Lite". There are several for different types of relaxation. I have them all! Even if you don't have an Ipod you can find relaxations music/programs that you can download onto an mp3 player or purchase and listen to using a CD player. It is a MUST however, that you use headphones. These keep the outside world out!

Then every afternoon or when ever during your day that you can give yourself at least 30 minutes undisturbed, listen to the program. You will be amazed at the change you will see in yourself. Do this for 21 days and it will become a habit! A good habit to have, taking care of you for a change.

You will see the changes in small ways at first. One will be that you begin to guard that "me time" and not allow intrusions into it. You'll notice that you "need" to see things a little neater in your personal spaces. This will begin to spill over into your car, job site and yep, your home. Now I'm not going to go as far as a GUARANTEE that this will occur, but it has certainly worked for me!

I notice right away that I enjoyed that "me time" so much that I began to add to it for study of the Scriptures first and then my listening time. I am thinking of trying to have a "me time" in the morning as well. My thinking is that if I start my day with a calm mind, maybe it will carry me all the way through!