Spending lots of time ‘sheltering in place’ gives you a new perspective of your home. Recent conditions have provided an unprecedented opportunity for people to get things done around the house that they’ve wanted to do for a long time but haven’t had time for. Give yourself a sense of control and accomplishment with spring cleaning & organizing!
SANITIZING vs DISINFECTING
Most people use the term ‘sanitize’ and ‘disinfect’ interchangeably, but did you know there’s a difference? Sanitizers are agents that destroy 99.999 percent of bacteria in 30 seconds during the Official Detergent Sanitizer Test (a public health test). Sanitizing is a chemical process that lessens and even kills germs on surfaces to make them safe for contact like a kitchen counter, baby toys, or your hands. Disinfectants are products that destroy all organisms in 10 minutes during the AOAC Use Dilution Test (a test regulated by the EPA to determine the efficiency of disinfectants). Disinfecting requires a stronger solution to destroy germs rather than simply reduce them. Some uses would include certain areas of bathrooms, surfaces in hospitals, or any home surface that has been contaminated. We put a list of germy things you should never forget to clean on our website – please check it out.
Some items to include in your deep cleaning: carpet, tile, grout, natural stone, blinds, ceiling fans, windows, window ledges, & rain gutters. Please visit our website for links to local professionals that we have grown to trust who can help in each of these areas.
A Place for Everything & Everything in its Place
MESS CAUSES STRESS
According to professionals, people tend to feel like life is out of control when they surround themselves with more things than they can manage.
“Clutter in our homes can affect us in surprising ways…having too much clutter can harm our ability to focus, disrupt sleep, and increase anxiety levels.” [Libby Sander, assistant professor of organizational behavior at Bond University in Australia]
“The more clutter a person has, the less life satisfaction they have and the more emotional distress they have.” [Joseph Ferrari, professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago]
YOUR WAY IS THE BEST WAY – No single method of organizing/decluttering appeals to everyone, so the best way is the method that appeals to you. Realize that your definition of what’s worth keeping will be different from others. Acknowledge that many items will be related to memories, and that getting rid of physical things does not mean getting rid of the memories. Only you can decide what is important enough to keep long term, and you have control over what you keep.
BREAK YOUR PROJECT DOWN INTO SMALLER PARTS
- Do one room or one space at a time. If you still feel overwhelmed, break it down even further into one drawer or one cupboard at a time.
- Set a timer for small increments of time to make it more manageable (like 15, 20 or 30 minutes). It will feel better to know there’s an end time for your current task, and it will prevent you from getting lost in the project and wasting time. Stop when the timer goes off and decide if you want to start another block o
f time right then, or decide the time you will come back for another increment of organizing in that space.
- Gather 4 colors of Post-it notes and designate a separate color for each category: keep, sell, donate, throw out. Then go around your home assessing items and sticking the color you decide onto each item.
- Create sorting piles with either bags or boxes. Label each one. Some ideas for labels include: Keep, Toss, Store, Donate, Sell.
Visit these website links to in-depth organizing articles, a list of trusted cleaning professionals, and links to solutions for sanitizing or disinfecting in your home.
Cleaning the cluttered closet
Decluttering your home – The three-box method
26 Secrets Personal Organizers Would Never Tell You for Free
Quick Sorting through Memorabilia
Decluttering paper, closets, bathrooms, refrigerator, etc.
Barlow Realty Recommendations:
Miriam’s Cleaning Service
Will and Teresa
Heaven’s Best Carpet Cleaning
Carpi Carpet Care
5 Tool Services
DURING THESE CHALLENGING TIMES, BARLOWS GOT YOUR BACK!