Ready, Set, Spring Cleaning Prep! 

By: Marla Bautista 

Winter seems to never end. Lucky for you, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Spring is near. You know what that means. Time to Spring clean your home, your car, your business, and anything else that accumulates clutter, dust, and unnecessary paper work. But before you go on a Marie Kondo Purge, let’s chat about a few things you can do to prevent the return of clutter and stay organized throughout the year. 

Bills, Bills, Bills

Does your home or office seem to be a collection zone for paperwork? From Junk mail, to old bills, the amount of unnecessary paperwork continues to pile up. Here are a few tips to slow and ultimately eliminate, the clutter of unneeded forestry in your space. 

  • Go Paperless. You can eliminate the amount of paper you accumulate by changing the delivery of your bills to a paperless option. 
  • Shred unnecessary documents like old bills and junk mail. 
  • Get off the list. You can ask not to be contacted by credit companies. This will reduce the amount of paperwork coming to your home or office. 

A Safe Place

Having a safe place to keep important documents and information so it is readily available is essential in staying organized.

  • Buy a safe. Having a safe in your home is a great way to keep your personal or high value items secure from damage or possible theft.  Keep important documents like; birth certificates, passports, expensive jewelry, and any other irreplaceable items, inside. 
  • Prepare a Home Maintenance Binder. You can repurpose an empty binder you already have in your home or purchase a new one for a few bucks. In it, keep checklists for all things home related. Grocery Checklists, cleaning checklists, child care checklists, etc. 

Make a List and Check it Twice 

Checklists are a must have if you are on the go or you like to multitask.  Using a home maintenance binder, keeps all your checklists in one easily accessible location. Check out a few popular, free checklists. In the case of an emergency, all your important info and home instructions can be easily found and carried out by anyone. Life can be unpredictable and sometimes you may need a little help. 

Plan your Future 

Make a plan going forward.  Schedule dates to complete specific tasks around your home. Make a commitment to a routine. Try doing a ten-minute power cleaning every day, by yourself or with your family. Set a timer and get to it! Believe it or not, this will significantly cut down on waste, dust, and clutter in your home. 

Take Your Time 

Trying to do it all at once may seem a bit overwhelming.  Take your time.  Complete one task per day or challenge yourself to do more.  Whatever goal you make, make it with intention. It can be stressful looking at the big picture. Divide and conquer! You can do it! Good luck and happy Spring! 
Marla Bautista is an Army Wife and mother of three. She is the Published Author of My Thoughts Abandoned, released in 2017. As a Freelance Writer and Blogger, she has written for many publications including Military Spouse Magazine, Military Families Magazine, and Harness Magazine. Her passion is giving back to people in need. Marla is the Co-Founder of The Bautista Project, a custom décor and apparel company, which uses a percentage of their profits to provide for homeless communities.


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Spring Cleaning in Winter

Even though it is winter time and it is hard to focus on the fact that spring is around the corner, you need to start. Plan now rather than trying to do it all later. What do I mean?

Begin creating your spring cleaning list NOW rather than waiting.

  1. Wipe Walls and Ceilings: This task can be hard and not done often. You can clean by using a vacuum to remove dust. Tackle stubborn surface grime with this cleaner
  2. Clean Rugs: You can wash your rugs, and carpet, using this deep-cleaner with a rotary shampoo machine. It is easy to use and is super affordable one to two times a year.
  3. Dust Shelves: You will want to take everything off the shelves. Brush shelves and books with a feather duster. Wipe this off accordingly, and you have clean shelving.
  4. Clean Upholstered Furnishings: Go ahead and take cushions outside and gently air clean them by brushing them off. You will want to vacuum the couches, chairs, etc., anything that is not on the cushions.
  5. Wash Window Screens: Windows can be difficult to cleanse. Clean the windows by using warm water and a mild dishwashing liquid on the glass. Then, the screens by scrubbing each with a brush. Seems simple enough. Clean Window Treatments: Read the labels on any curtains or drapery, and freshen-up accordingly.

There are so many spots to clean in your house, especially once a year. This preparation can honestly help your home get back on track and wash all the winter yuck out. There is nothing worse than having dust and germs living in your house. You only need to do take these steps once or twice a year, and it will be fine!


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Eight Ways to Declutter For The New Year

Before the holidays, we started to declutter our home. We had boxes unopened from when we moved in THREE years ago. I mean seriously, get rid of crap. We loved decluttering, and it really does make all the difference. We were going to sell things and keep putting it off, so I just decided… stop procrastinating and discard it all.

Here are eight ways to declutter for the New Year:

  1. Give yourself five solid minutes. Do a little bit each day for only five minutes, or break up into five minutes every half hour or hour. You will get distracted, so allow for that and track the time. Buy a timer here
  2. Give away one item each day. I felt amazing giving back (especially in the winter) a bunch of clothes for men, women, and kids. If you can part with a little bit by a little bit, you will be amazed at how quickly the results happen.
  3. Fill one trash bag. You will be shocked by how fast this bag fills up. Pack it up, and then drop it off the same day. I find that if I don’t do take this step, then I will let the sack sit in my car or garage for months. Purchase trash bags here.  
  4. Make a list. Find out what you need to get rid of, make a list, and check it off. I love lists period.  Separate what you want to donate, sell, or keep. It is the easiest thing to do.
  5. Take the 12-12-12 Challenge. This event is something super simple. All you have to do is locate twelve items to throw away, twelve items to donate, and twelve items to return to their proper home. This method is an entertaining and exciting way to organize 36 pieces in your house quickly.
  6. Experiment with items. If you think you might wear it again or use it again, try it on and see how it looks. If it is something that you like and forgot how good it appeared, then add it to the keep section and make a list of when you can wear it 
  7. Use your imagination.  If you have not worn or used something ever, or it is in the original packaging, the chances are you do not need to keep it. Go ahead and discard it now before it takes up space again where it is.
  8. The Four-Box Method. As I started to declutter, I brought in four boxes: trash, give away, keep, or relocate. I would place items in every room into one of the four categories. This approach might take some time, but it will benefit you in the long run.

No matter what technique or route you choose, you are making progress and strides. Every little bit does help, and you will feel great knowing you eliminated stuff collecting dust.


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Ways to Keep Your House Clean

House cleaning is one of the most stressful work and due to our busy schedule, it becomes more difficult. But, you should keep home cleaned or organized as you may host a sudden party or your friends may visit your home in holidays.

We all believe that cleaning dust from home is a daunting task, but your holidays will definitely become more enjoyable if you can make your house cleaned and organized before your guest arrived. So, a quick cleaning of your home will make you feeling more confident and your guest will find comfort too.

However, these magical feelings and moments won’t happen without proper planning and hard work. If you plan the cleaning schedule properly, it will save you from lot of stress, headaches and mishaps. For why, we have set this handy tips for cleaning and preparing your home for living a healthy life.

Plan Properly

Your home should be cleaned and dust free so that you can relax and revitalize yourself for your work. And a great planning helps you savor the joy of making something fun. So, firstly, you have to plan how you want to clean and organize everything. Do you want to host a party for family members or a group of 20 crowds? Will there be babies or mix of ages? Do you want sound system for dancing? So, if you have a proper plan of what you ought to do, it will make the process simpler.

Minimize clutter

There might have lots of unsorted items in the home if you are busy enough with your job or family. It becomes quite difficult to fix all of the things at short period of time because you may not have enough time or mental energy. So, it’s better to find an empty place to sort out everything or use a closet to store everything. Minimizing clutter will make the cleaning job much easier.

Place trash can in corner

Try to garbage removal system before hosting the party and tell the guests about the system. It will help you tremendously to organize everything when the party is over. Moreover, you can use garbage system for your family too and it will minimize clutter massively. Tell one of your family to look after the trash to prevent overthrowing.

Vacuum voraciously

If you want to thoroughly clean your home, it’s very important to vacuum voraciously. There are numerous vacuum models with different prices and attachments. Some vacuums may not work for all kinds of dust. So, read reviews before choosing your best vacuum with desired requirements. Moreover, you should consider the attachments with the vacuums to get highest service from any model.

Clean and ready your light fixtures

Every house has specific kinds of lights and there may have lamp shades due to dust. So, you need to clean or replace them to get 100% exposure. Moreover, you need to clean the light switches too as they may collect dust from dirty hands. If you have the score to clean them regularly, then do it.

Wash and Touch Up Your Walls

We often forget to clean our walls, but a freshen wall gives most sparkle to your home. So, you should give a special attention when cleaning your wall. You may use wet cloth or cleaning spray to make them shine. If color goes faded, you may paint them to give your house a stunning look.

Make bathrooms shine

This is our last tips to add sparkle at your home. Everyone likes a clean bathroom whenever we visit. So, you have ensure that you have cleaned all stains and bad odors from it. You can use bathroom cleaner and natural solution to remove those bad odors. Windex is mostly used for bathroom odors, but you can use it for any kinds of bad odors from bathroom, floors, carpets etc.

Though housekeeping can’t be a fun task, so whatever you do, try to make fun, enjoy the magical moments and remind to know what holidays mean. Whether you clean the home for your family or for a large gathering of friends for thanksgiving or Christmas party, think that it’s the good time and these moments make our life. Hope, you and your family have a colorful season.

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