Miami Neat Blog

Hoarders: Season 10 Episode 4

Miami Cleaning

Miami Cleaning

I was recently a part of a Hoarders episode on A&E, It was a great challenging team experience! Hoarding is a very sad disease that affects the whole entire family. Let’s hope we were able to help Patricia in a small positive way!  Click the link below to watch the full episode.

Hoarders: Season 10 Episode 4

Rose Move in & Art Area

When your client is elderly and disabled, moving is extremely stressful. Many nurses will be visiting your client, try to keep the surroundings calm and uncluttered by setting up a work station out of the way. Numerous medical and personal supplies are needed every day, keep it simple by having all like things together for easy access and for easy reordering. When your elderly client is an artist, but can barely create any longer find a way to display their work like a home gallery to be admired daily

Miami Cleaning

Miami Cleaning

Miami Cleaning

Miami Cleaning

Miami Cleaning

Miami Cleaning

Miami Cleaning

How do you keep you and your family organized?

 

Miami Neat

 

First, think of organizing as reducing, arranging, and maintaining. You have to lead by example and put your things away and be consistent so your family sees that it is possible in this crazy 24 hour life! If you start to get behind, set a timer if necessary before bed or in the AM for 10 minutes to catch up.

Communicate well, be specific, and tell them your expectations. Don’t just say “clean the playroom.” You have to provide the tools necessary to stay organized like having storage options for everyone to have a place to put things away. Some ideas are to have a bowl/basket or set of hooks by the front door or kitchen for keys, phones, purses, backpacks, lunch boxes, and dog leashes. Have a container in the laundry room for dark, light, and white clothing and cubbies/baskets if possible to distribute the clothes when cleaned or to be cleaned. You will need shelves for books, containers, drawers, and hanging options with more hooks in the bedrooms, the office, and or playroom. I like some sort of label too. If a label maker is too much, just use blue tape (painters tape) and a marker or a sticky pad. If little ones don’t read yet, place a picture of the item that goes in that container on the front of the container so they learn early on to put it back when finished playing. I would sing a song with my daughters that said “clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere clean up, clean up everybody does their share.” Remember it’s all part of the communication. I even put a note in the pantry by the crackers to say eat this first instead of having too many things opened. I also think the family forgets what is in the refrigerator and they need to be reminded to eat something that will perish shortly. Don’t be too serious and keep your sense of humor.

Get everyone together once a week to review what is working and what is not working and make adjustments as necessary. Establish who is doing chores like dinner, clean up, laundry, mail, garbage, or decluttering a high traffic entry area. Life happens so there will be clutter so maybe use the timer again with some motivating music to create dance time neatening. This is especially helpful when storage areas & shelves get crowded as it’s time to pare down again. I have heard people talk about the “clutter jail” too. This is stuff that is left behind and you will have to decide what to do with these things. For example, I couldn’t get my daughters to clean up some of their shoes and I threatened to throw them out and one day I did (good thing they got them out in time). This might be drastic but I am sure you can figure out how to make a point. No matter what, life will never be perfect so be realistic.

Some people are messier than others and especially teenagers. If you have one or two at home then let them keep a “little” messy spot as part of their room. If you want to look more into the cerebral component of family organizing there are many books. Gretchen Rubin has a few like Happier at Home, Better than Before, Outer Order, Inner Calm, and The Happiness Project.

The goal is to live better with less and in harmony.

Happy Holidays

Miami Cleaning

Special Thanks

I appreciated the special thanks for my secretary term with the amazing NAPO South Florida group! 👍

Bed Bath and Beyond

Great getting more educated about bed bath & beyond at our recent NAPO South FL meeting !

 

The Toiletry challenge: September 2018

How do you manage your toiletries for everyday and for travel?
As far as travel, I have a toiletry bag pretty well set up so I am always ready to travel and feel like I won’t forget much this way. The argument could be how often do you update what is in there? This depends on how often you travel, how accessible, and how well your back up travel items are organized.
Let’s be realistic!
How many times do you collect soaps, shampoos, lotions, makeup samples, toothpaste, and nail products???
Where do you put these items? How do you know what you have? And what would you actually use??
My philosophy is always “less is more “and “keep like things together.” I also promote donating the stuff you may never use to women in distress or to somewhere it will get used.
This gives you the ability to label what you have, keep it together, and easily reach for replacements when packing or for everyday use.
Here are some categories:
1. Everyday back up supplies
2. Travel supplies- A. Body & face cleansers B. Hand, face, body & lip creams C. Shampoo, conditioner, hairspray/gel D. Bathroom spray, wipes, travel tissues
3. Medical
4. Dental
5. Makeup

6. Q-tips/cotton-balls/toilet paper/tissues

Whether you travel a lot or just struggle knowing what you have for everyday use, make it easy to look before going to buy a duplicate!

Before Miami Neat

Cleaning, neat

After Miami Neat

Spring Forward and manage your contacts and passwords

Spring Forward and manage your contacts and passwords

I have been taking an informal poll for a while to see how everyone keeps track of their contacts, business cards, clients, auto and household repairs, numbers and passwords.

So many people forget to record a name or number so when they get a call back from a client, they need to make a repair or find the person, it’s such a struggle to retrieve the information.

In this society of hacking, we do all have to be super careful with passwords and accounts, so I do recommend a password manager like Dashlane or Last pass to keeponline IDs and passwords secure.

If you really want to stay old school with your important data then keep the listing of everything at home in a safe place, but if you need anything while you are out or traveling you have to go home first. You could repeatedly say you forgot your password and update as you go along too.

Many of my clients collect business cards at meetings, on trips or just throughout their days. I see many bagfuls and at this point it has become a big project to figure out what you will actually still need and what you will really use again. Some say they use Camcard, but this still requires you going to the app and taking a photo etc.

Why not just either make these numbers and names into your contacts as you go or if this is not possible then gather this pile and visit it weekly or at least monthly.
What I mean is to go through these notes, scraps, cards and save the ones you will “realistically “ use again on your phone with name, business name, number, and email. Under the note area put a small reminder of why and what they do. Then let the rest go.

Now you will always have this with you and you can quickly update them as needed.

They say “the devil is in the details” and maybe this is true, but in the long run you will save time and feel less stressed.

Why is it a good reason to update your contacts? Because Benjamin Franklin said a long time ago that “for every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned”

Have an organized Spring!

2018 Tip of the Year

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2018 Tip of the Year

Every January 1st comes the big pressure for New Year resolutions. Everyone starts a new slate and wants to change and do things that have been put on the back burner for the last year and maybe even for the last decade. I think that is too much to ask of anyone especially after surviving the stressful holiday season. All we can expect as human beings is to balance our everyday lives and try to do better and not strive for perfection. One tip which could help everyone is to read your mail everyday!!!! Make decisions and take action!!!

How long could this take? 5-10 minutes, right? Don’t you receive a lot of junk mail? If it says “presorted standard” on upper corner – it’s not really for you, it’s for whoever will read it. LET IT GO! Stand by the garbage and TOSS IT or if it is recyclable put it in  the bin to go out with recycling.
If it is important or personal stuff or bills, put it where it goes to be paid or keep it in your important slot, envelope, file, in-bin, or how ever your brain is wired to remember to go back to it before your bill is late etc.
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If you still receive print newspapers or magazines, cap off the read time at 3 months and then recycle and be done with it because it will begin to cloud your peaceful surroundings.

There are too many other things that we need to make decisions about everyday other than mail. Remember that simply “less is more.” It’s a proven fact that clean and less cluttered surfaces definitely give us a more peaceful feeling in our home living environments.

Why not make February 1st your realistic deadline for starting this new normal.

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

Professional Organization Services, Cleaning, Organize, Deep Clean

Lessons and Tips From IRMA

Professional Organization Services, Cleaning, Organize, Deep CleanLessons and Tips From IRMA

I have asked my clients this question many times: “If a hurricane comes tomorrow what would you take?”

I believe this helps the client to begin to access and think about what really matters in life.

What is most important to us? What is absolutely sentimental and a part of us? Many of us have accumulated so much and it sometimes consumes us.

I had to ask myself the above questions when preparing for Hurricane Irma earlier this month. Yes, there are evacuation lists and hurricane preparedness lists, but what is my list for life? I left my house with the mindset that I may only come back to a shell of a house based on the category 5 storm heading for Miami. My house is a two story and my upstairs is wood and not mad of concrete block. I do have impact glass windows and a 25 kw generator on a slab in the yard since Hurricane Wilma left us without power for over 2 weeks in 2005, but I live in an evacuation zone near the coast. We evacuated.

The storm went west affecting others so horribly, but kept my house standing with debris, discoloration and really only a big mess to clean up. I could unpack what I brought and begin to get back to somewhat normal. The psychological component continues. I am not sure why. I do know not much matters as far as stuff. Being safe and having what you need is all that matters.

Professional Organization Services, Cleaning, Organize, Deep CleanIn my opinion, these are the most important things:

  • Be safe
  • Sentimental Jewelry
  • Keep trees trimmed during hurricane season to avoid bigger problems in case they topple
    • Bring, photograph or digitize all important documents and or put on an external hard drive too:
      Passports, Birth Certificates, Marriage license, Medical information, Deed to home, Insurances-home, health, flood, life and car.
  • Pictures, albums, framed or boxed (I will be scanning older photos as well as backing them up and perhaps making photo books, videos etc after Irma)
  • Checkbooks, credit cards, purse, pistol, pillow, phone, laptop, chargers
  • Diplomas, Transcripts, Pertinent Business information if home based business
  • Pets/rabies info-get sedatives to take edge off
  • Record and fill all medications, set up a first aid kit
  • Take a video of your house, cars and yard. Pictures of your art, especially children’s art
  • If going or staying, don’t wait until the last minute to prepare. Have water, gas, run down food inventory, but have shelf ready items. Have flash lights, battery operated candles, and battery operated fans. Fill gallons of water and freeze them to keep food safe longer if needed.
    Keep your sense of humor and positive attitude if at home or on the road and throughout. It’s beyond our control and you can’t fool with Mother Nature!

Be safe and organized!  My thoughts, prayers and healing wishes to all affected by Harvey, Irma and Maria this season.

End of Summer Reality

End of Summer Reality

I was reminded lately of the quote that Ben Franklin said so long ago: “a place for everything and everything in its place.” Who knew that what was important in the 1700s is still so relevant today!

This idea of having a designated space for the things you need every day and if possible, for most things, is terrific for children, college students, and adults.

If the space is labeled or everyone in the home, dorm or apartment has communicated about the placement, it makes evenings and hectic mornings better for all.

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Stay in touch with the kids and adults and be sure to make eye contact for better retention of information. Make a routine of catching up on any details for school, work or life in general on Wednesdays or Thursdays to make sure your week is finished so all deadlines can be met. My daughter recently wrote a blog post for her job, which correlates to getting ready for back to school and fall life.

The end of summer can be full of mixed feelings as we approach Labor Day. I always associated the beginning of the carefree lifestyle with Memorial Day and the need to return to structure and more routines to be by Labor Day.

Let’s take a minute to say it’s been fun basking in the summertime and let’s look forward to what comes now.

  • Renewed energy and attitude to balance after vacation
  • Cooler weather
  • Going to sleep earlier – more shut eye
  • Eating dinners as the sun sets sooner
  • Return of fall sports i.e. football etc
  • Return to the new season of arts and new tv series
  • Holidays
  • Connections and new opportunities

Wishing you the best as you transition and embrace Ben’s words!

Didn’t you just do some spring cleaning?

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Didn’t you just do some spring cleaning?

Now you are allowed to dream, contemplate, search for serenity and breathe. Take a vacation or a staycation and just be. What do you want to do for enjoyment? Fish, bike, swim, dive, garden, BBQ, sail, hike, golf, read, take an art class, drive across the USA, be a tourist in your own town or just chill.

For many school is out, business schedules aren’t as hectic and it is ok to visit that summer feeling of sun and fun or cool and relaxed!  You have earned it and when the beginning of August arrives and it’s back to school and the structured rat race is near,  then you can revisit the organizing plan again.

It will be time to reassess clothes, kitchens, patios, garages and any piles that may have accumulated in cars from the carefree summer days just to name a few! You will be ready after recharging and punching out for awhile. Studies have shown that people who take a break and take a vacation are happier in life and perform better throughout the year.

When you step away from the hustle you are able to experience another perspective on what is really important and why you are driven to do what you do all year.

Face it you have already gone through half the year and you want to be in gear for the fall season, the new school year, new work contracts, new clients, associations, teams and whatever else will lead you into the end of 2017. Before you know it the Holidays will be upon us!

Ask yourself is my schedule controlling me or am I controlling my schedule?? Where did the first half of this year go? Now go ahead and take time to be off the grid today and in the coming weeks. Lets make a plan to catch up and do some organizing and streamlining towards the end of this summer.

Organizing for your health

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Organizing for your health

Your brain is an organ and a muscle that sucks up a huge amount of energy.

Our brains go through a natural cycle every 90 minutes according to the Organizational Dynamics publication, so pause and think relaxation. Go for a walk, talk to a friend, watch a funny YouTube clip or do 3 yoga poses.

Aren’t making decisions sometimes fatiguing?

What to wear?, What to cook?, Where to eat and How to schedule the week?

  • Simplify to ease the required energy:
  • Pick out outfits in advance instead of looking at individual pieces each day.
  • Aim for good enough and just eat out closer to home.
  • Make a few dishes on Sunday to have during the week.
  • Make some activities into habits like go to the gym Monday, Wednesday and Friday,
  • Pay bills on the 15th of the month and have dinner out on Saturday.
  • Limit options for shopping or travel by checking 2-3 search places that have been successful in the past and move on.

Professional Organization Services, Cleaning, Organize, Deep Clean Are you guilty of multitasking?

This is also a big challenge for your brain.

  • Focus on ONE activity at a time. If you need things done quickly set up 10-20 minutes for each one. You will get more done and conserve your energy.
  • Don’t scroll through your social feed while your partner tells you about his or her day.
  • Don’t talk on the phone while following a recipe or responding to a work email.

Have an energized and organized day!

Miami Cold Front

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Miami Cold Front

The first cold front just came through Miami recently and don’t laugh, it’s exhilarating for me because of the clear, clean feeling! Hearing, smelling, and breathing outside fresh air calms me down and I can sleep and breathe better. There is so much more clarity and vividness with cooler air.

Ready for Outdoor Time

While people in cooler climates are packing up their lawn furniture, closing their pools, and covering their BBQ’s we are ready for outdoor time. Bugs are gone; we need to check and prepare our plants, landscaping, outdoor furniture, fire pits, relaxing areas in our yards, patios, and balconies.

Humidity

Professional Organization Services, Cleaning, Organize, Deep Clean I recognize that humidity is good for our skin, joints, muscles and perhaps more, but it really makes the outside seem muddled and a bit foggy. We can’t even crack open our windows for months because of the extreme humidity and heat. We have a need for our air conditioners to be running as efficiently as possible with no air escaping or humidity coming in for us to remain comfortable for months.

I know you may think- stop complaining ! Many people welcome and love this heat constantly. I view this scenario as similar to the winter when much of life is inside for a few months. I remember growing up in the north east during winter with the heat on, the windows closed, and cars heated up before entering and bundling up for months until spring air allows the windows to be opened once again.

Enjoy this time of year

Yes there are summer activities that cool you off and there are amazing winter activities that thrive and thrill with cold air. My message is to just enjoy this time of year, be prepared wherever you are and be present so you can enjoy these seasonal moments .

Breathe deep Miami, get outside, open the windows and clear the air in your homes!

Tip of the Month!

Medicine/vitamins in the bathroom or kitchen?

For families and most people, the kitchen is a better option. There is less chance of forgetting to take supplements etc, more of a chance of having the space to keep many categories together, up higher away from children, easy to get in case of emergency and less humidity.

 

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