If you have kept up with my blog so far, you have accomplished ALOT! So far, I introduced you to computer housekeeping-I hope to revisit this subject and educate you on some additional computer topics. We have also organized our bedroom and kitchen. Not too shabby for one month!

In order for your house to get and stay in order, you have to establish a routine that will work for you.

Here are some tips that might help you out:

FILING TIPS
– Make sure you open your mail in the area you pay, file, shred, recycle. Toss recyclable junk mail, shred identifable mail/files at least once a week.

– Make sure you shred old bills, once you receive the new one and it has properly credited your last payment.

COMPUTER TIPS
– Make sure you schedule a virus scan at least once a week.

– Make sure you organize your Favorite links as you are saving them. Go thru your Favorites once a month to ensure that your links are current.

– Defrag your computer at least once a week. Schedule this if you tend to forget.

BEDROOM TIPS
– Make sure you put your clothes away after you are done laundry.

– If you add something to your dresser or closet, make sure you get rid of 1 or 2 older items.

KITCHEN TIPS
– Wipe your fridge, microwave, and toaster daily-if you do this when you are doing dishes, its easy to get this to be a habit.

– Vacuum the coils and under the fridge to help with the “maintenance” of this appliance.

– Circle expiration dates to ensure freshness.

I hope you stay tuned for February’s topic: Small Savings.
I will be suggesting some ideas that will help you save money. Some of these ideas do not require much in order to save alot over the course of a month-or even a year!

Advertisements

Today we will be tidying up a couple of the small things some people tend to overlook when cleaning their kitchens. Namely-the microwave and toaster.

I have a few tips to help these smaller jobs go just a little quicker.

MICROWAVE
Before you start jumping in and cleaning your microwave, place a microwave-safe cup or dish full of water inside and heat up 1 or 2 minutes. This will loosen some of the stuff that dirties up the nuker. You should be able to use a damp rag or sponge to wipe the inside of the microwave.

TOASTER
Make sure that you unplug the toaster before you clean it! I like to shake my toaster into the trash can. If its been awhile since youve cleaned your toaster, you may want to do this outside to eliminate another mess.

If you have pull out “drawers” on the bottom that catches crumbs, make sure to do this after you use the toaster EVERY time. Make sure you wipe up under your toaster after use as well. Eliminating the crumbs will assist in the prevention of ants and other “bugs” that are attracted to the food left around.

Today, we will be concentrating on our kitchen drawers. This project tends to be time consuming because many of us stick things that do not belong in our kitchen drawers. It is my hope that you will change those habits, making this “chore” quicker and easier.

GET TO IT!
As is always the case, we start by emptying out the kitchen drawers. Once we have emptied them, we can clean them out. I like to vacuum the drawers before I start wiping things down. This way, I dont have to keep rinsing off the sponge or rag because crumbs are on it.

Once you have emptied and cleaned out the drawers, we can begin to go thru the items that were in the cabinets. The first thing we ALWAYS need to do is to throw away anything that has expired.

FIGURING OUT THE LAYOUT
I find that the easiest way to plan how you will layout your kitchen – whether its the cabinets, drawers, fridge is to see how much room you have, AND then see what you have and how you work in that area….

I find that most kitchens use their drawers for: silverware, saran wrap/aluminum foil etc, assorted loose utensils…and then most people have a “junk” drawer.

Once you have sorted thru everything you took out of your drawers, you will see where your needs truly are.

GETTING RID OF THE “JUNK” DRAWER
Since I did mention that almost everyone I know has a “junk” drawer…I want to propose that you do not include this space in your kitchen. You should find places for these items-and if there has been something lingering in your junk drawer, and you havent used it within the past year-GET RID OF IT!!!

I just noticed that I hadnt posted this blog yesterday. My apologies…I hope you are enjoying the snow day if you live in the Baltimore area.

This is Day 2 of our kitchen cabinet project, so-if you have been keeping up, your cabinets should be empty and cleaned.

The first thing we need to do, is go thru all the “stuff” that was in your cabinets. This means to throw away anything that has expired and sort the types of things that go together.

In a nutshell: spices tend to stay together-cereals- etc.
Once you have sorted what you have, group things together according to where the cabinets are. To make things easier, place the items close to the area you use them.

An example of this would be to group all your spices, cooking oils/sprays etc in a cabinet nearer to the stove.

One more helpful tip is to place older items in the front of the cabinet, and place newer items in the back. Circling the expiration dates on items will also help keep things up to date.

Once everything is put away (nicely) you are now done with the cabinets! Congrats!

If you have been following along at home, you should have finished cleaning out your fridge….So now that you are up to speed, we are going to tackle the kitchen cabinets. Some of you may be groaning, but I can tell you that having things organized makes your life easier.

I like to break this project down into 2 days. This way, I can be assured that I am not rushing things. Day One will consist of emptying and cleaning and Day Two will consist of organizing and putting things away.

I have a system that makes things easy. I will take it step by step-and hopefully you will be able to encorporate them into a routine that works for you.

First, as always, you need to have an area to place the contents of your cabinets.
Next, empty those cabinets.

I will not suggest a cleaning agent, as this will vary due to the differences in kitchen cabinets. Make sure that the cleaning agent you use will not damage the cabinet. Make sure that you use a dampened rag, ensuring that you do not leave residue behind. If you need to, you could have a fresh rag to wipe the area dry.

Thats it for tonight. Tomorrow, we will complete this project.

This last week of January – we will be concentrating on our kitchen. I will be concentrating on the fridge today…

Every refrigerator needs a good cleaning out a few times a year. This ensures that food that has expired is tossed out and the shelves and doors get wiped. This will also cut down on weird odors that can emit from the fridge.

LETS GET STARTED
As with every project, we will need to empty the fridge. As you are emptying things, make sure to look at the expiration dates and toss anything that has expired.

Do not forget to go thru your freezer as well. Your freezer doesnt see the amount of action that your fridge does, but it is good to go thru it and give it a wiping down every few months.

Once you have emptied the fridge, its time to wipe things down. If your fridge has removable shelves, remove them and wash them in your sink. If not, mix a small amount of water and detergent in a bucket.

Make sure you take out the vegi and lunchmeat drawers. Things can spill in the area underneath and cause stains and odors. Make sure you wash these drawers as well.

It is also necessary to wipe the door shelving off as well. You would be surprised at how much “gunk” can collect in those shelves!

Once you have wiped the entire inside of the fridge, its time to put everything back.
It is your perogative if you choose to place a box of baking soda in your fridge-but I do suggest placing one in your freezer to keep ice cubes from absorbing tastes/smells.

YOURE NOT DONE YET
You really should wipe the outside of the fridge, as well as the handles. I suggest wiping the handles every evening after you wash the dishes.

A vacuum hose with a narrow attachment works the best for under the fridge and the back of the fridge. Not only will this make your job complete, but it will help in the routine care and maintenance of your refrigerator.

So you have spent a couple of days going thru your closet…getting rid of things you dont like, things that dont fit, or things that are damaged. If you go and take another look in your closet, you should smile and be proud of the accomplishment.

So now that you have done this awesome thing…how can we keep from allowing our closets get back into that state?

ASK YOURSELF SOME QUESTIONS
As with everything else, you have to change the way you deal with your clothes.

Are you a compulsive shopper? If so, ask yourself- Why do you purchase things that you do not have a place for in your home?

Do you hate putting away your clothes? In order to keep your closet organized, you must put things away, like it or not.

CHANGE YOUR HABITS
If you can, do laundry twice a week. Doing your laundry twice a week ensures that each load placed in the washer is a full load. This not only saves on your overall load amount, but time and money.

If you have a larger family, you may not be able to cut your loads in this way. Alternates could include sharing this responsibility.

COMPLETING THE TASK
After your done washing and drying your clothes, you must fold or hang them. You are not done yet. You must complete the task and put these clothes away.

The easiest system is to fold and organize into piles by person.

If your children are old enough, they should learn how to put their own clothes away. And Im not talking about shoving them into a drawer. There are videos online that you can show to your children, instructing them on how to fold their clothes to fit them into their dresser drawers.

BRAND NEW DAY
You may find that doing laundry and putting away your clothes is a much more enjoyable chore now that things have their own place.

Once the task is truly done, and all the laundry has been cleaned and put away…give yourself a hand. Look around and enjoy.