Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Proper Finish for Closets

I hope you have been doing your push ups and pumping iron because it takes a bit more muscle to haul those heavier boxes out of the bottom of closets.
Pull the boxes or whatever out of your closet, one box at a time. Start with whatever is closest to the door. Okay so your closet has sliding doors so which door am I talking about right? With sliding doors clean the closet like you do a room and that is from left to right. Whatever has been hiding in those dark corners get it out and go through it. Go through boxes and things with the GTS - not GPS but GTS. That is my acronym for Give, Toss or Sell idea. Anything that hasn't been used for 5 years goes - unless like I said earlier, it is high quality and could become tomorrow's antique.
As you pull out boxes, wipe down the carpet next to the baseboards with a damp cloth. If you live in a humid or rainy area get nose to nose with your carpet and sniff for any signs of mold or mildew. If you do smell mold or mildew you must find the source of the moisture and resolve the problem before you have major mold infestation. You might need to clear everything out of the closet and pull the carpet back to treat the carpet backing as well as the floor and carpet. Usually a good dousing with undiluted food grade distilled white vinegar will kill mold and mildew. Never use bleach.
For those of you fortunate enough to live in a drier area, after you have pulled out the first box or grouping of "things" then pull out the next batch. Remember the GTS as you work your way around the closet. Once you have everything out of the bottom of the closet and have wiped the baseboards and carpet next to the boards, vacuum and return what you are going to keep. Step back and give yourself a pat on the back. Better yet, give yourself a bigger boost and get down on the floor to stretch. Those boxes were heavy and your muscles need the stretch.
Your "home"work for the next 3 days is to finish the other closets. I'm still pretty swamped with getting information together for these magazine articls but I'll try to drop back in for a boost of encouragement.
This article may only be copied giving full credit to Mary Findley and her website at Copyright 2010 all rights reserved world wide.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

More on Closet Cleaning

It's already time to tuck my tail and make a confession. I promised I would post a blog everyday to keep you encouraged on your house cleaning adventures. As you can see it's easy to get behind. Even being tired and having 2 author signings in the past 3 days and information to get ready for a couple of articles is no excuse to sluff off this project and ignore you.
After you finish cleaning the top shelf, it's time to tackle the bottom shelf or shelves. Continue pulling everything off those shelves and discard, give away or put in a garage sale anything you no longer need. If you have the top shelves done and don't have any other shelves in your closet to do then take this time to tackle your linen closet. Yes that has to be done too.
This article may only be reprinted giving full credit to Mary Findley and her website at Copyright 2010 all rights reserved world wide.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Third Day of Closet Cleaning

Be prepared with the dust masks because today you pull down what is on the shelves of closet number one and the dust is going to fly. Have an old rag handy sprayed with my diluted CleanEz or your all purpose cleaner. Start with the top most shelf then the next shelf down. As you remove boxes, clean the lids, sides and wipe down the shelf. People tend to wipe down shelves after they have been completely cleared. Stop that. All you achieve is to scatter the dust on that shelf to your clothing or the floor. Who wants dust mites on their clothes? Hopefully not you. Wipe off the shelves.
Go through these boxes and take to Goodwill what is no longer useful and toss anything that can't be taken to Goodwill. If any of your closets contain used computer equipment take that equipment to a company in your area who recycles computers. Many communities have them now. Just make sure your computer has been totally erased. Replace the boxes and move to the next shelf if you have two shelves in the closet.
This article may only be reprinted giving full credit to Mary Findley and her website Copyright 2010 all rights reserved worldwide.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Today your goal is to go through the second closet and remove little used clothing. Yes it seems like I'm bouncing around but if you have picked up the clutter on the floor chances are a good part of that clutter is clothing. Thanks to New York City Mold removal for pointing out in their post that clearing out unusedcloset items makes room for the clutter you just picked up.
It may seem a bit strange that I'm not having you go through one closet at a time to thoroughly clean it. There is nothing that motivates me more than to walk into any room of a home and see progress. It's easy to visualize the overall picture of how your home will sparkle when we complete our year of duty if you see progress in every room. Besides if you focus on just your bedroom closet, the kids are going to whine when you get them started on theirs if they have to work on them every day. This way they have a few days break between their bedroom chores making cooperation a bit easier to gain. Yes I know the kid's rooms should be their private space. So give them the choice of them doing it all by themselves or having your help. The excess goes and the clutter gets picked up. Period.
This article may only be reprinted referencing Mary Findley and her website at copyright 2010 all rights reserved worldwide.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Clean the Closet

A clean home doesn't happen haphazardly. There is a method to cleaning and that means starting at the back of rooms and cleaning your way out the door. What good does it do to clean a bedroom then tackling the closet later. You end up pulling the dirt from the closet onto your clean bedroom floor and scattering dust and dirt everywhere.
So today you get to go through all those old boxes and clothes you haven't worn for the last 5 years and give them to Goodwill or hand them down. Remember if you have fine clothing they could be tomorrow's antique. Eye what you give away carefully. It's going to take a couple of hours per closet to get them thoroughly cleaned out so we'll do this a step at a time. After we do the first closet I'll post small notes like I did on clutter cleanup days to give you time to plow through all your bedroom closets. We'll do hall and pantry closets later. So for today, rummage through your clothes that are hanging up and pull out the discards.
Remember to pick up a copy of my book "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Cleaning" to learn my Precision Cleaning tips and to have access to the best stain removal guide ever. My book is your guide to becomming a Mary Moppins greener cleaner.
This article may only be copied giving full credit to Mary Findley and her website at Copyright 2010 all rights reserved worldwide.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Air Freshener Warnings

Do you have the clutter under control? I have a confession to make. Although the rest of my home is tidy, my home office looks like - well you really don't want to know do you? The guilt started setting in as I typed my first three messages of our year long love affair for a totally clean home. After only a couple hours sweating, papers are filed, old books taken to Goodwill and my desk saw daylight for the first time in two years. Hey, I even fixed part of my bookcase that had broken.
As I was tossing things out I ran across an air freshener I used once for a seminar presentation. Folks kick the air freshener habit and get rid of those toxic things. Most of them work in one of two ways. They either numb your sinuses so you can no longer smell odors or they cover odors with toxic fragrances. Either way they are not healthy and probably causing a multitude of health issues. Switch to an enzyme based air freshener like Pure Ayre. Better yet sprinkle just a little cinnamon in your carpet and open the window.
Tomorrow we start tackling projects like closets so if your clothes are strung around the bedroom - get moving!
This article may only be copied giving full credit to Mary Findley and her website at Copyright 2010 all rights reserved worldwide.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Pillows and Sinus Problems
Time for confessions. How many of you have cleared the clutter out of at least 2 rooms and hopefully 3 to 4? Not even started yet? Even after I talked about the health issues including sinus problems caused by dust mites, mold and mildew? You have today and tomorrow to get that clutter out of your home. After that we start other heavy duty cleaning jobs. This is a full year of a boot camp cleaning regime and at the end you will have one clean home.
Speaking of sinus congestions - are you suffering from a stuffy nose or headaches? Try switching pillows. It wasn't until I went to the Midwest to care for my parents for a month and a half this past fall that I realized my pillow was causing severe sinus congestion. I was gone long enough that my sinuses cleared up. After I was intentionally hit head on 7 years ago, I bought one of those latex foam pillows with the high bumps that supposedly supports your neck. Either the latex foam caused the sinus problems or the height of the pillow was pushing my neck into such a contorted position that my sinuses could not properly drain at night. It was probably a combination of the two. I switched pillows and my sinus problems vanished. Before you consume any more sinus medication, take a serious look at your pillow. If it's older, then dust mites might be the culprit. People are allergic to latex so that might be your problem or it could be that the pillow has your neck out of whack. Switch pillows for a month and see what happens.
See you tomorrow!
This article may only be rewritten by giving full credit to Mary Findley and her website at Copyright 2010 all rights reserved worldwide.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Why Clutter Control?
     When was the last time you were around a two year old? Mommy why does a cat meow? Why do we have toes on our feet? After my first post yesterday you may want to ask why you have to clean up the clutter.
     My purpose in spending the next 5 or 6 days pumping you full of information like this is to give you time to get the rest of the clutter picked up in each room of your home. If I continue to give you cleaning projects each day, you won't have time to pick up the rest of your home so you'll end up quitting my 365 day regime to become a Mary Moppins greener cleaner. I like success stories and you are going to be one of them. So here's the down and dirty of clutter.  
     Clutter is not just unsightly but it's a breeding ground for dust mites. Ever wonder why you get headaches or a stuffy nose at home? Clutter could be your culprit. Mold and mildew also love growing in dark damp places like under clutter. And you wonder why your carpet smells. Sniff no further for the answer. Now why are you sitting at your computer instead of clearing out a room? Get moving!
This article may only be reprinted giving credit to Mary Findley and her website Copyright 2010 all rights reserved worldwide.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Greener Cleaner Home
My first post of the year promised daily short tips on turning you into one mean, green, speed cleaning machine. Okay so that was 13 days ago and I'm just getting started on my New Years resolution. I ended up Jan 2nd on a long road trip to do a trade show and typically got behind in my postings. Does that sound familiar? You meant to get the kitchen cleaned up and you ended up sidetracked by other matters? So am I forgiven? No? Well hang on because you are in for 365 days of pure cleaning mania.
Day one: So we all get sidetracked - get over it and I mean that literally. Learn to stay focused. For the next 20 minutes your goal is to stay focused on just this one task. Grab a large box or three if the boxes are small. Trash bags will do but boxes are faster to stuff so you can pick up clutter faster. Set the timer for 20 minutes and go pick up the clutter in the most cluttered room in your home.
Keep a fast pace. Working quickly is good for your heart and doubles the amount of clutter you pick up. Fudging, whining and stopping to read a magazine or watch TV is not allowed. Cram all the clutter you can into that box during the first 15 minutes. The last 5 minutes you will put away, give away or toss everything in that box. You must use the full 20 minutes.The idea is to establish the habit of tackling one chore for a set period of time. If one room only takes you 8 minutes then go to the next room. The important step here is to stay focused for the full 20 minutes.
See you tomorrow - I need to go pick up the clutter I left in the garage after getting home from this trade show.

If you are just beginning to read this series please see my post of Feb 3rd.
This article may only be reprinted by referencing Mary Findley and her website at All rights reserved world wide.

Friday, January 01, 2010

     This year I have vowed to post a short blog each day to help you organize and do little daily tasks to keep you ahead of harder cleaning jobs. And you'll learn easy ways to gently on Mother Earth. Toss in a few tidbits about improving your health and you have your New Years resolutions written for you. Not only am I going to post every day on my blog but I've resolved to get the rest of my articles posted on my website by the end of Feb. So stay tuned.
      Okay so what does all this have to do with a bad case of post holiday cleanup blues? Well I never was a great fan of blues music – give me Salsa and make mine hot. So put on some spicy music and let's get the decorations down and the dust bunnies tamed.  

     When you take down your Christmas tree surround it with plenty of plastic or old sheets. Most trees are cut so early they have to be spray painted to keep the color green. Unless you are Irish or like green, cover your flooring or the dye from these trees could stain.

Here are six quick tips for post holiday clean-up:

1) Stay focused – distractions double your work time. You have my permission to let the phone ring. And leave the cup of coffee as a treat for finishing the job.  

2) Set a goal. If you know it takes an hour to dismantle the decorations in the living room, set your timer for 50 minutes and go.  

3) Keep your cleaning tote tray with a diluted bottle of all purpose cleaner - you'll find a good one on my website at and a terry towel near you. Don't forget the trash bag. Then when you come across a missed stain or an unexpected mess you are ready, without wasting time running to the garage for your cleaner or to dispose of trash. Eliminate trips.  

4) Work a room left to right and top to bottom. Tackling a room haphazard wastes time. Any accumulated dust from wall decorations or pictures tumbles downward. So remove decorations and dust top to bottom. The one exception is the tree. It has first place on your to do list.    

5) Yes dust and vacuum at the same time you take down decorations. Tuck a 100% cotton towel like a baby diaper dusting cloth  into your back pocket. Spray it with a wood care product and you have a fast easy way to dust your furniture. Got glass? Then spray a lint free towel with our Benya and tuck it into your other back pocket to quickly clean any glass you come across.

6) Get the entire family involved. I'm a huge stickler for insisting the kids help. Even 2 and 3 year olds can put away decorations and help pick up trash. As a grandparent I don't hesitate to hand my 5 year old granddaughter a dusting cloth and ask her to dust the living room or put the broom handle in the grasp of my 3 year old grandson and show him how to do the kitchen floor. He turns it into a galloping horse but the floor still gets swept.

This article may only be reprinted giving full credit to Mary Findley and her website at Copyright @2010 All rights reserved worldwide.