Create a system.Most of the articles I’ve read start with this tip. Easier said than done, but it makes sense. Because of the constant influx of paper, all other attempts are temporary, unless you have a system in place for handling future paper flow. Basically, a “system” involves acting on paper right away — sorting mail into stacks of “Toss,” “Take action,” or “Keep.” One problem with this system is you need a place to put the “Take Action” and “Keep” piles. The recommendation for this usually involves a beautiful Pier One basket for the “Take Action” pile and an empty, well-labeled filing cabinet and/or multi-colored 3-ring binders for the “Keep” papers. Another problem with this system is you need to be disciplined enough to go through your lovely “Take Action” basket on a very regular basis so you don’t forget to pay the Visa bill or turn in Junior’s permission slip for the field trip to the Zoo. But this is the year I’m going to tackle it, so it’s time for me to head to Pier One and then go through my filing cabinet to toss the elementary school files for my now college-age kids, the veterinarian records for my dead dog, and the car repair receipts for the minivan we got rid of 10 years ago…
Go paperless.This is the other consistent tip in almost every article. Pay your bills online, and opt out of the snail-mail version of bills. I have two problems with this tip: 1. It requires remembering more passwords, and 2. It requires opening email that looks like junk mail— and I literally currently have 22, 324 unread messages in my email inbox. I am not exaggerating. I counted one day — I receive over 200 emails each day, and generally, 198 of those are junk mail, while only 2 are from real people. I generally just skip to the ones that look legit and open them, while the rest languish in my inbox until the number of unread messages causes me enough anxiety that I need to go through and start deleting in bulk. So, with the realization that this tip is probably not going to work out so well for me, there is a 99% chance that you are more organized than I am when it comes to email, so I’m passing it along.
Use technology.I like this one. The suggestion is to use your smartphone to take photos of things like sports schedules and lunch menus, so you can toss the paper version rather than stick it in a pile or on your fridge. Also, when you consider that most restaurants post their take-out menus online these days, you can toss all menus that get shoved under your door and rely on Google instead. Likewise, whenever possible, store the electronic version of things like airline tickets, sporting events tickets, and coupons in your phone’s wallet. With these 3 tips, I’m going to take a stand against paper clutter in 2019. Let me know if you are willing to join me in the fight—and share your own tips! Once I get this one down, it’s onto the next fight: the battle against electronic clutter–charge cords and ear buds and old cell phones, oh my…
“Beware of Destination Addiction—a preoccupation with the idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job, and with the next partner. Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are.”Wow, right? Haven’t we all been guilty of thinking this way? It’s true throughout all stages of life. As a kid, we would think, “When I get that new bike, my life will be complete!” or “If only my dad would let us get a puppy, I would be happy!” As we got older, our wishes got bigger: “If so-and-so asks me to Prom, if I get into that prestigious college, if our team wins the championship…THEN I’ll be happy!” As adults, it might be, “Once we’re married…,” or “When my baby starts sleeping through the night…,” or “If we moved into a bigger house…, or “If I lose 10 pounds… THEN I’ll be happy.” Well, I’m about to drop my own little nugget of internet philosophy on you today: The problem with this kind of thinking is that, in some ways, living life is like keeping house. You know that feeling of satisfaction you get when all of the laundry is clean, folded, and put away? Or the peace of mind that comes from having a house that has been cleaned from top to bottom? Of course we realize that those feelings are fleeting—because 10 minutes later your kid will be home from school, emptying his gym bag of a week’s worth of sweaty clothes into the hamper (or onto his bedroom floor)… And eventually you’re going to have to mess up the kitchen in order to make dinner… If you’re truly living in your house, it’s going to get messy. And, on the other hand, if you are being too careful not to do anything to mess it up, it’s going to get dusty and cobwebby and musty and stale. Life is just like this. Just when you think you’ve reached your goal and found your bliss, something comes along and messes it up again. Just when you get that bike you always wanted— then your best friend rides up on one that’s even cooler… That prestigious college you got into is great, but now you’re having second thoughts about the major you’ve chosen… Your baby is finally sleeping through the night, but now she’s having a hard time in daycare… If you’re truly living your life, the messes keep on coming. And if you are being too careful not to mess things up—if you’re trying to stick with the status quo—life is going to get dusty and cobwebby and depressing and stale. The trick is to learn to embrace the messiness—to grab some happiness wherever you are. Appreciate and be happy about the clean house and the empty laundry hamper while it’s there, sure. But enjoy messing it up, too! Life is never going to be perfect, and we all have bad days—but there will always be something to appreciate in every day. When we learn to seek and find the happiness in the midst of the messiness, our lives become a little bit more meaningful. And when the messiness truly does become too much to bear, it helps to have someone to call on to help you deal with it. Hopefully, you have a close friend or family member to reach out to to help you deal with the messes in your life—and Immaculate Clean is always there to help you deal with with the messes in your house!
As August approaches, contact us today to schedule a one time cleaning to prepare for a stress free back to school season. Also, get a head start on the holiday season that will be here before you know it! Availability is limited so don’t delay. Text us today!
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Hire a Cleaning ServiceThe first step for me is having an Eldersburg, MD cleaning service like Immaculate Clean come in on a regular basis. In my case, this means that every other Thursday I am forced to put away clothes and clear surfaces of clutter—you know, the “clean before the cleaning crew” ritual. It also means that every other Thursday, I know my bed is going to be made up crisp and neat, the floor is going to be freshly swept, and the room is going to smell clean and dust-free.
Purge the WardrobeThe next step, which I am in the process of working on right now, involves cleaning out drawers and closets and sending old clothes to Goodwill. It dawned on me recently that one of the things I was spending a lot of time doing in my every-other-Thursday pre-cleaning ritual was putting away the clean clothes that had been sitting in laundry baskets in my room for days at a time. I finally figured out that the reason I kept procrastinating on putting the clothes away was because it was always a struggle to find room to put them! My drawers were overflowing with outfits I never wore, and it was hard to find room—not to mention empty hangers—to hang clothes in my closet. So I’ve started to purge, with the goal of clearing out one drawer each day. That approach keeps it manageable, yet still rewards me with a feeling of accomplishment.
AccessorizeThe final step: It’s time to make our room look and feel like a luxurious resort. I’ve been gathering ideas on Pinterest, ordering resort-quality sheets, and am planning a date with Pier One and HomeGoods this weekend to shop for new wall-hangings and accessories. For the price of one weekend in a nice hotel, I should be able to do enough redecorating to make it feel like we’re on vacation every single night. And don’t we all deserve that feeling? If we just take some time to show the master bedroom a little love, it can love us right back.
The Nitty Gritty“Selling a home is so much fun,” said no one ever. On the contrary, it’s work. A lot of work. And, stressful. And, let’s not forget, emotional. Most people focus on the work, and the stress. Those are the parts that wear us down, or so we think. But, the reality is, the logistics of selling a home are manageable. All we need to do is find the right people to help us.
RealtorIt starts with the realtor. A realtor is someone we have to trust. We have to believe they are working for us. Of course, every penny matters to them. It’s how they make a living. But, if they’re good at their job, each house is one of many. A realtor’s goal should be to make their clients happy. Happy clients refer realtors to friends. Smart realtors understand this. So, look for a smart, good realtor and that part should go rather smoothly.
Repair PersonOf course, no home is sale ready from the get go. A realtor can help to identify the things that obviously need repair. We also know all of the hidden issues like the loose faucet, receptacles that don’t work, and floor boards that are exceptionally squeaky. Our teenagers helped us to discover the latter one when they came in after curfew. A good handyman, or contractor if the problems are really big, can help us make the repairs. Some of us lucky people may have a handyman in the house. (Note: this is not the time to build your spouse’s ego by reassuring him he’s handy. Make sure he actually knows how to fix things.) Many of us may actually be the handymen, or should I say, handywomen. When preparing to sell a home, we shouldn’t go crazy fixing everything. We should focus on the things that may pop up as potential buyers are walking through the house. The inspection will come later. That’s when they’ll decide what needs to be fixed. If it doesn’t come up, don’t worry about it. They’ll discover it eventually, but that will likely be after they’ve signed on the dotted line. It’s their problem then.
Cleaning ServiceThe really fun part comes when the showings begin. That’s when we have to figure out how to clean up all of the kids’ toys, get the dirty dishes out of the sink, and get the sleeping baby out of her crib all in a matter of minutes because a realtor is down the street and his clients just noticed your home. The mad dashes out of the house are bad enough, but keeping the house clean day after day is enough to drive any parent of young children absolutely mad. This is a good time to let go of the ego, and remember there are people to help with this too. It might be impractical, and far too expensive, to have a daily cleaning service. But, if there was ever a time to splurge on it weekly, now’s that time. And, don’t forget, most cleaning companies offer deep cleaning and moving cleaning services, too. These can absolutely take the pressure off as we deal with all of the other details of selling a home.
Other ServicesOther services to look for when listing a home might be: decluttering companies, storage units, moving trucks, and lawn services. Don’t forget a good massage therapist for when things get too stressful. In general, it’s important to remember that we sometimes have to spend money to make money. And, when it’s a matter of our sanity, the services are absolutely worth it.
The Emotional FactorThe only service we really can’t hire, is the one that removes the emotional factor from selling a home. That’s the truly hard part. Saying good-bye to our happy place is like saying farewell to a best friend. It’s letting go of the ties that bind us, the comfort, and the familiarity. It’s letting go of a part of us. Despite the frequent moves, nothing prepared me for letting go of the one constant in my life. I know it’s the right thing for mom and dad. I know new adventures await us and we will find a new happy place. Hopefully, anyway. But, saying good-bye will be the hardest part for sure. Fortunately, we have one last 4th of July. I think we may need to stock up on tissues.
cleaning service. Life really is good.
Maryland home cleaning company, here are a few ideas on how to fight the evil clutter and what to do with it.