Covid Cleanout

Hey, hey!

While we are staying home for the good of our friends, family, and neighbors let’s take some time to clean out our spaces. That can look like whatever you want it to look like.

Need to declutter?

Need to actually clean?

Need to reorganize?

Need some structure?

I’ve got you covered. For each weekday (M-F) in the month of April I will post a graphic like this one on Little Red Stool Organizing’s Instagram and Facebook accounts. It will simply be an area in your home as a suggested area to work in. In the caption of the post I will list a few simple spaces within that area if you need a smaller space. Leave a comment on Facebook or DM me on Instagram with a photo of your finished spaces! #covidcleanout

Let’s cheer each other on and have some fun in our very own spaces!

Here is the complete list, as promised, complete with dates.

April 1 – home office
April 2 – linen closet
April 3 – coat closet

April 6 – master bath
April 7 – master bed
April 8 – master closet
April 9 – entryway
April 10 – junk drawer

April 13 – guest/kid bath
April 14 – guest/kid closet
April 15 – guest/kid room
April 16 – dining room
April 17 – garage

April 20 – play room
April 21 – sunroom/porch
April 22 – family room/den
April 23 – car
April 24 – attic/basement

April 27 – pantry
April 28 – fridge/freezer
April 29 – kitchen
April 30 – laundry

How to Clean Your Entire House, Top to Bottom

UPDATED: I wrote this article before the pandemic of COVID-19, coronavirus, was upon us. This article is by no means meant to sanitize or disinfect but how to clean your house.

Spring cleaning is upon us! That’s the time of year when we do the baseboards, back splashes, and grout cleaning. We get into the cracks, corners, and crevices where things have been sitting but we haven’t had time to get to them.

Instead of giving you a major list of all the spaces that could possibly be in your home, I’m going to give you a quick list of how to tackle your house for the times you aren’t doing those deep cleans. Doing your weekly cleans will help to minimize the amount you have to do in those deep cleans too!

A while back I came across someone who cleaned differently than I did. You see, I was going into each room and cleaning it then going to the next room and cleaning it. She was cleaning the entire house all at once. She cleaned by surface instead of by room. Cleaning the entire house instead of room by room has been a much more effective use of my time. It seemed so counter-intuitive when I started as I used to always clean room by room. You are working top to bottom: think “ceiling to floor” as well as “top floor to bottom floor.” Then you are working left to right: starting in a corner of the house and working left to right or clockwise depending on the layout of your home.

Here’s what it looks like in my home.

Step 1: TIDY
Put all things away, including dishes. This can happen more easily if you have a mostly tidy home. Go ahead and do the dishes first. Then the stack on the stairs, on the table, and by the door. If you are keeping up with these things daily it shouldn’t take much time at all.

Step 2: DUST
Using whatever tool you’d like, dust your home starting in one room working around from left to right. Be sure to pick up those knick knacks to get the tops of shelves and the mantle. Less knick knacks, less picking up and less dusting.

Step 3: MIRRORS
A quick spray, a thorough wipe, and on to the next mirror until all the mirrors in the home are cleaned. (This is not sponsored but I love a good Norwex glass cloth. Just use water and wipe. Beautiful!)

Step 4: COUNTERS & SINKS
Let the kitchen be first, clear the countertops, spray the counters and sink, wipe, and replace items to the counter. Move on to the bathrooms doing the same: clear, spray, wipe, replace.

Step 5: TOILETS, SHOWERS, & TUBS
Start with putting cleaner on each of these surfaces in the entire home. By the time you get to the end you are ready to clean the first surface you put cleaner on. Don’t be afraid to use some good elbow grease to be sure to get those hard places. The more often you clean these areas, the easier they are to clean.

Step 6: SWEEP & VACUUM
I’m a fan of sweeping hardwood, laminate, and tile. There is just something about moving a broom across a floor that I love. And the lines a vacuum makes on carpet? Yes, please! A good rule of thumb here is for every person that lives in your home, that is how many times a week you should sweep and vacuum. Just you? Easy, once a week. You and a roommate? Twice a week should do it. You, a spouse, 2 kids, and a dog? 5 times a week. At that point, a once over every day would be a good habit to build.

Step 7: MOP
Find the best product for the type of floor that you will be mopping, get a good mop, and go to town! This is another area of the home that is easier the more often you do it. And remember to spot mop when there are big spills.

I hope this simple 7 step process helps you to get through cleaning your home in a more efficient way. It sure has helped me.

What other tips would you suggest?

Board Games You Can Play Via FaceTime

While the majority of us are practicing social distancing by leaving our homes only when necessary we could use some creative ways to interact with others. Here are some games you can play via FaceTime or other live interactive video chats. This is not sponsored in anyway, just my little brain and some photos from Amazon.com.

This first group can be played even without the actual game.

  1. Pictionary
    The Game Gal has an easy way to play without the game. Even the kids can participate with this one. If they can’t read yet but can draw, just have someone else whisper the word to them.

2. Guesstures
Okay, this is really charades. Totally playable without the boxed game. You can play similarly to Pictionary. Instead of drawing the word or phrase, you act it out.

3. Scattergories
This is one of my favorites because I love words. Sure it would be easier to play this game with the categories and special die but I found this category generator and everyone can just write down their answers on a piece of paper.

4. Bingo
It won’t look the same if you don’t have a set like the one pictured but there is a free bingo sheet builder that can make it super personal as well. For the traditional version go to the Classic 1-75 Bingo link on the left.

The next batch are games that you will want either one game total or one game for each household playing.

5. Trivial Pursuit
There are so many different versions of this game! You’ll need one house to have a version. To be a little interactive, if each house has a standard die to roll, each player can at least roll their own turn even if someone else is moving their piece for them. What a great way to use your brain too! I’m thinking for our older kids here!

6. Battleship
Both players will need their own game but it will be played the same way as if you were sitting together! “You sank my battleship!” will be yelled from houses across the world! 😉

7. Guess Who?
This classic game will be so fun to play on FaceTime! Both players need their own boards and then it’s all “does your player have glasses” and “does your player wear a hat” for the rest of the game.

8. Apples to Apples
This one will take a little bit of creativity and a set of cards at each house playing. Several people in each house and maybe even several houses playing together would be the most fun with this game.

9. Boggle
This was a favorite of mine with my grandparents. One household can have the game and everyone can write their own words wherever they are!

10. Word Games
I have no image for this but think back to your summer camp and road trips.

  • The Picnic Game
  • Two Truths and a Lie
  • 21 Questions
  • Last Letter – using categories, go back and forth saying a word in that category that begins with the last letter of the previous word (ex: category “states,” Georgia – Alabama – Arkansas)
  • Song Lyrics – hum a song (or play on a kazoo!) until someone guesses
  • Never Have I Ever
  • Only Rhyme – go back and forth using only words that rhyme

I hope this helps you and your loved ones stay connected while also staying safe and helping to keep our community safe as well.

What games are you playing? What is one of your favorite games?

Not as Scary as it Looks – NBC 26 Women Today

I got an inquiry in January to do an interview for a local news station. One of their talented reporters does a recurring segment called NBC 26 Women Today that showcases women who are making a difference in the local area. I am honored to be a part of this wonderful group of professional women and to be recognized for the passion and help that I bring to others. I do not love being in the spotlight. At all. And Paige Tucker made this process easy and comfortable. We had a conversation and then walked through a little of what I do together. She is a gem and I love what I do so it was a really enjoyable experience – despite the scared look on my face for the still shot on the video clip below.

What women in your life inspire you to continue toward love and good deeds? Who is setting examples for you for good? When was the last time you spoke words of encouragement to those people? I’d like to encourage you to write a note, send an email, use words to express your gratitude… even if you think they already know.

How Much Trash is in Your Car?

I recently asked this question in one of the #LRSOMG19 events. “How much trash is in your car?” The first two responses were that the cars had just been cleaned out so their answer was “little to none” but that this was “not the norm.” As I began to think about putting my car’s trash into words in the comments, more and more words came. Here is what I’d like to say about my personal car’s trash that may be helpful for you as well.

  1. I moved around a lot as an adult and my car was my constant. Having a tidy car helped me to feel grounded with my physical possessions. If my new house was ceiling high with boxes, I could just get in my car and breath into the empty, clean, uncluttered space… as I ran to the hardware store for blinds for the bare windows as night fell.
  2. I developed a habit a few years back of bringing out of the car whatever I brought in to the car. About 18 years ago I had a scare with dehydration that has kept me on track with drinking water almost obsessively. I carry a water bottle or have one in my car almost all the time. That could really add up if I only took water bottles out to my car and never brought them back in. BONUS: To help with this I only have 3 water bottles. It is less to clean, less to keep up with, and helps me to remember to bring them in with me because I have to use them.
  3. I have a trash bag that I keep in the front that hangs from my gear shift. When it gets full I take it off, tie it up, and throw it away. Sometimes that’s at my house, sometimes that’s at a gas station.
  4. Speaking of trash, if I am on a road trip or for some reason have take out food trash, I have found that almost every store you stop at (and gas stations, of course) have trash cans outside. So last week when I forgot to bring my lunch with me and had to stop by CFA for a meal and eat in the car (I don’t recommend this on the daily) I was able to drop the trash into the trash can outside of the Target when I was on my way in to pick up one quick thing (and I was successful on getting the one thing!).

There are more things that I could say about my car’s trash especially since I frequently donate items on behalf of clients but I’ll end at 4 today. How do you deal with the trash in your car?