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Moving into a smaller space can often be stressful but there are ways to make the most of this transition. By using the space effectively and exploring new furniture options, you can optimize your new living arrangements.
Break out the Tape Measure
Measure the different dimensions of the room. Start with the four walls and measure the distances to the door, windows, closets, shelves, and any other defining objects. Draft out a layout of the room and create boxes to symbolize potential furniture options and paths. You may have to downsize your bed or refrigerator to make room for other items but planning it out saves hours of rearranging and heartbreak when your beloved coffee table won’t fit through the door.
Explore Dual Functionality
Furniture stores often have furniture that can serve more than one purpose optimizing space and reducing clutter. Beds with storage drawers built into the frame are excellent for storing items seasonal items or items that aren’t used every day. Out of sight and limited storage reduces the possibility of holding onto items that you no longer use and clutter. You can also loft your bed to create additional space underneath to hold desks, storage chests, sofas, etc. Ottomans are great for storing extra blankets or pillows and add an extra seat when you host your house warming party.
Command your Space
Command hooks make it extremely easy to hang up shelves, artwork, and clothing without damaging the walls to ensure that you retain your security deposit. Hang some shelves to hold your items and get them off of the floor. Be sure to hang them high enough that they are out of the way but make sure that you can still reach them by climbing on a chair.
Talk to your Landlord
Ask them to install a sliding or a bi-fold door instead, or store the door if you want to take it off completely and put up a curtain instead. Maximize your space by moving around items. You’d be surprised as to how much space can be created by switching the hinges on a door to swing outward instead of inward.
Don’t Move Your Clutter
Use the move as motivation to clean out some of your old items such as clothing, stuffed animals, papers and anything else you haven’t used in awhile. Anything that you can’t see yourself using in the near future and anything that does not have sentimental value can be donated, recycled or plain thrown out.
You may find yourself asking “how did my house get this messy?” many times throughout the year. Unfortunately, as much as you’d not like to hear this, YOU are how your house got this messy. Perhaps you updated your wardrobe, bought a new television set, a new vacuum, or anything for the matter. Now your home has large amounts of stuff and you’re cleaning out your home for the second time this summer. You have to decide on what to keep, what to get rid of, and then just decide to stuff everything in your closet or garage. In order to avoid these dreadful cleaning tasks, perhaps you need to stop bringing in the junk. First, get that second summer cleaning started. Sell your old cell phones, donate your old hair dryers, blenders, and other appliances, and throw away any garbage. You can pretty much donate anything that is still useful or you can sell it if possible. Most donations can be written off on your tax form too, or at least up to 50%. If you must buy something new, donate or throw away something old. Doing this prevents the accumulation of junk or piles of unworn and unused items. Getting rid of low quality clothes, shoes, furniture, and other household items is a way to create more space in your home. Keep good quality items that you are certain to us, and only invest in high quality products. This not only reduces the amounts of build up junk, but you’ll soon realize that those cheaper tank tops go out of style every year anyways. Stopping yourself from making those purchases helps save money in the long run, even if it is only $10. Buy what you need and not in bulk.
Buying in bulk seems cost effective, but often most of it expires or goes unused. Some frozen vegetables and an extra bag of detergent may not be too bad, but opt for food shopping weekly instead. You’ll end up buying food that is better for you and saving more money that way. Make lists for what you need to buy and stick to it- whether the list is for clothes, appliances, or food, don’t stray far from the list. Buy only what you need. Return plastic bags to the store it came from, return hangers to the dry cleaners, and say no thanks to freebies that seem tempting but really aren’t necessary. Switch to paperless mail and direct deposit options to reduce the income of paper to your home. Reducing the income of junk mail is effective, too. These tips are simple but helpful options to keeping junk out of your home. Following these tips will prevent the need to do serious house cleanings multiple times throughout each season, and also keeps your house spacious, clean, and neat. Hopefully these tips have helped you today!
Go Green & Be Clean!
When someone says they’ve “gone green” we automatically think they’ve gone vegan and are living outdoors. While that holds benefits, going green also means making more environmentally friendly decisions that help make our Earth stronger and also our lives cleaners. The condition of Earth can be saved for another topic, but eco-friendly decision making also benefits you and your loved ones. Okay, so you can grow your own vegetables for starters. If you don’t have a green thumb, remember that practice makes perfect. Start with one plant and treat it like you would a child- love it, feed it, protect it. If that’s not possible for you, visit a local farmers market. Doing this saves you plenty of money and also supports a family business. Supporting a family business helps them send their children to college, supporting big businesses just gives the CEO another buck toward their next vacation. Recycle plastics and aluminums by having separate cans from regular trash. If necessary, label the cans with what is recyclable. Coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peels and waste, teabags, cardboard cartons, and paper scraps are common household items that can be used as compost. Compost is ground up materials used as plant fertilizer, which can help increase your chances of obtaining a green thumb.
LED and Solar lights are great alternatives, too. Solar lights look beautiful and light up on their own. LED lights are actually brighter and offer prettier lighting, too (hello perfect selfies!). Making these switches help keep space and cleanliness in your home. Making these choices benefit the environment and your health even within the first day. When shopping for new shoes or appliances, keep the cardboard boxes in your attic or garage incase you plan to move, or just to store items. Cardboard boxes are great for holding photos, for example, and even clothes you plan to donate. It’s a go-green alternative. Plastic never disintegrates and just builds up, which is why our planet isn’t doing so great. Donate and recycle any items (clothes, furniture, appliances) that can be used by someone else, but aren’t selling on your convenient App. Don’t throw it away where it’ll just accumulate space in a trash field, nor should you leave it outside your property for anyone to take. Bring it to a center that you know accepts donations, or ask your neighbors and friends if they’d like it. Buy indoor and outdoor plants for purified air, too! Most indoor plants are easy to care for, especially succulents and cacti.
Making these simple lifestyle changes dramatically improves your living condition (not to mention the Earth!). It is cost efficient and friendly for any neighborhood and home. For more helpful tips on keeping your house clean and organized, stay tuned in with Cleanout Express!
Downsizing Made Easy
Nowadays, people have more interest in smaller homes over large. Smaller homes often mean having the ability to live a more adventurous lifestyle, with more freedom and more money. Smaller homes also mean less space to utilize.
Often we downsize houses or just buy a lot of new things and fill up our already small spaces. When downsizing or needing to make space in a smaller home, following specific tips helps make this process quick, efficient, and easy. First, keep essentials only. This means getting rid of useless items such as the bean bag chair you haven’t sat on in years, the wardrobe closet filled with ragged sweatshirts and t-shirts, the computer desk you haven’t used since you bought your laptop, and that old television. If you haven’t used something in a year, you probably won’t ever use it again. Sell your items on any App that makes selling easy or donate them. If items are quite damaged, just throw it out. Ask yourself if you’ll really use these items, or if you’d buy it today if you didn’t have it already. That may help you decide what is and isn’t essential. Next, get rid of papers. Use electronic sources for managing bills and expenses, or keep one notebook for it. Throw away expired coupons, magazines, college essays, menus, brochures, and all of those paper materials you thought you’d want for one day. In reality, those papers are just taking up space. Most menus and brochures can be viewed online, and so can your college essays. Important documents can either be digitally replaced or stored in a filing cabinet. If you choose the latter, be sure to label tabs so that everything is properly organized for easy access. Finally, if you see something you’d like to buy sleep on it. It’s the most cost effective way of not spending money on something that is really just eye candy. You may think you need that new jacket, purse, or wallet. If you sleep on it, you may not want to go back the next day. You’ll realize your jacket is still in great condition and so is your wallet. Make lists whenever you do shop for things you need rather than want. These simple but effective tips help create space in your home and abundance in your wallet! It helps organize and feel more comfortable in your home. For labor-saving garbage and junk disposal, let the experts at Cleanout Express help!
Garage Decluttering Tips
Our garages are the perfect place for storing things we don’t need in the moment, or in this lifetime. It is the perfect place for old furniture, bikes, shoes, tools, cleaning supplies, and all other types of appliances and household items. While I am sure you don’t want to throw away everything cluttering your garage, some helpful tips for organization can help determine what can be saved and what can be disposed of. As you go through your belongings, throw away what you haven’t used in over a year. Make a pile for recycling and a pile for garbage. Install metal racks and hooks in your garage to utilize the ceiling for items such as bicycles, skateboards, kayaks jet skis, ladders, and other items of the like. Heavy duty shelves and overhead storage units are also helpful for storing plastic bins,, cleaning supplies, paint buckets, wires and extension cords, and shoes. Pegboards hold tool supplies and other equipment. Be sure that anything installed in your garage is done professionally. Or, if you prefer to do it on your done be sure everything is effectively and safely secure. These organizing tips can help you separate items and store them protectively to prevent injuries to people and damaged items. Once you are organized, you can get to cleaning out all garbage. If that task sounds too tedious and boring, let the experts at Cleanout Express take it from there. This also prevents having to rent an expensive dumpster or waste money at a monthly storage space. Our staff will come remove all garbage and dispose or recycle all items. We can even sweep up any residual debris and dust. Hopefully these tips help you organize and clean your garage!
Moving Made Easier
Moving to a new location may mean new and exciting beginnings, but the adventure of getting there is far from fun. Packing up possessions for your new home can be time consuming and exhausting, so having all the necessary helpful tips is beneficial to a swift and easy move. Utilize these tips to your advantage prior to your move so that you can quickly settle into your new home and get back to living!
Clothing Cleanup: Anything that you haven’t worn in two or more years should be donated, along with mismatched socks, unworn shoes, hats, accessories and whatever else. Anything torn or slightly damaged should be thrown out (save some for rag-cleaning the house). Furniture and other household belongings can also follow this rule: donate whats unused and throw out what’s damaged. This ensures less junk coming into your home whether your upgrading or downgrading in size. If your unsure about an item, get rid of it!
Clean rugs, sheets, blankets, and curtains: Items that are coming with you to your new home should be brought to your local cleaners to be deep cleaned, dried, folded, and packed. This not only will allow a easy shipping from old home to the new, but also ensures that your new home can sparkle with freshly cleaned blankets, curtains, rugs, and whatever else!
Cotton and Plastic: I repeat: cotton and plastic! Cotton can be used to protect furniture, glassware, medicines, and other fragile items. Plastic can be helpful to prevent liquid items (like soaps, makeup, and hair products) from leaking. Wrapping your items with plastic or cotton promises a clean move and avoids spills, leaks, and damaged items.
Label EVERYTHING: Cords, glassware, electronics, clothing, cleaning products, and everything else should be blatantly labeled so that you know what goes where. This also helps prevent items from being damaged because you’ll know what to treat cautiously. Wires should be carefully wrapped up and can also be wrapped in plastic.
Space Bags: Space bags or other vacuum sealed bags really do help increase space which is essential for moving. You don’t want to rent multiple moving trucks or have trouble getting items in and out. Vacuum sealed bags provide a simple solution to that.
CLEAN! Saving damaged clothes is helpful for this, especially t-shirts and soft-material shorts. Newspaper is also an old trick. Before bringing all your items into the new home, use the ragged clothes to clean windows, floors, counter tops (paper towels might be better for these areas), and all other surfaces. Then just throw out the rags. Some people prefer to stash their used rags for another time, because ragged clothes can be more effective than paper towels and newspapers. It is also an environmentally friendly cleaning solution.
If you need more help cleaning your home, hiring our experts ensures effective clean up. Cleanout Express offers moving solutions for your convenience. Any junky items, old mattresses, or trash will be taken to our trucks by our staff members and disposed of (environmentally friendly, too!). We can also sweep up the empty home for the convenience of the next residents.
A Hoarder’s Nightmare, A Family’s Relief
A hoarder suffers extreme difficulty in throwing away possessions that they regard as potentially important. Hoarders battle anxiety and distress from the difficult task of cleaning and discarding what others would consider junk, unnecessary, and useless. This in effect troubles family members and friends who love them but also cannot bare the piling amounts of garbage engulfing their home. It is an intense attachment to things, but that isn’t all. Hoarding is detrimental to health and well being, and often leads to household problems. If you or someone you love is hoarding, get them the right kind of help that will sort through their belongings carefully and work with them to discard every useless item. Following are some problems associated with hoarding that arise as the situation worsens, along with some helpful solutions.
Emergency Situations: Hoarders have huge amounts of waste taking up space in any or all rooms of their home. Often rooms can be filled so much it is hard to walk through, therefore in times of emergency it may be difficult to exit. Someone may trip or have difficulty navigating out of the room in efficient timing. A helpful tip would be to create a safe path throughout the home where no items lay to make sure walking through is easy.
Danger: Heavy items plus multitudes of other possessions accumulate to a heavy weight. As houses age and these items take up a majority of space, it creates a dangerous environment. If flooring gives or items fall, someone can get severely injured. The beginning of hoarding clean-ups should involve removing items that are stacked and eventually bringing heaviest items to the main floor.
Sharp Objects: The buildup of items can hide other items, which can also pose as danger. Broken glass, knives, pointed objects, and other sharp items may be obscured from view and can hurt a household member or guest. This can occur from the item falling or being accidentally grabbed. The dangers of sharp objects can be helped by the removal of junk, but often an expert cleaner is needed in this and other serious situations.
Hidden Damage: A hoarder may not realize that their home is falling apart from under them or around them. Heaping stacks of items may hide water damage from a bursted pipe, for example. The floor may be giving out or mold may be growing. The problem with mold is it may spread around the house such as in the bathroom or washing machines and drier. It also makes breathing difficult and can cause other health problems.
Rodents: This may be the worst problem in my opinion. It isn’t a surprise that mice, rats, bugs, and the like will find home in the crowded space of a hoarder’s home. Following hidden damages, mice and rats may find their way into the home and grow in numbers. Rodents and other unwanted creatures may carry diseases with them. When rodents are found in the home it is necessary to get experts to clean up.
Cleanout Express understands the emotional difficulties that hoarders experience with their possessions. That is why our trained professionals come willing to sit with the homeowner and discuss what the process will look like. They bag and sort items for keeping, discarding, recycling, and donating. Each staff member is prepared to start with one room or even one item at a time to help ease the situation for the homeowner.
When you or your loved one are ready to clean out hoarded items and start a new fresh, clean, and healthy life, call Cleanout Express. Our experts clean, sort, and remove all items efficiently. Cleanout Express is dedicated to customer satisfaction and are always there for you!
(Image from the Today’s Show of one woman who suffered from hoarding)
Preventing Your Home From Bad Odors
Unfortunately, spraying your home with air fresheners will not do the trick. Bad odors in your home often mean something is wrong. It could be as simple as kitty litter or as complex as a dirty water pipe. Either way you must tackle it before it worsens and worsens. For more serious issues, always get professional help.Here are some tips on stinks that are engulfing your home, and whether or not they are serious issues to be concerned about. To start with, open all windows for fresh air. Invest in indoor plants for purified air. Kitty litter needs to be changed as often as possible, as well as cages for pet such as ferrets and hamsters, fish bowls, dog pens and any animal beds. Be sure to make sure your pet didn’t have an accident around the house that has gone unnoticed, and don’t be angry with her/him if there was an accident. Cooking can also add to stinks as grease sticks around. Clean light fixtures and walls once a month to prevent odors, and clean floors and counter tops weekly. If you or the previous owners of your home smoked, this may be more difficult of an odor to get rid of. First, don’t smoke in your home. If you already do, stop immediately. It’s foul smelling and hazardous to your health and well-being. Guests and children don’t appreciate that odor either. Opening windows and investing in indoor plants are especially beneficial for this circumstance. Address smoking problems immediately for best results. Leave washing machine doors open to eliminate air to prevent smelling. A helpful home remedy is to run your dishwasher with white vinegar which helps clean out the washer (and also helps make your glasses come out shiny!). Water heaters, plumbing, and pipes should be left to the experts. If you notice awful smells stemming from these areas, call an expert immediately. Don’t try to handle it on your own based of a DIY video, you’ll end up breaking a pipe or hurting yourself. Again, let an expert handle this. Dust, sweep, vacuum and mop your floor weekly or every other week for the super busy-bees. Guests with allergies and pet peeves will not appreciate coming to visit your dirty home, nor will people who are afraid of bugs. Dirty homes attract bugs more often than we would like to admit, so keeping good cleaning habits is essential to eliminate odors. Keep your house purified and ventilated and also be aware of water damage. Water damage is stinky and dangerous, and so is carbon monoxide. If you are afraid that either of these are affecting your home, seek expert help immediately. If none of those are the reasons for the stink- clean out your fridge and take out the trash. Don’t wait for your kids to do it or for your mom to do it, if you notice the stink, do this immediately. Often food rots in the trash or in plasticware and we have no clue until we are cleaning out these areas. Take the trash out each time you put something in that will rot very soon.
Following these tips are effective ways to keeping odors out of your home. Don’t be afraid to seek out an expert for serious odor smells, because experts always know what you’re doing. Stay tuned with Cleanout Express for more helpful tips on cleaning and organizing your home!
When you’ve got a billion things on your mind, it becomes stressful planning out the best use of your time. Time to get creative and make your own planner that you can customize to fit your individual needs. Sure you can grab a quality planner from the local store, but by making your own you can add sections that aren’t usually found in premade ones.
- Colorful pens or markers
- Washi tape, stickers, glitter (optional)
- Post-it Tabs
- Blank notebook
- Decorate the cover of your notebook. Check out Pinterest to get some inspiration from other DIYers.
- Monthly Calendar: Starting from the first page, use a ruler to draw measure out the size of your calendar. Make sure to leave space above and below the grid. Using a black pen, draw the 5×7 grid making sure to leave extra space above the first row to write in the days of the week. At the top of the page, use a color pen to write in the month and year. Write in the date in the upper right-hand corner of each box making sure not to miss any dates. Begin to write in any important dates such as birthdays, holidays or special events. Box in the date you wrote in before if there is an event. This makes the date stand out at a glance. Place a tab on the edge of this page and write in the month. This makes it easier to find in a rush.
- Weekly Calendar: Draw a large box that spans both pages leaving extra space at the right side. Make sure you leave space above and below this box! Divide the large box into 7 sections vertically. Make sure you leave a .5″ space at the left end of the box. Write the week in black ink above the box. Using a colored pen, write in the day and date along the top of each box. Divide each vertical box into 48 rows, don’t draw the lines just yet. Trace out each even line in black ink. In the leftmost column, write in the time starting from 12:00 am. Divide the rightmost section in half, creating headings that says “To-Do List” on the first half and “Shopping List” on the botton half. Underneath the grid, create a heading that says “Notes.” Repeat these steps for each week in the year. Use the weekly calendar to write in meetings, socials, and other events. Make sure that anything you write in your to-do list has a date to be completed by and checkboxes so that you can keep track of your items.
- Your workout calendar can be smaller than your monthly calendar but large enough so that you can write in your target areas or exercises. Be sure to check off of cross off days that you workout. Studies have shown that people are more motivated to workout if they have already planned out the workouts.
- Make a list of all of the goals that you would like to accomplish by the end of the month as well as some bullet points to help you achieve them. Create checkboxes next to each goal so that you can keep track of your progress.
- If you’re into meal prepping, create a smaller monthly calendar that is large enough to write in breakfast, lunch and dinner meals. You’l be surprised how much easier it is to go grocery shopping once you have sorted out meals ahead of time.
- Create a box with the heading “Fun things to do this month.” Write in all of the upcoming exhibits, films, restaurants, or date night ideas in this section.Widgets Page: This page contains little items that can make your days easier such as meal calendars. You can choose to have a widget page before or after the monthly calendar page. Common widgets include workout calendars, goal trackers, meal prep, upcoming films/ exhibits, and anything else that you can think of. It’s your journal after all.
Remember, you can add or delete any sections that you want. There is no set way to plan out your days and you can check out pinterest for more inspiration on bullet journaling and other sections. By organizing your days, you can plan time to clean out your homes using your extra time with Cleanout Express.