Monday is Launch Your Week Day-The Area of Focus is Your Family Bathrooms

Good Morning, Lovely!
My computer is not working!
I have given you the tools for days like this—
There is a calendar for each month in the Files Area.
There is a set of cleaning checklists in the Files section.
If you print, use a three hole punch to punch holes in the margin, and keep them together in your household management notebook, you won’t need me. In fact my ultimate goal is to bring each person to the place where they don’t need me in their challenges.
Monday is Launch Your Week Day
Put your home in order after the weekend
Clean your toilets
Check your bathrooms for any needed supplies.

The Area of Focus from today through Wednesday is your Family Bathrooms.
On Thursday, February 1, the Area of Focus will be the Gathering Spaces.
In the next couple of days, I will be trying to get my computer up and running again.
Love, love, love,

Mary

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Thursday is Floor Day–If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?

Thursday, January 25, 2015

Hello, Lovely!

Thursday is Floor Day—Sweep and mop or vacuum your floors. Give special attention to the floors and other surfaces in your Area of Focus.

The Area of Focus is the Welcoming Area—your Front Porch, Entry, and Dining Room.

Limit the amount of time you spend decluttering each day. When you become tired, you lose focus. When you lose focus, you become careless and do not do your best work. If you do not have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?

Friday is Wrap Up the Week Day—

Clean out your purse,

Clean out your car,

 Put your home in order for the weekend.

Love, love, love,

Photo Nov 27, 11 36 04 AMMary

Wednesday is Desk Day–Do you have an action file?

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Hello, Lovely!

Wednesday is Desk Day! Each Wednesday take time to go through your Action File and:

·         Pay your bills (To Pay File)

·         Make sure that all To Do events are on your calendar and that you have RSVP’d (To Do File)

·         Are the items in your To Read File things you really want to take the time to Read—Take a durable file of To Read items with you to read while you are waiting in your car– for a child you are waiting to pick up, in a waiting room, or whenever you find yourself with empty (rare) moments

·         Review your Current File and take any needed actions

·         File the items in your To File folder IF you will need to refer to them again in the future, if not, file them in your waste basket

The Area of Focus this week is the Welcoming Area –your Front Porch, Entry, and Dining Room.

·         Declutter

·         Put in Order (organize)

·         Clean

·         Make lovely or fun—depending on the space.

Thursday is Floor Day

Have a wonderful day!

Love, love, love,

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File Box for My ACTION FILES

Mary

Dusting Hacks

Hello, Lovely!

Some dusting hacks:

Use a lint roller to take lint or dog hair off furniture, or a lamp shade, as well as your clothes

Use a dryer sheet to dust the tops of things in your laundry room and well as to grab the cobwebs from the corner

While you have your damp rubber gloves on after doing the dishes, run your hands over upholstered surfaces to gather dog or cat hair.

While my hands are clean I will occasionally finger dust small areas that it is difficult to get a large dusted into. Cotton swabs are also great solutions.

And never forget the wonder of paint brushes for lampshades, blinds, knick knacks—use different sizes for different areas.

Love, love, love,

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One of my favorite dusters is a paintbrush! It’s great for lampshades and getting into cracks and crevices. Make sure the bristles are soft

Mary

Tuesday is Duster Dance Day–The Area of Focus–The Welcoming Area–The Front Porch, Entry, and Dining Rooms

My stair step basket collects the items that need to go upstairs. Each time I go upstairs I automatically check the basket, take anything in the basket upstairs and put it away.
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Hello, Lovely!
Tuesday is Duster Dance Day! Yesterday I noticed some dust when I had company. They asked if I was going to go grab a duster! Nope! Tuesday is Duster Dance Day and I will get it then but if I just can’t bear it, I can grab a duster when my friends and family are not here. That is one of the graces of doing a little work each day—having an assigned task—when the work is complete you can stop. If you care to continue decluttering beyond the amount of time you have committed to do each day—you can!
It is actually early Monday morning, I am preparing this for tomorrow. Each day I am committed to:
• Make my bed
• Brush my teeth, clean my face and moisturize, and fix my hair
• Get dressed
• Move the clothes from the washer to the dryer, fold the clothes in the dryer, and put another load in the washer.
• If for some unknown reason, I did not do the before bedtime walk through of my home, I do it first thing in the morning.
• My task for the day—Monday—clean the toilets
• Quiet Time
• Blog
• 15 minutes in the area I am decluttering—just now the front guest bedroom which is staying a guest room but is also becoming my office—I am getting my desk and computer out of my bedroom.
It is before 7 am and I now have the day free to do special projects in my home, take part in activities outside my home, or, like today, play with my grandson.
In the course of the day, I will prepare meals, and pick up after myself.
The Area of Focus this week is the Welcoming Areas—The Front Porch, The Entry, and The Dining Room.
Watch for little add-ons on the page. I am trying to keep each day’s regular post short for your convenience.
Love, love, love,
Mary

Skin Care and Makeup–Cosmetic Shelf Life

Skin Care and Makeup

One of my lovely, intelligent friends recently commented that she was saving the pricey skin care line she had purchased for special occasions—don’t do that! Skin care has a cumulative effect. It is important that you use it daily as directed by its maker. Use up what you have and buy your new product when you are down to a few days product. I occasionally have to make myself gather similar product and use up what I have before I buy new product. Use it or lose it, friends! If you will never use something—return it, pass it on to someone who will use it, or toss it.

I use a cleanser, sometimes a toner, moisturizer, an eye cream, and a neck cream. My favorite skin care line is Exuviance or Rodan and Fields—both pricey. Alternately, I use Olay’s Regenerist.

For daily makeup I use a BB or CC cream, cream blush, and mascara

For out and around I add an eyebrow cream in a tube similar to mascara, brush it on, and then use an eyebrow brush to blend it in.

I use a very thin line of eyeliner

I also use a bronzer on my temples, nose, and along my jaw line

For evenings out I use eye shadow, and shimmer

I use lip gloss or chapstick routinely. When I want more color I use lipstick and then go over it with lip gloss.

I try to have a manicure every few weeks and a pedicure every 4 to 6 weeks. I also like to have my eyebrows waxed about once a month and tweeze any brow hairs that appear in the wrong places in between waxings. I keep a small flash light in my drawer in the bathroom and check for rogue hairs on my chin, neck, and upper lip.

I have my hair cut and colored every 6 weeks. I do not use a solid color but hat highlights and lowlights to my natural color.

I spend minimum time and moderate money on my personal care but it makes me feel more pulled together and ready to get to work or to life each day.

Cosmetic Shelf List

Cosmetics have not been required to carry an expiration date but they do spoil and/or lose their effectiveness over time.  At the really bad end of the spectrum they may cause infection or skin irritation. Creams, gels, lotions or other water-based cosmetics are more likely than powders to foster moisture-loving bacteria. Whenever any cosmetic product is opened and exposed to air and light it begins to degrade. To extend your cosmetic’s shelf life, keep tightly capped and store containers away from heat and sunlight. For safety sake, follow the “toss by” tips below.  

  • Mascara—Use within 3 months. Do not add water or pump the wand into the tube. That can introduce microbes that make mascara spoil faster and irritate eyes. I know it is no longer good when it becomes clumpy; brush does not evenly transfer mascara onto lashes
  • Lipstick—Good for 1-2 years. I know it is no longer good when oils in formula turn rancid; color fades; oil droplets form; once-shiny lipstick looks dull or matte
  • Foundation – Bottle. Use within 3-6 months. Wide-mouthed jars can expose more product to air, making it break down more rapidly. It is no longer good when ingredients begin to settle or separate; texture thins or thickens; odor seems off.
  • Foundation – Pressed Powder—Good for 1+ years. It is no longer good when glaze forms on top; odor seems off.
  • Foundation – Loose Powder—Good for 1+ years. It is no longer good when odor seems off.
  • Powder, Eye Shadow, and Blush—Good for 1+ years. It is no longer good when glaze forms on top; powder cracks or crumbles.
  • Eye & Lip Pencils—Good for 1+ years. Sharpen eye pencils weekly  to prevent bacteria from being transferred to your eye area. It is no longer good when product dries or crumbles.

Your nose is a beautifully designed safety feature. If food or cosmetics or any product that you eat or touch smells off, it’s a good rule of thumb to not put it on your skin or in your mouth.IMG_0010

Monday=Launch Your Week–New Area of Focus–The Welcoming Areas

Monday, January 22, 2018

Hello, Lovely

Each Monday, Launch Your Week by

  • Putting your home in order after the weekend
  • Cleaning your toilets
  • Checking your bathroom(s) for any needed supplies—paper, personal care, and cleaning

On Monday the Area of Focus is The Welcoming Areas—Your Front Porch, Your Entry, and the Dining Room.

Focus on one area of your home for six days. Do your basics and spend 15 to 30 minutes decluttering or cleaning in your zone per day week

Key:  D= Daily W= Weekly M= Monthly S=Seasonally EOM= Every Other Month

 

Front Porch Cleaning Checklist

  • Get rid of clutter. Put away unneeded items. (M)
  • Clean light fixtures and replace any burnt out light bulbs. (M)
  • Remove spider webs (M)
  • Wipe down banisters and light fixtures. (M)
  • Wipe down porch furniture. (M)
  • Sweep porch and walkway. (As needed)
  • Get rid of dead plants. (M) Deadhead live plans (D)
  • Do any shrubs need to be pruned back? (S)
  • Do any plants need repotting? (S)
  • Does your doorbell work? Does it need to be replaced or a new battery? (M)

 

Entrance Cleaning Checklist

  • Clean cobwebs (M)
  • Clean light fixtures and replace any burned out light bulbs. (M)
  • Wipe down window sills and front door (M)
  • Remove handprints and marks from doors, door frames, walls and switch plates(M)
  • Clean window treatments and windows. (M)
  • Polish furniture(M) Dust weekly
  • Dust baseboards (M)
  • Straighten the coat closest (M)
  • Sweep, vacuum or mop the floor (W)
  • What can you do to personalize your entry and make it more welcoming? (M)

Dining Room Cleaning Checklist

  • Clean cobwebs (M)
  • Clean light fixtures and replace any burnt out light bulbs. (M)
  • Wipe down window sills and front door (M)
  • Remove handprints and marks from doors, door frames, walls and switch plates (M)
  • Clean window treatments and windows. (M)
  • Clean and straighten china cabinet and buffet. (M)
  • Clean top of dining table (As Needed)
  • Dust chairs including bottoms and legs (M)
  • Polish furniture (M) Dust Weekly
  • Dust baseboards (M)
  • Sweep, vacuum, or mop the floor (move chairs and vacuum under table) (W)
  • What can you do to personalize your dining room? (Centerpiece, table cloth, decorative touches.)

Have a day filled with joy!

Love, love, love,

Mary

How Do I Defrost Meat Quickly and Safely?

How Do I Defrost Frozen Meat Quickly?

To safely defrost small pieces of meat such as chicken parts, steaks, or chops, you can use these defrosting methods:

In the Microwave:  Most microwaves have a defrost settings but microwave defrosting needs to be watched carefully so that you don’t begin to cook the meat, making it stringy and tough. Know the weight of your meat and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for defrosting. It usually takes less than 10 minutes to defrost most pieces of meat. Place the thinner pieces of meat in the center of the microwave where it is less likely to cook.

Defrosting in the Sink or a Bowl of Water: Usually this technique takes between 15 and 30 minutes. DO NOT use HOT water—this will encourage the growth of bacteria and begin to cook the outside of the meat. Fill the clean sink or large bowl with cold water. Place the meat in a sealable bag, fully submerging it. As the water warms, replace it with cold water until the meat is thawed. As pieces thaw enough to separate, separate them to speed defrosting. Check regularly until the meat is fully thawed.

Large pieces of meat should be defrosted in the refrigerator over a day or a few (think small roast to large turkey)

Friday=Wrap Up Your Week Day–Clean out your car. Clean out your purse.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Hello, Lovely!

Friday is Wrap Up the Week Day!

  • Clean out your car and let’s not skip the glove compartment and trunk. What is hiding in those places.
  • Clean out your purse, backpack, diaper bag, computer bag, tote, or whatever goes out the door with you when you leave your home. When your children come home from school today sit down together in the middle of the family room floor with a trash can in the center and clean out their backpacks together. Make sure everything is cleaned out and ready for Monday. Review their papers and folder. Keep some keepers for display. Look at any graded papers, encourage, and toss what will never again be needed. Make sure they have pencils, pens, tissues, lunch money, signatures, or whatever else they might need. Make note of any assignments and projects they have due on Monday. Then the cleared out and ready for next week can go to the place you have prepared for them to be ready to go out the door on Monday. See if this practice might make a difference. You are teaching them to be orderly and prepared. Prepare Friday for less stress Monday morning.

This is the last weekday with Your Bedroom, Attached Bathroom, and Closet as your Area of Focus. I am sitting in my orderly, clean bedroom, listening to music as I type this. The surfaces are clear. It is so peaceful. What can you do to make your bedroom a place of peace and beauty for the peaceful, beautiful woman you are and are becoming?

Saturday is Family Fun Day—Work or Play as a Family and Make It Fun!

Sunday is for Worship (Worth-ship) a day to focus on the surpassing greatness of our Lord and God. Sunday is for Family and Friends – a day of rest, respite, and restoration.

Sunday is for coordinating the upcoming week and the weeks to come—getting the practices, games, meetings, and events on your family calendar—and making sure you have what you need for each of these events.

On Monday the Area of Focus becomes what I think of as The Welcoming Areas—Your Front Porch, Your Entry, and the Dining Room. I spend more time with my friends in the Dining Room with teacups or mugs, and a teapot in between, than I do in my Living Room.

Focus on one area of your home for six days. Do your basics and spend 15 to 30 minutes decluttering or cleaning in your zone per day week

Key:  D= Daily W= Weekly M= Monthly S=Seasonally EOM= Every Other Month

 

Front Porch Cleaning Checklist

  • Get rid of clutter. Put away unneeded items. (M)
  • Clean light fixtures and replace any burnt out light bulbs. (M)
  • Remove spider webs (M)
  • Wipe down banisters and light fixtures. (M)
  • Wipe down porch furniture. (M)
  • Sweep porch and walkway. (As needed)
  • Get rid of dead plants. (M) Deadhead live plans (D)
  • Do any shrubs need to be pruned back? (S)
  • Do any plants need repotting? (S)
  • Does your doorbell work? Does it need to be replaced or a new battery? (M)

 

Entrance Cleaning Checklist

  • Clean cobwebs (M)
  • Clean light fixtures and replace any burned out light bulbs. (M)
  • Wipe down window sills and front door (M)
  • Remove handprints and marks from doors, door frames, walls and switch plates(M)
  • Clean window treatments and windows. (M)
  • Polish furniture(M) Dust weekly
  • Dust baseboards (M)
  • Straighten the coat closest (M)
  • Sweep, vacuum or mop the floor (W)
  • What can you do to personalize your entry and make it more welcoming? (M)

Dining Room Cleaning Checklist

  • Clean cobwebs (M)
  • Clean light fixtures and replace any burnt out light bulbs. (M)
  • Wipe down window sills and front door (M)
  • Remove handprints and marks from doors, door frames, walls and switch plates (M)
  • Clean window treatments and windows. (M)
  • Clean and straighten china cabinet and buffet. (M)
  • Clean top of dining table (As Needed)
  • Dust chairs including bottoms and legs (M)
  • Polish furniture (M) Dust Weekly
  • Dust baseboards (M)
  • Sweep, vacuum, or mop the floor (move chairs and vacuum under table) (W)
  • What can you do to personalize your dining room? (Centerpiece, table cloth, decorative touches.)

 

Remember, steady, calm, persistent effort will accomplish more than occasional chaotic, frenetic activity.

Love, love, love,

Mary

Thursday=Floor Day – A made bed is so nice!

Thursday, January 18, 2018
Hello, Lovely!
I am working my way through my guest bedroom – my bedroom no longer needs the attention it once did. The first thing I do when I am working in a bedroom is make the bed as nicely as I can and make it as pretty as I can within reason. Your bed is the largest flat surface in your bedroom. When it is nicely made, even if the rest of the room is in chaos, it is an oasis. As I worked in the guest rooms I stripped the beds and washed the sheets and blankets. I iron pillow cases, it’s just me. A freshly ironed pillow case is so nice. I put the bottom sheet on the bed as quickly as it come out of the dryer and then it is wrinkle free. I iron or use wrinkle release spray on the top of the top sheet so that it lies flat. I use hospital corners so the bottom of the sheets and blankets stay tucked in. When I get in bed in the evening, I just naturally thank God for such a pleasant place to rest—it is so nice.
I have been keeping the laundry going while I am working upstairs and I am encouraged by the progress both with the laundry and in the guest room. There are bookcases in the guest room that I am purging and it is painful. I love books and the longer you hang on to them, the harder it becomes to let things go.
I bought my own internet modem/router and installed it today. I feel so accomplished. I am not a techie—I am a 68 -year-old woman. Yay, me!! As soon as the roads are clear and dry I will trek to UPS and send Comcast’s modem back to them. This will save me $11 a month. The modem was around $88 so I will recover my investment in about 8 months.
Thursday is floor day. Sweep and mop or vacuum your floors. Do an extra special terrific job in your Area of Focus—Your Bedroom, Attached Bath, and Closet. Around, under, and behind furniture, vacuum your drapes, and get the dust your duster couldn’t swoosh out with your vacuum cleaner.
Remember as you declutter, organize, and clean that this is for you. Your life is better when you are not living in the middle of clutter in an orderly and clean home. It is also so much easier to clean a low/no clutter home. When I first began to be organized, I though I must be doing something wrong because I was not working as hard but I was getting more done. Stick with it. It is hard in the beginning but it gets easier.
Tomorrow (Friday) is Wrap Up your week day. I will be taking my car to the local car wash—weather permitting. On Fridays we also clean out our purses, diaper bags, totes, computer bag, or backpack—whatever goes out the door with us when we leave home.
Have a thoroughly lovely day!
Love, love, love,
MaryIMG_0421