The Top 5 Gifts To Give The Cleaning Junkie In Your Life

Christmas is fast approaching and finding the perfect gift for the people in your life is one of the best parts. I won’t lie and say I have a natural knack for picking gifts. In fact, I have failed miserably many times in my life. Our first Valentine’s Day together I gave my wife a hideous shrub, and one birthday I gave her a TV series I was dying to see. I will save you from hearing the rest of the embarrassing stories and share with you what I am good at; giving gifts to a cleaning or organizing junkie. Here are five awesome gifts to give that person in your life that is as crazy about cleaning as I am.

Pan Scraper

This is a fun cleaning gadget that is not only affordable, but it easily fits inside a stocking. It helps loosen food debris off the pan with its soft nylon head and rubber handle. I am always scratching my pans with my fingernails attempting to get off the mess without ruining my pan, so this is the perfect solution to a pan dilemma.

Robot Vacuum

For those of us who enjoy a clean home, we don’t necessarily want to spend our lives scrubbing every inch all the time. Any cleaning technology that saves us time while polishing our home, is a tool we have to have. Seriously, we need it! The robot vacuum is a thoughtful and awesome present to give to the cleaner in your life. A cleaning junkie that comes home to a freshly vacuumed home is like a chocoholic seeing a chocolate fountain surrounded by candy bars-it’s that great.

Shout Wipes

You can’t go wrong stuffing a stocking with a couple of the best cleaning products out there. One of my favorite on-the-go stain removers are shout wipes. These wipes annihilate everything from brown coffee stains to the dreaded red wine spill. Keep a few on hand for messy party guests hanging out all over your house. It’s even better for those with little kids running around; keep a few of these wipes packed away in the diaper bag for surprise blow-outs, vomiting, grass-stains, and dirt.

Steam Mop

If your cleaning junkie has any type of flooring besides carpet, then the steam mop might be the dream gift to give this year. Wood floors are very sensitive and with just water, floors can be delicately cleaned without using harsh scrubbing or chemicals. If the bathroom is looking a little germy, this super mop will disinfect it while giving is a shine you’ve never seen before.

CleanWave Sanitizing Wand

I don’t have a sanitizing wand yet, but it is one cleaning gift I want this year. This nifty gadget disinfects areas that are covered in germs. It has been used in hospitals for many years, and it’s time to bring this technology home. Simply wave it across the area, and the UV-C light technology works like magic to sanitize the area. Christmas is a wonderful time of year to give us cleaning junkie’s a present that only makes the home shine brighter.

Reasons Why You Don’t Need A Dry Cleaner

Taking your clothes to the dry cleaner is a luxury we can’t always afford. I would love to take my favorite pants and shirts there whenever a stain or smudge touches the fabric, but the price prevents me from doing this frequently. I leave the dry cleaners for special occasions, or better yet, I do the cleaning at home. One of the biggest myths behind dry cleaning is that if the label says “dry clean only,” it can’t be washed at home. I am here to tell you it can! Ignore the label, and use natural and affordable ways to get your clothes looking like they just got back from the dry cleaners. Save money and time by following these five easy tips about cleaning your clothes at home.

Don’t Dry Clean Everything

There are certain clothing, curtains, and bedding that can benefit from being dry cleaned, but many items can be washed right at home. What you should or shouldn’t take to the dry cleaners depends on the material of the items. Cashmere, wool, cotton, polyester, and nylon can typically be washed right inside your washing machine on the cold cycle. More delicate designed items with beading or sequins and are heavily stained might need to be taken to a professional.

Wash by Hand

If you aren’t positive about an item, rinse a hidden part in cold water. If the water doesn’t change color from the fabric, it should be safe to get the rest of the clothing wet. Take a small amount of gentle laundry detergent and rub it on the dirty area. The soap particles attach to the stain and loosen pieces so they can be rinsed right down the drain. The sink is a great place to hand wash whites and light-colored clothing. It also a safe place to wash clothing with intricate beading and threading.

Never Use the Dryer

No matter what you are washing, the dryer should always be used with care. I typically dry towels, underwear, socks, and sheets in the dryer without any worry. Most of my other clothes are hung to air dry. Why does the dryer seem so scary to me? I have ruined plenty of clothes by tossing them from the washing machine to the dryer without any hesitation. It seems there is always a stain hiding on a shirt that I missed, and the heat from the dryer permanently seals the stain into the fabric. A permanent stain isn’t the only problem dryers cause. The heat can cause the clothes to shrink and become misshapen. If the fabric doesn’t lose its size, it could easily lose the brightness or color.

Use Cold Water

When in doubt, use cold water every single time. This prevents colors from spreading and seeping onto other areas of clothing. Hot water can ruin the brightness of a fabric’s color in one wash, so save yourself the worry and use cold water instead. Water also is an excellent natural way to remove stains without using any harsh soaps or products. Blood, juice, and other dark stains can be rinsed under cold water until the stain fades away. You might not even have to wash other areas of the clothing. Water is your best cleaning friend, and it will help you save money and a trip to the dry cleaners.

Ace Oven Cleaning Tips

The oven can be one of the most dreaded cleaning tasks around the home. Many people avoid it until the guck inside starts smoking whenever the oven is turned on. I will admit it isn’t my favorite chore, but I have gotten better at scrubbing it down without the frustration and exhaustion that I once felt. How have I accomplished such a task? I have learned that cleaning the oven takes time, but this doesn’t mean scrubbing for non-stop hours. It involves patience and letting the oven and cleaners do the work. Here are my three cleaning tips to help you get the job done without the sweat and tears.

Use Baking Soda and Vinegar

One of the safest and natural ways to clean your oven, is by using my two favorite cleaner’s baking soda and vinegar. Mix ½ cup of baking soda with water until it forms a thick spreadable paste. Remove the racks before rubbing this mixture throughout the oven on any burnt, dirty, or greasy areas. The white paste will begin to turn brown as you rub it into the trouble spots. Once you have coated the entire oven, let it sit and work overnight or for twelve hours. The next day, grab a rag and scrub the areas while spraying vinegar on remaining baking soda spots. Once all the grime is gone, use a damp rag and vinegar to polish and shine the oven before returning the oven racks.

Pick the Right Product

I love baking soda and vinegar, but sometimes there are areas in the oven that they simply can’t fight. This is usually when I turn to a special oven cleaner for extra support and help. One product that I like to use is, Easy-Off Fume Free Max Oven Cleaner. The name is quite the tongue twister, but it describes the product perfectly. I love that I don’t have to worry about strong smells giving me headaches or hurting my nose when I apply this product inside. It can sit for an hour or several hours depending on how tough the dirty area is. Another cleaner I enjoy using for greasy areas is Citrusafe Oven Cleaner; it uses natural citrus oils to clean and degrease those problem areas.

Use the Self-Cleaning Option

A self-cleaning oven can save you a lot of arm work and scrubbing, but despite the name, you still need to do a little work. Before switching the cleaning mode on at any given moment, plan in advanced to spend several hours at home while your oven self-cleans. You should never leave the oven running while you are not present, so flip the switch on and do some other chores around the house as it cleans. It should take anywhere between three and five hours before the job is finished. There is no turning back once the lock is locked, so don’t plan on using your oven. When it finally unlocks itself, open the oven and get ready to dust out the burnt pieces. There will usually be spots leftover that still need to be scrubbed down, so grab your cleaning products to finish off these last areas. It might take time, but with a little planning ahead, cleaning your oven can be a stress-free project.

Prepare The Perfect New York City Family Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is almost here, and I can’t help but smile at the thought of all of that tasty food. It makes my stomach growl just thinking about it. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, and I love the warmness I feel when I sit down with my family and appreciate the good things in my life. I have certainly had Thanksgiving disasters in my past, but with a few years under my belt, I feel like we have it down. Here are eight tips to help you enjoy a New York Thanksgiving without stress or too many mistakes.

Collect Your Recipes

Before doing anything, collect your recipes. This might involve calling Aunt Jane or Cousin John or taking a few minutes to browse Pinterest or your favorite cooking websites. Thanksgiving is all about stuffing your face with traditional food, and your family might have a few recipes no one else does. If you can’t quite remember what to put on the table, we always have a table filled with turkey, rolls, yams, cheesy vegetables, green bean casserole, stuffing, potatoes and gravy, and a ridiculous amount of pies. Now go find a recipe that looks good!

Shop Days Beforehand

If you want to eat on time and truly enjoy Thanksgiving Day, then you’d better get the shopping done in advance. Write down the recipes and browse your cupboards for ingredients. Double-check everything, and head to the store with a written list for the items you will need. This can feel overwhelming, so bring a friend or family member to get it completed fast.

Thaw the Turkey

If you want to cook the perfect turkey, then don’t buy a giant frozen one the day before! Depending on the size, a turkey can take as much as an entire week to thaw. Don’t start panicking yet; with a sink filled with water, a turkey can thaw fairly quickly in a day or two.

Bake the Pies

My favorite part about Thanksgiving is obviously the food, but the pies are a delicious piece of heaven that I anxiously wait to dig into. The best part about pies, besides their yumminess, is they can be baked the day before; this will save you precious time and oven space on Thanksgiving Day.

Rest and Relax the Night Before

Once the shopping is done, the pies are baked, and the turkey is thawing away, take some time Wednesday night to relax. We always go out for dinner to keep our kitchen clean and ready for the next day’s action. You don’t want to be irritable or tired on the big day, so watch a movie, relax, and get to bed early.

Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Watching the parade on TV or in person is many people’s highlight of the day. The beauty of living in New York City is that we actually have the opportunity to see the magic up close. If you want to step outside to hear the noise and see the entertainment with the naked eye, then arrive early for a good spot.

Cook Recipes in Order

I already mentioned baking the pies the night before, but some food can’t be made until the day of. Check how long everything takes to cook, and time it out accordingly. I always cook the rolls last because they can’t be heated up in the oven as easily as other dishes. Take advantage of the stove top for cooking stuffing, potatoes, and gravy; make these so they are completed at about the same time as the turkey.

Go Ice-Skating with the Family

After your stomach has been stuffed to the max and you have rolled yourself to the couch, take some time to enjoy the rest of the day having fun. One tradition for many is to go ice-skating with the family or with friends. It adds to the memories and is a fun way to end the holiday with a little exercise.

The Future Of Cleaning Is Now

There were many times in my youth when my mom lectured me on appreciating the things I had. This was usually after I accidentally complained about doing horrible chores, like sorting the laundry, cleaning my room, or vacuuming the floors. Ugh, cleaning at the age of ten was just the worst! She tried to make me feel better, or worse, by having me count my blessings, like that I didn’t have to hang my clothes outside to dry, sweep dirt floors, or scrub my own laundry in a cold river a mile away. It might have made me grumble more, but she was certainly right. The world has changed drastically over the past century, and cleaning doesn’t consume several hours of our day like it once did. It continues to change as more people work to ease cleaning tasks while helping the environment, and the future of cleaning is looking brighter than ever. Here are five cleaning inventions that will change the way we live in positive ways.

Spaghetti Scrubbers

You might picture a handful of messy noodles dripping in red sauce when you hear the word “spaghetti,” and although these scrubbers aren’t made from your favorite Italian dinner, they are still made from food. The recycled pit of a peach and the long-lasting strength of corn cobs are combined together for a new green cleaning tool. The natural abrasive material makes it easy to scrub areas without using toxic chemicals.

A Self-Sterilizing Door Handle

If you are like me, the mind can run wild with the thought of germs lurking on surfaces that are constantly being touched; a door handle can be cleaned and then covered in germs in just seconds. How exactly can we ease your mind while lightening the cleaning load? With a self-sterilizing handle on the door, of course! This handle uses a UV light to attack germs by turning on while not in use. This means it is constantly being sanitized no matter who is touching it.

Renew Clothes Steamer

Lately, my washing machine has been giving me problems, but one day, after a round of kicking it in frustration, I heard about this amazing clothes steamer. It sounded like a dream, and I literally can’t believe it has taken so long for it to be invented. Instead of spending a good hour or two drenching your clothes with valuable water, this steamer shoots a high-powered blast of steam to get the clothes cleaned in seconds.

Eureka Enviro Steamer Steam Mop

The steam cleaner is one cleaning tool that has been around for years, but this mop takes it from carpets to hard surfaces. I scrub my floors about once a week, but even with constant upkeep, dirt and grime sink their way into cracks, grout, and scratches. The steam from this mop blasts and absorbs the gunk that would normally take hours to remove scrubbing by hand.

Robot Helpers

We haven’t quite made it to having robot maids scrub our windows, mop the floors, and cook us our favorite meals throughout the day, but we are going in the right direction. Robotic cleaners vacuum the floors with smooth movements without needing any supervision. At first, these little robotic cleaners were inaccurate, but they have improved tremendously over time. Instead of spending an hour or two vacuuming your floors, you can leave the task to this high-tech gadget. It will save you time, but it will also make it easier to vacuum floors more frequently. Cleaning is becoming so easy that it is starting to be a chore that is fun!

Housekeepers That Really Ran The Show

When I think of my favorite TV series or movie, my thoughts automatically turn to the characters surrounding the central storyline. They are the ones fighting crime, causing drama, and breaking hearts. If I look a little closer and go beyond the immediate action, I notice there is always someone holding down the fort. This person is frequently the housekeeper; with smooth words, gentle hands, and a huge heart, the housekeeper just might be the one running the show. Here are five famous housekeepers that bring humor, love, and depth to the story.

Mrs. Doubtfire

Who doesn’t love Mrs. Doubtfire with her horrible cooking skills, hilarious expressions, and her big heart? Mrs. Doubtfire is more than just the cleaning lady, he is a father that will risk it all to be close to his kids, so he can repair the relationships hurt by his poor choices. While he wears the mask, he learns more about himself and develops a closer appreciation of the duties involved in raising children while keeping a home. It has been twenty years since its release, but it continues to give us a view of how being a stay-at-home parent is a messy but rewarding job.

Gossip Girl

I will admit that my wife pulled me into the grasp of Gossip Girl, and I might have stopped watching the repetitive drama if it wasn’t for my favorite character, Dorota. At first she sat on the backburner, bowing to Blaire’s every need and want, but slowly we discovered her bolder side. She wasn’t afraid to slip information when it was best for the young Blaire, and rolling her eyes and giving her opinion weren’t ever forgotten. But perhaps my favorite part was when we learned the essential role Dorota had in raising Blaire. She was there for her all the time, and always placed Blaire’s happiness above her own. Dorota was a maid, a detective, a cook, and a friend, but most importantly she was a positive parental influence on Blaire.

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey has an entire wing for housekeepers, but Anna adds her own special essence to the storyline. She has a genuine relationship with both the family and staff that makes her a central player. She goes above and beyond to protect the people she loves, even carrying a dead body from the bed of Mary Crawley. As a maid in the early 1900s, she respects those of authority and higher status, but the Crawley’s look beyond Anna’s title and treat her with the same love and kindness they receive from her.

The Jetsons

Rosie is a robot and that makes her the coolest TV housekeeper around. I remember daydreaming about a future where I could have my own personal Rosie to create me delicious food and polish the home in no time. She certainly has remarkable skills that we can only dream about, but for being a robot, Rosie also makes her way into the hearts of everyone in the family. She adds that extra touch of stability and smarts that the Jetsons can lean on when the world is a mess.

The Brady Bunch

Alice was a member of the family like all the Bradys, but she was personal favorite. Her down-to-earth nature made it easy for the children to comfortably seek advice and share personal problems. With a blended family, having a safe place to go was exactly why Alice was the mediator for the Bradys. With an outside perspective, she could see the views of both sides and help everyone find middle ground. Alice proves that housekeepers are silently directing the family and helping them get to where they need to be.

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The Best Kept Secrets in New York City

It comes as no surprise that I love New York City. The Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, and Times Square are all places every tourist around the world has scribbled down on their bucket list. They add beauty, awe, and history, but they are only the icing on a delicious cupcake; there is so much more to be explored beneath the surface. New York City has something new to be found around every corner including fantastic food, excellent entertainment, and historical sights. Here are eight hidden secrets you might not know are lurking around the streets of New York City.

Berlin Wall Sections at the Paley Park

Most people casually walk by 520 Madison Ave without blinking an eye at parts of the Berlin Wall. These five sections have been covered with artwork by German artists, but if you look a little closer you will see this piece of history that was brought here in 1990.

Saint Augustine’s Episcopal Church Slave Galleries

I always wince at thought of slavery, but it is a shameful time that we cannot erase from our history. If you step inside the Saint Augustine’s Episcopal Church, you can explore the slave galleries that were designed for African-Americans to listen and worship without being seen by others.

New York City Transit Museum

I have a soft spot for museums, as I love watching the evolution of technology and development. The New York City Transit Museum is not a museum thousands are flocking to see, but it doesn’t fail to impress. Inside you will see exhibits covering the history of the transit system since the 1900s. It is remarkable to see the changes that have come in such a short amount of time.

Quaker Cemetery in Prospect Park

This park has been around for years, but surprisingly the Quaker burial ground has a few years on it. In 1849, a cemetery was built to burry Quakers, and soon after it was developed into a park. The graves are fenced off, but you can access it on a tour or while attending an event.

Grimaldi’s

Every New Yorker knows about the addicting Grimaldi’s pizza that has people standing impatiently in line. So why is it on my list if its deliciousness is obviously not a secret? If you head over to Limelight Marketplace, you can get your cheesy slice of pizza and fulfill your cravings without waiting forever in line. It is one foodie secret that I am scared to share; I don’t want my favorite quiet spot to get too crowded!

The Brooklyn Bridge’s Cold War Bunker

While you can’t access this bunker, I couldn’t help but add it to the list for Brooklyn sights. The Brooklyn Bridge is definitely a place you will want to visit, but while you are there, take a moment to ponder this hidden vault. During a mandatory inspection, workers stumbled upon a hidden area containing large amounts of medical supplies, crackers, blankets, and water stored in containers.

Hotbox

If you are looking to enrich your nightlife, this hidden night club above Gallow Green is one place you simply cannot pass up. The red velvet carpet, jazz music, and dim lighting set the mood for a night you won’t forget. It is barely advertised, if at all, but don’t shy away when it is still open to the public.

Staten Island Boat Graveyard

Cemeteries give us a small peak at a person’s life, but a boat graveyard holds something completely different. Pieces of ships wash up the on shores of Staten Island, and the boats half submerged draw you in with their eerie stature. The boats are a unique mark of everything New York City has to offer, and they show how diverse the hidden secrets in this city are.

Brace Yourself For Another New York Winter

As the air gets crisper and the nights grow longer, I hear a familiar sound around the city. It is heard on the street corner, it lurks in the coffee shop, and many times, its whispers follow me through the aisles at the grocery store. What is this looming sound? It is the familiar moaning and groaning that escapes the mouths of New Yorkers in the winter months. Winter seems to bring out the grumbles in even the cheeriest people, but the cold doesn’t have to be endless months of misery. With a little winter preparation, you can brace yourself for the cold so you can enjoy the beauty it brings around the city.

Supply the Car

When I was in my college years, I was too cheap and forgetful to buy an ice scraper. It seemed unnecessary when I had a perfectly good driver’s license to scrape the ice off of the windows. It did the trick for many months… until it snapped in half. Now, I refuse to go anywhere without an ice scraper stored safely in my car. Windshield wiper fluid is another must, as a few squirts usually help the ice melt off faster. In case my car breaks down, I also have an emergency kit along with a few snacks and a heavy blanket in my trunk.

Wear Lip Balm and Lotion

The dry air can cause irritation and chapped lips in a few short days. I always carry Chapstick in my pocket and apply it regularly throughout the day. Lotion in a purse or bag can be rubbed in whenever you feel the dryness affecting your skin.

Insulate the House

One of the biggest complaints about winter, besides the cold, is the increased gas and electric bill. Many people don’t realize that this high bill can be cut in half with good windows, doors, and insulation. Yes, you might not have the money or means to replace your windows, but you can help insulate your home. Add weatherstripping to the floors near the doors. Buy insulation and add a layer inside the roofline. Purchase caulk and take an hour to fill in any holes where cold air can seep in.

Protect Water Pipes

Frozen water pipes can be a complete nightmare, but you can protect your water pipes to prevent a mess. Locate pipes that are susceptible to freezing and insulate them by wrapping them with heat tape. Prepare for winter by shutting off water on the outside, unhooking hoses, and draining faucets and pipes outdoors. To protect indoor pipes, keep your home continually heated above 55 degrees even if you are leaving on vacation for a few days. If pipes do freeze, know where the valves are to turn the water off to prevent a pipe from bursting, and always call a professional plumber for help.

Dress Appropriately

Anyone who tells you “New York winters aren’t that cold” should be marked down as clinically insane and left off your friend list. It gets cold in New York, and the only way to comfortably enjoy a walk on the street or a ride in your car is to dress appropriately. Before deciding on what to wear, remember that it is all about layers. Long sleeves, sweaters, pants, and thick socks should be worn under a heavy coat, boots, hats, and scarves. It is a great excuse to do a little shopping, so you can look good while you tackle the cold.

9 Ways To Help The Big Apple Shine

As the holiday season approaches, there is no better way to celebrate than serving others. I love the smells, weather, busy streets, parks, and entertainment bursting throughout New York City. There is something amazing about this magical place, but as I enjoy the countless activities, I often get the itch to give back. If you love New York City as much as I do and you want to show your appreciation through volunteer work, here are nine ways you can help the Big Apple shine.

Donate Items

There are always going to be people in the world who need a warm coat for the winter, boots for the rain, and clothes to wear daily. If your children have outgrown clothes or you have a closet filled with items you never wear, think about donating items to people in need. New York Cares is an organization that is always looking for volunteers or donations for their yearly coat drive.

Serve at a Food Bank

Helping at a food bank is something every citizen must experience at least once in their life. It always makes me appreciate what I do have and makes me realize what truly matters in life. If you volunteer once, it won’t be a single event; you will yearn for the opportunity to go back.

Plant Trees

New York City might be known for its massive skyscrapers, but if you look beyond the bricks and steel, you will still see plenty of green. Planting trees and flowers is just another way to help the Big Apple to continually look beautiful.

Enlighten People

One of my favorite things to do is read to children. I love watching their eyes light up with each turn of a page. NYC Service has countless volunteer opportunities that include everything from cleaning the streets to giving your time to another person. Spend a few hours with the elderly, share a talent, teach children, and tutor teens. There are plenty of ways to brighten people’s spirits, minds, and lives. You can find NYC Service on Facebook to get continual updates on volunteer opportunities and events.

Prevent Suicide

Suicide is a devastating tragedy that happens daily across the country. What better way to give then working to save lives? The Samaritans of New York have one single goal: to prevent suicide. Trained volunteers give a few hours a week to answer phone calls from those dealing with suicidal thoughts and depressed feelings.

Pick up Garbage

There are plenty of organizations based on cleaning New York City parks and streets, but you don’t have to be a part of a group to pick up garbage. On the way to work or as you jog through the park, make it a goal to pick up ten pieces of litter on every trip. It might not make an instant difference, but if everyone helped, there would be no more trash to reach for.

Volunteer at a Shelter

Choose to spend one day a month, or even just one day a year, working at a homeless shelter. There is always something to do between serving food, cleaning beds, and helping people feel comfortable and warm.

Clean up a Park

If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation has several programs available. You can rake leaves, paint benches, weed gardens, and water the trees. Their goal is to make the parks safe, comfortable, visually appealing, and a place families, children, and individuals want to come.

Recycle

Picking up the garbage in streets, gardens, and buildings will definitely help the city shine, but finding a place for the trash can be a tight squeeze. Recycling is the only answer to cut back on garbage, keep the city green, and save resources. There are plenty of things to do to help New York City look, feel, and be a better place, and it only takes a smidgen of our time.

Quick and Painless Ways to Clean and De-clutter Your Office Space

We all have an office space somewhere. It might be that table at the side of your bed or an entire room covered with cabinets and fancy doors, and for many, it is the cubicle you’re assigned to at work. No matter where it is, if you are at all like me, it can get disorganized fast. I have definitely had my fair share of days where I stuff everything in the drawer and refuse to open it for a month, but over time, I have learned a few tricks to get my office straightened quickly and without pain. Here are seven tips for cleaning and keeping an office organized and uncluttered.

Use Storage and Organization Containers

The dollar store is seriously my favorite place to go shopping for organization supplies. They have tons of totes, holders, and small storage containers for the entire home. Bring a few bucks and shop to your heart’s desire. Then, bring it all home and quickly sort through the office mess.

Leave Only the Essentials Out

It is tempting to organize everything nicely on your desktop, but in about a week, it will all become one massive mess. Leave the things you use regularly at arm’s reach, but everything else should be shut in the drawer, placed in the file cabinet, or stored in a cupboard.

Use a Filing Cabinet

I don’t know why it took me so long to get a filing cabinet; it makes my life a million times easier. I have two small drawers for my most important documents. It keeps the papers I never use out of the way, but when I need to grab my birth certificate, car title, or Social Security card, using the cabinet makes it fast and easy.

Eliminate the Extra Containers

This might sound like an oxymoron seeing as I just told you to go on a shopping spree at the dollar store, but keep the containers simple. Don’t have a place for blue pens, one for black pens, and a special container for mechanical pencils. Place them together. It makes it easier and quicker to maintain organization; you don’t want to be sorting through containers when all you need to do is put the dang pencil away!

Have Trash and Recycle Bins Handy

When I mess up writing on a paper, I don’t want to get up and walk to the other room. I want to throw it away right then, and if a garbage can isn’t handy, it gets shoved with a bunch of other papers. Have a small garbage or recycle can under the desk, so you can quickly toss papers without thinking.

Sort Papers

I love having a paper-sorter on my desk. It makes it easy to grab a blank sheet, but it also leaves a place for completed work and unfinished work. I will often keep my bills on the very top shelf so I am reminded to pay them every time I sit down.

Keep Cleaning Supplies Nearby

If you have room in a bottom drawer, keep a travel-sized bottle of cleaner and a rag inside. Whenever you spill, smudge the computer screen, or see some dust buildup, grab the cleaner and do a quick wipe of the area. This helps you keep up on cleaning and makes the process a quick and convenient one. After all, when it comes to organizing the office, doing it fast and getting it over with are my two favorite things.

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