Systematically Organize Your Photos

We spent some time decluttering our digital photos yesterday. But getting your photos off your phone and camera are just the beginning. 

Today, let’s spend a few minutes systematically organizing your photos from yesterday. If you jumped ahead, go back to an older album.

Ready? Let’s go!

Supplies Needed:

Instructions:

Start with one photo and systematically work though the batch.

  1. Make sure your photos are in a descriptive folder. Maybe something like year, month, event.
  2. Name the photos to something other than “img_ooo23.jpg”
  3. Tag the photos appropriately (of course this only applies if the program your using has tags).
  4. Back up your photos. Put them in dropbox (it’s free!), on an external hardrive (not free but totally worth it!), somewhere in the cloud, etc.

If you don’t have time to go though all of the steps, set your timer for 5-15 minutes and get to work. Then feel free to quit when the timer goes off. Keeping your photos in order doesn’t have take over your life!

Your assignment for today:

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you! 

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Declutter and Organize Digital Photos

I don’t know about you, but my phone gets cluttered with photos in a hurry. I’m constantly taking pictures of my kids. I take tons of photos for my blogs. There’s Instagram, twitpic, Facebook albums…

Digital photos can be a major source of clutter!

Thankfully we’ve been spending a couple of days working on photo organization each month this year. Hopefully it’s a habit by now. If not, we’re going to keep doing it until it is! You may find it helpful to officially add it to your cleaning schedule.

As for today, let’s get to work!

organize digital phots

Supplies Needed:

  • Phone
  • Camera
  • Computer 

Instructions:

Let’s get motivated to declutter and organize our digital photos. Here’s how…

  1. Connect your phone/camera to your computer and dump ALL of your photos into your photo software program.
  2. Then delete every photo on your phone and camera.
  3. Then….delete any photo that isn’t AMAZING. 

As a reminder, here’s the least painful way to start deleting photos (in my opinion):

  1. Delete duplicate photos.
  2. Compare photos from each event; delete those that don’t convey something special about the event.
  3. Step back and look at the photos from an outsiders perspective. Are there any photos that would be Boring with a capital B to look through?
  4. Keep deleting photos until you’re left with only 2 or 3 of the most captivating photos that tell the story of the event. Of course there may be a few events that you want to keep a few more (i.e. a wedding) but those are the exception rather than the rule.

I know photo deletion is difficult at first. Trust me! I take a LOT of pictures! But it gets easier over time. Mostly because it’s easier – and more fun – to look back at those photos when there are fewer to sift through.

Your assignment for today:

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you! 

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Declutter your Junk Drawer

I’ve mentioned this before and I’ll probably mention it again. I’m a big fan of having a junk drawer. Some may think it’s silly, but I think everyone needs ONE place to stash items quickly…you know, before a friend comes over or when you’re just too tired to find a “real home” for something. 

The only downfall is that you have to clear out the junk drawer periodically.  THAT is the key. Thankfully, by doing something as simple as scheduling a clean out session once a month, it shouldn’t take to long to clean out.

So how about we take care of that junk drawer today?

clean out the junk drawer

Supplies Needed:

  • junk  drawer
  • random stuff :)

If you’re extra motivated, consider getting a junk drawer organizer like this one.

Instructions to declutter your junk drawer:

  1. Open the drawer.
  2. Take everything out.
  3. Trash anything you don’t need anymore.
  4. Put items that have an obvious home where they belong.
  5. Create a home for the other items.
  6. Organize the rest.

That’s it! Set your timer and get to work :)

Your assignment for today:

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you! 

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Declutter ONE Clothing Drawer

I am so excited about today!

You should be too.

Do you want to know why?

Because YOU get to PICK you assignment!!

You get to pick ONE clothing drawer to clean and organize. It can be your least organized drawer, your most organized drawer, the drawer you use the most, the drawer you use the least…ANY drawer.

But, I want you to really do it. If you’ve been lurking in the background just thinking about participating, today is YOUR day. The day to start participating!

messy drawer

Supplies Needed:

  • drawer
  • clothes
  • trash bag or trash can

If you are extra motivated you can check out some of these drawer organizer solutions:

Instructions:

  1. Remove everything from the drawer.
  2. Inspect each item as you neatly fold it to place back in the drawer…
  • If it doesn’t fit, look great on you, or if it’s not in great condition, get rid of it!
  • If it belongs in another drawer, put it in the correct spot.
  • If it would be better hanging in the closet, hang it up.

That’s it! Depending on how well this goes, you just might find yourself plowing through more than one drawer. :)

Your assignment for today:

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you! 

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August Spring Cleaning 365 Calendar

If you’re new here, welcome! You’ve jumped on board at the exact right time.

If you’re a regular, this is the perfect month to keep following along because we are going to focus on paper overload!

Paper clutter is one of those areas that can make your home – and your brain – feel overwhelmed. When you can’t find what you need, bills get paid late, invoices never go out, and you don’t take care of important matters.

Unorganized paper clutter can cost you time and money!!

So let’s take care of that this month.It will be fun!

Take a look at our new calendar for the month and schedule 5-15 minutes each day on your calendar to work on the daily task!

Conquer Paper Clutter by following along with our Spring Cleaning 365 August daily challenges!

Print the Spring Cleaning 365 Calendar August 2014 and PIN the calendar for later. 

I’m looking forward to going on this month long journey with you!

Hop on over to the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group or Facebook to let me know what you think. I can’t wait to hear from you!

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The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness

So last week I mentioned that The Slight Edge is a fantastic book to read if you need motivation to achieve a goal in any area of your life.

Seriously. It’s good.

 

the slight edge

Basically, the author shows you that it doesn’t have to take superhuman leaps to succeed. It just takes consistent, small steps. 

  • If you want to keep your home in reasonable shape, straighten up each day and perform regular maintenance. 
  • If you want to get in better shape, exercise a little bit each day.
  • If you want to become more knowledgeable on a subject, read 15 minutes every day.

Do the small things. And do them consistently. 

You’re probably thinking that those are EASY things to do. Yes. Yes, they are. But it’s also easy to NOT do them.

  • It’s easy to ignore the mess sitting in the corner. Before long, the mess in the corner turns into a mess in the entire room.
  • It’s easy to skip a workout. Then another. And then another. Before you know it, your pants are too tight.
  • It’s easy to skip reading for mindless TV. At the end of the year, you know more about the latest reality TV character than you do about that subject you wanted to learn.

The Slight Edge really does show you how turning simple disciplines into massive success and happiness. I think everyone should read it sometime in their life…preferably sooner than later!

Here’s a recap of the books I’ve recommended so far:

If you’re a reader, I can’t recommend these books enough! Try reading in iBooks or the Kindle to stay clutter-free.
You can read eBooks on most devices using the FREE Kindle Reading App!

Now on to our daily task…

Write down every single thing that you need to accomplish this week. Then schedule those things (but make sure they’re the RIGHT things) on your calendar. That way you’ll know WHEN you will accomplish those things on your to-do list.

It will be 5-15 minutes well spent!

Your assignment for today:

  • Continue working on habit #7.
  • Schedule your to do list on your calendar.

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

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Weekly Review and Catch Up

We’ve almost wrapped up another month of Spring Cleaning — all year! So stay strong. Let’s go into August with some vigor.

If you need to catch up from the week (or just save all of your chores for the weekend), here’s a recap of what we’ve covered:

There you go! 

Finish strong!!

Drop me a note on Facebook, the comment section here, or the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group

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Spring Clean Tile Flooring

How do you like FRIDAY FLOORS? It’s a pretty easy way to remember to deep clean the floors, eh? 

We’ve already deep cleaned the carpet and hardwood. So today let’s focus on tile!

clean tile floors

Supplies Needed:

Instructions to Spring Clean Tile Flooring:

Oh, tile. You wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for that grout holding you together.

For the sake of today’s task, we’re just going to ignore the grout and just tackle the basic cleaning of all the tile floors in our homes. Does that sound okay to you?

Here’s the plan:

  • Sweep your tile flooring to remove all the dust and debris. Better yet, pull out the vacuum and suck it up. Yes, even in the bathrooms. It makes cleaning soooo much easier!
  • Next, remove sticky substances with a nylon pan scraper (or a credit/debit card in a pinch).
  • Finally, mop with your favorite tile floor cleaner. If you don’t have a favorite, this DIY tile cleaner works great!  If you’re physically able, feel free to get down on your hands and knees so you can really see the dirt.

That’s it! I say, “that’s it” like it’s easy. But, I know it’s not. If you don’t have time to follow all the steps, perhaps you could make time to at least sweep/vacuum. Each step will get you closer to a cleaner, more organized home!

BONUS:

If you want a one step gadget to make cleaning hard-surfaced floors a cinch, look into getting a Bissell Symphony All-in-one Steam Mop & Vacuum. It’s kind of expensive but Bissell asked me to review it a few months ago. I liked it then, but the more I use it, the more I love having it! 

With two little boys, my floors get dirty on a daily basis. I always dreaded pulling out the broom and then mop. It just took too long. But now I just pull out the vacuum/steam mop and my floors are sparkling in no time! Seriously, I love it.

Consider adding it to your Christmas list ;)

Your assignment for today:

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you! 

Affiliate links included.

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Spring Clean and Organize Your Freezer

Since we cleaned the refrigerator yesterday, it seems appropriate to clean and organize the freezer today, right? Let’s get started!

spring cleaning the freezer

Supplies Needed:

all purpose cleaner

kitchen dishcloth

Instructions to Spring Clean and Organize Your Freezer:

1. Dump the ice

Every once in a while I like to clean out the ice container. Liquids spill making a mess and people sometimes grab ice with dirty hands, so it just makes me feel better to occasionally clean the ice container. Plus, dumping it in the sink and placing your frozen food in it helps to keep it cold while cleaning out the freezer!

To clean the ice container, dump the old ice out and wash in the sink or wipe down with an all-purpose cleaner.

By the way, if your ice has an odor or bad taste, it could be caused by food odor, bad water supply or an old water filter. One way to tell if it’s caused by food or water is to dump the ice and clean out the freezer. If the bad taste comes back, you should probably check your water.

2. Scrub away

Remove the food from your refrigerator and store it on/in the ice bucket you created in your sink. Then clean the shelves and freezer walls just like you did the refrigerator. You just need a good cloth or sponge, an all-purpose cleaner, and a handy dandy scraper for tough to remove gunk.

My best tip for this is to work fast so your food doesn’t thaw!

3. Re(Stock) the freezer

It’s time to put everything back!

Take note of the food you have when you’re placing everything back in the freezer. I usually just make mental notes but I’m sure a truly organized person would write down the exact food, how much they have and what shelf it’s on! Either way, it’s good to know what you have so you can begin to incorporate the items into your meal plan.

Do you’re best to categorize the food you’re placing back in the freezer:  veggies on one shelf, meat on another, etc. It will help tremendously when you’re looking for something specific.

By the way, if you need some ideas on how to stock your freezer with meals, you can find lot of healthy “real food” recipes in this freezer cookbook, double up on your eMeals menu, or you could finally try once a month cooking! I’m a big fan of all three options!

Have fun cleaning your freezer today! 

Your assignment for today:

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you! 

Affiliate links included.

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Wipe Out Your Refrigerator

As we focus on the large appliances in our kitchen this week, I can’t think of a more used item than the refrigerator. If you have time for a deep clean today, then you can read my suggestions for deep cleaning a refrigerator.

However, if you don’t have time for a deep clean right now, don’t let that stop you! Just take a few minutes to straighten up your refrigerator!

spring cleaning the refrigerator

 

Supplies Needed:

Instructions to Wipe Out Your Refrigerator

  • Set your timer for 5-15 minutes.
  • Pull out old or moldy food hidden in the back of the fridge and dump it in the trash can. Congrats to you if you don’t have this problem!
  • Wipe off the shelves with an all purpose cleaner and cleaning cloth. Just scoot the food over to one side as you clean. If you’re extra motivated, you can take everything out of the fridge before you clean it out.
  • Replace food in an orderly manner.
  • Pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

Your assignment for today:

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you! 

Affiliate links included.

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