The flowers are blooming, the birds are serenading,
and our house still feels like it's stuck with winter blues. Spring
cleaning is a tradition that allows us to freshen up our homes and
get a head start on the hectic seasons of spring and summer.
With everything you have in your regular schedule where will you
ever find the extra time to organize your closet let alone set up
a filing system for your home office? And that mail—it just
keeps pouring in. We all stress about not being able to find things
at times, and we all need to stop apologizing and feeling guilty
for not being organized or for the “mess.”
We are busy people and we have to prioritize. What is more important—picking
your daughter up from school or “decluttering” the living
room? What is more important—meeting your client’s deadline
or purchasing a shoe rack? As soon as we acknowledge that we just
can’t do it all, life gets easier.
The other important thing to remember is that the clutter didn’t
appear overnight. Usually a major life event (marriage, move, death,
birth, job change, etc.) throws us off. We get out of our routine,
assume new responsibilities, and our priorities.
This guide is meant to give you the tools and tips you need to
shift and develop a plan to reduce the stress of feeling disorganized
Spring Cleaning Tips
Here are some tips to help you with your spring cleaning and organization.
- Determine areas to clean and customize lists to help clean
- Analyze the reasons why an area of your
home is unorganized.
- Make a basic cleaning supply list, and
purchase cleaners for special surfaces.
- Organize and implement a family spring cleaning
- Create an organizational plan for storing, documents, papers,
and seasonal clothing.
- Effectively manage clutter with the 4 container
method. (Trash, Give Away/Sell, Storage, Put away)
- Organize and conduct and garage sale.
- Implement the behavior changes associated
with keeping the mess clean.
Analysis --> Implementation
Grab a spiral notebook and a pencil. Take a few minutes and mentally
survey each room. In your notebook, jot down the problem areas in
the room, putting one problem on a page. You’ll need the rest
of the space on that same page for the following steps. The items
on the paper should be parts of the room that really bug you, or
that your family finds impossible to keep neat.
Shoes in piles next to your front door; the table in the entryway
piled with mail; the magazine rack overflowing with books, magazines,
and pamphlets; the coats, hats, and mittens etc piled in a heap
next to the entryway closet. Carefully (but quickly) analyze each
room in the house in this way, making a list of the areas that need
Here are rooms or parts of your home not to forget about:
Storage, including attic, basements, crawlspace
Tip: We don’t always see the disorder in these areas
until we open them and try to find things.
Analysis of Reasons
For each of the problem areas in a room, figure out why the disorganization
and mess is happening. I find this most easily done if you are actually
in the room you are surveying. All answers are acceptable here,
including the fact that you live with slobs. Usually there is more
than one reason why an area of your home is continually unorganized.
Why are there shoes piled up next to your doorway? You like
people to take off their shoes when they come in. No one in your
family wants to take their shoes all the way to their rooms, andthere’s
not enough room in the closet for all the shoes to fit, etc.
Why are the magazines overflowing? You may realize that you
have issues of Good Housekeeping from the 70’s in there, or
a magazine you bought only for the fudge praline cake recipe on
Continue this process for each of the problems in the room. Write
down the reasons for each problem in your notebook, then move to
the next room. When you’re done analyzing all your problem
areas go on the next step.
Step 3: Solutions
Now comes the fun part. Let’s find ways we can fix the problems.
Think about habits, behaviors, and tools that can make those messes
Do you need some sort of a tool for organization to help your problem?
Is the problem a habit that just needs to be enforced and practiced?
Is it a combination of containers or tools and habits that need
to be changed?
Many of the problems you will encounter will require organizational
tools and behavioral changes. Keep in mind that the best organizing
system of shelves, hooks, and labels does no good if it isn’t
The junk mail is piling up on your table. Do you need a sorter
directly on the table? Maybe the person going through the mail initially
needs to be responsible for sorting out the junk (which is 98% of
the mail at my house). If you have a lot of different people in
your home that receive mail, try giving each person in the house
their own mail organizer in their rooms. Older children could then
be responsible for their own mail, thinning out the amount you have
to go through. What about switching your family to automated bill
paying? Many utility companies today allow your utility bills to
be deducted from your checking account automatically. You may still
receive mail concerning receipt of payment, but at least these can
be filed easily without worry that you’ll forget to pay.
Don’t forget about tools that may aid you in organizing problem
areas. What if you put an over-the-door shoe organizer in the entryway
closet? Do you need extra coat hooks? Would a bowl on the entry
table specifically for keys eliminate the chances of having to dash
around the house for 15 minutes in search of them every morning?
Try to come up with brainstorm ideas for each problem.
Find solutions to the problems that annoy you most. Check the detailed
room links on this website and the general links provided to find
some solutions. Call your friends and ask them what they do to combat
the problem. Enlist your family’s help to find out what would
enable them to organize more effectively. If you hold a family meeting
where everyone has a voice, you may find that those slovenly family
members actually have good ideas. Make decisions about what you
are going to try in your own home. Write down the solutions you’ve
If when you went through your home you had only a few problem areas,
then you’re lucky and you can probably implement all of your
changes immediately. Begin by making a list of the tools needed
from your lists of solutions (Step 3). Buy the tools that you need
and set them up in their new home. Warning: organizational tools
will not help if you don’t use them! You must also start to
implement the behavior changes associated with keeping the mess
Force yourself to remember to put your keys in the new bowl. Enlist
your family’s help. If they see dad’s keys on the kitchen
sink, have them take the keys and put them in the key bowl. You
may find that initially some family members (I’m not naming
names) find it annoying that their routine of keeping their things
wherever they happen to throw them down is being interrupted. Be
patient. The relief of always knowing where these items are will
win them over in the end.
Keep yourself and your family honest by reviewing the room with
your list in hand once a day. It may be best to do this at the same
time each day. If it was done right before dinner, the family could
then discuss problems or successes over the meal. Have you kept
up with the changes needed? Have others? Evaluate yourself daily
until the room suddenly seems to have removed itself as the source
of your frustration.
If you have substantially more work to do, do not expect that you
will be able to instantly do the changes that you desire, especially
if your solutions involved hundreds of dollars of organizing equipment.
It may be necessary for you to pick one room at a time to overhaul.
Follow the same steps for the overachievers above who are already
almost perfect. If you have a lot to do in one room you may have
to set aside a Saturday to put together and install shelves, racks,
etc. Try to involve your family as much as possible. Add other rooms
and areas of your home as you see how you and your family maintain
the ones that you’ve begun. If you are diligent there may
actually be a day when someone says, “Have you seen my…”
and you’ll be able to answer, Yes!”
Basic Cleaning Supplies
Dust Mop or
Vacuum Cleaner Dusting Attachment
Dusting Spray and/or
Trash Can Liners
General Surface Supplies
Kitchen Cleaner or Wipes
Bathroom Cleaner or Wipes
Special Surface Supplies
Automatic Dishwasher Detergent
Upholstery Spot Remover
Laundry Stain Remover
Toilet Bowl Cleaners
Soft Scrubbing Cleaner
Silver or Metal Polish
Floor Cleaning Supplies
Storage and Organizing Supplies
Labels or Labelmaker
4 Container Method
to Manage Clutter
Organizing the Method
Have you ever tried to get rid of the clutter in your home? Haphazardly
we walk through our homes searching for stuff we don’t need.
Oddly enough each item seems to call out to us with its greater
purpose in the scheme of our lives. You’ve heard the phrase
that clutter takes on a life of its own, well now it is time for
drastic measures that give clutter a life far away from yours.
Find 4 boxes and label them with the 4 categories.
Trash- This should include any item that you do not need or want,
but that is not donatable or sellable. Damaged and broken items
should be included in the trash if they are not worth someone buying
it and repairing it.
Give Away/Sell- Be generous. Think about the uses someone else
might get out of the items vs. the use it gets in your home buried
in cabinets or closets. Consider the financial benefits of selling
your stuff at a garage sale.
Storage- Put items in here that you cannot part with but do not
need on a regular basis. Make an inventory of the items as you box
them. Group similar items together. Remember one good way to clean
out closets is to store out of season clothing. Get tips on proper
storage of clothing.
Put Away- This should be your smallest category. These are items
that need to be out on a regular basis. Monitor yourself by determining
if you have a place for each item. If the items in this box will
not fit into your home without cluttering an area up, try to reassess
if you really need them. If you do need these “essentials”,
try to come up with a storage solution that fits into your home.
Creating a Cleaning
Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Seasonal Cleaning Tasks
Creating a cleaning schedule can be a confusing job. How often
do cleaning tasks need to be performed? How long does a particular
job take? What chores are considered daily, weekly, monthly, or
seasonal tasks? The truth is that no one schedule will work perfectly
for the same two people. If your home has small children, you may
find that weekly tasks need to be performed daily to prevent getting
behind. If you live alone, some daily tasks may only need to be
done weekly. Allergy sufferers, and people with breathing issues
may need to perform certain tasks on a more frequent basis. Use
the following guidelines as a starting point to developing your
own daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal cleaning schedule.
Daily Cleaning Chores
Daily cleaning chores are the absolute minimum that must be done
on a daily basis to keep a home clean. Depending on the type of
household you live in, some of these chores may even need to be
done more than once during a day.
Weekly Cleaning Chores
Although most of these chores don’t require daily work, they
are still some of the most important tasks that need to be done
in our homes. Some items may need to be completed more often. Scheduling
these chores in addition to your daily chores will help you maintain
order and cleanliness in your home.
Monthly Cleaning Chores
Monthly cleaning chores are my favorite weekend chores. These are
areas of your home that can afford to be neglected during your daily
and weekly cleaning sessions, but ultimately a good thorough monthly
cleaning is needed.
Seasonal Cleaning Chores
Although seasonal cleaning chores are important, they are usually
the most forgotten parts of home maintenance. Our attention is only
needed in these areas two to three times a year, but it is vital
to maintaining and cleaning our homes.
Daily, Weekly, Monthly,
and Seasonal Cleaning Chores
Daily Cleaning Chores - What You Need To Do
1. Clean Dishes
Why Clean Dishes Daily
Maybe you've never seen what happens to a sinkful of dishes left
to sit, but it isn't pretty. Smells, stains, and odd fungal growth
usually go with forgotten dirty dishes. Cleaning dishes daily is
the best choice all around.
2. Wash Laundry
Why Wash Laundry Daily
Not every family needs to wash laundry daily, but many of us find
that at least a daily load of laundry is necessary. With work clothes,
school uniforms, soccer practice clothes, and sports uniforms, our
families can generate a lot of dirty clothes. A daily load can help
prevent a mad dash to find a baseball jersey in the bottom of a
3. Tidy Up
Why Tidy Up Daily
Doing a little clutter control on a daily basis keeps your home
ready for company at a moment's notice. A few minutes of picking
up each day also prevent your home from turning into a disaster
zone that will take hours to plow through. A tidy room makes a big
difference in our motivation to tackle bigger projects. Use the
15 Minute Cleanups as a daily help to keep your main rooms ready
4. File Papers
Why File Papers Daily
If you don't file daily, you risk piles of papers on every surface
in your home. Between junk mail, letter offers, school papers, and
receipts, paper can overtake our homes before we even realize it.
It only takes a few minutes each day to prevent a major pileup.
Weekly Cleaning Chores -
What To Clean Weekly
Vacuuming your home on a weekly basis prevents buildups of dust
that can trigger allergies and respiratory issues for your family
and guests. While high traffic areas may need to be vacuumed on
a daily basis, other areas of the home need a good once-over once
a week. Vacuuming flooring adds years to the life of your floors.
Don't Forget to Vacuum...
Through no fault of our home, dust collects on every surface, leading
to breathing issues, dull looking surfaces, and the need to dust
weekly. A good weekly dusting staves off the need for more in depth
cleaning on a regular basis. Be sure to dust from top to bottom
to prevent settling. Consider using a vacuum attachment to suck
up the dust, or a good microfiber cloth to trap dust particles.
Don't Forget to Dust...
There are some areas of our homes that receive such frequent use,
they need to be tended to on a weekly basis. This preventative cleaning
keeps these rooms and areas ready to serve our home, and keeps buildups
of dirt and damage from requiring more intense cleaning later.
Don't Forget to Clean...
Entry and Patio Doors
Shake Out Door Mats
Straighten Books and Magazines
Change Linens in All Rooms
Clean Kitchen Sink
Wipe Down Kitchen Appliances
Microwave (inside and out)
Spot Clean Walls
Clean Leftovers from Fridge
Gather and Take Out Trash
Monthly Cleaning Chores
- What To Clean Monthly
Dust Ceiling Fans
If it has been awhile since you've cleaned your ceiling fan, take
a look up. You're likely to see a ton of dust and dirt clinging
to your ceiling fans. Dust the ceiling fan at least once a month
to keep it looking nice and functioning well.
Clean Light Fixtures
Cleaning light fixtures on a monthly basis keeps your globes and
fixtures from dulling and becoming encrusted with dust and bug remains.
Dust Air Vents
You may not notice the air vents in your home regularly, but they
can quickly buildup dust around the vent and wall areas. Dust them
down monthly to keep dust from blowing out into your rooms.
Even families without small children will discover occasional marks
on the walls of their home. Spot clean the walls of your home to
remove crayon marks, furniture scuffs, dust, and splatters. Food
preparation, eating areas, and the place you store your trash will
be likely candidates for a monthly wall wipe-down.
Clean Window Treatments
Curtains and drapes may need to be washed, cleaned, or dusted out
on a monthly basis. Blinds that attract dust will need to be wiped
down as well. Be sure to check the manufacturer's instructions for
your window treatments before cleaning.
Besides the quick dusting that you do on a daily and weekly basis,
more intensive dusting needs to be done monthly. Dust behind furniture
and appliances. Dust window sills, ceilings, and baseboards. Don't
forget to dust down doors, molding, and hidden corners were cobwebs
Vacuum Inside Furniture
I don't know how so much stuff finds its way into the depths of
the sofa, but a monthly cleaning and vacuuming is likely to reveal
many long lost items, and quite a bit of dirt. Go down into the
crevices to pull out items that need to be kept. Next, vacuum out
the inside of the couch.
A monthly cleaning for windows includes cleaning the inside of
the glass and wiping down the windowsills. Use a glass cleaner to
remove streaks and spots on the interior of the windows. If you
wait for an overcast day, you'll reduce the streaking and spotting
on the glass.
Spot Treat Carpet and Upholstery
Check for spots on the carpet and upholstery and spot treat the
stains. Be sure to test the stain treater in an inconspicuous spot
before applying liberally. If it's been awhile since your carpet
was last cleaned, it may be time to schedule a shampooing.
Check Smoke Alarms
Double check that your smoke alarm is functioning properly. Change
the batteries if needed. Be sure to dust down the smoke alarm to
keep it in working order.
To keep your air conditioner running smoothly, you'll need to change
the filter monthly. This is a good time to check your vacuum cleaner
filters and clean or replace them.
Deep Clean Appliances
Our appliances take a lot of abuse. At least once a month, treat
them to a deep cleaning that renews them to their original glory.
Use a good oven cleaner to remove baked on drips and overflows from
your oven. Remove everything from your refrigerator and freezer
and wipe them down thoroughly. Toss any outdated food. Be sure to
place new boxes of baking soda in both to help control odors. Scrub
down the inside and outside of your microwave oven.
Seasonal Cleaning Chores
- What To Clean Seasonally
A thorough window cleaning each season will remove a huge amount
dirt and grime. It's also a good time to check the weatherstripping
and seals of your windows to make sure no repairs are needed.
Wipe down the outside of your exterior doors seasonally to remove
months worth of dirt. This periodic cleaning will keep your entrances
looking fresh and clean, and prevent permanent staining on your
We may focus much of our attention on the inside of our homes,
but occasionally the outside needs some attention too. Clean grills,
patio furniture, and gutters. Landscaping may need some cleanup
and attention too.
Heating and Cooling Units
Seasonally, be sure to inspect and perform maintenance on your
heating and cooling units. Replace filters. Clean vents and make
sure that no furniture or other debris are blocking vents. A professional
inspection and maintenance can be a great way to keep your heating
and cooling units in working order. Don't forget about fireplace
maintenance as well.
Maintaining some of our expensive appliances is as simple as an
occasional inspection. Inspect hoses and cords on your appliances.
Vacuum the coils on your refrigerator. Cleaning the vent and exhaust
areas of your dryer seasonally will prevent a fire. Clean lint and
debris from around your dryer as well, and be sure to examine hoses
for signs of damage.
A seasonal closet overhaul is a great idea to keep closet areas
from overflowing with junk. Go through all of your closets and pantry
to remove clutter and organize. Be sure to make sure seasonal clothing
is being stored properly.
Declutter and Begin
Garage Sale Organizing
Sometimes the pile of “garage sale stuff” in your home
doesn’t seem worth the effort involved in organizing a sale.
Take heart. In just a few steps a week you can organize an extremely
successful sale and clear out the clutter from your home.
Declutter and Gather in Bedrooms and Closets. Learn to declutter
the entire house.
Organize and meet initially with neighbors and family to have a
Make up a flyer inviting everyone to participate in a block garage
sale. Make sure to list a time for interested parties to get together
to meet. Having individual sales at each home will make the block
an attraction without having to coordinate setup and pricing with
a large group of individuals. Basically the group needs to decide
on a day about 4 weeks away. Advertising strategies can be discussed.
The cost of a newspaper ad could be split between participants.
Decide ahead of time to not allow early sales as a courtesy to neighbors
who may not be participating, and to customers who may be disappointed
on arriving on time to find the item they wanted sold.
If there is no one interested in participating in the sale in
your neighborhood, coordinate friends and family to participate.
Larger sales attract more people.
Check out the regulations for your community.
Does each household need a permit?
What are the regulations for advertising with signs?
What are the time and day constraints for your community
Begin saving plastic grocery bags to use.
Declutter and Finalize
Declutter and Gather in Living Areas.
Finalize plans for a date and time frame.
Inform interested neighbors and family.
Decide on advertising. If your home is in an area with a lot of
traffic, signs may be enough to drive people to your sale. Consider
advertising at online sites like Garage Sale Source or G-Sale.
If you really want to ensure a good turnout, advertise in the newspaper.
Garage sale enthusiasts use the newspaper to decide which sales
they will visit. List your one of a kind items. Stress items you
know people will be looking for (brand name kids clothes, baby items,
tools, fishing equipment, furniture, specific collectibles, Little
Tykes toys, etc.) Make sure to list your address, date, and time.
Be sure to stress “No early sales.”
Arrange for a babysitter if needed for the date of the sale.
Declutter, Gather, and Sort
Declutter and Gather in Storage Areas, Attic, Garage, Sheds, etc.
Coat hangers for clothes.
Tables for items.
Boxes for free items.
Posters for posting prices. This will keep you from having to answer
Grocery sacks to bag items.
Tagging items, (masking tape, tags, markers, etc.)
A rack to hang clothes on.
Drinks and snacks to sell to hungry thirsty customers.
Begin sorting items according to price. Then price the sorted
Find an appropriate donation site for items leftover. Call ahead
to determine if the charity will pick up the donations after the
sale. Be sure to find out what items they will not accept.
Finish Up, Plan, Sell, and Donate
Declutter Kitchen and any leftover areas of your home.
Sort items into category groups like clothing by size, books, knickknacks,
house wares, tools, toys, baby items, movies, etc.
Finish pricing items. Remember your goal is to get rid of this
Plan out your yard area. Big items line the driveway to attract
people. Clothing on racks. A giveaway box. Kids with a concession
Get lots of change to use for the sale.
The Day Of:
Don’t sleep in. Take the time early in the day to get ready
and set up. Customers will begin coming as soon as you’ll
let them in. The early morning is one of your busiest times.
Post signs in the places you’ve planned.
Setup all of your tables, items, concessions, etc.
Sell, Sell, Sell. Be prepared for customers to bargain.
Donate the rest. Don’t let yourself bring the clutter back
in. Remind yourself that you don’t need it.
Take down any signs promptly.
Garage sales are a great way to get rid of clutter and make your
home more organized. Following this four week plan will allow you
to free up space in your home while filling up your wallet.
Setting up your Home Office
Setting up or renovating your home office
Even the smallest home office provides an opportunity to establish
a space custom-tailored to your personal tastes and work habits.
Choose the furnishings wisely and arrange them efficiently to create
an office you'll be comfortable and productive in.
1. Measure the room and make a rough blueprint, including locations
of windows, doors, electrical outlets and heating ducts. Cut out
paper shapes to scale for furniture and large pieces of equipment
so you can experiment with different layouts.
2. Position your desk first. If space allows, an L- or U-shaped
desk is ideal. Pair it with a good chair, preferably one that is
ergonomically sound. If your chair's height is not adjustable, get
a footrest to ease the strain on your back. Add a hinged drop leaf
to the shorter end of an L-shaped desk. Flip it up when you need
more work space.
3. Use several adjustable task lights in the room rather than relying
on a single ceiling fixture. Reducing overhead lighting will cut
down the glare on a monitor's screen.
4. Place a small table (one of the most underrated home office
furnishings) alongside the desk. A two-tiered unit is ideal; use
the lower shelf for reference material, the upper for a file of
items you're currently using. If space allows, place a large table
parallel to your desk. You'll find it incredibly useful for laying
out research material or large projects in progress. Folding tables
are cheap, portable and storable.
5. Track your workflow and arrange furnishings accordingly. Frequency
of use is the key to location. Put those things you use most often
closest to you and equipment you use less frequently on a credenza
or bookshelf. Don't devote prime real estate in your office to a
fax machine or copier that you need only occasionally, for instance.
6. Add a second comfortable chair, along with a good reading light,
to the room. It's relaxing to get up from your desk chair occasionally
and do some of your reading in a different chair.
7. Set a tiny table--or hang a single shelf--right next to the
door to hold outgoing mail. Now you'll never leave the room without
the letters and parcels that need to leave with you.
Overall Tips & Warnings
Mount your computer monitor on a swing arm to save space on a small
Add a drafting table if you do much drawing or writing by hand.
An angled surface for this type of work will reduce pressure on
If you tend to cradle the telephone receiver against your shoulder
during long conversations, you're inviting neck and shoulder muscle
spasms. Keep pain at bay with a headset. When it's not in use, hang
it from a small hook attached to the side of your desk.
A hallway just outside the office door can be a good location for
a narrow bookcase to hold reference materials or backup supplies.
Add storage space inexpensively by mounting kitchen cabinets from
a salvage store on the wall above your desk. Look for cabinets designed
to go under the kitchen counter; they're usually more spacious than
standard upper cabinets.
Tips to Organizing your Home Office
Volumes of articles, books and manuals have been written on time
management and organization in the workplace. We read all with good
intentions, but seldom follow through with any real commitment.
What does it mean to be organized? I approach it from the standpoint
of control. Quite simply, being organized is being in control -
to know the status of every aspect of your business at all times.
That is, be in control of your work day, which results in having
more confidence in yourself when dealing with customers, competitors
and supervisors. Let's touch on a few easy ways to begin the process.
A messy, cluttered office can result in incomplete work, missed
deadlines and lost information. Your desk is not a storage locker,
it's a work surface. It is time to remove those piles of paper occupying
your desktop, floor and shelves, or start charging them rent. The
worst decision you can make is not making a decision about those
piles, because no paperwork decision = greater paper buildup. All
documents need to have a home, just as your silverware, pots and
pans and dishes have their specific homes in your kitchen. There
really aren't very many choices for processing paper. Tossing them
into the circular file is a very good option for some. Others to
files for future reference, or your follow up system for papers
you need at some later time, plus an ongoing project system, or
passing some on to staff if you can.
Remember, the time spent searching through your office for a piece
of paper, phone number or customer's address is unproductive time.
Allowing a few minutes each day to process your paperwork pays off
in time saved. As your business grows, so does the amount of paper.
Don't let it pile up, as this is when you lose control and miss
Control how others affect your productivity. Where is it written
that every time the phone rings you MUST answer it? If the constant
intrusions cut your productivity, decide when you will answer it
and when you will let others (staff, voice mail or a message recorder)
answer the phone for you.Occasionally you will need quiet time to
work on a project or report, to prepare a speech or presentation,
or work up an estimate. That's when to let the phone be answered
If your business is home based, establish clear rules for how and
when, if ever, you may be distracted by family members. Let them
know a closed door always means "do not disturb," or "knock
first." This is hard to enforce at times. Explain that by working
uninterrupted, tasks are accomplished expeditiously, and in the
long run you will have more time to spend with family. In a business
office with several people working in a restricted area, the tendency
is to chitchat and gossip during the day. This is a great waste
of productive time. By tactfully removing yourself and discouraging
socializing, you are in control.
Here's the bad news. Taking control and being organized requires
commitment - your commitment - to try something new and to break
old bad habits. The methods and techniques I offer are simple, easy
to learn, and I guarantee they will work and your job will be a
whole lot easier. By being in control of your work day, you'll be
more confident about yourself and your career. You will also notice
that you are less stressed.
Spring Yard Maintenance
Leaves - Rake shrub beds and yards. Bag debris; do NOT rake leaves
into gutters and streets or onto common property or into wooded
Mulch - Apply a couple of inches of mulch to help retain water
to feed your shrubs and plants.
Seeding - This is the time to seed bare or sparse spots. Break
the ground surface with a hard metal rake, sow seed, cover lightly
with topsoil and/or peat moss (to thwart birds and help retain moisture)
and keep moist daily until you see green shoots
Pruning - This is not a good time to prune trees and shrubs that
flower; doing so will prevent or diminish blooms. Wait until after
the blooms have fallen.
Spring Training For Gardeners
They say gardening is great exercise, but few gardeners make the
effort to warm up and stretch the way they would before any other
exercise activity. If there’s a time when that effort is needed,
it’s springtime. After a long off-season of sitting, you need
to ease your body into the stretches, lifting and contortions you
are going to demand of it in the garden.
Here are some reminders for getting in gardening shape and staying
- Pace yourself. Do the hard stuff first, before you’re tired
out and more likely to overexert.
- Don’t hunch. If you squat when you weed, keep your back
as straight as possible and move along as you weed, don’t
reach too far.
- When lifting, always bend from the knees, not the waist, and
try to keep your back straight. Use your thigh muscles to do the
lifting. Move your feet closer to the object you are lifting and
take a wide stance, to balance yourself. Keep the object close to
you as you lift it.
- Don’t lift and twist in the same movement.
- Kneel on both knees at the same time to avoid the temptation
to twist or strain. Use a knee pad.
- Use tools with comfortable handles. Wrap the grip with an old
piece of hose or coat with rubber paint, for gripping comfort. Remember
to change hands from time to time.
- When using long handled tools, stand straight and keep your knees
relaxed. If you need to twist or pivot, step into the twist to ease
tension on the back.
- Get out that wheelbarrow or wagon and use it.
Flower Pruning 101
Deadheading may sound like a cruel way to treat a plant, but if
you want it to flower all summer, do it! Apart from making the garden
much neater, removing fading flowers also prevents plants setting
seed. Setting seed is their reason for living, so they will simply
grow new flowers and try again - and again - and again, giving you
burst after burst of new blooms.
How Is It Done?
Flowers should be removed just after they've peaked. Be vigilant.
Pinching, pruning, snapping and clipping are the methods. Pinch
short-stemmed flowers such as Petunias - as far down the stem as
possible - but prune Roses. Cut the stem diagonally just above the
highest leaf. Plants with one flower per stem should be cut just
above a strong bud. This method works for most plants with long
stems carrying a single flower. Use a pair of handheld shears or
Organizing your home requires the right tools, tips, and methods.
No matter what part of your home needs organized, you can find the
answers. We hope this guide has helped you learn how to organize
specific areas of your home and to figure out what tools will work
for you before you buy them. We also hope that this has helped you
to get rid of clutter, schedule, plan, and organize.
Help sometimes comes at a price or with a hidden agenda,
but our helpful guides have neither. We hope that the information
in our Leewood Times Guides give you starting
points and focus. Our goal is to assist you in making informed decisions.
Here are the links to all the Leewood
345 Money Saving
75 Money Saving Travel Tips
2008 Winter Guide
Times Bar-B-Que Tips & Tricks
Leewood Times Employment
Times Energy Saving Tips Winter
Leewood Times Guide to
Times Guide to Fall Festivals
Times Guide to Going Green
Times Guide to Holiday Entertaining
Guide to Local Farmers Markets
Guide to New Years Resolutions
Guide to Seasonal Allergies & Pollen
Times Guide to Spring Cleaning
Leewood Times Guide to
the Capital Beltway
Leewood Times Guide to Volunteering
Leewood Times Guide to Voting
Leewood Times Spring
Yard Maintenance Tips
Summer Fun Guide
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