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Posts Tagged ‘Clean’

Simple Things Can Make Your Life Easier, Better and Happier

45 really simple things you can do in an hour (or less).

  1. Start smart:  Dive into the day with a super healthy, super delicious breakfast. How about the Apple and  Cheddar Tartine a la REAL SIMPLE Magazine: Split a baguette lengthwise, then crosswise (extra points for whole grain); broil until lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Dividing evenly, top with 2 tablespoons apple butter, 1/2 thinlly sliced apple, and 2 ounces sliced Cheddar. Broil until the cheese has melted, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Tackle just one drawer: Pick the one drawer that gets stuck nearly every time you yank it open because it’s too darn packed. Line up three shoe boxes, and start sorting. One is for saving, one is for giving away, and one goes straight to the garbage.  In less than an hour, you’re on your way to a leaner, meaner abode.
  3. Do it now: If a task can be completed in less than a minute, do it on the spot. So instead of putting a glass in the sink, put it in the dishwasher or wash the darn thing.
  4. Hide your keys: Buy a magnetic key holder. Put a spare car key and a spare house key in it, and place it under your car. You will lock yourself out of your car, and doing this will make you feel like the smartest person on the planet.
  5. Waterproof your shoes.
  6. Organize your documents: Learn how to organize your documents and photos on your home computer so you can find files when you need them.
  7. Clean your microwave: Get rid of the funky smell. Martha Stewart likes to put a tablespoon of lemon juice into a micro-safe cup of water, then let it come to a boil (roughly one minute). That loosens the goop on the interior surface so you can sponge the mess away.
  8. Make vinaigrette from scratch: Mix one tablespoon, red wine or white wine vinegar with four tablespoons olive or vegetable oil. Add freshly ground pepper, a nice pinch of salt, maybe a snip or two of fresh herbs or a teaspoon of Dijon mustard.
  9. Buy instant blooms: Buy a soon to bloom plant (maybe a tiny hyacinth) to bring the feeling of spring into your life.
  10. Clean out your T-shirt drawer.
  11. Purge your email: Be ruthless
  12. Reconnect: Send a quick email to one person on your reconnect list.
  13. Get kids organized too: Put some sticky labels on shelves so your kids can put stuff away where you want it.
  14. Create a new contact: When someone sends you an email create the contact right away (or later that day) so you don’t lose their information ever again.
  15. Learn to make a house drink: Find a quick recipe using what you have in your cabinet, practice twice to make sure they are good. Done.
  16. Count to 10: Suddenly overwhelmed by clutter and/or general messiness? Return just ten things to  their rightful places–and yes, the trash can counts as a rightful place, but it also helps to have a bag always at the ready for thrift store donations.
  17. Go for the burn: The Beat-Burn exercise apps deliver amazing workouts in 15-minute increments. A treadmill/outdoor training app and an elliptical app are $4 each on iTunes. lolofit.com
  18. Open a junk e-drawer: Open up a new email account for all the retail, frequent shopper and otherwise less-than-urgent emails. Visit it once a week and dispatch everything you don’t need to the recycle bin.
  19. Add a shelf to your closet: Just one of those white-wire shelves in your closet will reduce the mess.
  20. Do breakfast on the go: Cook your oatmeal in a paper cup. It’s easy to transport to car or bus, and cleanup is a snap–just dump the empty cup in the trash.
  21. Iron tomorrow’s shirt and trousers tonight.
  22. Cook extra rice: Use the leftovers as a base for fried rice.
  23. Organize your bookmarks.
  24. Create a simple filing system for take-out menus.
  25. Get rid of your home phone: If you go with just a cellphone, you have only one set of messages.
  26. Clean out your medicine cabinet: This is a huge boost because chances are you look into your medicine cabinet at key points of the day–early in the morning and before you go to bed at night. It’s amazing what a lift it is to reach for eye cream in a space that’s clean and organized.
  27. Organize your jewelry: Put all of your jewelry on a hanging rack. Seeing all of your necklaces and dangling earrings means no time wasted trying to find accessories in the morning.
  28. Pull wire hangers out of closets and take them to dry cleaner.
  29. Reconcile your Tupperware drawer: Dump the lids and/or containers that don’t have a mate.
  30. Alphabetize your spices: It will make it easier to find them when cooking.
  31. Turn your cans label first.
  32. Sew a button.
  33. Take shoes to a shoe repair.
  34. Write a thank-you note.
  35. Make lunch the night before.
  36. Clean around light switches and door knobs.
  37. Call your mom.
  38. Give your dog a bath.
  39. Do some push-ups.
  40. Polish your nails.
  41. Organize your book shelf: You may find a favorite title you haven’t checked out in a while or a book you just plain forgot to read.
  42. Say goodbye to old bras: Clean out that bra drawer and take the ones you don’t wear anymore to a local shelter.
  43. Create a new playlist.
  44. Celebrate your memories: Put that photo sharing folder to good use. End each day by looking at a photo you haven’t seen for a while. Guaranteed to bring a smile.
  45. Instant recycling: Put a pretty basket near the entrance to your home, and deposit the junk mail and unwanted catalogs as you pass by.
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