Thursday, September 28, 2017

Car Clean-Out

The seasons are changing!  It's a good time to clean out the ol' car. 

I added these car magnets recently and have noticed people stopping and staring when I'm in traffic. I can't help but think they might be checking out the inside of my car when I park. Egads! 

Thanks to one of my clients, I discovered that one can actually pay to have their car cleaned out!  It's called car detailing and now I am a total fan.

Before... gross!

                            Check out all that beach sand!  
                                                     So many park stickers and no easy way to remove them...I had tried.

Leaving the sun roof open for years deteriorates the stitching on leather seats, hence duct tape.

So it was very rewarding to have someone else vacuum, scrub and shine the interior of my car.!

 Only current park stickers, removal of beach sand and no more peeling duct tape, mystery stains and dust.

But then the real work began....decluttering.  
I pulled all of this crap out of the storage areas of my car.

Here is what I found (from left to right):  Maps for 3 states, car manual, expired registration!, insurance card, window markers?, sketch of fairy godmother, phone charger, parts and pieces that have broken off car interior, fuses, scissors, barrettes, extra sunglasses - 3 pairs!, eyeglass cleaner and cloth, hand sanitizer, bug spray, first aid kit, zipties, assorted pens/pencils, paperclips, money! (we always find money) 2 flashlights, window scraper, park passes, GPS unit, bluetooth speaker, duct tape, batteries, signal mirror (seriously?), military shovel, workgloves, diesel additive, gardening gloves (oh my!)

There was also some rags and assorted trash.

Some of what I found, stayed in the car and here is what I kept and where it is stored.

In one side trunk compartment, an air pump, handy for blowing up beach toys.

In other side trunk compartment:  A first aid kit.  I restocked it:  snake bite kit, bee sting antidote, needle - for splinters, water purification tablets, matches, firestarter - because Winter! scissors, tweezers, q-tips, triangle bandages, gauze, adhesive tape, assorted band-aids.  Let the adventures begin!

In the trunk compartment:  An inverter - handy for plugging in that GPS when the battery charger breaks - it did!  Extra lightbulbs and fuses, various tools to make car repairs, a handwarmer because Winter! Instructions for the car rack carrier, the signal mirror for survival situations because Winter!, jumper cables, diesel additive, work gloves, shovel, and a few rags.

On top of the trunk, I love using storage totes; one for my cloth shopping bags and wrangling watermelons and other bulky items after grocery shopping and another for my organizing supplies so that I'm always prepared to work with clients.  I got these at Ikea but not sure they are available any longer.  They were the totes that lined their Besta media center but they also fit perfectly in my trunk!

In the driver's side door storage:  Maps, park pass, mileage book, hand sanitizer and business cards - because someone seriously flagged me down from the side of the street to book an appointment!

In the passenger side door storage:  An umbrella, bug spray and a cloth shopping bag - for those impromptu Aldi runs when I forget to put my cloth bag stash back in the car!

In the glove compartment:  GPS, flashlight, window scraper, tire gauge, scissors, flashlight, car manual/registration & insurance card.

Truth be told about that expired car registration. I ended up realizing that I'd thrown away my renewal by accident when I put the tabs on my license plates. So off to the DMV to get a copy.  It only cost me $8.00...phew!  Even organizers sometimes are too organized for their own good.
In the center console: Extra eyeglasses, eyeglass cleaner & cloth, lip balm, sunscreen - because Summer! and tissues.

Lastly, I restocked my coin holder with quarters for the shopping carts at Aldi and the occasional parking meter.

I reattached my phone holder and my organization is complete.

After all that work, I'm ready for a road trip!  And with a GPS, a phone and maps, I am sure never to get lost.

Have you ever had your car detailed before?  I say treat yo'self!

What is the most unusual item you keep in your car?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Come on an Adventure to your Basement

This summer I had the pleasure of organizing a few basements.  It was a fine time to escape the heat and I was grateful for the work.

A basement packed full of unused clutter and boxes of dusty items can weigh down a house and its occupants.  Clients are hesitant to open the door and show me around.  They always say, “I hate coming down here.” as we walk down the steps into the mess.  I feel their pain.

Perhaps you feel this way about your own basement.  Maybe it has become a catch all for grown children’s discards, a memorial of boxes piled high to honor deceased parents or grandparents, a storage area for furniture that doesn’t fit in the rest of the house.  If you’re like most clients, you aren’t even sure what’s down there!

Often it’s the hold out in an otherwise organized home.  After all, it’s off the beaten path, and except maybe to do laundry or change out the furnace filter, it rarely has a visitor.  Without a steady stream of traffic, it is an easy place to neglect.

But, I tell you in all honesty, the day will come when you’ll have to face it.  For some it’s a crisis – such as a sudden divorce or death requiring the house to be cleaned up and sold.  For others it’s a child or relative moving back in and finding nowhere to store their things.  Most likely it is an unpleasant gnawing feeling in your gut that things are out of control and a growing realization that the time has come to handle it.

Isn’t it good to know you’re not alone?  Let’s go an adventure together and see what we find.

Unfortunately, we nearly always find evidence of mice.  They love hiding under and behind items stored on the floor.

 And always spiders too.  They hang out in dark corners and the ceiling.  Grab the vacuum!

So once we get things sorted and areas cleaned up, we designate zones for items that belong together and we try to move as much as we can off the floor.  It makes it so much easier to clean!  

Then label everything!  This step makes it easier to locate items when you need them.

Even your shelves can be labeled!

Oh and we always find money!  The little things can really add up!

When's the last time you took a good look around your basement?

What is the most unusual item you have stored down there?