Andersens Renovating Series: Organising your home part 1

Whether it’s before a major reno, after or just because you need to get things in order, organising  your home is something everyone needs to do. Most people don’t know where to begin and when they do, they don’t know how to put systems in place to keep things organised once they’ve actually put the time and effort into doing it!

Hopefully these hints and tips can help you on your way!

These are our first 10 tips for you

1. Make a Date with Your Clutter

Your first task is to schedule an appointment with your space.

 

2.  Pick a Target

 

Look around your home and decide what overwhelms you the most. What frustrates you most often? Pick the area that is most maddening and start there.

3. Visualize the End ResultFirst

When most people decide to get organized, their impulse is to head to the store and buy containers. Hold off on the containers for now and work on your vision.

4. Shed the surplus

Go through your target space and remove everything that doesn’t fit with your current needs, goals, and lifestyle. Don’t keep things that might be useful someday—only things that are useful to you today. Do you use this item? Do you need it? Or do you love it? Those are the only three reasons to keep something.

5. Keep three containers handy

As you work to remove the things you no longer need or want, keep three containers beside you: a laundry basket, a bag for donations, and a garbage/recycling bag. Put things that belong elsewhere in the house into the laundry basket. Donate as much as you can to charities and recycle or trash the rest.

6. gather like things together

If you don’t know where to start, work from left to right in the room, or from top to bottom, sorting things as you go. So, gather all pens and pencils together, pile up all of your pairs of pants together, or place all of your cereals in a group.

7. examine your groups

Now that all of your similar things are in one pile, you can make decisions about them. Do you really need 20 pairs of black pants? Seeing them all together can be eye-opening. Get rid of items that are not being used or that are broken. Then narrow each pile down to your favourites. By the end of this winnowing, you can get a group of 20 items down to a few.

8. create themes for your spaces

Assign a broad yet specific theme to every area of your space. If you are working in your kitchen, dedicate one shelf to breakfast foods, one to canned goods, one to grains and pastas, and one to baking supplies, etc. Make sure that items are at a sensible height so that whoever spends the most time in the kitchen can read the labels.

9. Maximize your space

Brainstorm various ways you can make the most of your space. If your pantry shelves are fixed, buy some stackers. These are fibreboard shelves (easy to find at Bed, Bath & Beyond, IKEA, or Kmart) that can give you more space. Canned goods tend to be short, for example, and so you can create two layers of them with an additional shelf. Things that are used most often should get the prime real estate.

10. get things off the floor

Whenever possible, keep things off the floor. This makes them easier to see and keeps the floor free of chaos. This is especially useful in the garage or the garden shed, where you can hang rakes, garden implements, tools, shovels, sleds, and other things, making them much easier to find.

We hope that these little tips have helped you!

Thanks to http://www.ivillage.com for some great information on organising your home!

How to get rid of marks on your floors: Hardwood floors

Hardwood flooring can be difficult to clean using traditional methods as the soft nature of wood makes abrasive cleaners and chemicals generally a no-no. We’ve taken the most common marks found on hardwood floors to give you our advice on removing these marks safely.

Scuff Marks

As you contemplate the scuff marks on your wood floors after last night’s dinner party, you begin to realize why they never let you wear street shoes in gym class.

Luckily, it’s easy to learn how to get scuff marks off hardwood floors using everyday non-chemical household items!

If you have scuff marks on your hardwood flooring, the trick is to rub them off using something that won’t damage your flooring. As always, try these methods on an inconspicuous part of your floor before you try to remove a stain.

Tennis Balls
One method of removing scuff marks from hardwood flooring is to use an old (but clean) tennis ball. With a sharp knife, carefully cut a 1-inch “X” in the surface of the tennis ball. Place the tennis ball over the end of a mop or broom handle.

Gently, by firmly scrub the scuff mark with the tennis ball covered handle.

Erasers
Another method for removing scuff marks from hardwood flooring is to use a large, pink pencil eraser. Make sure the eraser is free from pencil marks or other dirt (a new eraser is the safest) before attempting to remove the scuff mark. Avoid plastic or gritty erasers.

Wipe the scuff mark with a damp sponge, and then rub the eraser over the scuff mark.

Stains

Stains on a hardwood floor are every home owners’ nightmare! They can be unsightly and often quite impossible to remove. When considering what to do with stubborn stains on your hardwood floor, we suggest two possible solutions:

Firstly you’d need to see how deep the stains were. If the stains are shallow (ie have not penetrated very far into the wood) you may be able to simply sand them off and repolish and varnish. It’s best to get professionals in to do this work, as matching freshly sanded areas of your floor with the rest can be a bit tricky!

If the stains are quite deep (a fair bit below the surface) you’d probably need to replace those individual pieces. If the stains are simply surface stains, try using a sharpened blade or putty knife and some mild soapy water.

Tape Marks

Tape marks left on a hardwood floor create a dark area due to debris clinging to the sticky surface. One way to remove tape marks is to sand the sticky surface, stain and seal. However, this tedious process is unnecessary when several natural products provide the same result.

Baking Soda

Firstly sweep the area and remove all debris then pour 2 tablespoons of baking soda into a sauce bowl. Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of water to create a baking soda paste the consistency of stiff mashed potatoes.

Once this is ready, rub the baking soda paste onto the sticky area. Allow the past to dry for approximately 10 minutes. Dampen a lint-free cloth with water. Rub over the baking soda paste to remove the baking soda and unwanted tape residue.

Mineral Oil

Saturate a small area of a lint free cloth with the mineral. Rub the mineral oil over the surface of the tape residue using one or two fingers. Continue to rub the area until the remaining mineral oil is absorbed into the flooring and the lint-free cloth.

Vegetable

Pour a small amount of vegetable or olive oil over the sticky area and allow the vegetable oil to sit on the area from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Next, rub over the area to remove the tape marks. Continue to rub the area until the remaining vegetable or olive oil is absorbed into the flooring and the lint-free cloth.