1st Anniversary of The Messed up home !

They say that time flies when you’re having fun, and boy are “they” right! Exactly one year ago today, on 30 th June 2015, I hit that “publish” button on my very first blog post. Today, I’m taking you on a little trip down memory lane.

I almost don’t recognize that Prats from a year ago. She was fed up with her “real job”, ready to make a change, and terrified beyond belief that she would fail. She took a giant leap of faith that day… not knowing what would come of it. She wondered if this silly blog idea would be just another failure.

While I see traces of myself in her (the courage to go for it anyway, for example), I stand in awe of the transformation that she was about to go through.

Some days I wish that I could reach back in time and let her know that everything was going to be OK. The new-age mystic part of my brain tells me that maybe I did. Maybe “future me” was that nagging voice in my head back then that said “Prats! You need to do this! Get it out there !”

Either way, I’m happy that I pushed that button. I’m happy that I took that leap of faith, and jumped into a world that I knew nothing about. I’m happy that I stepped way out of my comfort zone and allowed myself to grow in ways that I never even knew was possible before.

CELEBRATING THE PAST

A year  ago I logged on to WordPress.com and started a blog.

It sounds all-too-simple and kind of boring, but that’s exactly how this blog got started.

Actually, there is a little bit more of a backstory…I had heard about this “blogging thing” for sometime, and my interest was piqued.

I had dabbled in some guest posting over the previous year, but hadn’t yet started out on my own.

That attempt, along with the honest advice of an editor, set me off to work on something else which would spark my passion.

Now, I knew I wanted to have a little project all of my own, where I could use my organizational skills, be creative, have fun, and help people in the process.

Plus, I’d heard so much about this blogging thing.

And thus, The messed home  was born.

Who knew that a year later ,, I’d still be at it.

Here I am, finding myself celebrating a milestone of  1 year  blog anniversary, and having lots of wonderful readers from around the world.

It’s been an incredible ride thus far. I’m still in a bit of a haze when I stop to think, and remember that it has been a whole year since I’ve been blogging. Wow, that’s quite a chunk of time!

I’d like to extend a big thank you to my readers, followers, family, and friends. You have all helped me so much to make this blog what it is today.

Through your questions, comments, feedback, and support, I’ve steadily grown the blog, bit by bit. Thank you so much! It means a great deal to me, and I’m so glad I am able to help you, each and every day.

How Can I Help You?

Now, to mark this special occasion, I thought it would be fun to do a Q&A session with you, my dear readers! This is your chance to ask me anything about organization.

Do you have a question about how to organize your home, office, desk, calendar, closet, cabinets, anything else that comes to mind? Go ahead and ask away in the comments below; any and all organization questions are fair game.

Some of you may be new to the blog, and some of you have been with me for some time, perhaps even from the very beginning. You may have read certain organization posts, or topics, and you might have missed some, but, hey, that’s bound to happen when there’s a lot of Posts on the Messed up home

This Q&A session is an open one, please feel free to ask any organizing question that comes to mind in the comments at the bottom of the post. I’ll do my best to help. I’m looking forward to reading your questions. 🙂

Oh, and one last thing…if you like this site, please consider sharing it with others via social media, or perhaps share it with a friend who might find it interesting or helpful. Thanks!

How about you? What question or questions do you have for me when it comes to organizing? I’m here to answer your questions. Join the conversation and leave a comment below!

july!

 

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20 Minutes or Less in the Kitchen a Day !

Your kitchen can be one of the grimiest and dirtiest rooms in your home. With the clutter that seems to amass here daily, and the grime of cooking residue on stoves, counter tops and cupboards, these issues need to be addressed. There are some speedy cleaning methods of getting your kitchen spic and span with some easy to do cleaning tips.

Cleaning your place is the last thing you want to do with your free time, which is why I  will show you how to get in, get out, and get it done so you can get back to your real life.

I don’t know about you, but my sink is often overflowing with dirty dishes accompanied by the Gas stove  covered with used pans, resulting in some serious scrubbing in the kitchen. Instead of wasting time tackling baked-on grime, take 20 minutes (or less!) to get your space clean, leaving you more time for other fun things — like catching up on your favorite shows. 

Here’s my  checklist, with suggested times, for getting your kitchen clean in minutes.

Clear countertops:

Leave any appliances you use daily out on countertops and wipe clean. If your blender is only used a few times per month, it’s just collecting dust, meaning it’s time to stash. Get rid of any clutter and toss garbage in the trash. (2 to 3 minutes)

Wipe cabinets and pulls:

This is an important step in keeping your kitchen sanitary, so give your cabinets, especially handles and pulls, a quick spray with cleaner and then wipe. Don’t forget the door to the cabinet holding your garbage. (2 minutes)

Spray your Stove top:

While you’re working, give your range top a spritz with cleaner and let it work its magic while you tackle the rest of the kitchen. Don’t worry about wiping clean, we’ll get to that later. (30 seconds)

Empty the dishwasher:

Clear your dishwasher of clean dishes leaving space for all your dirty ones. And if you reposition your plates, glasses, and silverware storage as close to your dishwasher as possible, emptying the dishwasher takes minutes. (2 minutes)

Rinse dishes and place in dishwasher:

Give all those dishes in your sink a quick rinse and then load into the dishwasher. And many of your pots and pans are safe to toss in there too. (3 minutes)

Soak dishes:

If you have any dishes that are a total mess, add some liquid dish soap to your sink, plug the drain, and fill with hot water. You can also use this time to hand-wash dishes if you don’t have a dishwasher. Don’t worry about finishing those baked-on pans now, let them soak until later. (3 to 4 minutes)

Sweep the floor:

Quickly sweep your floor of debris and whisk away the mess into your garbage can. Spot clean any marks on the floor as needed with a damp paper towel. You can give your floor a deep cleaning on another day. (3 minutes)

Wipe down Stove top:

Remember how you gave your stove top a spritz with cleaner? Give it a quick swipe, getting rid of any grime. (30 seconds)

Finish pots and pans:

Finish washing pots and pans then drain sink and wipe it clean, too. (2 minutes)

Wipe fridge handles:

Spray your fridge handles with cleaner and wipe. (30 seconds)

Fold kitchen towels:

All that’s left is to do is fold your kitchen towels, straighten anything that needs it, and take a quick look at your clean kitchen! All done in less than 20 minutes!

 

And if you keep up with this quick kitchen-cleaning routine, you’ll find it takes less and less time every day! Dedicate a couple of minutes right when you get home, after cooking dinner, or while you’re enjoying your morning coffee just to your kitchen.

Then pick  one  afternoon once a month to really deep clean your cooking space, helping your home sparkle.

 

20 CLEANING TIPS FOR A SHINY SPARKLY HOME !

20  CLEANING TIPS FOR A SHINY SPARKLY HOME !  

Cleaning, for some, is very therapeutic. The feeling of cleaning an object, then seeing it clean, is a sense of pride and accomplishment. To others, cleaning is a pain in the neck. The problem, of course. is that if you ignore this chore, things just get dirtier. There are some items that you may not think of cleaning, but these should be cleaned. I am  compiling these cleaning ideas for 20 things you may have ignored.

I love cleaning. I really, really do. I love it to the point that when I get something — especially something stubborn — freakishly clean, I couldn’t feel more fulfilled. Honestly!!!

And sometimes, there are those sorts of messes that actually require tips, tricks, and hacks in order to get them efficiently restored to cleanly status. 

Just in case you’ve struggled here, I’ve put together this list of ways to clean hard-to-clean things so that, in the future, you will never meet adversity when it comes to your 10-minute tidy again. 

1. Homemade Gunk/Goop  Remover

Kitchen cabinets accumulate gunk/ oil stains/ sticky stuff ! YUCK!!!

 and it’s not a pretty sight but you can fix the problem with this homemade gunk remover. 

Mix one part vegetable oil and 2 parts baking soda and use a sponge or a cloth to clean the cabinets. Toothbrush also works as a great Scrubber 

2. Remove labels with Vanish.

 This one cleaning hack happened to be by fluke !  I bymistake Put Vanish in my hot water sink instead of baking soda and vinegar for removing labels ! and VIOLA !! just amazing stuff !

 Actually removing the labels from bottles or jars is not an easy task but you can greatly simplify the process if you use Vanish ( Clothes Stain remover ). Fill the sink with warm water and add a scoop of Vanish & ur normal Liquid dishwashing soap . Let the bottles soak for 30 minutes and the labels come off.

3. Clean the iron with salt.

Cleaning the iron is very simple if you know this tip. First sprinkle salt onto the ironing board, turn the iron to the highest setting and set off the steam option and then simply iron over the salt. 

The dirt sticks to the salt and the iron becomes clean and shiny.

4. Remove pet hair with rubber gloves.

 If you have a cat or a dog then I’m sure you’re at war with all the hair then leave around the house. But it’s not that difficult to remove all that hair. All you need is a pair of rubber gloves. Run your hand over the upholstery and the hair with cling to the glove.

5. Fix the scratches in wood furniture with vinegar and olive oil.

If you have an old wooden table with the top all scratched and ugly, don’t throw it out because it can still be saved. Mix ½ cup of vinegar with ½ cup of olive oil, dip a cloth in the mixture and rub it onto the wood. The scratches completely disappear and the wood looks like new.\

6.Remove hard water with vinegar.! ( I swear by this )

The nasty built up you often see on and around the faucets and in some other areas is definitely not something you want to have in your home. But you can easily remove it with vinegar. If it’s a flat surface, pour some vinegar and let it sit for about 20 minutes. For the faucet, you can use paper towels soaked in vinegar

7.Make your grill/ Pan  non-stick with an onion.

My M-I-L ’s trick !

Getting ready for a Dosa ? Don’t forget the onion. That’s right, you need an onion if you want to make your Pan/grill non-stick. Just cut the onion in half and rub the cut side on the heated Pan .

8.Clean the bathroom faucet with lemon.

Instead of using all sorts of cleaning products which may or may not be toxic, try instead a more natural approach.

 For example, you can clean the bathroom faucet with lemon. Cut a lemon in half and scrub the hard water stains on any fixture.

9.Clean the shower head with vinegar and a plastic bag.

Make your shower head look like new again using distilled white binegar and a pastic baggy. Pour vinegar in the bag and secure it to the shower head. Let it soak with an hour and wipe clean with a wet towel.

10.Make your own window cleaner.

All you have to do to make sure you have clean windows with no streaks is use water, vinegar and dish soap. Mix these three ingredients and your windows will be sparkly clean. Also, remember to use newspaper. Spray the windows with the mixture, use a white cloth to wash them and then dry them up a waded up wet  newspaper.

11.Clean the stove burners with ammonia( Bleach).

If you ignore them, the stove burners and the grates can end up looking disgusting and nobody wants that in their kitchen. So what can you do? It’s simple actually. Clean the stove with ammonia. Take ¼ cup of ammonia and seal it up with one of the burners in a plastic bag. Let it sit overnight and then it should wipe clean with a sponge.

12.Cleaning solution for the kitchen sink.

Make your own cleaner for the kitchen sink using the following ingredients: liquid dish washing soap , distilled white vinegar, baking soda, rock salt, lemon or lime and ice. You’ll also need an old rag, a toothbrush and a soft sponge. Rinse off the sink and sprinkle baking soda onto the surface. Make a paste and rinse. Scrub the rim with a toothbrush soaked in baking soda paste or soap.

13. Make your own Oven Cleaner .

To clean the oven, you can mix baking soda and vinegar. You also need a bowl and a spatula. Scrape the debris with the spatula. Sprinkle baking soda all over the floor of the oven. Then spray vinegar over the baking soda and spread the paste around. Let it sit for 10-20 minutes. Scrub in a circular motion.

14.Remove permanent marker with toothpaste.

If you have a kid who just discovered the magic of permanent markers, then you’ll most likely find works of art on the floor and furniture. Don’t worry, it can be removed. First put a dab of white toothpaste on the marker and rub with a damp cloth or paper towel.

15.Clean silver with salt and baking soda.

Both salt and baking soda are commonly used in homemade cleaning products. But why not mix them? If you do that you get a very nice cleaner which you can use on silver. Combine equal amounts of salt and baking soda.

16.Moldy Tile Cleaner 

Sometimes u gotta use harsh chemicals !The best way to remove mold is with a solution of one part chlorine bleach to 10 parts water. Wearing rubber gloves, saturate a clean sponge or cloth with the bleach solution and apply it to the mold. Let the solution soak for 15 minutes, then rinse it off. Thoroughly dry the surface and throw away the sponges or rags you used to avoid spreading spores to other surfaces.

17. Cleaning Burnt Pans 

Soak the burnt pan in a magical solution overnight.

Baking soda, vinegar and water. A perfect solution for burnt pans.

18. Clean your Cutting Board 

Clean your cutting board.Use lemons to remove stains from wood and plastic cutting boards.

Squeeze, rub and let it sit for 20 minutes. Rinse.

Now enjoy your house smelling like lemons. Rather than chemicals!

19. Odor Control in Refrigerator 

Use newspaper as refrigerator drawer liners.Newspapers absorb odor from vegetables.

also always place a open box of baking soda in the refrigerator to remove odor from the fridge .

20.Microwave Cleaner 

Steam clean your microwave.

Add 1 cup of vinegar to 1 cup of hot water. Microwave it for 10 minutes.

 

I hope it inspires you!  Thanks so much for stopping by!  I would love for you to share this post and pin it below!

You guys are great, and please let me know any questions you may have!

~ Prats 🙂

 

An Organized Pantry

An organized pantry comes with plenty of upsides: you can save money because you’ll know exactly what you have in stock, you might be compelled to cook more, and you can stop any bugs  in their tracks by avoiding the sticky spills and stray crumbs when everything’s packaged and sealed in containers and bags. But if you haven’t given your pantry a good clean in months (or years!), it can be a daunting task.

Once upon a time , We had  a large pantry, but it still felt like I didn’t have enough room for all the food I was buying and it was disorganized and overflowing on the shelves. Everything was being piled on top of each other and I couldn’t find anything—I would buy things I already had because I couldn’t remember what was in there.

Since the main issue with my disorganized pantry was the overflowing bags of food, I took stock of the grains, nuts, and pasta bags in my pantry and placed them in clear food containers. My advice: Divide and conquer, and take your time. “If you aren’t sure about the size, buy one at a time to test out which sizes work for you before getting a large amount of containers,” Also  You can always add more later. I bought so many and it can add up cost-wise, but think of it as an investment since you can use it for years to come and it will help you stay organized.

The results made a big difference both in terms of space and money. I’ve actually gotten more free shelf space back because I can stack the containers on top of each other and in front of each other. I can fit three times as much food on one shelf, It’s great to be able to find what I’m looking for and now that I can see everything it inspires me to cook a variety of items. When I go grocery shopping, I can visualize the bins and what was low and needed to be replenished.

For more pantry organizing ideas, here are my  best tips:

1)Keep Things Within Reach 

Avoid having your family members mess up your painstakingly-organized pantry by making the most-used items easy to find on one shelf or area. Keep the items YOU  eat on a regular basis accessible so they don’t have to move things around! PERIOD !

spices2

2)Hang Stuff Up

Save shelf space by using an over-the-door hook to store lunch bags and soft coolers on the back of your pantry door, If you don’t have a door, you can put up temporary hooks on a blank wall to hang bags.

On a white tiled kitchen wall hangs a silver colored magnetic board with stainless cointainers with clear lids on it__20152_idsm01a_01_thumb_PH122242

3)Get Rid of Boxes

Save space by unboxing individually-wrapped items like flours and grains and gathering them in a cabinet space  marked ‘Grains ’ so you don’t have to tear apart the pantry to find them,

cabinets

4)Use the Floor Space Wisely

Always keep food off of the floor,Use the floor of your pantry for appliances, pet food, extra containers, or beverage cans.

5)Pack Away Rarely-Used Utensils / appliances 

You probably aren’t going to use your grand moms  antique channel collection / or your rarely used fruit juicer —and if it’s taking up prime pantry real estate, you’ll want to find a new home for it in your kitchen. Store appliances you use infrequently in another closet, or up on the top shelf of your pantry.

kitchens-for-small-spaces

I hope it inspires you!  Thanks so much for stopping by!  I would love for you to share this post and pin it below!

You guys are great, and please let me know any questions you may have!

SPRING CLEANING OVERVIEW :)

Let’s face it: Cleaning can be a daunting task. And keeping things clean is even worse.

This month I will be sharing a few spring cleaning posts, to help inspire you to dust off those cob webs, open up the blinds & let the sunshine in.  If you are like me, you need motivation to conquer such a large set of tasks & thats what I hope to do this month.  Join me today, as I share my  Spring Cleaning Plan.  But before we begin cleaning, I want to share some tips on how you can get prepared for the week ahead. Happy cleaning!

Getting prepared for a week of spring cleaning:

images

source : Google images 

Some overall tips to get you started:

Set a timer for the amount of time you’re going to clean — you’ll be surprised at how much you can actually get done in five minutes. Even better, put on your favorite song! Turn the volume up high and set your phone’s sleep timer to stop playing the music after one, five, or ten minutes (depending on how much time you have). Remember: You don’t need to try to deep-clean everything.

That’s because this challenge isn’t simply about the results — it’s about creating new healthy habits for your home. Cleaning is not a set of ideals to aspire to, a standard of perfection to achieve. This is a mindfulness practice, and if you are cleaning or decluttering mindfully, you have already arrived.

Oh, and if any of the steps don’t apply to you (if you don’t have a dishwasher, for example), just spend some extra time on one of the other steps. Or, sign up for our daily newsletter reminders to get an exclusive bonus round suggestion for each day!

And, we’re off!

1.  I make sure I am all stocked up on my cleaners. For my spring cleaning, I typically use Basic Cleaner which is an all purpose cleaner, window cleaner, and degreaser in one.  I only use non-toxic cleaners in my home.  (Cleaning with toxic cleaners does more harm than good).  I place the cleaners in my caddy, along with trash bags & rags.

2.  Stock up on trash bags, paper towels or rags, and candles (I always have a candle burning & the music up loud, while I clean).

3.  Make a week of dinners ahead of time, because you will not have the time or the energy to cook when you are spring cleaning.

4. Organize your cleaning schedule (type or write it out & put on a clipboard), matching days to tasks. I try to have my spring cleaning complete in one week. It takes an additional week to clean the outside of my home (power-washing, wash window screens, weeding, preparing the garden, cleaning out the terraces & Balconies, cleaning out the car, etc.)

Spring cleaning checklist:

 Things u will need :-

1. Spray bottle (with 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 water solution)

2. Microfiber cloth

3. Socks (cotton or microfiber work best)

4. Plastic bags

5. Lemon

6. Duster

7. White vinegar 

8. Magic Erasers

9. Rubber band

10. Newspaper

11. Dryer sheets (used work best)

12. Antibacterial all-purpose cleaner (APC)

13. Paper towels

So Lets begin our spring cleaning !!

Day 1:

  • Clean all walls, windows & mirrors (spraying everything with Basic Cleaner  eliminates the need for a bucket of water & cleaner)
  • Clean all glass surfaces
  • Wipe down electronics

Day 2:

  • Wash all curtains (including shower curtains)
  • Wash all bedding (including quilts & pillows)
  • Flip mattresses
  • Empty all trash cans, clean and sanitize them.

Day 3:

  • Clean the kitchen:
  • Clear the entire counter top and sanitize
  • Wipe out & organize all cabinets. Throw out old food and dishes you no longer use.
  • Wipe off the top of fridge
  • Dust fridge coils
  • Clean out fridge and freezer
  • Clean out oven (including vents)
  • Clean microwave
  • Sanitize the sink and garbage disposer
  • Wipe down all appliances.

Day 4:

  • Change all filters ( water filtration)
  • Polish all furniture in house (and wax if needed)
  • Clean toilets, sinks, medicine cabinets and showers

Day 5:

  • Vacuum out couches & chairs
  • Wash couch cushions
  • Vacuum and mop all floors
  • Wash rugs

Day 6:

  • Cleanall carpets
  • Replace all smoke detector batteries( optional)
  • Replace burnt out lightbulbs

Day 7:

  • Rest because next week its time to head outside!!

 

 

image 2

source: Google images 

 

Extra chores you can do this week:

  • Switch out winter wardrobe to spring
  • Oil change in car (fill fluids, check belts, install new wipers)
  • Clean out car (Shampoo floors, mats & seats, leather conditioner)
  • Clean out vacuum cleaner
  • Clean out dog kennel
  • Reseal grout lines & rechaulk
  • Clean out email box
  • Clean out your wallet/purse/backpack
  • Clean the lint trap in the dryer

I hope this spring cleaning checklist will help u as they do to me !

Until next time Happy cleaning !

 

March is here !!

How do you make the most of each month? 

If you, like Me , find it difficult to find the time to get everything done, you’re not alone. So I’m  trying to make it easier for you  and for me with simple suggestions for getting the most out of every month.

March  is  here!  For us at the messed up home means this month we are celebrating Birthdays Plenty of birthdays this month for us here  !!  Yes, U read that right ! Just CELEBRATING  all month along !  

To keep you on-track, I’ll remind you of each week’s assignment on the Web, and via my Facebook  feeds.

Finally, it’s more fun to follow the Monthly  Challenge with a team, so check in for the challenge . With links to weekly assignments, daily messages and printables, it’s Challenge Central as we work together toward a clean and organized home.

Ready? Set? Let’s clean house for the month of march !

March Printable calendar 2016-calendar-editable-MarchScreen Shot 2016-03-01 at 9.30.27 AM

WHEN YOUR ROUTINE JUST DOESN’T WORK {CREATING ONE THAT DOES} !!

 

Last year , I shared my journey to finding and creating a ROUTINE that worked well for me in this season of life. 

july!

Today I want to expand on that a little more and share with you some tips and tools that have helped me get back into a more structured routine.

When thinking through your schedule and creating a plan there are 4 things that I had to think about and work through to get to the routine that I currently use now.

1). Re-Evaluate Your Current Plan

I had purchased long time ago a  cleaning checklist , just wasn’t working for me. I wanted it to because I paid for it, and I stuck with it way to long. 

The simple truth is it was causing me more harm than good. It was making me feel overwhelmed and like a failure. I’m sure if you talked with the author of that particular cleaning checklist, that’s probably the last thing she would want me to feel too!

There were things I really liked about the current system, so I made a note to continue to incorporate those into my new routine. The things that just didn’t work for me, like assigning chores to specific days of the week, I threw out.

To be able to stick with a routine, it has to work for YOU !

2). Examine Your Priorities

I’ve shared before about my mission statement  “Routines” and why I think it’s so important to have one. Developing a mission statement really helps to determine what your priorities are: the people, the things, the relationships that are most important to you. You want to remember those priorities when setting up a daily routine.

 If it was up to me the house would learn to clean itself! But as much as I wish for that, it isn’t going to happen. Someone has to clean it, and currently that someone is me.

3). Make a Plan

we can

There are hundreds of free, printable cleaning checklists available on-line. Just Google them!! There are also many that you can purchase as well. I have found so many that are great, but I never found one that met all of my needs. So I decided to create my own.

My personal daily docket, as I like to call it, helps me to stay organized and focused throughout the day. I’m a pen and paper gal, so I like to cross off things on my list.

In creating my daily docket I thought about my daily routine that I shared HERE& HERE  … I included a checklist that I could cross off as I completed them. I also created room for a to-do LIST , specific daily chores (like dusting, clean bathrooms, etc.), and a separate to-do list for work related items (for me that includes working on this blog).

One of the best pieces of advice came from my dear friend Vicki , She explains that once you created your to-do lists, identify 3 most important tasks that need to get done that day. They can be from either to-do lists. I have included a special section at the top of my daily docket for those 3 specific tasks. If they get done, then everything else seems more manageable.

I also included places to remind me to take care of myself both spiritually and physically. I included spots for night time  reading and self time  reminders.  I have a long book list and I make reading a priority in my day, so I jot down the title of the book and a reading goal, like read 20 pages.

Lastly at the bottom I have included a spot to write out any exercise plans I have for the day and a place to record my water intake. Once I started recording how much water I drank through the day, I realized that I wasn’t drinking as much water as I though I was!

I have made my daily docket available for you to print for free if you need a place to start. 

4). Allow Room for Margin

99%

Lastly, it’s important to leave room for margin because life happens. Some days I am super productive and my family  are very cooperative. Other days, not so much. Most days we are just at home, so I can get most of my chores done. But there are other days when we have errands to run, or we go to the park or another special outing.

So be realistic. That’s why I only included room for small tasks on my daily to-do list. I’m trying to teach myself that just because these are small lines, that doesn’t mean that I have to fill them all up!

What does your morning routine look like?