Simple Cleaning Tips

What To Clean After You’ve Been Sick

I’m sure you can think of a few things you should clean after you have been sick with the cold or flu, but the video above shows you some places & things you may not have thought of!

Clean Those Pillows! I mentioned in the video to clean your pillows after you’ve been sick – here is the link on how to do just that: How To Clean Your Pillows

clean collage 2
Just a sampling of the things you need to clean after you’ve been sick! From


SSD Sick

The Way To Store Silver To Reduce Tarnish


I live in Florida and was so surprised at how quickly my silver tarnished! Trust me, I am not one who likes to do much silver cleaning (Click HERE to see my tip to clean large amounts of silver without a lot of elbow grease!). At the suggestion of one of my readers, I decided to seek out a solution to the problem! So today’s Simple Holiday Survival Tip focuses on how to store your silver to prevent, or at least reduce, tarnishing!

A little prevention can go a long way!

SSD Tarnish

Too Many Candles – A Clear The Clutter Challenge

Chris Stone of Neatly Designed is BACK and we are talking clearing the clutter of candles! In this video, we show you how to approach decluttering those stashes of candles you have around the house (come on, I KNOW you have them!). All you need is an hour (maybe two, if you have as many as I do!).

So clear the clutter and feel good about doing it!


Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 4.25.48 PM
You think I might have a candle problem?

SSD Too Many Candles

Clear The Clutter, Part 4 – Putting It All Back Together!

With this video, the Clear The Clutter Challenge is coming to a close! Chris Stone of and I have brought you through the whole process: where to start, how to let go of things, and how to prep the space for the new, organized closet. Now we put things back together!

Let me refresh your memory of what we started with – a very disorganized, cluttered craft closet!

Before 2 (1) Before1 (1)

This process has been tough on me – I had to learn to let go of some things, not just because they made things messy, but because they were making me feel overwhelmed! Letting go really made me feel lighter, less stressed and ready to take on new challenges!

I now take pleasure in opening the doors and seeing this:

Finished closet (1)  After Drawer school supplies (1)

Boxes closeup 2 (1)
All neat and tidy! I feel less stressed already!


Take The Challenge!

It was our hope we could motivate you to take on the challenge of clearing the clutter in your home – whether it is a big or small project! If you need help, don’t be afraid (or embarrassed!) to contact a professional organizer to help you.

The reality is, if you aren’t on a episode of Hoarders, you are probably normal and just need a little help letting go!

And if you live in Northeast Florida, I highly recommend contacting Chris Stone to help you through the process! Here’s how to reach her:

Christine Stone, Owner, Neatly Designed

Professional Organizer, Member of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers)

Closeup of the storage containers we found at The Container Store!
Closeup of the storage containers we found at The Container Store!

To find the Iris containers we used, you can visit The Container Store, or you can click the following links:

Look for future Clear The Clutter videos down the road – we had a ball working on these!

Final Shot Clear The CLutter

A Simple Challenge: Clear The Clutter, Part Three- Prep & Measure

With the decluttering finally finished, the next step in my journey from cluttered to clean had arrived! Prepping the storage area & measuring for the storage boxes!

Here’s where I begin to see the fruits of my labor!

Chris Stone of has shepherded me through this process, gently (plus a dash of humor & firmness!) helping me clear out this mess!

So here are the steps for this decluttering process so far:

Steps For Decluttering



A clean space to organize is a treat! You know you don’t want to put all your nicely organized items back into a dirty area! You also want to make sure you have the right sized storage bins, so you can actually close the doors! So follow along! And next week, you can see how we put it all back together!

SSD Clutter Cover Slide Part 3

A Simple Challenge: Clear The Clutter, Part 2


So when I decided to do this video series with Chris Stone of, I thought to myself,

This will be great! I will get organized and someone will actually HELP me do it! Easy Peasy!  . . .  Well, I was in for a shocker!

What I didn’t expect was to feel a combination of anxiety, embarrassment and attachment to silly things like fuzzy balls and googly eyes (watch the video and you will understand)!

Laura is not too happy!
Laura is not too happy!

When you have clutter, there is a reason you are keeping it around, whether you know why or not. When you start to get rid of it, you start to see patterns. This video is meant to really illustrate the sometimes difficult process of letting go of the clutter! These are my true and honest reactions; I’m not acting. And the funny thing is, Chris knew it was going to happen! She’s a pro, she’s seen this before with all of her clients, and knows how to help people get through it to a nice, clean, organized space!

So sit back and enjoy! And realize, if I can do it, so can you!

SSD Clutter Cover Slide Part 2

A Simple Challenge: Clear The Clutter – Part 1


Welcome to the first in the video series,  A Simple Challenge: Clear The Clutter. I’ve teamed up this month with professional organizer Chris Stone of Neatly Designed to give you a helping hand in getting started in your decluttering process. In today’s video, Chris and I begin the process to tackle the hidden clutter in my media cabinet/craft closet – AKA My Anxiety Closet! 

BTW – I highly recommend subscribing to Chris’ blog for great tips & little nuggets of motivation! They really do help keep you going!

SSD Clutter Prt 1 cover slideMy Personal Clutter Journey

For years, I was really good at a mass purge every six months or so – I was forced to when the kids were little to go through their stuff because they were outgrowing everything so fast! But as time sped up (parents of teens and pre-teens will understand this concept of time flying!), I seemed to have less and less time to get things done!

Now, I believe most people have clutter, whether hidden or in plain site. Many will go along and live in their clutter, either unaware or unwilling to deal with it. Avoiding, putting it off, waiting until they have a quiet day, etc. That is, until something happens and they force themselves — or are forced — to deal with it! My moment of truth came when my oldest left for college. I have, for at least the last year or so, been ignoring the piles of junk accumulating in and around my house!

My Media Cabinet/Craft Closet/Junk Hideaway! AKA, My Anxiety Closet!


Between doing projects for, family activities, sports, and just wanting to eek out those last few moments with my “baby’ before she left for college, etc., I found myself throwing things in a closet saying, “I’ll get to it soon!” Well, I think I reached that point of being just grossed out by it all!


And the subtle (and not so subtle) requests from my patient husband just got to be too much to ignore. . .

So join Chris Stone and I, as she shepherds me through the process of clearing out my clutter! I hope it will help motivate you to take care of some of the piles in and around your home!


P.S.: I have to say, I find this has helped me feel lighter, more organized, and I actually have more time and energy to do the things I want to do. I think I was being paralyzed by the piles!


Surprising Bathroom Cleaning Tips

SSD Bathroom Cleaning Tips


Who likes to clean the bathroom? Certainly not the Diva! But you can count on her to have some simple (and some surprising) tips to keeping your bathroom clean – besides calling in a cleaning service!

Clean up every day! Really, if you just do a couple of small clean up jobs every day, you will feel better about deep cleaning later. Things like wiping down the counters, faucets and sink at the end of the day, plus a spot cleaning of the mirror will keep things tidy enough so you won’t feel overwhelmed when it is time to do the deep cleaning job. Keep the essentials for these jobs under your bathroom sink – like Lysol wipes, Windex Glass & Mirror wipes, paper towels.

Clear your counters. When you are planning to do a deep cleaning of your bathroom, clear off the counters completely of your products, toothbrush, drink glass, etc. and place them under the sink or out of the room.

Vacuum and Dust! Before you start a deep clean of the bathroom, vacuum and dust from the top to the bottom. Using a microfiber cloth, dust the light fixtures – don’t forget the top ledges of the fixtures and the light bulbs! Dust off the countertops before you use cleanser on them. Dust off the baseboards. Vacuum your ventilation fan using the extension and brush attachment. Be sure, if you want to take the cover off, to turn off the circuit breaker to the fan so there is no power. Finally, shake out your bathroom rugs and place them out of the room, then vacuum the bathroom floor. This will give you a clear surface to clean.

Get Steamy! Spray all your countertops and shower stall with your cleaners, then run the shower at the hottest level, allowing the bathroom to steam up. The heat and dampness will help loosen up/soften up grime. And the cleaners will have a chance to start the disinfection process! After about 5 minutes, open the door and start scrubbing away at the counters and the shower. Rinse down everything and dry off the counters. Mop the floor and you are out the door!

Reduce clutter. When placing products, toothbrushes, etc. back on countertops, think about whether you really need them. Maybe even consolidate those half-used bottles of product! Try to reduce clutter, or find a place under the sink for some of those products.

Additional Tips:

  • Keep all cleaning supplies in your bathroom. If they are there, you will most likely use them
  • Use old dryer sheets as cleaning cloths.
  • Keep extra small trash bags in bottom of trash can so one will always be there when you need it!

You can find “recipes” to make your own Homemade Cleaning Products here: The Diva’s Homemade Cleaning Products.

Thank you to WTLV-TV’s First Coast Living for inviting me on to share these tips!

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