About Us
Governing Documents
Home Repair
Help Articles
Leewood Links
Welcome and Sales


Guide To Spring Cleaning


Spring Cleaning Tips Basic Cleaning Supplies 4 Container Method to Manage Clutter
Garage Sale Organizing Organizing your Home Office Spring Yard Maintenance Tips
Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Seasonal Cleaning Chores Creating a Cleaning Schedule
Leewood Times Guides


The flowers are blooming, the birds are serenading, and our house still feels like it's stuck with winter blues. Spring cleaning is a tradition that allows us to freshen up our homes and get a head start on the hectic seasons of spring and summer.

With everything you have in your regular schedule where will you ever find the extra time to organize your closet let alone set up a filing system for your home office? And that mail—it just keeps pouring in. We all stress about not being able to find things at times, and we all need to stop apologizing and feeling guilty for not being organized or for the “mess.”

We are busy people and we have to prioritize. What is more important—picking your daughter up from school or “decluttering” the living room? What is more important—meeting your client’s deadline or purchasing a shoe rack? As soon as we acknowledge that we just can’t do it all, life gets easier.

The other important thing to remember is that the clutter didn’t appear overnight. Usually a major life event (marriage, move, death, birth, job change, etc.) throws us off. We get out of our routine, assume new responsibilities, and our priorities.

This guide is meant to give you the tools and tips you need to shift and develop a plan to reduce the stress of feeling disorganized and cluttered.

Top of Page

Spring Cleaning Tips

Here are some tips to help you with your spring cleaning and organization.

- Determine areas to clean and customize lists to help clean your home.
- Analyze the reasons why an area of your home is unorganized.
- Make a basic cleaning supply list, and purchase cleaners for special surfaces.
- Organize and implement a family spring cleaning day(s).
- Create an organizational plan for storing, documents, papers, and seasonal clothing.
- Effectively manage clutter with the 4 container method. (Trash, Give Away/Sell, Storage, Put away)
- Organize and conduct and garage sale.
- Implement the behavior changes associated with keeping the mess clean.

Analysis --> Implementation

Grab a spiral notebook and a pencil. Take a few minutes and mentally survey each room. In your notebook, jot down the problem areas in the room, putting one problem on a page. You’ll need the rest of the space on that same page for the following steps. The items on the paper should be parts of the room that really bug you, or that your family finds impossible to keep neat.

For example:

Shoes in piles next to your front door; the table in the entryway piled with mail; the magazine rack overflowing with books, magazines, and pamphlets; the coats, hats, and mittens etc piled in a heap next to the entryway closet. Carefully (but quickly) analyze each room in the house in this way, making a list of the areas that need improvement.

Here are rooms or parts of your home not to forget about:

Junk drawers
Medicine cabinets
Storage, including attic, basements, crawlspace

Tip: We don’t always see the disorder in these areas until we open them and try to find things.

Analysis of Reasons

For each of the problem areas in a room, figure out why the disorganization and mess is happening. I find this most easily done if you are actually in the room you are surveying. All answers are acceptable here, including the fact that you live with slobs. Usually there is more than one reason why an area of your home is continually unorganized.

For example:

Why are there shoes piled up next to your doorway? You like people to take off their shoes when they come in. No one in your family wants to take their shoes all the way to their rooms, andthere’s not enough room in the closet for all the shoes to fit, etc.

Why are the magazines overflowing? You may realize that you have issues of Good Housekeeping from the 70’s in there, or a magazine you bought only for the fudge praline cake recipe on the cover.

Continue this process for each of the problems in the room. Write down the reasons for each problem in your notebook, then move to the next room. When you’re done analyzing all your problem areas go on the next step.

Step 3: Solutions

Now comes the fun part. Let’s find ways we can fix the problems. Think about habits, behaviors, and tools that can make those messes disappear.

Do you need some sort of a tool for organization to help your problem?
Is the problem a habit that just needs to be enforced and practiced?
Is it a combination of containers or tools and habits that need to be changed?
Many of the problems you will encounter will require organizational tools and behavioral changes. Keep in mind that the best organizing system of shelves, hooks, and labels does no good if it isn’t utilized.

For example:

The junk mail is piling up on your table. Do you need a sorter directly on the table? Maybe the person going through the mail initially needs to be responsible for sorting out the junk (which is 98% of the mail at my house). If you have a lot of different people in your home that receive mail, try giving each person in the house their own mail organizer in their rooms. Older children could then be responsible for their own mail, thinning out the amount you have to go through. What about switching your family to automated bill paying? Many utility companies today allow your utility bills to be deducted from your checking account automatically. You may still receive mail concerning receipt of payment, but at least these can be filed easily without worry that you’ll forget to pay.

Don’t forget about tools that may aid you in organizing problem areas. What if you put an over-the-door shoe organizer in the entryway closet? Do you need extra coat hooks? Would a bowl on the entry table specifically for keys eliminate the chances of having to dash around the house for 15 minutes in search of them every morning? Try to come up with brainstorm ideas for each problem.

Find solutions to the problems that annoy you most. Check the detailed room links on this website and the general links provided to find some solutions. Call your friends and ask them what they do to combat the problem. Enlist your family’s help to find out what would enable them to organize more effectively. If you hold a family meeting where everyone has a voice, you may find that those slovenly family members actually have good ideas. Make decisions about what you are going to try in your own home. Write down the solutions you’ve decided on.


If when you went through your home you had only a few problem areas, then you’re lucky and you can probably implement all of your changes immediately. Begin by making a list of the tools needed from your lists of solutions (Step 3). Buy the tools that you need and set them up in their new home. Warning: organizational tools will not help if you don’t use them! You must also start to implement the behavior changes associated with keeping the mess clean.

Force yourself to remember to put your keys in the new bowl. Enlist your family’s help. If they see dad’s keys on the kitchen sink, have them take the keys and put them in the key bowl. You may find that initially some family members (I’m not naming names) find it annoying that their routine of keeping their things wherever they happen to throw them down is being interrupted. Be patient. The relief of always knowing where these items are will win them over in the end.

Keep yourself and your family honest by reviewing the room with your list in hand once a day. It may be best to do this at the same time each day. If it was done right before dinner, the family could then discuss problems or successes over the meal. Have you kept up with the changes needed? Have others? Evaluate yourself daily until the room suddenly seems to have removed itself as the source of your frustration.

If you have substantially more work to do, do not expect that you will be able to instantly do the changes that you desire, especially if your solutions involved hundreds of dollars of organizing equipment. It may be necessary for you to pick one room at a time to overhaul. Follow the same steps for the overachievers above who are already almost perfect. If you have a lot to do in one room you may have to set aside a Saturday to put together and install shelves, racks, etc. Try to involve your family as much as possible. Add other rooms and areas of your home as you see how you and your family maintain the ones that you’ve begun. If you are diligent there may actually be a day when someone says, “Have you seen my…” and you’ll be able to answer, Yes!”

Top of Page

Basic Cleaning Supplies

Dusting Supplies

Cleaning Cloths
Dust Mop or
Vacuum Cleaner Dusting Attachment
Dusting Spray and/or
Furniture Polish

Trash Supplies

Trash Cans
Trash Can Liners
Baking Soda
Recycling Bins

General Surface Supplies

All-Purpose Cleaner
Kitchen Cleaner or Wipes
Bathroom Cleaner or Wipes
Paper Towels

Special Surface Supplies

Oven Cleaner
Stone Cleaner
Dish Soap
Automatic Dishwasher Detergent
Oven Cleaner
Stone Cleaner
Dish Soap
Wood Polish
Upholstery Spot Remover
Leather Cleaner
Laundry Soap
Laundry Stain Remover
Laundry Additvies
Toilet Bowl Cleaners
Soft Scrubbing Cleaner
Air Freshener
Glass Cleaner
Silver or Metal Polish

Floor Cleaning Supplies

Vacuum Cleaner
Mop Bucket
Mopping Solution
Floor Polish

Storage and Organizing Supplies

Storage Containers
Labels or Labelmaker
Filing System

Top of Page

4 Container Method to Manage Clutter

Organizing the Method

Have you ever tried to get rid of the clutter in your home? Haphazardly we walk through our homes searching for stuff we don’t need. Oddly enough each item seems to call out to us with its greater purpose in the scheme of our lives. You’ve heard the phrase that clutter takes on a life of its own, well now it is time for drastic measures that give clutter a life far away from yours.

The Categories

Find 4 boxes and label them with the 4 categories.


Give Away/Sell


Put away

Trash- This should include any item that you do not need or want, but that is not donatable or sellable. Damaged and broken items should be included in the trash if they are not worth someone buying it and repairing it.

Give Away/Sell- Be generous. Think about the uses someone else might get out of the items vs. the use it gets in your home buried in cabinets or closets. Consider the financial benefits of selling your stuff at a garage sale.

Storage- Put items in here that you cannot part with but do not need on a regular basis. Make an inventory of the items as you box them. Group similar items together. Remember one good way to clean out closets is to store out of season clothing. Get tips on proper storage of clothing.

Put Away- This should be your smallest category. These are items that need to be out on a regular basis. Monitor yourself by determining if you have a place for each item. If the items in this box will not fit into your home without cluttering an area up, try to reassess if you really need them. If you do need these “essentials”, try to come up with a storage solution that fits into your home.

Top of Page

Creating a Cleaning Schedule

Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Seasonal Cleaning Tasks

Creating a cleaning schedule can be a confusing job. How often do cleaning tasks need to be performed? How long does a particular job take? What chores are considered daily, weekly, monthly, or seasonal tasks? The truth is that no one schedule will work perfectly for the same two people. If your home has small children, you may find that weekly tasks need to be performed daily to prevent getting behind. If you live alone, some daily tasks may only need to be done weekly. Allergy sufferers, and people with breathing issues may need to perform certain tasks on a more frequent basis. Use the following guidelines as a starting point to developing your own daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal cleaning schedule.

Daily Cleaning Chores

Daily cleaning chores are the absolute minimum that must be done on a daily basis to keep a home clean. Depending on the type of household you live in, some of these chores may even need to be done more than once during a day.

Weekly Cleaning Chores

Although most of these chores don’t require daily work, they are still some of the most important tasks that need to be done in our homes. Some items may need to be completed more often. Scheduling these chores in addition to your daily chores will help you maintain order and cleanliness in your home.

Monthly Cleaning Chores

Monthly cleaning chores are my favorite weekend chores. These are areas of your home that can afford to be neglected during your daily and weekly cleaning sessions, but ultimately a good thorough monthly cleaning is needed.

Seasonal Cleaning Chores

Although seasonal cleaning chores are important, they are usually the most forgotten parts of home maintenance. Our attention is only needed in these areas two to three times a year, but it is vital to maintaining and cleaning our homes.

Top of Page

Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Seasonal Cleaning Chores

Daily Cleaning Chores - What You Need To Do Daily

1. Clean Dishes

Why Clean Dishes Daily

Maybe you've never seen what happens to a sinkful of dishes left to sit, but it isn't pretty. Smells, stains, and odd fungal growth usually go with forgotten dirty dishes. Cleaning dishes daily is the best choice all around.

2. Wash Laundry

Why Wash Laundry Daily

Not every family needs to wash laundry daily, but many of us find that at least a daily load of laundry is necessary. With work clothes, school uniforms, soccer practice clothes, and sports uniforms, our families can generate a lot of dirty clothes. A daily load can help prevent a mad dash to find a baseball jersey in the bottom of a hamper.

3. Tidy Up

Why Tidy Up Daily

Doing a little clutter control on a daily basis keeps your home ready for company at a moment's notice. A few minutes of picking up each day also prevent your home from turning into a disaster zone that will take hours to plow through. A tidy room makes a big difference in our motivation to tackle bigger projects. Use the 15 Minute Cleanups as a daily help to keep your main rooms ready for visitors.

4. File Papers

Why File Papers Daily

If you don't file daily, you risk piles of papers on every surface in your home. Between junk mail, letter offers, school papers, and receipts, paper can overtake our homes before we even realize it. It only takes a few minutes each day to prevent a major pileup.

Weekly Cleaning Chores - What To Clean Weekly


Vacuuming your home on a weekly basis prevents buildups of dust that can trigger allergies and respiratory issues for your family and guests. While high traffic areas may need to be vacuumed on a daily basis, other areas of the home need a good once-over once a week. Vacuuming flooring adds years to the life of your floors.

Don't Forget to Vacuum...

Hard Floors


Through no fault of our home, dust collects on every surface, leading to breathing issues, dull looking surfaces, and the need to dust weekly. A good weekly dusting staves off the need for more in depth cleaning on a regular basis. Be sure to dust from top to bottom to prevent settling. Consider using a vacuum attachment to suck up the dust, or a good microfiber cloth to trap dust particles.

Don't Forget to Dust...

Wall Coverings
Ceiling Fans


There are some areas of our homes that receive such frequent use, they need to be tended to on a weekly basis. This preventative cleaning keeps these rooms and areas ready to serve our home, and keeps buildups of dirt and damage from requiring more intense cleaning later.

Don't Forget to Clean...

Entry and Patio Doors
Shake Out Door Mats
Straighten Books and Magazines
Clean Bathrooms
Change Linens in All Rooms
Clean Kitchen Sink
Wipe Down Kitchen Appliances
Microwave (inside and out)
Spot Clean Walls
Clean Leftovers from Fridge
Gather and Take Out Trash

Monthly Cleaning Chores - What To Clean Monthly

Dust Ceiling Fans

If it has been awhile since you've cleaned your ceiling fan, take a look up. You're likely to see a ton of dust and dirt clinging to your ceiling fans. Dust the ceiling fan at least once a month to keep it looking nice and functioning well.

Clean Light Fixtures

Cleaning light fixtures on a monthly basis keeps your globes and fixtures from dulling and becoming encrusted with dust and bug remains.

Dust Air Vents

You may not notice the air vents in your home regularly, but they can quickly buildup dust around the vent and wall areas. Dust them down monthly to keep dust from blowing out into your rooms.

Clean Walls

Even families without small children will discover occasional marks on the walls of their home. Spot clean the walls of your home to remove crayon marks, furniture scuffs, dust, and splatters. Food preparation, eating areas, and the place you store your trash will be likely candidates for a monthly wall wipe-down.

Clean Window Treatments

Curtains and drapes may need to be washed, cleaned, or dusted out on a monthly basis. Blinds that attract dust will need to be wiped down as well. Be sure to check the manufacturer's instructions for your window treatments before cleaning.

Dust Intensively

Besides the quick dusting that you do on a daily and weekly basis, more intensive dusting needs to be done monthly. Dust behind furniture and appliances. Dust window sills, ceilings, and baseboards. Don't forget to dust down doors, molding, and hidden corners were cobwebs may form.

Vacuum Inside Furniture

I don't know how so much stuff finds its way into the depths of the sofa, but a monthly cleaning and vacuuming is likely to reveal many long lost items, and quite a bit of dirt. Go down into the crevices to pull out items that need to be kept. Next, vacuum out the inside of the couch.

Clean Windows

A monthly cleaning for windows includes cleaning the inside of the glass and wiping down the windowsills. Use a glass cleaner to remove streaks and spots on the interior of the windows. If you wait for an overcast day, you'll reduce the streaking and spotting on the glass.

Spot Treat Carpet and Upholstery

Check for spots on the carpet and upholstery and spot treat the stains. Be sure to test the stain treater in an inconspicuous spot before applying liberally. If it's been awhile since your carpet was last cleaned, it may be time to schedule a shampooing.

Check Smoke Alarms

Double check that your smoke alarm is functioning properly. Change the batteries if needed. Be sure to dust down the smoke alarm to keep it in working order.

Change Filters

To keep your air conditioner running smoothly, you'll need to change the filter monthly. This is a good time to check your vacuum cleaner filters and clean or replace them.

Deep Clean Appliances

Our appliances take a lot of abuse. At least once a month, treat them to a deep cleaning that renews them to their original glory. Use a good oven cleaner to remove baked on drips and overflows from your oven. Remove everything from your refrigerator and freezer and wipe them down thoroughly. Toss any outdated food. Be sure to place new boxes of baking soda in both to help control odors. Scrub down the inside and outside of your microwave oven.

Seasonal Cleaning Chores - What To Clean Seasonally


A thorough window cleaning each season will remove a huge amount dirt and grime. It's also a good time to check the weatherstripping and seals of your windows to make sure no repairs are needed.

Exterior Doors

Wipe down the outside of your exterior doors seasonally to remove months worth of dirt. This periodic cleaning will keep your entrances looking fresh and clean, and prevent permanent staining on your doors.

Outdoor Areas

We may focus much of our attention on the inside of our homes, but occasionally the outside needs some attention too. Clean grills, patio furniture, and gutters. Landscaping may need some cleanup and attention too.

Heating and Cooling Units

Seasonally, be sure to inspect and perform maintenance on your heating and cooling units. Replace filters. Clean vents and make sure that no furniture or other debris are blocking vents. A professional inspection and maintenance can be a great way to keep your heating and cooling units in working order. Don't forget about fireplace maintenance as well.

Appliance Maintenance

Maintaining some of our expensive appliances is as simple as an occasional inspection. Inspect hoses and cords on your appliances. Vacuum the coils on your refrigerator. Cleaning the vent and exhaust areas of your dryer seasonally will prevent a fire. Clean lint and debris from around your dryer as well, and be sure to examine hoses for signs of damage.

Clutter Control

A seasonal closet overhaul is a great idea to keep closet areas from overflowing with junk. Go through all of your closets and pantry to remove clutter and organize. Be sure to make sure seasonal clothing is being stored properly.

Declutter and Begin

Top of Page

Garage Sale Organizing

Sometimes the pile of “garage sale stuff” in your home doesn’t seem worth the effort involved in organizing a sale. Take heart. In just a few steps a week you can organize an extremely successful sale and clear out the clutter from your home.

Week 1

Declutter and Gather in Bedrooms and Closets. Learn to declutter the entire house.

Organize and meet initially with neighbors and family to have a “Block Sale.”

Make up a flyer inviting everyone to participate in a block garage sale. Make sure to list a time for interested parties to get together to meet. Having individual sales at each home will make the block an attraction without having to coordinate setup and pricing with a large group of individuals. Basically the group needs to decide on a day about 4 weeks away. Advertising strategies can be discussed. The cost of a newspaper ad could be split between participants. Decide ahead of time to not allow early sales as a courtesy to neighbors who may not be participating, and to customers who may be disappointed on arriving on time to find the item they wanted sold.

If there is no one interested in participating in the sale in your neighborhood, coordinate friends and family to participate. Larger sales attract more people.

Check out the regulations for your community.

Does each household need a permit?
What are the regulations for advertising with signs?
What are the time and day constraints for your community
Begin saving plastic grocery bags to use.

Declutter and Finalize

Week 2

Declutter and Gather in Living Areas.

Finalize plans for a date and time frame.

Inform interested neighbors and family.

Decide on advertising. If your home is in an area with a lot of traffic, signs may be enough to drive people to your sale. Consider advertising at online sites like Garage Sale Source or G-Sale.
If you really want to ensure a good turnout, advertise in the newspaper. Garage sale enthusiasts use the newspaper to decide which sales they will visit. List your one of a kind items. Stress items you know people will be looking for (brand name kids clothes, baby items, tools, fishing equipment, furniture, specific collectibles, Little Tykes toys, etc.) Make sure to list your address, date, and time. Be sure to stress “No early sales.”

Arrange for a babysitter if needed for the date of the sale.

Declutter, Gather, and Sort

Week 3

Declutter and Gather in Storage Areas, Attic, Garage, Sheds, etc.

Gather supplies.

Coat hangers for clothes.
Tables for items.
Boxes for free items.
Posters for posting prices. This will keep you from having to answer pricing questions.
Grocery sacks to bag items.
Tagging items, (masking tape, tags, markers, etc.)
A rack to hang clothes on.
Drinks and snacks to sell to hungry thirsty customers.

Begin sorting items according to price. Then price the sorted piles.

Find an appropriate donation site for items leftover. Call ahead to determine if the charity will pick up the donations after the sale. Be sure to find out what items they will not accept.

Finish Up, Plan, Sell, and Donate

Week 4

Declutter Kitchen and any leftover areas of your home.

Sort items into category groups like clothing by size, books, knickknacks, house wares, tools, toys, baby items, movies, etc.

Finish pricing items. Remember your goal is to get rid of this stuff.

Plan out your yard area. Big items line the driveway to attract people. Clothing on racks. A giveaway box. Kids with a concession stand.

Get lots of change to use for the sale.

The Day Of:

Don’t sleep in. Take the time early in the day to get ready and set up. Customers will begin coming as soon as you’ll let them in. The early morning is one of your busiest times.

Post signs in the places you’ve planned.

Setup all of your tables, items, concessions, etc.

Sell, Sell, Sell. Be prepared for customers to bargain.

Donate the rest. Don’t let yourself bring the clutter back in. Remind yourself that you don’t need it.

Take down any signs promptly.

Garage sales are a great way to get rid of clutter and make your home more organized. Following this four week plan will allow you to free up space in your home while filling up your wallet.

Top of Page

Organizing and Setting up your Home Office

Setting up or renovating your home office

Even the smallest home office provides an opportunity to establish a space custom-tailored to your personal tastes and work habits. Choose the furnishings wisely and arrange them efficiently to create an office you'll be comfortable and productive in.

1. Measure the room and make a rough blueprint, including locations of windows, doors, electrical outlets and heating ducts. Cut out paper shapes to scale for furniture and large pieces of equipment so you can experiment with different layouts.

2. Position your desk first. If space allows, an L- or U-shaped desk is ideal. Pair it with a good chair, preferably one that is ergonomically sound. If your chair's height is not adjustable, get a footrest to ease the strain on your back. Add a hinged drop leaf to the shorter end of an L-shaped desk. Flip it up when you need more work space.

3. Use several adjustable task lights in the room rather than relying on a single ceiling fixture. Reducing overhead lighting will cut down the glare on a monitor's screen.

4. Place a small table (one of the most underrated home office furnishings) alongside the desk. A two-tiered unit is ideal; use the lower shelf for reference material, the upper for a file of items you're currently using. If space allows, place a large table parallel to your desk. You'll find it incredibly useful for laying out research material or large projects in progress. Folding tables are cheap, portable and storable.

5. Track your workflow and arrange furnishings accordingly. Frequency of use is the key to location. Put those things you use most often closest to you and equipment you use less frequently on a credenza or bookshelf. Don't devote prime real estate in your office to a fax machine or copier that you need only occasionally, for instance.

6. Add a second comfortable chair, along with a good reading light, to the room. It's relaxing to get up from your desk chair occasionally and do some of your reading in a different chair.

7. Set a tiny table--or hang a single shelf--right next to the door to hold outgoing mail. Now you'll never leave the room without the letters and parcels that need to leave with you.

Overall Tips & Warnings

Mount your computer monitor on a swing arm to save space on a small desktop.
Add a drafting table if you do much drawing or writing by hand. An angled surface for this type of work will reduce pressure on your neck.

If you tend to cradle the telephone receiver against your shoulder during long conversations, you're inviting neck and shoulder muscle spasms. Keep pain at bay with a headset. When it's not in use, hang it from a small hook attached to the side of your desk.

A hallway just outside the office door can be a good location for a narrow bookcase to hold reference materials or backup supplies.

Add storage space inexpensively by mounting kitchen cabinets from a salvage store on the wall above your desk. Look for cabinets designed to go under the kitchen counter; they're usually more spacious than standard upper cabinets.

Tips to Organizing your Home Office

Volumes of articles, books and manuals have been written on time management and organization in the workplace. We read all with good intentions, but seldom follow through with any real commitment. What does it mean to be organized? I approach it from the standpoint of control. Quite simply, being organized is being in control - to know the status of every aspect of your business at all times. That is, be in control of your work day, which results in having more confidence in yourself when dealing with customers, competitors and supervisors. Let's touch on a few easy ways to begin the process.

A messy, cluttered office can result in incomplete work, missed deadlines and lost information. Your desk is not a storage locker, it's a work surface. It is time to remove those piles of paper occupying your desktop, floor and shelves, or start charging them rent. The worst decision you can make is not making a decision about those piles, because no paperwork decision = greater paper buildup. All documents need to have a home, just as your silverware, pots and pans and dishes have their specific homes in your kitchen. There really aren't very many choices for processing paper. Tossing them into the circular file is a very good option for some. Others to files for future reference, or your follow up system for papers you need at some later time, plus an ongoing project system, or passing some on to staff if you can.

Remember, the time spent searching through your office for a piece of paper, phone number or customer's address is unproductive time. Allowing a few minutes each day to process your paperwork pays off in time saved. As your business grows, so does the amount of paper. Don't let it pile up, as this is when you lose control and miss opportunities.

Control how others affect your productivity. Where is it written that every time the phone rings you MUST answer it? If the constant intrusions cut your productivity, decide when you will answer it and when you will let others (staff, voice mail or a message recorder) answer the phone for you.Occasionally you will need quiet time to work on a project or report, to prepare a speech or presentation, or work up an estimate. That's when to let the phone be answered for you.

If your business is home based, establish clear rules for how and when, if ever, you may be distracted by family members. Let them know a closed door always means "do not disturb," or "knock first." This is hard to enforce at times. Explain that by working uninterrupted, tasks are accomplished expeditiously, and in the long run you will have more time to spend with family. In a business office with several people working in a restricted area, the tendency is to chitchat and gossip during the day. This is a great waste of productive time. By tactfully removing yourself and discouraging socializing, you are in control.

Here's the bad news. Taking control and being organized requires commitment - your commitment - to try something new and to break old bad habits. The methods and techniques I offer are simple, easy to learn, and I guarantee they will work and your job will be a whole lot easier. By being in control of your work day, you'll be more confident about yourself and your career. You will also notice that you are less stressed.

Top of Page

Spring Yard Maintenance Tips

Leaves - Rake shrub beds and yards. Bag debris; do NOT rake leaves into gutters and streets or onto common property or into wooded areas.

Mulch - Apply a couple of inches of mulch to help retain water to feed your shrubs and plants.

Seeding - This is the time to seed bare or sparse spots. Break the ground surface with a hard metal rake, sow seed, cover lightly with topsoil and/or peat moss (to thwart birds and help retain moisture) and keep moist daily until you see green shoots

Pruning - This is not a good time to prune trees and shrubs that flower; doing so will prevent or diminish blooms. Wait until after the blooms have fallen.

Spring Training For Gardeners

They say gardening is great exercise, but few gardeners make the effort to warm up and stretch the way they would before any other exercise activity. If there’s a time when that effort is needed, it’s springtime. After a long off-season of sitting, you need to ease your body into the stretches, lifting and contortions you are going to demand of it in the garden.

Here are some reminders for getting in gardening shape and staying there:

- Pace yourself. Do the hard stuff first, before you’re tired out and more likely to overexert.

- Don’t hunch. If you squat when you weed, keep your back as straight as possible and move along as you weed, don’t reach too far.

- When lifting, always bend from the knees, not the waist, and try to keep your back straight. Use your thigh muscles to do the lifting. Move your feet closer to the object you are lifting and take a wide stance, to balance yourself. Keep the object close to you as you lift it.

- Don’t lift and twist in the same movement.

- Kneel on both knees at the same time to avoid the temptation to twist or strain. Use a knee pad.

- Use tools with comfortable handles. Wrap the grip with an old piece of hose or coat with rubber paint, for gripping comfort. Remember to change hands from time to time.

- When using long handled tools, stand straight and keep your knees relaxed. If you need to twist or pivot, step into the twist to ease tension on the back.

- Get out that wheelbarrow or wagon and use it.

Flower Pruning 101

Deadheading may sound like a cruel way to treat a plant, but if you want it to flower all summer, do it! Apart from making the garden much neater, removing fading flowers also prevents plants setting seed. Setting seed is their reason for living, so they will simply grow new flowers and try again - and again - and again, giving you burst after burst of new blooms.

How Is It Done?

Flowers should be removed just after they've peaked. Be vigilant. Pinching, pruning, snapping and clipping are the methods. Pinch short-stemmed flowers such as Petunias - as far down the stem as possible - but prune Roses. Cut the stem diagonally just above the highest leaf. Plants with one flower per stem should be cut just above a strong bud. This method works for most plants with long stems carrying a single flower. Use a pair of handheld shears or hedge clippers.

Top of Page


Organizing your home requires the right tools, tips, and methods. No matter what part of your home needs organized, you can find the answers. We hope this guide has helped you learn how to organize specific areas of your home and to figure out what tools will work for you before you buy them. We also hope that this has helped you to get rid of clutter, schedule, plan, and organize.

Top of Page


Help sometimes comes at a price or with a hidden agenda, but our helpful guides have neither. We hope that the information in our Leewood Times Guides give you starting points and focus. Our goal is to assist you in making informed decisions.

Here are the links to all the Leewood Times Guides


345 Money Saving Tips

Leewood Times 75 Money Saving Travel Tips

Leewood Times 2008 Winter Guide

Leewood Times Bar-B-Que Tips & Tricks

Leewood Times Employment Guide

Leewood Times Energy Saving Tips Winter / Summer

Leewood Times Guide to Credit Repair

Leewood Times Guide to Fall Festivals

Leewood Times Guide to Going Green

Leewood Times Guide to Holiday Entertaining

Leewood Times Guide to Local Farmers Markets

Leewood Times Guide to New Years Resolutions

Leewood Times Guide to Seasonal Allergies & Pollen

Leewood Times Guide to Spring Cleaning

Leewood Times Guide to the Capital Beltway

Leewood Times Guide to Volunteering

Leewood Times Guide to Voting

Leewood Times Spring Yard Maintenance Tips

Leewood Times Summer Fun Guide




Top of Page

Back To Leewood.us






printerClick for printer friendly page