Author and Organizational expert, Donna Smallin also known as "The One Minute Cleaner" stopped by to share tips on cleaning and organizing your home in no time flat and give insight as to why we should all be deep cleaning in the fall as opposed to the spring.
Donna Smallin, Image courtesy of Unclutter.com
Candace Rose: Do you have any suggestions on maintaining a safe and healthy home?
Donna Smallin: "Absolutely. I recommend doing a fall cleaning. Most people think of spring cleaning; the thing is the winter months come, you spend a lot more time indoors and you really don't want to be cooped up with a whole seasons worth of dirt, grime and allergies. So, I start with the carpets because it's a really good idea to deep clean your carpets to get rid of dust mites, pollen and other allergens that get trapped in the fibers and that's an avoidable health risk. And another one is mold, especially in the bathroom. A recent study was done by the University of Arizona and here is what they found; they sampled homes across the Nation and guess what? Every single home had mold, so now a lot of cleaners do a good job removing visible dirt. What you really want is something that's specially formulated to attack mold and mildew before it blossoms into those stubborn stains. Something like Tilex Mold and Mildew Stain Remover with the refreshing breeze scent is a smart choice and I saw smart because, hey a little prevention now means a lot less cleaning later and I'm all about cleaning smarter not harder."
Tilex Mold & Mildew Stain Remover – Amazon.com
CR: Can you fill us in on your top one minute cleaning tips?
DS: "Yeah, well one of the things that you know you have to do in the fall is you need to put away all of your summer clothing and bedding. Well, you want to wash it first, so here's how you can save some time- only wash and store the things you actually wore over the last season and donate everything else; that's going to save you a lot of time. Now something people don't know is that in addition to cleaning clothes you also need to clean your washing machine itself. You know residue will build up in the machine in places you can't even see like in the drum and then what can happen is you end up with a nasty odor that can transfer itself to your laundry. So what you need is a cleaner like Tide Washing Machine cleaner that will lift, dissolve away those odor causing residues and leave behind a nice fresh, clean scent."
Tide Washing Machine Cleaner – Amazon.com
CR: How can we keep clutter under control and stay organized once and for all?
DS: "Well, I'll tell you what if you don't love it or use it, lose it; that's my motto. And another thing that happens in the fall too, things that you need to lose; kids have been home all summer long and they leave behind these gooey, sticky messes, right? So when you have tough messes like that, I like to recommend Goo Gone which is the number one tough task remover. This is a spray gel that you just spray on; it's drip free, it won't harm the surface below and it's safe to use on carpeting, upholstery, painted walls and all kinds of surfaces and they even have a specialty line of products that include a grill cleaner. That's a tough job when you go outside to clean the grill, this makes that a lot easier. So if you've got a Labor Day barbecue coming up and in any event when you put the grill away for the winter this is a good thing to do; put it away clean so that next spring you can bring it out and use it right away."
CR: How about when it comes to organizing our closets; especially for me since my dog likes attacking my shoes! Do you have any storage tips?
DS: "Oh no! Well, maybe you need to put those shoes into plastic storage bins, there's actually plastic shoe containers you can buy. I like them, you can stack them up and you can still look inside to see what shoes are in there. But when you go to organize your closet one of the best tips I can give you is to just organize one space at a time, like maybe one day you go in and you say 'I'm going to spend 15 minutes organizing my shoes and when I say organizing I mean unclutter first; get rid of those shoes you haven't worn. If you find ones that need to be repaired, take them to be repaired and also only have in your closet those things that are what you're wearing this season because otherwise they're taking up valuable space in your everyday closet, so you can find some place else to put them or at least store them up high in your closet."
CR: What are your favorite organizing products (in general) that you think everyone needs; especially those of us on a budget?
DS: "Well, one of the things I recommend is that you don't run out and buy organizing products until you first organize and see what you need because sometimes you might find that you have things in your house that will do the trick; for instance in a desk drawer maybe an old checkbook box is something you can store pens and pencils in and now I'm not saying to save all those checkbook boxes in case you need them some day, but if you happen to have them around, you know what, they do the job and then you can see how it works and maybe go buy a nicer pencil case for your drawer."
CR: Can you tell us about your new book?
DS: "Yeah, so it's 'A to Z Storage Solutions' and I give solutions on how to store everything in your home. Of course I've also got 'The One Minute Cleaner,' 'The One Minute Organizer' and all these books you can find in bookstores online or at my website Unclutter.com."
A to Z Storage by Donna Smallin – Unclutter.com
CR: Do you have any additional tips or more information you'd like to share?
DS: "Well, you know when we go back to a clean and healthy home all I can say is that a clean home is a healthy home and that really is what I want for you and your family."
CR: Where can we go for more information?
DS: "Check out Unclutter.com and you can sign up for free organizing tips; organizing and cleaning tips actually, so I'd love to see you there."