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September 2017

How To Organise Your Command Center For Winter

Winter time is a time when its essential to have your act together. The weather is pretty unforgiving and, if you are not prepared, you can find things get pretty bleak. In this post, we share a few quick tips you can carry out in autumn, to make sure that you are organised for winter.

We will show you how to make a family command center, organised with everything you need to get you and the kids out of the door warm and cozy.

 command center shoe storage
command center storage for coats and shoes

Let’s just zoom ahead by a month or two: You’re running out of the door with

  • book bags,
  • water bottles,
  • packed lunches,
  • PE kits,
  • swimming kits
  • all your stuff for work,
  • musical instruments

Then, a great blast of icy wind hits you out of nowhere.

” Why wasn’t I ready for this? ”  You guiltily ask yourself as you stare at the unexpected thick layer of ice on your windscreen.

Panic sets in as you look at your kids shivering beside you.

You haven’t got time to drop the mountain of stuff you’re carrying to dash upstairs to dig their gloves out of storage.

You have no choice but to leave, unprepared, cold and driving whilst peering through a tiny hole in your icy windscreen.

You start believing you are the worst parent in the playground, as everyone else’s children arrive with their gloves, hats, and winter coats on.

You then spend the day feeling guilty that you sent your kids to school with no gloves and wearing their summer coat.

You convince yourself those little fingers will freeze and fall off by lunchtime, which, prompts you to do a frantic Internet search for “frostbite in children”.

 How to create a family command center.

  • Go to your cloakroom or coat/shoe area and take everything out ( yes everything ),
  • Give the room a good clean.
  •  Put all the summer shoes into storage
  • Replace the summer shoes with two pairs of winter shoes each.
  • The rest of the shoes  (less often worn), should stay in wardrobes and return there after each wearing.
  • Donate any unworn or outgrown shoes and coats, make sure these are removed from the house as soon as possible!
  • Hang up all jackets and coats (except those worn daily) in the bedroom wardrobe.

You now have an empty space,  please do not fill it back up!

If you need help and motivation to declutter click here 

Coat Closet Organization

Coat closets can become cluttered very easily as we have to have enough coats to cope with the changeable British weather! coat closets are usually small spaces under the stairs or in the porch or entryway so it’s important to keep your coat closet decluttered and organised. the way to keep this area organised is to be very strict about what you keep in there for day to day use. I prefer only to store

  • One  winter coat per person
  • Two pairs of shoes per person

in my coat closet, all other items should be stored in the wardrobe after wearing.

If you need advice and tips on how to create a minimal capsule wardrobe click here  

Preparing your command center for autumn weather

  • Dig out all  the hats and gloves from storage
  • Check for rips and tears or outdated outgrown items
  • Donate unwanted items.
  • Keep one set of gloves scarf and hat per person in small baskets in the cloakroom. If you are short of space you could use a hanging storage system. You can use a small basket per person or keep all gloves in one basket, and hats in another, each method works well depending on your space.
  • All other items are stored in wardrobes until needed.
  • Put all wellies and boots on mud tray.
hat and glove storage , command center storage
creating a command center for gloves and hat storage

Try to keep the command center as streamlined as possible to help you to leave the house quickly and efficiently each morning.

The emptier this space is, the easier it will be for everyone to find their stuff when they need it.

Use this area to store anything needed to grab on the way out to school and work, to keep your mornings running smoothly read my post here

Keep your keys organised and easy to find on this magnetic key holder.

hang this key holder next to your mudroom bench to keep keys organised!
Never lose your keys again with this magnetic key holder!

Organizing hats and gloves

Buy each child, several pairs of gloves in one plain colour, so when one glove goes missing you will always be able to make a pair.

All my daughter’s gloves  are plain grey, and my son’s gloves  are  navy blue,

I usually buy several pairs each and typically end up with one full pair each at the end of the winter!

Family command centre ideas

  • Hang coat hooks at a low level so your kids can hang up their own coats.
  • Hang low hooks to store backpacks, lunch bags, and sports kits so children can be responsible for their own belongings
  • Add a basket to your command centre to store things that need to be taken out of the house such as library books, borrowed items, shopping bags etc. make a point of emptying this basket every day!
  • Add a schedule to the wall so everyone knows which kit they need for which day and can grab their belongings as they leave, you could even draw simple pictures for toddlers to follow.

Preparing for the cold weather

The end of the summer is a great time to start preparing for cold weather.

  • Get your boiler checked and serviced
  • Bleed the radiators
  • Check your  roof is watertight
  • Clear out all the gutters

Preparing your car winter checklist.

You will need to prepare your car for the icy winter weather.  As the temperature drops the risk of accidents increases as does the chances of getting stuck in traffic. Draw up a list of the things you will need on your commute to work or to see relatives and make sure you have them covered.

for tips on staying safe on the winter roads, you might like to read these 12 tips from the MET Office 

You’re now ready for the big chill!

do you use a family command center? Let us know in the comments!

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How To Banish Visual Clutter From Your Home For Ever

For many children,  clutter can be a huge distraction, causes stress and anxiety and inhibits creativity and productivity.  In this post, we talk about visual clutter and how to reduce the visual clutter bombarding our brain on a daily basis.



What is visual clutter?

Every day our brain is trying to process billions of messages from:

  • TV
  • iPhones
  • Laptops
  • Newspaper headlines
  • Adverts
  • Books
  • Clocks
  • Shop windows
  • Road signs
  • Consumer products
  • Cars

These gadgets and products bombard us with messages every second of every day.

Our brain is trying to distinguish  if these messages are

  • important or urgent
  • Life-threatening
  •  needing  action and immediate attention
  • ok to be ignored  and left until later
  • something which needs to be remembered


All of these messages are known as visual clutter.

Some of us may have chosen to add “extra” visual clutter into our homes by having ornaments which spell out words such as  “bathroom” “love” or “home”.
I wonder how many times a week we subconsciously read the label on our shower gel, toothpaste tube, washing up liquid or moisturiser.


How to eliminate visual clutter


The decluttering guru  Marie Kondo suggests we protect our homes from the visual clutter and encourages us to remove labels wherever possible from products we use daily.

As a mother of two young children I figured this would be almost impossible for safety reasons, however, off I went to give it a go.

I thought I’d start my experiment with the hand wash bottle, as I figured even my five-year-old knows that it is soap and it won’t get muddled with anything else.

I carefully peeled away the label, full of hundreds of little words and I was left with a clear bottle, to my surprise, it felt great not to read the words “Imperial Leather Hand Soap”  every time I washed my hands.

The process then became addictive; once I started, I couldn’t stop!

I started to remove the labels from with my stuff first and started will small things such as lip balms, moisturisers, hand creams, mascaras and items which were easily recognisable to me, and which other people did not use.

When I peeled the label off my expensive moisturiser, it looked no different from any other cheaper brand,  I felt annoyed at myself for being drawn into the brand’s consumerism and advertising,  I suddenly realised I’d been duped.

Every product looked the same without all the gorgeous packaging.

I realised that I had been paying huge prices for the packaging, not the product inside.

This revelation had a profound effect on the way I shopped;  I immediately began to change the way I purchased luxury beauty products, which were a weakness of mine.

It felt good, it was liberating and the thought of the extra money I’d saved in my bank account gave me more of a thrill than purchasing the product would ever have.



How to slowly reduce visual clutter


The next step in my journey for a spa-like home was to carefully assess which communal items I could safely remove the labels from, without adding any confusion to a family who already has difficulty in finding things!

Items  I removed labels from :

  • Hand soap, this was easily recognisable to all family members
  • Shower gel, I always bought the same shower gel, which hung from the shower so they recognise the product by where it hangs, the bottle and the colour.
  • Shampoo, the one we use is in a black opaque bottle
  • Conditioner, the one we use is in an opaque white container
  • Body lotions,
  • Face cream,
  • Foundation
  • Mascara
  • Lipsticks
  • lip balms
  • Teabags, decanted into large glass jars
  • Beans and pulses, stored in large glass jars
  • Biscuits and crackers, in airtight containers for freshness
  • Pasta and Rice, stored in Kilner jars
  • Washing powder, stored in an airtight cereal dispenser
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Coffee
  • Nuts
  • Cereal
  • Candles


  • I store foodstuffs in glass jars and laundry powders etc. are stored in plastic containers.
  • I only remove labels from bottles if they are easy to remove within seconds and are not dangerous to my kids.
  • I never remove labels from cleaning products or anything hazardous.



The benefits of banishing visual clutter.



  • I love having fewer packaged products in my home as I think it feels so much more tranquil and clutter free it helps to bring a unity to my home.


  • I no longer feel  I’m subconsciously re-reading the same words over and over again in my home.


  • My kids seem more relaxed


  • The house appears tidier even when it’s at its worst


  •  No one in the family has washed their hair with conditioner yet, as far as I’m aware but you never know in our house!


Other items causing visual clutter in your home.

Besides the unnecessary labels, there are many other ways visual clutter creeps into our homes and makes us feel anxious and overwhelmed.

Most of these problems are fixed by creating a routine to get yourself into daily habits to stop the build-up of these items. Read how to get organised and create a routine for your home here.


If you liked this post leave us a comment below!



You’ll also like

How I Started Living With Less.

How to get your husband to declutter his stuff.

How To Declutter When You Have No Motivation

How To Declutter Your Kids Room.

The Seven Best Things To Donate today!

Read Marie Kondo’s book today!

how to banish visual clutter



Read how Cait Flanders didn’t spend any money for a whole year.

how to banish visual clutter





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How To Get Sparkling Clean Windows And Glass

How do I get streak free windows?  This is one of the questions I get asked all the time as a professional cleaner, the good news is, you’ll find all the answers right here in this post!

Getting sparkling clean windows and glass can be time-consuming and frustrating in this post, ask a professional cleaner! I’ll show you how to get streak free windows in seconds with my window cleaning tips!

Any dog owner or mum to a toddler would probably tell you that trying to get shiny windows is the bane of their lives.

As a mother of little kids, two cats and as a  professional domestic, commercial cleaner and organiser I’m here to tell you that it’s the bane of my life too!

There are tons of products which promise a streak-free windows and streak free chrome, I have tried a vast amount of products both store-bought and professional products, and I have to say I’ve been bitterly disappointed with nearly all of them!

If your glass cleaning technique isn’t correct, you can end up working really hard for hugely disappointing results, and you may find yourself cleaning the area a second time finding the same thing happens again!

There’s no great trick to getting sparkling clean windows; it’s all down to the tools you use and your technique, just ask a professional cleaner!



The best glass cleaning cloths for sparkling clean windows.


Glass cleaning cloths are probably the essential tool in your quest for streak-free window cleaning and streak- free chrome.

If you’re trying to get streak free windows and are using a standard everyday cloth, rag or microfiber, then you’re going to be polishing for a very long time to remove the lint and streaks.

I wouldn’t even attempt to polish glass or chrome without using a special glass cloth.

Glass cloths are designed so that they can be used just with water; they work brilliantly well with just water. However, there are times when you may need a little boost to remove dried on toothpaste, if you’ve got small kids, or to remove the marks on your glass from your pets.

The glass cloth I recommend for shiny windows is the e-cloth, it is lint free and does not leave any residue on the surface of your glass or chrome.


Sparkling clean windows glass E cloth
Glass cloth for sparkling clean windows

How to get streak free windows!


When it comes to getting streak-free windows, its pretty simple, just ask a professional!

  • The drier your cloth, the better your shine,  most people, soak the surface they are cleaning with so much product that it can be almost impossible you clean and dry. What happens then, is that the product air dies onto the glass and that’s what leaves the steaks!

A tiny amount of water on your cloth is all you need,  if you have a heavily soiled surface increase the wetness of your cloth but do not over soak.

  • Spot clean, for mirrors and windows, try to deal with the heavily soiled areas first before cleaning the whole area.  If you soak the entire area, you will be smearing the dirt onto the clean areas. Spot clean the caked on dirt first, then polish at the end.


  • Don’t over spray, after removing the crud you should now only need the tiniest spray on the area you are cleaning, the more product you use, the harder it will be to clean off and the more time-consuming it will be.


 How to make a streak free window cleaner


There are hundreds of glass cleaners on the market, and some leave horrendous streaks!

I like to make my own DIY  no rinse window cleaner because it is cheaper than shop bought products, smells amazing and never streaks! 

You can make a vinegar based no scrub window cleaner by using one part white vinegar to two parts distilled water.

I prefer to use rubbing alcohol for sparkling clean windows.  If you’re wondering how to make streak free window cleaner that also smells amazing here is the recipe for my peppermint window cleaner which is perfect for bathroom windows and shower doors!  




Best window cleaning solution for streak-free windows


sparkling clean windows,  streak free windows recipe.
DIY glass cleaner for sparkling clean windows



You can replace the peppermint oil in your spray bottle with your favourite essential oil, to make window washing smell even better!

  • To avoid the build-up of watermarks on shower doors, try using a squeegee to wipe off all the drips every time you shower, it only takes seconds but saves so much time cleaning!
  • Remember to use a step ladder when cleaning windows out of reach!
  • If you’re cleaning windows after home improvement remember to remove all the builder’s dust before spraying your cleaner to avoid streaks and smears!


I have tried every product in the book over the years, for both professional and domestic window washing, and there is one product I keep returning to, as  I find it never streaks, Xanto Power Active window and glass cleaner 650ml  £5.24,  is by far the best streak free glass cleaner I’ve tried. I usually get it in the bargain shops here in the UK, but you can order it below from Amazon



Ask a professional, streak free windows


I also use the same cleaning solution on glazed tile and all other high gloss surfaces like kitchen cabinets.


So now you should be able to put your feet up and admire the views through your sparkling clean windows!


Want to ask a question or need advice about streak free windows? Leave us a comment below!








For more information read:

How To Supercharge Your Cleaning Motivation

How To Create A kids Chore Chart That Gets Results!

How To Stop The Spread Of A Sickness Bug

Speed Cleaning, How To Become A Speed Cleaner.


For further reading about cleaning you’ll like Flylady





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The Best Cleaning Supplies List You Need Today!

Have you ever wondered which cleaning products and tools a professional cleaner carries in their cleaning kit

Now is your chance to take a peek into the mysterious world of the professional cleaning kit to see what I use to tackle the toughest jobs around!

I’ve created an ultimate cleaning supplies list of products you need in your cleaning kit, to whizz through your tough cleaning jobs.

I like to keep things simple when it comes to cleaning, I don’t want a huge armoury of products and I don’t want to spend a fortune. I want to use the best products to tackle the toughest jobs in the shortest time!  I have narrowed the huge choice of cleaning product options down to twenty must have cleaning products which I couldn’t do without and created this list of my cleaning kit top 20!

I have over 20 years of cleaning experience which also includes 11 years cleaning a sterile aseptic lab which was used to manufacture TPN feeds and Chemotherapy within a hospital pharmacy department.

I have also worked within commercial units as well as end of tenancy properties, post building work and domestic cleaning.

Within those projects, there really is not much I haven’t come across in the way of dirt!  And while cleaning those buildings I’ve tried hundreds of different cleaning products.

Some products are totally amazing and some are pretty horrendous, so, I’ve decided to share with you today my favourite cleaning supplies list!

 The ultimate cleaning supplies list


Ultimate cleaning supplies list with a bottle of degreaser spray.
Is degreaser on your cleaning supplies list?

No  cleaning supplies list would be complete without an  All- Purpose De-Greaser which is used for

  • Hobs
  • Cooker hoods,
  • Kitchen pans,
  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Cooking trays
  • Oven
  • Extractor fans
  • Grease
  • Baked on food
  • Dried on food
  • Pet food

If you’d like to learn how to speed up your cleaning time read this post

Multi-purpose spray

Multipurpose spray for cleaning supplies list

 Multi-Purpose Spray can be used on:

  • Doorframes
  • Tiles
  • Dirt removal
  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Floors (not wood)

I like to make my own peppermint multi-purpose cleaner, sign up to our mailing list to get a copy of the recipe!

Disinfectant Cleaner

list of cleaning products

One of my favourite products is Dettol Antiseptic Disinfectant I use it everywhere

  • Doorframes
  • Radiators
  • Windowsills
  • Floors
  • Bannisters
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Kids rooms
  • Kids toys
  • Bedroom
  • Cupboards
  • Drawers
  • Wardrobes
  • Dining table and chairs
  • Door handles
  • Light switches
  • Phones
  • Remotes

I also use a detergent disinfectant which is great for bathrooms, toilets and I find it’s The Best Way To Disinfect A house After A Stomach Virus

Dish soap

no cleaning supplies list is complete without dish soap
Dish cleaning liquid

     A good quality dish soap is an essential part of any cleaning supplies list and I never go to work without mine.

I use it :

  • As a soap scum remover for the bath and shower
  • As a toilet bowl cleaner
  • As a floor cleaner
  • For woodwork
  • As a glass cleaner  ( leave your details below for our glass cleaner and soap scum  recipe)
  • Mix with baking soda for stubborn stains

Glass cleaner

list of cleaning products

I prefer to make my own glass cleaner you can get the recipe here, I use it on glass, chrome and all high gloss surfaces such as kitchen cupboards and kitchen tiles. To learn how to always achieve streak free windows read this post

Cream cleaner

cream cleaner for getting through the tough jobs

Use an  All-Purpose Power Cream Cleaner for sinks, and inside toilet bowls.

Cleaning kit products and Tools

I use this scraper to get burnt off food from the oven, hob and baking dishes and trays, after spraying with the degreaser, this saves a whole load of scrubbing! For very stubborn areas use the scraper wet and of course a non-scratch scrubby for the rest of the oven!

list of cleaning products

Other  essential tools on my cleaning supplies list  are;

    • 1-inch scraper for scraping any dried on food from floors and work surfaces before cleaning
    • Non-scratch scrubbers for, showers, toilets, kitchen sinks and any other scratchable surfaces which need a good scrub.
    • Stainless steel scrubbers for pans
    • Toothbrushes for hard to reach areas
    • Safety pins for cleaning screw heads
    • Paintbrush for dusting hard to reach areas
    • Feather duster for speed dusting round ornaments, baseboards, blinds, and door frames.
    • Whisk brush for carpet edges and for the carpet between small pieces of furniture.
    • Green scrubbers for cleaning the toilet bowl.
    • Glass Cloths
    • Microfibre cloths  (red for bathrooms blue for elsewhere)
    •  Pedal bin bags  to gather rubbish as you clean
    • EMop  for hardwood floors

If you’re struggling to find the motivation to clean your home read  How To Supercharge Your Cleaning Motivation

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for more tips on cleaning and routines, you may like Flylady

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