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How to deep clean your washing machine

Hey Collectors! Happy Fall! If you are in California, we hope you are getting a break from the poor air quality and smoke. We talk about doing laundry a lot here at Collector Care. This blog post is all about deep cleaning your washing machine. What? People actually do this you ask? Absolutely! Cleaning can prolong the life of your washer and keep your clothes from getting stained and smelly.

Before you get started make sure you pull on a pair of household rubber gloves to protect your hands from all of the germs inside your washer. You are also going to make sure that you have access to your washing machine. If your washing machine and/or dryer is blocked by clutter, your first step is to move everything out of the way. Put it in a bag or a box, label it, and get it out of the way.

How to clean your washing machine:

Front loader & Top loaders without agitators

Wipe the inside of the drum using a soft cloth to remove any dirt, hair, soil, odor, mold, mildew. You may need to repeat this process a few times until all the debris is removed.

Remove the detergent dispenser. Clean it under running water using a cloth to remove the detergent and fabric softener build-up. A small soft brush such as an old toothbrush can be helpful for getting in the crevices.

Clean the seal around the opening. Gently pull back the rubber flap and wipe a damp cloth around the inside of the seal. Do this several times the area is dirty, rinsing the cloth in clear water after each wipe. Do not use harsh abrasives (scrub brushes) or chemicals (bleach, all-purpose cleaners) as they can degrade the rubber. A small, soft bristled brush such as an old toothbrush can be helpful for getting in the crevices.

Clean around the door. Again, use only a soft cloth, soft brush, and soapy water so you do not scratch the glass or damage the seal.

Clean the filter and trap. Follow manufacturer’s instructions. Most companies have their user manuals online or will send you an electronic copy by email if you contact them. Make sure you have the model number handy before phoning or emailing.

If your washer has a self-clean cycle, run it according to the manufacturer’s guide. Many websites suggest adding bleach to this cycle but the water gets too hot and the bleach may damage the machine. If your washer does not have a self-clean cycle, run the machine empty with the hottest water possible on the longest cycle.

Once the self-clean cycle is complete, clean the seals, filter, and trap again to remove all of the slime and dirt the self-clean cycle released.

After every wash cycle, dry the inside fold of the door seal and leave the washer door open to prevent mold and mildew build up. If you have a real mildew problem, spray the inside of the seal with 3% hydrogen peroxide weekly. Run a self-clean cycle every month. Clean the filter and trap at least once or twice a year. You may need to do it more frequently if you have pets.

Top loader with agitator

Wipe the inside of the drum using a soft cloth to remove any dirt, hair, or mildew. You may need to repeat this process a few times until all the debris is removed.

Remove the fabric softener dispenser from the agitator if you have one. Clean it under running water using a cloth to remove the detergent and fabric softener build-up. A small soft brush such as an old toothbrush can be helpful for getting in the crevices.

Clean around the opening. Clean the lid and around the hinges as well as the underside and edges of the lid.

Reach around the top of the drum and wipe with a damp cloth. Clean underneath the rim of the drum as well. Do this several times the area is dirty, rinsing the cloth in clear water after each wipe. Do not use harsh abrasives (scrub brushes) or chemicals (bleach, all-purpose cleaners). A small, soft bristled brush such as an old toothbrush can be helpful for getting in the crevices.

Clean the agitator using a soft cloth and brush. In some models, the agitator can be removed for easier cleaning. Re-install the agitator once cleaned.

Set the washer to wash with the hottest water on the largest capacity setting. Add 2 cups (32 oz) of white vinegar to the water. Let the machine agitate for about 5 minutes. Open the lid open so it will not continue the washing cycle. Let the washer soak for about an hour then close the lid and let it finish the cycle.

Clean the filter and trap. Follow manufacturer’s instructions. Most companies have their user manuals online or will send you an electronic copy by email if you contact them. Make sure you have the model number handy before phoning or emailing.

Repeat the soak process again but this time use 2 cups (32 oz) of bleach instead of vinegar. Remember NEVER mix bleach and vinegar!

Tips to keep the washer clean

Brush or rinse excess dirt off of clothes before washing.

Use only as much detergent as required.

After every wash cycle, leave the lid open to prevent mold and mildew build up.

Follow the cleaning procedure every month to keep your washer smelling fresh.

Clean the filter and trap whenever you run a clean cycle. You may need to do it more frequently if you have pets.

Do you need help doing your laundry or cleaning your washing machine? Collector Care Professional Organizers and Cleaners LOVE helping you create the inviting home you have always wanted. We help wash, fold, and organize laundry on a regular basis! Have us over and you’ll see why we have 5 STARS on YELP! It’s because we truly love to help!

Schedule your estimate today! 925-548-7750

Tips on Making Your Bed

Hey Collectors!

Many people feel making the bed is a chore not worth doing as you just get back in the bed later in the day. There even are those that claim that an unmade bed will prevent dust mites even though experts disagree. However, one of the easiest things to do to make a bedroom feel less cluttered is to make the bed. I personally love making my bed everyday because I love the way it feels when I walk in the room and see my bed made.

Just like any task, the more you practice making your bed, the faster you will get. Now, I have had a lot of practice, making my bed since a teenager. When I was in the group home, you couldn’t go out or go to school if your bed wasn’t made. It was mandatory, for which I am very grateful for now.

I’ve worked with many people who have so much clutter on their bed, that they are sharing their bed with stuff or they are sleeping elsewhere because their bed no longer has space in it for them. If this is your situation, I suggest practicing clearing your bed off before you master the art of making your bed everyday. Take baby steps with the intentions to have a clear comfortable place to sleep. Make it a rule that no clutter can be on top of the bed.

What is the best way to make your bed? That depends on what type of bed you have and how you like to sleep. Everyone likes their bed different. I personally don’t use a top sheet – I can’t stand the way they tangle up around my legs in the night.

I have a pillow that I love to sleep with, but then I have decorative pillows too. Everybody has a different bed making style. I have seen elaborate processes and, like my own personal style, I have seen easy processes. Whatever your process is, making your bed will always make your room look and feel better.

You can make your bed military style as shown in the video below by the California Army National Guard. This method uses a flat sheet on the bottom instead of the typical fitted sheet. Collectors, please note, you’ll need access to at least three sides of your bed.

If you sleep with a duvet, there are a couple of different ways to make your bed. The easiest way is to spread the duvet over the fitted sheet and smooth it down. Bedding experts suggest that using a duvet cover helps keep the duvet cleaner longer. For those who feel that putting on a duvet cover is a challenge, Real Simple has an awesome video on how to easily put on a duvet cover:

Regardless of how you make your bed, cleaning your bed and bedding regularly will improve your sleep. Here is a suggested laundering schedule:

  • Sheets, pillow cases/shams, duvet cover: Weekly

  • Mattress cover, Pillow protectors: Monthly

  • Duvets, Comforters: 1-2 times per year unless soiled. Weekly if used without duvet cover or sheets.

  • Blankets: Weekly if used without sheets. Monthly if used with sheets.

  • Bed skirts, Canopies: Seasonally but more often if prone to allergies.

  • Pillows: 3-4 times per year if washable or as per manufacturer’s directions.

Consider using washable, dust-proof allergen covers on pillows and mattresses to reduce dust, dust mites, and other allergens. The Spruce has a great article on how to clean a mattress but you should always check with the manufacturer as some mattresses may require special care. The tips they suggest are below:

  1. Cover the mattress, to protect it and extend time between cleanings. Consider purchasing a mattress cover to protect the surface of your mattress. Choose a washable cover that is easy to remove and replace on your mattress. Some covers are even designed to reduce dust mite allergies and reduce the need to vacuum your mattress.
  2. Wash the bedding including sheets, pillowcases, and comforters or comforter covers weekly. Clean bedding will protect the mattress cover which in turn protects the mattress from becoming soiled.  Remove and wash the mattress cover whenever there are any spills or at least monthly. This is the time when you will want to inspect the mattress for any stains and treat them.
  3. It’s a good idea to also vacuum the mattress at least once a month. Dust, dander, and dust mites build up in your mattress. Even those of us without allergies can begin to notice dust and dirt in our mattress. Vacuum your mattress using the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner. If someone does have allergies in your home, you may need to vacuum more frequently and/or make purchasing a mattress cover a necessity.

Take some time to schedule in clearing your bed, washing your sheets and blankets, and making your bed. Remember it takes up to 90 days or more of doing something consistent daily to create a habit.

Are you looking to create a new habit by the end of the year? Tune in to the Hoardganize Podcast to learn how …

Tune in to the Hoardganize Podcast every Sunday night!

Rachel Seavey, Host of Hoardganize

Do you need help clearing or making your bed? Collector Care professional Organizers specialize in helping you create a home you love. We offer professional organizing services, hauling, cleaning and we love to make beds! Do you have a lot of clutter? Great! We love helping people who are overwhelmed with their stuff. We offer non judgemental hands on support to those who are disorganized or have hoarding tendencies or hoarding disorder. Call now! 925-548-7750

 

Dust mites and bed making: https://www.sciencealert.com/making-your-bed-each-morning-makes-it-easier-for-dust-mites-to-breed-science-finds

How to make a bed military style https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRByQfYkV1A

How to put on a duvet easily https://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/decorating/decorating-bedroom/how-to-put-on-a-duvet-cover

How to properly clean a mattress https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-clean-a-mattress-1900310

Experts suggest allergen covers: https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2017/making-your-bed-dust-mites-fd.html

Best way to wash sheets: https://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/cleaning/laundry/wash-your-sheets

How often to wash bed linens: https://www.thespruce.com/how-often-to-wash-bedding-1900210

Beliefs: Holding you back from getting organized

Beliefs about getting organized

Hey Collectors! This blog is about how your beliefs about getting organized are holding you back.

Now, we discussed beliefs briefly in my “Scratching the Surface” Podcast series – but that’s all that was, just scratching the surface. This episode is about the specific beliefs you have about getting organized.

Just like fears and excuses there is the belief about whether you can or cannot get organized.
A belief is just a feeling. We all have many feelings. Beliefs are not facts.

Dictionary.com says the definition of belief is:believe in yourself

1. something believed; an opinion or conviction:

a belief that the earth is flat.

2. confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof:a statement unworthy of belief.

We tell ourselves constantly that we cannot get organized – so much that we believe it. We believe it in our heart, our mind, and our body. Your belief that you can’t get organized is so strong that it constantly sets you up for failure.

I’m going to share a short story. It’s one that a client shared with me many years ago and I have thought of the story often. Some of you may have heard it it’s called “The Cookie Thief”. The author is Valerie Cox.

A woman was waiting at an airport one night,

With several long hours before her flight.

She hunted for a book in the airport shops.

Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

She was engrossed in her book but happened to see,

That the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be.

Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between,

Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.

So she munched the cookies and watched the clock,

As the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock.

She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,

Thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I would blacken his eye.”

With each cookie she took, he took one too,

When only one was left, she wondered what he would do.

With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh,

He took the last cookie and broke it in half.

He offered her half, as he ate the other,

She snatched it from him and thought… oooh, brother.

This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude,

Why he didn’t even show any gratitude!

She had never known when she had been so galled,

And sighed with relief when her flight was called.

She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate,

Refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate.

She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat,

Then she sought her book, which was almost complete.

As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise,

There was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes.

If mine are here, she moaned in despair,

The others were his, and he tried to share.

Too late to apologize, she realized with grief,

That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief.”

Have you ever felt like this lady did Collectors? Have you believed something so strong? You knew something was the whole-hearted truth and you were so upset about this thought in your head only to realize that you were completely wrong?

Have you considered that your beliefs about you never being able to get organized are completely wrong? Did you notice in the story how the lady became physically agitated and completely irritated just based on a negative belief that was completely wrong?

Take some time to think about the negative beliefs about getting organized that are holding you back. Do you ever tell yourself that you’ll never be able to get organized – therefor living the life you believe?

What if you’re 100% wrong? What if it’s just like this story, and you’ve got yourself all riled up about something that isn’t even accurate. Beliefs are not facts. They are just feelings of certainty about something.

Collectors, do you think you could manifest a more organized lifestyle simply by believing that you can? Yes you can. If you believe you can get organized and that you are capable of getting organized, then you will become a more organized person. You’ve got to believe in your self. You must believe that you can get organized so that you can allow yourself the freedom to get organized.

Listen to this blog on the Hoardganize Podcast!

Do you need help getting organized? We believe you can do it! Call to schedule your estimate today! 925-548-7750

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