Wednesday, November 14, 2018

How to motivate your cleaning...Thanksgiving tip

There are very few things that will motivate cleaning and decluttering a house like company coming does.  If you need motivation to get your house clean - schedule a party.  For the past 4 years we have hosted our family Thanksgiving Day the second sat of November.  This year our little party has expanded to 28 people and two dogs.

Before the big day, I found myself digging into the corners of my home. I cleaned out under sinks, in drawers and through cupboards.  I know my family isn't coming to give me the white glove treatment.  They know me way too well for that!

I clean mainly for me.  This may sound selfish but in reality it is the best gift I can give.  I'm more at ease with a rebooted and refreshed home.  I'm a better hostess when I'm at ease.  My stress is lowered my enjoyment of company raised. I can greet my guests with an open heart and joyful excitement.  

 Plus, when I'm highly motivated and focused in prep mode, I can get a ton done.  I ride the energy and excitement - using it for motivation.  Post celebration, I get to enjoy a happy and clean home.  Our guest rarely judge us as harshly as we judge ourselves- be kind.

I wonder how many gatherings never happen because we are embarrassed or stressed about our homes?  My home isn't perfect, fancy or even completely finished... homes are works of art in progress.  If I wait for the perfect time.... it will never happen.

I love having people pop in and out of my home and life.  Some days I get caught with life exploding all over, dirty dishes and life....  It seems company pops by on those days more than when everything is tidy and clean!  sigh... oh well such is life.

The fact is cleaning and cluttering are space cleaning.  By cleaning, sorting, organizing and refreshing a space, you create a more welcoming space for you to live in and welcome warmly your friends and family

I call cleaning, decluttering and organizing Re-Booting or Refreshing because they reset your life. Just like unplugging your electronics for 60 seconds and then plugging back in does for your computer! Magic!!! All better!

Plan a gathering at your home, one person or 28 people.  The number doesn't matter as much as the act of opening up your home does.  The gift you gain by having company in your life is exponentially greater than the effort it takes.  In a world of cell phones and facebook, good old face to face gatherings are priceless for body, mind and spirit.

Happy Thanksgiving!
        Denise Frakes
            Home and Life Coach

Early morning of our fake turkey day - 3 rented tables, chairs and one converted ping pong table 



     






Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Reduce your cleaning time by 50%!

Floors are the largest area you clean.  If you really want to save time in your cleaning- invest in better more effective tools.  Tools that cover more ground and work for you.

I see so many homes using disposable and inferior cleaning tools.  Most disposables or cheap tools are about 6 inches to 12 inches wide.  That's a whole lot of waisted time and energy.  



            Bottom line:
         cleaning can be quicker, easier and more effective 
  If you want to save time, improve your tools, create less work for yourself and for heavens sakes... always leave your floors residue free!!

3 ways to save time and energy cleaning your floors

1)  Keep the dirt out!  Install effective entrance mats and rugs.  Take off your shoes!!  
        78% of all soil gets tracked in from outside.
 Less dirt inside - saves you time and energy!!!

2.  Go residue free.  Using a microfiber to clean vs applying cleaner will save you future work.
        Cleaners are made to attract soil.  If you leave cleaner behind it will continue to work- attracting more soil.  By removing soil with friction/microfibers you will no longer be leaving product behind.  Not only will your floors be cleaner and stay cleaner, you will also have less soil/soap build up that will need to be removed later on. 
 Less residue left behind - saves you time and energy

3)  Upgrade your cleaning tools.  Don't waste your time and energy on inferior tools.  Invest in long lasting, heavy duty- and effective tools.  This goes for your vacuum and hard surface tools.  If you have a large home this is crucial!!  I sell the Norwex 20" microfiber mop.
 Faster work - saves you time and energy

Below are links to the Products I talk about in the video
Superior Mop Purchase link:  Click here tool for hard surfaces- save yourself 50% of cleaning time!

Chenille pad:  Click here  tool for when you have rough surfaces or fuzzy shedding critters

Tile and Grout pad: Click here  tool for when you need a wee bit more agitation in your microfiber

Rubber Brush: Click here  tool for cleaning microfiber and excellent cat hair removal brush

Enviro wand: Click here  tool for cleaning hard to reach spaces such as sky lights and ceiling fans

   Happy cleaning.
       Denise Frakes
        Home and personal coach...at your service

Friday, October 5, 2018

Change your cleaning vocabulary

Change your vocabulary 


Cleaning - clutter clearing - chores... they are exactly what you think they are


    Renaming changes Perceptions

           Reboot:  Cleaning is rebooting- rebooting is the act of turning off a crazy acting electronic, waiting 60 seconds and then plugging it back in.   Walla, magically your electronics start to flow again.  Cleaning is a way to reboot your your space and you.

           Space Clearing:  Cleaning and clutter clearing are space clearing.  Space clearing is the mindful act of shifting energies and refreshing a space to help it feel good and flow with ease.

          Shifting:  Cleaning and clutter clearing are energy shifting.  Stuck energy and stuck "stuff" feel heavy.  By moving your things and organizing, you also lighten up and get clear.

         Unplugged:  Cleaning is physical movement.  It is repetitive, consistent, mindless or mindful.  It has all the elements of a beautiful meditation practice.  Turn off your phone, open windows and breathe.

   Cleaning is a word we use that can be many things.  Be mindful of the words you use- they matter

    Wishing you a vast and uplifting vocabulary,
        Denise
    Home and life coach... at your service





Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Residue Free Cleaning - push the easy button

Residue free is essential to a healthy home and easy cleaning.  Just incase you are new to the idea of residue free cleaning...I've posted the reader's digest version- scroll down to see the basics. 
But first enjoy my first video on residue free cleaning!!  


Residue free cleaning in a nutshell 

1.  Prevent future work!
            Take off your shoes, wipe down your showers, open windows, pick up, 
               wipe up and put away as you travel through your day

2.  Always start with the mildest means  
          Use the simplest, most effective way to remove soil/germs/dirt - start here!!!
          You can always work up to the big guns in needed... 
                        hint... disinfectants, bleaches, solvents are big guns
                        hint... microfibers, water, and mild neutral cleaners are  effectively mild means 

3.  Leave nothing behind... not chemicals, no soil, no polishes, no creams … nothing
            Products left behind can lead to more work, they cross contaminate and
                   add work, toxins and muck to your day.
            If you are going to leave anything behind as you clean... let it be love

Thursday, August 9, 2018

6 simple steps to creating a safe place to heal

This Wednesday I had the honor of speaking at the Pierce County Cancer Survivorship Conference.  Here is a quick summary of my talk.  For everyone attending my presentation, thank you for creating such an engaging and fun class. And to all the volunteers and sponsors, wow- great event- thank you!

   6 simple habits to creating a safe home to heal

1.  Clean residue free   Cleaning is the action of removal,   Sometimes we forget the simple.  Cleaning is simply removing from a surface what isn't part of that surface.  When your cleaning is complete, the only thing that should be left behind is the surface.
       Start with the mildest means and use the process of: wash, rinse and dry.   Adding the technology of effective microfibers makes cleaning more effective without leaving a residue behind.  Think removal and think twice about reaching for disinfecting wipes for your daily cleaning.

2.  Wash up-  One of the best and easiest ways to minimize exposure to germs and viruses is simply washing your hands.  Rub hands together for 20 seconds wash, rinse and dry
       Wash hands as soon as you return home from being out and about in the public
       Wash hands before you eat
       And of course wash up after using the bathroom;-)

3.  Fresh air is essential to life!  Make a point to open up your windows and doors.  Our homes need to breathe just like we do.  There needs to be fresh air in every day.  Homes are absolutely healthier with fresh air flowing in and tired air flowing out.  Think fresh air- not air fresheners or synthetic fragrances.
     Open windows and doors at least once per day- breathe in
     Run exhaust fans, open windows - breathe out

4.  Unclutter your home.  When your home is all tangled up and out of order, it is hard to truly relax.  When you unclutter your home your nervous system has a chance to relax. When you are relaxed you rest and heal better.  By cleaning  and decluttering your home you are rebooting it.  It has the same effect as unplugging your computer for 60 seconds.  ahhhhh exhale.....)))))))

5.  Create sacred spaces.  Surround yourself with people, pets and things you love.  When you look around and everything you see is nourishing you are happier.  You feel nourished and supported.  This is how you should feel.  Let go of things that drain you.  Less is more

6.  Bring nature inside and go outside.  There have been some excellent studies showing how patients heal faster when they can see nature.  We tend to spend 80-99% of our time indoors.  At the very least bring a bit of nature inside with fresh flowers and plants.  Open up windows and let nature be part of your home.  Go outside. Spend time outside, sitting, walking and being.

When we are happy and relaxed we give our body, mind and spirit a chance to heal.  If you would like further training in cleaning, uncluttering, creating sacred space call on me anytime.  Wishing you all deep breaths, joyful days and nourishing spaces,
              Thank you,
                      Denise Frakes

Monday, August 6, 2018

Invite: Pierce County Cancer Survivorship Conference 2018

What are you doing Wednesday?  You are invited to join me for the annual Pierce County Cancer Survivorship Conference, August 8th.  The PCCSC is being held on the University of Puget Sound campus. UPS is near and dear to my heart.  A beautiful place to spend your Wednesday surrounded by caring kindred spirits, gorgeous landscaping and buildings.

Who should attend? Everyone.  Who hasn't been affected in some way or another by cancer?  This conference is an amazing gathering of resources, education, speakers and generous souls who have given a ton of time and energy to create this space.  This event is free to the public and well worth the effort!

I'll be speaking at the Breakout session 2 from 10:15-11:15 am.  My topic Healthy Homes: Creating a safe place to heal.

Our homes are a reflection of our habits.  Our habits are automatic and mindless actions.
They can benefit us or deplete us

Creating a safe place to heal is a no brainer for being healthy and vibrant.  It is essential for healing.

 How many homes have I been in where the method to remove germs, odors and stagnation was toxic?  I have no idea but it's a wee bit scary.

Your home and environment health is a huge influencer on your health. If you want to heal up and stay healthy start with a healthy home.  Simple shifts in habits, knowing your why's and making the connection are easy and hugely beneficial changes you can make to create a healthy space.


Partial speaker topics for PCCSC 2018
Along with the Keynote speaker there are about 28 other speaking sessions you can choose from.  Topics include:  Brain health, the art of a good night's sleep, mindful aesthetics- with the amazing Becky Kluen, diets linked to cancer, medical cannabis, breast reconstructive surgery,  estate planning, caregiving, cancer immunotherapy and much much more.  

If you can't make it to the conference, schedule your own private consult with me.  We can focus on what you want and need.  From downsizing and simplifying your household chemicals,  uncluttering your home, creating a nourishing kitchen and of course cleaning for health.  

Living in a nourishing space is priceless





Sunday, July 29, 2018

Cleaning Friend or Foe?


 This morning a poem popped into my head before I even put my feet to the floor.  I'm on my way to hold a cleaning class.  Last night I was thinking about cleaning.... apparently even in my dreams;-) After 27 plus years, cleaning has turned into more of a philosophy than chore.  
  How we treat our chores will tell us much about who we are... enjoy

   Friend or Foe?


Cleaning is your life traveling partner
She will become what you ask

You can think of her as a dreaded chore
Or a partner and friend

Treat her poorly and your life will crumble
Treat her with love and your spirit will thrive

You can give her an honored space in your life
Or you can stuff her in a dark closet, throw rags and toxins at her

You can desert her but only for a while
She needs care, but she doesn’t need fussing

She will warm your hands and soul during the dinner dishes
She will give you something to do when you lose your way

She will watch you throw your shoes in the closet
And she will smile as you gently place them there too

She watches sadly when you struggle and dances when you thrive
She can turn your home into an oasis or into a prison

She is a meditative practice
She is space to ponder

She will travel with you when you celebrate
She will be there when you cry

She is simple and nourishing
She can feel exasperating and perplexing

When treated well she will give you clarity and wisdom
When treated poorly she will muddle and tangle you

She is essential
She is steady

She asks for very little.
She will bless your home when thanked and loved

She is your traveling partner in this life
Treat her well and she will make your life sing

Make your choice- friend or foe?
Discover her magic and or live in her sorrow

Denise Frakes  cleaning poem from the wee hours of July 29- 2018









Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Breathing....to find your joy

Breathe in....Breathe out

Buy beautiful materials.....Create

Gather ideas... Give them wings

I think we get stuck.  We have an abundance of resources in our country.  We are rich and yet we are also poor.  Because we have the gift of abundance we can forget there is always a balance to life.  In getting there must be a release. 

Clutter clearing isn't about deprivation it is about balancing and completing the cycle.  We can't just breathe in...we need to release and breath out.  It is on the out breath that we find happiness.

Inhale....Exhale...Inhale...Exhale... Ahhhhh ;-)

       Wishing you joy in your completions, your releasing and the epiphanies and blessings that come from both
                         Denise

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Emergency surgery and hot water


About 5-6 years ago, we lost power after a big snow storm. After 4 days with no hot water or heat in our home, I was chilled to the bone.  When the power returned I remember plunging my hands into the hot soapy water and dirty dishes.  I was happy in a soapy sink of gratitude.

I pledged not to take hot water for granted and try to be thankful.  Throughout the years, most days, as I do the dishes or take a shower, I think of that moment of gratitude and warmth.   I don't spend much time with the thoughts of gratitude but they do appear.  I feel nourished, grounded, calm and thankful.  Such a little thing, I didn't think much of it until last Saturday.

 Saturday my husband and I found ourselves at the hospital emergency room. It was 2:30 in the morning.  Dallas had just arrived via the ambulance.  He was soon to be headed for emergency surgery.

 Dallas was in pain, I was helpless and stressed.  I needed to stay calm for both our sakes.  Who know a simple practice I had picked up would come to my rescue. 

While we waited in the emergency room I had to go pee.   When I washed up I felt the warm water hit my hands and my whole body relaxed.  Instantly, I felt grounded and safe.  I was grateful and calm.

  Somewhere along the way, I had turned a daily chore into a trigger to become present, grounded and thankful.  I don't know when it happened but it is absolutely there.

As for Dallas he is healing up very well.  Thank you to all the well wishes and support that have come our way. 

When gratitude becomes a daily practice they just might show up in unexpected places.

Thank you to everyone at CHI St Francis who cared for my husband and for hot water.
           Denise

Thursday, May 3, 2018

An Ounce of Prevention for Returns

Today I returned my blog to its original name:  An Ounce of Prevention.  On Oct 6th 2009, this blog was created. The following was my very first post.  I've been writing about cleaning, healthy and happy homes for a long time- 9 years!  I still love it.  I'm a cleaning, clutter clearing and happy home nerd!

"Yesterday afternoon, I had a call from a lady with travertine floors. Her dog had thrown up and in certain light she could see an etch mark. During our conversation I explained the care and characteristics of travertineTravertine can be both acid sensitive and scratch sensitive. As we visited a light when on and she realized her house cleaner had just cleaned all of her travertine floors with vinegar! Her heart sank and so did mine.

Calls like this come in much too often. I love my builders, retailer and designers who call on me to teach their clients the care and characteristics of their new surfaces. This customer's frustration and future expense didn't have to happen. My caller could have provided her house cleaner with the correct cleaner and a phone number to us for any questions.

She voiced her frustration of not being taught the proper care and characteristics. I felt for her- I hate these calls. I love teaching and helping to avoid this very situation.

An ounce of prevention should be what we call our education services.

May you have happy homes,
Denise"



Why did I leave this name?  When we sold the tile and stone cleaning part of our company, I thought I should remake this blog.  You might have noticed the shifts and changes.  Nothing felt quite right and nothing stuck.  An Ounce of Prevention was always its name in my head.  This week, I was doing a cleaning demo class and I saw over and over again how at the heart of  cleaning is always prevention.  You wipe down your shower walls and prevent soap scum.  You ask before you use vinegar and save a lot of money and stress.  You pick up your house throughout the week and cleaning day and your chore is faster: prevention-prevention-prevention. See what I mean??


 Travertine Care reminder:  Vinegar has an acidic pH.  Travertine is acid sensitive.  Put them together and you have taken the top micro layer off your travertine.  Tip, unless you want to damage your beautiful travertine floors, countertops and showers, do not use an acidic cleaner to clean them.   Instead use a microfiber mop and if a cleaner is needed use a cleaner with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH. One preferably that doesn't leave a residue.  Call with Questions and call before you use a product your are not sure of.

As always, wishing you a happy and healthy home,
           Denise
Home and Personal Coach- 27 years experience and 9 years blogging

Making cleaning easy and fast tip.  Use less cleaner on your floors.  Cleaner's can build up a residue making your beautiful floors look dingy, muddled and gray.  Cleaning is about removal not addition.  Removing germs, dirt, schmutz is what cleaning is.  Also, use big tools, make each movement count and go floor tools with big heads.  Here is one of my favorite things- the 20 + inch superior mop form Norwex.  It comes with two heads- one for dusting and one for cleaning.  This product will not only save you time, but keep your floors crystal clean and beautiful. Click here to check out this microfiber mop.