Sunday, February 24, 2019

Happily Uncluttered- Get a Storage Unit- yes or no???

Have you noticed the number of new storage rental spaces going up?  There are 3 big storage facilities currently under construction close to my home.  Extra storage has its advantages but before you decide invest in a storage unit... read on.

The self storage business has become a $38 billion dollar business.  Which is fantastic if you own or invest in storage facilities.  Not so great if you are one of their customers.

For the last 10 plus years, I have coached and supported families in uncluttering their homes and lives.  I'll be the first to recommend a storage unit when it actually supports the family, but in most cases a storage unit will long term costs to you, both financially and emotionally.

There is a good reason the storage unit business is booming.  First, as a culture we are exploding with extra stuff:  our memorabilia, our kid's stuff, our parent's stuff, our business stuff, our hobby stuff, our home remodeling stuff, I'll get to it soon stuff, or just our not sure what to do with stuff.  You get the picture.

 Once our stuff gets removed from our home and into a big metal will usually stays there.

There is a law of physics that says:
 Things in motion tend to stay in motion, things at rest, tend to stay at rest. 

 Storage units puts our things at rest...and there they sit.

5 ways to effectively use or not use storage units

1.  Always have a plan and exit strategy.  Be very clear why you are getting a storage unit and have a exit date from the beginning.

2.  Use storage unit for transitions:  moving/remodeling your home, families in transition, kids in transition.  By using a storage unit verses filling up your own home, you keep from overwhelming your life with other peoples stuff.  It's hard to remove other peoples things from your home once they have taken root.  Again, have an exit strategy upfront.

3. Use the storage unit to support tiny homes.  I have several clients who live in tiny spaces- boats, condo's etc.  In this case, think of your storage unit as another room.  Create this space as a working space.  Put like with like and let it be a workable addition to your home.  Add the cost of the storage unit in your budget as part of your rent/ home cost.

4. Thoughtfully create the storage unit as a working space.  Don't just throw in boxes.  Organize by category- think like with like.  Put your taxes all together, your suitcases together, your grandmothers dishes together.  Label clearly and with detail.  If you can, put boxes around edges so you can find and sort your stuff with little effort.  The more inviting the storage unit, the more likely you will be to use and downsize the space.

5.  Downsize instead of storing. If you are feeling overwhelmed in your own home, a storage unit won't make it all go away.  Consider hiring help to downsize your home.  The money and effort spent in uncluttering your life is worth a 1000 storage units.  If you find it difficult to unclutter your will find it even harder to dig out from a storage unit.  An ounce of prevention is priceless.

If you need help, get support.  Many hands do in fact make more effective work.  With help in downsizing, your focus and efforts are exponentially improved.  The freedom you gain is priceless.  My own specialty is making work fun, keeping your stress at ease and regaining your life.  When you are having a good time, work stops being work.  While we work we create a healthy nourishing home and discovering your new life... free of stuff.

Sign up for my March 6th class:  Happily Uncluttered- click here to register.
       Learn effective skills and tools to lightening up the emotional weight and energizing your work

Happy travels to a lighter life,
             Denise Frakes
                  Healthy home & vibrant life coach, trainer and speaker.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Fresh air indoors gives you energy

It's snowing outside.  Beautiful big flakes!  I'm thankfully all snug in my warm home.   When I got home today I opened up all my windows.  As soon as I cracked the first window, my kitty Penny came running.  She is wise... fresh air does a home and body good.

With Fresh Air
    Fresh air makes our homes healthier
    When our homes are healthy- we are healthier
    Cats love fresh air
    A bit of fresh air does a body and spirit good
    Our homes feel and smell better

Without Fresh Air
    We use fake air:  air fresheners, plug ins and deodorizing sprays trying to make our homes feel and smell fresh... there is no comparison!!  Fresh air isn't a bought from the grocery store.
     Carbon dioxide can build up....Not enough oxygen... we feel fatigued, our homes feel stuffy- heavy
    We don't sleep as well
    We aren't as healthy- oxygen is kind of important!!!
    Our cats become irritable

I know it seems like you are wasting energy by opening up windows.  I get it, but in reality 5 minutes will have very little if any impact on your heating bill.  The benefits of fresh air- priceless!!

Our homes need fresh air in - and stagnate air out
If you want to be healthy and happy open up windows. Refresh your air and sleep happy

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Uncluttered Happiness

Deciding which direction to go isn't as important as making a decision.  The same goes for deciding what to keep and what to let go of.  A clear decision can make you happier than having too many options.  Our state of happiness is more resilient than we give it credit for.

This morning as I was researching for another blog, I came across a review of Dan Gilbert's Ted Talk on the Science of Happiness.  Dan shares insights into what I have witnessed time after time in my coaching practice.  We get lost in the details.  Afraid to make the wrong choice or take the wrong path.  As it turns out, no matter which way we decide, the science of happiness supports our happiness level.  We are naturally resilient.

The next time you are trying to decide what book to keep, which restaurant to visit or even which dream to follow... watch this talk.  The decision may not be as important as you think.  Wrong or right, it will have little impact on your long term happiness.

I find this study incredibly calming to my worries of life.  No matter what happens, in 3 months, I'll be back to my current level of happiness.  Good to know...

Happiness is more of a habit than singular event

    Happy New Year!  Here's to living light and clear this year!
                           Talk about resiliency!  Dandelions can bloom even in Winter!!

Friday, January 4, 2019

Rebooting time is a human requirement

We are like computers.  
Just like computers, we periodically need to unplug, turn everything off and reboot. 
 Rebooting time is a human requirement- period!

Like computers, we are electrically charged.
  Too much electricity flowing through our brains gets wild- unruly
Our homes get messy, our thoughts muddled, our actions frantic or sludgy.

As a coach and human, one of my most effective rebooting tools and organizing. 
  Resetting your home or space is not a chore.  It is a effective rebooting tool. 
 The home reboot is a natural form of meditation - a grounding practice. 

Cleaning and uncluttering are restorative reboots. 
 They are forms of space clearing.
 You actively move around your home curiously, thoughtfully- unplugged 
returning life gone astray back to its home
Removing life schmutz

Clutter is a sign we need a reboot
Clutter comes in many forms.  Time clutter, stuff clutter, thought clutter
 Having no pause in our lives is like having no pauses between notes in a song

    New Year Goal: Rebooting time
       Natural pauses to reset your life.  

Reboot with thoughtful pauses:
  freetime, picking up the house, playtime, quiet time, personal time, micro-vacation time,
 cleaning your desk time, time to wonder and ponder, organize your pantry,
go outside, sort your books, sit on the porch, curiously free time

Rebooting time is a human requirement


 If we don't reboot, our energy gets wild, frantic - exhausted
 We start chasing squirrels
Reboots are recess for the mind, body and spirit

Reboot:  breathing space... space to play, mind travel and come back to life - refreshed

Create natural rebooting time in 2019.  Your electrical system and essence will thank you,

May your travels be refreshing and your homes nourishing,

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Easy mistake in cleaning can be costly to health and wallet

This morning I received another call about a travertine floor... the homeowner's housecleaner used "something" that removed its finish/shine...oh dear...

That something is probably an acidic cleaner. Acidic cleaners and acids in general will eat away acid sensitive material- such as calcium. Calcium based stones such as marbles, travertine and even most grouts are acid sensitive. When an acid meets an acid sensitive material, they react to each other. This reaction on acid sensitive stone is referred to as an etch. The stone has been eaten away. The finish wasn't cleaned away but eaten away.

The most common accidental etching comes from our little friend: Vinegar. Vinegar is commonly used in green cleaning. However, it is not a mild cleaner. A mild cleaner is non abrasive and has a pH of around 7 or neutral. Vinegar is a non-buffered acid with a acidic pH of 3. Vinegar, even though it is safe to eat, is not always safe to use. Safe and mild are two different things. Safe refers to a product being nontoxic it also may mean - safe to use on all surfaces but not necessarily.

A product can be mild, non-harmful to a surface such as a neutral mildewcide but damaging people
Common household cleaners that are acidic are: toilet cleaners drain cleaners, shower/tile cleaners and vinegar-based window cleaners.

On top of etching, acidic cleaners are also reactive. When mixed with bleaches or alkaline cleaners they react. This reaction can be nontoxic, like the reaction you get when mixing baking soda and vinegar. But... and this is a big but!! It can also create a toxic and deadly gas!!

The most common reactive chemicals are ammonia/strong alkalines, bleaches and acids.
Never mix cleaning products!!! You may be creating a deadly and toxic gas!!!

It is incredibly easy to accidentally mix cleaners. You spray one in the air...and then you spray another in the air.  Walla- you just mixed products. I can't tell you how many times, I been told by a home and professional cleaner they had burning eyes, scratchy throats, coughing, headaches etc. when cleaning or post cleaning!

A travertine floor that has "lost" its sheen will need to be repolished. This is an expensive process and one that could have been easily prevented. An etched floor might be stressful and expensive but at least it wasn't deadly.

Home care is a science and an art.  Cleaning is chemistry and physics.
This blog is a good example why I teach healthy homes, residue free cleaning and sell residue free cleaning products.

  The 3 parts of Residue Free Cleaning
1. Practice Prevention
Start with prevention- read labels, do your research, take off your shoes, wipe down your showers, run your exhaust fans, open windows for fresh air...

2. Use the Mildest means
Always start with the mildest means. Mildest means... dusting, vacuuming, microfibers and neutral, nontoxic cleaners. You can always move up to a harsher cleaner but if you clean well, you rarely ever need to use anything more than water, neutral cleaners, vacuums and microfibers!

3. Leave your home residue free
Leave nothing behind... no germs, no cleaner, no moisture...
Rinse and dry your surfaces, don't spray cleaners in the air, let fresh air into your home

If you are going to leave anything behind in your cleaning...
 let it be gratitude 

Wishing you safe, happy and healthy home,
Denise Frakes
Home and Life Coach at your service

For education, products and coaching contact me at 253-815-0446, message me on facebook  or email me at

To purchase the best in microfibers click here. Any questions don't hesitate to contact me.
Cleaning should be easy, safe and non stressful!

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 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,
    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