Preparing for Pesach while being Stuck at Home with Kids. The Kitchen Part I

Hi everyone. I hope you are all surviving, managing, and coping given the restrictions of social distancing and other guidelines to keep everyone safe.  Getting ready for Pesach has always been a challenge with its never-ending to-do lists and hard work in getting the home ready.  Now, many of us are #HomeAllTheTime and still need to find a way to pull this off.  I’m here to help.  I’m not going to post a calendar and what to do each day, but instead, I’m going to share what I’m doing and how I’m doing it.

Cleaning with kids

The key is #ProgressNotPerfection.  Nothing has to be perfect, just do your best.  In general, I write, rewrite, edit, edit, and edit some more before I hit the publish button…and even then I may have missed a mistake.  I notice it, I fix it.  Life goes on. The same goes for your cleaning efforts. Do your best and move on.

The first thing to do is SWEEP.  Sweep until you feel like Cinderella.  Sweep after each meal. Sweep after each snack.  Move the couch sweep (or vacuum).  Move things that you can move and sweep. Even if you sweep 100 times today, you’ll do it again tomorrow but you must STAY ON TOP of it.  If you have more than one broom and dustpan locate them in the high traffic areas.

Clear some clutter

I am a big fan of getting rid of clutter as well as saving the planet by freecycling giveaways.  I am now going to go against every fiber of my being and tell you NOT to get rid of your clutter.  Because of regulations, thrift stores cannot accept donations at this time (at least the ones where I know the owners have publicly announced it).  If you have a pile of clothing of the same lot meaning all girls sizes 4-6 or all women’s XL then if you know someone who could use that and is able to accept it then reach out and check if they are able to collect it or have it dropped off.  If this isn’t a possibility then do what I am doing and find an out of the way corner where you can stash your giveaways until further notice.

The KITCHEN is the area in my home that takes the most time and effort so I’m starting there.

Wipe Down

Combine your chometz cleaning with sanitizing your kitchen.  Empty out drawers.  One at a time or you’ll find yourself overwhelmed and with a balagan on your hands.  Kids can help with this. Even my 5 year old has gotten psyched with this part.  Granted he may spend as much time wiping as playing with the contents but that doesn’t matter.

tools to use

  • microfiber cleaning cloths
  • dish soap
  • q-tips
  • toothpicks
  • magic eraser
  • sponge
  • cleaning shpritz to sanitize after the shmutz has been cleaned

where to clean

  • drawer pulls
  • drawer handles
  • rim of the drawer
  • size of the drawer
  • cabinet front

Since we are sharing electronics in my home I need to pass my computer to the next person.  Here’s a video I put up on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOcMj9Bdwus on the start of my kitchen cleaning with kids afoot.

Small bites of time and not big chunks is how this will get finished.

Take care and stay safe and healthy!

Karen, The Klutter Koach

 

Introducing VIRTUAL ORGANIZING & COACHING by The Klutter Koach

Need home organizing or decluttering? Many folks around the globe have been sent home, quarantined, or otherwise been relegated to going nowhere.  If you’re stuck at home and overwhelmed not only by the corona situation but by a cluttered environment THERE’S A SOLUTION.  I can’t help with the restrictions, but I CAN HELP WITH THE CLUTTER and provide some social interaction as well…VIRTUALLY. The Klutter Koach is now offering VIRTUAL ORGANIZING & COACHING.

Huh? How can one get ‘virtually organized’?  To clarify, you’re doing the organizing  but I’m doing it with you!  How? Using video chat I’ll successfully “Koach” you step-by-step just as if I were working beside you! With 24 years in the classroom of helping students tackle projects,  I can patiently and successfully do the same with you by talking you through your project.

If you’re motivated and can dedicate at least 1 hour of working together, you’ll find you’ll be more productive than trying to get things done solo (even with a houseful of kid/kids or other distractions).

How it works

  1. Consultation via phone or WhatsApp chat.  We discuss what project(s) you want to work on.
  2. Send photos.  Send me photos and or video of the space: each drawer, cabinet, etc.
  3.  I create a plan
  4. We meet using a video chat platform such as Zoom
  5. I will give step-by-step directives and you carry out the task.
  6.  Post-session follow up.  I’m available by email or whatsapp chat for questions and continued follow-up.
  7.  Pay using PayPal

I’ve piloted this service and the time has presented itself to launch! For those celebrating Passover/Pesach our homes still need to get cleaned and prepared.  Just like having a fitness buddy gets you up and moving for exercise, having a Koach (coach) is your buddy and provides accountability for getting your tasks completed. We can do this!

Contact me for questions or to schedule a session

Be well.  Stay healthy and Wash your hands.

-Karen, The Klutter Koach

Purim Checklist

Soon it will be Purim with much to do to prepare. If you haven’t already discovered the SANITY-SAVING BENEFITS of using a CHECKLIST, here’s the perfect opportunity to try one out. Why is this checklist different from all other checklists? Because this list addresses the ORGANIZATION ASPECTS of Purim and being organized will INCREASE JOY and REDUCE STRESS. Isn’t that what we want in a holiday (plus some chocolate with zero calories…)?  Wishing you a joyous Purim! from Karen, The Klutter Koach

MAKE SPACE. Purge your refrigerator.  Toss forgotten leftovers or expired items.

DESIGNATE. Designate a shelf in the fridge for perishables/drinks for Purim-only items.

CREATE A SHOPPING LIST. Use a shopping list and write down what’s needed for seuda,  mishloach manot, disposable items, etc. Include healthy nosh to counteract non-healthy nosh.

MAKE STATIONS. Decide on a specific location for costumes, an assembly area for mishloach manot, and a place for borrowed items. Designate a basket or container to hold costumes. By putting all costumes in one place, you will know where to find them for the next wearing.

MAP IT OUT. Plan a delivery route for Purim day.  Whether walking, driving, or using public transportation, make a plan of attack for delivering your mishloach manot.

GATHER. If you don’t already have a ‘Purim Box’ create one.  I recommend using a see-through plastic box.  Contain all noisemakers, Megilot, extra bags, and decorations here. Then next year it will be a breeze to find your Purim things.

CHECK TIMES. Check times for Megila reading.  Post them on your fridge, message center, send yourself a Google Calendar reminder, or post on a family WhatsApp

GET CASH. Go to the ATM so you have money for matonos levyonim and tzedakah collectors.

USE DISPOSABLES. Have disposables on-hand for meals. The counters will be cluttered up already without adding stacks of dirty dishes.

PRE-FAST FOOD DECISIONS. Decide what the non-fasting members of the family will eat during the Fast of Esther. Make a ‘nosh and nibble platter’ so everyone can help themselves.

MAKE MORE STATIONS. Clear off a counter, table, or set up a card table.  Decide where misloach manot packages that have been delivered to you will be put on Purim Day.

PREPARE SUPPLIES. Gather supplies for misloach manot.  Put all bags, boxes, ribbons, and name labels in one place.

LABEL. Have one box or basket for each family member labeled with their name. Purpose: to have a place to put MMs that get delivered.  There is nothing worse than family members having misplaced goodies or squabble over whose is whose.

PUT OUT PAPER AND PENS. Set out a pad of paper and pens.  If things show up when you’re out, someone else can write down who came and what was received. In theory, they should put the goodies in the designated family member’s box or basket.

FOOD OPTIONS FOR PURIM DAY. Put out healthy nosh.  Have apple slices, dried fruit, hard-boiled eggs, mini sandwiches (or whatever else your family likes).  Purpose: to have  ‘grab ‘n go’ options besides candy and junk food.  Do this when breakfast is being prepared.

ACCESSIBLE CLEANING TOOLS. Have a trash can and broom easily accessible.  Prepare for chaos and mess throughout the day, but having these tools on hand will make cleanup easier if you can do a little here and there. Have trash bags on-hand

POST THE SCHEDULE. Have a tentative schedule posted or notes on your electronic device.  What time is Megila reading?  What time does the seuda start? What time are teachers having students stop by?

The Aliyah Files #29 Got Tummy Trouble? What OTC meds can you take for relief?

The topic of the Aliyah Files #27 was OTC medications for pain relief and sinus. To continue with the OTC medication theme here are products for relief of diarrhea, gas, and other tummy troubles. May you not need any of them and if you do, may you have quick relief of symptoms!

Gas X / Simethicone = Gazim X

Gazim X
Gazim X

Miralax=Perglax Neutral

Imodium = Stop It

Prilosec=Losec

Losec

Pepto Bismol = Kalbeten

Kalbeten

Electrolytes (Pedialyte) = Hydro Add

Hydro AddTums=Tums

Benefiber=Benefiber

IMG_20200214_104600

L. X. Care =used for constipation

L.X. Caren

A shout out to Arthur Jacobs of Arthur’s Natural Pharmacy in Ramat Bet Shemesh for allowing me to photograph the merchandise. A word from Arthur “In addition to these products there are different kinds of probiotics. Probiotics aren’t created equal so you should know which one helps your particular ailment.”

So here you have it…tummy trouble OTC products.  My disclaimer is to always consult a trained medical practitioner when needed and read the leaflet insert on dosing instructions.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Karen, aka The Klutter Koach

February 14, 2020

 

Superbowl LIV and 54 Items you can Easily Declutter from your home

Decluttering doesn’t have to be difficult.

In celebration of Superbowl LIV here are 54 ITEMS you CAN EASILY DECLUTTER FROM YOUR HOME. So whether you’re hosting a Superbowl party and want your space to look good for the company, couldn’t give a hoot about the Superbowl, or thinking about spring cleaning,  I’ve created a free downloadable PDF to help get the decluttering ball rolling.

To get this awesome PDF click here  and write Declutter54 in the comments.

Superbowl LIV ad (1)

To give you a little preview

IMG_20200202_005229

If I could put a little box right here that said ‘Get my FREE PDF’ I would…but I can’t…so… if you’ve scrolled this far and didn’t click yet and want to receive the PDF click here to get your Declutter54 list.

Happy decluttering and Go Team!

-Karen, The Klutter Koach

February 2, 2020

The Aliyah Files #28 The Aliyah Homemaker: Washing floors the Israeli way

When I made aliyah we moved to Karmiel in Northern Israel. Karmiel had a very small Anglo population so my neighbors were all native Israelis.  While not having English-speaking neighbors was a challenge, these neighbors helped me acquaint a new culture as well as indoctrinate me to the ways of Israeli-style home management.

 

IMG_20200115_135749
preparing to do sponja

Multiple times I’ve been requested to make a video of doing sponja and I’m pleased to announce I FINALLY made it happen! INTRODUCING MY PREMIER YOUTUBE VIDEO! SPONJA: THE VIDEO

Not to keep you in suspense any longer,  but in order to reach a wider audience, I posted the method with accompanying video on Blog Times of Israel…so I kindly direct you to click the link  https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/aliyah-homemaker-washing-floors-the-israeli-way/ 

You’ll have step-by-step instructions for what I call SPONJA METHOD #1 and the tutorial video of Yours Truly demonstrating how it’s done.

So if you scrolled all the way to the bottom without clicking on the link to Blog Times of Israel, you’ve missed the video and tutorial! Here another opportunity https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/aliyah-homemaker-washing-floors-the-israeli-way/

OR you just want so see the video without the accompanying instuctions go directly to YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwPzBsKoMfY&t=2s

If you found this information helpful, check out other Olim Files posts https://theklutterkoach.com/category/aliyah-the-olim-files/ and share the link with your friends.

Thanks for reading (and watching!)

Karen, The Klutter Koach

January 16, 2020

 

 

 

 

How to give your room a facelift without spending any money

One way to give a room a facelift is to straighten up the bookcases. As you can see from this After & Before of a bookcase, an organized bookcase has appeal.  The disorganized may cause stress and who needs more stress?

Sunday Stories 1_5_20 (2)

Here’s how to make your bookcase look awesome

STEP 1

Remove all non-books that are laying on or in front of the books

STEP 2

Turn all books vertically with spines facing outward so you can see the titles

STEP 3

Decide where the non-book items belong. Do you have piles of mail? Kids papers? Toys? Art projects? Photos? Some things you can throw out and the other may need relocating.  If you aren’t sure where to put them it indicated you need some systems.

STEP 4

Notice I didn’t say DECLUTTER…I highly recommend periodically going through your books to see if there are books you don’t have interest in keeping. TRUTH you don’t have to keep every book you’ve ever bought. If your shelves are jam packed is a sign you may want to do this step.

IF you’re to declutter the books use what I call the Onion Analogy

www.theklutterkoach.com.png

  • Think of an onion with multiple layers. The first layer to peel (discard) are the books you don’t like. You couldn’t get into the story, it was boring, you liked it once upon a time but no longer.
  • Wait a day or two. The second layer are books you read once or twice but don’t have interest in re-reading them. If you’re needing to downsize because of a move this part of the process can have multiple layers to peel.
  • The Klutter Koach guideline for the last cut of books is to ask yourself: IF I WERE TO GIVE THIS BOOK AWAY WOULD I CHECK IT OUT OF THE LIBRARY? If yes, it’s a keeper.

Do ONE  SHELF AT A TIME if you think you’ll get overwhelmed.

kallax

SUGGESTION: Many clients have Ikea Kallax bookcases. I really like these, especially for children’s books because they keep the books in a more upright position than falling over compared to wider shelves where books tend to topple over.

As as BTW, the bookcase in the photo was taken in the waiting room of an urgent care center that had reading material available . This explains why there aren’t any photos or other odds ‘n ends.

Typically, almost all of bookcases I deal with have e non-book items to contend with.  Some bookcases might have a shelf for games or a shelf of framed photos, but most have  clutter in front of the books that needs to be dealt with.

Winter is a great time to cozy down with a good book.  A straightened home library will add to that coziness.

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Thanks for reading.  Now on to a good book…

Karen, The Klutter Koach

January 5, 2020

The Aliyah Files #27 You’ve finished your stash of Motrin and Tylenol, now what? Here’s the Israeli OTC medication guide for Fever, Aches & Pains

When I’m achy and miserable I want relief.  I also want TLC, soup, and a hot beverage but that can’t be bought at the pharmacy.  So what OTC meds can one find at a pharmacy in Israel that are equivalent to the familiar brands we know and trust from the USA?  Here’s the Klutter Koach’s Olim Files Illustrated Guide for OTC medication for Fever,Aches & Pains…with a bonus product for Sinus pain relief.

One thing you’ll notice is the packaging generally has English on one side and Hebrew on the other.  Another thing you’ll notice is the instruction leaflet inside the box is written in English, Hebrew, and Arabic. As with any medication, check with your doctor/healthcare provider if you have any questions.

Ready for some relief? Here are your options:

IMG_20191225_152751
Acamol=Tylenol
Acamoli English side of box
Acamoli=Children’s Tylenol
Acamoli Hebrew side of box
The Hebrew side of the box of Acamoli
Nurofen
Nurofen=Motrin
Nurofen for Children
Nurofen for Children=Children’s Motrin
Alleve
Narocin=Naproxen Sodium= Alleve

If you’re a fellow sufferer of sinus pressure, there’s Flixonase (Flonase) which is not OTC and Sinufed (Sudafed) which is OTC but like the USA you need to show identification and can only fill one box at a time.

Flixonase
Flixonase=Flonase
Sinufed
Sinufed=Sudafed

All 4 of the kupot (coo-POHT), (Leumit, Clalit, Macabee, and Meuchedet) have pharmacies. Superpharm is a national pharmacy.  There are also private pharmacies.

In Ramat Bet Shemesh I want to give a shout-out to Arthur of Arthur’s Natural Pharmacy  Not only does Arthur’s carry prescription meds, OTC meds, and vitamins, but also natural remedies. The customer service is excellent, the store is clean and well-stocked, and unlike the kupot which often close in the middle of the day or early on some days, Arthur’s is “Open 8-8 and don’t be late!”

Wishing you a “Choref Bah-rie”, the blessing for a healthy winter.

Karen, The Klutter Koach

Have you missed any of The OLIM FILES?

#26 Fairy Dust, Pixie Dust, or Just Dust

#25 Best Snacks for School

#24 Storage Space

#23 Summer Sizzle

#22 Time is Relative

#21 The Ultimate in De-cluttering Part IV

#20 Tu B’Shevat and Midterm Report Cards

#19 Healthy Eating on a Budget

#18 Welcome to Israel!

#17 Ditch the Warehouse Club Mentality

#16 Over-the-Counter-Medication

#15 What to Buy as Soon as You Get Off the Plane

#14 Essential Hebrew Part II

#13 Essential Hebrew Part I

#12 Color and Home Decorating

#11 S’more, Meet Krembo

#10 Pumpkin-Spiced Latte

#9 The First Week of School

#8    The Illustrated Guide to School Supplies

#7  To Bring, or Not to Bring- That is the Question

#6 Making Pesach in Israel

#5  Doors, Light Switches,Toilets and Other Oddities of Your New Home

#4 Small Appliances

#3 Israeli Closets

#2 Cleaning Products

#1 Housekeeping 101 in Israel

The Secret to Happiness

Sorry to disappoint you, but I don’t know the secret to happiness.  HOWEVER, I recently discovered TWO THINGS which have made me much happier.

NUMBER ONE

The first was an inspirational message I saw: “Turn your “have to’s” into “get to’s.”  It’s an attitude we can all use every day to view our lives through a lens of gratitude.” says Bert Jacobs, Co-Founder and CEO of Life is Good.

I’ve heard over and over to “be grateful”, “keep a gratitude journal”, and “count your blessing.” but this simple yet powerful quote made my thought process do a 360.

My self-talk had been a lot “have to’s” and now I am focusing on the positive “get to-s”.

For example, I don’t have to go to clean up the house, I get to clean up the house.  I don’t have to go grocery shopping, I get to go grocery shopping. Makes these tasks feel more like privileges than something I don’t want to do.

NUMBER 2

The second thing which has increased my happiness was turning off  (almost) all notification sounds on my phone.  Without all the constant bings, dings, and pings. I feel less on-edge, less on-call. The urgency factor of needing to respond was really getting my adrenaline up.

Decluttering this cyber noise has really made me feel less agitated and more in control of my time and not a victim of technology. I feel I’ve returned to a simpler and happier era.

Try these two tips.  You may just be happier about it.  I know I am.

Karen, The Klutter Koach

May 9, 2018 (Updated December 31, 2019)

 

 

The Aliyah Files #28 How to downsize your book collection

DO YOU LOVE BOOKS? I do, plus I’m a self-proclaimed bookworm.  As much as I love books I don’t own every book I’ve read nor have kept every book I’ve bought. Gasp! Is it sacrilegious to give away books? No, it isn’t. If you’re making aliyah or even just moving across town, this is one category of items you’ll probably want to downsize.

Presents are nice (5)

If you want to / need to CULL YOUR COLLECTION here’s how. I call it the Onion Analogy. It’s a process of paring down one step (layer) at a time. 

www.theklutterkoach.com

THE ONION ANALOGY

  • Think of an onion with multiple layers. The first layer to peel (discard) is the books you don’t like. You couldn’t get into the story, it was boring, you liked it once upon a time but no longer. This is the easiest layer.
  • The second layer is books you read once or twice but don’t have an interest in re-reading them. If you’re needing to downsize because of a move this part of the process can have multiple layers to peel. This can be done over a period of time.  You don’t need to do this in one afternoon.  I recommend not doing this too close to a moving date if you’re moving because you may be overwhelmed and might end up taking more books than you would otherwise.
  • My guideline for the last cut of books is to ask yourself: IF I WERE TO GIVE THIS BOOK AWAY, WOULD I CHECK IT OUT OF THE LIBRARY? If yes, it’s a keeper. If no, pass it on.

So what do you do with the books you don’t want?  Many libraries accept books.  You can donate them to a thrift store, second-hand bookstore, or school.  If your community has a freecycle group you can also post there.

Painting Blog Banner

Don’t worry about not finding reading material in English in Israel.  There are libraries, book swaps, books to borrow from your friends.

In Bet Shemesh, the Benjamin Library has a twice-yearly book sale (which is in two weeks) and there is a great book swap in Maale Adumim with thousands of titles.

You can get books from Book Depository, order online, use a Kindle, or download books from the library.

So before I give you any more ideas for replenishing your book stash, keep to the task at hand of DOWNSIZING what you’ve got so only your favorites make the overseas journey to your new home.

Thanks for reading.

Karen, The Klutter Koach      January 6, 2020

 

TUESDAY TIP: How to keep your tichels tidy

TUESDAY TIP

If you’re into tying tichels than this tidy tip is for you.

Purchase a package of shower rings and attach them to a hanger. Then hang your tichels/ scarves/pashminas etc. from the rings. This scarf solution both practical and inexpensive.

No room in the closet to hang? Use the back of a door or hang from wall hooks for a colorful, artistic touch to your room.

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Of course you can also just stash all your scarves in a box large enough to contain your collection but for those who want other options see the links below.

You can find other great scarf organizational ideas at https://www.onecrazyhouse.com/15-super-simple-ways-organize-scarves/

or type SCARF STORAGE on Pinterest.

Thanks for visiting,

Karen aka The Klutter Koach–December 10, 2019

How to clear your closet and declutter clothing

👚👖 We all have clothes in our homes that aren’t worn anymore:

👕 Outgrown kid things

💃Sizes we are no longer fit into

👘Styles we don’t enjoy wearing

👢“Mistakes” such as wrong size bought

🥿items that Match Nothing

👕 Clothing that is Itchy, Rides Up, Rolls Down, and Other Annoyances

All these clothes TAKE UP VALUABLE SPACE in your closet. If you aren’t wearing them it’s time to remove them from your closet and your home.

Have a box for giveaways and another for trash. Refer to The Illustrated Guide to Donating Used Clothing for what is donatable and what goes into the used clothing receptacle http://bit.ly/2P56VJe.

🛍Start with one drawer at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed. Sort: keep, donate, trash

♻️Last step is to get the donatables out of your home. Do it ASAP! If you have a thrift store that can pick up call them to schedule a pickup. If you have a car, load up and drop off before the weekend. For me, I do by foot with my stroller to one of the neighborhood second-hand establishements.

THIS LAST STEP IS CRUCIAL IF YOU WANT TO DECLUTTER THIS CLOTHING FROM YOUR HOME.

You will be thrilled to have the extra space. Someone will be thrilled to purchase your donations. And you’re saving the planet at the same time by keeping usable items out of the landfill. It’s a WIN-WIN.

Karen, The Klutter Koach

originally published December 9, 2019. edited May 26, 2020

If you have a room nicknamed ‘The Monster’ here’s how to slay the beast

Playroom Makeover collage.png

SUNDAY STORIES

A client called me and said “My entire house is very organized except for my playroom. I call it ‘THE MONSTER’. So I went to slay the monster because that is what I do; which is tackle messes that most people find overwhelming.

The steps in the process are:

  • sort
  • downsize/declutter
  • organize.

There were items that were removed and freecycled, others that were trashed, and the rest sorted and put away. We shifted the Ikea storage to make better use of the space.

As you can see from the collage of  BEFORE, IN PROGRESS, & AFTER PHOTOS it is a process and many times things get worse before they get better.  This beast took close to 3 hours and 15 minutes to slay.

Following up, the client said “The room is no longer a monster. The kids were able to play nicely on Shabbos & clean up afterward while I was able to enjoy my coffee and some quiet time while they were busy playing.”

Sometimes it just takes a new set of eyes and someone not afraid to conquer monsters to get a room from disaster-zone to fun & functional.

To get more Klutter Koach blog posts SUBSCRIBE  to my blog or Follow me on Facebook or Instagram.

Karen, The Klutter Koach

December 8, 2019

The Klutter Koach Newsletter Premier Edition: Issue #1

I’ve been wanting to create a newsletter for some time now…and procrastinating.  I had my sights on using a service like MailChimp but the technical aspects kept me from moving forward…..So I took a BABY STEP and wrote a newsletter the “old fashioned way”…in the form of an email.  

 I decided to paste the content on my blog so here it is and I’m so excited to share it. The pretty multi-color highlights didn’t copy to the WordPress format…but it’s still the same chatty and engaging content so keep reading. 

 A STORY ABOUT TAKING THE  FIRST STEP

I read a great piece of advice about taking the first step and how the rest will follow. They say the first step is often the hardest. Do you agree? I do!

 The story used the example of someone who needed to exercise but wouldn’t.  

 The person was given the directive “Just put on your exercise clothes but don’t exercise.”  What do you think that person did? Do you think they listened? No-they put on their exercise clothes and walked around the block. 

 When questioned why, the person replied “Since I was already dressed, I may as well do something besides sitting at home in my exercise clothes.”  In my situation, I clicked the “COMPOSE” button as my first step and this email is what transpired.

 AMAZON OFFERS FREE SHIPPING TO ISRAEL 🛫 

This is BIG NEWS.  While there may come a time when I might take advantage of this if there is something I can’t get locally (98% of things I can with the exception of my Tom’s of Maine toothpaste and my Mabel’s Labels from Canada).

I CAUTION YOU not to make unnecessary purchases, free shipping or no free shipping…everything that enters your home needs a place and maintenance.

 Which leads me to BLACK FRIDAY and CYBER MONDAY. 🛍

If you have been making lists, planning purchases, and comparison shopping then by all means take advantage of the deals.  

 However…just like the free shipping from Amazon…shop wisely. If these notable days on the consumer calendar lead to impulse purchases and overspending, best wait to shop another time. Everything that enters your home needs a place and maintenance and this the prospective from a home organizer.  Your financial choices are not my jurisdiction.  I’m concerned about the “too much stuff” and how it affects your living space.

WEATHER WOES 🌪

We recently had some wild, windy weather.  

For days on end, the wind sounded like ocean surf. This is great if you want white noise but not great when every surface becomes covered in dust.  I would wipe down my laptop and within hours, it was coated again.  

 A week later, I’m still dusting…and it’s a real pain in the derriere (pardon my language).  The fewer things there are on surface areas, the easier it easy it is to do get the dusting done… That’s all I have to say about that…other than maybe consider doing some decluttering if there’s too much stuff (ahem…I digress)…

 SEASONAL WARDROBE TRANSITION 👚 👖👢

In Israel, we were still enjoying summer-like temperatures until last week. Then came the wild, windy weather and a big drop in temperature at night. My folks in Chicago already had snow in October so I shouldn’t complain.

 If you have summer clothing and winter clothing all jumbled together in the closet, I propose setting aside a chunk of time to do some sorting. 

 To transition, an adult’s wardrobe between seasons is simpler than a child’s wardrobe but the premise is the same.  Here’s a blog post I wrote called 10 Easy Steps to Transition a Child’s Wardrobe Between Seasons https://theklutterkoach.com/2014/10/26/10-easy-steps-for-a-seasonal-wardrobe-transition/  

 CLOTHING TO DONATE? 👚👕👟

Speaking of clothes, here’s an Illustrated Guide to Donating Used Clothing. NOBODY wants clothes that are ripped, stained, faded, pilly, or damaged. It doesn’t matter if it’s free or even 1 shekel.  Damaged clothes go into the trash/bin/clothing recycling receptacle.  Everything else is donatable.   https://theklutterkoach.com/2019/03/17/an-illustrated-guide-to-donating-used-clothing/  

 THE OLIM FILES

The Olim Files is my blog series of over 20 blog posts aimed at helping olim master everything from slang to buying school supplies  

 Many enjoyed a recently updated post called Pumpkin-Spiced Latte

https://theklutterkoach.com/2017/11/12/the-olim-files-10-autumn-symbols/ which illustrates symbols you will encounter (or not) in Israel this time of year and they aren’t what you think…

 FOOD CORNER: DIVINE MINT SMOOTHIE 🍵

One factoid about me is that I do most of my cooking from scratch. My newest venture is cutting down on sweet foods, processed foods, and animal products.  (See my blog posts under the category Food/Diet)

 I’m not vegan, paleo, macrobiotic, or any other named eating program but am trying to strike a balance between what I eat and how I feel.

I am a big fan of mint chocolate and chocolate with peanut butter so do have my vices….😋

I modified a recipe I found on Elana’s Pantry and renamed it Divine Mint Smoothie.because it was so delish. Maybe I’ll be a food blogger one day…In the meantime, I’ll share a recipe here and there.

Here’s what I put into my smoothie:

  • handful of kale
  • half can of coconut cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • a banana
  • 2-3 tablespoons of water
  • 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips

Directions: Blend everything except the chocolate chips.  When smooth, blend again with the chocolate chips. I was in mint heaven…and I got some greens into me. The sweetness of the banana canceled out any bitter taste the greens may have had so if you’re also trying to up your fruits and vegetable intake give this a try.

 FINALLY

Even though my business is called The Klutter Koach, I deal with more than just clutter. SERVICES OFFERED

Home organizing / Downsizing / Decluttering / Packing/ Unpacking ️ ++PLUS++ I remove your unwanted items and freecycle them to individuals and organizations.

REGARDLESS IF YOU ARE ORGANIZED OR NOT ORGANIZED being short on time, energy, or motivation is what keeps us from starting and/or finishing projects.

If you can dedicate 2-4 hours of time, I will ENTHUSIASTICALLY and NON-JUDGMENTALLY help you get those home organizing projects checked off your list. Closets, clothing, kitchens, playrooms & more 🙋

 Thanks for reading the Premier Issue of The Klutter Koach Newsletter 😊

Forward this email to friends or family who you think might appreciate the content.

All the best,

Karen aka The Klutter Koach

  https://theklutterkoach.com/

 https://www.facebook.com/theklutterkoach/

 

 

 

 

 

Who is The Klutter Koach?

Hi and thanks for clicking! LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MYSELF. I’m Karen Furman aka The Klutter Koach, which is Coach spelled with K for Karen, not ko-ach (strength). I’m not sure if it’s my signature BLUE GLASSES (which were once gray) or my friendly demeanor but when I meet people they say ‘Oh-you’re the organizer lady’. Yep. That’s me.

megamall
I’m a mom to six kids ages 4-20. Before you start doing mental math and thinking I look too young to have a 20-year-old, I will tell you to add fifteen years to the age you think I am and then a few more. I live with my husband and darlings in a small one-floor apartment. There are three bedrooms, a salon (living room/dining room), a kitchen, and small storage located in a different part of the building. (I’m 48 if you were still wondering.) Since I NEED everyone plus their stuff to fit, I’ve become the master of living in small surroundings and maximizing space and want to help others do the same.

I moved to Israel in 2010 from the USA. At the time I was a SPANISH /ESL teacher for middle school and high school students. Additionally, I was a newly practicing MASSAGE THERAPIST. I enjoyed different aspects of both professions. One thing about massage I love was the transformation that took place within the hour. A client would arrive in pain and leave relaxed “like jello”. In teaching, I enjoyed the flexibility and creativity of the work. I did lots of hands-on projects and arts integration. I liked getting to know my students and meaningful creating lessons with long-range impact.

In regards to being an organizer, I’ve been doing this sort of thing since 1st grade when I used to go around the classroom straightening everyone’s desks.  It’s said that if you want to go into business, take a talent you have and use it.  Since managing a classful of students was something I no longer wanted to pour my energy into, I started my organizing business.

teacher-karen-e1495486911235.jpg
drawing by Shalev, grade 7
“IS YOUR HOME ORGANIZED?”  I get asked this all the time.  Yes, it is.  Does it get messy? Yes.  It would not be normal if it didn’t get messy or dusty or heaps of laundry/dishes that need attending to.  The difference is that after playtime is over or Mt. Dishmore is conquered everything has a place.  It’s just the manpower to do it all that starts to fizzle after a long day so it’s not always picture-perfect if someone were to pay a surprise visit.  The meme below summarizes this experience.
Image result for oreos and teeth brushing meme"
On a personal note, I love to read. I enjoy going to the library and perusing the shelves for new material.  Interestingly enough, I don’t own a million books because I don’t have the space to keep them. I have about two shelves of my favorites and that’s it.

I enjoy arts and crafts and often peruse Pinterest for ideas on what to do with the materials I have on hand.  One day the kids and I collected acorns and pinecones in the park and found crafts to do with them.

I do most of my cooking from scratch. My newest venture is cutting down on sweet foods, processed foods, and animal products.  (See my blog posts under the category Food/Diet) I’m not vegan, paleo, macrobiotic, or any other named eating program but am trying to strike a balance between mood and food. I am a big fan of mint chocolate and chocolate with peanut butter so do have my vices.

The last important factoid is that I rarely use one-time items.  We use cloth napkins, reusable microfiber cleaning cloths, ‘and real’ dishes. I’m a big second-hand shopper especially when it comes to clothes.  This has a large impact on my business philosophy of freecycling (rehoming) where I find new homes for the giveaway items my clients have decluttered.  They feel good that other people can use their stuff plus it keeps usable items out of the landfill.

Regards and thanks for reading,
Karen, The Klutter Koach

November 24, 2019

Veterans Day: Military Memories

In the USA today it is Veterans Day, a federal holiday observed annually on November 11 which honors military persons who have served in the United States armed forces: army, navy, air force, marines, and coast guard.

There are stories to be shared and remembered and those which will remain only in the hearts and minds of the individuals.

There are also the tangible items from one’s service such as the medals, ribbons, and insignias. Perhaps there are letters and photos that were exchanged between loved ones.  What happens to all these things as time goes by? Like most momentos, they may get stored somewhere in a box and forgotten about.

But…there is a better way.  There are ways to proudly display these special items so that they hold a place of honor in the home and don’t become clutter that is stashed away.

Here are some ideas to display your memories:

  • shadow boxes
  • framed as an art piece
  • keepsake boxes
  • scrapbook albums

There are some really creative ideas on Pinterest that can provide inspiration on the ‘how tos’ for these projects.  Even the non-artistically inclined can find something for this memory preservation project. If you have other ideas to share how you or a loved one has preserved military memories, drop a line in the comments.

Thank you for your service!

Karen, The Klutter Koach

November 11, 2019

National Cappuccino Day

Today is November 8. I have always celebrated it as my wedding anniversary. However, it has been brought to my attention that today has other special significance: It’s NATIONAL CAPPUCCINO DAY. For you those of you cappuccino aficionados here’s a reason to go get yourself a cuppa.

I must admit I’m more of a tea person than a coffee person but as a home organizer, I’ve worked with plenty of clients who MUST HAVE their daily coffee.

One of the signature updates I do in kitchen makeovers is to create a COFFEE AND TEA CENTER. We gather together all the coffees, teas, sweeteners, keurig paraphernalia, etc. and consolidate everything into one area. The result is very positive and if you don’t already have a center like this in your home I highly recommend it.

Of course, I must take a moment to mention decluttering.  If you have found there are flavors you have tried and don’t care for, pass them on. Perhaps donate to someone who has a break room or staff room at their workplace who might appreciate some new infusions.

Thanks for reading.  Comment if you plan to celebrate National Cappuccino Day or what your favorite flavor of coffee or tea is.

Karen, The Klutter Koach

November 8, 2019

 

The Aliyah Files #26: My home is so dusty! Help!

Unicorns are very ‘in’ these days.  So is fairy dust and glitter. These things are cutesy and girly. But… if we’re a grown-up and have a home to manage REAL DUST is no fairy tale. No forest creature is going to come to sweep the house. At the moment dust (the real stuff, not the fairy kind) is on every flat surface in my home.

Image result for fairy dust"
fairy dust=cutesy=good

 

Image result for dust me image"
real dust=not cutesy=not good

DUST (noun) must be DUSTED (verb) periodically. BUT with the wild windy weather and wide windows (alliteration), the DUST IS EVERYWHERE. In attempting to wipe down the fine layer of grit on my keyboard it wrote unintentionally to my friend [P0O9I8U7Y6T5RE43vcx-*=-098765432 😂 But this isn’t so HAHA funny because the dust is truly everywhere this morning after having had the windows open yesterday. (FYI I was previously a language teacher, hence all the grammar references.)

THE KLUTTER KOACH ADVISES if you have lots of surface clutter or plushy toys you may want to CONSIDER downsizing your collection or packing some things away. The more stuff you have, the more things that need to be maintained.

HARSH REALITY: Even if you have doors on your closets, cabinets, or bookcases you WOULD BE AMAZED to note how dust ends up everywhere. Although there is less exposure in closed storage, you will still find dust almost everywhere.

If you have allergies, the more clutter you have the more dust you have, and the more miserable you may be if you have to deal with both the dust and the allergies.

TRUTH. I don’t have much clutter. It would be a lie to say I had zero clutter but...paper multiplies like Gremlins in water. Any flat surface seems to be covered in something when I turn my head.  So this dust issue is as much a problem for me as it is for anyone, just to a lesser degree.

So before you are contemplating 11-11 sales or Black Friday sales or any other purchase whether sale or non-sale, remember all these items you bring into your home need upkeep.  New in a box or on a hanger looks pristine.  New out of the box will get dusty just like everything else.

Thanks for reading.  Give a LIKE to this post if you hate dusting.

Karen, The Klutter Koach

November 7, 2019

 

Divine Mint Smoothie

I’ve always loved mint.  From Girl Scout Mint Thins to Fannie Mae Mint Meltaways to Junior Mints my mouth waters just thinking about any one of those delectable items. In my quest to modify my lifestyle (aka diet change) I discovered the most divine mint smoothie recipe and it’s uber-healthy too!

I modified a recipe called Keto Mint Smoothie found on Elana’s Pantry website.  Disclaimer: I’m neither keto nor vegan nor any named special diet.  I just look for recipes that sound yummy that fit my food choice criteria.  I saw ‘mint’ and knew I have to give it a try.

Here’s what I put into my smoothie:

  • handful of kale
  • half can of coconut cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • a banana
  • 2-3 tablespoons of water
  • 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips

Directions: blend everything except the chocolate chips.  when smooth, blend again with the chocolate chips

I’m in mint heaven.  I would have snapped a photo to show how yum it looked…but that was an afterthought and I had already drunk it.  Here’s the image from the Elana’s Pantry site to show you how divine it looks.  (Note: I didn’t imbibe mine from a bell jar nor do I have chocolate chips scattered everywhere. If chocolate chips were everywhere that means a small personage was raiding the cabinet and didn’t have the forethought to think their covert foraging would be discovered if they left a trail.)

Image result for mint smoothie elanas pantry"

As I mentioned in my previous post one key to success in dietary changes in the home is to be prepared with recipes and have the ingredients on hand.  Secondly, keep nothing around that you don’t want to be eating because cravings for ‘no-nos’ are strong and guilt for caving is worse.

So if you’re a mint aficionado like me try out this recipe. If you also think it’s divine, give a Like to this post.

Karen, The Klutter Koach

October 30, 2019

 

 

 

 

The Battle Against Junk Food Food

Hi. Karen the Klutter Koach here.  In my excitement to publish my post I kinda forgot to add the title.  Oops!  I’m re-sending the link with the title if the title is what grabs your attention.  If I were a WordPress guru I would know there’s a better way to fix this…but at this juncture, I’m not sure how to do it.  Live and learn.

https://theklutterkoach.com/2019/10/24/10704/

-Karen