Life Skills

How To Turn Spring Cleaning Into an Enjoyable Seasonal Ritual, Plus A Printable Spring Cleaning Checklist

Tackling Spring Cleaning Room by Room
Filed Under > Everyday

A Case for Spring Cleaning with A Printable Spring Cleaning Checklist, Waiting On Martha

Spring cleaning has always gotten a bad rap.  The annual chore of purging the whole house, whether you secretly enjoy it or not, brings about the connotation of an overwhelming slew of dirty work.  But when we actually take a second to think about it, cleaning gives you a huge sense of accomplishment, and it can be incredibly meditative and regenerative.  

A good cleaning works to clear the space, and it encourages a calm, peaceful and healthy (literally) environment.  It can also help extend a feeling of contentment with what you already have, decreasing your likelihood of spending money on things you don’t need. 

So this year, instead of moaning and groaning about it (and putting it off) I’m embracing this springtime ritual. In fact, recently, I have basked in glorious Sundays inside, where I have cleaned the house for a busy week ahead. I’m finding that the “reset” feeling is priceless, and it’s gotten me to understand the joy that Marie Kondo taught us

While spring cleaning can be great, I also understand it can be overwhelming.  So to help you get started we at Team WOM got together and created the ultimate spring cleaning, printable, checklist.   This spring cleaning checklist should quiet that feeling of where to start and make your home easier to navigate; breaking it all down room by room.  Find our printable checklist HERE.

Along with checklist I’ve also highlighted a few additional tips for those hard to clean spaces and places.  Tips like how do you actually clean your wood cutting boards, a breakdown of expiration dates, and the easiest way to tackle your blinds. And if you’re looking for some organizational inspiration make sure to check out our previous posts on linen closet, laundry room, and bathroom organization.

Lastly, I urge you to do your research and consider making the switch to non toxic cleaning solutions.  Switching to non toxic cleaning solutions is not only one of the healthiest things you can do for you and your family, it’s also the least expensive in the long run.  Cheers, Kat

P.S. While you’re degreasing, decluttering, and cleaning from top to bottom why not rid it of some bad juju with our DIY smudge sticks while you’re at it? 

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End-Grain Cutting Board in Walnut

Williams-Sonoma, $169.95

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As you’re sanitizing your wood cutting boards, stay away from the dishwasher. Instead, be sure to immediately rinse with hot water and soap, letting it dry properly and thoroughly. 

And did you know?  You can bring an old cutting board back to life and remove stains with a sprinkle of coarse sea salt and half of a lemon. Scrub all over with the lemon, then let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing. If it’s a little stinky, spritz the board with white vinegar and a drop or two of lemon essential oil

Bamboo Blind 2-Inch Slats in Pecan

Overstock, $47.99

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When you tackle the blinds and curtains around the house, remember to vacuum horizontal ones across the slats, not up and down, and starting top to bottom.  Team WOM swears by the Dyson Cordless Vacuum with all sorts of detachments perfect for cleaning blinds, sofas, cars, etc. 

If you’re dusting vertical blinds, brush downward.  These motions will help ensure the blinds do not become damaged or unhinged during the cleaning process. 

2 Tier Acrylic Tower

The Container Store

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As you’re decluttering and cleaning the bathroom, pay extra attention to expiration dates on beauty products and pill bottles.  This is a great time to purge unused and expired items that are taking up precious space below the sink. Here’s a great breakdown of common expiration dates to keep in mind (it’s pretty mind blowing if you haven’t thought about it!). 

St. Honore Soap Dish

One Kings Lane, $12

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Don’t forget about sanitizing the most-used items in the bathroom like soap dishes and toothbrush holders.  These items can catch and store moisture (which is never good) and should be cleaned more frequently than you probably realize. 

Try to limit the amount of water collected by wiping down frequently after uses.  When you deep clean, soak them in hot water in the sink, or run them through the dishwasher. 

Featured image, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

5 People Who Are Changing the World & How to Support Them Today

A few pretty incredible individuals, their inspiring stories & how to get involved
Filed Under > 5 Things

5 People Changing the World & How You Can Support Them Today

I wanted to spend today celebrating a handful of people who are spreading light around the world.  As you know, I’m diligently penning my Five Minute Journal entries every day, and it’s helped me find gratitude and peace in a lot of areas where I’ve been tempted to feel anxiety or fear in the past.  It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with worldly issues, but these individuals proved that single people can bring about change. Working on this post was a great reminder of the many individuals who are helping pave a better future for people, bringing a little more hope into the world. 

The list by all means can go on and on, but today it includes five people whose efforts and missions have particularly spoken to me.  From clean water initiatives to education and innovation, the work has not been for the faint of heart…these people are rockstars!  I hope you’ll join me in recognizing these social entrepreneurs, and tell me who else I should check out.  Cheers, Kat

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Boyan Slat

CEO, The Ocean Cleanup

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Boyan Slat has been an inventor since birth, and he started The Ocean Cleanup at the insanely young age of 17.  As an inventor and entrepreneur, he’s created technology to solve societal problems. The Ocean Cleanup develops advanced technologies to rid world’s oceans of plastic.  He came up with a system that acts like an artificial coastline, which catches plastic in the ocean with 100% natural powered ocean currents.

Slat is the youngest-ever recipient of UN’s highest environment award and has been recognized as one of the 20 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs Worldwide (Intel EYE50). Forbes also included him in their 30 under 30 edition in 2016.

You can join the team or donate to The Ocean Cleanup’s efforts HERE

Malala Yousafzai

Founder, Malala Fund

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Malala Yousafzai, a student and education activist, has done amazing things for girls’ rights and education.  She actually started speaking out publicly about girls’ before she reached her teenage years in Pakistan, after she survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban when she was just 15. Malala then co-founded the Malala Fund, which invests in developing country education leaders and organizations in regions where most girls aren’t able to complete secondary education.  She was the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. 

Malala Fund strives to help girls complete 12 years of safe, quality education, without the fear of violence.  Their work also supports girls’ decisions to delay early marriage, while building up their academic and life skills through mentoring programs. 

You can donate HERE to help 130 million girls who are out of school complete the quality education they deserve.  And if you have some time, you must read Malala’s entire story HERE; it’s incredible. 

 

Scott Harrison

Founder, charity: water

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“For me, charity is practical. It’s sometimes easy, more often inconvenient, but always necessary. It’s the ability to use one’s position of influence, relative wealth and power to affect lives for the better. charity is singular and achievable.” Scott Harrison, the founder and current CEO of charity: water used to be a club promoter in NYC.  After realizing he was faced with “spiritual bankruptcy”, he rediscovered his faith and sought to spend his life helping others.  He hopped aboard a floating hospital service called Mercy Ships, where he put a face to the worlds’ 1.2 billion people living in poverty.  He was changed; he saw the lack of clean water as the common thread to so many of the devastating issues around him, and vowed to help people access clean water around the world. 

Currently, charity: water funds water programs in 24 countries around the world.  With hand-dug wells, rainwater catchments, piped systems and more solutions, it’s able to focus on providing rural communities with clean water.

Read more about Harrison’s story HERE and donate to the cause HERE (100% of the profits helps bring clean water to people in need). 

Anna Stork

Co-Founder, LuminAID

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Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta co-founded the company,  LuminAID after brainstorming up a solution after the Haiti Earthquake.  You may have seen these LuminAID lights on Amazon; they’re awesome for camping. The girls majorly impressed all of the judges on Shark Tank with them, landing a deal with Mark Cuban after all sharks offered deals. 

But the best part about these lights is that they’re amazing in a time of need, offering long-term lighting solutions for areas without power during an emergency.  LuminAID solar lights pack flat for easy distribution, which makes it exponentially easier on the aid workers during an emergency.

LuminAID lights have been used in more than 70 countries (!) after huge disasters like Hurricane Sandy and the earthquakes in Nepal. 

Check out their Give Life Get Light program HERE.

Peter Diamandis

Founder and Executive Chairman, XPRIZE Foundation

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Peter Diamandis has a passion for space, longevity, and innovation.  He founded the XPRIZE Foundation, which is committed to funding competitions that encourage major technological development that could benefit mankind.  Diamandis is incredible at developing an idea, building leadership teams, developing a vision, and letting them run things.  He’s known for bringing together world class talent around his ideas, and his impact around the world is beyond impressive. Forbes’ article published this week dubbed him ‘the author of technology’s future.’

So what’s this about XPRIZE?  XPRIZE designs and operates large-scale incentive competitions, meaning: million-dollar contests that try to solve a serious problem that plagues the world. An XPRIZE must be a bold and audacious goal, one that seems to be unsolvable. It also must be be “winnable” by a small team, and that could be anyone from industry experts to high school students. Lastly, it must provide vision and hope for a better future. 

Diamandis’ motto is, “The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself” and he sure found a way to incentivize playing our part in the bigger picture. 

Check out the active prizes HERE, and donate HERE to help fund more crazy ideas that could lead to world-size solutions. 

Featured image, charity: water

Refresh: How To Properly Care for Delicates & Other Things That Take Time

Those Little Life Skills That Always Pay Off
Filed Under > Everyday

How to care for delicates & more via waitingonmartha.com

One of my resolutions this year has been to tackle the simple “life skills” that I so often overlook and/or forgotten about.  I’m thinking of these “life skills” as little refreshes I can make in my daily routine to make my life a little easier.  Like what, you ask?  Properly caring for my lingerie and delicates; those beauties are pricey and I want to have them for awhile.  Thanks my recent visit to Rigby & Peller, I knew it was due-time to approach my lingerie laundry routine a bit differently.  Protecting and treating my leather because my favorite investment bags need to last.  I’ve used my hard-earned cash to score those handbags, after all.  And caring for the homegrown herbs that just taste better in my cocktails.  They simply taste better with fresh herbs!  

Check out my top five “life skills” that are worth learning below.  What would you add to the list?!  Truly, MKR

Properly Wash Your Lingerie

Souple Lace-Trimmed Stretch Cotton-Blend Jersey Contour Bra

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I recently spent some time at Rigby & Peller and learned a bit about properly washing my lingerie.  It’s so important to hand wash the pieces because it protects the delicate stitching and helps them last longer. Here are a few steps to follow:

Step 1….Soak your pieces in your sink filled with a teaspoon full of lingerie wash.

Step 2…Allow lingerie to soak for 15 minutes.

Step 3…Use the non-hooked part of your underband to scrub any areas that need extra attention.

Step 4…Remove the lingerie from the sink, and let drip dry. 

Grow an Indoor Herb Garden

Clay Stripe Mini Sphere Planter

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As we shared here before, an indoor herb garden will be a much-loved addition to any kitchen…the cooking and cocktail possibilities are endless with fresh homegrown herbs! 

The key to successfully growing herbs at home is having the proper set up for them to flourish.  You’ll want to move the herbs from their store-bought containers to new planters with care.  Read more from our step-by-step tutorial here

Care for Leather & Suede Products

Leather Master Leather Care Kit with Ink Lifter

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Properly protecting (and saving) your favorite leather products is another important life skill that takes a little bit of time.  

With this kit, you’ll get a cleaner, protection cream, ink lifter, sponge and buffing cloth. The cleaner is a water-based product that will penetrate the surface and protect against future stains.  I especially love the ink lifter when applied within a day of an inconvenient stain from ink, lipstick, makeup, etc. Works like a charm! 

Now for your suede and nubuck, you’ll want something even more gentle to protect and clean the material.  I’ve been impressed with this kit as its cleaner doesn’t change the color of the suede like most others do. 

Smith & Cult Non Toxic Nail Polish

Giving Yourself a Good Mani

Smith & Cult Nail Polish

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Nothing beats a fresh manicure, especially if it’s a salon-worthy manicure that you’ve done at home.  Of course, this is easier said than done; getting your nails to look polished and perfected takes time and diligence. I’ve found that taking the time to do every step is crucial (and that includes the cuticle trimming and nail bed buffering!), and I always allow for at least 30-45 minutes to get it done. 

My biggest trick: Allow for your first stroke of polish to start from the edge of the nail bed. Using the natural shape of the brush, make it run as wide as possible down the nail. Then I run another strip down the rest of the nail to cover the entire thing.  After at least a few minutes, I apply a second coat, with a top coat to finish.  Voila! 

Meal Prep for the Week Ahead

OXO Pop Containers

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Chopping, dicing, marinating, pre-cooking and thawing. It takes time, but it’s so worth it if you can get it all knocked out in one sitting. I’ve always considered Sundays and Mondays were practically made for meal prep. Here’s how I like to plan out my meals (with my top tips on getting it all done). 

Featured image, Kathryn McCrary for Waiting on Martha

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