10 Minute Tidy: Scrub That Brush!

Cover Pic Scrub Brush

My kitchen sink just wouldn’t be complete without it…a scrub brush, that is.  I used to go through these babies like crazy until I got this little number from Ikea for $.50.  Fifty cents!!!  This brush has nine lives, I swear.  It’s sturdy bristles have been standing straight and tall for months and months.

Dirty Scrub Brush

Yeah, it is a bit gross.  Dirty.  DisGusting!   I used to throw my kitchen scrub brushes in the dishwasher but that doesn’t always get them clean.  I found a little tool that cleans small places like a whiz:  Pipe Cleaners.  I had to raid my kid’s craft supplies to get one, but it has been used for months and, like my Ikea scrub brush, holds up like a charm.

A simple, quick rubbing on the plastic base, in both directions, does the trick.   A little squirt of bleach or some other germ killer gets rid of the junk that you can’t see.

There you go, good as new!

Clean scrub brush

Pipe cleaners also come in handy when it comes to cleaning those sturdy reusable straws that are so hard to wash.  I used to refuse to allow my kids to keep them: you know those bendy straws that all kids love?   Now that I know how to clean them, I have a stash of them (non-bendy) that I use to drink my green smoothies with.  Sorry kids!

So, what is your kitchen scrub brush looking like right now?  Don’t toss it!   Grab a pipe cleaner and tidy that brush!  I know you’ll be glad you did.


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10 Minute Tidy: Unpack That Suitcase!

Got 10 minutes unpack that suitcase

What is your least favorite part of a vacation or overnight trip?  My least favorite part- hands down- is unpacking my stuff.  Are you with me here?  That suitcase that I was eager to pack up before the trip began has been reduced to the stuff that I have to put away.  Fun is over…work begins.  Am I right?  Or am I right?  OR, am I right?

Unpacked open suitcase

I’ll admit that this is not the way my suitcase looked the first night I brought it home.  Nope.  It look, well, less full.  I immediately pulled out the laundry bag filled with my dirty clothes and that nearly emptied my bag.  If I would have finished unpacking my bag that night, like I usually do when I get home from a trip, this could have been a 3 minute tidy post.  Obviously THAT did not happen.  This time my suitcase sat on the floor in the corner of my bedroom for about a week and, although I don’t normally allow myself to leave piles around my bedroom, several times during the week I lifted that suitcase lid, laid clothes that I should have just put away on top and then closed the lid.  Not exactly covert.

Thinking that this would be a perfect 10 Minute Tidy Tuesday challenge I decided to take it on.  Just like that dreaded “monster under the bed” that seems larger than life, my unpacking chore seemed unrealistically big, but you know what?  It really wasn’t.  To be honest, I set my stopwatch to show just how much time it actually took to unpack my bag and several hours later I realized that my stopwatch was still going.  Hmmm.  Let’s just say that this project can easily be labeled a 10 minute or less project.

Empty suitcase

Dun, dun, Done!  Easy peasy! Lesson learned: don’t put off for tomorrow (or next week!) what you can do today.

Have you recently returned from a trip?  Go unpack that suitcase!  You’ll be glad you did.


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Organize Your Closet by Color: 10 Minute Tidy

Cover pic organize your closet by color

Ready for another 10 Minute Tidy Tuesday challenge?  How about getting your closet a bit more organized?  I prefer to hang items up rather than fold them and put them away in a drawer.  That said, I have lots of hangers and lots of clothes on hangers.  Years ago I started organizing my clothes according to color and, I must say, it is a HUGE timesaver.   I can easily put together outfits and I never have to look and look and look for a particular item of clothing.  If I know the color, I know how to find it.

I recently switched out my summer wardrobe for my winter wardrobe.  If you don’t do that, I would highly recommend it.  I gave several reasons for doing this seasonal switcheroo here.  I’m not going to lie…that wardrobe switch takes longer than 10 minutes.  BUT, organizing by color does not.  Seriously, go try it right now.  Set a timer first!

Of course you can arrange your colors however you want, but I will share how I do it:  From left to right I organize my clothes in Browns, Blacks, Greens, Aqua and Teals, Blues, Purples, Reds, Oranges, Yellows, Grays, and lastly Whites.  Patterned clothes just go in the color area of the most dominant color in the pattern.  You might notice that I have some short sleeve tops in my closet even though this is my winter wardrobe.  I like to keep a few around to layer under sweaters, ect.

Organize closet by color

Before I let you loose on color coding your closet, I’m assuming one thing…that you already have your closet organized with like items hanging together.  For example, blouses and tops in one area, skirts in another, dresses in another and jackets/sweatshirts in another.  I personally fold pants and sweaters and place them on shelves.  If you haven’t organized like items together yet, there is no time like the present.  Just turn that timer off until you are done.

I don’t recommend emptying everything out of your closet.  You will definitely spend more than 10 minutes if you do it that way.  I would suggest deciding your color organizing order and start on one side of the rod, pulling clothes out and placing them in the correct area until everything is in its proper place.  It’s actually fun.  If you have a huge closet (lucky you!) and lots of clothes, just focus on one area (tops, skirts, etc.) per 10 minute session.

Once your closet is done, go organize your husband’s closet, or your child’s or your coat closet.  You will love the rainbow you see each time you open a closet door. Color coding your closet…10 minutes well spent!


10 Minute Tidy: Messy Kitchen

10 Minute Tidy #2

Do you ever look at a task and find it too daunting to do.  You don’t even want to start because you figure it will take for-ev-er to finish?  Or, you know that you are short on time, so you don’t even try?  I’m convinced that at least half of getting something accomplished is just starting it.  Case in point… my kitchen.  I was gone way too late last night and we ate dinner way too late and it seemed way too late to clean up after dinner.  Knowing that I had to get up way too early in the morning, I did some thing that I very rarely do:  I went to bed with a messy kitchen.  This is the kitchen that I woke up to:


Ugggh.  This is really horrifying for me to show, but I know that we all get messy kitchens.  We’re friends here, right?

See that window above my sink?  That is the front porch.  Translation: anyone who comes to my door can see if my kitchen is clean or dirty.  This is a good incentive for me to keep a clean kitchen!

I decided that this would be a great 10 Minute Tidy activity…to clean up my messy kitchen.


First, and probably most importantly, I started my oven timer…10 minutes on the clock.  I told myself that when the timer sounded, my work was done.  To be truthful, the dishwasher was already empty, so that helped me out time-wise.  Usually my family puts their own dirty dishes in the dishwasher, but the clean dishes didn’t get removed until, you guessed it…too late last night.  Excuses, excuses!   As I hurriedly cleaned, I kept glancing at the clock to make sure that I would be done in time, and just as I was rinsing out the just scrubbed sink, time ran out.  Perfect.

I’ll be honest.  When I’m trying to beat the clock like this, it doesn’t really seem like work.  More like a game.  Or a race…without a lot of sweat…or shin splints…or calories burned.  Darn!  But, my reward today was a clean kitchen:


Ten little minutes and I can forget all about it.  Until the next mess comes along because, as we all well know:  A clean house is a temporary thing.

What 10 minute tidy are you going to do today?


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10 Minute Tidy Bathroom Drawer


This is my first post of what I plan to make a regular feature at ARMCHAIRDECORATORBLOG:  10 Minute Tidy posts.  Before I get started with my Tidy project, let me explain where this phrase came from.  When my kids were younger, we had a couple of VCR cassettes of “The Big Comfy Couch”.  At the end of each episode, Loonette the clown looks around her messy living room and says, “Who made this big mess?” and then speed cleans it with a “10 second tidy”.  I incorporated this idea as a way of getting my 5 children to help tidy up the house quickly.  The time limit depended on how messy the house was, usually 2, 3, or 5 minutes.  A 2 minute tidy equated to 12 minutes of fast work if you added up all 6 of us busting a move to clean up.  My kids really didn’t complain very much about these “tidies” because they knew that there was a limit.

These days, I still challenge myself to do speed tidies, especially when there is a task that I would rather not do.  The chores seem so much easier, and I swear I work 5 times faster when I’m focusing on beating a clock.  Think how fast you accomplish tasks when you know company is almost due to arrive at your front porch.

So, 10 Minute Tidy project #1 is my bathroom junk drawer:


Way to much stuff in this drawer.  I have been putting off cleaning it out for a long time.  Realistically, I knew that the job was really not a biggie…it was all mental.  With a 10 minute time frame in mind, I quickly emptied everything out and sorted like items together.


Ridiculous!  Who needs this many contact lens cases!


All of those little bar soaps that you get from hotels?  We don’t even use bar soap around here.  Note to self: from here on out… leave them at the hotel!  Time to donate to a good cause.

I started throwing all of the half used hotel lotions in the trash until I came up with a great plan:


My body butter tub was nearly empty, but after squeezing the contents of all of our mini lotion containers, it was full.  Free lotion!  Those, I will keep bringing home from hotels.

Less than 10 minutes later…


…my bathroom junk drawer is noticeably less cluttered.  I don’t hate opening it anymore!

What quickie project could you go do right now?  How about a bathroom drawer?  On your mark…get set…TIDY!


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