#163 Clean Your Lampshades

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Clean your lampshades

While this may seem like an odd suggestion in terms of creating a ‘happier, healthier, and more productive life”… it does fit into the ‘healthier’ category. Lampshades are a significant culprit for holding dust. Have you looked at yours lately?

And the problem is…

Accumulated dust can be problematic for a lot of us, in particular, those who suffer from asthma. Think of how much dust is wiped away with a weekly furniture dusting. If you don’t dust your lampshades equally, the layers build and contribute to pollutants in the air of your home. For the purpose of this article, a lampshade can reference any light cover so it includes the ‘globes’ that adorn many hanging light fixtures. They are all rather invisible as we routinely move a dust rag through the house.

The Tools

I prefer to vacuum mine… when I get the gadgets out to do baseboards, I’m usually in the frame of mind to get the dust creatures lurking in random spaces so the lampshades (who are major culprits of hiding those buggers) – get a good vacuuming with the brush gadget. A microfiber towel lightly sprayed with dust spray or slightly damp will also work as does a good, old-fashioned sticky lint roller. Organization and cleaning experts suggest filling the tub and washing anything that can tolerate water. (A tub is large and can easily accommodate larger shades.)

Dust particles exist everywhere in our environment and while there are some ways that we can reduce their presence, they’ll never completely disappear simply because living things release their dead cells constantly. Clean air filters on your HVAC system will help, air purifiers trap more, and frequent vacuuming and dusting support the efforts.

Little Buggers

Allowing too much dust to accumulate invites the critter ‘dust mite’ into your life. Many people are very allergic to mites and experience consistent sinus and respiratory issues. Reducing dust in often ‘invisible’ areas – such as lampshades – reduces the potential nesting areas for mites; creating a better breathing environment all around.

Would your shades pass the white glove test? You may want to grab the gadget of your choice and do your lungs the favor of …

Cleaning your lampshades.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#167 Clean Out Your Car

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Clean out your car

If it’s true that a clean house is a predictor of your health and happiness then it must follow that the cleanliness of the inside of our automobile is also somewhat of a predictor… especially for those of us who spend a ton of time driving. Our mental health is more stable when our environment is stable – organization and cleanliness manifest a sense of stability no matter the location.

Top to Bottom

Reader’s Digest suggests there’s much more to cleaning the interior of our car than simply dusting and vacuuming and an order in which to do those things. To start – as in your home – you should vacuum first! But from top to bottom; starting with the dashboard, then the seats, and finally the carpet. Vacuuming creates dust so don’t wipe things down until the vacuuming is finished. When you wipe things down, don’t stop at the obvious… be sure to wipe the inside of the door – the door jam – it’s the part that everyone first sees and ultimately determines how tightly your door closes.

Nooks & Crannies

A true cleaning means getting into the glove compartment (does anyone actually keep gloves in there?), the center console, and the seat pockets. I’m lazy when it comes to those areas and when I do make the effort, I typically find little treasures that make me cringe, not to mention items I’d forgotten I had. Generally I’m a few dollars richer for the loose change that has collected there.

Taboo Items

The next step is to be sure to remove all the items that one should never keep in a car. Valuables is the obvious choice but there are other items that can be negatively affected by significant changes in temperature (heat & cold); plastic, for example. Eliminate any water bottles that have been exposed the the intense hot temperatures possible with a car sitting in the sun. Same advice goes for anything electronic; computers, cell phones, and tablets can overheat when exposed to extreme temperature, rendering them temporarily inoperable. Electronics are also frequent targets of thieves, making your car a tempting target.


Inevitably, getting into a nice clean car that smells fresh ignites that ‘new car’ sensation – always a good feeling. Cleanliness is like a blank slate and allows your mind to focus on tasks at hand; clutter is distracting. Cleanliness helps us avoid the perils of allergens; the inside of your car is a small space so keeping the air there dust free will ultimately be beneficial. Take a look at your schedule and find some time to carve out so that you can …

Clean out your car.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#178 Clean Your Underwear Drawer

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Clean your underwear drawer

Who’s laughing? Are you laughing because you think this is a ridiculous suggestion or because you’re sure that in following this suggestion, a comedy would ensue? Perhaps you’ve been exposed to someone recently who really needs to follow this advice!

In all seriousness, this is one of those ‘areas’ that is typically at the bottom of most to-do lists. We rotely get dressed each day without much thought as to the condition of our undies unless we are expecting to be seduced later in the day. And… the less seduction in your life… the worse condition your personables are likely to be in.

I wasn’t aware of this phenomenon until as a young widow, someone suggested going shopping to replace my undies collection. I was not yet in a state where that need could be recognized but after some time I was appalled at the state of my scanties. I had been married a few years and I was a new mom… the condition of my undergarments were definitely not prioritized and there were far too many stretched out, worn out, or faded out undies that qualified as only ‘period or post pregnancy’ panties (you know what I mean ladies?) Some went into ‘that’ pile and many others were simply tossed.

Today, as a marriage counselor, I can attest to a common frustration – mostly attributed to men – that indicts a lackadaisical attitude against female partners when it comes to their unmentionables. I’m not specifically speaking about seduction lingerie but more about the everyday wearables that are frequently worn and washed. The proverbial tee-shirt bra and boyshort undies along with the little lace thongs that after too short a time – stretch and fade – losing their overall attractiveness.

Women aren’t the only culprits! Men may be even more culpable with respect to boxers or briefs that get stretched and stained to the point that they are downright repulsive. I understand there’s a strategy to letting the jewels get some air but when they are flapping in the wind also… what’s the point?

You’ll feel better about yourself when you start with an attractive, clean, and well-fitting skivvies. Even white cotton that meets those criteria is more pleasurable to both wear and look at than the alternative I’m discussing. Long ago a friend taught me the trick of buying a couple of basic colored bras and then I could choose any combination of colors in my panties and it would look like a ‘set’…. One doesn’t have to have hefty finances to underlayer nicely.

As you get dressed today, or ready for bed… open the drawer that contains these items and quickly assess the additional lifespan of each piece. It only takes a few minutes and you’ll have addressed a personal care item with the simple gesture of …

Cleaning your underwear drawer.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#341 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Fresh Sheets

The mention of fresh sheets brings a sigh of ‘ahhh’ when ever it is considered. Memes suggesting fresh sheets and shaved legs are heavenly experiences float through social media with happy puppy faces and satisfying smiles.


As I investigated people’s thoughts about sheets, I found a variety of practices as it pertains to how frequently people do change their sheets. From “weekly, duh!” to “umm…. I really can’t remember”, it seems that only some of us have a hard fast rule.

There are all kind of reasons that we might consider a more regimented protocol for clean linens but this post is not about hygiene. Perhaps the most compelling reason to change our sheets is the sense of comfort and pleasure that fresh sheets compel almost Every. Single. Time.

Have a rough day at work? Change your sheets before going to bed.

Feeling lonely? Change your sheets before going to bed.

Need to be your best tomorrow? Change your sheets before going to bed.

We are programmed to associate cleanliness with good health and/or a sign that things are ‘right’. The act of going to bed in an environment that smells and feels clean, tricks our brain – if only momentarily – to believe that everything is in place – in order – and good to go.

To make the experience as good as it can be, I strongly recommend that we all have at least one set of amazing sheets. While the experts vary in their opinion of thread count, they all seem to agree that Egyptian cotton is by far, the best.  As long as the thread count is at least 200 and European Egyptian, you will be sleeping on some of the most comfortable fabric in the world. An 800 count EE sheet is some of the most luxurious bedding to experience. It compels nudity for an entire sensate experience. Think about it tonight and treat yourself the experience of …

Fresh sheets.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

Photo by Chechi Pe on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND