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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Mudroom (aka the dump everything in here room)

When we first looked at our house, I was intrigued by a room they referred to as the ‘mudroom’. I’d never heard of such a thing. Would we even use it much? Turns out we use it a lot. In fact because of the way our house is situated, it’s the room that we, and everyone that knows us well, (Thank goodness guests go to the front door.) go through first before entering the house.

But besides being the ‘mudroom’, it has also become the room that Matt and Gray dump everything in. Matt’s got 8 pairs of shoes out there; Gray has 6. There are jackets, umbrellas, outdoor play toys, the dog’s stuff, the deep freezer…… You get the idea. I am not one that can stand clutter for long. Periodically I go through and put things where they belong. But in time, they always seem to find their way back to that room.

On a recent trip to my parent’s house, I was flipping through some magazines my mom had when I stumbled onto an article in Family Circle about organizing your mudroom. I was inspired! When I got home I shared my grand vision with Matt, and he liked it. Especially because that meant he got to build something.

I had hoped that the new and improved (plus cute) mudroom would have been done by now. Alas, the custom shelving unit is a work in progress, and we still need to paint the steps. So here’s one improvement that has helped the mess a bit – wall hooks. They are a great way to create storage and order on an open wall. They come in many different shapes, styles, and sizes. There’s a hook for every purpose and every room. I do need to issue a warning here. Be careful what you hang on hooks as prolonged hanging could distort the shape of certain items. We’re using these hooks for everyday jackets and play clothes. Our nicer coats are still being hung in the closet on good quality hangers.


So stay tuned. This project will be completed soon, and I will unveil it. And hopefully will be able to share some more tips on how to organize an out of control space.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ask Before You Go

If I have a bad experience with a business, I just tend to not go back. Here’s a lesson on why I should speak up before departing.

A few years ago, whenever a Roanoke A Cleaner World customer would go into her closet to get clean clothes out to put on, she’d notice spots on them. Assuming that it was our fault, she stopped using us and switched to another dry cleaner. But the problem still persisted so she switched to another cleaner and then another and another.

Frustrated by the situation, she mentioned it to a friend who suggested she take a closer look at her closet. When she did, she discovered mold in her walk-in closet. It turns out that during an addition done to her home, the contractor failed to do the drainage properly which in turn led to a mold problem.

She quickly called her insurance company who had the contractor fix the drainage problem. They also called ServiceMaster to work on the mold problem in the closet. Here’s the interesting part – ServiceMaster called Mike Taylor’s Roanoke A Cleaner World location to get the mold out of her clothes. When the customer learned of this, she called Mike confessing her initial thoughts.

But no worries; it has all worked out in the end with a non-moldy closet and spot free clothes. And today, she is once again a happy customer of an A Cleaner World Roanoke location.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Clothing App

I must confess that I haven’t had an iPhone for very long. In fact, my husband had to talk me into getting one. Before I got one, I used to make fun of Matt on how attached he was to his. He carried it with him everywhere. He pulled it out for every little thing. Once we went somewhere and he forgot it – talk about lost. And then there were all those crazy apps he put on it.

I never understood – until I got one of my own. Now I too am addicted to my iPhone. I also pull it out for every little thing. But there is one difference – I am very selective on which apps I put on my phone. I think it has something to do with an aversion to clutter. But there is a category of apps that completely fascinate me – clothing/closet organizing and planning.

There a number of them out there, but in a nutshell they help you organize clothes, create outfits, categorize outfits, assign outfits to certain days in a calendar, and so on. There are two things that I find especially appealing. First, you can create a packing list for trips. I make lists for everything, including what clothes I am going to take on a trip. No more digging through the closet or drawers to figure out what to take. I can put together that list say while waiting in the car rider line at school. Second, there are lots of days I just stand in my closet feeling uninspired. Many of these apps have a random button – hit it and the app puts together an outfit for you. It’s like having your own personal Stacy London.

On this app, I was especially eager to add it to my phone!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Firefighter

A dry cleaner wears many hats – bookkeeper, manager, stain removal expert, firefighter. Wait - firefighter?

Brent Dixon has worked for A Cleaner World for years. While he now manages our store on Strickland Road in Raleigh, he managed our Golden Gate location in Greensboro for a number of years. Two things about our managers – they know their customers, and they like to talk. And both were a good thing for this particular customer.

Several years ago while still at our Golden Gate location, Brent was chatting with a customer in the store’s drive through while a CSR retrieved her order. As they were talking, Brent smelled smoke and happened to notice that the customer’s engine was on fire! He got her out of the car, ran and got the fire extinguisher, pulled the car away from the building, and put the fire out. I suspect she was pretty happy that Brent decided to wear a new hat that day.

Just another day in the life of a dry cleaner.....Nice job!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Halloween Costume Safety

I like homemade Halloween costumes.  And even though I am sewing and creatively challenged, we’ve come up with a couple of good ones over the years.  This is the one Gray wore to school last year.

Matt’s company has for years opened its doors so that the employee’s kids could trick-or-treat in a safe and fun environment. The adults really get into it, many decorating their areas and even dressing up.

Gray remembered how much fun it was to trick-or-treat at Matt’s office and couldn’t wait to do it again. But he didn’t want to go as a cowboy – last year he wanted to be a ghost. And he talked about it for weeks leading up to Halloween. I thought it would be easy enough, and it turned out to be fairly cute. But while trick-or-treating at Matt’s office, we figured out there were several flaws with the costume.



Much of the fun for the adults is that they get to see all the kids. One major problem with this costume is that no one knew who it was. But the biggest flaw was that the costume really wasn’t safe. His vision was a bit restricted, and he kept tripping over the sheet. I didn’t think it completely through before saying yes to his request. Below is a link that has some fantastic tips on dressing wisely for Halloween. I’ll be following these suggestions a bit more closely this year.

http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=1457

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