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Everyone from Millennials to Gen X’ers live their lives largely through technology.

We operate computers at work, carry a smart phone, and utilize apps and social media to communicate and gather information.

It’s no surprise then, that a wide selection of apps and media tools exist to help people organize their homes and lives. I recently downloaded two apps to review: BrighNest and FlyLady. Each was available as a free download from my Apple App Store.

BRIGHTNEST

BrightNest tailors its tips strategically to categories applicable only to your selections.

When you open the app, it begins with a series of questions. For instance, one screen allows you to select the type of heating and cooling systems in your home; another asks you which areas of the home concern you. You select all that apply, from lawn, garage, basement, etc.

Finally, it asks what tips you are searching for: savvy spending, clean, green, healthy, handy and creative. Then the app loads suggestions you can scroll through and select.

The cleaning tip I took from BrightNest was how to maintain your mattress. It states it only takes 15 minutes and has a one-out-of-three skill level; I’m reading this as basic level. The app lists six tips:

  1. Wash your sheets in hot water and tumble dry once a week. If you don’t regularly shower before sleeping, consider washing bedding twice weekly.
  2. If you suffer from allergies, cover your mattress with a plastic or cotton mattress cover. This delays growths of allergens.
  3. Flip and turn your mattress every six months. The bottom becomes the new top and the head becomes the foot. This distributes the wear and lengthens the life of the mattress.
  4. Twice a year, vacuum your mattress. (I’m as surprised as you are!)
  5. Clean stains as quickly as possible. Blot it dry first, then spray with hydrogen peroxide and allow to sit for five minutes. Blot again, then sprinkle with baking soda. Allow this to sit for several hours before brushing off. Repeat if necessary.
  6. Mattress life spans are generally 10 years. After that, considering upgrading.

If you don’t need categorized lists, but prefer to receive daily suggestions, the second app may be more your speed.

FLYLADY

The FlyLady app differs in that you don’t preselect categories. The opening screen offers you three selections: morning musing, daily mission, and ask FlyLady.

The morning musing is best described as a blog with tips for decluttering one area.

In this instance, it happened to be keeping your vehicle clutter free. FlyLady offered five tips to help guide readers into traveling in style, clutter free.

  1. Don’t eat in your car. If you do, remove the trash when you exit the vehicle.
  2. Empty your car every time you get home. Everything that goes in must come out daily.
  3. Dump trash from your car when you fill up with gas.
  4. Things stored in your trunk are best covered with a cargo net or stored in zippered bags.
  5. Establish one day a week to “bless your car,” fill it up with gas, clean it out and shine it up.

The daily mission picks a specific room of the house and offers tips on how to clean and declutter. The suggestion is to work a quick 15 minutes and move on to other tasks.

Ask FlyLady is self-explanatory. Users submit a question, much like Dear Abby, and FlyLady responds. Obviously, the focus is on organizing and decluttering.

Both apps provide tools and tips to streamline our surroundings. Using a social media tool puts information at our fingertips. How we choose to utilize them is a personal choice.

If the only requirement for motivation is visual stimulation, www.pinterest.com provides a plethora of links and photos to encourage organization. Pinterest users submit and save posts in everything from recipes to home design and organization to travel.

Simply type in “organize” in the search field and prepare to spend some time scrolling.



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