• letstalktampa

Now that many of us have some extra time our hands, it’s a great time to do something we all have on our checklist but never actually get around to: organize our homes! Initially, you may be apprehensive but just imagine how you will feel looking at your home once you whip it back into shape. Whether it’s a closet, a pantry, or the whole house you’re aiming to conquer, I have 5 steps to help you make organizing as easy and as enjoyable as possible!

Step 1: Make a list.

Write down the areas you want to work on & any notes on how you’d like it to look after you tackle it. Seeing what you want to conquer in writing will make you more committed and is there any better feeling than crossing items off a list?

Step 2: Prepare to say “goodbye”!

By this I mean, you are going to designate two areas: one will be for items that are donation friendly and the other is for items that just need to be discarded. Make sure to have a few trash bags & boxes handy, you’ll probably fill them a lot faster than you expect! Another good idea is to keep a donation box handy year-round, which you can add to over time and make less trips to drop off. Don’t forget there are organizations like the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity Restore, and Amvets that will pick up.

Step 3: Ready, set, go!

Believe it or not, organizing can be fun! Turn up the music or a podcast, have some snacks & a drink nearby, and anything else you need to ensure you stay focused. Take small breaks as needed but plan to plow through. If it’s a large space, designate time blocks, such as one day to decluttering and another day to rearranging.

Step 4: Time for a makeover.

Now is your time to shine! Once you’ve gotten all of the clutter out of the way, you can finally transform the space into what you’ve always wanted. Perhaps you want to use organizational bins, labels, use wall space for hanging, or even color code your items (I may or may not have done this myself), but do whatever makes you feel most at ease when you walk into this part of the house. Websites like Pinterest, Houzz, or RealSimple.com have some great inspirational ideas!

Step 5: Celebrate your success!

As practical as organization sounds, it is also has huge psychological benefits. A de-cluttered space can relieve anxiety and promote positive mental well being. Celebrating your victories, as silly as it seems, boosts optimism, keeps you working towards future goals, and builds resilience, according to Psychology Today. We can ALL use that feeling right about now!

I hope these steps have helped you to plan some productive time at home and if you’re up for it, I would love to see your before & after photos! I am a local Realtor here in Tampa/St. Pete and you can always reach me at 813-539-1678 or on Facebook & Instagram by searching Let’s Talk Tampa.

  • letstalktampa

Your home should be your refuge, a place of comfort, safety, and health. If you or someone in your family are not feeling healthy in your home, it is possible that there are allergens that are triggering reactions.

The two big questions are always first, how do you know for sure, and second, what can you do about it?

As for how to know what may be triggering an allergic response, you would likely need to see a doctor and have some testing done. In the meantime, there are some simple ways that you can reduce the allergens in your home which will decrease the opportunity for an allergic response.

The most effective way, and possibly the hardest, to deter allergens from your home is to declutter. By minimizing the stuff in your home, there are fewer places for the most common home allergens like dust, pollen, and mold to hide.

Beyond decluttering there are three relatively simple things you can do to help maintain an allergen-free home.


Unfortunately, wall-to-wall carpet is a major culprit for holding in pet dander, dust, pollen, and just about every other allergen. If you can replace your carpet with hardwood or tile, even one room at a time, that will help tremendously. If you can’t replace your carpet right away, make sure your vacuum is a high-efficiency machine that has good suction and is equipped with a filter that blocks allergens from escaping.


If you want your house to stop triggering potential allergies, there are three rooms that need your immediate attention.

Bedroom - Your bedroom, full of soft surfaces and with minimal traffic (but where you spend at least 8 hours daily sleeping), is the first. Although dust mites would rather you stay away, a thorough deep cleaning is necessary. Also, you can put dust mite proof covers on your pillows and mattresses to help deter the icky buggers.

Bathroom - As much as dust mites love bedrooms, mold thrives in bathrooms. Keeping moisture to a minimum in your bathroom is a must to keep mold spores from taking up residence. Make it a habit to wipe all standing water. Use the fan anytime you are in the bathroom and leave it on for an additional 30 minutes after showers and baths. Regular cleaning also keeps mold at bay and discourages new growth.

Living Room - Your living room, although often traveled, can be a catch-all for any number of allergens. From pet dander to mildew to pollen, this busy room must be cleaned regularly to stay ahead of any sort of allergen invasion.


Starting with your filters, make sure that all recycled air coming into your house is clean. Regular filter cleaning goes a long way towards making sure of that. Beyond the filters, you may want to consider purchasing an air purifier to keep the air clean and healthy for your family. If you have excess humidity, a dehumidifier could also be a good purchase.

These steps might seem like a lot but in all honesty, once you implement a system it will become second nature in no time and your home will again, be a welcome and safe refuge for your family.

You can check out the article on Wesley Chapel Weekly, too!

In this episode of the This is Tampa Podcast, Rob + Jen take a trip to the Florida State Fairgrounds 🎡 to talk with Director of Sales, Terri Parnell-Longphee! Terri comes with an impressive resume, previously working for the Olympics + Visit Tampa Bay. 🌴 We discuss a TON of info, including the history of the fair (its 116 years old!)📜, the behind-the-scenes, new attractions (check out the new Craft Beer Garden 🍺 with LIVE music 🎶 or the SOAR Bird Show 🦅- with huge birds performing incredible acts!), and of course, the FOOD! 😋 Did you know you can purchase Foodie Crawl tickets to try an assortment of Florida State Fairgrounds items?! Speaking of Fair Food, don't forget to stop by Mama Jane's Funnel Cakes for your own DELICIOUS "Orie", Peachey's Baking Co for a tasty donut (we loved the S'Mores flavor!)🍩, Chester's Gators and Taters 🐊, or DeAnna's Steak Sundaes for a Deep Fried Strawberry Lemonade Shortcake 🍓 or Steak + Eggs Sundae! Did we forget to mention you can get TONS of other one-of-a-kind fair food at the Florida State Fair!, including original Wisconson Cheese Curds 🧀, Shrimp-N-Grits Sundae 🍤, Deep Fried Hot Chocolate, a Donut Burger 🍩🍔, and SO much more! You'll also enjoy the Ripley's Believe It or Not! show, the Florida Department of Agriculture 🐎 area (great for kids!), a petting zoo 🐏, TONS of rides 🎡, Cracker Country (Florida in the 1800's), and so much more! At the beginning of our epiosde you'll hear the band JUNK behind us, which uses recyclable objects to create instruments- you can find them in the NEW Craft Beer Garden 🍻 by Gate 3!

The #FloridaStateFair runs for 12 days and the LAST day to attend is this Monday, 2/17❗ Make sure you go, go, GO! Did we mention parking is FREE? https://floridastatefair.com

Don't forget to LIKE, FOLLOW + SUBSCRIBE to the This is Tampa Podcast, on #Facebook, #YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher! 5⭐ REVIEWS are always appreciated!