Hello again and thanks for your continued patronage!

Our summer in North Central Texas has been wonderful. Normally by this time in July, the grass is brown. However, God blessed us with an entire week of soaking rain and now everything is green again. Yeah! The wonderful rainfall also caused every Crepe Myrtle in the area to bloom profusely. The three on the west side of our house are a mass of beautiful pink blooms (that look wonderful against the dove grey bricks).

And . . . speaking of our home, by the grace of God, my husband and I were able to pay off our mortgage. Thank you Lord!

Here's hoping that you and your family are enjoying the bounty of summer. If you're traveling, be safe and enjoy the rest!

Thank you for your continued interest in Messy Makeover Magazine.

Shelly Morton

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Have fun in the sun this summer!

Shelly’s Top 10 TV Cleaning & Organizing Shows

I decided to take my interest in TV Cleaning & Organizing Shows to the next level and researched all of them I could find. While I haven’t watched all of these shows, I have watched quite a few. If you’re a fan of home organizing and cleaning shows like I am, then you are probably aware of some, most or all of these. However, if you’re not familiar with them, here’s a little information about the my Top 10 TV Sows For Cleaning & Organizing Your Home:

10. Clean House Are you familiar with this reality show on Style Network? If you’re not familiar it, you may know the host, Niecy Nash, who was a competitor on Dancing With The Stars in 2010. This reality show is currently the top rated show in its category and has been on the air for 9 seasons. I try to limit my diet of reality shows, so this isn’t one that I’ve watched. The premise of the show is to help people admit that they have one (or more) rooms in their home that have gotten completely out of control. They show them how much better their home can be with some cleaning, reorganizing, hard work and elbow grease.

9. Hoarding: Buried Alive I’m not familiar with this show on TLC, but my research indicates that this show is the extreme of what can happen when people cannot control their compulsion to keep items (or hoard them) coupled with a lack of desire to clean and organize their home at all. The show centers around someone that has basically “given up.” They are living in piles of garbage and other items that they simply can’t get rid of. Their homes are usually not in livable condition which poses a health danger to themselves and others. The show is akin to the “Scared Straight” approach to cleaning and organizing your home. I haven’t watched it, but I’m told it makes great reality TV.

8. Home Made Simple This is another program on TLC. I have watched a few episodes. The show offers really good, but simple and effective tips on making your home a better place. The programs feature cleaning, organizing and other tips, such as how to make easy meals on the go for busy everyday families. The tips will help you attain a home that your family can really live in (and not an organized museum).

7. Moving Up This show is on TLC. The host is Doug Wilson. This show gives sellers a peak at what the buyers have done to the home they sold. Like the other shows listed above, this show will provide you with a good range of “do’s” and “don’ts” for sprucing up your home. The interesting part of this show is that you get to look at it from both the “buyer’s” and “seller’s” perspective.

6. Clean Sweep This show has been off the air for three years, but you can occasionally catch re-runs on TLC. This one is pretty much the “gold standard” for cleaning and organizing. It inspired many people in all walks of life to start their own professional organizing and cleaning businesses. Great show and highly recommended!

5. Sweat Equity Another favorite of mine from the DIY Network. This show focuses on changes you can do yourself to help increase the value of your home. The host, Amy Matthews , helps people analyze the changes to make their home more functional and raise the market value. The real impact is the analysis of the “before” and “after” value by a real estate professional. A little sweat equity can go a long way!

4. Curb Appeal Another favorite of mine from HGTV. This show focuses on the exterior of the home, which often gets over-looked. Most often it focuses on how the home appears to neighbors and potential buyers when they first view the home from the “curb” (hence the name of the show). There are tons of ideas for sprucing up your yard and the front of your house. It is extremely popular and has been on the air for as long as I can remember (and I’m on the down-hill slide to retirement!).

3. Trading Spaces This is a classic show that used to be on TLC. The premise of the show is 2 rooms, 48 hours and $1,000. Two families “trade” homes (actually they just work on each other’s house) and redecorate and organize the room in a such a way they believe the other family will love. The before and after shots give great tips on both cleaning and organizing at least one room. The rooms vary . . . family rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, game rooms, bedrooms, etc. While it’s no longer in production, you can catch many of the re-runs and gain great tips and organizational knowledge.

2. Mission Organization This was one of my favorites on HGTV. While I haven’t seen any recent episodes, the back episodes are on HGTV.com online and are excellent! Occasionally HGTV will air re-runs. Each episode covers the problems real people have with a particular room in their home, garage or storage shed. A professional organizer is hired to walk the people through the organizational steps of clearing, sorting, trashing and keeping. The end results involve not only good suggestions for organizing different rooms but also provide good interior design tips as well.

So . . . What’s the Number one Show?

Good question. And the answer is . . .

1. Straighten Up Now or Else! Aired 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Don't miss it! Okay, in case you didn’t get the joke. I’m referring to my website, www.straighten-up-now.com (just a little play on words). Seriously though, for access to great tips on home organizing and cleaning any day, any time, please bookmark www.straighten-up-now.com and you might also want to subscribe to my RSS feed to get the latest information that is posted on the website.

Watch one or more episodes or . . . better still . . . set your DVR to record your favorite shows and fast-forward through the commercials!! You’ll be glad you did!

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