Monday, September 1, 2014

How to turn your home into a romantic retreat

From page C5 | February 15, 2013 |

Subscription Required

Thank you for reading the digital edition. In order to continue reading this story please choose one of the following options.

Current Subscribers
If you are a current subscriber and wish to obtain access to, please select the Subscriber Verification option below. If you already have a login, please select "Login" at the lower right corner of this box.

Subscriber Verification

Special Introductory Offer
For a short time we will be offering a discount to those who call us in order to obtain access to and start your print subscription. Our customer support team will be standing by Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm to assist you.

Call and Save! (530) 344-5000

If you are not a current subscriber and wish not to take advantage of our special introductory offer, please select the $12 monthly option below to obtain access to and start your online subscription


Clutter be gone

Clutter is a national epidemic, and chances are you’re living with the disease. Well-meaning plans to organize and store it all (by purchasing more stuff, such as shelving units and containers) are essentially rotten at the core.

As Gretchen Rubin, author of the book Happier at Home, says, “If you plan to store something in an inaccessible place, why are you keeping it?”

Whatever form your personal excess takes — magazines, clothing, holiday decorations, or general bric-a-brac (flea-market addicts, we’re looking at you) — don’t underestimate the havoc clutter can wreak on physical and mental health.

Dust, mold, and mildew thrive in a cluttered house, seriously affecting air quality. Research shows that people who live with a high level of clutter are more likely to have headaches, asthma, allergies, and sleeping issues, not to mention feelings of low self-worth, fatigue, and depression.

As for your love life, Peter Walsh, an L.A-based organizational consultant, puts it bluntly: “It’s tough to make love in a pigsty.”

Don’t love it, need it, or use it? Get rid of it: to charity organizations, via online or yard sales, or right into the trash. Get rid of your rationalizations, too: “Maybe someday this will come in handy …” It’s your space and your life; live it now and live it freely, not bursting at the seams with useless objects.

Un-drecking the East/West Way

The queen of clutter-clearing is Karen Kingston, whose book, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, explores the psychological underpinnings of hoarding. Kingston provides a step-by-step, room-by-room walk-through of common clutter danger zones, from kitchen junk drawers to garages full of rusting tools.

A few of Kingston’s tips:

  • Don’t allow things hanging from hooks and doorknobs or standing on the floor to prevent doors from opening fully, or clutter to accumulate in halls and passageways. That’s a surefire way to “obstruct the flow of life-giving energy.”
  • Remove junk stashed under the bed; it affects your quality of sleep.
  • Let go of old books. Kingston calls them a “relationship substitute,” and says holding on to too many old books can keep you from absorbing new knowledge and ideas. Don’t want that to happen!
  • Be especially vigilant about “sentimental archives” of cards and letters, and clutter of the obsolete technology kind.

Sweeten the air

Once you’ve got a handle on the objects, consider the air around them. On a warm day, throw open windows and turn on ceiling fans to maximize fresh air circulating through the house.

Other sweet tips:

  • Banish musty odors and smells from cooking and pets by lighting soy-based candles that don’t have a cloying artificial scent.
  • Some green cleaning products add lovely aromas, such as lemon verbena and honeysuckle, and are good for the environment. Or, kick it old-school by adding the juice of a fresh lemon to your mop water.
  • If you have a wood-burning fireplace, be sure to use dry, seasoned firewood that burns with less ash and soot. Make sure the fireplace is damped properly so smoke doesn’t enter your rooms, and have the chimney cleaned at least once a season.
  • Did you know that you can scent the air by burning fragrant things you can probably find in your kitchen cupboard or backyard? Try dried orange or lemon peels, dried pine cones, cinnamon sticks, and sprigs of rosemary or other aromatic herbs.





‘Cody just vanished’: Parents of missing man still hopeful

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Heard over the back fence: Posse fundraiser Sept. 6

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

County moves to privatize mental health facility operations

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1 | Gallery

City Council: Candidate forced to change statement

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1

City bike and trail projects move ahead

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A3

Six indicted on meth, heroin trafficking

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A3

Cameron Park burglar caught on camera

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A3

Board of good sports

By Chris Daley | From Page: A9 | Gallery



The balancing act: More county shenanigans

By Larry Weitzman | From Page: A4

California rambling: Surprising Santa Clara

By John Poimiroo | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Labor Day

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4



$80M sheriff’s headquarters boondoggle

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5


By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Fiscal analysis? Absolutely

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Town hero to four-legged creatures

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Buying binge

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Wealth creation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

EID drought

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5



Schedule: Sept 1-7, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Tribute to Tilford a wild one

By Bill Sullivan | From Page: A6

Cougars ‘cramp’ South Tahoe’s style

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A6

Oak Ridge opens with road win

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Grizzlies dominate from start to finish

By Scott Warden | From Page: A6

D’backs record 48-0 shutout

By Brandon Anicich | From Page: A7



Lessons learned while roofing in paradise

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: B2 | Gallery

As we were: Drought issues

By Ken Deibert | From Page: B2

September is California Wine Month

By Wine Institute | From Page: B3

Film series starts with ‘Inequality for All’

By Coalition For Change | From Page: B3

Teen Court in Placerville invites new participants

By Health and Human Services Agency | From Page: B3

Sacworldfest kicks off arts season

By California State Unversity, Sacramento | From Page: B4



Lake levels 8-29-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

Crime Log: Aug. 13-16

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2



Aaron Robert Smith

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Kathleen Ann Wilkes

By Contributor | From Page: A2


Real Estate