Letting go of the Sentimental

Gosh its hard isn’t it? Those dishes your grandmother passed down that you NEVER use and don’t even like that much but somehow feel responsible to hang on to. How about all your daughters art projects and A+ papers that are sitting on the dining room table collecting, well lets face it, dust. But they are all such works of art!
Here are a few quick tips on how to part with some of the sentimental things in life. Because in all honesty, it’s the ties we have to these items that were of importance to someone else in our family or perhaps that we feel responsible for that keep us stuck. I’ve met people who have been suffering from the disease of sentimentality for many years and truly are paralyzed. It doesn’t have to be that way. Im not suggesting the process of making the decision to part with items you feel an attachment to or responsibility for is easy. But I do believe that it becomes less daunting after we make a decision to start the detachment process and begin to de clutter our environment. We need to be proactive in setting priorities for our lives and how we want to live them in a healthy and well functioning way. Often that means reducing what we have, creating more space in our homes and our brains and allowing a process of reprogramming occur.
Tips….
Give sentimental items to friends or someone who needs what you have and aren’t using. It truly will make you feel good knowing your item is living on, just not in your home any longer.
Donate! I cant stress this enough! How awesome to give to someone who cant afford to buy a new coffee maker or set of wine glasses.
I like this one…have a trash ceremony. Perhaps you’ve recently parted ways with a significant other and you have way too much of their old this’es and that’s. Burn them! That’s right! Build a fire (safely, and with a fire extinguisher near by) and watch it go! End that chapter of your life officially, declare that ending with a ceremony and celebrate! Moving on and up!

“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power then defending or hanging on”
Eckhart Tolle

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How to Recycle Used or Unwanted Electronics

 

This is a question I get all the time. What do we do with those old computer monitors, printers, TVs and any number of other old gadgety things?? There are no laws around how to properly recycle these items but there are several locations that can help you dispose of your electronics. Best Buy is a drop off location. Take your items to the service desk but do not expect a tax write off when dropping your items here. Best Buy is not a charity and there may even be a fee applied for items such as TVs or computer monitors. Staples will allow you to bring unwanted computer printers in exchange for 50$ toward the purchase of a new printer. That’s not a bad deal!
Apple offers a recycling program for iphones, ipads and apple watches. You can earn anywhere from 35$ up to 315$ depending on the age and ware of the item. Sometimes it may be worth selling the items you have on your own on websites like eBay or DeClutter. However, if the equipment you have is no longer usable, Apple stores will dispose of the item properly at no charge.
Cell phones for Soldiers will take cell phones in any condition and sell them to a recycling or refurbishing company and the proceeds will go to the purchase of phone cards for soldiers who are overseas.
Donation centers such as Goodwill and Salvation Army will take electronics that are in good working order even if they are out dated.
Check your local paper for government or county run drop offs. Many counties offer a quarterly drop off for electronic item disposal. These events are typically free of charge and popular so get there early!

A happy kitchen

I don’t know about you but I truly believe the kitchen IS the heart of the home. Its often the happiest place because lets face it, we all love what comes out of the kitchen…FOOD! Ok… and maybe some good red wine too 😊. So how do we create a happy kitchen? Well there’s a few things. Easy access to those commonly used items is very important. Spices, oils and utensils should be placed close to the stove. If you enjoy baking and do it frequently, keep baking essentials where there is the most counter space. Utilize open shelving for these items as well if you prefer not having things sitting on the counter. When using open shelving or cabinets, make sure to keep items commonly used on low shelves. Place decorative items or less frequently used items on higher shelves.
Are you a coffee lover? Perhaps you have several members of the family who enjoy it. Create a coffee bar that’s separate from the rest of the kitchen. Use a small decorative table with some shelving built in or a portable island to store everything you need. Organize sugar, creamer and spoons in a tray on top. In larger homes, a butlers pantry is a great spot to store a coffee maker, expresso machine, K cups and whatever else you need to make a great cup.
If you have kiddos, create a kid friendly shelf in the pantry just for them. Include snacks, beverages, plastic cups, straws and plates. Having accessibility to the things they like creates more independence and responsibility. Place small Ziploc bags or plastic containers on the shelf for storing leftover snacks or dinner. Encourage your kids to be self-sufficient!
Keep things clean and simple. Avoid over cluttering your counter top with too many items, especially items youre not using regularly. Wipe counter tops throughout the day and keep mail and clutter off the main areas where food is prepared. Find ways to bring cheer to the space. Keep fresh flowers or greenery on the table or island and perhaps a fresh smelling candle. These small touches welcome your family and make youre kitchen a HAPPY and ORGANIZED place to be.

Tips for Safe On-Line Shopping

 

 

Time and money are precious commodities and I’m all about saving both! One way to manage time is to shop for gifts on line. I’ve noticed many people are buying their everyday non- perishable items on line and having them shipped to their home.

 

Here are some tips for safe shopping within the comfort of your own home.

 

Use a secure payment method such as PayPal or a credit card. These options offer buyer protection which means you wont be at risk if there are fraudulent charges made on your account. Do not wire money or send a hand written check to an online company.

 

Come up with a creative password that only makes sense to you. It should be a mix of letters, numbers and symbols. Write your password down on a master list of usernames and passwords and keep the list in a file with other important documents such as your bank information so you know where to find it.

 

Be aware of deals that seem to good to be true because we all know if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. Read the fine print and note any exceptions that are listed. Don’t buy into the deal unless its exactly what you are looking for. Be on alert for phony apps and only down load from an app store with high ratings. Be sure not to share personal information when its not warranted.

 

If youre buying an item from ebay or a similar site, look at the reviews first. Are they reputable? Have other buyers had good success in their transactions with the seller?

 

Before buying, consider what you already have. Do you need another bed spread or box of handi wipes? Its always a good idea to take inventory of what you already own prior to purchasing more. Make sure you have the storage space for a bulk shipment of paper towels or dogfood before ordering.

 

Lastly, happy shopping!

 

Tips for Safe On-Line Shopping

Time and money are precious commodities and I’m all about saving both! One way to manage time is to shop for gifts on line. I’ve noticed many people are buying their everyday non- perishable items on line and having them shipped to their home.
Here are some tips for safe shopping within the comfort of your own home.
Use a secure payment method such as PayPal or a credit card. These options offer buyer protection which means you wont be at risk if there are fraudulent charges made on your account. Do not wire money or send a hand written check to an online company.
Come up with a creative password that only makes sense to you. It should be a mix of letters, numbers and symbols. Write your password down on a master list of usernames and passwords and keep the list in a file with other important documents such as your bank information so you know where to find it.
Be aware of deals that seem to good to be true because we all know if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. Read the fine print and note any exceptions that are listed. Don’t buy into the deal unless its exactly what you are looking for. Be on alert for phony apps and only down load from an app store with high ratings. Be sure not to share personal information when its not warranted.
If youre buying an item from ebay or a similar site, look at the reviews first. Are they reputable? Have other buyers had good success in their transactions with the seller?
Before buying, consider what you already have. Do you need another bed spread or box of handi wipes? Its always a good idea to take inventory of what you already own prior to purchasing more. Make sure you have the storage space for a bulk shipment of paper towels or dogfood before ordering.
Lastly, happy shopping!

How to clean hardwood floors

I LOVE cleaning just about anything and…like anything else, I suggest setting a schedule for cleaning your hardwood flooring. Hardwood can last for many many years when well taken care of. Plan to dust or sweep floors 2x weekly with a microfiber dusting mop. The microfiber is soft and pulls dust and dirt to itself. Check the packaging, but most of the microfiber material mops can be put in the washing machine for cleaning. Avoid using a vacuum on hardwood unless you are using the detachable piece in corners or hard to reach areas.

Use a gentle and natural hardwood floor cleaner 1x weekly to keep the floors looking sparkly and clean. Do not use vinegar or soap which can be harsh and create a streaky sheen. These products may even strip the floor of its texture over time.
Once a month, plan to polish your floor. Check your local hardware or supply store for rental of a polishing machine or see if you can borrow one from a friend. A deep clean can help keep flooring looking like the day it was installed!

Getting out the door…

A few quick “how to’s” on getting out the door promptly!
Select your outfit the night before. Set aside the ENITRE outfit include shoes and accessories. This is a major time savor for those who struggle with choosing just the right thing to wear and cuts out any major decision making when pressed for time.
Prep and set the coffee maker on a timer the night before. This way, you press a button and coffee is ready in a matter of minutes.
Similarly, if you pack lunch and take it to work or school, pack it the night before. This will take off at least 10 minutes your morning routine.
Store items that need to go with you the next day by the door. Purses, shoes, kids projects or returns you need to make at the mall. This cuts out the time it takes to search for the items when youre trying to leave the house quickly.
Teach your children how to get themselves ready to go to school. This includes dressing themselves, brushing their teeth and even getting their own breakfast. Yes it is possible to teach your kids these tasks. It not only helps reduce the amount of responsibility you have to prep your kids to leave the home, it also helps them to be more independent and take ownership of themselves.

Organizing your mind

I think that can be one of the trickiest things to keep in order…at least for me. When we are bombarded on a daily basis with tasks, obligations, schedules, meetings and just managing life in general, our minds become flooded. How do we keep it all straight? Here are a few helpful tips that I use.
MAINTAIN FOCUS. Take time to settle yourself down before beginning a difficult or time consuming task. Practice deep breathing, listen to a song or two or say a prayer for help to focus. Then begin. Allow your self 15-20 minutes to get immersed in the project. If you need to, set a timer for 30 minutes and work until the time frame is up. Keep adding time. Work for an hour and then 2…
TAKE A BREAK. Work for as long a period of time as you can tolerate then it’s break time. Take the dog for a walk, take a 10 minute power nap, get a cup of coffee or make a phone call. I think theres benefit in disengaging from the task for a time. Recharge!
CHALLENGE YOURSELF. Do you feel well utilized in your position? Could you be more productive if you were challenged differently or more? If not, perhaps it’s time to speak with the powers that be at your place of employment. Maybe you need to consider what steps need to be taken in order to advance yourself or your skill set.
AVOID ACTING OUT OF EMOTION. Don’t make decisions based on pure emotion. Acting on impulse or emotion often lead to bad outcomes. Wait to make an important decision and take time to ponder the options. Avoid making a decision when your angry, bored, lonely or tired.
No doubt, a disorganized mind leads to feelings of stress, negativity, boredom, health issues and fatigue. Don’t let these types of thoughts rule your mind or dictate your actions at work or in your personal life. Take action and utilize these tips to decrease the chaos in your brain and life.

Home staging…YAY!

Hello and Happy ALMOST Spring! I can’t wait for the warm weather, beautiful flowers and chirping birds. Are you with me?!
So…I wanted to take a few minutes of your time to make a BIG announcement! In addition to residential organization services, I am now offering HOME STAGING. That’s right. I am now an accredited home stager through StagedHomes.com. I’m excited to begin offering these services to my current clients, their friends and family. Please feel free to mention my name to those you know and love. Any clients who provide referrals will receive 10% off their next session with me.
Hmmm…home staging? What is that?
Home staging is using a client’s time frame and budget to prepare a home for sale so it sells in the fastest way and at the best price. When selling your home, consider this. 95% of staged homes sell in an average of 11 days and may sell for up to 17% higher then non staged homes. Home staging is tax deductible. Get the help you need to show case your space, reduce days on the market and get a higher return on investment.
I also offer Home staging services after decluttering and organizing to help my clients create a more comfortable environment in their current home.
So start the spring off well by getting your house in order! Whether you’ve decided to put your house on the market and just need a little help making it shine OR, if you need to tidy that kitchen, bedroom or bathroom, contact me. I’m here to help in anyway I can!

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” – Leonardo DaVinci

Ill look forward to hearing from you!

10 quick tips to avoid impulse buying….

 

Use cash only to pay for items
Leave credit cards at home
Come up with a financial plan and stick to it
Check your motives…shopping because your bored? Lonely? Looking for a diversion from a heavy life issue?
Don’t let friends talk you into buying something you didn’t need or want
Plan ahead and stick to your shopping list
Avoid mindless on line shopping
Put it back! Leave the store and go back the next day if you really feel like it’s a needed item
Take a trusted friend with you who can help you make a good buying decision
Remember your goals to pay off that credit card debt, school loan or car payment. What is most important?