Tips & Tricks

7 Things You Need to Know to Freeze Your Credit Today

credit freeze

A while back, my friend refinanced her house and then she froze her credit. We had been discussing identity theft when she told me about this. I’d never heard of this concept before. Times have changed I guess, because now phrases like “data breach” and “identity theft” seem to be a part of daily vernacular. Recently, one of the top three credit bureaus, Equifax, was hacked and now we are left to wonder whether our personal data is out there being sold on the “dark web.” (That’s another fun new term – look it up!)

The silver lining is that it is easy to freeze your credit and protect yourself from strangers opening credit cards and securing loans in your name. It took me all of 30 minutes to freeze my credit across all three agencies (you must do all three), Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Get a free credit report

You can get a free credit report once per 12 months. It’s a good idea

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A Homework Station for Every Student

homework station

School is in session and that means homework assignments will be assigned soon. Your child will be more productive and motivated if they have a dedicated space – a homework station – where they can complete their work. The important part of a homework station isn’t where it is located or how fancy it looks, just that your children get in the habit of studying at the same time and in the same place. This habit creates a great foundation for productivity in years to come.

Elementary School

In early elementary school children may need supervision while doing homework. Their homework station should be where you can watch from afar

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RESET and get Strength from Structure

reset

It’s September, and some parents refer to this month as the “true new year.” For busy parents of school aged children, it feels like that anyway. Now that everyone is back in school, we parents have a wonderful opportunity to hit RESET on all those routines that may have gone by the wayside during the last couple of months.

  • RESET your wake-up time. Make a habit of waking up at the same time every weekday. Provide your child with an alarm clock (not their cell phone). If they have trouble hearing it, place it across the room. TIP: For those kiddos who want their cell phone in their rooms at night because they like to listen to music – consider the Amazon Dot. It connects to Spotify and other music services but it won’t let your kid Snapchat all night.
  • RESET your morning routine.
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3 Tried and True Ways to Store Your Scarves

scarf organizer

Whether you own gorgeous Hermes scarves and real Pashmina wraps or whether you just like to stay cozy in a hand knit infinity scarf, you need a place to store your scarves.

Roll or Fold the Scarves in a Drawer

Folding your silk and pashmina scarves will protect them from wrinkles. Ideally you can store these special items in a dresser drawer. Casual scarves can also be folded or rolled and placed side by side in a drawer. If space allows, winter and summer scarves can live together in a single drawer. This is a great

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5 Tips for Closet Organization

Closet

When you are getting ready for your day, are you able to find what you need in your closet easily? Or, is getting dressed in the morning a struggle, a hassle, or a generally unpleasant experience? Here are five simple guidelines for closet organization.

  1. Your closet should be no more than 80% full. Any fuller and you don’t have space for your hanging clothes to swing freely while you are choosing your outfit for the day. Avoid overstuffing your closet by donating ill-fitting and unworn clothes regularly. Move off-season items to clear labeled bins under the bed and switch your wardrobe out in the Spring and Fall.
  2. The items in your closet that you touch daily should be in clear view and at chest height.
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5 Facts About Why We Can’t Stop Shopping

Woman shopping

We are frequently told that we have a problem with consumerism in this country. We are told we need to stop shopping. We need to simplify, minimize, and trade stuff for experiences. That is easier said than done. Even those of us who consider ourselves minimalists, can’t resist all of the time. (Sometimes I surprise myself by how quickly I toss some wonderful bargain of an item I wasn’t shopping for, or even thought about, into my cart at Costco. $16.99 for a set of cute king size sheets? Are you kidding me Costco?)

Why is it so hard to resist shopping, to NOT buy??

Those Genius Marketers

For one thing, our economy relies on consumer spending. Companies employ genius marketers

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You Have the Power to Prevent Clutter!

prevent clutter

To prevent clutter, take tiny, deliberate steps, one after another!

 

“There is always a step small enough from where we are to get us to where we want to be. If we take that small step, there’s always another we can take, and eventually a goal thought to be too far to reach becomes achievable. “-Ellen Langer, Harvard University Psychology Professor

 

Consider the following scenarios:

Maybe your goal is to remodel your kitchen, but right now your kitchen cabinets are cluttered and bursting at the seams. Your counter space (where there is any) is used by your children for studying. The kitchen is the hub of your home, where you pay your bills, make school lunches and entertain. You can’t even imagine how you could get rid of all the clutter and get ready for a remodel and then live without a kitchen for weeks on end. Feeling overwhelmed, you put the remodel on indefinite hold.

Maybe you’d like to catch up on laundry-permanently, but you have an enormous pile of dirty laundry

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Someday, When I Have Some Time, I Will…

stack of magazines

We talk about how busy we are all-the-time. We talk about how we can’t get everything done. We talk about needing to slow down and do less. Simultaneously, we talk about what we will finish “someday,” when we have extra time. We earmark “projects” for this mythical “someday in the future,” but then (not surprisingly) that time never comes!

Here is a common list of “someday” activities:

  • Someday, I will read through those old magazines in the office and under the coffee table. I might want to try the recipes in those old magazines I’ve been saving. Someday, I would like to look through this catalog to see if there is anything I like.
  • Someday, I will finish those elaborate baby scrapbooks
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Taking Back the Time I Waste on Social Media

social media

We love social media. Some of us admit to being downright addicted to checking our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts many, many times a day. I’ve come to realize all my social media “checking” comes at a big cost. This cost is time, energy, stress, and anxiety.

Josh and Ryan, aka “The Minimalists,” spoke at The Neptune theater in Seattle recently, and told their story of how they rescued their lives from debt and consumerism to a huge captive audience. It was an instructional evening in many ways, but my main take away

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My Personal Definition of Minimalism

An uncluttered family room, minimalism

Many years ago, when I first heard the term “minimalism,” I pictured a loft style space with high ceilings, tall bare windows, stark white walls and sparse white leather furniture. Surely, no one with children could lead a minimalist lifestyle. Families and minimalism were mutually exclusive in my mind. I firmly believed that you couldn’t be a Costco shopper and a minimalist at the same time. I was wrong. Minimalism isn’t a harsh decorating style or a strict lifestyle regime.  It’s a big picture value system

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