Tips & Tricks

15 To-Do’s to Prep Your Kitchen for the Holidays

You’ve survived Halloween, and now you’ve got Thanksgiving and the December holidays coming: Yayyy…and yikes, right?! It’s definitely our favorite time of year, but also the most daunting. There will be a lot of decorating, cooking and eating, guests, music, setting up and cleaning up, leftovers, wrapping and unwrapping, garbage and recycling, washing, drying, and folding. Oh my! But all so, so worth it because it’s also the time of year to see and enjoy all the special folks in our lives as we partake in festivities and traditions! Your kitchen will be the most used room in the house for the next two months. To help you out, we’ve got some great to-do’s to prep your kitchen for the holiday season.

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9 Tips to Maximize Your Productivity When You’ve Got ADHD

Adults with ADHD face extra challenges when it comes to task management and organization, whether at work or at home. Overstimulation, feeling stuck, getting overwhelmed—any one or all of these can hinder your productivity and elevate your anxiety. We’ve got 9 tips to help you maximize your productivity so you can anticipate your challenges, stay focused, and finish your tasks. 

1. Use your calendar for reminders and due dates.

Enter your due dates and deadlines. Then count backwards and enter mini due dates and/or reminders for completing phases of your project.

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7 Must-Do’s for an Organized Home Office

Your home office should be a space where you can get a lot of work done. That “work” may be for your job, for your household, or both. In any case, you’ll want to work in an area that is conducive to productivity and efficiency. However, if your home office is chaotic and disorganized, then read on for these must-do’s to get your work space decluttered, comfortable, and calm.  

1. Organize your paperwork

Set up a paper organization system so your paperwork isn’t in multiple piles that are impossible to find anything in. Get a filing cabinet system, or a desktop paper organizer—and tackle those piles. Color code when you can, use that label maker, and shred/recycle as needed. Not sure what to keep and what to let go? Our Paper Retention Guide will help you out. Imagine how much easier it will be to find what you’re looking for once you’ve got this set up!

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Top 8 Ways Decluttering Saves You Money

You may have heard that decluttering is beneficial to your mental and emotional health. An extra bonus of decluttering is that it can actually save you money, and in some cases, even earn you some. All that extra stuff in your cabinets and closets, counters, shelves, hallways, garage, attic, and storage unit is potentially money in your pocket. Read on and feel inspired to save by paring down your things and getting organized.

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How to Properly Clean and Disinfect Your Bathroom

After the kitchen—which should be the cleanest, most germ-free room in your home—the bathroom should come as a very close second. After all, it’s where you clean yourself up! Because of the presence of steam, unpleasant odors, bacteria, and water, your bathroom is susceptible to invisible, deeper levels of uncleanliness and germs that will take more than just basic spray-and-wipe cleaning. Read on for the lowdown on how to properly clean and disinfect your bathroom.

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What to Bring (and What to Leave at Home) for Your Vacation Rental

We love staying in hotels when vacationing. With room service, daily housekeeping, and various cool amenities, you get to feel spoiled and luxurious. We have also discovered, when traveling with family or a group of friends, that a vacation rental can be hugely advantageous and fantastic. There’s so much more room to spread out and carve out some privacy, there’s a kitchen and dining room so you don’t have to eat out for every meal, and there’s a washer and dryer so you can pack less clothing. If you’ve got a rental with some cool features, such as a hot tub, swimming pool, game room, or a beach/lake nearby, then it’s even better. Here’s our guide on what to pack and what to leave at home when heading out to your fabulous vacation rental.

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Check These Annually: Your Credit Report, Social Security, and Social Media Privacy

There are many things we should all check periodically, but this article will focus on the three biggies you should definitely check on an annual basis. 

1. Check your credit report.

In a world where data breaches and credit fraud are all too common, you need to keep on top of your personal and financial information. One major aspect of that is your credit report, which can help determine things like your mortgage rate, your car loan APR, and your credit card approvals. It’s very important to do an annual credit report check. You can dispute any errors, detect possible credit card fraud or ID theft, and find incomplete or outdated information. To make this even easier, it’s free! 

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are entitled to a free annual credit report from each of the three major consumer credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). Since February-April is when most Americans file their taxes, it’s also a good time to check your credit. The official source for your three free credit reports is Annual Credit Report—don’t be fooled by other sites.

Keep in mind that while your credit report is free, your credit score will probably not be. Your credit report is a detailed summary of the information related to your credit activity. Your credit score is a number, typically between 300 and 850, that rates your credit risk. Creditors use this number to determine whether to give you credit, decide the terms they offer, or the interest rate you pay.

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15 Realistic Tips to Lessen Screen Time for You and Your Family

It’s fairly common knowledge now that too much screen time is unhealthy for a wide variety of reasons. According to the Nielsen research group, American adults now spend “more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening to or simply interacting with media.” If we assume 6-7 hours of sleep in a 24 hour day, that leaves just 6-7 hours of time daily with no screen interaction. Yikes! This shows how addicted and reliant we have become to our screens, and that can’t possibly be a good thing. For kids, it’s even more important that screen time be limited. But how to go about it without going cold turkey? We’ve created a list of practical, realistic tips on how to lessen screen time for you and your family.

1.   Keep track of your screen time.

Smartphones let you check your screen time daily and weekly usage, as well as your number of pickups. Not sure how? Here’s how to do so on Apple devices, as well as on Android, which also has a feature called Digital Wellbeing to help you use your phone in a healthier, more balanced manner. You may be shocked to find, for instance, that you are picking up your phone 58 times a day (the average). Don’t forget to track screen time usage for computers, tablets, game consoles, and televisions—these all count as screens.

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7 Steps to Cleaning and Organizing Your Computer Desktop

Your computer desktop is the first thing you see when you log in. Is your password an entry to a desktop that is cluttered with files, folders, photos, apps, zip files, shortcuts, screen shots, and other digital detritus? If so, it could very well have a negative impact on your productivity and your stress level. It’s not hugely different from having an actual desktop that is also cluttered and disorganized. A workspace, onscreen or not, that is a jumbled mess will make you feel distracted, scattered, and anxious. Read on for some tips on getting your computer desktop cleaned and organized—then watch your productivity trend upwards!

1. Make good use of your taskbar to minimize program icons.

Look at each program icon on your desktop and consider how often you use it. The ones you use daily and at least 3x a week, keep on your desktop. The rest should be moved into the Start button on a PC, or the Applications folder in a Mac’s Finder. To neaten up your desktop even more, keep your program icons on your taskbar. On a PC, pin an icon to your Taskbar by right-clicking on it; then select “pin to taskbar.” On a Mac, simply drag and drop the icon onto your Dock. This will help keep your desktop neater and save you the hassle of finding programs because all your apps are in one spot, instead of all over your screen.

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Trim the Fat: How to Better Track and Manage Your Paid Subscriptions

January 19, 1922
by Jason Cohen
from PCmag.com

With Netflix hiking its prices again, it’s a good time to get a handle on your recurring subscription services. These are the best apps to help you see exactly what you’re spending each month and how to save the most money.

Cord cutting has long been touted as the answer to costly monthly cable bills. Don’t pay for channels you never watch; just stream your favorite shows and movies online. That was the dream, but TV and cable execs have caught on.

If you want all the popular originals—The Witcher on Netflix, The Mandalorian on Disney+, Star Trek: Discovery on Paramount+, Ted Lasso on Apple TV+—plus exclusive access to deep movie catalogues on HBO Max and Amazon Video, things get expensive pretty fast.

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