Tips & Tricks

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 Closet Organization Techniques

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
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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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Part 2 – Does the Thought of Tax Preparation Make You Panic?  You Are Not Alone

Organize your paperwork

Unless you are an accountant, for many of us, filing our tax returns ranks on the list of fun activities right next to root canals. Some of us get through this yearly chore one way or another and file our taxes by the deadline.

For others, it is not so easy. Many Americans who struggle with this deadline may end up paying hefty penalties for filing their taxes late or not at all. There could be many potential reasons for filing late, but for some, the reason is simply disorganization.

All over the United States families struggle with the volume of paper coming into the home. Catalogues, magazines, kids’ schoolwork and projects, work papers, receipts, oh and – mail, enter our homes daily.

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Five Reasons to Get Started on Your Taxes Today

Don't delay, file your taxes today!
The deadline to file your 2016 taxes is on April 18, 2017. That may feel like a long time from now, but the time to file is now. According to the IRS, 20-25% of Americans wait until right before the deadline to prepare their documents and file. By then, they may be looking at extensions, or worse expensive penalties.

 

Here are five reasons to get started on your taxes today:

  1. By the end of February most financial institutions have mailed out their
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