Tips & Tricks

Get Ready for a Stress-free Holiday Season

Get Ready for a stress-free holiday season
Let’s face it, it’s hard to get ready for the next week, much less for the next season! You are super busy with life, children, jobs, family. Life is pretty hectic as it is. But the last thing you need this fall is extra stress because your furnace suddenly stops working or because tree branches damaged your roof. What you do want is calm. You’d like time to spend with your family. It would be nice to entertain your friends and family in your home this winter.  It would also be nice to have gorgeous photos of your family and cute holiday cards printed and ready to go before Thanksgiving. Yea, not going to happen you say?

 

This mythical holiday bliss is possible! You just need to get started now.

 

Get Ready for the Holidays

• Schedule family photos. Now. Photographers are booking up.
• Arrange holiday travel plans. Buy your plane tickets and reserve your hotel and rental car.
• Update your address list for holiday greeting cards. Order holiday greeting cards.
• Begin a gift list. To keep track of what you have already purchased and what you still need try a list app such as Wunderlist or Todoist. Share the gift list with relatives.
• Consider “experience gifts” or gifts that do not create clutter. Downsize toys before the new ones arrive at Christmas.
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The ADHD Guide: Getting to Work on Time

ADHD Guide getting to work on time

Those who have adult ADHD rely on routines to get through what they need to do, to free up time for what they want to do. Mornings can be especially tough. Even an ingrained morning routine is hard to follow when you may not feel fully awake. The following are strategies that will help speed up your morning:

Two alarm system

Get two alarm clocks. If one alarm clock fails to fully rouse you, consider placing a second alarm out of arms reach – such as on your dresser- so that you are forced to get out of bed to turn off the alarm.

Getting Dressed

Simplify your wardrobe to one color palette – neutrals for example – and eliminate all but your favorite pieces. Separate work clothes from home clothes. Store home clothes away from work clothes to help narrow down your outfit choices. Remove and store off-season clothing under your bed or on a high shelf. This will reduce indecision when getting dressed. Most importantly – chose your outfit the night before and save a ton of time in the morning!

Reduce Distractors

Don’t turn on the TV

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Is Fall Cleaning Better Than Spring Cleaning?

A study shows Fall Cleaning is better than spring cleaning.
Should we be doing fall cleaning instead of spring cleaning? 45% of people think fall is the best season for deep cleaning, according to a study conducted by SpareFoot.com. This could explain why our local Goodwill drop-off point filled up by noon the other day. Children are back at school, the weather is still great, and parents are decluttering and reorganizing their most important spaces.
Five rooms you don’t want to forget during fall cleaning:
1. Bedrooms: Take a look through your summer wardrobe. This is the time to donate those pieces you may have tried on, but never wore this summer. Perhaps that is a signal that these pieces were not your most beloved. In your children’s closets, pull out and donate worn or outgrown clothes. If you store winter clothes, this is the perfect time to return them to your closet and inventory what you have.
2. Kitchen: In the pantry, throw away any unhealthful, unpopular or expired food items. Organize your pantry so that your children can easily find items to put into their lunchboxes. Store snacks for your children at eye level in labeled containers. Fall is also a great
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Cord Management: Taming Your Cables and Cords

Cord Management

Have you ever tried to find a particular device cable under your desk or behind your TV? It may be a tangled mess of cords, wires, power strips and dust bunnies under there. As you try to untangle one cable, several other wires come along with it causing frustration. No wonder many large retailers have an entire product category devoted to cord management, targeted at alleviating this exact problem.  We have gathered some of our favorite products and a few simple tips to reduce your cord management woes.

  • Using a label maker attach a label with the device name to any cords plugged into your power strip. This way, if you need to unplug a particular device, you will not need to trace the cable from the power strip all the way to the other end. If you don’t own a label maker,
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Male Pattern Blindness: Find What You Are Looking For

male pattern blindness

Some time ago, California mom Deva Dalporto posted a humorous video about male pattern blindness. In the video her husband stood in front of an open cabinet and couldn’t find something that was directly in front of him. From the other room, his wife assured him (with increased frustration) that what he was looking for was where she told him it was –  right in front of his face. This video went viral and was featured among other places, on the Huffington Post blog, the Today show and on The Doctors talk show.
Many wives around the country felt vindicated that this affliction wasn’t unique to their spouses. Some had called this phenomenon “man eyes”.  One commentator said the cause of male pattern blindness goes back to hunter gatherer times – men hunted huge animals in the wide open; women were gatherers and had to look hard to find little berries and plants. Others noted, men don’t want to move things around; they just want to see everything at eye level.
Whatever the cause,

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Paper or Digital Calendar? Which is Better?

digital calendar

The short answer is of course that it comes down to a matter of individual preference. There are advantages and disadvantages to both the paper or digital type of calendars. We love all things digital, and many digital calendar apps are great, but there are many instances where the paper calendar diary works just as well, if not better. Our preferences may change over time and depending on the task at hand.

Digital Advantages

The digital calendar has many advantages. We are virtually attached to our smart phones these days so we always have our calendar with us. Doctor appointment cards no longer get lost in our coat pockets because we can now enter the appointment straight into our favorite calendar app. We can schedule recurring

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Planning and Budgeting for the Remainder of 2016

planning and budgeting

As we wind down summer, we are thinking about back to school. We also need to be planning and budgeting for the next four months. Here are some things to plan for now, so that you feel on top of things later.

 

Back to School Planning and Budgeting

  • Purchase back to school supplies:
    • Inventory what you already have in your home before you go shopping.
    • Print school supply list to take with you while shopping.
    • After shopping put all the new supplies together in one spot; like in a new backpack.
    • Take kids with you to shop for clothes and shoes. This will prevent having to return clothes and shoes that don’t fit.
    • Resist buying more that you need.
    • Don’t stress if you can’t find it all. Students don’t need everything day one.
  • This is a great time to inventory your child’s clothing and purge outgrown or worn out items.  Purchase new school clothes or school uniforms and shoes. Do fall sports shoes fit? Is there a PE uniform that needs to be purchased?
  • Schedule any overdue medical, vision or dental exams for your children.
  • Complete any school medical forms.
  • Budget for beginning of school year PTA, school and sports fees.
  • If you are planning on applying to private schools for the 2017-2018 school year:
    • Research potential schools.
    • Sign up for informational meetings and open houses.
    • Research test preparation courses.
    • Register for entrance tests.
    • Begin contacting teachers for letters of recommendation.
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If You Read One Article About Laundry Tips Read This One

laundry tips

Laundry is one of those never-ending, boring, mundane chores.  Many busy families just can’t keep up with the sheer volume of laundry. Others struggle with laundry piles because they don’t have a good laundry routine. To help you get through your laundry quickly and efficiently, we’ve compiled a list of laundry tips and tricks from various experts.

  • Number one laundry tip: Don’t sort your laundry. This is a huge timesaver. Toss in a load of colored, dark and white clothes together with detergent and a ½ cup of vinegar on the cold temperature setting. One exception to this is new dark denim and new red items. Wash those on their own to be sure the color won’t bleed. If you have very expensive silk or delicate items, follow individual washing instructions.
  • Provide each family member with their own labeled laundry basket. Wash each family member’s clothes separately. Wash their entire load of dirty clothes (all colors together) on the cold temperature setting. Add ½ cup of vinegar to the wash (either in the bleach or fabric softener receptacle in front loading machines) to prevent color bleeding. When the clothes are clean, return them to the owner’s basket.
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Organize Your Pet Supplies With These Five Ideas

We adore our pets and care for them like any other family member. Our pooches and kitties can acquire quite a bit of stuff between toys, grooming supplies, treats and even clothing. Like anything, pet supplies can get lost around the house pretty easily. Here are five ideas on how to organize your pet supplies easily –  saving you time you can use to play with your fuzzy buddy.

Toys and Accessories

Dog and cat toys can be corralled into a basket. Put them in a location where all family members can find them when playing with Fido. As you collect all the toys from around the house, dispose of any broken or unloved play things. Wash your dog’s plush toys periodically on the gentle cycle. Keep winter sweaters and extra pet supplies (such as cones and poopy bags) for your dog in a hallway closet in bins labeled with your pet’s name or photo.

Documents and Medical Information

Our pet’s health is important. Keep a reminder on your calendar when your pet’s next flea and heartworm medication is due or administer it on the first of every month. Keep a manila folder with all your pet’s paperwork. Pedigree or adoption information,

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Top 10 Organizing Tips for Busy Families

busy families

At professional organizing company Simplify Experts, we attract one type of client over all others – busy families. You know who you are. You and/or your spouse may be juggling long hours at work, volunteering at your child’s school, attending your children’s many weekday and weekend activities, managing home upkeep, and perhaps even handling elder care. You rarely have time for yourself. Over time, clutter in your home builds and builds. You can’t find things. Sometimes, things fall through the cracks – bills don’t get paid on time, tax returns are late, appointments are missed. Despite your best efforts you never seem to catch up. You can no longer host events at your house. The state of your home increases your level of anxiety.

If any of this resonates with you,

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