Thursday, November 29, 2018

Create Gift Wrap Central

Image result for christmas presents free images
With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to get your gift-wrap supplies untangled and in order. First, gather it all into one location. Toss any wrap, bows, bags, or tags that are wrinkled, worn, or just plain ugly. Then, containerize for easy access. You could use a multi-drawer bin system on wheels, which is easy to move from room to room as needed. Or install a behind-the-door wire hanging rack organizer. You could even corral the supplies in an under-bed storage box. Any system is fine, so long as it’s easy for you to access.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Gifts outside of the Box-Gifts from the Heart for Family and Friends

  
Image result for free christmas imagesIt is that time of the year for my annual list of gifts that come from the heart and not always from the store.
  • Date night in a basket-movie, wine, cheese
  • A health club or museum membership
  • Gift cards
        Restaurants
        Events -Ticket Master has gift cards
        Local Events-plays or concerts
        To supplement their hobbies - spices, fabric, sports
        Massage or spa treatment
        Lessons for a special hobby-music, ceramics, dance
        Garden Center

  • Magazine subscription
  • Baked good of the month certificate-homemade goodness all year long
  • "Of the Month" gift-fruit, flowers, etc.
  • Cooking lessons at a local cooking school. Make it for two and go along
  • Gifts of homemade food - frozen so they can use it when needed
  • Gift of food or drink: specialty coffees, wines, teas, chocolates, cheese
  • Gifts of time-Plan a group activity
  • Make a donation in honor of someone to their favorite charity
  • Coupon for a free car wash/detailing-by yourself or a professional
  • Think summer activity
  • Plan activity from someone's Bucket List
  • Special day with winery tour/s and lunch
  • Electronic toll pass for the travelers
  • Hunting/fishing license for the sportsman
  • One or more sessions from a cleaning service

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Gifts outside of the Box-Gifts from the Heart for Teachers

Image result for free christmas images
The time of the year for my annual list of gift giving ideas that do not necessarily come from the store.

These ideas came from teachers. Wishlists for a teacher may vary by how long they have been teaching. One school has the teachers fill out a “Favorite Things” questionnaire (see sample below) that is available for parents and students. Parents are given the opportunity to contribute to a joint gift and then a room mom does the shopping based on this list.

Any gifts that can be used up!  As much as some feel that a gift card is impersonal, teachers really like them. This was a top pick for my teacher friends. To make it personal, include a heartfelt note of thanks to the teacher for teaching your children.
            Gift cards for teachers favorite store/s
            Movie passes
            Magazine subscriptions
            Items from the teacher’s wish list for classroom supplies (most teachers spend their own money on non-budgeted items for the classroom)
            A cozy evening at home basket-favorite beverage and snacks in a basket
            Movie night at home basket with snacks and movie
            Manicure/ pedicure/hair salon gift certificate
            Do you know if a teacher likes to cook? Give an opportunity to take a cooking class. Loves art? Membership to a museum would be an appropriate choice.

Give the gift of time. In a teacher’s case, it would be to save them time.

            Easy to prepare meal in a basket or a ready-made meal brought to school on a scheduled night to save the time of cooking a meal. Give them a personalized coupon that they can redeem at a future date. Have your child create the coupon.
            Christmas cookies to save the teacher the time of baking
            If allowed, bring a special lunch for the teacher and watch the students while the teacher has some alone time.

           
“Favorite Things” Questionnaire

Favorite color:
Favorite hobby:
Favorite fast food:
Favorite snack:
Favorite stores we shop at:
Things we collect:

Any special wishes:

Friday, November 9, 2018

Gifts outside of the Box-Gifts from the Heart for Children.

It is that time of the year for gift giving and my annual list of ideas.
Image result for children cooking images free
Children:

Share the gift of time and experiences. 

Special one on one day with grandparents
              Baking
              Sharing a hobby
              Manicure and lunch
Summer or sports camp registration

Season pass to the zoo/museum

Membership to the local YMCA

Indoor water park tickets

Music lessons

Magazines-We started with the Hello Baby magazine when the grandchildren were small and then age up appropriately

A box of dress-up clothes

Art supplies




Thursday, November 1, 2018

Gifts outside of the Box-Gifts from the Heart for our Older Friends

Image result for free christmas clipart
It is that time of the year for my annual list of gifts that do not always come from the store but from the heart.



Baked good of the month certificate-homemade goodness all year long. My friends even gave me the box back each month so I would not forget the next month.

"Of the Month" gift-fruit, flowers, etc.

Take them to lunch or dinner.


 Bird feeder and seed

"Forever" stamps

 Plan a day to bring dinner and do odd jobs around the house. This is a special one! 

Is there a car that has special memories from the past? Arrange for a car collector to take them for a ride in that car

Is someone residing in assisted living? Invite them to your house to do
some seasonal baking or summer canning.

Plan an outing to see seasonal decorations or a parade.

Friday, August 10, 2018

August 15 is National Relaxation Day.

Even if you can’t dedicate the entire day to yourself, try to set aside at least an hour or two. Schedule a mani-pedi, take yourself out to a ballgame, see a movie, soak in a relaxing bath, read a magazine, have lunch with a pal, or do whatever else brings you joy. You’re worth it!

Or take a moment to look at the picture and envision yourself at that spot.

Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.

This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

This Week’s Easy E-Tip: Get Past Perfectionism



Perfectionists make awesome procrastinators. Unfortunately, delayed decisions can keep you from moving forward. This week, recognize that nothing has to be perfect, just good enough. Set a time limit to make a decision or to tackle a task that you’ve been avoiding, and then just do it.






Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.

This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

This Week’s Easy E-Tip: Have a Remote Control Round-Up



If you’re always searching for the remote controls, corral them all in an attractive basket or box on your coffee or side table. Teach family members to deposit all remotes into that container when they are done with them.

Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.


This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Quick tip of the day-Bathroom clutter.

Declutter the bathroom by removing the travel-size bottles of shampoo and miniature soaps you collect each time you take a trip. See if your local women’s shelter would like them. And since you’ll likely receive more each time you visit a hotel, you really don’t need to bring any home next time, right?







Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.

This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

This Week’s Easy E-Tip: Run Errands Wisely



Rather than dashing out for a quart of milk here and stamps at the post office there, designate one or two days per week for errand-running. Make a list of every place you need to go, and then map them out so you can hit each one in a logical order, saving you time and gas. (Plan them in a counter-clockwise direction so you can make easy right turns into and out of the parking lots!)

Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.

This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.

Friday, March 23, 2018

I can't find it (again).


When you can’t find something, it’s often easier to just buy another. But the original will eventually turn up, leaving you with more than you really need. Take some time to scout out duplicates in the kitchen, garage, bathroom, and even your closet. Decide how many you really need, and keep your favorites only. Donate the rest.






Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.

This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

To shop or not to shop? That is the question.


It’s difficult in today’s society to not feel the pressure to buy more, be more, and have more. Just remember that the more we have, the more we have to maintain. Where do you want to spend your time, money, and resources? Take a moment this week to figure out what truly makes you happy, and you’ll likely find that it’s not the stuff, but the experiences and people that you love.





Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.

This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Food for Thought

Peter Walsh, a professional organizer, says:

"Our homes should be the antidote to stress, not the cause of it"


"Each pile of clutter is a monument to a series of small procrastinations."  

What is your take on those statements? Is the photo a picture of serenity? Do you get that same sense when looking around your home?


Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.

This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day.

Friday, February 9, 2018

February is Archive Your Files Month. Who knew?

If your filing cabinets are running out of room (and you’ve already purged all you can), take time during Archive Your Files Month to box up inactive files and store them in the basement or off-site.


Friday, February 2, 2018

Celebrate Groundhog Day

Gather your friends and family around the Groundhog Tree, sing carols and enjoy the day. No organizing tips as I am celebrating!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Baby steps toward organization.

Create some breathing room this Get Organized Month. Tackle one drawer, cupboard, or shelf in your home each day this month with the intention to remove and donate/toss/recycle/sell at least 25% of its contents. When spaces aren’t packed full, it’s easier to find what you need and keep organized.

Friday, January 5, 2018

January is Get Organized Month


Create some breathing room this Get Organized Month. Tackle one drawer, cupboard, or shelf in your home each day this month with the intention to remove and donate/toss/recycle/sell at least 25% of its contents. When spaces aren’t packed full, it’s easier to find what you need and keep organized.


Photograph courtesy of   http://www.stephenallan.com.

This picture is posted to give you a beautiful image to look at even for a moment. I hope it brightens your day

Friday, December 29, 2017

Reorganize today for an easier Christmas next year



While the memories of Christmas last year long, the decorations need to come down. By organizing them as you put them away, it will make it easier to use them next year. Do not rush out and buy containers yet to store things.  Just like any organizing project, you figure out what needs to be stored and then figure out storage systems. The task is not so daunting when you break it down into simple steps.

1. Separate items into categories.
2. Find storage containers for those categories.
3. Label containers.

The first thing is to look at all of your items, especially those that did not get out of the boxes this year. Do you still have a strong attachment to those decorations? Sentimentality is a large factor for Christmas but if you do not really love the item, it is time to share them with others who truly will love them. Set aside a box for donations as you begin the packing process.

Sort items into categories and pack similar items together so it will be easy to find all of the like items next year. Remember not to pack delicate items on the top or bottom of boxes.
1. Inside decorations: garland, greenery, lights, silk flowers
2. Outdoor decorations: garland, bows, lighting
3. Ornaments.
4. Greeting Cards.
5. Fabric related items. Towels, linens, wall decorations.
6. Dishes. Can they be stored on a shelf in the kitchen or dining room? If not, pack securely using some of your towels or linens to help cushion the breakables.
7. Wrapping paper, ribbons, tags, bows.
8. Artificial Christmas trees. Store in the original box or purchase a Christmas tree bag for storage.
9. Candles. Wrap each candle to avoid scratches. An old sock works.
10. Keep track of things needed for next year.

Storage Containers:
Once your items are sorted then look at storage options. Clear boxes make it easy to see the contents but cardboard boxes may be the thrifty way to go. Special boxes for ornaments are a great investment as they keep the ornaments separated.

Label and number the boxes. A general name on the outside of the box and then a list inside with specifics. If you need a certain box to begin your decorating, such as Advent supplies, you may wish to add a number 1 to the box so you will store that last so it will be first out next year. 

Tips for specialty packing:
§  Fragile vs. non-breakable. Egg cartons can be used for smaller items to protect them and keep them separate. Otherwise, wrap the ornaments in a soft cloth or even cocktail napkins that have gotten wrinkled. Ornament storage boxes are a great investment.
§  After Christmas enjoy an evening of looking at the Christmas cards again and then decide if they are to be kept or not. Check any address changes and add to your address book. Check with your local school or preschool to see if they like covers of cards for art projects. I will take off the cover-making sure there is not writing on the inside and then recycle the rest of the card if applicable. I do keep letters and photographs and group those with a rubber band in a box.
§  If you always have specific decorations in a certain room such as a bedroom, store those items in that room on a closet shelf. It will save time moving it elsewhere and then moving it back again.