One of the most important questions to ask yourself when purging items from your closet is, “Does this item make me feel good?” This simple question will help to eliminate articles of clothing that you do not like (but paid good money for), that don’t compliment you (but it was a gift), and that have been keeping you ‘stuck’ (in the past).

Clothing follows the 80:20 rule – we wear 20 percent of our clothing 80 percent of the time! Here’s a little trick you can play on yourself to see which items are being worn. At the start of each season, turn your clothes hangers backward! As you wear clothes, face them properly. At the end of the season, any clothes that remain facing backward should be given away.

Tip: Keep a ‘share’ box/bag and ‘give-a-way’ box/bag in your closet to discard items that no longer make you feel good.

Recently, I was assisting a client in purging items from one of her two storage units. This client realized how much money she was wasting each month by have two units filled with stuff that was keeping her ‘stuck’ in life (personally and professionally). There were clothes that she had been holding onto for years due to various reasons (all the typical excuses – ‘it cost a lot of money’, ‘it was a gift’, ‘I will fit into that again…someday!’). It wasn’t until I held up each piece of clothing and asked her, ‘Does this make you feel good?’ did she begin to part with the items. In a matter of a few minutes, the client was able to let go of 3/4 of the clothes! That one simple question made her look at the clothes differently. They didn’t make her feel good. They kept her ‘stuck’ in the past.

As we approach a new season and unpack our summer attire, take a few moments to ask yourself that one powerful question, ‘Does this make me FEEL GOOD?’. Don’t waste your closet space, energy, or time on anything that does make you happy or feel good!

Need help managing your daily to-do list? Feeling overwhelmed and frustrated at the end of the day? If so, check out my recent video which will help you simplify your list and feel good at the end of the day!

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This past weekend I completed a DIY project that I have been wanting to do for sometime. Recently, I helped a good friend design and create her own. Now it was my turn! Thanks to my darling, Dave who brought home a new flat screen TV this past Friday, I was able to turn the entertainment center into my very own beverage center.
(Side note: We haven’t had cable for the past year. So along with the new TV came cable. Welcome back The Food Network! I missed you.)

Beverage CenterThe armoire previously used to house the TV and media equipment. It is now a fun and stylish station to whip up a drink with my favorite coconut rum! I covered the back of the armoire with squared mirrors which I picked up at IKEA (4 pack for 4.99). It adds drama and makes the space look a little bigger. I created a storage area for alcohol, club soda, glass pitchers, stemware, extra serving glasses, straws, napkins, and all the little odds and ends needed to stir up a fabulous drink and entertain friends. (Since there are small children in the home, I have made sure to put safety locks on the top and bottom doors.)

The project is not 100% complete. The wine rack which will be located above the stemware and memo boards (post drink recipes and display menus) which will be on the inside of both doors still need to be installed. For additional storage ideas and tips on creating your own beverage station, refer to Get The Party Started, Beverage Cart, and Beverage Bar.

Is it time for a drink yet?

Organized Junk DrawerJunk drawers, the majority of us have one, maybe two, or even three  in our home. It is amazing at what you will find in a junk drawer! It is the place where you throw those extra twist ties, that broken flash light, and even your favorite hammer.

If your junk drawer is over-flowing with old coupons, broken chip clips, and last years birthday candles, it is time to organize and bring some order to the junk drawer. It is possible to have a organized junk drawer!

I believe every home should have junk drawer, but only under certain conditions. Those conditions are:

  • You need to know what is in there.
  • Everything should be used regularly.
  • There should be dividers and/or small containers to seperate the junk into groups of like items.
  • It needs to be neat.

Take 30 minutes this weekend to empty out your drawer, purge what is not needed or used, sort like with like, and keep everything in the drawer contained. Storage containers for the drawer can be recycled plastic butter containers or a collection of trimmed sour cream container to fit the drawer. You can also use a drawer organizer used in a desk to store your ‘must-haves’ of the junk drawer. Save pieces to broken toys and gadgets in sandwich size Ziploc bags and store all broken pieces in one area. For convenience purposes, keep a small screw driver in your junk drawer for when the kitchen cabinets need tightening or when a battery needs to be replaced. If you have kids, you know that each toy which requires batteries also requires a screw driver.

If you can get your junk drawer organized, you will be able to organize any drawer!

refrigeratorYour refrigerator and what you keep in it (along with how you keep it) can say a lot about you.
A cluttered and dirty refrigerator can not only spoil your food, but your mood too!

Eating healthy, eliminating wasteful spending, and having order in your refrigerator can improve your life in many ways.

You want to keep your fridge as clutter-free as possible so cold air can circulate properly.

Here are some guidelines to follow…
 
1. Upper Shelf: For easy access, store last night’s leftovers and healthy, snack-size munchies (baby carrots, celery sticks, cheese sticks, etc.) in a clear, plastic container here. When you are hungry for a quick bit these should be the easiest things to reach for. Make sugar free drinks (like Crystal Light or Wylers) and keep them easily accessible.

2. Top Shelf: Put the most perishable items – such as milk, eggs, sour cream, and yogurt – in this cool spot. This is the closest spot to the fan. (Eggs kept in the door will go bad faster from the changing temperature every time you open and close the door.) Tip – To buy the freshest eggs, don’t go by the ‘expiration’ or ‘sell-by’ date on the carton. Every carton has a #1 to #365 printed on the side. That number is the day of the year the eggs were packed. If one carton has the #225 and the next has #240, the eggs with the #240 are 15 days fresher!

3. Middle Shelf: This is the ideal place to store lunch meats that are stored in airtight containers (not in the bags provided by the deli counter). Lunch meat can spoil quickly if not stored properly. If the meat has a sweet smell or has a slippery/slimy coating, toss it out. Before storing hot soups or sauces, let them cool on the counter for no more than two hours or chill the soup container in  ice water before refrigerating. Otherwise, the heat from the soups/sauces can raise the refrigerators temperature. Tip – Keep the fridge set at 34 – 40 degrees Fahrenheit and your freezer set at zero degrees Fahrenheit or less. These temperatures help prevent the growth of microorganisms that can cause food to spoil.

4. Bottom Shelf/Drawer: Raw meats and poultry should be kept on the lowest level to prevent juices from dripping onto other foods, which can pose a safety risk. If you have two bottom drawers, store candies, soda, beer, and other ‘junk’ foods in the top drawer. If they are out of sight you are less likely to think about or reach for them when you have a craving.
 
5. Butter Hood And Egg Cups On Door: These are cute compartments, but should be left for nonfood items like batteries, medications, and makeup. Butter and eggs can quickly lose quality due to the area being too warm. 6. Door Shelves: Use this space for foods that are not so temperature-sensitive, like salad dressings, ketchup, and jelly. Store dry herbs and spices that are not used frequently here as well. The cool, dark refrigerator will help to keep the flavors of the herbs and spices to last longer.

6. Door Shelves: Use this space for foods that are not so temperature-sensitive, like salad dressing, ketchup, and jelly. This is also the ideal space to store dried herbs and spices since the coolness of the refrigerator help keep the flavors lasting longer.

Tip: Have a pre-printed list of foods commonly consumed on or near the refrigerator for easy access. Highlight or check off items that need to be purchased. Just grab-n-go next time you head to the super market.
 
 
 

celebrateApril is one of my favorite months. Spring, Easter and my birthday all piled into one great month! I am offering a special during the month of April. To find out more, click on the link and read the April issue of my Newsletter.

April issue of Y.E.S.’ newsletter

Raise your hand if you like to work on business projects in bed.

Raise your hand if you like to connect with family and friends on Facebook while watching TV.

Raise your hand if the only quiet time you get during the day is the few minutes spent in the bathroom.

If you raised your hand to any of the scenarios above, I suggest creating a Traveling Home Office.

Enjoy a lazy Sunday in bed with your laptop catching up on emails and connecting with friends on Facebook. Finish a last minute work project or create your ‘action plan’ for the next day while sitting on the couch being entertained by flashy outfits and the tan bodies of Dancing With The Stars. Escape to the bathroom with your Traveling Home Office to get some of your ‘best thinking’ done. Have all the supplies and information you need at your fingertips, whether you are laying in bed, sitting on the couch, or hiding out in the bathroom.

Here are some supplies needed to get you started with creating a Traveling Home Office:

  • 3 tiered cart on wheels.
  • Tackle box or craft box to hold office supplies such as pens, pencils, highlighter, stamps, post-its, scissors, tape, correction tape, paper clips, and stapler.
  • Poly Envelope to store a small supply of envelops, note pad, and any other paper supplies.
  • Magazine holders (2-3) to hold current catalogs, magazines, and articles to be read, current projects, and extra files.
  • Laptop and accessories.
  • Plastic or brown paper bag (lunch size) to hold garbage. Attach the bag to the cart using a binder clip.
  • Store a small stash of munchies and bottled water in the cart for those times when you are too lazy to walk to the kitchen.

Designate an area in the cart to keep the home phone and mobile phone so they don’t get lost in the cushions or under the sheets. Get creative and have fun creating your customized Traveling Home Office.

When the Traveling Home Office is not in use, roll it away into a closet!

young-boy-gradHigh-achieving students don’t forget when a report is due or arrive at an advanced math class without a calculator. These kids have learned the benefits and importance of having good organizational and time-management skills. Through trial and error, they have also learned what study habits work best for them.

These students, with their parents’ and/or a professional’s help, have unlocked the secrets to being super-motivated, enjoy studying, and know how to get results.

Here are 6 steps a parent can take to increase their child’s academic success and self-confidence.

Step 1: Homework Station

Children need a desk-like area designated for studying. This area should be comfortable, inspiring, organized with supplies within arm reach, and away from any distractions. However, still central to a parent so the child can be monitored if he/she has questions or needs help staying on task. Consider having this homework station located in the home office, living room, or guest room. A child may be too tempted to play with toys, get distracted by other family member’s conversations, or turn on the TV if studying in their room, family room, or kitchen.

According to Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Stanford University and author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, says that “if kids are texting or their siblings are talking to them, they’re not devoting their full attention to learning, so they learn less. When kids know this, they’re more motivated; they think, Uh-oh, if I’m not in a quiet place, I won’t learn as well. Having the proper learning environment for your child is crucial.”

Step 2: Fully Stocked

Eliminate reasons and excuses for a child to procrastinate by having the homework station fully stocked with study materials, pencils, pens, sharpener, scissors, tape, calculator, dictionary, and other needed supplies. Consider having a side table or rolling cart stocked with healthy snacks and water to keep the brain charged and running efficiently. The working surface should be cleared of all clutter and provide ample space for open books and binders.

Step 3: Tune In

Some children enjoy listening to music or watching TV while studying, but parents need to consider their child’s learning style and the type of media he/she is tuning in to. Parents who enforce distraction free work are on the right track. According to three recent studies, spending too much time watching TV diminishes kids’ ability to learn, their academic success, and even their chances of graduating from college. Depending on your child’s learning style and if they insist on having something on, choose songs without words such as soothing, classical music.

Step 4: Choosing a Time

When determining the best time to do homework, consider your schedule and your child’s temperament and personality. Some children need a break when getting home from school, while others lose steam if they don’t do their assignments right away. Experiment with different times to do homework and see where you have the greatest success. Once the study time has been determined, create a consistent routine based on what works best for your child.

Step 5: Make Learning Fun

Try to avoid saying statements like, ‘Let’s get your homework out of the way so you can play’. Children tend to see academics as a negative experience and as a chore. Instead, value their schoolwork and present it as an endeavor that sparks your curiosity. Have conversations about their school work and your work projects.

Be sure to encourage the lighter side of learning by playing educational and word games, along with doing jigsaw puzzles and playing Monopoly. Give your child the freedom to choose when to do leisure reading. When kids are doing something they enjoy they retain more information.

Step 6: Managing Time and Assignments

Having and using a planner is one habit most high achievers swear by. Just like adults, children should get into the habit of writing down important dates, assignments, and other tasks that need to be completed. Planners visually organize information for students, so they can see when papers are due, when tests will be taken, and when the next big game is scheduled.

Encourage children to take on the responsibility of beginning and completing homework by creating a system such as a checklist. When a child starts receiving long-term projects, help he/she map out the work by using their calendar so he/she learns good time management and organizational skills. Break down large projects into smaller steps/tasks and assign a specific day to take action on them. Using a checklist will help the child and the parent to make sure he/she is staying on track.

Children are overwhelmed with information and after school activities these days. It is imperative a child has one calendar to managing their school work, personal life, and home life. To ensure academic success, make sure children have time to chill-out and unwind each week so they can de-stress and use their imagination. By getting children into the habit of scheduling free time for hobbies and to play with friends, children learn that life isn’t just about work. It is about having fun, building relationships, and enjoying oneself.

Check out this organizing tip for keeping your baby’s must-haves at your fingertips while feeding!

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Do you ever have the need to jot down a note to yourself while enjoying the Sunday paper and find yourself without a scratch piece of paper? How about the times when you are enjoying a cup of coffee at a co-worker’s workstation and realize you might be forgetting to do something? Always losing your to-do list, but never your coffee?

There is a silly yet smart solution to these problems! It is called the Write-On Mug by FredFlare.com. Schedule as you sip with the Write-On Mug. You can keep your daily tasks and appointments in sight (right under your nose) while sipping your favorite cup of coffee or tea. Use a ballpoint pen or pencil to add your daily to-do list and urgent tasks. When done, simply wipe them off with a eraser.

No need for that fancy PDA! 🙂