I’ll be the first to admit college has changed a lot since my days. So I went to a couple of experts. The Wicked Hippie is now a Junior so one could say she has been there and done that. Then The Mermaid in a Mudslide shares 5 Things to Remember. As you go forward with this new exciting chapter in your life enjoy your freshman year and know you can do it. Pamela
A new academic season is coming up and that means a lot of incoming college freshmen are probably scared, excited, confused, happy, and sad. I knew I was when I was a freshmen. I am now a junior at university and along the way, I have learned things that I wish someone would have told […]
Look around? Do you see coffee mugs on the table, your desk, or dishes on the counter? How about are you using your treadmill as an extra valet? Do you want an easy tip to cut that clutter out?
You need to implement the one touch rule.
What is the one touch rule?
Easy. If you have something in your hand ~ take it where it belongs. Don’t put it down.
We recently talked about laundry. Fold it when you take it out of the dryer and put it away. How about when you and come home from work or school and you change clothes? Hang them up or put them in the laundry basket. Don’t throw them on the bed or your exercise equipment. Touch them one time. If you toss them on the bed you have to come back a second time and put them away.
Let’s talk about dishes. Don’t leave them sitting around. Don’t put them in the sink, immediately put them in the dishwasher.
Who is guilty of leaving an unfinished craft project on the table? How about ingredients all over the kitchen when cooking or baking?
When you use something ~ put it back. Touch it one time.
This applies to your entire family. Kids too.
The Parent Coach, Susan Stiffelman at the Huffington Post suggests the following:
“Establish that no new toys can be taken out until whatever has been played with has been put away. Kindly remind your daughter if she forgets. And by all means, do not clean up her messes. If you cave in and do the job for her, you will have taught her that if she whines or procrastinates long enough, she won’t have to take responsibility. Acknowledge that you understand that she’d rather not put away her paints, or that it looks like it will take forever. By letting her feel heard and understood, you’ll ensure that her upset will dissolve more quickly — and help her accept that she simply has to get the job done.”
Start by resetting the rules. Explain to your kids that you’ve made some new decisions about cleaning up, and you want to share them so that everyone knows what to expect. “When you’re finished playing with something, it’s important that you put it away completely before you move on to something else. If you forget, I’ll remind you once. If you still forget, that particular toy will go in a special box for a month.” Some parents tell their children that toys that are left out will be given away. Decide how harsh you want to be — but make sure that you follow through. If you deliver meaningless threats in the heat of the moment, your child won’t take you seriously.
Break a big job down into bite-sized steps. Help your children work in manageable increments if they have a lot to clean up. “Start by putting away anything with red on it … or anything made of plastic … or whatever is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.” This will help them learn that, little by little, they can get a big job done — whether it’s cleaning up a physical mess, working on a complex report or organizing a research project.”
Oh, my goodness can you believe it is almost that time again? Ah, College Move in day. It’s right around the corner. Do you have a college freshman in your house or are you a college freshman? I know you are both looking forward to the day and a bit nervous. Not to fear I want to share some of the best tips to make your move in day the best it can be.
But how are you or your daughter going to make it in 114 square feet? The average dorm room is 12 x 19 feet (228 total square footage) to be shared.
In that space, there will be a bed, desk, dresser, probably a mini fridge and microwave not to mention all of those clothes, makeup, hair stuff, and toiletries.
EEK that is tiny living. So you are going to have to make the most of every foot.
Will you be coming home for the holidays? If so maybe you don’t need all of your winter clothes since it will be fall when school starts.
Also, think comfort for class clothes and shoes. Perfect examples are solid tanks, comfortable flats, and a comfy pair of jeans. Mix and match will be your friend. Remember that scarves can really change an outfit.
You will not need lots of dressy outfits. Think a basic little black dress with a jacket and dressy outfit and shoes for more formal affairs like internship interviews, presentations or formals.
Work-out clothes, a bathing suit, bathrobe and shower shoes & sneakers
If you are going to an area where it gets chilly you will need a light jacket. Heavy coat, mittens, hat, and scarf *(if you’re going to a campus with a colder climate) Maybe rain boots and an umbrella. Don’t forget a comfy pair of slippers (for hanging out in the residence hall)
Remember your entire space will be small. So don’t bring lots of shoes. No more than 6 (1 of each: flats, dressy heels, sneakers, shower shoes, slippers, boots) It’s hard but really you will not wear every shoe in your home closet and more importantly, you don’t have room for them all.
Don’t over pack.
Whatever you think you need edit out 40% of it.
Mom can send it to you if you really need something. *If you are going home for Thanksgiving you can switch out your fall clothes for winter and pick up your winter coat then.
Oh, by the way, you will probably be sharing a bathroom with lots of other girls.
No leaving your stuff in the bathroom.
You will have to carry it from your room to the bathroom and back again. Bring your own shower supplies. You’ll want a small bag or carryall that is easy to hang up where you can reach your soap, shampoo, and conditioner.
What should you bring with you?
A waterproof shower caddy – either a plastic caddy or a mesh bag
Towels and wash cloths
A robe – for covering up after you shower – It might be a bit chilly in the halls even if you are not modest
Shower shoes – either flip-flops or crocs
Shampoo and conditioner – if you can use the 2-in-1 kind, you’ll save space
Razor and shaving cream
The shower gel is really easier than bar soap.
Which brings us to Laundry.
You will be doing your own. So you will need to bring your own laundry detergent, softener, stain remover and quarters. You will need a laundry basket or bag to get your stuff to the laundry.
A printer there should be a printer lab so you will not need one.
Toaster, hot plates, skillets, or toaster ovens
Halogen bulbs and/or lamps
Most schools do not allow you to put holes in the walls so no nails.
You will not need an alarm clock if you use your phone. Your phone will be your camera, calculator, calendar and address book. You are on your own to get to class. Mom will not be waking you up so if you need a loud alarm clock then, by all means, get one.
This is not by any means a complete list if you want more tips on what to bring check out this list from College Love to Know Things to Take to College Dorm
Good Luck and Enjoy every moment of your new adventure!! I love to hear your comments.
Do you have a chest of drawers that is not really working in your nursery? How about switching the chest of drawers for a dresser. You can put a changing pad on it and it doubles as a changing table. When you are no longer in the diaper stage you can re-evaluate.
How about that sofa table behind the couch? Would a dresser be a better option? Storage, of course.
Using a dresser in the dining area of your apartment or home makes excellent storage for your candles, linens, china, and silverware. Plus if you add some trivets on the top you can also use it as a buffet. This will save space on the dining room table.
You could also use a dresser living room, a dresser makes the perfect TV stand and media storage unit. Give your living room that clean streamlined look by placing your television on top of the dresser and using the drawers to hide away and DVD’s, video games or controllers.
What about using a dresser in your entry? Think about all the storage options it would give you.
I recently saw an idea on Pinterest where they used 3 dressers and put their bed on top of the dressers. MIND BLOW for outstanding space utilization.
Do you utilize the space under your bed? Why not? Did you know you can raise your bed and add drawers under your bed? Also, a padded chest at the foot of your bed adds storage.
There is no rule that a dresser much only is used in the bedroom. It’s a pretty versatile piece of furniture. I can see one in the kitchen to add both counter space and storage.
By the way, add a power strip to the back of a drawer and you have an out of sight charging station for all your phones, tablets, MP3, and the likes.
So when is a dresser more than just a dresser? Would you use a dresser in an unexpected place? Where? Do you some unexpected places you have used furniture?
So I have been talking about how to control the paper monster for some time now. Today I want to share the feedback I have received in the past from some of my clients.
This has really helped me A LOT! I also have a flash drive on my keychain that actually looks like a key! All the bills have their own folder where I save a copy of my confirmation as a .pdf. An easy way to accomplish this is by downloading “PrimoPDF” and it’s FREE! This will allow you to “print” anything into a .pdf form! I also do this with the online bills that I no longer get paper bills for. I’m trying to ween myself off the paper thing!!!
I have files set up for each of them. But my biggest issue is, I NEVER file them the way I had intended to! So I saw this “calendar/book” at a dollar store recently that gave me an idea to take a different approach and possibly allow me to actually FILE THEM and save time, paper, and patience!!! It was a book that had a calendar and folder for each month. The folder was for putting the bills in for that month! So I have about 27 items on my spreadsheet that I keep up with every month. So instead of having 27 files to deal with, I could potentially have 1, yes, ONE folder for the WHOLE YEAR!!!! I’m so excited! But frugal as I am, I will probably make my own folder so I can customize it a bit! I’m thinking legal file folders, folded, and bound together, and a printable calendar on sticker paper should do the trick!
I have filed in an over the door plastic shoe holder for years. It helps me to see what I actually have instead of hidden in a folder. Once the pocket gets full I usually realize I don’t really need most of the papers I keep and put them through the shredder. I do have a filing cabinet for car titles and important stuff, but the monthly bills etc., it’s easy to just stuff them in the pocket. This saves me from the stacks of papers on the counter, the table, basically any flat surface I happen to be standing by when I open the mail (haha). At first, I labeled the pockets with post-it notes, but then those that I used for a while got a real label with large magic marker writing so I could easily identify each pocket.
The idea of color coding for a visual clue as to when things are due. When I sort through papers I have three bins: trash, recycle and shred.
The point of sharing other people’s solutions is to stress that there are lots of options. You will have to find the one that works for you.
I know this was a lot, but if anyone can use any of it to help them, I’m just happy to share! I know that many of you have been struggling for a long time and the stress of being late on stuff to gets to you!!! So are any of you thinking of adopting some of the ideas above?
Papers they are one of the things that present such a great challenge since paper comes in almost on a daily basis. Mail means flyers, newspapers, magazines, bills, letters, statements and sometimes cards. Then if you have children they bring home papers. Artwork, notes from teachers, schedules, and reports. When you go shopping there is the receipts, owners manuals and coupons. Then there are the work papers it never ends.
But how to deal with it?? How to organize it?? What to keep what to toss? What a nightmare!!
Let’s start with mail.
Deal with Mail immediately. Toss junk. Shred sensitive trash, file.
Put a trashcan or recycle receptacle by the door. Throw away junk immediately.
Do not lay down mail. Repeat after me: Do not lay the mail down. One more time. DO NOT PUT THAT DOWN.
Seriously consider online banking and online bill pay. Eliminate paper coming into the house.
OK so now it is in the house. What?
Touch Paper one time.
Open it, toss the envelope, file it away.
Keep it simple
Set up simple categories.
I recommend adding your bills to a spreadsheet and listed ALL your bills. They should be sorted by due date (actually listing them 2-3 days prior to the actual “due date” to allow time in case you got busy, or it was the weekend and you forgot! Thus, nothing would be late!). Then set them up with Bill/Creditor. If you have a few things that are automatic drafts, I recommend highlighting them in a specific color such as blue. Utilities such as electricity, or gas, basically core household bills, highlighted in light yellow. Anything due quarterly or annually should be marked as such under “end date” and highlighted that field only in purple! Anytime something is closed or finished you can move it to the bottom of the page and mark it as such. I suggest you never delete it in case you need the info later! (Such as for taxes) Under “Specials” you can add notes such as “No interest 6 months, ENDS March 2018”; or what every note you need such a contract end dates on your phone service.
Now that you have added your bill to the spreadsheet you need to file them away. You have to set up a system that works for your household. Remember Keep it Simple.
House, car, insurance, money, health, school, taxes (whatever works for your house)
For example in your money file you c have a sub file for banking, retirement, investments. For your house file, you can have sub file for maintenance, warranties, improvements, tax statements and insurance file. Or you could have your insurance file with sub files for Car A, Car B, House, Health, Life. You are getting the idea.
Now that you have determined what categories you need its time to decide what you are going to put them.
If file folders or pockets don’t work for you try Project cases or document cases.
Papers can’t fall out, no hole punch or pockets, everything stays flat. You can store them upright on a bookcase or shelf, or you can put them in a file drawer. You can further organize them by adding folders inside the cases.
Flat bottom pocket files and binder clips. Put labels on the binder clips.
Or try magazine holders. Label them and just drop in your paperwork. You just have to find a shelf to hold them.
Do you keep receipts? How about using a receipt receptacle? Like a glass canister, box or drawer?
You could use a plastic drawer unit and dedicate 1 drawer to receipts and the rest could be your files. One for each house, car, insurance, money, health, school, or whatever you need.
Do you feel like you are caught in a riptide? Swimming upstream?
When it comes to organization I find that sometimes only one person is really on board. Normally that person is Mom. Why? Because Mom is expected to know where everything is.
So Mom has to stop and find the missing shoe, or the homework, the favorite tie, did you pick up the dry cleaning? Did you get milk? Mom, we are out of Frosted Sugar Bits!! Mom, I need 35 cupcakes today.
Sound familiar? EEK! It’s no wonder that Mom’s are the ones primarily on board to get organized. It’s call self-preservation.
Sometimes I have mom’s that tell me I have tried this and that and no one else helps me so I fall back into my old ways and chaos ensues.
I get that the others in your house may not feel the same way. They are not seeing the big picture or getting it. Don’t assume they are intentionally sabotaging you or that they just don’t care. They probably just don’t get it.
“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”
You have to talk to them.
Communication is key.
Make you kids see that if they help, you will have more time to do fun things. Give them the right incentive. If you put your toys away Mommy will read you a story. (If you don’t Mommy will make your toys disappear!) Don’t be a doormat. Kids can be helpful. They can learn to put their dirty clothes in the hamper if they want them washes and their homework in their backpacks.
Adults can understand that if you have help staying organized you can save money and time. Saving money for maybe that dream vacation or new RV toy…
Being positive about housework can go a long way in getting your brood to help you out.
I love chore charts for children. I also suggest for children use a 10/5 system. Clean for 10 minutes and then a 5-minute break. For adults and older children increase that to a 20/10 system. Don’t try to do it all at once.
Also, remember your home and organizing method does not have to be perfect, you just need to find a happy medium that reduces your stress.
You do know that there is really no wrong way to clean, don’t you? If you are cleaning you are making progress. But there are a few tips to make your cleaning faster.
Start from the top – work your way down. Don’t worry about the floors until the last.
Start on the largest flat surface and then work your way to the smallest flat surface. Clear it off and move on the next flat surface.
Dust and sweep before you mop.
Did you know that dishwashing gloves can do more than save you from dishpan hands? They are great to remove pet hair from your furniture, carpet, and clothes. Just rub your damp rubber gloved hands over the furniture. This is a great tip for stairs. Also, this will work on your actual pet. If you can get your pet to sit and allow your to pet them wearing a rubber glove. (That would not be happening in my house – my furry would freak out. Just saying!)
Fun fact: Rubber gloves are helpful to open jars.
I love your comments. Share your best cleaning tip.
Maybe it’s stuff? Do you have so much stuff you can’t find your stuff? Do you rent a storage unit for your stuff? Have extra rooms in your house for your stuff? Are your closets, cabinets, and drawers stuffed to overflowing?
So my question to you is what is the one thing you can let go of to simplify your life?
So tomorrow is the deadline for filing your taxes in the US. But now that you have compiled all the information how to store it? Do you stuff them back in a box and hope that you can find them if you are ever audited?
The IRS website suggests the following:
After you file your taxes, you will have many records that may help document items on your tax return. You will need these documents should the IRS select your return for examination. Here are five tips from the IRS about keeping good records.
Normally, tax records should be kept for three years.
Some documents — such as records relating to a home purchase or sale, stock transactions,
and business or rental property — should be kept longer.
In most cases, the IRS does not require you to keep records in any special manner. Generally speaking, however, you should keep any and all documents that may have an impact on your federal tax return.
Records you should keep include bills, credit card and other receipts, invoices, mileage logs, canceled, imaged or substitute checks, proofs of payment, and any other records to support deductions or credits you claim on your return.
For more information on what kinds of records to keep, see IRS Publication 552, Recordkeeping for Individuals, which is available on the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
I personally suggest that you use the seven-year rule: By using this rule anything 2009 or earlier. – You can shred this year. Since this the tax year for 2016.
Did you know that you can scan your documents and store them on a zip drive? Well, you can. Because the IRS actually does accept scanned documents?
They’ve actually accepted electronic documentation since at least 1997 when they issued IRS Revenue Procedure 97-22, which states:
This revenue procedure provides guidance to taxpayers that maintain books and records by using an electronic storage system that either images their hardcopy (paper) books and records, or transfers their computerized books and records, to an electronic storage media, such as an optical disk. Records maintained in an electronic storage system that complies with the requirements of this revenue procedure will constitute records within the meaning of § 6001 of the Internal Revenue Code.
So a great space saver is to use a large scanner with a document feeder and scan all your tax document. Save them to a ZIP drive by year, write the year on the drive itself and then store the drive in a fireproof box.
Even if you don’t scan your documents make you can put them in a large envelope and clearly mark the year on the outside of the envelope. Now is a good time to also mark the shred date (7 years later) on the outside of the envelope as well.
Now that is over so to make you feel better here is a cute dog picture. I know right? A dog wearing beads. Cute!!