Posted in clutter, family

Greeting Card Quandary

Now that Christmas is over and you are putting away the decorations, I have a question? Do you still send Christmas cards? I do.   For me I enjoy finding cards that say Merry Christmas with an Arizona twist. Living in Arizona I don’t think I can send cards with snow and pine trees. So, I try to find ones that have cactus and palm trees. I have found some amazing photographers who make cards. I love receiving cards.  But that presents a slight problem.  They can easily become clutter.  What to do with all those cards that are not special?

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Do you keep your cards?   Do you keep them but some are clutter? Of course some of these cards are special and you want to keep them but others…. Well they are pretty and what to do with them. I have a few suggestions for you.

Are you looking for a great way to pay those cards forward?

Did you know that St. Jude recycles greeting cards? https://www.stjudesranch.org/contribute/recycled-card-program/ More than 30 years ago, wishing to show our donors appreciation for making St. Jude’s Ranch for Children possible, the idea was conceived to turn the previous year’s Christmas cards into “new” cards for the coming season. The recipients were so delighted when they received the unique “thank you,” that they requested to purchase the special cards. The program soon expanded to include all-occasion greeting cards.snowflake-qll_mif7xjc-kelly-sikkema

Or you can donate them to a daycare or school. Cards are great for little ones to practice their skills with scissors.  (Sounds like a good way for grandparents to engage with the grand’s.)

Another thought is to turn them into gift tags or garland. What about using them to embellish gift bags.christmas-tags-1ujxuwqlfo8-ben-white

What do you do with your greeting cards? Do you think you might do any of this?

Happy New Year’s Eve. Have a wonderful and wonder filled new year.

Pamela

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#clutter #cards #greetingcards #recycle #chrismas #stjude #stnicholaseve

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

Come on! I just cleaned that.

Do you feel like you are caught in a riptide? Swimming upstream?underwater - julian-svoboda-78075

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.”

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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.

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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…

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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.meter josh-newton-21688

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.

Thanks and have a great day!!

Pamela

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#organized #clutter #chaos #momslife #overwhelmed #momshelper #setlimits #fixmylife

Posted in family

Happy Thanksgiving week! Did you know that November is Family story month?

How perfect is that? Many of you will be gathering together, traveling over the river and thru the woods. Some will be going to Grandmothers house and others will be hosting the parents at theirs. Others will be having friends-giving. Your family can be the tribe you choose. Share stories. Make sure you take a video of Dad’s telling stories with your kids on his knee. Don’t miss Mom’s making their secret stuffing or cranberry sauce. Let your sister in law bring the sweet potatoes. It will be OK. Play silly games with your cousins, the nephews and nieces. Don’t hold grudges, say you are sorry if you did something wrong. You never know that one little thing you do or say can make all the difference to someone.be-thankful-45b86d74eaa5c2e9df86f101215d1fb9

Be kind. Be happy and be well. Treasure these times. Remember the times past. Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Family Story Month! Thank you all for coming in to my life.

May you all have more than you need today!

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. Oprah Winfrey

I can’t wait to see and hear your family stories.  What is your favorite Pie?  We will be having Pumpkin here.  With a little maple whipped cream.  Yummy!!

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#Thanksgiving #pie #familytime #parents #bethankful #momlife #dadlife #grandparents #family #friendsgiving

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

NATIONAL CLEAN OUT YOUR REFRIGERATOR DAY – November 15

Later this week is national clean out your refrigerator day. So you know what that means…

Empty the containers that are way in the back.

Toss out the takeout from 3 weeks ago. (You will thank me later.)

Do you have an almost empty bottle of mayo or Catalina dressing? Do you even like Catalina dressing? No? Well, why are you keeping the ½ ounce that is at the bottom of that bottle?condiments photo-1465060780892-48505fc8f941.jpg

Do you have a beer that you have been saving for the Astro’s to win the world series? They did and that beer may not be as satisfying as the last game was. Ditto for any other expired food you have in there.  Let it go.

Besides if you live in the USA, Thanksgiving is coming. You need room for all the food. The dressing, pumpkin pie and the turkey, oh my. You must make room for the goodies.

Now that you have tossed the science experiments that were growing in your refrigerator it’s time to clean all the shelves, wash the crisper drawers.  Don’t forget to vacuum condenser coils and vacuum out under the refrigerator.

Again you are welcome!  Now enjoy your nice clean refrigerator.

So Happy Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day!!!

Thanks!

Pamela

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#refrigerator #clean #thanksgiving #family #parenting #momlife #dadlife

 

 

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

Do you have a Tiny fleet of exotic toddler cars but no toddler?

 

Happy Fall Y’all!   Since the weather is changing we are going to review somegarage issues and tips. Now is a great time to evaluate your children’s toys. Do they have lots of outdoor toys that they just did not play with this past summer? Do you have a toddler-sized fleet of power ride on toys? Maybe a Barbie Jeep, a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe and a Peg Perego John Deere Gator in your garage and your Mommy Mobile has to sit out side?

What is wrong with this picture?

How about if your garage has enough scooters, bikes, wagons and skates to outfit the entire street and your kids are not interested in any of them.barbie-jeep

I get that it might be nice for you to say you have a Corvette, an Escalade, a Jeep, a Gator, motorcycle and scooter in your garage but seriously.  Winter is coming and wouldn’t you rather have your car in the garage so you don’t have to ice off of scrape your windshield?   Just saying.

Look I know how cute her 12” huffy Disney bike is but really she is now 14. When did she last hop in the Barbie Jeep and take it for a cruise? If you need a garage for your kid’s ride on toys and your kid doesn’t ride them you need to let them go. Think sell them or donate them. They are worth some money. Sell them and use that money towards something they will use and play with.

Little Tike Car
Cutie for a Christmas Card

While we are on the subject of toys, which have been outgrown, lets talk about your yard. Are you still hanging on to the sand box or the pink peppermint patty playhouse? Your baby is a boy. He’s 13 there is no way he will be playing in the sand box no matter what you bribe him with. Besides it might now be a kitty litter box. Is that what you really want in your yard? Do you have a trampoline in the back yard that is so worn out it should be declared a hazard zone? Get rid of that accident and lawsuit waiting to happen. There is no reason to keep all the outdoor oversized toys your children have outgrown. Unless you are running a daycare your yard should not look like a toddler used car lot. Embrace change! Let go of clutter.

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Thanks Pamela!

#toddler #momlife #parenting #family #clutter #toys #rideontoys #garagespace

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing, Uncategorized

Are You Facing A Paper Avalanche?

Paper work. Paper avalanche. Paper chase. Whatever you call it I know papers they are the downfall of many of you.  What to do what do you need to keep?

Most financial papers fit in to one of 3 categories

  • Keep indefinitely
  • Keep for 7 years
  • Keep for a year or less

Keep For A Calendar Year Or Less

ATM receipts and deposit slips –  when you receive your bank statements you can shred them.

Charge slips (unless it is for a major purchase), for minor purchases once you are satisfied with the purchase. Shred the receipt when your credit card statement.

If you do not have a home office you don’t need to keep your utility bills, monthly  mortgage statements or quarterly investment reports.

Keep your pay stubs, credit card statements and investment reports until you receive the W-2 or year-end summaries. Once you have those you don’t need the monthly statements.

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Photo by Mari-Helin-Tuominen

Keep Seven Years

Year end credit-card summaries, along with your W-2s and 1099s.

If you itemize your tax return you need to keep all documents you utilized to determine your deductions. These additional documents you should retain include: canceled checks and receipts for all deductible business expenses (such as those for entertainment, home-office equipment, and professional dues), retirement-account contributions, charitable donations, child-care bills, out-of-pocket medical expenses, alimony, and mortgage-interest and property-tax payments.

After 7 years you should scan the actual tax returns or the year-end summaries of your investment accounts as they can come in very handy for future financial planning.  Then you can store them on a flash drive or a CD in a safe place.1024px-Usb-thumb-drive

Infinitely:

Keep receipts for major purchases and receipts that show how much you’ve paid for home improvements as long at your own your home. This will satisfy three things: Insurance claims, potential buyers and when you sell your home to reduce possible capital gains.

Keep beneficiary designation confirmation and purchase price slips that show beneficiary designations and the purchase price of stocks, mutual funds, and any other investments you hold.

It goes without saying that you need to keep your will, birth and marriage certificates, insurance policies, property deeds, and other permanent records in a safe but accessible place near your other financial documents, so you and your heirs will always be able to get to them quickly, if they need to.

Invest in a fireproof safe or a safe deposit box for your forever documents.

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I  suggest scanning and digitizing your important personal documents as a back up copy. More info on this by News Leavitt Just remember a digital copy is not the same as a paper copy but it is much easier to obtain a replacement copy of you have a photo copy.

Also, invest in a shredder.  In today’s world you really don’t want personal information floating around out there.  You can find them for not much money.

For more information  how long to keep your documents check here for more info from bankrate.com.  They have a very detailed list.

Now that you know what to keep and what to shred, I have a post on how to deal your paper as it come in the door.  If you would like to read it here is the link  Did you get Stacked?

I hope this helps you let go of your papers.  I love your comments.

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#organize, #clutter, #paperwork, #documents #taxtime

 

Posted in family, Organizing

Do you make the same resolutions each year?

And So Begins A New Year……12 New Months.

Someone once said do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.  I think there is a bit of a misunderstanding in that statement.  Just because you love what you do does not mean you don’t work and that you don’t work hard.  It just means that you enjoy what you are doing.

A photo by Tim Arterbury. unsplash.com/photos/VkwRmha1_tI

With each New Year many of us find that we need to make resolutions or feel the need to take stock of our life.  Now is a great time to use the New Year as a way to better our selves or to take the time to plan out the year.

But before you can do this you must first think about what do you really want?

I was having lunch with a group of women and one of the things that we discovered is that we are sometimes not sure what we really want.  We played a bit of a game where we were  asked to think about these 4 things. We were compelled to learn, reach for, try, test, experiment with, and do by specifically writing down what we needed to feel the following:

Wanted

Happy

Secure

Loved

If you would like to take a closer look take out a piece of paper or open a new page in your computer and divide it into 4 squares.  coffee photo-1444418776041-9c7e33cc5a9c

In the squares write each of the topics.

Wanted                                Happy

Secure                                 Loved

Now think about what makes you feel wanted? What do you need to feel wanted?

What makes you happy?  What do you need to feel happy?

What makes you feel secure? What do you need to feel secure?

What makes you feel loved? What do you need to feel loved?

 

Come up with as many as you can.  Really think about it and write it down.  Any of these could be related to finances, safety, job, education, and flexibility or to family or friends.

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Maybe  your wanted it to have your family come to you for their needs. That you will always have the laundry done or that your husband has what it need to make you a cup of coffee in the morning. You may feel wanted by knowledge that you are very good at your job or that you are the go to person in certain situations.  You are the best party planner; you organize all the family dinners or holidays.home-photo-1415301918039-3a58086adf06

Maybe your secure is to own your own home?  Or having a plan for retirement or even for your kid’s college?  Your secure could be knowing that you have marketable job skill? Your secure could be related to finances, safety, job, education, and flexibility or to family.

Your happy could be taking a family vacation or maintaining a calm and organized home?  It could be that you love to cook and preparing a meal for your family or friends makes you happy.

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Your loved could be having a dog greet you at the door and love you unconditionally.  It could be having your husband make you a cup of coffee each morning.  Seeing the joy on your kids faces each day.

Now that you know what you need, you can check how you can get these things.  Now you can make a plan.  Whatever it is you can do it.  So keep learning, reaching, working, reading, trying, resting, and moving forward.

Remember failing to plan is planning to fail.

 So what will you do this year?

 

Thanks Pamela

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Posted in family

Milnot Fudge recipe

It’s that time of the year again!  Last year I shared our families go to, must have ever Christmas Fudge receipe!  By The Way ~ Milnot Is Evaporated Milk!  Enjoyfudge-milnot

My family has a tradition of making candy on Christmas Eve.  We all gather at my parents house and the little kids are already in their pamajas. It’s a great time had by all!  Lots of laughter, sugar and of course chocolate! Little kids go to bed early and then the santas helpers work really begins.

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Please share your holiday traditions with me.

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Posted in family, Organizing

Photo Storage Organizing Tips

markus-spiske-117324It’s almost that time of the year where you will be taking lots of photos and the last thing you need to see is “Memory full”  EEEK!

Plus some of you will be sending pictures to the grandparents.  Wouldn’t it be nice if those pictures were organized?  No one likes to spend hours searching for that picture of Pam on her horse wearing the yellow outfit.  Who has that kind of time?  At the holidays!!  No one.santa-4123836032_424fbe1779_b

Well, it would be a good idea to get organized.

Since most if not all of our current photos are electronic here are some tips to organize your electronic photos.

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Smile!  Selfie!  Group Shot! Candid Shot! Look over here!!

OK, now that most of us are living in the digital age we have a camera on our phone and our tablets. Plus many of us have digital cameras. We take lots of pictures. We shoot selfies, our kids, our pets, our food, our flowers, our toes and lots of other things.A photo by Toronto Eaters. unsplash.com/photos/i_xVfNtQjwI

I take photos of my grocery lists, of books I want to read, of business cards I want to keep, I snap screenshots of directions, email information and other tidbits that I want to explore further.

Life is too short to keep bad pictures! But no one wants to lose his or her memories.

We have memory sticks; chips, memory cards, DVDs, old cell phones and some of us have negatives.cell phone photo photo-1454473332662-09275b52e5a1

But did you know that electronic photos can and do create clutter?

How many bad photos do you have? How about duplicates? There is really no reason to keep unrecognizable overexposed or underexposed blurry pictures or unintentional photos of your hand or the floor.

Have you organized them? Most people don’t they leave them where they took them. Cell phone or digital camera. You share them on Facebook, Instagram or by email. But that is also how they can be lost. What should you save? How to organize them? Where are they?

The first thing you have to do is find them. Go through all those old devices and see what you want to keep. Then you will need to decide how and where you want to keep your photos. There are lots of articles and tips on this that can be found all over the Internet.

Electronic photos are fairly easy to organize. You can set up folders and then you can further organize them by subject. Thank goodness electronic photos are dated. So your photos will automatically be by date. It is easy to start with a folder per year. Then you can organize them by the event. You may want to be specific if you are setting up a folder for holidays who knows what holidays are in there.

I find it is easiest and fastest to keep them on USB flash drives organized by year – I can simply grab the one I need, plug it into my computer, and easily find and copy over the image I’m looking for. I have USB drives that are labeled by year with a black paint pen and attached to a standard metal key tag like one of these flash drives.  Bonus, your precious memories are backed up onto a flash drive that you can store in a fireproof safe place.

For even more specific tips on how to organize your digital photos, I have attached a link from techlicious com 10 tips to keep your digital photos organized.

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If you are looking for ways to take a better picture you might want to check this out:  5 ways to take Great Photos

I recently read that it is highly likely that most photographed generation will be the one who doesn’t have a photograph in 10 years. What do you think?  I love getting your comments.

Thanks Pamela

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(Photo credit Unsplash)

#organize #photos #selfie #digital #pics

 

 

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

NATIONAL CLEAN OUT YOUR REFRIGERATOR DAY – November 15

Later this week is national clean out your refrigerator day. So you know what that means…

Empty the containers that are way in the back.

Toss out the takeout from 3 weeks ago. (You will thank me later.)

Do you have an almost empty bottle of mayo or Catalina dressing? Do you even like Catalina dressing? No? Well, why are you keeping the ½ ounce that is at the bottom of that bottle?condiments photo-1465060780892-48505fc8f941.jpg

Do you have a beer that you have been saving for the Astro’s to win the world series? They did and that beer may not be as satisfying as the last game was. Ditto for any other expired food you have in there.  Let it go.

Besides if you live in the USA, Thanksgiving is coming. You need room for all the food. The dressing, pumpkin pie and the turkey, oh my. You must make room for the goodies.

Now that you have tossed the science experiments that were growing in your refrigerator it’s time to clean all the shelves, wash the crisper drawers.  Don’t forget to vacuum condenser coils and vacuum out under the refrigerator.

Again you are welcome!  Now enjoy your nice clean refrigerator.

So Happy Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day!!!

Thanks!

Pamela

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#refrigerator #clean #thanksgiving #family #parenting #momlife #dadlife