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, Organizing, Uncategorized

Tips to help with a move into assisted living or senior housing

So it’s time.  You have talked about this and you are all in agreement you have to move yourself or your senior family member into a smaller possibly senior housing.  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.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Check with the facility for its recommended packing list and exact space measurements. Find out what items are already provided in every resident’s space, so you don’t bring duplicates. Be sure to ask whether there are rules against anything — it’s not uncommon for communities to prohibit coffeemakers or even expensive jewelry collections. Also note that most communities recommend labeling every item (including clothes) with the owner’s name.uros-jovicic-322314

 

But how are you or your mom going to make it in 400 square feet? Remember  that the living residence itself, and the size of the room, suite or apartment is not the most important thing in any senior living residence, including assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing. If the “stuff” will fit and the adult child and their mom or dad is happy with the space available, then the actual size doesn’t matter! It’s how the space is arranged and what quality of care is delivered that really matters.

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

However, that being said this is a few things to keep in mind.

Furniture

  • Bed (rent a comfortable hospital bed, or bring a bed with a familiar mattress)
  • Nightstand (ideally with drawers and shelves)
  • Seating (small sofa, chairs with arms, rocker; avoid chairs on casters)
  • Small table(s) with storage, such as shelves or drawers
  • Small kitchen table or drop-leaf table (a standard dining table is usually too big)
  • Dresser (second dresser for storage may fit in closet for extra storage; drawers are often easier than hanging everything

Clothes

  • Also, think comfort for class clothes and shoes.   Perfect examples are solid tanks, comfortable flats, and a comfy pair of pants. 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 slacks outfit and shoes for more formal affairs.
  • Work-out clothes, pajamas, 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 be in a colder climate) Maybe rain boots and an umbrella. Don’t forget a comfy pair of slippers.
  • Remember your entire space will be small. So don’t bring lots of shoes. No more than 6. But you can plan on one each: flats, dressy low heel, sneakers, slippers. 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.

 

housewares

  • Microwave
  • Mini fridge
  • Dishes and glasses to use every day (but probably not settings for 10 or 12)
  • Pots and pans (large and small pots and frying pans may be sufficient)
  • Coffeemaker
  • Hot pot
  • Mixer
  • Nice serving dish (if your loved one likes to cook, there will be entertaining and social opportunities)
  • Bedding (two sets sheets, blankets, pillows, comforter — easier than a separate decorative bedspread)
  • Bath towels
  • Hangers
  • Trash can(s)
    • Wall décor (photographs, paintings)
    • Curtains (check ahead; blinds are usually already in place)
    • Lamps, lightbulbs
    • Clock
    • Vase
      • Dish soap
      • Dish towels
      • Surface wipes
      • Window cleaner
      • Bathroom cleaner
      • Laundry basket
      • Laundry detergent
      • Dusting cloths
        • Basic toiletries
        • Medications
        • Small file or other storage for medical, legal, financial paperwork
        • Photographs to display or look at in books (digitize everything else to store)
        • Special heirloom or memento to give a sense of home
        • Small safe (but don’t bring jewelry, etc., that’s not regularly used.)

    Entertainment

    • Television (if used; make sure your loved one knows how to operate it)
    • Music system (if used; make sure your loved one knows how to operate it)
    • Desktop, laptop, or tablet computer (if your loved one will use it)
    • Tool kit (some communities have workshop areas)
    • Hobby supplies (needlework, paints, craft materials within reason, cards, books, sporting goods such as golf clubs or bowling ball)

Whatever you think you need edit out 40% of it.

Oh, by the way, if you are sharing a bathroom you might not be able to leave 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 if you are sharing a bathroom?

  • 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 may 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.

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Photo by Matthias Zomer on Pexels.com

Don’t bring:

Candles

Halogen bulbs and/or lamps

Most landlords do not allow you to put holes in the walls so no nails.

You may not need an alarm clock if you use your phone.   Your phone can be your camera, calculator, calendar and address book.

This is not by any means a complete list if you want more tips on what to bring check with the facility.

Good Luck and cherish every moment.pams-bee-jpg

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.

Pam's Bee.jpg

 

 

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

 

Posted in Organizing, Uncategorized

Is it time to downsize? Is your parent needing to go into a smaller place ~ think tiny

Today we are going to talk about downsizing, whether it’s for you, or for a parent.  Many times we find that just don’t need as much space.  But what is tiny? It could be 100, 200, 300 or 500 square feet?

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Photo by Tranmautritam on Pexels.com

There is a big difference in 200 and 500 square feet. We just spent a week in an 800 square foot cabin it had 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms plus a separate laundry room. All in all  it had everything we needed. We had plenty of room. But I could see how it would require some changes to how we shopped. There was not a pantry or a linen closet. But it was certainly doable.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We have lived in smaller. Back when we were first married we lived in a one-bedroom apartment it was probably less than 500 square feet. Of course we did not have anything so we had plenty of room. LOL

When you start thinking about living in less than 500 square feet you

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Photo by Terje Sollie on Pexels.com

will have to be really smart about what you own. Your spaces will have to do double duty. Your dining area will probably be your office. You will need to have furniture that fits the space. You can’t have an oversized overstuffed sectional and a big man recliner. You will not be able to host thanksgiving dinner for 10 and expect to seat them all at your huge farmhouse table with the matching hutch. Nope ~ Not going to fit.

If you think you might want to go tiny there are some things you have to ask your self ~

man and woman sitting in front of table with books and cup of coffee facing each other
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

How do you live?

  • Do you have big parties?
  • Are you a cook or a baker?
  • Do you need a stove and an oven? Or do you just need a microwave and a coffee pot?
  • Must you have a large soaking tub? Did you know most tiny houses have a 6-gallon hot water heater? That is something to keep in mind if you insist on taking long hot showers. You can add a tankless hot water system at a cost.
  • How about laundry? Are you willing to go to a laundry mat? You can get an all in one machine but the downside is it is small and smaller appliances may end up costing your more than their full size versions.
  • Do you plan to work at home? Do you need a lounge area or just a place to sleep?
  • How many people will be sharing this space with you?
  • Can you be in a confined space together for extended periods of time or do you each need your own space?
  • What are you hobbies and how much stuff goes with that?

Downsizing ~ Can be painful Litmus Test

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Photo by Cal David on Pexels.com

Anyone who is thinking tiny sounds like something they might want to try I suggest you be willing to part with at least 80% of your stuff. Are you willing to let go of those special over sized antiques or other large family mementos? If you said no, then tiny is not for you.

Still thinking you can go tiny?

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Would you like to dip your toe in tiny the water?

Try an efficiency apartment or buy a used RV or travel trailer. You can find a well-maintained RV for less than $5000. An RV is a quick and easy way to try tiny living.   You can’t really customize the floor plan but they are ready to go.

However if you have seriously given this thought and you are ready to do it.

Go for it.

There are great benefits of living tiny. Lower cost for purchase, utilities will be lower than in a full size house. You will need less stuff to fill it. You can spend time enjoying your new tiny lifestyle and less time to clean it. If you tiny house is on wheels it can be moved with you if you have to relocate.tiny house photo-1446144525544-808f420174ec

Lots of people are taking the tiny plunge. Even if you are not thinking less than 500 square feet you might be thinking about downsizing your home. You can define your own tiny.

So is tiny living for you?

Thanks ~ Pamela

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#downsizing #tinyliving #lessstuff #tinyhouse #organized #clutter #overwhelmed

Posted in clutter, Organizing

Is you exercise or sporting equipment just gathering dust?

Some of you made new years resolutions to get fit. It’s not even February and some of you have already given up! I read somewhere that 80% quit before the middle of February.

Some of you have lots of exercise equipment that you are using as a coat rack or a hall tree. News flash that is not the intended use.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

photo by Scott Webb-1434656742621-5c4a7d73d0e7

How about you weekend warriors who have not played ball in many, many moons? Did you think you would be the next Tiger Woods but then you found out that Golf is a 5-hour round and you only have 3 hours to spare? So, those golf clubs are just sitting in the closet or garage gathering cobwebs.

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Fishing? Really when did you go last? Maybe bowling or tennis is what was to be your game. Now you have tennis elbow and can’t play or roll the ball down the lane. If you are not going to use these things you need to let them go.

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Sell them, donate them or give them away…You can use that space for your new hobby……………What is your new hobby? Have you been eyeing a new Harley or a Dune buggy? Maybe it’s now yoga or Tai Chi?yoga-photo-1470919543690-22e21c13163d

Let go of the stuff the clutter in your home and make room for the new. (Not new clutter.) You can get organized and I am here to help.

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#fitnessequipment #clutter #sportsequipment #organize #letitgo #hobbies #new

Posted in family, Organizing

Are you a Procrastinator or Just Overwhelmed?

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If you procrastinate, you put off until later what you should probably do right now or you wait until the last-minute to start a project.

Stop me if this it you:

  • You know you have to make dinner every day. (I know right, why does my family feel like they need to eat every day.) But you do not even think about what’s for dinner until 7:00 pm.
  • You know your husband only has 7 pairs of underwear but you don’t do laundry until the 8th day. Can you say commando?
  • It’s December 24 and you have not started shopping? I personally love gifts from CVS.
  • The school bake sale is today. You have no plans or baked goods?
  • Your vehicle gas is on empty and the low fuel light came on yesterday morning. You know your drive is 42 miles from the school to work and home. So does the light mean you have 50 miles to go before you run out of gas?
  • You are possibly overwhelmedoverwhelmed 5-1 a

Putting this off until the last-minute is stressful. Wondering if you will make it to the gas station or not with your kids in the car…yep, that is stressful.

Are you the type of person who thrives on adrenalin and intentionally puts off what they know needs to be done for the thrill? Probably not intentionally. More likely you are overwhelmed.

So do you procrastinate or are you overwhelmed?

You have too much to do and not enough time to get it done.

Try doing the following:

  • Delegate some of the responsibility. I know your kids may not load the dishwasher the way you would but it’s OK. The dishes will get clean. Also, so what if your husband does not fold the towels the way you would. They will still dry you off.
  • Make the most of your time. If you could get organized you will find you have more time.
  • Don’t assume. Have clear expectations and responsibilities.  You may have heard the saying, if you assume you make an ass out of you and me.
  • Make time for you. Mom is a 24/7 job and you deserve a break even if it is only taking a shower without interruptions.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Set up a support system
  • It’s OK to say NO. You don’t have to do it all.pexels-photo-907486.jpeg

Remember

  • This is a phase. It’s OK  and you will get through it.  Your kids will get older.
  • Each Mom has their favorite phase of Motherhood and that is OK too.
  • Take Joy in the moments.  The moments your little one hugs your neck and gives you messy kisses.  Each moment is an opportunity to make a memory.

Mom’s now it’s your turn share or vent about your personal experiences.

Thanks Pamela

Pam's Bee.jpg

#overwhelmed #procrastinate #motherhood #parents #momslife

 

 

Posted in clutter, Organizing

Is this your year to park in the garage? Tips to make that happen

 

November means fall, or some of you say autumn but what ever you say soon there will be falling leaves and falling temperatures. We moved to Arizona to not have cold winds, freezing rain and snow. But the rest of you will soon have to be dealing with just those things. We have always had a rule; if we have a two-car garage we will be parking two cars in it. Not allow it to be filled with clutter and stuff. If you have a garage and you can’t park your car in it and you want to; lets work together and make that happen.

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Now is the perfect time of the year. Not too hot, not too cold. Just right.

First things first: Timing

Start this project the day after your regular trash pick up. Next if you have “Big trash day” or “bulk trash day” start the weekend before that day.

Get lots of big garbage bags.

If you have not used it in a year and it is not a tool let it go.

You have 3 choices; you can throw it away, donate it or sell it.

garage-before
Rubbermaid Garage Makeover before

If you moved into your house over 2 years ago and you have boxes that you still have not opened. Don’t. Just donate them. You have not needed them they are taking up space.

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If you have unfinished projects that have been unfinished for over 2 years, news flash you are not going to finish them. Let them go. If not set a firm deadline and if that deadline passes without you completing them you have to let them go.

If you have used oil, paint or other chemicals that you need to get rid of Waste Management has some tips. municipalities residential-solutions household-hazardous-waste

If you are using your garage as a storage facility for excess furniture that you do not have a timetable to use, you need to let it go. Most likely when you move into that new house your old stuff that has been sitting in the garage with the spiders, bugs, mice and dust will not work in your space. I can only assume it does not work in your current house.   If you are holding on to your bachelor furniture that your wife will not let you move into the house, just let it go. She is not going to change her mind. Wouldn’t you rather park your car in the garage then sit in that ratty recliner with the oversized rear projection screen TV?

juha-lakaniemi-photo-of-icy-carRemember, months of winter weather are fast approaching. Just saying 10 to 20 more minutes of sleep vs. starting a cold car, scraping off the windshield. Being the wonderful man who you are you will not have to do the same thing for your wife. She will be so happy.

Remember Happy Wife….Happy Life.

Maybe she will buy you a new amazing recliner for your dream man cave.

In summary!

Garages: Just because you have a Garage for storage, doesn’t mean you have to keep everything there forever. Schedule one or two days a year to give the Garage a once over. Once you get the hang of it you wont have to make a big project out of it. Just look for a few things that you can toss or donate. And then do it!

Thanks PamelaPam's Bee.jpg

#mancave #garage #organize #overwhelmed #momlife

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.

segway-at-sedona

Thanks Pamela!

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

Posted in clutter, Organizing

Is Frankenstein in your house?

I know you are thinking where the heck is she going with this?  Halloween?  Movie time?  Stay with me.

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Photo from Pixabay.com

So do you have a bookcase made from cement blocks and wood planks?

How about a chair that you are using a book as a chair leg?

Does your grill cover have more duct tape showing than original fabric?

Are you using duct tape on an outlet that you need to have repaired? Dangerous!

How about zip ties? Are you using them to hold your hair dryer together?

How about Safety pins? Are you using them on your underwear or Slip? Or tape on your Bra’s underwire? OUCH! You deserve better.

These are Frankenstein projects. Bits and pieces from here and there.

The bigger Frankenstein can be clutter and disorganization.  Like the monster, it can become out of control.  It can be so stressful trying to control the monster.  It can take on a life of its own – Taking over your life by controlling your home.  Time to take control of your Frankenstein.

Where does your monster lurk?  By the front door?  Shoes, bags, keys or the dog’s leash?  Maybe the monster is in your bathroom?  Hiding in the potions, lotions and torture devices you use on your hair and lashes?

Or is your monster creeping around your kitchen?  Hiding your lid and Tupperware from you?  Stashing your to go mug lids where you can’t find them…

So if you have monsters in your closet..kid’s room or the playroom.  You have to get the monster out of their room.  No child wants a monster in their room.

Being that Halloween is near, I challenge you to take control of your very own Frankenstein.

Clear out the clutter!  Take that monster to the trash, donate it to a new zoo, or sell that freak show.  Cash in on your clutter.  You can be organized.  Think of all the time you will save and wouldn’t you rather be enjoying time with our family and friends than searching for your shoe the monster took under the bed.

What is your Frankenstein project?

Thanks!  Pamela

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#clutter #organized #overwhelmed #newpost #momlife #priorities #Seizetheday