Simple Tips – Bread Tag Cord Organizers

Do you ever get frustrated will all of of your cords plugged into your power strips? You sit there tugging on the cords, hoping that you have the correct one to unlug. Then you unplug the one that you think is your speaker and it ends up being your router! Suddenly your family is shouting at you because they have lost internet and were in the middle of, “a VERY important level” of their game!

I have been collecting bread tags for this very purpose of using them to organize my several cords that are in a tight space under neath of my computer desk. I really like that I can quickly see exactly which cord belongs to which electronic!

Great re purposing idea for labeling cords!

Here are a whole bunch more tips on what you can do with those bread tags from Whole Living Daily!

Help Me Clean Up! Is Anybody There?……

Sometimes getting the kids to help pick up after themselves is like pulling teeth. (Except that may be less painful!)
How do we get children to help out without ALL of the complaining? I have some ideas that I have shared in this PDF (yay a printable gift for you!)
Hopefully you are all back into routines and are able to try some new tactics to simplify cleanup; it can be so much easier with a little help from everyone.

Here is the PDF PACKED full of fun ideas for your children to help out!
GettingYourKidstoHelpTidyUp

Chores. How to Get the Children to Pitch In?!

You walk into your home with your work bag, a grocery bag, and a pile of your kids’ coats and bags teetering precariously between your arms. You stumble up the stairs as the dog runs excitedly between your feet. You trip over the shoes that your family has kicked off in the door way. You glance to the left to see that their sweaters and jackets have been thrown on the back of the couch…again. When will they ever listen? You tell them every single day that they need to hang up their coats and put their shoes out of the way on the shoe rack. You stop to hang them up because it’s easier than having the same old arguments. You just walked through the door and you don’t want to battle.
You ask them to put their backpacks away and empty them but this falls on deaf ears. You can feel your blood start to boil as you try to get supper ready and on the table before you have to head out the door for them again. You wonder, who is going to set the table without groaning? Why is this so difficult? As you put something in the already full garbage you notice that the dog is out of food AND water. Now you are stopping what you were doing to do this as well. Where was I? You think to yourself, “Now who was the last one to set the table?” And it goes on and on.

Well this was a typical day at our house. I was at my wits end. I wanted this to stop; to get easier for all of us. I decided that I needed to make myself clear. I decided that intentions needed to be set; something definitive that would make sense to the kids for their ages. I wanted something that they could reference that was user friendly for kids.

Here is what I made for my daughter who is in grade four. The top list is compiled of daily chores that she gets allowance for (if she completes all without constant cuing and instruction). The bottom list is what is expected of her when she first arrives home from school.

And seeing as my little guy in grade one hasn’t quite learned to read yet, he gets a picture chart!

Both charts are posted in their bedrooms in clear view so that they can easily refer to them. I no longer have to ask them if they have completed task, a,b,c,d and so on. I just have to ask them if they have completed everything on their list. Although it is not perfect, things are sooo much easier and less stressful for everyone! I would say that this was successful and I am even considering one more chart for my little guy to remember every task that he has to complete while getting ready for school in the mornings!

Do you have ideas on how to get your kids to pitch in? Do you use a chart method or something else? Let us know, we would love to hear from you!

Simple Tips – Plastic Bag Storage

Hey all! Apologies for the barn door effect with the funky writing in this video. I am not sure what happened there! There are times when I forget to take my reusable grocery bags to the store with me; I hate it when that happens. So I end up with several plastic store bags. They can look messy and clutter up a cupboard. So what can we do with them all? In my video I share a simple and FREE idea on how to neatly store these bags.

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What can we use plastic shopping bags for? I have ideas! 😉

1. Take them with you when you go shopping and use them at the checkout.
2. Recycle them at the grocery store.
3. Offer them to consignment stores and eco friendly stores as they often are looking for bags for customers.
4. Donate them to a food bank.
5. Use them for painting to catch the drips or for covering your brush when you are in between coats.
6. Use them to wrap fragile items when gift giving or packing breakables.
7. Use them to line small trash cans.
8. Protect wounds and casts when showering.
9. If you have dry or cracked skin, lotion up and put your hands/feet in the bag to retain moisture.
10. Use them in the bottom of planters and pots to fill up space between the bottom and the dirt.
11. Tie them around your knees when gardening to keep your pants dry and clean.
12. Keep critters out of your plants by lightly draping them with a plastic bag overnight.
13. Wear bags as gloves when touching raw meat.
14. Use them on the counter to catch peels when peeling veggies.
15. Cut them to make aprons or bibs for the little ones to keep them clean.
16. Use for on the go lunches.
17. Defrost meat in a bag to prevent the juices from getting on everything.
18. Use them to crush crackers in.
19. Use under a high chair to catch messy spills.
20. Use for foods that don’t need tight containers.
21. Use as table coverings when kids are painting.
22. Use for dirty diapers when away from home.
23. Use them to contain small pieces for toys or crafts.
24. Use them for shampoo and wet bathroom products when travelling in case of leakage.
25. I also use them for kids wet swimming suits and towels.
26. They are great for dirty clothes when travelling.
27. Keep one in your gym bag for stinky gym shoes.
28. Put some in your car for trash bags.
29. Wrap your cold water bottle in one to catch the condensation and keep your bag dry.
30. Use the pretty colored bags for wrapping of gifts.

Hope you are enjoying these videos! We would love to hear from you!
Leave us a comment and let us know what you use plastic bags for? How do you store them?

Feeling Overwhelmed? Then Just Simplify!

If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed out and a little bit crazy you need to SIMPLIFY! How you ask? Here are some handy dandy super easy things that you can do!

1) Make your bed (even if your room is messy it looks 80% better when your bed is made!)
2) Cancel a commitment (sometimes you just need time to breathe and regroup).
3) Grab a basket (collect clutter while tidying and take them to donations).
4) Clear off counters (this makes such a big difference visually and creates room for creativity!)
5) Go though one drawer (it is quick and easy and is a do able task).
6) Sit down (have a cup of tea and plan the rest of your day/week or just take some time for you). 🙂

If you are needing assistance getting started with simplifying contact us here

Six Ways to Stop Procrastination. Now!

We all procrastinate at times. There are those daunting tasks that you don’t want to start because of one reason or another. Procrastination leaves us with feelings of uneasiness, anxiety, regret and even panic at times. Yet we still do it; some people more than others. We know we are procrastinating yet we still squander away free time and put off important tasks until alas it is just too late.

There are things that we can do to prevent procrastination from taking over. Go ahead and read this; how about now and not later? 😉

1) Tackle your most difficult task first when your energy level is highest. This will ensure best results and you will feel energized and productive. With the worst tasks out of the way the rest will seem easy peasy!

2) Rome was not built in a day. Sometimes starting a big project is half of the battle. Divide large tasks into smaller ones so as to ovoid overwhelm. Make a commitment to finish small tasks each day.

3) Set a timer for 10-15minute intervals. This will keep you on track and allow you some encouragement by racing against the clock. Motivate yourself by seeing what you can get done in that short amount of time.

4) Make sure your work space is organized, clear, and inspiring. You don’t need distractions when you are trying to be productive. Clear space = clear mind.

5) Schedule tasks on your calendar. By setting times and deadlines you are more likely to get things done than when you say. Creating a game plan is half the battle and allows you to move forward easily.

6) Eliminate your easy distractions such as email, social media, phone. Sometimes these are all too easy to suck our time away. Reward yourself with these things when you are finished what you are doing.

“Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.” ~William James

Organizing School Papers.

I have three children. Two years ago they were all in different schools (ranging from preschool to high school!) I was quickly finding it difficult to keep all of their school papers organized. I mean seriously there are daily correspondences from teachers, papers to sign, fundraisers, newsletters, extra curricular papers, permission slips, report cards and the list goes on and on. How the heck do you keep it all organized?! I decided that I couldn’t take it anymore! I made a family organizational binder. Each of us has our own tab with a folder that divides our papers. The papers that need dealt with daily stay on my desk. (If they are hidden away in the binder I may forget about them. The other papers that I may need to reference (phone numbers, school info., dance papers, football paper etc.) get filed under the appropriate tab. So if I am looking for my 9 year olds swimming papers I just find her name and grab it! Easy peasy!

Tip: Once you have dealt with a paper either file it or recycle it! Use the one touch rule. If it is in your hand then deal with it now not later; that would be a waste of your valuable time. Don’t forget to put important dates in your calender as soon as you learn about them. AND one more bonus tip! Don’t hang on to papers if you don’t need to.

Get School Savvy!

What do you do to stay organized during the school year? Folders? Files? Binders? Leave us a comment we would love to hear from you!

If you are interested in a mini session with not one but TWO professional organizers to get a system in place contact us here.

Transforming a Small Space: Children’s Room

This past weekend I decided that I needed to organize my youngest’s bedroom. (Back to school does that to me!) His room was getting out of control with clutter (aka treasures). His room is about 9′ x 10′ and smaller than the average bedroom. It is a constant struggle to find room when there is not much area to start with. Never fear mommy the organizer is here! My goal was to showcase the things that he loves and get rid of the stuff that he doesn’t
a) love, b) use or c) is broken or too small.
So first things first; his room got a good purge! With my little guys help we went though toys, pictures, school papers etc. Tip: Do this with your child in short bursts so they don’t get bored and upset. And… a little bribery never hurt anyone! Just sayin’. 🙂
Also, I emptied everything out of his room and sorted it in piles of like items so that I could take a good inventory of what he had. (Make sure that you have set aside a chunk of time to do this). You want to be able to start and finish this project.
The next step was to recognize what storage was needed. I needed to know where I could add more storage. I decided that I could add cubby shelving to one side of his closet, add a small book case to his corner, utilize some colored baskets, add hooks to the back of the door. I also wanted to get rid of his bed that was a box frame. I changed his bed to a captain style bed which has three decent sized drawers under it. It also comes with a great headboard that has shelves in it. As a bonus I found this bed on the buy n’ sell. It was in great condition and best of all I probably saved my self a couple of hundred dollars and reused a perfectly good bed! Everything else that I used was either already in his room or I bought gently used. Yippee!

Consider storage in the bed that you choose!

 

A bookcase and wall shelving creates great, attractive storage. I like the colored bins that hide toys!

Tips for creating storage in a small room:
~think vertically if you do not have very much floor space then find storage that goes up
~shelving creates a space for books, knick knacks etc and keeps them off of dresser surfaces and the floor
~use small shelving in the closet (my son uses half of his closet for his clothing/laundry basket and the other half houses two small shelving units that can store books, toys, or shoes.
~a book case can house many things besides just books (I like to add a bit of color with cubbies) These also hide toys!
~hooks on the back of the door are a great way to keep bathrobes and jackets off of the floor. kids can also hang up their back pack here.
~consider a captains bed or loft bed to create extra storage

Before and Afters of my son’s closet.

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SimpleTips: Recipe Holder

Thanks for checking out my second video. I just love taking everyday objects and changing it’s purpose to make something else completely functional. This time you don’t even need scissors or tape just use the hanger as is. Cool right? I think so!

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