Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Candle Wax Clean-Up

Candles sure are pretty, but sometimes they leave their drippings behind. Here is a suggestion for removing melted candle wax from wood surfaces:

"Heat the wax with a blow-dryer set on high. While applying the hot air, wedge a credit card, plastic putty knife or something with a flexible, straight edge under the drips." (source: Family Circle Magazine, January 10, 2010, p. 33)

More on Cleaning:

10 Eco-Friendly and Wallet-Friendly uses for Olive Oil
A Dozen Helpful Hints to Simplify Your Life
Saving Time by Cutting Out Craft Clean Up

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Decluttering Christmas Tree Sap from Your Carpet

If your Christmas tree has left gifts of sap under the tree, here's how to get rid of it:

Mix glycerin, a moisturizer and lubricant (available at drug stores) and warm water in equal parts. Drizzle the mixture on the affected areas. Give the mixture time to dissolve the sap. Using a dry cloth, pull up on the carpet fibers. Use a commercial carpet spot cleaner to remove any remaining residue.

More on cleaning:

Easy microwave cleaning
Clever Cleaning: Lamp Shades
Three Steps to Clever Cleaning

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Organizing Your Christmas Wrapping Supplies

As I'm writing, big fluffy flakes are falling outside my window. We now have 6-8 inches of snow from the last couple of days. So beautiful, pure, quiet and cleansing!

A couple of days ago I organized my wrapping supplies. I made quite a mess in the process. But now I'm ready for next year!

I devoted one container to tissue paper, one to bags, one to boxes and containers other than bags, one to wrapping paper, one to gift tags, and one to ribbons. The containers are different sizes depending on the need.

I even divided my bags into those I love and those I don't. Some have sentimental value and we have used them for years. I would hate to see those leave the house. So I separated my bags accordingly.

Before I put my containers away for the year (I'm still finding a few straggling pieces of paper, etc.), I'll label the containers.

It's a big job, but fulfilling once it's done!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Buy One Get One Free at 1-2-3...Get Organized

In honor of Get Organized Month in January, we're offering a BOGO sale from now through January 31, 2010. Organize your time, priorities, parties, meals, cleaning, house or office! When you buy one product, you can get one of equal or lesser value - free. Just write in your free choice on the comment section of the shopping cart. And remember, shipping is free over $25!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I wish you a joyous Christmas! We will have two of our three foster daughters here as well as one of our own daughters.

We have tried to combine traditions and wishes of all to create a Christmas of fun memories. We may go to a Christmas Eve service and the girls want to bake a birthday cake for Jesus. We've all been busy making gifts, baking, going to parties, and watching Christmas movies. :)

One of our girls is on a visit with her family, so she opened the gifts she knew about early. The girls wanted to pick out most of their gifts, but we reserved some money for surprises. Since the surprise gifts are similar, we asked the girl going home to wait to open the rest until she returns.

People have been so generous to the girls - an anonymous gift from someone in our church gave us more money to spend on the girls. (We get some money from our organization to spend on the girls and we add some of our own.) Some gift cards were donated by other people as well. The girls don't know about these yet. :)

Our daughter Sara arrived on Monday and has added to the fun. Even though we won't have our other daughter Comfort here, we hope to connect with her and her husband sometime in the spring.

We'll have turkey and trimmings on Christmas Eve and honey-baked ham for Christmas day. The girls requested a big breakfast on Christmas - not my style, but it's not about me, is it? Everyone has offered to help so I don't have to spend all of Christmas in the kitchen! My husband Bob will read the Christmas story. And then the presents!

Sara wants to do some after Christmas shopping on the 26th, so she and I will have some mom and daughter time. She hasn't gotten to do this for several years since she has been living in Kazakhstan. And I'm sure the girls will have their gift cards burning holes in their pockets!

I'm so blessed! Blessings to you!!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Repurposing Your Christmas Cards into a Year-Round Memory

Hate to throw away those picture Christmas cards or encouraging notes, but don't want to add clutter to your home? Adhere them to a large piece of paper collage-style, laminate and you've got a placemat that will bring you smiles throughout the year!

More on Christmas cards:

Buried by Holiday Mail?
Get Oranized Month 2009 - Update Your Addresses

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Linear Storage

Here's an idea from Better Homes and Gardens to increase storage. If you don't have floor space for additional storage units, use your wall space! "This modern shelf offers ample storage. Oversize baskets maximize the amount of stuff each shelf can hold. For a symmetrical look, top each shelf with identical storage boxes or baskets."

Tall wall shelf

More on clever storage:

Clever Corner Storage

Magnetic Paint - An Innovative Space Saver!

This is What I Call Using Wall Space!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Handy Tips to Simplify Your Life

A friend sent the following tips, and I thought I'd pass them along. They look interesting, but I haven't tried them.
Let me know if they work for you.

Reducing Static Cling
- Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress.
Same thing works with slacks that cling. Place pin in seam of slacks and...
ta da!... Static is gone.

Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car When the windows fog,
rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

Re-opening envelopes - If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just
place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily.

Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really
smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair.

More handy tips:

Fun Food Tips
More cooking tips

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Some Christmas Humor

Here's a Christmas laugh for you that my brother forwarded to me from an anonymous person:

"Good news is that I truly out did myself this year with my Christmas decorations. The bad news is that I had to take him down after 2 days. I had more people come screaming up to my house than ever. Great stories. But two things made me take it down.

First, the cops advised me that it would cause traffic accidents as they almost wrecked when they drove by.

Second, a 55 year old lady grabbed the 75 pound ladder almost killed herself putting it against my house and didn't realize it was fake until she climbed to the top (she was not happy). By the way, she was one of many people who attempted to do that. My yard couldn't take it either. I have more than a few tire tracks where people literally drove up my yard."

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Best Time of Day to Go to the Post Office

I have one last package to mail today. So I remembered this post I did in October 2008. I think it's especially timely during the holiday season:

According to Real Simple Magazine, the best of time of day to go to the post office is about half an hour after it opens. This allows for people who are lined up at the door to finish their business.
The other times to avoid are lunch hour and just before closing.

I like to find small, less busy post offices where I don't have to wait in line. When we lived in Maryland (where you always have to wait in lines for everything!), I found a little post office just a few minutes farther away than my regular post office, with much less business.

Another wonderful option is to use post offices located in malls, grocery stores, and drugstores. We have one here in our local mall. Last year at Christmas time, I avoided my post office and went to the mall location, where there were no lines!

Another option is to avoid the post office altogether! By setting up an account with the United States Postal Service, you can print postage for packages, order stamps, and order flat rate boxes. The only things you need are a scale (your kitchen scale will work for smaller packages), a printer, and a credit card.

Enter the recipient's address and the weight of the package, and your virtual post office calculates the postage, prints a mailing label with the postage included, and charges your account. Flat-rate packages don't even need to be weighed.

The best thing - you can schedule a pick-up from your house without having to go to the post office! That's what I love! And postage is a bit cheaper when you use this online service.

So destress your life over the coming holiday season and minimize those post office waits!

Do you have ways you avoid lines? Please share!

Related posts:
The Best Time of Day to Take the Dog for a Walk
The Best Time of Day to Do Your Cardio Workout
When Should You Take Your Vitamins?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Last-Minute Clutterless Gift Idea - BookSwim

Need a last-minute gift idea for the reader in your family? Here's an idea that reduces clutter and travel!

BookSwim is to books as Netflix is to movies. Starting at $9.95 per month, you can rent books, including new releases, with no trips to the library and no late fees. If you rent one book at a time, it costs $9.95 per month plus $3.99 s+h one way. All other plans have free shipping both ways, but the prices increase considerably. Three books at a time costs $23.95 a month, five books - $29.95, seven - $35.95, and eleven - $59.95. The first month is $9.95 for all plans.

If you are an avid reader, this would easily pay for your reading habit if you typically buy your books. And this option doesn't clutter your house with books that will never be read again. If you like to re-read books, just rent them again!

More on decluttering:

Decluttering Your Books with BookMooch
Destressing Christmas, Part 11, 2009 - Meaningful Gifts with No Clutter
Three Steps to Decluttering

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Easy Decadent Fudge Recipe

My food gift this year is fudge - sorry to spill the beans, friends and family! I love fudge, but it has to be smooth and creamy, not sugary. The following is my favorite recipe. Not only is it melt-in-your mouth, it's easy, too!

In about an hour I made four batches. You can cut it up and put it in little petit-four cups (like paper cupcake cups, only smaller) for local gifts. Or you can pour it directly into Glad containers for shipping.


from Bess Rivers (my grandmother)

18 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 t. vanilla
pinch of salt
1/2 c. chopped nuts

In the top of a double boiler, melt chocolate over hot water. Don't let the water boil, or the chocolate will become dry and crumbly. Remove from heat. Add sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, salt and nuts. Stir until smooth. Turn into an 8-inch square baking pan lined with waxed paper. Cover and chill. Store in an air-tight container.

More on gifts:
Destressing Christmas, Part 11, 2009 - Meaningful Gifts with No Clutter
Destressing Christmas, Part 3, 2009 - Smart Gift-Giving
Christmas Shopping Ideas from 1-2-3...Get Organized Plus a 10% Discount

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Closet Mapping

Happy Tuesday! I'm happy because we have a few days off from foster parenting starting today. Yesterday we were inspected and interviewed as part of an accreditation process for our organization. So our house is spotless, we've done most of our shopping and it's wrapped, thanks to my dear husband. What a welcome rest! On to our topic at hand ... mapping closets.

While we were getting ready for our inspection, I cleaned out the tiny closet in our office. When we were moving, I put a few things in there thinking, "I'll remember where everything is." Since there are no shelves in the closet, I had to stack some boxes on top of each other. These were items I don't use often, but I need to know where they are when I need them.

If you have storage areas where you must stack things or pack things in front of other things, make a map of your closet! Draw out each shelf or area, and list the items in each box or container. That way, when you need something, you know exactly where to find it without unloading the entire closet.

Tape your map to the inside of your closet door and you're set!

More on closets:
Thinking Through Your Closets
Better Homes and Gardens - Inexpensive Storage and Organizing Solutions
Get Oranized Month 2009 - Organizing Your Clothes Closet

Monday, December 14, 2009

Inventorying Your Christmas Supplies

It seems like just yesterday when I thought, "We still have a lot of time left before Christmas." Where did it go so quickly!? Here's a blog post I did last year that is worth repeating (in my humble opinion - ha ha):

When you wrap up your Christmas wrapping, take a moment to inventory what you have left:

wrapping paper
gift bags and boxes
gift tags
Christmas paper plates, napkins and cups
Christmas cards and stationery
Christmas craft supplies
Christmas gifts for teachers, etc.

You may even want to put your list on your computer or in a Christmas organizing notebook, so you know where it is. Then you can refer to it without having to get out all your Christmas stuff to remember what you have. And if you do after-Christmas shopping, your inventory list will help you know what you need to replenish.

It's a great time to stock up on Christmas, birthday, and miscellaneous gifts for next year, too! When my kids were growing up, it was wonderful to look through the "goodie box" for a gift rather than have to make a special trip. And it was nice to have a stash when I needed a gift for something.

What's on your inventory list?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Saftey Tips for Buying or Selling Using Craig's List

Saving money by buying or selling using Craig's list? Here are some tips directly from Craig's list so you don't get scammed:

"When meeting someone for the first time, please remember to:

  • Insist on a public meeting place like a cafe
  • Tell a friend or family member where you're going
  • Take your cell phone along if you have one
  • Consider having a friend accompany you
  • Trust your instincts

You can sidestep would-be scammers by following these common-sense rules:

  • DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON - follow this one simple rule and you will avoid 99% of the scam attempts on craigslist.
  • NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or any other wire service - anyone who asks you to do so is a scammer.
  • CRAIGSLIST IS NOT INVOLVED IN ANY TRANSACTION, and does not handle payments, guarantee transactions, provide escrow services, or offer "buyer protection" or "seller certification"
  • NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.)

Who should I notify about fraud or scam attempts?

If you suspect that an item posted for sale on craigslist may be part of a scam, please email the details to "abuse@craigslist.org". Be sure to include the URL (or 10-digit post ID number) in your message.

Recognizing scams

Most scams involve one or more of the following:

  • inquiry from someone far away, often in another country
  • Western Union, Money Gram, cashier's check, money order, shipping, escrow service, or a "guarantee"
  • inability or refusal to meet face-to-face before consummating transaction."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hoarding - There Are No Easy Answers!

I did some pro bono work recently for someone who is about to lose her apartment because it is so disheveled. Even though she didn't feel well enough for us to work on her apartment, I left her with a list of things to do to organize her apartment as well as a list to maintain the systems we set up. The sad part is, if she is like other hoarders I've worked with, it will be back to disarray shortly.

Hoarding is not just a matter of clutter - the problem goes far deeper. There are usually psychological issues that relate to the hoarding.

Not only is hoarding a health and safety risk to the individual, but to those who live with and around him/her. I've read numerous articles over the winter of hoarders dying as a result of their jam-packed homes catching fire or because fire-fighters couldn't find them. Merely navigating through a hoarder's residence is a safety issue as well.

If you have a hoarder in the family, you may want to read this thought-provoking Wall Street Journal article by Melinda Beck. There are no easy answers!

More on similar topics

Get Organized Month 2009 - Some Words from Peter Walsh, Organizing Guru
Creating Routines and Systems
Your Priorities, Passions, and Gifts Create Context for Your Clutter

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tickets as Bookmarks

During this season you may be going to some special events. Keep the memory alive with this tip:

"For a great keepsake from a concert or show, turn the ticket stub into a bookmark. Just laminate, punch a hole in the top and add a ribbon." (M. Clark, Ft. Myers, FL
Family Cricle November 1, 2009, p. 20

More on memories:
Making it a Priority to Create Memories
Organizing Your Keepsakes into Bins
Getting Organized for School - Organizing Your Child's Artwork and School Papers

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Letting Go

I'm sitting here looking at our beautiful Christmas tree with piles of presents underneath for our foster daughters. A little dusting of snow is visible outside the wall of windows behind our tree. A picture of perfection? Out of all those presents, I wrapped nine and my husband has wrapped the rest! I have to admit, I'm a bit overwhelmed this year and I'm so thankful for his help!

My husband is very creative and artistic and has done a lovely job on the presents. But they are not how I would have done them. He didn't notice that some bags have matching tissue paper. He didn't remember that some bags and boxes have traditionally been earmarked for our own daughters over the years. He put together combinations that I wouldn't necessarily have put together. Okay - breathe - let go!

But they are lovely! And he wrapped them! And he has relieved so much of my stress! And I'm thankful he wants to participate in making Christmas wonderful for our foster daughters! And again - breathe - let go!

I'm a bit obsessive about matching - can you tell? When we had a red and white living room a few years back, I only bought red and white wrapping paper, tissue, ribbons, and bags! When we were given gifts that were not in red and white, I put them in the back of the tree! And most of the tree decorations were red. I've already let go of that. Woohoo!

The point is - accept help during this season, even if it is not done how you would do it. Enjoy the process, even if your kids make a mess while decorating sugar cookies. Everything doesn't need to be perfect for it to be good.

I'm trying to let go of my perfectionist expectations. It doesn't always have to be done how I think it should be done. We now have people in our home from four backgrounds - Christmas needs to represent all of us. Okay - I'm going to be hyperventilating with all this breathing I need to do. And maybe twitching a little, too!

What have you let go?

More on perspective

Priorities and Perspective from a Ninety-Year-Old
Savoring the Significance of the Season
5-Minute Stress Relievers - Spiritual Refocusing

Friday, December 4, 2009

Finals Survival Kits for College Students

Do you have a special college student in your life? Brighten up his/her life during finals week by sending a Finals Survival Kit. We've done this with our own children and other college students in our lives over the years. Things to include:

Healthy snacks: pistachios or other nuts, beef jerky, trail mix, popcorn

Drinks: hot chocolate, teas, coffee mixes, juices

Fun snacks: cookies, chocolate, candy

Encouraging words: write a note for each day (5-7) or use the following proverbs -

- Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind.

- Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.

- Knowledge flows like spring water from the wise; fools are leaky faucets, dripping nonsense.

- Easy come, easy go, but steady diligence pays off.

- A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.

- Wise men and women are always learning, always listening for fresh insights.

Mail it or take it by and brighten up finals for your college student!

More on college:

Review - AgendaWorks Planner
More Resources for Present and Future College Students
Check out CampusCalmU

Thursday, December 3, 2009

How to Buy Some Extra Time

I was motivated! I had a foster parent meeting this morning, and I wanted to be able to cross stitch the girls' names on their Christmas stockings while sitting in that meeting (with permission of course!). But before that could happen I needed to construct the stockings (I had already cut them out from fabric they chose. And I needed to attach the cross stitch material to the stocking (I had already cross stitched a little border on each).

So I got up early and did some of the sewing before anyone was up. And I did the rest while they were eating and getting ready.

And I knew one of the girls wanted to go shopping this afternoon. So I made a tuna, broccoli, tomato pasta salad after finishing the stockings.

I was going grocery shopping right after the meeting, so I checked off the things I needed on my grocery list.

All this by 8 am!

Now if you are not a morning person, this may be depressing to you, as my husband often reminds me. :) But he turns it around and gets his stuff done after we have all gone to bed. Nap time is another golden time, if you don't need a nap yourself.

Getting up a little early or staying up a little late can work in the short term, but if you are sacrificing your sleep on a consistent basis, it's harmful to your health. So make sure to plan in enough sleep. The point is, that time when no one needs you is prime time when you can accomplish so much!

More on time:

Functioning at Peak Performance by Planning Quiet Moments
10 Ways to Streamline Your Shopping Time
6 Ways to Reduce Stress by Getting Organized

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Getting a Jump on Christmas Cookies

I've done Christmas cookies in various ways over the years. Sometimes I've made them as we've needed them or wanted them. But two of my favorite ways to get a jump start on cookies are:

1. My friend Pam and I came up with a great way to get a jump on Christmas cookies. We originally set aside a day in December to make Christmas cookies all day, split them and stock our freezers. But that was pretty exhausting.

2. Then one year, we couldn't find a date in December, and that changed our Christmas cookie baking from then on. We decided to get together in November and just make the dough, freeze it in small batches, and cook as needed. It's so easy to just thaw a small amount, form into cookies, and bake! All the work and mess is over with and you have fresh baked cookies in a jiffy when you need them.

Plus we got to spend the day together!
I miss it. Now that we live in Ohio and she lives in Maryland, it doesn't quite work! I need to mention that we did this when our children were in college or on their own. If making memories with your children is part of the equation, you may want to disregard our "mass production" mindset! :)

If you need to find a cookie recipe, my daughter Sara sent me a list (Cookies, Cookies, Cookies) of every possible cookie recipe known to man.

More on cookies:
How Coffee Filters Can Help You Declutter Holiday Baking
Making it a Priority to Create Memories

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Destressing Christmas, Part 10, 2009 - Doubling Recipes

Happy December! Can you believe it's already here?

A stress reliever for me during the holidays is to double recipes. It may take a little extra time now, but it's a big pay-off later! It's a comfort to me to know that I have some meals in the freezer on those crazy-busy days or on disaster days when things don't go as I planned.

Yesterday I was hoping to double spaghetti sauce, but I didn't have enough meat. I even had us eat our salads and bread first, hoping everyone would get full on that and we'd have enough left for another meal. But teenage girls and spaghetti is not an economical combination! We have three girls now, too, which bumps up the amount as well. Oh, well!

I'm making chicken tortilla soup tonight, using my leftover turkey, and I'll double that - a wonderful meal on cold winter evenings! Other meals that lend themselves to doubling: meatloaf, taco meat, baked ziti, chili, other soups, and lasagna. Sometimes when I make lasagna, I'll just double the meat sauce and freeze it. At least it saves one step in that long process!

What recipes do you like to double and freeze?

More on destressing dinner:
Chicken Tortilla Soup for the Super Bowl - Quick, Easy, and Different

Three Steps to Planning Dinner
Hassle Free Dinners

Monday, November 30, 2009

How Coffee Filters Can Help You Declutter Holiday Baking

I came across this clever tip for reducing the mess and clutter when doing holiday baking:

"Sprinkles can be so messy when decorating cupcakes or cookies. Eliminate the mess by pouring your sprinkles, chocolate chips or red hots into coffee filters. Dip your cupcakes or cookies into the toppings. Then funnel leftover toppings back into their original containers."
(Source: Connie Lufriu from Brandon, FL June 2009 Family Circle magazine, p. 18)

More Clever Cleaning Tips:

The Cleverness of Coffee Filters
Spring Cleaning Using Household Items - Salt, Newspaper, Coffee Filters, and Olive Oil
Spring Cleaning Using Household Items - Lemons
Three Steps to Clever Cleaning

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Quick Meal from Thanksgiving Leftovers

I'm enjoying the view from our wall of windows - a dusting of snow. How peaceful! I've been waiting for it to snow ever since we moved, as our view is so beautiful. It will be spectacular when we get a big snow!

We had a wonderful day yesterday - hope you did, too! We had ten for lunch, including one of our daughters, one of our foster daughters, a former foster daughter, our pastor, his wife and their three boys. Afterwards, we enjoyed a wii competition, other games, chatting, basketball, and turkey sandwiches. :)

Here's a quick meal to use up (and disguise) your Thanksgiving leftovers:

Cranberry Orange Turkey

Leftover turkey
Leftover cranberry sauce (preferably whole berry sauce)
Canned mandarin oranges, drained
Red pepper flakes

Mix the cranberry sauce and mandarin oranges in a saucepan or microwavable bowl. Add red pepper flakes to your taste - a little goes a long way! Heat until warm. Heat turkey until warm. Serve sauce over the turkey or on the side. So easy!

More ways to use leftovers:
Cook It Once, Serve It Twice
Six Ways to Save Money on Food by Planning Ahead
Chicken Tortilla Soup for the Super Bowl - Quick, Easy, and Different

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Destressing Christmas, Part 9, 2009 - Efficient Shopping on Black Friday

Want to get a jump on Black Friday shopping? Here are a few websites that already have Black Friday ads up - so you can plan your strategy or sit at home shopping in your pajamas!

Black Friday Ads
The Black Friday
Black Friday Info

Online Shopping Tips

1. If you google the name of your store followed by "free shipping and handling", you may find coupons for free shipping and handling. I googled "jcpenneys free shipping and handling" and came up with: http://www.freeshipping.org/category/jc-penney-free-shipping-code/, which offered some free shipping and handling codes plus some discount coupons.

2. Kohl's honors their discount store coupons when you shop online. And you can shop the early bird specials online rather than having to go to the store.

3. My suggestion: to protect your identity when you shop online, use a credit card that is not attached to your bank account.

More on efficient shopping:
10 Ways to Streamline Your Shopping Time

Destressing Christmas, Part 3, 2009 - Smart Gift-Giving
A Green Shopping Option

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Clever Cleaning: Lamp Shades

I found this hint for cleaning lamp shades in the November 1, 2009 Family Circle magazine (p. 20):
"I run a lint roller over all of my lamp shades every few weeks. It's a simple, affordable way to prevent dust buildup." from Mary A. Lee, Ocala, FL

I tried it, and it works! Love it!

Other clever cleaning tips:
Spring Cleaning Using Household Items - Lemons
Spring Cleaning Using Household Items - Vinegar
Spring Cleaning Using Household Items - Salt, Newspaper, Coffee Filters, and Olive Oil

Monday, November 23, 2009

Using Your Cell Phone as a Kitchen Gadget

Who would ever thought that cell phones would become our latest kitchen gadget? Here are some ways to use your cell phone in the kitchen:

- Instead of writing a grocery list, text it to yourself.
- Use your phone's timer to remind yourself to start dinner or take a dish out of the oven.
- Take a picture of your culinary masterpiece to impress your friends and family.
- If you are doubling a recipe, use your calculator to make sure you're figuring correctly.
- Call mom or your favorite chef for advice.
- If you have internet, you can look up a recipe - or a nearby restaurant if disaster happens!

How do you use your cell phone to cook dinner?

More on dinner:
Six Ways to Save Money on Food by Planning Ahead
Getting the Maximum Mileage out of Your Veggies
Cook It Once, Serve It Twice

Friday, November 20, 2009

Organizing Holiday Meals with Safety in Mind

As we prepare for holiday meals, we need to organize with safety in mind. I found an article on food safety and a couple on safety practices in the kitchen. I had not considered some of these suggestions before - they are definitely ones to practice! By putting these tips into practice, you'll help create wonderful memories, not ones that include the emergency room!

"Thanksgiving is upon us and with it comes the traditional turkey dinner. However, the improper storing, cooking, and serving of roast turkey can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria like salmonella, which can cause foodborne illness.

The DuPage County Health Department advises consumers that safe food handling of turkey and other holiday foods is essential in preventing foodborne illness. Here are some tips to share with your family for preparing a Thanksgiving bird safely.
  • Thaw the frozen turkey in the refrigerator. Allow one day for each five pounds of turkey. A twenty-pound turkey will take about four days to thaw. Hint: Remove neck & giblets from inside the bird as soon as possible to hasten thawing.
  • Do not thaw on the kitchen counter. If you do not have time to thaw in the refrigerator, you may thaw it in cold water, provided that the turkey is in a leak-proof packaging, it is submerged, and the water is changed every half-hour. Allow 30 minutes per pound of turkey to thaw in cold water.
  • Cook fresh turkeys within two days, thawed ones within four days.
  • Wash your hands with hot, soapy water before and after handling raw poultry. Wash all knives, cutting boards and utensils also after using for raw poultry.
  • Read and follow the cooking directions on the label. Cook turkey until it is done (165°F). Do not slow cook overnight at low temperatures or partially cook. Some turkeys come with pop-up thermometers. They are to be used only as a guide to doneness. Take the temperature with a meat thermometer to be sure the temperature is over 165°F.
  • Stuffing should not be prepared a day ahead and the turkey should not be stuffed until ready to cook. A quicker, safer method is to cook the stuffing separately in a casserole, using some of the pan juices to flavor and moisten the stuffing.
  • Eat the meal as soon as it is prepared. Do not leave leftovers out on the counter or table after dinner. Cut the meat off the bones and put it in shallow containers in the refrigerator.
  • Reheat all leftovers to 165°F. (Use your meat thermometer.) Gravy should be brought to a rolling boil."
Source: DuPage Health

"It's your turn to host Thanksgiving dinner. Your house is filled with family and friends, many of whom are "helping" you in your suddenly cramped kitchen. There are dishes everywhere, open drawers and cupboards, steam rising from boiling pots, and where did you put that carving knife?

For those who work in food preparation, this chaos is all too familiar. And so are the hazards. So here's some advice from the food service industry to help you and your guests stay injury-free in your kitchen this Thanksgiving-and throughout the year.

The Hazards and Safety Practices of a Busy Kitchen

The food service industry is not the most hazardous, but it does have its dangers. Here's how to handle five common food service hazards that can also be found in many kitchens on holiday weekends.

1. Slips, trips and falls. Dress for cooking with safety in mind. Choose low-heeled, secure shoes with a non-skid sole and an enclosed toe. (A falling measuring cup can inflict as much damage on your toes as a falling hammer if it lands the wrong way.)Don't hurry; take short steps to prevent slips.Pick up trash and food scraps that fall to the floor, and wipe up spills promptly to prevent slipping accidents.

2. Collisions. Be alert for potential collisions with others, especially at doorways and around the stove.When passing someone who may not see you, say, "Behind you."

3. Burns and scalds.
  • Never wear loose clothing or baggy sleeves while cooking.
  • Don't reach across fryers, stoves and other hot surfaces and materials.
  • Use potholders when handling pots.
  • Use caution around steam and boiling water. Protect your face and arms when lifting pot lids. When removing the cover from a boiling pot, expose the far side of the pot first, to release steam.
  • Never leave oil under heat unattended.
  • Never overfill a fryer with oil or food.
  • Cool oil before moving it.
  • Turn pan handles aside so they don't get bumped or snag on clothing, but keep them clear of other burners.
  • Before microwaving food, vent the container by lifting the edge of the cover.
  • Use caution when opening covered containers that have been in the microwave, and open them away from your face.
4. Heat illness. Kitchen workers are at risk for heat illness as well, so drink plenty of water and make sure you take an occasional break from your hot kitchen.

5. Cuts from knives or other sharp kitchen tools.
  • Unplug the food processor when loading, emptying or changing blades.
  • Keep knives sharp. Dull knives require too much force to operate; they can slip and cause cuts.
  • Use the right knife for the job.
  • When cutting, slice down and away from your hand and body.
  • Keep your fingers and thumbs out of the cutting line.
  • Carry knives with the cutting edge angled slightly away from your body and the tip pointed down.
  • Don't hand a knife to someone. Instead, place it down on a clean surface and the let the other person pick it up.
  • Don't place knives near the edge of a countertop.
  • Don't use a knife while distracted.
  • If you drop something, let it fall. You can receive serious cuts if you try to catch falling knives or glassware.
Conclusion: It's a lot of work preparing a holiday meal, but it doesn't have to be dangerous. With care and attention, you can stay safe and injury-free, and able to enjoy the blessings of a special meal with your loved ones. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!"

Here's another article by ABC on safety in the kitchen.

Stay safe during the holidays!

More on food safety:

Decluttering Plastics - Which Ones are Safe?
Get Organized Month 2009 - Organizing Your Fridge to Keep Foods Fresh
Demystifying Food Expiration Dates

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Destressing Christmas, Part 8, 2009 - An Online Tool to Consolidate Wishlists

Getting tired of buying gift cards because you don't know what someone wants? Wishpot takes the guess and stress out of shopping. According to their website: "
Wishpot makes it easy for you to shop anywhere, keep all your finds in one place, connect with friends, and discover the hottest deals."

What you do is shop all over the internet, consolidate your wishlist at Wishpot, and you can share your list with others! Take some stress out of your life and request your family members to join Wishpot (it's free)! Join yourself, so others know what you want. Why not pass the destressing around? :-)

More on Christmas shopping:
Destressing Christmas, Part 3, 2009 - Smart Gift-Giving
10 Ways to Streamline Your Shopping Time
Christmas Shopping Ideas from 1-2-3...Get Organized Plus a 10% Discount

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Three Ways to Keep Your Disposal Clog-Free

The following advice comes from the best of the best: fellow organizers. If you ever need an organizer, visit NAPO or Faithful Organizers. So, here's the skinny on keeping your disposal clog-free:

1. Put the stopper in your sink and fill it with water. Take the stopper out and turn on the disposal and faucet at the same time. You can also put a piece of citrus fruit down the drain during the process to make it smell wonderful! Do this on a weekly basis.

2. Fill the chamber above the disposal with as many ice cubes as possible. Squirt them with dishwashing soap and turn on the cold water. Run the disposal until all the ice is crushed.

3. Pour as much baking soda down the disposal as possible, followed with vinegar. (I'm assuming that you're running the disposal at the same time.)

My plumber told me to never put these things down the disposal: rice, carrot and potato skins, and leaves: lettuce, spinach, etc. Rice will harden and act like cement. Skins and leaves are too light to go down and through the disposal.

There's nothing like having a sink full of gross water that won't drain, with company on the way! Not to mention having to wait for and pay a plumber! Save yourself the headache and try one or all of these home remedies!

Do you have similar home remedies?

More on home remedies:

Spring Cleaning Using Household Items - Vinegar
Easy Microwave Cleaning
Three Steps to Clever Cleaning

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm in Today's Issue of Woman's Day Magazine!

I'm honored to be mentioned in a fabulous Woman's Day article by Melody Warnick entitled "Take a Holiday Time-Out - 15 Easy Ways to Destress in the Middle of Chaos." It's in the December 1 issue, which came out today - p. 28. My suggestion in the article to reduce stress - what else? - organize something, even if it's just a drawer or something equally small.

More on relieving stress:

5-Minute Stress Relievers - Organizing and Cleaning
5-Minute Stress Relievers - Change Your Attitude
5-Minute Stress Relievers - Spiritual Refocusing

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cleveland Women to Women Holiday Extravaganza

Wanted to let you know about the Women to Women Holiday Extravaganza to be held in the Cleveland area. I'll be selling my books there, so stop by to say hi! Here's the scoop:

Women to Women Holiday Extravaganza

Come and start or finish your Holiday Shopping while supporting local women in business. Free admission with a non-perishable food, paper or personal hygiene donation.

Goody bags for the first 100 people, door prizes, raffles for charity (adopt a local family for Christmas), fashion shows, fitness demos, coupon class and swap, and much more.Shop local vendors from beauty products, clothing, accessories, purses, jewelry, local artists and non profit organizations.

There will also be a gold buyer on site so bring your unwanted, broken or mismatched gold or silver including flatware and take home the cash! They will even donate 12-15% of their cash payout for the day to our charity.

We will also be collecting new pajama donations for Luna Dream Warehouse at this event so bring your PJ donations with you.

Buy a raffle ticket to win a 42" LCD flat screen HD TV.
Share the spirit of the season with us!

Location: Crowne Plaza Hotel Grand Ballroom Middleburg Hts. OH 44130
Date: 11/21/2009, 10 am to 4 pm

Contact information: Karen Posner
Email: karenposner@aol.com
Phone: 216-267-7136

Obsessive Compulsive Organizing

I love HGTV and all the magazines that have made professional organizing a familiar term. I don't think, however, that we need to hold these media makeovers as our standard.

In other words, make organizing work for you. If you're happy with your level of organization, that's what is important. You're never going to be inspected by the organizing police!

There is no need to go out and buy matching baskets or drawer organizers or color-coded files unless you want to. If your organization systems are working for you, and you can find what you need when you need it, hooray for you!!

Rather than spending more money on items to organize your stuff, I am a big proponent of using what you have to facilitate organizing. Use what you love! Take those keepsakes out of the boxes and use them, enjoy them!

I have a set of keepsake canning jars commemorating America's bicentennial in 1976 which I use to hold red hots, cinnamon sticks, raisins, etc. - items that normally come in bags and are hard to store. I still have some boxes I haven't gone through from our move and I want to look at those items from the perspective of using my cherished items rather than storing them.

Speaking of which, yes, I have a couple of rooms, a couple of closets, the garage, and the storage area which are not very well organized. And I'm a professional organizer!! Oh, my!

I'm okay with that. I have other priorities right now, and I'm emotionally done with organizing our move right now. I have given myself permission not to address these right now, and you can do the same thing with areas that haven't reached the top of the priority list! I know where everything is, it's just not pretty. :)

I imagine that between now and Thanksgiving or Christmas, when we will be having guests, I'll get motivated to do some more. Having company is so motivating, isn't it?

So, if you have a messy junk drawer or your shoes are piled on the closet floor or ... whatever ... if it works for you, don't feel like you must be obsessive compulsive to make it look like HGTV or Martha Stewart - unless it refreshes your soul. Life is too short for that!

More on keeping perspective as you organize:

5-Minute Stress Relievers - Organizing and Cleaning
Organizing "Messy" Toys
Get Organized Month 2009 - Family Five Minute Challenge

Friday, November 13, 2009

Destressing Christmas, Part 7, 2009 - Guarding Your Health

With so much going around these days, it makes you think twice about shopping and socializing! But there are other health issues to think about during the holiday season. It’s very easy to abuse your health during the holiday season – parties, rich food, a busier schedule, and less time for exercise. Here are a few suggestions for maintaining your health:

- Don't go to a party hungry. Eat something before you go so you're not ravenous. Think ahead of time about the amount of food you will eat. Just a taste of those tasty morsels is usually enough to satisfy your palette. No need for excess eating or drinking!

- Don't give up your workout. Exercise is one of the best ways to relieve stress. As your schedule gets more hectic, make sure to guard your exercise time. Eliminate something less important if you must eliminate something.

- Don’t neglect your sleep – you’ll be irritable and less able than usual to deal with stress. Research shows that your emotions will rollercoaster and your logic powers will suffer without sleep.

- Make sure your family members are getting enough sleep, too. Try to keep normal bedtimes and naptimes.

- Wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds after or while you are attending an event to get rid of those germs passed around by shaking hands, hugging and kissing. Carry some hand sanitizer with you, but it’s not as effective as soap and water.

Wouldn’t it be nice to go through the holiday season without gaining weight, getting sick, being stressed-out, and feeling grouchy? It’s possible, but you’ll need to be very intentional in order to do it! But it’s worth the effort!

What do you do to maintain your health during the holidays?

More on destressing the holidays:

Destressing Christmas, Part 6, 2009 - Planning Holiday Meals
Destressing Christmas, Part 5, 2009 - Mapping Out Your Calendar
Destressing Christmas, Part 4, 2009 - Organize Your Cleaning and Decorating

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thanksgiving Survival Guide from Cozi

Once again, Cozi has provided us with a survival guide for preparing Thanksgiving dinner.

If you're not familiar with Cozi, they are the folks that offer a free online family calendar. If you don't have a calendar that works for you, check them out!

What do you do to destress Thanksgiving?

More on Thanksgiving:

Destressing Christmas, Part 6, 2009 - Planning Holiday Meals
Organize for the Holidays
Tackle the Clutter before Christmas
Three Steps to Planning Dinner

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Join Me at the 2010 National Gift Basket Professional Convention!

I've been asked to lead a seminar entitled "Leaving an Intentional Legacy" at the
2010 National Gift Basket Professional Convention, July 23-25, 2010 in Canton, Ohio. The theme this year is "Building Your Dreams."

Not only will you learn how to create gift baskets, but top-notch speakers will help you build your business! Tom and Pamela Newell, owners and instructors at The Gift Basket School, are organizing the convention and promise a fun, affordable, and educational time for newbies and veterans alike.

Included in this year's convention are seminars, a trade show (where I'll be selling and autographing my books), unlimited networking, a challenge you won't want to miss, and much more! Early bird registration is going on now.

Hope to see you there!

Organize Your Car for the Winter

If you live in a part of the country where winter happens, it's time (maybe overdue for some of you!) to organize your car for winter - for weather and other emergencies. Even if you don't have winter weather, many of these items are good to keep for unexpected situations.

1. Start by removing outdated items you've used for an emergency kit - outdated food, summer items, etc.

2. If you don't have one already, grab a plastic bin, crate, or bag to hold your emergency items.

3. Stock it with an extra change of clothes for each of your family members. You may want to put in an extra pair of shoes or boots for inclement weather. Include extra mittens, hats, blankets, small pillows and such in case you're stranded for a while.

4. If you don't have a 4-wheel drive car, you may want to keep some kitty litter or a small rug to put under your tire should you get stuck.

5. Include some snacks and drinks to stave off crabbiness if you're out past mealtime. Use juice boxes rather than plastic drink bottles to avoid toxins. Be sure to swap out or replenish these frequently.

6. If you have children, choose some toys or activity items to entertain them while riding. If they have something to occupy themselves, they are less likely to torment each other or you!

7. Check to see if your flashlight has working batteries. Restock your first aid kit.

8. Make sure to have flares and jumper cables.

9. Keep some extra diapers (if applicable), wipes, paper towels, and hand sanitizer handy, too.

10. I like to keep a car charger for my cell phone in my car in case my battery is low.

By taking some time to plan for emergencies, you and your family may avoid unpleasant situations, whether emergencies or not.

What do you keep in your car for emergencies and other unexpected situations?

More on cars:
Organize an Emergency Kit for Your Car
Getting Organized for School - Cleaning out the Car
Decluttering Your Car

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Helping Your Child Declutter Toys Before Christmas

This is a great time of year to encourage your child to declutter his/her toys - before being inundated with more! Before a birthday is another good time to declutter. Even three- and four-year olds can grasp the concepts of outgrown toys, generosity, and order.

How to encourage your child to get rid of excess:

- Help your child envision giving toys to a younger friend or sibling, a disadvantaged child, your church or a charity.
One of our foster daughters kept picturing her clothes making a younger child happy, which motivated her to get rid of four bags of clothes!

- Be sensitive to your child's sentimental favorites, yet help him learn to discriminate between favorites and toys that have lost their appeal.

- If your child is having difficulty, make it a two-step process. One of our daughters agreed to putting a bag of stuffed animals in the attic. After several months, she was able to part with many of them.

- Determine ahead of time how much toy storage your child's room will allow or how much storage you will allow. These may be two different things! Just because a room has space, doesn't mean it needs to be jam-packed! When you're out of storage space, toys must be discarded or put away. (We put a way two-thirds of our girls' toys and swapped out toys three times a year.)

- Create limits - so many of one type of toy. If a new one comes in, an old one goes out.

- Discard broken toys or those that have missing pieces.

If your child declutters a couple of times a year, excess will be controlled, and her room will be manageable and pleasant.

Here are a couple of interesting places to send discarded items:

EcoEncore.org will take used hardback books, CDs, DVDs, software and games. These items are then resold with the profits going to environmental groups that help protect waterways, forests, shorelines, hiking trails and more. Be sure to take a look at their guidelines before sending anything.

Cottonfrombluetogreen.org - Donate old jeans and your denim will be recycled into insulation to be used for rebuilding areas struck by natural disasters. To start a denim drive, use the contact form on the website.

More help on organizing your child's room:
Three Steps to Organizing Your Child's Room - Creating a Fun and Functional Room for Your Child

Magnetic Paint - An Innovative Space Saver!
Organizing Legos - Or Not
Organizing "Messy" Toys

Monday, November 9, 2009

What Every Medicine Cabinet Needs

I came across this report by Eva Brown of ABC Channel 15 in Arizona about what we need in our medicine cabinets. Thought it might be helpful.

"Is a flu shot the end-all-be-all of preventative measures or how else can we make sure we stay healthy to enjoy the amazing fall festivities?

It’s said that a disorganized desk reflects a disorganized mind so, what does your cluttered medicine cabinet say about your health? You always hear there are good germs and bad germs but how do you distinguish them, and what does that mean anyway? Dr. Susan Jewell shares the right remedies for a happy and healthy family.

Reviewing and restocking your medicine cabinet

The medicine cabinet is a great central location for everything you need to both protect yourself and treat common winter ailments.

Making sure it stocked with the essentials and ridding it of expired medications is a simple way to keep healthy all year long.

Dr. Jewell suggests you keep the following items in your medicine cabinet.

1. A multivitamin to take in addition to healthy diet and exercise routine
2. Aspirin
3. Cough medicines called antitussives
4. Decongestants
5. Antihistamines
6. Cortisone
7. Gauze
8. Band aids
9. Tweezers
10. Thermometer
11. Alcohol wipes
12. Disinfectant
13. Adhesive tape.

After all, nothing is worse than having to run out to the drugstore in the middle of the night for cough and cold relief!"

I always keep triple antibiotic cream, Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen in my medicine cabinet, too.

Anything else you consider essential for your medicine cabinet?

More on medicine cabinets:
This is What I Call Using Wall Space!
National Preparedness Month - Emergency Kit #4 - First Aid Kit
Get Organizing Month - Decluttering Your Bathroom Storage

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fun Cranberry Sauce Shapes

Haven't you thought, as you've sliced cranberry sauce into the traditional slices, "Hmmm ... this is a little boring!" Here's a fun way to serve jellied cranberry sauce: cut sliced cranberry sauce into shapes using cookie cutters. I can't wait to try it this year!

Gently run a spatula around the edge of an opened can of cranberry sauce (jellied, not whole berry). You should be able to then shake the whole cylinder out onto a plate. Cut into 1/2- to 1-inch slices. Using small cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes.

Serving idea: using a spatula, gently place shapes on a leaf-lettuce-covered serving plate garnished with thinly sliced oranges.

Mix up the remaining pieces of cranberry sauce and serve in a bowl.

How do you dress up your holiday meals?

More clever cooking tips:

Substitute croutons for bread crumbs
Fun Food Tips
More Cooking Tips

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Destressing Christmas, Part 6, 2009 - Planning Holiday Meals

This is the first time in years that I will be cooking for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Other years, we have been off and have traveled to family for holidays. I'll enjoy creating some memories for our foster daughters, as well as having one of our daughters here. And we've invited others to join us as well. But it's a lot to think about, so it's important to be organized. Here are some thoughts:

- Determine which special holiday meals you’ll be preparing. Will you be hosting any parties?

- Decide what you will serve for each special meal or party. Make a list for each event. Make sure to have a balance of protein, starch, something green and something red/orange/yellow. Try to avoid a lot of last-minute or time-consuming recipes. (By the way, keep your list in front of you until after your meal. Have you every looked in the fridge after a meal and realize you forgot to serve something!?!)

- Do you have enough dinnerware, glasses, silverware, linens, and serving pieces?

- Are there some items you could prepare in advance - breads, desserts, cornbread for cornbread stuffing, etc.? Plan when you will cook some of these recipes and write it on your schedule, so you can space them out and avoid last-minute stress.

- If you are having guests, take them up on their offers to bring something!

- For each week during the holidays, plan your menus and make a shopping list. Try to go shopping only once a week to save those time-costly trips back to the grocery store. During such a busy time, try to piggy-back from one meal to another. Cook a roast, and use the leftovers for beef stroganoff, for example. Plan simple regular meals during the holiday season to reduce your stress level.

- Have some easy-to-prepare foods on hand if you have a disaster day: frozen ravioli, ingredients for wraps, and frozen chicken tenderloins, for example.

- Have some ideas in mind for using leftover turkey: chow mein, stir fry, pasta salads, etc. Use leftover ham in soups or pasta salads. Freeze extra turkey or ham in meal-size portions for a time when you are not weary of these meats.

Even though it takes time to plan your holiday meals and your regular meals, you’ll save yourself time and stress by organizing your menus. You won’t be making last-minute trips to the grocery store, you won’t forget ingredients, and you’ll have what you need.

You’ll be able to welcome your guests or have a special meal for your family without stressing! What a refreshing way to celebrate!

What are your favorite holiday recipes?

Leftover ideas:

Dinner in 10 - Chicken with Cranberry/Mandarin Sauce
Getting the Maximum Mileage out of Your Veggies
Cook It Once, Serve It Twice

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Keeping Track of Gift Purchases

Have you ever bought the same gift for the same person two years in a row? Or totally left someone off your list? Laura, an amazing organizer over at I'm an Organizing Junkie, offers a great way to keep track of gift purchases:

"I use a simple notebook that I use year after year. Each year I write the new year at the top of a blank page and then write the names of all the people I will need to buy gifts for, including birthdays and Christmas.

As I purchase items I mark what was purchased into my notebook so I have a running list of what was bought and still needs to be bought. This system has worked well for me for years. It’s easy to use, I can bring the notebook with me shopping if I need to, and it keeps me from buying duplicates as I can easily look to see what I purchased in previous years.

Not only do I not want to rely on this brain of mine to just remember that kind of stuff but by writing it down I am freeing up all kinds of
mental clutter. Awesome!"

Aren't those great ideas? Thanks, Laura! I'm thinking I need to put this system onto my phone!

How do you keep track of gifts you've purchased?

More on Christmas Shopping:
Destressing Christmas, Part 3, 2009 - Smart Gift-Giving
10 Ways to Streamline Your Shopping
TimeCoupon Sources

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Christmas Shopping Ideas from 1-2-3...Get Organized Plus a 10% Discount

Now that Halloween is over, stores are filled with Christmas items. Many places I shopped had Christmas items out before Halloween! The fact is, though, we do need to think about buying gifts now in order to reduce the stress and chaos.

If you'd like to shop from home for useful gifts, here are some ideas.
Or get yourself organized before the holidays. Or be ready to rethink your life in January. And do it at 10% off through November 30 plus free shipping on orders over $25.

Christmas shopping:
- for the new cook: Hassle Free Dinners, Three Steps to Planning Dinner

- for newlyweds: Three Steps to Organizing Your Kitchen, Three Steps to Clever Cleaning, Three Steps to Decluttering, Three Steps to Planning Dinner, Hassle Free Dinners (see our packages)

- for college students: Three Steps to Time Management for the College Student, Three Steps to Clever Cleaning, Three Steps to Decluttering, (see our packages)

- for recent college grads: Three Steps to Time Management, Three Steps to Time Management at the Office, Three Steps to Organizing Your Office, Three Steps to Clever Cleaning, Three Steps to Organizing Your Kitchen, Three Steps to Planning Dinner, Three Steps to Decluttering

- for new moms: Three Steps to Organizing Your Child's Room, Three Steps to Time Management for the Stay-at-Home Mom, Three Steps to Time Management for the Working Mom, Three Steps to Time Management for the Single Mom, Three Steps to Planning Dinner,
Three Steps to Decluttering

- for the person needing to downsize: Three Steps to Downsizing to a Smaller Residence, Three Steps to Decluttering

- for the person in transition: Rethinking Life coaching session, any of the Time Management books

- for anyone: Gift Certificates

Getting Organized for the Holidays:
- Three Steps to Decluttering
- Three Steps to Clever Cleaning
- Three Steps to Organizing Your Kitchen
- Three Steps to Organizing Your Child's Room
- Three Steps to Organizing Your Office
- Any of the Time Management books

Rethinking Your Life in January:
- Any of the Time Management books
- Rethinking Life coaching session

Books are available as printed books and ebooks. If you'd like to send an ebook as a gift, write the name and email address of the recipient in the comment box as well as the date you'd like the gift to be emailed.

To get your 10% discount, use the code: 123NOV

Happy stress-free shopping!