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.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Streamline Your Time in the Kitchen - Get Ready for Summertime Salads

Sorry I haven't written for a few days. My daughter, granddaughter and I took a few days to help my Mom celebrate her 80th birthday! I'll try to put some pictures up soon. What a special time it was to have four generations together! 

But back to reality now, and that means cooking dinner.

In planning my menus for this week, I selected a bunch of summer main-dish salads. To streamline the process, I baked a bunch of boneless skinless chicken tenderloins when I prepared dinner tonight. Just 15 minutes at 350 degrees in glass baking dishes, sprayed with cooking spray.

I'll be using all the chicken in the next few days, but it could be frozen in meal-size portions. I diced it all, so that step is done.

Here's what we had for dinner tonight - very quick and easy!

 Apple Chicken Slaw

1/2 cup poppy seed salad dressing
3 1/2 T. mayonnaise

4 cups cubed cooked chicken breast

8 cups coleslaw mix

2 medium apples, diced and dipped in orange juice

Lettuce leaves
1. In a small bowl, combine salad dressing and mayonnaise. 

2. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, coleslaw mix and apple. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Serve on lettuce-lined plates if desired. Serve with fresh veggies and/or bread if you wish.

4 generous servings

Lately, I've been doubling up on portions, so I only have to cook every other night. This salad keeps nicely, but most of the other salads I plan to make don't lend themselves to serving twice. But at least the chicken is ready! 

More quick summertime meals:

Simple Summer Meal

Quick, Easy Summertime Meal - Steak Salad

Quick and Tasty Chicken with Artichokes, and Mushrooms

Three Steps to Planning Dinner

Monday, June 18, 2012

Surely SOMEONE Can Use Your Unwanted Stuff!

Decluttering and know SOMEONE must have use of those things you no longer want? Enter The Stuff Shop

The Stuff Shop helps you match your stuff with groups who can use it. You can search by location or by the kind of stuff you have. 

More on donating:

Donating Business Clothing for Job Interviews

Animal Shelters Accept What Other Charities Can't Use

Donate Your Bikes to Youth Bike-Refurbishing Programs

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Declutter As If You Were Staging Your House

I found the following article by Pat Jeffries to be inspiring. How fun to pretend you're putting your house on the market and stage it accordingly! See what you think: 

"When you're preparing to put a house or condo on the market, you can find a slew of advice on how to make your home look its best for potential buyers. Most of the recommendations can be boiled down into a single word: Declutter. The idea is not just to make the home seem more spacious and inviting -- though streamlining certainly has that effect -- but also to clear out all the distractions and off-putting elements so that home shoppers can more easily picture themselves and their own possessions there.

Often, when a house is ready for sale, the owners realize it feels more beautiful and spacious than it's felt  for years. In fact, at least one couple in that situation (according to their home stager's account at MercuryNews.com) decided to pull their house off the market, just because it now looked so much more appealing.

 'When the job was done, they couldn't believe it was the same home they had been in for 20 years,' Toni Berry writes. 'They liked it so much that they backed out of the deal on the new place and decided to stay put.'

This suggests that one good way to approach decluttering is to look at your home as if you're staging it for sale. True, you'll want to keep it looking more personal than if it were really for sale, and there's a sharp line between serene and sterile (though any two of us may disagree on where that line runs). Still, when dealing with stuff, a change of perspective can help. And when you've finished staging, you can breathe a big sigh of relief that you're not really moving after all."

More on staging:

Tips for Staging Your Home for Sale

Realtor: Key to Selling Your Home

Three Steps to Decluttering (print or Kindle)

Monday, June 11, 2012

6 Ways to Prevent Yourself from Bringing Clutter Home

Hope you had a nice weekend. Ours was cold!! We even had snow on Saturday. Not exactly the June weather we were looking for! Here are some thoughts I had about preventing clutter from entering your house:

1. Don't order anything on eBay, Craig's List, infomercials, etc. at night. Wait until the next morning to see if you still love it.

2. Don't be pushed into buying because you have to act in the next ten minutes. The same deal will most likely come along again and again, with the same deadline. 

3. When you are shopping, ask yourself if you love it and if you need it. Just because it's on sale and is a great deal doesn't mean you need to bring it home with you.

4. Don't ever buy a high-ticket item without talking to your spouse, if applicable. I've known more than one person who has bought a car without consulting the spouse!

5. If you have a serious impulse-control problem, put a "want to buy" list on your fridge. Your item must stay at the top of the list for 30 days before buying it. If something comes along that you want more than #1 on your list, replace it with your new love. But it must stay #1 for 30 days before you buy it.

6. Don't do recreational shopping. Shop when you need to, with specific items in mind. When you shop recreationally, you inevitably find something you can't live without that you wouldn't have known existed otherwise. :)

Do you have ways to avoid bringing home clutter? 

More on avoiding clutter:

A Dozen Tips for Staying Clutter-Free in 2011

Beware - Stores Increase Clutter to Promote Impulse Buying

The Psychology Behind Hoarding


Monday, June 4, 2012

Get Organized for Your Vacation with Trip Doc App

My daughter, granddaughter and I will be traveling next month to celebrate my mom's 80th birthday! Four generations together - priceless! Speaking of traveling, here's a post to help you get organized for your vacation this summer.  
The following review by Jen Leo published in the LA Times describes an app that can store travel recommendations which can be viewed on a map or list. 

"This app offers a simple, no-frills way to store, sort and map places you want to visit on your next trip.

Name: Trip Doc

Available for: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad

What it does: Gives you a place to store travel recommendations for restaurants, hotels, activities, airports, museum, bus, train locations, information and more. Views as a map and a list, with directions and easy access to sharing via email.

Cost: $2.99

What's hot: This app was just what I needed, as family members and friends were emailing me suggestions for our upcoming family reunion in Oahu, Hawaii. I usually use Travel Muse for a day-by-day itinerary, but in this case, we weren't going to decide what to do until after we arrived. I found the quickest and easiest way to load our sightseeing and restaurant suggestions was to add them into Trip Doc on the website (after a free signup). Then, I could sign in to the app on my smartphone or iPad to view our options on the map and get directions. There was even a feature to keep notes so I could jot down who gave us the travel tip so I could thank them later.

What's not: As I was loading the suggestions via the website (and using the restaurant, activity and other categories), they showed up on the map as the same red pin. It would be nice if each category had its own color or themed icon. I got around this by adding a description, such as 'Boots & Kimo's Homestyle Kitchen | Breakfast.'

Worth it: I'll use this one again. It's great for planning must-see spots."

More on organizing for your vacation:

Peace-of-Mind Vacation Check List - What to Do Before You Leave

Organize Your Family Vacation

Helping Your Kids Pack for Vacation