10 Page Free PDF On Creating a Haven for Your Guests on the Holidays!

Creating a haven For Your Gues (1)

Entertaining during the holidays doesn’t have to be super stressful! Sharing your home is one of the most rewarding gestures you can make toward the ones you love. But, if you turn into a screeching maniac when guests are arriving it won’t be much fun for anyone. I do know a recipe that works during the holidays when you have guests visiting! It requires a pinch organization, a large dash of preparation and a huge open heart that’s not focused on perfection, but on the intention of being hospitable.

This PDF on Creating a Haven for Your Guests will help you to get organized and get ready for a memorable visit! Feel free to share it and start sending out those invites!

Download (PDF, 12.43MB)

7 Simple Tips for Moms On Getting It Done!

Basketball Team Sports Poster

Do you feel like you’re constantly scrambling to get it all done? I don’t think we ever really get it all done and if we do there’s usually a heavy price to pay physically and mentally. There’s always more to do, right? But, there are things we need to get done for our lives to run smoother. I find working two part-time jobs, driving my kid to dance 3 days a week plus Nutcracker rehearsal on the weekends, finding time to write, feed us, clean the house, volunteering and a host of other things can leave me feeling depleted and lashing out under the guise of being overwhelmed. Just looking at my unfinished yard can throw me into a tailspin, so what to do?

Here are 3 simple tips on how to get it done without completely losing your mind!

  1. Create Time Blocks: Setting aside chunks of designated time allows you to concentrate on that one thing you’re trying to accomplish. Even if you can’t finish it in one day, time blocking helps you make concrete steps toward completing your goal or project. For example, I need to clean the backyard for a party I’m hosting in November. I’m setting aside an hour and a half on Saturday, Tuesday for the next two weeks from 4:30-6:00 pm. I’ll mark it on my calendar and set an alarm on my phone for a reminder. I’ll get the yard finished without being completely overwhelmed in time for the party.
  2. Think About How You Can Help your Future Self: This may sound weird, but I’m prone to procrastination, so asking myself how I can help my future self is huge when it comes to me getting it done. When I’m ready to go to bed without preparing for next day, I ask myself, “how will this impact future Chere’s day?” So, if I decide not to prep for the next day, the morning is usually hurried, I’m crabby and rushed making for a not so great morning. But, if lunch is made, breakfast is planned, clothes are out and coffee is pre-set, I wake up feeling ready for the day. Asking yourself this simple question is a self-motivator to get it done.
  3. Time Your Chores: If you know how long it typically takes to get something done  it makes it easier to plan your day. For example, set a timer when you clean your living room. Once your finished take note of how long it takes you to finish. Of course this can vary, but it gives you an estimate on the time block you need to set aside to get it done.
  4. Say No: No is not a bad word. No can be a life saver. Saying no when you are overscheduled and overwhelmed will preserve your mental, emotional, and physical health. If you’re saying yes to everything there is no white space to simply enjoy life and to focus on the people, projects and things that need your attention.
  5. Plan Out Your Week By Writing it Down: This seems like a no brainer, but it is such a simple step that can really organize our lives. Pick some time during Sunday or even Monday and write down everything you have to do for the week. I suggest including appointments, work commitments, extracurricular activities, household chores, etc. and then hang it somewhere you can see it. Having your to do’s in writing helps keep you on the right track.
  6. Unplug: In this tech savvy world we can easily be sucked into our phones, social media, and the internet. Be proactive and intentional about unplugging during your day. Put the phone away and you’ll be surprised how much you can get finished!
  7. Let Perfectionism Go! Trying to be perfect will slowly drive you insane. perfectionism keeps you in a state of discontentment because you’re always trying to do it better. Get it as good as it can get and move on. Life isn’t perfect. Striving for perfectionsim robs us from the joy of this imperfect life! If you done it is okay! The world will not stop spinning and everyone will survive!

Lastly make sure you ask for help! Get the kids involved, don’t be a supermom and reach out for help when you need it! Learn how to minimize, prioritize and rest as well!

Free PDF Cheat Sheet For Keeping Your Digital Files Tidy!

There are a whole lot of you out there who want to get your digital files organized! I created a quick cheat sheet of 3 Simple Steps to Organizing Your Digital Files &  suggestions for folders and subfolders. Hope this helps!

Download (PDF, 198KB)

3 Simple Ways To Tidy Up & Organize Your Computer Files

Digital Organization

Unless you live on another planet most of us work on our computers daily, whether it is for our jobs or for personal use. We store important documents, pictures, medical records, just about everything on digital devices. When you open up your documents on your computer are your overwhelmed with the massive amount ‘stuff’ you’re storing? Does it take you forever to find what you need? Here are 3 simple ways to organize your computer files that will make life a little easier!

  1. Delete, Delete, and Delete! The very first step is to go through each document and delete what you don’t need. Before you can organize your files you have to get rid of the stuff that is just taking up space. This may be time-consuming so set aside a big chunk of time to work on deleting files or spread it out over a few days.
  2. Create Folders: Many of us keep  file folders for physical documents so why wouldn’t we maintain folders for our digital documents. Folders make it super easy to find exactly what you’re searching for quickly.Create a list of folders that correlate to your documents.

    Below is a list of some folders you may want to create:

    -Automobile Folder
    -Insurance Folder-Car insurance, maintenance records, title, etc.
    Home Insurance Folder
    Life Insurance Folder
    Financial Folders-Invoices, paystubs, retirement, etc.
    Bill Folder-Credit card statements, utilties, loans, etc.
    Medical Insurance– You may want to create seperate folders for each child’s medical documents or create one folder labeled Medical History placing subfolders inside with each family member’s name.
    Legal Folder-Court documents
    Work Folder-If you have more than one job create seperate folders for each. Create a personal career fold that include employee contracts, severance agreements, correspondence, client contact information, resume, cover letters and references.
    Tax Folder-Tax returns, payment plans, etc.
    School Records-Report cards, correspondence, special events.
    Art Work Folder-Moms, we can’t keep the millions pieces of artwork our kids bring home. Scan it if you can and make an art work folder for each child.
    Mortgage/Rent Folder-Deeds, leases, phone numbers for maintenance, etc.
    Home Management Folder– House organization, chores, meal plans, etc.
    Phone and Address Folder– List of emergency numbers, relatives, friends, etc.
    Photo Folder-If you have a ton of photos try arranging them in an order that makes sense for example by event, year, etc.,

  3. Back up Your Files: If you’ve ever been on the end of a computer crash it is terrifying! The thought of everything being lost is enough to put you on the road to a nervous breakdown! Don’t put yourself through it! There are a few ways to backup your files. You can 1) Use a Flash Drive; 2) Back up to an external drive, or many experts say to use 3) Cloud Storage. Check out the pros and cons of each method and what works best for you.

There you go, 3 simple ways to get your computer files in tip top shape!  One last super important tip is to use the system! No organization system works if you don’t use it, right? So, try to automatically put your documents in files or dedicate 15 minutes a week to digital organization. Proper document storage is a simple way for you to stay organized and put less stress on your daily life!

Make Your Evening Routine Work For Your Morning Video!

Some Tips To Start Your School Year Off With Ease!

I hope all your lovebugs will have  a great kick off to the new school year! Single moms know the morning can be a challenge when you’re trying to get the kids out the door along with yourself. Here are a few tips on making your routine easier that have worked for me.

  1. Prepare lunches the night before. Some lunch items you can prepare for the week. For example, if you pack fruit, prepack your fruit in 5 ziplock bags for the week. Then you can just grab them and throw them in the lunchbox. Whatever you can pre-baggie for the week do it!

  2. Getting dressed is half the battle. If your child wears a uniform to school have them washed for Sunday for the week and simply hang them up to be ready to go  for the week. This will work for you too! Think about what you want to wear during the week and have it ready to go!

3.Prepare bookbags the night before. Make sure the homework is in the bookbag and the bags are near the door or in a closet ready to grab. Try to get the kids  into the habit of putting their books into their bookbag once they’re finished with their homework.

  1. Purchase a dry erase board calendar and hang it where everyone can see it. Make this central command! On this calendar put all classes, PTA meetings, field trips, and special homework projects due. If you find one that has a cork board use it to post invitations, permission slips, etc.

  2. I’m a  big advocate of eating around the dinner table so preparing a menu for the week keep us from ordering out. During the weekend talk about what dinners you want for the week. But the food, slice and dice veggies ahead of time, and try to prepare a couple meals for the week so you can just heat it up and skip all the prep time. Also remember that the slow cooker is your friend, utilize it as much as you can.

  3. If your kids have activities after school, like mine does make sure those uniforms are clean and packed in a separate bag for the week. For example, my daughter takes ballet on Monday, so on Sunday I have her ballet gear packed in her ballet bag and in my car so we are sure not to forget it.

Preparation is key to getting out of the door on time! Make your mornings less stressful with just a few extra worthwhile steps!

Guest Post! Simple Household Management For Single Mothers

Being a single mother is certainly a great challenge, as you need to overcome the obstacles all by yourself and to manage to educate your children in the best possible way. The role of the parent is difficult enough and single mothers need to be armed with a lot of patience and strength when their daily routine is concerned. Apart from the cares around their children, single mothers also need to organize the household management in an effective way. Sometimes this turns out to be tiring, especially when they are too preoccupied with other issues such as helping the kids with their homework, or managing with other tasks connected with their work.

 

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Thanks to this ultimate guide for single mothers you will be able to explore new ways in which to manage with the basic chores, even when your schedule is too tight.

Here are some innovative ideas that will definitely facilitate your schedule:

Establish Strict Schedule for the Household Duties

 It would be much easier if you have a schedule with the cleaning duties that you need to provide. This way you can fit other arrangements and you will become more organized and effective when managing with your tasks. Even if you are too busy during the week, make sure that you leave at least half an hour per day to check whether your rooms need some basic cleaning. Do not leave all the household chores for the weekend because two days are usually not enough to take up with all the tasks and to relax in the same way.

Involve the Children in the Household Chores

 Although you cannot completely count on children’s help when cleaning is concerned, they will help you to maintain your home sparkling clean. Ask them to be supportive and to handle some basic duties while you are at work or when you are preoccupied with other tasks. If you can count on your children for the household management, you will quickly find out that possessing shiny and well arranged home is possible even for single mothers.

Use Homemade Cleaning Products

Single mothers often have tight monthly budgets which is why the can turn to a cost effective decision when cleaning is concerned. Instead of spending a fortune on commercial cleaning products that often turn out to be ineffective, you can try to create homemade cleaners, that apart from being less expensive are also all natural. You can use natural products such as baking soda, white vinegar, borax and lemon juice- they are the basic ingredients in a wide range of green cleaning recipes.

Turn The Household Management Into A Fun Experience

 Do not feel depressed if you fail to manage with the cleaning tasks – after all every single mother deserves to take a break and to leave some time for relaxation. Turning your household management into a fun experience will definitely save you up a lot of nerves. Be a team with your children and find pleasure in the tiny cleaning tasks that you are required to do on a regular basis.

Organizing excellent household management for single mothers is possible in case you take into account the tips mentioned above. Single mothers often sacrifice their free time to provide the utmost care for their kids and for the house, without realizing that they also need a moment for relaxation. It is true that single mothers face a lot of difficulties but when they are organized and motivated they will be able to handle the household management in an excellent way. As long as single mothers make a suitable schedule for their duties they won’t meet difficulties in managing with the chores.

The article is contributed by Edna Thomson from MainCleaners Mill Hill

Kids Organization Tip…Keep Those Little Toys Contained!

You know what drives me crazy? Little toys. I can deal with normal size to even over-sized toys but those little toys…oy vey! Unfortunately, my daughter seems to enjoy them and is a serious collector. The biggest craze for her at this moment are the Shopkins and guess what? There are around 120 of them to collect! Yes, lucky me! But, I have found a way to contain these little buggers!

If you have the same issue as I do with the little trinkets that come into your house, or if your daughter is collecting a 100 Shopkins like mine you may want to pick  up these little containers for a $1 at Target. I found them in those bins that have random items for $1-$3 that are usually found in the front of the store. There are different shapes and sizes, but they really are perfect for containing those pesky little toys!

Shopkins are cuter in here rather than on my floor with me stepping on them!

Shopkins are cuter in here rather than on my floor with me stepping on them!

Tips for Living Clutter-Free with Kids- A Guest Post!

In case the cleaning of the house has always been a tedious task for you, just wait until you have to disinfect everything with your kids around. It seems impossible to keep everything in order when your little ones are constantly running around leaving all kinds of things here and there. You keep finding stuff in every room of your house and even after a deep cleaning the place still seems messy.

There is no need to panic because we can provide you with a solution to this problem. All you need is a good organisation and a little time, and you will have a clutter-free home. Leave the kids to play all they want and focus your attention on the cleaning and organizing of all of your possessions.

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The cares for the children certainly take a lot of time. You often feel exhausted and when you have a couple of hours for yourself you just want to sit back and relax. Unfortunately, there is no time for that because you also have to take care of your house and its good looks. You will probably feel tempted to just collect everything, throw it out and get it over with but there is something else you could try as well. During the cleaning, you will notice that you have all kinds of useless things which only take valuable space. This means that it is time to declutter your home and organise everything. Here is how you can achieve that:

  • Find a special place for every object – You’ve probably heard this a million times before but it is truly a very important rule. Can you admit that you know where every object in your home is at the moment? This could be very hard, especially when your kids keep moving things around all the time. That is why you have to organise everything once and for all and take the time to explain to your kids the importance of that order. You can designate a special place for the toys, the photos, special collections and similar other things which are known as most problematic ones. Your kids have to learn that every time they take something, they have to put it back later in the same place.
  • Don’t keep things you don’t need – It is hard to part with some things which have a sentimental value for us. In order to be more organised, though, you have to learn to keep only the things that you truly need or cherish. When it comes to the kids, there are a lot of things which need your attention. From broken toys to school papers and pictures, it is best to find the time to sort through that stuff regularly. This will save you a lot of time and you can easily keep things in order.
  • Make your kids help you – It is very important to teach your kids to be responsible, especially when it comes to their own messes. Except the cleaning and organisation of their rooms, you can also ask them to participate in the disinfection of the rest of the house. This way they will realise that it is really important to keep the house clean and organised constantly.

After every major cleaning you will probably end up with piles of old clothes, shoes, old toys and various other items. This is the perfect time to get rid of all of those things that you don’t need any more and free some space in your home. You can donate some of your possessions which are preserved in good condition. You will feel better because you can help other people and declutter your home at the same time.

The article is kindly contributed by Edna Thomson who runs a company which provides building services in Vauxhall.