What Mom REALLY wants for Mother’s Day

Mother's Day

 

Mother’s Day is the second Sunday in May. Families celebrate this special day in all different ways.  Before you purchase an extravagant and expensive gift, think about your Mom and what she loves!

 

According to the 5 Love Languages, your mom could be one who loves the sort of gifts related to acts of service, quality time, words of affirmation, recieving gifts or physical touch, or a combination of these.

  • Acts of service is doing something for mom, such as vacuuming the living room.
  • Mom may love quality time together such as taking a walk or spending time together. Many Moms want all their chicks together on this day.
  • Words of affirmation are telling mom how amazing she is at a specific task or project.  Moms love to hear that you appreciate a special or every day talent.
  • Mom may like a small gift from you.  It can be homemade with love.
  • A hug may be just what mom wants if she loves physical touch.
  • Any one of these can be shared in a way that keeps clutter minimized.  Which is why a gift may not be what Mom wants.

 

One day is not enough to celebrate Mom!  Once you know her love language, use and apply this throughout the year.  Moms work hard all year long and being appreciated is what is a great gift too!

 

 

 

 

30 Things to Declutter in 30 Days Winter Edition

30 things to declutter in winter

 

Winter brings us time to be indoors and work on our home or office.  It’s a great time to declutter because we realize how much we have and how much we use.  There’s many items that are easy to declutter once we decide that they are well used and ready to move on.  Here’s the winter edition of 30 things to declutter in 30 days.

 

1. Single mittens or gloves

2. Kids’ winter coats that have been outgrown

3. The extra zip in lining of a coat you never zip in

4. Too tight long underwear

5. Turtle neck shirts that are too hot to wear

6. Itchy sweaters

7.  Single slippers or slippers that are beyond repair or use

8. Extra flannel sheets

9. Winter boots that are too small

10. Extra wire or plastic hangers

11. Extra cans of soup or other pantry items

12. Recycling that has built up

13. Extra linens that overload your closet

14. Smalll appliances that have been replaced with a newer model

15. Excessive grocery paper or plastic bags

16. Snowpants that are too small

17. Hoodie attachment you don’t attach

18. Summer clothes you did not wear last summer

19. Stained or torn hoodies or sweatshirts

20. Makeup over a year old

21. Cough or cold medicine that has expired

22. Pots or pans that are scratched, stained or ruined

23. Mugs you seldom or never use

24. Mismatched glasses

25. Too many plastic cups

26. Broken pairs of glasses and sunglasses

27. Freezer foods past their prime

28. Almost empty bottles of cleaning products

29. Extra boxes that are taking up space

30.  Electronics to recycle

 

That’s our round up for this month! Now you are in the decluttering habit! Make this last by taking one category a day to the next step, whether it’s to donate, sell, gift, or trash.  It’s keeping items leaving your home or office that makes for a better organized home or office.

 

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Morning Routines That Calm The Family Chaos

 


 

Last week we joyfully subbed in for our kids as we got our grand kiddos off to school. While we had this job full time many years ago, it’s a new world currently to keep mornings calm and productive.  It’s takes planning and organization to get the day started with positive energy and organization.  Here’s some tips we learned for morning routines that will calm the family chaos.

 

Do as much as you can the night before

I share this news a lot!  Do as much as you can to prepare the night before. That means setting up a station for making lunch with clean lunch boxes, prepared snacks all set, and your napkin note ready to put in the lunch box.  Backpacks should be completely ready at the back door and all devices charging in a common charging station.  While this may be difficult after a busy and long day, it has huge pay off.

 

Get to bed early

It’s tempting to complete unfinished projects or have “me” time at the end of the day.  The quiet evening helps us feel more productive and less distracted.  It definitely derails the next day if you go to bed late.  The later it gets, the harder it is to get to sleep too.  Be sure to get in bed early so you have a great night’s rest. Morning will come quickly and you need the energy and brain power that getting to bed early offers.

 

Start early

Busy parents benefit from getting an early start. Get up 30 – 60 minutes earlier than your family.  That early start is a positive for you.  You have undistracted time to focus on yourself. Its the time you can devote to exercise, devotionals or your gratitude journal.  It gives you time for yourself and gets you ready for the day both physically and mentally.  You can be dressed and ready and then ready to work with your family.

 

Family huddle

Spend the last few minutes of your time together finalizing all the details of the day and giving encouragement to your family.  Take 5 minutes to go through each kiddos back pack and be sure it’s all together. Spend 5 more mintues sharing how it’s going to be an amazing day, how grateful you are for each kiddos’ gifts, and giving a big hug.  You and your family benefit from a positive send off.

 

It’s a blessing to you and your family as you start the day with positive energy, a calm spirit and a well organized family.   Work at your routines to create easy ways for these 4 tips to be a part of your daily routine. A little organization has a big pay off!

 

 

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#Grateful

 

#Grateful

 

The holiday season begins with a festival of gratitude. Thanksgiving officially began in 1863 in the midst of the Civil War.  President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.  While this has been a more difficult year than most, Thanksgiving brings families together for food, fun and thoughtful reflection. What are you #grateful for this year?

 

What’s your perspective on gratitude?

In the most troubling of times, it’s good to know your motivations. Knowing what’s at your core and what makes you do what you do,  that’s why you are grateful.  What’s your why, by Simon Sinek, is a strategy to drill down on why, how and what compelling reasons come together to drive your passion and lead others. This is especially important for your family. When you understand what’s most important to you and how it’s a part of your every day life, gratitude jumps out!  See if you can drill down to know these passions in what you do and why you do it.

The Values in Action (VIA) assessment is another tool to find your core.  The VIA assesses values, like honesty, loyal, appreciation of beauty.  To me, these values are essential in shaping our daily life. Our values are put into place in how we work with others, enjoy your physical space and connect with our spirituality.

Why you do what you do, what your values are and how you put these strengths into action is the basis for gratitude. It’s the lense and perspective that you view life.

 

How do you share how #Grateful you are?

There’s so many simple ways to express gratitude. It’s when a car in a fast food line pays it forward for the car behind.  A simple handwritten note expressing gratitude after a loss or because of a gift.  A gratitude journal or morning prayer bring you daily thoughtful thankfulness. Use your strengths to include habits daily that help you  experience the joy of gratitude.

Circling back to your “why”, your family, colleagues and community are places to be a #grateful leader.  Gratitude multiplies when it is shared.  This year I have the privilege and honor of leading my association.  I am grateful for collaboration, connection and communication with my friends and colleagues.  Where can you take the lead for those around you to share gratitude?  Are you ready for your family to experience more gratitude by helping at a community philanthropy?  Is your work ready to share it’s blessings with a community food drive or shared work day? Look around you and find a way to share gratitude with your community.

 

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

 

 

Hugs and Happy Organizing: Boy’s Room

hugs and happy organizing boy's room

 

Hugs and happy organizing are client success stories.  Here’s a story about a boy’s room. 

 

Kids spaces and rooms can be chaotic, overwhelming and stuffed to the brim.  More toys and games come in after each holiday and birthday.  Overnight your child seems to grow an inch and clothes are too small.  Here’s how to conquer this cluttered space.

  • Start with putting “like items” together. Match up the games together, electronics together, clothes together and crafts together.  When you see all the items together, it’s easier to make decisions on what to keep and what to let go.
  • Start small with your child if he/she is going to be a part of the team. Work together for 30 minutes to know what is most important and what to keep.  If your child wants to keep everything, think of this as a treasure hunt, set a limit with a number they suggest, or use a hula hoop to define an area of work.
  • As the parent, you help your child to learn organization, how to take care of and value your belongings and how to declutter. Establishing an orderly space helps your child in having a serene, peaceful rest spot each evening.
  • Let go of MORE.  It’s a powerful lesson to know that your space can offer clarity for you and your child.
  • Sentimentality is the biggest challenge. Store keepsakes in the top of your child’s closet or an organizer under your child’s bed.
  • Schedule decluttering before your child’s birthday, before a holiday and before back to school.  Increased order will benefit you all!

 

More hugs and happy organizing stories here!

3 Ways to Get Dinner on the Table

 

 

3 steps to get dinner on the table

 

There’s nothing more exciting than getting home and smelling yummy dinner!  Whether you are the parents and kids, living with roommates, or living alone, getting dinner on the table makes a difference every day. It’s about self care and care for others.   Taking care of ourselves and our family, we nourish our bodies and our community with dinner together. How can we make getting dinner on the table easy? There’s lots of organizing steps to getting dinner ready.  There’s planning, shopping, preparing and clean up. Here’s some easy steps to short cut and dinner help is here.

 

Beginner’s guide to meal planning

Getting dinner on the table is no accident. It requires a plan.  A meal plan approach makes sure you have what you need, when you need it and with healthy options.  The plan starts with knowing how many meals you need to plan.  It also requires a balance of veggies, fruits, proteins and carbs.   The more colorful your plate, the healthier.  Having a plan means that you will have the ingredients on hand to prepare.

  • Start with just one of the food groups.  Start with proteins and work around this.  Pair the same protein with many different veggies or fruits.  When you start with only one food group it’s less overwhelming to create your dinner plan.
  • The family dinner list is a family friendly way to plan dinner. Your family shares with you 12 ideas that they will all eat for dinner. It can be super duper simple, like grilled cheese or baked potatoes, or taco bar. The idea is to have your family gather, share and then eat. Keep this list and the necessary ingredients handy when you shop.
  • The Family Dinner Project gets you started with the online dinner program, Food, Fun and Conversation: 4 Weeks to Better Family Dinners.   This guide helps you make family dinners a household staple in just four weeks. This free guide includes healthy recipes, dinner activities and loads of conversation starters.
  • Pantry staples and a freezer inventory make meal planning easier. What’s already here to use?
  • Short cut meal planning using a pre-set menus and prepped ingredients like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron or other meal kits. 

 

Ready, set, shop

Now it’s time to get the goods.  Create a list and shop by store. Make it digital so everyone who is out of the house can shop. Cozi, AnyList, and OurGroceries all have easy to use online lists that are accessible by you and your shopping buddy. Use online coupons from the stores you typically shop. A shopping trick that helps is to shop that same day every week. You can shop twice a week and always have milk. Belong to a  Automate non-perishable delivery with Amazon Subscription and your toilet paper arrives regularly.  Remember to:

  • Always bring a list.
  • Organize your list by aisle. The perimeter of the store is where essentials are purchased.
  • Stick to your list.

 

Quick and easy preparation

Can you make dinner in 15 minutes or less? Can you make a day of making dinner?  What’s your quick and easy hack to get dinner on the table?  Take help to get dinner on the table by partnering with your kids, partner, or those in the vicinity.  Use short cuts from the grocery store with prepped or frozen veggies.  Prep what you can one day a week and store in the plastic ware ready to use.  Just like other routines, getting dinner on the table requires thinking ahead.  Get your protein ready by defrosting the night before in the refrigerator.

  • Make a no- cook dinner that requires only assembly. Try cold foods, like sandwiches or salads for dinner.
  • Prep all the veggie on Sunday.
  • Early prep with a slow cooker for all day cooking.
  • Instapot cooking speeds up your dinner.
  • Prep and cook on a weekend.  Consolidating all the work of dinner makes for a quick evening dinner.
  • Have your partner cook the protein on one day. All you need is sides!

 

What’s your biggest take away from getting dinner on the table? Family dinner together! It’s the opportunity to review the day, learn what’s happening for each of you, and a time to connect. It’s time to cook dinner together and learn a new skill. It’s really not about the food. It’s about the time together!

 

More dinner ideas here! 

After the Flood Decluttering and Organizing

 

After the Flood decluttering and organizing

 

In the past few weeks we have seen decluttering and organizing in sad circumstances.  Families and businesses have suffered great losses due to flooding.  Families and businesses have reached out across the country to supply those in need with items they are letting go of.  The catastrophic circumstances have lead to an all time new attetion to decluttering and organizing.  In reflection, the response to life altering circumstances is letting go and decluttering.

 

Holding onto things

There have been lots of reasons in the past that we have been holding onto things.  There’s emotional attachment, unrealized value, and that “just in case” thinking.  When we see that our things have been ruined, we feel regret.  Several of my clients mentioned that although it was necessary to let go of items in their homes after the floods, it still was hard despite these being ruined. Despite, the blessings of help during the flood, it was still difficult to bag up clothes and home goods.  There’s an art to letting go.

 

Emergencies don’t give us time to process holding onto things and why. In a quick decision, regrets occur.  Let’s remember that grief is a part of holding onto things and that grief can resurface later despite the most awful of circumstances.  It takes time for perspectives to shift in holding onto things.

 

Letting go of things

“When natural disasters of this magnitude strike, they bring out the best impulses in many of us. We feel empathy for the victims and an urge to reach out and help them in any way we can, ” according to Psychology Today.  We want to help by giving.  Most encouraging has been the financial donations for those in need.  There are many local and national agencies to give donations for these emergencies.

 

It’s also a reminder to ourselves that disaster can happen to anyone and anywhere.  When we see that our friends, neighbors and families have suffered through the loss, we know that we could be experiencing the same.  It’s a prompting to us to use this new awareness in a positive light and let go of our own things too.

 

Difficult times take time to process. Whether you experienced flooding as either a helper or a victim, take time to tell your story, share your experience and reflect on the new perspectives after the flood.

Lessons Learned From Hurricane Harvey

 

 

Lessons learned from Hurricane Harvey

It’s been a rough week in Kingwood (suburb of Houston), Texas. We have seen rain for days followed by epic flooding.  While it’s been a scary, sad, chaotic, unprecedented week, there are always lessons to learn when life takes you on a spin to Plan B (or C.) Here are the lessons I learned this week from my life in Kingwood after Hurricane Harvey

 

#HoustonStrong #KingwoodStrong

  1. Stand up and be counted! You can do this! You got this! Hastag or not, Houston shows it’s underlying strength in times of adversity. The hashtag has surfaced everywhere showing us to be tough but big hearted and strong enough to face what it takes to rebuild our city. Being strong takes courage however we know we can rebuild our city. Our stengths comes from knowing how to work hard, be kind, and take on what comes our way.

 

Team Up

Many hands make for light work. That’s especially the case when disaster strikes. Having a team not only eases up on the work itself, it also helps with the stress. Research shows that surrounding yourself with positive people, energy and conversations makes hard situations easier.  When you are together, process the situation, make it fun and also get work done.  It’s overwhelming and endless when you are undoing the damage of flooding.  Be the person that turns things upside down and make team work happen. Think about how to be a part of the solution! In our community local churchs banded together to aid families in need.  Food was available all over the community.  Boaters from the “Cajan Armada” rescued our people over and over.  Find a fit for your strenghs and share the work and fun.

 

Find the good

It’s not always easy to find the good. It can be distracting when traffic snarls while getting to your home to clean up.  It’s an emotional roller coaster when you are working on your home and emptying all your first flood onto your lawn.  Find a way to find the good.  Here’s the little things I noticed in the last 2 days that helped me find the good in our community.

  • A “corner store” on the corner of 2 streets, giving away from cleaning supplies, food and supplies.
  • ” A boat came and got us,” driven by the Cajun Armada, people from Louisiana who knew the devastation a hurrican causes. Thousands were rescued by these men and women.
  • Families helping families rip up flooring.  Kids, moms and dads working together to help other families that they had not met.
  • Chain saws, manned by anyone and everyone, ripping through trees making passage ways available
  • Free food, supplies, and support at every corner in our community.

 

There’s never a good time for disaster. Our country has been through a lot this year.  Texans are showing what it’s like to be strong, stay positive, and make a difference by helping others in our community.

 

What lesson have you learned from Hurricane Harvey?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Organized, Productive Back to School

easy organized productive back to school

 

Back to school means school starts, activities gear up and nightly routines begin again.  While it is sad to see Summer end, we welcome getting back to school as a fresh start for our kids and ourselves. Let’s make it an easy, organized, productive year for our families at back to school time.

Easy, organized, productive routines

By far families feel the crunch most in the morning and evening. Mornings feel rushed with getting out the door. Evenings fly by with activities and dinner.

  • Create and keep a personal checklist for everyone to follow for morning and evening. Post it where your family each can see it. Parent nagging does not promote getting things done, while a checklist can.  The list includes the most basic and most important things to check off.  Keep it short and simple. However, it can include things can are easily forgotten like brushhing teeth and combing hair.
  • Pattern your day.  That is create a pattern, routine or time assigned for important tasks. Homework should have a set start and finish time.
  • Make meals easy.  Many families have opted for Sunday prep day, a dinner box, or dinner prep (and easy decisions) that arrives like Hello Fresh.
  • Make time for gratitude. During dinner or at bedtime are great times to share what we are grateful for, high and low points of the day, and a special acknowledgement for your kids’ and your successes each day.  There’s power in ending the day positively.

 

Easy, organized clothes and school supplies

There’s clothes, school supplies and other supplies required to start the school year.  Take stock and assess what you have already. This may require making a huge mess when gathering it all together. It’s worth it since you know what you have and purchase only what you need.

  • Think of creating a “uniform” for your kids to wear to school. Like the concept of the capsule wardrobe, use color and your child’s style to pull together a minimum number of outfits.  It will clear the closet clutter this way too!
  • Purchase your school supplies and 2 back ups for future use. Help your child set up their supplies for homework and for school.
  • Keep one bag for each child for each activity. Prep your landing strip by having enough sturdy hooks for each.
  • A productive day starts the night before.  Set your and your kids’ clothes out the night before.  Do as much as you can.  Se bags and backpacks in the landing strip and technology charging in a common space.  Make these steps part of your evening checklist.

 

Easy, organize, productive paper routines

On the first day of school, a tidal wave of paper comes in. Be prepared this year to be organize and productive with a command center for your papers.  The command center is where action papers are located.  The command center can be as simple as a single drawer or inbox or a series of categories customized for your family.

  • Your kids and you drop paper here daily.  You triage it and then add tasks to your list.
  • Once a week, or daily if you need to, spend one hour to get the paper work done. That means pay bills, fill in information, add dates to your calendar and all other administrative tasks.
  • When your “to file” is big enough, you can file it easily.
  • Your list can grow and grown, however choose 3 Most Important Tasks to complete that day or that week.

The key element to remember is keep it simple sweetie!  The easiest, simplest way to get organized is the way to go!  Wishing you the best back to school ever!

 

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Best Family Travel Tips

best family travel organizing tips

 

 

On a recent trip with my grandkids, I knew that we had entered a new age of organizing for families. We love the opportunity to travel with our grandkids and took the fun on the road.  It’s no longer just clothes and shoes to pack.  Now it’s multiple ipads, movies, chargers, medicines, hand sanitizer and more.  Here’s best family travel tips to make sure you are organized and ready for fun!

 

Start with a list

There’s simply too much to remember to pack for your family.  There are lots of lists available online or create your own checklist.  Our list includes all the details, no matter how small.  When you travel with kids you want to be sure you are prepared.  We added medicines and first aid supplies.  You can be sure your list is complete by adding items and reviewing it after your trip.

Create a family command center

When a family of 5 shares a hotel room, it can be chaotic.  It’s easy to lose the most important of items like money or tickets.  Create a command center with wallets, purses, and other important items.  This can be near the tv or by the mini refrigerator.  Unload your pockets or purse each night and restock each morning before you leave your accommodations.  Taking a few minutes to set this up and keep it orderly each day will make your travel more fun and less stressful.

Create a charging station

Just like at home, you want your devices ready to go in the morning.  We created a charging station for all devices.  We brought along 2 extra power strips to plug in all the devices.  Each device had it’s own charger.  I also have an extra charger for my phone during the day that I would recharge each evening.   Devices were plugged in each evening so everyone would get a good night’s rest too. Label each charger so you know who owns it and what device it belongs to.

 

As in all, travel keep the basics in mind as you pack.  A little organizing goes a long way!

 

An organized family is a happy family!