Filed under: Home and Family
My friend and office manager, Jenny, purchased metal patio furniture for her deck about 6 years ago. Since then, the furniture has been affected by the elements and now has several rust spots.
Instead of throwing the items away, she sanded the furniture down (getting rid of the rust) and repainted it. She used a primer first before putting on the final coat…and it all looks brand new.
So, before throwing something expensive away, consider giving it a make-over first. You may be pleasantly surprised!
May 29, 2013
Every item you have, no matter what it is, should have a designated home. For instance, your car keys should have a home, your purse/wallet, watch, unread mail/newspapers, paper plates, etc. should have a specific go-to spot in your house.
If an item doesn’t have a ‘home’ it tends to get lost. Don’t let your items become ‘homeless’.
March 25, 2013
Christmas and New Year will soon knock on your door. Are you going to invite them in an impeccably organized home? You better! Christmas brings all the family together and you have to be well-prepared to receive guests in a clutter-free atmosphere. Also, you don’t want to welcome New Year in a home full of disorganized, unusable and unnecessary items, do you? After all, every New Year is related to a new beginning, new resolutions, and it’s better to forget about the old and focus on the new in any aspect. Physically and mentally get rid of everything that disturbs the eye and the mind.
It’s All about Making Lists
What better way to stay organized than writing everything down? Clarify what has to be done by putting it on paper so that you don’t forget. Grab a notepad and write any idea that occurs to you related to winter holiday organization. You can even make several lists, but make sure that everything is gathered in one place, like the suggested notepad, because if you write on random pieces of paper, there is a huge risk of losing them. Even if you have a strong memory, the organizational stuff you’ll have to remember will be so many around the winter holiday season that you won’t be able to keep track of them all. That’s why making a list everything is the best option. Consider the people you have to buy Christmas presents for, the meals you want to cook for New Year’s Eve and the ingredients for them, the number of guests you expect, the items you have to get rid of – these are all things liable to be put in a list. As for the items you have to part with, you can avail of a moving company storage services, which will provide a safe shelter for the items that you’re not ready to just throw away. At least they will be out of sight, which will contribute to the de-cluttering process you’ve taken up with. Also, each time you put a check-mark next to a certain task, you’ll feel relieved that you’ve been doing things right.
Distribute the Tasks
Don’t carry all the responsibility on your shoulders. Instead, distribute the tasks between all the family members in the household. In the first step you determined what needs to be done; now, you have to say who will do what. Having in mind how much the holiday season requires to be done, such as Christmas shopping, hanging of outdoor lights, decorating the tree, cooking traditional goodies (like gingerbread house – how pretty, and yummy), wrapping presents, posting cards and so on, one person can’t manage alone when a huge number of guests are expected to come and share a Christmas dinner, for example. You all know that this holiday is dedicated to family get-togethers and jolly meetings with friends, so if you are the host, you’ll have a hell of a lot to do. This is why each family member should be assigned something he/she is good at. The mom will obviously take care of the cooking and cleaning; daddy can hang the lights outside and go grocery shopping with a list that mommy gave him. If you have teenage children, they can decorate, post the holiday cards or help clean. All of you have to work together in order to create a warm atmosphere for you and your gusts.
Once you start doing something, don’t distract yourself with anything else. It’s easy to get lost when so much has to be done. That’s why the tasks have to be allocated. This way, you’ll know that there is someone to take care of them. The point of organization is to stay mindful so that you can concentrate on one thing at a time and not get confused by disorder.
By this point, you should have cleared your mind and your home out of the unnecessary, whether by helping yourself or by keeping the items you don’t use in the safe removal company storage facilities. These organization ideas should come in handy when making your personal contribution to the upcoming winter holidays loved by everyone.
November 23, 2012
I just love fall. This past weekend, I took my daughter to Ebert’s Greenhouse Village in Ixonia, WI. They had many fun kids activities, such as walking through a corn maze, sending pumpkins through the air at the pumpkin launch station, and making scarecrows.
In addition, they had a hayride. When we arrived at the hayride station, we saw the tractor in the distance, so there was a bit of waiting time involved. However, we didn’t want to leave and do something else because a line was forming.
We decided to make the most of our time together. For every minute we waited, we took turns coming up with various subjects, like leaves, pumpkins, and fall foods. For each 60 seconds, we both conversed about those subjects. For example, on the subject of fall foods, we spoke about which fall foods were our favorites, which fall foods we thought were the sweetest, which ones we liked the least, and so on. Then, when the minute was over, the subject was changed and we’d start again.
We talked about 8 subjects before the hayride arrived, and it hardly felt like the waiting time was any time at all. Plus, we had fun just chit-chatting and enjoying each other’s company.
When you’re in ‘waiting mode’ and you’re with a loved one, that’s the perfect time to catch up with each other and share your feelings, thoughts, ideas, and dreams.
October 12, 2012
My sister and niece were in town from New Jersey this past week. We just drove them back to the airport, and boy, were we sad to see them go. (I was weepy…my daughter cried for an hour!)
During their visit, we did lots of the typical tourist things in Wisconsin such as State Fair, Riverfest, the Milwaukee Zoo, Country Springs Resorts, and dinner in Madison (with a stop for ice cream at Ella’s Deli), but we also had lots of time to kick back, relax, and enjoy each other’s company in our house, and on our deck.
What a joy it was for our children to play together (we generally only get together with my sister’s family once or twice a year), and the time and conversation my husband and I shared with my sister was priceless.
During their visit, yes, a few email messages were left unanswered, and yes, I did have a bit of catch up work when they left, but really…it wasn’t that big of a deal, and there’s no way it was more important than taking time out for family.
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. That’s why it’s good practice to ask yourself, each and every day, if you’ve given at least some of your precious time on this earth to your loved ones.
August 23, 2012
August is here already. Boy did July fly by in the blink of an eye! For our family, school will be starting up soon–in early September. The ever-moving calendar days are constant reminders that the end of summer is on the horizon.
Our family is busy, even over the summer. There are inside chores to be done, outdoor chores to be handled, errands to be run, appointments to be met, and working for a living, of course.
It would be so easy to allow these things to encompass our entire summer…BUT that wouldn’t be fun at all!
Every single day, we get a whole bunch of the work/chore related stuff done. At the same time, every single day we do something FUN.
For example, today so far, I worked out at the gym, did some laundry, worked on work projects, trimmed some of my outdoor plants, and helped a school parent with a spreadsheet she needed help with.
But now, we’re taking a break for some fun stuff. I have a girlfriend coming over with her children. The kids will play games with my daughter, and I’ll have some one-on-one chitchat time with my friend. She’ll be here any moment, and I’m really looking forward to it!
For my sanity, I always include fun in my day. As we welcome August, I have a fun thing scheduled every single day on my calendar…from taking my daughter to an amusement park, to going to the beach, to going to book chat, to having a picnic in the park with my family, to a visit from my sister… the list goes on and on.
Yes, we will be productive as usual, but when the last day of August arrives, we’ll be able to say we did at least one fun thing–maybe two or more–every single day of the month!
July 30, 2012
It has been SO hot in Wisconsin. Many of us have been hiding out in our air conditioned homes and offices. But, we all need to venture out here and there.
When we’re going to be outside, here’s what my family does to beat the heat and stay cool and safe.
1) BPA-Free Water Bottles: We fill our water bottles with ice and then add as much water as we can. As we’re out, we have our cold starter water, and the cool water that will be there as the ice cubes begin to melt.
2) Caps, Sun Visors, and Hair Ties: I always keep a few of each in the car, so we can grab them when we need them.
3) Sunscreen and Bug Spray: I purchased the ones that come in individual packets that fit in my purse, so we can apply them as needed.
4) Wear Light Clothing: Light-colored, cotton clothing is best when it’s hot and humid outside.
July 24, 2012
The governor of Wisconsin just issued a drought emergency. We haven’t had rain for weeks, and don’t see any in the forecast. The farmers in the area are hurting, as well as businesses like lawn mowing and gardening companies. The once green grass on our block is now brown and dried out.
My husband and I are concerned about our trees and plants. They were pricey and a lot of hard work to put in. Plus, we like them and we don’t want them to die. So, the watering begins.
I have some soaker hoses set up. These are great because water seeps through tiny holes in the hose gradually as the water moistens the soil. The nice thing is, you just let them run. You don’t have to be out in your yard or garden watching them.
If they’re not underground, you can move them to alternate areas as needed.
We also have hoses running at medium-flow for 20 minutes at a time today on our trees. I have a timer set, and I just go outside and move the hose to another tree when the timer sounds.
Of course, if you have a sprinkler system set up, that’s a great option too!
Since we’re giving everything a good watering today, we won’t have to repeat this process for at least another five to seven days.
Of course, if it rains, we won’t have to continue. The rain will do the job.
By the way, if you know of a good rain dance, please do one for us, and anyone else whose experiencing similar circumstances right now!
July 11, 2012
My daughter, Amanda, and I had fun dying Easter eggs last night. It has been a special treat for my husband and I having her home this week–she’s on spring break. Each day, we’ve done something special to make this Easter break memorable. Nothing expensive or elaborate…just activities like playing at the park, going bike riding, going to the movies, visiting the zoo, seeing a friend’s new baby chicks, picking up some new reads at the local library, and having a gelato at a favorite cafe’.
What’s on the agenda tonight? Maybe bowling or maybe we’ll just go feed the ducks. Tomorrow, we’re thinking of driving to a nearby town and just walking, browsing the stores, and seeing the sights.
For Easter, after church services, we’re having a family celebration at The Pfister in downtown Milwaukee. They have an enormous, lovely brunch every year and it’s become an annual tradition for us. Of course, the Easter bunny will be there. Afterwards, we’ll go to the Mitchell Park Conservatory where a colorful tulip show is in progress.
Her last day off from school will be on Monday, and we’ll cap her time off with another activity.
Yes, I’m still working this week. But the 1-2 hours of activities we’ve been enjoying with our daughter, has brought many giggles, smiles, and happiness. The time away from work has been worth the world to all of us.
Enjoy every moment with your loved ones, whenever you can. On a final note, happy Easter, happy spring, and happy life!
April 6, 2012
My 7-year old daughter (soon to be 8 as she likes to say!) is home from school on Christmas vacation this week. It has been a joy having her here with us all day, although it’s important that I get some work done at the same time.
For this entire week, I’ll be using my ‘Sandwiching Projects and Playtime’ philosophy. This means that I do a project, and then I give some time to my daughter, and then I do another project, and then I give some more time to my daughter–and it keeps repeating throughout the day.
This ensures 1) that I get some work done, 2) that I am spending quality time with my daughter, and 3) that my daughter has time for independent play, reading, etc.
It’s working beautifully, and it’s a great system any parent can use anytime!
December 26, 2011