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Recycling Cans is Not Just for the Homeless

Recycling one 6 pack of cans saves enough energy to power a television for 936 hours!

Please do not toss your cans into the trash. Make sure they go into the recycle bin. If you live close to a charity, they will be happy to take your cans and turn them into cash for food bank programs. Get creative and whatever you do recycle, recycle, recycle!

 

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Plan Ahead to Go Green

When you are organized, you can be more green. For instance, if you plan in advance, you can complete all of your errands during one trip instead of several trips throughout the week. The average savings would be eliminating 20 miles of driving which not only saves you more time but also more in gas and emissions impact.

Cutting 20 miles of driving prevents more than 1200 pounds of greenhouse gas from being emitted. You can reduce global warming by simply planning in advance!

If you want to learn more about how to get organized and live a healthier life, click here to watch part one of my video tip series on Be Well Buzz. You will discover why clutter can zap your energy. You will then probably get motivated to clear your clutter so that you can enter our drawing for the grand prize ~ a FREE subscription to the Home Organizing Made Simple online course!

 

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Go Green With Your Party Utensils

Using plastic products for your next party might save you time but it will create a lot of unnecessary waste. Here are a few alternative ideas to ‘green’ your party:

Consider using bamboo flatware in leiu of the typical plastic ware. Unlike plastic dinner ware, bamboo is biodegradable. It is also environmentally sustainable. Bamboo grows super quick and has been called ‘poor mans lumber’ growing up to two feet per day. You can toss it into the trash at the end of the party just like your plasticware except it will actually help the earth when it hits the landfill!

If you dont want to throw it out, you can simply immerse the utensils in soapy water, clean them and let them air dry for the next party. They will last for several events!

 

 

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Paper Napkins at Your Party? Go Green Instead

Go green and add more class to your party with linens!

Skip paper napkins and tacky paper tablecloths that blow off on outdoor tables while you aren’t not looking. Use linen / fabric napkins and tablecloths instead.

Nothing sets the stage for a luxurious party more than fabric napkins and tablecloths. I love using fabric napkins and know that my guests feel more pampered too!

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Go Green for Your Next Party

Thinking about having a big shindig this summer? This week I will offer a few ways that you can go green and reduce the impact of your party:

1. Send out email invitations instead of snail mailing invitations. Emailing your invitation not only reduces your paper consumption, it saves you time!

2. Another advantage is that once all of your guests emails are in Evite, they are saved and you can easily send them more invites for future events.

Check out Evite.com to sign up for a free membership and have fun creating a gorgeous invitation for your next soire!

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Source Reduction is a mission we all need to embrace more and more in life.

Here are the reasons:

 

  1. You will save more money
  2. You will reduce clutter
  3. You will reduce waste
  4. You will make the world a better place, but more importantly ….
  5. You will protect the lives of your children and grandchildren.
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Downsizing to a Smaller Home

Downsizing to a Smaller Home

Dear Kathi,

My husband and I have recently downsized to a smaller house. We are finding it very difficult to let go of things we have always thought to be important. What are your suggestions? Kerry T of Del Mar

Kerry,

Congratulations on realizing that you need to release a few possessions from your life. As people move into new homes they discover that items that were once an integral part of their life no longer serve them. Even though they no longer need or use these items, they still feel sentimentally attached and find it difficult to let go. My suggestion is to think about how each item in question is now serving you. For starters, is it serving you at all or is it simply collecting dust in the corner? If it is only collecting dust, donate it and send it to new owners who will use it regularly. You will find this liberating and energizing. If you decide to keep it, move it into an area where it can be viewed or used regularly. If you can’t do this, it needs to leave your possession for good. Release and let go.

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Lessons from My Pedestal Sink and My Cosmetics Collection


After moving into our new home, I discovered very quickly that I had to downsize my makeup collection. My husband and I now share an in the wall medicine cabinet with two doors above one lone pedestal sink.

Even though I frequently advise my clients to add more storage to their bathroom when faced with this situation, I myself did not want to add more cabinets to our bathroom because I was enjoying it’s spaciousness.

So, before I made any decision about what to do, I decided to only put into my side of the cabinet, the makeup and skin care that I use on a daily basis. The rest I left in the plastic shoebox that I had moved in with.

I am personally amazed to report: I have only pulled that box out twice in 6 months! Once for false eyelashes (yes, for a special event) and the other to retrieve my red lipstick which I obviously seldom, if ever, wear.

The moral to this story is this – we all need far less makeup and skin care than we own. I love the fact that all of my stuff fits into one tiny cabinet and yes, I am proud of it too!

This is your challenge should you decide to accept it: go to your makeup drawer or drawers (I know who you are out there!) and remove every product that you dont use regularly. Stash it away out of sight and see if you ever go back to search for something in it.  Your rewards will be two-fold.

1. You will be able to find everything you need from now on with very little effort because there will no be any clutter.

2. You will spend much less money on makeup and skin care and what you do decide to purchase can probably be of much higher quality because you are spending less money on trivial spur of the moment purchases.

So this is the lesson from my new bathroom: Pedestal Sink = More Simplified Life

 

 

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Zen and the Art of Bookkeeping – Simple Ways for WAHM’s to Master this Dreaded Task

Spend a day with the average Work At Home Mom, a.k.a. WAHM, and you will come away wondering how the heck she manages to get through the day without yanking all of her hair out. WAHMs are like superheroes. They can cook pasta, wipe Johnny’s runny nose, change Susie’s diaper, and do a sink full of dishes—all while fulfilling an order for their home-based business. But no one, not even Super Mom, can do it all. And the duty that is usually swept under the proverbial rug is bookkeeping—the dreaded “B” word.

“I used to have long, lustrous locks. Then I tried bookkeeping and ripped all my hair out.”

Image courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu/photo/523442

       Unfortunately, your bookkeeping duties can’t remain buried beneath your Berber forever. Someone might trip on them. They must be tackled. But don’t start sifting through the yellow pages for a wig supplier just yet. Here are a few easy tips to help you get that nasty bookkeeping done, keep your signature tresses in place, and avoid nasty letters from the I.R.S.

  • Invest in software.

It is important to purchase software that is designed specifically for small business bookkeeping and not a program meant for personal finance needs. Bookkeeping software will make your life so much easier and actually make a loathed task fun—almost.

All you do is input the information and the software adds up the numbers, generates invoices, keeps track of what is owed to you, and makes your tax preparation a breeze. Some programs that you might want to check out include Quickbooks, Peachtree, Sage 50, and Bookkeeper.

  • Make bookkeeping a habit.

Unlike New Year’s Resolutions, you cannot abandon your bookkeeping routine. Ignoring these duties will result in an intimidating mountain of receipts and invoices that, once again, will have you mangling your auburn mane.

Maintaining a regular routine, however, will allow you to keep on top of things and no longer dread this necessary task.

“Since I’ve gone paperless, I have saved a fortune on bandages.”

Image courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu/photo/729161.

  • Opt for paperless.

Nothing is more frustrating and time-consuming than sifting through heaps of paper—and that’s assuming that what you’re looking for hasn’t been lost. Creating a “paper trail” made of actual paper is no longer the best route to take.

While it is impossible to eliminate all paper, you can significantly decrease the amount that crosses your desk. You can use on-line banking to manage your accounts, set up automatic debits to pay bills, and use a business credit card that will track your business purchases. This way, all of your statements are readily available to you with the click of a button.

  • Develop a Filing System.

Sometimes paper cannot be avoided. Stores still issue paper receipts for purchases. And some businesses still deal in paper invoices. In order to maintain these often tiny pieces of paper, you need to develop and stick with a filing system.

Whether you choose to use actual filing cabinets, accordion files, or some other clever storage device, you need to find the one that works best for you. This means it will come naturally to you, allow you to retrieve information easily, and that you will be able to keep it up.

  • Know when you need help.

There may come a time when your business warrants an outside bookkeeper and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you’re too busy making sales to engage in your bookkeeping duties or if you have hired employees and are considering payrolloutsourcing, go for it. Trying to juggle too many balls at once will only stress you out and make your business suffer.

  • Give yourself a pat on the back.

Whenever we commit ourselves to a new course of action and stick with it—particularly when it involves doing something we despise—we need to be rewarded. Some may say that avoiding an I.R.S. audit should be reward enough, but it isn’t.

Find an extrinsic reward that motivates you—a dinner out, a new sweater, a manicure or something completely different—and give it to yourself for a job well done. This will encourage you to keep up the good work.

“I’m so happy that my hair has grown back in.”

Image courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Beauty_g419-Hairdresser_Combing_Costumers_Hair_p114317.html.

 

Once you have the tools and the know-how, bookkeeping is really a doable chore. Super Mom can now officially do it all—and you can finally get rid of that unsightly lump under the carpet.

What bookkeeping tips can you offer your fellow WAHMs? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

Contributor Kimberley Laws is a freelance writer, avid blogger, and illustrator who also harbors a fear of bookkeeping and all things related to numbers. And, yes, she has followed her own advice.  

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Book and Paper Clutter Can Cause Overwhelm and Make You Miss Opportunities

 

 

Hello, Thank you for all the wonderful information that you share. My story, is all about books and papers, I have always been a book person and also have kept many things hoping to share them with others. I have books mainly on health, natural healing, gardening, self help , astrology, Metaphysical, cooking, As I have always been interested in healing and cooking.

I am now 73 years old and really want to do something about all the books and papers I have around me I know that I have a lot of wonderful things to share that could help others but I have not find a way to do it, yet.

I would love to open a cooking school to teach food body connection and herbs and gardening but do not have the money to do it. I am trying to find a way to decide if I have to let all these books and papers go or what, I would appreciate you letting me know what you think about this.

Thanks, Janette

 

Hi Janette,

I am so glad that you took the time to post this question in the comments section under the article about paper clutter. Books and papers are a challenge for many of us, including my family. You are not alone!Papers and books can cause quite a havoc on your environment. I can relate to your dilemma as I am an avid reader and love the printed page in whatever form it is given to me!It sounds like you have been collecting articles and books for quite some time.

My advice would be to look around your home and determine how many you can comfortably fit without feeling overwhelmed. It helps to keep all of your books etc into one area of your home to avoid the cluttered feeling and atmosphere.So, take for instance, I decided to keep all of our books in the guest room. Once I decided this, it became easy to see how many bookshelves I could fit/use in that room. My family also has issues around cookbooks. My husband has never met a cookbook that he does not like!

So, that being said, once I determined where our books would live, I bought 3 Billy book shelves from Ikea to line one of the walls. I use the Billy shelf frequently because they are 72″ tall and use the vertical space in each room efficiently.The space on those 3 shelves determined how many books we could keep. This containment system made us decide which books were the most important and which were not. We got rid of every book that did not fit into that pre-determined space. Since it was difficult task, we filled up every inch. This was not the best method because then every time we got a new book, we had to let one go.

The better idea is to purge enough books so that there is room to grow without having to urge more after each new purchase. One in, one out, so to speak continues the process. We eventually were able to create enough space on the shelves to add a few photos, vases and artwork so the shelves were not so crowded and more visually appealing.

So, the moral to the story is that you need to make an agreement with yourself how many books and papers make sense in your environment. Once that is decided, storing them all into one area of the house will eliminate the cluttered feeling. If you truly want to start leading classes and share your years of knowledge, why don’t you explore who else does this in your area and give them some of your books? You never know, this gift might lead to forging an alliance and allow you to offer a few classes at their venue! Even if this does not happen, you will feel lighter and your home less cluttered when you let go of your excess.

Regarding your loose papers and files, you need to ask yourself if you could find them easier, quicker and more up to date when, and if, you need them later with an online google search. Typically, you can find information on any topic x 10,000 you need much more quickly on Google than trying to find files on the same topic within your home or office later.

If you would like more tips on how to organize the papers that you decide to keep, click on this link. Thanks so much for your question. I hope this response helps!

 

 

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