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“This time change is much trickier for our bodies to handle…so many of us aren’t getting enough shut-eye to begin with, and being robbed of an additional hour can put us over the edge.”

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Daylight Saving Time 2012: Could ‘Springing Forward’ Hurt Your Health? |  HuffingtonPost.com | 3.10.12

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If you’ve visited my Facebook page recently, you know that I was in Baltimore, MD last week (and through the weekend) at the Annual Conference hosted by NAPO, the National Association of Professional Organizers. Yes, all 4k+ of us – we have our own association. =)

While there, I found about four new products that will:

  • Make your life easier
  • Help you keep things in order

Check them out and let me know what you think.

Up first, Pliio. [#1]

Sound familiar? It might. I discovered it at the NAPO 2011 conference, but it still falls under the “new” category because now it’s actually available for purchase on HSN. Isn’t that nice?

What does Pliio do? It helps you with your filing. Not paper filing. It helps you fold and file away your clothes so that you can keep them nice and neat. It’s super easy to use and is a great way to get your kids to help you with laundry. Have a look at how it works in this video featuring Pliio creator, Clare Kumar.

 

How would Pliio help you?

 

The next three products come courtesy of Rubbermaid. You know I love this company and I’m one of their featured bloggers. After seeing them at this year’s conference, I love them even more. And, here’s why…

 

LunchBox™ Containers [#2]

Ok, so technically this item is really for “on the go,” but you have to start at home first, yes?  ;) Like their Easy Find Lids, the lunch containers snap together (makes finding all the parts a lot easier) and stack vertically to fit neatly in your lunch bag. Did I mention how cute the containers are? You will love various sizes and so will your kids.

 

Flex Totes [#3]

I love, love the  Ziploc flexible totes and I’m thrilled that Rubbermaid now has a similar product. Use them under your bed to protect your extra linens or take them with you on your next road trip, like I did. They are clear and fold flat when you’re not using them. And, you can easily add labels.

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2-in-1 Recycler [#4]

I’m all about recycling, but sometimes, we keep the stuff we want to recycle lying about and they turn into clutter. Rubbermaid makes the process easy with their new 2-in-1 Recycler (features: removable lid, all in one station, great for small spaces). I caught up with Erin at the Rubbermaid booth while at conference and she was kind enough to give me a quick demo. Check out the video below to see how easy it is to use.

Which Rubbermaid product would help you the most?

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Quick Tip: Drive With a Designated Texter

On March 27, 2012, in Quick Tip, by Deb Lee
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I’m still on that mini-sabbatical, so while I’m gone, check out this post about designated texters.

Today’s quick tip is a no-brainer. Friends don’t let friends drink and drive and they shouldn’t let them text and drive either. Think about it. If you’re in the car with someone who’s texting, aren’t you in danger?

If you’re the passenger, why not volunteer to be the designated texter? Is there a designated texter in the car with your son or daughter? 

 

5 Easy Tips to Improve Your Home

On March 22, 2012, in Home Organizing, by Sarah Heckle
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When it comes to taking on home improvement projects, words like daunting and impossible come to mind. There are little changes you can make, though, that will improve the appearance of your home without too much effort. Here are five easy ways to give your house a facelift:

1. Declutter — Go into every room and closet of your house and remove five items. No cheating — removing trash does not count (although, go ahead and remove garbage while you’re at it). Take out five items that are taking up space that you don’t really need. If you can’t remember the last time you used something, get rid of it. Having a clean and clutter-free space will instantly improve the appearance of your home — it will also help you feel calm and relaxed in your space. Donate these items to charity or Goodwill.

2. Shelving & Storage — Shelving and storage are great ways to add some organized flair to your house. If you have a lot of knick knacks sitting around your home, display these on shelves to keep your living space clean and decluttered. Shelving can also can make a room appear larger by drawing the eyes upwards. Plus, it serves as wall art!

trinket shelf

3. Window Treatment — Window treatment can do absolute wonders for making a room look complete. Your window treatments don’t have to be expensive. Simple, inexpensive, or even DIY drapes liven and brighten any space. Choose bright and cheery colors to liven up a window. Check out this tutorial on how to make a DIY cornice — this window treatment is perfect for above a kitchen sink.

4. Paint — I know what you’re thinking: “You said this would be easy!” Painting does take more effort than these other tips, but it can be cheap and easy if you’re strategic with your paint. Instead of painting your whole house, choose a couple rooms to add accent walls to. An accent wall is simply a wall in a room that has a different paint color than the rest. Start with a small wall that you’re confident you can handle. Find a paint hue you love that’s in your budget. When you’re done painting, arrange a collage of photos for a trendy touch.

wall collage and paint

5. Go Outside — Sometimes, we spend so much time worrying about the interior of our house that we forget about giving the exterior a facelift every once in a while. And while the inside is for you to enjoy, remember that the outside of your house is what other see on a daily basis. There are some simple ways to give the outside of your house a lift. Picking up debris and sticks in your yard is easy, and your kids can help with this, too. Sweep your entryway, get a new “Welcome” mat, and make yourself a DIY springtime door wreath. Add some bright springtime flowers, like petunias, around your house. Or, if you live in an apartment or don’t have a yard, add some potted springtime plants to the exterior of your home.

front door

Do you have any easy tips to improve the home?

Image Sources:   Made By Girl,  Inara Studios, Better After   

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Last week, I checked in with the folks who subscribe to my Facebook business page about their New Year’s resolutions. One brave soul admitted that not only had he forgotten about them, he actually didn’t have any to begin with!

If your resolutions have fallen off your radar, take a look at this “oldie but goodie” from 2009. In this video, I share with Angie Goff how to get back on track with your (not so new year) goals.

 

 
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I’m not completely back yet from my mini-break, but decided to share a few thoughts with you today about extreme reality TV. 

Have you noticed the growing number of programs that showcase some kind of extreme behavior? I’ve watched Hoarders for a while, but now there’s also My Strange Addiction, Hoarding: Buried Alive, Doomsday Preppers, and Extreme Couponing to name a few.

I think these shows are awesome. They really give a you a peek into the lives of people who may just live on your block. If you’re someone who’s in a similar situation, you’ll quickly realize that you’re not alone, and you might be motivated to get some help. Of course, I’m pretty tickled that some of these shows have put the spotlight on pro organizers, like Dorothy Breininger and Geralin Thomas.

I also think these shows are awful. They make me cringe. Watching Clutter Cleaner, Matt Paxton wade through garbage and dead animals is really hard. In fact, I have to decide between taking a bath and frantically cleaning up. Watching Shannon drink gasoline doesn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy. Some of people just make me scratch my head, like Tamis who has over 2000 wigs. Two. Thousand. That’s crazy…but sooo interesting.

I can’t stop watching! Well, that’s not true. I can. I have. I just take a break and then I start watching them again. So, really, I can’t stop watching. I’m not sure what to make of this fence riding that I’m doing.

How about you? Do you watch these shows? Think they’re helpful? Exploitive?

 

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“People reply to their close friends, on average, within seven hours of getting the email. Professional contacts take a bit more time: We don’t hit send for nearly 11 hours. On average, it took us 50 hours to reply. In other words, there’s a surprisingly easy way to figure out how you feel about someone—just count the hours before you hit the ‘reply’ button.”

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The Science of Email | Wired.com | 12.10.11

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Control Your Time With a Simple Sign

On March 14, 2012, in Time Management, by Deb Lee
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Yep, I’m still on that mini-sabbatical, so while I’m gone, check out this post on how you can get minimize interruptions and control your time. 

I had no idea the tile of today’s post would rhyme. Kinda nice, yes? ;)

Anyhoo, what sign you ask? It’s not the supernatural type. It’s the paper and a Sharpie type. The one that says: “I’m not here.”

Seriously.

When you’re trying to work on that all important project and you know that you’ll get tapped on the shoulder often, put a sign on your back (or front) to remind everyone that you’re not available. So, unless it’s urgent and important, “Don’t come in my direction.”

It’s like a closed door. But, the good news is that you can open the door when your project time up by simply removing the sign. The kinda tricky news is that you have to be strong and not ignore the sign yourself. 

Give it a shot and see how it works. If you do this regularly, leave  a comment on how it works for you.

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While I’m away, check out this month’s organizing challenge.

 

It’s time for a new 5 Minute Organizing Challenge! What can you do in 5 minutes to gain a little order in your life? You can put a few things back in place or gather your important items. Here’s a new set of five things for you to consider adding to your routine this month. Try them on for size and feel free to suggest a few of your own.

 1. Have you changed the batteries in your smoke detectors? You should have when changed your clocks this past weekend.

2. If you haven’t already, make a 2011 Tax folder AND make and appointment with your CPA. 

3. Pick two accounts to sign up for paperless billing.

4. Walk through your living room and put away up to 5 things that don’t belong there.

5. Add a handful of unwanted papers to your shred or recycling pile.

 

Check out the January 2012 Organizing Challenge

 

 

Why is Change So Bloody Hard?

On March 12, 2012, in General, by Deb Lee
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So, you know that little break I’ve been on? It’s coming to an end soon and I’m just getting back to some sort of normal. Which sounds good, except that “normal” changes pretty often.

Every time I think I have a nice routine all carved out, everything gets turned on its ear and I have to start all over again. And, I get kinda ticked off. It’s not that all the changes in my life are bad.

They’re good, actually. Really good. I’m learning a lot. I’m having a great time. I’m experiencing things that make me feel warm and fuzzy…giddy, even.

And, I’m also getting majorly frustrated.

How can something fantabulous make me feel so unbelievably grrrr!? The short answer is because I’m anal and I like things all lined up in height order. And, color-coded.

The longer answer is that new experiences sometimes make me feel inept.

And, I’m used to doing things in a particular, “I know how to do this” way.

And, I don’t like change unless I can see it coming and know exactly how I’m going adjust.

And, because my confidence took a hit when I realized that I’m not exceptional at all these new things. Imagine that.

And, because change is hard.

Maybe even harder for a Type A personality like me. You’d think it would be easier. I see what the issue is. I come up with a plan. I turn it upside down and look for holes. Then, I execute said plan. That’s my MO for almost everything. It works.

But, it’s not working now. 

So, the only thing I can do now is breathe. And, take one day at a time.

And, I hate that.

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