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Archive for September, 2010

How to make your Halloween festivities extra spooky

September 28, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

(ARA) – Halloween is the second most decorated holiday, so it won’t be long until ghouls and goblins, witches and vampires, pumpkins and candy corn adornments begin appearing in advance of trick-or-treating and haunting celebrations.

This year, instead of buying your decorations, why not brew a little imagination? Just stir in a few items you already have around the house and a couple of cans of spray paint to create bewitching, inexpensive pieces for your home and yard.

Here are three project ideas to inspire and help you easily put some extra spookiness in your Halloween trick-or-treating.

Ghoulish gravestones
Turn a couple of old boxes into a chilling graveyard to keep the goblins and vampires at bay.

What you’ll need: Black granite textured “stone” spray paint, such as Krylon’s Make It Stone; spray adhesive; glow-in-the-dark paint; boxes (note: old shipping boxes work well); foam or wood letters; various Halloween decorations; hot or super glue; packing tape; newspaper; large nails or ground stakes; and scissors.

How to do it: Set up a spray paint area in a well-ventilated area by covering a table with newspaper. Assemble a box and tape over folded seams leaving one end open, as that will serve as the bottom of your gravestone. Cut a name plaque to fit the box from the cardboard of another and affix with spray adhesive. Glue letters onto the plaque.

Embellish the top of your gravestone with glued-on Halloween decorations, like a bat or skull. Paint the entire gravestone with two to three coats of “stone” spray paint, letting it dry between coats. Once it’s dry, highlight areas with glow-in-the-dark paint. Place a stake in the ground, prop up your box and enjoy scaring the neighbors with your ghoulishly gorgeous graveyard.

Ghostly globes
Add a spooky twist to your outside walkway on All Hallow’s Eve – without having to carve several messy pumpkins – by creating glowing ghostly globes.

What you’ll need: Round glass votives; newspaper; one can each of white frosted glass, white and glow-in-the-dark spray paint, such as Krylon Glowz; and a black craft pen.

How to do it: Cover your workspace with newspaper. Spray several light coats of white frosted glass paint on the lip of each votive and let dry. Next, add several light coats of white paint to the outside bottom of votives, blending the white seamlessly with the frosted glass. Let dry completely.

Spray the entire exterior with glow-in-the dark paint, which will allow your votives to shine even when not lit. Finally, draw facial features with a black paint pen.

Spooky party servers
Embellish your Halloween party buffet by transforming ordinary terra cotta pots into spooky party servers.

What you’ll need: White primer; pumpkin orange, gloss white and gold glitter spray paint; black webbing spray from Krylon; brush-on black paint; repositionable adhesive; assorted terra cotta pots and saucers; metal or enamel bowl; glue; paper; pencil; scissors; and a small paint brush.

How to do it: Wash the pots and saucers. Allow to dry. Spray all the terra cotta with white primer. Let dry and spray with gloss white. Once dry, turn pots upside down and glue the bottom of a saucer to the bottom of each pot. Draw ghosts, tombstones and other scary characters on paper. Cut the shapes out and spray one side with repositionable adhesive.

Position the paper shapes randomly on the pots. Spray the outside of the bowl and terra cotta pieces with pumpkin orange paint. Once dry, spray all the pieces with black webbing spray, then lightly with gold glitter spray. When all the paint is dry, remove paper templates and add details, such as features on the ghosts and words on the tombstones, with black paint. Be sure to not to place unwrapped food on any painted surface.

For more Halloween decorating inspiration, there are a plethora of arts and crafts websites, such as, offering tips, tricks and inspiration to help you spook your family, guests and trick-or-treaters.

This year Halloween falls on Sunday, let’s celebrate all weekend long! Find an ample selection of fun costumes and accessories.. Spooky decorations and props, fun tableware to serve your ghoulish appetizers and witches’ brew. Candy, music, favors and much more.. Here –> Low Cost Halloween Supplies.

Simple Tips to Make a Big Difference at Your Local School

September 24, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

simple tips to make a big difference at your local school

(ARA) – While the back-to-school advertisements and school supply donation drives have faded from the airwaves, the need to do more as a nation to support our schools, our teachers and our students has not. The problem is, many of us want to help out, but we’re just not sure where to start.

We’re not only unsure of where to start, but how much we can contribute financially. The economy has not only taken a toll on funding for public schools but on our wallets too, leaving some of us unsure how to pitch in without stretching our budgets too far.

Well, you don’t have to sit on the sidelines anymore or let the economy get in your way of making a difference. Whether you can donate $5 or $50, or one to five hours, every little bit counts. Here are a few ways to contribute to your local school that will leave you thinking “Why didn’t I get involved sooner?”

1. Go online to get involved: From forums to local initiatives to national campaigns, the campaign to help public schools is going online. Bing’s Our School Needs campaign, at is a competition open to U.S. public schools, grades K-12, where students, teachers and parents can submit essays and videos explaining why their school needs funding. Visit to check out the videos and vote Oct. 27 for your favorite entry in three categories: elementary, middle and high school. Once you vote, you’ll receive a donation code for to help fund a classroom project of your choice. On Nov. 9, visit to see which school won the grand prize.

2. Give what you can: You don’t have to donate a lot money or time to make a big difference. Many classrooms are in need of the basics, from supplies to a helping hand. If you want to donate, schools need supplies such as: disinfectant wipes, paper towels, pens, liquid soap, garbage bags, pens and glue sticks. If you want to volunteer your time rather than donate, many teachers are in need of a helping hand due to overcrowded classrooms making it hard for teachers to give students undivided attention. You can pitch in by reading to a class, helping out with an art project, organizing a book fair or even hosting a show-and-tell about your career.

To make volunteering and donating even easier, check out the Bing Education map application from Bing Maps, at which helps you locate schools that need funding, local and national volunteer opportunities as well as view the video submissions from the competition.

3. Join the PTA: PTAs can sometimes come across as a special club for select parents, causing you to shy away from getting involved. But, the PTA isn’t a special club. Rather, it’s a group of parents with the goal of supporting their school, fighting for funding, supporting teachers and organizing family events and fundraisers.

If you’re looking to get more involved in your child’s school and make a difference too, the PTA may be right up your alley. How do you get involved? Just call your child’s school or visit the National PTA website at to find out how to sign up.

Now, you don’t have to sit on the sidelines anymore. Here’s to making a difference in your community.

Getting Rid of Clutter in Your Home

September 22, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Organization No Comments →

(ARA) – You’re feeling like the walls are closing in. You’re not a hoarder, but you just have too much stuff. It’s not that difficult to change your ways. If you want to take control of and start getting rid of clutter, get a few boxes, one for each room in your home. Start by organizing one room at a time.

Begin this initiative by removing everything on top of your cabinets, tables and in bookcases and place it all in a box, says Keith McCleary, academic director of Interior Design at The Art Institute of York – Pennsylvania. If there are other random accessories in the room, remove them as well. Keep just the basic furnishings. Now sit with the room in its simplest form for awhile.

“In room design, make good decisions about what you choose to put in the room and, often more importantly, in what you choose to leave out,” McCleary says. “Simplicity and clean lines make a room feel livable and that’s what it’s really all about: comfortable living.” Think about the kind of focal point you’re trying to create. How should you orchestrate this space and show off your special pieces in terms of size, scale, color and texture?

After a day or two has passed, go back to the box and look for items that define your personality, or will be noticed by guests visiting your home. “Ask yourself: when is enough, enough?” says McCleary. “Each piece of furniture in the room can function to complement. Accessories and works of art should contrast.”

When you look at your well-designed room, you should see positive elements, as well as appreciate negative space by removing unnecessary pieces that don’t add to the design composition.

Interior design students at The Art Institute of York – Pennsylvania are taught to help their clients step back and ask themselves: Is it finished now? You can err when you go shopping and purchase nice pieces for your home, because before long you begin to accumulate too many of those nice things. Much of what you have is stuff you don’t need or want. It might be time to share those boxes, which are full of stuff you haven’t missed in years, with your local Goodwill.

Sometimes, you might think you have to keep memorabilia or outdated gifts from Aunt Ethel in your home all the time. “Not so,” says McCleary. “It’s perfectly acceptable to remove those items when you do your box exercise.” If you get a call from auntie who’s planning a visit, head to the attic and put those old Beanie Babies she gave you when you were a fanatical collector decades ago on a shelf in your den, temporarily. She’ll be happy for the gesture. When she leaves, feel free to replace them in the box of memories until her next visit.

After you complete this exercise in each room in your home, you’ll notice that the clutter has disappeared. Now you can recognize how attractive the remaining items are in that same space. This initiative takes determination and focus, but when you’ve completed the exercise, your focus can be on the lovely space you’ve recreated. To learn more about The Art Institutes schools, visit

Get Organized Now – An amazing collection of 2,175 ideas, tips and techniques for organizing your home, getting rid of clutter, organizing your time, your schedule, your money, your paper, your family and much more!

Be a Super Organized Parent

September 20, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: About the Family, Children, Parenting No Comments →

Do you dream of not having to race to school to give your child his/her report or lunch that they forgot (again)? Do you wonder why you are always late to every event that involves the children? Here are 10 tips and ideas to transform you into a Super Organized Parent!

1. Have a meeting of the minds. The best way to start to get things organized is to sit down each week and go over the upcoming week. Who has projects due at school, who has practices for sports, who has band or music or dancing lessons? Fifteen to twenty minutes should do the trick, or do this over dinner one night each week.

Put all of these dates on the family calendar–in different colors for each person. Children need to be at different places across town for different things? Hopefully your spouse can help out, or a neighbor whose child is going to the same practice.

2. Make it known that your family is a team. Enlist one child each week for helping you out in being the Chore Leader. That person can be in charge of reminding family members what needs to be done.

Talk to them seriously that it is important to work as a family. Switch off each week at the family meeting. Check and see if the chores were done right away or the ‘assistant’ had to ask them to do it more than once.

3. Get together with the Joneses. Have you ever thought of a babysitting co-op with other parents? You babysit your neighbors’ kids one day, and they babysit your kids another day. This way, you can have a nice, peaceful dinner with your better half–without the kids–once in awhile.

4. Keep up with the laundry pile. Do a batch or two of laundry each evening. This will eliminate a huge washday each week. Teach your children how to sort, wash, dry, and fold–from a young age. A rule should be made that clothes are put away after each batch. Dirty clothes (and uniforms) may be confiscated if they are left on the floor. Consequences can be detailed for not cooperating, such as loss of video games for the week or no TV.

5. Get ready the night before. Stop racing around in the morning by having outfits chosen and backpacks packed before your kids go to bed for the evening.

6. Let the older kids plan some meals. Have older children plan a dinner one night a week. You could then get the ingredients when you do your weekly grocery shopping. If the child is old enough to cook, let them prepare and/or cook the dinner and the others can help, and set the table. This will give mom a break, teach the kids what is involved with food preparation and cooking, and the party that plans the meal can discuss why it was picked, what it entailed to make it, if everyone liked it or not, and would they like to have it again.

7. Get the kids to shop. If you planned your meals for the upcoming week with the kids, take them with you, have a grid of the store and hand out the lists for each one to pick up something in their area of the store. Done in no time at all.

8. Limit activities. There are only so many hours in a day, and your kids have to balance those activities with school work, household chores, family time, friends, personal time and other responsibilities. Limit after-school activities to the one or two each child truly enjoys.

9. Set your watch to sound. Use that timer on your watch and cell phone whenever you have to leave to pick up your son from school or arrive at your daughter’s ballet recital. Be sure you pad the time by at least 15 minutes, and leave when the alarm goes off.

10. Designate a FAMILY night each week. No one is allowed to go out and everyone must do something TOGETHER. You can plan to play a game, or have each child/adult take turns on what they want to do that particular family night. There should be a lot of variety in choices.

Get Organized Now – An amazing collection of 1,300 organizing tips, ideas and techniques to help you organize your home, your office and your life.

Tips on Raising Confident Children

September 17, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children, Parenting No Comments →

Parents want only what is best for their children. They want their children to be able look to the future with the self-confidence to reach for the stars and overcome any obstacles along the way. The following tips will give you the tools you need to help your children do just that.

The best way to raise confident children is to be confident. Show your children that you are confident in your own abilities even if that means you don’t always get what you want. Let them see you struggle toward a goal whether you succeed or not. When they realize you can feel confident in your own abilities no matter what the outcome, they can adopt the same attitude.

One way to build self-confidence in your children is to begin giving them some responsibilities. This doesn’t mean you have to give them huge tasks because all children don’t have the same abilities as others. You don’t expect a three-year-old to babysit but they can put their clothes in a hamper or pick up their toys when they’ve finished playing with them.

Give them age-appropriate tasks which you can know they can accomplish. Create routines in which they are asked to do these tasks and they’ll be more likely to do what you ask as they get older. By asking them to do harder jobs as they get older they will see how your confidence in their abilities has grown; theirs will do the same.

You may also note your children’s confidence increasing when they are allowed to make decisions. Very young children can be asked which type of cereal they would like to eat. As they get older you can give them more important decisions to make. Guide them into making wise choices and you’ll also encourage their self-confidence to grow.

Praise your children often but be careful how you do it. Some parents go overboard by praising everything their child does which gives them a false sense of identity. They might think they can’t do wrong. However, if you praise your children for the effort they put forth, not necessarily for winning or succeeding, they won’t be deterred by setbacks.

Show your children that you believe in them. Choose your words carefully. Tell them “You’re doing better at . . .” or “I appreciate how you . . .” Put notes in your children’s lunchbox to encourage them. When you believe in them, they will be more likely to believe in themselves.

Take time to listen to what your children have to say. They need to know what they say matters. Help them learn to express their fears, frustrations and emotions. Support them as much as possible, but correct them if they’re wrong.

Rather than trying to spare your children from pain or heartbreak, let them experience what happens when they make mistakes. Teach them to “own up” to their mistakes and to learn from them. When they’ve done this you will be able to guide them in the way they handle failures or mistakes.

These tips for raising confident children can be a jumping point to a whole new relationship with your child. They aren’t guaranteed to change overnight; however, it is a starting place. Use the tips which work for your situation to assist your efforts.

How To Preserve Flowers

September 15, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Just for Fun No Comments →

Flowers that bloom in the summer are gorgeous – it is no wonder that people choose to go preserve flowers as long as they can by pressing and drying them. There are many methods to preserving flowers and each can be tailored to your style. Experiment with some of these preserving methods and find the method that works best for you.

* The simplest way to preserve flowers is to air dry them. Flowers can be air dried virtually any place where there is low humidity. You might consider using your attic, a pantry or even your closet.

To air dry flowers, tie them in small, loose bunches to avoid crowding and hang them upside down in a low-humidity place. In this fashion, drying the flowers can take up to two weeks depending upon the humidity level. Flowers can also be dried laying flat or standing upright in a vase or other container. Be careful with upright flowers, though, as they tend to lose their shape easily.

* Pressing flowers is another way to preserve them. To press flowers, all you need is some paper and a heavy object. The only downside to pressing the flowers is that they will lose shape as they are pressed flat. To press your flowers, place them between sheets of paper such as newspaper or old pages from a book. You can layer the papers on top of each other and then place a heavy object on top of the papers to press the flowers.

This method will usually take between two and four weeks to allow your flowers to be completely dry. It does not matter what kind of paper you use as long as it is not glazed. Glazed paper, such as wax and parchment, will not absorb the moisture and may make for moldy flowers.

* Flowers can also be dried in a flower-drying solution. Silica is a great way to dry flowers without much work. Place silica in a container and arrange flowers in the container. Silica should be covering the flowers and the drying process will be done within the week, depending upon how many flowers you have in one container.

Brightly-colored flowers tend to be the best preserved. Deep colors will fade slightly while white flowers will turn a slight tan or off-white color. Almost all flowers can be preserved and there are many ways to preserve them. Preserving your flowers is a great way to ensure that you have color in your house through the winter months.

Many people preserve flowers they want to keep as keepsakes and they also preserve flowers and give them as gifts.

Tips on Preserving Fruit

September 13, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

You have worked all spring and summer long to grow your garden with great success. You discover that you cannot possibly use all of the fruits that have sprung up in your garden. No problem – just star preserving fruit so that you can enjoy them after the summer passes. You can use different methods to when preserving fruits such as canning, freezing and drying. You can even use a simple recipe and create your own jams, preserves or butters to further indulge in. Best of all, by preserving your fruit you are ensuring that you are not letting all of the labor you put into your garden go to waste.


The easiest way to go about preserving fruit is to freeze it and store it for later use. How to freeze your fruit depends on the type of fruit. For berries, drain the berries in a colander for about 30 minutes then lie them on a cookie sheet and stick in the freezer overnight. You can take the berries out the next day and bag them when they are completely frozen.

Melons should be cut out of the rinds and sprinkled with sugar before freezing. The sugar helps to preserve the flavor of the melons. All fruit needs to be placed in a freezer bag or freezer safe container and marked with the date of freeze. Frozen fruit can be kept in the freezer for up to one year.


Canning is another great way to preserve your fruit. Pick the fruit when it is at its ripest for canning methods. Cut the fruit up and place into canning jars. You do not have to use sugar to sweeten the fruit, but like when freezing melons, using a simple syrup will help keep your canned fruit’s flavor and color.

To make a simple syrup, all you have to do is melt some sugar in water and pour over the fruit in the jar. You then need to give your canned fruit a hot water bath in order to seal the jars.

To give a hot water bath, place your jars in a pan filled halfway with hot water. Once the jars are in place, pour more boiling water over the tops of the jars (with lids on) until they are submerged. Turn on the burner and boil the jars for about 10 minutes or so. Remove the jars and place them on a cooling rack or on a towel on the counter. As the jars cool you will hear a popping sound. This will be the jars sealing. It will take approximately 12 – 24 hours for the jars to complete the sealing process.


Drying your fruit is another way to preserve it for the winter months. Drying your fruit is a bit more involved than freezing or canning. To dry your fruit, pick ripe fruit as immature fruit will not have any flavor and overripe fruit will dry in a mushy state.

Once you have picked your fruit, cut it into strips to prepare for the drying process. In order to dry fruit, you first need to pre-treat the slices. You can do this by dipping in ascorbic acid (vitamin C), citric acid or lemon juice. Once the slices have been pre-treated, you can use your oven to dry the fruit. This will take between 3 – 36 hours depending upon the size of the slices. Dried fruit should be leathery and pliable to be considered done and a deterrent to microbial growth.

Preserving  fruit is a great way to prevent spoilage and waste from your labors in the garden. Pick fruit when they are ripe and depending upon your tastes and effort you can preserve your fruit in different ways. Freezing, canning and drying are all great ways to keep your fruit preserved until you are ready to enjoy them.

Handling the Terrible Twos

September 09, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children No Comments →

When you first have your baby, you’re totally in love. You enjoy the time you spend together. They are so easy to care for…until they turn two. You can survive this time if you follow these smart ways of handling the terrible twos.

There is some truth to the idea that children at the age of two can be quite a handful. They’re beginning to become a person in their own right. They’re no longer completely helpless and they’ll be sure to let you know that fact. They want their own way and will do whatever it takes to get it. Does that sound at all like you, your partner or other children in the family?

Part of the reason why two-year-olds are given such a bum rap is because they are stuck. They’re no longer babies but they probably still have problems communicating well. When they’re in the midst of a meltdown, it is difficult to reason with a two-year-old.

Don’t wait to deal with issues which are unacceptable. Before your child reaches this stage, decide how you’re going to act the first time your child throws a tantrum because they didn’t get their way. Tell them no hitting, no biting, no whining or whatever they’re doing which you deem is not acceptable behavior. Then be consistent in how you handle that infraction each and every time. Consistance is key when you are handling the terrible twos. The more consistant you are, the faster this phase will pass.

Plan your daily activities around them. This means avoiding trips out to the store when it’s too close to their naptime. It also means being sure you have a snack with you in case they get hungry while you are out and about. If you must go out to the store, try to do it during the part of the day they’re generally in a good mood. By avoiding trips outside the house when you know they’ll be cranky you can avoid a good deal of problems.

Many two-year-olds don’t like change. If this describes your child, try to let them know ahead of time what is going to happen. Tell them 10 or 15 minutes before you have to go someplace so they can start transitioning from one activity to another.

Acknowledge their feelings of frustration, anger or sadness. Explain that feelings are normal but that acting in a way which will hurt others is not. Help them find the words they need to express themselves. Hold them, tell them a joke or speak to them in a soft voice to soothe them.

Understand your toddler’s abilities. Recognize they are growing up (often faster than you’d like) and they are able to do things they couldn’t in the past. Give them activities which will allow them to show off what they can do. Make a big deal out of their putting their clothes in their dresser or helping you set the table. Find things they can do which will give them a reason to shine and for you to be proud of their achievements.
Try following some of these smart ways of handling the terrible twos. Get the advice of other parents who have gone through them and see what worked for them. Then you may find your child’s ‘terrible’ twos can become their ‘terrific’ twos. 

To learn more about the language skills that will help you learn how to deal with toddlers check out the audio course “Talking to Toddlers” at  and make sure to sign up for the free audio lesson. Learn these tools. Reduce your parenting stress.

A Stress Free Morning Routine for Back to School

September 07, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

A Stress Free Morning Routine for Back to School
August 27, 2008 By: Real Life Solutions Category: About the Family, Organization Edit 2 Comments ?

School bells are ringing and Moms are receiting lines similar to this all over the world — “Let’s go! Let’s go! Come on … you’re going to miss the bus! I don’t know where your favorite jeans are; it’s not my responsibility. What do you mean you still have homework? Did you brush your teeth yet? Let’s go! I’m leaving… NOW!”

Oh I hope your mornings don’t sound like that above. If you recall saying words like this last year then allow me to help you to turn that ship around. The key to having a stress free morning routine is to have a smooth bedtime routine. Remember, a routine is something that is followed regularly, standard procedures. Without the consistency you will have an uphill battle.

Here are some tips to a stress free morning routine:

• No yelling. Raising your voice, albeit frustrated, is only going to escalate matters.

• Early to bed, early to rise. That one is simple.

• Showers and baths should be taken at night. You think you’ll have time in the morning, but you rarely do.

• Look over all homework for completeness before bed; don’t assume it’s finished.

• Before bed ensure lunches are made, backpack is packed and there are no surprise “Oh I need xxx today!”

• Give singular instructions. Don’t say, “I want you to finish your homework, eat breakfast, get dressed, comb your hair, brush your teeth and be in the car by 8:15.” To a child, that sounds like ” I want you to blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.” One instruction at a time works wonders.

• Set consequences and stick to your guns. If you tell your child the car is leaving at 8:15 sharp, make it happen. Clearly you can’t leave your child behind, so leaving without her isn’t an option. Tell her you will be leaving whether she is ready or not. Sending a 10 year old to school with uncombed hair, pajamas and an empty belly might be just the catalyst for change.

You are the parent; you set the tone for the morning routine. You need to be actively involved in the morning routine. Follow the steps above and I guarantee ‘joy will come in the morning!’

Visit Real Life Guidance to be armed with easy-to-follow advice at your fingertips. All of our guides are available for instant download, which means you can get the help you need any day of the week, even if it’s the middle of the night. –>

Organizing–It’s Not Expensive OR Difficult

September 02, 2010 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Organization No Comments →

Organizing doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. Getting organized will most often only require your readiness and desire to do so, along with time and motivation. Don’t be overwhelmed by the task at hand. Just take a few deep breaths and you’ll be on your way. The only big mistake you can make is to not start.

1) The most cost-effective way to get organized is to purge. The less you have to deal with physically, the easier it will be. Begin with a simple, quick trip around a room that you’ve chosen to work in and gather together any obvious trash. Newspapers, old catalogues and junk mail can all be tossed. Be sure to recycle whatever you can. We want to help organize the environment too!

2) The next step might actually help make you money. Now is the time to identify anything you currently own that you wish to donate or sell. Donating items to those in need can be very motivating. Knowing that someone else will be able to use an item, as opposed to it simply going into the trash, often makes it much easier to let go. Oftentimes, items donated to charity are eligible for a deduction on your income taxes. Be sure to keep proper documentation as to the item, condition and value. A photo can also be helpful.

3) If you prefer, you can also sell an item, perhaps online, which would bring a more immediate income. You can do it yourself or take the item to one of the many places around these days that will assist you in online sales.

4) Do you feel disorganized every time you leave the house? Perhaps you spend too much time looking for your car keys, cell phone, sunglasses, or your purse? The old saying, ‘A place for everything and everything in its place’ is well known because of how true and how valuable it is. Just imagine how much easier leaving your house would be if you knew, each and every time, exactly where all of your important items were. They’d be waiting for you right where you put them.

5) Decide on a location that makes sense. It may not be the first place you imagine it will be. It needs to be in the easiest and most functional spot. If the place you choose doesn’t feel right, you can always change it. Once you find that spot, then you can choose a container. If you have a number of sets of keys, perhaps a small row of hooks next to the back door would be best. Maybe a small wicker basket where you can leave loose items and then set your purse next to it is your ideal solution.

6) Need to organize your bathrooms? Are your bathroom cabinets a jumble of hair products, lotions, and makeup or personal care items? Shoe boxes make fantastic under-the- counter containers. If you would prefer a more attractive solution, but would rather not spring for matching boxes, a whole $5 roll of contact paper will cover a bunch of shoe boxes. Pick a fun color or pattern that will make you smile when you open the door. Sort like items together in each box. You can even label them if you would like.

7) Look at your closet in a new way. Sometime, the easiest way to organize a closet is to begin by removing everything. We, once again, will want to do a quick purge for anything you know you will never wear again. Anything that doesn’t make you feel fantastic should go. You should smile every time you get dressed.

8) Group like items together. For this step, you get to decide what that means. It can mean all jeans together, all blouses, etc. or it can mean all clothes of a certain color or category such as dressy or business casual. If you prefer, you can group actual outfits together and even add the accessories.

9) Once you’ve gotten the actual items sorted, you might take a quick trip to the store for matching hangers. Even the discount stores these days have nice sets for reasonable prices and it makes such a difference to get rid of all the old wire and other mismatched hangers you’ve accumulated over the years.

As you can see, getting organized doesn’t have to be expensive at all. Look at it as an investment that you’re making in yourself. The more organized you are, the more efficient you will be–which will leave you with more time for the things you truly love and want to enjoy.

Get Organized Now – An amazing collection of 1,300 organizing tips, ideas and techniques to help you organize your home, your office and your life.