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Archive for March, 2011

Prevent Child From Cyberbullying

March 31, 2011 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: About the Family, Children No Comments →

(ARA) – Cyberbullying, the bullying of a person through the use of an electronic device such as a computer or cell phone, is becoming a growing national problem. Anyone can be a victim of cyberbullying, but students are frequent targets. From fake Facebook pages, to the posting of embarrassing videos and photos, to Kick a Ginger Day (harassing red-headed people based on a 2005 episode of South Park), more than 20 percent of today’s U.S. students, ages 10 to 18, report being a victim of cyberbullying (26 percent for girls versus 16 percent for boys).

Because of a number of highly publicized cases of cyberbullying – including most recently, the suicide of a Rutgers University freshman whose roommate posted a video of the student having sex in his dorm room – colleges, school districts, law enforcement and state legislatures are taking action to address cyberbullying.

More than two dozen states have specifically enacted legislation or updated statutes to address the growing problem of cyberbullying, according to FindLaw.com, the leading online resource for legal information. Most new laws mandate that school districts enact policies involving cyberbullying, and take steps to suspend or expel students who engage in it.

Here are some tips from FindLaw.com on what parents can do now to prevent cyberbullying, and what to do if you suspect that your child is being singled out by cyberbullies:

* Ask about friends or other kids. Your child may be reluctant to open up about being the victim of cyberbullying. Start the conversation by asking your child if he has heard about other kids at school who have been victimized. Because girls are more likely to be targets of cyberbullying, ask your student about groups of girls being mean to other groups or a specific girl, or if they’ve heard about boys texting inappropriate photos of girls.

* Watch for signs. Does your child seem withdrawn? Reluctant to use some forms of technology? Maybe depressed? These are generalizations, but if you’ve noticed any changes in your child’s behavior, he or she may be the victim of technology torment. Have you noticed your child exiting out of a computer screen or smart phone quickly when you walk into a room? Is he or she spending an increasing amount of time on the Internet each day (specifically at night) or using multiple online accounts? Your child could be a cyberbully.

* Set boundaries. It’s critical to talk to your child about cyberbullying – what it is and what to do if your child feels threatened. In addition, parents should set clear boundaries about your young person’s use of technology. Clearly communicate your expectations for responsible use of technology and that, while you respect your child’s privacy, you intend to monitor it. Explain the consequences if you believe your child is abusing or misusing technology such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, an e-mail account or mobile device, or if it is interfering with their school work.

* “It’s just a joke.” Many kids may not perceive that they are involved in cyberbullying. Creating a fake Facebook page, sending embarrassing photos of another student to each other with a cell phone or other actions involving the Internet or mobile communications may be perceived by kids as “normal,” what other kids at their school do, or as “a joke” or “prank.” In fact, based on school policies or local or state laws, those “jokes” could get your child in a lot of trouble.

* It’s illegal. Cyberbullying is serious and, in a handful of states, illegal. If your child is involved in cyberbullying another child, he or she could face legal consequences, and you, as a parent, could become embroiled in a lawsuit if the parents of a student victimized by your child sue your child for emotional damages. In a growing number of cases across the country, students are being held responsible for cyberbullying, facing consequences that range from expulsion from school to prosecution.

* Passwords are private. Tell your kids not to share their online passwords with friends. A common way that kids bully each other online (posting hurtful comments or sending fake messages) is to do so from another kid’s account.

* Friends don’t send embarrassing photos. Make it clear to your child and his or her friends – it is not cool to send embarrassing photos taken at school events, parties, dances and other events to other students, who may ridicule or taunt the student in the embarrassing photo.

* It can haunt you. What many kids and adults don’t realize is that what you post on Facebook and other social media can remain accessible on the Internet for years and years. Those hurtful comments, snide remarks and embarrassing photos (including inappropriate photos of their bodies or body parts) can be searched by college admissions offices and future employers.

* Others are watching. Parents should strongly recommend to their kids that they never, ever post or send to anyone photos of themselves in sexually suggestive poses. There have been numerous legal cases of boyfriends forwarding photos of their girlfriends (or ex-girlfriends) to other students. Such photos can make their way to the Internet and into the watchful eyes of child porn addicts.

* Monitor e-mails with teachers. It’s sad, but true: Students can be intimidated and bullied by their teachers and school coaches, too. Insist that your young person always copies you, the parent, on any and all messages with their teachers and coaches.

* School policy. Find out if your school has a policy about cyberbullying. Many schools are just starting to develop these policies (in some states, schools are mandated to do so under state law). Unlike physical or verbal bullying that takes place on school grounds, most cyberbullying takes place outside of normal school hours. Going through your Parent Teacher Organization (PTO or PTA), advocate that your school set a policy for cyberbullying outside of school hours.

* Safe place. Cyberbullying is very real and it is possible that your student could at some point be one of its victims. Ask your school to create a safe place or resource for kids to report cyberbullying – such as a voicemail tip line – and ask your school to invite speakers to address the issue.

For further information and how you can protect your child while on the internet and from cyberbullying, click here!

Say Good Bye to Super Mom Syndrome & Hello to Downtime

March 31, 2011 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

Usually, during the Spring months I notice a trend among my coaching clients. Most of our sessions start to turn towards the importance of taking downtime.

Downtime is going to mean something different to all of us. But the main thing that all of my clients walk away with is the realization of how beneficial downtime on a regular basis was for our sanity.

Many moms suffer from supermom syndrome – trying to be everything to everyone! And it doesn’t work. Well maybe for awhile it does but eventually you can’t take it anymore because there’s just too many things on your plate. So this week I wanted to remind you about the guide Getting out of the Super Mom Trap http://www.reallifeguidance.com/super-mom-trap.html

The guide shows you how to implement real life strategies into your life. You’ll receive help to overcome the situations that cause you to feel stressed, overwhelmed, and most likely, under appreciated, so that you put an end to the Super Mom Syndrome. The guide will help moms realize that it isn’t wrong for them to take downtime, time for themselves but that it’s essential to their survival! Be sure to spread the word out about this awesome report.

Stop by The Super Mom Trap and check it out for yourself. Once you’ve completed payment, you will get instant access to the special report and extra audio recording. There’s no need to wait for mail order when you need help now!

This offer is as risk-free as an offer can come. You’re completely covered by my 30 day money back guarantee, if you’re not satisfied just email me and you’ll get your money back.

How To Say No Without Feeling Guilty

March 28, 2011 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

NO! It’s amazing how such a small word can carry such a mighty punch, isn’t it? Learning how to say no without feeling guilty can be difficult, but it’s worth it for many reasons. By saying no at times, you become more productive, reduce your stress levels and are more focused on the things you choose to say yes to.

The reason many people get in a situation where they are overwhelmed with work is because they feel guilty if the thought of telling someone no even crosses their mind.  Learning how to say no withought feeling guilty is important because by taking on too many duties, just to appease your guilty feelings, you are hurting not only yourself, but those requesting your time as well.

If you truly can’t fit something into your schedule without burdening yourself beyond reason, it’s ok to say no. Keep your tasks and projects at a level that is manageable for you. If you become overloaded, make certain that you let people know that. Many times, they will understand and will gladly wait until you have the time to complete their request

The tips below will help you to learn how to say no without feeling guilty.

The bake sale coordinator needs assistance with the bake sale this weekend, and wants you to bake 12 dozen cookies. You get asked when picking up your child from school and respond with something like, ‘Oh, I wish I could, but…’

The bake sale coordinator doesn’t actually hear you say, ‘No.’  You have just, unfortunately, invited a solution brainstorming event. Now the coordinator starts offering solutions to whatever followed ‘but’ in your original explanation of why you couldn’t bake 12 dozen cookies, with you attempting to stand your ground as a bake sale bystander.

You can feel your time slowly being stolen, not only because you will probably be baking cookies in the near future, but also because the brainstorming event is now making your dinner later and later.

In a list of ways to simplify your life, every other item on the list would be some variation on ‘say no.’ In American culture though, it can be difficult to say no without feeling guilty. 

1) Say what you mean at the beginning.

If you mean, ‘I can’t do it.’ Say so, right away. Avoid offering phrases like, ‘I wish I could’ or ‘That sounds like so much fun’–which might encourage the listener to help you participate in any way possible.

Use this phrase instead, ‘I know you are looking for help with the bake sale, but I can’t do it this time. Thanks for thinking of me.’

2) Reasons are ok, but avoid excuses.

A telltale sign that you are about to use an excuse? Telling a confidante that you need to ‘get out’ of something. If you feel like you need to ‘get out’ of something, talk with the person about how you are feeling about the task at hand.

Use this response: ‘I’m sorry, I’m really not interested in helping with bake sales. Can I donate some cash directly to the cause instead?’

3) Nurture the relationship.

Creating strong, respectful relationships with those around you makes your ability to simplify your life easier. By consistently communicating with other members of your organizations about the responsibilities on your plates, you create an environment that encourages everyone to be honest about commitments and help one another stay accountable.

Use this response: ‘I know the bake sale is your biggest event of the year and I wish you a lot of luck with it. I know that, based on my commitments this week, it isn’t realistic for me to bake that many cookies. I can make two dozen for you, though.’

4) Set your priorities.

Like many families, you may only see your partner and children from the end of the workday until bedtime, which can sometimes be less than three hours a day (not counting half-awake breakfasts with jam in the 3-year-old’s hair, as ‘time spent with family.’) Family time is precious, so why not set a personal rule that you will spend no more than two nights away from your family, for example, on any given week.

Maybe your priorities don’t include a family, but you want to be sure that you have time to volunteer with, for instance, Big Brothers Big Sisters or you call a long- distance friend every Thursday from 7-8. Regardless of what the order of your priorities is, don’t let life rearrange it for you. Set rules for yourself and stick to them.

Use this response: ‘I won’t be able to help with the bake sale this year. I have set some personal rules for my budget in order to continue to donate to the charities I already support. I’ve already maxed out my grocery budget this month. If you’re still raising funds next month, though, I’ll happily shift things around to give $10 towards your cause.’

5) Stand firm.

Depending on who is requesting, sometimes saying, ‘No,’ one time doesn’t cut it. If you’ve followed the tips above you will find that it is easier to stand firm in your decision to simplify your life. By avoiding excuses and relying solely on honesty and respect for yourself and the person requesting your time, repeating yourself doesn’t sound trite, it sounds responsible. Your priorities and relationship do not change quickly enough to shift the response to most inquiries.

6) What about when it’s the boss?

It can be hard to simplify your work life when you feel like your job is on the line, but priorities, in particular are key on the job. If you can’t squeeze another task in on the project timeline and the boss comes in and adds one more thing to the pile, consider asking the boss to set the priority: ‘I’m happy to do this task, but I need to know how you would like me to prioritize it. If I do it now, I will need to bump back several other tasks on this project and delay its completion by another day.’ Or ‘I can start this task after I complete this project. Do you have a preference?’

Though some things are beyond our control and may cause life to get a bit crazy at times, by using any of the tips above you can start to learn how to say no without feeling guilty.   The challenge is to look at our priorities and recognize how we are still meeting them in a manner that allows us to maintain a simple, less chaotic, life.

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!

Building Your Childs Self Esteem

March 25, 2011 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: About the Family, Children, Self Esteem No Comments →

It’s often been said that children learn what they live.  So if you’re looking for a place to start helping your child build positive self esteem and self value, then you should show them your positive sense of self and strong self esteem.  Be positive when you speak about yourself and highlight your strengths. This will teach your child that it’s okay to be proud of their talents, skills and abilities. 

Your child also benefits greatly from honest and positive praise.  Find something about them to praise each day.  You could even give your child a task you know they can complete and then praise them for a job well done after they’re finished. Show your child that positive acts merit positive praise. 

When your child’s feeling sad, angry or depressed, communicate openly, honestly and patiently with them. Listen to them without judging or criticizing.  They may not fully understand why they feel the way they do, so the opportunity to communicate with you about it may be what’s needed to help them sort through a difficult situation.  Suggest positive behaviors and options as solutions, and make sure to leave that door of communication open so they know the next time they feel badly, they can come to you for help and know that you won’t judge or punish them for how they’re feeling.

Teach your child the importance of setting goals and developing a plan to meet that goal and complete that task.  Small projects are the best to start off with in the beginning.  Ensure that it’s an appropriate task for your child, and not too complex.  Don’t only give praise at the end of the project, but praise their accomplishments during the project as well.

Most importantly, tell your child “I love you” each and every day – many times throughout the day, in fact.  When they’ve behaved badly, remind yourself that it’s not them you don’t like, only their behavior.  Tuck short, sweet notes in their lunchboxes or coat pockets, or even send them a card in the mail.  Soon, they’ll learn to say “I love you” just as easily and honestly in return.

Hand Care Tips

March 23, 2011 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Healthy Living No Comments →

Many of us talk with our hands, and your hands have a lot to say about the state of your health. Your hands do so much that they really need some TLC, and it makes sense to take good care of them.

Here are some hand care tips to keep your hands looking young and beautiful.

1. Use sunscreen – You probably know that dermatologists and other experts recommend wearing sunscreen on your face every day. But you may not have thought about sunscreen on your hands. Hands can develop “liver spots” or age spots, brownish areas that are actually sun damage. Apply sunscreen to your hands as you would moisturizing lotion, and it will become second nature to keep your hands protected from the sun.

2. Moisturize – At least three times a day, moisturize your hands. Because of all the things your hands get into – especially soap and water – they tend to dry out quickly, particularly in winter.

3. Take care of your nails – Rather than putting acrylic nails over unhealthy natural ones, take a look at some of the simple things you can do to improve the health and look of your fingernails. First, file them into a neat oval after trimming. Second, when you moisturize your hands be sure to work some in around each nail.

4. Wear gloves when gardening and washing dishes – Soap and water can strip your hands of healthful natural oils. Wearing gloves keeps hands out of cleaning chemicals and soap. When gardening, gloves protect your hands from the sun and from injuries such as briar scratches and contact dermatitis from handling weeds.

5. Exfoliate – Did you ever think to exfoliate your hands? Gently rub damp hands with salt or sugar, then rinse. The grainy texture of the salt helps scrape away old skin cells, and, once again, it improves circulation.

6. Manicure - A professional manicure is a real treat, but be sure that the emphasis is on nail health and not covering up weak nails with acrylic ones. Go for a manicure that nourishes your existing nails and pampers your hands.

7. Feed your nails with good nutrition – Deficiencies in the B-complex vitamins can cause ridged nail beds, and a lack of calcium can result in brittle, dry nails that chip and flake easily. Be sure to eat foods high in these vitamins or take supplements to improve the look of your nails.

8. Adjust your computer – The position of your computer monitor, keyboard, and mouse can have a profound effect on your hands. Repetitive motions such as typing and mouse-clicking can result in tired, sore hands or even inflammation such as carpal-tunnel syndrome. Be sure your mouse is comfortable and easily reached, and that your keyboard is positioned at a comfortable level.

Hands are often the first of all body parts to show your age and need quiet a lot of pampering and care to keep of wrinkles and keep them looking young, supple, soft and beautiful. By using any or all of the hand care tips above, you will see your hands transform before you eyes.

Running to Relieve Stress

March 21, 2011 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Healthy Living, Stress Management No Comments →

Ask a runner why they run and you might get a variety of reasons. Maybe they needed to lose weight for their health’s sake. Perhaps it was a requirement from being in the military and they decided to continue it. Others began running in school and continue because they enjoy the “runner’s high”. Whatever reason people choose to run, helping to understand why running is a natural stress buster may encourage them to keep running. Many people use running to relieve stress and it works wonders.

Everyone feels stress at one point or another in their lives. Demanding work schedules, problems with relationships, and not taking good care of yourself are just a few of the things which cause stress. While it’s not possible to totally remove stress from your life, running is a natural stress buster you may want to add if you’re faced with too much stress.

The scientific and medical communities have long told of the benefits of exercise for our physical health. Being physically active can also be a boom to our mental health as well.

Stress of any kind causes a huge release of biochemicals into your body which causes your heartbeat to increase, preparing your body for fight or flight. If the body doesn’t react in either fashion, the stress hormone cortisol is released into the body and can cause physical damage to the body. Exercising will approximate the flight response and bring the biochemicals into balance wish will then lower your stress. One way to bring the biochemicals down is to use running to relieve stress that you are feeling.

Running releases endorphins, which are the neurotransmitters producing the runner’s high. They also reduce the sensation of pain which could explain why some runners can run even while injured. Running, because of the release of endorphins, can be seen as a valid treatment for those suffering from depression and may produce better results than drugs or psychotherapy.

If you’re feeling stressed, angry or frustrated, running is a great outlet for releasing pent-up emotions. Running can help take your mind off problems, partially due to its rhythmic nature. Being outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air can also do wonders for helping you overcome your frustrations.

One of the most important benefits of running, however, is the improved health you experience. By using running to relieve stress you are mot only providing your body with exercise, you’re also removing damaging chemicals that can physically and mentally harm your body. If you engage in a physical activity on a regular basis, you’re less likely to feel the effects of stress when it tries to worm its way into your life. You may not be entirely free of stress but you’ll notice it much less.

Running is a great activity to help you stay healthy. Now that you know that you can use running to relieve stress, you may be more willing to give it a try. So, who’s ready to tie on their running shoes and bust some stress?

Tips for starting your own veggie garden

March 17, 2011 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

‘Veggin’ out’ is so in: Tips for starting your own veggie garden

(ARA) – Vegetable and herb gardening is in and studies indicate it will continue to grow in popularity. If you’re not growing your own yet it’s time to start. Why? The reasons are as varied as the people who garden.

Some do it to save money. Others want to ensure their food is chemical-free, and as safe as possible. Still others grow their own vegetables because fresher is just better. Many do it because gardening is good for you and some because it’s still fun to play in the dirt.

Whatever your reason for opting to join the 7 million Americans who grabbed their gardening gear and grew their own vegetables and herbs last year, your road to success is basically the same as everyone else’s – planting at the right time, making sure your soil’s in shape, weeding and watering responsibly, and feeding and nurturing your plants. This season, you won’t have to buy your fresh herbs and vegetables from a farmer’s market; you can grow them on your own, and you don’t need a farm-sized backyard – or pocketbook – to do it.

Avid gardener Stan Cope, president of Bonnie Plants, the largest producer of vegetable and herb plants in North America, growing locally in 75 locations nationwide, offers some time-saving tips to make the growing easy:

* Survey your soil – Your first step is to decide where you’ll put your vegetable and herb garden. Good soil is key. The best soil is loam, a soft, dark, crumbly dirt. Loamy soil holds water, allows for drainage and is easy to dig. If you encounter clay or sandy soil, add peat moss and bone meal so that these soils can also be productive gardening bases.

* Size up your space – When plotting out the size of your garden, you’ll want to be sure it’s big enough to yield a good harvest to make your efforts worthwhile. But if you’re limited on yard space – or have none at all – you can grow vegetables and herbs in containers on a deck, terrace, balcony or even on the windowsill.

* Let the sunshine in – Your plants need plenty of sun – at least six hours a day. A sunny and open location is your best bet for producing a plentiful harvest.

* Pick your plants for your plot – Grow vegetables that are expensive to buy in the grocery store or at the farmer’s market, such as tomatoes and peppers.

A tried-and-true prolific producer, the Bonnie Original Tomato, was developed exclusively for Bonnie Plants in 1967. They come in environmentally friendly, biodegradable pots that you plant right into the soil. Recent trials, planting five of these tomato plants in 25-gallon containers, averaged 100 tomatoes each at an average of 37 pounds per plant. Another tomato that will tip the scales is Bonnie’s Sun Sugar tomato, a yellow cherry type. Trial garden plants averaged 1,228 tomatoes each.

If peppers are your passion, the Yummy Bell Pepper, ripening from green to apricot orange, is a best bet. Trial garden testing of five plants averaged 248 peppers per plant during the summer growing season.

* Time-saving transplants – When you’re ready to begin planting, opt for transplants – seedlings that have already been started – rather than starting from seed. Transplants will buy you lots of time because plants are six weeks or older when you put them in the ground, and you’ll begin harvesting much sooner.

* Feed your food – Your vegetable plants will need food and water to survive and grow. When feeding plants, try to avoid chemical fertilizers that could potentially seep into groundwater. Bonnie Plant Food is a unique, organically based, soybean oilseed extract formula that has demonstrated superior results in the health and vigor of plants.

Give your garden a good watering once or twice a week, although some crops may need more water, especially if your climate is very hot. A thorough soaking, allowing the water to penetrate 4 to 6 inches into the soil, is better for plants than frequent shallow watering.

Gardening is rewarding. It will bring great pleasure as you bring your produce from plot to plate so you can literally enjoy the fruits of your labor. For more information on varieties and gardening advice, visit www.bonnieplants.com.

Budget and Organization Tips for Busy Stay at Home Moms

March 15, 2011 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: About the Family, Children, Healthy Living No Comments →

Are you a busy stay at home mom who feels like she’s working a full time job? Between children, activities and a spouse, being a stay at home mom can be really exhausting, but quite rewarding. If you’re a stay at home mom, or thinking about becoming one, the best thing to remember is to have a routine. Here are some tips for stay at home moms who are looking to save money and increase family time, all while living on one income.

Dress for Less – If you’re not going into an office every day, then it isn’t likely that you will need to spend hundreds of dollars each season on new work clothes. While you shouldn’t look like a mess, you can save quite a bit of cash by shopping at consignment stores or discount retailers. Keep your closet simple and organized and you’ll always find something to wear. As for your kids, they are constantly growing out of their clothes, so ditch the designer labels and focus on affordability.

Make use of shopping in bulk – If you have a large family, you may really benefit from shopping in bulk. Being a stay at home mom means thinking creatively. Buy out of season for certain items, and buy them in bulk if possible. Summer items like air conditioners, fans and sunscreen are often discounted in the winter and fall. Buy items like toilet paper and paper towels in bulk and store them neatly in a closet until use. Keep an eye on store sales to take advantage of the best prices or join a local warehouse club, like Costco or Sam’s Club.

Limit how much you dine out – Find weekly specials in your area when there are family deals or child discounts. If you’re not big on cooking, pick one day a week when you will cook for the whole week. Make dinners ahead of time and store them in the freezer. When it’s time to eat, pop them in the oven and you’re done!

Get organized one step at a time – If your home is messy or filled with clutter, set a goal to get organized. By learning how to have a more organized home, you will spend less time looking for things and cleaning around the house. Having an organized home will make you feel more relaxed, and you will feel more energized to get more accomplished. When you’re more organized, you’ll spend less time cleaning and decluttering and have more time to spend with your family.

About the author: Jacquie Ross is a professional organizer and award winning owner of CastAway the Clutter! Jacquie is a busy mom expert and works with moms, families and busy professionals to clear their clutter, manage their time and run their households more efficiently. She is active in her community and regularly speaks to social and professional groups and organizations on time management and organization.

Jacquie has written three e-books especially for busy moms and her twice monthly Timely Tips newsletter is chock full of organizing tips and techniques for busy people. Register today and receive a free copy of her special report, 21 Organizing Solutions to Cast Away the Clutter. Get your free copy now by clicking here.

Get your complimentary organizing goals worksheet when you sign up for periodic organizing tips
http://www.CastAwaytheClutter.com/Organizing_Newsletter.html

Tips For Clearing Clutter

March 11, 2011 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Organization No Comments →

When we stop to think about it, we all have clutter to one degree or another. No matter where we are with the level of clutter, we’d all be better off without it. Here are some great tips for clearing clutter.

1. Schedule a charity pick-up. Some of us work better with a deadline, so schedule one. Call your local or favorite charity and schedule a pick-up for a week or two out. Now that you have that deadline, make the rounds gathering up unneeded items. You’ll be amazed at the difference.

2. One room at a time. One of the best tips for clearing clutter is to start in one room and work in there until you’ve cleared the clutter. Your most visible room will have the most impact, so start there. For most people, that is the living room. Seeing what a big improvement it is, just removing the clutter makes, will motivate you to keep going. And remember, you don’t have to spend the day at it. Start with 15 minutes.

3. Go for the trash first. Start with a trash bag and go around the room from right to left, or left to right depending on your preference. Pick up any old newspapers, magazines, junk mail or what have you, that are lying around. Remove every bit. If you have recycling in your community, be sure to recycle paper, newspaper and magazines. Some of your magazines would be appreciated by senior centers or nursing homes if they are relatively current. Whatever else you pick up as trash, throw it in the garbage. Just removing the trash will be an improvement.

4. Remove everything that doesn’t belong.Pick up everything that doesn’t belong in the room, and put it in a basket. Remember, you’re just in gathering mode right now. You don’t have to run around putting things away yet. Sort through the basket when you get everything picked up. If you have a place for the item, put it in its place. Handle each item only once. If you don’t know where it goes, put it into a box for donations. Don’t agonize over what to do with an item. If it has a place, just put it there. If it doesn’t, make it easy on yourself and donate it. Clutter gone.

5. Rethink how much you need. Many of us have duplicates, triplicates or even more of items. Truth be told, most of the time we need just one. So, go through your supplies and donate the excess. Not only will you free up space in your home–you’ll also benefit others with your donations.

6. Make a bit of money. My favorite tip for clearing clutter will actually bring you some extra cash. They are a bit of work but having a yard sale can result in cash in your pocket and clutter out the door. As you set aside items for the yard sale, go ahead and price them. Keep in mind that we go to yard sales looking for a bargain as you price each item. Before your yard sale, arrange to have a charity pick-up anything that is left over right after closing. Clutter totally gone!

7. Freecycle It. Another way to show clutter the door is to list items on Freecycle. Almost every city has a freecycle organization. No cash changes hands, but the end result is that clutter is out of your home and into the hands of someone who needs it. Arrangements can be made to meet somewhere neutral so that you don’t have safety concerns to deal with. Just take precautions to be safe when meeting someone to hand off items.

8. Sell online. There are several auction and ‘yard sale’ sites online where you can sell items like books, DVDs, clothing, craft supplies and the like. You’ll need to take a digital picture of the item and upload them to your site of choice. To get a good idea of how to price your items, search for similar items. This will give you a fair idea of how to price, and it will also let you know if there is a market for your items.

9. Pack It Up. Do you have more artwork, knick knacks, whatever, than you have space to display it? Do you love it and can’t see your way to donating or selling? You can still reduce clutter and keep your favorite things. Simply pack up three fourths of your items. Periodically, switch out what you have displayed. You’ll have a fresh new look and less clutter, and still be surrounded by your favorite things. Just be sure not to turn your home into a storage warehouse!

10. Donate, with a twist. It’s pretty easy to donate items to any one of dozens of charities. For a different twist, do a bit of research and find a local organization that offers free clothing to women trying to get back into the workplace. For women trying to reenter the work force after being homeless, or other issues, the chance to look professional when going out on interviews is priceless. So, if you have professional clothing you no longer use, consider donating it to this kind of organization. You’ll make a huge difference in another woman’s life.

By using any of the tips for clearing clutter listed above, you will be on your way to a less cluttered space.

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!

The Origin of Easter Day

March 01, 2011 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: About the Family No Comments →

Many people are curious about the origin of Easter day. Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. It marks the end of Lent, which is the forty day period of fasting beginning on Ash Wednesday and culminating on Easter Sunday. Preceded by Holy Thursday and Good Friday; the day Christ died, Christians attend Church services on this solemn day to participate in the Stations of the Cross, denoting his Passion and death.

On Holy Saturday, a time of contemplation and solemnity, the sacrifice of the Mass is not celebrated. On Easter morning, however, the celebration begins with church bells signaling His resurrection.

Easter Sunday is a time of great joy for families who observe this day with traditional egg-coloring; egg hunts; fun crafts for kids; a special Easter dinner and a myriad of desserts. What does the egg symbolize?

Along with the origin of Easter Day, the egg symbolizes a rebirth; a renewal of life. In ancient times, the egg was given as a gift. The ancient Saxons celebrated the return of spring with a festival in honor of the goddess of spring and her symbol, the rabbit. Some say the word “Easter” is derived from the Anglo-Saxon “Eostre,” the name of the fertility goddess of spring. Therefore, the custom of exchanging eggs in springtime has been said to date back over 3000 years.

Speaking of eggs! On Easter morning many kids wake up and find Easter baskets filled with chocolate and other goodies. Easter egg hunts and getting treats seem to be the most favorite part of Easter for lots of kids.

Hopefully this article has helped you to understand the origin of Easter Day.