I can’t tell you how excited I am that the Eagles won the Super Bowl. They sure did live up to Fly Eagles Fly! The City of Brotherly Love is showing the love to their team right now!
January was a whirlwind for me and went by in a blink of an eye. I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling that way! Work wise, moving on from broken love was the theme of January. We helped several individuals going through a divorce, or recently divorced, get organized. Giving love to your home is always a good way to feel calm and relaxed.
In the mist of helping my clients, my son, who is a fourth grader, had a ton of school projects that needed mom supervision. Who remembers those school projects?! Plus, as a Girls Scout Leader for my daughter’s troop, January saw the start of the cookie drive. February has already started out just as busy and as a mom and business owner, I need to be on top of my game and keeping organized helps me with that. What about you?
Share the family love in February
Through all the hustle and bustle, my husband and I ensure we show our kids our love through a love box. Even if you don’t want to participate in a love box all year round, February is a great month to do so, celebrating Valentine’s Day. There are many ways to have your whole family participate. For ours, anyone can put a note of gratitude in the box.
Just for the month of February we have blank hearts. Each night we right one out for each of our children with a reason of love on it and stick it to their bedroom door. We do this in the run up to Valentine’s Day. You can even extend it for the whole month.
Show your home some love
As I eluded to earlier, through the chaos that is running my business, looking after the children and the home, I don’t forget to show my home some love. Creating order and having everything organized keeps everything moving along… mostly smoothly. After all, kids are involved!
Do you show love to your home? Fall back into love with your home with our February deal! For the month of February, we’re offering four hours of our time for just $200. Call 215-908-2869 and quote LOVE18.
Happy New Year! Hope you had wonderful holidays! We had an eventful Christmas with our neighbor’s tree falling into our backyard taking out the power on Christmas morning!
With the start of the new year, do you feel energized to declutter? If you do, excellent! The start of a new year is a great time to gain control on the clutter, tweak your organizing systems to work with your family, learn to time mange and simplify your life. Below, we go through four key ways to get you going:
1. Post-Holiday wrap up
2. Updating your home decor
Putting back your everyday decor is the perfect time to evaluate your space, your style and y our items:
3. Purge the toys!
According to The Telegraph, the average 10-year-old owns 238 toys but plays with just 12 of them on a daily basis! That's a lot of toys taking up a lot of room!
4. Keep on top of the clutter
Daunted by the donate pile? You can donate your items as follows:
Have fun organizing in 2018!
yMy family and I just took a wonderful trip to Disney World in Florida. We had a fantastic time in the sunshine and managed to miss the first snow of the season! Now we are back and it’s all pistons go as Christmas Day is just ten short days away.
I have been following my Holiday Checklist (you can download it here) and I am pretty on top of everything. This time of the year is always a juggling act with preparing for Christmas and all the wonderful events and traditions that take place this time of year, from school concerts to brunch with Santa, to riding around looking at all the amazing Christmas lights.
Calm during the chaos
For many people, the run up to Christmas brings clutter to the home, with empty boxes from gifts, wrapping paper and extra food, drink and goodies making their way into the home.
Christmas is probably the one time of the year where I let my home get a little more chaotic than usual. I always let the kids have their new toys and gifts out for a few days before we re-organize and de-clutter for the start of a new year. For me though, I find that as long as the heart of the home – the kitchen – is kept organized, then I feel calm and relaxed. Here are my top four tips for an organized Kitchen over the holidays:
Can you believe Thanksgiving is a week away? As the holiday approaches, we are reminded of the many things we are grateful for, with the most important being our family and friends we hold dear to our hearts. If you haven't yet started your prep, don't panic! To help keep the stress at bay and enjoy this wonderful holiday, we have put together a Thanksgiving checklist:
Most Importantly, unplug from texting, email, social media, and the computer and appreciate the Thanksgiving holiday with the ones you care about.
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love dressing up, and going trick or treating with the kids. I also love decorating the home with cobwebs, spiders and tombstones! Halloween is awesome, but going out after dark with little ones can be a stressful experience, so here are seven tips to keep the kids safe while out and about
1. Glow the Night Away
Keep you and the little ones safe with Glow Sticks, Glow Necklaces or a camping lantern to be seen in the dark.
2. Provide transportation for the little ones
Little legs can only make it so far, If walking ,use a wagon to provide space for the child and the candy.
3. Full Tummy= less candy tasting
Candy and sweets are temptation for kids! Feeding kids a hearty meal before Trick or Treating prevents the candy testing while out and upset belly.
4. Prevent Choking Hazards provide non candy options
Many children are so excited to be collecting candy, the instinct to run while chewing gum, sucking a lollipop can cause a choking hazard. As a mom of a food allergy kid, providing non food options support the Teal Project (https://www.foodallergy.org/education-awareness/teal-pumpkin-project) and allow all children to participate in the fun
5. Inspect all Candy
This action was drilled upon me at a small age. It is imperative to check all Trick or Treat loot prior to eating. Candy could be tampered with, opened during the walking door to door and could be dirty. Some candy may have an ingredient that could harm an allergic child.
6. Safety First
Focus on the environment you will be walking in, will it be dark? Masks have small slits that can make seeing difficulty. Can your child tolerate something covering the face for a long period of time? Prevent, tantrums, falling and costume malfunctions by using wigs and face paint.
7. Comfortable shoes are important.
Comfortable shoes for everyone will make your Trick or Treating trek enjoyable, and blister free.
Have a fun, memorable and enjoyable Halloween hopefully with no tantrums!
Can you believe that fall is here? I love fall, especially watching the trees turn all shades of wonderful colors. Fall brings so many memories every year from jumping in leaf piles, pumpkin and apple picking, hay rides, bonfires and watching the local football teams. My family starts to plan out our DIY Halloween projects we will tackle this season too! Take a minute to enjoy the beautiful leaf colors!
However, fall can be a frantic time. The kids have gone back to school, the juggling of the new schedules from homework to after school activities all with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas rapidly approaching. Fall also brings a range of home chores – from draining sprinkler systems to putting away patio furniture to leaf clean-up. Fall is also a great time to get your trees checked before the harsher weather arrives and get big jobs like window washing completed.
A busy fall means that time management must be your best friend this season. Here are my top tips to help ensure you take time to notice all the wonderful things that this season has to offer:
August blew in like a hurricane and I can't believe that it's almost September! I also can't believe that I will soon have a 2nd grader and a 4th grader. Before then though, we still have a few things left to do on the summer bucket list.
I started to get my kids ready for the new academic year at the beginning of August so that they won't feel the impact as much of no electronics during the day, early bedtimes and chores! I have a couple of checklists on my website for helping with back to school and establishing routines for kids, Below, I've outlined some of the key things that I do to get ready:
I roll back bedtime so that my kids are going to bed earlier than they have been all summer.. I set a limit on electronics and with the help of the kids we create a chore chart. A fun thing I do with the kids is create a paper chain that counts down to the first day of school. It's a great visual aid for all of us. I also create a list of the items that are needed before school begins, such as sneakers, school bags, hair cuts and lunch boxes. This gives us time to get everything done without cramming everything in to the last week!
Three to two weeks before school starts
I start getting the house ready by creating a home work station with all the essentials needed to complete homework. I also go over all the completed forms that I need for the school and drop them off.
One week before school starts
During the final week before school starts I take some time to create a lunch area in my pantry that contains the snacks and juice boxes and the essentials to make lunches. I also create a lunch area in the refrigerator that allows the kids to make lunches easily.
Finally, the most important task that I do before the chaotic days of school start is create a central family calendar, bringing organization into our daily routine! I create this before the middle of August so we have another visual aid and can also ensure we save a few days here and there to shop for supplies, get haircuts etc.
What do you do to get ready for school?
Have you considered hiring a professional organizer but for one reason or another you have decided against it? You are not alone! Many people think that hiring someone to get or keep them organized is foolish and unnecessary. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth.
Professional organizers are here to help you get your home in order, in a way that works best for your lifestyle. Many people outsource their house cleaning and lawn maintenance so why are people so reluctant to hire an organizer?
I will do it myself!
This is the most common reason people are reluctant to hire a professional organizer. Yes, you can just do it yourself, but…will you? How long have you been talking about organizing your basement, attic, garage, or closets? How many times have you started the project then stopped because you got overwhelmed or frustrated?
A professional organizer can help you through the organization process. The first thing I do when I connect with you is to talk to you about what you want. I listen to you and together, we make an action plan. I guide you through the process from start to finish, help you decide what stays and what goes, and provide you with support and guidance for maintaining organization.
With a professional by your side, your organizing project will get finished in a timely manner leaving your space feeling rejuvenated and refreshed!
They’ll make me get rid of everything!
Professional organizers are not heartless people who believe that purging is the only way to get you back on track. Part of my job is to listen to you and offer support and guidance. This will help you make the best decisions based on how you live, and want to live, your life. The final decision on whether to keep, donate, or toss items is always up to you.
When you make the choice to donate, I offer suggestions on the best options for donating useable goods to local organizations who need what you no longer want. When something cannot be reused, I help you to use environmentally conscious practices for recycling and disposal.
I’m going to have to spend so much money!
Hiring a professional organizer is an investment - an investment in your home, your quality of life, and your time. Hiring an organizer provides you with a valuable service that improves your quality of life. When you become organized, you’ll find that you are less stressed and have more time in your day because you have an easier time locating the items you need, when you need them.
Once we begin the organization process, and we use what you already have to organize your belongings, you’ll discover that you have more closet, cabinet, and shelf space than you knew! If you should need to purchase items such as bins or containers, I will make recommendations based on what will work best for you and your space.
Many people think professional organizers are perfect, so I must be perfect. Having just spent time with 500 other professional organizers, I can tell you we are far from perfect. We all have busy lives – kids, husbands, pets, hobbies, businesses.
Everything has a place, until the place is full!
As I am sure happens to all of us, our house had become a little disarrayed. The end of a busy week left us with items all over the place. However, being a professional organizer, everything does have a home, so when it comes to clean up, it’s a lot easier.
When I went to put some books away I got from the recent NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers®) conference I realized there was no more space on my shelf in my office closet. Noooo! I have been dreading this day! What to do?
Making hard decisions
I needed to make a decision and it was a hard one to make. I had a whole section for scrapbooking and making cards. But, in all reality, I haven’t scrapbooked, or made cards with my kids, in a while. The kids are now off doing sports or scouting activities and I am no longer a stay at home Mom looking forward to scrapbooking as a little bit of fun added to my day.
Now running my own business and scuttling the kids from here to there, I’d rather rewind with my kids or my husband. Doing yoga or reading a good book takes my time up now. I decided I will go back to scrapbooking eventually but making cards has passed.
I emptied the closet and whittled my scrapbook collection of supplies to a minimum, parting away with all the card supplies. I had every heart string pulled but I had to rationalize all the guilty feelings, the thoughts about all the money I spent and realized it will not go to waste. I filled two huge bags for my sister. The rest will be given to senior centers or preschools.
Today was a hard day, but a productive one. This painful realization allowed plenty of open space and the supplies I’m giving away will now be used, rather than sitting there collecting dust. Taking the time to identify your feelings and retrain your thinking will allow you to let it go!
Annie Kilbride is the CEO of Life Simplified, LLC a professional organizing business. Visit www.lifesimplifiedpo.com for more information.