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As we begin our spring cleaning regimen, it dawned on me that the spaces in the house that seem to need the most time and energy are the kid spaces. We have loft that is devoted for all the kid’s toys, books, crafts, puzzles, games etc. By having this designated space it is nice because we don’t have toys in their bedrooms. This cuts down on a lot of night time battles of them wanting to play instead of sleep. However, when spring cleaning time comes around, it is always a chore to organize and decide what stays and what is ready to go. Here are a few tips to help you tackle your kid spaces.

Tip #1- Gather all the kids toys that have made their way through the entire house. Bring them to one central location (such as a play room or where you normally store all the toys). This way, as you hunt for all the missing pieces to various sets, you have everything already in front of you.

Tip#2- Sort out all the broken items. These are obviously the easy choices when starting the downsizing process of old, broken, and not played with anymore toys. So take the easy start and get rid of these first.

Tip#3- Start sorting all the items that go together. This will allow you to have a better handle on what items are missing, and what does or does not belong in the designated kid space.

Tip#4- This is probably one of the hardest! Determining what stays and what goes. The conventional wisdom is that if it hasn’t been played with in 6-12 months, it is probably time to consider getting rid of it. However as with most things with kids, it can sometimes be hard to get the kids to be willing to part with anything! What I do with my kids is this, I decide what items should be considered to be parted with. Then I let them put in their input into the decision. If they are unwilling to part with most of it or any of it, then I give them the option to “save” a portion of the items (if there are 10 items, I may let them chose 3-4 that they can keep). Even though we don’t get rid of all of them, we at least have taken care of the majority of them. However, I do also let them make a good case if they really want to keep more than the allotted amount. They just have to prove to me why they are not ready to give it up. This also requires them to really think about the items and provide a strong reasoning. Reasoning skills is a great thing to teach children when they are young.

Tip#5- Creating a way to store and keep toys organized throughout the year. This will make it easier to keep up with the messes and missing items that get spread throughout the house so that spring cleaning isn’t such a chore every spring!

I hope this blog is helpful for you in tackling your spring cleaning this year and going forward!

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions of topics that you would like me to discuss in the future, or would like me to expand on any of my previous topics, please use the comment section below!

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This blog is at the request of one of my readers. Thank you for the suggestion Addie! Every time a major appliance reaches the end of its life cycle or a car is beyond reparability I cringe at the stress, time, and decisions that will need to be made when having to make large purchases.  Here are a few tips to help get you through your next major purchase:

  • Assess what you really need! Most people do not need or even end up using all the “bells and whistles” that salesman try to sell you on. Determine what you really need and really want before you even go to the store. Do you research. With the internet you can find out just about anything and everything you need to know about the products and options you are looking for. Take that list with you to the store and really think and take your time on deciding on additional options that the salesmen are trying to say they are the “must haves”!
  • Know your budget! One of the most important things to follow when making these purchases is to set a budget and stick to it. You don’t want to end up being schmoozed by the salesman into extra “bells and whistles” that you can’t afford. The worst thing you can do is buy something that is above what you can afford and end up making payments for the entire life of the item, just to start all over again.
  • Shop around and compare prices! These days the internet makes it really easy to compare prices. However, don’t let price be your complete decision maker as to where you will buy your product. Since this is a major purchase, you also want to take into consideration the service history of the place you are purchasing as well as the reliability of the models they are selling. Some places can offer lower prices on models that are similar to the top rated models but are possibly of slightly lower quality or ratings. This can affect the long term life of the product. In addition, if you purchase from a place with poor service ratings, the cost you saved could end up being a much bigger headache if you have any issues with the product. Get recommendations from your friends and family as to their experiences with various competitors. In addition, don’t be afraid to ask if the more reputable places will price match. More times then not they will price match just to get your business.
  •  Your Time is valuable! Don’t waste too much time on price shopping. There will always be someone out there that may be willing the sell you a product slightly lower than another place. But your time is at a cost too, so determining exactly what product will suite your needs, determining who will offer the best services, and getting a reasonable price without spending too much of your valuable time is the way to go!

At the end of the day it boils down to the fact that you need to pick the product you want in the price range that you can afford and just get it done! I hope that you have found this blog helpful in making major purchases. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions of topics that you would like me to discuss in the future, or would like me to expand on any of my previous topics, please use the comment section below! 🙂

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The desire to be a perfectionist is common in our society. We all want to be perfect at everything we do, but at what cost? Perfectionism can be extremely exhausting and can lead to burnout and decreased motivation. These all are negative attributes towards increased productivity. When you set unrealistic goals for yourself, you tend to spend too much time to complete a project perfectly at the expense of other items that may have been put on the back burner.

Most perfectionists have trouble delegating to other because they are too worried that someone else cannot do the job as well. The result of this is being overworked which leads to burnout, higher stress, and even poor health. If you are a perfectionist and ready to make a change to reduce your perfectionist traits, just remember that it takes time to incorporate this kind of change in your life. So be patient, celebrate your milestones, and don’t give up when things get tough.

Here are a few ways you can overcome perfectionism:

  • Develop awareness of when you are or think you are a perfectionist.
  • Create a cost-benefit analysis to determine if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
  • Accept self as a human being and forgive self for mistakes.
  • Find the happy medium between perfection and just good enough.
  • Set healthy goals of realistic accomplishments.
  • Realize that the important thing is to be positive.

Perfectionism is a serious problem that will affect many things including productivity. The first step to overcoming perfectionism is to recognize that it exists. Once you do this you can start to work on the issues that come with perfectionism and find a balance between perfectionism and productivity. The key to a productive yet good quality outcome is to maintain a good balance between perfectionism and productivity.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions of topics that you would like me to discuss in the future, or would like me to expand on any of my previous topics, please use the comment section below! 🙂

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Most of my friends and colleagues ask “How do you do it?” “How do you be a mom of 6-year old twins, a business professional, and a student and still have time for yourself and the things you enjoy doing?” The answer is easy, sort of! It is about creating efficiency in all aspects of your life. That is what my blog is all about. To share the ways that I have been able to create balance in my life by creating efficiencies in my work life, home life, financial life, and even my travel life. I hope that some of my previous blogs have been helpful to you! Here are a few of my favorite ones:

The main thing to remember with creating efficiency in your life is that it takes time, it can’t be done overnight. However, if you take it one step at a time and not give up, you will see improvements in no time. In addition, with many things in life, there is always room for improvement so in order to maintain efficiency you must constantly re-evaluate how things are done because with time comes change, and with change comes room for improvement. To create efficiency in your life start with one area of your life and list all the things you feel could be done better. If you need to, also do some research on how you can accomplish efficiencies with specific task or subject areas. Work through each area of your life in this manner and before you know it you will find that you have more free time and possibly more money to spend on the things you like to do the most.

I hope that you will find my past blogs and my future blogs helpful in your endeavor of creating an efficient life. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions of topics that you would like me to discuss in the future, or would like me to expand on any of my previous topics, please use the comment section below! 🙂

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As with the previous Tupperware blogs on my site, this blog is from a real consumer, not a sales person. I am not selling Tupperware, but I am a huge fan of what Tupperware has done for my household. It has saved my family tons of time & money by being organized with some of the best products on the market. This blog is about the Tupperware Freezer Mates.

A co-worker of mine asked me this week if I knew of any good products for freezing home-made baby food. The Tupperware Freezer Mates were the first thing that came to mind. With all the available sizes including the  mini 1 (4oz) and small 1 (8 oz) size I thought these would be the perfect solution for her. They would keep her baby food free from freezer burn with easy accessibility and easy to thaw containers. What I do to thaw stuff such as baby food is I stick the container in a sink of hot water for a few minutes to loosen the edges and then I can pop out the frozen food into a microwave save dish and warm it right up. The design of the Freezer Mates makes it easy to accomplish without hassle or a mess.

 “Eliminate the clutter and waste of freezer bags. The modular, stackable design of this set makes organizing any freezer easier. Each container’s rounded corners and recessed bottom allows maximum airflow for faster, more efficient freezing and thawing. And the flexible containers and seals ensure easy removal of frozen foods!” ~www.tupperware.com

There are many different things you can freeze in Tupperware Freezer Mates. Only your imagination will limit you! Here are a few ideas that I have used them for:

  • Chicken Nuggets
  • Tilapia Filets
  • Homemade Baby Food
  • Ground Meat
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Ice Cream Bars
  • Hot Dogs & Hamburgers
  • Vegetables
  • Lunch Meat

One of the things I like the most about Tupperware is how they stand behind their products. If they break or fail for any reason, Tupperware replaces the broken product! However, Tupperware products are so durable, I have never had one fail on me yet. Some of my family is still using Tupperware they purchased 30 years ago and it is still going strong!

For more information on how Tupperware can help you save time and money and help you stay organized, check back often on my blog for additional ways Tupperware can simplify your life! In addition, you can contact one of the best Tupperware Directors I have ever met, Pam Wilson!

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions of topics that you would like me to discuss in the future, please use the comment section below! 🙂

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As Spring starts to show its presence, the one thing in the back of our minds is “Great Spring Cleaning is right around the corner! Ugg!! But don’t get overwhelmed yet! Here are a few tips to help you make this Spring cleaning season more productive and less stressful.

Tip #1- Make a List!

You shouldn’t start any large project without making a list of all the items you need to complete, items you will need to purchase, and any other factors that might impact your ability to get things done. Do this by room or related area if you can. This will help you break down your tasks and be able to determine what each room needs.

Tip #2- Focus on One Room or Area at a Time!

If you create more stress by focusing on too much at once, you will lose productivity and effectiveness. You will find that if you focus on too many areas at once, you can miss major items that you might have overlooked if you were trying to assess everything at once. Start by evaluating what needs to be done in each room seperately.  Then, determine the order of priority and how much time you have available to tackle this one area.

Tip #3- Schedule to Do Your Spring Cleaning Over a Period of Time, Not All in One Day!

Little blocks of time is easier to fit into your schedule than spending a whole weekend focused on just Spring cleaning. So try to set little blocks of time aside that is assigned specifically to the tasks you have already determined you need to get done. Sometimes this means that you might have to jump around your priority list based on items that would fit into the block of time that you might have available for that day. Also build in a little wiggle room for unexpected things that you come across while tackling your list.

Tip #4- Don’t Forget the Kids!

Your kids can be a great source of help with Spring cleaning. Find little jobs they can help with, especially when it comes to their rooms or their spaces throughout the house. Just as for you, schedule small blocks of time for them to accomplish the tasks. The more they are engaged the better job they will do and if your children are anything like mine those periods of focused engagement can be quite short. Try to make it a fun game or offer incentives for completing their tasks on time and with quality such as maybe going out for ice cream.

So get out your vacuums, and your gloves and get excited about Spring cleaning instead of dreading it! Soon the sun will be shining and the flowers will be blooming and we should all be ready to sit back, relax, and enjoy the nice weather on its way!

If you have any questions, comments, or tips you would like to share, please use the comment section below.

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At the suggestion from a colleague (Thanks Karen!), this blog is about how to say “NO” to too many commitments.

It is a well-known fact that in order to be productive, we have to manage our commitments. If we spread ourselves too thin we will lose focus and reduce our productivity and usually the quality of our work.

The hardest part about saying no is that it can hurt, disappoint, or even anger the person you’re saying no to, and most of us prefer not to confront these kind of issues. Instead we just continue to say yes to appease those asking. However, with requests for our time constantly coming in we have to decide what items are more important than others in order to complete the tasks. Some of this can be at the detriment of focusing on the most important things which could include specific projects, ourfamily, or even our health.

So the question is, how do we say “no” without jeopardizing the relationships with the person(s) asking for our time? Here are a few tips to help you say “no”:

  1. Know your priorities! If you are aware of all your current and possibly upcoming priorities you can more easily assess whether you have extra time to take on more. The big question is that if you have extra time where do you want to spend it? The answer to this may be extremely different from what someone else would like you to spend your time on. You have to choose which one is more important to you.
  2. Value your time! Now that you know what your priorities are, you have to then assess the items that you have already committed to. Your time is valuable and you have to manage that time very carefully. If someone asks you to help them      and you know that your time is already committed you need to communicate this to them. For example, you can tell them “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.” If they know that you are already overloaded then they should understand that you can’t take on more.
  3. Don’t apologize! Apologizing can make you sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about knowing your limitations and the time you have available.
  4. Practice Saying No! As we have all heard while growing up, practice makes perfect. So why not practice ways to say no? Maybe even record them and listen to them as if you were the one being told no and see how it comes across to you. Just remember, the only way to get control of your commitments is to take control of them.

Most people have a hard time saying no, especially to their bosses. Just keep in mind that if we say yes to too much and have a hard time completing all of it at a high quality it can look worse to your boss. However, if you can explain to your boss the reasons why you can’t take on more and that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. The main key, in my opinion, to being successful when saying no is communication, communication, communication.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for future topics, please send me a comment below! 🙂

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