There are so many people in need that each of us can help by donating new or gently used items. For instance, consider donating garments that still have the price tags on them or household and gift items that are still in their boxes! These 6 tips are important to keep in mind when you are donating: Tip #1: Donate only items in good condition unless you know that the organization is willing to take them. The people at our local Goodwill drop off said that they take electronics and computers that are not working. Tip #2: Make sure that if you are going to claim a tax credit for your donations, that you keep an itemized list and if possible, photos of the items. Tip #3: Ask the organization you are donating to if they have a list of estimated values for various types of items. One of my clients was able to obtain this list from a local military organization. Tip #4: If you are donating food, household products or toiletries be sure to check the expiration dates. Tip #5: When donating gently worn clothing make sure that the items are laundered and not in need of repair. Tip #6: Finally, remember that judging yourself for making unnecessary purchases, wasting money, or letting unused items clutter your life is not productive. Instead, look at the items you no longer need and be thankful that you are helping someone who will enjoy them.
Have you noticed how good it feels to give to others? Here are 3 steps you can take to organize your giving list: #1: Make a list of the causes & organizations that matter most to you. Keep it updated. #2: Distribute the list to those people who typically would give you a gift. #3: Ask those you buy gifts for, to do the same and send their lists to you. Email or call Denise at Outside In Organizer & Makeovers if you would like a sample list.
Are you one of those people who stockpiles gift wrap? Do you forget to use what you have and buy more? Before you know it your gift wrap takes up so much space, gets wrinkled, and isn’t even useful or attractive anymore! The answer? Hold onto your seats, I’ve got 6 sure-fire ways to conquer gift wrap hoarding: #1: Starting now, discard any gift wrap (including tissue paper) that is no longer usable. That means, if you would be offended by a gift wrapped in it, it goes! #2: Sort holiday and special occasion wrap from general wrap. #3: Raise your right hand and repeat after me: “I will use up all of the gift wrap that I have before I buy something new.” (Say it with meaning, please.) Out of Christmas wrap? Use that solid red, silver, or gold paper and decorate it with an ornament. #4: What do you do with those pieces that are too small for gifts? Use them to create gift tags, place cards at the dinner table, tie them around a candy kiss to decorate the package…be creative. Use it, or lose it! #5: Use only gift bags once your wrap is gone. If you are saving the bags from other shopping trips, use those (why else are you saving them?). #6: When you use a gift bag, don’t write on the bag itself. Write on a removable gift tag that you tie to the handle. That way it can be used again. Note: Sometimes you need to ship items and I know that wrapping is easier than sending them in bags. Consider using a reusable wrap such as a lovely linen towel, a piece of fabric, etc.
You know those ingredients that you bought last year for the holidays, and haven’t used since? In fact, did you come across others from previous years while looking for that one special ingredient? Well, it’s time to organize your pantry and spice racks so that you are only cooking with fresh and healthy items. Try these 9 easy pantry organizing tips for your kitchen now: 1. Remove everything from the pantry. Throw away spoiled, expired items. Remember to put the items that will expire sooner towards the front when you put them back. 2. Clean out the pantry shelves and doors. Funny odor? Place an open box of baking soda near the front (don’t want to accidentally knock it over). 3. Have a plan before you return items to the pantry or racks. 4. Place like items together (ex. breakfast items, baking ingredients, oils, vinegars & condiments, etc.). 5. Place items you use often at eye level whenever possible, especially those in jars so they don’t fall and break. 6. Place lighter items at the bottom (no reason to lift heavy items). 7. Contain smaller items in plastic, washable containers. Clear containers allow you to see what is inside making the items more accessible. That reduces the need to label the containers. 8. Put the specialty spices and items that you don’t use often in the same container. Find easy to make recipes online (I love foodnetwork.com), bookmark them or print them out and keep them with your specialty items. Try those recipes and enjoy the specialty items while they are fresh. There is no point wasting your money, right? 9. Keep a double-sided sticky pad on the inside of the cupboard door. When you are running low on an item be sure to jot it down and start your… read more →
I love helping women shop in their own closet, creating new outfits from clothing they already own (and hopefully like). This lovely woman couldn’t decide if she wanted keep the sweater or skirt. In working with her I learned that she wanted an all white wardrobe and so, we put her pieces together with a great belt. She looked fantastic and was so happy.
This article captures each of the basics in organizing and running a professional home office. It’s worth the read! http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/16/jobs/home-office-requires-a-businesslike-attitude.html?_r=0
Do you share a common frustration…not enough time to do it all? Try these 3 ways to manage your time: 1. Overestimate how much time a task will take you & then plan for that much time. 2. Select the one thing that must get done today. Do that one thing; everything else that gets done will be a bonus. 3. Follow the 1-at-a-time rule. Try mono-tasking to improve your productivity.
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The easiest way to create an outfit is to being at the bottom…pants or a skirt. The right fit is essential so that you are comfortable. Then, focus on the top(s). Depending upon the occasion you may want to layer a top under a sweater or jacket. Avoid the “matchy matchy” and think about these options: Use complementary colors. Mix textures. Vary patterns such as stripes under plaid. Skip the jewelry and wear something with an embellishment.