Simplifying Holiday Thank-You Notes

Growing up, my mother always had me write thank you notes whenever I received gifts.  I appreciate her doing that (especially since I’m sure I didn’t cooperate all the time).  But now it’s second nature, and I enjoy sending them because I know they’ll make someone feel good.  Here are a few tips to make the Thank You Note simple.

  1. Keep a stash of thank you notes or blank cards on hand at all times.  Before the holidays, make sure you get a couple of packs while you’re out shopping for gifts.
  2. Keep a list of the gifts you receive.  As you receive gifts, immediately write down who gave you what.  When you receive several gifts at one time, keep the gift card and the gift together so you can write them all down later.
  3. Keep the note short and sweet, something to the effect of “Thank you for the _____ you gave me.  I love [the color, the way it looks in our living room, how yummy it is, etc.].  Thank you for thinking of me.”

Of course, to actually send the notes, you need to know people’s addresses and to use postage stamps.  If you don’t know some addresses, try looking them up on WhitePages.com.  If they are listed in their local phone book, they will appear in your search.

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Simple Cord Storage Idea

Hooray for Pinterest and Nic Ole showing me this simple cord storage solution!

Don’t we all have a box of unused cords stored somewhere in our homes? And wouldn’t this be a much nicer way to find what you need easily?

If you’ve got a ton of cords (as I do), then you could even have different boxes for caetgories of cords: Computer, A/V, Peripherals, etc.

Erin W

Erin Elizabeth Wells is a Founder and CEO of Living Peace LLC of Salem, MA and Winchester, MA and is a NAPO-NE member.  Check us out at www.living-peace.com.  Or call (617) 519-5693.

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How a Home Inventory Can Help Keep You Organized

Organizing is never just putting stuff in its rightful place and calling it a day.  It is a systematic process with a heavy dose of behavior modification that takes a great deal of strength, determination, and will power.  Once a room, house, office, etc. is physically organized, the work is only half done.  Keeping the space organized is the other half.  This is where a Home or Business Inventory can be extremely beneficial.

Think of an Inventory of a blueprint for an organized space. Tanking inventory with photos, video, and written descriptions of the items within each room is an extremely powerful tool for staying organized.  A Home or Business Inventory is a binder that is laid out room by room documenting photos and written descriptions of where each items should be in a room.  The addition of video to the inventory caps off the process, allowing for easy reference of what should and shouldn’t be in each room.

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Jump start your tax preparation

At this time of year when taxes are due it always makes sense to review what changes we can implement to make the process easier for the upcoming year.  With the 2011 tax season drawing to a close you may want to review your paper system for 2012.  Were there documents you searched for?  Did you spend extra time compiling numbers you needed?  Here are a few tips to help you:

-Whether you use a hanging file with interior folders, a divided tote or a binder with pockets, you should have one place where all your tax related paperwork goes throughout the year.  Keep the paperwork somewhat accessible so you can add documents as they arrive.  Leaving tax-related paper out to be filed at a later time can result in the documents never making it to the storage area.

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Attention Deficit Disorder: The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults Book Review

I recently read selected chapters from Attention Deficit Disorder: The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults by Thomas E. Brown.  Dr. Brown worked directly with children and adults and filled his book with real-life stories and perspectives from people with ADD.  I found this style of writing to not only be more engaging to read, but helped paint a picture to the reader the many ways ADD manifests itself.

As part of the selected chapters I read was one regarding the brain chemistry and chemicals necessary to make executive decisions (ie prioritizing, attention and problem solving).  While this chapter was quite “meaty” and less interesting to me, the clear images in addition to text helped the reader understand what sets the ADD mind apart from others.

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Using Small Chunks of Time to Complete Large Tasks

When I was in college, I preferred to write ten-page papers in one night.  It wasn’t because the paper was due the next day (often, I’d finish it before the due date), but I liked submerging myself into the task at hand and seeing it through to completion.  It’s just the way I’m wired.

Nowadays, I don’t have the luxury of segmenting my time into large blocks and working on a project until it’s finished.  And it has caused me a lot of frustration over the years.  Some of my clients are wired like me and prefer waiting to do something until they have a large enough chunk of time to get it completely done.  The problem?  You can see it…the large block of time never happens and the project never gets done.

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Smart Phones Are For More Than Making Phone Calls

The invention of the smart phone has changed our world in more ways than one.  In the world of organizing, smart phones can be utilized to help keep lists, schedules and general information.  This in turn leads to less clutter (both in your home and head!).

When working with a client recently, we came across a food product that had not been opened, but was likely quite old and should not be consumed (the container had no expiration date on it either).  My client was clearly heming and hawing in his head thinking about what to do with the food; he had interest in consuming it but could not remember when he acquired it.

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What to Do with Not-Quite-Dirty Laundry

Do you have a pile of clothes on the floor or near your dresser that you’ve worn once but could wear again before washing? 

Do those clothes lay in a pile for so long that they get all wrinkled?  Are you tired of seeing a perpetual pile of not-quite-dirty clothes in your bedroom?  Well, here is an idea for keeping the pile off the floor and the clothes from getting wrinkled.

Hooks!

I have a row of hooks hanging inside my closet door.  That’s where I hang my once-worn pants and shirts.  (Note: hang clothes by belt loops or clothing tags in order to prevent those unfortunate “bumps” that develop when cloth hangs on hooks for too long.)  When possible and appropriate, I wear the clothes hanging on the hooks before I take fresh clothes off their hangers.

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