Car Travel Season is Upon Us! Is your Car Ready?

Millions of Americans will hit the roads this Summer and Memorial Day weekend officially kicks off the Summer travel season.  While it looks like most of us live in our cars these days, make sure your car is clutter-free, prepared and well-organized before heading out on the great open highways.

Here are some tips to get your car road ready:

Maintenance! Maintenance! Maintenance!  Be sure to check that your car is running properly by checking the fluids, brakes, tires (don’t forget the spare!) hoses, belts, and of course, air-conditioning prior to departure.

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File Organizing- NAPO-NE Video Tip

Erin Elizabeth Wells, Founder and CEO of Living Peace Professional Organizing, offers some simple tips for keeping your filing system easy to interact with.

Erin WErin 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.

Procrastination and how to beat it

So what exactly is procrastination and how does it affect us? Procrastination is the postponement of action. As a result we get caught taking action at the last possible moment. This practice leads to tyranny of the urgent instead of what is of long term benefit or importance. Tasks that should have been fulfilled at an earlier time are addressed at that very moment, pushing other tasks out of the way.

Procrastination can make you scurry around at the last minute. This frenzy takes time away from other important tasks, activities or even your time to relax. You always lose your buffer when you push things off and a time buffer can be a great way to plan for the unexpected.

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Free Information Overload

My Gmail InboxI love reading about organizing case studies, looking at office designs and tools, and exploring ways to be a better business woman. When I first started my business, I subscribed to any newsletter or blog that gave me some inspiration to improve Claiming Space. At first, it was easy keeping up with the information flowing into my inbox. If I couldn’t read it, that was okay, I saved it to read later. But later never came. More newsletters and blog posts showed up. I got behind, and the more behind I got, the more guilty I felt as valuable knowledge piled up in my inbox, unused. Digital clutter was taking over my life. It got to the point where I hated opening my inbox in the morning knowing there were 7-10 emails full of webinar alerts, newsletters, and blog posts that would get added to my to-do list that I was never going to get to.

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Preparing Breakfast Ahead of Time

A Gift from Friends

Recently, some friends stayed in our home while we were away for a short holiday.  When we returned, they had left a pan of baked oatmeal in our refrigerator as a thank you gift.  It was one of the best things they could have given us!

Not only was the baked oatmeal YUMMY, but it provided both my husband and me a work week’s worth of warm breakfast.  Each morning, we’d spoon some into a bowl, pop it in the microwave for one minute, pour a little milk on top, and devour it.  Warm, comforting, yummy, filling, and quick and easy on a busy morning.

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Create a Collage While Family is in Surgery

My sister-in-law recently had a major surgery.  While the surgery was scheduled as opposed to emergency, the family was stillapprehensive and emotional during the long surgery.  To help keep our minds busy, we used the time to create a collage for my sister-in-law.

We brought with us to the hospital waiting room magazines, glue, scissors and a large frame to mount our findings.  With five people participating in the cutting, it did not take long to produce a fun collection of words and images that represented this family member to us.

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Gifts for the Teacher: Are you just spending money on clutter?

There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just come straight out with it.

Many teacher gifts that I’ve received during past holidays have gone straight into my clutter-busting “To Donate” box My kitchen cabinet only has enough room for so many mugs.  I’ve got more scarves than any one person needs.  And my husband doesn’t like the smell of most candles.  So I pass them all along to someone else who I’m sure will use them and enjoy them.

I appreciate the thoughts and feelings behind the gifts.  I really do.  But I feel sad that people have spent money on something that I won’t be using.

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Communicate Your Expectations

Communication is key when working toward maintaining a home with others.  Everybody is “wired” differently and may not be aware of the the same household tasks that need to be accomplished.  For example, if the dishwasher contains clean dishes, my first thought is, “the dishwasher needs to be emptied as soon as possible.”  My husband however may think, “the dishwasher needs to be emptied sometime.”  Therefore, I may leave the house for the day and when I arrive home later, although he may have been home all day, the dishwasher will not be emptied.  This is not a task that he felt needed immediate attention and piling dishes on the counter is acceptable to him.  If I do not verbalize my expectation that the dishwasher should be emptied as soon as possible, it will not be done.

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Helping kids clean their rooms

One of a parent’s big challenges is helping a child into the consistent habit of cleaning up his/her room.  This can be especially daunting when the child is young and easily distractible.  Many parents will tell a child to clean a room, only to come up 30 minutes later and find that not only is the room no better than before, but the child is playing with all the toys.  Giving your child a step by step process for cleaning a room when they are young is key to helping them maintain the habit as they get older.

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