Move In Style

We just moved again, it’s the fourth time in 10 years.  And all four times, we’ve moved about 4 blocks away from our current house.  Same amount of packing and moving, shorter travel distances. I’ve learned something in all of these moves and I think it will make your next move easier.

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Make a reasonable plan to tackle packing.

We used whatever we had for boxes (including suitcases, backpacks and tubs) so we had less to move overall.  We also started packing immediately, packing less used items first and putting them in corners of rooms.  We did live with boxes in our house for two months, but packing 10 boxes per day seemed much more manageable. Figure out how long you have to move and how much you have to move. Divide up the work into smaller tasks per day to make it seem less overwhelming.

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Label boxes by room, not by item.

You know what I didn’t really need to know? What was in each box.  I planned to pack everything in the kitchen at the same time – so as long as my boxes were labeled “Kitchen,” I knew I’d be fine. The only boxes that got labeled with an item list were our most essential boxes – what we knew we needed to unpack the same day we moved in.  Everything else only had the room on it.  We saved so much time and mental energy by only labeling to the room it would be going in.  Consider this strategy on your next move.

Recruit great helpers and have jobs for everyone.

It’s great to have friends and family that can help you move, but even if you use hired help, you need to have a plan.  Workers want to be helpful and have their time used in a valuable way.  Make sure you know what needs to be done and have something for everyone to do.  It might be worth writing a list in advance to keep you on track, even if you get stressed out.  It’s also ok to assign workers to zones. Can some be loaders, some be unpackers and some be heavy lifters? Yes, yes and yes.

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Keep a donation bin at your old place and new place.

I donated items while I was packing and I donated more items while we were unpacking.  If it didn’t fit, we didn’t keep it.  The house we moved into has tons more space, but I don’t want it filled with clutter.  I want a clean, restful living space with less stuff and I knew I needed to make some tough decisions with everything we kept in our lives.  I couldn’t even tell you what we donated, because I don’t remember it and don’t miss it.

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You can move in style.  If you’re planning to move this week or this year – it can be done.  Make a plan, work your plan and enjoy your new living space.

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Why Your Talents Matter

When you’re trying to organize your life, you’ll be more successful when you work within your strengths. What does this mean for you? Think about what you do nearly perfectly every time and weave these talents into your goals and your planning.  You’ll discover with this strategy, your success seems quicker and easier than you’d imagined.

Own your talents like a boss

When you use your talents; you aren’t playing it safe. You’re playing it smart.  To organize your life, working within your talents gives you confidence to keep going. I’ve realized that I’m best when I see significance in a project, set a strategy and use my discipline and focus to accomplish my goal.  It’s reassuring to use these talents to organize my life and boost my self-assurance with each success.

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Do One Thing: Easy Organized Home

This month I’m challenging you to do one thing every day. It doesn’t seem like much if you look at it on a daily basis, but a continued focus on doing one thing will lead to amazing results.

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Stock spaces correctly. And correctly has a few different key meanings: Keep items where you use them most and store similar items together.  We have our cleaning supplies in the room where we use them. I keep my umbrella, boots and coats in our home entrance. Wherever we use the item becomes where its new home is.  These sometimes change based on our family needs – and that’s ok – your active storage zones should be flexible.

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We Saved $1500+! Change Overspending into Overachieving

A while ago, I wrote about our family overspending on or discretionary budget.  We needed to save $475 to get back on track.  And I’m happy to report that we’ve done it – 6 months later.  In addition to eliminating our overspending, we reduced our discretionary spending budget each month by $200 (working hard to pay off those student loans, which we did in July 2013).  In total, we saved $1500 from our discretionary in less than a year! It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it–you can get your spending back on track by using these smart solutions to help you make important, lasting decisions.

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Use what you already own. Since I’d been price matching for more than a year, we made a plan to use up the food we’d already purchased and only buy essentials to get through some of these “lean” months.  We were able to eat a lot of the food we’d already owned and it helped us make room for more items. This allowed us to find the really good deals on the items we wanted and increased our monthly grocery savings dramatically.  I also tried experiments to see what could save us money in the future.  Frozen, thawed milk? I would only recommend using it for baking (not drinking).  But our homemade bread froze and baked beautifully.

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Save 50% on your monthly grocery bill

Last year, I decided to take charge of our family discretionary spending.  I was tired of being stressed  with trying to figure out how to purchase things we needed and not break the bank.  I’m happy to report that for the past 18 months, I’ve been using my realistic strategies and have cut our “Grocery & Household Items” budget category spending by 50%!  Since 2005, we’d averaged about $8600 on these items.  This year, we’re trending to only spend $4200 in this category–and this is with a family of 4 (including two growing boys), the biggest our family has ever been! Here are the simple strategies we’ve been using to make this happen:

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Family Information Center that works for you

You and your family have a lot of information to keep organized.  Between activities, appointments and tasks, managing your family information can seem like a full-time job.  Keep your family organized by creating, updating or enhancing your family information center into the active storage area you’ve always needed.  With these easy strategies, you’ll be able to keep everything together and just where you need it.

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Find a visible location that works for you.  We keep all of our calendars, newsletters, coupons, notes and items in our Family Information Center located in our kitchen.  Since we’re in this room so much, it makes sense to have this important information stored together right where we see it every day.  Find a place in your house that you can keep all family information and supplies together and educate everyone else to do the same.

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15 minute Desk Organization Ideas

We have 96 intervals of 15 minutes every day, meaning you have many opportunities to make a difference.  Each day this month, I’m giving you a 15-minute project idea. Pick your favorites to improve your day, yourself or your world. I promise you have time for this.

I spend most of my professional life at my desk.  So it’s important that I have everything I need right where I need it. Your office and desk can be a place that you enjoy, with your favorite things and all of the resources needed to make your job easier.  Follow these quick ideas to help you make the most of your work space.

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