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The Spark! Blog by Suzanna Kaye

How Much is Clutter Really Costing You?

organizing Aug 09, 2019
By Ruth Zeman

Spoiler Alert: LOTS -possibly even your sex life... (I'll put a link here for that special post - I have to "cough" research some more first...)

Seriously though, CLUTTER KILLS.

Which has me picturing a tower of junk falling on a person, SPLAT. Not what I'm talking about but still funny. Nope, this is actually a serious topic.

Think for a moment. How many storage unit places do you drive by wandering around town? I live by a university so I can easily see 30,  possibly more.

The most popular unit is the size of a single car garage. Filled with stuff. Costing over $100 a month.

Ouch. clutter

"The Self Storage Association reports that Americans spend $24 billion (BILLION) each year to store their stuff in 2.3 billion square feet of these units, an industry which has proven to be the fastest-growing segment of the commercial real estate industry over the past four decades." 

The Wall Street Journal calls the industry "recession-resistant."

 

Here are some...

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10 Tips for Downsizing and Ditching the Drama!

minimizing Aug 05, 2019

By Ruth Zeman

Use these easy downsizing tips to reduce clutter and make moving to a smaller home easier

 

Modern living has tons of perks. We’ve moved past sliced bread and indoor plumbing straight to watching tv on our phones in our indoor plumbing rooms. It’s enough to get carried away!

 

In fact, most of us have let stuff creep in and take over our lives. Enter the newest trend, smaller living. Some folks, (Hipsters and Millennials) have taken it to tiny homes. The rest of us poor slobs (who aren’t crazy or have kids) have simply stepped down in square footage.

 

Thus discovering, this isn’t nearly as easy as they made it look on TV.

In fact, it’s really hard.

Fraught with emotions and overwhelming.

 

Here’s a list of ten organizing ninja’s secrets to help you downsize:

 

  1. Prep your space.

    Grab a big box for giveaways and put it at your side. Have another container or bag ready for trash. Making it easier for...

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How to Organize Toys and Cutter in a Playroom? The Toy Library Saves The Day!

toy library Aug 02, 2019
By Ruth Zeman

Time to organize your kid's toys? Let the Toy Library help!

We’ve all been there, that moment when you’re just sure you’ve purchased the toy of your child’s dreams! The toy they will love and cherish one day mentioning it with nostalgia when you’re both adults vacationing together someplace splendid.

With bated breath you watch as they…. Play with the box.

You glance around your house, your eyes lingering on the whimsical sign a friend got you, “Excuse the mess, we’re making memories.” It’s the battle cry of the exhausted mother that wants to be able to sleep at night without overwhelming guilt for all the stuff that lingers around the house.

Perhaps instead of giving up, you’ll give the Toy Library a go.

Visions of a manageable amount of toys dance through your head but this is no dream, this is a system that makes you look like a genius! Start by going through your kids toys and toss all the broken...

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5 Organizing Mistakes You’ve Probably Made

orgainzing Jul 29, 2019
By Ruth Zeman

Every time I see an article that tells me I’ve made mistakes I have to click on it. More curious than anything. 

I have to know if I’m a boob. Usually, I’m just positive that I’m going to come out on top, confident that I wouldn’t make the same mistakes as everyone else. Yet, I start reading and nodding my head.

So, of course, it’s my turn to write an article to make you nod your head and sigh. Yeah, we’ve all done these.

Drum roll, please……..

The TOP 5 Organizing Mistakes, you’ve probably made are:

The TOP 5 Organizing Mistakes

5. Making it HARD!!
Seriously, it does not have to be a chore. I’m not trying to trick you here and tell you that cleaning the house isn’t a chore but organizing is not the same as cleaning. It’s more like a puzzle. You get to put like with like and find them a home. Okay, maybe a bit of detective work but that’s fun too.

Better than just cranking up the...

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Are You Missing Out On The Important Moments With Your Kids?

(a thought from Mind Your Home)
How much do you love just watching your kids? When they’re sleeping, while they play, when they learn something new?
 
Some of my favorite moments with my stepdaughter are just watching her evolve. Becoming more distinct and her own person. Laughing, trying new things, getting back up after failing and then succeeding.
 
It’s easy to fall into the trap of giving to show love. Seeing a toy in the store I know she’ll love. Letting her know I’m thinking of her when she’s not around by buying a pack of Pokemon cards. Getting craft supplies in the hopes of spending time together.
 

But all the “stuff” turns out to just get in the way.

 
She’s excited for a few minutes, possibly plays with it for a while, but then it’s abandoned for the next new thing, or more often for one of her long-time favorites.
 
You know what she values more?
 
  • Playing “Mr. Bellybutton”...
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Top Travel Safety Tips for How to Keep your Kids Out of Harm's Way

travel Jul 22, 2019
By Ruth Zeman

Keep your children safe with these travel safety tips

The holidays are a time when many of us travel.

Plus, everyone has a better trip when they feel and stay safe.

We all tend to get excited or distracted when going to visit relatives or on vacation. So it's important when traveling with your kids to follow these general travel safety tips that will help you through airport security, managing good health and more. 

Safety Tips

The following are important general safety tips to follow no matter how you are getting to your destination:

  • Put an ID necklace or tag on your child for when traveling in airports, train stations, etc. Be sure to include your contact information and an alternate contact's information. Do not put your child’s name in a visible place as this can be used to lure your child away from you. Their name should be on the inside or backside of the ID.
  • Bring a photo of your child in case you get separated. Make sure it is a physical copy in...
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How To Clean Spills Fast in the Refrigerator

organizing Jul 19, 2019
 
By Suzanna Kaye

Cleaning a Refrigerator is easy with these tips and tricks!

My fridge can be a nightmare of red stains, stuck on cardboard bits, and weird mysteries that I figure are the kids. I'm a good mom for letting them grow science right?

How to clean refrigerator spills quickly Part 1

Okay, maybe that's a stretch but honestly cleaning the frig is at the bottom of our lists most days. Seriously, it can be a real challenge. 

Enter - Glad Press N Seal. It can go by other names but it's the plastic wrap that when you press it down it stays. In the video, I demonstrate how I pull out my fridge drawers and shelves, apply the plastic and replace. 

Now when you have a spill you don't need to take out the entire shelf but merely remove the plastic to reveal a clean shelf below. Of course, you'll want to find the time later to replace the plastic but spills never pick a convenient time and you can pick a time that works better for you.

Can you believe how easy that was? How useful those tips? Right?!

I love Press N...

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Do You Know How to Use a Productivity Funnel?

Uncategorized Jul 12, 2019
 
By Ruth Zeman

Hey Beautiful, do you know how to use a productivity funnel?

For that matter, have you ever heard of a productivity funnel?

Let me tell you, this is exciting stuff in the world of productivity and organizing. A way to stay on task, focused, making positive forward movement. You're going to like this.

Now, I frequently offer the video transcript here and I get it, the transcript is a great way to zip past the fluff and get straight to the good stuff but this time you need to see the funnel in action. Just hearing about the funnel isn't nearly the same as seeing its function. So take a moment and settle in. You're going to love this tip.

 

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Is Stuff Taking Over Your House?

minimizing Jul 05, 2019
 
By Ruth Zeman

Everywhere you look there are things that you have but you don't really use them anymore. Why are they still there? Why can't you just give them away or throw them away?

Check out these tips for decluttering!

Don't Hoard Paper Products. If you're not going to use it in a month - don't. Get just what you need. You don't need more than a month of can goods, paper towels, toilet paper. You really don't.

Hangers - put the excess in the laundry room. Get them out of your closet!

Bags. Bags with bags inside. You don't need those. Keep your favorites, toss the rest.

Craft Supplies. You don't need piles of supplies for someday. It's perfectly acceptable to get the supplies the day you need them - then use them and toss the leftovers. (I know.... it's hard but you really can do this.) Don't let crafting guilt get to you!

BOOKS. You don't need to keep books you're not reading or rereading. (Please send hate mail to my facebook page...)

Or DVD's CD's....

Magazine...

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Automate Your Life!

organizing Jul 05, 2019
 
By Ruth Zeman

Do you ever feel like you just aren't getting enough done?

How do some people get more done in their day? Automation.

Setting things in motion and letting modern life take over.

Why it's almost like having personal robots.

So let's get started!

The first thing you need to identify is where you're getting hung up. What's slowing you down? Are you unable to make healthy meals because you didn't go grocery shopping?

Perhaps you're getting slowed down in the mornings getting dressed. Is it because your clothes aren't clean? Do you need different clothes for the life you're living now? What's the hold up?

Could it be your family needs you to make decisions for them?

Taking a moment and identifying where the hold up is can be very revealing.

In my life (As S.K.'s social media ninja/ professor of computer things) I discovered that my biggest hang ups were meals.

I don't want to stop what I'm doing to bother fixing food.

I really don't want to feed my whole family.

I'd...

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