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The Spark! Blog by Suzanna Kaye

Room by Room Organizing the Lazy Way

organizing Aug 30, 2019
By Ruth Zeman

What's the Lazy way to Organize you ask?

Trust me, you're gonna like this. Basically, it's tips from the experts (us - you got that we're the experts right?) on how to make organizing effortless.

EFFORTLESS

Your house on AUTO-PURGE

I know, you're skeptical. You have kids, pets, a husband. You know they couldn't possibly be trained. But maybe they could be trained? Picture this, your children cleaning the room. You're in the kitchen baking cookies. They come and ask for you to inspect their work... It's amazing. Love swells in your heart as you pull freshly baked cookies out of the oven to their cheers of delight.

Yeah, that's just a fantasy. I figured if I had to suffer from reality you can too.....

So back to the Lazy Way.

For starts, we buy our cookies at the store. It's easier and doesn't heat up the house or make extra dishes. lazy way

Grab a Large Bin. Put it in a closet or a spot in the garage. I have it in my entryway closet at the bottom. It's for charity. Get in...

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Confession of an Organizer: Baskets

Uncategorized Aug 26, 2019
By Ruth Zeman

Baskets aren't an addiction. How do I figure that? Well, there are no support groups. As long as there are no support groups, I'm going to stick with it's not an addiction.

Of course, by this logic my Amazon shopping habits aren't a problem either.....

Let's get real though, baskets can actually be a problem. I love baskets, containers, bags, bins, and find them to be beautiful, functional and useful. However, I've seen the dirty side.

Dare I say, their dark side. baskets

Baskets can be clutter. Plus, they need to be cleaned due to lots of places for dust to collect. They're an expensive habit.

Let's talk about a classic problem situation. You seriously want to get organized so you start on Pinterest. Seduced by photos of sleek closets and beautifully organized pantries you contemplate, "Container Store or Family Dollar.... hmm.." You make your decision and go. Loading your shopping cart with cute containers, woven containers, fabric bins.

Visions of sleek closets dance...

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Is Stuff Taking Over Your House?

organizing Aug 16, 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?

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.

Check out these tips for decluttering!

HERE in the video below! I got a chance to share with Fox 35 Orlando some great tips!

 

 

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!
declutteringBOOKS. You don't need to keep books you're not reading or...

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Creating Summer Memories

organizing travel Aug 12, 2019
By Ruth Zeman

Vacations with the kids – how do you make these memories last?

Postcards and magnets are all fun, but to create true and lasting memories you want to go deeper. The best way to create positive memories that will last through adulthood is to focus on the quality time spent together as a family.

Start your vacation when you leave your house – not when you reach your destination.

Speed is not a goal, explore exciting discoveries along the way and get to know each other, too. When you see a sign for the world’s largest ball of twine – pull over and check it out! The excitement of discovery and the unknown is half the adventure. Plan spontaneity if you have to.

memories

A long car ride can also be the perfect opportunity to get to know your children. Get a book of questions or create your own ahead of time. Questions such as “What is your favorite toy and why?” or “If you could be any animal in the world what would you be? Why?” are...

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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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