6 Steps to Overcoming Clutter

It happens to the best of us...clutter! These 6 steps to overcoming clutter will help you crawl out from under your piles of...stuff.

 

6 Steps to Overcoming Clutter

 

Wanna know a secret? Here…lean in and I’ll whisper it in your ear. Ready?

I am absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, the worst packrat and clutter magnet that you will ever meet.

 

Really. I am. Unfortunately, I also have more than a tad bit of OCD so my life is almost always ready to be in a state of constant conflict with itself. It could be a very, very bad situation if I let it be. Luckily for me, I have gotten very good at clearing out clutter quickly and efficiently so that it doesn’t become that issue that it could be. (okay, with the exception of when my mother in law brings a moving truck of stuff to my house for me to sell…that wasn’t exactly done efficiently, but hey…we all flake out sometimes)

Anyhow, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, these 6 steps to overcoming clutter should help some. The biggest thing that you’ll want to do though? Breathe and realize that you can do this.

 

1. Clear it Out - Pick the first area that you want to declutter first. For me this is usually the area that is bothering me the most and its usually not the “best” place to start…lol. Once you’ve got your area targeted, go ahead start pulling things out of drawers, closets, or wherever else you may have stuff stashed. You’re not trying to make a huge mess (although you likely will), you’re just trying to clear the areas that are cluttered into one large pile. While you’re at it, this would be a great time to clean under things and inside of drawers or shelves if they need it.

2. The rule of 3’s – Once you’ve got everything pulled out, its time to start going through it all. You’re going to create 3 piles. Keep, donate and trash. Work your way through your big ol’ pile of clutter sorting the items into those 3 piles as you go. Be sure that you keep an eye out for any papers that may need to be shredded because of personal info on them instead of trashed. Keep sorting things into your piles until you get all of it sorted. For trash, use the big 30 gallon trash bags and immediately take it out as soon as each bag is full. (Trust me on this…even getting rid of 1 or 2 bags out of that pile will help you feel A LOT better about the whole shebang.)

3. Move it Out -Once you’ve got  the trash taken out, immediately box up the donate pile and take it out to your car. That last part is incredibly important. If you do not take it to your car to go to the thrift shop or shelter that you’re donating it to, it will stay in your house and the chances of it ending up spread back across your home are crazy high. Immediately taking it and putting it in the car or truck sends a firm message to yourself that the clutter is leaving and going to a better place where the items are needed more.

4. Put it in its place – For the items that were in your “keep” pile, find a place for them right away. Don’t leave the sitting there, don’t put it off until tomorrow, put the items away. Again, if you put off doing it, you chance that they’ll end up just spread out across your house somewhere. Give it a permanent home too, not just some place that you’re stashing it until later. If you give it a temporary home, you’ll be more likely to just sit it down in some random spot when you’re done using it, but giving it its “place” requires that you put thought into putting it back.

5. The 15 Minute After Effect – Once your home is nice and clutter free, keep it that way easily by putting the 15 minute rule into effect. Each night, spend 15 minutes just picking up and putting things back in their places. Some people find that its easier for them to keep up with if they put a small basket or tote in each room so they can just toss the items into it, pick the tote up and put things away. No matter how you go about it, make sure that this gets done every night. Its the key to keeping clutter at bay.

6. The 6 Month Purge – The biggest trouble that we get into with clutter is that we keep items long after we have a use for them. To keep the clutter that you just cleared away, be sure that you purge every 6 months. If you haven’t used or worn something in 6 months, it is time to let it go. Keep a box that says donate in your bedroom, garage, basement or anywhere that works for your family and at the 6 month mark, start dropping those things into it. Once that box is full, donate it. Keeping up on clearing the clutter is the only sure fire way to stay clutter free.

 

 

 

Family Budget: Crisis Mode | What To Do When There Is Too Much Month To Your Money

Too much month to your money? Find out what to do when your family budget is in crisis mode and how to firmly plant your feet on solid ground again.

 

What To Do When There Is Too Much Month To Your Money

 

It happens to the best of us. We’re trotting along, working out jobs, paying our bills, buying groceries, paying for the kids sports and clubs and everything is fine. Then suddenly, we wake up and BOOM!  There’s no money left, the bills aren’t paid and there is way too much time left over before you’ll be able to afford things again. It’s a vicious cycle that once it starts, doesn’t stop without help and can easily ruin your families finances if you let it. When your family budget is in crisis mode, its really easy to get discouraged and depressed. Let’s face it. None of us like telling our kids that they can’t do something or having to choose between what we normally have just so that we can make ends meet. It’s necessary though if you’re going to stand on a solid financial ground again though. The steps below will help you get out of budget crisis mode and will give you a running start towards fixing that crisis.

 

1. Get Committed – So here’s the thing…if you’re trying to get our of trouble with your budget, it will require not only YOU personally to be committed, but your ENTIRE family as well.  Whether you involve your kids will of course depend on their ages, but EVERY. SINGLE. ADULT who has anything to do with your budget, NEEDS to be committed to cutting expenses and saving money. If even one person is not, the entire thing will come crashing down on you and a lot of the time, the second crash is much worse than the first.

 

2. Determine want vs. need – This issue right here is where A LOT of families run into trouble. In today’s world, it is VERY easy to think you need something when you in fact don’t. How many of you have kids that at one point or another have whined “But Mom! I nnneeeeeeeed it!!” (cue the puppy dog eyes and full on pouty lip here). Most of us as parents will tell them no and move on with our lives. The sad truth is though, we’re horrible about telling ourselves no.

“But Stacy! I neeeeedddd that Starbucks coffee every morning!”

“I neeeeddd that cable tv!”

“I neeeeed that new purse”

Put your big girl panties on because guess what? You don’t. 

In fact? You only have FOUR (4) basic needs. Everything else and I do mean everything…is a want. As of right this second, your needs are

  • Shelter
  • Food
  • Utilities
  • Transportation

That’s it! You have to have food to survive, you have to have water to cook and bathe, electric to heat or cool by (and sometimes cook), trash pick up so your family doesn’t get sick…you have to have a place to live and you have to have a way to get to and from work.

It is that simple. Internet? Not a need. Cable TV? Not a Need. Cell Phone? Nope. Starbucks? Uh-huh. McDonald’s for lunch everyday? Not a chance. 

In order to climb out of financial crisis mode, you have to figure out your family’s basic needs. Clothing is NOT a need right now for 99.9% of people. Chances are, your closet is already full of clothing. The exception to this would of course be babies and diapers, etc.  School lunches are NOT considered a need to me. Your kids can pack and they won’t be any worse for the wear for doing it. Even Little Johnny’s karate classes are NOT a need. Johnny can wait to get his belt until the budget has a bit more play in it. It won’t hurt him and he will learn a valuable lesson while waiting.

Sit down and figure out your needs and write them down with the amounts they are each month. You now know how much your family needs to survive.



3. Cut the Wants – It can be painful sometimes to realize just how much we can actually be spending on things that we don’t need. For a lot of folks, things add up and continue to add up until they just lose track of the amount of money they’ve spent on an item.

Look at this:

  • If you spend $5.00 per day at Starbucks, 5 days a week that is $25.00 per week.
  • There are 4 weeks in a month so that is $100.00 a month spent.
  • There are 12 months in a year so that is $1200.00 a year spent at Starbucks and that isn’t even accounting for when a month has 5 weeks!

I don’t know about you, but that $1200.00 a year? That is more than a months rent for my family. It is almost a year worth of electric bills. It is 2.5 years of water bills for us. It is 2 years of paying our phone bill. It is 6 months of car payments for us. It would be 7 months of car insurance. I would certainly rather throw that $1200 toward one of those things than I would a drink that I’m going to be able to enjoy for maybe 30 minutes a day.

Now put that into perspective with your cable bill, Johnny’s Karate classes, the extra cell line, your daily lunch at work and more. I would be more than willing to bet that you’ll find hundreds, if not THOUSANDS of dollars of your money just floating away.

In step 2, you labeled the items that were just needs for your family. Now, I want you to go cut EVERYTHING that isn’t on that list. Turn it off, shut it down for a few months, cancel it, or whatever it takes. If you can not pay for your basic needs, you can not have it. You can’t afford to!

 

4. Pay the Bills and Save – Once you’ve got your needs vs wants taken care of totally, its time to pay what you can. Figure up how much money you have coming in for the rest of the month, if any.  Start with the 4 basic needs that I gave you earlier in the post. Pay each one on paper until there is no money left. If you can’t pay them all, start moving money around until you can at least pay SOMETHING to each one. Try not to skip on ANY of them because frankly, it is better to make a partial payment on something than it is to make no payment at all.

When the first of the month rolls around, re-do your income and your expenses again (using only the basic needs again). Try to get everything caught up, especially if you only made partial payments the month before. If you have any income left over after everything is paid for, do NOT spend it.

That money…ANY extra money that you have left…needs to go into your savings account. 

Each month, you’ll do this exact same thing. Each month you’ll put that extra money into savings.

After a few months of doing it this way, you will be sitting in a better position and can take a second look at your budget to see if you can start adding those wants back in.

 

5. If there’s no way, make one – If you are in a position where you absolutely can not find the money to pay for your needs on a month to month basis, you MUST make one, even if that means getting help. SNAP benefits can help with food and a lot of communities have places that will help with rent or utility costs. In most communities, you can dial 211 from any landline to find out the location of these places and what you’ll need to apply for their programs.

The Proverbs 31 Wife has a really great list of food pantries by state that you can take a look at.

Getting a second job can help too and you can bring in money even if you’re staying at home. Our 15 ways to earn money from home post is chock full of different ways for you to earn extra cash right from your couch.

If you’ve done all of those things and still can’t find the cash, start selling the items that your family has but no longer needs or wants. Even things that they want, but will bring in cash can be sold. There are very few items in our homes that are truly irreplaceable. Facebook has a ton of buy/sell groups, Craigslist is always an option, Ebay is another and Listia can be great for getting rid of things you no longer want to trade for gift cards to places you shop for food, gas, etc.

There is always a way…and if after cutting everything you can and getting help, you are still having trouble? You’ll just have to make that way yourself. :)

Enter to Win a Pocket Sous Chef Prize Pack + $100 Amazon Gift Card! #PocketSousChef

PSC-Gleam
Sponsor: Pocket Sous Chef
Host: Mom Powered Media
The Pocket Sous Chef “Da Vinci’s Guide To Cooking For 1+1,” written by Your Life After 25 blogazine founder Da Vinci, is a cookbook that promotes falling in love with cooking again!
Preorder Aprons
Da Vinci wanted to write an easy to follow cookbook that was jam packed with a variety of recipes as well as useful tips and guides. The Pocket Sous Chef has over 60 recipes that all feature an image. In addition, readers will find an accessory list, shopping tips, conversion charts and more.
The Pocket Sous Chef was written with small families, singles, newlyweds/couples, students and busy professionals in mind. No longer will you need to slave over a hot stove just to make one meal for yourself or smaller portions of food.
The Pocket Sous Chef would make the perfect gift for the holidays, bridal showers, Valentine’s day, or any other occasion for a fellow foodie or home cook.
To launch the site and give you the opportunity to pre-order a SIGNED copy of The Pocket Sous Chef, we’re giving THREE lucky fans a chance to WIN a “The Pocket Sous Chef Prize Pack.”
And because we appreciate all your love and support, everyone who signs up for our monthly newsletter during the giveaway period will receive a FREE $5 coupon for www.PocketSousChef.com. You can use it for the cookbook, one of our fabulous limited edition aprons, or our sassy wine glasses – the choice is yours!
twitter
Twitter Party Details: RSVP here- http://bit.ly/PSCLaunchTwitterParty
Date: October 15
Time: 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm EST
Hosts: @PocketSousChef, @YourLifeAfter25, @KristaMarieB
Prizes: Ikea, Macy’s, Amazon Gift Cards, and The Pocket Sous Chef coupons.
Hashtag: #PocketSousChef

About The Author
Da Vinci is a lifestyle blogger and author who works to “Entertain – Educate – Empower” her audience. With her desire to help people and passion for food Da Vinci hopes to enrich the lives of her fellow home cooks while letting everyone know you can cook and be fabulous. For more information, please visit www.pocketsouschef..com or www.yourlifeafter25.com. Follow Da Vinci on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram @PocketSousChef.
PSC Breast Cancer
Da Vinci is all about giving back! She is even doing something for Breast Cancer! Her wine glasses have very cute pink stems!
Good Luck To You All And Please Help Spread The Word!
The Pocket Sous Chef Launch Giveaway
• 3 Prizes Available; Grand Prize: $100 Amazon gift card + $20 The Pocket Sous Chef e-gift., 2nd Prize: $50 Amazon gift card + $20 The Pocket Sous Chef e-gift., 3rd Prize: $50 Amazon gift card + $10 The Pocket Sous Chef e-gift.
• Open to US & Canada.
• Winners will be chosen at random through Gleam.
• Giveaway ends October 17th at 11:59pm ET.
• Winners will be notified via email or Twitter DM.
• Each winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.
• Mom Powered Media & associated bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.
• Must be 18 years or older to enter.
• Unlimited Entries
• Void where prohibited.
• Entering the giveaway means you agree to terms above.
• Good Luck!
Ready to enter? Click the link below!
Disclaimer: Purple Monster Coupons did not receive compensation for this post. Facebook, twitter, pinterest etc are NOT responsible or liable in anyway! Purple Monster Coupons and all participating bloggers are not responsible for the prizes in anyway!
If you have questions or want to work with us message Natasha at natasha@mompoweredmedia.com!

20 DIY Fall Decor Crafts

Decorating your home is one of the best parts about a holiday and these 20 DIY Fall Decor Crafts will have you decked out for fall in no time!

 

20 DIY Fall Decor Crafts

 

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. The leaves changing, the yummy foods and smells, the cooler temps and the fact that it means the holidays aren’t too far off just all signal a happy feeling and time for me. I also LOVE the decor options! There are so many different ways that you can decorate your home for fall and a lot of them are super cheap! These diy fall decor crafts prove it! Take a look and I’m more than certain you’ll find something that you just have to make for your own home! There are some really super creative ideas!

 

DIY Glitter Glam Pumpkins

 

DIY Glitter Glam Pumpkins from The Thinking Closet

Easy Fall Candle Centerpiece

Easy Fall Candle Centerpiece from Albion Gould

Repurposed Fence Post Autumn Porch Decor

Repurposed Fence Post Autumn Porch Decor from The Frugal Mom Eh!

Fall Mantle Decor

Fall Mantle Decor from The Grant Life

DIY Sweater Pumpkins

DIY Sweater Pumpkins from Crafts ‘N Coffee

DIY Candy Corn Bowl

DIY Candy Corn Bowl from illistyle

DIY Patchwork Pumpkins Toddler Craft

DIY Patchwork Pumpkins from The Nerd’s Wife

DIY Painted Burlap Flower Fall Wreath

DIY Painted Burlap Flower Fall Wreath from Busy Being Jennifer

DIY Fall Tile Sign

DIY Fall Tile Sign from Architecture of a Mom

DIY Fall Burlap Flower Wreath

DIY Fall Burlap Flower Wreath from Second Chance to Dream

Whimsical Candy Corn Painted Pumpkin

Whimsical Candy Corn Pumpkin from Family Frugal Fun

DIY Fall Bunting Wreath

DIY Fall Bunting Wreath from Architecture of a Mom

DIY Fall Table Runner

DIY Fall Table Runner from Simply {Darr}ling

DIY Framed Burlap Pumpkin

DIY Framed Burlap Pumpkin from Hi! It’s Jilly

DIY Fabric Acorns

DIY Fabric Acorns from Crafts ‘N Coffee

DIY Silver Gilded Acorns

DIY Silver Gilded Acorns from Architecture of a Mom

DIY Dryer Duct Pumpkins

DIY Dryer Duct Pumpkins from Simply {Darr}ling

Canning Jar Lid Pumpkin Craft

Canning Jar Lid Pumpkin Craft from About Family Crafts

DIY Fall Stenciled Welcome Mat

DIY Fall Stenciled Welcome Mat from Practically Functional

DIY Painted Fall Jar Vases

DIY Painted Fall Jar Vases from Crafts by Amanda

4 Tips for Surviving Divorce

Divorce can be devastating. These 4 Tips for Surviving Divorce won't take the hurt away, but will help you make it through.

 

 

I don’t think that anyone goes into a marriage expecting a divorce. Unfortunately, it is a fact of life these days that divorce happens. Whether its one person that wants it or both, it can be hurtful, damaging and yes, sometimes that pain and hurt can last. I should know. Tom is my 4th husband. YES. I said FOURTH. Long story short, I made some very stupid mistakes early on in my adult life and as a result I’ve been thorough it more times than I ever should have been. Divorce is one of those things that if you let it…it can and will destroy you without even introducing itself and it will never look back at the damage it has caused.

Here’s a tip though…you 100% absolutely WILL make it through this. I know it doesn’t seem like you will. I know that it might seem like your world has ended. I know that the pain is blinding and the wounds are deep. I promise you though…

You will be okay.

1. Step Back from it All – I realize that going through a divorce is one of those events in life where the very last thing that you want to do is step back. If you’re going to make it through this intact though…you need to do it. Take a month, week, weekend or even just a day to yourself and forget about it. Yes. I know. I’ve been there. The last thing you want to do is forget about it. I know how hard it is to walk away…but hear me out.

Right now there’s a really good chance that you’re hurting…and angry…and bitter…and a whole slew of other emotions and if you’re anything like me? You want to last out.

You can’t. It isn’t fair and I know it but lashing out isn’t going to do anything except make a bad situation worse. Especially if you have children.

Take the time away and go get your head on straight. Whether you blame your soon to be ex or they blame you or you’re both admitting fault, it doesn’t matter. Time away from the situation lets you get your heart and head in the same spot. It allows you to pick yourself up off of the ground, dust yourself off and to hold your head high again.

No one said that you can’t hurt. By all means, embrace the emotions and the pain, but take the time to learn how to deal with those emotions and that pain in a healthy way.

 

2. Get a Lawyer –  Mr. or Mrs. Soon to be Ex may be acting like the nicest person in your life right now, but take it from my own experience…you will need and want a lawyer. Aside from the legal stuffs like papers, negotiating and all of those wonderful things, your lawyer will serve to protect your or your children’s interests. Divorce can bring out the worst in people and the last thing that you want to happen is to be taken advantage of or hurt even more by someone you once trusted. Get a lawyer and protect yourself. If it turns out you didn’t need one? Great. Most of the time though? It doesn’t turn out that way.



3. Find a hobby – One of the worst things that I remember about my divorces (well the bad ones anyhow) was not being able to shut off the feelings because I was sitting around doing basically nothing all day when I wasn’t working. Once I took up a hobby though, things got better. I wasn’t sitting and dwelling on how bad I felt or where I went wrong or anything like that. I was able to quietly sort though things without being focused on them 100% of the time. Throwing yourself into a hobby is a good way to let your mind work without overworking your emotions. Our brains are funny things and even when we don’t realize it, we’re processing information. Use that to your advantage and find something to occupy your time. Gardening, crochet, couponing, working out, your kidlets and cooking are all great ideas.

 

4. Finally, Take a Look Around You – We’re all human. When we’re hurt or when we feel attacked, we have this annoying little habit of zoning in solely on ourselves and forgetting those around us. It can be easy to forget that even though we lost one person in our lives, that we’re still surrounded by others that love and care for us. Take a look around and remind yourself, daily if needed, of the people that surround you. Those people, your friends and family, that have been there over the years, are your support system. Lean on them. Let them hold you when you need held up and let them knock you down when you need it. They will help keep you grounded and if you let them, they will help you heal from the pain.

My most recent divorce was by far my hardest. I didn’t want to split and I fought it tooth and nail (something that I now realize actually caused more damage to the relationship than had I just left well enough alone). I can honestly sit here and tell you that I do not know where I would be had it not been for my friends and family who picked me up…even when I didn’t deserve it. You may not have a huge support system, but I can guarantee you that if you’re willing to take the time? You’ll find someone who will let you lean for a while.

 

 

The 2014 Hot Toy List Is Out!

The 2014 Hot Toy List has been released! Are your kids asking for any of the ones listed?

 

2014 Hot Toy List

 
Each year, Toys R Us puts out the hot toy list for that year. It includes 50 of the toys they expect to be the hottest toys on the market for the upcoming holidays. Guess what? The 2014 hot toy list was just released yesterday! It includes TMNT toys, Doc McStuffins, LeapFrog, Disney’s Frozen and more! These are the toys that they expect to be pretty hard to find once folks really gear up for their holiday shopping so if they’re on your lists this year, you may want to start watching for the deals now.

 

Take a look –> 2014 Hot Toy List

Huggies Diapers Only $1.99 Per Pack! Stock Up Now!

Huggies coupons and Rite Aid Coupon Deal

 

Huggies Coupons and Rite Aid Coupon Deal

 

This is the kind of deal that makes me go all “HOLY BUCKETS!” when I see it and then makes me run over here, log in and start typing away. If you have a Rite Aid nearby and a tiny one in diapers, be SURE to run over this week because you can pick up Huggies diapers for only $1.99 per pack net price! That is a KILLER deal on diapers, especially name brand ones! Through Sunday, when you buy $20.00 in Huggies products, you’ll get back and $8.00 +UP Reward, but when you buy (5) packages of diapers, you’ll ALSO get a $10.00 coupon good on your next Huggies purchase. Toss in a few coupons and you have a final price of just $1.99 per pack!

I don’t honestly know that I have EVER seen diapers this cheap!

 

Buy (5) Huggies Diapers – $9.49 each, Rite Aid Price
Use (2) $3/1 Huggies Diapers Coupons found HERE  AND
Use (2) $1.50/1 Huggies Snug & Dry Diaper coupon found HERE   AND
Use (1) $1.50/1 Huggies Little Movers Coupons found HERE AND
Use $1/1 Huggies Diapers Rite Aid Video Value Coupon found HERE
Pay $35.95 OOP
Get Back  (2) $8 +Ups  Rewards AND
Get $10.00 off Your Next Huggies Purchase
Final Price: $9.95 wyb (5) or just $1.99 per pack after coupons and rewards!!

 

 

Thanks For The Mommas!

 

FREE 60 Day Membership to BJ’s Wholesale Club! (No credit card required)

Free 60 Day Trial Membership to Bj's Wholesale Club!

 

FREE 60 Day Membership to BJ’s Wholesale Club

Do you live near a BJ’s Wholesale Club? If so, pop over to their website and you can sign up for a FREE 60 Day Trial Membership! You’ll enjoy all of the club benefits for 60 days with no charge (and no credit card required as far as I can tell)! The free membership is limited to (1) per household and for some reason is not available at the Chambersburg, PA location. You don’t even need to run for this one because it doesn’t expire until December 31, 2014!

Wholesale clubs can be a GREAT way to save money when you don’t feel like or don’t have the time to coupon!

 

Sign up —> FREE 60 Day Membership to BJ’s Wholesale Club

 

 

Thanks Mojo Savings!

Silk Almond Milk Only $1.76 After New High Value Coupon!

Print your Silk Pure Almond Coupon to save $1.00 and pay just $1.76 each!

 

Silk Almond Milk Printable Coupon + Walmart Coupon Deal

 

Did you see the new $1.00 off 1 Silk Almond Milk coupon? It makes for a really great deal at Walmart! The half gallons runs just $2.76 at my store meaning that after the coupon they’ll be just $1.76 each! That is an awesome price for almond milk! Its usually sooo expensive!

 

Silk Pure Almond, half gallon – $2.76, Walmart Regular Price
Use $1/1 Silk Almond Milk coupon found HERE (sign up and play game to get the coupon)
Final Price: $1.76 each after the coupon!

 

Free Dove Body Wash Sample!

Request your Free Dove Body Wash Sample!

 

Free Dove Body Wash Sample

 

Head over to Walmart.com and you can request a FREE Dove body wash sample! You’ll have to watch a short video to get to the form, but it only takes about 30 seconds for it to play. I love when we get samples like this! They make traveling so much easier! If you want it though, I would hurry. These types of samples tend to go out of stock pretty quickly.

 

Request yours —> Free Dove Body Wash Sample