Friday, September 30, 2011

It Doesn't Have to Be Perfect

You may have heard it said, 'If it can't be done with excellence, don't do it." Well, Jesus never said that! The truth is, almost everything we do is done poorly when we first start doing it--that's how we learn. It doesn't have to be perfect for God to use and bless it." -Rick Warren, the Purpose Driven Life

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Keep Napkins Around!

Keep a set of napkins near anyplace that you regularly have food. A desk drawer, a side table in a den or living room, on a kitchen table, in the car. Make it easy to wipe and clean things up by having supplies handy. You can apply this tip with paper towels, too.

This is a great way to use the extra napkins you receive from restaurants.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Your Organizing Style

Discover whether you are primarily visual, auditory, or tactile, and organize your life accordingly. If visual, use a variety of colors on calendars and notes. If auditory, carry a small tape recorder to verbally "jot" reminders to yourself. If tactile, use a variety of surfaces--i.e. index cards to move around, a mix of styles of pens, etc. Most people are a combination of earning styles, but use your primary style to your advantage.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

15 Ways to be Ready for Company

Here are 15 ways you can keep your home--and yourself--ready for company!

Keep non-perishable snacks on hand (such as cheese sticks, 100-calorie cookies, etc.) and put them out in an attractive bowl or basket

Always have some type of commonly liked beverage on hand such as soda or coffee.

Have at least one package of brownie mix or some other dessert mix in case you want to provide a
a quick dessert. Particularly quick are the refrigerator cookies or cinnamon rolls that are easy to pull out and

Keep easy meals available, especially if kids or teens tend to come over
regularly. These include frozen pizza, mac & cheese, sandwich meat and 
fresh bread.

Keep popcorn available to make up a big batch for a spontaneous movie

Keep the "guest triangle" areas of your home clean. This usually includes the bathroom most likely to be used
by guests and the kitchen.

Keep your main entry area picked up as it is the first thing you and guests will see.

Keep doors closed on rooms that are not as likely to be "company presentable." This usually includes
bedrooms and perhaps bonus rooms. Unless you are giving a tour, you don't need to open these rooms.

Keep sanitary wipes available for quick wipe downs of counters and sinks just before guests come over.
Even small children can help with this.

Purchase a "quick vac" tool to do quick vacuuming of high traffic areas without pulling out a major vacuum

Keep candles and/or fresh scent products on hand to have lit or going when a guest is coming by.

Keep board games accessible and possibly visible so that you can encourage guests to enjoy a game with

Consider purchasing battery operated candles with timers. This can assure that a "candle" is safely lit at a
certain time every evening. Bonus: they turn off automatically. (Tip: purchase rechargeable batteries as daily
use of these candles will use up batteries ever 4-6 weeks.)

If you have a guest room, always wash sheets and re-make bed soon after a guest has left. That way the
room is ready for the next guest.

Keep a basket of travel size items in the guest room if you have frequent overnight guests.Also, treat yourself
like a guest. You and your family are the ones who live in the house. At least on occasion, bake something
just for your spouse and kids, not only when company is coming. Keep the house picked up so YOU can
enjoy it, not just to "perform" for company.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wastebasket Strategy

Two wastebaskets in one room? Why not?

That was a novel concept I picked up in a class I took with Stephanie Baker, who is co-authoring a book with Karina Whisnant and I regarding Getting Organized at Home. We were challenged to think of "trouble" areas in our homes and possible fixes.

One of my (many!) trouble areas at home was our master bathroom. It's larger than a typical bathroom, though not huge. I often find need for a wastebasket on both sides of the room, so I decided, "Why not?" I now have a wastebasket under my sink and counter, and one between the toilet and my husband's sink and counter.

It's a small change, but helpful. It doesn't take much extra effort to empty two wastebasket instead of one, and it's simply more convenient.

The same can go for other spots in our home--or yours. This week, think about where you most likely would create trash, and be sure a wastebasket is available. For example, if your family snacks in the den, have a wastebasket handy for used napkins, snack bags, etc.

You can go a step further and steward God's creation a bit by creating recycling centers in your home. In our kitchen, for example, we have a regular trash basket. But we also have a rolling bin (which is actually a large laundry basket with wheels and a handle--see photo) for cardboard, and hanging bags in the pantry for plastic shopping bags and cans/plastic. From time to time, I grab the basket, put it in my truck, and stop at a recycling center.

In my home office, I have a separate bin for recyclable paper and for trash. Keeping bins separate but available helps me develop better habits about handling trash, and do a little "creation stewardship," too.

Question: How many wastebaskets are in your home?