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Clutter Hacks It's That Time

Seasonal clutter tips and hacks. Back-to-school, holiday, summer, spring cleaning. Tell us how you make it all look so easy.

Tip! No-mess Cupcakes

By Eva Wallace

ice cream cone cupcakesMy next-door-neighbor makes cupcakes to sell to the neighborhood kids. I frequently find cupcake wrappers in my yard. Today I found one in my mailbox. I'm giving this tip to her.
;)

Bake cupcakes directly in ice-cream cones – so much more fun and easier for kids to eat! And no wrappers!

Downsizing: 2 Reasons to Downsize

downsizingWhen I’m asked where to begin downsizing, I’m tempted to say “At the beginning, of course.” But that’s not always the right answer. For each of us, the beginning is different.

Why are you downsizing? Is it because you’ve realized your living space is being taken over with “stuff” and you want to liberate that space? Or are you moving to a smaller home?

Let’s begin with the first option. You’re being squeezed out of your home by the accumulation of things you used to love but don’t any more. This is fairly simple.
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Tuesday Tip: Save Space With A Gutter Garden!

By Eva Wallace

gutter gardenThis is one of the coolest space-saving tips I've seen! Create a window-box veggie patch using guttering! You could do this on the side of your house or all along your fence. Takes almost no room and you get fresh veggies and herbs! :)

Got another idea for rain gutters? Leave a comment!

Happy Easter!!

By Eva Wallace

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter All!

Favorite Cleaning Tools of 2012

By Michaela Strathman

wooden step stoolCall me crazy, but I do love to clean house. But only some areas. For example, I really don’t like to clean the dishes or the kitchen in general, but odd jobs like dusting or cleaning the bathrooms are very gratifying jobs in my opinion. So I thought to kick off the new year, I’d share some of my favorite cleaning tools, products and must-have accessories that are guaranteed to make life easier when it comes to chores.
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Moms Need Desks, Too!

By Stacey Murray

computer desksI don’t know why, but it surprises me every time.

I get a call from a prospective client—usually a woman with a few children, telling me her papers are all over the place. I go to her home for a Needs Assessment and she shows me piles of papers on the counter, on the dining room table, in bins under her bed. I ask her one simple question: “Where is your desk?” The answer I get more often than not is, “I don’t have one.”

I have seen a home with two play areas for the kids but no area for Mom. I have been to a home with a home office for Dad but no space for Mom. I have been shown Dad’s fancy home office and then shown Mom’s counter space in the kitchen that she shares with the mail and a stack of recipes.
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The New Year

By Eva Wallace

flowerI'd like to start my New Year with Clutter Control Freak fresh with ideas from YOU! What are your biggest organizing challenges? What are your favorite organizing tools? What would you like to read about on Clutter Control Freak Blog? Let me know in a comment.
:)

Quote of the Week: On Purposeful Living

By Eva Wallace

blank bookWe will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.

~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Happy New Year All!

Reflecting on 2011

By Marcia Francois

looking backI like to think that reflecting on the year past is the same as tying a nice ribbon around a package - finishing it all off nicely :)

It seems to me like I can't get on with the new year properly unless I reflect on what went well, what didn't go well and most importantly, what I want from my life for the next year.

Do you agree?

Well then, let's get to it.
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Holiday Planning Overlooked

By Emily Weigel

coffee cup storage chestWhen it’s time for holiday planning, we tend to think only about preparation. Planning menus, sending parting invitations, shopping for gifts, and digging out the decorations. I find myself so overworked getting ready for holiday gatherings, I forget about the aftermath. Particularly when it comes to my extra dishes. I’ve never had a proper way of storing them, so they tend to just get thrown in a box that gets stacked with other boxes in the garage.

Bad planning like this leads inevitably to the catastrophe I encountered last week.
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Spice Up Your Holiday Table

By Eva Wallace

DinnerwareMixing up dinnerware is a great and easy way to create an interesting table top. Try using dinner plates from one set of china paired with salad bowls from another to create layers of pattern or color. Have a set of basic white dishes? Switch out a few pieces with dinnerware in a bold pattern and instantly create a one of a kind look!

From fine china that has been passed down through the family for years to a flea market find with a fun pattern to brand new plates with a modern shape, by pulling different elements onto your table top you can create a look that suits your style.
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How To Leave Work Earlier

By Eva Wallace

outlookI have recently moved my office into my home. I'm actually enjoying the integration of "home" and "work" life. It's not the distraction that I thought it would be. As a matter of fact, my biggest problem is working too long and late into the evening.

Today I received an email from Marcia Francois - to my rescue again!

Try these suggestions for organizing your day and not over-working yourself:
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A Legacy of "Stuff" (Part 4)

By Rita Emmett

rusty screwsIn the previous 3 blog posts (Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3), I wrote about what to do with the stuff of loved ones who have passed away, and how important it is to communicate with your friends and family about the stuff that YOU might leave behind.

So the questions to start with is: what you are leaving behind and why the heck are you hanging on to that?
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Start Your School Year Off Right!

By Eva Wallace

White Dry Erase Monthly CalendarMany of you who read this blog have children or teens going back to school this time of year. Now is the perfect time to put together a Family Command Center.

Some time back, I gave some helpful Tips for a Family Command Center. Stacks and Stacks has a new product that is a great first step in creating your own command center.

It's the  White Dry Erase Monthly Calendar - by Brewster Home Fashions. This is truly a gem!
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A Legacy of "Stuff" (Part 3)

By Rita Emmett

bowlIn A Legacy of "Stuff" (part 1) and A Legacy of "Stuff" (part 2), we discussed what to do with the "stuff" left behind by someone who passed away. It was hard to write and hard for you to read. Now let's move into an even MORE difficult area — the stuff that WE will leave behind. (By the way, I can't find any material already written on this subject. Apparently, everyone else also thinks it's hard to write about.)If you plan to leave something to the next generation or to your friends, do some very good communicating with them now to see if they would want it. If not, realize that your cherished items might be more burden than bounty to people you love. Most of all, let them know what is important or valuable, so they don’t decide everything you own is clutter, and toss it out.
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A Legacy of "Stuff" (Part 2)

By Rita Emmett

A Legacy of This week we continue with the difficult subject of being overwhelmed with the "stuff" left behind by a loved one who has passed away.

(You can read Part 1 here.)

The struggle is that we are trying to find practical ways to survive having someone's lifetime-of-stuff joining our own lifetime-of-stuff, while also trying to survive all the emotions that come with this deep painful loss.

Based on the huge number of emails I received after Part 1, last weeks post resonated with many of you. One woman told the story of how for seven years, all of her parents' belongings were stacked to the ceiling in her basement - furniture, clothes, stuff. So much so that they could not even make a path through it all.
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Quote of the Week: On Motivation

By Eva Wallace

Happy Independence Day!Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.

~Aldous Huxley

Don't let circumstances get you down this week. Look at them with new eyes and make the most of them.

Have a great 4th of July weekend!

Do You Have Enough Time? Today's Clutter Video Tip

Great advice on owning up to your own choices in organizing your time - thanks Lorie!

Your Kids Understand the Economy Too

By Jan Hayner

money saving tipsAs parents, we sometimes don't give kids the credit that they deserve when it comes to understanding things. Those little ears are always open and they absorb a lot more than we think. Everywhere you go, someone is talking about the economy, they are hearing about it in school, their parents conversations and believe it or not, they do listen to the news!
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Give Dad a Relaxing Gift This Father's Day

By Eva Wallace

Vintage Bonded Leather Recliner with OttomanWondering what to get Dad this Father's Day?

Try the Vintage Bonded Leather Recliner with Ottoman!

Stacks and Stacks is running a $100 OFF special on this fabulous chair through Father's Day!

Dad can kick back and relax on this Euro style motion chair, designed with his ultimate comfort in mind. This is a stylish and comfy reclining chair that features a 360 degree pinion swivel with multiple reclining position adjustment. And it comes with an angled ottoman for lower leg support!
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To All the Moms Out There!

By Eva Wallace

moms day breakfastHappy (belated) Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! I hope your day was relaxing, or exciting, or whatever makes you a happy mom!

I was greeted with a wonderful bouquet of roses, a box of chocolates, and a delicious strawberry pancake breakfast in bed on my awesome little bed tray! My gang is the best! Thanks, Guys!

Here's to moms everywhere!!

The Shame Trap: Don't Get Caught

By Eva Wallace

shameI spoke with a woman recently who was had reached her breaking point. She had misplaced her mailbox key in her cluttered apartment. When her mailbox was full the post office simply stopped delivering her mail. Cards went un-received and bills went unpaid. This was the tipping point to a downward spiral of shame.

All of us have special talents and giftings in our lives. Some people are naturally blessed with the gift of organization. Most of us, however, are not. This isn’t something to be ashamed of.
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Happy Easter!

By Eva Wallace

happy easter

Happy Easter!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Personalized Mother’s Day Gifts

By Michaela Strathman

cashmere-scarfWhat better way to make mom feel special? A personalized gift is a classy way to go! From apparel to serveware, we’ve got something for every mom out there.

Note: Because these items are personalized, you will want to order a few weeks in advance (Mother’s Day is May 8, 2011). And, you will get bonus points from Mom for thinking ahead.

For the Spa-Lover: Personalized Comfort Robe. Ultra soft cotton velour, available with single letter or monogram.
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Speaking Spring

By Michaela Strathman

Happy Easter Coir MatSpringtime is finally here! Although it’s technically been spring for a few weeks, the weather didn’t seem to think so. But finally things are warming up, we are getting out into the garden and enjoying this beautiful season and all it has to offer. Inside the home, too, we are changing with the seasons - I call this “Spring-izing” the home.

Here are some wonderful ideas and treats to welcome this new season into your home.

With springtime, my mind naturally drifts to textures and colors.
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Spring Cleaning Tips From Rita Emmett

By Rita Emmett

declutterHappy Spring (cleaning) time!! Are you ready to start your clutter-busting journey but don't know how to begin?

When I first started, I knew I didn't have the discipline or organizational skills to get rid of my stuff, so I asked my clutter-free friends for help. (You don't want to ask your totally cluttered friends for help because they will just tell you to keep everything, right?) Different friends helped in different ways.
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Get Organized for Tax Season in 5 Easy Steps

By Carmen Coker

tax filingIn the words of Dave Barry, "It's income tax time again, Americans: time to gather up those receipts, get out those tax forms, sharpen up that pencil, and stab yourself in the aorta."

Filing taxes = huge pain. We all know it. We all go through it once a year. And while there's no way around tax season, there is a way to make the process less stressful.

P.R.E.P.A.R.A.T.I.O.N.
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Web Accessibility For All - We've Got It!

By Eva Wallace

web accessibilityStacks and Stacks is doing something new to reach out to seniors and the disabled!

We have a new icon on our website that offers a link to a web accessibility tool for seniors and the disabled! The tool is absolutely free to download and free to use, and can help people with impairments navigate the internet and our website.
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Quote of the Week: On Love

By Eva Wallace

loveIn honor of Valentine's Day on Monday:

Love has no desire but to fulfill itself. To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.

~Kahlil Gibran

Have a great weekend!

Valentine's Day Goodies

By Eva Wallace

sample cardThe Gals over at GetButtonedUp.com have the cutest free printable Valentine's Day cards!

Check it out and make someone's day on the 14th!