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Posted by Joyce Torelli on 6/20/2018

If you've ever read a self-improvement book or attended a motivational seminar, you probably felt charged up for about a week or so, but then slipped back into old, self-defeating habits.

Why does that happen? Is it because we're all born a certain way and have no control over the cards we're dealt? While it may sometimes appear that destiny plays a role in the direction of our lives, habits are often the underlying cause of both problems and accomplishments.

Zig Ziglar, a well-known sales trainer and personal development author summed it up perfectly: “People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing – that's why we recommend it daily.”

Here are a few ways that good habits can improve everything from family relationships and health to time management and stress reduction.
  1. Either before you go to bed or the first thing the next morning, write down your objectives for the day. When you commit something to writing and have a visual reminder of what you need to accomplish, there's a much stronger chance it will get done. Whether you prefer to use your iPhone or just old-fashioned written lists, everyone needs some kind of daily system for staying organized and remembering tasks and priorities. As Benjamin Franklin said more than 200 years ago, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
  2. Your attitudes and expectations often become self-fulfilling prophesies. It's easy to fall into the trap of complaining about things like how messy the house always looks or what a daily struggle it is to get the kids to do their homework. If you find yourself going down this negative path, keep in mind a quote from Oprah Winfrey: "What you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it." The opposite is also true, so it pays to choose your thoughts and words carefully.
  3. Establishing good, consistent habits in children makes life easier, more productive, and less stressful for the entire family. That can include everything from doing homework and chores to personal hygiene and keeping their bedrooms looking civilized.
  4. Learning to be patient with yourself, your spouse, and your children is easier for some people than others, but when you think of yourself as a "work in progress," you'll have more of a tendency to keep trying and not get discouraged.
Many books, websites, and seminars are based on the premise of improving the conditions of your life by improving the quality of your habits and thoughts. A good starting point for many people is to do a self assessment, write down a list of achievable goals, and then come up with a realistic action plan.





Posted by Joyce Torelli on 5/23/2018

Chefs need their organization in order to cook good meals for everyone. Everything from ingredients to utensils to small appliances must be organized and within reach for a stress-free preparation of meals. This is where a pantry comes in handy. A pantry is a place off of your kitchen where ingredients can be stored and utensils are tucked away. You can keep your small appliances there as well. The problem is that not all homes have a pantry. You may not even think that you have space for a pantry. If your home doesn’t have a a dedicated pantry, there are plenty of ways that you can create your own pantry. Here, we’ll give you some tips on how to create your own pantry easily and cost effectively. Add Shelving To Become Your Pantry There are shelving pieces available designed specifically for kitchens. Some of these shelves are even designed for commercial kitchens. You can mount them to wall space that you have available near the kitchen. The good news is that these shelving units are incredibly affordable. You can place them anywhere from the kitchen itself to a laundry room, or any other room that connects with the kitchen. Buy Readymade Shelves This is one of the simpler methods to create your own pantry. It could be as easy as buying a bookcase and repurposing it. The great part about bookshelves is that the shelves get wider as you move towards the bottom of the unit. The smaller shelves on the top can be used for smaller jars, spices and even cookbooks. The larger shelves can be used for oils and large containers. Dedicate A Shelving Area As Your Pantry If you have an unused nook, certain unused cabinets, or any other space close to your kitchen, you can make it into a pantry. Any sort of vertical cabinet that’s open provides you with a generous amount of pantry storage. Maximize Your Storage By labeling things, organizing items by type and putting pantry items into baskets, you’ll create more room in your dedicated pantry space. You can even make your pantry mobile by adding wheels to the bottom of the bookcase or shelving unit that you choose. When you’re more organized, life becomes easier. Use Drawers As Your Pantry Many cabinet retailers have drawers available that you can use to organize your pantry items. You could install these easily into your existing kitchen cabinet units. Store items in these spaces and keep them organized for simple and effective pantry storage.




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Posted by Joyce Torelli on 1/31/2018

Your attic; it’s a great place for storing things that you need to keep out of the way for most of the year. Maybe a little too great. If your attic is anything like most people’s it quickly has become overridden with anything and everything you can’t quite let go of or don’t know where to put. Perhaps it’s overwhelming to even think about your attic. If you are ready to make your attic more organized or need an idea of where to start, keep reading. If you are planning a major overhaul on your disorganized attic consider breaking up the following tips over a longer span of time than just the weekend to avoid being overwhelmed. The process of sorting through the items that find their way to the attic can be mentally draining as well as physically. Start with a decluttering process. Create a blank slate by pulling everything out of the attic and get rid of everything you no longer want to hold onto. Holding a yard sale or donating items are both ways of giving things you no longer want a chance at a second life and keeping them out of the dump. This is also a great time to figure out what should stay in the attic and what can be moved to other places in the home. Some types of household goods are best not stored in an attic. Once you have settled on what will be staying create an inventory of what is left and create categories for the items you will be storing in your attic. Themes should become apparent such as Christmas ornaments and nostalgic items. Group these similar items together so the next steps will be easier. Now that you know what items are staying and what categories you have you can start thinking about storage arrangements. If you have been keeping everything in cardboard boxes or just strewn about consider investing in some plastic bins for safer storage. Plastic bins can help protect against any roof leaks or other unexpected damage. If you have enough vertical space installing shelving units will help maximize the space available in your attic and allow you to easily organize everything. Be sure to properly store things (Christmas ornaments are wrapped, documents are in file folders, etc.) and label each box accordingly. Designing a layout plan for where containers are placed in your attic will set you up for success in the future. Place lower priority items towards the back of your attic space and/or in harder to reach areas while placing more frequently used items in easy to reach areas. Extra steps for the dedicated: Create an inventory of what is in each box and number them, add this list to a home organization binder or somewhere handy to reference. This will allow you to know what is where in your attic and eliminate opening every box each time you want to find something. Color coding bins by their category and/or numbering them will allow for easy inventory creation and knowing which bins contain holiday decorations or seasonal clothes. While the thought of organizing your attic might fill you with dread taking the time to do so will allow you to create a storage space in your home that is stress-free and easy to access. With a clear plan in hand and spreading out your organization project over several days planning out your attic storage might even become an enjoyable task!




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Posted by Joyce Torelli on 10/12/2016

Keeping your home organized is one of the most difficult things to do in a busy home. Having an organized home will save you time, money and keep your stress level down. Conquer the toughest organization tasks with these tips to get your home in tip top shape: 1. Be Neat from the Start It seems so simple but put things away right away. 2. Everything has a Home Everything in your home should have a place. Have a place for pens, papers, backpacks, school papers and bills. 3. Label Invest in a label machine and label everything. Now there will be no question what goes where. 4. Contain Clutter Use baskets, shelves and containers to contain the clutter. 5. Use the Everday Rule If you don't use an appliance or tool every day, find a home out of the way for it. Only pull it out when you need it.





Posted by Joyce Torelli on 8/19/2015

Buying a home is still one of the best ways to build wealth. If you are looking to add value to your home without breaking the bank there are many projects that will increase your home's value for less than $1,000. One thousand dollars can go a long way when it comes to home improvement projects. If you think and plan smart your profit should outweigh your investment. Here are a few projects that will give you the most bang for your buck. 1. Organize Your Home Declutter your home by organizing closets, cabinets and pantries. Add bookshelves for more storage. Maximize space in the kids’ rooms by installing platform or bunk beds. A neat and organized home is easier to live in and shows better to potential buyers. 2. Make an Entrance Simply updating and replacing your entry door will spruce up your curb appeal. Not only will the new door look great it can also help save money.  Adding a steel door will save on energy. Most of the new steel doors are made to look like wood. A new door will cost approximately $400. 3. Install a Programmable Thermostat. Another way to save money is to switch from a manual to a programmable thermostat. Prices vary greatly on these thermostats but don't expect to pay more than a few hundred dollars for a high end model.  A programmable thermostat can save you $180 a year in energy costs. 4. Update your Cabinets Cabinet hardware makes a huge difference on how new your kitchen looks. Simply update the cabinet hardware by installing new knobs and pulls in more modern metals and looks. Most large hardware store have a large selection of hardware you can usually buy a 10-pack for approximately $20. 5. No more Bathroom Blues Bathrooms can be one of the most expensive updates in a home. You can give a bathroom a quick facelift by replacing old tile. Vinyl tiles are inexpensive and easy to install or with ceramic tile can cost as little as $3 per square foot for material and installation.