organizing


I just have to update on our event yesterday. We went to clean out one on the classrooms at our church. Well after finding many old food and other items I went to pick up a piece of pipe cleaner. Guess what? It moved!!!!!!!!! It was a centipede!!!!!! I screamed my head off! I can still feel it grabbing onto my finger. YUCK!!! I am not sure I will recover!!!

Today we went to the local Senior Center to help with their Christmas Party. Everyone was really nice. We didn’t do as much as I hoped as most people were listening to the music and not as much talking with them, but it was a good event. And they wanted to give my kids money. So all the money that they got will go to other events this week.

Have a “Un-Creepy” Day! (Did I mention EWWWWWW!)

….the Month long contest continues.

Would you like to win a week worth of prizes?  Hey, your Christmas shopping would be about done, right?

Here’s how:

1) Answer the question below in my comments.  One entry is all I need.  You DO NOT need to comment everyday to be eligible…just once. 

2) POST about my contest on your blog.  I will need the direct link on my blog showing the post on your site. 

3) That’s it!!!!  Just wait to see if you are a winner of a week’s bounty of prizes.  Isn’t the EASY????

Today we will add Laurenmc18 from ETSY to the prize list.  You can find her shop here:

http://www.laurenmc18.etsy.com

Lauren is offering a magent set like this:

Magnet Pack - 'Ooh La La'

The winner of this giveaway will receive one LMNOProducts magnet pack of his/her choice from my store, www.laurenmc18.etsy.com. These ceramic tile magnet sets are the my bestselling product, because they are an inexpensive way to add a fun, colorful touch to your home or office. Just choose your favorite from the current stock and I will send it on its way!

As a special bonus, I am offering all Real World Martha readers a 20% discount on ANY item from my shop. To redeem the discount, just add any LMNOProducts item to your cart, begin the checkout process, and choose “Other” as your payment method. In the Buyer’s Note box, mention that you would like to take advantage of the Real World Martha discount. I will then send you a revised PayPal invoice reflecting the 20% discount. This offer is good for the rest of 2008!

Don’t you love these ETSY shops?  I can’t think of a better way to help our economy!!!!!!!!!!!

Here’s the question you must answer and include the link from your post to enter for this weeks bucket of prizes!

Question for Week 2 – Tell me about a random act of kindness in the last year that you have done or someone has done for you?  Please share about it in the comments and don’t forget to link the contest on your blog.

P.S. – Today in our morning devotion we read that today is National World Kindness Day!  How great is that?

Have a “Magnetic” Day!

Debbie aka The Real World Martha

First, I would like to say thanks to those who are participating in my contest.  I love hearing all the great stories on giving!  If you would please make sure you link and post about the contest on your blog that would be great and that is required to win.

If you aren’t familiar with the contest, please see here: https://realworldmartha.wordpress.com/2008/11/01/tis-better-to-give-than-to-receiveright/

Today I would love to introduce to you Donna Smallin.

The One-Minute Organizer Plain & Simple Cover

Organizing expert, Donna Smallin, is the bestselling author of seven books on uncluttering, organizing and simplifying life, including The One-Minute Organizer. You may have seen her on the Early Show, HGTV’s Smart Solutions, or CNN Open House or listened to her on BBC, Lifetime, and CNN radio programs. Her tips appear frequently in Better Homes & Gardens, Woman’s Day, Woman’s World and other leading publications. One of the organizing industry’s most recognized and respected members, Donna received the 2006 Founders Award from the National Association of Professional Organizers for outstanding contributions to the industry.

‘Tis Better to Give Than Receive

An interview with Donna Smallin, bestselling author of 7 books including The One-Minute Organizer (www.unclutter.com)

 

Deb: How do you define clutter?

 

Donna: Clutter is all that stuff that serves no other purpose other than to take up valuable space in you home and create unnecessary stress in your life. It’s what you end up with when you have more than meets your needs. Clutter, then, is physical proof of our abundance. Take a look around. If you’ve got clutter, you are richer than you think.

 

Deb: What are the benefits of uncluttering?

 

Donna: I see clutter as an opportunity to recognize and give thanks for the abundance in my life. By periodically cleaning out my closets and drawers and giving away what I no longer need, I am able to share my wealth and that makes me feel good. It also makes it easier for me to find and put away the things that I love and use regularly.

 

Deb: Why is it so hard for us to let go of clutter?

 

Donna: Often, we hold on to things we no longer use because we paid “good money” for those things. But what is the value of a designer suit that just hangs in your closet, getting older and dustier every year? The answer is “zippo” if it’s not being used or enjoyed. All that stuff you’re hanging on to in case you might need it someday could do immediate good in the hands of someone who really needs it right now.

 

Deb: What is the best way to let go?

 

Donna: The simplest way to donate items is to pick one place such as Goodwill or The Salvation Army that allows you to drop off everything from clothing to furniture. That way you don’t have to make a decision about what to do with every item. The decision has already been made. Domestic violence shelters are another good place to donate sheets and towels, dishes, cookware and other housewares as well as women’s and children’s clothing and toys.

 

Deb: What if we just can’t bring ourselves to let go of something?

 

Donna: If you are reluctant to let go of clothes that no longer fit, shoes you haven’t worn in years, or whatever, try this: pack it up in a box and write the word “Donate” and then date it for six months from today. If you haven’t opened the box before that date, you know you didn’t miss the items inside.

 

Deb: Any final thoughts?

 

Sharing your abundance (I’m talking about your clutter – not the stuff you love and use) will go a long way toward uncluttering your home. But the best part about donating your stuff is what you get in return – the joy that comes from giving.

Don’t you want to read her book?  The winner of this weeks prizes (all that are featured this week) will get an autographed copy!!!!!!!

To win:

Answer the question below in the comments.  Then post about my contest on your blog with a link back to it.

Question for Week 1 – Tell me something that you do/done, individually or as a family, that really shows it is better to give than to receive.  Do you give food to the food bank every month?  Have you adopted a “grandma or grandpa”?  Tell me about it.

And don’t forget to “give” this info to others so they have a chance to get to know these wonderful people and products and check out Donna’s sites:

http://www.unclutter.com

Here’s a tip from Donna:

Organizing tip #597: Did you know that you can send real paper greeting cards from your computer — with your own handwriting font and signature? Learn how at http://www.yourcardconnection.com

Have an “Organized” Day!

(*Added on 11/6  – After you have read about the contest, please go to my home page to see the current question and info on prizes.  From there you can scroll down and see pics of the prizes and other info.  Just click on Real World Martha or Home at the top…thanks.)

Here are the details regarding my month long November contest : “Tis Better To Give Than To Receive

Each day I will feature a product.  Most of the products are handmade which I LOVE to support.  Then, at the end of that week I will pick a winner for that weeks prizes.  You will win the entire weeks features.  Isn’t that GREAT?

To win:

Each week will have it’s own question.  You will need to answer the question in the comments (any day) and post/link my contest on your blogPlease leave me your link that directly shows the post/link for my contest on your blog.  And remember there is only one entry per day.

Here’s the breakdown:

Week 1

Question for Week 1 – Tell me something that you do/done, individually or as a family, that really shows it is better to give than to receive.  Do you give food to the food bank every month?  Have you adopted a “grandma or grandpa”?  Tell me about it.

November 1st – Julesmaeclothing/ Hairband

November 2nd – Key of Kellie/ Key Chain

November 3rd- Izznit /Fabric Grocery Bag

November 4th – Knitsational / Little Notebook

November 5th –  Donna Smalin Kuper /Book

November 6th – Nancomfortfoods

November 7th – Crunchy Clean/ Non-Toxic Detergent

November 8th – Sweetgracieforme – Whipped Body Butter

Drawing will be held for all these items on November 9th

Week 2

Question for Week 2 – Has you done a random act of kindness in the last year or has someone done one for you?  Please share about it in the comments and don’t forget to link the contest on your blog.

November 9th – BethMane10 /Holiday Tags

November 10th – Zadyball

November 11th – Under Her Charm / Necklace

November 12th – Brainscan / Coffee

November 13th – Laurenmc18/ Magnet Set and 20% for any customer that orders that mentions this contest and my blog

November 14th – Gifts of Creation/ Set of Notecards

November 15th – Marianne Richmond / Book

The winner for this weeks prizes will be drawn on November 16th

Week 3

Question for Week 3 – Since this is my Birthday week tell me something that you have done on someone else’s birthday that was really special.  Did you make a cake when you usually buy one?  Or what about making a scrapbook for 6 months?

November 16th – Elly Nelly / Wall Graphic

November 17th –  Tricia Goyer / Books Generation NeXt Marriage and A Valley of Betrayal

November 18th –  The Golden Goat / Hair Soap

November 19th – Busy Little Elf / Playdough Kit

November 20th – The Simple Wife / Book

November 21st – Smart Mom Jewelery / Pendant/Bangle Set

November 22nd – Boyfrog/ Bath Salts

The winner will be drawn on November 23rd

Week 4

Question for Week 4 – What ThanksGIVING traditions do you have?  Does your family do something special that gives to others for this Holiday? 

November 23rd – Tate’s Bake Shop / Cookie Gift Pack

November 24th – Chris Sligh CD 

November 25th – Discovery Denim / Little Heroes Cape

November 26th – Hickchicks Soap Barn/  Soap and matching lotion bar

November 29th – Karen Hossink /Book

Drawing will be on November 30th

Whew!!!!  How about that?  Are you ready to get some presents for yourself or to give as gifts?  I am so excited so let’s the word out!!!

Have a Giving Day!

I do love to shop.  So we have to go shopping for the A-Z tips.  I would love to focus on non-essential items however as grocery prices increase I think a few grocery tips may help.  Please feel free to add your own as I know many of you have terrific tips yourself.  I want to learn from them.

Let’s go shopping:

  • At the store shop the perimeter.  All the sale items will be stocked there.  And you will cover fresh veggies and fruit which is more healthy then processed foods.
  • Only purchase fruits and veggies that are in season. 
  • Try making your own salad dressings, seasoning mixes, marinades, and biscuit mixes.  They are fairly easy to do and will save you $$$$$.
  • Compare price per unit when buying in bulk.  You may not be saving money with some items.
  • Keep a list.  This is so true.  All those extras really add up.
  • Buy spices in bulk.  You don’t need as much of some spices and spices don’t stay fresh forever.
  • Stay away from prepared foods.  They are very expensive.
  • Decide if you are a coupon person or not.  If you are not, then accept it and don’t hang on to them and feel defeated.  Instead, shop store brands and use other tips.  If you are then get a good system for using them.  There are also subscription type services like the www.thegrocerygame.com that might work for you. 
  • Find lower priced cuts of meat and find recipes on ways to cook them instead.
  • Keep a budget for food.
  • Eat less meat.
  • In most cases, toiletry items are more expensive at your grocery store.
  • Have you shopped at a 99 cent store lately?  Mine has veggies and fruit.  I also got a beautiful jar of mixed mushrooms (that looked like something you would get in a gift basket, for –you guessed it–99 cents!
  • Use up stale bread to make your own breadcrumbs of croutons.  Easy to do and saves $$
  • Know when the sales are for your store.  And you may want to find out when they stock so they are not out of the items when you go.
  • Start with a menu and then shop.
  • Make your own cleaning products will save a bundle!!!  The companies that produce that stuff is making a ton of $$ as we need very few cleaners yet most households are full of buckets of different cleaners.
  • Watch the register.  Make sure someone unloads the cart and you watch the register.  If you are alone, look over the receipt before you leave.
  • AND NEVER GO TO THE STORE HUNGRY!

Don’t forget to share your tips.

Contest: Link any of my A-Z tips on your blog and let me know and I will enter you in my contest to win some lovely prozes.  Check out my post- Wanna now what you are playing for? to see them.
Have a “Cost-Effective” Day!

Debbie aka The Real World Martha(S)

I was away from the house this weekend so I didn’t get a chance to write any tips.  I left off at N so today we will be on Q.  Just testing you to see if you have learned your alphabet.  Is there anyone else that needs to sing the alphabet to file something?  🙂 

O

If you know me you know I like to organize.  I find that I work better in less chaos.  So today’s simple tip is to look around your home and pick 5 things that don’t make your heart happy and give them away.  The less things we have to take care of allows us to focus on the things we do want to take care of.

Disclaimer – This is meant for your things not hubby’s favorite (UGLY!!) shirt that he has had since 1979 and the odds of fitting into it again is about as likely as children obeying you for an entire day.  Or the childs toy that won’t be parted with even though it’s broken in more pieces than a lego set.  No, I am not suggesting that you remove those.  Keep it to your items only for a less stressful event 🙂

OK, GRAB YOUR ITEMS AND GO 🙂

Have a “Purging”  Day! 

 

Almost forgot.  Don’t you too forget about my contest.  Ping/link any of my A-Z tips on your blog for a chance to win my very first ever blog contest.  Let me know when you do and I will enter you.  See Wanna know what you are playing for to see the beautiful products you can win.

Husband:  Honey, what’s for dinner?

Wife: Ok I give, what?

Oh, it’s not a joke you say.  Do you ever go to the pantry and go what am I going to make tonight?  I think we all do that from time to time.  I know a lot of people are into the menu planning for the week and use the grocery ads for the best deals.  I think this is a great idea but it hasn’t worked for me as it seems time consuming the way I tried it.  So that has led me to a different type of menu planning (or maybe not).  I like to use a seasonal 3- 4 month rotation.  Now this doesn’t always happen but it sure makes it easy when it does.

So today’s A-Z tip will be M = Menu planning.

First, ask everyone what their favorite meals are.  Compile a large list.  Put down fancy and even non-fancy items like mac ‘n’ cheese.  But not too many pre-boxed stuff as you will find better alternatives doing this that will save not only money but will be healthier.

Next, break them down by seasons.  I.E. salads for summer, soups for winter, etc

Now you want to think of your schedule.  Are there nights, like Wednesday night church, that you will need a quick dinner or leftovers?  What about some night that everyone can try a new recipe together?  Don’t forget breakfasts and lunches when needed.

With all this info in hand you want to start putting a 3-4 season (some of us don’t have as many seasons as others…ours just hot, hotter, and “Where am I again?”) menu together i.e. Jan-Mar or Jan-April, etc.  Next list your Sunday-Saturday’s.  And finally fill in the menu items.

Make sure when you plan this to add a new recipe night at least once in the rotation (but try a few more if you can).  And try not to double up as much as possible.  If you take time to create this I bet you have more things that you know how to cook then you think.

Finally gather up all your info and put it into a menu planning binder.  You may want to use clear protectors since this will end up in the kitchen no doubt.

Use can use this binder for your shopping.  And if you want to use the store ads to get the best deals just shop ahead. Take your binder and look at what’s on sale to what you are going to be cooking in the next month or so for non-perishable items or items that can freeze.  Make sure you make note that you have purchased that item so you don’t pick it up again.

Menu planning is a stress reliever.  It may not always happen but when it does it sure makes life happier when you don’t have that deer in the headlights look at 6 pm.

If your hubby is the cook, as I know a lot of men are, this may be helpful for them.  This works great for anyone who is having trouble with added expenses on last minute purchases at the store, the people saying AUGGHH when fixing dinner, those who may always seem to forget key ingredients to recipes, and those who are fixing the same things over and over again.  But if hubby is the cook and there are no problems don’t mess with a good thing!

So what do you say?  Wanna start?

Have a “planning” day.

P.S – Don’t forget about my contest.  Link/ping any of my A-Z tips and let me know so I can enter you in my first contest.  See post on wanna know what you are playing for to see prizes.

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