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10 Helpful Holiday Tips

November 17th, 2008

If you usually wait until the last minute to shop for gifts or get your home ready for the holidays, here are some great tips that will reduce the stress and give you more time to enjoy the season.

1. Decide what is your priority for the holiday- focus your time, energy and money there.
2. Create a holiday planning binder. By having a check off list of things to do you will be able to schedule the tasks into your calendar.
3. Create a budget for the holiday and stick to it. Make a list of who you need to buy for and how much you want to spend on them.
4. So as not to add more clutter to people’s lives, buy consumable gifts: food, gift certificates to plays, restaurants, favorite sporting events, etc. The best idea is to give to a charity in honor of each person on your guest list.
5. Buy out of town gifts early and save on shipping- avoid overnight or rush charges.
6. If you shop in stores and not on line- save time by shopping at off peak hours. Mornings and dinner time during the weekdays are usually the least busy times. Shop local stores instead of the busy malls.
7. Simplify your holiday cards by using web based companies like SendOutCards.com to do your holiday cards now.
8. Choose a focal point for decorating instead of trying to do the entire house.
9. Host a cookie exchange! Less cooking for you, fun time with friends and get lots of cookies!
10. Make sure to give yourself a gift! Relax with a massage, manicure or bubble bath!

These tips were courtesy of www.organizednj.com.

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Protecting Your Home’s Value

August 1st, 2008

In most cases your home is the single largest investment you have. Therefore it is very important to implement a regular inspection program to help prevent major repairs and to protect your home’s value.

But where to begin? That is where most of us get stuck. Below is a sample checklist for you to use to get started. Get in the habit of scheduling time on your calendar to take care of these items at the change of the seasons. The more organized proactive work you do now means the less costly and stressful reactive problems to deal with later.

Fall/Winter Maintenance:

  • Professionally clean chimney and flue
  • Clean gutters and downspouts, seal leak in gutter seams
  • Remove window air conditioners
  • Inspect sump pump
  • Remove wasp nests, inspect for termites and wood rot
  • Remove window and door screens – clean before storing
  • Check storm windows – clean and repair before installing
  • Drain and turn off outside faucets if in region with very cold winters
  • Check insulation and replace if necessary
  • Clean humidifier
  • Clean fireplace
  • Service heating and cooling systems
  • Repair any plumbing leaks
  • Oil door locks – this is especially important in regions with very cold winters
  • Change batteries in smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide detectors

This article was written by Carla Boissonault, a professional organizer and owner of Organized by Design of New Jersey.

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