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Make your Home a Hospitable Environment for Guests

In a perfect home every person entering your door feels welcome and glad to be there. The issue is not how clean a house is but our attitude towards the condition of our home. I function best in a clean, organized home because it enables me to relax and be hospitable. Maintaining a clean clutter-free house is a priority with me. I like to leave with everything picked up so I come home to an organized home. When I leave my house, beds are made, dishes are in the dishwasher, bathrooms are freshened up and everything is in it’s place. I leave my house in a condition I can happily come home to and would not be embarrassed if someone came over unannounced.

For some people getting their home clutter-free would require so much time they could not relax and be a good hostess. Maintain your home at the level of organization and cleanliness that you are content with. Do not try to fulfill the expectations of other people. If you continually apologize to guests for the way your house looks they will feel uncomfortable and unwelcome. They will also feel awkward if your home is picture perfect.

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“Let’s go shopping!”  “There is a great sale!”  This is sweet music to most women’s ears.  Many women already juggle work and home schedules but do not be afraid to add economical shopping to your list of jobs.  Make it your mission to save money with every purchase and have gifts available in your home.  If you read about a sale, go to the store and check out the good deal they are advertising.

To maximize your dollar it is important to be a prudent shopper.  Buy most items on sale.  Plan and buy ahead of time so you do not have to emergency shop.  You will spend more money if you are under a time constraint to purchase an item.  For example, if you have a week’s notice about a birthday party do not shop the night before or the day of the event.

You can use any of several approaches to buying gifts;

  • Buy a specific gift for a specific person.
  • Buy gifts that are inexpensive and store them.  The best time to purchase clothing is to buy off season.  Whenever you are in a store look through the sale items.  I have several shelves on which to keep gifts.  It is my own shopping center and everything is paid for.  Purchase items fifty to seventy-five percent off the regular price.  It is not only economical but fast and convenient.

Keep an abundant supply of products such as wrapping paper, ribbons, bows and tissue.  These items are enjoyed briefly, opened and thrown away.  For this reason it is important to get these paper items cheaply. Organize these items in separate containers.  Create a small container for scissors, tape, small notebook and a pen.  Keep all of these wrapping supplies in the same location so you will be able to wrap a gift quickly and not be hunting for materials.  Your goal is to save money and be efficient.

“Be prepared, shop ahead!”

 

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Write a List of Realistic Organizational Goals

Set goals!  Successful people set goals and work towards accomplishing their goals.  There are different types of goals;  long-term goals, short-term goals, personal goals, work goals, constant goals, and temporary goals.

Write a list of your goals.  Research shows that people who write down their goals are more likely to reach them.  If you have difficulty getting organized each day, take a few minutes the night before to write a list of what you hope to accomplish the next day.  Visualize in your mind the start of the next day.  This will help you to be ready.  Check things off as you complete them.  This will give you a sense of accomplishment and keep you motivated.

Everyone has different goals.  It is important when setting goals to measure them against your standards and expectations, not other people’s.  Some people need a working surface totally clear of clutter before they can prepare dinner or pay bills.  Others function just fine with piles of papers pushed to the side.  I work best with the surface totally clear. Therefore my goal would be different from those who function fine with clutter around them.

Your goals need to be realistic.  Think about what bothers you the most.  Are you always late to appointments, meetings, or other engagements?  Are you frustrated because you constantly misplace items?  Does your kitchen floor always seem to be dirty?  If these things bother you, set realistic goals based on problem areas in your life.

Work patiently and slowly towards reaching your organizational goals.  You were not born organized so you must train yourself in this area.  Crash diets and cramming for exams are not very successful.  Master one goal before moving on to the next.

 

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Creating a Workable Plan to Tackle the Laundry in your House

Keeping up with laundry is a dilemma for most people.  If you have a house full of active people, you may need to do several loads of  laundry each day. Empty laundry baskets seem to fill up again in just a few hours.  If you let a day go by without doing a load of laundry you could be dealing with a mountain of dirty clothes instead of a small pile.

In the kitchen, I treat one dirty dish as if it were 25 dishes.  This mindset helps me to keep dishes from piling up.  In the laundry room, I try to apply this same principle. It is important to diligently attack the laundry so that it doesn’t bury you.

Tackling the laundry efficiently and quickly:

Laundry is a task that can be done in between other projects or at the same time as another activity.  For example;  it is possible to wash a load while getting ready in the morning.  You can fold laundry while talking on the phone or watching the news.

Purchase a divided laundry basket.  I like the one that is divided into three sections so clothes can be separated into colors; dark, medium and light.  The family must be trained to put the clothes in the appropriate section.  Use a separate basket for hand washables and dry cleaning.

Let each member of the household put away their own clothes.  You can fold the clean clothes and put them on each person’s bed.  This will teach your children to be responsible and equip them with valuable skills later in life.

If you have a regularly scheduled cleaning day, attempt to have the laundry basket empty the night before.  This will make it easier to wash bed and bath linens the following morning.

 

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Piles of Papers Create Lots of Clutter in our House

We live in a society that requires papers for everything.  The very technology that was supposed to reduce the need for paper, like computers and fax machines, ends up producing paper. Hundreds of sheets of paper flood our homes every week; mail, magazines, newspapers, children’s school work, career related materials, bills, receipts, cards, invitations, and coupons.  Where do we put all these papers?  Many people stack them on the counter, in boxes, in baskets or on the floor.  If this is your method you may be frustrated when you need to locate a specific correspondence.  Retrieving a specific piece of paper could be an awesome task.

I suggest using a system I call ‘look at, act upon!’  We tend to look at a piece of paper but then it remains on the table or counter until it is eventually pushed aside, ending up in a stack of papers.  To avoid this dilemma you need to immediately ‘act upon’ each paper that passes through your hands.  It is faster to tackle one piece of paper than to go through a stack of fifty.  Create a paper system in which every paper that enters you house has a place to go.