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My Struggle

11/08/2015 02:06 PM

In order to do my best to remain transparent, I want you all to know that I struggle, too. There are several things I struggle with, but I want to share my biggest struggle at the moment and the biggest struggle I have had for years - losing 10-15 pounds. Those that know me and have seen me in person, would not say I have a weight problem and medically speaking, I really don't have to lose weight, but the clothes in my closet are saying something totally different.  

While a 10-15 pound weight loss might not sound like a real struggle, it has been a consistent struggle for me and it is real.  All of our struggles are our struggles.  They don't have to be worse than someone else's struggle to be real. 

So, what changed?  Why am I all of a sudden going to attack this and be very intentional about the weight loss?

1.  I began to see the scale slowly creeping up, but I attributed it to many other things.
2.  I am 56 years old and weight is going to be harder and harder to fight.
3.  One of my life goals is to be as healthy as possible and carrying any extra weight does not align with that goal.
4.  PFF - Pants Fitting Factor!  My pants and skirts are telling the real story.  

How am I going to achieve this goal?

1.  Little by little.  I am making small changes in my eating, my activity and my thinking.
2.  I will celebrate the small successes and give myself grace when I don't do as well as I should for a day.
3.  Keep the end goal in mind.  Fitting into my clothes and health! 

Do you have a struggle?  What is your plan of attack?  If you don't have goals or a plan, how about picking one goal and working on your plan of attack.  We all have something we need to change, what are you going to focus on? 

Are You Listening?

04/02/2015 09:19 AM

In my business, I have to spend a lot of time listening.......and not talking. Whew, for this magpie that is a difficult thing to do and sometimes I just don't do it as well as I should. However, listening is one of the most important things you can do, day in and day out.  What is the old saying.....that is why God gave you 2 ears and one mouth.  Research says we remember only about 25% of what we hear.....that is not a lot of remembering, therefore that is not a lot of listening.  

Active listening, implies doing just that....actively listening as opposed to passively listening. Active listening is something we all need to get better at doing because we can glean so much more information when we are really listening.  So here are a few tips for you and some great reminders for me!

1.  Focus on paying attention.  I know that sounds silly but you have to be intentional about listening.  

2.  Mirror back to someone what is being said so they can know they are being heard and being heard correctly.

3.  Maintain eye contact, nod, use vocal cues like "nice", "yes", "I see", lean forward a little bit and watch your body language.  

4.  Don't spend your "listening" time figuring out what your response is going to be (although at my age I am afraid I am going to forget what my response is going to be!)

5.  Don't interrupt (yikes - I think I might have that problem but working on it!)

6.  Don't start daydreaming, thinking about your own personal problems, your grocery list, etc.  

7.  Lastly, try to listen "non-judgmentally".  It is difficult to listen without putting your own history and frame of reference on what the other person is saying but this is an important component to listening. 

So, with all that being said, what did I just say??  Were you really listening?  
It is a fun experiment to see how actively you can listen and how actively people are listening to you.  You may find you are just talking to hear your own self talk!  
Now go use those ears and close that mouth!

Organizing Products I LOVE

03/02/2015 07:56 AM

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The Next Step.......YOU Have To Take It

03/02/2015 07:39 AM

As I work with clients, as an organizer and a life coach, I find one consistent issue, not taking the next step.  Let me show you a little bit about what the next step looks like in my life and see if there is anything you can apply to your own life.  

The towel on the floor

Next step:  hang the towel up - time taken: 1 second

Husband's clean socks on the floor

Next step:  socks matched up and in the drawer - time taken:  3 minutes

Hair Dryer and Straightener on Bathroom Counter

Next step:  Put hair dryer and straightener in drawer (even without wrapping the cord or making it look beautiful!) - time taken:  2 seconds

I have a goal I want to reach this year and I have it written down.


Next Step:  Schedule a few action steps that will help me reach my goal - 
Time taken: 5 minutes 

The biggest problem with next steps.....YOU have to take them.  No one else can take them for you.  You have to commit to doing what you have to do to get to where you want to be. 

Next Steps - the best way to reach your goals in life and in 
organizing your home. 
It takes less time than you think but it will take you less time if you do it now rather than taking all the next steps later.  

10 DeClutter Tips

01/24/2015 01:42 PM

This is a room in my house, from a couple of years ago, when I had scarcely a moment to breathe. This room, like many of your rooms, became the catch all room; the room I could close the door and ignore. During this period of my life, so much was coming at me, that emotionally I could do little more than eat, sleep, work, and take care of my family the best I could. This room is a clear representation of how emotional clutter can manifest itself through physical clutter. So how did I attack this room? 
 By using several of the  10 DeClutter Tips
I was able to restore this room to it's natural order. 

10 DeClutter Tips

1.  Take one area and focus only on that area; it can even be a category.  For example, in my room, I took out all the boxes and either broke them down or put a couple aside to be used later for storage or give away.  Once that was done, I focused on a square foot under the window.

2.  Set aside time.  I had to schedule time to get this task done......things that are scheduled normally get done. 

3.  Find homes for all the objects.  Many things in my room had homes, I just had not taken the time to put them there.  

4.  Make a decision. "Clutter is the result of delayed decision making".
Be willing to make a decision and quit hanging on to things.....just because. 

5.  Visualize the end goal.  Don't start anything without an end goal in mind.  My goal was to bring order to the room and to be able to vacuum the floor!

6.  Work in short spurts.  Working for about 25 minutes at a time, taking a timed 10 minute break, then working for another 25 minutes will help you not burn out so easily.

7.  Have supplies on hand......garbage bags, a box for items needing 
to be relocated and a box for items to donate.  

8.  Put on some music.  It feels more fun to have some music going.  
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs had it right when they sang whistle while you work!

9.  Don't organize clutter. Organize and label only what is really necessary to keep. 

10.  Don't buy storage containers until you know exactly how much of something you are going to keep and where you are going to store it.  When you buy storage containers, you don't end up using, you have only added to the clutter. 

Now, figure out what area of your home is causing you the most stress and apply some of these tips.  Comment below to let me know how you are doing and send me some before and after pictures to

Today just might be your day for a new beginning!

Peggy W. Barnes

My Love Hate Relationship - the FITBIT

01/14/2015 04:06 AM

I have a new love/hate relationship in my FITBIT.

My son and his girlfriend gave me a FITBIT for Christmas.  I had been looking at them and thinking it would be a really good thing for me to have and lo and behold I unwrap my Christmas present and there it was, in all it's glory. 

Now for those of you that are not as UBER cool and up to date on this stuff as I am, let me tell you all about a FITBIT.  

A FITBIT is a fitness product, in the form of this beautifully stylish bracelet, that tracks my steps, distance and calories burned.  If I tell it to, it will track my quality of sleep......I have not told it to yet, that feature kind of freaks me out a little bit....not sure why, it just does.   Below is a picture of my bracelet.

Now, you have to know that while I am UBER cool I am confounded by the fact that this thing on my arm knows when I am taking steps and knows what I am doing while I am asleep but it does.

The reason I love this thing is I need accountability.  I get to the end of the day, exhausted and I am sure I have walked and moved at least 1000 miles but I look at the steps and I am at 3000 steps (1.5 miles) for the whole day!  The goal for each day is 10,000 steps which translates to 5 miles a day.  
I am busy and moving everyday but apparently I am not calorie burning busy!

The reason I hate this thing is I have accountability.  Yep, the reason I love it is the reason I hate it!  You can't unknow what you know and now I know I am not moving as much as I need to.   Since I was tired at the end of the day, it was easy to make myself think I was getting more exercise than I really was getting but alas, the FITBIT does not lie. 

The reason I love this thing is I earn badges when I reach certain levels.  Anyone, who knows me well, knows I am a competitive soul and a badge telling me I have reached a goal is right up my alley!

You've walked 5,000 steps
And made it look easy breezy. Congratulations on cruising your way to the first Fitbit daily step badge—the Boat Shoe! Keep up the good work

The reason I hate this thing is I have to work really hard to achieve the goal of 10,000 steps per day.  I really, really don't like to exercise but I know I have to do it to live the life I want to live.  I know I have to exercise to be fit and healthy, however I get bored easily and I find it hard to work into my schedule, on a regular basis.  All that being said, I will continue to exercise, well, just because it is what I need to do and I want/need more badges!

So, if you will excuse me, I have to go walk some more, the FITBIT is calling my name (not literally but it feels like it could!)

My New Project Organizing Tool

01/05/2015 06:01 AM

I have several different projects going on each year and I finally gave in and realized I am a paper project planner girl.  I have tried to plan projects digitally and it has not worked so I found this gem and I am so happy!  

This is the ARC system from Staples.  It is a notebook you can modify - adding pages, dividers, and other contraptions you might need to keep yourself organized.  It also allows you to buy bigger discs to enlarge the notebook, as your notes and project expand.  There are different colors to choose from but for this particular project I chose this oh so pretty pink! 

These are the pages that come with each notebook.

These are the "add ons" I put in my notebook to organize. 
I have pocket dividers for smaller papers and papers in which I don't want holes punched.  

Tab Dividers are essential for dividing your content into different categories. 

This zip pocket add on will be great for pens and other things that need to be contained. 

I printed out and added this calendar.  How did I add this calendar, you might ask? Well, look below and I will show you my secret!

First, I had to buy one of these specialized paper puncher things.  This is not your standard 3 hole punch.  The ARC system has 12 holes so you need the special 12 hole puncher.  Staples sells these, 
with the ARC system, but the cost of the one they 
sell is around $42.  I did not want to spend that much so I checked around and found this one sold by Levenger for $17!  It doesn't punch as many pieces of paper at one time but that was not an issue for me. 

So, I took my handy dandy new hole punch and punched the holes I needed into my calendar and inserted it into my oh so pretty pink notebook.  

Now I am all ready for my project planning in 2015.  

Taking Down the Christmas Tree and a Little More

01/02/2015 06:41 AM

The final step of Christmas "take down" is the tree.

The first step is to remove all the ornaments.  I lay a towel out so I can see them all on my oriental rug.....some of them can get lost in the pattern of the rug.  I sort them, on the towel, by kid's ornaments, fragile and non-fragile.  Then I start boxing them up.....wrapping the fragile ornaments in tissue paper and then placing them in a ziploc bag.  The other ornaments are placed in their original boxes or in an ornament box I have.

Each of my children's ornaments are organized in their own box and labeled with their name. 
When the time comes, they will easily be able to take their ornaments to decorate their own tree.  

After the ornaments are all packed up snug in their beds, it is time to remove the lights from the tree.  
By this time you are ready to throw the lights in a box and be done but when you open that box next year, you will be sad you took that approach. 
I take each light strand and wrap them around these "wheels" I purchased several years ago.  
Each wheels holds 2-3 light strands.  They then fit nicely into their handy, dandy carrying case.  On top of the wheels, I place the cord that houses the "on/off" button for the lights. 

Then the tree goes out the door to where my Christmas elf takes it to dispose of in our woods in the back.  Therefore leaving me with mounds of pine needles to vacuum.  Years ago, I stopped up my regular vacuum cleaner by using it to vacuum up said mound of needles.  After that, I purchased my Shop Vac and it has done the job from that point on.  All that being said, no matter how much I vacuum, I will still be running into and finding pine needles in this room throughout the year......hard to get rid of those pesky needles! 

Here is the "and a Little More" part of the subject line.  In my last post I failed to tell you about my Christmas serving dishes and how I put them here
 is the rest of the story. 
Each of the dishes is wrapped in a Christmas Dish Towel to protect them while storing the Christmas towels......a two 
for one! 

AAAAAHHHH, finally the Christmas decorations are put away and stored safely in the attic.  And just like every single year, I walk downstairs celebrating and find the one.  There is always one decoration I seem to miss every single year, no matter how hard I try.......there is still ONE!  This year's winner......the pillow.

So I grab the pillow, put it in it's place and then know I am done until next year, with the way time flies it will feel like next week. 

Now on to 2015!  Make it a great year!

Taking Down Christmas Decorations - Step by Step

01/02/2015 06:41 AM

It is that time of have enjoyed the Christmas decorations but now it is time to take them all down.  

Here is a step by step process of how I attack my "take down".  Hopefully you will find something here you can use while putting your decorations away. 

 Gather all your "like" items together. Your "like" items will be boxed together so it makes it easier to attack one box at a time when you are putting them up this year and when you are ready to decorate again next year. 

 You can see, from the pictures below, the "like" items I have:  Santas/decorative items, stockings/pillows/tree skirt, Nativity sets, framed Christmas photos and plaques, dishes, books, window lamps, window greenery, bows and outdoor spotlights and cords.     

Then it is time to box each of the items into their "labeled" boxes.  I wrap the fragile items in tissue paper I reuse each year or tissue paper I keep from the pile left over on Christmas morning.  
The bulbs of the window lamps are separated into a ziploc bag to protect them.    

Each year, as part of my Christmas decorating, I use decorative ribbon tied to lamps and candlesticks. To store my decorative ribbon, I wrap several pieces around a toilet paper roll or a cut paper towel roll and secure the end with a paper clip.  I then store them in a ziploc bag to keep them fresh 
from year to year.  

Lastly I attack the tree.  That is in my next blog go get the decorations done then come back and read about "tree take down"! 

ADHD and Organizing.....It Can Happen!!

11/03/2014 06:37 AM

I hear it all the time from clients or prospective clients:  I have ADHD or my kids have ADHD or my husband has ADHD.

I, myself, am convinced I have ADHD and I am a professional organizer! Granted, I am one of 7 children, growing up in the 60's when those acronyms meant nothing.  I am sure I had traits even way back when but had to somehow learn to cope and teach myself a new way to do things.  

Here are five strategies I have learned that have helped this distracted, procrastinating gal.

1.  I talk to myself, not crazy talking to myself, but talking my way through.  I remind myself to stay on task, to stay focused on my goal and to keep pressing on to completion. Sometimes, a task is best completed in small increments, rather than doing it all at once, and if that is the case, then that is certainly how I attack that task.  

2.  I keep a list of what I want to get done that day. I take some time, the night before to write a list, that goes in the car, of errands I need to run.  I write a list of things, that stays in the house, of the things that need to get done at home.  I scratch off what gets done and move forward to the next day's list of what doesn't get done. 

3.  I make sure my environment is not too cluttered.  Clutter, in and of itself, is a total distraction and takes up brain space you need to use to stay focused.

4.  I put everything away by category.  If it is related to laundry, it is in the laundry room.  If it is something that has to be done, it goes in my to do pile. I hang my clothes up by style and color, i.e. black shirts, white shirts, gray shirts, then black pants, gray pants, white pants, etc.  Putting things in categories helps you put things away more consistently and find things more easily. 

5.  I have figured out how much time it takes for me to complete certain tasks and I am realistic about allotting the correct amount of time to get them totally completed.  I don't pretend it is going to take me less time than it normally does and I keep myself focused on the clock so I am not late leaving the house.  

Yes, this ADD/ADHD girl has conquered the beast.....most of the time.  There are times I get bored, distracted and off track but with these strategies in place, it is easy to get back to where I need to be and get things done.  

Math....It Really Is Important

09/22/2014 09:28 AM


The other day it hit me.....a lot of the things I do are based on basic math principles. 

Here are several examples:
  • If you want to weigh less you have to eat less junk food and exercise/move more.  
  • If you want to have less clutter, you have to bring in less and get rid of more.
  •  If you have only so much square footage, you can't fit more than that amount of stuff  into it.
  •  If you want to have a successful marriage, you have to spend more time working on it  and less time fussing about it.   
  •  If you want to increase the odds of raising responsible kids into responsible adults,  you have to take more time to nurture, teach, discipline and love them and less time  yelling at them, berating them, buying them stuff and expecting someone else to raise  them for you.
  • If you want to have financial peace, you have to spend less and save more.
  • If you want to be happier, you spend less time worrying, fretting and complaining and more time figuring out what you can do to change your situation, changing what you can and developing an attitude of gratitude. 
  •  If you want to feel better, you have to spend less time indulging what you know you shouldn't be indulging in and more time on things that are good for you.
  • If you want to make a difference, you spend less time on yourself and more time on helping others.
  • If you want to live purposefully, spend more time doing the things you are created to do and less time comparing yourself to others.  

Less and more......basic math principles that equal some great results. See you should have paid attention to that math class in school!  It really is important. 

Confessions of an Organizer

09/01/2014 05:02 AM

I am a Certified Professional Organizer....sounds impressive right???  Well, here is the truth about me:

1.  I can still be a messy Millie.  Check out this photo of my current work area.  Yes, it all makes sense to me, therefore, I am organized but it is still, nonetheless, messy. 

2.  I do not have my underwear folded or my t-shirts folded and stacked like a Banana Republic Store.   

3.  I do not have matching file folders with matching printed labels.  I have file folders (whatever was available in my home or on sale) some have printed labels and some have written labels....whatever was going to get the job done the fastest. 

4.  I do not have my sheets and towels folded in ways that make them stack beautifully and neatly on the shelf.  They are folded but not precisely.

5.  I do not have all my photos in albums with beautiful trim, borders, and extra accouterments to make the photo explode off the page.....nope, many of my photos are still in boxes (by year!) but in boxes.

6.  I do not have my filing done.....much of it is stacked on top of the filing cabinet. 

7.  My laundry room looks like a laundry room.....with dirty clothes and clean clothes commingled, staying enough apart for me to know what's what! 

8.  Sometimes at night, I leave dirty dishes in the sink.

9.  I haven't been able to let go of my kid's rock collection. 

10. I have a basket of shoes, overflowing, by my back door.  I hate wearing shoes and taking them off, the minute I walk in the door immediately relieves some of my stress.  

So, what makes me organized? 

1.  I can find what I need when I need it because I do not have too much stuff and I know where everything is. 

2.   My underwear does not need to be folded because no one else is going to see whether it is wrinkled or not and my t-shirts are folded well enough.

3.  I can find my paperwork when I need it.....again because I don't keep too much and because it is labeled in a way that makes sense to me for retrieval.  Matching folders are not still have to have a system that makes sense. 

4.  My sheets and towels have worked just fine not being folded perfectly. 

5.  My photos are in boxes, sorted by year and many of my kids' pictures are in an album for them but I still have a long way to go.  I will never be a scrapbooker, the tediousness of that makes me sweat thinking about it!

6.  My filing is not small stack, on top of a filing cabinet is not killing anyone.  Remember it is small because I don't keep much paper!

7.  My laundry room is a place of function, not beauty.  I can get done what I need done very well, which is evident by everyone in my home having something clean to wear. 

8.  Yes, I am just plum tired some days and I leave the dishes in the sink.  The FlyLady would not approve, however, I do take care of it as soon as I wake up.  

9.  I love my kid's rock collection....I have it in the bottom of a vase with beautiful flora coming out the top.  A beautiful decoration for me.....a great way to keep memorabilia merging it with  with my decorating style.  There is nothing wrong with keeping sentimental stuff, there is only something wrong with keeping too much of it. 

10.  My shoe basket is overflowing but at least I have a basket, right?? 

All this to say, I am not perfect, I am not what many would call "organized" because I think they have the wrong idea about being organized.  As Julie Morgenstern (the organizer guru) says:  "Being organized has less to do with how something looks as how something functions".  My house functions great but does not look like I live in a magazine.  Life is busy and life is sometimes very overwhelming.  I work....all the time, I get tired, I get frustrated, I don't have time to focus on my house looking like a magazine.  I do have time to get systems in place, that work for me and my family and I have time to tweak those systems until organizing is just a side note in my life.  

None of this means that I can't organize to make a house look like a magazine because I can. It's just I know what works for me and I know how I think and my house is organized accordingly. 

So there you have it, the truth about this organizer........I guess Martha Stewart will not be calling to hire me any time soon :) 

10 Ways to Use Evernote

08/20/2014 04:48 AM

Evernote is one of my favorite paper buster tools.  When I use Evernote, I don't have a bunch of sticky notes sitting around.  I don't have notes written on little pieces of paper and best of all, I don't have to remember where I put those pieces of paper!

The information I have stored in Evernote can be seen on my phone, IPAD or computer.  If I am away from home and need the information, it is right at my finger tips!

Here are 10 ways I use Evernote to cut down on my paper clutter:

1.  Evernote Clipper allows me to save information I find on the web and organize it in folders.  I name the folders (just like you do in a paper filing system) based on how I want to retrieve the information.   For example, if I find an article about de-cluttering, I Evernote clip it and "file" it in my folder - De-Clutter Information. 

2.  I love a good quote.  I file quotes in Evernote.

3.  Air Filter sizes, printer cartridges, water filter types....all of those pesky household items that are size specific are filed in Evernote so I have access to them when I am in the store ready to buy them.  

4.  Birthday lists......need to remember when someone's birthday is and you are not at home with your master birthday it in Evernote.

5.  Christmas lists!  Each year I write down who I am giving a gift to and what I gave.  I can easily refer back to the previous years and make sure I am not duplicating gifts!

6.  Writing down your goals is an important step to achieving them.  I keep my personal and business goals housed in Evernote.  

7.  Paint color lists....can't remember the name of that wonderful color you used in the bedroom....keep it in Evernote.  

8.  Evernote is a place I keep ideas.....writing ideas, newsletter ideas, gift ideas....things that come to mind that I don't have a need for right now but will want to refer to later.  

9.  Phone numbers - people I don't need very a carpenter/handyman or closet designer.   If I store that person in my contacts, on my phone, I may not remember his/her name but if I store it in Evernote....I can quickly retrieve the name and number.  

10.  Medication lists.  This is a great thing to have in Evernote when you go to the doctor.  I personally and thankfully don't have any medications I take but for those that do, this is a great way to have that information with you each and every time you have a doctor visit. 

Hope this helps you think outside the box and find new ways to cut down on paper clutter with Evernote!

Click the link below to sign up free for Evernote today!

Are You Going The Wrong Way?

08/19/2014 06:21 AM

I was recently traveling on I-95 going South.  I had to exit off I-95 and merge onto I-20.  I saw the signs for I-20, felt like I was paying attention but all of a sudden, something didn't feel right and my gut instinct was telling me I had missed I-20.  I don't have a GPS in my car but I do have a MAP thingy on my phone.  I quickly got on my MAP APP and I was 100% right....I had passed

How do you know when you are going the wrong life, in work, in relationships, in anything? 

I would simply say that most of us know when we are headed the wrong way, we just choose not to listen to our gut instinct or the still small voice in our heads.  Many of know something is wrong but we would rather bury our heads in the sand so we don't have to deal with whatever issues are before us. Many of us know changes need to be made but we are fearful of what those changes will cost us.  Many of us have been given signs and in your face clues things are not as they should be but we refuse to take the steps towards making things better.....we just play pretend...UNTIL, we can't play pretend anymore! 

Eventually, the things that are wrong in our life, our work, our relationships, our anything, are going to catch up with us.  The things that are wrong are just not going to disappear, they will continue to reappear and reappear and reappear and then move into something worse. 

How do you know if you are going the wrong way?  You pay attention.  You look for the signs.  You listen to your gut instinct and the still small voice. When you know you are headed the wrong way, start changing what you can, when you can and do what you can with what you have.  It is always better to face things head on.....face the fear, in the end you will be better for it and stronger.  

10 Ways to Simplify Your Life

05/23/2014 08:54 AM

My job, as an organizer and a life coach, is to help people simplify and de-clutter physically, mentally and spiritually.  Here are some of the consistent messages I give to my clients.

1.  Buy purposefully.

2.  Shop at home first.

3.  Be willing to let go.

4.  Do what you already know to do.

5.  Just say no.

6.  Be happy with enough

7.  Collect moments not things. 

8.  Surround yourself with what you love and value.

9.  Do the next step

10. Do a little at a time and after a while little by little a little becomes a lot. 

Utter Confusion

05/08/2014 05:28 PM

The other day I happened to glimpse up and see this news flash on TV: Taking an aspirin a day may not be good for your health.  

Ok, really???  It seems like it was not so long ago all the doctors were telling people to take a baby aspirin every day to prevent heart attack and stroke. Now they are saying only if you have a family history and if you do take an aspirin a day you can develop bleeding in your stomach.  

These are just a few other things I am confused about:

1.  Carbs or no carbs
2.  Yolk or no yolk
3.  Real butter or margarine
4.  6 meals a day or 3 meals a day
5.  Hormone replacement or no hormone replacement
6.  Running or no running 
7.  Real sugar, stevia, honey or nothing 
8.  Organic or not
9.  Dairy or no dairy
10.Red wine or white wine  - cause it is going to be one or the other. 

So, what am I going to do? Live life in moderation.  So far my parents have lived to the ripe ages of 95 and 89 and are still kicking it!  They have tried to take very little medication, have eaten when they felt like it but at least 3 times a day, have exercised on a regular but not rigid basis and have laughed and loved a lot.  

For now, that's my matter what the news throws at me.  

Where Can I Recycle/Donate My Old Cell Phones?

04/30/2014 08:50 AM

                        (photo courtesy of zirconicusso/

Cell phones are one of the easiest things in our lives to recycle/donate or trade. Check out all the ways you recycle/donate or trade responsibly along with possibly even helping others at the same time.

1. Staples will take all old electronics (computers, monitors, cell phones, calculators, etc) at no extra charge. Check out their website to see the list of approved items they will Several other companies will do the same, such as Best Buy, Office Max, Radio Shack and Office Depot.

2. Donate your gently used cell phone to Cell Phones for Soldiers. This organization is dedicated to providing cost-free communication services to active-duty military members and veterans.

3. Most cell phone providers offer a drop box at their locations for cell phone recycle.

4. Many local Domestic Abuse Centers will accept donations of gently used cell phones to be given to victims of domestic abuse. Check with your local women's shelters.

5. American Cell Phone Drive is an organization devoted to the socially responsible reuse of retired cellular telephones and cell phone components, raises funds for charitable organizations which provide scholarships for American children who have lost a parent to enemy or terrorist acts, feed malnourished children in Asia, build low- income housing, donate prepaid calling cards to military personnel, sponsor missionaries in China and support a host of other good works. Simply enter your zip code into their search box and find a drop box close to you.

6. Sell your phone on Craigslist or Ebay.

7. takes all types of technotrash and recycles or refurbishes it.

So, look around your house today and clean out all those unused cell phones, donate them or recycle them.  You will be less cluttered and you will keep more out of the landfills. 

It's Constant

04/25/2014 06:28 AM

The word "constant" has been creeping up in my vocabulary a lot lately.  

Talking to mothers about's constant.  
Talking to wives about's constant.  
Talking to people about's constant.  
Talking to people about's constant.  
Talking to people about bill's constant.  
Talking to people about staying's constant.  
Talking to people about's constant.

So, what does this mean?  Life is constant.  There is stuff in your life that constantly needs attention. 

So, what do you do?  
Take breaks when you can.  
Appreciate the small breaks you get.  
Realize this is what you signed on for when you became a wife, a mother, a friend, a member of a group, a homeowner, an employee.  

Life ends up not really being about you but you in the context of life with all of the other people in it.  It's just how life is so you can fight it, fuss about it, talk about how bad it is, whine about it, cry about it or nag about it.  But a better alternative might be to embrace it, change what you can about it and find things to be thankful in it.  Your approach and your attitude makes all the difference in the world in having a miserable life or a wonderful life......either way, it's going to be constant.  

The Reinvention of Me

04/04/2014 06:59 AM

Webster's definition of reinvention is:
to make major changes or improvements to (something)
to present (something) in a different or new way

I realize that all of life is about reinventing myself....defining and redefining who I am based on life experiences, inner revelations and maturity.  

I have reinvented myself many times......a child moving into Junior High (that is what we called it back in the day!).  A teen moving into a new high school. A graduate going into college and then into the working world.  A woman becoming a wife and a mother.  A stay at home mom becoming a working woman once again.  A mother moving into empty nest years.  A wife with a marriage that goes through crises and the day in and day out of daily life. Living on my own, living with my husband, living in a community, living with dogs, cats, fish and kids.  

Reinvention is exciting, uncomfortable and necessary as a part of life's journey.  Today, I will see where this reinvention takes me and look forward to working towards a better version of me!

How to Donate/Recycle Old VHS Tapes

03/30/2014 12:47 PM

                        (photo courtesy of anankkml/

VHS tapes, like all electronics are going the way of the dinosaur. What is the best way to donate/recycle these dinosaurs? Here are several ideas that might help you.

1. Some Thrift stores are still taking VHS tapes.....most libraries are not.

2. Use an e-recycler, like GREEN DISK, who does recycling of all kinds of techno trash.

3. Ask a teacher or daycare provider if they would like them.

4. Post the tapes on FREECYCLE.ORG and see if there is someone else that wants them.

5. Send your tapes to ACTSERVICES.ORG. This program provides services to individuals with disabilities.

6. Check out my Pinterest page for creative ways to recycle VHS tapes. Here are just two examples.....these people are way more creative than I am!

So, declutter and be creative in getting rid of the VHS tapes you no longer use. 

You Always Have Time.....

03/24/2014 12:04 AM

When we look at our daily life. the quote, in the photo above, says a lot and can strike a chord in many of us, 

Can you list the things that you say you don't have time to do?  

Eating Right
Spending time with our friends, family or spouse
Getting organized

I am not judging or condemning anyone because I am just as guilty.  To find time, for the most important "things" in our life, we have to look honestly at our schedule and see what things we are saying YES to that is causing us to say NO to something else.  The things we are saying YES to may be very noble things, may be good causes, and you may feel like the whole thing will fall apart if you are not a part of it.  However, just because you can do something doesn't mean you should be.  

What I do know about this concept is:  if your health fails - from lack of exercising or not eating right - all of a sudden you find time to deal with it.    If your relationships fail - from lack of attention - all of a sudden you find time for the people in your life.  If crisis mode hits - from lack of organization - all of a sudden you find time to try and get organized.  

What don't you have time for that you know is important?  Are you able to take some hard looks at your schedule and make some hard choices?  If not, eventually, life will do it for you.  

Do You Need A Life Coach?

03/09/2014 05:46 PM

Webster defines a life coach as an advisor who helps people make decisions, set and reach goals, or deal with problems. 

The reason I decided to become a Life Coach is I saw so many people trapped in their lives, feeling like they had no where to go, no choices, no dreams and no goals. 

A Life Coach is designed to ask the right questions to help you  think about your life differently, re-framing current circumstances and taking a full assessment of where your life is and where it is you want to be. 

Life Coaches are not counselors, psychiatrists, or mentors. We are good listeners that pay attention to details. We help you discover new ways of thinking and we help you get around some of those obstacles that seem to be blocking the way you want to go. 

Sometimes, we all just need a little boost to get to where we want to be....a Life Coach can be that boost.  Begin to live your purpose today! 

Out of Balance

02/24/2014 06:15 AM

                                    (photo courtesy of stuartmiles/

Life was meant to live in balance.  Is your life balanced?  

If you assess your life in these areas, how satisfied are you in each area of your life:

1.  Work
2.  Health - Physical and Emotional
3.  Personal Environment
4.  Social Life
5.  Spiritual Life
6.  Family Life
7.  Finances
8.  Relationships
9.  Personal Time

"The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you've lost it".  Anonymous

Have you lost your balance and you haven't taken the time to find out?  If you take the time to assess these areas of your life and see what is out of balance, you can take the steps necessary to get it back in balance. The changes maybe not happen overnight and the steps may not be easy but they are necessary steps to live a more purposeful, enjoyable and balanced life. 

Where are you out of balance?   

10 Common Reasons You Can't Get Organized

02/22/2014 06:23 AM

I hear it all the time...HELP!  I work and I work and I work and I just cannot get organized. 

I can give you 10 of the most common reasons why you can't get organized. 

1.  You are trying to organize like someone else thinks....not how you think.
2.  You are trying to organize too much at one time.
3.  You are not willing to let go.
4.  You are not staying focused for any length of time.
5.  You are not taking the next step....are you hanging up your robe, are you putting the trash in the trash can, the dirty dish in the dishwasher, are you taking the designated donate items to a donation location, etc.
6.  You do not have a home for everything
7.  You have not scheduled time to organize
8.  You have unreal expectations about how long it will take to undo what has taken years to do.
9.  You want to talk about getting organized more than you really want to exert the effort to change habits and ways of thinking.
10. You have life reasons such as sickness - physical or mental or you have way too many things on your life plate.  

All of the above are legitimate reasons but all can be overcome.  You just have to be honest enough, with yourself, to know the reasons why and see what you can do to combat those obstacles, because you truly can combat them.    I'll tell you a little secret........if you look at the top 9 reasons, just do the opposite of what the sentence says and you can overcome that obstacle.  
For example, #1 - You are trying to organize like someone else thinks....not how you think.
What you say to yourself is - how do I think and what will work for me?

#2 -  You are trying to organize too much at one time
What you say to yourself is - I am going to organize one shelf.....not the whole kitchen. 

See how that works.  The only one that will not work with is reason #10.  There are things in life that are really out of your control but even in those times, you do have more control than you think......sometimes you just have to do things you don't really feel like doing.  

Take a look at the list above, do any of them ring true to you?  
There are other reasons, too, what are some of yours? 

Are You Discontent?

02/18/2014 12:52 PM

The word discontent has been rattling around in my brain recently.  I am not sure why but I try very hard to pay attention when anything is rattling around in my brain! defines discontent as not content; dissatisfied; a restless desire or craving for something one does not have.  At first glance, the word discontent would appear to have a negative connotation but upon further reflection and review, I might say it can have a positive connotation as well.

I can become very discontent if I receive a catalog, sit down to look at the catalog, turn down the pages of what I love and then realize I can't order any of it due to budget constraints.  
I can become very discontent if I walk into a friend's house and see everything in pristine condition and order
I can become very discontent if I exercise and eat "right", for a couple of days and the scales do not seem to reflect all my "hard" work!
I can become very discontent if I watch the news, day in and day out and see the sad stories of corruption, death and economic despair. 

However, I do believe that discontentment can be a positive force in our lives, if we so choose.

I can become discontent about my business, which can lead me to look for ways to see how I can improve.
I can become discontent about my spiritual life not growing, which causes me to seek ways to go deeper.
I can become discontent about my marriage, which motivates me to examine what part I play in trying to make it better.
I can become discontent about just about anything, but I can choose to do what I can to adjust my circumstances but more importantly my attitude. 

Discontentment can breed more discontentment, however, you can choose for it to breed contentment and gratitude.  Guess whose choice it is? 

Peggy Barnes

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