Saturday, September 20, 2014

Mmmmm! Chocolate! Bring it to the Grocery!


Creamier. Yummier. Better than peanut butter!  The original Sneaky Chef No-Nut Butter has been such a success that now there's something NEWer!  Chocolate No-Nut Butter!

Tasters can’t believe that it’s made with healthy golden peas!  Crazy, huh?  Moms love it (because it's packed with veggie nutrition and has 1/2 the sugar of other chocolate spreads); kids love it (it's safe for school and tastes so good!);  and actually, everyone loves it (whether you have nut allergies or not)!

Missy Chase Lapine, The Sneaky Chef, just launched a Kickstarter Campaign and needs our help to get this yumminess, Chocolate No-Nut Butter, on the grocery shelves.  Click HERE and be WOW-ed by the awesome rewards campaign backers will receive.  Be sure to watch the Sneaky Video.

More impressive features:  (all the important stuff!)

• all natural
• no high fructose corn syrup
• no hydrogenated oils
• no artificial colors or flavors 
• soy free, gluten free, dairy free
• great for nut-free schools
• 1/2 the sugar of leading chocolate spreads
• made with non-gmo ingredients
• 100% peanut & tree nut-free
• produced in a nut-free facility
• BPA free jar

(Warning: video may cause severe drooling.)
Campaign ends October 8th, 2014.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Cash & Prizes on TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY!


Avast ye mateys! Last year's Talk Like A Pirate Day With Captain No Beard was a huge success, so we thought we'd celebrate again! This year it will be bigger and better! 

Yo ho ho! Join Carole and Captain No Beard on Facebook September 19 for fun, games and a chance to win some pirate booty of your very own! Shiver me timbers, we are giving away lots of cash and prizes! 

Batten down the hatches...and learn interesting pirate facts, trivia and most importantly, how to talk like a pirate! The games will last from 7:00-10:00pm EST. 

See ye then or you'll be walking the plank me hearties!

Participating Facebook Pages:


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Kids Can Do: Math Made Fun

Kids Can Do (KCD) ... MATH!  But it has to be fun, because it is part of our KCD series and the requirements are as follows: simple, fun, inexpensive.  Give them a try with your little one ... 3, 2, 1, go!

Silly 1-20 Movements:  using number flash cards, hold up a card and give action number commands.  For example, do this many jumping jacks, run in place until you count to this number, give your mom this many high fives, spin around this many times.
Tweezer Fun:  using small tongs or large plastic tweezers (like from the Bed Bugs game), pick up small items to count (plastic counting bears, bouncy balls, ping pong balls, rocks, buttons, game pieces, toy cars, or anything you can find! Pick them up and count as they are released in cups or ice cube trays. 


Counting Jewels:  kids love counting and sorting various glass stones from the dollar store.  These are the glass stones that are typically used for aquariums and glass vases.
Toddlers and Tongs:  for younger kids take a large mixing bowl and fill it with pom-poms or cotton balls or ping pong balls. Place large kitchen tongs in the bowl and place another smaller mixing bowl beside the larger one, invite children to use tongs to transfer the balls from one bowl to the other.
Lucky Loot:  put two dice and about 50 "gems" (the stones that are made for putting into vases or aquariums) into a small container. The object is to throw the dice, add the numbers and count out that many "gems". My children use their own and each other's fingers to count and soon know the answers without counting.

Egg Carton Counting:  use a cardboard egg carton to hold 12 plastic Easter eggs. On each plastic egg write one number on each egg from 1 to 12 using permanent marker. Fill a small bowl with buttons or other small objects. The children count out the objects to fill the eggs, matching the number of items with the number on the egg. To incorporate math, put a math problem on the egg, such as 2 + 3, the children put the number of items in the egg that represent the answer. 
Re-Use Jar Lids:  collect a bucket full of assorted jar lids for children to count, discover, compare, sort, sequence.  Kids enjoy manipulating the various lids and it is a very open-ended, hands-on multi-age (level) activity.

Easy enough, and fun enough, and inexpensive enough to do anytime!  Enjoy more of our Kids Can Do on our blog:

• Kids Organizing
• Teach Left or Right
• Painting
• Easy Preschool ABCs and 123s

Plus some seasonal activities:

• Fall Fun for your Little Gobblers
• Spooky Spider and Ghosts

HAVE FUN!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The ULTIMATE De-Cluttering Guide: September

We LOVE this month-by-month de-cluttering guide from our "Big O" Organizer, Monica Ricci!  

With Monica's practical tips you can say GOODBYE to (insert your own here): overwhelm, nick-knacks, disorganization, lost items, and stress.  Then say HELLO to (insert your own here): joy, organization, cleanliness, productivity, and focus.

Below you'll find an excerpt from September, but feel free to click on the link to the entire guide above if you're feeling extra motivated and want to de-clutter ahead! Enjoy and let us know how your de-cluttering is coming along - drop us a line on FaceBook or through email!

September
I’ll bet you can organize your medicines and makeup in thirty minutes or less and use the same process for both. First, gather all the items in each family so you can see what you have. Next, get rid of any medication past its expiration date. Please do NOT put medications of any kind in the trash or down the sink or toilet. Instead, seek out a local pharmacy that will accept them for destruction.

When sorting cosmetics, remember that they can harbor bacteria that could give you an eye infection, so throw out any makeup over a year old. Going forward, sterilize your new makeup and extend its shelf life by lightly spritzing the surface of any compact (both powders and creams) every day with 90% isopropyl alcohol to kill bacteria. Any small pump spray bottle that produces a fine mist will do the job nicely. Big thanks to makeup artist Wayne Goss for the excellent tip!

Keep your favorite everyday cosmetics close at hand with acrylic tabletop organizers, a floating wall shelf or inside a drawer that’s been outfitted with dividers. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Why Paint a Room? (7 Reasons)

The #1 reason you've heard before.  It's the most affordable and easy way to transform a room.  

Ahhh, so much better!


#2.  It's not as grueling as you've built up in your head.  Like me, you've put it off for years, but once you're done you say, "Geesh, that's wasn't so bad.  Why didn't I do that sooner?"  Here are 3 of my favorite painting tips that make it easier:  I covered my window shades with garbage bags and painter's tape.  (It was easier than taking them down.)  I covered my paint tray with Press 'n Seal.  Remove and dispose, no cleaning needed!  Last, overnight and in between painting sessions,  I wrapped my brushes and rollers in grocery bags. I only cleaned them out once - at the end when the room was done!


#3. Your kids will LOVE to help.  Teach them!


#4.  Get organized.  I created drop-off zones as discussed repeatedly in The Big O: Organization Series:  mail, keys, shoes, backpacks, items to take on-the-go, etc.


#5.  Clear the clutter and pare down. (Another reason to tune into The Big O.)  This is my cookbook collection. Truth be told, I couldn't part with any of them although that was truly my intention.  I did however place them back on the shelf in a logical order. 


My favorite is #6.  Clean.  It's an opportunity to clean out behind kitchen appliances, under registers, inside of light fixtures and on top of tall furniture and cabinets.  I found these little lost treasures, and of course all boy stuff.  Aidan is grown up now, so the next time I paint, I expect to find Ellie's girly toys.


#7 relates to organization as well.  Create new space.  I should have taken the before and you would have seen the table (leaves spread out) in the middle of the floor.  We eliminated a few pieces of un-used furniture and the room feels instantly bigger and brighter.  I call this the breakfast room and enjoy my morning coffee near the window.  I didn't use the room like this before - the table was always covered in clutter.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

I Love Craig! (Part 4: The Drug Deal)

Do you love Craig yet?  I'm thinking YES since you now have a buyer and you're real close to making some extra cash!  Some people think this is the scary part ... Craig's List Killers!  But if you play it smart and safe, it doesn't have to be worrisome.  I still think it always feels like a drug deal and I'm not sure that will ever go away, but at least I've adopted routine safety policies that makes me feel pretty comfortable about the exchange.

In this blog series I have covered:

1.  Getting Ready to Sell

2.  The Actual Listing
3.  Coping with Inquiries
4.  The "Drug-Deal"

Now, for the final part of this series, The Drug Deal:

The biggest question of all: Do I allow buyers to come to my house?  The answer is tricky because it's such a personal choice.  Mine is NO, but on occasion yes.



No - There is a church with a big parking lot a block from my house.  That is my main meeting spot.  My thinking is - if you want to buy this great item, come to me in MY part of town. I wonder if anyone ever delivers their item directly to their buyer?  I would never consider that.  Gas costs too much and it only takes me 2 minutes to get to my designated meeting location.  If they are a "no show", which has happened a few times, I'm not out by too terribly much.  I have the address and directions on file so I copy and email to the buyer quickly and easily.  Find your own safe spot that is convenient to you, out in the open and easy to get to for both parties.

Yes - For large items and items that needed to be tested or demonstrated, I have made an exception to my meeting place rule and directed people to my home.  One idea is to have the item ready to go on the porch.  Be on the lookout and meet them outside.  Some items may be located in the garage (fridge, bike, sports equipment) and the buyer doesn't need to enter your home.  For electronics and other items that require a demo or need to be tested, invite them in.  In one situation, I had my sno-cone maker in the hallway near the door, plugged in, with a cup of ice handy so I could quickly show the buyer it worked.

Here's a helpful story... Recently, my son bought a Xbox video game system off of Craig's List.  Certainly, the seller wasn't going to deliver it to our home, and my husband did not want to go to his home with our son, so they agreed upon a public meeting spot.  The question was though, does this game system work?  My husband asked the seller to take video of the game in progress using a cell phone, then send it to him. The seller walked him through the power up of the system, inserting a game, playing the game, etc.  The voice on the video matched the voice on the phone so it all seemed on the up and up.  It was.

Have an alternative safe (and public) meeting spot.  Right off the exit to my home, there is a big shopping plaza that most people in my area are familiar with.  That is plan B for people who specifically request to meet at a nearby store.  If they aren't familiar with my town, this is easier because it is directly off the exit.

Regardless of the meeting place, I prefer to meet in broad daylight - never at night or too early in the morning.  My husband is always home with me or I have a friend or my family drive with me to the meeting place.  I used to put my doggie in a separate room so she doesn't become a distraction, but then I thought of the benefit to having her by my side.

It may seem over the top, but I always leave my meeting info available for others to see on my laptop.  If anything were to happen to me, others would know exactly who I'm meeting, where, and when.  If I go one block up the road, I leave my purse at home and put my cell in my pocket.  I don't carry cash. 

I always prefer to swap phone numbers for a number of reasons.  After I answer basic questions about an item for sale via email, and the person indicates they want to buy, I respond with a "give me a call".  This allows me to chat with the person a bit before meeting.  I may not have perfect "nut-job radar", but at least I get a feel for the type of person I'm dealing with.  I can also use this number to make sure I don't get ditched - "Are we still meeting this afternoon at 2?".  And better yet, "Are you on your way?"  (a.k.a. I've been waiting!)  Side note: the longest I will wait for you is 15 minutes, and if you are a "no show", I double-dare you to contact me again.  Grrrrr!

Before meeting, be sure to ask the model/make of their vehicle so you don't feel like a lost pup in the parking lot.  And always emphasize cash only (and in the exact amount).  I'm always surprised at the number of people who expect you'll have change.  Awkward! (if you don't).

Someone has committed to buying your item and you meet them for the exchange, THEN they show up with a lower amount of money than agreed upon?  (OH NO THEY DIDN'T!)  Stand firm with your price.  They already had their chance to negotiate.  Chances are they will cave and pay the original amount because after all, they drove all that way to meet you.  And if they don't, and you lose the sale, then .... < :-P raspberries! :-P >

Final tip:  Bring a box or a bag for loose contents for a smooth hand-over.  Don't wrap things up or close it too tightly as they will want to inspect what they are buying.

Remember, I'm not Craig and I'm not the selling expert, so let me know if any of my advice is totally off or questionable.  If you found this series helpful, please share with a friend!  And as always, thank you for reading our "What Really Matters" blog.

If you want more guidelines and how-to's, visit the FAQ section on Craig's List here: https://www.craigslist.org/about/help/faq.  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

I Love Craig! (Part 3: Coping with Inquiries)

The hard part is over and now Craig can do the rest of the work!  You've represented your item well and it stands out amongst all the others.  Hopefully your inbox or phone will soon become flooded with interest.  By the way, if you're just now joining us in this 4-Part Blog series about Why I Love Craig, be sure to check out the beginning where we cover the "pre-listing" or Getting Ready and how to create a great listing that will sell.

In this blog series I'll cover:

1.  Getting Ready to Sell

2.  The Actual Listing
3.  Coping with Inquiries
4.  The "Drug-Deal"

This next phase involves waiting and patience.  I've had items sell same day to the first person who inquired.  But then again, I've had to re-new items over and over for 6 months, often lowering my price.  I've had 0 people contact me and I've had 10 people contact me, but then none of them followed through.  A lot of people ask me about being leery of scams so I'll start there.

Here's Part 3 on Coping with Inquiries:  

You're eager to sell your stuff, but be aware of phony baloney responses like the ones below that I received.  You may say DUH, these are totally obvious, but my aunt who was desperate to sell a car almost fell for one.

Red flags often include very poor spelling and grammar.  They are usually general or vague and never mention the name of the item that is for sell.  Scammers will always have a reason they can not meet you in person and there is a sense of urgency in completing the transaction.  They will also post multiple ads in multiple cities.  Sellers are only allow to post their ad in one city so if you see the same listing, word for word, in a far away location, it's likely a scam.  Another common tactic is to offer to pay you more money than you're asking but then request you return some.  (Who falls for that? Never made sense to me!)  Remember, if there is any doubt, just hit DELETE.

The Bad & Ugly:  

hello i m intrested i can spend in cash how i can contact you ? please reply to me asap 

Im interested in the posted item, I hope it is in good condition?


Is ur advertisement still available? I am just quite intrigued. Tell me of your answer.


I don't have time to come have a look cause of my Job transfer, I'll take care of that by engaging the services of a mover hence I'll be sending a check to cover the cost and it'll be delivered via United Parcel Service, so I'll need you to provide me with the following information below to facilitate the mailing of the check ...




The Good:

Hi, I'm interested in your tub of K'NEX pieces.  My number is (xxx) xxx-xxxx.  You can text or call anytime and set up a time to meet.  Thanks, Tyler


Interested in toy lot -  would you take $45? 


Could you give a total price for your 18-24 mnth girls clothes? - Nancy


Tips for good correspondence:

Don't be offended if someone wants to barter.  Isn't that the name of the game?  As a matter of fact, I take that into consideration when I name my price.  Hey, if someone wants to pay $50, then great! Little do they know I have priced it slightly higher - so talk me down to $40 and I'll probably accept.  If you are firm on your price, say so in the listing.

If you don't like their offer, here are some possible responses: "I just listed this item yesterday so at this time I'll stick to my original price.  However, if I have trouble selling it, I will contact you right away."  Or a simple, "Thank you, but I'll pass.  This item is in mint condition and I know I'll have no problems getting my asking price for it."

Let's say the item sold, reply as a common courtesy to anyone left waiting:  "Sorry Jessica but the person who emailed before you came and picked them up early this morning.  The only other toys I have listed right now are these ..."  

Even after the item sold, take 6.4 seconds to let people know. I appreciated this response from a seller to me:  "Hi Vicky, Sorry - they're gone.  Good luck!"  Better yet, let Craig know.  Craig's List does hope that you will delete your listings once you've successfully sold your item.

As a buyer, it drives me bonkers to see multiple listings.  People re-list their stuff over and over to keep their item at the top of the search page, but they don't delete prior posts.  This summer I was looking for landscaping rock and kept stumbling upon the same ad.  The wording slightly varied but ultimately it was from the same seller.  It was just confusing.

On occasion I've asked my buyers if I can keep their email handy for future reference.  If I know they are looking for baby stuff for their little one who is a year behind my daughter, I can notify them of new listings for a super easy sell!

Final tip: Don't forget to keep tabs on your junk file when you're selling.  Replies from Craig's List always end up there and you don't want to miss a potential customer!

Are there any new scams you're aware of? Please share!  Stayed tuned for the last post of this series.   Next up: The Drug Deal.  LOL!

Monday, August 18, 2014

I Love Craig! (Part 2: The Actual Listing)

Yep, still loving Craig here.  As you may remember, I've made a little over $1800 from selling my stuff on Craig's List over the past year.  I've de-cluttered, recouped money, and hopefully helped other people out.  I've taught my son, my selling assistant, some valuable money lessons.  I've made more money than I would have from a yard sale (with a lot LESS work!)  And I've put money toward a family trip to Disney!  Read Part 1 for an idea of the stuff I've sold and tips for "Getting Ready" to sell an item.  I'm hoping my Craig's List mistakes and money-making adventures help you if you're looking to sell your stuff too!  Now, on to "listing" your items for sale.

In this blog series I'll cover:


1.  Getting Ready to Sell 

2.  The Actual Listing
3.  Coping with Inquiries
4.  The "Drug-Deal"

Here's Part 2 on The Actual Listing:

Since Part 1, you've already done your research on the item you want to sell.  You've determined a fair price, taken the best photos and you have selling points to list.  You've also checked out the competition locally on Craig's List so you can really make your item stand out.  When creating that listing remember these tried 'n true tips:

Create a selling TITLE:

• Be brief, yet very specific in your title:  VTech - Bouncing Colors Turtle
• If there is a name brand or significant model number, include it:  DeLonghi Space Heater TRH0715 - Electric Oil Filled
 • NIB is worth mentioning in the title.  It is an easy way to alert buyers who are looking at a long list of cell phones that yours is "new in box".  It makes yours stand out:  All in One Motorola EX126 (NIB)
• If the item has a size, consider listing it.  As a buyer, I don't want to have to click through tons of Halloween Costume listings only to find out most of them are the wrong size.  The size in the title helps me to narrow it down and saves me time:  Adorable Giraffe Costume, 24 mos
• List quantity if applicable.  My son had a bucket of K'NEX and I actually had him count them.  A photo of a bucket of building blocks could be misleading one way or the other, but listing there are approximately1,000 pieces is more of an attractive offer and tells the potential buyer what to expect:  K'NEX 1,000 piece Set
• Do NOT ask a question (i.e., Do you need a more efficient refrigerator?)  That can be perceived as spammy.

What people MUST know:

• All important details of the item: material, brand, model number, quantity, size, etc.  I retrieve information from the official product website to help with my listing so I don't leave anything out.
• Note the exact condition of the item:  mint, good, average, like new, etc.  Craig's List now includes a pull-down menu for this, so you will remember.  If my item is like new or mint, I promote that right off the bat!



• Is your price an "asking price" or is it "firm"?  State it upfront so you don't waste your time or anyone else's.

• Is your item missing anything?  What does it need (batteries, a good cleaning, missing one of the blocks)?  I sold a broken dishwasher once.  We opted for a new one instead of repair.  I listed it "as is" and stated what the exact part was that it needed, how much that would cost, and where the buyer could find the part.  When it sold, I told the buyer to let us know if they had trouble fixing it.
• Be honest and note any additional damages or flaws: minor scratches, small tear in left corner, finish worn on leg, button needs sewn on, etc.  Include close-up photo of said damage.

What people APPRECIATE knowing:

• Why are you selling the item?
• Is it from a non-smoking or pet-free environment?
• How long have you had the item?
• Is there a recall on it? Go to: http://www.recalls.gov.
• Is there a manual?  If you can't find one, find a link online to include in your listing.  It's just a nice gesture.

What people DON'T need to know:

• Your full name
• Your home address
• Your important email address.  I provide my "extra" email address that I use for shopping, newsletters and other online purposes.


One of my listings that sold right away!

Other HELPFUL tips:

• Have someone proof it.  Spelling and grammar errors suck.
• If your item(s) are being sold in a lot, will you sell items separately or not?
• If I have multiple listings at one time, I like to add this to the end of my postings: "Inquire about these other items I have for sale."  Then I list the items by name.
• Give a first name.  People will be more comfortable contacting you if they have a way to properly address you.
• Know WHEN to list your item, especially if the item is seasonal.  For example, don't wait until mid-October to list your Halloween costume - plan ahead.
• Post your item in the right category. I was so used to posting in "baby and kid stuff", that I posted my son's Storm Trooper Helmet in that same category.  No bites. Later I realized there is a "toys and game" category - I swapped categories and finally got inquiries.  Once I posted in the wrong city - oops! Double-check yourself to avoid mistakes.
• Be extra clear when you describe your item to avoid confusion upon pick-up.  True story...  Here was my listing:  Space Heater: Electric Oil Filled Radiator by DeLonghi - $25 (Ft. Thomas)  Note: I have 3 of these to sell.  The buyer showed up expecting to get all 3 space heaters for $25.  Really?!?!  I should have been more specific and emphasized all important information in this listing.  For example, I have 3 space heaters to sell at $25 each.  Buy 1 individually ($25) or all 3 for $75.  You can also bold, underline, and use all caps to highlight key points you don't want the buyer to miss.

Final tip:  avoid bullets or unusual characters in your listing.  Keep it simple since you don't know how it will show up on someone's phone or computer. 


Whew!  Most than likely, the most time-consuming step is over!  You're getting closer to the "drug deal"!  But... Next up: Coping with all those inquiries.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

I Love Craig! (Part 1: Get Ready to Sell)

Here's what I love about Craig.  Over the past year, I've made a little over $1800 from selling my stuff on Craig's List.  I've de-cluttered.  I've recouped money.  I've helped other people out.  I've taught my son, my selling assistant, valuable monetary lessons.  I've made more money than I would have from a yard sale (those are so much work!)  And I've put money toward a family trip to Disney ... all with a little effort, just a few mistakes, and a lot of patience.

What have I sold?  Everything!  I've sold used video games, old cell phones, children's toys and clothes, computers, printers, old televisions, odd furniture, space heaters, Halloween costumes, kitchen appliances (big and small), guitars, bikes, and baby equipment - priced from $5 to $100.  I can't wait to share my selling experience with you in this 4-part blog series.  I hope it helps you in your clutter and selling endeavors... maybe you'll love Craig too.

In this blog series I'll cover:

1.  Getting Ready to Sell

2.  The Actual Listing
3.  Coping with Inquiries
4.  The "Drug-Deal"

Here's Part 1 on Getting Ready (the pre-listing, if you will):

Clean your item to sell - always.  I've taken things outside with a hose and a scrub brush.  Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is my best friend for scuffs and other marks.  Toothbrushes are invaluable for small crevices that have collected dust over the years.  If it's electronic, blow it out.  You get the idea ... These extra small steps makes it more sell-able and appealing to the buyer.   

If you have a box or manual, find it.  I keep manuals and related papers in an accordion office file for easy access, plus I have a large shoe box on the closet shelf where I throw in extra parts I don't need.    Take out batteries, unless you are including them and double-check to make sure you have all the pieces.  I actually have a couple toys I want to sell, but I've shelved them until all the pieces show up!

Can items be sold as a "lot" or in a batch to make more money?  In my opinion, you would sell the game of Candy Land at at yard sale for a couple bucks, but you would sell 4 favorite childhood games in a batch or lot on Craig's List for more, let's say $20.

Take photos.  Use your own, not a photo of the product as listed on Amazon.  And for the love of Pete, take good ones.  No one wants to see a pile of your dirty laundry off to the side.  If your toes get in frame, re-take the picture. (Eww!)  Your kids are cute - but I wouldn't include them in the photo.  Make sure you have good day light and a clear empty space.  Zoom in.  I've use the tops of tables or a bare floor.  I've even used a white sheet as a backdrop.  A table pushed against a solid wall allows you to prop items up.  Take photos of multiple angles - front, back, side, underneath - and if there is a damaged area, take a close-up of it and explain.  If there is a model number or name brand, snap a photo of that.  Include photos of the box or manual, if applicable.


 

Find a box or bag, if needed, for safe transport, or simply for easy hand off to the next owner.  I use plastic zippered bags, shoe boxes, or one of my MANY free canvas bags or totes I've collected over the years.  Presentation, right?

Determine your price.  The first step is to remember this - you are selling an item that is probably used.  That means you have to let go of how much you paid for it 5 years ago.  Act like a buyer and search for your item on Craig's List, Amazon or eBay.  How many other strollers are up for sale right now on your local Craig's List?  Price your item slightly lower if possible.  If it's VERY clear that your item is better, price it slightly above the competition.  When I sold my Magic Baby Bullet, I also checked prices at Target and Wal-Mart.  Mine was in MINT condition, yet I priced mine about 60% less than the retail because it was used. 

Side note: As you are researching your price, grab ideas or helpful wording about the product.  You'll need this for your listing (Part 2 of this series).  I find the manuals especially helpful for creating my description too.  

Keep a log so you have quick access to your information, prices and photos.  No need to over-organize here.  This is so silly-simple.  I merely keep a folder on my desktop labeled "Craigs List Photos" and I trash the photos once it's sold.  In Pages, I have a document titled "To Sell on Craig's List".  There I keep descriptions, prices and a log of what I've sold.  That's how I know I've sold $1800 worth of stuff.  I mainly do this so I can teach my son that pennies add up to dollars and that a long time of saving can lead up to someone big and worthwhile, like our family vacation.  I keep a running list of what I hope to sell one day too.  I keep forgetting that I have a box of Precious Moments figurines in my basement!

Are you going solo, or will you get your kids involved?  This "getting ready" part has lots of job opportunities for the kids, however, will you pay them a percentage? Or will the money go into a family fund?

Final tip:  Everything I want to sell on Craig's List, I pile up in my hallway as motivation.  I easily get annoyed by the mess which keeps me listing and listing and listing ... 

If you have any tried 'n true advice for "getting ready to sell", be sure to let us know.  And stay tuned for 3 more posts in this series!

Next up:  The Actual Listing.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The ULTIMATE De-Cluttering Guide (for August)

We LOVE this month-by-month de-cluttering guide from our "Big O" Organizer, Monica Ricci!  

With Monica's practical tips you can say GOODBYE to (insert your own here): overwhelm, knick-knacks, disorganization, lost items, and stress.  Then say HELLO to (insert your own here): joy, organization, cleanliness, productivity, and focus.

Below you'll find an excerpt from August, but feel free to click on the link to the entire guide above if you're feeling extra motivated and want to de-clutter ahead! Enjoy and let us know how your de-cluttering is coming along - drop us a line on FaceBook or through email!




AUGUST ...

In the heat of summer it makes sense to tackle indoor organizing projects so what better time is to clean out your family’s clothing closets? Cleaning out closets in August prepares you for the upcoming change of season and makes room for new school clothes too. 


Evaluate every piece of clothing in each closet, setting aside items with holes, missing buttons or anything that just looks worn out. Make a second pile of items that don’t fit or that are simply unloved. These items will be donated. Finally, organize the “keepers” in the closet first by type (shirts, pants, dresses, skirts) and then organize each section by color family. 

To make ongoing closet maintenance easy for both you and your kids, place a bin or box on the floor of each closet and just drop in items that are ready for donation. 

Need more closet help?  We covered it on The Big O:  Wardrobe and Closets.  Good luck and enjoy the rest of your summer!