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We Are Cleaning For A Reason

We Are Cleaning For A Reason

clarkston cleaning services, blog, cleaning for a reason, until there's a cure

 

We are cleaning for a reason. It’s difficult keeping a home clean under any circumstances, but when cancer hits a household, the burden can be overwhelming. That’s when Cleaning For A Reason steps in, partnering with more than 1,200 maid services to provide free house cleaning for men, women, and children battling any type of cancer.  Our partnered cleaning companies volunteer their services and are not compensated in any way.

When matched with a cleaning company, a patient receives a total of two free house cleanings, that is one general cleaning a month for up to two months.

About Clarkston Cleaning Services

 

Clarkston Cleaning Services is a 20-year-old family-owned and operated cleaning company that has teamed up with Cleaning For A Reason, an international nonprofit foundation.  The company is large enough to serve and small enough to care. Employees are the number one priority, which results in better quality and service for all of their clients. Clarkston Cleaning Services provides top to bottom cleaning every single time, with quality assurance checks performed by the Team Leader at each cleaning. All the employees are bonded and insured and arrive in uniform and a logoed company car.

Owner Dawn Raffler states, “I have watched very closely as our family members would lose their battles to cancer. When that happened, it became very personal for me. Supporting and honoring them goes well beyond wearing a colored ribbon on your lapel. A clean home is a necessity when undergoing treatments. It is my belief that cancer warriors should be fighting cancer and not cobwebs. We will focus on your home while you focus on your health.”

In partnership with Cleaning for a Reason, Clarkston Cleaning Services has agreed to help those battling cancer by cleaning at two homes per month for two consecutive months at no charge. The only requirement is that the homes be within the company’s existing service areas.  To date, Clarkston Cleaning has donated 190.50 hours of cleaning. The total value donated is $9,525.

About Cleaning for a Reason

Cleaning For A Reason strives to aid those who are battling cancer by teaming up with professional cleaning companies across the United States and Canada. Together, these two forces offer free house cleaning to meet the needs of families impacted by cancer, and since 2006, have donated more than $14.1 million in free services, helping more than 43,000 people with cancer. Based in Lewisville, TX, Cleaning For A Reason works with more than 1,200 residential cleaning companies and continues to grow and gain support. In 2017, Cleaning for a Reason was adopted by ISSA Charities, the charitable arm of ISSA, The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association. To learn more about Cleaning for a Reason and to apply for free house cleaning, see cleaningforareason.org.

Fall Yard and Garden Cleanup

cleaning for a reson, house cleaning, house cleaning service, professional house cleaning service
Just Because It’s Summer

Just Because It’s Summer

Just Because It’s Summer

Just Because It’s Summer

Just because it’s summer…  It’s back! We are looking at summertime like a long-lost friend! Seems like forever, doesn’t it? But just because it’s summer doesn’t mean we don’t have to keep up with regular chores. Some are made worse when it’s hot out! I know, I know… Here are some reasons why and what to do.

Warmth and Germs Love Each Other

Most people associate the warm months with vacations and beaches, patio dinners, and running through the sprinklers. In other words, being outdoors most of the time. But often, our “in”-doors get neglected regarding cleaning. Doors and windows are left open so there’s more air circulation and less-than-pleasant smells are not as noticeable.

Clothing, whether it’s work or play clothes, just the heat of this time of year makes us all sweat more. Do you know how your teenager’s room smells? Yeah, that. Except multiply that by all the family members. Try line drying the clothes for a few months. This will save money on your electricity bills and give your clothing a good dose of UV to kill the germs created by sweaty bodies.

Garbage, defined as: “wasted or spoiled food and other refuse, as from a kitchen or household” is the wet/sticky/scraps that we throw in our waste cans. Let them sit for a hot day in a closed container and you might just be knocked back a couple of feet by the smell. Meat waste like trimmings and bones are particularly susceptible to spoilage. Food poisoning is more common in the summertime and is no fun. Make a habit of taking the garbage out daily or having a special bag for just food leftovers and get them out of the house.

Dirty Dishes have a habit of building up as people run in and out of the house for snacks and cold drinks. Even the small bits of food left can create foul odors quickly. Encourage the family to scrape dishes into the garbage and/or rinse them off. Run the disposer at least once a day and maybe throw in a lemon or orange peel to freshen it up. Once or twice a month (all year actually) add a cup of baking soda and vinegar to it and let it volcano up in your sink and entertain you for a few seconds. (Good chore for kids?) Wash it down 10 minutes later with some hot-hot tap water.

 Rain or Shine

 In and out, in and out. Kids, cats, and dogs can’t seem to make up their minds about where they want to be. While it’s best to leave shoes at the door, it’s not so easy to keep up with the traffic. Who knows what everyone has walked or run through especially if there are pets around…you get the drift. Buy a bunch of dollar store flip-flops in assorted sizes for indoor use by the most used door for ease of rule enforcement. This will help keep the worst of it at bay.

DIY season

And then there’s the home repairs and remodeling that are so common this time of year. It’s also a fairly universal habit to just “let things go” while the work is being done because why clean when it’s just going to get trashed again until it’s finished. That’s fair logic to a point, but if one area gets neglected then often the whole thing gets neglected. And if it’s a BIG project, like remodeling a bathroom, then things can get out of hand quickly.

Whether you are doing it yourself or have a contractor, make it a point to have things tidied up at the end of the workday. Sweep up sawdust and other potentially hazardous debris and get the power tools unplugged and put away.

Keeping the house ship-shape, even during the lazy hazy days of summer! Sometimes it’s just easier (and worth the $$ spent) to let us help you keep up indoors while you go enjoy the “out”-doors!

Fall Yard and Garden Cleanup

clarkston cleaning services, blog, cleaning for a reason, until there's a cure
Fall Yard and Garden Cleanup

Fall Yard and Garden Cleanup

Fall Yard and Garden Cleanup

fall yard and garden clean up, clarkston cleaning services

Fall Yard and Garden Cleanup. Think about how you clean your house?  “Top” to bottom, right?  Let gravity help you!

  • Whether it’s you or you hire a local tree service, get some of those dead and broken branches trimmed off. No pruning!  Just the dead stuff. This could spare you some roof damage in the winter and early spring from heavy snow.
  • Be sure to save a few of the smaller twigs and branches for composting.  The strength of the branches can help aerate new compost piles.
  • While you’re up there….get those gutters hosed out too.

Rake, Rake, Rake…

We know…raking isn’t a fun thing to do, but it’s fun making big piles to jump in!  After you’ve done this, don’t throw them all out!  Unless you have a fair number of trees, let nature insulate and nourish your gardens, and here’s how:

  • Adding a thick layer around the base of rose bushes and other tender flowers will protect the root crowns from extreme temperatures and also give natural nutrients to the soil.
  • Mulching the flower and garden beds will help conserve moisture to save on winter watering.
  • If you have a lot of leaves, bag them up and get the kids to “smoosh” them.  This helps break the leaves down, save space and bags, and gets the kids outside for some fun!  Set aside a couple for replenishing mulch during the cold season.
  • Nobody can rake ALL of it up, but leaves are also good mulch for lawns…as long as it’s not covering the grass.  Once raking is done, mow the lawn on the “mulch” setting one last time to chop it up and get it down in between grass blades.

 Vegetable and Flower Gardens

When the last of the harvest has been taken in, it’s time to put the bed…to bed.  After the first hard frost, pull out any diseased plants and weeds and trash them.  Everything else can be tilled under to help provide nutrients and fertilize the earth.

  • If you have it now, add a nice layer of compost over the top.
  • Use the raked-up leaves to make a deep covering over the whole bed….like a foot deep.
  • Cover the leaf layer with old pallets, or chicken wire, or larger dead branches to keep the leaves and topsoil from blowing away in the winter winds.
  • This cover also insulates the earthworms and other beneficial insects so they can do their work.

 Clean Up with Compost!

Composting is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to have gorgeous flowers and abundant fruit and vegetable harvests and should be part of everyone’s fall yard and garden clean up!  Safer than chemicals, building a compost pile is really easy!  Non-meat kitchen scraps, some dirt and dead leaves (which you now have an abundance of), and twigs are the ideal living space for a microbiome. Hint: earthworms L.O.V.E. coffee grounds!  Make sure you keep those (non-flavored varieties) in your pile as well.

Lastly, be sure to tidy up the yard.  Clear out corners and areas that could become a home for some unwanted critters.  Be careful restocking firewood as black widow spiders love these undisturbed areas.  Plant any bulbs at this time for a beautiful spring showing!  Gather up the tools and summer yard decorations and get them cleaned up and put away for the season.

While you’re in the yard be sure to call for a deep Fall cleaning so that everything is done inside and out and you’re ready for winter. Now that’s a job well done!

Fall Yard and Garden Cleanup

Practical ways to prepare for college

Practical ways to prepare for college

Practical ways to prepare for college

Practical Ways to Prepare for Your Freshman Year of College, Clarkston Cleaning Services

 

Practical ways to prepare for college. It’s a big world out there! We’re sure you have big dreams for your future and are ready to go get ‘em! Now that you’re leaving home, we have a few suggestions on practical ways to prepare for your freshman year of college!

Adulting is harder than it seems. A lot harder. As you learn to balance all the things in your life; work, fun, relationships, there will be falls and mistakes. Don’t take them personally and try to learn from them. You probably didn’t get the balance thing on a bike the first time, right? Neither will you as a grown-up. But you will.

Things to Keep in Mind

Preparation is never a waste of time and while you can’t possibly anticipate everything, talking with your parents or other trusted adults is a good start. Do you know someone already in college? Do you know someone who is at your college? Pick their brains on some of their experiences in their first year. Some questions to ask might be:

The “Not College” Stuff

Not only are you heading to school, but you are also leaving the comforts of home with your parents. You will be surprised at how much they do for you. Sometimes experience is the only way to learn. For example, there are reasons your mom hounded you about the dirty dishes or laundry in your room. Or that you have to buy things like toilet paper, ketchup, forks, knives, and spoons. Or that nobody will pile you out of bed for your classes anymore. Old habits die hard, and you’re bound to have to break more than one.

  • If you’re lucky enough to have your parents’ help, you’re very lucky. If not, and your financial skills are either lacking or non-existent, get busy with a course or two on budgeting and the reality of living in the world. Even if you have help, eventually you will need to be self-sustaining. You may need to get work and it’s important to know how much you need from that job to pay your way.
  • If you will be living in a dorm, you may have a food allowance that is included with your tuition. You may not. Either way, you gotta eat, right? Living on ramen and red licorice whips will get old, fast. A poor diet will drag down your ability to sleep, study, and pay attention in class. A balanced diet is not equal parts junk food and good food, just…FYI. Eat good foodgreens, grains, fruit.
  • Health. Of course, your overall health needs to be…overall. Often young people push past signals from their minds and bodies because of peer pressure and freshman college life is notorious for bullying and mob mentality. Your comfort zones will be challenged often. It’s ok to say “no”.

The college experience can be so exciting! You may change your mind on your major several times. You may decide to go in a completely different direction. Remember, nothing is set in stone. Allow yourself to make mistakes! You are learning not only about your career fields; you are learning to be an adult…it takes some time.

Practical ways to prepare for college

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Baby Safety Month

Baby Safety Month

Baby Safety Month

clarkston cleaning, baby safety month

Baby Safety Month is September. Tiny humans are so cute! Those toes, right? Did you know that September is dedicated to ‘baby safety? We didn’t either and when we ran across this little gem, we thought it would be a good thing to share!

Whether you have one baby or a few children, keeping the little ones protected is the number one goal. We found some interesting history that you may not know.

  • The baby gate was invented in 1906.
  • The first car seat appeared in 1962, but it wasn’t until 1985 that the US required children to be strapped into one for car travel. Incidentally, car seat belts were not made standard equipment until 1968 and didn’t become mandatory to use until 1986.
  • Former President Nixon signed into law the Toy Safety Act that gave the government the authority to test and ban children’s toys for hazards.

If you consider those dates, you might also figure out that your grandparents, or even your parents, were kids before some of these laws were on the books. We’ve learned a lot over the years and some of us “older” folks look back and wonder that we made it through unscathed! At your next family gathering, ask them about their adventures as children without is now considered normal safety measures! It could make for some good conversation.

Education

So, where does one go to learn the latest developments on child safety? Baby safety month was started by The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). Use the “Parents” drop-down menu for a number of topics like baby monitors, best practices for disinfection (including Covid-19 protocols), and things to keep in mind when buying second-hand.

To stay on top of safety alerts, we like the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. As a government agency, they are tasked with monitoring all manner of consumer goods from elevators to cars to cookware. This is where recall information can be found. For child and baby products, look to this page.

Child safety doesn’t have to be dire and serious either. Reality Works is a great place to find a ton of links to other organizations to help keep your children healthy and happy. Kids are kids. They’re curious about everything and can get into stuff you had no idea about! Educate yourself and do the best you can.

 

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National Sisters Day

National Sisters Day

National Sisters Day

National Sisters Day, clarkston cleaning services

According to Time and Date dot com, August 1st is National Sisters Day this year. An unofficial holiday, it’s set for the first Sunday in August every year, so no paid day off or bank closures. Rats, right?

Whether amicable or contentious, it’s still a good day to remember the relationships we have with our female siblings. No sisters? No problem! Celebrate all the women and girls in your life who feel like a sister! Get with your besties, cousins, coworkers, and neighbors.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

So, how do we honor our sisters? There are obvious ways like going to lunch or coffee but how about taking a “left turn at Albuquerque”, as Bugs Bunny used to say. We found a few unique ideas you can do with your sis.

  • Genealogy Search. Have you ever wondered about the origins of your family? Especially if your “sister” is biologically from a different parent? Wouldn’t it be fun to compare notes? It doesn’t necessarily have to cost any money to start looking for your roots.
  • Dig Out the Pictures. Whether your photos are digital or paper, it can be fun to reminisce over things you did growing up together. Sort, laugh, make scrapbooks!
  • Revisit a Childhood Haunt. Where did you hang out as kids? Was there a particular playground or ice cream shop you loved as children? Walk the routes you took to school. Find the house your crush lived in. Are they still around?
  • Road Trip! Especially if you live far apart, go for a weekend or longer for a long dreamed about get-together!

Mending Fences

Some of the fiercest rivalries are between siblings. If it’s been a few days or many years, being the first to throw up the white flag can be scary. Many would contend that DNA does not a family make, but if you feel a niggling to reconnect, National Sisters Day could be a good segue. Ways to start could be:

  • Send a Card or Letter. Maybe you made some bad moves in the past and want to make things right. Or perhaps you want to open the door to them if the rift was theirs.
  • Enlist Another Family Member or Friend. Because we call them “family”, it usually means there are mutual relationships. Is there someone who could help “feel” them out before you make contact?
  • Make a Donation in Their Name. Sometimes they’re not ready, so you have to nudge them in other ways. Often the problem boiled down to broken trust. Try rebuilding without direct contact. Donate to their favorite charity. Make sure they get a notice that you made the gift for them.

Sisterhood can be glorious or complicated. Divine or divided. Let those sisters you love know you love them! Even if it means swallowing a little humble pie!

 

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Pecan Pie Day August 20th

Pecan Pie Day August 20th

Pecan Pie, Clarkston Cleaning Services

Pecan Pie Day August 20th

Sugar pies were extremely popular in medieval Europe, and as Europeans started to immigrate to America, many sugar pie recipes were reimagined using local ingredients.  Pecan Pie is believed to be a variant of chess pie which also has a butter and sugar custard center.  While pecan pies were likely being eaten before the 1800s, the first official published recipe was in an issue of “Harper’s Bazaar” magazine in 1886.

 

Pecan Pie without Corn Syrup

“Filling only”

 

2 cups pecans

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

¾ cup maple syrup

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

 

Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake on the center rack until toasted, 10 to 12 minutes.  Cool completely.  Reserve 15 pecans, then roughly chop the rest of the pecans.

Bake the pie shell as directed (I use premade pie shell for a 9-inch pie)

While the crust is baking, combine the brown sugar, maple syrup, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and, stirring constantly, continue to boil for 1 full minute.  Remove from the heat and stir in chopped pecans and vanilla.  Set aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.  Whisk the eggs into the filling until smooth, then pour the filling into a warm crust.  Top with the reserved pecans.

Bake on the lower rack until the filling is set around the edges but still slightly loose in the center, 40 to 45 minutes.  (If the edges of the crust begin to get too dark, cover the edge loosely with foil).  Cool on a wire rack completely before serving.

 

 

 

 

Show them the love

Show them the love

Show them the love

Show Them the Love

The strains of the last year have us all walking around frazzled. Now it’s time for Valentine’s Day. Telling the people we love how we feel is sometimes lost in the shuffle of everyday life, let alone in times of stress and struggle. Instead, show them the love you know they deserve.

I do every day, I think?

Some folks can relax in the comfort of their relationships. A good thing, but reaffirming that comfort is better. Some of us are a little insecure and need to be assured that the world isn’t shaking things up. Especially in uncertain times.

So, don’t think, know that you have expressed your feelings and affection. We’re here to help you shake it up on your own. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.

What do they hear?

Do you actually know what proves your love…to them? Maybe you’re buying flowers or doing laundry, but what they want are hugs and kisses. A “well done!” is great but doing the dishes for them might be better.

A Southern Baptist pastor named Dr. Gary Chapman wrote a book 19 years ago called, “The 5 Love Languages” and it was quite the sensation! On daytime TV talk shows and touted worldwide, he sold millions of copies. Aimed primarily at Christian couples, the book was designed to teach a person the language of their loved ones. For example, giving your teenager all the gadgets they want may not convey to them your affection like a long talk would. YOU know you love them, but do they?

Take the Quiz

People often don’t know what they want, really. They think they do, but occasionally we have to coax it out of them. But do we know the right questions to ask? Dr. Chapman figured that out as well. He devised some quizzes to help us get there. These simple inquiries help sort out these categories:

  • Receiving gifts From trinkets and baubles to expensive items, some folks just love
  • Quality Time Just being there, hanging out, talking…your time is important.
  • Words of Affirmation Atta boys and ‘good job!’ s can prove you’re paying attention.
  • Physical Touch A hug, handholding, a caress during a conversation…can mean everything.
  • Acts of Service A helping hand without being asked can imply volumes!

 Flowers and candy are great, but they can be expensive and quite boring. Learning and really knowing those you care about takes dedication and devotion. And love. Just remember that what you love may not be what they love.

Do you know what everyone loves? A clean house they didn’t have to clean! Let us help you love your people! (This one is easy…)

Gift cards are available for Valentine’s Day or any other occasion. Click Here!

 

 

Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/@sharonmccutcheon

 

Creative dates

Creative dates

Creative dates Nights Clarkston Cleaning Services

 

Creative Dates

It’s hard to believe that Covid has been around for only a year. So much has changed in the last 12 months, some of which is pretty normal now: masks, staying home more, and online…everything. Creative dates have been a bit of a challenge with minimal seating at our favorite eateries and theaters. So how do you romance your partner in the middle of a pandemic?

Blessing in Disguise

If there’s one thing this pandemic as shown us, it’s that ingenuity is the new normal. What an opportunity to switch things up! Especially now because maybe there’s been quite a bit of *togetherness* in recent months. It’s difficult to keep a good routine going when the rules are constantly shifting, so rather than resist…embrace the change!

Whether it’s been a few months or a lot of years, relationships ebb and flow anyway. Varying circumstances allows us to see where we might need to make some adjustments, but also where we can add some sparks. Remember the newness of when you first met your partner…close your eyes and recall the butterflies and zinger feelings of anticipation. Zero in on that first kiss…WOW!

Inspired Time

Restaurants and movies are so pre-covid. It’s time to liven things up and make some new memories! Here are some ideas we researched that might be the ticket!

  • Breakfast, not dinner may be just the change you need. At Valentine’s in particular, restaurants (even at a limited capacity and with outdoor seating) also have limited menu options because they plan to be busy. At breakfast, you’re both fresh, seating will be better (and possibly indoors), and you will have the rest of the day together <eyebrows flicking>.
  • Day Dates are a great way to reconnect! Maybe the kids are in school and you have the house/car to yourselves. #1 Rule…no “errands” or “grocery shopping” is allowed! Get take-out from a favorite place and go for a hike!
  • Rent a Luxury Car for the day. Drive around the area or explore another town nearby! Talk, pull over, and admire the scenery, be in the moment.
  • Home is Where the Heart is. Maybe some of these are out of your price range after last year’s economy roller-coaster. A creative date doesn’t have to be costly. Arrange for a sitter if you have kids, or maybe work out a trade with another couple with kids. Light candles and put on some music and just dance with each other.

Feeling Social?

Maybe you need to check in with friends and think a group activity would be a nice switch. Again innovation wins the day! Creative dates can include friends! Some interesting things we found to also help small businesses!

  • Online Cooking Classes! Many local restaurants have been dealt a near-deadly blow to their businesses by the pandemic. Chefs have started online cooking classes on some of their favorite menu items for you to make at home. In some cases, a kit is prepared for pickup (for a fee) then prepared in your home during a designated class time. A great way to connect with new friends meet local chefs, and maybe try a new place!
  • Virtual AirBnB® has cooking classes and more. Travel the world from your living room!
  • Zoom Newlywed Game could be full of laughs with your favorite friends!

Reconnecting with your partner is super important during these trying times. While routine can get us through the day, it can be a buzz-kill for relationships. We can help set the mood with a house cleaning appointment! Covid doesn’t have to compound anything more than it already has. Get your love on!

 

Click Here For Gift Cards For Any Occasion 

 

 

Clean up your devices

Clean up your devices

Clean up your devices

Clean Up Your Devices

Your phone, tablet, laptop… is neglected. “WHAT?! “ you say. Arguably an additional appendage for many, with constant scrolling, texting, and picture taking. If we treated our homes like our devices, we’d be in big trouble. It’s time to clean up your devices.

What am I referring to? The clutter. Imagine all those texts as letters and photos as actual physical photographs. The junk email alone would bury us alive!

New Year, New…device?

One of the reasons that people buy new gadgets is that their “old” one is too slow or doesn’t perform as well anymore. Part of that could beeeee….that it’s clogged up. When was the last time you scrolled through your pictures? Do you look at some and think, “What is THAT?” and …keep going? Do you read an email, then go on to the next? How many apps have you installed since you bought the phone? Your phone or laptop could run like new again, not to mention saving you a large chunk of cash!

Like addressing a teenager’s room, it’s time to get busy with a periodic hosing out of your device(s).

Don’t Be Afraid

If you’ve ever done a “delete all” (or similar feature) on any part of your computer and afterward you realized that you really did…delete all of it, that sense of panic that erupts in your gut is no fun! In the early days of home computers, there were no fail-safes, and your data was doomed to the ethers for all eternity. Nowadays there are recovery methods that can undo the dumbest of keystrokes, thankfully. Just know that when the pop-up appears with “Are you sure?” it’s best to be…sure.

Keep the end result in mind…virtual elbow room in your gadget. Room for updates and new games/apps!

 Start Simple

It is generally agreed upon that the 3 largest hogs of space are photos, apps, and email. Start with the easiest part, your photos, and videos. These actually take up a HUGE amount of space on any device. Whether you have an android phone or an apple device, you can delete single or multiple photos at once. Try not to get caught up looking at your pictures, though. We’re cleaning, remember? And unless you save the ones you have left to another storage area (hard/thumb drive), they could be lost forever if something happens to the phone/device. Unlike the “old” days, there are no negatives to reprint the pictures.

Next move to your apps. There are lots of pre-installed apps that many of us never wanted in the first place, but a few may be “vital” to the basic operations.  Most will tell you so when you go to delete them, but the others are there in hopes that you will at least get curious and try them. Nyet. Just like the flyers that load up your mailbox (wasn’t there a “paperwork reduction act” a while back to reduce paper waste?), these also take up space on your electronics. We found this handy video for Apple® for visual learners (love the pause button!), and here’s a quick take for android users.

Get Organized

There are many people who really don’t use computers much anymore. If you are one of those who pretty much conduct all your business (personal and business) on your phone, it’s important to keep things cleaned up and orderly. Imagine living in one room and all your activities must be confined to that one room. It would need to be neat and tidy, right? Though they are small, they can do more than the first home computers put out only 30 years ago. My first PC had a 250MG hard drive. That’s about 10 jpg files now!

Here’s a good roundup of all the areas that you can do to clean up your device(s) including ways to keep it neat and clean.

Technology moves fast. Smartphones can last for years, saving us loads of cash! Just like anything we value, we need to look after them properly. So, clean up your devices.

 

Photo Credit: Google Images, greenislepm

greenislepm.com
 
 
Making the Goals Stick

Making the Goals Stick

making the goals stick

Make the Goals Stick

 

Here we are again, January of a new year. Fist bumps to everyone! It was a rough one last year, no doubt! Near the end did you start to think about any resolutions or goals for this year? Did you put on a couple of pounds or funds are a tad low? (Hint: we all had a few missteps!) Setting goals to improve is how we flourish…how we learn. We want to offer a few ways we’ve found to help make the goals stick.
Add, don’t subtract!
Much research has been done in this area and the overwhelming consensus is to add good habits instead of subtracting bad ones. There’s a psychological reason that just the thought of something being eliminated, no matter how bad it is for us, is still mentally counted as a “loss”. So, say you want to “lose” weight (the most common of resolutions), how do we approach it without thinking we will also lose some of the food we like to eat?
• Reframe it with better words. You’re not “losing weight”, you’re “getting” thinner/healthier/more fit.
• Add a goal date. By “X” date, I want to be a size ___.
• Add good and healthy food and that will edge out the not-so-healthy eating habits.
• Start small. Walk before you run. Run before you do a race. Doing too much too fast will secure failure.

Be S.M.A.R.T about the Goal

You may have heard this acronym before. It stands for:
S-Specific. “Losing weight” is too general. Pick a number, of course not too big.
M-Measurable. Using a scale or a tape measure to account for progress shows progress.
A-Achievable. Running a marathon in 6 months when climbing stairs right now winds you is not achievable. Shoot for a 5K, maybe, first.
R-Relevant. If you’re doing something because someone else is or wants you to and you’re like “meh”, you won’t be motivated. What do YOU want?
T-Timed. Set a specific date that you think you can do. Remember the “achievable” part here. Make the Goals Stick!!

Break It Down

There’s a saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
Similarly, realizing any worthwhile goal will take time…baby steps. Well, how do you know what each bite will look like? Ah! That’s the right question!

Backward is the New Forwards!

Working backward is the way to finding the doable pieces and making the goals stick! It will also show you if your objective fits with the S.M.A.R.T method or if you are aiming for the stars when the moon will do.
• Pick your target date and start date
• Decide what you can do each day/week/month (reasonably) between now and then
• Divide your commitment into the total time between then and now
Clear as mud, huh? We’ll keep with the “losing weight” theme, but you can also apply this to saving money, reading books, fitness levels, and so forth. Say you want to lose 30 pounds by this time next year. It seems like a lot, but if you do some research (and maybe consult your doctor), you may find that it is totally doable.
Next, what can you commit to? A pound a week? What else do you need to do to get there? Dietary adjustments? Will you exercise? Outdoors/home/gym? What’s the time commitment on that?
Then…what’s your reward at the end? Make it BIG! What will make you work to get that prize? The caveat here is that it must be what YOU want. Not to prove yourself to another person. This is no Bueno. Make the Goals Stick!!

Ok, so now…

• Divide your goal into the number of weeks (we chose 1 year/52 weeks)
1 pound a week is…52 pounds! But that’s more than I want to lose!
See? Easily a bite-sized piece! You can adjust for a faster timeline and it would still be workable, or you can mosey your way to a thinner you in a year! But now you see that 30 pounds can be made very stress-free.
If you need some extra time carved out so you can make the goals stick, we’d like to help you! Wouldn’t have your house cleaned be THE BOMB? Check us out!

Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/@timmossholder

 

 

Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child

Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child

Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child

Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child

 

In this exceptional year of years, you may be wondering how in the world Christmas is going to pan out and if you have kids, doubly so.  May we suggest a different point of view…Christmas through the eyes of a child.

Tap the past…

Consider what you, as a kid, loved about the holidays.  What was your favorite year?  Did you get a gift that sent you over the moon with joy?  Was it a huge family gathering or just a few people? Did you love all the lights and music? If we remember why it felt special, then let the memories be a powerful reminder as well as help motivate us. Indeed, we feel all feel like we’re out of steam.

It’s important to realize that kids have had a rough year too with all the things that have changed.  Maybe they’re doing online classes and can’t see their friends or teachers from school. Everyday activities have been restricted or outright stopped. Draw from their bottomless enthusiasm for the season…what do they think would be a super cool Christmas through their eyes? Their answers may surprise you.

What is their favorite part of Christmas? Watching as gifts slowly gather under the tree? Is there a certain box they can’t wait to open? Do they like baking cookies and waiting for Santa?  Or is it just spending time with the family in their pajamas all day? Capitalize on their responses!

Fresh Ideas!

Perhaps they would like to do a themed tree. One that focuses on superheroes, or a particular color group, or maybe an old fashioned back-to-basics tree with homemade ornaments and stringed popcorn and cranberries. Doing holiday crafts adds a personal touch and engages creativity…and kids love crafts!

Does your family make contributions to local charities during the holidays? Or perhaps your children know of someone in their class whose family is really struggling because of the pandemic?  Would they like to help them instead? Maybe they want to bake cookies for the doctors and nurses at a local hospital. How about a leg up with some housecleaning? Always a welcome gift! This year the need is greater than usual, and of course, kids are natural ‘givers’, so maybe they have some ideas on what they would want to do to help someone in need. Making it extra special this year might be just the ticket to pop us all out of the dreariness.

Kids never fail to sustain their excitement for almost everything including Christmas through the eyes of your child. In view of a time when we, as adults, have taken a mental beating, let’s allow their enthusiasm and delight for the holidays to lift our spirits and remind us that all is well.

Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/@lordmaui

 

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