Clear the Clutter

15 Minute Organizing Projects

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WOOHOO!  Who is ready for the weekend?  I will be showing off my Angel collection this weekend at a local event so I am excited…..

I love to help people get organized – sort of the practice what I say, not what I do sometimes.  🙂  Most think organizing takes a long time and who has time for it, right?  The truth is you can tackle some things in under 15 minutes.  I know, crazy, right?
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These tips are courtesy of I heart Planners:

#1 – Reorganize your junk drawer. 

We all have them even if we don’t admit to them.  I have two drawers in my kitchen which are far from organized.  I usually clean them out about once a month and before I know it, they are a total disaster again! One drawer is where hubby tosses things he wants to hold on to – just in case.  The other is full of kitchen gadgets.  There are some gadgets I use all of the time, then there are some which are only used once in a while.  Why do they always ALL end up in the same drawer?

I try to determine about how often I use each item. Is it a daily item – then it stays in the drawer.  Not used very often, items are moved to the drawers in the pantry.  Close but not cluttering up the drawer.

It was super depressing because it’s a drawer we use all the time, and I see the mess regularly. I finally get fed up,and it takes less than 15 minutes! So, why didn’t I do it sooner? 12705602_992666660772486_8016996825946757881_n

If you have enough counter space (we don’t), Thirty One’s Your Way bin is a great way to put all of those cooking gadgets within easy reach AND keep the drawer clutter free.

#2 Tidy up your desk area.

I don’t know about you but I have a hard time concentrating when my desk is a mess.  Having a neat and tidy desk inspires and motivates me to work.12742511_992115254160960_3785553282245567485_n

The Double Duty Caddy from Thirty One can sit on your desk OR you can tuck it away on a shelf until you need it with everything close by.  The side pockets are great for small items.

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The fold and file is great to keep files organized, Keep it in your desk then pull it out when you need to do some work.  

My computer screen is one of my messiest spots in my office. When I see a graphic I like, I save it to my desktop screen until I want to use it.  Yes, it can get to be a HOT MESS.  Did you know you can organize your computer desktop screen in just a few minutes?  Check out this article to learn how.

#3 – Organize your email inbox.

Are you one of those who has 100’s of emails in your inbox OR do you focus on cleaning it out every day?  I know deleting emails we don’t want to read once we check the subject is easy.  My goal every day is to clear my email inbox so I have less than 10 emails waiting for a response or need action. It isn’t always easy.  The truth is, it doesn’t take long to set up gmail filters to keep your email inbox organized. Here is a great article on how to get your email inbox to zero.

#4 – Pick 5 items to donate or throw away.

This does not require a major project.  We all have things we come across we don’t anymore. Things you “meant to donate”.  Why wait, pick up those 5 things (more or less is good too) and put them in a bag or box.  Then – this is the important step – put it in your car right away.  Don’t leave the box sitting by the door or tucked in a closet.  If it is in your car, you will remember to drop it off the next time you are running errands.

What are some of your best tips for getting organized in 15 minutes or less?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Unclutter Your Life

Shopping on a Budget

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Have you ever heard the saying “one woman’s junk is another woman’s treasure”?  Okay, so maybe I paraphrased a little but you know what I mean.

Growing up, I can’t ever remember shopping in a thrift store.  In fact, I am not even sure they were around in the 60’s and 70’s.  I remember donating items to those who were less fortunate but I don’t think I ever saw where they ended up.

As a single mom, thrift stores were a fun place to go – not just for me but also for my daughter.  We checked out rummage sales at the local churches and scoured the thrift stores for goodies.  From toys to books to kitchen stuff to clothes.  We always found some treasures that would make the day a success.

There are two sides to all thrift stores in our area – you get to help out a charity by donating and then again when buying from them.  You get to make a difference in the lives of others.  When donating items you no longer need or want the charity is then able to sell it to someone who needs or wants the item.  The money raised helps others in need with food or other essentials.  A win-win for everyone.

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Let’s bust some of those myths about thrift store shopping:

Myth #1: It is shameful to go into a thrift shop.

Remember that you are giving to a great cause and getting yourself a bargain at the same time.  The items you are getting aren’t dirty but have been carefully sorted. Give your items a quick wash once you’ve bought them and they will be just like new. I even think for a period of time, this was the preferred way to shop.

Myth #2:  Sometimes thrift shops can be considered ‘expensive’

I know you think that is kind of crazy, right?  The truth is that everything is not “cheap” – a dollar or two.  Things will be cheaper then buying brand new but there are those occasions when they could be a little bit more expensive than what you expected.  Thrift store employees know value too.  Their goal is to offer items at a reasonable price while helping raising funds for their cause.  So, that designer dress may be cheaper than a brand new one but it is not going to be given away for just a few dollars.

Myth #3:  You should just stick to one thrift store

The truth is that frequenting the same thrift store on a regular basis is good.  Don’t limit yourself to just one – find your favorites and stick with them.  How else are you going to bag yourself some amazing bargains?  Check in once a week to see what they have new.  My mom and I spent the day a few weeks ago exploring some new thrift stores.  We met some great people, got some bargins and will definitely head back to a few of them.

Myth #4: You can’t try the stuff on!

Yes, you can actually try the clothes on in most of them. Don’t see a dressing room, ask if they have one.  If they don’t, ask what their return policy is so you can try it on at home and return it if it doesn’t fit.  Don’t be afraid to ask!

Just like shopping at the mall. the most important part of all this is to have fun. Thrift store shopping isn’t grimy or dirty.  It’s a fun thing to do while grabbing bargains at the same time.

Remember to keep to your budget.  It can be just as easy over-shopping in a thrift store as it is at the mall.  The idea is to keep within a budget, when the purse strings are a little tight. Don’t go overboard otherwise you’ll defeat the objective of thrift shopping!

Let me know what you think about second hand shopping. Share some of your favorite places with us

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Gives Program, Hope Wissel

Redeem-Her

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Happy Saturday! I am so excited!  This past week I was asked to be a member of the Board of Directors for Redeem-Her.  I have been looking for a local cause that I can get involved in.  There are ALOT of amazing groups in Ocean County but none of them felt like the right fit.  I am a grassroots, non-profit kind of gal.  At the suggestion of my good friend, Karen, I checked out Redeem-Her.  I am a program person, a grant writer and when I am for a cause, they get me hook, line and sinker.  After researching the group, talking to some Board members – I am in!

Here is their mission:

Redeem-Her successfully transitions women recently released from prison, jail and drug rebab to become valued and contributing members of society.

Redeem-Her, a non-profit organization founded and operated by formerly incarcerated women, provides a safe, sober, supportive environment that is enhanced by positive role models who meet the tangible needs of clients.

Redeem-Her employs a model emphasizing that positive opportunities can transform the lives of women to become responsible, generous members of society.

So, how can you help?  They have a wish list online for products.  They have an AWESOME Thrift Store in Neptune City.  BUT right now, they need CASH donations.  Over the last two years, I have written checks for over $2,000 to local fundraisers (not counting the endless donations of product) as a result of fundraising efforts.  Don’t worry, I am still doing fundraisers for YOUR favorite cause!

BUT you guessed it – Redeem-Her is my September “gives” program.  There are THREE opportunities in September to help this AWESOME cause:

#1 Check out Thirty One’s September Hostess and Customer special. Thirty One’s Customer Special for September is the Deluxe Utility Tote – a top 10 product for $15 or the Double Up Crossbody – a NEW Fall product for $10 with a $35 purchase. Spend $70 and you can get BOTH of them for $25.  Place an order online at www.partywithHope.com.  Click the link and go directly to the Fundraiser.  If you are attending ANOTHER Thirty One party (not already a fundraiser), I will donate a portion of the sales from YOUR party as well.

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#2 – Don’t want to shop BUT would love to help a great cause!  You can write a check and mail it directly to: Redeem-Her, PO Box 1913, Toms River, NJ 08754.  All donations are tax deductible!  We are a 501(c)3.

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#3 – Fall means cleaning out the closets and the house.  Have things you don’t want.  Don’t toss them, donation them to our Second Hand Thrift Shop in Neptune City.  We take clothes, household items, shoes, books and furniture.  It can be dropped off at 101 Third Avenue in Neptune City!  Looking for bargains – check out the store.

How will you help?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel, Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Bless Others

One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.  Proverbs 11:24-25, NIV

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Does your office look like this?  Do you have a basket overflowing with mail longing to be opened?  Do you have piles of dirty clothes around the house?  Are your cabinets bursting with too much food?  Is the garage full of things that should find a new home?

Does all of this cause you to feel overwhelmed and beat yourself up:

  • Why can’t I ever get organized?
  • Why am I so lazy when it comes to my stuff?
  • It feels like everyone else has got this figured out except for me.

My house isn’t bad – neat but the dust bunnies do know that they could live for some time at my house.  I never thought about the fact that my “hot mess of a desk” or the piles of mail actually might be a spiritual battle that keeps me cluttered?

Maybe you don’t use the words “just for now” as part of your indecision on what to do with “stuff”.  Maybe your three words are “Just in case.”  GUILTY!  Things aren’t as bad as they used to be when I had more space.  Now with less space at the condo, I have released some of my “just in case” clothes – the ones just in case I gain my weight back.  The extra food that was on sale “just in case” I need it to fix a meal or can’t go grocery shopping or we get a storm.

The truth is when we start to hold onto things with a “just in case” mentality, what we are saying in some small but significant way is that we are the bottom line instead of trusting in God’s provision.

Donating those too big jeans or sharing the extra food is a great way to not only be God’s hands by providing for another’s needs, BUT you will also receive the blessing of less stuff crowding your home and keeping you from living the life you were designed to live.

I needed this reminder today….When we trust God to meet us in our present circumstances, as well as trusting him for our future needs, we are talking about actively growing our faith in him. When we hoard, stockpile and surround ourselves with things we don’t need with a mentality of “But maybe someday I’ll need it,” or “Just in case,” we are taking matters into our own hands instead of trusting God for our future.  

God has given most of us more than we could ever hope for or imagine. Imagine your life being free knowing you are helping others as well as yourself.  Don’t let fear be the reason that you hold onto something. TRUST that God will provide for your needs in every area of your life.

What are you holding onto that could bless someone else?  BE HONEST!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Promote Your Business for Free

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Today is all about promoting your business for FREE!  Yes, I said FREE.  In our direct sales  business we usually put little or no money aside for promotion and marketing.  Most of us are a party plan business so that is where our business comes from, right?  What happens when the well of customers/ hostesses starts to run dry?  What do you do?  Where do you go?

Social Media.  Isn’t this everyone’s first stop – Facebook, pinterest, instagram and the list goes on.  We have seen the pleas for orders, recruits and parties.  This is a GREAT platform if you are share what you have to offer instead of being the pushy sales person.

Get involved in community groups and associations.  The best way to meet new people is to get involved in our community, in a parents group if you have kids or attend a local fundraising event.  Just son’t be “that gal” that’s always talking about her business – let the conversations come naturally.

Use constant branding.  Make sure that everything you do for your business is promoting your brand – the more consistent you are, the better chance that people will notice.  Carry or wear your products, wear company logos or quotes that start conversations.

Generate more referrals.  Get in touch with past clients and offer them an incentive to send you referrals – maybe a cut of the sale, or a discount on future work.  Include referral forms in your hostess packets and give you hostess a gift for getting you new contacts.

Network online.  Get out there and make yourself known! Comment on other peoples’ blogs and articles, or write guest posts for other sites.  I also use “Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!” when I end a posting.  It reminds people that I am a Thirty One consultant without selling them something.

Cross promote.  Contact other brands that share your demographic and brainstorm some cross promotions that will benefit both of you. This is part of the reason that I have a Saturday Business Spotlight in my blog.  The businesses that I blog about share the blog and as a result I gain new contacts and customers.

Distribute regular press releases.  Press releases are still a good way to get information out to the public. Make sure yours are interesting and informative or they’ll get lost in the crowd.

Run sweepstakes or giveaways.  A giveaway is an awesome way to get people excited about your products. Chances are, some of the people who didn’t win will still buy something from you, especially if the prize was something you sell!

Donate products to a charity event.  Ok, this one isn’t completely free (you have to pay for the products) but it does give you more than one benefit. Not only are you getting your company name out there for people to see, but you’re also giving back to your community.  I always include a gift certificate (which is FREE until redeemed) with every basket.  This encourages the winner to shop more and maybe even have a party.

Offer a free class or seminar.  Everyone loves free stuff, so use that as a hook to get people to visit your site. A free seminar will give users some great tips or information, but probably leave at least a few of them wanting more.  Share tips that utilize your products without being the “pushy sales person”.

Send thank you notes.  This is my favorite and gets such great response from my customers.  Showing gratitude will make the likelihood of getting return customers much higher. If you have time, a handwritten thank you card will be more beneficial than a form letter.

Out and About bags for kids and adults.  These are the treat bags filled with goodies.  For kids, I include a coloring sheet with my contact information on it along with stickers and 4 crayons. For adults, a bookmark and a few pieces of candy.  All of the treat bags include a mini catalog, a business card and a discount offer.  A great conversation starter or to quiet a crying child.  Not totally free but I get things at the dollar store and use them in multiple bags.

What are some of ways you get free promotion? Let us know in the comments section below.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!