The sales are gong on it seems every day now. The best prices of the season they shout out. Do you dare to wait until the 23rd or the 24th if that is the case? If and it is a big IF, if you want a specific product or item for the shopping list you may just be better off getting it. If you wait until the 23rd or the 24th, it may not be available or available in the size, color or specifics that you want. Now if you are a gambler and like rolling the dice, you can do what a friend of mine said today-only 16 more days until I go Christmas Shopping! Now granted some of the excitement of the season is going out in the crowds in the last day or so before the holiday to soak up all the ambiance. You can soak up ambiance and get a cup of cocoa, you don’t have to shop. Now if you do find a bargain of a lifetime on those days-go for it. It might be on sale on the 26th for even more off the “original” price but it is a chance that you take.
Let’s say that shopping in the mall or on Main Street is not your thing, you can find so much on the Internet these days. In fact search around and don’t just go to one site. You may just find some bargains out there that you weren’t expecting. There may be limited quantities and watch out for the shipping. The shipping sometimes is more than the article you are purchasing and if you by any stretch of the imagination must return it-yikes it could even be worse. So do your homework. The stores are open 24hours and you can shop from the comfort of your pajamas. Don’t be afraid to look at other sites for your items. You can comparison shop online just as you can in the mall.
Don’t be afraid to go green with your holiday gift giving. Get something that can be planted outside after the season is over or maybe it is a plant that can stay inside with the right light and watering schedule. Do you know that when you have a live green plant in your home it helps produce oxygen? Yep, the plants absorb the CO2 that we exhale and produce O2. Another hint, take your own bag for your purchases!
If you put up a live evergreen tree or even wreaths , after the first of the year, find out where your local area is doing recycling of the trees. They were chop the trees so that they make a fragrant mulch to use in landscaping.
Now let’s say you are a lucky one and received a new flat screen TV 1080p or a new laptop computer, desk computer or even a cell phone. Dont just throw those items away. Your local recycling company will most likely have an electronics recycle day. You can take all your used electronic to the recyle and not pollute the landfills with mercury and other harmful chemicals that are in those screens and monitors. If you received a new phone there are several agencies that would absolutely love to have your old one. Cell Phones for Soldiers,telephones for abused women, men , too. Check out the local agencies including Salvation Army, Goodwill, The Spring, and others. The extra ink cartridges can be recycled as well. Your local Petsmart has mailers for you to use that are postage paid. HP has a recycle your computer program. You can get more information on their website or at your local Starbucks cafe. Speaking of Starbucks, do you know that you can get their used coffee grounds for use in your garden or compost pile? You don’t even have to drink coffee. These are free for the asking.
In the midst of all this, you find yourself unable to get out or have the time to shop like you would enjoy, you can hire a concierge to do it for you. Personal Shopping can be a blessing at this time of year. They can even get your packages gift wrapped either with your own color scheme of paper and ribbon, or have the shops wrap it. Perfect packages in very little time. Now that is a good thing.
The 12th is the first night of Hanukkah. It starts seven days of religious services and gift giving for our Jewish Friends. If you don’t check back until after the 12th-Happy Hanukkah.
Now did anyone have to tell you that you have too much on your plate? Did you really have to have a designated week of the year to realize it? Fear not my friends, it is officially “Too Much On Your Plate Week”. For purposes in writing this, the week shall be called “TMOPW”.
We all try to do so much, whether it is on the job or at home, with families, friends, and oh yes don’t forget those volunteer hours. I was given a packet of cocktail napkins not too long ago that had a picture of a woman wildly waving her hand in the air and shouting”pick me, pick me, I volunteer., let me help.” This of course was noted to be caused by one too many espressos. This however is not always the case.
We seem to need permission to slow down, take a break, read a book, take a walk, etc. For some reason our backgrounds insist that we continue to plow through to the bitter end no matter what toll it takes on our bodies, minds, families or friends. We think we are doing just fine. That we have the whole situation and life under control, then pop something happens that is not on the agenda. We are thrown for a loop and hope that somehow we can recover. Our bodies and minds ae amazing and humorous as well. They have systems that will slow us down whether we want to or not. Make no bones about it, if you do not slow down and take some things off your plate, your body will help you with that decision and you will have No choice.
I recall as a young woman in my twenties and being the overachiever that I was and also figuring that there was no life after 30, I had to do it all. I had my own retail store, sold some real estate on the side and assisted my husband with his restaurant. This of course was all the while I was moving in to a new home and did I say my parents were moving to our communiity? Needless to say, I caught what I thought was a cold. No big deal, a cold, you get some pills, cough drops a little chicken soup and you are ready to roll,only not so fast. I lost my voice and thought I just had laryngitis. After my cold appeared to have resolved, my voice did not. I had to go to an Ear Nose and Throat specialist. He sat me in the chair and asked me what was going on in my life. I know it’s a funny scenario as it is like the dentist putting one of his instruments in your mouoth and then asking a question that requires an answer. Ha! So I wrote on a note pad that he had for this type of situatioin what was going on in my life. Frankly I was quite proud of all that I was doing and still be able to stand up and function. This man looked at me straight in the eyes and said”how much do you think you can do at one time?” I shook my head. I don’t know I said. When something needs to be done, I just do it. I needed to fix it.
If you haven’t figured out where this is going, it is that we can not do it all, or at least not all at the same time. I had a condition that is referred to as frozen vocal cords. It would be months before I could even get a squeak past my lips as I would try to communicate. As I said before, our bodies do make us pay attenttion and slow down whether we want to or not. Picture this. Have you ever tried to have a telephone conversation with somone when you can’t vocalize? Have you tried to tell a contractor what you need done when you can’t speak? Or better yet, how about trying to make a sale. Nope, it isn’t going to happen. I had to learn the hard way that I can’t do it all, all the time, all at once. I have been told that I am strong willed and stubborn, but then I guess you had already figured that one out for yourself.
This week, I give you permission to sit down and read a chapter of your book, or enjoy a beverage with your friends. Take that walk,go runing if you like the runner’s high, or take the yoga class. This won’t releive your stress but it will slow you down. Now as far as the stress of everyday life is concerned, taking that yoga class will do you no good as long as that “to do” list is still hanging over your head. This is where learning to prioritize comes in to play. Put what is most important at the top even if it is the one that is the most uncomfortable. Get the uncomfortable done first, then the rest is easier.
I was at a reception just about a week ago. As I stood talking with some folks that like you are professionals and occupy the executive suites around town, the basics of everyday life came in to the conversation as we talked about how we got our things done. What is the best use of your time? Is it standing in a line at the grocery store or the post office or returning the gift that you do not like at all? Or is it getting some of that paperwork off your desk talking to a client that creates billable hours for you? If I were to be so bold, I would bet that it would be a client for billable hours and not the grocery store, post office, or mall.
This is where a service like OH MISS comes in handy, For very little, an OH MISS associate can get that list done in a flash, throw in the post office if you like, the wine shop, the dry cleaners etc. What does this do for you? The answer lies in the fact that you are billing more hours=more pay. You are clearing the “to do” list by at least a fraction and eliminating some stress from your life. After all do you want to be the one that is thrown for a big fat loop and find out you have been knocked out of the game for several days, weeks, or even months? Do the math., It will be less expensive to have someone else do the errands that for you to pay a Doctor and lose those hours at work. Get the type of down time You want not the kind that is thrown at you.
With that I will say to all of our friends and aquaintances new and old-Happy TMOYPW! Wouldn’t you love that in a crossword puzzle?
Have an awesome week.
Autumn has been officially with us now for a week. For those of us that live in Florida, it doesn’t quite feel that way with our daytime temperatures reaching the high 80’s and low 90’s. It is a reminder though that before we know it the onslaught of various holiday activities will be upon us. It is also a time when our landscaping needs some special attention to prepare it for the winter months ahead.
Let us start out with the landscaping and fall gardening. It is now a good time to plant some fresh tomato plants and your winter vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage. It is also a good time to freshen up the color with some annuals in your yard. Having splashes of color in your landscape is like adding the “wow” to your outfit. It sparks it up and just makes you feel better when you see it. It is also a good time to get the yard ready for the slower growing season. You should fertilize it to keep it healthy. This is like giving a multiple vitamin to your yard. The yard needs nutrients on which to thrive. It is better to spend a little fertilizing now than re sodding later. If you want more information on master gardening, there are classes held at all full service public libraries, Just log in to your county website and go to libraries. There you will find the library closest to you and a calendar of events. You can also go to your local nursery where they will be knowledgeable about the plants, flowers and vegetables that are best for your locale, Just a difference of a couple of miles can make a difference in the best plants for you.
This is also a good time to clean out your closets. What didn’t you wear this summer? What have your children grown out of if they were in one of those growth spurts. If the clothing is in excellent shape , you may want to take it to a local consignment store. There you will find that most will set a price and share it 50/50 with you. Now before you rush out to spend the latest cash bonanza remember that what you paid is not what someone else will pay in consignment. But you say I paid $400 for the outfit and I am only going to end up with $50? Yes that could be so. But remember this is something that you aren’t wearing for whatever reason and don’t think that you will any time in the near future. Besides it is taking up precious closet pace. So just think of it as fashion karma. You are clearing out space for something new and you are helping someone else have a fashion experience that they would not have been able to afford otherwise.
If the clothing , shoes, purses belts etc are not quite of the caliber for a consignment store, consider giving it to a thrift store of the charity of your choice or if you don’t have a particular charity in mind the Salvation Army or Goodwill Thrift store. These items can be a little more worn but should be clean and not torn. Whereas you may not receive cash to put in your pocket for these items, you will get a receipt for a tax deduction when you file your taxes as well as helping someone else have clothes to wear. The thrift stores will most likely accept small appliances,books,furniture that is in good condition, and various other household items. Some will even come to your home to pick these items
The last phase in the cycle are those items that are all but worn out, ripped and torn, have holes in them, missing pieces, cords, etc. These items should be tossed. For the small appliances and even larger items check with your local waste management office as they usually have a fall cleanup day for each area on which they will pick up items that are not normally in your trash can. For that day only which is usually a Saturday, all you have to do is get the items to curbside. If your specific area does not have such a day, you can call the waste management office and schedule a larger item pick up day.
If you need help trying to determine what items go where and quite frankly it is often an overwhelming experience, it is a good time to call in a professional organizer. They can assist with the sorting in a non emotional way. The professional organizers with OH MISS will actually take your things to the charity of your choice and get the receipt for you.
If you want to get your money in a more direct way and clear out your clutter, have a garage sale. A garage sale takes time and planning. You need the time to gather, then price, advertise, setup and have helpers on your sale day. Again this is an area where a professional organizer and someone who is knowledgeable in garage sales can really be of benefit to your bottom line. The professional organizer can assist you in clearing out the clutter and determine the garage sale worthiness and a garage sale professional can assist you in getting the most for your items. As the adage goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. There are some items that are very popular at garage sales and the professional garage sale shoppers will be out on the hunt early in the day. There are ways to advertise your garage sale to get the word out to the most people as well. Another idea is to get several of your neighbors together to do a garage sale on the same day. This will attract more visitors to your sale. OH MISS has garage sale specialists and helpers on staff to help you make the most from your garage sale.
As a special anyone that mentions this article when calling OH MISS for an appointment will receive 10% off the fee. See there you have made more money and not even put up a sign. Call 813-636-9700 and set up your appointment today. This offer is good through October 30,2009, after that our elves will be racing to help set up their homes for the holidays.
Now that you have cleaned out your closets,cupboards and shelves, you will be able to enjoy the upcoming holidays much more.