Evelyn Doane - William Raveis Real Estate - Cape Cod



Posted by Evelyn Doane on 6/24/2018

When you stop and think about all the details you have to take care of as a homeowner, it sometimes feels like you're running a business! That's especially true if have to coordinate everything from family doctor appointments to home remodeling projects.

Many people get so caught up in their daily routines and responsibilities that they lose sight of all the things they actually can handle, do overcome, and can accomplish!

No matter how organized and motivated you are, though, problems, oversights, and blunders do occasionally happen. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize the chances of making mistakes or forgetting something important.

Don't depend on your memory. Writing and revising lists of daily priorities, appointments, and reminders can be a valuable strategy for organizing your day. Mobile devices also have scheduling capabilities, note taking apps, and calendar features that can help you stay on track. When you commit a priority to writing or set up a reminder on your cell phone or tablet, you're increasing the probability that you'll remember appointments, fulfill obligations, and keep household projects moving forward.

Start with small steps: One challenge many people struggle with is motivating themselves to tackle an important project around the house. For example, let's say you desperately need to paint a room, straighten out a closet, or organize your filing system. Whether you're "too busy to turn around" or just plain unmotivated, it can be difficult to get started on a home improvement or organization project!

While you may have a few pet theories on why you can't seem to get started on a project, it might boil down to Newton's Laws of Motion. Back in the 17th century, physicist Isaac Newton stated that a stationary object (one that's not moving) tends to stay out of motion -- unless it's acted on by an outside force! Granted, he may not have been talking specifically about human beings, but the same principle seems to apply. Whether you're trying to get out of a warm, comfortable bed in the morning or take advantage of your new gym membership, it's often difficult to nudge yourself into action when you're in a state of rest. It's a problem we all have at one time or another.

The solution is to start small and build momentum as you go. Taking small steps at first, such as buying the supplies you need for a home improvement project, can often provide the extra push you need to get started. Telling a friend or family member that you're going to accomplish something this weekend can also help propel you forward.

If you need help in remembering things, consider buying a couple notebooks for writing daily lists. If you view yourself as a "technophobe," make it your mission to learn how to use the calendar app on your phone or tablet.

In addition to old-fashioned schedule reminders like wall calendars, appointment books, and desk calendars, you can even send yourself reminders via email or enlist the help of friends, family, or colleagues to remember appointments and priorities.

However, regardless of how many memory devices you use to organize your schedule or tackle household projects, keep in mind the motto of U.S. President Harry S. Truman: "The buck stops here!"





Posted by Evelyn Doane on 10/30/2016

There are more cleaning supplies on the market than ever before. If you walk down the cleaning section of Target you'll find an array of brooms, scrubbers, and solutions that are all variations on the same simple ideas. Furthermore, these products have begun capitalizing on single-use components like a sweeper with throwaway pads or disposable dusters. All of these expenses add up and before you know it you're spending up to $70 each month just on cleaning supplies. Fortunately, many frugal consumers have noticed this trend and have come up with creative ways to save money on cleaning. In this article, we'll cover some frugal cleaning products and solutions that will save you a ton of money at the checkout line.

Sweeping, dusting, and mopping

Let's face it, the Swiffer is a great invention. It mops, sweeps, and dusts without the mess of a bucket of water. Plus it's lightweight and versatile making it useful for many surfaces around the home. The down side? Having to buy all of those expensive replacement pads. If you're like me, you feel a twinge of guilt whenever you throw out at item that seems wasteful. For me, cleaning supplies are the epitome of wastefulness. So, instead of using the throwaway pads you could do a a few things. First, you could buy a reusable pad online. Some are designed to fit various sweepers. Alternatively, there are some cloths that you can buy at your local dollar store that will fit onto your sweeper just fine. Once one gets dirty, put the next one on and sink wash them all when you're done. The other option is to knit or crochet your own sweeper cover. There are lots of patterns online that will help you get started, plus a hand-made cloth adds more meaning to the mundane work of sweeping the house. For those spots you don't dust with your sweeper-duster (like a TV, or the tops of picture frames), you could always dust with your used dryer sheets that you'd otherwise just toss in the trash. Keep them in a bag in your cabinet so you remember to use them.

Go paperless

Paper towels and napkins are always expensive and seldom on sale. Plus, all that paper usage does a number on the environment. Instead of reaching for a paper towel at dinner, keep a stack of microfiber cloths, handkerchiefs, or hand towels. When this isn't possible, like in the case of a big cookout, use choose-a-size paper towels to get more usage out of a roll. And speaking of choosing a size, the next time you buy sponges or "magic erasers," cut them in half to double the length of time you can use them.

Cleaning solutions

Making your own cleaning solutions has many benefits. First, you get to save money because the supplies tend to be cheap, household items. Second, you get to avoid all of the harsh chemicals that are often added to commercial cleaners, helping your health and the environment. Third, you can make them in bulk and not have to worry about them running out. Recipes for homemade cleaning solutions and air fresheners are abundant online. In general, however, they rely on a few simple ingredients: water, vinegar, baking soda, and some type of citrus like lemons, limes, or oranges.