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Tuesday, June 24 2008

It's officially Summer!  This is a great time to consolidate your efforts to save time and energy so you can have more time and energy to do those Summer activities. 

Here are some quick tips for A BETTER SPACE in your day:

Shop for groceries once rather than three or four times a week.  Plan out a menu for the week and do it all at once.  It will not only save you time and energy, it will save you gas!  You would be surprised how those trips to the grocery store can add up.

Iron a bunch of items at one time rather than one at a time.  It takes time to pull out that iron and ironing board and set it up to iron.   Gather the items you have laundered for the week and do it all at once.  It will also save you time when you go to get dressed in the morning.  You will not have to take time to iron that particular item; it will already have been pressed and ready to go!  Also, cut down on your ironing time by pulling items right from the warm dryer and hanging them immediately.  The warmth from the dryer will release a lot of those wrinkles on their own, saving you time.

Double a recipe and freeze half for another time.  When making dinner, double it and store the additional amount for another meal.  Over the course of time, you will have built up an array of dinner options and all you will have to do is defrost them and heat them up.  This will save lots of time on those nights when there is just a short amount of time to put dinner on the table.

Lastly, buy all the birthday and other special-occasion cards and gifts you need one month in advance.  Sit down with your calendar and figure out whose birthday is coming up the next month and plan to purchase a card and perhaps a gift.  Planning out what you need for when will save you time and effort.  When the day arrives, you will be ready!

Hope these tips will help you enjoy more of your time this Summer and throughout the rest of the year.

For more information and assistance on any organizing issue you may have, feel free to contact me.  I will be more than happy to help you reach your organizing goals.

Have a great week!



Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 12:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, June 18 2008

So you've decided that you want to have a garage sale (or yard sale) and you don't know where to begin.  Here are some Quick Tips to create A Better Space in your home by getting rid of those items you no longer want, but wish to get a little money for them.

First, don't save things to sell at a garage or yard sale unless you have set a definite date for that sale.  Donate those items instead.

However, if you have determined a date (sooner as opposed to later), be aware that your time is valuable.  It takes a lot of time and energy to plan and hold a successful garage sale so be prepared to spend the time. 

Advertise in the local paper - post signs in your neighborhood with arrows pointing to your home. (Just remember to go back and remove them when the sale is over!) Post signs in local stores that you frequent. My bank has a community bulletin board that I use to promote my business. You can do the same for your garage sale. Get the word out!!!

Make it a family affair.  Get the kids involved.  Have them select some toys or games they no longer play with and books they don't read anymore.  Let them keep whatever money they make for themselves!

To get started, evaluate what you have and categorize it.  Use boxes for smaller items and a large blanket or drop cloth for larger items.  Visibility is key so make sure everyone can see what you have.

Once items have been categorized, you can use the box to indicate the price of the items or mark it "Priced As Marked" and then individually tag each item within that category.

Be reasonable.  Remember, it's a garage sale and customers are looking for bargains. Don't attach your sentiments to the item to determine it's worth.  Think about what someone would be willing to pay for the item.  You will make out better if you sell a lot of items cheaper as opposed to charging more for one large item.  You want the customers to buy a lot of things.  The goal here is to get rid of the stuff!

Make sure you have a cash box on hand for dollar bills and coins to make change.  Sometimes people bring large bills to a garage sale and you don't want to lose a sale because you can't make change.

Have some paper grocery bags or plastic bags for your customers to carry their purchases.  If you have fragile items, make sure you have some tissue paper or bubble wrap on hand.  Your customers will appreciate the extra effort you are taking to wrap up their precious belongings.

Negotiate.  If someone really wants something, let it go for a bit less than you originally priced it.  It's not worth holding onto for just a bit more money.  There is a chance you might not sell it at all!

Have fun!  Talk to people.  Be a salesman (or woman).  See if you can help them find what they are looking for. 

At the end of the day, let the stuff go.  Don't put it back in the garage or in the house.  Donate it to a local charity or post the items on  Someone will make use of what you no longer want and you will keep it out of the landfill.

Take the proceeds from the day and do something fun with them - go to dinner with the family - buy something that you actually need.  And look around, you now have A BETTER SPACE!

For more information and assistance on any organizing issue you may have, feel free to contact me.  I will be more than happy to help you reach your organizing goals.

Wishing you a good week!



Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 12:32 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, June 11 2008

With Father's Day coming this weekend and Independence Day (a/k/a The Fourth of July) just around the corner, I thought a few tips to organize your grill area might be just the ticket!

This time of year, like you, your food doesn't even want to be inside either!  Set up for barbecue season with a smart outdoor cook station. 

Place your grill on a flat surface that is well ventilated, away from the house, yet protected from winds that might cause flare-ups.  Then, set up the area like a mini kitchen:

Create an insta-island for food prep with a folding table.  Place a grill mat underneath the grill to protect your deck and have a trash basket close by.  Use hooks and magnetic clips to keep the cooking utensils handy. 

Opt for long handled metal cooking utensils which give you some distance from the open flame and long-armed mitts to better protect you from splatters and burns.  Avoid using plastic utensils and standard oven mitts - just leave them in your kitchen drawer!

Keep an extra spatula and pair of tongs on hand to prevent cross-contamination of raw food and cooked food.  You can designate which you use for uncooked meats by using red tape for "raw meat" around the handle.

Toss your grill-cleaning brush (or replace the head) once the pad or bristles get too worn out to work. 

Keep the grill on high after cooking to let residue from the food burn off and clean the grate more easily.  (Remember to shut it off when you are done!)

Invest in storage on your deck.  Deck boxes, such as a watertight plastic models can stow your supplies outdoors where you need them.  Certain versions can also double as additional seating.  Stash paper towels, aluminum foil, platters, cutting boards, skewers, grilling utensils, a meat thermometer, a timer, mitts, etc.

Also, save yourself a few trips to and from the kitchen by using a carry-all caddy that has compartments for condiments, napkins, plates and eating utensils.  Imagine actually being able to eat along with your guests instead of spending that time running back and forth to the kitchen!

Create an outdoor living space where you will want to spend time relaxing and entertaining outdoors this summer.  Most importantly, be safe!

With these tips, I know you will create "A Better Space" for your grill area.  Enjoy!

For more information and assistance on any organizing issue you may have, feel free to contact me.  I will be more than happy to help you reach your organizing goals.

Happy Father's Day!  Have a great week!


Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 09:58 pm   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, June 03 2008

Here's another Quick Tip for A Better Space -

I bet a lot of you are cleaning out your garages and other areas of the home in preparation for summer.  Below is some information you can use when considering making use of your local consignment shop.

If you have high-end furniture, for example, that’s too big for your space after you've downsized, it may be worth investigating the possibility of consignment sales. Be aware however, that although something may be of good quality, it may be out of style and a consignment agent will be less likely to take it on.

Before going the consignment route, research the various stores and agents in your area to be sure it is a worthwhile arrangement. You’ll usually receive a percentage of the selling price and some shops only take items they know they’ll sell.  Once you’ve given it to them you won’t have to ever take it back. This can apply to making use of E-bay stores as well. 

Remember, sometimes, it's just better to give it up and move on.  In some cases, if it has served it's time and you have gotten it's money's worth, it's time to just let it go. 

Separate emotional value from monetary value and you will have a better time deciding what to do with those "expensive" items.  I promise you will then have A Better Space.

For more information and assistance on any organizing issue you may have, feel free to contact me.  I will be more than happy to help you reach your organizing goals and create A Better Space for you.

Have a great week!

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 11:37 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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