Posted by Jeff Smith on 3/5/2018

If you've ever read a self-improvement book or attended a motivational seminar, you probably felt charged up for about a week or so, but then slipped back into old, self-defeating habits.

Why does that happen? Is it because we're all born a certain way and have no control over the cards we're dealt? While it may sometimes appear that destiny plays a role in the direction of our lives, habits are often the underlying cause of both problems and accomplishments.

Zig Ziglar, a well-known sales trainer and personal development author summed it up perfectly: “People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing – that's why we recommend it daily.”

Here are a few ways that good habits can improve everything from family relationships and health to time management and stress reduction.
  1. Either before you go to bed or the first thing the next morning, write down your objectives for the day. When you commit something to writing and have a visual reminder of what you need to accomplish, there's a much stronger chance it will get done. Whether you prefer to use your iPhone or just old-fashioned written lists, everyone needs some kind of daily system for staying organized and remembering tasks and priorities. As Benjamin Franklin said more than 200 years ago, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
  2. Your attitudes and expectations often become self-fulfilling prophesies. It's easy to fall into the trap of complaining about things like how messy the house always looks or what a daily struggle it is to get the kids to do their homework. If you find yourself going down this negative path, keep in mind a quote from Oprah Winfrey: "What you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it." The opposite is also true, so it pays to choose your thoughts and words carefully.
  3. Establishing good, consistent habits in children makes life easier, more productive, and less stressful for the entire family. That can include everything from doing homework and chores to personal hygiene and keeping their bedrooms looking civilized.
  4. Learning to be patient with yourself, your spouse, and your children is easier for some people than others, but when you think of yourself as a "work in progress," you'll have more of a tendency to keep trying and not get discouraged.
Many books, websites, and seminars are based on the premise of improving the conditions of your life by improving the quality of your habits and thoughts. A good starting point for many people is to do a self assessment, write down a list of achievable goals, and then come up with a realistic action plan.

Posted by Jeff Smith on 10/30/2017

No matter how big your kitchen is, making the most use of your storage space can be tough. There’s many ways that you can expand the kitchen storage that you already have without starting a demolition project. Below, you’ll find some stellar ideas for storage that may have never crossed your mind. These tips can help you to maximize the use of your kitchen storage space. Use Cabinet Doors For Storage You can put cork boards inside of a cabinet for reminders and shopping lists instead of hanging it on a wall. You can also hang a small spice rack for spice storage. You can even think about placing hooks inside of the cabinet doors of the kitchen to enable you to hang measuring cups and spoons along with other small kitchen utensils. A metal towel bar also makes a great storage apparatus inside of a cabinet door. You could hang everything from kitchen towels to utensils to the lids of your pots and pans inside of these cabinet doors. Check Out Unused Space Over Doors and Windows You can make great use of unused space over a door or window by hanging simple shelves above the frames. These shelves can be used for storing things like off season dishes or rarely used serving dishes and cooking vessels. You could even consider displaying bottles of prized liquor or wine on these shelves. Keep Pots and Pans Under Control Pots and pans are one of the bulkiest items in your kitchen. You can save a lot of cabinet space by hanging your pots and pans from a ceiling mounting rack. This way, all of your pots and pans are easily accessible, and you’re saving precious storage space. If you can’t hang pots and pans from the ceiling of your kitchen, use hooks and mount your pots and pans to the wall for some practical decor. Storage Solutions Many over-the-door storage solutions exist to help maximize space that would be wasted under other conditions. Small racks made from metal or plastic can be handy for the storage of things like plastic containers. Baskets and bins are also great in places like inside of the pantry where foo items can often become disorganized. Behold Baskets Baskets are a stylish and a practical way to keep clutter out of the way. Baskets can be placed on shelving or inside of cabinets to be used for snacks, kitchen towels, napkins, utensils and anything else that you can think of that may need a place! As you can see, getting creative with your kitchen storage is the best way to maximize the potential of the space.

Posted by Jeff Smith on 11/7/2016

Keeping your home organized is one of the most difficult things to do in a busy home. Having an organized home will save you time, money and keep your stress level down. Conquer the toughest organization tasks with these tips to get your home in tip top shape: 1. Be Neat from the Start It seems so simple but put things away right away. 2. Everything has a Home Everything in your home should have a place. Have a place for pens, papers, backpacks, school papers and bills. 3. Label Invest in a label machine and label everything. Now there will be no question what goes where. 4. Contain Clutter Use baskets, shelves and containers to contain the clutter. 5. Use the Everday Rule If you don't use an appliance or tool every day, find a home out of the way for it. Only pull it out when you need it.

Posted by Jeff Smith on 6/13/2016

The home office can quickly become the catch-all. How can you keep your home office clean and workable?  Here are few tips to keep your home office in tip top shape and ensure you have ample space for work and storage. 1. Have adequate work space When laying out or reorganizing your home office make sure you have ample space for work and storage. Make a designated space for computer hardware and peripheral equipment, a spot for reference materials, file space and a location for frequently referenced supplies and paper. 2. Create centers Zone your home office into activity areas. Set up a clear workspace, a reference center and a supply center. Having designated spaces for things will help keep your organized. 3. Wrap it up Bundle unsightly wires together to cut down on cord clutter. Use a surge protector to for electronic equipment. 4. Create an immediate action center Create an area that is easily accessible and within your view for items that need immediate action. Establish a permanent filing system for papers you will reference, but not on a regular basis. Follow these simple tips and your office will be organized in no time.