We’re getting Cozi with a web-based family calendar.

“There are so many things to do in a day and so many occasions to remember. How does one keep up?”. This is one of the most common complaints we hear. Having a calendar is not the only solution it is how you use it that makes the difference. The paper calendar is a common one I see with people we work with, but, some families are feeling confident and using their smart phones. If you are comfortable using technology and own a smart phone or iPad then you have additional options.

Cozi is a web-based FREE online organizer and mobile app that helps you manage the family schedule, organize shopping lists and to do lists, and capture favorite memories—all in one place. It’s designed for busy families in mind. Cozi is accessible from any computer, mobile phone or tablet. What’s is great about it is that your entire family can see the same calendar and be downloaded to sync with your current calendar. I suggest to give this one a try. Knowing how you spend your time gives you more freedom to enjoy your family instead of stressing over what you have to do next.

Ode to the mop!

Did you know? We love mops, we love the invention and its design. Did you know that the mop was patented by an African-American inventor; Thomas W. Steward in 1893. The history of the mop goes as far back as the Romans. What I enjoy mostly is finding an invention that can make life a little easier. The mop is something that is taken for granted. Its essential in every day life and vital to a clean living.

We really like our name (M.O.P.) but it has nothing to do with mops and cleaning as some people might think. As organizers we create systems and clear out clutter to improve the flow of living or working spaces and help you regain control of your life. The organization leads to a cleaner healthier life. I wouldn’t be offended, however,  if you asked me to sweep or mop your place. When we organize we generally make sure that we leave one’s space cleaner than how we found it.

Family Grounds Cafe – A great place to have a networking series

Hope you can join us at The Family Grounds Cafe.  We’ve prepared a networking series with guest speakers for two dates in August and then in September.  Our organizer Lulu will be speaking on August 9th sharing best tips on how to achieve results using basic organizing methods. On August 16th we’ll feature Beth Grant. She is a speaker, spiritual mentor and Law of Attraction coach based in Chicago. She is one of the most effective coaches in the world at helping people let go of the struggle and usher in a life of ease and grace.  Click here to preview details for event

Family Grounds is a sophisticated Chicago cafe located in the Lakeview area. Moms, Dads, Singles, Students, Neighbors…everyone needs a break. Really. We have something for that. Sit down in our trendy Chicago cafe seating area and call the place yours with free WiFi and superb Intelligentsia coffee and Sugar & Spice pastries, as well as a light menu of sandwiches (adults and kids), salads and soups. Melt away your stress over a latte, tea, house blend coffee and a decadent pastry. Unlike many cafes we have a designated Family Room separated from the main cafe by soundproof glass, kids play in a mind-stimulating indoor playground while you take in the cafe ambiance of the Family Grounds Cafe experience.

We will be joining them in sponsoring this networking series. Did you already know Mercury Organizing Professionals’ purpose is to save you time, money, improve efficiency, and reduce anxiety and frustration levels. We can improve utilization and control of your space;  streamline filing, storage and scheduling systems, and help set sustainable organizational parameters.  Mercury Organizing Professionals provides a personalized plan for you. We put clutter in its right place and create efficient systems that eliminate obstacles, minimize distraction, and allow you to function at your best!

Gift cards, you know you love them

What do you do with the gift cards you receive? I found that the best thing to do is to put them away immediately into your wallet and treat them as cash. Giving a gift card away as a gift isn’t really a personal gift but it sure is practical. Sometimes its better to give someone what they need.

When you come across a gift card that you know you won’t spend at the store try exchanging it for a store that you will shop at. Use the website service called Plastic Jungle.

It is a gift card online exchange. They convert your gift cards into other forms of spending power – including cash, online balances for purchases. honoring merchants that accept PayPal, Facebook Credits and more.

 

Take a minute to teach your kids

Do you wonder if you can ever teach your children how to pick up after themselves? Do you struggle to get your adolescent kids to do their chores. Why not make their chores fun and have them earn something they would enjoy as an incentive. If you start them at a young age, they will actually appreciate it and start a new good habit they will want to keep for the rest of their lives.

Call your game “Minute to Win It ” just like the TV Game Show. This game show airs on TV and has found some success with young viewers. The idea is to complete a task with in a minute and you get to move on to the next challenge. They use regular household items to compete for the big money.

At home, you can use a timer and challenge your kids for a minute to pick up as many items off their bedroom floor for instance. Another, could be to load the dishwasher in one minute with out breaking anything, of course. To list a few more ideas; try some of these yourself and have fun.  Put the groceries away, separate the laundry and start a load.  Make your beds.  All these and more chores can be incorporated into you family’s daily routine but finishing with a few laughs as well.

Summer organizing on a cloudy day

Organizing your garage may be the best use of the summer months. A good way to start is to clear out the clutter. Get rid of those broken items you were thinking that you’d fix one day. Consider the fact that if you haven’t fixed them by now and you are not willing to hire a professional, then maybe that broken old lawn chair is ready for the scrap yard.   If its been over a year, it’s really time to send to the recycle bin.

Remove everything off the floor by adding shelves , bins and hooks to hold your rake, brushes, brooms, mop and other utility gear. Car maintenance items can find a home here too.  Industrial lockers are useful to hold old paint cans and tools.  Once you get this done, you can enjoy those sunny days even more knowing how productive you have been.

Hot fun in the city!

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I was walking my dog in Lincoln Square early in the morning and came across this Mural painted on an outdoor patio. Its awesome! Reminds me of the hot muggy days we’re about to have here this June. The weather man says it will be up to the 90′s and humid. Ugh! I love warm weather but not so much when its this muggy. Hope you all have a great Memorial Holiday!

MOP’s First Annual Shredding Day

Once a year Mercury Organizing Professionals will gather their clients shredding material and have a company shred on site. This year we will be ready to shred all your old taxes and any kind of paperwork with sensitive information. A good way to avoid identity theft. Call us to make arrangements. Elizabeth 312-804-2111

Manys ways to get organized

I recently met Elyce Bader and learned about her business as a Pampered Chef consultant. I was very curious to learn more because I love cooking and like to keep my utensils and kitchen tools organized. My favorite product is the mandolin. What a great way to slice those veggies and save time too.  The business aspect is what intrigued me as well.  I know how vital organization is to growing her business and staying on track with all her clients. So, I asked Elyce to give me some idea about how she stays organized in her business. She expressed the following.

“I have a business that requires personal communication and I need to remember facts about each person. How does one do this? Simple, I went to Office Max or Office Depot (I can’t remember) and purchased a few binders and rewriteable tabs. I wrote the names of the months on each tab and placed notebook paper in each tab. Each sheet of paper has a clients name and contact information written on it, along with where I have met them and other pieces of information. After I call or email each person I write a note and move the paper to the back of the month or the next month depending on the conversation. The binder is not to heavy so I can take it with me any where and have access to to my information when my memory lets me down :-) ” . Elyce Bader www.eemaskitchen.com

I meet with many small business owners and one thing that I notice is that each person has their own way to stay organized. I only help them to create new habits if they feel they need help in that area. Otherwise, as the ol’ saying goes…If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. I only will introduce new organizing techniques and solutions if there is a problem with the system they have. For Elyce, she really likes her system and is comfortable with how she can manage it. You go girl!