BEFORE & AFTER Family Spaces

Before Family RoomBefore Family RoomAfter Living room ShelvesAfter -LivingAfter-Room to PlayAfter - Shelves
After -Family Room

BEFORE & AFTER Family Spaces, a set on Flickr.

Here are some Before & After for a Family Room. We downsized the toys and books and rearranged the furniture to create better flow in the room and stored toys in bins. The toys are no longer the first thing you see as you walk in.
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Welcoming the New Year 2012 … brings new obligations

What will you do with that old cell phone or computer now that you got a new one for the holiday? Don’t toss it in the garbage just yet unless you want to pay a fine. Recycling in Chicago is now a law.  Starting Jan. 1, Illinois residents must recycle their expired electronic equipment under a law aimed at keeping the gadgets — and the toxic metals they contain — out of landfills. These computers and electronic equipment all contain toxic metals that are extracted and reused in the industry. Read more...

As organizers we help out our clients by taking their donations and recycle for them. For those who want to do it themselves we provide some helpful links on our website. Go to our links page and enter your zipcode; the closest site will be listed. ( Click here to search your closest electronic recycling location. ).

Happy New Year! here’s to a healthy planet!

 

 

 

 

Some solutions

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!

and the Oscar goes to….What, you don’t have quickbooks or quicken either? oh dear.. now what?

Your CPA has requested all your information and receipts from 2010, and needs it fast. You have no idea where you have put your receipts,  or worse, they are scattered in drawers, wallets, office desk and envelopes. The bookkeeping isn’t done either.  Does this sound like you or somebody you know?

This is the time of year when some people wish they had organized their paperwork sooner. There is no going back now is there? You ‘ll have to pull it all together somehow and pronto.

This chore is like pulling teeth and takes many people hours if not days to finish. You feel paralyzed, you want to quit before you even get started so instead you kick into procrastination mode and decide to watch TV to simply escape.  You know you’re watching the OSCARS this Sunday evening,  aren’t you? You won’t miss it, you’ll have to watch the three hour or more affair from the twinkle in the eyes of actors to the rolling credits at the end. Does this sound like you or somebody you know?

Well,  here’s a painless idea to get you motivated and start preparing for your appointment with your accountant. First,  decide to get out of this rut. Then, call it Oscar Tax-time.  On Sunday evening, when they are rolling out the red carpet and gawking at the gorgeous gowns and actors, get moving.

Step one:  start gathering your paperwork: assemble a station on a kitchen table or counter for example. Grab all those receipts scattered to drawers and wallets. Lump them together. Next step, take inventory. Look to see what you have, and start categorizing according to your tax person’s directions. Monthly: Medical, home, business, auto, etc….

We are assuming you don’t have Quickbooks and this late in the game, do you really think you should try to master it for this purpose? that’s another topic.

Lastly, start entering your data. Preferable using excel file sheets  or get a ledger book that will help with columns and data entry.

Notice how three hours can pass by quickly. You’re able to get through what seems like a daunting task and now see how possible it is to not only save yourself some money but gain some control of your finances. All while hearing the latest news of your favorite Oscar contenders. did they win?

Getting a clear picture of what your next step should be is so important to finding financial health, wealth and happiness. Who’s the winner now?

Needless to say a busy person needs an awesome calendar

The best way to accomplish your goals this new year is to make a plan. Look at your tasks realistically. Keep yourself accountable to getting things done, putting them down on your calendar . When you are a busy person with a household to run it is fun to incorporate the whole family on the calendar of events. Here’s a excellent way that Mrs.Darcy McGrath uses her calendar. She is a photographer, mother of two daughters and a wife. Needless to say she is a busy person who uses her calendar well.CalendarLongView

“A Chalk board — Genius!! As things come and go, ebb and flow,   fade and grow…the whole family enjoys adding to, crossing off and taking note of the things that are going on with the whole family. As we are heading up to bed to recharge for the next day — or coming down in the morning, ready for whatever comes our way, this calendar by the stairs works for us!”

Photo credits: DarcyMcGrath

New school year, new triumphs…more collectibles.

MOP_tips_recycletropphies

Now that the kids are back in school you are getting organized and ready for a full schedule of performances, sports and spelling bees. These are wonderful times for you to watch your children grow and achieve something that is special to them. You’re also getting ready to take photos and collect ribbons, trophies, and enjoy the triumphs of these special moments.

The joy of having a young achiever in your household is that you will have many more trophies to showcase. What happens when years go by and the kids have outgrown their toys and these childhood keepsakes?  How do you keep them so that  they don’t “take over” your home? Did you know that you could donate or recycle them?

Being a collector comes with responsibility. Showcase your trophies as long as you have room for them, or for as long as you find inspiration or motivation from them. If there is no reason to keep them, then it is time to store them. Keep them in a keepsake box if it is imperative to keep them. If you are ready to donate then visit Lamb Awards & Engraving. They created a recycle program where you can ship them your old trophies.  This way you are not adding to the land fill while the next generation can enjoy their latest triumphs. Review your keepsakes from time to time and ask yourself if you can donate or recycle any of them.