Some Handy & Purposeful Tips

1. Think Always the End-First….When making a choice or decision, give thought to what the “End” results, events, occurrences and what the needs could be or will be. Also, write down these thoughts and what may be needed to resolve issue or dilemmas to are accomplish them. Think of what can happen, whether an experience (good or bad), fun, joy, even the needs or responsibilities it may create (one must be willing to make efforts to uphold their responsibilities it may take), not only for themselves, but for others as well.

2. Always Check The Weather….Either before your day starts or the night before (or for the week) check weather channel or use local weather apps. to help plan your days, traffic driving routes or in planning before a trip (check the weather of that destination), so to know what to expect. It is important to know what the weather will be like, to better plan days for your activities and clothing (cold or hot). Keep a jacket, sweater, extra pair of shoes and a small pop up umbrella (or any type you like) in your car and another umbrella at your home.

3. Prepare Your Days Ahead of Time….Whatever you can get done the night before, can always help with time management for the next day or week. Figure out clothing and/or food or needs for the next day, for yourself, your child, your pet, etc. Whether it’s the laundry, meals planned-out for 4-5 days, planning out what’s needed to get done through the week (month if any events, holidays or birthdays) or projects wanting to finish or get done. Have an area or place you can put your projects to get done aside and that is easy to recall and get to, to get done. **Get and Use calendars and each start of each new month take a moment to write plans, events, birthdays, shopping and how much you spent, laundry, date of paying due bills on-time and such (whatever you need to recall, reminded of or remember). Put them up in areas you frequently can check (like on your bathroom wall or kitchen). So, you can check it often and write on it conveniently.

4. When Making Appointments….Whether making a doctor, dentist, salon reservations or other appointments, coordinate setting up your appt. and in case you have to cancel or change the date, don’t let it be at the last minute. Always try to get in contact or call at the least a 24 hours before or as soon as possible. Being considerate of the schedule and time of the professional and those on a waiting list, someone like yourself may be in need for that time-space. Always keep appt. Reminders on your calendar to help you remember appointments, errands and chores, that need to get done or any event, birthdays or activities (dates and times).

5. Go Through Refrigerator Each Day….Clean out your refrigerator  (check expiration dates), get rid of old or spoiling food. Wipe clean the insides daily or weekly, so it doesn’t become a hugh job later. Arrange food closer to the front on the shelves to be eaten first, so you can use them up and to help you recall what you have, so to remember what you have or need at the store to buy what you need to make meals. These are ways foods get eaten and doesn’t spoil, just sitting in there and be wasted. Try and keep food organized, where you can see them all, don’t buy so much food at one time (things go bad and have expiration dates). Buy what you will eat within 3-5 days (even with sealed saved left-over’s), that way you’ll be buying and eating fresh. Remember to also, periodically check expiration dates on spices, packaged and can goods etc.

6. Write Contents & Dates on Foods…. Use painters tape (it sticks, but comes off easy, area must be completely dry to stick), write on the ‘painters-tape’ to place upon container of food or other items of what the contents are, date made or write “eat by” a specify date. It can be used on various surfaces without ruining them when removing, so it is good to be able to write on with a pen or marker, to leave a message as well. This way you can remember something about an item on the refrigerator or to help relay something and communicate with other’s you may live with.

7. Reuse Plastic baggies, all sizes….Rinse by swishing-out with warm water, a tiny bit of soap (if need be use a clean bottle brush), clean-out and wipe dry with clean towel or paper towel. Place over a bottle or something to dry and reuse plastic baggies. Do not try and rewash ones that had onion, garlic, strong odors or oily substances in them (or raw meat of any kind, throw those out after using ). If the plastic baggies had been only used for bread, fruit, cookies such like that or anything that, it can be rinsed-clean, dried and used a couple times before throwing out.

8. Water Pitcher to Collect Unused Water….Find a water pitcher or container that you can leave-out on the counter as you collect glasses of un-finished water (or plastic bottles of un-finished purified water), dump the water into pitcher as you find them or round them up, before dumping out or throwing away and soon you will be able to re-use that water to water plants, to cleaning or (preferably purified water) for pets. Keep a habit of turning-off running water at sinks, hoses and etc. when washing hands and such. Just amazing how much water we waste.

9. Must Have a Clean Mop & Water….You’d be surprised how dirty the mop is that you are using, to clean your floor with. Floors get clean and stay clean, when the mop being used, is clean before using it and when the pail of water is kept clean, as you clean. Floors should be swept thoroughly first, don’t use large amounts of cleaner and use clean hot water to wash and clean cool water to rinse when done. “YOU can’t clean a floor or area with dirty buckets of water or a dirty mop”, you MUST dump the water out (preferably in the toilet or outside) as you clean (possibly several times, even for one area), fill up bucket again with clean water (after dumping dirty water). Use the clean water in the bucket to rinse mop out (dump that water out), then repeat the process of filling bucket up with a little cleanser, then mop and dump. The floors will stay cleaner longer because you won’t be just moving dirt around and letting it dry. If ever using bleach to clean, hot water to clean (opens up surface pores) and then do a cold rinse, to close and seal surface, this keeps the surface from being so porous and gathering dirt faster. Hot water and white vinegar can clean tile floors nicely, but use only cleaning solutions recommended for specific type of flooring.

10.  Waiting for Foods to Cook….Never start to prepare a meal when you are tired (especially at night close to or before bedtime). Always cook when you will have time to appropriately be able to watch your food and never walk-away from cooking food (in oven or on stove). You can use that time (as food cooks), to clean-up the kitchen and around where you are cooking. You’ll be ready to eat and have minimal time cleaning up and putting things away. If you are waiting for food in the oven or to be delivered, also use this time to clean, organize around the oven area and be ready to eat and clean-up after. Use parchment paper when cooking or baking in the oven, makes it easy for food removal and minimal clean-up. Put some parchment paper down on pan, bake or cook food in over, when done, remove your cooked food and just roll up the used parchment paper near the trash and throw it out. When dealing with hot grease or oil after cooking, let cool a bit, pour in a can (coffee can or such, that won’t melt), if you don’t have anything to pour the excess oil or grease in, let grease cool and use plastic bag (like the ones you get from grocery store), place the plastic bag in garbage and carefully pour cooled grease into it, then wipe whatever had the grease or oil in it out with paper towels . If letting the oil or grease oil to completely cool into a more solidified consistency, then wipe out (with paper towels) and remove all the rest of the oil or grease, in the pan, pot, microwave-able bowl (or whatever used  and has grease in it, get most or all of it off and then wash item with soap and water, doing this there will be no big greasy mess to clean on item, in sink or transfer to dishes or water. Also cuts down on attracting bugs from all that food, grease and waste in drains.

11. Laundry, Dish Soap (Using Way too much)….I have found that most of us use the wrong amount or use too much laundry detergent, dish soap, liquid hand or body soap and even shampoo. Laundry detergent is used as directed and for smaller load use less. Whatever is left in the detergent plastic container (when empty), fill container with some hot water, shake and pour in sink, in toilet to scrub with to clean or to clean hand washing of clothing etc.. Liquid-dish soap, hand soap and shampoo can be a bit trickier, as we squirt or pour those into our hands, try using less at a time because it still will work.

12. Line Small Garbage Pails (Bathroom or any) and cleaning floor-mats. Using plastic grocery bags or from stores (it would be great if all plastic bags were bio-degradable), but nevertheless it will help keep your garbage pails cleaner, easier to just grab the bag and throw out in trash and you can wash or disinfect the pail out easier as well. Also, another tip is to use a sneaker or thick sturdy rubber-bottom-type-shoe to easily remove fuzz , pet hair and such, off outside/inside mats or rugs. This type of shoe-bottom seems to work (it can also work on rugs in house, on stairs to get excess hair and debris, then vacuum), for cleaning rug or mats; place hand in shoe and brush shoe bottom along one direction and it will pull off the hair and such, then remove all the debris, shake off outside/inside mats or rugs and then hose to wash-clean.

14. Make Efforts to Save Some Money…. Even if you can only put aside a small amount from your paycheck or earnings. Each week put it into a safe, a savings account, safety deposit box, (somewhere not easily taken or stolen) and wherever it will be safe and you won’t be inclined to easily take it out (only for an emergency, but then build up again). Let it be saved and build to larger amounts, even if it is difficult to do, it will add up. Don’t buy a lot of inexpensive little things, if you have your goal set on a bigger more useful item. Find ways to be able to save, go without something or learn more to earn more.

13. Finish Your Sentence  with Children….Don’t constantly get upset at children, lose patients and scold them. Don’t get frustrated or just yell at them for not doing the right things. Tell them and show them (in a calm manner), what it is that they need to be doing and what they should be doing (age appropriate). Keep them busy and feeling like they are accomplishing something, by showing them how to play with toys and using their  imagination, giving them something to do (age appropriate). Yet, don’t substitute keeping them busy or watching shows all the time, instead of giving them some of your time and attention. Get outdoors with your children (students, nieces, nephews etc.), look for items in nature (as in a tree, a flower, an insect, a rock), whatever there may or could be around and ask them to find it or point it out.

15. Clean Out Pets Bowls….As days goes by, it is easy to forget to clean-out your pets eating and drinking bowls. Their bowls build-up bacteria in them and get slimy films upon them. Remember to clean-out with hot water, soap and rinse and fully wipe out with paper towel and clean once at least 2 times a month (or more depending upon pet and bowls), it can get gross, unhealthy and cause various harmful and health issues for your pet. “A quick tip is that you can clean all out your pets bowl (in between fully washing), with a paper towel and then, use a spray bottle filled with 1/2 water and white vinegar . Spray this into the bowls and wipe clean in between feedings or cleanings, keeps them from building up slime”.

16. Cut Dog Treat Bones….My dogs get allergic reactions to most dog treats or dog bones on the market, no chicken or wheat ones are difficult to find. Rawhide can be damaging  to their insides and the good-ones are very expensive. So I use a strong small garden clippers or larger ones (depending on the size and thickness of bone treats) I cut them up into 1/2 the size (not too small) just smaller portions, so they last longer and have more to give to them, for more days.

17. Think & Remember About Animals and Pets….Our pets (whatever they are dogs, cats, all animals), look at us for direction and for help. They may not be able to speak in the same manner we do, but they have much emotions, expression, much and feelings. In fact, they have similar emotions as; they get scared, often worry, have anxiety, they want to help, they get angry, they are sad, they can get depressed, they get lonely and they like having fun, can get thirsty, hungry, cold and hot and etc.. and we can see this, in observing them. They need to be shown and taught things too. Many a times they are punished or yelled at, when they are just trying to relay what their needs are, they may have to go to the bathroom or are thirsty or hungry etc. Keeping them on some type of schedule in feeding them and being able to go out and go to the bathroom and eliminate. That way they’ll know they will get food and get to go out to the bathroom.. They may claw at you, bark or mis-behave or do something, anything to get you attention, so that you can help them.

Every Action, may cause a Reaction, may it be positive and purposeful”.

C .STAR. V

Recycling, It’s Honorable!

Recycle, Reuse, Rescue, Reduce

Recycling is still very important because most trash is not trash at all. We must keep realizing a very large percentage of our waste materials, items and things that we may not think can be recycled and repurposed actually can. This is monumental in reducing the waste, the pollution problem and saving lives.

I have recycled and repurposed alot over the years. I learned there’s a lot more we can do then we think.

• I recycle plastic baggies in all sizes, as long as it had not been previously used for anything with raw animal meat or something with a strong pungent odor ; such as an onion or garlic . I clean them with a bottle brush, warm water and soap, rinse well, shake excess water out, clean rag or paper towel to wipe dry and then air over a water bottle or such and reuse again. At least a couple more times!

• I recycle Glass or (some) Plastic Jars, from products that I buy from drinks, coffee, sauces or jellies and such. I will put them in a pot of water and soak off the labels. Then scrub the excess glue off (if need be), with some steel wool or some lighter fluid on a cotton pad and re-clean them. You wouldn’t believe the lovely glass jars that you can reuse to put other items or foods in or use as drinking glasses (That way if one breaks, it’s no biggie and not to risk using and breaking any of my good drinking glasses), saved me in those years of raising teens.

• As we were filling up our garbage can to the brim before the regular pick up days. Then found out from my local county recycling, that they took a lot more items, than I originally thought. So, we don’t have to take garbage out to our regular garbage can but every couple of days or more, it had . really cut down on the garbage especially if we empty food stuff (not seeds or pits) down the sink garbage disposals as well! Recycling has become more beneficial and a little more fun! I even put a smaller makeshift recycling bin at the corner of our counter in the kitchen it was a decorative bin and I lined it with a plastic bag and used it for daily recycling. Then, I would just bring the plastic bag to the big recycling garbage can (in the garage) dump it out and throw away the plastic garbage bag in regular garbage unfortunately, those weren’t recyclable. Oh how I wish they were!!

• Over the years, I have furnished my homes with items from thrift stores and kept recycling them. I also have pets that I have adopted and rescued from shelters and even from off the street (that no one claimed after advertising). Renewing a life..

There is much of garbage of bottles, plastic, paper, boxes, glass and aluminum (cans) that can be used again or put into recycling bins and then there is recycled (repurposed) household items, clothes, furniture, sporting goods, hobby materials and more. There are even animals that are rescued from shelters and given new homes, new lives and some are even trained to help wounded soldiers or people with needs and conditions. There are thrift stores and goodwill stores, that we can buy things from that were donated and used again, we also can donate to these and to animal shelters as well. So, there is a fair share of ways we all should be recycling; in reusing, repurposing, rescuing, and reducing all kinds of issues around the world, in our land, waterways, homes, lives and nature .

As, recycling is much more than a way to reduce the amount of trash that ends up in landfills, it is a proven method of reclaiming valuable items, materials and even lives.. What we discard can be recycled and utilized into new products or new usage. Whether it’s paper, plastic, metals, glass, aluminum, e-waste or a life from a rescue shelter or off street; they are all , far from worthless.

In recycling our waste products, it also helps us to reduce the need to use natural resources and fossil fuels, among many other benefits globally. As the recycling of organics, such as Composting, (this practice has been around for thousands of years) and It is one of the most efficient forms of recycling in use today; relying on a purely natural processes to breakdown waste which is then used as compost or fertilizer.

Yet, we know all of this, so why wouldn’t everyone doing their part in recycling?

I suppose, it is all in the way we think about our trash, garbage, our waste and the lives of others, as well as other living things; such as plants, animals and nature.

It is in what, we are throwing out, can’t use or don’t want anymore and we need to see through the idea that it is just all being garbage or useless, as it could be a much needed item or another way of being a valuable resource.

Hey! Please Recycle, Reuse, Reduce and Rescue Away!!

Our attitudes about our waste consumption and recycling must continue to change and this goes for all individuals, as well as in big and small companies.

What are ways that you have recycled?

C .Star. V

More Tips Downsizing, Moving or Selling Home.

I have moved and changed residences many-a-times and for most of us, the progress is not something we look forward to. It seems as though each and every time we go through a move, no matter how much we plan and how much time, money or help we have nor how much or little of stuff we have, it’s never an easy process..

Moving or relocating itself can be soo overwhelming, a process because moving and downsizing, is a process within a process.

Here below : I’ve listed additional and more (then my last post) of general tips of the process, even though it’s kindly lengthy, but wanted to cover some-things, before one decides to move as it gets hectic during a move. Whether you are moving local, out of state into another residence or selling your home and moving, (if been at a residence for more than a couple years or already have a lot of stuff), the sooner you start your researching, the plan of uncluttering and downsizing process, the easier it will be to go through, the whole process.

1. First the uncluttering, this can consist of going through each closet, each drawer and each and every space in each room. Evaluating what all you have and what you can rid of, which includes all of what’s in all junk drawers, kitchen drawers, your clothes, your shoes and all your stuff, that means even going through your bathroom toiletries, any papers saved, important paperwork or documents saved, contents of file cabinets and everything all around your home. Cleaning out things that are garbage, or (old and outdated such as: food, spices, medical supplies, medicines, beauty products etc.) also things that are broken (either fix or repair them or if beyond repairing that you’ll ever find the time to do) and things you don’t really need or won’t be really needing (think in terms of what needs for your end goal and what path you are going onto). Separate things into groups, such as, garbage to throw away, items to be donated or given to others or things you could possibly sell.

2. As you start the process, re-organize all things according to what they are, where they need to be, put them or store them (for convenient usage or easy accessibility or if not being used that often, then store away). Example: kitchen (what goes into kitchen area) and what will go in each room, bedrooms, bathrooms, office, closet, drawers and if you have a garage as well. Also, any important documents saved or wanting to save (put in file cabinet or file boxes and on each file folder label the contents or what it is pertaining to.

3. Once de-cluttering is done, (you still may have to decide what you will need to get rid of or keep, if it’s going to your new residence, (always a good idea to take photos or measurements, when viewing or deciding on a new residence even in order to put furniture through doorways to see what would fit), then you’ll know what you’ll be bringing to your new residence. * While de-cluttering, you may also need to get a storage and figure out how large of a storage you will need for the things you want to keep in storage, until you move or for things that you may want to keep, but will not be taking to your new residence (maybe not right away) or you may need to clear out your storage if moving out of state and figure out what you will do with all of those items. You may also need to return anything you borrowed from a neighbor.

4. Get a calendar (especially ones that have large enough square boxes on it, so that you can write things on it. This way you can write down on the calendar the things you have to do and people, contacts or companies you need to tell you are moving. Also, block time off that you will be moving and this helps give you a time frame, keeps you organized and aware of all the things you have to do, get done and when..

5. When planning and before deciding on where to move, always investigate the area in which you’re moving to, the neighborhood itself, the nearby surroundings, including what and who is next-door to you. Going to the closest food store and shopping center at dinner time or whom is out walking after hours, can give you an idea of who visits or lives in the area you may want to move too. Think of safety factors for you and your family.

6. Once you make plans to move (you may need to clean or repair some things in your present residence before you move-out, (a more throughout cleaning can be done once all of your belongings are out). If renting, often security deposits are given back only, if things are clean and in order when you leave or if you are selling your home, you may need to get repairs, painting and things fixed that will be under inspection and take care of those. * When moving, or deciding to move there are all kinds of checklists you can make or find, here are some things to consider, months and weeks before you move. (other things to consider, during and after your move as you scroll down)

A. You may need to review your present lease and (within the terms of lease)plan to notify your current landlord and let them know the date you will be moving-out and coordinate it with the date your new residence will be ready to move-in. As well, you will need a plan if you are selling your home, de-cluttering it, staging it and anticipating a closing date. * You will need to plan ahead of what you will need to set aside before packing up, such as tools, necessities for yourself, children and pets. “Some right-away essential items” to keep in a separate area, later packed up and kept with you (more on that as you scroll down).

B. There will be several contacts you will need to coordinate with at least a week or 2 before you move, making sure to have transferred to your new residence and ready, when you get there.

1. You will need to fill out a change of address form at your local post office, but (now-a-days) it can be done online (you put the date to stop present mail and when to start forwarding your mail) done at the USPS website (united states postal service) you will need your debit card or your credit card and a valid email address to verify it is you.

2. Insurance’s for home residence’s may need to be changed.

3. Services to stop, start and be transferred, such as electric, gas, water (utilities), pest control, phone, internet, pool or lawn services, cable and (You may need to return the cable box to get refund or left with a charge for the box).

4. Let your employer know of when you will be at your new address, to update information so any important mail or tax documents go to correct address. Also let your employer know you need to schedule time to take off work to move, if need be.

C. Moving can have different costs:

1. You will need boxes to put all your things into, packaging paper (for breakable items and the proper packaging tape) grocery stores and liquor packaging stores offer free boxes, just ask them if they have any boxes.

2. You may need to hire movers, check for local reputable ones and get an estimate of the costs and ask questions. Get a folder or plastic bag to save all moving receipts in.

3. If moving by yourself, make arrangements for family or friends that can help you and decide what size rental or uhaul truck you may need and figure out the best driving route from your present address to your new address.

4. If you are moving out of state, you may need to research moving and shipping companies to help you. Make sure they have insurance and check your own auto insurance policy that might cover moving truck insurance and shipping assistance.

5. Make sure to also take your own vehicle in to update any services needed before your move (especially if you’re going to be moving out of state), you will want to have a thorough check of your vehicle, tires, oil changed to make sure your vehicle is going to be running well.

D. If moving with children, you’ll need to talk to your children about moving and having to move. You may need to research childcare and schools in your new community and register them for school and finalize any plans for childcare on moving day. If moving with pets, make sure to take your pet to the vet for a check-up before you move, get all medicines and updated vaccinations if they are necessary and ask for copies of their vet records, get new ID tags and update address on your pets microchip (if they have one).

E. Once you start collecting up boxes, get or purchase boxes that are sturdy and make sure not to pack each box too heavy, and tape them up well. Keep package tape, tools, scissors and some plastic baggies handy, for small items, such as screws, door knobs, keys, brackets and such, this will help find them when you need them or to put things back together.

1. Remember to pack up (in clear boxes so you can see in it or an Essential Bag), things you may need for yourself, any children and one for any pets with at least your first several days of being moved into your new place getting and settled. * For instance : pack up in that essentials bag, phone chargers, paper plates, plastic utensils, a set of beddings, towels and daily necessities or toiletries. When you first arrive at your new residence make your beds, so you’re not having to scramble looking for bedding and having to make it and find things, when you’re already exhausted from your hectic day. If traveling out of state you will need an essential bag and additional traveling needs-essential bag with things for the trip or ride.

2. If renting a uhaul or truck to move yourself: Pack-up the inside of the truck with the heaviest and largest items first in the back of the uhaul truck, then items such a night stands, lighter and smaller items as you pack truck up and work towards the front of truck’s back opening and don’t put anything that is fragile in the top upper cab space (if it has one), that could fall out and break. * Pack up heavier items in smaller boxes, such as books and for fragile things you may need just a little bigger box to make sure you have blankets, towels or bubble wrap, and packaging paper around the items, so they don’t get broken. Pack-up (in your vehicle, rental truck or in your storage) heavier boxes on bottom then lighter ones on top, make sure all boxes with fragile things in them are secured.

3. If you have smaller valuable items (jewelry and such) you should pack them to travel and kept personally with you.

F. When packing, try to pack up things that go in the same area or room (kitchen things, office things, etc.), use a marker to boldly write on each box, what room or area the boxes will be going into.

1. Specific color-masking-tape can be used on boxes, for each room or different colored labels can also be used, (in addition to the sturdy package tape used) this can help to differentiate the different areas the boxes will need to go.

2. Set aside a broom, mop, dustpan, duster, sponge, cleaning products, paper towels, and old rags for cleaning up when done packing and to have easy locating when you move-into your new residence to clean before putting all your things away.

3. Make sure to back-up all your files on your computer on the cloud or to an external hard drive and take pictures of your electronics (as where it is hooked-up) before you pack them up, so you’ll know how to hook them back up. Make copies of important documents and put them in a folder to take personally with you.

4. If there’s something specific in a box you want to remember, write what that item is inside the box, on the box. This will also help to locate it easier, later on. You may want to number each box as you finish packing them up (1st box # 1. and so on) and writing the contents as well, this way you’ll know how many boxes you have and could also differentiate specific numbers with what rooms or where they go. If shipping items, you may need to print off some moving box labels.

5. With in the last 2 weeks before you move out, re-evaluate what is in your refrigerator and freezer (eat-up, give away or get rid of what you can) and buy only last essentials that you’ll need so that you can clean everything out before you leave (so not to have a lot of food left and wasted). If moving local and there are refrigerated food you want to take with you, you can use some bagged ice and a cooler if need be.

G. You may want to research your new community that you are moving to and update your memberships to community organizations, subscription services, gyms, and clubs and you may also need to update your new address for any health insurance’s or if you receive social security. You may need to locate a new doctor, dentist or pharmacy and you may need to have medical records and prescriptions forwarded. Remember to make sure to say goodbye to your present doctor, dentist and pharmacist.

1. Important contacts to update once you get settled into your new residence or a few days before you move to your new address (depending on if you, will be needing to be ordering things right away or paying bills online) such as paypal, amazon, pet food company or any accounts that deliver things to you.

2. If you update information on bank accounts (make sure your debit and all credit cards match your address and zip codes as they have to match to be valid if using them to purchase online). You may want to go paperless and use online for bills-to pay. * My last move, we were such in a rush and had a little time left during the crunch time of moving, we hadn’t changed over or updated any of our bank information, debit cards, credit cards, none of our accounts online and we waited to the last minute to change your address online. It was a bit of a fiasco, we were lucky to be able to retrieve any important mail (as we had met the people that moved in to our residence after we left), but as far as our online accounts we had to just use our old address for a while to pay our bills online and until we can finish ordering the stuff that we needed to, from our credit cards and debit card and then just change the address it was going to so that we would get the items delivered to our new address.

H. Once you are all packed up and ready to move out: Everything should be cleaned up, the refrigerator and freezer should be cleared and cleaned out, take the garbage and the recycling out for the last time. Keep your phones charged. Have some cash on hand. Keep calm and organized as possible.

1. Once in your new residence, do a walk-through before putting things in place and setting up, making sure there’s no issues that need to be addressed. It may take a couple days to get acclimated to the new space, your new routine and where things should go. If you have small children or pets keep things childproof (such as sharp tools, cleaning chemicals etc.).

2. Locate the fuse box and water shut-off valves. The fuse box and water valve are two things that you don’t want to end up looking for when you really need them.

3. If needed, clean your new residence before putting things away.

4. Test the smoke detectors and A/C unit.

5. Change locks, if need be and get key copies.

6. Meet your neighbors

7. Re-locate local restaurants, eateries, gas stations etc. and learn roads and driving routes.

8. Settle in and enjoy your new residence!

C .Star. V

Downsizing to Uncluttering

I have had to unclutter and downsize many-a-times (lots of stuff, lots of children, big family, sentimental collector) and as anyone that has gone through this process can tell you, it is not an easy task. Yet, if you simply start with uncluttering, then cleaning, then rearranging and begin there, it may make the chore a little easier.

Now, uncluttering takes a bit of organizing in itself and ultimately some of the goals could be ; to actually know what you have, to know where your stuff is or locate all your stuff, to save you time and money from having to acquire or purchase more things that you already have, also to free up space in your home (and yourself) and to get rid of unwanted, unused, unneeded, broken, and otherwise useless stuff (even if they are liked by you) as things take up space and possibly restricting your freedoms.

We can often make the mistake in feeling as though, if we don’t have all of our stuff, not enough stuff or able to get more stuff, that we are not complete or not finished, but “The little kettle can boil the water just as good as the big kettle, yet the little kettle can fit in more places”. After or even during this process, many feel by “Downsizing and uncluttering often creates an upsize in their lifestyle, their potential, their freedom and their mobility”!

So, we will find that by re-organizing our things, we realize just how much we have and may not really need. Then, being faced with deciding what to keep around and what not to. The next decision is whether to keep the excess of things and where to put or store them. Some people choose a closet or room in their home (if large enough), others use a storage facility to store their excess and additional items. Often, we just need to get rid of a lot of stuff and that can be the most difficult (which has many putting off this process) and even though there are plenty of people with suggestions on how to figure out and decide what to keep and what to get rid of (and many good suggestions), honestly; it will all come down to your own needs and your own decision.

Uncluttering can be done once a week, everyday, a little bit here and there or every month or so. It just depends on each individual, as some people have began making a habit or routine of uncluttering their life and make efforts to keep it uncluttered (often by not buying more and more stuff) as less buying means less spending on things you don’t really need and being able to save to do or have more of what you really need or want.

Some of us, begin uncluttering because we are attempting to sell our home and must begin the process (not only to help in reducing the chore of packing later, but also to unclutter and clean-up all around for better pictures of the home). There can be a variety or reasons.

One of the best ways I have found, to help me organize everything and keep it that way; is to place anything and everything in its own spot or which I like to call, “its own home”. In other words, if I have or find around my residence things such as pencils, pens, sharpener, paper clips, scotch tape or such, these would all go in a desk or in an office area (a drawer in the kitchen may also have a few of these items for quick finding and use), but basically the bulk of different types of things collected or that I have, I organize them within their own place.

All Holiday decor, can be separated by holiday and put into plastic bins and can be put in a storage area, attic or storage facility for next use. As you find things or pick up things, take a moment and put it back into its ‘home area’ and so on and so on..(that way, when you may be looking for something or wanting something you’ll know where to find it). . It’ll also save you time later, if you put things you find (or come across each day or so) in a ‘catchall basket’ (big and small one) or in a specific area and then put it all away when or as you can…Then of course, sometimes you won’t have time or (you may find or collect something and you might not be home) to put the item back in the right place, you may have to hold onto it (put it in a bag or something) until you can get it into its proper place.

Often when we move from one resident to another, there seems to always be that daunting chore of going through all of our things (once again) deciding what we’re going to take, what we’re not, what is trash, what we could sell, may give to family members and friends or donate. Of course if you have been downsizing or uncluttering here and there, it will be a lot easier upon you. Yet, it’s one chore that never seems to get easier, no many how many times we do it and it never fails, no matter how much we can organize and unclutter we never seem to realize how much stuff we have or have collected.

Make the time to take time and start going through the things you have and have collected. You may find some-things you had forgotten you had and could use right now. You are living your life right now, so why not choose to use or do something with them right now? After all, you have wanted, collected and kept them for a reason! Choose to use them or if need to save something (as items kept to be given to family or friends), then give them as a gifts. You possibly could sell some things and you can always donate them; as someone else may really want it or have use for it (they may not have been able to ever acquire some-things) and that would make them smile or make their day to find an item of need or want. If you have ever went thrift shopping you’d know what I mean..

I have other tips and tricks on coping with the process of downsizing and uncluttering that I will post later, but for now I recall a saying that suggested we stop waiting to use and enjoy the things we have…

So yeah, Start downsizing to upsize your life and while you are at it, Go Ahead…Use the good-stuff and enjoy them now, there.. I gave you permission!

C .Star. V

Have You Started Yet?

It’s seems as though each year we all have more and more we do, want to get done and are kept so busy, at least for most of us..

Time passes by so quickly and often it feels as though, there’s never enough time to do ‘all’ the things we would like to or even need to each day. We can’t seem to get everything done, since it feels as though there’s so much to cram into one day. Then as time passes and if we didn’t get everything we wanted to get done, we may not have properly prioritized or didn’t use time wisely.

Even though we may not want to waste time as, “Time is like money, money is like time” and when we seem to have less of either one, our options start running out”.

Sometimes it’s like a funneling effect as time escapes us. We could start losing our optimism, our positiveness, our outlook and we may start to become very pessimistic. We may even start disliking things around us, even people around us …We begin to lose our focus, our gratitude, our purpose, we start to second-guess ourselves and all of what we may want or wanted.

This can happen, even if you have been doing okay all along. Why?

Mainly because we go through some events or happenings several times. Possibly, until we learn how to get through them and past them, even if they were paths to keep on or not go through again. Although, we may have even got over them, moved on and have been successful or accomplished something (maybe not as much as we wanted to as of yet), but we at least made it through, as we keep looking forward to the next day, next event, next encounter, next experience as it will all be valuable and worth something.

Though we still may find ourselves struggling over again…..struggling with ourselves, our ideas, thoughts and etc. If this happens and when it does, don’t get upset or sad, it is a just a re-check. Re-checking to make sure you keep in control of your life..Making sure you are not repeating your mistakes or having misunderstandings about something and may need another view of it or a second opinion. Seek positive-purposeful advice.

So keep Working ‘at’ something, ‘on’ something or ‘at’ somewhere, in order to get other plans to take flight . Greatness can take time (even learning happiness, takes time) think of all the things that get better  only within time) good opportunities, good careers, expensive beverages..you get the picture!!

Just make sure you come up for air while you are grinding away, take notice where you are going, make sure you have a plan of some kind to keep focused on, even if it has to change a bit. Often, one plan will led us into another one, but that’s ok , as long as it is working out and keeps you going towards your goals and purpose. Get involved with others that have positive-purposeful attitudes and the same goals and interests.

Not all of us will become doctor’s, lawyers, teachers, celebrities and etc.. there is a reason and purpose for all of that and a purpose and reason for each one of us.

Learn a skill, possibly one in helping others. Which can be something that, will even help you have income. No matter how insignificant it might seem to you, there is a greatness in everything..

“Those whom can see ahead of themselves while on the bumpy road, have a better chance of making it through”. Be kind and cheerful no matter what you are working at or working for, good attitudes are terrific virtues and are eventually noticed, rewarded and then duplicated. Our health, mental attitude and coping skills, are concerns we need to continually work upon, for without these we compromise all the quality in our lives….

“Give yourself more Reasons, less Excuses”.

C .Star. V

Any New Year, Starting Out

It’s a new year, let’s realize about starting out…

One of the single most important aspects of enjoying life, is of course making better choices and using our energies in an efficient way. It’s also in not having to be overly worried about things that will either, stress us out all the time or in keep us all, in such a rush.

So how do we keep from being overly worried, stressed out and in a rush?

Well, along with learning to prioritize, using time management tips and focusing on being purposeful, living within ones means and making the most out of the time given, is a start.

Most successful people will tell you these few words : “Well, when I started out”

Yes they all “Started Out”, they started somewhere, by doing things they were willing to do; even if they may not have liked it or doing it. However, they also didn’t just wake up and were placed in the place that made them great or successful .. Even those whom have inherited great things, have to be willing to do and learn what they need to do and do it well, otherwise they risk losing it all.

“Things don’t go well and stay well if not taken the time and efforts to keep them going well”. It’s in the efforts, in the interest of purposeful, in the information required and learned and in the actions. As in the saying; with great power comes great responsibility .

Those who feel the need for much, will often need to handle much. Those who can be happy with less, will feel less burdened.

The best thing to do, is make efforts in starting out, it can be the “Starting Out” of anything or at any level (keep it positive) and for youths (as everyone should already) start, figuring out the stability and security in your life, in what you are going to do or ‘learn to do’ to make an income and create a supportive purposeful-self . So, you’ll be able to pay for the roof over your head, transportation to get you around and healthy foods to keep you feeling good. Once those are in place, you will have less to worry about and can concentrate on the next things needed and then, other things wanted

I did say less worry, but not less work or less things to worry about. Although keeping ones priorities straight, boundaries set and proper attitudes in place will help.

If you don’t start to figure out your income, manage your finances, your shelter, and your lifestyle for yourself , while you’re young or ‘get these things started’ for yourself, by the time you are middle aged it will be a lingering plight and then you will have created more stress and worry…

“No one has the ability to turn back time, so don’t waste more time trying to.” Just start to learn things and do things for yourself that will give you a purpose and will be useful to you, even for later (this goes for any age). Your future self , will thank you.

… Use Your Time Wisely…

Happy New Year!!!

C . Star V.

The Effect and Affect of our Lives.

I have written previously on this blog about the choices we make, as well as the good’s, bad’s, right and wrongs. Yet, when speaking about the outcomes from our choices and decisions, whether it turns out good, right, wrong or bad; it is only ‘us’ that will be truly able to determine this for ourselves. We have the ability ‘to put or place’ the experience, the moments or the what-evers, ‘wherever-or-however’s-the way we-choose’ (ahh again another choice).

Ya’ see, we can allow it to consume us or not to consume us and as well , how we relate it to us in whichever way chosen. We can adjust it within ourselves, even the levels in which we will let it upset us or not. This will be, all in how we convey it, within and to ourselves (and to others). This all will be determined by us.

Yes, in how we allow it to ‘effect us’ and ‘affect us’. That is why, sometimes we will run across people that may have experienced some of the same things as ourselves and some will feel the same way as we do and others may choose to feel differently. Now, I did say ‘they choose to feel differently’ because well, we can choose.

Think for a moment of something that you have experienced, whether it was either good or bad. If it was good, will you want to remember it? How will you use this experience? How has it helped you? Will you share it to help others?

If it was not so good or bad, will you want to remember it? How will you use this experience? How has it effected or affected you?  Will you use the experience, share the lesson or forgive to forget it? or will you harbor it like a collection of something you have no use for and allow it to use up time and space (in your life and in this case, your mind). Will you allow it to be added to your collective negative thoughts, just waiting to explode, make you feel like a victim at every situation in your life and hinder you from enjoyment and progress?

Time waits for no one, (very famous saying) and a true statement because it’s time consuming and useless to harbor negative feelings. There’s no period of time in your life that will wait and stand-still as you hold onto sad thoughts, bad feelings, or anything of the such. You have the power, for it to ‘not have a negative effect or affect upon you’. It may take some key lessons, such as forgiveness, courage, integrity and possibly a bit of prayers and education, but you are the gatekeeper with the keys, use those keys…

C .Star. V

A Simple Credo

Here’s a simple credo:  From the Token Soul

 1. Recognize the need for less chaos yet, more function in our lives.

 2. Realize, there is an action needed to accomplish this by taking responsibility for our own life, thoughts, choices and actions. Be accountable for ourselves, take more charge of our own lives and cooperate with others.

3. Realize the ‘intent’ of our actions. As well as becoming aware of what the outcomes may be and what we may need to learn. This can help to better cope with what we may also, already have in our lives and stop the self-sabotaging of our own purpose and could clear up many issues.

4. Keep the past, in the past through forgiveness and being involved in the present and future aspects of our lives. Set small goals, then bigger ones.

5. Believe that, an energy-source greater than ourselves can and will help us. Only if we believe in it, call upon it to do so and be sincere when we are asking for help. We must be sincere in accepting the terms of  resolving our issues as well. Understand, that this “Ultimate” power-level of energy (that is greater than our own) is also effected by many things we choose in our world now and beyond. We are also able to connect (bond) with this energy for guidance, protection and help. (whew! this should take some weight off our shoulders).      

6. Accept the fact that we may not ‘always’ enjoy or like, our destiny at ‘all times’, in or along our journey(s). *~For even though, a “Destiny” can be viewed as a  journey’s end, it may also be a path we are on, not just a destination to reach~*. If we governor over, ourselves and our destiny(s) in a more positive way and we may feel more at ease, yet not that it may become less difficult on the path, but that it will ‘seem less stressful’ in getting to where we are destined to go.

7. Remember that what happens to us in our lives (even on a daily basis) is what we put into it and what we perceive it as or to be. It is the reflecting of our own opinions, choices and decisions and it is okay if everything isn’t perfect or run smoothly every minuet.

8. Learn how to remove the negative energy and make room in our mind/brains and our lives, for good things by removing and keeping out the bad things. Learn also to Forgive ourselves as well as others, but set personal boundaries (so not to repeat upsets) and take the time to meditate and unwind (in a healthy manner).

9. Help others do all of this too.

10. Understand that, there is no need to be overly-worried about the how’s and why’s, of all of us being here on earth in the first place or be overly-obsessed about it. There is a Greater-Power than us, that does, will and can help us! Everything takes place, will take place and infinitely the cycle keeps going to help us all with our enjoying, learning, sacrifices, pain and suffering, (now go back to #1).

C .Star. V

Good vs Bad Choices

How are we really supposed to decipher between good and bad choices? Besides the obvious of knowing right from wrong and of what we have been taught or witnessed out of outcomes and observations. We can also use the 10 commandments as a set of 10 good ‘common sense rules’ and we can use our own senses. Some people call it using our heads, hearts or gut feelings. Others may call it being mindful or being aware. It doesn’t matter what we call it, but using it properly when we need to, is what counts.

At one time or another, we envision how we want things in our life to be or how we imagine them, in our own minds to be. I say imagine because often we have an unrealistic perception of what it is or how things really need to be. Even in the efforts it takes, in order to have what it is that we desire or want in our lives. This can disappoint, frustrate and cause chaos in many of our lives. How many times, do we want something, such as, a relationship, marriage, a pet, raising children, a certain job or lifestyle or even just good health, but our lives don’t seem to turn out how we envisioned or imagined it to be? We hear of many people, children and pets abused, neglected and others stricken with illnesses and diseased.

It seems as though our society rushes to make choices or decisions without really understanding, preparing or realizing the whole picture. Many people make choices because of what others do or what others say to do, or what they feel they should do. Once a choice is made, it is often too late to undo it. However, there really isn’t a bad choice (well, unless it’s one that is against those 10 common sense rules, stated above) and depending on which one, will depend upon the Karma we will deal with in coping with it. However, making good choices vs making bad choices starts with learning to have good intent that runs parallel with it’s purpose.

The good news is, if our choices (doesn’t happen to turn out good), were made with good intent; we will be able to adjust the purpose to end-up parallel with the intent. *Example, we wanted a pet, choose to get one, the intent was to have a furry-friend, to have fun with, and to love and one that will love us back. Yet, the pet isn’t obedient, feels like too much of a responsibility, causes chaos, stress and unpleasantness.

So instead of the happy and pleasant outcome, the purpose is not seeming to run parallel with the intent. However, in taking the steps to learn tips and get advice on putting the pet and yourself upon a schedule, along with being patient with and understanding the pets feelings these efforts help . As well as, realizing what the pets needs are and making the efforts to make things right. From this, it will end-up with a successful purpose, which will now be parallel with the intent; which was to have a furry-friend, to have fun with and to love and one that will love us back.

In choosing and making good decisions, (in any situation) we must first research, evaluate and prepare ourselves for the true whole picture and responsibilities, not just the one imagined in our minds or to fill our time or the needs only felt in our hearts.

C . Star V.

We all have a story

We all have a story of our lives, as all of us are trying in our life to get everything done, something done, or nothing done. Getting through each day of what we experience and what we don’t, meanwhile juggling it all.

We may tell each other about doing the things we want to do in our lives and all the things we don’t like about our lives.. . Days run into nights, nights into days and what are we exactly doing?

Many of us, know what we are doing and of what purpose we serve, many of us are trying to find a purpose or trying to figure it out. Yet, we are all entitled to our lives and living them out. Whatever the situation may be, we are all here for a reason and are allowed to enjoy our lives, do the best we can and experience Joy!

Could there be things that are stealing our efforts and joy? Could we live a better life? Are we using our energy in the wrong way and on the wrong things? In the big picture, of how we can better live or be living through our lives, it may not be, as many of us may think it is. . There is so much good and wonderful things to feel, to experience and to know of. Yet, many of us often magnify the negative things, put the wrong emphasis on things and view life in a negative way or from a burdened view.

Some of us keep on paths that don’t serve us well. Some just, do what is needed and others do whatever they can. Most of us have a plan, others may not have come up with one yet. Many need to shift their focus from the burdens to the blessing and from what’s wrong, to what’s right and from what you don’t have to what you do have, (often even as a starting point).

So, regardless of what we may feel is or has been absent or needed in our lives, it can be and ‘will be full of other things’ . This can and will often fill that absence or need and whether it turns-out good or bad (to us), will ultimately be our choice. Realizing this can help get a clearer view and steer us on making better choices and onto better paths…

1. “Outcomes” usually determines our reasoning’s and our opinions of if something is good or bad..so we need to make better choices for ourselves and put ourselves on better paths and purposes.

2. We need to respect mother nature and father time, nature is our truth and our secret to balance . Time is also to be respected, used with caution and used as efficient as we can (time often goes along with space).

3. We are not built to physically last forever…yet, our energy may….in ways we may not thought of..

Stop to think about the stories of your life that you will tell, don’t rush, make better decisions and choices. Even if things don’t always turn out the way you would’ve wanted it to or thought it would have, it has value; for in the end it’s what you-make out of the outcomes that really matter and that will take-up space ( time) in your life and mind..

4. Spend your time and energy on what’s going to count later on (your health, your children, your family, your good friends, your pet, meeting good people etc..) and keep some free-space for those good stories you want to be able to tell..

C .Star. V

UnClutter Yourself

 It seems as though if we have a lot of choices, it can get more difficult to choose the correct ones.  Yet, if we don’t have many choices, it seems as though we can end up making bad ones.

This all plays out, each day in our lives and we have to first grasp the concept that there really is no good or bad choice.. Well the results might end up good or bad in our opinion and of our thinking of what is good(right) or bad(wrong) to us; of course there is obviously the reality of right and wrong.

However, even though we all should have a good idea of what is actually ‘right and wrong’ (morally and legally), it may differ from each other since, we may not have been taught or learned in the same way . As there are different views and different opinions on what is good or bad . This can cause confusion as we use those aspects of good and bad before we make choice.

Subsequently, if we already live in a life with much chaos, clutter and distraction, we can be blindsided and easily steered into making choices that are not so good and that we may even regret.

All of us seem to live in a world of ‘have-to’s’ and ‘need-to’s’, meanwhile constantly trying to find a way of the ‘getting to’s’ with the ‘want-to’s’.

A good way to start setting up an atmosphere of creating a series of better choices and success is to start with uncluttering and re-organizing (some people call it regrouping) because doing this clears the mind, soul and space! The art of uncluttering, is not just limited to only material things we have around us, but also of the uncluttering of our minds. We all have different methods and ideas in doing so and again, there isn’t any good or bad way of doing it, but possibly a more efficient and successful way.

The 1st step could be to begin to get rid of excessive material things around ourselves and in our living space (at the least to go through, clean up, reorganize and put away or store), especially things that are just literally taking up space and not necessarily something that you will be readily using or needing for awhile. This will get you going in the right direction, then create (a go-to or place) for things ‘as a home to put items in where it goes’ and this also begins to help.

From there, we can begin to see some clarity, what’s really important to us, focusing on what we next need to in creating more actions that will begin to steer us in the right directions. All this will begin to help us achieve the things we want to, instead of spending time purchasing more things, collecting stuff we don’t need and spending time trying to keep things cleaned-up and less chaotic.

This will make it easy to figure out, more of what it is we really need.                 

One of the biggest dilemma’s I find in many people, is that they are constantly worried about not having something or not having enough of something. This is not only a common issue, but it is a very sensitive and personal one and it brings us into such a monumental cause in worrying, stressing- over and even hoarding. Yet, so much time and energy is spent purchasing, worrying, stressing-over and hoarding ; sadly most of ‘these things’ we won’t even ever use, many of the things will expire or go bad (by the time we use them) and other these things we will really, never need.

I suppose it all stems from the fear of not having or not being able to get them, but it would only seem logical to use the energy and time in doing something more positive, that will ensure you won’t have to fear about that anymore.. Such as surrounding yourself with positive, caring and loving people, making friends and groups to socialize with (maybe even to barter things with) and spend more time learning skills, having fun and enjoying your life, instead of worrying about things you may not have.

This may even include relocating yourself and moving to an area that’s accessible for things that you feel you’re going to need.       

Most importantly, nothing is guaranteed even if you were saving something or hoarding some things that you think you’re going to need or that you feel is going to save or help you in one way or another, it may not end up that way. Since by the time you need it, there might have to be another solution, in fact …one that you should’ve already been working on.

C .Star. V