Referrals vs Recommendations: Why the Distinction is Important

From healthcare to home care, finding a qualified and personable service provider within your budget is vital. I can often refer based upon your needs, but I will not recommend. Find out why I make the distinction and why this is important to you.

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Buddy Up: Accountability on a Whole New Level

Do you frequently miss deadlines?  Are milestones unnerving?  Do you struggle to stay on track?

Let’s end the frustration. When facing a big project or pesky tasks with or without a deadline looming, try this.  Find a calendar buddy. What’s a calendar buddy?  That’s someone who will allow you to share their calendar for accountability.  When you are accountable to someone else, you are more likely to view the assignment more earnestly.

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I encourage my clients who are struggling to cart away their discard items to schedule dates on their calendars. Pencil in upcoming household hazardous waste (HHW), E-waste, and shred events. Load filled donation boxes into their cars so the next time they pass their favorite charity store, they can drop off the goods. But what happens when intentions are bonafide, but follow-through is problematic?

When commitments are made to straighten up closets, garage, or pantry but they concede uncertainty about their ability to complete the assignment, I suggest adding the task to my E-calendar.  I am impressed by the success as this process sets up a new level of accountability.  In exchange for posting on my calendar, I let them know that I will be treating this as if it is a “REAL” billable appointment.  There is the expectation that they will be present, and that I am depending upon them.  As they do not wish to let me down (or themselves), they have been diligent about completing their assignments.

There have been cases where extenuating circumstances have arisen, and we have rescheduled.  Those situations have been rare, and they have had the forethought to inform me that changes were necessary. This warms my heart because it means they are not just blowing it off. To keep them on track, my calendar sends auto-reminders to them.  The first goes out at the time the appointment is set to let them know it’s official and the cost of my time if they were billed.  Another is sent a week before the due date, then 24 hours ahead, and then on the due date as a final “you’ve got this.”  We all need reminders, some of us need more than others.  Sometimes they beat the calendar and send me excited messages letting me know that they are celebrating a big win and a sigh of relief. 

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You may think it is silly to get jazzed over something so trivial as a donation run, but I have to say that it truly is a major feat for someone who has been staring at items for months, maybe years not sure how to take the first step, and unable to make a move.  When they finally get those boxes or bags out of their space, the relief is palpable and shedding that excess weight allows them to enjoy their work surfaces, their rooms, their homes with greater appreciation.

As for me, you can bet I am either celebrating along side them or virtually because it is a notable win for me too because it means they “get it” and with this new skill set they will continue to do so. And if they need a tune-up in the future, they know I will be there for them to help make readjustments.

See if you have a willing calendar accountability buddy when task accomplishment is just too darn big and uncomfortable.  If possible, select someone who will be gentle, non-judgmental but firm with you.  No sense in making you feel bad or letting you off the hook too easily. Then treat them to a steamy latte or an icy margarita at the project’s conclusion to share your appreciation and success.

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For more practical tips, check out  Need a hand getting started or finishing organizing projects around your home? is your source for home organizing solutions.

Gift Yourself Play Time: You Deserve Fun & Games

Silliness is not so silly. Allowing ourselves time to play and have fun are integral for our overall well-being. If you are having second thoughts about gaming gifts or taking time out to explore your inner child, think again. The benefits are innumerable.

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Are You and Your Brain Seeing Eye to Eye?

Yuck, there are zillions of items on your to do list. How will you ever keep track of them all? Will you ever get yourself motivated to accomplish at least 1-2 of them? Does thinking about all you need to do make your head spin? Or maybe you feel like you got this, no problem. Learn to use the strengths of your brain type and your sensory preferences to summon the mojo to get moving and stay on track. Check out this month’s blog and personality assessments to get the most out of your abilities and rip through .

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The ABC's of Your Reducing Your Eco-Footprint

Where is away when it comes to our trash?  Well, surely not in my backyard (NIMBY)!  Obviously none of us wants a landfill near our homes but trash has to go somewhere. The less we produce and the more we reduce, then less is disposed. 

As many of us clean up and clear out this spring, recycling and waste reduction guru Betty Shelley provides us some insight into how we can best honor Mother Earth during this Earth Day month while also reducing our environmental footprint in a way that saves us time, money, and peace of mind.  Betty has so much useful knowledge to share with us all.  Enjoy this month's Practical Sort's blog interview with Betty Shelley.

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Where Do You Draw the Line?

For $1 million would you give up everything you own for 21 days, sleep naked on a bare floor, and run au naturel through the streets to carry on with your day? 

A rather exaggerated way to earn that much dough while delving into your psyche's prioritization of what is essential to you.  Would you be game?  Read more about this crazy experiment and how it might give you some food for thought about your possessions.

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You Downsized Your Wardrobe, Now What?

What happens when you clear out your clothes closet chucking all those puffy-sleeved jackets, torn shirts, stained dresses and nothing is left?  Cristina Villareal, wardrobe stylist, shares some of her wardrobe capsule secrets with The Practical Sort to start rebuilding with practical and stylish flair.

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Miracles Do Happen: You Just Need to Look

When moments are at their bleakest, when the light at the end of the tunnel is so far beyond reach, and when you feel like you don't have the wherewith all to make it to the finish line, just hold on tight. 

There were many occasions in this story when we were in way over our heads yet small milestones were reached with only slight hiccups until eventual triumph.  Looking back, the serendipitous progression and outcome were nothing short of miraculous.

I suggest grabbing a tissue to dab your eyes before you begin reading.

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