3 Tips on How to Help Your kids Succeed in School by Getting Organized

Tips-to-Help-Students-Succeed-Study-Blog-3

As the end of the school year approaches we know to anticipate end of term projects and final exams.  As parents and former students ourselves we understand that along with these increased demands comes stress and the disruption to normal routines.  These changes can be particularly unsettling for your student and your family. While it is ultimately up to your child to figure out which practices work best for them to keep up with the current situation of things, you too can contribute your quota to their drive for success.

Students need a balanced environment to thrive, more so at this time when their senses are stoked, and nerves rattled.  As a mom or dad, who’s aiming to be supportive, fostering a conducive environment that functions as a place of refuge – so to speak, is one of the most essential steps you can take to complement your son or daughter’s efforts towards success.

 


The First Part of Creating an Organized Environment is as You Might Have Guessed – Getting Organized! 

The notion of final exams and its attendant complexities can mount pressure on your student and cause them to be disorganized. It’s not unusual to see your child’s room muddled in a heap of clutter, and while this can be justified as stemming from a lack of time, it is actually unhealthy and known to cause a significant drop in productivity because it in very literal terms, muddle the brain’s ability to perform optimally. As a parent, this is where you step in. Help your child create schedules and timetables that reinforce a balance between work, play and positive social and environmental interaction. Sure, they may be trying to rack up extra study time to cover all aspects of their syllabuses, but that doesn’t mean everything else should be relegated to the back burner.


Eating Healthy Requires Preparation

Tips-to-Help-Students-Succeed-Study-Blog-1A nutritious and balanced diet is the body’s own octane booster to heightened performance. Fats are linked to a higher incidence of aggression, depression and heart disease. To prevent the onset of these conditions  (which are already a risk given the heightened levels of stress),  it is essential that you enlighten and educate your family to the dangers of an unhealthy diet. Keeping your home stocked with an assortment of nutritional foods and snacks that they enjoy is also super important. 

Moderate the Tech Exposure

Technology can be potentially detrimental to your kids and adult children, most especially when there’s a need to focus and burn the midnight candles, and there is research to corroborate this fact. Back in the days, study time was ‘study time’ there were no mobile phones, no notifications or calls to put students off. Today mobile phones and computers are required for most assignments.  They are integral part of the study environment but along with them comes unwanted distractions and noise. That’s not to say this is entirely nocuous but the key to technology (as is with most other parts of life) is moderation. Limit just how long your kids can be tethered to their technology or television and place an enforceable embargo on how much time they spend on their devices. Your kids should know that time spent online is valuable time – their efforts should be directed at making the most use of it.

In addition to these, don’t forget the importance of positive reinforcements. Your child needs all the encouragement he/she can get. So while you go about tuning the environment, don’t forget to rub it in with bits of the ‘you can do it’ and the ‘keep focused.’

To learn more about how to creating an organized home environment that enhances student performance on final projects and exams, please email or call us today!

Tips for Moving Your Pets the Safe and Stress-Free Way

With moving comes packing, unpacking and everything else that makes relocating to your new home stressful. And while you may have the fortitude to withstand the stress, your furry friends might find it very unsettling. The good news, however, is that you can make the moving process much more bearable for your pets. How you might ask? Well it’s easy, all you have to do is adhere to these simple tips;


Brace yourself – and your pet

Pets have the unique ability to sense the emotional state of their owners; it’s why your cat buddy cuddles up to you (even when no one else will) when you come down with the flu. In the same manner, your pets will most likely pick up on any bits of anxiety, franticness or anger you let loose during the moving period; to prevent this, it is imperative that you stay calm. TripsWithPets.com Kim Salerno summarises the importance of maintaining your cool in an email correspondence with the New York Times;

‘It’s about letting your pet know that you will keep things stable and under control, which allows him to worry less,’

Try to start the prepping and packing early and take breaks throughout the process with your pet as this will alleviate stress for you and them.


Introduce your pet to its makeshift home

And by makeshift home, we mean your pet’s kennel, cage or carrying crate. Whichever way you choose to ferry your pets as you move, it’s vital that they are comfortable with the setting even before the D-day. In the words of Rebecca Wallwork, columnist for Vetstreet.com;

‘A crate is a pet’s home during transport. Getting them used to it early can help relieve stress.’

The first step to getting them comfy is selecting a suitable and correspondingly comfortable enclosure. Once that’s settled, set up the enclosure at home and encourage them to take naps or entire night rests in it. Don’t forget to incentivize them with treats.

Continue with this until your pet earmarks the enclosure as its new makeshift home.

From experience, we’ve found that it’s good practice to send your pets in their temporary housing to somewhere without the shake-ups that accompany the final D-day packing; could be your friend’s place or even the vet’s office. Once you’re through and ready to move simply pick them up and head off on your trip.


Planning your road or air trip

Road essentials

If you’re moving by road prepare to make a few pit stops on the way, this allows your pets time to pass out wastes. It’s also a good way for them to get a breath of fresh air. Don’t forget to pack up the water and food. And depending on the moving distance and your pet’s needs you might also require a few on-the-road pet care extras. AirHeart pet hospital recommends packing; a collapsible water bowl, extra dry kibbles and treats, a small blanket, extra poop bags, an empty water bottle, and prescription medications when traveling by air. This applies to land travels also.

Be conscious of where you place your pets as you drive, make certain that they are secured in place in a ventilated area and as far from the windows as is possible.

Moving by air

Unlike land trips, air travel can be a tad bit complex. Although many airlines do allow for under seat carriage of small pets, bigger pets will most likely fly as cargo. In both cases you’re required to pay a fee, the latter being more expensive. Note that depending on the carrier, many other rules and regulations still apply. Word on the marble from DR Patty Khuly of Vetstreet is to always verify your airline’s pet policies before the actual of day flight; ‘you’d be surprised at how much you need to know if you’re planning to take your pet aboard a plane,’ she says.


Finally, getting settled in

Sure, you might feel the need to slide onto your new couch and doze for hours on end. Moving is tiring, we understand, but the moment you arrive at your new home is perhaps when your pets need you most. The melange of new smells and scenery can be hard to take in at once, help it settle in by unpacking and setting up their space, ideally at the point you’d want it to be in the long term.

Once you’re rested completely, you can then go on to do some home touring and neighborhood sightseeing. By now your pet should be getting tuned to its new environment, and if that’s not the case, give it time, some pets might need a few more days to settle in properly.

How to Make Your Next Move Eco-Friendly

Moving from your home or office starts a new chapter, but a downside of any relocation is the tremendous time and work required to execute it properly.  It requires planning, prepping, getting rid of clutter and unwanted goods. It can also mean lots of waste and trash. As a moving consultant and relocation specialist, I understand how easy it is to get caught up in the hustle and bustle leading up to moving day. Because my team and I are passionate about taking proactive steps toward eco-friendly moving, we are always cognizant of finding ways to reduce, reuse and recycle.

According to a 2017 U.S. Census Bureau report, the percentage of people who move every year equates to 11.2 percent of the population (or roughly 36 million people). These numbers are significant as are the impacts of moving upon the environment. Imagine the amount of disposed furniture each one of these moves can accumulate! In an article published by Reuters, “In 2009, the U.S. EPA reported that furniture accounted for 9.8 million tons (4.1 percent) of household waste,” which then finds it’s junky way into our landfills.

As far as managing your move, Evernote is a great too for keeping tasks organized and helping to ensure that things stay green. Besides keeping track of everything and promoting a more paper free environment with Evernote, here are some other suggestions to help make your next move more eco-friendly.


Go Green with Your Packing Materials

Eco-friendly-move-Green-CleanFrom the paper, bubble wrap, styrofoam peanuts and cardboard, packing materials can result in piles of waste but by taking time to search your home and innovate, you can keep your items safe and keep trash down. Newspaper, old blankets or rags, egg cartons and a variety of other everyday household items can be used to protect your belongings. When you need to purchase materials think of repurposed paper, peanuts, and even reusable packing pads. There is also the option of renting reusable boxes. City Moving Boxes, a provider of packing materials that offers same day delivery throughout New York City has both conventional cardboard as well as reusable boxes for rent free delivery and pickup included. For additional companies offering this service you may wish to check out this article on MoverJunction highlighting 5 Companies That Provide Plastic Moving Boxes. We will recommend that our clients consider recycled boxes and materials both to be kind to our planet as well as save them some money.


Recycle

Moving is a great time to toss household and office goods that you don’t need anymore. The beauty of it is, most of these items can be recycled, and taking the time to dispose of them mindfully can go a long way toward making your move green. Most of us also have leftover items like old paint, batteries, and unused or old electronics. Most cities have centers to accommodate the drop of potentially harmful materials. To check out a list on the EPA’s website for Links to Hazardous Waste Programs and U.S. State Environmental Agencies by state, visit their website. Throwing these items out in the regular trash can be devastating for the environment. If you’re dealing with something that’s still usable such as an old CD player or Nintendo unit, you can take it to Habitat for Humanity, a local thrift shop or second-hand electronics store. They’ll be happy to give it a new life.


Donation and Removal

There’s nothing like a move to kick decluttering into high gear. Old shoes, clothing, purses and furniture are prime items to donate. From second hand stores to non-profits and domestic abuse family shelters, you can rest easy knowing that someone will get good use out of the things you no longer need. And the best part is, you’re not filling the local landfill site with these unwanted items. We advocate donating rather than tossing unwanted furnishings and home goods as long as they’re still of use. There are organizations such as the Salvation Army and United War Veterans Council who will pick up for free. 

Eco-friendly-move-Blog_DonateWhen we need to remove both trash as well as donation items, we call on The Junkluggers, a premium eco-friendly furniture and junk removal company specializing in donating, reuse and recycling. Their goal is keeping as much as possible out of the landfill and will take almost everything but hazardous material.  Zach Cohen, brother of The Junkluggers founder Josh Cohen and the owner of the Manhattan and Brooklyn franchise said: “We like to think of ourselves as a logistics company that happens to specialize in furniture and junk removal. We have a true passion for giving back to our local community, and in this wild and wonderful city, there’s no shortage of people and organizations who can make use of your extra couch, old microwave, former office furniture, clothing that no longer fits—or any other items you may have lying around.” Homeowners may receive rate quotes over the phone and online or schedule an onsite estimate so they know in advance the projected associated costs. Specific designated time frames are given for pick-up and discount applied in the event of a delay that is 30-minutes or more.  The Junkluggers partner with dozens of nonprofits and donation centers as well as provide tax-deductible receipts via email within a couple weeks.


Aim for a Natural and Organic Cleanup

Eco-friendly-move-Green-CleanWhether you’re leaving the old place spotless for the next tenant or owner or scrubbing your new home before move in, be sure to steer clear of noxious chemicals. From all-purpose cleaners to scouring powders and a variety of other household cleaning materials, many cleaners contain harsh, if not downright dangerous chemicals. Go green with your cleanup by using natural ingredients such as baking soda for scouring the sink, vinegar on the windows and select safe and natural substitutes for chemical cleaners that won’t hurt the environment! For some wonderful recommendations, see this article from the Today website, “An expert’s choice for the best eco-friendly cleaning supplies” for 2018.


Look for a Go-Green Moving Company

Eco-friendly moving companies are cropping up all over the place, and many have a wide variety of policies designed to keep things green. From recycled moving materials to low-emissions vehicles, these companies make it a priority to take the environment into account during their moves. Nir Shuminer is President of Scanio Moving and Storage, a trusted moving company in business for over seventy years is committed to using biodegradable packing materials. He states “we care deeply about our impact on the community and the world at large and work hard to remain socially responsible through using green business practices.” Selecting a mover who shares these beliefs is key for ensuring an eco-conscious experience. If you’re doing the move on your own then inquire about a rental truck that uses an alternative bio-friendly fuel, such as natural gas or biodiesel fuel. If your move is long distance, then consolidated shipping or even sending shipments by train.

Even though moving is a massive undertaking there are ways to execute your relocation while keeping environmental considerations in mind and making deliberate efforts to go green.

If you are planning a move and want to discuss your options for a greener move, please email or call us today!

Spring Cleaning Made Simple with Evernote

For many people, nothing says Spring like Spring cleaning– breathing new life into our homes by shining things up, organizing and just generally getting ready to enjoy those long, lazy days of summer.  This year I thought I’d share some tips on how I use Evernote to organize and simplify Spring cleaning both in my home and office.

I became an Evernote  Certified Consultant a few years ago because I am such a huge fan of this platform.  Apparently I am not alone in my appreciation for this app and as of last year  5 billion notes had been saved in the platform from 220 million registered users (For those of you who aren’t familiar with Evernote, it’s a super versatile, feature-packed, multi-platform application that allows you to create a personized “digital filing cabinet” to store whatever you want saved to access at a later time. You can collect information via the web, email, image capture, dictation or direct written input.  It stores audio files, documents and images  and is a great place to keep anything whether it is a recipe, invoice, drivers licence or wine that you love.  The beauty of this program is that it can serve your personal and business needs alike.

Tim Ferriss, lifestyle guru and best selling author, calls Evernote his external brain and uses it daily for saving webpages, for offline reading, decluttering paper from the house, and keeping a to-do list. His admiration for the platform has led him to claim that it’s like a Swiss Army Knife that can be used for tracking and organizing almost anything. I have to admit, I agree with him.   Evernote is an important tool for helping me with all aspects of my personal and work life so I’ve put together a list of ideas on how I use Evernote to keep me organized as I embark upon my Spring cleaning tasks.


Going Paperless

Even for the most diehard advocates of going paperless, paper still seems to accumulate.  The problem is that although I may be going paperless, much of the rest of the world still runs on paper.  My office team and I do our best to stay current but spring is the annual time for us to scan in paper that we may have either ignored or no longer need to retain in hard copy.  Scanning and storing your documents in Evernote will keep your paperwork impeccably organized and accessible whenever you need them, which just makes life easier.


Saving Owner Manuals

I used to have a shelf in my closet that was full of bulky, rarely used user manuals, but those days are gone. Now when we purchase a new appliance, we go online and download the product manual and care instructions– saving them in an Evernote folder means they’re available at the touch of a button, and I have more shelf space in my closet.


Creating Checklists

Nothing is more useful for spring cleaning than having a detailed checklist. With Evernote, you can develop and save a cleaning and maintenance checklist that can be used year-round.   The best part is that you can also set reminders on the Evernote Calendar so scheduling tasks into the future is quick and easy.


Storing Articles

How often have you come across and article either in a newspaper or online that contains some brilliant tip on how to clean, care for or protect something you own?  While you may not have an immediate need for the information, you know you will in the future–for example the next time you stain your favorite dress, you’ll kick yourself for not saving that article on how to remove stains from anything.  With Evernote at your fingertips, you can save it all!  It’s the ideal place to either send a link to an online article or website or to scan a page from a magazine directly from your phone using the Scannable app. This way, all those juicy tidbits of information are saved in your Evernote account for future reference.


Setting Reminders for Infrequent Tasks

In every household there are certain tasks that we only need to do once or twice per year, and there can be a tendency to forget details such as that great process we used last time or things that didn’t work out so well for us.

I’ve tackled this by setting up a ‘How to’ notebook in Evernote to remind myself and others in my household how I like specific things to be stored and cared for. For example, wardrobes and household items may need to be repositioned and seasonally relocated, as well as treated annually or seasonally.  Photos or video clips of how you want things done can simply be sent to your Evernote account for easy retrieval to ensure consistency and standardization from year to year.


Evernote Integrations

One of the best things about Evernote is the fact that it integrates seamlessly with so many other platforms. For example, since Evernote is the perfect place to jot down reminders and Google Calendar helps me keep track of my schedule, I set up a Zapier integration that will create a Google Calendar event whenever I set up a reminder with a due date in Evernote.

This helps me to ensure that everything is right there in my Google calendar, so I never miss a detail. Another “Zap” (as they are called), is linking Pinterest to Evernote – which I use to help find tips on an endless list of subjects like decorating, entertaining, cleaning or organizing.

There’s so much great information out there on the Internet, and once you come across ideas that you really love, you want to hang onto it.  Connecting your Pinterest and Evernote accounts allows you to save the contents of a new pin directly into Evernote.

One of the best things about Evernote is also the ability to format your notes in ways that make it easy to stay organized– for example, embedding checklists or spreadsheets into a written document and adding additional notes or comments into files containing saved documents.

The search functionality and text recognition on the platform is also amazing– you can actually search through filed PDFs and Evernote will scan them all for the specific search words you typed in – This is a feature that isn’t available on many other platforms!

So if you’re looking for the ultimate program to help keep your life organized during spring cleaning and beyond, it’s definitely worth giving Evernote a try. Setting up an account is quick and easy with their intuitive sign-up form, and using the app is so simple – the UI design is a dream. To get started, just go to Evernote, sign up for free or if you’re ready, select a more robust membership to best suits your needs and check it out.  Let us know in the comments how you do!


“Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will possibly earn credit or a commission if you click through and make a purchase separate from this site. Please note, we are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.”