Podcast: Dealing with Toy Clutter

toy clutter

Do you have a handle on toy clutter in your home or do you feel like the toys are taking over your home?  When your kids are small and it can feel like toys are swarming your house!  All those dolls, cars, puzzles, games and don’t even think about the number of stuffed animals you have in every nook and cranny.  It is enough to make any mom feel like she is going to loose her mind.

But wait!  It doesn’t have to feel like this!

Really? You say…

How is that even possible?

Well, after years of helping moms clear the toy clutter I have shared my insight on The 29 Minute Mom podcast.  Real tips from a real mom and a real professional organizer.  In this podcast I share the secrets to taming the toys and why you shouldn’t let toys get to you so much.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST!  

LEARN HOW TO HANDLE TOY CLUTTER

Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes! 

Jennifer Ford Berry

organized meal planning

Organized Meal Planning

The following is a guest post from Jennifer Dempsey, Food Expert, from The 29 Minute Mom.  Meal planning is one of those things that I personally want to get better at so I am SUPER excited that Jennifer is going to be my new personal meal planner! Why not let her be yours too?  All we have to do is check in with her every Sunday and she will do all the work for us.  I am so in on this one!

If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to get better with menu planning then we’re here to help! Every Sunday starting January 1st we’ll be featuring family friendly meal plans that are easy, healthy and ready in 29 minutes or less! What we love about our meal plans is they feature delicious recipes from around the web that are not only easy to prepare but everyone will love! Each week we will feature 5 recipes including links to the recipes so you can easily print and save. All you need to do is print the recipe and decide what day you want to make it!

So you might be thinking why are we only featuring 5 recipes instead of 7? Good question! After years of meal planning and thinking I had to plan a meal every single day I realized I was wasting food, primarily leftovers because I felt I needed to cook a new meal everyday. I quickly learned that you don’t have to have every day planned. I like a little flexibility in my schedule because let’s face it schedules change, things come up and most importantly leftovers happen. If I can get two meals out of one I’ll take it! It’s a total timesaver!

So you definitely have to have room in your meal plan for change. That’s why the meal plans I design are not based on the day of the week but just a meal for that week. Make it on Monday, Wednesday or Sunday. You choose. The point is to have 5 recipes ready to go for the week and the ingredients on hand so you can prepare them any night of the week. And if leftovers do happen, try not to recycle it the next day on the menu. Wait a day so there isn’t burnout.

Also, consider freezing leftovers. If you make a big pot of chili instead of eating it five days in a row freeze some so you have it on hand to incorporate in another weekly menu on one of those off nights. Plus, it totally saves you time in the kitchen from making dinner! Casseroles are perfect freezer meals too. When possible I’ll make one and freeze one to pop in the oven on a busy weeknight. Typically I know ahead of time if I’m going to incorporate a freezer meal in my menu planning so it helps with planning. I also usually use them within a month, two at the latest.

I know meal planning can be a daunting task but honestly you should spend no more than 29 minutes a week planning your weekly menu. And that’s why we’re hear to help! 

For tips to help you with your meal planning and to listen to the podcast about meal planning click on the image below:

How to Get Organized in 2017!

how to get organized

Do you want to learn how to get more organized in 2017?  

I am calling all of you that need a little boost in the organization department to commit to the 2017 Organize Now Challenge.

How does the 2017 Organize Now Challenge work?

  • 1. Listen to the podcast.  Every Friday I will be on The 29 Minute Mom Podcast.  There are 3 different ways to listen:
    • Click play on the podcast episode from the website
    • All podcasts will be posted on the Facebook page
    • Subscribe on iTunes (just click the link and hit “SUBSCRIBE”
    • Subscribe to the Organize Now mailing list and the podcasts will be sent to your inbox
    • Note: you can listen to the podcast any day after it goes up on Friday. So pick a day that is convenient for you.  However, we did plan Fridays in hopes that you could get that particular organizing task done over the weekend.  Some tasks will take you longer than others so I recommend that you go at your own speed.
    • In the podcast I will share some of the steps and tips that I cover in the book along with tons of inside knowledge and motivation!
  • 2. Follow along with the book.  I have written out checklists for each area we will organize in the book.  So for example if one week we are covering “How to Organize Your Kitchen Cupboards” the book has a step by step guide written out for you.  It also has a list of how to maintain that area throughout the year (maintenance is KEY my friends).  You can find the book anywhere books are sold including:
  • 3. Ask your questions during the Facebook live videos.  Facebook videos will be posted on the 29 Minute Mom Facebook page.  Dates and times for videos will be posted as we go.
  • 4. Join our private Organize Now Challenge Group on Facebook.  There you will be able to interact with others on this quest to get more organized.  It is also a great place to share ideas, ask questions, get inspired and receive support!

Some of ways the 2017 Organize Now Challenge will change your life:

  • You will learn how to purge things that you don’t love or use.
  • You will be able to find homes for the things you are keeping.
  • Your home will be simplified.
  • You will waste less time looking for things.
  • You will save money because you won’t buy things you already own.
  • Your mind will become clearer and it will become easier to focus on other goals.
  • You will start to feel proud of the home you have created.
So I hope you have decided to commit to getting more organized!  I think this format will be perfect not only for teaching but to offer support to each other.  I mean who doesn’t like some extra motivation when you decide to reach a new goal, right?
I am here for you! I am telling you 2017 is YOUR year! No more wondering what it would be like to have an organized home and an organized life.  This can be your reality!
 
Join me! Learn how you can live your dreams instead of your things!
Would you like to win a FREE, SIGNED copy of the book?  Here is how you can enter:
  1. Share this post on your social media accounts along with #organizenow2017
  2. Answer this question in the comment section below:  What chapters in the table of contents do you want to focus on the most in 2017?
I am so excited to go on this journey with you!
 
Jennifer Ford Berry
stay calm and organized during the holidays

5 Ways To Have a Calm and Organized Holiday Season

Christmas is by far my most favorite time of the year.  I love the feeling of celebration, love and hope that we should be experiencing.  It is sad when I talk to other moms that don’t feel the same way.  I think our society needs to be careful before all of the Christmas magic is sucked out! It is being replaced with over the top gifts that create debt and families that are so caught up in their individual selfish desires that they forget the point is to create memories together!  If we are not intentional with how we spend our time this month we will feel depressed and let down when it’s over.

I try not to get too overwhelmed with the details of the season.  It really helps me to start early so that I am more present when the holidays arrive. This also give me more time to do the things that bring me joy when the season is in full swing.

I have to admit I become a little obsessed with the Hallmark channel this time of year.  I love to take it a step farther by attending real life holiday events that make me feel like I am living in a Hallmark movie.  There I said it!  (please don’t judge me)

But seriously, when I was a kid I cherished the traditions that we did every year and my kids are now the same way.  If I am stressed out, overwhelmed and too busy getting things done I will miss these very important memories.

I think being proactive with organization and not procrastinating is the key to getting the most out of the holiday season.

Here are 5 ways to stay calm and organized during the holidays:

Be Intentional

Grab your calendar and spend a little time reserving time in your schedule for the things that matter most to your family. 

What activities do you want to do together?

Who do you want to see and spend time with this year?

When will you get your shopping done?

What traditions do you want to continue?

Make Card Sending Easy

I absolutely love receiving holiday cards in the mail, especially ones with photos!  It warms my heart to see pictures of our friends and family in the mail during November and December!  However, over the years I feel like less people are taking the time to keep up with this tradition.  It could be the money it costs but I also think it is because people 1) don’t plan ahead 2) over think!

There are ways to make this tradition easy:

Don’t over think the card or photo, it doesn’t have to be perfect

Create an excel sheet of addresses that will print labels. You can reuse every year.

Use return address stickers or have the address printed on the envelope.

Create your card on a website that will mail them for you.

Decorate & Purge Decor At The Same Time

The perfect time of year to clean out your holiday decoration is while you are decorating!  Nobody wants to look at the Christmas decor in July!  So while you are looking at these items decide what you don’t want.  I will give you a hint: the decorations left in the bottom of the bins are the ones you don’t love.  If you loved them then they would be displayed. Let them go now and save storage space the rest of the year!

Clean and Label the Bins

Now that you are finished with your decorating and have removed the items you no longer love or use, your bins should be nice and empty.  This is the perfect time to wipe them out and label them.  I don’t know about you but I am always more excited to pull out my decor then pack it away. I like to have the bins ready to go so I can just toss it all back in after the holiday season.

Pinterest Pantry Prep

It is a good idea to stock up on ingredients and snacks that you will need on hand during the holiday season. Here is one of my favorite holiday tips to share with you: spend about 20 minutes on Pinterest and pick one or two easy recipes that you can make for all holiday parties or gatherings you get invited to.  Save it to your board and make a list of all the ingredients you will need.  Next time you go grocery shopping stock up on these ingredients.  This will not only save you time running to the store it will take the guess work out of making something next time you receive an invitation.

Happy Holidays!!

Jennifer Ford Berry

tips for managing laundry

Laundry Tips

Can I tell you I am having SO much fun doing The 29 Minute Mom podcast?!  I love that I am part of a project that is inspiring moms to reach their highest potential. And the best part is the podcasts are short enough to listen to on your commute, in carpool or when you are getting stuff done around the house.  If you have about 29 minutes listen to this podcast about laundry tips.  I would love to hear your feedback!

laundry tips

Do you feel buried in a pile or mountain of laundry that seems like it is never ending? WE DO! As mom’s we hear ya high above the laundry mountain tops and know the challenges mom’s face in conquering the never ending pile of laundry.  Managing laundry can sure feel like a full time job but there are ways to tackle it.

We want you to feel a sense of accomplishment everyday and not have the doom and gloom of laundry spinning around and around not only in your washer but in your head.

Fear not mama’s! If you are on the quest to for once and for all get on a laundry routine, then this is the podcast for you. You need not worry about the challenges of laundry anymore, we will help you establish a routine you can handle every day.

So grab your laundry basket, pop in some ear buds and listen to Jen & Jenn’s solutions to make your laundry chores stress free and maybe even a little fun!

Click play!

Family Command Center Ideas

 

family command center

If you are a busy family it is crucial that you have a family command center that works well for your crew.  A family command center can help you save time and keep your entire family organized and less stressed.

I encourage you to create a family command center that is as unique as your family’s personality.  You can use your favorite color themes, post a quote, frame a family photo etc. Have fun with it!  The cuter it is the more you will like using it.

You can include anything that is going to make your life easier:

  • Babysitter or nanny schedules
  • Errands
  • Meal plans
  • Chore chart
  • Grocery list
  • Sports schedules
  • Driving arrangements for activities
  • Invitations to events
  • Homework assignments
  • Important phone numbers

The bottom left hand corner photo is an example of a command center we did for Angela – a busy mom of 4 gorgeous boys!  

  • Each child has his own slot on the left for all of the school papers that come home.
  • There are two dry erase boards for her to write the family’s schedule for the current month and the next month.
  • The last section has a small cork board for those important dates or notes that she doesn’t want to forget and then hooks for keys and a slot for dry erase markers.   

We purchased her products at Pottery Barn but they are sold in many stores.  I did a quick search on Amazon and found some nice ones (see below).  This was an easy install that can be done in less than an hour but save you tons of time each week!


Jennifer Ford Berry

MOPS Group Inspired Video to Get Organized

MOPS

I spent this morning speaking to the MOPS group at the Brockport Free Methodist Church.  What a joy these ladies were!  

We discussed how to organize things like: toys, kids clothing, memorabilia and daily routines.  As moms we always feel like there is not enough time in the day.  But, I am here to tell you not to worry….all moms feel the same!  

Organization does save us lots of time but it doesn’t happen in one day.  Baby steps my friends.  One step at a time each day until you get there may be all you can do….and that is OK!  

But, I also want to remind you to appreciate the journey you are on.  Those toys won’t always be laying on the floor and I promise you when they are gone you will actually miss them!  I am serious! (well not everyday but you will have your moments) 🙂

Here is a quick video I did after my presentation that will hopefully motivate you to get started and keep going one day at a time!

Are you a mom that is struggling with getting organized?  
PLEASE, feel free to let me know what you need help with.  
I will be happy to share my tips with you.
Jennifer Ford Berry

Buffalo Spree Magazine: September 2016 Issue

 

 

Buffalo Spree Magazine

I am in the Buffalo Spree Magazine this month!  Thank you Lisa Littlewood for this amazing article.  I am completely honored to have such a beautiful spread in this beautiful magazine!  Also, thank you to Lydia Dominick for doing my makeup in the photo they used.  

The article talks about how to keep a household organized with children living in it.  This comes at a perfect time when kids all around the area are getting back into the school routine.  

Lisa starts of the piece by writing:  “Those of us who have kids and are not natural organizers can sometimes feel like our homes are overrun by stuff.  There are days when I feel like I’m going to be swallowed whole by the mass of socks, shoes, toys, papers, laundry, hair accessories, and Legos that seem to be in every nook and cranny”.

She goes on to share my favorite tips for organizing paper clutter, toys, mudrooms, sports equipment and bedrooms.      

Near the end I am quoted saying: “At the end of the day, “stuff” is not what’s important.  It’s about family values, the memories we’re creating, the things we do together-that’s what kids will remember”.

If you get a chance to read the entire article I would love to hear your feedback!  Here is the link to the rest of Buffalo Spree Magazine’s September issue.  

What are your favorite tips for keeping your household running smoothly now that the kids are back in school?

Jennifer Ford Berry