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Downsizing Made Simple by: Rowena List of Getting It Together

Are you; or someone you know getting ready to downsize?

Has the house been a museum for 30, 40, 50 years?

Are you wondering where to start?

Start by having these items on hand:

  • Boxes
  • Packing tape
  • Black marker
  • Labels
  • Industrial strength garbage bags
  • Scissors
  • Gloves (for cleaning and for areas such as the garage and crawl space)
  • Cleaning supplies

Check out this short video and then read on for Getting It Together’s Top 5 Tips to Downsizing Made Simple:

Tip 1: Have an action plan. If you’re a homeowner, first select the date you want to list your home. These tips work well even if you’re not selling but want to downsize the number of items you have in your current space.

The key part to this action plan is a master to do list. What services might you need to hire out? Will you need IMG_4738professional movers, packers, cleaners and of course the most important person…. your professional organizer?

Tip 2: Check the layout of your new place if at all possible. Knowing this information is extremely helpful when it comes time to dealing with furniture that may or may not fit into your new place. It’s also helpful to know the size of your new kitchen, bathroom and your closet space so you only take items that you will use, items that you love and, of course, the items that you really need.

Find out if getting closet/cupboard organizers installed before you move into your new place will help to maximize your storage space, e.g. Pull-outs in the kitchen cupboards and/or built in closet organizers.

Tip 3: Take it slow. You may be moving from your family home which you have lived in for decades. There’re a lot of memories in your home and downsizing may bring up some emotions.

I highly recommend the “15 minute- to- freedom” downsizing method. It means setting your timer for 15 minutes and going through one drawer at a time or one cupboard at a time. Take another 15 minutes and look at downsizing your purses or shoes. This method can be used throughout the entire house as long as you’re not on a tight timeline.

Tip 4: Make a list of items that need to be sold and a list of the items that will be given to family members and which ones will be donated. I suggest using bright coloured labels. Use bright green for all the items that are going to be sold. Simply stick the label onto those items and label them as “Sell”IMG_4737

Use bright yellow labels for the ones that will be donated and red ones for the ones that are going to family members. Do you have family heirlooms? If so, leave any special instructions with them. One of my clients had shelves of binders full of their family history. When downsizing they requested, I take the binders to the local Genealogy Society.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the volume of stuff? This is where Rowena can really come in handy as she knows all the resources and best places for your previously loved items to go.

Tip 5: Visualize what you will be doing in your new space. Will you still host the monthly bridge club, have small dinner parties, or would you rather be going to other people’s places for such things? Knowing this information will help you determine what items are necessary for you to bring to your new space.

Eliminate the three deadly words “just in case”. Downsizing requires ruthlessness. If you’re feeling stuck with a particular item simply ask yourself “would I replace this if it were lost in a flood or fire?”

www.gettingittogether.ca

Top Eight Ways To Declutter

Nothing takes on value unless it’s being used.

How many items do you have in your house that are not being used?

Are you saving them ” just in case?”

Those are the three deadliest words when it comes to decluttering. Just in Case

Check out this short video and then read on for Getting It Togethers Top Eight Ways To Declutter and see how much lighter you feel.

1) Everything you own needs to have purpose and value because it’s functional, it’s used or its loved. A beautiful heirloom from your grandmother might be of beauty because you have it displayed in a place of honour. If it’s in a box in the garage then it needs to go. Take a picture of it first if you must. Think about if you had a flood. Would you replace old broken items that you never use? No, of course not. So, pass them on now so that burden isn’t left to a family member.

2) A place for everything and everything in its place. The kitchen counter is not a catch all. Have a place for your keys, phone, kid’s homework etc.

3) Stay focused on one task at a time. Multitasking is a myth.

4) Have zones. Keep all plastic containers in one area so as to make food clean up easy. And don’t keep any bottoms without a lid or any lids without a bottom. It’s like odd socks. It happens in every household. It’s one of life’s mysteries. Toss out all the odd socks or start a trend by wearing mismatched socks. I see many kids are doing that these days. Have a zone for all appliances you use and that are in working order. Did you have ambitions of baking your own bread only to find out you haven’t used the bread maker in years? Time to pass it on.

5) Deal with things when you make the time for them. Note that I didn’t say when you have the time because we all have time for the things that are important to us. So set aside time to deal with your mail but don’t wait until the electricity company has switched off your hydro. Set aside time to Spring clean your home or set aside time to donate all the books you’ve already read. Make time to clear out the clutter from your closet. It’s very disempowering to open a closet and see a bunch of old outdated clothes or clothes that don’t fit. If you wouldn’t replace it if it was lost in a flood then it’s time for it to be donated. Get real! Get ruthless. Save photos till the last. It’s a big job. One that will take time. Set a timer and quickly sort photos into subject matter. Weddings, Christmas, kids, vacations etc. Once in piles, quickly toss all the photos that are no longer serving you. The blurry ones, red eyed ones etc. And keep only the photos that you would be sad if they went up in flames. Store photos in clear photo boxes and label. Keep in mind that nobody wants your photos. They are your memories.

6) Purchasing mistakes. Just because you bought it doesn’t mean you have to keep it. Did you buy based on price or need? Before purchasing anything ask yourself these questions.

A) where am I going to store this item?

B) what’s the purpose of this purchase?

C) what is the price per use? This is a good question because you’ll get clear on  whether you can rent the item when needed or can borrow it.

7) Stuck energy. Are you the storage unit for your family? Do you keep everything that has ever been in your family? If it gives you a heavy feeling it’s stuck energy. Pass it on with love and no sense of obligation to keep it.

8) Keep your car clear of chaos. Our cars need TLC just as much as our homes. Photocopy your registration and 2 insurance papers. Then black out your name and address in the unlikely event of a break-in at least the person doesn’t have your personal information.

PS: Are you feeling inspired to declutter or are you overwhelmed? Either way, I’d love to hear from you.  Please check out www.gettingittogether.ca for more details and a FREE 15-minute discovery session.

 

How To Create New Habits For Staying Organized

A habit is defined as a recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behaviour that is acquired through frequent repetition.

Most habits are harmless however we all have a few we wish we could change.

What are yours?

The act of staying organized requires some skill, dedication, determination, desire, discipline and creating new habits.

It’s easy enough to clear the clutter but how are you going to keep your space that way?

Habits! Good habits.

With these simple steps you’ll be able to create the new habit of staying organized.

Are you thinking this is easier said than done?

Check out this short video on “How To Create New Habits For Staying Organized” then read on for
Getting It Togethers’ Top Four Tips


Firstly, staying organized needs to be a massive goal. You need to have big reasons for wanting to stay organized.

What are yours?

Please leave them in the comment box below.

Some of the top reasons for staying organized are; to have more time, less stress and more money. For others it might be to release the constant overwhelm of not being able to find what they are looking for in a timely manner and for some it might be the need to release the embarrassment and shame.

Next you need to be really specific about your plan of action for staying organized.

My clients that are the most successful in this department are the ones who follow the “15 minutes to freedom” techniques I coach them on.2

Once your space is completely organized, take 15 minutes per day to keep it that way. Tidy as you go and be mindful about what you bring into your cleared space. Have a place for everything and everything in its place.

Thirdly, think about the consequences of not keeping this new habit. Write out the ways your life will be negatively affected if you don’t follow the “15 minutes to freedom technique.”

And write out the ways you will feel by keeping this new habit.

When the WHYS are big enough, the how’s seem to take care of themselves.

Finally, you must commit to this new lifestyle, this new habit. Implement the four D’s. Dedication, determination, desire and discipline. Self -discipline is not inherited – it’s created, nurtured, and developed daily. Self – discipline comes with a desire to forget what happened yesterday, be the best you can be today, and expect great things from tomorrow.

PS: Do you need to have an accountability partner or some coaching in order to get started and stay on track? If so, contact us today at www.gettingittogether.ca for a FREE 15 minutes to freedom call.

Should I Keep The Box?

How many of you have every box from every electronic item that you have ever bought or received?

The big question is… should it stay or should it go?

Check out this short video on “Should I Keep The Box” and then read on for more helpful tips from Getting It Together.

The only reasons to keep the box is if you plan on returning the item, selling it or moving it.

Let’s talk about returning an electronic item. There are only so many days you have before you can no longer return it. If that time period is over and you do not plan on selling the item or moving any time soon get rid of the dust collecting box. Think of the empty space you will have.

Let’s talk about moving. Chances are if you plan on moving your 70-inch TV any time soon you will be hiring movers, in which case they have the perfect moving blankets that secure your TV in place. Storing massive boxes like this take up valuable real estate and collect dust. I would never suggest storing this box flat under your bed because how would you keep it clean?

And how many of you are really going to sell your old electronics? The sad reality is they go out of date so fast and the latest and greatest is right around the corner.

Now I sell a lot of things for my clients and I have never needed the box. IMG_3671

What I would highly recommend you do is:

A) Take a picture of your expensive electronics and store that picture along with the extra cords that are labelled, along with warranty and manuals in a clear box. This information is extremely helpful if you are ever robbed. It makes replacing so much faster.

B) Have your expensive electronics insured properly.

C) Think before you buy. Is this something you are wanting to keep for a long time, is it something you will sell or will you be donating it once you have finished with it?

D) D for dump all the boxes in recycle.

PS: Catch Rowena in action at this open to the public speaking event.
Friday, March 16 2018
Doors open at 11 am
She  will be speaking on the “10 ways to tame your clutter.”
Register for this action packed networking luncheon, prizes, 50/50, and more.
visit www.valleywomensnetworktricity.com
And book your seat today
Limited space
Lunch included

See you there !

Practice Mindful Shopping: Be A Conscious Consumer

Would you like to know the important tips to conscious consumption without regretting personal choices?

Are you concerned about the future of our earth and where all “this stuff” is going to end up?

Most women like to shop, wouldn’t you agree?  You might be like me and only enjoy window shopping while travelling because of the bright lights, overcrowded racks and disarray displays or you might be the type of woman who only shops online or are you the type who can hardly wait for the weekend so you can meet a friend and power through the mall?

Either way, you will want to be a conscious consumer instead of being consumed.

Take a quick look at this short video on Mindful Shopping and read on to get Getting It Togethers’ Top 5 Simple Tips

Tip1: Buy on need not price. Marketing gurus have us figured out. They know we can easily get drawn in to the “buy one get one free” or “buy one get one at 50% off.”  This is not the reason to purchase. Buy what you need. Period. If you’re feeling drawn in, walk away. Go have a coffee and think about the item. Do you really need it? Can you financially afford it? What is it really costing you if you purchase it? Disagreements with a spouse, crammed closets, guilty feelings, regret?

There will be times when you are feeling weak and end up with purchasing mistakes. We all have them. Give those items away or sell them. This could be clothing, gadgets, etc.

Tip 2: Work from a list. A conscious consumer has a list of items they need. Keep this ongoing list in your purse or phone. This includes grocery shopping.

Tip 3: Do your research. A conscious consumer looks for the best price, ethical manufacturing and or can it be previously loved? Let your fingers do the walking or better yet if your kids are old enough get them to research for you.

Buying second hand saves so much on the packaging especially when it comes to kids’ toys.

Borrowing an item from a friend like their power washer or canning supplies.rl3

Tip 4: Know where you will be storing your new items. If it is clothing, that means an item or two needs to come out of your closet before this new one goes in. If it is a big blow up water toy or a large Christmas decoration you need to think about where this will be living.

rl1What about a case of water? Can you refill your own water bottle and save on storage, the environment and money?

Tip 5: What is the purpose of purchasing this new item? Will it bring you joy for the purchasing instant or will it bring you continued pleasure? Do you need it or is it a want?

How will you spend your spare time now that you’ll be shopping less?

What will you do with the extra money?

PS: one of the best documentaries I’ve seen is “The Real Cost” check it out on Netflix and let me know your thoughts.

 

 

De-cluttering vs. Staging: Getting Your Home Ready for Sale

75% of Canadians classify their home decor as current while 45% call themselves pack rats.

Which category do you fall into?

Today the real estate market is hot however, that does not mean your home will sell in a flash.

Make yours stand out from the crowd by watching this short video on De-cluttering vs. Staging then read on to get all the great tips that I offer.

Getting It Together’s Top 3 Tips on De-cluttering

De-cluttering Tip 1: Donate, sell or toss any items that are no longer serving you. Fine china set; large vases, furniture etc. Keep only what you need to stage the house and what you need for your new place. If you are not sure where you are moving to, you’ll need to make some executive decisions.

De-cluttering Tip 2: Pack seasonal items, clothing, sporting goods, Christmas decorations, entertaining items from the kitchen etc.

De-cluttering Tip 3: The front hall is the first impression. Make sure the hall closet has only two or three coats in it and a couple of pairs of shoes. Keep the front entrance clear.

Clutter is overwhelming to prospective buyers. It might be invisible to you but not to new eyes.

Getting it Together’s Top 5 Tips on Staging

When you think of staging think of a hotel room.

No candles, no personal photos, minimal furniture.

You will feel like your house is bare but to the prospective buyers it will look inviting.

Staging Tip 1: Take down all personal photos. For one thing, this protects your privacy and for another, the potential buyers want to visualize their family photos in the space.

Staging Tip 2: Clear kitchen counters. A big bowl of fruit or fresh flowers is inviting. Put your toaster, coffee maker and knife set away in the pantry when you have a showing.

Staging Tip 3: Repair. Go around your home on your hands and knees. Look for scuff marks, dents and any other repairs. Do you have doors that squeak? Taps that drip? Time to get those fixed.

Staging Tip 4: The outside. Does your home need a little TLC? How is the garden looking?

My house could have used a paint job. I had to weigh the pros and cons of getting it painted prior to being put on the market. I opted to not paint. In the end that did not make or break the deal. If you decide to paint, keep paint colours fresh and neutral.

Staging Tip 5: Keep everything squeaky clean. That means the inside and outside of windows, base boards, ceiling fans, inside the oven and fridge, floors, walls etc. Prospective buyers look everywhere. Make sure your home smells fresh by using some essentials oils in a diffuser.

Staging is done so the prospective buyers can visualize their belongings in your home. If your place is filled to the brim, they subconsciously cannot picture living in it. Some prospective buyers many even want to purchase your furniture if it is staged properly.

You can stage by simply tossing most of your belongings in boxes and paying for storage or you can de-clutter, downsize and then stage which means you will have a stress free move. It also means you will not have to deal with all “that” stuff in your new home.

Which would you prefer?

PS: MAGNIFICENT YOU Women’s Conference
September 24-25, 2016
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How To Set Priorities

Do you feel like you are putting out fires all day long?

Do you feel like your time is never your time?

At the end of the day do you wonder what you really got done?

 

Take a look at this short simple video on “How To Set Priorities”

Then read on to get the top 4 quadrants to getting things done.

#1 Urgent/Important:

You wake up in the morning. What is one of the first things you do?

Is it urgent and important? If you are like most people it is….going to the washroom J

Then, getting washed up, fed and out the door to work. These are “must do’s”

These tasks have timelines if you want to be on time. They are urgent and they are important.RL1

Waking up in the morning and checking emails is “not” urgent or important.

Don’t get me wrong, your emails could very well be important; however do they need to be responded to before you have even taken care of your personal needs first?

What other “must do’s” do you have on your list of things to do?

(Oh wait a minute, you don’t have a list?) Let’s start there.

Do yourself a favour and write out your 6 most important things (6 being the magic number) you must do for the next day. These are things that only you can do. Then put these “to-do’s” in either the first or second quadrant.

#2 Not Urgent/Important:

This is the best quadrant to work from.

These are things that are important to you. Quality time with your family, exercising, clearing out the clutter, downsizing your aging parent’s home, spending time with friends, getting your taxes done. Achieving highly productive work activities without the sense of stress.

If you procrastinate on these above items they get moved to #1.

For example: Your Doctor orders you to start taking care of yourself, your parents pass on and now you are left with downsizing their home, your friends get resentful because you never make time to see them, your kids complain that all you ever do is work or your marriage is in trouble because you are having an affair with your mobile device. Your boss is yelling at you for the overdue reports.

Impeccable scheduling will eliminate the above examples.

#3 Urgent/Not Important:

Checking personal emails every single time the notification goes off. Note to self; turn the notification off.  Instead, set aside 2 times per day to check your personal emails.

Responding to texts the second they come in or worse while driving.

Answering your phone even when you are not free to talk. Like while you are with family and friends, while you are at dinner, while you are in the shower (yep, someone did that to me once)

Saying “yes” when you really mean “no”.

Anything that is a creative avoidance to what you really need to be doing and want to be doing.

#4 Not Urgent/Not Important:

Anything that is taking valuable time away from what you really want to do in life.

Watching endless TV, playing endless hours of video games, getting screen sucked, attending functions that are not contributing to your professional goals, attending meetings without an agenda or timeline, talking on the phone to a negative person who is not willing to take action to change their life and so on.

Don’t get me wrong, we all need some down time. Is yours in proportion to the rest of your life or are you using this quadrant as an escape?

PS: Are you still feeling time strapped? Connect today and receive your FREE weekly plan sheet. I will go over the best way for you to manage your time.

Know anyone who is always late? Share the love by sending this link to them.

www.gettingittogether.ca

Places You Should Never Store Anything

One of my goals is to keep my clients safe. I think you would all agree this is a good thing.

Having too much clutter can really be dangerous and unsafe.

Think about if there was a fire. Would you be able to get out of your home in a timely, safe manner?

If paramedics needed to come to your home, would they be able to safely enter?

Do you have trip zones?

Take a look at the short simple video on “Places You Should Never Store Anything”

And carry on reading the Getting It Together Top 3 Tips.

#1: Never store anything above your bed. You might think having floating shelves about the bed is a good idea until something falls off of the shelf in the middle of the night and hits you in the head. Ouch!

This goes for your kids rooms as well.

I see it all the time. A book shelf above the bed or a shelf for stuffed animals (ok, not so bad as they would not hurt you) even still; I do not recommend any shelving above a bed.

#2: Never store anything under the bed. Just think of all the dust that will collect unless you are willing to remove all the items under the bed once a week when you vacuum. I see a lot of people store spare blankets or clothes under the bed.  Do you really need those things? Have you long forgotten they were there? Is it time to pass them on with love?

#3: For sure, never store anything beside your furnace and hot water tank. Repair men need to be able to get to these at a moment’s notice.  Has your hot water tank ever leaked? You know what happens then and it is not pretty. Keep these areas clear.

PS: Do you find these newsletters of value? Please share the love by sharing them with your friends and family.

Estate Planning Made Simple

Personal estate organizing starts at the time we become an adult. Even if you think you have nothing of value there is still the question of your final wishes. Even if you think you have nothing there is still your bank account or your possible employment benefits etc.

We all know there is no escaping death, however we believe it will never happen to us. When we hear of a famous person’s demise we are usually in disbelief thinking that somehow they are exempt from death. And when it is a person close to us we go into shock, grief and sadness.

This is all real but somehow feels surreal.

Talking about death and dying does not mean it will come sooner. So why is it that we avoid the topic?

There are so many easy ways to be organized for your passing. This in turn will lessen the burden on your friends and family.

Imagine transitioning with grace.

Check out this short video on estate planning made simple and then read on for the Getting It Togethers Top 5 Tips.

Tip 1: Have a secure place for all of your digital passwords. Even if you use an online service like www.onepassword.com your loved ones still need to know how to get into that site.

Keep a copy in your safety deposit box.

Survivors need access to

  • Cell phone
  • Computer
  • Social media accounts
  • Home alarm with instructions on how to work it and the pass code.
  • Hidden spare keys and list of people who might have spare key to your home or vacation property.
  • Bank Accounts
  • Online accounts like banking, direct deposits, PayPal etc

Tip 2: Our stuff is less important to others. Are you saving stuff for your grown children? Do you even know if they want it or not?

I have heard of people having a family dinner where each person can claim certain heirlooms by placing a sticker on the bottom of the item with their name on it.

Or you might have special pieces of jewelry that you want to go to certain people which you will make note of in your will.

More has lost its appeal.

Less represents freedom.

Tip 3: Making special requests for your remains. Do your family members really know your final wishes?

Does everyone agree on them?

It is so important to have this in writing.

Advanced Planning- non legal organizing

  • Funeral, memorial service, celebration of life
  • Organ donation plan
  • Cremation or burial
  • Obituary ( be very careful about identity theft when publishing)
  • Eulogy
  • Asset Distribution
  • Estate Directory – friends, family ( have an up to date list of all their names and numbers)
  • List of Doctors, lawyers, financial planner, minister, accountant, insurance agent, employer, godparents, neighbours, kids school, babysitter, and daycare. Be sure to update these lists as things change in your life. I suggest reviewing this information once a year.
  • phone company
  • banks
  • credit card companies
  • volunteer organizations you belong to
  • Safety deposit box (with location of key) one way to insure smooth sailing is to have your bank acct and safety deposit box in joint name with one of your survivors.
  • Anything else you can think of that your survivors would need access to. Like passport, birth certificate and SIN # etc

Tip 4: Legal Essentials

  • Will
  • Power of Attorney
  • Representation Agreement ( living will)
  • Cash/life insurance, all financial documents
  • Business Succession Plan (if you own your own business) listing names of employees and their numbers, any contract workers or suppliers.
  • Any outstanding loans/alimony/child support

Tip 5: In order to process a registration of death for vital statistics and to process a death certificate, the funeral home will need the following

  • The deceased persons full legal name including maiden name if female
  • Date of birth
  • Date of death
  • Birthplace
  • Social insurance number
  • Health care number
  • Fathers full name
  • Mothers full name
  • Full name of surviving spouse
  • Occupation and for how long
  • Religious affiliation
  • Was the deceased a military veteran? This is important to have this information on file.

I am wishing all of my readers a long, happy, healthy, successful life.

When you do pass on, where will your affairs lie in the spectrum between chaos and order?

Please let me help you and your loved ones by making this transition smooth.

PS: Contact me today for a free 15 minute phone consultant on estate organizing. I’ll share with you your first next step.

Top 10 Tips To Being Organized And Put More Money In Your Pocket

One of the costs of clutter is money. Being disorganized can break the bank in more ways than one.

Do you catch yourself buying things because you

  1. A) Cannot find them in your home or
  2. B) Cannot remember if you have that item or
  3. C) You were so rushed in the morning that you did not make a lunch?

Would it be great if everything had a home and you could find what you were looking for in 20 seconds or less?

Check out this short video on The Top 10 Tips To Being Organized And Put More Money In Your Pocket.

Then read on for Getting It Togethers’ Top 10 Tips To Being Organized And Put More Money In Your Pocket.

Tip #1. Take your lunch. Get yourself organized by making your lunch the night before. I know we have all heard this one before but it is worth repeating. When you are organized it takes as little as 3-5 minutes to make a lunch for yourself. Not only is it healthier it is also going to save you big bucks. (well over $75.00 a week)

Tip #2. Avoid late-payment fees. Let’s get you a system in place so you no longer miss payments and get charged late fees. Setting up the system will take about 30 minutes. Well worth it don’t you think?

Tip #3. Call your local phone company to see if you have the best plan possible. Plans are always changing and most companies are willing to negotiate a new plan for you at no extra cost. I was able to lower my phone bill be 10.00 a month. That is 120.00 a year back in my pocket. This will take less than 5 minutes as long as you are not put on hold J If you are put on hold, take that time to toss out some old papers that have been piling up.

Tip #4. Call your local cable company and ask them the same thing. Are you really watching all 500 channels? Can you get a better “package?” This will take about the same amount of time as the above tip.

Tip #5. Pay your credit card off in full each month. Be organized with your online banking so you do not miss a payment. This takes 3 minutes to set up and can save you hundreds of dollars in interest fees.

Tip #6. Plan your meals for the week. This avoids running into the grocery store several times a week. Not only does this save you huge amounts of time it saves on impulse buying. Take 15 minutes once a week to plan your meals and make your shopping list. And yes, I can help you with this by giving you simply easy dinner menu items for you and your family.

Tip #7. Plan ahead when traveling by taking your own snacks on the plane. Airport food is overpriced. Just think of what a bottle of water costs in an airport!

Tip #8. Be organized and save money by purchasing your sunscreen ahead of time. Tourist shops increase the prices for people who forget their sunscreen at home.

Tip #9. Sell unwanted items in your home before they are no good to anyone else. Perfect example of this is items that get outdated like furniture and clothing. I know you are keeping them “just in case” however this is where you need to get ruthless and ask yourself “would I replace this item if it was lost in a flood or fire?” If not, then it is time to pass it on.

Tip #10. Repurpose greeting cards that are sent to you. Cut the front off (picture part) and glue it to a new piece of paper.Voila! a new card. Great way to repurpose your kids’ art work too. Use it for wrapping paper or make cards out of them.

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Thanking you in advance for spreading the love. I will do the same for you.