Easy Ways to Organize Your Workspace

Whether you have a home office or just a small corner that serves as the family work station, keeping it organized is key to getting things done. These simple tips will help clear out the clutter and make the most of your space.

Supplies and Demand. From paper clips to reams of paper, everything needs a place to go. Dumping it all into one drawer doesn’t really help you find things when you need them.
* Prefab drawer organizers don’t always fit the drawer sizes you have, so make your own. Use small containers such as mini loaf pans, small plastic baskets or other small square or rectangle tins and boxes. They’ll hold paper clips, thumbtacks, stamps, sticky note pads and plenty of other small desk items.
* For desktop storage, use jars, small vases or decorated cans to hold pens and pencils. They’re small and can add an interesting visual element to your work space.
Cut Cord Clutter. There’s nothing like a tangle of electrical cords to make an area seem even more cluttered.

Wireless Charging Station. To tame the cords needed to charge up electronic devices, go wireless instead. Powermat helps eliminate dead batteries, constant plugging/unplugging, loss of chargers and tangled wires. With real-time wireless charging for phones, games, music players and other popular electronic devices, Powermat allows users to charge multiple devices simultaneously, charging as fast as or faster than the device’s charger. It senses when the device is fully charged, and stops sending power so that it not only saves energy, but protects from overcharging.

The Powermat system pairs an ultra-thin mat with a sleek receiver that attaches to each device, enabling users to simply drop and charge. Custom receivers are available for the iPhone, iPod, Nintendo DS and Blackberry devices. These and over one thousand other devices may be charged using the convenient Powercube, a universal receiver that comes standard with every Powermat. Available in Portable or Home & Office versions, Powermat makes a great gift for any anyone looking to de-clutter their home or office. The Powermat’s suggested retail price is $99.99 for mats and $29.99 – $39.99 for receivers. Visit www.powermat.com for more information.

Go Vertical. Why spread out if you can spread up? Look for ways to take advantage of any vertical space you may have.
* Even one wall shelf can add some much needed storage space.
* Put up a wall-mounted message center, or create one with a small bulletin board, a write-on board, and a wall file.
* Stack equipment, but don’t cover up any venting. Use small chair-leg protectors as spacers in between to let air circulate and prevent overheating.

It doesn’t take much – and it doesn’t have to cost much – to get your workspace organized. A few simple fixes and you’re on your way to a more productive day.

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Using FamilyCrossings.com to Grow Your Connections

Imagine if your great, great grandfather or grandmother had left you a book with their secrets for living. Maybe it contained nuggets of wisdom, yummy recipes, favorite jokes, or just insights for how to lead a good life. Ever since people learned of my next book, Life’s Missing Instruction Manual, people are curious how to create their own “manual” for life.

You can leave such a book for your own family. What are the key lessons you’ve learned in your life? Are you ready to share them with your children and grandchildren – or with your friend, siblings, parents, and grandparents?

What you’ve gleaned from your life experiences can make things easier for your children or your relatives. In fact, the lessons you’ve earned from trial and error can be the perfect gift for everyone in your life – or for one person who matters to you. Here’s how to commit your insights to writing and share them with your fellow life travelers.

* Carry a pad of paper around with you everywhere for a week.

* Jot down your thoughts and observations as they occur to you. Don’t judge them. Just make note of them.

* Add personal stories and memories, as they come to mind. Again, don’t edit your thoughts. Just commit them to paper.

* Take a few days to go through your notes, and underline the most important passages, and make additional comments in the margins.

* From this, distill the lessons you most want to share with others: your perspective, your values, what matters most to you, and your reactions to the world around you.

* Find a beautiful journal or blank book – one that you feel a strong connection with. You might find it at a bookstore, an antique store, an online auction site, a craft store, or even a flea market. Where you find it doesn’t matter. How you feel about it does.

* Fill the journal with your own instruction manual for life. Make sure to include a title and your name.

* Find a special person to share it with, and turn the presentation of the journal into a celebration.

If you don’t feel comfortable writing your notes and stories, you can dictate them into a portable tape recorder, and later, you can transcribe them into a journal. You don’t have to be a bestselling author, academic, or philosopher to create a instruction manual that can helped your loved ones every day of their lives… and be passed on to future generations as well.

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Family and Social Media

The internet was always thought to be the exclusive domain of the young. Then, the older age groups discovered that e-mailing family and friends was easier and more cost effective than sending a fax or using “snail mail”. While several years passed, Boomers began exploring the various “Search” options on the net and learned that nearly anything they wanted to know was available on some website or another.

Then came Social Media. Once again, the older group considered it to be a tool for the younger generation. After all, didn’t they already have a hard time keeping up with the activities of their existing friends and family?

Sites like FaceBook and MySpace began appearing in news headlines pointing out potential dangers when teen-agers had unsupervised access to the internet. That caught the attention of the parents who began signing up to the Social networking sites in record numbers. They wanted to know what their kids were posting for the world to see.

As they were keeping an eye on their kids, the Boomers discovered other like-minded people on the sites and began “friending” each other. Some sought advice while others shared experiences. Raising teen-agers was a daunting task and knowing you were not alone and didn’t have all the answers, fueled these relationships. Raising children was not the only issue the Boomers were experiencing.

Many had aging parents, health issues, financial or career difficulties. Finding other Boomers with whom to share the burden, made coping a little easier. Some of these “friends” who had never met face to face became real friends over time. Some of them eventually ended up meeting and continuing the relationship for years.

Although privacy was always held dear to most people brought up before the 70’s, this new style networking is quickly catching on. Women in particular enjoy the connections they establish with other women.

They don’t necessarily develop the same inter-action with their family or existing friends because their interests might differ. As Baby-Boomer women age, they tend to have more time to pursue hobbies that eluded them during their child rearing years. Social networking helps them discover new interests or take up those left behind before life became too busy. The CURE? Social media for your family at FamilyCrossings.com

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