Study: ERs Systematically Price-Gouge Patients; Here Are 3 Ways To Save Money


Many families are struggling to find viable and affordable healthcare options, and a recent study by Johns Hopkins School of Medicine showed that patients are being overcharged for ER services by over $3 billion each year.

The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey reports that the average ER visitor pays total costs of $1,318 and a mean cost of $615. However, the study showed that the charges for emergency physician services can be anywhere from one to 12.6 times more than the Medicare allowance.

"There are massive disparities in service costs across emergency rooms, and that price gouging is the worst for the most vulnerable populations," said senior investigator and professor of surgery at JHU's School of Medicine, Martin Makary. "Our study found that inequality is then further compounded on poor, minority groups, who are more likely to receive services from hospitals that charge the most."
To add insult to injury, a private study conducted by Milliman found that approximately 44% to 65% of all ER episodes could have been treated in urgent care clinic settings.

If patients aren't aware of these implications, how are they supposed to protect themselves from price gouging?

Luckily, there are a number of steps patients can take to lower their medical bills without having to sacrifice the quality of care they're receiving. Here are just a few practical ways to save money on medical care.

Take your time choosing an insurance policy:

Many people feel rushed into choosing an insurance policy so they can start receiving coverage sooner. However, choosing an insurance policy should never be taken lightly. Take your time to explore the various plans affordable and available for you. Experts recommend choosing a plan that incorporates physician and medication coverage and care for chronic conditions. Once you have your list narrowed down to just a few choices, call doctors' offices near you and make sure they accept that type of coverage. Finally, if you have children, check to see if they qualify for free or reduced cost coverage in your state. This can drastically reduce those monthly insurance premiums.

Only get what's necessary:

This may sound like it requires a sacrifice regarding the quality of care you'll be getting, but in fact, some doctors try to push as many medical tests as they can onto their patients, despite considering whether or not they're truly necessary. Don't be afraid to voice your choices when your physician tells you they want you to get a particular test done that you aren't familiar or comfortable with. Take the time to do your own research and come to your own conclusions as to whether or not they're necessary. You'd be surprised how much money you can save by keeping it simple and only getting what you need.

Consider non-profit hospitals:

In the midst of our nation's health care crisis, roughly 75% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck. For those with low incomes, CNBC recommends seeking out nonprofit hospitals and medical centers because hospital fees are simply too erratic.

"Hospital payments will vary because they reflect each individual hospital and the unique care needs of the patient population it serves," American Hospital Association spokeswoman Marie Watteau said in a statement. "One community may have sicker patients with more chronic illness, while another may care for more uninsured patients. Drawing information that is meaningful from a uniform set of charges is challenging because hospital care is individually tailored to each patient's needs."

Ultimately, the Johns Hopkins study demonstrates an underlying need for increased awareness of these money-saving ER alternatives. Tim Xu, the author of the study and JHU medical student, feels as though the problem lies at the foundation of the health care industry as a whole.

"This is a health care systems problem that requires state and federal legislation to protect patients ... Patients really have no way of protecting themselves from these pricing practices."

For more information on combating medical debt check out this amazing guide!

How To Work On Vacation (Without Letting It Ruin Your Relaxation)

For many of today's professionals, working on vacation is simply part of the job. In fact, about 60% of people have worked while on their getaway. Perhaps you are telecommuting and don't want to take time off, or maybe you are an entrepreneur simply keeping tabs on your company while you are away. Either way, it is all too easy to let working ruin your vacation, robbing you of that relaxation you so need.

Fortunately, if you absolutely have to punch the clock while you are away, there are more productive ways to get your work done while still basking in the sun. Studies show that 37% of families say that vacation makes them happy, making it the most happiness-inducing activity.

So, how can you reap the joy and benefits of your time away while still doing the work you need to do?

Use this guide to integrate work into your vacation without stressing too much, ultimately returning feeling more refreshed.

  • Block Off Work Time: Block off specific times of the day that you are planning to work and do what you can to stick to that. Otherwise, you'll constantly feel like you're working. One of the best ways to do this is to get up earlier than the rest of your family to get work done in the morning and maybe use the hour or two before dinner when everyone is getting ready.
  • Set Boundaries: While you are working on vacation, it's important to have limits. After all, this is supposed to be your time off. For example, consider checking emails but turning off your phone. This holds you accountable to controlling your work time.
  • Set An Away Message: Just because you are working on vacation does not mean you will be reachable all the time, so still write an email away message. This way, your clients and coworkers can forgive you for a delayed response time.
  • Stay Positive: Being negative about having to work on vacation will only make you miserable, ruining all of the time that you are not working. Remember that you are spending the majority of your time just enjoying your time off. By focusing on the positive, clocking in will only feel like a small portion of a larger good time.
  • Know When To Unplug: Prioritize moments of pure leisure and relaxation. If you are one of the 46.3 million U.S households that are lucky enough to own a dog, take your pooch for a long walk on the beach after you finish your morning work. These moments will help you stay recharged.

Above all, remember that not working on vacation is always preferable. It's important to use that time to recharge. Taking time off will make you a more productive and relaxed worker, ultimately furthering your professional career. But this is not always the reality.

"You’ve read all the articles about 'unplugging' on vacation -- but you know you aren’t going to do it," Devin Tomb writes in a Fast Company article. "We’re millennials, and that means we like to work just as much as we like to play. But here’s the thing: If you don’t chill out and enjoy your hard-earned vacation, odds are you’re going to burn out, and that helps no one."

So, if you must work on vacation, be sure to do it well. You don't have to let it tense up your down time.

Keep The Family Finances Afloat, Even In The Worst Storm

Financial storms are something that many families face in their lifetimes. Whether they are due to a crash in the market, an unexpected illness, or being laid off. However, just because you feel the wind pick up and the rain starts to fall; it doesn't mean it’s time to panic. Especially if you follow the guide below on how to keep the family's finances afloat, even when it's blowing a (metaphorical) gale.

Protect

One way to keep your family's finances afloat is to make sure that they are protected as much as possible. Do this is by having adequate insurances in place.

Insurances work by covering you in certain situations if you can no longer keep up the payments on your home, credit cards, or other big ticket items. All you have to do is keep up the small monthly premiums to be protected, just in case the worse doesn't happen.

Repair

Another way to keep the family finances afloat when things are difficult is to investigate how to repair a low credit score. This is a worthwhile activity because a low credit score can get in the way of you being granted credit in the future, something that can certainly save your behind if in a tight spot.

To do this check out the advice at repair.credit that can help you raise your credit score. As then you will be prepared for any financial situation that the wind blows your way.

Save

Of course, savings are a huge part of keeping the family's finances buoyant when there is a problem. Savings can help pay for those unexpected bills, go toward the kids' tuition fees, or even enable you to buy them their first car without having to get a loan.

However, savings rely on forward planning. That means you have to put the money away religiously whether you feel like it or not, and no matter what sort of financial situation you are in. It can also help to investigate high-interest rate accounts and ISAs. As these will help you grow your savings as quickly as possible. Some even have clauses where you can't take your money out immediately so they may stop you from being tempted to dip into them for a treat now and again as well.

Invest & Liquidate

business-163501_1280.jpg


Lastly, another way of keeping the family finances afloat during the storm is to liquidate an asset. Assets are things that are worth a significant amount of money, such as property, vehicles or art and antiques.

Having money invested in these things is a good way of both enjoying it, and ensuring that it is available if a financial storm ever does hit. As you can sell them at point throughout your life when you need an injection of capital.

Although it's vital that you pick things to invest in that are likely to hold or increase in value. Especially, in the case of art and antiques, something you can get some guidance on at www.forbes.com.


10 Tips for Staying Stylish with Your Adult Braces

What can you do if you're born with bad dental genes? Thanks, Mom and Dad.
From overbites to too-small mouths to buck teeth, there are plenty of dental issues that could force you indignantly into the orthodontist's office for your braces.

Braces are a teenage thing for most folks, but for some of us, they come later in life after we're well into adulthood.

The proposition of wearing braces as an adult can be terrifying. You might worry about how to take care of them. They can make you feel self-conscious and unattractive - but only if you let them. Here are a few tips for dealing with life as an adult with braces. Following these pointers will make daily life easier and might make you think that maybe, just maybe, it's not so bad after all.

1. What Braces?

Aside from proper care and maintenance, those braces aren't there — they just don't exist. What braces? Where?

Channel your "Fairest of Them All" bad self, and strut your stuff like you've got the most dazzling smile ever. It is shiny, anyhow. Whatever you do, don't spend your day frowning about all the wires, screws, gears and mechanical thing-a-ma-bobs hardwired in there, or you'll go mad. Alternatively, use your imagination and become a Transformer.

2. Don’t Say IT First

You don't have to bring it up just to break the ice, even if you feel like everyone is staring right at the mechanical miracle that are your adult braces. Yes, you can still talk. Yes, you just got them. No, they can't touch the metal.

You are under no obligation to answer any questions or even talk about your adult braces. If you're feeling mischievous, you could come up with ridiculous explanations — like how you got kidnapped by aliens. Totally happened.

3. Remember to Brush

Yeah, yeah, yeah, you're probably thinking. Keep your toothbrush at hand to scrub-a-dub-dub around the wires, because food will get stuck. It's inevitable.

Address the issue, so people can be more focused on the dress you're wearing than the food stuck in your teeth. Why, yes, you did wear blue rubber bands today to match your dress, and they bring out your eyes. How kind!

Remember to brush, because the better care you take of your mechanical mouth now, the less gear you've got to carry around in there later.

4. Make the First Move

No matter how ridiculous you think you look or how you feel, it is always nerve-wracking to go up to your crush or a potential client for the first time. Make the first move to relieve the pressure.

Don’t let your braces become a wall between you and everyone else. You may not be a social butterfly, but networking and socializing is still part of life. Get out there!

5. Recognize Those Who Really Care

If anyone regularly makes fun of your adult braces or puts you down for them or anything else — lose them ASAP because they're not worth your time.

They shouldn't push their insecurities on you or try to humiliate you to feel bigger. That goes for friends, romantic interests and anyone else. You can't ditch family but you can put up boundaries or limit your time around them.

Those who really care will stick with you and not put you down. Lose the shallow people.

6. Chew Mindfully

Remember how your parents, the ones with the horrible dental genes, told you to always chew your food 32 times? Now, that piece of advice is more important than ever.

Chew your food mindfully because certain foods eaten quickly may damage your braces. Avoid or be careful with chewy foods (bagels), crunchy foods (popcorn), sticky foods (chewing gum) and hard, bite-worthy foods (apples or nuts). Foods that are easier on your braces include lunch meats, poultry, seafood, grains, bread, dairy, vegetables and certain fruits, such as bananas.

Chewing mindfully will also make your more conscious of what you are eating and how it makes you feel. You'll feel fuller faster and notice how foods affect your energy levels.

7. Shine

You're a superstar! Your braces are shiny just like you are, and it's about dang time you flaunted your fabulousness. Walk that walk, and talk that talk. Smile. Laugh. Share your talents.

8. Accessorize

Wear your best looks with your coolest accessories. Your adult braces are a temporary accessory to your smile, and the end result is going to be amazing. So, play with your other accessories. Wear that amazing statement necklace, scarf or fedora.

9. Be Real

Be yourself, and express your emotions. If you're hurt or angry about what someone has said, or if you're feeling insecure, share that with loved ones. They'll cheer you up, and you'll have gotten it all out. Then, go on being your amazing self.

10. Wear Your Retainer, Silly

Don't forget to wear your retainer, because your teeth can and will move back into awkward places like tectonic plates. Stop the continental drift of your mouth with your retainer. Braces are expensive, and soon you'll bear restriction-free pearly whites.

Wearing braces in adulthood can be more awkward than in teen years, because more stigma comes with "Why, now?" Well, because the time is now. That's why!

It's okay to feel out of place, but remember this is temporary and you're still YOU! You still have the incredible looks and personality that everyone loves. Braces don't change you, but they may reveal who around you is real and who isn't.


So, shine bright, be real and accessorize your glorious personality and style. Chew mindfully. Oh, and don't forget to brush regularly and wear your retainer, silly! This, too, shall pass, but for right now, keep doing you!

5 Things You Need to Know Before Going Full-time Freelancer


Adobe Photoshop, apple, books

Image from Pexels

According to oDesk, there are more than 3.7 million Australians who are in the freelance industry. With the advent of technology and the Internet, we now live in a more liberated workforce.

More than 51 percent of those Australians who left their traditional day job now earn 69 percent of their previous income within a year. Additionally, 58 percent of them refused to go back to their traditional corporate job no matter the amount of money to be offered.

Why are Australians lured into the freelancing world?

Australians are known to be the laidback type. Thus, it makes total sense that they resort to freelancing as their job and sometimes their way of life. Every year, there are a lot of Australians who will trade the job security for the perks of a more flexible working way of life.

With millions of Australians resorting to freelancing, a lot of people are wondering why a lot of people are into freelancing these days. The freelancing realm is so lucrative because of its increased flexibility. Aussies prefer to have a workstyle that has so much flexibility from the online platforms because freelancing allows them to choose what they work on and earn awesome financial returns.

Yet, this trend towards freelancing is not a serious surprise anymore. The greater sense of independence and increased freedom to pursue the kinds and hours of time they will work allures people the most about freelancing.

For small business owners, freelancing is a more favorable, easier, cheaper and faster way of finding expert individuals to get their tasks done when there is no need of fulltime labor.

Businesses can hire freelancers with years of unparalleled experience on a similar type of project they have on hand. This can give the business a new perspective or horizon to explore.

Additionally, it poses fewer risks for business to hire a freelance worker who will resort to online work from home than the traditional office-based arrangement. When you hire someone on a fulltime basis, you are invoking a long term commitment and relationship. There is definitely a significant cost associated with in-house employees, especially if things do not work out eventually.

How do you prepare yourself for shifting towards freelance work?

People may have different reasons why they go for freelancing: some go freelance because they can work whenever they want, because of the freedom to pick and choose the types of projects they work on, and because this way they won’t lose their enthusiasm while working.
Freelancers have built their skills and credibility up to a level that they can go out on their own. Thus, you have to prepare your skills, employment experience, and your heart to survive and succeed in the freelance industry. We want to lend you a hand in preparing yourself as you venture as a freelance ninja:

  1. Be realistic. Come into terms and figure out what you need to thrive and survive. You should be more responsible by actually setting up a basic budget. Try to determine how much you will need to keep your standard of living. You can make necessary adjustments that you might be able to cut away from your monthly liabilities. Therefore, you can enjoy your life and spend time with your family.

  1. Avoid incorporating business structures. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn from it. There is absolutely no reason to incorporate a company without delay, but you owe it to yourself to know the various business structures and how they differ from each other.

  1. Try to learn more about sales and marketing. Freelancers find it hard to tackle sales and marketing. For most of them, sales is almost like their second nature from their previous careers. However, you should exert more effort into bringing and closing deals that come knocking on your door. Hopefully you will get the feel of sales and marketing since freelancing will require you to do it often.

4.    Get some inspiration from success stories of freelancing. You do not have to deal with a psychotic and demanding boss as well as those annoying officemates. You have to be disciplined when you want to work as a freelancer. Be motivated by reading through inspiring success stories.
5.    Find useful tools but do not overdo it. With a plethora of software and applications to be an efficient freelancer. Yet, you do not need to invest much of your time into figuring out which tools will make your freelancing endeavors work like magic.


Author Bio

Kristoffer Canimo is a writer who strictly cannot start his day without coffee. When he's not writing or reading, he spends his time playing League of Legends. He's currently based in Manila, Philippines and loves huskies, midnight walks, and Raymond Carver. He freelance writes for a Sydney-based plumbing Just Flow Plumbing.
   
Gravatar: kriscanimo@hotmail.com

Be Bear Aware West Kelowna


Please do your part in keeping our community safe by managing the wildlife attractants around your home.

As bears prepare for winter denning they are in search of easily accessible food sources. Don't put your community and the bear at risk by allowing them to access your garbage! Bears have already been spotted in several West Kelowna neighbourhoods.

WildSafeBC has tips that residents can follow to keep wildlife wild; help prevent conflicts by:
  • Putting out garbage only on the morning of collection
  • Kindly encouraging neighbours to put out their garbage at the appropriate times too, and offering to help out if they are unable to do so
  • Securing garbage on non-collection days
  • Keeping your garbage bin clean
  • Not depositing food in un-secured garbage bins in parks or construction areas
  • Keeping barbecues clean and covered
  • Picking ripe fruit, cleaning up any fallen fruit, and mixing these attractants well into your compost
  • Putting away and cleaning up any bird seed and pet food

Report human-wildlife conflicts to the BC Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.

For more information, contact WildSafeBC at okwestside@wildsafebc.comor 250-862-7336.

Ever Thought Of Crafting Your Way To A Better Lifestyle

Colorful pompoms

If you
 think that craft is also coloring books and bright woolen pompoms, then you probably need to sit down and consider everything that craft has to offer in your world and how it can change your lifestyle for the best.

For a start, the craft has more than one meaning, so maybe it’s worth exploring how each can make your life better.

Craft lunches and meals: Healthy food for less
There’s something at the core of the world of craft that refers to homemade food and drinks. While you may not embrace the life of a beer brewer, you can certainly adopt some of the principles of craft food into your everyday life. For a start, preparing your lunch box means that you are in charge of the nutrition and the budget you invest in it too. l There is no denying that bought meals will always be more expensive and less healthy than homemade ones. Additionally, this allows you to be more playful with your menus and to stay away from junk food. A healthy diet for less, that’s surely an American dream for modern families!


Craft hobbies: Releasing your inner world
When you expand on the primary meaning of home-made items, craft refers to working a material with your hands. And craft hobbies, from painting to knitting, are back in trend. It’s fashionable to have a crafty side, but it doesn’t only make you look good within your social circle, it also is beneficial for your health, as theglasshammer.com explains. A craft hobby has a positive influence on your body and soul: It gives you the time you need to take care of yourself and think. It provides you with direct access to your emotions, which enables you to process difficult and stressful situations more easily.

Can craft be your dream career?
If you enjoy your craft hobby, you could also turn it into a professional career. There is a rise in artisan careers especially around the food and drink industry. But you can find some crafters in the clothing and leather industry who have taken over Etsy with their amazing creations. The professional world of crafting often seems more appealing because it continues to encourage individuality and creativity, giving you a higher job satisfaction.


Crafting a plan out of financial insecurity
But craft is not only a work of hand- and home-made. Craft is about a work of ingenuity and intelligence. Crafting a solution to your problems is exactly what we mean by this. Financial problems, especially, can be stressful and overwhelming. That’s why you can rely on debtconsolidation.loans to help you craft a way out of debt situations: It’s about identifying your expensive areas and consolidating your debts into one payment. Making a problem manageable is the first way to solving it.


A crafty you is better equipped for professional success
Finally, learning your craft is also a common method to improve your professional career. Whether you choose to add new skills to your CV or perfect existing skills, there’s no doubt that solid expertise is the way to success.

So which one of these is your favorite take on a craft life? Whether you choose to work with your hands, or with your mind, craft is at every step of the way towards a better you.

Make The Most Out Of Your Worst Habits

Ah, bad habits! We all have our fair share of them, and sometimes it comes as a surprise that we can’t fully manage them. Which is funny, when you think about it because bad habits are exactly that: The unmanageable dark side of your personality. Well, in reality, while you can’t ditch your bad habits overnight, you can certainly learn to outsmart them and to replace them by something better. Because that’s the thing about bad habits: They’re habits. It’s a pre-learned behavior, so the only way to get rid of it is to learn something new to replace it.


#1. Sell what you don’t need any more
If you’re one of those people who easily fall for the materialistic trap of buying too much and mainly things you barely need, then you’ve probably come across the challenges of heavy shopping on your budget. Credit card debts are a common consequence of the shopping waves of ‘I want’ and ‘I need.' When it comes to managing debts, https://consolidation.creditcard can recommend a reliable provider to consolidate your credit card payments into one, which makes it more manageable. But that doesn’t help you to get rid of the shopping habit, though. So, you’d be glad to know that September 23rd is the official National Declutter Day. You can make the most of it by getting rid of everything you don’t need or use in your house. There’s a bonus to this challenge: Why not sell the stuff you don’t need to repay your credit card debts? In the end, the only way to stop yourself from buying too much is to give your items a new home.

#2. Create a day in routine that stops laziness
If staying at home all day and watching TV sounds like your kind of things, then you may struggle with keeping a tidy and clean household. It’s often too easy to tell yourself that you’ll do it later. Unfortunately, that later never arrives! The best way to handle urges of comfortable laziness is to set a clear plan of what you need to do. http://www.goodhousekeeping.com has provided a handy list of cleaning for the home, from everyday cleaning to monthly and quarterly needs. Don’t just consider the list of to-do as dull chores. By adding a reward for completing your daily or weekly to-do’s you can get things done and continue to enjoy a well-deserved lazy moment in front of your favorite TV show.

#3. Buy only healthy to cook healthy


Sugar cravings

Sugar cravings are the worst, especially if you give in too easily. The problem with cravings is that they are nurtured by unhealthy eating habits. The only way to deal with them appropriately is to focus on a healthy grocery shopping. Don’t panic: https://greatist.com has shown that you can eat healthy food without breaking the bank. From pinto beans to cottage cheese, a healthy diet can gradually eliminate cravings and keep you feeling satisfied and strong. Also, less craving means less weight gain, and that is always a good thing!

In short, whether you’re a shopping-addict, a lazy couch slug or a sugar freak, you can teach yourself a way out of your bad habits by replacing these with new, positive behavior. As you do, you’ll rapidly notice the improvements in your lifestyle and your mood. So make the most of your bad habits now!

August Swago


Swagbucks is holding their monthly Swago promotion starting Monday, 28 August at 9am PDT! It's just like bingo, but in this case you're filling out squares as you earn points on their site for doing things you already do online. If you're thinking of trying Swagbucks, this is a great chance to learn all about how the site works and earn bonus points while doing it.    

The best part is that the points you get can be used to get free gift cards to places like Amazon, or PayPal cash! 

Fill up your board and then submit your pattern to get even more points - if you can fill in the whole board, you get a 300 SB bonus! 

Click here to sign up and get started! If you sign up through my link and earn 300 SB before the first of next month, you'll get a bonus 300 SB!

How To Avoid Becoming A Victim


Have you ever been a victim of a thief? I was last night. Sadly with all the other things I have on my mind at any given time I forgot to lock my van doors. Then at 4:27 am while I was fast asleep some rotten piece of garbage went into my van and stole my belongings. The moron didn't even notice he was on camera and my video sealed his fate because he is now sitting in city cells. 


 He was silent when he was in there even though he remained in my vehicle for over 3 minutes. He even had a lookout watching his back up the road, we watched them both approach the house in the video.


So what do I suggest you do to avoid this scenario?
  • LOCK YOUR DOORS!
  • Install an alarm
  • Make your home well lit (I have a motion sensor light near the other side of my house)
  • Install security cameras
  • Never leave valuable items in your vehicle
Luckily I never keep anything valuable in my van, as I know what kind of people are lurking. The thief got away with my garbage can, mail keys, and storage container, nothing I can't replace. All I need to do now is call Canada Post and replace my lock and my losses are next to nothing. But I highly suggest installing security cameras around your home as I was able to help police identify this guy (he was caught by another victim) and keep him in jail for a lengthy period of time because he has a prior history! Now I pinned even more charges on him! Now he won't be causing anymore problems for a while. 

Watch the video of his stupid crime here:


The Godfather Trilogy - Commemorating 45 Years


THE GODFATHER TRILOGY: OMERTÀ EDITION
Street Date: November 7, 2017
Overview:
Celebrating its 45th anniversary, director Francis Ford Coppola’s THE GODFATHER is widely considered one of the most influential films in cinematic history. Now the entire epic trilogy will be available on Blu-ray in a spectacular 4-disc Omertà Edition, which includes the Coppola Restoration of THE GODFATHER and THE GODFATHER, PART II, as well as the remastered version of THE GODFATHER, PART III.

A stunning gift for any fan, only 45,000 of these limited edition, numbered sets will be made available beginning November 7, 2017.  THE GODFATHER TRILOGY: OMERTÀ EDITION includes commentary by Coppola on all three films, a full disc of previously released in-depth special features, as well as exclusive new collectible Trivia Cards, Magnetic Poetry, an Anatomy of a Scene fold out and Quote Cards.
# # #

September 23rd Is National Declutter Day: How To Tackle The Clutter In Your Home, Room By Room


Everyone is talking about decluttering.  In fact, decluttering is so important it now has it’s own day: September 23rd is National DeClutter Day.  Why declutter? The answer is easy: Decluttering saves you time and saves you money. It also improves your health and happiness.  Being cluttered eats up a lot of time: Time looking for your keys, looking for the mail to pay the bills or trying to find an outfit to wear to work that day.  

And think about the real cost of clutter.  How about all the clothes in your closet with the tags still on them?  Or the pantry items you buy again and again cause you can’t find the mustard you bought the last time you went to the store?  And let’s talk what you are paying for off site storage spaces: $100 a month? $150 a month? It’s no wonder everyone is talking about decluttering!

Ahead of National DeClutter Day on September 23rd, there’s no better time to share some of my favorite tips to tackle the clutter room by room, and in turn, living a happier and healthier life:

  1. Kitchen
    1. Tackle Tupperware (or all food storage).  Pull it all out and make sure every top has a bottom and every bottom has  top.  If not … Out.
    2. Spices. Contrary to what my grandmother believed … spices do not last forever.  They eventually lose their flavor.  Ground spices 3-4 years and leafy spices 1-2 years.  And here’s a quick tip … write the year the spice was purchased on the lid.
  2. Living Room
    1. Take a look around the room and see what items have homes they can be returned to.  Sometimes a quick returning of things to their proper homes will declutter a room in a very short time.
    2. Magazines.  First item to make a room feel cluttered.  Last thing to be reread. Be honest about the time and interest you have and put magazines in the recycle bin.
  3. Bathroom
    1. Start with under the bathroom sink.  That’s the first place to become a clutter catch all.  Cleaning products you longer use.  Out.  Bath toys the kids have outgrown? Out.   
    2. How about sunscreen?  It’s designed to last for 3 years but if it’s older than that, it loses it’s efficiency.
  4. Bedroom
    1. Let’s declutter those nightstands.  Nothing gets the day off to a bad start than waking to a pile of clutter.  How many of those books stacked up there are you going to actually gonna read?
    2. We wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time.  So let’s get real about all the clothes spilling out of our closet.  Doesn’t fit?  Out.  Regret buying it and will never wear it? Out!
  5. Garage
    1. Only 25% of American’s can park their cars in their garages.  Garages are the biggest offenders of clutter.  Let’s start with sports equipment.  Broken, worn out, no one plays that sport any more?  Out.
    2. Boxes of old paperwork?  Check with your tax advisor about what you really need to keep and shred the rest! If it’s a lot more than your little home shredder can held, consider calling a mobile shred company.


It is best to these projects up into manageable time chunks. Remember, Rome didn’t get cluttered in a day so it’s not going to get uncluttered in day. Use National Declutter Day as the day to kick off your decluttering.

Good luck!

ABOUT TRACY MCCUBBIN
Tracy has always referred to herself as “obsessive compulsive delightful,” but who knew she could turn that trait into a booming business? Nearly ten years ago, while working for a major television director in Los Angeles, Tracy discovered she had the ability to see through any mess and clearly envision a clutter-free space. Coupled with keen time-management and organizational skills, Tracysoon found more and more people were asking her for help. Before she knew it, dClutterfly was born.
Ten years and over 1,200 jobs later, dClutterfly has been named “Best in Nest” by DailyCandy and has received the Super Service Award from Angie's List for five years. Tracy is a regularly featured expert on KTLA Morning Show, KCAL9, and Good Day Sacramento. She and her company have also been featured in Real Simple, Women's Day and ShopSmart. Along with her team of expert dClutterers, Tracy is ready to tackle any project, big or small.
In addition to her impressive organizing tool belt, Tracy grew up with family members who hoarded and knows firsthand that the effects of living amongst an accumulation of possessions goes far beyond the home’s walls. This personal experience gives her an advantage over most professional organizers as she has a unique understanding of the mindset of the organizationally and spatially-challenged.
When she is not dCluttering, Tracy is the proud Co-Executive Director of OneKid OneWorld, a non-profit building strong educational foundations for children in impoverished communities throughout Kenya and Central America. OKOW is providing kids with the basic (yet essential) fundamentals like desks and books, as well as paying teachers’ salaries, building classrooms and even installing solar power technology so students can study at night. OKOW's most recent project #OneGirlOnePad will provide access to reusable feminine hygiene kits to over 4,000 girls in Kenya, allowing them to attend school all year round. OneKid OneWorld is Tracy's “full time, non-paying passion.”

By Tracy McCubbin, Founder, dClutterfly
Non-Profit Website: http://onekidoneworld.org/

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