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Balancing Act

Balancing Act Archives
August, 2006: Family Snack Smarts
July, 2006: Cooperative Co-parenting
June, 2006: Street Proofing Teens 101
May, 2006: Harmony is in season: Harmony is in season: Warm Weather Activities To Bring The Family Together
April, 2006: Caregiving: Sensible Steps To Success
March, 2006: Healthy Eating In A Fast Food World
February, 2006: Stress Busters to Stay Lighthearted
January, 2006: Brain Gain in Life's Later Years
December, 2005: Holiday Budget Planning
November, 2005: Combating Childhood Obesity
October, 2005: Eating Away at Colds and Flu
September, 2005: Avoiding the Aches of Osteoarthritis
August, 2005: Growing Older, Eating Wiser
July, 2005: Nutrition Tips for the Healthiest Summer Ever
June, 2005: Long-Term Care Facilities/Nursing Homes - How Do I Choose the Right One?
May, 2005: Nutrition and Your Baby: Introducing solid food to the menu
April, 2005: When Baby Comes Home For The First Time
March, 2005: Stepping into the Role of Stepparent
February, 2005: Pumping Fitness into Your Day
* January, 2005: Remedies for Financial Holiday Hangovers
* December, 2004: Time Out: Making the most of the holidays
* November, 2004: An Ounce of Prevention: Type 2 Diabetes
* October, 2004: Dealing with Peer Pressure
* September, 2004: Long Distance Caregiving
* August, 2004: The ‘Be-tween’ Transition, 2004
* July, 2004: Easing into summer vacation
* June, 2004: A family-friendly balance for working fathers
* May, 2004: Communication Tips to Help Young Minds Grow
* April, 2004: Tips for Making the Tax Season Less Taxing
* March, 2004: The Dieting Merry-Go-Round
* February, 2004: Keeping Your Financial Future in Check
* January, 2004: Here Comes the Flu
* December, 2003: Communicating with your Teen
* November, 2003: Eating for Energy
* October, 2003: Work-life Balance: Making it Work for You
* September, 2003: The Homework Zone
* August, 2003: Health Hints to Ease Your Family in to the Fall Season
* July, 2003: Stay Alert and Stay Safe - Streetproofing your kids
* June, 2003: Summer Activities for Stay-at-Home Kids
* May, 2003: Helping Older Relatives Stay Active
* April, 2003: Spring-cleaning: For the home, the family, and you
* March, 2003: Choosing a Summer Camp
* February, 2003: Baby couch potatoes: Tearing your kids away from the TV
* January, 2003: Resolution Solutions
* December, 2002: Holiday Stress Blasters
* November, 2002: Beating the Winter Blues
* October, 2002: Making the most of family mealtimes
* September, 2002: Generation Relations
* August 2002: Vacation Relaxation
* July 2002: Swimming Safety
* May 2002: Stuck in the Middle. The Sandwich Generation
* April, 2002: Supporting Your Child's Social Success
* March, 2002: After the Spring Break ... Take a Break For Yourself
* February, 2002: Keep those loving connections alive
* January, 2002: Ringing in a Balanced New Year
* December, 2001: Holiday Safety Tips
* November, 2001: It's Flu Season
* October, 2001: Halloween Safety Tips
* September, 2001: Back to school

The Balancing Act. Work/Life Tips Printer Friendly Version

Spring-Cleaning: For the Home, the Family, and You

Just when you thought your gloves and scarf were becoming permanently attached to your body spring has arrived. It’s time to banish your bulky coat and muck lucks to the confines of your closet. But without warning, your collection of fishing poles, bridesmaid dresses, pet rocks and tennis rackets (amongst others) have taken your storage space hostage. Grab the clutter monster by the horns and regain control of your space with the help of the tips below.

Book time and clear away distractions. Set aside a few hours or an entire day where you’re free of other responsibilities. Hire a sitter to take the kids out (unless they’re old enough to help), turn off the ringer on the phone, map out your course of action and prepare to dive in.

Try to focus on completing one room, closet or drawer within a limited period. Give yourself 30 minutes to clean out and reorganize a cabinet. Or limit yourself to a few hours to get a room into ship-shape. Break the cleaning and reorganizing down into smaller tasks so it feels less overwhelming and much more manageable.

Divide items into: keep, donate, recycle and trash. Put articles in their proper place and ensure that the rest are hauled off to your local charity or disposed of in the first few days following the de-clutter. When sorting items:

  • Test your devotion. Re-examine things in the ‘maybe pile’ and ask yourself: Have I touched this in the last year? Do I love it? Do I have more than one already? Do I need two? Am I hanging on to it out of guilt? Do I associate fond memories with it or bad ones? Do I know someone who could enjoy it more? Put the items you cherish, and/or need, in the keep pile and bid farewell to the rest.

  • Be realistic. How many times have you actually mourned over the loss of that bright pink polka dot sweater or those prized strap-on roller skates? Chances are you never gave them a second thought once they were out of the house.

Hold a garage sale. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. So while you’re cleaning out that closet or room, put sellable items aside for the big sale day. Garage sales can be a fun event for the whole family and you can also invite neighbours or friends to join in the day’s activities. Before you decide on the garage sale option, however, you may want to determine whether you’re really prepared to set up shop on the front lawn for a day or two, and if you have the support in place to set up and manage the event. If not, surrender the fantasy and —with previously loved items in hand—head straight for your local charity or shelter.

Staying on top of problem clutter spots throughout the year is one of the simplest ways to avoid the daunting task of a ‘gigantic spring clean.’ From managing junk mail daily, to doing a monthly closet ‘tidy,’ you can rein in clutter bugs as they arise.

Need more information on parenting? Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help with a child to elder care resource and referral service that is geared toward enhancing the quality of family life. Call your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to see if you are eligible for the child to elder care resource and referral service at 1 866.468.9461 or 1.800.387.4765.

This newsletter is meant for informational purposes only and may not necessarily represent the views of individual organizations.

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© 2005 WarrenShepell