10 New Year’s Resolutions that are Realistic and Attainable!

personal concierge York RegionPeople make New Year’s resolutions with the best of intentions. Unfortunately, many of them go by the wayside early into the year. Here are 10 New Year’s resolutions that are realistic and easy to implement throughout the whole year! The best part is that you will feel good knowing you are successful in making these simple but positive changes in your life!

1. Clear the Clutter

  • Put things away (Mail, laundry, keys, phone, etc.) on a consistent basis
  • Get rid of things you no longer need or serve a purpose.
  • Remember the ‘one in, one out rule’ – even with Christmas gifts
  • Plan for a garage sale in the spring

2. Finances

  • Reduce your credit cards down to one
  • Lower your daily/monthly credit limit – so you don’t over spend
  • THINK before you purchase – “Do I really need this?” Don’t buy stuff you don’t need

3. Eat Better

  • Eat healthier everyday
  • Eat smaller portions
  • Make your own lunch
  • Drink more water

4. Technology

  • Shut your phone off when you get home – I know you can do it!
  • Turn off your email off as soon as you leave the office
  • Put your iPad/tablet away after dinner

5. TV

  • Watch less TV
  • Read a good book, short stories or check out your community theatre or art gallery
  • Subscribe to a weekly magazine

6. Get More Sleep

  • Start going to bed a little earlier each night. You feel better when you’re rested
  • Catch up on sleep where you can – naps are good for you
  • Getting sleep lowers your stress levels

7. Fresh-air and Exercise

  • Get off the couch – go for a 20 minute walk (we all have 20 minutes)
  • Go for a skate or swim (depending on where you live)
  • Get off the bus or subway two stops ahead and walk the rest of the way to work or home
  • Take the dog for a 20 minute walk, instead of a 5 minute walk. It’s better for your dog too!

8. Community

  • Volunteer in your community
  • Support your local small businesses
  • Donate your old furniture/clothes to Goodwill or other charitable organization

9. Family/Friends

  • Make time to spend with good friends
  • Call your mom/dad/grandparents
  • Do something nice for your family or a friend
  • Write a handwritten note (if it’s expensive to call)

10. Be Positive

  • Believe in yourself!
  • Positive thinking only please
  • Pat yourself on the back
  • Be grateful

I hope you’ll agree that these are all attainable! And hopefully you will find that you aren’t feeling stressed because you set unrealistic New Year’s goals. Small, simple steps and you will find you are a whole new happy, positive person!

And, if lack of time continues to be a factor, consider getting some help! I welcome your feedback! You can connect with me via email or telephone, you can leave a comment right here on the site, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.

Happy New Year and all the very best to you, your health and your happiness!

Kathy

3 Tips on Organizing your Living-room for the Holidays

personal concierge York RegionThe festive season is soon upon us; which for most of us, means entertaining family and friends. So let’s make your space welcoming and festive! Here are 3 essential tips to organizing your living room ahead of time, so you will be able to relax and enjoy your friends and family when they arrive. You will want to start with a clean room. This way, each week leading up visitors, you only have to do a light dusting and quick vacuum. The simpler you keep it, the easier it is to manage and makes your life a whole lot easier too! Continue reading

Tips on Tipping in the Service Industry

how much to tipWe are often faced with the dilemma about tipping. What should I tip for and what shouldn’t I tip for? For most people, the few obvious ones are waiters, waitresses, taxis and hairstylists. However, listed below are some recommendations for people in the service industry, where tipping should be considered……

Home Related

  • Cleaning Service 15%
  • Movers $25.00 per mover
  • Furniture/Appliance Delivery $10.00 per person
  • Flower Delivery $5.00
  • Food Delivery $5-10.00

Continue reading

5 Tips to Protect your Home from Burglars

how to safeproof a houseDid you know that every three minutes a house in Canada gets robbed?! Although, Canada is a relatively safe county, let’s decrease your chance of a break-in. Below are 5 tips to help you protect your home from burglars.

1. Doors/Windows

  • You can never have enough locks
  • Deadbolts on every exterior door
  • Patio doors should have a pin, key lock or a piece of dowel on back track
  • Garage doors should have bolt locks
  • Double paned windows

2. Lighting

  • Ensure you have adequate night time illumination
  • Timers for indoor lighting (these start at $5.00 and up)
  • Install motion sensor lighting
  • Light all dark areas around house
  • Make sure your house number is visible
  • Use LED lighting – they last longer and are earth-friendly

3. Alarm

  • Install an alarm system (if you can)
  • Publicize that you have an alarm (Stickers/Decals on your windows)
  • Always set your alarm when you leave
  • You may qualify for an insurance discount by having an alarm
  • In addition to being a wonderful pet, a dog is a wonderful alarm…

4. Valuables

  • Make a list of your most important valuables
  • Keep all receipts in a safe place
  • Photograph your valuables
  • Engrave your initials on your computer equipment
  • Keep valuables away from outside view
  • Install a home safe and bolt it down

5. Secure the outside

  • Maintain landscaping
  • Ensure bushes are trimmed back
  • Cut grass
  • Clear snow
  • Avoid clutter by the doorway (Newspapers, flyers)
  • Have a car in driveway
  • Don’t leave spare key in planter or under door mat

Are you a snow-bird? Planning a Christmas vacation? Travelling for business? Did you know that most insurance policies state that your dwelling should be checked every 4 days? So, it’s important to protect your home even when you are away.  As discussed in a previous blog, having a professional house-sitter coming and going, deters burglars who might be watching your home. We can put out your garbage or recycling bin, pick-up your mail and make it look like you’re home.  Need more information?  Please feel free to contact us. We’re here to help!

You can connect with us via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.

Until next time,

Kathy

10 Easy Tips to Help you Organize your Storage Room

concierge services TorontoStorage rooms are notorious for clutter! It’s also the easiest space to ignore, until you can’t find anything. Here are 10 easy tips to help you organize and maintain your storage space and make it easier to locate items when you need them:

1. Make a time commitment

  • Mark time in your calendar
  • Do it in small manageable chunks

Continue reading

What is the Traditional Role of a Maid of Honour?

role of maid of honorWhat sparked me to write this particular blog is the number of bridal parties that really don’t know what their role is. Yes, it’s a great honour to be chosen, but it comes with a responsibility and you should accept with an understanding of what your duties are. Since the Maid of Honour has the most demanding and important role next to the bride and groom, below you will find the Maid of Honour’s traditional duties before and during the wedding. Continue reading

5 Easy Tips to Improve your Time Management

personal concierge York RegionHow often do you find yourself running out of time? Not enough hours in the day to get everything done? Too much to do? Here are 5 easy tips to help you improve your time management. Continue reading

3 Easy Tips to Keep your Kitchen Organized

uncluttered kitchenThe kitchen is the heaviest traffic area in most homes. For many, it is the dumping zone for lunch bags, mail, purses, wallets, newspaper, electronics etc. Since this is the most used room in your home, it makes sense to make it as functional as possible. By using these 3 easy tips to organize your kitchen space appropriately, you will feel less stressed and be able to locate and find things quickly.

1. Store items by use
• Everyday dishes and glasses, should be near the dishwasher
• Special occasion, seasonal dishes, bowls and platters, should be up high or in a storage area
• Essential tools, scissors, spatula, tongs, wooden spoons, should be handy in a caddy
• Items used every day, should be on lower shelves
• Pots, pans should be near the stove Continue reading

5 Ways Wait Staff/Servers Make Events Stress Free

licensed wait staffDo you have an upcoming event, BBQ, dinner party or celebration of some kind? Have you ever considered taking the pressure off yourself and hiring wait staff/servers? Consider being a guest at your own event! Here are 5 ways that wait staff/servers can make your special occasion/event/party stress-free…Tip – Make sure you hire staff that are trained, come in uniform, wear name badges, are SMART Serve licensed and are insured.

1. Set-up
• Tables and chairs
• Set place settings, dishes, napkins, glasses
• Centrepieces, flowers
• Ensure bathroom supplies are replenished
• Table accessories (Water, Salt, Pepper, Sauces etc.)

2. Entrance Area
• Receive guests
• Hang Coats
• Remove shoes & boots from door area
• Receive gifts

3. Food
• Heat up appetizers
• Garnish foods
• Set-up buffet style
• Replenish food trays
• Prepare desserts, cut cakes & pies
• Prepare Tea, Coffee/Espresso etc.
• Serve appetizers

4. Bar Area
• Set-up self-serve or beverage station
• Prepare garnishes (Lemons, Limes, Olives)
• Glasses, drink mixes, ice, napkins
• Ensure wines are opened and breathing
• Serve beverages

5. Clean-up
• Ensure garbage/recycle bins are emptied
• Remove plates, glasses, plates, utensils
• Wrap left over food
• Clean up kitchen and bar area

Utilizing this kind of service gives you peace of mind knowing your guests are continually taken care of, and you can enjoy your event. What’s the point of hosting if you can’t enjoy and spend time with your guests? The best part of our work is when clients say “we’re part of the family”, because we cover all their special occasions.

We look forward to connecting with you!  You can reach us by phone or email, leave a message right here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.

Until next time,

Kathy

10 Tips on How to Remove Stains From Clothing

personal concierge York regionIt never fails right? Your brand new shirt gets a stain on it! As a Personal Concierge, we are often asked by clients to remove stains out of their clothing. While there are no guarantees that these methods will work with every fabric, the following research tips* might help. We thought we would share the 10 most common stains we remove or get asked about.

1. Blood – If the stain is still fresh, soak in cold water or use an eye dropper with hydrogen peroxide directly on the stain. For a dried blood stain, use a brush to remove surface deposit, then pretreat or soak in cool water after using a laundry product containing enzymes.

2. Chocolate – Scrape off any excess, pre-treat with stain remover, wash. If stain still appears, re-wash with bleach that is safe for the material.

3. Coffee – Use cool water and sponge the stain or soak for 30 minutes in cool water. Pre-treat with prewash stain remover, wash. If stain still appears, rewash with a small amount of bleach, safe for fabric.

4. Grease – Pre-treat with prewash stain remover, wash and use HOT water. Make sure it’s safe for the fabric.

5. Ink – Sponge gently with a dry-cleaning solvent until ink stops bleeding. Rinse, sponge with rubbing alcohol, then hang to dry. If stubborn stain remains, rub in liquid laundry detergent and let sit overnight. Rinse.

6. Lipstick – Scrape any excess off, pre-treat with pre-wash stain remover, wash. If stain remains, repeat steps.

7. Nail Polish – Put fabric face down on a paper towel and blot with acetone (make sure it’s safe for fabric). Rinse with cold water. Repeat steps until blotting no longer transfers the stain. Apply pre-wash stain remover and wash.

8. Salad Dressing – Pre-treat-with pre-wash stain remover, wash, using HOT water (make sure safe for fabric).

9. Spaghetti Sauce – Working from the back of the stain, flush with cool water. Pre-treat with liquid laundry soap and let stand for 20 minutes. Rinse, repeat until you have removed most of the stain. Pre-treat with stain remover and wash.

10. Red Wine – Sponge the spot with cool water. Soak for thirty minutes or so in a sink or pail. Pre-treat with pre-wash stain remover, wash. If it’s safe for fabric, use small amount of chlorine bleach.

Other Helpful Hints:

Bleach – There are two types: non chlorine and chlorine bleach

Pre-treat/pre-wash products – Available in many different forms:

  • pumps
  • stick
  • spray
  • gels, and
  • liquids

Make sure you read the labels as it may not be suitable for all fabrics.

Tools – Brushes, cotton swabs, white cloth, eye dropper, spray bottle and paper towels. These items are what you need to keep in a container in your laundry area. This way, when a spill happens, you have all you need on hand.

One of the keys to getting nasty stains out is taking the time to read what your fabric states is the right pre-treat and pre-wash methods. Hope these will help you. If you have no time for your laundry, we would be happy to help :-)

Share your favourite stain removal tips with our readers! We love getting feedback. You can connect with us via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.

Until next time,

Kathy

*Experts from Good Housekeeping Research Institute