How to Stay Organized and Focused When You’re at College

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Going to college can be an exciting time and you may even feel as though you have your whole life ahead of you as well. The problem that a lot of people experience when they go to college is that they find it hard to concentrate and they also find it difficult to stay focused during their studies as well.

Eat, Drink and Sleep

You probably think that you do this already. In college however, you may not do this properly. If your throat feels parched then make sure that you have a drink or if you know that your stomach is growling then have something to eat. Too often college students ignore things like this because they are too busy trying to study or even research. The problem is that if your stomach is constantly growling then you will probably find it hard to stay focused and if you are dehydrated then this will automatically reduce your level of concentration. For this reason, you need to have a small snack before you go to work and you also have to try and keep some water on-hand as well. This will really help you to make the most out of your study time and it will also help you to really learn more in any set period of time.

Limit Your Social Media Pages

If you have some bad internet habits then this may be tough for you to do. For a lot of college students checking things like Facebook or even Twitter can easily become a reflexive habit. If this sounds like you then you may find that you end up on social media every half an hour or so. You have to keep reminding yourself that you don’t need to check these sites every single time you logon to the internet and you also don’t want to lose track of time either. After all, nothing new is probably happening on there and all of the 10-minute breaks will add up over time.

Have your Own Goals

Think about it, what are your goals? Do you want to take an MBA online? Do you want to take extra homework classes? Do you want a specific job? By aligning these goals with the lifestyle that you have, you can easily put yourself in a position where it is much easier for you to achieve them. This is a fantastic way for you to make the most out of the time that you spend studying and it will also help you to stay way more focused as well. Little things like this can really make a difference to your concentration levels and it will also help you to deny those little temptations that you face on a regular basis as well.

Of course, staying focussed at university or college can be hard work but when you are able to think about the future and what it has in store for you, you can be sure to go on to achieve way better results.


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10 Ways to Help Kids Help Around The House

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Most parents would love their children to help out more around the house.  I know I would.  I realized a while ago that for my children to help me around the house, I needed to make it easier for them to be able to help me.  Here are 10 ways to help your children help around the house.

1. If you want your children to keep their shoes neat and tidy, you need to set up a neat and tidy place for shoes.  Different things work for different households.  We tried all sorts of buckets and racks but our shoes were still messy until I bought a shoe storage cubbie from Amazon.  It looks great near our front door, keeps the shoes contained without them looking messy, and my children now know exactly where their shoes are.  It took a little reminding in the beginning to break their old habits, but now putting their shoes in the storage cubbie is second nature to them.  Putting it near the entrance that your children enter most often is a great visual reminder.  We keep a bin with their socks in one of the cubbies so they don’t have to remember to bring socks downstairs with them in the morning.
2. Keep kid friendly cups, plates, utensils, etc. in reach of children so they can grab them as needed and be able to help with putting them away, too.
3. Keep a kid friendly bucket of cleaning supplies handy for your kids to grab and help you out.  Ours has some microfiber cloths (for dusting and wiping up dirt), a water spray bottle with a little vinegar (to spray surfaces and loosen dirt), some paper towel (for cleaning and drying messes), and a dustpan and brush set.
moen toilet paper holder
4. Want a better chance at getting your kids to actually refill the toilet paper holder?  Get one that is easy to use.  The type that requires pushing the ends into the base can be hard for little hands.  We have one like the Moen Toilet Paper Holder above that you can grab on Amazon.  It is open on the side so the roll easily slides on.
5.  Tired of school work, important papers from school, mail, and more being lost?  Get a simple basket to designate as where all important papers go.  Have your kids empty their backpacks as soon as they get home from school and put all papers for you in the basket.  Now you’ll always know where they are.  I also put mail for my husband, mailed coupons I want to keep, etc. in ours and keep it right by the door so it is easy to stay organized.  I bought ours on clearance at Michael’s for a few dollars.  You can probably find a plastic one at any dollar store.
6. It is much easier for children to keep their rooms clean and organized if everything has a place.  If children don’t know where something goes, they aren’t going to put it away.  Make it easier for them by purchasing bins, plastic drawers, cabinets, or whatever works in your child’s room and have a designated place for everything.  One drawer for dolls, one drawer for figures, one drawer for art supplies, and so on.  For younger children label each bin with pictures of what goes inside to help them remember.  Remind them to only take one or two types of toys out at a time for easier clean up.  Make cleaning up a game.  My girls do a 5 minute pick up at my house.  I set a timer and they try to clean everything up in 5 minutes.  If kept up with, it shouldn’t take much more than 5 minutes for them to put things away.  Of course there are times when their rooms look like a hurricane came through and it takes them longer.  But having designated spots for items helps a lot.baskets
7.  Have your children help sort, fold, and put laundry away.  Try purchasing several inexpensive baskets.  Have your children put socks in one, underwear in one, and pajamas in one.  Everything else gets laid out and hung up or folded by older children.  Have your children pick a basket to be in charge of sorting, folding, and putting away.     Have children set aside the outfits they are going to wear to school everyday for the week as they are putting them away so they won’t have to worry each morning.  Make doing laundry a family event.  The work gets done much faster and it is much more fun doing it together.
8. Keep plastic, kid-friendly knives around so your children can help you prepare dinner buy cutting up fruits, veggies, and more.  We don’t have a lot of counter space so we purchased a rolling breakfast cart with bar stools and a drop down side leaf that my girls sit at when they are helping me.  I stand on one side and they each have their own spot to sit at and help me with dinner.  They are much more adventurous with trying new foods if they helped prepare them.
9. Kids love playing with water so why not recruit them to help wash the dishes?  I purchased cute sponges at the dollar store that my children love using.  They are shaped like a frog, a ladybug, and other cute shapes that they like.  They like using their special sponges.  You could also cut regular sponges in fun shapes, too.  I make sure to remove anything sharp from the sink before I let them wash the dishes to keep their hands safe.  Our sink has a pull down sprayer but I would really love to have Pfister’s Elevate 1-Handle, Pull-Down Faucet pictured above.  It can be lowered for when my children use the sink and then raised with the touch of a button for when I need to fill a pot or fill a bucket.  A Mommy can dream!
I will be having a giveaway soon where the winner will get their choice of any Pfister faucet so keep an eye out!
garden-1024x50410. Teach children about nature, plants, and where food comes from by starting a family garden.  Purchase inexpensive gardening tools and have your children help plant their favorite fruits and vegetables.  Let them help you choose what to plant.  Encourage them to try new fruits and vegetables.  My girls don’t normally like tomatoes and peppers but since we’re growing them in our garden, they are excited to try them again.  Give each child a group of plants that they are responsible for watering and taking care of.  Purchase inexpensive watering cans for each child and let them decorate their own.

What things have you done at home to help your children help you?

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NeatReceipt Scanner Product Review

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Disclosure:  I received the product mentioned below to facilitate my review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are 100% my own.

neatreceipts scanner I was so tired of all the clutter around my house and I was looking for a better way to get organized.  I was always losing important papers, receipts, etc.  I have a drawer that is overflowing with receipts but they aren’t organized in any way so if I need a particular receipt it takes forever to find it.  And it wasn’t just receipts, it was important papers, mail, etc., too.  I was wasting so much time looking for things that should have been easy to find.  Time is precious to a busy mother so I knew I had to find a solution.  That’s when I found the NeatReceipt scanner.
neat receipt2
The NeatReceipt scanner is more than just a scanner, it is a digital filing system.  You start by installing the software that comes with the NeatReceipt scanner.  Once installed you can set up folders within the software for every member of your family, different categories and types of documents you will be storing, etc.  In my filing cabinet I initially set up a folder for each of my family members and also a folder for receipts so we can keep track of our spending.  Now that I have been using NeatReceipt for a while I have added more folders as I have needed them.  For example, my daughter was bitten by our neighbor’s dog.  I created a folder for all the medical forms, bills, hospital reports, etc. so I can have it all in one place.  I have also created folders for recipes, holidays, and so much more.  The NeatReceipt is AMAZING and I am not sure how we lived without it.
You can scan on the go, too.  The NeatReceipt doesn’t require a power outlet to work.  Simply attach it to your computer’s USB and you’re ready to scan no matter where you are.  It is slim, lightweight, and fits easily in your bag, laptop case, etc.

neat receipt
You have the choice of scanning items as receipts, documents, or contacts, or you can have the NeatReceipt auto-select what type of item you are scanning.  When you scan receipts, the NeatReceipt reads and adds the information for you such as vendor, category, date, payment type, and more.  You can also manually add the information as well.  The NeatReceipt also fills in your contact’s
information for you when scanning business cards as well.
neat receipt3
When you scan a receipt, documents, etc. you can then view your entire receipt or zoom to see specific parts which makes using the NeatReceipt very easy.
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You can search all of your documents for key words, phrases, etc., not just the titles.  This is great when you know a word that would be found in the document but you aren’t sure what the title is.  I was able to search for blankets I purchased by using the word fleece because I knew that they were fleece blankets.  I wasn’t sure what store I had purchased them from but NeatReceipt was able to find the correct receipt for me.
neat receipt4
Trying to figure out where your money is going?  With the NeatReceipt software you can create custom reports.
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Like collecting recipes and crafts?  You an import pictures of recipes, crafts, ideas, etc. and store them in your folders.  I often find crafts and recipes that I like in magazines.  I try to save them but I lose the magazine, forget which month I saw them in, etc.  With NeatReceipt I can scan in pages from magazines to easily save, store, and organize all the great recipes, crafts, ideas, etc. that I find.
neat receipt7
You can also save things you find on the internet as .pdf files and import them into your folders.  For example, I found some great recipes I liked on a website so I saved the web page as a .pdf file and imported in into my recipes folder.  Easy peasy!
neat receipt9
Another favorite use for our NeatReceipt is scanning all of our daughters’ assignments as soon as they walk in the door from school.  No more missing assignment sheets.  I don’t scan things that are due the next day if I know that my girls aren’t taking the sheets anywhere but for long term assignments, things that aren’t due for a few days, project instruction sheets, etc. I scan, scan, scan.  Now my girls can’t say they can’t do their homework because they don’t know where it is or what they have to do.  NO MORE EXCUSES!!!
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And of course you can scan your children’s art work if it is 8 1/2 x 11 or smaller.  You just have to be careful with artwork that has crayons on it because it can gunk up the rollers of the scanner.  I scanned my daughter’s picture that had a lot of crayon on it and the documents I scanned right after had a line down them.  It was easy to remedy though by using the cleaning sheets that come with the scanner.

Neat brings scanned documents to life, using Intelligent Text Recognition technology to read and understand key information, then automatically organizing what it sees. The resulting digital files are useful and usable – easy to find, easy to access, and easy to share.

Neat reads and extracts the information from whatever you scan. Receipts become digital records with vendors and amounts, business cards become digital contacts, and documents become fully keyword searchable.

Create tax or expense reports with your receipt data, or export to Excel®, Quicken®, or TurboTax®. Sync your contacts with Outlook® or Address Book. Find what you need with a keyword, and organize it however you like.

NeatDesk comes with a free 30-day trial of NeatCloud, which allows you to sync and back up your Neat files, and access them anywhere with your browser or mobile device.*

*Available for iOS devices and Android phones.


  • Lightweight, portable scanner

  • Scans in color, greyscale, or B&W CIS

  • 600 dpi maximum resolution

  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR) + Intelligent Text Recognition (ITR)

  • Speed: approximately 3-4 receipts per minute

  • Scanning Range: 1” x 1” to 8.5” x 30”

  • Scanner Dimensions: 10.8”W x 1.6”D x 1.3”H

  • Weight: 10.6 oz

  • USB powered, no external power supply needed

  • Factory calibrated

  • Image capture support for scanning into other imaging applications

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