Marcus Center for the Performing Arts “Fiddler on the Roof”


Saturday, June 18th
Pick up at Bel Oak at 11:30 to Park Place Dining Room for lunch. Leave Manor at 1:00pm.
R.S.V.P. by Friday, June 3rd to (414) 607-4186

Join us for this classic show “Fiddler on the Roof” at the Marcus Center on Saturday, June 18th, 2011. We will enjoy our lunch at Park Place featuring Beef Short Ribs, Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potatoes, Tossed salad, and Rolls. Dessert will be chocolate mousse cake. Coffee, Tea, or lemonade.

Cost for this event is $79.00 per person.

Manor Park
Senior Center
8621 W. Beloit Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53227
(414) 607-4186
http://www.vmpcares.com

Ten Chimneys at Genesee Depot


Wednesday, June 8th – 8:30am departure
R.S.V.P. by May 25th to (414) 607-4186

Wednesday June 8 join us for a tour of Ten Chimneys, the former tames of Lynn Fontanne and Alfred Lunt, this will be a two hour tour and you will need good walking shoes. There will be a ten minute video and then a shuttle will take us to the house. Lunch will be at Delafield Brewhaus featuring a choice of pork, ham and cheese on bread, German rael, soup and salad; strawberry chicken salad with peppered dressing and soup of the day. Brewlays Reuben or a California wrap with turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and cheddar cheese. House avocado spread. Coffee, milk, tea and dessert. Following lunch there will be a tour guide, from the Waukesha County Museum.

Cost for this event is $77.00 per person.

Manor Park
Senior Center
8621 W. Beloit Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53227
(414) 607-4186
http://www.vmpcares.com

Preparing the Final Stages of Your Garage Sale


The time is getting close and you are almost ready to open your home for business. Before you do, consider these ideas:
Have calculators, pens, newspaper to wrap breakables, boxes, and bags handy.

Have plenty of change and one dollar bills on hand.

Set up a secure area for your sales transactions to enable you to keep a close eye on your money box.

Inform your direct neighbors that you are having a garage sale. Offer to rope their yard so people don’t park on their grass.

Have extension cords plugged into outlets so that electrical items can be tested.

Plan to set an inviting mood by playing soft, easy-listening music.

If you are short on help, consider wearing a 3-pocket apron or a fanny-wrapper purse, so that you can keep your money near you while you mingle with your shoppers.

The Day of Your Garage Sale

Avoid letting early-birds in before the actual time that your sale starts. It is considered discourteous to those who respect your advertised time. Plus, they tend to scoop up all the good stuff and haggle you while you are still in your pajamas.

If people ask to use your restroom, be prepared to politely tell them no. No one should go inside your home or to an area of your house that is not opened to the public.

If you start to get a lot of cash, locking it in your car is an option if you can not leave the crowds to go into your house.

Clean Up
Remove all of your signs as soon as the sale has ended. Your neighbors will appreciate it and latecomers will not be endlessly ringing your door bell.

Lastly, grab a hot cup of coffee, go sit in your favorite chair, and count all the money you just made from your hard work.

Turn Junk Into Cash By Having a Garage Sale


How to Have a Garage Sale

Having a garage sale is not hard to do. All it takes is some time, a few organizational skills, a tad of marketing and you will be on your way to turning your junk into cash.

Power in Numbers
Ask friends and family if they would like to participate in a group garage sale. You will increase your chances of attracting buyers by having a wide selection and inventory. Everyone can split the cost and the legwork of advertising the sale, plus it’s more fun.

Pricing Your Items
Take the time to clearly mark every item that you will be putting into your sale.

For similar items, such as paperback books, it is acceptable to put up a sign with one price-point. Example – All Paperback Books – 50 cents each!

Use quarter-dollar pricing increments to simplify calculating the payment process.

Generally, figure around one-fifth of the retail price for items that are working and in good shape. For items only used once or twice, or those that were never used, you could get one-third of the retail value, depending on the item.

People Love BOGO Sales
A BOGO stands for “Buy One Get One” and it is used in retail stores to entice customers to purchase multiple items. It works the same in garage sales. Books, videos, baby clothing and records are good items to include in this type of pricing structure and people love getting something for free.

Clean and Fix It
Not many people want to buy dirty things. You will want to clean and fix the items you place in your sale.

Load the dishwasher with all the glassware you plan to sell and you will be amazed at how much more appealing it becomes when it sparkles.

If something is in need of a minor repair, go ahead and repair it.

For leather items like handbags and shoes, buff them with leather cleaner.

Run your clothing through the wash then neatly hand press or briefly iron over them to make them crisp and appealing.

Dust furniture, vacuum upholstery, clean spots, clean and freshen drawers.

It may sound like a big job, but it is worth it. In fact, often after we clean or fix something, we decide to keep it.

Advertise

The saying, “Build it – they will come,” doesn’t work for too many garage sales. Do not expect people to just find you. Real bargain hunters start checking the newspapers early to plan their route. Most newspapers post weekend garage sale advertising at a lower cost than the normal classified fees. You will want to make sure you are included in this section of the paper the day before and the morning of your sale. You will probably be charged per word, so it is a good idea to think up what you want to say before calling the paper.

Remember the Important Points

Date and time of your sale.

Your street address.

If it is a multi-family or group sale.

If you live in rural area, offer directions, a landmark that your home is near, or the color of your house.

A brief run down of specific items you will be selling such as, baby clothing, toys, arts and craft supplies, artwork, furniture.

Use the name-brand items that are in big demand, like, BabyGap (size 2t – 4t), or Ethan Allen furniture.

Signage Tips
When putting out your street signs, select the high-traffic areas of your neighborhood and around the streets that will guide the people to you. Also, flimsy construction paper is not very effective for street signs, especially on rainy or windy days. A good piece of thick cardboard cut from a box, spray painted in a unique color, with your address, and sale hours printed large enough to read, will bring the people to your door.

Merchandising Your Items
Garage-sale hunters like to feel like there is a lot of nice stuff for them to choose from, so take the time to think out how and where you will place things.

Avoid putting items in boxes on the ground. Not too many people will bend over or kneel down to dig through it.

Hang clothing like dresses, suits, skirts, blazers, coats and jackets.

Designate a table for folded clothing. Include sweaters, t-shirts, jeans, and select baby clothing.

Sheets, draperies, blankets, and bedspreads should be neatly folded. Use a pretty ribbon to tie grouped items together and price as a set.

Place your most appealing items within eyeshot of the street so people driving by can see them.

If you have sets of dishes, display all of them out. Avoid putting one plate with a note telling the visitor that there are more. Seeing is believing, and they will want to inspect each piece.

Tools, lawn equipment, workout benches, etc., will appeal to both men and women, so place them in a high-visible area.

Group your items – toys with toys, clothes with clothes. Think about the setup of your nearest Wal-mart and section things similarly.

Tomorrows Post: Preparing the Final Stages of Your Garage Sale

Spring Cleaning – The Method


The Method

Working room-by-room, sort items into the appropriate boxes. Work with one item at a time determining its proper place in your newly organized life. Don’t forget to go through closets, cabinets, and storage spaces. Uncluttering rooms like the kitchen and bathroom may be very easy to do, while rooms with storage bins and closets may take a lot more time.

Work on one room at a time to provide yourself with an easy stopping point for interruptions. When you come to a stopping point, be sure to throw out the trash immediately. Box up the storage box. Place the give away/sell box in the garage, or out of site. If you allow yourself to contemplate the decisions you’ve made too much, your brain can trick you into rescuing the clutter.

Force yourself to remember to put your keys in the new area: the key bowl. Enlist your family’s help. If they see dad’s keys on the kitchen sink, have them take the keys and put them in the key bowl. You may find that initially some family members (I’m not naming names) find it annoying that their routine of keeping their things wherever they happen to throw them down is being interrupted. Be patient. The relief of always knowing where these items are will win them over in the end.

Keep yourself and your family honest by reviewing the room with your list in hand once a day. It may be best to do this at the same time each day. If it was done right before dinner, the family could then discuss problems or successes over the meal. Have you kept up with the changes needed? Have others? Evaluate yourself daily until the room suddenly seems to have removed itself as the source of your frustration.

Things To Remember

*Items are not equivalent to memories of the person who gave them to you. Pruning items with an emotional attachment can be very difficult. Consider carefully if you need the item to have the memory or emotionally attachment. If you’re not sure, consider storing items on a trial basis, or giving them to another family member for safekeeping. Think about taking photos of the item that will store more readily, but give you tangible proof of the memory. If you really feel the need to keep items of this nature, don’t fight it. Instead try to incorporate these memories into decorative displays or organized storage.

*Get rid of old clothing even if it is the size you used to be and hope to return to. It’s tempting to keep them for when you reach your goal. Think about instead rewarding yourself with a new wardrobe when you get to the new you.

*Don’t force yourself to keep sets if you only use part of the set. If you cannot break up a set, at least store the portions you do not use.

*Keeping things just because you might need them someday may seem like a good reason for clogging your closets. Remind yourself that what you really need is space and organization.

So know your trash is gone. Your storage is packed away. Every item you’ve decided to keep is in its proper place. You’ve given away or sold everything else. Take a moment to look around your house. You’ve just taken a major step to organizing your life and freeing up your time and space. Begin enjoying the results.

Tomorrow’s Post: How to Have a Garage Sale

Spring Cleaning – The 4 Container Approach


One of the biggest parts of spring cleaning is getting rid of clutter that you don’t need. Use these resources to clear out your stuff. Cleaning will be a lot easier if the clutter is gone.

Conquering Clutter- The 4 Container Approach

Find 4 boxes and label them with the 4 categories.

Trash
Give Away/Sell
Storage
Put away

Trash- This should include any item that you do not need or want, but that is not donatable or sellable. Damaged and broken items should be included in the trash if they are not worth someone buying it and repairing it.

Give Away/Sell– Be generous. Think about the uses someone else might get out of the items vs. the use it gets in your home buried in cabinets or closets. Consider the financial benefits of selling your stuff at a garage sale.

Storage– Put items in here that you cannot part with but do not need on a regular basis. Make an inventory of the items as you box them. Group similar items together. Remember one good way to clean out closets is to store out of season clothing. Get tips on proper storage of clothing.

Put Away- This should be your smallest category. These are items that need to be out on a regular basis. Monitor yourself by determining if you have a place for each item. If the items in this box will not fit into your home without cluttering an area up, try to reassess if you really need them. If you do need these “essentials”, try to come up with a storage solution that fits into your home.

Tomorrow’s post: Spring Cleaning: “The Method”

Spring Cleaning – Steps for Organizing


4 Easy steps to reclaim your home from the clutter and disorganization.

Amid the endless piles of laundry, dishes, forgotten bills, and overdue library books, you have a house. A house you would desperately love to show off with pride. It makes you depressed even to think about how to get this mess organized. You feel your only hope now lies in the chance that one of your horrified relatives will recommend you for a cable show home makeover. While you’re waiting for that lightning bolt to strike, let’s try instead some simple steps and ideas to help you make your home into a place that allows cleaning and organization to be easily achievable. Who knows, you might even find the cordless phone you lost months ago!

Step 1: Analysis of Areas

Grab a spiral notebook and a pencil. Take a few minutes and mentally survey each room. In your notebook, jot down the problem areas in the room, putting one problem on a page. You’ll need the rest of the space on that same page for the following steps. The items on the paper should be parts of the room that really bug you, or that your family finds impossible to keep neat.

For example:

Shoes in piles next to your front door; the table in the entryway piled with mail; the magazine rack overflowing with books, magazines, and pamphlets; the coats, hats, and mittens etc piled in a heap next to the entryway closet. Carefully (but quickly) analyze each room in the house in this way, making a list of the areas that need improvement.

Here are rooms or parts of your home not to forget about:

Junk drawers
Medicine cabinets
Garages
Closets
Storage, including attic, basements, crawlspace
Outdoors

Tip: We don’t always see the disorder in these areas until we open them and try to find things.

2: Analysis of Reasons

For each of the problem areas in a room, figure out why the disorganization and mess is happening. I find this most easily done if you are actually in the room you are surveying. All answers are acceptable here. Usually there is more than one reason why an area of your home is continually unorganized.

For example:

Why are there shoes piled up next to your doorway? You like people to take off their shoes when they come in. No one in your family wants to take their shoes all the way to their rooms, andthere’s not enough room in the closet for all the shoes to fit, etc.

Why are the magazines overflowing? You may realize that you have issues of Good Housekeeping from the 70’s in there, or a magazine you bought only for the fudge praline cake recipe on the cover.

Continue this process for each of the problems in the room. Write down the reasons for each problem in your notebook, then move to the next room. When you’re done analyzing all your problem areas go on to Step 3.

Step 3: Solutions

Now comes the fun part. Let’s find ways we can fix the problems. Think about habits, behaviors, and tools that can make those messes disappear.

Do you need some sort of a tool for organization to help your problem?
Is the problem a habit that just needs to be enforced and practiced?
Is it a combination of containers or tools and habits that need to be changed?

Many of the problems you will encounter will require organizational tools and behavioral changes. Keep in mind that the best organizing system of shelves, hooks, and labels does no good if it isn’t utilized.

For Example:

The junk mail is piling up on your table. Do you need a sorter directly on the table? Maybe the person going through the mail initially needs to be responsible for sorting out the junk (which is 98% of the mail at my house). If you have a lot of different people in your home that receive mail, try giving each person in the house their own mail organizer in their rooms. Older children could then be responsible for their own mail, thinning out the amount you have to go through. What about switching your family to automated bill paying? Many utility companies today allow your utility bills to be deducted from your checking account automatically. You may still receive mail concerning receipt of payment, but at least these can be filed easily without worry that you’ll forget to pay.

Don’t forget about tools that may aid you in organizing problem areas. What if you put an over-the-door shoe organizer in the entryway closet? Do you need extra coat hooks? Would a bowl on the entry table specifically for keys eliminate the chances of having to dash around the house for 15 minutes in search of them every morning? Try to come up with brainstorm ideas for each problem.

Find solutions to the problems that annoy you most. Call your friends and ask them what they do to combat the problem. Enlist your family’s help to find out what would enable them to organize more effectively. If you hold a family meeting where everyone has a voice, you may find that those slovenly family members actually have good ideas. Make decisions about what you are going to try in your own home. Write down the solutions you’ve decided on.

Step 4:Implementation.

If when you went through your home you had only a few problem areas, then you’re lucky and you can probably implement all of your changes immediately. Begin by making a list of the tools needed from your lists of solutions (Step 3). Buy the tools that you need and set them up in their new home. Warning: organizational tools will not help if you don’t use them! You must also start to implement the behavior changes associated with keeping the mess clean.

If you have substantially more work to do, do not expect that you will be able to instantly do the changes that you desire, especially if your solutions involved hundreds of dollars of organizing equipment. It may be necessary for you to pick one room at a time to overhaul. Follow the same steps for the overachievers above who are already almost perfect. If you have a lot to do in one room you may have to set aside a Saturday to put together and install shelves, racks, etc. Try to involve your family as much as possible. Add other rooms and areas of your home as you see how you and your family maintain the ones that you’ve begun. If you are diligent there may actually be a day when someone says, “Have you seen my…” and you’ll be able to answer, Yes!”

Tomorrow’s Post: The 4 Container Method