Helpful Tips

With the arrival of warmer weather, it can be a challenge to keep your home cool and comfortable, yet keep your energy bills in check. By taking steps now to make your home more environmentally friendly, you'll not only help save natural resources, but you'll save money, too.

With air conditioners and appliances running throughout the summer, it's easy to burn up energy and raise costs. In fact, the energy used in the average house is responsible for twice as many greenhouse gas emissions than the average car, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). To help you get started in "greening" your home, Handyman Matters offers these tips to help you.

This is the decade of right-sizing. The economic reset triggered by the excesses of the last decade is forcing our society to rethink its definition of "enough." One area under enormous scrutiny is housing. How much space does it really take to house the average American family of 2.61 people?

You come home after work and start the 2nd shift. There’s always more to do than time to do it. Gather your family around you and think delegate, a.k.a. team building!

There are a few ground rules that apply at home, that don’t apply at the office. The complexity of family relationships makes delegating at home more challenging than at work. But it is not impossible. Truly applying team building makes this happen!

People describe clutter as overwhelming and out of control. Often it is getting started on organizing that keeps you from being organized. If you don’t have hours to get organized, here are 5 things you can do for 5 minutes each to get your home in order.

Translate your decorating trends into your holiday decor. 

Well, it’s that time of year again!  If you’ve been out and about in the retail stores, you know that the holidays are creeping around the corner.  Already among the Halloween tricks and treats are your decorations for fall harvest:  pumpkins, gourds and botanicals in your favorite autumn colors.  Sitting discreetly on the shelves, waiting for the perfect moment to make their entrance, are boxes upon boxes of holiday lights and ornaments.  And you know, that as soon as the ghoulish displays are cleared, the Christmas trees seem to pop up out of nowhere.

As with the start of every New Year, some key financial planning opportunities will be available to all investors beginning in 2010.  One opportunity that has not received nearly as much press as others is the upcoming changes in the Roth IRA rules. 

It’s August and you and your kids are counting down the days until school begins again. Start the year off right with some easy steps to prepare for the first day. A little preparation goes a long way throughout the school year.


It is time to schedule all those back to school doctor, dental and eye glass appointments. It can take up to 2 weeks so call now for the best time. Many athletic departments require physicals and it is important to have an updated immunization record. Be proactive and get these dates on your calendar. Schedule other groom essentials like haircuts and more too!

The time and research you should put in to finding a financial planner is no different than the time and research you should put into finding a good family doctor. You are looking for someone you can trust and guide your financial health, after all. But how should you start your search? According to the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) there are no fewer than 69 different financial credentials that you may run into. This article will attempt to help you narrow down your search before you even pick up the phone and start calling prospective planners.


Dad mows the yard, cooks all the meals, and handles all repair jobs. Mom does all the grocery shopping, is in charge of taxiing the kids to their ‘practice du jour’, and takes care of the laundry.

Division of household duties such as these sounds all too common these days. In most cases, the handling of family finances falls to a particular spouse as well. However, when it comes to the family finances, it is imperative that both spouses play a role. If not, the result could be a devastating blow when a spouse is left to pick up the pieces.

Remember those days in kindergarten when your day was brimming with consistency? You knew the day began with Circle Time, followed by Center Time, then Recess and Snack. With each day you anticipated what was expected and you worked hard at each activity. Having a schedule helps us be more productive with our time and energized in our efforts. There are many ways to implement structure in our day.

Sometimes it takes a fresh perspective for us to improve our quality of life! What would you think of using business strategies to simplify your home, as well as feel more productive? Think of yourself as the Family Manager™ who creates a team. Working together, your family can create and adopt “House Rules” and “Standard Operating Procedures."

Do things seem more complicated than ever?  Rather than joy and anticipation, are you feeling overwhelmed at the thought of the new year and all it will bring? Start the year with simple organizing solutions to create order and balance in your life.