Cheap Car Insurance and Car Safety – Young Drivers

The term young drivers, in an insurance context, tends to refer to drivers normally between the ages of 17 and 25 years old. This can sometimes be seen as a slightly patronising term, but in fact is simply a reflection of an age group that the insurance industry deems to be most at risk and therefore the most expensive group of car owners to insure.

Whilst any generalisation is to some extent unfair, there is a lot of statistical evidence that supports the fact that the majority of claims and the majority of expensive claims that the insurance industry has to pay out comes from this age range of drivers.

There are two main areas of concern to this age group. Firstly is the fairly obvious fact that because of their age they have not been able to build up a sufficient level of driving experience that give them the benefit of being able to drive more safely and securely than people of an older generation might be able to do. There is also a belief that people of this age group tend to be slightly more irresponsible and erratic in their driving habits than people who are in their late 20s, 30s etc. This may or may not be true, but nevertheless is a factor in the amount that insurance companies will charge.

Young drivers will inevitably pay a much higher insurance cost for their car insurance than people of an older age group. Whilst they are gaining a level of experience that allows them to drive safely they will be developing a level also of what is known as road awareness. It is this sense of being able to “read the road” that will significantly affect their ability to drive safely, and subsequently their safety record and amount they pay for their car insurance.

Reading the road is a term applied to people who drive, and tends to be a sense that people pick up of what is happening around them they pay particular attention to. This normally involves paying attention to what other cars, cyclists, lorries, pedestrians and other road users are doing around them and anticipating what actions they might take, and what the consequences of those actions might be. Reading the road is also about applying the correct level of speed to any given situation at a conscious level. This normally refers to driving slowly rather than driving fast, but reflects more generally a sense of appropriateness to the speed of driving in any particular situation.

The other level of concern often raised concerning this age group in relation to car insurance, is that as an age group they are easily distracted, or more easily distracted than people of a different age group might be. Traditionally this has always been seen as distraction in the sense of having friends of theirs of a similar age in the car, possibly showing off to them by driving too fast or recklessly. It has also raised concerns about driving at night when visibility and road conditions are much more difficult to manage.

Distraction amongst young drivers, as well as most other drivers, has become a major issue much more in recent times because of the advent of cellphones and ability of drivers to make calls and send and receive SMS messages at the same time. Research by the United States government shows that this is as dangerous potentially as that of drink-driving. Distraction is a major concern because it is in the split-second where people need to be aware of and focused of what is going on around them that decisions are made which profoundly affect the safety of the driver, the passengers and other road users who may be involved in any potential incident.

Three SEO Strategies That High Ranking Websites Always Follow

Great people do not do different things. They do the same things differently. Well, this phrase is equally applicable to create websites as well. The basics of search engine optimization and social media integration are the same for everybody. The attitude and approach adopted by the webmasters makes all the difference. Let us look at some important differences between popular websites and those websites that fail to make an impression on search engines.

Always Changing, Improving And Evolving

Search engine optimization is a frustrating task primarily because it is always changing. In the beginning, stuffing the webpage with keywords was enough to improve your rankings. Then, Google started penalizing keyword spam and created the distinction between White Hat and other SEO techniques. The latest update by Google penalizes poor quality content. Judging the quality of content of your site through an algorithm may sound impossible. However, Google is making use of algorithms to weed out those websites that offer rehashed content without offering anything new.

Great sites never relax as far as search engine opposition is concerned. They never conclude that they have identified the golden formula and that they need not bother about SEO ever again. They are eager to identify newer solutions and want to find out how such solutions can help them improve rankings. If you want a one-time ticket to online popularity, then you will have to face many disappointing failures. Remaining popular on the Internet requires constant adaptation.

Search Engines Are Secondary. People Come First

This may sound sacrilegious to some SEO experts. To cater to people without bothering about search engines can lead to disastrous consequences. What is the point of setting up a website with high quality content if surfers cannot find it? Well, great websites believe that it is impossible to suppress good content online. If your content is good, then you will automatically become popular even if you are not focusing on search engine optimization.

Of course, this does not mean you should completely ignore optimization. However, your readers and viewers should be preferred over stats about your traffic. Keep your readers happy and they will spread word about your website without being asked to do so. Getting 100,000 web surfers to talk about your website is a lot simpler if you simply provide high-quality content.

Instead of spending a lot of money on expensive SEO strategists, you can adopt this simple approach and extract more value out of your investment.

Never Be In A Hurry For Results

Despite the release of panda and penguin updates by Google, it is possible to manipulate search engines and improve your rankings. However, such a short-term approach is only going to lead to complications. For starters, you can never be certain that your popularity is sustainable. If you focus on the long-term, then you will automatically make use of White Hat SEO techniques that focus on adding value at all times.

Make sure you follow these strategies. The best option is to employ an SEO expert who understands the importance of such an approach. This will help you focus on offering better quality products and services to your customers without worrying about the popularity of your website.

Want a Sweet Deal? Favorite Websites For Fashion Bargains

A lot of people ask me where I get the clothes I’m wearing and they’re always surprised when I say where I got them and how much the item cost. Typical reactions include disbelief and jealousy, especially when I’ve spent less than $20 on a pair of shoes identical to an $80 pair someone else owns.

when I say where I got them and how much the item cost. Typical reactions include disbelief and jealousy, especially when I’ve spent less than $20 on a pair of shoes identical to an $80 pair someone else owns.

How do you find your own sweet deals and which online shopping destinations will give you the most bang for your buck?

Here are a few of my favorite sites:

Forever 21 has incredible selection and style and the prices are outrageous, especially if you do a bit of digging. I’ve unearthed fabulous dresses for less than $20 and great costume jewelry pieces for around $5. The shipping from the site is painless and quick and they have easy return policies should something not fit.

Here are my tips for shopping online at Forever 21:

Visit the store before you shop the website so you know what fits you and what you’re looking for. Often, the actual clothing looks different in person than it does on their website, especially in the dress length area. Some “dresses” Forever 21 sells are more tunic-lengthed, meaning you’d have to wear them as shirts or with leggings in order to make them street-appropriate.

Don’t expect pristine quality. Forever 21 keeps their prices low by mass-producing huge quantities of clothing that aren’t meticulously made. Don’t expect your clothing to hold up for years-or sometimes weeks-on end.

Beware of dresses or shirts you need to zip. Forever 21 has fairly cheap zippers that often break.

If in doubt, go up a size. Their clothing runs tiny-truly tiny. If you have a wide rib-cage, like I do, you may need to go up two sizes if something is really fitted around that area.

Urban Outfitters is a true fashionista’s paradise. Chock full of interesting bohemian pieces, you can find some great clothing for less than $50. Often Urban also carries more expensive lines (upwards of $200), so make sure you don’t fall in love with something before checking the price.

Some things to buy from Urban:

Accessories are always a great bet. They have tons of belts, handbags, scarves, etc. Their shoe selection is also enviable. Check out their flats and sandals, especially now. They have lots of cute new things.

When cold weather is once again upon us, Urban carries a wide-range of outerwear which is all pretty affordable and cute, without being cutesy.

Urban always carries Converse All-Star sneakers in hard-to-find colors and patterns. Check the men’s shoe section for more.

Cutesygirl.com has shoes for unbelievable prices. Truly unbelievable. I tell people I got boots or heels for $12 and they don’t believe me until I show them the webpage.

The thing about Cutesygirl.com is that they mix some really awful, ugly shoes in with adorable and stylish ones. You’re going to have to be willing to put in some search time.

The quality is fairly good, about what you’d expect from Target or Payless shoes. Not great, but they’ll do. Some of the brands (like Steve Madden) that Cutesygirl.com has are obviously better quality than others. Just be choosy and you’ll be okay.

Watch for these styles from Cutesygirl.com:

Flats or pumps are always a good pick. Search by “Price- Low to High” to find the best deals. If you see something you like and they have your size, snatch it up quick. The cheaper shoes go fast, and they often run out of the most popular sizes quickly, leaving only 6’s to be had.

There are some great boot offerings from Cutesygirl.com, but once again, search carefully. Avoid stiletto, pointy-toed boots at all cost. You can get those almost anywhere now, but they really aren’t tremendously popular anyway. Don’t fall into the trap of buying something just because it’s cheap: there are lots of inexpensive shoes on Cutesygirl, but don’t sacrifice style just because something is $10.

The Benefits Of Internet Marketing

Whilst it is fair to say that Internet marketing has certainly had an effect on offline trading figures, the comparisons are not directly proportionate for the simple reason that the Internet has opened up huge new markets which were not feasible before this ‘information superhighway’ was born. The interactive nature of Internet marketing, and the low costs involved in distributing information and media to a global audience, makes a very attractive platform for any business model, regardless of size. Latest figures from credit card companies report a 15 billion dollar turnover from Internet sales in the last year, and rising rapidly. So it is not surprising that budgets for Internet marketing are taking a bigger slice of the advertising cake and the numbers of individuals earning their living directly from Internet marketing are ballooning off the scale.

Internet marketing draws together all the creative and technical aspects of the Internet, which include design, development, advertising and sales, and the techniques used in Internet marketing include search engine marketing, email marketing, affiliate marketing, online advertising and more recently, social media marketing methods as employed in blog marketing, and viral marketing.

Internet marketing is the process of building, growing and promoting a business individual or organization through any online activity including websites, blog sites, article marketing, press releases, online market research, email marketing, and online advertising. In order to fully comprehend the huge benefits offered by the Internet marketing process, it is difficult not to draw comparisons with offline marketing methods, but it has to be remembered that one is not a replacement for the other. Internet marketing and offline marketing will both have an important part to play in the future of any business, assuming it is not purely Internet based. Let us now look at the benefits that Internet marketing has to offer..

Low Cost

Since the Internet can be regarded as a ‘free for all’ activity center where information is shared freely with all interested parties, the cost involved in the overall Internet marketing strategy is relatively low. Apart from the obvious expenditure incurred in operating a web site, a large proportion of the budgets set aside for Internet marketing will typically be swallowed up by services and resources offering expertise in the various marketing techniques that fall under the Internet marketing umbrella. For example, Search Engine Optimization plays an important role in the positioning of a web site in search engine rankings and the larger organizations will often employ the services of a search engine optimization company to carry out this duty. Equally there are Internet Advertising Agencies available to handle all aspects of online advertising. Smaller companies or sole traders may carry out their own search engine optimization and advertising campaigns and would need only a few hundred dollars budget for marketing software tools. Either way, the overall cost of Internet marketing is much lower than the cost of a similar offline campaign.

Work From Any Location

All activities that fall under the Internet marketing banner can easily be organized from a laptop computer. Most communications are made using online contact forms, email or instant messenger, and payments for items such as web site hosting, internet marketing software tools and resource fees can all be paid online using a credit card. Web site design and management is also another area of Internet marketing easily managed from a laptop computer. The versatility of the ‘laptop’ means that these duties can be carried out from any location and therefore those involved in the Internet marketing fraternity can easily work from a simple home office, or even when away from home. Commuting is totally unnecessary.

The Level Playing Field

Unlike offline commerce, the use of Internet marketing techniques now make it possible for an individual or sole trader to compete with the larger organizations in his online business. It’s true that a larger company whose name was on everyone’s lips would have a head start in the marketing of their web site, and a larger presence in the search engine pages, beyond that the doors are opened and it’s quite common to see a smaller commercial outfit riding higher than their much larger competition in search engine results. Yes the online advertising budgets would be much bigger for the national companies, but there are many Internet marketing techniques and resources available to the solo marketers that would help them to stay in touch. There are literally hundreds of new Internet millionaires developed on a daily basis.

There are also many niche areas with good benefits derived from Internet marketing, but generally the process is attractive all round as a method of promoting any business, recreational or personal projects across the Internet. Internet Marketing is where the future lies for businesses large and small. The Internet has arrived and no-one can deny it!

Trevor Taylor

A Removal Company After Your Own Heart

It’s that time again-moving time! Headaches abound, screaming and frustration ensues. You aren’t sure if you’re going or coming, and if you are, chance is that you won’t be for long. You can be organized, clever, and have enough containers to stock Tupperware warehouses, but in most cases, that’s the exact opposite of your situation. In most cases, you’re surprised you finally make it once you get there.

Which is why hiring a removal company can come in handy. For example, say that you’re less than gifted at packing…maybe your Christmas gifts look pre-opened or maybe your containers just refuse to close and you’ve surrounded them with rolls of tape, praying they didn’t bust open during the trip. In most cases, a removal company will pack for you. Now, keep in mind that it will cost you. But it can also be rather beneficial and can help you to keep everything much more organized.

Don’t forget the actual moving services. This can help you so much! Especially if you have arthritis or a bad back or are getting up on age or are alone: you shouldn’t be moving things in these cases-it just isn’t safe and you have no business getting hurt.

But where do you choose a removal company? Surely there’s a way of picking one?

First of all, ask your friends. If they have any recommendations, keep them in mind. Compile a small list. Then, Google them.

Google may sound a bit tacky, but it’s actually a quick, easy way to search for reviews. Make sure that you are searching the right company (there are times when you go to check on a company and then discover that it’s a different company of the same kind) and check the reviews. You should be looking for:

1. Safety. If they aren’t safe, then you need to discard them. True, one employee might have made a mistake. It does happen. But, if an offense occurs over and over and over again, you need to completely toss that company out the window, so to speak.

2. Reputation. If you see more than ten bad reviews in a row, you need to seriously reconsider that project. It’s one of those cases where it goes to show-and especially if they have a recurring problem.

3. No thieves. If there are repeated cases where someone mentions workers pocketing items or searching through boxes (without instruction or if they aren’t packing), then you need to be wary or throw them away. You don’t have time to deal with removal companies that will steal your money and your valuables. This sort of falls under reputation, but, at the same time, you have to make sure that you put forth a bit of extra effort to watch out for things like this.

4. Scams. If you see ridiculously low prices or you notice many reviews that mention the company being a scam, avoid them. It doesn’t matter if they look like they have the best removal company reviews ever-they could be written by the scammers!

No More Cash Problems With Fast Loans Online

There are still two weeks to go for payday and you are in need of cash. Instead of panicking or asking friends and family, you can now get loans easily. With fast loans available like payday loans, why worry about cash? Fast loans online are available to help people meet their emergency cash requirements on a temporary basis and then repay the loan together with interest on their next payday. However, there are certain things that you must take into consideration when you are in need of urgent cash.

How Payday Loans Work?
As suggested by the name, payday loans are supposed to be returned together with the amount of interest as soon as you have your next pay check in hand. This is why this loan is considered a very short-term loan. The loan period does not exceed more than 31 days is most cases. To repay the amount in such a short span, the amount granted to individuals does not exceed more than $1000 or $1500 in some cases.

While there is no credit check conducted before granting the loan, some lenders require that you deposit a postdate check with the principle amount plus interest. This is so that they automatically get the loan settled on the agreed date.

In situations where an individual fails to pay back the loan, the company extends the duration as well as the fees. At this point, positivity of these fast loans changes into negativity. Failure in paying back the money to the lender often leads to trouble because the increased fee keeps on accumulating and people repeatedly require more payday loans to get rid of their growing debts.

However, risks are associated with every business and proper money management can help an individual avoid all such risks. Moreover, such short-term cash lenders are also important for our society because people often need urgent cash and they may have no other option. However, at the same time, it is very important to plan your repayment accordingly and pay off the loan as soon as possible.

Taking a wise decision is recommended. It is always good to research for the right lenders and give enough time to go through the loan rules thoroughly. You will be required to give in some basic details about you and your current employment. The procedure is short and simple and in no time, the fast loans will be in your hand. Consider all your options before applying for payday loans.

Real Estate Services – Business Immune To Internet?

Real estate services business is one of those verticals with an overwhelming number of websites. There are thousands of websites with apartments and villa listings. But does it really mean that this internet model of business generate a proportionate amount of revenue? Well, not really!

By many ways real estate services is one of those businesses that are ideally suited for a net based model. On one side you have a seller who wants to sell his property and other side you have a buyer who wants to buy a similar property. The seller lists the property for sale on a website. Prospective buyers finds it on the site and if found suitable, the buyer and seller come to an agreement for sale. No searching for agent, no commission. It all looks so simple. But it seldom happens that way.

The sale of a property incurs an agent commission of 2.5 to 6% (depending on your country, region, agreement with agent etc) of the sale price. The above described scenario means only a small listing fee to be spent by the seller. Consider the online recruitment business where a similar situation exists. It has done very well unlike real estate websites and sites like monster.com and hotjobs.com have a high brand recall. But a similar success is not found for real estate services websites. Spare a few like loopnet.com and costar.com which has found success in the commercial real estate sector. The truth of the matter is that the real estate multiple listing service (MLS) and agents tightly guard the seller data and other information. However, some other reasons also exist.

A real estate listing, unlike a job listing, needs to provide more information to look credible for the buyer. Collecting the required data, pictures of the property, (even videos some times) recent sales data, above all removing outdated data from the database, all this needs money to be spent.

Not all those who buy and sell property are negotiators. The agent claims to be one and normally takes such a role. But on most cases, they just make both the buyer and seller feel good about the deal. Both parties feel they negotiated and got the best deal. Also, not everybody wants to publicize that their property is up for sale, especially for commercial properties. An agent is entrusted to find buyers for the property.

There can be a solution for most of these issues. A real estate website can still provide the first level of information to seller. At least it can narrow down the search to a few properties of ones choice. With a little effort one can get additional information necessary for deciding the suitability of that property against your requirements and budget. As for confidential listing of property, this can be incorporated in a website. For example, KeralaListings.com a property marketing company hides the seller data and other traceable information from a property listing if tagged ‘confidential’ by the seller. This listing appears in search results for the given parameters and the prospective buyer can email the seller of his interest in the property.

As real estate websites adopt steps, to provide information which is updated and verified, this business model will gradually pick up. Though the cost of maintaining such sites is slightly more, this should gradually increase public trust on this model. Even with all this, the cost of property transaction can reduced considerably. Not to mention about the time saved for finding a property.

Car Rentals is a Must For Every Traveler

The Gold Coast is an ideal holiday destination for you and your family. It has everything that can make your holiday down under a memorable one. The Gold coast is arguably the best tourist destination in Australia with almost 10 million tourists enjoying its fabulous surf beaches, unparalleled theme parks and dense rainforests every year.

The most visited tourist spot in the Gold Coast is Surfers Paradise. The place offers you with many entertainment options to explore. You can indulge in various exciting activities like surfing, jet skiing, fishing and parasailing during your trip to Surfers Paradise. Apart from these, Surfers paradise is also well known for its active nightlife and unmatched facilities for beach volleyball, golf and bungee jumping.

Along with the surfers paradise, you will find many other tourist attractions. The American Style Theme Parks are few of them. These parks have in stored some of the most exciting options for you and your family. Dreamworld, Movieworld and Wet n’ Wild are the three most famous theme parks in Gold Coast. While planning a trip to these parks, make sure that you have ample time in your hand because these parks are too big and too wonderful to be done with in a single day.

Gold coast is also the home of some of the most incredible architectural masterpieces. The Q1 Building (world’s tallest residential building), Gold Coast Arts Centre, Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum are the finest examples. You can’t even afford to miss out the attractions like Tropical Fruit Farm, Sea World and Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, during your trip to Gold Coast.

Car rentals gold coast is one of the ways to witness and admire the real beauty of all the tourist attractions. By renting a car, you can visit all these places at your own will. There are many car rentals options that are available for you in Gold Coast. You can go for one way car rental plan, which includes picking the car up from one place and dropping it to the other location. Generally, this plan is preferred by people, who hire cars between airport locations. Another one can be two way rental, which is normally taken up by tourists.

During peak seasons, you might also get some bonus or special offers on your car rental plan. In spite of the plan you choose, make sure that you negotiate with the car rental company.

After all, at the end of the day, it is your money!

How to Employ a Personal Assistant in Commercial Real Estate Agency

In commercial real estate sales and leasing, it is increasingly common to hear that agents have no time to spare each day. Normally there are plenty of things going on around the office and in the property market. That being said, you still need to get to some critical things that allow you to build your business. The solution is to put more people around you and get some outside assistance.

When you look at the daily tasks that need to be done, there are still two or three that are highly important. Typically they are:

  • Finding new business opportunities through daily prospecting
  • Servicing your existing clients with effective marketing campaigns
  • Matching buyers and tenants to your listings

So these three things drive the entire commercial real estate cycle. Some of these things can be adjusted to involve other people to assist you. Having a good personal assistant that understands your business processes will be of high value in your career. First and foremost, you need to get to the point where you can afford this high quality person. You will need the right person and that will be a cost to you personally or to the business.

Before I go further here into the strategy behind the process, I would like to say that you should never entirely delegate the prospecting process to other people, and do so for the wrong reasons. I have seen many salespeople seize the opportunity to give others the task of making cold calls and door knocking. The best salespeople always prospect every day in some way or form, and find the process critical to their leverage in the market place.

Always remember that you are in a professional selling industry; that requires an exceptional salesperson that is prepared to do the difficult things each and every day. You have to ‘sell’ in many ways and forms.

So you can appoint people to assist you with each of these three processes. They should however not entirely take over and remove you from the 3 key activities. You must still have a discipline of client connection and negotiation as part of your business model. You are the person to do the deals and that is a fact to be remembered.

Taking these three points that I have just mentioned, you can adjust your business day in the following way:

  1. Get someone to research the correct people to cold call. This research process takes a lot of time. When the correct numbers and contact details are passed to you, you can still make the calls. The results of the calls can then be entered into the database by your personal assistant. You should however keep a close connection with your database and review its progress every night or at the end of the business day.
  2. Your personal assistant can send correspondence and emails to your clients in your absence. This does not however remove you from personal contact and telephone calls with all your clients at least once or twice a week. You are the person that they hired to solve a property problem.
  3. You can have your personal assistant review the database to match the buyer and tenant enquiry to the listings that you have currently. This then allows you to make the personal calls to qualified people in a timely way. When the match is made, you make the call.

Always keep in touch with your market, and do not let shortcuts remove you from the process. The best salespeople are always at the front line of their business activity and marketing processes.

Get Ready Now: Tips For A Stress Free Holiday Season!

Planning

1.) Write — Sit down at the table with a blank notebook and do what I call a Time Out where you write down everything associated with your holiday traditions. Write all of the tasks, to-do’s and commitments you can think of and include things you are responsible for as well as what you take part in. Do you always travel? Are you hosting meals and house-guests? Do you set up or participate in a gift exchange? Annual parties and events? People you always buy gifts for?

2.) Sort & Prioritize– Take your Time Out and sort it into a task list, an events list and a gift list. Hosting Thanksgiving dinner is an event, meal planning, grocery shopping and delegating who brings what, are tasks. Shopping for gifts goes on the task list, what you buy for whom goes on the gift list. You may choose to create more lists to further breakdown tasks or events that you are in charge of. In addition to the gifts your family exchanges, the gift list should include: hostess gifts, teacher gifts, holiday tipping, office gifts, Secret Santa and the like. Having these lists will help you prioritize and you should make a note of the must-do, non-negotiables (visiting grandma) and the things you might be able to skip to save your sanity (decorating 12 dozen cookies by hand).

3.) Schedule — Assign the events and tasks to your calendar. Notate all the travel, arrivals and departures of guests, the annual food drive and neighborhood caroling. If you are unsure of dates, put a question mark next to them and add a note to your task list to call people to clarify. This part helps other people make decisions and put plans in motion. Mark time and dates ahead of events for tasks, chores and errands so nothing sneaks up on you. Feeling frantic feels terrible; being prepared feels great! Decide when you have time to bake, write cards and shop online and schedule those tasks too.

Act Now! Looking at your lists and calendar, what can you do now to save time, energy and stress later on? Here are some ideas:

1.) Cooking — Plan your meals, choose your recipes and make your lists.

• Do you make the same Thanksgiving dinner every year? Make your grocery list and start stocking up on the non-perishables. Place orders for the turkey, pies and linen rental. Mark your calendar with dates to call and confirm as well as the pick up or delivery dates. Delegate side dishes to your guests now and don’t be afraid to be specific!
• Plan your recipes for holiday cookies and appetizers for parties and make your grocery lists. Can you make dough or sauces ahead and freeze? Double a recipe and bring the same item to multiple parties. This saves time and money by streamlining effort and ingredients. People will only remember your contribution and the fabulous flavor!

2.) Traveling — Plan your trip.

• Book your airline tickets, car rental and hotel reservations now! Prices are only going to go up as the holidays near.
• Set up your transportation to and from the airport. Arrange home and pet care while you’re gone. Again, set up dates to confirm in your calendar.
• Make lists for what to pack and get all the cold weather gear out of storage, cleaned and ready to go.

3.) Guests coming to you — Get ready for your guests and help them get ready for their travel.

• Make sure their travel is booked. Do you need to arrange lodging or are they staying with you?
• Make sure your home is house-guest ready and check your linens, towels and spare toiletries. What items do you need to buy to make their stay more comfortable?
• Plan events, activities and transportation now, purchasing tickets and making reservations when necessary.

4.) Minimize future errands — Stock up now on items you always need. Remember, being prepared feels great!

• Make shopping lists from your tasks list for the holidays and the normal things you shop for. This step will save you trips to places like the drugstore.
• These items might include your everyday toiletries, paper goods, wrapping paper, cases of wine, water and other beverages.
• Create a space in the closet, garage or even under the bed for all these extras so your home doesn’t get overwhelmed.
• Make a note of what you bought and where you put it!

5.) Holiday cards, newsletters and photos — Start now! Having these time-consuming tasks out of the way will allow you to breathe easier.

• Make your list, purchase your supplies, including postage and put a bag or box together with everything you need including pens and your address book (if you still use one) so you can have it at the ready, but put it away when you’re done.

• Do a few at a time so the task isn’t overwhelming and they’re ready to send on the date you’ve chosen.

• If you order pre-printed cards, do that now too.

• Newsletters are fun to send and keep people updated on your goings on so make an outline of what you’d like to include and start writing!

• If your card includes or consists of a photo, choose one now or set up your photo session ASAP.

6.) Gifts — As an organizer, I love to give people consumables: food, beverages, gift cards and charitable donations. You can buy many of these now and they will save you so much time and energy. Feel free to personalize, but it’s a real time saver to streamline and give everyone, or group of people, the same thing.

• Give all the teachers gift certificates where they can treat themselves to an indulgence, like a pedicure, shopping or restaurants.
• Make charitable donations for hostess gifts — a few favorites are the Heifer Foundation and Charity Checks which allows people to choose where their donation goes.
• The office or neighborhood can pool together and instead of individual gift giving, Adopt A Family, volunteer at or make donations to a local charity or animal shelter.
• If you give monetary gifts to people such as your hairstylist or garbage collector, visit the bank as you can afford to, write the accompanying notes and store the envelopes in a safe place.

7.) Dressing Up — Plan your party outfits now so you’re not scrambling through the mall on the day of the event.

• Comb your (hopefully organized!) closet and find what fits, is occasion appropriate and what you can reinvent?
• If you need to shop, consider basics and/or separates that you can change up with accessories and can be worn year-round. Or maybe you only need a few sparkly accessories to spruce up your favorite frock.
• If you have children, make sure their clothes fit too and that everything is clean and ready to go.
• Taking family photos? Do you need or coordinate what you’re wearing? Plan and shop now.

8.) Decorating — Where are the ornaments? Do I still like everything I have? How is it stored?

• When you take out your decorations, use only what you love or what has meaning and part with the rest. Sometimes we continue to use the decorations we have, even if we no longer like them, out of habit or because you only look at it for 30 days or so.

• Before you put anything away, make sure you have proper storage to protect your treasured ornaments, wreaths and lights. Plastic bins keep the critters and dust out and everything organized inside. Check out The Container Store for their fabulous and helpful products. Don’t forget to label everything!

I hope these tips help you to plan and get ahead for the holidays so you can enjoy this wonderful time with your family and friends!