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Barbara Herren's

Barbara Herren Office: 417-353-4060 Cell: 417-859-7653

Dear Friends,

It's that most glorious time of year when the world wakes up from it's sleep, shakes off the snow and rises to greet the sun after it's long winter nap. There is something in the air that just makes you want to turn a cartwheel and sing "Spring is bustin' out all over!" This month in Welcome Home magazine spring into action and get that spring cleaning ritual started. Blaming your closet for the the clutter that seems to multiply in the night? Stop the blame and make peace with your closet with our handy organizational hints. Want to hold your best yard sale ever? Let us tell you how! We will get you started on cleaning up and clearing out those winter blues and the extra clutter that is always around. Take our advice and start preparing now to get your life organized for your best spring ever! Please enjoy this issue of the magazine! Have a organized April, and as always, Welcome Home! If you have comments or suggestions please email us at, we love to hear from you! Also if there is a subject that you would like to see covered, let us know! We look forward to hearing from you!

Barbara Herren 417-353-4060 417-859-7653

Welcome Home! Table of Contents 4

Recipe And Design A tasty recipe and a stylish home design how to.

5 6

Steps To Yard Sale Success Fast hints to get your sale started.

How To Begin A Spring Cleaning Ritual Kick start you cleaning and banish dust bunnies with ease. 6-7


How To Have A Successful Garage/Yard Sale

The ultimate how to handbook for the perfect sale.

10 - 11 To Clean Or Not To Clean! Can you do it yourself, or it it time to call a Pro?

12 - 13 Clean It Out For Good! Kick clutter to the curb and keep it there.

14 - 15

Closet Clutter Is NOT Your Closet’s Fault Stop the blame and clean up your closet.

16 - 17 Products To Love! Hot trends, technological wonders of tomorrow and so much more!

18 City Spotlight New Orleans, Louisiana. The crescent city awaits you with wonders. 19 Businesses That Make A Difference Ben and Jerry’s, so much more than famous, fabulous Ice Cream.

Welcome Home is for entertainment purposes only. This magazine is not intended to solicit other brokersʼ listings. If you are currently working with another broker, please disregard this information. All pictures courtesy of unless otherwise noted. Thanks to Wikipedia for Random Fact information and aid.

Editor in Chief - Phly Jambor The information provided in this publication of Welcome Home or on any website maintained by U.S. Cybertek, Inc. or any of its subsidiaries, divisions, affiliates, agents, representatives, licensors, licensees or employees (collectively Publisher) is intended as a general guide illustrating common methods of common practices, and the publisher makes no warranty or guarantee whatsoever of the safety, effectiveness, or other characteristic of any methods or products described herein. Neither does the Publisher assume any liability for information published in any website or other publication to which reference may be made herein. Readers are cautioned to review and comply with all written instructions, safety bulletins, and other materials provided in connection with any of the products mentioned herein and all products used in connection with any of the methods described. Neither Published nor any of its subsidiaries, divisions, affiliates, agents, representatives, licensors, licensees or employees shall in any case be liable to you or anyone else for any loss or injury or any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special punitive or similar damages arising out of your use of or failure to use any of the methods and/ or products described in this publication or any other publication or websites to which reference may be made herein. Publisher disclaims all warranties, and any warranty or guarantee of safety, merchantability, or fitness for any particular purpose lies solely with the manufacture(s) of any product described or recommended or used used in connection with any methods described or recommended.

Recipe and Design Roasted Lamb

Prep Time: 20 minutes Other Time: 2 hours 10 minutes Yield: Makes 8 servings

Ingredients • • • • • • • • • •

1 (5-lb.) boneless leg of lamb 2  lemons, halved and divided 1/4  cup  chopped fresh oregano 2 1/2  teaspoons  salt 2  teaspoons  pepper Kitchen string 1  garlic bulb, unpeeled 1/4  cup  olive oil 1  cup  low-sodium chicken broth Garnishes: roasted garlic cloves, baby carrots, radishes, lettuce leaves

Preparation 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Unroll lamb, if necessary. Rub 1 lemon half on all sides of lamb, squeezing juice from lemon. Stir together oregano, salt, and pepper; rub on lamb. Roll up lamb, and tie with kitchen string. 2. Place lamb on a lightly greased rack in a roasting pan. Separate garlic cloves (do not peel), and place around roast. Drizzle olive oil over lamb and garlic cloves. 3. Squeeze juice from remaining 1 1/2 lemons into a bowl. Stir together juice and chicken broth; pour into roasting pan. 4. Bake at 350° for 2 hours to 2 hours and 15 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 140° (medium) or to desired degree of doneness. Remove lamb from pan; cover with aluminum foil, and let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Garnish, if desired. Cat Cora, Cat Cora, Southern Living, APRIL 2010

All-Natural Easter Egg Dye

What You Need: • • • • • • • •

White Vinegar Coffee Grape Juice Beets Red Cabbage Orange Peel Frozen Blueberries Small Wide Mouth Mason Jars

Pink - 1 cup pickled beet juice and 1 tablespoon vinegar Lavender - 1 cup grape juice and 1 tablespoon vinegar Brown - 1 cup strong coffee and 1 tablespoon vinegar Blue - Cut 1/4 head of red cabbage into chunks. Add cabbage to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 tablespoons vinegar. Let cool to room temperature. Remove cabbage with a slotted spoon. Bluish-Gray - Mix 1 cup frozen blueberries with 1 cup water. Bring to room temperature. Remove blueberries. Dark Pink - Cut 1 medium beet into chunks. Add beet to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 tablespoons vinegar. Let cool to room temperature. Remove beets. Yellow - Remove the peel from 1 orange. Add peel to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 tablespoons vinegar. Let cool to room temperature. Remove orange peel.

Instructions: Use these all-natural dye recipes made from household ingredients to create Easter eggs in beautifully subdued shades. Leave eggs soaking in the dye in the refrigerator overnight for the richest colors. Courtesy of Better Homes and


Steps To


It's now officially summer and for many people, that means yard sale (or garage sale) time. Have a yard sale and get rid of all those things that you have tossed during your Spring cleaning "spree." Now that you have all of this "stuff," what do you do with it? Step One: Get it organized. Put books with books and dishes with dishes. You get the picture. All like items together. Step Two: Write the ad for your yard sale and get it to your local newspaper and Recycler publication. When writing your ads and your yard sale signs, remember that the words that sell the best are "Collectibles" and "Everything Must Go!" Your yard sale sign should be written with a bold black marker on a bright yellow card stock. It really catches the eye and makes it easier to read. Don't make the mistake of writing

too small. Make your printing large enough that people can see it when they drive by. Add a large arrow - and don't forget to put your address on it. Step Three: Price your items. Some things like books and sweaters or other clothing, will sell better if you sell them as two-for-one or three-for-one. Create small cards to place on your set of books say, "3 for $5.00." Now, aren't you glad you already have all your books together? Step Four: Set up your tables and other areas for your sale. Set up a table especially for smaller items such as jewelry. Antique dealers have a secret for selling small items: display them on a dark colored tablecloth. This shows them off better than light colors or bare tables. Also, sorting jewelry into individual baggies gives the idea that each item is special - even if it's not!

Step Five: Ready, Set Go! You have everything ready so now you can sit back and rake in the cash. Well, not really. If you want to really sell, you need to join the crowd and talk to your customers. Make them happy. Give a toy to a child. Dicker over the price of an item. Throw something in for free and tell them, "The more you buy, the cheaper you can get it." Your goal here (besides making money) is to get rid of your clutter! Step Six: When the yard sale is over, don't put everything that's left back into your house. It's tempting to save it for the next yard sale but you'll usually just end up selling the same items over and over again. Take everything to a charity such as Good Will or the Salvation Army. That will make your yard sale a true success - cleaning out all of your unwanted stuff!

Written by Jude Wright. Courtesy of

How To Begin A Spring Cleaning Ritual Isn’t it amazing how much stuff we can collect in only a few short months or worse—years? Where does it all come from? How come we don’t see it invading our homes before it’s too late? And why is it that we never realize just how much “stuff” we have until company is coming and we’re in a rush to make our homes look “clean and tidy”? 

Begin Your Spring Cleaning When was the last time you did a little spring cleaning? If it’s time for you to go through your closets, bookshelves, and drawers, you’ll enjoy these useful tips:  •

Don’t try to tackle the task in one day. In our busy lifestyles, it’s too hard to block out an entire 8 hour day to clean, organize, categorize, and depart with our belongings. Instead, spread this task out over a week or even month’s time. 

Before you start cleaning, set up an organization system. Label five boxes: donations, library, storage, trash, and yard sales.

Start in one room, then work your way to the other rooms. Start in one corner of the room and work your way to the other side, as you clean out your cabinets, drawers, and closets, toss things that have no sentimental value, you’ve outgrown, you haven’t touched in at least one year, or have been meaning to “fix”—into their proper boxes.  

When you’ve finish one room, move your set of boxes to the next room and start over.

When one of your boxes gets full, move it to the garage where you can sort, properly package, or trash the contents of those boxes. But don’t do it right away, wait until you’ve finished spring cleaning your home first.  If you start sorting everything you’ve tossed in those boxes, you’ll never get back inside to finish your spring cleaning. 

When you’ve been through every room in the house, including the basement, head on out to the garage. At this point you have two choices: you can start doing the spring cleaning thing on your garage or you can start going through all those boxes you’ve brought from the house.  Personally, I’d go with taking care of the boxes and saving the garage for another spring cleaning fling.

  Donating To Charitable Organizations Don’t just toss all your breakables into a box and expect a thrift store to accept them.  If you toss your breakables into a box without properly wrapping them in newspaper or other packaging materials, they’ll arrive at the thrift store in a million little pieces. Take the time to wrap your breakables in newspaper, including knives and other cutting materials.  As you package your belongings to be donated, make a note of what you’ve donated: name of item and retail value. Once at the charitable organization of your choice, ask for a receipt. Everything you donate has the potential to help reduce your year-end taxes.  Off To The Library While your local library may not place all your old books onto its shelves, your books, videos, and musical CD’s will still go to good use.  Every library has a “Friends of the Library” program and uses every donation to help raise funds for the library and keep it in the black for yet another year.  If your local library doesn’t take magazines, drop them off at your nearest retirement home or public school district; these organizations can use them for craft projects and reading materials.  Storing Those Memories Once you start going through your storage box, you may find things you thought you wanted to keep only to realize you’re better off donating them.  So just put them off to the side and make a new donation pile.  If you don’t have the proper boxes to store your keepsakes, take a trip down to your local department store and buy some.  It’s important to properly package your keepsakes since you’ll be storing them in your garage or basement. Trashing The Trash Whatever you do, don’t go back through those trash boxes!  You’ll regret it if you do, as you’ll find yourself having second thoughts about dumping something into the trash.  Instead, just take that entire box, tip it upside down, and dump it into your large outside trash can.  Then hurry up, close the lid, and walk away.  To Yard Sale Or Not To Yard Sale? While I don’t have the patience for yard sales and often donate anything my tastes or waist have outgrown, many families find yard sales a great way to earn a few extra bucks.  Heck, those earnings could buy your family a trip to the local ice cream parlor, a night out on the town as a couple, dinner with your in-laws, or even a weekend get-a-way in another town! If you’ve decided a yard sale is for you, make sure you check with your local city office.  Some cities require a license to sell your “stuff” and have rules for what you can and cannot do.  Place an ad in your local paper the week before your yard sale, place a few yard signs within a five block radius leading back to your home, and ask friend and family to spread the word—you’ll have a more successful yard sale.  What Are You Waiting For? Schedule 5 minutes of your time tonight to start getting your house in order and clutter-free. Written by Alyice Edrich. Courtesy of

How To Have A Successful We’ve all been there…you wake up one bright, Saturday morning, brim full of confidence, determination and a little caffeine. You glance over to your pajama wearing kids, their legs slouched over the couch watching Phinneus and Ferb and you think to yourself…I’m putting those kids to work today.  We’re cleaning the garage!  (Or the attic, or the basement, or whatever orifice of the house that contains all the junk you simply had to have that now lies broken, discarded, misused or in need of organization).  The simple seeds of a yard sale have just been planted, and as you continue the drudge throughout the day of the complaining kids and sweaty brows, you realize you have enough junk to host the biggest sale the block has ever seen.  Your garage is clean!  Well, almost, because now you have all the things you don’t want piled up in one corner that will become the showcase of your family yard sale.  Time to start planning… What do you do first?  Well, seems simple enough, but set a date.  Plan a date where you feel most confident about the weather.  Consider a weekend day as you will garner more traffic, and most yard sales are held on the weekend anyway.  Think about where you want the sale to take place, the front yard, the driveway, the garage etc.  That could be dictated by the amount of stuff you have, but also consider if you are comfortable with people traipsing across your lawn, or perusing books in your garage.   Also consider inviting your neighbors to join in.  The more garage sales in one area, the better the presentation, and the more traffic you will draw. Now you have the date and the location set, time to advertise.  One great place to advertise is craigslist, where you can advertise for free.  Go to and select the city and state where you are

from. It’s easy to post, and lots of people, including myself, use this site as a starting point for great yard sales.   Other advertising ideas: • If your subdivision or HOA has a website, contact the website administrator and post an ad on the site. • Visit  This isn’t as widely used as Craigslist, but some people do use it and it’s free, so why not? • whose objective is to create a “nationwide forum” for garage sales.  That’s cool, but when I went to check the garage sales in my area and surrounding, there weren’t any listed at the time.  Still, it’s free, and can’t hurt. • If you have a lot of stuff, or some high-ticket items, you may want to spend a little money in putting an ad in the local paper.  The only perceived drawback to this, aside from spending money, is that you may have the early birds circling your house before the party begins. • Check your local stores or ice cream shops for community bulletin boards.  That’s a great place to post a free ad and gain a lot of visibility.  One place I like to go to is the local Cheshire market.  They have a community bulletin board, along with pizza and fish bait.  You can take care of all your business at once! Now that you have the advertising taken care, it’s time to organize your sale.  A couple of weeks before your sale, start going through your items.  If it’s broken and can be fixed relatively easy, (a little glue here, a little tack there), fix it.  It will improve the amount you can sell the item for.  Wipe off the dust and give your items a little sparkle.  Trust me, you don’t want to be doing that the day of the’s too stressful.  If your selling toys, make sure you have all the pieces to that toy.  If

Garage/Yard Sale your selling clothes, make them presentable. Fold them neatly, a little washing wouldn’t hurt either.  Nothing says, “Buy Me” like a fragrant fabric softener aroma!  It’s not necessary, but if you have the time, make the extra effort.   Price your items.  Let’s spend a second on this.  Remember, you’re trying to get rid of the stuff.  If you price your beloved broken clock radio at $15, you’re probably not going to sell it.  But if you price that slightly used RipStick at $15 (new in the store at $99), then you probably will sell it.  You need to keep the balance of emotionally pricing items and what they are really worth.  How much do you charge?  Well, a base level is about 1/10 the retail cost of the item, but that’s just a rough start.  Here are a few ideas for pricing of items that I’ve seen from the various garage sales I’ve perused.  Paperback books can be sold for $.50 - $1.00 depending on the condition of the book.  Lamps can go anywhere from $5-$10 (a lamp that you might purchase at Target or Wal-Mart).  For clothing items, anywhere to $1 - $2 for shorts, shirts, used khakis, etc.  Suits depending on the brand can be priced anywhere between $10 - $20.   Make sure to label the items with bright colored labels.  Some people like to use a color code method of labeling.  Meaning, that they post a cardboard sign with a red label being $1.00, yellow being $2.00 etc.  If you do that process, make sure that you post the sign up front and center so there is no confusion as to what the price of the item costs.  I personally don’t like this system since people will tend to bargain anyway for an item and I can’t always remember what the codes were anyway.  But it is a good system if you don’t have a lot of time to individually price out each item.  Regardless of how your pricing your items, the most important thing is to make sure your customer understands what the item costs.  I read an article a person

wrote on garage sales where the author didn’t price anything in their garage sale so they could price on a whim and save time. I would disagree with that because at times, your garage sale will be inundated with bargain seekers and it will become overwhelming to price things on a whim or remember what you sold a particular item for. So you have the date set, you’ve cleaned out the closets, and you’ve priced everything.  It’s the day of the garage sale, so now how are you going to get people there.  SIGNS!  SIGNS!  SIGNS!  You need to have good signage so people know where to go.  (Now, some crazy city ordinances make you purchase a short-term permit to put your signs up.  You’ll need to check and make sure that you are in compliance. )  The nicer the sign, the more people think you have something really good to sell, so spend some time on your signs.  A little place I like to visit is http://  They have a complete garage sale package, complete with double-sided corex signs with stakes and a banner that you can place in front of your garage sale.  It’s a nice, professional look for a very small investment, and it really makes a difference in the amount of traffic you receive.  Plus, if you just advertise a day (Saturday or Sunday) versus a date, you can keep the signs for a future sale or sell them at the garage sale when you’re done.  Place the signs strategically to draw traffic from the surrounding areas.  I like to start with a large intersection close to my home and go from there.  Take that route and place signs at every turn.   Make sure that all your signs look alike.  It makes it easier for the person looking for your sale to find.   And don’t forget to pick up the signs when your garage or yard sale is complete, especially if you invested in purchasing them. Have a Happy and Profitable Garage/ Yard Sale!

Written by Cynthia Johnson. Courtesy of

To Clean Or Not To Clean! Help for the organizationally challenged is finally here.

Every home needs a good deep cleaning once in a while with a good old fashioned purging of excess item thrown in for good measure. Not sure if you that you fit in this category right now? Take a look at this handy list of questions, it might help you decide. Add five points for every yes, just remember to answer honestly! 1. Have you ever looked around your house/apartment and thought to your self “Wow, I have a lot of stuff!”? 2. When asked what color your carpet is, do you have to think about it for a minute before answering? 3. Have you ever lost something for more than three days? (add an additional ten points if the thing in question was a pet or child) 4. Do you panic when people drop by without calling first? 5. Are you afraid to open closet doors or look under beds in your home? 6. Do you need a Hazmat suit to open your refrigerator? 7. Have you ever had a maid service utterly refuse to come back after cleaning your childʼs bedroom? Did they bill you for emotional traumatization? 8. Have you ever tripped over something that you did not know you owned? And then discovered three more when you opened a drawer to put it away? 9. Have you ever found a sock in your freezer? 10.Do you have TV Show Hosts come knocking on your door, pleading with you to let them clean your house? Ok, so the last one was a bit far fetched. But if you said yes to any of these questions, or even thought about it, then itʼs probably time to clean your house!

The first thing to decide is who is going to do the cleaning, and I do not mean that you should try to guilt trip your friends/family/children into doing it for you! Option One: You do your own cleaning. Thatʼs right, you. It can be very difficult to get motivated and stay that way when you are facing mountains clutter, or even just a little. I would suggest enlisting a very good and very honest friend to help you. They will be better able to look at things objectively and help you decide how to organize in a fashion that makes sense. But do note I said “help” and not do the cleaning for you. This may seem like a great idea at the time, but later when the things start to pile up again because you have no idea where they are supposed to go, you will be kicking yourself for not being as involved in the process as possible. Just remember these couple of things and you will do fine. 1. If you have not worn it in more than two years, give it away, there is someone who needs it more than you. 2. If it is broken, you have multiples, you donʼt really like it what much or donʼt have a clue what it is, get rid of it! 3. Have three bags ready, one to throw away, one to sell and one to give away. After you have put something in a bag, leave it there! If it does not fit in a drawer, cupboard, closet etc. It probably needs to go live somewhere else. 4. As much as it seems to be painful to part with your belongings, I promise you that a clean, organized home is more than worth it, and you owe it to your self to have one. Now, to continue on to our other option. Option Two: You hire someone else to do it for you. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try we just can not do everything ourselves. Please realize that this is not giving up, it is being able to admit that you need help getting your house under control. A cleaning service or housekeeper will be able to breeze though cleaning job that normally take you days, why? Because they are trained professionals, this is what they do for a living! Most of them are more than willing to share cleaning and organizational information, so you can learn to breeze

through too. There are a few very important things to remember when hiring someone to clean for you. Remember, this person will have access to your home, and while most of them are fantastic people, it never hurts to be a little cautious. 1. Ask for references. Individuals or large services, it does not matter, get references and call them to confirm that the person is legitimate. Ask large services about policies on back ground checks and hiring convicted felons. Be polite, but very specify in your questions to anyone you are considering. 2. Get everything in writing. If they say that they will come clean twice a week on tuesday and thursday for four hours each day for X amount of dollars, have them write it down and sign it. Use the same procedure with services as well. This way everyone involved knows exactly what is expected of them and it will keep misunderstandings to a minimum. 3. Keep pets and children out of their way. It is hard to do a good job when Fido is nipping at your heels or Little Jimmy keeps smearing jelly on the counters. Also a super chatty cleaner is usually not going to give you the best job. Standing around and talking may be pleasant, but it does not get the house clean. 4. Ask about insurance. Most large services, and some smaller ones as well, have insurance in case things get broken or damaged. Professionals tend to be very careful when cleaning, however accidents do happen. If you have something that you are particularly nervous about it might be best to put it away when they come to clean or let them know that you would rather that they not touch it. 5. Remember you have a choice. If you find that you really donʼt like the way your house is getting cleaned, remember that there are plenty of other cleaning services out there. Donʼt feel obligated to keep someone employed if they are doing a bad job. You can still like them as a person, but really hate the way they clean. Wether you decide to tackle your cleaning yourself, hire a cleaning service or some combination of the two, just be proud of yourself that you were able to step up and say “I want a clean, organized, comfortable home. Best of luck in all your cleaning endeavors!

Article by Phly Jambor

Clean It Out


I struggled for years to keep my house clean, but there was always so much stuff around. I had things stuffed in every corner, under the beds, and in the attic. Finally, I got expert help. When I did, what I learned enabled me to clean out my house in no time. It has stayed clean and ordered ever since. My family loves our house and we can actually relax and enjoy being at home. I’m also many times more productive than I used to be. Here are the three most helpful tips I’ve used to clear out my house for good:

Tip #1 to Clear out the House: Clear out the Kitchen first – a house that has a clean kitchen will begin to function better immediately. Put all kitchen things that you haven’t used in a year into boxes or bins and put them in the garage, or in a storage room. If you live in a small place, stack the boxes in the corner of a room for the moment. The key to organizing anything is to clear out all the things that aren’t used on a weekly basis. You can add things back any time, so don’t be afraid to clear it out. Do this one day. Then, go back two days later and do it again. You’ll find more that you can part with. For pack rats, I advise having someone help you. They won’t be as attached to your clutter as you are. Have in mind that you’re clearing everything out that doesn’t belong in the kitchen. The office supplies, the phone book, the papers, these all must go. If you must have a phone in the kitchen, hang it on the wall. Get it off the counter! Tip #2 to Clear out the House: Tackle the Bedrooms Next – A cleared out bedroom can do wonders for giving you a boost. When our bedrooms are clean, we begin to get the idea that life can be nice and easy with a little bit of organization. My home de-cluttering expert promised me this and I found that she was right.

Start with closets, then under the bed. Clean out the chest of drawers, night stands, etc. If you have office equipment in the bed room, move it out. Find another place to put it. The bedroom is for sleeping, relaxing, and getting dressed. Anything that you’ve put in there because you don’t know what else to do with it must go. Once you’ve done this, putting away laundry will be a snap and you’ll get used to having a clean space. Tip #3 to Clear out the House: Clear out the Garage – This is a challenge because garages collect all of the things that we don’t really have a place. At this first stage, don’t worry about getting the garage spotless. Put things away in boxes or bins, label them, and stack them in the garage. Anything that is not in a box, try to get rid of. Also, you can get covers for lawn equipment and they can be stored outside. Hang up all the tools you can. Get things off of the floor. Put out empty bins somewhere for things that you’ll be taking to donate or to sell. If you’re a hopeless pack rat, consider donating items instead of having a garage sale. Pack rats usually keep their discards around for years for the garage sale that is never going to happen. Written by Dr. Isabella Santorini. Courtesy of

Closet Clutter is

Not Your Closet's Fault

Who doesn't need closet organization tips? You will be less frustrated when you can find what you need every time you want to get dressed and ready for the day. Closet clutter will confuse and frustrate you but closet organization will create a sense of order and control at least once per day because if there is one thing that we all have in common it is the process of getting dressed at least once every day.

No matter what closet design you have, here are some organization tips that can help keep clutter to a minimum and restore a sense of order. Closet Organization Tips - Make use of vertical space. Use the higher areas in your closet for storing items you do not need to access on a regular basis. There is no rule that says you can only have one shelf above your hanging rods make that two or even three shelves if you have the room and are storing smaller items up there.

be seasonably rotated you should make sure the items you are not wearing are protected if they are vulnerable. Wool is vulnerable to damage from moth larvae, and silks can be faded by exposure to light so keep your out of season clothing protected from potential damage. Use vacuum bags to store clothing that is vulnerable. - Sort your clothes by color and/or functionality. Use double hanging rods for shorter handing items like shirts and jackets and group them by color.

- Get serious about shoe storage. Stop tripping over loose shoes. If those shoes are not firmly fastened to a foot they should not be on the floor! Shoe storage ideas are plentiful and range from shoe racks to clear shoe boxes that allow you to see every pair of flip flops, platforms, or loafers that you own!

- Gradually replace your wire hangers with something more substantial. Clothing is made to hang from your shoulders. How many people do you know of that are shaped like a wire hanger? Use those wire hangers for taking items to and from the dry cleaner but for nothing else.

- Use open storage such as baskets for multiples of single items such as sports bras, socks, underpants, scarves, belts, purses, ties, even jewelry. If you prefer to use a closed storage system for these items such as a drawer then invest in drawers organizers or separators so you can have like items kept together.

- Find a separate place for hangers that are not in use. When you take an item off a hanger take the hanger off the rod and put it in a designated space. You will be surprised at how this small action can keep things more organized in your closet and you will always be able to find a hanger when you need one!

- Establish a system for organizing laundry and dry cleaning. Have a place for your laundry basket and if possible go vertical with a longer taller basket rather than a short wide one. If you have clothing that regularly goes to the dry cleaner designate a spot for that outside of your closet if you cannot spare the closet space. - Protect when necessary. Use garment bags to keep dust off the shoulders of seldom worn items. They will also provide protection for the fine fabrics of evening dresses or tuxedos. - Get out of season items out! If you have the ability to store everything in one closet congratulations, but most people will not have that kind of room which means out of season items have to be stored elsewhere. Use your empty suitcases. You are just storing air in there! - Store your clothing safely. Even if you are lucky enough to have enough space in your closet so that your clothing does not have to

- Fold if possible. Don't hang items that are lightweight like t-shirts, as you will only create "shoulder nipples". When you hang a garment that has no structure, the garment will stretch out. Instead, learn how to fold and stack the folded items where you can get at them easily such as in a large drawer or even in open storage such as shelves or "cubbies". - Purge regularly. This is probably the single most important of all closet organization tips. You must regularly get rid of clothing you are not wearing. You can make sure that your closet only holds regularly used items by following the one in - one out rule which is, every time you bring one new clothing item into your closet something should go out. A bigger closet is not necessarily a better closet! If you have clutter closet it is not your closet's fault! Even a small closet can be functional and orderly if you follow these simple closet organization tips. Written by Beverly Hansen OMalley. Courtesy of

Products To Love In April Cleaners of the world rejoice! There has finally come a product against which no stain stands a chance. The aptly named Mr Clean Magic Eraser is exactly that, magic! I used this amazing spongy block to remove crayon and marker from walls, books, toys and a child. It then was used to clean three doors and their door frames, a sink, a shower head, the actual shower and the same child it cleaned earlier. (Paint this time instead of marker) It has completely earned my everlasting devotion and highest praise. So do I believe in magic? You bet! Please click here for more information.






Reviewed and Tested by Rural Jungle Testing

Feeling slightly ashamed of yourself after reading the article on closet clutter? Well we know the perfect product that will ease your guilty conscience and spiff up your closet at the same time. Presenting the John Louis Home JLH-522 Standard 12Inch Depth Closet Shelving System in glorious Honey Maple. This solid wood closet shelving system is great for any closet. Wall mounted, it is sized for reach-in and small walk-in closets--fits up to a 10foot closet. Includes multiple configuration options with easy to follow installation manual. Please click here for more information.

Welcome to the future! Dragging your couch out or crawling around on your hands and knees is a definite thing of the past now that the amazing iRobot 560 Roomba Vacuuming Robot in super cool Black and Silver has come to the rescue. This vacuuming robot picks up dirt and debris with the touch of a button. Itʼs easy to empty bag-less dustbin is a breeze to empty and itʼs fine-filtration system traps allergens. Smart anti-tangle technology keeps it from “chewing” on cords and a gentle-touch bumper system with built-in cliff sensors ensures the safety of your furniture and this cleaning cutie. Please click here for more information.

Products To Love In April You have the drive, the determination and all your extra stuff all laid out and ready to sell, but no one seems to have noticed that you are there. May we humbly suggest the attention grabbing NEOPlex Business Banner Yard Sale Sign? This 3 x 5 foot business banner sign is made out of heavy-duty 13 oz. nylon reinforced vinyl. The edges are clean cut and the five Brass grommets are firmly attached and double backed. Is it 100% weatherproof and waterproof with super vivid graphics and colors so it will be there to draw customers to your yard sales for as many years as you care to hold them. Please click here for more information.

Perfect for holding just about anything that you are inclined to toss inside, these Husky 42-Gallon Contractor Clean-Up Bags are the biggest and toughest garbage bags we could find. Made of super thick 3 millimeter plastic these bad boys of the bag world are ultra strong, and with 32 to a box you should have enough to take on any job, no matter large the mess! Please click here for more information.

Remember when we talked about getting rid of one thing before you bring another one in the house? Well, we found the must have thing to bring home as a reward for all your spring cleaning! The Ben and Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream Book is the perfect sweet reward for any occasion. This producer of fantastically creamy ice cream is also a dedicated force for good in the world today. Involved with nearly every good cause on the planet and giving millions to those who need it every year, Ben and Jerry始s is much more than just a taste bud pleaser. So take home their recipe book (and a pint to go with it!) and do the world some good. Please click here for more information.

City Spotlight

New Orleans New Orleans is one of the most unique cities in our nation and is a combination between the Old World and modern times. There is a blend of several different cultures here. This is where American, European and Caribbean influences blend together to make New Orleans a colorful and vibrant city. Also known as the Big Easy it is home to jazz and the blues and spicy Cajun delicacies. This is home to the delicious and ultimate Creole dish called gumbo. Gumbo is a spicy mix of ingredients that complement each other and is based on an African traditional soup. There are several variations of the thick soup. The main ingredients are local seafood, okra, Creole tomatoes, onions, garlic and green peppers. A variety of spices are added to the dish to give it its unique flavor. There is so much to see and do here including walking, listening to music and eating. A beautiful place to just walk and browse through is the Uptown and the Garden District. The area is just simply beautiful and is something everyone should experience while visiting here. There are also a variety of historic churches to explore and admire here. If you are into contemporary art you should visit the Contemporary Arts Center that was redesigned in the early 90始s. It is the foundation of the city始s young arts districts. They are always exhibiting influential and groundbreaking art by regional and international artists. The exhibits are always changing so you can see something new each time you visit. You can also see different forms of the arts here including theater, music concerts and performance art. New Orleans is known for its celebrations and it parties, such as Mardi Gras, New Years, Jazz Fest and Halloween, just to name a few. If you are a history or architecture buff you will be amazed at all of the different styles and stories that make this city so unique. The best way to get a feel of this historic city is to take a walking tour. If you like visiting haunted houses or famous cemeteries you have come to the right place. The Aquarium of the Americas has over 7,000 fish and other marine life. You can also watch sea otters at play. There is a rainforest exhibit and a sea lion pool outside the aquarium. This is a fascinating place for the entire family. You should also visit the Audubon Park which is the permanent home of over 2,000 animals and is rated one of the best zoos in the nation. It has a wide variety of exhibits including White Tigers, Komodo Dragon and Monkey Hill. There are also elephant and sea lion shows to entertain you. New Orleans is a colorful and bustling city that has something to offer everyone. There is so much to do and see here you will have a hard decision deciding what to do first. This is a multi culture diverse city that is fun for all ages. Written by Jen W., courtesy of

Businesses That Make A Difference

In 1977 lifelong friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield completed a correspondence course on ice cream making from the Pennsylvania State University.

On May 5, 1978, with a $12,000 investment the pair opened an ice cream parlor in a renovated gas station in downtown Burlington, Vermont. The founders were able to combine ice cream making with social activism by creating a three-part mission statement that considered profits as only one measure of success. Their mission statement has three parts: a Social Mission, a Product Mission, and an Economic Mission. Their Social Mission describes the company’s need to operate in a way that

recognizes their influence on society, and

“sustainable financial basis of profitable growth, increasing value for [their] stakeholders and expanding opportunities for development and career growth for [their] employees.” "Underlying the mission of Ben & Jerry’s is the determination to seek new and creative ways of addressing all three parts, while holding a deep respect for individuals inside and outside the company and for the communities of which they are a part."

the importance of improving the quality of life all over the world. Their Product Mission states that they will always strive to make the finest quality products, working to use natural, wholesome ingredients. It also states that they will advertise business mannerisms that respect the Earth. Their Economic mission describes their promise to operate their company on a

Check out to find out more.

Random Facts

This month's random fact brings to you the art and history of one of the wonderful world of cleaning's international superstars: The Vacuum. Look in the broom closet of almost any house anywhere in the world and you will find one of these super suckers lurking there. They come in a mind boggling array of colors, sizes and shapes, with each one claiming to do something that no other vacuum is able to. There are canister, uprights, tanks, hand helds that match your decor, systems build right into your house and even robotic vacuums that will sweep and mop all by them selves. But who created these marvelous modern machines? What one man's genius was responsible? Actually there were twelve!

It all started with Daniel Hess of Iowa in 1860. From there Ives W. McGaffey, Mellville Bissell, John Thurman, Corrine Dufour, H. Ceil Booth, P.A. Nilfisk, Walter Griffiths, David T. Kenney, James Murray Spangler, W.H. Hoover and finally Alex Wenner-Gren were the founding fathers and inventors of what became the well known household appliance of today. Vacuums continued to improve over time but no major changed were made to the way they basically operated until James Dyson introduced cyclone technology in 1985. Then came the era of robotic and super efficient bag-less vacuums. At the touch of a button you can easily empty your vacuum and be ready to go in a snap. Or better yet push a button and off scoots a tiny robot that not only does the vacuuming, it cleans under the couch and in all those hard to reach places as well as the main floor and when it's done it sends its self back to its docking station until you need it again. Some of the newer models are programmable so you don't even have to think about pushing a button and they will mop the floor after they sweep it!

Programmable robotics are certainly a long way from the original clunky, bellows driven suction prototype that started it all, but at least the first inventors never had to worry about tripping over cords or trying to remember to buy new batteries. Whatever the future holds in the way of vacuuming innovations, I'm sure that the average person will just continue to be happy that they have a clean floor with using a broom or scrub brush!

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About Barbara Herren Barbara began her real estate career 30+ years ago. An extensive knowledge of the current market and available loans make her the "go to" Realtor for customers in the Greater Springfield area. A large portion of Barbara's sales are return and referral clients. Her business is based upon integrity, hard work and the latest technology.

Call Me For All Of Your Real Estate Needs: 417-353-4060