De-Clutter Your Life From The Inside-Out

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You can do this on iPhone and Android by long-tapping an app and then dragging it on top of another to make a folder, which you can then name. People find vulnerabilities and post them out on the internet. When these [apps and systems] are up to date, they are as hardened as they can be against known vulnerabilities. You'll see how much space your apps are using. Tap on any app then tap Storage. Tap "Clear storage" and "Clear cache" for any apps that are using a lot of space. On iPhone, you'll have to take matters into your own hands, deleting and reinstalling any apps that seem to be bogging things down.

Want more tips like these? Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram. Follow better. Get the Better newsletter. A Cleaner '19 One-minute hacks for a cleaner home, according chronically tidy people. But for most of us, just the thought of it can stop us in our tracks and leave us feeling more overwhelmed, depressed and anxious. And little things like checking smoke alarm batteries, changing the heater filter or cleaning out sippy cups from the car, may just give us the momentum we need to get the bigger ball rolling.

And we shouldn't be too hard on ourselves in the process. Fewer, better and more beautiful things make for a cozy and welcoming respite that provides the peace and comfort we need to nourish the souls and strengthen bonds of our family. The Institute for Challenging Disorganization ICD is devoted primarily to providing education and training specifically to help people with chronic disorganization. Others may need to work with healthcare professionals who can treat any mental health conditions that are co-occurring and contributing to cluttering and hoarding.

A Silicon Valley native, she is passionate about parenting and looks for opportunities in tech to enhance the journey of motherhood and to illuminate the beauty, good and truth in all things Motherly. The holidays are quickly on their way, and while there are tons of ways to celebrate, you should feel free to get a little creative with it and make your own traditions there's no law requiring you to dress everyone in matching red velvet jumpers to sit on Santa's lap.

So instead of battling between getting the perfect picture and your baby's natural urge to wiggle, harness the power of those inevitable Hallmark moments—the first giggle, the budding personality, the two-toothed grin—to make your December super special. Decorating the tree is a beloved tradition, and having a little one is all the more reason to get into the spirit of it. Get the baby—and the rest of the family—involved in the fun by letting everyone color or paint on an unbreakable, homemade ornament and hang them towards the bottom of the tree. And sure, your infant may not create any masterpieces at this age, but not only will the precious family heirlooms stay higher up read: away from tiny hands , you'll also be creating keepsakes to build on for years to come.

Connecting your children to the spirit of the season is an important part of teaching them what it's all about, but it's not always so easy to do through books and stories alone. Instead, offer them the chance to live it out! Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas or another significant holiday, playing pretend is the ideal way to teach and have fun along the way for everyone in the family.

Use a kid-friendly nativity book as a guide or make your own menorah as you explore the story of the oil that burned for 8 nights—whatever your religion, there's an important tale to tell. There is joy in receiving physical mail and holiday cards are a wonderful way to make your loved ones feel special. But don't stop there! Record a video greeting to send to your nearest and dearest to keep even the most far-away relatives feel like they're right there with you.

Everyone will love seeing the baby's latest milestones in live-action, and it's a great way to spread the season's warmest greetings. Making and maintaining a baby book is a fabulous idea, but sometimes keeping it up-to-date gets lost in the shuffle of parenthood. Use the holiday season as a time to reconnect with all those beloved memories for your kiddo by starting an annual time capsule box: Each year, have all members of the family add one item of their choosing or your choosing, depending on age to the box and label it with a little note.

Things can range from a favorite holiday-themed blanket or toy to something they no longer need but aren't ready to throw away. Nothing says "cozy" like a yummy-smelling kitchen filled with laughter. While your tot may still be too small to really help in the kitchen, it's never too early to kickstart their love of cooking. Pick a recipe you'll make every year and get them "involved" with a spoon and an empty mixing bowl.

You'll get to enjoy the fruits of your labor together and it'll help encourage them to cook with you more year-round, too. We all know that as babies grow up—independence is a priority, no matter how ready for it we really are. This year, give them the gift of being in charge. By allowing your little one to eat what they want, wear what they pick a sparkly tutu? No problem. An adorable Christmas cape? In a world where our phones are constantly blasting us alerts about troubling news it is good to remember that there are good news stories happening in our world, too.

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At Motherly, we like to keep track of these for you to give you a little boost when you need one, mama. It's no secret that splitting up is never easy or simple—and it all just gets more complicated when there are children in the mix. Of course, it reaches a whole new level of complexity when you factor in new partners, too.

But blending a family is possible and if you can do it well, it's a pretty beautiful thing. Just ask Madison Holley, a mom who is going viral after posting a truly heartwarming photo of her own blended family. The post, which was shared to Love What Matters' Facebook page , shows two men walking hand-in-hand with a young boy as one of the men carries a newborn in a car seat. The photo itself is quite powerful, but once you know the story behind it, it takes on a whole new meaning. The guy on the left is my ex, the 3-year-old holding his hand is my first child, Cade, we had together.

Madison's outlook on why this balancing act works is super impressive.

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Every child needs a mother and father figure and my son Cade just happens to get some extra love. Be civil and co-parent. If you made the child together it's both your job to raise the child. Of course, every blended family's situation is different—and some will have a much harder time with co-parenting than others—but we love this particular dynamic so much. And we're not the only ones: The image and message are going viral, with parents everywhere praising this blended family's ability to embrace one another.

Madison isn't the only mom out there who has mastered co-parenting, but we are incredibly impressed by her outlook all the same. When Brenda Wetmore Giffen's adult daughter asked her if she could remake her wedding dress into a play tent for her daughter, the grandmother was not sure if it could be done. But Grandma came through and the stunning results have gone viral. Giffen posted her creation on Facebook six months ago, but the internet has been very excited about it this week, giving the story a second life, just like the wedding dress.

As Giffen explains in her Facebook post, her daughter asked her if she could make a play tent, memory pillow, and maybe a garter and a tutu for the grandkids as an alternative to just storing the wedding dress. But once this grandmother got into the project she found herself loving the challenge and trying to figure out how many new items she could craft from one dress.

I made two garters so that each granddaughter will have her own. It's not very likely that I'll be there for their weddings, but I hope they will give Grammy Giffen a thought on that day. I still have enough fabric and tulle to make a tutu for Elena's baby sister who is due in August. Jim helped with the engineering. We designed and he built stabilizers for the top and bottom of the tent, so it doesn't collapse on the girls while they are playing.

It's been challenging, a little scary, lots of fun, and probably the major creative project of my lifetime! With all the attention this post has been getting Giffen added a note to her wedding dress story: She is now creating memory pillows and other keepsakes for other brides through her website. Think back to when you were a kid. Chances are, you struggled to find a doll that really made you feel like you were accurately represented. Maybe all the toys on the shelf had a different body type than yours, or maybe they were all of a certain skin tone, one that didn't resemble your own.

Or maybe you had a challenge of some sort, one that wasn't represented by the dolls you were seeing. Sure, we've come a long way since then: Toy manufacturers are finally realizing how important it is to represent diversity and inclusion in their products A California teacher understands this, and she recently stepped up to do something to make her students feel seen. Genesis Politron works with hearing-impaired children, and she realized that while many of her students wear hearing devices, there were no dolls on the market that represented this.

So Genesis did something incredible: She decided to create dolls that her students could see themselves in Genesis added cochlear implants and hearing aids to existing dolls so her children could see accurate representations of themselves in the toys.

Stop chronic household clutter: 20 things you can do right now - Motherly

The dolls aren't just inclusive, they're also beautiful: Genesis used glitter and puff paint to increase the fun factor. Genesis tweeted about the dolls and, not surprisingly, her post has gone viral. I wish everyone could see their faces playing with these," she writes. I wanted my students to have the same opportunity, and to be represented in the toys that they play with," Genesis tells CNN of her decision to create these dolls. I wanted to allow my students to see themselves in toys for once, to feel accepted. The teacher also explains that her children tend to gravitate to the dolls that best reflect their own identities : The students with cochlear implants reach for the dolls with the same device, while those who use hearing aids play with the dolls with hearing aids.

As parents, all we can hope for when we send our children out in the world is that someone like Genesis will touch their lives and make them feel special. This wonderful teachers' students are so lucky to have someone like her. Jessica D'Entremont got 15 minutes of fame this month after her trick for getting a few minutes of quiet time before bedtime went viral. As she told Today, she came up with an innovative way to transition her daughters, Emma, 4, and Hannelore, 3, from playtime to bedtime. Tell them they have to lie really still under the light to 'charge' them She first pulled this "trick" on a day she knew her kids were super amped up and were going to have a hard time with the transition.

They loved it and thought it was great fun because they aren't quite old enough to grasp that we could see them due to the glow, even though they couldn't see their dad and I in the dark. Coffee is a wonderful thing. So are naps. But, ever wonder what would happen if you combined the two? A group of researchers in Japan did just that and found that coffee naps were more effective at combating daytime sleepiness than non-caffeine naps. Basically, when you combine coffee and a nap—you drink a cup and then get quick shut-eye— you can complete the first two stages of the sleep cycle in the same amount of time it takes for caffeine to be absorbed by your body.

The caffeine acts as a natural alarm, waking you up refreshed with more clarity and energy, ready to focus on the next activity. That afternoon slump you feel? It's real. Your blood sugar and energy start to dip after lunchtime. So does your core body temperature, triggering the release of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin.

This is part of your body's circadian rhythm that responds to environmental cues, like daytime and nighttime, and tells your body to feel sleepy or alert. The National Sleep Foundation says the optimal time for most people to nap is five hours after waking up. So, if you rise at 7am, your ideal nap time is 1pm yep, right after lunch. When you're awake, the neurons in your brain produce adenosine , a byproduct of brain activity that is constantly monitored by your nervous system. When high enough levels are reached, adenosine plugs into receptors to make you feel tired.

Caffeine is chemically similar to this compound and fits into the receptors that are normally filled by the adenosine, effectively blocking them and tricking your body into thinking that it's not yet time for sleep. A sleep cycle is comprised of four stages and takes about 90 minutes to complete, making that the perfect amount of time for a nap. But when you're a busy parent, it's hard to carve out uninterrupted time for that long. The good news is that the first two stages of sleep are short, light and only take about 20 minutes to complete, so if you can squeeze in 20 minutes of sleep, you'll complete the first two stages of the cycle without falling into the last two, more intense ones.

Need more proof?

How to Simplify and Declutter Your Life

A study from NASA found that a minute snooze enhances motor skills and attention. In the study, researchers found that long-distance pilots who napped for Of course, naps and caffeine late in the afternoon can have a negative effect on your actual nighttime sleep by delaying the onset of sleep or disrupting sleep regulation , when you transition between sleep and wakefulness.

In general, caffeine lasts about hours in the body before wearing off. And it is worth noting that caffeine can affect different people in different ways so it's important to know how it affects you personally. For women taking birth control pills or those between ovulation and the beginning of menstruation , it may take twice as long to process the caffeine. Additionally, though many studies have listed the benefits of napping for mama and baby, combining one with a cup of coffee might not be advised so be sure to speak with your doctor if you're pregnant.

Bottom line: Sometimes multitasking has its benefits.



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