Paper Tiger and Time

Make appointments with yourself

Make appointments with yourself


Don’t do projects & research in the evenings if you want to SLEEP!

  • Tuesdays from 10-12 you work on ____________
  • Thursday’s from 1:00-3:00 you will work on ____________


OFFICE FILES and business cards….

If you want to go paperless (and omit buying or moving a file cabinet) use NEAT RECEIPTS. Office 365* downloads to IPADs, phones and computers. If would also be well worth the “expense” to get a small (few hundred dollars at Costco) for a laptop to store your files if your IPAD isn’t practical. Neat receipt also manages your receipts BUT don’t waste your time scanning receipts if you don’t need them for TAXES or RETURNS. Make an electronic file for BOTH categories.

*This is a NEW program and has a yearly fee so small laptop in the long run maybe more practical.

Make GENERIC hard copy files and purge at year end. ONLY keep what backs up your taxes or is property info (like deeds, life insurance papers).

  • Your address
  • Automobiles
  • Banking
  • Credit cards
  • Financial investments
  • Medical info + Records
  • Utilities
  • Life insurance
  • Will
  • Taxes – current year
  • Rentals
  • 2nd home

Tiny Tips for Kitchen & Donating

KITCHEN – Do things in smaller sections. Don’t view this as a “large picture”

In selling a home very little if anything shouKitchen Spaceld be on the counter tops.






Take photos of items you want to sell, donate or give to a consignment store. They will want to SEE the items via email (or if you drop by a store) before deciding to take your piece. Research: Consignment Shops in your area.

SOME Charities will pick up for delivery. You will have to drop off to others.

A few of my favorites:

  1. Purple Heart
  2. Salvation Army
  3. Goodwill (drop off)

Consider taking some items to consignment shops, but they will want to see photos first so save yourself the gas and time and call first to find out their requirements or IF they have room.

Happy Purging!

Rebekah Phelps

Fill the Pills!

Plan Ahead - Fill the Pills

Plan Ahead – Fill the Pills

If you get in the habit of doing everything to extend your time, you’ll save yourself TONS of “time”

Think ahead about what you do.

Plan your meals, dot down things you run out of in the frig … as you run out or get low.

Today, I “filled the pills” and I did it for 2 weeks.

Is it really that much “time”?


But I don’t have to do it again for 2 weeks and if a “weekend road trip” came up this weekend… I’d grab and go!

Take your vitamins!

Rebekah Lea Phelps

Look at your project in smaller chunks!

Photo BoxesOne of the reason’s people feel overwhelmed when tackling an organizing project is they are looking at the entire room vs. a section.

PULL EVERYTHING OUT and before it goes back in, it must have a purpose. When you are downsizing (or organizing) it is wise to think that if something doesn’t have a use of more than just 1 purpose (space wise) than do you really want to move it? Is it really worth keeping?


  • You want to clear space that is “usable real-estate!” First and Foremost
  • All closets are prime space and should be clear for selling a home. You do NOT want people seeing they have “no room.”


Think Categories about everything….

  • You want a space for “holiday/gift wrapping” — not 5 spaces. Perhaps a drawer for tape, ribbon, tissue but not 5 drawers. You want a “trash can” (or container size) for rolls but not rolls in several closets. 1 = All occasions. Anything beyond that is entirely too much.
  • ANY area of abundance, consider donating or giving away to someone in need. Make yourself a “go to place” for gift wrapping / gift station.
  • AKA: Ironing
  • Storage containers / Foil, Ziploc
  • Iron/Laundry
  • Mailing issues

Tips on how to tackle your project

Tackle things by Categories or by Room. Tips_0 (2)

  • Books — Check into Resale (IE: Mc Kays used books buys), donate to used book store, library, school, etc.) or even recycle. If you get to many “distribution projects going” you can get yourself stuck into NOT letting, go because you see it as another project. JUST LET IT GO
  • Video’s — Will you keep? Buy storage for CD’s / DVD’s, Convert VHS or Record with DVR?
  • Even Linens, Cloth, Sheets, Pillows…. Make a list then go after it! You don’t need 5-10 sets of anything!
  • Food (IE: Pantry, a cabinet, a counter top, a drawer).

 Tackle the Paper Tiger!
Sort & Separate

  • Call local shredding company:
  • ANYTHING that does not have to do with a SALE (home / car) or backing up TAXES does NOT have to be kept.
  • Manuals can be found online and MOST people never refer to them, HELP LINES are available for products.
  • I prefer to “purge” at the end of each year, but some people do it quarterly. IE: If you know everything on your CC statement is correct, you’ve reconciled it, paid it and it is NOT attached to a business account (back up for TAXES) than you do NOT need to keep it. MOST people shred as they go
  • It is wise to keep 6 months of current statements if you foresee purchasing anything major (home, etc.). They will want these copies.
  • Keep a RECEIPT FILE for things that “could be” returned within 30-90-day period. Landscape = 1 year with most companies. If you can’t write off the SALES TAX and it is NOT for a return you do NOT need to keep receipts.

Tackle it!

You can do it!

Rebekah Lea Phelps

I’m back!

SockSo honestly, I’m looking forward to blogging about as much as I’m looking forward to chewing a box of nails. BUT … I’ve been advised to over and over and recently came across Bradley Will’s 30-day Blog Challenge.

I began blogging on my business website (Extra You, LLC) but dropped the ball in April 2013 when we moved from Reston Virginia to Leesburg, Virginia. We were waiting on our new home being built in Charles Town WV.

First and foremost, I want to apologize to ALL of you who made comments and never received a reply! Boy do I ever feel like a slug. Thank you for the encouragement and all your feedback that I will try and catch up on and read.

I literally haven’t been on since then. NO ONE was making any comments so I didn’t think ANYONE was reading it. So I wasn’t concerned at all about all my efforts being missed.

When I logged on to update my site I found 161 comments (some are duplicates) and I need to take the time to read…*sigh* or should I? Sometimes starting fresh and moving forward is the best thing to do.

After moving and when my mother in law came to live with us everything kind of went by the wayside. Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is all-time consuming! I went from being other people’s Extra You to my families and we had several deaths of family members to deal with as well.

VERY different to have clients and hospice patients then being a full time care-giver AND running a business.

Plus, I wrote my first book and that’s just been released. Visit my author website.

I’m not so sure how plugged into “both blogs” I’ll be but I’m going to give it a shot. Since I just did MY LAST “organization” job in Maryland and I sent them loads of “tips” to apply after I left (upon their request) I will most likely be posting a few of those I gave them. It’s kind-of “cheating” since I’ve already written them, but it is a blog…right?

By the way, please note. We downsized Extra You to only offer

And since I discovered I am addicted to chalk painting….I will take on “some” projects. Anne Sloan needs a label on the can that says “Caution, you will need a support group!”

The Benefits of Life Insurance without a Medical Exam

InsuranceMedical exams are an unwelcome experience for many people. All of the poking and prodding, needles, tests and more can make anybody dread the doctor’s office. However, many life insurance providers require a medical exam in order to obtain life insurance. It may seem like an unavoidable task if you want life insurance, but there is an alternative available. You can obtain life insurance without a medical exam from several life insurance providers. There are many benefits to getting life insurance without a medical exam.

No Medical Exams

Some people hate the exam process, others may not be able to afford an exam. Getting life insurance without the requirement of getting a medical exam allows you to skip the hassle of getting a medical exam in order to quickly obtain your life insurance.

Less Paperwork and Waiting

When you have a medical exam done for life insurance purposes, it can take weeks for the exam results to be processed by the insurance company. Life insurance without a medical exam allows you to skip all of that paperwork and waiting to get your life insurance policy faster.

Guaranteed Life Insurance

When your medical exam results are viewed by a life insurance provider, they can deny you coverage based on certain medical conditions presented in your results. Getting life insurance without a medical exam allows you to get guaranteed life insurance, even if you have underlying medical conditions. This is beneficial to anybody who may have a family history of health issues or anybody who is currently suffering from health problems. There’s no need to worry yourself for days or weeks wondering if you’ll be approved or not.

Obtaining Insurance Faster

Including the time it takes to set up the exam, going through the exam, getting the results, sending the results to the insurance company, waiting for the insurance company to process the results and waiting to hear back from them about their decision, it could take a couple of months to finally get your life insurance policy if you are approved for it. If you don’t get approved, you will have wasted all of that time and money for nothing.

Getting life insurance without a medical exam takes only a couple of days. You discuss which type of policy would be best for you and your family, fill out a few pages of paperwork, wait a couple of days for the paperwork to be processed and then you make your payment to begin coverage. It’s quick, easy and requires little to no hassle on your part.

No Taxes to Pay

Sometimes, life insurance claims can be subject to taxes. Whether or not you will have to pay taxes on the money from the life insurance claim depends on various factors, but it is possible that anyone receiving proceeds from a life insurance claim could have to pay taxes on the money that they receive.

Proceeds from life insurance that doesn’t require a medical exam is almost always exempt from taxes. Neither you nor your loved ones will have to worry about paying taxes on money received from a life insurance claim.

Getting no-exam life insurance not only allows you to avoid the dreaded doctor’s office, but it also provides you with a fast and easy life insurance policy. If you’ve been denied life insurance benefits due to health issues, or if you simply want to avoid going through the trouble of an exam, consider getting no-exam life insurance.

Article inspired by iSelect.

Top 5 Things To Enjoy When Visiting The Gold Coast With Your Family

Gold Coast FamilyIf you have decided to visit the Gold Coast to let off some steam and recharge your batteries, then you should know that there are countless tourist attractions and things you can enjoy here. If you are worried about leaving your home unattended , you can rely on Extra You service to watch your home while you’re away.
Just like all the other holiday destinations, the Gold Coast is tourist-oriented and companies that organize tours here will make sure you will not get bored, not even for a second! Here are the top 5 most interesting things to enjoy when you go on a weekend trip to Gold Coast with family:

1. Swimming And Snorkeling Trips

The Gold Coast is known all over the world for the amazing waters and the fine, white sandy beaches – this is why it is amongst the preferred destinations for those who are passionate about surfing, snorkeling or swimming. Swimming and snorkeling trips are organized here on a daily basis , and they will take you to remote, uninhabited islands where you can spot dolphins and sea turtles, or snorkel among wild subtropical fish.

2. Hot Air Balloons

Although hot air balloons are not the cheapest entertainment option in the Gold Coast area (as the prices are usually +$200), this is certainly an unforgettable experience – there is nothing more rewarding and more beautiful than floating in the sky and enjoying the view. You can see the entire Gold Coast, Mount Warning and Brisbane from above, and the whole trip lasts around 30 minutes. Besides, you may even find an affordable hot air balloon deal that will allow you to save some money.

3. Get On Top Of The Q1

Q1 is known to be the tallest residential tower in the world, but it is actually more than that – it is an observation deck as well, and it is visited by hundreds of curious tourists every day regardless of the weather. If the weather is sunny, you can admire the entire Gold Coast from an altitude of almost 100 meters; if the weather is rainy, you can enjoy the thunders and the storm like you never did before!

4. Visit The Australia Zoo

If you are on a weekend trip with your family and you have children, then the Australia Zoo is certainly a must see – especially since you can easily find transfer options from your hotel to the zoo. The zoo has everything from crocodile and elephants to tigers. It is so huge that it takes up to 6 hours to visit it, but it is certainly worth it as it is the legacy of Steve Irwin – the well-known Crocodile Hunter.

5. Spoil Yourself With A Spa Treatment

Did you come to the Gold Coast after a stressful week at work? Then a relaxing and refreshing spa treatment will certainly come in handy. The good news is that there are countless spas and beauty centers in the area, therefore you will easily find one that meets your needs!

To sum it up, these are 5 of the most popular tourist attractions and things you can do during the weekend, if you plan to travel to the Gold Coast. Have you booked your flights to Gold Coast already? If not, you can benefit from a discount or a special offer if you book them on the Internet!

Time Wasters

clock (2)1.    Hold for 47 min with Verizon, go to the back bedroom, leave the phone on speaker…and they answer but I’m in the back bedroom! Back to the drawing board…
2.    Call Comcast Cable, hold for 20 minutes, go to the bathroom with the phone on mute and when “the guy” answers I forget he’s on MUTE….and we’re both saying “Hello!” “Hello?” Hello…Hello…Click. OMG he gave up, he’s gone. Well, I might as well wash my hands and call     back. Great, now it’s busy!
3.    Make a call….hold forever, after 3 transfers and by the time someone answers you forget who you called. *sigh* so you have to say “Who is this?” and they answer “Who is this?” Great, now I’m playing “Tell the Truth” okay, I forgot who I was holding for, who I called and even what I wanted. Luckily the guy laughs and I’m not mad anymore.

Has any of this ever happened to you? Well, if not you’re perfect and I’m not. You can remind me next time you see me.

Solution:   Post a note on the phone or by the phone that says; I just dialed Verizon / Cell.

My problem isn’t just the guy that put me on hold forever and a day, it’s getting busy with something else while I’m holding. We all get distracted don’t we….oops, I forgot, not you…you’re perfect. Okay for those of you who are perfect, here’s a “Pointless Website” so you can waste some time on purpose!

What are you wasting time on? What’s your solution? Want help finding one or figuring it out?

She huffed and she puffed and she blew her house down

BeggarI was thinking the other day about “foundations” and how we build those at such a young age … at least that’s what is suppose to happen. Our foundation for respecting authority, living by the laws of the land, saving, integrity, even eating habits are formed in our early years…again, hopefully. However if a parent doesn’t know how to “eat” properly themselves how are they going to teach a child? What if they think it’s “easier” (path of least resistance) to give the child what THEY want versus what’s best for them? Perhaps it would be EASIER to just throw some cement down for a foundation, but how will you build a “stable house” on top of a foundation laid that way? Perhaps you’d rather not deal with hearing the fits, rage and seeing the “crocodile tears” Maybe you don’t want to bend down all day in the hot sun to lay the cement the way it should lay…but if you didn’t do either, what’s the end result? Perhaps if you don’t want to deal with what you have to deal with to “lay the foundation” you shouldn’t take on that kind of “job” …duh. It’s simple logic, right? Seems like you’d know that about yourself.

I pictured this foundation in my mind of the way a good solid foundation should look. What would happen if someone came in with a jack hammer and began to bust it up, gouge deep holes in it, all the while expecting to continue to build on it? Obviously this wouldn’t be a good foundation to build on, but let’s say it was built on (as life is…you build on WHATEVER has been laid) and you began to build a frame on top, nail boards into place to “stabilize it” to make it “look okay on the surface.”  Then decorate it with some candy…I mean, paint. Ah, that looks nice. At least on the outside. Hum…time to finish the walls. But wait. You have no tools (because you refused to accept the tools given to build the house), so Little Miss Independent decides “by God, I’ll build this house!” and she begins to stack bricks. She can carry them, she’s strong. One by one she stacks them up…as far as SHE can reach (because she refused the ladder, she refuses help – at least the type of help she REALLY needs, not what she THINKS she needs). What happens to those walls? Of course, they will tumble and perhaps hurt her coming down, as well as whoever else is standing near or “in the house.” Maybe she knows she’s not skilled enough to build the house. She has her own way of doing things you know. So she takes cover on rainy days elsewhere and on sunny days “she’s carefree” running around being young, having fun and …she’ll get back to building the house someday. When? At 30? Do people just wake up to a perfectly built home with all their belongings in place? No, that’s a process..and we must go through the process “early” … while there’s an opportunity – it’s through that process we gain reinforcement and the “cement dries.” We don’t have parents to “boss us around” we have parents to guide us, teach us, instruct us, discipline us and help us…among other things. If parents aren’t doing that and aren’t INSISTING their children behave when they are young (starts WAY before 5) …shame on them. Children must rely on parents as the “general contractor” in their lives and understand they have some “tools” they need to accomplish building.

I was using this little parable for the parent that has ALL the tools a child needs, has offered to let them use them, instructed them how, provided guidance, attempted to teach…and the child still REFUSES to learn. A parent that has a business and wants to “pass their son or daughter the keys” one day BUT…are they trust worthy of those keys? Have they lived a credible, responsible life to obtain them? Should it be given if they’ve lived a  reckless life? Children may have so many “tools” available but they may refuse to use them. They refuse to “collect” the money from the bank, they refuse to make any effort for their own well-being and yet complain about not having “what the Jones have.” Well the Jones earned it! Isn’t it comparable in a weird way of throwing a big fit and having a parent “give to you … just because you’re their child?!” If you step into “build the house for them” and meet ALL their needs according to THEIR wishes, you are doing them a disservice to say the least. It isn’t your job, to “accommodate” and build the house while they sip lemonade in the shade nor can you build it alone, it takes their participation. They say the best time to learn a new language is between birth and 5 years old. Hum…if that’s the BEST time to “learn a language” then wouldn’t it be the best time to “lay a foundation?!”

I’ve worked with the homeless off and on over the years. I did so more while living in Houston Texas. I found there are many people on the streets for many reasons. A small percentage will come out of it and never go “there again” — many will return, many will die, many will “use the system” as long as they can. Then there are those who have truly had a tragic misfortune or ran from abuse (because the street IS better than a bat or being battered without bruises) and will be okay.

I always look twice and say to myself “…but for the grace of God there go I.” I always think “this is someone’s precious daughter or son” no matter how old they are, they are someone’s son or daughter. I’ve always thought about the mother and her broken heart. Especially if “she’s the contractor” who tried “supervising and handing tools” I wonder if she’s still …spending time on her knees not scrubbing a floor but praying for them.

So sad, because you see it was “so easy.” A Mother carries them for 9 months, carries them to the bed and tucks them in. She takes them on her shoulders and plays, then tragically she has to carry them to the grave and lay them to rest, only this time … it’s not nap time. Why? Because that sweet child became an adult who refused to “use the tools” and take guidance.

Perhaps those mothers see a young girl, with the same color hair, the same type of body frame and their heart leaps…they wonder, is that her? Is she coming home? Is she okay? If you’ve been a parent you know what it feels like to have “Little Miss Independent” run from you in a store and hide! Oh my, how you panic…your heart stops, you feel like crying but you can’t…your thinking so you yell for her … walking around in a hurry to find her. This puts hunting for Easter eggs to shame! You call for the store manager to “Seal the Store!” … then you find her, laughing and playing with  “something interesting” she found on her journey in the store. Sigh of relief, you’re torn between spanking her bottom, giving her a lecture or just embracing her to say “I’m glad you’re okay, but never do that again…someone could take you.”

Then she grows up, the city is much bigger than the store and you still wonder no matter how old, “Is she okay?” Does someone have her? Panic sometimes rushes through your heart and you cry to the “store manager”…”Oh God, please take care of her…I can’t see her but you know where she is!”

Yes, that homeless person IS someone’s child. Perhaps she huffed and puffed and blew her house down due to independence, anger, addiction, un-forgiveness, pride, refusing to use those tools, rebellion against everything and everyone in authority or simply just everyone in her life. Many things can lead to this, but ultimately an adult has to be responsible for their actions, choices and change.

I remember “Gloria” who lived with me. I’ll never forget her. She was a prostitute who wanted off the streets. She’d never had a foundation, she was about 25 years older than I was and she called me “Mom.” She ended up wanting to go back to “the streets” and I tearfully drove her back to downtown Houston. It’s all she knew, it’s where she wanted to be. Obviously if she’d been 5..the answer would have been “No, have a fit if you want, but you’re not going.” She was killed within a month after returning. I was so so so sorry to hear this news. Yet, I realize we can’t MAKE an adult do what we want. We all have choices and our choices get us to where we are. “The Parent” made a choice, the child makes a choice, the builders of our lives make choices.  God himself gave us the right to make choices. So we wait for “The Prodigal” to return.

Check into the following if you’re interested in working, volunteering or donating to “The Homeless.”

Reston Interfaith is the place to go for shelter & job search

Graceful Spaces works hand in hand with Reston Interfaith and decorates homes if/when people make it to “Stage 3” of being “under the wing” (so to speak) of Reston Interfaith. Graceful Spaces acquires household items to make a home a home and when they come to a place of departure (from Reston Interfaith) and move on out of the shelters…they take ALL the belongings with them that have been donated. Extra You has a client who redid her entire closet. She went from regular plastic hangers to Slim Line throughout so we gave over 400 coat hangers to them.

Herndon-Reston FISH is another place we like to donate, because whatever they sell goes back into the local community to help pay electric bills as well as other needs.

McLean Bible church has a great outreach and Suited for Change is another great local organization. “Dress for Success” helps people all over the world and are located in various cities, states and countries. They also “partner” with local businesses to help people with various business needs – other than just dress, like direction!

Fellowship of Lights, is in Baltimore MD and Sasha Bruce in DC offers a shelter for girls up to 17 years old and then you might check out “Central Union Mission”

General Contractor,
Rebekah Phelps