Gettin' Dirty: Operation Spring Cleaning

       It’s that time of year again, when you have to pull yourself out of your winter hibernation and shake off the dust bunnies.  Nothing makes you feel guiltier than a ray of April sunshine hitting your dusty mantel.

     Here are some tried and true methods to making your spring cleaning as effective and painless as possible!

 Try to trade off from indoor and outdoor jobs.  Nothing is as invigerating as a little spring time air!

Try to trade off from indoor and outdoor jobs.  Nothing is as invigerating as a little spring time air!

·      Make a list of all of your rooms and or spaces, in need of attention.  Don’t  forget the linen closet, under the bathroom sink, and of course that dreaded junk drawer.

·      Once your list is made, divvy up dates or times for each room or area.  Nothing squashes a project faster, then taking on too much and overwhelming yourself.  Taking a half hour a day to go through the medicine cabinet or hall closet is much better than  taking on the whole house and then you find your whole Sunday wasted and all of a sudden you’re crying in a pile of grandma’s old sweaters; desperate for a glass of chardonnay.

·      Call up your friends!  A trusted buddy’s opinion and firm hand on a garbage bag with cut your excuses down and all there is always the old adage of “Many hands make light work.”

·      With everything you pick up or clean off- ask yourself three vital questions:

"Do I use it?"  

"Do I need it?"

"Do I love it?"

·      Find local places that will come and pick up donations.  Having a time that Joan from the local shelter is going to knock on your door will put a fire under your butt that not only benefits you but also your local community.

·      Lastly, make it fun, or at least as enjoyable as you can.  Blast your favorite guilty pleasure music, open up all the windows, wear the tutu from 4 Halloweens ago.   Remember that this is an act of self-care and kindness.  You are making your home a better, cleaner and healthier place for everyone who enters it!

 

-Emily McKernan of Land + Kamp

7 Tips for Giving The Perfect Gift

With the holiday season quickly approaching nothing can cause more stress than making sure everyone is crossed off of your shopping list.   I have compiled some of my best tips for making the holiday season as meaningful and seamless as possible.

 

  1.  Firstly, always think ahead.  While, everyone likes a nice scented candle, by thinking ahead not only to you get to find the perfect gift, you also save yourself some getting ready time by not having to stop at the mall on the way to the party.
  2. Set a budget.  We've all been on both sides of this- maybe you shelled out 200 dollars for a very nice gift and then you received a sale bin reject in return.  By taking into account, both parties financial state, length of time knowing them, how much they mean to you, as well as taking the lead from the last gift they gave you, you will find the an appropriate present.   This also prevents the dreaded credit card bill from causing some serious shortness of breathe once it comes in January.
  3. Listen.  I keep a list of notes in my phone of things my friends and loved ones mention year round.  Maybe your sister mentioned her crumby mixer, or in passing your boyfriend mentioned how he has always dreamed of taking a trip on a train.  While, you don't have to keep a written record like I do.  It pays to listen.  Those little tidbits and details can take a gift from good to great. 
  4. Ask around.   Nothing is worse than picking "I know nothing about him" Gary from accounting for your office Secret Santa gift exchange.    Sometimes asking questions of friends and family can help immensely.  Simply by finding the guy he goes to lunch with everyday and asking a favorite sports team or hobby can be the key to giving a great gift without having to resort to socks.
  5.  Practical versus straight up useless.    This one can go either way.  Sometimes the best gift is one that the person really needs.  Noticing that your bestie is constantly dropping their phone justifies buying that industrial phone case for them.  But sometimes a good gift is buying someone that one thing that they wouldn't buy themselves.    You've caught them looking at a Land & Kamp bag multiple times and you know it's up to you to pull the trigger.
 The Land & Kamp bag your friend cannot stop looking at.

The Land & Kamp bag your friend cannot stop looking at.

 

6.    Shop around!  Chances are the most meaningful or cherished present wasn't bought at a mall.   I like to shop local, or find treasures on Ebay or Etsy- where you can be certain that they wont get two of the exact same thing.  Again, this goes back to giving yourself adequate time.

7.Lastly, be sincere.  For me this verges on sentimental, but by genuinely wanting to give a good gift makes all the difference.   Adding a personal touch can bump any gift to wonderful.  This may be a small token of childhood know-how or even a simple handwritten note, but by taking a minute to think of the person you're shopping for, what they like, their fashion sense,  conversations you've had, etc, you will be able to bring them the most magical kind of holiday spirit.

Happy Gifting!!!

-Emily McKernan of Land & Kamp