Sunday, April 10, 2016

How to Save up to $8000 a Year By Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning is a goal many of us have but very few actually accomplish. Cleaning and organizing your home can save you lots of time and loads of money! I know..I know..The idea of de-cluttering and organizing your home can seem overwhelming (especially if you are severely unorganized)  but if you commit yourself to the process, you can do it and the results will be well worth it in the end. Listed below is the breakdown of how much you can save per room per year. Keep these tips in mind while spring cleaning and apply them to your household management plan. You will be amazed at how much your bank account increases while your stress level decreases!

THE KITCHEN: $4168 per year
Did you know that the average American family spends $225 eating out each month? This includes dinners eaten out, on the go snacks, and specialty coffees. Also, according to the USDA, the average US family of four wastes more than 2 million calories, which equates to $1,500 worth of food, every year. By cleaning, de-cluttering your kitchen, couponing and preplanning your meals, you can save your family budget approximately $4168.00 a year.

HOME OFFICE: $3000 yrly
Image from Coco+Kelley
A well organized home office can help you to avoid paying late fees and wasting gas. Money.USNews.Com reported…”If you habitually pay bills late and shrug off late fees as a cost of living and staying afloat, consider what a hefty price you're paying. As a general rule, most businesses charge anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of the monthly bill for a late fee. If you pay, say, $2,500 a month in mortgage or rent, a car loan, electric and other utilities, you could easily be spending $2,750 with late fees but budgeting to spend $2,500.” That’s an additional $250 per month you could possibly save simply by getting organized!

I think it’s very important for every home to have a command center to help keep track of day to day activities, bills and important documents. “Creating a place for everything and remaining consistent in putting them back where they belong saves you a lot of time looking for lost items, plus it prevents you from spending money to replace items you can’t find.” {}

When it comes to wasting gas, you can save both time and money by planning your day and errand runs. This will help prevent wasted trips back and forth.

Image from Closet Couture
The average profits from garage sales is between $500 to $700. De-clutter your space, throw a garage sale and earn some extra cash while enjoying a clutter free home!

A dirty lint screen can cause the dryer to use up to 30 percent more electricity ($25 per year), according to the Consumer Energy Center. reports you can save up to $270 per year by consistently changing your air filter when necessary.

Add it all up and that’s whooping of $8163!!! Springing Cleaning and Organization really does pay off!

Friday, April 1, 2016

How to Protect Your Work or Design Idea

People ask me all of the time what can they do to protect their literary work, design ideas or inventions. I found this "in a nutshell" info via and decided to share...

Josh Owen, who runs his eponymous design studio in New York and chairs the Industrial Design Department at Rochester Institute of Technology, says one key to defending designs against copycats is being first in the marketplace. He warns his students, "Don't hold your ideas so close that you become a paranoid troglodyte hiding in your basement holding onto these ideas. You have to strike a balance between being a steward of your ideas and finding partners who can help protect them."

Listed Below Are Your Legal Options on How to Protect Your Work
The options for legally protecting a design are complex, especially with changes to patent laws scheduled for this year. It is best to consult with an attorney to figure out the most cost-effective methods. "It's better to invest the money upfront and get the protection," says lawyer Marc Misthal of Gottlieb, Rackman & Reisman, "because it's often costlier to compete with and chase down knockoffs."
Here are various levels of protection available to designers. And one last piece of advice from Misthal: When licensing your work, make sure you try to maintain ownership of the rights (as opposed to handing them over to the person who's manufacturing and distributing your design).
  • Copyright protects artistic expression (i.e., not the idea itself, but the way it is expressed). A painting, movie, song or piece of writing can be copyrighted, but a functional item like a chair cannot. However, if the chair's form is unusual enough to qualify as sculpture, or if it features handcrafted scrollwork or other artistic elements, it might be eligible for copyright protection. The U.S. Copyright Office charges a $35 electronic filing fee; once granted, the copyright lasts for the life of the creator plus 70 years.
  • Trademarks identify the product's source. A trademark protects any identifying feature (e.g., a product name, logo or signifier, such as Burberry plaid or the red soles on a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes). The government charges $275 to $375 per claim, and the acquisition process can take several years. Trademarks last forever.
  • A utility patent protects a mechanical innovation (e.g., a new way to fold a chair).
  • In legal terms this mechanism must be "novel" and "nonobvious," meaning that in the eyes of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office examiner, even someone skilled in that area would not have thought of it. This is the most expensive protection to obtain--about $7,000 to $10,000--and takes on average three to seven years to secure. It lasts 20 years.
  • A design patent protects the look of a product (anything from handbags to furniture).
  • As with a utility patent, the look must be novel and nonobvious. Typically these patents take 12 to 18 months to secure, cost an average of $2,500 to $3,500 and stay in effect for 14 years. "More people should take advantage of these," Misthal says. "They're very powerful--Apple beat Samsung on design patents." (Applications for design and utility patents must be filed within one year of the product being sold or shown publicly.)
Hope this helps!

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