Lifestyle

16 tips for using Facebook Marketplace to declutter your home

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It's no secret that clutter can give you anxiety and there's a reason for it—"order feels good, in part, because it's easier for our brains to deal with and not have to work so hard," says psychotherapist Cindy Glovinsky. Regardless of your reasons for having clutter, the new year is the perfect time to get rid of the "stuff" around your home, like that sweet, but not needed gift from your aunt or toys the kids have outgrown.

For the unaccustomed, Facebook Marketplace is a forum on Facebook that allows users to buy and sell items, from appliances and clothing to furniture and even cars in their area. The cool thing is that you don't have to download an app or set up a new account, you can simply buy or sell to thousands of people in your community with the click of a button.

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Here are top Facebook Marketplace tips from mamas and Deb Liu, creator of Facebook Marketplace:

Be realistic with prices

1. "When I'm pricing an item to sell on Marketplace, I look and see what the item is selling for new (usually on Amazon), and then I search Marketplace to see how many identical or similar items are listed. If there are a lot of the same item, and it's something I want to get rid of right away, I'll price it a little cheaper than the others. Otherwise, I'll price similar to what is already available. I'll also include a link to the item if they were to buy it new to showcase the price and also any specs they may have questions on." — Laura Durenberger, Reduce, Reuse, Renew

2. My general rule of thumb for pricing items on Marketplace is to simply match garage sale pricing standards. Although I take great care of my children's clothing, and launder them with the intent of long-term wear, I am personally not out to make a large profit when I resell my children's items—my goal is to primarily help another parent attempting to keep up with the ever-lasting growth spurts while making a few extra dollars in the process. It takes a village!" — Kristin Gambaccini, Perfectly Distressed

3. "You can't price items based on what you paid for them or your sentiments toward them. Just remember that you got to enjoy whatever it is, for however long. Don't be bitter, let it go and if you don't want to lose money, buy used next time." — Jessica Nickerson, House Homemade

Consider bundling items:

4. "I've sold kids indoor and outdoor clothes, shoes, clothing accessories, books, toys and kid's furniture. For most items, I sell as a single item. However, for similar clothes sizes, books, or similar toys, I'll sell as a lot." — Laura Durenberger

5. "From my experience, selling one Barbie alone isn't a big draw, but selling 10 Barbies, for example, will sell quicker and make you more money." — Sarah Lemp

6. "To get items picked up quickly, I bundle similar items, post pictures directly as I declutter, include some keywords and major cross streets, and note priority to first pick up. Also, on the contrary, after the holidays when people purge new holiday stuff, unwanted gifts, and are decluttering for a fresh start to the year, I tend to find the best items and the best deals on Marketplace!" — Kat Steck, The Junkyard Journals

Act fast, but have patience:

7. "For every great piece of furniture I have found for my home, I have lost 10 to others who were quicker to communicate with the seller than I was. If you find something you REALLY want, act fast. You may have to drop what you're doing and change your plans, but if you ask me, it's worth it!" — Dana Dore, Adored House

8. "Marketplace will show you items that relate to your previous searches so it's easy to take just a minute or two each day and check-in. I've found some of our favorite items for my daughter, like our Ikea play kitchen, simply by keeping an eye on my search for a few minutes each day. Just because you can't find what you're looking for on Facebook Marketplace today doesn't mean it won't show up a few days later!" — Desirae Endres, The Minimal-ish Podcast

Sell baby items + toys kids outgrow quickly:

9. "When selling items on Marketplace, lots of kid's toys never seem to lose their value including Legos, wooden train sets, American Girl Dolls and other name-brand items. Gently used items in great shape are obviously worth more. Other items like Little Tykes, jungle gyms and slides are always hot items, as are strollers, wagons and bundles of toys." — Sarah Lemp, All Things with Purpose

10. "There are tons of baby items that are specific to such a small period of time in an infant's life. These items sell really well on Marketplace because they are rarely used, yet people need them! Examples of these would be bassinets, bouncy seats, Bumbos, floor play mats, baby swings, etc." — Sarah Lemp

11. "Marketplace is my go-to for buying and selling baby items because it's free and hyper-local, so you don't have to worry about shipping." — Olivia White, House of White

More tips from Deb Liu, creator of Facebook Marketplace:

12. Make the listing appealing.

Write a good description of what the product is and include lots of details, descriptive words and don't forget the dimensions.

13. Post clear + authentic photos.

Take multiple, clear photos in good lighting with plain backgrounds. Avoid filters and be sure to capture the item at multiple angles, so interested buyers can see what they're getting. I even have a special staging area in my home where I take photos of all the items I'm selling.

14. List items separately.

Unless your items serve a similar purpose, sell them separately. Buyers aren't likely to buy a couch and a basketball with the same purchase. Only bundle items together if they would normally sell in a group such as a group of clothing or similar toys.

15. View a person's profile.

You can check out a person's public profile to see other items they're selling on Marketplace, as well as any friends you may have in common. To stay safe, I recommend going to a public location if you're meeting up with someone from Marketplace to buy or sell something. If you can't find a location like a coffee shop or shopping mall, reschedule your meet-up. You can also use a shipping option, or a pick-up or drop-off service, that works for you.

16. Use keywords.

Include multiple keywords in your description to help people discover your item. For example, if instead of listing just "table," consider adding keywords and descriptions like "coffee table," "made of oak," to reach more people.

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There are few kids television shows as successful as PAW Patrol. The Spin Masters series has spawned countless toys and clothing deals, a live show and now, a movie.

That's right mama, PAW Patrol is coming to the big screen in 2021.

The big-screen version of PAW Patrol will be made with Nickelodeon Movies and will be distributed by Paramount Pictures.

"We are thrilled to partner with Paramount and Nickelodeon to bring the PAW Patrol franchise, and the characters that children love, to the big screen," Spin Master Entertainment's Executive Vice President, Jennifer Dodge, announced Friday.

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"This first foray into the arena of feature film marks a significant strategic expansion for Spin Master Entertainment and our properties. This demonstrates our commitment to harnessing our own internal entertainment production teams to develop and deliver IP in a motion picture format and allows us to connect our characters to fans through shared theatrical experiences," Dodge says.

No word on the plot yet, but we're gonna bet there's a problem, 'round Aventure Bay, and Ryder and his team of pups will come and save the day.

We cannot even imagine how excited little PAW Patrol fans will be when this hits theatres in 2021. It's still too early to buy advance tickets but we would if we could!

News

In the middle of that postpartum daze, the sleepless nights, the recovery, the adjustment to a new schedule and learning the cues of a new baby, there are those moments when a new mom might think, I don't know how long I can do this.

Fortunately, right around that time, newborns smile their first real smile.

For many mothers, the experience is heart-melting and soul-lifting. It's a crumb of sustenance to help make it through the next challenges, whether that's sleep training, baby's first cold, or teething. Each time that baby smiles, the mother remembers, I can do this, and it's worth it.

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Dayna M. Kurtz, LMSW, CPT a NYC-based psychotherapist and author of Mother Matters: A Holistic Guide to Being a Happy, Healthy Mom, says she sees this in her clinical practice.

"One mother I worked with recounted her experience of her baby's first smile. At eight weeks postpartum, exhausted and overwhelmed, she remembered her baby smiling broadly at her just before a nighttime feeding," Kurtz says. "In that moment, she was overcome by tremendous joy and relief, and felt, for the first time, a real connection to her son."

So what is it about a baby's smile that can affect a mother so deeply? Can it all be attributed to those new-mom hormones? Perhaps it stems from the survival instincts that connect an infant with its mother, or the infant learning social cues. Or is there something more going on inside our brains?

In 2008, scientists in Houston, TX published their research on the topic. Their study, "What's in a Smile? Maternal Brain Responses to Infant Facial Cues", takes data from the MRI images of 26 women as they observed images of infants smiling, crying, or with a neutral expression.

The images included the mother's own infant alternated with an unknown infant of similar ethnicity and in similar clothing and position. In each image, the baby displayed a different emotion through one of three facial expressions; happy, neutral, or sad. Researchers monitored the change in the mothers' brain activity through the transitions in images from own-infant to unknown-infant, and from happy to neutral to sad and vice versa.

The results?

"When first-time mothers see their own baby's face, an extensive brain network appears to be activated, wherein affective and cognitive information may be integrated and directed toward motor/behavioral outputs," wrote the study's authors. Seeing her infant smile or cry prompts the areas of the brain that would instigate a mother to act, whether it be to comfort, care for, or caress and play with the baby.

In addition, the authors found that reward-related brain regions are activated specifically in response to happy, but not sad, baby faces. The areas of the brain that lit up in their study are the same areas that release dopamine, the "pleasure chemical." For context, other activities that elicit dopamine surges include eating chocolate, having sex, or doing drugs. So in other words, a baby's smile may be as powerful as those other feel-good experiences.

And this gooey feeling moms may get from seeing their babies smile isn't just a recreational high—it serves a purpose.

This reward system (aka dopaminergic and oxytocinergic neuroendocrine system) exists to motivate the mother to forge a positive connection with the baby, according to Aurélie Athan, PhD, director of the Reproductive & Maternal Psychology Laboratory (a laboratory that created the first graduate courses of their kind in these subjects).

These networks also promote a mother's ability to share her emotional state with her child, which is the root of empathy. "A mother cries when baby cries, smiles when baby smiles," Athan says.

While there's a physiological explanation underlying that warm-and-fuzzy sensation elicited by a smile, there may be other factors at play too, Kurtz says.

"In my clinical practice, I often observe a stunning exchange between a mother and her baby when the latter smiles at her. A mother who is otherwise engaged in conversation with me may be, for that moment, entirely redirected to focus on her little one," Kurtz says. "This kind of attention-capturing on the part of the baby can enable and cultivate maternal attunement—a mother's ability to more deeply connect with her infant. The quality of attunement in early childhood often sets the stage for one's relationship patterns in the future."

Whether a physiological response, a neural activation, simple instinct, or the tightening of emotional connection, the feeling generated by babies' smiles is a buoy in the choppy ocean of new parenthood.

And while the first smile may be the most magical by virtue of its surprise and the necessity of that emotional lift, the fuzzy feeling can continue well into that baby's childhood and beyond. It keeps telling parents, you've got this!

[This was originally published on Apparently]

Life

Chrissy Teigen is one of the most famous moms in the world and definitely one of the most famous moms on social media.

She's the Queen of Twitter and at least the Duchess of Instagram but with a massive following comes a massive dose of mom-shame, and Teigen admits the online comments criticizing her parenting affects her.

"It's pretty much everything," Teigen told Today, noting that the bulk of the criticism falls into three categories: How she feeds her kids, how she uses her car seats and screen time.

"Any time I post a picture of them holding ribs or eating sausage, I get a lot of criticism," she explained. "Vegans and vegetarians are mad and feel that we're forcing meat upon them at a young age. They freak out."

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Teigen continues: "If they get a glimpse of the car seat there is a lot of buckle talk. Maybe for one half of a second, the strap slipped down. And TV is another big one. We have TV on a lot in my house. John and I work on television; we love watching television."

Teigen wants the shame to stop, not just for herself but for all the other moms who feel it. (And we agree.)

"Hearing that nine out of 10 moms don't feel like they're doing a good enough job is terrible," she said. "We're all so worried that we're not doing all that we can, when we really are."

The inspiration for Teigen talking publicly about mom-shame may be in part because of her participation in Pampers' "Share the Love" campaign. But even though Teigen's discussion coincides with this campaign, the message remains equally important. Advertising can be a powerful tool for shifting the way society thinks about what's "normal" and we would much rather see companies speaking out against mom-shame than inducing it to sell more stuff.

Calling out mom-shame in our culture is worth doing in our lives, our communities and yes, our diaper commercials. Thank you Chrissy (and thank you, Pampers).

News

Dear fellow mama,

I was thinking about the past the other day. About the time I had three small boys—a newborn, his 2-year-old brother and his 5-year-old brother.

How I was always drowning.

How I could never catch my breath between the constant requests.

How I always felt guilty no matter how hard I tried.

How hard it was—the constant exhaustion, struggling to keep my home any kind of clean or tidy, how I struggled to feed my kids nutritious meals, to bathe them and clean them and keep them warmly dressed in clean clothing, to love them well or enough or well enough.

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Those years were some of the toughest years I have ever encountered.

But mama, I am here to tell you that it doesn't last forever. Slowly, incrementally, without you even noticing, it gets easier. First, one child is toilet trained, then the bigger one can tie his own shoelaces, then finally they are all sleeping through the night.

It's hard to imagine; I really really get it.

It is going to get easier. I swear it. I'm not saying that there won't be new parenting challenges, that it won't be the hardest thing you have ever done in your life. It will be. But it will get easier.

These days, all of my kids get the bus to school and back. Most of them dress themselves. They can all eat independently and use the toilet. Sometimes they play with each other for hours leaving me time to do whatever I need to do that day.

I sleep through the night. I am not constantly in a haze of exhaustion. I am not overwhelmed by three tiny little people needing me to help them with their basic needs, all at the same time.

I can drink a hot cup of coffee. I do not wish with every fiber of my being that I was an octopus, able to help each tiny person at the same time.

I am not tugged in opposite directions. I don't have to disappoint my 3-year-old who desperately wants to play with me while I am helping his first grade bother with his first grade reading homework.

And one day, you will be here too.

It's going to get easier. I promise. And while it may not happen today or even next week or even next month, it will happen. And you will look around in wonder at the magnificent people you helped to create and nurture and sustain.

Until then, you are stronger and more resilient than you can even imagine.

You've got this. Today and always.

Love,

A fellow mama

Life
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