How do you deal with technologies that are supposed to save you time and money, but often don’t?
Technology is a double-edged sword when it comes to making life simpler and saving time. While it may do both of these things, there is a dark side. We feel compelled to fill that newly-saved time with even more things to do, thus complicating our lives rather than simplifying them.
Before you purchase any type of new technology, ask yourself, “Do I NEED this item?” Or “Do I WANT this item?” If I purchased every piece of technology that I WANTED, I’d need a new building in which to store it all!
We have to be careful when we bring anything into our lives, but technology requires even more caution. There are several reasons for this:
- Technology is costly.
- Technology usually becomes obsolete as soon as you get it home.
- You may not be getting everything you need.
- You may be getting way more than you’ll ever need!
- There may be learning time and ongoing maintenance involved.
Everyone’s dream is to lead a balanced life, both personally and professionally; therefore, you need to do your homework on the technology that you are considering. As a Certified Professional Organizer®, I know that all systems are not meant for everyone. Don’t just think of the day that you buy it…think of it one, two or three years down the road. Is it worth the investment? Can you see yourself growing into or out of it?
On the other end of the spectrum, don’t waste an exorbitant amount of time debating whether or not a product is going to be just “perfect” for your situation. Striving for perfection is exhausting, squanders time, and probably drives those around you crazy! We just bought a new flat screen TV. I did so much research, that by the time we made the purchase, I couldn’t remember the features that we wanted in the first place. How frustrating and time consuming!
You need to take your daily routine into consideration; there is no one-size-fits-all solution with technology. Just because a colleague or friend recommends a new “toy” to you doesn’t mean you should buy so you can say that you have the latest “cool” device out there. Be sure it fits into your life.
Look logically at the long-term effects of your purchase…and if it will save you some time, buy it, but refrain from filling that saved time with another task. Look at it as newly found time to spend with loved ones or to relax for a while by yourself.
To buy or not to buy? For anyone who loves technology, that is the question.
Here’s to simplifying your life!
photo credit: William Hook via photopin cc
April 29, 2013
What is clutter? And how do your emotional and rational sides get into conflict? Read on, and celebrate the spring weather with a new outlook on life.
I keep looking at my calendar knowing full well that it is spring, but it seems Mother Nature has other ideas. Regardless, it’s time for a Spring Fling.
Now, don’t think I just gave you permission to go out and have an affair! The type of Spring Fling I am talking about involves taking the excess stuff in your life and flinging it. That’s right – flinging it!
Winter tends to keep us captive in our homes, cars and offices. We go from one to the other to the other with little interaction with the outdoors. As spring and summer approach, it’s time to exit that comfortable cocoon. But going outdoors and enjoying nature is only a part of this exit strategy. You still have to live in your home, drive in your car and work in your office, so it’s time to clear the clutter that you have built up over the past several months.
Before we go one step further, let’s get this out in the open:
CLUTTER IS NOTHING MORE THAN UNMADE DECISIONS
Decision-making can be difficult, even on a good day.
The main reasons that most people collect a lot of stuff and can’t let go of it is that they make decisions from an emotional standpoint, rather than a logical standpoint. In other words, there is an emotional connection between the person and the person’s “stuff.”
Here are some examples of logical vs. emotional thinking:
EMOTIONAL: “Who cares about the lost space? I could never throw away my college papers.”
LOGICAL: “Those college papers are from 18 years ago. Sure, I was brilliant when I wrote them. (Man, I was good!) But even though I put a lot of effort into them, I don’t remember writing them and they really are outdated. I haven’t looked at them since graduation, so they can’t be that important to me. In fact, I didn’t even know they were here until we decided to move. How important can they be?”
EMOTIONAL: “If I donate my ‘smaller’ clothes, I may not have enough incentive to get back into them.”
LOGICAL: “If I get rid of my ’smaller’ clothes and lose the weight that I want to lose, that will give me the opportunity to get a whole NEW wardrobe as a reward and get rid of my ‘larger’ clothes!”
EMOTIONAL: “I am so sentimental that I couldn’t bear to part with my grandmother’s broken rocking chair.”
LOGICAL: “I remember Grandma sitting in that rocking chair. It brings back great memories, but I don’t need the chair cluttering up my home to remember her. The chair is not the memory; the memory is the memory. Perhaps a photo of the chair would be nice to look at from time to time to jog my memory, but I don’t need the chair itself. This is the same concept as looking at pictures from past vacations and remembering the fun.”
Can you see the difference in the thought process? If you find that you are an emotional decision maker, it may be time to make some changes. Adding logic is not always a natural feeling, but being overwhelmed by stuff is no way to live. You have to be careful not to attach your love to things.
LOVE IS FOR PEOPLE – NOT STUFF
As you emerge from the cocoon we call winter, take a look at your space and stuff and decide what you can let go of as you have your Spring Fling! Donate the items you no longer need or use, pitch anything that is no longer useful, and recycle anything that you feel can make it through another round. Whatever you do, just make the decision to let go of anything that you no longer love or find useful. Someone else will be grateful and you will shed the layers of your cocoon and feel free as a butterfly!
Here’s to simplifying your life!
WANT MORE? Sign up for this month’s FREE 30-minute webinar
Have a Spring Fling as You Exit Your Cocoon https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/529497839
photo credit: aussiegall via photopin cc
April 1, 2013
Shhh. Can you hear it coming? It’s tax time creeping up on you. A pit forms in your stomach and you wonder if you’ll bask in the glory of a refund check or have to take out a loan to pay your share of taxes.
You know that every April 15th you have to file your taxes, so why do you always wait until the last minute, pulling your hair out while searching for all the required documents?
Here’s some good advice: Stop doing that!
Maybe this is not just a once-a-year problem. If paper organization is a year-round problem for you, perhaps a quick refresher course on how to organize your papers a little better will be helpful.
When you are going through your papers, there are only four things you can do with each piece as you sort through it all. To make it simple, I suggest you use the E.A.S.Y. System. You can:
Act on it
Send it away
You file it
Decision-making becomes more concise and narrow and you will avoid micro-sorting papers into 39 piles. Having only four choices makes sorting quick and effective.
As you prepare to do your taxes, here are a few suggestions that will help you with taxes now and beyond.
Each year, in the front of your file drawer (or another convenient location), place a new manila folder for that year’s taxes (2013 taxes). Then, deposit any item you receive throughout the year that has tax value or purpose right into the folder. At the end of the year—shazam!—it’s all right there in one spot. If you have multiple types of taxes (business, children, property, etc.) for which you collect documents, make a 2013 folder for each one and keep them in a place that is easy to access for both depositing and retrieving.
Don’t overcomplicate this time of year by letting it all stack up in piles. That way, you won’t have to scramble on April 14 to either make sense of it all or file for an extension. By setting up your files in the way I mentioned above, you will see throughout the year how good it feels to have a home for the items you receive.
Are you drowning in receipts? Try this:
Recognize where your receipts “generally” end up. Do they stay in your car, in your wallet, on your desk, in your purse or briefcase, on the kitchen counter, on top of your dresser, or in a drawer?
By knowing and acknowledging your habits you can work with them. In other words, if your receipts land in your kitchen on the counter, get a large clasp envelope, Ziploc™ baggie, or wall pocket sorter. Label it “RECEIPTS”, and toss all of your receipts in there instead of on the counter. Now, all you have to do is to keep your habit! When you take your receipts to the kitchen counter, now you have a “home” or “bucket” to put them in.
If you need your receipts broken down by month, change the envelope, baggie, or wall pocket label each month. If you need the receipts broken down by category, schedule time once a week or month to sort the receipts into baggies or envelopes labeled with your categories.
Wherever your receipts end up, there is an organizing tool that you can use to collect receipts in that area. If it’s your car, put a clasp envelope or large clip in the visor. If it’s your purse or briefcase, use an envelope or binder clip. If it’s on top of your dresser, get a cigar box. Be creative!
Simplify your tax time by thinking ahead. If you start this process today, you’ll be so glad you did when April 15th rolls around – and so will your accountant!
P.S. To learn how long you need to retain your tax papers, visit: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p552.pdf.
Here’s to simplifying your life!
March 1, 2013
A four-leaf clover by tamaki, on Flickr
What separates those who have good luck from those who don’t? You’ll be surprised at the answer.
Thankfully we’re past the New Year’s craze of making promises to ourselves in the form of resolutions that we know are unrealistic and/or unattainable. Resolutions come and go before the ball drops on Times Square.
However, this isn’t about resolutions; it’s about an even more important ingredient to a successful year – perspective.
You might be wondering what a Certified Professional Organizer® is doing writing about perspective. It seems that many are overwhelmed by more than just physical clutter. They have so many balls in the air at the same time that every aspect of life becomes a chore. Then excuses are needed and the blame game begins. This usually translates into being unlucky.
If you listen really carefully, you’ll hear things like:
- I hit every red light on the way to work today – I am so unlucky!
- I can’t believe it rained on our golf outing this year – I am so unlucky!
- I hate my car…it wouldn’t start on the day of my most important meeting – I am so unlucky!
- I was sick on my favorite holiday – I am so unlucky!
- I got a spot on my shirt at lunch right before my big interview – I am so unlucky!
The thing is that luck has nothing to do with it. This is what you hardly ever hear:
- I hit mostly green lights on my way to work today – I am so lucky!
- We played golf today and it was beautiful – I am so lucky!
- My car has been a real trooper for the past 82,540 miles – I am so lucky!
- I really enjoyed the 362 days this year when I was not sick – I am so lucky!
- I have managed to keep my shirt spot-free almost every day of my life – I am so lucky!
You see, the negative always stands out, but the great things that happen to us daily are overlooked and taken for granted. This is where perspective comes in.
You create your own luck, whether it is good or bad. If you look back over your life so far, there were probably times when you thought, “I will never survive this,” “I’ll never be the same,” or “I’ll never be able to go on.” The funny thing is that most of the time, you did survive, you did revert to being the same, and you did go on.
Very few things in life are too big to overcome. They seem too big, but the trick is to put your problem in perspective with the rest of the world.
When you’re facing a crisis (that could even be as simple as a bad mood), imagine that you are flying over the earth at 30,000 feet looking down at yourself. This gives you a whole new view of your life and a glimpse at just how small you are in relation to the rest of the world. The problems that seem monumental to you are indeed a teeny tiny microbe in the scheme of things.
Don’t get me wrong, I‘m not trying to discount the fact that problems exist and that some are difficult to face. It just helps if you are able to put some perspective on the issues in your life. Flying overhead and comparing yourself to others and the world at large, you are bound to realize just how lucky you are.
Perspective creates good luck. Rather than wrapping yourself in the negative, take some time to see the positive in your life. Choose your own luck. It creates a calm over your life and a feeling of being in control – because you are.
Get Stuck On Lucky – hey, it beats the other SOL!
Here’s to simplifying your life!
Sign up for this month’s FREE 30-minute webinar – “Are You SOL (Stuck on Lucky)? What’s Your Perspective?”
© 2006-2013 Patty Kreamer, CPO, COC, owner of Kreamer Connect, Inc., is a Certified Professional Organizer and Certified Organizer Coach, speaker, and author of “…But I Might Need It Someday!”, “The Power of Simplicity”, and Success Simplified available at www.ByeByeClutter.com.
January 31, 2013
Happy New Year! Each year brings the possibility of change. Even though we can make changes at any point in the year, each January we start out the year with a list of good intentions.
Yet, 30 days later, most of our well-laid plans for change have been set aside. We try to make too many big changes in a short amount of time. We get a good start, life interrupts, and we throw up our hands: “I give up! I just can’t __________!”
This year instead of taking on a huge self-improvement program, develop just one of the following habits to become more organized:
- Deal with mail each day. Whether it’s email or snail mail, at least 50% of it is junk. Open the mail, toss the envelopes and inserts, and move the important information to the appropriate place. Don’t make a shredding pile; shred as you go. With email, delete things you know you won’t read. Better yet, opt out of subscriptions and mailing lists. Mail is a task if you take care of it daily. Don’t make it a project.
- At the end of the day, make sure your toys are put away. Don’t start the day with a mess. Your brain (whether consciously or unconsciously) slows down because clutter is overwhelming. It’s okay to make messes during the day (you should see my office!), but things need to be put away by the end of each day.
- Never leave a room empty-handed. Put things away throughout the day. When going to the kitchen for a (healthy!) snack, put that receipt in your office. On the way to the car, drop the used magazines in the recycling bin. Teach your kids to do this. It will make clean-up easier later.
- Don’t put empty milk cartons back in the refrigerator. Like the careless teenager, we come across things we no longer like, need, or use, and we just put them back! This year designate a bag or box for donation. The next time you try on the pants that have never fit right, let them go. You won’t miss them. This principle also works in the kitchen (food and cooking items), office (pens, outdated supplies), and children’s rooms (toys, clothes, craft/sports items). When the bag is full, take it to your favorite charity.
- A few nice things are better than a whole house (or office) full of “just okay.” Quality is always better than quantity. Let go of the décor that doesn’t reflect who you are or the appliances you never use. Donate the books you don’t read (or the video tapes). Surround yourself only with items you truly like (or love) and use.
- Flat surfaces are not for storage. Yes, I know you think you need to leave it out to remember it, but does that really work? Usually people end up piling more things around the item, ignoring it. Leaving items out does not get tasks accomplished. Note the task in your planner, then put the item in a place that makes sense. Flat surfaces are areas for work, places to display a few special items, or simply places to rest your eyes. Stop piling things there.
So, are you ready to be more organized in 2013? Develop one of these habits for the next few weeks. Once it becomes a habit, add another. Remember, you are learning a new skill, so expect it to take some time. It will get easier. Celebrate your successes, however small.
Get organized this year with one new habit. You’ll be glad you did.
© Renee Ursem, 2012
Thanks to Organized A to Z.com partner Renee Ursem for contributing this article. Renee, a Professional Organizer and Consultant, is the owner of Get It Together. She spent 15 years teaching writing to 7th graders, discovering that if she could teach grammar to middle schoolers (while making it fun), she could teach anything to anyone. In 2005, she started Get It Together to help people learn how to organize and maintain their homes and offices.
A member of the National Association of Professional Organizers, Renee has published many organizing articles. She has been featured on KVBC’s Wake Up With the Wagners, KLAV 1230, and in the Parents Guide to Las Vegas.
Renee and her husband Perry have a daughter, who is six and loves to sort nail polish at the grocery store and keep cabinet doors closed.
December 31, 2012
“Good Enough IS the New Perfect”
Is the mere thought of the upcoming holidays making you feel exhausted, overwhelmed, guilty and quite frankly stressed the hell out? Does the idea of escaping it all and landing in a remote island appeal to you?
In a world jammed with cutesy DIY projects, photos of gift wrap themes and scrumptious recipes that are posted all over the internet it’s no wonder our holiday To Do lists have gotten out of control!
Professional organizers, Grace Brooke and Jennifer Ford Berry are known for their tough love approach to simplifying, organizing and being more productive in less amount of time.
Here is an inside peak at some of their favorite tips for keeping it real and maintain your sanity during the holidays:
1. Get real about your expectations.
Turn off the HGTV channel and hide your Martha Stewart subscription until January. Design your own holiday experience without the pressures of the media.
2. Quit being a grouch and start being grateful.
Stop complaining about what still needs to be done and start being grateful for all of your blessings and accomplishments.
3. Develop a holiday vision that is unique to your family.
Sit down as a family to discuss the things you want to do during the holidays and more importantly the things you don’t want to do. You may include: movies you want to see, old traditions, new traditions, places to visit etc. Write up a list and post it where your family can be reminded of it daily.
4. Stop cluttering up your friends’ and family’s homes!
Give them the gift of an experience, a memory that they will enjoy and cherish forever. It can be anything from gift certificates to memberships to services for your home.
5. Opt out of the “Perfect-Holiday-Card” contest.
Do you notice how everyone is trying to come up with the designer holiday card (you know…the one that is professionally shot, where the family is in coordinating outfits, the hair is perfect and everyone is full of holiday cheer). A snap shot from last summer’s vacation is good enough! (The NEW perfect).
6. Stop being Martha Stewart and start getting drunk with the rest of them!
This holiday season pass on the sit down dinner and plan a fun, simple cocktail party with appetizers. Make it more about getting together and less about weeks of preparation. Good food and good company is what it’s all about.
7. Let the “Fifty Shade of Gift Wrap” go and just get it done.
Keep it simple. For example: recycling your kids’ artwork to add a personal touch to your gift wrapping. (And this is a great way to get rid of more crap).
8. Cut down on your holiday storage and decorate your tree with natural ornaments.
Make clean up and storage a snap by using popcorn, berries, cookies, pine cones, bird nests, oranges, candy and other disposable items.
For more great ways to organize and simplify your holiday season check out Grace and Jennifer’s 65 Day Holiday Organizing Challenge that begins on October 29th.
Special thanks to Jennifer Ford-Berry and Grace Booke for contributing this article. Jennifer is a professional organizer, entrepreneur, speaker, best selling author of the series: Organize Now! and mother of two. You can visit her website at www.jenniferfordberry.com. Grace Brooke Organizing and Efficiency Specialist, speaker, author and mother of two. You can visit her website at www.gracebrooke.com.
October 29, 2012
With busy summer schedules, long hours of daylight, and family vacations, most of us spend a lot more time outside and away from home than we do inside at home during the summer. Now, however, the days are getting shorter and temperatures are cooling off, so it’s time to focus on those routine home maintenance projects. By preparing now, you’ll be able to avoid the need for major repairs over the winter. A furnace malfunction in a snowstorm will likely cost you hundreds of dollars more than a call to your HVAC repairman now for preventive maintenance!
Here’s a checklist to help you organize your household tasks for fall season. They’ll not only help you save you money on your energy bill, but they’ll keep your family safe, too.
On the Outside
- Touch up paint on trim, decks, and railings.
- Wash exterior windows.
- Drain hoses and disconnect from the hydrant.
- Gather up lawn sprinklers and garden tools and secure them for the winter.
- Check for air leaks around windows and doors. Recaulk if necessary.
- Check your roof for signs of damage that could lead to leaking water.
- Clean your gutters. During the winter, clogged gutters can overflow and cause ice dams on the roof, which could create leakage problems.
- Place your downspouts so they direct water away from the foundation and away from your sidewalks and driveways, too, to avoid slick walkways.
- Stock up on ice melt so you don’t have to rush out during the first snow of the season.
- Wash and winterize your outdoor patio furniture. Store in a protected place so they’ll be ready for next spring.
- Switch out kids’ summer toys and sports equipment for fall and winter activities. Now’s a good time to find the sleds and toboggans to make sure they are clean and in good working order.
On the Inside
- In the basement, look for cracks in the foundation. Have any damaged fixed before winter hits.
- If you have a fireplace, call the chimney sweeper for an inspection and a good cleaning.
- Ensure your fire/smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working. If it’s been six months since you last changed the batteries (or, if you can’t remember), replace them.
- Review your family’s emergency plan and make sure everyone knows how to evacuate in case of fire.
- Check to make sure your fire extinguishers are charged.
- Change furnace filters and have your heating system serviced.
- Install a programmable thermostat if you don’t have one, as it can save you up to $180 annually on heating (and cooling) bills if you set it to heat only when your family is home.
- Test ground fault interruptor outlets.
- Wash interior windows.
- Schedule a professional carpet cleaning while you can still open windows to speed drying.
- Drain water heaters to remove sediment, especially if you have hard water.
In the Garage
- Make sure chemicals are store away from heat and out of children’s reach.
- Empty fuel from your lawnmower and other gas-powered equipment because sediment can build up and clog the fuel lines.
- Have an adequate supply of gasoline in a small can so you’re ready to fuel up your snow blower or emergency generator.
- Create a car kit for winter-weather emergencies and stock with a small shovel, ice scraper, flashlight, sand or cat litter, flares, a heavy blanket, warm clothing, an extra cell phone charger, and a few energy or chocolate bars.
By taking these few simple steps, you’ll be well prepared to face whatever Mother Nature decides to throw at your this winter. But don’t wait! You never know when the first cold snap will hit, and you don’t want to be caught off guard. You’ll be glad you did when you’re snuggled up in a nice warm house, sipping hot chocolate, and watching the snowflakes gently fall from the sky.
October 1, 2012
Disasters can strike at anytime. Emergencies will occur when we least expect them. When these events occur, your first concern is for family and friends. Where are they? Are they ok? Are they aware of what’s happening or what to do next?
It’s important to think about how you will communicate with family members and friends should you be affected by an unusual event, and have a plan in place before you need it. That way, everyone close to you will know how to contact you, and you can keep in touch with everyone else. The following tips are from FEMA and published on www.ready.gov. Use this advice to prepare you family today!
Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another. Think about how you will communicate in different situations.
- Complete a contact card for each adult family member. Have them keep these cards handy in a wallet, purse or briefcase, etc. Additionally, complete contact cards for each child in your family. Put the cards in their backpacks or book bags.
- Check with your children’s day care or school. Facilities designed for children should include identification planning as part of their emergency plans.
- Prepare a family contact sheet. This should include at least one out-of-town contact that may be better able to reach family members in an emergency.Identify a contact such as a friend or relative who lives out-of-state for household members to notify they are safe. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
- Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know. Make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve listed them as emergency contacts.
- Teach family members how to use text messaging (also known as SMS or Short Message Service). Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.
- Subscribe to alert services. Many communities now have systems that will send instant text alerts or e-mails to let you know about bad weather, road closings, local emergencies, etc. Sign up by visiting your local Office of Emergency Management web site.
- Use your cell phone’s text messaging capability to receive text message updates from FEMA (standard message and data rates apply).
- Here are basic commands to get started:
- To signup to receive monthly preparedness tips: text PREPARE to 43362 (4FEMA)
- To unsubscribe (at any time): text STOP to 43362 (4FEMA)
According to The American Red Cross, the internet – including online news sites and social media platforms – is the third most popular way for Americans to gather emergency information and let their loved ones know they are safe.
Through the use of everyday technology, individuals, families, responders and organizations can successfully prepare for, adapt to and recover from disruptions brought on by emergencies and/or disasters. With effective planning, it is possible to take advantage of technology before, during and after a crisis to communicate with loved ones and manage your financial affairs.
For non-emergency communications, use text messaging, e-mail, or social media instead of making voice calls on your cell phone to avoid tying up voice networks. Data-based services like texts and emails are less likely to experience network congestion. You can also use social media to post your status to let family and friends know you are okay. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, you can use resources such as the American Red Cross’s Safe and Well program.
Find more great tips about how to use text messaging, e-mail, or social media during an emergency and why having access to those resources is important. Visit: http://www.ready.gov/get-tech-ready
September 1, 2012
Back-to-school success is based on routines. When you have a plan and a regular schedule, everyone knows what to expect and understands their responsibilities. Having a predictable plan will help calm chaotic mornings and eliminate disagreements when it’s time to do homework or tuck the kids into bed. Here are a few general ideas that might try:
- Create specific places for things, such as a small tool box for a kid’s portable office, or desk organizers for a more permanent homework spot.
- Designate a “To Read” file for mom & dad and fill it with school and classroom newsletters, articles for parents, and a schedule of upcoming events. This helps parents stay on top of things while their waiting during car pool, at appointments, during music lessons or sports practices, etc.
- Set a timer to keep kids on task for before school rituals, such as getting dressed, grooming, and eating breakfast. Often 10 or 15 minutes is all they need, and it helps to keep on schedule every morning.
- With input from your kids, establish after school guidelines, such as rules for homework, screen time, chores, approved snacks, etc.
- Create a “before bed” routine that includes having kids choose an entire outfit for the next day (including shoes and hair accessories.) This leads to fewer decisions in the morning when there’s pressure to get out the door on time.
- Plan a Sunday night family ritual that previews everything for the week. Pull out the calendar, discuss the week’s events, and determine if and when you’ll need any special clothing (uniforms), equipment (band instruments), or travel arrangements (mom picks up Sally from volleyball practice while dad takes Jimmy to his dentist appointment.)
Below is a sample checklist showing how your family’s school year routine might look. The activities listed are universal, but you can slide them around to suit your style. For example, it may suit your family better to make lunches before going to bed.
Before School Checklist
- Get dressed
- Make bed
- Eat breakfast
- Make lunch
- Brush teeth and hair
- Remember back pack on the way out
After School Checklist
- Talk about the day at school
- Change clothes
- Play outside
- Do homework
- Sign any forms
- Practice (sport, instrument, etc)
- Set table for dinner
- Help with making dinner
- Feed pet
- Fold laundry
- Take out trash
Before Bed Checklist
- Plan breakfast and set the table for it
- Tidy room
- Pack backpack – what ‘day’ is tomorrow for special requirements such as gym…
- Library books to return
- Finished homework
- Signed permission slips
- Notes to teachers
- Gym clothes
- Musical instrument/music
- Sports equipment
- MP3 Player
- Cell Phone
- Brush teeth
- Pick out clothes for tomorrow
- Set alarm
It’s a great idea to start your typical school routine about a week before the first day of school. Practice waking up and getting everyone ready to leave the house at the designated time to arrive at the bus stop, the car pool meeting place, or school on time. Bedtimes should also be adjusted early on so kids get accustomed to going to bed earlier and getting the sleep they need to be productive, A+ students all year long!
July 31, 2012
Projects piling up? Tidy up your craft room with closet organizers to eliminate crafty clutter. Crafting can be fun as well as challenging, but while being crafty might be your passion, without proper closet organizers, your craft room may be a disastrous mess. Micromanage your craft room with the help of closet accessories and organizers to categorize and customize your space for the specific craft at hand. Depending on the hobby, you must determine what items need to be stored and which items you will need to immediately access. For most crafts, it is more efficient to have the components visible so you can find them when you need them. Often, projects that never get completed are those that get buried with disorganization. This is why utilizing closet organizers to maintain your craft room is not only important, but a necessity.
The Skinny on Craft Room Storage
The purpose of installing closet organizers in a craft room or hobby closet is to keep your materials stored, organized and ready to go when you need them, but you don’t have to be crafty to utilize this concept. Most houses need storage for wires, batteries, tape, scissors, wrapping paper and bows; all these items can be easily managed in closet organizers or similar storage units. We all know there’s never enough room in the “junk” drawer for every little fix-it item and digging out craft room supplies from old shoe boxes in the back of a closet just doesn’t cut it when you’re working on a project. Many individuals craft in spare bedrooms or home offices which often have smaller closets. Reach-in closets provide a great space for craft room closet organizers, but if no closet space is available wall units can work just as well and still look great! Both custom closet organizers and modular closet organizers can be fitted to either space in order to function perfectly for your hobby of choice.
Our Acrylic 2 Drawer Organizing Cube is great for organizing craft supplies
Craft Room Closet Ideas
- Slide-out drawers, baskets and shelves can help to separate and store materials.
- Closet rods can often be used to hold spools of ribbon or wrapping paper.
- Slanted shoe shelves with shoe fences can act as specialty paper storage and displays.
- Shelving and storage cubbies can give homes to like items such as boxes, tools, photo albums and more.
- Adjustable shelving can house craft books or baskets than can be used as storage for supplies and fabric.
- 30″ high or more of open leg space can provide a sitting work area if there is ample room for at least a 20″ deep countertop.
Maintaining Your Craft Room Closet Organizers
The key to a successful craft project is readiness. Prepare, set goals and be organized in your approach. It is imperative to maintain a current and accurate inventory of your supplies and tools to avoid duplicate purchases. The organization of these supplies is the key element in monitoring an active and professional craft room with closet organizers. It is important to evaluate honestly when weeding through your collectibles and toss or donate the items that no longer serve a purpose.
Tips for Craft Room Closet Organizers
- Utilize components that work for you. Take inventory of what needs to be stored prior to installing craft room closet organizers to ensure everything will fit and be accessible.
- When working with craft closets, it is helpful to categorize like items together and sort them
- Optimize the space with the appropriate organizing products like bins, baskets or plastic
- Label everything and use clear containers whenever possible so stored items are visible.
- Weed consistently and fine tune the organization as your needs change.
- A place for everything, and everything in its place is the golden rule for quintessential craft room closet organizers.
Thanks to Organized A to Z.com partner Cynthia Braun for contributing this article. Cynthia is a CPO and professional organizer for Nassau County & Suffolk County Long Island, NY and a Golden Circle Member of NAPO as well as a member of POLI . You can find Cynthia online at www.organizeyourlife.org.
May 31, 2012