Friday, July 16, 2010

Great Product for Organizing Summer Photos!

Hi everyone! Hope you are all having a great summer!

Summer=vacation=photos=organizing dilemma! Check out this great photo organizer from Lakeside collection. It is a large box that has several smaller boxes inside it for categorizing photos! It holds 2400 photos total and labels are included! All this for $7.95 (not including tax and shipping). Could organizing photos be any easier!

Lakeside Collection Photo Storage Box

Unleash Your Organized Me!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Organized Travel

Summer is here! For most people that means vacation! Traveling can be fun and stressful at the same time. Here are some tips that I have found helpful:

Less is more! In this case, less of one item translates into more space in the suitcase for other items. Now more then ever, drugstores and discount chains are offering a large variety of travel sized items. If you can't find what you need, improvise! I don't tend to have much luck with those general empty plastic travel containers: either they leak or break. I tend to purchase travel sized items similar to what I need then empty the contents so I can reuse the container. These containers seem to be more durable because they are designed to be pre-filled with the contents they are intended to hold (also use travel sized bottles you receive from hotels). I am a big fan of Ziploc bags. These can be used for just about anything from storing pill bottles to Q-tips.

About a month before your vacation, take an inventory of what travel sized toiletries you might need. When you head to the grocery or drugstore, look for your containers (either pre-filled or empty). If I see a unique travel sized item I purchase it whether or not I have a trip planned soon. This helps alleviate some of the stress of searching for necessities at the last minute. When I return home from my trip, I refill any toiletries that are low and leave them in my carry on bag. That way, everything is ready for my next trip. It is also helpful if I need to travel unexpectedly.

BYOB! In this case, BYOB stands for bring your own bottled water/bagged snacks if at all possible. Purchase some powdered drink packets ahead of time so that you and other family members can customize their own water. This will help cut down on the amount of beverages you need to purchase at your destination. I myself am traveling this week and noticed that the price for one bottled water is $1.39. This can quickly add up to a large sum of money in a short period of time. Also bring along tea bags, instant coffee, hot cocoa mix and utilize the in room coffee maker for heating water. As far as bagged snacks, there is a large variety available on the market. I prefer to make my own using small Ziploc bags.

Plan out your meals ahead of time! The internet allows us to access a large variety of menus online. Researching the menus of nearby restaurants not only helps you stay within your dining budget but can be beneficial when trying to plan for special dietary needs. Make sure to take advantage of the free breakfast offerred by many hotels. Many are also starting to offer free cookies for an afternoon snack. A little planning goes a long way and can prevent having to use room service.

Expect the Unexpected! No vacation will be perfect. Pack a first aid kit for little emergencies. Some ideas on what to include in addition to the standard supplies are over the counter pain relievers, antacids, anti diarrhea medications, and aloe vera gel. Baby wipes, extra hand sanitizer and a portable laundry stain pen are also helpful additions.

Unleash Your Organized Me!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Strive For 5 A Day!

Part of what makes getting organized challenging is not our intentions but the time committment involved. Sometimes we need to break the large jobs into smaller more manageable tasks. My advice is to "Strive For 5 A Day". Basically, start with just 5 minutes a day and conquer small tasks. For example, start with a small drawer or shelf. Five minutes is perfect for tackling the sock drawer or kitchen utensil drawer.

"Strive For 5 A Day" can also mean getting rid of five items no longer needed. These could be as simple as leftovers in the fridge, old catalogs, or outdated makeup. Once you've formed a habit, gradually increase the number of items daily.

Unleash Your Organized Me!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

"Award Winning" Organization Tip

Spring is here finally! Not only does this season bring warmer weather but a multitude of dance and music recitals, sporting events, graduations and award ceremonies. As a professional organizer, I often see clients challenged by how to organize all those paper certificates.

My suggestion is to purchase a 3 ring loose leaf binder for each child. Place each certificate in a clear hole punched plastic sleeve (readily available at any office supply store). You can then put these in the binder. Use tabbed index dividers to separate certificates into like categories. Not only does this make it easier to store them but looking through them is a snap!

Unleash Your Organized Me!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Preparing for the "Oh Darn" Factor

Life is predictably unpredicatable. Every day things happen that are out of our control. The only thing we can control is our response to these events. The more prepared we are for what I call the "Oh Darn" factor, the better we can respond to the unexpected.

Everybody has their own set of problems to cope with on a daily basis. I myself am a long time sufferer of a debilitating medical condition. Even though managing life's stresses is far from easy, taking a little time to plan ahead will make coping a little easier.

Here are things I find helpful:

Stock Up! Stock up on the essentials like bottled water, toilet paper, paper towels, canned goods, frozen meals. I sometimes do this to a fault, but running out of things like toilet paper adds unnecessary stress during times of crisis. Store extra doses of each family member's medications in alternate places like a fireproof safe or at a neighbor's house.

Create Buffers! Allot extra time for just about everything from commuting to work to weekly grocery shopping. This will ease your mind if you run into obstacles such as traffic or long lines at checkout. In fact, plan on interruptions. It will make it easier to deal with if you know you have extra time. Another trick I use is to plan alternate times for tasks that don't require appointments(for example, grocery shopping, cleaning). If you need to, recruit others to help you....or if all else fails, hire someone. Humans can be buffers too!

Write It Down! Be a fan of list making! Writing things down strengthens our resolve not to mention our memory! Schedule time not just for work, school and family committments, but personal time as well. Write down times for exercise, coffee with friends, reading. Treat these like appointments! Remember to be patient with yourself: forming good habits take time!

Resist the Urge to Overschedule! It seems like life is busier than ever. Technology has made it so it is possible to contact each other almost instantaneously via voicemail, email, and text messages. I love all these devices as much as the next person, but sometimes we need to simplify. Do we really need to wait for a crisis to occur before we begin enjoying our life?

Unleash Your Organized Me!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Plant the Seeds for Organized Gardening!

If you live in Rochester, most likely last week's snowstorm has got you looking forward to spring more than ever. With spring comes flowers: meaning that now is the perfect time to start getting organized for your garden. Courtesy of my mother-in-law, someone who has been gardening her whole life, I have some helpful organizing tips!

Head to dollar stores first!
Dollar stores are perfect for stocking up on the following in bulk:
garden gloves, small garden tools, seeds, insect repellent, small packages of kleenex and wet wipes, water bottles, band aids, small towels, hair bands (to keep hair out of your eyes)and knee pads.

Container! Container! Container!
My mother-in-law suggests using a toy wagon or cart to hold all your supplies. The plus is that it can be easily wheeled to your garden! Buy a second one for storing and transporting potting soil. Line it with an empty trash bag to catch any spills before they turn into a bigger mess.

Old chairs can be repurposed as planters. Check upcoming garage sales for bargains on extra pots, containers, bird feeders and other additions for your garden.

Love Thy Neighbor!
Work with a close neighbor. Share tools and maybe some of the work! Watch your friendship grow along with the garden! Lily of the Valleys are great for sharing with others because they multiply easily!

Get the Kids Involved!
Give the kids their own space in the garden! The benefits are many; not only is gardening great exercise, but it provides a unique learning experience, and a way to spend time with the family. Planting a vegetable garden can help promote nutritious eating habits and save money on the produce bill.

Extra! Extra!
Get extras of things you use most such as: hand clippers and hoses. Try to have one for the front and back yard to prevent having to run back and forth. Start saving your old Windex bottles to reuse as water sprayers.

My mother-in-law also recommends singing to your garden! She does manage to have beautiful flowers each year, so it can't hurt to give it a try!

Unleash Your Organized Me!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Quick Tip: Repurposing An Unused Photo Album

Since digital cameras have become more popular, I have a suspicion that I am not the only one who has extra unused photo albums tucked away in my closet. Those photo albums with the large pages (at least 8.5 by 11 inches) are great for storing children's artwork and award certificates. Give each child their own book and let them do the arranging! The nice thing is that not only is the artwork protected and easy to store, but it serves as a keepsake for your children.

Unleash Your Organized Me!