Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Getting Ready for an Emergency - September is National Preparedness Month

It's almost the anniversary of  9/11. We should all be aware of the fact that disaster can strike anywhere. The question is "are you ready"?

Everyone should be prepared for an emergency. Whether it’s the loss of power and electricity (which could last for days) or a hurricane, earthquake or other natural disaster…. Or a terrorist attack…

Being prepared is not an “option” anymore. Even if just the electricity went out…and you happen to have an “all electric” home….would you be able to survive? Do you have enough food to last you for a few days? What happens if all the stores are closed?

These are just some things to think about….. especially if you live in a remote area and don't have quick access to a store.

There are numerous websites and articles that tell you to be prepared to survive for at least three (3) days if an emergency occurs. The “72 Hour Kit” as some people call it.

Besides the basic kit, you also need to have an emergency plan in place. Below is a basic list that will give you some ideas to get you started (there are numerous variations of this kit).

Basic Kit:

Water – one (1) gallon per person , per day for at least three (3) days
Food – 3 days supply of non-perishable food. Some ideas are: soup mix, granola bars, trail mix, crackers,
peanut butter, beef jerky, fruit cups….
Plastic / paper – plates, cups, napkins…
Radio – battery powered
Flashlight – with extra batteries
First aid kit – basic kit
Can opener
Garbage bags & plastic bags (various sizes)
Sleeping Bag
Clothes – for three (3) days
Coats & hats; rain gear; cold weather gear
Personal hygiene products such as: shampoo, lotion, razors, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, feminine
products, sunscreen…..
Wet wipes
Toilet Paper
Sewing Kit
Paper & pencils
Matches / lighter (in water proof container)
Basic tools (wrench, pliers, scissors….)
Water purification tablets (or Chlorine Bleach)
Hand Sanitizer
String / rope / cord
Cooking appliances (portable stove with fuel….)

Some things (like medications…) cannot pack ahead of time…so have a checklist prepared for those items.

Checklist for supplies that need to be packed last minute:

Prescription medication
Infant formula
Pet food
Family documents (passport, birth certificates, identification cards, bank info, insurance info….)
Games for kids

Start thinking about how you and your family would handle an emergency….and start planning for it today…before that emergency strikes.

Organizational Consulting Services

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Getting Your Kids Organized For School...and Life

School is about to start. Have you thought about your school year routine yet?  Don't wait until the morning of the first day of school to come up with a plan. Start thinking about your first day now and get ready.

The question now is "Do you have a calm and stress free routine ?".  If not, why not? The answer is probably because things are not as organized as they could be.

Come up with a routine and get your kids involved. Let them know ahead of time what time they will have to get up in order to have plenty of time to get dressed, make their bed, eat a healthy breakfast and get all of their school things in their pack backs and on their way.

By starting your kids on a routine and giving them responsibility for getting ready on time you have started them off on the right track to success in life.

Kids are never too young to start learning how to be organized. Kids as young as three can be taught how to put their toys away.

School age children should have a daily routine. Everything from getting up in the morning, getting dressed themselves, making their beds and getting their backpacks all ready for school. This includes making sure they have their lunches!

By making kids responsible for themselves they can start learning organizational skills. It also helps takes the pressure off of the parents.

Even though as a parent you might want to do everything for your would be doing them a disservice if you did. Don't you want your child to marry someone that can take care of themselves? Someone that helps around the house?

By teaching your kids some basic skills when they are young you are setting them up for success!

Kids love to learn new things. They love to think that they are in charge. Let them charge of themselves!

As a parent your job is to give the kids tools they can use in everyday life. Being organized is a crucial tool.

Parents, especially single parents, need all of the help they can get. Teach your child to be self sufficient and you too will reap the rewards.

And don't use the excuse "I am not an organized person myself".  I have a lot of clients that aren't organized themselves....but they know the right people to teach their kids various skills.

If you can give your child piano or gymnastics lessons.... you can give them "organizing lessons".  It's something they will use forever. Not that being able to do a cartwheel isn't important!

By starting young and having expectations from your children you are helping them be a better person. Their teachers, bosses and future spouses will "Thank You"!

Start Today..... Raise an Organized Child

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, July 21, 2014

Clutter and Noise

You might wonder what clutter and noise have to do with each other. It's simple - clutter is a noise that disturbs you so that you can't function as well as you should.

Some people can work in a messy room. I can't.

Clutter doesn't bother some people. For others it's a problem.

Some people actually don't seem to notice a clutter filled room. Even when you say something to them about the mess. They just don't see it.

For others they wonder how you can find anything - much less work in a clutter filled room.

Clutter is a noise that gets louder and louder. Until you eventually can't stand it anymore.

That's when people usually call or write and say "help!".

People have to come to terms with how long they can handle the clutter and the mess before they do something. You have to be ready for change. You can't force people to change unless they are ready. It's only when they are ready that the changes will actually last.

When I walk into a clutter filled room it's like someone is screaming at the top of their lungs. When I walk into a neat and organized room I feel calm and relaxed.

It reminds me of going to the spa to get a massage. They have a little nook that is neat and cozy. They have soft music playing. I can sit and relax and a calmness comes over me.

When you walk into a room that is cluttered you don't have that same feeling.

Clutter causes your stress levels to rise. A clutter free space makes you feel calm.

If you can find one area in your home to be clutter free you too can create a space where you can feel calm after a long day at work.

Get organized - get clutter free.  Reduce your stress.

Once you have a few stress free moments you will have more energy to face the rest of your day.

Happy Organizing !

Organizational Consulting Services

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Favorite Organizing Tools

There are a lot of really great gadgets out there to get yourself organized. Some of them are really expensive. But spending more money on things doesn't mean that it will work better or keep you more organized.

Simplicity is the key.  And so is being inventive!

My most favorite (and cheapest and most versatile) organizing tool is - ZIPLOC !  I love Ziploc bags - for everything!

We just got back from a camping trip and having to have every little detail (and every meal) organized - and planned out -  Ziploc is your best friend!

I packed each meal in a Ziploc bag. All of the vitamins - in a Ziploc bag. All of the utensils, the napkins, the extra bags (always, always bring extra Ziploc bags when you go on a trip) - everything goes into a Ziploc bag.

Even the plastic containers of food - before they go into a cooler - go into a Ziploc bag.

Believe me - this will save you time in hunting for everything when you have everything in one easy to grab bag. The containers are protected from getting waterlogged in the cooler (one of mine had a leak).

I use Ziploc to capture all of the phone cords - so that we always have them in one place.

Then there are bags. Since everyone has gone to reusable bags there is an endless supply of bags. Use them to capture a 'grouping' of things. Snacks go in one bag. Cooking utensils in another.

You get the picture.....    "like with like" !

Of course - another favorite tool is "the list" - it makes packing fast and easy - and you don't forget a thing!

There are many simple tools out there that can make your life just a little bit easier!

Happy Organizing !

Organizational Consulting Services

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Do You Really Miss Your Stuff ???

People have more things than they really need. "Stuff" just turns into "clutter".

"But you need it" - you say ? 


When was the last time that you actually used it?

Being in transition and having a lot of our belongings still in boxes has made me realize that even though we downsized and we really did not have a lot of useless things that we never used - we really haven't been traumatized too much by not having those things that we thought we needed.

Downsizing, right-sizing, de-cluttering.... all make you realize that you have too much stuff and you really can live "without" those things.

So - try this experiment:  box up a bunch of stuff that you don't use often (or never) - and put it in the basement, closet, garage....for three months. At the end of the three months - if you haven't missed it - consider getting rid of it for good.

Donate it - give it to someone that might actually use it.

This experiment will make you think - about all the stuff that you really don't need.

Try it - you will be surprised at how you actually feel at the end of the experiment.

It might surprise you !

Happy Organizing !

Organizational Consulting Services

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Moving - Purge and De-Clutter First

It's almost summer.  School will be out soon. This is the time that a lot of people decide to move.

If you know that you will be moving - start making some plans. When else are you going to be able to go through your entire house and make some big, cleansing decisions????

Moving is not fun. Planning for a move is not fun. De-cluttering for a move is not fun.

But by being pro-active and doing a little bit of work (and decision making) each day - the day of your 'big packing' will be much easier.

If you know that you will be moving you should immediately start the de-cluttering, purging process. It will make your move much easier. And much lighter. Which in turn will be much less expensive. Because most moving companies charge by truck weight.

I have done many move unpacks for clients that have just moved into town and I am always amazed at the things they decide to move. Old, worn out things. Things that should have been left behind. Because when you are moving it might be the only time that you really think about how often you have actually used the item.

If you know that you are moving ahead of time start going through your house and get rid of things that you have never used, aren't using, things that are old or worn out. Now is the time. Not after you move. If your washer and dryer are 15 years old why move them? It will be cheaper to buy new, more efficient appliances once you move and you will also save money by not paying to move them. 

Go through your clothes and get rid of everything that you have not worn in a long time or is out of style. You may not have ever gone through your closet before this but now is the time. Why move things that you will not wear? If you are moving to a warmer climate and won't need those 25 sweaters...donate them. That goes for the snow ski's that you won't need in Miami. Or the treadmill that you have never used.

Get rid of everything that you can before your move. It will feel good! Really it will. You will wonder why you didn't do it sooner. And be sure to keep track of everything that you donate so that you can take a tax deduction.

Moving is a stressful endeavor. Try to make it less so by purging before you even think about packing.  

Remember - "if in doubt - throw it out".  Now is not the time to say "but I might use it (need it) someday".  The reality is - you won't. 

Why pay to move stuff that you will never use - and will probably end up throwing out once you get  to your new home.

Plan ahead - purge as much as you can and start fresh in your new home. A lot of times it will actually save you money. 
Remember: Less Clutter = Less Stress .... in your Home, your Business and your Life

Organizational Consulting Services

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Schools Out For The Summer - Almost

School is about to end for most schools. Kids will be cleaning out their lockers and bringing home - well, lots of stuff! Maybe even stuff that you didn't know that you were missing - like Tupperware!

They will also be bringing home lots of papers and other things that they have cleared out of their lockers, maybe even some clothes. If they are like most kids they will probably just dump it all in the hallway where they came in. And drive you nuts in the process.

So before you get too far into the summer take some time to organize the mess. And if you can, make the kids help. It is their mess after all!

First, throw out all of the garbage.

Second, take back your Tupperware, dishes, silverware...

Third, grab those clothes and throw them in the laundry. After they are clean, decide if they still fit or might still fit by the start of the next school year. Otherwise, into the "donate pile" they go.

Fourth, go through their papers and decide which ones you want to keep (things such as Art work or other papers you really want to keep). You might want to dispose of the other papers when the kids are not around. If you have a folder/box or notebook for each child you can put anything you want to save into their file (by grade).

Fifth, any extra school supplies that can be used for the next year can be put away in a bag and you will have a head start on shopping for the next school year. Be sure to keep a list of what you already have so that you don't buy duplicate when you get the rest of their school supplies.

Sixth, check the condition of their backpack and lunch box and toss it or put it away for next year (after a thorough cleaning of course!).

The mess is now gone and you can get on with our summer!

Have a great summer!

Organizational Consulting Services