Do you think that summer organizing is limited to cleaning out the garage? Well it’s also the best time to focus on disaster preparedness. No matter where you live you are going to want to use a checklist to ensure that you’ve addressed a variety of: types of disasters important documents and records valuables, including sentimental possessions. Here are some resources that you can refer to: FEMA: http://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan CDC: http://emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness/ Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/plan You may also contact your local chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) to find an Organizer who can get you started!
You know those ingredients that you bought last year for the holidays, and haven’t used since? In fact, did you come across others from previous years while looking for that one special ingredient? Well, it’s time to organize your pantry and spice racks so that you are only cooking with fresh and healthy items. Try these 9 easy pantry organizing tips for your kitchen now: 1. Remove everything from the pantry. Throw away spoiled, expired items. Remember to put the items that will expire sooner towards the front when you put them back. 2. Clean out the pantry shelves and doors. Funny odor? Place an open box of baking soda near the front (don’t want to accidentally knock it over). 3. Have a plan before you return items to the pantry or racks. 4. Place like items together (ex. breakfast items, baking ingredients, oils, vinegars & condiments, etc.). 5. Place items you use often at eye level whenever possible, especially those in jars so they don’t fall and break. 6. Place lighter items at the bottom (no reason to lift heavy items). 7. Contain smaller items in plastic, washable containers. Clear containers allow you to see what is inside making the items more accessible. That reduces the need to label the containers. 8. Put the specialty spices and items that you don’t use often in the same container. Find easy to make recipes online (I love foodnetwork.com), bookmark them or print them out and keep them with your specialty items. Try those recipes and enjoy the specialty items while they are fresh. There is no point wasting your money, right? 9. Keep a double-sided sticky pad on the inside of the cupboard door. When you are running low on an item be sure to jot it down and start your… read more →
If you wake up in the middle of the night and don’t want to have to turn the light on to find something, try this. A little light on the inside of a drawer. Just tap it and the light goes on. Get what you need and go back to sleep. It is also terrific if you lose power because it runs on a battery. ‘great for your guests, too.
As a Professional Organizer I am attuned to working with individuals who have special needs. That may include health issues, disabling conditions, aging, and emotional issues. All individuals have special needs to lesser and greater extents, and all of us can benefit from regularly organizing our space or our time. Some considerations… Do you start things and get distracted, finding it difficult to finish tasks? Do you feel scattered and don’t know where to start; feel overwhelmed or discouraged? Are you frequently reaching and bending to access items that you use frequently? Do you have difficulty estimating the time that you need to get places or get things done; often late for appointments? The process of organizing may include ways to label and store items. Using clearly marked, easy to see labels and clear containers is often very helpful. Organizing for safety means placing items within easy reach and limiting the height of piles to prevent things from falling. It may also require removing items that pose a danger such as areea rugs. Lowering hooks and racks make it easier to hang clothing and backpacks up, too. Do you have a question about a situation you are contending with? Write or call me for assistance!
Did you know that accumulation of unused items can cause… safety hazards health hazards inefficient use of space financial damage conflict in relationships emotional stress negative role models for children, and more? It’s never too late to take charge of the “outside” and feel better “inside”. You don’t have to make excuses, feel ashamed, or assign blame any more. People accumulate a variety of items including those things they think they might need someday. Years later it is apparent that someday hasn’t arrived and the stuff is still taking up space. Make a commitment to stop wasting space and your hard earned money starting today. Identify a space that you want to clear. Start small so that you feel a sense of relief and accomplishment. Perhaps the junk drawer in the kitchen is a starting place before you tackle the garage. Then set aside time and if possible, recruit help to get it done. Get rid of damaged, spoiled, infested, dust collecting, and generally unusable items. Clear out items that may topple over or cause you to trip. Take stock of what you have in the space and ask yourself, does it need to be stored in this space or are you more likely to use it if it is more accessible? Start using it and stop buying more until your stock is depleted. Don’t need it? Donate it, someone else will want it. The secret to organizing? It’s a process. It’s never done. The key is getting a manageable system in place so that it is easier to maintain. What are you waiting for?
Tip #1: Work backwards! the best way to be prepared for your departure is to follow this simple travel tip. What needs to be done before the day you depart? Make a list for everything that needs to be finished at home, work, etc. Manage your time so that you don’t save everything until the last minute. Tip #2: Go travel with less. Packing light means bringing only what you need. Remember, you are going to have fun and/or work, you are not moving. Tip #3: Travel worry-free. Share your itinerary with a friend or neighbor. Make duplicate copies of your identification, including your credit cards and leave copies with your travel information. Want more organizing travel tips and a detailed, customized list? Contact Outside In Organizer and Makeovers.
Summer is a great time to organize small spaces. Whether it’s a spice cupboard or a closet you want to purge, sort, categorize…all in a way that makes sense to you. Consider these 3 criteria to get the best results: 1. Access – store items you use often in easy to reach places for safe, efficient use. 2. Function – store items near the places they will be used. 3. Grouping – items can be grouped by use, size, color, etc. For instance, instead of storing spices alphabetically you can group them by type of cuisine (Mediterranean, Asian, etc.). Got questions? I’ve got answers!
We all know people who don’t seem affected by piles of magazines, clothes on the closet floor, or unopened mail. One person’s clutter may be another person’s breaking point! So, what’s so bad about clutter? Like any kind of excess clutter can be create a health risk, safety hazard, time waster, money loser, or social embarrassment. Outside In Organizer and Makeovers suggests that you consider the benefits of keeping things uncluttered on a regular basis. There is a difference between minimalism and what looks like a natural disaster. I suggest a happy medium so that you can enjoy: moving safely in a space opening cupboards and closets without things falling out a dust-free environment an aesthetically pleasing home or office, and more. If you’re overwhelmed, recruit help from a non-judgmental friend or hire an Organizer. Use the 1 at a Time Rule, work in one area at a time and don’t distract yourself by trying to organize more than one space. Set a timer to take breaks or simply establish a limit. Make it fun, put on some energetic music, wear comfortable clothing, take before and after photos!
Outside In Organizer takes the approach that getting things in order makes one feel calmer and more focused internally. Preparing for an emergency or disaster is not fail-proof but there are logical precautions that just make sense. Wouldn’t you feel better if you and your family took those precautions? For instance, make sure that if you are traveling, that you share your itinerary and contact information with a reliable friend or relative. Does your neighbor or friend have a key in the event that they need to gain access to your house? Here are some other areas to consider: Your vehicle – have a backpack(s) in your car filled with items in case of emergency. If you have to abandon the car at least you can carry these items hands-free. Have an extra pair of comfortable walking shoes and clean socks for each family member in the event that you have to walk some distance. Keep an extra cell phone charger, a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, bottled water and protein bars in your bag as well. Copies of records, documents – If you live in an area vulnerable to natural disasters it’s a great idea to have a set of important documents with a friend or relative who lives elsewhere. That will enable you to access important information for insurance and medical purposes. Want more ideas? The internet has a wealth of information to empower, prepare, and focus your efforts. It’s time well-spent. Send me your best ideas…
Things to think about BEFORE an emergency: 1. DOCUMENTS, RECORDS: Do you safely store important documents? What about important phone numbers, account numbers, passwords, medical records and so on? Do you have a current household inventory with accompanying receipts? 2. SAFETY MEASURES: Do you have a supply of flashlights, fresh batteries, candles, lighters, bottled water, foods that don’t require cooking, a first aid kit? Where are these items kept and do all of the family members know where they are? 3. VALUABLES: In case of an evacuation, do you have valuable items that are in a portable carrying case or backpack that can be accessed quickly and carried away easily? Are they in a central location near an exit? If you only had 30 minutes to pack your car and leave what would you want to take with you (in addition to family members and pets)? Lots of checklists are available to help you prepare in advance for an emergency. Get organized and do it now!