Monday, September 18, 2017

Getting Your Car Ready for Winter

It's not winter yet - but we have snow at some of our higher elevations - so - let's get ready for winter!

Check your tires. It might be time for snow tires soon!

Check to make sure that you have the essentials needed for winter - like a snow brush & ice scraper. It you don't - get some.

Make sure that your car is in working order and all of your fluids are filled up. 

Living out in the west - and driving long distances without a town or gas station in sight - brings about it's own problems.

Unlike being in a big city where there is a gas station and help within a block - living out in the west - with lots of land and few people - presents it's own challenges.

So – the question is ..... are you prepared ?

Now is the time to stock your car with winter essentials.

In your backseat:
* Snow brush
* Ice scraper (or two – various sizes)
* Blanket
* Gloves (keep extra’s in your car)
* Hat
* Scarf

In your glove compartment:

* Paper
* Pen
* Matches (in something waterproof)
* Candle (in a tin) – this can be used if your flashlight doesn’t work or for extra heat
* Tissues
* Hand wipes
* Cell Phone Car Charger
* Flashlight (make sure the batteries are good – or get a windup one)

In your trunk:

* Salt, cat litter or something to throw under your tires if you get stuck
* Extra Windshield Fluid
* Extra Antifreeze
* Spare Tire
* Shovel
* Jumper Cables
* First Aid Kit (basic)
* Towel (this can also be used as an extra blanket)
* Rope
* Bungee Cords
* Duct Tape (so many uses!)
* Tire Gauge
* Tire Repair kit
* Road Flares
* Fire Extinguisher (small one)
* Plastic Garbage Bags

If you are going to be driving outside of the city limits I would also suggest that you keep water and snacks in your car, especially if you have kids. You never know when an accident might keep you tied up for a long time and you will need water to keep you hydrated and snacks to keep the kids occupied.

Being prepared is always the best defense. Now relax and embrace the weather.

Organizational Consulting Services

 Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life

Monday, September 11, 2017

Clean Out Your Purse, Briefcase, Backpack...

Most people think about cleaning and organizing their home - at least once in a while. But how many people think about cleaning out their purse, briefcase or backpack? I mean more than once a year?

A lot of people just throw in their credit card receipts, coupons, notes and everything else into their purse and then spend a lot of time rummaging through it to find what they need. They never take the time to clean it out.

So - let's start by emptying your purse. Take everything out. Put things into "like" piles. Including garbage.

Now start by throwing out any "garbage". Old tissues, old receipts, old gum wrappers.....

Then get rid of any old, expired coupons.

Then throw out any old notes or scraps of paper.

Get all of the loose change and put it back into your change purse/wallet.

Anything that does not belong in your purse - get rid of it or put it back where it belongs.

Only keep the essentials in your purse.

The same thing goes for your briefcase. Empty it. Get rid of any garbage. Get rid of anything that is not a current project you are working on.

Backpacks. Kids tend to put everything but the kitchen sink in their backpack. Toys don't belong at school. Books that are months past due at the library should be returned. Reclaim your tupperware.

Get into the habit of cleaning out your purse, briefcase or backpack - at least once a month.

Your back will thank you!

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life 

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, September 4, 2017

Disasters - Emergency Preparedness - Be Ready

 It's been a rough few months our here in Montana. Fires are everywhere and new ones seem to be cropping up constantly. It's a scary time.

Throughout the rest of the United States there are floods.

 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 & 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

Don't forget a list of phone numbers of family members and other important phone numbers that you will probably need.

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

Be prepared for any emergency. You never know when it will happen to you.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, August 28, 2017

Productivity - How to Make It Happen

What is productivity?  According to the dictionary - it means "being efficient".
Are you being "efficient" in your life?  Are you being "efficient" in your "time management"?

By being organized - and purposeful - in your day - you can get more done with less stress.

So - how can you make it happen?

Start by planning your day - the night before. Even if you don't work "outside" the home.

Having some type of a calendar (either paper or electronic) - can make a huge difference.  Writing things down is a lot easier than trying to remember everything!

Write down all of your appointments on your calendar.  When going to your appointments - remember to leave yourself enough time to get there. Plan for traffic or other unexpected delays.

The night before your appointment - get everything ready that you might need (if it's a doctors appointment you might to take an updated list of medications or vitamins and write down any new problems or symptoms).

If you have a meeting scheduled - get everything ready for your meeting. Don't wait until the last minute.

Plan your day to make the best use of your time. Plan your driving so that you are not driving from one end of the city to the other numerous times.

If you can combine errands - so much the better.

Pack your lunch the night before. Get your clothes ready the night before. These two things alone will save you a lot of time and stress in the morning. If you start your day out stressed - it will continue through the day.  By starting with a stress free morning you will be more productive.

During working hours try to limit your interruptions. If people stop in your office - ask them to come back at a more convenient time - or schedule a meeting at a later time - so that you can finish your project.

Limit the amount of time you spend checking your email. Check your email a few times a day - instead of every time you receive a message. This will save you a lot of wasted time.

Being productive takes practice.

Start with small steps and soon you will be on your way to saving time and reducing your stress.

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life 

Organizational Consulting Services

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

I Don't Have Enough Space!

"Help - I don't have enough space!!!!".   

Have you ever uttered those words?  I think that most people have - at one time or another. But - the problem is not space - but the accumulation of stuff - and clutter!

Having more space is not an invitation to just spread your clutter out more.

Space and clutter really have nothing to do with each other. You can have a small space that is clutter free and you can have a small space that is organized and holds everything that you need.

The key is......... you guessed it - good organization and good utilization of the space!

First, you have to decide what you want the space to be. What use will it have?

Then, you have to have the right ingredients, such as the right piece of furniture, bookshelf, containers, bins ....

Next, you need to add in the other ingredients such as all of your bath products (in one bin), all of your cleaning products (in one bin), all of your craft products (in one bin)....... 

Get the idea?   Sort like with like...  By keeping all like products together you can easily find them, plus they are all contained in one central spot - instead of being spread out all over the house.

This will save you time when you need them and you will not have to search the entire house!

Once you start containing like items together you will notice that all of a sudden you actually have more space!

Another tip is to fold everything the same way - so that things are consistent - and they will stack better and give you more room.

By using only one type of container - that is easily stackable - you will save space.

There are a lot of things that you can do to create more space. So - before you buy more stuff or another house to store your stuff - try rearranging your belongs to fit into the space you already have.

In an organized manner of course!

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life 

Organizational Consulting Services

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Getting Your Calendar Ready for 2018

It might only be August - but I like to get a head start on organizing my calendar for the new year. I'm picky about the type of calendar/daytimer that I use. Therefore, I start looking early - so that I can get one that works for me. 

I like one that has a month at a glance so that I can see all of the appointments I have during the month. This helps me spread out my appointments and obligations so that I have plenty of time for family and friends and don't feel stressed because I try to cram too many things into one week.

I start my new calendar by putting everyone's birthday and anniversaries on my calendar. I use a different colored pen for birthdays so that I can easily distinguish them from my appointments.

Then I highlight all of the important holidays. 

Next - you can add in any vacations that are already planned for the new year, any days that your business/school is closed, any appointments that are already made.

I also add notes to my calendar - about 4 months ahead of time - to make any doctors/dentists  appointments that I might need.

You could also add notes or reminders about ....anything. Write it down so that you don't worry about forgetting important events.

Get a head start on planning for next year. By doing it now instead of in December - you will avoid the stress of the holidays and might actually start the new year off organized!

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life 

Organizational Consulting Services

Sunday, August 13, 2017

A great APP to help you get ORGANIZED!

Get yourself, your family and your schedule ORGANIZED! 

Here's a great app that will help!

Sign up for Cozi and get $15 to spend on school supplies!

Join the 20 million people who have simplified family life with Cozi. Try Cozi - it's free!

Cozi Family Organizer

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life 

Organizational Consulting Services