Monday, July 22, 2013

School Supplies - Get Organized for the Start of a New School Year

Summer is in full swing. There are a lot of activities to keep the kids busy. Swimming, sports camps, camping and hiking, playing with friends.

Who wants to think about school starting in a month?  No one - but if you go to the stores the school lists and school supplies are already lining the aisles. 

So - take advantage of the sales and get your school supplies out of the way now! Avoid the crowds of last minute shoppers. Avoid the stress!

Why wait until the week before school starts or for some people the day before school starts, to get organized and ready for school?  Eliminate the stress by planning ahead!

If you are just starting to send your kids to school for the first time you should also think about the end of school - all of the pictures and projects that the kids will be bringing home over the next year. Think about how you want to organize everything and buy the appropriate tools now while you are buying everything else for school. This will save you a lot of time and money later.

There are many different options for organizing your kids papers and projects. A Pendaflex with space for each grade. A 3 ring binder, a file box.... Whatever works for you. By thinking about it ahead of time your year will be a lot smoother.

Clothes:  Your kids will probably have grown over the summer. Go through their closets (yes, again - and tell them to stop growing already!). Make a list of what clothes they have and what clothes you will need to buy. Keep an eye out for the sales, but please don't get carried away!  Buy only what's on your list.

Let the kids help. Tell them to keep an eye out for the sales ans teach them to shop responsibly. It's never too early to start teaching them how to be organized!

Get the shopping out of the way and enjoy the rest of your summer!

Organizational Consulting Services

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

More Space - Less Clutter ?

A lot of people say "I don't have enough space - that's why my house is cluttered - if I had more closet space my house would be clean".

Well - I hate to burst anyones bubble - but space, clutter and clean have nothing to do with each other.

The amount of space that you have and the clutter all around you are two separate issues.  Just because you have a big house does not mean that you have an uncluttered house.  Or a clean house.  It just means that you have a big house.

The way that you use your space is the important issue. If you have things in a room that don't belong there - such as all of your bathroom products in your kitchen, brushes, makeup, hairdryer..... instead of in the bathroom where they belong... you will have clutter.

Oh - you don't have room in your bathroom?  Well - make some!  I know - sometimes it's not easy to find the space and sometimes you really don't have the space.  But more often than not I find that clients are not using their space effectively.  By adding some inexpensive shelving or bins you can contain all of your belongs where they belong and all of a sudden - you have space! 

"Like with like"  ..... that's an Organizers motto!  By keeping like products with like products you have solved one organizing issue.

By keeping all of the things that don't belong in a room out of the room - you have solved another organizing issue.

By neatly folding and putting things in a designated spot - instead of just shoving it in anywhere - you have solved another organizing issue.

It's not about space - it's about clutter.

And then there's "clean".   Having more space does not mean that you will have a clean house. It just means that you will have more space to mess up. Clean is a matter of degree - but that's a whole other topic.

If you can declutter your home or office first - then you can really see what needs to be cleaned and you can make all of the dust bunnies disappear. But if your home is so cluttered that you can't see the floor or any surfaces - chances are that you can't get to them to clean them.

So - the bottom line is - more space does not make a less cluttered or clean house.

So don't envy your neighbor with the big house.  They just have a lot more work to do!

Now - go and GET ORGANIZED !

Organizational Consulting Services 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Your Car and Summer Clutter

Summer means a lot of outside activities.  For us it's spending a lot of time camping and hiking. To avoid forgetting things and for those impromptu hikes and picnics I keep a lot of supplies that I might need in my car at all times.

I always have a few blankets and an old towel.  If the kids want to put their feet in the river I let them - knowing that I have a towel they can dry off on before I let them back into my car.

A plastic table drop - for use under a blanket in case the ground is slightly damp - or as a table cloth.

I always keep extra grocery store plastic bags - for a variety of uses. Garbage, collecting who knows what, vegetables that I picked from my community garden plot...and so many other uses.

Since I now belong to a community garden plot I also keep some gardening supplies for those impromptu trips to pull a few weeds.

A small plastic container for vegetables or to contain numerous things.

Your car contents should change as the season changes.

Think about how you live and what you do and make your car fit your lifestyle.

Happy Summer! 

Organizational Consulting Services 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Planning Ahead - Get Organized Before You Start - Any Project

No matter what project you are working or planning on doing in the future - planning ahead - being organized is crucial.

Sometimes it seems like too much trouble.  Sometimes it seems like a waste of time.  But it's always a good idea.

Craftsman have a saying  "measure twice and cut once".   It's a great and powerful saying.

It means that you should be prepared and know what you are going to do  - and make sure you are doing it correctly. Just like any project you are working on.

If you just randomly jump in and start working on your project without planning it out and thinking ahead - you might find yourself backtracking and doing more work - or possibly undoing some work you did - because it wasn't quite right or any number of other reasons.

I make a lot of lists. And I go over my lists before and after every event - and tweak the lists as life happens.  Things change.  Lists and plans should be fluid.

By constantly tweaking your lists you become more efficient. You find out that you really didn't need to pack XYZ - because you never used it. You might have - a long time ago - but  you don't now - so take it off of your list.

Being prepared and looking and planning ahead means that you call all of the necessary contractors well ahead of time before you are ready to start a project - instead of getting upset that nobody is available when you finally decide to start the project.

Planning ahead means that you take the time to think about the "big picture" and organize your thoughts and ideas.  To a lot of people this is a waste of time - but you will do it - if not in the beginning - then later when something unexpected occurs that you did not anticipate.

So if you are planning to move tomorrow - don't wait until the night before to call a moving company.  And don't be upset when everyone doesn't change their plans to help you.

Treat your personal life a little more like a business - be organized and prepared - and your life will be much less stressful.

Organizational Consulting Services