Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Graduation time

We went to the high school graduation of one of our former foster children last night. It was so nice to see the product of her good choices! She received a free ride for the first year at the college she will attend in the fall! Go Heather!

We gave her my CD titled Three Steps to Time Management for the College Student plus some money. If you're looking for a practical gift for high school graduates going to college, this mini-book not only walks students through creating a plan that allows them to live according to their priorities and passions, but also includes a section of study tips.

If you're looking for a college graduation gift or a wedding gift, our Hassle Free Dinners gives step-by-step instructions on cooking quick, balanced meals. It includes dinner menus for 52 weeks, plus grocery lists for each week, streamlining time in the kitchen as well as time at the grocery store.

You can find these at www.1-2-3GetOrganized.Com. How's that for shameless promotion? :-)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Organizing Your Magazines

Isn't it amazing how quickly paper accumulates? Our magazine rack was overflowering and my husband went through it and got rid of a bunch. It was hard to throw away some of mine because I felt I should read them, but when faced with reality, I knew I wouldn't. When he had culled down the number, he put them back in our rectangular wooden magazine rack standing up, rather than lying one on top of the other. Now we can leaf through our magazines with ease when we want to find a particular one. I thought that was a clever idea!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Spring Organizing

I organized my pantry/laundry room and office yesterday. I like to do it every few months (not usually on the same day, though!) to clear out the clutter. New things come in and stuff that seemed important isn't anymore.

I like to organize my canned goods according to food colors - all the red stuff together, all the green stuff together. I put all the carbohydrates together (pasta, rice, couscous), baking items together, drinks together, etc. It's easy to find stuff and easy to put things away.

My pantry is open shelving in my basement laundry room, so I'm able to use height - the space above the top shelf - great place for paper products, large serving pieces, large baskets, etc. I tried to organize things according to how often I use them - those serving pieces/appliances I use less often I placed in less accessible places than those items I use more often. I also made summertime stuff more accessible than wintertime stuff.

In the laundry section, I organized all the cleaning supplies together and all the laundry paraphernalia together. Got rid of outdated supplies. Cleaned off the drier of accumulated stuff - a clean surface!

Went through all the drawers and shelves in my office and sorted according to categories, tossed lots of paper, and filed. I have a few hanging files that contain the things I work on most. If I'm faithful to drop them into the files, my desk stays cleaner! By the time I went through the sorting process, I found things I had been looking for and even ended up with an empty shelf! I placed things I used most often closer to me and those I use less often on high shelves.

It feels so nice to have things organized and neat. It's also helpful to be reminded of what I have, where it is, and how I can maintain it.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Organizing your garden

This year I decided to try planting herbs and flowers from seed. Some worked and others didn't. I was laughing at myself this morning while I was replanting some of the flowers. I forgot to keep the seed packets for the flowers, so I'm planting all these flowers and I have no idea what they are! Lesson for the day: keep your seed packets - that must be why people put their seed packets in the garden next to what they planted!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Garage sale time!

According to a recent Ebay, Inc. survey, the average household has $3000 worth of clutter! Now that the weather is turning nice, you may want to cash in on that clutter with a garage sale or selling on Ebay (www.ebay.com).

From personal experience, unless you have some furniture or large items, it may not be worth your time to have a garage sale. Take a tax deduction instead, and donate it to your local charity.

If you are up for a garage sale, start collecting clutter! Put an ad in the paper, listing any special items that may draw buyers. Make sure you register your garage sale if your local officials require it. Your local newspaper ad section usually has the info you need to do so if it is required.

Put up signs on busy intersections near your house. You can find signs already on a stand at your local Home Depot (
www.HomeDepot.Com). You just fill in the pertinent details. Make sure you take them down afterward.

If you have large items or lots of stuff, arrange with a local charity to stop by the afternoon of your sale to take your unsold items off your hands.

Make it easy for your potential buyers to see your stuff - if they can see it as they are driving by, they are more likely to stop. Use card tables and other raised surfaces for display rather than placing things on the ground.

Arrange items attractively to entice buyers. My mom even puts jewelry on the hanger with an outfit she's trying to sell, with shoes below.

Group like-priced items together. Have a $1 table, a $3 table, etc. This eliminates having to put stickers/prices on each item. Make a list for yourself of items on each table. Sadly, people will switch stickers or lie about the price. This will give you a reference point should this happen or should things get placed back on the wrong table.

Display jewelry on plastic mesh canvas you get at the craft store. It's easily seen and less likely to be stolen. For pierced earrings, attach the backs through the holes in the mesh. Use twist ties to attach bracelets or necklaces.

Have your garage sale items organized so all you have to do is set it up in the morning. Be prepared for diehard garage salers to arrive early. Be prepared to haggle. Make sure you have plenty of change and plastic bags.

After your sale, make a list of all the items that didn't sell and immediately load it into your car and take it to a charity if you didn't arrange for it to be picked up. Don't let it go back into your house!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Check out Mom2MomConnection

I've discovered a great website for moms: Mom2momconnection.com. Heather Ivester is a mother of five, and committed to parenting, writing, and Christian living. Her site contains links to sites that match her passions, a plethora of book reviews, and inspiration for mothering. You'll enjoy her humor and her insight. Hope you enjoy wandering around her site. You'll find us mentioned on her recent blog:

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Substitute croutons for bread crumbs

The other night I made Swedish meatballs for dinner (Week 22 from my Hassle Free Dinners CD) and substituted croutons for breadcrumbs. Just whizzed them around in my mini-chopper for a few seconds. They were multi-grain croutons, which added to the fiber and nutrition of the meatballs. Everyone raved! The meatballs are cooked in the microwave - a great dish when the weather gets hot!

Monday, May 14, 2007

A place for your cell phone/ipod/camera chargers

Now that we have so many little devices that must be charged, there is a solution to the clutter it creates! Charger valets hold your devices while they are charging.

You can find a black or brown faux leather valet that charges four devices from www.Spacesavers.com for $29.99: http://www.spacesavers.com/cellphone.html.

Brookstone sells a wooden valet for $75 that holds six: http://www.brookstone.com/store/product.asp?pid=543447&wid=100&cid=59&sid=624&search_type=subcategory&prodtemp=t2&cm_re=A_PRC*100*624_543447

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Replace Your Computers every Four Years

David Carnoy, executive editor of CNET, a technology review web site, recommends replacing your desk top and laptop computers every four years unless your use is at a very basic level. In that amount of time, technology advances will dictate a hefty upgrade. Even if you are savvy enough to upgrade your old computer yourself, it will likely cost as much to do it as it would to buy a new computer. The same is true with laptops, which are much more complicated than desk tops to upgrade. From When to Replace Common Household Items by Kelly B. Grant, www.smartmoney.com.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Five causes to disorganization

Organizational expert Vicki Norris from HGTV (www.HGTV.com) believes that there are five underlying causes that might explain why people are diorganized:

Situational Disorganization: A precipitating life event that causes disruption and disorganization in your life.

Habitual Disorganization: Bad habits that have developed over time.

Historical Disorganization: When your upbringing (either orderly or disorderly) impacts your state of order.

Social Disorganization: When you are influenced by your social world to create and exist with disorder as a way of life.

Chronic Disorganization: When we live in a chronic, debilitating state of disorder even though we have tried and failed to help ourselves.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Football, Middle School and Time Management

Braylon Edwards, wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns, gave this advice to middle school students at Nordonia Middle School in Northfield, Ohio yesterday:

"If there is anything you want to do, you can do it. No ifs, ands or buts about it. You can always make time to do what you want to do. It's called time management. That's the biggest thing I learned in college.

I'm not lucky. I worked hard to be here. But nobody wants to see that -- that I didn't smoke, drink or do drugs in high school, that I got good grades, that I even put females and social life on hold. But I'm having my fun NOW. I just got back from Puerto Rico from doing a photo shoot. Anything is possible, achievable and doable for you. As long as you use your time wisely.''

Isn't that motivating?

For the entire article in the Akron Beacon Journal see http://www.ohio.com/mld/ohio/news/17199491.htm?source=yahoodist&content=ohi_news

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Keeping cats off furniture

As I was organizing a client's home, she told me how she keeps her cat off the back of her couch while she is at work: she places foil over the back of the couch. For some reason, it keeps the cat away!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Great info for college students, their parents, and college professors

I have recently beeen made aware of a great resource for college students, their parents and college professors: www.campuscalm.com. Maria Pascucci provides tons of insight from her own experience, as well as drawing on experts in the field. Her goal is to help you be your best you in college - emotionally, physically, vocationally and more! She has a bi-weekly ezine which continually feeds you with valuable college-related information. Check it out today!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Storing seasonal shoes

Top 10 organizing tips from HGTV viewers: "I store out-of-season shoes in shoe boxes in the top of my closet. I write a description of the summer shoe on one end of the box for storage during winter. I use the same box for my winter shoes and write the description on the other end." - Diane Walton. For the other nine organizing tips from HGTV viewers, click on the link below.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Wrapping Up Today So Tomorrow Runs Smoothly

At the end of the day, take stock of what you have accomplished and celebrate! Are there unfinished jobs that need to go onto tomorrow's list? Think through other tasks that need to be accomplished tomorrow. Now, prioritize your list so you are ready to go when you start your day!