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.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Organizing Drawers

A good plce to start decluttering is by tackling one drawer, especially if you're overwhelmed with your clutter. By accomplishing that one task, it's extremely fulfilling and it gives you the motivation to go on to other tasks.

Use small boxes or crates you can pick up at the dollar store, Target, etc., to organize like items. In your bathroom, organizing boxes can hold make-up; dental hygiene, meds, razors, and other such items. In the kitchen, use boxes to hold measuring spoons, twist ties, small utensils, corn-on-the-cob holders, and paring knives. You can also use drawer organizers in the office and in the kitchen for your junk drawer. In your child's room, small crates can hold toys with many small pieces, art supplies, or collections.

By having drawer organizers, your drawer is no longer an abyss where things are never seen again. What a time-saver to go to that drawer and find what you need! And you remove a source of frustration and chaos from your life - how peaceful!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Tackle the Clutter before Christmas

Take the time before you decorate for Christmas to attack your clutter. Divide your home into four areas and tackle one area each week before Thanksgiving. Before you clutter your house with Christmas decorations, cards, extra food, etc., clear out unecessary stuff.

As you comb each area, ask yourself if you've used it recently, if it adds value to your life, if it has a home.

One area should include your child's room(s) to make room for Christmas presents.

I found out yesterday that at some Goodwill Stores, you receive a discount coupon if you bring in things to donate! Just be careful not to fill up the areas you decluttered!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Feeling Overwhelmed? Organize Your Priorities

Today I was feeling overwhelmed by some tasks before me - several of which are new territory, things I've not done before - marketing my new books, arranging for book signings, etc. As I always tell my clients: take bite-sized chunks and break it down into small pieces.

So, I followed my own advice and prioritized my to-do list, determining what was most important for me to do. Then I bit off a couple of those tasks and got rid of them! It helps to just get moving forward when you're feeling paralyzed, doesn't it? The hardest part is just getting started sometimes.

I felt much better and even got to do some things farther down on my priority list that I really wanted to do!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Donating Business Clothing for Job Interviews

Yesterday my husband and I swapped out our clothes from summer to winter. As we both have lost some weight, we have quite a few clothes to donate. I recently watched a video about a women's shelter in our area, and I am very motivated to donate toward helping these women get back on their feet. Many of these women have had successful jobs, been downsized (or had other devastating circumstances), and end up at the shelter.

Access, the name of our shelter (www.access-shelter.org), has a two-year program for a small number of women to help them get out of debt, get education, find a job, etc. Having clothing to wear to work or job interviews gives them a leg up. As you swap out your clothes and evalute them, consider donating business attire you no longer wear to a local shelter or www.DressforSuccess.org or www.CareerGear.org (for men).

Don't forget to calculate your tax deduction. The Salvation Army has a valuation guide to help you determine the value of the clothing you donate. They give a high estimate and a low estimate, and you can determine where your clothing falls within those guidelines. The amount is based on what your clothing would sell for at a consignmen shop. http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/www_usn.nsf/vw-search/85256DDC007274DF80256B80003D22FC?opendocument

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Get Started on Your Christmas Cards

Why wait until later to start addressing your Christmas cards? You can do it now while you watch TV or a movie or during other down time. It takes no time to whip through those addresses! Just make sure to update your address list first.

If you include a letter in your Christmas mailings, start thinking about what you want to say, if you want to include a picture, etc. By doing these tasks now, you save stress during the hectic holidays.

I've started sending out Christmas letters via email to those whose email addresses I know. It saves a bunch of time, money and the environment!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Organize for the Holidays

October is a great month to get ahead on some of your holiday organizing. For example, before things get more hectic, take some time this month to clean your carpets. That way, your house will look spiffy for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Plan to do it on a day when the entire household can help move things around, if others are of the age to help. If not, farm out your small children or take a personal day off from work so you can focus on the task. Pick a cool day so your heater will help the carpet dry out.

Or have someone come in and clean your carpets for you. Make sure you understand what they will do and will not do - move furniture, etc.

While the furniture is moved, take the time to dust or clean those hard-to-reach areas.

While replacing furniture, declutter as you go - get rid of unnecessary or excessive stuff that is cluttering up your house.

What a wonderful job done! Don't you feel lighter and very organized?!?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Winterizing your garden

It's time to think about winterizing your garden, depending on when cold weather arrives in your area. Here in Ohio, we're looking at some cooler weather in a day or two after unusually warm days. So it's time to think about getting ready. My husband drained the hose and rolled it up on its carrier and stored it in the garage.

We're hoping to get one last coat of paint on the fence before cold weather hits. We've taken out the tomato plants and annual flowers, shored up the raspberry bushes, replanted some carnations I started this year, fertiziled the grass (this is the best time to do it - not spring), and trimmed down some of the perennial flowers.

You may want to put winter tools (shovels, snow blowers, etc. closer to the front of your garage and place gardening supplies and tools toward the back. We'll eventually move our patio table into the garage.

Some of my herbs have been prolific, so I'm trying my hand at drying them. A friend suggested cutting the herbs, washing them off, banding them with rubber bands (so that when they dry out and decrease in size they don't fall down), and hang them upside down in an area with lots of ventilation. My kitchen has a peg board above a wide doorway, which hopefully will be a perfect spot.

I'm hoping to give my home-made dried herbs as Christmas gifts to friends and family. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Home repairs create opportunities to deep clean

We just had our windows replaced. Even though it has been a mess, it has created some opportunity to do some deep cleaning. With all the furniture moved out from the windows, we used the chance to vacuum in those spots rarely vacuumed. It adds extra work, but in the long run, it's easier than having to move all the furniture at another time.

If you have a home project going on, take advantage of such opportunities to do a little extra cleaning if the chance presents itself.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Declutter as You Change Your Seasonal Clothes

Fall is a great time to declutter and purge. The crisp air is somehow energizing.

If you must swap out your clothes to prepare for cool weather coming, take the opportunity to purge. Ask yourself: Do I love this article of clothing? Does it make me feel fabulous? Have I been waiting too long to get into this size? Is it out of date? Is it shabby? Have I worn it in the last year?

Do the same with shoes, purses, belts, underwear and socks.

Make sure you leave out a couple of warm weather outfits for those occasional warm days still lurking around.

Next, organize your clothing according to style (casual, dressy casual, dressy), type (pants, sweaters, etc.), length (short sleeve, 3/4 sleeve, long sleeve; long pants, capri length, etc.), and color - put like colors together.

With a glance you can evaluate your shoppping needs. And getting dressed in the morning just got easier! Now your closet will have breathing room - your clothes will not get wrinkled from being too crowded.

Doesn't that feel good?

Friday, October 5, 2007

Fall decluttering

Fall is a great time to declutter a room! We recently decluttered our rec room - we wanted to take out a bookcase to create more space, and we needed to get rid of enough books to do that! It allowed us to rearrange furniture and create a game area. How refreshing to pare down even more than you think possible! Gives you a lean feeling.

To declutter a room, envision what you want to accomplish in that room. Take out everything that does not lend itself to the functions of that room. Go through everything in the room and determine what is still useful. The items that don't belong in that room can be placed in a more appropriate location or given to charity, a friend, or to the trash bin if unusable. Reorganize, if necessary, to achieve a more functional room - putting like items together. See Three Steps to Decluttering for a step-by-step guide to decluttering (www.1-2-3GetOrganized.com).