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.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I'm Moving to Montana!

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, my husband and I are moving to Montana to be near our daughter and son-in-law who are expecting our first grandchild!

As a result, I will not be posting for a bit. I'll talk to you soon. J

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Some of My Favorite Organizing Products - The Epson 1500 Scanner

We are moving to Montana! We have felt for several months that it was time to move on from being houseparents for teenage girls. So we decided to move near our daughter and son-in-law who live in Bozeman, MT. 

The day after we made our decision, they told us they were expecting our first grandchild! Icing on the cake. Our other daughter who will be relocating to Kazakhstan in the spring, will finally have all her family in one place when she is back in the States.

I will be continuing my online and organizing businesses plus I'll do some coaching as well. My husband has a couple of job possibilities. And we have found a lovely home. So things are falling into place. As you can imagine we have been crazy busy getting ready!

In light of our move, we have been downsizing our files, something we have been wanting to do for a long time. The Epson Workforce GT-1500 Document Scanner has made it so simple!
You can load a stack of documents onto the tray and it does the rest! We have thrown away boxes and boxes of files. The only downside I see is that you cannot edit the documents once you scan them. Maybe it would be a possibility with sophisticated software, but I don't know. 

But for our purposes, it is perfect! At the risk of sounding like I am being paid by Epson to promote their scanner (I'm not), here are the features they list:
  • Achieve superior clarity and detail with remarkable 1200 x 2400 dpi resolution
  • Take on any project with easy, one-touch scanning to PDF, email and more
  • Enjoy greater productivity with scans up to 20 ppm
  • Quickly scan stacks of documents with the high-capacity Automatic Document Feeder — holds up to 40 pages at one time, for quick and efficient scanning
  • Organize scanned documents with the easy-to-use document management software included
  • Scan originals in a variety of sizes — from 5.9 x 5.9 to 8.5 x 14
  • Enjoy more efficient operation with exclusive ReadyScan LED technology — no warmup time and fast scanning speeds
  • Rest easy with earth-friendly LED technology — no mercury included and lower power consumption. 
We bought ours directly from Epson on sale for about $249. We're saving much more, though, since movers charge by the pound. And paper weighs a lot! We also have the satisfaction of lightening our possessions. Plus our files are on our computers when we need them. I'd say our Epson scanner is one of the best purchases we have made lately.
More on downsizing:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

College Time Management - Why Early Classes Predict Better Grades

I always took 8 o'clock classes in college, not necesarily because I wanted to, but because I worked every day at 1 pm and needed to get all my classes in before then.

A new study by psychology professors Serge Onyper and Pamela Thacher of St. Lawrence University explains why those who take earlier classes get better grades than those who start later. Those who have 8 am classes don't tend to stay out late and consume alcohol, whereas those who have later classes are more likely to go out with friends. 

"Those who choose later classes also tend to sleep longer and consume more alcohol and other substances," Thacher says, "while those who elect earlier classes may be more motivated to find ways to offset the early start time by making healthier choices about their daily living."

Even though the students in the study who had later classes received more sleep than those with earlier classes, their sleep may not have been optimum, as alcohol consumption disrupts sleep, according to Onyper.  

"Prior to this study, I advocated having classes start later in the morning, so that students could get more sleep," Thacher said. "But now, I would say that 8 or 8:30 a.m. classes are probably, for some students, going to be a much better choice."

More on college time management/sleep:
Three Steps to Time Management for the College Student

How Sleep Helps Keep Your Brain Organized

New Sleep Study Shows Risks of Acute and Chronic Sleep Loss

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Got Vinegar? An Inexpensive Home Remedy

How efficient to have a very inexpensive product that provides so many home remedies! I stole most of these ideas from Circle of Moms.

Vinegar can reduce itching (cover area with cotton ball or cloth soaked in vinegar):
- from insect bites
- from plants, including poison ivy.

Vinegar removes fungi:
- For foot fungus, soak foot in warm water (1 gallon) and vinegar (1 cup) daily for several months. Follow soak with moisturizing lotion.
- For swimmer's ear, mix equal parts vinegar and rubbing alcohol. Drop in ear and let sit for a few seconds.
- For warts, soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar, place it over the wart and cover it with a bandage for several hours. Repeat until wart disappears. 

Vinegar relieves skin problems:
- It reduces the sting from a sunburn. Pour vinegar on a cloth and hold it on the sunburn. It will draw the heat out of the sunburn and reduce the sting.
- To prevent bruising, dab a vinegar-soaked cotton ball or cloth onto the area that has been bumped or hurt. 
- Add one quart vinegar to a hot bath once a month and soak for 20-30 minutes to reduce toxins.
- Quick zit cure: mix 1 tsp. salt and 3 Tbs. vinegar in a bowl and dab on blemishes using a cotton ball. Let sit 30 minutes, then rinse with lukewarm water.

Vinegar's healing properties:
- Take a swig of vinegar and your heartburn is gone!
- To reduce a fever, dip a cloth in a mixture of vinegar and water and wipe over the skin.

Vinegar for the hair:
- To remove lice, the vinegar in mayonnaise or Miracle Whip will do the trick. Saturate the head, cover with a shower cap or plastic bag for an hour, and wash out (it may take a few washes!). 
- For shiny hair, rinse hair with a little vinegar and water mixed. 
- Use apple cider vinegar instead of a cream rinse to detangle hair. Combine 1 cup vinegar to a gallon of warm water and pour over hair.
- Cure folliculitis (inflammation of hair follicles) by dabbing infected area with a cotton ball soaked in apple cider vinegar before bedtime. Leave on all night and rinse off in the morning.

More on vinegar uses:

Spring Cleaning Using Household Items - Vinegar

Vinegar - 10 Ways to Save Your Clothes!

Bugs in the Pantry?


Monday, September 12, 2011

National Preparedness Month - Are You Prepared for a Car Emergency?

We had a fun-filled weekend with our girls: the zoo, a movie, baking cookies, fishing, and a church picnic. We wore one girl out so much, that she slept 12 hours one night! 

We do a lot of driving, and a car emergency is always a possibility. Last week I found an interesting alternative to combustible flares for a car emergency: a life saver light. It's a flashlight/worklight that turns into a flasher. 

As you can see, pieces of the shaft spread out to become the base of the flasher. It operates on two C batteries, and flashes on and off when turned to that position. Otherwise it shines continually when on.

I only bought one at Gabriel Bros. for $3. I wanted to make sure it worked before buying more. I plan to go back and buy several more to put in both cars. If you don't have a Gabriel Bros., go to Life Saver Light.  It's one of those "as seen on TV" products, so you might be able to find them in stores that carry such items.

More on car safety:

Clutter in Your Car = Danger

Organize an Emergency Kit for Your Car

Driving - Not a Time to Multi-Task


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Some of My Favorite Organizing Products - Tall Laundry Hampers

My friend Margaret went home yesterday - such a nice visit! And we're getting a new foster daughter today. So that brings us up to three girls in the house. As you can imagine, laundry is done quite often here! Thankfully, the girls do their own laundry.

As I've posted before, my husband and I sort our dirty clothes in laundry hampers as we take them off. This saves clutter in a couple of aspects: 

- sorting is done as you go, rather than having a sorting explosion every time you do laundry

- when a laundry hamper is full, it can be taken to the washing machine as needed.

This is what ours looks like:

Our are in the bottom of our bathroom closet (we took out the bottom shelf). In the past we have also stored them in our bedroom closet or in a corner of our bedroom. 

We have one for whites (hot water), one for lights (warm water), one for darks (cold water), one for delicates, and one for towels and sheets (hot water).

These laundry hampers come with lids, but we removed the lids for ease of use. The lids don't fit in our closet, but if I were storing them in my bedroom, I might leave them on. Unless the extra step of lifting the lids would keep us from putting our clothes away ... then they would be off in a flash!

They also come with ($16.95) or without rollers ($14.95) . Rollers would be nice if it's a distance to your laundry room. They also come in an oval shape, which seems less efficient to me. Sterilite hampers are available at Walmart and Amazon.  

More on laundry:

Shaving a Few Minutes Off Laundry Time

Shaving a Few Minutes Off Laundry Time, Part 2

Laundry Tips from Professional Organizers, Part 3


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

National Preparedness Month - Emergency Supplies

I'm having a delightful time with my friend Margaret who is visiting from Pennsylvania. Long-time friends are a blessing, aren't they? 

Now on to a more serious topic ...

As we have seen lately, millions of people have had to live with no electricity for extended periods of time. If you needed to remain in your home without electricity for any length of time, would you have what you need? 

Here's a list of the essentials:
- cash - ATMs won't work 
- 1 gallon of water per person per day for 3-7 days
- manual can opener
- nonperishable food
- prescription meds and non prescription meds
- toilet paper
- diapers/etc.
- first aid kit and supplies
- flashlights
- batteries
- a battery-powered lantern
- NOAH weather radio (available at Best Buy)
- extra batteries for cell phones
- waterproof container for important papers 
- family disaster plan 
- gas in your car(s)
- full propane tank for the grill
- charger for your cell phone that plugs into your car
- landline phone which does not require electricity to operate 

Only have your cell phone on when you need it. Text instead of call. Both of these actions save your phone's battery.

Hopefully you won't need to use these emergency supplies, but if a crisis occurs, you'll be so glad you planned ahead!

More on National Preparedness Month:

National Preparedness Month - Are You Ready for an Emergency?

Can Your Loved Ones Find Your Important Documents?

Getting Your Affairs in Order