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.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Three Steps to Decluttering is on Kindle!

I'm happy to announce that my book Three Steps to Decluttering is now available on Kindle! 

As always, it is still available in print and as a download on 1-2-3 ... Get Organized. Happy decluttering!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you and yours! We are celebrating with both our daughters and son-in-law here. We've learned how to geo-cache, shared meals together, played games, cooked and baked together, laughed, and had great discussions. We look forward to another week of the same. Most of all we are grateful for the Reason for the season! 

Blessings on your Christmas and New Year - Bev

Friday, December 16, 2011

Organizing and Alzheimer's

I've been working with a client who has Alzheimer's. We organized her closet and dresser a couple of days ago. Today we are going to label shelves, drawers, and closet space. 

Why? Because, even though she was present when we organized, and we talked about where we had placed her things, she is already putting things away in random places.

Having the labels as prompts will help her "remember" where to put things. This system can also be used in the kitchen, bathroom and other locations where things are stored. 

It's frustrating for those who cannot remember simple things as well as for those caring for them. Labeling can remove a bit of that frustration for everyone involved.

More on Alheimer's:

In a Winter Rut? Here's How to Climb Out!

9 Ways to Enhance Your Health by Being Organized

Keeping Your Memory Sharp


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Needed: Experienced iPhone Users to Test Out My New iPhone App

I have written an iPhone app called Upscale Express Dinners, recipes for one or two people that are upscale yet quick and inexpensive. Meals have an average cost of less than $5 per person.

It's four weeks of simple recipes with grocery lists and easy instructions. 

You don't need to actually cook the meals, although it would be nice if you cooked a couple. What I really want is for you to get a feel for the app. Is it easy to use and maneuver? How do you like the look? Other likes and/or dislikes?

So, I need some app users to see if this app is pleasant to use. Just look it over for a few days and give me your review.

If you're interested in helping out, please comment below, or you can email me at Bev@1-2-3GetOrganized.com. 

Thanks so much for your help!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Get Creative with Leftovers for a Quick Meal

Instead of letting leftovers grow green fuzz, it's fun to repurpose them into a quick meal. Not only is it efficient, but it's economical, too. And you may be able to disguise leftovers into something new for those who object to leftovers.

Last week I had some leftover bruschetta from our Christmas party, and some leftover rice from a previous meal. So I defrosted some tilapia and cooked it in a non-stick skillet with the bruschetta and heated up the rice in the microwave. With some grapes, it made a complete, very tasty and quick five-minute meal. 

Whenever I cook rice, I always cook extra. Even if I don't use it in the next few days, I'll freeze it and defrost it in the microwave when I need it, saving time. Fried rice is another meal option, too.

Of course, a big pot of soup is a wonderful catch-all. It's a great meal the day before grocery shopping - a nice way to get rid of all those little bits of veggies and leftovers. Spice it boldly with pepper or some red pepper flakes to give it a zing!

We had a ham steak recently, and I put the bone and some leftover ham in split pea soup later in the week and made a butternut and ham bisque another time.

Leftover pasta goes nicely in stir fries. Or mix it with Italian dressing, your choice of veggies, meat, and cheese, and it's a pasta salad for dinner tomorrow night! I'm not too fond of pasta in soups, though, as it gets soggy if it's cooked very long.

When I cook London broil, I cook twice what we need and it morphs into a stir fry or fajitas on another day.

I always feel such a satisfaction when I can turn my leftovers into a tasty second meal, and especially so if it's a quick one. What about you?

More on leftovers:

Cook It Once, Serve It Twice

Piggy-Back Dinners

Three Steps to Planning Dinner 


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Clever Bathroom Organizing Ideas from Martha Stewart

I discovered these clever bathroom organizing and space-saving ideas from Martha Stewart. Two of them include how-to instructions. Hope you enjoy them!

"Make space for supplies over the bathroom door so that they'll be accessible when they need to be replenished without cluttering under-the-sink cabinets. Get the How-To

"No room for a bathroom cabinet? Install a hotel-style multitiered rack on the wall next to the tub to hold bath towels and washcloths."

"Maximize usable space in a tiny medicine cabinet by making use of magnets. Get the How-To"

I especially love the magnetic medicine cabinet! What about you?

More on bathroom organizing:

Short on Space for Bathroom Towel Racks?

Magnetic Paint - An Innovative Space Saver!

Finding More Bathroom Storage without Expanding Your Bathroom


Monday, December 5, 2011

Shaving a Few More Minutes and Irritation off Laundry Time

In my humble opinion, one irritation in life is gathering up hangers for doing laundry. I try to hang clothing immediately upon taking them out of the dryer so I want a stash of hangers handy.

Lately, when getting dressed, I have started putting the empty hangers in the laundry hamper with the dirty clothes. Then when I take my hamper to the laundry room, the hangers go with me. No extra step of digging through the closet to find hangers.

As you may remember, I sort my laundry into whites, lights, darks, and towels with four laundry hampers. When one gets full, it's time to do a load of laundry without making a huge mess sorting.

Laundry is a never-ending decluttering chore - why not make it a little more pleasant? 

More on laundry:

Some of My Favorite Organizing Products - Tall Laundry Hampers

Shaving a Few Minutes Off Laundry Time

Shaving a Few Minutes Off Laundry Time, Part 2


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Destressing Christmas 2011, Part 8 - Give Memories, Not Clutter

Here's the final installment of my Destressing Christmas 2011 series. How appropriate for December 1! I hope this month is joyous,  meaningful, and destressed! 

I'm hosting a Christmas party Friday night, which I love! Cleaning, shopping and getting ready today. :) On to our topic for today:

It seems that our country is drowning in clutter! Our kids have so many toys, their rooms are overflowing. We have to rent storage units to hold our excess stuff.

This Christmas and throughout the year, consider giving memories instead of clutter. Give experiences! I've talked about some of these before, but they are worth repeating. :)

One year my parents were visiting us at Christmas when we lived in the DC area. Their gift from us: tickets for them to take our daughters to the Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center.

For one daughter's 16th birthday, we took her and her boyfriend (now husband) to see Stomp! in lieu of having a party. For our other daughter's birthday one year, we went to the play Little Women (one of her favorite books) followed by high tea, reminiscent of our time living in Kenya.

I have a dear friend who has four boys. Each time one graduates from high school, he gets to pick where in the country the family will go for vacation that year.

For my parents' 50th wedding anniversary, all four of us siblings typed out a tribute to them, framed them in gold frames, and presented them on a family vacation.

This year we celebrated their 60th and my brother created a video incorporating interviews he had done with mom and dad as well as photos throughout their lives. It was just a family affair - the four siblings and our children. We siblings each toasted my parents - what a wonderful memory and special time together!

Speaking of my parents, once when our girls stayed with them, my mom walked them around the neighborhood telling them about our neighbors who lived there when I was growing up. It included a trip to Midway Grocery, a tiny little grocery store where I and my siblings would go to buy candy. They still have fond memories of that experience!

When we lived in Kenya, my gift to the guys on our team was a dozen cookies every month for a year. Even though they were material objects, they didn't stay around long enough to create clutter!

When we visited one of our daughters this year, we decided to choose one five-star restaurant rather than several average places to eat. It made a fun and delicious memory!

Considering what your loved one or friend likes is the key. Here are some other ideas:

- If it is expensive, you may be able to team up with others. If Uncle Jim wants to celebrate his 80th birthday by sky diving or going for a hot-air balloon ride, have family members chip in.

- Share the experience. Accompany your friends or family to the event to make a joint memory.

- Give your time. Bring lunch over to auntie's and spend a couple of hours with her. Or babysit for a young mom who needs some time out of the house. 

- One of our daughters is contemplating a ski day as one of her gifts this year, since we are so close to good skiing and she'll be here for Christmas. 

Your gift experiences don't need to cost a lot. The only limit is your creativity!

More on no-clutter gifts:

A Last-Minute Clutterless Gift Idea - BookSwim

Easy Decadent Fudge Recipe

Destressing Christmas, Part 11 - Meaningful Gifts with No Clutter