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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, April 27, 2012

You Don't Have to Have ADD to Appreciate Skoach - An ADD-Friendly Online Planner

      
I've been working with a business coaching client who has ADD, and he hasn't found a calendar/planner that works well with his ADD. I discovered Skoach, an online planner system designed especially for those with ADD.  

But you don't have to have ADD to enjoy this system. It's colorful and a lot more interesting than just a calendar full of words. One aspect I particularly like is the Commitment Bar, which keeps you  from becoming over-committed.

The price is as low as $8 per month and syncs to your smart phone.  

The only drawback I saw was that it only allows for one person's calendar. For example, my client coaches softball and each of his daughters has a softball schedule. He wanted to able to see both his and his daughters' schedules at the same time.


 
Here's some information from their website: 

"You can’t lose it! You can’t break it! You can’t leave it behind! Get Skoach, and you’ve got it covered!

Skoach was developed by internationally recognized ADHD authority Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D. , author of best-selling ADD-friendly Ways to Organize Your Life.  Many of the ideas she developed in her book have been incorporated into Skoach.

Designed to help develop better executive functioning skills, Skoach is user-friendly enough for those in middle-school and sophisticated enough for adults.   Skoach makes the perfect time management partner for those with ADD (ADHD).  Here's why:
  • Helps working memory with multiple types of reminders.
  • Helps planning by providing a template for the week on which to build a schedule.
  • Helps create structure and prioritization by placing every task in a category and time range.
  • Helps improve time management through the Commitment Bar -  that guards against over-commitment.
  • Supports coaching so that parents, teachers, or coaches can access Skoach accounts to provide oversight.

If you have ADHD (ADD), get Skoach. You’ll wonder how you ever got along without it!"


More on ADHD:

If Your Child Has ADHD, You Have a 1 in 4 Chance of Having It, Too

Organizing the ADD Household

Understanding the ADD Mindset


 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Spring Cleaning Using Household Products

    
As you may recall, I'm in love with vinegar! I've started using it as my main cleaner for surfaces and glass. It's a natural disinfectant and very inexpensive. It also gets rid of mineral deposits, which is problem we have here in Montana.

I'm going to link to several past blog posts about using household cleaners to do spring cleaning - lemons, baking soda, vinegar, and dryer sheets. Lemons are also natural disinfectants, and create a great stain remover when combined with baking soda. Click the links above to find out how effective and economical these household products are when it comes to cleaning!


More on spring cleaning:

Three Steps to Clever Cleaning

Spring Cleaning Relationships

Spring Cleaning Your Mood

Spring Cleaning Your Career

Spring Cleaning the Noise

         

Monday, April 23, 2012

Gardening - Recycling, Repurposing

 
I planted my herb and tomato seeds a couple of days ago. We have a wonderful sun room at the front of our house, which will allow my seedlings to grow in an area that is warm enough.

I decided to recycle my cardboard egg crates and use them as my little planters rather than buy plastic starter kits. I planted basil, cilantro, dill, parsley and a couple of types of tomatoes.


I filled the egg crates with potting soil, put 3 or 4 seeds in each cavity. Then I covered the seeds with about 1/4 inch of potting soil, and watered.  




Next, I repurposed one of our boot trays upon which I placed my two egg cartons. Now I can water in my sun room without making a mess.




My seeds will take around three weeks to grow large enough to replant. I'll continue to keep the herbs indoors for ease of accessibility. We'll plant the tomatoes in the garden when the ground is warm enough. Can't wait until they grow! And I'm glad to have used things on hand rather than buy them. 

More on gardening:

Organizing Your Spring Garden

Tips from a Master Gardener - Watering, Mulch

Tip on Daffodils from my Master Gardener


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wheels - The Best Invention Ever! (Close Second: Long-Lasting Lipstick!)

         
Aren't wheels wonderful? I often say that wheels are the best invention ever - they make our lives so much easier! And when it comes to moving heavy objects, wheels are essential. 

But what if the object we need to move doesn't have wheels? Self-adhesive wheels come to the rescue! And who carries these? The  Container Store, of course! For $14.99 you can get a set of four. Now these wheels are permanent, so be careful what you attach them to.

You can rent wheels that are non-adhesive from BungoBoxes, along with rentable recyclable boxes and other supplies.
 

And there are always rolling carts (like small dollies). Stacking boxes on these instead of carrying them, saves your back and makes hauling much more pleasant. 


I got my rolling cart at Staples. They are sold as luggage carriers for around $55. Make sure to take note of how many pounds they hold. The one I use holds 250 pounds. There are cheaper ones out there, but they carry less weight.


More on hauling:

April is National Tackle Your Clutter Month

A Green Moving Soluton - Now You Can Rent Moving Boxes!

Finding Charities that Will Pick Up Your Clutter

 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Creating Order for the Disorganized Child

  
          I found the following article to be a helpful resource for parents of disorganized children. It was written by Carolyn Stone, Ed. D., an ADD expert. 


"Many parents talk to me with frustration about their children who strew their things throughout the house and then cannot find what they need when they need it.  Some of these children have ADHD or a learning disability that we know makes it hard for them to organize stuff.  Others are simply immature or undiagnosed.  Whatever the case, it is irritating for parents and children alike for parents to constantly remind children to put things away. 

The first step is to get your attitude in shape.  If you are taking this behavior personally, you are probably quite angry about it.  “I didn’t have children to be a maid!”  Of course not.  Deal with your anger.  Accept that your child is not behaving the way you had hoped he would.  It does no good to blame yourself or your child.  When you can calm down, you will be ready to engage your child in some problem solving. 

Most children need to be taught systems for keeping things organized.  Children with ADHD and learning problems have brains that find this type of activity quite difficult.  Teaching them requires more repetitions and more patience.  That said, children can be taught to take responsibility for keeping track of their things, even if they have learning disabilities.  They need patient coaching, but they can learn to be responsible.  Don’t give up and become the maid (or butler).

Now you can address the problem.  Try not to solve everything at once.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.  What part of the messy chaos disrupts the family the most?  Is it the frantic looking for shoes  and homework in the morning?  Is it the dirty dishes and socks in the family room?  Choose one issue and begin.   At a calm moment start the conversation without blaming.  Blame only makes most children (or teens) feel bad and often want to argue. So describe the problem, 'It’s really upsetting for you and me in the morning when you can’t find your things.  Do you have any ideas about what would help?'  Perhaps you child has ideas, but if you are just beginning this process, he or she might not. 

Now you can suggest things like having a bin near the door where shoes and boots go.  Or suggest that the last step of homework is to pack the backpack and put it near the door.  If your child resists, listen to her objection and find out why.  This could help develop a solution that is more durable.  Once your child agrees to a new arrangement, you will need to cue her about it.  When she responds to the cue, make sure you praise her.  This is the best way to help a child learn a new behavior. 

Good luck with initiating some routines that help your disorganized child stay a little more organized."

More on disorganized children:

Help for Parents of Disorganized, Inattentive and Forgetful Kids

Parenting a Disorganized Child

Disorganized Teens - Symptons of ADHD

Getting Organized for School - A Successful Day Starts the Night Before

   

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wireless Chargers Coming to Cars - Will Cut the Clutter

     
We are having so much fun being mesmerized by our new granddaughter! I get to babysit this afternoon while our son-in-law defends his doctoral dissertation in astro-physics. Lots happening in our lives!! On to our blog for today:

Tired of all the tangled cords in your car needed to charge your phone and other devices? Chrysler has the cord-free answer! Other car companies are sure to follow. Here's the scoop from Driver's Seat's Jonathan Welsh:


"Chrysler said it will offer a system on the coming Dodge Dart compact car for charging certain personal electronics without using a charge cord. The wireless charging option promises to cut the clutter and tangled wires that often result when drivers use dashboard power outlets to charge their devices. 

The car maker said the new feature will allow iPhone, Blackberry, MP3 Players and Droid devices to charge without being plugged in. Instead, the driver places the phone in the “power bin” in the center console. Inside the bin is a charging grid you activate by placing the phone on it. A special case designed to fit a number of phones is necessary for the system to work. 

Wireless charging will be available first on the 2013 Dodge Dart, which is scheduled to arrive in showrooms in the second quarter of this year. The system comes from Chrysler’s Mopar parts division and costs $199.99 plus installation.

Even if you don’t plan to buy a Dart or any other Chrysler product, the introduction of the new charging system means it will soon be available across the industry. Some companies are also working on similar grid systems which, embedded in the garage floor, would allow drivers to charge their electric cars without a plug."

More on decluttering cars:

Clutter in Your Car = Danger

Spring Cleaning the Car

More Statistics on Clutter

 

Monday, April 9, 2012

I'm a Grandmother!

   
Miss Nivienne Grace entered the world on Thursday, April 5 at 3:38 am. She weighed 8 pounds 3 ounces and is 20.5 inches long.


Nivienne means snow or purity. When we walked out of the hospital after she was born, it was snowing! Her nickname is Nivi. J

We are enjoying getting to know her, and are fascinated and amazed at her brilliance! J Spoken like a true grandmother!