Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas is Around the Corner

I love decorating our house for Christmas. With that being said, I like to decorate in a organized style. I am not artsy fartsy, shocking I know…I am very methodical about how I do things and I like to accomplish my tasks in a timely manner.

To save time and effort for me, I take pictures of my Christmas decorations in each room so that when I pull out my decorations I don’t have to try and remember how I did it last year or worse yet try to come up with some fantastic new decorating idea. Besides balance and having everything symmetrical is very important to me. Who would of guessed, uh!?!? I have found taking pictures really saves time and there is no guess work involved.

As you put up your Christmas decorations take some of your current decorations down so you home does feel so cluttered or dare I say it…like a “blue light special” going on in your family room. Enjoy the simplicity of your Christmas decorations.

If there are a few items left over in your holiday supply that didn’t get used this year and they are not a “special” ornament, we have a beady eyed Santa that my husband had as a child that scares me so he stays protected and never comes out! If you happen to have extra Christmas ornaments or decorations now would be a great time to donate them. Sadly there are many families this year that are struggling and would love to have your Christmas decorations. Just a thought…

Monday, October 25, 2010

Best Tip Ever!!

I was asked to give a presentation last week. I was so excited and to my surprise there were 75 people attending! It was one of the worst presentations I have ever given!!! There were two people that went ahead of me that gave a five minute commercial about their businesses and both were having difficulties with the microphone. You couldn’t hear a word they were saying or it would be this loud static noise. I know you are wondering where am I going with this, hold on…I promise it gets worse before it gets better!

Now its my turn, remember there are a ton of people with several round tables and everyone is spread out. The microphone does not work at all now! I keep trying to get it to work and it kept falling off my jacket. It was a disaster! I completely lost my train of thought, I was rambling much like I do on my blogs and on top of that I was screaming so people could hear my ramblings!!! I was all over the page and no one really had any questions, I think they were just scared for me or scared of me…I’m not really sure but either way it wasn’t pretty!

So here is the great part…someone asked my how to organize their linen closet. Their sheets were always falling over and didn’t look nice in the closet. They said their fitted sheets were always in a big clump. My answer was…”Fold your fitted sheet as best as you can, fold the top sheet and fold your pillow case, than place those items inside the other pillow case and fold over the extra material so you have a square pillow case with “its belongings” inside of it.” They loved it!!! They even clapped and smiled!!!! As any good speaker would do I wrapped it up and ended on a good note!!

As I was leaving several people said they loved the idea about putting the sheets inside the pillow case that they hadn’t thought of doing that. I realized I had never told any of you this great idea. It helps keep your sheets organized and it allows you to “fold good enough” because no one will see it in the pillow case and your linen closet will look organized!

If you ever need a speaker for your meeting, I promise I will do better, call me I would love to come speak at your gathering. Please just make sure the microphone works or people are close together so I don’t have to scream!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Organizing Your Computer Before School Starts...

I don’t know about you about I am not ready for the boys to go back to school. I’m NOT ready for summer to be over!!

Before you start setting all the alarms in the house for 6:00 a.m. let’s get everyone’s computer organized and ready for school. Let’s clean out your Mail Folders and start new folders, let’s purge your hard drive so that your computers run faster and last but no least lets get rid of some of those old documents or temporary files so you child can make new documents for school.

Purging your hard drive:

Every time you surf the net you add “cookies” these can pileup and slow down your web browser and other programs. Nothing is worse than trying to look up a subject that you child brought home for homework and it takes 15 minutes to download the page…sure they would be patient and you would stay calm.

Here are a couple of options to delete your cookies:

Internet Explorer

1. Once your browser is open, select the Tools menu and click Internet Options and select the General tab.
2. To delete all cookies, in the Temporary Internet Files section, click Delete Cookies and press OK.
3. Multiple cookies can be selected by holding down the CTRL key while clicking.
4. Press the Delete key.
5. Press OK on any dialog boxes that appear.

1. Go to the menu labeled "Safari"
2. Select the sub-menu "Preferences..."
3. Select “Security”
4. Select the "Show Cookies"
5. Select all the remaining cookies showing in the window and click "Remove All"

I like to do a “Disk Clean Up”

1.Go to “Programs”
2.Select “Accessories”
3.Select “System Tools”
4.Select “Disk Clean Up”
5.Select “from all files”

A good way to get your programs running faster on your computer is to do a “Disk Defragmenter”

1.Go to “Programs”
2.Select “Accessories”
3.Select “System Tools”
4.Select “Disk Defragmenter” this process will take some time but you will notice a HUGE difference.

Mailbox…How much mail do you have in your inbox?!?!

The first thing I would suggest is delete all of your mail you no longer need! I like to set up folders for each of the boys. In the folder I have sub-folders: School, Sports and Extra Cur.
If you have folders all ready set up from last year delete all of the mail you no longer need. You may want to save one email from a past sport incase you want to try and get the same team together for this school year.

Any time you receive an email about your child’s classroom or information you might want to look at as a reference move the mail to your child’s file folder. This will help to keep you inbox under control and easy to find email addresses or time of events if they are kept in their own folder.

These are just a couple of ideas to help you get you started if you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sending Your Child to College in an Organized Manner!

I can’t believe school is literally right around the corner! I thought I would write my next two articles about getting your high school graduate off to college organized and ready to take on the new world.

Have your him/her make a list of what is most important to them to bring with them to college. This will help you have a grasp as to how much they have and what you have left at home to make room for you new craft room!

From the list you can see how much they want to bring and this will give you an idea visually how creative you need to be to get everything to fit in their dorm room. If it is possible make sure they resist the urge to over pack and keep out of season clothes at home until they are needed. I found a great list to start get the process started so that everything is not so last minute.

Separate your list into what you will be bringing from home, what you can purchase in your new town. Some of your new items may even be ordered online and shipped directly to their dorm. This may help if your child is going to college out of state. Keep in mind whether you are ordering something new or bringing something from home that they are easily disassembled and easy to take down at the end of the school year.

My next article, I will show you some great ideas to help organize your their dorm room and utilize every little bit of space!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Too Much Vacation "Extras"?!?!?

Have you noticed when you get back from vacation you somehow bring back more stuff than what you took on vacation? I swear we needed an extra suitcase to hold all the brochures our youngest son wanted to bring home so that he could play “Disney World Worker”!

Sometimes even before we go on vacation we start accumulating brochures, after brochure, after brochure because were just not sure where we want to go and we might as well hold onto it just in case we decide to go there ‘someday’… I understand that sometimes it’s nice to hold onto a brochure or two to remind us of trips we might want to take but if your drawer is exploding from vacation brochures or travel magazines, now might be a great time to “clear the clutter” and just save the most important one or two brochures for that trip someday.

As with any vacation you take you always manage to pick up a few momentos along the way. I know my purse was stuffed with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck…MOUSE…can you hear the song!?!!? So anyhow…

As soon as you got home from your vacation, start your laundry or for a special treat to yourself take it to a laundry service this one time so that you are not so overwhelemd. To clean out your purse from the trip, turn it upside down on your kitchen counter and start tossing out brochures, candy wrappers, tickets, food, or maps from a local area and other signs of a vacation.

When you get home its best to completely empty out your bags, suitcases, toiletry bags and wallet. If you purchased small travel bottles of shampoo or soap wash them out so that are ready to be filled again. Keep the toiletry bags stocked for your next trip. Stick a note in your suitcase if you ran out of something or if you wanted to remember to bring Qtips or whatever for next time.

Now what do we do with all those hundreds of photos you took on vacation!?!?! I feel another blog coming on!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Organizing the Play Room

Whether you call it a playroom, gameroom or toy room it is all the same to a child, its an area to play and run around! It is where they go to get out ALL of their toys and leave them ALL over the floor for us to pick up. If this rings true in your home, I might have a couple of suggestions to help keep the some of the toys at bay.

When a client calls me to organize their playroom my heart races, I LOVE, LOVE organizing playrooms or kids rooms. The main goal of organizing your children’s toys is understanding “how they play”. I know that sounds strange but work with me for a moment.

If you have a girl that have Barbies, Bratz Dolls and Polly Pockets…you automatically think…keep all of them together or close to each other because they probably play with them together, right? Well what if Polly Pockets are the only ones who takes care of Little Pet Shop and the Little Pet Shop is all the way across to the other side of the room? And what if Bratz Dolls don’t even play with Barbie because their head is bigger than Barbie and Bratz Girls play with all the horses that you have in you son’s bin mixed in with the farm animals? See where I am going with this?

If you understand how your children play and what they play with together, you can set up zones so that the toys aren’t scattered across the room. If she is going to play with the Bratz Dolls and horses…she is going to have to dig through the Barbie Dolls and the farm animals to get to what she wants. Which means the farm animals and Barbies are going to be all over the floor.

Here are some zone or bin suggestions for you playroom or child’s room:
Kitchen and baby doll area
Dress Up Girls including wands, jewelry and shoes
Dress Up Boys, including swords, construction gear and spy gear
Books, games and puzzles
Actions figures (if you have boys ask if Power Rangers and Star Wars can be mixed or have two separate bins)
Barbies, Bratz and Polly Pockets (again ask if they can be together if they should have separate bins)
Blocks, Legos, Connects

What you are trying to create in your playroom is an easy way for your children to find what they are looking for and an easy way to PUT THE TOYS AWAY when they are finished playing with them. If the cars are scattered across the room to get to the car track then put a bin of cars next to the track.

I love the fabric bins from Target. ($6.99 each) They work perfect on bookshelves, cubbies or even next to a car track or a doll house. I know this sounds strange but sometimes we “over organize” in the play room. We keep jewelry in separate bins of bracelets, necklaces, or rings instead of one bin of jewelry. What four year old is going to want to separate all the jewelry to put it away? She would rather scoop it all up and dump it in one bin! If you have a son that plays with G.I. Joes but doesn’t play with the swords, guns or helmets that they come with, then put the accessories in a Ziploc bag on a shelf in a closet out of his way. Why stick them in the bin to have them all over the floor waiting for you step on them if no one is going to play with them?

To keep your playroom fresh and fun rearrange the toys and zones twice a year. I like to do this right before summer break and right after they go back to school in January. This allows my to “sift” through the junk without them noticing some of the broken happy meal toys are missing.

If you want to really live on the edge you could start to sing the “Pick Up Song” after they are finished playing…pick up, pick up, everybody, everywhere do your share!!! Just a thought….

Organizing Games and Puzzles

Our family loves Pizza and Game Night! Nothing is worse than sitting down to a little pizza and setting up a game just to realize that you are missing a ”few” pieces to the game…kind of takes the fun out of it!

So let’s get these games under control and while we are at it get the cards and puzzles organized as well.

If you have a huge storage closet for games, you are so lucky!! All I would say to you is categorize your games by age group, such as pre-school, teen or adult games. Make sure you keep adult games on the top shelf so small little hands don’t accidently open the game and use the pieces in her Barbie House never to be found again. Keep the pre-school games at their reach so they can play with them even if the family isn’t playing a game. Many times my youngest son will just make things up with the games and play by himself.

Now onto the rest of us that make due with what storage we have or should I say don’t have! Start by simply stacking the game boards (only) together on one shelf. You could label the boards if you don’t want to turn them game side out. With the small pieces and instructions to the games place them in labeled Ziploc bags. Here is where I would buy the easy close Ziploc bag and spend a little extra so it will be easy for everyone to open and close the bags. Now place the storage bags in a storage tote or box to keep them falling all over the shelf. This will take up so little space, you will be shocked! If you have games that need to stay in their original box because it is part of the game no big deal you will have room left to spare!!!

Tips for everyone no matter how much room you have for games:
- Reinforce the original box with tape to keep it lasting longer
- Put all the small pieces from the board game in a Ziploc bag to avoid the scattering of these pieces if the box is accidently dropped.
- Place the board game box side by side on a shelf like books so that can easily access them and they won’t smash other games.

If you have more puzzles than space, cut out the picture of the puzzle and place the picture and puzzle pieces in a Ziploc bag. Store all the puzzle bags in a tote or shoe box.

Our card games get used all the time and the card box becomes well…let’s just say it is no longer a box. I cut out the picture of the card game, take out the instructions and place the cards in a…c’mon you know what’s coming…yes a Ziploc bag!!! Again I put them in a storage tote (shoe box size) or you can use a shoe box whatever is handy!

These are just some simple ideas to help keep all your games, cards and puzzle together and all in one place. Have fun playing….Maybe you can start a Pizza and Game Night in your house too!!!