Tips for Managing Busy Schedules

How to manage a busy family schedule

Article from The Organized Parent

family outside organize

Between carpool, sports practices, doctor’s appointments, school meetings and family dinners, family time is being stretched to the maximum. Often there are more items on a schedule than drivers and less time available to meet commitments. Follow these suggestions from the organizational professionals for taking the stress out of scheduling a busy family.

 

Here are the tips at a glance:

  • Use a scheduling app
  • Use a grocery store app
  • Meet weekly with whole family to review schedules
  • Create a central place for permission slips or school papers
  • Plan quality family time

One of the easiest steps to take is to have each family member download a family calendar App that can be shared with the entire family. One parent will generally have access to the master calendar of all family member’s activities and commitments. For sports practices and birthday parties, don’t hesitate to take advantage of the savings offered by Groupon coupons and call an Uber driver to make some of the trips. Driving can take an enormous chunk of time out of an already busy schedule.

There are many ways technology can simplify the tasks of organizing and errand running. Download the App from your local grocery store and keep a running list of grocery items. Encourage family members to add to the list as staples run out or household products are needed. Be sure to double check the list before sending it over for the shopping service! Most grocery stores offer shopping services and drive through pick up. This is a tremendous time savings.

Consider touching base with each family member on Sunday afternoon to review the calendars for the week. Planning for parties, school trips and holiday events is much easier with advanced notice. Have a central spot for permission slips and school papers requiring signatures. Habits can be developed within a few weeks and with that stress levels can be reduced.

Make sure to plan quality family time. This occurs most often around the dinner table. If you’re not a cook and have had a busy day, plan a simple meal. The most important thing is that the entire family actually gathers around the table to share the events of their day. This is where ideas are shared, relationships cemented and memories are made.

For help getting your family organized, contact Organize Me!

Click here for the article from The Organized Parent: http://www.theorganizedparent.com/tips-for-managing-a-busy-family-schedule/organize family together

New Baby Home Organizing

baby gift organize

Room by Room Organizing Guide

Here’s a welcome dose of reality—trustworthy advice from organizing pros that will help you prepare your entire home for baby’s arrival.

baby gift organize

Bedroom 
Many  parents move their baby into their bedroom for late-night feedings. Prepare your bedroom now! Create a relaxing space and be sure to place other necessities nearby. Include a low light, a CD player, tissues, and a pad of paper or feeding log. If you’re breastfeeding, include breast pads, soothing gel packs for sore nipples, and a case of bottled water underneath the table for late-night thirst attacks. A U-shaped nursing cushion to support the baby will be helpful, too.

Bathroom
After childbirth, your doctor will probably give you several medical supplies to help with your physical recovery. The key is to keep everything together. Your supplies could be kept on the bathroom counter, a shelf, or even in a basket on the floor. Just don’t keep them in separate places, or you may be frustrated by not having necessary feminine toiletries when you need them most!

Kitchen
Outside of the bathroom and bedroom, the kitchen is probably the most important place in the house. And the best thing for postpartum moms is to stay out of there as much as possible. To do this, ask your friends for help.Stock up on meals – It’s a great way to focus that nesting impulse that happens in the third trimester. A well-stocked pantry should also have simple foods like snacks.

The kitchen is also a good place to keep important contact information such as phone numbers of the hospital, your cell phone, your obstetrician and pediatrician, your lactation consultant, and your closest relatives and friends.

Family room
The family room is an ideal place to welcome guests, as long as you have a way to cut visits short when you feel overwhelmed! This could be as simple as keeping a robe nearby and putting in on before guests visit. Also, keep a mini-changing station in the family room to eliminate the need to trek to the nursery to change dirty diapers.  A portable diaper caddy can help you easily move belongings from room to room, while keeping your supplies within arm’s reach.

Laundry room
You have to do the laundry, and this chore is only going to get bigger when you add a new member to the household. Try not to tackle multiple piles of clothing at once. Try keeping soiled clothes in the laundry room, instead of spread throughout the house. It will eliminate the overwhelming feeling of having dirty laundry in several rooms. If your clothing piles stack up too high, ask for help.  The local laundromat probably offers a wash-dry-fold service for about the same price as having a few suits dry cleaned.

Home office
Even if your office is just a corner of a room, create a file system now for handling insurance information, hospital records, and manuals. Use baskets to organize incoming mail, plug in a baby-safe shredder, and collect junk mail and newspapers for recycling. Keep a large trash can there for tossing it all out. The items that you are not going to toss should be kept in a safe, dry place.

baby organized homeWelcome home
Using your last burst of nesting energy for practical organization and planning is a much smarter alternative to impulse shopping or over-decorating the nursery. If you take steps now to get your home ready, when the big day comes, you won’t have to worry about anything but getting to know your new bundle of joy. And when you forget a few things? No worries—your first few days at home with baby will be wonderful and exciting, no matter how scattered you feel.

To view the full article by Pregnancy Magazine, Click here: https://www.pregnancymagazine.com/baby/your-room-by-room-guide-to-organizing-for-babys-arrival

For help organizing your home or for gifting home organizing for a friend with a new arrival, contact Organize Me!

Organize Me! offers a “Baby Bundle” package for four hours of organizing time focusing on arranging your life around a new baby!

10 Secrets for Selling Your Home

home for sale

10 Secrets for Selling Your Home

Design & Decorating Ideas from HGTV

Getting ready to sell your home? It seems like the housing market is finally on the rise again.Most of us don’t know the ins and outs for selling a house or those tips that can make all the difference. Many years of stuff has accumulated and now we are left with the overwhelming task of sorting it out and presenting it to sell. We might consider how we think a house should look for buyers to be interested or if we need to get costly upgrades.

HGTV has some tips that can help your house look it’s best. Here are some useful tips to help get your home sold faster.

  • Pricing it right
  • Half empty closets
  • Light it up
  • Play the agent field
  • Conceal the critters
  • Don’t over upgrade
  • Take your home out of your house
  • The kitchen comes first
  • Always be ready to show
  • The first impression is the only impression

In the full article, HGTV explains just what they mean by all these tips. For the full review, follow this link:

http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/design-101/10-best-kept-secrets-for-selling-your-home

When it comes time to sell your home, contact Organize Me! to help you sort through your clutter and get your home looking its best.

Messy Car Solutions

clean car

Messy Car Solutions from Organize Me!

If you are anything like me, you might feel like you live out of your car. Life gets busy and we end up with tons of stuff in our car. If you are fed up with the stuff in your car and need a change then this article is for you!

One item that I am fond of helps keep the clutter you need to have in your car in order. A simple space organizer can make all the difference in keeping your items to a confined space (especially if you are driving on 270 and need to slam on your brakes!) Here is one example of such a product:

AutoExec® File Tote Grey with Black

This one is available from Staples (one of my favorite places!). It’s $55 and includes several different size and shaped pockets for various items. A product like this may be good for your front seat to keep things easily accessible, but not when you’re driving! It would also be excellent for kids in the backseat to keep their toys in order. The trunk, of course, would benefit from this as well. Instead of having things roll around back there, keep them contained.

 

Combining Classical And Bright Style High Rave Reviews Single Backseat OrganizerHere is a classic back of the seat organizer. This can be especially helpful for long drives or for everyday use if you spend a lot of time in your vehicle. This product can help to keep you safer while driving. Instead of tending to your kids or grandkids about whatever they may need, they can reach it themselves! You can stock this with books, tissues, snacks, chapstick or whatever else you need to keep them distracted while you drive. These are really affordable for approximately $15!!

 

Rubbermaid Mobile Triple Cargo Organizer

If you have a lot of activity in your vehicle, you may need something more heavy-duty. This product can store more and larger items. You may be taking your kids or grandkids to various athletic activities or other school events. An excellent idea for this product is extra changes of clothes. This product can strap into your hatchback or truck and be extremely useful! Depending on where you purchase it, the cost is approximately $20.

 

Here are some final quick tips to keep your car organized.

  • Try to only bring to your car what you really need
  • Anytime you stop for gas or anywhere with a trash can, take a few things out
  • When you get home at the end of the day, take a few extra items inside with you
  • On the weekends, spend 10 minutes removing and tidying items

For help getting your vehicle back in order, contact Organize Me!

 

29 Spring Cleaning Essentials

cleaning spring organizing

29 Spring Cleaning Essentials to Tackle your Mess

Here is a review of some spring cleaning products that can help you. Some are pretty basic and some are extensive but they will help you get the job done. Combine all the products and your are sure to have a spotless home this Spring!

  • Invisible Glass, glass cleaner
  • Bissell Cleanview Upright vacuum
  • Swiffer Duster 360
  • Mr. Clean Gloves
  • OxiClean Stain removers
  • Heinz Vinegar
  • Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Soap
  • Plant Therapy Cleaning set
  • Greenshield Organic Surface wipes
  • For the full list…..

Click here! http://www.bestproducts.com/home/cleaning-organizing/g1315/spring-cleaning-products-supplies/

Got a favorite product that you use to clean your home? Feel free to share it in the comments! For help tackling your spring cleaning clutter, contact Organize Me!

Declutter for a house showing (or anytime!)

house showing clutter

If you are preparing to sell your home or move, this article is for you!

 

It’s no doubt that over the years, we all collect a lot of stuff. Years and years of items add up and we are left with a house full of stuff. When we prepare to move or just get sick of the clutter, it can be an overwhelming task. The following flow chart can help you to make decisions easier and may also provide a little bit of humor!

decluttering

This article was provided by Building Bridges Partners and Trulia.

http://virginiahomesgroup.com/decluttering-flow-chart-infographic/

For help sorting through all of your stuff for a move or anytime, reach out to Organize Me! I love your household clutter and will help get you on track!

Downsizing Your Home

7 Tips for Downsizing Your Home
Organizing and Simplifying Your Empty Nest

Get motivated. Consider what you hope to get out of the simplification process and keep that motivation with you as you go along

Don’t get organized. It’s easy to just start organizing and storing what you have. What you need is to be honest about what you don’t need and clear some items away first.

Do a room to room purge. Getting rid of clutter can be an emotional process. If you’re going through the belongings of an adult kid who has moved out, try to have them present if possible . Be firm in your desire to get rid of anything that’s no longer meaningful or necessary.

Get the help of a friend. Having a friend or non-immediate family member there when you go through your closet, garage or kids’ rooms can help you. This may help to be more impartial and break emotional attachments towards your belongings.

Get re-organized. Once you’ve removed all throwaway and give-away items from your home, then is the time to get organized. Sort items and store in places where they can be easily accessed, and buy any organization supplies necessary — but only once you’ve determined a real need for them.

De-clutter your digital life-. Unsubscribe from unwanted email newsletters, delete old documents that you no longer need and organize photos and important paperwork into labeled folders. You can also further reduce physical clutter by digitizing CDs, DVDs, photo collections, important documents and more.

Change your habits. Once you have a clean, well-organized and simplified home, you’ll be more likely to keep it that way: Research has found that people are significantly less likely to litter in clean environments than already-littered ones, and the same theory applies to home clutter as well.

Here is the link for the full article from the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/31/downsizing-your-home_n_3324986.html

pet home organizing
pet home organizing

organized garage

Organizing for Small Spaces

bike shelf

Smart Organizing Ideas for Small Spaces

If you have a small home or are just caught up with the small living trends, this article is for you!

Utilize stair space. Sometimes necessity brings about the best and most creative ideas. A shortage of space is an inspiring dilemma with potentially great results. In order to make use of absolutely every available space, try under the steps

Get a combo table. Every small-space dweller knows that hidden storage and two-in-one furniture make coping with space limitations just a bit easier. Get a coffee table that can double as a dinner table

Use open shelving. If your kitchen is short on cupboards or if you just want to make it seem more spacious, opt for open shelving.  

Office Spaces.  Turn your spare closet into so much more than a storage compartment. Create a tidy home office that you can shut away when it’s not in use.

Books. Rather than attempting to squeeze even more cumbersome bookshelves into your petite home, choose a book tower. Towers allow you to stack your books and take advantage of vertical space.

Pantry Space. If your spare closet is near the kitchen, it could serve as a pantry and a great place to store excess kitchen supplies.

Loft Beds & Bunk Beds! For older children and even adults, a loft bed is a great way to leave floor space open. It takes advantage of otherwise unused space and makes it possible to add a desk or a seating area in a small room that would have been otherwise overwhelmed by a large bed.

Creative Solutions. If you can’t space any closet space, try pigging backing the creative ideas of others. Check out ideas on HGTV

Bike Storage Needed? If you’re a biker living in an apartment, you probably know how difficult it is to keep your prized possession safe from harm as well as out of the way. Check out this nifty bike shelf from Knife & Saw.

Use convertible furniture.  Luckily, convertible furniture makes it easy to switch from office to bedroom to dining area with just a few simple moves.

For the full article and all the products & photos, click here: http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/design-101/smart-organizing-ideas-for-small-spaces-pictures

books organized shelf open shelf small space

21 Tips on Keeping a Simple Home with Kids

messy kid toys
Keeping a Simple Home with Kids
Ever feel like your kids as wreaking havoc on your home? Always running behind them to clean up? Check out this detailed list of tips and advice on how to make your life easier. Get the full scoop from the link below from zenhabits.net

Any parent knows that kids create clutter like nobody’s business.

It’s enough to drive a simplifier such as myself crazy. Still, with a little diligence, and a little bit of Zen detachment, it’s possible to have a simple, (relatively) uncluttered home as well as peace of mind.

Let me first state the obvious: any life that includes children is going to be complicated, at least to some degree. You’ll never get an absolute minimalist lifestyle with kids, and I’ve learned to accept that. While my minimalist inner self would like to live without a car, a cell phone, or a large house, my kids preclude those things from happening.

However, I have found ways to simplify my house, including the kids’ rooms. Sure, the house still gets messy — especially their rooms. But it’s not as bad as it once was, and it’s at a manageable level.

Here are my tips for simplifying your home with kids:

  1. Identify the important
  2. Massively purge
  3. Leave space
  4. Contain
  5. Bins
  6. Cubbies
  7. A home for everything
  8. Organize like with like
  9. One place for school papers
  10. Teach them to clean
  11. Allow them to mess
  12. Purge at Christmas, birthdays.
  13. Do regular decluttering
  14. Less is more
  15. Go for quality
  16. Learn to accept
  17. Buy less
  18. Clean as you go
  19. Clean before bed
  20. 30-minute cleanups
  21. Prep time

For the full details on each tip, visit this link: https://zenhabits.net/21-tips-on-keeping-a-simple-home-with-kids/
baby gift organize son organize family

Organizing Your Home Without Getting Overwhelmed

shelf organized
Organizing Your Home Without Getting Overwhelmed
Do’s and Don’t

Organizing your home may be an item on your do to list that never seems to go away. Looking around your house at piles of stuff and wondering how it will all be cleaned up may create a great deal of stress. In addition to feeling flat out overwhelmed, we are tired, busy and just don’t want to clean. The task of organizing isn’t one that most people enjoy. Therefore, it sits and sits on to do list.

If your goal is to start facing those overwhelming piles, then some useful tips may come in handy. Below is a list of ten do’s and don’ts for tackling organizing without it making you crazy. These tips are based how I complete organizational projects as well as tips that I have used to help others.

  1. Do one area at a time. Pick one stop and conquer it, even if it’s one square foot.
  2. Do a limited amount of time. Start with only fifteen-thirty minutes a day.
  3. Do get rid of things you haven’t used in a year. If you don’t use it, someone else may!
  4. Do a little every day. Or at least aim for once or twice a week.
  5. Do create a home for every item. Even if it’s just a folder, drawer or bucket.
  6. Don’t just move items around. If you move it behind you, you will only have to see it again later
  7. Don’t make snap decisions. If you’re unsure, think it over for a few minutes or ask someone else
  8. Don’t work until you feel overwhelmed. Getting to this point will make you never want to return
  9. Don’t keep things you didn’t even remember you had. Out of sight, out of mind. Don’t need it!
  10. Don’t give up. Before you know it, this will be a habit!