Remember your boundaries! Working from home, it's easy to let work creep into your personal time (nights and weekends). Set boundaries, use timers, shut the office door. Keep sane!
Fun for all: SOCK-A-PALOOZA
Throw all unmatched socks in a pile. Have kids find matches. Reward one minute of electronics for every match they make!!
Many of us are homeschooling right now. I have found that checklists are working better than schedules for my kids.
Reward electronic time with a list that's all checked of!
Set yourself up for success while you are living and working from home. Repurpose unused rooms. Use a guestroom as a home office or gym. Convert your dining room into a home school. It's temporary, but we need to make it work (preferably well).
I awoke one morning, feeling sleepy and groggy, to this scene on my bathroom floor:
My first thought, like any parent is "Dang kids, another thing to have to pick up!" But then I told myself to stop and think like an organizer. Why did this happen?
I had to do a mini-investigation! I had to think about the stuff, the system, and the habits, to get to the bottom of this. Sure enough, this is the next scene I discovered:
The home was overloaded. One of the kids probably tried to put the stuff away only to find an overstuffed home! I felt a little bad about being annoyed at them when I first came on the scene.
I knew I had 3 minutes to either deal with this or to schedule a time to deal with this on my calendar. I thought about the fact that we have another place for hair accessories in the other bathroom and that other place was probably low on head bands. That was the case so I quickly fixed the problem, knowing that this would probably happen again soon since we have 2 homes for these items, neither able to hold the full lot.
Keep in mind, this could have gone differently. I could have decided that we have too many head bands and we would need to purge some to make the system easier to maintain. In that case, I would have scheduled a time with the kids to review the system. I would have gathered all the head bands in the house. Had them select which they still liked and which they wanted to let go of, then we would talk about our storage system and whether the current system would still work with the amount kept and if not, what the new system would look like to maximize efficiency in the morning. For us, this meeting would take 10 minutes or less (as long as everyone was well fed and not tired because an argument would undoubtedly prolong it).
By now you might be thinking, WOW, this lady is crazy for worrying so much about head bands! Well, as you can suspect, since I do this for a living, my house has systems that we use, maintain, and review, often. In a client's home, I might suggest creating a simpler system that would take less maintenance so they didn't have to spend time on organizing head bands. I would help them decide what system they wanted based on what systems have worked in the past. This system might look more like a basket with all hair accessories in it on the counter or in a drawer. The key to success here is putting some thought into it. It might feel daunting to think about head bands for 10 minutes, but consider the time it will save you each morning when you kids need this, that, and the other thing, and the bus is around the corner. The time you spend will pay for itself 10 fold!
FREE SHREDDING Saturday, March 28th
10 am - 1 pm
Shred It truck outside of 333 West Washington Street
No need to get out of your car!
Coffee and refreshments available.
I am constantly on the look out for great apps that can capture your To Do List.
I am trying Wunderlist now. I like that you can add due dates and set up reminders for each task. I also find it helpful that you can have different lists (e.g., personal, work, groceries, etc.).
Check it out at wunderlist.com if you are looking to go electronic with tracking to do's.
Let's face it, garages can turn into the catch-all for anything and everything that doesn't belong in the house. If you have resolved to get your garage organized and to finally be able to get your car into it this winter, I have a line of products that might be just what you have been looking for.
Garages are where we put the things we need to live life outside. It is hard to find great storage solutions for items such as sporting gear, yard tools, folding chairs, and other large unruly items such as kayaks and bikes. In my quest for great ideas, I found Monkey Bars. Monkey Bars racks are a dream come true for garage storage solutions.
I tried one of the DIY kits, the Large Sports Rack. I was skeptical at first because I figured it would take an hour or more to get the rack installed but in less than 15 minutes it was up and I was doing my thing with deciding what goes where. I now have a place for balls, bats, lacrosse sticks, tennis rackets, camp chairs, and jump ropes. Our rack is at chest height so my kids can reach, and retrieve, what they need when they need it. We love it! I give it 5+ stars.
Below are some pictures of various racks Monkey Bars offers. The DIY products are easy to install, sturdy, and will get everything off the floor and organized. If you are looking for more information about any of the Monkey Bars products, there is a dealer in the Syracuse area. Visit their website at garagestoragesyracuse.com or call them at (315) 333-7536.
They say it takes 21 days to keep a new habit, but how do you remember to start?
One successful strategy is to link your new habit with an established habit.
Look at these two photos. There is a "technical" organizing error in the one on the left, can you spot it?
When you organize a space, you select solutions that work now. Some time in the future, it is likely that the solutions you selected will no longer work. The spaces in our homes are not static. They are always changing as items are added, moved, or removed. You will need to go back after a period of time to tweak/edit what you had previously organized. With good maintenance and upkeep habits, your work will be minimal (and may even be fun!).
Do you have Post-its everywhere? Are you a "back of an envelope" kind of note-taker?
If you are looking to get your paper organized, one key place to start is to record all notes and to-dos IN ONE PLACE. If you shy away from smartphone apps that promise to do this or just prefer paper, check out FocusNotes. They have various sizes to choose from but I recommend selecting a size that will fit in your purse, briefcase, or backpack easily so you can TAKE IT EVERYWHERE YOU GO.
The format of each page reminds you to date your notes and provides a "cue column" where you can later jot down action items or summarize the important information. It provides structure and flexibility to help you get your notes organized.
1. If his/her room tends to be a disaster zone, talk to your child about what is working and what's not. Work with them to find a solution that they will use. Is the clutter mostly made up of clothing? Maybe they despise hangers! Consider shelves or hooks in the closet.
2. Talk about where clutter is ok and where it's not. As adults, many of us have a junk drawer. It's a place where clutter is allowed until it gets out of control (then we clean and organize it). Some children need a space like that too. Can they stash clutter in a drawer? Their closet? Is their entire room ok as long as communal areas (e.g., the living room) are kept clutter-free? Set reasonable expectations.
3. Rotate toys to help keep your child's interest. Keep some bins stored away of age-appropriate toys. When your child gets bored of the toys they have access to, pull out some from the stored bins. It's like Christmas all over again!
4. Contain it! Children work well with clear, labelled containers. If they can't see it, it probably won't get used. I keep puzzles in ziplock baggies in an open top basket and craft supplies in clear stacking drawers.
5. Keep a routine. Even though school is out (well, almost), keeping a somewhat regular daily routine during the summer (whenever possible) will help keep the peace. I don't mean that each hour has to be planned, I mean the sequence of events is generally kept the same. For example: wake up, breakfast, dress/get ready for the day, fun, lunch, educational/craft time, fun, dinner, read, bed.
Have a great summer!
Organize those Polly Pockets and other small dolls and accessories in a clear, snap-shut case. My favorite part of this project was watching my daughter devise her own system as to what goes where. If you empower your kids during the organizing process they will be more likely to maintain the system.
Spare buttons come with many new clothes and the age old question of what to do with them often pops up. I did some research and found an article from Real Simple magazine (June 2012) that suggested labeling the small plastic bags they come in with a sharpie and storing them in a button box or sewing kit. This is good, and for most people, good enough.
If you are really looking to hit this one out of the park, you may want to consider grabbing a binder, some plastic business card sleeves, and printing out some label inserts as shown in a blog post on a website called modernparentsmessykids.com. Click here for more details on how to. (Scroll about 2/3rds of the way down the page.)
Either way you do it, you will thank yourself when a button goes missing on your favorite cardigan sweater.
Oprah's 10 Habits of Highly Organized People
Click here to check it out.
I habitually do all but one of these. My favorite is #10. Finding places to donate helps with letting go. Find information about what to donate where on my 'Resources' webpage.
Skip the random bins on the side of the road and head over to one of The Rescue Mission trailers near Wegmans with a few bags of items you aren't using but someone in need could.
Put it Simply Organizing was quoted in a blog called "Why Donate?" written by Organizers for Charity.
If you are interested in learning about some great places locally to donate some of your unwanted items, check out this blog: Why Donate?
Shower curtain rings are the little circular objects that hold up your shower curtain. Did you know that they can do a whole lot more than that to improve your everyday life? Listed here are 20 unexpected uses for shower curtain rings:
I'm sure you have heard someone say "If you haven't worn it in a year, get rid of it." I have a nifty trick to help you keep track of what has and has not been worn this year.
-Turn all your hangers backwards.
-Add a reminder in your calendar one year from today to purge your closet.
-When putting away your clothes, hang normally (hangers forward).
-One year from today, review your closet. Clothing on hangers that are backwards haven't been worn in one year!
Happy New Year!
January is "Get Organized" month. What are you resolving to get organized in 2014?
Start small to avoid overwhelm. A drawer, a small closet, your pantry....
Join us for an ECO-ORGANIZING workshop at Infinite Light Center in Jamesville on Wednesday, January 29th from 6-7:30 pm.
The cost is $20. Call (315) 373-0626 or visit www.infinitelightcenter.com to register.
As a bonus, Mary Riposo will be leading a guided meditation at the beginning to encourage manifestation of a more organized living environment.
We hope to see you there!
If you are a busy Mom who has introduced the Elf on a Shelf to your family, and you are anything like me, you are already running low on ideas. While Pinterest-ing, I found a 30-day calendar of ideas that "Mommy's Craft Obsessions" posted. I like it because you don't have to following it religiously but at least it gives you a starting point.
Best of luck this holiday season Elf Hiders!