Since it’s National Clean out Your Closet Week, I thought I’d put all the My Organized Lifestyle closet posts in one place to simplify the purging and organizing process. Enjoy!
Wardrobe Change: Organizing Your Closet Six steps to cleaning out and straightening up the tiny room you start and end your day in. Make it a pleasant space to spend time!
Maximize Your Closet Space: Big or Small The post explains why we don’t like our closets, problems & solutions, and how to contain everything from belts to scarves to jewelry.
Come & Go with Ease: Front Hall/Closet Makeover Create “parking spaces” for your purse, work bag, keys, mail and other items that you need when you come and go each day. It is possible!
How Do I Maintain These Toys? This article has some suggestions for how to organize and store toys.
Check out the Dream Closets board on Pinterest.
In light of the recent tornado devastation in the Midwest and Southern part of the United States, I’ve been thinking a lot about being prepared in the event of a weather emergency.
There are many levels of preparedness. There’s the “we’ve lost power” due to a car hitting a telephone pole or a city generator shorting out. There’s the fire emergency. Then there’s the hurricane, tornado or snow storm disaster. In those cases, when you could possibly be without electricity for days, or have to evacuate due to hurricane and flooding, it’s essential to have certain supplies on hand to be sure our families are taken care of until power is restored or we’re able to return to our homes.
Last week, I published a post that focused on preparing your family, which precludes this post of actually putting together the emergency kit. Click here to read. It’s got some great information about organizing the plan for your family, including discussing it with your children.
This post focuses on creating an organized emergency kit. Click here for a complete list of what you want to have on hand. These items can be collected over a series of shopping trips–add a few items to your next grocery store visit this week, then do the same next week. In just a short time, you’ll have everything you need.
In the event you want to keep it simple, there’s the option of purchasing pre-made emergency kits, some include water, but if not be sure to have at least one gallon per family member for at least five days.
I had the pleasure of communicating with Paul Faust, owner of 1800prepared.com. He started the company in an effort to bring awareness to everyday people like you and me. He told me:
“We as parents naturally do ‘preparedness’ when we have children. We lock up the poison, put cabinet locks on, gates for the stairs, carry hand sanitizer and band-aids, etc. That is preparedness. For some reason we just forget about it in all other aspects of our lives. Preparedness is something everyone needs to be doing, bringing it into their homes and discussing with their families. It isn’t necessarily about preparedness for a massive disaster. It is about general everyday ‘what ifs’.”
So here are some already packaged solutions for preparation on different levels and what you need if you’re in this situation (you can click on the photos to link to the actual products):
These kits contain more than just some candles, a flash light and a deck of cards. There are glow sticks, a 36-hour candle, and a first aid kit that all comes in a self-containe bag. Buy one and put it in a central location so you can easily grab it, if needed.
The bag below is what’s called a 2-person Elite package. It contains what’s needed to literally survive without power, including a tent, ponchos and water.
Car accident or Breakdown
Always great to have a kit stashed in your car in case you break down or your car won’t start. If you don’t already have road side service through your insurance company or Triple AAA, it’s great to know that if you do get stuck, you just make a call for help.
Who wants to discuss “where to go to the bathroom” if you are forced to camp out without the luxuries of home. But, it’s something we all need to think about.This kit comes with a variety of items for survival all packaged in a bucket that is a usable toilet. If you have little ones, this is a great solution when they’ve got to go!
Let’s not forget that we spend a great deal of time at work. Be prepared there too. Any one of the survival kits is great to have on hand. If you own a company, consider enough supplies for all employees. Also, discuss a plan of action with them, especially if you live in a high risk area for natural disasters.
And let’s not forget Fido or Kitty. They’re part of the family too so make sure you have what they need!
Click here for the complete list needed to compile your emergency kit.Read More
Unless you’ve experienced a natural disaster like Hugo or a horrendous earthquake, the urgency to prepare for an emergency probably doesn’t exist. I’ll admit, even though I have lived in a part of the country that experiences hurricane season, I still don’t have everything my family and I would need if we were hit hard and power was out for more than a day or two (which is about to change!).
There are different levels of emergency planning, which can range from a blackout to a fire to a natural disaster. As with most projects or situations, the question is “Where do I start?” And the answer is always the same: With a plan. Ready.gov provides a Family Emergency Plan form to record information such as meeting places, out of town contacts, work and school information, social security numbers and more. Clear and open communication about what to do in the event of an emergency is critical and this form helps you record important information and it’s a conversation starter to discuss the “what ifs?” with your family members.
Here are your steps to preparing:
1. Fill out the Family Emergency Plan form.
2. Fill out a “Child Emergency Contact Card,” laminate (if possible) and place it in their backpack.
3. Enter an “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) contact into your phone and your children’s phones. Emergency personnel will often check someone’s cell phone for an ICE listing to contact someone you know.
4. Gather and organize your Important Documents. For example, personal and property insurance, driver’s license, passport, banking information. Make copies of your wallet contents and back up as part of the “important documents.” Don’t forget your pet’s documents too! FEMA recommends using CloudIT Services to store (back up) your documents online. Carbonite is a user-friendly site, which will automatically back up your hard drive.
5. Organize your Emergency Kit–I’ll provide contents in the upcoming post next week.
Get started on the first four steps to gain some peace of mind and know that you’re ready just in case!
To inform yourself as to the nature of disasters in your area, visit www.ready.gov.
This post is the second in a series of six. First post = Easy Office Organizing for a Successful 2012
Each year, shortly after the New Year has arrived, people start bemoaning the fact that “tax time is going to be here before you know it.” Most admit it wouldn’t be such a dreaded task if they had kept track of things like receipts and other documents throughout the year.
When you create a home for future reference items, you prevent that panicked feeling each spring as you try to remember the financial details of the year.
Our first piece of tax advice is to create a system to sort Income, Expenses and Taxes. Throughout the year you will come across paper documents supporting important information for your tax returns. Sort this information into three categories, using separate hanging files or binders. If you like uniformity, stick with one color for your files or binders. If you are more visual, you might prefer a separate color for each category:
Valuable Tax Advice on Receipts
If you purchase items that you’ll need proof of when tax time comes, you’ll want to be sure to hang on to the receipt. Sometimes it may not be convenient to file the receipt immediately.
Hopefully you will take this fundamental tax advice and put it to good use. You now have a place to put your tax information and it will be easy to access and use come the start of the New Year. In fact, this tax advice may help you be so organized that you’ll do your taxes early next year.
For a fabulous checklist from Smead Organomics, click here!
Here are links to all six posts in this series of six:
Was this article helpful? If so, please tell your friends by using the social media buttons below. Thank you!Read More
Newlywed organization and the merging of two households can be challenging. Not only are you merging styles, but stuff too. Then there are the wedding gifts!
Each person brings with them a set of established habits that the other must learn to “live with.” In this brief interview, check out how this married couple is making it work!
1. How long have you been married?
May 29th, 2011 so about 5 months and we already act like an old married couple!
2. How did you choose where you would live as a married couple? Was it based on the size of the space, location, style?
We knew we wanted to stay in the same part of town since that’s where our friends and my family live. It’s in the middle of everything and you get the most value for your money. We decided to look at a neighborhood one of our friends lived in because it had brand new houses. We started by looking at floorplans together and discussed what we were both looking for in a house. For the most, part we liked the same things! It was a very quick process since he needed to have a place to live in as soon as possible. We went and looked at the three homes that were available and almost completed. The second house we toured had a perfect floorplan, nice big kitchen with all of the upgrades, a TON of storage/attic space and would be ready to move in within the month. It was the perfect size since it was four bedrooms (three upstairs with the master bedroom downstairs) – so just big enough for us to have our three children down the road. With the extra three bedrooms upstairs we had plenty of space, but can cut off the upstairs air conditioning, since for now we only need the downstairs for just two of us. Another deciding factor for my husband was the size of the fourth bedroom upstairs that was the room above garage — perfect for my husband’s “Man Cave.”
3. Does your style mesh with your husband’s? Describe your styles and how you’re working to create a space that showcases both of you and how organization plays a part in that plan.
We agreed from the beginning that he would have his one room upstairs in the house as his Man Cave that he could decorate however he wished…and I had the rest of the house! I thought that was a great deal. We still shopped together for the big items like furniture and luckily, we really do have the same style and easily chose our furniture. There were no issues deciding on that! I chose the paint color, pictures, etc. though. Recently, he’s been talking about how he wants one of those basketball shooting games and how there’s no room left in the man cave, so he wants to put it in the corner of our den or kitchen – HA…I will not let that happen, I just keep referring back to our original agreement!
4. Did you register for wedding gifts? Have they all been unpacked? Describe the influx and was it unexpected and a challenge to create space for the gifts in your new home?
Yes, we registered at Bed Bath & Beyond together and since we were moving into a new house and neither of us had lived on our own other than college, we literally needed everything! Therefore the gifts were unpacked immediately to start using and we had no issue making space since there was nothing occupying the space before!!
5. Who is the organized one in your new family?
That would definitely be me! I can’t stand not knowing where things are or when drawers get too cluttered or when there’s just random things being stored away or sitting around that take up space when they will never be used and should just be thrown away.
6. How do you keep a sense of humor about your differences and adjustments to life as a married couple?
You can only expect so much from a man when it comes to organization. I found a man who not only cooks (and cooks very well at that) but cleans too, so I truly can’t complain because I know that is a rarity and I’m a very lucky woman!!! If I have to do all of the organizing, at least I don’t have to do all of the cooking and cleaning too!
7. What’s the one thing about your husband that frustrates you when it comes to organization?
SHOES and clothes…. I pick up pairs of his shoes around the house DAILY to put them back in the closet – Sometimes four or five pairs at a time. He just doesn’t always “pick up” after himself in general – clothes will literally sit in a pile on our bedroom floor for weeks and weeks before he gets to the point that he can’t find clothes to wear to work so then he finally hangs them up or STUFFS them into a drawer without folding.
8. What’s the one thing that frustrates your husband about you when it comes to organization?
Easy – When I move his stuff! I try to organize the room and put his stuff away or put his clothes into one pile rather than sprawled all over the room but then of course he’ll blame me when he can’t find something since I’m the one who moved it.