Over Abundance

May 29, 2009

4th july 117

Love the line from the new Microsoft ad I saw last night…  so relates to our life, our space, our clutter…

Less is the new More!

Love that!  How simple but profound!

Have a great weekend!

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j0437386

I love the saying, “Organizing is a process, not an event.”  How true.  It is not something we do on a Saturday and it is done.  It takes ongoing maintenance to keep things in order.  Regularly making sure things are put away.  Re-evaluating systems to make sure they are working.  Donating or tossing items that no longer have a purpose in our life, are broken or damaged, etc.

It is much easier to put things away if items have a “home.”  I tell clients to do a sweep once a day for 15 minutes.  Put away anything that is left out, or has not been put away from coming in the door.  Working this habit into your day will help you maintain your organization.  I am more of a morning person.  My first priority of the day is to put on some yummy strong coffee.  As it is brewing, I do my “sweep.”  Some clients with children have the kids spend 10 minutes before they go to bed to put things away and make sure their book bags and backpacks are ready to go for the morning.  Pick a time that works for you and work it into your schedule.

Don’t want to be overwhelmed with a disorganized space?  Think of having “PEACE:”

Put

Everything

Away

Conquer

Every day

Peace out!

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Likow & Cantor 042

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to Summer.  In my head Summer is Memorial Day through Labor Day, not the actual seasons on the calendar.  Are you “ready” for fun?

  • Find, try on and wash bathing suits.
  • Consolidate all sunscreen in one area. Throw away any lotions that have expired and re-stock.
  • Take a tour of the garage, basement or shed. Put like items (beach chairs, bikes, summer sport equipment) together for easy access.
  • Toss or donate any summer equipment you will no longer use or is broken, rusted, etc.
  • Create a beach bag – place toys, first-aid items, even fresh towels in canvas carry bags. Keep in car,  garage or other handy, easy access space.
  • Check current supplies of any first-aid items – band aids, Neosporin, sunburn remedies.

Many clients ask me if suncreen lotion expires.  Take a look at your lotion and see if it has an expiration date.  If it does, great the answer is right there.  If not, here are a few suggestions:

  • Some lotions have a number “12, “24” which indicates how many months it is good for.
  • If it is just about gone, be safe and get a new one.
  • You can try when you are going to be in the sun for a limited amount of time and check to see if it is still providing protection.
  • The Mayo Clinic says it should last 3 years…learn more about what they have to say about sunscreen here.

I am wishing everyone a wonderful holiday weekend.

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Hey Mr. Postman…

May 14, 2009

Did you know that the price of stamps went up this week?  It is now 44 cents for a 1st class stamp.  If you planned ahead and bought a bunch of “forever” stamps you are all set.  If not be aware.

It is a good time to remind folks to create or maintain a “mail center.”  In one place (kitchen drawer, desk drawer, etc.) keep what you will need for mail.

  • Return address stamp or stickers
  • Stamps
  • Extra blank envelope

Following are some other helpful tips regarding stamps…stamps

  • You don’t have to save EVERY free address label you get from charity, etc.  There are only so many you will use.  Remember, they sent them to you without you asking for them.  It is ok to get rid of them…
  • Never have time to get to the post office or when you can the lines are just too long?  Many post offices have self service centers.  They are fast and easy to buy stamps and mail packages.  You can also purchase stamps on line at the USPS website.
  • Keep all stamps in one place.  Once you gather, see what you need to use them.  You may need some stamps to make up the difference from various prices increases.  Right now, you may need some 2 cent stamps for the recent increase.  Make an effort to go to the post office and get.  That way you will use them up.  The US Postal service has a \”Make Up Package\” on line where you can purchase 2 cents stamps.
  • Paying bills on line will cut down on purchasing stamps and all the organization that comes with it.  It will also save a lot of trees, gas, man-hours of processing paper bills.

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j0390573

Lately I have noticed  that more and more spam is coming into my in-box.

I scheduled 1/2 hour today to address it.  I had not updated my email rules in quite a while.  For some reason it looked like some rules had disappeared.  If you already don’t know, you can set up “rules” in your email for all sorts of things.

Today I am talking about flagging an email that comes in with a certain word in the subject line, so that it automatically goes into your Junk Mail folder.  Although it does not completely stop it from coming in, doing this does save you time and decreases clutter in your in-box.

If you do not have any “rules” set up, do so right away.  It is easy.  Look to your email help section or microsoft.com to learn how to set up (PC.)  Once you learn, and for those who already have it set up, go in and review the words you are currently flagging to go to Junk Mail.  See if there are any you need to add.  I keep a list next to my computer and write down new ones as they sneak in.  And then, when I schedule time to update my rules, I use this list as a guide of what I need to add.

It is a good idea to regularly take a look at all of those on-line shopping, newsletters, promotion reminders emails you get.  If you don’t read them, don’t just delete them, unsubscribe to them.  If the info is not benefiting us and we are not reading it, then it is just more clutter.

Schedule some time to work on this sometime soon.

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May 7, 2009

doublecornershelf_mI am working on a kitchen organization project tomorrow.  I can’t wait!  It is like putting a big puzzle together.

I’ll be brining a few supplies with me in case we need them.  Of course I will only use what makes the space more efficient.  So what are some of my favorite kitchen organizers?

  • Drawer separators.
  • Clear bins –with and without covers.
  • Under sink shelving.
  • Wire racks to add more vertical space to your cabinets.

The key if you have small space is to house what you use most of the time.  We all have appliances, serving dishes, etc. that we only use from time to time.  Store those in another part of the house, garage or basement.  Be realistic about what you really use.  And, we need room for food!  Most don’t have the luxury of having pantry space.

You want to keep like things together.  All baking together, all spices together and so on.  Many times I put some of these categories into a container.  This way when I am going to “bake” (my family reading this is probably laughing right now) then I can pull out the baking bin and all of my supplies are right there — sugar, vanilla, food coloring, etc.  I can use the items and when done, easily put back into the cabinet.

There are so many things that end up at the back of the cabinets that never see the day of light.  Take time every now and then and edit out what you are not using.  Kids not using certain types of cups any more — bu-bye.  Got a cabinet full of give-a-way mugs? Ok, how many do you really need?

The kitchen is one of the most used spaces in our house.  Make sure the space is used efficiently.

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archival

Yesterday I was was working with a client organizing memories, keepsakes.  I was happy to see that she had already edited it down to what really mattered to her and there was not that much.

There was a box of magazines and newspapers from historical events.  I have to admit I have Princess Diana’s wedding and death People magazine issues and of course John John Kennedy from when he tragically died.  I know I really don’t need them, but I have the space and they are “organized.”

If you have similar “paper” items,  keep only what is related to the event.   You don’t have to keep the entire newspaper.  If you do look back at these or someday your relatives do, they don’t care that Herman’s was a store back in the 70’s or what was in the classified ads that day.  You/they care about reading  the story of the Middle East Peace Treaty, September 11th, The Red Sox winning the world series, and of course about Diane and John John 🙂  So, keep the important articles and photos and recycle the rest.

You will save lots of room for meaningful memories.  I just read a book by organizer Eileen Roth and loved this quote that can relate to this:

“Everything is the sum of parts, but some parts count more than others.”

When storing photos and and “paper” you want to choose a container that is acid free, like the box above from The Container Store.  Crafting stores like Michael’s and AC Moore also carry archival boxes as well.

Once you do have your “memory box,” go through it every once in a while.  Maybe as a child gets over or if there is a milestone in your life.  If items are worth keeping, don’t let them just live in the box and never see the light of day again.  If that is the case, then maybe they don’t need to stay at all…

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