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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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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j0440914From large companies to the individual users, folks with computers around the world were wondering if the joke was on them this April Fools Day.  Luckily, there seems to have been little affect from the anticipated Conflicker Worm .  But some report the bad guys behind it have put it on hold because everyone is on such high alert.

Hopefully it will never come to fruition.  From what I have read, computers that are regularly protected will have a much less  chance of  having problems.  But the scare and they hype did teach us a good lesson.  It is important to make sure that your computer is protected.  It is very simple to keep your computer up to date.  You should install anti virus and anti Spyware software.

  • Set computer for automatic updates from Microsoft.  Many times they send “patches” when they know a problem is going on or  its way.
  • Set computer for automatic Spyware scans.
  • Be sure to back up your information.  Many options are available.  External hard drives, downloading to CD or automatic on-line updates such as Carbonite.
  • Scan discs and devices for viruses.
  • Be careful what links you open and forward.  Many viruses are disguised as something else.

There are a ton of reasons why being organized is a positive thing.  You must Organize for Disaster as well.  We all want to say, “oh, that won’t happen to me…” but when it does you want to be able to recover as quickly and as stress free as possible.

Oprah Organizes – Again

February 18, 2009

O is for Oprah

O is for Organizing

Set your DVR for Oprah for tomorrow (Thursday.)  Her guest will be organizing expert Peter Walsh.  It is part of their road show series.  You can get some excellent tips from Peter and if you feel that you are disorganized you will also see that you are not alone!

The Container Store is a sponsor.  You can check out their site for air time and also, check back after the show or on the Oprah site.  Last time they offered 20% coupons for the store.  Not sure if they will this time  Now remember, only buy what you NEED.

The Container Store – Clean Up Your Messy House Tour

Have fun watching and saving…and look for a fellow New England organizer Elizabeth Selders in the audience.  She was there an spoke on camera, hopefully she makes the final cut!

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Get Organized, Take Control

February 17, 2009

Last night I visited a friend.  When I arrived they were very busy purging and organizing.  After a super busy week  for this friend I had expected them to be passed out with the remote in their hand.

Why not?  The week was crazy, doom in gloom in the news, whispers of layoffs at work. I was told:

“There is so much out there I can’t control, THIS–my space and my environment I CAN control…it feels good.”

Well said my friend.

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Pop Goes the Balloon

February 13, 2009

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A friend of mine just moved and has been going through things still at the old house.  Doing some good ol’ purging.  He came upon the balloons from his 30th birthday party…he is  now 48 years old.  Finally he was able to throw them away.

He is not the only one of late to do so.  I had a similar experience with a client.  Balloons and decor from a party 15 years or so ago. After a lot of hard work and learning what is really important to keep in her life, she was able to  throw them away.  Believe it or not, it is not uncommon and for some very hard to do.

Items from memorable occasions can be tough to let go.  Prom dresses, flowers from a loved one, mother of the bride dress.  At first we think the memory of the person or occasion is directly tied to these items.  But they are not.  When you come across an item like this think:

  • Do I have the memories for the event in my mind?
  • Do I have photos?
  • Do I really need this item to be reminded of the event or the person?

I bet you will answer no!  It is time to let them go…

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Organizer’s Best Friend

February 11, 2009

Yes, it is true.  A label maker is an organizer’s best friend.

Using labels help you stay organized.  They can be especially helpful with multiple users in a home or office.  That way everyone can be on the same page on where the “home” for an item is.  For playrooms and children’s rooms, it can help with reading skills.  Regular maintenance and items have a “home” are the staples of staying organized.

It is important that the label you place on something makes sense to you, what you would call something.  If the label does not make sense to you then you will not be driven by it and end up placing  items in other locations.

There are all different types of labels to help you.

The basic: Standard label maker.  You know the white strip with black letters.  This is the most universal one of them all.  Can be used on files, shelves, boxes, bins, etc.

label-makerFun: I just found these pre-made labels at The Paper Source that I love for mail, paper centers.  They have lots of other fun and decorative labels as well.

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Decorative: Mabel’s Labels is  a great site for decorative labels.  Many clients like to label jars, drawers, cabinets but the traditional style of a label maker doesn’t work.  Now there is a better option.  Various sizes and designs  available  for home products as well as children’s clothing.

household-labels

Creative: Crafty?  Make your own.  It can be fun and decorative!  I have used kid’s school pictures on ribbons tied to school paper “in boxes.”  Creative paper with fun colored binder clips.  The better you like the look, the more you will be attracted to it and use the system!

Remember — function over fashion, but if you get the functionality down, have fun with it!

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