September 28th, 2009
Do you know what’s in your home? Are you applying for insurance that requires an inventory of things in your home (like Jewelery)? How will you know something is missing if you’re ever robbed (heaven-forbid)?
There are many reasons to keep an up-to-date inventory of items in your home. No matter what your reason, give Know Your Stuff a try.
In this site, you can create a free online database (aka list) of all your posessions, and access this list from anywhere, anytime. Some great features of Know Your Stuff include:
- organizing and viewing your possessions by room or category
- viewing reports that you can easily export to Excel or print directly, and
- creating an inventory calendar so you can schedule maintenance and organizational tasks.
This site is a great tool to help you create an inventory of items in your home. Set aside some time and create your inventory. You may not need it now, but when you do, you’ll save so much time and stress.
September 21st, 2009
Are you always on the lookout for simple ways to organize your home, office, and your life? For a daily dose of organzing tips, check out the Martha Stewart Organizing Tip of the Day.
Each day, Martha will give you a new, simple way to organize. It may be a simple craft project, a tip to organize your clutter, or even instructions to properly fold a t-shirt!
Once you have finished your organization tasks for the day, why not bake some cookies? For those of you with a sweet tooth, check out Martha Stewart’s Cookie of the Day for your daily cookie fix. You may even discover something new! (Just make sure you have your cookie jars organized cause you might just be baking cookies every day)!
Do you have a favourite Martha Stewart Organization Tip? Share your favourites below…
September 14th, 2009
School has been back for a week now. Your schedule is filled with soccer practices, gymnastics, and doctor’s appointments. It seems like the school year get’s busier and busier each year. Here are 3 tips to stay organized:
- Have a Family Calendar: Whether you choose a wall calendar or an electronic one (like Google Calendar) keep all your family’s activities and events in one place.
- Use Labels and Colour Codes: Assign a colours or labels for each person or type of activity. On the family calendar, each person will be able to quickly identify the different events.
- School Agenda Books: Most kids will get an agenda book from their school. Encourage your kids to write each assignment in their book. They can highlight or write the subject name, what the assignment is, and the due date. Consider using paperclips, or folded pages to mark the current week in the agenda.
Have you considered a Family Game night? Choose a specific night each week when your entire family is home and you play a game or spend time together. Put this in your calendar!
September 7th, 2009
As any parent knows, getting the kids ready for school in the morning can be a busy, stressful time. However, a little planning can help ease the stress and make everyone a bit happier in the morning:
Preparation in the evening
- Prepare lunches: One of the biggest time savers, is to prepare the lunches the evening before. This way you just grab and go in the morning.
- Pack Backpacks: Help your kids put their homework and supplies in their backpack the night before. Have them put their backpacks on their hook by the front door.
- Any Notices from the Teacher?: Start a routine with your kids so that they show you any school newsletters or notes from the teacher right when they get home from school. This way, you’re not driving them to school and they say “oh Mom, I forgot to show you…”
You can also save some time by pre-making dinners and other meals. Consider spending a few hours once a week to make dinners that re-heat or freeze easily. That way you can quickly pop them in the oven for dinner and spend more quality time in the evening with your family.
Next week, we’ve got some tips on organizing your family calendar and kid’s school agenda books.
August 31st, 2009
With the return of school, comes piles of shoes, backpacks, and lunch boxes all over your front entry way! Here are 3 tips to keep it organized.
- Purchase a hook for each kid: Give each kid a hook for their jacket and backpack. If you have more than one kid, label each hook and let them decorate that label so they know which one is theirs.
- Cubbies for shoes and books: Consider making little cubbies for their shoes, books and other school supplies.
- Shoe Rack: You could also purchase a wire or wooden shoe rack for their shoes. Choose 2 pairs of shoes (school shoes and play shoes) to keep in this rack and store the rest in a closes.
- Mommy and Daddy’s keys: Even mom and dad should have some organization in the front hall. Have a special dish or hangers for your keys. Always keep your keys in this spot, so it’s easier to grab them on the way out the door.
Encourage them to always put their backpack, jacket, shoes, and lunch box away when they first enter the house.
Next week, we’ll have some tips to ease the stress of getting your kids ready for school each day.
August 24th, 2009
It’s back to school time. I’m sure all you parents are both excited and overwhelmed at the same time. You’ll finally get your kids out of the house during the day, however, you have to deal with back-to-school shopping!
Here are some tips to make back-to-school shopping less stressful:
- Get only what they NEED: Check your child’s school supply list and see what supplies you have left over from last year. You may have many items left over. Also keep in mind that you don’t need to buy everything at once. Buy just what they need (pens, paper..etc) now, and get the more specialized supplies (calculators, pencil crayons, rulers…etc) later, when the stores are less busy.
- Think “Organized”: What school supplies can you buy your kids to help them stay organized? Consider coloured binders, dividers, special pencil cases with lots of extra pockets.
- Give them a clothing budget: You don’t need to buy a complete new wardrobe for the first day back! Give your child a budget and let them choose a few items that they like. This will teach them money management at the same time!
- Look for sales, buy in bulk: There will be many back-to-school sales. Search your local flyers and look for the best deals. Consider buying things like pens and paper in bulk because you know you’ll need them for future grades.
Have you found any great back-to-school deals or have a back-to-school shopping tip to share? Share them by commenting below…
August 18th, 2009
Congrats on your new bundle of joy! You’re probably spending all your time feeding, changing, and showing him/her off to friends and family. With little time left over, there are still a few simple organizational tips you can use to keep your baby’s new bedroom tidy and organized:
- Purchase lots of storage: Your baby will have lots of clothes, diapers, and accessories. Have all your changing table items in a dresser right next to the changing table so you don’t have to leave your baby unattended while grabbing the baby wipes from across the room. Organize your baby’s different clothing items and accessories in separate drawers so you always know where to find them.
- Special Baby Furniture: There are so many new and exciting furniture and baby accessories available today. While it may be tempting to all of them, try to stick to the necessities: a crib, changing table, baby swing, rocking chair and a dresser or storage solution for their clothes and accessories. Don’t forget a diaper disposal bin near the changing table.
- Storage under the Crib: Under the baby’s crib is a perfect place to put bins of old clothes, new clothes they have yet to grow into, toys, and extra baby items.
- Stuff for Mommy & Daddy: Have a book and a table light next to your rocking chair in the baby’s bedroom. Once your baby falls asleep, if you haven’t already too, you’ll have a book ready for you.
- Closet shelving: You and your baby will appreciate a clutter-free baby room. Instead of cluttering the floors with bins of baby stuff, consider purchasing a closet organization system so you can store things like shoes, clothes, and extra supplies so they’re easy to access, but clear out of sight!
A few other tips to stay organized:
– Label boxes and bins so you know at a glance what’s in each box
– If you want to reuse storage bins and furniture for potential new brothers and sisters, choose a style and colour that is neutral so it can be used in other spaces when your enfant grows out of them.
– When decorating the baby’s room, keep in mind that it will probably change as the kid grows up, so don’t go too crazy with decorations unless they can be easily taken down and replaced as the baby grows up.
– As your child grows out of clothes and accessories, pack them up and store them in another room to make room for new clothes and accessories. Doing this on a regular basis, instead of letting them pile up can save you time in the long run.
Have you just welcomed a new baby into your family? What else do you do to stay organized?
August 13th, 2009
Analysts say that we are over the worst of the recession, but many of us are still feeling the pinch. Did you know that being organized can help save you time and money, both invaluable commodities?
Top 3 things organization will give you:
- Greater Efficiency: When you are in control of your personal/business schedule, you know where you can fit in new clients, family time, and even personal time. Your efficiency will increase because you can schedule and dedicate certain blocks of time to specific tasks and spend less time wondering “What should I be doing now?”
- More Clients: If your potential clients see that you are organized, they will deduce that you care about your business, and your contract with them. When hiring a consultant, for example, would you rather hire the person who has their paperwork cleanly organized in a presentation folder specifically for your project, or someone who struggles to find your papers within a ratty folder that clearly has multiple client projects in it?
- Reduced Stress: We have enough to worry about these days in both our personal and business lives. Having an organized office and home will mean you have at least one less thing to stress over. For example, you may have less stress when your appointment book is organized and up-to-date, your kitchen pantry is organized, and your client paperwork is sorted appropriately.
If you have no idea where to start and need a little advice or a push, Clarity Jane offers free one-hour consultations. Contact Emma M. Cooper, Professional Organizer, at Clarity Jane for more information:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 604-833-5177
“Tough economic times are also motivation for the organization itself to improve its efficiency.”
-Michael McKnight CEO and President of United Way Lower Mainland. (Metro News paper article – May 25, 2009)
August 3rd, 2009
Have you heard about the Freecycle Network? It is an online network of over 4,000 groups and over 7 million people all looking to give stuff away or get stuff for free.
This nonprofit movement has groups for different cities and towns all over the world. Simply join, for free, the area you live in, and you can read postings from people with free stuff to offer. This is not a barter site though. You can only post items you want to give away, no strings attached.
Freecycle allows you to post ads for things you are offering or things you want. They are clearly labeled on the forum so you can easily see the difference. Of course, only legal items suitable for all age groups can be posted. To make sure members are being compliant with the rules, forums are moderated by real humans!
To give you an idea, as of yesterday (Aug 2) there were 2758 members in the Vancouver BC group. Why not register, after all it’s free. You never know if someone may be offering the very exact thing you are looking for.
July 27th, 2009
Donating your used clothes, toys, and household items is not only a great way to give back to the community, it can also help de-clutter your home.
Here are some ideas:
– De-clutter the Playroom: Have your kids outgrown their summer toys? Consider donating them to a family shelter or local elementary school.
– De clutter the Closet: Are you hiding your old clothes in a bag or in the back of your closet? Donate your gently used clothes to your local Salvation Army or Goodwill.
– De-clutter the Kitchen Cupboards: Do you have lots of non-perishable foods cluttering up your kitchen? Bring them into a local food shelter.
– De-clutter the Garage: Do you have a garage full on wine, beer, or pop bottles and cans? It’s time to take them to the recycle depot (and you’ll even get paid for it).
-De-Clutter the Office: Have you recently upgraded your equipment and have old computers and parts laying around? Stop using them as dust collectors and bring them to a local electronic equipment recycle shop or, if they are newer and in good shape consider donating them to your local schools or community centres.
CharityVillage.com has a list of depots and charitable associations throughout Canada who accept donations. Donate your “junk” so it can become another’s treasure.