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Sunday
Oct312010

TIME TO DO THE DISHES!

Dishes are something you do every day-even if you have a dishwasher.  So, you might as well have an efficient and automatic way to handle this task so you can spend your energy on other things! 

Fellow Organizer and author, Bonnie McCullough, give these suggestions:

Put away clean dishes as soon as you walk into the kitchen.  Getting them out of the way gives you a clear work area and can save you frustration later.

Deal with the mess.  Clear off tables and counters one area at a time, moving methodically through your kitchen.  If you have a dishwasher, store dirty dishes inside it until you have enough to run a full cycle.

Don’t leave dirty dishes on the counter!  If you have utensils or pans that don’t go into the dishwasher, wash them right away.  Since dishes have to be done so often you might as well teach yourself to do them quickly and without anger.  If you can’t do dishes immediately or decide to save lunch dishes until supper, at least stack them neatly off to the side. 

Don’t try to fix supper on top of the mess of earlier meals.  You might want to quickly wash the dishes before you start supper, and use the dishwasher to soak utensils used for supper preparation. 

Washing bowls, pans and utensils as you use them is a good trick for small kitchens.  The more you get cleaned up before supper, the more free time you’ll have after the meal!

Get rid of clutter!  The more stuff you have in your kitchen, the more you have to keep organized.  Get rid of items you rarely use or never use.  Avoid storing things on counter tops.  Store things near where they will be used. 

Clean up is easier if you have a convenient place for your things.  If several people use your kitchen, it’s helpful for all involved to label shelves and drawers.   Do get all family members involved with cleanup.  Bonnie suggests making a chart and plotting the various clean up tasks and the person responsible for them each day.  If everyone takes a little time to help, you’ll all have more free time together!

Monday
Oct042010

Better Your Bathroom

We usually begin our day and end our day-in the bathroom.  To help get you in and out with more ease and efficiency;  let me offer you some tips for your bathroom.  Ever finish your shower or bath and find yourself having to run dripping wet to get a towel?  Instead of storing all the towels in the hall closet, install a shelf or two in the bathroom. 

BE ROBE READY-A simple hook on the back of the bathroom door can keep you robe ready and insure you won’t need to make any more mad dashes to another room for cover. 

SHAMPOO SHELVING-There are portable shelves that loop over the shower head to hold supplies and make it easy to reach without even opening your eyes.

RUBBER DUCKIE-Tub trays can hold duckies, scrubbies, soap, or whatever else you want to keep handy in the bathtub.

BATHROOM JUNK DRAWER-Just as most kitchens need a junk drawer, so does the bathroom.  Put divider trays into your bathroom drawers to divide up things like bobby pins, manicure equipment, hair accessories, and so on.

ROUND TABLE-When cabinets are deep use lazy susan systems to lessen frustration of the otherwise dominoe effect when reaching for things.           

MAKEUP CENTER-Group similar items in small baskets or plastic containers to save time digging for them and you’ll save space overall.

DOWN UNDER-Check under the sink to see if there’s space for an additional shelf.

WET HEAD-Plastic hair dryer holder that stick via a suction cup to the bathroom wall or installed inside a cabinet will keep the hair dryer handy and ready for use. 

BAG IT-Draw string bags will hold hair dryers, saving supplies, or whatever when hung on hooks or even small nails inside the sink cabinet door.

With a little thought and ingenuity your bathroom can become better for you and your family.

Thursday
Sep022010

Get More Time in Your Life.

Wouldn’t you like extra hours each day to accomplish all you need to do?  Maggie Bedrosian, in the Bottom Line Newsletter, offers the following 10 tips to get more time in your life:

  1. Slow Down!  Take time to do things right the first time, and enjoy the time you saved by not having to them over.
  2. Say No! Just because someone asks you to do something that’s important to them, it doesn’t have to be on your list of priorities.
  3. Define Your Purpose.  Know where you are going and why.  You tend to have more time and energy to accomplish what you really want to do.
  4. Delegate.  Be willing to let others bring their ideas and methods into the task, and accept the fact that things may be done differently than you would have done them.
  5. Eliminate the little things by doing them.  If you do all the little things each day, they won’t become big things that will take longer to accomplish. 
  6. Simplify.  Don’t make your life more complicated than it has to be.  Organize your desk before you leave work; choose your clothes before bedtime, etc. so you won’t be sidetracked by this decision the next day.
  7. Know when to hire help.  Not every task you do yourself is a time-saver.  Is there a do-it-yourself project that’s taking up too much of your valuable time?  Could you better hire someone to do it more efficiently?
  8. Exercise and energize!  It is worth the time you take!  Exercise give you more energy, alertness, stamina, and “It puts more life in your years and more years in your life!”
  9. Relax!  Recharge your mind by closing your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and think happy soothing thoughts…pray!
  10. Prioritize your time!  You really will have more time to do what you want if you first take time to decide what is important for you to do.

Thursday
Sep022010

HOW DO YOU DO IT ALL?

You may envy Luann.  Her house is always spotless.  She’s a young mom with a one year old, and she babysits her toddler nephew.  She’s active in her church, takes voice lessons, goes to BSF (Bible Study Fellowship), and finds time to encourage friends.  If asked, “How do you do it?”  Luann’s answer is simple.  “I never leave the house without doing three things:  I make the beds, do the dishes, and put in one load of laundry.  I always get up at least two hours before I have to be anywhere.  That gives me an hour to get ready, and an hour to straighten the house.”

That seems simple enough to do.  You might choose three different things to do, such as vacuum, iron, and get supper ingredients together.  And if you’re a morning person, you might choose to do these things before you go to bed at night. But it makes sense to get into the routine of doing three specific things every day.  It gives Luann a sense of being in control, gets the housework started, and lets her return home to a neat house.

Luann also faithfully heeds my tips – thanks Luann!  But, before you start thinking that Luann is some kind of super woman, listen to her second thought:  “Think what would happen if I tried to do everything everyone expects me to do:  Serve at church, keep the house and closets clean, have personal devotions and memorize Scripture, spend quality time with the kids and my husband, cook three solid meals a day-don’t forget tasty fruits and vegetables, cultivate friendships, read to keep myself current and stimulated, oh, yes, and take time to do something for myself.  When do I sleep?!

I think Luann is trying to tell us that no one can do it all.  Be realistic.  Set your priorities, find the best way to accomplish them-then relax, and accept yourself as you are. 

Thursday
Jul172008

Welcome to the wonderful world of organized living!

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