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3 posts from May 2012


Organizing Tips for June

(Illustration from RealSimple.com) 

 June is the busy month of weddings, graduations and outdoor activities.   The best organizing approach is to work in the areas that are already requiring time.  Since it is the end of the school year and the children or grandchildren will be around, one subject to consider is their spaces and the keepsakes you have been saving for them.  Of course travel is on the mind of most of us, too.

An avalanche of school papers may be arriving for you to handle this month.  My best advice is to
let the child decide which to keep.  Keepsake boxes or binders can be used for these.  Give
one to each child and let it be the only place for special saved items.  If it gets too full, let the child decide what to keep and what can go.  Resist the urge to get more or bigger boxes.  Think
about how many things you really need from your childhood to remember the good times.  Of course there are items they have made that you will store with your keepsakes, but be selective. 

Children now have time to go through their rooms and eliminate items they have not used or no longer want or like.  Clothing that no longer fits can be sorted for sale or donation.  Children grow
quickly and by fall most of what they wore during the past year will not fit.  Thankfully not much variety in clothing is need for the summer months.  If you are storing them for younger siblings, remember to label them as to sex, size and season.

Children need limits on everything except love and affection.  They should not be allowed to
collect an unlimited amount of matchbox cars, Barbie clothes, t-shirts, flip-flops or anything else.  Let the space determine how much can be easily organized in the given space and draw the line
there.  You will be teaching them good organizing habits and a lesson that there are limits in life.  Should they want a new item, remind them something they already have must go.  This is the “one in—one out” rule that we all should follow.

Too many of anything means none of them are special.  This includes collections such as china,
dolls, salt and pepper shakers, stamps, etc.  If space is limited and many of these items are stored in the attic or closets, consider saving only those that have special meaning and letting the
remainder go to other family members or donate or sell them to anyone else who will appreciate them and has room for them.  Storing keepsakes out of site does not honor or respect the memories that go with them.  Put those that you choose to keep in a place where they can be enjoyed and given the honor and respect they deserve.

Photographs are another source of keepsake clutter.  Save only the best from each activity.  No one needs 100 pictures of the beach vacation.  A few special pictures are all that is needed to capture that special time.  There are lots of ways to sort and save them in colorful scrapbooks and online in creative formats.  I am not a scrapbooker, but I do admire the projects and products available from Creative Memories and other sources.

Make a point of enjoying the outdoors while the weather is nice.  Keep outdoor umbrellas closed when not in use.  It will extend their usefulness and prevent damage during high winds or thunderstorms.  I have personal experience with this one.

And speaking of storms, this is the beginning of hurricane season.  If you live in an area affected
by hurricanes, high winds or rising waters, you should review the list of necessary emergency items and secure those now.  Be sure to update your household inventory.  More information on it can be found on a previous Blog I posted:  http://organizingtipsfromorderlyplaces.blogspot.com/2009/06/pictures-for-inventory.html

If you will be traveling this summer, create a permanent travel kit with activities for yourself and family.  If it is only used for travel, the items will appear to be almost new and more interesting. 

If you travel often and if you have storage space, create a permanent supply box or bag with items you always need.  Some of these may be duplicates of items you use everyday at home but you will not need to disturb those.

A permanent travel checklist that you keep on your computer or in a convenient notebook is a great strategy to prevent forgetting items you always need.  I keep one just for quilt retreats, my favorite travel experience! 

For information on organizing your suitcase, check out this article I posted last summer  http://hrblogs.typepad.com/homeandgarden/2011/05/organizing-your-suitcase.html

 If you have questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact us through our website:  www.OrderlyPlaces.com



Organizing Your Car

The family automobile has become an integral part of our lives.

Sell Car Organizer, Trunk Organizer, Car Accessory
Some of us would argue we live in our cars.  And it appears the more space it has, the more stuff we carry in it.  If you transport young children, then the amount grows exponentially. 

With the recent empahsis on organizing, I have found there is a plethora of products to help us keep order within our vehicles.  The pictures above are some of those I found online but any automotive parts store or section in local box stores has them, too.  While I am all about using products designed for specific tasks, I think some everyday products we already have could be useful in containing and separating car stuff. 

One problem I have is keeping food from rolling out of the plastic or cloth grocery bags as I drive from the store.  Most are too full  or awkward to tie up and it seems every stop and go releases at least one item from those bags.  Some vehicles have hooks installed on the back of seats to hang bags, but since many do not, I am recommending using totes, boxes or bins with firm sides to hold those flimsy bags.  The totes that fold down flat when not in use are especially convenient.  One large plastic bin would keep several bags secure and can be used for sporting equipment, emergency supplies, etc.

For items you like to have handy while you are on the road, there are organizers that fit on the seats, between the seats and hang over the seats.  The style that hangs on the back of the seat in from of children seem to be popular for storing items children can access to keep them occupied and happy. I am certainly in favor of those.  I use a dishpan between the front seats in my van to hold a box of tissues, pens, paper, a toiletries bag (be prepared is my motto, too) and a water bottle.  It is waterproof and easy to move in and out.  Other specifically designed products have dividers to help keep items organized.  I recommend any of them, too. 

If attractiveness is a high priority or if your car is used for business and you want to apprear more professional, there are product lines that have matching sets of totes, boxes and bins.  These are good investments if you plan to keep and use them for longer periods of time. 

This discussion could not be complete, however, without mentioning the importance of maintenance.  Like any other space, it is important to continually monitor the amount and types of things in the car.  Clean out items you no longer need or use, eliminate trash that may collect in the containers and wipe up any spills before stains become a problem.  Even grit and dirt can accumulate causing wear and tear. 

Items that roll around in the car as you drive can be a distraction and even worse dangerous.  Containers are a great way to keep the interior and trunk of the car in order.  Find some that work for your situation and put them to use.   For more information or to contact us, visit our web page:  www.OrderlyPlaces.com


Hot in Style Spring 2012

Are you wondering what is hot in style right now, well we have found the answer...Birds! Home accents are paying homage to our fine feathered friends. You can find them on Rugs, Lamps, Pillows, Bowls, Ceramic Pieces and atop mirrors. So go out and get your bird on people!

Here are a few examples where you will see the bird trend at its finest.

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