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Winter wonderland

Monday, December 07, 2009

I woke up this morning to a winter wonderland! Snow - probably about 1-2 inches frosting the trees & covering all the ground. I love the first snowfall because it's just so fresh. It gives me a great feeling that I can start all over again. I also love to be the first to walk on that fresh snow and make my mark on the world, even though it's temporary.

I volunteered at my local H1N1 clinic yesterday. It was really a great experience. I had lots of fun and met lots of great people. Something that really impressed me was how many people thanked us for volunteering. It restored my faith in the fact that there still are really nice people out there.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYFEETHURT 12/8/2009 5:23PM

  How nice of you to volunteer. Yes, there are still lots of nice folks out there. It does feel good when anyone says Thank You. Stay warm. mary

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PJSTIME 12/7/2009 7:26AM

    Volunteers are appreciated and it feels good. That is why I do hospice. PJ Have a great day.

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HARDMAN7 12/7/2009 7:02AM


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Your A-toZ Guide to Getting Organized (Part 4 of 4)

Saturday, December 05, 2009

V – Vet your e-mail
If your inbox is constantly clogged, set your e-mail preferences to filter “I can read this later” stuff into its own folders.

W – Waste not, want not
Kitchen storage doesn’t have to stay in the kitchen: Look for ways to repurpose seldom-used items that are taking up space. Turn a spice rack into a clever spot to corral toiletries in the bathroom. Convert a utensil holder into an art supply organizer in your kid’s desk draer.

X – Add extra storage
Go to extremes to find more space-use areas near the floor & ceiling. Install wooden shelving & brackets along one wall of your living room, about a foot beneath the ceiling. It’s the perfect place for an overflow of books. Then go low & line the dead zone at the bottom of a hall closet with baskets to stow extra blankets.

Y – Ditch the yard sale
Yard sales are only good if you set the date when you decide to clean out. Otherwise, it’s emotionally better in the long run just to donate & be done. Sure, you may miss out on a little cash, but you’ll keep those “on second thought” items from migrating back into the house.

Z – Zip it up
Keep small, easy to lose items (craft supples, game pieces, itsy-bitsy toys, etc.) from going MIA permanently by putting them into a zippered mesh bag each time you find one. The zipper keeps them safe , the mest keeps them visible. Thread a ribbon through the zipper pull & hang the bag on a hook in an accessible spot. No more “Mom, I can’t find…?”

Sure hope you enjoyed these tips – I know I learned a lot of new, marvelous ideas myself.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MUGZY8ME 12/5/2009 1:13PM

    great tips thanks

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QTPI36 12/5/2009 9:32AM

    emoticon emoticon

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PJSTIME 12/5/2009 7:39AM

    More good tips. Thank you. PJ

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Your A-toZ Guide to Getting Organized (Part 3 of 4)

Friday, December 04, 2009

N – Build a household notebook Restyle a 3-ring binder into command central. Divvy it up with tabbed categories such as Contacts, Food and Activities. Then stock it with class phone lists, school lunch schedules, blank calendars and more so everything you need is at your fingertips. Even easier, download cute printable forms, like a weekly chore sheet or a menu planner, at TheProjectGirl.com (click on “free downloads”).

O – Organize your computer
So many electronic files, so little time. Locate everything you need in seconds with software like Google Desktop. Downloadable for free at destop.google.com, the program searches your entire hard drive as quickly as you can search the web, so you can find an old e-mail or misplaced memo fast.

P – Put up a pegboard
They’re great for garages, but also work well in storage closets. You can hang up things like a stepladder, dusters & mops.

Q – Quit collecting
Whether you hoard enamel bowls or vintage toys, collections grow like weeds & get out of control just as quickly. Set some smart ground rules: Don’t have more than 2 collections going at once. Don’t keep more than you can display. Come up with a do-not-exceed number-once you hit it, give away one item for every new one you add.

R – Rethink your storage
A place for everything and everything in its place, right? That doesn’t mean you should dash out to buy a bunch of bins the second you decide to get organized. First assess the spaces that you want to declutter, identify what to keep, then figure out the best storage containers for the job. That way you can get the exact sizes & styles that work for your needs.

S – Stash it underneath
You’ve heard about stowing seasonal clothes like sweaters in slim bins under the bed. Don’t stop there. Also use plastic storage bags that you can vacuum-suction flat & slide them beneath footed sofas & bookcases.

T – Supersize your trash can
The smaller it is, the less likely you are to throw things away. Buy a behemoth of a wastebasket and you’ll purge more freely.

U – Unclutter with color
To make organizing less painful, place colorful dot stickers or shipping tags on things you’re not sure you’re ready to part with. If you wear the shirt, use the breadmake, or play the board game sometime in the next 6 months, peel off the sticker or tag. After 6 months, anything that’s still dotted or tagged goes into your giveaway box.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

QTPI36 12/5/2009 9:30AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MARZATAX 12/4/2009 11:12AM

    Great ideas - I've already stopped the collecting. After 30 years, I realized that I have a collection of 'stuff'. I decided to only keep the items of high monetary or sentimantal value and gave away the rest.

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FURBALLDTH 12/4/2009 8:51AM

    great tips...thanks! emoticon emoticon

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Your A-toZ Guide to Getting Organized (Part 2 of 4)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

G – Map your garage
Make over a garage-turned-dumping-ground by drawing a map of the space and designating a spot for everything: cars, bikes, camping gear, lawn/garden tools. After you’ve arranged your stuff, post copies of the map on the wall so everyone knows where to find things and, more important, where to return them. You can even use heavy-duty colored tape to outline storage zones on the cement.

H – Hang it up
Is your mudroom a disaster area all the time? Fill a whole wall the bathrobe hooks. They make it much easier for kids to store their coats in the winter, and their swimsuits & beach towels in the summer.

I – Institute an all-in-one rule
Bring order to a messy linen closet by putting folded sets of bed linens inside one of the pillowcases. No more searching for the flat sheet that matches the fitted sheet: Just grab a complete set & go.

J – Jettison your junk
If decluttering isn’t drop-dead easy, you’ll use that as an excuse to cling to excess stuff. So set up a recyling station in a corner of the basement & equip it with 2 bins-one for outgrown clothes & other castoffs to donate, one for old, unnecessary documents and other things you’re thinking of tossing. Add a paper shredder & some plastic bags to hold donations, and say goodbye to your unwanted junk.

K – Create a mini-kitchen
Kitchen shelf space is prime real estate. So set up a mini-kitchen someplace else where you have more room. Perhaps you have a closed in our basement that you can make into a storage space for things you only use once or twice a year, like fancy platters & giant stockpots. Once you’ve put your kitchen on a diet, staying organized won’t be such a hassle.

L – Streamline your laundry
Instead of doing marathon sessions once or twice a week-and never getting through the whole pile because, let’s face it, who wants to wash all those clothes?-designate different days for different kinds of laundry: whites, darks, towels, sheets. A massive pileup is easier to tackle when you break it down into manageable chunks, and knowing exactly how much you have to get done that day helps you stay on track.

M - Maximize your minutes
Got a few seconds to spare? Don’t just stand there-declutter. Keep a list of super-quick organizing tasks, then tackle one when you’re, say, waiting for water to boil. Use the time to chuck expired food from the refrigerator. Minutes here & there can add up to a tidier house.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

QTPI36 12/5/2009 9:29AM

    emoticon emoticon

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DDOORN 12/4/2009 6:05AM

    More great tips...!

Thx for sharing!


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PJSTIME 12/3/2009 9:57AM

    More great ideas - I especially like the sheet/pillow case one. I will do that one right away. Thank you. PJ

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HVMBRU 12/3/2009 8:04AM

    Would you like to come to my house?

Seriously, you have done a good job here.


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Your A-toZ Guide to Getting Organized (Part 1 of 4)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Keeping your stuff and your life organized can be harder than a college physics exam. But with these savvy tips & tricks, it’s as easy as A-B-C.

A – Assign a color scheme
Banish cries of “It’s not mine!” by color-coding your kids gear all through the house. Stick to a signature shade for each child’s toothbrush, bath towel & backpack, so you can tell at a glance which stuff belongs to which kid. Buy a colored bin for each child, too, to use as a handy drop spot for stray toys & clothes. Each night before bed, have your kids empty their own bin, returning items to their rightful places.

B – For a bucket brigade
For an easy way to stash office supplies, stock small unused paint buckets (available at home improvement stores) with tape, scissors, pens, envelopes, stamps, a calculator, etc., then hang them from over-the-door hooks tucked inside a closet. When it’s time to pay bills or write a note, bring just the buckets you need to the table.

C – Call for help
Download reQall, a free voice recognition tool (reqall.com) then call the toll-free number from your cell phone to leave yourself reminders, like “E-mail Jen tonight.” ReQall organizes the recordings & plays them back to you as lists of to-dos, notes & shopping items. If you have an iPhone or BlackBerry, the program transcribes your messages & automatically sends you reminders via e-mail or IM. You can even program in locations or places you usually go (store, dry cleaner, etc.) and reQall will use your phone’s GPS to figure out where you are, display to-dos in that area (“Buy milk”) & send you an alert.

D – Designate a dropoff drawer
Keep countertops clear by emptying a kitchen drawer & converting it to a grab-and-go spot. Now your family has a place to drop cell phones & keys, the kitchen can still function, and you won’t get irritated by the mess.

E – Evaluate your system
Live in your digs long enough and you won’t even notice what’s making your life chaotic. So take a second to think about won’t causing your biggest messes, then brainstorm solutions-like creating a cell phone recharging station on your dresser, or repurposing a stranded side table into a backpack landing pad. Can’t figure out your clutter culprits? Ask a friend for fresh-eyed help.

F – File faster
Four folders are all you need to rein in out-of-control paperwork. Within a day of bringing it into the house, slot incoming mail & various papers into folders labeled To Do, To Pay, To File, and Pending (a halfway house for things you’re waiting to take action on, like a rebate form). Keep it up and you’ll prevent a Himalaya-like pileup on your desk.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

QTPI36 12/5/2009 9:22AM

    I've never heard of reQall. I think I might have to check into it. Thanks.

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GOSPELCLOWN 12/3/2009 1:57PM

    I'm going to implement the 4 file folder system tonight!

Karen emoticon

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BAILEYSMOM7 12/2/2009 9:14PM

    Good stuff! Tips are always great. Thanks.

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BOUDICA26 12/2/2009 1:35PM

    I absolutely love the bucket idea! Thanks for the tips.

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DDOORN 12/2/2009 1:21PM

    Love your ideas...just in time to help get ready for the holidays!


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PJSTIME 12/2/2009 11:46AM

    Thanks for the tips. I have done the one about the drawer in the kitchen it has helped.

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POMLADY1 12/2/2009 11:06AM

    Thanks for the suggestions and will be watching for more.

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MYSPARKLER 12/2/2009 9:02AM

    Thanks for the ideas! I will be watching for more!


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MATCHA 12/2/2009 8:49AM

    Thanks for sharing. I'm a neat freak always looking for new tips! emoticon

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