Monday, March 30, 2009

Tuesday Tips on Vehicle Organization

Most of us are so busy that we probably don't think much about organizing our vehicles. They just end up messy too quickly so it's always feels like a wasted effort. But if you are organized in your vehicle, you will create a sense of peace and tranquility on the road. I have a few tips that I have learned along the way that help me out tremendously.

1. Keep things in their proper place - actually this is Organizing 101 but always an effective tip to remember. It is true for your car also. We tend to let so much stuff from the house wander into the car like food, containers, toys, games, sporting equipment. My rule is that anything that is in the car needs to have a purposeful function on that specific trip or else the item goes back to where it belongs.

2. Keep a trash bag in the car. I have a great handy trash bag that clips on the headrest and hangs in the middle row of seats in my van. It is perfect. It's not too big or too small and holds all of the trash that we accumulate between gas fill-ups. Remember to empty it at each trip to the gas station and make it a habit for everyone in the car to use it. You will be amazed at how less trashy your floors look. Here is a link to this trash bag pictured below.

3. If you have small children always keep a ziploc bag tucked in your seat pockets with an emergency pair of shorts, underwear and shirt. If you have potty trainers you will undoubtedly fall upon those times where there are potty accidents. Be prepared with a change of clothes just in case.

4. Always keep a small travel size container of wipes. This is a must. You will always have the occasional spill or mud or some kind of accident that needs to be cleaned with a wet nap. The travel sizes are perfect for this kind of application.

5. Carry a towel at all times. You never know if you need it. I have found that a towel comes in handy on days when it rains, if you happen to have a sick child, or any other mishap that might happen inside or outside the car. Keep the towel tucked away either under the seat or in the trunk.

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Blog Agenda

I have so many goals and ideas for this blog and for the future of this idea. It's so overwhelming that I don't know how to shape it all. I am putting together a goal chart and flow chart and hopefully I will get it straightened out. Here are my thoughts:

Monday will be meal planning day to kick off the week...or maybe I should have that on Friday to get ready for the next week. Not sure what to make Monday.
Tuesday will be home/vehicle tips.
Wednesday will be gadget day.
Thursday will be finances day.
Friday will be meal planning or organizing the weekend.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Organizational Tips for Getting Your Kids Ready in the Morning

Organizational Tips for Getting Your Kids Ready in the Morning

I have four kids ranging from 16 years old to 3 years old and over the years I have developed an efficient working plan that will get my kids out of bed, fed, dressed and out of the house in just under 30 minutes. My plan also leaves me feeling less stressed and ready to start my workday.

Preparation and organization cannot be expressed enough when it comes to organizing especially if you have kids. Most of my preparation comes the night before and it really does pay off.

Laying Out Clothes

Every child in my house lays out his or her clothes before they go to bed. This includes sock and shoes and they are all put in a central location near their beds. My younger kids aren't concerned with getting a morning shower so they are expected to get dressed immediately upon waking and making their bed. Even if the older ones take a morning shower, they are to lay out their clothes as well so that they don't search for any missing items during the course of the morning. This is a huge timesaver and eliminates unnecessary waste of time by having to look for socks, shoes, belts, etc. Laying out clothes is not only for my kids. I also do this for myself including shoes and jewelry which saves me from standing in my closet and wasting time trying to figure out what to wear.

Preparing morning breakfast the night before

This might sound very strange but it really does work. My kids eat cereal and drink milk for breakfast so this one is pretty easy to implement and since my kids like to make their own breakfast, this one is a big help to me. Before I go to sleep the night before I put out the cereal boxes, bowls, spoons, and cups in the kitchen where they make the breakfast. When they awake in the morning the only thing I need to take out is the milk while they are already preparing the cereal bowls. (I don't pour the cereal in the bowls the night before so I don't attract bugs). I never thought this would be a huge timesaver but I have been doing it now for several months and it works out really well. It also is a big help to the little ones who want to pour their own cereal. They don't have to search in the kitchen for bowls, cereal boxes, and spoons. As a motivation to have them do it themselves, I give them a sticker on the mornings that they do this task.

Backpacks near the door

I have installed several hooks on my laundry room wall. This is the first room that we walk into through the garage when we come home from school. As soon as my kids walk in the door, they hang their backpacks on those hooks where they remain until the next morning when we leave. I implemented this a few years ago when I would waste countless minutes looking and searching for backpacks. I thought that it might be best to have them hanging in a location that was easy for them to reach. Incidentally this is where I hang my car keys and purse so I never have to search for them either. This is a definite timesaver.

Shower the night before

I totally understand that there are people who need to shower in the morning. I am not one of those people and do just fine showering and drying my hair right before I go to bed. This is the biggest timesaver for myself. I used to think that if I did that I would have to spend more time trying to fix my hair the next morning. However that turned out to be a false concern because even though my hair is a mess when I wake up, it is nothing that a spritz of water and blowdrier cannot fix. All that I need to do is wash my face, put on my makeup, spruce up my hair, put on my clothes, jewelry, and shoes that I laid out, and help my kids with the milk for their cereal.

If you are looking for any help in the morning, I suggest you try one or all of these tips. I think you will find that a little bit of preparation the night before will be a big help in how you start the next day.

Monday, March 23, 2009


I dread going into my attic but as a South Floridian I know that there are a few good months in the year where being in my attic is a fairly bearable experience. And when I do go in there it's always time for a makeover. This Spring proves no different.

My goals in my attic are pretty clear. Get rid of clutter.

A lot of people view their attic and garages as "out of sight out of mind." But for me it's just the opposite.."out of sight, always on my mind." Just because I can't see it all the time doesn't mean it isn't there. And that's the whole idea behind being organized and decluttered.

So this past weekend was it. I had to get up there and JUST DO IT! And I am really glad I did because I got rid of so many boxes and managed to clear out so much space. I am ordering each of the things that I did to show you just how much I got done.

1. Get rid of anything that will never be used again. I found many baby items up there (like an old stroller) that will never be used again and is something I won't keep for sentimental value. Same goes for old books and old stereo equipment that is so outdated that someone else will be sure to get something out of it. Right now it was taking up space.

2. Take down boxes of stuff that I needed to sort through to figure out what I wanted to keep and what to toss. My two main boxes that I tackled were boxes filled with my kids artwork and school papers. Those boxes were filled with almost 16 years of paper. It was a monumental task. My thought process was to go through each paper and if it made me laugh or gave me joy to see it, I kept it. But let's face it...there are many papers that aren't like that so I just got rid of it. I ended up with one very nice clear box with all of the precious cards, drawings, and ashtrays that my children lovingly made and that was fine with me. The rest got tossed.

3. In my attic, I have all of my holiday items in their own boxes and labeled. They are all stored on one side of the attic to make it really easy to get in and out. Remember only a few months out of the year is bearable so you have to make getting in and out very easy. On the other side of the attic is the "other stuff." The stored stuff like air filters, tax papers, and other important items that you need to keep but are better off being stored. I put the important papers in air tight, clear containers and all are labeled for easy viewing. I do have another clear box filled with very special kids clothing. Even though I am done having kids there are those one or two special clothing items or that special "dress" that you just cannot part with. I have those items stored in their own air tight, clear box also.

It takes some times but it's well worth the effort and I recommend that you tackle this area first because as you go through your house to purge you may end up needing some attic space to take your stored items.

One last tip: When you store things in an attic or basement or anywhere for that matter, always store them in a clear container with a label on the sides and on the top lid. You want to be able to quickly see inside at a glance and you want the container to be sturdy enough to store things on top of. The containers are not that expensive and if you get into decluttering mode you will find that you don't need that many of them. I hope to get some good photos to post of my attic this week. Standby for that.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

About Me

It's no secret that I love to organize, declutter, and plan just about everything. I makes lists for everything and can find efficiencies in just about every home. I am a wife and mother to four kids of all shapes and sizes ranging from 16 to 3. I know a thing or two about organization. I started this blog because I want to offer other busy moms my best practices at creating organization.

Me and my little ones

Me and my guy fooling around


Please contact me at mill2542 at bellsouth dot net
(at = @ and dot = .)

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