Tag Archives: organize

FREE Ebook Today Only 2/14/15 ~ Got Kids, Get this Book!

Just a reminder that the FREE book offer expires today, Valentine’s Day, eastern standard time.

If you have kids and you want them to think organizationally than this is the book for you.  Stories, tips, mantras and activities to support 15 skill sets necessary for developing organizational skills.

Enjoy!

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#organize #organizekids #gotkids #teachorganization

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My car should have a refrigerator! (and other car organization tips)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen my kids were younger all I wanted was for someone to remove the front seat of my mini-van and replace it with a small refrigerator.  How much time and money would that save?  Let’s face it, as soon as you start driving somewhere, your kids are either hungry or need to go to the bathroom!  (And no, I don’t want a toilet installed.)

How do I keep my car clean? (I get this question often at workshops…I always have to restrain myself from saying “stay home”.)

This is a plastic tote that is a simple, inexpensive  way to keep your car clean and organized.  It is easy to take out and move when another grown-up joins you in the car.  It is also solid plastic and therefore washable with a garden hose!

For any car organizer you buy make sure that it is secure in the car (notice my seatbelt running through the handle).  In an accident, any loose item in a car could become a deadly projectile.

A great time to clean the car is anytime you are waiting to pick up your kids.  Put your phone down and take a quick look under the seats for a great collection of goldfish, wrappers and empty juice boxes.  Another great time is if you are waiting for someone to pump your gas.  If you empty the cup holders, trash etc… there is a trash can right next to your car – how convenient.

A quick, albeit incomplete list of items to store in your car: spare diaper bag, change of clothes, pair of socks, flip flops, tissues, advil, feminine products, baggies, case of water, dog leash, plastic silverware and plates, roll of paper towels and especially a box of tissues (damn if we couldn’t find a clean tissue the other day – I had to use the tissue that came in my son’s new sneakers to blow my nose!)

What great tips do you have to keep your travels organized?  What unique items do you keep in your car? Please comment below!

Joggers, Runners and the truth about Jog Bras

LB Living Better

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Let’s make one thing perfectly clear, I am a jogger, not a runner! What’s the difference you say, I’ll tell you, runners actually like to run, joggers are enduring the activity. I have been “running” since I was a kid and my Dad would challenge us to race him around the block. As an adult, I am definitely a Jogger (with a capital J). I actually do not have anything positive to say about jogging, I do it because well, it works. I have never found another exercise that gives you more bang for the buck in the shortest amount of time.

So, today I realized it is time, Spring is around the corner and it is time to start jogging again. You see runners will run no matter the weather, they will wear high tech gear, and get icicles on their noses. Not me, no way. I would rather…

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Homework Helpers… Simple but they work!

Hello All.. It is back to school time and I thought I would repost this homework helpers blog!  As you start a new school year, make sure you skip to the second  tip on school supply locations!  Brainstorming with your child where and under what conditions they like to do homework can relieve some of the “battles”.  Who says you can’t do homework in a tree or under the bed… as long as it is getting done!  Everyone is unique in their learning preferences, don’t be afraid to look at lighting, music, type of pen/pencil, lap desk or traditional desk and help your child decide what works best.  Happy school year!

I have spent many years working as a tutor. In fact, there were some nights that I felt I should have a lit up sign like a pizza delivery person on the top of my car as I raced from home to home. Math here, paper there, science project, oh no! I do however have two tricks up my sleeve that I use over and over with my students. These tips could not be simpler but when I produce them, I am all that, and a bag of chips tutor!

binder clipsFirst, almost every student from 4th-8th grade is given an assignment notebook to begin the lovely process of learning to be responsible for homework and plan for long-term assignments. At this point in the year the book is well worn and nearly half full. Use a binder clip on the used pages (this does well with workbooks too) so that when the student opens the book to write down assignments, Voila, they are on the right page. Pure genius! (Do have them refrain from putting binder clip on their nose as it does hurt, a lot!)

homework caddy
My second handy, dandy trick is to put the school supplies where the student does their homework. Whether they do their work at the kitchen table (and I would estimate at least 80% do), on the floor of the bedroom or at an actual desk, make sure that they have everything they need within arms reach. This not only saves time but also for those prone to distraction, a trip around the house looking for a ruler can be disastrous. It doesn’t have to be a “caddy” as pictured, but any container that keeps everything they could need to complete assignments,from colored pencils to glue sticks and calculators. Don’t be afraid to keep it somewhere strange like your kitchen cabinet…or under the bed they sit next to when doing homework.

Last but not least, it is THEIR homework. You have done yours, and I assume if you are reading this, you passed.

Getting Organized is not the hard part… it is getting started!

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I am finishing my coffee and psyching myself up for the garage!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s been a long winter here in New England. I am putting the shovels away (yes, I know it could snow in April). You heard me mother nature, I do not care how much more white stuff you dump on us, I am NOT shoveling it!

So back to the garage, I know what to do, I know how much time it will take, I can envision the end result. This however is just not enough to get me moving. We are hard wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain so I need to add some motivation for this project. Seeds will work. Weeks ago I purchased seeds to start indoors, for our garden, this is how desperate I am for Spring. Since, Spring is taking its sweet time arriving, spending the afternoon with hands in dirt will make me feel it is truly just around the corner.  But first, I have to clean the trays, which you guessed it are buried in the garage!

Additionally my thought process and motivations include the following:
– the garage is embarrassingly messy and dirty at this point
– it is too cold out for most other activities
– I do need to find and try on all the cleats for this springs sports season
– I have some painting projects for which I need the saw horses in the middle of the garage
– I could clean my bike and put air in the tires
– I would rather give up a cold, snow on the ground, day than the future days I would like to spend outside

Probably the most important underlying motivation is that I have three sets of helping hands (my kids).  Oh they will complain fiercely this morning but this afternoon they will actually enjoy planting and just hanging out.  A strong work ethic and a grand sense of fun are two of my most important parenting goals – check back to see if mission is accomplished!

Okay, I think I’m good.. a quick proofread of this blog, coffee finished, round up the kids and we’re off…Cheers to cleaning the garage!

What will you accomplish today… more importantly, what motivated you to do it?

Joggers, Runners and the truth about Jog Bras

MP900387452[1]

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear, I am a jogger, not a runner! What’s the difference you say, I’ll tell you, runners actually like to run, joggers are enduring the activity. I have been “running” since I was a kid and my Dad would challenge us to race him around the block. As an adult, I am definitely a Jogger (with a capital J). I actually do not have anything positive to say about jogging, I do it because well, it works. I have never found another exercise that gives you more bang for the buck in the shortest amount of time.

So, today I realized it is time, Spring is around the corner and it is time to start jogging again. You see runners will run no matter the weather, they will wear high tech gear, and get icicles on their noses. Not me, no way. I would rather jog in weather that is 110 degrees than endure the pain of cold air that makes my chest seize up, my limbs numb, and my eyes water. Here in the northeast it is dark most of the daylight hours and there is the black ice idea that makes me cringe. I do not need any help falling down, my klutz propensity is well documented.

Now the other thing I need in addition to good weather is the perfect clothing. I’m not talking about the high tech, moisture wicking, second skin type. I am talking about the right t-shirt, one that has been demoted to running status. You know what I’m saying, it either has a stain, a rip, or it is just on the edge of being funky smelling.  You need shorts that don’t move when you stride and that is either up or down.  Sneakers that do not rub, cause blisters or otherwise make your feet hurt.  Last but not least, you need the perfect job bra.  Let’s face it, if the girls are not happy while you are running than there is no need to be running.  It can’t be too tight, too loose or have straps that slide.

So today, I cleared a shelf in my closet and designated it the exercise clothing shelf.  No more excuses. No more wasting time looking through drawers and laundry baskets looking for said perfect clothing.  The old shirts are there, the right shorts, sweats and even a collection of the socks I like to use while jogging.  Let’s see if this little bit of organization will be the jump start I need to get out there!

How do you know when it’s time to toss your jog bra?
1. when there is no part of the bra that is still white
2. when you pull it over your head and you can hear the elastic crackling
3. when you jump up and down and the girls come down after you land
4. when it has shrunk so tight you have difficulty breathing
and #5. when you actually do go for a jog and somebody pops out

Organizing children’s artwork… really?

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I was flipping through a popular home magazine at the dentist office when I came upon this picture. Since I have worked as a professional organizer and continue to give presentations on the subject I am always intrigued by new ideas, suggestions and tips that I can pass along in my seminars and blogs. After reading this description however I did laugh loud enough to get the attention of the woman sitting across from me. I quickly snapped a photo as this blog entry had already started to write in my head.

Why take something as simple as organizing children’s artwork and make it more difficult, time-consuming and costly? At first glance, it is not a bad looking project, until you really look at the directions and the end result. This project requires the purchase of a large bin, the inserts from a case of wine (okay this one could be fun to retrieve), plastic tubing, labels, markers, ribbon and the time it takes to retrieve all of these items. The end result is a storage piece that is as large as a potted plant. Where does one store this large bin of rolled up paper tubes?

I don’t know about you but it’s paper, it lies flat, and usually very well in an under-bed storage box. Don’t make getting organized any harder than it needs to be and always look at the end result… will your newly organized basket serve you well? is it easy to access and manage? do you have a place to put it? If a project doesn’t meet those requirements, I would pass, you have better things to do with your time and I guarantee there is something simpler.