I was at a pool party this weekend and one of the guests and her husband had their 3 children with them. The children were getting ready to go in the pool, but their mom realized that in her bag full of pool gear, she forgot to pack a pair of swimmies and a mask for 2 of her children. Her husband had to drive back home to pick up the things that she forgot to pack.

How many times have you forgotten to pack something, whether it be packing for an overnight trip to grandma's, a weekend getaway, or a day trip to the beach?

I know initially, this may seem time consuming and tedious, but you will benefit from being prepared in the long run. Try this tip and let me know how it works for you.

*Think of places you take your children (or yourself) where you frequently need a packed bag.
*Make a list of everything you would pack according to each trip you take on a regular basis.
*Clothespin or clip the list to the bag you normally take with you on the trip.
*Next time you need to go on a trip, grab the bag and the attached list and pack from the list.
*You only have to write the list once and forget about it.
*You never have to wonder if you left something behind, because you will check everything off the the list as you go through it.

Take the time now and make your lists! Having these lists in place will save you time, energy, money, and will reduce stress. This is a perfect time to write your list for the beach since you have what you need to take fresh in your mind.

Organize!! Energize!!

In order to maintain organization in your office, you need to have a great system for processing day to day functions.

Have a system to:
1.    Process your mail: Shred it, file it or to-do.
2.    Process your email: Send to folder, print or flag to do.
3.    Work on your to-do list: Keep a running to-do list.
This will keep you on track with your day.
4.    File: Have a filing system that is in arms reach. Categorize and color code if you must.
5.    Pay bills: Stay on track with your bills. Incorporate into your calender to remind you to pay.
6.    File your business contacts/cards: Whether it be through electronics or good old rolodex.
7.    Handle phone calls and voice mail: Set aside time to retrieve and return calls.
8.    Keep your desk in order: Have a place for everything at your desk. Only keep items you use on a daily basis on your desk.
9.    Manage your time: Planning will make you more efficient and productive.
10.  Follow-up with clients: Utilize your calendar to remind you to follow-up with clients.

If you have a system for everything, your day will run smoothly. When stress does occur in the workday ( and we know it does) it will not affect you like it affects the disorganized person. You will handle the stress and move on because you know where everything is and there is a system for everything. The disorganized person will be affected by the stressful situation the rest of the day because it will take them longer to recover. They will waste time and energy  looking for that phone number, file or note that they jotted down but forgot where it was placed. The rest of their day will have a wrench thrown into it because they will work harder to get back to where they were before the stressful situation occurred.

Your systems have to work for you. Having systems in place will make you more efficient and more productive, saving you time and money in turn increasing your revenue.

Organize!! Energize!!

You absolutely love your furry friend, but how do you make your home look like a pet hasn't taken over?

Here are some tips on how to keep your home organized when you have pets:
1.    Buy food dishes to match the decor of your home so they blend in, not stand out. Keep the dishes in a spot out of the path of people.
2.    Buy a decorative container (be creative) to hold their toys. Home Goods (www.homegoods.com)  always has nice decorative metal containers that will work as a toy chest for your pet's toys.
3.    If you have the room, dedicate a closet space or an area in your home for the following:
            *pet food and treats- keep in seal tight containers.
            *any medicine, extra treats, frontline, cotton balls, extra poop bags-store in containers.
            *shampoo, wash cloths, towels, blankets, etc.- store in bins or containers that work for you.
4.    Keep dog leashes near the door where you take them out.
5.     Organize your pets just as you would organize your family.... because they are part of the family.

We keep records of our medical history, don't forget to keep a folder of your pet's medical history. You can file it with your medical history or keep it on the shelf in the closet you have designated for your pet. Also include in this folder any receipts you have from the vet and any other important documents. You can also keep a spreadsheet with documentation of every time they go for their shots.

Have systems set up in your home for your pet's belongings and maintain those systems to keep your pet from overtaking the home.

Organize!! Energize!!

How do you keep clutter out of the kitchen? I posted a question on Facebook asking people what they had in their kitchen that didn't belong there. Here were some of the answers: Art supplies, tools, duct tape, screws, nails, staple gun, tape measure, laptop, ad circulars, cell chargers and the list goes on. My advice, if it is not related to appliances, cooking or food, and you don't use it everyday, get it out of the kitchen! I find that people who have bigger kitchens find ways to clutter them because they have space to fill so the kitchen acts as a drop spot for everything. The smaller the kitchen, the more creative you have to be with finding ways to condense and organize and make the most of your space.

Here are my top 5 tips on keeping clutter out of the kitchen:
*    Follow my advice above.
*    Keep tools in the garage, closet, or basement where you house all the rest of your tools.
*    If it is paper related items like mail, circulars, magazines find an area in your home, your home office is ideal. If you don't have a home office try to set up an area where you can pay your bills, file circulars, coupons, receipts etc. Keep these items confined to one area.
*    Try not to drop everything in the kitchen when you walk in the door. It will accumulate and it will never leave.
*    Give keys, jackets, dog leashes, shoes, hats, etc.  a home by the entry way. Do not let them take over the kitchen.

If you happen to have a desk in your kitchen, be sure to keep paperwork and items contained to the desk area.

If you have the space and absolutely need a drawer in the kitchen for odds and ends, be sure that you have a drawer divider in that drawer and you keep it organized. If it is not organized, things get lost and that is how we waste money. We buy things we don't realize we already may have.

After reading this, take inventory of what you actually have in your kitchen. You may be surprised at what you may find!

Organize!! Energize!!
Do you have little ones in the home? How do you keep up with all of their clothes since they grow so fast? Here are some tips on how to get your children's clothes organized and most importantly keep them organized.

1.    Pick a day, and block off a few hours to tackle this project.
2.    Take all the clothes out of the closet and bureaus.
3.    Any clothes that your child has outgrown, make 4 piles. Donate, sell, toss, or keep for a younger child.
4.     If you choose to keep clothes for your younger child, wash them and then pack them away. You have many options to store them. You can store in a Space Bag, which is a vacuum sealed bag that will take up less space when storing. You can find them at
www.spacebag.com.  Be sure to place a label on the bag stating what is in the bag and which sizes the bag contains. You can also do the same with bins. There are many containers on the market today. Choose what works for you and be sure to label everything.
5.    Once you figure out what you are keeping, storing, donating or selling, you can start to organize.
6.    Buy small storage containers for kids accessories and small items that they wear to keep them easily organized.
7.    Keep like sizes together in the closet. If you are hanging clothes, hang clothes by categorizing them in sizes from smallest to largest. Within those size categories keep them organized by color, tops, pants, skirts, dresses, etc., you get the idea.
8.    When organizing a bureau, purchase drawer dividers for things like underwear, small tank tops, socks, etc.
www.bedbathandbeyond.com is always good for these types of purchase and they always have 20% off coupons to save you money. Keeping these items contained will maintain organization.
9.    Keep clothes organized in the bureau by sizes or styles and if you have to, you can label the inside of the drawers.
10.   Every 6 months, (when the seasons change), pick a day and repeat these steps. Store off season clothes in a space bag or bin and label. You will also be on top of the clothes situation because every 6 months you are re-evaluating what you actually have.

This is a great time to teach your children how to get organized. If they are old enough to understand, let them help you with this process. Explain to them about being organized and putting their belongings back after they are finished with them. Give them systems to work with in their bedrooms and show them how to maintain their systems. If you start teaching them now, they should continue this pattern into adulthood.

If you don't want to tackle this alone and want the process to go smoothly and stress-free, call Organizing In RI, LLC!

Organize!! Energize!!