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Archive for Life Organization

Jul
18

Put the “FUN” in Functional

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I just became a Pinner on Pinterest.  It’s so much fun and great for a visual person like me.  If you love organizing like I do please follow some of my Boards for some really fun ideas on dealing with clutter while keeping your home looking and feeling great!

This photo is a great example of style and function.  They used the space so well and the storage is amazing.  For more inspiration check out Ott To Get Organized, Simple Clutter Solutions, Beauty and Function and Paper Management.

Lots more to come….

 

 

Cargo net in a clean, organized carIf you’re like the majority of car owners with kids or pets, you know that keeping your car tidy can be a challenge.  Let’s face it, sometimes it feels like we live in our cars; long vacation road trips, annoying commutes, taxiing kids everywhere under the sun, countless errands, and the list goes on.

Just like in the house, the junk can pile up.  We need help to get it under control.  Here are a few simple solutions I have adapted over the years to try (believe me – the occupants make it a challenge) and keep the inside of my car in the best shape possible.

Stock up on the right cleaning tools.

Here is my checklist to keep the clutter and grime to a minimum:    Kleenex and paper towels

  •     Windex wipes (for the windows)
  •     Antibacterial wipes (for all the dirty surfaces)
  •     Facial wipes (for the grubby little hands that create the dirty surfaces)
  •     A Swiffer duster
  •     Plastic grocery store bags

Keep a reign on the garbage and clutter.

Just like in your home, your car can quickly spiral out of control without systems in place. So here is what you do:

  • Always have a plastic grocery bag hanging in your car for garbage.  If you don’t have a built in hook, use a 3M hook (you can get them in a variety of sizes at all house-ware stores – they are amazing).
  • Teach everyone to use them!  Garbage goes in the b-a-g!!! Not on the floor, not under the seat, and not in the cup holders.

Put things in containers.

When items have a home, they’re easy to find and more likely to be returned when someone is finished with them.  This holds true for the car as well.  Here is what to keep – where:

  • Glove box:  Car manual, registration and proof of insurance, tire pressure gauge, a zipper pouch with (pens, scissor, tape, and a small notebook), hand sanitizer, Swiffer duster, and mini wipes (face, surface, and window).
  • Console: Box of Kleenex, phone charger, extra pair of sunglasses, a place for loose change, cough drops, antacid, gum, and pain reliever (in a child proof bottle).
  • Cargo Net and/or Totes: Jumper cables, flares, first-aid kit, sun screen, water, snacks, flashlight, blanket, recyclable grocery bags.  Fun stuff; beach toys, 2 big beach towels, sporting equip., little tote with a few small toys/books/colored pencils (no crayons – you only make that mistake once).

Put your handy-dandy tools to use.

  • Long stop light?  Get out the Swiffer and dust the dash.
  • Filling up the gas tank?  Grab the garbage bag, do a quick sweep through the car and dump the bag in the trash at the gas station. Don’t forget to replace the bag immediately.
  • Kids complaining about a long, boring car ride?  Give them each a wipe (window or interior) and have them start sparkling up their area.  Reward them with an ice cream (in the restaurant, and make sure they wash up before getting back in the car). J
  • Car smell – “not so fresh”?  Buy some sachets (I get mine at Fred Meyer in lots of great scents) and put them under the seat.  I get so many compliments about how good my car smells.

Want three more bonus tips for summer car trips?  Click Here!

What are you waiting for???  Take action now and go get your car organized.  As always, if you have ANY questions, email me at daniele@otttogetorganized.com  I am always happy to help.

Have a FUN and restful summer!!

Daniele

Tip #1:  Before you go to the beach or some other outing, cover the back seats with some big beach towels.  When you get home, shake out the towels and your seats will be as good as new.

Tip #2: Use recyclable grocery bags or beach totes for wet swim suits, sandy beach stuff, collecting shells, and of course grocery shopping.  Keep a couple in the car at all times.

Tip #3:  To protect the interior of my car when I flip my seats down, I use front door mats that I picked up at Lowes.  They’re the rubber kind that won’t slide around and they come in tons of cute colors and patterns.  They are easy to store when not in use and easy to shake off.  Love them!!

Enjoy your organized car trips and have a happy Summer!!

When is the last time you really lived in the moment?  I mean where you were totally focused on what was right in front of you and enjoying every minute of it without thinking about your to-do list or anything else. 

This is a tough one for me sometimes, but last night I did it and it was awesome!!  I took my little guy Brian on a mommy/son date.  We went to see Mr. Popper’s Penguins - just the two of us (almost literally - there were only three other people in the whole theatre).  We cuddled, ate popcorn, and enjoyed the movie.  He said thank you so  many times and said he would never forget the special night we went to the movies with just us (almost made feel guilty because we don’t do these things often enough).   Of course I had a million other things I could have done, but NOTHING more important than creating a special moment with my baby boy.

One of the benefits of “getting organized” is that you have more time to do the things you enjoy.  The more you take time to enjoy life, the happier and more energized you feel.  This energy helps you to keep tackling and accomplishing your organzing taks.  It all goes hand-in-hand.

What Simple Pleasure can you indulge in today?   I encourage you to take a break, nurture yourself and your family, and recharge.  Keep practicing living in the moment!

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Jun
23

Get Organized in 15 Minutes or Less

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Containers are a great way to keep things organized and are easy on the eyes!

When you are overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin, it’s time to get back to basics. Here are some simple things you can do to “fan the organizing flame” and start a “blaze” of progress towards a simple, clutter-free home.
  • Toss old magazines and catalogs. If you think you’re going to miss something then use the “tear and toss” method. Rip out the article and put it in a “to Read” file and toss the rest (it’s 75% advertisements anyway).
  • Gather up all the pens and markers and test them to see which ones are still good. Toss all the dried up pens and markers and organize the rest into pencil boxes. Store them in convenient locations throughout the house.
  • Clear the empty hangers out of your closets (especially the old wire ones).
  • Clean out all the real “junk” in the junk drawer (garbage, old keys, dried up pens). When you have another 15 minutes, organize what is left into small drawer trays.
  • Get a box or bin and fill it with all those borrowed items you need to return.
  • Start a donation box – go from room to room finding items you no longer need. You will be amazed at how quickly you will fill it.
  • Get rid of old makeup or makeup you never wear.
  • Toss torn underwear and socks.
  • Throw out the expired food from the fridge.
  • Toss expired medicines.
  • Hang up all coats that are lying around and put away all the shoes in their proper places.
  • Gather the stray toys and put them in a bin or basket to have the kids put away.
  • Put all the books on the book shelf.
  • Purge some papers from your filing cabinet, or file a stack of papers.
  • Sort through the mail.
  • Put away the clean laundry.
  • Repair a broken item, or sew on a missing button.
  • Prepare a menu and grocery list for the week.
  • Respond to a couple of emails or return a phone call.
  • Make lunches for the next day.
  • Clean out one drawer or cupboard in the kitchen.
  • Put all the movies and Cd’s back in their cases.
  • Create a couple of outfits for the week.
  • Delete 50 emails from your in-box or one of your email files
  • Sort through a stack of old photos and toss all the blurry or unflattering ones.
Take some before and after shots of your latest organizing projects and send them to me to be featured in my next “Ott GO Tip” Newsletter and Blog Post.
May
17

Today is National Pack Rat Day!

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Not sure if you’re a pack rat?  Ask  yourself these questions….

Do I “own my stuff” or does “my stuff own me”?

Are my collections so large that they are taking over my shelves, window sills and counters?

Am I paying hundreds of dollars a year for a storage unit because my basement is already stuffed?

Are my magazine racks holding magazines over a decade old?

You get the picture…..

It is time to show your “stuff” who’s boss and send your inner pack rat packin’…….

Take some action today and ask yourself, “why” do I keep holding on?

  • Is it sentimental? If you do not have room to honor it or use it, give it to another family member who will treasure it.
  • Is there perceived value? It is worth nothing if you are not using or enjoying it, so get some money out of it.  Take it to a consignment shop, sell it on eBay, or have a yard sale.
  • Will I feel guilty if I get rid of it? If the person who gave it to you loves you they would not want you to feel burdened with something that you do not like or have no use for.  Find someone who needs it, and donate it. Give that amazing bird candle to a bird lover, or that awesome talking fish to your favorite outdoors-man.
  • Am I really going to take up that hobby again? If you used to knit, but realize that you no longer have time for it anymore, go ahead and donate your supplies.  Give it to the ladies at the retirement home, or donate it to the knitting club at the high school.
  • Will I need it “someday”? Probably not!  But, go ahead and designate one big tote as the “might need it later box”.  Write the date you are placing the item in the box on a post-it note and stick it on the item.  Every six months to a year go through the box, if you have not used the item, it is time to say good-bye.
  • Am I afraid to let go of information? Use the tear and toss method with all those magazines.  Make a commitment to go through three magazines a day.  Quickly flip through for anything that you think might be interesting to read or keep for reference. Tear out the item, staple it, place it in a page protector, and put it in a 3 ring binder labeled “To Read”.  Recycle the magazine,  70% of it are advertisements that are taking up space in your house.
  • Do I need to repair it? Fix it, or toss it.  Get out the super glue and put it back together, sew that button on, or take it to someone who can do it for you.  Just do it.

So, what can I keep?  Ask yourself these questions….

  • Do I love it?
  • Does it make me feel good?
  • Do I use it frequently?
  • Do I have room for it?

If you answered yes to all of these questions then go ahead and keep it!

Send this article to a pack rat that you love.