How to Organize Your Summer Photos to Make Room for Back-to-School Needs

Jennifer Niloff, Everpresent

August is coming to a close. Teachers and parents have been preparing for the inevitable return of the school year as children soak up as much water and sunshine as they can before it’s back to their books. As you’re buying new clothes and school supplies, don’t forget to take care of your photos. You’ll need space on your phones for the first day of school, new friends, art projects, field trips and more. We’re providing an easy one-two-three to make sure you’re prepared to finish the summer organized and to get started on your end of the summer photo projects.

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Get Ready for Back to School

Sandy Rhee, Organizing Guru

Sand Rhee 2016-08 01 first day of schoolThe end of August is quickly approaching and, with it, the beginning of another school year. The time of year that kids bemoan and parents rejoice. It can be a stressful time when there is no plan for getting ready, so let’s talk about it.

Schedules

Sand Rhee 2016-08 02 clock faceIt’s time to start resetting the families’ internal clocks to the school schedules. That might mean going to bed and getting up earlier than during the summer months. Don’t wait to start the earlier bedtimes until the night before. Start the process early so kids can gradually get used to it. Going to bed and getting up at the same times every day is ideal for quality of sleep but not always possible. It doesn’t hurt to aim for it though.

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Freedom From Want

Susan Stone, Susan Stone Organizing

I took a moment out of my Independence Day celebrations to reflect on one of our great four freedoms – freedom from want.

I suspect our Founding Fathers had in mind a country where no one went hungry, went without shelter, went without good health, meaningful work, and a sense of belonging. These are essential to living a full and free life. But it got me thinking – might the Founding Mothers have had some additional thoughts – like freedom from want of more time, less stress, more space, less clutter?

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Vacation Success Depends on the Planning

Diana Eastty, Well Ordered Spaces

A vacation only really begins after the work of planning for the vacation is done.

As I reflect on the many family vacations we’ve taken over the years, I realize that the best ones resulted from some serious upfront planning. Here are some examples.

Ever since our youngest daughter could read road signs she was intrigued by the number of towns named after distant countries, and at this young age she expressed her desire to “travel the world in Maine.” For those of you who are not familiar with Maine, there many towns who have adopted the name of foreign countries sprinkled all over the state.

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Too many tutus

I was shopping for baby presents and came across a cute book aimed at 1st graders, Fancy Nancy: Too Many Tutus, by Jane O’Connor. It caught my attention because it focused on tackling the overabundance of a particular favorite item.

Nancy is a young dancer who can’t fit new dance outfits into her stuffed closet. Over the course of the book, she learns to let go of some beloved, but outgrown, worn out and duplicate tutus in order to make room for the new ones. The book also includes a gentle lesson about sharing with friends and a younger sibling.

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Everyday Orgnaizing

Janine Cavanaugh, CPO®Upon returning home from getting my hair cut, I realized how many little things I organized. I can name 10 steps I took:

1. Hung up my keys
2. Hung up my coat
3. Put my gloves and hat away
4. Took of my boots and put them on the mat
5. Put my pocketbook away
6. Took my check book out of my pocketbook and put it back where it belongs
7. Put my book away (I brought a book to read at the hairdressers.)
8. Wrote my next hair appointment in my datebook
9. Tossed the hair appointment notice
10. Collected the mail and put it in it’s “to sort” location (I won’t go into the steps I took to process the mail. That’s a whole other blog entry.)

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Why not to clean up?

At a recent networking event I was talking to an acquaintance about the work I do. I mentioned that I encourage my clients not to clean up their spaces before I arrive. She gave me a horrified look.

It brought back childhood memories of my mother telling me to clean my bedroom before the cleaning lady came. I never understood the point of cleaning my room so it would get cleaned by someone else. There is a family disagreement about why. My mother told me it was so I would have an easier time finding my favorite things later, but my sister remembers being told that it was so that the cleaner would have more time to do deep cleaning. I assume that part of the reason was to lessen the embarrassment of the mess before the cleaning person could see it.

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Value of Labeling

by Janine Cavanaugh, CPO®
Janine Cavanaugh, CPO®
While on vacation I read an article on the plane about David Beckham.  Did you know he’s really into Legos?  While reading, I was reminded of a client of mine.  I helped her organize her son’s room and his large Lego collection.  He liked them sorted by theme, so we put different themes into different containers.  That action would have been futile unless we labeled them.  We labeled the containers in two ways, with words and stickers that related to the themes.  Labeling is an important part of organizing, because it clearly indicates where an item belongs, and reinforces where an item needs to be returned. Do you think David Beckham had his Lego containers labeled?

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3 Simple Ways to Make Your House Guest Friendly

With Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner now is a great time to scrutinize your home with the eyes of a guest. I have listed three rooms that are focal points while entertaining and can play a large role in hospitality:

1) The entry– Make sure it is clear and easy for people to move through. You do not want your guests to feel as though clutter is leaning in over them as they enter your house. Create a home for all your jackets and shoes, and set up an area where you can quickly hang visitors’ jackets.

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The Simpler the Better

Receiving a thank you note in the mail is pleasant. It’s even more pleasant when you’re being thanked for something you didn’t realize would make an impact on the other person. This happened to me when I offered a simple organizing solution to a Realtor I had met at a networking event. She asked me if I had any ideas how she could keep all her real estate forms portable and organized. I suggested a portable accordion file. The next thing I know, I’m reading a very sincere thank you note that makes me smile. It just goes to show you, sometimes the simplest organizing solutions are the best solutions. In this case, find a good home for paper and things.

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