How To Keep Your Car Organized

When thinking about home organizing, we often forget about our cars.  Many of you spend a significant amount of time every day in the car, commuting to work or chauffeuring your kids around after school.  The car gets cluttered very quickly because you bring so many things into the car and there’s very limited space.  Below are some suggestions for keeping your car clutter-free:

  1. Remove the clutter.  Take a look at what’s cluttering up your back seat and your trunk.  Sort out those things that were inadvertently left behind.  Bring them back into the house and return them to their rightful homes.
  2. Throw away the junk.  Get rid of anything that is no longer useful – plastic shopping bags, empty cartons, trash, chewed up dog toys.
  3. Identify what’s essential.  What do you use in your car on a regular basis?  Don’t keep anything in your car “just in case”.  Chances are you will never use it.
  4. Consider seasonal needs.  As the season change so may your car essentials.  In the winter, you may want to carry a small shovel, some road salt and an extra blanket.  In the summer you may want to keep extra water or sunscreen in the car.  Assess your needs as the weather changes so you won’t be caught off guard.
  5. Determine your storage needs.  Yes, you will need storage in your car to keep all of your essentials organized.  There are many products in the market specifically designed for car storage.  Don’t feel you need to spend money on those.  You likely have containers in your home already that will work in your car.  Keep in mind that you will need something covered so the contents don’t spill out if the car comes to a sudden stop.
  6. Add a trash receptacle.   Having some place to put trash in your car is essential.  You can buy trash cans/bags specifically made for the car.  Or you can improvise.  I use a small paper shopping bag lined with a plastic bag.  As long as you and your family have a defined place to put trash, it won’t end up all over the backseat and the floor.

Now that your car is neatly organized, you’ll have to maintain it by repeating steps 1 -3 periodically.  This will take a matter of seconds if you do it daily, minutes if you do it weekly.  The benefits of an organized car far out weigh the minimal amount of time the upkeep takes.  You won’t dread getting into your messy car anymore.  You will have more room for passengers and cargo.  You and your passengers will be safer because you’ll have what you need at your fingertips.  All in all, your time in the car will be a much more pleasant experience. read more

Create a Strategy for Meal Planning

Meal planning can be a challenge for many people. Do you start to think about dinner when it’s time to eat? By then, you don’t have any food on hand and don’t have time to go to the grocery store. Meal planning is a hurdle that you can tackle by planning in advance and sticking to a schedule.

I cook most nights for my husband and me. I’m a Lifetime Weight Watchers member so eating healthy is important to maintaining my goal weight. I also work full time and have many commitments outside of my work life. Below is my strategy for planning ahead so I have what I need on hand to cook a healthy meal when I get home. read more

Efficient Use of Bathroom Space

The bathroom is typically one of the smallest spaces in a home that is used very frequently.  Therefore, it is important to store only the essential items used in this space to create a feeling of ampleness.

To organize the shower/tub area:

  • install a non corrosive, tempered-glass shelf on the wall opposite the shower head.
  • The shelf can hold all shower/bath toiletries currently in use, while keeping them dry, accessible and clean.
  • read more

    Create a Collage While Family is in Surgery

    My sister-in-law recently had a major surgery.  While the surgery was scheduled as opposed to emergency, the family was stillapprehensive and emotional during the long surgery.  To help keep our minds busy, we used the time to create a collage for my sister-in-law.

    We brought with us to the hospital waiting room magazines, glue, scissors and a large frame to mount our findings.  With five people participating in the cutting, it did not take long to produce a fun collection of words and images that represented this family member to us. read more

    Communicate Your Expectations

    Communication is key when working toward maintaining a home with others.  Everybody is “wired” differently and may not be aware of the the same household tasks that need to be accomplished.  For example, if the dishwasher contains clean dishes, my first thought is, “the dishwasher needs to be emptied as soon as possible.”  My husband however may think, “the dishwasher needs to be emptied sometime.”  Therefore, I may leave the house for the day and when I arrive home later, although he may have been home all day, the dishwasher will not be emptied.  This is not a task that he felt needed immediate attention and piling dishes on the counter is acceptable to him.  If I do not verbalize my expectation that the dishwasher should be emptied as soon as possible, it will not be done. read more

    Turn Downsizing into a Family Event

    My grandmother has the right idea.  She is currently cleaning out her attic and determining what she wants to keep and what she would like to offer to family before it goes to the yard sale.

    After collecting a category of items (games, books, holiday decorations), she sends in invitation to her family to attend a dinner and pick what items they each want. This is an opportunity to not only reduce her load, but an excuse to get the family together outside of the holidays..

    Encouraging our elders to spend the time when they can to lighten their load will only make the rest of the family’s jobs easier down the line.  Way to be Grandma! read more