Friday, January 30, 2009

Favorite Organizing Product No. 8: Mom's Plan-it Calendar

In a previous post about a "weekly family caucus", I talked about having a family Calendar. This is the one I use. I love this Calendar! It's my Noggin! It has places for up to 5 family members and additional space to write misc phone numbers (for both parents & kids) and more information in the Tabs in the back. Have more than 5 people in your family?? Not a problem with a little tweaking you can make it work for more. For a family of 5or 6 you have 1 line per person per day. You can also use one line to create a menu for the month. That way if you need ideas for menus, you can flip back to a previous month and see what you had a few months ago so you won't fall into a cooking rut.
There is a pocket on the front where you can keep school lunch menus and other temporary papers that are relevant to the Calendar.
In the back there is a Parents Contacts and a Kids Contacts Tab.
In the parent's contact tab There is an area called "For the Babysitter" I love this because I can flip to it and show the sitter the information she needs in an emergency and not have to worry about writing everything down each time we go out. Also on this page is a place to put frequently used phone numbers like your local pharmacy, place of worship, library, movie theatres, and restaurants you frequent take out.
Under the Kid's Contacts there is place for you children's friends names and telephone numbers, an area for activities where you can add their coach's number or music teacher's number, or a tutor, and many others.
And finally there is a place for school numbers carpool, teacher's number, etc. It comes with lots of stickers if that's your thing, but I don't use them that much.
This comes with a heavy magnet and I attach it right to my Fridge so everyone in the family can see and add to it when they need to. Every January 1st, I spend and hour and fill out the school schedule and add all the birthdays I want to remember so I don't have to worry about forgetting any of those dates.
If you have a family, I would really recommend buying it! Locally I have seen it at Shopko and I know also sells it.
REMEMBER! Tomorrow is the last of our free classes for "GO" month. "Your 2009 Paper Survival Kit." It goes starts 11:00 am at the Layton Library. This is a FREE event to the public and lots of great information on paper organization! Hope to see you there!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Favorite Organzing Product No. 7

Say "Goodbye" to manila folders and "Hello" to Clear Project Files.

Here are some of the features:
  • Thumb-cut opening offers easy access to files
  • Clear, durable poly construction folders are sealed on 2 sides.
  • Water-resistant folders are copy safe and won't tear or rip.
  • Holds all your letter-size documents.
  • Assorted pack includes translucent red, blue, clear, green and smoke. I like pack of clear.
These projects folders are the best! I don't know how I ever worked without them. They have been making my life simpler for about 4 years now.

These clear, sturdy sleeves keep important papers together inside another file, but enable you to see at a glance what the contents are.

One of the best things about these folders is I can flip through all of the folders inside hanging folders and find what I am looking for super fast! They're great for all kinds of projects when you want to see through the folder and not have to go through the hassle of labeling things. Although I still encourage you to label them anyway, but you do have the option of leaving them blank if you use the clear folders.

I use them for the following things:

Running errands in the car: They safely hold bank deposit slips and info as well as anything that needs to be mailed. It also is great to hold receipts you get as you run your errands. I just slip it on the table between my 2 seats right next to me or on the passenger side front seat, and then quick grab it on as I get out of the car.

Distribution of documents and fliers: When I have to drop off a paper document to a friend or colleague, I always put the document in the clear plastic folder so if I have to leave it, I know it will not be damaged.

Client presentations and client files: Those of you who have had me in your home have likely seen me with these with all the documents pertaining to you in these folders. They work better than manila folders because the side and bottom are sealed so things rarely slip out like they do with manila folders. They also are more sturdy than a manila folder and look very polished when used to send business associates or anyone else a sheaf of papers. I also use them when I do seminars and teach classes.

Copies: When I go to the copy store and have copies to make, I always use these folders, they keep the copies crisp and unwrinkled. Most copy stores just stack the copies in a plastic bag, I have had problems with wrinkled paper and tattered ends more than once so I don't chance it.

Individual taxes: I use these to separate, for example, federal tax paperwork, state taxes, and charitable receipts. When I finish taxes, everything is neatly sorted into these sturdy clear envelope-type folders inside the regular, hanging file folder. Years later, when I need to look something up, it's a snap to find the item, because everything is neatly sorted and displayed in the clear folders.

Now you are asking, "Where do I get these beauties?" Office Depot! I have tried to get them at Staples and Office Max, but they are not consistent in keeping them in stock. sometimes they are hard to find in the store because they do not put them with the other report covers. So it you go in and can't find them, ask a store associate where they are. The item number of the Clear Project Files is #741-341 and they run around $4.00 a pack. I would be armed with that item number before I go into the store just to be safe. Or if you do not have a store in your area just go to

Once you get a pack,you will be addicted!

REMEMBER! Just want to let everyone know about our FREE shred event in the IKEA parking lot tomorrow from 10am to 3pm. For more information click on the FREE shred event link on this site or go to Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Favorite Organizing Product No. 6: The Label Maker.

The NEW way to Label!
As I child I remember my Dad using a "rotary labeler" that printed each letter one by one to put our names on our toys and to identify homes for specific things. Label makers have come a long way since then!

Now, label tape comes in many colors and varieties, there are even iron-on labels.

New clients often chuckle at the thought of labeling everything and whether it really is going to make a difference. Common excuses are "I know where this goes, I don't need a label." Or "How is labeling going to make a difference as to whether things get put back to their home?
Here is the difference: Labeling secures that item a home. It is a visual reminder of where it belongs to everyone that resides in your home or works in your office. When we take the time to label and create zones, things change. Once a dedicated labeled spot is secured, it is amazing how it tends to make it's way back there.
The picture above shows my favorite labeler. The Brother P-Touch labeler my preferred label maker. Best place to find the best price is at Sam's Club or Costco, otherwise you will be paying at least $15 to $20 dollars more at an office supply store. The label makers are $29.99 at Sam's and you can get 3 label refills for the same price. Individual labels at the office supply stores run $21 dollars each. So buying the 3 pack will save you a lot of money.
Other Options: If your budget does not allow for a labeler. Peel and stick labels that you can write on are very economical (under $4 dollars per package). Just make sure your handwriting is clear so that it is easy to read.
Are there children in the home who are not yet able to read? Take close-up pictures of the toys that go into specific toy bins or basket. Load them on your computer and use a online picture processing place (like Target or Walmart) and develop to wallet size. Once developed, have them laminated, then buy heavy duty Velcro and affix the Velcro to the label and to the storage bin and viola! All your little ones can help clean up too. (Cost for picture development of 10 wallets, lamination, and Velcro totals to about $15 dollars! Very cheap).
I love my label maker. Definitely worth the investment.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Favorite Product Tip No. 5: The 18 gallon Rubbermaid Rough Neck Tote

I love this container!

This Rubbermaid 18 gallon tote has so many uses! They stack easy and for long term storage they are great so I don't have to worry about things wrinkling, getting dusty, or being damaged.
I use it for all kinds of things, here are a few:
  • Camping Supplies: We have one for cooking, airbeds, sleeping essentials, general camping gear, and paper products. It is so easy just to grab the containers and go. I don't worry about them getting dirty on the outside because they wash off so easily. We even have used one to wash dishes in after breakfast during a camping trip and it worked great!
  • Ice Cream Machine: One of our favorite family traditions is making ice cream on Sunday nights in the spring and summer. This tote is great, we just leave the ice cream machine in this container, add the ice and salt, let it churn, and then dump out the mess and wipe the container and put it away.
  • Storage of Clothing (hand me downs): All the clothing is categorized by gender, and size. As my son grows out of his clothes, I put an empty container on the floor of his closet and as he grows out of things, I just drop them in the container. Once the container is full, I make sure to meticulously label it, and then I'm done!
  • Keepsakes: My husband and I each keep ONE box full of things that are especially meaningful to us that is otherwise junk to everyone else and keep them in a cool, dry, non-dusty place where they can be stored with honor and respect.

This is just a few examples. I try to buy a few every time they come on sale (They are actually on sale at Target right now for $5.49 they are regularly $8.99 a savings of $3.50!) . Now, all of my long term storage is now in waterproof storage.

In our last home our basement flooded 3 times, we did not lose anything because they were all stored in these containers, which are worth every penny when things like that happen.

REMEMBER! You must carefully label these containers as you cannot see the contents . Otherwise, a bunch of solid colored bins are just another place for things to get lost. LABEL everything that is in the container!

On a side note, please check out all of the FREE events and classes going on this month for National Get Organized month. I have the schedule listed on the sidebar of this blog. All the events are a great way to start out the New Year a little lighter, and little more organized!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Favorite Organizing Product No. 4

HAPPY 2009!

It's always great to start a new year with fresh perspective and new goals! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.

This week's favorite product is from IKEA ( and is called the "GLIS" Box with lid. It comes in blue and clear and it has hundreds of uses! This has 3 slots that are fixed in the box with another 4 plastic dividers that are adjustable so that you can fit items specific to your needs. I have used this box for storage for the following items:

  • Small Legos
  • Office Supplies
  • Jewelry / and Beads
  • Tools
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Cosmetics
  • Sewing
  • Small Toys
  • Craft and Water Color Paints
  • Paint Brushes
The uses are endless! The other great thing about these are they are in-expensive ($3.99 per box) and also stackable. 

Enjoy your first week of the new year!
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