Later this week is national clean out your refrigerator day. So you know what that means…
Empty the containers that are way in the back.
Toss out the takeout from 3 weeks ago. (You will thank me later.)
Do you have an almost empty bottle of mayo or Catalina dressing? Do you even like Catalina dressing? No? Well, why are you keeping the ½ ounce that is at the bottom of that bottle?
Do you have a beer that you have been saving for the Astro’s to win the world series? They did and that beer may not be as satisfying as the last game was. Ditto for any other expired food you have in there. Let it go.
Besides if you live in the USA, Thanksgiving is coming. You need room for all the food. The dressing, pumpkin pie and the turkey, oh my. You must make room for the goodies.
Now that you have tossed the science experiments that were growing in your refrigerator it’s time to clean all the shelves, wash the crisper drawers. Don’t forget to vacuum condenser coils and vacuum out under the refrigerator.
Again you are welcome! Now enjoy your nice clean refrigerator.
Do you have any Halloween decorations that are broken?
Halloween is over. All that is left is the candy and the decorations. Time to put them away and get out the Thanksgiving or fall decorations. But, did you discover your Halloween or Day of the Dead decorations has seen better days? Did you have to stuff your scarecrow? Is your pumpkin flat? This is s a great time to evaluate and eliminate the broken and unused decorations.
Anything you did not use you should let go of. If it is broken or unsafe that needs to go. Don’t let it be witchful thinking that you can’t be organized. You can and I am here to help. But there is no magic wand.
Of course now is a fabulous time to purchase your replacements ~ you know all remaining Halloween and Day of the Dead decorations are on sale.
Box them all up and put them away until next year.
Additionally, if you have candy you don’t want here in my area we have a program that is called Operation Gratitude. They send candy in care packages to military troops. There is most likely a program similar in your area.
By the way Halloween day at my house it will be in the upper 90’s so there will be some melted chocolate.. We don’t buy candy we like so I am not temped. LOL. Do you give out candy? What is your favorite candy? For me it is Dark Chocolate.
So unless you are might be licensed to fly a plane you are not a pilot. But that is not what we are taking about. What do I mean by Pilot? Do you make piles of stuff? Do you pile it up. Stop it.
Here it the rule ~
Don’t be a Pilot! No Piles allowed.
No Piles of Anything! No, not even neat ones.
This rule will save you hours of wasted time when you learn to follow it.
Stacking things develops bad habits. Stacks of items tend to grow into unmanageable piles of clutter and chaos that then takes hours to clean and sort them.
Looking a stacks or piles of stuff is stressful. It is a constant reminder that there is something to be done.
Look at areas of your home where things tend to be “stacked” or piled up. This could be your mail, the laundry, dishes etc.
I have said before that if you will fold and hang your laundry when you take it out of the dryer it is easier to put away – Do not let it pile up. If you need more tips on this go to my prior post on laundry tips do-you-have-a-monster-in-your-house.
Mail has the ongoing potential for a pile up. Clutter can be due to indecision. Be brutal, make a decison about your mail and bills then they come in. Deal with them right away or place them only temporarily in the inbox. Read more about dealing with mail and papers Click here.
Better yet go paperless.
You will always know where to find your statements. I am a huge fan of online banking. Most banks offer online banking. If you are not taking advantage of it you are wasting money. By using online banking don’t have to order as many checks or pay postage to mail your bill payments. Your bank may even offer electronic reminders, you can avoid the hassle of paper bills, making extra trips to your bank or worrying about checks being lost in the mail. In addition, paying your bills online keeps all of your billing records in one easy-to-find place. You can also set up automatic payments using your debit or credit card. Banking online can make your banking life much easier and reduce your paper clutter.
Dish Issues = clutter
In my house I am cooking all the time. Dishes are another area that could create a pileup. All dishes go immediately into the dishwasher or get washed in the sink after use. Don’t leave them in other areas or allowing them to pile up. When Mr. Man cooks he cleans as he goes which is wonderful. Unfortunately he does not cook enough, in my opinion.
Don’t put things down put them up.
The next time you are piling things up, stop and ask yourself how much longer it would take to put things away. It may take a couple extra minutes now, but will save you even more time and effort in the future.
You can do be organized and I’m here to help. I love your comments.
If you like what I have to say feel free to re-blog. Help yourself, help me and help others.
A question that keeps popping up is how to contain the toys in the living room?
An answer is a piece of furniture that has closed storage. That might be your accent table with a basket below or a storage ottoman if you have room.
Don’t allow you living room to become the toy room. Limit the amount of toys allowed there at any time. There is no reason you can’t have your kids store their toys in their room or their playroom. They can bring toys into the living room and then take them back when they are done with them. Or you put them in a tote or basket and put them away.
Another thing I find frequently is kids have too many toy options. Limit their options. Try rotating their toys. Let them choose say 10 to play with and you put the rest in a tote. If you do this say every month your kids will feel like they are getting new toys without you spending any money. Plus you limit the amount of clutter. Kids don’t play with all their toys. Think about when you go to grandma’s house. She has limited toys and they play just fine with those.
I see lots of stuff you buy your kids when you are shopping as a bribe to “be good.” Stop doing this! You are wasting money and adding lots of clutter to your life. While they may scream and carry on that they want a toy in the store how long does that toy entertain them after you get it home? Right there is no need for this. Just say no. Your kids have trained you that every time they go with you they get a toy. Guess what you are not doing them or you any favors. So you buy them a cheap toy that is cheaply made. It breaks soon after they bring it home. Another melt down that it is broken. I bet if you added up all the money you have spent on cheap toys you would be able to pay a sitter.
Just like don’t shop when you are hungry don’t take your kids when they are hungry or tired. Give them a snack before.
Takesomething with you to keep your child engaged. Younger kids need one of their toys or a book. Older kids can help you shop.
I love the tips and ideas from creative with kids. I have attached a link
One of her tips is to Indulge in Grocery Store Fantasy – Good for when the “I wants” come up. You ask questions like: “OK, if the grocery store only carried three things, what do you wish they were?” “What if we could only eat candy? Wouldn’t that be funny? What would you eat for breakfast?” Of course you are not going to let them eat marshmallows with chocolate for breakfast but it is a fun game.
Another parent suggested that her kids love to guess how much fruits and vegetables weigh and then put them on the scale. As a result they eat more fruits and vegetables.
Now in most places you can do your grocery shopping online. You know that must be something that was invented by a mom, to which we say thank you.
What are your tips for living and shopping with kids.
So it’s time. You have talked about this and you are all in agreement you have to move yourself or your senior family member into a smaller possibly senior housing. I know you are both looking forward to the day and a bit nervous. Not to fear I want to share some of the best tips to make your move in day the best it can be.
Check with the facility for its recommended packing list and exact space measurements. Find out what items are already provided in every resident’s space, so you don’t bring duplicates. Be sure to ask whether there are rules against anything — it’s not uncommon for communities to prohibit coffeemakers or even expensive jewelry collections. Also note that most communities recommend labeling every item (including clothes) with the owner’s name.
But how are you or your mom going to make it in 400 square feet? Remember that the living residence itself, and the size of the room, suite or apartment is not the most important thing in any senior living residence, including assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing. If the “stuff” will fit and the adult child and their mom or dad is happy with the space available, then the actual size doesn’t matter! It’s how the space is arranged and what quality of care is delivered that really matters.
However, that being said this is a few things to keep in mind.
Bed (rent a comfortable hospital bed, or bring a bed with a familiar mattress)
Nightstand (ideally with drawers and shelves)
Seating (small sofa, chairs with arms, rocker; avoid chairs on casters)
Small table(s) with storage, such as shelves or drawers
Small kitchen table or drop-leaf table (a standard dining table is usually too big)
Dresser (second dresser for storage may fit in closet for extra storage; drawers are often easier than hanging everything
Also, think comfort for class clothes and shoes. Perfect examples are solid tanks, comfortable flats, and a comfy pair of pants. Mix and match will be your friend. Remember that scarves can really change an outfit.
You will not need lots of dressy outfits. Think a basic little black dress with a jacket and dressy slacks outfit and shoes for more formal affairs.
Work-out clothes, pajamas, a bathing suit, bathrobe and shower shoes & sneakers
If you are going to an area where it gets chilly you will need a light jacket. Heavy coat, mittens, hat, and scarf *(if you’re going to be in a colder climate) Maybe rain boots and an umbrella. Don’t forget a comfy pair of slippers.
Remember your entire space will be small. So don’t bring lots of shoes. No more than 6. But you can plan on one each: flats, dressy low heel, sneakers, slippers. It’s hard but really you will not wear every shoe in your home closet and more importantly, you don’t have room for them all.
Don’t over pack.
Dishes and glasses to use every day (but probably not settings for 10 or 12)
Pots and pans (large and small pots and frying pans may be sufficient)
Nice serving dish (if your loved one likes to cook, there will be entertaining and social opportunities)
Bedding (two sets sheets, blankets, pillows, comforter — easier than a separate decorative bedspread)
Wall décor (photographs, paintings)
Curtains (check ahead; blinds are usually already in place)
Small file or other storage for medical, legal, financial paperwork
Photographs to display or look at in books (digitize everything else to store)
Special heirloom or memento to give a sense of home
Small safe (but don’t bring jewelry, etc., that’s not regularly used.)
Television (if used; make sure your loved one knows how to operate it)
Music system (if used; make sure your loved one knows how to operate it)
Desktop, laptop, or tablet computer (if your loved one will use it)
Tool kit (some communities have workshop areas)
Hobby supplies (needlework, paints, craft materials within reason, cards, books, sporting goods such as golf clubs or bowling ball)
Whatever you think you need edit out 40% of it.
Oh, by the way, if you are sharing a bathroom you might not be able to leave your stuff in the bathroom.
You will have to carry it from your room to the bathroom and back again. Bring your own shower supplies. You’ll want a small bag or carryall that is easy to hang up where you can reach your soap, shampoo, and conditioner.
What should you bring with you if you are sharing a bathroom?
A waterproof shower caddy – either a plastic caddy or a mesh bag
Towels and wash cloths
A robe – for covering up after you shower – It might be a bit chilly in the halls even if you are not modest
Shower shoes – either flip-flops or crocs
Shampoo and conditioner – if you can use the 2-in-1 kind, you’ll save space
Razor and shaving cream
The shower gel is really easier than bar soap.
Which brings us to Laundry.
You may be doing your own. So you will need to bring your own laundry detergent, softener, stain remover and quarters. You will need a laundry basket or bag to get your stuff to the laundry.
Halogen bulbs and/or lamps
Most landlords do not allow you to put holes in the walls so no nails.
You may not need an alarm clock if you use your phone. Your phone can be your camera, calculator, calendar and address book.
This is not by any means a complete list if you want more tips on what to bring check with the facility.
Paper work. Paper avalanche. Paper chase. Whatever you call it I know papers they are the downfall of many of you. What to do what do you need to keep?
Most financial papers fit in to one of 3 categories
Keep for 7 years
Keep for a year or less
Keep For A Calendar Year Or Less
ATM receipts and deposit slips – when you receive your bank statements you can shred them.
Charge slips (unless it is for a major purchase), for minor purchases once you are satisfied with the purchase. Shred the receipt when your credit card statement.
If you do not have a home office you don’t need to keep your utility bills, monthly mortgage statements or quarterly investment reports.
Keep your pay stubs, credit card statements and investment reports until you receive the W-2 or year-end summaries. Once you have those you don’t need the monthly statements.
Keep Seven Years
Year end credit-card summaries, along with your W-2s and 1099s.
If you itemize your tax return you need to keep all documents you utilized to determine your deductions. These additional documents you should retain include: canceled checks and receipts for all deductible business expenses (such as those for entertainment, home-office equipment, and professional dues), retirement-account contributions, charitable donations, child-care bills, out-of-pocket medical expenses, alimony, and mortgage-interest and property-tax payments.
After 7 years you should scan the actual tax returns or the year-end summaries of your investment accounts as they can come in very handy for future financial planning. Then you can store them on a flash drive or a CD in a safe place.
Keep receipts for major purchases and receipts that show how much you’ve paid for home improvements as long at your own your home. This will satisfy three things: Insurance claims, potential buyers and when you sell your home to reduce possible capital gains.
Keep beneficiary designation confirmation and purchase price slips that show beneficiary designations and the purchase price of stocks, mutual funds, and any other investments you hold.
It goes without saying that you need to keep your will, birth and marriage certificates, insurance policies, property deeds, and other permanent records in a safe but accessible place near your other financial documents, so you and your heirs will always be able to get to them quickly, if they need to.
Invest in a fireproof safe or a safe deposit box for your forever documents.
I suggest scanning and digitizing your important personal documents as a back up copy. More info on this by News Leavitt Just remember a digital copy is not the same as a paper copy but it is much easier to obtain a replacement copy of you have a photo copy.
Also, invest in a shredder. In today’s world you really don’t want personal information floating around out there. You can find them for not much money.
Create a Clutter Free Zone of Electronics in the Bedroom
While I know there are people who feel there should not be TV in bed and then there are the others who feel that having a TV in the bedroom is better than falling asleep on the couch. We enjoy watching TV, but we don’t bring our tablets or laptops into the bedroom. For us this is our time to unplug and settle down. Plus our fur babies insist on going to bed at 9:30 or 10 at the latest.
If you are like us we have LOTS of electronic devices all of which need to be charged.
Fitness monitors, golf watch, I-pod and cell phones. We no longer have a landline so I want my cell phone by my bed. Night is the perfect time to charge it but I don’t want cords all over my bedside table.
What to do with the Chargers?
We have created the perfect solution for us. I purchased a decorative box for all the chargers. Then we placed a power strip inside of the box. I leave all the chargers plugged in and just flip the power strip off when not in use.
This might work for you if you have a drawer. Put the power strip in the drawer.
You can also use dividers for your drawers. Make a place for your remote, Chap Stick, glasses, notepad, pen and whatnot.
If you don’t have a nightstand you can DIY a floating one easily by taking a magazine file holder by mounting it sideways on the wall. Bonus it floats and takes up no floor space and most of them already have a hole for wires.
If you or your significant other has a CPAP machine you can now find a nightstand built and designed to hold this specific machine.
Create A Clutter Free Zone.
Keep your nightstand or bedside table free of clutter. Leave room for a lamp, a good book and your clock. Which in my case is my phone but my phone is set on silent and has a scheduled do not disturb.
Of all the places in your home that needs to be a sanctuary it needs to be your bedroom. Don’t bring you work papers into the bedroom. You need to relax and you can’t do that if you are working in bed.
Some of you made new years resolutions to get fit. It’s not even February and some of you have already given up! I read somewhere that 80% quit before the middle of February.
Some of you have lots of exercise equipment that you are using as a coat rack or a hall tree. News flash that is not the intended use.
How about you weekend warriors who have not played ball in many, many moons? Did you think you would be the next Tiger Woods but then you found out that Golf is a 5-hour round and you only have 3 hours to spare? So, those golf clubs are just sitting in the closet or garage gathering cobwebs.
Fishing? Really when did you go last? Maybe bowling or tennis is what was to be your game. Now you have tennis elbow and can’t play or roll the ball down the lane. If you are not going to use these things you need to let them go.
Sell them, donate them or give them away…You can use that space for your new hobby……………What is your new hobby? Have you been eyeing a new Harley or a Dune buggy? Maybe it’s now yoga or Tai Chi?
Let go of the stuff the clutter in your home and make room for the new. (Not new clutter.) You can get organized and I am here to help.
Un-subscribe to emails that you don’t read. Boom! OK so this time of the year you are bombarded with emails! Sale for golf balls, sale for snow skies, Sale for sweaters, Sale for boots, Pet food on sale… Book your spring trip to the beach, buy your swimsuit now. (Right, most of us are getting into our fat pants this weekend in the USA) we survived Black Friday, cyber Monday, Internet sale. Free shipping……….save $$$$!!
ARGH!! How about Comcast, DIRECTV, Cox communication, or Shaw… watch this movie. New episode of the next housewife… The voice, dancing with the stars…
Are you feeling like the Walking Dead?? You know you will not be watching movies this week. So un-subscribe to your cable providers emails for now. You can always re-subscribe next year when you have time.
Dare I say it….if you don’t read some of the blogs you are following. You can un-subscribe as well. But of course not mine because I will save you time and hopefully money!!! Just kidding. Seriously I know your time is valuable. Use it wisely. If you are overwhelmed ~ cut out the crap.
You are welcome! What do you wish you had more time for?
Is this the year you resolve to be organized? Are you going to control your clutter? You came to the right place. Pull up a chair, pour a cup of coffee or a tea and lets talk about what needs to happen next.
I was ask why I named my blog Bee Organized With Pamela and not by Pamela. The reason is that you have to do the work. I can go in to any house and organize it, but that most likely will not work for you. You see your lifestyle is different from mine. You might be right-handed or tall and I am left-handed and short. So you naturally have different needs than I do.
You might be someone who home schools your 9 children or runs a business out of your home. What ever your needs are most likely different from the next person reading this. Let’s think about your specific needs.
How about your family? How many of you are there? Who all lives in your house? Do they share rooms or bathrooms? What is your schedule? Do you want more family time? Where does your clutter start? What areas are the most clutter proned in your home?
Before you can be organized you have to think about what you need. Discuss wants and needs with other people so you are not banging your head against a wall. If you are the only one with a plan that may not work. You need to find a plan that works for all people in the household. Also, discuss your expectations. Take a look back at some of my prior posts to help you make a plan.
If this is your year I can help. Over the next few weeks we will revisit some old ideas and introduce some new thoughts. Remember your clutter most likely did not appear overnight and so if it takes some time to control it and get organized don’t get discouraged. You can be organized and control your clutter one step at a time.