Recent Article Links:

Tag 'books'

Monday Mission : ‘Twas the night before…

This week’s mission is to get everything ready for the next day before you go to bed for the night. Do this each and every evening (even if you’re crazy tired), and you’ll be amazed at how much more relaxed your mornings will be! You know how your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day…

Need some ideas of just what you can get ready the night before?

  • Re-stock the diaper bag.
  • Shut down your laptop and pack it up.
  • Gather items to return (i.e., library books, video rentals).
  • Load the car with “the big stuff” (i.e., stroller, hockey equipment).
  • Prepare the family’s sack lunches.
  • Check the weather forecast.
  • Choose outfits for yourself and the kids.
  • Set the table for breakfast.

So, what about you? What is your evening routine? How do you prepare for the next day? I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below to share your best tips for getting everything ready the night before.

Michelle's Signature

An Organizer’s Offspring

Have you ever wondered about the offspring of a professional organizer?

Just a few days ago, I was working on the computer in my home office and Amanda (who is almost 4 years old) was playing on the floor nearby with her recently-acquired bounty of dollar-store toys. Next thing I know, she is beside me, pulling all her books out of their Rubbermaid home, and tossing them into a large tumbling pile behind her.

I said to her (in standard mommy tone), “Amanda, you know you’re going to have to put all those books back…”

Her reply (in standard you-just-don’t-get-it tone): “Maw-aww-mee, I’m reorganizing them!! See? These books go over here, and these books go over here!!”

So, now you know.

Michelle's Signature

Reader Plea : “Help! The piles are taking over!”

Currently, paper products are trying to devour my home; I have a problem throwing out and/or recycling paper. What do I do with all my husband’s CDs, DVDs, and VHS tapes? What do I do with all my notebooks? My books? How do I store my enormous yarn stash? Material? Thread? These are the items I have little piles of all over the house!

Not to worry… You can definitely learn how to organize your paperwork, your husband’s CD, DVD, and VHS collections; your books and notebooks; and your yarn, material, and thread. Just follow these steps…

get prioritized.

What is bothering you the most? Your enormous yarn stash or your books? Jot down a list, in priority order, of what needs to be organized. Think small. For example, you should break down your husband’s “mess” into three different organizing tasks : [1] VHS, [2] CD, and [3] DVD.

get focused.

Now that you have all your ducks in a row, tackle the first item on your organizing priority list. In fact, pretend that you’re a squirrel (kids or grandkids could help with this one) and gather like items into a single area. So, if you decided that your enormous yarn collection was most bothersome, gather all of your yarn together in a plastic bin or a pile on the floor.

get real.

Time to make some tough decisions. Realistically, what do you need to keep and what can go?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I currently use it? If not, how long have I had it?
  • Do I really need it? What’s the worst that’d happen if I got rid of it?
  • Do I truly love it? Is it beautiful? Does it hold great sentimental value?

Remember : Anything that you decide to keep will cost you in space, time, or sanity. Make sure it’s worth it.

get neat.

Now that you’ve pared down your collection, find an appropriately-sized container in which to store the remaining items. This will define your limits. You may only keep what will comfortably fit into your chosen container.

So, if your husband comes home with a new DVD, only to discover that the DVD storage cabinet is completely full, he must get rid of an old DVD to make room for the new one. Or, he can return the new DVD if he really doesn’t want to part with any of the old ones.

As you can see, by limiting your stuff to a container, you have created an easy maintenance system that will ensure your control over your belongings and your space.

Finally, repeat this process for any area of your home that you need to organize, and you’ll soon find yourself reveling your new home oasis!

Michelle's Signature


PaperBackSwap.com Logo … my new favorite website!

If you’re anything like me (i.e., an avid reader who also favors organization and simplicity), you’ll quickly fall in love with this online book trading community!

~ get started ~

Scour your home, collect at least 10 books (i.e., paperback, hardcover, and even audio) that you no longer want or need, and enter their respective ISBN’s at PaperBackSwap.com. Then, browse or search the inventory of over 2 million books to find new-to-you reading materials, and order your first 2 books for free in a matter of minutes!

~ next steps ~

Then, you just send out any books that others request from your virtual bookshelf (via USPS media mail) to earn credits that you can then use to order gently used books for yourself. Not a bad deal! It’s like trading books with your neighbors… in your really big subdivision (i.e., United States)… who collectively read a lot of books (i.e., over 2 million)!

~ end result ~

So far, I’ve sent out 8 books in 8 days and received 5 of the 7 books that I’ve ordered. It’s been a really easy and inexpensive way to acquire like-new books that I’ve been wanting to read (and aren’t available at our local library)! Plus, of course, the bonus : I’m getting rid of my clutter at the same time!

[ Hey… What are you waiting for? An invitation!?! Go check it out! ]

Michelle's Signature

Giveaway : Sorted!

Sorted!   On Monday, April 28th…

Apartment Therapy is giving away 2 copies of Sorted! The Ultimate Guide to Organising Your Life by Lissanne Oliver, Australia’s best-known and most experienced professional organizer.

So, don’t delay… enter the contest today!

Using more than 40 “recipes” and illustrating each point with full-color photography, Lissanne’s best-selling how-to guide teaches any reader to get organized and live more efficiently and effectively.

Understanding that organization is an accumulation of small, individual decisions, sections include the cleaning up of a number of locations, such as work, on-the-go, paper, living spaces, kitchen, and kids rooms.

Organization is a skill that can be learned, and is crucial to personal and professional success; from finding shoes that match to ending the cycle of late payment fees, readers can use this book to simplify and better lives.

Michelle's Signature