Rewrite your lists frequently

I love re-writing my task list, it always gives me such a sense of accomplishment to cross off some of the items and then look forward to crossing some of the “new” things off someday too. It also helps to prioritize (or re-prioritize) some of the items on your list too. I’ve mentioned that if you re-write a certain task more than 5 times on a new list that you can probably just delete it altogether since it hadn’t gotten done thus far, how important can it be?

A fresh start always feels good too. Writing out a fresh list on a clean sheet of paper always feels like I’m starting over in some ways. I also encourage you to use cute paper and maybe a clipboard or fun notepad that you like to record your tasks. It makes the mundane a little more fun (and as I always say, just because it’s practical doesn’t mean it can’t be cute)!

Off season storage

Now that summer is officially behind us and if you live in a climate where there is more than one season, you should store off-season clothing carefully to avoid damage from insects, mildew and mold. Be sure to wash and dry all garments thoroughly before storing. Garmentcare.info suggests that you do not store clothes in plastic bags or airtight containers. They think that Rattan trunks are perfect for storing clothing, as they allow the clothing to breathe when air circulates through the rattan.

Here are a few tips for safe storage of different types of clothing.

  • Leather and suede should be stored in a closet that is cool and well ventilated. Boots should be laid flat and stuffed with tissue or a rolled up magazine to help hold their shape
  • Linen garments should be rolled and then placed into their storage container to prevent deep wrinkles in the fabric.
  • Knitted and silk fabrics should always be stored flat but if you hang these items, be sure to pad the hangar well with white acid-free tissue and cover it with a garment bag.
  • Fur garments should be stored professionally.
  • Wool should be thoroughly cleaned, padded and wrapped in white tissue. Add mothballs to the storage area to prevent moth damage.

More Storage Tips:

  • Reduce dampness in closets by using a product like Damp Rid to keep the humidity down in your storage area (in the basement for example).
  • If the weather in your area is cool and dry, be sure your storage areas are well ventilated.
  • Always store garments loosely so they can breathe and air can circulate.
  • Always clean garments before you store them. Insects are attracted to drink, food and perspiration but more importantly it will be nice to know that your items are clean when you need them the next season.
  • Areas where garments are stored should be dark and clean. Light fades colors and attracts insects.
  • Try to avoid storing your off-season clothing in the basement or attic when temperatures tend to be extreme.  This can damage your clothes over time which will “age” them prematurely.
  • All natural fibers such as cotton, linen, silk & wool should always be stored in a well ventilated area.
  • To freshen up your garments after they come out of storage just fluff them in the dryer on low heat with a fabric sheet and voila, you’re ready to go.
  • If you use mothballs, don’t let them touch your clothing, just use an old sock.

I found a great site that has videos showing you how best to fold various items of clothing from leather jackets to v-neck sweaters:

http://www.ehow.com/videos-on_4295_fold-clothes.html

This is not a “commercial free” site so I apologize but I liked that she had so many different videos to choose from.

Our favorite Products…

Even though it is best to store your off season clothing in “breatheable” containers (such as the rattan option suggested above) I have always stored mine in these from The Container Store: 

I particularly like being able to see what is in a particular box.  I also like these “heavier dutier” ones too for ski gear, winter boots, etc.

A few years ago I put Bounce fabric softeners in my containers when I stored them.  They were “fresh” when I opened them 6 months later and I loved it!  That is a simple low cost option but you can also use moth balls or cedar blocks that are also available at The Container Store.

 

Work on Birthday Cards once a month…

I love shopping for greeting cards and I’m lucky because our car wash always has the best (and funniest) selections. One of my pet peeves is having a dirty truck so it works out well since I go to the car wash often.

I always have a selection of cards to choose from. Sometimes I have gotten them for specific people or  sometimes they are just too funny so I get them knowing that I’ll have the perfect card for someone when I need it.

Another idea is to just purchase blank greeting cards where you can write an original sentiment for any occasion. A few colorful Sharpies and just “Happy Birthday/Happy Anniversary/Get Well Soon” can do the trick!

Early in the month, look through your calendar for upcoming birthdays and get out some birthday cards. Have everyone in your household sign them all at the same time & before you know it they are ready to go out and might even get there on time!

Have you had to send a “belated” greeting card lately?

Set aside some time and stick with it

Organizing takes time & discipline. If you are behind in your organizing then you’ll most definitely need to schedule some time to get started and catch up. If you decide that you want to get organized then you should really consider making it a priority. Otherwise, it will never get done. Everyone can make excuses for not using the dedicated time that has been set aside to organize, but if you ever really want to make a difference, stick to it!

Once you get yourself caught up, it’s only maintenance from that point on. Start by doing a little at a time and go from there. Tackling smaller projects and taking baby steps is the very best way to organize your life. When you take it slowly, you allow yourself to develop the habits that are necessary to maintain an organized and more efficient life.

What is your schedule? Do you have to carve out time to get organized or do you keep up with it throughout your day?

Menu Planning and Hell Week

Menu planning can change your life (not as much as a label maker but it’s a close second). This week my son started his first week of conditioning practice for football and my “part time” job (football team mom) starts in earnest through November. The following week is what I’ve always considered “hell week” & as you might figure, it’s not our favorite week of the year. This means that on top of practice every single night, the boys are in their full gear and the temperature is supposed to reach into the 90′s. I’m bound to have some very unhappy campers out on the field as a result. This also means I’ll be coming home completely wiped out and hungry (possibly grumpy too but let’s not get into that)…

Last year, in anticipation of this difficult week I took about 10 minutes and spoke with the kids about what we should make for dinner so that we aren’t coming home from the field exhausted & hungry with McDonald’s in hand every single night. We literally took 10 minutes to plan it out and then I coordinated a delivery with Peapod (Stop & Shop grocery delivery service – not sure what I’d do without them, I loathe the grocery store). Before I knew it, dinner was figured out for the entire week & I hadn’t broken a sweat!

That simple act alone relieved so much anxiety about the upcoming week & I felt so much better just knowing that we’d have a home cooked meal waiting for us when we got back. Most meals I prepare in the crock-pot so it’s not uncommon to hear the other mom’s asking “what’s in the crock pot tonight Laurie?” when we are out at the field. Whether it’s pulled pork tacos, shredded chicken or white chili, the feeling of coming home to the smell of a meal is enough to help me forget that I’m pretty smelly from being outside and from helping sweaty boys with their gear.  I truly love it & wouldn’t trade it for the world.

What are your thoughts on menu planning? What is one of your favorite “home late in a school night-type meals? “ I’d love to know!

Walleez

I’ve been wanting to write a blog post about how awesome “slat board” is to have in your garage and low and behold at the NAPO Convention last March, I met the owner of the company Walleez which is a company with a cutting edge spin on the retail staple item used in many of our favorite sporting goods stores.

About 10 years ago I reached out to a friend to help me organize my garage (I can organize just about anything but garages are my Achilles heel). He had a background in sporting goods retail so he suggested and installed the white “slat board” that I’d seen in the store he worked and in many others as well. It was great since I could order various pieces (baskets, hooks, etc.) in order to keep my garage clean, clutter free and most everything was up off the floor.

Flash forward 10 years to when I met the owner of Walleez which a company that produces the same “slat board” concept with a very important (and cool) spin. His walls can be ordered in 3 different colors of brick or a silver/diamond pattern that would look really cool in a garage or workshop.

I’ve since moved from my home where I had the white slat board in my garage but as soon as I buy my next house my pal at Walleez is going to be on the very short list of home improvements shortly after I move in!

What is the current state of your garage?