I think of Mother’s Day as a time to honor my mother and all those who have nurtured me. What does Mother’s Day mean to you?
How do you celebrate Mother’s Day?
If you want to give a gift to a nurturing woman in your life, ask them what makes them feel special.
If you are a mom, let your family know what you want. How do you want to remember this special relationship? If you dread getting gifts you don’t really want or can’t use, take charge (and help them out) by suggesting a gift of some kind of service. Does getting a massage or a pedicure or a ticket to a concert help you feel loved and appreciated? Does receiving chocolate just make you groan with regret because you know you’ll just eat the whole box – at one sitting? Let your people know!
Sometimes a personal note, written on nice stationery or a card can mean the world to someone who has cared for you. This is a low-clutter way to honor your special woman. Write your own true thoughts. A simple thing to do is make your own haiku. (3 lines; 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables.)
The one who loves you — though you not deserve it — and the love lives on
– Willy King
Just spending time with Mom can make the day special. Focus on her solely. Don’t let her deflect the attention away from herself. Ask her questions; What makes you happy? What’s your best memory of your mom? What have you liked best about being a mother? What do you dream about?
If you feel like your family never acknowledges you or doesn’t give you what you want, give to yourself. Part of being a nurturer requires you to know how to care for yourself. Chances are you won’t buy yourself a gift that you can’t use or don’t love.
Plan a party to honor your mother. Even if your mother is no longer with you, it’s heartwarming to raise a glass in her honor and toast what she did right.
What’s your favorite Mother’s Day memory?
Did you know organizers don’t just organize? Professional organizing comes in all sorts of flavors. Some organizers are more generalists and cover lots of areas; others pick one specialty and stick to that. Have a look at the variety of challenges where professional organizers can help:
- Business development
- Children and teen organizing
- Chronic disorganization
- Closet design and organizing
- Corporate operations
- Digital organizing
- Estate management
- Estate sales
- Event planning
- Feng Shui
- Financial management/Bookkeeping/Bill-paying
- Garage sales
- Hands-on organizing
- Hoarding behavior
- Home inventories
- Home offices
- Home staging
- Household management
- KonMari organizing
- Notary Public
- Online sales
- Paper management
- Personal assistance
- People with disabilities
- Project management
- Psychology involved in organizing/productivity
- Records management
- Relocation and move management
- Social media
- Space planning and design
- Speaking and training
- Storage units
- Task and time management
- Team productivity
- Travel prep
- Virtual organizing
No matter the size or scope of your project, we can help you find an organizer with the specialty you need! Ask us for recommendations or go directly to the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals — NAPO.net.
Filed under ADD/ADHD, artwork, Bathroom, Bay Area Services, Bedroom, Business Organizing, children, Closets, clothing, couples, Decluttering, disorganization, downsizing, Empty Nest, Garage, General Organizing, Holidays, home organizing, Kids, Kitchen, Laundry, Living Room, Memorabilia, Moving, Office, Paper, Reduce/Recyle/Reuse, School, Seniors, Storage, Technology, Time Management, Travel, Wedding
Halloween approaches and, as with any holiday, it’s an opportunity to revisit how you organize all the supplies that go with it. Drag out all the bags and boxes where your Halloween stuff is lurking and give it a fresh look!
- Set aside outgrown kid costumes to hand-down to friends & family or donate.
- Repair or discard damaged/broken props and costumes.
- It can be useful to separate small props/accessories from larger costume pieces.
- Ziploc bags or smaller boxes within a larger container are helpful.
- Give your future self a gift and label all containers.
It’s a good idea to keep décor in a separate container from costumes. It makes decorating easier and you may need costumes for other parties/occasions/general dress-up play. It makes sense to have them live in different locations.
There’re basically 2 options for Halloween specific party stuff– keep them with other Halloween supplies or keep them with other party supplies.
- Halloween friends: Sometimes these end up stuffed into the same box as décor. That can work if you don’t have that much but do yourself a favor and at a minimum use large Ziploc bags to keep paper goods separate from house décor.
- All party friends: Store all holiday/party specific paper goods in a container together but keep them separated by holiday/event within that container.
A word about containers…
Don’t forget the concept of container as limiter! What containers you choose depends largely on where you decide to store Halloween supplies and how much room you’re willing to give over to it. Lidded tubs are great because they’re deep and can stack and be labeled easily.
Some décor (such as giant inflatables and yard props) are too large to contain in a tub and must have some shelf or floor space. Remember, you get to choose how much is enough in each category – contain it appropriately then live within.
Have a cherished kid in your life that you enjoy gifting to? Great intentions and generosity from friends and family leave many homes overrun with toys. Every birthday or holiday brings in gifts from multiple people and often each of those people gives multiple gifts!
When considering what to give, begin with the end in mind. Inevitably the toy you give will be outgrown and need to be disposed of somehow – it is VERY difficult to donate toys. Most thrift stores won’t take them. Toy consignment stores are picky and toys need to be complete and in great condition. Most families don’t have the time or energy to sell things online or have garage sales. All this means many, many toys end up in landfill or homes get overrun because folks don’t want to just throw things away.
There are lots of clutter-free ways to express your love and care for kiddos, here are some easy gift alternatives to toys:
- Memberships – or single visit tickets to fun kid places such as amusement parks, zoos, or aquariums
- Digital Gifts – Audible, iTunes, digital books, online magazines
- Experiences – movie tickets, miniature golf or fun centers, mani-pedi or facials, a picnic outing with special relative
- Classes – toddler play spaces or mini gym. Summer camp. Swimming, gymnastics, sewing, cooking, art, nature; there are classes in every topic imaginable!
- College fund or savings bonds – Open or contribute to a college fund
- Food – a variety popcorn tin, box of cake pops, tour of Jelly Belly Factory, candy apple making kit, cake decorating kit
A quick google search of “clutter-free gifts for kids” will turn up lots of other creative ideas. Give your adult children a break by not burdening them with toys to sort, store and pass on when the kids outgrow them.
Are your children growing like weeds? … and are their dresser drawers overflowing with clothes that don’t fit?
In anticipation of the new school year, hit the reset button and make space in their drawers for their new wardrobe. It’s a great opportunity to teach kids about the ongoing need to purge items that no longer serve a purpose – and possibly pass them along to someone who can use them.
Cycling Clothes Between Siblings
Saving good clothes for a younger child when the older one has outgrown them sounds like a great idea: Re-use, Recycle, Reduce – right?
The reality can be a messy pile stuffed onto a closet shelf or floor, a bag with mixed-up sizes and generally an inconvenient hassle to actually find what you want to re-use. Sometimes by the time you find the clothes, the younger kid is already too big for what you’ve found.
The easiest way to cycle clothes between siblings is to use storage tubs pre-labeled with sizes.
For clothes to pass on to a younger child:
- Get adhesive label pockets for the outside of a medium sized tub. The Container Store has a few kinds or you can get them from an office supply store
- Create a set of labels that will go into the sleeves that cover all the sizes that your child will outgrow. For example if your child now wears a size 4, create label inserts “size 4”, “size 5”, “size 6”, etc. You don’t need a tub for each size…just 2-3 tubs
- Store the extra labels behind the current label, ready to swap out when needed
- If you receive clothes from friends/relatives for your oldest, create a few tubs with those larger sizes as well to store them
- If possible, store the tub labeled with the current size of each child in their closet so that as soon as you notice something is outgrown, in the tub it goes!
- If you don’t have room for tubs, grocery bags can work in a pinch
For those clothes you want to save for other kids:
- If you collect clothes to pass on outside your family create a specific tub names for that special cousin or friend
- Always keep a donation bag handy in a kid’s closet – when it’s full, move it straight to the car and replace it with an empty!
Middle School and Beyond
The transition from child to tween is often a time when folded clothes start needing more room than small dresser drawers.
- Bulky items such as sweatshirts and jeans often do better folded on open shelving in a closet
- If a closet has been used for toys it may be time to retire those and take over the space for clothes.
- If the closet only has a hanging rod it’s a good time to consider a makeover to reduce the amount of hanging space in order to add some shelving.
- Graduate to an adult size dresser
You can save money, save the environment and build community by recycling your children’s clothes and passing them on when they’re outgrown. Start today by at least setting up 2 labeled bags: one for donations and one for your oldest child’s current size; you’ll be on your way to a sorted system.
Have you come up with a great sorting system? Share it in a comment here!
Take managing your household to a new level of organization!
As the school year begins, busy families everywhere face the challenge of how to get out of the house on time with kids fully dressed and fed, backpacks and paperwork in order, without losing their minds – or their patience.
The key to keeping your sanity is creating simple routines around the basic tasks that have to happen every morning. The place to start isn’t the morning; making a little time to prep the night before can take lots of pressure off the morning. Take ½ hour before bed to tackle these 5 things:
- Have kids choose their outfits (and shoes!) and set them out
- Decide what’s for lunch and if possible get it packed
- Make sure school bags and homework are ready to go
- If there is an afterschool sport make sure that bag is ready too
- Make sure your own lunch and work supplies are ready to go
Prepping clothes and supplies the night before changes the morning focus to eating and personal care.
- Get up at least ½ hour earlier than the kids to have a little time to think and get grounded for the morning. If you have young kids that need more help with dressing/personal care you may need a little more time
- Make quick but nutritious breakfast that doesn’t require much prep or clean-up such as cereal, yogurt and fruit, or toast w/ a nut butter or other protein spread.
Teach the kids to handle their personal care more efficiently by grouping tasks into 3 groups:
- get completely dressed
- wash face/brush teeth/brush hair
- eat breakfast
You can put the 3 tasks in any order that makes sense for your family; the key is to finish one before you start another. The other key is grouping all the bathroom tasks together as one. This avoids the chaos of running back and forth to the bathroom, landing at the breakfast table half dressed, and needing to finish up all of them before leaving the house.
A few other tips to help keep your household running smoothly:
- As notices come home from school, calendar all school dates into your master calendar so you’re never surprised by an open house, field trip, sharing day, etc.
- Dedicate a permanent spot for backpacks and finished homework to live
- Try out weekly meal planning to streamline grocery shopping
There are many websites that offer pre-printed forms for meal planning and calendaring. Here are just a couple we found from a simple search:
Money Saving Mom: http://moneysavingmom.com/downloads/meal-menu-planners
Simple Made Pretty Daily Routine Checklist: http://www.simplemadepretty.com/free-printable-daily-routine-checklist-for-kids/
These routines are helpful for getting children ready for school but they also apply to people of any age! Having routines for preparing your clothes, supplies, and food for the day make getting out the house in the morning a pleasure rather than a chore.