Organizing your Car

November 10, 2009 · Filed Under Home Organization Ideas · Comments Off on Organizing your Car 

Pink Car PictureA messy car is no fun to deal with. More times than not you keep telling yourself that you will get to it and you never do. It’s not fun to clean out your car and keep it organized, but it’s something we all should do.

Organizing your car can be a challenge if you have a lot of stuff you need to have in your car. Whether you run your business from your car or you have things in there you may need if you get stranded, keeping it all organized is a must. Here are some tips that will help you get your car organized and keep it that way.

1.    Checklist

Create a checklist that contains all items you need and want to have in your car at all times. You may also want to create a checklist for the items you will want in your car if you are going to be traveling in the winter as well. There are a number of things that you will want to have in your car. Some of them may pertain to the area you live while others may only pertain to those people that have small children. Create this list based on your needs and keep it somewhere handy where you will always be able to find it.

Here is a list of items you should consider for your car.

•    Blanket
•    Jacket
•    Change of clothes
•    Paper towels
•    Three or four bottles of water
•    Small bag of tools that work with your car

If you are going to travel in the winter, here are a few extra things you should include just in case you get stranded.

•    Five or six cans of fruit or something you could eat if need be
•    A can opener if your cans don’t have a pull tab
•    First aid kit
•    Flair kit

2.    Plastic containers

Plastic containers are a great way to keep your car organized and they will help keep the items you store in your trunk safe and dry. Consider the size of your trunk and the items you will store in it before you make the purchase.

3.    Getting started

Getting started can be the hard part. The best thing to do is lay out all the things you need to include in your car. Put them on the kitchen table or the floor. This will help you get everything into the plastic containers you purchase. If you want to include bottles of oil, antifreeze, or windshield wiper fluid, I recommend a different container. It would be terrible to get oil on the blanket that you include.

You should include a blanket with your kit and it might work out well to have this on the back seat of your car or on the shelf by your back window. If you choose to keep everything together it should go in the bottom of your container.

When your car is organized, you will feel better about it and you will have exactly what you need when you need it. You never know what may happen, so it’s always better to be prepared. When you use these tips, your car will be organized all the time.

Corrie Petersen runs a successful Virtual Assistant business. She enjoys helping her clients organize their business through outsourcing.

Organizing your Photos Part 2

August 4, 2009 · Filed Under Home Office Ideas, Home Organization Ideas · Comments Off on Organizing your Photos Part 2 

Picture of Polaroid PicturesIn the first article of this two part series we talked about organizing the photos you have on your computer. We talked about using folders and placing them in those folders based on the photo.

In this article we will talk about the ways you can organize your printed photos. These photos can be printed from a professional, from a place like Walmart, or from your own printer.

•    Photo Albums

Photo Albums are a great way to organize your photos. You can do a photo album for each of your family members, one for each vacation you go on, or one for each special occasion you have.

Photo Albums have a protective cover that protects your pictures from damage. The cover on the outside also helps protect the pictures on the inside. They have colored covers and they also have ones that allow you to put a photo in the front. You can also find albums that are specific for weddings and other special occasions.

•    Scrapbooks

Scrapbooks are perfect for any occasion. You can create scrapbooks that are themed and do fun things with the pictures, words, and other decorations. You can purchase special paper that goes with your theme along with stickers that have words and pictures in them, and you can include other special things that go along with your theme.

Weddings, birthdays, sporting events, and the birth of a baby are just a few of the occasions that you can create a scrapbook for. They do take a bit of time to create, but the end result will be one that you will enjoy for a life time. They are so much fun to put together and you can let the creative side of you come out.

Scrapbooks are a great way to protect your pictures and make a wonderful book that you will be happy to give away, show to others, or keep for yourself to look at whenever you want.

One advantage to printing your photos and putting them in a book of some type is that you don’t have to worry about your computer crashing and losing all of them. You don’t have to worry about technology changing and you find out you can’t access your photos because the option you chose doesn’t work with your computer.

One disadvantage to not storing your photos online is you run the risk of them being damaged in a flood or fire. Unfortunately you run the risk with just about any option you choose.

So don’t worry about the right or wrong way to store your photos. Decide what will work for you and go with it. You may find that you want to have some online that you can share with others and you may want to create a scrapbook or put some in photo albums to show to others when them come to visit.

Pictures are a great way to remember special occasions or to keep precious memories from ever fading from your memory. You don’t need a special camera or any special software to keep your photos.  Use what you have and what you can afford and you will be happy with the outcome. So take all the pictures you want because you have all the options you want to keep them forever.

Organizing your Clothes

May 12, 2009 · Filed Under Bedroom Ideas, Home Organization Ideas · 1 Comment 

clothes-closet-pictureWe all have seasonal clothes. Seasonal clothes would be things we wear only in the summer, clothes we wear in the winter, and then holiday clothes. Organizing these items so they are readily available when the time comes to get them out can be a problem. Here are some tips that will help you get through this with ease.

•    Dresser

If you can afford one and you have room, one idea is a second dresser. You can store this in a spare room, laundry room, or storage room. When summer time hits, you store all of your winter clothes in the spare dresser. When winter hits you store all your summer clothes in there. Now this won’t work for dresses and other items that should be hung, but it will work for pants, shirts, and skirts.

•    Storage containers

Storage containers are great because they are easy to store and they are easy to see into. You can store these under the bed, the closet floor, or a shelf above your clothes in the closet. These also work well in store rooms, and spare rooms.

•    Spare room

If you have a spare room or an office that has a closet, you can use the closet for your seasonal clothing. This makes a transfer easy because the items are already on hangers. It’s as simple as a swap or transfer. Of course this will mean you will need more hangers, but it will be worth it because you won’t have to use the iron on them.

•    Storage bags

You can purchase storage bags online or in the store. These bags allow you to put a number of pieces in one bag, and then you seal them and use a vacuum to get all the air out. Not only does this save room, but it also protects your clothes.

•    Bar storage

If you have room in your storage room, you can create a closet in a corner. Use 2×4’s and a bar and make your own. Then you can hang all your clothes on that and they will be out of the way, but you will have easy access to them.

•    Plastic stand alone closet

You can purchase a plastic stand alone closet and put it in your storage room. These are designed for rooms that don’t have a closet. They have the bar across the top and the doors close like a regular closet. These work well for storing seasonal clothing.

Organizing your seasonal clothing is a great way to store your clothing and keep them nice and neat. These suggestions work well for children’s clothing. When you know you will need them later for your next child you can store them and they will be ready when you are.

These are just a few of the many options you have when it comes to organizing your clothes. You can also use some of these same suggestions with your shoes. Closets are a mess anyway. When you have your snow boots mixed in with your sandals, it can cause a headache when you are in a hurry and can’t find the right pair.

Organize your Scrapbooking Supplies

May 4, 2009 · Filed Under Home Office Ideas, Home Organization Ideas · Comments Off on Organize your Scrapbooking Supplies 

scraptbook-suppliesWhen you are a scrapbooker you know how important it is to have your supplies organized so you have easy access to them. This is save you time and it will prevent you from purchasing duplicate items.

Organizing your scrapbooking supplies is a must no matter what stage you are at with your scrapbooking. If you are new to it, you may have very few supplies, but you should still organize them. You never know how much you will get into it until that time comes. As long as you don’t plan on doing it one time and never doing it again, you should really consider this plan.

If your collection is real small, you may be able to get away with a small expandable file folder. If you go to your stationery store you may find a small plastic expandable file folder that’s approximately 9 x 4. These will have two or more dividers and this may be just enough room for you to put all your stickers, stencils, and pictures.

If you are really into scrapbooking, you will need more storage space. There are a couple of ways to do this and you will need to decide what will work for you, your space, and your supplies.

One way is to take hanging file folders and hang them in a file cabinet. Then group all your stickers, stencils, and pictures into themes and place each theme in a hanging file folder. Now if you have too many, you may need to do more sorting so you can have small groups in each file folder. Put them in alphabetical order and label them in such a way that you will know what they are.

Another way is to use file folders and a magazine holder that sits on a counter. Group your supplies by theme and place them in a file folder. If you have a lot, place them in multiple file folders and place all of those in one holder. Make sure you label the outside of the holder because the nice part that is for the label is what will be showing. The folders will not be visible from the front.

A 3-ring binder with clear sheet protectors would work well too. You can place all your supplies for each them in one pocket or 3-ring binder if you have multiples. You may need to get a 3 inch binder if you have a lot of supplies.

Now throughout this article we have talked about supplies such as stickers, stencils, and photos, but we haven’t talked about the tools or actual books.

If you are really into scrapbooking you probably have all the different scissors, stamps, and punches which amounts to a lot for sure. You can store these in plastic boxes and place them in your file cabinet or you can place them on top of the file cabinet. Label the outside of the box so you will know at the first glance which box you will need for what you are working on.

The books you have can be stored in a book shelf or on the top of the file cabinet. Of course, this depends on the volume you have. If you have enough room in your file cabinet, you can always store them in there. That way you won’t have to worry about the light ruining the color or the sheets.

Now these are just a few of the many ways you can organize your scrapbooking supplies. You can also check out the scrapbook supply websites online and purchase organizational items that they recommend. No matter how you do it, once you’re organized you will be able to spend more time creating your scrapbooks and less time hunting for what you need.

Organize your Recipes in a 3-Ring Binder

April 27, 2009 · Filed Under Home Organization Ideas, Kitchen & Dining Ideas · Comments Off on Organize your Recipes in a 3-Ring Binder 

3-ring-binder-pictureI know if you are like me, you have a drawer full of recipes. Some were copied from the newspaper, some were printed off the computer, and others were handwritten. What a mess that drawer is and how much time does it take to find the recipe you are looking for? Hours I’m sure. Ok, so maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it feels like it sometimes.

Here’s an easy way to organize your recipes and make your time in the kitchen a little easier and less time consuming.

Purchase a two or a three inch 3-ring binder and a package of dividers from your local stationery store. You will also need notebook paper or computer paper and a three hole punch.

There are a few ways to do this. It will depend on how much time you want to invest in it as to which way you go with this project.

One way is to take your 8 ½ x 11 sheets and three whole punch them and set them aside. Now if you have other sheets that are not that size, you will need to do something to them to get them to an 8 ½ x 11 sheet.

To do this, you can write them on the notebook paper, you can tape them to a sheet of paper, or you can copy them with a copier. Whatever way you decide to go, you will need the sizes to be 8 ½ x 11.

Once you have them all done, you are ready to create the categories. Take the dividers that you purchased and write the categories you want. It may be easier to sort your recipes into categories first. That way you will know what you need to write on the dividers. You might have categories like desserts, drinks, casseroles, and main dishes. Just use what works for you.

Once this step is done, you are ready to three hole punch each sheet and insert them into your notebook. I recommend putting them in alphabetical order, but that is up to you for sure.

Now one other thing you can do is create a table of contents and list each recipe and the page number. This means you will need to number each page and this could cause difficulties if you add a new recipe to your book. You could create the table of contents and not list the page number. When you add a new recipe you would go to your computer add the new recipe in the order it is in the book and print it out again.

Now the other option involves the computer. You will need printer paper, a three hole punch, a two or three inch 3-ring binder, and the dividers.

You will need to take the time to type out each and every recipe you have and then print them out. Now you will want to make sure each recipe is on its own paper so you are not printing out two recipes on one sheet. Once this is done and you have them printed out, you will need to three hole punch them.

After they are punched, you will need to divide them into categories just like I described above. Then create your categories on your divider sheets and then put the book together. You can create the table of contents together the same way as described above as well.

Organizing your recipes and putting them into a 3-ring binder is a great way to keep them all together and nice and neat. Storing the 3-ring binder might be a bit of a challenge, but hopefully you will be able to find a drawer it will fit in or you might be able to place it in the cupboard that is close to the range.

Placing your recipes in a 3-ring binder will not only save you time when searching for a recipe, but it will help you to have more storage since you won’t have a junk drawer full of recipes, and it will keep your recipes in one place and you won’t have to worry about losing them.

Do you organize your Recipes? Part 2

April 20, 2009 · Filed Under Home Organization Ideas, Kitchen & Dining Ideas · Comments Off on Do you organize your Recipes? Part 2 

In the last article we talked about using the computer to organize your recipes. I showed you a couple of different ways to do this and I also recipe-box-picture-ashared with you that you can share them with others easily and you won’t have to find a place to store them in the kitchen.

This time we are going to talk about using recipe cards for all your recipes.

Recipe cards are a great way to keep your recipes nice and neat and in a place where you will always be able to find them. There are a couple of different ways you can go when you use recipe cards.

Now most people use a regular index card for the recipes. Now I don’t know about you, but I write pretty big, so it’s hard for me to fit a detailed recipe on one of those. So I recommend you get the larger cards if you write large or you have a lot of detailed recipes. It’s easier to do that then it is to continue onto multiple cards and run the risk of misplacing one. If you do go with the smaller cards I recommend getting a stapler so you can staple them together.

Another option is to use cards that are specifically for recipes. These cards usually have pictures of kitchen utensils on them and they are usually quite large. They will have lines on one side and they are blank on the other. You can look at stationery stores, kitchen stores, or online for these. You may also be able to find a container to put them in.

If you can’t find a container to store them in, you might consider a plastic storage box. Another option is to make a box out of wood and use that for your recipes. If you use the wood, you will need to paint it or put varnish on it so you don’t have to worry about splinters each time you reach in for a recipe.

Once you decide what type of card to use, you will need to create dividers for desserts, drinks, salads, casseroles, main dishes, etc. This will help you organize your recipes into categories so they will be easy to find. You can purchase the dividers or you can create your own using a card and a raised tab above with the category in that area.

Now you need to start copying your recipes on the cards. This is a time consuming process, but you will be much happier when you go to find a recipe. You can either hand write these recipes out or if you have a typewriter, you can type them out. This is another process that you can hire someone to do if you don’t want to do it yourself.

So there you have it, two ways to organize your recipes so that you will save time and you won’t have to worry about losing recipes again. Either way is time consuming at first but it will be well worth it in the long run.

Do you organize your Recipes? Part 1

April 18, 2009 · Filed Under Kitchen & Dining Ideas · Comments Off on Do you organize your Recipes? Part 1 

This is something most people don’t even think about organizing. I know when I first thought about it, it was like, why? But think about this. Howrecipe-picture-a many times have you searched for hours for a recipe and then ended up making something else because it was nowhere to be found. How many times have you searched for a recipe because you were preparing for a grocery store visit? This is a big time waster if you ask me. So I’ve decided to show you how I’m organizing my recipes.

I have recipes that I have received from others and I have recipes that I have found online. This means I have lose papers all over the place. Some recipes were written on recipe cards while others were written on envelopes or worse yet, a napkin. Organizing your recipes can take time, but if you do it a little at a time, it won’t be so bad.

Here are two different ways to organize your recipes. You will have to decide which one will work better for your needs, but once you do, don’t go back to the old way.

For many of us, the computer is a great way to go. You can put your recipes into a Word document and then have the ability to search for the title, ingredients, or any other way.

To do this, you will need to gather all of your recipes that are handwritten, pulled from magazines, or printed from the computer. This will be a time consuming task because you will need to retype all the recipes into your document. If you don’t have the time or don’t want to do this project, you might consider paying someone like a teenager, virtual assistant, or someone else.

When you start this project, just type them in. They don’t need to be in any order at first. Once you get all of your recipes typed out, you can do some further organizing. There are a few ways you can do the organizing process. You can copy and paste all your desserts into one document and all your pastas into another document or you can put all of your favorites or regularly used recipes into one document and put all the others in another one. Think about what the easiest way is for you and go that route.

Once you decide which route you will take, you can put them in alphabetical order by the name of the meal or you can put them in order by the amount of time it takes to cook. Again, think about what will work best for you and what will be the easiest way for you to find the recipe you are looking for.

Using the computer is a great way to keep all of your recipes organized and you won’t have to find a place to store them in your kitchen. It’s also a good way to share your recipes with others easily and quickly.

In the next article we will talk about using recipe cards for your recipes and how you can organize them.

How to Organize your Favorites Online

April 13, 2009 · Filed Under Home Office Ideas, Home Organization Ideas · Comments Off on How to Organize your Favorites Online 

yellow-starHave you ever run across a website or article directory that you liked and then could never find it again? This can happen to anyone and it happens entirely too often. The easiest fix is to bookmark them using a feature your web browser provides.

Depending on the browser you use to access the internet, it may be called something different. It could be called bookmark or it could be called favorites. If you use Internet Explorer this feature is called Favorites. Since more people use Internet Explorer for their web browser, that is what we will discuss in this article.

Go to the site you want to bookmark, click on Favorites, and then click on Add to Favorite. This will bring up a window that will give you the ability to call it what you want. If the description in there isn’t something you will be able to remember, then you will need to change it to something that will jog your memory.

If you do this process often, your window for your favorites could grow quite lengthy and it could take you a long time to find what you are looking for. I recommend you creating folders for sites that are similar. For example, if you have a lot of sites that are for advertising, you can create a folder called advertising sites and then move all those sites to that folder. This process is also under favorites and it’s usually under the organize your favorites option. When you click on this option, you will see a list of all your favorites and you will be able to move them from one place to another with ease.

If you are going to move them around in the main list, then you will click and drag. If you are moving your favorites from the main list to a folder, you will need to first create that folder. To create the folder, you need to go to organize your favorites. At the bottom of the window that pops up you will see new folder. Click on that and you will see a new folder pop up and you will be able to call it what you want. Once you create the folder, you are ready to start moving links into that folder. To do this, you will need to do it one site at time. Click on the site you want to move and then click on the move button at the bottom of the window. This will bring up a list of the folders you have. Click on the one you want it to go to and click ok. When you are all done, you can go back to your favorites list and you will be able to see all the folders you created and all the sites that are within that folder.

Following these steps to organize websites you visit regularly and organizing your favorites will make your time online more organized. You will spend less time searching for websites which will allow you to spend more time working your business and with your family.

Garage Sale Season is upon us, will you be ready in time?

April 6, 2009 · Filed Under Home Organization Ideas, House Cleaning Ideas · Comments Off on Garage Sale Season is upon us, will you be ready in time? 

garage-sale-buttonWhen spring time hits people decide to do spring cleaning around their homes. Spring cleaning inside and out is a great way to spruce up your home, make room for the new by getting rid of the old, and rearranging things so it looks better.

One way to get rid of things that you don’t need or want is to have a garage sale. You’ve heard the old saying, “one man’s junk, is another man’s treasure”…and it is such a true statement. You’d be amazed at the things people look for and want. Some people shop garage sales to find things that are worth a lot of money that people are selling for cheap because they don’t know the value. While other people shop garage sales looking for items in good condition that they can sell on Ebay.

Some people decide they will never have garage sale because they are just too much work, while others don’t want to have one because they think nobody will buy from them. There are a few things you can do to make sure you have a successful garage sale. These things are easy to do and could turn out to be the best things you ever did.

Here are some organizing tips that will help you prepare for your garage sale.

The first thing you need to do to prepare yourself for a garage sale is to find items that you want to include. To do this, you need to go through your house and look for things that you don’t need or want anymore. Go through each room in your home when you do this. These items can include clothing, figurines, pictures, and toys.

Once you find these items, you will want to put them into categories. You will have categories like bathroom, kitchen, kids, and other. Once you have your items in categories, you are ready to put prices on your items. You need to remember that these items are used and people will not be willing to pay a lot of money for these items. Prices should range from $0.25 to $5 or so. If your items are brand new with the tags on them, you could ask for a little more, but make sure you keep the tag on it so they know it’s still brand new.

Once you have this all done, you are ready to schedule a date for your garage sale. Most times they are done on a Saturday and Sunday, but every once in a while you will see one on Friday. Now people are starting to go with Saturday only. Really this is up to you and how much time you want to invest in it.

You also need to advertise your garage sale. You can make flyers and post them or put an ad in the newspaper, Thrifty Nickel, or Quick Quarter. If you use the flyers make sure you follow the laws in your community.

On the day of your garage sale you will need to get up early so you can have everything ready to go. You will always have early bird buyers so you will want to be ready no later than 8 am or so. You will also want to have enough change so you won’t have to go to the bank or try to go to stores to get more. I recommend $10 in quarters and $40 in ones at the least.

If you want to keep track of what you sell, you can do this in a couple of ways. You can use a paper and write it all down or you can use stickers on each item and put them on a paper that you can add to a spreadsheet later.

So there you have it. Everything you need to do to have an organized garage sale. Now is the time to do some spring cleaning and have a garage sale. Good luck!

How to organize your Finances

February 26, 2009 · Filed Under Budgeting, Home Organization Ideas · Comments Off on How to organize your Finances 

check-and-billOrganizing your finances can be a difficult thing to do and it can add stress to your life if you don’t it. When you keep track of what bills are due with each check, how much you pay, and keep all your bills together, you will be well organized and feel better about everything.

Here are a few tips that will help you organize your finances.

•    Track

When you first set out to organize your finances you will need to set aside two or three hours to get this done. Gather all of your bills and go to a quite spot with your computer or pad of paper.

Write down each merchants name, the monthly payment, and the due date. Now organize them so they are in date order. Start with the beginning of the month and work your way to the end. Now write down each pay check and the dollar amount. You need to decide which bills can be paid with each check.

•    Budget

Now you need to create a budget. A budget is where you write down everything you spend money on each month. This would include groceries, take out, vehicle maintenance, clothing, etc. The main reason you do this is to look at all of your spending habits. If you are spending more than what you have or you have very little left over at the end of the month, your budget will show you areas that you can eliminate.

•    Set budget goals

Whether you are saving for a vacation or trying to get some bills paid off, goals are the best route to take. Without them, you will continue to do the same thing day in and day out with your money. If you want to take a family vacation next summer, your goal may be to get a couple doctor bills paid off within the next few months so you can take that money and put it in savings. This could be the difference between a camping trip and a trip to Disneyland.

•    Plan

Planning can be the most difficult part of organizing your budget. The reason for this is that you have to find a way to do this the same time each week or month. Plan this time around your paychecks. For example, if you get paid on Friday, take time on Saturday or Sunday to sit down and pay your bills. The longer that money sits in your account, the more likely you are to spend it. If you get it out of there right away, it won’t be there to spend.

Organizing your finances can be a difficult thing. But, if you follow these steps and set aside time to take care of these each week or every other week, you will do good and you will reach your goals. Keep track of everything and keep it in the same place so you don’t get off kilter and forget what you are doing and forget to pay a bill. Reach your financial goals through organized finances.

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