Tips for Organizing your Bills

November 11, 2010 · Filed Under Home Office Ideas, Home Organization Ideas · Comments Off on Tips for Organizing your Bills 

Ok, I admit it. I am not a wise spender. If my bills don’t get paid on payday, I will spend the money on something else. Money literally burns a hole in my Miche Bag!! I had to figure out a way to make sure my bills were not only paid, but paid on time. Just getting my bills in the mail was not enough.

Before I get into how to organize your bills, I have to tell you that you have to sit down every month and balance that checkbook. It does you no good to pay the bills if you don’t have enough money in your account to cover the checks you write. Paying those hefty NSF charges will only cause you more stress! If you don’t know how to balance your checkbook, get with your bank right away!

Ok, that being said. How do you organize your bills? First of all, you need to find a safe place to keep the bills that you receive through the mail such as a folder or a mail holder. Don’t just throw the bills in there as soon as you get it though. Be sure to open the envelope immediately and check the due date and the minimum amount due. Not all due dates fall on the same day of the month, and if your minimum balance is higher then normal, you will need adequate time to find out why. Most people these days are going to paperless bills. Check your email or the websites often to get the due date and amount due.

The next thing that I do is to enter my bills in an Excel spreadsheet. In my house, we have three paydays. I have columns set up with the amount of our paychecks and paydays. Then I have each bill set to be paid according to their due dates. I have a formula inserted so that I do not spend more money that I have. After I pay each bill, and the check is in the mail, I mark it with a red “X”. This way, there is no question whether or not I paid it.

I had my moments where I was in a lot of financial trouble because of my spending habits. With a little planning and self control, I no longer have this problem. You can do it too!

Corrie Petersen runs a successful Virtual Assistant business. She enjoys helping her clients organize their business through outsourcing. If you’re ready to get your business organized, click here to visit her site.

Tips for an Organized Laundry Room

October 8, 2010 · Filed Under Home Organization Ideas, House Cleaning Ideas · Comments Off on Tips for an Organized Laundry Room 

There are a few places in every woman’s home that they have to spend time in. The laundry room is one of these places and I don’t know about you, but it is certainly not my favorite place to be. If you have to spend time in there, it might as well be well organized. Here are a few tips that will help you get the laundry room organized and a little (just a little) more enjoyable.

Make full use of the selves that are in the laundry room. They can be used not only for storage on top of the shelf, but you can hang your delicate or freshly ironed clothing underneath them. Go out and purchase the inexpensive towel holders and attach them to the under side of the shelves.

If you don’t have a lot of shelves installed in your laundry room for storage, you can purchase one of those tall shelves from Target or Wal Mart. They are fairly inexpensive, but are essential for having an organized area. Use this are for your detergents, dryer sheets and bleach. There will be plenty of extra room for your iron or hangers or anything else that needs a place to call home!

Another problem that I had in my laundry room was the piles of cloths sitting on the floor. Nothing was separated, so of course, my husband accidentally ended up with pink socks, and one of my daughters favorite shirts ended up ruined because it was a delicate. I went to the mall and bought some nice wicker baskets and labeled the front of them. One for “Whites”, one for “Colors” and another for “Delicate’s”.  I told them that they need to help out by separating their own clothes. Haven’t had a problem since!

Spending time in a laundry room doesn’t have to feel like being lost in a black hole. Everything is better when things have a place and are easily accessible. Also, you can try putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls to make it feel a little more cozy. Who knows, maybe…just maybe, it will be so inviting, your husband or kids will offer to help out! We can dream, right?

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

5 Tips to an Organized Birthday Party

September 18, 2009 · Filed Under Home Organization Ideas · Comments Off on 5 Tips to an Organized Birthday Party 

Balloons PictureOrganizing a birthday party can be a challenge in and of itself. There is so much that needs to be done before the party and then during the party as well. Of course, the majority of this depends on the type of party you have and where it will be.

1.    Set a date

The first thing you need to do is set a date for the party. You may need to think about things going on during the weekend, holidays, or school activities. You must remember that you will not be able to make everyone happy. So find a date that works for you.

If you are going to hold the party in a difference location, you will need to contact them to make sure they have that date as well. Make the arrangements with them and find out what they will supply so you know what you will need to purchase.

2.    Theme

Once you have the location picked out, you can decide on the theme and start making purchases. You can shop at Walmart, a party store, or you can order online. You will need invitations, cups, plates, silverware, table cloth, and any decorations you want. Make sure you verify the size so you don’t purchase things that are too big or too small. You also want to make sure you don’t over buy because that would mean a trip back to the store to return or wasted money if you can’t return them.

3.    Invitations

Create a list of people that you want to invite. If you are holding the party at another location, make sure you ask how many people you can invite. Also take into consideration the number of adults you will have because you don’t want to have too many kids and not enough adults.

You need to make sure you send the invitations out in time so parents have the time to make it to the store for a gift. At the same time, you don’t want to send them out too early because your guests might forget about the party.

4.    Planning

Make sure you buy your supplies early so you are not running out the day of the party to purchase them. You will also want to order the cake a week or so before the party or if you are going to make the cake, you’ll want to make it a day or two in advance.

The day of the party will be busy so you’ll want to set everything out the night before so it’s all together. Make a list of everything you need to bring so you don’t forget anything. Make sure you get to your party location 15-20 minutes before the party starts, just in case you have early arrivals.

5.    At the party

Cupcake PictureIf it’s possible, have a large trash can or sack close to where you will be. This will help with the clean up process. Keeping on top of the clean up will help in the long run. Have the kids throw their plates and plastic ware away when they are finished and have them save their cups just in case they want more to drink. Use a pen or sharpie to write their name on the cup.

Organizing a birthday party will make it so much easier and you won’t stress or forget something. When you plan your party using these tips or suggestions, you will have a successful party and one that you can and will enjoy.

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.

Is your Computer Organized?

March 8, 2009 · Filed Under Home Office Ideas, Home Organization Ideas · Comments Off on Is your Computer Organized? 

computer-foldersDo you use your computer for business only or maybe for the family? Organizing your computer is a must in either case. It’s important and will save time in the long run. You will need to organize your files and your e-mail to make the best of this tip.

Let’s start with the computer first and then work our way to the e-mail.

Whether your computer is strictly for business or if you use it for the family as well, these tips will work either way. Let’s focus on the business side in this article

•    Files

Create a file for each business you run. If you have clients, you may want to consider creating one for each client. Within each of these files you will need to categorize your files based on what they are. If you have a number of documents that are the same type, they should all go in a file together.

Creating as many files as you can will help you find documents easier. When you do this it will save you so much time because you won’t have to search through each document. You will go right to the file you need and the document will be right there.

This process will take a while at first, but keeping up on this process with each document you create or save will be easy to do. Make it a habit to do this every time and you will be thankful you did.

If you have space issues on your computer, you may want to consider using an external hard drive for some or all of your files. I recommend using it for files that either you won’t use anymore, but don’t want to delete or ones that you don’t use that often. If you have a laptop, it may be a little difficult to keep the hard drive plugged in all the time so this is one reason why you may want to use it for files you won’t use a lot.

•    E-mail

If you receive a large amount of e-mails from one person, you will want to create a folder for them. Any e-mails you send to this person or receive from them, you’ll want to put them in this folder. You can also create a folder for newsletters, training e-mails, or e-mails you will want to review later.

The main reason you will want to create these folders is to clean up your e-mail so you won’t have any rejected do to space limits. When you move your files over, you will have more space. Another reason you will want to do this is so you will spend less time searching for files from a specific person or topic. Some e-mail company’s delete files after a certain amount of time has pasted. This could cause a problem later on if you need to go back to one that passes this date.

Another option for your e-mails would be to save them as documents on your hard drive. This will help you keep them out of your e-mail, but if your computer crashes they will be gone if you don’t back it up regularly. It is an option that you may want to consider.

Creating folders for documents and e-mails is a must when you are trying to organize your computer. Files will keep your computer clean and tidy and it will save you time and stress each time you go to look for a document or e-mail. Give it a try today!

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