Let’s Talk Paper! With the holiday season safely behind us, March is the best time of year to get all of our paperwork in order. These three things will help get you in ship shape: catch up on filing, clear out old files, and prepare documents for the tax season.
Each of us at Simplify Experts recently read Peter Walsh’s book, It’s All Too Much, as a part of our continuing professional development. We had a great discussion of our favorite strategies, techniques and tips from this book at a recent staff meeting. We would definitely recommend this book to anyone who feels overwhelmed by their home.
Many cities now have a ban on plastic bags, including mine. So when I come across stores that still use them, I tend to hang on to them because I re-use them for all sorts of things in my home. For instance, emptying the upstairs garbage cans, putting them over shoes that I’m packing in a suitcase, covering fragile plants during a freeze, or simply to carry things, the list of uses for a plastic bag go on and on.
One of the services Simply Experts provides to clients is to collect and deliver old, out of date electronics to InterConnection Computer Recycling. At InterConnection, donating out of date electronics is “good for others and good for the environment.” Their focus is charitable reuse, not recycling. They will take your old electronics free of charge.
A great way to manage entryway clutter is to look for areas around your front door (or garage door if that’s where you enter the house) where you can “go vertical” and add hooks and shelves to the wall to get personal items up off the floor, creating a zone for each person so they know where their things go.
Keeping a summer readiness bag ready for day trips or even a quick outing to the park can save time when trying to get out the door. Backpack or beach bag should include an extra bottle of sunscreen, hats, mini first aid kit (Neosporin, band-aids, wet wipes etc…) and extra diapers. Buy a case of bottled waters to keep in the trunk of the car for emergencies, also a waterproof picnic style blanket and extra towels can be stored in the trunk for impromptu trip to the beach. Keeping an extra set of clothes in the car can be handy if children’s clothes get wet or dirty while having fun!
Before you bring everything back into your home, now is a good time to go through and assess what is really necessary and needed. Encourage your child to sort through their clothing. Was it worn during the year away? If not, now is a good time to let it go. Freshly launder all dorm bedding and then store and label in containers for the summer. Create a “College” storage container for items that will not be used during the summer, but are used during the school year, such as mugs, shower caddies, school supplies, etc. Larger items like dorm refrigerators, chairs and trunks can be easily stored and labeled out of the way in a garage or basement. Doing all this right as your child returns home will make the transition to pack up again at the end of summer all the easier!
Consider a painting rack to store framed artwork on, wrap paintings in plastic to keep moisture out. For unframed art you can lay them in an archival box with acid free tissue paper between pieces. The basement and attic can be easy and tempting places to store art, but with temperature changes and moisture potential this may cause more damage. If you need to stack the paintings place padding in-between each piece to protect them.
Organizing lumber in a garage can depend on the intended use of the lumber. If you are storing pieces to keep them away from the elements or will not be using them for projects in the near future, then consider using the roof beams of the garage or tops of high shelves for storing long pieces of lumber. Smaller pieces can be stored horizontally in a bin or vertically in a clean trash bin.
To be an ADHD specialist requires many hours of study. As a life-long learner, I am glad that Simplify Experts values learning and education. To support my learning I am a member (called a subscriber) of the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD.)
ICD is very focused on its mission: to provide education, research and strategies to benefit people challenged by chronic disorganization. Members include professional organizers as well as mental health professionals and academics.