Review all of April's Organized365 suggestions in this blog post. What areas will you focus on in May? Where would you most benefit from a tip or trick? Contact us at Pulled2Gether Consulting to submit requests!
Always keep two types of ice pack ready in your freezer. Both ice packs to use in coolers to preserve food temps and ice packs for injuries need to be on hand. Needing an ice pack for first aid is not predictable so being prepared is critical.
Nimbility - It's a thing
Anticipation, planning, and foresight allow flexible actions and reactions. Spacing commitments to accommodate the unexpected enables a nimble response.
Being nimble means you can put out fires or respond to new opportunities without having to sacrifice your objectives and timeline.
Avoid overbooking and creating a schedule that is overly rigid!
Break It Down: Entryway
Turn your cleaning focus on your entryway and make a plan. What needs to be done? Windows to wash, rugs to vacuum, light fixtures to dust? Identify and address each area; taking it a step at a time. Depending on the size of your space and your schedule you may spend an hour, a day or a week whipping your entryway into shape.
Next stop, the front coat closet...
Break It Down: Front Closet
All closets can become catch-alls for household items and the front coat closet is no exception. This closet may be the default home for gardening supplies, bird seed, vacuums and an array of sports equipment.
Give some thought to how you WANT to use this space and make the changes necessary to reflect your priorities. Move out of season outerwear to a storage space, designate a spot for gardening supplies (the garage?).
Take note of stale odors that may linger in your closet, this space generally has poor ventilation.
Do make sure that you consult other members of your family as you relocate, donate or toss items. It is generally best to avoid making unilateral decisions for your household.
Next stop, the guest bedroom...
Break It Down: Guest Bedroom
Tackle the guest bedroom when your next guests are due in less than week's time. Unless it is a multipurpose space (home office?) you may wish to leave it untouched between guests. This eliminates any guess work about the status of the linens, towels, need to vacuum & dust, etc.
Since guest bedrooms are rarely large; vacuuming, dusting, changing sheets, and washing windows will not take long. Imagine the comforts you appreciate when a guest in the home of friends or family: kleenex, water, candles, books or magazines... Attention to small details make your company feel cherished and welcome!
Next stop, laundry room...
Break it Down: Laundry Room
Cleaning your laundry room does more than extend the life of your washer & dryer, it can help prevent a house fire. Regularly removing lint from the dryer vent is a critical preventative chore. While you're in there, pull the machines out and vacuum and wash the floors being the machines. In addition to the lint and cobwebs, you may discover a stray sock or missing t-shirt.
Soap residue builds up in your washing machine and sticky grime can build up in the rims of the openings of both washer and dryer. Wipe these down and clean up any detergents or softeners that may have spilled on cabinets or shelving as well. Now your laundry room will feel as fresh and clean as your clothing.
Next stop: home office...
Break It Down: Home Office
Focus on office supplies. Do you struggle to locate a file you use frequently? Are you over run with pens? Do you have enough scratch paper or post-its?
Keep high use items close at hand. Move anything you do not use on a daily basis off of your desk. Corral your pens, cull them and donate the surplus to a teacher friend for their students to use.
Next stop: book shelves...
Break It Down: Book Shleves
Control your collection size. Toss damaged titles. Donate books you have read, didn't care for, or have lost interest in.
There are too many great, fun books out there to enjoy. Do not allow already read or unloved ones to create an obstacle to new discoveries.
Next stop: more book shelves...
Break It Down: More Book Shelves
Group your books in a way that makes sense to you. Do not worry about Dewey, color, or size groupings unless that's your thing. I group by dogs, bicycling, books my SO will read, library loans, etc.
Do pay the most attention to your library loan collection. Even though my library doesn't charge late fees, I know that when I let library books sit on my shelves others are missing out on an opportunity to discover them.
Next stop: Your Little Free Library...
Break It Down: Little Free Libraries
Maximize your Little Free Library's impact with regular maintenance.
Remove damaged books (watch the weather), donate titles that have gone unnoticed, and avoid over filling your shelves.
A well maintained Little Free Library will draw attention if it holds the promise of discovering something new.
Next: Basement Storage...
Break It Down: Basement Storage
Clutter loves a basement. Avoid clutter creep by regularly evaluating the items you're storing. Pulling storage bins off the shelf for a peek inside may reveal a forgotten treasure. As likely, you will find that the stored item, while once treasured is now ready to be donated or tossed.
Next: Head Outside...
Get your outdoor equipment in shape for warm weather fun. Wipe down the paddle boat. Dust off the patio furniture. Haul those bikes in to your local shop for spring maintenance.
Here comes the sun!!
Some events mean you are off the organizational hook. Bask in the joy of your new family member. Nobody cares if there are dirty dishes in the sink today.
Home Run Day
Ensure your home is presentable for 'drop-by' company by developing a speed-cleaning routine. Move through your home gathering items for the laundry, stray items needing to be put away, and collect empty soda cans and napkins for the garbage.
Note areas that may need a bit more attention. Once you have a routine that works for you, race the clock. Setting a PR is motivating and chore time truly flies. Bonus: challenge family members to a competition and share the work!
Summer Travel Abroad?
Plan now to renew or apply for your passport if you will be traveling abroad this summer. Worrying about your passport status kills your travel anticipation. Check here: https://bit.ly/2JzhJu9 to learn about guidelines and to find your local passport agency. Safe travels!
Prior Pet Planning
Beyond deciding and arranging to welcome a new pet into your home. Take advantage of the waiting period to schedule an initial well-check vet appt. and/or a training class. Give special attention to any social plans you make in the first weeks of your new pet experience. Travel and hosting both require extra care during these early days.
Back At It: Maintaining Routines
After the initial bonding with your new pet, it's time to establish routines. No more letting the chores slide due to furry cuteness. Resuming your work habits and chore schedule sets boundaries and allows your new pet to learn to entertain themselves and relax independently in their new home. Provide guidance, toys, and space to support the development of the desired behaviors. Maybe that laundry can slide for one or two more days. ;-)
Friends On Call
When is it okay to triple the guest list for your wedding at 3 weeks out? When one of your BFF's is a professional organizer and you have a posse of planning support. Step one: rally the troops! DO ASK FOR HELP!! Whether its planning a wedding or another challenge, you have friends with skills, make sure you take advantage. Being asked will be an honor and flattering to all of them.
Pet First Aid Awareness
Here are great tips for preventing pet emergencies & being prepared if the need arises from @uwvetmed https://www.vetmed.wisc.edu/preventing-pet-emergencies-veterinarian/
When young or inexperienced children want to walk our dog, we use two leashes. An adult takes the long one and the child has a short one. This allows the child to feel and be in control but gives the adult control over the 'safety net'.
All Hands On Deck: Wedding Planning
Facilitate group planning for a wedding by using a shared spreadsheet. Some tabs you may want to use include: to-do list, outstanding questions (for the bride to answer), ceremony details, guest list, wedding day schedule, etc.
Let everyone join in as you conduct signature cocktail R&D for the reception!
Puppy's 1st Road Trip
Help your pet be a good guest by packing everything you anticipate needing. Don't expect your hosts to provide bags for waste, products for cleaning up after accidents or toys & treats for entertainment.
Bringing along familiar items such as blankets, crate, as well as food and water bowls will help your pet feel more comfortable on their big adventure. This is not the time to introduce new grooming tools or try going crate-less. There will be plenty of new experiences.
Share Plans in Advance
Staying on schedule can be a challenge in and of itself. When your plans impact others (or their's you), communicating your intentions in advance helps everyone stay on track.
Visiting friends? Let them know if you are making plans to visit a park or go sightseeing while in their area.
Have an appt during your work day? Block time on shared calendars and alert colleagues who may need to field phone calls in your absence.
Reduce confusion and frustration with advance communication!
File Faster & Reduce Frustration
On the heels of Tax Day, reflect on your process and then act on insights to improve next year's experience.
Put papers in a “safe place”. How do you store and retrieve important papers?
If you found yourself looking in the 'wrong' place for records, update your system so it makes sense to you. Utilize: binders (each child, pets, financial, medical, etc.), folders (physical & digital), bins, whatever works.
Selling Your Home: Prep with Caution
As you prepare your home to be shown to prospective buyers, plan to keep medications, jewelry, and other small valuables safe. Place prescription meds in a small bag that you can carry with you. Heirloom jewelry items may be better off in storage during this transition time. Many people will be in and out of your home, particularly during an open house, realtors will not be able to keep an eye on all of your possessions, all of the time.
Selling Your Home: Identify Hazards
Address low hanging light fixtures, uneven steps, or loose carpets/rugs to prevent drawing attention to flaws. Taking care of these issues will also ensure that prospective buyers are not injured or encountering an unexpected obstacle during showings.
Wedding Season Prep
Post wedding invitations on the fridge. Not only are you reminded of a fun social event in your future, it helps you remember to purchase gifts in a timely fashion. Purchase/order early enough to allow for shipping time if necessary.
Wedding Season Prep
As the wedding invitations come in, make a point of checking the status of your party clothes. Do you need to make a trip to the dry cleaner? Do you need to replace the dress shirt or blouse with a stubborn stain? Perhaps you want to update your accessories.
Wedding Season Prep
If you are traveling to a wedding, unpack and hangup your good clothes when you arrive at your hotel. This allows you to make a quick trip to a local store for forgotten items (socks, belts, etc) as well as helping keep clothes wrinkle free.