Simplify Your Grocery Shopping & Save 4 Hours A Week

July 24, 2016

grocery list

One of the most time consuming and stressful things in our lives is food. The planning, shopping, prepping, cooking, storing, eating and wasting over whelms all of us. I want to make your life easier by providing some simple tips plus a great tool for you.

TIPS:

By planning ahead, you will save yourself multiple trips to the store which means you are saving loads of time plus gas money! You will also save yourself from the most dreaded question we hear every day: “What’s For Dinner?”

  1. Plan a weekly menu – this should be 3-5 breakfasts, lunches and dinners per week. You can get a weeks worth of breakfasts out of a box of cereal or a dozen eggs plus fruit, milk and juice. Lunches can be as simple as sandwiches, pre prepared boxes or dinner left overs. Dinner is usually a bit more involved with cooking but again, there’s usually a couple of nights you can do left overs and maybe one night going out or ordering in dinner for the family.
  2. After you have your menu for the week, make a list of all the ingredients you will need to complete the meal. For example, if you are making spaghetti, you will want to put pasta, sauce, spices, garlic, onion and maybe ground beef or turkey on your list. If you are serving it with a salad, make sure you get lettuce, tomatoes and salad dressing.
  3. I recommend doubling or tripling your recipes. When you have time to cook, cook twice or three times as much, freeze the extra and label it well using tape and a marker. This way you will always have something ready to defrost/ reheat when you are short on time.
  4. Let the family help: Your kids and spouse can help pack their own snacks and lunches for the next day. They can also help set the table and clean up after wards.

TOOLS:

  1. A great time saving tool is to use your crock pot. Assemble all of your items in your crock pot in the morning, set it on low and when you get home – WALAH! DINNER IS READY!
  2. Purchase the Simply Organized handy Grocery List and Menu Planner: www.simplyorganizedyou.com/resources
  3. Chore chart for your kids: can be purchased at Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Walmart or download one at: http://www.parents.com/kids/discipline/rewards/downloadable-chore-charts/

All of these tips and tools will save you time, money and energy! If you need help with your time or space, please call us at 404-825-2105 or e-mail heather@simplyorganizedyou.com

For lots more tips and tools, buy my book A Simplified Life at www.simplyorganizedyou.com/book.

 

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Tips and Tools for Back to School 2016

July 20, 2016

school-desks-1418686-1280x960

1. SHOPPING

SCHOOL SUPPLIES:

Most schools have the list posted online for each grade. This year I’ve seen local lists at Target stores too. You can also buy “packs” from most schools which include all needed supplies. I recommend you print out your list and shop at home first. You probably have tons of paper, pencils and more left over from last year. Gather everything on the list into one place and check those items off. The rest can be purchased at any retail store and most have great deals right now. (ex. Crayons, Ziplock bags, glue, scissors, folders, paper, pencils)

DON’T MISS THE TAX FREE WEEKEND
Georgia Back to School Sales Tax Holiday 2016 for Clothing, Computers, and School Supplies July 30, 2016 through July 31, 2016:

Clothing and Footwear < $100: Clothing and footwear, no sales tax unless item is over $100. 

  • Computers and Computer related items < $1000: Computers, computer components, and prewritten computer software purchased for noncommercial home or personal use with a price $1,000 or less. 
  • School supplies > $20: School supplies, school art supplies, school computer supplies, and school instructional materials purchased for noncommercial use costing $20 or less.

CLOTHES:

Make time to have your children try on the clothes and shoes they wore last year to see what fits. For the first couple of months (at least in the south) they can probably stay in their summer clothes but go ahead and make a list of their fall and winter wardrobe needs now.

(ex. NEED Shirts: short sleeved #4, long sleeved #4, pants #5, shoes #1, socks #5)

2. SCHEDULE/ ROUTINE:

DOWNLOAD A FREEE BLANK SCHEDULE & TO-DO LIST ON OUR WEBSITE:
http://simplyorganizedyou.com/resources/

FAMILY CALENDAR:

You should have a dry erase, paper or electronic shared calendar for your family. Each member should have their own color. Place all activities on the calendar including after school, trips, sleep overs, teacher meetings and weekend plans.

ROUTINE

Even if every day is a little different, families thrive on schedules. Have a PLAN B for days with after school activities and a PLAN C for weekends. To combat confusion and set expectations, use the following daily routines:

  • Wake up time (ex. 6:30am) eat breakfast, get dressed, brush teeth
  • Out the door time (ex. no later than 7:30 am)
  • Home work time (after school ex. 3:30-4:30) play time, chores
  • Dinner time (ex. 6:30 pm) then game or tv, bath, brush teeth, read story
  • Bed time (ex. 8 pm)

3. ORGANIZATION

A place for everything and everything in it’s place – right? Start these good habits with your family now and it will save you time and stress later.

DROP ZONE

Every person in your family should have their own hook and or basket near the entry and exit of your home. Even if you do not have a mud room, you can easily create this area around a storage bench, breakfast room, laundry room or garage. This is also a great place to put a family calendar.

Each night before bed: all homework is completed and put into backpacks near the exit. Make lunches (or let your kids do it), snacks and even breakfast the night before and have it in the fridge ready to go. Lay out your children’s clothes (or have them do it) the night before. Keep their shoes in their closets with their clothes or in a storage bench or basket near the door. Use a charging station for all phones, laptops, etc. and plus them in before you go to bed. Keep the charging station near your keys. Do the same thing every day and you will not be frantically looking for your keys, phone, shoes and homework every morning before school.

4. CHORES

Kids love having a few responsibilities and they love helping mom and dad. Depending on the age and maturity of your child, most experts recommend you start adding 1-2 tasks each year starting when you feel they are ready. Most kids can start with making their bed, brushing their teeth and picking out their clothes. When you think they are ready, add setting the table, clearing the dishes, unloading the dish washer and making their own lunch to their daily or weekly chore chart. This makes them feel proud and helps you out at the same time.

Back to School should be a fun time. It’s a fresh start and a new beginning for you and your kids. Try to get the task completed early so you can enjoy it!

If you need any help with organizing your home or your time, please contact Simply Organized at 404-825-2105 or email us at: heather@simplyorganizedyou.com

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You’re Invited to the Book Launch Party for A Simplified Life

July 13, 2016

Join us for the launch of Heather Rogers’ new book!


book-cover3d



A Simplified Life: 

How to Achieve
Order and Calm
So You Can Reclaim
Time, Energy and Control

Saturday, August 27th
6:30pm-9:30pm

1240 Old Chattahoochee Ave, NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
(Use Uber Group entrance around back)

Hors d’oeuvres and bar provided.

RSVP by August 15 via email to heather@simplyorganizedyou.com

Pre-Order the book now.

Read about Heather’s journey in writing this book.

 

Book Review:

Professional Organizer Heather Rogers does a superb job of helping the reader understand the costs of being disorganized, what it’s like to get professional help, and how to maintain an organized life that works. She compassionately, supportively, and informatively gives the reader hope that they too can finally get organized. – Ellen Faye, President, National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO)

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What should I do with ???

June 29, 2016

Files in DrawerWondering what to do with old floppy disk drives? How about VHS tapes filled with family videos? Or the endless amounts of papers, files, important documents?

GET THEM SCANNED SAVED BY MODERN IMAGE!

You don’t have to worry about fire or flood waters (or your ditzy family member) losing or damaging your irreplaceable family photos, birth certificates, home movies, etc.

 

 

stack of old photosFor a minimal cost, David McDonough at Modern Image can transfer your old disks, data, movies, videos, paper, documents and even photos. They will load them into a cloud storage system or onto a flash drive for you.

I have used them personally and recommended their services to many clients for both residential and business scanning.

Modern Image USA
David McDonough
404-840-0101
David@ModernImageUSA.com

 

Heather Rogers founded Simply Organized to help people simplify their lives. Heather and the Simply Organized team can help you organize and declutter your home or office. Heather is also available for personal organization and time management coaching as well as speaking engagements. She serves as Director of Professional Development on the board of the Georgia NAPO chapter. Follow us on Twitter @SimplyOrgYou and on Facebook @SimplyOrganizedYou

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Writing A Simplified Life (My New Book – Coming in August 2016)

June 28, 2016

A Simplified Life front cover

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to write a book? Me too! After researching how to write, publish, edit, launch, market and sell a successful book for over a year, I was really overwhelmed. I did not want to learn an entire new career so I decided to hire a book coach. Anita Henderson with Write Your Life was recommended to me as an amazing help with everything I would need to write my book from A to Z.

SO-Open folders - rotatedAfter meeting with Anita and signing up for her program, the first step was coming up with goals, a deadline (1 year which is August 2016) and a calendar to keep me on track during the process. I then spent weeks on who my audience would be, what I should write about (I had a pretty good idea) and getting my plan (calendar) in place. Next, I spent months writing as much content as I could think of plus lots of brain dumps that hopefully no one will ever see.

I sent all of my content to Anita who rejected it as kindly as she knew how. Needless to say, I was FREAKING OUT!!! I had spent months on what I thought was pretty good stuff. I called my very talented friend Cathy who came to my rescue. She read my stuff and discovered I was writing two different books. One was for professional organizers to read and one was for my clients. This was a huge lightbulb for me so we started an outline for the book written with my clients in mind.

book post it outline

As you can see in the photo, we put hundreds of orange post its on the walls of my office. I have to admit – it was so much fun brainstorming with Cathy and was exactly what I needed to start my book over in the right direction.

After more months of writing and a little editing, we sent 5 copies of the first draft to beta readers (people who could give me honest feedback on my book). This was a very important part of the process and although getting constructive criticism is hard, it helped me shape and change the book, A Simplified Life, for the better. After sending their notes to Anita, my copy editor (Candace) went to work.

SO-Open Notebook loose pagesAfter the painstaking editing process, I got to work with the graphic designer, Debbie, on the book cover (I had seven to choose from – I liked them all), layout design, and the charts and graphs that are in the book. I had no idea how much work goes into this whole process. Every little detail was looked at hundreds of times.

Throughout this past year, we have had numerous discussions about marketing the book. Anita wrote her own book “How to Market Your Book Free” which has tons of great information in it. I also read APE (Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur), attended a workshop on writing and selling your book and have been taking lots of webinars by famous authors and speakers like Brian Tracey.

SO - Book materials on black lid - rotatedAre you exhausted yet? Just talking about this process is wearing me out! This has been my 40-hour per week job on top of my first 40-hour per week career as a professional organizer. I have literally read my own book 200+ times.

It has all been worth it! Writing a book has been a dream of mine for many years (I didn’t even tell you about the writing class I took at Emory a few years back). In forty days or so, I will have my printed book in my hands. I will have a book launch party,  sell the book on Amazon and Audible, do book signings and attend book festivals as an author! If you share the same dream, my advice is go for it! Let me know if you have any questions along the way.

Coming in August 2016 – Pre-Order your copy here!

Heather Rogers founded Simply Organized to help people simplify their lives. Heather and the Simply Organized team can help you organize and declutter your home or office. Heather is also available for personal organization and time management coaching as well as speaking engagements. She serves as Director of Professional Development on the board of the Georgia NAPO chapter. Follow us on Twitter @SimplyOrgYou and on Facebook @SimplyOrganizedYou

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Guest Blog: 5 Important Tools For Keeping Your Business Organized by Jessica Kane

June 16, 2016

If you’re not naturally an organized person, then keeping your business organized can become a very time-consuming chore. Fortunately, there are some basic techniques and tools you can use that will make it easier for you to keep everything in order, and focus on growing your business or taking a well-deserved vacation.

3-Ring Project Binders & a 3-Hole Punch
Make sure that all documents related to a project are stored together by using large 3-ring binders for document storage. This will help you reduce the number of random paper piles you have around the office and make it easier to find project-related documents later. When a project ends, check that all the documents are in the binder, and then move the binder to an archive cabinet or box.

The 3-hole punch is an essential accessory to the binders because you need to be able to add document to the binder in a semi-permanent way. Take the time to punch the holes and slot the document into the binder rather than simply stuffing it in.

Paper Shredder
Part of organizing is knowing when to throw things away. Take the time to shred and properly dispose of old documents that are clogging up your filing cabinets and drawers. Make sure you know what you need to keep for legal reasons, but don’t be squeamish about getting rid of old papers, especially if you haven’t looked at them in years and you can’t remember their purpose.

If you want to make a big statement, then skip buying a little desk shredder and go for a commercial shredder that multiple people can use. Then have a shredding party where peoples share their most random document and then shred it.

A Coat Rack or Coat Hooks
If you live somewhere that gets cold or wet during the year, then you and your employees are bringing clutter to work with them every day. Use a coat rack or a mount coat hooks to give employees a place to store their outerwear. This will also lead to them feeling less cramped if they are working in cubicles where space is at a premium.

Storage Lockers
Lockers worked great when you were in school and they can work just as well for your business. You can assign lockers to employees or have sets of lockers specifically to hold certain items like A/V equipment or banners for conferences. Lockers will give you a secure place to keep things until they are needed and help you maximize space.

You can also use smaller cubes or “cubbies” for this is you need to save space. They work just as well but you lose the ability to lock them.

Incoming/Outgoing Mail Trays
This is an old school trick, but it still works like a charm. Set up an area in your office where you or others can place things that you need to look at, and a place to put things you are done with.

This works for handling mail, but you can also adapt this approach to deal with any documents you’re handling: use trays to sort documents by urgency, by who needs to see it, or by the department that it belongs to.

Keep Organized By Giving Everything a Place
All these tools come back to having a specific place to put things and knowing what you need to keep. If you keep those two things in mind, then staying organized will become easier and you won’t have to spend as much time worrying about.

Jessica Kane is a professional writer who has an interest in keeping things organized and in order. She currently writes for FlexCon, a leading vendor of corrugated plastic bins and boxes.

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Stop Piling – Start Vertical Filing!

April 26, 2016

IMG_1043cloth hanging wall orgaction system

 

Is your mail piling up all over your counters and table tops? Do you lose important bills, kid’s homework, receipts and tax info.? I have the solution for you and it’s soooo easy!

I.Get a vertical hanging file holder. They come in all shapes, sizes and materials. Get a wooden one from Ballard Designs (shown), metal, plastic from office supply stores, fabric from the Container Store (shown) or green cardboard from Target (shown).

II.Hang it on a wall or over a door where you will see it every day.

Label each section accordingly:

A. ASAP or VIP: “DAILY” This section will hold RSVPs, permission slips that need to be signed and anything else that needs immediate attention.

B. To Pay: “WEEKLY” This section holds your bills that need to be paid and any other form that will need attention before the week is over.

C. To File: “MONTHLY” This section gets all the paper work in your life that needs to be saved (filed, photographed or scanned). RECEIPTS, Insurance, investments, medical, kid’s art, taxes)

**** Feel free to create file folders in each section for sub folders. It makes sense to have folders for each family member. Maybe you prefer to have main sections for each family member with daily, weekly and monthly sub folders.****

III. Every time you bring paper into your house, toss your junk mail and place your items into the vertical place they belong. Empty your “DAILY” section and take care of it!

IV. Set an alarm on your phone to go off at the same time each week when you know you will be home. Use 5-10 minutes each week to empty your “WEEKLY” and every 4th week, your “MONTHLY” sections.

V. Enjoy the wonderful feeling of clean counters plus knowing where your important items are!

Need some help? Call Simply Organized at 404-825-2105 or email at Heather@simplyorganizedyou.com

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A Simplified Life (my organizing book) is ready to pre-order

April 24, 2016

book-cover300.

 

I’m so excited to announce my book is almost here! A Simplified Life: How to Achieve Order and Calm So You Can Reclaim Time, Energy and Control is all about the costs of disorganization and how to get and stay organized so you can spend less time worrying and more time having fun with your loved ones.

My book will be available on Amazon and in print in a few short months. Please click on the link below for a glimpse at the first two pages and a to order your copy now: http://simplyorganizedyou.com/book/

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Where To Donate Your Stuff???

February 28, 2016

clothes

I get asked every single day about charitable donations. You don’t want your stuff anymore and you can’t seem to sell it so who should you give it to? Charities will pick up everything from furniture and clothes to dishes and décor. Most people have their favorite charities but they don’t all take everything. Because I like to “keep it simple”, I find making one call to one place who picks up almost everything, is the best way to go.

There is a website where you can find a list of charities who will pick up items at your home: www.donationtown.org. Most will need 1 week – 1 month notice to get you on their schedule. The only caution I will give you is not all charities will pick up all of your items. Remember, the charity has to sell your items at their store in order to donate money to the greater cause.
Items most donation companies will NOT accept:

Damaged furniture (scratches, mildew or stains)
Recalled items (children’s car seats, cribs, bumper pads, etc.)
Mattresses
Under wear
Trash, paperwork, magazines, family photos

In the Metro Atlanta area where we live, the best place I have used is a thrift store who contributes to an abused women’s shelter. They pick up just about everything (if it’s in good condition) and they bring trucks and men to do the lifting. The thrift store is called Cheaper By The Dozen 5261 Buford Highway, Norcross, GA. You can contact Bruce Carter at 770-873-6058 to schedule a pick up.

So what do you do with items you can’t donate? Their are tons of trash removal companies who will come to your home for a fee ($85-$600+). They take anything from old paint cans to whole house clean outs. Here are some companies in my area who can help:
Stand Up Guys 770-369-0305
College HUNKS 888-689-5999
Hullaway 404-380-9395

Need someone to shred your personal documents? They will also come to your house for the same price as taking it to the local office supply store!
A-1
770-795-9744
shred-it
877-747-3319

Have further questions or need help figuring out what to keep? sell? donate? or trash? Call us at 404-825-2105 or send us an e-mail: heather@simplyorganizedyou.com

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Using Time Management Tips to Gain 6 More Weeks Back!

February 3, 2016

freeorganizer

So today was Groundhog Day and I presented my time management tips and tools to a group at the East Cobb Library. For those of you unable to attend, I’m giving you the handout my audience received. I will also be posting a link to the presentation video soon. Please contact me for any questions or help 404-825-2105.

TIME MANAGEMENT TIPS & TOOLS:

Drop Zone:

  1. Create a space near the entry of your home for your family calendar, keys, hooks for backpacks, charging station for cell phones and iPad, baskets for shoes and a mail center.
  2. Every night before bed, make sure all homework is in backpacks and all items in drop zone for the next morning. You can also lay out clothes, prep snacks & lunches night before.

Calendar:

  1. Have a family calendar (monthly or quarterly) displayed somewhere so everyone can see it easily.
  2. Color code it for each family member and put everyone’s activities on it each day (try to pick one day per month for the family to sit down and fill out the calendar for the next month). Make sure the bus schedule, school activities, permission deadlines and all after school appointments are on the calendar.
  3. If you prefer electronic, use a system that can sync with your spouse or kids and update it regularly.

Routine:

  1. Set up a weekly routine for yourself and your family.
  2. Try to keep a set meal time, homework time, bath time, bed time and play time. Even if it doesn’t happen every night, if you try to keep to a schedule, it makes your evenings and your mornings easier.

Cooking:

1.Weekly meal plan and grocery list

2.Cook several meals and freeze

More Tips:

  1. Stop procrastinating: Set a timer to do 20 minutes at a time & Start with most difficult
  2. One task at a time and complete
  3. Multi-tasking (if you must: one physical and one mental at a time)

While pumping gas:

Clean out purse/ wallet/ car

Check e-mails and texts (return and delete)

While talking on the phone:

Fold laundry

Unload dishwasher

Clean out a drawer

  1. Learn to say NO
    1. When you say yes – you say no to something else

Time Saving Websites and Apps

www.ThredUp.com (10-80% / clean-up bag)

www.Unroll.me (unsubscribe to all sites or get one e-mail per day)

www.parents.com (chore charts and meal planners)

Doctor on Demand APP (24/7 access to physician)

Groove Book ($2.99 for 100 4×6 photos printed)

TIME SAVED USING TIME MANAGEMENT TOOLS:

Getting organized = 7.5 hours/ week not looking for stuff

Planning (make a list, menu)= 10 hours/ week not wasting time (1 hour of planning saves 10 hours of doing)

Outsourcing & Delegating = 20 hours/ week spent on items you want to do

Websites & APPs = 18 hours/ week not couponing, re-reading junk e-mail or going to the doctor

TOTAL = 55.5/ week = 2886/ year = 8/ day

 

 

 

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