Thanksgiving Prep 2013

November 6, 2013
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I can’t believe it’s already November! That usually means it’s time to start panicking – I mean preparing for the holiday season. I am attaching two helpful articles. One is about Thanksgiving meal prep and the other is guest prep for all of those wonderful relatives who may be staying with you this year. Simply Organized wishes you a very simple and stress-free Thanksgiving. If we can make your holiday easier, please give us a call at 404-825-2105.

1. http://personalorganizing.about.com/od/holidaytimemanagement/a/Ideas-For-Thanksgiving.htm

2.http://www.allyou.com/budget-home/organizing-cleaning/guest-room-00411000069977/page14.html

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Help with all those e-mails

September 11, 2013
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Are you overwhelmed with too many e-mails? Do you find yourself avoiding the 268 messages in your inbox that haven’t even been opened? Are you sick of all the spam you continue to receive? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you will love Unroll.me. It’s a free service that allows you to control your e-mails. This is the second time I’ve mentioned this service in my BLOG as well as in numerous speeches and to most of my clients. I’ve been using it for about a year and have found it more useful each week.

You go onto www.unroll.me. You give them your e-mail address and password. You then decide which e-mails you would like to “roll” into one e-mail per day or which you would like to unsubscribe to.  For example, I get between 4-24 e-mails per day with coupons to my favorite stores. I do not shop at these stores every day but when I do, it’s nice to have my electronic coupons handy. I don’t want to stop receiving these e-mails but I also do not want to open 24 of them per day. I rolled them into a daily e-mail from unroll.me so I get one e-mail per day that contains everything I want to receive.

Unroll.me sends me notices when they have found spam e-mails and asks if I would like to roll them into my daily e-mail or unsubscribe to them. Today, I took a spare 10 minutes and unsubscribed to 455 e-mail lists. Yes, I said 455!!! They were all alphabetized so I could see that Old Navy (and many other sites) doesn’t just send from one address but 7 different addresses so I rolled up the one with my coupons and unsubscribed from the other 6.

This should help you keep your e-mail inbox more organized and free from most of the unwanted spam.

Happy organizing!

Heather@simplyorganizedyou.com

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Back To School

August 14, 2013
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booksThis has to be my favorite time of year. Memories of going back to school still make me giddy. Shopping for school supplies and clothes, a fresh start with new teachers, friends, football and let’s not forget the crisper cooler weather we should expect in the next month or so.  Hopefully, you had a fun summer and the kids enjoyed not having home work.  Now it’s time to get everyone ready for a successful school year.  Getting organized now is the key to less stress later.  Here are a few tips to help get you started:

Clothes:

1. Have your kids try on their clothes from last year to see what still fits and what needs to be donated.

2. Make a list of what you need to buy with sizes and quantities (ex. 2 pairs of size 5 tennis shoes, 3 pairs of size 7 jeans, etc.). This will save you money and time when you take the kids shopping. Make sure to include any clothes they will need for sports and after-school activities.

Supplies:

1. See of you have anything left over from last year like unused paper, pencils, etc.

2. Make a list of everything you need and make sure you include special classes like art, music, P.E., etc.

Meals:

1. Have a grocery list and menu planner on or near your refrigerator (MEAD makes a magnetic one you can get at Target)

2. Make a weekly menu of meals so you can shop and cook ahead

3. I recommend cooking several meals at once on a weeknight or weekend and freezing them so you don’t have to think about it each night when you get home. I’m also a huge fan of the Crockpot.

4. Let your kids help you pack their snacks and lunches the night before. The less you have to do in the morning the better.

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.

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.

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 ipads (http://www.greatusefulstuff.com/Faux-Leather-Multi-Charging-Station-a/378.htm), 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.

3. This alleviates all the running around searching for stuff in the hectic morning hours.

 Organizing your kids homework:

1. Every school subject should have a color coded folder.
2. All “to-do” work should be kept on left side of folder and when it’s completed it gets moved to the right side.
3. Once a week, clean out the backpack and make sure all folders are cleaned out. (Sunday evenings are a good time for this)

 Organizing your kids room and toys:

1. Provide a place for everything: a box for school supplies, a shelf for books, a bulletin board for upcoming projects or new artwork, bins or baskets for toys and an under-bed box for old artwork and papers.

2. Each day have them do a 5 minute quick clean to put all toys and other items away.

3. All clothes should be in a hamper (if dirty) or hung in closet/ folded in dresser each day.

4. In the bathroom, they should hang up their wet towels after each shower or bath.

I hope this information helps. If you have any questions, or would like some one-on-one help, please contact Simply Organized at 404-825-2105.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to get your house ready to sell

May 14, 2013
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Getting your home ready to sell

This is a great time of year to sell your home. Recently, I have helped several clients to prepare their home for potential buyers. The number one thing to remember is that many buyers want their new home to be “move-in ready”. The second item buyers want is to be able to picture themselves living in your home. You do not have to spend a lot of money remodeling your entire home to achieve these goals. Here are some easy tips you can do that will help sell your home quickly and get you a higher asking price:

#1. Landscaping/ the outside: If your home doesn’t look clean and fresh on the outside, your buyer may never even see the inside. Plant some flowers, keep the lawn mowed and pressure wash anything that looks mildewed. If the front door looks old, put a fresh coat of paint on it. Also remove any items in the yard or deck that look rusted or broken.

#2. Detail clean: I recommend hiring a cleaning service and tell them you want a “detail cleaning”. Most companies will charge $100-$250 to clean your house top-to-bottom which includes blinds, fans, inside cabinets and refrigerators, ceilings, vent covers and baseboards – THE WORKS! Of course you can also clean it yourself for no money at all just some time and elbow grease.

#3. Let there be light: The lighter your home is, the warmer and more inviting it looks. Put new light bulbs in all lamps and light fixtures. Use the highest wattage you can for each fixture. Keep all windows and glass doors clean and your blinds and curtains open.

#4. De-personalize: If a buyer is going to be able to imagine themselves living in your home, it helps to not have photos of you and your family all over the house. I know it sounds strange but what if a family with four children walks into the home of someone with no children; they may think there isn’t enough space for all of their kids even if there is. Also, put away anything that shows your school or state spirit. Could a UGA fan buy a house from a Georgia Tech fan? Probably not! You don’t want to lose a buyer for any easily avoidable reason. Pack up your framed photos, your fanfare, your “collections” and anything that may be offensive. Also, remove the photos and the magnets on the fridge.

#5. Clean floors, clear shelves and open spaces: The more of the floor you can see, the better. This goes for every room but especially closets. You want the closets to have as little on the floor as possible and some space on the shelves open so they look more spacious. It is also good to have open space to walk from room to room and around furniture. You don’t want anyone having to squeeze past the dresser to get to the closet.

#6. De-clutter: Moving is the perfect time to de-clutter! If you have not used something or worn an item of clothing in 1 year, donate it. Take the time to go through your old books, papers, tools, kitchen appliances, clothing, toys, VHS and cassette tapes (you know you will never use them again) and get rid of it. If you pack these items up, you are wasting money paying someone to move them just so you can toss them later.

#7. Pack it up and store it: Anything you do not need to use for the next six months should be packed up and stored elsewhere. This includes the bread maker, the train set and the skis. Move the out-of-season clothing out of your closets so they look more spacious. If you can get a POD great, if you can’t, at least have it out of the way in a garage, storage area (like an attic) or under the bed. Use Space Bags to get the bulky comforters, sleeping bags and coats smaller so they won’t take up so much space.

#8. Touch up paint: Paint is the cheapest and easiest way to make a room look brand new. A buyer may not appreciate your love of pink and purple polk-a-dots. Try to make each room a neutral color. The whole house doesn’t have to be painted beige but you should try to stay in the gray, taupe, beige or white family. If you have holes in the walls or scratches on any doors or molding, use touch up paint or the Magic Eraser (how does Mr. Clean do it?).

#9. Decorating and staging: Less is more! You do not have to have every surface decorated or every room full of furniture. The most important rule here is every room should have one purpose (if possible). A buyer should be able to tell what the room’s purpose is easily. For example, a bedroom should not have a desk, treadmill and kitchen table in it. If a room has too much furniture in it, it looks smaller. If all the tables, dressers and mantels are covered with knick knacks and picture frames, it looks cluttered. Your home should look clean, spacious and welcoming.

Let us know if you need our help: Simply Organized 404-825-2105 or Heather@SimplyOrganizedYou.com

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Tax prep 101

April 13, 2013
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Accordion fileSo another year and another April 15th deadline. We all dread tax time because we have to gather lots of paperwork, documentation, receipts, etc. together and try to do our own taxes or give our information to an expert to do them for us. It’s not only time consuming but can also be confusing especially if you’ve had a big life change like a move, marriage, child or divorce. Do yourself a favor for 2014 and start now!

Print out a checklist from your tax prep software or your CPA as a guide for what you will need to have next year.

Go out and buy an accordion file. You can get them anywhere they sell office or school supplies. I recommend the hearty plastic kind with the closure. There should be 8-12 tabs inside; label the tabs with your personal tax items ex.: charitable donations, mortgage, medical, insurance, auto, etc.

Every time you get a receipt that is tax deductible or pertinent to your taxes, put it in the accordion file according to it’s topic. At the end of the year, you will not need to do anything else except total the receipts in each tab. Walla – magic – no more stress about tax time.

If you have lots of paper work, I suggest a quarterly accordion file or totalling your receipts quarterly. Put a date once per quarter on your calendar and spend an hour taking care of this. Again, this will take 4 hours during a year’s time instead of countless hours close to your tax filing deadline.

In march of 2014, you won’t be frantically looking for documents or trying to convince your CPA to take a huge box of jumbled crumpled papers. This will save you time and money!

Happy April 15th!

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Helpful time-saving websites and apps

March 19, 2013
Helpful time-saving websites and apps
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Here are a few of my favorite websites and apps for de-cluttering, donating and time saving:

Websites and Apps:

Donations: www.donationtown.org

Recycling: www.georgiarecycles.org

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

Back-Up files: Carbonite.com (back up computer)

Apps: Hoot Suite (all social media in one place)

For more organizing tips, visit my blog: www.simplyorganizedyou.com/blog

Organizing photos site:https://pinterest.com/simplyorgyou

 

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Time Management

March 19, 2013
Time Management
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With our increasingly busy lives, I wanted to take a moment to try to simplify them for you. I have listed several tips below that should help you add more time and less stress to your life. As always, if you need help, please contact me at 404-825-2105 or heather@simplyorganizedyou.com.

Time Management

  • Focus on one thing at a time and complete that task
  • Multi-task only one physical (ex. On phone and fold laundry)
  • Set reasonable and attainable goals (only a few per day)
  • Block off time on calendar (include drive time)
  • Do not procrastinate (set a 20 minute timer)
  • Do not over-commit = it’s o.k. to say “NO”

Have a Routine

  • Set dinner time
  • Set homework, bath and bed times (prep clothes night before)
  • Set up carpool = 2-3 days per week (school, sports, parties)

Errands

  • Try to get a couple done on your way to work, school or on your way home
  • Get your prescriptions where you buy your groceries
  • Keep your lists in your car so you can check them off each day

Cooking

  • Weekly meal plan and grocery list
  • Cook several meals at once and freeze
  • Use the crock pot for cooking while you’re away
  • Let kids prep b-fast and lunches the night before

 

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Simplify Your Life speech at IKEA March 9th at 12pm

February 5, 2013
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Heather Rogers, owner of Simply Organized, speaks at IKEA about Home Office Organization.

Heather Rogers, owner of Simply Organized, speaks at IKEA about Home Office Organization.

IKEA is having a BYOF (Bring Your Own Friend) day on March 9th. I will be speaking about organizing your home and life at 12pm in their Work Department. Come in for a chance to win 5 $200 gift cards and lots of other prizes. http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/img/local_store_info/atlanta/AtlantaBYOFAgenda2013.pdf

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Simply Organized Speaks at IKEA

January 20, 2013
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Yesterday, I had the privilege of speaking at IKEA with Jonda Beattie about Home Office Organization.  It was a 20 minute presentation which included topics such as: Creating a Vision for your office, Arranging your desk, chair, lighting and storage, Filing systems, Controling your e-mail inbox and more.  If you would like help with your home office,or any other room in your home, call me for a free assessment 404-825-2105.

Heather Rogers, owner of Simply Organized, speaks at IKEA about Home Office Organization.

Heather Rogers, owner of Simply Organized, speaks at IKEA about Home Office Organization.

 

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