April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding Thank You Notes

Did you watch the Royal Wedding? The bride was breathtaking, the ceremony was majestic and the whole country (and the world) celebrated.

In reading a bit about the day, I learned that there would be 650 people attending the reception. I almost fell out of my chair! How many thank you notes is this new Princess going to have to write? Did she have a bridal shower, too? (Can't you just see the Queen and Camilla playing Bridal Bingo?)

If I knew where to mail it, I'd send her a copy of my quick-reference guide: 7 Steps to an Organized Wedding Thank You Note. If anyone needs it--it's her! Then I thought--not only do I not know their address, I have no idea what their last name is. William goes by 'William Prince of Wales.' What is Kate's new last name?

Well--it seems as if the Royal family doesn't use last names. But, according to an article in the Huffington Post, in the case of marriage, William's last name is Mountbatten-Windsor and that will be Kate's, too when they are not going by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

So since I am unable to mail her a copy of my book, I'll offer some wedding thank you note organizing tips in the hopes that Kate will one day be surfing the web for thank you note writing ideas and happen upon this blog of a commoner.

OK, Kate. Read carefully...

• Create a Royal Spreadsheet for tracking gifts. Remember to include a column for writing the date your thank you note was put in the mail.

• Use Royal Scrap Paper to jot down ideas before writing your thank you note message. This will save you from making mistakes on your very expensive note cards

• Pace yourself. Write 3-5 thank you notes a day and then meet William at the pub.

• Get William involved. Send him to the post office for 'Love' stamps after work. Have him lick the envelopes at the pub. Once the media finds out, every British bride will be after their husbands to be just like yours.

I wish you the best of luck. If you need me, I'll take a break from polishing my tiara...

April 24, 2011

Earth Day Organizing Tips

If Spring wasn't enough of an incentive to make change in your life, along came Earth Day.

According to earthday2011.org, United States Senator Gaylord Nelson founded the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970 in an attempt help people understand the affect they have on their planet and make positive environmental changes within communities. Now over 140 countries have their own Earth Days. Oprah would call this 'The Power of One."

Just like we make resolutions for New Year's, it's a great idea to make similar resolutions for Earth Day. Instead of pledging to exercise more, pledge to recycle more. Instead of changing the way you eat, change the way you conserve energy in your home.

My family has made some changes to better the planet. We...

• use cloth napkins instead of paper
• created a spot for recycling paper and plastics in the buffet table in our dining room
• use energy-saving lightbulbs
• keep reusable shopping bags in the trunks of our cars for trips to the supermarket
• use homemade cleaners as well as products that are made from natural ingredients
• donate unwanted items to thrift shops

We still have a ways to go. Someday I'd like to try composting and I do my best to shut off lights when I'm not in the room. No one is perfect. But, if we all try to change one habit that can help our planet, Earth will be a healthier place for future generations to live.

In honor of Earth Day, California Closets posted a blog entry about Green Tips for the Organizing Guru. Thought I'd share it with you...

What changes wil you make before Earth Day 2012?

April 16, 2011

Helpful Organizing Tips - Put It Where You Need It

Today I had a conversation about dust busters with my hair stylist, of all people. Why? Well, we both have small children who make a mess under their high chairs and we were discussing the best way to make it go away. She told me she shlepps out a vacuum every time her kid makes a mess. I advised her to grab a 20% off coupon and hightail it to  Bed Bath and Beyond to get herself a dust buster.

The conversation made me think back to when my older son was in a highchair. For a few years before he was born, the dust buster lived in our laundry room. The few times I would need it, I would run downstairs and get it and later return it to it's base--no problem. Then my son came along and started eating solid foods. Some missed his mouth and landed on the highchair and on the floor. So I'd run up and down a flight of stairs to grab the dust buster and then return it. After a few weeks of this. I thought to myself. "There has to be a better way. What if one of your clients presented you with this problem? What would you say to her?"

I'd give her today's Helpful Organizing Tip: Put It Where You Need It

Everything you own needs a home: the remote, your toothbrush, your car keys. Creating a home for an item helps you locate it when you need it. When you know where an item lives, you can easily return it that home which in turns enable you to find it when you wish to use it next. But, any home won't do. It needs to be a LOGICAL home. A logical home for the above examples would be remote - near TV, toothbrush - in the bathroom, car keys - near the door you enter and exit through most.

Did most of my messes occur in the laundry room? No. Did it used to be a logical place for the dust buster to live? Yes. Once my son started making daily messes was it still a logical place? No. Did I now need that dust buster to live in my dining room? Yes!

So I put it where I needed it--in a cabinet in our dining room. Now I have another child in the highchair who does the same thing. Guess who can clean that mess quickly? Me. Guess who can try 'putting it where they need it' in their own home. YOU.

Take a few minutes to think about what items in your home need a more logical place to live. While you're doing that--I'll be dustbusting a family of petrified Cheerios off my carpet...

April 13, 2011

Tax Day 2011

It's that time of year again--when Uncle Sam looks to us for donations to his very large piggy bank.

It's April 13th. Hopefully you're reading this blog because you have already filed your taxes and you've got some free time on your hands. If you haven't started your taxes--have no fear. This year, the last day to file your taxes is April 18th--a Monday. You have a whole weekend to file your forms. Whew!

Why is tax day April 18th this year? Click here to find out...

Getting organized for tax day is a year-round process. For ideas on how to prepare for next year's trip to the accountant, read my article, "Uncle Sam is Ready--Are You? Getting Organized for Tax Time.'

By the way...in 2012 tax day is Tuesday, April 17th. But I know you'll be ready waaaaay before that.

April 10, 2011

Facebook Fan Page Photostrip Redux

I jumped onto the Facebook bandwagon in late 2010. I was just beginning to understand the 'old' Facebook Fan Page when they announced that there would be changes. Changes? I just got used to the old way!

Well--I could fight change or go with it. I decided to go with it. In my quest to make my Fan Page as inviting as I could, I happened upon a blog called the Social Media Examiner that was talking about optimizing the new Facebook Fan Page layout. In one of their posts, they offered a great idea for the photostrip--the recent addition of five photo boxes at the top of your Fan Page.

Up until recently, I had my company logo, the NAPO logo, a photo of my book and some clip art in the photostrip. None of it fit perfectly in those squares and it wasn't looking very good. In fact, it looked disorganized! Aahhhh!

Now, you can delete those photo boxes, but why not take the opportunity to fill them with business related photos? In my business, I take a lot of photos of heaps of paper and piles of clothes--not exactly the most exciting or aesthetically pleasing pictures. I decided instead to create my own pictures--of words--words that reflected the nature of my business and the art of organizing.

Here's an example:
The photos in the photostrip are displayed randomly so I'll be adding new ones often--offering some quick organizing tips and motivational text-bytes.

Check out my Fan Page photostrip and become a Fan! You never know what you'll find at the top of my Organized Artistry Fan Page!

April 6, 2011

Spring Cleaning--How's it Goin'?

OK--Spring is here and although the temperatures where I am certainly don't feel like Spring, I've started to do some Spring Cleaning around my house.

My first big project was kids clothes. I have two boys and I had to switch sizes and seasons for both of them. Besides all the sorting, purging, and categorizing--it was a lot of laundry, too! My sister gave me a ton of clothes for my youngest that her child has outgrown. Whatever wasn't seasonally appropriate went to my friend who had a baby in January. The rest went into the attic--into tubs, marked by size.

Gotta get the garage ready for summer soon. That's next on my list...

What will YOUR first Spring Cleaning project be?