Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Organizing Checklist for September

This month marks a shift in the thinking and planning for many of us.  Summer vacations are behind us, we look forward to cooler temperatures and we plan for the upcoming holidays.  Below are some strategies to help us make the fall transition including tips for organizing the bathrooms.

  • Take advantage of paper, office and stationery sales of items left over from the Back to School supplies. These will often be found in the clearance isles and bins.
  • Begin looking for new planners and calendars for next year.  The selection is better in early fall.  Pick one that allows you to write in daily activities. 
  • Update the fall activities on your family calendar. Consider state fairs, apple and pumpkin picking, fall festivals, new community classes, etc. Send out “Save the Date” for any holiday activities you are hosting. .
  • Cull the magazines, save only needed articles and recycle the remainder. If you must purchase holiday magazines, be selective and recycle after reading.
  • Donate summer gadgets you did not use this year. If you ever need them again, you can get them at that time. Don’t let them take up valuable storage and work spaces.
  • Remove summer decorative items and toss those that are faded or worn.  Pull out the fall decorations and donate those that are no longer useful.
  • Clean the windows and exterior items around the house.  You will have more time and better temperatures this month than later on in the season.
  • Bathrooms are abused during summer month with extra showers, more bodies at home and higher humidity.  Take inventory of supplies needed to clean and restock them.
  • Clean out the old sunscreens, summer make up and lotions.  Remove expired medications, etc.
  • Purchase cold and flu preventatives, remedies and medications now. They will be harder to find with the onset of flu season
  • Inventory linens, remove those no longer needed or in disrepair.  Make a list of what is needed. 
  • Install under the bathroom sink slide out trays or baskets to contain items that are difficult to reach.  Styles are available to go around the plumbing efficiently. 
  • Install a magnifying mirror designed for wall mounting.  It will save counter space.
  • Additional storage can be added with shelves or cabinets over the toilet, skirts around free standing sinks, or bags with pockets on the back of the door.
  • Use hooks rather than bars for children to hang towels or washcloths.  They are easier to manipulate and are more likely to be used.

Think ahead for the holidays.  If you plan to make holiday gifts, plan and start now or you may not have them ready in time.  More tips on these activities in the next few months

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Organizing Checklist for August

Organizing Tips for August

This month brings us the back-to-school events, the end of summer sales and final trips to the beach and other vacation destinations. Planning for fall activities is a good idea, too.

There are two areas that benefit from organizing in August: school and office.

Many states have a weekend of freedom from sales tax to help with school supplies.  Many office and stationery supplies are covered, too.  These stores will identify covered items for you. In Virginia the tax holiday is August 5-7, 2011.
What's Exempt: During this three-day period, purchases of qualifying school supplies selling for $20 or less per item, and purchases of qualifying clothing and footwear selling for $100 or less per item will be exempt from sales tax.

Most stores have increased their inventory of school and office supplies.  You can find a better selection and better prices this month. Make a list and try to find those things you need while there are good choices.   Plan ahead for consumable items like printer paper, notepads, etc.  Be sure you have room to store these items.  Clean out items that are no longer useful or in disrepair.  Organizing your files is a great indoor activity when the weather is too hot for outside work.   For children, check the supply list created by the specific school or teacher. 

Think ahead in purchasing children’s clothing. My oldest child grew 3” the first two months of his 9th grade year. The clothes I purchased early in August to get the best selection were too small in October. (This was before long baggie pants were acceptable.) 

If you plan on having a yard sale in the fall, begin planning now. Start gathering items that you need to move on, clean and price them. Young children have probably outgrown last year’s school attire. Take an inventory to see what you can sell or donate now. As colder weather and winter approach, you may need to take another look at heavier clothing to see what can be eliminated.

Go to Craig’s list or EBay to determine a reasonable price for selling your items. In fact, you may want to put some of the items up for sale there now so they won’t take up storage space in your home. If you want to join with others in a sale, pick a date now that is good for everyone.