Packing for Vacation

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in BLOG: A Life More Organized, Getting Organized, Quick Tips, Summer Organization

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Summer’s here!  As relaxing as vacations can be, packing is a source of stress for many people; but it doesn’t have to be. Below are 6 organizing tips to help you have a stress free vacation:


1.   MAKE A LIST.   Between work, kids, and whatever random thoughts are running through your brain, there is no way to remember every last detail unless it is written down.
don't forget
*TIP: I write every list in Evernote or Wunderlist so it’s always with me.  

2.   DON’T OVERPACK. If your vacation involves relaxing at the beach don’t waste valuable space packing dressy items that you most likely won’t wear. You also want to leave room for any add-ons you may pick up while you’re gone.

suitcase
*TIP: If you’ll have access to a washer/dryer, only pack for ½ the days you will be gone.

 3.   CORRAL YOUR CHARGERS. Between cell phones, laptops, and whatever other electronic devices are in your arsenal remembering your chargers is crucial.
cord storage
*Tip: pack a small power strip so you can charge multiple items in one central location.

 4.   GET THE KIDS INVOLVED. Depending on the ages of your children, allow them be responsible for packing whatever they can.
boys packing list
*Tip: We love this one from thetalkingsuitcase.com.


 5.  PACK SNACKS. Save time and money by packing a cooler filled with bottles of water, cut up fruit, and bagged snacks to keep from having to stop as frequently. 
*Tip: keep your snack bag or cooler within reach to avoid additional stops. 

 6.  PACK A GARBAGE BAG. Separate your dirty clothes from clean ones by using a garbage bag as a hamper. Not only does this make things more organized, it makes packing to go home a lot easier.
garbage bag
*Tip: As soon as you get home empty your dirty clothes into the washing machine.

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Hopefully these tips will relieve some of your stress the next time you go to pack. On that note, I am heading on vacation tomorrow. Peace out peeps!

Happy Organizing,

Laurie

Escaping Your Clutter Rut

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in BLOG: A Life More Organized, Quick Tips, Simplify

clutter rut

We all get stuck in ruts. Ruts in our jobs, our workout routines, heck, even in our marriages.  It’s often hard to imagine how you got there in the first place, but what’s even more daunting is wondering how you’re going to get out of it.

Many of my clients find themselves stuck in a “clutter rut”. They get to a point where they are inundated by papers, clothes, or toys with no end in sight. Despite the best of intentions, they keep coming up empty and frustrated because they lack the right strategies to dig out of it.

Below are 3 steps to help you climb out of your clutter rut once and for all.

goals

1. SET GOALS. Ok, so you are disorganized, we get it. You’re constantly late for work because you can’t find your keys. You’re tired of getting dinged with late fees because you can’t seem to manage paying your bills on time. Start by determining what you want to accomplish, then work backwards by figuring what it will take to get there.

 one step at a time
2.  SMALL INCREMENTS.  Organizing doesn’t have to be epic. Getting organized is a process that takes time, planning, commitment and follow-thru.  Do a little everyday. Trying to tackle everything at once will only end in frustration. Incorporate a “de-cluttering time” into your day is the best way to work it into your routine.  
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3. KEEP IT SIMPLE.   Setting complicated rules to follow will surely result in frustration.  If you pay your bills in the kitchen, that’s where you should set up a command center.  If your kids do art projects at the kitchen table, set up a portable art station nearby. Find the system that works best for you.  Most importantly, be realistic in what you will be able to maintain. 

The more you ignore your clutter rut the deeper it goes.  We all have busy lives and organizing should be a part of it, just like working out and eating well. Taking care of our physical space is just as important as taking care of our health.
You deserve it.
 
#livesimply
 

xoxo-

Laurie

5 Quick Organizing Tips to Simplify your Life

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in BLOG: A Life More Organized, Getting Organized, Organized Home, Quick Tips, Simplify

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For many, being disorganized is something you’ve come to accept. You’re in a constant rush to get everything done, and simple tasks are not even on your radar.  If you are tired of the lack of organization in your life, you’re not alone. We often overlook little things that we can do throughout the day to add a sense of calm to our lives.  Below are 5 small organizing tips that will make a huge impact in your everyday life:

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1.  Make your bed every morning. “Why make your bed when you’re just getting back into it?”.  Coming home to a neatly made bed is a small but effective way of starting your day off on the right foot.  * It takes less than 5 minutes to make a bed.
 

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2.  Hang up your coat, pocketbook, and keys. How many of you walk in the door and throw your coat over a chair, your keys on the table and your pocketbook on the floor? Not only does it add it visual clutter, but you run the risk of forgetting where you left it-adding time and stress to your morning routine.
 

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3.  Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink. This is one of my personal pet peeves. Establish a routine of running the dishwasher on a schedule so you always have an empty dishwasher to fill with your dirty dishes. There is nothing like coming home to a nice, clean empty sink.
 

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4.  Sort the mail every day.  Paper clutter is at the top of everyone’s list of annoyances so anything you can do to eliminate unnecessary clutter is a bonus. Start by sorting the mail every day and immediately put all junk mail in the recycling bin. Divide the rest into “action”: things you need to do (ie: pay a bill, RSVP to a party, etc) and “reference”: things to file (ie: insurance documents, medical papers, etc). It takes less than 5 minutes and saves you valuable time down the road.
 

laundry5.  Put laundry away.  I’ll let you in on a little secret…this one is the toughest tasks for me to stick to, but I am always so glad that I followed through on it.  Most people don’t mind doing the laundry, it’s the folding and putting away that’s the tedious part. Make a commitment to putting away each load after it’s completed (or at least on a schedule). Sorting through folded (or worse, not folded) baskets of clothes looking for something to wear adds unnecessary time and stress to your day.


If you are already racing the clock to get out the door in the morning, it’s worth setting your alarm a few minutes earlier to accomplish these small tasks. Trust me; it will make you feel more at ease throughout the day and more relaxed when you come home. 
Happy Organizing!

5 Tips to Simplify Mealtime

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in BLOG: A Life More Organized, Organized Home, Quick Tips

As a parent of two active kids, I know the challenge of trying to find time to cook a healthy meal, let alone sit down as family for dinner. As much as I try to not overextend my kids (or myself), the reality of today’s world is a constant hustle.

Factoring time to shop and prepare for a home cooked meal can add to the stress of an already jam-packed day.

If you are tired of constantly ordering out, eating quick-fix processed meals, or staring at the fridge aimlessly wondering what to make for dinner then it’s time to make some changes to your routine.

1.  Meal plan on Sunday.  I try to use Sunday as the day to plan for my week ahead. I look at what activities we have scheduled for the upcoming week, and plan accordingly.    If we have back-to-back activities on a certain night, I am going to plan something simple, that we can eat on the fly.  Meal planning also saves time and money  since you are only buying items you need for your upcoming week.

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(above is a sample of my meal planning calendar)

2.  Keep a stocked freezer. Meal planning is always easier if you have options. Four years ago I signed up for a meat delivery service called Five Star Foods. Every 3 months I have a variety of meats, chicken and fish delivered to my freezer. Each piece is individually vacuum-sealed making defrosting a snap. Having options on hand makes it easier to resist the urge to order out.

3.  Choose Family Faves. I really do try my best to come up with recipes that appeal to everyone, but let’s be honest; you’re rarely going to please everyone when it comes to mealtime. We have a rule in our house: If you don’t like what I made for dinner there is always chicken nuggets or cereal. Remember, you are not running a restaurant!

4.  Prep early in the day. Most weeknight meals take more time to prep than to actually cook, so if you can prep your meal earlier in the day you’ll save valuable time later on. For example, marinate your steak, dice your vegetables, and even set the table. If you can carve out 15-20 minutes in the morning to prepare, it’s one less thing you need to do after a long day.

5.  Enlist your family to pitch in.  Long gone are the days of June Cleaver. Allow your kids to help prep, set the table or clean up. Having children participate in the process is a great way to get them involved and even excited about dinner.

boy setting the table(Allow your kids to pitch in with set up and clean up)

Life may not slow down for a while, but carving out time to sit and eat a home cooked meal is worth putting on your “to-do” list.

Happy Organizing!

Conquer 3 Common Clutter Areas

Written by Laurie Palau. Posted in BLOG: A Life More Organized, Closet Organizing, Getting Organized, Kids Organization, Media, Organized Home, Organizing Services, Published Works, Quick Tips, Uncategorized

Last week I had the privilege of sharing some of my organizing tips on CBS 3 morning show with anchorwoman Erika Von Tiehl.  We sat down with my client (and friend) to discuss how a busy mom with 3 kids can manage to keep an organized home after some expert help from the team at simply B organized!

You can view the segment here:

We had so much fun after our shooting our segment, we decided to take some pics!

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selfie after a day of organizing!

ta-da!

ta-da!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope this inspires you to tackle some areas in your home:)

Happy Organizing!