Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Being Organized and Being Prepared

What do being organized and being prepared have in common?  
After the flooding in Nashville last week, I believe they go hand in hand.
You may have seen pictures on the news showing the damage to our beautiful city and it’s most famous landmarks such as the Opryland Hotel.  What you didn’t see were the home owners sifting through precious papers and documents that can’t be replaced.  I did.  I helped throw those papers, pictures and belongings in giant trash bags and put them at the curb.  It was heartbreaking.
Lighthouse Christian School teacher Heather Harrell reacts after finding her grandmother's bible in her classroom that was destroyed by the flood.
(AP photo/The Tennessean, Shelly Mays)
This picture and more found here.

So, I am inspired to share with you ways to help minimize your losses in a natural disaster. While the belongings are secondary to the preservation of life, the owners have to live in the aftermath.  Tax returns, gone.  Family albums, gone.  Birth certificates, diplomas, report cards, letters from family and friends, gone.  
I found it interesting as we cleaned out closets, that the items of least value - the ones stuffed in the top of closets - were the ones that were saved.  As an organizer, I’m not going to tell you to shove everything valuable into the top of the closet.  It does, however, beg the questions:
  • If you were given 1 or 2 hours to evacuate for a flood, would you be able to quickly clear the top shelf of any given closet to place your valuables up high?
  • Would you be able to grab one folder that holds all of your vital documents that are difficult or impossible to replace?
  • Do you have an emergency kit to survive for 72 hours in a shelter with water, food and clothing?
  • Do you have an inventory of the valuable items in your home for documentation?

Where to start? Prepare a 72-hour kit for you and every member of your family.  You will also want to prepare for your pets’ care as well.  Then, get your important paperwork in order, in one place, ready to grab and go if necessary.

I have mine ready, and would love to help you get yours ready, too!

Here are some great resources for what you need to do to prepare for any kind of natural disaster emergency.

The Red Cross

A sight by FEMA and the Government
Has the easy plan:
Get A Kit
Make A Plan
Be Informed

FEMA - information on ALL kinds of disaster preparedness

Friday, April 30, 2010


I have yet to see a home without a collection of CD's & DVD's.
Almost everyone has one of these in great quantities.

Here are a few solutions to contain and organize them beautifully.

Display and storage ideas:

For small, easy to access collections-

I personally use this by my computer. It's colorful and fun. It also has a very handy index in the front, which covers inventory as well. Each slot is numbered for easy labeling and location of all your CD's. I love the different colors for sorting: computer games, music, computer programs, picture CD's, etc. Black & white sleeves are also available.

For attractive desk or table display and easy access:

This Discgear system allows for quick retrieval.

This one is just sleek and attractive.

For large collections displayed and easily accessed:
Wall mounting in a media room is great for everyone to find what they are looking for easily.

There are so many options for CD/DVD storage and display. There are beautiful furniture cabinets to close and hide your collections. Leather albums to store CD's in sleeves. The possibilities are endless.

A great website resource is CD Rackem.
They have solutions for everything including video game storage systems!

Organizing your collections will save you time, but most importantly money.
Scratched discs, repeat purchases and lost items will be a thing of the past.
There is not ONE perfect solution, but there is one perfect solution for you.
The important part is picking the one you like the best, and will UTILIZE.
The part I love about my job is finding the right solution for you.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Reflections of a Simple Life, if only for a week.

We took our family to the beach for spring break this year. I love to unpack right when we get there. I hate living out of bags. So I unpacked the bags belonging to my two youngest. I leave my teenagers to their own devices. I fit all of their belongings into two drawers each. One for clothes, one for swimsuits and jammies. I was struck by the simplicity. The absolute freedom of having so little to manage.

I then proceeded to the beach with a chair, my Burt’s Bees lip balm, and one of my favorite books. It just so happened to be on the bookshelf in the beach house. This makes sense, it is a book about the beach. Maybe you’ve read it? Gift from the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, first published in 1955. Such wisdom is contained in her words, in her constant and continual search for simplicity, balance and direction in her life.

I go straight to this little gem:

“To ask how little, not how much, can I get along with. To say—is it necessary?—when I am tempted to add one more accumulation to my life, when I am pulled toward one more centrifugal activity.”

She speaks not only of physical accumulation, but also of the many demands pulling on our time.

I love to see the peace in people when I leave their homes and their lives are put in order.

When de-cluttering, ask yourselves not “what do I get rid of” but “what means the most to me?” Make room for what is the most important and remember -

“One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few.”