Articles for Family Organization Tips

Organize Your Desk
Whether you use your desk for paying household bills or making multi-million dollar deals, an organized desk will help you function more efficiently with less stress.

    · Clear your desktop and drawers of everything except large items like computers or printers. While you have your desk clear, wipe down surfaces and drawers.
    · Put desk accessories (pencil cups, calendars, desk pad, rolodex) back on the desk where you are able to easily reach or see what you need. Insert drawer dividers or other desk organizers you need to keep like items together and stay organized.
    · Sort the items you cleared from your desk. Set up boxes with categories like: shred, recycle, trash, office supplies, equipment, papers to file, decorations, and elsewhere (items that don’t belong at the desk to be put away later). Place items in these boxes.
    · Put items you have sorted away. Place the things you use daily within easy reach, items you use weekly close enough to reach them with little effort, and supplies you use monthly or less often away from your desk. These can even go in a closet or storage area in another room. Keep your workspace clear so that you have a clutter free environment that allows you to focus on your work and put like items together so you can easily find them.
    · File papers. If you do not have a good filing system, set up simple system for handling paper where you can find the paper you are looking for in less than a minute. Don’t pile—file!
    · Place any decorative items where they can be seen and enjoyed, but not on your workspace. Display items that inspire you most, but minimum the amount of decorations so you are not distracted from your work.
    · Maintain the hard work you have done. Take time to put things in their proper place each time you use them. When you are working your desk can become cluttered, which is understandable. Just make sure that at the end of the day everything is put away and the desktop is clear, ready for a new day of work.

Cathy Bates is owner of Practical Solutions Professional Organizing and a Golden Circle Member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). They offer hands on organizing help for homes and offices. To find out more about how they can assist you, contact them at www.psorganizing.com or call (909)810-3719.

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This questions from a new mom returning t o work arrived today. I wasn’t able to reply so I thought I would post her question.

“I am a first time mother who just returned to work on Monday! My head is spinning. I was once an organized person but i now feel life spiraling out of control. I read on this site that there are many Blackberry applications for moms to help keep them organized. I was wondering if there was a list of these applications somewhere on this website or on the internet? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.”

Although I don’t have a list – I will share with you MY SECRET for using my blackberry to keep organized.

Are you ready ? It’s not about a Blackberry Mom application. It’s about using a service that offers EVERYthing you need on a remote server so you can access it from HOME WORK and your blackberry.

If you are a busy working mom, busy stay at home mom, Busy work from home mom, you need to DUMP and simplify. To do this you head over to: http://www.Gmail.com and created yourself an email (then get RID of all the others – its a time waster.

With your new Google account you can SYNC directly to your blackberry AND to your outlook (where you can also download your GMAIL email), organize your calenders, and have access to everything from your desktop, remotely from work, and on your blackberry.

You can also:
Invite others to share with you – colour label your kids, work, personal appointments, in google calender – share documents you create (google docs) – budget & track payments in google (excel), create a monthly grocery list ect.

If you don’t have the time to ‘set it all up yourself. Check out Famundo -it’s $4.95 a month – but you have to sync to outlook then to your blackberry. Whereas Google will Sync Real time with your blackberry.

So my Mom Blackberry keeping it all together trick is GOOGLE.

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Another busy mom shares her tips for keeping her family’s schedule and home together. . Today’s featured busy mom is Isabel Isidro Mom of three balancing parenting and co running a business.

Isabel Isidro is a mother of three boys, ages 7, 4 and 2. She is also the co-founder of PowerHomeBiz.com, a 10-year old site for home business owners and solo entrepreneurs, and runs WomenHomeBusiness.com and LearningfromBigBoys.com. She just tries to live and learn each day – not always succeeding, but always trying.

How do you keep your children’s schedules together ?
My kids are 7, 5 and 2 — and they all go to school. The two youngest are home by lunchtime while the eldest spends the full day in school.

We have a strict schedule in the house, and the kids know it. The younger boys take a nap in the afternoon. They play or relax in the afternoon after school, and one of their favorite activities is playing Wii with their father. The kids then eat dinner, and take a bath. Then from 7:00-8:30 pm, it’s their study and reading time.

I give them the materials they need to work on and practice with, and they choose the books they want to read. By 8:30 pm, they’re on bed and ready to sleep. They’re early risers, and wake up anywhere from 5:30-6:30 am – even on weekends! None in the family are late sleepers.

To the extent possible, we don’t do any extracurricular activities during the weekdays, only weekends. School is tough already for the kids, and we’d like them to have time to rest, have fun, play with each other and just be kids.

Saturdays, though, are when things go crazy with their schedules. They have various lessons, and by lunchtime, I am tired from driving around the area going from one lesson to the next. However, in the afternoon, we always make it a point to go to the library to pick up the books that they’ll read for the week.

Do you use a particular day planner ?
No. I used various dayplanners – from the cheapest to the most expensive leather bound planners. I even attended a daylong seminar by one of the big businesses in dayplanning business on how to organize and plan your day using their dayplanning system.

But none really worked for me. I will be “good” and use the planner judiciously for a few weeks, or even a month. And then nada — blank pages after that.

For one, I need something that I can carry with me all the time, not some bulky planner that sits nicely on a desk but impractical to be carried in my purse around. My purse is heavy enough as it is with all the kids’ stuff, and having a bulky planner does not work.

Do you own a blackberry?
Not a Blackberry, but I use an iPhone with an app for my to-do lists for the day. It’s been very effective for me. I carry my phone all the time, and having my things to do and scheduler on the same small device allowed me to keep track of what I need to do for the day. I just love it!

What is you most used ‘time saving tip’ when it comes to running your house?
You need to be a goddess of multi tasking and organization. Find the best strategy that works for you and your family.

For me, I need to spend a little time the night before thinking what the family needs to do for the day – e.g. making sure the kids have put their assignments in their bags. Otherwise, I’d forget it! I spend a little time putting my list in my iPhone’s to-do app. Read More→

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I don’t make it to my children’s school often. I am lucky to live in a small town where the kids still walk to school. However today a lightening storm started 10 minutes before the bell rang so I decided the mom bus needed to be started. What does this have to do with homework ? Well My daughters teacher told me ‘Abbie doesn’t seem to be interested in doing any work at school” guess what that means – we don’t finish our work at school …..

Then Darryl’s teacher says ‘Darryl doesn’t seem to be interested in doing his school work’. Sigh, I have to admit I have NOT been keeping the kids school events and homework organized. I have no homework system or home work routine. So in a hope in becoming the organized mom again I took my daughter to the dollar store to get a system in place for her.

The boys each have a school agenda, that I NEED to be using. Abbies is primary and the school doens’t order school agendas for the primary grades. So I needed to create one for her (actually it’s more for mom).

So here is our solution for organzing Abbie’s school homework.

Total cost: less then $7.00

Large zip locking bag (with a slider because the other ones are frustrating for little fingers and won’t get closed = lost homework organizers). ( I usually have these in my box but I bought 8 for $1.00) Read More→