Sunday, February 26, 2006

Read This--Save Money

There was an article by David Kocieniewski in the on-line version of The New York Times last Monday titled "After $12,000, There's Even Room to Park the Car". While this article was an interesting read for me as an Organizing Consultant, I could not help but think there are a lot of people out there that might be contemplating spending thousands of dollars to get their garages in order.

Once again, I must say that it is not necessary to buy more "stuff" in order to get organized. This is merely treating the symptoms of a problem and not addressing the root causes.

According to the article, in 2005 $800 Million (yes, Million!) was spent on garage organizing products. This is double the amount spent in the year 2000 and is expected to rise by 10%/year for the next decade!

Organizing products can be good tools but without an understanding of the root causes of disorganization, purchasing these products can be a waste of money. A good professional organizer or organizing consultant (that is not affiliated with any product lines) can help you get to the root cause of your disorganization and maybe save you thousands of dollars in the process.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Old Paint

I recently met with a client that had a lot of old paint in her basement and wanted to know how to get rid of it. This is very common. Every house I have ever lived in has had paint cans in the basement, many left from a previous owner.

If you do not plan on using extra paint around your space, please be sure to dispose of it properly to protect our environment. Check the label on the can to see if the paint you want to get rid of is latex or oil/solvent based.

A lot of the household paint used these days is latex based. If you have latex based paint that you want to get rid of you can let the remainder dry up by leaving the lid off (away from pets or children) or you can add kitty litter to the can. The kitty litter will soak up the remaining paint and turn into a yucky hard glob. Once the latex paint is dry you can dispose of it with your household trash.

However, if you have oil or solvent based paint, stain or other household toxins, you will need to dispose of these properly at a collection site in your community. In Washtenaw County, Michigan, there is a collection site for residents only on Zeeb Road just north of I94. This time of year you need to make an appointment to drop off household toxins during the week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. You just need to call 222-6874. When I called today, Joanna was very helpful in answering all of my questions.

If you have other common household items that you need to get rid of but don't know what to do with, please contact Simply Organized Life and we will try to help!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Share Your Blog!

The Simply Organized Life blog is my first. Having started this in November 2005, I am a newbie to blogging. I do not know that many bloggers, but I thought it would be fun to share the blogs of friends, family or others that read this blog.

Please feel free to add comments with your blog or favorite blog's address. Remember to please keep it clean. This is a family show.

Through the Yahoo Group for my MBA class, it came to my attention that Shawn, a fellow Michigan State MBA, has started a blog on Logistics in Asia. While a little high brow (if I may say so) it is a good read for anyone interested in Northeast Asia or Supply Chain Management. Check it out at:

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day!

It's that time of year again where cards and candies are adorned with hearts. We at Simply Organized Life know that many of you may be scurrying around today to make those last minute purchases for your Valentine. If you do not have a Valentine this year, treat yourself to some fresh flowers or chocolate tomorrow when they are marked down!

Last week, I went to my favorite Hallmark store (the one closest to my house) and picked out a Valentine's card for my husband along with some birthday cards for February/March. It was late afternoon and there were a few other women in there picking out cards. I quipped with the cashier that on February 14th the store would probably be full of male last minute shoppers. However, we all know that last minute holiday shopping isn't just for men. Women too, often find themselves shopping at the last minute for that "perfect gift"!

I have been there too from time to time: frantically running from store to store at the mall or around town looking for the perfect thing for a family member or friend. However, with just a little planning you too can avoid the stress and the rush of last minute shopping.

Here are a few brief tips:

1) Birthdays---Write all important birthdays of loved ones in your calendar. This can be done once a year if you purchase paper calendars. If you use an electronic calendar this only needs to be done once. Set a time once a month to shop for cards or gifts.

2) Weddings/Showers/Etc.---When you receive the invitation, take a moment to mark your calendar and RSVP. While you have your calendar handy, set a time to shop on-line or in store for a gift. For best selection on gift registries, shop soon after you receive the invitation.

3) Major Holidays (Christmas/Hanukkah/Etc.)---Shopping year round can be a great way to reduce stress and spread out the expense, but only if you keep the items in one place AND keep a detailed record of what you purchase for whom. I have worked with many clients that forgot about their year round purchases and ended up shopping at the last minute anyway.