Saturday, January 24, 2009

Kindness of Strangers

Last Sunday my family experienced the kindness of strangers in our friendly little Michigan community. We were all in the car (my husband, child, dog and myself) returning from a visit to my mother about two hours away. Our little one was getting antsy in the car, so we turned on WKAR for the classical music which always seems to sooth our child. My husband, driving, was enjoying the music so much he totally missed the entrance to our neighborhood. Then he seemed paralyzed as to what to do at the next road and ended up pulling into an unplowed side road.

Our car has all wheel drive, so I was not concerned until I realized we were clearly stuck in the snow. Shortly after my husband got out to push and I took the wheel, a kind couple stopped to help us out. Being a professional organizer I really should be prepared with a winter car kit like the one described in this article, but I was not and have never been stuck in 20 years of Michigan winter driving. Fortunately, our good Samaritans were prepared with a shovel neatly tucked into the back of their car. Five minutes had not passed and another gentleman stopped to help push us out.

It really made us feel good that folks in our community are so helpful. We hope we can do the same sometime soon.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Organizing for a Career Change

I have received some great questions from the readers of my monthly e-newsletter, Your Simply Organized Life (sign up here). This month I wrote about "Feeling Fine in 2009." Here's one reader question and my response:

Q: Do you have any ideas for organizing yourself during a job search/career change?

A: This is a great question, because it is so important to stay organized when searching for a new job or possibly making a career change.

When searching for a new job, I recommend creating an electronic file folder on your computer and a paper file folder (this can be a section of a three ring binder or a hanging file folder) for each position you are interested in. If you are really tech savvy you can skip the paper file, but I find most people still have tons of loose papers to pull together. I like to label the folders by employer name. This way you can customize your resume and other application materials for that particular employer. If you apply to more than one job at an employer, just create sub folders.

As for a career change, this is a much bigger project that should include extensive research and may even require additional training. To get you started, set up a three ring project binder with sections for research, training, etc. As you conduct your search, additional categories will reveal themselves.

While going through this process be sure to manage your time appropriately with goals for each day or week.

Friday, January 02, 2009


The holiday season was a real whirlwind for me this year. It seemed to blow in and blow right back out in a flash. While I enjoyed the season, getting back to my normal daily routines is reassuring. Now I seem to have a reasonable handle on the clutter that creeped in during the holidays, including the household paperwork. What routines do you need to reinstate now that the holidays are pretty much finished?