|10 Chinese New Year Resolutions (photo credit: rootsbd.com)|
Monday, January 23, 2012
In the January edition of "Your Simply Organized Life" (subscribe for free here) I wrote a little about new year's resolutions, including a couple of my own. However, I am finding my excitement over the new year start to wane.
Life happens and it is natural for our enthusiasm to fade. For myself, the last two weeks have been extremely busy with preparing and presenting two seminars and unfortunately, tending to a sick child. The latter never occurs at a convenient time.
Since today is Chinese New Year, I see the notation on the calendar as a second chance to clear the clutter and start afresh on my goals for the new year. I am not demanding perfection of myself, just progress in the right direction.
The best thing about fresh starts is that we can do this any time. Maybe the year of the dragon is your time!
Monday, January 09, 2012
|Carolyn making a holiday return at REI in Ann Arbor, Michigan.|
With all of the extra stuff that the holidays brought to our home, things were getting a little cluttered. Leaving the packaging in place, I separated the items we really did not need.
Then I went about gathering the receipts that I could obtain and scheduled making the returns in my calendar.
Between appointments last week, I made my returns and even found a couple of bargains, making sure I did not bring more into the home than I left with.
Overall, the process was super easy, especially at REI in Ann Arbor, Michigan where a fellow shopper agreed to snap a photo of me with REI team member, Matt (pictured above at left).
I did not have the receipts for a couple of items, but it was clear where they were from. Both stores offered me a gift card credited with the lowest item price. In one case, the store credit was so low that I did not feel it was worth it to make the return (this item went into my re-gifting box). However, I accepted a gift card from the other store and will make a point to use up the credit for something that we need in the near future.
In many cases gift cards or gift certificates do expire. Be sure to make a point of using up those gift cards in the next few months, before they expire or get lost in the shuffle.
Carolyn Anderson-Fermann is a public speaker, organizing expert and founder of Simply Organized Life. On Saturday, January 14, 2012 Carolyn will be presenting "Simply Organize the New Year: 5 Simple Strategies to Keep Your New Year's Resolution" at the Women's Health and Fitness Day in Ypsilanti, Michigan, a free event.
Monday, January 02, 2012
|Carolyn Packing Christmas Ornaments|
Normally, we leave our Christmas tree up beyond New Year's Day, but my husband decided that in 2012 it needed to be done on New Year's Day. Hence of the photo of me at left packing up ornaments yesterday.
Here are some tips for packing and storing seasonal treasures such as Christmas ornaments, menorahs or other holiday items to avoid damage and allow for easy access.
For seasonal decorations that will be stored in a basement, attic or garage I like to use 66 quart or smaller clear plastic storage totes (a corner of one of my totes is shown in the photo). If you already have similar sized totes or boxes, please use what you have before buying any additional items. I find that totes larger than 66 quarts become too heavy and do not fit easily on most shelving units. Cardboard boxes work just find, but will not protect from moisture, bugs or rodents.
As you pack up from the holidays, wrap each item individually with bubble wrap, tissue paper or newspaper. Use what you have on hand. As you might see in the photo, I like to reuse the boxes and bags that many of our ornaments came in. Always label both ends of the tote, preferably with a removable label so that the box can be re-purposed if need be in the future.
When you are packing up the holidays, think of Stephen Covey's Habit #2 from the bestseller 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, "Begin with the end in mind." Pack up your holiday decorations in a way that you want to find them when the holidays roll around again.