Wednesday, April 25, 2012
On Saturday, May 5, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Piece-Makers quilting group from St. Andrew's Church in Dexter, Michigan will be hosting their 9th Annual Quilt Show.
In honor of the Piece-Makers, who create quilts for sick children at the University of Michigan Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, I am sharing five simple tips to keep quilters organized. Even if you do not quilt, these organizing tips can be applied to other hobbies.
5 Simple Tips to Keep Quilters Organized:
You enjoy your craft, but wish you had more time to quilt! Being organized can help you spend more time on quilting and less time searching for things you know you have, but cannot find.
1) Keep the Quilting Stuff Separate
You will know what you have if you keep all of your supplies in one place, even if you do not have a separate room for quilting.
2) Buy Only What You Need
Organizing starts in the store! Remember it’s not a bargain if you do not need it and will not use it.
3) Donate What You Do Not Need
If you haven’t followed tip #2 in the past, you are forgiven. There are many great non-profit organizations that can use your excess supplies.
4) Make a “Date” For Quilting
Set aside a regular time to work on your quilting projects. You can even make an appointment with yourself in your calendar.
5) Put it Away When You are Not Working On It
This is particularly important if you do not have a separate room for quilting. Put things away with your next quilting “date” in mind.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
|Faith in Action Volunteers, Dexter, Michigan|
Waste of any kind bothers me, but I am particularly sensitive with regard to food waste. Perhaps this comes as a result of my rural upbringing, the fact that both my parents were raised on farms or that my oldest brother is a farmer. Farm life isn't easy and farmers work really hard to put food on our tables.
I have been working with clients in kitchens lately. Since founding Simply Organized Life in 2005, on average, a kitchen organization results in about four garbage bags of waste. This makes everyone feel bad. I am not there to judge, but to help clients move forward in a positive way. We cannot change our past, but we can change our future.
Here are some simple tips to avoid food waste in your kitchen:
1) Buy only what you need between shopping trips. This means that if you go to the grocery store once a week, buy only what you need for the upcoming week. If you are not sure what you use in a week, a simple way to track your usage is to write the date you open an item on the container. For example: Upon opening up a box of cereal, mark the date on the box and see how long it lasts.
2) Resist the urge to stock up on sales. This is where folks get into trouble. Something might be a great deal, but if it ends up spoiled or expired, it really is not a savings in the long run. Stocking up can also create clutter, making it difficult to see what we have in our pantries or refrigerators.
3) Keep an eye on what you have. Take five minutes once or twice a week to scan your refrigerator for things that need to be eaten up before they go bad. Scan your pantry or food storage area about once a month. Most non-perishable foods have expiration dates printed somewhere on the package.
4) Donate excess. Perhaps you shopped hungry, or just could not resist some sales at the supermarket or warehouse club. It is okay. Remember, we only look forward, not back. In the Ann Arbor, Michigan area we have wonderful resources for helping those in need of food. In Ann Arbor, donate excess food to Food Gatherers. Residents of Dexter or Chelsea can donate to Faith in Action.
These tips will help keep your kitchen clutter free and save lots of money for your family.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
|The Clinique counter at Macy's in Ann Arbor|
It is Clinique bonus time at Macy's (until April 15, 2012 or until supplies last). I do not wear much make-up, so I can pretty much get by on purchasing my favorite powder and the samples from the bonus bag.
Most of us are pretty good at stocking up on our favorite cosmetic bonuses, but not so good at letting go and organizing our make-up. Cosmetics do have a shelf life and it is important to throw out old or expired items.
The same day I made my bonus purchase, I took everything out and wrote the purchase date on the individual items in permanent marker. This gives me a good indication of when I need to throw out old items and how long cosmetics last so I do not overbuy. After dating the new purchases, I throw away the old duplicates. This is also known as the "one in, one out rule" in maintaining organization.
I keep my cosmetics laid out in a bathroom drawer in the order that I apply each item. This saves precious morning time. I also keep a makeup bag (a "free" bonus of course!) in the drawer, so that when I travel everything is easily placed in the bag. In addition to the cosmetics' bag, I have a couple of cups holding brushes, a nail file, nail polish; as well as a small organizer for lip stick, mascara and small brushes.
This is a really easy way to organize cosmetics, which saves time and money!
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
|First sign of spring: forsythia in bloom.|
The last few weeks here in Michigan we have had winter, spring and summer...not necessarily in that order.
If the thought of spring cleaning overwhelms you, relax, here are some super simple spring cleaning projects:
1) Refrigerator Clear Out
Before you shop for groceries, take about 15 minutes to clear out your refrigerator. Check to make sure you do not have any science projects growing in the back and plan a meal around something that needs to be used up. Remove everything that is left, one shelf at a time, to wipe down the inside of the refrigerator. I like to use a vinegar and water mixture for non-toxic cleaning near the food.
2) Shredding Be Gone
Do you have piles of papers that need to be shredded? Recycle Ann Arbor is offering secure document shredding the second Saturday morning (9 a.m. to 12 noon) of each month from April to October. There is a $10 minimum charge per car with a 20 box maximum.
3) Dispose of Medicine Properly
Saturday, April 28, 2012 is National Take Back Drugs Day. Through the Drug Take Back Network, you can properly dispose of medicine on April 28th and on most days in many communities throughout the United States. Take about 15 minutes to sort through your medicine cabinet this month.