Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Guest Post: Prioritizing You! (Part 1 of 2)

Guest blogger, Anna Mae Trievel from Ann Arbor with Kids and Fun with Your Kid, shares her tips to make sure moms remember to make themselves a priority. 

Our back to school schedule is finally set. The teacher has the classroom volunteer schedule completed and I have helped a few times. Soccer is nearly over, Girl Scouts has started and other after school activities have begun. Even if your child is not yet in school, back to school heralds a shift of weekday activities to focus on toddlers and preschoolers instead of kids home from school for the summer.

When setting your schedule, the required items always seem to make it on the calendar: school, sports, work and other commitments. But how often do “me time” events make it on the list? This is even more important when your me time activities include others or require child care, such as date night, mom’s (or dad’s) night out or lunch group.
Before my daughter was in kindergarten, we belonged to a twice a month playgroup for many years. Since she attended afternoon preschool, we were able to continue with the group until last fall. Last year, many of us had children headed off to school and were leaving the playgroup. We switched to a twice a month coffee group on the alternate weeks of the playgroup so that those who still had younger children could attend both coffee (with the younger kids) and playgroup. 

After taking a summer hiatus, we started back up in September. Our group is very casual in that you make it when you can. People drift in over the course of an hour and come on the weeks that they can. I love having this time on my calendar and knowing that we will get together regularly....unlike the hypothetical Mom’s Night Out that we have been discussing since our last one 15 months ago.

Anna Mae Trievel writes the blog Ann Arbor with Kids about family events and activities in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She recently launched Fun with Your Kid to provide information about events happening across the country or region, product reviews, travel experiences and more.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Organizing Mish Mash

Carolyn Presenting at Hebrew Day School of Ann Arbor
Today's title is a bit of an oxymoron, but perfectly suits what I have been up to the last few weeks and why I missed posting to the blog in October 2012. 

Here's what has kept me busy in the last month and a half. I have included some tips for you to conquer your own organizing mish mash. 

Meeting with Clients:
Since founding Simply Organized Life in 2005, I always expect the month of September to be really busy with clients whose children are back in school. Realistically speaking, it takes folks a good month to get back into their new routines. Be aware of this trend when starting any new routine. 

As for the work accomplished with clients, we cleared out a long abandoned storage area, revamped a guest room full of clutter, tackled a shared girls' room and conquered lots of paper clutter. I also had the pleasure of visiting a client who hired me over a year ago as a consultant on her office remodel--before any demolition took place. The results were amazing!

Seminars and a New Product:
Preparing for and presenting several seminars also kept me busy this fall. My first on-line webinar titled "Tame the Paper Monster" took me outside of my comfort zone. In addition, I developed a unique routine worksheet for purchase and download on-line. For a replay of the webinar and to purchase the routine worksheet click here

On a Personal Note:
My life outside of Simply Organized Life is busy too. In October I chaperoned two field trips, one for each of my children. I have also been clearing some of my own clutter. My kids' art clutter all over the kitchen counter started to drive me crazy, so I cleared out two drawers in my kitchen for  their supplies. Habitat for Humanity's ReStore and Purple Heart came to take away some items  we no longer need. I organized my medicine cabinet, taking the expired items to our local pharmacy and went through my cleaning supplies. My unneeded cleaning supplies need to be taken to  the local home toxins collection center

Carolyn Anderson-Fermann is a public speaker, organizing expert and founder of Simply Organized Life. Carolyn will be presenting the hands on workshop "Tame the Paper Monster" at Ann Arbor Rec & Ed on December 7, 2012. Register with Ann Arbor Rec & Ed and bring your paper piles.