Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Organizing Cosmetics

The Clinique counter at Macy's in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

It is Clinique bonus time at Macy's (until April 14, 2013 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 make my bonus purchase, I take everything out of its package and write 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 in my drawer 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!

Carolyn Anderson-Fermann is a public speaker, organizing expert and founder of Simply Organized Life. To receive a free copy of Carolyn's "Secrets of a Simply Organized Life" and a monthly subscription to the e-newsletter "Your Simply Organized Life" sign up here

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Establishing Positive Routines

Carolyn presenting her popular seminar "Secrets of a Simply Organized Life"
One of my "Secrets of a Simply Organized Life" (sign up here for a free copy) is having positive routines. Establishing and keeping positive routines is not always easy, but the benefits far outweigh the inconveniences. 

Great routines can help you be more rested, get where you need to be on-time, keep up on household duties and achieve your personal and professional goals. I hope you will find these tips useful in evaluating your own daily routines.
Take a good hard look at your current routines:  note what is working and what is not working. Are you rushing around every morning, creating a stressful environment for everyone in your wake? Or is sleep deprivation making you a bit, shall we say it? Crabby? 

Many families struggle with the morning routine, which really starts with a good evening routine and getting enough sleep. Here are some tips for establishing a stress free evening routine:
  • Have a set bedtime on most evenings for both yourself and your children.
  • Plan for any evening activities to finish a least an hour before your bedtime. 
  • At that time, start winding down by planning for the next day, taking care of loose ends and getting ready for bed. 
  • Lay out your clothing for the next day, so that it is quick and easy to get ready. Some may even want to prepare breakfast for the next morning. 
  • We all have more to do than we can accomplish most days. Jot down those unfinished tasks on a notepad or in your calendar for another day. 
​Before evaluating your morning routine, make sure you are planning for the day ahead the night before. Then look at exactly where the morning routine could be improved up for a smoother start to your day.

If you need help establishing your routines, contact Carolyn for a complementary consultation and consider purchasing the Simply Organized Life routine worksheet

Carolyn Anderson-Fermann is a public speaker, organizing expert and founder of Simply Organized Life. To receive a free copy of Carolyn's "Secrets of a Simply Organized Life"and a monthly subscription to the e-newsletter "Your Simply Organized Life" sign up here

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mom 2 Mom Consignment Sale in April

Guest blogger, Anna Mae Trievel from Ann Arbor with Kids and Fun with Your Kid, shares her recent post on an upcoming Mom 2 Mom sale. 

The Spring Mom2MomConsignment Sale will be held at Liberty School in Saline on Saturday, April 13, 2013 from 9a-2p. The Mom2Mom Consignment Sale is a department style sale with items divided by type rather than by seller. Clothing will be sorted by size and gender making it easier for the shoppers to find what they are looking for. 

Admission is $1 prior to noon and free after noon. Sellers and volunteers receive admission to a pre-sale the night before. 

As a shopper, I like that Mom2Mom Consignment sale is sorted by department and that they verify the condition of every item. It will be so much easier to just shop from an entire section in my daughter's size than to visit multiple sellers to determine who is selling items in her size, the condition, and prices. Check out some tips for Shoppers at sale.

Recently I was sorting through some of my daughter's old toys with the intent to donate them. However, as I was sorting through them to create an inventory list for tax purposes, I realized that many of them were still in very good condition. I also knew that I have several boxes of my daughter's old clothes to sort through in our upstairs closets. So, I have contacted Mom2Mom Consignment Sale about being a seller. There are only a few sellers slots left, so if you wish to sell, you should contact them soon.
Past Mom2Mom Consignment Sale
As a seller, the Mom2Mom Consignment sale allows you to prepare and drop-off your merchandise and not man a table for the sale. As a seller, I love that I can prepare my items ahead of time and drop them off for the sale without having to sit there for the entire sale to sell my items. While they may have more rules on condition, labeling, and presentation of your items than other sales, the convenience of not being there on the day of the sale is worth it for me.

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, March 06, 2013

Planning and Organizing Vacation Time

Photo Credit: Carolyn Anderson-Fermann

Most of us look forward to vacation time as a special time to explore new things and be with family. If we are not careful, planning and organizing a vacation can take on a life of its own. 

Here are some quick tips to help you plan and organize your limited vacation time:

1) Pull Out the Calendar
Take out your calendar (be it paper or electronic) and map out your vacation time, taking note of major holidays like Memorial Day and the 4th of July. If you have school age children, now is the time to figure out if your kids will attend some sort of summer camp. Many summer camps have already opened enrollment. 

2) Gather Information in One Place
Before you end up with one more paper pile, now is the time to set up a system for vacation related documents and articles. If you prefer paper, this can be a simple folder, hanging file or a three ring binder.

If you are trying to limit the paper in your life, an electronic application such as Evernote is a great repository for information. I started using Evernote over a year ago and find it really useful to scan in articles on places of interest. In planning our trip to Florida last year, I set up several notes in Evernote; including a packing list, theme park tips and links to recommended restaurants. This was much easier than lugging around a guidebook. 

3) Set a Budget and Start Booking
It is a fact of life that our vacation plans are limited by time and by money. Now is the time to set a vacation budget, start saving and start booking for the best rates. 

If you need a little extra help planning your time, please contact Carolyn to schedule a complementary telephone consultation and be your best in 2013. 

Carolyn Anderson-Fermann is a public speaker, organizing expert and founder of Simply Organized Life. Do you need to conquer the clutter in your closet? Carolyn will be presenting "Conquer Your Closet" through Ann Arbor Rec and Ed on Friday, March 15, 2013. Register with Ann Arbor Rec and Ed