disorder2order blog

disorder2order blog

Monday, August 11, 2014

Inspire success for your students!

Helping our kids get organized and prepared for school can be one of the hardest things for parents. We can either over do or under support and finding that perfect balance is tricky... Depending on the age of your student, here are some easy things you can do to help your kids during the school year:


Give them a tracking system. If they are 10+ years old... get the used to using some sort of tracking system or planner. There is no one-size fits all answer. My favorite planner is the Academic Planner from Order Out of Chaos

Create a routine. I've talked about this before, but having a daily routine for kids during the school year can make a huge difference for them in and out of school. 

Create a work station or a place for them to do their school work. It should be quite and well equipped with any tools they will need to do their work. 

Physical activities can really help have that outlet for their energy. PE doesn't look the same as it did 20 years ago, so enrolling them in activities outside of school can help them balance their focus and energy.

Teach them self reliance. Figuring things out on their own, how to problem solve and/or plan ahead for their daily activities can be a huge help (not to mention confidence booster) to your students. They learn to rely on themselves rather than their parent.

As parents, we often rely on our instincts to protect our children and control the outcome; but as our kids get older, it becomes more and more important to teach them how to do for themselves. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Hate that pesky alarm clock? Here is the answer...

I came across this clock in ADDitudeMag a few weeks ago and was intrigued on what it did exactly... then I saw it again on the Museum of Modern Art Store website. It's kind of like it's following me... 

The Clocky Tocky Alarm Clock has my attention! 
MoMA Store

This fascinating and interesting clock, when going off, jumps and rolls around the room to ensure you get up on time. You can record your own wake up sounds or add your favorite songs...

It got me thinking... for those hard to wake up teens... is this the answer?

Retails for about $46...  

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Your back to school success checklist

I don’t know about you somewhere around August 1st I get this funny twinge in my belly. It's that little reminder that the school year is approaching. 

We are bombarded with advertisements and TV advertisements...  it's just enough to drive you nuts. It's no wonder people feel overwhelmed. 

No matter what you’re feeling, being prepared for the back to school transition can take that stress out of the household and perhaps be an enjoyable time for you and your student! HINT: It’s never too early to get organized for school.  

Here’s a great punch list to get your started for your organized school year:

Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos dot com
__ Get the school supply list from your school is the first step. Most will post the school supply list on their website or sometimes they can be found at your local school supply retailers.

__ Check your clothing inventory and see what’s hanging in the closet.  The new school year is a great time to clear out the clothes that are too small, too worn or just plain shabby! And don't forget to check the shoes! 

__ Routines = happy students! Setting up routines at home can give your students a solid structure to thrive during the school year. Start your morning routines now! A consistent wake up time and a balanced meal is a great way to start the day.

__ Planning ahead. School calendars should already be available to parents. Get your students 2014-15 school schedules loaded into your calendar or the family calendar right away. It will make planning after school activities so much easier when you know what their schedule will be.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

10 things that simplify my life

I love being a reliable resource for my clients and friends. It's an amazing feeling to help someone simplify a process or find the right answer to a problem. 

As I continue to celebrate my 10 year anniversary in 2014, here are 10 things that simplify my life:

1. Wunderlist - keeps track of my to-do's on my phone, computer and iPad.

2. Outlook - organizes my contacts, my calendar, my emails without fail.

3. iPhone - allows me to access everything quickly and easily

4. CardStar - keeps all my reward card bar codes in my phone and NOT in my wallet

5. ScanSnap Scanner- a new feature in my life that will (hopefully) allow me to get rid of all the paper!

6. Shredder - Helps my compost bin + and eliminates the paper easy

7. Thank you notes - Allows me to appreciate people in my life, easily and quickly.

8. ATM machine - Haven't needed to go into a bank in almost 10 years!

9. Sharpie Markers - Helps me to organize my thoughts COLORFULLY!

10. My husband - Picks up the slack when I need it, cheers me on when I want it, and most of all reminds me that it's okay to be human!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Why is getting things done so hard? Here's one reason...

I am a huge fan of Inc Magazine. If you own your own business or are a manager this magazine is for you. They have great articles on business - but also give you lots of food for thought when it comes to productivity and "getting things done."

As a subscriber, I get a weekly email (I know.. that can be annoying) of recent articles posted to their website. I rarely ever click on them; however, I was stopped in my tracks when I read the article link How Goal Setting Hurts Productivity.  So of course I had to read it... Here's what I learned...

Long Term Goals vs. Short Term Goals. So often when we set a goal we think of it in the general sense or maybe long term goals for the year... things like loosing weight or exercise might be a long term. The key, is to be more specific or speak in the immediate future. I am going to stop eating sugar for a week, I will  walk 5 miles two times each week. So another words... BE SPECIFIC!

Lack of focus can be a good thing. Now, for those of you that struggle with staying focused... this one's for you. Too often, we freak out if we aren't focused or too scattered. That doesn't have to be a bad thing. What's important to consider is when you set the goal... set the specific goal. Then, give yourself permission to not hyper-focus on that goal. Expand your horizons or as they say in the article "key is to set goals, and look around, smell the roses, and try not to focus on them. That might mean communicating about those goals less with your team during actual execution processes, and limiting visual or audible reminders about them

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tax Preparation Made Easy

Before owning my own business and starting my family, I never had a problem getting my paperwork ready for tax time. A few receipts here and there and a W-4 from my employer is all I needed. Pretty simple... right? 

Now there's investment reports, mortgage statements, business receipts, mileage... it's never ending. As you get older, things just get more complicated. If there is one thing I've learned, it's that you have to set yourself up for success from the beginning. Not only does this support you throughout the year, but it makes the end result that much easier...


Here are just a few simple steps you can take to set your system up so that tax docs are ready to rock and roll...

1. Identify what you need for tax purposes.
  • Receipts (business, personal)
  • Donations (business, personal)
  • Personal Investments
  • Medical 
  • Mileage Records
2. Set up a few folders for the various categories.
  • Organize your files by NAME or by CATEGORY
3. Keep these files/folders separate from your standard files so that information is easily accessible.
  • Use colored files/folders to differentiate tax records from standard files
  • Label your files/folders so that know what's a tax record
4. Document information and file records as information comes into your home or office.

If you keep your records filed away, they are always accessible when you need them throughout the year PLUS at tax time, you can simply pull out your files, sort and organize your tax records WITHOUT weeding through all the "other" stuff. 

Helpful tax resources:

I always recommend having a good resource for questions... if it's not your ACCOUNTANT then the Internal Revenue Service is always a good place to start. If you prepare your taxes on your own, having good software is key. I recommend Intuit.  

Helpful apps: Shoeboxed (for receipts), TripLog (mileage tracker tool)




Wednesday, February 12, 2014

4-Ways to Eliminating Paper Clutter

Paper is a problem for everyone. Even the most organized people hate dealing with paper... As we approach tax time, the paper piles always seem to grow just slightly bigger. There is no magic wand. There is no super secret trick to dealing with the paper. You just have to deal with it. 

The first thing you need to consider is how it's coming in the door. Did you ask for it? Did you bring it? Did you (at one time) find it interesting?

Here's are four ways to control what you have and possibly stop it from coming in the door:

Recycling Station: Have a designated spot in your home where you process paper. Make it easy to recycle what you don't need. It can be in the same spot as your other recyclables, or a separate station for just paper. 

Go Paperless: Things like monthly bills can be emailed to you and/or put on automatic withdraw. Simplify what comes in by taking advantage of paperless billing.Go paperless with magazines, newsletters, books and/or catalogs too! Simply check your subscription settings to see if the option is available. Additionally, things like user manuals can be saved electronically rather than a paper copy (one of my biggest pet peeves) for most every new purchase. It helps you and the planet!

Opt Out or Unsubscribe:Although this takes some time, it's amazingly powerful to get your name off various mailing lists. Websites like DMA Choice and Catalog Choice are two websites that can help you in removing your name off various mailing lists. There are other services such as Opt Out Pre-screen (which takes your name off the pre-screen mailing lists), Yellow Pages OPT Out (Stops those pesky books from coming to your doorstep) and the ever popular Do Not Call List (one of my favorites).
 
Shred! Shred! Shred: Having a good quality shredder in your home can help support your "recycling" and/or disposal steps when it comes to paper. For years we had a small garbage can top shredder that took forever to use (one page at a time) and kept getting jammed. We invested in a larger more industrial shredder and it was amazing how much it simplified the process. Shredding your documents can help protect your identity and ultimately make it easy to discard unwanted mail.



It takes time to eliminate the paper piles. Start small and do a little bit each day; before you know it, the paper piles will be gone!