Organize Family Information: How to Create a Family Binder

Organize Family Information: How to Create a Family Binder

Where is information your family needs to access on a regular basis? Here are tips on how to organize family information into a 3-ring Family Binder. Make important information easy to access by all family members, caregivers or household members. Don’t keep all of this information to yourself or allow it to clutter up your household! Make sure others know where to find important information about your family. Here are the steps to organize family information and create your Family Binder: Figure out what information is useful for your family to easily access. This information may be found on the front of your refrigerator, the bulletin board in your kitchen, the counter, or wherever papers end up. Sort them out into categories such as: Important contact information: Cell phone numbers for family members, doctors, dentist, orthodontist, pharmacy, and emergency contacts such as grandparents or neighbors. Other useful family information can be school names, addresses, phone numbers, attendance procedures, and bus pick-up and drop-off times and locations. School information: Procedures, teacher and class information, lunch menus, class and concert schedules, field trip information. Separate by child and by school. Sports information: Schedules for practices and games, team rosters, class schedules. Separate by sport and by child. Extra-curricular activities Community information such as city or village contact numbers, and library and park district information Religious organization information Use a good-quality 3-hole punch. This one is my favorite: Swingline 3-Hole Punch. Use a sturdy 3-ring binder and dividers with tabs for each section. Find a binder that fits with your décor, or decorate the front with a photo of your family. Label the...

Get Your Photo Life Organized

Are you drowning in photos? Are you ready to “get your photo life organized”? If you live in the Chicago area, you won’t want to miss Picture Perfect Solutions on Wednesday, April 10th from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm at the DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago – Schaumburg at 800 National Parkway, Schaumburg, IL 60173. The event is sponsored by the Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO), OCD Experience, Walgreens, FotoBridge, Picture Keeper, and LIGHT Photographic Solutions. Tickets are only $10 and $5 for each friend (up to two friends) and are available at the door. The evening will include special presentations by photo organizing experts including Justin Klosky, celebrity organizer from THE TALK! and Anderson Cooper, and Hal Schmitt of LIGHT Photographic Workshops. In addition to learning how to take better photos and keep them organized, attendees will take part in hands-on learning stations with the sponsors of the event. For more details about the event, visit Picture Perfect Solutions. If you attend, be sure to stop by the APPO table to say hello. I hope to see you there! Following Picture Perfect Solutions, APPO, founded in 2010 by Cathi Nelson, is holding its very first conference for its members April 11-13, 2013 in suburban Chicago, and the list of speakers and exhibitors is impressive! I am excited for this unique learning opportunity right here in the Chicago area. For more information about APPO or becoming a personal photo organizer, be sure to check the Appo website. If you’d like to get your photos organized and back into your life, contact me to see how a Personal Photo Organizer...
Organizing at Phil’s Friends

Organizing at Phil’s Friends

In honor of Get Organized (GO) Month, I had the privilege of joining five other professional organizers from NAPO-Chicago, my local chapter of NAPO (National Organization of Professional Organizers) on a volunteer project. Just after the New Year, we spent an afternoon organizing and de-cluttering at Phil’s Friends in Roselle, Illinois in west suburban Chicago. Phil’s Friends is a charitable organization that provides support and comfort for cancer patients and their families. One of their primary activities involves distributing care packages to these families. The care packages are filled with gender-specific items that help those undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments. Visit Phil’s Friends to learn how to ship a free care package or to learn more about supporting this amazing organization. During our project, we worked on de-cluttering and organizing office cubicles, filing cabinets, a storage closet, and a portion of the work area where the contents of the care packages are stored. By creating a more organized environment that functioned more effectively, the staff and volunteers can be more productive and better able to focus on their very important mission and the many people who benefit from their care packages and letters each week. NAPO-Chicago, comprised of about 85 members, is the largest group of professional organizers in the Midwest dedicated to helping create clutter-free, organized households, offices and businesses throughout the greater Chicago, southern Wisconsin and northern Indiana areas. As I look back at my activities during GO Month, volunteering at Phil’s Friends was an incredibly rewarding experience. All of us know someone fighting cancer, and I was honored to use my passion to organize and de-clutter...

January is Get Organized (GO) Month!

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to be more organized? I find the month of January to be one of the best times of year to get organized! After all of the extra activities and events we squeeze into our already busy lives over the holidays, the time to maintain the organization in your home or office can be a challenge. January brings a bit of calm and quiet, along with some time to re-focus on getting and staying organized. On January 1st, the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) kicks off its 9th annual National Get Organized (GO) Month. Throughout the month, NAPO chapters and individual members will be holding community events to build awareness of the organizing and productivity industry. NAPO is made up of over 4000 professional organizers and productivity specialists who offer specialized knowledge and skills about tools and resources essential to improving personal productivity and time management for individuals, families, and businesses. NAPO members are dedicated to helping people bring order and efficiency into their homes, offices and lives. In January 2003, NAPO established GO Month to focus national attention on how getting organized empowers people to take back control over their time, paperwork, inboxes, and possessions. I am excited to be participating in a NAPO-Chicago Chapter GO Month volunteer event at Phil’s Friends in Roselle, IL for an afternoon during the first week of January. Phil’s Friends is an organization that provides support and comfort to those fighting cancer. We will be helping the staff and volunteers make their office space more efficient and organized. Make 2013 the year you get organized!...

Focus on What Truly Matters

Focus on the important things that truly matter. These words sound so simple and so appropriate, especially at this busy time of year and in this increasingly crazy world we live in. But they are words we can all live by. To maintain your focus on what truly matters, keep these tips in mind: Have realistic expectations of your time and energy, and of those around you. Decide which activities are important to you and your family members. Families are dynamic and interests change over time. Honor activities that are important to you! Start each day and each week with a plan. There are only so many hours in a day. Think through the upcoming week and decide how you will most effectively spend your time. Make lists and use them! Think through your menu for meals you will prepare at home this week. This can be a great way to reduce your stress! Again, make a list of what you need, pick them up when you are out, and feel the difference having a planned menu can make. And mealtime is a great time to connect with other family members. Keep clutter under control. Clutter is a psychological burden that drains our energy. Clearing clutter will boost your energy and help you focused on the important things that truly matter. Focus on finishing what needs to be completed first. Sometimes this feels more difficult or less interesting than starting something new. But those unfinished tasks can be a burden and drain our energy. Ask family members to pitch in and help out around the house. You don’t have...

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