Monday, May 12, 2008

Q&A - How to make time to organize?

Q: I'm in a serious decluttering mode, but can't find the time to do it! What do you suggest? I am not a huge clutterbug, but now with 4 kids in a 1700 sq. ft. home, it's very necessary to purge.

A: I suggest picking a time every day and giving yourself 15 mintues or 1/2 hour to work. Tell your kids that that is your quiet work time and let them watch a video or do a special activity that keeps them quiet. Or you can wait until your husband gets home and do it then.

Another thing I tell clients is to take a serious look at your time. I notice that people think they don't have a lot of time, but really they are frittering it away doing other things (internet, watching t.v., talking on the phone, etc). Maybe log how you spend your time each day for a week and then decide on cutting back on something else to make time for what needs to get done. Good luck!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Meal Planning

The average American eats out 3-4 times per week. This is an alarming statistic. Not only is eating out expensive, but it is not a healthy habit. Why do people eat out? They are busy. With many households run by two full time working adults or a single working parent, making meals becomes a burdensome task. It doesn’t have to be, however. Start by sitting down with your family and making a list of all the meals you like. I suggest typing them into a word document so it is neat and can be augmented easily. Personally, I break up my list into main ingredient category, like “beef, chicken, and vegetarian.” If you try a new recipe that you like, add it to the list.

Next, either print out a blank month-at-a-glance calendar from your computer or purchase a write on/wipe off month at a glance magnetic board. Keep this on the side of the refrigerator with a pen handy. Under it, keep a magnetic shopping list pad and your printed out meal list. Once a week or once a month, fill out the calendar, planning all the meals you will eat in that time frame. Once the meals are listed on the calendar, put the ingredients on the shopping list.

Now when you come home, you will already have a planned out meal and all the ingredients available. Not only will you eat out less and save money, but you will also be doing your body a favor by eating better food at home.

Meagan Farrell, professional organizer, is the owner of Clear the Clutter organizing services. She can be reached at (360) 631-7268 or at Check out her blog at