Thursday, July 29, 2010

Getting Organized in a time of need

I recently got diagnosed with breast cancer. I was immediately overwhelmed with love and support. I realized that I have the most amazing people around me and they all wanted to help. Through this process, I learned a few things about how to organize and help a loved one (or yourself!) who is sick, just had a baby or suffered a recent loss.

1 - Set up a care calendar at Care calendar allows you to plug in the dates that you need help. By emailing the link to interested helpers, they can sign on and sign up for helping or providing meals. Care calendar even sends reminder emails to those who signed up.

2 – Set up a webpage or Facebook page to easily share updates and information to many. I created a special page on Facebook to share information about my treatments, doctor appointments, etc. I invited those who I wanted to share this information with to join the page, but kept it hidden other than that. This saved me from having to answer lots of phone calls and emails when I was tired and not up for it. It also allowed my husband to post my condition after surgery.

3 – Plan ahead! If you have the luxury of knowing that you will be in a situation like this, do as much as you can to organize ahead of time. In addition to summoning help, pay bills ahead of time if possible, make sure you have written up all pertinent information for the person taking care of things for you, etc. Another good tip – ask to borrow movies and books from friends. You will save money and have plenty of entertainment. Just be sure to label all the borrowed items so you can return them to the correct owner.

3 – The number one thing I learned – accept the help! I have always been fiercely independent and one to take care of things on my own. However, through this process I realized that not only did we (me and my family) need this help, but those around me really wanted and needed to help me. It was good for all of us.

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

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