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Sunday, March 27 2011

With the Spring season underway, many people decide its time to move to a new home.  The process can be quite stressful, even when it comes to unpacking once you get there.

Here are some suggestions for getting organized when unpacking your belongings after the move:

If your new place wasn’t cleaned before the previous residents moved out, start the unpacking process by having professional cleaners come in and give the place a good scrubbing. No one wants dust and grime under their belongings in closets, on shelves, and on the floor.

After the cleaning crew is gone, I suggest that you unpack supplies and rooms in this order:

 Essential items: Toilet paper, hand and body soap, shower curtain, bath towels, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, paper towels, trash bags, scissors, a change of clothes, vacuum, broom, dustpan, pillows, bed sheets, and pet food and bowls. I suggest packing these things in a clothes hamper and have it packed in the car, not the moving van.

The kitchen. Start by unpacking the food first and then dishwashing supplies, drinking glasses, silverware, plates, pans, and finally everything else.

Assemble beds and put on sheets. You will definitely want to sleep in your bed that very first night.  You will probably be exhausted!

Bathrooms. They’re relatively easy to unpack.  Just remember, put like things together in your vanity and your linen closet.

Coat closet. This is more of a priority in cooler weather than in warmer weather. You will want to know where your coats and accessories are when you are leaving the house.

Clothes closet and dressers. Set up your closets and dresser as you had them prior, if possible, to make it easy to find what you want because you are familiar with its placement.  You can always change it around later.

Laundry room. Dirty clothes tend to pile up quickly when moving. Set up your supplies so you can begin to wash clothes when needed.

Remainder of bedroom. Aside from clothing and bed linens, there are other areas to unpack such as jewelry, nick knacks, art work, end table contents, books for the bookshelves, etc.

Home office. If you have one, just know that hooking up equipment with all of its cords and cables can be stressful, so be prepared to take your time with this step.

Dining room. After putting your office together, you’ll need this low-key room. Set up your dishes and table linens so you can have a nice place to eat after a long day.  Celebrate your move by doing something special.

Family room. Setting up the television and all of its peripherals can be just as frustrating as putting together the home office. Expect it will take some time. 

Porch or Deck. If you have one, take some time to set up your outdoor furniture to give yourself a breather.  Enjoy a glass of lemon aide and take in some fresh air when needed.  

The garage, basement, and storage spaces. Save these spaces until late in the process because it might take you weeks to get these the way you want.  Just be sure to put the appropriate boxes in these spaces so that when you are ready, everything will be together. 

The last thing I would do is hang artwork throughout the entire house.  Nothing makes a house more of a home than hanging and placing personal effects around the home. 

When you’re unpacking boxes (unpack all the boxes!) be sure to lay all pieces of packing material flat to ensure you don’t miss small items. Also, break boxes down as you go instead of waiting to do them all at once. You can sell them on Craigs List or give them to others who are moving through Free Cycle.  Try not to damage them if you can.

Try to wait until you're in the process of unpacking a room to buy any organizing products. You may not need bookshelves, storage bins, etc., once you’re in a space.

Finally, a few weeks after you’re unpacked, evaluate all of your decisions and make any changes as needed or desired.

Do you have any other suggestions?  I would love to hear them.

If you need assistance in staging your home, packing up, organizing the move or unpacking in your new home, contact me.  I would be glad to help.

In the meantime, have a great week!

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 10:41 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, March 18 2011

Lately I have been presenting a lot of seminars on various topics concerning organization.  Last week I did a seminar with a certified public accountant and we talked about the tax benefits if you have a home-based business.  I spoke on how to best organize your home office space so that you can locate your paperwork and keep accurate records for your business.

The major theme of that seminar was "Document, Document, Document".  It cannot be stressed enough as to how important it is to do; whether you have a business or not.

A perfect example came to light for me personally this week when I received documentation in the mail from Wachovia Bank which is soon to be changing over to Well-Fargo Bank officially in my area in mid-April.

The packet of information that was sent included the changes to the various types of accounts.  In reviewing the information, I came to the conclusion that, after decades of being with Wachovia, formerly CoreStates, formerly First Union, formerly PSFS, I did not like what they had to offer and decided I would be closing out my accounts and moving them to another bank.

In the old days, this was no big deal.  You went to the bank, spoke with the bank officer, closed out your account(s) and took your money with you.

Today, because of on-line banking - which I love because it saves me so much time - the transition will be a bit more complicated.  I have not spoken with any representative of the bank as yet but plan to do so within the next week or so prior to the switch over.

I am not sure what their policy is as far as record keeping for accounts that are closed out.  I have been doing online bill paying with Wachovia for the past 3 years and want to preserve that information.

This will be much easier for me to transition because I have kept good documentation of all of my bill paying activities. 

I always urge my clients to print out the confirmation after they have directed the bank to make the payments for a certain amount on a certain day because they provide a Confirmation Number. 

I am comforted by the fact that I have always kept good records of my transactions with the bank, not only on line, but by printing out a paper confirmation to attach to the back of each bill that I pay.  I have taken the steps to create a list of the entities involved, their address where the payment is electronically sent and their account numbers so that my transition will be so much easier.  I do not feel I am leaving anything behind but just moving forward towards a better fit for my financial needs.

The moral of the story is to document, document, document.  You never know when you will need to put your hands on important information that might not be accessible at some point in the future.

Just some food for thought...

If you should find that you need assistance with this or any other type of organization, contact me.  I will be glad to help.   

In the meantime, have a great and organized week. 

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 04:20 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, March 06 2011

Spring is coming soon and it reminds me that it will soon be time to do some weeding. However, that doesn’t necessary mean your garden or other outdoor space.

You can begin to weed out your computer today! You heard me. It’s time to weed out your computer.

There are many people who come to me and ask how to do this. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Now granted, if it hasn’t been done in a while, it could take a good bit of time, but, like everything else, breaking it down into small manageable steps will get the job done.

So, let’s get started...

Just like physical clutter can wreak havoc on a home, virtual clutter can clog up your computer and make searching for files a bit chaotic.

Start with your files on your hard drive. Get rid of old reports, documents, spreadsheets and databases you no longer need. Once the unnecessary files are gone, uninstall the programs you don’t intend to use again.

When this is done, tackle your email contacts and email folders. If you are you no longer in contact with a company or a person, eliminate them. You want to leave room for the ones that are in current use and important to you.

Finally, browse through your Internet 'favorites' and delete any sites you don't plan to visit in the future.

I suggest that you schedule just 15 minutes a day for this task. Do this every day until the job is done. By keeping your time to a minimum each day will ensure the job doesn't become too overwhelming. This way you are still being productive and before you know it, you will have done the weeding; just in time for your outdoor weeding!

Good luck! Wishing you a great, productive week!

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 10:45 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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