Diane Albright
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Christmas Shopping Quick and Simple

Free Shopping Made Easy Planner

Is the holiday season approaching a little too quickly for you? No time to shop or no one to watch the kids for repeated trips to the mall?

For the absolute most time-efficient shopping, complete all of your shopping on one day. Yes, that is right, one entire day! Don’t say you can’t do it. Think about how multiple trips to the mall and stores, wastes time. If you make 5 trips to the mall, that adds up to 5 times the drive to and from, 5 times getting ready, 5 times stopping for lunch and 5 times walking through the same stores. That equals hours of wasted time and extra money spent on lunch and gas.

If you have non-school age children, the hardest part will be finding someone to watch your children for the day or until your spouse arrives home. Consider swapping a day of babysitting with a neighbor, friend, or relative or ask your spouse to take a personal or vacation day.

Before you go, plan your trip. If you can, ask family members for their Christmas wish list. Then, use our free shopping made easy planner. Next, preview sales flyers and coupons. Additionally, if you plan on making any purchases online, do so ahead of time to verify availability.

Put on comfortable clothes and shoes and be at the first store when the doors open. As you shop throughout the day, you should find that you like this new shopping method. If you spot three different sweaters in three different stores that all look nice for your nephew, they will all be fresh in your mind so you can easily make a decision that day. You won’t have to try to remember for day or weeks which store had the nicer or less expensive sweater. Take food and drink breaks as needed and don’t forget to rest your feet. Stay hydrated.

Shop until your holiday shopping is complete. You may not be returning home until 11:00 PM at night, if so, ask the security guard to escort you to your car or take advantage of valet parking that some malls offer. You should arrive home with a car full of gifts and children nestled, asleep in their beds. Take this opportunity to sort through which bags get tucked away and which bags can be left out for others to curiously peer through the next morning.

You’ll go to bed with tired feet, but a smile on your face. You’ll be able to add one enormous check mark on your “to do list.” It will be an amazing feeling knowing that you didn’t have an ounce of shopping done the day before and now it is complete! It only took one day of your valuable time, not multiple days. Afterwards, if you find some extra days to shop, go for the fun and excitement of the season.

If you try this method, please let us know how it worked for you!  Don’t forget to use our Shopping Made Easy Planner.

Happy shopping!

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Posted in Holidays, Time Management | 0 Comments »

Stress Free Mornings

School BusWhether it is off to school or off to work, take simple steps to get you and your child out the door in the morning with little or no stress. By eliminating stress from the morning rush, you and your child will be able to think more clearly, feel in control, be happy, and perhaps even be a bit more friendly or patient with others.

The key to a successful morning is to prepare the night before. Prepare and pack all lunches, backpacks, gym bags, etc. Be sure to include lunch money and notes. Before you go to bed everything that you need to get out the door and have a successful day needs to ready but don’t wait until you are too tired. Prepare right after dinner, before you sit down and turn on the television.

Also, pick out your outfit for the next day – everything from underwear to jewelry. Hang all of the items over the hanger with your clothing. Place your shoes right below the hanger. Studies show you will dress better if you pick out your clothing the night before. If you select your clothing in the morning when you are tired and grumpy, you will probably choose your most comfortable and casual clothing.

Happy stress-free mornings!
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Posted in Kids, Moms | 2 Comments »

Tips for Packing School Lunches

school_lunch_packingSimplify packing school lunches by being prepared. As the old saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail.

Once a week when grocery shopping, purchase enough items to make school lunches for your children for an entire week – a loaf of bread, meat, lettuce, tomato, etc. Additionally make sure you have enough sides (apples, grapes, etc.) or snacks on hand to complete the lunches.

If you find you are running out of school snacks because the snacks are being depleted by hungry youngsters at night or on the weekends, consider keeping school lunch snacks out of sight or reach. Perhaps a shelf in a coat closet will work well.

Take granola bars and similar boxes items out of the box and toss into a clear container. Now you will be able to see when you are running low.

If you are purchasing a large family or party size bag of a snack, for instance pretzels, with the intention of dividing it into smaller snack size portions, don’t keep the bag where you keep other everyday snacks. Otherwise, you may find yourself out of pretzels. Instead designate a cabinet, shelf or location in your house where you keep school snacks and lunch packing supplies such as lunch bags, sandwich bags, a Sharpie (to write your child’s name on a bag), etc. With a little organization and planning, your school-lunch-packing should be simplified.

Happy school days!
Diane

Posted in Kids | 0 Comments »

Dorm Room Decor and Organizing Tips on WFMZ-TV

PrintThis morning on WFMZ-TV I shared with viewers tips on decorating and organizing a college dorm room. All the items shown were from Target and ranged in price from $3.99 to $19.99. When shopping in-store at a local Target, just look for the “College Shop” flags to help you navigate to what you need.

While it might be nice to coordinate colors with your roommate, keep in mind you may not have the same roommate year after year. Instead, consider a color that coordinates or blends with your room color at home. This way during the summer months you can take full advantage of what you purchased for college and use the items in your room at home such as a lamp, chair, ottoman, string lights, decorative pillows, etc.

Dorm rooms typically have either a standard length twin bed or an extra long twin bed. No matter if you know the size of your bed or not, purchase the comforter and sheets in XL. You never know what size bed you will have next year or the year after. The bed size may differ from dormitory to dormitory or if you move into an apartment. You won’t notice the difference if you buy extra long, but you will notice the difference if you are trying to fit a standard length mattress pad or fitted sheet on an extra long twin mattress.

While making your packing checklist, beware of the items that college student typically forget to pack. Add to your list a cable for TV, extension cords, batteries for remotes (TV and fan), postage stamps, and envelopes.

Items shown on the dorm room organizing TV segment: Comforter $16.00; Sheets $16.99; Decorative Pillow $18.99; Bed Rest Pillow $12; Paper Lantern String Lights $14.99; Metal Flower String Lights $14.99; Table Lamp $19.99; Ottoman $19.99; Decorative Fabric Bin $6.99; Decorative Bin $6.79; Beside Caddy $7.99; Over the Door Organizer $9.99; Storage Crate $3.99; Shower Wrap $11.00; Shower Tote $7.99; Shower Caddy: In-store Laundry Bag $9.99; Drying Rack/Towel Bar: In-store

Happy dorm room organizing!
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Posted in College, Media Appearances, Moms | 0 Comments »

Fabulous Finds from the
National Association of Professional Organizers Conference

channel-_69_wfmzToday on WFMZ-TV’s Sunrise Show I shared with viewers fabulous products from the vendor expo at the National Association of Professional Organizers Conference that was recently held in Phoenix, Arizona. Some of my favorite products are below. Click on each to learn more.

Click to view the TV Clip

Products Shown on Air:

ShelfGenie® Glide-Outs™ – Everything Within Reach ($100 Gift Card Giveaway)
Stick-n-Find – Find Your Stuff
Brother® PT-P750W Wireless Label Maker
The Neat Company – Neat Desk® and Neat Connect®

Happy Organizing!
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Posted in Speaking Engagements & Seminars | 3 Comments »

ShelfGenie® Glide-Outs™ Everything Within Reach

shelfgenie_pullout_shelvingIf you’re lucky enough to be reading this post, we have a limited number of $100 ShelfGenie® gift cards to give away. See the last paragraph for details.

Do you need more storage space in your kitchen? Are you tired of getting down on the floor and digging to find what you need? Do you have a pantry closet with items lost in the back? Or perhaps it is a blind corner in your kitchen cabinet that frustrates you the most. Our professional organizers have found some amazing solutions with ShelfGenie® Glide-Outs™ and our clients are loving it! These pullout shelves or drawers are retro fitted to your existing cabinets or closets.

At first you may be wondering how I could be so excited over pullout shelving. Without experiencing it first hand, it’s difficult to picture what a difference it can make, but I’ll try to get you excited as well. Take a peek at your lower kitchen cabinets. You’ll most likely find that the upper shelves in your base cabinets only extend halfway from the back of the cabinet forward. This means you may be losing up to half the storage potential for these shelves in each and every lower cabinet you have.

Now don’t be upset with your cabinet installer. It’s not his fault your shelving extends only half the depth of your cabinet. There’s a logical reason why. If the upper shelf extended the full depth of the cabinet, you wouldn’t be able to see or find anything on the shelf below. When you add ShelfGenie® Glide-Outs™ to your existing cabinets, the upper shelf becomes a full depth shelf that pulls out providing you up to double the storage space. This eliminates air space or in other words,  it maximizes your space. Since the Glide-Outs™ have a 100 lb weight capacity you can store heavy items on them such as a KitchenAid® mixer.

Beside maximizing space, pullout shelving reduces or eliminates the need to dig or get down on your hands and knees while trying to find what you’re looking for. The Glide-Outs™ are full extension which means what is all the way in the very back of your cabinets pulls completely forward to the front of the cabinet making it easy for you to see and get what you need. As you get older, you’ll want to bend and kneel less. For others, knee and hip replacements make accessibility a necessity, not a luxury.

shelfgenie_pantry_beforeshelfgenie_pantry_after When you install pullout shelves or drawers in your kitchen cabinets or pantry you can install more shelves than what you previously had, maximizing your storage space. You can add more because pullout shelves or drawers can be as close together as the tallest item on the shelf or drawer. With stationary shelves (ones that don’t pull out) you need to leave space above all items on the shelf to fit your hand in and over the items to access what is in the back. With pullout drawers or shelves there is no need to leave the extra or “air” space, also known as wasted space.

There are unlimited solutions with ShelfGenie® from under the sink pullouts built around your pipes and garbage disposal to trash and Lazy Susan solutions. Look through ShelfGenie’s Solutions Magazine to see what creative solutions await you. If you can imagine it, ShelfGenie® can probably create it.

Here’s why I love ShelfGenie® Glideouts™ so much:
1. They have full extension glides made of steel giving you access to everything in the back.
2. The pullout shelves have a 100 lb weight capacity (even when you pull them all the way out).
3. You can store heavy items such as canned goods and a KitchenAid® mixer.
4. Their Classic and Designer lines have a lifetime warranty on parts and labor.
5. They are made of wood and made in the USA.

If you are interested in a ShelfGenie® $100 gift card and a free in-home design consultation, let us know. We have a limited number of gift cards to giveaway. ShelfGenie® is a nationwide company with most locations accepting the gift card – the only catch to the gift card is you must activate the gift before scheduling an appointment. Please call or e-mail us, (610) 782-0636 or Organize@DianeAlbright.com

Happy organizing!
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Posted in Kitchen, Maximize Space | 0 Comments »

 

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Copyright 2014    All Bright Ideas Inc.    Official Diane Albright Blog

FTC Disclosure: Every so often companies may provide me products at my request or theirs so I can review them for TV segments or my blog. I only review and recommend products I feel are worthwhile to my clients, audience, and visitors. On occasion I may receive compensation which helps to offset the time and expenses I incur reviewing and writing about products. I can assure you, I have turned down many offers as I truly must believe in a company and product to be associated with it. My reputation comes first.
Thank you for your understanding. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.