Diane Albright
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Archive for the ‘Kids’ Category

Stress Free Mornings

By Diane Albright CPO, Organizing and Productivity Expert
August 20th, 2014

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!

Posted in Kids, Moms | 2 Comments »

Tips for Packing School Lunches

By Diane Albright CPO, Organizing and Productivity Expert
August 20th, 2014

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!

Posted in Kids | 0 Comments »

How to Organize for Baby and Toddlers

By Diane Albright CPO, Organizing and Productivity Expert
October 9th, 2013

Preparing for a new baby can be a daunting task yet it is such an exciting chapter of your life. Whether it is baby #1, 2, or 3, preparation is the key to enjoyment and stress-free days.

I am proof that being an organized mom pays off. I started my professional organizing business when I had a 3 1/2 year old, 1 1/2 year old, and I was pregnant with my third child. My house was perfectly straight and I was sitting waiting for my toddler and almost-toddler to wake up from naps when I realized I could be doing something with my free time – something I loved to do and had a passion for. Now certainly you don’t need to become a professional organizer but I did share with viewers this morning on WFMZ-TV’s Sunrise Show ways to be organized with little cutie pies in the house.

As with an endeavor you’ll want to start thinking ahead. The more you do ahead of time the more you can enjoy the time surrounding your baby’s birth. With a little planning for baby now things will go much smoother later.

If you are wondering how to setup a changing table, take some advice from an organizing pro who is also a mom to three! You’ll have a perfectly organized changing table if you follow some basic concepts.

If you are not sure how to organize your baby or toddler’s closet, there are simple steps to maximizing space and keeping it organized. When organizing a child’s closet you’ll want to set it up so anyone who is caring for your baby or toddler (mom, dad, grandparents, babysitters, etc.) can find what they are looking for.

If you are in search of cute baskets or the latest gadgets and gizmos for babies and toddlers, you’ll find an array of adorable and helpful products at Buy Buy Baby and Babies R Us. Don’t forget to shop your locally owned baby accessory stores as these stores typically have unique and hard to find items. If your budget is tight or you prefer to recycle, shop your local thrift or consignment shoppes.

Wishing you all the best!

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Posted in Kids, Moms | 1 Comment »

How to Organize a Baby or Toddler’s Closet

By Diane Albright CPO, Organizing and Productivity Expert
October 9th, 2013

If you are starting from scratch to organize a baby or toddler’s closet, consider installing a system that has adjustable shelving like freedomRail. This way you can start with triple hanging (instead of double hanging) to maximize hanging space. The top rod of triple hanging is ideal for clothing to-grow-into and hand-me-downs. The top rod is also an ideal place to store clothing you don’t want your toddler pulling out.

As your child starts to grown and you need more length for hanging, eliminate one of the triple rods but keep the shelf and adjust the height of the other two rods with shelves. A few years later when you even need more length, eliminate the shelf that doesn’t have a rod below it and adjust the other two rods with shelves. Now you will be at adult double hanging which is about 42″ apart from one shelf to another.

To organize hanging clothes group like items together such as tops, bottoms, sets, dresses, and outer wear. Then place clothing in color order (white to black) within each grouping. If you have a clothing set, top with bottom or skirt with top, keep the two together. This will make it easier for both parents and babysitters to find matching outfits.

Uses hangers with clips to keep sets together. There will be no guessing of what top goes with which bottom. To prevent strappy tops or sundresses from falling off hangers use either plastic hangers with cut outs along the top on each side or use slim line velvety hangers. If you are tight on space consider slim line hangers as opposed to plastic hangers. The thinness of the slim line hangers allows you to store more clothing in less space.

To keep the closet organized and labeled for everyone, consider using closet rod organizers to indicate size or season. Most closet rod organizers come in array of fun colors like pink, light blue, green, yellow, and dark blue.

You’ll want to keep a spare set of clothing in your diaper bag for the unexpected soiling of clothing. If you keep an outfit in the diaper bag that is the size your baby is currently wearing, you’re baby will outgrow the outfit with little or no wear. To avoid this, the outfit in your diaper bag should be one size larger than what your child is in now.

Keep a basket or hamper in the closet or nearby for easy tossing of soiled clothing. A shelf in the closet is an ideal place to keep a keepsake box. With a keepsake box on a shelf you can quickly toss a keepsake inside.

To store bows or barrettes consider making a holder. Take a cute mirror or picture frame. Glue three 12″ long strips of 1 1/2″ wide decorative ribbon (spread evenly apart) on the backside of the mirror or frame with the ribbon cascading down. Attach your newly created holder to the wall with Command® Strips (Command won’t damage the paint or wallpaper). Then clip barrettes and hair bows to the cascading ribbon.

Happy organizing!

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Posted in Clothes Closet, Kids, Moms | 0 Comments »

How to Organize a Changing Table

By Diane Albright CPO, Organizing and Productivity Expert
October 9th, 2013

When setting up a changing table organize it so everything can be easily retrieved using just one hand as the other hand will probably be holding a baby. That means most items will need to be stored vertical.

To store items vertically (upright standing on end, not piles) use containers or narrow baskets for onesies, sleepers, and clothing. If you store these items vertically you won’t need to sift through piles looking for what you want and there will be no piles to topple over. Everything will stay neat and organized!

Use small divided containers or small baskets to store small items such as a thermometer or brush. You may be able to repurpose cute gift boxes from shoes or gift sets.

Also set up the changing table so a babysitter or relative has easy access to what baby will need. This will eliminate calls to you at work or on date night.

Items for Changing Table:
Diaper cream
Everyday outfits
Baby Lotion
Nail Clippers
Brush or comb
Burp pads
Rattle/small toys
Towels & washcloths – optional
Changing pad cover
Garbage can alongside of changing table

Please note if you have other young children in the household store potentially harmful items out of reach.

Happy organizing!

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Posted in Kids, Moms | 0 Comments »

How to Prepare for Baby

By Diane Albright CPO, Organizing and Productivity Expert
October 9th, 2013

Expecting a new baby in your house? Now is the time to start preparing so you can enjoy the time surrounding your baby’s birth.

Look ahead to your due date and plan backwards. Keep in mind that you may not feel up to doing much of anything when the baby’s due date is near or that you could be placed on bed rest by your obstetrician. Additionally you’ll also be busy in your last trimester with baby showers, thank you notes, and doctor appointments. Once baby has arrived you’ll have sleepless nights and barely enough time to take a shower.

On that note, look ahead to your calendar and your to-do lists to see what is on tap for two months before the baby is due and for one month after. Work on accomplishing these tasks with of the goal of completing them by the end of your second trimester or beginning of your third.

For instance if your baby is due December 1, you’ll want to shop for birthday presents for those birthdays that fall in October, November, December and you’ll want your Christmas shopping complete in September or October. This might seem farfetched but keep in mind you could deliver early or just not feel like walking around the mall shopping when you are 7, 8 or 9 months pregnant.

When you are out shopping be sure to buy thank-you notes and postage stamps to pack in your hospital bag. Armed with these in your bag you’ll be able to write  thank-you notes as soon as gifts are delivered to you in the hospital. Unfortunately your hospital bed may be the only down time you have for a long time to come. (Please note: you can buy both baby girl and baby boy thank you notes – just hang onto the receipt for the return of what you didn’t need.)

Keep in mind the more you do before baby is born the more free time you will have after to enjoy your newborn.

Congratulations and enjoy!

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Posted in Kids, Moms | 0 Comments »


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