Diane Albright
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Quick & Simple Travel Packing Tips

Baggage ClaimTo simplify packing, first and foremost, don’t wait until the last minute to pack. A travel packing checklist is key and will make packing less overwhelming. Once the list is created, save it on your computer and also take a copy with you on your trip. During your trip, jot down any items you wished you had brought along. Update the list when you return and next time packing will be even more streamlined.

In travel preparation, review and edit your packing list at least 2 to 3 weeks before your trip. This will allow ample time to make needed purchases. If traveling out of the country, review the list 2 to 3 months prior.

No matter if flying or driving, packing a carryon with the certain items can make a substantial difference in your trip. If flying, pack your carryon with items that would be difficult or expensive to replace while away (contact lenses, bathing suit, etc.) as well as items you would need to comfortably get by if your luggage was lost such as a change of clothes, underwear, toothbrush, etc. If using our packing checklist, these essential items are indicated with an asterisk after them.

When driving to your destination, pack your “carryon” with essentials so you can enjoy your vacation the minute you arrive without the need to unpack your entire suitcase. In your “carryon” toss in your bathing suit, sunscreen, flip-flops, etc. You’ll be able jump into the pool or lake before the sun sets.

Quick and simple travel packing tips:

  • Stuff shoes with sunglasses, electronics, and other items you don’t want to break.
  • To prevent shoes from soiling other items, place shoes in Ziploc® gallon size bags (or plastic grocery bags), especially for the return trip.
  • Put items such as hair brushes that can snag or scratch things in a cosmetic or Ziploc bag. Place large hairclips around the handles of brushes to prevent the clips from breaking.
  • Pack extra Ziploc bags, a small and large one. They work great in a pinch for leftovers or packing wet items on departure day.
  • Pack a small pair of scissors, Scotch® tape, rubber band, binder clip, and sewing kit. All will help when the need to close something arises or the expected occurs.
  • Store jewelry in a nylon jewelry case or folding (hanging) jewelry organizer with zipper pockets. Place it in your carryon for security measures. Also, jewelry tends to be heavy adding weight to your suitcase that may put you over the 50 lb weight limit.
  • In your carryon include two Ziploc bags of essential toiletries (items you’ll need if your luggage gets lost). One Ziploc bag should be for liquids such as contact lense solution, cosmetics, etc. and the other Ziploc Bag for non-liquids such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. With a Sharpie or P-touch® laminated label tape, label the front of the bag. Then list the contents of the bag on P-touch label tape adhered to the back or on an index card inside. This way you’ll know what to pack each time on your trip out and back.
  • Travel size containers can help with the packing of toiletries. Bed, Bath, and Beyond carries a nice selection of travel size items and containers. Label these bottles for reuse, i.e. shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc. Use P-touch laminated label tape so you won’t need to re-label due to wear and tear or drips.
  • Small sizes of items such as Vaseline and Advil take up little space and are refillable.
  • Weigh your luggage at home. Don’t wait until you get to the airport. Typically the weight limit is 50 lbs.
  • Before leaving for the airport tie a colored/patterned ribbon to your luggage handle or place a large unique sticker on the side(s) of your suitcase. This way as the luggage carouselgoes around you’ll be able to easily identify your luggage.
  • Keep items like Advil or allergy tablets in your carryon or purse, not your suitcase.

Happy traveling!




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Posted in Summer, Travel | 0 Comments »

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!

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!

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 | 1 Comment »

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 | 9 Comments »


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