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Are you prepared?

Hey Collectors!

Are you prepared? September is National Preparedness Month. Living in California, we all know that an earthquake can strike at any minute. Even if we are lucky to not experience an earthquake, it is good to be prepared for other emergencies. I have peace of mind because if something happens, my family and I are prepared.

Getting Started! I encourage you to take the month of September to create an Emergency / Preparedness Pack or Kit. Some of the things you will want to think about keeping in your emergency pack include:

  • Medicine;

  • Food and water (one gallon per person per day) for 3 days per person;

  • Cash or travelers checks;

  • First aid kit;

  • A change of clothes;

  • Feminine supplies; and

  • Matches and a flashlight with back up batteries.

If you have infants you will need items like diapers and wipes. What else would you like to include in your emergency kit? Do you need toys or activities for your children?

Create a checklist. I have a checklist of all the items I have in my Emergency Kit. I keep it on the computer so I can easily update, in case I need to add something like medicine. I have it posted on the pantry door as well as on my bag in the garage. Here’s a checklist from Ready.gov to get you started: https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/checklist_1.pdf

Don’t forget your pets! Our pets are family as I am sure they are for many collectors. When preparing for you and your family, prepare for your pets. Here are some of the things you may want to have packed: carrier, leash, food, meds, water, litter, toys and a blanket.

Stay in touch! Facebook now allows you to alert people if you are safe in the event of a disaster or tragedy. However, if power fails, you may not be able to use phones or computers. Consider having a safe place to meet family or friends. Have a plan and decide who will evacuate any elderly or disabled people that cannot leave on their own. Once you have arrived at your meeting place, you can let the outside world know you are okay.

Storing. In our car, we have a change of clothes for each family member. We keep extra food and water in our pantry and have extended emergency packs, including cash, for each person in the garage. Pick a place where you can easily find what you need quickly. Consider having a mini emergency supply kit in your car.

Go through your supplies annually. Go though your kit every year and make sure everything is still working, hasn’t expired and still suits your needs.

If you would like to learn more about National Preparedness Month, volunteering or participating, you can find more information here: https://www.ready.gov/september

Are you super prepared and ready for anything or have you done nothing? What are your struggles with getting prepared for an emergency? Share your comments below.

Not prepared for an emergency? Collector Care can help you not only prepare for emergencies, but also clear extreme clutter and get you organized! Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email rachel@collectorcare.com to schedule your free 30-minute consultation.

Back to School Organizing Tips

Hey Collectors!

As a busy single mom, I need to be organized to make sure my son, Shane, gets to school energized by a healthy breakfast, completes his homework and gets to karate practice on time.

It’s a challenge to go from the laid back days of summer to a schedule. The more organized I am, the easier it is to transition to the school year for everyone. Here are a few back to school organizing tips so you can start the school year off right!

Routines

Routines help kids feel safe as well as develop healthy habits. They help us do the mundane tasks but can also serve as a time to bond with family. Here are a few routines that you might find helpful:

Wake Up and Bed Time. Going to bed at the same time each night can ensure a good night’s sleep. Consider a ritual around bedtime such as reading a story together or reviewing how your child’s day went. In the morning, you can discuss what is scheduled for the day or make breakfast together.

Planning Clothes/Activities for the Week. Get in the habit of reviewing the week’s schedule on Sunday evening. You teach your child responsibility when they prepare and know they have a band concert on Thursday and need to dress accordingly or have to make sure they bring their cleats for soccer practice on Wednesday.

Weekend. Just because it’s the weekend, you shouldn’t let go of routines. You may need to schedule time for homework, extra curricular activities. Try and have at least one family activity during the weekend where everyone is there. Plan on running errands at the same day and time, so kids know that if they need something they need to tell you before you leave the house.

Homework

Create a Study Area. Have a place where kids can do homework without distractions or temptations such as the T.V. or video games. Consider displaying trophies or certificates to motivate and encourage your child.

Encourage Good Study Habits. Encourage doing homework at the same time and in the same place. Be available if possible in case they have questions or need support. Reward children with a healthy snack or playing a game when they finish and enjoy family time.

Snacks Lunch box area in pantry. Designate an area in your pantry and/or refrigerator for snacks and lunches. If you child needs a snack and you are busy, they will know where they can find a snack to keep fueled. If they are old enough and can pack their own lunch, create an area where they can easily find what they need.

Tips for Overcoming Clutter Challenges

Teach kids the basics: everything has a home. Encourage your child to return everything once they are done using it. Not returning to its home can easily accumulate clutter. Hang up coats and backpacks, put away school supplies and return books to the bookshelf.

Regularly clear clutter with your child. Get in the habit of working with your child on clearing clutter and teaching them about letting things go. Help your child pick a favorite charity so they know their stuff will have a good home when they let it go.

Backpack safety has become a huge concern in the last few years. Here is a great article from KidsHealth with lots of good information: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/backpack.html

What are your favorite back to school tips? What are your struggles with getting organized for school? Share your comments below.

Stay Tuned for our Back to School Organizing Tips Part 2 where I will share tips for parents.

Are you ready to clear your clutter and start the school year organized? Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email rachel@collectorcare.com to schedule your free 30-minute consultation.

Are You a Baby Boomer with Too Much Stuff?

Are You a Baby Boomer with Too Much Stuff?

Many baby boomers grew up with parents who survived the great depression. Many were taught to use everything and not be wasteful or to never let go of anything. These are challenging habits to break, but clutter can have negative consequences.

If we continue to accumulate and never let go of anything we create a very cluttered home. Clutter can negatively affect us and potentially cause harm. Here are some interesting facts about clutter:

  • Studies implicate clutter in depression, anxiety and more, including general dampening of brain function.

  • Clutter affects our weight and health. People don’t eat well because their kitchen isn’t functional to cook healthy meals.

  • Clutter is also a contributing factor in noncompliance with taking meds, keeping appointments and exercising.

How has clutter affected you?

Clutter can also cost you time, money and peace of mind.

  • The Average American has credit card debt of $15,185. They also have around $7,000 of unwanted items not being used in the house.

  • 85%+ couples say they argue about clutter & disorganization;

  • Managing volumes of clutter has been linked to elevated levels of stress.

  • 23% of adults say they pay bills late because they lose them.

What has clutter cost you?

If everything has value than nothing does. Does your wedding album hold the same value to you as a paper back book? If it doesn’t, why would you want to hold onto it? Clutter is about delayed decisions. Ask yourself why you don’t want to make a decision. Sometimes people are afraid of making the wrong decision or worried they may upset someone.

What could I focus on if I didn’t have this clutter? Clutter can prevent us from having friends over, having money to spend on things you love and strain relationships. What have you not done because clutter has been in your way? In what ways would your life improve?

Ready to release your clutter but need some gentle guidance? Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email rachel@collectorcare.com to schedule your free 30-minute consultation.

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