Student Stuff

As the end of the school year approaches, or has already arrived, it’s time to look at your student’s remnants of the year. That math paper that they got a big smiley face on it, can probably be recycled.

We can’t save everything in our lives. Tell your students this because it pertains to the rest of their lives. Things and stuff come and go in our lives. If you aren’t careful, too much of it comes and very little goes.

The spiral notebooks for each subject should be recycled. If they think they will need it next year, have them write a destruction date on it for the following May. My daughters saved notes for their siblings. While it is nice for the younger sibling to have these notes to look at, they too need to write that destruction date on it for when they finish that grade.

Let’s not forget about the high school and college grads. High School grads; you probably won’t need those papers that you saved after your senior year. Although, my daughter’s freshman year at college proved that she could have used those math notes. She had a great math teacher in high school and not so great in college. Who knew? Regardless, she managed OK without those notes from high school. There was also “stuff” all over her room that had accumulated over the years. By going through it in 1 hour sessions over the summer, she got rid of quite a bit of stuff. This way, when she moves out, it’s all sorted and ready to move on to her new place. She won’t be too happy about it, but it’s her stuff.

College grads; you have been coming and going with your stuff for four years. Some stuff usable one year and not so much the next. Well, it’s time to evaluate all the personal stuff that your siblings or younger cousins can’t use. Do another sort. As you get older, the stuff of the past has less and less meaning. Take care of it now while you have time. And yes you have more time now than you will in the future. Look at your parents who may have recently downsized their parents. As Barbara Berman observed, Professional Organizer from New Jersey, you will be sorting your stuff and more eventually. Why not get rid of that 3rd grade report card now so you aren’t cursing your parents for keeping it, waiting for you to tackle it 40 years later.

Ellen’s Tips for Flower Garden Organization

Springtime flowers are beautiful. After a drab winter, who doesn’t want to add some color to their yard?

And why is Ellen writing about flowers? Well, organization takes place outside your house, as well.

When you decide to add color to your yard, you’re also adding work to your plate. Yes, it is work to plant the flowers, but maintaining them is where the real work begins. Consolidating your floral maintenance is the best plan.

Consider container gardening or planter gardening to consolidate the workload. There are a wide variety of moderately priced pots of varying sizes, colors and textures. Try an odd number of pots of different sizes near your front porch. The pots will add some dimension, and of course, the flowers add the color. Hanging baskets add color at a different focal point. A screw eye with a hanging chain from your garden center can make that basket hang a little lower.

And when it comes to watering the flowers, a coiled hose (not the pocket hose) works great by not having to wind up a hose. It springs back on its own and can easily lay behind a bush. By placing the pots and hanging baskets near the hose, they can easily be watered in five minutes. Even if you planted some flowers in your beds, they can be watered at the same time. Speaking of beds, don’t feel the need to plant flowers the entire length of your beds. A clump of color in a few spots that can be watered easily will add something without adding too much maintenance.

Of course, if you don’t live with a plumber, having a water source nearby your front porch may not be as feasible. But consider how much time it takes to drag a hose and set up the sprinkler – it may be worth it in the long run to have the expense of that additional spigot installed in a convenient location. Beauty in the yard can happen if you help yourself create an easy maintenance program.

Spring Cleaning: Garage Organization

Spring has sprung, and the snow has stopped flying, at least in Central Ohio. That means that it’s time to get rid of the remnants of winter in the garage – and I’m hoping you were parking your cars in the garage over the winter.

Now is the time to consider evaluating the things in your garage. If it has wheels, it can stay on the ground. If not, hang it on the wall. Or, install some shelving to corral all loose items. It is much easier to keep the garage clean with a quick sweep or hose down when there isn’t an abundance of things on the floor.

Although bikes have wheels, if they aren’t ridden very often, a pulley system is a great way to get them up and out of the way.







This system screws into the beams in the ceiling and easily pulls up and down for ease of access.

A track system for hanging tools is the ideal system to address all your tools.








This system screws into the beams on your walls. A variety of hooks are available to accommodate several different tools. There is also a hook to hang a large ladder.

Get the garage organized, and you will enjoy the summer (and ultimately the winter) when the car takes precedence over the stuff of your life.