Garage Organization

Posted on April 25, 2013 by Tanya

The other week I was visiting my parents and while my sister was helping me with a craft project, we ventured into our Dad’s garage/workshop/den. I looked around and had to laugh. No wonder I am in the business of helping others organize. Here is one of my Dad’s walls:

Dad's Wall

Every tool has a hook and all tools of the same kind are kept together. There is no doubt where to find any item you need. Here is the inside of one cabinet:

Dad's Cabinet

All the paint brushes have their own hook and all containers are labeled. This is not your typical workshop, but it works for him and does provide us with unlimited resources for craft needs!

The purpose of sharing this is to provide ideas for how you might organize your garage so that you are able to find what you need and not purchase items just because you can’t find them. Perhaps you can take some inspiration from this amazingly organized workshop built on pride through the years!

Season of Sales

Posted on April 18, 2013 by Tanya

Sidewalk or Garage Sale Street EventAs we approach spring, many of us begin to get Spring Fever and are inspired to clean up and clean out. Our family is doing just that and truly moving toward a minimalistic lifestyle.  This means less to dust, less to move and less to keep track of. And this means better organization. Here are a few ideas to help you clean out drawers and closets and even whole rooms.

  • Gather all like items and sort as a group, i.e., t-shirts: separate short sleeve from long sleeve and then by color. Discard (donate or sell) duplicates or those you don’t wear.
  • Go through every drawer and closet – one at a time, a few each day.
  • Have one place to collect everything (for us it’s the garage) and store by item.
  • Take time to collect photos from around the house, recipes from different places, gather scrapbook materials…and store together, even if you do not do any more with them right now.

Some of the different items to consider looking at are:

  • t-shirts, socks, underwear, scarves, belts, shoes and bags
  • photos, recipes, books, magazines, bills, other papers
  • electronic items – DVDs, CDs, tapes, movies, chargers, wires
  • linens, towels, throw rugs, cloths for cleaning home and vehicles

Truly the best sorting comes in groups – groups of the items and groups of time. Don’t expect yourself to do it all at one time. If you have a few minutes, clean out a drawer. Make use of your time by maximizing it and the end result will likely be a full yard sale and full pockets!

Tuesday Tip – NHDD

Posted on April 16, 2013 by Tanya

This Tuesday, April 16th, falls on National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD). This is a day to bring attention to the need for everyone to have advance directives. An advance directive is just what it sounds like – it is a way to guide people in advance. In other words, you tell your loved ones and medical providers what you do or do not want done if you are in unable to speak for yourself. A Healthcare Power of Attorney and a Living Will spell out what you want or don’t want in terms of life-prolonging measures.

It is never comfortable to talk about our end of life wishes, but is truly the ultimate in being organized and certainly the best gift you can give your loved ones. By documenting what you want or don’t want, you save them the agony of assuming your desires and be confident they did what you would have done were you able to make such decisions.

Be sure to have the conversation with your family and complete your advance directives. Visit the NHDD site for more information and know you have done your best by those you love.


Outsource – In Town

Posted on April 15, 2013 by Tanya

Small Business - Open

There has been a lot of talk about supporting local businesses. These small companies are truly the back bone of our country. We are the “Mom and Pop” or “solopreneurs” trying to make it on our own. So when you are looking to make changes or need some help, remember to check locally first. Even in our small town, there is a plethora of opportunity and talent to tap in to. Plus, it opens the door for reciprocity, aka, bartering. Given how tight budgets have been the last few years, what better way to develop what you need than by helping another small business showcase what they need?

Outsourcing work that you would normally do for yourself can free you up to focus on growing your business. Perhaps you despise editing documents or making calls or you really aren’t so good at compiling data or managing your time. By handing over small projects that are not your forte, you are helping a neighbor and improving the product you provide. This improvement comes in the form of better quality because more attention has been put into it and it is the result of a compilation of work done by several experts – not just one trying to do it all.

The next time you are looking to complete a project and realize that you might do well to have a little help, give it a try and outsource – in town!


Tuesday Tip – Antiquated Security?

Posted on April 9, 2013 by Tanya

When it comes to your personal identifying information, you can never be too protective. As fast as technology is changing, is your system out of date?

Here are a few tips:

  • shred credit card receipts, bank deposit and withdrawal slips, checks, and any unsolicited credit offers
  • switch to online banking – more efficient, easier and does not require receiving paper statements
  • don’t ever share your social security number, credit card numbers or bank account numbers with others

Antique Key

If you find that handling all the paperwork leaves you stressed and want more detailed help, just contact Structured Chaos here.

Why Virtual Assistance?

Posted on April 2, 2013 by Tanya

We are fortunate that not everyone is good at the same things. We need each other to perform duties, share skills and otherwise provide services that we are either not capable of doing or simply not interested in doing.

If you are really good at your job but realize that there are a lot of other things that challenge you, maybe  you need a virtual assistant.

If you are a loving, engaged parent but cannot keep track of appointments, meetings and more than one schedule, maybe you need a virtual assistant.

If you are older and find that tending to every day paperwork is overwhelming, maybe you need a virtual assistant.

If you have missed deadlines or struggled with creating or editing documents, maybe you need a virtual assistant.

Hands on Appointment Book.jpgWith a virtual assistant, a lot of these seemingly “little” things can be handled for you. This allows you to focus on the things you need to while knowing that the other things are handled and in a professional and efficient manner.

Some of the needs you may be interested in “outsourcing locally” are: scheduling appointments; document drafting, editing and review; errands and courier services; setting up and managing online accounts; organize and file recipes;and more.

See the new page Virtual Assistant for more details and if any of these services might help you!