Get Organized Now!
Mid-Week Mini Edition
By Maria Gracia
August 16, 2017
Prepare Yourself for Best-Case Scenarios
I went grocery shopping the other night and when I got inside, it was cold.
I'm not talking a little cold. I'm talking 'Antarctica.' I even joked
on Facebook that I'd better bring my parka next time.
Luckily, I had a sweatshirt in the car, which I keep in there this time of year.
Why? Because it's summer and experience has proven many stores and restaurants
to have their air conditioners cranked up to 'freeze zone.'
Part of being organized is preparing yourself for likely scenarios. Essentially,
this means thinking a bit before doing things to help ensure that event, trip,
or TO DO goes more smoothly.
Here are some other examples:
1) Don't get rained out. After getting caught in a surprise rainstorm at
Summerfest in Milwaukee years ago, and having to drive home an hour away soaking
wet, I learned my lesson. Now, whenever I'm going to any sort of outdoor
festival, I always keep a plastic rain poncho in my purse. You can buy them for
a song at many stores...I got mine from Amazon.
2) Save yourself extra legwork and embarrassment. Knowing that I'd likely
be tipping some folks on a recent trip I took...airport luggage helpers, parking
valets, restroom assistants, hotel maid service and such...I stopped at my bank
before my trip and had my teller count out $50 in $1 bills. I kept that money in
an envelope in my purse, and always had gratuity ready when needed. This
prevented me from having to find change...or the embarrassment of not having any
tip money on hand.
3) Early arrival is better than late. Although the facilities where I
teach my fitness classes are only 10 minutes away, I always leave my house 30
minutes prior to get there. This way, I don't have to rush, I'll still be on
time if I have to wait for a train to pass, and I have a few extra minutes to
chat if I meet up unexpectedly with someone I know in the parking lot, which
happens a lot.
4) Don't risk dropping the milk. Even if I'm running into the grocery
store just to buy a loaf of bread, I always grab a grocery cart regardless. In
doing so, if I end up picking up a few more items along the way...which is
inevitable...I won't have to balance all of those groceries in my arms
throughout the store.
5) Be good to your tootsies. When I wear a new pair of shoes, if I know
I'm going to be out for a lengthy period of time, I always bring along a pair
that I know are comfy. This way, if the new ones begin to hurt, I can change out
of them and give my feet a break. Along this same line, before I wear any new
shoes, I always stuff them full with clean, rolled up socks and allow them to
stretch out for a few days before I wear them.
You get the idea. A little bit of thinking ahead really pays. I try to picture
what I'm going to be doing in my head...and I ask myself what I anticipate
needing...AND what I've needed in the past if this is a recurring type of
task or event.
For instance, when I was packing for a recent vacation, part of which included a
beach trip, I prepared myself for a best-case scenario...which would be a day on
the beach without any little blips in my day. I asked myself things I'd want on
the beach...a towel, my sunglasses, sunscreen, a water bottle, snacks that don't
melt, Chapstick, my Kindle, and a beach bag to carry it all in. Of course,
whenever you can record your thoughts on paper or a digital device, those notes
act as excellent reminders.
When you're doing something and you find yourself wishing you would have
brought something along or done a task ahead of time, engrave that thought in
your mind. Experience is an excellent teacher for the future.
Speaking of preparing for a best-case scenario, if you, your kids, or
your grandkids are in school, and you want this school year to turn out to be
successful (and not stressful), then check out this great resource, 'Get the
Best Grades.' It is excellent...great for all ages... and it helps ensure great
grades without the hassles, the cramming, the endless hours of studying, the
frustration, the whining, or the agony! It makes learning fun!
Plus you can get $125 in complimentary bonuses from me, (but only UNTIL THIS
COMING SUNDAY when you get your hands on a copy. Visit:
All the details are further down in this issue.
How Do I Organize Photos, Screws, Nails, and Garage Junk
A GON Reader Asks
Love You! Thank you for your never ending GOOD information and insight, Maria!
Can you help me with organizing 100s of photos and 100s of screws, nails and
assorted 'garage junk' please? Thank you in advance!
Carol Stream, IL
Maria Gracia Responds
Awwwww...thanks! I'm so glad you're enjoying what I'm sharing. That makes me feel
great! To answer your question, let's tackle one category at a time.
100s of photos:
1) I'm assuming you're talking about printed photos. Find an empty table to work
on that you don't have to keep 'picking up,' like a portable table. Borrow one
if you don't have one. One that's six feet or larger is a good size. Then,
little by little, begin sorting your photos into categories.
2) Stick a Post-it note in front of each category identifying it. Some large
categories to start with are Names, Vacations, Holidays, Events, etc. These are
just to give you an idea...you may have much different subjects. Sort into large
categories first, and once everything is in a large category, pick one of those
categories and break it up into smaller piles. For instance, Holidays might be
broken up into Easter, Halloween, and Christmas.
3) Do this for 10-15 minutes a day, until everything is sorted. If you find
duplicates, send them off to other people in the picture, or recycle them. If
you find poor photos that aren't important enough to keep, now's the time to get
rid of them.
4) Decide if you want to put these photos into albums or photo boxes. Photo
boxes are easier to sort into, but albums are better for reminiscing later.
Another possibility is scanning the photos too, so you have a digital backup
version of everything.
100s of screws and nails:
1) Decide if you need to keep all of these. How often are they used? Does
someone in your family build, do woodwork, or anything like this? If not, it
may be time to drop these off at a metal scrap yard/recycler in your area.
2) If you do wish to keep them, you'll need to sort them...just like the photos.
However, you'll want to have containers for these items like mason jars or
empty, clean coffee cans. Once they're sorted, you can label the outsides of the
containers with white labels or masking tape, indicating what's inside.
3) These containers can then be kept in the garage, basement, or wherever
they're used most, either on shelves or mounted to the wall for easy access.
4) By the way, if necessary, magnetic pick-up tools are available in most
hardware stores and on Amazon, to safely pick up nails, and such, without
Assorted Garage Junk
1) Weed out, weed out, weed out. Many items kept in garages are not being used,
and won't be used ever. Be discerning about what you keep. Get rid of everything
else. If it's something toxic, like old cans of solvent, call your local
trash/recycling center to find out how to dispose of it safely.
2) Garages are notorious for clutter because there is often not enough cabinets
and/or shelving. Once you're down to the bare bones of what you will be keeping,
consider adding cabinets, shelving, and other storage devices to house the
keeper items. For instance, you may want a tool storage cart for rakes, shovels,
3) Try to keep like-items together...like all lawn and gardening tools in one
area, all building/repair tools in another, and all sporting equipment in
4) Finally, look up. Does your garage have a crawl space or rafters above
your head? If so, you probably just located a whole bunch of extra storage
space. For instance, we have a ladder in our garage leading up to a very nice
storage area where we keep outdoor holiday decorations and other more
infrequently used items. A friend of mine laid planks of wood across his garage
rafters to store his camping equipment up above.
No matter what you're trying to organize, never look at the WHOLE job, because
that's too overwhelming. Focus on organizing just a little bit at a time, for a
few minutes a day. Yes, it may take awhile to get it done, but each day, you'll
be a bit closer to completion...which is way better than not starting it at all.
Hope this helps!
Storage: I love coffee. I love tea. And I love storing the cups properly
Top Ten: My top 10 ways to be a better, more organized cook at home
Featured Video: Are you a procrastinator? If so, this video will make you laugh
Dirty Little Secret 1: When I get a gift card to a store or restaurant,
here's what I do to ensure I don't forget I have it
Dirty Little Secret 2: To ensure my social engagements don't overtake my
calendar, here's what I do
Dirty Little Secret 3: Can't find anything in your purse? Here's one
thing I do to keep mine organized!
Mini Challenges: Small accomplishments give us the energy we need to move
on to bigger and better challenges. Here are 5 things you can start...and
In ADDITION, on our home page, you'll also find lots of NEW and featured
Social Media Spotlight. How to throw away the memories our kids leave
Theme of the Week: Being Average. Enjoy our home page quotes, that
reflect our theme, for added inspiration and motivation this week
Good luck is a residue of preparation.
I'd love to hear from you.
Comments, suggestions, or just to say
hello. Just REPLY to this email with a short note.
And remember...Being organized creates a happier,
healthier, more fulfilling life!
Get Organized Now!
This is the end of our|
Regular Newsletter Content
If you'd like to learn more about|
Today's Special, Gotta Have Resource
you will find that information below.
Special 'Gotta Have' Resource
Don't Study Harder...Study Smarter!
Introducing the Speed Study System
Anyone Can Use to
Get Better Grades
in Less Time and With Less Effort
To fast-forward to getting better grades, visit:
In my neighborhood, back-to-school is happening in just a few weeks. Whether YOU
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split-second, and spend the rest of the day doing the things you want to do
* The 5-step system you can use to organize your academic work, social
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* How to excel at sports, have an active social life and still get As and Bs in
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P.S. Because we are BIG believers in this program and in helping anyone in
school to do as well as possible, when you order anything from the Get the Best
Grades web site, BEFORE SUNDAY, AUGUST 20TH AT 11:59 p.m. (CST) email me
and I'll send you $125 in complimentary bonuses as follows...
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* Holidays for Family Travel Tips
* Directions for Improving Your Life
* Grad Expectation: The essential guide for all graduates entering the work
* A Plum in the Syrup: 17 Suggestions, Observations and Truths You Can Adopt to
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P.S. Because these bonuses are exclusively available for my readers, you won't
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for helping to spread the gift of organizing far and wide!
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