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Get Organized Now!
Mid-Week Mini Edition

By Maria Gracia
July 5, 2017

  Today's Feature

This Storm Shall Pass...

One day last week, there were some pretty harsh storms rolling though my area. We were actually under a tornado warning, but ended up with very high wind, rain falling from the sky in buckets, and hail. Looking through my Facebook feed shortly after the storms had passed, I had mixed emotions. I was grateful that there was no noticeable damage on my property, but I felt bad for my neighbors who had damaged gazebos, cars, and homes from a combination of the gusty wind, fallen trees, and flooding. The storm left behind a big mess for many people.

Cleaning up after a storm is never pleasant. Here are a few ways you can do so safely.

Flooding: If you notice water beginning to enter your house, turn off the power...ONLY if you can access it without stepping in water. Popular Mechanic's advises, 'Never go into a flood-damaged basement or a basement filled with water until the utility company, fire department, or a licensed electrician has removed the home's electrical meter from its socket.' If you smell natural gas, turn off the gas, leave your home immediately, and call the gas company. If you happen to have flood insurance, call the insurance company.

Damaged Trees: Assess your tree damage. If there are just broken branches, work on picking those up, gathering them in one spot, and calling your city officials to determine proper guidelines for disposal. If you have to remove a tree, call in a certified arborist or local landscaping company for information or assistance. If a tree fell on your house or car, call the insurance company, the roofer, and a tree-removal service.

Broken Glass: During a storm, if your windows are damaged, move yourself and your family to a room with no windows for safety...such as a laundry room or bathroom. After the storm, cordon off any areas where it's not safe to walk and keep children and pets away from this area. Then, assess the damage, and call your insurance company. Take pictures and video to record the damage. Contact your local window repair company. If you have to temporarily secure a badly damaged window yourself, be sure you put on heavy work gloves and heavy boots, and then cover it with several layers of heavy plastic (garbage bags if nothing else is available), and secure it.

Do a thorough inspection: At first glance, everything may look OK. But don't forget to check your drainage systems, curbs, gutters, and storm drains for water and debris. All of these can sustain damage following a big storm.

Tractor Supply Company offers these 9 additional tips:

Wear proper safety apparel and safety gloves.
Stay away from power lines.
Use flashlights. Never use candles or matches for light.
Stay away from damaged buildings or structures.
Never operate gasoline-powered equipment indoors.
Remove water-saturated materials.
Do not cross rushing water.
Avoid over-exertion. Most people aren't accustomed to this sort of work.

The bottom line is, stay safe. And while it may be difficult to be positive after dealing with storm damage, remember this quote, 'After rain, there's a rainbow. After a storm, there's calm. After the night, there's a morning. And after an ending, there's a new beginning.'

P.S. If you are always on the lookout for new perspectives and creative ideas that inspire and entertain, I have something very special for you this week. It's called Anything and Everything and it's available to you with TONS of complimentary bonuses and a full-year of back issues...but only until this coming Monday! Visit:

Scroll down to the bottom of this issue for full details.

  Ask Maria

Too Much Paper Clutter and a Huge Library...How to Organize?

Reader Question

I have too much paper clutter and my dear library is huge. How do I organize, when there is no place to put stuff?


Response from Maria Gracia


Thanks for your question. One of the biggest mistakes folks make when trying to get organized is thinking they can do so without getting rid of anything. Weeding out ALWAYS comes first. This doesn't mean you have to go the 'minimalist' route, but reducing your belongings when there is no place left to put anything is imperative.

Start with your paper clutter. Papers that you absolutely need to KEEP are:

* your vital documents (birth certificates, passports, deeds, diplomas, and other legal paperwork)

* your documents that prove something important, like ownership (major purchases that you still own (car, boat, appliances under warranties), financial assets and debts

* medical and health information that you cannot easily obtain online

* anything 'truly' near and dear to your heart, but limit sentimental paperwork to the most special

Most other paperwork is a candidate for shredding and discarding. Most people can shred tax paperwork that was used for filing taxes after a period of seven years.

In my house, (and this is a house that has both personal and business paperwork), I have two small filing cabinets for current paperwork (one in my home office and one in my husband's home office, and there is plenty of room in both...they're not stuffed full), and 3 boxes of past tax paperwork (sectioned off by year) in the basement on a high shelf. That's it.

Once you're done weeding out paperwork, it's time for your library. Let's say you have 300 books. If you could only save one-third of them, which titles would you choose? Donate the other two-thirds.

If this is too big of a start for you, say goodbye to three titles every week, but donate them...knowing that someone else is going to be able to enjoy them.

Once you begin to see your spaces emptying out, that's a good time to begin organizing your paperwork into a well-organized filing system, and your beloved books onto your book shelves or book cases.

When it comes to sorting your keepers, always begin with 'Major Categories.' Major categories for paperwork may be Finances, Taxes, Health, and Education to name a few. Major categories for books may be Non-Fiction (e.g. History, How-Tos, Biographies) and Fiction (e.g. Novels, Kids Books) Then, sort into mini-categories as needed. Your final step is to arrange these into their proper a filing cabinet for your papers or book shelves for your books.

During this time and into the future, keep on top of things by sorting through your paperwork daily and recycling a batch each day. Consider borrowing books from your library or reading on an eReader. If you can't go the digital path with books, then donate one for every one you your collection doesn't become unbearable again.

Hope this helps you get started.


We're, once again, accepting Reader Tips and Ask Maria Questions for publication in this mini edition and our newsletter. Just reply and share with us!

  New on our Web Site!

Ask Maria: Do you have trouble saying no to invitations? Here's help!

Recipe: No Bake Lemon effortless summer treat

GON Monthly Checklist: Summer is a wonderful time to get organized...and to reward yourself for your efforts. Check out our NEW July 2017 Organizing Checklist

Dirty Little Secret 1: Need to ripen tomatoes quickly? Here's what I do

Dirty Little Secret 2: I begin every single day with a sense of accomplishment. Here's how

Dirty Little Secret 3: I hate to keep reapplying my makeup. By using this secret weapon, I know it will last all day

Mini Challenges: Seven days worth of mini challenges to get you through the first week of you can feel accomplished, and have plenty of time to enjoy yourself as well. Here goes

In ADDITION, on our home page, you'll also find lots of NEW and featured STUFF including...

Social Media Spotlight: When too much stuff gets in the way of all the good stuff

Please do not pass the salt. Guess how much salt the average person is eating every day...and where it's coming from. Then, check out the facts on my home page

Theme of the Week: Seashells...and our home page quotes reflect that theme. Use them for added inspiration and motivation this week

  In Closing

I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better. --Maya Angelou

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!


Maria Gracia
Get Organized Now!

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How to Use This Newsletter

In this newsletter, you will find stories, ideas, inspiration, links and more to help you live a less stressful, more organized, more fulfilling life. We encourage you to apply these ideas to your own life AND share them liberally with your family, friends, and fan base via email, on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, other social media outlets, and in person, of course!

When you share, please mention my name and web site - Maria Gracia - as the source.

Thank you for helping to spread the gift of organizing far and wide! -- Maria

(c) Copyright 2017 by Maria Gracia, Get Organized Now!

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