Stop Losing Your Things with 5 Easy Tips

Between our hectic lives and sometimes hectic physical spaces it’s easy to occasionally lose things. Whether it’s your keys, cell phone, or some other important item, the loss of a belonging can cause serious difficulties in our lives. You can keep this problem from happening with a few small tricks.

1) Everything in it’s Place: The old adage is helpful when it comes to losing things. Designate homes for your belongings and commit to returning them to these locations once you are done with them. As a secondary level of organization, attempt to keep like items with like items. This will assist in at least getting you to the general area in which the item should be located.

2) Launch Pad: A launch pad is an area of your home that houses items that you consistently take with out outside, such as your purse, wallet, keys, and cell phone, etc. Ideally, it should be located near the entrance to the home and have enough space to store the items neatly. When entering the home deposit the items and do not move them again until you leave.

3) Mental Notes: Even when we have the good intention of leaving an item a place we think we’ll remember, it sometimes slips from our memory. Science tells us that if you actively chose to make a mental note when leaving the item somewhere you’ll be more likely to remember the location later. So when you are setting something down, take a moment to say to yourself ‘I’m leaving my phone on the kitchen counter’ or something similar.

4) Out & About: Experts state that the top 4 places for losing things are airports/airplanes, restaurants, public restrooms, and hotels. That being true, we need to be especially aware of our possessions when out and about. To keep from leaving things, commit to a routine of checking for your items before leaving the location. For example, before you leave a hotel room, check the closet, drawers, under the bed, in the bathroom, and around the room. Think of the process as the final step before you can check out and you’ll lessen the chances of leaving that phone charger on the wall.

5) Technology: If these tricks don’t help, resort to technological help. KeyRinger, a sound-enabled locator device, can be attached to keys, remotes, and other items. FindmyiPhone is an app that can be downloaded to an iPhone that allows GPS tracking of missing iPhones.

We hope these tricks help, but remember the most important thing to keep in mind when something has become lost is to stay calm. It’s likely you know where it is, so as long as you remain composed you should be able to locate it.


20 Ways to Get Organized in 10 Minutes or Less

Most people would love to be more organized, but have a tough time executing the steps needed to get there. Fortunately, there are quick fixes that overtime can lead to a more organized life. Check out our ideas below and add your own via comments.

  1. Put away the stacks of folded laundry currently living on a chair/floor/dresser top, etc.
  2. Remove wire dry cleaning hangers and put them in your car to return with the next dry cleaning drop off
  3. Throw out expired food
  4. Review a stack of mail and trash, shred, or file the contents
  5. Gather excess travel size personal care products and put them in a bag for donation
  6. Toss single socks whose mates have long been lost
  7. Delete 25 emails from your inbox
  8. Pick one surface to clean, remove all unnecessary items, and return them to their homes
  9. Clean out your purse or wallet
  10. Make a To-Do list
  11. Recycle magazines that are 4 months old or older. If you would like to keep it for specific info, tear out the article and place it in a dedicated magazine binder with plastic sleeves
  12. While at the gas pump, do a sweep of the car and throw out any trash
  13. Add yourself to a ‘do not mail’ list, such as
  14. Create 3 file folders on your computer and add appropriate documents from your desktop
  15. Review your kitchen gadget drawer and pick out any duplicates. Place dupes in a bag in your car for donation
  16. Look through your coupon file and recycle anything that’s expired
  17. Select 1-3 pairs of shoes that haven’t been worn in the past year and ready them for donation
  18. Pick 3 file folders that you haven’t touched in a couple of years and review the contents. Try to throw out as much as possible
  19. Throw out expired medications
  20. Add 10 minute blocks to your calendar for future organizing sessions

Good luck!


How To Stay Organized When You Are Moving With Kids

No matter what your situation, staying organized during a move is a daunting task. There is so much to do and to plan, and there are always unexpected problems popping up at the last minute. Parents of young children especially have their work cut out for them. Not only do kids usually have a disproportionate amount of things to pack (especially the tricky to organize toys), parents have to make sure that favorite toys don’t get accidentally packed away and they still have access to the right food, toiletries, and supplies that come with raising a kid. Plus, kids are especially disturbed by a change in their routine, which means they might be in need of some additional time and attention – two things that you will be very short on during a move! In short, staying organized for a move when you have children is challenging, but here are a few tricks to ease the process:

Make A Kid-Friendly Checklist

A checklist can be a great way to stay organized for any task, so why not get started teaching this valuable skill to your kids? Some of the anxiety that children face during a move is a fear that their favorite possessions aren’t going to make it to their new house. Help alleviate this fear by going through their room together and making a checklist of their things. Spend some time helping them pack and checking off the items as you go along. This will help to put them at ease and reassure them that nothing important gets left behind. You can even give them special stickers to decorate the boxes once they are all packed up. This will also give you the chance to make sure their rooms get packed up in an organized way.

Get A Helper

Once your distraction technique has run its course and you can sense your child becoming antsy or bored, it might be time to call in some reinforcements, they can be that assistance you need . This is a challenging time for a child, so why not arrange for their favorite babysitter to take them to the park or to the swimming pool? Even if it is for a short period of time, you will be amazed at how much more you can accomplish when your little one is away – especially if you know that they are out having fun! If you are moving to a new city or state, this is also a great time to arrange play dates with their friends, on this Website you will find some of the best Worldwide Moving Companies for either business and residential situations.

Remember, this is a stressful time for everyone in the family. These tips will help you stay organized and happy throughout your move.

This post was generously written by Logan B. Logan is a guest author and organization expert. When he isn’t writing, he’s helping people find the best moving company for the job.

Getting There on Time: The Secret to Punctuality

Much of the work I do is focused on helping clients manage their space and belongings in a more efficient way. However, personal organization, including time management, can be just as important. One thing we as aspiring organized people forget to lump into the time management category is actually getting places on time. In fact, this can be one of the greatest organizational challenges people face on a daily basis.

I myself struggle with being punctual now and then, but I do believe it is extremely important to put your efforts towards arriving to events, appointments, and outings with friends on time. It gives the right impression to colleagues, clients, and pals that you respect their time and take them and yourself seriously. For your children, modeling punctuality instills a healthy respect for structure and routine, thus setting them up for success in the future.

Easier said than done, I know. Sometimes, the odds of public transportation, traffic or your never-ending to-do list simply keep you from making the punctuality grade. And that is okay now and then, as I said before. Things happen! However, there are a few tricks we can each use in our day-to-day lives to increase our on-time factor and decrease the self-created factors the keep us from getting where we need to be.

The most helpful advice I can give is to work backward. This is a tip I’ve recommended before in previous posts. Think about when you need to arrive to pick up your children or to meet your girlfriends for evening drinks. From there, allocate your time based on one-two hour increments backward from the time you need to LEAVE to get there, RATHER than the time you need to BE THERE. For example: To meet your girlfriends across town by 6:30pm, you should leave your house by 5:45. Give yourself one hour to get dressed and touch up your makeup and hair, starting at 4:45. If your day starts at 7:45, that gives you 9 hours to take care of your work, chores, etc. Your half-way point is 12:30pm. Also, don’t forget to build in a few breaks for lunch, personal tasks, and brief moments of me-time.

If you are a person on the go, use the alarm function on your phone to signal the end of one of your 2 hour time increments. When the alarm sounds, move on to the next task – unless you are on a roll of course! If you’re a person who sits in front of the computer all day, use your calendar as a to-do list, so that you are always aware of the time you’ve given yourself to complete necessary tasks. Build travel time (and potential traffic delays) into that plan to set yourself up for successfully arriving to your desination on time.

As you can see, I believe that managing the time in your day will help you to view getting places on time as another ‘to-do’, rather than optional. By adopting a few of these suggestions, you too can work towards the goal of getting there on time. You’ll be surprised at how gratifying it feels to arrive at the right time and your friends, family and colleagues will appreciate it too.

Good luck!

Planning a Well-Organized Vacation

Summer has arrived, and that means it’s time to start planning that well-deserved and well-organized vacation with friends, family – or both! Though the anticipation of getting away can be motivating and exciting, organizing a trip can be downright overwhelming. It takes a lot of time to get all of the moving pieces together, but with the right order of operations, you can plan the perfect getaway with an eye towards organization and efficiency.

Luckily, the fun part comes first – choose your destination and the dates you’d like to depart and return. When choosing a destination, be sure to take into consideration the weather, price increases for peak seasons, and any deals that you may have access to (airline points, hotel rewards, etc.). From there, your to-do list should be categorized simply: hotels first, then flights, followed by activities and finally, packing.

When searching for hotels at your vacation destination, do your research. If you’re heading to a less-travelled place, spend some time online reading reviews and travel blogs to get a sense of what types of lodgings there are to suit your style. has an author Patrick, who does a great job of rating and reviewing hotels with plenty of real feedback from previous guests. Whether you book through a discount site like or through the place directly, I recommend calling the hotel to speak to the reservation staff and can give you helpful advice on what airports and ground transportation options are best. They can also provide recommendations for dining and activities in the area!

Now that you have intel on the best lodging, I suggest heading to a site like that searches a number of travel sites to find you the best possible deal on flights to your destination. If you are connecting to another flight or heading to another airport to catch a second flight, make sure to build in the extra time you’ll need to make that connection. If your flight gets in later in the day, give your hotel the heads up that you”ll need late check in.

You’re on your way! Now you should head back to the internet to learn more about what you can do while you’re there. Many hotel websites have sections that recommend local activities, and a number of travel blogs (Johnny Jet, Time Travel, Frugal Travel Guy) can give you insider insight into the best way to make the most of your vacation. For those activities that require advanced planning, go ahead and make those reservations, so that you’re guaranteed the experience.

Now that your itinerary is laid out, you’ll have a better guide as to what you’ll need to pack and for what days you’ll need it. Creating a packing list in an excel sheet by family member will help you track what you have and what you’ll still need to purchase before your departure. In our previous post, we break down the packing process in detail. Give it a read and apply the tips and tricks that work best for you.

And finally, make your vacation count-down calendar! You’ll have something to look forward to as the departure date approaches, and you’ll also be able to set a timeline for when you need to have all items purchased and packed. An app like TripIt can also help keep all of your reservations in one place while on the vacation.

Bon voyage and happy summer!

International Moves: How to Prepare & What to Do

Recently, WOW has been assisting a client with her impending move to a foreign country. Although any move can be stressful, an international relocation adds much complexity to the process. It is important to prepare for such a move months ahead of time and maintain an organized strategy. To help with this, we have created the below list of tasks to address prior to your move. Follow this list and you’ll find yourself living in the new country without issues left over from the U.S.

Tasks to address in your current home:

  • Prepare home for move: cancel lease, sell home, engage renters, etc.
  • Contact utility companies and schedule service end-dates; arrange to pre-pay final bills or have a new billing address/system set up
  • Disengage services: maid, gardener, pool maintenance, etc.
  • Donate non-relocation items to Goodwill. Arrange for a pickup one week prior to move
  • Return any borrowed items and retrieve anything you’ve loaned to friends or neighbors
  • Pack house and all belongings. If shipping your belongings, be sure to pack with extra care

Tasks to prepare for the relocation:

  • Research your new location and secure housing
  • Request digital statements for all necessary incoming mail and bills
  • Make arrangements to obtain copies of school, medical, dental and veterinary records
  • Make preparations for schooling in the new city
  • Obtain list of all schools your kids attended and dates, including contact names and addresses, original transcripts or report cards, list of current text books and course outlines (This will assist you and the new teacher in determining what level your child is at), test results of tests, in particular any standardized exams, particularly for English, Maths and Sciences.
  • Determine if immunizations are required in order to enter new country
  • Double check that passports and travel documents are up-to-date
  • Prepare for communication in new country (international calling plan, etc.)
  • Secure an international drivers license, if necessary
  • Obtain insurance in new country (health, driving, personal, etc.)
  • Meet with an immigration official, if necessary, to discuss required documentation (visas)
  • Check with your account regarding tax requirements in the U.S.
  • Get custom forms for household goods if shipping
  • Arrange for access to funds while overseas (maintain one U.S. bank account)
  • Communicate your new forwarding address to family, friends, interested parties
  • Exchange some money prior to leaving for arrival expenses

Shipping Belongings vs. Selling/Leaving Everything:

  • Determine if you will be engaging an international shipping service or if you will sell all items prior to moving
  • Research at least 3 international freight companies that ship to your new location and compare estimates
  • Make a list of all items being shipped, including values
  • Purchase shipping insurance
  • Prepare to have items packed and ready up to 3 days before pickup
  • Confirm destination location, pickup/drop-off procedures, tracking, and contract details
  • Research airline baggage policy to ensure maximum allowances are not exceeded if bringing many belongings via commercial airlines

Items to carry on the plane:

  • Hard-to-replace documents: passports, birth certificates, immunization records, ID’s
  • Jewelry and other valuables
  • Medications
  • 1-2 days worth of clothing and toiletries

Good luck with your exciting journey and moving company!

For more information on stress free moving, please, visit

Organized Moving: A Checklist

Many of our clients have recently moved into new homes. While a move can be an exciting event, it can also trigger many chores and responsibilities. In an effort to keep you organized and minimize the stress associated with moving, we have created a basic checklist of tasks to execute before, during, and after a move. There are also some packing tips you can follow. In our experience, preparing for these common issues and needs can help to create an easy transition.

4-6 Weeks Before the Move:

  • Research and book a moving company or organize for friends and family to help.
  • Purchase or acquire moving supplies. Moving supply stores are great, but if you’re on a budget you can usually find free boxes behind major retail stores.
  • Sort, organize, and purge while you pack. Ensure an easy move, by carefully labeling boxes with room and contents.
  • Create a moving list inventory and organize a strategy of what will go where.
  • Measure your current furniture and the new space to ensure you have enough room. Door dimensions and tight corners should also be taken into consideration.
  • Investigate new professional service providers and organizations that you may need and set up relationships. These can include doctors, dentists, schools, vets, pharmacies, banks, etc.
  • If you are moving in or out of an apartment building, secure the elevator for your moving day. And ensure to leave the apartment, through Maid2Match, as clean as it was when you first moved in. If your moving truck will need to block anything or park in a designated area, make the necessary arrangements and notify those affected.

1-2 Weeks Before the Move:

  • If repairs or improvements are needed in the new home, attempt, if possible, to get them done prior to the move. They will go more smoothly without furniture or family members interrupting.
  • Set up a change of address with and notify your subscriptions and bill providers directly. This is also the time to send out moving announcements to friends and family.
  • Call utility companies (gas, electric, water, garbage, sewage) and organize for the new home to be switched into your name. Schedule a turn-on time for the new place and turn-off time for the current home. Don’t forget to ask the waste management company what day pickup occurs.
  • Research cable, internet, and phone providers in your new area. Set up appointments for service installation.
  • Start using up perishable items and liquids that can be difficult to move. Throw out flammable or potentially toxic items prior to the move.
  • Procure or update items pertaining to your address, including insurance policies, car registration, voter registration, and driver’s license. (Read here to find out how a risky borrower  can get car finance).
  • Empty, defrost, and clean your fridge 24 hours before the move to ensure there will be no leakage.

Moving Day:

  • Verify licenses of movers if applicable.
  • Prepare payment, including tips for the movers.
  • Pack snacks and drinks and/or order lunch for those helping you move.
  • Organize for a cleaning crew to come following the movers departure from the old home.
  • Leave all sets of keys and garage door openers in the old home when you are officially out.
  • Take a wrap up inventory to ensure nothing is missing or broken, prior to signing any close of move documents.

Following the Move:

  • Replace smoke and carbon monoxide batteries. Mark the next replacement on your calendar.
  • Consider having locks re-keyed for safety.
  • Locate your circuit breaker box, water shut-off valve, and fire extinguishers for emergency purposes.
  • Create a filing system for documents related to the new home. The following categories are useful: warranties/purchases, insurance policies, repairs/home improvement, and tax write-offs for moving related expenses.
  • Determine if you need any new storage items, furniture, or other household goods in the new home to create organization from the start.
  • Ask neighbors for referrals for pool maintenance firms, gardeners, and cleaning services. Since they are already in the neighborhood, you can often get a discount.

Remember, the key to a successful move is organization and planning.

Good Luck and visit this site for more information.

Reference: Northern Lights Exteriors.

Organizing Your Digital Life – Part I

Just like the physical items in your home, having an organizational strategy for your digital life can increase productivity and peace-of-mind. Your email inbox, music library, and computer desktop can quickly get out of control, so it’s important to take the extra time to develop a process and system around organizing your data.

Computers: The number one piece of advice I can give any client when it comes to the content on your devices is to use your inbox, home-screen and desktop only for the items you need to access that day or regularly. Consider keeping your desktop clean by only leaving your itunes shortcut, email inbox and gym class schedule on it, for example. Everything else goes in well-labeled folders or secondary screens for easy access. The same goes for your email inbox where well-labeled folders are the key to a clear mind and a clear plan of action for each day. In other words, your inbox should double as the day’s to-do list. If it’s in the inbox, you need to respond or take action on the item that day.

Smart Phones and Tablets: Most smart phones have a homescreen with a menu of apps that pops up every time you turn on the phone. This is the screen where you should house your calendar, email accounts, texts, alarm clock, notes, calculator and any other information you access several times each day. Group together your entertainment apps, including all social media and web platforms like twitter, facebook, pinterest, weather, fandango, etc. on another screen. For financial accounts that you don’t use daily, group them together a layer or two under the most important screens. You can organize your tablets in a similar way. For traditional Kindle, try the archiving feature to get the books you’ve already read out of your main view.

Music library: If you’re like me, your iTunes can get a little out of control with songs you’ve gathered along the way that weren’t named correctly. Most of us have thousands of songs which could take a lifetime just to rename consistently, so I often recommend editing just 5 mis-named songs per day (and if you have the extra time, do 10). By the end of the year, you’ll have a consistent library that is easily searchable for those moments when you MUST hear that song you love.

Each of these recommendations will take a bit of your time to organize, but it really is in your best organizational interest to take that time and get your electronic life in order. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, break each technological arena down by month – by the end of the year, you’ll have your electronic life in order and a few organizational resolutions, resolved!

Good luck, and enjoy!

Prepping For Your Child’s Summer Break

If you’re like many parents that work full-time, your children’s summer break probably requires a lot of planning and organization. Although it’s still roughly three months away, it’s important to begin making arrangements now in order to meet enrollment deadlines and guarantee space.

To prepare for the impending break, first determine if your children will require full-time, part-time, or ad hoc child-care resources. Depending on the age of your children these resources could range from nannies to sleep-away camp. Once you decide which type of resource you will utilize, you can then begin research on your various options. We have included below a list of great websites to help with your process.

Summer Camps:

Local Kids Sports, Arts, & Educational Classes:

Summer Daycare Options:

When selecting your child’s summer plans, be sure to factor in frequency, location, time, age, child’s mental preparedness, and cost. Once you have chosen the best fit, mark on your calendar the deadlines for registration, deposit, and other requirements to ensure they don’t pass you by. Once the official requirements are met, you can begin preparation by making a checklist items or other things they may require (sports equipment, sleeping bags, art supplies, etc.). We also love this free, printable checklist for summer camp packing from

For those with children in their teens or early adult years, you can also assist with their summer plans, such as internships and part-time jobs. As with camps, these often fill up early, so it’s best to start the search now. We recommend collaborating with your older child on a strategy for identifying opportunities, developing necessary application documents, and conducting the actual search/interview process. Below are a couple of excellent resources for part-time job and internship searches.

Part-Time Jobs:

Collegiate Internships:

No matter your specific plans for your children’s summer break, just remember that early preparation and organization is key.

- TWOW Team

Reassess Your Resolutions

It’s the end of February! Time to reassess your New Year’s resolutions.

We ran a feature in our most recent newsletter about planning your goals for 2012.  We wanted to help you plan in a way that will set you up for success over the course of the year.  The end of February is the perfect time to evaluate what is and isn’t working and make positive adjustments to our goals! These adjustments can help get you back on track to achieving your organizational goals without abandoning them altogether.

I recommend taking just 30 minutes of quiet time during a weekend when you’re more likely to feel calm, rather than during the week when you may already be anxious due to work and home duties. In that half hour, pick out the resolutions that are completely off track. Are they relevant to where you are in your life anymore? If not, it’s okay to remove them from the list completely. Let them go. If the goal is still one you’d like to achieve, leave it on the list.

Remember to be realistic in how much time it will take to reach this goal and give yourself a little more time beyond that to get there. Reset your deadline and remember to work backward in setting your milestones. Check that newsletter for a crash course in doing this.

What else? Check back in with your buddy! Let her know that you’ve reassessed your resolutions and the goals you’d like to achieve have changed a bit, but you’ll still need her support in getting there. Set weekly check-ins with each other.

This is your year to reach your goals with diligence. At the same time, be gentle on yourself by performing a resolution reassessment every so often. Readjusting your 2012 to-do list will set you up for continued success over the rest of the year. Priorities change, and so should your goals!

Here’s to 2012, again!


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