Sunday, March 23, 2014

Notebook Organization

I used to be one of those people who used a Frankln Planner (before it became Franklin/Covey), so I understand the importance of keeping a notebook for specific reasons.  I don't use a planner anymore for my day, I use the Calander and Home Routines apps on my iPad for that.

I use my Contacts app to keep down names (however I need to also keep track of birthdays there as well).

I've found, though, that with all of the people I come into contact with for various reasons, I need some way of keeping everyone straight.  And, as Mom's needs become more of my own needs, I need a way of keeping track of whom she sees for what.  So, I came up with what I call my Business Cards Notebook.

This was part of that shopping haul I did at Staples.  And yes, I had a plan when I went in and bought all of this stuff.  I have had to go back and get a few extra items once I started to put everything together, but I think I've pretty much got the finished product.

The first sections, when I open up the book has a pocket on the inside front cover that I am using for reminder notices of upcoming appointments.  Sometimes I will get these in the mail, and putting them here gives them a home.

I also have a pocket pouch that has some labels and Post-It notes.  This is to give me quick access to something to write on when I need to make a quick note of something.

I then used the plastic dividers from Avery that are supposed to be writeable - however I used my label maker to label the different "zones" of the business cards and information.

As you have probably guessed, a lot of the stuff in the Mom zone are to keep track of her doctors, as well as using the lined notebook paper to keep track of drug and food allergies and her medications.  These are critical things to have quick access to in emergencies.

I then have a few more of the card holders to have a place for gift cards:

I have more pockets behind these to store additional important items such as my immunization record, return address labels and stamps.  I also purchased a pack of the "zip lock" style protectors for my checkbook to keep everything from falling out.

There is a storage flap on the back cover, I will probably use that for receipts if I need to.  I also kept a few extra pages of paper, for additional notes as necessary.

I also found that Staples has an Adhesive Pen Holder, which only cost $1.99!  This I put on the front cover of the notebook.  I bought a spare in case this one gets lost or damaged.

I also have a separate filing system for any coupons I use for shopping:

Bag Lady

My friends who know me, know that I have somewhat of an obsession with bags.  I'm not into the frilly stuff, it has to be functional, so mostly what I have are tote bags.

My favorites in the past have been from Baggalini, I had a larger one that housed a change of clothes that I kept in the school.  Why?  Working with people, no matter the age, puts you into contact with body fluids.  Enough said.

I used a smaller one for everyday.  The problem was it was strictly a shoulder bag, which meant it was always flying into my face when I was trying to help Mom with something, and I could never get it to stay on my shoulders, even while walking through a grocery store.  This latest bout with bronchitis clinched it, I had a bunch of medications to haul with me wherever I went, and no space to put them in.  Plus, there was no space for my iPad, which I also take with me for reading, writing and sometimes just for my sanity while I am taking Mom to doctor's appointments.  There needed to be a change.

I thought a lot about what I wanted in a purse.

The first and foremost was that it had to be a cross-body strap.  It isn't going to fall all over the place while I'm taking care of Mom.

The second, it had to hold stuff.  Now this did mean that I had to change what I carried in my purse.  I scaled it down to the essentials so I could see how much storage space I would need.  This meant that it also had to be designed to carry an iPad.

There are a lot of great products out there, but the one I found for the best price came from REI.  It's called the Endolyne bag and is designed for a woman's body contours.  Plus, it had the storage I needed, with built in organization.

I would next need an overnight bag, something that was easy to carry, but had a lot of space and organization to it.  I love the Eagle Creek bags for the inventive use of storage, so I went with the Emersen bag from Eagle Creek.

I also have specific bags assigned for different purposes.  This Time Out For Women bag I use for Church.

The Harry Potter bag is one of my preferred tote bags, and I use it for when I have to carry electronics to Mom's home or to Church.

I have also included, inside this bag, an additional bag insert known as the in.bag to help organize some of the electronics. The round object I am using to store the HDMI cord is a Cord Turtle.  Both of these organizers can be found at The Container Store.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

More Baby Steps

Tonight I boxed up my writing supplies into one box, rather than it being scattered all over my home.  In the process, more of the table got cleared off, and my living room looks more of an inviting room and less of a dumping ground.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring Break

Spring Break for me is now officially over, but it's been a great one!

The nightstand next to my bed has been reorganized, and space made for my journals, which freed up bookshelf space elsewhere for Church books.

The entertainment center has been cleared off and looks so much better!

The Windows laptop that was also accumulating stuff was cleared off and moved to the desk in the office that was also cleared off to make space for it.  Taxes this year will be a lot easier to get done!!

The couch was also cleared off, allowing me to be able to lay down while watching tv after having two root canals done on Friday.

The diningroom table is not completely cleared off, however a significant amount of stuff that belongs elsewhere has been put away.

The iCreate and other Mac magazines have been boxed up in the office, and some of the older and no longer used technology has also been boxed up, allowing me to better organize some of the initial "zones" in my office.  The next up will be gathering and boxing up my writing notebooks and other supplies into one spot, plus boxing up the computer books.

Eventually I will be dismantling the desk in the office and getting rid of it, it takes up too much space that is needed for CD/DVD/book storage, along with an area for me to put the tech stuff that isn't currently being used in the office.  Trust me, it will make sense.  I know what I want, it's just taking a little while to get there.  What will help in this endeavor will be getting my bookshelf and my platform bed moved here from Mom's.  It's the last of my furniture that did't get moved over before Decker died.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

More Progress!

Rachel has found a new place to perch... due to some cleaning and organizing.l


Cleared off bedroom end table, moved journals to shelf at the bottom of the end table.

The washer repairman came and replaced the timer that had gone out.

Costco - gassed up car and paid annual renewal fee.

Fasting bloodwork @ doctor's office.  This had to wait due to the amount of time I spent waiting for the repairman.

Denny's late breakfast treat.

REI - new purse.  I'll post about this later.

Laundry on my now working washer!  Yay!

Today was cleaning the entertainment center top, where Rachel found a place to perch.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

JC Penney Part 2

I guess I didn't make the 24 hour tech free day (supposed to be from sundown yesterday to sundown today).

I went to JC Penney today to get my hair cut and I wanted to make a few observations.

1.  I do like the new look of the store, although some of the flooring is still not completed.

2.  While waiting for my hair appointment, I noticed all of these wonderful gadgets to use on hair.  Then I looked out the doorway to where the luggage was.  Do you know what was missing?  Toiletry bags and envelopes to use for those gadgets that people use on their hair.  What are they supposed to use for that stuff once they have bought the pretty luggage?

3.  I went over to the purses.  They don't have any nice ones (I like pockets and lots of pockets) that also fit my iPad.  Something I can use daily.  I guess I'll have to go to the Container Store for that.  There was nothing in the luggage area for it, either.

4.  One major downer:  they got rid of the wi-fi at the salon.  For a while (when they had the forner Apple guy as CEO) they actually had wi-fi in the salons.  The new management has taken a step backwards and turned it off.  Apparently these guys have never had to wait for 45 minutes for the hair color to process, only to find you couldn't download a good book if you wanted to.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Tonight was recycling night, so after two trips to the recycling center, I am seeing some progress.

I already have load #3 ready for tomorrow night, and I've finally remembered to take a box of books I've been wanting to give to one of my co-workers down to my car tonight, so I can take it in to her at work tomorrow.  She's a sci-fi nut like Decker was, so hopefully she'll find something in the batch I've brought for her.  

These were all hardcovers, I have more in paperback to also give her if she wants them.  What she doesn't want I can take to Bookmans or Changing Hands Bookstore to sell.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Shopping Haul

Yes, I went shopping today.  I spent more than planned, which is not such a good thing, but it was stuff that was all needed (okay maybe Season 4 of Downton Abby is not considered a need, but it will be when I have oral surgery in a few weeks).


Besides the bottled water and Vitamin water, I also got some more of my file boxes (they are also known as banker's boxes) and saw a wonderful item that I have been in need of to help keep up with the bills.

I'll give a picture tour later on to show how I use the storage boxes with my filing system.  The desk organizer will be very useful to use in my office, once I can get furniture moved in and get things better organized, plus get a new desk for the office.

Total bill:  $158


I love the deals that Staples and Office Max have every once in a while, the promo where if you can fit it in a bag, you get a percentage off.  Today was the last day of getting one of those deals with a 20% off coupon.

What I got:

A smaller Staples Better Binder, along with inserts to house business cards, some paper and some pockets.  This is going to be somewhat of a home binder, with the business cards coming from the various companies I use for repairs and maintenance.  I already have a large binder for emergency preparedness, however I need to get the vital records documentation sorted in that (such as Decker's death certificate, etc.).

Also, two packages of the expanding file pockets.  These I use in conjunction with the banker's boxes. I've used this system for years, I just got a little messy and not very good at keeping it up since Decker's death, so I need to get back into the groove of the system.

Total:  $44 after discounts.

99 Cent Only Store:

This was a store located next to Walmart.  I couldn't get into the Walmart parking lot and ended up parking at this store instead, so I thought I would check it out to see what it had.  I've been to discount stores before, this one is larger and has more items, including it's own grocery section.

I got:

2 packages of fortune cookies
1 package of almond cookies
Letter organizer for a desktop (to be used in the dining/entryway area of my home for outgoing letters and bills)

Air fresheners (the scent is hard to find at Walmart - they are usually out of stock)
2 packages of black ink pens
1 package of sticky post-it notes
1 Dish drying mat for my emergency supplies

Total:  $12