Favorite Container #12: The Keyring App

December 16, 2013 20:16 by elizabeth

For the last installment of my year-long Favorite Container series I am highlighting an app that helped me to organize and “contain” my store loyalty cards: Keyring.

In 2010 I wrote about a great card holder for store cards. I got many compliments and queries about the card holder, and for three years it was the perfect old-school solution for me.

But since I’ve got this iPhone, I thought I should explore new ways it can make my life easier. The Keyring app does just that. It’s easy to scan and load your card information on to the app, which then stores the barcode or information. When you are at the store the clerk simply scans the barcode from your phone…and you don’t have to hassle with finding the right store card or sharing your phone number. It also works for storing my library card! The app is available for the iPhone, Android and Windows 7 phones.

What apps have made your life easier this year?

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Great Tip for Grocery Shopping

September 20, 2013 13:54 by elizabeth

MP900422831In the recent edition of my email newsletter, The Neat Sheet, I presented some tips for grocery shopping. I got some great responses from readers about that article.

Here’s one idea that I just had to share: this mom gets her boys to do some of the shopping! Her boys are in elementary and middle school so they are able to read a list and find the items. She sends them to get an item that’s an aisle or two ahead of where she is.

The mom noted that “it keeps them busy, gives them a sense of ownership (we are shopping because they get hungry too), and keeps them from arguing too much.” 

I love this idea because it builds the boys’ independence and responsibility, and anything that can reducing the arguing is a good thing!

Thanks for the great tips.  Feel free to email elizabeth@thatsneatorganizing.com your great ideas!

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Favorite Container #2: Media Storage Box

February 12, 2013 17:44 by elizabeth

Here in the Boston area we are still digging out from last weekend’s blizzard that dumped 2 to 3 feet of snow. With two snow days off from school, we ended up with a long weekend. In between shoveling and sledding we watched a lot of movies!IMG_0143

Watching movies is the inspiration for my Favorite Container for February: clear media storage boxes.

This great storage box comes from The Container Store. It’s clear, sturdy and stackable. It’s easy to look right through the top and find just the right movie. It also slides out of the cabinet, so I’m not shifting through lots of loose DVD boxes looking for what I want.

At first I was skeptical that I needed a box made for media, but it is the perfect size – with no wasted space. Once I had one box it worked so well, I had to get some more. We’ve now used these boxes to organize all our DVDs and games in our family TV room.

Your Turn: Can you find movies when you need them? If not, it may be time to get them organized. With all the on-demand options for watching movies now, be sure you are only keeping movies that you really watch and enjoy!  And finally, don’t even think about keeping VCR tapes unless you still have a working VCR.

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December Donations

December 13, 2012 20:38 by elizabeth

April 15th,calendars,deadlines,government,income taxes,Photographs,taxesWhen sorting papers or dealing with mail, my clients often put aside requests from non-profit organizations, arts groups, and schools to make an “end of the year gift.”  The folder or pile grows and grows.

Well, the end of the year is around the corner!  Now is the time to pull out that folder or get to that pile of requests, and make your decisions.

Here’s what to do:

  • Find your folder or stack of donation requests.
  • Grab your checkbook, or your laptop if you pay online.
  • Sort requests by organization/group, and throw out multiple requests from the same place.
  • If you write checks, keep a list with the organization’s name and the amount you gave this year.  Use this list to be sure you get all the acknowledgement letters.
  • If you pay online, you should receive an email confirmation. Set up a file in your email program and file all the confirmation emails here.

With a few simple steps you’ll make your donations and be ready for tax time.

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Organizing for Car Trips

November 27, 2012 22:03 by elizabeth

MP900305736When my family set out on our drive to see relatives for Thanksgiving, we actually left on time! Exactly on time, not 10 or 30 or 60 minutes late, which is usually what happens. We sailed along traffic-free and had a great drive to grandma’s house.

What happened so that we got out of the door at the appointed hour?

  • Got out our bags a few days before the trip.
  • Made a list of random things we had to bring – a wedding gift, a stack of books to return to my mom.
  • Packed as much as possible the night before; generally I say I will do this but don’t really pack everything – this time I did it!
  • Used bags to organize: I created a “car” bag for all the random last minute things that need to go in – GPS, camera, snacks, baseball hat.
  • Set up the cereal, bowls and glasses on the counter the night before; this made breakfast easier in the morning.
  • Let everyone in the family know my expectations: when we planned to leave, that we’ll need your help packing the car, etc.

What are your secrets for starting a car trip on time?

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