Winter Car Check

Winter Driving Checklist
[Source: First Lady Maids]

Winter transportation can mean ice, snow, and hazardous roads. Road conditions can change in an instant. Before traveling, give cars a winter preparedness exam:

  • Check antifreeze
  • Check and replace older batteries.
  • Remember to keep the gas tank near full to avoid freezing water in the fuel line.
  • Check tires and spare tire for proper inflation

Make sure automobiles contain the following emergency supplies:

  • Bag of sand, road salt or non-clumping cat litter. The bag’s extra weight means better traction, and the contents can be spread under slipping tires. (Note: some cities have specific regulations about things you can use, consider using towels instead)
  • Ice scraper.
  • Jumper cables.
  • Small shovel (to dig snow away from wheels, or scatter sand on roadway).
  • Tire chains (every driver should practice putting them on).
  • Flares or reflective triangle to warn other motorists if you break down.
  • Blanket.
  • Flashlight and batteries.
  • Gallon jug of drinking water.
  • First aid kit.

When traveling by car, include emergency food and clothing for each traveler. Pack supplies in a backpack in case you need to abandon your car. An emergency backpack should include:

  • Jacket, hat, gloves and snow boots.
  • Nonperishable food.
  • Cell phone.
  • Money.

[Source: First Lady Maids]

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Beth Recommends Books

Beth wrote, “I was just thinking about some books that I have found helpful in the past:”

  • 15 Minute Organiser by Emilie Barnes. Or any of the Emilie Barnes books!
  • The House That Cleans Itself by Mindy Starns Clark. I love this one! It’s totally different to any other book of this type that I’ve read.
  • Sorted by Lissanne Oliver. This is one by an Australian author, who also had a TV show a few years back called ‘Your Life on the Lawn’. She would pull everything out of someone’s house and put in on the front lawn, then they would go through everything and only take back inside what they were keeping.

Thanks Beth! “Your Life on the Lawn” sounds like the TLC show “Clean Sweep”. Very neat!

Room Spotlight: The Desk

  • If you need to conserve space on your desk top, consider a wall mounted inbox and outbox. Or, if you prefer to keep projects at your fingertips, use a two-tier paper organizer on top of your desk. All incoming mail should go in the top tray (or the wall mounted box you designate as your inbox), and use the lower tray for items like mail, filing, and so on. Make sure you don’t use these as a catch-all for junk mail, outdated documents, and other kinds of paper clutter. [Source: EZine Articles]
  • Use the [desk filing] drawer to hold paperwork in hanging files – one for each family member, with subfolders inside to record their medical history, school schedules, important papers, and other items. Put “Action” files in the front of the file drawer so they’re easy to access. Atop the desk, a red folder labeled “Bills to Pay” might find a home in a vertical file. And a basket for sorted mail and/or current projects will help keep your desk clear at the end of the day. (Be sure to sort your mail over the wastebasket.) [Source: EZine Articles]
  • Keep only the things you work on daily on the top of your desk, the things you work on weekly in your desk, and the things you work on monthly around your desk. Toss or archive the rest. [Source: EZine Articles]
  • A pencil drawer should hold pencils and pens, paper, paper clips and highlighters so they’re at the ready when the phone rings or you need to start a grocery list. Relegate the catchall drawer to another spot such as the laundry room or garage. Drawer dividers are a must – they prevent items from sliding to the back of the drawer or getting hidden under papers. [Source: EZine Articles]
  • On a day to day basis, an organized system can help save time; bank and property statements will be easy to locate at tax time and birth certificates easy to lay hands on during sports registration periods, for example. In the event of a death, family members won’t have to wonder where the deceased could have hidden a will, but will find it easily. [Source: EZine Aricles]
  • Important documents: While they aren’t needed too frequently, most find that when they are necessary, locating them quickly is usually important. (ie: birth certificates, marriage records, divorce records, social security cards, education records, military records, medical records, social security cards, education records, medical records, genealogy records, death certificates, tax returns, bank statements, stock certificates, savings bonds, home warranties, home insurance, homestead docs, car titles, life insurance, real estate deeds, collectibles, wills, et cetera) [Source: EZine Aricles]
  • Don’t keep what you don’t need on hand: Papers that have your personal information should be shredded or disposed of safely. For your older files that you want to store, use storage boxes and label every box on the side and top with the contents and year. [Source: Squidoo]

Room Spotlight: The Bedroom & Closet

  • Begin by having a clear out. Be ruthless, if you haven’t worn it in 12 months then it has got to go! Then sort the current seasons clothes from the others. If it is summer, then pack your winter things away. This will free up some space and allow the wardrobe to feel less cluttered. Next sort by clothing type- hang dresses with dresses, trousers with trousers and so on. This will save you loads of time when you are putting together your outfits in the morning. If you want to get really into it, you could even order by color! [Source: EZine Articles]
  • Get rid of unwanted clothing: Clothing that you will wear again when you lose 10 pounds or are stained, don’t like or don’t wear.  These clothes are preventing you from finding the things that fit you and look good on you.  Another benefit of getting rid of these clothes is that when you lose 10 pounds you’ll get to buy something that you will really enjoy. [Source: EZine Articles]
  • Remove anything from the closet that shouldn’t be there. [Source: DIY Organization]
  • Get an Over-the-Door organizer: for socks, underwear, belts, scarves, knit hats, slippers, pantyhose, scrunchies, gloves, extra shoes laces, flip flops, and bathing suits. [Source: EZine]
  • You’d be surprised to find out that much of bedroom clutter actually consists of paper. Do throw away old bank statements, old credit card bills, junk mail, printouts you don’t need anymore, and old magazines. As for personal letters, well, this is a tough decision to make. Personally, I don’t have the heart to throw away the letters and cards I’ve received from friends and family over the years, so I keep them under my closet. But if you’re not the sentimental type, then go ahead and get rid of them. [Source: Picky Guide]
  • Scour your dresser for expired cosmetics or products you haven’t used in months and chuck them out. Do not forget to check underneath your bed (God knows what stuff you’ve been hiding in there). [Source: Picky Guide]

Room Spotlight: The Kitchen

Gettin’ in the mood ;)

Earth-friendly Declutter Tips

HAPPY EARTH DAY. Here are a few Earth-friendly tips I wanted to share! Feel free to leave yours in the comments!!

Don’t let your dead/old electronics end up in landfills. Either find an appropriate recycling facility in your area, a community collecting cell phones as a fund raiser, donate them to a good cause, or check out Gazelle.

Buy clothing secondhand AND donate your unneeded clothing and household items to a charity shop. Vintage clothing is considered “in” again, so go through that closet and donate donate donate!

Recycled unneeded, unread, read, used and/or old magazines and newspapers. This paper can be reused, as can a lot of cardboard packaging we wouldn’t normally consider. Try looking at the “trash” products in your household less as “garbage” and instead ask yourself this question: is it recyclable?

Those are just a few things off the top of my head. Any other suggestions?