Archive for Travel Organizing

8 ways to organize a vacation in 2020, enjoy them all

2020 has been an unusual year. You may have been working less and feel like you don’t need a vacation.  Even though you were working less you weren’t on vacation.  A vacation is a time to step away from all the concerns of your job, in an office, in a home office and tasks in your home.  This break from normal routines and responsibilities lets you rejuvenate and have more energy in the future. Shannon Torberg, PsyD, LP says in The Importance of Taking a Vacation,  “A number of studies have shown that taking time away from the job can have physical and psychological health benefits. People who take vacations have lower stress, less risk of heart disease, a better outlook on life, and more motivation to achieve goals. The bottom line is, taking time away from the stresses of work and daily life can improve our health, motivation, relationships, job performance, and perspective and give us the break we need to return to our lives and jobs refreshed and better equipped to handle whatever comes. ”

Now you know why you deserve one here are some styles of vacations to plan in 2020.

A vacation from your computer. 

laptop and 75" monitor screen

Most of your work is on your computer.  Close it and put it away.  Pretending to be on a vacation by looking at your computer less frequently is not a break from work.  Put an autoreply message on your email explaining when you will respond to emails.

A vacation from your normal routines

A woemen wearing white pants and blue shirt  holding a blue cleaning cloth and spray bottle

A stay at home vacation might be the perfect solution for you this year.  Take time to plan it. “Research shows the biggest boost in happiness comes from planning the vacation. A person can feel the effects up to eight weeks before the trip!” Don’t miss out on the planning.  Change your normal routines, bedtime, getting up in the morning, meal times, activities.  Stay up later, get up later, have breakfast in bed, eat out, order in, go for walks, swims, rent a bike, sit in your backyard/balcony, read.  Think of all the things you enjoy doing and make a plan for each day of your vacation.   Fill it with things that love doing,  want to try for the first time and that are not part of your normal routines. 

A vacation from your town/city

You may not want to stay overnight in hotels.  You can still plan a vacation outside of your city limits.  There are many communities that surround where you live.  Plan day trips to see local sites and visit markets, parks and walking trails.  Trying googling 5 free things to do in ……. to get ideas of activities and sites to see.

A vacation from loneliness

women isting on a chair with her knees up to her chest with a cup of coffee

During Covid19 there were times when you needed to stay home.  You may have gotten used to doing your own thing.  We are social beings and need to interact with others.  Plan on meeting with someone each day of your vacation.  Plan a social distancing picnic.  Each of you brings your own food and meet at a lovely spot to talk.  If talking is not your strong suit. Meet up with a friend and play a game.  It can be a board game, frisbee, throw a ball or try kubb.

A vacation to try new activities 

There nothing better about a vacation than doing something new.  If you can’t travel somewhere new do something new.  Take a week of lessons and learn how to paddleboard, sew, bike, play an instrument, paint etc.  Treat yourself to a new spa treatment every day. Eat at restaurants you’ve never visited before.  Public golf courses have lovely patios that overlook beautiful green spaces.  Try camping.  Start in your own backyard and then explore other campsites.

A vacation to support your country

The country you live in has a lot to offer.  Too often we don’t appreciate what is right in front of us.  Use your vacation to help local businesses and the tourist industry. Whether you want to travel far or close to home, book a hotel or resort and spend your vacation dollars helping to stimulate the economy.  Over many years I have visited all the provinces and 2 of the 3 territories in Canada.  I am proud to tell people of the lovely places I have seen, the great people I have met, the fun experiences and delicious food.

A vacation to support your mental wellness. 

We all need a break from the stress of work and the uncertainty of the future.  Take time to focus on what you need. Plan your vacation to be only in the present.  It may be a stay at home or an away from home location. Enjoy what is around you, interact with people who encourage you, experience things that refresh you.  You may want to try meditation, yoga or exercise.  Take time to try new healthy foods and recipes.  Experience nature.  Plan each day with activities that will renew you so you can handle what comes next.

A vacation to be with family

man and woman holding hands together with boy and girl looking at green trees during day

During Covid19 some of you may be feeling like you need a vacation away from family.  That is ok too. Communication and interactions with family members may have been strained over the last couple of months.  Take a break, laugh together, do new things, go somewhere unexpected.  Together, plan a vacation.  You may decide that each member of the family plans one day and you all do it.  Each member may get to pick one activity they want to do and you combine all the suggestions together.  Take the pressure off the person who usually needs to make all the plans. Use the time to reset relationships, build new respect for each other and have fun.  I have learned when doing family vacations it is really important to plan into each day a time when everyone does their own thing for a while.  Alone time is just as important as together time during a vacation.

Take time for a vacation and let me know what you did to refresh so you will be better able to handle what comes next. 

If you want to talk over your vacation plans,  book a 30 minute complimentary virtual organizing appointment. It allows me to support you by providing planning and coaching while both remaining safely at home. https://mindoverclutter.as.me/virtualorganizingassessment

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

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Grid It – A Great Organizing Gadget

I enjoy travelling and have travelled to Europe, the East, Australia, throughout Canada, the United States and the Caribbean.

I am going to give 2 tips for travelling with an organized purse.  (It works for backpacks and briefcases too)
  1. Buy a purse that has a light lining.  When the inside of the purse is dark it is very hard to find anything, organized or not.  A lot of items are black or dark in colour, make-up, pens, phones, keys, wallets etc.
  2. Try purchasing a gadget called Grid It.  It comes in many sizes but the small one fits lovely inside a purse and keeps all your small items that you need for flying and travelling neat and tidy.  It is wonderful for holding a pen, earbuds, adapters, candy, phone, keys.  You pull it out of your purse everything is contained on the Grid it and you pull out the items you need and put it back in your purse.  No digging around in the corners to find the thing you want.

How do you keep all your small items easy to find and use? Share your tips in the comments.

Grid It

Use it to organize your electronic devises when you are travelling

 

Grid It

Great for organizing items in your purse when you are travelling

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter    Facebook    Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click her if you want to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

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Organizing your medication for your health and safety – medicine cabinet 101

Medicine Cabinet 101

How to Store Pharmaceuticals

My guest blogger is Laura Schwecherl who is writing for  Health Perch a digital magazine from the USA.  Many of the tips in this article apply no matter where you live. BY

Cholesterol-lowering pills and allergy eye drops may reside on the bed stand. The medicine cabinet probably holds a cluster of medications (antacids, asthma inhalers, antibiotics) and a few stray ibuprofen may even float around the bottom of your handbag. More than one third of American adults regularly use over-the-counter medications and 65 percent of all adults in the U.S. (roughly 131 million people) use prescription drugs. But not all of us know how to store and dispose of medication safely.

We’ve got your medicine cabinet covered with a comprehensive guide on storing and disposing prescription and OTC drugs. Read on to learn how to stay out of harm’s way.

The Best Way to Store Your Meds

Store it right: How and where to keep your medications

Up to 50 percent of chronic disease patients (for instance people with arthritis, asthma, cancer, COPD, diabetes) fail to follow directions and take their medicine as prescribed. A simple misstep can lead to higher health risks and medical bills.

One way to avoid this problem is to stay organized. While some households store meds in a number of locations, it’s easier to keep track when they’re all in one place. Try to make medicine taking a part of your daily routine (whether it’s right after breakfast, before dinner, or before bed—whatever your doctor suggests based on the requirements of each medication) and stick to a schedule. Pill organizers are another great way to prevent confusion if you or a family member takes multiple pills a day. It’s also a great idea to take an inventory of your prescriptions at least once every six months.

When choosing a place to keep prescriptions, seek a spot that stays cool and dry, such as a kitchen drawer away from appliances (heat and moisturecan damage pills). For this reason, a medicine cabinet in the bathroom may not live up to its name, unless the bathroom is well ventilated with fans or windows.

Travel poses its own obstacles. If you’re traveling in the car, don’t keep medicine in the glove compartment, which can get very hot. If you’re jet setting, pack prescriptions in a carry-on bag in case your luggage is lost or temporarily delayed. Pack medicine in the original bottle and take a copy of your prescription to avoid any trouble with security.

The Best Way to Dispose of Meds

How to properly dispose of medications

This isn’t a simple toss in the trash situation. Discarding pills is a matter of safety: Many medicines are unsafe if taken by the wrong person. Medications that have passed the expiration date can also be dangerous.

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) provides specific guidelines to dispose prescriptions safely.

Take old, unused, or expired prescriptions out of the bottle and throw them away. It’s best to mix them with icky garbage such as coffee grounds, cat litter, or compost. This helps prevent others from getting into those pills. (Every year, more than 60,000 kids go to the emergency room because they took medicine that wasn’t theirs.)

Experts have mixed feelings about flushing prescriptions down the toilet. Some question it due to trace amounts of drug residues found in surface water. Groups including the FDA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have closely monitored this issue and so far have not reported any apparent safety or environmental issues.

The simple rule of thumb? Only flush medications if the label or your doctor says it’s safe. (Here’s a list of meds that can take a trip down the toilet.)

To ensure safety on all fronts, head to a designated drop off site. There are also many community take-back programs for old medicines. Head to theDEA website to see what’s available near you.

Check with your local pharmacy.  If you are a customer, they will take your expired medication and get rid of it for you.

Safety First!

Rx safety tips for effective prescription use

Popping pills isn’t a one-and-done endeavor. There are some easy guidelines to make sure you take prescriptions the intended way. Additionally, you can pledge to store medications safely and learn more about pharmaceutical safety at Up and Away.

So without further adieu, here are 14 tips to make sure you store and take medications safely.

Always ask. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They’re the experts when it comes to the proper way to take, store, and get rid of them.

Check the expiration date. Always check the expiration date on the bottle. Expired medicines may not only be ineffective, they could be harmful too.

Look for warning signs. Check for pills that look discolored or dried out. If anything looks funky, take a picture and call your doctor to make sure it’s still safe to consume.

Never reuse and recycle. Still have that prescription cough medicine that expired in 2012? Always discard leftover medicine even if you think you may use it again. It’s always best to have a doctor prescribe new medicine despite any similar symptoms.

Keep it in the same container. The bottle’s tint helps protect pills from light and lists important information including the name of the prescription, when to take it, and your pharmacy’s number for when it’s time for a refill.

Don’t mix meds. Many pills look similar, and it’s easier than one might think to accidentally pop the wrong one.

Remove the cotton. Some pill bottles come with cotton inside to help protect pills that are shipped from online pharmacies. Remove the cotton as soon as you open the bottle. The cotton attracts moisture, which could decrease the medication’s strength.

Separate from your spouse. Keep your medicines separate from your spouse or other family members to lower the chances of mixing.

Open in a safety zone. Open meds on a countertop so you can rest the bottle on a flat surface. There’s always a chance of a pill slipping out of the bottle, and you don’t want to lose it on the floor or down a drain.

Keep the lights on. Don’t take pills in the dark or in bad lighting. Good light helps ensure you take the right pill and correct dose.

Lock ‘em out. It’s crucial to lock your prescriptions in a drawer if you have small kids.

Close it tight. Use that arm strength to close the lid tight. This also helps childproof the bottles.

Be prepared in case of an emergency. Call your poison control center immediately if you think a child may have taken one of your prescriptions. Save the number in your phone so you can dial right away.

Conclusion

By now, you should be an expert on pill safety—from storage and use to proper disposal. Stick to these guidelines (and some common sense) and you’ll be on the fast track to health.

Share how you organize your medications in the comments.  My 91 year old dad made an excel spreadsheet to track the timing of his eye drops after he had cataract surgery.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter  Facebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

Click here if you want to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer? 

 

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Organizing for a road trip

This advise appeared in the P.O.S.T Professional Organizing Strategies and Tips newsletter. To learn about Professional Organizers in Canada  click this linkhttp://www.organizersincanada.com/.  

There’s something about summer, the lure of the open road and the promise of a change of scenery that makes us want to load up the car and just go some place. If there’s one time you really want to be organized, it’s when you’re travelling. Travelling requires more organization than we may possess in our daily lives, so cut the stress by following an organizing checklist for inside the car.

Planning & Prepping

  • Make sure your car is good condition –  oil checked, tires inspected and filled – test the air conditioning and wiper blades.
  • Driver’s licence, passports, insurance card, ownership and registration, and contact numbers for roadside assistance should be readily accessible. Make spare copies and leave with a travel companion.
  • Spare tire and jack – are in good shape and are easy to access. An emergency car tool kit should include an orange flag or pylon that you can use to signal for help if needed. Learn how to change a flat tire.
  • Spare set of keys – in case they get locked inside the car or drop out of your pocket. (Even if you have to call a locksmith to open the car, you’ll be able to drive when it’s unlocked.)
  • Plastic grocery bags for garbage – always!

    Back seat organizer

    Keep your backseat organized with a portable blue bin

  • These blue bins fit between two seats and can hold a lot of gear. Each young member of the family can have their own bin for a blanket, sweatshirt, hat, sunglasses, spare shoes. They can access anything that they need on their own and have a place to wrangle their souvenirs.
  • A file box with a labelled folder for each section of the road trip.

Maps

  • A traditional map or print custom maps for your journey at GoogleMaps or MapQuest Route Planner. CAA or AAA will also provide route maps.
  • (GPS) A Global Positioning System – some travelers say they wouldn’t leave home without one!
  • APPS are available on smartphones to find everything from restaurants, hotels, parks, other points of interest as well as weather reports and plenty of games, quizzes and puzzles for young ones.
  • Book the hotel ahead so you don’t have to find a place at the end of the day. Find hotels with generous cancellation policies.

In-Car Diversions

  • Music –  A playlist or CD collection if you’re travelling through an area where radio signals might be sketchy.
  • Audio Books, DVDs and a laptop are great to have because it means you don’t need to spend time uploading content to your phone or ipad before the trip when you may be busy.  Check out your local library.
  • Spare batteries, charging cables and electricity power converter for electronics.
  • Healthy Snacks: fruit (apples can keep well for a long time), pretzels, granola bars, crackers and nuts, along with a few fun treats. A trip to the grocery store along the way can help you save money too, because the costs of dining out can add up.
  • Beverages: A soft-sided cooler packed with water bottles and low-sugar soft drinks.

Toiletries within easy reach

  • Tissues, paper towels, cleaning wipes, hand sanitizer and a roll of toilet paper, in case the rest stop isn’t well-stocked.
  • Prescription medicines as well as basics like pain relievers, antacids and remedies for motion sickness.
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and insect repellent.
  • A first aid kit with antiseptic and band-aids for minor cuts, cortisone cream for insect bites, and bandages.

Clothing & Comfort

  • Wear comfortable clothing – no items which restrict or bind.
  • Wear shoes that are easy to take on and off. Always have a pair of closed toe shoes available.
  • A sweater or jacket over a T-shirt for instant respectability in public areas.
  • A small blanket if you disagree on the temperature setting within the car.
  • A pillow from home for an unfamiliar hotel bed.

Finally

  • Think twice before posting about your trip on social media if your house is currently empty!!

What is your best travelling tips? Share it with us in the comments.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter     Facebook   Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

 Click here if you Want to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

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