Organize and Prioritize on Daylight Savings Day - Sunday, March 9, 2008

BRAMPTON, Ontario - March 2, 2008 - In a move designed to prevent procrastination, Professional Organizer, Karen Sencich, owner of Havoc to Harmony, has declared Sunday, March 9, 2008 as Tackle it Now Day in conjunction with the switch to Daylight Savings Time. The media traditionally reminds the public that clocks will once again "spring forward". Everyone will be urged to check their carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and to check the batteries in their flashlights.

But why stop with only a couple of action items? Why not harness the energy of the entire family for an hour or two in order to systematically tackle the most important priorities, ones that have been put off indefinitely? Our society yearns for "completion energy", that is, the personal satisfaction experienced when a task is finally finished.

With spring school breaks about to begin, this year's Tackle it Now tips include seven days of fun activities that families can implement to organize and prioritize their lives. Organization is an essential life skill to pass on. Instead of dreading the plaintive cry of, "there is nothing to do today", smart parents will find a way to incorporate focused learning opportunities. The trick is to offer educational activities in short bursts and then reinforce the concepts once the basics have been learned.

On Tackle it Now Day choose one task from the list and prepare to tackle it. For a more comprehensive list of household chores refer to the 4 page laminated Tackle it Now guide available at http://www.havoctoharmony.com/.  

 

1. Managing Memorabilia Day

  • Take an inventory of the types of unsorted memorabilia you have - photos, videos, sentimental clothing etc.
  • Decide how you would prefer to store these items and purchase the appropriate containers - photo boxes or albums or shadow boxes.
  • Plan short chunks of time to sort memorabilia and store it in a safe, dry place.

2. Use it up Day

  • Clear out the fridge and freezer and prepare a buffet. Update the grocery list as you go and discuss new additions to the family meal plan.
  • Are there mountains of unused hair care products under the bathroom sink? Decide to use them up or toss them out. Make an inventory list of everyone's favourites to be purchased, only once the excess inventory is used up.

3. Toss it out Day

  • Scour the house for expired merchandise: packaged and canned foods in the pantry, makeup or medicines cluttering up the medicine chest. The bonus will be new found space and fewer duplicate products.
  • Take the opportunity to set a good example by removing non-environment friendly products such as aerosol sprays and toxic cleaners.

4. Do it Yourself Day

  • Assign age appropriate new chores for each child - dishes, garbage, recycle etc.
  • Consider if it is time to switch chores or start a job jar to rotate chores so no one feels stuck with particularly distasteful jobs.
  • Take the time to train the skills and method and establish standards.

5. Emergency Preparation Day

  • Discuss fire exit strategies and what to do if there is a blackout.
  • Review street proofing safety measures.
  • Upgrade medic alert information.
  • Code an IN CASE of EMERGENCY (called ICE) number into all family cell phones so that in an emergency paramedics can contact someone familiar with your medical history.

6. How our House Works Day

  • Take time to familiarize teens with how the house works i.e. what to do if a toilet over flows, how to reset the circuit breakers or change a fuse.
  • Lessons in laundry basics or easy meal preparation take only a few moments but provide the basis for grown up responsibilities.
  • Update the house rules, curfews and use of car privileges to reflect the age of your teen.

  7. Fix it up Day

  • Is there an upcoming renovation or redecorating project that can engage everyone's imagination? Perhaps choosing new paint or paper?
  • Explaining the safe use of non-power tools is an essential life skill for all children.
  • Demonstrate where tools are to be stored and establish firm rules about when adult supervision is required.

Karen Sencich, owner of Havoc to Harmony, is an award winning Professional Organizer, speaker and writer. Specializing in family management since 1999, her motivational tips enable clients to implement easy-to-duplicate strategies to overcome organizing obstacles at home, work and school.

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Tackle it Now Tip

Hints for Handling Your Gift List

How do you handle your holiday wish lists? Sometimes the simplest hints are the best. For years I have been using the same easy to implement method.

  • I purchase the tiniest address book I can find and assign one page for each person on my guest list.
  • I record their sizes, colour and style preferences.
  • I include family members, friends, hairdresser and all service providers.
  • I keep the list inside my wallet so it can quickly and easily be updated.
  • Information for stocking gifts is also recorded.
  • I can frequently review what I have purchased to keep my budget on track.
  • As I wrap gifts I check them off!
  • If certain gifts need to be hidden I record where they were put.
  • I also list ideas and purchases of hostess gifts to keep on hand.

There are many benefits to this system. It is lightweight and portable, but most importantly since I keep the lists year after year, it helps me to prevent repeating gift ideas. Who wants to get a sweater or tie year after year?

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