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Monday, March 30, 2009

Organizing Inspiration - How to Cut Your Grocery Bill

I'm determined to cut down our grocery bill. I have done a lot of research and learned a few new tricks. Here are my grocery bill cutting tips:

1. Clip coupons, but don't use them right away.

2. The coupons you clip in today's paper will be on sale in 4-6 weeks. Use them then for huge savings. Sale price + coupon.

3. Buy items when they are on sale--even if you don't need them right now, but you know they are items you will consume--stock up.

4. Shop at stores that offer double coupons--although I haven't found one in Portland yet.

5. Shop at warehouse stores such as WinCo for huge savings--especially buying their generic brand vs. name brand. I have saved as much as $1 per item by purchasing generic over brand. When it comes to canned water chestnuts I can't taste the difference between generic and brand--so why spend the extra $1?

6. Keep a grocery price book of the items you buy regularly. Note the regular price and sale prices so you know when to buy at the lowest price.

Yesterday, I went grocery shopping at Fred Meyer for just a few items, because they were on sale and I had coupons. I spent $61.83. If I had paid non-sale price and didn't use coupons it would have cost me $96.58 I saved $30.25 buying items on sale from their regular price plus $4.50 in coupons. I'm just starting out with coupon clipping, so if I had more coupons I would have saved even more.

By the way, chicken breasts are on sale for 99 cents a pound at Fred Meyer this week--I wish I had a bigger freezer!

What do you do to cut your grocery bill? Please share, because I'm determined to cut my grocery bill by more than 50% each time I shop.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Why should you get organized?

Check out the following organizing statistics - courtesy of - they will knock your socks off!

80% of what we keep we never use.

23% of adults say they pay bills late (& thus incur fees) because they lose them.

An enterprise employing 1,000 knowledge workers wastes $48,000 per week, or nearly $2.5M per year, due to an inability to locate and retrieve information.

The document for a Boeing 747 weighs more than the plane itself.

We wear 20% of the clothes we own 80% of the time. The rest hangs there, just in case.

IKEA did a survey of customers in which 31% reported they were more satisfied after clearing out their closets than they were after sex.

Did you know...80% of what we file never gets looked at again!

Job stress is estimated to cost U.S. industry between $200 and $300 BILLION annually.

Are 18,000 sheets enough? Your four-drawer file cabinet, when full, holds 18,000 pages.

Getting rid of clutter eliminates 40% of housework in an average home.

80% of the clutter in homes is a result of disorganization, not lack of space.

25% of people with two-car garages don’t park any cars in there and 32% parked only one.

Women with shoe racks were seven times more likely to be on time for work than women without shoe racks.

Men who organize their home offices are more likely to spend time playing with their children than men whose home offices are in disarray.

11 million American households currently rent storage space, an increase of 90 percent since 1995 — even as the size of new American houses has grown and the size of the American family has shrunk. In the last two years, close to a million more households have joined the ranks of storage renters, and there is now more than two billion square feet of rental storage space in the United States, earning more than $22 billion in gross revenue in 2006.

Only 11% of respondents knew where their Social Security cards were located. Do you know where yours is? If not, call me 503-246-0710 I can help you!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Why do you do what you do?

I’m always curious how and why people are doing what they do. I recently met with my best friend growing up and she said her sister-in-law told her that you do what you do based on your first memory. She asked me what my first memory is. My first memory is I was three years old and I was in our home that was being built at the time and the tile layer, Hal, was laying tile in the front hall. I had a bag of jelly beans and it broke spilling all of the jelly beans on the floor. The tile layer started eating all of the black [licorice] jelly beans—my favorites. I remember screaming, "stop eating my jelly beans." Now, what that has to do with teaching others how to become organized or how to run a Professional Organizer business I’m not sure—other than maybe I should have had a better container for my jelly beans!

What is your first memory and how does it connect with what you do?

P.S. Licorice is my favorite candy.

Next, find out how and why I became a Professional Organizer.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weekly Menu

I have a family size package (8) of porkchops and of chicken breasts that I bought super cheap and froze. Time to thaw and enjoy!

Monday - Chicken Curry with Chickpeas and Rice

Tuesday - Pork Chops with Orange Soy Glaze and Udon Noodles

Wednesday - Chicken Pot Pie

Thursday - Pork Chops with Mushroom Cream and Hazelnuts, Roasted Blooming Onion with Ranch Dip and Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Friday - Simple Pasta and Green Salad

Kids are away for Spring Break--that means lots of seafood on the menu next week because they don't like it, but I love it!

Saturday - Thai Red Curry Mussels and Soba Noodles

Sunday - Garlic Basil Shrimp

Friday, March 13, 2009

Got kids? What's Your After School Routine?

For a fun after school routine idea for your kids, check this out from LivingLocurto and all of Amy's other fun downloads. Amy makes organizing fun+fabulous!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Organizing Your Craft Materials with WOW Factor

Tip: Sort your craft materials by color and place in clear jars and containers, such as those pictured here.

Ribbons were sorted by color, removed from their spools, and placed in large glass jars. Embellishments of various types were also sorted by color and placed in smaller glass jars and clear drawers.

Materials are not only organized and easily accessible, but also add a punch of color and WOW factor to the crafter's room.

Organizing Inspiration

"What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?"

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Product of the Week-Doorknob Forget-Me-Not Organizers

I was planning to blog about this very product this week and Erin Doland beat me to it! I wish this product existed when I was growing up. I remember every morning my mother and father heading out the door and always, always, always searching for something--keys, wallet, book--you name it they couldn't find it! Now you know why I'm a professional organizer--survival!

If you struggle with remembering everything you need to take with you out the door each day, this is the product for you!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Weekly Menu

Monday - Roasted Leg of Lamb, New Potatoes and Asparagus. Amaretto Mousse Cheesecake (birthday cake for Stefan)

Tuesday - Lamb Soulvaki with Tzatziki

Wednesday - Hawaiian-pizza

Thursday - Roasted Honey Mustard Salmon

Friday - Pasta

Saturday - Salmon, Potato and Corn Chowder

Sunday - Salmon-quesadillas-with-sun-dried-tomatoes

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Organizing Inspiration

“Don’t agonize. Organize!” Florynce R. Kennedy

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Effortless Organizing Solution – 5 Tips to an Organized Closet

Tip #1 - Take everything out of your closet so you have a clean slate. Consider installing a new closet system if yours is not functioning well (add double hanging rods or a system with adjustable shelves and rods). Paint the closet.

Tip #2 - If you haven't worn it in the last year or it doesn't fit, it’s time to let go of it. Make a game of it, for every two items you keep—let one go. This will reduce your wardrobe by one-third.

Tip #3 - We’re all trying to save money or find ways to make money. Instead of donating everything you are letting go of, consider taking your discards to a consignment shop. A fun idea is to have a “naked ladies” party—clothes swap with your girlfriends.

Tip #4 – After you have downsized your wardrobe, put your clothing back in your closet. Create an area or zone for each clothing type (shirts/blouses, pants, skirts, jackets) and then sort each zone (clothing type) by color. Then you will know where to put your clothing away.

Tip #5 - When you buy something new, then something must leave—the one in one out rule.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Organizing Habit #29

Pick a problem room and identify the “pinch point” – The pinch point is the one thing that prevents everything from running smoothly when it is not in order. So, if the laundry room is your problem area, look for the source of the problem (one big pile, no detergent, etc.) and tend to that first.

See it. Fix it! If the pinch point in your laundry room is clothing buildup because you’re out of detergent, then keep your soap out where you can see it. I keep my laundry soap in a glass cookie jar on top of my washing machine. Visual reminders help keep your necessary tasks top of mind, so they’ll be fixed faster.

Once you eliminate the pinch point, you’ll be amazed how quickly everything else falls into place.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Weekly Menus March 2- 8

Monday - Wonton Soup

Tuesday - Pork Fried Rice

Wednesday Beef Roast with Root Vegetables

Thursday - Green Chile Beef Empanadas

Friday - Asian Beef Salad with Cilantro, Scallions and Sesame Seeds

Saturday – Eating out at Jen’s Garden for Stefan’s birthday!

Sunday Egg Toasts (Our favorite Sunday dinner without the kids)

Product of the Week

Tote Baskets – I love these tote baskets. I use them primarily in kitchen pantries and cabinets or bathroom cabinets to store and organize items that I don’t want to see and I want to be able to grab easily.

In the kitchen I use the large tote baskets to store and organize bags of snack chips, packages of pasta, rice, grains, hot cereals, baking products (flour, sugars), and root vegetables. I use the small tote baskets for snacks, teas, baking products (sprinkles, flavorings, cupcake liners, etc.), seasoning packets, and beverage packets to add to water.

In the bathroom, I use the large tote baskets to store cleaning supplies, tall bottles of shampoo, liquid soaps, and hair products. I use the small tote baskets to store makeup, bar soap, first aid items and medicines.

Each tote has a specific purpose of what it is storing and labeled accordingly.

A bit about me...

I love to organize anything! I love to read anything on the subject of organizing. I especially love helping others learn the joy and simplification organizing habits and behaviors can bring to their lives.

Click here to learn a bit about me and visit our websites (organizing services), (training and education for professional organizers) and my book web site

Anne Blumer

Anne Blumer
Certified Professional Organizer, Certified GO System Trainer and Consultant, and Certified FreedomFiler Consultant

Client Before and After Pictures

Certified Professional Organizer

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