Friday, June 26, 2009

A Little Planning Goes A Long Way

Being organized is not confined to physical spaces. Information we take for granted could become very valuable and difficult for a loved one to locate if we aren’t able to do it for ourselves. Writing down medical histories, doctor information, emergency contacts, etc. is not something that only older people need to worry about. This list is really something that we all need.

A few months ago, my mom went into the hospital unexpectedly and I was able to step in and help her and her husband. My mom, a very organized Virgo, carried a lot of information in her head that she would download to me during my daily hospital visits. By the end of the week I was well versed in my mom and her husband’s routines. Thank goodness my mother was lucid and able to tell me what to do, but it occurred to me if she hadn’t been, I would have been stuck figuring out some important things like medication doses. The producer in me got into action. During my downtime, I started to compile an Excel spreadsheet outlining some pertinent information for family members to know should my mom not be available. She was resistant at first, but then it became a project.

The sheet I made for my family was broken down by name and divided into categories, i.e., Medical History, Medications, Doctors’ Contact Info, Immediate Family Members Contact Info, Power of Attorney, Social Security #, Caregivers, Nearest Hospital, etc. The format can be tailored in any way that works for you, but should be put in an obvious place where a friend or family member could find it. I recommend by the phone or on the refrigerator.

I live in New York City and not to sound morbid, but after surviving 9/11, blackouts and just ordinary daily life, I decided to start an “In Case of Emergency” binder divided into sections labeled: Insurance, Investments, Accounts, Health Care Proxy and Living Will, etc. It’s not complete yet, but it’s a start and hopefully will make things easier for my family to settle matters on my behalf, because you just never know!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Out On The Street

Last Friday at midnight, the US switched over from analogue to digital television signals. It’s a great thing for those of us who only have network access since we now can receive multiples of each network and the reception is very clear! But what’s not so clear is how local and state governments are handling the disposal of all the old, non-working televisions that are probably lining curbsides across America.

While I always applaud clients getting rid of items that are no longer useful, it pains me that many items that can be recycled just go into the trash because it’s “convenient. “ For those of us who are aware of the harmful effects junked electronics have on our environment, I offer some thoughts on how to deal with these obsolete items.

First of all, there is no need to run out and buy a new TV if you can buy a digital converter box (for about $75 --less if you have the government sponsored coupon) that will work with your current set. If your TV is too old for the converter box, then consider calling your town/county recycling centers and inquire about their policy for accepting and recycling electronics. If you can’t find a local outlet, try these resources. Sure they might take some effort to drop-off or ship but just think of how much good your are doing for yourself and future generations by minimizing toxic waste in your community.

According to Real Simple’s article, “How To Recycle Anything. “ Best Buy will remove and recycle TV’s when they deliver a new one. Office Depot will accept TV’s for recycling and if you have a Sony set, go to to find a drop off center near you.

2009 Rosemary Flannery All Rights Reserved

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The 10 Minute Rule

So many people want to clear the clutter from their environments but feel so overwhelmed by the mountains of stuff blocking their path. Taking a tip from decluttering guru, Peter Walsh, spend 10 minutes every day to tackle an area that is bothering you. There are lots of little problems that can build up to big ones. I call these little problems, “clutter potholes.”

So where to begin? After a tough work day, mix yourself a cocktail, put your feet up, set the timer and start going through the mail. You would be amazed at how many people don’t open their mail and how quickly it piles up. Whatever your clutter pothole, just take 10 minutes every day and you can prevent these little problems from developing into monster chasms.

©2009 Rosemary Flannery All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

You Are Not Alone!

Welcome to what I hope will be the first of many musings on the process of decluttering. As so many of us have experienced, getting rid of things can be difficult. We all want to hold onto items that make us feel secure, which is fine. But when these items we cling to take up precious room and don’t serve a purpose any longer, it is time to think about moving on. I am here to tell you to toss and that it’s ok to do so. In the coming months, I will be posting some case studies from clients and give tips on taming your clutter demons. You are not alone! Together we can make the journey From Clutter2Clarity.

©2009 Rosemary Flannery All Rights Reserved