Skip the Stress with Our Pre-Vacation Checklist
Do these 10 things before leaving this summer

Though vacations are designed to help us relax, prepping for them can increase stress for many people.  This happens when we wait until the last minute to take care of all the loose ends. Whether you use our checklist or create one yourself, figuring out what you need to do well in advance will help start your vacation off on the right foot. 

Here are many of the things that are easily forgotten until the last minute. We recommend printing it out before your trip and noting when to do each item so that you aren't scrambling! We've even added a space to write the due date for you. 

1. Mail delivery. Either have the post office hold it for you, or arrange to have someone you trust pick it up. 
To do on (Fill in the Date): _______

2. Pet care. This is one of those items that needs to be done well in advance to avoid stress! Arrange for a kennel, a professional pet sitter or a friend to look in on your pet so that they can have their own stress-free vacation.
To do on: _______
3. The Fridge. Plan your meals for a couple of days in advance before you leave so you have nothing to throw out. However, if you do, toss the food that won't stay fresh and save yourself the disgusting scenario of having to toss out the milk when you return from your three-week cruise. 
To do on: _______

4. Emergency contact. Let someone know that you are leaving and when you will be back, and that you will contact them as soon as you return. 
To do on: _______

5. Credit Card info and passports. Make a photocopy of these and place them somewhere different than the originals so you will have a spare copy. 
To do on: _______

6. Prescriptions. Fill them well in advance!
To do on: _______

7. Eye care. If you use disposable contacts, remember to bring an extra pair. 
To do on: _______

8.  Create an automated email response. An automated email response is just as much of a benefit to you as people who contact you while you are away: it will let you relax so much more. Go the extra mile with a personalized voicemail if you are traveling internationally.
To do on: _______

9. Update your calendar. Check your calendar and make sure you have not made any commitments during your time away. If you have, cancel or reschedule them. Do the same for commitments made in the day or two before traveling. You will be busy enough as it is getting ready to leave!
To do on: _______

10. Best Vacation Tip EVER: Are you ready? Here it is: if possible, plan an additional day off, at home, before you go back to work. There really is nothing worse than flying home on a red-eye thinking about unpacking everything and having to get up in 6 hours to make the morning commute. You need at least one day off AFTER your vacation to go through your mail, do laundry, grocery shop and all the other things that fill your day-to-day life. You will be so thankful you did. Trust us on this!
Happy travels!

On the Blog
Room-By-Room Organizing Series, Month 6: The Home Office 

This blog is month 6 in a 12 month organizing series. To sign up to receive this series, visit this blog and use the right hand sidebar form to join the mailing list. 

This month we are excited to work in a room that is near and dear to our hearts: the home office! We use a process called 5S when we work in any office. 5S is an organizing method that allows you to maintain order and eliminate waste in the workplace by reviewing office items and minimizing clutter.

The 5 S's are Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain. This method can be applied virtually anywhere in the home!

This month, we are going to show you how to apply the 5S's in your home office, step-by-step.  Prepare for your 5S office organizing project by gathering all needed items. We recommend a label maker, garbage bags, post-its, sharpies, tape and any cleaning products and dusting rags you may need. Make sure you have adequate light and lots of snacks! You should budget two days for this project - one for sorting and a second for the remaining steps.  Continue Reading...

How Hooks Can Help You Stay Organized

Over the years, I have just about perfected the  contents of my professional organizer toolkit. There are certain staple items that really help us when we are working with clients. Post-It notes, a really great box cutter and tape in just about every shape and size are always at hand when I work with a client. 

But if I had to tell you ONE single item that I always have with me and that will most help you to get organized, the answer I will always give is this:

I doesn't sound that sexy. Bear with me here. At the risk of waxing overly poetic about hooks, I'll keep it simple.

To explain my love of hooks, you first need to hear my philosophy about organizing  in the real worldContinue Reading...

Local Donation Resources
Local Donation Resource Spotlight: Friends of the Library

Summer is a wonderful time to catch up on reading. Rather than buying books, first review your collection and make a pile of books you haven't read yet. This will inevitably lead to the realization that it's a good time to organize and declutter your books! 

We love donating to Friends of the Library. They are wonderful folks, and donating is so easy. They accept donations Monday - Friday from 8-4 pm. You can take up to two boxes to your local branch. If you have more than two boxes, take them to 216 NE Knott St. 

Donation | Recycling | Service Resources

Did you know that our website has up to date donation, recycling and preferred service resources, updated regularly? Yeah, that's right! We are proud to share these local sources that we trust and rely on daily. 

Recycling Resources
Local Donation Resource: Transition Projects

Transition Projects helps people transition from homelessness to housing in the Portland metro area. Each year, they assist more than 10,000 people through a broad array of services, resources, and tools.

They welcome the donation of new and gently-used clothing, hygiene products, linens and household goods. 

Your tax-deductible donation items can be dropped off at: 665 NW Hoyt Street, Portland, OR 97209  More Information About What and How to Donate Here.

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