Do You Know What April Showers Bring?

You know that old saying April showers bring May flowers.  Well it brings a little bit more than that.  Any time is a good time to get organized and spring is no exception.  Check out these 3 things that I know come in the month of April and how they can remind you to declutter your space.

1. Allergies

Between the falling pollen and beginning of grass cutting if you have any sensitivity with airborne allergens, you are stocking up on tissues and medication.  Now is a good time to review your medicines.

  • Check those travel bags, bathroom cabinets, bedroom and kitchen bins for outdated and expired prescriptions.  If there are old prescriptions with doses left return them to your pharmacy for destruction.
  • Separate the valid ones by family member or condition and return to proper storage area.
  • For any current ones make sure your next pickup is on auto-fill or if it will require a doctor visit you add that to your task list to schedule a visit soon.
  1. Mosquitoes

Riiiiight. I hate them around my house too.  The customary advice to reduce these critters on our property is to survey and dump standing water. Now is a great time to take stock of those hiding places and decide if they even need to exist. 

  • Can you reduce the number of empty pots and trays?
  • Does that old tire or oil pan need to be put to the curb?
  • What’s creating dark hiding places on the patio or in the shed that is no longer needed? 

Having an open space through which your fans or any pest treatment can flow will be a big help to take the sting out of your spring.    

  1. Warm Weather

Even though we didn’t have a cold winter you can still spend some time turning over your wardrobe to prepare for the warming.  Take a couple of hours to go through your closet to get out the items that are no longer needed in this new season.

  • What doesn’t fit? What do you no longer like? What hasn’t been worn for the past 2 years?
  • Take a closer look at the things you want to keep.  Do any of them need repairs or cleaning? Do that now.
  • Where are you going to put these off season items up to make room for what you will wear now?  Whether it’s the back of the closet, up on a higher shelf, in a different room or contained in the attic.  Make sure the place is big enough for what you have and any containers you use are appropriate for the storage area.   

Sometimes it is hard to keep up with lists of things to do and when exactly is the right time to execute a plan.  If you let the natural cycles in your life guide you to action, you likely won’t go wrong.  Hope you enjoy all the gifts of spring!

Happy Organizing!

tt

Organizing for Emergencies: Preparing Information, Supplies and Response Plans for Emergencies

weather emergencyThis year spring came in like nothing I can remember.  There were several weeks straight when the North and Midwest were still accumulating snow; the South experienced severe thunderstorms, large hail and tornados; and the West Coast fires began again …  The utility outages and loss of property that went along with those circumstances were unexpected and in many cases overwhelming.  Were you prepared for the extreme weather?  Did you have a backup plan in case you could not return to your home?

The Gulf and Atlantic coasts enter Hurricane Season beginning June 1st.  A fire or chemical release is not as readily forecasted so we should be prepared for emergencies at all times.   Several government and community agencies have resources to help you be informed of emergencies that may occur in your area, plan for those emergencies and recover from an emergency experienced.

By planning ahead now, you will have the security of knowing you did all you could to protect your family and preserve your livelihood if something does happen later.

Be Informed on Emergency Preparedness

Your state may have a site similar to that of the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness http://www.gohsep.la.gov/.  The site lists the types of emergencies that can occur in the state and allows you to sign up for direct communication of emergency alerts.  The same site provides Louisianans updates during an emergency as well as after if evacuations were required.

Also make note of the local resources that can provide support services  for disaster-recovery and displacement.  This could be Red-Cross but it could also be a local church.

Get the Right Supplies

Your supplies must at least cover your family’s basic needs: shelter, food/water/medical and clothing.  You should then add your personal vital documents, the information needed to:   validate your identity, access your finances, receive medical care and make claims for your property. Next include items that improve your comfort and then items that preserve the peace (i.e. items that keep everyone entertained and calm). 

Each emergency can impact your home structure and property differently.  If possible upgrade your home and contents to meet the threats of emergencies.  In the case of fire this may mean to pick a nonflammable material when buying new carpet or furniture and getting new smoke detectors and connecting them to the home alarm system.  In the case of damaging winds this may mean trimming overgrown trees early or securing outdoor furniture and  covering windows before a storm.

Remember that information will be provided on whether you should shelter-in-place or evacuate your home.   

Suggestions for basic needs items to include in your kits can be found at the following resources:

http://www.redcross.org/www-files/Documents/pdf/Preparedness/checklists/Be_Red_Cross_Ready.pdf

http://www.getagameplan.org/planFamily.htm

http://www.getagameplan.org/downloads/SpecialNeeds.pdf

 

I will talk more about making your emergency plan and recovering from emergencies in the next post…

– tt