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NAPO-Ohio Blog

Tips & Tricks from the Experts in the Industry

This is the blog post from the home page of NAPO-Ohio.

  • 29 Jan 2018 5:04 PM | Birdie Brennan, CPO®
    We have all done it: we have something we like from our past or in our present that we don't necessarily need or know how we might use, but we don't feel right parting with it. So we put it in a box or storage bin for safe keeping or later decision making, and banish it to that storage area (usually a basement or attic) that we hardly ever visit. And that is it: we have kept something indefinitely--for better or for worse--and we feel comforted that we have done so.

    But why is this? What is it about having something in a box-that isn't easy to access and that likely will not be used-that makes us feel better? The truth is, no one enjoys the ritual of going to the basement to rifle through things. Most people find basement storage to be uncomfortable and frustrating. And yet there in the basement (or garage, or extra bedroom, etc) we create clutter stacks upon stacks which requires us to hover and sift and peruse our belongings, often without even finding the thing we are looking for.

    We see this especially with memorabilia keeping. A client of mine had found some wallpaper samples in a drawer that were from her childhood home. She loved seeing the colors and patterns and decided that she would put them in her memorabilia bin, which was labeled just that in the basement. This bin was on the bottom of a bin stack in a dark basement which was warm but older and rather dusty. So I asked her, "how often do you think you will want to visit this bin to see and enjoy those samples?" And she replied that she tries to limit her trips to the basement as much as possible, and she noted that the bin wasn't easy to get to.

    So the obvious question becomes, "why keep things in a box?" What value does the box bring to our things--real or perceived?

    I believe that putting something in a box accomplishes two things for the keeper: 1) it defers decision making to later and 2) reinforces the belief that safe keeping is good keeping. But I would like to challenge the notion of good keeping--in a box. Because when you limit access to things, you limit how useful or enjoyable something can be in your daily life, AND you've created a pile that diminishes in personal value over time. Hence the clutter stacks in our homes!

    So for example, in the case of the wall paper pattern, instead of asking if you want to keep it, I would ask how might you like to preserve the wall paper so it can be used or enjoyed? A number of simple ideas come to mind. The samples can be made into laminated book marks, or perhaps they can be put into a small framed collage for your desk, or maybe placed in a scrapbook, or you can snap a photo of the pattern and make it a screen saver...just to name a few ideas. The value of this paper suddenly seems to increase by volumes--outside of the box. This demonstrates keeping with a purpose.

    So the next time you find yourself thinking that you would like to store something long-term, make sure you aren't just keeping for keeping sake. In other words, don't just think "I want to hold on to that." Keep with a plan; a plan to use or enjoy the article in some fashion at some point in time. Identifying your intention should in theory make the storage needs temporary rather than indefinite and help reduce the overall amount of kept things.

    We hope this will help you look at your clutter stacks a little differently and assign better intentions to all those things that haven't seen the light of day. Good luck!
  • 31 Dec 2017 4:37 PM | Olive Wagar (Administrator)

    Celebrate every tiny victory!

    We live in a very competitive culture. We are surrounded by people who will do anything to be the best, to be the one on the top of the victory stand, to get the blue ribbon or the gold medal. Sometimes it seems that the message is that if you don’t finish on top, you really haven’t accomplished anything worthwhile.

    I am here to encourage you to celebrate every personal victory along the way to your personal goal. It really doesn’t matter about how your progress matches up to anyone else. When you are in the arena, “daring greatly” as Teddy Roosevelt would say, you are one step closer to your personal victory. And that is reason enough to celebrate.

    When we say goodbye to perfectionism,

    we open up the door to personal victory!

    When we give ourselves permission to be less than perfect, we take a big load off of our shoulders and an even bigger load of stress out of our lives.  It enables us to see that the mistakes we make can still be stepping stones to personal success. And you get to define your definition of success.

    I happen to like a colorful checkmark or cheerful happy face to acknowledge a job well done. J I also like to celebrate with a delicious treat. Sitting down with a cup of tea to savor the memory of a tiny victory works too.

    After an introduction at a recent speaking engagement, the host said, “Let’s

    welcome Olive with some applause!” And to my surprise, I said, “Yes, everyone likes a bit of applause—it makes everyone smile!” as I applauded for the attendees in the audience.

    A distinctive part of every Toastmaster meeting is enthusiastically applauding every member for their contributions to the meeting. The applause acknowledges a willingness to be more than a spectator.  It helps to cultivate an awareness of small steps of achievement.  Celebrating those tiny victories creates momentum for taking another small step.

    So here we are at the start of a new year.

    Set a goal to accomplish something that is meaningful to you.

    Then figure out your own way to celebrate your personal accomplishments.

    Savor the victory with joy and excitement.

    Then take one more step each day toward your goal.

    2018 is a fresh start, a blank canvas. What masterpiece will you create?

    When life is sweet, say thank you & celebrate.

    When life is bitter, say thank you & grow.

    Olive Wagar is owner of Organized by Olive LLC. She helps overwhelmed people discover the less cluttered side of life. She offers residential organizing and unpacking services.  She lives in Troy and serves clients in Miami County, Shelby County, Darke County, and Montgomery County.  She is Secretary for NAPO-Ohio and Toastmasters Area 5 Director. She is a Star Blogger for Professional Organizers Blog Carnival. She enjoys offering workshops and speaking presentations. She recently was a featured speaker at TEDx-Dayton 2017. She loves being Grammy to 2 sweetie pies in Tennessee.

  • 11 Dec 2017 7:15 AM | Deleted user

    It isn’t a new notion that the holidays are stressful.  And the recent rise of social media has added to our holiday strain by creating a perception of Pinterest perfection and pitting mom against mom (whether intentionally or not) to one up each other to make their families’ holiday the happiest and most magical. 

    Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some holiday magic…but at what point does it become more about me, my expectations, my stress, my disappointment and less about enjoying the time with my family and creating lasting memories.  How can I channel my excitement and passion for the holidays into a few carefully curated activities and gifts that will create lasting memories without those memories including me crying or screaming?

    By having a clear focus for your holiday energy, you are more likely to make those experiences truly special…because when we do everything all the time, it is no longer special.  It is now our normal.  So let’s make the holidays special again!


    What are your holiday must-dos?  One way to help curb the stress of meeting those holiday expectations is to have a clear view of what is important to you and your family.  Is it spending time with extended family and friends?  Seeing as many Santas as possible?  Having a beautifully decorated home?  Making exquisitely wrapped handmade gifts?  There is no wrong answer for what your holiday priorities SHOULD be.  The issue comes when all activities are given equal weight and importance.  Then, as the month goes by and tasks are not completed, the stress and anxiety sets in. 

    Expectations versus Realities

    It is easy to say “lower your expectations”, but how?  I mean, once that holiday rat race starts, it plows forward, full speed ahead through New Year’s with few stops along the way.  One way is to choose a few specific holiday activities and tasks that are really a priority for your and your family. Focus on doing those things that really matter well rather than “all the things” just ok.


    You may be thinking “yeah, right? Limit my holiday activities. Not a chance!” Ok.  What about paring back the scope of your activity or asking/hiring someone to do it for you?  Chances are there is someone in your community who would love to help you with these tasks.  And delegating doesn’t have to mean hiring someone to do all your work…it could mean spreading the work around.  One of my favorite holiday traditions is my Cookie Exchange.  Baking and seeing my friends are 2 of my holiday priorities.  By hosting this one event, I can fellowship with friends and get a ton of yummy treats for my family and neighbors.

    Let’s take back the holidays and refocus our energy into the activities that bring us the most joy, let’s emphasize quality experiences over quantity.  Because it truly is possible to have an amazing holiday season without needing to have it all.

    Christy Lingo is a mother of 2 boys, Professional Organizer and owner of Simple Solutions Organizing serving Columbus, Ohio and the surrounding Central Ohio area.  She is the oldest of five children whose ages span 14 years with a mother whose motto was "Be organized or be lost."  Upon leaving home, she spent 14 years honing her organizing skills by moving more than 15 times and living in an average of 700 sq. foot, most times with minimal closet space and limited storage. You can find Christy on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and her webpage.

  • 26 Nov 2017 8:32 PM | Birdie Brennan, CPO®

    The Set-Up for Success

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    For even the most novice cooks, between now and the end of the year, many kitchens are about to get a workout. We may be hosting parties, holiday meals, trying a new recipe or two, participating in pot lucks, or baking with friends and family. Wouldn't it be great if everything we need is at our fingertips--clean and functional for when we need it?

    So often the tools and items we rely on at this time of year are somewhere in the back of cupboards, sideboards, or stored on basement shelving. I recommend gathering, cleaning, and staging the items you know will be needed in the coming weeks. In last week's post ( https://www.getorganizedcolumbus.com/the-ready-made-pantry ) we talked about a well-stocked pantry for the holiday season; for now, let's focus on the items we will likely need in the kitchen and dining areas.

    Let's Talk Tools
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    It is not just about having the tools, it is about cleaning them and testing them to make sure they are functional with no surprises. It is worth noting that many of these items are occasional-use items and can be removed from your immediate cooking area once the holidays are over to save space.

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    1. Meat thermometer
    2. Turkey Baster
    3. Full set of measuring cups and spoons
    4. Food Processor and all needed extension parts
    5. Emersion Blender and/or mixer
    6. Counter top roaster or sous vide
    7. Mixing Bowls
    8. Sharpened Knives
    9. Electric carving knife
    10. Peelers and Garlic Press
    11. Zester and juicer
    12. Baking pans
    13. Dough roller
    14. Those pesky holiday cookie cutters
    15. Baking racks
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    And don't forget the specialty cookware like Belgian waffle makers and panini presses, which may finally get the chance to earn their shelf space when hosting guests.

    Kitchen Staples

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    1. Aluminum Foil
    2. Wax Paper
    3. For extra convenience--oven liners can come in handy this time of year
    4. Twine
    5. Roasting Bags and plastic wrap
    6. Sil Pats/Baking Liners
    7. Toothpicks
    8. Food saver containers--especially those which guests can take with them
    9. Cherished recipes--I suggest locating and scanning them to have available digitally. I really like that you can have on record which recipes were used by year; it's fun to look back on and review.

    Let's Set the Holiday Table

    So many times we store away pretty dishes and service items, and holiday plates and mugs, only to forget them when guests appear. We can avoid forgetting our cherished holiday keepsakes by reviewing and cleaning inventory to have ready for guests. This is also a good time to remove any items that you are no longer interested in using.

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    1. Dishes, chargers, and paper plates--We can finally use the holiday pattern! 
    2. Silverware and extra cutlery--Hate to say it, but if you use real silver, now is the time to polish
    3. Stemware
    4. Service Ware
    5. Platters and gravy boats
    6. Hors D'oeuvre plates or extra small plates
    7. Napkins--cloth ones may need washed and pressed
    8. Tablecloths and Placemats--may also need laundered
    9. Centerpieces--you may not have these stored, but it is still a good time to plan for them
    10. Candles and candle holders
    11. Punch Bowls
    12. Cheese cutters and condiment knives
    13. Pitchers
    14. Extra salt and pepper shakers
    15. Trivets

      For Good Measure:
    1. This may be the time to clean the oven and microwave
    2. Make sure your large cutting boards are sanitized


    And don't forget, the most important thing to have in your kitchen might be an extra ounce of patience and presence of mind to enjoy being in the moment with family and friends. Now that you have a list, don't be afraid to get everyone involved and delegate tasks. The more we are engaged in the process, the more invested we are in the joy.

    Cheers to you and yours!

  • 14 Nov 2017 4:51 PM | Anonymous

    They've already begun... Black Friday ads, urging us to bust out of our turkey comas during the wee hours the Friday after Thanksgiving (or even Thursday night, before the pumpkin pie has settled in), open our wallets, and buy... lots of stuff.

    The problem is, most of us don't need anything that's for sale on Black Friday (or Cyber Monday, it's more comfortable, order-from-your-couch cousin). Buying things just because they are "on sale" is a recipe for bringing anxiety-inducing clutter into our homes, going into debt, and eventually harming our environment as landfill waste.

    (My only caveat to the anti-Black Friday movement: If you actually need to buy something that's on sale on Black Friday, by all means, go for it! Two years ago I bought my son Reese an electric scooter--his #1 Christmas present request--on Black Friday. I couldn't have justified the cost of this item if it hadn't been on sale. So there, I've shopped on Black Friday and I liked it! Perhaps I should stop writing this post right now...)

    But I would argue that there is a difference between shopping for a specific item and shopping to shop. I urge you: ignore the latter.

    For some people, Black Friday shopping is akin to family bonding. I get it. I've been there. If you have a family shopping tradition, consider a different type of bonding activity this year. Some ideas:

    • have a board game marathon
    • binge-watch a favorite TV series
    • hike a local nature trail
    • bake cookies
    • visit an art museum
    • put up holiday decorations
    • make a craft
    • create an obstacle course in the backyard
    • volunteer to clean up an elderly neighbor's yard
    • lend a collective hand at your local homeless shelter or other charity

    There are truly limitless ways to bond with the fam that don't involve running up credit card debt and adding clutter to your home!

    Another idea: if you want to shop, buy toiletries, socks, underwear, towels, linens, hats, gloves, and winter coats to donate to a local homeless shelter. These are high-need items at all shelters, and this type of shopping adds untold goodness to the world.

    One last type of Thanksgiving weekend shopping that's Rose-approved: Small Business Saturday. Money spent at local mom-and-pop shops stays in local economies, which is good for all of us. It's hard to overspend at these types of shops, as the items are usually more expensive (AKA not made in sweatshops). Plus, you'll find truly unique gifts.

    So, I urge you: let's make Black Friday a little better this year. Find a way to bond with your family that doesn't involve trawling the mall, and if you do shop, shop smart by using your dollars to provide relief to our neediest citizens or to support local businesses.

    If you'd like more tips on how minimalism can add more "thanks" and "giving" into Thanksgiving, watch my recent news segment for Good Day Columbus. 

    I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving with your loved ones!

    Rose Lounsbury is a minimalism coach, speaker, and author of the Amazon bestseller “Less: Minimalism for Real. After blogging about her own journey toward a minimalist lifestyle, Rose was inspired to start Less, a minimalism coaching company. Rose spends her days writing, helping clients clear their clutter, and soaking up the moments with her husband and their wild triplets. Rose is a member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals and has been featured on Fox News Good Day Columbus and WDTN Living Dayton. She calls lovely Dayton, Ohio home.  If you’d like to contact Rose for a speaking engagement or help with a minimizing project, you can email her at Rose@RoseLounsbury.com or visit her online at RoseLounsbury.com.

  • 03 Oct 2017 12:50 PM | Janet Jackson


    Does anyone remember the Seinfeld episode when Jerry talks about a rental car company “taking reservations” but not “holding reservations”? That scene is playing in my head as I write this article.

    We all attend meetings. We show up with paper and pen (or tablet and stylus). We listen. We contribute. We even take notes. But then what? What I see so often is that when the meeting ends, so do the thoughts and even worse, any action. Things get written down but may or may not get done. It seems that we “take” notes but we don’t “hold” (or process) our notes. Let me share this profound notion:

    If you take notes and don’t process your notes, there was likely no point in taking them.

    When you return from a meeting, instead of setting those meeting notes aside, take a few minutes to process them. Move any key information or decisions into the best location for recall. Do any quick tasks that might be required of you. Move any action items that require more effort (or your delegated items) to your To Do System. This will ensure you (or your assignee) stays mindful of the assigned items and Things. Get. Done.

    May you have blessings and balance,

    Janet Jackson

    PS If the concept of a single To Do System is foreign to you, send me an email. We need to talk. J

  • 09 Aug 2017 1:10 PM | Janet Jackson

    Things have been a little crazy around here, thus the delay in sending this newsletter. In the last few months, we’ve overhauled my general business site (check it out! www.OrganizationSolutionsLLC.com), continued our monthly Express Trainings, recorded many eLearning sessions, and migrated to this newsletter tool, while also continuing to serve clients and businesses via consulting, training, and speaking.

    And on Thursday, I ran out of gas.

    So, Friday morning, I took some time to pause and reflect: Was I/Organization Solutions, LLC still even heading in the right direction? It is way too easy to get sucked into the demands of it all and keep driving (fast) without looking at the map, watching for the right exit. (That sentence literally occurred to me during my morning of reflection. I knew right then it was going to be my next newsletter.)

    So my question for you: When is the last time you made a pit stop, personally or professionally? When is the last time you paused to reflect if all that you were doing was even what you wanted to be doing? Was all the driving taking you to your desired destination? Or further away from it? For that matter, do you even know your destination? If it’s been awhile, I encourage you to carve out an hour or two and have that internal conversation. (I recommend a journal…you’ll look less crazy.) It might take longer than just one morning; so, do be patient with the process.

    For me, it turns out that I am still headed in the right direction. I just needed to refuel. Whew!

    May you have blessings and balance,

    Janet Jackson



  • 16 Jul 2017 10:44 PM | Birdie Brennan, CPO®

    If you look at what constitutes most piles of stuff or paper, you will likely find 90% of it is unnecessary or no longer useful and one or two things may be something of value. The lonely thing of value tends to be the glue that holds the rest of the useless items together–and useless items tend to proliferate. This is actually how most piles originate and grow. The pile then becomes a source of aggravation rather than a good place to return to find things.

    Furthermore, if you tried to label this pile for longer-term keeping, it could not be described in one category or word. It would likely be called “Miscellaneous.” We seek to eliminate the Miscellaneous Label with clients as they generally represent a mishmash of things that aren’t valuable enough to be categorized. What might seem like a simple fix to store a few unrelated things temporarily becomes just another pile of unfound and unused items.

    As an example, f you were to look inside your miscellaneous paper file, you might find things like a couple kept business cards, loose papers about upcoming events that have passed, an old list of things to do, some receipts, an advertisement with a coupon to your favorite store, a recipe, and the vaccination card for your child’s school records. They have been in a MISC file for months now, and you had to review them again to remember what was placed in this catch-all file. There is one item of value–the vaccination card--that should be filed away in a specific place such as Vital Records for that person. The other items can be managed in other ways or discarded/recycled: the business cards can be entered in your Contacts list and tossed; the recipe can be found online or can be photographed and kept in your favorite digital program i.e.; Evernote; the coupon is likely expired; the to-do list is no longer relevant; and the receipts should be reviewed to see whether any impact taxes or need to be kept for proof of ownership. Most likely the receipts will be eliminated too.

    From this example, you can also create real file categories that might be needed, instead of the MISC label: Contacts, Recipes, Coupons, Receipts, Vital Records, etc. If something is important enough to keep, then it really should be important enough to have a category that won’t create a bottomless, mismatched pile.

    So give it a try–attack one of your miscellaneous stacks and see what you come up with! Start by eliminating what isn’t needed/expired. Then apply categories to the items that remain and assign a better labeled home. Let us know how it went!

  • 23 Jun 2017 8:23 PM | Deleted user

    One of the main services offered at Pixelwinx is custom photo albums and slideshows.  We love putting our creative mojo to work for our clients.  We also get to ‘travel’  along on special trips, celebrations, new babies,  and love captured in their photos.

    That being said, it may surprise you to know that most of the time, Pixelwinx picks out the photos used in creating the albums and slideshows.  This fact is usually met with skepticism by our clients and leads to the #1 question we hear at Pixelwinx.   “How do you know what pictures to include?”

    Usually, the conversation goes like this: 

    Client - “How do you know what photos to choose for albums and/or slideshows?”

    Pixelwinx - We know & we’ve been doing this a while.

    Client - “Really? I don’t have to pick out the pictures?”

    Pixelwinx - Nope.

    Client - “But how do you KNOW?”  

    Pixelwinx - We know.  

    Client - “Really??  How could you possibly  know what pictures I love?”

    By this point we are getting ’that’ look - you know the one where you are trying to be polite but don’t really believe what the other person is saying.  Now when we choose photos for our client’s project it doesn’t mean they are not involved in the process. We have an initial ‘get to know you meet up’, then prepare a few layouts to make sure we are on the right path, use our client’s feedback & make revisions. But we really do choose most of the photos used in the layouts. 

    Kim,  ‘Designer Maven Extraordinaire’ & I talk about this topic often so I decided to interview her about it and share her answers.

    Tamara -  When choosing photos what do you look for when working with client photos?

    Kim -  A good photo creates an emotional response.  It’s so true.

    Tamara -   What do you look for from a design perspective:

    Kim -  I see lots of photos of the same subject and lots of care in the photo taking angle. People in the photo are looking at you while taking the picture.  I also see lots of different angles of the same subject -  horizontal/vertical shots. The quantity of photos taken is also more than other subjects.

    T - What do you consider when creating a custom design for a client?

    Kim  -  I love designs/spreads with the same color palette. If I don’t have enough of one color, I make sure the second spread is in a complimentary palette. Sometimes photos that are not great palettes can be significantly improved by changing to black and white.

    T - How do you handle the huge quantity of photos?

    Kim - I would rather put in one great photo that tells the story than multiple good photos of the same shot.  I’m looking for the photo that tells a story.  The subject is front and center in photo, not a stuck in a corner like a postage stamp.

    T - what do you discover about your clients in their photos?

    K - After we work with a client for a while - we discover their special places, routines, events, vacations - always using the same birthday hat or going to the same beach or lake for year after year.  The photos will include a location where photos are always taken or in front of the same fireplace.

    It’s also fun to see what different families take pictures of - food, swimming in the pool, playing cards with Grandma, or doing puzzles. Families have favorite traditions, vacation spots, love Grandma’s apple pie, sunset or fishing off the dock.

    T  - Do people take good photographs?

    K -  Many people have a good eye for taking photos - whether technically trained or not. Other people - not so much .  It’s all relative.  Just because a photo might not be National Geographic material doesn’t mean they are not special, meaningful and beautiful to that family. Everyone takes photos for a different reason - some people take photos of silly things - like a pineapple or shoe or a tiny fish in the water.  You can’t really see the fish but it represents the moment they are trying to capture. I always look for the items each family takes photos of consistently. Remember the favorite Uncle who never smiles ON PURPOSE?

    T - Do clients have different photographic ’styles’?

    K -  Some clients take lots of posed photos - very formal, proper, dignified, showing the moment. Other clients are more about movement, running, action, capturing the story, thru their creative side.

    T - Is it different selecting photos for client’s books than your own personal albums?

    K - While we love to see your photos and often get emotional viewing them, we are not emotionally attached to the people or places in the photos. That helps us more easily select photos while still experiencing your people as our people & get a glimpse of special moments of love, family & traditions. If I limit the photos to the good ones, I’m more likely to remember the details - because you are putting your camera away and actually participating & investing in the memory vs capturing it or the photo.   Most of our parents were learning how to use a snap & shoot camera & the photos show that but they still capture life. Unless you were a photographer with a darkroom, photography was sort of a crap shoot.  You got what you got when you picked them up at the Drug Store. You learned as you went & no matter what some folks always had a finger showing up in the picture;).

    We’ve learned how to take MANY photographs but still not necessarily good ones.  The photos we take now are about documenting EVERY SINGLE MOMENT.  There is less care in picture taking because we can delete the bad photos, except we rarely do. Many of us never even print the photos. Our kids know how to take pictures & document every single second but have no interest in saving the photos or printing them.

    Several of our clients have kids who have begun to ask for books about their lives - like an antique  - because they are not familiar with the printed page or photo albums to look through. YIKES! Kids want to see themselves at different ages, hold the book in their hand, talk about the stories.   Books capture their stories, growing up & don’t need any special technology.  

    I’ve been trying to put this into words for a long time and one day I was listening to an audio book by Brené Brown.   She was discussing her research & used the phrase “data with a soul”. AH HA!  That finally captured how special photos are to us.  Pictures are ‘pixels with a soul’.  They mean more than just the people, paper, or places in them. They have a soul. Now if we can start to take back control over the quantity, filter out the good ones to share, talk about the memories, we can create & preserve our "data with a soul”  forever

  • 25 May 2017 9:47 PM | Birdie Brennan, CPO®

    Travel is supposed to be fun and relaxing, but getting ready to take a trip can be stressful!  Being organized with travel lists can take the stress out of your preparation.

    These three types of travel lists should be comprehensive enough to encompass all things travel: Pre-Travel Tasks, Packing List, and Vacation Activities. We always recommend using an electronic device to create and store lists (instead of paper).  And we give double points to those who sync the action items from the list to their digital calendars!

    Pre-Travel tasks that can be accomplished well in advance of your trip include:

    • making pet arrangements
    • booking transport to and from the airport
    • stopping mail (most zip codes can do this online) 
    • pausing any home services
    • arranging childcare if necessary
    • paying bills that will be due while away
    • filling necessary prescription
    • gathering passports and travel documents. If you print boarding passes and the like, you can do this well in advance as well

    For packing, we find that  separate lists for clothing and for toiletries is most helpful. Pack away the items that you can early, leaving only the outfit and toiletries that you need up to departure day. For toiletries, remember there are limitations to liquids and other personal care items. Think travel size! Consider also the potential for shipping clothing and necessities to your destination. This can be a safe alternative to checking bags and can reduce hassles at the airport.

    Now, while you are on vacation, is there a once in a lifetime experience awaiting you?  Make sure it is not sold out by doing some research and planning before leaving home. Booking excursions and making reservations ahead of time ensures your good time, helps you manage your vacation calendar, and keeps you from “working” to have a good time while you are away.

    A word to the wise, travel experts recommend that you not post your travel information or destination locations on social media until you are home. This could help prevent any potential crimes here or there.

    Happy travel preparations!

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