Friday, June 14, 2019

All the Items You Really Need in Life


One year, I took a deep look at what possessions people really need and why.  As my children have moved out on their own, this list has been helpful as it represents the bare minimum a person needs to live and challenges societal norms of what a person should have.  I am sure there will be people reading this who would like to debate the items on the list. Debate away.  Use this as a starting point to compare with your belongings.  I challenge you to see if you can eliminate some unnecessary items in each category.

Clothing/Footwear

Purpose: Protect from elements (heat, cold, rain, snow). Interact with society in a conforming way.

Comments: Assume 2 weeks max clothing rotation, or, if you really want to be a minimalist, assume 2 total outfits – 1 on and 1 to wear while laundering. People own a lot of clothing and footwear because they have many roles in society that require different uniforms. Also they get tired of wearing the same clothes. If the focus is shifted to view clothes as protection from elements, people would need less because the clothes would serve that purpose (as opposed to looking nice). To minimize excess clothing, consider whether or not you would like to fit into society. Also consider how often you want to wash clothing.  I recommend getting clothes that are made with natural fiber, are neutral shades, are medium-weight fabric, are cross-seasonal fabric, are not too formal or casual, are cut-easy to layer, and have a medium fit.

Items:
·         Undergarments – Not really necessary but do allow sweat and secretions a place to go so outer clothing does not have to be laundered more frequently. Undergarments are accepted by society as normal, not totally necessary but highly desired.
·         Socks – keep feet warm and protect your feet from blisters, give sweat place to go. Not 100% necessary but nice to have.
·         Long Pants – Good for keeping warm, protection from harm (bugs, poison ivy, snow, etc.) Sometimes easy to move around in. If living in colder climates: may want different thickness pairs for different weather. If working, may need “uniform” for job.
·         Short Pants – Not really necessary but some preferred depending upon weather.
·         Skirt/dress – Same as shorts. Dress may be worn for special occasions.
·         Shirts – Only a few are really needed but many people have a large quantity to wear for different occasions (tank, blouse, basic long sleeve, basic short sleeve).
·         Swimsuit (optional).
·         Sweaters/Jackets – Purpose is to keep warm. Probably good to have varying weights for varying weather conditions (protection from cold, snow, and rain). 1 light-weight, 1 thick, 1 cardigan, 1 overcoat, 1 blazer
·         Hats – 1 for sun protection, 1 for cold protection. Rest that people own are extraneous.
·         Gloves – Protection from cold. Protection while working.
·         Handbag – To carry items from place to place.
·         Jewelry – optional.
·        Footwear – Keep feet warm and protect from various surfaces such as grass, concrete, and sand. Various styles for various uniforms.

Personal Hygiene Items

Purpose: Keep oneself clean and refreshed. Protect the body from decay and to honor the body.

Comments: Each individual should have these items as part of his/her personal belongings. However, if living in a shared space, many of these can be stored in a common grooming area or bathroom. (Of course, some of these are not necessary but…)

Items:
·         Hair comb
·         Hair cleaner (aka shampoo) – conditioner (optional)
·         Body wash/soap
·         Face wash (can use same as body wash but I have been told that gentler is better)
·         Tooth brush
·         Tooth floss
·         Tooth paste/fluoride
·         Body oil
·         Nail grooming – clippers, file
·         Feminine hygiene products (for females)
·         Deodorant (optional)
·         Shaving supplies (optional)
·         Toilet paper
·         Towel
·         Medicines – Plants work but nice to have
o   Antiseptic drops --- (Natural option is calendula drops)
o   Antibacterial cream --- bacitracin
o   Pain reliever --- Ibuprofen
o   Anti-inflammatory --- Benadryl
o   Skin soother --- aloe
o   Bug bites --- (Natural option is plantain leaf)
o   Disinfectant --- hydrogen peroxide/rubbing alcohol
o   Stomach soothing --- (Natural option is mint tea)
·         Compress
·         Bandages

Cooking/Food Preparation

Purpose: Consistent location for food preparation including items needed for food prep/storage/serving. Place to store items that are used for food prep.

Comments: A person or household could get by without all of these items, but for one that sees the value in home-cooked meals, these are needed. When cooking, it is best to only prepare enough food for the current meal and have no left-overs; therefore, you will always be eating fresh foods. Although it may be more time effective to prepare foods in bulk ahead of time, it is not as healthy. Going back to the “simple” goal, spending time for self-care tasks such as meal preparation is actually more balanced and allows your mind and body time to wind down from the stresses of the day. By the way, if you are dedicated to living minimally, you can research how to live without refrigeration; however we will assume a refrigerator is a necessity. We will also assume that there is a source of running water.

Items:
·         Plates, bowls, cups, utensils, every person in the household should have one of each. You may want extra place servings for guests unless you request guests bring own. I remember attending a dinner party in college where guests needed to bring their own place setting. Understandable in that setting where people are just starting out on their own but probably not acceptable after you have been established awhile.
·         Pans – 2 baking sheets with rim with sides, pie, loaf, and muffin; square baking dish
·         Pots – saucepan, frying, soup
·         Cooking utensils – Stirring spoon, ladle, spatula, tongs, vegetable peeler.
·         Measuring spoons and cups
·         Knives – chef’s, serrated, paring (sharpening steel for knives)
·         Strainer/sieve
·         Mortar and pestle
·         Rolling pin
·         Grinder – hand crank is sufficient
·         Bowl –  mixing/serving (3 of different sizes)
·         Swiss army knife with can opener
·         Funnel
·         Cutting board
·         Potato masher
·         Grater
·         2 gloves for hot items
·         Stove/oven – fire source

Food pantry

                Purpose: To keep some staples on hand for cooking with the fresh items obtained each week. Have some items on hand in case of emergency.

                Comments: There are many books written about the staples needed in a kitchen. This list differs from those in that it is bare essential. One could actually have less than these and still manage to prepare wonderful meals.

·         Grain (whole grain – flour not necessary)
·         Sweeteners – honey and/or maple syrup
·         Cornstarch
·         Baking soda
·         Baking powder
·         Shortening / oil
·         Dried fruits (including tomatoes)
·         Nuts
·         Seeds – sesame, sunflower, pumpkin
·         Vinegar- apple cider, white
·         Canned or boxed milk – nut or  cow (optional)
·         Salt
·         Dried herbs and spices
·         Cocoa powder
·         Canned protein source such as tuna or legumes

                Items:
·         Blanket
·         Sleep mat desired (protect from wet/bugs)

Shelter from Elements

Purpose: Provide consistent location on a regular basis (aka home). Consistent safe location for rest with security away from elements in order to get a comfortable night’s sleep. Protect from elements. Sanctuary. Place to regenerate.

Comments: People reading this are presumably from an industrialized society of individuals living in homes, apartments, or other permanent structures.  However, shelter can be a box, tent, or cave. It is important to create a space that is safe from the elements and relatively safe from intrusion. No place will be entirely immune from middle of the night catastrophe. Also, the location should be dark and quiet. Some would argue that these last two criteria are optional, but they are required for deep sleep. Any place that you can sleep, prepare and store food, groom yourself, and store your belongings is a shelter.

Items:
·         Source of heat during cold weather
·         Don’t really need lighting but nice to have
·         Furniture is not really needed but…
o   Table
o   Chair
o   Bed/sleep mat/blanket
o   Storage cabinet
o   Toilet (preferred)
o   Sink

Transportation Method

Purpose: Way to travel outside of the safe shelter (mentioned above) as well as a way to interact with the outside world.

Comments: In my world, everything is spread out so I need car. However, a bike would be okay, and of course walking is an option, but would be more limiting as to the distance able to travel.  If a vehicle such as a car is needed, it would have to be able to be maintained by the owner, either by repairing it themselves or paying for maintenance.  This adds a level of complexity and responsibility to transportation and requires that the person earn enough money to maintain the vehicle or replace it if needed.

Tools

Purpose: Maintain land and home. Maintain all of possessions.

Comments: When you present the list as listed below it is apparent that you don’t really need much. Take a look at all of the tools and gadgets that you have. Are they for convenience? Do you have them because they are cool or because someone else thought you would want it?

General tools:
·         Scissors
·         Knife
·         Pen/pencil
·         Paper
House cleaning tools
·         Broom (vacuum optional if carpet)
·         Rag/scrub brush
Garden tools (optional for those with a yard):
·         Shovel
·         Rake – hand
·         Lawn mower
·         Pruning shears
·         Bucket/water can
·         Axe/hatchet
·         Snow shovel

Cleaning supplies
·         Lemon
·         Oil
·         Vinegar
·         Baking soda

Information/Paperwork
Purpose: To prove many legal issues that may arise within society.
Comments: These papers are really all you need. All but taxes easily fit in a hand held box. In case of emergency – you would not need to take the taxes with you.

Items:
·         Passport/license – to prove who you are
·         Paperwork relating to things you own such as home/auto – to prove what you own
·         Health info – in case someone else needs to find out your medical history
·         Tax paperwork – to show that you are a law abiding citizen
·         Legal documents – to track issues that you have had in the future or to prevent future issues

Entertainment (optional)

Purpose: Provide options for mental, physical, and spiritual stimulation when not using energy for daily living.

Comments: Communication devices, books, and hobby supplies are lumped into this category. They are not really necessary but a familiar way of life.
Items:
Communication devices - Phone is nice to have, but is not really a necessity for living. However, a computer/digital device may be a necessity for your lifestyle and choices as they are part of current society.

Books - How many books and of what subjects are necessary to keep as part of your personal responsibility?
o   Fiction – no need to keep, these can be obtained from a library
o   Non-fiction – have for reference that you use often and are not easily found elsewhere.  For example, I prefer books about plant and herb identification.

Hobby supplies (examples)
o   Craft supplies
o   Music supplies
o   Art supplies
o   Games-cards, few board games

Mementos/Totems
                Purpose: To serve as reminders to your soul.
Comments: Not necessary but some people prefer them. It’s all about personal preference.
Examples of items:
·         Greeting card
·         Photos
·         Statues
·         Religious items




For more information, or to get help with your organization needs, visit
http://www.organiz-er.com/


978-376-9606


Thursday, May 30, 2019

Rediscovering Your Possessions


When we are helping clients organize, we often find that people had many possessions that they forgot about.  With so many different items in one’s life, it can become easy to lose track of the stock of what you have, which is why being organized is so important.  Because we help people rediscover their possessions, we help them to save time and money.  Finding key items saves people from going out and purchasing a replacement item for no reason.

Similarly, we find that people have multiples of several items.  Items such as shovels, brooms, and even caulking guns are often needed intermittently throughout the seasons or stages in one’s life and so, if things are not organized, these items may be lost.  Occasionally, items are lost a few times, leading to purchases of more items to replace those that were misplaced.  Some clients have lamented that they didn’t know they had a certain item and had either missed the opportunity to use it or bought another.  Organizing homes and other spaces can reveal items that have been forgotten and save people from buying another or allow them to get rid of unneeded items.

For more information, or to get help with your organization needs, visit
http://www.organiz-er.com/

978-376-9606

Friday, May 17, 2019

What's Life Organizing?


Organiz-ER specializes in helping people organize their offices, homes, and lives.  While it is pretty obvious what office and home organizing entails, many don’t know about what goes into organizing one’s life. 

At the most basic level, life organization is about working with individuals who want to form and implement new habits and routines to get the most out of life.  The ideal life client of Organiz-ER is someone who finds themselves disorganized in some aspects of their life, struggling with time management and mounting responsibilities.  While a person’s physical spaces may be clean and appear organized, life organization focuses more on the mental and emotional components of one’s life, trying to reduce stress and bring calmness to one’s life by focusing on what’s important. 

Life organization is different for everyone as it focuses on the wants and needs of the individual.  The job of the organizer is to assist the person in planning for, and achieving, their long-term goals.  This is done by establishing set routines that make each person the best version of themselves possible through consistency and efficiency that will lead them to their desired results.  This could involve working on time management or reducing the stresses and responsibilities a person has.  Often times, people change their goals and require an overhaul of their life.  This is a difficult process, but Organiz-ER is there to help!

For more information, or to get help with your organization needs, visit
http://www.organiz-er.com/



978-376-9606

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The Moving Process


       Moving is a labor-intensive, difficult process that requires lots of mental, physical, and emotional energy. First, if you are thinking of moving, you need to plan, prepare and get ready— and you need to do it soon! Plan at least 3-4 months in advance to give your home the best first impression it can make. Potential home buyers will often decide in just a few moments if they are interested. Prepare your home by cleaning up and removing the clutter. Toys, old magazines, and extraneous furniture make a home look small and uninviting. Get ready by notifying the post office and your utility companies and keep all your moving paperwork together. Here is something else to think about: children are not particularly fond of change. Because moving s one of the biggest changes you can make as a family, ensure that your children are part of the process.

       While moving can be difficult, the process can be made easier when you have a thorough plan through the three phases: preparation, day of move, and post-move.

Preparation
  •          Secure moving services, including trucks and help
  •          Identify housing options
  •         Create a floor plan for the new location
  •         Create an inventory of items
  •         Downsize and organize items
  •         Coordinate appraisals/auctioneers/estate sales/online sales/donations
  •         Ship items to family/friends
  •         Arrange for storage if needed
  •         Prepare existing home for sale, including staging
  •         Pack for move
  •         Arrange for professionally cleaning home after moving
  •         Handle change of address/move cards/utility changes
  •         Start a "Move File" for all papers
  •         Drain the gas and oil from your lawn mower and other power equipment if applicable
  •         Cancel any newspaper delivery and trash pickup
  •         Clean out refrigerator and defrost freezer
  •         Arrange to transfer school records if you have children


Day of Move
  •         On-site management of entire move
  •         Unpack and remove packing materials
  •      Resettle new home – put everything away
  •          Install rods and hand draperies

Post-move
  •         Disperse remaining items in the home
  •         Clean home
  •        Keep moving supplies if you are expecting to move again

For more information, or to get help with your organization needs, visit
http://www.organiz-er.com/

978-376-9606


Monday, April 1, 2019

Controlling Paperwork



Wouldn’t you rather be outside than stuck inside looking at a pile of paperwork? Well, by spending just 15 minutes a day on incoming paper, you can save hours of inefficiently looking for scraps of paper or trying to decide what to do with paper upon a second look.

To be successful in organizing your paper, you will need the following tools:

An in-box - Contain all paper, including flyers, mail, reminder notes, business cards, and coupons in one centralized in-box.

A task list - It is easier to see what you have to do using a list rather than trying to wade through a pile of papers.

A Work-in-Progress folder – Keeping a work-in-progress folder will help organize the papers related to the items on the task list that need further action.

The process:

When received, place all incoming papers into the in-box.

Once a day, spend 15 minutes clearing out the in-box, deciding what has to be done and when you are going to do it.  If you do not do this every day, then plan to spend 15 minutes doing this for each day you have not done this process.

To clear the in-box, touch each paper once and decide what to do with it. There only will be three scenarios:

1.     Further action needs to be taken related to the paper.
2.     No further action is needed, but the paper is needed for reference.
3.     No further action is needed, and the paper will not be used again.

Once you have decided what to do with a paper, simply act accordingly. Put action items on your task list, then file the paper in your work-in-progress folder.  When a paper is needed for reference, file the paper in long term storage.  Papers that do not need to be used again should be discarded, ideally by shredding or recycling, with sensitive material being shredded.


For more information, or to get help with your organization needs, visit
http://www.organiz-er.com/


978-376-9606