Author Archive for: sorted

The Fall’s Answer to Spring Cleaning

cabinet

We’ve all heard about Spring Cleaning but what about the rest of year? Doesn’t it deserve a little love and attention? At Sorted Out, we definitely think so! As a matter of fact, we’re starting a new movement for Fall: Autumn Arranging! This is already our favorite time of the year, so why not use it to get super organized before the holiday frenzy hits?

We know that your whole house can benefit from some organizing love, but for this post, we’re going to focus our efforts on the heart of the home and get your kitchens organized for Fall. This area is about to see a ton of action with pumpkin carvings, turkeys roasting, and hams baking so now is the perfect time to get it cleaned out and organized so you’ll know exactly where to find that bundt pan and carving knife! Follow our list and your kitchen will be stocked and ready for Fall and beyond!

Tip #1:

Clean it Out

First things, first: You’ve got to get rid of anything that’s old, expired, or unwanted. Start with your pantry and fridge which are usually the biggest culprits for housing outdated items. Toss anything that’s expired or that’s been sitting on your shelves since last year. See that mostly unused container of that random ingredient that you needed for one recipe and never used again? Chunk it. Let it go.

Next, move on to cleaning out your cabinets and drawers. As you go through them, ask yourself if you really need to save those chipped coffee mugs and saucers. And do you really need forty-two bowls and two-hundred mismatched Tupperware containers? Nope. You really don’t. Put them in a pile for yard sales or Goodwill.

Tip #2:

Clean Up

We’ve all made them and we learn from them, but from time to time we have epic disasters. Whether it’s a missed flight, paid a bill late, or forgetting something important,
it happens. Focusing on the catastrophe takes up valuable time. Use your time in a positive way to recover from your mistakes of misjudgment, questioning your gut,
and use this time to reflect and ACT appropriately and you will turn this fiasco into an opportunity for growth. You are definitely going to spend time thinking about it,
so turn those thoughts to how it happened and how you would do things differently next time. Forgive yourself for being human and discover why it happened and next time,
you’re guaranteed to plan efficiently to avoid a similar debacle.

Tip #3

Cut Down

Before you put everything back in place, we want you to take a good hard look at it all and pare down even more. That’s right, do one more sweep through and make sure there’s nothing else that you can’t cut down before we reorganize. Even getting rid of one extra-large roasting pan that your mom gave you but you have no idea what to do with will help! If you haven’t used it in a few seasons, you probably never will.

Tip #4

Go, Go Gadget!

Here’s the fun part! Before you fill your cabinets and pantry back up, invest in a few gadgets that will help you make the most of the space that you have. Bins, sliding organizers and raised steps will make a world of difference and you’ll feel like you have twice the amount of storage. Here are a few of our favorite products for organizing the kitchen:


Rev-a-Shelf Pull-out Drawers – We love these because they’re super simple to install and you can just pull the drawer out instead of having to crawl into the back of a cabinet to try to find that pot you’re looking for. Use these in your bigger cabinets, especially where you store pots and casserole dishes.


Rev-a-Shelf Pull-Out Cookware Organizer – If you really want to get your pots, skillets, and tops organized then you need this baby! This will organize it all and you’ll never have to pull them all out again!


Rev-a-Shelf Waste Container Slide – Get those ugly trash cans out of eyesight with this awesome gadget! Yes, you’ll have to give up a cabinet, but we personally think it’s more than worth it! The installation of this product is a little more complex so you may have to enlist the help of your hubby or a handyman.


Rev-a-Shelf Cabinet Door Spice Rack – Take advantage of this wasted space by installing this rack which is perfect for spices that you like to keep handy. We love putting one of these inside the cabinet closest to our cooking areas.


Rev-a-Shelf Cabinet Drawer Spice Insert – If you have an extra drawer and more spices than would fit on the spice rack, lay them out using this bad boy. We love how it looks built-in and custom!


Linus Pantry Bins – Corral your pantry items using these bins. You’ll be amazed at how put-together your pantry looks just by grouping like items into these convenient containers!


Closetmaid Sliding Cabinet Organizer – Take advantage of the vertical space in your upper cabinets with a couple of these sliding organizers. You can put cleaning supplies, food items, or even utensils in the pull-out drawers.


Con-Tact Drawer/Shelf Liners – Refresh your shelf and drawer surfaces by applying a layer of Con-tact paper. Everything will look neater and the surface will grip breakable items so they’ll stay where you put them.

Tip #5

Put it All Back Together

Now that you’re down to the necessities and you have your cabinets filled with life changing organizers, it’s time to put all of your items back in! Take time to be purposeful with where you place everything. Put your glasses next to the fridge for easy grabbing. Put your spatulas and wooden spoons near your cooktop so they’re within reach. Make your life easier by organizing with intent! Don’t stick to the way it’s always been just for routine’s sake!


That’s it! Now you can stand back and admire your organized kitchen for about two minutes before you have to get to cooking! Just think, you’re only five steps away from having the heart of your home completely organized for the Fall. Happy Autumn Arranging!

We want to see your kitchen! Send us your best before and after shots and let us know how you organized your kitchen and pantry using our Autumn Arranging tips. We all need some encouragement in this crazy thing called life so let our other readers know that there’s hope!

Time Saving Tools for Anyone

Tip #1:

Be a Password Junkie

How many times have you clicked on the link, “forgot your password,” had to wait an absurd amount of time for the email, then followed all the prompts to change it? Now, how many times have you forgotten what the heck you just changed the password to? I am pretty sure that we have all done it. While having my computer tuned up, I learned about a handy application calledLastPass. This is a clever App that allows you to store all your passwords so you can securely login to your frequently visited websites and only have to remember the one master password! Never have the frustration of a forgotten password slow you down again.

Tip #2:

Take a Mental Sick Day

To make time, you need to spend some time…to regroup and reset. Here is why that makes sense. Lots of people have found that there is more benefit to taking some regular time off than to try and keep up on everything in life and put in your full forty every week. When you take a half day once a month to sit and plan your days ahead, you are no longer distracted with small things that must be done. It also gives you time to schedule the following month. Things may change but at least you will have a clearer idea of things that need to be accomplished and what needs to be prioritized. As a result of consistently taking this, much needed, time to plan ahead, you will feel less overwhelmed by your chaotic work and home life. To manage time more efficiently, consider taking a mental sick day.

Tip #3:

Don’t Dwell on Mistakes

We’ve all made them and we learn from them, but from time to time we have epic disasters. Whether it’s a missed flight, paid a bill late, or forgetting something important, it happens. Focusing on the catastrophe takes up valuable time. Use your time in a positive way to recover from your mistakes of misjudgment, questioning your gut, and use this time to reflect and ACT appropriately and you will turn this fiasco into an opportunity for growth. You are definitely going to spend time thinking about it, so turn those thoughts to how it happened and how you would do things differently next time. Forgive yourself for being human and discover why it happened and next time, you’re guaranteed to plan efficiently to avoid a similar debacle.

Tips #4

Identify your Time Robbers

We all have time robbers, but how do we identify them and, more importantly, how do we tackle them like a three hundred pound linebacker? Emails are an extremely common time robber. Many will spend 25 min composing the perfect email that captures the correct tone of voice when they could have used that voice to convey the message in about 1 minute. Another time robber is online distractions. Twenty percent of us spend more time at our desks on social media sites than we do working at that desk. Social media is a great way to stay connected, however, it is necessary to schedule time for Social Media so that you are not loosing time. Schedule 20 mins a day or half your lunch break. Whatever your schedule, stick to it. Some people can easily spend two hours a day on social media. Following the schedule for five days could save you over eight hours a week!

Tip #5

List Making

An oldy but a goody, making lists keeps all your commitments in one place. Finding the right tool to track everything you need to do for work, and for your personal life, is a task. The first step to finding the tool is identifying how you’d like to make and maintain these list. Are you a paper person? Or would you prefer an App that Sync’s to your phone so you can update on the go? If you are a paper person, consider getting a small notebook and separate out with post it, file sticky tabs, personal, and work. Start making bullets with each task and check them off weekly. If the task didn’t get completed re-write and move to the next week. There is something about having to re-write the list of things that didn’t get accomplished, that makes you want to finish is for the next week. If you prefer an APP, check these out:


Priority Matrix - This app allows you to prioritize and manage your tasks making it easier to delegate to others. It is an efficient app for making and saving your lists.

Download app for: Apple • Android


Wunderlist - To do list and task manager which allows you to set reminders and a due date on all of your pressing tasks.

Download app for: Apple • Android


Any.do - To do list and daily planner. This one got great reviews and looks very simple to use. Get things done with this app seamlessly since it’s a very organized format. My number one pick out of the three!

Download app for: Apple • Android


No matter who you are, there is time you can be saving. With these tips, you will be well on your way to efficiently managing your time. If you feel you are in a rut with your time management tools, or wish to have some assistance in implementing these tips, I hope you will think of us. Sorted Out has been a leading name in organization for almost 13 years. A trusted name in the industry, our talented and highly trained professional organizers are ready to help you administer a plan to help you conquer your time management challenges. Call us for a complimentary phone consultation today!

Travel Tips 2016

Summer is almost upon us and that means family vacation time! Whether it is just you, you and your spouse, or you and all of the kids….we have some tips to make your trip easy. Having an organized trip will help ensure that you can actually enjoy your vacation!

Packing 101:

Packing incorrectly can set your trip off as a disaster but learning how to pack efficiently can make for a carefree vacation.

1. Make a list – this may sound like overkill but it makes things WAY easier when packing time comes (especially if you have kids and husbands who are packing for themselves ). Having a master list that you use each time you pack will ensure you don’t forget toothbrushes, underwear or swimsuits. You will also want to have a smaller list specific to your destination (i.e. cold weather clothes or warm weather clothes). File these so you can use them whenever it comes time to pack. Below is a free vacation checklist courtesy of freebiefindingmom.com

trvel tips 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Efficient Packing – Use gallon size zip lock baggies to pack outfits and other accessories. Pack swimsuits in a baggie; label it with the family member’s name and “swim.” Pack hair accessories in another and label it with the family member’s name and “hair accessories,” and so on. You can also pack your kid’s outfits in baggies for each day that they are there so whoever is dressing them can grab the appropriate baggie and get them ready easily.

You can also use packing cubes for each family member. These Eagle Creek Pack-It Cubes from Container Store come in three different sizes and are perfect for each family member. Use the small cube for underwear, medium for t-shirts and large for pajamas. You can also use the cubes in place of the zip lock baggies for daily outfits, hair accessories and swim items.

travel tips 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Skip the bulky items - If you have to bring diapers, swimmers, or any other items in bulk order them on Amazon and have them delivered to your hotel or wherever you are staying

 

Now, for the fun part……the plane, train or car trip:

1. Extras – Bring plenty of extras for the actual travel part. Making sure you have plenty for your kids to do will help pass the time with minimal meltdowns.

  • Pack an extra outfit for each kid and an extra shirt for each adult in a wet bag in case there are any en-route accidents.
  • Pack a fully charged iPad or tablet, headphones and extra chargers.
  • Pack fun treat bags for the trip and snacks for each hour of travel.
  • Finally, include some activity packs with NEW items for your kids. I.E. play-doh, markers, activity books, stickers, pencils, writing or drawing paper, small toys. You can use zip lock baggies for these or small reusable bags.

Use these tips and planning your next trip will be a breeze! Happy Traveling!

Get Organized in 2016

Get Organized in 2016Have you ever said, “This is the year, I am going to get organized.“  OR, “I’m ready this year to cut the paper clutter.” OR, “This is the year I am going to park the car in the garage!” If you have said these few things to yourself, well you are in luck….We are here to help you get organized RIGHT NOW! Make 2016 the year you have been wanting to check off the list of organizing projects.

As busy as we all are, let’s face it, being organized is all about saving TIME, which most of us don’t have enough of! Being organized is also about saving MONEY. How many times have you ran out to the store to buy something, then to find that same exact item about a day later? Sound familiar? If you are like most of us, we have a ton of paper. Did you know that 80% of the paper we consume we never actually reference again?  At Sorted Out, we believe in developing processes and systems for getting and staying organized. You too could have a more organized office!

Here are some quick fixes for 2016 Paper Clutter:

  1. Create Action Files. A tabletop file for daily, short-term filing.  An easy to use accordion file to organize bills for payment, papers that require response, and information that must be filed.
  2. Create a Basic File Hub. Every home needs a good working file system. Kept in a file cart, cabinet or drawer, basic files hold medical insurance records, credit card statements, rent receipts and bank statements. Be sure to purge basic files on a monthly or quarterly basis to keep up with the maintenance.
  3. Create a Forever File. Archives for long-term file storage. Copies of tax returns and insurance policies, homeowners’ records, medical records, and copies of legal documents belong in classic files. Use file cabinets or records boxes to protect these items for long-term storage. Original documents such as insurance policies, legal documents, or tax records should be stored in secure facilities such as safe deposit boxes.
  4. Plan of Action. Setting a timeline for maintaining and developing a new filing system. After you set up your new system, set time aside to keep up with the daily, weekly, or monthly maintenance of it. Especially with tax time approaching, you’ll be happy you saved all those important documents.

file-clutter

If you struggle with any of the Paper Clutter in your home, give us a call and we will give you 1 Free hour on any package purchased for NEW Clients only. This doesn’t have to be the year that you keep piling paper all over your desk or kitchen island. Get Organized today with Sorted Out. Hurry this offer expires January 31st, 2016!

Happy Organizing!

Fall Garage Organization Tips

Fall Garage Organization Tips (1)

Fall is the perfect time to clean out and organize your garage. The weather is cooler and you can make room for your car(s) for the winter months. I am originally from the Midwest and garages back home were used a lot differently than they are in Texas. There are basements in most homes in the Midwest so there were usually storage rooms. These would be used for keepsakes, holiday items and other items that you don’t get to often. The garage was for outdoor items, tools, outdoor toys, etc. In Texas, garages often act like basements and are used to store everything from tools to holiday items. If you have an attic, this can be a useful storage space for some of these items as well.

In a perfect world, our garage would be neat and tidy while still storing all of our stuff. Here are some tips to achieve this:

  • Before purchasing any cabinets or storage shelves, purge any unused items and inventory what you will be keeping in your garage. Make sure to take into account anything that is currently inside your home that may need to be moved to the garage. This will ensure that you are not buying unnecessary items since you do not want to clutter up your garage even more when you are trying to clear it out.
  • Assess if you have usable attic space or any indoor storage closets that can be used for holiday decor or other items.
  • Cleaning and organizing a garage can be very overwhelming as it is a large space with a lot of extra clutter. If the task seems to be too stressful for you, start left to right and work one section at a time. Remember, you do not have to do all of this at once.
  • Utilize your ceiling space. If you have high ceilings in your garage utilize them and hang shelves from the ceiling for items that you rarely get to. You can purchase shelves like the one shown below or have a handy man build custom shelves.
HeavyLift Storage Platform

HeavyLift Storage Platform
Home Depot $129.00

  • Utilize your wall space. There are many wall storage products and ideas out there when it comes to your garage. You can hang a simple wall organizer for your brooms, rakes and shovels, or put up an elaborate system to hang anything from brooms to hoses to bikes. Below is an example of a wall storage solution.
    • It may be a good idea to have a spot to hang your bicycles, but make sure they are easy to get down if you ride them frequently. If you have children who ride their bikes daily, it will not be realistic to have them hanging up (especially hanging from the ceiling).
Gladiator Wall Systems

Gladiator Wall Systems
Container Store

  • Parent know that toys can take over our homes very easily; this is true for the garage as well. It is just as important for the toys to be organized in the garage as it is inside the house. Designate a bottom shelf as the toy zone so the children can reach them and put them away. Have containers clearly labeled and easy to clean. Some examples of garage toy storage containers are below; be creative and fun with the labels so the kids are more likely to put things away.
Large Galvanized Pail

Large Galvanized Pail
Oriental Trading Company-$7.50

Large Life Bin

Large Life Bin
Container Store $12.99

  • Utilize a pegboard for the tools that you use on a regular basis and keep all other tools in a toolbox stored on a shelf or in a cabinet.
  • Have what you need. You may think you need 5 hammers or 6 tape measurers, but you don’t. If you have a couple and they have a home, you will be able to find them when you need them and won’t need to continuously replace them.

Finally, my last piece of advice is to have a plan to clean and organize your garage twice a year. Spring and Fall are both great times to purge unused items and keep things organized.

Back to School Homework Station

Back to School

It’s that time of year again; the weather is starting to cool, the days are starting to get shorter, and the kids are living up every last bit of summer. With back to school brings reconnecting with friends, new teachers and hectic schedules. One way you can make things easier on the whole family is by making a homework station.  This will allow your kids to have everything they need to complete their homework in one area, instead of running all over the house to find supplies.

Homework Station Example

Below are some tips and ideas to create the perfect homework station.

  • Before you create your homework station, make sure you are putting the supplies in or near the spot where your children actually do their homework. Having all of the homework supplies in another room will cause your children to say “Mom/Dad I need such and such” and then ask you to go get it.” You want them to be able to have everything at their disposal to get started without much assistance.
  • What to have in your homework station: This depends on the ages and stages of your children. Also add some simple craft items that they like to do so they can mix in some fun after their homework is done.
    • Colored Pencils, crayons, markers
    • Regular Pencils, pens, erasers
    • Scissors, Glue and Tape
    • Lined, white and multi-color paper
    • Rulers, calculators, and any other tools your child may need to complete their work.
    • Any extra craft items that they are into at the time…I.E. decorative tape, stickers, pipe cleaners, puff balls.
  • Simple set up: Make sure you have everything separated and clearly labeled so it is easy for the kids to know where things are and where they go as clean up time comes. Make sure the containers you choose are not too large for the items that it is holding. If there is a lot of extra room in the container it is asking for the kids to pile random stuff in it.
  • If the kids do their homework in the kitchen, clear out a cupboard to house the homework station. If they have a designated homework area in your home installing a floating shelf above the desk or work area is a great way to house the supplies.
  • Have extra supplies on hand so your children don’t have to take supplies out of their bag; because they may not make it back for the next day.
  • Make sure your children can reach the supplies so it is easy access for them.

Most Importantly: Have Fun

Most important of all: Make this project fun, get your kids involved and they will be more likely to use the homework station! Use fun/easy to read labels and use easy access bins.

Spring Cleaning is Here! 5 Tips to Get Organized Before Summer

SPRING CLEANING

Spring is upon us and that means it’s time to get organized. Do not let the idea overwhelm you. Only spending small segments of time each day on getting organized will get you far and without the headache. Here are a few favorite tips to help you this year during your spring cleaning and it gets the children involved too!

One Drawer a Day – Pick one drawer a day to purge through and organize. Only spend about 20 minutes completing this task. Just by spending a little time each day going through the hidden clutter, you will be surprised how much more organized you become by the end of the month. In the kitchen pick the utility drawer and purge unwanted, chipped, or stained spoons and spatulas. In the laundry room, choose a junk drawer or battery drawer. In the master bathroom, choose the cosmetic drawer and purge unwanted foundation, old mascara and eye shadow colors you no longer use.

Digital Declutter – Block out an entire day to spend going through all of your digital photos. If an entire day overwhelms block off a half day. Organize them by child and age, vacations with the date, holidays by year, etc. Delete any pictures you do not want to keep. Once you have completed this task, be sure to back it up your pictures to a disk and keep in a secure place. Finding pictures to send to family and friends will now be a much easier task in the future.

Artwork Collection – Each school year, kids bring home numerous amounts of artwork. Do you really need to keep all of it? The answer is no. Art portfolios are a great way to archive and share the artwork your child has done over the year. Get the kids involved by having them choose their favorite ones to add to the portfolio and get rid of the rest. Each child should have their own portfolio labeled with their name and the school year. This will eliminate the boxes taking up your garage or attic space.

Magazine Overload – Purge through all of the unwanted magazines. Go into each room of the house and throw away any magazines that have not been read in over a month. If you haven’t read it but it is still 3 months old, get rid of it anyway. A great idea to recycle the old magazines you have already finished reading, donate them to your hair or nail salon. Limit yourself and each family member to only 2 magazine subscriptions per year. Cut costs and save paper!

Kids take Control – In each of the children’s closet, place a purge bin/bag. Teach them to decide which clothing they want/need to keep and which to either donate or put aside for sell. Not only will this be a great way to get them involved in the process of organizing, but it teaches them accountability.

Organizing your home can be self satisfying and very rewarding once it is all said and done. You will be enjoying your spring and summer less stressed and clutter free. How awesome would it be to be able to find a home for virtually everything in your home?

Tax Time Organization and Preparation

If you are like the thousands of people out there who don’t like to do your taxes, you are not alone! Getting organized for this process is daunting and down right kind of annoying to some of us. Unfortunately it has to be done. You could file an extension, but why wait? Get organized NOW with this tips. Or perhaps, it’s just a nice way of giving you a nudge and get you motivated.

RULE

  1. Develop a checklist of what you needed to prepare for taxes this year, then make a plan to set up a filing system to collect all this data throughout the year. TurboTax has a great Tax Preparation Checklist.
  2. For tracking daily expenses, like mileage, have a system that is updated daily. Write mileage information in a notebook kept in a car. Or track mileage on a calendar, or the notes section of a smart phone. Create a summary each month and at the end of the year, your records will be complete. Also consider an easy on the go app on your phone to get rid of the paper and go paperless. Shoeboxed Receipt and Mileage tracker is an excellent resource and was featured on the Today Show. This app is an online organizational tool and is approved by the IRS.
  3. Be sure to clear out your filing system of all the past years documents that support your tax deductions. File in bankers boxes, or sturdy plastic file boxes clearly labeled with that tax year. Also, add the year when these supporting tax documents can be shredded. More and more people are scanning their documents to keep paper files at a minimum. Just be sure that you have backups of these files. Also, Place a shred date on the bankers box or file box for future shred date.
  4. What to keep and what to toss? Check out the financial record keeping guide from Suze Orman for when papers can be tossed.

In all cases, consult with your accountant to get their recommendations for what to keep or toss. If you are interested in a professional organizer to help put systems in place for tracking tax information give Sorted Out, LLC a call to schedule a 20 minute free assessment. A small amount of time invested upfront, will make huge time savings when it comes to tax preparation time, and you’ll reap more rewards with more deductions.

Tonia HeadShot.blackandwhiteHappy Tax Time 2015!
Tonia Tomlin, Expert Organizer, Sorted Out, LLC

4 Easy Ways to Control Christmas Clutter and Organize your Holiday Season

With the stress of the holiday season in full swing, it’s easy to allow clutter to get out of hand and wreak havoc on all your holiday plans. However, with just a few easy steps, you can do a few things that will help you organize all your holiday activities so that you can spend more time enjoying the season rather than dreading it.

 

1. Create a gift wrap station

wrap station

Take inventory of your supplies. See what you already have–and what you need. Will you need to refresh stocks of gift wrap, gift bags, ribbons or bows? Make sure you have scissors and pens. Like cellophane tape, these gift wrapping necessities often go astray during wrapping season, so lay in a good supply before you begin. Include mailing supplies on your list, especially postal–approved parcel sealing tape. Masking tape, twine and cellophane tape can become caught in parcel handling machinery, delaying your gifts and goodies or even damaging them. Don’t run the risk to save a few pennies. Make a “to buy” list and add items to the shopping list. Buy extra tape. There are never enough rolls of tape on hand for holiday projects!

Next select your wrap station location. Good lighting and a comfortable work surface are a must, so consider placing a craft table near a window. Those in small homes can make use of a bed area, if they place a large sheet of poster board or cardboard on the bed before hauling out the supplies. Access to a computer and printer will help speed the process of mailing gifts. Look for a postal scale to make best use of the mailing tools offered by the United States Postal Service. Using their Click–N–Ship, you’ll be able to buy postage, print mailing labels and arrange for carrier pickup from the comfort of home. Don’t waste time in line!

 

2.  Home preparation 

home prep

When your house is in order, it’s much easier to relax. And, your guests will appreciate a clutter free and inviting home, as well. Invite Sorted Out over for a consultation to review your home and help define priorities for getting your house “guest ready”. Time is valuable during the Holiday Season, and if you find your time is short, then put us to work making your home organized for the holidays.

 

3. Create a master gift list 

gift list

Create folder with this master gift list and start taking notes about what you want to purchase for others keep track of their name, gift description, where you are going to purchase the gift, if you have to mail it, the budgeted about and if it’s been wrapped! This helps you stay on track with your budget and you don’t leave anyone out.

 

4. Use mobile apps

use apps

Use these fun apps this holiday season for shopping, organizing list, and menu planning. All of these are available in Apple’s App Store.

-Gift List Manager $1.99
-The Christmas List $1.99
-Santa’s Bag FREE
-Menu Planner $2.99
-Meal Board $3.99
-Meal Builder Pro $2.99

 

Let us know what you think – what are some of your go-to tips for staying organized during the holidays? Let us know on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SortedOutOrganizing.

Halloween Safety Tips:

October is here and so the time for costumes, decorations, candy, and spooky fun begins! This month’s post will cover helpful Halloween safety tips approved by the National Safety Council. To ensure Halloween is safe for our kids, please share this post and tell your friends – by all of us doing our part we can ensure a fun and safe night for everyone.

For those of us driving, please be especially alert and cautious because of the high number of pedestrians walking the streets.

haLLO

Safety Tips for Motorists:

  • Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
  • Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
  • At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.
  • Never use your cell phone while driving.
  • Discourage teens from driving on Halloween. There are too many hazards and distractions for inexperienced drivers.

 

For all those young ghouls and goblins planning on trick-or-treating make sure to bring a guardian. All children under the age of 12 should always be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult.

Six children in costumes trick or treating at woman's house

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trick-or-Treating Tips:

  • Instruct your children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and avoid trick-or-treating alone.
  • Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home.
  • Teach your children to never enter a stranger’s home.
  • Agree on a specific time for your children to come home.
  • Give your children flashlights with fresh batteries to help them see and for others to see them.
  • Make sure your child or a responsible adult with them carries a cell phone for quick communication.
  • Review all appropriate pedestrian and traffic safety rules with your children:
    • Look both ways before crossing the street and use established crosswalks whenever possible.
    • Walk, do not run, from house to house.
    • Do not cross yards and lawns where unseen objects or the uneven terrain can present tripping hazards and never walk near lit candles or luminaries.
    • Walk on sidewalks, not in the street. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the far edge of the road facing traffic.

Children will be anxious to stuff themselves with their treats, but parents need to take these necessary precautions first:

  • Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten, then examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before your children eat them.
  • Give children an early meal before going out to prevent them from filling up on Halloween treats or eating anything before you can inspect it.
  • Only let your children eat factory-wrapped treats. Avoid homemade treats unless you know the cook well.
  • When in doubt, throw it out.

 

Reviewing this with your children can help establish a safe and smooth game plan you all can stick to.

A few other tips to consider involves costume safety. When making or purchasing Halloween costumes, follow these safety precautions to ensure your children remain safe while looking great:

best-cities-trick-or-treating-ftr

Costumes

  • All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant.
  • If children are allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags to make sure they are visible.
  • When buying Halloween makeup, make sure it is nontoxic and always test it in a small area first. Remove all makeup before children go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation.
  • Masks can limit or block eyesight, so consider non-toxic makeup or decorative hats as safer alternatives.
  • If masks are worn, they should have large eye holes and nose and mouth openings. Encourage your children to remove their masks before crossing the street.
  • Children should only wear well-fitting costumes and shoes to avoid trips and falls.
  • Do not allow your children to wear decorative contact lenses, as they present a risk for serious eye injury.
  • Knives, swords and other accessories should be made from cardboard or flexible materials. Do not allow children to carry sharp objects.

With these tips, everyone can have a safe and fun Halloween. Remember, time spent together is the most important, and what your kids will remember most. Happy Halloween all!