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It's always a challenge getting through every magazine I would like.  I even keep one or two in the car so when I am stuck waiting somewhere I have something to read so as not to waste the time.

But, after three months it is time to ditch old magazines, or better yet, pass them along to a friend or a doctor's office.  If you have had it on hand for three months and not read it, you are likely NOT going to.  Time to get rid of those and clean up that pile that seems to be constantly growing.  

How about those old cookbooks?  Nearly all the recipes I use now are online.  I can pass the old ones to our library for their book sale for those that still use cookbooks.  This frees up greatly needed space and is an easy item to part with.  My feeling is any cookbook that we aren't using should get donated and give me back the extra space I can then use!

 
 
Thinking ahead and preparing for emergencies is always a good idea.  Do you have a flashlight available with fresh batteries and know where it is?  Is there a battery powered radio in your home, or better yet a solar crank style one for use when power goes out?  Is there a first aid kit in your car?  These are two easy ones.  What else is there to think about?  All these items are available at Amazon.  

What about car accidents?  Being submerged after an accident can be so frightening as you find yourself unable to open the car door to get out.  Breaking the safety glass is a near impossibility.  There is a small tool that can be added to your keychain which can break your car's safety glass and cut your seatbelt if you cannot release it yourself.  For $12 it is a great insurance policy. Resqme Car Escape Rescue Tool.  Being in the ignition, it makes it easy to find in this dire emergency.  

What ideas do you have for being prepared for emergencies?  Share them here in comments so others can learn your important tips.  


 
 
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When preparing your laundry for the washer, be sure to zip up all zippers.  This prevents them from getting caught on or rubbing against other fabrics in the load.  It will keep your clothes looking new longer, and isn't that always a goal?

 
 
If you find yourself with a small amount of time, take on a small organizing project.  The pile on the steps, next to your bed, or on the kitchen counter can many times be sorted through in 15 minutes or less.  Give it a try and discover the calm that comes with more organized surroundings.  
 
 
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When you sort your mail, do so over the recycle bin or trashcan.  Don't bother bringing it inside and planning to handle it later.  Now is the time to get rid of what you know you don't want or need. 

 
 
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Plan now for extra money next April.  Little things like purging your closet and donating no longer wanted clothes helps you and someone in need.  You get a tax deduction and they get greatly needed clothing!  Choose a charity like Goodwill or Salvation Army and be sure to get a receipt and keep a list of exactly what you donated.  See http://satruck.org/donation-value-guide to determine the value of each item donated.  If the item is no longer of use to anyone--DITCH IT, or cut it up and put it in the rags bin.  Some of my best rags are old cotton shirts!

Clothing must be in reasonably good condition and clean. Items that may no longer be of need to you may be of good use to someone else.  Get started now.  Remember you can only deduct from this years taxes what you donate during this year.  As the holidays approach it will be good to have this task out of the way instead of having it on your to do list!

 
 
I used to have several TO DO lists around the house.  That really doesn't work.  For greater efficiency, combine them all into one and keep it posted on your refrigerator or better yet, in your smart phone.  I like having mine in the phone for many reasons--like when I am at CVS and can take a peak on the phone to see if I am running low on a pharmacy item I can pick up then, rather than making a separate trip.  It saves time and keeps your TO DO list handy to review when waiting in line somewhere to be sure you are on top of what needs to get done.  
 
 
Ever hear of the One in One Out rule?  We organizers love this.  It means for each item you bring into your home, one goes out.  I like it particularly for clothing--not so much for groceries.  For example, if you get some new underwear, it is a great time to purge the old underwear!  Try it and see if it isn't also helpful to you in keeping super organized, and therefore adding more calm to you life!
 
 
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I love having a CLEAN brush and comb.  Wondering how to keep your hairbrushes clean and what to use?  I use shampoo!  Each time I finish a bottle, I simply add water into the bottle to use the LAST little bit and pour that into the bathroom sink, add warm water and soak my brush and comb about 20 minutes, swishing around a couple of times.  That way I know I am cleaning them regularly and not giving them a chance for dirt and sticky hair products to build up.  It works great for me--give it a try!

 
 
I am lucky to have a lot of tee shirts.  I found that keeping them in three piles meant I almost always wore whatever one was on top.  Then I read in Real Simple magazine to roll the shirts to store them!  It has worked out GREAT.  I can see all my shirts with a quick glance.  I keep them in order by putting all my Disney race shirts together, my blood donor shirts together and then other.  I also like the way the shirts look when unrolled as opposed to unfolded!