That buzz in your head… Could it be clutter chatter?
Cheap Thoughts and Stuff
Making that noise disappear probably requires a commitment to live a simpler life with fewer, although higher quality, things instead of hoarding cheap, unnecessary stuff.
Refrain from fooling yourself into thinking that you save money when you find something at a low cost and buy more than you need. Money is spent when you buy stuff, not when you get rid of it.
When you buy cheap stuff by volume and refuse to discard or donate what you don’t need, you continually waste money and reject better possibilities in your life.
We All Know This Person
Here’s an example. Consider someone who finds no money to have some home repairs done but has bought all gadgets sold by infomercials between midnight and 5 am for the past year.
This person now has every possible iteration of cat litter boxes, 18 different lines of weight loss products and programs (because nothing works), seven different mops, laptop gadgets, several high-end electronic toys, four Roomba vacuum cleaners, and three other systems of oil diffusers, to name a few.
If added on a whole year, the amount spent on all those things could be enough to tackle significant repairs or upgrades in the home and buy the top-quality item in every category they genuinely need.
Yet, they continually spend their money on useless things (on sale), continue living in a house that is falling apart due to lack of maintenance, and continue hoarding cheap, low-quality versions of items they might or might not need. Does that make sense?
And remember that the more you have, the more you need to keep up with, more to clean, more to store, more effort to find what you are looking for, and so on.
Ah, let’s remember the cost of storage. You pay for every square inch of your home, which should be living space, not storage space. And the monthly fee for a storage unit? Do not even go there! Why do this to yourself and your family?
Turn Those Feelings Around
It seems very hard for people to let go of useless things accumulated in this manner. They might need to shift their emotions around stuff and money if they wish to break this spending cycle and upgrade the quality of their life.
Shifting how they feel about money and themselves would be a fundamental change if they aspire to live a simpler, stylish life that makes them proud.
Please understand that an elevated lifestyle has less to do with your financial situation or the size of your home. Instead, it is about your mindset, priorities, how deserving you feel to receive the best of life, and where you direct your attention to and your intention from now on.
Intentional storage means considering what we keep to determine how to keep it. However, in talking about intentional storage, we must mention something more fundamental: putting things down versus putting things away.
Putting Things Away
A simple life with fewer things means that we can adequately contain the contents of the house and develop sound systems around the use and care of those possessions.
A home that operates in this way is a home that facilitates putting things away instead of putting things down.
Putting things down is the beginning of the end in terms of organization. Putting things away after using them every single time is a fundamental habit to develop to have a home that breathes peace and order.
But it is much easier to learn to put things away consistently when everything has a logical, designated place in the home and things comfortably fit where they should go.
Containers Keep Us Accountable
I heard Joanna from The Home Edit say something that stuck with me because it is so accurate, and I never thought of putting it into words as she did. She said: “Containers keep us accountable.”
I can see now why their organizing method always includes all that micro-organization and over-division of stuff. The more (appropriate) containerization, the easier it is to determine when our stuff is becoming too much – they’ll start spilling over.
When things start spilling over, we must decide (if we don’t want clutter to take over) what we should let go of or if that group of items has grown for a legitimate change that might require a permanent change in space planning. And this is what being intentional with the storage means.
The Why Dictates The How
Suppose you love crafting, embroidery in particular. And you have a section in your home office with all those supplies needed for your hobby. At some point, your hobby turned into a business possibility. So, you decide to pursue embroidery as an income-generating activity. Now you’ll need much more material and supplies and probably more significant, better equipment to handle production.
In this case, it makes sense to “set shop” on a different part of the house dedicated to these activities, transform your home office into the facility you need, or even rent some industrial space. Either of these alternatives calls for a total change in how you gather, store, and use your embroidery supplies, materials, and tools.
Having a ton of new material available because your mother-in-law gave you a bunch of stuff over the holidays is not a reason to overflow or change the storage system that has worked for you so far. If you received embroidery material that you were not expecting or needing, you should decide:
whether to keep the new stuff and get rid of the previous material
sell or donate the new stuff
keep parts of each collection and give away the rest
The two cases are different, but deciding and acting intentionally is necessary in both.
If an intentional decision is not made, all that additional material will hang around the carefully appointed system and previously set containers. As a result, it won’t look as contained anymore nor be as functional as it was.
When Storage Space Is Minimal
And one more thing! If the home of your dreams has minimal storage space, some “stored” items might not be concealed (as in open storage). So, when stuff needs to be in view like that, the trick is to blend that with the design and make it “disappear” from view.
You’ll need some out-of-the-box thinking to achieve this. And finding the right storage solution means transforming potential eyesores into space enhancers, conversation pieces, and even eye candy. How about that? Are you up to the challenge?
The ability to notice details and the willingness to creatively tweak little things are crucial to achieving the perfect space in a project. Organizing takes skill, patience, strategy, time, and attention to detail. Those are a Professional Organizer’s tools of the trade. However, Organizers are exceptional at developing systems that take organizing to its next level. Systems usually increase clients’ efficiency in utilizing their space.
Consider the kitchen cabinet and notice all details involved in the process resulting in an organized, functional space. However, organizing this cabinet also resulted in two efficient systems.
Systems Take Organizing To The Next Level
The Kitchen Cabinet Situation
this cabinet had lots of cookbooks and recipe binders
it also had a myriad of serving items
books stacked sideways because some did not fit the space
recipe clippings were sticking out of books and binders
nothing was labeled or had hand-written post-it notes
recipes were hard to remember, identify, or use
meals were boring, repetitive, and unhealthy
medicine and supplement bottles occupied the lower shelf of this cabinet
taking meds and supplements was inconsistent because of the sorting and opening of bottles required, and it was hard to remember who took what and when
The kitchen cabinet needed some tweaking to become a functional cabinet with valuable, organized content.
removed all cabinet contents
sorted through contents and removed what was no longer wanted or needed
pills presorted in bags according to dosage/time of intake for each person
pill bags divided into baskets for each household member
system benefit: a streamlined process where everyone knows where, what, when, and how when getting their meds
The development of systems improves efficiency in the use of your space. Therefore, designing systems that increase productivity and make life easier is one of the most valuable benefits you can get from working with a Professional Organizer.
If you want to experience some of “Organizing magic,” let’s talk! We’d love to hear about you and see how we can help.
All those school projects, papers, and awards are everywhere, and you can’t find it in your heart to let them go.
Organizing kids’ memories let you declutter your life and enjoy those mementos better. I will show you how.
First, gather all your children’s projects, artwork, school papers, trophies, awards, and the like. Go through every space, drawer, closet, and room in your home. Leave no space unchecked. Take all this kid-related stuff to a single place in your home to collect them together.
However, stay hyper-focused during this gathering process. Don’t get distracted by other things you might find. Your focus is crucial! Getting distracted is what trips people on this process, and then they get confused and can’t finish half the job.
Once you have this material in one place, you will have a large group of miscellaneous items. Now subdivide this big pile by the child if you have two or more children.
After having a separate pile for each of your children, sort each one by year. When you can’t recall the year when the piece was created, and the item does not show, assign some chronological order as best as you can.
You will have several groups of items per each of your children. Now follow the steps described below for each of those years, per child. You must work on one group (year or stage) for one child at a time.
1. Discard Unimportant Papers
Unimportant papers are notifications from school, lunch menus, and the like. These are things that won’t move our hearts at the end of the day. (You know what I’m talking about). So, recycle or trash all that.
2. Photograph Non-Scannable Items
Take good pictures of everything that is not flat paper, like artwork pieces, medals, trophies, etc. As you take each photo, include a post-it note with the child’s name and the item’s date. Place this post note at the bottom of each item so that you can crop it out of the picture later on. Then, when ready to work on a project with these pictures (like a photo book or scrapbook), crop the note out, if you can tag or caption the image.
If taking pictures of these items will suffice, you can let go of the physical object. When dealing with trophies, medals, and awards, if you or your child are not ready to part with the physical thing just yet, find a suitable location in the home where you can gather and display these items in a cohesive, aesthetic way. You don’t want them to look like accidents in your home.
3. The Written Work
Group items related to written work like stories, poems, analyses, and the like. The idea for these is to make binders or books later on. But, for now, organize the material to create these books later.
4. The “Warm & Fuzzy” Box
Regardless of your most ruthless efforts to eliminate clutter, there might be a few (a few), small items that you or your child can’t simply let go of, even when these have been digitized. That’s where the “Warm & Fuzzy” box comes in.
Everyone should have a “warm & fuzzy” box, by the way. This is a nice-looking box, basket, or container with a lid that includes items we keep forever. Those are the items that take us back in time and make us laugh and cry every time. Therefore, it is crucial to be selective with the things we include here. Not everything makes it to the coveted status of “warm & fuzzy” box material. Remember that!
5. Paper and Flat Media
Loose papers, awards, recognitions, messages, etc., on paper, are scannable media. As you do this, name the electronic file with the child’s name and the year when they made it. This process is equivalent to the post-it notes you applied to items photographed.
Scan everything using your printer/scanner, your iPhone, or any equipment you might have or can purchase for this purpose. This equipment is not that expensive anymore. However, it would be an excellent investment to have a reliable scanner at home.
Stories, poems, essays, and other items you put together to make binders or books (step 3), don’t need to be scanned individually. However, it is clever to digitize these, ensuring a safe record. If you do, ensure that pages of the same item remain together in sequential order.
You will manage the scanned material the same way you dealt with the pictures. So think of each scanned paper or project a digital image comparable to the photos.
6. Rinse and Repeat
Once you finish working with all the mementos of a child’s years, repeat the process with each one of your other children, working a year or a stage at a time.
In my case, we have three children, and for each one, I divided their electronic files into four main stages: infancy, elementary school, middle school, and high school. Note that pictures or souvenirs from extra-curricular activities and summers get included in one of these four stages, depending on the year.
7. Create Digital Files
Download all the photos you took of non-scannable items into an electronic file. You could name this file “Kids’ Projects” or something like that. Then create a file folder per child, and move every picture related to a particular child into their electronic folder. After this, you may subdivide each child’s electronic folder into years or stages or any way you want to do this.
Do not forget to add all images from your scanning process. Add these to the same digital folders.
From Now On
From the moment you gather all those projects, awards, and papers from around the home, consider it is a clean slate and new beginning. Pay attention to how you manage your children’s documents, projects, and awards. The key is to stay on top of things. Here’s is how you do that.
Every day, when kids come home from school or extra-curricular activities
Note important dates and deadlines and place those dates on the family calendar.
Post any school reminders for your children on a magnetic or chalkboard where they can see them every morning.
Discard those notes or papers. Those are the miscellaneous papers you tossed on step 1 above.
When the children bring home artwork pieces, trophies, medals, and other non-flat items
Photograph these as soon as they get home (so they look their best and you don’t forget to do this).
Save these pictures in the child’s electronic file. Name the file with the child’s name and year.
Add subsequent art projects during that year to that same file.
Create a new file with the child’s name and year every year.
You or your child might want to display such an item for a while. That’s great! Just ensure you place this item in that particular location you designated for this kind of thing. But, again, you don’t want their projects to look or feel like clutter.
In any case, taking those pictures early on gives you and your kids the freedom to let go of the item after displaying it for some time.
Scan all paper items and flat media such as report cards, academic evaluations, school pictures, stories, essays, and poems as soon as they come home.
If you can’t process these items immediately, park these papers in a bin close to the scanner, and assign a day of the week or the month in your calendar (yes, do it now!) to periodically scan these things. Of course, discard originals as soon as you digitize them. But should you need to keep it, place it in a file with the child’s name in your filing cabinet.
It’s a lot of work, I know. But consider that all this work needs to be done just at the beginning of the project because you did not have a method to deal with all this stuff so far. So once you follow the initial process, you only need to stay on top of it.
But why do all of this in the first place? First, this solves the overwhelming number of papers and artifacts cluttering our home space. Second, this process allows you to have all that worth-keeping material organized and ready to create meaningful stories of each stage of your children’s lives.
Telling a story is the real purpose of keeping all these projects, pictures, and awards. Having all those papers and items with no order all over the house does not tell any story nor inspire anyone to create one. This material is simply meaningless when scattered around or carelessly stored in a bin somewhere.
On the other hand, memories in book form, like photo books, are easy to keep neatly on a shelf or library and are a joy to share. Our children will be able to see and enjoy their path through life and share this fantastic legacy with friends, family, and their children.
Also, imagine the storage space you will recover when you let go of physical items and original papers! However, you might think that throwing all that away is what you did not want to do. But how many times has anybody enjoyed those things since you put them away? Is there space in your home to display them all? Are they all worth exhibiting? Do you want your home to look like a kindergarten classroom?
Maybe when your child created a project, you displayed it for about a week or so. But eventually, that project, along with so many others, started cluttering your home and your life. So, this way of purposely and intentionally working with your children’s stuff will take you where you want to be.
Looking Beneath Your Need to Keep the Stuff
If you feel it is too hard to let go of those physical objects and original papers, even when they are safely digitized, what you are probably trying to keep is the feelings they evoke. It is not about the item itself. Images of these items can still satisfy those feelings without drowning you in “stuff.” Instead, having these memories accessibly organized enables everyone to enjoy and share them for many years to come.
Let’s discuss some aspects of caring for, living with, and loving a dog that sometimes even dog owners ignore.
If you know me, you know I love animals more than words can express. In particular, I adore dogs.
When working with a new client with dogs, I ensure those little ones have an adequate, clean, and comfy place to sleep (I will celebrate big if I hear they share your bed!).
I will note where they eat and drink and inquire about (and observe) the type of relationship my clients have with their pups. It’s in my nature to look out for these defenseless, loving beings.
Many never notice when I clean their companions’ bowls and feed them fresh food from their pantry and serve them fresh water. I try to be discrete to avoid my fellow humans from feeling self-conscious.
But today, I’d like to address a couple of things about living with dogs. I might ruffle some feathers, but I am not apologizing for that — not this time.
Dogs deserve all our love, compassion, and more! As humans, we owe them big. Dogs, as we know them, did not exist in nature. We created them by domesticating their wild ancestors. We created this type of creature that depends on us. It would be absurd to turn our backs on them by neglecting their complex needs. Dogs are intelligent, sentient, social beings, and often caring for them with “just the basics” won’t do.
Why do you “own” dogs? If the answer is purely practical, please look for a loving, deserving family for them. Dogs love and need love. They are much better than us at seeing through our intentions and feelings. Dogs know when they are not loved. That can break a dog’s heart and spirit. So, if you have dogs but do not love them — truly love them, do yourself and the dogs a favor and rehome them asap.
Now, continue reading if you have dogs because you genuinely love and respect them. On behalf of my canine friends, I have some pointers that might not be the usual things we consider.
Microchip your dog(s) and keep the national registry updated about pertinent changes like moving (duh!). Also, don’t forget to include them in all possible national registries. Registering your dog(s) will substantially increase the chances of finding your fur babies if they ever get lost. There is no point in using the technology if you drop the ball by not keeping the registries up to date.
Create a name tag with your phone number and address (not the vet’s) for the dog’s collar. If the dog gets lost, it is easier to reunite him with the owners if he has a tag on the collar with the home number, given that the vet’s office is not open 24/7.
It is essential to have that tag because not everyone will be willing or able to take the dog to a place to scan the microchip. And, as I learned the hard way once (happy ending, though!), not all sites have scanners that can read all kinds of microchips.
If your animal sleeps in the room with you and the metal sound of their ID plate bothers you, consider following a routine to remove the collar last thing before going to be and putting it back on first thing in the morning.
Adopt, Do Not Buy!
Millions of animals need a good home out there! Don’t pay hundreds of dollars for an animal when so much love dies every day in shelters! Dogs get depressed and heartbroken in those places. They know why they are there. They feel the rejection and void in their hearts. Yet, ironically, these are the most grateful, intelligent, and graceful creatures you will ever find.
Besides, whenever money is involved with animals, inevitably unscrupulous behavior follows at some point. Nothing good ever comes from seeing animals in terms of dollars and cents. If you only knew the horrors these animals go through in places like puppy mills (that supply pet shops), you would definitively consider adopting instead of buying.
Spay or Neuter
Be a responsible owner and spay or neuter your dogs. There are way too many pups out there in shelters waiting for a loving family. Avoid the heartache of dealing with a litter of puppies. Chances are puppies will end up in houses where they are less than cherished, especially if the owners of these puppies did not have to pay a hefty price for them.
If you have chosen to share your home with an animal, be kind. Animals deserve so much better from us. They did not choose to be your pet. You did.
Do not get a dog and ignore him or leave him outside. Dogs have socialization and love needs. They also feel the heat and the cold. The “house dog” is okay for cartoons and stories (perhaps), but it does not cut in real life.
If you kennel your dog(s) when you are not home, ensure that the kennel has adequate ventilation and that the dog has access to clean water.
There are water bottles for kennels that work with gravity and water demand as the dog drinks. These eliminate the mess.
Remember that the dog will do his best to avoid soiling the kennel, but do not push their limits or abuse their good nature and respect for you. You don’t want their bladder to explode or the dog in pain. Keep in mind that you have a kenneled dog at home. Either go home at the usual time and allow them to go potty or make arrangements with a neighbor or paid service to walk the dog at some time during your absence.
Ensure the kennel has a soft surface for the dog to rest. For example, get a kennel cushion or place a couple of plush (clean) towels inside the kennel.
Find a good location for the kennel. For example, avoid direct sunlight or dangerous spaces with access to electrical cables. When the kennel is in an area with a fan or windows, leave the fan on and window blinds or shutters open for the dog to enjoy natural light. It is best not to cover the kennel with towels or blankets. The dog enjoys seeing the surroundings.
Maybe leave the tv on or the radio at low volume for entertainment?
Consider also leaving a chew toy inside the kennel.
When the dog is very young or getting used to living in your home, leave a piece of clothing or bedding with your scent.
By the way, a kennel that is the appropriate size allows the dog to stand upright and move around. Ensure the kennel is the correct size for your dog. Can you imagine spending your days in a cage where you can’t even stretch your legs? That is a form of torture (and even then, the dog still loves you. Dang! We don’t deserve them).
Some breeds are supposed to skip bathing (or so I’ve heard — like the puli dog). Even if your dog does not share your bed, please bathe them from time to time, groom them, clip their nails, express their anal glands (yep, that too!). Don’t want to do this yourself? Hire a grooming service. Don’t have the resources for that and don’t want to do it yourself? Don’t have a dog!
I have heard many times, “we don’t want the dog inside because he smells.” And who’s fault is that? I bet you would smell ten times worse than any dog if you stop showering for several weeks.
When bathing your animals regularly, homes with pets tend to develop strong odors when not following proper hygiene. Therefore, wash their beds and clean their quarters as often as possible. Make this part of your cleaning routine (as in schedule it!).
Walking The Dog
Smile, for God’s sake! I can’t tell you the many times I have crossed paths with people walking their dogs that look so miserable and act so anti-socially that they don’t even answer a “hello.”
It is your privilege to be in the company of such a magnificent creature that loves you! If this thought does not make you smile, read the seventh paragraph above again.
Allow your dog to sniff around. What is the purpose of walking your dog if you constantly pull the leash when all the dog wants is to “read the news”? Smells are to a dog like Facebook or Instagram is to you. That is how they know who is around and what is happening. Their daily walk might be the only socialization the dog will get in his entire day!
Consider using a harness instead of latching the leash to the dog’s collar. When the dog pulls away or if you pull the dog, the collar hurts tender tendons in the neck. This kind of injury can be serious. And speaking of leashes, avoid those retractable ones. There have been too many instances of those leashes causing severe injuries to dogs and humans alike!
Food And Water
Thoroughly clean your dog’s bowls daily with soap and water, regardless of the type of food you feed your dogs. If your dog eats wet or raw food, you must adhere to a schedule to remove and discard leftovers and wash the bowls after every feeding.
When it comes to the water dish, it is not just a matter of replenishing the water. Every time a dog drinks water from a bowl, the saliva goes into it, and mixed with the water, it creates a slimy film in the bowl. So let’s keep those bowls squeaky clean and grant them constant access to fresh, abundant water.
Consider a raised feeder for their bowls for medium or large dog breeds. It is hard for taller dogs to eat or drink from a bowl on the floor. These raised feeders also help their digestion, given how they eat their food more comfortably.
Avoid human food. Yes, to human-grade food for dogs, but the food should be prepared according to their particular needs and calibrated in composition and caloric value.
Do not give dogs your chicken bones and things like that. Some dogs might behave as if they were garbage disposals. But they are not and should not be treated as such. Avoid feeding them the family’s leftovers, and much less, the food that has spoiled in your fridge. You and the dog will both pay for awful consequences.
If your pup eats dry food, transferring the food to a sealed plastic container in your pantry (floor level) will keep the food clean and fresh. Also, you will quickly know when to buy more, and the food will be accessible and easy to serve. Do not keep the dry food bag open in the garage!
Hopefully, your dog has a comfortable bed of his own or at least a comfy, cozy corner to sleep in and feel safe. Wash the bed at least every month if the bed has a removable cover. When dogs sleep on blankets or towels, wash all that stuff regularly. Dogs need a clean place too!
Invest In Training
Better to have a trained dog than to spend the few years he lives with us yelling at the poor creature when he does the wrong thing. Dogs are intelligent creatures. It is us, humans, that are inconsistent and impatient with them. How are they supposed to learn when we do not show them what we expect? (But then again, we all know some people should have taken IQ tests before having human children!)
Keep Them Healthy
The least you can do for your dog is to ensure that he has an annual checkup with the vet to receive their shots and, at minimum, one thorough dental cleaning per year. Bacteria from the gums can easily affect the heart of a dog.
Of course, every time the dog looks or acts strangely, you should take them to the vet to ensure his wellbeing.
Do not forget the heartworm medication every single month. It is deplorable to see a dog suffering from heartworms when this is easily avoidable.
Treat those fleas!
Can you imagine what the dog goes through living with an infestation of fleas 24/7? Well, don’t treat the fleas, and you won’t have to imagine it for long. Enough said!
Before bringing your new baby home, allow the dog to familiarize himself with the baby’s scent. A used baby blanket is great to place in the dog’s kennel or bed. The reception of your baby by your furry friend will be much different.
Don’t break their heart!
Please do not neglect your dog or feel you have to keep the dog out now that you have a baby. That is a sure way to break a dog’s heart and create resentment towards your baby. Dogs are (or should be) part of the family. They naturally bond with babies and love caring for them! If you feel you do not have enough love to share now that you have a child, find a loving family that does not feel that way. The dog deserves it!
Train early on
Consider engaging a trainer before the baby arrives. A trainer can help you and the dog work on walks with a stroller and other foreseeable situations you might want to prepare. Advance training will decrease stress arising from bringing the newest family member home. Primarily, work on barking at the door and greeting visitors. These are two areas where significant challenges arise upon bringing a new baby to a home with dogs.
Dogs And Kids
Dogs and kids are a great combination only when the children have learned to respect the dog.
Some people think it is pretty funny or speaks highly of the dog when their children do all kinds of things to their dog, and the dog does not bite or snarl. This only speaks highly of those persons’ stupidity, I’m afraid. They are pushing their dogs’ limits, potentially creating a dangerous situation for both child and dog. The dog is being harmed, abused, or at least disrespected. Adults model a terrible example for their children this way.
Children need to learn, early in life, that dogs need to be respected and cherished, and that is why the dog shares the home with the family. What part of this is funny or should make the dog owner proud? I do not have a frigging idea!
Things We Do That Dogs Hate
Think it is so cute and funny to dress up your dog for Halloween or whatever other occasion? Newsflash! they do not share your views on this. So do not do this ridiculous thing! Dogs don’t like the feel, and they know how stupid they look.
Face to face loving
Do not love your dog by placing your face in front of theirs. Dogs hate it! They might tolerate it because it is you, and they love you and do not want to disappoint you. But they do not like this a bit.
Leaving them outside
Some dogs are suited for cold climates, but others are not. If it feels cold to you and your dog is not a furry snow beast (like our Great Pyrenees), consider getting them a size-appropriate jacket for those moments when there is no other option than going outside.
Do not presume that being dogs and having fur is automatic protection. Freezing weather is probably an instance when your dog won’t be bothered if you dress them warmly (just jacket and booties, no clown customs, please!)
If your dog sleeps outside, bring them inside unless outside is their choice (some breeds are like that)! They are part of the family. If you do not think a dog’s place is inside the home, again, DO NOT HAVE A DOG!
It is a crime to leave a dog outside when it is too hot or too cold in many states. There is a reason for that — it is an aberrant act of cruelty!
The dog’s fur not only protects him against the cold but also insulates him in the heat. Some people think they are doing their dog a favor by shaving off the hair when it is too hot out there. Unfortunately, this makes the dog lose their natural protection against the heat. Unless the dog is very matted and there is no better solution than shaving the hair, do not do such a thing!
Do not ignore your dog(s). Dogs look for eye contact as a reassurance of your love. So please look at them, smile at them, talk to them. Often.
Tomography images of the dog’s brain have shown that when a dog sees his beloved human, the brain lights up in the same manner the human brain behaves in the presence of a loved one.
Whoever abandons an old dog because he has become an inconvenience or no longer as much fun as they used to be, deserves the same treatment by their children.
In neglecting or rejecting an older dog, that is the lesson they are teaching their children. So, wait for it — Karma is a bitch and is coming for you one of these days.
If you have the privilege of sharing your home with an animal, then honor that. Honor them! Don’t consider that a privilege? Then allow someone else to give those creatures the love, happiness, care, and honor they deserve.
Whether you are a caregiver to an older adult or a mom managing a family who values wellness, you might find that administering pills can become almost a full-time job. But here are 7 steps to ease your pill pain.
I want to share a system that can simplify pill management and increase consistency in taking meds and supplements for everyone. The secret is the pillbox!
What You Need
Here are some tools you might need for this process.
Pillboxes with morning, noon, evening, and bedtime compartments that you can find at your favorite pharmacy or Amazon)
Label maker (optional)
Medium to large plastic bin or container (these Multi-Purpose bins work wonders, as well as my favorite plastic box ever created).
Place all prescribed and OTC meds and supplements that household members regularly take in the plastic bin or tote. The amount and size of pill bottles on hand determine the size of your container or box. This step only happens once because this bin will become the forever home of ingestible medicines and supplements at home. You may benefit from a second plastic container for all OTC medicines NOT taken regularly (like cough syrup, painkillers, allergy medicine, etc.)
Write each person’s name (or initial) on each bottle lid. Include the intake frequency of that product. For example, “M 1-am/2-pm” indicates that person “M” takes one of those pills in the morning and two in the evening. Repeat this process with all bottles to make it easy to identify from the top inside the bin.
Label each side of each pillbox with the person’s name taking the meds/supplements from that box. Assign a pillbox to each person taking any product regularly.
Line all pillboxes on your counter or table and open their lids.
Select all bottles of one person and place in their pillbox all medication and supplements that person takes, according to the timing and dosage needed. Alternatively, you might prefer to work with one product at a time. In this case, distribute that medication into the pillboxes of everyone that takes that product.
Repeat the process for each person or per product bottle (depending on your preferred method).
Close all pillbox lids when each box is complete with all medications and supplements for that individual.
**Devote 30 minutes to this task every week. Make it a commitment and calendar this activity!
Where and Why
Ingestible medicines and supplements are best kept in the kitchen, not the bathroom. The bathroom humidity affects the product’s power. Keeping medication and supplements in the kitchen makes sense because we ingest these, usually with water or another beverage. The pantry or a cabinet in the kitchen are optimal places for these pillboxes and the container with bottles.
On the other hand, things we apply to our skin, hair, teeth, or nails go in the bathroom. This group includes things like rubbing alcohol, H2O2, antibiotic creams, muscle pain patches, cotton, gauze, bandages, and the like.
It is simpler to take medications and supplements when we do not need to sort the product, open several bottles, and make the same decisions over and over, several times per day. Therefore, it makes sense to streamline this process.
When medicines and supplements are in one place, it is easier to find what we need at any moment. This central location of meds and supplements also facilitates knowing what needs reordering and when. It also eliminates having multiple open bottles of the same product.
The best thing about this process is its inherent accountability – we can easily see who did not take their supplements or medicines and when just by looking at the pillbox. Thus, this system also increases the consistency in taking medications.
Make It Happen
Hopefully, these five steps described above will make it easier for everyone to consistently take their meds and supplements. But to make it happen:
Devote 30 minutes to this task every week.
Place this activity on the calendar as a recurrent weekly activity.
Make it a commitment.
Pro-Tip:Consolidate medicine when it arrives at your home. Usually, medication bottles come half empty. There is no reason to have several half-empty bottles of the same product, which takes up a lot of space and leads to expired medication around the home.