Sunday, July 20, 2008

Preparing for the worst


This is summer in sunny Florida which means only one thing to many -  Hurricane season is upon us.  That's right folks, from June through November we are on alert.  I can remember vividly the summer of 2004, living in Central Florida and having FOUR hurricanes pass over us.  I think the longest we were without power at any one given time was 2 weeks.  That was a blessing by some standards.  I can remember this because #1 I am a Florida native and have never had to deal with anything so bizarre in my many years of life and #2 I was in my second trimester of pregnancy and quite uncomfortable.

So what does one do in the Florida summer to prepare?  I am so glad you asked!  You need to get a kit, make a plan, stay informed.  You can keep your kit (stored in a handy plastic bin with lid) in the safe room of your home or in your car.  Just make sure everyone knows where it is.  For more info, check out  

Please make an evacuation plan with your family even if you do not think you will be leaving.  It is best to be prepared.

Don't forget about Fido and Fluffy.  Find a pet approved shelter or include their items in your kit. 

Know that lengthy blackouts are usually expected when a hurricane happens.  Combining the information with the "Blackout" section as well as the "Hurricane" section is worthwhile.

If you are reading this and are not located in a hurricane zone, has information for preparing for all types of disasters - blackouts, wildfires, volcanoes, and flooding included.

It's time to take 30 minutes and ASSEMBLE A KIT/MAKE A PLAN. 

Stay safe!



Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Summer, It's got me upside-down

Where have I been? Having fun mostly!

There's lots going on in our little corner of the world this summer. Many of you know that Paul was performing with Sax 4th Avenue in Peru for a large portion of this month. I am happy to have him home. It was an awesome opportunity and we are both very glad he was able to serve with such wonderful friends. We look forward to more summer trips like this one. He did leave the day after school was out and returned last Monday, so this was very much a whirl-wind for us all. He is still adjusting to life back in the states; but oh what a blessing!

The fourth was a very laid back time for us with NO PLANNING going into a casual block party. It was one of the greatest parties I've ever been a part of and I hope that we are able to do many more. I guess when you have neighbors as caring and fun as mine, there's no way to not have a great time!

Summer is a fun time for us as a family. We are able to spend about 3 months together making plans for daily events and big vacation adventures. Our schedule has, unfortunately, gone out the window. I know there will be a rude awakening come August, but it is light so late and we are just ready for that family fun.

As far as the organizing realm is concerned... Many of you are in the process of trying to assemble your own Household Hub Binders. If you need personal assistance, I am free to workshop it with you. Here is a general guideline and FAQ.

~What is a Household/Home Hub Binder? Its essence is that it should be a manual for your daily life. This is the place to keep your - weekly schedule, grocery lists, take out menus, sales ads/coupons, financial information, school fliers, business cards, contact info.

~How do I start? Gather all of your paper and see what it is that you need to put into your binder. Make stacks of like items (finances all together, school stuff all together, etc). Use stickies to label each broad category. Write labels for sub categories as well.

~Now what? Assemble your binder by using the categories you've created. Use pocket dividers, sheet protectors, and business card sleeves where necessary. Include a pencil pouch in the front of the binder to hold extra pens, stamps (for bill paying and correspondence), a mini calculator, and other small items.

Other uses for a Home Hub Binder:

~ New Home Owner Manual - paint colors, service companies, age of appliances. (Great Gift!) ~ Vacation Home Manual - emergency contacts, operating systems, local favorites. ~ Finance Only Binder - track investments, bank statement, and account info. ~ Health Hub - Medical/Shot Records, Insurance Info, Explanation of Benefits/Dates of Service. ~ Decorator's Dream - Fabric Samples, Paint Chips, Magazine Inspiration Pages, Measurements. ~ Correspondence with your nanny/childcare - notes, schedules, plans of action, emergency info.

I know that we don't want to think about it yet, but summer is just about half over. Wouldn't it be nice to have a system in place for all of that school generated paperwork before it begins to filter into your home?

So tell me fellow Home Hubbers, what are your questions, concerns, points of advice? If you are interested in a workshop session, leave a comment or send an e-mail. I'd love to help you bring order to your paperwork chaos.