Sunday, August 30, 2009

Back to school planning…

I have entered into a back to school world this year and have found it disenchanting.  Apparently, Retailers ended “back to school season” about a week ago.  It is now Halloween/Christmas.  This leaves those of us with kiddos who start school post-Labor Day scrambling a bit.  (Thank God for Target still having lunch boxes this past week… not that my son liked any of them… but hey, at least he has one.  No, it isn’t pink.)  Disheartened as I am, I have decided to make a simple list for Back-To-School.

Buy all of your back to school goodies - now before they disappear.
Get a schedule/Keep a schedule. Routine is important for children to be able to do their best.  It eases tension and chaos in the home as well.
Plan ahead as much as possible.  From picking out clothes to making lunches and packing back packs, the more you do ahead, the less there is to do last minute.  Less is forgotten and there isn’t a fretful morning rush.  Wouldn’t it be great to start each school day with laid back smiles instead of frantically searching for homework and lost shoes?
Revamp your Home Hub.  This is the PERFECT time of year to reinvent the wheel… ummm… I mean Hub with new schedules, new activities, new class directory, new school info.

Have a great year.  We start a new exciting adventure in Pre-K-4 the week after Labor Day! 





If you are in the Jacksonville/St. Johns area and would like your home better organized (or would like support assembling a Home Hub for your household) and would like the assistance of a professional organizer, e-mail  You can also find me on Facebook by clicking HERE or searching for Organize With Julie.  Want to follow me on twitter? Find me @juliebavi. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

Organizing is what you do

before you do something,

so that when you do it,

it is not all mixed up. 

~ A.A. Milne

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Surviving small spaces – The dorm

Congratulations!  Your student is off to college and to a new stage of independence. 

Depending on the type of room your student will be living in and how many room mates they have, you may need to alter this list.  It is especially important for roommates to talk before the initial move in date, if possible.  Not only will they be able to coordinate color schemes and make sure they aren’t bringing the exact same towels (nightmare!) but they will also know who is bringing the shower curtain, microwave, etc.  Most dorm rooms cannot accommodate excess furniture and will be equipped with a desk and chair, a bed, and a closet and dresser or a wardrobe.  Keep in mind that there will probably be a store nearby where you can buy laundry and cleaning products.  Not only will you not have to pack them, you can help your student map out a route to the store, see what else is along the way, and get used to their surroundings. 

First and foremost, think SPACE SAVING.


These hang in the closet and can be used to hold clothing, shoes, paper goods, and all sorts of odds+ends.  Sturdy.  Handy.  Inexpensive. 

Do not neglect the power of the over-the-door space.  Cubbies, towel bars, hooks, and mirrors with over the door hangers are a great way to save dorm room space.  If you have a bathroom, closet or wardrobe door… use them!!  (None of my dorm rooms even had closet doors.)


This is for use for more than shoes!  Think school supplies, messages, the possibilities are endless

      (Sheets, Comforter, Pillows, Light Blanket, Mattress Cover –you will want to cover your dorm mattress-trust us, and Mattress Topper)
Towels – 2 sets Don’t forget wash cloths and bath mat
Seasonal clothing
Sewing Kit (every RA doesn’t sew)
Small Tool Kit
Shower Caddy (to keep your stuff, well, your stuff)
Communal Shower? – Robe and Flip Flops
Electronics (Computer, Printer, Alarm Clock, Camera, CD Player, Ipod) 
–and accessories – mouse, paper, ink, CDs, chargers
Cell phone AND CHARGER

In the event that the student has kitchen access -
Skillet (for grilled cheese or eggs) *Rice-A-Roni is a college bonding food
One Pot (Mac N Cheese, anyone?)
And a measuring cup

Things that can be bought there:
Cleaning products
School supplies
A Rug
Cookware for the Microwave
Kitchen essentials (Foil, Plastic Wrap, Zip-seal Baggies, Food, Beverage, Towels, Oven Mitts, Etc)
Can opener
One good knife
Cheap Dinner Ware – plates, cups, spoon/fork/knife
Mug – coffee, tea, soup (Trust us, “Cup a Soup” isn’t the same in a solo cup.)
Extension Cords/Power strips
Desk lamp, if desk is not already equipped
Iron/Ironing Board (although you can always iron on your bed!)

Other things to keep in mind:
The extra large boxes of detergent may last all semester and be a little cheaper, but lugging it up and down three flights of stairs every time you need to do a load of wash is exhausting. 
Many dorms have extra long twin beds.  Regular twin sheets will not fit these beds.
Many students go home at Thanksgiving or between semesters – just in time for a change in seasonal clothing.
If you are an active participant in a certain sport, take your equipment (basketball, tennis racquet, etc).
Take it from a Florida girl, always pack a swimsuit.  It doesn’t take up that much space and it is one of those “you just never know” items. 
Inversely, you probably won’t need your snow boots in Florida, but you may need that swimsuit in Washington.
Pack a couple of business-type outfits for interviews/presentations.

Keep in mind that this is an especially emotional experience for even the most independent student.  Packing the stuff of life is more than just fitting belongings into suitcases, boxes, laundry baskets, and Rubbermaid bins.  While this isn’t just simple vacation packing, it usually isn’t moving out with all of one’s belongings either.  There will be a nearby store.  Parents will store out of season clothing/gear.  It is just the student and the empty dorm room.  Dorm rooms are usually tiny, but full of future adventure.

Thanks, as always, to my editor Elli.  Without you I wouldn’t be crossing all my T’s!  ~J

Julie Bavington
Organize With Julie, LLC
NAPO Member
If you are in the Jacksonville/St. Johns area and would like your home better organized, and would like the assistance of a professional organizer, e-mail  
You can also find me on Facebook under Organize With Julie.  
Find me @juliebavi on Twitter.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

You can't live a perfect day

without doing something for someone

who will never be able to repay you.

~John Wooden

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Back From Summer Vacation Means…

“Back to School Month” is upon us.  Right after the July 4th holiday, I noticed the school supplies taking over the major big box stores in my area.  (I also noticed Christmas decorations making their debut, but that is a whole other post!)  I had mixed feelings about this, of course.  First, I was a little sad.  It seems like retailers are encouraging us to pack up the fun when we still several more GOOD weeks of summer.  Then, I was a little giddy.  For those of you who know me and my love for office supplies, you will understand.  For those of you who do not know me personally, let me just say that the line from 1998’s wonder film, “You’ve Got Mail” where Tom Hank’s character (Joe Fox) reminisces about Fall in NY City and sending Meg Ryan (Kathleen Kelly) “bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils” is a VERY romantic notion to me!  Even though it was only mid-July, I couldn’t help but stroll through the newly assembled back to school section – breathing deeply and smiling.  Yes, I do realize that this section is temporary and will all too soon give way to Christmas spewing at all angles, possibly by the time I publish this.  Have you gotten to the point yet where you are thinking, “What the point of this blog?  Didn’t she mention bringing us solutions for BACK TO SCHOOL on that Facebook Fanpage of hers?” 

Here are some favorites of yours and mine.  Thanks for sharing with me in the virtual and in the real world all about your favorite tools for back to school.

Back to school favorites: 
#2 Pencils (Super win at back to school prices!)
Binders (dividers, paper, pencil pocket and all the “bling”)
Anything Crayola (because they guarantee their products)
Backpacks and lunch boxes (Personalized with Sharpies!)

Looking for some eco friendly school supplies?  Check out this list complied by List Mama herself, Jennifer Tankersley, of

Just for fun:
How many of you remember this?
Retro ad for Trapper Keeper via youtube-

Sadly, Trapper Keepers were banned from my school because they did not fit into our student desks.  To this day I blame the desk, not the Keeper.


Next time we meet:  Back to school shopping for the college student and College (Dorm) Checklist.

Later this month:  Planning and Scheduling.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this topic and it is near and dear to my heart.

Want to keep up with all the blog posts from Organize With Julie here at the Clutter Crusader Chronicles?  Click that orange subscribe button for the RSS feed to be delivered straight to the email inbox of your choice.


If you are in the Jacksonville/St. Johns area and would like your home better organized, and would like the assistance of a professional organizer, e-mail  You can also find me on Facebook by clicking HERE or searching for Organize With Julie.  Want to follow me on twitter? Find me @juliebavi.