Who Needs a Care Package?

Giving back has always been one of my favorite things to do in my business…Whether it’s showing support in a time of crisis, to help someone start a new phase of life or just to let someone know you care, sending a care package is like sharing a piece of your heart.  The blessings you receive from just one simple act of kindness is AMAZING!

Whether it is a few small items found at your local grocery or drug store or a card with a gentle reminder they can carry with them….it all makes a difference in someone’s life.

Want to do something but don’t know where to start?  Have a cause near and dear to your heart…..Here are a few simple care package ideas for six special groups:

Service Members

Send your loved one in the Armed Forces a taste of home with their favorite nonperishable snacks – especially ones with extra protein like nuts and energy bars. They may be experiencing a lot of downtime, so board games, cards, movies and even video games are always appreciated. And because they may be on the move, easy-to-carry items like travel-size toiletries and instant coffee or cocoa packs are preferable to full-size. With the help of some local kids, we sent a batch of Zipper Pouches filled with yummy treats to a battalion stationed in Iraq.  Don’t forget to check your country’s regulations for sending items overseas (here’s the info for the U.S.)

Cancer patients

Every year, my AMAZING customers do Chemo Care Bags for those who are newly diagnosed and receiving treatment at the Cancer Center at the local hospital.  In addition, I have was able to bless a friend on her cancer journey with items to help her stay comfortable, like warm blankets and socks, lip balm, water and snacks. Puzzles, books and movies can keep her busy during long treatment sessions. Add wet wipes and hand sanitizer so she can stay germ-free when she’s out and about. Tuck it all inside a versatile Thermal Tote or All-In® Organizer or a Zip Top Organizing Tote.  Be sure to include a personal note letting her know you are always there for her.

College students

Is your baby all grown up and on her own for the first time. Whether it is at college, or in their own apartment, a care package it ALWAYS appreciated. Help them tackle “adulting” tasks with items like cleaning supplies, laundry pods, a first aid kit and microwave-safe cookware. Encourage them to connect outside of text messages with pre-addressed, stamped postcards to send home. Healthy snacks and single-serve foods will fuel late-night study sessions. Pack it all in a Crossbody Organizing Tote, which – bonus! – doubles as a great school bag.  There are some great totes options for the boys who are growing up too.

NICU parents

I was blessed with a healthy baby but I know some who have had to spend numerous days in NICU.  It can be a long and stressful experience for new parents. Most-wanted items for parents of preemies include gift cards for local restaurants, gas cards to pay for trips to and from the hospital and snacks for long days at the NICU. Fill a Double Duty® Caddy with self-care items for mom like essential oils, a water bottle and a hardcover journal to document their journey.

Children’s Mental Health Unit

Did you know one in five children is living with a mental illness?  The stigmas surrounding mental and behavioral health mean these kids often don’t receive the visibility and support they need. Why not put together care packages for kids in your local children’s mental health unit with books, puzzles, art supplies and games to help break the stigma and support these kids on their journey.

Looking for more ways transform children’s mental health and support life-changing research? Round Up! your order to the nearest dollar or make a donation of any amount when you shop Thirty-One this month.

Random Acts of Kindness

Make a difference in someone’s life today.  Your small act of kindness can be the ONE thing which brings a smile to their face.  Whether it is holding the door, saying thank you or even paying for someone’s coffee.  Those small gestures can make a difference.  Check out my “A Simple Act of Kindness” page for more details on how I would LOVE to help you make a difference in someone’s life.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tips for Moving

imagesMy newsfeed has been filled lately with people moving – college students are moving into dorms, young families are transitioning to new homes before the school year and retirees are looking for an easier, more maintenance-free living situation. Are you about to start a new chapter in your life with a new home?

Here are some tips that go beyond choosing the right size box or the appropriate padding:

Take inventory and mark your boxes. Don’t be one of those people who lose or misplace things when moving.  I remember moving in with hubby.  It was a mess because I had no system.  When you take the time to properly mark boxes and write out a detailed inventory of their contents, you’ll know where everything is and avoid misplacing anything. With just this small step, you’ll save a lot of time in the end.  So, get your clipboard, some paper and a permanent marker.

images-2Remember to take care of yourself.  Any life transition — no matter how exciting — can be stressful!  Whether you’re moving or starting a new job.  It’s important to decompress and unwind.  One of the best ways to do that is to take a break.  Even if it’s just for 15 minutes.  Take a walk – the fresh air and exercise will do wonders for your stress level.

Consider insurance.  If you’re hiring a moving company or have valuable items you’re worried might be damaged during the move, you should consider purchasing moving insurance. Many recommend insuring anything that goes into a truck. Not only will insurance provide financial relief in case anything is mishandled, but it will give you peace of mind that can reduce the stress of moving.

Protect your valuable documents. Even after you move and are settling into your new residence, it’s important to keep your valuables protected. For documents like a passport, birth certificate, social security card and more, keep them under lock and key.  Be sure that it is a fire proof box for added security.  For the tech savvy, take pictures and store them on your phone.  This is a big help for those large ticket items in your home.  Should there be an incident, there is proof that those items were in fact in your home.

images-1

Lastly, here is a timeline to help make that move a little less stressful:

4-8 weeks out:

  • Pick a Mover – Make sure they are licensed.  If you are moving yourself, check out truck rentals.
  • Get a written estimate. Don’t accept anything verbal.
  • Decide what Not to Take – great time to clean out closets, etc

4 weeks out:

  • Start packing or arrange a date for your mover to start packing for you.  Headed to your own place for the first time, this is a good time to start taking inventory of the items that you will need.

3 weeks out:

  • Make arrangements for utilites to be disconnected in your current home and connected in your new home.
  • File separately all pertinent records (medical, licenses, insurance, etc)

2 weeks out:

  • Notify post office of change of address.

1 week out:

  • If you have medications, transfer them to a pharmacy near your new home
  • Cancel any deliveries that come to your current home (newspapers)

Moving day:

  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Keep healthy snacks and water on hand
  • Stay Calm!

Best wishes for much happiness in your new home!  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Ready for College?

6358821728125653991782600800_college-ch

As many kids are getting ready to go back to school, some parents are facing sending their kids off to college. I have to be honest, sending Belinda off to school wasn’t so bad – I mean I was a single mom and she had been in daycare/ preschool since she was 6 weeks old (no judgements, please).  I also knew that she would be home at the end of the school day. Sending her to college was a whole different ball game.

I thought it would be a piece of cake, of course being a workaholic I thought would make things easier – WRONG!  As we drove to what seemed like the end of the earth – western North Carolina – I tried to maintain my calm. Mom (grand mom) was struggling, Belinda was anxious (or maybe it was excitement) about being so far away from home. On a map, North Carolina didn’t seem so bad. Twelve hours didn’t seem so long. Then the reality sunk in as we made that trip for the first time.

The toughest part for me was driving away – leaving my baby girl.  Mom cried most of the 12 hours home and was furious that I left her there.  Belinda was ready to come home right away BUT momma stood tough.  I told her she made the decision so she had to stay for 1 semester – then if she wanted to change, she could.  Well, as they say the rest is history!  Belinda stayed at Western Carolina University for 4 years, graduated from Honors College, got a job in her field (Social Work), earned her Master’s degree, got married and is still living in Sylva, NC.

Okay, so why I am reminiscing about all of this? A blog written by The Joyful Organizer called “Dorm Room Ready” appeared in my “time hop”  Here are some of her suggestions for heading to college:

Cubes are a great way to organize just about anything; toys, clothes, accessories or even office supplies. Thirty One’s Your Way Cube has all the options you want in a cube; handles, a sturdy bottom and even a window so you can see the contents. It can also be embroidered so when you’re headed off to college, it’s already labeled for you! Fun patterns and colors mean you can match this to your dorm room style. The tote even has an optional lid to keep the contents protected, contained and dust free.

office

Thirty One’s Stand Tall Bin is perfect for laundry. It’s light weight and easy to carry back and forth from the laundry room. When it’s not in use you can fold it up and store it under the bed. The pattern is easy to distinguish from other’s bags and the flat bottom allows folded clothes to stay folded. This is a great bag to bring things back and forth to school as well; particularly linens, large winter coats or pillows. It’s also great for plush toys, linens and beach towels in the summer, you’ll find a thousand uses for this bag.

b0629e42c0152cf2175630f3e36eb27ff0db1102

Need help getting organized at home? Is someone heading off to college?  Let me help you get organized and send them off in style.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!