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Invitation to free new website that helps moms better manage their kids? group activities
Hello Mommies,

I am a fellow member of the Mommies Network and the creator of a new website called 

Podanize, which helps moms, dads and group leaders better organize their kids'

group activities (e.g. soccer, scouts, school classes, etc.)

Kids today are overscheduled, and keeping up is a challenge:  

? What day did I volunteer at school to go read with the kids? 

? Who is driving to the scout meeting? 

? When am I signed up to bring the team's snacks?  

These are just a few of the many little details that busy parents have to keep straight.  

Try as we might, something inevitably falls through the cracks.  We all need a little help 

to stay organized. 

I?d like to invite you to join our brand new website.  To join, just go to http://

www.podanize.com and click Get Started to create a "Pod" for any real-world group, or 

even just your family for now. You can create a Pod if you?re a group leader or a group 

member. It?s quick, easy and free.  Then "get your Pod going" by adding discussions 

or events, and inviting others to join your Pod.  Podanize can also be accessed via a 

mobile browser, and our mobile app will be available in late 2013. 

Our mission at Podanize is to help ease the stress that comes with keeping our 

kids active and involved.  To this end, we welcome any feedback you have.  Podanize 

is for you and is built to get better over time by adding your suggestions ? I?d love 

to hear from you. Also, if you know of other moms (or dads) who might benefit from 

Podanize, please share this with them.

Podanize is ideal for all extra-curricular activities: soccer, little league, playgroups, scout 

troops, swim teams, theater groups, school classes, PTA, etc. The list is endless and 

includes anything with a need for ongoing communication and coordination.

Again, just go to http://www.podanize.com to get started.

Best,

Nikki Sacks

Co-Founder of Podanize



Sponsors Spot : Arrange Professional Organizing
As school-aged children, my siblings and I couldn't appreciate everything my mom did to prepare us for the school year. We just knew with each passing day, summer was ending and another school year starting. Today, with two young daughters of my own, I get it!

I help families de-clutter homework desks, create filing systems for school paperwork, and organize school supplies. This year, I am on the other end, participating in the back-to-school shuffle to prepare my three-year-old daughter for Pre-K. Admittedly, despite being a professional organizer, making sure we check off everything on the list feels daunting!

Without a doubt, a new school year brings a fresh start and more to your to-do list. Being organized gives you the greatest advantage over your time, commitments, and that daily to-do list. It imparts consistency and calm in our homes, which certainly helps our children to better focus in school and at home.

So, mom, you've got some homework to do. Get yourself and your kids comfortable with the following "organized" habits before the bell rings. Practicing now ensures they become second nature throughout the year. Here's to a wonderfully organized school year!

Eliminate morning chaos:
  • The night before, pack lunches/set out lunch money and layout clothes including socks, shoes, and hair accessories. Decide what everyone will have for breakfast.
  • Assign a home for each book bag, lunch box, and gym bag. When not in use, these items should always be found in this spot. Choose a place easily accessed by your children and closest to the door.
    • Decorative hooks work great for hanging book bags. Let your kids choose their own hooks.
    • Cubby storage keeps items tidy and in one central location. Each child should have his or her own cubby space or two.

Create a family message center:
  • Manage calendars, schedules, and important papers by hanging a bulletin board in a central, well-seen location. It pairs nicely hung above a cubby unit. Everything in one place.
  • Create an inbox for your kids to place papers requiring your signature. Make sure your kids can access it, that they understand its purpose, and actually use it. Hold up your end of the deal by signing papers the night before and returning them to book bags ready to go in the morning.

Avoid last minute misses:
  • Label items one week before school starts. I'm using Oliver's Labels.
  • Establish file folders for paper that will come in throughout the year to avoid cluttering your countertops (i.e. registration forms, permission slips, tuition bills, report/progress cards).
  • Got artwork? Prevent clutter by determining how you will process and store artwork. If you can easily let go, consider the Artkive app. Otherwise; designate a system using portfolios, frames, or bins. To not let projects overrun your home, know that any system will require "editing" at some point. Don't feel guilty about letting go. You're simply creating more room to truly appreciate those masterpieces.

For organizing tips and ideas:
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Jill Prevatt lives in Baltimore with her husband and two young daughters. As owner of Arrange Professional Organizing, LLC, she says it is never about being perfect, but it is always about introducing organizing habits and routines that best fit the lifestyle and preferences of each family. Jill is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers® (NAPO) and serves as Director of Marketing for the NAPO-Baltimore Chapter.



Sponsors Spot : Arrange Professional Organizing
Use Space Well

Space is defined as the unlimited or incalculably great three-dimensional realm in which all material objects are located and all events occur (dictionary.com). Ever since I came across the phrase "use space well", I've made it my mantra when approaching de-cluttering and organizing projects. Is there any one of us out there that doesn't strive to do something well? One of the most beneficial actions you can take to improve the quality of your life is to strive to use the spaces in your home well. After all, the spaces in our lives carry enormous responsibilities... being the "realm" in which ALL objects and events occur. As homeowners, it is our job to make ourselves a home in which we can make ourselves at home.

When items and belongings are assigned specific homes, a space is considered organized. There is no room left for clutter or the chaos that it brings. It might just be the professional organizer in me, but I draw very close ties between interior design and organized living. Regardless of our own unique preferences for home decor (i.e. traditional, modern, vintage), we can all maximize the spaces in our homes by linking together the fundamentals of design and organization.


I'm actually in the very early stage of planning a new space for my youngest daughter, Gwyneth. She'll soon be trading up from her toddler bed to a big girl bed, so I'll be taking these principles to heart when redesigning her bedroom. Oh, the possibilities! If you're like me, I get blissfully lost browsing the amazing photos on Pinterest. Man, do people have some great ideas! An endless abundance of creativity at my fingertips. The result of my research efforts? Fifteen gorgeously girly rooms I've repinned to my "Gywn's Room" secret board. But, I don't have fifteen rooms. I have one. Since my goal is to use the space well, I'll step away from the computer and answer the following question before I buy one stitch of window panel or furniture to store her clothes, toys, and books.

"What do I expect from this room?"

Whether creating a brand new room or revamping an existing one, ask that question of every space. Use three criteria to determine the answer:
1.) Assess - physical aspects of space... dimensions, window placement, lighting, location of closets, etc.
2.) Prioritize - most important activities that will occur in this space.
3.) Manipulate to fit needs - remove doors, add lighting, paint, install a bookcase, etc.

In the book Organized Living, Dawna Walter says, "This is your house. As long as you don't weaken it structurally, you can manipulate its spaces as you like." Yes! Why not?

Jill Prevatt
Arrange Professional Organizing, LLC




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