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Blog: Organize This!
Vacation time means getting away from stuff

When I hear 'getting away from it all', I think that means not only getting away from work and time schedules, but away from taking care of and dealing with stuff! Even the most relaxing vacation requires some planning ahead so let's break it down:
--Organize your road trip. Don't forget the GPS, Mapquest, or do it the old fashioned way and use a map.
--Be flexible.  All the planning in the world doesn't mean mishaps won't occur; be flexible so you don't sweat the small stuff.
--Consider electronic tickets when you fly. There's nothing better than bypassing a long check-in line at a busy airport.
--Travel light. Two carry-ons are allowed on most flights. Besides the money you save by not checking a bag, you minimize your choices and your decisions each day on your trip.
--Pack clothing that will mix and match and require low maintenance. Wear one set of jewelry that matches all of your outfits. 
--Buy trip cancellation or interruption insurance for long, expensive trips. Give yourself peace of mind.
--Downsize your wallet with just the essentials and don't carry a lot of cash.
--Don't pack a lot of irreplaceable items such as jewelry.
--Take a toiletries bag already packed with duplicates of items you use every day. Keep a list in that bag of the items you only have one of so you don't forget to pack it, e.g. medications, hair dryer (most hotels have them), make-up, etc.
--Take a few comfort snack foods for the trip.
--Try not to overschedule your family. Leave time for spontaneous side trips.
--My favorite past time for long train trips is listening to books on CD. Try it!
When I travel for business or go on a working vacation, I get some of my best work done because I am away from the constant interruptions from the telephone, e-mail and snail mail. Select the best work for you based on your work style and habits. Here's a few things I do to catch up during long flights or during down time between workshops:
--Do a brain dump. That means write down everything that is on your cluttered mind and decide what to do about it, when to do it, and if you need or can do anything about it at all.
--Bring your reading pile with you and slowly throw it away as you read each item. Rip pages out of magazines, journals, etc. that you want to keep or make notes for future reference.
--Organize your cell phone by deleting unwanted items and adding missing contacts. Clean out your pictures, missed calls, inbox and sent box.
--Purge your Word and Excel files. Reorganize documents into folders, delete unnecessary items, and put old files into folders on other drives to avoid cluttering your current projects.
--Clean out your purse/wallet/briefcase.
--Look at your calendar and schedule family time and personal projects to make sure you take the time.
Finally, getting organized before you go on vacation can be hectic, but in the end it worth it!
"However well organized the foundations of life may be, life must always be full of risks." Havelock Ellis, British physician, psychologist and writer

posted on: 6/18/2011 2:30:00 PM by Vali Heist
category: General Organizing Tips

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Organize This!

by Vali Heist

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About Vali:

Vali Heist is a Certified Professional Organizer, the owner of The Clutter Crew for homeowners, and a Certified GO System Trainer for businesses. She is the author of "Organize This! Practical Tips, Green Ideas, and Ruminations about your CRAP. CRAP stands for Clutter that Robs Anyone of Pleasure! She writes a monthly column for the Reading Eagle called "Organize This!". Vali's bachelor's degree is in Business Administration from Shippensburg University and her Master's Degree is in Higher Education from Kutztown University. Vali has an extensive background of 24 years in Higher Education including training, administration, project management, writing, and editorial production. Her passion has always been organization and how it relates to the simplification of work and personal life in order to enjoy both to the fullest. Her ultimate goal is to continue finding simple, easy to implement ideas that work in the real world and pass them on to her clients.

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