The COVID-19 pandemic – and the restrictions that have come along with it – have touched, and changed, almost every aspect of our lives. Lockdowns are easing but there are new ‘rules’ for going out, and new ‘rules’ for staying safe, some of which can be both confusing and hard to keep up with. A little home and personal organization helps a lot though.
As a professional organizer, I have observed and learned a lot over the last several months about how becoming more organized can help you better navigate this ‘new normal’. Here are some tips.
Masks are becoming the one thing experts agree on can help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus and get us all back to a healthier, freer way of life faster. Lots of people don’t like them, but wearing one when you can’t social distance is a must.
Recently however I saw this meme. It was actually shared by Ringo Starr himself! And it made me laugh, as this has happened to me more than once and I’m sure it’s happened to you.
Your mask is yet another thing to check for when you leave the house, or another thing you’ll forget! But you can make it easier on yourself (and your family)
Buy – or make – several masks for each of you. Keep some in each vehicle you drive, if you are back at work, one in your desk, and you could even consider adding one for everybody on pegs in your mud room or hallway, right next to other things you might grab when leaving the house like coats or shoes.
This will be especially important when (if) the kids go back to school this year. Keeping children in masks (children over 2 that is, the CDC recommends that anyone younger than that should not wear one) will be hard enough, without them turning up to school without one.
In terms of what kind of mask to buy, as they should be kept as clean as possible easily laundered fabric is best. Disposables are expensive and it may help you get your kids to be a little happier about wearing one – and you come to that matter – if you choose options with cool/cute/fun designs.
When it’s time to wash them – which should be after very outing – handwashing with a gentle detergent is best.
Handy Handwashing Hack
Ever since the pandemic began the importance of better handwashing has been emphasized over and over again. It’s much better – and more effective – than relying on (hard to find) hand sanitizer. If you are at home you can ensure that there is a plentiful supply of soap on hand (pardon the pun) in the kitchen and in bathrooms, but once you leave home things often get trickier.
Here’s a good handwashing hack though; soap leaves. These are not new. You may even remember an older relative using them. But where they had once become a quaint relic of the past (except in Asia, where they have always been a routine element of an organized purse) soap leaves are useful, and very much back in style, again.
What are they? Literally very thin leaves of soap that will dissolve into a real lather when you add water. This means that even if the office/restaurant/supermarket soap dispenser is empty you’ll always be able to wash your hands. And if you keep a bottle of water in your car you’ll be able to wash them when you are out exercising and enjoying the great outdoors too.
Speaking of style, you can find some rather lovely options right now, that look nice as well as serve a very practical purpose. There are lots on Amazon, many with Prime Shipping, so you can get your hands on them (bad joke again) fast.
Getting Kids Organized for College
Now is usually the time of year when parents are back to dorm shopping for their college aged kids. If kids are going back this semester – and for some schools that’s a big if still – that shopping will be rather different.
If your child has been told that in person instruction will resume at their school check all the emails they receive carefully, and make sure you understand what the restrictions are going to be and what supplies you’ll need to provide. For example, many colleges are promising to provide students with two masks, but we all know that’s not enough! If you need clarification, reach out to school admins and get it, while you are still able to help, as doing so from a distance when school starts will be hard.
If your college students – and younger children – will be distance learning for a while again, they’ll still need supplies, so it’s still a great time to buy them. As the chances are you’ll be shopping online this year one final tip is to make use of an app/browser add-on called Honey.
Honey is a service provided free from PayPal that applies every available coupon code automatically at thousands of online stores and/or helps point you to a better price elsewhere. It’s great, not just for school shopping but for shopping in general.
Need help with home organization but need a virtual hand? We can do that! Get in touch and let’s talk about what the Just Organized team can do to help make your life easier and more organized at what is still a difficult and challenging time.