Spring Organization: One Day at a Time

Spring is here, and summer is right around the corner! No one wants to stay at home and organize during the summer, so now is the time to do some spring cleaning and organizing and you will be ready for … Continue reading

Top 5 Organizing Products To Be Thankful For!

As the holiday season descends upon us, we will take time to celebrate and gather with the ones we love…..making it undeniably the busiest time of year.  Thanksgiving, being the first in the line up, has me thinking about what … Continue reading

Confessions of a Binder Hoarder

The other day I started thinking about all of the binders I am hoarding!!!!  I decided that I am a binder hoarder/organizer!  Let me just show you a few pictures from around the house……. As a Professional Organizer, I can … Continue reading

Welcome Cara Applegate to Ducks in a Row!

This is an exciting post because one of my long-time and dearest friends is my new partner at Ducks in a Row!  Cara is honestly one of the most organized people I know, and I couldn’t think of a better person to work with, and I am so proud to welcome Cara Applegate as my partner!

cara

Cara holds both a B.S. in Business Administration from the College of Charleston and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from The College of Graduate Studies at The Citadel. She spent 10 years of her career as a licensed sales associate in the financial industry and as a financial manager. After taking some time off over the last several years to raise her two young children, Cara has decided to focus her energy on assisting people in creating a manageable and effective work environment. Home offices and professional offices alike require a space that is well organized in order for you to become successful. Her years of work experience in a high demand environment have given her the insight needed to help you find a balance as well. Cara will help create a system that works for you and organize your office so that you can focus on being productive.

We have so many new and exciting plans for Ducks in a Row!  Check out are new and improved website:  Ducks in a Row Charleston

While I focus on the home organizing side of things, Cara is going to be focusing on the professional and home office side of organizing and will specialize in these services as well as much more!

  • Quicken and QuickBooks Set Up
  • Bill Pay and Auto-draft Set Up
  • Archiving
  • General Office Organization
  • Online/ Computer Photo Organization
  • Music and Video Cataloging​
  • Paperless Processing
  • Calendar and Scheduling System
  • New Office? She will help you create a highly functional environment

Don’t forget that we are offering a spring organizing special where you can get 3 hours of hands-on organizing for $100 if you schedule before April 30th!

We will also be offering several new a la carte such as real estate services where we can do the following:

  • Downsizing-We will help you room by room designate which items you will need to consign/donate and what you will be packing to take with you.
  • Home Listing Preparation-We will help you remove the clutter that deters buyers. We will consign/donate items for you. Also help you with design appeal for showings.
  • Move-In Assistance-We will help you unpack and place your furniture and personal effects.
  • Annual Family Photo Book
  • Entertainment Preparation- Help get your home or office party ready!
  • Consignment and Estate Sales- We can organize and execute all of your consignment or estate sale needs.
  • Moving Day Management-We will oversee your move so you can enjoy the big day and not stress about it!

Be sure to stay tuned for more details and exciting things happening to help you get your Ducks in a Row!!!!

Google Calendar for Busy Families

If you are having a hard time keeping track of who is going where and who is doing what in your family, you may want to give Google Calendar a try.  All you have to do is create a free … Continue reading

Trendy File Cabinet Options

You don’t have to use boring metal file cabinets anymore.  I have been using some fun file storage options lately to help clients keep their papers in order.  Here are a few options that are especially cute:

Pottery Barn File Cube

Linen Desktop File Box from Restoration Hardware

Havana File Basket from Pottery Barn

File Box from Horchow

Letting Go of Guilty Clutter

I loved this post on “Letting Go of Guilty Clutter” from Laura Wittmann at I’m an Organizing Junkie and author of Clutter Rehab. I know so many people (including myself) who could benefit from these tips, so I just had to share.

On a side note, I have been busy selling and getting rid of some guilty clutter around my own house!  Grand total at the Charleston Repeats kid’s consignment sale…..$1300!!!!!  Time to do a little redecorating, and can’t wait to consign for the spring/summer sale!  Also, working on my yard sale, so come by Daniel Island on September 29th…friends and clients…you can bring your own guilty clutter to sell at my house (have a few friends bringing things already)!

On a side note, here is a cool contraption I came across this week and thought I would share…..the pan stacker from Rubbermaid!  You can get it at Lowes or pretty much anywhere that sells Rubbermaid products.

In all of my craziness in the past few weeks, we still found some time to relax in the mountains.  🙂

Ducks in a Row Favorite Organizing Products

I thought I would write a post to share a few cool organizing products.  I guess my two favorite organizing tools are clear Sterilite Tubs and a label maker, but I figured people already knew that.  So, here are a … Continue reading

Before and After Photos

We were on a family vacation last week and managed to organize a family photo thanks to a babysitter!  Even though someone didn’t get the “coordinating outfit color memo,” at least we got a good shot with everyone looking at … Continue reading

Home Office Organization Part 2: Organizing Vital Records

Another component to having your home office organized is keeping all of your vital records organized, easily accessible, and in a safe place.  Some people recommend keeping these important records and files in a separate file box with a handle so that in the case of an emergency you can easily grab these documents.

There are 3 main steps to getting your vital records organized:

1.  Make Copies

About once a year, make a copy of all the credit and ID cards you carry around. Place as many cards as will fit on the screen, photocopy or scan, and then flip the cards over and do the other side. Don’t forget medical insurance,voter registration, and your passport.  I sure wish I had extra copies of my license, passport, and credit cards when I had my purse stolen during a trip to Spain after college.  That is why it is also important to have a free credit report done each year.  It sort of helps me ease my mind that there isn’t some weirdo running around using my identity in a foreign country!

Get your free annual credit report by going to: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp

2.  Create A Master list of all your accounts

(Savings, checking and credit card, as well as investment and insurance records)
Millions of dollars go unclaimed every year because people lose track of their holdings. Write down every bank, credit card, investment and insurance account you have. For each, list the institution, type of account (checking? money market?), owner or policyholder (you? you and a relative?), account number and contact information. You could also add frequent flier accounts, computer access codes and any other key passwords to this document.

3.  Create A Safe-deposit-box inventory

Make a list of all of the critical documents (marriage license, birth certificate, stocks and bonds) that you’ve stored under lock and key. Photocopy or scan the documents for your household files.

Once you have completed these three steps, it would be a good idea to put a copy of these documents in your safe-deposit box and also give a copy to a trusted friend, family member, or your attorney.

How Long Should You Keep Your Vital Records?

When you are purging your records it is important to know what you should be saving, and for how long. Here is a list to help you make those decisions.

Marriage records should be kept forever.

Birth records should be kept forever.

Death records should be kept forever.

Divorce records should be kept forever.

Estate plan documents should be kept forever. A copy of these documents should also be given to the person named as the executor of your estate.

Insurance policies should be kept for as long as the policy remains active. Once the policy has expired, it is only necessary to keep the last statement as proof that the policy existed.

Your family’s medical information Explanation Of Benefit forms from your insurance company should be kept for one year. If you file a claim for payment of benefits, the related EOB should be kept forever with all other documents and notes related to the claim. The best way to organize your family’s medical information is in a medical journal.  You can create your own or even buy one:

http://www.everydayhealth.com/family-health/understanding/keep-a-health-journal.aspx

http://www.getorganizedjournals.com/familymed.htm#

Receipts for large purchases should be kept as long as you own the product.

Warranty paperwork should be kept as long as you own the product.

Bank, retirement or investment account statements should be kept forever. If an annual summary is sent, keep the summary and purge the individual statements for that year.

Income tax records should be kept for 7 years.

Mortgage records should be kept for the life of the mortgage.

Paycheck stubs should be kept for one year. Discard the stubs when you receive your Form W2 or other annual summary and have verified that all information is correct.

Finally, if your wallet ever disappears, here are some numbers that will come in handy:
To report lost or stolen cards, contact:
Visa (800-VISA-911)
American Express (800-441-0519)
MasterCard (800-307-7309
Then register for fraud alert with the three credit bureaus:
Equifax (800-525-6285)
Experian (888-EXPERIAN)
TransUnion (800-680-7289)
If you read this far, then you will find out a little secret…Do I have all of these things done with my documents?  Heck no, but I have it on my calendar to work on it two days in August when the kiddos start back to school 🙂