Author: Liz O'NeillEducation Executors Family Goal Setting Home Organizing Safety Tips

Emergency Preparedness for Peace of Mind

If you only had a few hours to evacuate your home because of an emergency (health- or weather-related), could you determine and locate your essential information, documents and resources?

Hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes and a global pandemic….to say that 2020 has been a challenging year is an understatement. National Preparedness Month is recognized each September and the theme for 2020 is apropos – “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.”

In an emergency, the last thing you should be doing is scurrying to find extra batteries, locating essential documents, and worrying if your insurance is updated.  It is critical to have easy access to important documents, records, and resources in the event of an evacuation or emergency.

Thinking through the details and your priorities when you are not in the midst of a crisis is vitally important.

DOCUMENT – the information and resources you already have (for example, your health insurance information, your ‘in case of emergency’ contacts).

Tip: Store your important documents in the Cloud which affords you access no matter where you are. Alternatively, if you plan to keep your documents in a paper-format, store them in one binder/folder and consider laminating.

CONSIDER – the information and resources you may need in an emergency (for example, flood insurance, extra prescription medicine).

Tip: Prepare an emergency kit with the essentials.

ORGANIZE – the information for easy access. Having everything in just a few places, rather than scattered through the house, is a good idea.

Tip: Create a roadmap (in a physical or digital binder) that details where the information and documents are located. My Life Packet is a comprehensive life and legacy affairs organizing workbook that guides you through the process.

SHARE  –  your plan with your loved ones.

Tip: Establish a family communication plan.

Taking inventory of what you would need in an emergency can save you and your family time, money, and stress. Although it may feel overwhelming, organizing and taking inventory of key information will not only help you ‘weather’ a storm, it will also create peace of mind.

Author: Liz O'NeillFamily Holidays Home Seasonal

SOS – Seasonal Organizing Simplified

Gift WrapAs we wind down the year, ’tis the season for celebrations. Unfortunately, feeling overwhelmed may be an unwelcome tradition for many of us. Last minute shopping, traffic back-ups, and the rush to decorate can make this time anything but joyous.

There’s a lot to do and think about. But help (SOS) is on its way! By incorporating organizing and productivity solutions, you can focus on what really matters – the joy and merriment of the holidays.

Streamlining and Sourcing-Out are two ways to increase productivity and manage responsibilities, including holiday traditions. Write down the tasks you need and/or want to accomplish and think about ways in which you can make things more efficient and still effective. Consider these potential tasks:


  • Streamline: Snap a picture of how you have arranged your holiday decor so you can recreate the decorating next year. Keep the picture stored digitally (Evernote is ideal for organizing notes and pictures into folders) or tape it on the box in which you store the decorations.
  • Source-Out: Invite friends over for a decorating party. Including those who may not celebrate the same holiday you do is a wonderful way to share customs and traditions. Turn a chore into a fun party by enticing Santa’s helpers with some hot cocoa, libations, and cookies.


  • Streamline: Was your Grandma’s famous latkes recipe or the chocolate dessert you baked last year a hit? Make them again and, while you’re at it, keep a folder labeled “holiday recipes” for those tried-and-true dishes. Of course, not everything has to be made from scratch.
  • Source-Out: Consider a pot-luck or delegate some of the hosting responsibilities by asking guests to bring a favorite side dish or dessert. Perhaps it’s worth it to you to hire someone to help with the clean up.


  • Streamline: Give variations of the same gift– a blue-checkered shirt to your brother, and the same red-checkered shirt to your husband. Consider a gift exchange for groups or large families – each person picks a name and only has to buy one gift.
  • Source-Out: Online shopping is just a click away! Look for coupon codes or try ebates to save money while you save time.

Less to think about and do means more time staying in the present. And staying in the present is the best gift you can give yourself.