Mountains of Reusable Grocery Bags

I admit it. I was a reusable bag junkie. It started when I was a sustainability officer for a large company. Reusable bags were better for the environment. Using them made me feel better about myself. So, I started collecting them. There were only a few at first. They came from grocery stores, department stores, fairs, festivals, business meetings, and volunteer groups. Everyone wanted to have their company name and logo on a bag and I gladly supported them by taking their bags. Too many bags. Pretty soon, my back seat floorboard was full and overflowing onto the seat. It was a problem for people riding in my car. “What’s with all these bags?” they asked. I had to transfer some to my trunk. “You can’t have too many reusable bags,” I said. But, I was wrong.

All bags are not created equal. Polyester ones take more energy to produce. Organic cotton ones are better. They don’t have chemicals that can leech onto the food inside. You can also wash and dry them. I found out that you should always use food bags for food and not other items like diapers or gym clothes or kids toys. It is also better to use bags manufactured in the U.S. that are sturdy and can withstand cleaning. The more local the bag, the better (less transportation means less pollution and you support local businesses).

So, I eventually fessed up. I had a problem and I had to face it head-on. As painful as it was, I culled my huge crop of bags. I went through my back seat and trunk and I tossed out the cheap bags, the ones that were falling apart and ones that were visibly dirty and couldn’t be washed. I washed the cotton ones. Then, I organized them in another reusable bag in my back seat. Now, people can get into my car, I don’t worry about contamination from dirty bags and I can breathe a sigh of relief. I am no longer at the mercy of my reusable bags. I even pass up opportunities to collect more of them now. “I have plenty,” I say. And, I do. How about you?

Nimble Move Team Saves the Day

Memorable Moves

A good Move Manager has to be able to adapt to challenging circumstances quickly. One recent move really put this to the test. The client was moving from a large house into an assisted living community. Six people were on the packing team. It was going to be a long, involved move. A family member was supposed to be helping, but he had opted out when he saw the complexity of the project. Unfortunately, the client had a mild heart attack the day before the move. He was going to be the point person to interface with the move team, but now he was in the hospital. The Move Manager sprang into action. The move had to go on despite the client being in a health crisis.

The move team persevered and got everything packed and moved to the client’s new home while he was recovering in the hospital. Ordinarily, when someone is moving, there is a “Go Bag” packed with essential items (medications, toiletries, a change of clothing, etc.). Because of the heart attack, there was no “Go Bag.” When the client was ready to be discharged, he needed some clothing, but everything was packed. The team went to work, trying to locate the items he requested. This was particularly difficult because the client was supposed to have helped sort everything prior to the move, but due to the circumstances that didn’t happen. Regardless, the move team persisted with the scavenger hunt and eventually found what he needed.

This move exemplified the Move Makers’ team spirit. Everyone pitched in to help the client in a very trying situation. During the course of the move, the team encountered collections of gambling items and souvenirs. This unusual move was not something either the client or the move team “gambled on,” but, in the end, he was very happy with the outcome. The Move Makers team is always ready to go the extra mile and do whatever it takes for a successful move.

Can Emergency Responders Find You?

One of the most important aspects to home safety is the ability of first responders to find your home during an emergency. The house or apartment number must be visible both day and night. If a person is in a medical crisis or there is a fire or a break-in, you don’t want emergency personnel confused by a lack of house numbers. Go to the street in front of your home. Are your house numbers located in plain sight? Are they covered by plants? Have they faded over the years? Are numbers missing?

For ease of visibility, make sure that the numbers are large enough and contrast with the background. At night, make sure they have a light directed on them or they glow in the dark. Time is of the essence when you are in an emergency situation.

Make it easier for police, fire and medical personnel by checking this simple thing that could save valuable time and perhaps your life!

Downsizing Diaries: What Should I Do With My Old Luggage?

I treated myself to a small, sleek set of luggage this year, the type that rolls along on 4 wheels and weighs almost nothing. It was not an easy decision, since my old luggage is perfectly serviceable, though a bit frayed at the edges. Besides, it’s taken me and my family on countless adventures in the past 20 years or so. We have history. And that makes it hard to let go.

In the end, I made the purchase and now it’s time to say goodbye, and make room in my closet for the new additions.

What do I do with my old luggage?

Simplify your move with Color!

Color coding is one of our favorite strategies for simplifying moves. We love using color so much that we use this strategy on every move we organize (that’s a lot of stickies!). Let’s face it, moving everything you own is no small feat, especially if you are moving into a smaller space. Most often there are items that need to go to multiple destinations (such as your new home, a storeroom, the homes of family members, consignment shops and donation collection spots), as well as items that still need to be sorted and things that someone else needs to look at. By using color to visually sort your belongings, you can prepare for your move ahead of time and still leave everything in its place, which is so much less disruptive!

2015-06-11 Color KeyHere’s how to get started:

1. Gather your color coding supplies: Sticky notes, colored tape, yarn, tags, stickers or a combination of the above.

2. Set up a color “key” so that everyone will know what each color indicates. Make multiple copies of the key and post in various locations around the house.

3. Choose the categories you want to use. (Hint: Stick to 6 or less. Too many colors is just plain confusing!)

4. Begin with one room. See if you can mark absolutely everything in the room, moving in a circle around the room.

5. Adjust your color coding system if necessary, then continue to the next room and beyond!

Do you feel more in control of your move? Let us know! We love helping people simplify the process of moving.


3 Strategies That Will Reduce Your Stress As You Prepare To Move


Spring Into An Organized Move!

3 Strategies That Will Reduce Your Stress As You Prepare To Move

1) Focus on the important stuff first. 

Believe it or not, most people spend about 75% of their time and energy before a move sorting, moving and selling the items they don’t want, leaving the important items until last! We recommend beginning your project by sorting and packing what is most important to you (not the things you use every day…we’ll talk about what to do with those next time). Carefully label 2 sides of every box or bin and stack neatly with labels showing. This will give you peace of mind that the important things are taken care of when things heat up later.


2) Make a task list.

Sit down early in the process and write down every move-related task that’s on your mind, even the small ones. You can add to this list as you think of more things. We often use sticky notes on a wall to create a giant ‘Command Center’ for the move. Be creative! Emptying your head of all of the small details will dramatically reduce your worry and stress and allow you to keep the big picture in mind. Hint: It also lets others know what still needs to be done so they can be part of the process (see Tip #3 below).


3) Don’t be a task hog.

If you are lucky, friends and family will offer to help, so it’s smart to be prepared ahead of time. After you’ve written down all of the tasks (Tip #2), separate the tasks that absolutely must be tackled by you from the tasks that someone else can handle. When an offer of help presents itself, you will be ready! You can even offer helpers their choice of tasks. Hint: A reasonable task is something like “Deliver the stack of donations marked in blue to XYZ charity” or “pack the books on the shelves marked with green tape”. Avoid writing down tasks such as “sort and pack the garage”. These mega-tasks will make all but the most dedicated volunteer run for cover.





Project Kathryn


Downsize two storage units ( That I had for 15 years) to one and then help with a move when I lost motivation..

Are there any team members you would like to especially acknowledge?

Carolyn, of course, is special, teaching you new skills and attitudes as things get organized. I expected to have help disposal and storage issues but had no idea I was going to be coached through it so well. Jenny and Cindy are tidy, speedy and gentle movers…that is gentle to the person being moved.

Please provide any comments about our value:

Sometimes you just need a professional to lend a helping hand. MoveMakers will always be my helping hand with stressful projects for my home. Its like you have a good, dentist, good doctor, good hairdresser, you need a good organizer in your life.