school sabatical

"Hi, ho, Silver... away!"

School is out. Time for summer travels. I'm definitely looking forward to heading north for a bit of reprieve from this torrid weather!

Never woulda thunk it, but I really miss being able to leave my window open all day long to let the cool summer breeze drift through the house... These Kentucky summers are just too darn hot for my born-in-the-wintry-north body!

So, in just a couple of weeks, I will ready my bags, pack my things, and be on my way. What about you? Where are you headed this summer? Could you use a little help along your travels? This month's printable resources will come in handy!

Happy trails to you!

Michelle's Signature

Professional Organizer

P.S. Need some help getting ready for your travels? Want to come home to a bit of serenity? I can help! Contact me today to schedule your free consultation.

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survey says

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summer travel

Millions of people hit the highways every year. With the vast number of road trips taking place during the summer when kids are out of school, parents are looking to explore new places and ideas. According to The Travel Mom,  Emily Kaufman, parents won't have to spin their wheels to make the next road trip stress-free.

To ensure that your family's next road trip is fun and stress-free, Emily shares some tips on how to prepare for your trip and make it enjoyable while on the road:


Plan your budget. Determine how much money to allocate toward family travel before planning a trip. Overspending results in tension and anxiety about unnecessary debt. Plan to spend a certain amount per day, and stay within that budget.

Do some research. Investigate destinations that the family has yet to explore. Narrow the choices down to three.

Decide on the destination. Sit down with the kids and discuss the options. Vote as a family for the final decision.

Know what you're doing. Plan which sights the family will visit along the way. If possible, order brochures from each sight beforehand for additional information.

Make a checklist. The checklist should include purchasing and or washing clothes, grocery shopping, making hotel reservations, car maintenance, packing, etc. You will also want to include due dates to stay on target. Divvy up the easy items (such as packing) among the kids.

Check the weather report. See what the temperature will be like, and pack accordingly.

Establish rules and guidelines. Tell the kids what is expected of them prior to the trip. Be clear about where they can and cannot go. Review safety tips with them, and set a plan in motion on what to do if they get lost.


Pack light. Limit each family member to one large duffle bag. Depending on how long the family will be traveling, pack one outfit for each day. Plan outfits that match the same pair of sneakers to eliminate the bulk of additional footwear.

Get comfortable. Pack plenty of comfy favorites like pillows, blankets and stuffed animals. This will help deter grumpy little road trippers.

Get ready for the water. Pack a separate beach bag complete with everyone s swimsuit and ll be ready to go without everyone having to unpack their bags to find their own.

Pack a snack. Ask children what snacks are preferred and bring treats from home to reduce spending at convenience stores. Next, fill a cooler with the preferred foods. Pack extra snacks for the between stops.

Make safety a priority. Pack necessities such as a flashlight, batteries and a first aid kit in case of emergency.

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travel tools

  *  Head-to-Toe Packing List

  *  Vacation Prep Checklist

  *  Pet Sitter To Do's

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summer travel (cont.)

staying entertained

Keep children entertained. Pack for each child an art box complete with stickers, a small drawing pad, colored pencils and crayons. Bring a couple of cookie sheets as well. The cookie sheet can be used as a tabletop for snacking and coloring, or for magnetic play. The raised edges are terrific for keeping crayons and pencils in one place as well!

Explore the great outdoors. Kids love the outdoors. Pack a magnifying glass and camera, and take advantage of the scenery along the route. Stop the car and allow the kids to admire the beauty and take pictures of their favorite spots.

Pack a surprise bag. When the kids get restless, play silly word games and reward them with little trinkets from the surprise bag (e.g., miniature card games, dolls, cars, stickers, etc.).

Take the time to bond. Turn off the music and get the kids to take off their earphones. Talk and tell funny stories. Allow the kids to make up their own stories.

Work out. When stopping along the way at rest stops and picnic areas, pull out the soccer ball and allow the kids to play. This will allow the kids to burn energy. They will be more relaxed for the next leg of the trip.

using technology

Move to the beat. Make sure each child has his or her own individual CD or DVD player with headphones and individual music and PG-rated movies. Allot a specific time when they are allowed to use the items.

Charge! Make sure that cell phone batteries are fully charged. Phone chargers that can be plugged into car lighters are also recommended for road tipping.

Stay connected. Keep in touch while on the road. Manage incoming phone calls using hands-free devices such as the Nokia CK-7W Advanced Car Kit, which automatically mutes the radio when a call comes in. With the remote control button, you can accept and reject calls, redial and adjust the volume.

Stay on the straight and narrow. Avoid getting lost while on the road by using a wireless GPS device such as the Nokia LD-1W. It allows you to simply type in the address where you want to go, follow the map on your phone s display and listen to the
voice instructions. This GPS system uses Bluetooth technology and lasts up to 18 hours, but it is easily charged using Nokia s standard mobile phone charger.

Guest author Emily Kaufman, The Travel Mom, visits destinations all over the world in search of great locations for families to experience and gathers invaluable first-hand advice for making your vacations less stressful and more fun!

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blog highlights

In May, a total of 14 new organizing tips & ideas were added to my blog, and the new Featured Download series has had a phenomenal response! Some of the most popular blog entries last month were...

  *  Mom : What's My Job Description, Anyway?

  *  Featured Download : Family Chore Chart

  *  Don't Be a Martyr, Mom!

  *  What Does Your Big Picture Look Like?

  *  Featured Download : Camp Packing List list/

Don't forget to e-mail me questions about your toughest organizing dilemmas, or your favorite organizing tips. If I feature an answer to your question, or your tip on my blog, you could win some real neat organizing goodies!

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june / july 2010

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summer travel



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