ROLLING BLACKOUTS? ROLL OUT A LITTLE INGENUITY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: August 17, 2003
Contact: Karen Sencich - Professional Organizer
Phone: 905-452-7008, http://www.havoctoharmony.com/
We've been warned that rolling blackouts will be a reality starting tomorrow. Professional organizing consultant Karen Sencich offers the following tips in order to avoid personal inconvenience and ensure safe food consumption.
Have a game plan to cover each time of day at home and at work.
Simplify your essential routines and allow extra time in case of blackout.
Plan a fuss free hairdo in case blow dryer isn't working.
Wear lightweight clothes to stay cool.
Park in the driveway so your car isn't stuck inside the garage.
Use your ingenuity to entertain your family if the TV goes dark: Scrabble, cards, browse the family photo album or take turns reading out loud.
Avoid elevators; take the stairs to avoid being trapped.
Have a little cash on hand for essentials.
Tuck a mini flashlight into your purse or briefcase to ensure personal safety.
Don't wait until your tank is almost empty to fill up.
Carry frozen bottled water to keep cool.
Spend some time creating a binder with checklists for family emergencies.
Take stock of your medicine cabinet; check that you have ample supplies of prescription medication.
Shop carefully to eat safely:
Shop for non-perishable foods: canned tuna, powdered milk, peanut butter, tetra juice packs and bottled water. Note products like salsa or pasta sauce must be refrigerated once opened, so plan to use them up quickly.
Using masking tape, make your own "best before" labels as you open jars or cans.
Pack a lunch that doesn't have to be heated or refrigerated; avoid mayonnaise spreads and lunchmeats. Include a thermos of cold lemonade or your coffee fix.
Plan to eat at your desk instead of venturing out into traffic.
For the next several weeks, carefully inspect anything you defrost for signs of spoilage.
Have one or two quick and easy dinners ready to go:
Mashed potatoes made with water boiled on the BBQ.
Defrost frozen pasta; add any bottled salad dressing (instead of mayonnaise) for a quick side dish.
Chop up a variety of fresh fruit, top with a can of fruit cocktail, the sugar content will help keep it fresh for several days in fridge. Perfect to supplement any meal.
Pass up the cream cheese on your bagel and try peanut butter.
Reconstituted powdered milk is perfect for cereal.
Many canned vegetables like corn taste great cold.
A full freezer stays frozen longer. Freeze bottled water to fill in the gaps in your freezer.
Karen Sencich is a Professional Organizer who specializes in implementing solutions that simplify life at home, work or school.
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Tackle it Now Tip
Pack and Go
Now that winter is winding down, many families are planning a spring get away. The key to a relaxing get away is to pack effectively. A personal packing list simplifies the packing process.
- Buy sturdy, lightweight suitcases on wheels, ones that nest together for easy storage.
- Invest in luggage straps to securely strap smaller luggage onto bigger rolling pieces.
- Pack only what you can comfortably carry and lift by yourself.
- There is lots of walking through airports, so wear your most comfortable shoes (remember that you'll have to take them off to go through security).
- Dress in layers for comfort on the plane.
- Plastic compression bags are the best new invention for compact packing. Vacuum pack or roll wrinkle-proof items like underwear, bathing suits, bulky sweaters or socks. Coming home, use the bags to compress dirty laundry to make room to pack souvenirs.
- Pack a roomy, waterproof tote or backpack for necessary carry on items, ID, tickets and mini sized cosmetics. You can use it again as a beach bag or when sightseeing.
- Carry personal prescriptions with you at all times. Include motion sickness remedies available in pills, patch or a magnetic bracelet.
- Remember that you can only carry on a total of 100 ml. of liquids, stored in a see through zip lock baggie. Obtain current international luggage restrictions regarding carrying fluids at www.tc.gc.ca . Also check with your airline for their specific baggage weight regulations and charges since the rules frequently change.
- Have a friend or family member drive you to the airport so you can leave winter wear in the car until you return from the sun. No sense lugging the extra weight of bulky coats.
SAFETY & SECURITY
- Label identification tags using a work address and cell phone number in case luggage is misplaced. (For security reasons never use your home address.)
- On bus tours and cruises luggage is often left unsupervised, so invest in good quality locks.
- Will a safe be available in your room? This may determine whether you travel with real or costume jewellery.
- Don't take a bulky wallet, instead pare down to the essentials: license, health card, ATM and charge cards.
- Code your cell phone with an ICE number (In Case of Emergency contact)
- Pack a flashlight or nightlight to navigate in dark, unfamiliar places
- Check if your destination or cruise ship has a dress code in effect requiring dress jackets and ties for men. When sightseeing find out if there are clothing restrictions, i.e. shorts may not be appropriate in some locations and women may have to cover their heads to enter a church. Be prepared with a pashmina that can double as a scarf or evening shawl.
- Begin with the "Classic Packing Rule of Nine"
- 3 bottoms (skirts, slacks or shorts)
- 4 tops (shirt, blouse, T-shirt, shell or tank top)
- 2 jackets (one weatherproof windbreaker and a jacket, blazer or cardigan)
- Mix and match outfits starting with coordinating classic colours: black, navy, white, and then add bright contrasts. Accessorize to glamorize using belts, scarves, or shawls for a burst of colour. A dressy cardigan with a bit of glitter can dress up any outfit for evening.
- Plan double duty items - an oversize shirt can double as a bathing suit cover or a housecoat.
- Pack one pair of dressy, low heeled sandals
- Pack flip flops instead of slippers and tuck them into your backpack for comfortable sightseeing when your feet tire of walking shoes.
Professional Organizer Karen Sencich is owner of Havoc to Harmony. www.havoctoharmony.com