Emergency Preparedness: Where to Take Fido and/or Felix in an Emergency

take the dogAs Ike Pigott points out in his post today, many shelters won't accept pets.

I had to evacuate my apartment two blocks south of the World Trade Center on 9/11, and there was no way I was leaving Benny's predecessor, my wonderful Yellow Lab, Sam, behind. We stayed with friends for a couple of nights but eventually spent nearly two months in a wonderful hotel that accepts pets.

Please check now to see what hotels and motels in your area accept pets and keep that list with your emergency supplies. Many large chains welcome pets, including: Read more

How I Organize My Dog's Life, Part 2 – Cooking

dog-eating.pngBenny Bix Ochman Labradoodle puppy, now two, has tummy troubles. Wanting him to live a long and healthy life, and not wanting to have him on medication forever, I’ve learned to cook for him. (Despite my best efforts, the cat will only eat cat food.)

The first question everyone asks is “Doesn’t that take a lot of time?” I’ve got the whole process very organized, so it takes me about 45-minutes every two weeks. Read more

Clutter Hack: How to Organize Your Pets' Stuff

dog and catBetween the toys, treats, leashes, crates, pills, sprays, food and grooming supplies, your pets' stuff can quickly become an organizational nightmare. Here's how I keep my cat Noni and Benny Bix Ochman Labradoodle Puppy's stuff organized.

   • Leashes and harnesses are on a hook right next to the door, so is a box of plastic bags for pickup.

   • Portable play: A canvas shoulder bag we take to the park every morning is right by the front door. It contains plastic bags, a water bottle, a frisbee and a tennis ball. Read more

Cluttered? Busted! MIT Has a Designed a Clutter Detector

buzzer.pngVisual clutter – the kind that makes it hard to find anything in the picture – can waste time, or even create dangerous situations. So MIT engineers have designed a visual clutter detector to identify when bad design hampers a person’s ability to understand information, causes confusion, or interrupts concentration.

The scientists say the impetus was that "we lack a clear understanding of what clutter is, what features, attributes and factors are relevant, why it presents a problem and how to identify it."

A clutter measuring device may sound funny, but it's actually "a breakthrough that could help everyone from fighter pilots to Web site designers." Read more

Email Hack: Stage Two of My Battle Against Unnecessary Email

phone callTwo weeks after declaring war on email overload, I am happily on my way to making email fun again.

I tried asking nicely. I tried unsubscribing to non-essential email publications. I tried asking people to keep their emails short and only send email when it is important. None of it worked.

So now I have stopped feeling guilty about what other people think if I answer email slowly or not at all. I have accepted the fact that even trying to handle the more than 700 emails I get every day is just not possible, or necessary.

Here are the other steps I've taken: Read more

Heavy Backpacks Are Dangerous: Don't Let Your Child Overload

great backpackThe comic strip, For Better or For Worse, shows April picking out, and loading, a cool backpack.
heavy backpack
And here she is trudging off to school with a backpack that is way too heavy for her. Experts warn that heavy backpacks can cause back and neck problems in children, which often are passed over as "growing pains" and go untreated. Rule of thumb: if your child sticks out his or her stomach while wearing a backpack, it is likely too heavy. Be sure to consider ergonomics as well as coolness.

My Email Overload Hack Works Great: How Come I Feel Guilty?

email_overload.pngAs a self-employed marketer, I have lived and died by email for the past 10 years. It's been at the center of my business and personal life for everything from sales to socializing. But over the past year or two, the daily flow of email has become totally unmanageable. Something had to be done. I took bold action. So why do I feel guilty?

My incoming email is down to a trickle since I added this autoresponder:

Dear colleagues & friends: I am checking email only a couple of times a day because I am totally overwhelmed with unnecessary emails.

So, if something is pressing, please call me.

If not, understand that I will be back to you in hours rather than minutes. Thank you!
B.L.

Read more

How I Keep My Work At Home Life Organized, part 1

poof daddyI’ve run my Internet marketing consulting firm from a home office for the past 10 years. Making sure I don’t spend my days in bunny slippers is a huge challenge. It is soooo easy to fritter away a day if you don't stick to a routine. Here’s what I do:

The dog runs the show
Even though I am a night person, every day, come hell or high water, I get up at 7 a.m. and take Benny Bix Ochman Labradoodle to the park where he runs with his buddies, and I socialize with their owners, for an hour. We walk three miles round trip, quickly, so we both get some exercise.

Going to the park means I have to get up, get dressed, and appear life-like early in the morning. Read more

Less Really is More

peanut butterYou can de-clutter your kitchen cabinets and save elbow grease by making common household products do multiple jobs. Put the peanut butter to work, for example.

Besides being the main ingredient in Elvis' favorite sandwich, Jif Peanut Butter makes great shaving cream. And you can grease the axle of your truck or car with it.

Tomato paste will easily clean the bottom of a copper pot and make it look new again. And my nana taught me that toothpaste can remove crayon from walls, scratches from glassware. Read more

Bibliochaise: a Furniture Mashup and Clutter Hack

book chair If you've ever lived in a Manhattan studio apartment, or its under 500 sq ft equivalent, you'll immediately see the brilliance of the furniture mashup Bibliochaise by Nobody & Company. It's a great way to show off your book collection and keep them close at hand.

The company also makes a dining table with recesses designed for wrists and elbows, and several other beautifully designed multi-use types of furniture.

via Treehugger

This Week – Donate a Backpack or School Supplies

give backpacksPaying for back-to-school supplies is a burden for many families. If you can afford it, buy some extra school supplies and donate them anonymously to your local school to give to children from financially burdened families. Consider putting them in a backpack.

Here's a worldwide program by the Give a Kid a Backback Foundation, and Operation Backpack, a national program from Volunteers of America.