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THE BINDER FOR BUSY FAMILIES

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by Georgetta Lordi Morque

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Modern lives are complex and multi-faceted. We often find ourselves scattered, buried in clutter, and racing from one place to the next. Who hasn’t misplaced the field trip notice and consequently forgotten to pack the required “bagged lunch”, or gotten to the birthday party late because of searching for the address? And who hasn’t ended up at the wrong soccer field after the “disappearance” of the schedule? Yet some moms seem to have it all together. Their kids have boots if bad weather is predicted; their bathing suits, goggles and towels actually make it to the pool; and they can put their hands on any important piece of paper at a moment’s notice. Pam Socolow of Mt. Kisco is one of those moms. Socolow is passionate about organizing and she has been honing her skills since childhood, when one of her favorite pastimes was arranging her sock drawer. As an adult, Socolow used her organizational talents as a media planner for Ogilvy & Mather, and as manager of the media department at Elizabeth Arden. She then launched her own media planning and buying company. It was after having two children that she realized that organization was even more essential for families. Socolow observed the stress faced by families when there was no system in place. Even when she reduced her work schedule to part-time, she felt the time management crunch. Dinnertime became a challenge when her children complained that the meal they were eating they’d already had for lunch at school. To solve that problem, Socolow created a menu chart to avoid further conflicts. That exercise gave Socolow an idea about how she could help other parents deal with organization. She developed a product to help families reduce stress and function more efficiently. The Family Life Organizer, produced by her new company, Family Facts, is a complete system that can help organize an adult or two, up to six children, pets and grandparents, too. It contains 120 specially formatted sheets in a three-ring binder. By filling out the pages and inserting information, busy families can reduce clutter and organize their activities on a daily, monthly or annual basis. “It’s not a how-to book, but a road map that guides and motivates families to achieve a more organized life,” Socolow explains. Socolow hasn’t missed anything that families might encounter. There are sections for schools, sports, babysitters, neighbors, doctors, health histories and play dates. There is also a section for all home repairs; in the case of a leaky toilet, for example, you can note the date of the repair and slip the receipt into a pocket in the book. If there is another problem, you’ll have a record. “This makes us better managers,” says Socolow. Socolow researched other calendars and organizers and conducted focus groups with both organized and disorganized parents to determine what works best for families. “The organized parents can’t wait to get their hands on this,” she says. For those afraid to get started, she recommends inserting school notices first and going from there. She did not design the book to replace personal organizers, but to stay at home and be used by multiple family members and caregivers. The organizer has been well received in 30 cities in 21 states. “The feedback is that people love having everything in one place,” reports Socolow. A number of shops in Westchester now carry the product, including Millers Toys in Mamaroneck, Penney Auntie and Michelle Danielle in Chappaqua, I Luv My Kids in Pleasantville, and Paper Passions in Mt. Kisco. The newest, streamlined version of the Family Life Organizer costs $25. Additional sections (for example, on travel and parties) can be purchased separately. For more information or to order online, visit www.Family-Facts.com, call (914) 666-8383, or email [email protected]

 


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