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Nancy Collins

Professional Organizer

Being organized in a Medical Emergency
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Don't be afraid. Nancy can help create more calm and less chaos.

So, this week has been a whirlwind in the Collins house, with a major medical emergency that meant me being at the hospital for the last 7 days as my husband navigated a very nasty life-threatening infection. As I sat there watching him fight for his life, the thought occurred to me that one of the most important gifts you can give to your family is INFORMATION when life is a little or a lot chaotic. So here’s the question to ponder for the week: If you or a family member had an emergency and had to be away for a few days (or longer), could your family navigate and know where and how to find valuable information they need to continue the household when you are not there?

As you work this summer on getting things a little more organized in your home, don’t forget to equip your family (or someone caring for your family in your absence) to know where these things live:

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1) Important Papers. The bills—are they all in one place so they can be located and paid if you are not there? How about the insurance papers: car, homeowners, medical policies—could your family members put their hands on them in a pinch?

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2) Cleaning supplies: are they stocked up? Seriously, you do not want to get a call from one of your kids asking what to do if the laundry soap is out or the toilet paper is running low, or the dishwasher is full and they can't run it. Sounds silly, until it’s not….

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3) Emergency cash: keeping some cash on hand for last minute runs to Target or the Grocery Store while you are gone makes it much easier on your family.

4) Extra house keys: Do your family members know where an extra set of keys live in case of emergencies if they get locked out, or a friend or neighbor needs to feed the dog in an emergency?

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5) Important phone numbers: Police, Doctors/Pharmacies, Veterinarian for the pets, and at least 3 neighbors that you trust.

6) Medical supplies: this is a biggee. Do you have a jumbled mess of a first aid kit? Or worse yet, do your family members know where to locate things like band aids, gauze/scissors, rubbing alcohol/peroxide, antibiotic ointment? In our household we have a husband with a blood disorder so we go through a LOT of band aids and Neosporin. I actually have them sorted by size so grabbing what you need is second nature. And there is a bin in the hall closet clearly marked with everything else needed for a quick grab-and-go.

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Remember, the goal of organization is retrieval….neat and tidy comes by that as a by-product. If your goal is to get your home a little more organized this summer, this is definitely a place to start. And for another reference, read my previous blog abut having a grab and go binder here:


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