September 2006 Newsletter

This month’s focus: Things we don’t like to think about (disasters, rodents and bugs)                  

Event of the Month

The Department of Homeland Security has declared that September is National Preparedness Month. No matter what your politics and your opinion of Homeland Security, why not take some time this month to evaluate if you are prepared for things like:

  • natural disasters (earthquakes, hurricanes and other storms, etc.)
  • medical emergencies

A few of the many things to consider:

1. Have a home inventory so you can prove what you’ve lost in the event of a fire, theft, etc. Inventories can include written lists, pictures, and/or videotapes; personally, I have a list and photos – plus receipts for major purchases. Information on home inventories can be found from:

2. Consider carrying an emergency kit in your car. Make your own, or buy one already made. (If you think you should just make your own, but you find yourself procrastinating, then maybe buying a kit is the way to go.) Some organizations you can buy from include:

3. Make sure that key medical information is readily available to those who may need to assist you. My mom had two emergency hospitalizations lately (she’s fine now) – and I was sure glad we had a grab-and-go packet that included emergency contact information, an up-to-date list of her medications, her Advance Health Care Directive, etc.

4. Make sure you have included your pets in your emergency planning. See the information provided by the ASPCA.

Tip of the Month

If it’s worth keeping, it’s worth storing it properly. It’s always sad to go through someone’s boxes of stuff and find that precious items have been attacked by bugs or rodents. Here are some steps you can take to prevent such problems.

1. Clothing and Moths: Clean your clothes before putting them into storage. Clothes moths aren’t attracted to clean clothes, but rather to the clothes which are soiled by food, perspiration, etc. And then consider using products which repel moths and beetles, such as cedar and lavender products. (Moth balls are highly toxic.) For much more information regarding clothes storage, see

2. Rats and mice can cause serious damage to property, and spread disease – so it makes sense to take precautions to keep them away from your home by removing their food, water, and shelter. Please be extremely careful cleaning up after them; consider getting professional help. For specific information on controlling rodents (and cleaning up after them), see:

Quote of the Month

Clutter clearing . . . can open the space for magic and miracles to come into your life.

— Michelle Passoff