Preparing Your Car for Roadside Emergencies

Roadside emergency kitIf you’ve kept up with the news over the last week, you’ve no doubt seen much coverage on the weather-related traffic disaster caused by snowfall and ice in the Atlanta metro area. While our families were not directly involved, thank goodness (!), thousands of people were. Most were not prepared for what would normally be a 45-minute commute turning into a 24-hour nightmare.

In an effort to be better prepared for a roadside emergency, our Atlanta Professional Organizer has compiled a list of items to create an emergency kit. Remember, it’s always better to take the time to be prepared beforehand than to look back and wish you’d taken these few simple steps to ensure you and your family’s safety!

Roadside Emergency Kit Essentials:

  • Cell phone with car charger – Nowadays, most of us keep our cell phone handy 24/7. But, one recurring theme folks who were stranded on our Atlanta highways experienced were dead cell batteries, and no way to recharge them. Always keep a backup cell phone charger in your emergency kit!
  • If you really want to cover the bases, consider purchasing a portable solar charger to ensure you always have cell power, even if your car loses battery power.
  • Small gas can – Another issue many Atlanta drivers experienced was running out of fuel. So many people were just sitting stranded in their vehicles and eventually ran out of gas. Keep a small gas can handy, so you can retrieve fuel when needed.
  • Jumper cables – This one’s pretty obvious, and something you should always keep in your vehicle to jump a dead battery. Always.
  • Flashlight with spare batteries – When nighttime rolls around, you’ll be glad to have a flashlight to navigate in the dark. It can also be useful to wave down assistance.
  • Roadside triangle reflectors/flares – This will help to warn others of your disabled vehicle, keeping it and you safe from oncoming traffic.
  • Small toolkit – This kit should include screwdrivers, an adjustable wrench, pliers, etc. These items can come in handy in many different situations.
  • First aid kit – Whether it’s for you and your family, or to help others, this is another emergency kit essential.
  • Tow strap – This is something many Atlanta area drivers could have utilized during the traffic emergencies caused by the winter weather. We saw so many stories of people sliding off into ditches, running into embankments, etc. A tow strap could save the day if any of these things were to happen to you!
  • Notepad and pen – To leave a note on your dashboard when you must abandon your vehicle.
  • Heavy-duty duct tape – Tape up broken windows, among countless other uses. Many folks down here in the south believe duct tape can repair almost anything!
  • Ice scraper – Help remove winter precipitation from your windows for safe driving.
  • Spare tire kit – This includes your spare tire, jack, lug wrench, and a small board to put under the jack. You won’t be able to change your flat tire without these items.
  • Warm blankets – This will help you keep warm when stranded, without having to keep your car running.
  • Backup socks/shoes – Because many people were leaving their places of work during the snow, they were not properly clothed for the winter weather. Many didn’t even try to walk because they didn’t have good footwear. Keep an old pair of comfy shoes and some thick socks in your emergency kit so this won’t happen to you.
  • Map – Always know where you are, and how to get to where you need to go.
  • Bottles of water – Thanks to some Good Samaritans who offered “Southern Hospitality,” folks were kept hydrated and fed while stranded in their vehicles, but what if no one were around you and your stranded vehicle? Be sure to have water to keep hydrated.
  • Backpack – Stuff it with the essentials so you may grab and go if you’re forced to abandon your vehicle.
  • Extra medication – If you take any type of medication regularly, keep some extra in this kit; enough to last until you can make it to safety.


Our Atlanta Professional Organizer understands this isn’t an especially pleasant subject, but given the emergencies reported on the news, it’s something timely to do for your family that can make a real difference in the future. Take the time now to be prepared in the event of a roadside emergency in the future. 

GO Month is Your Month!


Can you believe it – another New Year has begun! With a New Year comes a fresh start for many, and resolutions as well. If getting more organized is a goal of yours for this upcoming year, there’s no better time to start than now. After all, January is national Get Organized (GO) Month! Begin your journey on the road to organizational freedom this GO Month and get ahead with those organizational goals…

Use these quick and easy GO Month tips to take immediate action and start your year off on the right foot: 

At Home
– Make a landing zone for your incoming mail and process it at least twice a week.
– Keep a donation bag on hand. For each new item you bring into your home, consider donating something that you no longer use.
– Get kids involved by letting them create their own labels for storing toys and games.

At Work
– Identify your three most important daily tasks and focus your attention on getting them done.
– Clear out your email inbox. If you don’t need it, delete it.
– Keep only current project files within reach and put everything else away.

As you can see, January is the perfect time to set your goals for the year and create systems that will help you achieve long-term success in both your home and office. Make GO month your month!

Be sure to check out these FREE informative workshops by Professional Organizers in the Atlanta area to help you get organized in 2014.

When Organizing Gives Back…

Terri Wylie in her newly designed and organized space. Courtesy of Forsyth News.
Terri Wylie in her newly designed and organized space. Courtesy of Forsyth News.

This past holiday season, our Atlanta Professional Organizer at Real Order had an opportunity to provide a very special gift to a deserving member of our community… the gift of organization, given to Terri Wylie, recent widow and mother of three who battles multiple sclerosis.

Our Professional Organizer worked with Allison Havill Todd Interiors, through the company’s Designing Dreams Charitable program, which provides a complete room makeover for one family each year, worth approximately $20,000. Everyone deserves a well-organized space, and we’re grateful the designers at Allison Havill Todd recognized this and invited us to participate in such a worthy project.

Terri Wylie - Before-After bathroom

The importance of organization becomes especially relevant when organizing for individuals who deal with health issues like Ms. Wylie, who must cope with multiple sclerosis on a daily basis. Organizing medications is an obvious first step in projects such as this. But organizing other frequently needed items and having them easily accessible are also priorities. Simple tasks like reaching for a pair of shoes or a hair brush can be real challenge for those who have physical disabilities.

Ms. Wylie confessed that the greatest benefit she received from our organizing services was peace of mind – now that her space is decluttered and organized in a way that works for her. We’re thankful to the team at Allison Havill Todd Interiors for bringing us on board and giving us the opportunity to give something tangible – an organized bedroom and bathroom – to a very deserving member of our community. We wish Ms. Wylie the very best in the years to come – and hope she enjoys her newly designed and organized space!

This Is It!

This is it – the official start of The Real Order blog! Though I created a blog space last year, I’ve not been posting on a regular basis. It’s been on my To-Do list but seemed to get bumped down the list as other commitments took precedence. So, as with my website project, I enlisted help from my virtual assistant and began to utilize an online calendar to get things off the ground and create a plan to keep it going. Again, I recognize the importance of support and accountability in achieving this goal. We all need help with things in life, and professional organizers are no different!

In this space I’ll regularly share organizing tips, recommendations for some of my favorite organizing products, case studies and updates on projects I’m working on. Moreover, I want to hear from you!

What questions do you have? What topics interest you? What organizing challenges do you struggle with? I always welcome your comments and questions here and on future posts. My hope is for this to be a conversation, where we share ideas, suggestions and our own brands of expertise.

We’ll also continue to send out our monthly e-newsletter (if you’re not already receiving it, sign up here – on the left side of the page), which typically focuses on one particular organizing theme each month, such as organizing for a move, planning a vacation or being prepared for emergencies.

So give it some thought and let me know what you’d like to read about. Share your questions and suggestions in the comments box below, or contact us directly. We look forward to the conversation!


At long last, my revamped website is “live.” It really has been a bigger, more time-consuming project than I envisioned, but it’s done. I have a confession to make, however. I started working on it three years ago, got side-tracked, and it’s taken me this long to complete it. Since I’m a Professional Organizer and really truly do like to cross things off my To Do List, you may ask why it took me so long.

Well, for starters I knew it would be a big project, having done my original website back in 2003. Part of the problem now was that I wasn’t totally ignorant. In fact, I had amassed a wealth of information about what a good website should be like. I wanted it to be perfect and it felt overwhelming and confusing. I could completely emphasize with the feelings of my clients who felt overwhelmed and paralyzed. I finally reached the conclusion that I couldn’t complete this project on my own without support and accountability.

Part of my support was hiring a fellow professional organizer who helps other organizers with marketing tasks. Sara Pedersen with Time to Organize helped me whittle down my wordy text and tweak it so it makes sense. My web designer, Todd Withrow with NicheLabs has been patient with my many revisions and dumb questions. I want to thank Sara and Todd for helping me overcome what felt like a huge hurdle so I could reach my goal of a new, greatly improved website. In the end it’s all been worthwhile. Still, I don’t want to do this again anytime soon! Feel free to poke around the site and let me know what you think. Constructive comments are welcome.