PORTFOLIO

ORG CHART: LINEN CLOSETS

Linens, towels, random toiletries, screwdrivers, unopened wedding presents. Sound familiar? Yes, it's that catchall bastion of chaos known as your linen closet.


“Everything ends up in there. It's so undefined,” says Nina Johnson, an Oakland-based professional organizer and owner of Simply Organized with Nina.


Johnson has seen her fair share of horrifying linen closets, and has happily passed on five tips to help you get the most out of these trusty family workhorses.

EMERGENCY RELIEF FOR SCHOOL NURSES

School nurses have come a long way. No longer do they simply administer ice packs and bandages. Now, they've become virtual case managers for students coming to school with a variety of chronic illnesses.


But while the demands on the average school nurse have increased, the state budget has not kept pace, and positions have evaporated as a result. Unlike most states, California schools are not legally required to have a nurse. California's ratio is one school nurse per 2,187 students, according to data collected in 2009 by the National Association of School Nurses. In Vermont, there are 311 students per nurse.

TWO FOR THE ROAD

I loved my first stroller. It was light, sturdy, and I could easily push my daughter along with one hand while sipping a cup of coffee or chatting on the phone with the other. When I became pregnant with my second, I was once again shopping for a new stroller. 

I had seen parents barreling down the street with their wide-load stroller. I had seen them struggling to make it through doorways. And, I was nervous I would have to give up my caffeine and iPhone addictions.

Luckily, manufacturers have answered the call of families seeking easy transport for multiple children with an impressive array of strollers. Here are our five top picks.

PREPARING FAMILIES FOR THE ADDITION OF A PET

It's inevitable: Most kids at some point in their young lives will look up at you with saucer eyes and plead, “Can we get a puppy?” It's tempting to give in, especially if he or she is persistent. And, it's easy to delight in their joy at receiving one as a gift.


But the adoption of a pet is not something to take on lightly. While pets can bring joy and love to our lives, they require a special level of love and commitment in return.

KIDS RUN RAGGED IN A "RACE TO NOWHERE"

The suicide death of Devon Marvin in 2008 sent shock waves through the Danville community. Why did she do it? Could it be because the 13-year-old honor-roll student had just received her first bad grade in math?


Every parent's worst nightmare gave Lafayette filmmaker Vicki Abeles pause, especially when she considered her own three children. And then she took it a step further, creating the documentary Race to Nowhere to explore her questions.

ORG CHART: THE FAMILY CAR

My car is a complete embarrassment. It's not so bad if somebody sits in the front seat. At least that much is kept sacred. But I hyperventilate whenever anyone has to sit in the back seat: Goldfish, raisins, moldy grapes, a lingering banana smell. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.


Considering how much time is spent in the car and the number of different tasks it's used for, it's pretty obvious why a little love was needed in the family transportation department. Here are five things I learned along the way.

 

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