My Top Ten Books

I find it funny that I have had such a love of reading for the last few years, and it is just clicking in my brain that I should blog about it. Hey, I am a mom of two, my brain is a bit overworked these days. I am so excited to share with you ten of my most favorite books. These are in no particular order, and it doesn’t mean that I haven’t loved other book I have a read recently. There are also no spoilers, so please feel free to read on!

These are simply the books that I feel like have stuck with me, and that I find myself thinking of from time to time. These are the stories that I believe shape our lives, change the way we think, and build a home within our hearts.

I hope that you find some great reading suggestions here, and if you have read any of these, pop into the comments and let me know what you thought of them. I would love to hear what your favorite books are as well!

 

Harry Potter – J.K Rowling

If you know me, you know I have a strong love for Harry Potter. These books are amazing and hold some of the best life lessons. Within these books we find friendship, love of family, and acceptance of others. J.K. Rowling created such a beautiful world that anyone can escape into when we need break from reality.

If you haven’t yet given this series a try, please do yourself a favor and jump on in!

 

A Man Called Ove – Fredrik Backman

I picked this book up after the movie adaptation was nominated for an Oscar in the Foreign Language Film Category at the 2017 Academy Awards. This book will leave you crying, only to turn the page and have you bursting out with laughter again.

It implores to take a look at the various relationships we have in our lives and reminds us that we may not always know what is going on when we all go home.

The film is also available on Amazon Prime and is a really great watch if you are looking for something to do this weekend!

 

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry – Fredrik Backman

This is beautiful story about the love between a Grandparent and Grandchild, and the incredibly special bond they share. I greatly enjoyed the adventure the little girl goes on in this book and the wonderful net of characters Backman weaves together.

The story through out the book brings to life the fact that simply because life has been very hard to many, that doesn’t mean they are not worthy of friendship and acceptance. Just be sure you have tissues handy when you read this novel, you’ll need them.

 

All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

Fans of Historical Fiction and WWII novels will not be able to put this book down. It is one of the best books I have had the joy of reading. This novel is told from two characters on opposing sides of the war.

The tale is both sweet and intense at times. I didn’t want to put it down, and got through it in a matter of two-three days. The history shared I found really intriguing and enjoyed the various things I learned about the Resistance during WWII.

This is one of the books that stays with you long after you have ready it.

 

Sweetgirl – Travis Mulhauser

Are you tired of me talking about this book yet? I sure hope not because I am not going to stop! Taking place is the frozen landscape of the Upper Midwest, this novel is the journey of 16 year old Percy, and her struggle to get a baby to safety,.

This book is very well written, and left me on the edge of my seat waiting to read what would happen next. There are some great twists and turns in this book and I have found myself recommending it over and over again.

So consider this your recommendation, read this book!

 

Wild – Cheryl Strayed

Besides the fact that a lot of this book takes place in Oregon (my home state) this memoir is an incredible tale about Cheryl’s life and finding herself. I believe we have all had moments in our own lives where we feel we aren’t sure where we are going and need to figure out who we are. In Wild she shares of her experience in hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, the people she meets, and the dangers she encounters.

If you are in a period of your life when you are feeling unsure about what step to take next, give this book a try; I hope it helps you to find your own path.

 

Life of Pi – Yann Martel

I wish I had all of the words to share how much I love this book. It is an incredible story and will change you in ways you don’t realize. This is a novel about survival in the harshest of circumstances, and the will to live through it all.

When you are at a time in your life when you just need to feel something, this is the book read. This is also one of the movie adaptations that I have seen that sticks incredibly close to the book, I was very impressed with it.

 

The Art of Racing in the Rain – Garth Stein

Alright dog lovers, this one is for you. This novel is written entirely from the point of view from the dog, and it is an amazing story. It give us a glimpse into how dogs think, and how much they truly love us.

This book will make you angry at some points, and you will just want to will the dog to be able to speak. It is very well written and shares an amazing story, I hope you give it a chance some day and enjoy it as well.

 

Bridge to Terabithia – Katherine Paterson

Yes this is a book for middle schoolers, and I think a lot of adults should read it. This is the story of a young boy and the unlikely friendship with the new girl at school. It deals with family, imagination, and what childhood should be about.

It is a quick read, but very good and really makes you think about how you were in your younger years, as well as how you are with your own children.

 

The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I read this book in one night, and oh my goodness, I am so glad I did. This is a book that I think adults should read as well. After seeing little things online about The Little Prince, I ended up finding this copy at a used book store and thought my daughter would enjoy it. Well, when she said she didn’t quite understand it, I decided to read it, and could completely understand why. She simply is not old enough yet. I told her when she was older, I was going to have her read it again.

This book helps us to remember the enlightenment we had a children, and give us a view of various people we meet through our journey on earth. If you are heading into an profession that will give you the opportunity to be in a leadership situation, this is a great book to read!

Why We Need Feminism – My Reason

No, that is not me in that picture. I came across this while scrolling through Pinterest one afternoon. I have enjoyed seeing these various posts by others, but this one in particular hit me like a truck.

It is by Kate Ward, Editor-in-Chief of Bustle.com. I honestly felt like I was going to burst into tears as her twenty-one words sank all the way through to my soul.

This isn’t a post about men bashing, this isn’t a post about bashing my husband, his job, or anything of that nature.

I love my husband with my whole heart; he works so hard to provide for our family. He has worked incredibly hard to get to the position he is in and will continue to work hard to move further on in his career. I am so proud of him, and am here to help support him everyday; the good and the bad. I offer my advice where I can, and listen to his ideas always, as well as he listens to mine.

Outside of our home though, his job is his life. Not mine. I’m married to my husband, not his job.

I wish I could count the times I have attended various events with him where people have only asked me about him, or his job, not me. Where other males haven’t even given me the time of day or acted as if I was invisible, even though my husband and I were standing together.

I wish I had a dollar for every time one of those men suddenly acted as if they were “happy to meet me” when my husband proudly introduced me. Or for anytime I have attempted to participate in a conversation, only to be looked at as if I am about to be patted on the head, given a cookie, and then asked about my children.

I have a life too.

I read a large variety of books, I lead a Book Club, as well as I attend another book club. I run and participate in races, I also volunteer in our community. I run this blog, I help people with home and life organizing, I enjoy photography, and a variety of other wonderful things.

Please, ask me about them. Please ask me about MY life.

Please! Stop asking wives ONLY about our husbands, and their jobs. We have names, we have lives, interests, and hobbies.

Take the chance to get to know us, and you’ll find that we are pretty great people as well.

THIS is why I need Feminism.

Organize Your House, Organize Your Life – My Favorite Things

Happy Tuesday! Can you believe we are down to the last two posts of this series? Thank you so much to everyone who has been following along, feeling inspired, and getting organized!

I’m excited to share with you some of my favorite things for organizing my house, as well as keeping my life organized and on a positive path. I hope that you are able to continue to implement my suggestions and make this a great year!

Enjoy!

Home Organization:

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Large and Medium Drawer Organizers – The large drawer organizers work perfectly in our play room to store various Barbie or Disney dolls. The dolls can be sorted and stored without being crammed in with risk of bring “injured”. These work great in many other areas of the house as well; bedrooms/closets, garages, etc.

The medium organizers I also use in the play room for other various toys, as well as in my closet for some lightweight scarves, undergarments, my lotions and backup body washes.

Countertop, Single, and Small Drawer Organizers – I use the Countertop style in at least three different areas of my home. In my office/craft room they help sort pens, glues, etc., the one in my bathroom sorts out my backup makeup and skin care items. Then in my closet I use one to sort out my travel items so when we are going anywhere I am able to quickly pack my toiletries; as well as unpack them when I get home.

I use one single drawer in my bathroom to store my backup contact solution, toothpaste, etc. (Note, the link will take you to a set of four, but in store you might be able to find a single if you are only in need of one.)

The small drawer organizers are so great for a variety of things! I use a couple of them in the play room to sort out small Barbie accessories. These would also be perfect for office supplies, or even make-up supplies and brushes.

Y-Weave Baskets – If you have been following along with all of our organizing, you’ll know that I have a variety of these (Medium, Small, and Rectangular) through out my kitchen and bathroom. These are great for keeping items sorted into categories and contained! No more messy pantries and bathroom cabinets.

Storage Totes & Tubs – Oh how I love a good storage tote or tub! We use the 18 Gallon tubs for storing our various seasonal/holiday decor, and garage items. I love the Shoe Box size for use in our game closet to sort out various games, cards, crafts, etc. I also use them to sort out the various LEGO sets our oldest daughter has, and other like toys in the playr room. They work wonderful in my kitchen and keep my baking items sorted. Basically these are just amazing and I use them everywhere I can. I also love that they are inexpensive and come in packs of five!

Life Organization:

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Planner – As I talked about in a recent post, a good planner will help you get much more organized. Being able to see your month laid out, with all of your appointments and engagements will help you prepare for each week. Spend time each Sunday to add and update anything, and be sure that any specific appointments, or events are also added into your phone’s calendar.

Monthly Meal Plan – I know at times this can seem like a daunting task, to plan our meals every month? Yes, it works! Since I have started doing this for my family grocery shopping has become so much easier, and my days aren’t suddenly stressed with the thought of, “Oh my gosh, what’s for dinner?!” I feel so much more prepared each week knowing that I have everything I need for meals.

Cleaning List – Since implementing this my house has been cleaner, tidier, and just all around more positive. It’s so much easier to focus on one thing a day rather than trying to do it all at once. Not to mention, it is also much less time consuming!

52 Lists Journal – I received my 52 Lists for Happiness as a birthday gift last year and I was so happy to be able to begin the new year with this practice. Each Sunday I sit down and fill out one of the lists; it really helps to focus on lifestyle, positive thoughts and goals. If you are looking to start living a more positive life, I recommend this journal.

Personal Development Journal – My husband, knowing my love for Edna Mode, surprised me with this journal when he returned home from a business trip a few months ago. I decided to use this journal when I am working on some Personal Development. It helps me to focus on where I am actually needing to work in life and helps me to see the things I no longer need to focus on. If I am reading a personal development book that has practice prompts, I am able to use this journal to do them and easy refer back to them for reminders.

Goals/Dreams Journal – At times I feel like my brain is always going; like I have too many tabs open on a computer screen. While some of them are just the day to day things I need to keep on top of, I also have ideas, dreams, and goals I would like to work on. Having a separate journal for these thoughts helps me to get them out of my brain, sort of like closing a tab, and helps me to see where my brain and heart are trying to lead me in life.

Plann App – Probably the most useful app on my phone! I can easily and quickly add, delete, and plan out my Instagram posts for the week. I can do all of my captions and hashtags within the app as if I am creating a post in the Instagram app. I can the easily schedule when I want them to post. It’s a very simple app to use and when ready, all I have to do is hit one button and it takes me to my Instagram to make my post live. I am able to see my feed and place pictures in order before I start scheduling them to post.

 

 

None of the links in this post are affiliate links, I have not received any compensation for sharing them.

Taking Care Of Me

Last weekend I made such an amazing decision. I left our girls in Daddy’s able care, checked myself into a local hotel, and took some time for ME. It has been probably 6-7 years since I have done something like this, so yeah, I was way overdue.

Being a mom is so fulfilling, wonderful, and I love it. I just allowed myself to get a little lost in the routine of it all. Being a wife and mom means I am the main caregiver in the household. I simply needed to remember that it is okay for me to take time for JUST me; to rest, recharge, and do what I want to do – without interruption. I need to remind myself that when caring for my family, I need to be sure to care for myself too.

The day before I went it had snowed, like 3-4 inches of it, and when I arrived it was a little drizzly out. Being an Oregon girl, this is my favorite kind of weather when I want to just hang out and read. I loved my view, the rain pattering against the window, the beautiful trees, and the remnants of the prior day’s snowfall. My room was so clean and warm, I feel like my muscles released some tension the moment I walked in.

My plan for the rest of the stay was to read the Rachel Hollis bestseller: Girl, Wash Your Face, make sure my planner was up to date, and continue on with my 52 Lists for Happiness journal.

Basically, my plan, while very loose based and relaxed, was to just focus on me. I really needed to take this time to check in with myself and see how I was feeling. This was my time to think about what I was doing with my day to day, besides just taking care of my daughters. What is it that I really want to focus on?

I remember walking in, putting my things down and looking around the room. You know, as one does in any hotel. I took in the view, checked out the sleeping, sitting, kitchenette and bathroom areas, and allowed myself to settle in a bit. I felt such a sense of calm, it was beautiful. Once I stepped out of the bathroom I thought, “I kind of want to shower.” Then it hit me. I COULD! One thing as moms that we don’t always get to just enjoy, is showers. I know at my house it feels like another task at times; something I need to just get done quickly in the evening. It felt so good to just shower, and let the warm water wash away my tension. I got into some comfy clothes after and began reading.

The entire rest of the afternoon I spent my time with my book and snacking. Yeah, I totally took my own food and snacks, I didn’t want to leave the room at all. It was amazing to just sit in that space, both physically and mentally, the rest of the afternoon and evening. I took breaks, got snacks, and checked my phone periodically. That’s one important thing I want to share, once I settled in, I put my phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode. I didn’t want the distraction while there, I didn’t want to hear any notifications. This was MY time.

I didn’t leave my room until the next morning when I went down for breakfast, which was so good. I took down my journal, my 52 Lists work book, my Brendon Burchard book, and my planner. I enjoyed a warm, filling breakfast, and worked on some of my personal growth.

Since checkout wasn’t until noon, I went back up to my room and finished reading my Rachel Hollis book. Yes, I FINISHED it! I read the whole book while there, it was incredible. I even allowed myself to just lay on the bed and rest a little bit more before leaving. Since I had only stayed one night, I didn’t have much stuff, so I had packed up most of it before heading down to breakfast. I wanted to be sure that I was maximizing my time while there, and doing little things I could (like packing my own simple foods) to be sure I wasn’t busy with anything unimportant.

If you follow me on Snapchat you’ll know one of the things I have been encouraging others to do is to make their bed in the morning. It is such a great and simple way to start the day. It is one task accomplished and keeps your home looking clean and together. I made sure to pop the picture below up on Snapchat before I left, to show that no matter I am, I start my day with purpose.

My entire stay at the Home2 Suites was wonderful, and when I arrived home to my family I found myself much more relaxed. The feeling of being recharged is one I have not felt for a long time, and it has helped bring on much more clarity.

I was able to really start focusing on what I want to be doing in this world, and how I want to be showing up for myself and others every day. If you are a mom, or a person with a very busy schedule, I highly recommend you take a YOU day and check into a hotel, read, rest, relax. Focus on you and do your Life Audit and really figure out what you want to be doing with your time.

Just don’t forget, make your bed.

Organize Your House, Organize Your Life – Get it Together, Post One

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Hello all!! Welcome back to another great week! I took this weekend off for myself and it was amazing! My husband took care of the kiddos on his own for a night and I got to check into a hotel for some mommy away time. It was incredible and I’ll be talking about it in another post soon.

I hope you have all been having a great time cleaning OUT your homes and getting them organized. Are you feeling a bit lighter and are you having more clarity with your thoughts? It is just so amazing what we can do for our health when we clear out the clutter.

Now that our homes have it all together, it is time to turn our focus or getting our lives organized. I know what you are thinking, can I really get it together? Yes, you can! Will it be perfect everyday? NO! That’s the beauty of life, none of us are perfect, but we can all try our best each day.

The first thing I began doing at the end of 2018 and starting into 2019 was really looking at all of the various events, projects, hobbies, and just general stuff I was trying to do. What conclusion did I come to? I can’t do it all. No one can, and we are going to wear ourselves out trying. I was simply trying to do too much, and it was really stressing me out and bringing me down. I want you to take some time to do a little life audit of your own. What is on your plate? What can you take off?

One thing I have started trying to implement into my planning, if it isn’t a “heck yes” it’s a “heck no” when looking at events, projects, etc. I used to be the type of person who would say yes to pretty much everything. Don’t get me wrong, I love helping; I just found that’s actually what started bringing me down. I began putting everyone else’s needs before my own. I would exhaust myself trying to plan or help with multiple events, projects, etc and it felt like I could just never stop and take a breath.

From there I looked at the various things I was trying to do and thought about which ones didn’t bring me joy, or that I truly didn’t have time to be doing. This is when you have to be the most honest with yourself. For me at least two of the things I said I wasn’t going to do anymore: large events and Poshmark. I love planning events and hosting people in my home. However, the two large parties we do at the end of the year were just way too much for me in 2018. I found that I wasn’t feeling the fun and joy I had in the past. It was tiring, tedious, and actually left me frustrated. This is simply not healthy, so I said no more to them this year.

One thing that helped me really flip the light switch was when I caught myself saying, “Well, if I don’t do it, no one else will.” Then it hit me, WHO CARES?! If other people want to have these parties, they can plan them, they can host them! I had to tell myself that I do not have to be the only one doing all of these things, and if some of them don’t happen, it’s fine and the world is going to keep right on turning.

As for Poshmark, when I first started I felt like I was doing great and selling items, but then it slowed down. I tried keeping up with sharing items, sharing my own listings, etc. I have two kids, and a busy enough life, yet I still really thought that I could maintain this as well. Truth be told, I couldn’t. This app takes a lot of time and you have to share your listings almost constantly to continue to make sales. Now, please don’t get me wrong here this app can be wonderful if you have the time to focus on it! Once we added our second daughter I just didn’t have the time, and I had to be honest with myself about it. I loved the aspect of making a little extra money, and when I had the time, I did! I just knew that for me, it was time to turn my focus to other areas. I had to let go of some of this stress.

We are only two weeks into the new year, and I must say, I am already feeling so much better in many different areas of my life. Doing a personal life audit was hard at first, but I am so thankful that I was able to sit down and be completely honest with myself. I took the time to remind myself that just because I was letting go of some tasks, I in no way was a failure because of them. I am choosing a better, healthier life style, and that is a win in my book!

I want you to go do the same now. Take some time this week to sit down and really look at what is on your schedule, what things are you trying to do that you can let go of? Are you volunteering up your time a little too much? Saying yes a little too quickly? Trying to do way too many things at once? It is time to take back some of YOUR time and ease your stress.

I’ll be back soon with some others way we are going to get our lives together! Stay well, stay happy!

 

 

Organize Your House, Organize Your Life – Kitchen Continued

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Welcome back! As promised, here are a few other areas of my kitchen I have organized. I’ll take you through what is located in each section and what items I used to organize it all out.

I hope that you are all finding the happiness in getting your house together!

Pots & Pans

This cupboard can always get people because it can be an awkward mess! Our cupboard space is great, we just weren’t utilizing it correctly. I finally purchased a Pan Organizer and used it to sort out the lids for the various pans. I then sorted out our pans and stacked them by type, then size. I was hoping to use another Pan Organizer for my frying pans, unfortunately the shelf is the back is too low and doesn’t adjust. Making this change (and of course we cleared some stuff out of it prior to organizing it) has made it so much easier for us to get to items while preparing dinner, baking, etc!

Baking Cupboard

I love baking! It brings me such joy, especially when I am able to bake for others. My baking cupboard was MESS though! Cupcake pans and racks awkwardly stacked, stuff everywhere, ugh, it drove me nuts! I used another Pan Organizer to sort out my various baking pans and cooling racks. I was able to sort and “nest” the square baking pans I have; meaning they were able to go one inside the other like a Russian Nesting Doll. One of my other favorite organizing bins pieces are these Storage Boxes. They are such a great size and are perfect for sorting our a large variety of items. I use mine to sort out cookie cutters, cake supplies, and cupcake/decorating supplies.Whatever item I need, I just have to grab one box and my cupboard doesn’t become a disaster again.

Spice Cupboard

The spice cupboard is another area that can just be a swirling vortex of terror. It seems that everything can just end up jammed in there, even if we try to keep it “organized”, it still give us a lot of difficultly to find anything. I am just so happy with how this cupboard turned out after I attacked it! The top shelf I used for our taco items, because we all love tacos, and there are only a few items that can lie flat. The second shelf I used two of these Turntables to sort out our various herbs and spices. The turntable on the left holds herbs and items of that sort, and they are in alphabetical order. The others turntable has all of our spices, also in alphabetical order. Now it takes me almost no time to find what I need as I am preparing a meal. For the bottom shelf I maximized our space by using this Expandable Shelf and sorted items by which I use most, meaning those go in the front. The back shelf I placed any packet mixes, in groups of course, since they are easy to pull out one at a time, The rest was placed in the middle and is easy to get to as well!

Entertaining/Other

We enjoy entertaining through out the year, and have a few items that are used really only during those various events (birthday parties, BBQs, etc). I gave these items their own cupboard space so I don’t have to have them all over the place getting in the way of other pieces in my kitchen. As with every space, I make sure that like items are stored together and that items are stacked in a safe, organized way. Also in this cupboard, since my Keurig is on the counter about it, I keep my boxes of tea! As you can see, I enjoy a variety of teas. One Storage Box holds all the flavors that are caffeinated, the other holds all the herbal and decaf teas. As need I place a few bags in the drawer above this cabinet!

So there you have it! That is how a few other areas of my kitchen are sorted and organized. Are there any other areas in your kitchen you are struggling with, anything else I can share with you? Please let me know!

Until next time, have a beautiful day!

Organize Your House, Organize Your Life – Next Steps

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Hello and Happy Monday! How did you do this weekend with finishing up your clean outs and getting those areas organized? How are you feeling as you clean all of this out? I hope you are starting to feel as if a weight is being lifted, and that you are starting to feel some more clarity in your thoughts!

Today we are going to attack that pile you cleared out, and I am going to give you various suggestions on what to do with it all! If you have missed the clean out posts, you can find day one HERE to get started!

As I stated in a previous post, if you were cleaning out your child’s closet, do you have a younger sibling that could wear some of the clothes that are still in nice condition? If so, make sure they are laundered, fold them up and store them in containers like THIS one. These are my favorite because I can easily label them with what size clothing are being stored in it, and I can also see what is in there if I end up needing to find an item quickly. These bins also stack wonderfully!

Clean Out Item Options

What to do with that pile of stuff? Obviously, we want it to go. Here are a few of the things that I have done to help rid of myself of the excess.

  1. Of course there is the first, and most obvious option, find a Thrift Shop in your town, load up the car, and take one trip to drop it off. If this is the option you would like to do, I suggest finding a local Thrift Shop that helps your community directly. Some churches may have location, as well as Humane Society’s. Find one that serves your community in the way that you like the most.
  2. Secondly, as you sort through what items you have, place them into categories. Clothes, home, kitchen, etc. Can certain items be bundled together to be sold? I bundle like sized children’s clothing together and sell them through our local Facebook Sale Groups. If you aren’t sure if you town has one, just search for it! This is an excellent way to not only get some of the items to someone who can use them, but to also earn a little extra money as well.
  3. Garage Sale! This is probably another obvious option. Our neighborhood does a yearly sale in the spring where multiple houses participate. (Participation is, of course, optional!) If you think that this is the avenue you’d like to take for letting go of these excess items, while earning a little bit of extra money, it is a great idea! While garage sales can be a lot of work, if you are well prepared, it won’t be overwhelming. Start early, as Edna Mode says, “Luck favors the prepared.” Start again by sorting your items into categories and deciding how you would like to price them. Pricing always takes the longest when planning a sale, so starting now will not only give you a head start on it, but it will also give you time to go through your home again and see if there are any other items that you can add to your sale. You can price items individually, or you can do a blanket price for certain items. (Example: All Baby clothes, $1.00 per piece.) Or you can allow people to create their own bundles! (Example: DVDs, 6 for $10!) (Please note that I am completely making up numbers, and you should use your best discretion with pricing your own items.)
  4. If you would like to try to make a little bit of money off of the items, but you aren’t sure you want or have the time to sell them yourself, I have two other really good options that will help you. The first, for home and clothing items, you can find local consignment shops. These shops will go through and decide which items they want to try to sell for you. You will not get the money up front, you will get it after they have sold. The shop I use gives you a number and it acts as a sign in on their website, so I can see what items have sold, and which have not. While this may take some time, it gets the items out of your home and will eventually earn you some extra money. If you want to get rid of items, and get money immediately, find your local resale shops. These stores are mostly for clothing, especially popular for kids clothing. These stores will go through your items and decide which items they will take, they will pay you up front for them and that is all the money you will receive.
  5. For name brand/high quality clothing items, you can also try to sell them yourself through Poshmark. Now, this is not going to get these items out of your house, and it can take some time to sell them. You will get a good portion of the money and you choose what price to list the item. This option can also be time consuming as you have to take pictures of the items, create the listings and maintain your “Closet”. Many people have made some good, extra money with this option, it is important to know it is because they have had the time to do so.

Which option do you feel is the best for you? I hope you have success is removing this clutter from your home! This week I will also be focusing on how else I have organized some areas of my kitchen, some of my favorite things, how I maintain these habits, and then we’ll start getting into organizing our lives! Have a wonderful day!

Organize Your House, Organize Your Life – Post Two

Hello and welcome to day two! How did cleaning out the kitchen go yesterday? I hope it went well and that you are feeling motivated to keep going. Like I said, we are going to organize our house to organize our lives! We WILL get it together and make 2019 an amazing year. If you missed day one, you can find it HERE.

Today’s task is to start cleaning out other areas of your house. Since I don’t live with you (bummer, right?) you’ll have to take some initiative here and really think about where you need to put in the work. Don’t worry though, I am totally here to help you!

Here are some of the main areas I work on in my house:

Here are two things in to keep in mind while doing the following areas/tasks.

  1. If anything can be recycled or thrown out, do it at this time.
  2. If anything is not being used or is no longer wanted, but still has use, choose a specific area to place these items. (Don’t worry, we’ll come back to them!)

Kitchen

Moving on from the food areas of the kitchen, go through each cupboard and sort through everything that is in there. How can you move things around and group them together to make it flow better? In our kitchen we have specific cupboards for: plates/bowls/mugs, glasses/cups/water bottles, pots/pans, tupperware/etc, baking (food) and baking utensils, party/event items, etc. (I will be doing some posts focused on a few of these areas complete with pictures this month.) As you will hear me say many times, group like items together, clean out what you don’t use or don’t need, place usable items in your specific area. Think about organization racks and bins!

The Game Cupboard/Closet

Oooh my goodness all, ours is under stair storage, which I love…until I open the door. I swear, I spend time cleaning it out and reorganizing it, and when I close the door, it’s like a magic spell goes off and all my work is undone. This area can be scary, but it actually won’t take as long as you think to get it done! As with the pantry, we’ll group like items together. Games, puzzles, crafts, etc. Within each category, stack like sized boxes together as well. Take this time to really look at the space and see if you’ll need any containers or bins. Would these help contain some of the mess? If so, take a mental note, that stage is coming soon.

Closets/Dressers

What clothes are you no longer wearing? Anything too small or too big? What clothes are your kids no longer wearing? Time for them to leave your space! Place any useable clothing with the items from the kitchen and game closet. If you have a younger sibling that can wear the older siblings clothing, place those in another area for now. While cleaning items out, take this time to hang like items together, and reorganize your dresser. Also, as always, take a mental note of any organizational items that you may need to make this area more useful.

Bathrooms

Yep, when ready move on to the bathroom, do the same things in these areas, toss or recycle anything that is no longer useful, think about how to place like items together and what organizing items you may need for this area. We can end up with a lot of clutter here, and it seems that while we spend time cleaning the bathroom, we often don’t always have the time to go through the clutter, so now is the perfect time!

Think about any other areas that you may need to clean out and get to it! (Basement? Attic?) Tomorrow we’ll start taking on organization and all that entails, my favorite!!

Let me know how you are doing in the comments below!

Organize Your House, Organize Your Life – Post One

Happy New Year!! Welcome to 2019, the year you will get your life together…come on, we have all been saying it, so now it is time to do it. This first week I am going to take you through some of the things I do to prepare my house and myself for the coming new year. I truly believe that if you organize your house, you organize your life. I’ll spread out the posts so I don’t overwhelm or stress you out. Now let’s get to our first task!

For many of us the first or second day of the new year means that we are taking down Christmas decor, which can nearly be an all day task. My husband and I decided to take it down a few days after Christmas this year, and I am so happy we did! It really freed up January 1st for me to start working on some of my projects.

The first thing I do on the first day of the new year is clean OUT my kitchen. If you are like the rest of us around the holidays; sweets, cookies, candies, etc. seem to congregate in our homes. While these things are okay in moderation, there is simply too much of them and they need to go. I package them all up in baggies, or whatever and put them into one big bag for my husband to take into his office. It not only gets them out of our house, but he has a lot of employees in his department, so they love finding treats!

Next, clean OUT your pantry! Let’s be honest, we’ve been busy and this area of the house has probably been neglected. Go through and clean out anything that you just aren’t eating; or that has been there for a while and you forgot you even purchased. If you are like me and have a school ager in the house, then inevitably you’ll probably have at least one box that is just empty. Throw out the food that has gone stale, and recycle the packaging. Use this chance to also start really looking at your pantry, put like items together. This is going to prepare you for our next projects.

Lastly, clean out the fridge. Who knows what is in there, am I right?! Toss out the old stuff, and load up that dishwasher with the containers. You can also take this time to fully take everything out and wipe down the shelves, it can get kind of icky in there. Make sure that when you put things back in, you put them back in an organized fashion. This will make it much easier for you to find and get to items. Most importantly, when you use an item, put it back where it belongs, don’t undo all of your hard work.

Alright, you did it, day one is done! Be sure to check back in tomorrow for what we are going to do next! I am excited to be helping you get organized! Please let me know if you have any questions, and let me know how you do with day one by commenting below!

Happy New Year!

 

MIA – Week Three

 

Week Three

As time continued on, I was happy that I was able to find my way out of the Postpartum Depression. I also began to feel little more like I had a some control on myself and the “new normal” of adding second child to our family. We were finding a rhythm to our day, as well as a good nap schedule!

Coming out of this fog was a really great feeling. Our oldest daughter was doing great in school, and loved being a big sister. Mark helped out at home where he could, and I am forever thankful for his support and understanding. 

In June of this year, we had the chance to go home to Oregon to visit my family and our friends. Traveling with a 10.5 month old is about as fun as it sounds at times, however, we all did great and managed wonderfully on the flights.

We were able to do so much while there, and see so many friends. We stayed with my parents so we had a lot of family time. We also got to spend a few days on the Oregon Coast, which is my favorite place. We got to relax a little and just enjoy being a family of four. 

It was during this time that I began to think a little differently about the blog and gave myself some grace regarding it. I was a new mom, I had a family and a life that wasn’t happening in a screen. It was okay for me to take this time for ME, my daughters, and my husband.

I can be completely open and share that I was certainly struggling with my “post-baby body” and it was natural not to feel like doing outfits posts. I had to remind myself that it was okay to take a step back from everything, focus on what truly matters in my life. I had found my love of reading again, even joined my local Barnes & Noble Book Club, and was enjoying life with two beautiful daughters and wonderful husband. It is a very freeing feeling when you decide to give yourself time and understanding, rather than beat yourself up over somethings that are out of your control. It is okay to allow yourself space, to not feel like you have to try to do it all. 

It may have taken awhile, and I still have a long way to go, but at least I am starting to navigate this new area of life, of understanding and patience for myself. No one can do it all, not even me.