31 Day Fresh Start Challenge – Week Three

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Welcome to Week Three of this challenge. This might be my favorite week because we get to focus on some self care, and spreading kindness. I love spreading kindness and focusing on positive thinking. When we choose to focus on the positive things in life, we are happier people. We need to stop constantly whining and complaining; just focus on the good!

Think about how much nicer the world would be if we built our children up, if we offered help to those who needed it; instead of mocking them and bringing them down. Think about how much more good we could do in the world if we took care of ourselves and loved ourselves more. We have the power to make the world better, let us start doing so.

Day Nineteen: Make a gratitude list today, at a least ten things, but try for more. How many things can you come up with that you are thankful for in your life? Maybe you use your journal to write this list? Maybe you write it on a separate piece of paper and tape up on your fridge? Think of ways you can refer back to this list to continue to remind yourself of all the things you have to be thankful for.

Check in with your planner today to be sure it is updated; be sure your phone is updated as well.

Day Twenty: How can you surprise someone today? Maybe taking flowers to a neighbor, or treats! Does your bestie love Starbucks? Take them their favorite drink. You can surprise just one person, or a few, that is up to you. Just think of all the happiness you are spreading though your corner of the world; sure sounds like something to be thankful for today, and the rest of the week.

Day Twenty-One: NO social media today! That’s right, I mean it! No Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. None of it. You are taking a day off from the mindless scrolling. Choose to see the world around you without a screen in front of you. See how much you are able to get done today with out being distracted by your phone. If/when you return to social medial, be only positive and kind. Choose to spread only uplifting and encouraging messages.

Day Twenty-Two: Meditate for ten minutes today, and take a 20+ minute walk, outside, by yourself.  Getting a little time to ourselves can help us to clear our minds, at least it does for me anyway. See what you notice, and what thoughts you have floating through your mind as you walk. Think about how you feel when you return home.

Day Twenty-Three: Cook a comfort meal for yourself today. Yes we are focusing on eating healthy, however, self care at times means allowing ourselves to indulge a bit on the foods that feed our soul. If you have a partner/spouse or family, ask them to help you prepare this meal, sit down and enjoy it together.

Before going to bed tonight, make another gratitude list. What other things have you found this week to be thankful for?

Day Twenty-Four: Go out in nature today. You can walk barefoot in your yard, or just sit on out on a patio. The suggestions on the calendar are just that, suggestions. You could go on a hike, or just stand by a tree. Just get outside for a few minutes. Listen to the birds and sounds of nature around you. Close your eyes for a moment, take a few deep breathes, and just be. Appreciate nature, and all it has to offer to us.

Day Twenty-Five: What is your favorite snack or treat? Maybe it’s chocolate. Eat something really good today. Just make sure whatever you choose is REALLY good. Sit down and really indulge yourself in the moment, taste it fully, take your time to eat it, allow yourself to be fully focused on this one task.

Sit down later today and journal about this week. What was it like to allow such beautiful space for self care this week? Really think deeply into how you feel, and while you’re at it, make a quick gratitude list.

I am so thankful you are here, and I am so thankful for such a great week. I’ll be back soon with our final week! What an amazing start to the New Year!

31 Day Fresh Start Challenge – Week Two

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Happy Sunday and welcome to Week Two! This week we will be organizing our homes, and as I warned, this is going to be a busy week. You aren’t afraid though, because you are prepared. You are ready to #BootUp and take this week straight on. Each day we’ll be focusing on cleaning out/decluttering and organizing a different space in our home.

Your task for Saturday was to get bins or boxes, as you decide that items are no longer needed, they can go into boxes. These items can be stored for a spring garage sale or donated to a local thrift store. If you find that you are in need of some extra organization bins or totes in a certain area, refer to my post here where I share how I organized my kitchen and bathroom; as well as here for some of my favorite things when organizing a space! For a deeper look into how to sort the items no longer needed check out this post as well as this one where I explain the other various ways you can get the items out of your home without them going in the trash.

Think about the space you are working in each day, how can you make each space less cluttered and work for you? It is possible to have a clutter free house, and after the holidays is the best time to declutter and clean out. Bonus tip: don’t take too long with deciding whether you need an item or not. The quicker you can decide, the quicker you can get through these tasks.

Day Twelve: I find that organizing the kitchen for some can be a very daunting task; for others this may be a clean/clutter free area already, we all have our differences. We will start in the kitchen, simply go cabinet by cabinet; clean out the items you no longer need and organize the items left. Make it an intention to put things back where they belong each time you use them. Be sure you go through your pantry and refrigerator as well.

Be sure to take time today to sit down and update your planner as needed.

Day Thirteen: Unless you have a lot of storage or closets in your living room, today shouldn’t take too long. Go through the needed spaces just as you did with your kitchen; everything should have place. Perhaps a decorate box or bin would help organize some blankets or pillows?

Day Fourteen: Time to attack those bathrooms, and thankfully, these can move pretty fast. Just like the other spaces in your home, clean out what isn’t needed and organize what is needed.

Day Fifteen: You’ll be doing the bedrooms today; if you have children (not toddlers or young children) you could probably set them to task with their own rooms leaving you to focus on your own space. While I do have a day selected for closets, you could do your bedroom closets this day, and focus on the other home closets/storage spaces on Friday.

Be sure to take time today to meditate for ten minutes as well.

Day Sixteen: Have an office, craft space, or bonus room? Maybe you have a guest room that needs attention? Turn your focus to these areas today. I hope by this day you are starting to feel a lightness surrounding yourself and your home.

Day Seventeen: It’s the last clean out day! Clean out those closets, and if there are any spaces that maybe need a little bit more time. This is a great time to take a moment to be sure you have cleaned out the spaces that you have wanted to focus on.

Day Eighteen: Easy day here, you’ll either take the cleaned out items to a local thrift shop, or store them somewhere for a spring garage sale. If you are storing them for a spring garage sale, make the plan now to take the remaining items to a thrift shop after. We don’t want these items to continue to clutter our home. Looking for other ideas of what you can do with these items? Last year I went into detail about other ways to donate or sell your items, you can find that post here.

Be sure to sit down and journal about this week as well. How are you feeling? Lighter? Motivated? Possibly a little more inspired?

See you in a week with Week Three!!

 

31 Day Fresh Start Challenge – Week One

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Welcome to the first full week of the #31DayFreshStartChallenge! I am ready and excited to jump into this week: Organize Your Life! This week we are going to focus on simple tasks that will help us all create a routine to help us feel more organized and prepared each month of this year. Let’s get started!

Day Five: We’ll start off fairly simply, sit down today and update your planner for the week and month. When you have your planner updated, be sure you update your phone calendar as well and as needed.

Day Six: Take time today to create a Daily, Weekly and Monthly cleaning schedule for your home. Check out my post here to see how I have mine set up. As you can see, I have simple things I do every day to ensure my house is always tidy. Then each day I can focus on one area and fully clean it. This takes the stress off of trying to do it all in one day; this means your house is always in a state of clean and being cleaned.

Day Seven: Very simple task for today, set up reminders in your phone for the following items –

Sundays: Reminder to sit down with your planner. Choose a time of day that works for you; for me it is in the morning. Set a reminder in your phone to go off each Sunday at the same time to sit down and go over your planner.

Wednesdays: Set a reminder to go off each Wednesday, again at a time that works for you, to sit down and meditate for at least 10 minutes.

Saturdays: Set a reminder in your phone for each Saturday to remind you to journal about your week.

Every Day: Set a reminder in your phone to go off at any time you want, middle of the day is great, that will pop up with your three words for this year. Seeing your three words, at least once a day (I actually set mine for two-three times) will help to focus you back to your goals.

Day Eight: Mediate for at least ten minutes, and while meditating, set your intentions for the rest of the week and weekend. When setting intentions, I mean which goals do you wish to accomplish? How do you want to show up for yourself and you family over the weekend? Setting these intentions and seeing them manifest in our mediation practice will help up to fulfill these in our lives.

Day Nine: Clean out you junk drawer or mail space. Be honest, you have, we all do. I know mine is in need of some TLC right now (and I’m not talking about Waterfalls). Beginning to clear the clutter will begin to help us clear the clutter in our minds. During this time, also be sure to have a clean, organized space for your planner, journal and folder. It’s important to designate a space for these items and keep them organized, as organization is our goal.

Day Ten: Time to clean out that email inbox! Maybe you are already really on top of this task, but me, oh how I am not. For those of us who need to focus on this area, we’ll sit down today and we’ll get our email inboxes cleaned OUT. Are we really going to read these subscriber list emails? Probably not.

While we are at it today, clean out old photos and messages on your phone. I’m not saying delete all photos, back up those you wish to keep to a computer and sort them into a file. Do you also have apps that you aren’t using? Delete those too; this will fill up a lot of spaces on our phones.

Day Eleven: Today we are going to prepare for Week Two by getting boxes or bins for the items we are preparing to clear out. Even just simple cardboard boxes will work, these can easily donated to a local thrift store, or stored for a spring garage sale.

Be sure to journal about this week at the end of your day. This is such a great way to end our week and to see our growth. It helps us to get some of those extra thoughts running round our head out, and helps us feel a better sense of calm.

See you soon with Week Two!

31 Day Fresh Start Challenge

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Here it is, the #31DayFreshStartChallenge! This is the full calendar, and I am so excited to get started. While we official begin on January 1st, there are a couple of things you will want to do before we actually begin, so I wanted to be sure to put them on the calendar. These things will help you to be more prepared to face this challenge; and as Edna Mode says, “Luck favors the prepared.” For those who have been following my Instagram or Facebook stories, you know that I have come up with a motto for this challenge, and for this year: BOOT UP! Because here we go!

The first thing you will want to do is print out blank calendars for 2020, at least two of each. These will help us plan meals and our exercise/wellness plans. More about that will come with the preparation-week post. These calendars can simply come from your computer or a Google search, and don’t need to be fancy.

The next thing you will want to do is to choose three words that will help to guide you through this year. Once you choose these words, write them on your bathroom mirror, with dry erase marker, so you see them every day.

This is a practice I learned from following Brendon Burchard and reading one of his books. While he chooses three words to help him, and others, focus on their future/aspirational selves, his don’t change. I like to come up with three each year that will help guide me to what I am trying to accomplish each year. I feel by doing this I am able to work on smaller sections of life each year. I am creating lasting habits that will continue to carry me into each year, and then I am able to use those habits and focus on three new areas as well.

My words for 2019 were: Happy, Motivated, Organized.
Often times my depression/anxiety can get in the way of my happiness and motivation, and I wanted a way to remind myself each day that I was capable of still being happy and motivated, even though I have times of struggle. I chose organized for two reasons. One, because I love organizing, and two because I still needed some help in keeping various areas in my life organized.

As we near 2020, I can see that I have accomplished so much this year by staying Happy, Motivated, and Organized. I helped many through my Organize Your House, Organize Your Life Challenge that I did in January 2019. My Book Club also expanded, and we were able to give back to our community through various collections and events.  I was also also able to organize more of my family life with some great tasks that I’ll be teaching you through this challenge.

This year my words are: Calm, Focused, Healthy.
These will help me continue to focus on the habits I have already created, while also expanding into new habits through 2020. I chose calm to help me adjust my anxiety a bit more, as well as to help me not overwhelm myself with tasks, projects, etc. I have a tendency to offer help to others even when I have my own long list of tasks to complete, and know that I end up really stressed out (and not feeling very calm) when I overstretch myself.

Focused, well, let’s be honest, we can all get off task at times. I’d like to work on that in 2020, as well as my health. I’m ready to get into a fun workout routine, and start eating more health foods! By staying focused, working out, and eating healthier I can continue to build a great future for myself and my family.

So there you have it! Your two preparation tasks for the challenge! As you work through this with me, I encourage you to use the hashtags: #31DayFreshStartChallenge and #LeopardOnAMission. Feel free to share this with friends and encourage them to dive in with you. Together we are going to make 2020 full of happiness, love and life. I’ll be back in a couple days with a breakdown of days 1-4, then each Sunday the post for that week will go up. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram for daily updates and explanations as well. I will also be available for questions; pop into the comments here on the website, or on my social media.

Have a Happy New Year and be safe!

And oh yeah, BOOT UP!

 

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 – Welcome Home

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We made it! This has been such an amazing month of organizing our homes and our lives. I truly hope that you all have gotten some great tools here to continue maintaining these habits. I want to finish off this series with one more amazing lesson I learned, and would love to pass it along to you.

I remember Oprah saying years ago, “Your home should rise up to greet you.” And that has always stuck with me. Your house should be a place of comfort, calm, happiness, and joy. This doesn’t mean having expensive things, to me it simply means having a space that is clean, clutter and mess free. It means that the spaces in my home inspire me and bring me happiness.

As I began this journey, one thing I had decided for myself at the beginning of the year, was not to do big parties anymore. I love hosting, I just need to focus on doing things on a smaller scale. I knew that if I made changes to my formal dining room would help me stick to this decision.

This room was only really used twice a year, for the parties, otherwise it was just…there. At times it was a catch-all, other times I’m sure the room felt completely ignored. I decided I wanted to turn it into a reading room as well as a play space for our young daughter.

In my husband’s office we had a small couch, and in our living room we had an accent chair and side table. I moved all of those items into that space, took the leaf out of the table that was already in the space to make it smaller, and moved some of the toys in along the wall.

I immediately fell in love with this space! It is so warm, welcoming, and comfortable. The space makes me feel inspired, and our daughter loves it! (As you can see, our cat loves it too.)

This room is now used everyday, and we were able to clear some of the toys out of the living room, giving us more space in there as well. It’s amazing how a few simple changes can make your home that much more comfortable. I truly feel that my home rises up to greet me each day!

I encourage you to find a space in your house and create even just a small section of relaxation. For the readers, having a reading corner is very inviting.

A space that is quiet and comfortable to go to at the end of the day where you can enjoy a cup of tea, coffee or wine will help you ease into your time at home. It can help us be more mindful and patient with our families.

In closing, being sure that our living rooms and kitchens remain clean and straightened, as well as making our beds each morning, will help our home continue to rise up and greet us each day.

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.

Organize Your House, Organize Your Life – Get It Together, Post Three

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Hello and Happy Monday! I hope you all had such a wonderful weekend! This week I am going to be finishing up this series of getting ourselves and homes organized. I am really looking forward to the content I have prepared for you all.

Today I am going to share a bit about the other things I do to keep my household clean and organized, as well as maintaining the work we have already done. Before I continue on though, I want to ask you if there is anything I can cover that I have not already? Pop into the comments to let me know!

Cleaning:

One thing I implemented into my household a while ago was a cleaning schedule. This has made it so much easier to tackle the various chores that need to be done. Cleaning used to take up all of our time on a Saturday or Sunday, but not anymore! By breaking up the tasks into smaller pieces and doing one thing each day, will not only keep your house looking much cleaner, but you will find that you get your weekends back. Think about the various tasks you need to complete for your home to be clean, and break them up into days that work best in your schedule. For instance, we do bathrooms on Sunday because we are all home and can all take care of them together. I keep this schedule taped up inside of a cupboard in my kitchen.

Another thing I do each day is tidy my home, multiple times if needed. I pick up my youngest daughters toys a couple of times a day, readjust pillows/blankets on the couch, keep up with dishes (nope, do not let them pile up!), I make my bed every morning, and I make sure to put things back where they belong after I used them.

Keeping your house tidy will help you to continue to feel less stress, and more positivity in each day. These very simple tasks take only a moment or two to complete and leave my home always looking clean and orderly. Our oldest daughter has her own daily chores list that she completes when she gets home from school each day. Her list includes simple tasks such as sweeping, putting her clothes away, helping fold towels, etc.; all depending on the day of the week. By including children in the house work we will help them to learn responsibly and prepare them for life as they get older. We like to show our children that we work as a team in our home, we all have our chores, we all pitch in to maintain a clean household.

Meal Planning:

The other thing we recently started doing in our home was a monthly dinner plan. Toward the end of each month, I start a new calendar (I love these free printables from iMom) and we choose a different meal for each evening through the month. This not only makes grocery shopping so much easier, but I think it is actually beginning to save us money. I am able to create a shopping list quickly, and feel much more prepared when I head to the store. I started doing this mostly because I was tired of trying to figure out dinner each day, so by planning ahead, I have that time back to focus on other things! I keep this calendar in the same cupboard, opposite door, from the cleaning schedule I mentioned above.

An additional tip for meal planning and prepping: I never run out of various ingredients/foods. I keep a few cans of broths, cream soups, beans, etc. that I use frequently, on hand at all times. If I see that I am running low, or know that I will be using an item, I will purchase a backup when I visit the store. Thinking ahead this way will also save us time, and if an item is on sale, money!

I don’t do this just for canned goods,  but for snacks, my daughter’s lunch items and household cleaning/paper products. I have a section on our food pantry for “backups” and our paper products are stored in our laundry room. Basically, you’ll always be one step ahead!

Maintain:

Now that we have done all of this cleaning and organizing, it is time to maintain it! This is actually quite simple. Tidy your home everyday, in addition to one chore; put things back where they belong each time you use something. One of the biggest tips I can give: stop putting things off. It is so easy for us to get stuck in the “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I’ll do it later” spiral. You’ll find that many tasks only take a minute or two, and the more we put them off, the more they pile up, and the longer it will take us to do them.

Once a season, do a clean out. Since you should have started the year off doing big one, the others this year (spring, summer, and fall) should take less time. It is such a good idea to stay on top of the stuff that may have gathered during the few months, and to be sure that the organizing you have implemented is remaining intact. This is a great way to do a reset of your house and think about what areas might need a little extra attention.

All of this work is to help us ease stress, and give us a little extra time in each day. You are doing a great job and I am so proud of you for showing up for yourself!

Until next time, happy organizing!

 

Organize Your House, Organize Your Life – Get It Together, Post Two

Happy Friday! We are so close to the end of January, and hopefully you are all a bit more organized, and are still feeling motivated.

I know that sometimes we can “lose a little steam” when working on big projects such as cleaning out your house. Give yourself a day to take a breath, regroup, and sort the tasks you need to do in order to finish. Once you power through the last of it, you are going to love the feeling of accomplishment!

Today, I want to talk a little more about getting our lives together; mainly about PLANNERS!

I’m sure we have all been there, we buy a planner with grand intentions of using it, then after a month, it’s collecting dust or is stuck in the back of a drawer. Well not this year it’s not!

First, I am going to be bluntly honest when it comes to choosing a planner. All you need is a planner set up how YOU would use it, and a pencil. Yep, that’s it.

I personally see these “DIY planners” full of stickers, colorful additives, etc. as a waste of time and money. Now don’t get all up in arms at me; if you find that these extra pieces truly help you to actually use your planner, and keep organized, that is wonderful!

Just know, if you think that going out and spending a bunch of money on a planner, stickers, and colorful pens is going to help you to actually use it, you’re most likely wrong. You are going to spend more time trying to get all these stickers in there than actually scheduling out your week and month.

When I say you need a planner set up how YOU like it, I mean the way the layout is printed. I purchased my planner from Barnes & Noble, and while it did come with stickers, I cut those pages out and gave them to my daughter.

Personally, I like tabs so I can flip to months quickly and easily, I also like that each month starts off with a full month calendar, then is broken down into weeks/days following that page.

On my monthly calendar I can see all of my various appointments, events, etc. As for the weekly/daily pages, I can easily list out the tasks I need to work on for that specific day or week. As I navigate this year with my planner, I will be using it to also focus on the social media and blog posts that need to be completed, as well as my family’s day to day schedules.

Now, how will you make sure to use your planner? That’s what Sunday’s are for! A couple weeks ago on Instagram I shared what “Self-Care Sunday” means to me. For some it may mean laying on the couch binge watching TV. For me it means sitting down with my planner, my 52 Lists Journal, and setting my intentions for the week.

I have found that starting off every Sunday has kept me so much more organized and prepared! I am able to start my week off with such amazing positivity, and it helps me to keep my motivation up.

This doesn’t mean that I only look at my planner on Sunday’s, this simply means that I plan everything out. I also make sure to add needed appointments and events to my iPhone calendar.

Being able to see all of your engagements will help you to better prepare for you week mentally, which is a great way to get your life organized! Having a better sense of clarity in our minds will help us to ease stress and feel more calm.

Take a deep breath, and get to your planner!