Thursday, October 31, 2013

Trick or Treat

Happy Halloween! As promised, here is your treat - the 2013 November Master Calendar. I can't wait to get things done next month. A fresh start!

That's it! Short and sweet today. Well, except for my recent Google searches...

"tie dye" (crazy sock day at my son's school)
"a night on bald mountain" (related to his music class)
"how tall will my three year old be" (not very tall!)

What did you research today?



Have a fun and safe Halloween!!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Social Media

Are you following me? Not in real life. Because that would be weird. But online. Which is not weird at all. Check me out at these places:

Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest
Etsy

And you can sign up on the blog to get my blog updates sent directly to your e-mail. Hooray for streamlining!

Speaking of e-mails, this week I took on a mini project to help me with my goal of minimalism. I minimized my e-mails. It is fun to see a lot of e-mails. I feel wanted, needed, important. But being bombarded with e-mails is not an efficient use of my time. The first thing I did was not check my e-mail every five minutes. I know, crazy. For some reason, I think we convince ourselves that if we see that "1" on the Mail icon, that we absolutely MUST check that e-mail IMMEDIATELY. Or the entire world will implode. When really, if something was actually that urgent, I would get a phone call, or someone would personally come interrupt me, or Bruce Willis would star in a movie about people missing their e-mails and the world imploding. Instead, I checked my e-mail every four hours. WHOA. FOUR HOURS WITHOUT E-MAIL, PEOPLE. The first few days were rough, and I'm not joking. I can't tell you how many times I was on auto pilot and picked up my phone without even thinking. But I got through those days. Chocolate was involved.

At the end of four hours, I had 18 e-mails. They were all for shopping websites. Flash sale! 50% off! Kohl's cash! Blah, blah, blah. The normal course of action is for me to open the e-mail, covet the stuff, and either delete it and feel badly that I can't afford to buy every single thing I want. Or I would click and open the site, feel tempted to make a purchase I cannot afford, close the site, and continue to feel poorly about myself and my current financial situation.

Does this sound productive and healthy? NOPE. Additionally, it is taking up my precious time. Time that I could be spent working on my business to MAKE money, which is a positive thing, and makes me feel happy. It was time to end the negative cycle.

I went through each e-mail and asking myself the following questions:

Does receiving this e-mail benefit me?
Does it provide information that I cannot live without?
Does it make me wish I had something I can't afford?
Is the information formatted in a way that is quick and easy to absorb?
Does this contribute to the overall well being of my life and my family?
Will this save me money?
Will this assist me in growing personally, or growing my business?

If the answer was "no" to two or more of these questions, I unsubscribed to the e-mail. Sometimes it wasn't about money or growth, but the site no longer applied to my life (i.e., newborn newsletters, that one time I thought I wanted to give up coffee HAHAHAHA, etc.) I wanted to make sure I was receiving relevant, positive, and efficient information. It took about 30 minutes every four hours. I did this twice per day, for one week. At the end of the week, I only had 5 e-mails at the end of an 8 hour period. Each of those e-mails is contributing something that will help me become a better person. They are providing valuable information, and not tempting me.

But wait! I signed up for those e-mails at some point for a reason! What if my financial situation changes? What if I need the perfect gift idea? I NEED to keep these e-mails! Fear not. As I went through each e-mail, I did ask myself if I thought the website offered something I didn't want to forget. If so, I wrote down the website on a list of websites I keep. I also wrote the category (i.e., children's clothing, pet supplies, etc.). So if I do need to refer back to them, I have them logged in my family planner, but they aren't taking up cherished brain power on a daily basis.

Google searches! I know you were wondering if I was ever going to get to this.

"YouTube poomse cutting edge"
"how do you get rid of an earworm" (my son had a song stuck in his head)
"iSpy Vision" (for work)

What did you research today?

Yesterday, we basically made a gift list of new make up we need. Christmas is just around the corner. Your loved ones will be thrilled, I'm sure. Today we get to update our wish list again! Let's tackle nail polish and perfume.

Before my first daughter was born, I think I had one bottle of nail polish. Partially because I am not too into girly stuff, and partially because if I wanted nail color, I would just go to a salon and get my nails done. My daughter is three now, and she is a total girly-girl. She LOVES having her nails painted. Occasionally, I will let her pick out a polish at the store. This is much less expensive than going to a salon! We have about ten polishes now. Nail polish doesn't really go bad in a set amount of time. Some can last for years. Take out all of your polish. Check them to make sure none are goopy or gluey. If they are, toss them. Group them by colors. If you are missing some obscure color of the rainbow that you just can't live without, like "Misty Mint" or "Obo Ebony", then add it to your gift list/shopping list with your list of make up essentials. Organize the polishes in a basket or container. Make sure they are all standing upright so nothing spills. Store them in a place that is not sitting directly in the sunlight. Add a bottle of polish remover, an emery board, a pair of nail clippers, and a bag of cotton balls to your container, and put everything away. Perfect! This will be useful in November, when we do our own spa day. I can't wait!

As a side note, I (and by "I", I mean my husband and my kids) am forever misplacing/losing scissors and nail clippers. I keep several in various areas around the house in order to minimize this loss. The bathroom, garage, kitchen, desk, etc. Keep the scissors out of reach of the kids. Not just out of reach of their height. Add their height to the height of a stool, to the height of the counter, to their height again. Pretty much on a satellite in space.

Thanks to Google, I know how to store my perfume, and how to know when it is no longer good. Check here for tips. Now that you're an expert, too, check all of your scents (and your husband's while you're at it). Toss anything that has gone bad. If it was a favorite, write it down! Always make a list. Never assume you will remember later. It has taken years for me to really believe this. When I was younger, I could remember everything! I think my brain is still 18. It's not. It's more like 99. And I'm 34. That math sucks. So I write down everything.

Now that you have a list of your favorite make up, polishes, and perfumes, you will be at the ready as soon as your mother-in-law asks for the billionth time what you want for Christmas. And this way, you know you won't be receiving Christmas kitchen towels and underwear. Really. That actually happened.

Happy Organizing!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Make Up

November is almost here. Are you ready for the holidays? What are the kids going to be for Halloween? This year I have a ladybug, a princess, and the Grim Reaper.

Recent Google searches:

"Olivia Wilde" (she's pregnant)
"Ralph Lauren Soft Ricky Bag" (WANT times a billion, but *choke* look at the price)
"Billy Don't Be a Hero"

What did you research today?

How are your "one steps" coming along? Trust me, I know how hard it is to let everything loom over your head like a giant rain cloud, threatening to pour down on you. Take the time to make your list, prioritize, and focus on one thing at a time. I read an article today about multitasking. I think many of us, women especially, pride ourselves on being able to do multiple things at one time. The article mentioned that when you do this, you really aren't doing any of those tasks well. It suggested putting all of your energy into one task at a time, and doing it well, without a distraction. Don't check Facebook on your phone, don't text anybody, don't have your television running in the background. Be fully present and involved in your task and see how it feels once it has been completed. Let me know what happens when you do this.

Have you been keeping up with your Daily Zones? Do you get to at least one Zone per week? Good! Progress, not perfection. Let's aim for two Zones this week. Don't let your inability to complete everything on the calendar stop you from doing anything at all! Do a little. A little helps. A little is better than nothing. Set your timer for 15 minutes one day this week, don't multitask during that time, and see what you can do!

Last week on that Master Calendar, we focused on decluttering and organizing a little bit each day. We should have our winter accessories (scarves, tights, winter coats, umbrellas, etc.) pared down and organized. Take everything you have gone through this month and do a drop to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or another local charitable organization (don't forget to get a receipt for your taxes!). Many fire stations hold a winter coat drive.

Today we need to discard expired make up. I usually sit down on my bathroom floor, get everything out from under the cabinets, throw a few old pieces at my toddlers to play with so they will be distracted, and start sorting. Get all of your make up out, sort it into categories (i.e., eye shadows, blush, lipglosses, etc.), and decide what to keep and what to get rid of. Click here for a list of make up expiration guidelines. Basically, if you can't remember when you purchased it, it's probably time to get rid of it. Put those items in the trash. Now that you can clearly see what is left, make an inventory. Take a Sharpie pen and write the date of expiration on the make up when you purchase it. Write the date of expiration on the inventory.

What do you need to get to replace any missing pieces? Make a list, and it's time to go shopping (YAY!). Here is a list of the basics. Don't forget to write the expiration date on the make up and add it to your inventory.

Finally, put everything back in an organized manner. This will ensure that you can see everything at a glance, you will use everything you have, and getting ready in the morning will be much easier. Which could translate to 15 extra minutes of sleep!

Check back tomorrow for tips on decluttering nail polish and perfume, AND for your November 2013 Master Calendar!

Happy Organizing!!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Inventory Additions and Free 30 Days Printable

This will be short and sweet. Let's start off with my favorite...Google searches!

"maria kang" (local celebrity)
"bullet journal app" (there isn't one - million dollar idea right here!)
"minimalism" (I am sick of having so much STUFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF)
"what does the fox say"

What did you research today?

I updated the Clothing Inventory listing on my Etsy shop. I added four more printables! The price has remained the same...this ONE time! I will continue to add inventory printables to this listing, but from now on, the price will increase. You will receive FIVE inventories to download instantly, for just $1.50!!!



What about the people who already ordered their clothing inventory? Have no fear! I am sending them the new inventories. I'm super fair like that. Just ask my kids.

I also have a FREE printable for you. Well, it's not really free. All I ask in return is your undying devotion to me. EASY PEASY.

The person who figured out how to get you to impulse buy is a genius. Or a serial mind game sociopath. You decide. You see an item that has been strategically placed. You want that. You convince yourself you need it. Can't live without it. In your cart it goes! Checkout! Ooo, that rush of a new toy! Then you get home. Sometimes the purchase is truly a good purchase, and you make great use of that item. Other times, it is forgotten, buried under life, perhaps found later. And then there are the times where you regret your purchase. Buyer's remorse sets in. I spent too much. I didn't really need this. I am already living paycheck to paycheck. What was I thinking?!?

How do we avoid this? I have a simple solution. The 30 Day Wait List. You can decide how to use this. I am currently using it for anything I do not need to live. If it's not food for my family, it goes on the list. I write the date, the item, and the price. If, after 30 days of being on the list, I am still thinking, breathing, LIVING for this item, I give myself permission to purchase it (assuming of course, we can afford the cost). Nearly 100% of the time, though, I am over it. I have moved on to a different "obsession". An obsession that will last less than thirty days, apparently. Maybe you will choose to write any single purchase over $50. Or $100. Maybe you will use this to write down things you want but cannot afford, and it will end up being a gift list for your family for Christmas! In any case, I would encourage you to take note of your purchases, and what is not an actual necessity. You may see a huge difference in your bank account! Those little purchases add up quickly!!!



Enjoy your new toy! For free!!! My gift to you. And don't forget to download your inventory sheets and start taking control of your life. You don't have to write that purchase down on your list. I give you permission to buy it now!

My Next Project

Lately, I have been feeling overwhelmed. I have my day job projects under control. But I have too many projects at home that I want to work on simultaneously, and it just turns into my wheels spinning, spinning, spinning, getting nowhere, getting frustrated. I do a little bit of one project here, one project there, but nothing is really getting accomplished.

I haven't even googled anything in the last two days! That's how I knew something was really wrong.

What do I need to do to regroup? Organize, of course! I need to make a list of each project, and the steps needed to complete them. Then take ONE STEP at a time, and finish the projects, one at a time. This will allow me to give quality attention to each detail needed to be thorough in my projects.

I decided to create a printable for this. It is small enough to fit in my daily planner. I will always have it with me, so I can add notes/projects as I think of them. I actually saw a similar printable when I googled this, but the website no longer existed, so I had to recreate the printable. Please click HERE to download your FREE "My Next Project" printable!!!



This week, a friend asked for help with putting together a budget printable. This is a great idea, something I have been doing for a few years now. I cannot tell you how eye opening it is to write down EVERY SINGLE purchase I make. It truly makes me think twice before I put something in my cart at the grocery store. Additionally, for bigger ticket items, or something I say I "need", but isn't really required for survival, I have a "30 Days List". I write the date and the item. If I am still DYING for the item thirty days after I write it down, I buy it (IF I can afford it at that time). Most of the time, I am over it! The impulse buy is POWERFUL. Don't let it steal your money!



I created a budget template for all of 2014, PLUS the last two months for 2013, so that you can get a jump start on organizing your finances before the new year! Available in my Etsy shop for less than a rotisserie chicken!!!


Accomplished

I had time to tackle more than one calendar item today! I love those days.

I decluttered towels and washcloths, recycling old ones to the hall closet for dusting, or the garage for washing cars or other dirty clean up.

I pulled out all of our sheets from the hall closet, matched sheets to pillowcases, and labeled them with a note so I would remember which size was which.

I decluttered hangers. I made sure all of my oldest daughter's clothes were hung on pink hangers, the younger daughter's clothes are on white hangers. I like all white hangers. My husband does not care, so I gave him any colored hangers I had.



I checked all of the pillows and mended one that had stuffing leaking out.

I shook out all of the door mats.

My husband cleaned the HVAC filter. We do this every two months. I have a reminder in my Master Calendar, and I use an electronic reminder. We have a reusable filter, so he just used a hose on it. If you do not have a reusable filter, please do not hose off your filter! You will need to make a note of the size of the filter (or take it with you), and go to Lowe's or Home Depot or another home improvement store. Walmart might even have them? Maybe Target? PICK TARGET! I LOVE TARGET! This is something that you can stock up on, so if you happen to find filters on sale, get a few to have on hand. Then you don't have to go out every time you need to replace it. A quick Google search tells me to change filters every 60 days. Depending on your air quality, pets, construction environment around the home, etc., you may need to do it every 30 days. I would also recommend scheduling regular HVAC maintenance every 6 months. This can cost anywhere between $30-$90 per visit. You will be prolonging the life of your unit if you do this. I just replaced the HVAC system for my house. Top Ramen every night for the next six years! The company that installed our unit said that as long as we clean the filter every two months, we do not need regular maintenance checks. So ask your local HVAC company if your system requires regular inspections.

I had lunch with a friend. This is huge for me. I am an introvert by nature. I am social, but only "social media social". I like to work through my lunch. I was dreading lunch all morning, but then I got to the restaurant, and of course, I had an amazing time. She is my oldest friend, and it was good for my soul to see her. This was a good reminder that it is important to do things that benefit just yourself sometimes. What have you done for yourself lately that has been just for you? I would encourage you to do something for yourself.

I did NOT clear the closet floor, because a) it is only covered in shoes, and b) my girls would follow behind me and undo all of my shoe organization in less than two seconds. I have to be realistic about some things. But one day, I will be able to pick up my closet floor, so I keep it on the calendar. And if I had any stray items had been on the closet floor (i.e., sweatshirt, toys, books, etc.), I would have picked them up and put them away in their proper place.

On the agenda for this weekend:

Planning my daughter's third birthday party! Since I did ^^so much^^ today, I will be able to relax and focus on party planning. One of my favorite things to do! We are doing a coffee theme. The girl loves coffee. She is ALWAYS stealing my coffee. That's how you can tell I really love her. Because I let her drink my coffee.

Next week my goals are to:

Plant garlic
Obtain a quote to clean out the fireplace and chimney
Start a gift list for the holidays
Clean gutters
Inspect wooden fences for exposed nails (you could also do this on a wooden deck)
Recaulk around doors and windows where needed

I also have on my calendar to insulate exposed pipes. However, it isn't cooling down that much just yet. So I moved this to my "To Do" list to check again in October.

I have a surprise for you! Check out my Facebook page for a sneak peek of something fun coming your way in 2014!!!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Writing Letters To My Kids and Currently Cards

The weekend is coming! Do you have any exciting plans? My plan is to go to Walmart and pick up some humidifier filters. It's a wild life, I tell ya...

Recent Google searches...

"listeria"
"2008 Nissan Versa tire pressure" (mine were low)

What did you research today?

When I was little, my mom used to write the cute, funny things my brother and I said in a book. On rainy days, we would look through photo albums and read that book. That is a memories I cherish, and a tradition I want to repeat with my family. As I was cleaning out my desk this year, I found a set of three blank journals I picked up at some point. I was about to give them to a friend when I thought, "HEY! I have three kids, and three books. I should start writing that book." (as a side note, I'm really good at math, right?) So I brought the books to work (because that's where I get the most personal stuff completed), and they sat in the drawer for about four months.



Every time I looked at the books I was afraid. Afraid I wouldn't know exactly the right words to say. Afraid I would write in pen and spell something wrong. Afraid my kids wouldn't like the books.

Then I realized, as I was looking through my grandmother's photo albums, that I wished I knew more. What was life like for her? What kinds of things did she like and dislike? What foods did she eat? What jobs did she have? So I started writing. I figured if I hated how it came out, I would just toss the books. What ended up happening was that I LOVED MY BOOKS! I enjoy writing in them so much that I do it nearly every day! I cannot wait to pass these books on to my kids. I think they will be interested to read about what life was like when they were younger from their mom's perspective. Especially after I'm dead (yeah, I went there).



Something else I wanted to log, although perhaps not as often, is what is going on in life, "CURRENTLY". What are we watching on TV, what songs do we like, what books are we reading? So I made these "Currently..." cards. I punch holes in them and keep them in my planner. I may pull them out and scrapbook them one day, or staple a few into the kids' books I am writing for them. I may create an entire package dedicated just to these. They are up for sale in my Etsy shop. I have four designs so far. You get ALL FOUR designs in your purchase, and you can print these over and over again, endlessly! So basically, you will receive a lifetime supply of "Currently..." cards, for less than a roll of washi tape. Which runs out. QUICKLY, if you're at my house.



Stay tuned next week, I will be giving away the November 2013 Master Calendar (sounds so ominous!), as well as finishing up tips and details from the October calendar.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The List Post

Are you still working on your clothing inventory? This is the last time I will mention it! Lest I begin to sound like my kids. "I don't want carrots. I no eat carrots. Deez carrots gross. Dey old. No carrots for me." On and on, until I want to shove the carrots in my ears so I do not have to hear the word "carrots" EVER. AGAIN.

Recent Google searches:

"how much sleep does a 16 month old need" (FYI, the answer wasn't enough sleep for my liking)
"ctfd parenting"
"dream big little one" (love this blog)
"how to roast sunflower seeds"

"the difference between AM radio and FM radio"
"are raw hot dogs bad for you"

Those last two searches are from my almost 11 year old son. I love his inquisitive mind, and his thirst for knowledge. My little googling protege!

What did you research today?

I made this week light on the Master Calendar because my daughter's birthday is today! She is three. She ran into our bedroom this morning, shouting, "MOMMY! MOMMY! I'M THREE TODAY!!!" She makes me wish I was still three. What a fun age. Emotions are pure, not tainted by experience. I really enjoy watching her grow and learn. This week is open for completing the final details for her party.

Let's review what we have done so far this month:
Clear space for out of season clothes
Create storage inventory for clothes
Wash/dust all light fixtures
Declutter outgrown kid clothes
Donate old winter coats
Organize gloves, scarves, hats
Declutter night stands
Clean under beds (also known as binky recruitment at our house!)
Declutter dressers
Clean front yard, back yard, and garden
Plant onions
Attend local festival (we went to two!)
PLUS! Our Daily Zones every day!!!

Whew! Look at all of this! And the month isn't even half over yet. I can't wait to see what we can accomplish during the last half of the month!!! Since this week is light, assuming you don't also have a birthday party to plan, take this week to catch up on anything you need to work on. Sit down, make a list of tasks you want to complete, and then write them down in prioritized order. Then get started!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Clothing Inventory

I am a purger. It is very rare that I hold onto anything that is not an absolute necessity. This can be a flaw for me, as I get rid of things that should be kept for sentimental reasons. I do not like clutter, so throwing something away, or giving it away, is cleansing for me. With less "stuff", I feel like I am able to keep track of everything. I feel like the overall space is neater.

My husband is not a purger. He also isn't a hoarder by any means. But to me, he keeps too much stuff. He has an entire dresser drawer stuffed full of socks and underwear. I have one little container with all the socks and underwear I need.

There is a place in the middle where we can meet. He could purge some socks, and I could add to my sock collection, and the world would not come to an end.

The only exception to this is shoes. Even this purger knows you can never have too many shoes!

How do you know if the clothes in your closet need to be purged? Or if you need more items? Take a clothing inventory! This will help you make smart, intentional, purchases to create a complete wardrobe that works well together. If I don't do this, I end up with four shirts in emerald because I know emerald is an "in" color for fall, but I have no bottoms to go with them. Or, I play it safe and only buy black and white, because then everything goes together. But it's boringzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

This process will assist in organizing your closets and dressers, which will eliminate clutter. If you search (through my favorite search engine) for "clothing basics checklist", you will find several ideas for basic clothing that will provide a solid foundation for your wardrobe. Find these pieces in your closet, then build on them with seasonal pieces and accessories to create your signature style.

Check out my Etsy shop for a clothing inventory printout available for immediate download, and get started on your organization process today!



Once you have completed the steps below, you will be able to keep one copy of the inventory for each person in your Family Planner, and keep one copy in your purse. Or, e-mail the inventory to yourself and keep it on your smart phone. When you are out shopping, you can refer to the list. You will know what pieces you need, and what sizes to get!

Print your clothing inventory, one for each person in your household. I like to write down ahead of time how many of each item I need. My son wears jeans to school. I will write down that he needs 6 pairs of jeans. One for each school day, one extra in case something happens, and he does have other pants that he CAN wear if needed. Now you have created a basic clothing checklist within your clothing inventory.

Decide which room you will start in. I am starting with my son's clothes. School just started, the weather is changing, and I need to know what he has outgrown and what will be needed to get him through the fall and winter months.

My son is almost 11. He has the ability to change in and out of his own clothes rather quickly. So each season, he puts on a "fashion show" for us. I sit in the play room with the girls, we turn up the music, and we watch him dance around with his clothes. It is a fun, silly activity. We are together as a family, and there is a lot of dancing and laughter. A great bonding experience, and we are being efficient! After each outfit, he discards the clothes into the following piles:

Keep - Active: This pile is for every day wear. He will wear these clothes to school.

Keep - Grubby: The clothes that still fit but have a stain, or are on the small side and won't fit all season. He will wear these in the evenings, to do chores, or for lounging on the weekends.

Give Away: These clothes are in good condition, but are too small. They will either go to Goodwill, or be sold in a garage sale if we plan on having one soon. Wash everything in this pile, even if it was in a dresser ready to wear. Then place it in a bag/box in the garage until you are ready for your garage sale or drop to Goodwill.

Trash: These clothes no longer fit, but have been thrashed to the point that they are not suitable to give away or sell.

I also have two girls, both under the age of three. They are not able to dress themselves. Trying to wriggle them in and out of their entire wardrobe would be like spending fourteen hours wearing a blindfold, grabbing handfuls of wet, limp noodles, stuffing them into a straw, while a baby kangaroo kicks you in the stomach and a squid attaches itself to the top of your head and screams, "Mama! Mama! MAMAAAAAAA!" Instead, so as not to cause permanent psychological damage, I put one outfit on them that fits well. I then use this as my "master" outfit. Then I remove all of the clothes from their room, and after they go to bed, I sit peacefully on the floor in the living room, watch Parenthood on DVR, and compare each item of clothing they have to the "master" outfit. I separate each piece into the same piles listed above.

Now that all of the clothes are separated into piles, I take the Keep - Active pile, and organize it by article of clothing. I will do the same for Keep - Grubby pile, but I will keep those stored in his closet in a separate area. I will run the Give Away pile through the wash, and then it will go into a box or bag. The Trash pile will either go in the trash, or a sewing scraps pile, or in the garage to cut up and use as rags. Following is an example of types of clothing:

Running pants
Khaki pants
Jeans
Shorts
Skirts
Long sleeve tees
Long sleeve button up shirts
Short sleeve tees
Under shirts
Short sleeve golf shirts
Long sleeve onesies
Short sleeve onesies
Sweaters
Sweatshirts
Pajamas
Athletic Socks
Dress Socks
Underwear
Bathing suit

I will do the same thing with accessories later this month. If you would like to address that now, you can add the following piles:

Hats
Ties
Belts
Scarves
Mittens/Gloves
Jackets
Shoes
Boots

Next, with your printed list, tally the number of pieces you have in each category. Compare that column to the "Number Needed" column, and you can easily see what you need to buy.

Make a note of what sizes fit well. Some sizing changes by brand, so if he has a favorite shirt, I will note the brand and the size. I will also make notes of favorite colors and off limit colors.

My kids are fairly easy in that they wear the clothes they have. Adults have more psychology going into what they wear. Does it fit exactly right? Is it still in style? Is it a good color on me? Does it make me feel good about myself? DO THESE PANTS MAKE MY BUTT LOOK FAT?!? When you are editing your clothes each season, you will also need to be editing based on what you actually wear. If you haven't worn that neon orange blouse in two years because you are nervous about the color, you need to get over it. Either wear the blouse, or give it to someone who will!

I do not store clothes that are not in season. I do not do this for two reasons. The first, and main reason being that we live in a place in California, where I can usually get away with wearing flip flops all year if I feel like it. The second reason is that I do not keep a bunch of excess clothing items, so I do not have a need to store anything.

If you need to store out of season clothing, then start thinking about the storage space in your home. Where will you store your clothes? Under the bed? A hall closet? Garage? Attic? Basement? Decide where you have the space, and declutter closets to make room if necessary. Make sure the space isn't damp, and is protected from the environment. Space bags or a plastic container with a lid would assist with this. Complete a separate inventory for each bin, and tape it on the outside of the container, or place it right inside, on top of your clothing for easy reference. Keep the original in a file or on your computer, so you can reference the inventory without accessing the bin once you have stored it.

In addition to storing out of season clothes, you may have two little ones that are close enough in age that you will have hand me downs, but the clothes will not go immediately from one child to the next (there might be one or two years before the next child can wear the clothes). Use the clothing inventory to make a note of the clothes and sizes, and store the inventory with these bins as well. There will be no guessing when you go looking for stored clothes about sizes!

Now that you have your out of season items stored, and your basics and favorite pieces are ready to go back into your closet, look at what you have and then look at your closet. What is the best way to display your items in your closet? Jeans folded and placed on the top shelf? Do you need to buy a shoe rack or bins? Do you need any special hooks or hangers? Are you able to make any special purchases to make your closet a dream closet? Like uniformed hangers, or a small vanity and mirror? Decide how you want the space to look, and then reorganize your clothes to fit that.

I use a large rectangle shaped plastic food container to store my kids' socks and underwear. Shirts in a dresser end up looking like this. In real life, it looks like that for about three days. Then my daughters like to get into the drawers and play dress up. That's okay. I take care of it during my Daily Zone time. And this phase won't last forever. One day, I will have neat drawers all the time!

Since everything is cleared out of your closet, if you have the time, you can also take this time to paint or wallpaper the space. When I have time, I would love to do something like this in my son's closet:



And this in my girls' closet:



Side note: are you following me on Pinterest yet? Please do!

As mentioned earlier, we will address accessories later this month, but here is the order of my closet:

Sleeveless blouses
Short sleeve blouses
Long sleeve blouses
Short dresses
Maxi dresses
Short (but not too short) skirts
Long skirts
Shorts
Capris
Pants
Robe
Belts
Scarves
Handbags
Shoes

On the side shelves in the closet, the order is:

Flip flops
Shorts
Jeans
Sweatshirts

Now your clothes are organized, you have a fresh idea (and a list!) of what you have and what you need. Take a step back and enjoy your newly organized spaces!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Good Bye September, Hello October

Can you believe today is the last day of September? Are you ready to start the Master Calendar for October? Have you received your free October printable yet? I will be going through it here on the blog, so be sure to check in for tips!

As promised, I have a free notes printable for you! Just click HERE to download your free printable! I use this to jot down thoughts throughout the day, and then transfer them to my master To Do list in Evernote. You could also print a bunch on some heavier paper, glue at the top, and TA-DA...notepad!



Google searches from this weekend:

"thesaurus"
"gluten free pumpkin recipes" (YUM)
"Cowboys game today" (they lost)
"post it quiz" (what is your organization style - find out here)
"mid century modern font" (designing a logo for my boss - it came out AMAZING!)
"bee and babes" (love this blog)

What did you research today?

I had a very busy weekend that involved a lot of back and forth traveling. We would pack a bag(s) with clothes, diapers, snacks, drinks, extra clothes, shoes, toys, etc., head to our destination, and return late and exhausted. The next morning, we would get up and empty the bags and start the process all over again. Of course by Sunday night, the house was a disaster, piles of clothes, both dirty and clean (but not separated that way), leftover snacks and drinks, shoes, and toys are littering the house. And we were all too tired to address the mess. Today I have that feeling of being overwhelmed and not knowing where to start. So I will make a list. Room by room, I will write down everything I want to complete. I will prioritize each room with a number system, start at the top of the list, and go one step at a time. I cannot wait to get my house in order again!

In addition to tackling the items listed in the Master Calendar next month, I have also been working on a monthly planner, and an adorable menu planner. Eventually, all of these items will go into a Family Planner, which will be a custom package that you can put together to help get your life in order!

The day before a new month, I review the Master Calendar and put a list of items on my To Do list in Evernote. I also write some items on a sticky note to keep in my planner. As I complete the work, I delete the items in Evernote, and cross them off my sticky notes.

The Evernote tasks are items I can just do. They don't require anything other than time. The sticky note tasks require something other than time. Perhaps money or purchasing something from a store, some googling, needing an item from someone else, creating a printable, etc.

I would like your feedback on the notes printable! Would you prefer a different size (this is meant to be printed on 8.5x11 paper), different color, more writing space, different sections for writing, etc.? Leave me a comment below and let me know!