Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tidy Tuesday: How To Conquer An Overwhelming House

Is your entire house a disaster?  Do you like to hoard things like a squirrel about to go into hibernation?  Do you get a panic attack when you think about tackling just one room?

I'm here to help.  Go grab half a Xanax and keep reading.

Yesterday we talked about how to manage your schedule.  Now that you have your lists of things you want to do (i.e., ORGANIZE ENTIRE HOUSE) broken down into manageable bite sized pieces of paper, let's get started on the first room.

Pick the worst room first.  Because no other room is going to seem as bad once you have conquered Everest.

The first thing you need to do is make certain you have enough time to do the entire project, or be okay with having a messy hallway or a super messy room for awhile.  This is not something we tackle Monday morning before work.  This is not a task for a weekend filled with sports events and birthday parties.  This is a project you will set aside for a Saturday/Sunday that is free of commitments.  Feel free to use the iPad as a babysitter.  Or candy.  They'll be FINE.

When organizing a room or closet, I remove every. single. thing. from the room/closet.  Take drawers out of dressers, books out of bookcases, etc.  Dump everything onto a bed or into a hallway.  Yes, this makes a huge mess.  That's okay.  Sometimes we have to make an even bigger mess to clean up a mess.

Then line up three paper bags/garbage bags/baskets.  Label them.  One is trash/recycling, one is give away, and one is garage sale.  Unless you don't want to do a garage sale, because they suck.  Then just the give away is fine.  Next, clean the empty room.  Vacuum, dust, mop, deweb the corners, dust the baseboards, etc.  Doesn't that feel so good?!?  It's perfectly clean!

Now you will go through each item in the hallway, and either put it in one of the three baskets, or clean it and return it back in the room.  This can take a few days.  Or weeks.  Months?  It really depends on the size of the room and how long you have been hoarding shit.

How to decide where something belongs?  Does it serve a purpose for you?  Do you use the item on a regular basis?  Is there a better location for this item in your home?  Does it need to be replaced?  If you don't use it, but it has sentimental value, can you store it in the attic?  Is it for display purposes?  Does it fit?  Do you wear it?  Questions like these are what need to be going through your head.  Really evaluate and make sure you are keeping things that have a purposeful function for you.  If you decide to keep it, then you will clean it (usually dusting it, clothes can go back without being washed, unless they were already dirty), and put it away where it belongs.  Where is the best location for this, where I can easily access it and it makes sense for the flow of the room?  For example, I'm not going to put my hair straightener in my nightstand if I use it in the bathroom.  If you trash it and need to replace it, add it to a list of things to get next time you are at the store.

Once everything is put back into the room, or in the proper basket, keep it up on a daily basis.  Go through your house before bed and pick up the stray items.  Put them away there they belong.  Your house will not get out of hand if you are able to do this daily.  If you have to miss a day because of your schedule or illness, that's okay.  One day is not so bad.  Only go a week if you have to, and you had better have a doctor's note for me, none of this Man Cold nonsense.

Sometimes it feels pointless to keep the playroom picked up each day.  I'm not about perfectionism and a white gloved playroom at the end of each day.  If I know my kids are going to be home and playing in the playroom the next day, I will leave the room as is, regarding toys.  If I see a cup, shoes, clothes, etc., that don't belong, I will pick those up and take them to the kitchen and hamper.  And toys in the living room can be picked up and placed on the floor in the playroom.  The toys in the playroom can stay messy.  Then perhaps once a week you can actually put away all of the toys (engage the kiddos for help).  See how we compromise?

After you do this in each room of your house, you will find it is very easy to keep up, and you will be motivated to keep it this way.  Nobody wants to pick up a few things if the entire house is a disaster.  What's the point?  But once it's tidy, taking the time to pick up is worth it to keep it from getting out of control.

I hope this helps!  Happy organizing!!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday Musings: What To Do When You Feel Overwhelmed

How was your weekend, Goddesses?  Even though Mr. Perfect worked all weekend (hello, 14 and 18 hour back to back shifts!!!), the kids and I had a really good weekend.

A recurring question I have been getting lately is "I am so overwhelmed.  Where do I start?"  This is an excellent question.  Often times, when we have a lot going on, our brains can spin and we can avoid working on the things that need to get done because we just plain don't know where to begin.  So we get "busy" doing other things, that don't truly accomplish anything.

Today, I will be discussing how to organize your schedule.  Check back tomorrow for Tidy Tuesday to see how I organize an overwhelming room in the house (This may apply to your entire house.  It happens).

As for my daily schedule, I like to use pen and paper.  Some prefer electronic lists, and as a techie nerd, I am all for that if it works for you.  What I am about to explain will easily translate for you, just think of a piece of paper as one of your "Notes" pages, or whatever To Do List app you use.

You can use a planner, a notebook, beautiful stationery, or plain binder paper.  I use my planner to organize my personal schedule, which includes hubby's shift and kid's activities.  At work, I use a notebook with tabs.

Personal planner:

Work notebook:

Here are the steps to organizing your schedule:

1. Take a piece of paper for each category in your life.  For some this might be each of your kids, yourself, vehicles, home repairs.  It could be work, personal, kids, finances, meal planning.  Maybe you have a different page for each room in your house.  At work I manage properties, so I have a different paper for each property.  Whatever you have going on, grab a piece of paper for it and label each paper as such.

2. Brain dump everything you need to do for each area. Just write until you can't come up with anything else. Don't worry about order or priority. Just get it all down on paper.

3. Get a new sheet of paper for each category and label again. Itemize each task from the previous paper in order of importance, or put like items together (like all phone calls together, all errands together). Cross off the items on the first sheet of paper as you write down. Once everything is crossed off, you can discard that first set of lists.

4. You can use a binder, or even just a paperclip, but keep the lists together, and carry them with you. Place a piece of paper in front to brain dump. As you remember more items, or new tasks come up, write them down on this brain dump page.

Brain dump page:

Each different category (for work, this means each property):

5.  At the end of each day (or beginning, whichever works best for you), add the tasks to the appropriate list.

6. On the very top of your collection of papers, add one paper. This paper will change daily. For now, choose the Top Three Most Important To Do Today. Any more than three and you will begin to feel overwhelmed and lose motivation. You can always do more, but for sure you will do these Top Three.  Choose the most important tasks from any of your lists and make three check boxes with those tasks listed. Once you have completed the tasks, check them off, both on your Top Three, and in your list. If you still have time, or the desire, you can go into your lists and choose three more items.

This is my Top Three Most Important To Do Today.  I have the Top Three from several of my lists, which is why there are Ten Items.  Read #7 as to why I do this...

7. As you start to get things under control, you can do a Top Three for each category.

Some people like to "Eat the Frog", meaning do the tasks you dislike first as motivation to get to the stuff you enjoy. That may or may not work for you, but wanted to suggest it in case you like the idea.
I would also strongly suggest doing a list of things you want to do. Like yoga, coffee with a friend, date night, writing, drawing, etc. Keep this list in the back of your packet and refer to it when you are organizing your day. It is important to take care of yourself, even more so when you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed.

I hope these things helps. Let me know if you have any questions, or if something doesn't work for you and we can try to tweak or come up with another idea.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Birdhouse: Silhouette Bathroom Art

We live on a street named after a bird, so I started referring to our home as The Birdhouse.  We purchased our home in January 2013, and have been working on home improvements ever since.  I cannot wait to share our kitchen and the master closet with you, but today I am sharing an art piece I made for the kids' bathroom.

The first thing I did was take this frame with three spaces already cut out.  You could look at a thrift shop or garage sale for something like this.  My husband already had this when we met, so it was free for us!

Next, I removed the paper backing.  It was fastened with staples, which I removed with needle nose pliers.  I left the cardboard that was holding in the photo and matte.

Next, I printed profile photos of the kids and cut them out.  I traced them onto cardstock and cut them out as well.

I had the kids paint another piece of cardstock, then I painted the silhouettes.  I modge podged the silhouettes onto the cardstock.

I wrote their names beneath their images, placed them in the frame, and hung it over their towel rack!

It brings great color and a personal touch into the bathroom.  If you wanted to, you could also sand and paint the frame.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Monday Musings: Instagram

I am sick today.  I really hate being sick.  It's not sick enough to stay home, but not well enough to be very productive at work.

I have been sharing my weekly layouts on Instagram.  Be sure to take a peek!

Who are your favorite Instagram planner accounts to follow?  See my favorites below!

The CC Collection
Filo Cuteness
Filo Eye Candi
My Purpley Life
Emily Ley
Alexandra Shaw 76

Have a great week!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Whip Into Shape Wednesdays: Organized Workout

Did you enjoy your Labor Day weekend?  I had a wonderful weekend - our family spent time together, we got some sunshine, and my husband and I had a little date.

Just like menu planning, working out is very personal based on your needs, desires, and your schedule.  What I do won't work for everyone, but you can use my thought process to come up with something that will work for you.

I have a girlfriend who is into body building.  She watches her macros (I don't even know what that means...*takes notes to Google later*), and she is really bulking up her arms and legs.  She looks amazing!  More importantly, she is happy and healthy.  But her lifestyle doesn't work for me.  That doesn't make one of our journeys more or less healthy than the other, it just makes them different.

My fitness journey is equally related to mental health, food nutrition.  If am not emotionally healthy, I am less motivated to work out.  If I am not feeding my body good fuel, I don't have the energy to work out.

The first step in organizing your work out is figuring out a time of day that works for you.  Should you exercise first thing in the morning?  Or would you be more successful going straight to the gym after work?  I either set my alarm for 5 a.m., or do it right after the younger kids are in bed.

The second step is looking at your weekly schedule.  Is Monday a really busy day?  Let's just do 30 min that day.  Wednesday is free?  Let's do an hour that day.  Write down your weekly schedule and add your work out plan to the schedule.  If you write it down like an appointment, you will be more likely to keep that commitment.  You don't have to make time to exercise every day.  20-30 minutes 2-3 times a week for cardio and 20-30 minutes 2-3 times per week of weight training is a solid plan.  However, if you think you will flake on yourself, write in exercise options for every day, and then if you skip one or two, you can see where it will still fit into the remainder of your week.

The third step is to decide what it is you want to accomplish.  Do you just want to do cardio?  Do you want to do weights?  I don't go to the gym, so I do yoga and body weight training (which also doubles as my cardio).  Do you have a pool?  Swim!  Run around the block!  Follow a video on YouTube!  There are many options when it comes to getting a good work out.

Here is what my sessions look like right now:

Sunday morning:  Yoga
Sunday evening:  Whole body circuit

Monday evening:  Yoga

Tuesday morning:  Arm circuit

Wednesday evening:  Leg circuit

Thursday morning:  Yoga

Friday morning:  Chest and ab circuit

Saturday morning:  Yoga
Saturday evening:  Shoulder and back circuit

Sometimes I do skip the yoga, but it's my favorite, so I put it on days when I know I won't feel like working out (because I will be sore), so that I am more motivated to follow through.

I hope this helps you put together a system that works for you!  Don't forget to warm up and cool down!  You don't want to pull a muscle.