Organize

How to Keep a Memory Journal

By on April 24, 2017

memory journal, journal

Life passes by quickly, doesn’t it? With social media, such as Facebook and Instagram, it is easy to document what you are doing with family and friends. But, other than the pictures and a caption, what else do you remember from those memorable events that you have chosen to share?

Keeping a memory journal allows you to keep more details about what happens each day that you wouldn’t necessarily share on social media. Maintaining a memory journal doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many memory journal systems out there. Although beautiful, they can be pricey. There are several ways that you can keep a memory journal without it costing a lot of money.

memory journal, journal

Planner

An undated or dated planner can be used as a memory journal. It gives you space each day to keep a record of what happened, and what you were thinking or feeling. Adding photos or embellishments, such as stickers, can give your memory journal an added boost of color and visual interest.

Notebook

There are so many beautiful journals that are available today. Rifle Paper Company and Target have notebooks that would be excellent to fill with your daily memories.

Bullet Journal

Bullet journals are relatively new on the journaling scene. They are a more concise way to keep track of your daily activities. You can keep track of events and memories using bullet points and short sentences to record them. Some notebooks and journals are available with grid instead of lined paper.

Online Journal

In today’s age of technology, many online journals and apps allow you to keep a memory planner. Some of them are very flexible and, you can add pictures and other digital embellishments. You can then print them out and store them in a pretty notebook or binder.

memory journal, journal, online journal

Purchases for Your Memory Journal

If you are looking to take your memory journal to the next level, there are several things that you can buy to give it more than just the words on the page.

There are multiple types of pens that you can use in your memory journal. Flair Pens come in various colors and are great to use while you are planning and journaling. If black is your chosen ink color, you can order a box of twelve.

Printable sticker paper gives you the option of printing out photos from your online photo album. It comes in both matte and glossy depending on your preference. You can then cut them out using a paper trimmer and add them to your memory journal

If cutting out individual photos isn’t something that you want to do, HP Sprocket and Polaroid Zip are both portable photo printers that can easily be used in for memory journaling. Both print out pictures via Bluetooth from your phone. They would be great to take along when you’re traveling so you can print out pictures, and memory plan on the go.

memory journal, journal

Keeping a memory journal allows you to keep details, and pictures of what you do each day and doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Instead, use what speaks to you and make it your own.

Until next time,

memory journal, journal

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Plan | Printables

How Meal Planning and Prep Can be Helpful and a Free Printable

By on April 20, 2017

meal planning, meal prep

 

Meal planning and preparation seems like a daunting task, but the benefits outweigh the time that it involves to complete it. Taking the opportunity to make sure that your meals are planned out and prepped for the week can be helpful when you’re tired after a long day at work. It’s better than wondering what you are going to make when you get home each day.

Meal Planning

Meal planning on the fly is a lot like grocery shopping on an empty stomach. You never quite know what you’re going to end up with when you’re finished. It’s helpful to take time, once a week, to plan out what you are going to have for dinner each night. Planning ahead helps with adding the needed items to your weekly grocery shopping list. It also helps to plan around what activities are going on each night. With our busy lives, is it easier to make a meal in the Crock Pot® or Instant Pot® or would reheating something be a better option?

A tip to help you out with meal planning is to come up with about a month’s worth of different meals. Once you have done this, you can rotate them, so you have a different menu each week. Coming up with a month’s worth of meals can seem like a daunting task. You can use some of your family’s favorites in the rotation, as well as adding some new additions. The internet also offers great inspiration for recipes that fit your lifestyle.

 

meal planning, meal prep

Meal Preparation

Another way to help with the never-ending question of what you’re going to have for dinner is to do some meal prep ahead of time. If you are making something, cook extra so you can freeze it for later. Cooking ahead works well for so many items and saves time during the week.

For example, if you are baking chicken for dinner, bake some extra chicken, with a little light seasoning, and either freeze it whole or slice it up. You can then take it out for a meal, let it thaw in the refrigerator, and use it. If you leave it whole, you can add it to your favorite recipe, or if it’s sliced up, you could make chicken tacos or fajitas, a chicken stir-fry, or use it in a white bean chicken chili.

Making extra or meal prepping saves you valuable time during the week and simplifies your weeknights after a busy day. It also gives you a more nutritious and sustainable meal than grabbing something on the go.

Free Printable

To get you started with meal planning, I’ve included a free weekly menu planner.  You can use it to plan out your meals each week. Click on the image of the menu planner to take you to the download.

menu planner, meal planning

 

The benefits of meal planning and preparation outweigh the time that it involves to complete it. Taking the time to plan out your meals and prepare them ahead of time for the week can be helpful during your busy week. Download the free printable and get started on meal planning today.

Until next time,

meal planning, meal prep

 

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Organize | Printables

How to Get Started on Your Organizing Journey and a Free Printable

By on April 17, 2017

organizing, get started organizing

Organizing can be a scary word. It can evoke feelings of fear and panic especially when you don’t know where to begin. It’s easier to admit defeat than to try to figure out where to begin.

Most organizing plans fall through because people don’t create a system or keep up the system that they have initially established. To begin your organizing journey, you have to commit to wanting to be organized and be willing to maintain the systems that you put into place. 

People take the time to accomplish cleaning their home each week. Keeping their home organized is another story. It is not a difficult task, but many people put it off. It’s so much easier to shut the drawer, or door than to tackle what sits behind it.

You need to give some serious thought about where you want to begin.What are your organizational goals? What is the most important task for you to complete first?  Are you willing to make a commitment to maintain the systems that you put into place?

organizing, get started organizing

Your Organizing Journey

To start, you first need to create a plan of what you would like to organize. Each of these specific areas become your organizational goals. Like any goal, you must take steps to achieve it.

1. Write down your organizational goals. What do you want to see organized? List each of the items or areas that are important for you to tackle.

2. For each of the organizational goals, create an action plan. There could be multiple steps that you need to reach the target that you have set. What are the steps that you need to take to achieve your goal? What items do you need to make this happen? During this time, you should be honest with yourself. If you aren’t using something, it’s time to get rid of it by giving it away, donating it, or selling it.

3. Implement each organizing goal by taking the action to achieve it. Working toward each goal could take some time. Follow the steps that you have created so you can accomplish it and not get frustrated in the process. Start small so you can easily maintain what you have worked so hard to achieve.

Free Printable

To get you started, I’ve included a free organization plan printable.  Click on the image of the organization plan to take you to the download. Enjoy!

 

organization, organization plan, organization printable

Get started on your organizing journey, today. List out your organizational goals and create an action plan to implement each of those goals. Once you have done that, create a solid routine that will help keep you organized. Once you have an established routine, organizing won’t seem so scary.

Until next time,

organizing, get started organizing

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Organize | Printables

Using a Home Management Binder and a Free Printable

By on April 13, 2017
 home management binder, homekeeping binder
A home management binder is not a new idea. However, it can be helpful to keep track of anything and everything home related. It helps to keep relevant information in one useful place that can be easily accessed and will be a valuable, go-to resource.
Using a binder, dividers, clear sheet protectors, and the items listed below, you can create a home management binder that you can tailor to your needs.
home management binder; homekeeping binder

What to Include in Your Binder –

  • Calendar – Keep track of what you need to complete during the week.
  • Schedules – A sheet that keeps track of your family’s appointments, practices, and school activities.
  • To Do – Your to-do list can be kept weekly, monthly or yearly.
  • Cleaning – A cleaning schedule that lists each task and the day that you complete it.
  • Finances – A bill tracker of bills that you have to pay and the dates that they are due.
  • Menu Planning – 
    • Meal Prep – Plan out your meal prep for the week. If you map out several weeks at a time, you can then rotate the weeks for a variation.
    • Favorite Recipes – To help with your food prep, keep your favorite recipes in your binder, so they are easily accessible.
    • Recipes to Try – A list of recipes that you would like to try. You can add them to your meal prep rotation.
  • Freezer Inventory – A list of what you have in your freezer so you can use things promptly.
  • Home Projects – A master list of the home projects that you want to complete.
  • School – Information about school for each of your kids.
  • Medical – Insurance information, medical and medication trackers for each of your family members.
  • Contacts – Contact information for friends, family, and neighbors.
  • Birthdays and Anniversaries – Important dates for your family and friends.
  • Website User Names and Passwords – A list of your usernames, passwords, and the email associated with the sites that you use.
  • Fitness Tracker – Track your fitness schedule and what you’ve completed each day.
  • Holiday Planner – Planning for an upcoming holiday for decor, meals, and gifts, if needed.
  • Blogging – A blogging planner and calendar of upcoming posts and stats for the blog and social media.

 Free Printable

To get you started, I’ve included a free weekly printable.  You can use it as your weekly calendar, keep track of your schedule, track your cleaning tasks, weekly menu planning, and things that you need to complete during the week. Click on the image of the weekly planner to take you to the download. Enjoy!

home, home management, home management binder, home binder

Utilizing a home management binder will help to keep track of anything and everything home related in one place. It will be a valuable, go-to resource that will help to keep you organized.

Until next time,
home management binder, homekeeping binder

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Organize

How to Efficiently Change Out Your Seasonal Clothing

By on April 10, 2017

seasonal clothing

Changing out your seasonal clothing can be a chore, but it doesn’t have to be. There are several easy things that you can do to make it easier to accomplish.

1. Keep year-round items as a mainstay in your dresser or closet.

Instead of changing out your lighter weight clothing, keep it in your closet or dresser year-round. Things such as t-shirts, lightweight sweaters, and pants should have a permanent home so they don’t need to be moved when your clothing is changed out.

2. Keep your seasonal clothing close at hand.

It may seem convenient to tuck your seasonal clothing away in clear totes and put them away in an unused closet or storage area. However, it makes it very difficult to easily access the items when you need them or you’re changing out your clothing. It is better to pare down your wardrobe so you have the essential items you need. That will also make it easier to change things out when it comes time to do so.

seasonal clothing

3. Keep a dresser for seasonal items.

If you have the space for it, keep your seasonal items in a dresser so you can easily access them throughout the year. When you’re planning a vacation to a different climate, you don’t want to have to dig through bins that you have stored away. It is easier to keep them in an area that is close at hand.

4. Utilize that cedar chest or cedar closet.

Many times, a cedar chest or cedar closet is under-utilized. It is a storage space for items that are not used frequently. Instead, use your cedar chest or cedar closet for your woolen items and heavy sweaters.

5. Take the opportunity to donate items.

If there is clothing that you haven’t worn in a while, take the opportunity to donate it. The items can be used by someone else, and you don’t have to move them with each season.

seasonal clothing

Utilizing the space that you have readily available is important to efficiently store and change out your seasonal clothing. Implementing some of the ideas that are listed can make it easier to accomplish.

Until next time,

seasonal clothing

 

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Clean

Creating a Cleaning Schedule That Works for You

By on April 6, 2017

clean, cleaning, cleaning schedule

In order to effectively tackle the cleaning that needs to be done each week, it’s helpful to have a cleaning schedule that helps you to reach your goals. It’s not easy to think about spending one of your days off to clean your entire home from top to bottom.

If you think about the items in your home that need cleaning, it’s easy to think about dividing them up to accomplish them. An item can be accomplished each day to give you the clean home that you are striving for. This will free up your day off for something that you want to do instead of something that you have to do.

clean, cleaning, cleaning schedule

Kitchen –

  • Clean the counters, sink, and appliances.
  • Run the dishwasher.
  • Change out the kitchen towels.
  • Clean the old food out of your refrigerator. It can go out on trash day.
  • Once a month, clean out your refrigerator and wipe down the shelves. Doing this will keep it looking and smelling fresh and clean.

Bathroom –

  • Clean the counters, sinks, and toilet.
  • Change out the towels.
  • Once a month, wash your shower curtain and bath mat.

Dust –

  • Dust all of the solid surface furniture within your home.

Floors –

  • Vacuum solid surface and carpeted floors.
  • Mop or steam clean solid surface floors.
  • Furniture, lampshades, ceiling fans, and vents should be vacuumed once a month to help keep the dust from accumulating.

Laundry –

  • Launder one load of clothing each day to help keep it from piling up.
  • Launder bedding once a week. If you want to save yourself time and effort, strip your bed, wash the sheets, and put them back on the bed. You can switch them out every two to three weeks.

 

clean, cleaning, cleaning schedule

 

One way to make cleaning more efficient is to put together a cleaning caddy so you can take items from one location to another. Using smaller bottles for sprayable items like vinegar, and a container that you can sprinkle baking soda from are also helpful.

What to Include in Your Cleaning Caddy

clean, cleaning, cleaning scheduleHaving a cleaning schedule can help you to complete the cleaning tasks that need to be done each week. Divide the tasks up by day to accomplish them and give you the clean home that you are striving for along with the time to do other things.

Until next time,

clean, cleaning, cleaning schedule

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Organize | Simplify

How to Remain Clutter Free

By on April 3, 2017

clutter free

Working to remain clutter free can be an overwhelming task. It certainly doesn’t have to be. There are several things that you can do to stay on top of the clutter.

Give all of your items a home.

One of the easiest ways to get overwhelmed with clutter is to have items that don’t have a permanent home. Everything in your world should have a place where it is stored. If it doesn’t, you need to question how important it is to you and what purpose it serves.

Spend 10-15 minutes each day tackling the clutter.

Take 10-15 minutes each day to stay on top of the clutter in your home. Put the items away in their respective homes. Taking the time to do this each day will save you time at the end of the week when you’re trying to take care of everything.

When an item comes in your home, another item must leave.

Just because the items that you have are organized does not mean that you should get more stuff. If an item comes into your home, another item should be leaving. When you buy that fabulous blouse that you just have to have, another item of clothing that you don’t wear as frequently should be removed out of your drawer or closet. Not only does this save space, but it also avoids having a cluttered mess that you have to contend with each day.

Donate, recycle, or toss items that no longer serve a purpose in your life.

If you have items that you are no longer using, consider donating, recycling, or tossing them. It doesn’t make sense to hang onto something that you are no longer using.

Doing these things can help you to stay on top of the clutter that invades your home. Working to pare down the clutter, as well as devoting time each day to stay on top of it will help you to remain clutter free.

Until next time,

clutter free

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Organize | Simplify

How to Declutter Your Personal Space

By on March 30, 2017

declutter, personal space

Clutter can be overwhelming. Especially, when you don’t have the time or motivation to take care of it. With this in mind, how do you begin to declutter your personal space? There are several things that you can do to start tackling the clutter in some of the most frequent problem areas.

declutter, personal space

1. Mail –

Mail needs to be sorted as soon as you get it. Taking a few minutes when the mail comes in saves hours of sorting through it again later.

  • Bills should be organized by the date they need to be paid so you can access them when that time comes.
  • Items that need immediate attention should be placed in a high visual area, so they don’t get lost in a sea of paperwork.
  • Items that include important dates need to be written in your planner or added to the calendar on your digital device.
  • Garbage needs to be placed in the trash can or shredded immediately. Hanging onto these items just adds to the clutter.

declutter, personal space

2. Clothing –

As tempting as it is to drop your clothes somewhere to take care of them later, it isn’t optimum when trying to declutter your personal space.

  • Clothing that can be worn again should be folded and put away or hung up.
  • Laundry should be immediately placed in your laundry basket or hamper.
  • Outerwear should be placed in your hall closet, on a hook, or in a bin.

3. Counters –

Counters are one of the first places that clutter ends up. Whether in your kitchen or laundry room, counters need to remain a clutter free zone. As easy as it is to think about taking care of something later, it often doesn’t happen.

  • Take care of items immediately and put them away in their appropriate spot.
  • Keep only the items on your counter that you use on a daily basis.
  • Avoid piling paperwork on your counter. It just creates an organizing headache later.

declutter, personal spaceSave yourself the stress and time of taking care of clutter, so it doesn’t become overwhelming. Tackling just a few problem areas can help you begin to get rid of the clutter for good.

Until next time,

declutter, personal space

 

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Simplify

How to Balance Your Work and Home Life

By on March 27, 2017

Life can be tricky to balance. How do you effectively accomplish what needs to be done each day? Taking some time, daily, to complete a few items can help with the overwhelm that the day can bring.

1. Create a morning routine

Starting out your day with a routine can help to get your day off to a good start. Whether this includes a good breakfast, your morning cup of coffee, or checking your email, a routine can begin your day in a positive way.

2. Create a nightly routine

Get ready for the next day by preparing for it. Make sure that your items for the next day are ready to go. Choose what you are going to wear, make your lunch, and make sure that you have all the items you need in one place can help with preventing a rough start the next morning.

3. Utilize your planner daily for both home and work activities

Although using a different planner for both home and work may seem like the best option, it makes it very difficult to see the overall picture of what each day is going to look like. Utilize a planner that has multiple sections for each day. There are several planners that come formatted this way. Erin Condren and The Happy Planner are two such examples. One section can be for your home activities, one for your work appointments and meetings, and one for things that you need to complete each day.

4. Clear the clutter

Before you end your work day, straighten up your desk and clear off items that don’t have a home there.  At home, take a few minutes to clean up the clutter each evening. Taking time to do this each day will help to start the next day with a fresh perspective.

5. Take time for yourself

This is the most important item on the list. Take some time for yourself to relax and mentally prepare for the next day. You don’t have to do anything in particular. Sometimes, taking five to ten minutes just to sit and relax is helpful.

balance, work, home

Taking time to complete the above items can help to create some balance in your work and home life. They help to get your day off to a great start and end on a positive note.

Until next time,

 

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Plan | Printables

How to Use Your Planner to Track Your Day and a Free Printable

By on March 23, 2017

 

planner, track day

Each day brings with it a number of things that need to be done. One way to get the most out of your day is to track specific items that you need to remember or complete.

What You Can Track in Your Planner

There are multiple things that you can track in your planner.

1. Cleaning – 

Instead of saving all of your cleaning tasks for the weekend, or your day off, schedule a cleaning task each day. At the end of the week, your house will be taken care of and your time can be spent doing other things.

2. Meals –

There are a couple of different ways that you can approach tracking your meals in your planner. You can plan out your dinner plans for the week, or you can track what you’ve had to eat each day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Either way, your planner is a great place to keep track of this.

3. Water Intake –

Are you struggling with getting enough water each day? Your planner can be used to track how much you are consuming to reach your daily hydration goal.

4. Exercise –

Whether you track what you are going to be doing each day, what you’ve done, or the time you’re allotting to complete it, your planner is a great place to make this happen.

5. Bills or Payments –

Keep track of your bills by writing the bill due in your planner or keep a monthly list of bills and the day that they are due.

planner, planner routine

6. Birthdays and Anniversaries –

You can keep track of the important dates in your life in a couple of different ways. You can write them in on the actual date or keep a perpetual calendar that you move from month to month.

7. Tasks –

We all have a list of items that we need to complete each week. Writing them down in your planner allows you to see the big picture and gives you the satisfaction of checking them off when they are complete.

8. Projects –

A project list could be an item that you plan out to completion or keep track of multiple items that need to be done.

9. Goals –

A planner is a great place to keep track of your goals. Keeping a record of your goals in your planner allows you to see them each day so you can work on obtaining them.

10. Gratitude –

Keeping track of what you are grateful for is an encouragement, especially when your day isn’t going exactly as planned.

Free Daily Planner Printable

If you’re looking for a daily planner to track your day, I’m offering this beauty for free. Just click on the picture of the printable, and it will take you to the download. Enjoy!

track, planner

Make your planner work for you each day. Keep track of the things that you need to do by writing them in your planner. Or, you can keep a running list that you house in your planner. Either way, you can effectively use your planner to track your day.

Until next time,

 

planner, track day

 

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