Organize

How to Efficiently Change Out Your Seasonal Clothing

By on April 10, 2017

seasonal clothing

 

Changing out my clothing each season used to be a chore that I dreaded. I had large totes that I stored the clothes in. The clothes for the most recent season would be moved into my closet and I would pack last season’s clothes back into the totes and haul them down to our basement level to store them. I was making more work for myself than I needed and eventually streamlined the process.

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,

P.S. – Keep in touch with Living a Simplified Life: Our email offers a behind the scenes look at the blog, and a peek at my personal life. It includes content and printables that you won’t find on the blog. As a thank you, you will receive a free Birthday and Anniversary printable download. Sign up to get our weekly emails, so you don’t miss anything.

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Clean

Creating a Cleaning Schedule That Works for You

By on April 6, 2017

Cleaning is a chore that needs to be completed each week. I used to put it off until the end of the week and then attempt to get it all done on Saturday. It wasn’t the most strategic way to approach it and cleaning all day left little time to do other things that I wanted to do.

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,

P.S. – Keep in touch with Living a Simplified Life: Our email offers a behind the scenes look at the blog, and a peek at my personal life. It includes content and printables that you won’t find on the blog. As a thank you, you will receive a free Birthday and Anniversary printable download. Sign up to get our weekly emails, so you don’t miss anything.

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Organize | Simplify

How to Remain Clutter Free

By on April 3, 2017

clutter free

One of my daily goals is to clear the clutter around our home before I go to bed each night. It is important to me to utilize the organizing systems that we have in place to complete this. I am able to rest easier knowing that I don’t have to face it the next day.

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,

P.S. – Keep in touch with Living a Simplified Life: Our email offers a behind the scenes look at the blog, and a peek at my personal life. It includes content and printables that you won’t find on the blog. As a thank you, you will receive a free Birthday and Anniversary printable download. Sign up to get our weekly emails, so you don’t miss anything.

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Organize | Simplify

How to Declutter Your Personal Space

By on March 30, 2017

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One thing that I struggle with is the clutter on our counter tops. They end up being a drop zone for anything and everything whether it belongs there or not. It can be rather frustrating dealing with it each day.

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,

P.S. – Keep in touch with Living a Simplified Life: Our email offers a behind the scenes look at the blog, and a peek at my personal life. It includes content and printables that you won’t find on the blog. As a thank you, you will receive a free Birthday and Anniversary printable download. Sign up to get our weekly emails, so you don’t miss anything.

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Simplify

How to Balance Your Work and Home Life

By on March 27, 2017

balance, work, home

As a former teacher, I often brought my work home with me. It was tricky to juggle the things going on at home with the school work that I needed to complete. As a result, things at home would be put off until the school work was completed. It was important to find a balance between my work life and my home life.

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,

P.S. – Keep in touch with Living a Simplified Life: Our email offers a behind the scenes look at the blog, and a peek at my personal life. It includes content and printables that you won’t find on the blog. As a thank you, you will receive a free Birthday and Anniversary printable download. Sign up to get our weekly emails, so you don’t miss anything.

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Plan | Printables

What to Track in Your Planner and a Free Printable

By on March 23, 2017

planner, track day

 

One item that I utilize on a daily basis is my planner. It tracks more than just the appointments on my calendar. I also use it to keep track of my daily cleaning task, dinner plans, water intake and my daily gratitude.

Since 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 Daily Planner printable to join and get access to your free printable.

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,

P.S. – Keep in touch with Living a Simplified Life: Our email offers a behind the scenes look at the blog, and a peek at my personal life. It includes content and printables that you won’t find on the blog. As a thank you, you will receive a free Birthday and Anniversary printable download. Sign up to get our weekly emails, so you don’t miss anything.

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Plan

How to Make a Planner Work For You

By on March 20, 2017

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How do you plan out your day? Do you keep a mental list in your head, or do you use either a paper planner or a calendar on your phone, that you use to schedule out your day?

I use a calendar on my phone for planning with my family, but when it comes to personal planning, I use a paper planner. This is a personal preference and what works best for me. It also allows me to add physical documents to it that need immediate attention. My current planner is from Me and My Big Ideas.

So, how can you make your planner work for you? How can you make the most out of your time?

plan, planner

Using Your Planner

1. Plan out your week beforehand.

The best way to tackle your week is to have an overview of what is happening each day. Plan out your week and take the time each evening to review your day and look at the next one.

2. Plan out your day in its entirety.

Many people look at their calendar and see only the appointments or meetings that they need to take care of each day. It’s also important to add in errands that you need to run, and other tasks, either at home or at work, that need to be completed. That way, you have a complete picture of your day.

3. Check things off throughout the day.

As simple as this task may seem, it is helpful to check things off in your planner as you finish them. Not only does it provide a visual cue, it also helps to give you a sense of completion.

4. Plan some time for yourself.

It is easy to look at your calendar and commit to something because there isn’t something already planned. You need to plan time to do what’s important for you and your family life. Taking the time to relax isn’t something that we often do and when we do, we often feel guilty about it.

Find a planner system that works for you and implement the ideas listed above. They will allow you to keep track of your schedule and to-do’s, as well as give yourself some much needed time to relax.

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Until next time,

P.S. – Keep in touch with Living a Simplified Life: Our email offers a behind the scenes look at the blog, and a peek at my personal life. It includes content and printables that you won’t find on the blog. As a thank you, you will receive a free Birthday and Anniversary printable download. Sign up to get our weekly emails, so you don’t miss anything.

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Simplify

How to Incorporate Hygge In Your Home

By on March 16, 2017

hygge

I am all about making our home a warm, comfortable, and cozy place to live in. This is especially true during inclement weather or when winter has the ground filled with snow. One way that I help to incorporate the cozy feeling that our home embodies is by utilizing hygge.

What is hygge? Perhaps, you’ve already heard of it. If you haven’t, hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is a Danish word, and one of its interpretations means cozy. It is an atmosphere that can be created by getting away from our busy life and enjoying the simple things. Whether there is snow on the ground or a thunderstorm raging outside, you can add hygge to your life year-round.

Adding Hygge to Your Home

  1. A Cozy Chair or Space –

    One of the main things you need is a cozy space to relax. Make it a comfortable chair or a small corner of a room.  It should be something that is warm and comfortable. If you have a fireplace in your home, light a fire and snuggle in to relax.

  2. Candle Light –

    Candlelight is an important feature. Lit candles immediately add light and warmth to the surroundings. Even during the warmer months, candles create a relaxing atmosphere.

    hygge

  3. A Hot Drink –

    Drinking a cup of hot tea or cocoa can be very relaxing. Make a cup of your favorite, hot beverage and enjoy.

  4. A Warm Blanket or Sweater –

    A warm blanket or sweater can help you stay comfortable. Even during the warmer months, it is nice to snuggle into one when the nights get cooler.

  5. A Good Book –

    Grab your favorite book or start a new one and enjoy some quiet time to snuggle in and read.

hygge

Taking time to unplug and relax can often be put off because life itself demands so much of our constant attention. Take an hour, or an afternoon to enjoy the simple things in your life.

Until next time,

P.S. – Keep in touch with Living a Simplified Life: Our email offers a behind the scenes look at the blog, and a peek at my personal life. It includes content and printables that you won’t find on the blog. As a thank you, you will receive a free Birthday and Anniversary printable download. Sign up to get our weekly emails, so you don’t miss anything.

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Simplify

How to Live a Simplified Life

By on March 10, 2017

Life can be busy sometimes. Today’s fast-paced lifestyle creates so much to do, and it seems that there is never enough time to do everything. The constant communication with digital devices can make it hard to unplug and relax, much less get everything done. So, how can we live a simplified life, so it’s not so overwhelming?

It’s important to re-evaluate our life and look at what’s essential. Listed below are a few ideas that you could start implementing today.

1. Take a digital device break.

With today’s digital devices, we are always plugged in.  It’s tempting to check the latest text, email, or social media post. It isn’t easy to take a break from our digital lives, but it’s essential to unplug so we can focus on what’s important.

2. Learn to say “no.”

It isn’t always easy to say “no” to someone when they ask you for something. Even though it might seem self-indulgent, it’s okay to say “no” if doing what has been requested means that you’re adding stress to your already busy life.

3. Spend quality time with family and friends.

In wanting to get things done, we often don’t have or take the time to spend quality time with family and friends. Take the time to sit and talk with your loved ones each day. Make time for some face to face time even if you just have a family dinner around the table or plan time for a get-together with friends.

4. Spend some time outside.

Nature can be the best medicine sometimes. Spending time outside and feeling the sun on your face, the smell of the flowers, and the sounds of nature that surround you. A beautiful day can change your mood for the better.

5. Light a candle.

Lighting a candle benefits us not only with the warm glow that it gives off but also with the scent that it has. Soy candles are clean burning and give off a great scent. Choose a scent that helps you to relax. Of course, we all know, never leave a burning candle unattended.

6. Just breathe.

If life becomes overwhelming, sometimes it helps to take a moment to breathe. Breathing slowly and deeply contributes to relaxing you when you’re in the midst of a stressful moment.

What other things could you add to your list to simplify your life, so it’s not so overwhelming? Take the time to implement one of the ideas or one of your own each day. With as busy as life can be, it’s important to take the time to create a simplified life.

Until next time,

P.S. – Keep in touch with Living a Simplified Life: Our email offers a behind the scenes look at the blog, and a peek at my personal life. It includes content and printables that you won’t find on the blog. As a thank you, you will receive a free Birthday and Anniversary printable download. Sign up to get our weekly emails, so you don’t miss anything.

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