Organize | Printables

Introducing the Home Management Binder

By on July 10, 2017

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I would be lost without my home management binder. It keeps all of my important information that I frequently access in one place. In looking for binder printables that would work for me, I eventually created printables that served my needs. Today, I’m sharing those free printables with you.

Choose the printables that you need from the Home Management Binder Package, and print them off at home. The size of the printables are 8 1/2 x 11, but they can be resized to fit your needs.

Home Management Binder Package

home management binder, home keeping binder

  • Cover page (2 title options)

home management binder, home keeping binder

  • Weekly Planner – undated (1-page and 2-page styles)
  • Cleaning Planner
  • To-do list
  • Home Projects list
  • Website/Passwords list
  • Contacts page
  • Shopping List

home management binder, home keeping binder

  • Meal Planner
  • Refrigerator/Freezer Inventory
  • Recipe page (keep track of your favorite or most used recipes)
  • Account Information page
  • Donations page
  • Home Maintenance page
  • Car Maintenance page
  • Medical Information page
  • Medication Tracker

home management binder, home keeping binder

  • Important Dates
  • Holiday Meal Plan page
  • Gift Ideas page
  • Fitness Planner
  • Meal Log page
  • Holidays page for 2017 and 2018

You can join and access the free Home Management Binder Package printables here. I am hopeful that the printables are as helpful at keeping you organized as they are for me.

Until next time,

P.S. – Keep in touch with Living a Simplified Life: Are you overwhelmed by the stuff in your life? Need some help getting started? Download my free Decluttering Tips and Checklist printables. You’ll also receive my weekly emails with even more content and printables that you won’t find on the blog. Sign up to get our weekly emails, so you don’t miss anything.

P.P.S. – Sign up for Living a Simplified Life’s Free Resource Library. By signing up, you not only get access to our Resource Library, but you will also receive our weekly emails that offer exclusive content and more free printables that you won’t find on the blog.

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Get Things Done When You Feel Like Procrastinating

By on June 26, 2017

procrastinate, overwhelm, organize, progress, accomplishment

Procrastinating has taken over at our home. Earlier this year, we cleaned out my Mom’s home. Some of the items were things that I chose from the estate to add to our own home. We are storing furniture in the lower level of our home for our boys. They will take it with them when they move into their own homes later this year. There are also files and memory boxes that we will need to sort through eventually. There are more items that have been added to our already long to-do list and it has become overwhelming.

When you are overwhelmed, it is easy to procrastinate. There are always other things that need to be done, and it’s easy to put off the things that are just waiting for you to take care of them. How can you get things done when you feel like procrastinating?

procrastinate, overwhelm, organize, progress, accomplishment

Make a List

No, it’s not the neverending to-do list that you normally keep.  Make this a short list of the items that need to be completed. Keep this list to only two to three items. You don’t want to be overwhelmed by the length of the list. Number the items according to the order of importance that you want to complete them.

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Tackle One Thing at a Time

It’s important to focus on one item at a time. Start with item number one and once that is complete, you can think about completing item number two. It’s easy to want to get everything done at one time. Realistically, though, we know that isn’t going to happen. It’s better to focus on one task at a time rather than spreading ourselves too thin by tackling everything at once.

procrastinate, overwhelm, organize, progress, accomplishment

Break Things Down Into Manageable Steps

Once you have determined what task, to begin with, you need to break that task down into manageable steps. Procrastinating takes place when the steps are too large to handle and you don’t feel like you have the time to complete what you have set out to do. Consider the amount of time that you have to complete each part of the task, and plan accordingly.

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Celebrate Your Progress

Even if your progress is a small victory, take the time the to celebrate it. Indulge in some me-time whether it’s just relaxing or spending time doing something that you love. This not only rewards your efforts, it also helps to motivate you to continue.

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It is easy to procrastinate when you are overwhelmed. Instead of putting things off, make a list of what needs to be done, choose one item to complete, and break that item down into manageable steps. You’ll feel so much better when your list of items is complete instead of hanging over you.

Until next time,

P.S. – Keep in touch with Living a Simplified Life: Are you overwhelmed by the stuff in your life? Need some help getting started? Download my free Decluttering Tips and Checklist printables. You’ll also receive my weekly emails with even more content and printables that you won’t find on the blog. Sign up to get our weekly emails, so you don’t miss anything.

P.P.S. – Sign up for Living a Simplified Life’s Free Resource Library. By signing up, you not only get access to our Resource Library, you will also receive our weekly emails that offer exclusive content and more free printables that you won’t find on the blog.

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Organize | Plan

Planning for a Move and a Free Printable

By on June 5, 2017

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My husband and I have talked about downsizing after our kiddos move out on their own later this year. The idea of packing everything up and moving it is overwhelming for sure.

Moving is a word that you either think of with excitement for the new journey ahead or dread because of the massive amount of planning and packing that you need to accomplish. Either way, the task ahead may seem daunting. How can you make your move go more smoothly?

It’s easy to get into the mindset of throwing it all into boxes and dealing with things after the move. It may be easier on the front end, but frustrating when you’re trying to unpack and set up your new home. Nobody wants to spend hours looking for the silverware. Even if you don’t have a lot of time, there is a way to plan your move and pack your items, so things go more smoothly once your move is complete.move, moving, plan, planning, organize, organizing

Planning Your Move

Planning and organizing your move is essential to helping things run smoothly. You should begin doing this as soon as you make the decision to move. Start by downloading and printing the free printable below and add the tasks that you need to complete. Click on the image of the Moving Planner to join and get access to your free printable.

Arrange the Move

Whether you hire a mover or opt to do it yourself, you need to arrange the date and moving company for your move. Once you have that set, you can prepare for the move itself.

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Pick Up the Items You Need

Using your moving planner, make a list of the things that you need to get to help your move go more smoothly. Things such as boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, and tissue or newspaper to wrap your fragile items are needed. Permanent markers are also helpful when marking boxes, so they are easily visible.

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Pack Up Your Things

While packing up your home, pack like items or items from a particular room together. For example, it is evident when packing up kitchen or bathroom items to pack the items in the same boxes. However, when it comes to items that are decorative, you can pack the items together in several boxes or put the decorative items from one room into a box so they can go into the bedroom in your new home.move, moving, plan, planning, organize, organizing

Label and List

When you pack up your things, take the time to create a list of what is in each box. Creating a list may seem time-consuming, but it will save you much frustration later on. You can label the boxes with a room name and a number that corresponds to a page number in your list, or you can attach the list to the box itself. If you choose to do the latter, make sure that you cover the list completely, so it doesn’t fall off or get damaged during the move.

Purge Unused Items

Moving is the ideal opportunity to purge items that won’t fit into your new home or are no longer being used. You can either give away or donate things that won’t make the move. Doing this while you are preparing to move is better than moving the items and having to deal with them after you move.

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Whether moving is your jam or you dislike even the thought of moving, it’s important to plan and prepare to make you move go smoothly. When moving, take the time that you need to create a seamless transition from one home to the next. It will be worth it in the end.

Until next time,

P.S. – I need your help. Could you take a couple of minutes and fill out a quick survey about our blog, Living a Simplified Life? Thank you so much! I truly appreciate it. You can access the survey here.

P.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 Decluttering Tips and Tricks printable and a Decluttering Checklist printable. Sign up to get our weekly emails, so you don’t miss anything.

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Keeping Things Fair When Dividing Up an Estate

By on June 1, 2017

My family recently had to divide up my parents’ belongings so their home could be listed and sold. It was a long and stressful process especially when most of the work happened on the weekends after working all week.

At some point, you may have to sort through a loved one’s home to settle an estate or obtain the financial means necessary to care for a family member that’s in long-term care. It’s not an easy or quick process especially when memories are attached to many of the items. It also becomes more increasingly difficult when multiple siblings or family members are also vying for the same pieces with memories of their own. Is there an easy way to approach this? Not necessarily. There are some ways that you can make the task more tolerable for everyone.

estate, family, dividing assets

Determine a fair and equitable system

Before you begin, establish a system of dividing the items that everyone believes is fair. Dividing items will become increasingly more challenging with things that are in contention. Determining your method of attack ahead of time can help alleviate hurt feelings that could happen during the process.

estate, family, dividing assets

Hire an appraiser

One way to keep things fair is to hire an appraiser to give you a value estimate of specific items. The higher priced items can be chosen from at one time, or put in a group with other like items. It will also help when it comes time to record the things that you have taken from the estate, along with their value. Jewelry items will most likely need to have a separate appraisal.

Group like items

Grouping like items together before you choose allows you to see everything that’s there and make your choice(s) accordingly. Instead of grouping all Christmas, ornaments, and cookie cutters together, do the Christmas items in one group, the cookie cutters in a second group and the ornaments in a third group.estate, family, dividing assets

Take turns picking

If your sibling/family member picks first on one group of items, they will move to the end of the rotation on the next group of things. Taking turns allows all siblings or family members to have an opportunity to choose first, second, third, etc.

estate, family, dividing assets

Keep track of your items

It is important that you keep track of the things that you take from the estate along with their value. If the appraiser didn’t value an item, you could look it up online to see what it the value is. Keep a record of the items as you get them, so you remember what you have, and it isn’t an overwhelming task once everything is complete. When the estate is settled financially, you can equal out the amount for everyone based on the monetary value of the items they took.

estate, family, dividing assets

 

Sorting through and dividing up an estate is not an easy task. It also becomes more increasingly difficult when family members are vying for the same pieces. Work from the beginning to keep things as fair and equitable as possible, so there aren’t hurt feelings in the end.

Until next time,

P.S. – I need your help. Could you take a couple of minutes and fill out a quick survey about our blog, Living a Simplified Life? Thank you so much! I truly appreciate it. You can access the survey here.

P.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 Decluttering Tips and Tricks printable and a Decluttering Checklist printable. Sign up to get our weekly emails, so you don’t miss anything.

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How to Keep Your Vehicle Organized

By on May 22, 2017

vehicle, car, organization

I used to spend over an hour in my car for the commute to and from work each day. I know that is short compared to some of the commutes that people have. My vehicle had to include everything that I may need for the drive and then what I would need personally while I was away from home each day.

Our vehicle often acts as an extension of our home. With our busy lives, the car not only serves as transportation but also as a place to eat, and work. As a result of its constant use, our vehicle can get rather messy and cluttered. How can we keep our car organized, so it doesn’t get out of control?

Confine the Garbage

One of the most important things to have in your vehicle to maintain the mess is a trash bag or container. If you have kids, you could have one in both the front and back seats. By utilizing the trash bag, the garbage will not end up on the floor which will help tremendously in keeping your car clean and mess free.

Glove Compartment

The glove compartment should not be the space to stash all of your receipts. Instead, use it for it to hold necessities such as band-aids, a nail kit, and a small sewing kit. These items aren’t something that we always carry with us, but they are sometimes needed when we’re away from home.

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Center Console

If you have a center console in your vehicle,  you can use it to store items, and only items, that you would need on the road. A box of kleenex, a small flashlight, a multitool, a small multi-head screwdriver, tire gauge, change for meters, tolls or a cheap purchase, and your registration and insurance.

vehicle, car, organization

Back Seat

There are multiple things that you may need throughout the day. You can use a tote or basket in the back seat to keep these items contained. It could simply be your work tote that houses these items. If you don’t carry a work tote, create a space that could accommodate a basket or bin to keep the things you need in one spot and not rolling around your back seat.

vehicle, car, organizationTrunk

You can also keep a small bag or container in your trunk to house the items that you might need. A fabric shopping bag, umbrella, travel blanket, a travel pillow, and jumper cables are things that you could use on a fairly regular basis. If you live in a climate that experiences snow in the winter, keeping a brush/scraper, snow boots, socks, and an extra jacket could be helpful if you were to get stranded. The blanket would come in handy here, as well. You could have a separate bag or bin that you keep in your vehicle in the winter and could take it out during the warmer months.

vehicle, car, organization

To keep your vehicle clutter-free, it’s important to only keep essential items in it. The more items you have, the more likely it is for the clutter to get out of control. By keeping only the things you need, in a clearly defined space, you can keep your vehicle organized and clutter-free.

Until next time,

P.S. – I need your help. Could you take a couple of minutes and fill out a quick survey about our blog, Living a Simplified Life? Thank you so much! I truly appreciate it. You can access the survey here.

P.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 Decluttering Tips and Tricks printable and a Decluttering Checklist printable. Sign up to get our weekly emails, so you don’t miss anything.

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Making an Organizing Drop Zone Work for You

By on May 18, 2017

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After a long day, it’s often difficult to find the time or the energy to keep things in your home organized. In our home, we use organizing drop zones to help corral the clutter until we have the opportunity to take care of the items during our daily decluttering session.

What is an organizing drop zone? An organizing drop zone is a place where your items land, or are dropped before you take the time to put them away. The purpose of a drop zone is not a permanent storage solution, but a temporary holding space.

There are several drop zone areas within your home where things seem to land whether we want them to or not. So, how can you make an organizing drop zone work for you?

organizing drop zone, organizing, clutter free

Main Entry

Your main entry, whether the front door or back door, is the first place that you land when you get home. The first thing on your mind isn’t always putting away your things. It’s getting dinner on the table or taking care of your kiddos. By creating a drop zone, you have a place for these items until you have the opportunity to take care of them.

A drop zone in the main entry could be a table, chair, or bench where you set you your things once you get home. By taking the time to clear the clutter each day, you are preparing for the next day by making sure that everything is set to go.

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Kitchen Counters/Table

The kitchen counters are a notorious drop zone for all things clutter. You can corral the chaos by placing a basket on the counter to act as your drop zone. Again, this is not a permanent storage solution, but a temporary holding space. It is important that you go through the basket each evening during your decluttering session.

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Office Desk

The desk area is another space where you could use a basket. Place it on the side of the desk, and it can hold the paper clutter in one spot until you take care of it. This is one area where you can utilize the drop zone for up to a week before the items need to be sorted through. You can take care things in the basket while you are taking care of your weekly bills and paperwork.

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Closet

Closets are their own drop zones. Clothes often end up somewhere other than where they belong, and the closet can quickly get out of control. Taking care of your clothes by putting them away or into the laundry basket can help to clean up this drop zone quickly and easily. You can easily take care of this during your decluttering time each day.

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Stairs

If you have stairs in your home, very often clutter can take over. A basket or bin by the stairs can act as your drop zone until you take care of it. If you have children, you could have a separate basket or container for them. You could also have a bench that opens to house the drop zone. You can designate different baskets or bins for each family member, and the clutter will remain out of sight until you take care of it.

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Maintaining Your Organizing Drop Zone(s)

It’s important to remember is to take the time each day to remove the clutter from the drop zones. It gives you a fresh start the next day without the clutter becoming overwhelming. By utilizing and maintaining your drop zones, you can help to keep your home organized and clutter free.

Until next time,

P.S. – I need your help. Could you take a couple of minutes and fill out a quick survey about our blog, Living a Simplified Life? Thank you so much! I truly appreciate it. You can access the survey here.

P.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 Decluttering Tips and Tricks printable and a Decluttering Checklist printable. Sign up to get our weekly emails, so you don’t miss anything.

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How to Use Binders to Stay Organized

By on May 15, 2017

binder, binders, home management binder, homekeeping binder

The organizing system that I use in our home consists mostly of binders rather than files. The binder that I use regularly is a home management binder. Both my home management binder and the other binders I utilize keep all of the information that I need on a regular basis easily accessible and at my fingertips.

Using a home management binder can be helpful in keeping your daily life organized. I previously wrote about utilizing one in a previous post entitled, Using a Home Management Binder. This system works well, but sometimes the amount that you need to include in your binder can cause it to burst at the seams. That’s where multiple binders come into play to help organize your important and frequently accessed paperwork.

Using binders to organize your life saves you time from having to dig through the filing cabinet. The binders can take up residence in the room that they are being used in most frequently. How can you use binders to help you stay organized?

Binder Supplies 

  • Multiple binders in various sizes depending on what you’re storing in the binder. I like to choose different colors in a variety of sizes so that I know what I’m reaching for by the color and size.
  • Dividers should include some with pockets for items that can’t be punched to store in the binder.
  • Top loading sheet protectors for important documents that you can’t punch or to use a dry erase cover for binder pages that you use daily or weekly (daily planner; cleaning schedule; menu planner).
  • Hole punch
  • Label maker

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Home Management Binder

  • Yearly Calendar –  An overview of the entire year.
  • Weekly Planner – Keep track of what you need to complete during the week.
  • 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. You can also keep seasonal cleaning lists of things that need to be completed around your home.
  • Home Projects – A master list of the home projects that you want to complete.
  • Contacts – Contact information for friends, family, and neighbors.
  • Website User Names and Passwords – A list of your usernames, passwords, and the email associated with the sites that you access for personal use.

meal planning, meal prep

Menu/Recipe Binder

  • Shopping List – A list of what you need to purchase for your weekly meal plan.
  • 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.
  • Kitchen and Freezer Inventory – A list of what you have in your pantry and freezer so you can incorporate items into your weekly meal plan, and use things promptly.

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Finance/Budget Binder

  • Bills/Stamps – Store the bills that need to be paid in a pocket divider along with a book of stamps so you can send them out when you need to.
  • Bill Tracker/Checklist –  Bills that you have to pay and the dates that they are due. Check them off as you pay them each month.
  • Account Information – Your bank account information and the account information for the bills that you pay each month.
  • Debt Management – If you are paying down your debt, keep track of your debt payoff so you can see your progress.
  • Donations – Donations that you make each year, along with the receipts.
  • Expense Tracker – Your daily/weekly/monthly expenses.
  • Legal Documents – Copies of legal documents such as your will, power of attorney, loan documents, and safety deposit box information. (The originals should be kept in a safe location such as a fireproof safe.)
  • Property Records – A copy of your mortgage, deed, and property tax information. (The originals should be kept in a safe location such as a fireproof safe.)
  • Retirement Planning – Information about your retirement plan and login information for easy access.
  • Tax Information – When it’s tax time, don’t go searching for all of the documents and receipts that you need. If you keep them in your binder, they will be easy to find when you need them.

Manuals/Warranties Binder

  • Manuals and Warranties – Keep these in the binder along with receipts of purchase and receipts of any work that has been completed. Heavy duty top-loading sheet protectors can be used to store the manuals.
  • Car Maintenance Log – Keep a log of the maintenance on each of your cars.
  • Home Maintenance Log – Keep a log for the maintenance that you have done on your home.

Medical Binder

(Keep a section for each of your family members.)

  • Insurance Information – Copies of insurance cards/information.
  • Medical Information – List of doctors, medical conditions, surgeries, and other medical histories.
  • Health Tracker – If a member of your family has an ongoing medical condition, track their health each day.
  • Medication Trackers – List of medications and what they’re for, dosages, and refill dates.

Birthdays and Anniversaries Binder

  • Important Dates – A page that lists the birthdays and anniversaries for your family and friends.
  • Cards – Either keep a small stash to send out or buy cards for the month and store them in the dividers with pockets. You can have one divider per month.
  • Contact Information – A list of personal contact information that includes addresses of those you would send the cards.
  • Stamps – Keep a book of stamps in your binder so you don’t have to search for them when you need them.

Holiday Binder

  • Holiday Date Page – A printout of the dates for the yearly holidays.
  • Decor – Plan out your decor for the upcoming holiday along with the dates of when you are going to decorate and put things away.
  • Meals – A detailed plan of what you’re planning for your holiday meal, along with the recipes that you will need, and a guest list.
  • Gifts – A list of who you are buying for, gift ideas, sizes, and order information.

Fitness Binder

  • Fitness Schedule – Track what your goals are and what you’ve completed each day.
  • Water Tracker – Make sure that you are getting enough water each day.
  • Measurement Info – Keep your measurements so you can track your fitness progress each week.
  • Food Journal – A journal of your meal plan and what you’re eating each day.

School Binder

(Keep an entire binder or a section in one binder for each of your kiddos.)

  • Information from school – Keep information from the school, and your child’s teacher(s), including website information, and class syllabi, so it is easy to access.
  • Schedule – A sheet that keeps track of your kid’s practices, and school activities.

Blog Binder

  • Blogging Content Planner  – Plan out your posts using a content planner to detail your ideas. You can also brainstorm future blog post ideas.
  • Editorial Calendar – Track your upcoming posts and stats for your blog and social media posts.
  • Income and Expenses – Separate pages for your blog and business expenses and income.
  • User Names and Passwords – A list of the usernames and passwords associated with your blog and business.
  • Contacts – A list of business contact information.
  • To-Do List – A list of items that you need to accomplish, or goals that you would like to achieve.

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Multiple binders can help you organize your important and frequently accessed paperwork. Determine what binders will work for you and put them together to help keep important items easy to access.

Until next time,

P.S. – I need your help. If you could take a couple of minutes and fill out a quick survey about being organized and Living a Simplified Life, I would be truly appreciative. Thank you so much! You can access the survey here.

P.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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How to Put Together a Work Tote That Works for You

By on May 11, 2017

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A work tote can be essential if your job takes you outside of the home. When I was teaching, I carried a tote back and forth every day. I need to be sure that I had everything that I needed for the work day. My latest tote was a rolling backpack that did the job but didn’t cause undue stress on my shoulders and back.

Whether you work at a job outside of the home or work from home, you often need a work tote to carry all of your daily necessities. Putting together a work tote is a personal experience based on your needs. You don’t want to carry too much as it will get heavy after carrying it for a while. However, you also need to consider what you will need during the day while you are away from home. How can you make your work bag work for you?

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Laptop or Digital Device

Much of our daily work lives are connected to a laptop or digital device. Your work tote should have room to carry it if this is something that you need to use each day.

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Notebook or Journal

There are times when you need to jot down information that is necessary later. Carrying a small notebook or journal can keep everything in one place so you can refer to it later.

Working File

If you have items that you carry back and forth with you between work and home, you may want to consider getting a heavy duty file or file system that can hold them. This way, they will not get ruined in transport.

Small Bag with Personal Items

Consider what your needs are throughout the day. Pack a small bag with personal items such as lip balm, and a nail file/kit. Tailor your bag to what you use on a daily basis. Personally, I also carry essential oils, so I have them when I need them.

Bag with Office Essentials

Carry your favorite pens, highlighters, and sticky notes with you in another small bag. You can also add electronic accessories that you will need such as a phone or laptop charger.

Umbrella

Sometimes the weather makes a change during the day. Be prepared by carrying a small travel umbrella in your bag, so it’s there if you need it.

work bag, work tote, tote

Putting together your work tote is a personal experience based on your needs. Choose a bag that you like, and that works for you, and consider what you will need during the day. Make your work bag work for you.

Until next time,

P.S. – I need your help. If you could take a couple of minutes and fill out a quick survey about being organized and Living a Simplified Life, I would be truly appreciative. Thank you so much! You can access the survey here.

P.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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How to Run a Successful Garage Sale

By on May 8, 2017

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When the weather begins to warm up, thoughts start to turn to garage sales. There are so many that pop up around town; in particular on the weekends. Attending a garage sale is easy; you find the garage sales that you want to visit and stop in to see what type of treasures it holds for you. Holding a garage sale is an entirely different matter. It takes hours to set up because you need to organize and price items, so you are ready for sale day. There are several things that you can do to make your garage sale run smoothly.

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Start with an online pricing guide.

There are several pricing guide options if you search for them online. Pricing guides help to give you a gauge for pricing your items. Knowing what to price each item can take quite a bit of your time if you aren’t sure what to ask for it. There is a garage sale pricing guide here that is rather comprehensive.

garage sale, yard sale, salePrice all of your items.

You should price all of your items, so customers don’t have to ask you what something costs. If there is a line, people will often avoid it and leave instead of waiting to ask you. If you have similar items, a well-placed sign will work just as well as marking each of the items individually. Keep in mind that people will haggle the price. If there are items that you don’t want to sell too cheaply, increase the asking price by about 15%-20%, knowing that the sale price will probably end about where you want it to.

Organize items by item type.

Just like in a store, items should be placed by item type, so they are easy to find. You certainly wouldn’t look for kitchen items in the hardware department. Keep your customers in mind as you set things up as to how they will shop your sale.

Greet your customers.

It’s helpful to greet your customers with a “hello” and a smile. People are more willing to talk to you about sale items if they perceive you as friendly and welcoming rather than cold and distant.

Don’t make customers dig for sale items.

It is best to display your items, if at all possible. Sometimes, due to space, you need to put items in boxes or bins. If this is something you need to do, make sure that you group like items by type in each box or container. Also, don’t make customers dig for sale items. It will deter them from wanting to buy things if they can’t see what you have to offer.

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Ensure that you have the money to make change for customers.

Before the garage sale, make sure that you get coins and smaller bills to make change for your shoppers. You don’t want to be given a larger currency and not be able to finalize the purchase because you can’t give them change. A calculator is also helpful to add up the purchases and make accurate change.

garage sale, yard sale, saleHave a stash of bags to put the sold items into after the sale.

If a customer buys multiple items, you can’t expect that they will be able to carry them out without help. Having a stash of bags will contain the items so they can easily carry them to their car. Smaller boxes will also help with some of the bigger items. Keep newspaper, tissue, or smaller paper bags on hand to wrap more delicate items so they don’t break.

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A garage sale is a good way to eliminate some of the items from your home while also making some money in the process. Implementing the above items can help ensure that your garage sale will run more smoothly. Set it up, get ready to go, and open your doors for business. You’ll be a garage sale pro in no time.

Until next time,

P.S. – I need your help. If you could take a couple of minutes and fill out a quick survey about being organized and Living a Simplified Life, I would be truly appreciative. Thank you so much! You can access the survey here.

P.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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How to Keep Your Home Office or Studio Organized

By on May 1, 2017

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After our children started to move out on their own, I was fortunate enough to claim one of their rooms for a studio office. I have been able to add my own personal touch and make the space truly my own. I spend a lot of time in my studio office and I wanted something that was warm and inviting especially since many hours of my day are spent in there.

If you have a designated home office or home studio, you are indeed lucky. Even if you just have a corner that is an office or a studio (craft) space, it is important to stay on top of keeping it organized, so it doesn’t become a dumping ground. You can also add your personal touch. So, how do you keep your home office or studio organized? Let’s start with some basics.

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 Filing System

Create a designated space, within your work area, for papers that need immediate action. This could be a small file box or a folder that houses these items.

Establish a larger filing system for papers you need to keep, but won’t access every day. This could be a file drawer in your desk or a filing cabinet. Either way, have a designated spot to store important papers that you will need to access later.

Home Management Binder

In another post, Using a Home Management Binder, I spoke about the items to keep in a home management binder. This should be your go-to for the important information that relates to you, your family members, and your household. Keeping this information in one place saves you the time searching for it later.

Label Maker

If you haven’t taken the plunge to purchase a label maker, you may want to consider it. It keeps your files and other items that need to be labeled looked clean and streamlined. There is multiple colored label tape that you can purchase to add a pop of color to your files and other items.

Bookshelves

A bookshelf isn’t just for books. You can use it to store items, as well as add your own personal touch to your space with decorative items.

Alternative Storage

Bins, baskets, and other containers can be helpful in storing smaller items that need a home. That doesn’t mean that they should be stuffed with all of the things that you want to hide or deal with later. Instead, use each one for a specific item. A few categories could be: notecards, envelopes, office supplies, and notebooks, to name a few.

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Infuse Your Own Style

It’s your space, so infuse your own personal style. Add a fun pen/pencil holder, funky file folders, or a fun planner. You could also add some of your own personal items for a fun and unique touch.

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Keeping your home office or home studio organized makes it much more pleasant to work in without all of the added clutter. Personalize your space to make it your own and don’t be afraid to make adjustments to it if something isn’t working for you. Overall, enjoy the space that you have created.

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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