Plan | Printables

Monthly Planning Bundle – October 2017

By on September 21, 2017

monthly planner, planner, calendar

The October 2017 Monthly Planner Bundle is now available. It can be used in combination with the Home Management Binder printables and will help to keep you organized and on track.

monthly planner, planner, calendar

The October Monthly Planner Bundle includes:

  • a cover page
  • dated planning pages for the month
  • a monthly calendar

Before the beginning of November 2017, I will add the next month’s dated weekly planner and the monthly calendar. You can download them, and print them off for your personal use.

You can join and access the October Monthly Planner bundle here. When you access the Monthly Planner, you will receive access to Living a Simplified Life’s Free Resource Library. You will also receive our weekly emails that offer exclusive content, more free Home Management Binder printables, and new free printables that you won’t find on the blog.

Until next time,

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Plan | Printables

Monthly Planning Bundle – September 2017

By on August 21, 2017

monthly planner, planner, calendar

Last month, I introduced the Monthly Planner Bundle. The September 2017 Monthly Planner Bundle is now available. It can be used in combination with the Home Management Binder printables and will help to keep you organized and on track.

monthly planner, planner, calendar

The September Monthly Planner Bundle includes:

  • a cover page
  • dated planning pages for the month
  • a monthly calendar

Before the beginning of October 2017, I will add the next month’s dated weekly planner and the monthly calendar. You can download them, and print them off for your personal use.

You can join and access the September Monthly Planner bundle here. When you access the Monthly Planner, you will receive access to Living a Simplified Life’s Free Resource Library. You will also receive our weekly emails that offer exclusive content, more free Home Management Binder printables, and new free printables that you won’t find on the blog.

Until next time,

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Plan | Printables

Introducing the Monthly Planner Bundle

By on July 24, 2017

monthly planner, planner, calendar

Two weeks ago, I introduced the home management binder. I refer to my planner multiple times a day and would be lost without it.  The Home Management Binder allows me to keep everything in one easy to access location. I am now introducing the Monthly Planning Bundle. The Monthly Planner, used in combination with the Home Management Binder printables, will help to keep you organized and on track.

The Monthly Planner Bundle includes:

  • a cover page
  • dated planning pages for the month
  • a monthly calendar

monthly planner, planner, calendar

monthly planner, planner, calendar

monthly planner, planner, calendar

monthly planner, planner, calendar

Before the beginning of each month, I will add the next month’s dated weekly planner and the monthly calendar. You can download them, and print them off for your personal use.

You can join and access the Monthly Planner bundle here. When you access the Monthly Planner, you will receive access to Living a Simplified Life’s Free Resource Library. You will also receive our weekly emails that offer exclusive content, more free Home Management Binder printables, and new free printables that you won’t find on the blog.

Until next time,

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Plan

Get Away by Planning a Day Trip

By on July 20, 2017

day trip, get away

One of my favorite things to do is to take a day trip. The hubby and I choose a place that we would like to explore, plan the day, and take off. We usually look for places that are an hour or two from home so we can spend a majority of our time enjoying what our destination has to offer.

Planning a vacation was the topic of a previous blog post. However, taking time off for a vacation isn’t always a possibility. A day trip is an excellent way to get away to relax and recharge without taking a lot of time off.

day trip, get away

Choose a Location

Choose a location that has something that you would like to see or do. Whether it’s a shopping destination, museum, historical site, sports game, or simply enjoying nature, there are plenty of new places to explore.

day trip, get away

Plan the Day

Before taking off for the day, the hubby and I choose where we would like to visit, and what we would like to do when we reach our destination. We also look for a local restaurant where we can dine. However, we don’t plan out the entire trip.

Some of the best memories are made when you’re being spontaneous. If you see a place that you would like to stop, do it. If you don’t reach your planned destination, it gives you a good reason to go back and visit.

day trip, get away

Make Memories

Take the time to make memories while you are enjoying your day trip. Pick up a souvenir, or take pictures throughout the trip. Add your itinerary, thoughts, and feelings of the day, along with the pictures you took, to a travel journal or scrapbook.

day trip, get away

When you don’t have the time to take a vacation, take a day trip instead. Take the day to relax and recharge while making new memories.

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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Plan

Planning for Your Next Vacation

By on July 17, 2017

        vacation, trip, getaway

My husband and I have spent the last few days on vacation. We have a favorite spot that we visit a couple of times every summer. It’s always good to get away and recharge.

Planning a vacation takes time, but the end result is definitely worth it. Taking the time away from everyday life is a welcome break. It’s helpful to take the time to rest and relax. What do you need to take into consideration while planning your next vacation?

 

vacation, trip, getaway

Choose a Location

Do you have a favorite place that you love to visit? Is there somewhere that you’ve always wanted to travel? Do you let adventure take you places?

Choosing a location to travel to can be one of the most challenging parts of planning a vacation. Researching your travel location online is helpful in planning your vacation. There are multiple travel sites that give relevant information and personal reviews. Taking these into consideration can help you have a successful vacation.

vacation, trip, getaway

What to Pack

Packing can be difficult especially when the weather is subject to change. Consider the forecast, and plan accordingly. Choose clothes for each day of your vacation and add a sweater or jacket just in case it’s needed. Staying somewhere that has a washer and dryer is a bonus.

If you have kiddos, you’ll need to pack their clothing, as well as packing for whatever they will need during the trip. Planning out and packing some activities for down times can be helpful to keep them occupied.

If you’re working during your vacation, consider what you will need. Will you need your laptop? Do you need your planner? Is there paperwork that you need to take with you? Plan out what you need so you’re not missing something while you’re away.

vacation, trip, getaway

Getting There

Whether you’re planning to drive, or flying is your choice of transportation, you need to plan out your route and purchase plane tickets if needed.

While driving to a vacation destination, my hubby and I like to stop at places that we would like to visit along the way. This gives us the opportunity to stretch our legs, and take in something new.

vacation, trip, getaway

Accommodations

What are your ideal accommodations? Do you like to stay in a hotel with amenities, or would you rather be on your own in a home style accommodation? Choosing where you stay is easy to research online. Look at the ratings that have been left by previous occupants. You should also consider the location of your accommodations in relation to what you are planning to do while you are on vacation.

vacation, trip, getaway

Meals

When traveling, my husband and I often find a small rental with a kitchen. We have found that preparing our own meals is cheaper than eating every meal in a restaurant. We do indulge in a couple of meals at restaurants. I like to find restaurants that are local to the area. You can often ask for recommendations from people that live or work in the area.

 

vacation, trip, getaway

Pets

We travel with our pets so pet-friendly accommodations are important to us. Make arrangements ahead of time to board your pets or engage a pet sitter. It’s important to take care of this as quickly as possible as quality kennels fill up quickly, especially on holiday weekends.

If you take your pets with you and have plans to go somewhere for an extended period of time, you may want to consider looking for a pet daycare in the area. This will allow you to enjoy your daily adventure without having to worry about your fur babies.

vacation, trip, getaway

Before You Leave

Before you leave home, take care of any cleaning and laundry that need to be done. Also, make a list of things you want to accomplish when you return home. Taking care of these items will make things less stressful when you return home. You will have enough to take care of with unpacking, laundry from your vacation, sorting your mail, and getting everything put away. You don’t need extra items to contend with when you walk through the door.

vacation, trip, getaway

When You Return

When you return from your vacation, make sure you find the time to print off your pictures and record your adventures. Whether you journal your trip or create a travel scrapbook, you then have a keepsake that you can use to reminiscence.

vacation, trip, getaway

 

The end result of planning a vacation is definitely worth it. It’s important to take the time away from everyday life to rest, relax, and recharge. Plan your next vacation, and enjoy!

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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How to Organize Your Next Gathering and a Free Printable

By on June 19, 2017

gathering, get-together, barbecue, plan

A family gathering is one of my favorite things to do. I love getting our entire family together for dinner. With a son in the military, we are able to get all of our kiddos together about once a year. I truly look forward to those times and want to spend my time talking and visiting rather than working to get a meal prepared and cleaned up.

The summer season is the perfect time for get-togethers consisting of barbecues, picnics, or bonfires. How can you organize your next gathering so you can spend more time socializing with your guests?

gathering, get-together, barbecue, plan

Plan Ahead

One way to get a jump start on organizing your gathering is to plan it out. Who is going to be invited? What types of food and drink will be served? With there be any decor to set the mood?

It’s much nicer to have everything ready to go so you can spend the day of getting ready and seeing just to the last minute details.

Using the free Gathering Planner printable below, you can start the planning to get your party going. The planner is two pages of planner goodness. Everything you will need to plan out the perfect gathering. Click on the image of the Gathering Planner to join and get access to your free download.

 

Keep It Simple

Keep your gathering simple so you can spend time with your guests. It will also allow for quicker clean up after everything is finished.

Choose foods with easy prep and don’t feel the need to make everything yourself. You can purchase items and add your own flare if you decide to.

Decor can be made up of things that you already have around your home. Glassware and candles can be set up as a centerpiece or in another prominent place where your guests will be mingling. Flowers also make a great addition to any setting. Use seasonal flowers that can be found at the store, garden center, or even in your yard.

gathering, get-together, barbecue, plan

Prep Ahead

Prep your food, set up your place settings and serving dishes, and decorate ahead of time so there is minimal work that needs to be done when everyone is together.

If it is a picnic or barbecue, many of the food items can be prepared ahead of time so that the only work that will need to be completed is grilling and setting out the food. That way you can spend more time visiting with your guests.

gathering, get-together, barbecue, plan

Plan a summer gathering and invite your family and friends. Once everything has been planned out and put into place, take the time to spend with your guests. Talk, visit, and make memories.

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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Plan

Making the Most of Your Summer

By on June 8, 2017

summer, summertime, summer activities

As a former teacher, I looked forward to being able to rest up and get things done during the summer. My husband works year round and I would spend the summers doing things around the house that were put off during the school year and needed work. To get ready for the new school year, I spent time planning out the new school year, lesson planning, rewriting curriculum, and attending training. Of course, we also spent a week or two on vacation.

Summer is a busy time of year. If you have kids, they may be little ones or have completed the school year, and the summer adventures begin. If not, you’re looking to get out and enjoy what summer has to offer. What activities can you do to make the most of your summer?

summer, summertime, summer activities

Get Outside

Swimming, bike riding, taking a walk, or starting a garden are activities that can get you outside during the summer months. Pick your favorite, or another outdoor activity, and enjoy the warm weather and the sunshine.

summer, summertime, summer activities

Read a Book

Whether fiction or nonfiction, summer sometimes offers lazy days that can be used to catch up on your favorite book or a book that you have wanted to read.

summer, summertime, summer activities

Farmer’s Markets

There are farmer’s markets throughout many areas. Take some time to go to one and soak up the atmosphere. Many farmer’s markets offer live music while you look around. You may even find some fruits or vegetables that would make a fresh addition to your dinner plate.

summer, summertime, summer activities

Garage Sales/Flea Markets

If looking for a bargain to use or repurpose is your thing, there are many garage sales, and flea markets to be found during the summer. It’s a way to add something new to your home without having to cost a lot of money.

summer, summertime, summer activities

Festivals

Whether a music festival is your jam or an arts festival is more your style, there are plenty of festivals to choose from during the summer months. Get out and enjoy your favorite.

summer, summertime, summer activities

Museums

Museums are often a low-cost way to spend the day. Pick your favorite and start exploring. You never know what you may learn in the process.

summer, summertime, summer activities

Baseball Game

Whether it’s a major league game or a minor league game, it’s fun to take in the game in person. There’s always a lot of action off of the field, as well. You can satisfy your taste buds with your pick of your favorite ballpark food.

summer, summertime, summer activities

Day Trip

Planning a day trip allows you to experience somewhere that you’ve never been or revisit a place that you love. Choose somewhere that you can get to in an hour or two and spend time exploring the area. A day trip doesn’t have to be expensive. Instead of buying a meal when you reach your destination, pack a picnic lunch and find a park to spread out and eat. There are plenty of things to see and do that don’t cost a lot. Figure out how much you want to spend, including gas, before your trip and stick to that budget.

summer, summertime, summer activities

Make the most of your summer by doing things that interest you. Whatever it is that you decide to do make sure to rest, relax, and enjoy all that summer has to offer.

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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Organize | Plan

Planning for a Move and a Free Printable

By on June 5, 2017

move, moving, plan, planning, organize, organizing

 

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.

move, moving, plan, planning, organize, organizing

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.

move, moving, plan, planning, organize, organizing

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.

move, moving, plan, planning, organize, organizing

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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Plan | Printables

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

By on April 20, 2017

meal planning, meal prep

My husband and I spend time during the weekend to plan and prepare meals for the week ahead. This is a system that works well for us and we continue to do it.

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 join and get access to your free printable.

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,

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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