Plan

Life Happens Whether You Plan On It or Not

By on November 6, 2017

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My kiddos are all older, and one-by-one have been leaving the nest. A couple of weeks ago, my youngest son called and told me that his new job was going to be taking him four and a half hours from home. I knew that this was a possibility but, it still didn’t prepare me for the news. I started thinking about what we needed to do to make this move happen.

Immediately, we started planning and prepping for his move. We spent time right away finding a place for him to live. Thankfully, we found something within just a few days. He has been spending the weekends packing up his room. We wrote out a list of things that he needs and even bought items for his new place. The next month is going to be crazy. However, we also want to make sure that he can settle in his new home without any issues. He’ll be starting his new job just a few days after he moves. I’m thankful that things are falling into place for him.

My husband and I have often talked about moving to an area that’s within an hour or two of where my son will be living. Relocating has been a conversation that has taken place over the last few years. It’s not something that we decided on when my son told me that he was moving. I have to admit though; I would be happy to live closer to him rather than further away.

Life happens whether you plan on it or not. How can you manage things when life doesn’t go according to plan?

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1 | Breathe

Sometimes, it feels like life can knock the breath out of you. It’s important to take time to breathe and take care of one thing at a time, so you’re not overwhelmed.

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2 | Relax

With all that is going on, take the time to relax and take care of yourself. Indulge in a favorite pastime, read a book, listen to music or a podcast, or exercise to relieve the stress. A nap isn’t a terrible way to relax either. It helps you to recharge so you can take on whatever life is throwing at you.

life, unexpected

3 | Take things as they come

We often want to take care of everything at once, so it isn’t hanging over us. Instead, take each thing, one at a time, so that you can give it your best.

4 | Do what you can

We can’t do everything. Do what you can and don’t feel guilty if you don’t accomplish everything on your to-do list. I often take one day during the week to catch up on things. It makes me feel better when I devote the time to do that.

5 | Look for the good

There is always good in your life no matter how crazy things can be. Look for the good and take the time to savor and be grateful for it.

life, unexpected

Whether you plan on it or not, life happens. You can manage things when life doesn’t go according to the plans you have made. Take a breath, relax, and take things as they come. You’ll get there.

Until next time,

P.S. – Have you signed 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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Holidays | Plan | Printables

Planning for Christmas and a Free Printable

By on November 2, 2017

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It’s hard to believe that it’s already November. While my husband was handing out Halloween candy to our trick-or-treaters Tuesday night, I was ordering Christmas cards and the ornaments that we gift our kiddos each year. Planning things out helps me to approach each holiday or event with less stress because I know that things are ready to go.

I shared a Thanksgiving Planner Bundle a few weeks ago. Today, I’m sharing some ideas to plan for Christmas, as well as, a free Christmas Planner Bundle to help you with your planning for the holiday season.

Planning for Christmas

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1 | Christmas Cards

Order or pick up your Christmas cards now. By doing it sooner rather than later, it gives you the time to get your list together, write a note, and address them to send.

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2 | Simplify Your Decorating

I decorate for each season by changing out the top of the buffet in our kitchen, several hanging shelves in our bedroom and my studio office, and a few changes in our living room. I add to the winter decor by adding our tree, the manger set, and a bowl for our Christmas cards. Otherwise, I keep the Christmas decor quite simple and doesn’t take long to put out or away. The winter decor stays out until the next season change.

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3 | Set Up a Gift Wrapping Area

Trying to wrap all of your gifts at one time can be stressful. Instead, set up a gift wrapping station and wrap your gifts right after you purchase them or when time allows. You can then hide them or put them under the tree.

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4 | Take the Time to Make Memories

One of my kids’ favorite memories was going sledding on a large hill behind our home and then coming in for hot chocolate and cookies. Take the time to make memories no matter how busy the holiday season may get. Whether you bake cookies, drive around to look at Christmas lights, or spend time decorating the tree, make memories that will last a lifetime.

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5 | Create New Traditions

When my husband and I got married, we started a tradition of purchasing a Christmas ornament for each one of our kiddos to mark a special event during the year. We continue to do this each year.

Another tradition involves our extended family. We stopped buying Christmas gifts for each other several years ago. Instead, we do an ornament exchange. Each person brings an ornament and leaves with a new one for their tree. We make a game out of it, and it’s a lot of fun.

Christmas Planner Bundle

To help you start your planning for Christmas, I am sharing a Christmas Planner Bundle. The Christmas Planner Bundle includes a cover page, guest list, menu page, grocery list, cooking schedule, to-do list, table decor page, and traditions page. The traditions page can be used to document the customs that your family has each year. Or, you can use it to record the new traditions that you incorporated this year. Click on the image of the Christmas Planner to join and get access to your free bundle printable.

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Planning for a holiday or event helps you to approach it with less stress, and makes it more enjoyable. Download the Christmas Planner Bundle and get started on planning for the holiday today.

Until next time,

P.S. – Have you signed 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 | Printables

Five Steps to Plan Your Day and a Free Printable

By on October 9, 2017

plan, organize, daily planner

I plan out some of my days and others seem to plan themselves. When my days are scheduled, things seem to fall into place. When they plan themselves, I need a little extra help. Planning my day is a routine that helps me to feel productive and organized even when my day doesn’t feel that way.

There are five things that I do to plan out my day. Doing these things each day helps my day to run more smoothly.

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1 | Check Your Calendar

One of the first things that I do in the morning is to check my calendar. Doing this helps to give me a big picture of what my day entails.  My calendar is the tool that I use to keep track of everything that goes on during my day. Whether it’s an appointment, a phone call that I need to make, an email that I need to send, or a package that’s arriving; it goes on my calendar. I also choose my top priorities for the day. These items are non-negotiable, and I make sure to complete them before I turn in for the night. Typically, these are the items that I do first each day.

Takeaway – To help organize your day, choose a calendar that works for you whether it’s paper or digital. Knowing what to expect each day helps you to get your day off to a smooth start.

plan, organize, daily planner

2 | Check Your Email

Although I don’t spend much time on my phone first thing in the morning, I do take the time to check my email. Checking it allows me to see if there is anything immediate that needs my attention so I can add it to my calendar. Again, this gives me an overview of what I need to do each day.

Takeaway – Take the time to check your email each morning and add the action items to your calendar. If an email needs immediate attention, add it to your top priorities list.

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3 | Plan Out Your Day

After checking my calendar and my email each morning, I spend some time planning out my day. If I have an appointment in the morning, I schedule work items and things that I need to accomplish at home for the afternoon. Planning out my day usually takes about five minutes and gives me a big picture of how my day is going to flow.

Takeaway – Plan out your day, so you know when things are going to take place. Write down what your schedule is for the day and choose your top priorities.

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4 | Create a Nighttime Routine

At the end of each day, I check my calendar and my email one last time to see what I need to take care of the next day. It’s easy to talk yourself into doing one more thing, but it helps me to relax when I know what tomorrow is going to bring. I also take the time to determine what I’m going to wear in the morning. It’s one less step in the morning and gets the next day off to a better start. One last thing that I do before I turn in for the night is to take the time to journal my day. It helps me to put the day into perspective as I recall the events that have taken place.

Takeaway – Creating a nighttime routine allows you to look back on your day and prepare for the next one.

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5 | Take the Time to Relax

It’s important to schedule the time to relax. One of my favorite pastimes is reading, and I often do these each evening before going to sleep. Another hobby that I have started doing to relax is painting in watercolor. Each of these things is relaxing for me, and I look forward to doing one or both of them at the end of a long day.

Takeaway – Indulge in a hobby that you enjoy and make the time to relax each day.

Free Daily Planner Printable

To help you start planning your day, I am sharing a Daily Planner printable. Click on the image of the Daily Planner to join and get access to your free printable.

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Take the time to plan out each day. Planning your day out ahead of time will help you to feel productive and organized.

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Until next time,

P.S. – Have you signed 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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Holidays | Plan | Printables

Thanksgiving Traditions and a Free Printable

By on October 2, 2017

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It’s officially October which means that before we know it, Thanksgiving will be upon us. Preparing for the holidays takes time, and planning will help you to be sure that everything is just the way that you want it to be. Today, I am sharing Thanksgiving traditions we enjoy as well as a free Thanksgiving Planner Bundle.

Thanksgiving Traditions

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Food – When you think of Thanksgiving, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pie spring to mind. When my children were younger, we would also make cutout cookies. My boys loved frosting and decorating them with as many sprinkles as each cookie would hold. It was a tradition that I carried on from my own childhood and one that I hope to continue.

thanksgiving, traditions, thanksgiving traditions

Family – After dinner and before dessert, we spend time talking around the table. In order to add to the conversation, there is a conversation starter type question inside of the name cards at each spot. Our family is small enough that we can have each person at the table answer each question. It’s interesting to hear each person’s answers.

Thanksgiving Planner Bundle

To help you start your planning for Thanksgiving, I am sharing a Thanksgiving Planner Bundle. The Thanksgiving Planner Bundle includes a cover page, guest list, menu page, grocery list, cooking schedule, to-do list, table decor page, and traditions page. The traditions page can be used to document the customs that your family has each year. Or, you can use it to record the new traditions that you incorporated this year. Click on the image of the Thanksgiving Planner to join and get access to your free bundle printable.

**Look for a Christmas Planner next month to help you start on your Christmas planning.**

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Preparing for a holiday takes time and planning.  Download and use the free Thanksgiving Planner Bundle to get started. Then, create your own traditions that you will remember for years to come.

 

Until next time,

P.S. – Have you signed 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

Get Away by Planning a Day Trip

By on July 20, 2017

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Plan

How to Organize Your Next Gathering and a Free Printable

By on June 19, 2017

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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

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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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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.

meal planning, meal prep

 

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