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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Organize | Printables

Determine What Organizing Project To Do First

By on September 14, 2017

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Staying organized takes work and regular maintenance. Right now, I have a large pile of tote bags that needs attention. Organizing them will be my next project. The area, where I store them, is overflowing and it’s causing me frustration and stress, so I need to take care of them. I will need to purge the bags that I’m not using on a regular basis and reorganize the storage area for them.

Getting organized can be challenging, especially, when trying to decide what organizing project to do first. As much as you would like to tackle everything at once, it’s best to start small. This way, it’s not overwhelming for you. Not only will this help you to consider what your plan is for each space, but also help you to maintain the space once your hard work is complete.

Start with the area that frustrates you the most.

If the drop zone in your kitchen is what is most frustrating for you, start with that space.  If your closet floor has piles of clothes, start with the closet floor. We’re not talking about doing an entire kitchen overhaul, or a complete reorganization of your closet. You’re just looking at the one area that causes you the most stress and beginning with that first.

After you finish the first organizing project, move on to the area that’s the second most frustrating space for you. Again, you are not doing a complete overhaul. That will come later and in small steps. You are simply organizing the space to make it more workable and less stressful for you.

Come up with a system that works for you.

You will need to come up with a long-term plan to help maintain the organizational system that you have set up. Simply organizing something quickly to make it look pretty and not having a maintenance plan can cause the same stress and frustration to resurface when things get messy again.

organizing, project, organizing project

Completing your organizing project.

Create an action plan for the area.

Decide what purpose you want the area to serve. The items that have a home in that particular area should only be the items that you use in that area.

 

Empty the area or surface.

To get things organized, you need to clean out the area or clean off the surface completely. It’s much easier to start with a clean slate and sort through the items rather than to move things around while trying to organize them.

 

Purge items that you no longer use.

If you are no longer using an item or it doesn’t serve a purpose, you need to get rid of it. Whether you give it away or sell it, give it a new life in a new home. Getting organized becomes more difficult if you are just moving extra things around from one place to another. Simplify what you have, and organizing will become easier.

 

Sort the remaining items by putting like items together.

When organizing, it’s helpful to put like items together. Grouping similar items help to keep things organized over time because you know exactly where specific items belong.

 

Give everything a home.

Everything in your space should have a home where it belongs. If it doesn’t, you need to decide where it should be kept or whether you need it at all.

 

Purchase storage items, if needed.

Purchasing storage items should be one of the last things that you do when organizing a space. You don’t want to purchase something only to find out that you will not be able to use it. You want boxes and bins that will fit your space and your needs.

 

Label boxes and bins.

Labeling boxes and containers will not only help you to know what in each one, but will also let everyone know where things go each time you use them.

 

Leave extra space for new additions.

When organizing, it’s a good idea to leave a place for any new additions to the area. Leaving extra space will alleviate frustration later on when you’re trying to add something to a space that doesn’t have room.

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Organizing Plan Printable

To get you started with your first organizing task, I am sharing an organizing plan printable. Click on the image of the Organizing Plan to join and get access to your free bundle printable.

organizing, project, organizing project

In determining what organizing project to do first, it’s best to start small, so it’s not overwhelming for you. Choose the space that causes you the most stress and frustration and take care of it. Taking that first step will give you the peace of mind in the long run.

Until next time,

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 | 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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Organize | Printables

Creating a Recipe Binder and a Free Printable

By on July 31, 2017

recipe, recipes, recipe binder, cookbook

One way that we keep our favorite and most used recipes in one place is by storing them in a recipe binder. We have nicknamed it the Family Cookbook, and we use it nearly every day.

I’ve talked about how to use binders to keep essential items organized here. Depending on how extensive you want it to be, it is relatively easy to put together a recipe binder. Personally, I took the time to type out and print the recipes before I added them to the binder. Typing them out also makes it easier for me to make changes if needed, and to share them with others.

Recipe Binder Supplies 

  • Binder or photo album
  • Dividers for each category that should include some with pockets for items that can’t be punched to store in the binder. Personally, I use top loading sheet protectors and add tabs to them for each category.
  • Top loading sheet protectors to store recipes so you can easily remove them from the binder when you’re cooking. The sheet protectors will also keep your recipes splatter free.
  • Hole punch
  • Label maker

Recipe Binder Categories

I organized my recipe binder by categories and inserted the recipes in alphabetical order, so they are easy to locate.

  • Appetizers
  • Bread
  • Soups, Stews, Chilis
  • Salads
  • Main Dishes
  • Side Dishes
  • Casseroles
  • Breakfast
  • Dessert
  • Beverages
  • Holidays

Recipe Binder Free Printable

To get you started in creating your recipe binder, I am sharing a recipe binder bundle. The recipe binder printables include a cover page, category title pages, and a recipe page that can be printed out to write out your recipes. Click on the image of the Recipe Binder to join and get access to your free bundle printable.

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Gather your recipes in one, easy to access location by creating a recipe binder. It will keep all of your favorites organized, and when you’re cooking, it will be something that you turn to time and time again.

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Until next time,

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 | 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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Organize | Printables

Introducing the Home Management Binder

By on July 10, 2017

home management binder, home keeping binder

 

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. When you access the Home Management Binder Package, 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. I am hopeful that the printables are as helpful at keeping you organized as they are for me.

Until next time,

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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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Organize | Printables

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

By on April 17, 2017

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My organizing journey started just before I became a teenager. I went into my room one weekend and didn’t come out until it was completely cleaned and organized. Since then, I have strived to keep things organized and utilize the systems that we have put in place.

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

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

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

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

organizing, get started organizing

Your Organizing Journey

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

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

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

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

Free Printable

To get you started, I’ve included a free organization plan printable.  Click on the image of the Organization Plan to join and get access to your free printable.

 

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

Until next time,

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

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Organize | Printables

Using a Home Management Binder and a Free Printable

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

What to Include in Your Binder –

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

 Free Printable

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

home, home management, home management binder, home binder

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

Until next time,
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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