Holidays | Organize | Printables

Holiday Organization and a Free Printable

By on October 16, 2017

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If I’ve calculated correctly, there are just 37 days until Thanksgiving and 70 days until Christmas. Not that I’m counting. Cue, laughter. Autumn is the time of year when I start to think about what I need to do for the upcoming holidays. This way, I can plan and take care of items when I have the time over the next couple of months.

It’s helpful to organize things ahead of time, for the holidays, so things go more smoothly. In a previous post, I shared a Thanksgiving Planner Bundle that will help you plan for it. However, what else can you do to prepare for the upcoming holidays, especially if you’re hosting?

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1 | Organize Your Space

When I say organize your space, I don’t mean a complete overhaul. Leading up to the holiday season is not the time to reorganize your entire home. Organizing your space should include those areas that you are going to be using the most while celebrating the holidays. For example, when we entertain, we use our living room, kitchen, and bathrooms. Those are the spaces that I would focus on to make sure that they are in workable order. If you have anyone staying with you, your guest room will also be on your list. If you’re concerned about the appearance of other areas of your home, just shut the door. Don’t add extra stress by trying to do it all beforehand.

2 | Organize Your Tasks

Come up with a schedule that works for you and divide up the tasks that you need to complete before the holidays. Shopping for gifts and sending out cards are things you can finish weeks ahead of the holiday. However, you can plan out meals ahead of time, but they need to be prepared in the days leading up to and on the day of the holiday. Make a list of what you need to get done and create a schedule to get everything accomplished.

Free Printable

To help you start making a list of your holiday tasks so you can add them to your calendar, I am sharing a To-Do list printable. Click on the image of the To-Do List to join and get access to your free printable. You can print off a separate page for Thanksgiving if you’re in the United States, and Christmas.

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

It’s helpful to organize things ahead of time for the holidays. Planning and taking care of items when you have the time over the next couple of months helps the holiday to be less stressful. Do what you can and don’t worry about doing it all.

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Until next time,

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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.

plan, organize, daily planner

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.

plan, organize, daily planner

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.

plan, organize, daily planner

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.

plan, organize, daily planner

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.

plan, organize, daily planner

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 area 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 organizing 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 area 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.

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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 similar items together. Grouping like items helps 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 you should keep it 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 buy 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 on 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.

 

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,

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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,

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Organize | Printables

Introducing the Home Management Binder

By on July 10, 2017

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

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

Home Management Binder Package

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  • 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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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.

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,
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