Posted in Time management, Uncategorized

Habits!

So, here I am, about to tell you about habits when I haven’t posted in almost a year. Well, in those 9 months, a lot has happened! We moved out of our little box of a 1 bedroom apartment and into a comfortable 3 bedroom – space isn’t much of an issue anymore, but organizing always will be.

Does everything need a home? I don’t believe so. It certainly is an awesome feeling walking into a hosts’ home seeing zero clutter, but is it really that easy? I don’t think so either. So, with a bigger place and two people to clean, we’ve noticed it takes about 3 hours a week to clean (if you leave it all to one day – which we typically do).

Nowadays, I absolutely suck at doing what I say I’m going to do, and I’ll tell you why. Within the last week, I’ve told myself I’m going to do yoga for thirty minutes every day, and in that time, I’ll use 5 minutes to do planks (part of a thirty day challenge). I’ve also said I’m going to use thirty minutes a day to tidy up the house. None of these things have happened. Well, I’m lazy, but I realized if I don’t make it a habit, these things just become something I only talk about doing.

The only thing I can say I still do on a weekly basis is a budget. I don’t think I can ever let that go. At least I still have one thing going for me.

I’d be lying if I said “today is a new day and I’m a changed woman!”. I’m not a perfect person. Between working and dealing with every day obstacles, I haven’t made much of an effort to do things I love doing or things that are good for me, either. I’m sure the majority of people can relate to this struggle.

I can only take things one day at a time. Baby steps. Because, Rome wasn’t built in one day. Until then, I’m happy I posted today and maybe some time soon I’ll post again. 🙂

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Posted in Uncategorized

De-cluttering games!

Hello, All!

Every once in a while I get a bright idea that I have to share; this one is something I saw online. I haven’t tried some of these yet but I feel like it’s going to be a pretty successful task.

1. Take a picture of each room. Look at these pictures to determine what doesn’t belong. Once you narrow down a few things – figure out how to remove these items. You can donate (which is my favorite), throw away or find a better place for it.

2. Play the 12-12-12 game! Walk around your home and find 12 things to trash, 12 things to find a home for and 12 things to donate. I feel like this will be the most accomplishing game for myself just because I can EASILY gather up 36 items to find something to do with.

3. One task a day. This is my favorite because it doesn’t require much effort. Write a list for yourself and each day tackle one thing. It can be something small like clean the kitchen counter (which is a dumping ground at my house) or scrub the toilet bowl (only takes a few minutes but it’s the task no one wants to do) or maybe even a larger accomplishment like shredding the mail you’ve been collecting for 8 years (what was I thinking?!).

I never like to look at de-cluttering as a downfall – I don’t like to see it as a burden. It makes me feel accomplished when I can look at a disorganized area and make it look neat. Now of course we’re all human and we all actually live in our homes so obviously it’s going to look that way.

The ideas are limitless and your home will thank you. Remember – your mess did not happen overnight so it will not be cleaned overnight; baby steps!  Until next time, friends!

 

Posted in Uncategorized

How to get organized: Being efficient

Scenario: It’s that time of the year again to renew your car insurance! The bill we all love paying the most (sike)! Driving without car insurance is illegal in most states, including Illinois. Some cops are lenient if you have insurance but just forgot the card at home, while others will write you a ticket and to avoid paying you have to show the proof. Not a big deal, right?; If you have it then you just have to dispute it by showing your card and the case will get dropped – WRONG! It is a big deal because you’re wasting time to fix something when ensuring you have all of your ducks in a row to begin with could have avoided that. The key to this is being efficient and wasting time is not being efficient with your time.

One thing that I see so much is people multitasking. Some people believe multitasking is saving them time when in actuality it’s wasting time. How can you do two things at once? Our brains were not meant to function that way. What ends up happening is mistakes are made and then you have to go back and fix them. Sure, you should be proofreading your work anyways, but it ends up taking longer in the end than if you hadn’t tried doing two things at once.

As the saying goes, “Time is money” and that’s great as long as it isn’t your time or your money. If your boss has you do a task that they don’t even need, it’s wasted time but at least you got paid to do it, right? But what if you take a few hours to assemble a piece of furniture for your home in a room you don’t even use? Not only did you just waste money that could have been used on something more important or valuable but you also wasted time with the assembly.

Efficiency goes a long way! It doesn’t happen overnight but you should always think if there’s a better way of doing things.

Posted in clean, decluttering, neat, organization, Time management

Getting Your Groove Back

Hey everyone! I often find myself flustered trying to squeeze all these tasks and chores into just a couple days, such as the fabulous weekend. Weekends are so precious and fly by faster than we’d like them to, so doesn’t it make sense to leave the mandatory tasks for during the week? It’s always such a bummer when I just want to relax on Saturday or Sunday but I promised myself I would do a 3-5 hour project which is not enjoyable at all; not everyone has a cleaning lady, but if you do, good for you!! Anyways, lately I have been trying to get as much as I can done during the week so the weekend is mine to do as I please.

Simple trick – set aside 30 minutes a day.

gear-clock-antique-gold

Everyday when I get home from work, I think of one or two things I can do around my house that won’t take long such as putting away the laundry, or even putting a load or two in to wash/dry. Tuesdays, for example are the fun days, I feel like: I only have one 1-hour show, so I’ll put in a couple loads, or de-clutter my room a bit, then lie down with a candle burning and read a Harry Potter book on my Kindle. I basically get off on having a clean house, especially my room. I don’t spend a lot of time in my room, so I feel like that’s the place that gets easily forgotten.

This is why the 30 minute challenge works well for me because I can de-clutter enough to get my rocks off (not literally, but I sure am an organization freak). Nothing makes me happier than being able to walk through my room without tripping over cords or bumping into stuff. Try it, and thank me later! Remember, even if your house looks like it belongs on Hoarders, pushing yourself to get everything clean in one day is unrealistic! It didn’t take a day to make the mess, so it’s going to take some time to organize it. Be patient with yourself and tackle one thing at a time.

Posted in Uncategorized

Getting organized: working with what you have

Hey everybody! Last time I blogged I told you all about our efforts to move out. Since that has been postponed, my husband and I (basically my idea) have decide to work within the means we have been dealt. Therefore, we have been working on organizing the space we have to better suit our needs. Last week I did a bit of online shopping. When we got married, we received a bunch of gift cards that we have yet to put to use because we’ve been waiting for the big move. Because we didn’t want to take the chance of the gift cards expiring or losing them due to holding on to them for so long, we decided to put them to good use.

Long story short, here was my shopping list:

3 bin laundry basket – Bed, Bath and Beyond
Under the bed shoe storage – Target
Under the bed storage tote – Target

If you haven’t noticed by now, I am a HUGE fan of under the bed storage. Before now, I’ve been keen on using shoe boxes. Recently I’ve retired my shoe boxes by putting things into storage little by little. This weekend I’ve revamped my entire room. Closets cleaned and under the bed cleaned out to make room for the delivery of my new items.

I bought the clear tote to have a nice place out of the way for blankets pillows and stuffed animals. Believe it or not, I have a few stuffed animals and A LOT of fleece blankets. Let’s just say my husband knows what to get to make me comfortable. But I feel like every time we’re off to bed I’m pushing things to the end of the bed and in the morning picking everything back up. This is what the clear tote is for.

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The laundry basket was purchased because we had a round large bin that wasn’t cutting it anymore. I got tired of waking up to laundry on the floor spilling out of the basket and tired of sorting out clothes when it came time to do laundry.

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What I like about this so far is it has 3 compartments so I can sort immediately with colors, heavy articles of clothing and whites. We’re off to a good start.

We have been using a shoe organizer that hangs in our closet because it made sense at the time of purchase. But over time its mostly been an annoyance. I always feel like we don’t have enough space, which is why we bought the under the bed shoe organizer.

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I feel a lot better using this because it’s out of sight and out of mind. And when we need a pair we can always switch it out with a pair that we don’t use as often.

I really didn’t pay much for these items so I was extremely excited to revamp my room by minimizing the amount of clutter that is seen when I walk in. So far, everything is working out well!
Alright guys, let me know what you think, comments are always welcomed. Thanks for reading!

Posted in Uncategorized

Moving On

Hey everyone! Well, I guess by now you all figured out that I did not keep my promise to post more often; Forgive me!

While I haven’t been slipping on my organizational skills, I do need to work on my procrastination… The struggle.

Last year, I told you about my wedding and there has since been a strong desire to move out from a relatives home – why do we have to adult? Anyways, that’s where my time has been going; scheduling viewings, filling out applications, following up with landlords, re-visiting postings and mourning because someone else got the apartment we wanted. We have realized that finding an apartment that met all of our expectations and dreams was not the most realistic. There have been so many conversations about what we are willing to sacrifice to the point where I’m sure we have gone completely opposite to what we were looking for last year. Oh, well! During this time, keeping everything organized was one of the only things keeping me sane.

I’ve tried quite a few things until I found something that worked both for myself and my husband.

Chart

Contact name Phone number Address Rent Deposit Utilities Cats* Cat deposit Laundry in-unit Reserved parking*

I created a chart of all the essentials we needed to ask when we started reaching out to places. Our chart included things that were mandatory and things that we could settle without, such as parking (which contained an asterisk [*] next to it to show this was mandatory), laundry in-unit, cats allowed*, deposit, pet deposit, utilities, etc. We also included columns for contact name, phone number and location address. Keeping a chart kept us VERY organized. But one thing we kept running in circles about was trying to figure out what the location looked like, so this urged us to go a step further.

Folder

Smead 75688 Assortment Colored File Jackets - Letter - 8.50

[Image retrieved from Walmart.com]

The next thing we did was get a folder. I picked this one up at Wal-Mart and it was just a couple of dollars. I started printing out the listings that we were finding online, including pictures and notes with who to contact. Over time I started handwriting notes if we reached out to someone, had scheduled a viewing, what we thought about it and if we decided to apply, as well as when we were anticipating on hearing back from the landlord. On top of that, I organized the listings by favorites by putting the ones we were most interested in in the front and least in the back.

In this folder, I also included copies of documents I knew they would ask us for, like paycheck stubs. Overall, these tools have helped us dramatically with keep everything we need in neat little places!

Posted in Auto Pay, bills, credit cards, organization

Avoid Stressing About Your Bills!

Hey everyone! In the past I’ve started my posts with scenarios. Well, the scenario I would have written was going to sound quite similar to one I’ve detailed in the past, so I’m going to get to all the good stuff instead. In today’s day in age, technology has become extremely advanced to the point you can even lock your home doors from a faraway location via cell phone apps. With all these technological conveniences, it’s a wonder why companies still have late fees. The point of this story is: Auto Pay! I have debated on setting my own bills on Auto Pay for quite some time for the simple reason of consequence. For example, what if I don’t have all the money in my bank account by the date this company plans on taking it out? What if I get charged a bank fee and a late fee from this particular company? We’ll those fears are legitimate, as others have shared the same. Here are some ways to make this as fool proof as possible:

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1. Carefully read the Terms and Conditions before setting an account on Auto Pay.

 

Most people generally scroll to the bottom and simply click “agree” instead of reading through it all. Then, at a later time, find an unknown charge or increased minimum payment on their account that the customer service representative explains was on the agreement. Trust me, it’s better just to read it all and save it after. This contract will detail any scenario that may occur and the action of the 1st and 2nd party (the company and yourself). If this agreement changes at any time, the company you do business with should let you know via letter or e-mail.

*Please note: If your Auto Pay rule is set for the minimum payment due and that minimum is increased for any reason, the company you do business with may require you make a second payment or they will just take it out themselves. Again, this is something you will read in the Terms and Agreement.

2. Browse upcoming months to discover when the best date to set this recurring payment to.

 

While the date may be perfect this month, what happens when the next Auto Pay rule is set before your next pay day? I looked through every month to make sure the date is convenient, not only by pay days, but also by what day of the week it falls on. Say your bill is due on the 9th and you set your Auto Pay rule for the due date; your bill could be late. Some companies give a pass if your account is set an Auto Pay. Some will charge you a late fee. Some companies even take the money out on the Friday prior so you can avoid these fees. I prefer the less risky approach, so I do the research myself and set the Auto Pay rule for a few days in advance.

3. Don’t forget to check your bill!

 

At any time, for any reason, your bill can change. Just because your account is set on Auto Pay doesn’t mean you never have to open your mail (or your e-mail, for you savvy people out there). One time my credit card company removed $80 from my account instead of $35 so while I have been guilty of this, I have been working to break that habit little by little.

 

I hope this post helps you all become less stressed about paying your bills. Also, please remember that not one of us is perfect! Being perfectly organized does not happen overnight! This is a process that takes mistakes and learning from them. Good luck, you all.