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 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.

capture-_2017-02-26-12-38-52_resized

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.

capture-_2017-02-26-12-39-39_resized
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 Uncategorized

Sticking to the Plan

Hey everyone! It has been a really long time since I’ve posted anything! In March of 2015, I was proposed to get married and needless to say, that had consumed a lot of my time. Now that my dream wedding has come and gone, I am back because I have missed sharing my thoughts with you all!

Also, as I am sure you have noticed my posting are quite long, so in effort to keep your attention, I will aim to make these shorter. Now let’s get to it!

Sticking to the plan!

Scenario: How many times have you come home from work and plopped yourself on the couch until it was time for bed? You feel relaxed and distressed, but what have you truly accomplished? Dinner still needs to be cooked, laundry needs to be washed, dried and put away (the horror!) and continuously putting those things off only makes it more dreadful to do when you finally decide you aren’t going to procrastinate anymore. I’m going to help you find ways to get things done even when you feel overwhelmed.

Before my husband and I left for our honeymoon, we had moved twice. Our things were everywhere; in boxes, bags, storage unit – it was a disaster. We hadn’t even opened our mail! Everything was just so hectic because we not only were confused about where our things were, but we were planning for a wedding and had trouble finding time for the little things. A weekend to relax was always a weekend spent meeting with family to prepare for the Big Day, getting together with DJ’s, photographers and wedding coordinators. Something I have learned along the way is to get done with the little things while they are still little.

pile_of_mail

Mail: DO NOT just pile mail in a shoebox and get to it when the box is overflowing! I have learned the hard way. If you are like me, you know what day your bills are due and how much you need to pay off the top of your head by now, but sometimes there are changes to your bills that you are only going to know of if you open your mail (or check the portal, for those of you who like to save paper).

pile of laundry

Laundry: Now, I find this more difficult to get done in a day, but I feel a whole lot happier when I’m not sleeping on a pile of clothes or kicking them from the end of the bed to the floor. So, I aim to do laundry once a week. I’ve noticed if I don’t get to folding it and putting it away the day I do the laundry, it usually hangs around until the next week when I do laundry again. So, as much as it’s stressful to dedicate hours to this, just get it over with. You will be thankful later.

I’m always coming up with ideas on how to share my organization skills (and yes, I’m still teaching myself daily). The best way to get things done is to give yourself a little list to do when you get home. I’ve noticed that if I get to things right when I get home instead of going to the couch, I’m more likely to feel more optimistic about chores. Remember – LITTLE TASKS! The mess you have did not happen in one day so it will not be cleaned or organized in one either. Pace yourself, you’re only one person. It’s okay to get started on something and leave it unfinished until the next day (just don’t procrastinate on doing it the next day). Create a plan and stick to it! It’s the only way things are going to get done.

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Tips and Tricks on How to Stay Organized: Using a Personal Calendar

Scenario: It’s the end of the day and you’re beyond ready to go to bed. As you begin to drift into a dream, you suddenly think,  “When is the utility bill due?” In a panic, you stumble out of bed to look at your calendar. Only problem is: it’s not there! You crawl around the house to open unread mail and scramble through unused drawers to find the utility bill. Disappointed and exhausted, you give up and decide to continue the search the next day. When you arrive at work, you finally find the bill… In your purse. Why was it there? And how can you avoid this situation in the future?

Procrastination is a huge factor in being disorganized! You say you’re going to open letters, put things away and file bills, but you never get around to it. The trick is simple: Conquer procrastination! 

The key to being organized is to keep a habitual routine. Every morning when the mailman comes, I collect my mail and open it right away. I shred the mail I will not need and put all bills in one pile. It’s good to know where all your bills are when you need it, so it’s highly beneficial to put them all in the same place.

I personally keep a daily calendar to record things to remember, such as doctor appointments and work schedules. What helps me remember what bills are due and when, is to mark the date on the monthly calendar sheet with a short description (Example: June 15: Rent). Then, on each weekly sheet, I staple the bill due on that week.

Now, you can’t put in all that work to maintain an organized calendar if you don’t ever check it besides when you get bills in the mail! Make it a habit to check your calendar daily. I take mine with me almost everywhere, which may be unnecessary; but if I go to the doctors and they want to schedule a follow-up, it’s helpful to know right off the bat exactly when I’m free.

Using a personal calendar has been a huge help for me to stay organized! I highly suggest getting one if you have trouble remembering when bills need to be paid.

Always remember: It did not take one day to become disorganized. Therefore, it will take determination on a daily basis to get and stay organized.