Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Favorte $5 or Less Tips From Pinterest

I've written about Pinterest before. And here I go again. This time I'm going to post some things that are quick and easy to do that will help you get organized.

1. Don't know where to keep your hair dryer? Maybe this will work.

2. Need help with your unraveling wrapping paper? How about this idea?

3. Need a ribbon over haul? Head over here to see how to best tame the ribbon.
4. Want to hang a wreath but don't like the nail through a cabinet look? Not keen on the hook showing? Try this.
5. Hate trying to find your phone charger on your night stand? Use this great tip for no more frustration.
6. Need scarf help (organizing that is...although Pinterest is also good at helping you tie them)? Check this great idea out.
7. Do you keep your aluminum foil, plastic wrap, etc in your pantry and need a better system? I love this idea.
8. Have too many keys to keep them straight? Check out this great idea.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Why Live Simply?

The definition of simple living is going to be different for everyone. It depends on lots of things. Be sure to not use the definition someone else uses as a standard for you own!

However, the WHY to simple living is universal. 
  • Maximize Space - This doesn't mean cramming as much as possible into a space. It does mean using the space you have to the best of its ability. 
  • Minimize Chaos - Creating a simple life results in less chaos in all arenas of your life. You know where things are because you don't have a ton of things and they are organized well. 
  • Lessen Stress - In a simple and organized home, you walk in and feel peace. This is what you should strive for. This one is often a good litmus test for me. When I feel stress in my life, I ask myself if I'm living as simply as I want to be or as I can be. Usually the answer is no!
  • Be a Good Steward - When you don't keep things that you will never use, you pass them along to others who will. And when you don't own a ton of things, you're not spending a ton of money.
  • More Time - For the things you want to be doing - which I take is not looking for the flash light because your spaces aren't organized or trying to come up with a meal last minute because you didn't plan.
1. Step one to living a more simple life is to define Simple Living for your self.
2. Step two is to make small steps to achieve that in your life - whether that be purging your home of things, organizing what you have, working on time and home management, etc.
3. Step three is to enjoy some of the benefits listed above!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Healthy Expectations

From - classic example of having healthy expectations.

I am not Martha Stewart. You are not Martha Stewart. Martha Stewart is not even Martha Stewart. She has a huge (maybe endless?) budget. She has staff. Lots of staff.

You look at a picture of a beautiful home perfectly organized in beautiful and unique ways and think you can achieve the same thing in your home. But you can't. Or you read an organization tip and are then disappointed that it didn't turn out the way you thought it would. 

Here's a secret: it's not your fault. 

The issue is that most of us don't live in homes that would grace the pages of Southern Living. Even those homes aren't real. I mean, they exist. People really do live there - at least I assume. But those pictures were taken after a considerable amount of time, money, lighting, and effort. The camera people didn't just walk in a snap a quick picture. And those perfectly organized pantries? Beautifully organized desks? They took those pictures right after the initial organization and they will never look that good again.

Keep a healthy and realistic expectation of what your home will look like. Beautiful storage hat boxes on a cheap, thrift store, ugly bookcase will not look like something out of a magazine.That chalkboard paint on the pantry door is only going to look beautiful for a little bit. Then it will get scuffs and scratches. That really cute wreath DIY idea you see on the cover of Martha Stewart Living was actually the 16th one they did and ended up costing over $400.

Keep healthy expectations and you will enjoy your home more.

Disclaimer: I don't have anything against Martha Stewart, so please don't email me hateful things. I don't actually know how many times the wreath was done to make it look perfect, nor how much it actually cost. I'm sure even Martha Stewart has a budget. I can't define "a considerable amount of time, money, lighting, and energy" that Southern Living takes to shoot a picture. Yada, yada, yada.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Snack Bin - Simplify Your Snacking

"Mom, can I have a snack?" Right after breakfast. After lunch. And then again after dinner. That is my life with four children. They want to eat all the time. And I kinda do, too. It's sometimes hard to offer healthy options since veggies and fruits have to be prepared. So, I end up giving them some kind of salty snack, then grab some chocolate for me. Fine on occasion, but not every time. So, I found this idea on Pinterest and decided to simplify my life by doing it myself. I had one bin at first, until it became too difficult for me to remember which kid had eaten what. To avoid my toddler eating all the cheese and not choosing the veggies, I changed it to individual bins.

I put in things like cheese sticks, turkey slices, green peppers, blackberries, apples, trail mix, sugar snap peas, salad in a bag (a leaf of lettuce with some carrots), etc. Healthy options (and salty or sweet as a special treat). When my children ask for a snack, I tell them to get one from their snack bin.

It has revolutionized my day. And I'm not being dramatic (well, maybe a touch since I'd also say the same thing about electricity, the internet, and digital cameras).

I keep the same things in there until they are gone. Cheese is always the first thing gone. I don't restock the cheese until everything else has been eaten. Veggies and fruit are now the norm for the girls and me.

So if you want to save time, energy, and tantrums (kids, hopefully not you) - make a snack bin. This idea is also great for those without children!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ten in Ten on the Tenth

Here are 10 things you can do when you have an extra 10 minutes of doing nothing. If that ever happens.

1. Put in one load of laundry.
2. Get out your WD-40 and grease any squeaky doors in your home.
3. Don't have any WD-40? Go around and check the doors to see if you need to put it on your "to buy" list.
4. Clean a bathtub or shower.
5.Dust one set of blinds.
6. Purge expired medication.
7. Call someone (who won't chat more than 10 minutes!) just to say hello and let them know you're thinking about them.
8. Go through your unmentionables drawer and toss any apparel that should be tossed.
9. Go straighten up the books on a bookshelf.
10. Ask a friend out to breakfast, lunch, dinner, or coffee..whatever works best for you.