You’ve probably heard the term Smart Home, but what does it mean and is your house a Smart Home?

We’ve been chatting on the blog a lot about technology and apps lately that make life easier. I’ll admit, sometimes technology can be more overwhelming than it’s worth. Other times it’s a lifesaver that we couldn’t imagine living without. I remember when the Iphone first came out. The idea of apps seemed totally unnecessary and completely confusing. Now a day doesn’t go by that I’m not using dozens of the apps on my phone.

Smart home automation is on the rise and for good reason. Not only does it streamline and simplify life, but it can even keep your home safe. Here’s everything you need to know:

What is Smart Home Automation?

A smart home lets you control your home using your smart phone, whether you are on vacation, at work, or just sitting in your bed. Implementing smart home technology for a rookie simply means adding more automation and scheduling than you previously had. Imagine lights scheduled to turn on when you’re out of town; a security system that notifies you if it detects movement when you’re out; and an air conditioning system that you can control over the Internet.

Yes, it might sound a little like The Jetsons, but didn’t we all secretly want to live in a home like that?

The Hive Welcome Home System has all the essentials to make your home a Smart Home:

  • Hive Hub – Hive Hub plugs into a broadband router to see and control the Hive ecosystem of products from a smartphone, tablet or laptop
  • Active Thermostat™ – A clever way to control heating and cooling, at home or from your smartphone
  • Active Light – Switch lights on and off, set schedules, and dim lights from a smartphone with Hive Active Light™ bulbs
  • Active Plug – Turn electrical appliances like an iron, radio or lamp on and off, from anywhere at anytime
  • Window or Door Sensors – Clever wireless sensors send alerts to a smartphone if windows or doors are opened or closed
  • Motion Sensor – Clever wireless sensor sends an alert to your smartphone if there’s movement in your home

Real Life Examples

Sounds neat, right? But when would I actually use it, you may wonder. I know; that was my first thought. While the uses are plentiful, here’s some examples of how I’ve been using my home automation: On a regular basis, I leave our home and worry that I left an appliance plugged in. Whether the iron, hair straightener or Christmas lights, it’s an awful feeling. ‘I think I turned it off. No that was yesterday. No, No, I’m pretty sure I turned it off. What’s the worst that would happen if I left the straightener on all day? Ugh. OK I need to turn around and drive home.’ Sound familiar? I use the Hive Active Plugs on these appliances. This allows me to confirm the appliances are turned off even AFTER leaving the house in the morning. And if I forgot, all I need to do is press a button on my phone to turn them off!

Before leaving for vacation, I make a list of tasks to prepare for the trip. Doing laundry and cleaning dishes before leaving allows us to come home to a clean house, which is always nice. I often ask a neighbor to grab any packages we receive at our door (hello, Amazon!) and I turn on several lamps throughout our home to make it appear that we’re home at night. By using the Hive Active Light to schedule lights to turn on (and off) throughout our home during vacation, it automatically gives the appearance that we’re home.

I also activate the Hive Motion Sensor which sends an alert to my phone if there’s movement in our home (aka if someone breaks in).

It’s no secret that Seattle gets a LOT of rain. The rainy season is long, but the temperatures are mild. It’s not uncommon for a spring or fall day to be warm enough to keep the windows open. While it’s typically not a huge deal for the windows to be open while it’s raining, I do like them shut when I leave the house.

Did I remember to shut the windows before I left the house to run errands? I can never remember.

Hive Window or Door Sensors lets me know if I have a door or window open. Now don’t judge, but I use this feature BEFORE I leave the home. Having a 3-story townhouse, the last thing I want to do as I’m about to leave the house is head all the way up to the third floor to make sure the windows are closed. I simple check the Hive app on my phone to see! #lazygirlhack

Installation

Now I’ll admit it. While I LOVE technology and any gadgets that make life easier, I’m typically awful at the setup of most electronics. Setting up our entire home with Smart House automation seemed more like a job for my husband, Joe. To my surprise, the Hive Welcome System was all set up in less than 30 minutes by …. ME! Super easy and very intuitive. Just grab your Welcome Box, router, computer & smart phone and follow the instructions online.

Once set up, it’s easy to customize based on your needs:

Sample of some of the customization and notification options available:

It’s easy to manage straight from your phone:

So is it worth it?

In a word …

YES

In a couple more words ….

Energy efficiency

Money saving

Home security

Convenience

If you’ve ever been interested in Smart Home Automation, Hive has you covered:

  • Easy, self-install approach (so easy, even I could do it!)
  • Low monthly subscription rates
  • Service features such as access to the Hive mobile app, on-demand customer service and ongoing warranty
  • Makes your daily life easier and a whole lot less stressful (never worry about whether you left your hair straightener on again!)
  • Unique features can double as a security system for your home!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hive. The opinions and text are all mine.

Smart Home Automation 101 - Your one stop shop to learning everything about automating your home straight from your phone!

 

 

 

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Over the next couple weeks, I’m going to step away from all the typical organization posts to share some of the fun pregnancy and baby related things I’ve been learning along the way. On April 24th we welcomed our first, Declan, and it’s been quite the wild ride since! Decorating the nursery, organizing the overwhelming about of baby supplies that we apparently need (ahhh!) and a couple fun DIY pregnancy announcements, like  the one I’m sharing in this post.

 

Last summer when we found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to come up with a fun way to tell our parents that they were becoming grandparents for the first time. Not an over the top crazy announcement, but a fun little surprise for them. Since our parents live on the other side of the country from us, these small pregnancy anouncment boxes were a perfect ‘mailable’ surprise! And true to my style, of course I wanted to DIY instead of buy.

DIY Pregnancy Announcement Supplies

  • small box (I actually used my engagement ring box!)
  • Two pieces of ribbon, one wider & one skinny
  • White cardstock
  • Tape
  • Super glue or crafting glue
  • Customizable Template

Instructions

Grab your two pieces of ribbon and measure by placing each around the box. Trim any extra, keeping an additional 1/2 inch loose ribbon.

Next, wrap the wider ribbon around the box, holding tight and secure with a little glue in the back. Repeat this step with the skinny ribbon on top.

I used this template for my note. It’s editable so you can edit with your information.

The box I used (which was actually my engagement ring box) was 2 1/2 inches on each side, so I measured my note to inches wide (just a tiny bit smaller). This might take a little trial and error to seee what size you want the paper to be. The printable note has two sizes, but since it’s editable you can adjust to whatever works for you!

At the top and bottom of the paper, I made a half inch fold where I’ll tape the paper to the box. The top of the note is folded inwards and the bottom folded back (see phonto). I then folded the note accordian style with each fold the same size.

I then added tape to the the small folds on the top and bottom to secure to the lid & box. The top of the note was secured to the back of the lid and the bottom of the note was secured to the front of the box (see photos below).


I then gently folded and closed the lid of the box and mailed it off!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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No need for any special gadgets to clean dusty lampshades. Take a look at our quick 1 minute tutorial to remove all the dust so easily!

 

I’m a cleaning machine. I LOVE cleaning. No, seriously I really do. I think it’s the control freak in me that likes to be in charge of my own cleaning. Plus I count cleaning as a workout. (don’t we all?) But I always trying to find ways to make the house cleaning process easier, better and quicker.

No need for any special gadgets to clean dusty lampshades. Take a look at our quick 1 minute tutorial to remove all the dust so easily!

Several years back we got these fun white lampshades at Target. They’ve held up surprisingly well and I love the clean look of them. I’m typically not a fan of anything white because of how hard it is to keep white clean, but lampshades are really rarely touched. But I noticed that they started getting dusty. I had no idea how to get dust off a lamp. Seriously, who cleans lampshades? Well apparently this girl needed to. Dusting with a rag didn’t really seem to do the trick and I was afraid to wash them per se.

That’s where my new favorite trick came in handy ….. a lint roller.

No need for any special gadgets to clean dusty lampshades. Take a look at our quick 1 minute tutorial to remove all the dust so easily!

We’ve been using these non stop since we brought home Reagan last year. With a puppy, even one that doesn’t shed a lot, I could continually lint roll every room in our house a a full time job. Which seems more and more likely since we given Reagan free rein of the house. (Dog owner mistake #1) When we first brought home Reagan we claimed she wouldn’t be allowed on the family room couch, then the guest bed, then the master bed. I think Reagan has more access to our home than I do.

But back to those lamp shades ….
A quick roll around the lampshade was like a miracle machine.

No need for any special gadgets to clean dusty lampshades. Take a look at our quick 1 minute tutorial to remove all the dust so easily!

Never fear white lamps again!

No need for any special gadgets to clean dusty lampshades. Take a look at our quick 1 minute tutorial to remove all the dust so easily!


 

 

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If you've got 5 minutes, you'll love this quick and easy solution to remove pilling from your favorite outfit. This smart DIY hack will save you big bucks!

Yes, this photo below is what a pair of my leggings used looked like. And I wore them. Alot. They’re maternity pants that were NOT cheap, but felt cheap after a couple wears. Pilling started almost immediately. But I continued to wear them … because well working from home every day, I’ve been known to wear a lot worse.

I told Joe, my husband, how frustrated I was that these expensive maternity pants were pilling after wearing them a handful of times and he laughed saying ‘I thought that was how they were supposed to look.’ #wardrobefail

If you've got 5 minutes, you'll love this quick and easy solution to remove pilling from your favorite outfit. This smart DIY hack will save you big bucks!

Happy to tell you that I was able to find a solution that didn’t involve throwing good money down the drain. Yes, it’s possible to remove pilling on your own! But as I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy, I’m kicking myself for wearing these overpriced pilled ridden pants for so long without fixing them sooner. Especially considering the fix took me all of 5 minutes. #liveandlearn

Supplies 

  • Cheap razor (the cheaper the better …. like this one)
  • Paper towel
  • Lint roller 
  • Your pilled clothing!

If you've got 5 minutes, you'll love this quick and easy solution to remove pilling from your favorite outfit. This smart DIY hack will save you big bucks!

Remove Pilling

The first thing I did was iron my pants. Although it’s not essential, I was a little nervous that shaving my pants would rip the fabric. Well, this ended up not being an issue at all, but I’m a ‘better safe than sorry’ type of gal.

Save your good razors for your legs. Seriously. Skip the fancy ones that have the moisture strips or soap bars on the side (it will actually cause more pilling than it will remove). A cheap no frills razor will be most effective. Just make sure it’s a sharp new one.

Pull the fabric taut with one hand and lightly shave one section at a time. This will prevent you from cutting through the garment.

If you've got 5 minutes, you'll love this quick and easy solution to remove pilling from your favorite outfit. This smart DIY hack will save you big bucks!

As the razor gets full (and it will quickly!), wipe it off with a paper towel. This mound of pilling was just the beginning!

If you've got 5 minutes, you'll love this quick and easy solution to remove pilling from your favorite outfit. This smart DIY hack will save you big bucks!

I found it easier to place my garmet on a hard surface whiling shaving it instead of carpet.

Now not all the pilling stuck onto the razor so I also rolled a lint roller over the paints to collect the remains.

If you've got 5 minutes, you'll love this quick and easy solution to remove pilling from your favorite outfit. This smart DIY hack will save you big bucks!

Depending on how much pilling there is, it make take you a quick minute or a little longer to get your garmet back to it’s original state. Do as I say and not as I do …. don’t wait too long to tackle this project after you see pilling on your clothes!

If you've got 5 minutes, you'll love this quick and easy solution to remove pilling from your favorite outfit. This smart DIY hack will save you big bucks!

Prevent Pilling

Even though this was a pretty simple little project, it’s always best to try to prevent pilling from starting in the first place:

  • Turn your garments inside out before washing and drying.
  • Liquid laundry detergent is more gentle on clothing, as is using the gentle cycle (duh)!
  • When possible, hang dry your clothes instead of using the dryer. The dryer is the big pilling culperate.
  • Make sure not to overload your washer. Cramming too many garmets in prevents the from moving around and causes damage to the surface.

May your expensive clothes continue to look EXPENSIVE and hopefully pilling never goes in style!

If you've got 5 minutes, you'll love this quick and easy solution to remove pilling from your favorite outfit. This smart DIY hack will save you big bucks!

 

 

 

 

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Disclosure: This shop, Tips to Cope with Pet Allergies, has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ForgetAllergies #CollectiveBias

Top surprising things you can do to deal with pet allergies. I was allergic to our new puppy and these solutions saved the day! Dog allergies are no fun!

Top surprising things you can do to deal with pet allergies. I was allergic to our new puppy and these solutions saved the day! Dog allergies are no fun!

When we brought our little doberman, Reagan, home last year, I was so proud of all the preparation we had done ahead of time. (You can read all about it here.) The to-do lists, the products and planning: I was convinced that we had thought of it all. And for the most part we did. Except one crucial thing – what if Joe or I was allergic? We both had light allergies in the past, so a pet allergy was definitely a possibility. Yet, in all the excitement of bringing home Reagan, we brushed passed the idea that our adorable little puppy could cause some serious allergies.

Top surprising things you can do to deal with pet allergies. I was allergic to our new puppy and these solutions saved the day! Dog allergies are no fun!

We needed something to combat those allergies. Not all allergy medicine is created equal. Like it’s name implies, Xyzal® Allergy 24HR provides relief of sneezing, runny nose, itchy watery eyes, nose and throat for 24 hours! (It’s as effective at hour 24 as hour one and is full prescription strength.) I love that it is available over the counter at CVS and that it starts working in 60 minutes. I take one before I go to bed at night to give me all night, all day allergy relief. Taking one each night creates better continuous symptom relief….. ideal for those with a pet allergy.

Top surprising things you can do to deal with pet allergies. I was allergic to our new puppy and these solutions saved the day! Dog allergies are no fun!

We absolutely fell in love with Reagan from the first day we brought her home. Since I work from home, I got acquainted with her VERY quickly as we spent a LOT of time together. After about 3 weeks, I could tell I was starting to develop allergies. Oh boy! I was so worried what this meant for our newest member of the family. Worst case scenarios of having to bring Reagan back to the breeder crossed my mind daily.

Top surprising things you can do to deal with pet allergies. I was allergic to our new puppy and these solutions saved the day! Dog allergies are no fun!

My initial panic faded quickly as I started looking for solutions. Through suggestions from friends, discussions with our vet and a couple internet searches, I came up with a solid plan of attack. Here’s what worked for me:

1 Reagan gets a good brushing each and every day …. but not from me. Joe takes her outside to brush her each morning to remove the dander without bringing it into the house.

2 I noticed from the first day we brought Reagan home, the house now got a little dirtier faster than before. Dirt and pet hair would pile up on the rugs much quicker than I expected. This was motivation enough for me to increase my vacuuming frequency.

3 Regular use of over the counter allergy medication is key for me! Each night before I go to bed, I take Xyzal, that gets me through the next day!

Top surprising things you can do to deal with pet allergies. I was allergic to our new puppy and these solutions saved the day! Dog allergies are no fun!

4 Just like during cold & flu season, I wash my hands more often than usual. I’m also more diligent about keeping my hands away from my face (specifically my eyes).

5 We learned quickly that Reagan didn’t appreciate a spa day as much as I do. Most dogs probably do not need to be washed weekly, but our vet recommended a weekly bath using either hypoallergenic or oatmeal based dog shampoo. It was nice to have a clean puppy and also helped remove a lot of the dander from her skin. This is another task that Joe handles for me.

Top surprising things you can do to deal with pet allergies. I was allergic to our new puppy and these solutions saved the day! Dog allergies are no fun!

6 We didn’t have intentions of allowing Reagan to roam free throughout our entire townhouse, but planned to evaluate as she got older (and better behaved). Once my allergies occurred, we designated the master bedroom and office as dog free zones. The last thing I needed was to be laying in bed with dog dander surrounding me!

7 HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters have been popular for many years. Since we were in the market for a new vacuum, we purchased one with a built in HEPA filtration system. It helps pick up more of the dander from the floors. We also got a small HEPA room air purifier that I periodically move from room to room.

8 Last but not least ….. CLEANING. I like to keep a clean home so I’m naturally pretty motivated to clean. Knowing that there was dog dander all around gave me any extra motivation I needed to dust and clean a little bit more regularly. It’s not the cleaning motivation I would wish on to others, but it incentivizes me to keep our house clean. I sometimes wear a white safety mask when I do deep cleaning.

Top surprising things you can do to deal with pet allergies. I was allergic to our new puppy and these solutions saved the day! Dog allergies are no fun!

Top surprising things you can do to deal with pet allergies. I was allergic to our new puppy and these solutions saved the day! Dog allergies are no fun!

I stocked up on a few key supplies to get me through the allergies:

  • Dog shampoo
  • Cleaning supplies
  • HEPA filters
  • Xyzal® Allergy 24HR is available over the counter at CVS (in the allergy & sinus section). I grabbed the 10 count, but these also come in 35, 55 and 80 counts. Remember to read and follow product labeling before using a new medicine.

 

Top surprising things you can do to deal with pet allergies. I was allergic to our new puppy and these solutions saved the day! Dog allergies are no fun!

 

 

 

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The BEST Ikea organization hacks on the web to solve all your household clutter problems! Save money with Ikea and a little DIY!

There’s been so many home projects that I want to get to before the baby is born. I had grand aspiration of organizing every nook and cranny of our home. Then reality set in and I’m having to really prioritize which projects MUST be done now and which I could live with being unfinished for a while. As you know, with so many of my organizing projects I really like to incorporate an element of DIY. Ikea is pretty much synonymous with affordable DIY hacks. I decided on the top 5 projects I want to accomplish before my due date and searched for for the best Ikea organization hacks to assist. Let’s just hope I have enough time 🙂 .

1. Framed Cork Board

No matter how much I try to tame the paper around our home, it always pops up! Instead of fighting it, I wanted a decorative way to keep it invitations, tickets, and reminders around. Beckie at Infarrantly Creative uses cork placemats (yep, those are placemats) to create her corkboard.

The BEST Ikea organization hacks on the web to solve all your household clutter problems! Save money with Ikea and a little DIY!{via}

2.  Managing Paper Clutter

Utilizing wall space is KEY if you’ve got limited space. Even if you’re overflowing on square footage, creating a wall paper storage unit is a smart way to store, organize and hide that paper clutter & mail that enters everyone’s home. Lauren at L’amour Chez Nous created this pretty wall storage nook for only $25!

The BEST Ikea organization hacks on the web to solve all your household clutter problems! Save money with Ikea and a little DIY!{via}

3. Jewelry Dishes

I’m always fearful of loosing my wedding & engagement rings, especially when I take them off near the sink. Then there’s also simply just forgetting where I placed them (THAT tends to happen a lot)! I love these little jewelry trays for an easy spot to place jewelry temporarily, whether in the kitchen, bathroom or bedroom. Marwa at Enthralling Gumption makes these adorable jewelry dishes out of Ikea coasters!

The BEST Ikea organization hacks on the web to solve all your household clutter problems! Save money with Ikea and a little DIY!{via}

4. Wrapping Paper Storage

I can’t get enough of pretty wrapping paper, which is ironic considering I’m one of those gals whow would prefer to buy a friend dinner & drinks instead of a gift that I’m not sure that they’ll use. But when I see a good deal on colorful wrapping paper, I JUMP! Needless to say my craft closet is overflowing with rolls. I love Shannon’s solution: simply use an Ikea bag holder affixed to the wall to wrangle in all the rolls of wrapping paper off the floor!

The BEST Ikea organization hacks on the web to solve all your household clutter problems! Save money with Ikea and a little DIY!{via}

5. The Craft Cart

Pulling out craft supplies for my DIY projects can sometimes cause more of a mess than it’s worth. Tara from Suburble transitioned the popular Ikea kitchen cart into a craft cart making DIY projects MUCH easier. She even DIYed the containers inside the cart. I love the idea of using a cart on wheels as opposed to storage bins stacked in my closet for commonly used craft supplies.

The BEST Ikea organization hacks on the web to solve all your household clutter problems! Save money with Ikea and a little DIY!{via}


 

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Step by step instructions for the easiest way to color Easter eggs in a hurry! Looks like it took hours, but you'll spend just 5 minutes!

There’s so many creative & impressive decorated Easter egg tutorials on the web these days. Some just absolutely blow my mind. With my DIY decorations, I’m more of an easier the better type of gal. I’ve had enough Pinterest Fails to write a book (or at least a really funny blog post), so today I’m sharing my tried and true way to color Easter eggs that always turn out the way they’re supposed to.

Supplies

  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Food coloring
  • Several cups / glasses
  • Tray or dish
  • Egg carton

Instructions

To make the dye, I mixed 4-5 drops of food coloring with about 1 inch of water into a glass cup. Using this ratio will make the dye look pretty dark (especially purple), but it colors the eggs perfectly. If you want the colors to be even more bold when dried on the eggs, either add a couple additional drops of food coloring or a little less water.

Step by step instructions for the easiest way to color Easter eggs in a hurry! Looks like it took hours, but you'll spend just 5 minutes!

Make sure the hard-boiled eggs are dry and at room temperature before coloring! (otherwise the food coloring may bleed)

Holding an egg above the tray, I drizzled a spoonful of food coloring on top. The dye naturally rolls down around the egg. To give it a little nudge, I slowly turned the egg sideways and upside down to spread the dye around. There’s no specific pattern or science to this, which is my favorite part! Each egg will look similar but unique.

Step by step instructions for the easiest way to color Easter eggs in a hurry! Looks like it took hours, but you'll spend just 5 minutes!

I let each color dry on the egg before I applied a new color to it to prevent the colors from mixing. Placing the eggs right back in to the carton to dry seems to be the easiest. The drying time only takes about 5 minutes, just long enough for me to finish the rest of the eggs.

Step by step instructions for the easiest way to color Easter eggs in a hurry! Looks like it took hours, but you'll spend just 5 minutes!

Step by step instructions for the easiest way to color Easter eggs in a hurry! Looks like it took hours, but you'll spend just 5 minutes!

I then applied more colors to each of the eggs, repeating the process above. Remember … don’t rush! Let the eggs dry in between colors, otherwise the colors may mix resulting in brown egg dye! Once you’re finished coloring, let the eggs dry one final time, and pop them in to the fridge until you’re ready to display (and eat)!

Step by step instructions for the easiest way to color Easter eggs in a hurry! Looks like it took hours, but you'll spend just 5 minutes!

Step by step instructions for the easiest way to color Easter eggs in a hurry! Looks like it took hours, but you'll spend just 5 minutes!

Step by step instructions for the easiest way to color Easter eggs in a hurry! Looks like it took hours, but you'll spend just 5 minutes!

Quick, easy and turns out exactly like the photos!

 

Step by step instructions for the easiest way to color Easter eggs in a hurry! Looks like it took hours, but you'll spend just 5 minutes!

 

 

 

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This post, Organizing our Paper Piles, was sponsored by Fellowes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

A better way to manage all your paper clutter in just 5 easy steps! This is the system I've been using for years to manage all our paper piles!

With spring cleaning tips spreading across the web this time of year, I like to change it up and showcase an organizing process that I’ve been using for the a while now. I’ve toyed with a couple different ways of organizing our paper piles over the years and stuck with our current system for some time now. Bills, magazines, and mail can pile up quickly. While I sort my mail each day over the recycling bin, I still wanted a dedicated process to take action and file our paper piles regularly. For me, regularly became once a month aligning with paying bills. I set a calendar invite for one hour on the 31st of each month. Routine is everything!

1 categories

To create my system, the first task is to pull out all the paper piles, sort through and divide in to categories. Now your categories will likely be different than mine and may change over time. I love a good organizing process that has flexibility!

My categories

  • Save – These are documents that I want to hold on to and typically need to be filed away. I have a great system for filing important documents that I’ve been using for a while now.
  • Shred – This is for those important documents that I no longer need, but didn’t want to put in the trash. Think bank and credit card statements, old medical documents, and anything else with personal information on it. I shred ALL documents containing sensitive information with our Fellowes 12Cs Shredder. It shreds up to 12 sheets of paper at once and has SafeSense® technology that makes it a great choice for at-home use around children and pets.
  • To Do – For documents that I need to take action on, whether now or later. This includes credit card bills, responding to invitations, etc.
  • Medical – During my pregnancy I’ve been getting LOTS of medical documents in the mail. (At the time of this post the baby could come any day!) I’ve been holding on to all pregnancy related medical bills and paperwork in one specific spot.
  • Taxes – For most, taxes are a once a year project. Working for myself as a blogger I file my taxes quarterly, meaning I’m lucky enough to get to think and deal with taxes 4 times a year {extreme sarcasm inserted}!

I use these colorful thin plastic folders and added a label to the bottom right corner of each. These folders will be the main part of my paper pile review sessions each month.

A better way to manage all your paper clutter in just 5 easy steps! This is the system I've been using for years to manage all our paper piles!

2 storage

Last year I created an entry way wall command center for mail, keys and all those miscellaneous items that appear on our kitchen counter. No paper makes it past the command center unless it’s going in to the recycling bin or needs to be handled ASAP. This has pretty much eliminated those random pieces of paper that would sneak on to our kitchen counters and tables!

A better way to manage all your paper clutter in just 5 easy steps! This is the system I've been using for years to manage all our paper piles!

Since the command center is where our mail and paper piles ended up, I used the top shelf of the magazine holder to store the paper pile folders I created.

  • top shelf – monthly review folders
  • middle shelf – my mail and misc papers
  • bottom shelf – Joe’s mail and misc papers

My favorite aspect is that everything is easy to grab and all in one location.

A better way to manage all your paper clutter in just 5 easy steps! This is the system I've been using for years to manage all our paper piles!

3 supplies

In addition to the folders and mail, there’s a couple additional supplies that I use during my monthly paper organizing sessions. Instead of searching my house to grab those items, I keep them all together in a clear pouch: checkbook, stamps, pens, paper clips and post-its.

A better way to manage all your paper clutter in just 5 easy steps! This is the system I've been using for years to manage all our paper piles!

Never without the desire to label, I added a small label onto the pouch. My quick go-to process is placing a printed label on top of washi tape. It adds a pop of color while also not being permanent (gives great flexibility if I decide to make a change).

A better way to manage all your paper clutter in just 5 easy steps! This is the system I've been using for years to manage all our paper piles!

4 organize

During my monthly session, I grab my mail, folders and pouch. I utilize Laura Stack’s, aka The Productivity Pro, FIRST method to sort all my paper piles into the folders.

File it

Recycle

Shred

Take Care of it

Once all my paper piles are sorted in to the appropriate folders, I go through the folders one at a time to determine the course of action for each document inside. For example, in my To-Do folder, I will pay any bills that are due. Any papers placed in my shred folder will be shredded (see more below!). Medical bills will be reviewed, paid and sorted by date.

A better way to manage all your paper clutter in just 5 easy steps! This is the system I've been using for years to manage all our paper piles!

5 shred 

Every month or so, I grab my shred folder to dispose of the documents inside.

Having a high-quality shredder is key! I use and love our Fellowes 12Cs Shredder found at Walmart:

  • It’s a cross-cut shredder, which really is the best choice for preventing identity theft and fraud. For most of us, these are the reason to shred papers in the first place!
  • It has SafeSense® technology to keep children, pets and distracted organizers safe 🙂 .
  • It can shred up to 12 sheets of paper at one time without jamming. Thank goodness!


Got the urge to organize now? Our friends at Fellowes share some great spring organization tips!

A better way to manage all your paper clutter in just 5 easy steps! This is the system I've been using for years to manage all our paper piles!

 

A better way to manage all your paper clutter in just 5 easy steps! This is the system I've been using for years to manage all our paper piles!

 

 

 

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