If you’re anything like me, your weekdays are jam packed. Yet, the LAST thing I want to do during the weekend is a list full of chores. Instead of trying to do EVERYTHING during the weekend, I commit to doing the 8 things that I believe will help make the upcoming workweek smoother.  Some weekends I tackle these things right away Friday night or Saturday morning. Other weeks these get done Sunday evening right before I go to bed. Either way, I know this list is pretty obtainable, even when my weekends are busy. It also sets me up for a more productive workweek.

1 Calendar

Before you even think of diving in to laundry or heading to the grocery store, you should take time to review your calendar for the upcoming week (AND the following week). In order to prepare for the week to come, you’ve got to know what’s going on! As I look at my upcoming week, I’m searching for days & blocks of time where I can get a little bit more done and days that I have TOO much going on and need to reprioritize. Are there any events that I’m going to where I’ll need to bring food? Do I have a big presentation at work that I need to spend an evening preparing for? I also take a couple minutes to confirm all my appointments, dinners, etc.

The 8 things I do each weekend for a more productive week! These are easy to accomplish and help start my work week off prepared!

2 Food

Now that I know what’s going on this upcoming week, I’m ready to plan my meals for the week! Even before I start a grocerylist, I look through our fridge and toss anything that’s expired or questionable. I started doing this after one TOO many times of thinking that a food item in the fridge was edible only to find out it expired several months ago (I know, it’s gross).

Based on what’s going on this coming week, I can easily figure out what meals I want to make and any food items I need to buy for social events. I keep a standard grocery list of running items I want to make sure we always have (baking soda, olive oil, etc), Doing a quick scan to see if we’re running low on any of those items as well as all the ingredients I need for the meals I picked out for this week, I complete my list.

Now with grocery list in hand I head to the grocery store … EARLY!  Saturday morning is my preferred time. By this time most grocery stores have stocked up for the weekend so everything is fresh. Plus just as you’re likely thinking now .. Who goes to the grocery store on Saturday mornings? That’s right. Groceries stores are pretty much empty which makes shopping SO much easier!

BONUS reading: Easy Lunch Prep Station

The 8 things I do each weekend for a more productive week! These are easy to accomplish and help start my work week off prepared!

3 Email

Like most of us, I’m on email all the time. But unlike some, I get overly obsessive with keeping my email organized. I keep two folders in my Gmail account that I check weekly: “waiting to hear back”, which are any emails I’ve sent others that I need a response from in order to get something done & “to do later”, which is exactly what it sounds like :). In addition to cleaning out my inbox weekly, reviewing these two folders helps prompt to-do list items.

BONUS reading: 7 Gmail Hacks That Will Change Your Life


4 Laundry

After too many week day mornings of looking for an outfit only to realize it’s dirty in the hamper, I committed to doing laundry on the weekends. In fact, I put a load in right before I go to the grocery store on Saturday mornings. For those weekends that I don’t have enough dirty clothes to do a full load, I make sure I sort my laundry (whites, colors, delicates). I also throw in a load of sheets. Anything I can do to prevent our laundry situation from going crazy, I’ll do!

BONUS reading: Why I LOVE My Laundry Room

The 8 things I do each weekend for a more productive week! These are easy to accomplish and help start my work week off prepared!

5 Garbage

This is a super duper easy one, but I find it makes life easier during the week. I empty out all our trash bins throughout our house and get the trash ready for pick up day. It’s amazing how quickly the small trash bins around our house can fill up!

6 Clothes

Anyone else have clothes laying around your room that you just didn’t have time to hang up in your closet? Story of our lives. I take a couple minutes to pick everything up and put our closet back in order.

Then once our dirty laundry is done and put away, I pick out all my outfits for the week. Make sure to check the weather forecast as you’re doing this! It’s so much easier for me to do this at one time instead of each morning when I’m rushing out of the house. I do the same for gym clothes, as I try to prevent ANY excuse I know I’ll come up with to not work out.

BONUS reading: Organize Your Clothes with Labels Outfit Labels

The 8 things I do each weekend for a more productive week! These are easy to accomplish and help start my work week off prepared!

7 To Do List

Not only do I go through my to-do list and reprioritize the tasks as needed, I also spend about 10 minutes just brainstorming any projects or things I need to get done the following week. I literally try to empty out ANYTHING that’s on my mind, but not written down. I’m a strong believer that if it’s not written down I won’t remember it (which means I won’t do it)!

BONUS reading: Top 10 Things Organized People Do Regularly

8 Junk Bin

We’ve all got these in our home. If you’re like me, you have MANY of these! Weekdays are often so busy for us, that it’s easier to just throw our ‘junk’ in a basket as opposed to putting everything in it’s correct space. I know some fellow professional organizers would disagree, but sometimes life’s too busy to be organized all the time! But, I don’t let these bins get out of control. EVER. The easiest way to ensure this is to empty them on a weekly basis!

BONUS reading: The ONE Item That Keeps Our House Clutter FREE

The 8 things I do each weekend for a more productive week! These are easy to accomplish and help start my work week off prepared!

I hope these tips & tricks help you get AND stay organized each week!

The 8 things I do each weekend for a more productive week! These are easy to accomplish and help start my work week off prepared!

 

 

 

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Best tip to get organized for tax season!

Every year I had the best of intentions to file our taxes EARLY or at minimum really get ‘ahead of it’. It’s taken us a couple years to find a system that works for us, but I’m really happy on how organized we’ve become in preparing our taxes. Now granite, we do not DO our own taxes. We have an accountant that handles that tough work for us. Between selling our old condo, getting married, and purchasing a new townhouse over the years along with me being self-employed, it makes more sense for us to use a professional.

While we may be paying someone to assist, we don’t just hand over a wad of messy paperwork and wish him well. Being organized and ahead of the game not only saves us time, but it saves our accountant time. And that means it’s saves us money. So it’s a win-win all around.

 

Document List

In early January, I make a list of all the documents we’ll need to collect on my Tax Checklist. This includes any earnings documents (such as w2s and 1099s from our employers, checking accounts, savings account and investments), deductions (donations, mortgage tax credit) and general documents that our accountant will need (copies of our drivers license, checking account information for refunds or payments, copy of last year’s return).

It’s extremely helpful to do this step first before I try to compile any documents.

I keep the Tax Checklist in a clear folder near our entry where I place our mail. It makes collecting and storing these documents easier.

Best tip to get organized for tax season!

Organize Documents

As I receive a tax document in the mail, I add it to the folder and highlight it on my Tax Checklist. It’s an easy visual way to know which documents I still need to collect.

Some of the documents we’ll need may not come in the mail as we elect to have a lot of paperless statements. For those, I simply go online to the account and print them off.

By mid-February, I make sure that we’ve compiled all the documents from the list.

There’s some documents that I save throughout the year in a small plastic pouch including charitable donation receipts and paid property taxes. I add these to our clear tax folder to supply to our accountant.

Best tip to get organized for tax season!

Scan Documents

Before handing the tax folder over to our accountant, I scan each document electronically. Yes, this may seem a bit time consuming when there’s a lot of documents to scan. After all the time it takes to compile the documents, it’s worth it to me to have backup in the event that something happens to the ones we turn in to our accountant. (Note this has never happened, but it does make me sleep soundly knowing it wouldn’t be a problem!)

Instead of a huge bulky scanner, I use a Neat Desk Scanner. It’s extremely easy to use and compact enough to store easily once I’m finished using.  Highly recommend!

Best tip to get organized for tax season!

Save Finalized Documents

After our accountant completes our taxes, he packages everything up and provides us a folder of all the documents. I file this each year in a binder with the year labeled in case of an audit. Each year I simply add an additional folder with the new year labeled. I rotate out the taxes from over 7 years ago yearly to make room for the new year’s documents.

I also scan the finalized documents from our accountant, adding this to the already scanned prep documents. It’s just great to have a digital copy of everything.

To summarize my digital system:

I have a folder titled ‘Taxes” within My Documents. The level of sub folders are for each year of taxes:

Within each of year, I have folders for Deductions, Earnings, Additional Documents, & Finalized Taxes from Accountant

I hope these tips make tax season a little easier and more streamlined!

Best tip to get organized for tax season!

I always treat myself to a cocktail when I’m finished!

** All these tips and checklists are personal use only. I love to organize, but I’m not a tax professional! Always consult your tax professional for tax advice. **

 

 

 

 

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This is a sponsored post in conjunction with  Mom It Forward Influencer Network and The Council for Responsible Nutrition. As always, all my opinions in this post are 100% my own!  

 

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions include losing weight or being healthy? How did I guess? According to Statistic Brain, over 55% of New Year’s resolutions include health and/or weight loss. So I guess we’re all in good company right?

 

Well, for right NOW we are.

 

In fear of sounding like a Debbie Downer, I always wonder how many people keep up their New Year’s resolutions come …. say October? Heck even June? Let’s make it easy, April? Or even one month in … February?

The gold standard rule to stick with a new goal is to continuously do it for 21 days in a row. Supposedly if you can make it 21 days, you’re much more likely to stay with it long term.

While I’m no expert on health and weight loss, I’m pretty disciplined with planning and organization. So many resolutions & goals that don’t make it past the 21 day mark probably could with a little planning and organization. 

Here’s how I’m incorporating a little planning & organization in to my

Health & Wellness New Year’s Resolution

Get a Plan

I start with an annual goal and break it down to monthly milestones that I need to accomplish to hit my goal. For some it might also be helpful to take it a step further to weekly milestones, but I know that weekly is just too much for me. The key to setting the annual goals is to make them tangible and measurable. For example, ‘become healthier this year’ is great and all (don’t we all want to be healthier?), but it’s difficult to  determine success at the end of the year. Another way to write it could be ‘loose x pounds this year’ or ‘train and successfully complete a ½ marathon’.

 

To Do List

Yes, we all have one. Some are longer than others. I review my annual goals and monthly milestones to determine the action items I need to take.

While a to-do list may seem like a necessary evil, having one central location where all your action items live is truly the most efficient way to get things done. No need to have a separate list to keep goal oriented action items in. It will be more streamlined (and likely easiest) to add these new action items right in to your already existing to-do list. Hopefully you’re already trained to look at your to-do list regularly (:) ). Personally, I use the app ToDoist, but there are many options for smart phone apps and even more paper printable to-do lists.

 

Prepping Meals in Advance

I like to grocery shop once a week, with a list in hand of everything I’ll need for each meal for the coming week. In order to do this, prior to my trip I plan out each meal for the next 7 days. As planned as I am, I’m never 100% perfect with meal planning. I’m OK with that because even if I stick with it 90% of the time, I save time, money and eat healthier. I’ve never been known to grab a healthy vegetable when extreme hunger hits and I have no food prepared!

 

Supplements made Easy

Since we all know there is no such thing as a perfect diet (don’t we wish!), dietary supplements help fill nutrition gaps and promote overall health and wellness for the many Americans who cannot get enough essential nutrients from diet alone. More than 170 million Americans take dietary supplements each year, according to a survey from the Council for Responsible Nutrition, so you’re in good company if you already are taking one.

Since supplements work best if you actually take them regularly (:) ) and since I have an awful memory, I use a pill case stored with all my daily toiletries. It makes it fool proof, even for me.

Another fun fact: The multivitamin is the most popular dietary supplement, with 75 percent of supplement users taking one, according to a 2016 survey from the Council for Responsible Nutrition. So that’s what I fill up my pill case with each week!

 

Exercise in my Calendar

I noticed recently that although I add all work and personal events into my Google calendar, I wasn’t incorporating exercise time into my calendar. Since it wasn’t in my calendar and I wasn’t getting reminders to exercise, it soon became out of sight out of mind. By simply scheduling my workouts, just like I do conference calls, it encouraged me to stick with it and commit.

 

Double Dip Exercise

I love eating out and grabbing drinks with girlfriends as a way to socialize. In fact it might be one of my favorite things to do. But with goals to be healthier this year and only so many hours in a day, I’ve started trading in my dinners for walks with friends (easy way to exercise while still getting some quality friend time). Living in Seattle, I have so many hiking options available. Admittedly I’m not exactly a ‘nature girl’, but I’ve started taking advantage of some of the outdoor opportunities that Washington has to offer. It’s been a great way to try something new while getting in some serious exercise.

 

Making Water Delicious

Whether your goal is to lose weight or become healthier this year, drinking water should be high on the list. Now I’ll admit it. I hate water. Yep I do. I’d rather have a cup of coffee or ANYTHING else other than water and rarely reach my daily water intake. So to encourage my stubborn self to drink more water, each week, I make a couple large jugs of infused flavored water. Once I finish drinking them, I simply refill the water.

 

Reviews & Revising

After years of not sticking with resolutions that I deem not important, I’ve learned the value of reviewing and revising my goals regularly. I decided that there’s no shame in changing or removing a goal that no longer makes sense. For example, a couple years ago I was insistent on running a half marathon. While it sounds like a reasonable healthy goal, half way through the year of training I finally came to grips with the fact that I hate running. Yep, I just don’t like it. It was a big lesson learned on setting goals that I actually WANT to accomplish. But I also gave myself permission to change this goal to something I DO want to accomplish. Ever since then I review my goals at least monthly.

 

What are your best tips to keep organized with New Years Resolutions? Share them in the comments section!

Are you keeping up with your new years resolutions? Here's how!

 

 

 

 

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If there’s one consolation to getting back to work the Monday after Thanksgiving, it’s the amazing online sales. Just when you thought the craziness of Black Friday was over, we invent another ‘holiday’ … Cyber Monday. While I love the excitement of Black Friday (it’s a family tradition that we take to the extreme as evidenced by a table full of newspaper ads 🙂 ), there’s something awesome about getting the same huge discount straight from your computer.

So sit back, look like you’re working and grab these incredible deals on your favorite organizing solutions!

Walmart

Under the Sink Storage

I’m always trying to utilize the space under our sinks the best I can. I have a couple of these adjustable shelves both under our kitchen sink and bathroom sink. These really maximize storage while allowing everything to be super accessible. If you’ve ever bought under a sink storage solution before, you know these can add up quickly, so finding a great deal is like hitting the jackpot

Collapsible Laundry Baskets

I’ve got 3 of these laundry baskets in our laundry room: one for darks, whites and delicates. While they can take up a lot of room in a small laundry room, these laundry baskets FOLD & collapse to save space when you don’t need them.

Groupon

Tupperware

While I’m LOVING this 70% off tuperware Groupon deal, I’m cursing while typing this because I paid FULL price for these at a retail store last week. Ugh. I was getting so frustrated with our mismatching kitchen containers that I pulled the plug a week too early and got rid of all our odds & ends containers to purchase new ones. I then became irrationally happy every time I opened our cabinet to see a pile of matching containers & lids. This Groupon deal offers a variety of size and quantity options ranging from 8 to 24 piece sets to fit what you’re looking for.

Lunch Bags

I try to plan out our lunches ahead of time on Sunday nights. Let me repeat, I TRY to plan out our lunches. One thing that has made it SO much easier is having serving size containers and lunch bags. I really like these lunch bags, not only because they’re insulated (I ALWAYS forget to put my lunch in the fridge when I get to work. I know, gross.), but because each one has individual containers that fit right inside the bag. I used to pack our lunches in mismatched Tupperware containers and huge grocery bags. It was bulky and super annoying. Not anymore!

Slicers and Dicers

I recently got rid of lots of our slicers and dicers, not because we don’t use them, but because they take up so much room in our drawers! I love that these are a more compact AND come with a storage container. Plus several of the slicers have two different blades which reduces the number of inivdiaul slicers. This is a really great kitchen item for those who have limited storage room in their kitchen (isn’t that all of us?).

Amazon

Tile

There’s very few things more annoying than misplacing your wallet or keys right as you’re about to walk out the door. That’s why I LOVE my Tiles. These magical little pieces work as an easy way to find whatever you’re missing via an app on your phone. There’s a couple sizes so whether you misplace your laptop (like I do) or simply can’t find your keys, this is the quickest way to find them!

Real Simple Magazine

The mecca of everything clean, beautiful and organized is undoubtedly Real Simple Magazine. There’s just something about taking a break from Pinterest to flip the pages of a physical magazine. Finding Real Simple at 92% off??? I’ll take a lifetime supply!

Macy’s 

The motherload of Cyber Monday organizing products are at Macy’s. Seriously. No joke. Huge amounts of storage and organizational products on clearance. Plus everything is an extra 25% off on Cyber Monday. Below are a couple of my favorites:

Baskets

Decorative baskets are such an easy way to decorate AND organize. And who doesn’t love a two for one? Especially if you’re low on space (I’m raising my hand), using baskets to hide your belongings can be a really smart solution. Unfortunately expensive baskets always look nicer than the cheap ones. Don’t you hate that? So I’m pretty aggressive on searching for deals on the pricier baskets. These Cyber Monday sales bring down the price of the baskets substantially and are worth stocking up on.

Under the Bed Storage

I’m a huge fan of under the bed storage. I mean, it’s extra space that no one can see, why not take advantage of it? I have a strong preference for clear storage bags. That way when I look under the bed I can easily identify specifically which bag to grab. If you’ve ever tried to pull stuff out from under your bed, you know it’s not exactly easy 🙂 .

If you know your New Years Resolution is going to involve paper organization, you might as well buy your supplies on a heavy discount, right? Paper organization is always a little bit more fun with decorative organizational supplies. I love these colorful paper storage boxes, partially because they’re colorful and partially because they have a built in label.

Ebay

I would have never thought of Ebay for my Cyber Monday shopping, but they’ve got some AMAZING deals. Make sure when you checkout to add the promo code ‘CYBERFLASH16’ to earn an extra $15 off your purchase.

Silhouette Cutting Machine

While making labels is only ONE of the many things that you can use with a silhouette, it’s definitely my favorite. The Silhouette Cameo Electronic Cutting Machine is an investment for sure (as they’re not cheap), but you’ll use it forever. Before I purchased mine, I constantly watched online for sales & coupons and can honestly say this Ebay deal is a better price than I got it for. (#Notbitter #yesIam)

Storage Racks

Admittedly I likely wouldn’t think to buy storage racks at Ebay, but hey … if’s there’s a storage solution anywhere, I’ll find it. If you’ve ever shopped for a large storage rack before, you know these are NOT cheap. This particular one is super versatile. Whether you need clothing storage or garage storage, this one is an awesome heavily discounted option. There’s limited quantity of these and are going really quick, so make sure to jump on this deal right away.

 Happy shopping!

 

 

 

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Our Favorite Must Have Gifts for the Organizer in Your Life

Do you have a friend, loved one, or family member who is all about organizing? Or are YOU that person?

I’ll admit, I’m not a huge gift giver. Over the years Joe & I have even stopped giving each other Christmas and birthday gifts, mostly because we buy what we know we want throughout the year when we need it (or when it’s on sale 🙂 ). But although Joe & I don’t typically give each other gifts, we do exchange gifts with family members and some of our friends. If you look online, go in to any store, or even search on Pinterest, you’ll find an abundance of guides that give you the “MUST HAVE gifts for xxxx” (insert husband, child, grandma, etc). But I’m still in search for a gift guide for the type A organizer. And unless I wrote my own, I might be waiting for a long time!

Now, not all of the items on this list are purely ORGANIZING items, but for the organizer in your life, they’ll appreciate it.

Or if you’re the organizer amongst your friends and family, these are some great ideas to add your list!

ONE

I’m an electronics kind of gal…. and while that prevents me from having tons of PAPER, I swap that out for tons of CORDS. Cord Tacos from CB2 are completely practical and creative.

Our Favorite Must Have Gifts for the Organizer in Your Life

 

TWO

Organized travel can be difficult for EVERYONE, especially when you’re living out of a suitcase. These colorful clothing travel organizers are not only great for trips, but can be used for afterschool activities, gym clothes and sporting events. The versatility makes them a perfect gift for anyone!

Our Favorite Must Have Gifts for the Organizer in Your Life

 

THREE

As much as I love my electronics, there’s NEVER a good place to put them that is both out of site AND easily accessible without a compact charging station. There’s lots of these on the market, but I really love this power dock. It’s small AND it holds up to 5 gadgets. (If you have more gadgets, here’s a larger option)

Our Favorite Must Have Gifts for the Organizer in Your Life

 

FOUR

Running out the door in the morning, I’m always fearful I’m forgetting something. I have so many items in my purse, it’s not easy to tell if anything is missing. Better Together makes lots of different purse & travel holders for ALL your items, whether you want to store your phone with your wallet or your computer with your notepad. This one is my personal favorite:

Our Favorite Must Have Gifts for the Organizer in Your Life

 

FIVE

Alright, this one is definitely out of my price range, but we can all dream, right? An automatic clothing folding machine! Especially since it folds JUST like the department stores 🙂 .

Our Favorite Must Have Gifts for the Organizer in Your Life

 

SIX

Not just for the kitchen, the KMN Home DrawerDecor Customizable Organizers are perfect for the bathroom or even a junk drawer. My favorite part is that you can change them as often as you change your products, so they’ll continue to be functional and practical no matter what’s inside your drawer.

Our Favorite Must Have Gifts for the Organizer in Your Life

 

SEVEN

It may look like something from the future, but the Rakku Shoe Wheel Organizer has been around for years. I remember eyeing it in magazines pre Pinterest days. Functional and fun. It’s definitely a conversation piece …. in your closet!

Our Favorite Must Have Gifts for the Organizer in Your Life

 

EIGHT

Everyone can use more storage options, especially to get items off the counters. Whether in the kitchen or bathroom, these wall shelf organizers suction on to the wall and provide a little extra storage for the room.

Our Favorite Must Have Gifts for the Organizer in Your Life

 

NINE

I’ve read this book cover to cover (a couple times) and it’s full of actionable tips and tricks to organize every inch of your home. A perfect gift for those who love to organize or who recently moved in to a new home.

Our Favorite Must Have Gifts for the Organizer in Your Life

 

TEN

Last but definitely not least is my all time favorite label maker (yes, I have an ‘all time’ favorite). No more printing labels with your computer as this handy gadget syncs directly with your phone and uses batteries, so it’s completely portable. You can literally go room to room labeling everything in sight.

Our Favorite Must Have Gifts for the Organizer in Your Life

What are your organizing favorites?

 

 

 

 

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Every year I envision lots of time in between Halloween & Christmas and every year without fail I find myself without ‘enough’ time. It’s not like I lose days each year, but Halloween SEEMS so far away from Christmas. Until it’s not.

This year I’m a lot more intentional about how I’m preparing and managing my time through the holidays. It’s a good thing because we decided to host Christmas this year for friends and family. Ahhhh! 

Here’s what I’m committing to this year to hopefully

make the holidays stress-free

1 Make a list … and check it twice 

For both you and Santa. I keep 3 different Christmas lists with me each year.

  1. Gifts / Cards – a master list of everyone I need to purchase gifts for OR send a card to. I hold on to previous years’ lists so I can remember who we typically buy for and WHAT I got them last year. (you can see where I’m going with this 🙂 ).
  2. Master To-Do List – I organize this in to two categories: Things I can do at home and things I need to do outside of our house (for example, mail gifts). Then I sort the list by week. I attribute my organization over the holidays to this weekly holiday to do list.
  3. Meals / Groceries – After sorting my groceries by type (dairy, bread, produce, etc), I sort based one WHEN the meal is taking place. No need in buying salad for Christmas dinner in November. This is a handy trick for those of you who will be making meals for several different holiday events.

2 Be choosy with Christmas activities

Yes sometimes you may have one too many parties to attend, but don’t forget about the other Christmas ‘activities’ that eat up time. Do you really need to spend hours writing and sending Christmas cards to 100 of your closest acquaintances? Is it REALLY necessary to try out that incredible but complicated dessert recipe from Pinterest for a neighbor’s party? Is this the year your dream of creating the most amazing Martha Stewart DIY Christmas tree has to come true? If you love doing these things then by all means … more power to you (and I’d love one of your handmade Christmas cards)! But if this stresses you out, there’s no reason to add it to the list.

Rescue me

Sometimes no matter how detailed that to-do list is, the stress can get to you. During a season that should be filled with fun times amongst family & friends, stress can be extra frustrating. Skip the glass of wine after a long day and opt for a natural stress reliever, such as products from Rescue. Rescue comes in a couple different forms like Rescue Pastilles and Rescue Remedy Spray. The Rescue Pastilles are chewable candies while the spray can be sprayed directly on your tongue. Both are natural gentle remedies, perfect for the occasional stressful holiday moment. Use at the end of a long day or take with you on the go when the chaotic holiday shopping gets the best of you.

Affordable and easy to find at a variety of stores near you.

4 The early bird catches the worm 

There’s no reason to squeeze in all your Christmas to-dos the week before Christmas. Heck, I’m supportive of decorating your home for Christmas in early November if it puts your mind to ease. Also, once you’ve got your Christmas grocery list created, start stocking up on the non-perishable items ahead of time.

And let’s not forget about Christmas gifts … in my family those are bought throughout the entire year 🙂 .

5 Get help

Just because you have a master list of one too many to-do items, that doesn’t mean YOU have to do them all. In charge of bringing a dessert to the neighborhood Christmas pot-luck? If you’re anything like me, you’re heading straight to your local bakery instead of mixing any eggs, milk and flour yourself.

Ditto on house cleaning. I’m not one to hire a cleaning service (cleaning is my cardio), but I will make an exception for busy holidays.

But not all activities need to be outsourced to the professionals. I host cookie baking gatherings with my girlfriends each year in early December. By the time the party is over I have gifts of delicious cookies for all my coworkers. Plus I already hosted my first Christmas gathering of the season.

Consider how much your time and sanity is worth to you and outsource accordingly.

6 Stop the shopping frenzy

I’m sure you can guess where this tip is headed …. online shopping is the number one Christmas sanity saver. Why go store to store looking for that one specific item when you can check a couple websites AND get it delivered. With so many stores competing for your business during the holidays, you can bet on great shipping deals, if not free shipping.

Now I actually try to skip gift exchange as much as I’m able to. Little knickknacks and unnecessary trinkets aren’t what I want sitting around my house, so I hate giving them to others. So instead of gifts to my girlfriends, we make a date in January to go out for fancy cocktails and dinner. Even Joe & I don’t often exchange gifts unless it’s something we’ve told each other we want.

This must be a sign of getting older when the first thing I think of when I hear ‘gift exchange’ is clutter 🙂 .

7 Avoid the rush

The holiday season is NO season for last minute errands or one item trips to the grocery store. Pull out that shopping list and don’t let it go. I get a lot more thoughtful and intentional in my errand running trips during the holiday season. Traffic is more congested, check out lines are longer and availability is more scarce.

Anytime I’m out and about, I combine regular errands with Christmas shopping. This has drastically cut down on the hours I spend shopping for Christmas.

8 Sticking with routines

Nothing makes one feel out of sorts like huge shifts in a routine. Yes, there may be some things that you should definitely put off during the holiday season (deep cleaning your home), but other things to try to stick with. For example, if you typically go running each morning, try not to skip too many times during the holidays.

After several years of attempting to get EVERYTHING ready for the holidays over one weekend, I’ve learned the value of spacing out activities (both the fun ones and the chores). For example, instead of getting all our Christmas decorations out and ready in ONE day, it took me a couple weeks. We bought our tree one weekend and pulled out the tree decorations on another. Then the following weekend we decorated the rest of the house.

9 Next year’s Christmas

Not only is January the best time to buy all your Christmas supplies as they’re heavily discounted, but it’s also a great time for you to mentally recap your holiday preparation. Anything that worked especially well? Anything that you would change for next year?

Hoping your holiday season is completely stress-free!

*This post was sponsored by Rescue.

 

 

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Hem pants without sewing ... step by step guide for the easiest alterations EVER!

Awkwardly short pants make me cringe. So much so that I can barely look at this photo above. I was cringing the entire time I put on these pants and took the photo. Being tall (5’10”), I’ve forever had a paranoia about my pants being too short. I even started doing my laundry in elementary school just to ensure my parents didn’t accidentally shrink my pants in the wash. (Now that I’m older I’m realizing that was one of the best parenting tricks EVER.)

Being a gal that loves to get good deals on her clothes, I’ve always struggled with finding size long on sale. Apparently all the tall girls buy their pants full price during the current season leaving no availability on the last season clearance rack. Ugh. Not willing to pay full price on anything, I’ve had to come up with a solution that didn’t involve the photo above: ALTERATIONS.

Now if I won’t buy my pants full price, you better believe I won’t pay to get a hem taken out.

Now put your sewing machines away because this alteration solution is SEW FREE!

Supplies to Hem Pants

  • Scissor
  • Iron & ironing board
  • Seam ripper 
  • Measuring tape
  • Hemming tape (I strongly recommend Wonder Tape 1/4 inch. Regardless which one you buy, make sure the width is under 1 inch so that you can use it on a variety of projects)

Hem pants without sewing ... step by step guide for the easiest alterations EVER!

Instructions 

Before you jump in and do anything to your pants,  flip them inside out and see how much extra hem (aka – extra fabric sewn inside) is available. It feels like Christmas morning when I discover a pair of pants has at least an 1 1/2 inch of hem. Seriously. Now decide how much of that extra hem you want to use to lengthen your pants. Or if you’re looking to shorten your pants, you don’t have to worry about available hem. Just decide how much you want to take in!

Hem pants without sewing ... step by step guide for the easiest alterations EVER!

Using your seam ripper, slowly rip the thread holding your bottom pant seam together. Once you’ve ripped the thread all the way around the leg bottom, pull the loose thread out to clean it up.

Roll your pants down a little so that you see the inside of the pants (photo below). Even though I’m extending the length of the pants, I need to make a SMALL fold at the very end of my pants (typically about 1/2 inch). I iron this fold so that it’s even, ensuring its the same height around the pant. This fold is to ‘hold’ my sewing tape. This is another reason why I really like my 1/4 inch sewing tape!

Hem pants without sewing ... step by step guide for the easiest alterations EVER!

Hem pants without sewing ... step by step guide for the easiest alterations EVER!

Flip the pant leg over and repeat with your 2nd strip of fabric tape. Then repeat for the other pant leg. Unfold your pants and iron again to remove any additional creases.

Hem pants without sewing ... step by step guide for the easiest alterations EVER!

Ahhhh … so much better!

Hem pants without sewing ... step by step guide for the easiest alterations EVER!

Hem pants without sewing ... step by step guide for the easiest alterations EVER!

Learning to hem pants has never been so easy (and quick)!

 

 

 

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The easiest DIY solution to making a holder for your headphones (out of a mint tin)!

Anytime I’m off doing errands I ALWAYS have my headphones in. Whether a podcast or old school Brittany Spears, I’m always listening to something. Once I get home it becomes the million dollar question: “WHERE did I place my headphones?” At the bottom of my purse? Near Reagan’s leash? Near my keys in my entry way? No matter what organizational system I used, apparently I couldn’t wrangle in my headphones.

Not only did I panic every time I was about to leave the house thinking that I lost them, once I found said headphones, they were kind of gross. Not gross like I spilled something on them, but gross like they’ve been sitting out in who knows what slowly accumulating dirt and grime. Throwing these inside my ears was kind of disgusting. But admittedly I kept doing it. Ugh.

The easiest DIY solution to making a holder for your headphones (out of a mint tin)!

The Easiest Headphone Holder

Always trying to reuse items I already have, I noticed this small plastic mint container in our car. Perfect. Now I just had to wait until we ate all the mints (AKA I ate the last 10 mints in 5 seconds).  It measured roughly 3 inches wide, 2 inches deep and 1 inch in height which couldn’t be a more perfect size for headphones. The opening was large enough to easily and quickly throw my headphones inside without any difficulty.

The easiest DIY solution to making a holder for your headphones (out of a mint tin)!

First step is to remove the labels on the front and back. To my surprise these came off super quickly without much effort.

Next give the container a quick cleaning. Mine had lots of ‘mint dust’ inside. No point in putting your headphones IN TO something dirty 🙂 .

Now you COULD stop right there and simply use the plain mint container as your headphone holder. I opted for some quick decorations using craft paper and washi tape that I had on hand.

The easiest way to attach anything to your mint holder is to use Modge Podge, a glue like substance that dries clear and is perfect for plastic surfaces.

After adding a little Modge Podge to the top of the mint holder with a small paint brush, I placed a couple paper cut outs on top. Press them down on to the glued surface.

Add a little bit more Modge Podge to the top and let the glue sit for about an hour.

And that’s it! Finally no more excuses for dirty headphones. It’s easy to pop in your purse or work bag so that you’ll never panic that you lost your headphones.

The easiest DIY solution to making a holder for your headphones (out of a mint tin)!

Not a DIY gal? I get it. Here’s a couple easy solutions for those who would rather Buy instead of DIY.

 

 

 

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