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!

 

 

 

Follow:
Share:

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!

 

 

 

 

Follow:
Share:

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!

 

 

 

Follow:
Share:

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. All opinions are mine alone. #StopPainNow #CollectiveBias

A list of essential items to pack on your next vacation to keep up your exercise routine! You'll be surprised by some of the items we ALWAYS bring with us!

Routines have always been super important to me. Call me boring or predictable, but whether at work or home, I accomplish the most when I have a consistent game plan that I follow regularly. Over the last year I’ve learned the importance of this working from home. (It’s not as easy as it looks!)

It’s been incorporated in my life from an early age growing up competitively figure skating. The lessons I’ve learned figure skating have stuck with me for years (the discipline, long hours and dedication). Unfortunately the other thing that stuck was back pain from the constant strain put on my body over the years. Long after I retired my skates, I still deal with the pain: acupuncture, physical therapy, massage … oh I’ve tried it all. In addition, I take a pain releaver regularly, Curamin® Stop Pain Now. It’s a dietary supplement with natural ingredients that truly gets to the source of the pain (instead of just temporarily masking it).

A list of essential items to pack on your next vacation to keep up your exercise routine! You'll be surprised by some of the items we ALWAYS bring with us!

Pain aside, I like to keep up regular exercise. The struggle for me comes when I head out on vacation. The exercise routine goes out the window, healthy eating is totally forgotten and for some reason I never get enough sleep! Now I love a fun relaxing throw out the rules vacation just as much as the next. But I always disappointed when I don’t incorporate a little exercise and wellness during a vacation.

While I’m definitely no workout or health expert, I have had my share of travel over the years (for both work and fun) and have fine tuned my process for packing. My moto has always been that a little preparation goes a long way. Knowing that I want to workout during my trips, I make sure to plan accordingly.

A list of essential items to pack on your next vacation to keep up your exercise routine! You'll be surprised by some of the items we ALWAYS bring with us!1 Workout Clothes // 2 Sunglasses // 3 Curamin® Extra Strength

1 workout clothes / Since I’m already wearing my tennis shoes on my flight, I tend to dress casual. Often workout clothes is the easiest wardrobe choice for a flight. Plus, it makes it easy to workout on a wim.

2 sunglasses / As more and more of my vacations include an Airbnb instead of a hotel, I expect to be excersising outside as opposed to a hotel gym. Keeping sunglasses on hand makes a morning jog so much more enjoyable in the sunny weather!

3 Curamin® Extra Strength / I keep a bottle in my purse so I’ve always got some on hand, but also in my workout bag to take after exercising. The last thing I want is for my workout schedule to be placed on hold because of pain. Grab yours at your local health food store, or online. Curamin® is actually the #1 selling brand and is safe, effective and non-addictive which is really important to me.

A list of essential items to pack on your next vacation to keep up your exercise routine! You'll be surprised by some of the items we ALWAYS bring with us!4 sunscreen // 5 hair ties // 6 pouch // 7 extra toiletries // 8 empty laundry bag

4 sunscreen / I’d rather exercise outside during the nice weather months than inside in a gym. Since my fair skin can barely handle the limited sun that we receive in Seattle, I always have sunscreen with me on all my warm weather trips!

5 hair ties / Nothing’s worse that searching for a hair tie after you’ve gotten all ready to workout. I keep a special stash just for my workouts so that I never forget them.

6 pouch / Sometimes you can sneak in a workout when you wouldn’t expect it. That’s why I always like to have a small pouch on me to hold so many of these exercise essentials. It prevents me from having to dig through my large suitcase for what I need .

7 extra toiletries / In addition to my standard toiletries, I like to bring some extras such as face wipes and body spray that always come in handy after a quick workout.

8 extra laundry bag / After working out, throw your sweaty clothes into a separate laundry bag to keep them from mingling with your clean clothes.

A list of essential items to pack on your next vacation to keep up your exercise routine! You'll be surprised by some of the items we ALWAYS bring with us!9 water bottle // 10 snacks // 11 plastic baggies

9 water bottle / I keep a water bottle in my carry on and fill up before a flight. It also comes in handy at the hotel instead of paying the high price for the water bottle sitting in our hotel!

10 snacks / working out on an empty stomach is always a bad idea, so I carry protein bars with me if I need a little energizer before or after my workout.

11 plastic baggies / I always keep plastic bags on hand. They seem to come in handy for SO many reasons. They’re great for storing my phone during a raining outdoor workout or portioning out snacks for the trip!

A list of essential items to pack on your next vacation to keep up your exercise routine! You'll be surprised by some of the items we ALWAYS bring with us!12 athletic shoes // 13 bag for dirty shoes // 14 headphones // 15 workout bands

12 athletic shoes / A workout essential, I typically wear my shoes on the plane. It’s so much more confortable to head through the airport in flats. Plus athletic shoes are often my bigger shoes so it saves extra room in my suitcase.

13 bag for dirty shoes / Athletic shoes too easily pick up mud and dirt while outside. While on vacation the last thing I want to do is clean my shoes. Instead, I grab a couple small dog waste bags to wrap my shoes in to keep the dirt away from my clothes.

14 headphones / Some can exercise without music, but I’m not one of those people. Very little things DEmotivate me to exercise than the lack of music!

15 workout bands / I love to bring a small workout band to incprorate additional excerices to my routine. It also makes working out right in my hotel room so easy!

A list of essential items to pack on your next vacation to keep up your exercise routine! You'll be surprised by some of the items we ALWAYS bring with us!

Curamin® is available at fine health food stores nationwide. CLICK HERE to buy online or to find a store near you that carries Curamin®. I grabbed mine while doing my weekly grocery shopping at my local Seattle PCC in Greenlake neighborhood!

What are your tips for keeping your routine while traveling?

 

 

 

Follow:
Share:

Forget which channel is which? Make your own customizable TV channel guide with our free printable and secure to your remote!

I love watching TV …. the more bad reality TV the better in my mind. Most of my binge watching is on Netflix or Amazon these days. Believe it or not, but we don’t have cable! Friends are shocked when they hear this because they know I love my bad TV shows 🙂 .

That being said, when I do turn on ‘regular TV’ I never remember which channel is which. Scrolling through looking for the right channel can be so irritating, especially with commercials.

We’ve all heard the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I think about this every time I’m scrolling frustrated trying to find the channel I’m looking for. I claim I’m going to write these down eventually. But then I find the channel I’m looking for and forget my problem ever existed! Sound familar?

Not only did it drive me crazy to not know what channel is what, I know it can be frustrating for guests visiting us. With our baby due date fast approaching, we’ve got lots of house guests coming in town to help (thanks goodness!). Not having to ask for the channels is just one of the ways that I try to make hosting easier on everyone.

Here’s how I make my TV Channel Guide

Supplies

Forget which channel is which? Make your own customizable TV channel guide with our free printable and secure to your remote!

Instructions

The first thing you’ll want to do is write down all the channels you have. For those of you with cable, that’s likely LOTS of channels. Personally I only jotted down the  channels I actually watched. It seems that most of us watch a fraction of the channels that we have!

Here’s our TV Channel Guide Template to download

This template is an editable word document so that you can add in your own channels. I created 4 different sizes, but you’re able to adjust any of the sizes on your own. I selected the size that fit the back of my TV remote. Once I created the guide, I simply taped it to the back of the remote.

If there’s not enough room to list all your TV channels on any of the templates, adjust the length by clicking on the bottom of the rectangle to select it (you’ll see the circles appear). Drag the bottom middle circle down to the length that you want.

Now type out all your channels, print on thick card stock paper and cut out.

Forget which channel is which? Make your own customizable TV channel guide with our free printable and secure to your remote!

Then cut two piece of contact paper slightly larger than your TV channel guide cutout.

Forget which channel is which? Make your own customizable TV channel guide with our free printable and secure to your remote!

Affix one sheet of contact paper on back side of the guide and one on the top. Using a scissor, cut the excess contact paper around the sides. While covering with contact paper isn’t required, it makes the guide more durable.

Forget which channel is which? Make your own customizable TV channel guide with our free printable and secure to your remote!

For quick access, tape the TV channel guide to the back of your remote.

Forget which channel is which? Make your own customizable TV channel guide with our free printable and secure to your remote!

And yes, these are really ALL the TV channels that we have. Thank goodness for Netflix and Amazon Prime!

 

 

 

 

 

Follow:
Share:

The 10 latest trend in organizers that help you get and stay organized on a daily basis! Affordable and smart home organizing tools!

I’m a big Amazon shopper, aka shopping online and getting items delivered right to your door, for a couple reasons. First, Joe & I share one car and since I work from home and he works in an office, he gets the car on most days. Now that often puts my shopping and running errors for the weekend…. AKA the busiest days to shop. The second reason, I’m super frugal. I hate hate spending too much (or really any) money on something (OK anything). I’ve found that for MOST items, Amazon meets or beats prices at the close by stores in my city.

Here’s my favorites organizers (just click on the photo to get the details):

1 Under the Sink Storage Shelves

The majority of under the sink storage solutions are one size SHOULD fit all. But unfortunately that doesn’t work for most. I love that this shelf storage is adjustable to work around the pipes under your sink!

The 10 latest trend in organizers that help you get and stay organized on a daily basis! Affordable and smart home organizing tools!

{get it now}

 

2 Mop & Broom Holder

I used to use individual hooks for our broom, dust pan, mop, and bags. Having ONE adjustable holder is easier, takes up less room and visually looks a lot better.

The 10 latest trend in organizers that help you get and stay organized on a daily basis! Affordable and smart home organizing tools!

{get it now}

 

3 Car Hanger Holder Hooks

It’s just as easy to hook my purse to the back of the drivers seat as it is to throw it on the ground of the passenger seat (which is what I would always do). Plus it’s a LOT less dirty AND nothing will fall out of your seat!

The 10 latest trend in organizers that help you get and stay organized on a daily basis! Affordable and smart home organizing tools!

{get it now}

 

4 Headphone Holder

No more tangled headphones stuffed at the bottom of my purse. This tiny holder takes up very little room but solves a very BIG problem 🙂 .

The 10 latest trend in organizers that help you get and stay organized on a daily basis! Affordable and smart home organizing tools!

{get it now}

 

5 Soap, Shampoo & Condition Dispenser for the Shower

This is an easy way to eliminate shower bottle clutter and bulky over the shower head holders. It stores shampoo, conditioner and shower gel. Added bonus is that you can adhere this to any spot in the shower that you like! 

The 10 latest trend in organizers that help you get and stay organized on a daily basis! Affordable and smart home organizing tools!

{get it now}

 

6 Towel Rack Hanging Holder

I really like the flexibility of creating a towel rack anywhere, even a mud room or laundry room. It comes in 4 fun colors and is easy to spray paint if you don’t find the right color for your room.

The 10 latest trend in organizers that help you get and stay organized on a daily basis! Affordable and smart home organizing tools!

{get it now}

7 Bedside Caddy

Admittedly I don’t really love the way most bedside caddies look. But I do LOVE this one. It’s sleek, contemporary and stores all my reading material. I prefer to put this on the side of the bed that’s closer to the wall so it isn’t visible. But I like the style enough that I would be OK if it was more exposed.

The 10 latest trend in organizers that help you get and stay organized on a daily basis! Affordable and smart home organizing tools!

{get it now}

 

8 Drawer Spice Liner

These strips hold up to 24 regular sized spice jars and are completely adjustable (no installation or permanent mounting needed). Being able to see the labels make searching for the right spice so much easier!

The 10 latest trend in organizers that help you get and stay organized on a daily basis! Affordable and smart home organizing tools!

{get it now}

 

9 Computer Monitor Stand with Organizer

I love all the stylish desks that trending on the web. In reality though, I know I’ll need a couple extra accessories on my desk, which can look messy and cluttered. This contemporary bamboo monitor stand doubles as an organizer, which means less items on your desk! (and it’s surprisingly cheap.)

The 10 latest trend in organizers that help you get and stay organized on a daily basis! Affordable and smart home organizing tools!

{get in now}

 

10 Folding Trunk Organizer

Most of us are in our car WAY too many hours in the day. I use this foldable trunk organizer to hold the some important essentials in our trunk. I like that this organizers fits nicely in the back of our trunk and velcros to stay put to the floor.

The 10 latest trend in organizers that help you get and stay organized on a daily basis! Affordable and smart home organizing tools!

{get it now}

 

Some of the links in this list are affiliate links. It doesn’t cost you any extra, but I earn a little commission if you decide to purchase. Regardless of whether or not I receive a commission, I only recommend products that I personally use and genuinely recommend! Thanks for helping support this site!

 

 

 

 

Follow:
Share:

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!

 

 

 

Follow:
Share:

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. **

 

 

 

 

Follow:
Share: