Working from home may seem easy, but those who do it know that it can be touch. Now, working from home with a toddler: that’s a whole other story! Here's my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

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I’ve been getting a couple questions from readers and friends on how I schedule my day with a little one at home. Some are just interested in what I do all day staying at home. Others are curious how ‘work from home’ really ‘works’ with kids.

Now, let me start off by saying I’m no expert on this. While I like to organize my sock drawer (and pretty much every other drawer in our house), I’ve had to learn through lots of trial and error how to manage my time running a business while taking care of a little one.

So here’s what an average day looks like working from home with a toddler:

6am | I get up. I’m a morning person by nature so this isn’t that hard for me. I pour myself a cup (or two) of coffee and either get some blog work in or miscellaneous items on my to do list that are more difficult to accomplish when Declan is awake. For example, yesterday I booked a flight to see friends in Cleveland. It’s tough for me to do ANYTHING on my laptop when Declan is up as he wants to jump (literally) on it.

7am | Declan gets up & I get really for the day. I utilize the time where Declan sleeps to be on my computer or to photograph projects (it’s wayyyyy too hard to photograph with a very active little baby climbing all over my project). This means daily tasks get done while Declan is awake: brushing my teeth, doing dishes, laundry, etc while Declan is playing near by. I’m hoping that this teaches him independent play, but at minimum it allows me to get some things done around the house without eating in to nap time.

Here's my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

Declan is MUCH better behaved in the morning so that’s when I also try to clean the house and prep what I can for dinner. (Here’s some tips to be extra efficient with cleaning.)

8am | I  go running with Declan and Reagan. I don’t LOVE running like some people do and I’m not very fast (let’s think of it as more of a fast walk), but it’s the most effective way for me to get a workout in while Declan is awake. Plus I’m able to exercise our dog at the same time, so it really makes the most sense. Other mornings I go to the gym which also has drop off daycare. (Here’s how I pack my gym bag.)

Here's my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

Here's my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

9am | Declan takes his first nap and I go STRIAGHT to my computer to do work. I’m very disciplined on getting to work right away. This means no cleaning the dishes, organizing the house, etc when Declan is asleep. The biggest struggle to working from home with a baby is the limited work hours, so making the most out of nap time is KEY.

11am | Lunch for the two of us, then off to play groups, Zoo, swimming, visit with friends, etc. While we do weekly baby classes (swimming, Gymboree, etc), I love heading to the local community centers’ tot play rooms so that Declan can burn some energy!

Here's my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

2pm | Declan takes his second (and final nap) and I go straight to my computer to work! I often do photography during the afternoon as the lighting is better.

Here's my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

3:30pm | Declan wakes up and we play inside for a bit. Like clockwork, he hits his fussy period by 4:30 so we typically head out to a park if it’s nice. I also try to have dinner as prepared as I can by then. I’m a huge huge huge fan of meal prep and lots of organization in making dinner. If it weren’t for this, we’d spend all our money ordering out.

6pm | Joe comes home from work and we all have dinner. Then I let him play with Declan for at least 30 minutes while I go do something else, whether that’s taking a quick shower , doing a little work or a household project.

Here's my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

7:30pm | Declan goes to sleep and we clean up the kitchen from dinner. I like to wake up in the morning with a clean slate! Then Joe & I hang out for the evening.

Then rinse and repeat. Literally.

Here's my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

Here’s a couple things I do to help manage life at home with a 12 month old:

  • I keep Declan moving around the house. We spend probably 15 minutes in a room at a time: whether that’s doing laundry and bringing it to our bedroom to fold & put away. In all honesty I can probably find something to clean or organize in any room of our house. Oh and I also work from my phone. In fact I’m writing this blog post right now from Declan’s room.
  • I let Declan play with items around the house. Kitchen spoons while I’m making dinner, clean clothes while I’m doing laundry, etc. He finds it interesting because it’s new, while giving me enough time to get some chores done.
  • I plan out my days in advance (and even Declan’s meals). I don’t like to be ‘over scheduled’ but a little planning the night before goes a LONG way during the day.

As far as working from home with a toddler, here’s a couple of my best tips:

  • First, it’s not as easy as it looks! Just need to set the record straight on that one.
  • Find a way to ONLY work while your child naps (no cleaning, no well… anything else).
  • Before the nap, you need to know WHAT you’re going to work on so that you can dig in. For example, if I’m planning on photographing while Declan is sleeping, I pull all my supplies out BEFORE he takes a nap. Essentially I only try to do the items that I can’t do while he’s awake.
  • As a blogger, there’s lots I can do on my iphone as opposed to my computer. Personally I’d rather work on my computer, but the reality is that often I need to work via my phone while Declan is awake.
  • Work in batches: I do projects on one day, photography on another, writing, editing, etc on another. This is just a good general practice, but it’s helpful with a child.

Click here to take a look at my daily scheduling working from home with a toddler. I follow a specific plan each day to working from home with a baby!

 

 

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Does it seem like you’re ALWAYS on your phone? Constantly checking social media? Wonering where the time goes? Take a look at these tips and tricks to spend LESS time on your phone! 

Does it seem like you're ALWAYS on your phone? Constantly checking social media? Wonering where the time goes? Take a look at these tips and tricks to spend LESS time on your phone! 

After my son, Declan, was born, I started doing more and more work from my iPhone. It’s easier than pulling out my laptop, especially since Declan’s eyes light up as he crawls across the room attempting to climb all over the computer. Needless to say, it’s a disaster.

While utilizing my phone more helps me get work done while keeping an eye on Declan playing, it has also got me much more aware of how much time I spend throughout the day on my phone (and on social media).

Now as someone who makes her living hoping people spends lots of time online (especially on my blog and social media channels) I have to admit, I’m torn as one of MY goals is to stop spending so much time on my phone and social media.

Yes, I like to surf the internet reading random gossip magazines about celebrities and check social media to see what my friends across the country are up to. But at the same time, I can get sucked in and minutes turn in to … well WAY too long on my phone.

As our lives all get busier, time becomes more valuable. A couple “minutes” on Facebook turns much longer and also prevents me from tackling more productive tasks on my phone, such as emailing a friend, look up flight prices for an upcoming trip or listening to a podcast.

So given all this, I want to share just a couple things that I’m working on to keep phone usage productive.

[Psst! Join me on Instagram and Pinterest to keep up with my latest posts and ideas]

Does it seem like you're ALWAYS on your phone? Constantly checking social media? Wonering where the time goes? Take a look at these tips and tricks to spend LESS time on your phone! 

DELETE

To start off with the obvious: I delete some social media sites off my phone. Facebook specifically. This prevents me from just jumping on just a couple minutes ‘here and there’ throughout the day. If I really want to go on Facebook, I have just a couple opportunities when Declan is sleeping (which I always prioritize for doing actual work).

BOOKS

Recently I started getting ebooks from the Seattle library to download on my phone. I’ve gotten in too much of a habit of grabbing my phone to check social media for a couple minutes here and there. Now instead I pick up where I left off on an ebook. Reading books on my phone before I go to bed helps me fall asleep more than browsing social media. #justbeinghonest

EMAIL

I only check my email 3 times a day max. Now I realize not everyone can do this. Some of us are on email all day at work or need to check often on the weekend. I get that. When I’m working with sponsors for this blog, I’m often checking my phone hourly.

But here’s my rule. I ONLY check my phone when I’m in a position to ANSWER those emails. For example, I’m waiting in line at the grocery store and only have about 5 seconds before I need to start unloading groceries. That’s not enough time to respond to an email, so why even check?

Does it seem like you're ALWAYS on your phone? Constantly checking social media? Wonering where the time goes? Take a look at these tips and tricks to spend LESS time on your phone! 

TO DO LIST

I have a to do list app on my phone (appropriately named Todoist) which I sort tasks based on where I can complete the task (home, out, phone, computer, etc). This is really helpful during the times where I have a couple extra minutes and have the urge to ‘play on my phone’. I’m able to easily check my to do list and actually get something productive accomplished.

FACEBOOK

Like many of us, I use Facebook for more than just scrolling down my feed to see what my friends are up to. (Insert Instagram or Twitter if that’s your vice) I’m in several Facebook ‘Groups’: local parenting groups, blogging groups and even a Doberman group. I bookmark each of these groups in a folder on my Chrome browser so that I can check them regularly without getting sucked in to scrolling through all my feed on Facebook.

TIMESPENT ON PHONE

Now if you ever needed a motivator to get off your phone, just take a look at how much time you’re spending on it. For me, this was the kick in the butt that I needed. If you have an iPhone simply go to Settings >>> Battery >> Click on the clock icon. This will show you the amount of time you spent on each of your apps and the % of overall time in the last 24 hours.

Now, I do give myself a break because as I mentioned earlier, I use my phone to WORK. So yes, sometimes being on Pinterest helps me pay my bills. But it’s still eye opening.

How much time are you spending on your phone each day?? TOO much! Here's easy tips and tricks to spend less time on your phone!

I hope these tips are helpful, just a couple ways I’m trying to create a better balance for myself!

 

 

How much time are you spending on your phone each day?? TOO much! Here's easy tips and tricks to spend less time on your phone!

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I LOVE a good DIY project, except when it turns out like a #Pinterestfail. Here’s my tips to make your next home project a success! I love diy projects, especially those found on Pinterst!

I love surfing Pinterest and admiring all the amazing DIYs. Sometimes I even love doing some of the DIY projects I pin. But too often I find my projects turning in to a Pinterest fail. Not because my DIYing isn’t up to par, but more often because I didn’t have a great plan of attack before starting the project. Yes, the projects I find on Pinterest have amazing tutorials and are easy to follow.

But …. and a big BUT,  often projects need to be customized to you. Your house. Your style. Your supplies.

So instead of quickly jumping in blindly, I’ve learned to take time to evaluate how the project will work for ME, in my home, in my space.

DIY project tip: READ READ and READ again all the instructions!

Read the entire blog post

Hello Captain Obvious. But hear me out. Every blogger has a different writing style and format for their posts. Some list all of the supplies at the beginning, while others mention them throughout the post. Some explain the expected level of skill right away while others don’t spell it out, so reading the entire post is imperative.

Also I’m just going to say it …. is the project worth it? Is it too time consuming or difficult? And is it too expensive? Yes, sometimes it’s just cheaper to buy instead of DIY.

But assuming the project still makes sense, let’s move on.

Make a list of ALL the supplies

Sometimes bloggers list ALL the supplies needed at the BEGINNING of the post. Personally, I prefer this format. I want to know everything I’ll need for the project up front.

But here’s the catch: sometimes bloggers assume that their readers have certain basic supplies which they may not mention in the supplies section. That’s why I read the entire post making not of all supplies mentioned throughout the tutorial.

To ensure your diy project is a sucess, make sure to measure the space you're using BEFORE you buy any supplies!

Measure

This tip is applicable whether you’re coming a DIY project of ANY kind. Always, always, always take the time to measure. Then measure a second time. Nothing is more frustrating to me than thinking I’m ready to start a good DIY only to find that my supplies don’t fit the space.

I not only measure the space, but I always bring a measuring tape in my purse.

This allows me to measure the size of the item at the store. Sometimes items at the store won’t have the exact measurements listed on the tag.

Search before purchase

This is another no brainer, but I think it’s worth mentioning. Before running to the store, I always take inventory of what items we already have in our home. I hate buying something I already own. That’s how I ended up with 4 tape measures 😳.

Make your next diy project a sucess by following these important tips!

Purchase

Determine which store you’re going to shop at for supplies. I’ve made the mistake of assuming that my go to craft store would have everything I need. Sometimes it’s worth it to call the store ahead of time or search their website.

Space

Some DIYs can make a clean room look like a tornado came rushing through. Keep this in mind when deciding where to set up shop. I often use our office as my DIY space since I’m typically the only one that used this space.

Deadline

There’s the deadline I WANT to be able to accomplish the project by. Then there’s the timeframe that’s more realistic, the one that takes in to account my busy schedule, purchasing supplies that I don’t have, drying time (if it’s a painting project), etc.

As many of us know, DIY projects can take over your home if you’re not careful. Set a hard completion deadline before your first paint stroke.

 

I hope these tips are helpful for all your DIYers out there! I love a great DIY project, especially if I take the time to set myself up for success!

If these tips are helpful, don’t forget to Pin for Later

Here's how to make any Pinterest project a sucess with these DIY project tips!

 

 

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These are the 10 things professional organizers really wish their clients knew!

The secrets of professional organizers!

The work of professional organizers may look like lots of pretty ‘after pictures’ after some ridiculous before photos. But to get to those pretty after photos, we see a lot of stuff. I mean a lot.  I get it. I’ll admit there’s spaces in my house I don’t want anyone to see. But there are some tried and true tips that really make a huge difference in keeping your home clean and organized. Here’s the biggest things that most professional organizers cringe when they see.

Secrets Professional Organizers Wish You Knew

1 Not respecting capacity limits

Yes, there should be a home for everything, but that home shouldn’t be cramped. My rule of thumb is that no container or basket is my house is more than 75% full. Not only does it make it easier to find what’s inside, it allows for a margin of error (aka – when you need to fill it just a little more). Hey, we’re not perfect 100% of the time 🙂 .

2 Keeping unwanted items

You know what items I’m talking about … the ‘what if someday my toaster breaks and I need a new one’ scenario. Just saying. There’s a common rule with clothing, if you haven’t worn it in 6 months, get rid of it. My rule for non clothing items: if you don’t use it in the last year, it needs to go (I’m accounting for seasonal items). And that’s pretty lenient. Oh and this includes gifts from relatives that you never use, the paintings that you’ll eventually get around to hanging on the wall, etc. If it’s been over a year, it’s out.

3 Holding on to something because it cost money

 Now one rebuttal I often hear when purging is “but it was SO expensive”.  I get it. I hate wasting money. Hate. An expensive dress that I only wore to one wedding 4 years ago. Extra suitcase sitting in storage that hasn’t been used in a decade. But let’s think of it a different way: how expensive it is to waste that storage/closet space with something you’re not using. That becomes a pretty expensive storage space.

Professional organizers spill all their secrets

4 Not putting things away

Ahhhhh. It’s like nails on a chalk board to me. Once you use something, put it in it’s home. Or at VERY minimum, have a junk drawer to get those items off the counter and tables. The better option is to simply put items away after you use them, but I’m giving you a little slack with the junk drawer. Your welcome.

5 Full refrigerator

I’m not talking about the inside. I’m talking about all those magnets, photos, art projects and mail that’s hanging all over the outside of the fridge. Get rid of it. No matter how clutter free the rest of the kitchen is, when the fridge is full of papers, the entire kitchen is a mess.

6 The messy entryway

First impressions are a real thing. And a messy entryway sets the tone for the rest of the house. Whether it’s baskets, hooks, cabinets, you name it. Find a way to get that clutter away. Remember, not everything needs to be stored at the entryway. Keep the essentials – coat, shoes, hat, key, sunglasses, bag. Move the rest to a more appropriate spot.

7 Entryway paper clutter

Speaking of the entry way, this seems to be the popular spot for paper clutter. Now I’m all for placing mail and paper documents near the entry way, but, there’s got to be a system. So next time when you grab the mail and need a place to stash it, it won’t have to go on the kitchen counter. It will go in the entry, via an organized process.

top pet peeves that professional organizers really want you to know!

8 First shopping then organizing

If I won the lottery, my first stop would be splurging at the Container Store. I’m a sucker for the latest organizing gadget as much as the next person. But and there’s a big BUT …. more organizing products don’t make a room more organized. Organizing makes a room more organized. Before rushing out to the store (or Amazon) to solve your clutter crisis, really evaluate your STUFF. So often, it’s more a matter of purging, grouping like items and finding a new place to store them that solves the problem. THEN if you do end up needing more baskets or bins, you’ll have a better grasp of what to purchase.

9 Not utilizing labels

So obviously I like labels. My master closet has almost a dozen of them. Joking aside, labels not only help you keep your system working, it’s hugely beneficial to others in your family that may not be as excited about organization as you are. Surprise surprise, Joe doesn’t share my enthusiasm for labeled baskets in our master closet. But he does know where things go.

10 Not finishing the laundry

We all have good intentions when we start the laundry, whether you’re the type who does laundry daily or has a weekly routine. But starting laundry and finishing laundry are very different things. Nothing screams ‘I’m disheveled and I can’t get my house organized’ like unfinished laundry.  Yep, it’s one of those unfortunate things that you don’t get credit for accomplishing (no one says wow your house looks so great and is free of half finished laundry), but everyone notices when it’s not finished. Finish your laundry. You’ll feel better.
These are the top 10 pet peevse that all professional organizers wish their clients knew! They're easy quick fixes that make a huge difference!

 

 

 

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We all know those people. Those people who look perfectly put together. Those people who are never flustered. People who always arrive on time. Scratch that. Those people who are always early.

Yes, some people have more on their plate than others. Some people spend more time getting ready than others. And some people are just perfect. (We hate those people.) But for the majority, those that are always on time tend to follow these rules:

1 Google Maps

They LOVE Google maps, not only so that they know HOW to get to where they’re going, but so they know WHEN to leave. Google Maps will show traffic and public transportation delays, which becomes immensely helpful in determining WHEN to leave the house. But as great as Google Maps is, it’s far from perfect. In fact I don’t know anyone who can walk as fast as Google or any buses that show up on time like Google says they will. So plan accordingly and add at least 10-15 minutes to your Google Maps directions.

2 Entryway

They designate one place to leave their jacket, work bag, headphones, and any other items that are carried every day, whether at a command center or near the front door. Same goes with keys. There’s ONE spot that their keys live ALL THE TIME. They know that they will forget where they put them if it’s not in that same spot. Skip the morning drama and have these essentials right by the front door.

Top 10 ways to arrive on time to everything, including remembering where you put your keys!

3 Mornings

Speaking of morning, they skip the snooze. Yep, that’s right. The alarm goes off and they get up. Let me repeat, alarm goes off and they get up. That extra 5 minutes of not so great sleep isn’t worth starting the day off behind. Mornings are too important to snooze.

4 Scheduling

They’re not scheduled back to back to back because they know SOMETHING will run late and alter the entire day. Those people who always arrive on time likely also love to be productive and gets lots done throughout the day. Yet they know that one late meeting or traffic jam could toy with the entire day’s schedule. So they’re smart about their time. They never schedule events too close together. And if they’ve got extra time before meetings, they know how to fill it.

5 Downtime

They’re OK with downtime. Meaning that they know how to fill the time when they arrive early for a reservation or show up to a doctors appointment 15 minutes ahead of time. Not only do they know how to use that time, they use it productively. They’re updating a grocery list, they’re responding to emails on their phone, they’re cleaning out their purse.

6 Alarms

Alarms aren’t just for waking up. People who arrive on time often set alarms for important events during the day. They have an alarm letting them know when they need to leave a social gathering, when they need to call an Uber or when they need to start on a project.

7 Plan

They plan EVERYTHING. I mean EVERYTHING. Calendars aren’t just for important events. Punctual people not only show up on time, but they plan out their days. This includes travel time, down time and those not so exciting activities (think laundry). They also know that just because something is planned doesn’t mean it can’t be changed. Flexibility is key when planning out their day. Adding activities to their calendar creates the best chance of accomplishing everything they want to do.

8 Time Suck

They’re not late for events because they don’t check their email or voicemail right before they leave. They also don’t check Facebook. Let’s repeat, they don’t check Facebook right before they’re supposed to go somewhere. Whatever your guilty pleasure, what we think will only take a minute or two often sucks you in for much longer. Don’t let yourself get sucked in. Especially right before you need go to somewhere.

9 End

People who arrive on time end their tasks on time. You can’t be on time for the next activity if you linger to long on the current one. They map out their day in advance, taking time to really think about how long each activity / event will take before adding it to the calendar. And if an event starts to run long, they find a way to wrap things up.

10 The Unknown

They fill up their gas tank when it reaches 1/4 tank. Yes, I’m serious. Yes, this is tip#10. But not just the gas tank. They always have a snack with them, they keep napkins in their car. Simply put, they prevent the unknown last minute delays the best they can.

Here's our list of the top 10 things that people do who arrive on time. Incorporate these easy solutions to be punctual and organized throughout the day.

 

 

 

 

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