New FREE Worksheet! For a Clean House….

March 8, 2011 § 5 Comments

Just in time for your spring cleaning urges— a worksheet you can follow step-by-step throughout your house. This is the order in which I clean, which is by task. For example, I do all the bathrooms at the same time and move in phases throughout my house. It seems to go faster this way because I am focussed on one thing at a time and am not constantly searching for cleaning supplies I set down in another room or which rooms I’ve already vacuumed, etc. It is also nice if I happen to run out of time because the whole house is generally cleaner whenever I have to stop, instead of having one sparkling room while the others are still in the state of disaster they were previously in.

What is your house cleaning style?

Go download this worksheet here:

Inspiration: Sycamore Street Press

March 5, 2011 § 1 Comment

Aaaahhhhh, Letterpress.

The art of ink pressed into beautiful papers. I really can’t get enough of it. Maybe I love it so much because it is a lost art in this digital world, but I love how it is still alive (and more creative than ever) in small shops across the country.

One shop I came across recently is Sycamore Street Press. I like this one especially  because their designs are so creative, their color palette makes me smile, and they are very green in the way they do things. Take a look at some of their beautiful work:

Take a look at their shop or go Like them on Facebook.

Kids, clean your own mess!

February 28, 2011 § 14 Comments

Now that I have a very capable 4 year old on my hands, I’ve come to the conclusion that I can no longer let her get away with not cleaning her room. I am a crazy-organized mom so I actually prefer to do it myself. Nothing drives me more up the wall than blocks mixed with princess shoes mixed with strawberry shortcake— all in the same bin. I mean, how can she play like that?!? But really, there had to be a system that she could relate to so that her toys stayed picked up AND in a spot where she could find them again.

I don’t know about your 4 year old, but mine can’t read yet. So, I decided that putting pictures on every bin would enable her to know the correct spot for things. I even went as far as to use the actual toy in the picture so she wouldn’t be confused. I also added the written word with it so she could begin to recognize the word with the picture.

I am happy to say that after showing her how, she has really caught on to this concept. It is actually has become a game for her— sorting things in the bins that match the picture. YES!!! I’ve attached the labels below that I used. They print correctly on Avery 8160 labels or compatible ones. I just used pictures from the ToysRus site, so it’s probably not very legal to actually call these a printable. So, they are on my page and I am not calling them anything… just an example to do with as you wish in the privacy of your own home. 🙂

Supplementing Your Life

February 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

These days many people I know, inlcuding myself, visit alternative doctors. I have been going to these kinds of doctors since I was 17 years old. It’s funny how similar all the ones I have been to are– smarter than anyone I have ever met, yet some of the most disorganized people around. I really don’t know how they do it. Personally, I can’t think “smartly” if all of my paperwork and other items aren’t organized neatly into piles and folders.
Many of the alternative books I read are this way too. They have great information, but it’s hard to apply the supplements they suggest because the information is all over the place. And there is A LOT of it. Whenever I get home from a visit or read a book, I feel very overwhelmed with the task before me– to figure out how to apply what I just learned. 
This is not a good place to be when it comes to your health. That is why I designed a chart to help manage vitamins and supplements all onto one page to make it easy to grasp. Since it is a free, printable file available here, you can print it off as many times as your supplement routine changes. I know mine changes quite often.
Here are some more ideas for your vitamin routine:
Obviously, you can buy holders for sorting pills by the day. I ended up buying 4 of them so, during my more intense supplement treatments, I can fill them up and label them according to Morning, Noon, Evening, and Bedtime. I also bought the kind that separate so I can pop off a day and carry it with me to work. In my supplement routine I have a bunch of homeopathetics and liquids that make things a bit more complicated. For me, I bought a really cute tray from anthropologie and placed all of my supplements for the week on it. I keep all of the refills in the cabinet above, but with the pretty tray it actually looks good sitting on my counter. Every Sunday I take 5 minutes and refill everything according to my Supplement worksheet.
I have also learned, after just cleaning out my vitamin cabinet, that vitamins have expiration dates too and you shouldn’t keep them around too long. I cut down on 75% of the clutter in my cabinet just by throwing away all of the old pills. Yes, it gets very expensive… but good health is priceless.

What is your brain style?

February 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

Source: yasmeanie

With all types of organizing, there has to be some common foundation for the process. For example, one way is through color. This is probably one of the most popular ways since most people are very visual. The idea is that you assign each color a certain meaning, and then organize according to your perimeters. I do this with my home office files– red is auto, blue is banking, yellow is utilities, etc.

Another way of organizing is through numbers. Just like color, each section of what you are organizing has a certain number attached to it. This can also be applied to shapes, fabrics, letters or any identifier that readily stimulates your memory.

The key to organizing for YOU is understanding the way YOUR brain works.

I remember when I started my accounting job. All of the spreadsheets were already created by someone else and I was adding onto them. For the life of me, I could not read them. I would get confused and frustrated and put numbers in the wrong spots, create columns that already existed, etc. (Which, for an accountant, is really bad stuff!) But to the person before me, they made perfect sense. That is because we had different brain styles.

My brain is pretty focussed in that it basically only responds to color and shape. Like when I read a magazine, I never actually read it. I look at the pictures and read the big quotes pulled from the articles, but that’s about it. I am drawn to the visual. When I took my accounting spreasheets and made them look beautiful, with proper spacing and color identifiers, everything fell into place and undstanding them became easy.

Others of you are on the opposite spectrum. If you actually made it to this point in the blog by reading every word, that is a good sign that you are one of these who focus on the meaning of things and are more detail-oriented. You can organize with words and numbers and do not need the visual stimulation to stay on top of things. This doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy things looking beautiful, but you don’t NEED it. For this type of person, organizing can actually be quite easy because a few stark white labels with “Times Roman” wording written on them might be all you need to function. How nice for you 😉

There are others ways a brain can respond: through sound or touch or even emotion. They key is to find which one of these you identify with most and then create your own “organizing style”. If you can successfully do this, you might manage to stick with keeping things organized instead of jumping from system to system and always feeling like nothing you do is working.

Take a moment and examine the way you think. Do you need colors to help your brain out? Do you need to use pictures of hearts, kitty cats and newborn babes because you are emotionally driven? How about different textures and patterns to keep your stuff in order? Or maybe words and numbers speaks clearest in your mind.

Follow your brain’s natural pattern to success.

Oh Bookshelves…

February 15, 2011 § 1 Comment

source: Decor Pad

source: Windsor Smith

I don’t know what is it about built-in bookshelves that make a home feel complete.

Perhaps it’s knowing that there is depth to the home– that the people who live there have a passion for something or a knowledge of something that others can discover when they come to visit. Or maybe it is just the beautiful rainbow of colors and ideas that make a home feel loved and lived-in. Whatever it is, it makes me happy.

If you can find an empty wall to add a few shelves, and then fill it with meaninful books and treasured family heirlooms, you will create a space that’s comforting and stylish. It is also great for organizing and ridding your house of clutter. Just make sure you only keep around books that inspire you, that you read, that you want to pass along, or that have meaning. The rest can go for some cash at your local half-priced books.

New {PRINTABLE} Pantry Labels

February 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

Last time we discussed pantry organization. It’s feels so great to get everything in order, but how do you keep it that way? If you live with other people, you know the hardest part is getting everyone on the same page as to where things go. You can have everything organized until your husband (although lovingly) helps you clean and puts everything back in the wrong spot. Thus begins the spiral downwards to right where you started.
Change all of this with small, stylish signs pointing you in the right direction. Use as few or as many as you need— just enough as a reminder to keep things the way you intended. And the best part is, you can hang them anyway you want. They were designed to be printed on Avery 8161 labels so that you can peel and stick them. But, you can also print them out on sturdy paper and tape them on, or make them cute by giving them a hole punch and hanging them with a ribbon. So many fun options!
Take a look at the shop for all of the titles and options you can choose from!