10 Smart Tips to Organize Your Bathroom

10 Smart Tips to Organize Your Bathroom

We all strive to keep our bathrooms clean and well-organized. During the morning rush, it’s easy for things to become a jumbled mess of brushes and towels. To help prevent this from happening, you should make use of some clever tips to better organize your bathroom.

Towel Rack

Towels can be pretty bulky when they aren’t organized well. You want to be able to have them on hand, but you shouldn’t have to keep them in another room to save space.

When they’re rolled up, towels are a lot more manageable. Install a rack that fits rolled up towels and you will save up on a lot of space.

Use the Vertical Space

Bathrooms tend to get cluttered with a lot of things. The shower, toilet, and washing machine take up a lot of the floor space to start with. Then you have your hamper and bottles of detergent making it even more difficult to get around the space.

If you want to make a bit of room for something else, you should look into utilizing the vertical space. Some shelves could come in useful.

Hanging Shower Caddy

Hair products take up a lot of space in your shower. If you have a space to sit, it’s very likely that you keep it occupied with shampoo and conditioner bottles. These bottles get wet and this allows mildew to build up.

A shower caddy below the handle would make it a lot more convenient to use products, while also giving you a lot more space to work with.

Use Under Sink Bins

There’s a lot of space under the sink that is begging to be utilized to save some space. However, you can’t just pile things up and hope that it looks well-organized. You have to have a well-thought-out solution.

A couple of medium-sized plastic bins would do the trick. Put all of your large, non-essential items there and use them whenever you see fit.

Mason Jar Organization Qtips

Keep Guest Accessories Compact

You probably want your future guests to feel comfortable in your home, right? Having a couple of essentials prepared for them here and there can contribute to this, but it could further clutter up your bathroom space.

Solve this by putting all the accessories in a clear decorative container that you can store away when you don’t have any guests.

Drawer Dividers

All the stuff you keep in your drawers need to be easily accessible, but without taking up a lot of space. More importantly, it shouldn’t be too messy. You don’t want to have to sift through your drawers to find some commonly used items.

Dividers would do you a world of good in this department. They can help you organize stuff by its function and frequency of usage. Keep makeup on one side and skin-care on the other, or however, you want to separate them.

Double Rod Curtains

Finding places to dry your towels can be pretty difficult. You don’t want them to seem unsightly while they’re hanging around, which is why a subtle solution might be necessary.

Double up on the rods that hold your shower curtains. It’s not a very noticeable change, but the extra rod could be used for hanging towels and clothes that you want to dry out. Best of all, you can put the rod on the inside and basically hide it anything that’s on it from view.

Cabinet Door Space

You might think that you’ve utilized your cabinet to its maximum potential, but you probably haven’t taken a good look at their doors.

The inside of the door can be used as a hanging space for various items. If you somehow attach a couple of mason jars here and there, you can get a lot more storage space for your brushes.

Washing Machine Cover

Washing machines can provide a good surface for some additional storage. Their covers are like an additional shelf that can be used to hold a bunch of bathroom essentials. However, they aren’t really designed for this purpose and you could end up creating a cluttered mess.

You don’t have to replace the whole thing to create a more manageable space, there’s no shortage of washing machine spare parts online. A cover that has some elevated edges would let you keep more items on top of it without them falling off, for example.

Make Use of Labels

Even the most organized among us can’t always remember where to put something. When you’re living with your family, it’s easy for your bathroom to turn into an unorganized mess.

If you add some clear labels to items, they are much more likely to be returned to their rightful spot in the bathroom.

Conclusion

Keeping the bathroom organized seems like a difficult task, but it becomes a piece of cake when you put some thought into it. Make use of some of these tips and you will have a much smoother bathroom experience.

Meet the Author

Stella Ryne is an art historian, traveler, conscious consumer and a proud mother. When she is not trying to improve the things around her (and herself, for that matter), she likes to lose herself in a good book. She’s deeply into green practices, cherishing the notion that sustainable living and sustainable travel will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit and what we eat, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. Stay in touch with Stella via Twitter and  Facebook.

10+ Easy Ways To Organize EVERYTHING In Your Home

Getting organized is a must this time of year. With Spring rootings its amazing head, spring cleaning it’s on everyone’s minds. Further organizing everything can be such a daunting task. Here are over 10 blog posts to help your organize EVERYTHING this spring.

Free Yourself From Clutter | A Simple Guide by Jake’sJunkRemoval

This post is an excellent overview of clutter and clutter-clean-up! If you are suffering from clutter, you MUST check out this guide! Significant concepts discussed include the source of clutter, why declutter, when to declutter, and how to declutter effectively.

Organize & Declutter your Living Room by PatriciaJHancock

This post is part of a more extensive series for home organization. In this article, the author uses the beginning to talk more about the whole series. Then, about halfway down you will find more specific instructions for organizing and decluttering your living room.

Tips for Creating a Functional Space for Kids

The next article is a guest post right here on JihiElephant. The author, Johanna Cider, uses this post to discuss organizing a kid’s room for “perfect balance” and optimization. Further, the critical concepts discussed include repurposing a room, making space, dividing into stations, utilizing walls, and simplicity. y.

Tips for Creating a Functional Space for Kids

Sneaky Ways To Add More Storage To Your Entryway by TheHomesIHaveMade

An entryway is one of the places in a home which always seems to get overrun with clutter. Further, it’s super easy for the mudroom to get cluttered with shoes, coats, bags, etc. This post written by the author, Megan, helps to add storage to your entryway and removing that clutter. Finally, essential concepts discussed include cubbies, baskets, decorative boxes, hooks, trays, and file boxes.

51 Simply Amazing Small Space Hacks For Your Tiny Bedroom by SimpleLifeOfALady

If you’ve got a small bedroom, this is the post for you! Em Mendoza offers over 50 ways to organize a small bedroom, that’s a crazy amount! Further, some of the topics discussed in this post include under-the-bed storage, closets, drawers, walls, corners, and extra space.

10 Tips For Perfectly Organized Kitchen Drawers by TheHomesIHaveMade

I don’t know about your kitchen drawers, but mine is a mess. It feels like no matter how hard I try; I cannot seem to get them organized. I read this article, and I cannot wait to try out some of these tips. Significant concepts discussed include getting rid of junk, drawer organizers, space optimization, item organization, and packaging.

15 Pantry Organization Ideas that will Blow Your Mind by SunnyHomeCreations

Like my kitchen drawers, the pantry could use some TLC. This article breaks down some great ideas on how exactly to optimize space and organize a small pantry. Some of the major concepts discussed include clear containers, lazy susans, alternate product uses, storage ideas, DIY ideas, etc.

Kick The Junk Drawers and Clutter Hotspots by MiaDanielle

Do you have a tragic junk drawer? This article will help you tackle all that nasty chaos in the forbidden drawer. Major concepts discussed include min-maxing and various declutter strategies.

Guest Bathroom Part 2 – It’s Organized by PolishedHabitat

We’ve tackled some other principal rooms so far. Here is one of the rooms in your home which require organization the most. So many things are stored in the bathroom. These items are also in the bathroom, so you want to keep it clean and attractive to guests. This article is part 2 of a serious that is perfect for your bathroom organization needs. Major concepts discussed include hobby lobby and DIY, attractive storage solutions, and budget organization.

How to Organize and Decorate a Minimal Home Office

Here is another one of Jihi Elephant’s guest posting articles. This article tackles both organizing AND decorating a minimal home-style office. An organized workspace when you’re working from home is essential. This article will help you get your ducks in a row. Major concepts discussed include purpose, establishing your space, and decorating the office.

How to Organize and Decorate a Minimal Home Office

6 Steps to An Organized Filing System

This post is one of my most in-depth organization articles complete with a downloadable workbook to supplement the article. This post is a step by step process to take your paper clutter and turn it into an organized and maintainable filing system. Significant steps to this process include getting a container, organizing your documents, organizational style, proper labeling, archives, and ‘to-be filed’ bins.

Six Steps to Organized Filing

15 Stylish Command Center Ideas by BirkleyLaneInteriors

Do you use a command center? This article is a round-up of other content (just like this post is) except it is an inspirational round-up. This post is full of stylish command center ideas and inspiration. There are some great ideas in this article!

12 Genius Linen Closet Organization Ideas by Sunny Day Family

The linen closet can sometimes feel like a collect-all. The author over at Sunny Day Family helps us organize our linen closets and avoid further cluttering. This post really focuses on storage solutions that are cute and functional with a great idea list of supplies.

Genius Ideas for Storing & Organizing Christmas Decor by The Happy Housie

The final article I want to discuss is holiday organization. Organizing seasonal items can feel like such a hassle. The author at The Happy Housie is here to inspired quality storage solutions for holiday items such as Christmas decorations. Major topics discussed include Christmas ornaments storage, lighting storage, misc decor storage, and wrapping paper storage.

Organizing can feel so overwhelming. These articles are meant to break down home organization room by room to take away the overwhelm and chaos. These posts are must-reads you cannot stay away from!

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Tips for Creating a Functional Space for Kids

The models of kids’ rooms we see in most glossies or furniture stores are all well and good, but often they prioritize aesthetics over functionality. If you have children, we don’t need to tell you that in the battle between appearances and utility, the latter always wins out! However, you don’t have to totally let go of the interior décor of your dreams – it’s just a case of maneuvering to create a space that works for kids and their parents alike. Here are some easy organizational tips you can follow to strike that perfect balance.

This post was written by Johanna Cider, scroll to the bottom to learn more.

Repurpose A Room

Let’s start with the first and biggest hurdle: finding space in the first place! Chances are that in the average bustling family home, there won’t be much spare room lying around – but the good news is that there are plenty of solutions to a lack of space.

The first is to repurpose an existing room. You might, for instance, find that younger children might prefer to have a playroom rather than separate bedrooms, in which case you can move the kids together in one room and repurpose the free space. Another great option is garage conversion (you’d be surprised how much space there is to play with once your mancave or she shed is decluttered). Lastly, consider building a new structure altogether as another room in the house or a separate area in the backyard. Shipping container structures are a low-cost way to create a whole new house extension.

Make ‘Space’ Your Mantra

The three-word organizational mantra for kids is ‘storage, storage, storage.’ To create effective storage, you need to make intelligent use of your space. This means ensuring that seats and ottomans double as chests for toy storage, as well as utilizing vertical space (think bunk-beds and tall shelving units).

Tips for Creating a Functional Space for Kids

Divide The Room Into ‘Stations’

Kids have various interests, and their dedicated space should reflect that. Setting up stations in each corner of the room for different activities or purposes (such as Play, Homework, Arts and Crafts, and Reading) is a clever way to cater to your child’s – or children’s – diverse set of hobbies. Creating stations is also an organizational winner, as you can ensure that each station has its own defined ‘zone’ from which items cannot stray.

Utilise The Walls

Covering the walls in chalkboard paint or fun wallpaper (with a world map on, for instance) both facilitates play and pleases the eye. Plus, you can then write clean-up checklists on the blackboard to ensure that the kids take care of their functional space!

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Simplicity Is Key

We parents can sometimes be tricked into thinking kids need an expertly-decorated, gadget-filled space for them to have any fun. But modernity hasn’t changed the experience of childhood that much. Kids still find the best fun in their imaginations – which means that if your functional space is airy, spacious, and most importantly, reserved exclusively for the kids – you’ve already done an ace job as an organizer.

Johanna Cider is a New Zealand-based writer who loves discussing travel, home and lifestyle topics. Home design and organization are two of her greatest passions, and she spends many of her weekends working on new DIY projects. Find more of her work here.



How to Organize and Decorate a Minimal Home Office

If you’ve decided you want to start the move towards a more minimalistic and organized lifestyle, a good place to start is in the home. For those who do a lot of work or projects in the home, a great place to start is in the home office. A home office is a place that needs to be an environment where you feel relaxed and productive (or if you’re me, it sometimes turns into a place of clutter…oops!). Anyone who has ever dealt with a cluttered home office knows it’s almost impossible to feel relaxed and productive when you’re working in a cluttered space. The accumulation of “stuff” can leave you feeling like you’re drowning in post-it notes. So how do you achieve this organized yet appealing minimal home office space? Read on below to find out!

Step One: Decide Purpose

Think about your main goal for the space. Different types of jobs may require different furniture, and only you know what the goal of your home office is. Do you just need a desk and computer? Do you need a craft table? Do you need extra chairs? Think through what you will actually use the space for, and make sure you keep it that way. This will also help you keep clutter or extra furniture and decorations out to maintain the minimalistic look. Stick with the basics, and only the necessary items and décor.

Step Two: Establish a Workspace

The workspace should be the most important focus of a minimal home office. Try and find a desk with extra drawers and storage, that way you can put extra things in the drawers rather than on top of the desk. Desk organizers can also help, as well as possibly trying to go paperless. You will also want to find a simple but comfortable chair, so be sure to browse around for one that matches your color scheme as well as makes you actually want to work. Sometimes minimal designs of chairs tend to be “too” modern and consist of sleek and plastic materials with a little cushion. Opt for something that falls in between, because who wants to work in an uncomfortable chair!? Find your workspace cluttered? Learn how to declutter your desk!

Etsy Ad Printable Downloadable Quotes Inspiring Decor

Step Three: Decorate

Now that you’ve established the basics, the fun begins. Decorating a minimal home office should reflect your personal style while still keeping a simple and organized look. Perhaps you may add in pops of color, or you would rather keep it neutral. Whatever your look is, some decorations that shouldn’t be overlooked are area rugs, a lamp, and some simple desk decorations. Some ideas for tabletop décor can include unique paperweights, cups for writing utensils, small plants, and photos in frames. Wall decorations could include a mirror, a geometric wall hanging, or a bulletin board to post inspiration and ideas for your work. Framed prints are a great way to add color and variety to brighten up space and make it inviting.

Overall, the ultimate goal in this space is making sure the space is somewhere that relaxes you and helps you feel productive and at ease.

Now, time to get to work!

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here



Spring Cleaning | A Guide to All the Little Places to Remember

It’s the season for cleaning! Around this time of year, everyone is cleaning out their homes, putting away winter clothes, planting their gardens. Spring cleaning can be a daunting task, and it is easy to forget to clean various little places. Read on for tips when you complete your spring cleaning. This post may contain affiliate links

Kitchen & Dining Room Cleaning

It’s relatively common to wipe down the dining room table and the kitchen counters, clean the moldy leftovers out of your fridge and call it good. However, there are a ton of other little places in these rooms that need to be attended to. Cleaning out appliances like the blender, microwave, toaster, and oven are essential more than once a year, but spring is the perfect excuse to do a deep clean of them. Wipe down all the food residue, empty the crumb trays, refresh batteries, clean out fans, etc.

In addition to the appliances in the kitchen, I highly recommend cleaning under the table, inside the cupboards, and under the countertops. These are places that don’t get much attention and like to collect spider webs.

Mental Health, Physical Health, and Your Home

Living & Family Room Cleaning

The living or family room of any home is generally the most used room in the house. Because of this more dust and debris is likely to collect here. Every spring move your furniture to clean the carpet or floor underneath. You might also try cleaning beneath and between the couch and chair cushions. Fluff the carpet under any tables or chairs. Additionally, I highly recommend doing a thorough carpet or rug vacuum and clean at least once a year—perfect for spring cleaning season! Getting your furniture professionally clean might also be a good idea. It would also go without saying that dusting all surfaces in the living room is essential regularly.

Bedroom Cleaning

You spend nearly every night in your bedroom, but it can often be the most neglected room in the house. Springtime is the perfect time to take care of your bedroom. Go through your clothes and donate all the clothes you have not worn in a long time, organize your closet and dresser drawers, donate or sell old jewelry. If you keep appliances such a dehumidifier, humidifier, or diffuser in your bedroom, you might also thoroughly clean them out.

The last spring cleaning item I recommend that might often be forgotten is to clean sheets. It’s good practice to toss old worn sheets and invest in a clean new set of sheets on a yearly basis. Not only should you change and wash sheets regularly, old sheets should be tossed once a year or so to keep your room clean and health intact.

Bathroom Cleaning

It is easy for dust to collect in the bathroom because cleaning supplies and other stored supplies don’t get touched regularly. I recommend going through all the supplies in your bathroom, throwing out expired products and dusting all the other ones off. Clean your mirrors, drawers, countertops. Scrub your shower curtain, all grout in your tiles and tubs, and toilet. Keep your bathroom clean this spring!

Other General Spring Cleaning

In addition to regular spring cleaning and the tips mentioned above, there are several other places that should be cleaned this spring. These other items include vents, windows, and storage closets. Getting a professional to clean your vents is the most ideal, however, if you are unable to do so, do your best to clean out the dust and debris that collect here. Removing the vent top is essential for a thorough clean.

Windows also need attending to. The corners and crevices or small hidden areas in windows collect dirt and grime and will need a deep scrubbing each spring.

Similar to the bathroom and bedroom closet cleaning mentioned above, all other storage and closets need to be dusted, organized and cleaned. Throw out anything expired, broken, or unused. Look in all storage boxes for signs of animals, bugs, dust, or mold and clean them out if need be.

Keeping your house clean has a huge influence on allergies and general health. Doing and deep and thoroughly clean each year can have a huge positive impact. Follow this guide when you are cleaning this spring to keep your home in tip-top shape.

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Easy Steps to Create a Stunning Home Study Space

I don’t know about you, but I always found it easier to concentrate when I’m in a pleasant environment. In fact, being comfortable, and having an organized and personalized space around me seems to help me keep my mind focused and get much more done. With that in mind, you may be considering creating a space dedicated to study and work in your home. However, before you do check out the advice below for some help.

Choose A Location

Before you can put in a study space, you need to pick where it will go. You have to be pretty smart about this as well. You want to be smart because you don’t want to be stuck getting distracted all of the time. To this end, an area such as the attic or basement can be the perfect spot. These secluded spaces make it more difficult for people to find you and distract you. This more private space means you will get left alone most of the time to concentrate.

However, before you go ahead with installing your study space, you need to ensure that the area is suitable for long periods of time. That can mean installing basement waterproofing, heat, and light into a subterranean space, or cleaning out an attic room. Also, remember to make your that the floor is sturdy enough to hold the furniture you need.

Easy Steps to Create a Stunning Home Study Space

Pick Furniture

The next step on most folks’ lists when creating a study space is to pick out the furniture that the will need to get work done. Usually, this is a desk and chair and sometimes some books shelves and draws to keep things organized as well. Find your space becomes cluttered fast? Check out these tips.

Make sure that the items you pick are not only fit in with the decor you want but are also comfortable and sturdy. After all, you will spend quite a bit of time in that space. So, the furniture you pick needs to fit the space.

Otherwise, you could end up with a painful back for being in a chair that isn’t supportive of your posture, or even developing RSI if you don’t have your desk at the right height for your computer keyboard.

Add Personal Touches

To finish off your study areas and make it your own it’s nice to include some decorations and personalized touches. What you pick is entirely up to you of course, and many folks are happy enough with a few photos of their family and pets on the desk.

However, if you want the space to have a more cohesive look, you could choose colors that fit in with the broader scheme. Plants in metallic pots are in style this season. Additionally, hanging decorations like the paper pom poms that you can DIY are an easy decor choice.

Follow these tips and you will have the perfect study space to encourage productivity in your studies.

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here

5 Ways to Ensure a Harmonious Home

We each have a unique idea of what our perfect home environment looks like and the aesthetics get a lot of attention – but what about how home feels from an emotional perspective?  Our home affects our mental and physical health a lot more than we realize; it’s an imperative aspect of our lives and a large component of the first base of Maslow’s triangle regarding human need psychology.

The saying “tidy house tidy mind” describes this well, but the concept shouldn’t be limited to cleanliness or home organization.  Like the engine room of a ship, some things need to be taken care of to ensure a consistent feeling of harmony within your home – as niggling concerns which are left unattended can quickly snowball.

This article looks at how to ensure a consistent feeling of “home” by taking care of some of the less glamorous ‘behind the scenes’ tasks that are necessary to create a harmonious home environment that allows you to nurture your mental, physical and emotional health.

Are Your Finances Ruining Your Life?

1. Budgeting & Bills

Keeping up with household bills can be stressful if money is tight, but you want your home to feel like your castle – a sanctuary from financial stress – not a situation where each time you go past the mailbox you dread receiving another bill.  The best advice is to set up an affordable payment plan with each of your creditors to lessen the financial stress or even better, look into no interest credit cards that you can transfer existing debt onto and pay off each month within the interest-free period.

2. Gardening

If you come home each day to an overgrown garden, paint peeling off the fences, and rubble in the yard – it can create a feeling of chaos.  Though you don’t need a white picket fence with begonias growing in the garden, however, a garden that feels “well kept” will help you feel calm; like your life is in order.

Self-Love Ideas

3. Organization

Do you ever find yourself searching for car keys or having to empty out your closet to find the outfit you’re looking for?  If you live in physical clutter and chaos, it affects your mental state and creates an inner sense of clutter and chaos too.  Keep things organized within your home so that you can feel more at peace and calm within yourself.

4. Clean & Tidy

Keeping your home clean and tidy sounds simple enough, but often, this can snowball out of control when left for a few days, becoming such a chaotic mess, that you don’t know where to begin.  The trick here is to either employ a cleaner that undertakes a moderately deep clean, each week, or for you to do it yourself, little and often.

5. Neighbors

No matter how hard you try, not everyone is getting to get on with you, and some people are just plain difficult.  However, if you can get on with your neighbors you can build a sense of warmth and community between you. This warmth will pay dividends on facilitating the feeling of “home” you crave.

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In summary, your home is there to provide you with a place of harmony that supports you throughout the storms of your life, yet it’s important to maintain your home to receive the harmony you deserve from your home.

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here

5 Ways to Ensure a Harmonious Home

How to Organize When You Are Overwhelmed

The New Year is that time of year when everyone begins setting goals.  Some of the most common goals for the New Year include losing weight and getting organized.

As someone who loves to organize this puts a big smile on my face, however, many people don’t feel the same way I do about organizing.  In fact, they find it dreadful.

A common problem people have when it comes to organizing is they are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.  When you feel like this, you have no motivation even to get started. Then, just like that one of your goals has gone down the drain.

You can stick to your goals for the New Year, and you can get organized!  Here’s how you can start:

Start with Highest Traffic Area in your House

The entryway is typically the highest traffic area and is usually the best place to start.  Analyze what you use every single day.  For example, I need my handbag and jacket every day.  Our kids need their jackets every day right now as well since it’s winter.  We have created a hook system on the wall where it’s easy to hang up our daily items.  The kids’ hooks are lower so they can learn to hang up their own jackets.  Wall hooks are a great organizing tool to use because they are very easy to use and don’t take up too much space.

Where to Organize When You Are Overwhelmed

Create a Command Center

After your entryway has been updated, work on creating a command center that fits you and/or your family needs.  Create a central place where you can manage your mail and calendar.  Use a chalkboard or dry erase board for a calendar.  Having a visual calendar will help keep your life organized.  Even if you only use a digital calendar, establish a visual calendar for your household so that it’s always in front of you. Our household uses the following:

  • Calendar Dry Erase Board- We write out our calendar on a dry erase board so we can see every day what is going on for the month.  It’s easy to update when needed and color code it so it’s organized and easy to read.
  • Tack Board-  This is where we keep photos, kids’ art pieces, important coupons that we want to use.
  • Magazine Holder– This is used to store magazines that come in the mail.
  • Hook Holder With Tray-  The tray keeps the dry erase markers stored there, so it’s easy to update the calendar.  The hooks are used for the kids to hang their jackets there.  These hooks are great for key holders as well.  Our kids are too young right now to store them there; we’d never find our keys 😉
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Create a Household Binder

Paper still exists in our lives. Creating a binder will serve as a resourceful resource.  The binder will become your go-to guide.  It will be your Home Bible.  It will keep you organized and allow you to become more productive because all of your important resources will be in one place.  Time will no longer be wasted searching for documents or wondering what the password is to an account. You’ll want to place it where it can be easily accessed every day, like the inside of a kitchen cabinet or on an office desk.  Keep it in the same spot, so you always know where it’s located.

Where to Organize When You Are Overwhelmed

Declutter Your Kitchen

The kitchen is the most commonly used and gathered area of the home.  Having an organized kitchen makes things more enjoyable and perfect when an unexpected guest stops by.  Depending on the size of your kitchen, break it up into sections: Drawers, Cabinets, and Pantry.  

 Start each section by decluttering it first.  If it hasn’t been used in the past year or it’s broken, get rid of it.  Once you have finished decluttering each section, then you’ll want to analyze that space and figure out organizing products to use for that space.  If you are organizing your drawers, make sure to use drawer organizers to help keep items in their appropriate space. 

Acrylic clear drawer organizers work the best because they give you the best-organized look and feel.  They also match well with many different drawers. For the cabinets and pantry use baskets where necessary and label them.  Use the same bins for a consistent look and feel.  Wicker baskets or white bins work very well.  Also, get rid of any type of dishware that doesn’t match your current set-up.

Declutter Your Closet

We wear clothes every day.  You should love every single piece of clothing you own; it should make you feel good.  When you feel good, you put your best foot forward whether that’s in your work or other areas of your life.  Here are some tips to help you with your closet:

  • Get rid of something if you have not worn it in the past year.
  • If it doesn’t make you feel good, get rid of it.
  • If it’s too small or big, get rid of it.
  • Anything that needs repair (button needing to be sewn, etc.) and it’s been longer than six months, get rid of it.
  • Color coordinate hanging items starting with the red and move through the rainbow.
  • Use felt or wood hangers that are all the same to give you a consistent look and feel.

Now you might be overwhelmed by this list and where to start.  Start with the first point and then move to the next one.  Give yourself a week for each point, and in a month, you will have made a good dent in getting your household organized in the New Year! For more organizing resources, you can visit Organized Marie.

Organized Marie

Meet the Author

Marie is an innate organizer and planner. She is a working mom to two with a third on the way and a veteran of Corporate America for ten plus years. Marie is a Fargo native and sports lover.

The Organized Planner was designed for the working mom to help manage and organize personal and work life.

Organized Marie is a place for working moms to create simple, everyday organizing solutions for their home. Every working mom can have an organized, stress-free home.

Want to read more from Marie? Check out these links: The Organized Planner, Organized Marie.



How to Organize When You Are Overwhelmed

How to Boost Productivity Working from Home

More and more people are choosing to work from home. Whether you have a home-based job, you run a business from home, or your employer offers flexible working options, it is important to be as productive as possible. There is an assumption that working from home is easy, but this should not be the case. Working from home suits many people, but others prefer the structure and formality of an office. If you are switching to a home office or you are spending more time at home, here are 3 simple ways to fulfill your potential and maximize productivity away from the office.

Establish A Routine

When you have an office job, you know that you have got to sign in and sign out at certain times. With a home-based role, there is more flexibility, but that does not mean that you should throw routine out of the window.

Most of us work better when we have set patterns in place. Establish a routine that works for you. If you are an early riser and you are more productive in the mornings, start early and tick off the most arduous or complex tasks first. If you do not feel alive until 10 am, consider a later start and work until later in the day.

You may also need to factor in time zones. If you negotiate with clients in different countries or states and the other person’s schedules. Similarly, if you participate in meetings or catch-ups with colleagues on a regular basis, take note of time zones when establishing your routine. If you are not used to working at home, it may take you a few weeks to figure out what works best for you. But you may find that this more flexible approach to working hours suits you perfectly.

Get Your Working Environment Right

When people say they are working from home, it is easy to envision them lying around in loungers with a laptop balanced on their knee and the TV on. The reality is that you are not going to be able to make working from home work for you unless the environment is right. No matter what you do and how much time you spend out of the office, you need an area that is geared towards work. This space should be a place that affords peace and the ability to focus, concentrate, and enjoy some privacy. Spare rooms, attic rooms, and garages can all work well as home offices.

Once you’ve chosen a space, think about how you want to decorate and present it. Choose furniture that will provide comfort, as well as a style. Add touches that will help you feel relaxed, but also energized. You might add houseplants or a scent diffuser machine. If you can, position your desk close to a window, as natural light is proven to increase productivity. It is also a lot more pleasant to look out over fields, ocean waves, or a garden than it is to stare at blank walls.

3 Ways to Boost Your Productivity Away From The Office

Be More Organized

When you work from home, you need to be organized. You can use the same scheduling tools as you do at the office, or you can use a wall planner or an in and out tray system that will enable you to keep track of what you have done. Establish a list of tasks and jobs every day and work on them. For more information about office organization check here, and for more information about time management check here.

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It is perfectly possible to be as productive at home as you are in office. Simply apply these tips, and you will be cruising through your to-do list in no time!

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to write a post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here

3 Ways to Boost Your Productivity Away From The Office

Take Back Control of Your Life

It is time to take back control. This could be your finances, your home, your fitness, your career, your anything—your everything. Here is a list of tips, tricks, and bits of advice that could help you take back control in your life.

There is nothing more magical than seeing the world through a kid’s eyes. It’s that unabashed Disney outlook where everything is possible and nothing – nothing – is out of reach. You can be who you want to be, live where you want to live, think beyond the confines of everyday logic. You chase dreams so wild you go from being a ballerina in space to a friendly dinosaur that just wants to own his own coffee shop in the castle grounds.

But as we get older, this magic starts to fade and we start to realize there is no pot of gold at the bottom of the rainbow, there is no tooth fairy and that none of us has much control over our own lives.

Well, using the motivation that is the month of January, it is time to make changes relating to anything and everything you feel the need to take back control of in your life. It could be your finances, your home, your fitness, your career, your anything—your everything. So, here is a list of tips, tricks, and bits of advice that could help you slay the dragon and finally embrace that childlike wonder we all wish we had never let go of.

Take Back Control of Your Life

1. Have a Regular Sleep Schedule

Sleep until you feel fully-rested which, you may or may not want to accept, is 7-8 solid hours a night. Some of you may be looking at those numbers and telling yourself that you need at least 10 hours, but that will be feeding into your feeling fatigue. It is not just about getting seven or eight hours, though. It is about getting into a regular routine so that your body knows when it is bedtime when it is time to get up and that the full forty winks have been had. To get all sciencey, it is about allowing your brain to maintain a “healthy circadian rhythm”. Sleep the first step to having more structure and order and this translates into control. A regular sleep schedule is great for time management, read more here.

2. Scare Yourself Every So Often

Baz Luhrmann may have been a tad excessive when he said, “do one thing every day that scares you,” but he was certainly onto something. Life is a terrifying place, it is. It has to be. After all, we are mortal. But, all too often, our fears prevent us from doing the things that we may love; the things that we want to do and achieve. But fear is nothing more than a projection in your mind and very different from danger, so once you get into the habit of facing your fears, you’ll find they have no control over you anymore. That’s when you’ll find wings appear on your back and the self-imposed cage around your mind disappears, leaving you to be as free as you like.

3. Take Back Control of Your Home

We mean this in every sense possible. If you have kids and their toys have started to take over every single room in your humble space, then dedicate a day to cleaning up and create a playroom for your kids.

If you think you have some pests, then it could be time to call in the rodent control professionals. Or if your home is just cluttered, then it is time to start organizing what you have. Mess causes stress. Not only that but the more stuff we have, the more we are shackled to it. We start feeling like the clutter owns us instead of us owning it.

4. Stick to Renting

We live in a society where we feel we should own the home we live in. There are financial advantages to home owning. But there are also big advantages to renting. For example, you know exactly what monthly costs are going to be; no baseline interest rates going up, no emergency repair costs to do battle with, nothing. Owning a home simply means having 515% of your net worth tied up in a single investment. If, however, you rent, then you can diversify your investments. Basically, owning a home – or anything for that matter – means owning a fair amount of responsibilities and obligations too.

Also, when it comes to taking back control of your life, the chance to move somewhere new and change your life at a moment’s notice is something that shouldn’t be overlooked.

5. Delete “Social” Apps

If you want to take back control of your life – like really take it back – then you need to stop wasting time on the rabbit hole that is social media. It is a time-vacuum. It sucks up the most valuable commodity any of us have. Instead, you should use the time you spend on social media to do something else, something worthwhile, something that is enjoyable.

Think about the last time you were scrolling mindlessly through social media. It wasn’t even fun. Don’t get us wrong, there are some amazing benefits to social media, such as chatting to friends and staying in contact with distant loved ones, but you should not be on there, for no reason. Check it once a day and then look up and live.

Take Back Control of Your Life

6. Save What You Can, When You Can

Magic can happen when you have some money tucked away. You could be treating yourself spontaneously without sleeping with regret from your spending. You could go on holiday with your friends, or buy your loved one a surprise. Having money in savings means financial stability, and that means a huge amount of stress has been lifted.

Saving is all about living beneath your means to prioritize other things in your life. It becomes less about making money and more about being able to have experienced. However, to really make this work, I recommend making your savings automatic. Take the temptation to spend and out of your hands by setting up a process where money leaves your current account and enters your savings account automatically without you even noticing. That’s the best way to be sure you are saving regularly.

7. Drop Anything You Do Not Need

We all own things we do not need and we all do things that do not add any value to our lives, so, what you ought to do is to get rid of these things. Get rid of all those objects that are taking up space and tying you down. Stop going to those activities you may have once enjoyed but no longer do. Cut ties with anyone in your life that is chock-full of negativity. Life is too short to do things that do not make you happy and there certainly isn’t space to do things that make you unhappy. Instead, focus on making room for the things that are important to you. Make time, make space, and make emotional energy for these things. You will find yourself in a much better headspace if you do.

Take Back Control of Your Life

8. Make Choices – Take that Control

There are very few things that are set in stone, physically impossible, and totally lock you down. You more often have a choice. You have the chance to say you can do something instead of thinking that you cannot. You also have the chance to say no to something, regardless of your reasoning. It is all a matter of choice and knowing what you want.

Break the cycle of automatically saying you cannot do something and you will find that you are in a way more control of your life. That is the trick though. You have to take the time to pause and think, you have to sit down and think about what your options are, what choices you have and then deciding based on those. Do not allow yourself to automatically think something is impossible; that is a surefire of losing your control over your life.

Now that you have more tools in your belt to take control of your life, pick one and implement it today!

This post was written in collaboration. This means that while I have added to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to write a post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here.



Take Back Control of Your Life

Is Your Home Office Bad for Your Health?

There are loads of benefits of working from home. When you work out of your home office you no longer having to commute to work and you are more able to spend quality time with your nearest and dearest. But is it really always this great? Do you want to make sure that your home office isn’t bad for your health? Then you need to use these great tips.

If you ask anyone who works from home what the negatives are of working in a home office are, then I’m sure that they might mention their health and fitness. Now that they work from home, they rarely need to leave the house so their fitness can quickly decline. But there are some other health issues that can rise up as well. Keep reading to learn some ways to combat these health concerns.

Have an Ergonomic Workstation

One of the main health complaints by those who work from home is back and neck pain. This is from sitting in front of their computer all day. If they slouch over the screen, then this pain will be even worse. One way around this is to create an ergonomic workstation. You can easily do this by buying an ergonomic desk and chair. These pieces of furniture are designed in such a way that they don’t encourage you to put excess stress on your back or neck while you are sitting working.

Read here about more ways to upgrade your home office.

Is Your Home Office Bad for Your Health?

Keep It Clean

If you use your home office every day, then you should keep it as clean as possible. Germs could build up on surfaces that you regularly touch, such as your keyboard and office phone. You can buy sanitizing wipes to clean this and remove any germs and bacteria. It’s also worth buying a lightweight vacuum so that you can quickly clean up any spills. If you end up treading any crumbs or spilled liquids into your carpet, they could become breeding grounds for germs!

Sometimes clutter can also attract germs and dust. Try decluttering your desk or home office.

Take Regular Breaks

Did you know that sitting for long periods of most days can lead to some pretty serious health conditions? It is thought those who have very sedate jobs are more likely to suffer from diseases such as diabetes later in their life compared to those who have active jobs. So, it is really worth planning for a ten-minute break every hour. Even if you just get up and walk around your house, you will be doing your health some good!

Is Your Home Office Bad for Your Health?

Ventilate It Well

Bad air in your office can cause breathing problems for those who have a weak immune system or have suffered from respiratory problems in the past. Even if you don’t have these kinds of health concerns, it is still necessary to keep your home office well-ventilated. Otherwise, the air will get quite stuffy and stale. You just need to open your window for an hour or so each day to give the room a quick refresh. Obviously, if it is cold outside then you don’t have to keep it open for too long.

As long as you stick to the tips mentioned above, you shouldn’t have to worry about your home office draining on your health. Try implementing one at a time, adding one new tip each week until you are doing them all regularly!

This post was written in collaboration. This means that while I have added to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to write a post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here.



Is Your Home Office Bad for Your Health?

4 Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Office Space

Whether it’s a whole room in your house or apartment, a carefully proportioned square in an office building, or something in between, odds are you’re spending a substantial portion of the day in your office. Because of that, your office space – like you – has a lot of work to do. It has to be a productive space, but also one that inspires, keeps you healthy, and is generally as pleasant to be in as possible.

There’s no reason to spend 8 hours a day in an unpleasant space. So, if you feel like your workspace isn’t all it should be, read on to find out a few areas you can look to for improvements.

Hang It Up

First things first: No matter how big or small your office is, one thing you’re always in absolute control of is what’s on your desk. And if that’s a bunch of clutter, it could actually be hurting your productivity. Learn more about decluttering your desk here.

One way to fix that is adding storage, of course. But if you’ve got limited space, and no room for shelving? Try hanging things up – keys, headphones, and similar items can go straight onto hooks. Get a hangable container for your pens and other writing utensils. Anything that helps you get the random items off your desk immediately improves your workstation. 

4 Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Office Space

Write It Down

In some ways, this is a lifestyle change. I won’t spend a lot of time convincing you; I remember a time in my life when I laughed at people for being so organized to carry a planner. Now? My planner never leaves my side. Let me at least say this: Writing things down gives your important tasks a physical space and keeps them from zooming around in your mind all day.

This is another simple upgrade because it’s hard to start writing things down if you don’t have the materials. And those materials come in many forms: a planner, a calendar, sticky notes – it’s all a matter of what works for you.

Feel like you’re wasting paper? Try a whiteboard for your lists. There’s nothing more satisfying than erasing items one at a time until everything’s cleared.

4 Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Office Space

Add Some Life to Your Office Space

This isn’t an organization technique – it’s a way to improve your mental state. You could take this literally, and grab yourself a potted plant. If your office lacks much light, a shady plant is great – alternately, it’s hard to kill a cactus.

Of course, pictures take a lot less effort. You could hang up scenic photos, an image of your favorite painting, or even a movie poster of one of your favorites.

Adding life could mean adding bits of your own life, too. Try dedicating a space in your office to some personal effects. Photos of hobbies, a statuette of a musical instrument you play. For me? It’s a small shelf just above my desk with a handful of my favorite novels that I’ve read dozens of times.

Get creative with your space, and it’ll be a much nicer place to be.

Take A Stand – Or A Better Seat

On a more sobering note, the research is in – and sitting is truly terrible for you. To that end, I can’t stress enough the wisdom of investing in a standing desk – or, for flexibility, an adjustable one.

Still don’t like the idea of standing? You can at least make sitting healthier and more comfortable. If your back is hurting while you work at your desk, it could mean you’re not sitting correctly. Sitting properly depends on a number of factors, and it can at least be partially addressed by getting a better chair. So, make yourself comfortable in your office – it’s good for you.

Is your office space hurting your productivity? Pick at least one of these simple upgrades to implement into your own office!

Meet the Author

This post was written by Issac, a Director at 3 White Hats, a New Zealand based online marketing agency.



4 Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Office Space

4 Steps to A More Organized Financial Life

When it comes to your financial life,  you need to get organized. If you lose this organization, you could find you are getting yourself into a difficult situation without even knowing it. So, in this post, we are going to be looking at four steps that you can take to have a more organized financial life.

#1 | Draw Up or Revise Your Budget

First of all, you should make a detailed budget of all your incoming and outgoing money, as thoroughly as you can. Note that your budget is a flexible thing, and once you make it, it is not set in stone. After all, there are all kinds of circumstances that could befall you. So, you need to be ready for all the financial events that could happen at any point during your day to day life. A good budget is one that can be adapted whenever you need to.

Be sure you have a budget all figured out before you move on. Try using Mint.com to organize your finances and track your money automatically and securely.

4 Steps to A More Organized Financial Life

#2 | Keep Bills in One Place

Even though most bills are now handled electronically, you need to make sure that they are all being sent to the same place, and that you keep them together. This way, you can stop things from getting confused and chaotic. You should also highly consider paying your bills as soon as you receive them. The last thing that you need in your financial life is to pay unnecessary late fees and fines because you forgot about it.

#3 | Sort Out Your Tax Situation

If you only work for a single employer, your taxes are usually relatively straightforward. But if you run your own business, work as a freelancer, or you receive any other forms of income, you need to be much more organized. You may need a 1099 form 2016 on which to declare everything. You need to be thorough with taxes, so you don’t pay any additional fines. Many people find it useful to employ a professional accountant or financial advisor. This way, they can ensure that your financial files are comprehensive and accurate.     

4 Steps to A More Organized Financial Life
Image credit: Ivory Mix

#4 | Check Your Bank Account Regularly

If you have a detailed budget, you shouldn’t find yourself with any unexpected spending surprises. Regardless, everyone should get into the habit of checking financial accounts on a regular basis. Doing this will ensure that you are not the victim of any fraudulent activity.

When you are looking at your financial life, being organized is one of the most effective things that you can do. This way, you know exactly where every penny of your money is going. Many people tend to bury their heads in the sand if they encounter any problems. But you need to be proactive and tackling them head-on!

This post was written in collaboration. This means that while I have edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation.



4 Steps to A More Organized Financial Life

A Millennial’s Guide To A Clean Home

Cleaning your home is the easiest way to keep it nice and organized. Have you ever had a big clear out where you’ve cleaned your home from top to bottom and been amazed at how neater it looks? Well, you can get that amazing feeling more often if you clean your home regularly. Of course, I know why most of us don’t get into a strict cleaning regime. We’re part of a generation that lives a very busy life. We balance a work life with a social life, it’s rare we have time at home on our own during the week. When we do, we want to rest, not clean!

So, I’ve come up with a cleaning guide that’s directed at millennials like myself. In it, you’ll find solutions to keep your home tidy without exerting too much time and effort.

Declutter

It’s not uncommon for those of us who live a busy life to leave things lying around the house all the time. Not only does this make it messier and less organized, but it also makes it harder to clean as you spend extra time picking the stuff up. Mainly, I do this when I’m getting changed, and I just dump my clothes on the floor or bed. Likewise, I’ll come home and throw my coat anywhere. It’s the same with my mail too, I won’t open it right away, I’ll let it stockpile up on my kitchen table and rarely sort it.

What we need to do is put things away as soon as possible. Pick up your clothes from the floor and put them in the washing basket or cupboard. Organize your mail right away and stop letting stuff clutter your home. As a result, you’ll have less mess, making your house easier to clean. Check out this closet organization post to learn more about organizing your bedroom closet or this post on file organization to help you out!

Millennial's Guide to a Clean Home

Using Robots

Vacuuming your home is one of the longest tasks when cleaning. However, if you put it off, it makes the task so much harder and time-consuming. Thankfully, there is a genius solution to your woes; get a robotic vacuum. Yes, it’s nearly 2018 and robots are now your best friend in the home. A quick peek on The Smart Future website will show you a whole host of robotic vacuums with different features. Mainly, their task is to vacuum your floor and keep it clean. You can buy one, turn it on, and let it do the work while you put your feet up or do something else. If you really want to make life easier, you can get one with a mopping function too!

Millennial's Guide to a Clean Home

There’s an App for That

There’s an app for just about anything. and, surprise surprise, there’s an app to help you with your home cleaning too. In fact, if you have a look on Housekeep you’ll see there are multiple apps at your disposal. Each one is designed to help you structure and schedule your cleaning routine, prioritizing tasks and setting alerts to get you to clean. This can help you use your time better and clean a little per day, rather than having to dedicate one or two hours on a single day per week.

Follow this guide, and you can have a clean and organized home! Let me know what your cleaning hacks are in the comments!

This post was written in collaboration. This means that while I have added to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation.

A Millennial’s Guide To A Clean Home

Closet Organization | How I Organized My Closet

If you are anything like me, you have WAY too much clothes in your closet and you just simply can’t part with it. I am no minimalist, I respect minimalists, but I couldn’t do it. And when you have as much stuff in your closet as I do, maximizing space is super important. This post is kind of a closet tour/analysis of my closet organization. I am going to show you how I’ve decided to organize my things and how it needs to be improved. The hope is that you will learn not only from my organization but also from my mistakes as a fellow clothing and shoe hoarder.

Closet Overview

I have been blessed with two large closets in my current apartment, and in reality, this was one of the main reasons I chose this apartment complex – immense storage for my stuff. Because of this, my closets are for more than just my clothing and they allow me not to need a dresser. So, don’t think that because I am not using a dresser, that you can use one to optimize your organization.

It is important to note that just because I organize one way doesn’t mean that it is the best way for everyone. We all optimize our space differently and that is okay!

My Clothing

The bulk of my closet is filled with my clothing which I have strategically organized. I should also note that I frequently change and alter my strategy. I generally like to keep categories and subcategories. These categories and subcategories have designated a color (the color of the hanger). Please excuse the difference in the type of hangers, I am currently migrating from the plastic hangers I got at my high school graduation party to some nicer velvet hangers. My clothes are also organized by the color of the clothing.

My Dressy, Professional Wardrobe

The left side of my first closet is reserved for my nicer and more professional clothes. I have my suit jackets and blazers on the far left with pink hangers. Next, on black hangers, are my dress pants followed by pencil skirts and other skirts.

Directly after my skirts, I have sweaters and sweatshirts. This does not include any casual sweatshirts or hoodies. My sweaters are broken into two categories: open front or button-up and pull over. Nearly all of my sweaters have pink hangers currently; though, the sweaters that could be considered nice but also casual have white hangers.



Next are my blouses and shirts. These are organized by length of sleeve beginning with long sleeve and three-quarter sleeve down to tank tops. The button-up blouses have black hangers, tank tops have an orange hanger, shirts that can be both nice and casual have a white hanger, and everything else has a pink hanger.

And lastly, my dresses all have pink hangers and are organized by color, they have no subcategories currently.

My Casual, Everyday Wardrobe

On the right side of my first closet is where I keep my casual, everyday clothing. All of my tops are hung up and I have a shelf for my bottoms. From left to right my shirts are organized: playsuits (not currently assigned a color because I am swapping between hanger styles), casual skirts (pink hangers), tank tops and crops tops (orange hangers), text t-shirts (green hanger), plain t-shirts (white hangers), long sleeve t-shirts (blue hangers), and sweaters or hoodies (green or white hangers because I ran out of white hangers).

On the top shelf, I have my shorts organized in piles. Each pile is a different subcategory: capris and yoga capris, colorful or patterned, high wastes, and jean. On the second shelf are my jeans. These are in three subcategories: colored, light wash, and dark wash. And finally, on the bottom shelf is my elephant pants and leggings.

Closet Number Two

In my second closet, I have more sweaters and hoodies that I generally don’t wear hung up. I also have piles of winter clothes folded on the shelf above. These items include fleece-lined leggings (I have a nice collection of these), sweatpants, and under armor.

I have been perfecting how I organize my clothing for most of my life—it’s something I enjoy. That being said, I have no current plans to change my methods and I highly recommend them, but, I am sure I will continue to tweak it.



My Shoes

My shoes are organized similarly to my clothing in that I try to keep them categorized. My heels, sandals, tennis shoes, and flats are in various hanging organizers, while my boots are on the top shelf. On the dressier side of my first closet, I hang my heels next to my dress pants. Above the clothing, you can also find my shorter dress boots.

Beside my bottoms shelf, you will find a hanging organizer that hold my tennis shoes and another hanging organizer with my flat sandals. Above the everyday side of my closet are my combat and taller boots. And finally, on the back of my bedroom door, you will find an organizer that holds my flats.

Accessories

My accessories are not in one place. They are scattered around my room. My bags are hanging on a rack that I made with my grandpa. On top of my bags, I display my sunhat.

I hang my belts off of a metal shower curtain ring above my dirty laundry. And my scarves are hung from a scarf organizer in my second closet.

Bedding

In my second closet on the top shelf, I have a massive pile of blankets and bedding that I do not use on a regular basis. I keep these items in my bedroom closet because I do not have a towel closet to store those kinds of items in. I actually have an antique hamper in my living room where I store more of my blankets.

Beauty Products

I have more products than I have space. So, I store a lot of these products inside and on top of two-drawer shelves in my second closet. There might be a better way to store these products, but I have owned these shelves most of my life and cannot be bothered to purchase a replacement.

Art Supplies

The final part of my closet lies on the ground in my second closet. This is the least organized part of my entire apartment and I need your help! If any of you guys have any suggestions for organizing my mess that I call “art supplies” please let me know in the comments below! Instead of explaining how I’ve chosen to organize this part of my closet, I’ll just show you.

That’s it, guys! What do you think? Any suggestions? How do you organize your closets!? LET ME KNOW!!

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What’s in My Backpack!? Backpack Essentials for College Students

As a college student, it is essential to pack our bags strategically because you have to carry it around with you all day. Without an alternate place to store all of your things (like lockers for high schoolers), you need to maximize the space in your backpack while still having everything you need for class and the day as a whole. Below I talk about my backpack essentials!

The Backpack

Naturally, for this post to make any sense you’re going to need a backpack or another larger bag of your preference. I have a bad neck and back, so I opt to use a backpack with good support to lessen my physical discomfort. I also find it to be essential that your bag of choice has many pockets to aid in the organization of all of my things.

My current backpack has lost its support and needs to be replaced, however, I cannot seem to find one with pockets that I like within a decent price range. It has two large compartments, a medium compartment with smaller zipper pouches in it, a small front compartment and two water bottle compartments on the sides. I utilize each of these sections.

Everyone is different, so when choosing a bag, make sure it suits your needs!

What's in my backpack

Textbooks and Binders

In many cases, the largest contents of a backpack are the textbooks, notebooks, folders, and binders. I generally take one to two textbooks at one time because of their weight and how it affects my neck. If you can fit and can carry more than two and you’d like to, go for it!

In addition to the textbooks required for my classes, I take the binder that is associated with the class I will be attending for the day. I use binders instead of notebooks and folders for multiple reasons. The first reason is that I have hundreds and hundreds of pages of loose-leaf notebook paper and absolutely no notebooks. So, having a binder gives me a place to keep the paper.

The second reason I use binders instead of folders is that the binder organizes everything I will need for the class including the loose-leaf paper, handouts, a folder for the handouts, folder compartments for projects that need to be turned in, and a clear area to put the syllabus or course schedule on the front. This way I am not digging through a cluttered notebook to see what is due next. The downfall of using binders are the bulk. Again, use what works best for you!

prefer to use your own binder and add printables? let me make them for you! Click here

Planner / Scheduler

My next backpack essential is potentially my favorite part—my planner. Personally, I use a bullet journal (check out my bullet journal here}}). I keep my journal in a pouch to protect it from spills and page damage, though this is not necessary.

I HIGHLY recommend that you get an agenda or planner if you don’t already have one. It is essential to keep all your due dates, classes, appointments, and other events organized in one place. Plus, there are a million different types of planners so you are bound to find one that you really like.

Laptop

This next backpack essential isn’t really essential but for some people, it is immensely useful to have on you. I keep my laptop on me because I work on campus and use it at work. However, it is also extremely helpful in between work and class when I do not have time to go all the way across campus to go to the library, or if there are no computers available in the student lounge in my building. I am able to pull out my laptop and work on homework or even complete blog work in my free time instead of sitting around playing on my phone. If you choose to carry your laptop around you need to be mindful that it takes up a lot of space, requires protection, and will probably need you to have a messy mop of cords in your bag too.

What's in my backpack

Writing Utensils

You can’t be expected to take notes in class without writing utensils, so these are a MUST. I keep my pens, pencils, and highlighters in a zipper compartment in my medium zipper section, though you can also opt to keep them in a pencil case or makeup bag. I always keep a plethora of colors on my person because I like to take notes in color, but this is not something that you need to have, a few black pens and a pencil are good enough.

What's in my backpack

Water Bottle & Snacks

One of the most important parts of the college student’s backpack is a water bottle. By keeping a water bottle on you, you are more likely to stay hydrated without having to use public water fountains. Water is good for you, so don’t forget to bring your water bottler!

Regardless of how long you plan to be on campus, you will need snacks. Snacks are an awesome way to remain focused, refuel energy, and if you’re on campus all day—you will need to eat. I am generally on campus all day because of work and class, so I not only pack a lunch but also keep granola bars and various chips or crackers in my backpack. My small pouch of my backpack is designated for snacks.

What's in my backpack

Umbrella

It’s not a necessity in some places, but I always keep my umbrella in my second water bottle pouch in case of rain. Where I am from random bouts of rain are not uncommon, and I prefer not to have to run to my car with my bag over my head.

What's in my backpack

Wallet

If you have any interest in having an ID on you, student card, money card, cash or anything else you probably keep your wallet on you. This is easy to add to your backpack because it probably does not take up much space.

What's in my backpack

Charging Cords

The final backpack essential is charging cords! This might not be a necessity for you, but if you have your laptop or phone on you, you probably do not want it to die in the middle of the day. I keep my cords in the pouch with my snacks for ease of access.

There you go! Those are my backpack essentials, what do you keep in your school bag??

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What’s in My Backpack!? Backpack Essentials for College Students

My 735 Mile Move: The Reality of Moving Far From Home

I recently made a long-distance move and it was difficult. Here I will focus on the emotional and practical challenges of my move.

If you read part-one to my 735-mile move, you know that I recently moved from Michigan to North Carolina—and it was difficult. The trip was 13+ hours of driving. If you want to know more about the challenges I experienced when moving long distances, head on over to part one. For this part of my story, I want to focus on the emotional and practical challenges that arose.

1st Month

The first weekend was easy because my family and boyfriend were still in town and we were keeping fairly busy. I was emotionally overwhelmed and found myself getting extra emotional, but in hindsight, the weekend was really good. Even after my family left, I was doing fine. It was very emotional when they left, but I was soon busy organizing and decorating all of my things.

It was the second week where I started finding myself getting lonely and tired of being in my apartment. I decided it was time to start looking for a job. Not only did I need the money, but it would provide me with a social network. Finding a social network to plug into is so important early on because it helps with those pesky lonely feelings.

potted cacti

Finding a job in a new area is very stressful. Not knowing anyone, or having any connections meant that I had to start from scratch. I decided to target cafes at first. First, I created a list of cafes near my apartment and took a day to drive to each and drop off my resume and fill out applications. I got lucky and got an interview that day, ultimately getting myself hired in. This really did help with the lonely.

Read more about coping with the loneliness that comes with moving far away from home HERE!

Bus vs. Driving

The next decision I needed to make was between driving my car everywhere or learning how to ride the bus. I had never ridden the bus at home because they did not come anywhere near my house, also, I have a car and did not feel the need. However, because of having a very tight budget, I was stuck trying to figure out what would be cheaper and more realistic.

I looked up bus fare and routes then calculated how much it would cost me to drive to school for the semester (over $300: gas and parking) and how much it would cost to take the bus ($250). There was still a dilemma because it would be a two and a half hour commute on the bus and a 15-minute commute in my car. Despite being more expensive, I opted to drive in order to reduce my own daily stress and to save myself valuable time. I experience a lot of anxiety in new and crowded situations, especially those that are out of my control. So, it was better than I dip into my financial aid to buy a parking pass and drive.

It sound like a methodical decision, however, I was extremely stressed about it and it affected my health. I highly recommend you look into transportation before moving, so that it isn’t something you need to worry about last minute like I did.

Making Friends

Making friends is actually the hardest part of this move. Remember, moving far away from home all by yourself is lonely. So, making friends is essential. I have managed to get along with several co-workers and classmates. But I am referring to finding a close friend to come to with problems. This is a lot harder because it means trusting a complete stranger with your emotions and inner thoughts. I really struggle with this.

essential oil square shelves

Making friends is something I am still not sure how to do, and I have been in North Carolina over a month now. I will keep you guys in the loop and I learn and improve my friend-making abilities.

Graduate School

Graduate school was the entire motivation for my move to North Carolina. This meant that graduate school took all priority. With two jobs and full-time graduate school, I found myself struggling the very first week. I was faced with a dilemma—I needed money to pay for school, but I needed more time from work to stay in school. After I spent a few weeks thinking about quitting my second job, I decided that this was the best idea for not only my education but for my mental health. I chose to pay for school and some of my bills using my financial aid (despite hating the idea of going further into debt). If you find yourself in a similar situation, always, always take into consideration your mental health and sanity, always.

I had originally expected to work two jobs and then complete my homework in the evening. And with my schedule, I was able to. However, I found myself overwhelmed with no time to myself. The deciding factor was reducing my stress.

Finances and Budgeting

Another huge area of stress immediately after my move to North Carolina was finances. Not only was moving expensive but paying bills without an income is expensive. I felt like I was constantly spending more money than I had to spend. Especially since I did not expect to be paid for my graduate assistant job until the end of September. I had to sit down and create a list of my bills and figure out how much was due and when it was due. I then had to make sure I put aside most of my tips from my serving job. This meant that I had to create a budget that had little wiggle room and I had to stick to it.

Not having a previous conception of my bills, outside of rent and car insurance, before the move I felt underprepared. With the help of budgeting, I never fell behind in my bills; however, I highly recommend that if you are planning a big move, set aside more money than you are expecting to need.

The point of this post was not to complain or to brag, show off, or complain. I simply wanted to provide a reality for someone else who might be preparing for a long-distance move for the first time. There is so much more to the process, that I had realized.

Want to know what happened while I was planning my move? Check out Part One to my 735 Mile Move: The Reality of Preparing For the Move

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I recently made a long-distance move and it was difficult. Here I will focus on the emotional and practical challenges of my move.

My 735 Mile Move: The Reality of Preparing For the Move

The first thing you need to know about my move to North Carolina is that it is at least an 11-hour road trip…not including making stops. Because of the distance, I had to make most of the arrangements beforehand over the phone or online. For a lot of things, this didn’t really matter much, but for others, it made things feel impossible.

My hope for writing this post is to better inform others of what to expect if they chose to make a long-distance move. I’m going to talk a lot about my struggles and the process. By no means am I discouraging anyone from doing what I’ve done, just know that it’s really hard, be informed.

Getting an Apartment

Getting an apartment was one of the most stressful aspects of the move. Without a place to live, I wouldn’t have gotten here in time for the semester to start, or I would have had to spend way too much money living in a hotel.

Step One: Research

The first thing I had to do was research apartments. This was difficult because I didn’t really know the area, and I wanted to live somewhere safe but also near school and work. Because of these unknowns, I created a list of about 6 apartments that seemed to have what I needed/wanted, had photos that made them seem like they were in a good area, and were within 15 minutes of my school.

Then I created a spreadsheet comparing each of them, and naturally, I had two favorites.

Step Two: Visit

Next, my grandma, aunt, and I took a weekend trip to North Carolina to visit each of these apartments. During this trip, I learned several things.

  • Nice pictures online, while helpful, can be wrong
  • Prices are generally higher than they say online
  • If I wanted to live in a nicer area, I had to be willing to pay at least $100 more each month
  • An upgraded apartment simply means a new paint job (probably not done wonderfully), new appliances (probably just black instead of white), and new fixtures (whoop-de-doo)
  • There are more costs than you think: application fee, the fee to hold the apartment, deposit, and additional couple month rent, etc.

I expected this trip to be fun and easy. I was wrong. It was incredibly stressful. My family was immensely concerned about my safety, which isn’t a bad thing. But, the safest places were WAY out of my price range. So, I had to choose from a step down in safety, not necessarily unsafe but probably no security cameras or security workers or gates. A large portion of the trip (and sometime after), my family members kept making comments about where they thought I should live despite knowing that I couldn’t afford it. This stressed me out, because I didn’t even want to look at places out of my price range, yet they wanted to look at all the really nice places. Money is tight, I couldn’t, my choices were limited and I had made up my mind.

Step Three: Getting An Apartment

Now that I’ve finished visiting and all my research, I have to apply. There are application fees, so I couldn’t go out and apply everywhere. I gambled—I applied to only one apartment complex (the only safe one in my price range). I crossed my finger and hoped that they let me in and THEN that they had an open apartment in time.

After the application went out, all I could do was wait. And, my luck, their phone calls were not going through, nor were their voicemails. It took me from the end of April to the middle of June to really get ahold of them outside of them telling me my application was accepted. Getting accepted wasn’t good enough though and I was calling almost daily to no avail. Thank goodness that I decided to shoot them an email.

They responded to my email very quickly and gave me an alternative number to call. They then called me every other day to update me on apartment openings and verify information. June 15th (only 2 months before classes start), they called me telling me that they had an opening. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but I was desperate.

I had a month to prepare for the move.

Preparing for the Move in One Month

Getting a Job

Getting a  job is really hard to do from such a huge distance. Especially because I was looking for part-time. I had applied to become a graduate assistant at my school and got accepted at the same time I got the apartment, but this wasn’t going to be enough. I needed another job. The pressure was on, but I also felt as if I couldn’t really do anything because of a lack of responses I was getting using online means. I needed to go into the offices and facilities, but I couldn’t. I put this aside until after the move, but I knew I was going to have to kick my butt into gear immediately to be able to pay the bills (Stay tuned for Part 2 of My 735 Mile Move where I talk about this).

Tight Budgeting

This was my first apartment, so I had nearly nothing that I needed. So I had a lot of very strategic spending to do. I did not have a lot of money to spend, but I had a lot of things to buy. I started with the apartment fixings and utilities.

Finances

Utilities

When you get an apartment, you have to take care of a lot of things: insurance, gas, electricity, water, rent, trash, etc., most of which you need to have before you even move in. This wasn’t particularly stressful, but it was expensive. I had to make A LOT of phone calls and spend hundreds up front just to be able to move in. Because of this, I had a lot less money put aside for emergencies, and to spend on the apartment.

Buying all Necessities

I started by making a list of necessities like furniture, toiletries, a bed, appliances. Then I got on VarageSale. VarageSale is an app that would be similar to going to garage sales online. I was able to get a few bits of furniture using garage sale at a pretty good price. Including this lamp!

I also got super lucky and one of my grandma’s friends gave me a large amount of free (yeah, free) furniture. This was so amazing because I was so stressed about money and still needed larger items like a couch or somewhere to sit. My grandpa also gave me his old tv, which was very nice.

Planning Ahead

Not only did I have to be careful about my spending before the move, but I had to be saving a lot of money for after the move. I saved up a couple thousand, but a lot of that was gone before I even got to North Carolina. Naturally, this made me even more stressed about getting another job. I needed a couple thousand just in case I couldn’t find a job or an emergency happened, and I barely had this. But I trucked along, spending wisely.

The point of this post was not to complain or to brag or show off or anything. I simply wanted to provide a reality for someone else who might be preparing for a long-distance move for the first time. There is so much to the process.

Want to know what happened after I move? Check out Part Two to my 735 Mile Move: The Reality of Moving Far From Home

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How to Love Yourself Better | A 30-Day Challenge

Need to take better care of yourself? I challenge you to 30 days of self-love! For the next 30 days, pamper yourself with this challenge!

Are you up for a challenge!? Awesome! I challenge you to 30 days of self-love! For the next 30 days, pamper yourself! Self-love is so important; I cannot stress it enough! This challenge calls you to spend 30 days indulging and taking care of yourself, working on loving yourself. Self-love is more than just loving your life. It is loving who you are and taking care of yourself. So many people spend their time taking care of others (their spouse, children, clients, friends, etc.). This is great, but we forget to take care of ourselves! Take part in the 30-days of self-love challenge!

So what is self-love? Well, according to Deborah Khoshaba over at Psychology Today, “Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic; it grows by actions that mature us. When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept much better our weaknesses as well as our strengths, have less need to explain away our shortcomings, have compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning, are more centered in our life purpose and values, and expect living fulfillment through our efforts.”

This challenge incorporates a ton of ways you can implement daily self-love in a small not-so-time-consuming way.

Without further ado…

lady in towel

More On Self-Love & Loving Yourself

Self-love could be re-phrased as self-acceptance. When you accept yourself as you are right now, and love yourself just for being you (despite your flaws, despite your failures, and despite your past poor decisions) your life truly begins to open up. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a mid-life crisis or traumatic divorce to break us down. A bit like Humpty Dumpty, to allow us to build ourselves back together, we need glue (aka self-love).

Excerpt from A Lesson on Self-Love | The Importance of Loving Yourself

30 Days of Self-Love Challenge

This self-love challenge includes some of my favorite relaxation and self-care activities. But, please, by all means, love yourself the way that is best for you. If you don’t like puzzles but you like story-writing, then write a story on the days I challenge you to complete a puzzle. It’s completely customizable! Let’s get started!

  1. List 5 reasons why you are grateful for today
  2. Lit a candle when you get home
  3. Read 10 minutes before bed
  4. Do a puzzle or creative activity
  5. Stretch for 5 minutes
  6. Spend 15 minutes electronic-free
  7. Drink 60 ounces of water
  8. Get 7 hours of consecutive sleep
  9. Drink a cup of tea
  10. Clean or organize something
  11. List 5 things you are good at
  12. Take a 20-minute bath
  13. List 5 reasons why you are grateful for today
  14. Drink 60 ounces of water
  15. Spend 20 minutes electronic-free
  16. Meditate for 5 minutes
  17. Drink a cup of tea
  18. Stretch for 5 minutes
  19. Clean or organize something
  20. Avoid sugary foods
  21. Do a puzzle or creative activity
  22. Light a candle when you get home
  23. Get 7 hours of consecutive sleep
  24. Journal about your day
  25. Take a 20-minute bath
  26. Read for 10 minutes before bed
  27. List 5 reasons why you are grateful for today
  28. Meditate for 5 minutes
  29. Clean or organize something
  30. Journal about something that you love and why you love it
lady in red and white dress off white background

For this challenge, you will need…

  • An open mind
  • Willingness to love yourself
  • 30 days of commitment
  • A candle or multiple candles
  • A journal or notebook
  • Water
  • Tea, any kind will work
  • Bathtub
  • A leisure book of your choice

And if you don’t have all of this, don’t worry because you can change the challenge to fit you!

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5 Time Management Tools You Need To Be Productive

We live in a fast-paced society surrounded by incredibly busy people. And when you are an incredibly busy person, it is hard to keep everything straight. A lot of the time this internal chaos is the result of poor time management. This article provides 5 tools for improving time management.This article utilizes Amazon Affiliate Links

Sleeping

#1 Sleep

The first step in time management improvement is to get enough sleep. When you are running on less than the recommended 7 hours of sleep your brain isn’t functioning at its highest capacity. Because of this, you become more easily overwhelmed, exhausted, and lazy feeling. Learn more about designing your bedroom to get a good nights sleep here.

When you are able to get 7 hours of consecutive sleep you will feel amazing! You will be more capable of handling the crazy chaos each day brings.

To Do

#2 Daily To-Do List

There are a million ways to improve your time management and one of the most common methods is a daily to-do list. While I prefer a planner with everything all laid out in one portable spot, a to-do list is super simple and easy for anyone to use.

A to-do list doesn’t have to be anything fancy or costly. All you really need is a pen and some paper.

When it comes to utilizing a to-do list, I recommend referring to it each morning. Before you get anything done, read over your to-do list and revise it if you need to. Now you know what your goals are for the day and you can get started!

#3 Planner

My favorite time management tool is my planner! There are, again, a million types of planners. You can use a bullet journal, premade planner, notebook, or an app on your phone or computer.

Bullet Journal & Notebook

I currently use a bullet journal (see my 15 simple bullet journal page ideas post or the bullet journal beginners challenge for more detail). Before making a bullet journal, I recommend looking at other bullet journals to give you some ideas. You can see a wide variety of page ideas over on my Planners and Calendars Pinterest board. Once you have figured out how you want your journal to work, you’ll need a notebook. I highly recommend the Essentials Grid-lined Notebook.

The bullet journal is one of the most customizable planner options. A notebook is very similar though. If you choose to go the notebook route, then good for you! Each person is different and the important thing is that you find something that works for you and your needs.

Premade Planners

The third option is a pre-made planner. There are a million brands and styles out there to choose from. Check out these planners by At-A-Glance, there are some great options!

Apps & Websites

The final option is phone or computer apps. There are so many apps nowadays that it is hard to keep track. Some apps that I use and love for time management assistance include myhomeworkapp.com, Google Calendar for Android, and Microsoft OneNote.

myHomeworkapp

myHomeworkapp.com

I like myhomeworkapp.com because it is explicitly for homework and delivers customized notifications to my phone to remind me to get my projects done on time. Myhomework is also amazing because it works on both my phone and my laptop, providing me with access to my homework no matter where I am. Lastly, the myhomework phone app is amazing because it comes with a widget that displays my homework right there.

google calender

Google Calendar App

Google Calendar for Android is nice because it links right up to my google account making it accessible both on my laptop and on my phone. I used this app more before I discovered bullet journaling but still tend to keep it around for the reminders feature.

Microsoft One Note

One Note

OneNote, like the other two apps, is mobile and laptop friendly. Here I can make quick notes or to-do lists from my phone when I do not have access to my bullet journal. I can then see these lists on my laptop.

With all your lists, to-do’s, and appointments in one place, you are now better prepared to take on everything the day wants to throw at you.

#4 Calendar

This next time management tool was already touched on a little bit, but I’ve decided to talk about it separately because of how useful it really is. Calendars provide a nice monthly overview and can include a variety of things and come in a variety of shapes.

Like I mentioned, I use my bullet journal calendar and Google Calendar for Android. However, my most-used calendar is a whiteboard. I’ve had my whiteboard calendar for so long, I don’t have a single clue where I got it. However, I was able to find a similar one, you can check that out here.

My whiteboard calendar is a life saver. I love it because it doesn’t waste paper, mounts right up on the wall with Command Strips, and can be easily accessed by everyone in my household. I usually put appointments, work schedule, and events up on this calendar, so it is less about detail and more an overview.

#5 Have an Organized Space

The final time management tool is having an organized space. If you are living in clutter, then you will feel cluttered. Having a space that is designated for your work and has all the supplies you require within reach is essential. If you would like to learn more about how to declutter your workspace head on over my 6 Ways to Declutter Your Desk Space post.

My Time Management Tools Resource List

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