How to Make Your Home Zen

Your home should be a peaceful sanctuary. It should be a place where you can relax and de-stress. If this is not the case, it is time to make some critical changes. But, where should you begin? Read on to discover some mindful ways you can make your home more Zen.

Eliminate Clutter

There is only one place to begin, and this is by getting rid of clutter. Clutter makes it impossible to unwind. Start with one room at a time, and get rid of as many items as possible. Only keep the essentials. Everything should have its own space – and this space shouldn’t be a random corner of the room or the coffee table. To stay on top of this Zen-like clutter-free space, operate the one in, one out rule. Whenever you buy something new, something else has to go.

How to Make Your Home Completely Zen

Add Some Plants

Indoor green plants are a must. Not only does their soothing green color look amazing, but also plants provide oxygen. They improve the indoor air quality, which ensures a more comfortable living environment. However, choose your plants carefully. Don’t go for plants that emanate disturbing scents or those that need special maintenance. Good options are hanging terrariums and bonsai trees.

Keep Decorations & Ornaments To A Minimum

Simplicity is key when it comes to wall decorations. Avoid overly congested collections of photos and paintings and don’ fill your shelves with decorative statues.

Focus on All Senses

To create a state of Zen, you need to focus on all senses. It’s not just about what you see. It is also about what you smell and what you feel. Layer a room with different textures. Also, make sure your house has a relaxing, sweet yet subtle smell. Vanilla and lavender are good choices.

Mental Health, Physical Health, and Your Home

Keep Furniture Natural & Simple

Clear and simple lines characterize Zen style furniture. Avoid excess ornamentation and complicated detail. Also, avoid a plethora of patterns and styles, keep it plain and simple.

Let in the Light

Natural light is a feature of any Zen home. You cannot expect to relax if you are merely relying on one harsh overhead in a room. Changing your window or investing in a skylight may be a significant investment, but it is well worth it. You can read this home renovation e-book for more advice. Regarding artificial lighting, make sure you have numerous sources per room, rather than lighting a space with just one overhead bulb.

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Go for Earthy Colours

Last but not least, natural colors that are in soft tones are a must. Suitable examples include beige, dusty pink, white, and grey. Choose harmonious colors that have the power to induce a sense of calmness and relaxation. Everything needs to tie together naturally. Each room should have a good flow to it.

As you can see, there are many different ways you can make your home completely Zen. From buying some indoor plants to eliminating clutter, it does not cost a lot to make your property more relaxing.

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 

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

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

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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