Happy Monday! It's the start of a new week, let's take charge of our email!
Is your email inbox a place where all the messages you've ever received all live together in equal importance? Can you find the message you need, when you need it? No? Let's fix that. Here are a few simple steps you can take today to get control of your inbox. I recently started using this system in my email inbox and it has been fantastic!!
Step 1: Reframe how you think of your email inbox. Let's think of it like your physical mailbox. When you check your mailbox, you go to it and remove everything inside to be sorted and acted on, right? We don't keep everything inside there returning to it over and over to search for that one important item. If every message stays in your inbox it will be difficult to find what you need, and actions you need to take may be forgotten.
Step 2: Categorize your inbox. When you get a new message, ask yourself a question - Where does this go, or what action do I need to take? There are 5 main categories your email message may fall into. Let's get into those now.
1. Junk - we all get plenty of spam messages (just like in your physical mailbox!). These should be deleted immediately. They are visual clutter with no benefit to you.
2. Action - any message that requires some action by you. Examples: an email needing a reply, or a notification that you need to update your autopay information. These are all those messages that have become tasks for your To Do list.
3. Waiting On - these are messages that you have acted on and are now waiting on a resolution or response. Example: you place an online order and have received the confirmation. Now you are waiting for the item to arrive.
3. To Read - this category includes any message that you want or need to read at a future time.
4. Active Projects - this is for any current project you're working on. Move all the messages related to it into this folder for easy access. Create subfolders if you are an overachiever with multiple projects going. 😉
5. Reference - these are messages that do not require any action, but are informative and you may want to access them in the future. Create subfolders here as needed.
Step 3: Create new folders for the categories that are relevant for you. Tip: if you use Gmail and want these folders to stay shown at the top, put a symbol in front of each word. Example: !Action @Waiting On #To Read I'm not sure if this works for Outlook. There is also a great way in Gmail to link your action messages to your task list. Let me know down below if you would like a future post about this.
Step 4: Sort that inbox! As new messages arrive ask yourself - where does this go?
Will you give this system a try? Tell me in the comments! You've got this!! 😃👍
Happy Monday! How is your #Staycation2020 going? A good remedy for anxiety is action. Let’s tackle that junk drawer today. ✂️ 🖇It will feel so good to be able to find what you need when you need it! First step - this drawer could use some rebranding. Why not start calling it your Supply Drawer? That’s really what you want to keep in it, right? Not junk.
Now we can get started with my version of the S.P.A.C.E. method.
1. Sort 2. Purge 3. Assign A Home 4. Contain 5. Enhance (with labels and other fanciness).
Share a pic of your Supply Drawer in the comments and inspire someone else! 😃👍
So...did you make a list of projects you can work on while you’re home on this Staycation? Not yet? Here’s a list of 10 to help you get started! Which of these, or another task, will YOU tackle today? Share in the comments what you’re working on. Let’s encourage each other! 🤩👍
Happy Monday! It’s the fresh start of a new week. I’ve decided to reframe this necessary isolation we’re all having as a Staycation. I’m all about looking for silver linings. 😃 So, to start, I’m going to make a list of all those projects (big or small) around the house that I never seem to get accomplished. Then I’m gonna get to work! I’ll share my progress with you, and inspiration along the way. I hope you’ll join me!! Let’s make the best of this situation together! Who’s ready?
Please leave a comment or emoji if you’re with me. 😁👍
We have a book series that I really wanted to keep together on one shelf. But, the shelf in question is narrow and deep. Hmm...what to do? Enter the humble shoe box for the win! This inexpensive organizer that we already had lying around the house became the perfect stadium riser for our books. Now they can live together on the shelf, and all are in view. What do you use your shoeboxes for once the shoes are out? Let me know in the comments! 😀
Try using my S.P.A.C.E. method to give it a reset!
Step 1 - SORT - Take everything out and sort it into categories. Meat, dairy, veggies, snacks, etc. This will also give you a chance to clear away any spills or trash.
Step 2 - PURGE - Toss, or set aside to give away, anything that is past its prime, or you know you will not be eating.
Step 3 - ASSIGN - Make a plan for where your items will live inside the fridge. This can be very specific, or general zones.
Step 4 - CONTAIN - Ok, this is my favorite part. Now that you know how much you have in each category, it's time to contain it. Repurpose containers, boxes, or baskets you already own or head to your favorite shop.
Step 5 - ENHANCE - Now is the time for labeling. Don't skip this step. It will help you remember where things live (and know when you've run out!), and help your house-mates put things back too!
Give this method a try and smile the next time you open your fridge!
Good morning! Is it snowing where you are?? ⛄️
It’s National Clean Off Your Desk Day! While you’re stuck inside, take the opportunity to create a space that you love to be in.
A few simple ways to start:
1. Sort what’s there into categories.
2. Shred or recycle outdated paperwork.
3. Toss old pens.
Happy Clearing! 📝😀
Thursday Thoughts: National Preparedness month is wrapping up. Have you done something to be a little more prepared in case of an emergency? 🚨 Any day is a good day to help future you! FEMA is a great resource for getting started. https://www.ready.gov/. The high priority tasks that I recommend include...
• 1. Creating an emergency kit for your home and vehicle. I can help with that! 🙋♀️
• 2. Making a plan with your family for where you will meet up and have a phone number for an out-of-state contact if possible.
• 3. Training your family (and yourself!) on how to turn off utilities.
• 4. Preparing supplies for any pets you have.
• 5. Keeping at least a half tank of gas in your car in case of evacuation.
Have you done any of these tasks? Do you have another one to share? Let’s help each other to be prepared! ✅
What’s keeping you from achieving your goals? Perhaps it’s a simple obstacle that can be avoided. For me, locating and choosing my workout gear each day was taking long enough that I would delay my workout and sometimes skip it entirely. I know, that sounds like a dumb excuse, right? Yep, you’re exactly right. But, it was enough of a barrier that I was using it to procrastinate doing the thing I already didn’t want to do.
So what is the solution? In this case batching the decision-making was the answer! I wanted to get in some type of workout each day so I laid out 7 outfits and literally bundled them together. Now they live in a dedicated drawer in my dresser. It’s super simple to grab a bundle and get dressed in the morning. Then I’m ready to go! This process only needs to be done 1X/week. Guess I’ve outsmarted myself for the moment. 😜
What decisions could you batch together to save yourself time and get your home or schedule organized? Please share in the comments!
The first day of school has me thinking🤔...it's time to clear the dust bunnies out of the homework cart! 🤣
Happy Tuesday! Here’s a quick technology tip...try Google Keep!
This app is your new best friend. One place to “keep” 😉all that info that’s in your head Happy Tuesday! I think of it as post-it notes on your phone. I love the visibility of everything together, and that you can color-code your notes! 📝 This is available on iOS, Android and the web. Let me know in the comments if you use Google Keep and what is your favorite thing about it!
Happy Tuesday! We've arrived at the final installment for this Tuesday Tutorial Series. Meet the Christmas Binder. I think this one may be my favorite. Take the time to put this together now, and it will save you time and mental stress when December rolls around.
When do you usually start planning for Christmas or other holidays you celebrate? It's likely not in May, right? But stick with me and reap the benefits for years to come! 😀
Let's get started....
The only supplies you will need for this project are a binder and sheet protectors. I've used my favorite Better Binder from Staples in a 1-1/2" size. The red color just seems to yell "Christmas!" to me. I've added a fun printed sheet to the front of the binder to jazz it up with holiday spirit. And, of course, you will want to label the spine. There will not be a lot of time-savings if you cannot easily locate the binder later.
My top must-have sheets to include inside are:
1. Task List - This is how you will keep yourself on track with all those holiday related To-Dos. A simple checklist sheet or plain notebook paper will suffice. Pop this into a sheet protector and use a dry erase pen to make it reusable!
2. Christmas Card Tracker List - This is a useful way to keep track of who you send cards to, and who you receive them from.
3. Gift List - This is the place to note who you'll be buying a gift for, the gift idea, where to buy it, the price, has it been wrapped, does it need to be shipped, and a spot to mark when it is completed. Note any stocking stuffer ideas here too. This sheet lets you look back to see what you bought each person last year. It's also a helpful way to stick to a budget.
4. To/From Stickers and Tags - Store them all here in this binder and you will know right where to find them in December.
5. Return Address Labels - Full disclosure, I like to use the freebies that are sent to me in the mail. But, you can get creative and print up your own! This can be a great place to keep your holiday stamps, too.
6. Gift Receipts - This binder is a great spot to keep all those receipts that accumulate as you're shopping. They will be simple to find later for any returns or exchanges. I've used a plastic envelope here. But, a regular sheet protector will also work.
That's it! You are now ready to plan for the holidays at your leisure. When a gift idea occurs to you, you can jot it down here. You could also put recipes, or menu ideas here. Enjoy your time with friends and family with less stress. That's my gift to you in May.
Merry Christmas, a little bit early!
I'd love to hear in the comments if you keep a binder like this, or if you will make one this year! 🎄😁
It's Tuesday, that means it's time for the next binder in our Tuesday Tutorial Series. This time it's all about recipes. If you're like me, you probably have a number of recipes whimsically pinned on Pinterest, or printed out and sitting in a pile somewhere waiting for the perfect time. A binder can be an awesome solution. This is the place to keep all of your favorite recipes, the new ones you want to try out, and the ones you only use occasionally. This binder is so simple to create it barely qualifies as a tutorial. 😊
Here are the supplies you will need:
1. 1.5" Binder - If you've been following this series you know what I'm about to say. The one I'm using here is...the Better Binder from Staples. You know all the reasons why I love 'em! And as always, go ahead and save a little money and use a binder that you may have lying around at home if you like. Recycling for the win! Do make sure that it is strong enough to hold a lot of paper.
2. Sheet protectors. These are optional, but can really come in handy when cooking to keep your recipe clean. If you spill anything, it will wipe easily off of the plastic sheet.
3. Optional items - a fun sheet to put in the front cover for inspiration. And, a more practical addition is the Kitchen Equivalents that I keep inside for reference.
4. The last item you will need to create this binder are sticky label tabs. These come in all sorts of sizes and colors. The can be labeled officially, or handwritten. These are available in most office supply aisles in your local store.
Now that you have your supplies at hand, you're ready to put your recipe binder together.
1. Gather up those printed sheets and put them each into a sheet protector.
2. Separate those sheets into the categories that make sense for you and your family.
3. Write those categories onto a sticky label and place it on the top sheet for each group.
4. Put everything inside your binder - and don't forget to label that spine.
Now get cookin'! I'd love to hear what YOUR favorite recipe is in the comments below. 😋
Welcome to the Kitchen Manuals Binder. This is the one place where you can keep all those kitchen-related appliance manuals. These might include small appliance manuals like an Instant Pot or toaster oven, or larger ones like a dishwasher. Basically, if you use it in the kitchen, the manual can live in this binder. No more wondering where that certain manual has gone. Looking for things is over-rated!! This binder is super simple to create. It will save you a ton of time and reduce aggravation. Sounds good, right?
Here are the few supplies you will need:
1. 1.5" Binder - The one I'm using is the Better Binder from Staples. You can read my last post for all the reasons why I love 'em! Feel free to use any binder that you like, or already have on hand. Just make sure that it is sturdy. All those manuals can pack on some weight.
2. A plastic 3-hole punched binder envelope - You may need several depending on the amount of manuals you have. I should probably get myself a second one.
3. **Optional** sheet protectors - These can be useful if you have a larger manual that you want to reference more easily, or just keep separated.
That's it. Now you are ready to create your binder.
1. Gather ALL of your kitchen manuals. This may take some time if they have wandered off around your house. Take the time to search and locate them all if possible.
2. Place the manuals all together inside your plastic binder envelope.
3. Place any special manuals into their own sheet protector.
4. Don't forget to label the spine of your binder. Now you'll know exactly what's inside.
That is all there is to it. Going forward, you can easily place new manuals here with their friends. And, if you want extra credit...remove the manuals from the binder when the items leave your home! 😀
Each Tuesday in May I'm going to dive into a different type of binder that you can create which will save you time and money in the future. They are all ones I personally use and love. So, let's jump in!
Today, I'd like to introduce to you my Coupon Binder. I'm sure you're familiar with this concept. But, my version is different in scale. I find that having a small 1-inch binder allows me to hold all of the coupons, and easily take it with me on the go! No more wasted time looking for "that coupon that came in the mail" or "shoot, I left that coupon at home!" Perhaps you don't use coupons. This type of binder can also be useful to hold a variety of gift cards. Some folks out there have a lot of these...you know who you are! :-)
Here are the supplies you will need:
1. A 1" binder. My favorite are the Better Binders from Staples. They lay flat and are simple to open with the button on the bottom. (no more pinched fingers!) You can choose a fun color, and slide a bit of paper in the front, if you wanna get fancy! Mine is the Better Mini 1" D-ring binder in teal because it makes me happy. Don't forget to label the spine too.
2. Sheet protectors in a variety of sizes. The amount you will need depends on you. I started with a couple of packets. Be sure to get these in the same size as your binder.
3. Sticky label tabs. These come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. They can be found in the office supply section of most stores. The stickiness is very handy if you ever want to change or move a label.
4. **This one is optional.** A plastic 3-hole punched binder envelope to keep in the front. This can be used if you want to just bring a few coupons with you instead of the entire binder. It can usually fit inside a purse.
Now you're ready to Put. It. All. Together!
1. Sort all your coupons (or cards) into the categories you use most. I like to save the coupons that I get in the mail throughout the week, then sort them 1x/week on Sunday. Now I'm ready for the upcoming week, and can remove any that have expired.
2. Label your sticky tabs with your chosen categories. Place them along the edge of the sleeves.
3. Stuff all those money-saving coupons into their sleeves!
4. Congratulate yourself on being super organized, saving money and time!
When you dispense medicine into a travel container, don't forget to jot down the expiration dates. I love to use garage sale pricing stickers for this task. They are a perfect size and come in cheerful colors. 😊👍😊👍
So, it seems like everybody's talking about Marie Kondo right now. While I don't agree with all of her methods, I fully endorse the notion of decluttering items in categories. It is impossible to know how many books (for example) you have, and want to store if you only sort the ones in a single room. I also love her enthusiasm and encouraging attitude!
Have you been dying to "tidy up" your home? Or are you simply curious to discover what this KonMari method is all about? You could be in luck! I am giving away a copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. If you would like to be entered into the drawing to win this copy, head over to my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/simplyorganizednw, and take ONE or more of the following actions, and let me know in the comments that you're interested!
1) Share this post.
2) Tag a friend.
3) Comment with what category of stuff in your home, you are ready to get organized.
The winner's name will be randomly chosen on Thursday, February 7th at 5pm and notified via Facebook message. I will happily mail this book out to the lucky winner by the following Monday!
I'm looking forward to hearing from YOU! 😃
Completed a fun Friday project putting together an emergency kit for my mom to keep in her car. It makes me happy to use my organizing experience and enthusiasm to help my family too!!
Do you have an emergency kit?
....because EVERY DAY is a great time to get organized!
Let's jump on the train of momentum that the new year brings. This display at my local Michaels just made my heart happy! Those rolling carts in the foreground are one of my favorite types of storage. They also have great ones at Ikea and The Container Store. They are so versatile. You could use it for crafts, beverages, homework supplies, tools, etc. I've included pics of the two I have in my house right now. How would YOU use one of these carts in your home? Please share in the comments!
Time for a quick pep talk! Do you ever hear a little voice in your head? You know, the one that’s been telling you that you aren’t an organized person? You've tried to get organized in the past and it didn’t work. Well, that simply IS NOT TRUE! Tell that little voice to “shut it!”.
The right system for you is out there….you just haven’t met it yet!
November 15th is America Recycles Day!! Any day this week, bring the electronics you're ready to let go of to a local Staples and get a coupon for $10 off! Sometimes getting organized pays YOU!
I do this one regularly, but realized I’ve never shared it. After you are done taking notes in your paper notebook, save them into Evernote! Now they can be searched later. You don’t have to choose one or the other...paper or electronic. You can have the benefits of both!! 👍😊
Did you know it's National Preparedness Month? Fall always feels like the right time to get ready. The weather is turning iffy, and the kids are heading back to school. Are you ready if you get stuck at the side of the road, the power goes out in your home, or you need to quickly leave your home? What would you take with you, and do you have any supplies on hand? I want to share what I do for myself and family, and how you can be prepared too.
Today I'll start off with vehicle emergency kits. Check out the pics below of the ones I keep in our car and truck. Here are my top 7 tips to get started:
1. Pack a kit for every vehicle you own.
2. Store the kit inside your vehicle at.all.times. for easy access.
3. Choose a container or bag that will fit in your vehicle and can hold all your needed items. Bonus points if it is easily portable!
4. Emergency supplies and food can be found affordably at your local dollar store, grocery store, and Fred Meyer/Target.
5. Make a list of what you need and how much of it, for yourself and your family.
6. Set a reminder in your paper planner or online calendar to check over these supplies 2x/year. This will avoid expiring food and remind you to restock items that have been used. I just set this up on my Google calendar and it is a game changer!
7. Ready.gov and FEMA.gov are excellent online resources for supply lists to get you started.
I'm considering filming a video on what's inside my kit and where I get it. Would you find that helpful? Let me know in the comments!