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!
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!
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!! 👍😊
It’s official...the July Clutter Independence Challenge is complete!!
Look at all those bags ready for donation. Great job everyone! It is incredible what a difference one bag a day decluttered can make in your life. So, how did it go? What have you made room for in your life? I would love to hear it!! Please let me know in the comments if you enjoyed this series and /or would like to see more challenges like this in the future.
Today doesn’t have to be the end...every day is a good day to let go of things you no longer need, use or love.
Being organized isn't about getting rid of everything you own. It's not about having rigid rules that can never be altered. It just means being able to find what you need, when you need it!
I am excited to share the news that I have completed the training to become a licensed Sunday Basket® Workshop provider!
The Sunday Basket® is a great system to keep track of your papers, errands, and schedule. In this 90-minute workshop, I will provide you with the materials and instruction to get your Sunday Basket started. You get to bring any size basket, box or bin full of your actionable/to-do papers to get organized.
The registration fee is only $30. Click the link below to get all the details and sign up!
I look forward to seeing you soon at a workshop!
Do you have any routines in your life? Maybe it is a morning routine, before-bed routine, or cleaning routine that you do every day? Kids thrive on them, but adults need them too. Call them what you like, do you actually carry out these routines? I excel at creating and planning routines for my life. The HAVING routines part is nailed down. I believe 100% that they can save you time and the mental stress of trying to remember what you need to do. The execution is where things can fall apart...the DOING the routine part. This is definitely not the the fun part. Anybody else struggle with this? Luckily, every day is a new chance to start over fresh. So, that is what I am doing this morning!
Write down what you need to do on a piece of paper, keep it in your phone, on your calendar, wherever you will see it and be reminded. What are some of the tasks in your routine? Do you like to write them down? Please share for inspiration!
Who is ready to play Organizing Bingo?
It doesn't have to take hours to get your space organized. Take 15 minutes and try to get BINGO! You choose which three-in-a-row it takes to win. Spend just 5 minutes on a category, and then move on to the next. With 15 minutes spent, who needs a Free Space?!
Share in the comments which three categories you tackled and we can all yell BINGO along with you!!
December is the time of year that I choose my new calendar/planner for the upcoming year. I'm sure you will not be surprised to hear that I get really happy looking through all the options and selecting a fresh, new planner. I love the potential and world of possibilities waiting inside them. Am I alone here? Does anyone else out there love choosing a calendar/planner for the new year? Or, maybe this is the year that you would like to give a paper calendar a try for the first time. I can help with that. 😃
Simply Organized NW is having its first giveaway!!! I found a beautiful 2018 Recollections Creative Year 12 Month Spiral Planner that I would like to give away to one interested reader. It ticks many boxes that I look for in a calendar/planner...functional, fun decoration, and small enough in size to be portable. Check out the photos below!
If you would like to be entered into the drawing to win this lovely planner, 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 you look for in a paper calendar
The winner's name will be randomly chosen on Friday, December 15th at 11am and notified via Facebook message. I will happily mail this planner out to the lucky winner next Monday!
I'm looking forward to hearing from YOU!
Many times I have shown the desktop file box that lives on my kitchen counter. But, what if piling papers is your jam? You definitely should use the system that works best for you. I want to share a new product that I recently discovered. It is called the Pendaflex PileSmart. I am trying this out in the paper bin that I keep on my desk. Why not have the ease of a pile of papers, but still have categories to help you quickly find what you need. You can also label the sleeves with the categories that work for your life. If you are a "piler" maybe this product could help save you some time and aggravation! Reply in the comments with a 1 if you may give this system a try, or 2 if you are a happy filer.
Happy Wednesday! Here is a question for you...
Do you have a drop zone? I'm talking about a command center, or the place you put all the stuff in your hands when you walk in the front door? Where is this place? Did you intentionally choose it, or was it happenstance?
With a little focused planning this space could become your best time-saver! This spot should be convenient, easily accessible (visualize dropping things right in), and have room for all your essentials. Things that might live here include a basket for papers/mail, a bowl or hook for keys, a phone charger, and a spot for your workbag or purse. Once you have chosen this zone, you will always know where to find these items when you need them.
Here is a pic of my own drop zone. This spot is at the end of my kitchen counter. It is a straight shot from the garage or front door. :)
Where is your drop zone? Please share in the comments below!
Nobody loves making their bed. At least, not anyone I've ever met. We see it as a time-consuming nuisance first thing in the morning. We ask our kids to do it. They hate it too. So, what's the point? Why should you ever bother making your bed? You are only going to (hopefully) return to it at the end of the day.
Here are a few reasons why making your bed can be a very good thing...
1) It sets a tone of success and accomplishment for your day when your feet first hit the floor. Check! One thing done already! You may now proceed kicking butt and taking names. :-)
2) When the bed is made, you are less likely to leave other items lying around which don't belong there. I'm talking about unfolded laundry and clothes tried on before leaving the house.
3) A tidy bed is a little bit of cozy luxury that welcomes you when you are ready to rest at the end of the day. You can choose if it is simple and straightforward, or mounded with decorative pillows.
Are any of these reasons compelling for you to try making your bed? Please share in the comments if you are a bed maker, or why you don't.
When things begin piling up in our spaces, it is often because they do not have a designated home. I am issuing a challenge to any and all who choose to accept it: Find three items today that are lying around in your home, and choose where they will live. It will be so much easier to put things away and tidy up when you know where it goes. I would love to hear about the items you find...and where they live now! Bonus points for sharing a photo in the comments! Let's all inspire each other. :-D😀
Have you ever tried meal planning? It may sound intimidating and time-consuming. But it doesn't have to be. It can be a very effective tool for staying organized, saving time and money all week long! If you are looking for motivation, check out the photos below. This is my lunch meal prep that I completed on Sunday morning. This is the spicy, cheesy chorizo casserole that my husband and I will eat for lunches all week long! 😋
Interested in learning more? I would love to chat with you if you want more info about meal prepping or other ways to get organized! Share your favorite favorite lunch in the comments.
Have you ever thought that you just can't get organized because you've tried in the past without success? Fear not!! There are multitudes of methods for organizing homes and reducing clutter. The key is to find the one that works best for YOU. Don't be afraid to try new ways if something is not working. Sometimes, several methods used together will be the best approach. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1) Timer tidy: set a timer for 5-10 minutes and remove clutter (a great family activity!).
2) Rewards: a clean and orderly house on Saturday means a day at the park.
3) Morning minutes: spend 10 minutes each morning readying the home for the day. (this also works well done in the evening for those with more energy at night!)
4) Empty spaces: remember it is OK to have empty spaces in your home.
5) Trading: when you bring a new item into the home, decide which item could be traded out so you can avoid accumulating clutter.
6) Planning: before bringing anything into the home, plan where it will be used and stored.
The challenge for today is to try out one of these methods that may be new to you. Share in the comments which number you could try out today! I like #1, because you have an excuse to stop when it goes off. :-)
Have you ever thought about keeping your budget organized? Organizing your life is about more than sorting your old shoes. It is about taking control of your finances as well. It is crucial to know how you are spending your money...and why. An organized budget will help lead you one step closer to an organized life.
Budgeting is basically organizing categories and expenses. The initial budgeting process is the most challenging, but is well worth it. Look at your expenses and categorize them. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
-Needs: mortgage, rent, insurance, groceries, gas
-Wants: entertainment, dining out, cable
-Savings: 401k, vacation, home improvement
Once you have accounted for how your money is being spent now, it will be much easier to see how you can start to make any changes.
Let's chat about goals...
Creating goals for organizing your space is an essential key to success. You can start small and work up to those larger, more daunting tasks. Instead of setting one large goal of attaining an Organized Home, break up the organization into rooms, functions, or even closets or drawers. Goal setting might look something like this:
1. Organize bedroom closet and donate clothes that aren't worn to local shelter.
2. Sort through linen closet and mark sheets according to bed size.
3. Clean laundry room and install shelves.
4. Declutter home office.
5. Clean son's room, and help him donate unused toys to needy children.
Breaking down into manageable pieces the overwhelming task of organizing a living space is crucial for reaching your goals! Which goal will you tackle today? Please share the number in the comments below. Or reply with the one that works for you. :-)
Our patios, decks, and yards are extensions of our homes and can provide us with additional living spaces. Don't forget to organize these so that they can remain valuable additions to your home. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Use weatherproof furniture so you don't have to bring it in and out according to the weather forecast.
2. Design a simple landscape that lets you use and maintain your property easily. The more items you place in a yard, the more items you have to mow and trim around.
3. Invest in outdoor storage containers for decks and patios. Smaller items can be stored in these for easy access.
Think about how you want to spend your time outside, and create a space that allows you to do just that. Now, enjoy!