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. 😊👍😊👍
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?
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!
Day 2 of Jillian Michaels Beginner Shred happened. When do those endorphins kick in?? I’m still waiting...
Meanwhile, I need the accountability, so I’m embarking on what I’m calling the Trifecta of Awesome for the next 30 days. I’m obviously not a fan of waiting until the 1st to begin. 😉 Check out the July Clutter Independence Challenge for more inspiration. Let’s get our whole lives organized together! In the next 30 days I’ll be sharing what I’m doing to keep all the stuff, nutrition and fitness organized. Because life is too short for it to be anything but Awesome! Who’s with me?? 😀👍
It’s Day 27 in the July Clutter Independence Challenge!
We’re in the home stretch now. This is the last official day. I will wrap us up tomorrow. As you may recall, we didn’t start this challenge on the 1st of July. That’s ok, we’re seeking progress, not perfection! Today is the day to look for any clutter in your vehicles 🚗. I have done this recently, so thought I’d provide inspiration with some useful things I like to keep in our car.
Comment below if you’d like to know more about them!😊
I'm sure you already know the reasons why you are better off not using expired makeup. The good news is that it can be very simple to keep track of when to toss the old stuff.
1. Write down the expiration times for your makeup. Keep this note somewhere near your makeup. This can be a full-sized sheet like the one in the pic below. I attached this to the inside of my bathroom cabinet for easy reference. It can also be a simple as a post-it note in your makeup bag.
2. Note the expiration on your makeup when you purchase it. It is great to know how long to keep something (see step 1!), but that only helps if you recall when you bought it. I like to use price tag stickers that I got from the Dollar Tree and a Sharpie for this job. Works like a charm.
3. Congratulate yourself on using fresh makeup. Your face will thank you! :D
Do you keep track of your makeup's expiration? If not, will you start today? Please share in the comments!
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!
Show of hands....who has too much paper clutter in their life? I'm raising both of mine. This is definitely a problem we all have at one time or another. Here are 3 quick strategies for minimizing and controlling the paper coming into your home:
1. Recycle anything you don't need/want immediately. Do not pass go, drop it directly into the recycling bin before you even bring it into the house!
2. Go electronic. Sign up for e-delivery of statements, online auto-pay for bills, and even electronic subscriptions. This will eliminate a ton of papers.
3. Use a command center. This is the home where papers can live while they are pending. This is where you can keep current projects, upcoming bills, and other to-dos.
Now I'm off to collect the mail, and check off #1. ✅
It's that time of year again...the dreaded tax season. Why must we call it a season, that word should be reserved for happier times, like Christmas! So, are you ready? If not, don't stress, you can get started right now with just a few steps. You've got this!
1. Decide - Choose whether you will meet with a tax preparer, or file your taxes yourself.
2. Schedule - If you will be meeting with someone, now is a great time to schedule that appointment. Or, if filing yourself, set aside time on your calendar.
3. Gather - Grab an empty folder or a large paper clip will do, and begin gathering all of those important papers and receipts to keep them together. Now, when it is time to meet with your tax accountant, or file yourself, you will be ready.
Do you ever feel like a Family Circus cartoon at the grocery store? Zigzagging up and down the aisles, crisscrossing the store as you discover items on your list that you already passed? There is a better way! Have you ever tried sorting your grocery list based on the area, or aisle of the store? This process does require some work up front. But, it will save you time and money on all your future shopping trips. No need to retrace your steps, and maybe impulsively purchase unnecessary things. Here are a few steps to try the next time you sit down to write out your list.
- Choose which store you will be using.
- Think about the layout of the store as you physically walk through it. I like to think of this as "virtual shopping".
- Write down the sections of the store as you come upon them. Some categories could include:
*Produce, Frozen, Dairy, Meat, Canned/Dry Goods, Baking, Snacks, Beverages
- Leave some room beneath each category for your needed items to be filled in. Pen and paper works great here. Or, there are also a multitude of apps which can make this a snap. A couple of my favorite list-making apps are Cozi and Wunderlist.
- Write down your needed grocery items beneath each category.
- Head to the store!
- As you shop the store, take note of any additional categories (and their location) that you may have forgotten. You can add these to your master list.
- Voila! You now have a customized grocery list laid out by location. Use this for future shopping trips and save yourself time, money and frustration.
With Christmas right around the corner, today is a great day to assess the things currently in your home. Are there items that could be donated to folks that would love them? Why not take a little time now to open up space for new items that you may be bringing in at Christmas. Too busy to donate? There are many resources that will come to you to pick up those items from your doorstep. Northwest Center is just one example you may want to check out. Go to http://bigbluetruck.org/ to schedule a pickup. 😊
Whether it is the holidays, a special birthday, or a bridal shower, throughout the year there are always gifts to be wrapped. Make the giving easier by organizing a simple, effective gift wrapping station, bin, or entire area including:
-A tote with scissors, tape, pens, and markers
-A container with labels, ribbons, bows, gift cards, and bubble wrap
-A larger tote with wrapping paper, gift bags, and tissue paper
Keep all of these supplies together and your gift giving will be a lot easier when you don't have to hunt for anything. You can even add an envelope into one of the totes to store gift receipts or shipping invoices. Your system can be as simple or elaborate as you have the space or enthusiasm for.
Here are a few pics of how we keep gift giving organized in our home. Where do you like to store your gift giving supplies?
As I'm sure every retailer in the world has already reminded you...Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner! 😊 I am not going to suggest you rush out and begin buying stuff. Today is a great day begin getting organized for your holiday guests!
If you have a space in your home designated as a guest room, try not to let the clutter take over. Organize a guest room and keep it ready for your visitors.
A couple of tips:
-Try to keep the bed clear by not letting it become a storage place for miscellaneous household items. Under-bed storage containers can really help with this!
-Keep a few guest essentials in a basket or decorative box, such as extra toiletries, a box of mints or snacks, and tissues.
-If you want to go the extra mile, add some candles or magazines to a bedside table.
Maintaining your guest space will ensure you are ready to welcome any guests you choose to invite!
What is your favorite item to keep out for guests?
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!
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.