Throw Away Your To-Do List (And What to Use Instead)

September 16th, 2014

break free of your to do list (and what to do instead)Are you a “list person”?

Do you know a “list person”?

I’m a list person, and I used to live by lists. Used to.

I loved Epic Itemized To-Do Lists especially.

I got a thrill when I saw a long page full of activities and tasks that I planned to accomplish. I would sometimes categorize or color-code the items. I drew little boxes beside each one, to check off, or I would highlight or strike through tasks when I finished doing them.

I would write additional things that weren’t on the original list as I completed them, just to get that little tingly feeling when I could strike through the item right away.

At the end of a productive day, I could smile at my long list, my trophy, my badge of honor, and know I had done well.

But not every day was quite so productive.

And often, I was left frustrated at the end of the day, when I had to rewrite lots of tasks onto the next day’s list. Rollover to-dos are no fun.

Read the rest to find out why you should throw away your to do list and what to do instead.

Real-Life Garage Organization Tips & Tricks

September 9th, 2014

Real-Life Garage Organizing IdeasA garage can easily be a Last Holdout. Ours definitely was.

What’s a Last Holdout?

Those are the spaces that stay messy, unsorted, disorganized, basically unusable long after the rest of the house is under control.

Our garage used to be lined with boxes of things to sell at a future yard sale, totes full of stuff from my teaching days and remnants of my craft show days.

I can’t tell you how many rags my husband had for working on the cars. Probably two milk crates full. I think he also had three pairs of “mowing the yard” shoes, too.

There were so many redundant basic tools, yet somehow it was always hard for me to find a hammer when I needed one.

And if I ever wanted to sweep the garage, I had to move tons of stuff around just to reach the cobwebby corners… but I was pretty much afraid to do that, because who knew what would be lurking there. (Seriously, we lived in the Land of Black Widow Spiders.)

So mostly we just left it alone.

Sure, we were able to park in there, but it wasn’t pretty. And getting the stroller out to take the kids for walks was usually a challenge.

Our garage here in Maryland isn’t gorgeous. We don’t have matching brushed metal bins with hand-stamped labels and custom wall shelves. The one finished wall is unpainted, and the others aren’t so glamorous either.

But it works.

We can find the things we need when we need them, and things don’t get in our way when we’re not using them. So I’m pretty pleased with it overall.

Want a peek into our garage? Keep reading!

Decluttering? – 3 *Different* Questions to Ask Yourself

September 2nd, 2014

Decluttering? 3 *Different* Questions to Ask YourselfYou’ve decided to declutter.

You’re ready to go.

The kids are napping, at school, or at the park with their dad. You’ve emptied your drawers or cabinets in whatever room you chose to go through first, and right now all you see is STUFF.

But you’re motivated. Motivated to cut through the crap and only keep the good stuff. The stuff you use regularly.

The stuff you need.

The stuff you love.

You’re letting go of things you were keeping before out of obligation or guilt. Gifts, “family heirlooms” no one else in the family actually wants either, boxes and boxes of kids’ school projects you’ll never look at again (except for a few really special pieces).

But there’s still So. Much. Stuff.

Even after you go through these first steps. And if you feel like there’s still too much, there really is. And you need to keep going before you’ll be able to find the peace you’re looking for.

So what are the next questions to ask yourself?

Keep reading to find out.

Don’t Overdo Your Detergent (And Other Laundry Tips)

August 24th, 2014

Think you know how to do laundry? Think again. Think you know how to do laundry?

Think again.

I was interviewed for this awesome collection of laundry tips and tricks on mom.me, and I shared some of my favorite laundry secrets:

  • How to avoid musty smells while saving money.
  • How to save time and (electrical) energy.
  • & Permission to be a bit lazy (and how to do it).

Because seriously, simple is good.

Start the slideshow here (and don’t forget to click through the whole thing).

Menu Planning – Are You Making These 3 Mistakes When Meal Planning?

August 20th, 2014

Menu Planning - Are you making these 3 mistakes?Menu planning is a great way to get ready for your week.

On grocery day, you’ll have a list of everything you actually need to buy (and nothing you don’t).

Each day, you will know exactly what to prepare and cook.

And every night, your family will gather around your table and be able to enjoy each other’s company and conversation, thanks to removing the stress of “winging it.”

But when you’re actually sitting down to do your meal planning, are you struggling?

Does it take you an hour or two every time?

Do you draw a blank when faced with the question, “What should we eat for dinner this week?”

If so, you’re probably making at least one of these 3 menu planning mistakes.

Click to read the rest on OrgJunkie.com.