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Pretty Dresser

3 Tips for Keeping your Bedroom Organized

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The bedroom is a space that can VERY easily get messy. It is also an area that is often the last to get organized.
Any of this sound familiar?…
Do you have clean and dirty clothes laying around?… Piles of laundry that haven’t quite made it to their drawers. How about those Christmas presents that you don’t want the kiddos to see or the stuff you shoved in your room because company is coming? Then there are those dresser tops that are a catch all for clutter. Oh dear, there is always something isn’t there?

It happens to all of us! What we want is a lovely, quiet, calming place to lay our head at the end of the day not a space where we quickly clear off the bed to make room to sleep and close our eyes before the mess gets to us.

Here are three quick tips for clutter control:

1) Laundry! This one is a biggie. Put dirty clothes in your clothes hamper as soon as you take them off. Anything that you want to wear again before washing hang up and place on a hook behind your door or have a pretty basket in your room to fold it neatly until you wear it again.
Personally I have this issue with putting away clean laundry. I am not sure why as the task is almost done. Try and put away laundry after you fold it. This also prevents others from asking where their clothes are!
1 Load a Day. To try and keep the mountain-o-laundry from catching up with you. Throw in one load a day. There is always something that can be put in the machine to be cleaned.
2) Storage. If you have a tiny room, a small closet or just not a lot of storage in your home then this can cause clutter because everything does not have it’s place. The first thought I have is not to buy a bigger house but to purge. Take an inventory of what you need and don’t need. Donate clothes or anything that no longer serves a purpose with you.
Also remove anything that does not belong in your bedroom. Designate a certain spot in your home for storage items.
Rotate your seasonal clothing. Use clear bins and label winter clothing/summer clothing and pack up what you won’t be using for that particular season. This will free up some room in your closet/dresser.
3) Dresser and night stand tops. These easily become a catch-all. Take two minutes before bed to clear these off. Keep a small basket where you can put these things and when it is full empty it by putting things back in their spot.
A good Feng Shui bedroom is a calm and peaceful room that invites you in. It promotes a flow of nourishing and sensual flow. Sounds good to me! We all deserve to have a beautiful, comfortable space at the end of the day to retreat to.

I wish you sweet dreams, a restful sleep and whatever else may arise from your beautiful space. Xxxx

Pretty Dresser

“Day is over, night has come. Today is gone, what’s done is done. Embrace your dream, through the night, Tomorrow comes with a whole new light.”

~Unkown

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books to let go

Ditch the Clutter 10 Day Challenge

books to let goKrystal and I have some more stuff to let go of (there’s always something, isn’t there?), so we thought we’d make up a 10 day Ditch the Clutter Challenge for all of us to kick start the process.

For each of the 10 days we have a list of ideas for what to let go of. Day 1 will have one thing, Day 2 – two things, Day 3 – three things and all the way up to 10 things on the 10th day. To make this more fun and supportive, we’ll be posting what we’re letting go of on our Facebook Page (and Twitter for those of you who follow us there).

You can post your photos there too and/or comment and let everyone know what you’re able to let go of. Often we just need that little push of accountability to get something done. Let’s do this together!  Follow the posts on our Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/simplelifecelebrations Share this with your friends so that they can join in the Ditch the Clutter Challenge too.

Ditch the Clutter Challenge

                                          Choice One                           OR                     Choice Two

DayOne Piece of furniture that you’re not using Board Game or other Game
DayTwo  2 items from coffee table or side table  2 cleaning supplies/tools you’re not using
Day Three  3 travel items (incl. bags, backpacks)  3 pillows or cushions that you don’t need
Day Four  4 items from under the sink  4 items from the TV stand
DayFive  5 old or outdated things from the fridge  5 knick knacks or decorative items
DaySix  6 pairs of shoes/boots/footwear  6 items from the bedside table
Day Seven  7 things from your workout stuff  7 things from the junk drawer
Day Eight  8 kitchen items that aren’t being used  8 school supplies/papers that aren’t needed
Day Nine  9 shower/bath items that are just taking up space  9 things from the creative corner/crafting supplies
DayTen  10 pieces of clothing (kids, adult, seasonal)  10 bookshelf items (books, magazines, clipped articles etc)

 

These are ideas to get you started. If you have other areas/things you’d like to let go of…GO FOR IT! Also, you can let go of more things each day too! Share your photos/lists on the Facebook page (or comment on this post and tell us what you’re able to get done!)
Don’t forget to get these things out of your home as soon as possible. Garbage to garbage, recycling to recycling, donations donated. Do not let them taking up any more of the precious space in your heart and home! For our local peeps, Krystal gathered together a list of where you can take your stuff. Download it here: Local Places to Donate

I also created a Decluttering Divas Play Sheet (kinda like a “game card”) that you can use to track your progress each day. Download it here: Decluttering Divas Play Sheet

UPDATE: PHOTOS FROM THE CHALLENGE SO FAR

If you have questions or ideas about the Ditch the Clutter Challenge, please email us or post it on Facebook. We are here to help!

minimalist-dresser

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pocket icon

Get Pocket!

I love to read blog posts. It’s a big chunk of my day. They inspire me, teach me and/or make me laugh. Sometimes I share them with you. Most of them come to me in my email which is cool. However, I also don’t like to have a crazy full inbox – I’m a professional organizer! LOL! I’ve been a mostly-zero inbox person for a very long time. Discovering this tool has made this even easier!

pocket website

The tool is called Pocket (it used to be called Read it Later or something like that). Basically, it allows me to skim through my email for the posts that I simply MUST read. I click to open the post. If I have time to read it then, I will. Most of the time, I don’t have time to read then(FOCUS!), but I want to be sure to really read it later. I go to the post and then click the little “Pocket” icon to stash the post for reading when I have time.

pocket icon

 

The reason this works is that it allows me to stay out of my email until the few times a day when I go through and do my focused email maintenance time (batching, peeps, STOP going into your email every 10 minutes! and definitely don’t have it running while you’re trying to WORK! Focus people!)

 

During this focused time, I’m creating a focused READING time because all of the MUST reads are together (and are visually appealing!) I don’t have these cluttering up my inbox. Then when I’m waiting for kids or just sitting down to read for a few minutes, I flip over to my Pocket app and do some quiet reading! Again, focused on only reading, not being disturbed by emails coming in because I’m not in my email!

Let’s face it: we really can’t do multiple things at once. It’s EXTREMELY inefficient to be constantly jumping around between things. I know. I’ve tried it. It simply doesn’t work. You have to STOP pretending it does.

This doesn’t mean that I now have another app full of junk that I’ll just get overwhelmed with. I’m keeping it to around 5-10 things each day that I read (or use the link in a post or something; whatever I was going to do with the post) and then purge from Pocket (yep, DELETE). I’m RUTHLESS and fricking honest with what I’m actually going to read. If it doesn’t light me up at first glance (like, OMG I HAVE to read this!) then it doesn’t get “pocketed”.  If I’m glancing through email and kinda go, “well, this would be cool, don’t know when I’ll get to it” then it gets deleted. I just don’t have time for wishy washy shit. It has to light me up or make me go, “Wow”!
 
I’ve got about 10 “other” things sitting in there that are project based that I’ll be moving elsewhere in the next week or two. There will always be some that need a bit more “work” to deal with before they are purged too. This number will not get higher than 10, because again, I need to keep a realistic expectation on what I’m actually going to do.
 
pocket snapshot
 

Keeping up on the reading in this is easy to do because there’s an app on my phone (and I’m putting it on my Kobo – just haven’t done it yet) and it will even work offline. It’s visually easy to read (no distractions from other website stuff that you normally see when you’re in the post reading on the site) and feeling like I’m reading a magazine.

Get Pocket and move one step closer to getting more reading done (that you want to do!) and less distracted! Get Pocket

I’m a techie and have worked in IT (and been a full time working mom) for over 20 years, so I’ve got lots of tricks on how to make your email work for you. This tool is just one of them! (I’ll share more tools with you in the coming weeks. I’m creating an in depth course that will include deeper insight and how to use these kinds of things. Sign up to be the first to know about it: Goals Goddess Registration)

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Resolutions

I Resolve to Not Make Resolutions. Here is What I will do Instead!

Resolutions

New Years Resolutions are not my thing. From what I have researched only 8-14% of people will have success with their resolutions. I am not discouraging you from making them; you need to do what is right for you. I just want to give you some theory and really think it through so that you don’t set yourself up for disappointment. Resolutions are paved with good intentions however that just isn’t enough. I do think that it is imperative to understand why they fail so that you have a better chance of succeeding.

Here are my thoughts on why resolutions fail…

1. Goals are too vague or too complex. Either way you are setting yourself up for failure. For example, if you say that this is the year that you are going to get in shape but you don’t have a plan or a reason for doing so then you likely won’t stick with it. Something has to change in order for you to meet your end result.

What can you do? Things like scheduling time for workouts and meal planning would be a great start for getting on your way. Perhaps taking a health class or signing up for an event will get you motivated. Write it down and make it happen.

On the flip side if you make an uber detailed plan with no room for any flexibility you are going to get stressed, overwhelmed and begin to resent what you are doing. Don’t say, “I am going to work out for an hour every day, drink green smoothies twice a day, cut out all sugar, gluten, red meat and sign up for an event every month.” This is not realistic and most people would like to have a life to live beyond this one resolution. If you hate what you are doing then why are you doing it? Keep it simple!

2. Making too many changes at once. You are trying to make too many things a habit at once by saying that you are going to eat healthy, exercise more, get organized and get out of debt this year. This decreases the likelihood that you will make any changes at all.

What can you do? Choose one thing and make it a regular part of your life before you add another. (I read that it takes anywhere from 21-66 days to form a habit.) Prioritize what you want to do and make that a habit before you move on to the next!

3. You should do it. Many of us think that we need to follow the crowd and set resolutions because it is what everyone else is doing. We are ‘supposed to’ live according to the standard and do what everyone else is doing. No. Thank. You. If you cannot pinpoint any value in what you think you should change, you likely won’t do it anyways.

Resolutions and goals take work. So if you are serious about making changes then you have to put in the time. Prioritize, plan, and schedule your way to success. Check in with yourself every now and then as well to stay accountable. 

All the best to you!

Krystal

~ Bill Cosby
~ Bill Cosby
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lights

Simple Christmas Storage Solutions

Christmas storage can be tricky between the indoor lights, the outdoor lights, the ornaments, the tree, the wrapping and all of the other cutsie knick-knack items. My goal is to find you ways that you can neatly organize all of your stuff without spending a ton of money! In fact there are several items in our home already that we can use to organize these items.

Lets first talk about lights:

Here you will see that these lights are simply wrapped around cardboard. Cut your cardboard to fit a plastic tub or cardboard box and you can stack various string of lights inside. Easy peasy!

Source

lights

 

                                                                                               

Here we have Christmas lights coiled up in a regular mason jar which will tightly fit a 12′ string of small lights. It is apparently easy to unravel too. If you want you can even leave them in the jar, light them up and have a pretty decoration or something to use for a party.

 Source

 

 

jar storage

                                                                                                 

 

Let’s not forget about the ornaments.

There are many ways to store those precious ornaments too! Ever thought about reusing those red solo cups? Place a cardboard or wood piece between and you have double the storage. Woot-woot!

 

red solo

 

 

Here is another great way to recycle and repurpose something and keep it out of the landfill. I think this is brilliant! Use those drink trays to hold round ornaments. They fit nicely and these things can stack nicely! Why didn’t I think of that? Please click on the picture to follow more on this.

Source

 

cup holder

                                                                                                  

Egg cartons are a great way to safely store all kinds of things including various Christmas tree decorations. All is protected nicely in this and you can use multiple egg cartons to stack. Just label the outside of them with marker to know what’s inside.

Source

 

egg carton

                                                                                                 

Here is another great way to store a fragile ornament. Reuse a plastic food storage bag. Puff it up with some air to make a cushion and it will provide protection for whatever is inside.

Source

 

plastic bag

 

 

This would be a great DYI project made out of some wood, dowels and hooks. This lovely all in one organizer houses wrapping paper, ribbon, scissors and tape. Love it when everything can be stored together! The how-to is in the link below.

Source

gift wrap

 

Have any of those plastic storage bag holders kicking around? They can serve a dual purpose like many of our household items.

 

bag storage container

 

And last but not least here is a very simple way to store your wrap. Yep you just need string!

 

giftwrap storage

 

This should get you on your way to an organized holiday! I would love to hear ways that you organize your holiday paraphenalia. Leave me a message in the comments.

Blessings,

Krystal

School Shopping Already -Yes I am Serious!

Be prepared this year!
Be prepared this year!

I know. I know! It is WAY too soon to be thinking about back to school where I live. I can actually feel the burning glares from all parents as I am writing this. But, hear me out. It is not too early to start researching and buying a few back to school things. Hey. If you are prepared and organized you may realize that you already have much of what you need; this will save you some shopping sanity! 

Retailers are already beckoning you to come and shop in their stores. Commercials are already saying don’t miss their fantastic sales. Is it just too soon? Well, I definitely will not start devoting every day of my coveted summer to searching all of the flyers, watching all the commercials, scanning the malls. I will however take some time every now and then to research what we need so that when the time comes I know exactly where to go to get what we need. You see I really despise wasting time going in and out of stores to the point where I would probably say “just buy whatever” so that we can get through this!

Hang onto your wallets! With the rise of “back to school” as a two-month marketing exercise for retailers, it can be a tough job to get the kids outfitted and supplies bought without breaking the bank.

What I have here are a few tips to not break the bank, and to save you time and therapy fees!

Scouts Motto: Be Prepared!

This is good advice for many things in life including school shopping. Make sure you have each child’s school list before you so much as set foot in a store full of smelly markers, glittery pens and personalized rulers. You can download lists from your child’s school website. Also, many supply stores will have lists on hand according to school and grade.

Shop at Home First

Shopping at home first will save you time and money in the long run!
Shopping at home first will save you time and money in the long run!

I always think that it is a total bonus when I can find things on the list that we already have. Don’t ya just love checking things off? 😉 So go through those pens, pencils, erasers, notebooks, duotangs, binders, etc. See what you have before you pull out the cash. Designate a certain drawer, shelf, box, or area for all of your finds so that you know exactly what you have.

Budget, Budget, Budget!

School supplies are now usually set up in a way that appeals to our children – the characters on the backpacks, the pretty designs on the binders, the glitter pens and smelly colours are attractive but come at an extra cost. Kids are easy prey for consumers and this is where it is our job as parents to set limits. Consider compromising. For example, if you want that more expensive backpack then we will need to get the regular binders. This is a great time to teach your children some financial responsibility.

Once you know exactly what you need set your budget. Then you can shop flyers and search online. Try not to stray far from your list.

Shop Early….and Late

By shopping early you are assured to get exactly what you need. You will also have a little more time to compare prices and sale shop.  By waiting until a week or two before school is in you will be able to buy items at a clearance cost. It’s a win-win but remember by waiting too long you may have slim pickings. Stock up on a few essential items that the kids use every year. This will save you money next year.

As the Beach Boys Would Say – Get Around! 

Sometimes it pays to shop off of the beaten path. Grocery Stores, crafting stores, and dollar stores are also great places to find supplies. Most stores want a piece of the retail back-to-school action. What about asking on the buy n sell for supplies? You never know – it doesn’t hurt to ask.

I hope that school shopping for you is painless and dare I say fun?!… Keep these tips in mind and you are sure to be done before you know it!

~Remember when we had to walk to school uphill BOTH ways? Barefoot…in the snow? Kids these days have it so easy! 😉 

 

 

 

Clutter Chaos

gerberia daisies

The dog wants out in the middle of the night. As you fumble towards the front door, you trip over the pile of clothes in the bedroom, bump over the box in the hall, stub your toe on the stack of books at the top of the stairs and have to push the coats & shoes out of the way as you struggle to get the door open…

You decide that you want to make a special cake for your 8 year old for his birthday. After pulling 8 pans out of the cupboard, including a bundt cake pan (what the heck is that thing for, anyway?), you finally find the one you’re looking for. You rummage through the pantry trying to find the brown sugar. When you finally find it, you realize that it is hard as a rock. You run to the store and end up buying a cake from the shelf instead; for twice the price of the sugar…

Your husband calls you from work and offers to take you out for dinner. You are elated and excited. After spending 10 minutes looking for your babysitter’s number on that piece of paper, you jump in the shower and knock over 3 shampoo bottles that have a tiny bit of shampoo left in them. Then you try to grab a fresh towel and pull down 5 others in the process. You untangle the cords from 4 different curling irons. You rummage through the closet past outfits you wore 10 years ago to find your favorite pair of jeans. You realize the top you wanted to wear is wrinkly in the dryer. 15 minutes later, you realize that the iron you plugged in isn’t heating up because it’s the one that your hubby was going to fix and you remember you bought a new one two months ago and find it still in the bag from the store sitting beside the freezer. After dumping 3 make-up bags out onto the counter in the bathroom, you’ve got your mascara on and quietly pray that it’s only a year old instead of the two you think it is. Your husband gets home and you realize that you forgot to tell him to pick up the babysitter. You get annoyed that he didn’t think of that and you start the evening off glaring at each other…

Everyone in the family is exhausted. You check the calendar and realize that there are 3 times in the week that you have to be in the opposite sides of town at the same time. You can’t remember the last time all of you sat down and had a meal together. You don’t remember the last time you just played a game with the kids or had a pajama day and just stayed home. If you’re not going to a practice or a recital; you’re heading to the mall “for something to do”. You realize that there are several items of clothing in all the closets (some still in bags) that have never been worn and are now too small. You have multiple projects on the go, and haven’t touched any of them in months. You are exhausted, and just don’t know what to do.

We have been there too, we know what it’s like. We’ve been doing a lot of minimalizing over the past couple years, we’re here to help you. Minimalizing isn’t about throwing out everything in the house. It isn’t about living like a hermit. It’s focusing on what is really important and getting rid of all the excess. It’s not about keeping up with what everyone else has or does; it’s about doing what is best for you and your family.

The Simple Life Gals encourage you to go through different areas in your homes and lives and really prioritize what is important to you. We welcome your questions and we’ll support you in whichever way we can. If you would like to book a session, with us, check out our sessions here: Organizing Services.

Calendar Craziness

It’s New Year’s Eve!!

What a perfect time to get going on celebrating all that was 2012 (We LOVED 2012 and are so thankful for YOU!) and move forward to 2013.

That’s what I love about New Year’s – it’s a “stepping forward” and “new beginnings”! However, both Krystal and I believe that resolutions do not stick unless you really mean them. We don’t even like to call them “resolutions”! Personally, I like to sit down a few days prior and just after to physically write down my goals and plans for the coming year. I loved, LOVED using my Create Your Goddess Year Workbook and I’m soooooo stoked as I have begun to use my new Create Your Incredible Year Workbook & Calendar (click to get your own!)

calendars

Krystal gave me a gorgeous calendar of the two of us that I will be using for SLC planning. We’ll also be using our new Create Your Incredible Year – Business Edition from Leonie Dawson to set up our intentions and track our progress! The Cevraini’s also have a STARS calendar on the wall where all the family stuff gets written down and can be visible from the supper table when those discussions come up. I usually have my daughter and husband help with filling in school holidays, school field trips, hubby’s work schedule and more. You don’t have to do all the work! It’s good for everyone to get involved in the calendar process – this is a MUST KNOW life skill! (Note to self: Get my sons more involved in this process!)

As most of you know, we’re pretty techie too. We love to sit down with pen and paper and create with these gorgeous paper calendars & workbooks, but we also MUST have all of this marked down in our iPhones for on the go. We use Google Calendar for this each and every day. This way, we’ve got our SLC calendars side by side with our family calendars and personal calendars. I created a little video  showing you how to do this for your family too!

(turn up your volume, I’m a little quiet in this one!)

We can help you get your calendars organized with a one on one mini-session – 77$ for 1 hour in the evening/weekend to get you started. We can even do this virtually! Contact us if you’d like to know more!

Did you know:

  • We post daily challenges on Facebook to help you get organized one step at a time?
  • You can also follow us on Twitter for these and other tips & tricks!
  • We live in Olds, Alberta Canada, but can help you virtually, anywhere in the world! We are tech-savvy organizers!

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