21-Day Challenge Kickoff Day!!

21-Day Challenge Kickoff Day!!

Do you know what day it is? It’s kickoff day for our annual 21-day organizing challenge! This week, I’ll be sharing my own cleaning and organizing challenges, as well as showing you my progress….and offering a few tips along the way.

Remember, you don’t have to do an entire room or an entire dresser, closet or cabinet. You can focus on a small part of a room or closet, or even one shelf or some drawer. It’s completely up to you.

I really need to tidy up our entry way and I’ll be sharing that tomorrow.

I also need to pay some serious attention to the cabinets underneath our kitchen sink and the girls’ bathroom sink cabinet.

Our pantry needs some work as well.

The playroom just got purged and organized after Christmas, so it just needs to be straightened up.

And lastly, our linen closet. It used to be so neat and now it’s in need of a serious straightening up.

So, now you know what I’ll be sharing on the blog this week. Happy organizing, and don’t forget to share your progress on Instagram with the hashtag #ons21daychallenge.

Have a wonderful week!!

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Organizing your spending with a finance tracker

Organizing your spending with a finance tracker

I really enjoy having money. I really enjoy spending money. I don’t really enjoy paying bills, but I know that I have to do it.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

When you have multiple bills to pay, it can sometimes be hard to keep track of them. I also find it interesting to know where my money goes each month. For this reason, I created this printable finance tracker to help me to see where my money goes each month.

It was with this tracker that I realized just how much of my money was going to eating meals out. We were able to start cooking at home and put money back into our accounts this way. After each bill is paid, or there is spending in each category, I write in the amount on the line.

You don’t have to use this printable exactly, and yours doesn’t even have to look like this. You simply must create or use something that works for you.

Please share your tips for organizing your finances. Comment down below!

Organize your time with a family command center

Organize your time with a family command center
Courtesy of Good Housekeeping

Most of us have a calendar hanging up somewhere in our home, and some of us may even have a meal planner calendar. When we hear the words “command center,” usually images of something decorative and organized come into our minds. Did you know that a command center doesn’t have to be anything big or elaborate? It just has to work for you.

Back in the day, I used to have this big elaborate command center in our home office. It looked great, but it ended up being too overwhelming.

So I tried to simplify it a bit. This, too, worked for awhile.

We began to realize that this wasn’t working, and it didn’t have anything to do with how elaborate it was. It was due to the fact that the command center is in a room that we barely enter. Your command center should be somewhere you will walk by it multiple times of day and see it.

For now, our command center looks like this:

But, after our kitchen remodel is complete, I’d like it to look like this:

I would use the frames to post quotes or scriptures, and our school schedules. I also love the basket at the bottom for bookbags and lunch boxes.

Stay tuned! Our command center is about to get a major underhaul.

The 21-Day Challenge: Organize Your Whole Life in 3 Weeks!

The 21-Day Challenge: Organize Your Whole Life in 3 Weeks!

Every January for the past three years, we gear up for a little “routine refresh,” if you will. We tackle all regularly used areas of our home and perform a purge and an organization tune up.

While the 21-day challenge may seem intimidating, consider this: make it work for you. Don’t do an entire room at a time. Do one small section, or drawer, or closet. Or start with the worst part of that room. You can do as much of this challenge or as little of it as you’d like. It doesn’t have to be major and it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. And you can also repeat it as many times as you need 🙂

Organizing doesn’t have to be stressful and it doesn’t have to be time consuming- it does have to be helpful. Here are the challenges list, if you’d like to play along. If you do take the challenge, I’d appreciate it if you’d post a pic on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #ons21daychallenge.

Happy organizing! For the next three Saturdays, I’ll share my progress with you.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Simplify Saturday: Prioritizing Projects

Simplify Saturday: Prioritizing Projects

We’ve been blogging here for a good five years now, and in that time, we’ve had a lot of questions from readers. One question we’re often asked is this: “You all seem to always be doing something to your house. How do you do so much?” Today I’d like to share how we prioritize our projects.

1. Do projects a little at a time

We just did a small remodel of our master bathroom. We replaced mirrors, hardware and light fixtures. We eventually plan to replace the bathtub and surround and flooring as well, but it simply isn’t in the budget right now. So we started with the cheapest, easiest items on our “master bath to-do list” and we completed those.

2. Find cheaper options for the things you want to do

We love carriage house garage doors, but we neither need nor want to buy a $2,000 garage door at the moment… so we took to Amazon and ordered faux Coach house door hardware and a faux window kit for $50. We spent far less money something that looks like the real deal.

3. If you can DIY it, do it.

Custom closets are expensive, but my dad and I built this closet organizer ourselves for $100. It only took one day and it was a fairly simple project. We saved a lot of money by doing it ourselves AND it was a lot of fun.

4. Before you do any part of the project, ask yourself these questions:

1. Who will it benefit?

If it’s something that will benefit everyone in the home, bump the project up higher on your to do list.

2. Can I do the project in phases, or must I do it all at once?

If a project must be done all at once, but it’s small, it’s probably OK to raise it on your list. If it’s a big project and you can’t do it in phases, it’s probably expensive and should be lower on your priority list.

3. Do I need to do it, or just want to?

Projects that you want to do, no matter how much you want to do them, are never as important as the projects you need to do.

5. Save money for the things you can’t afford right now

Even if you can’t afford the things you want at the moment, save money until you have what you need.

How do you all prioritize projects?

Have a wonderful weekend.

Managing paper clutter

Managing paper clutter

School has now started back for both my oldest daughter AND me. If you glance around our kitchen and living room right now, it’s evident we’ve gone back to school. How? The piles of paper.

Paper, paper everywhere and none of it spendable. In all seriousness, the paper piles were getting on my nerves and I knew I had to get rid of them.

1. Start with your existing paper piles

The first step to managing those paper piles is to sort through them.

Go through those papers and get rid of any that aren’t needed, and put away what you need to keep. We utilize several folders in our house: one for school papers, one for bills, and one for work related items. Anything else is shredded or thrown away.

2. File your bills

We have two places in which we file bills: one for bills to pay and one for bills that have been paid. We keep our paid bill stubs in a binder for a year and then we shred them.

3. Go paperless, when possible

Manage other paper clutter by stopping it at the source. Switch to paperless billing when possible, and remove yourself from junk mailing lists.

4. Dispose of junk as soon as possible

Don’t keep unwanted junk paper around…just shred or throw away that unwanted paper as soon as it shows up.

How do you handle paper clutter?

Have a wonderful weekend.

5 sneaky tricks to a visibly cleaner home

5 sneaky tricks to a visibly cleaner home

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My house is NOT perfectly clean. Bloggers strive to present their best foot forward so often that we sometimes forget to show our readers real-life. The truth is, we are real people who are far from perfect…and so is my house.

As a mother of two little girls and a mother of two fur-babies, our house is definitely messy at times, and even dirty at times. Chances are, if you were to drop by unannounced, you’d likely see our house in an imperfect state. While I do try to clean weekly, there are some weeks that I cannot give our home the attention I’d like to give it.

Today I’d like to share how to make your home appear cleaner than it really is.

engaged!

1. Prioritize your high-traffic areas

If you don’t have time to clean your whole house, make sure the high-traffic, or “public” areas of your home get all the attention. Vacuum or sweep the floors in these areas, and wipe down furniture and surfaces with a microfiber cloth to catch any dust or debris. Straighten any rugs or furniture, and fluff your throw pillows.

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2. Give your kitchen some attention

Wipe down those counters, sweep those floors, but most importantly, empty your sink and wash out your sink. Sinks are often the culprit of nasty smells, and it’s true that nothing makes your house look and feel messy like a sink full of dishes.

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3. A pleasant smell goes a long way

A clean smelling house will not only make your home seem cozy and inviting, it will also make your home feel clean and refreshing. No one wants to smell trash, or worse- diapers or a litter box. Light a few candles, or use some wax burners to make your house smell amazing. My favorite candles are Capri Blue Volcano or Eden Spring candles (pictured above).

bedroom

4. Make your bed

Having your bed made instantly makes your room feel clean and organized. If you want your room to instantly feel put together and tidy, take a few minutes to make your bed. It truly makes a big difference.

simplified

5. Declutter room-by-room

Walk through your home and declutter it, room by room. Pick up and put away any visible clutter that is sitting out, in the floor, or just otherwise not put away. Clutter makes your home seem dirty and messy, but when you take a few minutes to put it away, it makes your space seem so much cleaner and organized.

I hope you all have enjoyed these tips for making your home feel clean, even when you don’t have time to deep clean it. Next time you’re stressing out because company’s coming and your house is not in perfect, company-ready condition, remember these five tips. Not only will your house feel clean, but you’ll be less stressed and able to enjoy those visitors.

Have a wonderful weekend.