5 Minute Tip: Organize Mail

mail stackWhat do you do with your mail when you bring it in the house? Does it end up in a pile to go through later? A quick tip to avoid mail taking over is to take a few minutes when you first pick up the mail to go through it. Don’t get it out of the mailbox unless you know you will have time to go through it right when you bring it in. Recycle any junk mail (before you even walk inside if your recycle bins are in the garage!), open and read anything important and put it where it belongs. Have a spot where you can put anything that needs an action to be taken if you aren’t able to take that action immediately.

For magazines, once you get the newest issue, recycle the previous one. If you consistently find you haven’t had a chance to flip through the previous issue before a new one comes, consider canceling the subscription. Reading magazines should be relaxing and enjoyable but when it starts to become just another thing on your to do list, rethink your subscriptions.

How do you organize your mail?

5 Minute Tip: An Organized Fridge

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The fridge is one place that can tend to fill up quickly and be a daunting task to get it back to being organized again. One of my least favorite things in the world is cleaning out moldy or smelly food that’s been in the fridge for way too long. A quick tip to avoid this is to clean out your fridge once a week, the night before trash day. Go through and check everything and throw out any leftovers or expired food.

Also, quickly go through the pantry and toss anything that’s stale and remove snacks you tried but didn’t like. I tend to want to try out new snacks but just as often I end up not liking them. I suggest tossing them (instead of keeping them until they expire and finally throwing it away) or if you feel bad about throwing away perfectly good food, bring it to the office and chances are someone will like it!

*image source: Martha Stewart

New Rifle Paper Co. Day Planner

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Even though it’s only August, I’ve already picked up my 2016 planner! Rifle Paper Co. got me again (like always) and I preordered their new planner that finally arrived this week. Thankfully this one starts in August so i get to start using it right away! There are always so many adorable planners out there (like this, this and this) so choosing the right one can be a tough choice (although for me it was easy this year!). This one is set up with bullets and lines in two columns under each day which works perfectly for how I organize my days. I’m planning to use one side for events and the other for to dos! It also includes a monthly view, notes section and important dates section. Here’s a look inside. Which planner are you going to buy for 2016? IMG_6640rifle paper co plannerday planner
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5 Ways to Reuse Small Boxes

I’m a fairly new subscriber to Birchbox and have a love/hate relationship with the samples and inevitable clutter that comes along with it. After being subscribed for a few months I’ve noticed another Birchbox related problem; the adorable boxes the samples come in. Some of them are just really hard to throw away. So! If you have this problem like I do or just a problem hoarding small cute boxes, I’m here to help with some handy uses for those boxes!

  1. Special photo collection:

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  2. Nightstand essentials:

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  3. Desk assesories:

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  4. Gift wrapping supplies:

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  5. Junk drawer items:

    IMG_6627Any other ideas?

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App Review: The Simplified Planner

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I first discovered Emily Ley when my sister showed me an adorable picture of her twins on Instagram. I immediately starting following her and was even more thrilled when I discovered she has a stationary, gifts and organization store! I (of course) already have a planner for 2015 so I couldn’t buy one of her designs (even though I was tempted!), so when I saw she was coming out with an planner app I knew I had to have it!

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I’ll admit I was a little disappointed when I saw it cost $5.79. But after considering it for a minute, I just went for it (I’ve spent $5 on a lot stupider things) and so far I’m glad I did! Not only does the pineapple icon make me happy every time I open my phone, I’ve been actively using the app every day since. Here are the 5 sections the app offers and how I’ve used them so far:

Summary: When you first open the app you get a quick preview including the date, events, dinner and an inspiring quote.IMG_4227

Today: The next tab along the bottom is the calendar. I haven’t used this much since I put everything in my physical day planner but it seems easy to use!

To Do: I’ve obviously been using this section like crazy. I currently have 3 active to do lists, Today, This Week and Future.

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Notes: This section is definitely handy to jot down random thoughts in an organized way. So far I’m using this section for ongoing house wants, shopping list and blog ideas.

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Dinner: I’m the worst at planning meals ahead for the week so I’ve been trying to use this section to encourage me to do so! It’s very helpful to jot down a plan before heading to the grocery store.

Overall, this app is adorable, organized and consolidates a few of my other apps into one. Although I don’t think I’ll ever stop using my paper planner for events and scheduling, the other features of this app make it worth checking out!

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

the life-changing magic of tidying upMarie Kondo just gets me. And The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has moved to the top of my favorite organizing books. She writes in such a simple way that’s so easy to follow and it just makes sense. You’ll want to immediately get up and fold all your socks in the proper way because well, socks have feelings too, according to Kondo anyway.

Even though some of the techniques weren’t new to me (get rid of anything that doesn’t “spark joy”) she also has some interesting points I’d never considered (like why I shouldn’t just give my mom or sister the things I can’t bear to get rid of myself). Overall, while some parts were a little over the top, they made sense in a way too. If we treat our houses with respect we are more likely to treat our things with respect and think twice before we start adding clutter.

“The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.”

This is an extremely motivating book that only left me with the desire to keep paring down and living with only the things I need.

Has anyone else read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up? What did you think?

How to declutter your bathroom

The bathroom is one of those places that just seems to attract clutter. I recently decided to take back control and declutter my bathroom for good. Here are my tips and a peek inside my bathroom!

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– Keep the counters clear! Only the most necessary items should be on the counter (like hand soap) and a couple pretty storage solutions. Everything else should have a home somewhere else in the bathroom.

Keep your essentials in a makeup bag. I keep all the makeup items I use daily (around 6 items) in a makeup bag in a drawer. Not only does this keep a minimum on the number of items I can keep because of the limited space, it also makes it super easy for packing, just grab your makeup bag and go!

Don’t keep samples. This one is self explanatory. Just don’t do it, seriously.

Set aside everything you use over the course of a week. If you don’t use it within that week period, consider getting rid of the item (besides a few “just in case” items like bandaids or medications)

– If you try a new hair/makeup product and you don’t like it, get rid of it! You probably won’t use it again and it will just take up space in your bathroom. If you’re having trouble getting rid of something you just spent good money on consider giving it to a friend to try. You’re money won’t have gone to waste and products tend to work differently for different people, so they may like it!

– Have minimal storage. If you don’t have a ton of extra storage in your bathroom chances are you will only keep the essentials because theres nowhere to put the rest!

– I’m not a huge fan of buying storage products to organize/hide clutter (sorry container store!) but one place they seem completely necessary is in the bathroom. I love mini drawers for the little things you use often and small stackable bins to hide the things you don’t need everyday but don’t overdue it! (see tip above)

– Go through all medications and check the expiration dates. Chances are that task alone will get rid of at least half of it. Get rid of anything you don’t use anymore and only keep the things that have actually come in handy in the past.

– Once you’ve cleared out all the clutter, reward yourself by adding a couple spa-like elements to your bathroom. Pick out a nice smelling candle, a plant or splurge on a fancy hand towel. Make it a place you don’t mind spending time in since you inevitably have to spend time there!

Anyone have any other tips?