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Simplifying

Emotional Health/ Simplifying/ Spiritual

A Glimpse of My Morning Routine and How I Lack Nothing

Oh, how I have come to love the early morning and the sights, sounds and routine it brings. Sideways sun shining through trees creating haze.

I marvel at sunrays filtered through limbs extending faded light lines all the way to the ground.

It stops me mid-jog. It is amazing to see something that is usually invisible and only felt, not seen. I take a few pictures, trying to capture the fleeting visible…I zero in.

I am more in tune in the morning, at least once I am verticle for a few.

Continue Reading…

HOME/ Homemaking/ Simplifying

Creating a Spring and Summer Hygge Home with Shopko

 

*This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shopko.  The opinions and text are all mine.

I am passionate about creating a Hygge home all year round. Hygge is not just for fall and winter! Spring and Summer are some of the best times to experience “Hygge.”

Have YOU heard of Hygge?

First off..lets get the pronunciation down. It is pronounced “hoo-ga”…I know, I know, it is not the prettiest sounding word, but I have so grown to love this word!

 

 

What is Hygge?

Hygge is a Danish term that is defined as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.”

If you know me well, you know I am all about doing that little bit of extra to create a special atmosphere!

My friends and family tell me I’m quite good at it, and I adore doing it. It is just in my nature.

I automatically want to create a homey, cozy, and comfortable feeling for the people that I love when they come into my space. I also am very intentional about using these spaces to slow down when I am alone, too.

 

ShopKo Stop, Shop, and Drop the Prices Sale

I have a lot of easy ideas to create a Hygge home in the spring and summer, and have found some great items from Shopko to help do it!

I will share about how to use these items to create spring and summer Hygge and I’ve gathered my favorite items onto a Maven board for your shopping convenience.

Right now is a perfect time to shop, because Shopko is having a “Stop, Shop, and Drop the Prices” sale going on right now–May 6,2018-May 12, 2018.  No coupons are required for discounted prices, but if you shop online, you can get free shipping off orders over $99 with the code SHIP99.

 

 

Not only is Hygge a great way to love others well and make them feel important and cared for in your home, but it is great for being kind to yourself, too!

Remember, it is all about doing a little something extra to create a special atmosphere, and the feeling that Hygge gives is beneficial whether you are with the people you love, or if you are just nesting in for some time alone.

 

 

How to Have a Hygge Home in the Spring and Summer

 

Create Cozy Nests in Areas of Your Home

My teenage girls laugh at me and tell me I like to ‘nest’ in different areas of our home, and they are right! They may chuckle at me, but you better believe I find them taking over my various ‘nests’ throughout the house.

Whether it is the corner of our living room couch, a chair upstairs in our landing area by the window, our porch swing, my bed or even a chair by the fire pit outside, I LOVE to sit and enjoy a comfortable atmosphere.

I use all types of items to create these inviting little areas of comfort–to create Hygge– and I change it up just a bit in the spring and summer.

A great item to start with is a chair, because who likes to nest while standing up? Give me a chair, or better yet, give me a chair with a throw on it! Just make the throw nice and light for spring and summer.

If I were to choose a favorite chair from Shopko, it would be the Davis chair. It gives me all the heart eyes, is minimal with clean lines so would go great in any room. It is the perfect foundational piece,  and yes, pass the throw, please!

No matter how hot it is outside, I always like some sort of cover when I am nesting in with a good book or my journal, but on warmer days, lightness is key!

 

 

Keep Comfort Items Close

I love having items that are used often, close by and within arms reach of where I usually use them. Items like pens, lip balm, lotion, journal, books, magazines, paperclips etc.

These items can create clutter, and clutter can destroy Hygge, so have some fun baskets or small ceramic bowls on hand to gather all the things.

I like baskets made of materials from nature. Adding a touch of nature is a great way to create beauty and add texture to any home decor.

I like to gather my journals, planner and favorite book in a basket and keep it right by my chair, along with pens and colored pencils.

One of my favorite comfort items is lotion, but I don’t like unsightly bottles sitting around. Instead, fill a pump lotion dispenser with lotion and keep it close and handy.

 

 

I have the Morgan Cement Pump from Shopko and chose it because it is neutral enough to go in any room and the quality is great.

Get one for the bathroom and the bedroom or guest bedroom. It looks so pretty sitting on a bedside table or any place you want to practice self-care.

Spring and summer sun can be drying, so apply a good lotion as needed.

 

 

When creating a cozy home in the spring or summer, think heart warmth instead of body warmth! I created sweet heart warmth by framing a senior picture of my daughter who is graduating!

She graduates in just a couple of weeks, so this photo definitely warms my heart! This beautiful frame is wood but looks like cement. I love the rawness of the cement, and it is the perfect way to bring a normally outdoor texture to the indoors.

 

 

A little healthy snack sitting close is a great way to create the feeling of care and concern for those you love, or just for yourself!

Fill a small ceramic bowl with raw nuts for snacking or to have out for guests to help themselves to. I love, love, love this little navy ceramic bowl from Shopko. Find it on my Maven board...you won’t believe the price!

 

 

Bring in Nature

Replace bowls of pinecones from fall and winter with vases of fresh flowers for spring and summer.  Enjoy indoor potted plants. My favorites are succulents and herbs!

Have a planter that is large enough to not have to water or switch out the plants too often, but small enough that it is portable and can be moved around depending on your mood or where you or your guests will be.

I’ve been known to carry my favorite planter around and change it’s home up often! Keep your planters simple in design so that they complement whatever room you put them in.

Bring the outdoors in, open the blinds and let the sunshine in! Remember, it does not have to be fancy.

Another quick tip? You can cut sprigs from just about any bush or plant outside, stick them in a glass and have instant refreshing green nature in your home!

 

 

Make Refreshing Beverages

Pamper yourself!  I’ve seen glass carafes with different fruited or herbed waters in upscale spas, and it feels SO special…yet is just a simple touch that anyone can do at any time.

Use an Anchor Hocking Glass Carafe, fill it with water and make it extra special by simply adding a few wedges of lime or fresh berries and a sprig of mint.

A carafe is the perfect size container for serving a special beverage. Bring it out to the porch and enjoy the outdoors with a friend, or if you are alone, keep it close by to refill your beverage throughout the day.

Grab a classic Cooler glass or the Anchor Hocking Lido Clear Tea Glass, fill it with iced cold tea on a warm spring or summer day.  The refreshing beverages in the images above are lemon ginger green tea with floated fruit and herbs for flavor and beauty!

Remember…creating Hygge is all about making things just a little extra special in simple ways. Yes, it can be as simple as adding a spring of mint in a simple glass of water or iced tea.

 

 

Use Lighter Linens and Throws

No more flannel sheets, fuzzy pillows or heavy comforters. Exchange them out for lighter coverings and crisp, light sheets.

I love a good sheet, and I always go with white in the summer. Nothing beats a breezy white sheet! They are easy to launder, and look and feel refreshing.

Shopko sells the Hotel by Club Brand Sheets that are 1,000 count and feels super soft. You can check them out on my Maven board.

Again, keep throws around, but make sure they are soft and lightweight for spring and summer.

 

Don’t Forget Scents!

Atmosphere can be transformed by scent. I’m a BIG scent girl, and burn candles all year round! I do like a lighter, more refreshing scent like the Turquoise Sea Scented Candle from Shopko in the warmer months.

I also love diffusing more fruity scented essential oils in the spring and summer, especially citrus oils.

Want to keep it super simple? Just open a window and let the scent of nature drift right in.

 

 

Pay Attention to Lighting

When creating Hygge in the winter, cozy often feels like low lights and candlelight. In the spring and summer? Gimme all the bright natural light!

In the evening, cozy lighting is important no matter what season! I have this J. Hunt Fillable Lamp (also from Shopko) and it gives such a nice feeling of light with a classic glass body and the natural wood base.

You can fill the glass base of this lamp or keep it simple and empty. If you choose to fill it, you could use with stones, sand, shells, a black and white photo, or a faux succulent. When seasons change, you could even fill it with ball ornaments!

I topped the lamp with the J. Hunt Home Sparkle Hardback Table Shade. Y’all know I love just a hint of sparkle, and this shade has such a tasteful shimmer which adds interest to the grey.

During the day, let the natural light in. Open curtains, shades, and blinds. Use string lights on the porch or backyard. Put some fairy lights in a mason jar or light a citronella candle when outdoors and the sun starts to go down.

Have a fireplace? Arrange 5-6 different sized pillar candles in it and light them. This will create awesome ambiance without the heat!

Have a fire pit outside but it is too hot to light it? Gather some string lights and place them right in the pit and plug them in. No fire needed and instant awesome atmosphere and light on a summer night.

 

Create Moments Outside

Remember when creating moments with those you love to be thoughtful and purposeful, but keep it simple.

Lay out a quilt and take dinner outside. Pack up a picnic, even if it is just to take to your own backyard. This is how you create special atmosphere and moments to remember.

Create little moments that feel out of the ordinary. It shows your people that you took a minute to think about creating a special memory…all by simply laying out a quilt in the backyard! So easy!

How about investing in a hammock for more Hygge moments outside and a great outdoor ‘nest.’ Bring a portable speaker out and play some ambient music, or simply notice and listen to the birds or sounds of nature.

 

 

Think Outside the Box

When thinking of Hygge, you probably wouldn’t automatically think of a fan, but in the Spring and Summer, creating comfort for me — looks like a fan!

I love a good ceiling fan and you can now find ceiling fans are not as unsightly as they used to be. I like a more modern, sleek design that does not draw too much attention to itself.

A tower fan tucked in a corner can keep your guests nice and cool all summer long, is portable, and take up very little space.

 


What about you? Do you like the idea of Hygge? Do you like to create a special atmosphere and is it something that you think about? Do you find it is harder to do in the Spring and Summer?

Don’t Forget!

Check out my Maven board, click through to the products and enjoy the Shopko “Stop, Shop, and Drop the Prices” sale/ Again, it is going on May 6,2018-May 12, 2018.  No coupons are required for discounted prices, but if you shop online, you can get free shipping off orders over $99 with the code SHIP99.

HOME/ Homemaking/ Organizing/ Simplifying

Every Day Home Goals Chore System

Everyday Home Goals - creating home systems that work

I’m working hard at creating systems in my home to keep life flowing efficiently and smoothly. This means pursuing organized methods that will turn everyday necessities (like having clean clothes and dishes) into habits.

A home well kept in such an efficient way that it is done on automatic….this is my goal when it comes to my home.

This is not about living perfectly, but about being mindful of how I go about my day and finding mindful systems that work so that much of the mundane but necessary part of life can be done on automatic. Mindful becoming mindless.

Some examples of this:

I empty the dishwasher every morning while my coffee is brewing. It is so much a part of my morning habit that I don’t even think about it. I make coffee every morning which means my dishwasher gets emptied every morning. Win!

I clean the shower while I am in it, and do it safely by using a homemade natural cleaner that is ok to breath in. Not just ok, but thanks to essential oils, therapeutic!

It is so easy to quickly wipe down when already in there, (no awkwardly trying to lean in and clean the shower without getting wet) and I love knowing that the oils I’m using to clean (no harmful chemicals!) are also bringing alertness as I breathe them in. A great way to start the day!

Another example? Our bed gets made the minute I get out of it, even if my Todd is still in it. Ha! Seriously, I just do the best I can with pulling the comforter up and placing pillows around him. Then he can easily fix his corner and pillows when he gets up…although most days he is up before me.

These are just 3 systems built into my day that makes a huge difference in our home staying tidy. 

The Everyday Home Goals below also work beautifully! They are great examples of more systems put into place that keep our home tidy on the daily.

Everyday Home Goals - creating home systems that work

Everyday Home Goals

MAKE BEDS — did you know the most successful people make their beds every day?

WIPE SURFACES — quick wipe bathroom sinks/counters, kitchen sink/counters, tables

CLUTTER — quick pick up and a few minutes wherever it is accumulating

ONE FULL LOAD — dishwasher & laundry; don’t stop until dishes and clothes are put away!

FLOORS –quick sweep, vacuum & spot clean

GENERAL PICKUP — be aware throughout the day. Put things back in their place.

TRASH — kitchen trash daily, bathroom and office trash weekly. My Todd takes care of this one. I am grateful.

Home goals - Creating systems for effortless homemakeing

I do quite well with most of the Everyday Home Goals. I will comment below on each of them:

Make beds — this is automatic for me. I don’t have to think about it.

Wipe surfaces — another automatic. When I get the spray cleaner in hand, I concentrate on flat surfaces and think of the surfaces that need to be wiped every day. For me, this is kitchen and bathroom sinks and counters, and my kitchen and dining room tables. I spray and wipe these areas all at one time, at least one time a day.

Clutter — oh man. This one seems neverending and right now I have way too many piles throughout my home, but I’m super motivated with Spring here! You cannot organize clutter so I will be getting rid of much of it.

One Full Load — I do a load every day of both dishes and laundry…but my downfall is the follow through with washing/drying dishes that don’t fit into the dishwasher and making sure I put away/hang up all clean clothes.

When I do the follow through, it is amazing what a difference this makes. I am prioritizing how to make this into a system that works completely for me on the daily and will update you when I get it figured out!

Floors — I do this automatically every day in my main living areas…living room, dining room and kitchen. I have wood floors and 2 area rugs so it is fast and easy. I love doing it because I love a good vacuum line and how it instantly makes the room feel clean. I also hate stepping on crumbs so that is huge motivation to get that broom out.

General pickup — I’m pretty good at this. I do it mindlessly without thinking. As I walk through a room I will straighten what needs to be (I’m forever straightening throw pillows!) and pick up items to take with me to where they belong.

I am always looking for things to upstairs that made their way downstairs, and vise versa. I rarely walk up or down the stairs without grabbing something on my way that is misplaced.

Trash — like I said above, my man does this one. I’m spoiled.

Everyday Home Goals - creating home systems that work

A Chore A Day Goals

– Bathrooms — note: you can save the floor for Thursday

– Dusting –“work quickly, top to bottom, left to right” —Clean Mama

– Vacuuming — some weeks just the middles will do, other weeks add upholstery and rugs.

Th – Floors –sweep & mop

–  Kitchen — wipe down microwave and appliances. Wipe down and sort refrigerator. Wipe stove. Shine stainless steel.

Sa – Change Sheets –nothing like fresh sheets and towels!

Su – None –just do Everyday Home Goals listed above

Note: If getting all done at once is more your style, you can take 1-2 hours of time, once a week, and do all of the above in one fell swoop.

{Homekeeping Goals Inspired by Clean Mama’s Simply Clean Book. }

Everyday Home Goals - creating home systems that work

Let’s talk about these Chore a Day Goals. I don’t know if I love them or hate them. While I have my Everyday Home Goals pretty much down, the Chore a Day goals are a different story.

My success really depends on what type of week I am having. If my week is a normal, structured week where my schedule goes according to plan, I get them done no problem.

The problem comes when the week is overbooked or unexpected life events come up. On these weeks, I end up doing it all in one day and that day is usually a Saturday, or it does not get done at all. Yuck!

Doing it all in one day is not my favorite way to spend a chunk of time on a Saturday, so I really want to figure out how to consistently do a little bit each day of the week.

I think the key to making these Chore a Day Goals into a habit is finding 15 minutes of time in each day that is consistent. I will think about that, figure it out, implement it, and get back to you on my success!

Another key to creating this habit is keeping my daily and weekly goals in a place where I see them every day, all throughout the day. This printable is the answer for me right now. It works well printed out and put on a magnet on my refrigerator.

Keep reading if you want one too!

Home Goals | Clean Home Printable

This super helpful “Keeping a Clean Home” printable checklist divides home goals into Every Day, Once a Week, Once a Month, Once a Season, and Once a Year. This checklist allows me to focus in and know exactly where I am at and what needs to be done.

Would you like to print one out for yourself too? You can get it by signing up for my email list, which is a great way to not miss a new post from New Nostalgia.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE ‘KEEPING A CLEAN HOME’ PRINTABLE HERE

I’m on a mission to continue to build more systems into my day, to make keeping a home as simple as possible. I have been very successful with what I’ve implemented so far, but systems often need tweaked and they take time to put into place and become automatic. I will continue sharing them with you as I discover what is working best for me, so make sure you get on the list!

Everyday Home Goals - creating home systems that work

{for your pinning pleasure}

What about you? What are systems working for you? What have become mindless habits for you in keeping your home? What are consistent problem areas? Got any tips for me? Please share in the comments!


You may also like:

How To Declutter When Overwhelmed

Facing Clutter in that One Dreaded Room

The Best DIY Glass/Mirror Cleaning Spray

Simple Tips Tricks and Routines to Keep Your Car Clean

5 Steps To A Clean Pantry

 

FAMILY/ Kids/Family/ Parenting/ Simplifying

Why Your Kid Needs A Debit Card

Greenlight, the smart debit card for kids

I have to tell you about Greenlight, the smart debit card for kids that we have been using. It has been such an easy and convenient way to exchange cash with our kids! Gone are the days of making sure we always have enough cash on hand.

Greenlight card was made for children and built by parents. It is a smart debit card and has an easy-to-use app which gives parents a convenient way to stay informed on kids spending, communicate with them and load their cards.

Cash can only go so far and limits you when it comes to staying on top of what your kid is spending, when they are spending it, and where!

For younger kids, this debit card is great to control all of their spending. For older kids, like our teen girls, we use it along with their own cash for the sake of convenience and as a way to teach responsibility when it comes to money.

Greenlight, the smart debit card for kids

Why We Love Greenlight Debit Card for Kids

Here are a few reasons why we love it:

1. The Greenlight App is super intuitive and easy to use and setup.

2. The girls (especially my youngest), like having their own card! Kids feel so grown up!

3. It eliminates the pain of exchanging cash.

4. It keeps the girls from having too much cash lying around. A lost card is easy to replace. Lost cash cannot be replaced.

5. It is safe. If someone gets ahold of their card, we can immediately turn the card off from the app. They will not know the PIN in order to use it.

6. Helps us teach good spending habits in real life situations and prepares them to become financially responsible adults. It makes teaching fun!

7. Sends real-time notifications to parents and kids after a purchase.

8. Gives us gentle and flexible control of where their spending goes.

9. It gives them independence to spend their own money while we retain control over where their money is spent or how much they have to spend in certain stores or retailers.

10. It is fun and easy to communicate through the comments in the app.

Greenlight, the smart debit card for kids; parents dashboard

 

Here are a few examples from our family & how Greenlight debit card has made life so convenient:

~Our girls have earned allowance since they were young. My Todd wrote a few posts about it. We had a chart and chore system when they were younger and were paid a small allowance if they were responsible that week. Now that they are older they get an allowance just for being great and responsible teens! Todd has done a great job of making sure we have the cash to pay them each week, but it takes some thought and even trips to the bank at times. Now all he has to do is get out his phone and quickly send it to their debit card. It is as easy as sending them a text! Easier still–Greenlight card has a convenient automated allowance feature to ‘set it and forget it’ so your kids always receive their allowance on time.

~Our girls often babysit and are sometimes paid with a check.  We would have to cash their checks for them, then remember to get the money to them, hoping we have enough cash on hand. Now, all we have to do is deposit their checks with the rest of our deposits, and simply use the Greenlight app to send them the check total directly to their Greenlight debit card.

~We have 2 teen drivers. I will occasionally send them on errands or to the grocery store to pick up a few things. We used to have an exchange of cash, and often I would forget who I gave money to and for what. Sometimes I would wonder if I had paid them back at all! This was a problem when it came to doing the budget numbers, as I would need to know accurate numbers and what category in our budget those numbers came out of. Now they can bring us a receipt and I can immediately send them the money we owe them, right to their debit card, and then send myself a text as a reminder to which budget it came out of and how much.

Greenlight, the smart debit card for kids. Can specify certain stores!

~My Colsie loves a good deal and does an amazing job finding clothes at a good price. Sometimes she will be out with friends and stumbles upon a great deal, but realizes she does not have cash on her. Now she can send me a text and the Greenlight app has the option of letting me send her money that she can ONLY to spend at that specific store. I love that control. I want her to have the freedom to spend money on some good deals, but I also want to keep her from spending her whole paycheck at one store and keep her from being tempted at other stores. I can send her the exact amount that I think is reasonable that she can spend at that specific store, and the card will only allow her to spend that amount. Brilliant!

Greenlight Debit Card

~Todd is amazing at spoiling us when it comes to making sure our cars are all full of gas. I rarely have to pump my own! I know…I’m spoiled! He does it on Saturdays so faithfully. It is a great way that he shows love by serving us girls. If he was not so great at this, I could see us really using the ‘Gas’ option of the Greenlight cards, and we may still decide to use it to teach our girls the value and cost of gas. We could give them a set amount of gas that we agree to pay for each week, then they can be aware of how much they use and stay aim to stay within that gas budget. It will also get them used to getting their own gas, as they won’t be around for many more years for Dad to do it for them!

While writing this post, two more scenarios with Greenlight debit card happened:

~My Colsie is driving herself to get some tutoring after school. She needs to pay her tutor $20 and has her own cash on her, but we need to pay her back. I will use the Greenlight app to pay her back.

Greenlight, the smart debit card for kids. Can leave them comments.

~My Teagan got out of school early today and is out and about running errands with her boyfriend. I wanted to make sure she got some lunch so I sent her $15 with a note specifying what it is for. It took seconds and made her day!

Do you see what I mean by convenient? I love being able to pay my girls back the minute I think about it, instead of thinking about it later and wondering if I ever paid them back! I love treating my girls with a surprise deposit and telling them to enjoy it! I especially love when I get a real-time alert when they do spend it.

Do you want to try Greenlight card out for yourself?  Take advantage of the special 30-day trial to see if it is a good fit for your family and get a $20 deposit bonus when you sign up after the trial.

Greenlight is available for iOS and Android and costs $4.99/mo per family and includes cards for up to 5 children. It also offers zero-fee loading for parents transferring money into their Greenlight account.

Sign up for Greenlight before 10/30 and they’ll deposit a $20 bonus into your account after the 30-day free trial ends. *deposit bonus made approximately two weeks after the free trial ends.

——–

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Greenlight, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #GreenPMG  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

HOME/ Organizing/ Simplifying

How to Declutter When Overwhelmed

How to Declutter When Overwhelmed

I’ve gathered some tips and tricks to help you know how to declutter when overwhelmed.

If you read my post last week called Facing the Clutter in that One Dreaded Room, you know I’ve been busy decluttering around here, and honestly was quite overwhelmed when facing my own clutter. I talked about how we cleared out the study (that had become a storage room) and put all clutter in one area upstairs.

I purposefully transferred all clutter to an area where I could not close a door or drawer and ignore it. It is in our upstairs landing area, a place that I must walk through to get to my bedroom. I can’t stand seeing it every day, so I have been very motivated to chip away at the clutter.

In the process of dealing with my own clutter, have gathered some tips and tricks to help you declutter when you are feeling overwhelmed, too.

How to Declutter When Overwhelmed

 

~Just start. There is no system or checklist that is going to do the work for you. You have to just start.

 

~Don’t be an overthinker. If you think too much, you will be paralyzed and get nothing done. This is when procrastination happens. Stop analyzing and just get busy!

 

~Clear out a small space, then keep plugging away at the rest. Think progress, not perfection.

 

~Have bins/boxes and black yard waste bags all ready to grab and use.

 

~Use black yard waste bags. You can’t see inside the bags so you won’t second guess or retrieve, and neither will your kids! I have one kid that is notorious for searching through my donate bags.

 

~Use these 3 things:

  1. Keep Box or Bin
  2. Donate Bag
  3. Trash Bag

*Notice I did not include a ‘Sell’ box. This has tripped me up too many times. I end up keeping clutter thinking I’m going to sell it, which just creates more work and does not help me embrace simplicity. No more ‘sell’ box for me. It all goes to the ‘donate’ box.

Cube Timer- Great for decluttering!

{My FAVORITE timer. Click here to buy on Amazon}

~Set timer 15, 30 or 60 minutes. You choose. When the timer goes off, go make yourself a cup of tea. Then repeat or give it another go the next day. Pace yourself.

 

~ Find trash first. Scan the area and get rid of obvious trash. When trash bag gets full, take out the trash and keep going. Only use one trash bag for trash at a time. 

 

~Start with easy decisions–the easiest being gather obvious trash. Make harder decisions, like what projects to keep and finish or what sentimental items to donate, for later. Set them aside and move on to something else.

 

~Self-talk is important. When you feel overwhelmed, change your thoughts. A ‘can-do’ attitude makes a difference!

“I can do this.” 

“I don’t have to do it all now.”

“A little bit every day will get the job done.”

“I will be amazed at what I can achieve in a short time”

“One session done quickly will add up to a finished room in time.”

“My worst room might just become my best!”

These type of thoughts will lift your spirits and help you get the job done.

 

~Those items that are hard to let go? A helpful way to think about them is, “Am I holding onto someone else’s blessing?” Just because something has value does not mean you need to hold onto it. It could bless someone else.

 

~Use the 20/20 rule. This is a great tactic I’ve read about. If you can replace it for under $20 within 20 minutes, don’t keep it just because “WHAT IF I need it in the future?” Many things that are hard to part with can be found at your local thrift store, less than 20 minutes away and less than $20. So let it go, because if you truly need it in the future (you most likely won’t) you can get it in 20/$20!

 

~Take the ‘donate’ bag right to the car when full, and replace with a new bag. Doing this with both donate bags and trash bags will keep your area clear and you will see progress quicker, which will reward and motivate you. This tip is key for me! It is so motivating to see the area I am working on getting more and more clear as I take out the bags. It is so rewarding!

 

~Go through the ‘keep’ box as it fills up. If you find duplicate items or if one item replaces another, get it right to the donate bag. Put items you want to keep into ‘like with like’ piles.

 

~Ask a friend to help. Have them be the one to put things in ‘like with like’ piles, while you move quickly and take the items from the piles to their home.

 

~Make it fun. Play music or listen to a favorite podcast.

 

~Be ok with stopping but make sure you pick it back up the following day. A little each day and you will get it done!

 


How about you?

Do you have a dreaded room that needs decluttered and that is overwhelming?

Do this tips resonate with you? If so which one?

Please share your favorite decluttering tips!

HOME/ Homemaking/ Organizing/ Simplifying

Facing the Clutter in That One Dreaded Room

Facing the Clutter in That One Dreaded Room

Don’t we all have them? That one dreaded room full of clutter? I’d like to think I’m not alone. The time has come for me to face the clutter in the one dreaded room in our home. There are a couple of little areas in my home that need my attention, (and a big garage) but for the most part, the main areas stay decluttered. These are not the ‘dreaded room’ I’m talking about.

How to Paint a Deconstructed Chevron Wall

{the home office before it became a room-sized junk drawer}

The Dreaded Room

For me, the dreaded room was our home office. I’ve posted before about this room, about how to do the deconstructed chevron paint treatment on the wall, and how I organized the desk drawers, and the office closet.  Honestly, I’m embarrassed to admit how bad it got! The organizational systems I set into place worked really well for at least a couple of years, but then… life happened.

A year-long fight with anxiety, raising 3 teenagers, a blog that became a business our budget depends on, and medications that take me on an emotional roller coaster ride every 3 months…these are the reasons that come to mind when I think of why our office became a dumping ground. Yep, these are my excuses and they are quite good ones if I do say so myself!

If you have a similar room, have grace for yourself. You are certainly not alone, and it is ok to not have any good excuse. I just like to make myself feel better by listing mine. {grin.}

The office is on the main floor of our home. Until the last 2 days, it was full. Imagine an oversized junk drawer–it was a place to stash things that do not have a home. That was what our home office became and it was driving me crazy.

 

Clutter Attracts Clutter

An additional problem–the office is a room that one must walk through to get to my oldest daughter, Teagan’s room. She has always been my creative-minded daughter, who sees beauty in a lot of beautiful things, and likes to keep those things. I have to say, she has become much better releasing some of those things the last couple of years.

{door to my daughters’ room, must walk through the office}

Teagan has the ability to be organized, but it is not easy for her. She loves all the things but has the smallest room in the house with the tiniest, most dis-functional closet. You literally have to step up about 2 feet to get into the tiny closet. Once inside the floor slopes and makes it hard to stand straight and reach anything. She does NOT enjoy this.

Ironically, she choose her tiny room when she was little because of this “fun” step-up and slanted closet…it made the perfect private fort! I found her a few times using it as a place to pout about her ‘annoying’ little sisters or when she got in trouble for reacting to that annoyance! I picture her all tucked into the closet with her favorite yellow fuzzy comfort blanket, and it makes me smile..she was so little!

Now it is overflowing with clothes, high heels, and past homecoming and prom dresses. My baby has grown up and needs more usable space in order to live more organized.

Prom dress

Because of her lack of space and her love for all the things, I would often find her stuff overflowing into the office area. We all know clutter attracts clutter, so I take responsibility for how easy it was for her to add to my piles with her stuff.

 

Facing the Clutter

Teagan and her Grandma came up with the brilliant idea of clearing out the office and giving Teagan the space. It made sense since the rooms flow into each other, but I was immediately resistant. I feared a few things: giving up space where I stored a lot of my stuff, facing my room-sized junk drawer (who has the time?), and fear that I would just be trading my messy clutter for Teagan’s.

The last few weeks I have softened to the idea for a few reasons. I know it would force me to declutter and get rid of stuff that has been overflowing the office and office closet. I also recognized that Teagan (being a senior) has at least a year left with us, and has been talking about living at home for her first year of college, so we might get her for 2.

Over the summer, she worked so hard, saved a ton of money and showed so much responsibility in many areas. She is such a good kid. During the school year, she studies her cute little head off and needs a calm, clutter-free, quiet place to do it, especially as she enters college. She is amazing, and could use more space…and I have the ability to give it to her!

After communicating with her about my expectations for the ‘office turned Teagan’s extended room’ area, (which really is just to keep it orderly enough for me to easily dust and vacuum it with the rest of the house once a week), I decided she could take it.

I’m ok with just shutting the door to her main bedroom, but this second room I truly want her to keep orderly. She understands this and part of our agreement is that I can take the room back if it is not appreciated and taken care of.

Teagan has all kinds of plans to update her room and create a great space for her extended room. She and her boyfriend (who is super handy and helpful in these projects, and who has already helped by clearing the room) came up with a list of things that need to be done, from taking down wallpaper and painting/updating her room, to buying a few things to make the old office space beautiful and functional for her.

 

Clear Out the Clutter

She started clearing out the office clutter–another part of our agreement. She had to help by clearing the clutter, or really just transferring it to a place where I would be forced to deal with it. I wanted her to be a part of the process of making this space her own, experience hard work, and frankly, I needed the help to get it all up the stairs!

I had her carry it all upstairs to our landing area, an area that I pass to get to my bedroom. I could not handle having it strewn all over the house, and was purposeful in choosing where to gather the clutter. A single area, and a place where I would be forced to deal with it ASAP.

She made a bazillion trips up the stairs and commented on how great a leg workout it was. Ha!

I have a post coming out very soon titled ‘How to Declutter When Overwhelmed’ which will walk one through the process of tackling overwhelming clutter. I plan on making quite a bit of progress on the transferred clutter mess using the steps in the upcoming post. One thing about me is when I finally face the clutter, it has no chance. I’m good a tackling it and getting it done!

My anxiety rises every time I pass the transferred clutter. It is jolting to come up my stairs and walk through it to get to my nice, clean, de-cluttered and peaceful bedroom. It doesn’t feel good….talk about motivating!

Sometimes all it takes is to pull clutter out of closets and drawers (or entire rooms!) and place it in a space where you have to come face to face with it. It is definitely working for me, and I have already had two 20-minute sessions of decluttering in the area. Progress! I have a lot of tips and tricks I’ve learned when decluttering over the years, so watch for my upcoming post.


What about you?

Do you have a dreaded room or area that you need to unclutter?

Tell me all about it…it will make me feel so much better about mine!

HOME/ Meals/ RECIPES/ Simplifying/ Sponsored

Baja Fish Tacos and My Thoughts on Home Chef

Baja Fish Tacos from Home Chef

I just made the most delicious Baja Fish Tacos thanks to the meal delivery system called Home Chef. I served them up to my taco- lovin’ husband and we had a sweet little meal for two.

Table Set For Two Baja Tacos

The Baja Fish Tacos are topped with the most delicious Sriracha Slaw, which really is key for the amazing flavor of these tacos, along with the Quick Pickled Red Onion which added the perfect acidity. I knew my Todd would enjoy the bit of spice from the Sriracha Slaw and I was right. He ended the meal with “wow, that had great flavor!” See video below, we captured his first bite!

Limes from Home Chef

Sriracha Slaw from Home Chef

That little compliment from my man set my mood to ‘happy’ the rest of the evening. My love language is words of affirmation, and when they are given in response to my food, it is twice as nice!

Home Chef truly helped make me look good. I can take credit for my dinner because I did cook it, but let’s be honest, Home Chef did most of the work for me! Shhh…don’t tell Todd.

Home Chef Meal box

Fish from Home Chef

Baja Fish Taco Ingredients from Home Chef

Home Chef Meal Delivery System

Home Chef is a fresh ingredient and recipe meal delivery service. It is “Home Cooking Made Simple” and delivers everything you need for a delicious meal. An insulated box is delivered to your door and stays cold until you get home, with no signature required.

I was giddy with the idea of a chef creating recipes, planning my menu and shopping for me!

A meal delivery service means no grocery lines, no menu planning, no fighting traffic while driving to the store, no parking lot struggles (or in my case remembering where you parked), no wasting money on unhealthy takeout, and perfectly portioned ingredients which means no waste.

The Home Chef website is really easy to use. You choose between 13 easy-to-follow recipes which are always updated. They offer meat, seafood, low-carb, gluten-free options and also vegetarian options. They use ingredient suppliers with sustainable practices & who benefit the ecosystems in which they operate.

One of my favorite things about Home Chef was that you can edit the number of weekly meals or servings you receive, skip a week or pause your account with the click of a button. Subscriptions are easy and flexible, and there are no binding contracts which means you can try it with no commitment and cancel at any time.

Ingredients from Home Chef delivery

Baja Fish Tacos

 Home Chef Recipes

I’ve made 2 Home Chef recipes: Baja Fish Tacos & Steak au Poivre. Both were absolutely delicious! I will share the Steak au Poivre sauce recipe in an upcoming post so stay tuned. You will not want to miss that recipe. I’m still dreaming about that sauce– it was divine!

The Baja Fish Tacos were really fun to make. I unpacked the box, set out the ingredients, read over the step-by-step illustrated instructions on the meal recipe card, and got my chef on!

What I loved about making both meals was I learned cooking techniques I have never done before, along with simple tips I can reuse over and over.

Baja Fish Tacos from Home Chef

Example? The Sriracha Slaw was so delicious and tasted like it had layers of amazing flavor, yet it was dressed with just two ingredients–mayo and Sriracha. I never buy Sriracha because I always thought it would be too spicy. Now I know it adds a great garlic and chili flavor and is not too spicy if used in moderation.

Another example is that I have never fried fish. It was intimidating to me because I didn’t want to overcook the fish. The recipe card comes with “chef tips” and one of them was that the batter for the fish should be nice and thin so that it cooks quickly and you won’t overcook the fish.

It worked beautifully, and although we rarely eat fried food, I like knowing how to do it, so that when we do eat it I’m the one who makes it. I like this option way more than buying frozen fried food that is full of questionable ingredients.

I also love that the recipe card is for the entire meal, so that at the end of about 30 minutes the main dish and side dishes are all done at the same time! Home Chef does all the thinking for you! I REALLY like that.

When I’m planning my own meals the side dishes are more like an afterthought, and I use whatever I have at home. With Home Chef, the meal components go so well together because the side dishes are planned by a real chef, to go perfectly with the main course, like the slaw topping for these fish tacos, or the cauliflower gratin side dish that came as part of the Steak au Poivre.

Convenience and confidence–these are the 2 words I think of when summing up my Home Chef experience. It can’t be any more convenient and my confidence as a home chef was at an all-time high making such easy, beautiful and delicious meals!

Home Chef Baja Fish Tacos

Baja Fish Tacos with Sriracha Slaw

Go to the Home Chef website and search Baja Fish Tacos. You will see how beautifully they share a recipe meal plan, step-by-step with tips along the way. They even make each recipe easy to share with your friends using their social media share buttons.

Watch Me Make Baja Fish Tacos with Home Chef

{watch this 60-second video to the end to see my Todd taking his first bite and me laughing at my daughter filming us!}

$30 Off Your First Purchase

Use voucher code NEWFOOD FOR $30 Off your first purchase. If you click-through to Home Chef using any links from this post, the voucher code is already embedded and will appear when you check out. Easy Peasy!

Need a fun gift for a friend? Have a friend going through a struggle that makes meal planning hard? Home Chef offers GIFT CARDS! I don’t know about you, but I would LOVE being gifted a subscription to Home Chef.

{for your pinning pleasure}

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What about you? Does subscribing to Home Chef appeal to you? What would you enjoy about a home recipe and ingredient delivery system?

 

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