Five Friday Favorites: our favorite apps for staying organized in the new year

Most of us enjoy being organized, and others of us want to be more organized. Some of us fit into both of those categories. Better organization and a more simplified life is at your fingertips…look no further than your smartphone.

There are a few apps that have proven indispensable to our family and I’d like to share them with you.

1. Cozi family organizer (free, premium version available)

Do you have two or more children with several activities on the calendar? Do you struggle to plan meals, keep track of schedules and to-do lists? Cozi is for you!! We use it to catalog recipes, share shopping lists and keep track of schedules via the calendar feature. Each week, it emails all members of your family the events for the week.

2. Spotify Family

I was already a Spotify Premium user and I originally tried to share my account with family. This worked great until we all wanted to listen to something different at the same time. For less than $20, you can have up to five members on one account…not much more than one Spotify Premium account. We also take advantage of their under 12 account, where you can block explicit content and see what your kid listens to.

3. Poshmark

Are you cleaning out closets for the new year and getting rid of outgrown clothing? Make a few extra bucks by selling those clothes on Poshmark. You can also save a few bucks by purchasing gently used clothing for your fast- growing littles. We do!

4. My Macros

Take charge of your diet and fitness by keeping track of your daily food intake with My Macros! I have used this app for about a year and a half now and I love how easy it is to track my calories, fats, carbs and proteins. I highly recommend it.

5. Instacart

No time to grocery shop? Uncomfortable going into the grocery store? Give Instacart a try! I have been making a weekly grocery cart, adding to it throughout the week, and finalizing my order when it’s finished. Then, I arrange a pickup time, drive to the store, and pick up my order. I pay online so my stuff is already paid for when I get there, and they even load it for me. It saves me so much time.

What apps do you use to keep your family, food and fitness on track? Comment below!

After Christmas storage solutions: a Pinterest roundup

Some of us have already taken down our Christmas decor and put it away. Some of us have taken down our Christmas decor and haven’t put it up yet. Some of us (like me) haven’t even started taking it all down. I’m going to do it tomorrow. No really. I promise.

Did you know there are all sorts of great Christmas storage solutions out there? It gets better: most of them are fairly inexpensive.

Ornament storage

I don’t know about you, but I get tired of breaking ornaments each year while they’re in storage. A specially made case for safely storing ornaments will solve the problem. You can find this soft case at Kohl’s for less than $20 or this plastic divided bin for less than $10 at Target.

Wreath Storage

If you’re like us, you have a bunch of wreaths. If you’re fortunate to have the space, you can always just hang them on the wall, but if space is at a premium, you can use a wreath box or bag. We have this wreath bag.

Walmart
Target

Tree storage

Some of you lucky people use real trees and you don’t have to worry about this. For those of us whose allergies don’t allow a real tree, well, storage is an issue. Get some tree bags!! I like this one because it has wheels and it’s much easier to move. I don’t even need my husband’s help!

Lowe’s

Happy un-decorating!! We will see you tomorrow for a post about vision boards. Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

1. Vision boards: what’s your vision?

2. 2020 in Review

3. Word of the year

4. New Year’s Day

Create your own bulletin board

I wanted a cute bulletin board for my daughter’s desk, but I wanted it to be cute. I also didn’t want it to cost a lot.

I decided to use what I had on hand and make it happen. I had an empty white frame and some foam poster board. I also had cute fabric that would match her room and some pretty ribbon.

I began by cutting my poster board to size with scissors.

I then used Locktite spray adhesive to attach my fabric.

After I got the fabric attached, I decided it needed a little something more. I chose to add ribbon and glue some white buttons to the board.

And then I popped it into a frame and hung it up. The eldest little Lumber chose some of her favorite pictures to display on her new board.

It turned out super cute and so helpful for organizing her desk area.

And best of all, it was super cheap and super easy to make as well.

The Benefits of Living with Less…and why you should purge your house right now!

The Benefits of Living with Less…and why you should purge your house right now!

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RIGHT Now. Drop everything and PURGE YOUR HOME NOW! No, I’m kidding. Sort of.

I know you read a lot about purging your home on my blog. Some of you are probably fans of living with less already, while others of you are scratching your heads and wondering how much more stuff I can get rid of and blog about it. #istillhavetoomuchstuff

I am currently in the midst of a whole house purge, but we will talk more about that later.

The truth is, living with less has a lot of benefits. Some are health benefits, some are financial benefits, and some are so good they don’t fit into any category. I’d like to share a few of those with you today, as well as some great advice for purging your home that I’ve collected over the years.

1. Living with less can be beneficial to your mental and physical health

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  • Living with too much causes your house to feel cluttered. A cluttered house feels chaotic, and makes it hard for you to relax and destress. Continued stress affects your mental state, as well as your physical health.  An organized and clean home evokes a peaceful feeling, and who doesn’t want to feel at peace in their own home?
  • This one is especially true if you have kids. More stuff=fewer places to put things away. Stuff that is left out in the floor becomes a trip hazard. Show of hands: who else has fallen over items left in the floor, or stepped on some hard plastic toy with your bare feet? (Lego moms, can I get an “amen?” )

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2. Living with less makes your home feel and appear cleaner

  • Living with too much makes it harder to find places to put things away. Having nowhere to put things causes your home to look and feel cluttered (see above).
  • A cluttered house also seems dirty even if it really isn’t. Having less stuff and less clutter makes your house look and feel cleaner.

 

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3. Living with less saves time

How does living with less save time? It means that you spend less time looking for things. It’s been said that the average person spends four years of their life looking for things that they are missing. Not being able to find your missing items makes you stressed.  Having less stuff means that you don’t have to sort through so much when you need something.

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5. Living with less saves you money

How is this? Well, when you make a conscious effort to live with less, you are much more intentional with your spending. Additionally, who here has ever bought something, only to realize you already had that same item at home? Living with less makes it easier to distinguish what you need- therefore keeping you from spending money on something you already have.

 

There are many benefits to having an organized and simplified home, with less stuff. Start with one room at a time and keep only what you need- donate, recycle or throw away the rest. I know many people who wish their home was less cluttered, but I don’t know anyone who wishes their home was MORE cluttered. Start today and you’ll soon see the benefits.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Coming soon: Characteristics of an organized home

How to get organized without breaking the bank

How to get organized without breaking the bank

Getting organized can be costly, but it doesn’t have to be. You certainly can spend a lot of money on organization if you want, but if you’re budget conscious like me, you don’t want to do that. Luckily, there are many ways to get organized without overspending.

1. Shop discount home stores like TJ Maxx or Home Goods, or use sales coupons.

I love the basket selections at my local big box craft store, but I don’t love the price. TJ Maxx and Homegoods have tons of cute baskets in a number of colors and materials, and they aren’t expensive.

2. Don’t forget the dollar stores

Dollar store bins and baskets aren’t the most durable, so they aren’t appropriate for organizing everything. They’ll do for organizing cabinets, holding bathroom toiletries and organizing your kids’ books,though.

3. Target has awesome baskets, and they’re frequently on sale

I have bought so many cute, durable baskets at Target over the years. They have so many different sizes and styles to choose from.

4. See if you can repurpose or DIY something

I have covered diaper boxes with fabric and used them for bins. I’ve wrapped old mailing boxes with twine so they’d look like a basket. I’ve used tin cans wrapped in scrapbook paper to store things. Before you buy, Look around to see what you already have that can be repurposed.

5. Shop your house

See that basket on my china hutch? It’s been everywhere. It’s been in my bathroom, my kitchen, my office, and now it landed in the dining room. Shop your house to see if you may already have something you can use before you buy anything new.

There are so many ways you can get organized by spending little to no money. All it takes is a little creativity. You’ll be glad you did it later.

Have a wonderful weekend.