I’ve been obsessed with “being organized” my whole life. When I was a little girl I would line up my shoes in my closet and spend all the extra time on making sure my barbies were in order. When it was time to go somewhere fun, I was the first to pack up my own bag and be ready and waiting by the front door. Fast forward a bit to 2019, and I definitely can say I am the same way still. If you need a band aide or an advil, you’ll probably find it in my purse. Need a mini-figure lego star wars character? It will probably be in my purse too. I think being a mom has made me even more of a fanatic.
I absolutely love winter break and not just because I get to spend more quality time with my family. It’s the only time of year I can settle into chill mode. And by chill mode, I mean re-organize my whole entire house. Yeah, I know…I actually enjoy it. It’s what gives me my sanity moving forward into the new year.
This year I had big plans to clean out closets, especially the stinky shoe closet filled with pairs of shoes that my kids have out grown. Since I have two boys I keep tons of clothes and shoes (if they survive through the first crazy kid) and store them away in hopes of having that third baby. I was gifted by my brother a vacuum sealer years ago and I have seriously put that thing to use.
If you don’t have tons of time to reorganize your whole house…start simple by just clearing off all the junk on your fridge. Chances are, youv’e had all that stuff up on the fridge for months or even a year and it’s OKAY to take it down now. I promise.
Last month I started (but still need to finish!) a book called Simplicity Parenting. This book talks about how a de-cluttered home can take it’s toll on kids. “With too much stuff, too many choices, and too little time, children can become anxious, have trouble with friends and school, or even be diagnosed with behavioral problems.” And I totally believe that. I mean, I even can be anxious and overwhelmed in a cluttered space so imagine how a small kid feels. Get down on your knees at their level and literally look around your home. Is it soft and subtle or is it screaming at you? My home certainly didn’t get the memo and I’m working on moving towards more minimalism and less junk.
SIMPLE BRAIN DECLUTTERING
To prepare for the new year I think it’s also important to de-clutter not just your home, but your brain. One way to do this is to think about and write a list of all the things throughout your normal day that just drive you crazy.
For me, lately it has been my iphone. When I search for an app I see a million different things and it just feels overwhelming. I decided to organize all of my apps in folders. Instead of putting all my apps in folders sorted by type I decided sorting by color made more sense. It looks cleaner and you will have way less folders to sort through. I typically just search for an app or ask Siri to find it anyways, so I’m not worried about putting so many apps in one folder.
I also decided to leave my first screen completely blank so that when I unlock my phone I only see my 4 main apps below and a nice photo that makes me smile. From there, I swipe once to view all my apps that I use most of the time and I tried to limit them to one page only. Then the next swipe is each folder by color. I also left a folder for each of my kids so that when I need to throw my phone in their lap as a much needed distraction they can easily find what they want.
30 DAY CHALLENGE
Did anyone else start a new workout routine for the new year? Yeah, me too! One of the many reasons why I do not go to a gym. I’m much more motivated to work out in the comfort of my own home. It’s way easier for my schedule. I also need to work out in the morning or else it’s not happening! So waking up early to exercise in my living room just works for me. This year I decided that I needed to do a 30 day challenge to really get into the groove and keep that routine going longer than the first week of January. Because let’s be honest, it happens.
I watch probably way too much YouTube and came across the Blogilates channel. There are probably a million different challenges to chose from but this one just felt right for me. I’m posting here the Day 1 video in case you want to give it a shot. It literally takes 6 minutes. Let me know if you decide to try it.
Kids are motivated with sticker charts and it makes sense because it’s so satisfying to check that off and feel accomplished. Same goes for adults too. I started a bullet journal (but not for my weekly planner) just for stuff like this and also for keeping track of brain dumps, ideas, dreams, and big picture plans for my future. If a bullet journal sounds terrifying to you- just use your notes app and make a checklist for 30 days. And then check those days off one by one.
For me, this is not just a new years goal. I’ve been working on automating as much of my business and my life as possible for years. I’v created huge spreadsheets about this. I started with each business and wrote of list of my daily and weekly tasks. I then wrote a column to note things like, “Can someone else do this job?”, “Why is it difficult”, and “How could it be done differently”. I then when through to fill in the blanks and was surprised to find I had solutions all along that I just wasn’t implementing. So I went to work trying to move as much as I could toward automation. Sometimes things worked and they were awesome and sometimes they backfired and I would start over from scratch. Here are a few ways to automate your life that worked well for me.
Highrise – I would be 100% lost without this. I use it EVERY SINGLE DAY of my life. I use this for business mostly but also manage personal tasks and record all of my login account details, etc. I considered moving this over to Trello for awhile because it’s way more visual. But I decided it was too much work to switch and just felt tedious. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. But if you are just starting out, then definitely compare the two options to see what works best for you.
Amazon Prime Now – If you have time to go grocery shopping, then more power to ya! But I know for me it’s the last thing I want to check off on my list of to-do’s. I already have an Amazon account so really all that is required to use Prime Now is a tip for the driver. However, ever since they stopped using Sprouts and brought on Whole Foods, I have been using them less. The grocery bill is becoming way too high. I have been thinking about switching to Instacart since there are so many other stores to choose from but haven’t made up my mind yet.
Echo Dot– First of all, my kids LOVE Alexa. They ask her to play music all the time and ask her random questions like “Alexa, What’s the longest fish in the ocean?”. I was hesitant at first but actually love having this in our home. I also use it to quickly ask the time or weather when rushing to get out the door on time. I also use it when I’m in the kitchen and notice we are out of something. I just say “Alexa, add milk to my shopping list”. And no time is wasted looking for a pen or paper or my phone to write it down. Then when I’m shopping online for groceries or in store I just open up the Alexa app and check my list. Easy peasy.
Google Calendar – This isn’t for everyone. I know many people who still use a planner because they just like using a pen. And I actually do too. It look me a while to fully switch over. But since I run our web design business, my photography business, my husbands art business and also have two kids in sports and school events – a handwritten planner just wasn’t cutting it. Now I can color code every different business and school, etc. in my google calendar and it syncs to my phone. So I will never be stuck with a scheduling conflict because let’s face it, my phone is always within arms reach.
If you are interested in more business automation, I can do a whole separate post about this. I have a ton of more ways that have helped me get organized including installing an entire automated billing system (for free). But for now, I’ll leave you with one of the inspirations for starting Project Automation- a book called “The 4 Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferriss. Life changer right there. You’re welcome! Leave a comment below and tell me what your biggest business struggle is and I’ll see if I might have a way to automate it!
Now, I’m off to get my daily routine drilled back in while the kids are back in school. Garage sale, coming soon!