It's time for spring cleaning & spring organizing! Working with a professional organizer can help you get your house ready for the relaxing summer you deserve.
Many people assume that if they have to hire a professional organizer, it must mean they live in a "disaster zone." This is simply not true. My clients range from busy working professionals to overwhelmed stay-at-home-moms. I organize for businesses, organizations, and of course, individuals who just need a little help!
When your family notices that you’ve started to pull the cleaning supplies out from under the cabinet, do they suddenly...disappear? Whether it’s our little ones, our teenagers, or even our partners, clean up time can be an unfavorable occasion for any household.
Before you scoff and exclaim, “Fine, I’ll do it alone!” Remember, you shouldn’t have to, and with the proper systems in place, you can create streamlined methods that the entire family can get behind!
After working with countless clients and all of their unique circumstances, I’ve noticed one trend that can help turn the chaos into clean, livable spaces. It’s simple, go green! Creating a home environment that’s good for our planet can actually make household chores a whole lot easier.
It’s about that time of year again! Soon, the temperatures will be rising, flowers will start to blossom, and your home will need the fresh start it deserves.
Spring cleaning is an excellent opportunity to get your house on-track for the oh-so-busy summer months. With Memorial Day & the Fourth of July festivities right around the corner, you’re going to want your home to be ready for all the fun!
But before you crack down on the cleaning, this year, consider taking the ‘green’ approach. It’s no secret that those abrasive cleaning products that we stash under the kitchen sink can interfere with the air quality in our home and even our microbiome!
Although we might be accustomed to smelling the bleach in our kitchen from a mile away, there’s a new way of doing things. And get this—it’s a whole lot safer & cheaper! As you wake up the dust bunnies and bring down the cobwebs for spring cleaning, try taking a ‘green’ approach for a healthier home.
Your home should be your sanctuary, a safe space where you can relax and get away from it all. But if you live in a space with no order, it can be difficult to actually unwind, even when you’re within the walls of your own home.
You should be able to enjoy the items in your home without feeling tense when you spot clutter. It’s about time to make space for the things you love!
Quickly glance at the surface areas in your home. Are there items that you like but don’t love? Do you have a beautiful picture of your family with no place to put it? Are all your surface areas covered with things?
Congratulations, you just conquered phase one of decluttering!
Your family just embarked on a massive project for your home, and you can not wait to see the final result! But in the meantime, you have to stare at a deconstructed room, piles of moving boxes, and all the ‘stuff’ that got misplaced during the transformation.
Anxiety settles in, and you wish that you could snap your fingers and make the mess go away. Well, there’s no way to magically make those boxes disappear or finish the project overnight. So, how can you deal with the new mess that moved in?
Many people feel overwhelmed with the construction process—not to mention all of the design inspirations looming in the background. But with a little dedication, you can enjoy a house that’s liveable...despite the chaos!
Once construction and painting are complete, it’s time to banish the dust! For an all-natural approach, make a DIY solution with white vinegar and water, and get to work in all the nooks and crannies with an old rag.
Now that all of the surfaces are clean, you can get started with one goal in mind—every single thing has a home. Put your favorite music on and get in the zone!
Grab three empty boxes to either keep, donate, or store your belongings, and follow these criteria:
Continue unpacking your items and organizing them into the three categories! Once your box of donations is full, contact a local organization for pick-up or drop-off. And as far as the rest of your items, remember the rule—everything has a home!
Are you moving? Check out this Moving Planner Checklist to stay organized throughout the whole process!
It’s no secret that some of the world’s most successful people are opposed to New Year’s resolutions. They seem pretty harmless, so what’s the problem?
Well, behind those seemingly simple resolutions, there’s a whole lot of psychological work that goes into why we continue to choose the same resolutions year after year. And it also explains why we’re still no closer to achieving them than we were the year before.
The mind is a powerful thing. When we make a resolution, it’s not necessarily for something we want, it’s more likely that it’s something we think we should want. There’s a huge difference!
If at the bottom of your heart you truly believe that you need to start making healthier lifestyle choices to be a good example to your family, you’re going to do it! But if you only want to hit the gym because a magazine tells you to, those workout sessions will probably end a few weeks into the new year (if they even start at all!).
Before you know it, you’ll blink, and we’ll be talking about Thanksgiving and Christmas again. If you want to create change in your home, now is the time! It’s never too late to establish tangible goals that align with your life, mindset, and wellbeing.
Ditch the resolutions and dive deep into tangible goal setting!
2018 was a very busy year for Life Simplified. After working with a few recently widowed families, I started to think… what if something happened to my husband or me? Would important documents be easily found? Would we both have access to the other person’s devices?
Not including the medical and financial details, my husband and I sat down and had the ‘what if’ talk.
You should take the time to have a discussion with your significant other or family member as well! Grab a piece of paper, your phone’s notepad, or create a word document and take five minutes to write down the following notes. Share these notes with your family members so that all parties have easy access in case of an emergency!
Here are a few items to take note of:
Important questions to ask:
Having this easily accessible list in your home will help your family stay prepared in case of an emergency.
No more resolutions!
Start the year fresh.
Long gone are the days where you could write down your most precious secrets in a
journal or diary, stash them under your mattress, and cross your fingers hoping that no
one would ever find your hidden treasure!
Now, everything from your social security number to your mother’s maiden name can be
found online. And as cyber thieves and hackers hone in on their skills, it’s more
important than ever that you get defensive with your online security.
We organize our homes to maximize our time and create habits that improve our well-
being. We tidy up our offices so we can work without the distractions and clutter
inhibiting our efficiency. But what about the online space?
A recent study shows that American adults spend a whopping 24 hours a week online!
That’s a part-time job in and of itself. Whether you’re shopping online, working, reading
news articles, or scrolling through Facebook, you should be organized to help secure
every gigabyte of your valuable information.
Here’s the good news, you don’t have to be a tech wizard to stay ahead of the game!
With a few downloads, you can easily protect yourself, stay organized, and browse the
internet with ease.
Purchase A VPN
Coffeehouse jazz, a few Americanos, and free wifi, there’s nothing like opening up your
laptop at your favorite cafe! But while the espresso machine hums in the background,
your online security is seriously in danger.
Whenever you log on to public wifi, you have to succumb to the demands of the wifi
provider. Have you ever read the small print under the “Terms & Conditions?” None of
us have! We just flippantly click ‘yes’ and continue browsing, not knowing where on
Earth our data is heading.
And beyond that, when you use public wifi, you’re risking the chance that a hacker could
intercept your data! As someone who loves a good work session at the local coffee
house, there are easy ways to get around this.
Consider buying a VPN (Virtual Private Network)! To put it simply, think of a VPN as a
vault that protects your information. Whether you’re looking through credit card
statements from an online banking website or entering your password on a social media
account, to outside forces, your information, location, and IP address are completely
locked, shielding you from exploitative online hackers.
Create Multiple Email Accounts
We’re all guilty of signing up for an email list at a store just to snag an extra 10%
discount! But when you consider how many times you give up your email address (in
person or online), you’ll start to realize that you’re putting a lot of trust into companies
you might not know much about.
From Verizon and AT&T to Facebook, in the past few years, it has become very clear
that we can’t even trust our information with the big players. So, if you love to sign up for
deals, just make sure you’re doing so safely.
Create a designated email address that isn’t linked to any of your accounts that store
important information. If you want to create an account specifically for online stores that
you enjoy, great!
If you love to get your social media fix and need to create a new account, use a
designated “social media” email address. Just make sure that work and personal emails
cannot be linked in any way. You get the deals, the likes, and the followers... and your
online security remains intact!
Find A Password Manager
These days, hackers are getting so savvy that we practically have to create a
hieroglyphic password to adequately create a secure online account! On the other hand,
if your password for every account is your birthday backward, it’s probably about time
you got serious about password protection!
There’s one simple online tool that will help you create strong passwords without
mulling your brain. Password managers do a fantastic job of storing all your passwords
in encrypted form, so you never have to worry about losing access to important
Password managers store your account information for all of the websites you use. This
virtual vault can only be opened with your master password (which means you only
really have to remember one)! It’s the easiest way to stay safe online and ensure that
you won’t be calling customer support to help unfreeze your account.
Creating an organized life isn’t just about tidying up the medicine cabinet. It starts in
your email inbox as well! Waking up to endless emails about flash-sales and new
product launches for companies you don’t even remember signing up for is not how you
want to start a productive day.
If you’re ready to clear out the clutter, you can use a free service such as Unroll Me!
Within seconds, you’ll have access to every email list you’ve ever subscribed to, and in
minutes, you can unsubscribe or change your preferences!
Instead of weeding through your inbox (which, let’s be honest, is mostly junk mail), you
can go to one website and totally minimize your notifications. With work emails,
Facebook notifications, and system updates, don’t you hear enough dinging throughout
the day? You’ll be amazed at how good a little online cleanse can feel.
Organize With An External Hard Drive
How many precious documents, pictures, and memories do you have stored on your
computer? What if you lost access to your computer today? Do you have a backup
system in place?
Whether you have the newest computer on the market or are working with an absolute
dinosaur, there’s always a chance that you could lose everything on your hard drive.
You’ll hear horror stories of small business owners who experience total system shut
down and lose all of their clients’ information. There are journalists who get hacked and
have their hard drive held at ransom. While these stories sound extreme, you don’t have
to be high-profile to be cyber attacked, and protection could be as cheap as a one-time
payment of $30!
By saving pictures, videos, documents, files, tax returns, and important emails on an
external hard drive, you can rest easy knowing that even if your computer is
compromised, you have backup storage that’s protected and accessible.
In one afternoon you can protect yourself and create files and folders to organize all of
your important data, so it’s there whenever you need it. It’s 2019, and for most of us, our
lives are online! Let’s make this the year where we tidy up every single detail—and that
includes the online world as well!
Money can’t buy you happiness...unless it’s a comfortable mattress, that’s a totally
different story! Although we live in a ‘hustler’ culture that tells us to go, go, and go,
science proves that limited sleep isn’t the key to success. It’s actually detrimental to our
physical and mental health.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), nearly one-third of
American adults aren’t getting enough of sleep! That’s a lot of exhausted bodies.
In fact, humans are the only mammals who willingly delay sleep. It’s simply unnatural!
So, why have we all become so obsessed with working ourselves into the ground? It
has a lot to do with social media showing us bright & beautiful images of those people who seemingly do it all.
They’ve got the business and the kids. They find time to sit on the sidelines of the
soccer game after a hot yoga class. Their house is clean, and well, they look happy. If
they can do it, so can I!
The truth is, we have no idea what goes on behind the scenes in someone’s life. No one
has got it all the way together, and this constant comparison does more than harm than
Whether you’re raising 5 kids, running a business, or both, getting enough sleep should
be at the top of your priority list! It’s a new year, and you’re ready for all the success,
love, and light that will come your way. It’s the perfect time to get back to basics with
your sleep habits!
If you’re ready to count more Zzzs, you’ll have to take a good look at your habits. And
here’s the kicker, what you do at night isn’t the only thing that affects your sleep
Grab your agenda, buy a notebook, or start your very own sleep journal! Every day,
write down your routine.
This should include:
● What you ate & drank
● The amount of caffeine you consumed
● When you sat down for your meals
● Any prescriptions that you took
● What you did 30 minutes, 1 hour & 2 hours before you laid down
● What time you went to bed
● What time you woke up
● Whether you woke up before your alarm
● Your daily schedule
In the morning, jot down how you slept. Did you wake up numerous times? Did you
stare at the ceiling for what felt like an eternity? Did you sleep like a log? After three
weeks, go back and analyze your entries. What do you see?
You might notice that drinking a cup of coffee after 3 p.m. leaves you absolutely
restless. It could be that working out after dinner allows you to fall asleep as soon as
your head hits the pillow, but working out close to bedtime actually gives you too much
Every sleep pattern is unique, so it will take a bit of time to find the best routine to fit
your lifestyle! And though it may sound tedious, your sleep patterns have a direct
correlation with your happiness and overall well-being. That means a few minutes of
writing in your agenda each day could create great value in other aspects of your life!
Remember, strong, powerful people know how to work, but they also know when to rest!
Annie Kilbride is the CEO of Life Simplified, LLC a professional organizing business. Visit www.lifesimplifiedpo.com for more information.