Organize Your Time, Diet, and Home For the Holidays

The holidays are a fun, festive, frolicking time of year filled with parties, decorations, food, gifts, and laughter. But what should be a memory-filled calendar can turn into chaos and anxiety if you’re overwhelmed with strewn-about wrapping paper, overly tempting treats, and events on your schedule overlapping each other. If you are stressed about getting the spare room cleared out before the in-laws arrive or the kids return from college, it’s time to create a plan. Are you ready to decorate but abhor the thought of digging totes out of the rafters? Did the party you planned seem like a better idea before you sent the invites and now you’re left wondering how you will pull it off? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you take control of your schedule, your diet, and your home for a relaxing and pleasant holiday season! Here are some tips and tricks to get you on the right track.

Organize Your Schedule

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the holiday excitement, but pause before you RSVP to the invitation or agree to bring cookies to the meeting. One key to staying present during the holidays is to avoid getting overscheduled.

Use an electronic or paper calendar to fill in all of your upcoming obligations. Be sure to include the everyday things like kid activities, exercise, meals times, and down time. Plus, leave some blank spots. Just because you have an hour and a half, don’t try to squeeze in dinner with a friend between work and your son’s holiday band concert. Overscheduling will have you feeling rundown, set you up for illness, and strip pleasure from your days.

When the teacher asks for your help in the classroom or a co-worker asks you out for a drink, check your calendar. If you have an empty agenda and the request is something you want to do, go for it. Also release yourself from unnecessary guilt. The teacher will find another parent, you can plan another time to visit outside of the office, and store-bought cookies will serve the same purpose as homemade ones. Remember that, especially during the hectic holidays, prioritizing activities is a matter of mental and physical health.

Organize Your Diet

Speaking of health, many people struggle with the endless borage of food-related functions that seem to begin before Halloween and last until Easter. Looking and feeling your best during the holidays means that you need to be organized. Start by looking at that calendar to see what events are coming up. Use that schedule to create a plan for success. Rather than feeling like you’ve failed yourself, take a power role.
*Don’t opt in for a night out with friends during the same week as the company holiday party.
*Eat before the party so you’re less tempted by high-calorie foods.
*Use a plate rather than grazing. It gives you a better measurement of what you’ve eaten.
*Drink water before the party to help fill your stomach and keep you from overeating. Drink water at the party to stay hydrated, especially if you drink alcohol, and drink more water after the party to rehydrate and to flush salt and toxins out of the system.
*Bring a favorite, diet-conscious dish to the party so you know there is an option you will enjoy and feel good about.
*Limit your alcohol consumption by cutting it out during the week or setting a responsible limit (two drinks) at the party.
*Don’t skip the exercise.

Organize Your Decor
Some people look forward to dragging out the holiday totes and boxes, setting up decorative displays, and already have a system in place to pack them back up and store them neatly out of the way until next year. If that doesn’t describe you, it’s okay. This is the year you can get it all organized. Invest in matching totes, preferably see-through. Sort all of your decor and be sure that you only keep what you need or love.
*If you haven’t used it in the past two seasons, it’s time to let it go.
*Put ribbons and bows in smaller boxes to keep them from getting crushed. *Store all of your wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue paper, gift tags, wrapping tape, and a pair of scissors together.
*Create a designated space for your decor totes in the garage, pantry, spare room, closet, shed, or garage.
*Clearly label all totes.

Organize Projects
Now that you have streamlined the schedule, are feeling your best, and have your decor in order, it’s time to tackle the nagging projects like getting that spare room tidied up.
*The key to minimizing stress during projects is to create a timeline. Map it out by breaking it into workable and realistic pieces.
*Allow some wiggle room in the schedule so that if there is a delay you have time to recover without the entire project falling apart. For example, don’t expect a furniture delivery on a Monday if you plan to DIY new flooring over the weekend.
*Recruit help when you need it. Family, friends, and neighbors might have the tool you need, a cake pan you can borrow, or a strong teen that can help you lift and move furniture. Invite a girlfriend over for dinner and an organizing session. Give the kids chore lists. Call Queen B Organizing to help you dig through the piles in the garage or spare room.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you have control over the amount of stress you pile onto yourself during the holiday. Focus on what you value most and let everything else go. Choose to spend your time in ways that bring you satisfaction and joy–making a meal from scratch, designing a homemade game to entertain the kids, taking on the role of bartender, making unique gifts for guests or hosts, or decorating for the party. Remember that it doesn’t have to fit anybody’s definition of perfect to be fun and memorable. But if you need a hand to get things under control at any point along the way, the organizing bees at Queen B Organizing are here to help.

DIY Ideas for Revamping Your Old Home

Living in an older, outdated home? Give it a little refresh with these renovation ideas that you can tackle yourself. It may take a little work, but let’s get your hands dirty!

Organize the Chaos

Decluttering is the first step to giving your old home a makeover. Not only will it make you feel less overwhelmed, it will also make it easier to start other projects that would require you to shift furniture and other items around the house.

First, take careful inventory of your belongings, and keep only what you need. Sell valuable items, donate gently used goods, recycle what you can, and toss only what is broken or unusable. This can be a daunting task; objects often carry sentimental value, and it can be difficult to let go. If this happens to you, designate a box for items that you’re unsure of or are simply not ready to part with. Seal the box and wait a month. At the end of the month, if you can’t recall what was in the box or don’t feel particularly attached any longer, you can get rid of it!

Once you’re finished with your purge, everything leftover should have a place. This will help keep clutter from building up and make it easier for you to find things when you need them! If you have limited storage space, consider investing in furniture with built-in storage, such as a captain’s bed. Finally, pick a single spot in your house for clutter, such as a junk drawer or basket. Training yourself one little bit at a time will help you keep your home organized and clutter free.

From Floor to Ceiling

Shag carpeting and popcorn ceilings can really date your home; modernize by removing them from floor to ceiling. Flooring can get expensive pretty quickly, but you can avoid an unattractive price tag by exposing and refinishing hardwood floors—especially if you do it yourself. If your worn or outdated carpeting does not have hardwood underneath, take on the task! If the real stuff is too pricey, there are plenty of faux hardwood options to choose from, including laminate, wood-look tile, luxury vinyl, and soft wood foam tiles.

After you have your footing, time to tackle the unsightly wallpaper. While it’s making its way back around, most original wallpapering will show its age with peeling, cracking, yellowing, or fading. Replace it with a newer, more fashionable style, or remove it completely. Before removing any paint or wallpaper, make sure if your old stuff contains lead that you have it removed by a professional. You should also remove popcorn ceilings, which are highly dated. Although you can tackle this task yourself, be sure to check with a certified professional that your popcorn ceilings don’t contain asbestos. If you’re safe to remove the popcorn ceiling on your own, it can easily become messy and frustrating. If you don’t want to deal with it, you can always hire a company that specializes in popcorn ceiling removal to save you time and stress.

A New Coat

Put a fresh coat of paint on the front door and trim. A pop of color is a great way to liven up your entryway with minimal effort. You can upgrade your cabinetry in the same way, covering dated wood and brightening your kitchen. When it comes to interior walls, stick to neutral earth tones like beige and grey. For color, you can add an accent wall for a unique touch or hang some imaginative artwork after the paint has dried!

Landscaping

First impressions matter, so don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty outside! Purchase some prefabricated planter boxes or build your own and consider putting in an urban garden. If gardening isn’t your style, you can fill your planters with bulbs and seeds that are sure to brighten your doorway—with very little work! Native plants, as well as bee and butterfly-friendly flowers are another great way to spice up your lawn while also supporting your local environment.

Whatever route you take to upgrade your old home, make sure it’s you! After all a home is a reflection of your personality and flair.

Need help with clearing the clutter before taking on any renovations? We know where to start.

Organizing Your Kitchen For a Better Morning, Better Life

Organization is a very important facet to living a lively life. The best way to take control of your life is to be well-prepared, organized, and disciplined in your organization. When those mundane tasks become mundane habits, something special starts to happen.

You no longer worry about the minutiae of the day-to-day, as you’ve already taken care of it. Your brain has more time to focus on the tasks and projects that are actually important to you. The extra focus and willpower allows you to achieve the impossible.

All that can start in your kitchen.

No, seriously.

The kitchen is one of the most occupied places in the home. We cook and eat our meals there, entertain guests, and connect with our family. So, naturally, a few minor changes to how we organize our kitchens can have drastic effects on our life.

Prepared Food

Preparing your food ahead of time can be a massive time saver. Even if you cook lunch and dinner the night before, you can save hours in a day on cooking, eating, and clean up.

For example, make your own overnight oats for breakfast. All you need to do is mix milk, oats, yogurt, and fruit in a bowl or mason jar and leave it in the refrigerator overnight. By morning you’ll have a healthy breakfast ready to eat. Eat them cold or warm them up in the microwave.

For coffee lovers, put the water and coffee grounds in your coffee maker the night before. Leave the machine off. In the morning, breakfast and coffee is ready for you with the press of a couple buttons.

Now that’s efficiency!

Organize Your Kitchen

A cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind. Even with your counters clean of crud, piles of junk mail can have an adverse impact on your peace of mind.

Make sure everything has its place. Your counters should be as empty as possible. Invest in a recycle bin or an organizing mail box.

If you find yourself wasting time trying to find things in your drawers, take the time to clean them out. Add organizers to your drawers where need be.

Open up the space in your kitchen and cabinetry by getting rid of outdated foods, duplicate utensils, appliances that need replaced, and anything you no longer use. If you’ve accumulated quite a bit over the years, consider getting a waste removal service to deal with it all for you. You’ll want to find a company that specializes in environmental junk removal. Where they come to you, take all the accumulated junk and make sure it’s disposed of in the eco-friendliest way.

Take Advantage of Your Kitchen’s Space

The market is flooded with products to help make organizing your kitchen easier. From sacks for your plastic grocery bags to shelves that slide out. There’s no excuse to have a cluttered space in one of the most important rooms of your home.

The kitchen is a space that can be organized in a plethora of ways. Tailor it to fit your lifestyle.

If you start your morning with a cup of coffee, set up an area of your kitchen completely dedicated to coffee. Place your mugs, sugar, and coffee grounds close by.

If you’re famous for writing lists and losing them, section off an area of your kitchen for a calendar and memo board. Eliminate cluttered counter tops by pinning your to-do lists to the memo board.

Add a coat rack nearby to keep your kitchen table from attracting hats, jackets, and purses. Placing the coat rack near the door can help make the morning rush out the door much smoother.

These methods and ideas are designed to open you up to the possibilities your space presents. Becoming organized can help you save a lot of stress, time, and money.

The easy part is getting organized. The hardest part is building the habit to make it stick. Especially if you’re not predisposed to being organized in the first place. If you’re serious about living more organized, a professional organizer might be the best place to start. They’re great at putting systems into place that are tailored to you.

If not knowing where to start is the biggest obstacle, call us for help.

The Cost of Disorganization and Clutter

How Much is Your Lack of Organization Costing You?
By: Dawn Hammon

Many people experience deep frustration from disorganization. Not being able to find the remote or having the car keys alude you can raise anxiety, not to mention start the day out on the wrong foot. If you haven’t noticed, it’s also exhausting spending your time looking for things instead of powering through your day like the boss you are. But, lack of organization costs you more than frustration, anxiety, and energy. It costs you money. Here a few ways you may be wasting money because of disorganization.

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Why Can’t I Get Organized?

The Top 5 Obstacles in Your Way

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Stay Organized With These 5 Fundamental Techniques

You’ve sorted every sock, found a home for the ever-invasive mail, and wrangled the kids’ artwork into a system that works. It’s such a great feeling to reclaim your space! A week later, you find today’s art masterpiece stacked with the laundry and the socks choosing new partners before your eyes. Once you’ve achieved some level of organization, how do you maintain it? Sometimes maintaining organization is as difficult, or more difficult, than getting organized in the first place. We believe that with a plan, you can keep your maintenance on track and still have time for the next organizational task on your list. Here are our top 5 places to focus your energy so that you can continue to love those newly-organized spaces.

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3 Ways Grandma was Green before It Was Hip

The trend today for green living seems like a hip, new idea to some, but it goes back to a time when green living was just the sensible thing to do.

Restore, Recycle, Repurpose - Randy Florke’s new bookRandy Florke in his book, Restore. Recycle. Repurpose. brings us back to thinking frugally like our grandparents and great-grandparents.  In their day “the biggest sin was waste and hand-me-downs were a way of life.  We reused everything, from jars to fabric to the wood from demolished outbuildings.  Glass jars became storage containers in the larder, and the plaid flannel from a favorite shirt lived on in the patches of a crazy quilt on my bed.  Nowadays they call that repurposing; then we called it another day on the farm.”

 

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“But Mommy, I Made This!”

“Look what I made in school today” are words that every parent hears starting with daycare all the way through high school. We’re talking about all pieces of paper that serve as reminders of what your child has done and accomplished. These include such things as: artwork, report cards, awards, paintings, science fair exhibits, and reports. The “projects” will change as your child grows, but the same question remains: What do you do with all of them??

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