Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Clutter FREE Me Day 12: Car Maintenance

Here's a free printable I created just for you! Ok, well I'm not telling the complete truth. I had thought about making a car maintenance log a a couple months ago, but when I decided to do this organization series, it gave me motivation to hurry up and create it :)

Click to download

So, print this out in color (the shaded columns have a purpose), leave this in the glove compartment of your car, and use it to track all the services you get done on your car. No more forgetting the last time you had an oil change or got your tires changed: this log will help keep your car in tip top shape!

The white columns are for the first service, the light gray are for the second, and dark gray, third. For example, if I get my wheels aligned on 1.19.2012, I would add that in the white column on the wheel alignment row. Then i would write down the mileage of my car at the time of that service on the white column.

Do you ever forget what services are performed on your car?

Let me know if you start using this log,
A Bientot....

Monday, January 30, 2012

Clutter FREE Me Day 11: Junk in the Trunk

This series is near it's end, and I've had a great time writing about these organization tips. It has actually kept me on my cleaning and organizing game. Can't be a hypocrite now can I?

Today starts the last part of the series, which is the car.

We spend so much time in our cars: going to work or school, traveling, and riding with friends. Because of this, it's a good idea to keep this space clear and clutter free. 

It's not a good look to pick up a friend to go on a road trip, and not have any room for your luggage for all the trash/unnecessary junk scattered in your trunk

The tip is simple:

If you want to control that junk in your trunk.......

Use crates!!

I actually discovered this cool tip on accident. I bought three crates that were on sale at Wally World with every intention to bring them in the house and use them for some kind of storage. I guess I didn't feel like getting them out of the trunk at the time I bought them. And overtime they just stayed in there. I did take one to work though.

One day after my honey and I went grocery shopping, I had forgotten that I never took the crates out. In order to maximize the space that the crates were taking up, we just started putting groceries in them. 

Now I use one of the crates to contain all the items I like to keep in my trunk. In the first picture above you see brake fluid, another fluid, transmission--I think, water--you never know when you'll need water on the road, whether it's to use under the hood or to clear ice off the windows in the winter. I also keep a rag, plastic bags, and toilet paper. 

The best reason for using crates in the trunk is that everything remains stationary. Don't you hate the rumbling, and bumping noise you hear while you're driving when you have a lot of things in your trunk? Crates are a simple and cost effective solution. Shoot, you probably already have some kind of container in your house that you can use.

What crazy junk do you have in your trunk?
Will crates help contain it?

Tomorrow: Never forget the last time you had an oil change again.

I'm looking forward to your comments :)
A Bientot ...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sh*t Natural Girls Say

I saw this and was crackin up!

It's funny!.....Because it's true! Many natural girls can relate, I'm sure.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Clutter FREE Me Day 10: Do it Now!


Does this ever happen to you?

Get an email to sign up for a training, and the deadline is in one week. All of a sudden you realize it's the next week and you haven't signed up for the training, the deadline has passed, and the training is full!

These kind of things happen in the office, and even at home, all the time!

The best tip for organization is to complete a task right when you get it. Distractions are unavoidable in the workplace, but it IS possible to flow with them.

At my office, I learned that I can't do work that needs a lot of attention and focus at lunch time and passed that. This is because after lunch I get a little more relaxed, but also because my co-workers walk around, have conversations, etc. So, it's harder for me to to focus. On top of that random, unscheduled meetings pop up that I need to go to.

Solution: I do all my big tasks at the beginning of the day and save the minor tasks for the end of the day

It helps me, I hope it can help you too:)

What ways do you avoid distractions in the work place?

À Bientôt!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Clutter FREE Me Day 9: Your Cell Phone


Hello there people! As you know it was my birthday on Thursday. I planned to put this post up then, but I didn't plan for my b-day, let alone my weekend, to be so eventful. That surprise threw me off my blog game! So here is the second to last post for organizing your office space in this organization series.

In this day you can't walk across the street without seeing someone texting, tweeting, talking, or whatever on their cell phone. To either cut down costs or just for convenience, many of us also only use a cell phone and don't have a landline. Because of this, it is important that we keep our mini-computers tidy.

Here are a few tips to ensure you keep your cell phone organized for networking at meetings, conferences, or through social media:

  • Use business cards that you collect to make sure you have all the numbers you need in your cell phone. Also check the correct spelling of names and email addresses.

  • Have you ever gone through your phone and see a name that you don't remember? To prevent this from happening again, put where you met someone, or what you talked about with that person in the notes section in that contact's profile. *You can also putt these notes on the back of a business card right after someone gives it to you.

  • Get Evernote!!! Got a smart phone? Need an app to organize all your thoughts and desires? Evernote is what you need and it's free:) It allows you to create different notebooks and notes to it-- similar to Microsoft Office's OneNote. But, unlike OneNote, Evernote can sync across all the computers and cell phones you have. This means that when you add a note on your phone it syncs with your Evernote on your desktop at home and work if you choose. You can also clip articles anywhere on the web and send it to your Evernote.

What ways do you get your cell phone in order?

À Bientôt

Red Tails Inspired Makeup

Before I went to go see Red Tails on Friday (as a b-day gift from my honey) I was so excited and had a little extra time to create a look inspired by the movie. So here it is....

The red wings represent the red tails from the Tuskegee Airman's fighter planes.

You can see the bronze best in this pic. I chose brown and bronze to represent their uniforms.

Look at those lashes! I have on MAC falsies here.

This is a glammed out version of the Tuskegee Airmen uniform:)

The variety of uniforms they wore in the film:
Men in uniform are sexy. Anyone agree?
If only I had a brown leather jacket, that would have set my look off!

Atteeen-tion! I salute all those who went out or plan to go out and see Red Tails.

It's a great story line and crazy special effects.
However, I do understand if you haven't seen it yet, movie tickets are expensive these days!

Makeup featured:

BH Cosmetics: 120 Color Palette 3rd Edition
NYX Eyeliner: 901 Black
MAC Lashes: 7 Lashes..I think. I got them a years ago and they're not labeled

Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation (just on my blemishes): 520 Natural Caramel
Coastal Scents: 10 Blush Palette

Palladio Herbal Lip Liner: Red Rose
Wet'nWild Lipstick: 529B
MAC Lipgelée: I believe this is discontinued, but any clear gloss should look nice over the red lisptick

BH Cosmetics is having an excellent sale right now:)

Let me know if you got anything in the comments below....

À Bientôt....

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Birthday "Suit" for Work

Hello world! Today's my birthday, and I've had such a beautiful day! I got a crazy opportunity to pursue a dream of mine. And it all started with me asking this woman (who was selling Girl Scout Cookies for her daughter) if there was a 100th anniversary cookie:) If it follows through, I'll let you guys know about this opportunity later.

ALSO, when I returned home from work (yes, I did go to work on my birthday), I found this as I walked up to my bedroom


Ta Daa!!!!

My hubby and step-son created a whole birthday display for me :)

Now, on to the look...

I usually don't wear black mascara to work because I think it's too dramatic.
 I have on clear mascara  and white liner on here
Birthday present I received from my in-laws:)
I foresee an obsession with this necklace in the future.
Birthday nails!
Not the best shot to showcase the design, sorry

I chose a look that would be birthday cute AND appropriate for work. I don't like to be too overdone when I head into the office. 

....26 feels different. Not like 25. That may be because I was anticipating a change when I turned 25, and maybe the hype I got myself into is the reason why I didn't feel any different. :/ All I know is I'm excited to have lived 26 years and I pray to live many more. 

Hope you guys had as great a day as I did, and if not, I hope you have one soon;)

And thanks to my hubby for taking these beautiful shots,

A Bientot!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Clutter Free Me Day 8: Project Board

Do you have so many projects going on that you don't know where to start?

Do you need more focus to maximize your time?

A simple solution to these questions is a project board. It can be set up on your desk or hung up so you will always know what you gotta do, and what's coming up next.

There are three sections:

  • Today's Goals
  • To Do
  • Current Projects

Today's goals
List all the things you want to get accomplished for the day.

To Do
Keep a running list of things you need to do. If there is not enough space on the board then you may want to have a master to do list in your current projects binder.

Current Projects
List of all the projects you got in the works.

You can use a small dry erase board and separate the sections with electric tape. They have different colors at places like Home Depot and Lowe's. I created this design with a black sharpie.

This kind of board is a great at-a-glance visual to stay on track. When you stay on track, you get more done, and you get more done efficiently. This means you save time to complete all the other things you have to do in your busy schedule. :)

A Bientot....

7 Reasons to See Red Tails This Weekend

There's a lot of buzz about the new movie Red Tails about the honorable Tuskeegee airmen. There have been a few other films about these superhero pilots, that are said to have been awesome. Honestly I have not seem them... yet. 

Last week I heard an interview with George Lucas on the Tom Joyner Morning Show that solidified what I already knew. I must go see this movie and encourage others to do the same! 

1. Over 1600 special effects!
The movie is ranked 3rd in special effects only to Avatar, which is # 2 and of course at #1, Star Wars (another George Lucas film)

2. Executive Producer's Will Power
George put 100 million of his own money into the film after he couldn't get support from Hollywood!

3. Edutainment

Education + Entertainment, the perfect combo

4. Upstanding Black Men
Who doesn't want to see 6 eloquent, handsome black men in a film? 

5. 23 Years in the Making
George Lucas had been working on this story since 1988. So you know it's going to be good! Just think how long it took for the Star Wars prequels (early 2000's) to come out after the original Star Wars trilogy (1970's). All six were the some of the best movies of all time.

6. Possible Trilogy
If this movie is successful Red Tails will be part 1 of 3 part series, so you don't wanna be behind when the new ones come out!

7. Let them know Black is Green (in the words of Lucas)
 The reason why Lucas couldn't get this project funded at first is because the investors said Black movies don't make enough revenue compared to other movies with mostly white casts. We must support black film. This reason alone should be enough to GO. SEE. THIS. MOVIE!

Although, it's beneficial that you go see the movie whenever you can, in the interview, Lucas said that the first Friday a movie releases is the most important day to support a film. They, meaning Hollywood or whoever tracks ticket sales rate it's success based on the first day it's released. So let's get out there and support George Lucas and all the people who worked on this film!

Why are you going to see Red Tails?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Clutter FREE Me Day 7: Physical Desktop

Yesterday, we tidied up our virtual desktops, now it's time to do the same to our physical desktops and/or work spaces. If you have already organized your computer desktop, it will be much easier to organize all the papers in your office. 

Did you know...

When you're not organized you can lose money? If you can't find the business card of that important person you met at last month's training, how are you supposed to expand your business or expertise? If you work in a profession where you have clients, you could lose clients if you are not on top of your game, which includes being on top of your paper work and presentation. 

Now you know you can't meet with people and have all kind of papers falling out of your bag and folders. It's not cool. At all. This alone should be enough motivation to change your habits. We have to have our stuff together if we want to be successful.

Goal for today: 
Make sure that we will be able to find every single document you need or want from now on.

  • Manilla folders (Many)
  • 2 pocket folders (1)
  • 1½ or 2 in. binder
  • 12 dividers
  • Sheet protectors

Step 1: Two Piles
As you sort through your papers, separate into two piles:
  • Keep
  • Trash
Step 2: Folders
Create a folder for each project you have done in the past, are doing currently, and will do in the future. These folder names should coincide with the folder names you created yesterday when you organized your virtual desktop. This is important for you, so you can always find what you're looking for, but also if you work with others at your office often. When you're not there or not available, they will easily be able to find what they're looking for.

 And those are the basics!

I have some additional tips that will help you stay sane and be seen as the Got-It-Together Queen or King of the office. If you work from home, you can be the Queen or King of your home :)

3 Binders

Get your workspace poppin' with these 3 binders that will simplify your life.
I will be giving you ways to organize a:
  •  Logistics Binder/Folder
  • Archive Binder
  • And Current Projects Binder
 Logistics Binder/Folder
Think of this as your emergency folder Anything that you don't need specifically for the work you do everyday goes in here.

Items that would go in your Logistics Binder:
Faxes-received and sent, templates for things you need to do your work ex. fax cover sheets, meeting templates, etc., completed parking application

Archive Binder
Think of this as your work portfolio.

 Items that would go in your Archives Binder:
Previous meeting/conference notes, training certificates, the final drafts of items you've created, the end result of a project you finished, etc.

  • Get a 1½ or 2 inch binder and put in12 dividers that are labeled for each month of the year.
  • Decide what documents you want to be in your archive and put them behind the month they were completed in.
  • Put documents that need to be preserved in plastic sheet protectors. This may include awards you've won and training certificates.

Current Projects
Think of this as your working binder. Everything you need to take with you to meetings, conferences, and to always have on hand should be in this binder. 

This is the binder and dividers I use in my current projects binder. It includes:

  • Meetings -- I keep the last four meeting notes plus meeting templates (see below)!
  • Current Projects 
  • Follow-up -- Any deliverables I need to turn in or use for my next meeting
  • Reference --Things I may need to reference while I'm working on something
  • Time sheet -- Current time sheet, older time sheets go in the Archive Binder
  • Accomplishment plan --Work goals for the year
  • Miscellaneous --Anything that doesn't go anywhere else

Here is the printable I promised! It's a simple meeting template I designed for myself when I started my new job. I like to have a simple template, with no fancy colors, etc. for things I use at work. For home I like items with more flare;) 

Click to download
2 pages- print double sided to save paper:)

Is this template self-explanatory or do you need a quick tutorial on how to use it? Let me know in the comments below

I hope this helped all in the blogosphere- which at times I feel is empty. Comment so I can know if anyone is finding these tips useful:)

What's the messiest part of your office/workspace? And will you be using a tip from this post?

Tomorrow: Project board to see all you need for the day at a glance

A Bientot....

Monday, January 16, 2012

Clutter FREE Me Day 6: Virtual Desktop

Week two, People!!!

I hope everyone had a good weekend and had time to clean the things they maybe didn't have a chance to clean during the week.

For week two, we're going to focus on our workspace. Whether you have an office or work from home, the tips I give you this week are sure to help:)

*Remember: As I said last week, if you have a lot going on break the organization up into 15 minute intervals. It is much easier to find 15 minutes at a time than a whole uninterrupted hour or two. Plus, it may help you get motivated to start the clean instead of thinking of how much you have to do and putting it off another day, or week, or year :-/

Organize your virtual desktop

This means getting all those loose files on your computer desktop into folders. Take time to go through folders and make sure the right documents are in the right place. You may even want to make more specific file folder names, so that you know exactly where a document is when you need it.

Examples of some of the file folders I use on my home computer are:

  • Professional Development-- For documents like my resume', application forms, and essays. Basically anything that I may need to further my education or apply for a job.
  • Family-- For items that I use with my family. Like last year I created a spring cleaning checklist. So I keep it here, so I can find it again the next year.
  • And folders for each organization of which I'm apart.
Folders for work computer:

  • Personal-- For things I need to file outside of work.
  • Logistics--For paperwork that I don't necessarily need everyday, but will need of something happens ex. my parking form, my contract, etc.
  • And a separate folder for each project I'm working on

Once this is done it will be much easier to organize your physical desktop, which I will discuss tomorrow.

I will give great tips tomorrow plus a free printable, so make sure you check in !

On a scale of 1 to 10 how messy is your virtual desktop?
1 = So messy my entire desktop is covered with individual documents
10 = I'm a virtual filing expert!

A Bientot!

Happy Dr. MLK Day!

I had the pleasure of attending a Dr. MLK celebration at Duke University Chapel on what would have been Dr. (and please don't forget the Dr.) King's 83rd birthday. Donna Brazile, CNN and ABC political commentator, was the keynote speaker and she was amazing!

Donna emphasized how Dr. King was so involved in the process to eliminate the racist voting laws like the grandfather clause, and literacy tests. And because of this and all the people who risked their lives to make sure we had the right to vote, we need to make certain that we vote especially in the upcoming primaries and presidential election.

Ms. Brazile told a fabulous story about a woman who has voted in every election for the past 60 something years until this year when she was confronted with the law that says that in order for an American to vote, they must bring a government issued identification card. To listen how this elder surpassed this obstacle, watch Donna Brazile's keynote speech:

Fast forward to 1:31 to hear Donna Brazile's speech

I also uploaded a video to my youtube page, but it's acting crazy....

ALSO, 2 Duke researchers released a study this past week that stated that black students that attend Duke switch from harder majors to easier majors. And because of this, their GPA's are high. What????!!!!!! Let me just say people were pissed.

But, after the Dr. MLK celebration service the attendees were amazed to find student protestors. It was amazing. I took pics, but I'm having technical difficulties with them!

There were signs that read, "What is an easy major?," "It's not a race issue, so don't make it one," and "GPA doesn't have a color."

It was very powerful, and appropriate to have a silent and respectful protest after the Dr. MLK celebration. I thought my generation and the ones younger than me didn't have the strength nor courage to do go forward this type of action, but those students proved me wrong. I was very proud to see that:)

A Bientot.....

Friday, January 13, 2012

Clutter FREE Me Day 5: Closet Buster Part 2

Congratulations! You have almost finished your first week of gettin your sh*t together! Lol. Or for PC conscious viewers: gettin your clutter together. If you have been following all week, you should have a beautiful, clean bedroom that you love so much that you never want to leave. That's how I feel when I have a perfectly organized space. It feels so refreshing :)

Yesterday, we did Part 1 of Closet Buster because for some, the closet needs to be broken up into two days. Today we will focus on making space for you accessories and making them easily accessible to you. No more diggin through that bag of necklaces which are as tangled as a grapevine. No more searching for one shoe that you remember leaving in the closet, but you find it 30 minutes later under your bed (Although you should have found it 2 days ago when we organized under the bed, right)?

We're gonna get those closets in tip top shape, so that you will always be able to find whatever you're looking for. When this happens, you will have so much extra time that can be spent with people you love, and doing things that you love.

Step 1: Take all of your accessories out of the closet, or bags, or wherever you have them!

As you sort through your accessories separate them into the 4 piles (the 3 piles from yesterday, plus one)
  • Keep
  • Giveaway
  • Storage
  • Trash
Keep the jewelry/purses/shoes, etc. you want. Giveaway the accessories you've outgrown. Store accessories that may be for special occasions, but you may not always need at hand. And trash items that need to be in the trash.

You know we all have pieces of jewelry that we have kept for years because we got it when we were little, even though the chain may be broken and unrepairable, or kept shoes because it was the first pair our hubby bought us, but we can't keep everything. I used to be so guilty of this, but I am learning to let go of some memories, or at least find another way to remember it that doesn't take up space.....like taking a picture of it:) Then it just takes up digital space.

Tips for Organizing your Accessories
Racks, on Racks, on Racks

For your shoes, I strongly recommend getting a rack. Having your shoes flat on the floor is a dangerous combination with our clutter temptation. (working on my lyricist skills ;) They just get too messy. Me no likey. You can get a metal rack for like $20 bucks, Althoug I got mine for about $10 about five years ago. I'm sure they have them in dept. stores, I just haven't see them recently.

You can also invest in those clear shoe boxes if you have space for them. Some people take pictures of their shoes with a regular camera or a polaroid (which by they way are updated and about 100 bucks). Once they have the picture they put it on the appropriate clear shoe box. A lot of work on the front end, but the display is pleasing to the eyes.

By the way, here's the before my closet buster clean up

No gold-diggin for me! I'll take diamonds! We may be off the gold standard someday! -Mae West

Why do women love jewelry so much?! I think of jewelry as pieces of art that accessorize our natural beauty. This is why I decided to literally use my jewelry as art...on the walls.

Before I created this, I had my necklaces and bracelets in a bag because there was no space for them in my jewelry box. Now that I have this jewelry display, I wear my jewelry so much more often because I can see it. After I dress, I get giddy selecting jewelry from this homemade jewelry wall art.

I used an old cork board. I mean super old, it was my sister's when she was in school in '97! The wood frame was disconnecting from the cork and it's beat up. So I covered it with some fabric I had from college, nailed it up, and BAM! A way to display and organize my jewelry for zero cost to me.

Add some push pins in what ever design matches your jewelry. Although I prefer thin nails. But I didn't have any at the time, so I just used push pins. I did, however, have 3 or 4 thin nails to nail the cork board into the wall.

Scarves, Belts, and Ties, OH MY!

To organize you scarves and ties you can use a hanger rack (is that what you call them) that are usually used in the bathroom for towels and such.

Sorry, I didn't wanna take all my scarves off. I have a lot!

Hung on the closet door

For your belts and ties you can use a hanger like this:

Make sure you hook the belts like you would when you wear them, so they don't fall off.

Bags can hang on hooks like these:

But if you have a lot of bags, or limited space, then this won't work. I have a shelf installed in my closet that I use to line my bags up. You're other option is to put them in storage until you need them.

If you have any ideas on how to organize your bags, comment below

I have thoroughly enjoyed this first week writing about these organization tips, and I hope you have equally loved getting them:)

I have decided to not do the bathroom for next week. Instead I'm moving up the organization tips for your office/workspace! This means that the organization series will be cut down to three weeks instead of four. If you desperately need the tips to organize you bathroom, let me know in the comments below and I'll see what I can do;)

Stay tuned starting next Monday for the BEST tips to de-clutter your workspace, which means more time and possibly more money;)

A Bientot...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Clutter FREE Me Day 4: Closet Buster Part 1


Many times, for whatever reason, the closet is the messiest part of the room. If you have a small closet, you have less space to organize, so every little item can't have it's own designated space. This means that purses and belts and shoes can just get crammed in. If you have a big closet this could be a problem also. The floor can house a host of things: clothes, shoes, bags, etc. So it's hard to get away from a disorganized closet, unless.....

You get your habits in order. Remember, organization is a state of mind. It takes practice and consistency. Psychologists say that it takes 21 days or 28 times of doing something consecutively to break a habit. This is why I wanted to do this organization series for people who are organizing challenged :O If you're unorganized, it's not going to be easy, but I tell you, it CAN be done!

So, I  have broken up organizing the closet in two parts. It can be quite a task, so you may need a little more time. Today, I'll be giving you tips on how to get your clothes in order. And tomorrow: accessories including scarves, belts, and shoes! I left the closet for the end of the week, just in case you may need to continue organizing through the weekend.

Step 1: Take your clothes out in one section at a time.
Some people say to take ALL your clothes at once, but that's just too dang overwhelming for me. It's easier to organize your clothes in sections just in case you need to take a break from it or get interrupted by something then you won't have to come back to such a huge mess.

Step 2: As you are sorting through your clothes, create 3 piles:

  • Keep
  • Giveaway/Donate
  • Storage
Keep what you know you want to wear and know you'll wear. Giveaway clothes that you think a friend or sibling would want, but you no longer need, or donate to those less fortunate. Select items that you want to keep, but you may not need in your closet at the time, and put them in storage.

*I may not wear an item as is, but I like to re-design my clothes, or repurpose the fabric for some other project I got goin on, so I put those kind of clothes in storage.

Step 3: After you've gone through all your sections, hang your clothes up grouped in a way that's best for you

1. You can sort your clothes by type of clothing like skirts, tops, pants, etc
2. You can sort them by outfits that would work well together (not my fave)
3. You can sort them by color (my fave:)

I use a combination of 1 and 3. I have my clothes sorted by type of clothing and then sort those types by color. The good 'ol ROY G BIV (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) from elementary works great. Of course you must also account for gradients of these colors. Ex. pink would go after red.

The only thing you need to do to make sure you keep your closet clean is to hang your clothes up immediately when you take them off. We all have our days when we don't feel like hangin' them up or are in a rush, but when you do, try not to wait a week or so until you do finally hang them.

Tips for organizing your closet

  • No More Wire Hangers! (in Mommy Dearest voice please) 
I really hate them, they are so flimsy and are always gettin tangled up into something. I know I said this series was going to be about inexpensive solutions to organization, but no-slip hangers, covered in that velvet material (shown above), are a necessary splurge. Not only does it bring uniformity to your wardrobe, but I can't remember the last time I found a top on the floor because it fell off the hanger. That rarely happens with the no- slip hangers, so check em out (You can find them on QVC, HSN, and at department stores like Ross and TJ Maxx).
  •  It's So Hard To Say Goodbye 

The shoes you see to your left and right were some of my favorites. They were THE perfect black flats, and on top of that my honey bought them for me on our honeymoon, so they had sentimental value. BUT I had to toss them. One day the medallion fell when I was at recess with my students. When I noticed one was missing, I had them search the field like scavengers lookin for their next meal. lol. But, unfortunately we never found it.

I kept on to the shoes because one of the shoes (with the medallion in tact) was so beautiful, but it had no partner. I had to face the facts that I would never find that medallion or even be able to repair the one shoe.

So, I say this to emphasize that you need to get rid off stuff every once in a while. Especially to make room for new things. The rule of thumb is that for every new item you bring to your closet, toss one out--preferably by giving it away. I will say that I don't always abide by this one:)

  • Back, Back, Forth, and Forth
If you do have trouble deciding what to give away, then when you put all your clothes back in your closet, put each item in with the hangers backwards. So, the hook should be open facing you, instead of "closed" normally. (Hope that makes sense) After you wear that item then hang it back in the correct way. By the end of the year, whatever clothes are still backwards then you give those way:) 

 I don't use this tip because my style goes through phases. I will have clothes I haven't worn in 2 years, and then pull it out and wear it in a way I hadn't before. But it works for some, so thought I'd put it out there.

Last one!

  • We Be Jammin'
Find your favorite playlist, hook that ipod up to the speakers, and jam while you clean! You'll be dancin and singin so hard that cleaning your closet won't even seem like work:) 

Ok ladies and gents, that's all I got today. Tomorrow: Organizing Accessories. Scarves, and Belts, and Shoes Oh My!

What gets you motivated to clean your bedroom or closet?

Speak up, the people want to know!

A Bientot...!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Clutter FREE Me Day 3: Your Dresser

We're going to clear off those dressers today! 
Remember: Many of the organization tips I'm providing can be done in 15 minutes, and if not then in 15 minute intervals every day. If you think of organization this way, it won't seem so daunting and time consuming. And you actually get it done, instead of putting it off for so long that you realize that it's still not done a year later!
So, first: Clear all of the items off your dresser in the 6 piles that I told you about yesterday.
  • Goes somewhere else 
  • Stays here
  • To file (especially important if you're dealing with a lot of paper)
  • Trash
  • Giveaway
Once you get an inventory of all things you want to stay on your dresser, you can decide how you want to group/organize them.

Before you put items back on your dresser clean it off. I try not to use cleaning products with harsh chemicals anymore, so I like to make my own. Using any oil like grapeseed oil, or olive oil will give your wooden dresser a great shine. Check out some DIY wood cleaning recipes I found hereDon't have a wooden dresser? Use a mix of water and white vinegar of equal parts. For instance if you add 2 ounces of water add 2 ounces of white vinegar--White vinegar is a natural disinfectant.

Tips to organize your space:

If you do not have the luxury of having your own vanity or vanity room (sigh... one day), then you have to maximize the space you have. In this case it will be your dresser top (your bathroom will work also if you have space). 

To organize items like your make-up brushes, you can use glass cups or vases.  Add some glass stones to it and Viola! It's an elegant inexpensive way to organize any group of things.

You can also use small candle votive holders to place any miscellaneous items like bobby pins, safety pins, etc. It's doesn't look like junk if it's all grouped together. It's all about presentation:)

If you do your make-up in your bedroom (I have much better lighting in my bedroom than in the bathroom, especially when the windows are open), then you can organize your make-up palettes in envelope holders, like this one:

They even have these at the dollar store

If you have smaller make-up items like individual eye shadows and blushes, you can use this idea I saw here. I loved it so much that it's on my Project To Do list :) Hopefully I'll have a DIY tutorial on here in the near future.

For perfumes, put them on a glass plate, tray, or a mirror.

Keep in mind that less is more. You don't want to have so many groups of items on your dresser even if they are organized. The top of the dresser will loose functionality if its too crowded. You can't take a shirt out and lay it on top while you're getting something else if you have a bunch of stuff on the dresser.

I hope you can take at least one tip from today to reform your dresser top :)

What kind of stuff is crowding your dresser?
What do you or can you do to fix it?

Happy Organizing and A Bientot!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Clutter FREE Me Day 2: Monsters Under the Bed


First, I must apologize for this late post! You need time each day to organize your space. The whole point of this organization series is to make time for things that are important. Poor time management on my part. Sowwie! I'm learnin and workin on myself right along with you, reaching our zenith, remember? So that's the good thing!

Now, for the business....

Are you waking up many times during the night?
 Do you have restless sleep often?

Well, it could be because you need to clear those little monsters from under your bed. And by monsters I mean clutter!

Those who practice Feng Shui believe that clutter under the bed strongly affects your peace of mind, especially when you sleep. Clutter blocks what is called chi-- a vital force or energy that is generated in the body and can be sent out into your environment. Now, think of your body. If you're eating a lot of fatty foods then your body and veins will become clogged. This is much like your home. The veins are each room. If your room or space is cluttered then the energy cannot flow, it's clogged :(

So, in order to keep the chi or positive energy flowing then we must clear the mess from under our beds.

1.Take everything from under your bed. Tennis rackets, jeans, one supposedly long lost shoe whose match is in your closet. Yes, take it all out.

2. Because there is probably stuff that needs to be thrown out or put somewhere else, you need to sort them into piles.
When I clean I sort into these piles:

  • Another room (different pile for what part of the house it should go in
  • Stays here
  • To file (especially important if you're dealing with a lot of paper)
  • Trash
  • Giveaway
3. After you've done this, take the items that belong somewhere else to that somewhere else. (You can choose to organize these items right then or later). Doing this will allow for more space to work with as you clean under your bed. 

4. Put items in the right place in your bedroom, If they don't have a place, make a place for them.

5. File those papers. If you don't have a system for filing, stay locked in. I will be giving tips for that in Week 3: Office/Workspace

6. Trash those things you no longer need and pack the bag for the items you want to giveaway. 

 Please keep in mind:

*How long this process takes depends on how much stuff you have to organize.

*Also, if you have drawers built into your bed, like me, or storage containers, the things within them still need to be organized.

And there you go, you're one step closer to freeing yourself from your clutter in your bedroom and possibly
getting some real, uninterrupted sleep!

Bonus Stress Free Tip: If you do have restless sleep and are worrying about all the things you need to do the next day, keep a notepad next to your bed to write a to do list that will be right there for you in the morning. I also use my bedside notepad to write down project ideas, thoughts, quotes I hear, books I want to read, and any other random thought that I may forget the next minute if I don't write it down.

What ways do you tame your under-the-bed-monsters clutter? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments!

A Bientot....

Monday, January 9, 2012

Clutter FREE Me Day 1: Get Outta Bed...


...And make it! Starting your day with this simple tip will change your outlook, I promise. It's time to finally listen to Mama when she used to say, "Go make up your bed! Your room is not clean until your bed is made." At least that's what my mom used to say...and still does. It's true though, not to mention how refreshed you will feel when you get home from work or school to a made up bed perfectly ready for another night of sweet sleep. Do you love sleep as much as I do? :)

Here's the key:
As soon as your wake up and are ready to get out of bed, make it up right at that moment!
1. Lay down, grab the sheets and comforter, and  pull them up to your head
2. Next, make up the side farthest from you
3. Get out of bed and make up the side of which you got out
4. Arrange the main pillows
4. And toss those throw pillows on. I mean they are called "throw" pillows, it seems appropriate. Plus tossing your throw pillows on the bed can be your first act of creativity for the day. Think of it as art:)

*Remember, it doesn't have to be perfect. When I don't have time, I don't even tuck the sheets under the mattress :O Just make sure the sheets don't make any ripples (you can see) under the comforter.

Even if your room has bras hanging out of the drawers, and a month's worth newspapers scatterered on the floor, your room will be instantly transformed as soon as your bed is made.

So, make up your bed tomorrow morning, you will not be disappointed:)

What is the hardest thing about making up the bed for you??

Tomorrow: No More Monsters Living Under the Bed! (in the tune of No More Monkeys Jumping on the      

A Bientot!