Self Care for September Wrap Up

This month has been about evaluating what you need and making sure to take care of yourself. We are just finishing up our Self Care for September challenges. If you signed up for the newsletter, you have been following along with our daily and weekly challenges to help you develop and maintain a Self Care Routine. Here are my confessions and realizations for the month:

-I have been drinking tea, scheduling lunch dates with friends, and exercising more.

-For the day that the challenge was ‘have a healthy dinner’, I had cheetos and pizza. Does that count?

-I have been practicing saying ‘no’. I tend to overschedule myself, so this had been a valuable lesson for me.

-I have NOT been very good at getting to bed at an early hour or turning off the technology.

In our wrap up newsletter, we challenged everyone to choose 5 self care items that they could continue with or work on. Here are mine:

1) Keeping a morning routine.

2) Creating a technology free zone.

3) Take an afternoon break.

4) Get rid of toxic and negative things in my life.

5) Don’t procrastinate on small tasks.

I plan on applying my self care techniques to my organizing in the following ways:

-Take small steps with big projects so that I don’t get overwhelmed.

-Focus on one thing at a time.

-Allow myself breaks to rejuvenate during an organizing project.

-Don’t be too hard on myself. If my clothes aren’t perfectly color coded at all times, it probably won’t signal the end of the world.

Look for many more organizing projects in October.  I’ll be finishing up our guest room and also organizing a Halloween party. I love this time of year!



Let it Go Sometimes

Hi everyone! This has been an interesting and busy month for my household. Between traveling, house guests, school starting for our preschooler, and general craziness at my day job, I’ve just been a little overwhelmed. However, this has been our Self Care for September month and I’ve really been taking it to heart. I’ve been focusing more on how I feel as I go through my day, not just what I get done. Right now, I have a laundry basket full of clothes and a sink full of dishes. There are books and toys acting as a second level of carpet throughout our whole house. I haven’t returned a couple of messages. My Bloglovin account has about 200 unread blog posts.

But I FEEL better. I took the kids outside today and enjoyed the Fall weather. I actually went RUNNING this week. (If you know me, you know that is a huge step for me.) I called my grandma and chatted for a while. I might actually be learning to let go. It’s been a great realization. Now I know I need to clean my house up some and pay some bills. But those things will come. And if can mentally relax, those chores won’t seem so daunting.

I’ve also been blogging less, but that’s ok too. I hope you’ll continue to follow along as I move through a transition in my way of thinking and living. I have more organizing projects in the works and will be posting about them soon.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Self Care for September – Week 4

This is the start of week 4 of the Self Care for September program I’m putting on with Kristi from Life Sprinkles.  One of the challenges last week was to stimulate your mind. I did that in a couple ways last week:

-I designated some magazine reading time in the mornings, which you can read about in my post about tackling your magazine clutter!

-I started reading a really interesting book on the whaling industry in the 1600 – 1800’s. As I write this, I realize that it doesn’t sound very interesting, but trust me, it is.

I read a lot of books, magazines and blogs about organizing, but I think it’s important to learn about new things and keep my mind active and engaged.

Another challenge for the week was getting to bed at a reasonable time. This challenge really focuses on time management so that you’re not feeling overwhelmed at the end of each day.

This week’s theme is Reconnect. If you haven’t signed up for the Self Care Newlsetter, sign up here!



A repurposed bookend project

I was visiting family and friends in Phoenix last week and was helping my mom organize a few things. She showed me a book case she’s been working on and she had come with the most creative idea! She took part of a mantle and turned it into a bookend! Let me backtrack….

When I was little I used to do the Richard Simmons Sweatin to the Oldies workout videos with my friends. Don’t ask me why…..I have no idea and I thought I would never tell anyone that. Anyways, the only picture I had of the original mantle was of me doing the Richard Simmons’ video. I conveniently cropped myself out of the photo (though I know you desperately wanted to see me in my shirt with a giant Yorkie on it. Don’t ask me about that either……)

Here’s what the mantle used to look like:Recent040

Once the mantle came down, there were several supporting pieces that could have been destined for the trash.


However, my mom decided to use one as a shabby chic bookend!


How cute and clever! This fix not only kept something out of a landfill, but also created a super original and functional piece of decor.


Paper Pile Purge – Magazines

Do you have a million magazines that are piling up around your house? Could you build a small fort with them? Well it’s time to sort and purge, unless you want to live inside a magazine fort…..

I have several magazine subscriptions that I love, but they do tend to pile up. I have a few places that I display them, but they are starting to get out of controlMorning (1)

What used to be a cute little stack of magazines has now almost outgrown the shelf.

Morning (2)

I knew I needed to take care of this ‘issue’ right away. (Please ignore my magazine pun – my tea was decaf this morning) Here are a few ways I’m going to rid my life of this growing stack of paper!

-There are a couple magazines that I’m not going to renew my subscriptions for at the end of the year. That will stop some of the paper clutter from coming into my house in the first place.

-I put 1 magazine in my car. That way, if I have a doctor or dentist appointment, I can bring in a magazine that I know I’ll have interest in instead of choosing from the stack at the dr’s office. (No more ‘Cat Fancy’ for me!)

-I am combining this paper pile purge with a Self Care Challenge from our Self Care for September Series. This week we challenged people to develop or revise their morning routine. I have a pretty hectic routine….2 kids, 3 dogs, working from home, blogging, cleaning, etc. It all starts early each day. What was missing was a few minutes to myself. I have been trying to drink tea in the mornings, but it usually sits until it gets cold. I am now taking 10 minutes to drink my tea and read one of my magazines.

Morning (3)

This will help go through the magazine pile and also ensure I have a more relaxing start to my day.

-As I read, I dogear the pages I will want to reference later. However, instead of keeping the magazines, I’m scanning in the pages I want to keep. I will then give my magazines to friends or donate to doctor’s offices.

If you are participating in our Self Care Challenge, we would love to hear the way you’re working your way to a better you. Share in our comments, facebook pages (NeatenYourNest or LifeSprinkles) , or twitter (@klifesprinkles and @neatenyournest)! Check us out on Instagram too (@klifesprinkles and @erinsnyder123)! If you’re not signed up yet, click here to link to our newsletter.


Self Care for September – Week 2

Hi everyone!

Let Week 2 of the Self Care for September Challenge begin. This week’s theme is Routine. Sign up for the newsletter to see all of the challenges for the week.

Self Care Newsletter

And don’t forget to share your progress with us. We would love to hear the way you’re working your way to a better you. Share in our comments, facebook pages (NeatenYourNest or LifeSprinkles) , or twitter (@klifesprinkles and @neatenyournest)! Check us out on Instagram too (@klifesprinkles and @erinsnyder123)!

Last week I drank tea, wrote an affirmation list and gave myself a break. I also made a smoothie with my mom!


The theme last week was reflect. It’s an important thing to do in almost any situation. When it comes to organizing, reflecting can help you figure out what you need from a space, what would be most helpful and what would greatly influence your life in a positive way. Sometimes it takes a long time to figure out what you want, like when it took me a year to organize my spices. :)

However, when you take time to reflect, your actions become a lot more meaningful. It is the ‘measure twice, cut once’ mentality.

Have a wonderful start to your week!



Kitchen Desk – Reorganize and reuse

Hi friends! I am visiting sunny Phoenix, Arizona right now and I mean really hot:


That’s almost 9:00 at night! I grew up here, but I forget how blazin’ hot it is. So we’ve been doing some inside activities instead of braving the heat. I’m helping my mom with a few organizing projects while I’m here and the first one was the desk/workspace in the kitchen area.

Now this space was difficult for two reasons.

1) There is an office in the house so the desk doesn’t really need to be used for many office supplies or files. However, it is a desk, so it has some little drawers and some super deep drawers for hanging folders. So its’ purpose has been kind of undefined for a while.

2) There are 8 cubbies near the top of the desk. While this seems practical, it also can end up looking cluttered because everything is in view.

First we re-evaluated the drawers.

Desk Before Collage - text

My mom had decided to use one drawer for tools. This is great because they are conveniently located in the main living area of the house but they aren’t taking up valuable kitchen space. The drawer just needed an additional bin and a quick reorganization.

Then we did the middle drawer which held the office/ desk supplies:

The 3rd drawer held misc items and it still does. However, there are fewer of them!


As for the top half of the desk, there are several shelves and 8 smaller cubbies. Please excuse my horrible iphone before picture.



My mom had a small CD cabinet that she was planning to get rid of. So we stole the drawers from it!


Filling all of the cubbies with a drawer would have been too overwhelming, so we used 4 of the drawers and used the other 4 cubbies for decorative accents. We had to decide which cubbies got a drawer though….that process took way too long!

Choice A

Choice A

Choice B

Choice B

Choice C

Choice C

We went with Choice C!

Now the drawers are organized and the cubbies look more updated and might get used a little more!

Drawers after collage - text

Choice C

On another note, don’t forget to sign up for our Self Care for September newsletter. It’s a whole month of self care challenges and ideas brought to you by Neaten Your Nest and Life Sprinkles!

We are offering a weekly Self Care Giveaway to a different participant each week. Tag us, link back to us, let us know your progress or ideas and get entered into the drawing for the giveaway! Sign up for the newsletter to start participating.

Giveaway final