Closet Cleanout – at it again!

Do you know what I like about cleaning out my closet? Practically nothing. However, I happen to love the results, so I make myself re-evaluate my wardrobe ever few months. I’ve been pretty diligent over the last year about getting rid of clothes I don’t wear anymore. I think I had cut the amount of items down by more than 1/3. Here were a couple of my methods:

-I had done the ‘hanger trick’ and turned all of my hangers around. If a hanger was still turned around at the end of the season, that meant I hadn’t worn the item and I had to get rid of it.

-I had tried every single item on and asked myself “Would I buy this again right now?” If the answer was no, away it went!

-I realized that there were a few things that I had been hanging onto that I loved but had a stubborn stain or irreparable tear. I made myself weed these items out because, though I may have loved them, I would always notice the ‘problem area.’

These methods got me pretty far in my purging. Yet I still felt there was more I could do. I had found the website of a very popular Japanese professional organizer named Marie Kondo who has an intriguing way of looking at possessions and of paring them down. She is insanely popular in Japan and elsewhere in the world. While some of her methods might seem overly strict, there is a great basis to the way she works. She asks you to evaluate every single item with the question “Does this spark joy?”  The theory is that everything has the potential to bring you joy….or not. When you honestly ask if an item brings you joy, often the answer is no. Why do we hold on to so many things that don’t bring joy into our lives?

I decided to go through my clothes again using this method. Even though I thought I had gotten rid of the things I didn’t like, when I asked if each thing sparked joy, I realized a lot of things brought me nothing positive at all. I was able to get rid of 50 more items from my wardrobe. 50!

I also realized that my drawers were out of control and needed to be re-organized. For several years, I have rolled the clothes in my drawers because it makes it easier to see more of them. But if you still have too many clothes, they tend to pile up. I knew I needed to go from this:

Konmari and Clothes 1To this:

Konmari and Clothes 2And in the drawers, they look even better:

Konmari and Clothes 3I plan on using this method to clean out my clothes a couple of times a year. Then I’ll know that everything I wear brings a little joy to my life.

~Erin

Clean Up Your Computer – Get Rid of Unwanted Toolbar Files

I am constantly trying to find ways to organize my computer. This includes:

-Deleting and organizing files and folders

-Backing up my files

-Cleaning up unnecessary and unwanted program files

The program files are the thing I have the most trouble with. I don’t normally do any type of online coupon offers, but I did once and I got an annoying virus called the ‘Shop at Home’ Toolbar which had been installed on my computer for months. Every time I ‘got rid of it’, it somehow reappeared. My computer has been slowing down, programs have been shutting down without notice and the all around function of my PC has drastically decreased. I finally sat down to rid my computer of this once and for all. I spent hours and hours looking online for the right way to remove it. I finally found a simple and helpful article on this.

Removing Unwanted Toolbars

I also had to download Filezilla to access an FTP site recently and it added “Foxtab” to my browser. This was a program that started every time I opened a new tab in Firefox. I removed it in my add-ons using the above article as well.It worked like a charm to get rid of Foxtab.

However, I noticed that the ‘Shop At Home’ toolbar still kept creeping into my browser. (I thought I deleted you ‘shop at home’…) Here’s what I wanted to do to my computer at this point:

fire

So I had to go a little further on this one. Here’s the tutorial I finally used to rid my computer of this for good!

How to Remove the Shop at Home Toolbar Virus

I am excited to report that these toolbars have not mysteriously resurfaced and I’m much less annoyed now!

Now I know this isn’t an exciting post, but it’s useful. It’s so nice to have those irritating programs and toolbars gone. If you have unwanted toolbars that are cluttering up your computer, try the above steps to get rid of them. And don’t be afraid to seek help on this if you’re not certain about doing it yourself. I am reasonably tech savvy and I still get intimidated by all of the issues that pop up with my computer. However, with a decent amount of research and trial-and-error, I was able to solve my most recent problem!

What computer issues do you run into?

~Erin

 

 

 

 

It’s Neaten Your Nest’s One Year Anniversary

Exactly one year ago, I wrote my very first post for the Neaten Your Nest blog. I had no idea where the blog would take me or any of the career opportunities I had dreamed up in my head. As I sit here today, I still have no idea where Neaten Your Nest will take my life, but I do know that I’m loving the experience, the challenges, the learning and the adventure I’m getting out of blogging and setting up a business.

Here are few things I have truly loved about this process:

1) I have gotten to ‘meet’ so many amazing people through the blogging world. Though the amount of information is overwhelming, the bloggers I’ve been able to connect with have inspired me in ways too many to count! I have learned about patience, motivation, creativity, creating the life you want, connecting with your family, amazing recipes and inspiring stories. Check out my blogroll page for just a very few of my favorites!

2) I have learned sooooo much about organizing. The wealth of information available has helped me think outside the box when it comes to organizing. I have found great products, clever tips, and beautiful inspiration.

3) I am absolutely enthralled with Pinterest! It has been a great resource for blog ideas, inspiration for my life and it helps me keep some of my many thoughts and projects organized. You can find me on Pinterest here.

4) The blog has kept me motivated to pursue a dream and, in some ways, it also holds me accountable for following through. Just having an audience helps spur me to action every day.

Here are some things that have been not so glorious in the journey:

1) Writer’s block….There are days when I will just stare at my computer, the words ‘New Post’ taunting me as I try to formulate even one sentence that pertains to my topic.

2) Comparison to others. Since there are so many great blogs and websites out there, I am constantly questioning if what I am doing is good enough, do my posts make sense to the reader, have I interjected just enough humor to make people smile a little, do my pictures look ok (this is my biggest struggle!)? It is a hard lesson to learn that comparisons only defeat you and your purpose.

3) Technology!!! I have gotten a fleeting grasp on a few aspects, but I still have a long way to go. HTML code what? I would love to feel like I have mastered a technological skill set, whether it’s web design, Pinterest, photo manipulation, or anything really. But with the constant upgrades and additions to everything technology related, it’s hard to keep up!

The good thing about the bad things is that I am not alone. The more I talk to people, the more I realize that everyone struggles in some areas, no one is perfect and we can all be amazing in our own ways.

Here are a few of my favorite and most popular posts from the last year:

So what does the future hold for Neaten Your Nest???

~Better photographs to showcase organizational processes, products and more.

~An increased focus on ‘green’ topics. Look for new info under the Green Nest page!

~A focus on organizing the business side of NYN. Look for posts on the business of blogging, files, marketing, etc.

~Features from other bloggers who have expertise in areas where I am lacking!

~Additional Pages and Features here on the site, such as the upcoming ‘Mindful Nest’ series, where we talk about the mental, emotional and other health related benefits to being organized. I will also be working on the ‘Nest Egg’ series, where I talk about financial organization.

If you have been a reader of Neaten Your Nest over the past year, thank you so much for all you do. Your readership makes this whole process worthwhile. If I can help someone or inspire a bit of organizational creativity in this hectic life, then I am doing my job. If you are new to Neaten Your Nest, Welcome! I look forward to sharing many more ideas and stories with you for years to come. Thanks!

~Erin

Organizing your reading

Recently I mentioned in my post here that I love my Kindle. It helps me organize my reading in a few ways:

-I can create sections on the Kindle to organize the books by topic, genre, etc.

-It saves me space because I don’t have as many ‘hard copy’ books coming into our house.

-If there is a quote or a passage I want to remember, I can ‘highlight’ it on the kindle or ‘share’ it on Facebook.

-I can also read my Kindle books on my iPad (brand new for me and I love that too!) using the Amazon Kindle app. This means that my husband and I can be reading our Kindle books at the same time.

Yea Kindle!

kindle

But I also have REAL books too. And we have a lot. Here’s how I keep those organized so they don’t look like this:

books

-We mostly only keep books in two places to prevent them from overtaking our house. In our den, we keep anything we want on display because they are either pretty or really interesting, such as pictorial books, travel guides, or books we’ve read that we would really recommend and lend out. That way guests can see these books and browse through them if they want to. We also keep many of our photo albums here so that they have a better chance of actually being looked at.

-We keep the rest of our books in a small closet that has a lot of shelves. These are mostly paperbacks or informative/manual type books, such as our book on dog training….If you knew our dogs, you would understand why the dog training book is in absolutely pristine untouched condition. I also have several signed or more rare books in here because I want to keep them looking good. Someday, I would love to have a collection of extremely rare books. I worked in a bookstore for years and have a deep appreciation for the entire process of writing and making a book. That is why I still keep a collection of books, however enamored I may be of my e-reader.

-The only other place I have a few books is in the guest room. They are paperback novels that are in a basket with some magazines.

-We separate our books based on genre and also by size to make them easy to find and a little nicer looking.

And here are two ways I use the internet to organize my reading:

-My sisters, my best friends and I just started a book club. Since we all live in different states, it’s hard to schedule a way to meet. My sister Kelly had the idea to start a Facebook group page for the book club. That way we can all comment and keep up without having to work out everyone’s schedule.

-I also am a TAD obsessed with the website goodreads.com. This site lets you:

~Record and review books you’ve already read

~Keep a list of books you want to read in the future

~They also have a function where you can create groups, but we used Facebook as mentioned above because not everyone in our bookclub is currently on GoodReads.

~The site will make recommendations based on books you’ve already read and liked. You can add their recommendations to your ‘to-read’ list or you can mark ‘not interested’. These choice will help tailor future recommendations for you.

~You can add friends and create a social network around the books you are reading. Finally! A social network I can jump whole-heartedly into. :)

~My friend Kristi showed me the other day that GoodReads also lists quotes! I love quotes, but it takes me FOREVER to find ones that I really like online. GoodReads has an astounding collection of quotes and you can search by keyword or author. You can even ‘like’ the quotes so they are saved for you to view later. Seriously, people, this is a great and useful website.

I am currently reading 5 (count em, 5!) books from different genres. I usually don’t have that many going on at one time, but that’s how it ended up right now. However, between my hard copies, e-reader, Good Reads, and Facebook, I’m managing to keep it all straight. Expect a couple of book reviews in the near future, my friends.

And by the way, don’t even get me started on how many kids books we have at our house. I didn’t even include those in here at all….that is a post for another day. Happy reading!

~Erin