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!

~Erin

 

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!

~Erin

 

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.

~Erin

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!

SMoothie

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!

~Erin

 

Self Care for September: Introducing the Monthly Challenge

When I write about organizing, there is a lot of focus on where to put things and how to make them functional and pretty. However, the real drive behind my organizational focus is not the actual stuff in my house. I organize because I want to clear my mind. I want to create spaces that are meaningful and easy to live in. I want to make time for more important things, like my family and friends. So the mental benefits of organization are the true inspiration for everything I write about.

This month, I have teamed up with Kristi from Life Sprinkles for a monthly challenge called Self Care For September. Self Care Logo 2

For all of September, we will be exploring ways, big and small, that you can care for yourself. Creating a better you is the first step in creating everything else you want from life.

Here is how you can participate:

-Sign up for the Self Care For September Newsletter. You will receive the weekly newsletter that will include the daily ‘mini challenges’ and also the ‘weekly challenge’. The daily challenges are small and can usually be completed in 15 minutes or less. The weekly challenge is a little bigger and just might include a shopping trip or another little extravagance you’ve been putting off.

-If you are a blogger, you can grab one of the buttons from the sidebar and write your own post on self care during the month. We would love to see how other people are putting our Self Care Plan into action.

-Feel free to make up your own daily and weekly challenges too. 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)!

-We will also be posting our own progress throughout the month in our posts.

We will be having several random giveaways as well. Use the hashtag #selfcareseptember when you check in with us to be eligible!

Please join us in our Self Care for September Challenge!

~Erin

Paper Pile Purge Series – Organizing Kid’s Artwork

If you have young kids, you also have artwork. Tons of it….oodles of fingerpaintings, construction paper dinosaurs, and pipe cleaner caterpillars. What in the world do you do with it all? I have some thoughts on that… (keep in mind that these are my opinions and feel free to ignore any suggestion. My objective is to reduce clutter, but each person has a different level of attachment to their kid’s art.)

First, learn to discriminate. I know the 448 drawings your 3 year old did of your cat are adorable. Seriously, I know. My son draws ‘maps’ to our house every other day and they are so cute. But do I really need them all? Do I? Absolutely not. I know you feel like you’re committing some sort of crime as you toss a piece of your kid’s art into the trash, but you HAVE to if you don’t want them to engulf your house! If you keep everything, not only is too much clutter, but then your brain just gets overwhelmed with Cheerio dinosaurs or whatever the current trend is. Just keep a few pieces and they become a lot more meaningful.

Don’t let your house become a shrine to fingerpaintings. For me personally, I like to display the most recent art and then replace it as new pieces are made. This lets me proudly show off my kid’s masterpieces without them becoming the wallpaper of my home.

Kids love to doodle or draw or fingerpaint as an activity. That doesn’t mean you have to keep them all, but it’s nice to do something meaningful with them. Check out this adorable way to recycle your kid’s art into gift wrap from Roar Sweetly.

roar

She punched fingerpaintings into heart cutouts and attached them to wrapping paper. What a sweet and adorable way to personalize a gift.

I have made bookmarks out of fingerpaintings and laminated them. I plan to send them to family members as cute little keepsakes.

Evan's Bookmarks

I also take pictures of my favorite crafts that my kids make, whether I keep the actual craft or not. That way, I have a digital record of their growth as little artists. At the end of every year, I plan to make one 8″ x 10″ printout of my favorites from that year. Here is Evan’s from 2012:

Evan's Art - 2012I actually had this printed on a mug for husband for Christmas and it turned out great.

Of course I do keep quite a few of these little masterpieces. So I needed a way to organize them. I decided to put them in a regular size binder in clear plastic sleeves. This is great for a few reasons:

-I have one for each kid so the art is organized.

-The clear plastic sleeves protect things from getting damaged

-It allows me to put actual crafts/ drawings in the book, but I can also put photos of the art I didn’t keep (Yes, I mean you cotton ball ghost and paper plate rabbit!). Some crafts are bulky or big and wouldn’t fit in a binder. But a 4″ x 6″ photo fits just great.

-I also put a few photos of the kids making or holding their crafts. That way I can see their cuteness as I look at their art.

Here are a few pictures of one of the binders:

image imageimageI love having an organized portfolio of their artwork. What are some ways you organize your kid’s art?

~Erin