Setting Up Your Central Command Center

As a part of my Morning Routine, I go over my “To-Do List” for the day.  It puts me in the mindset of achieving goals and helps to keep me from getting distracted my trivial duties.

I found that having a spot where I can easily access my planner and checklist is key.  Setting up shop at a former clutter-spot was also a proverbial “eff you!” to my previous lazy housewife mentality.


Located at my CCC I have my Panda Planner, my Cleaning Schedule, and coffee.  All three work hand-in-hand to ensure I stay on task.  Especially the coffee.


Again, you don’t have to get this involved in prepping your day but find some sort of scheduling system that works for you.  

At the very least, make a small list of goals that must be accomplished and ACCOMPLISH THEM!  You won’t believe the change it makes in your day.

I’m always looking for more efficient ways to stay organized.  Have an idea?  Contact me or join our Facebook group!

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5 Minute Prep Meals

You can serve the fam something quick to make, hearty and low on carbs while still being a home-cooked meal.  ON A WEEKDAY.

This is my go-to meal plan 3/5 nights a week:  Protein + Veggies

No you did not misread my seasoning.  It’s bomb.

 

It’s simple, yet filling and you feel better afterwards than when you carb load.

Wham, bam, thank you Pam.  (Pam Olive Oil Cooking Spray, that is.)

  1. Chop up veggies – I use my onion dicer and it literally takes me 30-45 seconds depending on how many veggies I have that night.
  2. Drizzle veggies with olive oil and season to taste.
  3. Pick protein for the meal, season to taste and place on olive oil spritzed cookie sheet.
  4. Spread veggies around protein.
  5. Bake at 350° for however long it takes to cook.  You’re an adult.  You don’t need recipes.

 Tips & Tricks:  

  • Many stores sell pre-seasoned protein which will save you even more time.  I would do my research if you are watching your sodium, however.
  • There are several kitchen tools that will cut your prep time in half. I use a mandolin slicer all the time as well as my onion dicer.
  • As soon as you throw that pan in the oven, do your dishes. Get yourself back to having a clean sink immediately.

Easy as pie.  Or actually, easier than pie.

Find Your Morning Routine

Whether you be a stay-at-home-momma or a jet-setting woman who works long hours, find yourself a morning routine that works for you and your schedule.

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I’ve found that having a few hours to myself before the kiddo wakes up is my sanity-maker.  I wake up when the hubs leaves for work (5:45am AGH!) and immediately start my day.  If you’ve looked at my daily/weekly schedule, you would see that my morning routine consists of:

  1. Shower / Dress to Shoes
  2. Tidy Bathroom
  3. One Load of Laundry
  4. Make Bed
  5. Exercise
  6. Empty Dishwasher
  7. Morning Panda Planner
  8. Are clutter spots tidy?
  9. What is for dinner?
  10. E-mail / Jewelry / Social Media

This looks like a giant freaking list, doesn’t it?  IT TAKES NO TIME AT ALL.  Seriously, when I started doing this I realized it started my day off on the right foot and set the tone for what I planned on accomplishing further on down the line.

  1. Shower / Dress to Shoes – My biggest hindrance was not performing this action. Before I started planning my day, I would wake up, roll out of bed, and start a pot of coffee.  I would still be in PJs by the time Caroline took her noon nap.  I put off going to the Post Office to deliver jewelry  BECAUSE I WASN’T READY TO LEAVE THE HOUSE before the mail carrier took all the packages at 2:15pm so I just procrastinated until the next day.  Lame.
  2. Tidy Bathroom – On Fridays, I clean the inside of my shower with a vinegar/Dawn soap mixture while I’m showering.  Every day, I squeegee off the water from the glass when I’m done. After I’ve done my hair and make-up (this doesn’t happen everyday, honestly), I put everything away where it goes, wipe down countertops and grab laundry from the night before to start a load.
  3. One Load of Laundry – I start a load of laundry and remove yesterday’s laundry from the dryer.  This would work better if I actually completed a load of laundry in one day but I digress.  I fold/hang-up and put away laundry from the day before.
  4. Make Bed – I head back to my room to make the bed.  Yes, with the fancy pillows. This way, every time I walk into my room to put something up, I feel a sense of accomplishment from having a flashy bed.  It really does make me feel like a bad ass.
  5. Exercise – I’ve been counting my deep cleaning as exercise.  I am on my feet for about 10 hours a day taking care of business so if anyone wants to tell me I’m not getting my allotted exercise in, I’ll punch them in the 6-pack.  Once my home is in order, I will start an actual exercise regimen.
  6. Empty Dishwasher – Onto the kitchen!  I empty out the dishwasher from the night before.  Since I keep up with this on a daily basis, it takes seconds.
  7. Morning Panda Planner – So my SIL gave me a Panda Planner and it’s seriously the best calendar / planner on the market in my opinion.  You can find it on Amazon and there are several reviews and “How-To-Use” videos online.  I love it.  I plan my day and write down goals I wish to accomplish.  This helps me stay on track.  I place the planner at my command center (which I describe in detail here.)
  8. Are clutter spots tidy?  I check the spots of my house where I know clutter seems to frequently accumulate and clean off if needed.
  9. What is for dinner?  Since I made a dinner plan last week, I can easily begin to defrost the protein and prep anything that needs to be done.
  10. E-mail/Jewelry/Social Media – Here I spend 30 minutes or so checking emails that came in overnight, fulfill jewelry orders and post on social media.  Facebook is my time-killer and caused me from accomplishing a lot of goals.  I began limiting my use to the morning and only give myself a few minutes to check my notifications after I accomplish a daily goal.

So that’s it.  10 easy steps to getting my morning off on the right foot.  I’m done with this by 7:00am and I can check off 10 items on my daily schedule.  Getting this accomplished every morning energizies me to complete the other tasks I’ve set for myself.  I will never not have a morning routine again.

I would love to hear about it if you decide to incorporate a morning routine into your daily tasks.  What works for you?  What doesn’t?

I started a Facebook group for us to get together and discuss and I would absolutely love to see you there!

Vinegar Tip #2

My shower has built up hard water spots galore because I haven’t wanted to clean with possibly hazardous fumes since I became pregnant.  All of my normal cleaning supplies have been stashed under the sink for months and I’ve been cleaning my shower with shampoo.  No, it doesn’t work.  Yes, I feel silly about it.

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BEFORE:  My nasty, hard-water coated shower door.

Lo and Behold, I found a new use for vinegar this weekend while perusing Pinterest.

Mix Dawn soap and 9% cleaning strength vinegar (1:3) in a dish sponge with soap dispenser attached.  While you are taking your shower, scrub down all the glass parts (and tile parts if you are feeling froggy).  Rinse with water.  Squeegee dry when done with shower.

The Dawn and vinegar solution work like a charm.  Yes, it smells like a giant pickle in your shower until you are done and rinse with water.  Don’t be a wiener.

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Then again, don’t.

Vinegar Tip #1

Vinegar is my favorite cleaning product, hands down.  It is so very, very cheap and does the job without hazardous chemical involvement.

Vinegar Tip #1:

Are you gross like me and have let build-up accumulate in your faucet spout? All it takes is a plastic bag, a rubber band and some vinegar.  Make this (and pouring toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet) your first steps when cleaning your bathroom so they have time to work while you’re cleaning everything else.

Voila!  Your house is one more step away from being disgusting.

You gotta start at the beginning.

As I’ve stated in a previous post, my home stayed cluttered and messy because I didn’t know where to start and I’d get sidetracked easily.  The idea of coming up with a “cleaning plan” was uber-Pinterest-mom and not something I believed would help my situation.

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After years of judging myself and my inability to keep a tidy home (and feeling inadequate and unfeminine in the process), I decided to make a plan of attack.  I figured I took the time to formulate my monthly action plan and create a calendar for social media posts each month for my jewelry store and that helped me to be successful, why wouldn’t it work on a personal level?

THE VERY DAY I made a daily/weekly/monthly list of things to accomplish, I felt better.  Why, you ask?  Because I held myself accountable to what was on the list.  When I looked back that evening and viewed each checked off action I realized if I stuck to this plan, I would have a clutter-free and tidy home in a few weeks.

My plan will not turn you into June Cleaver overnight but it WILL grant you instant gratification by accomplishing small goals while working toward the bigger picture.

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One thing I learned in the very beginning of creating said action plan was not to heap on more than I could accomplish in a day.  Again, I began this task while in my 3rd trimester of pregnancy.  My mind says, “DO ALL THE THINGS!” but my lower back and hoo-hah muscles say otherwise.

Let’s say you made the decision to work out.  If you jumped headfirst into the pool with the intention of swimming 100 laps, chances are you would not achieve that lofty goal. Stretching first and taking 30 minutes on the treadmill would be a better plan for that first week, wouldn’t you agree?  It’s the same with starting a cleaning regimen in your home. Starting small will help break up the momentous task of decluttering your home and is a useful way to keep you on point instead of getting discouraged and quitting before you even get your feet wet.

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So here we go.  Let’s get you started.  (Disclaimer:  I am not a professional organizer.  I know what worked for me after years of NOTHING WORKING FOR ME.)  Here’s what I did:

  1. On Day One, I found myself in my closet at 5:15am when my husband left for work. First I took everything out.  EVERYTHING.  Then I dusted, vacuumed, and took a Magic Eraser to the door frame and door.  I had a box for trash and a box for donations.  I didn’t let ONE thing back in my closet that I didn’t absolutely adore or have some sort of affinity for.  Some things were hard to decide on, for sure, but I wanted that free feeling I knew I would get from decluttering.  If I asked myself, “Would I buy this if I was at the store today?” and the answer was “No.” then out it went.  I cleaned out old purses and found $34.  I organized my closet by type of clothing and color.  When I was done (seriously 3 hours later),  I stood in the midst of my closet and preened like a mother-trucking peacock.  I accomplished a goal and it felt AWESOME.  I couldn’t wait to start on another task the next day.
  2. On Day Two, I was back up when the rooster crowed and decided to tackle the room outside my closet… the dreaded bathroom.  I took everything out of the cabinets and drawers and had a mega-throwing-away-party.  I decided I wasn’t going to feel guilty throwing away unused products because I WAS ORGANIZING MY LIFE.  I took everything off the countertops and cleaned my little heart out while listening to music.  I scrubbed the sinks, mirrors, toilets, shower and tub.  I swept and mopped. Again, about 3 hours later, I was rewarded with a sparkling room and two kitchen size trash bags full of stuff we hadn’t used for YEARS.
  3. On Day Three I decided I was going to try a schedule to keep me on task.  I sat my tail down and devised a weekly cleaning plan that sounded like something I could handle. Here’s a generic list that I created for my friends.  If you’d like me to tweak it for you, send me an email and I’d be glad to do so.

Since those first few days, I realized that I had the energy and the drive to be a good steward of my home.  I began working from my weekly list and have seen exceptional results in both my pride and family life.  Perhaps it’s the fact that I just feel better about myself but I feel like the relationship between me and the hubs is just a bit sweeter.

I truly believe if you take the huge goal of getting your home in order and break it into chunks, you will accomplish more, faster.

CHAR’S TIP OF THE DAY:  Make your bed every morning.  Yes, with the fancy pillows. Each time I walk into my room and see this:

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I get energized and a sense of pride wells up.  It’s a good feeling.

From Lazy to Lively!

I was a lazy housewife.  The haven my husband and I were building together was in a perpetual state of messiness, 24/7.

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A rather apt depiction of me sans red hair and cigarette.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved having company over and would scrub my tail off for a few hours before any get-together.  I would also close our bedroom door where piles of random clutter was stashed moments before our first guest arrived.  If someone asked to use the master bathroom during said shin-dig?  (A) If I had been drinking, the response was, “SURE!  Don’t judge me!”  (B) If I hadn’t been drinking… Um…  Thinking back, Scenario B has never occurred.

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I may or may not look like this from time-to-time.

I poured over Pinterest “How-To Keep a Clean House” pins like a madwoman.  I bought a year’s supply of cleaning supplies from Amazon, including a cute little bucket to keep under the sink and drag around with me from room to room.  I envisioned having a home where someone could visit at 2:17pm on a random Tuesday and I WOULD NOT BE EMBARRASSED.

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I was stockpiled.  I was prepared.

Trouble was, I would start cleaning the house (typically in the kitchen) and get side-tracked by detail-oriented jobs (organizing the junk drawer) instead of focusing on the bigger picture (the dishes or a dirty floor).  An hour later, I’d have a clean junk drawer and a dirtier kitchen than when I began.  I would get pissed off, start some coffee then go jump on Facebook (or Pinterest) for an hour.

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DISTRACTIONS GALORE!

Since I didn’t have a cleaning schedule, every room in the home was in a constant state of dishevelment and I was overwhelmed.  Like a deer in headlights, it froze me and stopped me from taking action.

Another issue that hindered me from keeping a clean home was the amount of stuff my husband and I had accumulated throughout the years together.  I started my own jewelry business, Shipwrecked Charms, in 2011 and my front room is dedicated to it.  I have more gemstones, metal, tools, findings, shipping supplies, and office equipment than you can shake a stick at.  My husband is a hobby hoarder and our home/garage was literally filled with beekeeping equipment, brewing supplies, leatherworking tools and a giant forge for metal working.

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Shameless Plug

The monumental task of getting it all organized freaking paralyzed me.

I am creating this blog as a tool for you to use in order to transform your home into a Halcyon Haven.  Not familiar with the term Halcyon?  It means tranquil, peaceful, and carefree.  I don’t know about you but the idea of having a home like that is the physical embodiment of all the Pinterest items I’ve ever pinned.

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And… it wasn’t a Pinterest Fail!

I am currently in the process of organizing my entire home and will be posting about my successes and failures in this endeavor.  I will share with you the documents I created that help me daily to channel my energies into something positive and productive.

Feel free to send me messages with questions or comments!  I would love to spend time helping you discover a plan that will work best for you.  I work from home and take care of a toddler.  I am currently 31 weeks pregnant as well.  To say I have my plate full is an understatement but I am here to encourage you!  You can do whatever you put your mind to, as long as you have a plan of action.

xo

 

Char