Whenever the end of the year rolls around, I always feel a compulsive need to get organized. I’m not HUGE on New Years resolutions – I’m a pretty strong believer in the idea that we should be constantly assessing and adjusting our habits throughout the year to achieve the goals we are striving to achieve.
Organization, though, is different. Somehow, after a full year of activity – and this one has been FULL of activity, between moving in with Mike, getting engaged, and planning a wedding – things manage to get out of place. It’s kind of like how your bedroom starts out clean at the beginning of the week and then, by the end of the week, you’re digging yourself out from under piles of clothes and chaos. Wait – that doesn’t happen to you? Only me? Okay – well don’t rub it in! 🙂
Whether you REALLY need to put away clothes, or whether you’re just looking for new inspiration, I wanted to share the five quick things I’m doing to organize myself for 2018:
- Subscribe to Dr. Andrew Weil’s Mailing List
I love nutritionist Andrew Weil. His approach draws both from eastern and western practices, and he manages to create a beautiful harmony between the two. In an effort to better understand both my body, as well as the foods I’m consuming, I recently subscribed to his mailing list. Let me tell you: it did NOT disappoint. Each day, there’s a new golden nugget in my inbox. What I love most about his emails is that they are short and easily digestible. Some days he’s discussing the benefits of certain essential oils, other days he’s listing the best anti-inflammatory foods, and still others, he’s sharing the unknown benefits of belly dancing! Highly recommend this mailing list to get your health and diet on track.
2. Switch Over to Less Toxic Cleaning Products
The more reading I’ve been doing, the more I’ve been realizing the necessity of minimizing the chemicals we’re ingesting – both in food and in the air. I’m definitely not an expert here, but after some research (through the Environmental Working Group and other sites), I’ve decided on Mrs. Meyers products. So far, I’ve changed over to Mrs. Meyers laundry detergent and dryer sheets. I plan to switch my dish and hand soaps next. You can shop a Mrs. Meyers kitchen basics set here. I also purchased dryer balls as an alternative to dryer sheets. If you really want to get wild and crazy, you can cut out the dryer sheets altogether and try wool dryer balls with a dab of your preferred essential oil for scent.
3. Sign up for BBG
Every blogger has his/her idols, right? I absolutely love Rachel Parcell of Pink Peonies, so I’m going to credit her for this one. Mike is an avid weight lifter. He knows so much about the body, and when he feels out of shape, he knows exactly what to do to remedy it. I’ve gotten on a hundred treadmills, about seventy-five ellipticals, and purchased a solid five sets of dumb-bells, but I always struggle to get in shape. With the wedding around the corner, I’m really looking to buckle down and feel better physically. I’ve followed Rachel’s BBG journey, and I love the idea that Bikini Body Guide workouts can be done anywhere with just your iPhone app. I plan to post a lot about my BBG journey, so I’ll share my progress, but for anyone else who is trying to get in shape and doesn’t really know how, hop on board with me and let’s do this thing.
4. Storage Baskets, Babe
I recently started following @lifeinjeneral on Instagram, and I am so inspired by her organizational skills. There is truly a place for everything and everything in it’s place. This tip is pretty simple – I’m buying baskets and canisters, and everything will have a place. I love this set of canisters that have itty bitty chalkboards on them – easy for labeling. Time to give EVERYTHING A LABEL! Pasta, rice, sugar, flour, cereal. No more half eaten boxes of stale food – stick everything in canisters. And all of those nifty all-natural cleaning products you just bought? How about some nice lined wicker baskets in which to store them? Everything in my closet is getting a basket – towels, sheets, cleaning products. No item left unbasketed. A place for everything, and everything in it’s place.
5. Create a Weekly Budget
I would say this is the trickiest. Mike and I always discuss budgets and how to best make them work for you, and I don’t think there’s a perfect answer. But I think something you can do right off the bat is list your weekly expenses – I’m talking about the expenses that occur AFTER your fixed expenses (rent, car, etc). Figure out how much is left after your fixed expenses, and then break that down. I don’t like counting our fixed expense line items. I’m not saying it’s not necessary, but those aren’t the expenses I’m looking at on a weekly basis. Break down your budget week by week – a month is too long of a period of time. If you allow yourself $400 for groceries a month and cook a great surf and turf dinner on January 5th, you’re looking at a long 25 days of pasta and tuna fish. Break out those weekly expenses by the week so you know what you’re working with. Mint is a pretty basic service to help you, but I don’t get too attached to budgeting programs. At the end of the day, you need to know your cash inflow, your spending habits, and your saving goals.