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Category Archives for Organization

Tips for Organizing your Vehicle for Summer

Guest post from Imperfect Homemaker contributor Nicole.

 

Now that summer weather has finally arrived, I for one find myself spending a lot of time in my vehicle! Between work, events with family, local events such as this, or church events, there are lots of great reasons to be on the go. The lack of organization in my car, however, was starting to drive me nuts! For something we use often, it is easy to let the cleanliness slide.

So I decided to do something about it!

organizing your vehicle

 

I started by cleaning and vacuuming out the entire inside. I found all kinds of garbage under the seats…gross! How does that happen?

Once it was all sparkling clean, I made a list of the different items I wanted to put back in the car to be prepared for whatever a day might bring. Then I got to organize it all inside…that is the fun part!

I knew I wanted a bag for garbage. I hung a plastic grocery bag on the bottom part of my seat buckle. It hangs down behind the center console. I rarely have backseat passengers, so it is a great place to keep it within arms reach. If you do not have a center console, a bag like this will hang nicely between the two front seats, either on the buckles or the arm rests.

Next I added some items to the center console. I put a stack of napkins in there (just ask for some extras when you go through drive-through!) as well as a package of disinfecting wipes. I grabbed two packs of these wipes at the dollar store for $1 each. I stuck the extra one in my glove box so I won't run out! These wipes are great for sticky fingers if you eat on the go. I also use them to wipe down surfaces inside the car….like the steering wheel. Do you know how gross and dirty that gets? Totally worth a few seconds for a wipe-down…you can do this while sitting at a red light! (and then drop the used wipe in the garbage bag…so handy!)

I also picked up a little wire cup for a dollar to corral some loose change. Next to it all I tucked a pen and pad of paper. I'm glad to have all of these items easily within reach!

center console

Another item I wanted to include was a package of tissues. I grabbed one of Puffs soft package tissues. This package is designed to go anywhere, so if I decide to shove it in my glove box or in the pocket of my car door, it will fit! Genius!

puffs soft pouch tissues

The glove box is harder to get to from the driver's seat, obviously. So I put items in there that I wouldn't need while driving. I have the extra package of disinfecting wipes in there, as well as a box of Larabar protein bars for when I need a little nutrition on the go. (Lets be honest…I will probably eat these every morning on the way to work, since I run out of time or forget to eat breakfast. Whoops!)

glove box organized

The last items I gathered were some personal items. I grabbed a zip pouch from my etsy shop and filled it with band-aids, a small comb, hair elastics, chapstick, and a few, um….lady items. (Psst! These zip pouches are the perfect size to hide those!! Just an FYI! {wink!})

zip pouch of personal items

 

Depending on what your summer plans are, there might be other ways you can plan ahead to save you time and headache later on. Do you go to the beach often? Keep a tote full of beach toys, towels, and sunscreen. Do you picnic? Keep a tote full of paper plates, cups, and silverware. You may want to throw in an umbrella, especially if you live in Florida. {wink!} In the winter I include a bag of emergency overnight items. Figure out what items that your family needs, and keep them in your car so you are never without them when you need them. That is the key to organization, right? Having what you need, when you need it to save you time and energy.

Do you keep your vehicle organized? What items are essential to your on-the-go days? What other items should I include to prepare for any situation? Share your thoughts below!

 

Tools for Homemaking Productivity

I struggle with keeping things clean and orderly.  My brain is constantly bursting with ideas, and I tend to be a little “ADDish”, flitting from one thing to the next and making a bunch of messes as I go.

(I named this blog Imperfect Homemaker for a reason!)

Anything to help my days be a little more productive is a big plus!

Here are some of the tools I use on a daily basis to help me have a little more accomplishment to show at the end of the day:

 

Tools for Homemaking Productivity

1. Clothes. 

That would be as opposed to PJ's or loungewear.  You'll get more done when you wear real clothes, I promise.  When you wear PJ's or loungewear all day, you just feel like…well…lounging.  Not good for productivity.  (If you need some clothes at a good price, you should check out Thredup.  It's like an online thrift store, which is great for this busy mom who doesn't have time to drag her kids to a real thrift store.  Plus, you get a free $10 credit to spend when you sign up through my referral link here.)

Free $10 credit to Thredup

2. Shoes.

Not just any shoes.  Sneakers. (I actually grew up calling them tennis shoes.  What do you call them?  Oh, wait.  I'm getting distracted again.  Back to the point.)

If you put shoes on your feet, it helps you walk faster and get things done more quickly.  Plus you don't ever have to stop and clean crumbs out of your toes or nurse a throbbing foot because you stepped on a lego.

Your shoes should be ultra-comfortable so that you can wear them all day long.  I have these, and they have been one of the best purchases I've ever made.  These are the most comfortable shoes for all-day wear I've ever owned.

Saucony Hurricane 14 - my favorite shoe ever!

 

3. Music

Listening to fast-paced music helps keep me going.  And it's nice to have Christ-honoring music to think about as I work too.  Old Christian Radio plays a lot of faster-paced music, and many of the songs on the CD that my husband and I recorded are fast-paced as well.

Old-fashioned, Christ-honoring sacred music

 

4. Rags and cleaners

Keeping rags and a bottle of cleaner in multiple places throughout the house makes my job a lot easier.  Whenever someone spills something or makes a potty-training mess on the bathroom floor, I have what I need right at hand to clean it up immediately.  I use my homemade non-toxic disinfectant as an all-purpose cleaner.  It works so well for just about everything.

homemade non-toxic disinfecant

5. Air fresheners

There is something about things smelling clean that makes me want to keep things clean.

I'm sure this makes me a healthy living heretic, but I absolutely LOVE the smell of Downy Unstopables.  When I'm walking through the laundry room I just want to stay there because it smells so good!  (Does anyone know of a natural way to make the laundry smell that good?  I hate using the chemicals on my clothes, and I try not to do it terribly often, but it just smells oh-so-good!  And no, adding lavender drops to the wash is not a valid suggestion.  It's fine, but just not the blow-me-away awesome smell that the Downy is.  If you're awesome with essential oils and you have a recipe that you think will blow me away, I'd love for you to share!)

 

6. A Menu Plan

There is something about knowing at the beginning of the day what I am having for dinner that makes the entire day go more smoothly.

Sometimes I drop the ball and end up scrambling at dinner time.  Not fun.  But even more often than that, I get in a rut with meals.  We end up having the same things over and over because I am just too tired to try to think of interesting meals.

I just discovered the coolest menu planning program.  Really, really cool.

It's called Build a Menu.  You choose the store where you normally shop, and then you're given recipe options for all different eating styles (for example: Clean Eating, Gluten Free, Budget Friendly, even Trim Healthy Mama!)

If you want to see exactly how it looks in action, take a look at this post.

The thing that makes Build a Menu so cool is that you get to decide what you want to make.  Many menu planners give you a pre-made menu, but then it ends up being nothing that you or your family would like.  With this you simply look through the recipes (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and desserts are all included!) and mark the checkboxes beside the ones you want to have that week.  Boom!  Your menu and shopping list are done, and it's exactly what you want to eat!

 

Which of these tools do you need to start using?  What would you add to this list that helps you be more productive at home?

 

 

 

Help for Disorganized People: Getting Started

For the previous posts in this series, check out

{Help for Disorganized People: Part 1}

{9 Reasons You Procrastinate}

{Overcoming Roadblocks to Organization}

{Overcoming Roadblocks to Organization: Part 2}

{What to Do When You Get Off Track}

 

Help for Disorganized People - full series

 Now that you know what you need to do to get organized, you have to actually get started!

If you're having trouble getting started, it's very possible that you're making it harder than it has to be. A lot of us disorganized procrastinators tend to look at everything at once, which can be very overwhelming. Learning how to break things down into smaller chunks will help you get started a lot more easily. In fact, it's as easy as learning your ABC's.

A — Take Action

You've spent enough time learning; you know what to do. You're going to learn even more from doing than you are from reading about and thinking about doing something. So, take action today! Pick one small thing and go for it!

 

B — Break it Down

 

The way to truly “go for it” is to break everything down into smaller, doable chunks.  Need to organize a room.  Start by looking for all the trash in the room and throwing it away.  You can do that.  When that job is finished, choose one shelf to declutter.  Don't start on another job until each thing is finished.  Focus on one small task at a time. Before you know it, all those small tasks will add up to big success.

 

C — Create Momentum

 

Momentum simply means forward progress. In order to create forward progress you got started, you broke it down to small, workable chunks, and now you have to keep going! As you keep moving forward, everything you've done adds up to create bigger and larger success.

 

In Conclusion

 

Letting go of procrastination and getting organized is a critical skill to learn. It's far too easy to just let things pile up until you start facing overwhelm. But if you keep your aim high, and focus on the small picture, you can beat overwhelm and finally get organized. Getting organized will allow you to keep track of even more amazing ideas, enable you to get more from your ideas, drastically lower your stress, and help you waste less time!

 

What is the first small task you will do?

(And if you haven't already joined our Homemaking Challenges group, focusing on one small task at a time is exactly what we're doing!  It's a lot more fun to work together with other homemakers who have similar struggles.  Come join us!)

 

 

Need Some Homemaking Motivation?

 

Homemaking Motivation

Last Friday I live posted on the Facebook page different assignments to help you get your house in tip-top shape for the weekend.  We all worked together and got our homes clean in a hurry!

Everyone seemed to really enjoy the challenge, so we decided to create a group to keep each other on our toes to keep our homes clean and organized.

If you need some accountability in this area, come join us!  We have a new habit to work on every two weeks, as well as a focused project to complete each week.

Click here to join the group.

 

 

 

Help for Disorganized People: What to Do When You Get off Track

 

Last week I shared a number of tips to help you overcome your organizing roadblocks, but no matter how good your plan is you may occasionally find you have slipped back into old habits.  Or perhaps something threw you off your schedule, such as illness or another emergency. However it happens, you will sometimes find yourself back into your old habits of disorganization and procrastination.

Here's what to do when  you get off track:

help for disorganized people

 

Don't give up — You can choose to let the interruption cause you to fall off the cliff or you can grab control and start from now climbing your way back up the mountain.

Be honest with yourself — Determine what caused you to lose your focus. Are you overly tired; are you eating right; is something else wrong causing you to go back to your old ways of procrastination and disorganization?  Or are you just being lazy?

Start small — Tackle one small thing to get it reorganized. It's especially important to go back and reorganize the things you've already organized that have gotten off track. Don't tackle anything new until you've at least gotten back to where you were.

Go back to your calendar — The easiest place to start is your calendar. If you've been writing things in it, even the minutia, then you should have a place to start right there in today's date. If not, start writing in your calendar again.

Let go — Don't beat yourself up about falling off the path. The important thing is that you're willing to admit your mistakes and start again from where you are.  Baby steps will get you there just as well as leaps and bounds.

Do what works — If you've discovered a way to do something that works, stick to it. You don't need to reinvent the wheel or try to force someone else's methods upon yourself. If it works, it works; so do it! (Just be mindful that you're not letting disorganization and procrastination be what works!)

 

If you've gotten off track with your organization efferts, take heart!  You've realized you have a problem and that  fact alone will help you take the steps to correct it.  You can take control again simply because you've accepted that you need to. Even if all you do is start with something small like organizing your purse, filling in your to-do calendar, or cleaning off your desk at work. The fact is, starting is half the battle.

 

Have you gotten off track with your organizing?  Where do you need to start to put yourself back on?

 

Overcoming Roadblocks to Organization (Part 2)

Last week I challenged you to identify your bad habits, determine the good habits with which you can replace them, and choose one good habit you will begin implementing immediately.

Here are some more tips to help you get past those Roadblocks to Organization.

Overcoming Roadblocks to Organization | Imperfect Homemaker

1. Purge Often — One sure way to get more organized is to get rid of things.  You need a whole lot less than you think you do.  (How many clothes can you wear at one time?  How many toys can your children play with at one time?  How many dishes can you eat off at one time?)
2. KISS — Keep it Simple, Sweetie! If you make things too complicated, you're not going to do them. That's why you want to look at what your current organization style is, and work with what you already have.  There's no need to create some new, complicated system of organization.  You just need to discipline yourself to have a place for everything (purge those things for which you can't find a place!), and to put things away immediately.

A place for everything, and everything in its place |imperfecthomemaker.com

 

3. Clean Up Every Day — Use baskets to help you transport things to their “home”, but don't keep the things in the basket for weeks at a time. Take the basket with you whenever you leave a room.
5. Keep a Calendar — Writing things down is the best way to ensure that you get things done. You can use old-fashioned pen and paper or you can use a program like Evernote, Cozi, or  Google Calendar. However you choose to keep your calendar, this is the one thing that will help you the most.  (You can't just write things on it, though!  You have to look at it every day!)
6. Forgive Yourself — No one is perfect, mistakes will happen, backsliding will happen, and your organization might get off track. Just stay aware.

Which of these do you most need to work on?

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