10 Physical and Digital Areas of Your Life to Organize so You’re Ready for The New Year

10 Physical and Digital Areas of Your Life to Organize so You’re Ready for The New Year

“Clutter in our life leads to clutter in our mind.”

 

2018 is nearly here! There’s no better way to start the New Year than with a clutter-free space. Clutter can build up in many spaces like our closets, work desks, and cars.  And I don’t just mean physical clutter. Our files get cluttered, our photos, and even our phones! All this clutter, clutters our mind. Don’t you feel so much better when a space is cleaned out so that what’s left is important and in its place? Clutter in our life leads to clutter in our mind. Clearing it all out can make room in our brains to handle the New Year with focus and ease.

To help you out…and honestly, to help me out, I’ve made a list of 10 areas to clear the clutter in your life so that you can have room for what’s to come in 2018. I chose the 10 most important physical and digital places to begin with. I think clearing these spaces will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to handle new adventures!

 

Physical Spaces

 

Your Kitchen Cabinets

Woah! Why start off so strong? Well, your kitchen cabinets are a great place to start because the kitchen is often the place where families spend the most time. If you’re like me, you’ve got an under-sink cabinet full of unorganized Tupperware or old cleaning product, 2-3 junk drawers of random crap, appliances you don’t use (such as that juicer you bought on a strict health-kick), plus coffee mugs and plastic cups galore! Organizing this space may take more time than the others, BUT it is so worth it. Finally, you’ll be able to find the exact Tupperware lid you need for lunch, and you won’t have to wonder if the screw-driver or scotch tape is in the junk drawer.

Your To-Do List

You might be a digital or physical list maker, but I have found many of us still love to use pen and paper. Recently, I have discovered the perfect way to make To-Do Lists thanks to this blogger. She suggests making long and short lists! Your short list is the list of things that need done relatively soon. And your long list is a list of things that are not so urgent but on your mind to get done. This is a great way to prioritize your time and effort,  and keep track of goals. If you do have a list, organize it this way, and if you don’t have a list make one for the sake of organizing your priorities. You can go ahead and make one now to prioritize the spaces you need to clear of clutter!

Your Workspace

Oh me, oh my. Are you one of those people who have a desk drawer FULL of working and not-working pens? Is your calendar still on last month? Do you have papers, books, reports, and magazines strewn about and find yourself looking through piles to find that email you printed last week? A cluttered work-space is no way to live. You are so much more productive if you take time to organize the chaos that is your career. You will feel so much better if you tidy the top drawer of writing utensils, throw away or destroy old papers, and give away some of those company stationery gifts or coffee mugs. I LOVE this pin that links to a post on Inspiring Work Spaces. Start 2018 with a clear work path!

Your Closet

Okay, maybe I was wrong when I said the kitchen cabinets would be your biggest job. But, don’t fret! You don’t have to do a total closet re-haul overnight if you don’t want to. The best suggestion I ever heard was to start putting the clothes you do wear away in a designated place for the next six months, say, after you wash them. Then, when the six months is up, whatever isn’t in that area gets donated! For example, start hanging the shirts you wear on the right side of your closet after they come out of the laundry. If your closet is really full, you may have to mark a line between right and left. After six months, whatever is left on the left side gets donated because you haven’t bothered to wear it for that long. There are also a lot of great Pinterest ideas about minimizing your wardrobe and still having a variety of options to wear. Check out this pin on wardrobe essentials!

Your Car

If you have kids, this area of your life is most definitely a mess. I don’t even want to think about what is in between my back seats. Between all the chicken nuggets, goldfish crackers, candy and Elmer’s slime, I’m sure it isn’t  good. When’s the last time you had the inside of your car detailed? I spent the money on that once and let me tell you, it was totally worth it. Doing it once a year is probably a great idea. But if you don’t have the cash, it just takes a little more time to do it yourself. Do the easy thing first and get all the trash out. Then, have your kids take all the toys except a couple, out of the side door. Or, you can always look up fun creative ways to organize their car activities! The behind-the-seat organizers are actually pretty nifty. Vacuum to pick up all the dirt and debris from foot traffic, and wipe down with some Armor All. Make sure you get under and in-between those seats but do it with caution! And again, there are a ton of fun ideas on Pinterest!

 

Digital Spaces

Your Photos and Videos

Is your smart phone running out of space? Getting photos and videos off your phone and to someplace permanent can free up a LOT of memory, plus make you feel a lot better. I use Shutterfly to save and organize my photos,  and a private Youtube channel to organize my phone videos. Does anyone use an actual camcorder anymore? But there are various free storage plans you can research and use to store and organize your memories. I like Shutterfly because I can create photo books and gifts. And I like Youtube because I can log in on my TV to watch home videos when I feel like it. Getting these off your phone and into a storage space will gain you a sigh of relief.

Your Computer Files

Every time I go to find a file on my laptop I think, “Man, I’ve got to organize these!” Organizing your digital documents is great because it frees up space on your hard drive or file storage program. Personally, I don’t like to save files directly to my hard drive anymore. I use OneDrive from Microsoft because it’s free and online. If I ever get a new computer, all I have to do is sync it to OneDrive, so I never have to worry about anything important being lost. Get rid of old documents, move over any stray photos to the place the want to store them, combine folders and reminisce about your old college essay.

Your Pinterest Boards

Depending on how long you’ve been on Pinterest, this could also be a big task. But have you seen the new board organizing option? Now, you can go to your boards and organize them into sections! For example, my Being Healthy board is now split into Healthy Food, Movement, Smoothies and Weight Loss! I think this is awesome! However, I do wish there was a way to combine boards and organize them into sections from our home page because I feel like I have several that could fit into a one category. Get rid of boards you don’t pin to, and make new ones for projects you want to work on in the new year!

Your Social Media Friends

Do you ever see a Like on one of your posts and think, “Who the hell is that?” Then, it might be time to clean out your friend’s list. If your goal is to be ” friends” with whoever you come across in life, then great, leave your list alone. BUT, if you want your social media accounts to be more personal and include those you care and are curious most about, go ahead and delete stray people. Don’t feel guilty about it either. You can can always claim technical difficulties, or just be honest and say you simply narrowed your list to include only close friends and family.

Your Phone Apps

My phone actually looks like this. Is that  weird?  I go through every once in a while and delete apps I don’t use. I also like to keep them organized together with similar apps. I’ve set up a folder for media, blogging tools, games, retail, social media etc. This helps me to easily find apps when I need them. And, I think it’s a lot more appealing to the eyes. I also think it’s great that they all fit on the first screen so I’m not always scrolling right and trying to search for the app I want. If you’re not sure how to do folders like this on the iPhone, just hold an app until it jiggles and put it on-top of another app. This will combine them into a folder. It’s a good idea to delete unused apps, organize them together, and clear up some space.

 

What other spaces do you like to clean up for the New Year? How does it help you prepare for what’s to come?

Remember to check out my Getting Organized board on Pinterest. It’s full of super cute and easy organizing ideas for all your spaces!

Comment below to let me know how you get organized for the New Year!

How to Host Thanksgiving with A Lot Less Stress

How to Host Thanksgiving with A Lot Less Stress

“If you do want to host Thanksgiving…but are worried about the mental cost, just stick with me. I’ll get you through it.”

 

How do you host Thanksgiving with a lot less stress?

If you’re like me, you enjoy hosting Thanksgiving, but there’s at least a bit of dread that comes with it. How many people will come this year? What dishes should I make? How should I cook the turkey? Will I be able to go all day without throat punching someone (that’s a whole other blog post)?

Every year I contemplate whether I should do it again. Do I really want to go through what I went through last year? The answer is yes, I want to host, but no, I don’t want to stress out over it.

First of all, if you don’t enjoy hosting, then don’t do it. The holidays are a time that you deserve to enjoy. If hosting isn’t your thing, let someone else be in charge. If you do want to host Thanksgiving but are worried about the mental cost, just stick with me. I’ll get you through it.

The key is planning ahead. Here’s how to host Thanksgiving with a lot less stress:

Make a Menu

Make a menu at least a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving so that you have time to mull it over and make changes. Don’t wait until Thanksgiving day and willy-nilly the dish ideas that have hung around in your head. Write them down and write each ingredient you need to complete the dish. Include everything the main dish, side dishes, appetizers, desserts, and drinks. I even like to add a special dish I know the kids will eat because they’re not really a fan of most Thanksgiving food. Personally, I really like to use Pinterest to help with my Thanksgiving plans. When I’m ready to cook, all I have to do is look at my Pinterest app. I have a great Thanksgiving board here. The Sweet Potato Casserole is everyone’s favorite!

Make a Guest List and Delegate Dishes

Now make a guest list and delegate dishes to some or all of your guests. Make them bring things you don’t want to bother with. Don’t take a wild guess about how many people are going to show up. Call or text everyone to confirm their spot and give at least some of them a food assignment so you’re not left to do all the work. I really like to delegate desserts and drinks because that’s something I just don’t care to cook or worry about buying. Uncle Ed can bring store-bought pumpkin pie and that’s just fine with me.

Turn Your Menu Into a Grocery List

Then turn the rest of your menu into a grocery list. Whatever Uncle Ed or Grandma Suzy isn’t bringing, is your responsibility to serve. Don’t go to the store and try to guess what you need because you’ll just end up making a Wal-Mart run the day of. Put the ingredients you need for each dish on your list. Don’t forget non-food items, too. Do you plan on using real dishes or are you paper-fabulous, like me? Do you need utensils, napkins, decorations? Whatever floats your Thanksgiving boat…get it.

Don’t Feel Bad About Store Bought Food or Paper Plates

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT feel bad about your store-bought apple pie or extra durable Thanksgiving paper plates and utensils. Washing dishes after you eat a huge meal sucks. You’re already going to have a ton of pots and pans to clean. Don’t you dare feel bad about going paper-fabulous this year. These days, you can buy plates, napkins, utensils, and cups that are super cute! I’m paper-fabulous every year and proud.

Make a Plan

Make a plan for Thanksgiving day. How many seats do you need? What decorations will be set up? When is dinner? When will guests arrive? How long will each dish take to make and what pan are you going to cook it in? What method will you use to cook the turkey and how long will it take? There’s been a couple of years where the day of Thanksgiving I realized I didn’t have enough pans to make all the food I had planned on. This resulted in an emergency trip to my mother-in-law’s house. I don’t recommend it.

Prep Food the Day Before

Prep food the day before. I can’t say this enough. Don’t wake up on Thanksgiving and think, okay now it’s time to get started! A couple of hours in and you’ll realize, holy crap I have so much to get done! The day before Thanksgiving I make sure desserts are done, appetizers are ready to set out, and anything that goes straight to the oven (like this awesome Sweet Potato Casserole) is ready to stick in. This makes the next day so much calmer.

Give Turkey Enough Time to Thaw

If you buy a fresh turkey, great! If not make sure you buy a frozen one at least a week out (so that you get a good pick) and give it a few days (depending on the size) to thaw in the fridge or in cold water. You can find guidance on how long to thaw a turkey here. In the past I have waited too long to buy the turkey, making it hard to find one big enough and not giving myself enough time to let it thaw. Last year I cut it close. Never again!

Start Cooking the Turkey Early

Finally, give yourself plenty of time to cook the turkey, especially if you’re not experienced. Don’t worry about being done too early, it’s way better than being done too late. Give yourself a 2-3 hour time cushion before guests are scheduled to eat. The turkey can sit in the oven or roasting pan on a low temp to stay warm if needed, but if you realize your turkey is not done when it should be, it throws everything out of whack and leaves you swearing that you’ll never host again.

 

I hope these suggestions help you have the most stress-free Thanksgiving yet. Did these tips help you? What could I add to the list? Comment below and tell me!

 

But wait…there’s more.

 

Subscribe to The Wiser Life today (go to side or the bottom of this page) and  I’ll send you a free Thanksgiving Dinner Planner 2-page printable!

 

 

It’s not good enough to think about your Thanksgiving plan, you need to write it down for it to be effective. My printable includes space to write your menu, your guest list, your delegated dishes, your grocery list and more!

Keep a copy of the printable for yourself so that every year you can use it to keep Thanksgiving as stress-free as possible.

 

It’s FREE. Just subscribe to The Wiser Life email list (bottom of page)! I’ll send it immediately!

 

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