Category Archives: Organizing Tips

5 Ways to Make Tomorrow Better, Today

There is an African Proverb that says, “Tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

It’s a nice thought, but most of us are just trying to get through today. We don’t have time to worry about, or even prepare for, tomorrow.

But proverbs aren’t just “nice thoughts”. By definition, they are sayings expressing simply and concretely a truth based on common sense or the practical. So at some point in time, someone discovered that a better tomorrow starts with preparation today. And because they lived that out and showed the world it was possible, it’s a saying that has been passed down through generations.

Prepare Today

It’s easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of life without concerning ourselves with the days to come. But if a better tomorrow comes on the tails of today, then here are a few ideas you might want to consider:

  1. At the end of the day, put things back where they belong. Whether it’s your office desk or the playroom, putting things back where they belong can help you start tomorrow with a clean slate. Rather than having the pressure of clutter looming over you as you start the day, your attitude and focus will be lighter and brighter.
  2. Write out your most important tasks for tomorrow, today. Before leaving the office or going to bed, write down the 3-5 most important things you need to accomplish the next day. By doing this you eliminate any doubts of what needs to be done, allowing you to be more productive.
  3. Be familiar with tomorrow’s activities/meetings/appointments. End your day by taking a glance at what’s on the schedule for tomorrow. Having an idea of what’s upcoming the next day can help you limit your to-do list if you know you’re going to have a busy day. On the flip side, if you’re calendar is wide open, then you have time to think about what projects you’d like to work on and start preparing for them.
  4. Determine what you’ll eat and wear the next day. Save time by knowing what you’re going to eat and wear tomorrow. Knowing ahead of time which outfit you’ll put on and having breakfast or lunch in mind can keep you from being late or frustrated when things don’t go as planned in the morning.
  5.  Get your bag ready. If you know you’ll be heading out tomorrow, have everything you need ready and waiting for you by the door. Keys, important papers, and special deliveries can all be set out the night before so in the morning you just pick up and go, without the stress and drama.

Tomorrow can be better.  All it takes is a few minutes of your time today to pave the way.

Which of these steps can you implement today to make tomorrow better?

 

Ask the Organizer: What’s the best way to organize recipes?

It’s been awhile, but “Ask the Organizer” is back!

organize recipes

This time our question comes from Lisa, who wants to know the best way to organize recipes:

“I have tons of cookbooks, magazines, and index cards filled with recipes.  I enjoy using different recipe ideas when cooking, but I can never find the one I want and I get frustrated! What do you think is the best way to organize recipes?”

Great question, Lisa!  While cooking is not my forte, I do enjoy organizing recipes.  Depending on your personal preference, there are many ways you can organize your favorite recipes so you can do what you love most – cooking!

Pre-organization steps

While it might be tempting to jump in and start organizing your recipes right away, there are a few steps you’ll want to take first:

1. Purge. Before you organize your recipes, you might want to start by purging –

  • Remove any recipes you’ve tried and didn’t like
  • Take out any recipes that have ingredients, processes, or time restrictions you may not want to follow or use
  • Remove any duplicate recipes
  • Discard any recipes you thought you might like to try but have since changed your mind
  • Let go of any cookbooks that no longer interest you
  • Tear or cut out any recipes from magazines that you do want and recycle the magazine itself.

2. Sort. The next step is to sort them into like groups or categories – appetizers, main dishes, casseroles, side dishes, desserts, etc.  While this may seem like a tedious process, it will help you know how many of each type of recipe you have so you can know the best way to store and organize them. Plus it will make finding a particular recipe much easier!

* You can reverse steps 1 & 2 if you prefer to sort then purge.  The important thing is that you do steps 1 & 2!

Options for organizing recipes

After you’ve sorted and purged your recipes, then you are ready to move into the next phase – determining the best way to organize and store them.  Honestly, this is a personal preference, so think about what would work best for you when considering these organizing options:

Digital

Growing in popularity, digital recipe organization is one option.  The benefits of using a digital recipe organizer include: having recipes and ingredients on hand wherever you are,  the ability to “clip” recipes from the Internet and add them to your collection, a variety of menu planning tools and help making grocery lists.  Not only that but freeing up cabinet space by not physically storing cookbooks or recipe holders is a plus!

Apps make digital recipe organization a breeze. Here are the more popular ones:

To add your recipe to one of these digital options you simply take a picture from your phone, or scan your recipe (from your phone or desktop), and add it to the app. You can also download recipes from their site or other popular cooking sites, such as Epicurious or AllRecipes, with the tap of a button.  While most of these apps are free, some do offer upgrade plans for more storage and versatility.

Paper

If technology scares you and you’d rather store and organize your recipes the traditional way, then you have options as well.

1. Binders. One popular way to organize all your recipes is to store each recipe category (appetizers, main dishes, desserts) its own 3-ring binder.  You can use sheet protectors to hold each individual recipe or add tabbed dividers to organize even more.  Here’s an example of a collection of recipe binders from CraftyStaci.com

Recipe binder organization from CraftyStaci.com

2. Photo albums.  While this is not as common an option, it is one that my grandmother did for me when I got married.  She purchased a simple photo album that holds 3 x 5 pictures and inserted 3 x 5 recipe index cards instead. It is something I still treasure to this day! You can find albums, similar to 3-ring binders, that hold 3 x 5, 4 x 6, or 5 x 7 cards/pieces of paper and that have space for refillable pages to be added.

recipe book
Grandma’s recipe album

As with most things organizing-related, there isn’t just one way to organize recipes! Hopefully, Lisa, I’ve given you a few options to consider so that you can find the recipes you need and want without the frustration.  Happy cooking!

How do you organize recipes? Have you tried any of these options?

Do you have another ideas or suggestions to add?

Leave a comment and let me know!

How to Tame Your Toppling T-Shirts

Do you struggle to keep your t-shirt piles organized? Are you frustrated that they constantly topple over every time you try to pull a t-shirt out?

You’re not alone!

Toppling t-shirts

My husband loves his t-shirts but they were becoming an organizing nightmare for me.  Not to mention that the way they were organized limited his wardrobe.  So I started doing some research to find a better way to tame his toppling t-shirts!

3 Ways to Tame Your Toppling T-Shirts

Check out my short video on the 3 different ways you can organize and tame your toppling t-shirts once and for all!

Resources mentioned in the video:

Miracle Fold – http://amzn.to/2mU32d9
Shelf Dividers – http://amzn.to/2nbtfzV
EzStax – http://amzn.to/2nbpTgs
ThreadStax – Threadstax.com

Would any of these methods work for you? Leave me a comment and let me know!

The One Tool You Need to Control Your Email

The one tool you need

 

If you’re like me, you probably get a lot of emails. Many of the emails we receive are necessary and important, but if we’re completely honest, the majority of them aren’t.

For awhile I was managing all those unwanted emails by simply deleting them when they popped up into my inbox.  But lately, my inbox has been on overload.  Most days it feels like this when I check my email:

email_overload

So last week I decided to do something about it. Rather than just hitting the delete button, I took a more proactive approach towards reducing my email inflow.

I hit Unsubscribe.

What a rush it was to do that!  In a span of just a few days I was able to unsubscribe from over 20 email lists. I was tired of wasting time wading through emails I was never going to read, or taking the time to delete them.  I’d had enough. So away they went!

Maybe you need to do the same?

The power of unsubscribing

If your inbox is on overload and you’re frustrated by too much email, then I encourage you to start hitting the Unsubscribe button on some of the emails you are receiving: unsubscribe pic
  • Stores or websites you’ve purchased from in the past (either in person or online)
  • Spam mail you have no clue how they obtained your email address
  • Newsletters you’re no longer interested in
  • Offers/Information from people you’ve purchased from in the past (free downloads, products, classes, webinars, etc) which you don’t need anymore

Although many of these people, services, or products may have served you at one time, they may not any longer.  It’s okay to break up with them!

By law, every email you receive from a service provider has the option for you to opt-out or unsubscribe.  Of course, they keep it at the very bottom of the email in extremely tiny print so you hardly know it’s there, but it is:

unsubscribe button 2

It takes less than a minute to unsubscribe, but when you use this powerful tool you can take back control over your inbox once and for all!  What are you waiting for?

Whether we like it or not, email is a part of our lives that we have to deal with.  Just like any other space (either digital or physical), we need to be diligent in managing it and organizing it on a regular basis.  Rather than being frustrated and overwhelmed by our inbox, we need to take advantage of the Unsubscribe button.  It’s the most powerful tool we have to control our email.

Are you ready to take back control of your inbox and hit the Unsubscribe button?
How many emails can you unsubscribe from this week?
Reply back and let me know 🙂

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