With a few supplies, you can easily upcycle cardboard boxes and make beautiful custom storage and organizing boxes for your home.Read More
If you, like me, get rushes of adrenaline when you discover clever organising hacks, then you’re in the right place. It’s about to GO. DOWN.
There are days when my office looks immaculate and then there are days when it looks like a four year old ran through it. It's not that I don't know it's messy. I'm just so busy I don't always have time to put something back where I know it's supposed to go. Or sometimes I'm so scatter-brained I forget where I put something. But lately I've come up with a plan to get super duper organised, so that I'll never forget about another appointment, task or commitment. So scroll down as I give you some awesome ways to stay on top of the clutter.
1. Hang almost anything on a pegboard. You can hang paint tubes, glues, inspo images and other working materials on pegboards with binder clips. It’s a neat way to display the tools we use every day, and it’s *way* easier to find them when we need them in a pinch.
2. Hold cords in place on your desk. Simply clip one these fellas to the side of your table, then thread a cord through. No more reaching for that charger on the ground! Your back will thank me later :)
3. Colourful binder clips make organising fun. It's a lot easier to find documents when you know you clipped a neon pink or marbled binder clip around it. I got these binder clips from Target
Colour-Coded File Folders
I can't tell you how much easier it is for me to find things when I know files are grouped in colours. You can even take it a step further by making your own file folders out of poster paper.
A Customisable Planner
I'll be honest, up until last week I had yet to find the perfect planner that I will use every day. And lately I've been double-booking myself a lot. So I created my own Weekly Planner and that made a huge difference. It even includes a to-do list and a section for me to write the names of students I'm supposed to meet with. I also bought a Brit + Co Binder and Planner from Target, which I absolutely love because it's just like the one I had created, but obviously sturdier and more polished.
The fact that it is customisable means, I can use it for one month, or not and I won't have to worry that I didn't get my money's worth because I write the dates in myself. I can write in pencil, then erase once I'm done to reuse that section. It also comes with add ons like colouring pages for when I'm bored, a dry erase board and stickers. This is probably one of the best investments I have ever made!
A Personal Assistant Device
I recently bought the Google Home Mini and I'll be receiving it in a few weeks (sending it with a family member). I can't wait! I'll definitely share what it's like once I've gotten a chance to play with it. I'm one of those people who verbalises what I need to do, but always forgets to write it down. Many times I've used Google reminders to remind myself to do something at a particular time, but it wasn't always practical to unlock my phone then say Okay Google. I'm hoping that the Google Home Mini will be the perfect tool to help me get super duper organised! You can also use devices like Alexa (Amazon) and Siri
Any organisational hacks I missed? I’d love to hear them! Tweet me at @lifebyolivia
If you're anything like me, you spend the time between Halloween and Christmas dreaming and scouring Pinterest for the perfect Christmas decorations and themes. Then by mid-December, you realise you never actually bought that light up reindeer from Amazon like you planned and you never got around to buying that tree. It's so easy to get lost in the planning phase that before you know it, the time is here and you've got nothing to show for it. No judgement here. I suck at time management. I'm a teacher/guidance counsellor and I suck at time management. I'm what you call a proactive procrastinator. I procrastinate just enough to satisfy my short attention span but somehow magically (#blackgirlmagic) pull things off. It's even harder for me to enjoy the holidays because my budget doesn't want to fix up a home I won't even be in for Christmas since I have to fly to my boyfriend for the holidays.
If time management is one of your problems or staying focused isn't quite your thing, here are a few tips for getting a head start on the holidays?
Considering I just put out a recipe book for the holidays, one of the last things I want to do is bake again. You may not be a fan of the freeze and defrost method, but it can help you cut back on time spent in the kitchen. Make ahead recipes can last for weeks and even up to a month in your fridge or freezer. I'm not much of a cookie maker, but cookies are the best recipes to stock up on during the holiday season because you can munch on them as you go. They store well in a cookie jar and even longer when kept cold.
Also, start shopping now for those holiday ingredients that will last you throughout the holiday season. Flour, sugar, cinnamon, hot cocoa packets, Baileys (my favourite). You'll feel like a champ when everyone is running around the food store at the last minute while you put your feet up and sip on your hot cocoa with Baileys (again, not judging).
WHIP OUT THE HOLIDAY CARDS
I've already designed my holiday cards this year to give to friends and family, and I'm preparing to print them out once December rolls around. Christmas cards is an old tradition that really should be brought back, because it's so much more touching to receive a hand crafted holiday card with a personal message from a loved one that you can have to look back on for years to come. Start working on yours during your next Netflix and chill session. For the one I've included above, I plan on putting a recipe on the top inside half, and a personal message on the bottom inside half.
GET YOUR PRESENTS EARLY
Pre-thanksgiving/Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales are the best times to get holiday presents. I hit up a sale this past weekend at Young's Fine Wine and gifted all of my friends with a bottle of 3 Star Plantation Rum and even threw in a bottle of Pinot Noir for my dad. (It's so good to have friends who accept alcohol as presents). The mall is no place to be the week of Christmas. Unless you're prepared to commit a felony, I suggest doing your shopping early, and hiding the gifts until it's time to swap. Don't be afraid to get creative with your gift wrapping either. Try recycled gift wrap notions if you're trying to go green.
OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW
You're expecting a boatload of gifts right? But where are they going if you're still staring at last year's vacuum cleaner from your mother-in-law, that's clearly a not-so-subtle hint. It's easy to accumulate stuff, or be afraid to buy new stuff like decorations because you can't even see your way through the old stuff. Clear off closet shelves and leave space in drawers and corners for overnight guests. Donate whatever you don't use or wear. Give your fridge a good cleaning.
Once you've gotten rid of that junk, you'll feel inspired to go for that decor theme you have pinned.
And that's it! It sounds so simple and straightforward, but it can be easy to forget once the chaos of the holidays arrives. I'm really hoping to be a less-stressed, you've-got-this-girl this holidays season, because it truly is the most wonderful time of the year.
What are your tips or tricks for getting a jump on holiday preparation? Let us know in the comment section below!
Huzzah! We have just completed the first full week of 2016, everyone! Give yourself a pat on the back! You made it! We're wrapping up resolution week on the blog and I hope you guys got some inspiration for what your New Years resolutions will or even completed some aspect of it! My blog journal is full of fresh new ideas for the year for lifebyolivia.net and I can't wait to share them all with you! I'm more motivated than ever to make this the best year yet. If your New Year’s resolutions include stepping up your fitness routine, maintaining a balanced diet, reading more, trying new recipes or hair routines, eating out more, or revamping your wardrobe, you might want to keep reading…
This month on the blog you can expect to hear all about health and wellness. From workouts that you can do on your lunch break to learning the best toning moves for your whole body, I can already tell that this year is going to be a healthy one. A new year calls for a new wardrobe, right? I have a fresh batch of January style tips to share with you as well as a dedication to sewing more!
Trust me when I say that you don’t want to miss out on all of this goodness…
What would you like to see more of on the blog this year?
Share your thoughts in the comments!