Organizing & Storing your Winter Clothes

Since summer is officially well on it’s way, it’s time to put away all those sweaters, scarves, jackets, and winter clothing. This can be a daunting task. For sure. I mean, I know that I have so many clothes that it’s hard to even know where to start. There are moments during this process that I simply want to throw everything into a bin and put it in the basement. But, I’ve definitely learned that ends up being more of a hassle in the long-run.
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Organizing your winter clothing nicely, neatly, and precisely at the end of the season makes things much easier next winter. All in all, it just makes your entire life (and wardrobe!) more organized. Here is how to do it in a cinch:
1. Utilize labels and a key – label every bin or container you use to store these clothes. It will make things 100% easier. Label things such as “accessories”, “bottoms”, “sweaters”, and “jackets” in order to find things easily the next winter. You can write these things on labels, use a color coding system (with a key in Excel), or make big, cardstock sheets that you put inside the bins but are visible from the outside, see here.
2. Separate – Like I said, everything should be in it’s own spot, separated by category. It just makes sense to put the pants with the pants, the sweaters with the sweaters, and so on. This way, you don’t have a random mod podge of clothing and you know where each item is.
3. Fold and colorize – don’t just throw things in a bin like I know we’re all tempted to do (at times). Instead, fold everything nicely, and colorize items within clothing sub-categories. This way, if you randomly have to look for that gray cableknit sweater, you’ll know exactly where to find it and be able to locate it without rifling through every other sweater and ruining your system.
4. Sort out old stuff – if you didn’t wear something all winter, don’t pack it away! Get rid of it! Donate it to Goodwill or a clothing bin because if you haven’t worn it all season, odds are it’s just taking up space. Why hoard it for another year if it’s not a piece you’ll even wear?
5. Keep your stuff separate – make sure to return anything borrowed that you may have at this point to its rightful owner rather than packing it away with your stuff. Additionally, don’t mix your items with anyone else’s in your family. It just makes finding things much easier in the long run, trust me!
Organizing can definitely be an annnoying task that seems totally annoying. But following these tips makes it an easier process that you’ll be glad you did next winter when you switch over your wardrobe!
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How to Multitask Efficiently

I feel like I always have a million and ten things to do. Life always seems to be crazy.

But, I like ti that way. I like being busy and I love/need to be doing one million things at one.

It’s weird, a blessing (and a curse) but I always feel the need to be doing something. I can rarely just watch TV or just sit without getting something done.

Fro that reason, Ive become a master at multi-tasking.

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It’s a hard skill that many people are convinced they cannot attain. I think that’s crazy! It is totally possible to learn this skill gradually over time. Just follow these simple tips:

  1. Pair something annoying withs something fun – this is a great way to do something you want and do something you have to do simultaneously. For example, I like to paint my nails and read any online readings necessary for my classes at the same time. This way, I’m doing work and utilizing the time my nails need to dry to be productive.
  2. Do two easy things at once – when multitasking, you don’t want to do two difficult things at once because it just never works out. Instead, pair up easy tasks to ensure they’re both manageable.
  3. Don’t do too much – never try to do too much while multitasking. My rule of thumb is generally two things at once, with an absolute max of three. Otherwise you end up feeling so overwhelmed and getting nothing done, defeating the whole purpose.
  4. Do something with a time constraint – this is one of my favorite ways to multitask and, in my opinion, one of the most effective. Let me give you an example: baking cookies. Pop the cookies in the oven for, say, 18 minutes, and set a goal for yourself. Say: “By the time the timer goes off I’m going to have taken a shower and straightened out my room.” This sounds silly, but it really works! It motivates you to speed things up and get things done.
  5. Don’t do it all the time – everyone deserves a break, right?! Remember that you don’t need to multitask all the time. All things in moderation! Take time to slow down and avoid being constantly rushed and overwhelmed.

See, it’s easy, right?! Keep your goals in mind and do your best to be an efficient multitasker.

Paper, Please!: Recipe Recordings

I love recipe books and I also love, love, love baking! I am also starting to love cooking more and more as time goes on.

Therefore, I think it’s super important to keep track of your recipes in some kind of organized way. About a year ago I started keeping a recipe book. It’s really organized and I only add recipes in that I’d bake again, that way I know which the good ones are. Sometimes I try so many that it’s hard to keep track!

There are different ways you can keep track of your recipes, from boxes to binders to books. I love the idea when you’re older and have kids of taking pictures of them making your favorite recipes throughout the year and having a photo book cookbook made for them! But for now, these organization systems are great:

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Garden by the Sea White Recipe Box | Cherry Cupcake Binder | Maybooks Create Your Own | Rag, Bone, & Bindery | Raspberry Recipe Box | Paperchase Book 

Which do you like best? How do you currently organize your recipes, especially on Pinterest?! I’m looking for a way to tackle organizing my “baking” board, I’d love to hear your ideas!

How to Resist Shopping

In January, I blogged about staying on a budget and how I wanted to be better with saving money in 2013.

I am really happy that I’ve actually been doing that, and have, in fact, done a pretty good job resisting shopping lately. It’s been really hard, especially since there are so many great online sales right now. But, I’ve used these tricks to resist them:

  1. Avoid promotions – don’t sign up for a million email services from stores that will send you the deals on a daily basis. When you see these deals, you’ll be inclined to shop and feel like it’s okay because you’re getting a deal. The problem is that all these little “deals” add up, and also you’re probably buying things that you don’t need simply because you feel the price is right.
  2. Look at your budget often – don’t just set a budget and then ignore it forever. Actively be looking at it and reminding yourself of it as much as possible in order to stay on track!
  3. Outline things you need – so often I buy things that I want but definitely don’t need. It’s funny how quickly you can forget that you already have five pink cardigans when you see a cute one on sale at Loft or Gap. But, when you’re shopping, keep a list in your bag of the things you absolutely need to buy and don’t deviate from it! Doing this is a good way to stay within your budget and avoid superfluous purchases.
  4. Pull out old stuff – dig deep in your closet for old clothes and accessories and make them new again! Feeling like you have new stuff that you didn’t have to spend money on will eliminate the need to buy new stuff.
  5. Buy one thing – each month, allow yourself to buy one thing you don’t necessarily need but want. It doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t!) be expensive. Buy something like a cute, small accessory that you’ve been wanting or a cute top you can’t stop thinking about. Make sure you only decide on this purchase at the end of the month after a lot of thought, not on an impulse! It should be something you’ve thought over and know you want instead of something you see on a rack and decide in that instant you need to have. Usually in those cases you end up realizing you don’t love it as much as you thought you did anyways!

How do you resist shopping? What are your best money saving tips?

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How to Deal with a Gross Roommate

When you’re in college, it’s fun to live with a roommate or roommates. You get to know new people and it’s a great way to truly learn about your own living habits.

However, living with roommates can also be very challenging. Not every personality matches up with yours and sometimes it proves extremely difficult to live with someone who doesn’t share your values, living habits, and manners.

I’ve had some interesting roommates, and one in particular was…pretty gross, to be blatantly honest. She was uncleanly and had some habits that were pretty disturbing.

The best part about living with her, though, was that it taught me a lot. Although it wasn’t always smooth sailing and was really difficult to have a roommate like this, it was beneficial in the long run because I learned so much about my own living habits, mediating issues, communicating with others, and learning to respect the differences of others.

Here are the best ways to survive a gross roommate:

  1. Don’t talk to others about it – this was a rule I definitely violated. Because, at the time, there were a bunch of us living together, we all talked about the yuckiness of what was going on quite a bit. Although at the time it made us feel better to discuss it, looking back I realize it built up the problem so much and just made it into a bigger drama. Keeping your mouth shut up about the situation is definitely the best route to go, and if you really feel the need to talk or vent about it to others, be as polite and as brief as possible.
  2. Be nice! – Even though this person is gross and is causing an inconvenience in your life, remember they are still a person. Most likely, they are not trying to skeev you out but are simply keeping up with their idea of “normal” living habits. Keep the peace and be kind, at least as kind as you can be given the circumstances.
  3. Don’t create more drama – this was another mistake I made when I was in this situation. My other roommates and I were so fed up with the grossness that we really acted immaturely, playing pranks and doing other funny but mean things around our living space. While this gave us some good laughs, in the end it causes so much more drama and was definitely the wrong move. If I could do it over again, I’d avoid doing things like that because first of all it was mean and it also caused totally unnecessary drama.
  4. Be confrontational, when necessary – when this roommate crosses a line or the situation is just getting too dire to grin and bear it anymore, calmly confront this person. Do it privately and in the nicest way possible. Remember that you have to live with this person and you don’t want to make things awkward and have a big blow-out. Talk to them calmly about what’s bothering you and let them explain their side of it, too. Be understanding of their right to live in a way that they’re comfortable and in the end, try your best to compromise so that everyone is happy and comfortable.
  5. Use it as a lesson – take this bad situation and make it into a great lesson of how you want to live and how to deal with issues. This will certainly not be the last time you’re placed in an uncomfortable situation where you feel as though your habits and values are compromised. There will be other times like it and it’s good to learn the best way to deal with it. This also teaches you about your own living conditions and how to choose people to live with that are compatible with the way you like to live.

Do you have any roommate horror stories?! Please share them!

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How to Use Excel to Organize Your Life

Lately, I have been obsessed with excel sheets. Since the New Year, I’ve been really into organizing my life (as you know). And, one of the best tools to do this is Microsoft Excel.

I have several excel sheets that I’ve been using to organizing information. And let’s be honest, these are pretty weird. My family and boyfriend have made fun of some of them, but I find them really useful.

Here are the most useful ways I’m using excel lately:

  1. To keep track of items – in my household, things always seem to go…missing. Someone (my mom) will always be yelling about where her flip flops are or an important piece of paper will be misplaced, creating chaos when someone needs it. In order to avoid this problem, I created an excel sheet. Everyone in my family has their own “sheet” with important or commonly misplaced items listed on it. Each item is listed with it’s location, the last date it’s been updated, and the category which the item falls under, for example “household” or “stationery”. I also made sheets for things such as holiday and baking items. This is totally psychotic and on another level of crazy, but actually really helps when it comes to keeping track of things that have a tendency to be misplaced.
  2. Writing Portfolio – I’m really into writing (obviously) and want to keep track of things whenever my work is published for freelancing, my internships, and so on. An excel sheet is the perfect way to do that. I make sheets for every site I’m published on and then record everything on the sheets. I include the title of a piece as well as the date it was published and finally the URL.
  3. Gift ideas – this is another quirky thing I’m doing. But, I think it will prove to be very useful. I mean, how many times are you stumped on what to get someone for Christmas or a birthday? I’ve found that throughout the year, people I’m close to have mentioned things they like or want, and then I end up forgetting when it’s time to get them a gift. This sheet alleviates that forgetfulness and helps me buy people the perfect gift. I separate this one into sheet by family member or person and then include the gift, the holiday it would pertain to, the price, and the URL to the item.
  4. Grades – I like to keep a very careful record of my grades throughout the semester so that I always know what expected grade I am getting in a class. I separate this into sheets by class, then record the grade and weight of every assignment in order to keep track of everything closely. At the beginning of the semester, I like to put all tests and assignments from the syllabi into the excel sheet with the dates and due dates, just so I only have to fill in the grades. Simple!
  5. Spending – excel sheets are a great way to keep track of spending. I have been recording where I spend money so that I can really understand what I’m spending mindlessly on and budget better. I separate the sheets into “cash”, “debit card”, and “credit card”. Every couple of weeks, I go back and highlight the cells that represent mindless spending that I could have gone without, in order to teach me to think more carefully about how I’m spending money.

How do you use excel to stay organized?

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Paper, Please!: Index Cards

One of the most useful pieces of stationery is actually index cards! You wouldn’t think this, but you can use them for so many different things.

By the way, I love the white ones that are blank on both sides because I feel like I can never write in the lines and the blank ones have many, many more possibilities to them.

One of the most common uses I have for them is to make flashcards while studying. This sounds totally juvenile but it really works for me and I’ve been making them forever.

There are also ways to use them that doesn’t involve school work at all.

One of the best ways to use them is to make small lists. From to-do lists to lists of things to buy, and so on, they are great for this!

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Another great way to use them is for inspiration. You’re probably thinking, how in the world can an index card inspire me? It’s not so much the index card itself that can be truly inspiring, but more, what’s on it! I love writing inspiring quotes on them every week and putting them on my wall:

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Another useful way to use these cards is to take quick notes (like when you’re on the phone) or jot down simple reminders. Here’s one I made the other day:

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What’s your favorite use for index cards?! The possibilities are endless!