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Routines; so you don’t have to think and how to make them.

Why are routines important?  I used to balk against my mother’s routines as a child. I thought they were boring and useless.  As an adult I understand now that the routines we have are so we can deal with the things that aren’t routine easily. Think about it. If you have a morning routine and your alarm clock doesn’t go off in the morning you don’t have to look for everything you need to get ready for school or work.  Routines make it so you don’t have to think.  Or they make it so you can think about other things while you do your routine.

So how do you get into a routine?  My evening routine for getting ready for work the next day is pretty easy.  I don’t need a list to remember everything.  I do the same thing 5 evenings a week.  Other of my routines are a bit harder to remember as they only happen once a week or once a month. For these I have lists.

An example of needing a list is my Budget and Bill paying routine.  I have a spreadsheet for my Budget.   At the beginning of the month I update my budget. Most of it stays the same but things like birthday presents, car registrations, new shoes are added as needed.  At the beginning of the month I pay all the bills that are not on auto pay.  Some are on-line and some are checks in the mail. I would have no clue what I paid, how much I paid, what I have to pay, or how I pay it, if I didn’t have a budget sheet and a routine.  I write a check for the amount owed that month or go on line and pay through the website. I put paid next to everything I pay.  Every week I look at the bank account for the auto payments. I mark these as paid. I have not missed a payment in years. I have not been overdrawn at the bank in years.

Another list for me is self-care.  I am notorious for not taking care of myself and making time for my basic daily needs like putting lotion on, doing yoga, updating my fitness pal, shaving my legs, etc.  I made myself a list/calendar of the things I forget. I printed it out and taped it to the mirror in my bathroom. This serves two purposes. One, I see it daily and it reminds me. Two, My husband sees it and if it isn’t full of pretty pink check marks he starts reminding me.

Many parts of your life can be run with routines. Start with one routine at time. Your routines will to free you up your mind to think about other things.  You will have more time to do other things.  You will have less stress and more peace.

 

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Eliminating the toxins in your home.

 

What exactly are toxins in your home. There are the obvious toxins that affect you physically like chemicals, bad air, bad food, and dirt.  Those are easy to get rid of and obvious. (There will be a blog post in the future about getting rid of those toxins.) But what are the other toxins that are helping create an unhealthy, unhappy life?

The huge toxin in my home was stuff. Stuff you couldn’t get rid of because it belonged to someone who passed on. Stuff that was a gift and you don’t want to hurt the gift giver’s feelings. Stuff that you don’t love but cost money. Cleaning stuff, ignoring stuff, organizing stuff, finding a place to put stuff, and protecting stuff took a lot of time and energy.  I was constantly looking at stuff I didn’t like. It wasn’t my style. I didn’t even like the majority of it.  But I couldn’t get rid of it because it would hurt someone’s feelings.

After many years of therapy, self improvement seminars, and reading blogs like mine I had a revelation. It is just stuff!  Stuff is not the person that passed away. Stuff is not the gift giver. Stuff is not a representation of how much money you have.  It was very freeing.

I began to slowly get rid of stuff by selling on Ebay, having yard sales, gifting to others, donating to charities and thrift shops, and throwing away the unusable.  I only did this with my stuff. My family still has their stuff and their space to clutter up. My space, and the majority of the house, only has the things I need and love. It isn’t a minimalist home at all but it is definitely not a hoarder looking home anymore. It is peaceful and useful and easy maintenance.

But what about the stuff from the people that passed on you ask? How can you get rid of their stuff? That is like admitting they are gone!  Their stuff is not them. They are not stuff. They are physically gone but they are not gone in memory or love.  Keep the pictures of them. Keep a few items that have happy memories of them.  The desk I use daily was my sister’s.  I have a cedar box with my brother’s initials that I keep my jewelry in. I have tons of pictures of our life together.

“I can’t get rid of a gift. They spent so much time picking it out for me.  It will hurt their feelings”.  One of the ways I get around this is I ask for experiences or services instead of stuff.  For my birthday last year I asked my husband to take me on a motorcycle ride to Out of Africa in Camp Verde AZ. Entry fee is free during your birthday month. For Christmas I asked my daughter to prep a months worth of meals for the freezer for me.  This eliminated clutter and provided things I really wanted/needed.

“But it  cost so much”  Do you love it? If the answer is no then sell it. You might not make a profit but at least you won’t have to agonize over it any more.  Last year I lost my mind and agreed to make an impulse purchase of a dual sport motorcycle for myself. I don’t know how to ride and I am a control freak and have personal safety issues. I am a klutz, have no balance and I am not strong.  The bike is really sexy though and the idea of riding my own bike was exhilarating.  Reality check is that I failed the riding portion of the class to get a license. Riding makes me so nervous that I crash. I haven’t gotten out of the parking lot and over 10 miles an hour. It has a total of 15 miles on it. 10 of those miles  were from my husband riding it to the parking lot. The motorcycle is now for sale and has been for a few months.  I will loose about $2,500.00  but when it is gone I won’t feel guilty anymore and I will not have a reminder of the huge mistake I made.  I will feel free.

Get rid of the stuff that is weighing you down.  Lighten up your personal space and only include the things that really appeal to you or mean something to you.  If someones feelings get hurt that is on them. You do what you need to do for you to have a more organized and happy life.

 

 

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Budgeting to Live Comfortably

How do you feel about your money every month? Is it making you happy? Do you know where it is going?  What is your money doing for you? Do you have long term goals? Are you budgeting your money?

Back when I had a single income household, money and I were not friends. Money paid the basics and there was nothing left over or to make me happy. We literally lived paycheck to paycheck and if an emergency happened I panicked.  Inevitably the final emergency happened and I filed bankruptcy.  This was embarrassing, depressing, and a wake up call. But it was also the best thing that could have happened. I learned to prioritize and re think my financial needs and goals. I learned to say “NO!” and not give in to the guilt trips.

The house was foreclosed on. I sold the majority of our belongings and moved us into a two bedroom apartment in a decent neighborhood with a decent school.  It was a bit cramped but it allowed us to save money and get to know each other better.  My total housing budget went from 3000.00 a month to 1200.00 a month.  I hired the mother of one of my students to watch my toddler during the day instead of taking the toddler to a daycare.  Childcare went from $500 a month to $200 a month. I had no credit cards. The only debt I had was my car payment for my sensible, get from point a to point b safely, vehicle.  I budgeted money for car repairs, inevitable doctor and emergency room visits (toddler was accident prone), school expenses for the teenager, and an emergency/fun fund.

I continued to budget every month and make goals.  Some years I made those goals. Other years money kicked my butt. I can say though that I have memories of adventures and the kids had their needs met.

So how do you budget?  How do you make it work?

I used several different methods over the years.  For a while I used Mint.com .  It took a bit to set up and get used to entering all of my stuff. But it was well worth it. I had a clear picture of where my money was going.  After moving to another state and a different bank I could no longer use Mint.com because my bank would not allow a link between them and Mint.com.  I now use a simple excel type spreadsheet that I downloaded from Open Office.  Here I put every little thing anticipated needing for that month’s budget from shoes to birthdays. If there is anything left over in the total it goes in the savings. I have a savings account attached to my checking and I transfer a set amount each month. The savings does not get touched until after taxes every year. Then whatever is left, after taxes, is used for a large purchase or vacation.

How do I make my budgeting work?  I set my priorities. What are my basic living expenses? Where can I cut down and still be comfortable?  What do I want that is not a necessity and am I willing to pay for? Everyone’s needs and wants are different. Analyze your needs. Talk with your family about theirs. Then be willing to compromise. Happy Budgeting!

 

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Life Organization: Create a Morning and Evening Routine

If you want to start your day grumpy and late don’t make a morning routine.  If you want your morning to be easy enough to do it in your sleep then you have to plan a routine and plan ahead. Same for your evening.  If you want it to be relaxing then follow a routine.  Routine is peaceful. Routine helps you do tasks on auto pilot when you are in a hurry or just don’t feel like doing something.

How do you create a routine?  Let’s start with the evening routine.  Why evening you ask?  Because your evening routine is going to make your morning routine simpler and faster.  Get a piece of paper and pen or open a blank document page. Write down everything you have to do in the evening.  Everyone’s list is going to look a bit different depending on if you have children, pets, spouse/SO, school, gym, social groups, side hustle, etc.  The one thing everyone needs to have on their list is “get ready for tomorrow”.  

This is my evening list. Dinner, update fitness pal, check all mail, check selling websites, talk to family members on the phone or in person, start a load of laundry, pick up the house, feed the pets, scoop the cat box, love the pets, write a blog post or sew or research, Yoga, shower, shave, lotion, plug-in phone on the charger,  Get ready for tomorrow,  hot lavender or Caramel tea and maybe a show before bed.

My kids are grown but are still very needy so I talk to them daily. My Spouse works out-of-state during the week and I talk to him every night too. I have my side hustles of Organized Life Today Etsy and Ebay. Often I am behind in my day work so occasionally that gets added to the routine.

The most important part is getting ready for the morning.  My commute is 1.5 hours one way every morning.  I like to roll out of bed and not have to think or make decisions before the sun comes up. The night before I decide what I am wearing based on what I have to do at work and the weather forecast for the next day. I hang my clothes on the dresser handle and my undergarments and shoes on top of the dresser.  I pack my snacks, waters, and lunch in a reusable and insulated lunch bag. This stays in the refrigerator overnight. My work laptop bag, my purse, and coat (if needed) are staged by the front door.  Car keys are on the counter next to my vitamins.  I remember to take my vitamins if they are in the open and next to something I can’t do without. Breakfast is a store brand weight loss shake and a coke, which are strategically placed next to my lunch bag in the refrigerator. From the time I roll out of bed to out the door takes a maximum of 30 minutes. 20 minutes if I don’t put on makeup.

Your routine will be different from mine depending on your and your families needs.  I am a list person. Lists, especially check off lists, help me to not forget what needs to be done.  We will discuss lists in another blog post.  I hope this helps you begin your journey on getting organized and have Peace of Mind.

 

 

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LEAVE CHAOS BEHIND ORGANIZATION LEADS TO PEACE OF MIND

Leave Chaos Behind Organization Leads to Peace of Mind. What does that even mean?  For me it means that all of the basics in my life are organized so when things go sideways I don’t have to worry about the day-to-day basics.

I have a daily routine. I have a financial routine. I have a creative routine. I have a health routine. I have an emotional development routine.  Everything in my home has a place. My home is not cluttered. I manage my time wisely. I have quality time with my friends and family. I have a career plan.

In my fantasies my life is like that. I have lots of tools and routines to be organized that I don’t use or use well. My life does not have balance or consistent organization and that Chaos creates a lack of Peace of Mind.

I am on a journey to discover and implement consistency and organization.  I will teach and share with you how to leave the Chaos by learning how to implement tools that will work for you to gain your physical, emotional, financial. time, career, family, friends, social, and creative Peace of Mind.

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