31 Days to an Organized Lifestyle: Admitting Defeat

So here is something ironic: this whole series was supposed to be about how to organize your life so that you can make the everyday effortless. But I didn't even take the time to plan out the series. Hence the lack of posts for a week....

And so, I am admitting defeat and moving on. 

My "31 Days" post is going to end here, at day eight. And my last "tip" to leave you with is: PLAN! Because obviously, I didn't. 

I only found out about the 31 Days project a few days before it was supposed to start. I jotted down a few ideas and figured out that the rest would just come to me. I was wrong. I enjoyed writing the posts that I did, but I just don't have the time to pull some sort of amazing and inspiring advice out of my brain everyday without planning it out. 

During this last week, I have had a few new ideas for posts, but because they weren't 31 Days related, I felt guilty writing them. So I wrote nothing at all. Perfect logic, right?

My 1-year-blogiversary is coming up in about a week. Yet I look at the effort (or lack thereof) that I have put into my blog and I'm ashamed. I want so badly for this next year to be different. I want to write things that I am proud of. I want to share life with anyone and everyone. I want to be part of this online community that I love.

So I have decided to take this next week to reorganize and, hopefully, re-launch in a sense. I am going to do the one thing that I haven't: PLAN! I will continue to be a little MIA this week as I really take the time and effort to do this right. I have no idea what the future is going to look like on Uncommonplace, but I'm excited about it. 

I have attempted this kind of thing before: taking time to start over. But I've always failed because I haven't put in the work required. As of now, I still do not have a job (which will hopefully change soon), my home is almost to where I want it, and I am ready for something new to work on. Hopefully that combination will produce what I really want this time. 

I know that I have lost a lot of readership because of my inconsistency and scatter-brained focus. I'm hoping to regain some of them along with new readers as I really decide what I want the voice of this blog to sound like.

In the mean time, I just want to thank those of you who have made it to the end of this post! :) If you have any advice regarding blogging, planning, or anything that I addressed in this post, please feel free to comment below! I would love some words of wisdom!



31 Days to an Organized Lifestyle: No-Sew Decorating (Day Seven)

Originally, I was hoping that this post would consist of me doing a few no-sew projects to share with you all, but bad weather, dead camera batteries, and dirty bathrooms changed that initial idea.

Instead, I will share a small round-up of easy, no-sew projects that anyone could get done in an afternoon. You don't need a lot of skill, time, or money to make these. And a few of these in a room could really bring it to the next level. :)

Source: Style Me Pretty

Source: One Young Love

Source: Home Workshop

Happy crafting! :)



Friday Favorites: Daily Vlogger Edition!

The 31 Days post will be up tomorrow, hopefully. But for now, enjoy my current favorite "slice-of-life" daily vloggers!

Shaytards - I have professed my love of them before on this blog, but it cannot be said too many times! Their joy just makes me smile and it's always so nice to see a family truly living and loving life! 

It's Judy's Life - Judy and her husband Benji are very soon-to-be parents and are also currently building a house. Beyond that, they are just adorable! Judy has another channel where she talks about beauty (mostly make up) and Benji often discusses his healthy eating habits and such. But really, they are fun to watch and I love starting my mornings with their videos!
BFvsGF- Jesse and Jeana are hilarious. And dramatic. They are mostly know for their other channel, Prank vs Prank, but I love watching them in their everyday lives. Sometimes there is some language or inappropriate jokes, but for the most part, it's just really fun. 
CTFxC - Charles and Alli Trippy are in their fourth year of vlogging and have gotten pretty comfortable with the camera, catching a variety of little snippets everyday. Once again, the language and jokes warning applies, but they have adorable dogs, so it's all good. :)
SacconeJolys - This couple is a recent discovery of mine. It's Judy's Life mentioned them once in a vlog so I checked them out and fell in love! One of the most endearing things about them is that they are Irish. They also have the most adorable baby girl in the whole world. So push play and say "aww!"
Do you have any favorite vloggers that I need to know about? Please share in the comments!



31 Days to an Organized Lifestyle: Dream, Baby! (Day Six)

Hello again! We made it to day six and it's only the 11th! :) Hopefully these will continue to get a little more consistent. I'm trying to take my own advice and manage my time a little better so that I can get more done. The bed time and wake up time schedule is still totally messing with me though. Bleh. I'm not perfect and my schedule isn't either, but I'm trying. That's what counts, right? Anyway, onto today's post!

This is a way fun post! The last few posts have been about clearing out junk and figuring out what all you have. Now that you've done all of that, you get to plan and dream! 

If you're home is exactly the way you want it, then just leave now because this won't excite you at all. But if you have a vision for your home and are ready to make it a reality, then stick around!

I have a tendency to not plan out a space very well and just jump into decorating. This often ends in frustration and a half-done space. No good. My husband and I rent an apartment right now, so painting and any real changes are out of the question, especially because we won't be living here long-term. But I have started planning for my future home, the home that we will either build or buy, the home that we will raise our family in. Because I am in that situation, I am going to address people both like myself and those who already are in a long-term home. 

For those of you who already either own your home or are renting long-term, I recently found a printable planner that looks extremely helpful. You can get it here. This is like a planner's dream! Using this planner can really help you decide what you want that room to function as, how to fix spots you aren't happy with, and even how to approach the project. I can't even imagine how much you can get done if you plan out all of the details first!

This is also a great way to implement your priority words from Day Two. In the goals section at the top of the page, be sure to consider those words when writing about the space. Because I want my life to be more family-oriented, I want my living space to have a "come in and put your feet up" kind of vibe to encourage friends and family to spend time with us. If you use this planner for your whole home, be sure to include all of your words in one way or another. 

You can also include pictures from magazines or the internet. This will be discussed more in the following section. 

Now, for those of us who are still in the dreaming stage of our someday home, there are a ton of different approaches for us. I am going to just address a few that work for me. 

The main thing that I have been doing is curating a "Dream Home Notebook." I have been going through all the magazines that have been sitting around my house for the last few years and ripping out any of the pages that inspire me. Then I put them in some of those clear page protectors and used tabs to put them into categories. A very basic idea but one that I know will be helpful when we have the time, money, and space to make our home the way we want it. 

Pinterest is also a great place to do some dreaming. I have both an Interior Decorating board and a Dream Home Project board where I mainly put products that I would love to have in a home someday. I used to just bookmark everything that I loved, but this is a much better way to keep everything together and look at it as a whole. When I do have my home someday (and if Pinterest is still around at that point), then I will create a board for each room of the house, creating a virtual moodboard of sorts. 

What home planning systems work for you? I am always interested to hear how others go about this kind of thing. And how do you plan on implementing your priority words into your space? While this can be tricky, the result can create a space that is not only pleasing to look at, but practical to your everyday life. 

Tomorrow we have another fun post. I will be sharing a few super easy home decorating projects for those of you who just want to spruce up your space a bit. Be sure to come back! In the mean time, here are a few of my favorite spaces from Pinterest to get you inspired!

Source: La Dolce Vita

Source: bhg.com

Source: Flickr



31 Days to an Organized Life: Inventorize! (Day Five)

Confession: I am not the world's most consistent blogger. This 31 days series is supposed to have a new post everyday and I am not keeping up. I am determined to finish, but it may be a few weeks into November before that happens. Believe it or not, even life without a job is really busy! Some days I just have to prioritize (remember that post?) and blogging doesn't quite make it on the list. Anyway, onto today's topic!

In case you are wondering, "Inventorize" is not a real word. I made it up. And as much as it sounds like "to invent something," it is not. Actually, it's to take inventory. Now you see it, right? Maybe not. Anyway, hopefully now some of that junk that we talked about in the last post is gone, or at least put away. But even if it is all organized and beautiful and perfect, do you have any idea what you actually have? 

If you do, then kudos to you! I do not. At least not everything. Inventories are pretty basic ideas. You take a type of item that you have a lot of in your house, categorize it (if necessary), and write down each item. Then, whenever you need to know what you have, you can just check that list rather than go searching for it! 

But what in the world are we supposed to inventorize? I have a few ideas:
  • Movies or CDs
  • Boxes in an Attic
  • Tools
  • Foods in an Extra Freezer
  • Items in Closets
  • Things in a Storage Unit
  • Pantry (for those who want to put the effort into keeping that up)
  • Craft Supplies
Those are just a few ideas. Hopefully a few more ideas have popped into your head when reading that list. 

Inventorizing can be as basic or detailed as you want it to be. For example, if you have an attic and you want to remember what is in there, you can either make a list of the general boxes and large items that are up there (i.e. Christmas Decorations, Summer Clothes, Old Toys) or, for those with extra time and motivation, you can make a detailed list of every item that is in those boxes. If you have Christmas Decorations stored in multiple areas of your home, it might be good to write down what decorations are where. 

For your benefit, I have a mini-roundup of a few inventory printables, since I don't have the know how to make and distribute my own.

  • This printable gives you a space to write down everything in your home in case of a fire or other disaster were to happen.
  • This printable is specific to Christmas Decorations.
  • This printable is a Freezer Inventory.
  • This is a Media Inventory printable.
  • This is specifically for Kid's Clothing, but could easily be modified.
  • This helps keep track of your Spice Cabinet.
  • This is helpful in meal planning (which will be a future post!) to determine what you already have in your pantry.

Hopefully this is helpful! Once you finish the inventories that pertain to you, hole punch them and stick them in a binder! If you already have a Home Management Binder, that would be a good place to put them. If not, a separate binder or even just a folder would work perfectly. Happy Inventorizing!



31 Days to an Organized Lifestyle: Get Rid of That Crud! (Day Four)

Man! Now I'm two days behind! Yesterday, I was actually pretty productive! But I never got around to writing a blog post. This whole posting every day is exhausting! I'm thinking this weekend I will do a little more planning and writing in advance. :) 

Today's post will be fairly short and sweet and to the point. Once again, this may seem like an obvious step in simplifying and organizing your lifestyle, but it is a necessary one. It's time to DE-CLUTTER!

Too much stuff can really make your life more complicated. And I know this first hand. My husband and I moved to Oregon about a month ago and took a 26-foot Uhaul. While we didn't have it filled to the top, we did have it filled to the front (or back, depending on how you look at it). And we moved into a 1000-square-foot condo. Needless to say, it has been a long process organizing and putting away all of that stuff. The piles of clothes, boxes, and various home decor items that don't have a place are starting to take over and make us constantly uneasy. 

I have no real tips for this task other than just do it! Yes, it looks daunting and yes, it will probably take longer than you want. It may even take weeks to haul all of that stuff out and go through it. 

But what I lack in advice, I will try and make up for in motivation. Here is some transparency. The following pictures represent some of the worst offenders in my home. We have lived here for over a month now, and these things have not found a home yet. And there is pretty much no room left for them. I am either going to have to work some magic or get rid of some stuff. 

My goal as of right now is that in one week, all of this stuff will have found a home, whether with me or someone else. When we were moving, I thought that I would need/use everything that we brought. Now that we are here, I realize that I was wrong. Some trips to the Goodwill donation center may be in my future....

My challenge to you is the same. In one week, have all of those "I'll get to it someday" organizing projects done! Maybe for you it is going through your closet and getting rid of clothes you never wear, or getting rid of those extra baking dishes that sit in the back of your cupboards, or hanging up that artwork or photos that have been hanging out in storage (ok, that's one of mine!). 

I'm not saying that you need to go through your entire house and get rid of EVERYTHING you don't use right now. Just tackle the major areas to start simplifying your life! I'll do it too and in one week, next Saturday, I will check back in and show you what those same spots look like in my house. We'll do this together. This is one of the easiest and straightforward things that can be done to make the everyday effortless. :)

Oh, and to get you started, here is a short little playlist of some of my favorite songs to clean to!

Working Music by Natalia Werber on Grooveshark



31 Days to an Organized Life: Scheduling (Day Three)

Welcome to day three! I'm so glad you are following along! Today, we wil get started on something practical. If you haven't done yesterday's exercise, then please read that first. It will be very helpful in the rest of the series.

Alright, onto today's task! This is one that I am in desperate need of in my life: a schedule. Obviously, not every day is going to be exactly the same. Even every week will have major differences. But having a general schedule for the everyday can be a great help. 

As a recent college grad, I have first hand knowledge of how a disheveled schedule can really mess up productivity and happiness. In college, my schedule was all over the place. Every day was a different class schedule, work schedule, and activity schedule. This summer was a little more organized, but things still got thrown off because we were living with my in-laws. When we moved to Oregon, I was determined to get my schedule under control. I've had a really difficult time following through, but I figured, no time like the present to start!

First, figure out the bare bones of your schedule for each day of the week. The initial thing to determine are the time you go to sleep every day and the time you wake up. These may be different for every day of the week depending on your work or events schedule, but pinning these down is key. Over sleeping or under sleeping can really put a damper on your day. If you can set a specific time for going to bed and waking up, a natural schedule will start to occur.

My recent sleep schedule problem can be summed up pretty easily:

Source: Pinterest

The other things that need to be nailed down are general meal times, work schedules, weekly events, school schedules for your kids or yourself, and anything else that is already a part of your schedule.

For example, my weekly schedule does not actually consist of a job yet, despite my constant search. But, I do have a time that I want to be up at in the morning, I have multiple small groups/Bible studies that I attend each week, and my husband's work schedule greatly affects when and what I do. Those are permanent things on my schedule. 

The next step to filling out your schedule is looking at your words from yesterday's exercise. These will determine what you should be spending your "free" time on. I know many schedules don't consist of much true free time, but there is always some time to be filled. 

Rather than attempt to explain it, I will show you how I used my five words to add some activities to my schedule:

Godly - I need to carve out some time in my schedule for personal devotion and for studying and reflecting on the lessons learned at church and in small groups. 

Healthy - I need to make sure to set aside some time almost every day for some sort of exercise. Recently, I've been playing Zumba Rush on the Kinect in the mornings, but I'm also considering adding in a work out that helps me take my time and really focus on building muscle. 

Creative - I need to make sure I have regular time set aside for both my sewing/crafting and writing hobbies. Rather than just do each of these things when I feel like it, naming a specific time and day where I "force" myself to do them will make me better at them and produce more content in each.

Source: Flickr

Productive: I need to make sure that I stay on top of both daily chores and longer-term projects. I currently have a pile of clothes that need ironing, magazine clippings that need organizing, and a dishwasher that needs emptying. So rather than waste time watching tv or surfing the internet, I should be doing those. I also need to carve out a time each day for writing blog posts and catching up on emails and comments. I have a tendency to be very sporadic in my posting times and that needs to change.

Family-Oriented: If I had children, this time would be devoted to them, attending their events, reading to them, spending extra time with them. In my case, though, my family is mainly just my husband. We try to take time each night to just relax and spend it with each other, not letting work or hobbies get in the way.

These tips may seem obvious, but looking at what is truly important to you can really help get your schedule on track. I know that when I physically write out my schedule and keep myself accountable to it, I am much more likely to get done what I need to. Yes, there will be days that I won't exercise, or there will be times when something comes up and I am not able to spend an hour writing. But, overall, I know that my schedule will remain there for the days when I need it and that my life will be more fulfilling because of it. 

Source: Happiness Is...

What are some of your tips to sticking with a regular schedule? What are some of the benefits or negatives you find from having a schedule?



31 Days to an Organized Lifestyle: Prioritize! (Day Two)

Okay, so yesterday was my birthday (yay 23!), and I really didn't want to post anything. Hopefully today I will get all caught up! :)

Before attempting to make a change in life, even something as seemingly simple as this, we need to have a filter through which we make those decisions. There has to be a goal in mind prior to anything else. How to figure out what that goal is, though, is the hard part.

Luckily, I've done all of the work! Well, almost all of it. The thing about having an "organized lifestyle" is that it is going to look differently in various people's lives. Not only because they have their own schedule or situation, but because they want to organize their lives around different things. 

While there are a ton of different ways we could go about discovering what we want to center our lives around, here is a very simple and effective way. 

First, start by filling in this blank. If you were to die tomorrow (please don't!), what adjectives would you want people to remember your life by? You would want them to say: "She (or he) led a very __________ life." Take the time to make a list of every adjective you can think of that describe how you want people to remember you. 

After you feel that you have written down all of the adjectives you can think of, go back over the list and circle the ones that really seem to be at the core of who you want to be. The goal here is to get it down to a manageable number, somewhere between 3-6 is ideal. 

Here are the five words that I came up with when I did this exercise:

If I am remembered by nothing else, it needs to be this. My life, ultimately, is not about me. Everything I do should glorify God and if I don't achieve that, then I don't achieve anything.

This is something that comes and goes in my life. Unfortunately, right now, I am not exactly living a healthy lifestyle. I need to start regularly exercising, eating better, and drinking more water. I am hoping to make this such a part of my life that people naturally say that I lead a healthy life.

One of my constant goals is to stretch and improve my creativity in all aspects of my life. In writing, cooking, sewing, etc. I need my life full of creativity and creative people or boredom takes over. 

This is another one that I really need in my life but struggle with doing. I have a tendency to spend hours looking at things on Pinterest but not very much time doing anything. For the most part, dishes get done, laundry gets cleaned, dinner gets made. But beyond the average daily tasks, I lack motivation for productivity. And that needs to stop. 

This one may seem a little strange. But after living a godly life, I feel that this is my greatest purpose. Someday I will raise children and that is a huge responsibility. I want people to be able to look at my life and see a tight-knit family. 

Now that you have seen my five words, it is time to try it yourself! This exercise is key to the rest of the series because this is the lens through which we will make the changes. When we look at schedules tomorrow, these words will be what help determine what we spend our time doing. 

If you do this, leave a comment or send me a message and let me know what your five words are!

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