Saturday, September 20, 2014

How I Earn FREE Gift Cards With Swagbucks


Awhile ago, I posted about how I use, appreciate, and earn FREE gift cards and prizes, You may have heard of Swagbucks, but if you are anything like me, when I first heard about it, I ignored it and thought it was a waste of my time. Swagbucks is basically a search engine, just like Google or Bing, where you can earn merchandise and gift cards, JUST by searching.

First things first, it is FREE to sign up!

I would not sit here, spend the time writing another post about Swagbucks, if I did not think that this was a great idea.

So what's so special about SWAGBUCKS?
Swagbucks are "digital dollars" as their website calls them. You can earn merchandise and gift cards via rewards through obtaining points. The more points you get, the more rewards. 

How Do I Earn Free Giftcards and Merchandise?
1. Sign up - remember, it's COMPLETELY FREE
2. Install the Swagbucks toolbar. Why? It is the simplest way to earn points.
3. Start searching the internet, by searching in the Swagbucks toolbar
4. The more you search, the more points you earn. You do not earn points every time you search, but it is more often than you think!
5. You can also earn Swagbucks by participating in daily polls, surveys, and shopping. For example, I purchased a mattress from Wal-Mart online, and I earned 2 Swagbucks per dollar spent! I would purchase the mattress anyways, so why not gain even MORE perks, by earning a free giftcard in the process!

That is just ONE way you can use your Swagbucks. To get an idea of what it takes to get an Amazon gift card for example, you can use 450 points to get a $5.00 gift card. This is probably the most common item bought in my opinion. I know it doesn't sound like a lot, but when you just have to use the toolbar and have an account with Swagbucks, the points add up quickly. Buying items online, that participate with Swagbucks (you'd be shocked at how many companys do...just go to their website), makes it so worth your while!

JOIN NOW and again, it's FREE to sign up!

Start earning free gift cards today!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Simple Living: Watch What You Buy



You are a spend-a-holic?

Before you quickly stand up and say "no way"... let me explain.

Do you ever get urges to go shopping? To buy something new? To buy SOMETHING? Maybe that urge is there every few weeks, months, or maybe even every day.

How do you feel when you buy something? Do you feel almost a sense of pride? A sense of accomplishment? Or do you tend to walk away questioning whether that was the best way to spend your money? Maybe leaving with a little bit of guilt?

I personally think it is so easy to get caught up in the consumerism mentality of our culture. You hear about a friend buying something new and to them, it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Well, if that must be the case, then you obviously have to do the same and feel the same way, right? What we often fail to see, is that what one person sees as a need, may not be your classification of "needed items". So why buy into the idea? Why buy into the idea that if you have "this" certain item, you will be happy?

I look around our home and think "it would be nice to have a brand new _____ " I look at our dressers and they are literally falling apart. But they still hold our clothes. We are choosing to not spend our money on new ones, when we could. Our car has many miles on it and doesn't always sound the healthiest, but we do not owe any money on it and it gets us from A to B. We are choosing to not buy a new one (though cars are a tad more expensive than dressers...)

It is all about choices. What one person thinks as important, may not be important to you. But watch yourself. Don't be lured into thinking how others think. Watch what you buy. Watch yourself in the checkout lane. Why do you think they cram the shelves with items (random at that!) of things that are cheap, but in reality, are a complete scam? You can buy a pack of gum, almost for the same price as a sleeve of gum. Magazines - if you see one that interests you, just make a trip to your local library!

Be careful. Think about WHY you buy something. Everything that goes into a bag to take home, make sure it has a purpose and a meaningful purpose. Not a "just because" purchase. Not a "just because" you feel like spending money. Not a "just because" you are trying to relieve stress.

Watch what you buy.

What do you struggle saying no to?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Getting Rid of the BIG Items



Clutter. 

We all have it. 

Some of us have a lot, some of us have very little. But we all have clutter in some form or another. Some clutter masks itself in corners, closets, and crannies. Other clutter is hidden in the drawers of file cabinets and dressers.
Those big items.
Have you ever thought about how the big items in your home, actually cause more clutter? You may think that because you have a "big" item to store clutter and items in, it actually takes up more space than it needs to and causes more clutter and weight than your house needs?
Have you ever considered getting rid of the "big" items in your home? Such as dressers, file cabinets, or storage units?

This seems like an opposing solution to clutter, but in living a simple life, it's about being able to live with the simple and less of anything.
Personally, I used to think that to be organized, I needed a file cabinet. What I soon realized, was that I was using a quarter of the space in that cabinet, as I only kept papers, just so that each folder didn't look so empty. Ridiculous, right? But I used to think that empty space as a bad thing, where in reality, I learned that empty space can equal simplicity. That is when I went back to my filing system of old - I went back to my little black box that I got in high school, to file all of my papers. And what am I still using today and will probably never get rid of? This black box. It is maybe a 12x12 filing system, but holds all of the papers I would ever need to keep. If it is getting hard to put a piece of paper in it, I declutter and go through each file, purging what I no longer need.
I look at end tables and dressers too. Yes, we have them, but do you have some that are just there to take up space? Would your room seem bigger if you did not have as many of them? Could you get by with fewer? 

Big items take up so much space. Do they really serve the purpose that you want them to serve? If they do not, I suggest downsizing some of the biggest items in your home.

In the end, you will feel the room is more simple and believe it or not, possibly even less cluttered.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Simply Read What You Enjoy


Books. Blogs. Magazines, Twitter accounts. Facebook Newsfeeds. Emails. Mail. Junk mail.

If we all had the time, it would be a full-time job to read all of the things that we are bombarded with on a daily basis. Just think of all of the things you could sit down and read. 

Think about every single one.

For me, it's books, magazines (sometimes), blogs, emails and facebook, that I allow to fill up my time. If I have an ounce of free time, it's sometimes hard not to jump to one of these forms of "media". I remember at one point a few years ago, sitting down and reading three magazines one right after another because I was so behind. I was trying to decipher if I really enjoyed looking through or reading this magazine, or if I was just going through it because I felt I "needed" to. I had received some of the subscriptions for free, so I couldn't pass up something free, right? That is where I was wrong. It wasn't free anymore when it took away precious time that I could be spending doing something else. Something I enjoyed even more.

Free isn't always good, when it steals time away from something you would rather be doing.

The same can be said for facebook, emails, blogs, etc.

This may be an odd subject to talk about, as a blogger myself. Before I started my organizing blog, I was reading so many blogs on a daily basis. Checking up on each one, and I found myself overwhelmed. Granted my husband and I were going through a transitional time in life, so time was a little more available. After a recent move, I decided that instead of reading all of these blogs, to start one myself - about the passions I love.

As I started to create Organizing Life With Less, my main goal was to help others declutter, simplify, and find time to do the things that you really enjoy. That is when I started to downsize my life. Even my "media" life. So I decided to

ONLY READ WHAT I REALLY ENJOY.

What does that look like? For each person that is different. I would love to sit here and give you a laundry list of things of what you should read, but only you can define what you enjoy.

For me, this is what "simply reading what I really enjoy" looks like:

  • Checking my email a few times a day, but clearing out my inbox if I can
  • Reading a few of my favorite blogs, but this is about once every week
  • Picking up the book because I WANT to, not because I have to (I'm a non-fiction reader)
  • Looking through the few magazines I get in the mail - Country Living, Midwest Living, and HGTV
  • Checking my Facebook newsfeed maybe once a day. I never go on Twitter, except to post.
  • And I enjoy every minute of the things listed above!
What do YOU enjoy reading? Are you only reading what you just simple enjoy reading? Do you look forward to sitting down and reading whatever media you choose - or do you feel obligated? To live simply, do what you only enjoy, to simply live.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Simple Living: Buy Less, Want Less


Have you ever heard someone say "buy less, want less"?

When I first heard that saying, I wasn't so sure I believed it. In fact, it seems to contradict itself. If you are wanting something, it seems that the only way to satisfy the desire to want less, is to buy it, so that you get rid of the desire to want it.

But does that desire to want, ever go away?

That is when I started to realize that this saying is actually true.

When I decided to try and start to live a more simple life, to take into consideration what really makes me happy, to try and live the life I WANT to live, not the life that advertisers say I should live, I realized that the less I buy, the more content I am. The less I really want.

It was not a process that happened over night. In fact, it has taken me years to even consider that the saying "buy less, want less" could prove itself true. But after careful consideration and observation of my own life, it is in fact, true. How?

1. I find myself wanting things that do not necessarily have a monetary value, such as deeper relationships, time spent in those relationships, like with my husband. Buying things to "improve" our relationship, only end up getting in the way of it. Okay, yes, we do "splurge" if you want to call it that, on vacations together. We feel that with my husband's job, the only way to get a break is to get away. So that is something we "buy" but do it for a much deeper purpose - to grow our relationship with each other.

2. In order to live the life I feel called to live, I feel that simplicity only makes sense. Buying things to fill up the home God has given us, only gets in the way of the life I really want to live. I want to live a life with less stuff - I desire a life where I am not tied to the things of this world. We are living in hopeful trust that in March, we will be blessed to welcome a new member to our family, our first child. I want to have as much time with that child as I can - not time wasted cleaning things that just take up space, picking up things that I could really care less about. What I care about is being the best steward of this child, best mother I can be, and best wife I can to my husband.

3. I try not to shop, for the sake of shopping. Only a handful of times will I step into a store to just browse. It is just who I am. Shopping is NOT bad in and of itself. Don't get me wrong! For some it is a stress reliever. I watch sports as a stress reliever. It's what you do while shopping, that matters, I think. If you are constantly buying, just to relieve that pressure to buy or pressure of stress, or to satisfy someone, you should consider other options. I realized that some of my clothes are starting to not fit because of my growing belly, so to Goodwill I went. Didn't find a lot, but I went online and hit the jackpot at Old Navy with a sale they had. A few things bought, but saved oodles of time not buying what I didn't need, by not shopping in a mall. Again, don't get me wrong - malls are awesome. But for me personally, I cannot go into them often because I will only BUY MORE AND WANT MORE. I know my limitations.

How about you? Do you find yourself buying something just for the sake of buying? Do you find that you end up wanting MORE in the end? It is a slippery slope and I encourage you to take a deep look into why you buy every single item you do.

Try buying less for a week and see if you want less. If you don't, try it one MORE week. Do you feel more content? Do you feel you can live WITH less?

I would love to know your thoughts on this concept; do you find this statement to be true?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Laundry Organization Ideas on Hometalk

Have you ever heard of Hometalk?

When I joined the blogger world, I wanted to find different avenues to share ideas, but also network with others who had the same passions. That is when I found Hometalk. 

Hometalk is actually "the largest home and garden social network on the web". So what sets Hometalk aside from all the other "pinning" websites out there? You can ask questions, seek advice, and get quality and knowledgeable information from others in the Hometalk network. You can also "clip" your favorites, but not only do you just see a picture, but you can see the how-tos and instructions on how to complete a certain project. 

Have you ever wondered how to do a project? You can even search and learn from other professionals on how to accomplish those weekend inspirations.

If you have ideas you want to share with fellow Hometalk members, such as blog posts and videos, you can post your fantastic ideas to Hometalk as well! 

Really, Hometalk is a lot like Pinterest, but has so many more perks and is focused on home and garden.

Are YOU a follower of Organizing Life With Less on Hometalk? In fact, I have just created a Laundry Organization board that you can check out!

Click the link below and join the Hometalk community today! 


Friday, September 12, 2014

Avoid What You "Should" Be Buying


Do you ever feel bombarded?

Ever feel like you are being pulled in all different directions?

Let me say ONE word: TRENDS.

Trends are exactly that: trends - pulling you in every direction. They WILL change - because that is what trends do. They change. They fluctuate. They drop off and then pick up a whole new idea - a completely new TREND.

How easy it is, to get sucked into them. You may not even realize how much "trends" influence. For example, you walk into a store and see a new style and think "I could pull that off..." so you may improvise a bit, but give it a whirl. You see an end cap of a new snack or food to try. You buy a box or 2, get addicted, but then realize after a month or 2, it really wasn't much. Or maybe you see an ad on tv and think "oh, I want to have that..." so the next time you are at the store, you peruse the store, looking for that same item.

It is that simple. We see trends in magazines. On tv. In our neighborhoods. Hear them on the radio. On the internet. Just think "pinterest".

What gets your attention? What do you find yourself getting "hooked" on? What trends lure you in?

For me, I see styles and think "oh, I should try that..." but lets be honest; some trends are only meant for certain body types. I can easily get lured into the desire to have the perfect home, like I see in magazines. But when I come home, what I love is that our home isn't so immaculate that I can't even sit on our furniture. I sometimes think it would be nice to have a new car - but I sure enjoy not having a car payment every month.

But when it comes to simple living, are trends really worth it?

Is chasing trends - that will never satisfy - really want you want? Really what I want?

A lesson I learned from my husband is to find something and stick with it. For example, we have been known to find good deals at outlet stores - of the basics - quality items, that will really last a lifetime, but may not look "trendy". He has taught me that buying once and being done, is the way to go. Trying to follow and keep up with the trends, will only lead to a dead end.

Simple living puts aside what the culture says you should have. Simple living says to live the life YOU feel called to live. Simple living is just that: SIMPLE. What is the "simple" in life? Following what everyone else says you should have, is not simple. Don't succumb to the pressures of this world. Simply. Live.

What trends lure you in?