Monday, July 28, 2014

10 Signs It's Time To Organize Your Nail Polish

Today I am excited to share with you a guest post from Amanda! She is a blogger over at Practical Polish which is focused on giving women helpful tips on how to DIY their own nails AND save money. Something you may not always think of, but if you frequent nail salons or wish you could afford to, this post is for you:

Kristin has such amazing organizational tips that I’m honored to be guest blogging on Organizing Life With Less! Nail polish tends to be one of the most disorganized items in the bathroom because it’s so easy to just throw your bottles in a drawer after you finish a manicure. If you find yourself nodding in agreement or chuckling as a few of these signs relate to you – it might be time to start organizing your nail polish collection!

1. You Spend 5 Minutes Looking For The Color You Want

2. Your Bathroom Drawer Looks Something Like This:


3. Your Nail Polish Bottles Are Scattered In Multiple Places Around The House

4. You Want Your Bathroom To Feel Like A Salon Or Spa

5. You Buy Duplicate Or REALLY Similar Colors On Accident

6. You Have No More Bathroom Counter Space

7. Your Nail Polish Is Leaking:


8. You Like To Look At All The Pretty Colors In Your Nail Polish Collection

9. Your Bottles Are Sealed Shut

10. You Have An Empty Space On Your Wall That Needs Decorating

So you’ve come to the realization that your nail polish collection needs to be tidied up; what now? 

Here are some ideas on how you can get organized:
  • Organize your polish into rows within a drawer
  • Hang a nail polish rack on the wall
  • Put the polishes in a pretty apothecary jar
  • Use a cake stand to display your polish
  • Get a nail polish rack that sits on the counter
  • Use a lazy susan so you can spin it around to find the color of your choice

There are tons of other DIY options, but you may just have to get creative! If you don’t have time to build a nail polish rack then there are some cheap options for you online. For the full guide on how to pick a nail polish rack, tips on how to organize bottles on the rack and how to install a wall rack - check out the Ultimate Guide to Nail Polish Racks at  http://www.practicalpolish.com/nail-polish-rack/

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Norwex Essential Cleaning Products In A Nutshell

When it comes to cleaning, sometimes I love it and sometimes I have a love-hate relationship with it. Maybe you find yourself in both categories and even more in the last. Many would assume that since I write an organizing blog, that I love to clean. Well, that is partially true, until I was realizing that there were many things I was cleaning (like our tub and floors) that weren't getting as clean as I had hoped.

Then I was introduced to Norwex. By reading that word you wouldn't necessarily assume that it has to deal with cleaning your home and personal care products, but until I started to really read about what Norwex was, I started to question why I didn't start using their products sooner.

The thing is, with anything "new", it is hard to know what to do with it, let alone even know what their products can even do. I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a selfish person, but I wanted to know what these products could do for me.

That is why I wanted to share with you this video below. It is easy for me to talk about Norwex's products over and over, but until you start to see what they can do, it is hard to get a grasp on ALL that they can do and what products really do make a difference.

After watching the video below, please comment with any questions that you may have. Also, if you want to start using Norwex products, just follow the links within this post to purchase. If you want to earn FREE products by HOSTING a Norwex party, the problem of distance is obviously an issue. That is why if you would like to host a LIVE FACEBOOK Norwex party, you can receive the benefits of hosting by inviting your facebook friends, we would discuss a time to have the "party" online (in the comforts of everyone's home), and I will take it from there! Let me know if you have any questions about this!

So, click on this video below and enjoy! Let me know if you have any questions!

Norwex Cleaning Essentials In A Nutshell

Kristin Sterk - Independent Sales Consultant

Friday, July 25, 2014

How I Organize My Mornings


Mornings can be one of the most stressful times in the day.

The good ole alarm goes off (and lets be honest, that is the LAST thing you want to hear in the morning).
The minute you turn it off, your day begins.

What do your mornings typically look like? Do they look anything like your "dream" morning? If you are the majority, it probably looks FAR from being your dream morning!

My dream morning would consist of waking up before (or to an alarm), being rested enough knowing that I will not be tired. It would mean getting my breakfast, doing my devotions, listening to the birds outside sing away, and start my day with excitement (not dread).

I will throw in a clause here and say that we do not have children (yet), so I understand that for some, this may be difficult. The thing is, I feel you can make any morning what you want it to be - it may mean getting up earlier and going to bed earlier. It may not be easy to make switches, but it may be possible!

This is what the start of a typical morning looks like for me:

  • I tend to wake up before my alarm often (depending on the night before)
  • Get up and grab my cereal (I am almost obsessed with eating cereal - I am known for it!)
  • Sitting in our recliner, feet kicked up with a blanket over my legs, with my Bible or book in my lap.
  • Add blog posts to social media sites.

And so on...

It does take determination to just sit and listen to the morning. I do struggle with that because I am a do-er. Time spent sitting, I tend to see as time wasted, but that is extremely unhealthy and I recognize that! I am continually trying to work on that, but it is hard! It goes against everything in me, but I know it's important.

But to be quite honest, a successful morning for me, begins THE NIGHT BEFORE.

The night before, I spend time making a list of things I need to do, people I need to email back, chores around the house to do. I also pick up the house (if I have the energy). There is something about waking up to a picked up house in the morning. There is something about waking up, knowing what I need to do (before other things come up), in the morning. By doing this, I rarely forget my schedule, items I need to get, or things I need to do.

Organizing my mornings begins the night before. If I get home late, I sometimes do not plan for the next day, and it's a more stressful morning. That is just how I work. I realize I am just one person and I do things differently than maybe you do. Whatever your morning routine may be, what changes do you need to make, in order to make it an enjoyable morning?

What does your morning routine look like?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Teaching Kids to Organize Their TIME


Every night, do you battle the question with your kids: "Have you finished this?" knowing full well, they have not accomplished everything they have to before bedtime? Helping kids organize their time and teaching time management skills at a young age CAN happen and IS feasible! Believe it or not, organizing is a LEARNED skill. Teaching children to make the most of their time at a young age, will only prepare them to take the initiative later on in life, to be able to do this on their own.

Where to begin?
I am going to share with you some practical and helpful tips on how to help kids get organized with their schedules and time. Some of these ideas may work better than others, but give them a try and see what your children react to the best!

1. Create a checklist: every night, have your children complete a routine, such as their homework, picking up their toys, getting their school bags ready, brushing their teeth, etc.

2. Help your kids discover time management skills - before they can go and play with friends, they have to finish "this". Before they can watch a favorite tv show, they have to get their homework done. You don't want your children to rush through their homework, but if they know that EVERYDAY they have to finish it before they can watch tv, they will be determined to do so (the priorities of a child!)

3. Create a consistent study place, such as the kitchen table. This way you are most likely available if they have questions and they are able to spread their homework out. Little do they know too, that when they are distracted, a watchful eye (YOU), will catch them and keep them on task!

4. When they are doing their homework, everyday ask them what homework they have. You could even take it a step further (depending on their age) and go through their assignments with them.

5. Have a calendar in your home that everyone can read and understand. If you have a weekly calendar that you use, have your kids sit nearby as you fill it out and purposefully ask them what they have coming up. This helps them take ownership of their schedule (even if you know the answer to this simple question).

6. When filling out the calendar, if your child has a project that is going to take a while, put the due date on the calendar. This assures you AND them, that it will get done. It is a helpful reminder to the child that working ahead is a tool that they will use the rest of their life!

7. Finally, have your child pack their school bag the night before. Working in a school, it is amazing the number of items that are forgotten at home each day! Help your child think about the day ahead and what they might need. Don't tell them - ask them. This again, gives ownership. Also, have a consistent place where they can keep their school bag, instrument, lunch, etc.

As much as parents want their children to be flexible and "go with the flow," it is also important that they have routine and consistency. Teaching your children about boundaries, time management, and organizing their schedules, will go a long ways in helping them become adults. RESPONSIBLE adults at that!

What is your #1 way to help your kids get organized?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What A Fresh Coat Of Paint Can Do


Consider me odd, but I LOVE to paint.

In our old home, I painted every single room - not just once, but sometimes twice. Sometimes I didn't like the shade of tan, so I would repaint. Sometimes the color was too bold. Then I wanted to create a tuscan color montage, so I repainted yet again. To me, painting is fun because you can make it what you want.

Choosing colors is difficult for me to be honest - I hem and haw for way too long about what color to paint. Thankfully stores now offer the sample cans - who would've thought? That seriously is the easiest solution to finding the right color. I can't tell you how many times I have gotten the sample can of the color I thought would be perfect and it wasn't. That little paint sample has saved me oodles of money!

We are blessed with the opportunity to rent (since we own a home in another state), but also update it while we are living here. The kitchen and dining room were covered with wallpaper and honestly, it wasn't that out of style. Although, it was old and peeling, so we thought it would be a good idea to take it down.

Wallpaper - there was a chair rail that separated the two designs

Taking the wallpaper down was another story. I had to use a steamer and a wallpaper scorer to just loosen little pieces. What I thought was going to be a few hour project, ended up taking me 13 HOURS to take all of the wallpaper off! 


It created a bit of a mess!


Piece by piece it started to come off. Thankfully March Madness was on at the time so I listened to many games, since they were on all day anyways! Tidbit about me: I love sports.


Then the fun part - PAINTING! 
This is not the best picture (looks way more green in the picture than it really looks)
We LOVE how it turned out! Definitely has a fresh and clean look.

You just can't go wrong with painting a room. For $20-$30 you can liven up a room and make it something "new" in just a few hours! What project adds that much change, but yields such amazing results in such a short time?

I will forever love painting for these very reasons.

Do you repaint often in your home? What is your favorite color? What room do you want to repaint?


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Just A Little Bit More...


You sit down at a restaurant and get 4x the amount of food that you normally eat. Feeling full comes after eating half of it, but you say "Just a little bit more..."

Walking through the mall, you see all these sales plastering the windows of your favorite stores. You spent your budget or the amount you feel comfortable spending without feeling guilty, but you say "Just a little bit more..."

Decorating your home to make it "yours" is what you have always dreamed of. You buy this, you buy that. But you just aren't satisfied until you get this "one thing". Just a little bit more.

You know you shouldn't be browsing Pinterest or Facebook for hours on end because it is taking away from the other priorities in your life. But you say..."Just a little bit more..."

What is a little bit more? What's so wrong with just a little bit more?

The problem is: JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE IS MORE THAN ENOUGH.

Living with enough displays a life of contentment. Living with the thought of needing just a little bit more displays a life of greed. What category do you fit in?

This is something I wrestle with EVERYDAY. Every time I go to the grocery store. Every time I have to buy something. Every time I sleep. Every time I eat. Anytime I do SOMETHING; I have to ask myself, when is enough, enough?

Seeking and finding that place of contentment is a lifelong struggle. Maybe not the most encouraging statement of the year, but this is true: the more you say enough, the less you will struggle with a little bit more. It is worth the journey. It is worth the struggle of today in saying no, to make tomorrow's decisions easier.

You see, we live in a culture that is obsessed with a little bit more. I am sure you don't have to drive far and see that families struggle with the "little bit more" philosophy. Why is it that many lottery winners end up bankrupt after awhile? Because the desire for a little bit more was never satisfied. They never put a leash on it. They never said enough. I often ponder what it would be like to win the lottery. What would I do with a million dollars? My humanness thinks I would be happier. Yet I know deep down, that the secret to contentment surely is not more. In my opinion, the secret to contentment is LESS.

Just a little bit more is what causes our homes to burst at the seams with stuff. Just a little bit more is what causes us to burst at the seams in our clothes. Just a little bit more is what can cause families to disintegrate as more and more time is spent at work and on computers and not at home.

How are you going to defy the odds? How are you going to counteract the norm and switch to just a little bit less? Think about the consequences that it will have on your family if you continue to live a "just a little bit more" life.

Where are you heading?

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Dinner Table Conversation


I love "family" meals.

Granted it is just the two of us, my husband and I, but I will forever love sitting in the peace and quiet over mealtime. No phones. No tv. No interruptions. You see I specifically didn't say a "nice" meal because sometimes our meals consist of tuna fish sandwiches. Or leftovers from 3 days ago. We aren't picky eaters and fancy meals are special occasions. When you have special occasion meals all of the time, they do not become special anymore. Hence our low-key dinners at times. 

While sitting over a meal, we often discuss our days, and in the end, try to solve all of the world's problems. Of course we don't get very far. One thing we can solve though, is our own problems. What problems you might ask? The problem of materialism and contentment. 

I do not see this as just "our problem" as our world is saturated with this very disease. It spreads like wildfire. It spreads into every crevice you can imagine. It seeps into the areas of our lives that seem untouchable. 

That day, I had pondered a question: what do I want our life to look like? In fact, it inspired me to write a blog post on this very idea: Standards of Living: Is It Worth The Cost? If I could start completely over and forget any variables, what would it be? What would our life look like? As I thought about this question, I realized I wouldn't change much. Of course the added bonus of more money would be wonderful and having cars that you don't have to worry about whether or not they will start is a plus, but in all reality, I am satisfied.

I decided to ask the same question to my husband over dinner. I always look forward to our dinner table conversations because again, we talk about everything under the sun. I decided to ask him this thought-provoking question - what do you want your life to look like when it comes to possessions? After a minute or 2 of silence, he said "we really have all we need". Yes, having 2 reliable cars would be nice. But we decided that even though we don't make oodles and oodles of money according the America's standards, we make enough. Dan being a youth pastor and me, a secretary, we love our jobs. They are flexible, influential, inspiring, and we love them. We actually make plenty for the lifestyle we live. We can put some in savings. We can pay our bills. We can go on a vacation or 2 each year. We are more than blessed.

As we looked around our home, we realized that really, we do not need anything else. We are content with what we have. I don't say that flippantly and say we never want things. FAR FAR from that. We dream. We probably dream too much. We dream of getting things that we really will never need, but think we want. We struggle with the same wants and really greed, that others have too. Our humanness is always wanting more and MORE.

But we realized while sitting around our table, that we are thankful. We are humbled. We have more than we will ever need in life. And daily we have to choose to be content. It isn't an automatic switch to just turn on. It is a lifelong commitment and goal I feel. But it is achievable in the sense that progress is progress, right?

Our dinner table conversation has now challenged us to continue towards a life of contentment when it comes to material possessions. 

Are you up for the challenge?