Desktop Organization

It had never once occurred to me to “organize” my desktop.

Sure, I purge every now and again, search, find, and lose – but never have I really organized this space that I use every day, all day long.  I just hadn’t put much thought into it.  Until I came across Iheartplanners, a blog dedicated to all sorts of organizational tips and tricks – and this post about desktop organization graphics.

Her blog got me all sorts of excited about how to maximize my own desktop space and viola, twenty minutes of Power Point later my desktop is as gorgeous as that desk calendar I’m still searching for.  Have you found an adorable, affordable, date neutral option?

image

Feel free to use any of my desktop graphics, or make your own using the “Format Background” tool in Power Point.

Desktop Graphic, Purple:

Desktop Graphic - Purple

Desktop Graphic, Green:

Desktop Graphic - GreenDesktop Graphic, Gray:

Desktop Graphic - Gray

Other organization blogs I like include:

30 Minute Laundry

My 30 Minute Laundry Routine

Laundry isn’t exactly the sort of topic that gets everyone all up in a lather with excitement, but it’s something that must be done … into each life a little Tide will fall.

When I’m home for a good long stretch, Sunday laundry day is one of my favorite days of the week. And, by applying my professional know how to this seemingly endless task, I’ve figured out how to take a week’s worth of laundry for four into a 30 minute task (wash and dry time not included).

Laundry Hacks My Approach:

Step 1: Build Laundry Mountain

image

On Sunday morning I start the washing machine loading up alternating batches of colors (I don’t sort jeans, towels, or laundry types just keep it simple – whites together and colors together). I alternate between white and colors so I don’t run out of hot water for other favorite Sunday tasks: bubble baths.

As each load finishes I dump it on my master bed. With loads of whites I leave the socks in the laundry basket and just pile the next load right on top of it, as the day goes on, my layer of socks gets bigger and bigger.

Then, I turn on the terrible reality television, do a little yoga, and move on with my day. Every time I pass the laundry room I status check and advance the ball. By 3:00 pm, I’m five Kardashian episodes down and the clothes for my family of four are washed and dried, and toppling over my bed.

Step 2: Quick Sort

image

After the laundry is ready for processing I do a quick sort based very roughly on “type” rather than by person. All jeans in a pile, all kitchen towels in a pile, shirts, items for hanging up, etc. And still, all socks remain in the hamper.

By this point, I’m two minutes in and an overwhelming project has become quite bite-sized (though I still wish I could get my boys not to automatically throw every clirty* item into the laundry.

Step 3: Muscle Memory

image

Next, I use the theory of muscle memory that makes repetitive task kind of pleasant, and fast. I fold all the towels at once, according to their final destination. This means display towels get folded once according to where they’re hung, closet towels together, tablecloths together, wash clothes together, etc. This enables me to get into a fast, thoughtless rhythm and gets the easiest task behind me.

Step 4: Jeans

image

Towels finished, I’m in a solid flip, flip fold rhythm and it’s a perfect transition to jeans. I tackle them all at once and stack them by their final destination as I go. (I know some people hang, but not for 9 year old boys).

By the time all the jeans are folded I’m only ten minutes in; you’d be amazed how quickly the first steps go!

Step 5: Shirts

image

Now comes the part I hate, and the reason the bad TV comes into play. Once I get to shirts I’ve moved just enough of laundry mountain that there’s a me-sized space between all the fluffy towels and crisp pillow cases and I reward myself with a little vegging time. I sit and mindlessly fold shirts, pajamas, and all the little pieces (by type, so I can use muscle memory to repeat the same motions again and again) and stack them according to where they’re going.

image

As I fold shirts I place anything that needs to be hung-up together. Then, with all the shirts hung up I grab hangars (which I keep stored together) and place everything on hangars at once. Even items that need to be ironed eventually get hung, then just put away in a staging location until I finally get around to them.

image

Step 6: Socks

With the lion’s share of the work done, and with my butt still planted on the bed, I tackle socks – again with the sort and conquer approach. I start by putting socks of a type together (black socks, white anklets, etc.) then divide piles further, and smaller until matches are obvious – rather than searching through the basket for a mate.

And, because my kids don’t particularly care, I don’t put too much effort into ensuring their socks are a perfect match. Close enough is good enough for my boys.

Typically, I’ll do one laundry session on Sunday, and a much smaller wash-and-fold of a few loads on Wednesday nights. All told, my routine consumes about an hour per week, and keeps my kids from presenting me with a no-sock fiasco on Thursday morning.

As for keeping my laundry room stocked and pretty, that one I’m still working on.

Home Organization: Make-up Brush Holders

I am an addict. I am addicted to make-up tutorials and home organization videos.

I know, there are more important ways for me to spend my time, but they just don’t offer the same mind-numbing thrill as turning on a good “Get Ready with Me” make-up montage while prepping, primping, and priming for a day at the office.

This weekend, I kicked it up a notch and went a little beauty guru myself.

Enter another useful way to use Downy Unstoppables (one of my holy grail 1,001 use products).

Make-Up Brush Holder Supplies

All the supplies you’ll need to make an easy, sweet-smelling make-up brush holder.

What you’ll need:

  1. Container: cute, wide-mouth container with enough depth and width to easily hold all of your brushes, leaving a little breathing room between each brush to make it easy to grab and replace them.
  2. Rice: enough to fill your container 3/4 full
  3. Downy Unstoppables: 1 Large tablespoon

Steps:

Pretty self-explanatory here, but the instructions anyway, because I figured out a little tip I like …

  1. Mix the rice and Unstoppables in a large container (I used the large clear vase shown here because it was hanging around in my laundry room), then pour the mixture into your container.
  2. Place the brushes (soft part up) into your container:  Tip – I organize my brushes in order of use, that way I’m never looking for a brush.
wpid-20140817_194829.jpg

Put brushes into your storage container in order of use: foundation brushes to the outside and fine, detailing brushes for your eyes on the inside. This way, when doing your make-up you work from one end of the container to the next, and you’re never looking for supplies.

 

 

My Go-To Carry On Travel Gear List

Prepping for my next big voyage: Toronto, Amsterdam, and London. Is it in bad taste if I thank the tragic Ebola outbreak for saving my Labor Day weekend and cancelling my leg in Pretoria?

Figured I’d share my packing lists:

Travel Items

After a luggage-check mishap in the UK earlier this year I am now firmly committed to the carry on only approach. So, I use my smaller carry-on for toiletries and make-up kit, and put my hair items inside my larger rolling bag (which I also carry on). I then tuck my purse inside its protective bag inside the smaller carry-on, and keep my baggage light and easy, and out of the cargo hold.

Clear Plastic Sample Containers for Makeup and Skincare

I also re-pot my foundations into these clever little clear plastic makeup sample containers I found on Amazon: Click Here to buy.

Travel Makeup

The trick to ensure I can go carry on only? Editing my wardrobe down to basic, easy, color story mix-and-match items that can make a variety of looks without a lot of weight.

Packing List