My Bedtime Routine

As you have likely gathered from reading my blog, I am a pretty regimented person. So it should come as no surprise that I aim to follow something of a nightly routine that helps calm down my system just before bed. If you struggle with your sleep schedule, then I’d highly recommend giving these tips a try—they have really helped in ensuring that I wake up feeling restored (most) mornings!

Give yourself 30 minutes before bed to wind down. It can be hard for your system to go straight from activity to bed, and that can lead to excessive tossing and turning. To avoid this, pick one or two of the below to get your body and mind in a relaxed state, and do so about 30 minutes before you’d like to go to sleep.

Drink a cup of tea. I love to drink a cup of mint or chamomile tea in my bedroom chair as I am getting ready for bed. I’ll bring out my book and do a little reading at the same time, too.

Take a bath. On the nights when I’m feeling like I really need to de-stress and wind down, I’ll draw myself a bath filled with epsom salt and lavender oil.

Turn down the lights. During this 30-minute wind down period, I will turn the main overhead light off in my room and only keep my nightstand light on. Scientific research has shown that bright light can stimulate your senses, so it’s best to keep the lights dim as you’re preparing for bed.

Shut off technology. Last but certainly not least, I put my phone on do not disturb and really make an effort to not look at it during this wind down period. I am one of those people who could get sucked into an Instagram rabbit hole at the snap of a finger, so this rule is one of the most important for me to follow.

Do you have a bedtime routine or tips for getting relaxed at the end of a long day? Please share below!

Home with Emma Blomfield

First off, how stunning is this book? I could not be more obsessed with the watercolor-esque look and the color palette.

Well now that you, too, are looking something like the heart eye emoji, you’re likely wondering what this book is. This lovely book is called Home and it’s by Emma Blomfield, an interior designer based in Australia. When Emma’s team reached out to me offering to send the book my way, I was so flattered and had no idea how much I would end up l-o-v-i-n-g it. It has easily become my new favorite book!

If you need some design inspiration in your life, I’d highly recommend picking up Home. It contains decorating tips for each and every corner of your home, and includes styles to suit all tastes. Trust me when I say you need this book in your life, and your coffee table does too.

Getting Back into a Routine After Vacation

After a long vacation, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed when you get back home. Between a suitcase (or two) that needs to be unpacked and the jet lag that sinks in at the most inopportune times, your normal routine can seem lightyears away from your current state.

As I just recently got home from a European cruise, these feelings are all too familiar. But as I immersed myself back into my routine relatively quickly after getting home, I thought I’d recap some of the key things I learned—and employed—along the way.

Remind yourself that everything will feel routine again soon. At least for me, I can often get overwhelmed when I have a to-do list seemingly as tall as me. But what really helped me after coming home most recently was a constant reminder that soon enough, everything would fall back into place. The mail would be sorted, the laundry done, the house clean, and I would be back to my normal routine before I even knew it. Sometimes this simple reminder to yourself is all you need in a moment of stress.

Tackle the big projects first. Sure, you’ll probably have a million and one small things to catch up on once you’re home, but try to stay laser-focused on the big ticket items first and foremost. I know because often work in reverse order—tackling the smaller, easier items so that they can feel more accomplished, faster. However, I find that these little items don’t make much of a dent in relieving my overall stress so I try to prioritize the bigger projects first. By this, I mean that I tackle unpacking and going grocery shopping over uploading an album to Facebook.

Don’t sacrifice sleep. Even with all of your items crossed off of your list, you’ll never truly feel back in your routine if you’re sleep-deprived. While it can be tempting to stay awake for an extra hour each night to get back on track sooner, that extra hour is so critical when recovering from jet lag. Always prioritize your health because once you start feeling well-rested, you’ll feel more zen as well.

Do you have any tips for overcoming jet lag and getting back into the swing of things painlessly? Share in the comments!

Prepping For a New Month

Happy, May! (Insert Justin Timberlake meme here.)

While I’ve written plenty about how I use my planner, as well as how I organize my finances, I’ve never talked about how the two go hand in hand at the start of the month. So here goes nothing.

 At the start of every month, no matter what day that might fall on, I always make it a point to dedicate at least 1 hour to planning. During this time, I bring out my planner and first look at the month at-a-glance calendar. In this section, I like to mark the key dates for the month (ie: friends’ birthdays, various social commitments, travel dates, etc.) to give myself a high level sense of what the month will entail.

From there, I translate these days into the weekly calendar pages and in even more details here, too. As I’m making plans for the month, I always like to keep in mind my philosophy about weekend balancing. This helps me to ensure that I’m not overcommitting myself or leaving myself without any time to catch up on life.The last piece of my monthly prep routine is recording my finances. While I keep a close watch on my bank accounts every week, I really enjoy having the time once a month to do a deep dive. In a large spreadsheet, I record how much money I have in each one of my accounts, how much I saved since the previous month, and then set goals for the upcoming month.

Even though this seems like a lot, I promise it can be done quickly once you get in the routine!

Drawer Diaries

We’re all guilty of it—when we don’t know where to put something or we acquire a tchotchke that we’re not really sure what to do with, we stuff it in a drawer and forget about it. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

But you know what happens next: As soon as you need something from that drawer and open it up, you’re inevitably overwhelmed by its state and want to close it just as quickly as you opened it.

If you’ve been nodding your head this whole time because you can relate to this phenomenon, then let’s talk about how to tackle it together! Since it is the season to clean and purge, there’s no better time than right now to address the state of your drawers. And that can be any drawer at all, from the ones in your bathroom vanity to the others in your media console.The best thing to do is to open them up, take out all of the contents, and then begin to put only the things back that you want to keep. As you’re doing this, you should also aim to make sure that the drawer has a theme. For example, don’t let your nail polish slip into the drawer with the television remotes and batteries—rather, make sure that only like items are together in one single drawer. This will also help with future organizing, as you’ll know exactly which drawer an item belongs in.

 

When it comes to actually organizing the drawers, I’m a big fan of storage solutions like this one to capture small items. Instead of letting all of your items just roll around inside a drawer, consider various trays that can help keep everything neat and tidy.

Once your drawers are all organized, remember that they never need to revert back to how they looked before this exercise. Just remember that each drawer has a theme, storage solutions are your friend, and random items that you don’t know what to do with may be better suited for the garbage.

Tricks of the Trade: Keeping Clothes Fresh

There’s nothing worse than having to part with your favorite blouse because it simply looks like it’s seen better days. But by the same token, it’s also not a good look to be wearing clothes that clearly look like they’ve seen better days.

In an effort to keep clothes looking fresh and new as long as possible, here are a few quick tips that I’ve found helpful over the years:

  • Dry clean delicates: While it can at times be tempting to try to wash a delicate item yourself, it really never ends well that way. I’d highly recommend letting the experts do what they do best and taking your nice pieces to the dry cleaners.
  • Wash denim sparingly: This might sound gross to some, but I try to only wash my jeans when they need to be shrunken and/or have gotten visibly dirty. They maintain their wash far longer if you try to wash them as sparingly as possible.
  • Spot treat instead of doing a full wash: If and when I spill something small on denim, for instance, I’ll always attempt a spot treatment before throwing them in the hamper. With a little elbow grease, the spot usually comes right out.
  • Choose your laundry products wisely: I learned the hard way that fabric softener is noooo good for your clothes—well, if you want to keep them feeling crisp, that is. Some detergents have fabric softener included in the formula, so be sure you read the label carefully before picking up your next bottle.

Top 5 Organizing Rules

I’m such a sucker for a good “top 5” list—whether it’s about beauty or cleaning or cooking, I am exponentially more likely to click on something when I know it will be broken down into bite-sized chunks. Hopefully you’re like me in that sense and will therefore enjoy what I’ve put together below: the top 5 organizing rules, according to moi.

Rule 1: Everything in its place. In order for your home to be as organized as it can be, you need to make sure that everything has a place at the end of the day.

Rule 2: Put things away in the moment. So often, friends and clients tell me that organizing is not in their DNA and they’ve come to accept that they’ll always have piles of clothes in their bedrooms. My answer? Try putting things away in the moment so you never build a pile! Even though it may add five minutes to your getting ready routine, I promise it will be worth it.

Rule 3: Cleanse and edit often. We all have a tendency to collect things over time, which is totally fine so long as you make it a point to regularly review all that you have. For instance, I do a closet purge roughly twice a year during which I review everything that I have and pick pieces out for donation or selling.

Rule 4: Group items by type. While this rule may be most easily understood in the context of a closet, it applies to every room in the house. Simply by organizing by like items (ie: jeans with all other jeans, books with all other books in the living room, meats will all other meats in the refrigerator), your home will appear instantly more organized.

Rule 5: Create a routine that works for you. All of us are unique in our own ways, and that directly carries over into our organizing habits. Because of this, don’t try to force someone else’s routine onto you just because it works for them. Instead, develop a plan that is personalized to you and your schedule. After all, if you come up with a plan that works, you’ll stick with it!