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!

Making Room for Spring

Whenever a new season rolls around, I always like to take some time to assess what’s in my closet. Not only does this help me to get organized, but it also reminds me of pieces that I may have forgotten existed. So basically, it’s a win, win if you ask me!

First things first, I do a scan of my closet. Even though I spend more time than I’m willing to admit in my closet and organize it quite often, I still somehow manage to forget about key pieces that would be perfect for the season at hand. During this scan, I’ll take the time to acquaint myself with what I already have, as well as what I may want to buy. I’ll also make some mental notes of outfits ideas, which makes getting ready in the mornings all the easier.

Next up, I’ll make little modifications that will help keep me inspired throughout the season. This can be as small as hanging a neck scarf around your door handle—which, by the way, is the perfect accessory to dress up any outfit—or placing a few hats on a hook. Having these accessories at the ready won’t just keep your closet in the spring spirit, but will also keep your looks feeling fresh all season long.

How do you get prepped for the seasons? Please leave a comment and let me know!

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.

Tricks of the Trade: Planner Organization

I’ve confessed just how much I love my planner before, but I’ve never really shown you a glimpse into how I functionally use it. But today, that changes! Keep reading to find out how I plan to perfection.

Before I really get into it, I should let you know that I use my planner to capture every little task or thought that I have. For me, it’s so therapeutic to know that everything is written down in one spot and that I don’t have to bother keeping it all stored in my head.

Because I write so much down in my planner, I need a system to distinguish between different tracks of work and to-do’s. What’s that system? So glad you asked!

Everything I write down in my planner falls into 1 of 5 categories:

  • Social: Weekend plans, important dates (ie: birthdays, anniversaries, etc.), travel plans
  • To-do’s: Various chores that I need to take care of
  • Work: This includes all things business, from my day job to my finances
  • Gym: The classes that I sign up for go here
  • Blog: Any and all work I need to do for The Tidy Corner 🙂

 

To make the categories super clear and distinct, I use colored erasable pens. Yes, you heard that right! There are erasable pens out there and they are an absolute must because plans always change and you’ll certainly need to move things around from time to time.

At the start of the year, I went through my planner and added in several items under the “social category,” namely friends’ and family’s birthdays, as well as travel dates I’ve already booked. Then, as a new month begins, I always reflect on what I need to do and what I’ve already committed to and enter it into my planner. This does wonders in helping me feel like the month ahead is on track and my life is in order!

I hope you found this planner tutorial helpful, and if you have any tips for how you organize your own, please do share in the comments!

New Year, New Organization

Happy New Year, organizers! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season filled with family, friends, food, and—most importantly—great gifts. I, for one, am feeling refreshed and ready to take on 2018.

There really is no better time than a new year to set new goals and routines for yourself—and including organizing into the mix is always a good idea. Whether it’s something so small as making the bed everyday or something much larger like cleansing your whole house, I encourage you to take this time to think about can become more organized this year.

In case you need some tips, check out all of my organizing advice here.

Tricks of the Trade: Bathroom Organization

My bathroom is, without a doubt, the smallest room in the apartment. Somehow, all three of our walk-in closets are larger than our bathroom. But even with its small size working against us, I’ve manager to pack a whole lot into it without making it feel cluttered or cramped. From a shelving system to hidden storage, keep reading to find out my tips for maximizing storage space in a small bathroom.

The biggest tip I can give is to invest in an over-the-toilet shelving system—I found this one on Target and seriously couldn’t love it any more. With this system in place, here are some more ways to increase storage space:

  • Use vases as storage — I love shopping at flea markets and second-hand stores and often pick up quaint vases when I do. The vases in my bathroom not only serve as decoration, but also double as storage. I put all kinds of things in my vases, from nail clippers and tweezers to floss and travel toothpaste.
  • Place baskets on top of your shelving unit — Without the baskets I’ve placed above our shelf, I would definitely not be able to fit all of my toiletries. The two that we have in our bathroom hold everything from sunscreen and body lotion to cold medicine and advil.
  • Hang a shower caddy — I’m a firm believer that everything in a room should have a spot, which is exactly why I hung two shower caddies over our rack in the shower. I love how this keeps everything up and off the bathtub and into its own designated spot.

Do you have any storage tips for a small bathroom? Let me know in the comments!

Tricks of the Trade: Folding Sweaters

I’ve written about sweaters in the past, and how you should always opt to fold them. But now I thought I’d dive into how exactly you should go about folding them. Follow along to learn how to fold even the chunkiest of sweaters!

Step 1: Lay your sweater flat, with the front side down.

Step 2: Fold one sleeve and side in toward the middle of the sweater. You don’t want to overdo this fold (as that will make your sweater pile much too tall). Instead, imagine the sweater is divided into thirds and you want to fold in just 1/3 of the way.

Step 3: Fold the rest of the sleeve down toward the side of the sweater. This will also help to prevent an overly bulky fold.

Step 4: Repeat on the second side.

Step 5: Fold the bottom the sweater up to meet the top.

Step 6: Flip it around and voila! I like to then pat the sweater down a bit, as to smooth it.

Now what are you waiting for? Go get to folding those sweaters! I know you can do it.