June 11 2017

1st Update on Office Project

I know you are all wondering if I am actually working on the office clean out. Posting my photos of shame for all the world to see is extremely motivating to me. It is just the accountability I needed to spur me into action.

I tackled the little library shelf first. All I had to do was return a few library books so it was under control again. That got done Friday 6/2 since I was going to the library on Saturday for a meeting and could easily return them without a special trip.

Library Book Shelf (Before)
Library Book Shelf (After)

Then I finally got around to doing a little more on 6/10. I worked on going through 2 of the file drawers and while I didn’t completely clean either one out, I did find lots of things I could throw away. Many of these articles and printouts were from the late 1990s! Not worthy of update photos yet but here are the 2 I worked on.

Large file cabinet drawer 1 of 4
File drawer on right small file cabinet

There is at least a little wiggle room in them now and several empty file folders. These drawers may be like peeling an onion…it may take getting rid of a layer or two at a time.

Sorted through the magazines stacked on the saddle stool. These are possible ideas for submitting freelance articles, so not ready to get rid of all of them yet. Eventually, they will be given a new home when the room is made somewhere else in the office to store them.

Saddle Stool (Before)
Saddle Stool (After)

Probably the most noticeable thing I accomplished was cleaning and wiping the dust off the glass and metal shelf in the corner between the doors. Not much actually came off the shelves, but they look so much better now. I even moved it and swept the dust bunny out from under it.

Glass & Metal Shelf (Before)
Glass & Metal Shelf (After)

It still feels overwhelming but begun truly feels like half done right now. I am excited by the small amount of progress I have made and want to keep the forward motion going. Will check in again when there is more to report. Stay tuned!

June 1 2017

The Elephant in the Room

There is an elephant in the room. I will attempt to eat it one bite at a time, but I am going to need your help. So, let me tell you about my elephant. When I was setting my goals for the year, I decided one of my goals would and should be to completely go through everything and do a serious and complete cleaning of the contents of my eight-foot square office that was a breakfast nook in its former life. I recently realized that somehow five months of this year have gotten away from me and NOTHING has gotten done on this goal. I thought it was a very doable goal when I was making it and having an entire year to accomplish it seemed more than generous.

Over the Memorial Day weekend, I decided to take pictures of each area I needed to tackle to complete this project. I thought it might help me to SEE the mess without actually being IN the mess because this helped me years ago to get the attic organized. Part of me is hoping that if I post my mess here and tell the world about my goal that this will force me to actually get the work done in the next seven months.

I set a mini goal over the weekend of just tackling one of the small areas so I could say I had gotten something done. Unfortunately, I was paralyzed by the overwhelming impossibility of the task as a whole and couldn’t figure out where to start. So, I did nothing. Continue reading

May 14 2017

Weekly Bullet Journal Spreads

It is time to share more of my Bullet Journal with all of you. Currently, I am about to finish with Week 19 in my bullet journal. I have learned a few things about what does and doesn’t work for me in the 18 weeks I have completed so far. The biggest thing I learned was what size boxes work for me. In the January Flip Through, you will notice there were only 2 weeks where I used the narrower boxes for each day in my weekly spread. Well, in truth, I knew after the first week I didn’t like that narrow size, but when I was drawing out week 2, I messed up and drew the skinny boxes before I caught myself, so I suffered through a second week with them. You will notice some subtle changes from week to week in the photos below, but the box layout is very consistent. I keep it that way because it works. Some days you will notice not much gets written in, while other days are pretty jam-packed.

Week 7 was the first week I tried using stickers to determine the theme. These are free stickers, recycled by cutting them off the free address labels that seem to show up from time to time in my mailbox. I never could use up all the addresses but the stickers to the left seemed too nice to throw away. So I have long made a habit of cutting them off and saving them. The hearts seemed like an obvious choice for the week. Continue reading

March 16 2017

Travel Tips for Parents and Everyone Else

Travel Tips

We have done a fair bit of traveling as a family and I have learned these travel tips along the way.

For Everyone:

Pack basic snacks, preferably healthy ones, for the road trip. I suggest baby carrots, celery sticks, bottled water, cheese sticks, and pretzels. This will help cut down on costs and the number of stops. Eating healthy can also help offset the extra calories we all tend to eat on vacations, just because it IS vacation and we know we deserve to treat ourselves.

When you are planning a trip, unless you already get some sort of member discount for booking hotels, you might want to consider getting a membership to your local AAA Auto Club. This can often save you at least 10% off the cost of hotel rooms or attraction tickets. The savings from one trip could well pay for the cost of the annual membership and you would still have the benefit of the roadside assistance and towing to use the whole year which can again save you to cost of the membership if you ever need to have your car towed. Continue reading