Tips to Declutter your Mind

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Tips to Declutter your Mind

Do you feel like your mind is on full? Has life simply become very overwhelming and you have difficulties focusing on daily tasks? This happens to the best of us. With the busy lifestyle so many live these days it’s no wonder we neglect to take care of our own minds. While tidying up your home may feel great and be necessary, there’s another area in life that we must declutter in order to keep our life stress free. Today, I am sharing tips to declutter your mind because once you’ve decluttered the home; it’s time to clear out those thoughts that hold you back from living to your full potential.

Post-it Sticky Notes

Use Sticky Notes

When you’re raising a family often times there is a lot more stress on your shoulders as you try to remember everything for everyone. You aren’t a robot and you don’t have to keep all data in your mind. Use sticky notes to jot down daily to-do lists or events that are coming up until you can transfer them to a calendar. This will help declutter your mind and make room for other thoughts that help you regain inner peace.

Journal

Let go of Worries

Use a journal to write down your worries or things that kept your mind full during the day. Having a journal that you write thoughts into each night will help declutter your mind as you pull them from the brain and place them on that paper. You can use an actual journal (the beautiful one above is only $20 on Amazon) or a pad of paper by your nightstand and get into the practice of writing down worries every night before bed.  The Zebra Sarasa gel pens come in an array of beautiful colors and they make writing so much more fun for me.  If writing your thoughts is difficult to begin with try writing with a fun pen and keep writing and doodling till it comes more naturally.

Multitasking

Focus on One thing at a Time

This is the perfect step to decluttering your mind because you let go of the bigger picture and only focus on one thing at a time. If you have a large to-do list every day, make sure you focus on one task at a time and move onto the next task once the first one is complete. This will easily allow you to let go of multi-tasking to the point that you’re stressing yourself out.  As it turns out, studies now say that multitasking isn’t really good for you anyway.  #Mono-tasking

Declutter Your Mind

Pay Attention to Important Stuff

Only allow thoughts that matter to take up space in your mind. We can get into information overload easily with social media and family but in order to fully declutter your mind, you’ll have to learn to only pay attention to the important stuff. Each day we hear so many things that aren’t important and they consume a large part of our mind, let that nonsense go and only hold important thoughts in your mind.

There you have it, tips to declutter your mind so that you can have less stress, less worry and in turn live a more peaceful life. These tips should help inspire anyone to get a head start to decluttering their mind for happier living.

Things to do With Leftover Christmas Cards

Now that the holiday season is over, you may find that you have an abundance of Christmas cards laying around the home. Throwing these Christmas cards away may seem like a horrible idea because you want to recycle and reuse them to cherish the memories of this past Christmas season. Today, I am sharing a few things you can do with leftover Christmas cards so you can hang onto those memories forever.  This post contains affiliate links.

Things to do With Leftover Christmas Cards

2 inch blocks

Christmas Card Wooden Blocks

Gather up some 2” wooden blocks and spray paint them in various colors. While the wooden blocks are drying, cut out the letters from Christmas cards that have words like “joy”, “merry” and similar words. Use a tool to cut the square blocks of plain color cardstock and use adhesive to apply the letters one at a time to the cardstock.  Spray adhesive or Mod Podge would work. Then apply the cardstock (or you could skip the cardstock step) with letters and other décor pieces from the Christmas cards onto each wooden block on all sides to have a decorative design that showcases your cards.  A layer of Mod Podge would be good to coat the entire block again…the glitter Mod Podge could look really nice!

Christmas Card Picture

Pick up some frames from a thrift store or find some that are being unused within your home. Cut the best Christmas cards out in a way that will allow them to fit into the frame. Find a background that you like from on hand craft supplies, like cardstock or colored paper. Match it up so that you can apply the cutout from the Christmas card to this colored background. Then place this into the frame with a ribbon on the top to hang from the wall.

Christmas Card Postcards

Take some of the Christmas cards that are empty on the inside of that front cover and cut them down into a postcard size. Keep these on hand to send out throughout the year to make someone’s day special. Receiving snail mail is a great way to brighten someone’s day and this is a fabulous way to reuse your Christmas cards and spread that joy to others throughout the year.  We learned this trick from an old Mister Roger’s episode.  🙂

Christmas Card Placemats

This will be a fun project to do with your kids. Create placemats for your dining room table with the old Christmas cards. This is a great way to create décor for holiday gatherings, birthday parties and other social events you host within your home. The kids will enjoy cutting out old Christmas cards with you and placing them together in a way that creates a new decorative placemat for your family to enjoy.  A laminator would come in handy for this or maybe a healthy dose of Mod Podge.

Christmas Card Bookmarks

My kids love books so bookmarks are always on short supply.  That’s why homemade bookmarks are a favorite craft around our home.  You could cut along a lovely pattern and even hole punch it and add some matching string through the top.  Not only would these be great to keep for yourself but they would make great gifts for others too.

Christmas Card Family/Friend Reminders

This is a great way to remember to write, call, email, and/or pray for your family and friends through the year.  You could hole punch them and put them on a ring to cycle through throughout the year.  This is what our family does and I absolutely love this tradition.

There you have it a few things to do with leftover Christmas cards so that you can use them throughout the year. You can also use these ideas to spread joy to loved ones and friends throughout the year. It’s a great way to spread kindness by sharing the joy you felt when that Christmas card first arrived in your home.

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo Review

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The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Like many of you, I read the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up four years ago and was pleasantly startled by her fresh perspective of decluttering.  She attacked categories at a time and not locations.

My favorite quote from the book, “People cannot change their habits without first changing their thinking.

It forever changed the way I thought of things.  Now I try to keep and buy only things that spark joy.  I’ve recommended it to friends and readers for years.  Recently, in our Live With Less Facebook group someone mentioned a Netflix original called Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.  What?  Perfect timing!  People are now feeling uncomfortable with the amount of extra stuff from Christmas and are making New Year’s resolutions to live with less.  Well timed, Netflix, well timed!

Tidying Up With Marie Kondo

When we turned on Netflix tonight we saw an ad for the show and not having any series that we’re currently binge watching, we decided to give it a try.  Our thoughts: it sparked joy. 🙂  See what we did there?  We only watched the first episode but it really hit home.  It was nearly identical to my family’s situation.  My husband is naturally more organized than me, I can get so overwhelmed with daily activities that decluttering seems challenging at best, I dislike laundry,  and we have two small kids like they did.  It was a good show and I’m glad we watched it.  I’m still not a fan of talking to inanimate objects but looking past that I loved it!

I’m excited to watching the rest of them with my husband. To give you a little background, my husband never, and I mean never, watches decorating or yardsale/purging shows and he enjoyed it enough to want watch another one tomorrow. We both have a desire to live with less and watching someone declutter their home and deal with the emotions of it all was incredibly motivating.

So far, I’m loving the series. It’s inspiring me, it’s challenging me, and it makes me want to pause the TV and go fill a box of my unwanted belongings before watching more.  If you’ve seen it, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!

If you’re looking for more decluttering motivation feel free to join our Live With Less Facebook group and say hi!

January Decluttering Challenge 2019

January Declutter Challenge

It’s easy to collect things through the year.  Things we don’t need.  Things others could use.  Things we can sell.  Things we need to find and just put to use.  At least my family does this.  If you have too much stuff and your house could use a decluttering jump start then this challenge is for you.  This January Decluttering Challenge is a daily checklist for you to easily remove things from your home that you no longer need.  Feel free to donate, gift, recycle, or use up these items before opting to throw them away.

We have an active and encouraging Live With Less Facebook group that I would love to have you join.  You can share before and after photos, ask for advice, and share encouraging photos of things you’re letting go of.  You can join by clicking here.




























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Happy New Year!  I hope you’ll join our Live With Less Facebook group so we can connect and chat!

You might also like our 200 Things to Throw Away post.

Car Related New Year’s Resolutions

Car Related New Year's Resolutions

New Year’s is a great time to evaluate your life and replace your bad habits with new ones.  Keep in better contact with family, live in the moment, prioritize your health, and the list goes on and on.  There are hundreds of ways that you can improve your life but what about the life of your car?  If you would like to see your car live a good long and healthy life read on for some New Year’s Resolution ideas.

This post is brought to you by Thompson Toyota.

Car Related New Year’s Resolutions for Drivers

  • -Get your oil changed regularly (mark it on your calendar)
  • -Research how to be fuel-efficient (click here for a good place to start your research)
  • -Save money on gas by using apps to find the cheapest gas (see my full list of gas apps here)
  • -Use the Waze app to carpool with others (see my full list of map apps here)
  • -Be more patient with other drivers
  • -Practice being a courteous driver more
  • -Check your tire pressure monthly
  • -Change your wiper blades before they’re unusable (this is a good one for me)
  • -Keep your car’s interior clean (you might want to check out our list of 7 ways to remove car odors)
  • -Get a monthly plan for the car wash (we started that this year and love it!)
  • -Stop leaving your vehicle idling
  • -Start locking your car when you leave it
  • -Stop speeding
  • -Take your car in for regular maintenance (see how to winterize your vehicle here)
  • -Start saving for upcoming repairs/service and for your next vehicle!

What car related New Year’s resolution could you add to the list?  Personally, I want to add write down which CDs are in the CD changer.  Yes, we have an old van but I love it dearly.  …but for the life of me I can’t keep which CD is in which spot straight.  It’s always the last one I check.  Always.  Happy New Year’s, everyone!!

30 Days of Giving Challenge 2018

30 Days of Giving Challenge

For just about every year since I started blogging I’ve participated in or led a 30 days of giving each November.  I’ve been blogging since 2009 so that’s quite a long time!  I love to give to others and can always do more and give more.  I want to teach my children about giving.  I want them to have a heart of gratitude and a giving spirit.  Together my family and I are making November a month of giving and I hope you’ll join us!

Here’s how this challenge is going to go this year:

The challenge is to give something to someone everyday in November.  I know what you’re thinking, “Are you off your rocker, we’re already a week into November!”  It’s true!  I had this challenge planned before our close friend and pastor’s wife passed away.  I apologize for posting this late but I haven’t felt like being on the computer much.  I hope you’ll start today but whenever you stumble upon the challenge I hope you’ll join in.

The gifts can be anything given to anyone…money, food, old clothes, crafts, your time, or even kind words.  I would love to have every single one of my readers join me in this challenge.  The way I see it, even if I don’t give something every single day it will probably would still be more than I normally would have given any other month…and that’s worth it, right?

Here are some of the gift ideas I’ve came up with so far:

  • –  donate can goods to a local food pantry
  • –  donate new toys in your gift drawer or closet to Toys for Tots
  • –  make and deliver a meal to a grieving family or a family with a sick loved one
  • –  donate a couple of hours of free babysitting for new parents
  • –  rake up the leaves in an elderly friend’s house
  • –  clean out your closets to donate to GoodWill or the Salvation Army or a family you know in need
  • –  give few more dollars in the plate at church
  • –  prepare a gift for those new to the neighborhood
  • –  send a letter and a box of non-perishable goodies to a soldier
  • –  have the kids make and mail cards to missionaries (or to vets)

30 Days of Giving

The New Addition!

I want to combine this old challenge with a Live With Less twist!  I want to suggest finding things in our homes that we no longer need or LOVE and give them to someone else.  We can still make meals and cards but it’s my desire for us to also find usable things we have just laying around and donate them to those who can make good use of them.  This could be giving an old piece of china to a relative who would enjoy it, passing along a favorite book to a friend, or it could be donating a bag full of items to a charity.  The choice is yours!

By the way, if you’re local to me I know of several families and charities that would love gently used toys and household items.

Giving Challenge Prize?

If there’s enough participation I’ll throw in an Amazon gift card to a random participant!  I love to give money to those who participate in challenges but I’d like to see a lot of people participating before I throw out a large gift card.  I’ve been known to give every participant a $5 gift card before.  You just never know! 🙂  Think of it as a bonus to the good feeling you’ll get blessing others!

How do I know who participated?  Here’s how!

Giving Challenge Rules:

  • – You must submit your daily entry by posting photos of your items to be given (or write what you said, paid for, etc) on the wall of our Facebook group under the daily photo I post.  Today’s post will say Giving Challenge #8 (because it’s November 8th, even though it’s the first day of the challenge), tomorrow’s will say Giving Challenge #9, and so on and so forth.
  • – If you don’t have Facebook you can also email me the pictures at MrsAshleyWalkup@gmail.com with the subject 30 Days of Giving Challenge #8.
  • – If you know you’re going to have a busy week you can work ahead in the challenge up to five days ahead of time (this is a change from the previous challenge, you can now work further ahead!) and you can be two days late and still be eligible for the prize.
  • We’re going to start the challenge today, Thursday, Nov. 8th.  Because we’re starting late you don’t have to give away 30 things, just 1 per day till the end of the challenge.  If you want to do more, by all means please do.
  • – This is a question I would ask if I was participating so I’ll ask and answer it in case you’re wondering to.  Do you actually have to donate the item to, say Goodwill, or can you just set it aside in a box in your garage until the end of the month?  The garage is fine!  There’s no need to make a trip daily to take one item some place.
  • – What if you have so much extra stuff and you want to go above and beyond?  By all means do!
  • – Share this with a friend!  It’s easier to stick with it if you have a friend or family member who are joining in too.
  • – Last but not least, have fun!!!

In the words of my wise friend Dawn, “This challenge is about being grateful for what you have and blessing others who are less fortunate!”  I couldn’t agree more!

I’m excited to have you join me.   Feel free to start snapping pics, donating, and posting your pics in our group today!  Join our group by clicking here!

Tips for Organizing Kitchen Cabinets

Are you looking for a way to free up a considerable amount of space in your kitchen? If you are like me and constantly trying to figure out the proper way to organize your kitchen cabinets to save space or create more space, then continue reading for some tips to organize your kitchen cabinets.

Tips to Organize Kitchen Cabinets

Organizing Your Kitchen Cabinets is as Easy as 123…

Empty Everything

The first step to organizing kitchen cabinets is to empty everything out. You can’t organize things without first knowing what you’re working with. Take the time to set out everything from every cabinet onto the counter. Check expiration dates and toss away any items that are expired or unusable, this includes pantry items that perhaps have little left within their container.

Group Your Stuff

Now that you have everything out on the counter in a wide open space, group your stuff. You will create mini-groups of similar items as a means to ensure you place baking goods with baking goods, seasonings with seasonings and so forth to ensure your kitchen cabinets are organized and easily accessible. If you’re uncertain of where to group an item, create a miscellaneous pile for now.

Determine a Home

Now that everything has been grouped together, take a look at the placement of your kitchen cabinets. Plan to have baking goods near the stove, for example, to ensure each item is not only organized but in an easily accessible location for their purpose. Keep canned goods in one place, pasta in another and be sure to have everything located in a place that suits the kitchen setup.

Try New Containers

Most of the items you found in your kitchen cabinets may have been in there a long time. Think about all of that waste, you perhaps spend extra money replacing items that didn’t need replacement. Try to use new containers such as clear ones so that you can label them and see how much is left in each container easily. This will help reduce spending on unnecessary supplies and ensure you can easily access what you need in the kitchen.

Use Hooks or Extra Shelves

If you find that there is a lot of empty space in your kitchen cabinets against the wall area, use hooks to help maximize usage of those areas. You can easily use an extra shelf install or hooks to keep various items. Consider maximizing the best organizational skills ever by utilizing the space that tends to be empty space once the kitchen cabinets are organized.

There you have it an easy to follow guide on how to organize your kitchen cabinets. Although tedious, this process is relatively easy and as long as you communicate with the household on putting everything where it belongs, things should stay organized for quite some time.

Live With Less Challenge for October 2018

Live With Less Challenge

It’s October and it’s time for another Live With Less Challenge!

We’re getting a late start but I hope you can jump in with us now and start living with less.  This challenge will be unlike any other that we’ve had thus far.  This challenge will largely be up to you.  The ball is in your court so to speak.

How To Enter To Win

  • – Join our Facebook group here.
  • – Find the Live With Less Challenge post set up for that day.
  • – Click the link on that post to read my blog post of the day for decluttering inspiration.
  • – Come back to the Facebook group to add one photo (or more if you really can’t fit it all in one) of the things you’re getting rid of to the comment thread of that post.  It can be an area related to my post of the day (for example, a kitchen junk drawer) or whatever you want it to be.  You know your house and your hot spots for clutter, attack your weak spots.
  • – Repeat this every day to the end of the month.
  • – If you miss a day you can make it up any time but try and not get behind.  The goal of this challenge is to help make decluttering a daily habit.
  • – Watch in our Facebook group for a randomly chosen winner to be announced (from those who completed the challenge from days 5-31)

Prize

When we get rid of things, we all win but I’ll be awarding one random winner a $50 Paypal cash prize.  Free money for getting rid of things.  Yay!

Things to Throw Away

You can choose what area to work on and how much you’re going to let go of each day.  There isn’t a set amount.  Many of us are at different stages of the decluttering race and I thought this would be a way for you to stay motivated while working on the areas that plague your household the most.  Need inspiration on areas to tackle?  Check out our list of 200 Things to Throw Away or check out what others are tossing in the Live With Less Facebook group.

You Don’t Have to Throw It Away

Remember, you can donate, gift, recycle, repurpose, or throw away.  Try to let throwing away be your last option if possible.  Be careful not to get stuck on wanting to repurpose or repair things though.  It’s easy to save things for “one day” and that day never comes.

If you have any questions feel free to ask!  Invite your friends, it’s always more fun to do these challenges with friends who can hold us accountable and cheer each other on.  I’m excited to start this new Live With Less Challenge with you guys!  I hope you’ll join us!

Tips for Organizing a Small Bathroom

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Owning a small bathroom when you’re raising a family can seem like a never-ending battle of trying to stay organized. You want to maintain enough space so you don’t feel crowded while getting ready for your day. Owning a smaller bathroom may have its downsides, there are some perks to your small bathroom. You have less floor space to mop and less room to let unnecessary clutter build up.  When you own a small bathroom, it’s best to learn how to maximize the little space you do have.

Tips to Organize Your Small Bathroom

Use Hidden All Hidden Spaces for Storage

The bathroom sinks that storage under them have their own hidden wall space that can easily be utilized to organize smaller items. This never dawned on me till I was at a friend’s house helping her pack and saw her awesome under the sink organization system.  Use the inside of your bathroom cabinets to place small containers by adhering them to the inside of the cabinet with a semi-permanent adhesives, strong glue, or tiny screws. Then use these mini storage bins to hold hair things, toothbrushes, and other small items. These can be found at the dollar store.  You can even use more substantial ones for storing such things as a hair dryer or curling wand.  Those can be found here on Amazon.  These keep those items easy to access and out of your eyesight.

Organizing a Small Bathroom

Plastic Tubs for Supplies

Purchase plastic tubs or beautiful baskets to hold your hair supplies in. This could include hair gel, extra shampoo, conditioner, curling irons, flat irons, and hair dryers. This tub can be easily placed on the floor underneath the bathroom counter for ease of daily access. This plastic tub for your everyday hair care supplies will help minimize clutter on the top of your bathroom counter.  I use one to store all my extra make up products in and another one to store all of my skin care products in.  I leave the lids off of mine but this picture on Amazon shows them stacked with the lids on.  It’s a good way to make use of all that space.  These totes are inexpensive and can be found here on Amazon.

Bathroom Organization

Add Hooks to the Wall

Purchase wall hanging hooks. These hooks can be used to hang the family’s bathroom towels on. This will free up storage space in your bathroom closet. Having a place for your family to hang their towel after each shower will encourage a clean looking small bathroom at all times. You’ll feel so much better walking into your bathroom when you use hooks to hang family towels.  I can’t find one exactly like ours but we bought a coat rack instead of a traditional bathroom towel bar.  It takes up less space for all the towels to hang together and they still air dry just fine.  The one pictured below can be found on Amazon here for around $20.

Towel Organization

Baskets for Storage

You can get clever with baskets in your small bathroom by organizing the extra towels and other items by putting square baskets on their side and hanging them from the wall. This may take a few screws to ensure the baskets are hung tightly, but once completed you will have a more rustic look to your bathroom with more space to store towels and other extra supplies without making it look cluttered. There are many online tutorials on how to use baskets for wall storage in a small bathroom.  Click here for the tutorial pictured below.

Wall Baskets for Bathroom Storage

If you’re not into DIY this store bought option might be a good fit for you.  You can find it here on Amazon.

Bathroom Wall Basket

Owning a small bathroom doesn’t have to be the end of the world, there are many tips and tricks to ensure your small bathroom can hold as much as a larger bathroom would. It’s simply a matter of being creative and using your imagination for ideas to store your everyday essentials and bathroom supplies. I hope these tips will help inspire you to organize your small bathroom in a creative way.  Don’t forget though, that sometimes what you need is less stuff and not more organization.  As you organize think about each item you’re organizing and if you really need it or not.  Happy organizing!

Fall Car Maintenance

These fall car maintenance tips are brought to you by Phil Smith Kia.

Car Maintenance

Car Maintenance Checklist

 

 

Remove Car Odors

(See our 7 Ways to Remove Car Odors)

 

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Pin this on Pinterest so you’ll always have it close by.

Fall Car Maintenance