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I don’t know about you, but I appreciate any cleaning shortcuts that work. Less time cleaning means more time I can spend with my family and working toward my goals. I’m not sure if it is technically a cleaning hack, but my iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaner has made cleaning easier. In fact, I wrote a love letter to mine a few months ago (because I’m weird that way, that’s why). Here goes…
Dear robot vacuum cleaner,
Thank you for cleaning my floors while I passively sit and sip coffee. Thank you for letting me feel like I can relax with a book while still “cleaning” the house. I love that you travel through my house like a little pet exploring room to room, humming a sweet pet tune, yet I don’t have to feed you or give you water or remember your name. I am also not allergic to you, don’t have to take you outside for walks, clean your cage, or pick up your poop. You do not eat my shoes, favorite books, or 1 each of several matched pairs of socks.
Dear robot, I want to say thank you for making me feel tech-savvy so that even though I still can’t figure out Facebook (what the heck is messenger & where are these group boards coming from?), I can say that I have a robot in my house.
In summary, thank you for picking up the crushed Cheerios, crayon pieces, pencil shavings and boogers that my child leaves on the floor. Thank you for picking up chocolate crumbs so the evidence is gone before my child and husband get home. Thank you for making my life a tiny bit easier.
One tired momma
-Kristen M. Rodgers
Over the years I have read several how to articles learning the ins and outs of what works for different businesses and hand-made companies. I kept seeing a shipping station repeatedly in blogs and articles and thought it was something worth investigating a little deeper. When the Holiday Season hits for most makers it’s as if you are struggling to stay above water, especially for a one man show.
An ultimate goal of every maker is to stay organized, have fun, and love what you do. I created a shipping station OUTSIDE of my office in the garage so it was out of sight and out of mind when I was creating. When I finish an item I simply place it on the table and at the end of the day I go out and package everything up. Packaging is a job within it self (if you’re doing it properly.) It’s crucial to have something visually stimulating and exciting for your customer to open up. Often times I will go with seasons and add little trinkets, ribbons, shred, etc. This is also a branding trick and customers are more likely to remember all the extra effort you put into their order. You took the time to make it special. That is why the shipping station is so crucial it gives you time to focus on one thing….SHIPPING….
It’s a known fact most creative people are “squirrelly” type personalities, so having focus, direction, and guidance is crucial. I wish I would have started this years ago, so here I am screaming it from the ROOF TOPS – create a damn shipping station! Have all your bubble wrap, ribbons, boxes, tape, and goodies to add in all in ONE SPOT! (Also toddlers can’t steal your trinkets this way! hehe)
Now let’s get to shipping!!!!
- Stalk of Celery
- 3 tbs butter
- 1/3 cup of Olive Oil
- 1/2 onion thinly chopped
- 1 pound of wide egg noodles
- 5 cups milk
- 1 can of drained artichoke hearts
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
Lets get cooking ladies and gents……
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Start boiling water in a large pot and add noodles for about 2 minutes or until al dente, drain the noodles and return to the same pot.
In a separate pan heat oil in a heavy pan on medium heat. Add onions and 3 stalks of chopped celery with salt and pepper. Cook for 4-6 minutes than add in flour stirring for about a minute. Add milk until a smooth texture and let simmer for one minute.
Add mixture and noodles together. Add in tuna, artichoke hearts, and salt and pepper. Mix it up well. Place in baking dish and sprinkle over the top with parmesan! (I also added mozzarella for some extra zing!)
Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown and bubbling on top!
December to August in my house was Chaotic, Hectic, Busy, Non Stop, and Confusing. We all hit these times in our Mommy or Career Lives where we have to sit back and pull the reigns. In my case I needed to completely halt them! I have always had goals and ways to reach them, but when you are on the move non stop with no time to be in the moment because you are consistently planning or running it makes life fly by and messy. While running late which had become a new usual for me, on my way to football practice (which my son was begging after day 4 to not do), with the baby crying in the back from being over tired, listening to “Little Sprigs” podcast on conscious parenting and being in the moment it hit me like a TON OF BRICKS…. Not like a pillow case blow, but literally made my head hurt to the point I turned the car around. I have been running so fast for so long I am missing what is important in my life. Lets rewind a little….About 3 weeks ago, I started to get some serious anxiety just around life in general. I was like the 2-year-old that still hears back round noise and feels the ‘missing out” so can’t sleep. I had my hands in way to many jars with absolutely no direction or focus. I needed to get clarity and focus. I knew a few things so I began to write…..
- My children needed me to be present and not always stressed out about what was to come next. Children feed off our feelings and absolutely need us to be present and in the moment with them.
- I was so stressed out over work and never getting any thing done I had become in a habit of being in ‘catch up’ mode.
- My health and taking care of myself had become non existent and on the back burner. (I even went to the doctor thinking I was sick and got informed that stress can be hidden and sneak up on you with out you realizing it, thus showing signs your “sick.”)
- I was trying to be supermom, super woman, super wife, super career with no strategy or organization.
Now lets fast forward…..I started this blog over 30 days ago and have since made some serious dedication to organize and re strategize my entire existence. I failed a few times but here is a list of things that so far, have been serious game changers in balance, freedom, simplicity and over all happiness.
- I laid out my children and I’s clothing in outfits on hangers for the entire month. No more out fit arguments in the morning, no more sweats and a tank top for me everyday. The best part…. all we do is grab a hanger and the entire outfit is ready for the day.
- DO THE DISHES….No matter how tired you are. Do the dishes and a quick clean on your kitchen the night before. There is nothing more stressful than waking up and the first thing you think is “oh shit I have cleaning to do from yesterday.”
- Stay on top of laundry. I have one basket in our entire house that holds exactly 1 load of laundry. When that basket is full, I take it to the washing machine, wash it, dry it, and put it on “out fit hangers” immediately.
- Write everything down immediately. I have major mom brain and commit to a hundred different things and then forget deadlines. I have two things I write in, my planner for events and scheduling, and then a little notebook of daily to do’s in accomplishing my small and big goals. Every day I work towards something.
- Handle it. Once. If something needs to be done, do not procrastinate just get up and handle it. Pick up the phone and handle it. Than its done and not lingering on to your next day. Something that once would take you 2 minutes turns into an hour of finding things, sorting things out, making it right. Handle it.
- Meditate. Pray. Breathe. Repeat. – several times throughout the day.
- Throw it away. If you havent used it in over 6 months, get rid of it. Having too much stuff makes it impossible to feel de cluttered and free.
- Plan. Far far far in advance. I’m a dive head first type of girl so this is my biggest struggle. I had on my to do list to plan my September Palette & Paint class. Instead….I planned the dates and booked the location through January. This creates more room and freedom with 1 phone call and a contract.
- Check List. I Framed cute little Morning and Evening to do’s for my littles so they know whats happening and when it’s happening. Children thrive on STRUCTURE.
These few little things have helped me in a big way over the past month and I hope you can take just one thing that helps you too live more balanced and happy!
Unless your Martha Stewart, most likely your under the sink looks like a bomb went off! Am I right??? At least mine did! When we remodeled our kitchen I was in full organization mode to de clutter and make space where I could! Here are some simple and effective hacks I found at doing just that!
My little one likes to climb on EVERY THING and broke the towel hanger in my bathroom, and so I decided to move it to under my sink and place garbage bags around it! (I literally used double sided velcro to secure it, which worked like a gem.)
Next I took the screw in hooks (Sold at any hardware store and created a space for bulky hanging items that took up a bunch of space.) I found an extra Spice holder to place all of my dish washing tabs so the box was not taking up a ton of space underneath the cabinet.
Find any additional baskets, etc. (Any thing can be velcroed) I learned the greatness of this while experiment hanging! Lastly I took a basket and placed all my tiny cleaning supplies, magic erasers, sos pads, etc. in this!
Lastly I used the piping already under the sink as a cleaning holder! The bottles fit perfectly hanging right over the pipe! Everything else I just organized in rows. For example (dish washing – one row) (Dog Cleaning – Second row.)
Happy Organizing My Friends!