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Finding Balance

Balance.

It’s a state of being a lot of us are looking for.

By definition “Balance” means ‘an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady’. Naturally the ebb and flow of life causes the scales to tip slightly here and there but what if you can’t get it back to even?

I work with a lot of people who feel their life is completely off balance. Whether it be a major life event such as death, divorce, or an unexpected health issue, or working parents that are completely overwhelmed with life and need help to get their homes in order to function properly. The scales have tipped along the way and they need help.

 

So how do we find it?

My advice to my clients is to stop. Stop buying useless things to fill a void, stop saying yes, stop feeling the need to do it all. Unless you have a housekeeper, a cook, a personal assistant, a bookkeeper, a home organizer on call, and an endless checking account you cannot, absolutely cannot do it all. Something is going to suffer. Your sanity, your health, your relationships, your home, your bank account, trust me, something is going to suffer.

 

Where do I start?

Take a breather. Find one day to turn the world (and your phone) off. Assess your life. What do you want out of your life? What do you want out of your relationships? What are your dreams? Look around your home, does it bring you joy? Does it bring your family joy?

Next, call a family meeting. Check in with each other. Are you filling your schedules to avoid something? To keep up with your friends? Do you feel pressure to look like you’re doing it all? Is every child maxed out with school, homework, sports, and lessons of every kind? Do you have any down time at all?

After you have done all this and had honest conversations with yourself, your spouse, and your family, what can you do to find some balance?

Helpful tips.

Rest. Make one day out of the week a rest day. Decide what true rest looks like for you and do it.  Your body, your brain, and your soul needs rest. Resting lessons anxiety, reduces stress. Relaxation clears your mind, helps with your thought process, and helps you make better decisions. It renews you from the inside out.

Sit in silence. When was the last time you did this? It may be uncomfortable for a few minutes, but try it. Just sit and be quiet. It’s so refreshing. My favorite time to be quiet is in my car. I drive a lot around the Dallas Metroplex and I love doing it in silence. It’s wonderful.

Go for walks. This helps me so much. When the world is crashing in on me and my life feels out of control, I put on my shoes and walk. I walk and I think. I don’t listen to music or podcasts. I just walk until I feel better. I look around me,  I’m quiet. I listen to my heart. It’s truly my favorite thing to do.

Say no. Like I mentioned above, saying no is a huge step to finding balance. You don’t have to give a reason why either, just say “no, I can’t do that right now”. Period.

Stop useless spending. Buying “stuff” without a reason is useless spending. “Just because it’s on sale” is not a reason to buy it. That useless stuff turns into clutter. Clutter you don’t need in your home. Don’t make impulse purchases. Don’t shop your feelings away. Have a reason for why you are buying something. Try it, it takes practice but pretty soon you will have trained yourself to say “no, I truly don’t need that”.

Ask for help. It’s ok to ask for help. A trusted friend, a parent, a sibling, your spouse, a professional. Talk about it and say it out loud. I need help. It’s the first step in claiming back your life. I always tell my clients the hardest part is actually calling me, once they’ve asked for help, the rest is all downhill.  You don’t have to do it alone.

Dear friends, I want to tell you I speak from experience. I’ve been there and made all the mistakes. I’ve walked that path. I’ve suffered imbalance and I’m here to tell you it can get better…..if you want it to.

Are you ready to find your peace? Claim your life back? Fight for balance? It’s worth it. You’re worth it. Your family is worth it. Start today.

I’m here to help,

Lisa

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Baskets

I. Love. Baskets.

…..said in my best Oprah voice!

 

 

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I use them in every room, and for so many different things. Take this basket above from Home Goods. I used three of them in a pantry last week and you all went crazy for them! I love to get things up off the floor, and these worked perfectly to house all the to go cups, plates, and napkins! They also work great to hold paper and plastic bags, pre packaged snack items, trash bags and cleaning rags, and the list goes on and on.

 

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I linked similar ones on my LiketoKnow.it account. If you don’t have that app, it’s so easy to use. Trust me, if I can use it, so can you lol! Just download it in your App Store, look for me, Neat Freak McKinney, or any of your other favorite accounts, hit follow, and viola, you can see and shop all my/our favorites right there.

 

Ok, where was I? Baskets.

 

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Baskets are a great way to add texture to your space. Neutrals are so in at the moment,  and using baskets will add beautiful pattern and depth to your room.

 

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I have and use them all over my home. I use this one in my office as a recycle bin. I found it years ago for under ten dollars at TJ Maxx.

Similarly, I use these from Pottery Barn to hold office supplies by my desk.

 

 

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The lids make it easy to stack, to hide, or to keep little hands out! I store my calculator, {yes, I’m #oldschool}, my current month’s work receipts, and envelopes on one side, and all my decorative banners on the other.

 

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In this  basket  I keep all my Neat Freak note cards. These bamboo bin clips are my favorite way to label right now. My assistant makes all the vinyl labels you see in all my posts. Message me to order!

 

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This woven tray from Pottery Barn (similar one linked) has been a favorite of mine for years. It has served as a backdrop behind a potted plant (for texture and to hide cords), as a breakfast in bed tray, as a party basket to hold plates, napkins and silverware, and as a magazine tray on my coffee table. It’s literally been everywhere, and I love it.

 

Baskets are an easy way to add warmth, texture, depth and storage to every room in your home. You can find them in any price point too. That’s why I love them and use them so much.

 

Want a refresh of your home or space? Did you know I do home staging and “redecoranging”? I’d love to help you! I’m an email away.

 

Ready to help you today,

Lisa

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Get Organized HQ is back!

 

Ever wish you could sit down and have coffee with someone (or a room full of someones) who is totally non-judgey and knows exactly which manageable steps you should take next to get your life and home running smoothly? 

Are you tired of all of the “expert advice” that doesn’t actually work for busy women who have a lot to manage and who also DO need to sleep occasionally?

Well I’m teaming up with over 40 other real-life, real-talk women and we are all so excited to share our stories and the lessons we’ve learned along the way about organizing and streamlining your home.

It’s called Get Organized HQ, and it’s a completely free, 100% online event. These been there done that women are will be talking about everything from organizing pantries, garages, and toys, meal planning, work/life balance, setting practical goals, decluttering, budgeting, and so much more!

And the awesome thing is – it is free to attend!

No need to leave your house, hire a babysitter, or even change out of your yoga pants. It’s all happening right here online September 9th – 13th. And it’s going to be nothing short of amazing!

Ready to join in? Click HERE.to get your free ticket!

 

 

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Food Prepping – Back To School Edition

What does it mean to food prep?

 

For me food prepping (preparing food ahead of time) is a way to keep my sanity during the busy school weeks. When we have food prepped and ready to go for lunches, dinners, snacks and breakfasts, we not only save time, we save money!

 

I typically grocery shop on a Friday or Saturday and food prep on Sunday afternoons.  Sunday’s are slower days for us and it’s relaxing for me to be in the kitchen making good food for the week ahead. Get the whole family on board to help. Littles love to help in the kitchen, and big kids can help you cook!

 

What food items do I prep ahead?

 

Meat. Even though I eat vegan, I prep meat for my family. I will cook up all the chicken, beef, turkey burger, bacon, sausage etc. all on one day. Then I freeze it into portions for quick meal prep for spaghetti, tacos, chili, breakfasts, or whatever is on the menu for the week.

*Side note: our trash cans go out on Monday night, so when I cook up all the meat on Sunday, there’s no stinky wrappers sitting in the trash can all week!

 

Veggies. I wash, dry, cut up and prep all the veggies I can. We use these for salads, lunch boxes, snacks, fajitas, you name it!

 

Fruit. You’ve seen my vinegar wash for strawberries and blueberries. I buy in bulk, dump them into a large bowl. Cover with water and pour in 1/4 to 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (with the mother), stir and let set for one hour. Drain, rinse and set out on a towel to air dry completely. Then I put into mini serving reusable baggies for lunches or snacks.

*Side note: fruit has to be completely dry before putting back in the fridge.

 

Snacks: I buy snacks in bulk and portion them into smaller reusable baggies This saves money and time each morning. When you have a grab and go section in your pantry it makes packing lunches a breeze!

 

Muffins: I like to make a double batch of muffins (any kind) to freeze. Perfect for breakfast, snacks, or to have on hand for guests. They freeze so well.

 

Steel Cut Oats/Pancakes: I make a large batch of oatmeal and heat up a little each morning for breakfast. Add honey, walnuts and cinnamon for the yummiest breakfast ever. You can also do the same for pancakes; make a huge batch on Saturday or Sunday and freeze the rest…pop them in the toaster and you have a quick, hot, and home made breakfast!

 

Quinoa/Grains: I also will make up a batch of quinoa, lentils, rice, or couscous, etc. They make a great side dish when you add veggies, are good in salads, soups, tacos, etc. Having them made up ahead of time makes weeknight meal prep go quickly.

 

Chili/Soup: I love to make a big batch of chili or soup for dinner on Sunday. Freeze the rest and you’ve got a quick dinner all ready to go. Add a salad and bread and you’re done.

 

What do I use to freeze my food in?

 

I have slowing been phasing out plastic baggies and switching to reusable baggies whenever possible. Last week I showed you all the reusable lunch box inserts we have for the grandkids.  Today I’ll show you the reusable silicone baggies I love and use daily.

*Side note: they are dishwasher safe, but I prefer to hand wash and dry them.

 

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Half gallon reusable baggies made of silicone. Thick and durable! Perfect for freezing soups and chilis. I also use them to freeze cooked up meat of any kind. They hold a ton! So easy to have it already cooked up and ready to add to any recipe.

 

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Keep all your frozen bags in this clear bin for easy access, not to mention great freezer organization.

 

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Here are the reusable baggies I love and use. You can write a name in Sharpie for each member of your family. Wash and dry to use again and again.

 

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These are my favorite reusable snack size bags. Portion out the perfect snack and reuse and reuse and reuse.

 

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I love keeping other snack items in the fridge using this divided turn table. I keep one in my fridge and one in my pantry. Easy access to grab and go, or to help littles pack their own lunches.

Fridge:

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Pantry:

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Use these bins and labels to keep fresh foods contained and accessible as well. Be sure and measure your fridge first. These bins come in lots of different sizes to fit any space.

 

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Now what?

Well, you’ve spent one afternoon cooking and prepping. Sit back and enjoy the rest of the week. Trust me, food prepping works. I was a teacher when my kids were younger. Our weekdays were jam packed with school work, activities, sports, you name it. By having a plan for each week, it saved my sanity not to mention my time and money. It takes a little getting used to at first, but if you start simple and stay consistent with it, you’ll soon be a food prep pro!

 

Need help? I’m an email away.

 

Ready to help you today,

Lisa

 

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Back To School Prep

 

It’s that time of year y’all! Let’s talk school lunches shall we?

 

A few weeks ago, I helped my daughters get their kids’ lunch box items all ready for back to school. School is around the corner here in Texas! PS Can I say how blessed we feel to have five of our eight grand babies here in McKinney with us!

 

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Harper starts Kindergarten this year. She’s both excited and nervous. Letting her pick out her lunch box, backpack, and school supplies is helping her feel more excited than nervous.

 

1. Have them help pack their lunches.

 

Get the kids involved with packing lunches and snacks for school. Letting them pick what they want to eat ensures they will probably eat it! I always give two choices…this or that…apple or orange, tuna or PBJ, etc.  I control the content but they feel like they have a say.

 

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Jack picked yogurt for his snack, and then chose to add a few chocolate chips (I can’t resist those dimples)-win win for all lol. I love using these mini containers . They hold just the right amount and they are dishwasher safe.

 

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We all love this flip and go container. The spoon is included! So easy to pack up the snack the night before and have it ready to pop in the lunchbox in the morning! Add a fun vinyl label and sweet Harper will always know which one is hers.

 

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She says “Yummy, Nana!” Here is another fun snack container  that comes with a spreader…

 

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This snack container can be used so many ways! Celery and peanut butter (or sun butter), Nutella and crackers, carrots and dip…so many ideas, and at $2.99 it’s a steal!

 

2. Let them pick their lunchbox inserts.

 

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When parents let their kiddos make small decisions, it teaches them how to gather information, therefore learning how to make bigger decisions later on in life. #teachertipoftheday

These are the two lunch box inserts my grandkids chose.  Jack and Millie chose the cube bento boxes. Harper chose the slimline lunch insert that includes this mini water bottle!

 

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Millie can’t be left out lol! She was right there with the big kids packing up her lunch box! She couldn’t wait to eat her snack! This will be perfect for her diaper bag when she and mommy go out and about.

 

Last but not least, add these slim ice packs and the kids are all set! Four different colors in one pack!

 

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3. Pack lunches and snacks the night before.

 

Nothing is worse than starting the day off stressed. Do yourself and your family a favor by packing lunches (and backpacks) the night before. We always did it after dinner while we were all in the kitchen. Makes the mornings go so much better!

 

That’s it! My lunchbox tips for back to school. Are you ready?

 

I’ll be back next week to show you how I Food Prep for the week! And as always, if you need help, I’m an email away!

 

Ready to help you!

 

Lisa

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I Like-It!

Do you ever come across a product that has so many uses you just can’t wait to use it?
Well this is that product for me….”this month” anyway lol!

 

Exhibit A:

The dreaded water bottle situation….no matter what system I use it has never worked! It is a constant mess; it doesn’t help that I have a rotating door of family members and grand babies needing water bottles. Not complaining just stating the facts 😉

If I could redo my kitchen, I’d choose all deep drawers instead of cupboards….but since I can’t, this is the best solution I found!

Before:

 

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And AFTER…..

I am in love with the like-it bins from The Container Store! Here I used the short wide drawer. They fit perfectly inside my kitchen cabinet shelf. No more bending over trying to find all the lids, or sweet family members just putting things in the wrong bin….at least they try ;-)….now they are all neatly contained in this one drawer!

I separated the drawers by water bottles and lunch items. It looks so nice and clean now!

 

 

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Exhibit B:

I needed some more storage in my Neat Freak office to hold supplies. I like to stock up on things that I use all the time. But I wanted them in the closet, not sitting on my desk. So….you guessed it, I used the like-it bins here too!

 

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For this project I used  two tall wide drawers and two tall medium drawers.

They fit perfectly on the floor and give me the storage I need!

 

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I added some simple labels and just like that I’m organized and happy!

 

Exhibit C:

The laundry room! Most clients I work with need extra storage in the laundry room. These work perfectly!

 

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I stacked three tall wide like-it bins to create extra storage in the laundry room. I paired it with the three bin laundry sorter and we have instant organization!

 

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Exhibits D, E, F, G, H, I and J!

I have so many ideas floating around in my head on how to use these drawers!

Dorm Room: school supplies, bathroom supplies, dresser drawers

Baby Room: diapers, wipes, changing pads, baby clothes, bath supplies

Closets: use as a dresser for young children’s clothing so they can dress themselves

Kitchen: under the sink storage, pantry drawers, cleaning supplies

Bathrooms: back stock supplies, personal products, washcloths, cleaning supplies

Garage: tool storage, golf balls, golf accessories, power cords, gardening supplies

Back yard: bbq tools, pool supplies, pool towels, pool toys, swim diapers

 

What ideas do you have? Tell me, I’d love to hear! And as always, if you need help, I’m an email away!

 

Ready when you are,

Lisa

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