Wednesday, January 23, 2019

How to Double Your Closet Space in 30 Seconds for Just $10

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through or make a purchase.

January is the time when people are making new goals for the year, decluttering their homes, and implementing new systems to set themselves up for success in the new year.  Last year I spent the better part of the year evaluating current systems that we had in place in our house, identifying pain points, and setting up new systems to alleviate said pain points.

One of the biggest pain points in our house at the time was getting the kids ready for school each morning.  For starters, they couldn’t reach their own clothes because all they had in their closets was one single rack that was two feet too high.  This resulted in Brian and me having to get their clothes down for them every single morning, and since we were already in their rooms helping them get their clothes down, they also expected us to help them get dressed.  This meant that we were constantly hovering over them and wasting precious time when we could have been getting ourselves ready instead.

Since we worked a lot on independence last year with the kids, I knew we needed to give them the tools they needed to help achieve this, and since it was impossible for them to reach their own clothes, something needed to be done.  I first looked into custom shelving, but unfortunately closet customization is incredibly expensive plus it requires a whole ordeal to have everything installed.  Since closet customization was out of the question I decided that something simple would be more beneficial to us, so I set out to see what I could find.

It’s a closet extender, y’all!  How did I never even know that these existed until last year?? 

At just $9.99 apiece they are incredibly affordable, and they are even easier to install.  All you have to do is attach the bars with the hooks to the rod, and just hang the whole thing in your closet.  It literally takes about 30 seconds.  

You can go from little to no hanging space + kids who can't reach their own clothes:

To double the hanging space + a new lower bar that enables your kiddos to pick out their own clothes without any help:

And all in about 30 seconds for just $10!!!!

We have been using these in both kids’ closets for nearly a year now and I cannot even tell you what a game changer it has been.  We now store clothes for the current season on the bottom rack so they are within arm’s reach for the kids, and the clothes for the off season are hung on the top rack since the kids won’t need them.  When the new season rolls around, I just move the clothes from the previous season to the top rack, and move the clothes for the current season to the bottom.  Easy peasy.

The length of the extender is adjustable, so you can use it in pretty much any size closet.  It starts at just 33 inches for the smaller closets and expands all the way to 56 inches for larger closets, so you can customize your closet however you wish. 

We have this exact extender here, but there are also some other options on Amazon here if you’re looking for something different. 

I hate to sound like an infomercial, but these things have been so life-changing that they are just too good not to share.  If you’re having similar issues with your kids, or if you just want more space in your closet without breaking the bank, you should definitely check them out!

Don't forget to link up with us below!  

Time for a link party! Blogging friends, share your post below and meet your hosts! 

Keri at Keri Lynn Synder / Faceobok / Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest 

*Linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I What I Wore, Pumps & Push Ups for Oh, Hey Girl! Link-Up, The Mummy ChroniclesTucker UpShopping My Closet for Style Me Wednesday, Classy Yet Trendy for Trendy Wednesday Link-Up, The Blended Blog and Jessi's Design and Going the Distance for What's Hap-"Pinning" Wednesday.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Our Weekend - The One with the Trip to Athens and Atlanta

Happy Tuesday!  We had a nice three-day weekend!  I always love three-day weekends because I feel like they are the most well rounded.  This weekend we had one day to explore and do something fun, one day to spend with extended family, and one day to get things done… doesn’t that seem so much more balanced than a two-day weekend??

Anyway, we kicked off the weekend Friday evening with Mexican for dinner with Brian’s best friend and his family.  We used to hang out with them all the time, but his friend travels a ton for work now and isn’t home very often.  It’s always good to see them when we can, though!

Saturday we were up bright and early to spend the day in Athens and Atlanta!  We headed straight to Athens first for the Georgia vs. Florida basketball game.  Since we don’t have a Trader Joe’s in our city, we always visit them in Athens and Atlanta when we go, so we made a quick stop at the Athens TJ’s first to pick up some staples that we were nearly out of – mini chocolate chip cookies, chia seeds, and three cases of their Charles Shaw wine… at only $2.99 a bottle you can’t go wrong!

The basketball game was at noon, so we grabbed some lunch at the venue on the way to our seats, and then watched the game.  Both of the kids were really into it, and at one point Brian said Olivia was even saying how many points were earned each time someone would shoot a basket, and she was also saying how far we were ahead or behind.  How she knows the difference between a two-pointer, a three-pointer, and a free throw, we will never know, though, because neither B nor I told her.  I’m now convinced she was a basketball player in a previous life.  She is tall for her age.  Lol.

My cousin, Shelby, who goes to school at UGA was at the game, so she came and hugged the kiddos and, as always, they were super excited to see her.  At halftime, we went down and grabbed some treats for the kids (sour worms for Jacob and cotton candy for Olivia) and then we went back to our seats for the second half.  Unfortunately, we ended up losing, but at least we had a good time!  I don’t get all bent out of shape about losing at basketball like I do football.  Haha.

After the game, we drove into Atlanta to hit up Ikea for some things for the house.  Jacob has a set of three Ikea frames by his bed, and one had fallen off the wall and broken recently, so we finally got to grab another to replace it.  We also grabbed a couple of pairs of curtains while we were there since Ikea’s are the best!  I can’t wait to hang them!

We were in there forever (as you pretty much are any time you visit any Ikea) and the kiddos were surprisingly good.  I asked them to take a picture while we were waiting in the check-out line and Jacob said, “Mommy, I’m too tired to take a picture.”  And this was the face he gave.

Lol.  Yep, Ikea is exhausting, Buddy.  I feel ya.

After our long trek through Ikea, something delicious for dinner was in order, so we found a Tin Lizzy’s Cantina nearby… it’s our favorite Mexican place and we don’t have them at home so we have to take full advantage when we’re in Atlanta!  We all loaded up on queso and guac and salsa paired with their most delicious tortilla chips (I swear, theirs are like crack – you cannot stop eating them) and B and I had each ordered margaritas.  Their margs are delicious, too!

Just as we were getting close to finishing up with dinner and heading for home, my brother sent out a group text to everyone in our family asking if we were all okay.  I had no clue why he was evening asking, but it turned out that there was a tornado in the area near our hometown so the sirens were going off and everyone was huddled in their bathrooms and laundry rooms.  B and I checked out the radar and saw that the worst of it was heading just south of Atlanta, so we decided to hang out at the restaurant a little longer and wait for it to pass so we didn’t risk having to drive through it. 

We did have to drive through some pretty hard rain some of the way home, though.  And if you’ve ever been in Atlanta then you know the traffic is AWFUL there, so having to drive through Atlanta traffic in the pouring rain at night is pretty much the worst.  Fortunately it wasn’t as bad as we had anticipated, and we made it home safely and avoided all of the really bad weather in the process.  Whew.

Sunday morning we woke up to a forecast of SNOW for the following Sunday.  I’m sure it’ll change before then as we rarely get snow, but it’s always exciting to know that there’s a chance!

We spent the day at my MIL and step-FIL’s having lunch.  The rain the night before had brought in some kind of crazy cold front so it was freezing and windy all day which meant outdoor time was not able to happen. 

We had Sunday dinner at my parents’ house and we celebrated my uncle’s birthday.  I got to get lots and lots of baby snuggles, and as always, it was a great way to end the day.

B and the kids were off Monday for the holiday so we spent the day getting lots of stuff done around the house and running some errands that we had needed to run for a while.  I got B to help me hook up our old VCR and I was finally able to see what was on an old stack of video tapes that I had in my office that were unlabeled.  It was all just a bunch of old TV shows, mostly Dawson’s Creek.  Haha.  Those, of course, are going in the trash! 

We also got a few loads of laundry done, and then we headed out to Chick-Fil-A for a quick lunch and to let the kids play on the indoor playground for a few minutes since it was super cold again.  After that, we went to Lowe’s to grab some things that are going to help me check some things off of my long list – I grabbed some new paint to repaint my office, we grabbed some screws for the new pulls that I got for Olivia’s dresser, we got a new curtain rod for the front sitting room downstairs (for the new Ikea curtains), and we finally, finally had new house keys made to give to our parents.  We gave each of them spares years ago when we first moved in our house (for times when they come over to watch the house while we’re out of town), but it’s been so long they’ve all misplaced them.  I’ve been meaning to have keys remade for them for years, and we finally got it done this weekend!  CHECK!  Monday was super productive!

Olivia had ballet and tap Monday afternoon so she and I went to that while B and Jacob stayed home, and then we ended the weekend with slowcooker chicken soft tacos and an episode of The Bachelor. 

See?  The perfect mix of fun, family, and productivity.  You can’t go wrong with that! 

Monday, January 21, 2019

Still Weekending...

Brian and the kids are off today for Martin Luther King Day, so we are still weekending!  Feel free to link up below if you have a post.  And be sure to come back tomorrow for our weekend recap... we had a fun day trip to Athens and Atlanta on Saturday so there will be a lot to talk about!

Happy Monday, y’all!

Don't forget to link up with HeatherJohannahTanya, and myself... just grab our new graphic for 2019 and link up below!

*Linking up with B Loved Boston for Weekending and HoHo Runs for Weekly Wrap.

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Friday, January 18, 2019

Five on Friday - Ball Gowns, Instagram Reposts, & Girl Time

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through or make a purchase.

I’ve had a super productive couple of weeks since the kids have gone back to school!  I’ve been doing #AllTheThings and it feels good to cross tasks off of the list.  We have a long weekend this weekend so we’re heading out of town tomorrow for a little day trip… it’ll be nice to reward myself after working so hard this week.  :o)

But first, some favorites!  Go ahead and grab your cup of coffee and join me, won’t you?

O N E – Amazon Dress

I’m still on the hunt for a ball gown for our ball at the end of this month (you may remember this post here?) and I think I may have found the keeper.  I got this dress from Amazon for just $37.99 and I love it so much!  The quality is good, the cut is super flattering, and it fits like a glove… although, maybe slightly too tight?  I want to keep it so bad, but it is pretty tight across my butt, so I ordered the next size up (medium) and I’ll have to report back when I see how it fits. 

T W O – Best Invention Since Cell Phones

As a mother of two I’m constantly juggling all the things, literally and figuratively.  Every time we get out of the car, there are bags and cups to carry and tiny hands to hold, and I cannot even tell you how many times I’ve dropped my keys in the shuffle.  I recently came across these key rings, and they are made so you can wear your keys on your wrist like a bracelet.  WHAT?!  BOOM.  It’s like magic.

I’ve been using mine for almost a week now and I am completely obsessed with this thing.  I honestly have no idea how I’ve lived all my life without one.  It’s such a simple concept and it makes me wonder how the heck I didn’t come up with this a long time ago!  I mean, genius, right?

And not only do they keep you hands-free, but they also prevent your keys from getting lost in the bottom of your bag.  With that big O attached to it, how could they?  Just brilliant.

I got the Rose Gold Confetti one, but they have all kinds of different colors, patterns, and finishes.

T H R E E – When Someone Famous Reposts Your Picture on the ‘Gram…

Y’all.  I had a total FREAK OUT fan girl moment last week because Lauren Conrad’s official fashion Instagram account reposted my Instagram picture.  I mean, WHAT?!  I posted a picture of myself wearing this top of hers a few weeks ago and apparently they deemed it worthy of a repost.  #Swoon  I’m still pinching myself.

And speaking of reposts, Pilot Pens reposted my picture on their Instagram account a few weeks ago, too!  I’ve been using the same Pilot Precise Pens forever – for at least 20 years – so I was excited that they decided to use my picture.

F O U R – Girlfriend Hangs

Y’all probably remember my friend Adrienne who blogs over at Bentley Like the Car?  Well, she had another sweet baby girl recently and is still on maternity leave, so I brought some coffee over to her house earlier this week and I got to get lots of baby snuggles while she and I chatted and hung out. 

We also got together on Thursday for a day date to visit this new indoor arts and crafts market in town.  They have so many cute handmade things – jewelry, signs, shirts, house décor, etc.  It’s basically like Etsy in brick and mortar form.  I’ll definitely be heading there again because it’s the perfect place to shop for birthday and Christmas gifts. 

While we were there, I saw a sign that I loved and I was wondering if it would fit in my kitchen so I whipped out my tiny measuring tape that I keep in my purse and Adrienne died laughing.  Lol.  She thought it was crazy that I keep a measuring tape in my purse so she whipped out her camera to document the moment.  And then she was thanking me for it later when she needed it to measure something for her house.  #ItsOnlyWeirdUntilYouNeedIt

F I V E – How I Organized My Entire Life by Creating a Series of Lists + How I Use My Planner

And since everyone has been asking me to do this post for a good four years now, I thought I’d mention it one more time today in case anyone missed it.  On Wednesday, I blogged all about how I use my planner to stay organized.  I went into GREAT detail (to say the least) about the planner and the new series of lists that I created that have quite literally changed my life.  I feel like I have totally decluttered my mind and I feel like my mind is at peace for the first time in years and years.  Head on over to the post here if you didn’t catch it earlier this week… if you love organization and planner stuff then you do not want to miss this one!

Finally, before I go, a few funny memes that caught my eye this week. 

Every. Single. Time.

Weather in the south!

Me after Parenthood.  And Gilmore Girls.  And Breaking Bad.

Happy Friday, y'all!

*Linking up with A Liz Adventures and Carolina Charm for Five on Friday, A Little Bit of Everything for Friday FavoritesMeet @ the Barre for Friday Favorites, and By BMG for High Five for Friday.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

My Workout Playlist

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through or make a purchase.

It’s January and that means everyone is making new goals and resolutions!  Lots of people are joining gyms and starting workout routines to start the year out on the right foot.  I have always enjoyed working out, and I try to hit the gym at least two times per week (year-round) to get in my cardio.

Good music has always been a good motivator and I always feel like I get a better workout when I’m listening to something upbeat.  I love most genres of music, but for working out I’m all about the rap, hip hop, and other super fast-paced music. 

I thought today that I’d share a peek inside my workout playlist so you can see what motivates me.  And I linked all of the songs in case you want to make your own playlist.  Just be aware that a lot of the lyrics are explicit.  Sorry, Mom and Dad.  ;o)

DJ Unk – Walk it Out (so appropriate when I’m on the treadmill – LOL)
Flo RidaLow
Justin Timberlake – Chop Me Up
LMFAO – Shots
Three 6 Mafia – Lolli Lolli
DJ Snake – Turn Down for What
DJ Khaled – All I Do is Win
Juvenile – Back that *Thang* Up
Lil’ Jon – Get Low
Drake – In My Feelings
Big Tymers – Still Fly
Montell JordanThis is How We Do It
Fat Joe – All the Way Up
Imagine Dragons – Thunder
Migos – Stir Fry
Bruno Mars – Finesse

Now put on those workout clothes and get to it!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

How I Organized My Entire Life by Creating a Series of Lists + How I Use My Planner to Easily Maintain Them

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through or make a purchase.

I have been blogging for almost four years now and the number one question that I get asked (besides, “How do you take your OOTD pictures?”) is, “Can you please do a post on how you use your planner and stay organized?” 

For years, I have wanted to do this post, but I didn’t want to do it until I was 100% satisfied with my method.  The truth is, I have always kept my daily appointments and to dos pretty organized, but the rest of the long-term lists/ideas have been pretty scattered simply because I could never figure out the best way to keep them organized.  There are hundreds of things that we have to remember from day-to-day and month-to-month, and it was those less common tasks that I was having trouble keeping up with – like changing the air filter in the house or washing my car.  Who actually remembers to do those things?!

In fall 2018 I was feeling particularly scattered and I felt like I was wasting MORE TIME trying to stay organized and keep up with my planner than actually getting stuff done.  I knew then that I had to find a way to organize everything once and for all so I wouldn’t go crazy.  So I sat down and took a lot of time to evaluate what was working and what was not working with the method I was using to stay organized.  I identified pain points, thought a lot about how to alleviate said pain points, and then I decided that the best way to get rid of them once and for all was to write a series of lists to keep track of every single task that I do.  Like, ALL of them.  The lists are organized by frequency (Daily, Weekly, Bi-Weekly, Tri-Weekly, Monthly, Yearly, etc.) which makes it super easy to plan from day-to-day.  I also made the switch to an Emily Ley Daily Planner and I use these lists in conjunction with my planner.  Let me tell you, it has been a complete GAME CHANGER.  I have never felt so organized in my entire life.

Before I get started, I’m going to go ahead and tell you, you may think I’m completely crazy after reading this post because my level of organization is BEYOND.  I am incredibly OCD about list-making and staying organized and being productive, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Second of all, this system is what works best for ME.  This system may not be for everyone.  If you’re detailed and OCD like me, then you might appreciate it.  If you’re not, then you’re one of the ones who will probably think I’m crazy.  And that’s okay.  Haha.  One more thing to note before we move on… this post is going to be long.  But what else is new?  Most of mine are.  Haha. 

Before I get into the detailed portion of the post, I thought that I would give you a quick outline of everything that will be covered.  I think that will probably be less intimidating than just diving straight into all of the details. 


I am able to be 100% organized using just two items – my daily planner and a clipboard folio.  My planner is for my day-to-day activities and my clipboard folio houses all of the other lists that I created to keep me on track.  Simple.  Here is the outline, and remember, I’ll get into the details on each of these things shortly.


-          Front Pocket – holds mini notebook to supplement my planner
-          Monthly Calendars – appointments/activities overview for the month
-          Daily Pages – appointments/activities + to dos + other notes

Clipboard Folio

-          Front Clip – perpetual lists (Daily Checklist, Daily Blog Checklist, Weekly Checklist)
-          Front Pocket – all other lists that keep me on track and help me plan my entire year (Bi-Weekly Checklist, Tri-Weekly Checklist, Monthly Checklist, Monthly Goals Posts, Seasonal Bucket Lists, New Year’s Goals, Lifetime Goals by Year, Things to Clean Out, Master To Do List)
-          Notepad – place to jot down tasks that don’t fit on any of my other lists 
-          Middle of the Folio – items that need action (bills, etc.)

Sounds pretty simple, right?  Okay, well, now let’s get down to the nitty gritty details.  I’m going to split the rest of the post into four sections:

1.      Supplies – supplies I use to maintain this method
2.      Planner Setup – I’m going to show you exactly what is in my planner and where everything is located.
3.      Clipboard Folio Setup – I’m going to show you exactly what is in my clipboard folio and where everything is located.
4.      Keeping Up With and Managing All of the Lists – I’m going to show you exactly how I how I plan, when I plan, and how long it takes me to plan.

Settle in, friends!  Heeeere we go!


Listed below is every single thing that I use to maintain this planning system that I’m going to talk about today.  Some of the items are necessary (like the daily planner and the clipboard folio), but some of the items are just to make my life more convenient and fun (page markers, specialty paper clips, stickers, etc.).  Here they are:

Necessary Supplies

Emily Ley Daily Simplified Planner (mine is Happy Stripe)
Emily Ley Mini Notebook (mine is Mint Pineapple)
Clipboard Folio with inside pocket and notepad (mine is Emily Ley for Target but it appears to be sold out and only available on eBay.  I did find these on Amazon, though, and they have the exact same set-up)
Martha Stewart with Avery Tabs (to divide mini notebook into categories)
Plastic Sheet Protectors (to hold lists clipped in front of folio – more on this later)
Pink Highlighter (to cross off tasks in planner and on lists when complete)
Pink Dry Erase Marker (to cross off tasks for Daily and Weekly Checklists)
Computer and printer (to type and print lists for front pocket of clipboard folio)

Accessories for Added Convenience/Fun

Emily Ley Page Marker (to bookmark the current day in my planner)
Emily Ley Heart Paper Clips (to mark other pages in planner as needed)
Emily Ley Stretchy Bands (to keep my planner closed when I haul it around)
Emily Ley Stickers (just for fun!)
Small Storage Bag (to keep all planner writing utensils together)

Everything that I use to plan... but the two most important things are the Daily Planner and the Clipboard Folio right in the center!  The rest of the stuff is just for fun.  ;o)
Every single thing I need to stay 100% organized... right here in this tiny little stack!
Tiny stack of planning stuff that I can easily take anywhere!

Planner Setup

I use my planner for all of our day-to-day activities and tasks that have to get done – appointments, meetings, reminders, to do lists, etc.  I cannot stress how much I love the Emily Ley Daily Edition Planner because there is soooo much room to write every single thing down that I need to do.  This was the thing that every single other planner was lacking.  In addition to having so much space, the paper is super thick so pens won’t bleed, and the planner folds in half easily so you can write on either side without the coil getting in the way.  Here’s how I use my planner:

Front Pocket – Every planner has a front pocket, and that is where I keep my Mini Notebook.  I use the Mini Notebook to supplement my planner because the planner does not have extra pages in the back.  Using my Martha Stewart tabs, I divided my Mini Notebook into three categories:

-          Financial – This is where I keep track of my spending on frivolous items AKA stuff we don’t need (clothes, house décor, etc.).  Since I quit my corporate job we’re on a tighter budget so I like to keep close tabs to make sure I’m staying within a certain amount each month.    
-          Reference – I used to use this section to keep track of notes for various projects, birthday planning, etc. but I’m not currently using it.  I decided to include it anyway in case I do decide to use it eventually.
-          Blog – This is where I keep track of all things blog related.  The first 12 pages of this section contain little mini monthly calendars that I use to plan my blog content.  To get the blank calendars, I found some online, resized them in Word to fit my Mini Notebook, printed them, and cut them out.   I then taped them into my Mini Notebook using some cute washi tape… how cute do these pages look?!  I use a pencil to fill in my blog content ideas because I change things up so frequently.  I also use this section of my Mini Notebook for other blogging notes, such as link-ups that I like to join, etc.
Front Page Sticker Sheet – There is a sheet of adorable stickers at the front of every planner, and I also keep a couple of additional stickers sheets that I like to use clipped to that sheet.

Monthly Calendar Spreads – There is a full two-page calendar spread at the start of every month.  I use these calendars to list all birthdays, anniversaries, appointments, meetings, practices, games, concerts, events, and other important reminders.  I color code the tasks by family member so it’s easy to see which tasks belong to which person.  I love having these monthly spreads because I like being able to see an entire overview of each month at any given time!  This helps with planning and also ensures that we don’t ever double-book ourselves or overextend ourselves.  The colors I use are as follows:

-          Pink – Lindsay
-          Black – Brian
-          Light Blue – Jacob
-          Green – Olivia
-          Blue – everything else (birthdays, anniversaries, and other reminders that aren’t associated with a family member)

Daily Pages – Each daily page is divided into three sections:

-          My Day – the left column is comprised of an hourly schedule (from 6 AM to 9 PM) and that is where I list all appointments, meetings, errands, and places that we need to be at a certain time (tasks that are also on the Monthly Calendar Spreads).  This helps me plan my day efficiently and ensures that we never accidentally schedule ourselves to be in two places at once.
-          To Do – the right column is comprised of 16 blank spaces and that is where I list all tasks that I would like to do for the day.
-          Notes – the bottom section is one big blank space that can be utilized for anything.  I use this space to write what I’m cooking for dinner as well as any exercise that I did that day, and I also sometimes keep notes on how I’m feeling that day (back pain levels, reflux issues, asthma/allergies issues).  I keep track of those things because it makes it easier to find patterns that can potentially help me understand why I’m having the issues.

And that’s it’s for the planner portion!  Wanna take a peek inside before we head to the next section?  You know you do!

My Simplified Planner
Front Planner Pocket + Stickers

Mini Notebook that I keep inside front planner pocket

Blog Content Calendar inside Mini Notebook
Monthly Calendar Spread in Planner - January
Daily Page in Planner at the beginning of the day

Daily Page in Planner after I cross off tasks at the end of the day

Clipboard Folio Setup 

Now this is where it’s about to get a little crazy… don’t say I didn’t warn you.  ;o)  The clipboard folio is for everything else that doesn’t go in my planner.  Remember all of those lists that I told you I made at the end of last year to make my life easier?  Well, this is where all of those are stored.    

Front Clip – My clipboard folio has a clip on the outside front cover, and this clip holds my three perpetual lists.  Perpetual lists are lists of the things that I do over and over and over again.  I have three of these perpetual lists – a Daily Checklist, a Daily Blog Checklist, and a Weekly Checklist.  These tasks never change.  Therefore, they are all typed up and stored in plastic sheet protectors.  The sheet protectors are used for two reasons.  First of all, because they protect the lists so they won’t get damaged.  I also use the sheet protectors because they can turn any sheet of paper into a little dry erase board.  That means that I can cross items off of my lists using a dry erase marker, and then the next day, I can erase everything, and start all over again.  I do not write these perpetual tasks in my daily planner because there are way too many of them and it would be silly to write the same things over and over again every single day.  These perpetual lists are clipped to the front of my clipboard folio because that keeps them front and center every day since I refer to them so frequently throughout the day.  Now I’m going to explain a little more about each of the three lists:

-          Daily Checklist – This is a list of things that I do every single day and it is organized in chronological order.  For example, make bed, pack lunches and snacks for kids, sign Olivia’s homework folder, take vitamins, etc.  Most people probably don’t need a list telling them to make their bed or sign their kids’ homework folders, but I am super forgetful and this list just serves as a reminder for me to get these things done.  Plus, I’m more inclined to make my bed each day if I get the reward of crossing it off of a list.  ;o) 
-          Daily Blog Checklist – This is a list of things that I do every single day for the blog.  For example, write posts, link-up with other bloggers, share on social media, etc.  Again, most of these things are done each day on auto pilot, but I like to have a list to look over to ensure I don’t miss anything important.
-          Weekly Checklist – This is a list of things that I have to do on specific days of the week every single week.  For example, water plants on Wednesdays and Sundays, send the kids to school in church uniforms on Thursdays, etc.  This list is organized by day of the week, so each day I just have to glance at the section for that particular day. 

And that concludes everything you need to know about the three perpetual lists I keep in my front clip of my clipboard folio.

Inside Pocket – The clipboard folio has an inside pocket on the left side, and this pocket holds all of my other lists that help keep my life organized (Bi-Weekly Checklist, Tri-Weekly Checklist, Monthly Checklist, Monthly Goals Posts, Seasonal Bucket Lists, New Year’s Goals, Lifetime Goals by Year, Things to Clean Out, and Master To Do List).  These lists are all typed in Excel or Word and printed to keep in the pocket. 

-          Bi-Weekly Checklist – This is a list of things that I do every other week.  For example, laundry, ironing, meal planning, grocery shopping, etc. 
-          Tri-Weekly Checklist – This is a list of things that I do every three weeks.  For example, allergy shots. 
-          Monthly Checklists – Monthly checklists are a little different as they change from month to month depending on events/birthdays/holidays for that month.  Therefore, I have 12 Monthly Checklists, one for each month of the year.  Each Monthly Checklist is divided into categories like Blog, Computer, Home, Birthdays and Anniversaries, Holidays and Events, Personal, Planner, etc.  Some of the tasks are things that I do once a month every month, some are tasks that I do every 3 months, some are tasks that I do every 6 months, and others are tasks that are specific only to that month.  For example, I do a big house cleaning once a month, every month, so that task is listed on every Monthly Checklist for January - December.  I change the air filter in our home every three months so that task is listed under January, April, July, and October.  I try to deep clean our house every six months so that task is listed under January and July.  Some things are only done once per year, so those items are listed in the appropriate month.  For example, decorating for Christmas is listed in November.  Makes sense, right?  I also use these Monthly Lists to keep track of things I have to do for people’s birthdays (buy gifts, buy cakes, plan parties, etc.), things I have to do for holidays (buy gifts, plan meals, make bucket lists, etc.), and many, many other crazy things that I would never remember to do otherwise like wash cars, give Maui baths, back up all of our family photos from my phone, back up my blog, update pictures in frames around our house, etc. etc.  My Monthly Checklists are pretty long, but manageable. 
-          Monthly Goals Posts – I recently started writing Monthly Goals Posts for the blog, and in order to remember to actually do the things on the list, I print them and keep them with this stack of lists.  All of the things on the Monthly Goals Posts are pulled from my other lists, but I like to keep this list separate since I know I’ll be summarizing how I did on the blog.
-          Seasonal Bucket Lists – I also write Seasonal Bucket Lists for our family and for the blog.  I typically do a Fall Bucket List, a Christmas Bucket List, and a Summer Bucket List.  These are printed and kept in my stack of lists so we have them right there and ready to refer to when I do my planning.
-          New Year’s Goals – I also write a list of overall goals I want to achieve for each year, and this is printed and kept in my stack of lists so I have easy access to it every time I sit down to plan.
-          Lifetime Goals by Year – This is an overall list of things that I want to do/achieve in the years to come, along with ideas for the future.  I don’t refer to this very often, usually just once a year when I’m writing my New Year’s Goals Posts, but I like to keep it with my other lists in case I want to refer to it.
-          Things to Clean Out – Last year when I decided to clean out and declutter our entire house, I made a checklist, room by room, of every single thing I wanted to clean out.  For example, Jacob’s Room has several different tasks listed under it like clean out closet, clean out dresser, clean off bookshelf, etc.  Since I’ll probably do a round of cleaning out/decluttering every year, I decided to print this list and keep a copy of it with all of my other lists.  I cross things off as I go, and then when it’s complete, I’ll trash it and print a new one the next time I declutter/clean out.
-          Master To Do List – Finally, this list contains every single one-time project/home improvement task that I want to eventually do.  These tasks have their own list because they can be done at any pace and therefore don’t belong on any of the lists that have a timeframe.  This list is loooong y’all.  At the beginning of this year it was 472 lines long.  I created the original copy in an Excel Spreadsheet and it is divided into categories like Living Room, Kitchen, Master Bedroom, Blog, Personal, Media, Kids, etc.  I am constantly adding and removing things from this list since it’s so long, so that’s why I keep it in an Excel spreadsheet on my computer.  However, I do always print a copy and keep it in my clipboard folio so I can cross things off as I go.  Then the next time I edit it on the computer I’ll remove all of the things that I crossed off.  Some examples of tasks on this list are buy new curtains for front sitting room, paint kitchen cabinets white, plant herbs, fix kitchen sink handle, buy artwork for master bathroom, buy a desk for Olivia’s bedroom, have a quilt made from the kids’ old baby clothes, get a pool for the back yard (wishful thinking), landscape the back yard more, reorganize all computer files, finish kids’ baby books, switch blog over to Wordpress, redesign blog, etc. etc.  See?  This list is just a bunch of random stuff (472 tasks to be exact) of every single thing that I want to get done eventually.  Since I have them organized by category that makes the list much more manageable.

And that concludes everything you need to know about the lists that I keep inside the clipboard folio pocket.  Do you think I’m crazy yet?

Notepad – There is a notepad on the right side of the clipboard folio, and I use this for jotting down any tasks that need to be done fairly soon, but I’m not quite sure where to put them in my planner yet.  For example, hair cuts for the kids, get spare house keys made, and other odds and ends like that.  Once I figure out when to do those tasks, I transfer them to my planner and I cross them off of the notepad.  Simple.  And this notepad is necessary because sometimes there are just weird tasks that need to be done that don’t fit anywhere else.

Middle of the Folio – Finally, I tuck any important papers that need action right there in the middle of the clipboard folio so I can see them every day and know that they need to be done.  This eliminates the need for a physical inbox on my desk.  I used to use one, but found that I was never checking it and instead I was sticking everything in my planner, so I found this method just works better.  Some examples of things I tuck here are bills that need to be paid, permission slips that need to be signed and returned for the kids, etc. 

Ready to take a peek inside this one, too?

Front Cover of the Clipboard Folio

Inside Clipboard Folio

Front Cover of Clipboard Folio with my Daily Checklist clipped to the front (I blocked out part of my list because I don't necessarily want everyone knowing ALL of my business.  Haha)

Inside Clipboard Folio with all lists in left pocket as well as important papers that need action tucked in the middle in front of the notebook.

Aaaallll the lists!!!!

Keeping Up With and Managing All of the Lists

Now that I’ve shared all of the details about what is actually stored in my planner and clipboard folio, you are probably wondering how in the world I keep up with and manage all of the lists.  Well, I’m going to show you.  The initial set-up and creation of all of these lists took hours and hours because there was so much reflection involved (What do I do on a daily basis?  What all do I need to do each month of the year?  How many times per year do I need to do certain tasks?  What other tasks and projects do I want to do?  etc.), but now that the initial set up is out of the way, it is a breeze managing all of them.  All it takes is a 30 minute monthly commitment, a 30 minute weekly commitment, and a five minute daily commitment.  That’s it.

Monthly – I usually take one day at the end of each month to plan ahead for the next month.  I do the following tasks and it usually takes about 30 minutes.

-          Transfer all tasks from monthly calendar in planner to appropriate daily pages in planner
-          Refer to the following lists and compile all tasks that I want to get done for the next month – Seasonal Bucket Lists, New Year’s Goals, Things to Clean Out, and Master To Do.  Take those tasks and type them into a Monthly Goals Post (this is the one I will post on the blog each month) and print to keep in my clipboard folio with my other lists.

Weekly I typically do my planning for the week ahead every Sunday morning and it usually only takes about 30 minutes.

-          Plan errands, gym, etc. for the week ahead and write on the appropriate daily pages in planner.
-          Transfer tasks from Bi-Weekly and Tri-Weekly Checklists to appropriate daily pages in planner.
-          Transfer tasks from Monthly Checklist and Monthly Goals Posts (from blog post) to appropriate daily pages in planner.
-          Transfer tasks from Clipboard Folio notebook to appropriate daily pages in planner if applicable.

Daily – I typically do my planning for the next day every evening after the kids go to bed while B and I watch TV.  It only takes about 5-10 minutes max.

-          Cross off tasks that I got done (so satisfying).
-          Transfer tasks that didn’t get done to the next day.
-          Add notes to the bottom (dinner, exercise, etc.).

Simple, simple simple. 

I know that you might not be thinking that’s the case, but I promise it’s not that complicated.  I literally have every single tool that I need to keep me 100% organized in just one daily planner and one clipboard folio.  And It only takes 30 minutes one time per month, 30 minutes one time per week, and 5 minutes one time per day to maintain all of it.

Ever since I implemented this system, I feel like it is completely freed my mind from clutter.  I used to have to dos and ideas jotted down all over the place with no way to organize them or even find them when I needed to refer to them.  This method has allowed me to organize my entire life and give me complete peace of mind and I can’t think of a bigger blessing than that. 

And I cannot speak highly enough of Emily Ley and all of her Simplifed products.  Everything is top-notch, high quality, and gorgeous, and her Daily Planner has quite literally changed my life.  She doesn’t have many of the Daily Simplified Planners left for 2019 so I would highly advise you to go ahead and buy one soon if you’ve been considering getting one.  Right now they are 20% off so you can get a great deal if you’re ready to take the plunge!  If you miss out now, I believe you’ll have to wait until fall to get a Daily Planner that you’ll be able to use in 2020.  She usually does a spring launch, too, but those will be for planners that run by the academic year rather than the calendar year. 

NOW TO GO CHECK ALL THE THINGS OFF OF ALL THE LISTS!!!!  Here’s to getting stuff DONE in 2019, y’all!

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