5 Easy Ways to Protect Your Home When You Travel

Follow these 5 tips to protect your home when you travel.

Welcome to my 14 Days of Organization series where I’m sharing tips, tools, and strategies to help you organize your home, your family, and your personal life! 

This might not seem like it has much to do with organization, but there’s so much to do when you go out of town that things can easily slip through the cracks. Just a few simple steps can help keep your house safe while you’re enjoying your trip.

1 | Hold the mail or ask someone to pick it up

Don’t let your mail pile up when you go out of town. A full mailbox is a sign to unwanted visitors that no one is home.

A neighbor might be willing to grab your mail each day. If not, it’s really easy to have the post office hold your mail. You can do it online at usps.com.

Your mail will be delivered in bulk on the first business day after your scheduled return. You should do the same for the newspaper if you have a daily delivery.

2 | Plan for pet and plant care

Arranging pet care is a given if you have cats or dogs. Don’t forget about the small pets like fish or hamsters! If you plan to be gone for more than a few days, it’s a good idea to have someone water your plants.

A trust-worthy teenager is perfect for tasks like getting the mail, newspaper, and watering the plants or caring for a low-maintenance pet.

3 | Notify your neighbors

Let a neighbor or two know you’ll be traveling and for how long. They can keep an eye out for any problems or suspicious activity. At least one person should have a spare key in case of emergencies.

Make sure to provide a contact number so they can reach you if anything comes up. A few years ago our neighbor noticed water pooling near our garage when we were out of town. It turned out there was a problem with the sprinkler system. We were able to have the water turned off and prevented major flooding, all thanks to our kind neighbor!

4 | SET AUTOMATIC TIMERS FOR LIGHTS IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE HOUSE

This one is pretty self explanatory, but having a couple different lights turn on at different times makes it look more like someone is at home and keeps shady characters away. Who else remembers the scene from Home Alone when the two crooks are watching all the automatic lights turn on?!

5 | DO A FINAL WALK-THROUGH BEFORE LEAVING

It’s common sense to lock up when you go out of town, but I’ve often found a bathroom window left open when we do a final check. By walking through the house quickly before you leave, you can be sure that windows and doors are secure and that valuables are hidden from view.

You should also turn off unused lights and turn down the thermostat. No sense wasting energy when you aren’t even there.

None of these tasks are too time-consuming, but they all help to protect your home and ensure it will be safe while you’re away so you can enjoy your trip. 

Check out all 14 Days of Organization here!

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Use Your Phone to Stay Organized

Here are several ways you can use your phone to stay organized and tackle your to-do list.

Welcome to my 14 Days of Organization series where I’m sharing tips, tools, and strategies to help you organize your home, your family, and your personal life!

Modern technology can handle a huge workload. Smart phones can assist with everything from managing your schedule to finding restaurant reviews to paying bills.

Technology is also portable in a way that wasn’t possible until fairly recently. The trick is to make our gadgets work for us in a way that actually helps us, rather than creating distractions. So how can you use your phone to stay organized??

Here are 5 ways I use my phone to keep my family organized.

1 | Reminders/Alarms

Personally, I prefer an old school planner for managing my schedule. I think more clearly when I write things out on paper. However, I also enter appointments into the calendar on my phone and set an alert.

I use the alarm feature to remind myself about important tasks, like giving one of my kids medicine. It’s a simple way to jog my memory so that if the day gets busy, things don’t slip through the cracks.

2 | mobile banking & money exchange apps

Gone are the days when you have to make a trip to the ATM or write a check to pitch in for a group gift.

With mobile banking and money exchange apps like Venmo, the process has been simplified tremendously. If you need to deposit a check, most major banking apps can handle this too.

3 | Coupon  & Store Apps

Who likes saving money?! I’m not a big coupon-user in general, and I am notoriously bad at remembering to bring coupons to the store.

Having an app that I can quickly search for deals while I’m at the store, is much more convenient. I also love the apps for stores like Michael’s that display current coupons and sales.

Instead of having to carry coupons around in case I happen to stop at Michael’s, I just check their app to see if there’s a coupon available.

4 | camera app

The camera on your phone can be used for a lot more than just snapping pix of your vacation. I use mine all the time to help me remember things when I’m out and about.

When we were renovating our kitchen, I’d snap a quick photo of the price and model number of a particular appliance or fixture that I liked. Back at home, I could take the info right from my picture to compare prices, look at reviews, and check dimensions.

5 | Shared Calendars

One tool that has been super helpful in our family is a shared calendar. My husband and I use a Google calendar, and I added the app on my phone.

Whenever we have an event or appointment that we both need to know about, we add it to our joint calendar. It’s much easier to make plans when I can quickly check the family calendar for any conflicts.

These are all simple ways to use your phone to make life easier. You don’t have to be super tech-savvy to find an app on your phone or set a reminder. Each of these tools will help cut down on paper clutter and make it easier to stay organized and tackle your to-do list.

Go HERE for a full list of posts from the 14 Days of Organization series.

How do you use your phone to simplify your life??

Here are several ways you can use your phone to stay organized and tackle your to-do list.
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3 Steps for Simple Linen Cabinet Organization

Efficient linen cabinet organization makes it easy to find basic household items when you need them, rather than digging through clutter. Follow these 3 steps to simplify the organization process.

Welcome to 14 Days of Organization!

I’m taking two weeks to work on intentional organization to create a more peaceful home. Today I’m focusing on linen cabinet organization. If you’re catching up, start here.

The linen closet is home to many basic household items that need to be accessed on a regular basis. It’s also one spot that can quickly become messy and cluttered.

In our house, we have cabinets in the upstairs hallway that serve as our “linen closet.” I use them to store typical items like sheets and towels, as well as medicine. I also store home decor items that I use regularly, like vases and candles.

Efficient linen cabinet organization makes it easy to find basic household items when you need them, rather than digging through clutter. Follow these 3 steps to simplify the organization process.

Efficient linen cabinet organization makes it easy to find basic household items when you need them, rather than digging through clutter. Follow these 3 steps to simplify the organization process.

Right now, there’s also a mix of other stuff that doesn’t have a better home, and it’s pretty much a mess. My process for organizing the linen cabinet is similar to how I cleaned out the bedroom closet. Just follow the 3 Rs: remove, reevaluate, and reorganize.

1 | Remove

First, empty all the contents of the cabinet. It’s easier to sort things out when you can see what you’re working with. It also gives you the chance to clean the cabinets/closet.

To simplify the process, group similar items together as you remove them. It will be easier to assess items if sheets and towels are separate from medicines and toiletries.

2 | Reevaluate

Instead of just putting everything back, take time to assess which items belong in the linen cabinet. Some items may need to be thrown out or replaced.

Repurpose old towels as rags. Separate stained or torn sheets from linens in good condition. I recently learned you can actually donate all your linens. The charitable organization will send unusable items to a textile recycling company.

Check the expiration dates on medicines and get rid of anything past its expiration. Many pharmacies will accept old medicine for safe disposal. Keep a running list of anything that needs to be replaced.

Find a new home for items that don’t belong in the linen cabinet. If you can’t decide where they should go right now, that’s okay. Create a landing spot to be addressed later. Just don’t wait too long and let the clutter build up!

3 | Reorganize

After cleaning the cabinet and purging unnecessary items, it’s time to put things back in your linen cabinet in a way that will help keep things in order. Here are a few tricks:

Use baskets, bins, and other containers to keep like items together.

Instead of letting smaller items like toiletries float in the cabinet on their own, group similar things together in a container.

Efficient linen cabinet organization makes it easy to find basic household items when you need them, rather than digging through clutter. Follow these 3 steps to simplify the organization process.

Put cleaning supplies in a caddy that can be taken from room to room.

I like to have the extra supplies in their own bin so that I don’t have to haul cleaning products upstairs every time I clean the bathrooms. Again, I’m keeping the cabinet organized and saving time down the road.

Efficient linen cabinet organization makes it easy to find basic household items when you need them, rather than digging through clutter. Follow these 3 steps to simplify the organization process.

Fold sheets, towels, and other linens and stack similar items together.

The next time you’re making the bed, you’ll be able to find the sheets in a snap if they aren’t in a jumbled mess. Not only are you keeping the linen cabinet neater, but you’re saving yourself time in the future.

Efficient linen cabinet organization makes it easy to find basic household items when you need them, rather than digging through clutter. Follow these 3 steps to simplify the organization process.

When you’re linen cabinet is in good order, it makes it easier to find what you need and to know when items need to be replaced. Save yourself time by keeping this space organized.

You can find all 14 days of organizational tips, tricks, and strategies HERE!

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How to Organize Your Bathroom

The start of a new year always makes me feel like deep cleaning and reorganizing. I’m always so optimistic that this will be the year that I manage to find the right systems of organization for our home. One of my major goals for 2017 is to get control over the clutter. One area that has been driving me crazy lately is our bathroom organization… or lack thereof.

Beautiful inspiration for bathroom organization.

We have plenty of storage in our master bathroom. What we need is for each item to have a home. Maybe then the drawers won’t end up looking like the lost & found bin at school, which we all know is pretty scary! I’ve been scouring Pinterest for inspiration and seeing those beautiful pictures is so motivating.

I’m trying to keep this project low-budget so I’ve been searching for organization methods using items that I already have on hand. Here are some ideas to help get the bathroom chaos in order.

Drawer Dividers

Segmenting the drawers with dividers or containers will help keep items tidier. Depending on the number of drawers you have, each drawer can house a specific category of item, such as makeup or hair care products.

If you have fewer drawers, you can still divide them into sections with specific items staying together in separate spaces. The dollar store is a great source for cheap containers. Just spray paint them if they don’t have the colors you need!

make the most of the space under the sink

The space under the sink is usually a good size, but awkward to utilize because of plumbing. I love the metal shelving that Amy from Living Locurto used under her sink.

If you’re looking for something that doesn’t require installation, stackable containers will make good use of the space while accommodating the pipes.

Use the cabinet door

Bathroom organization has a lot to do with using your space effectively.

When you’re trying to make the most of the space under the sink, don’t forget about the cabinet doors. There are plenty of temporary and permanent options for adding extra storage to the door. Simple adhesive hooks would be a great way to hang curling irons or hairdryers.

Jars and Baskets

Using glass jars and baskets is a great way to organize your bathroom because there are so many options. It also makes visible storage more attractive.

Taking items out of their original packaging when storing in clear glass jars turns your storage into a part of your decor. That toilet paper looks so much nicer in the basket than it would if it was just sitting on the shelf. You almost don’t notice that it’s there!

Labels

Not only does labeling keep items in their proper place, but it can also make your storage prettier! I love these labels from The Creativity Exchange. You can edit and print them for free 🙂 This is another great example of using decorative jars and containers to make your storage part of your bathroom decor.

There are so many ways to make bathroom organization work for your home. By tailoring the options to your specific needs, you’ll help ensure that you’ll actually use the systems in place. I hope you enjoyed all this fun inspiration!

Check out our updated & organized master bathroom HERE.

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