Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Filofax Organization: Fall 2014 Planner Tour

Since it has been almost a year since I last shared my Filofax organization, I thought it was time to give you guys another peek into my planner setup.  A lot of things have changed in my life since I first setup the contents of my Filofax.  I have (finally) finished school, I started working from home, and I have setup multiple other planners to help me keep my life organized.  So my old planner setup had quickly gotten outdated and in need of a facelift!  And I'm so excited to share with you guys the result of my little planner re-organization.

My main purpose with this re-organization was to simplify my planner.  Before I switched things up, I found that there were multiple sections in my planner that just were never getting used.  For some (like the work and school tabs) I simply didn't have those areas in my life anymore, so there was nothing or organize.  For others (like the blog tab) I had set up a completely separate planner to organize all things that fell under that category.

So when I sat down to re-organize my Filofax, I wanted to remove any part of my planner that was not getting regular use, and just strip things down to the bare essentials.  This will give me a clean slate to start with, and to possibly build and expand upon in the future should the need arise.

Simplifying my planner was such a freeing experience.  It may sound silly, but as soon as I finished I felt instantly lighter.  Even though I was simply removing the sections I no longer used, it felt so good to clear out the planner clutter, so I could really focus on the areas I truly used this planner for.  So now, when you open up my planner, this is what you're greeted with.

Note: This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase one of the products I recommend using these links, I will make a teeny, tiny commission.  This will not cost you anything additional to your purchase and helps keep Label Me Organized running to bring you the best tips for organizing your home and life!

Clean, simple and to the point.  I made sure to only include the things I absolutely needed to keep my life organized.  That started with a simple dashboard.  My dashboard consists of a single piece of clear plastic with sets of sticky page flags adhered to it.  I like having access to these page flags on the go, so I can jot a quick note or reminder to myself on a flag, then stick it into my calendar.

Behind the dashboard, I made up a brand new color coding cheat sheet.  This page is super helpful, as it helps me remember which colors I assigned to different areas of my life.  I love color coding my planner to help give me a quick over view of the different types of plans I have in a given month or week.  For those of you who are curious, I use these pens in my Filofax, and I absolutely love them.

After the color coding cheat sheet comes the 'meat' of my planner.  Since I was trying to keep it simple and to the point this time around, I limited myself to three sections.  The sections I decided on for my Filofax are month, week and notes.

To make the dividers for my Filofax, I started by cutting down a piece of cardstock to the size of my inserts (3.72x6.75 for a personal Filofax).  I then attached a Martha Stewart divider tab, and hand lettered the name for each section onto the tab.

My first section includes my monthly calendar.  I used to have my monthly and weekly calendars combined into a 'calendar' section, but I found that it annoyed my to have to flip back a couple of pages to find my monthly calendar every time I needed it.  So I moved the monthly pages into their own section, so it'll always be easy to find and flip to.

My monthly calendar includes a brief overview of the month.  I don't include every last detail or plan on these pages, just enough to give me an idea of what major plans I have.  You can read more about what I include on my monthly calendar here.  You can get an undated version on my month on two pages inserts here.

Next up is my weekly section.  This includes, you guessed it, my weekly planning inserts!  This is really where I get most of my planning done.  Each week, I sit down, and plan out everything that needs to happen in the upcoming week.

My weekly calendar is where I keep track of appointments, Melissa's work and class schedules, any plans we've made with family or friends, extra reminders for bills due and anything else that is planned for that week.  You can get an undated version of my week on two pages inserts here.

Inside each week's spread, I also include a little notes page to write my to-do list for the week on.  I used to include a page for every single day of the week, but in the interest of simplifying, I have since moved to a weekly to-do list format.

Each task that needs to be accomplished that week gets listed out with a little check box next to it.  As I complete the task, I check of the box.  If I get to the end of the week, and I haven't finished something on my list, it gets a red arrow, and I immediately put in on next week's to-do list.

At the end of my weekly section, I included a 'future dashboard'.  This is simply another divider, but used for a different purpose.  Say I made an appointment for Dakota to get a vet check up in 6 months.  Since I don't print my monthly or weekly inserts that far in advance, I would have no where to record that appointment.

So that Dakota's appointment doesn't get forgotten, I stick the appointment card (or a written note on the page flags I mentioned above) onto my 'future' dashboard.  Then, when I do finally print out calendar inserts for that month, I check to see if I have anything that needs to be written in from my future dashboard.  It really is simple, and it is super helpful for those plans that get made way in advance.

Finally, my third and last section of my new Filofax setup is a notes section.  This section is just filled with lined paper, and is handy for any notes or lists I want access to on the go.  To ensure I can easily find any of the lists I've written, I number the pages and keep a table of contents in the front of the notes section.

And that finishes up the tour of my new Filofax organization!  I hope you guys enjoyed taking a peek, and are inspired to re-organize and simplify your own planners!  I can definitely tell you, I feel a million times better only having what I absolutely need included in my Filofax.

Have you done any planner organization recently?  Anyone simplifying and going back to basics like I am?  What sections do you find you must include in your planner?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Kitchen Progress and Plans

Hello everyone!  I'm starting this week off with another progress update on our new apartment.  We've been through the office, living room, dining room and bedroom, and now it's time for a tour of the kitchen!  We're getting close to finishing up phase one for each room, and I really can't wait to get started on actual projects!

If you're new here, I recently moved into a new apartment, and there is tons to be done.  To make things easier, I decided to take it one room at a time, and figure out exactly what needs to be done in each space.  So I'm sharing each room as it currently stands, and figuring out what needs to be added to the to-do list.  Once I'm done going through each room, I'll have a complete list of items that need to be tackled to truly make this apartment into home.

So just for fun, here's how the kitchen was looking the last time you guys saw it:

It wasn't in the worst shape, but there was definitely some tidying up that needed to be done for it to be considered livable.  And now that we're pretty much all moved in and unpacked, things are looking a lot better.  But there are still a few things I'd like to get done in here.  This is how out kitchen is looking nowadays:

The counters got a good clearing off, and now we try to only keep things we actually need easy access to on a regular basis out on the counters.  I'd love to do a little more work on the counters, and pretty things up a little bit.  I'm thinking some cute jars and bowls to hold things like fruit and such that don't get stored in the fridge.  Since we're also planning on making a coffe/bar cart station sometime in the future in the dining room, that will clear up some serious counter space that I can have some fun with.

I also want to do something with our little 'laundry room'.  While I love the convenience of having an in-unit washer and dryer, I am super not crazy about the fact that it's in my kitchen.  I'm hoping I can figure out a few ways to work with this situation, and turn that little corner of the kitchen into a cute, functional laundry corner.

One other thing high on the to-do list for this room is organizing the contents of the cabinets.  Since moving in, we pretty much threw things where they fit, and haven't taken the time to go back and really set up an organized system for the cabinets.

I'm the person where I need a dedicated 'spot' for everything, otherwise I just lose my mind.  So I'm hoping to dive into the cabinets, and set up various zones, so we always know where something is, and where it belongs when it's put away.  This will also reduce the risk of just shoving something in a cabinet wherever it can get squeezed in, which leads to clutter and things getting shoved to the back and forgotten.

Note: This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase one of the products I recommend using these links, I will make a teeny, tiny commission.  This will not cost you anything additional to your purchase and helps keep Label Me Organized running to bring you the best tips for organizing your home and life!

On the other side of the kitchen, we have what is supposed to be our make-shift pantry.  This again is a place where things kind of just got dumped where they fit and then forgotten about.  I have big plans for this guy, and can't wait to dive it and get him all organized and put together.  I'm thinking tons of containers, like the awesome OXO Pop ones we already have.

I would eventually like to have most, if not all, of our food stored on our little pantry shelves, so that cabinets can be freed for dishware and such.  It will also most likely hold all of our small appliances that don't get regular use.  Since this set of shelves is wide open and seen on a daily basis, I definitely want to do all that I can to make this area pretty, with easy to maintain systems, so it doesn't get out of control with clutter (like it currently is...).

And I think that's it!  This room definitely has fewer things on the to-do list, so hopefully I'll be able to finish up this room without too much effort.  To recap, here is what I have to get done in the kitchen:

  • organize cabinet contents
  • organize pantry shelves
  • make functional laundry corner
  • organize and decorate counters
  • add art or decor

It really doesn't seem like so much to do!  That's why I love these posts.  It breaks things down, room by room, and forces me to list out everything that has been floating in my head as a to-do.  Once things are written down on a list, it feels much more manageable, and less like I have a never ending list of a million things to get done.

What is your favorite kitchen organization tip?  Do you have any systems in your kitchen that you are just loving?  You guys have been so helpful with suggestions for my other rooms, I'd love any ideas you might have for my kitchen!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Project Life: 2014 Week 9

Hey guys!  I have another Project Life layout to share with you all today.  Week 9 is all finished up and in the books, and I have officially broken into March with my memory keeping... woohoo!  I still can't believe I have gotten this far behind... oops!

Melissa and I were joking the other day that I'll be 30 by the time I finish my 2014 album.  As funny as it was, it is a very real possibility if I don't get my crafty tukas into gear.  So to help prevent that from happening, I have made it my goal to at least be finished through August by the end of the year.  That gives me three months to complete six months of layouts, or roughly two layouts a week.

Since Project Life is not Label Me Organized's main topic of content, and I do not intend for it to become the main topic, I've decided to dedicate Fridays to all things Project Life.  Starting next week, whatever layouts I've completed each week will be shared on Friday, whether it be one or five spreads.  This way, it will hopefully keep my crafty endeavors from taking up most of the 'space' here on Label Me Organized while I try to get myself caught up.  Above all else, I want the posting schedule here to work for you guys, so let me know what you think about this is the comments below!

Note: This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase one of the products I recommend using these links, I will make a teeny, tiny commission.  This will not cost you anything additional to your purchase and helps keep Label Me Organized running to bring you the best tips for organizing your home and life!

Anywho, let's get back to week 9 shall we?  Week 9 was another pretty picture light week, so I was able to use a single Design A page protector for my whole week.  This made the layout super quick to throw together, which (as a person who is 30 weeks behind) just makes my day.

I have recently been trying not to overthink my layout.  Since I am in the game of banging out some quick layouts so I can get caught up, I have gotten in the habit of just going for it.  If I get an idea in my head, I don't agonize over whether it will look right, or if there is a better option, I just do it.  This has cut my crafting time in half, which frees up more time to finish more layouts!

For this layout, I used all cards from the Midnight core kit, and focused on cards with a white background and either black or brown details.  I then decided to add in different tealy blues with my embellishments.

To make my title, I started with a plain white card with a printed brown heart in the center.  I added the week 9 title to the middle of the heart using alphas and a wood veneer number.  I then wrote in the dates for my week on a label placed under the heart.  I finished this card up by stamping whatever you would call that shape on the left of my card.

For my second card, I started things off with the 'eat' wood veneer banner from a Studio Calico kit.  I then added 'cupcakes' with some fun teal and silver alpha stickers.  When I finished those things up, the speak bubble looked a little blank, so I stamped an arrow that runs off the page in the empty space.

For the card on the left, I simply ran a strip of washi tape across the top of my card, and titled it with some white thickers.  The card on the right holds the business card from my dentist's office.  I added in my journaling on a circular label peeking out from under the business card, and finished things off with a matching star embellishment.

I added a little extra attention to the title on the left card above by placing strips of washi tape on either side of the pendant.  I then added a fancy label to show where we got dinner that night.  For the card on the right, I added a title using the "important" rub-on label from a Studio Calico kit.  I then added a star wood veneer, and made the star cut-out 'pop' a bit more by placing plain white cardstock behind it.

This card may be the most embellishment heavy of the layout, but it was still pretty simply.  I used a wood veneer 'why not' and stamped cork 'ok' embellishments.  I then wrote a subtitle onto a shipping tag that was peeking out from behind the picture.  I finished things off by placing an extra scrap of a label behind both the picture and the shipping tag.

For my last card, I started off by running a strip of washi tape across the top of the card.  I then used that super adorable polaroid frame wood veneer to frame my two girlies in the picture.  I finished with the title 'lovies' going across the bottom of the polaroid frame, using the same alpha stickers I used throughout my layout.

And there you have it!  I am all finished with week 9 and ready to get started on week 10.  Make sure to let me know what you think about the new schedule changes, with Friday being dedicated to Project Life spreads.

While we're at it, what would you like to see with my Project Life posts?  Do you want more details about how I make the cards, or where I get each product used on a layout?  Do you want more tutorials on specific techniques?  Or do you prefer less technical crafty talk and prefer to hear more stories from the pictures themselves?  Let me know any and all thoughts you have in the comments!