10 Tips To Make Your Life Easier

  1. If something takes less than 1 minute to do, don’t postpone it! Put away your coat and scarf as soon as you get home, put your dishes in the dishwasher right away, and clear away things when you’re done using them.
  2. Make a weekly to-do list and do at least one thing every day. Planning ahead makes it easier.
  3. Have a designated cleaning day each week where you take care of big chores like doing laundry and cleaning the house. That way it becomes a habit and a part of your schedule, which makes it easier to get it done.
  4. Cut up vegetables for several crock-pot dinners ahead of time and put them in ziplock bags in the freezer. That way it will take no time at all to prepare a dinner when you get up in the morning.
  5. Have a folder for important papers in a designated spot – include everything from bank papers and car insurance to important letters. I always stress out when I can’t find a bill that I know is due.
  6. Organize your things so you spend less time looking for them. Put a see-through shoe organizer on the inside of your pantry for kitchen gadgets and cleaning supplies, or organize your clothes by color so that it’s easier to find an outfit to wear every morning.
  7. Get rid of clutter in your home. It’s a lot easier to relax when you’re surrounded by clean surfaces.
  8. However, don’t stress out over minor things like your husband leaving his socks on the floor or not putting his plate in the dishwasher. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect at all times (although I know how annoying it can be, hehe).
  9. Always have simple and healthy snacks in the house. That keeps me from digging into a box of ice cream whenever I’m in a bad mood. For example, instead of ice cream, try putting a frozen banana in the blender and adding a bit of cocoa powder.
  10. When you’re getting undressed at night, if your clothes are clean enough to wear again, put them back, if not put them straight in the laundry basket. That way nothing ends up on the floor.

procrastinationI also love this article I found with cute, helpful everyday ideas: 25 clever ideas to make life easier.

A Horrible End To A Great Weekend

I am so tired right now that I can barely even stand up. But we still have a plumber and a maintenance guy in our apartment, so I can’t exactly just go to sleep. You see, when we walked into the apartment after a three and a half hour drive down from North Carolina, we noticed a pretty bad smell from the bathroom. The bathtub was backed up and the floor was flooded – and it was getting worse by the second!

We called the building supervisor (since we still live on campus) and started fighting the water with towels and a bucket. He came over, but there wasn’t much we could do before a maintenance guy showed up 30 minutes later. We hoped we were finally done wringing up towels, which had already left our hands sore, but they couldn’t find out what the problem was. The main water line to the building is definitely plugged, but they can’t find out where. I bet they are as unhappy as we are, though, after working for almost five straight hours without solving the problem… Ah, I’m so frustrated!

But I did have a great weekend with my family before all this! I don’t see them nearly often enough after moving to Georgia. And I’m already looking forward to my cousin, Kaja, visiting us here in Athens.

Working From Home

So, it’s no secret among my friends and family that I’m really not sure what exactly I want to do with my life. I’m not sure what job I want, or where I want to live, and I am trying to figure it all out. But, like everyone else, I want to find that one thing that will motivate me to come back every day. You might have heard that cheesy commercial that says “if you do something you love, you will never work a day in your life”? Well, it always makes me chuckle, but there is definitely some truth to it.

Regardless of what I end up doing I think working from home is something I would enjoy; so I’ve been thinking about it for a while. First, imagine all the perks. No commute or getting stuck in traffic. No getting up ridiculously early every morning. Less money spent eating out during lunch breaks. You’re your own boss, so you have more control of your work day, vacations, and personal time. And, if you want to, you can easily work in your pajamas.

So, I guess a “professional blogger” is pretty much living the life, working from their bed.

Well no, probably not.

There are also a lot of potential pitfalls to be aware of, and I’ve been writing down the things I would have to do in order to make it work for myself. Because I think planning is key when working from home.

  1. Set an alarm every morning (Monday through Friday)
    • No, you don’t have to get up at 7 every morning, but you also shouldn’t let yourself sleep as long as you want (I could easily sleep past noon). And structure is important.
  2. Create your own regular work hours
    • Make sure you start and stop working at somewhat the same time every day. This is the easiest way to separate work and personal life, and to make sure you are being efficient and getting stuff done. And – since you are most likely working on your computer – if you are having a hard time staying away from websites that are non-work related, use the software selfcontrol which will block your computer from them for a certain amount of time.
  3. Make to-do lists of everything you want to achieve every day
    • You might have more freedom, but there are still things that need to be done (and if they don’t get done you will certainly not be making any money). Stick to your lists and keep yourself motivated.
  4. Create a work-zone at home
    • If you are working in front of the tv then there is a bigger chance of getting distracted (strangely enough), and if you are working in bed it is easy to convince yourself that it’s time for a nap. Your mind will have an easier time focusing when you sit down by a desk and you know it is time to work. All though, some times it might be better to go to the library or somewhere similar, just to get away from all distractions – especially if you are lacking motivation.
  5. Give yourself a lunch break
    • Give yourself an hour break every day and don’t go back to work until the hour is over. You need a break if you don’t want to get burned out. You should also try to sometimes go out during this hour. Have a coffee at a café or just go for a walk; your body needs a little exercise and the fresh air will do you good.
  6. Connect with other people who does similar work
    • This one is actually very important for me as, in the past, my colleagues have always had a lot to do with whether or not I enjoy a job. You can motivate and inspire each other, and it is important to be social even though you suddenly don’t have a reason to leave the house every day.
  7. Don’t “take work home with you”
    • This is especially important if you have a family. You should stop working when your work day is over, in order to try to keep work and personal time separate.

Now, if you’ve read this far, I just wanted to reward you with this awesome comic: LINK. And let you know that the sweater in the above picture might be the most comfortable one I will ever own. I got it from Forever 21 last week, and it’s so soft that I can hardly feel myself wearing it.

Secrets To Being Organized

So, ever since I got married I keep getting these emails from TheNest.com. Most of them I just glance at and delete, but every now and then I find an article that actually have helpful tips for my everyday life. THIS one was one of them. It was 20 tips for how to organize your life better – and God knows I could need that. Here are some of the ones I liked most.

Find a home for everything.
And return everything to its home after you’re done using it. When shopping, know where you’re going to put an item — whether it’s a piece of furniture or a piece of art — before you bring it into your home.

Pick a purpose for each room.
This allows you to set up each room in the way you use it. Sometimes the function is obvious (think: kitchen and bath), but many rooms serve multiple purposes. In these instances, you can create order by carving out zones.

Carve out zones.
In rooms with open floor plans, set up an office, media center, exercise area and so on. Use room dividers, such as a bookcase, open cubbies or a couch, to delineate the space.

Buy less stuff.
Some people are minimalists. It’s okay if you’re not. But never grab something because it’s on sale or free. Hidden costs include maintenance of the item (i.e., cleaning it) or the guilt of getting rid of it.

Keep surfaces clutter-free.
Follow this rule of thumb: If you use it every day, it gets to stay; if you don’t, put it away. Think about how often you use an item, and let that decide how much “real estate” it should take up on surfaces. Take the kitchen counter, for instance. Maybe the coffeemaker and toaster get to stay, but the food processor goes away.

Don’t wait to put things away.
Before dumping something on a table or chair, always ask yourself: “Does it belong here?” For example, instead of placing a coat over a chair, hang it up. It takes mere seconds. Bonus: You’ll spend less time looking for it later.

Choose multifunctional furniture pieces.
Look for furniture that does double duty: a storage ottoman that can corral magazines or books, a coffee table with drawers to stash the remote, a bookcase that can be used as a nightstand.

Keep everyday items within arm’s reach.
Place frequently used items up front in a cabinet or closet. Things you use less often, you can put up high or way in back.

Set up a home office.
It can be anywhere — kitchen, living room, dining room, bedroom — but designate a place to park mail, bills, pens, and electronics (laptop, cell phone and tablet) and their chargers.

Reassess every so often.
Tastes change, and so will your lifestyle. Make a point to purge on a regular basis, say once a year or every spring and fall. If you don’t use something in a given time period, rethink its value. This creates an environment that you love — it’s your nest, after all.

Now I just want a house of my own where I can implement all the advice!