Organized Charm: August 2013

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Trending: Fall Semester Kickoff

Mind Snacks.
I can proudly say that this is the first game I have ever downloaded.
In the past week, I have downloaded French, Italian, and Spanish.
These games are so fun and much cheaper than Rosetta Stone.

And not the glass full of a frozen, sugary-mixture we see at the beach.
The kind that Hemingway and Fitzgerald drank and wrote about. 
The kind that requires real fruit.

Here is the recipe for this refreshing, summer-y deliciousness: 

1 freshly squeezed lime
1 teaspoon sugar
2 ounces gold rum

*Shake with ice and strain into martini glass*

Best of all, no obnoxious blenders required.

Preppy Paradise.
I don’t know what it is about the fall semester that makes me want to dress like a Kennedy.
But I do know that I love transforming my wardrobe with the seasons!
Welcome to four months of whale and horse silhouettes for this girl.

“Mexican” Coke.
That’s right. Why?
It has 0 High Fructose Corn Syrup.
Which means that it actually is “refresco”!

I don’t know how I made it through undergrad without this website.
Probably because I wasn’t paying for my own books, so I didn’t really care.
This website is simple and compares the prices of textbooks from all across internet.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Top 10 Semester Essentials

In honor of the completing the first week of the fall semester, here is a quick shopping list of everything I use to keep myself put together throughout the school year.

1. Planner. 
Clearly, nothing is more crucial for planning for the semester like… well, a planner. I love the kinds that have a month view AND a weekly view. Sometimes, all you may need is the monthly view and that’s fine. But, in every semester, there comes a week (usually before a big break or exams) where you are literally just trying to survive each day. For those weeks, it is super helpful to have the weekly view to break down in detail what needs to be done each day.

{Also: Tabs are amazing.}

2. Folder for each class. 
I used to go way overboard with this. Buying binders, sheet protectors, tabs, notebook paper, etc. Most of which never even got used. Since I am pretty familiar with the routine now, I know exactly what I need and it is so much easier for me to keep things simple. I grab one folder (yes, the ones with one pocket on each side) for each class. Target only has a billion (and I probably own all of them). On the left side, I keep the class syllabus on top and any upcoming/incomplete/in-progress work behind it. On the right side, I have a list of all of the graded assignments for that class. When I get grades back, I record them on the sheet then place the hard copy behind it.

3. Post-It’s. 
I swear I keep Post-It in business. They’re welcome. Post-It’s are the greatest way of staying on track and not getting surprised by any upcoming assignments. As soon as I get my hands on my syllabi for the semester, I create a Post-It for each individual assignment that I have to turn in, no matter how big or small. I post them on a bulletin board in chronological order. As I complete and turn in assignments, I toss its Post-It in the trash (even better, it feels like getting a gold star every time I do it). Plus, I love the feeling of seeing how much I’ve accomplished and how far I have left to go.

4. Post-It Tabs. 
I use these for studying. If a professor covers something in class (ESPECIALLY EXAMPLES IN THE BOOK), I create a tab and mark it immediately. This is the one habit I’ve picked up that I am thankful for again and again.

5. Mechanical Pencils. 
These are the best. In elementary, middle, high school, and undergrad, I hated writing in pencil. I couldn’t tell you why. During my first couple of years in college, I tried to color code my notes as I was writing them. I soon discovered that I am way too OCD for that. It seemed like such a great idea until my professors would go off of their outlines and mess my whole system up (don’t they know I’m trying to take flawless notes over here?). I would literally tear out the page and rewrite the whole thing. Mechanical Pencils make my life so much easier. They have this magical thing called an ERASER and they never have to be sharpened. Yay!

6. Notebook. 
I am really into taking notes. Even if the material is easy to understand. Even if I already know it. No matter what, I take notes. Why? To keep myself engaged in the class. If I am actively working on something the whole time, then I can stay focused. If not, I space out for about 20 minutes at a time. And now that I’m paying for my own classes, you better believe I want every ounce of information I can get!

7. Color Coded Pens. 
I buy the same brand over and over because I’m really obsessive about all of my pens matching. That way, if one color runs out, I can just replace it without buying a whole new pack. I use these for my time management. Because I’m crazy, I have four different calendars and each one is color-coded using a different system with these colors.

8. Highlighters. 

9. Weekly Task Pad. 
I’m not sure of their official name, but these are the things in the front of Target with “Monday, Tuesday…” for $1. I hoard them. The one I’m actually using right now is a Vera Bradley one but it is almost finished and I have anxiety over which one to choose next. Every Sunday night, I write out my schedule for the week. This really keeps me on top of things that are not recurring (like bridal showers, meetings, tests, etc.). Plus, once I have my schedule written out, it never looks as busy as it seemed... and then I’m like, “Ok, I can do this”.

10. Flash Drive. 
If you are a college student, this is an absolute necessity. The best thing about it is that you don’t have to buy these often at all. I’ve had the same one for two years and it isn’t even close to being filled up. These can be pretty expensive, depending on the amount of storage. I ordered mine on Amazon right before Christmas and it was less than $20.

And those are my Top 10 Semester Essentials :)

What are your essential school supplies? Is there anything else I should add to my list?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Motivation

Blair Waldorf always makes me feel pretty motivated.
I love her confidence and “nothing can stop me” attitude.
Today, do not be anxious about whatever is on your agenda.
Remind yourself of how freaking awesome you are and just get it done. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

How the Reminders App Can Organize Your Whole Life

The Reminders app on the iPhone is, hands down, one of the greatest inventions of all time. OF ALL TIME.

Nothing in this world keeps my life together more than this app. I like the fact that you can:

-Create recurring reminders (daily, weekly, monthly…)
-Keep separate lists
-Set alarms for tasks 
-Sort by list OR day
-Sync reminders and calendars

On top of keeping my time managed, this app also works as my running shopping list(s). I have running "to buy" lists for Amazon, Grocery, and Target. Basically, any money leftover after tuition (all $19 of it) ends up going to one of these three places. Oh, how I long for the days when my parents paid tuition and my money could go towards more exciting things than soy milk and oatmeal.

As I think of things throughout the week, I just add them to the corresponding list. This works better for me than trying to remember it all on one day. Plus, there is the added convenience of having one less thing (a shopping list and pen... Ok, two less things) to carry around. 

Yay for technology! :) 

What are some of your favorite was to keep yourself organized on the go?


If you have any suggestions, questions, project requests, or just want to say hi…
I’m always happy to hear it!


About Kirsten

{ Avid Alphabetical-Orderer // Chronic Color-Coder }

I live in Memphis, TN.

I am currently working on my Master’s Degree in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership at the University of Memphis. I would like to say this is my last degree, but I won’t make any promises. 

I teach Pre-K/Kindergarten in a Montessori School. I am obsessed with organizing everything in my life (and possibly everyone). 

I am also the wife of a snarky police officer who refuses to be organized.

We have 2 bad dogs who specialize in cuteness and mischief.
(mostly the mischief)

If I own it, there is a 100% chance it’s alphabetized or color-coded (or messily piled in a corner while I figure out what the heck to do with it).  I hoard motivational quotes on Pinterest. Every holiday is my favorite one. I buy too many storage bins. I always cry at weddings. And I have 4 calendars. 

I really appreciate you taking the time out of your day to check out this blog!

Always feel free to suggest a project, ask a question, or just say hi



Friday, August 23, 2013

Trending: Welcome to OC

Organized Charm.
I am so glad to finally have a place to put all of those (thousands of) random photos I take daily.
I love organization, productivity, efficiency, time management, and planning.
And now I have a way to organize all my loves. 

 Birthdays, galore. 
I feel like everyone I know was born in August… 
which is fine with me, since it is the perfect month for celebrating! 
Warm weather, no tuition, summer cocktails, and cute dresses?
Yes, please! 

We have painted nearly every room in our entire house white.
It is feeling so much bigger, brighter, cleaner… 
and we definitely need all the help we can get!

Social Media Science
Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of research on the best times to post things where. 
Here is a list of what I learned are the Instagram filters that garner the most “likes” 
(in case you’re nerdy enough to care about things like this… like I am):

1. Hefe
2. X-ProII
3. Lomo-Fi
4. Normal
5. Earlybird
6. Rise
7. Valencia
8. Amaro
9. Brannan
10. Hudson

Aside from pink, turquoise is the color that makes me the happiest!
We spray painted these hand-me-down chairs that we inherited from D’s old roommates.
I love this color SO much! 

Quick Fix Cleaning Checklist

“Our realtor just called and someone is coming to view our house in 15 minutes!” 

Oh, perfect

Okay, it's never really THAT bad (except the one time that it was). But ever since we put our house up for sale, it does seem like people always come to check out our house on days where we barely made it out the door with our clothes and car keys. 

I especially hate getting those calls at work. All I can think about is how many dishes I left piled up in the sink or how the dirty laundry basket is overflowing into the rest of our closet. 

It can be really stressful having people walking through your house. Knowing that they're opening every cabinet and closet. Looking. Staring. Judging.

Luckily, most potential buyers give about a day’s notice to get your house in decent shape. Here is a 15-20 Minute Checklist that I put together for those last minute notifications:

-All trash / recycling out
-Run / unload dishwasher (wash dishes)
-Clear off / straighten all surfaces*
(counter, desk, dresser, shelves, table)
-Make all beds
-Spray and wipe down counters/sinks
-Clean bathtubs and toilets
-Dust surfaces 
-Sweep / Swiffer / Vacuum floors

This is a super quick, last minute checklist of the major things that NEED to be done before the house is presented to potential buyers. Just do the best that you can... Something is better than nothing! 

Also, if some things in the house don’t seem to "belong" anywhere, do not cram it into a closet or drawer! People will look there! Believe me, they will even check the washer and dryer. 

If you must (and I definitely have... more than once), throw all of your "homeless" items into the trunk of your car and take them with you! 

At least you’ll already have them one step closer to Goodwill :) 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday Evening Routine

Here is my Sunday Routine... And, yes, it involves more than just making a huge mess in my office floor!

I have these really adorable bookshelves near my desk that just seem to attract loose pieces of paper. I mean, like a magnet. As a teacher and grad student, I think that I have even more random papers to deal with than the average person. Yikes!

In order to keep it from getting overwhelming, I just completely take everything of the shelves, reorganize it, toss what I don't need anymore, and then put it back in a neat and orderly fashion!

This paves the way for a smooth and drama-less Monday Morning Routine... And I am all about smooth and drama-less! :) 
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