Organized Charm: May 2014

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

5 Things Recent Grads Should Know

Living through the post-grad months is pretty tricky... There is all of this excitement building up to graduation, all of those cards that tell you to "chase your dreams" and "reach for the stars" and all of the other cliche advice that Hallmark can muster up (I’m not sure what they really mean, either).

And then there are the questions... From parents, friends of parents, grandparents, friends of grandparents, strangers on the street... like, What are you going to do with that degree? and Have you found a job yet? and When are you planning on saving up for retirement? 

When I was 23 and facing these things it was just kind of like, Geez, can’t I just have 5 minutes to enjoy the fact that I survived Finals and I can sleep in tomorrow?. 

The answer is no. People want to know your life plan and they want to know now! 

But before you start feeling overwhelmed with all of the things that graduation brings, here are 5 little pieces of advice that I really wish someone had told me when I was a recent grad! 


1: Be prepared to feel a little let-down after you graduate. 
College is just such an awesome experience; you have so much fun, you work so hard, you look SO forward to graduating and moving on! It’s like this huge milestone in your life that is really difficult to follow. So be prepared to feel a little bummed. The good news is that feeling this way is super common (1 in 4 graduates). And the other good news is that it only lasts a short amount of time (1-5 months). 

2: If you don’t have experience in your field, it might take you a few months to find a job. 
As far as employment goes, experience trumps education EVERY. TIME. If you don’t immediately get hired at your dream job, don’t take it personally. It takes most graduates 3-9 months to find a job.  48% of graduates choose to move back home after college. But guess what? Over one million people graduate from college each year. That means a LOT of people are going through exactly the same thing you are right now. So, you are definitely not alone!

Here is some helpful reading on this:

10 Things New College Grads Must Do Now to Snag a Job
Career Statistics
Get Over It: The Truth About College Grad “Underemployment”


3: It might seem like everyone but you has it all together. They don’t. 
Even though it may not seem like it, most people are pretty much in the same boat at this point in their lives. Just relax. The perfect job will come along. The important thing to remember is that this all about your attitude and how you present yourself. It may seem like everyone is landing awesome jobs except for you… but just keep trying!

Here are things that may make you feel a little better: 

Does Everybody Have a Job But You? 
What My 20’s Taught Me: Everyone is Faking It 
Why Not Me? How to Stay Confident When Everyone is Succeeding But You


4: It is ok to hate doing the thing you went to school for. 
I never changed my major in college. I loved my major. I assumed that would love doing it as my career, too. But when I landed my first “real” job out of college, I really and truly hated doing it in “real life” (I was a paralegal, by the way). Your major is not some permanent life branding. The important part is to realize that you can apply aspects what you did learn from your major to any job!

Here is some proof that your major is not the only thing that matters:

Major Myths
Most Employers Don’t Care What Your College Major Was
Why I Let My Daughter Get a ‘Useless' College Degree


5: There is no shame in switching careers.
New jobs are learning experiences and they are meant to be hard. But there is definitely a difference in having a tough time adjusting to “grownup life” and being in the wrong career. You should not be counting down to retirement 2 months into your new job. And if there is ever a good time to make a career change, it’s now! So what if your education is in something different? Find out what it would take to do what you love and make it happen! 25 years is a long time to be miserable!

Tips for changing careers:

14 Secrets to Career Change Success
A Step-By-Step Plan to Change Your Career to Something You Love
How to Switch Careers


Whether you’re dealing the frustration of job searching or the sadness of graduation, don’t worry... Everything will turn out the way it is supposed to!

Just remember to step back from time-to-time and see the big picture! :)


Do you have any advice/questions to add to this? 

Monday, May 26, 2014

iPhone App Organization

Apps have become kind of a big deal. We now have so many that we’re feeling a little overrun by them! And guess what? It seems like we hear about the newest, coolest, helpful-ist ones every day! You may be wondering if these are worth organizing. 

They are absolutely worth organizing! Apps kind of drive me crazy! I hate how cluttered they make my phone look. And I really hate the fact that Apple won’t let me delete the ones that came with the phone that I’ve never even opened (Stocks, anyone?). SO… here are some helpful ways I’ve found to organize my iPhone apps!


Obviously, if I’m looking for anything in this world, I search alphabetically. When I was 6, I used to organize all of my family’s VHS tapes. When I lived in my studio apartment, I alphabetized my yogurt. So, why not alphabetize iPhone apps? This is just a super simple way to find what you’re looking for! 


Ok, so this is actually the way that I have my phone organized right now. I know that some people don’t like it when apps are consolidated into those little category folder things but I really love it! I love opening the Social folder and having my Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter apps altogether. I love opening my Productivity folder and having my E-Mail, Notes, and Reminders apps all right there. Yes, it does create an extra step to get them open but seriously, how lazy are we getting if we don’t want to open one extra thing on our touchscreen phones?


The only thing that drives me crazy about having my apps alphabetized is that, even though it actually is very orderly, it looks very un-orderly! Color-coding apps solves this problem! Color-coding makes everything look so neat and even pretty! Also, I don’t know about you, but when I think about an app, I’m picturing its little icon in my mind. So it’s pretty easy to search by color.


Finally, in order to keep the amount of apps I have from getting too excessive, I delete unused ones pretty frequently. I usually try to do this around the beginning/end of the month… because, if I haven’t used it in a month, I’m probably not going to use it. I also try to eliminate duplicate apps that do the same thing (those photo editing ones are the ones that I tend to hoard)! Sure, you might “need it someday” but just remember that you can always re-download it in 5 minutes or less! So, letting these go is no big deal! :)

Those are the only 3 ways I’ve tried organizing my apps but I’m sure y’all have thought of some more ways to organize them! How to you keep them “cleaned out”? Do you love or hate using those little category folders? 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Home Tour

Well, yesterday was the closing day for our house! YAY! It has been the longest, most frustrating ordeal in the whole world but it is finally all over!

Even though selling the house was stressful, it will still always be a place full of memories of our first years of marriage! It is the house my husband lived in while we were dating, the place where we had our engagement party, Super Bowl parties, Christmas Eve celebrations, and countless other wonderful memories. While I am {sooooooooo} relieved that it is officially not ours anymore, a little part of me is still sad to see it go.

When Derek and I started dating, he had one thing on the wall: A Fight Club movie poster of a bloody, shirtless, sweaty Brad Pitt with all of his Fight Club bros hanging right above the living room sofa. Charming, right? At least it was framed.

We put a lot of time and work into making that house “ours” {aka: I threw away all of his stuff}. And we really enjoyed the time we spent there.

So, in honor of all of our memories, here is a little tribute to that house on Tributary Lane!

{This was our Herb Garden and I wish I had taken a picture later in the Spring when everything came back to life. We had Lambs Ear, Lemon Balm, Chives, Mint, Rosemary, and Thyme. It was the most precious little garden ever!}

{These are all from our Living Room. Derek framed some 8x10 photographs of our favorite travel destinations like, Puerto Vallarta, Rome, and Capri, and hung them one day while I was at work. And that turquoise table was my first ever furniture-painting project!}

{This was our dining area in our eat-in kitchen. That table used to be brown and those chairs used to be black before we gave them all a makeover. Oh, and all of the walls used to be the color of cardboard.}

{This was our bedroom which is another room that got a total makeover. When I moved in, the walls were a brownish color and Derek had a black bedspread. This room turned out so bright and cheery and was one of my favorite spaces in the house!}

{Of all the comparisons of our old house and our new loft, the only one where the old house wins is this whirlpool tub. It was the best, seriously. You will be missed.

{For the first two years of our marriage, we hung up clothing racks and I used one of the bedrooms as my closet/dressing room. Last year, I made the command decision to try to share a closet with my husband. It meant getting rid of a lot of clothes but now I’m down to just my favorite pieces and it’s a great feeling!}

{Finally, the office. The last time we were out of town, I let my husband be in charge of deleting some photos in my phone so this is the only office picture I have left! We spray painted our old pasta sauce jars to use as pencil/pen/scissor holders and that little jar was originally filled with candied ginger from a Thanksgiving party we attended last year. 

{oh, hi there. don’t mind me. just working away, over here!}

Yesterday, we drove away from this house for the last time. Since I don’t think we’ll go back to it (or even the neighborhood) ever again, I wanted to preserve my memories of how it looked when it looked my favorite. Goodbye, little house! 

What is your favorite part of the place that you live now? Are you moving soon or have you moved recently? If you’re selling a house, has it been an easy experience or have there been a lot of challenges? 

Monday, May 19, 2014

5 Tips for a Smooth Move

The last time I moved, I was in undergrad and I moved my things out of my room at my parents’ house into a tiny studio apartment. I was mostly able to fit everything into my Honda Accord and it took one trip with a truck to move my bed. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!  

That was like, years ago. So, when I was planning for this move, I thought back on it and estimated about the same time/work commitments. Let me just tell you now that I definitely, definitely, definitely underestimated how crazy moving an entire house is!

We officially “moved in” to our new place last Monday! All in all, it’s been an awesome (but time consuming) adventure and I’ve definitely been keeping notes of things that I liked/didn’t like about how we did it. So whether you’re moving across town or across country soon, here are some ways to keep some order (and sanity) during your move! 


Start Purging Early
You really cannot start paring down your things soon enough. We knew this move was coming for about a year, so I gave full trash bags of things away monthly. And you know what? I still felt like I had too much stuff! This is the perfect time to get rid of clothes you never wear, decor that you’re tired of, or things you never liked to begin with!


Create a Moving Planner
I found one that I absolutely loved on Michelle Lea Designs! She creates beautiful printables PLUS she’s a military wife, so she’s moved multiple times! Her checklist contains literally every single thing you could possibly need to do. It also divides things by a timeline which was my favorite thing about it! Print it out, cross out the things that don’t apply to you, and write your date deadlines next to each heading!


Play Around with Decor 
Luckily, before our move, we had already seen our new space in person. As soon as we left the new place for the first time, I grabbed a piece of paper and created a quick floor plan of it. Then I drew in where I envisioned everything going. When I got home, I arranged furniture, lamps, etc. how I wanted them to look in the new place and photographed them. This way, when I started to unpack things, I already knew where almost everything was going! 


Label Every Single Thing
We kind of had a 2-step process with our labels. We got the ones that people use for yard sales that come in 3-color packs and created a color-coding system: Green for “Take to New Home”, Pink for “Donate”, and Orange for “Storage”. Then we literally stuck one on every item in our home! Once I knew where things would be going, I wrote on the labels: “bedroom", "dining", “living”, etc. This made packing an absolute breeze!


Pack by Room
Finally, (I know some people say to pack things by their size but) I would really suggest packing by room! This way, you just need to label the bin/box according to its room and drop it off there during the move! It also makes it way easier to unpack the things and decorate once you’ve arrived! Finding homes for things this way was SO simple! Also, this way you can prioritize which rooms you’ll need to set up immediately and which ones can wait. 


Those are the top things that have helped me stay organized during our moving process! :)

Are you moving over the summer? Or have you recently moved? If so, Where?! And what advice do you have for others? 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

10 Things I Learned from My Mom

In honor of Mother’s Day, I am writing a post that is all about my mommy! She is one of my favorite people in the whole world and my husband and I call her Kiki (yes, as in Let’s Have a Kiki… which is practically her theme song). 

She always encourages me to step out of my safe and orderly little OCD comfort zone. She has made me enter spelling bees, parasail, snorkel, and climb to the top of a volcano. 

She has made me eat things I didn't want to eat, go places I didn't want to go, and learn things I didn't want to learn (like Latin!). 

She has made me laugh, made me cry, made me think, made me yell, made me want to run away from home, and made me never want to leave home. 

She's not a regular mom, but she's not a "cool mom" either. She's an adventurous mom, an educating mom, a fun mom, a quirky mom, and a silly mom. 

She is a mess of contradictions... She advises, she complains, she encourages, she cries, she jokes, she cusses, she prays, she day drinks, she meditates... 

But they all just seem to blend together to make her into one perfectly awesome human being. She is brutally honest yet full of southern hospitality. She is funny, helpful, loving, smart, witty and just an all-around interesting person!

She writes a "fresh start" blog: Restoration Spring

She runs a snarky Twitter account:

She volunteers at an art museum, keeps bees, gardens, goes to Italian film festivals, teaches, travels, does yoga... And she does it all with only one calendar! 

Not only is she almost *completely* responsible for my education (I was one if those weird homeschooled kids) but she has also taught me some pretty valuable life lessons along the way, too!

And here are some of my favorites: 

One: Being spontaneous is only important if you want to ENJOY your life. 

Two: Even if the worst thing you could possibly imagine happens to you, you will still be OK. 

Three: If something scares you, then it's probably worth doing. 

Four: Just because your family is crazy, doesn't mean that you will turn out (that) crazy. 

Five: Learning about something that interests you is more important than getting good grades in something that bores you. 

Six: There is no weakness in forgiveness.

Seven: Traveling is never a waste of money; it's an investment in your life. 

Eight: Your education shouldn't stop when you graduate; it's a lifelong process. 

Nine: You decide what your life will look like; you are not a victim of your circumstances, experiences, or anything else unless you choose to be. 

Ten: You only get old when you let yourself stop learning new things.  

When I grow up, I think I want to be just like her :) 

Happy Mother's Day to my Kiki!

What are some of your favorite things that you've learned from your mom (or aunt or big sister or favorite teacher or grandmother)? 
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