Organized Charm: February 2015

Saturday, February 28, 2015

New! Request a Post Page

I love writing this blog and I am always, always looking for ways to make it better! One if my favorite things about Organized Charm (and something that I think makes it pretty unique) is that so much of the content comes from y'all! Every day, I get comments, emails, messages, and tweets that inspire new posts! 

My main reason for starting OC in the first place was to help others... and running on requested posts is one of the best ways to do that! In order to take all of those requests into account and to publish as many requested posts as possible, I needed to create a better system for... Well, ORGANIZING them, of course! 

So, I am super excited to introduce Organized Charm's new Request a Post page!

This is something that I've been wanting to do for a while now... But I just wasn't sure how to go about it. Then, a few weeks ago, I heard from a company named JotFormJotForm is a website (free, btw) that lets you create forms! (be still, my heart.) I created a quick and easy one for y'all to fill out anytime you think of a post you'd love to read!

That's right! Just answer 3 short questions, then hit SUBMIT! Your answers come straight to my email, where I can organize them on-the-goThis will help me keep track of post requests and make sure that they are published in a more effective and timely manner!

This was my "test" form. Maybe I should have filled it out AFTER breakfast...

This form also gives y'all more control over the topics that are published on OC, making sure that it's always relevant to youAnd it helps me know where you most frequently watch for new posts so I can be sure to publish new posts on those social media outlets! 

So, next time you're thinking "I wish there was an Organized Charm post on...", just fill out the form and let me know! I am so, SO excited about this new organizational system! YAY!

Thanks for reading OC! You really are the best! :)

What do you think of the new request page? Have you been wanting to request a particular post/topic? Can you think of any categories/questions I should add to the form? 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

PROJECT: Get Your Time Back

So, I received this e-mail from the sweetest girl the other day:

I am a Junior in college and I have been feeling so discouraged when it comes to studying, this semester just started but I feel as if my study techniques are not efficient.

I have always been a flashcard, color coding girl, but lately that technique is not working for me. It doesn't help that I had 3 exams all in one week. I was just wondering if I could get advice from you on how to manage my time better! I work two jobs and go to school full time.

Sound familiar to anyone else? 

I totally identified with this immediately. Junior year of undergrad was a really hard year for me, too! I also worked 2 jobs... One of which involved traveling and went to school full time. And I was completely overwhelmed (and broke) all of the time. 

First of all, if you're also in this boat right now, remember that things WILL calm down and get better! I promise! 

Here is how I would suggest getting your time back:

In addition to your planner, get a small notebook to carry around. This is what I've done in the past when finals week seemed unbearable or I was way too stressed out (plus, it's a great excuse to buy a cute notebook)! Then just "download" all of the crazy things swirling around in your head into it. Specifically, the things that make you want to sit in the floor and cry because it seems like it's just too much to do in the amount of time you have.

This saves you time because you immediately start working on what needs to be done. 

Dedicate 1 page to each day. Write out the times on the left side and what you HOPE to do during those times. This keeps you focused *only* on what needs to be done today. If you're already feeling super overwhelmed by what to do today, worrying about some new thing from next week is not going to make you feel better. By all means, stay aware of upcoming projects, but prioritize by due date. Get through this then you can get through that.

This saves you time because you are working high-priority to low-priority. 

Make this your new mantra: "One thing at a time. One day at a time." Post it on your wall. Repeat it in your head. Say it out loud. Write it down. Remember that, despite what all you have to do, at the end of the day, this is really all you can do. Focus on this thing. On this day. In this moment. Then the next thing. Then the next thing. You will get it done. Anxiety comes from anticipating things that aren't even here yet. Don't let yourself fall into that trap! 

This saves you time because you skip the part where you stress over any and everything. 

As you go through your day, use a different color pen/pencil/marker to write notes about what you *actually* accomplished out to the right side. For me, when I write out what I DO instead of what I NEED to do, it calms me down and shows me I am progressing. It also helps you see where you could replace less important activities with important ones and it also helps you see that you're accomplishing more than you feel like you're accomplishing.

This saves you time because you hold yourself accountable; and you want to succeed. 

I once read that we can balance about 5 different things really well. After that, we get stressed out and start to do a poorer job. College is super demanding because we are expected to do a TON of things all at once! If you've got too many things going on (work, school, barre, more work, planning parties, sorority commitments, a boyfriend, volunteering, church, an internship, a study group) don't be afraid to politely step out of an activity or two. People will understand.

This saves you time because you are working on a manageable amount of tasks at a time. 

Finally (and this is the hardest one for me), let go of perfection. Every class doesn't have to end in an A. There is nothing wrong with a B or a C! Your future employer will care IF you graduated, not how quickly you finished or what your GPA was. Set a time limit for doing projects. Set a time limit for editing/proofreading/revising projects. Then turn them in and move on to the next thing! No one else's paper is perfect either!

This saves you time because perfectionism is the sneaky enemy of productivity! 

You're always doing better than you think you are. :) 

Are you in a similar situation? Do you have any advice to add to this? Is there a time management tip that you can add to this list? 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Organized Charm Etsy Shop Giveaway! (Feb 8-15)

You know what I love? Planners. I just love, love, LOVE having a place to write down and organize all of the information and thoughts and ideas and random lists that are running through my head at all times. I love the process of using an old school pen and paper to WRITE something down. And I really, really having a way to organize all of that information in a way that will actually help me REMEMBER it and DO it! 

And do you want to know what else I love? Oh, that would be giveaways. Something free? Yes, I'll take it! Oh, something free that helps me plan my day out? Yes, I'll take 20, please. 

Today Organized Charm is partnering up with... well... Organized Charm to give away 3 printables of your choice from the Etsy shop! Have you seen OC's Etsy shop, btw? If not, check it out here

The major idea behind the Etsy shop is to create mix & match printables that work best for YOU and YOUR life! You can choose from monthly, weekly, or even daily planning pages! You can choose whether you want regular notebook-sized pages (perfect for stacking with textbooks) or if you'd rather have a "mini" size, (perfect for throwing in your bag when you're running out the door)! 

This giveaway is 3 different planning printables of YOUR CHOICE from the Etsy shop! I recently added a pre-dated mini monthly view and I have 2 new mini weekly views that will be available this week, too! So be sure to check it out! I'll contact the winner, and once you've decided on your favorites, I'll email you the PDF files! 

This giveaway is kind of like my Valentine's gift to y'all! You have shown so much love and support and appreciation for this little blog of mine and I just LOVE LOVE LOVE each and every OC reader! 
So, THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU! (and also, happy Sunday!) 

Monday, February 2, 2015

8 Ways to Start This Month ORGANIZED

  • Check out your entryway/front door area. 
    • Gather up all of the things that tend to linger in this area. 
    • If it’s by the front door because it needs to go somewhere, then put it in a bag to grab the next time you’re walking out the door! 
    • And speaking of bags, take a minute (or 10) to clean out your purse / laptop bag / backpack / etc. No need to carry around a bunch of excess junk in this new month! 
  • Move on to your bedside table. 
    • For me, this is always a place where random tiny things accumulate. 
    • I’m talking 39 bobby pins and ponytail holders. 
    • Take a second to remove anything that doesn’t belong there, so that you can go to sleep and wake up to a simple and streamlined space!
  • Make the bed. 
    • And I mean really make the bed. 
    • Use all of your decorative pillows, throws, whatever you need to do to make it look/feel like a hotel bed! 
    • You’ll thank yourself when you go to get in it tonight!
  • Make sure your "getting ready space" is in order.
    • Make sure that every hairbrush, bottle of nail polish, tube of mascara has a home. 
    • I bought 3 bins at Target’s Dollar Spot to keep under my sink: 
      • 1 for nail polish, nail polish remover, cotton balls, etc. 
      • 1 for skin care related things like lotion and face wash. 
      • 1 for toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss. 
    • Everything doesn’t need to be arranged perfectly, but it does need to be categorized in a way that’s easy enough to follow every day! 
  • Round up all of your clothes. 
    • Here is the simple rule for clothes, every item of clothing should either be…
      • …clean and hanging in the closet or folded in a dresser
      • …dirty and spinning in the washing machine
      • …unneeded and in a bag to donate / sell
  • Round up all of your towels.
    • They should either be…
      • …clean and ready to use
      • …dirty and ready to wash
      • …old and ready to toss
Almost done!
  • Now, let’s move to the kitchen! 
    • Really clean out the coffeemaker 
    • Wipe down the counters
    • Wash ALL dirty dishes (either in the dishwasher or by hand)
    • Spray and wipe out your newly-empty sink
  • Deal with every piece of paper in your home.
    • Either recycle or toss all unneeded paper
    • File and organize every piece of important paper
    • If a piece of paper has been lingering around for a while because it requires some type of action, go ahead and take that action so that you can file or toss the paper!
And hell-o to a fabulously organized start to February! :)

Do you have any suggestions or tips to help start a cleaner and more organized new month?! Add them in the comments below!
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