Join me for the Frustration to Functional Closet Challenge!

Want a sneak peek into my closet? I shared all my closet challenges in this Facebook Live

Have I told you about my friend Kelly? I met Kelly many years ago at a blog conference and I always thought she looked amazing. (She’s super smart too- but I digress)

Kelly is one of those people who always looks good, no matter what she is wearing. I always assumed that Kelly had oodles of money and access to the latest fashion, so I was surprised when one day I complimented her on her outfit and she told me it was from Old Navy and she bought most of the pieces on sale.

The bottom line is that Kelly knows how to dress for her body type, and she knows how to put together outfits so that she always looks amazing. And she does it using math and science, so it takes the guess work out of figuring out what to wear.

This is a before and after of one of one person who took her course. Isn’t it crazy that changing the type of clothes you wear (based on your body type) can make you look like you’ve lost weight?

Lose weight by changing how you dress.

Here’s another example.

what clothes make you look thinner

My sister actually signed up earlier this year and has learned so much about how to dress for her body type! I saw her this summer and she looked amazing and thinner even though she hadn’t lost any weight.

If you are tired of standing in your closet and wondering what to wear you’ll want to join Kelly’s FREE challenge that launches this week. During this 14 day challenge Kelly is going to help you create a functional wardrobe out of the clothes you already have in your closet. Since cleaning out my closet was high on my priority list (it’s such a mess!) I’m excited to join her challenge and I’d love for you to join along with me.

In this free challenge Kelly will give us:

  • Four information-packed lessons complete with videos and worksheets
  • “From Frustration to Functional” wardrobe planner
  • Weekly LIVE video sessions with Kelly (where she will answer your specific questions in real time)
  • Facebook accountability group
  • and more fun surprises

I’m excited to participate in this free challenge and I hope you will consider joining me! If nothing else you’ll end up with a clean and organized closet, and probably a few newly discovered outfits in your closet.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Quick Fixes to Make Your House Look Awesome!

How many of us walk into our home and see all the small things wrong with it? Did you know there are a simple things you can do that don’t cost a lot of money and can be done in less than a day? You do not have to embark on a whole house renovation to create some big changes in your home. Check out these quick fixes to make your house look awesome.

Check out these quick fixes to make your house look awesome. These simple tips don't cost a lot of money and can be done in less than a day.

Brighten up your home

Lights do not cost very much money. A quick fix to make your home look awesome is to get better lighting. Perhaps your light bulbs are dull. A few bucks and you can brighten up your home in no time. Also, consider switching to LED bulbs to save money on your electricity bill.

Add a slip cover to the couch or replace your throw pillows

This is such an easy fix and slip covers cost around $50 for a decent one. Slip covers can cover up an old couch (and stains, rips, or tears) in a heartbeat. Add a few pretty pillows and your living room is going to look grand.

I shop the clearance section of Target, Marshall’s, and TJ Max for throw pillows at discounted prices.

Use throw pillows to quickly update the look of any room.

Clean your carpets

If your carpet is looking dingy, spend a few bucks to have it carpet cleaned. You can also add a throw rug to help take the attention off the main carpet. Go a step further and pull up the carpet, if you think you may have hardwood floor underneath.

Update the hardware in your home

One of my favorite ways to make a home look awesome is to update the hardware. Hardware isn’t that expensive and can be added to dressers and cabinets. I have purchased hardware from Amazon.com and Overstock.com for significantly less at than Home Depot or Lowes.

Another way to update your hardware is to spray paint it. Rust-oleum has a collection of spray paints in metallic colors like hammered bronze and brushed nickel. A can of paint costs around $5 and covers knobs for several pieces of furniture.

Change the curtains in your home

Want a quick fix to make your home look awesome? Change the curtains! I have room darkening curtains in my home. It’s amazing how it keeps the light out when I want and brings the sunshine in when I’m ready.

Do you have any blinds that look like this?

Quick fixes that make your home look awesome.

We didn’t even have a pet when our mini blinds looked like this! If you have a window that requires custom blinds, making (or buying) curtains can be an inexpensive alternative to freshen up the room.

A few years ago I made these curtains for my girls out of leftover fabric. If you can sew a straight line you can make curtains for any window in your home. Inexpensive curtains can update any room in your home.

When I want really cheap curtains I look for flat sheets on clearance. You don’t even have to know how to sew to turn sheets into curtains.

You can also update a inexpensive curtain rod with a coat of paint.

Paint your front door and add a kick plate

For some reason, painting your front door can really make your house look awesome. Add a kickplate and you will hardly be able to recognize how awesome your home looks.

If you are feeling brave, go with a bright color on your front door. We painted our front door a blue green color and everyone who comes over loves it!

Painting your front door can make a big difference!

Update the paint on your shutters and trim

There are a ton of things you can do on the inside and outside of your home to make it look awesome. A quick fix on the outside is painting the shutters. This is a job that’s not all too hard and not too expensive. Once done, it’s going to add a lot of pizzazz to your home.

If you really want to make your house shine, repaint or clean your interior trim. Bright white trim inside a home really makes a difference.

Spray paint rusted vent covers

This is so easy I can’t believe I didn’t do it in my other houses. You can spray paint rusty (or dated) vent covers so they match the ceiling or floor. All you need to do is remove the covers, clean them thoroughly, spray paint them (I did 2 coats), let dry, and screw back in place.

Paint vent rusty vent covers for an inexpensive fresh look.

Painting costs significantly less than replacing vent covers and they look brand new!

Clean up the clutter

It’s amazing what a little decluttering can do for a room (or a home). I love to organize using bins and baskets so that random things aren’t lying around my house getting shuffled around every few days. I’m also not afraid to throw things away if they don’t have a home. It’s rare that I’ve thrown something away and needed it later.

Quick fixes that will make your home look awesome.

Paint one piece of furniture

Although I’m partial to white and gray, I do love having one piece of furniture that pops with color. I use chalk paint (read my review on Valspar Chalk Paint here) and it makes the painting process much quicker.

I painted this table in a few hours and it really changed the look of the entire room. (I also spray painted the knob.)

Paint a piece of furniture for a pop of color.

Replace dated bathroom floors with vinyl stick down tile

While this tip isn’t quite as easy and cheap as the other ideas, you can do it for under $100 and the results are dramatic. I recently discovered groutable vinyl tile and it looks amazing! No one can tell it is vinyl and it is very durable.

groutable vinyl tile can update a bathroom

You can lay it right over the existing tile as long as your surface is level. This is a great quick fix for an old floor.

As you can see, many of my quick fixes involve paint, which is my favorite way to update just about anything. Paint is cheap, and the results are almost always fantastic. Before I jump into a big (and usually expensive) DIY project, I try to make little changes and live with them for a while. It saves me time and money.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

5 Simple Ways to Wake Up Earlier

Join us February 1st, as we begin the Early Bird Challenge. Do you think you can wake up early every day for 28 days? If you want to get a better start to your day, be more productive and finally get ahead of your to-do list join us for the Early Bird Challenge

Wake earlier and start your day off right! Join our free challenge that begins February 1st.

I’m writing this article for everyone who struggles waking up early. I know not everyone wants or needs to be an early riser. There were many years when my husband worked shifts that I stayed up later because he worked late.

But there are many of you who want to wake up early but struggle, I struggle too.

I don’t consider myself a morning person or an evening person. My best hours are from 9 am to 2 pm.  I am also not one who feels energized when I wake up super early.

I never thought of myself as a morning person, although I found out that when I did wake up earlier I got more done, had more energy and stuck to a routine. Getting up earlier allowed me to fit in time to exercise, which then gave me more energy and I felt better. It didn't happen overnight- it took me a while to get in a routine of waking up earlier and here is how I did it.

To be honest, I feel tired.

But, when I wake up early I am able to accomplish much more in the morning hours than I am ever able to accomplish by staying up until midnight or one in the morning. So even though I am tired later in the day, I’ve already had my most productive hours in the morning, so I don’t have to be “on” at 8pm.

Since I have struggled in this area I figured I would share some of things that have helped me make the change to become an earlier riser. And if we are being honest, when I say early I mean 6 am. I will never be a 4 am person, I have teenagers, and they seem to want to do all their talking after 10 pm.

Quit the Caffeine

I don’t drink it after 1pm, no matter what. If I do I can’t fall asleep even when my body is exhausted. My mind can’t relax enough to fall asleep.

Turn Off Technology

I’m guilty of surfing the web before I go to bed, especially now that I have an iPad. For many months I even read my bible on the computer in the evenings. I have found that computer, television, tablets, and video games do not help you fall asleep.

Not only do they keep you awake, it is easy to turn on the television to catch the end of a show and end up watching another hour or two because we get sucked in! If you need to do something before you fall asleep try reading a book.

Go to Bed Earlier

Sounds simple, but for some reason it is so hard. I often find myself looking at the clock and realizing it is almost midnight! Give yourself a bedtime and set a timer to remind yourself it is time for bed. If I want to fall asleep at 10:30 I try to go to bed at 10pm and give myself a little extra time for reading.

Reader tip: Set your alarm on your phone for an hour before you want to go to bed. That will remind you that you need to start getting ready for bed and winding down so your bedtime doesn’t sneak up on you.

It is hard to fall asleep earlier if you are waking up later. There will be a few days in the beginning where you have to force yourself to get up early even though you were up late. Pretty soon you will be tired enough to fall asleep at the earlier hour.

This year since we had a change in our school schedule, I need to get up before 6am. This was a huge adjustment since we were really enjoying our lazy days of summer. I eased into an earlier schedule by setting my alarm clock 15 minutes earlier every few days. Now I wake up before my alarm several days a week because my body is use to the new schedule.

Get Enough Sleep

You know how much sleep you need to be a productive person the next day, so make sure you get it! Some people only need 6 or 7 hours, and others need at least 8. Figure out how much sleep you need and create a sleeping schedule to accommodate your needs!

Get a Routine

This is the most important thing for me. I need about 7 hours of sleep, so I try to go to bed around 11pm and wake up between 6 and 6:30. It is important to go to bed and wake up at around the same time every day.

If you are just starting to change your routine I would recommend going to bed and waking up 15 minutes earlier every day until you reached your desired wake-up time. (see above)

Don’t Get Discouraged!

I recently started adjusting my schedule to wake up a little earlier, after two successful days my family was hit with the crud. I wasn’t going to bed until after midnight most nights and was up with sick kids numerous times throughout the night.

I turned off my alarm and got some extra sleep so I didn’t get the crud too! I was discouraged to be thrown off track so quickly, but I realized that the crud would soon pass and I could get back on schedule.

Don’t let little setbacks discourage you, just pick up where you left off and work on establishing a good routine.

If you want help getting a better start to your day- join us on February 1st, for the free Early Bird Challenge- 28 days to jump start your morning. Sign up now! 

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This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Get Organized by Living With Less!

get organized by living on less

There are so many wonderful tips and ideas for getting organized. I’m kind of an organizational junkie myself. I like to read books and blogs about organizing and I love to organize my own things (and other people’s if they give me a chance).


The best tip I have for getting organized is not something you can buy at Ikea or The Container Store. The best way to get organized is to get rid of the junk! I once took a time management class and learned that if you don’t take care of something the first time you pick it up, you touch it 40 more times before you actually deal with it. What a total waste of time!

No matter how many bins, baskets, drawers, containers, files, and notebooks you own, managing these tools takes time.

The less you have, the less you have to maintain.

As someone who likes to save money, I have a tendency to hold on to things because I might need them in the future. Better to reuse something you have than buy something new, right? Well… that is sort of right. When you hold on to everything it becomes difficult to manage, things become disorganized, and you end up not being able to find the stuff you were saving.

In my life there are only a handful of things I wish I hadn’t thrown away or dropped off at Goodwill, and those few things are replaceable.

Here are a few ideas for living an organized life with less.

Clothes

Stop holding on to all the these use to fit me in college outfits.

Seriously, if you ever fit into them again they will be so outdated you won’t want to wear them. Keep a basic wardrobe of items that fit you and your lifestyle. Clothes are cheap to replace at yard sales and thrift stores, so only hold on to pieces that fit you well today.

Paperwork

Paperwork clutter can drive a person bonkers! I created a notebook system to help me track all my paperwork. I keep only what’s necessary and shred the rest. Another way I simplify my paperwork is online banking and bill pay. I pay almost all of my bills online and this has greatly reduced the paper clutter in my home.

Toys

I’m plead guilty to toy clutter in the first degree. With seven kids it is almost impossible not to have a toy filled house!

Whenever the mover went into our basement she remarked that it looked like a Toy’s R Us, and that was after I had given several van loads to Goodwill.

I’m preaching to myself here, but kids don’t need every toy ever invented. They don’t even need .0005% of the toys invented.

My kids are happier and play with more of their toys the less they have. Toy clutter overwhelms kids and they end up not wanting to play with anything. Or, toy clutter gives kids the opportunity to make incredible messes with all the toys. Go on a toy de-clutter spree. Your kids will not notice and you will have a better life, I promise.

Kitchen Tools

I’m guilty of kitchen clutter too. I love kitchen tools! They are so much fun and helpful, when I can find them! Have you ever spent 10 minutes searching for that certain kitchen tool in the over-crowded drawer? I have. It isn’t fun, and it is a big time waster.

Go through your kitchen and get rid of things you have never used, then go through it again and get rid of the tools you haven’t used in over a year. You really can do more with less in the kitchen.

Food

A disorganized pantry is a huge time and money waster! How many times have you cleaned out your pantry only to find several of the same item and not because you were stockpiling? Or perhaps you run to the store to buy that needed ingredient at full price, only to find another bottle unopened in the back of the pantry weeks later.

Have you thrown out food because it has expired or gone bad in a disorganized fridge? While it is great to stock up on sales at the grocery store, create a system before you begin. Meal plan so your family eats all the leftovers and nothing goes to waste in the kitchen.

Stuff

Stuff, you know the things that clutter your home, waste your time, and rob you of your joy? The refrigerator magnet that came in an advertisement, the broken frame you know you are going to fix…. one day…, the books you will never read, the magazines you have already read.

Get rid of them. Give it away, throw it away, burn it in the wood stove, but get rid of the stuff you don’t need.

Having less truly is having more.

More time, more space, more joy. This year get organized by getting rid of the things you don’t need so you can spend time on the things that are important.



Are you tired of wasting precious time shuffling papers and looking for your missing shoe, or your vanishing purse? You dream of short-cuts to make your life more organized, but is it possible?

What if you could learn from a group of organizing gurus all at once — regular people who’ve found practical solutions to their everyday struggles, and want to share their best tips and tactics with you in all the areas you find most challenging?

The Conquer Your Clutter Super Bundle includes 38 digital products on topics like how to organize your photos, decluttering, family systems, meal planning, time management, and much more. All together, it’s worth over $650, but right now this bundle is 95% off

Here’s how it works:

      1. Visit their website, take a quick look at all the goodness that comes in this Super Bundle, then click “Get my copy now!” to go through their simple 3-step checkout process.
      2. You’ll receive an email with a login to their online access portal, where you’ll begin downloading your eBooks, signing up for your eCourses, printing out planners, and redeeming your free bonus products.
      3. Use their Getting Started Guide to pick the area you want to tackle first and start getting organized!

It’s even backed by a full money-back happiness guarantee, so you can know for sure that it’s right for you. I’ve purchased several of the products in this bundle (at full price) and love them, so don’t wait to get some of my favorite products for 95% off!

 

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.