Firsts: Spring Cleaning

Something that I dread (and not just in the spring time) is cleaning… To say that I am neat and tidy is a complete understatement!! When I was little, I would get punished because of my “cleaning strategies”. I liked to make piles, and put everything in nice neat piles around my room. I referred to it as “Organized Chaos” – I always knew where everything was!

But now that I am older, and a *coughcough* adult, I had to take a serious approach to dun dun dunnnn SPRING CLEANING. I was actually very excited, and now that my closet has space and extra hangars, and my patio is cute and adorable, I am so thankful that I did this!!

I decided that in order to make my spring cleaning goals realistic and attainable, I would just shoot for 3 things: my closet, my dresser, and my patio. And I’m happy to say – it’s done, it only took 2 days, and it’s CLEAN!!

When it comes to clothes, shoes, and accessories: I am a pack rat. I love my clothes, and I hold on to things FOR.EV.ER. I had items in my closet that haven’t been worn in 6+ years, and I didn’t even know were still in there! Sad.

So here are my tips for purging your closet:

  1. If you haven’t worn it in over a year – you probably won’t wear it again. Get rid of it!
  2. If it doesn’t fit, don’t hold out that you’ll lose or gain the weight and keep it for those occasions. Get rid of it!
  3. If they went out of style, it will probably be a long time until they’re back in style. Unless you’re not scared of making a big crazy statement – Get rid of it!
  4. If you bought it, but never wore it, and it’s still hanging in there with the tags on it… Get rid of it!
  5. If it will look better on someone else (mom, sister, friend) give it to them. and Get rid of it!

I did this. I invited my sister over, and she took 4 big bags FULL of clothes and shoes for herself, her roommate, and the girl she babysits. Awesome! I also had her help me go through all of my stuff and pull “brand name” items that are still somewhat in style, so that I can attempt to sell them at Plato’s Closet. Everything else is going to Goodwill. I get a receipt for a tax write off, and I also have a functional closet again! It’s huge! I forgot how much I loved my big walk-in until everything unnecessary was out and I can see the floor 🙂 So wonderful!

 

If at first you don’t succeed, do spring cleaning like Jenna!

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Firsts: A New Year!

So yes, January is almost over… and I have been seriously lackadaisical about my blog posting responsibilities. But never fear! A new year means a new me! Every year is a chance to start over, right? Right! So along with the 14 other items on my list of things to accomplish in 2012, I will add weekly blog post to that list! So for your viewing pleasure, here are my 2012 Goals in List form! (because I love making lists, duh…)

  1. Stop unnecessary spending
  2. Be innovative in my outfit making
  3. Open a savings account (finally!!)
  4. Run a 5k (registered for one in March!!)
  5. Run a 1/2 Marathon (by the end of the year…)
  6. Start a business (S&J Events – look us up!!)
  7. Book at least 3 weddings for S&J Events this year
  8. Buy a new car
  9. Find a fitness plan that I like & stick to it
  10. STOP cutting my hair! (I want to donate to Locks of Love!)
  11. Go on at least 2 adventures to new places
  12. Add a puppy to our brood….
  13. Make a better effort to stay connected with college friends
  14. Attack my list of DIY projects!
  15. … MAKE AT LEAST A WEEKLY BLOG POST!

So there’s my list! I am going to make huge attempts at achieving every item on that list by the end of this year. I love setting goals that are actually reachable, versus goals that I know are impossible to accomplish in the time that I want to. I think this is a good list 🙂 2012 is looking BRIGHT! (and I’m not talking about my new FABULOUS red pants!)

And 29 days late…. but better late than never! Happy New Year!!

Firsts: Make a List and Check It Twice!

As I said in an earlier post… I LOVE MAKING LISTS. I find that this really helps me to stay organized, and attempt to stay productive and on task 🙂 I make a list for everything… I make a To-Do list everyday, I have a grocery list, I make packing lists for vacations, I have a gift giving list, you name the task – I will make a list for it.

So here are some examples of the lists that I use… feel free to copy & modify if you are a list making junkie like me! If not, then you should definitely become one!

TO DO LIST

Grocery Shopping List

Monthly Budget

Camping Packing List — this comes from MANY years of camping (my entire life!)

The Universal Packing List — this is the most amazing site for packing lists! I use this for every trip!

Gift Giving List

…. you can make a list for everything. Organization is vital to staying sane and successful. Don’t let this become you:

Happy List Making!!

If at FIRST you don’t succeed, make a list like Jenna.

Firsts: Budgets Schmudgets

I hate budgeting. No, hate is not a strong enough word. I LOATHE budgeting. But, fight as I may against my finance major mother, it is 100% necessary in order to be financially secure. Notice I did not say STABLE. You can live paycheck-to-paycheck and be stable. But what happens when you have a flat tire, and it’s the end of the pay month so your funds are, shall we say, shallow, and you don’t have the money to purchase a new tire? So now you have no car, and can’t get to work? My, my…

Here is what I do:

Every month, I make a list (I am a big fan of lists, it’s how I survive).

*pictures of my To-Do lists will be added soon!*

I start with the total amount that I am paid each month. Then I add up all necessary bills. To me, these include:

  1. Rent
  2. Electric Bill
  3. TV/Internet Bill
  4. Cell Phone
  5. Car Insurance
  6. Washer/Dryer Rental (yes, I rent my W/D…)
  7. Groceries (I try to give myself a set spending limit on this every month)
  8. Pets (I have 2 dogs and a cat)
  9. Palm Beach Tan (one of my many vices…)
  10. LA Fitness
  11. Toll Tag Fees
  12. Renters Insurance
Now. I can obviously scrimp on some of these things, by not tanning and by not going to the gym. But these are ME things that I have worked for. I only have them now, because I have worked for them. But guess what, after paying all of the “necessary” bills – there really isn’t much left over!
I do not add in spending for entertainment, outings with friends, etc. Because, really to me, I can never live up to that expectation. I will always go over. However, I do manage that spending … I have the CHASE BANK app on my iPhone. I log in to this DAILY, sometimes more than once a day, just to check on myself and see what I’ve been spending. If I notice I’m spending too much in one area, then I stop.
I also try to set aside a tiny bit of money every month for savings. $6.50 per week, to be exact. Does not sound like a lot, and it doesn’t have to be. But at the end of the year, when I’ve got a couple hundred bucks saved up, and then next year it’s a couple hundred more, I will be thanking myself 🙂
If at FIRST you don’t succeed – make a list like Jenna.