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Low-Waste Kitchen Hacks for Busy People

Living a fast-paced lifestyle is a convenience we have grown increasingly comfortable in, but like everything else, such comfort comes at a cost. The price we are paying for convenience is a considerable one.

Our convenient lifestyle that accommodates our need always to be on-the-go comes at the cost of the environment, which is why, I wanted to share with you some simple methods that I try to use, to keep with my eco-friendly values while maintaining that sense of convenience daily.

I live a lifestyle vibrant with entropy. No two days ever look the same. I need a structure in place to help me function properly, even to be able to perform the most basic of tasks like, eat, or maintain some level of sanity. I am sharing with you today just a few of the things that really help me and hopefully help you as well.

Make your own drink!
Who doesn’t love a warm/cold drink in the morning? Having tea or coffee every morning is something we all look forward, too, it gets our day going. Unfortunately, on the busiest of days we can be tempted to get one at a shop, but making your own, at-home drink could make all the difference for the environment since most of these shop cups are not recyclable or compostable. Every day millions of us around the world buy these cups and dispose of them. When a single person buys one cup of coffee every day, it builds up the numbers landing in the trash.

Try to make your own, help the environment and of course, hence, help yourself!

I’m a big believer that your morning routine starts the evening before. Every night I set out my coffee needs (cup and top) and have the water ready in the fridge. I have my coffee already ground and store it for use in the morning. When the morning arises, I can quickly put it together while I am getting ready. I then put it in my thermos, and I am prepared to go. It’s quick, and it’s easy, and you don’t have to think about it.

I stopped going out for coffee in the morning when I realized it just wasn’t any faster. You’re probably not saving any time by making a 20-minute trip and waiting in line to get a coffee. It’s that extra step that will help you maintain your convenient lifestyle without having to give up your eco-friendly values.

Freezing prep for your meals
I love freezer meals. I measure it out so that one mason jar is enough food for one person. I can layer the rice on top of the beans and then add a sauce or vegetables. You can let them thaw overnight, and then you can throw it in your bag on your way to out or for a convenient meal.

You can heat the glass, but you have to remove the lid off the mason jar and put it in the microwave.

You can also save most of your glass jars and use them for this purpose. When you freeze something in a glass jar, make sure there is enough space between the liquid and the top since liquids expand on solidifying. When you heat up your to go meal, make sure to let it thaw and defrost naturally or the glass will be shattered and can cause harm, not to mention it is a pain to clean!

Yes, I know this from experience!

You can freeze individual serving sizes of things like hummus in little containers and just let them thaw in your bag when you head out. By the time you are ready to eat it, it is prepared!

Please remember, if you have plastic containers, it’s OK to use them to freeze. Just make sure that they are safe to be microwaved. Some plastics leak toxins into your food and your body.

Mason Jackets!
The condensation on the outside of the glass was causing a mess in my bag. The jar also can be sweltering and hard to touch with your hands if it is heated. I’ve been grateful for how convenient jackets are for my needs!

I love them, and they’re brilliant. The jackets come in a variety of different materials like silicone or cloth. You wrap them around your mason jars, they protect them from getting broken, and they protect your hands when you hold it.

It takes away a little bit of the stress during the day because I don’t have to worry about these small, simple things. I can go about my day without having to worry if the mason jar’s broken and caused a disaster in my bag.

Pre-chopped frozen veggies
Chop those vegetables up, put them in a container and fill it with water then pop them in the fridge. Not only do your veggies remain fresh and crispy, you always have a healthy snack at hand. Just think of eating crisper carrots and celery with your thawed hummus throughout the day. It’s like you went to the store on days you don’t have time to stop, and it requires less packaging.

It works wonders. The best part is that you could do this with almost any product, It’s comfortable, convenient, and helping maintain a cleaner Earth.

The multipurpose ice-cube tray
You can use the ice trays as measuring devices to measure the individual sizes of things like lemon juice or vegetable broth. You can put them in the ice tray, and then after they’re frozen, you put them in a jar, You’ll end up with frozen individual-sized servings in bulk quantities.

You could do the same with silicone muffin or cupcake pans for more significant portions.

You can also use your ice-cube tray to make homemade candy and other treats! One easy recipe is, buy chocolate chips, melt them down, put a little in the bottom of the tray and then add nut butter or fruit, top with a bit more chocolate, and you have package-free butter cups and bonbons.

Be creative
Instead of buying unique products that are marketed with “eco-friendly” agenda, you can use those everyday things lying around your house. For instance, instead of putting the leftover in zip locks or unique wraps or containers, just put the food in a bowl and close it with a plate. Alternatively, cut old fuzzy socks for jar jackets or you could even a knit or crochet. It’s effortless to make one of those jar sleeves and a great way to use up scrap yarn and recycle old clothing.

BONUS HACKS:
Here are a few simple tips that could help you along the way:

  • Prep your food for the week on Sunday nights, you could be watching Netflix or listening to some music.
  • Also, try storing herbs, green onions, celery, etc. upright in a few inches of water to retain its crispness.
  • Lastly, the plastic bins with screw-on lids are GREAT to reuse for things you buy in bulk and for art supplies like crayons or markers.

I hope these tips and hacks prove useful to you. They are effortless to execute and efficient. However, this might not work for all of you. You may need to be slightly altered your practices from time to time as life gets in the way. Just remember to be a little creative and find different styles and structures to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Let me know some tips that have helped you spare more time in the morning or in life, just leave a comment below.

Also, check out my Amazon Associate Store if you need some inspiration for your journey. Here it is: https://amzn.to/2YJdfbn

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Giving Up My Ways

I wanted to share with you five ways in which I try to implement a healthy lifestyle. I don’t mean just by eating healthily or to workout. These things are a given for any healthy lifestyle, but I wanted to cover the other things that I find help me stay well when I am feeling or not feeling my best.

So, here they are:

One: Giving Up Bad Habits
Implementing a healthy lifestyle is to give up your bad habits so that you can make way for good ones. We all know what our bad habits. We have habits or things that we do in our life that doesn’t make us feel good. Some of it you are aware of and others you may not have a clue of it. However, you know very well that some things in your life don’t make you feel well or hold you back. Whether that’s a person, a job, your diet, not working out, debt, not getting enough sleep are all things that you don’t want to be incorporated into your life.

You can write all the things that you want to let go of so you can create space for those new habits. An example could be if you go to bed too late, maybe set the alarm to go to bed earlier. The goal is to take something negative and create a positive habit out of it.

It is suggested that it takes 21 days to create a habit, so if you are starting a newer practice, make sure that you’re keeping track. You can use a marker and with each day you that achieve it. You mark it. If you don’t, you start again. Eventually, that new habit will be ingrained into your mind and body.

You always have to be realistic about your new habit changes. You will get overwhelmed if you do too many at the same time. I would recommend looking at your harmful habit list and seeing if any, can be organized together.

Once they are organized, you can see how they are related and create a habit system and complete one habit that will help lead to the next bad habit to conquer. For instance, going to bed late and getting up late in the morning. Perhaps work on going to bed early first. Once that healthy habit has been established, the next logistical practice to create would be to get up earlier.

If you set up too much too soon, you’re going to end up stumbling, failing, and then end up quitting. Small changes in your daily routine will end up creating more prodigious healthy habits in the long run. You’re not going to be seeing instant results. You are looking to change your lifestyle, and you still want to live your life, you need to have the new habit feel natural in the long run.

Two: Mental Check-ins
When you check-in on your mental state, you are checking in with your body, mind, and space. Mostly, you are mindful. Your mindfulness is a huge component of starting a healthy lifestyle. You cannot start a healthy lifestyle if you are not mentally into it. You have to examine where you are right now.

You have to look at yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically within your area. When you check-in mentally, try to accept where you are, and where it’s at right now. When dwelling on the past or looking too much into the future, you are taking in a negative mindset. You are blocking your potential to create and implement a healthier lifestyle.

Mindfulness, at the beginning of your healthy lifestyle, is going to be detrimental to the success of it. Our mind is the reflection of what we see externally, but a massive part of our mindset stems from the internal representation that we see our inner self. You can create mindfulness through a multitude of different exercises, journaling, listening to music, taking a nature walk, practice gratitude, and positive self-talk. The positive narratives help set positive intentions for your day that can help in your mindfulness journey.

Three: 10,000 Steps
Focus on walking. I aim for about 10,000 steps in a day. I have been implementing walking into my life. I’ve been using my phone, but you can also estimate that 2 hours of walking in a day is about 10,000 steps. This doesn’t mean straight walking or even a long distance walk. It can be cleaning your home, parking at the back of a parking lot, walking to work, or going to the bathroom, or even taking the stairs, every step counts. So, two hours in your day of walking isn’t a lot. You can do little things to reach your 10,000 step goal.

You’ll be amazed how much walking you can incorporate into your daily routine. When you have a body stationary, it creates a loss of connection to the world and can increase the likelihood of depression. There is so much to benefit from moving your body. It creates flow not only with your organs but with your brain and your positive well-being.

Four: Clean-up Before Bed
I find by putting things away and creating a clean environment. I tend to have a positive morning. No one likes to wake up to a messy room. You may feel slow and unmotivated. In the morning, you may worry about the dishes in the sink or decide not to eat a healthy breakfast because there is no room to cook. It’s not the best way to start the day.

I like to do my daily prays and reflections at night. I can reflect on my day create stillness in my mind while I am tidying the end of the day. It’s an excellent way to clean up my mental trash before I go to bed. This practice helps my mind feel refreshed in the morning.

Five: Surround Yourself with Positivity
We all do this. We are in a funk, so we gravitate to the negativity that surrounds us. I know I have a hard time listening to how great someone has when I am suffering. However, this is a perfect time to listen to the positive. Your brain with a click and a switch, and you will stop resisting the negative pushback.

What I do is put on a playlist that makes me happy, meditate as I am cleaning, journalling for five minutes, sitting in a crowded cafe and listening to other laughter or even watching an adorable cat video could help me see a little bit more positivity in your life. Once you have that moment of realizing you are not quite in the funk, please do something to extend yourself to a better place, like talking to a good friend or writing an email to a coworker or family member to let them know they matter. I am surprised how this action can change my whole outcome for the day.

Implementing wellness in your mind every single day helps you create a positive space in every aspect of your life. Wellness is emotional, spiritual, and physical. Make sure that you’re doing things every day to create wellness and better behaviors.

You are all you have, so make the most of today.

I hope you found this piece to be helpful. If you have any suggestions or ideas, I would love to hear from you.

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Here is a Question: Why minimalism?

A question that seems to have become repetitive to me since I’ve turned to a minimalist lifestyle has been, why minimalism?

Such a question is only natural when others recognize the fact that you’re straying from the physical development of society and stepping away from conventional views in buying and owning objects.

Before I answer the question, why minimalism. Let’s first determine what specifically minimalism is really about. It’s a reassessment of your priorities so that you can strip away the excess material. Contrary to what many people may believe minimalism is, it is not solely about getting rid of your possessions. It’s also about reassessing your life and the things in it such as ideas, relationships, activities, and possessions. It’s looking at reducing those things that do not hold any priority. I believe minimalism is about becoming more intentional with both my belongings and all the different aspects of my life.

Here are a few of the reasons why I chose to embrace a minimalist lifestyle.

  • I’ve decided I want to be more selective about the things that I bring into my life.
  • My mind was scattered all over the place, and I can never seem to focus on one thing at a time.
  • My apartment was getting filled up with clutter. I was getting sick and tired of having to look at it and deal with the disorder every day.

It just made sense for me at the time to look into minimalist living. I’m living in a studio apartment, so I already didn’t have many things. The things that I did have was just an accumulation of miscellany in clutter that I’ve just accumulated over the years.

I understand that for the majority of people, this is not a sensible thing to consider. You may not be able to pack up everything and get rid of it all at once. I suggest for you is to really analyzing what you do need and what you can probably live without and go from there. Little by little, just getting rid of things until you finally feel like you’re in a point that you are content.

Although minimalism may not be for everybody. I’m glad that I’ve chosen to implement it into my life because the benefits it brings me never seemed to cease. My mind is clearer. I spend less money. I use my time on only the
things that bring me value. It just makes sense to me to live this lifestyle.

I know that it’s easy to say “do it,” but even small actions can add up. I hope you found this helpful. I would love to know what you do or how you feel about your practice into minimalism.

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Holding Yourself Back

Tip: Look for a language that places you as a victim. “No one understands” or “always happens to me bad” is a red flag.

If you are thinking of yourself as a victim, take a deep breath and then make a step to improve your life. The best way to deal with self-doubt is to test your forehead on your forethoughts. Your brain will have a slight difference of observation as you confirm that your mind is capable and having checked your doubts will develop your mind.

You cannot expect to know everything about yourself when you don’t try. If you think of yourself as an expert in something, it’s easy to assume that you know everything. You have to be open to change. Decluttering your mind opens you up to that change and to new possibilities. You can learn from others’ and your mistakes and make better decisions for yourself. It’s a good idea to keep your mind free of all the things you don’t need and just focus on what you do need to be content with life.

These are some suggestions helping to get rid of any clutter in your mind that may be holding you back. If you are not sure where to start, try these tips:

  1. Find a place that feels comfortable so you can be opened to change and find an intention.
  2. Find someone who has been there before and knows how to deal with it.
  3. Take some time to think about what you want out of life and then find a way to make it happen.
  4. Find a hobby that makes you happy and doesn’t require much effort. This is a great way to keep yourself busy while also keeping your mind clear and focused.
  5. Do something that makes you feel good about yourself and your work even if it’s just for a few minutes.
  6. Take a walk around your neighborhood or park.
  7. Find a quiet spot in your house where you can sit and meditate.
  8. Write down all the things you need to do, and list them on a piece of paper in order of importance.
  9. Get rid of anything that distracts you from your work-related tasks by being mindful of the actions you take before you start your work. You will be surprised just how much mess you have in your mind before you even begin an important task.

How do you protect your mind? Find your intention or purpose for your moment or day. Focus on what needs to be done to help get some of the load off your mind. The intention is an integral part of your life, and we all need to be aware of what it’s doing to us.

When you’re in a mental state of chaos, there is no way out but through the mind. If you want to get rid of clutter, then stop thinking about it and start focusing on the present moment or your intention. Don’t think about how much time you have left or if you can’t get it done. Just do it.

This will help you feel more at peace with yourself and your surroundings. I’m sure you’ve heard this before: ” the only thing that matters is what happens next. So make the most of it! Don’t worry about tomorrow, just live now!”.

If we will focus on how we use our self to organize your thoughts and create a life of mindfulness and relaxation, peace, peace, and freedom.

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HOW MINIMALISM FEED THE MIND AND SOUL?

Minimalism refers to having fewer possessions in life whereas minimalism for the mind and soul relate to owning less but having satisfactory in living. It is not only about having fewer things but having more meaning in our life.

Simplicity or clarity is a direction starting from soul to the heart, body, mind, and our home or it is vice versa. Our deepest secrets, thoughts, feelings, and choices are hidden deep inside our soul.

To achieve simplicity, one needs to do things that nurture the soul. Here are some of the ways that help:

It generates choices
Through minimalism, we accept the things that matter to us and ignore those who veer us away from our purposes.

Creates the place for space
Every single bit of us needs some space from the world for “me” time that soothes the soul and mind.

Minimalism disengages additional pressure
A cured soul needs no one to influence. A restored soul is content with the less and has no interest in having more.

Minimalism helps to untangles everything
With less pressure, in our minds, in our homes, we can handle almost everything that comes our way. It makes our mind productive by focusing on the things that matter.

Shows our true self
The most important reason for including minimalism in our lives is that it shows our true self. It makes us look through our soul. We could see our goals, our value, our capabilities, our flaws with understandable clarity and accepting ourselves the way we are.

Stimulates creativity
Eliminating all that is preventing you to focus on the real intentions will help you take a closer step towards creativity and will expand your imagination.

Decluttered mind
With fewer things in the ownership, you will be able to pay attention more on contentment. Your mind will have less to concentrate.

Assessing minimalism
It helps you understand why do we have certain possessions and why we don’t. It helps in evaluating the things we need the most and the things that aren’t that useful for our mind and soul.

Start living a simple life. There is no right time to start anything that causes positive changes in a person’s life. What are ways you can help mend your soul?

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You Decluttered – Now What?

When you think of minimalism, some may feel that it is living without. It’s taking everything you own and decluttering it. It is a physical process to free up space, but it is so much more. It’s a lifestyle, a thoughtful process and a cue to recognized how present you live your life.

Although clearing out your things can be rewarding if you do not take care of the mental hiccups that got you into consuming you will end up right back doing what you know best – buying more.

I like minimalism. I choose it because it is a personal journey. I still have my religion. I can even eat meat. I can buy that bamboo diffuser that I waited a month to purchase. It’s all a matter of choice. The choices we make when it comes to minimalism is base on energy and being comfortable in your environment.

It’s been my experience that the less you have to deal with physically the more you can enjoy your life. Once the declutter is done the real stuff begins.

You may find yourself stuck with your thoughts and how to maneuver your life to bring you to your goals. You may not feel stuck. It is a personal journey.

However, two things can happen at this point. You buy stuff in the effort to reach your goal, or you cultivate the existing items in your home and life that will help you achieve your goals. One of these may have you decluttering again in a couple of months and then entirely postponing your intentions. The other may give you space and time to accommodate the path to your goals. I not saying decluttering is the cure, but it does help to take that bandage off so you may understand the “why” of achieving the objective.

Simply put, having fewer things is having the opportunity to live more. It’s a scary prospect because what does more look like? It’s different for everyone and what you think your goal would be at the beginning of your journey may not necessarily be the goal you end up.

For me, my journey started because I needed money and I had too many things. I wanted some space to think and not be easily distracted so I could accomplish my goal, which at the time was just a word. I didn’t know what I wanted. I just wanted out of this life that was drowning me.

Today, I have goals. I want to write more and build my own business. Two things that were entirely not on my radar because I felt frightened to put myself out there and to fail. I realized that my physical items acted as a crutch. I didn’t have to deal with life. My things were also a token that I am alive. A dead person can’t own an impressive makeup collection or a killer reading library. In the end, I had not developed memories, journeys or motivation to live that life. I was surrounding myself with a barracks. No one could get in, and no one (including me) could get out.

When you hit the right quantity of items, you will know. It’s your journey to find that contentment so I can’t give you a number. In this process, you can change in positive ways. This notion includes breaking down the barracks that kept you from living. It’s isn’t about removing the things you love but the things that distract you. These distractions are what you need to get rid of to get to that happy goal or place where you are delighted with your space both mentally and physically.

Minimalism isn’t about living with less but living meaningfully. So, now that you decluttered, what is it that you want? What keeps popping up in your mind? What are you always dreaming of that you have the time to invest?

Decluttering is the starting foundation to make a better environment that will allow you to figure out your mental journey of planning your life, both the present and the future.

It’s really up to you how you use your new found space.

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30 Day Declutter Challenge – Week 2 – Kind of?

For January, I decided to do the 30-day decluttered challenge. In this challenge, you have 30 days to declutter items from your home. In this challenge, the day of the challenge pairs with the number of items you have to get rid of, so one day 1, you pick one item to get rid of and on day 30, you get rid of thirty pieces. So, in total, you will be getting rid of 460 things.

It has been a journey for me to downsize my material possessions. I’ve been doing it for over two years and still have a lot to go. What I want in my home are items that bring me joy and less work.

The idea was for me to be mindful each week to declutter things that I didn’t need… THIS DID NOT HAPPEN!

I found myself not having a lot of things to discard. It was a real struggle. I practice the one in/one out rule almost intuitively. I had to push myself back and be in the moment of what I was throwing away or donating.

I didn’t give up, but I modified the challenge to fit my requirements and needs. This means for me being mindful of what I discard but also making an effort to set time out of my busy schedule for this challenge.

I did not give up.

Instead, I became the turtle in the race. I am taking my time to finish rather than quickly make decisions that could affect me, in the long run, both emotionally and financially.

So as I had said in the first post, remember to repurpose, donate, sell or recycle your items. The worse thing to do is throw them out because they will end up in a landfill and then it becomes everyone’s problem.

Here are the next seven days of decluttering my apartment:

Day 9:

Declutter Food

Day 10:

Random Items for Declutter

Day 11:

Day 12:

Day 13:

Day 14:

For the most part, the items that I discard are going to be recycled or sold. However, it’s important to note that when you are doing to this type of challenge, that it is also a mindful practice. Please remember that there are many options to get healthily rid of your stuff. You may have a friend who needs a sweater or a homeless person who needs shoes. You may want to sell your favorite dress that you paid way too much money, and you can’t seem to part with it. Maybe the dress will be sold to someone who wants to look good for their big day. It is a much better use of the item rather than sitting in your closet.

Also to remind you that you should have fun with the challenge. If you truly love an item, don’t throw it out for the sake of the challenge or the status quo. This exercise intends to make your home a representation of you and your family.

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Paying Down Debt in 2019

So, my last post for 2018 was one of the hardest things to think about or comprehend constructively. It is that lovely taboo topic called money management and debt.

When I quit my job, I quickly realized how much spending I was doing on a daily basis. The two significant factors were mindlessly spending on little things and just giving my money away because it felt good to help.

Starting my own business made me much more careful about how I was spending my money. So, I am not an expert in finances, and I will never claim to be because there is SO much more I need to learn.

However, in 2018, I did accomplish some goals as I became mindful with my relationship with money. The most significant accomplishment was paying off almost $10,000 in debt. I still have $31,000 left to pay off, but it does feel good to know my debt is going down rather than up. My debt really isn’t on any significant spending but rather a big student loan and medical bills.

For 2019, I am going to try to pay off at least $12,000 in it. I want to finish paying this off because I need to start spending more time with my loved ones. I miss having the ability to take my daughter out. I miss just having time. So, being mindful of my time and spending has hopefully help me with the ability to accomplish these goals.

Here are some approaches that I used in 2018 to help me reduce my working time and also to have the ability to pay things off. I hope to use these same skills to improve my outlook for 2019.

The biggest habit that I acquired in 2018 is making more intentional choices on how I spend my money. I also realized that I have people that I can ask for help whether that was with actual money or with time. I didn’t understand how closed off I had made myself until I needed help on the one thing I prided myself in doing.

The first thing I realized is that easy shopping was not my friend. These small purchases were too often and collectively impacting my life. There was a lot of mindless spending on a daily basis that indeed was inhibiting me from paying off my debt. I took for granted my “fixed” income and my “fixed” payments and used the rest of my money without overthinking on its impact.

I would tell myself that I wanted to save $200 at the end of the month, but when the month ended, I had zero money in my bank account. It didn’t take long for me to see that that was not a sustainable way of living. I wasn’t reaching any of my goals. I wasn’t happy with my spending habits.

I started embracing my reality and intention that I still was avoiding. It was easy for me to donate or sell my belongings, but it was harder not to replace them. I started to do small shopping bans like staying off of Amazon or only spending what I had in my wallet for a day, week or month. These little gestures really helped to have enough money to pay my bills.

For 2019, I really want to align my finance actions with my real value. This starts with having a conversation and writing about my intentions. My husband knows my plans and having someone who is understanding to your needs is excellent. I have no problem asking questions about money and researching about how to save. I thank him for that gift.

After realizing how I was spending and being comfortable with the idea of money. I started to take stock of the big money picture. I think that’s one of the scariest parts of personal finance and it has taken me a while to comprehend. I still continue to struggle with acknowledging the state of my money flow without judgment. I just know you have to start and I do see that I am getting better with paying attention to my spending and income. It only takes time and understanding that it’s not going to be perfect and it will never be perfect.

For me taking stock means logging into all of my accounts and writing down what the balances, both the positive or negative. The big picture is not about feeling good or bad about your situation. It’s especially hard if it’s a negative experience to log in and seeing all the negatives and zero numbers, but it’s not about just looking at the numbers. It’s looking at all the different accounts that you have and making peace with your current situation.

You just have to review it. When I took stock of all the accounts that I have, the next thing I thought of is what can I get rid of to save money. It’s not just about paying off debt right away, but how many accounts or subscriptions do you have that you don’t even use.

I try to have as few accounts as possible. I’m all for whatever works for you, but I think it’s easier to have fewer accounts. It makes my life more straightforward in my budgeting process. It’s just fewer things to track or to manage. It makes sense for me and my time and to not get overwhelmed by so much information that I am just trying to comprehend for the first time.

One of the biggest mistakes I make and guilty of so many times this year is mindlessly spending without keeping track of where my dollars are going. I know that this isn’t the most fun topic or the most fun task to think about but tracking my spending is essential. Not only does it open my eyes to my behavior with money but it gives me a small moment to check in to see if it aligns with my intention.

I do weekly check-ins. I look at all of the numbers and ask myself does it align with my goals and my value. If not, I ask what I can do for next week and really understand why I didn’t meet these goals. Keep things simple when doing this type of check-in and have it fit your daily flow. I do it Monday morning. I make coffee, I sit down, and I log into all of my accounts. I track my spending and then I double check all the balances on my accounts.

There are things you can do if you’re unhappy with what is happening to your accounts and cash flow. It helps me stay focus by taking small steps and trying to figure out what my goal is for the following week. I find I am slowly changing my mindset from I am “ok” to know precisely what I need to know about my finance and it feels good to see the progress that aligns with what I really want.

One of my favorite things about personal finance is that it’s personalized to you, so everyone’s numbers and decisions are going to look different. There is no judgment in that it’s just figuring out what makes you happiest what you’re okay with spending money on and then getting rid of everything else.

The things I spend money on I try to make sure those expenditures align with my values. The biggest question I ask myself and my final tip is before you make a purchase or pay off a bill, ask when or not it is worth your time to invest. After my basic needs are met, time is the most valuable resource.

I keep this question as a fundamental practice when making any decisions of spending. “Do I actually want to spend money on this item and it is worth my time to pay it off? “

I hope this makes some kind of sense to you. Again, I am new to understanding money, so if you have any advice, please share. I would love for all of us to pay down debt and live a more fruitful life in 2019.

Happy New Years!

#budget #debt #debtfreecommunity #finance #financialfreedom #help #livingsimple #minimalism #Money #moneyhacks #money savings #moneytips #personalfinance

7 Tips to Tidy Mindfully and Create Space

As this year quickly becomes a memory, I thought I would share some tips that I adapted throughout 2018 as there was a need to keep my place organized. I live in a small studio apartment in Brooklyn, so my space is limited. Before I lived in New Jersey, I had a pretty good job and had a pretty modest sized apartment. I lived there for about two years when everything changed.

Now, I own a studio, a business and I am an independent contractor. I have had a lot of change in my life this year. I was pretty overwhelmed by everything. I tried so hard to stick to a schedule that I could not master. I knew I couldn’t learn it, but I did it anyway…this was a significant failure. I put to much pressure on myself to be this great person of success. So, I thought of a way to compartmentalize my life to keep things organize and to expel the right amount of energy for each part of my life. I call them capsules, but you can call them whatever works for you.

One capsule that I began to put together in 2018 was creating “a quick clean capsule” to help keep myself sane and focus. Today, I am going to share some tips and hacks I learned to keep my tidiness in check.

First, let me say I am not a clean person. I love clutter. I feel that my creativity comes out when I study the little mess in my corner. However, I do not live by myself, and it started to become a problem because I had almost no time to clean. The tiny little clutter space that I cherish quickly became unorganized and in multiple areas. Before I knew it, I was overwhelmed and didn’t want to deal with it.

So, for 2019, I thought why not share these little hacks that have helped this messy person stay a little bit organized and tidy in the home. They generally help keep my life with a little less stress. Hopefully, you will find them useful and can start to use them in your daily routine.

Quick Ways to Stay Tidy

1. Taking Off Your Shoes
This hack has been in my life for quite some time, but I find it very important. Not only does it help to keep your floors a little cleaner but you are not attracting dirt and diseases from the outside.

A study led by researchers at the University of Houston has shown that 26.4% of shoes carry Clostridium difficile, while a 2015 study claimed that 40% of shoes carry Listeria monocytogenes, these are two things you do not want in your house or on your child’s hands. It’s best to keep the shoes in an area that doesn’t affect your home.

2. Clean As You Go – The One Minute Rule
Clean as you go when you are doing things around your home. It really can be applied to many things. For example, you are in the kitchen, and you’re cooking. You’ve got a bunch of ingredients and dishes out on your kitchen table. As you use the ingredients and dishes, try to put them away when you are finished using them. You may cut down your cleaning time and have more time to enjoy your meal.

Usually, when you are doing things as you go, it takes about a minute to a couple of minutes to get them done. An example if this is picking up a pile of paper to recycle when it’s been sitting there for a while. It doesn’t take much effort to move it to the bin. Mostly if a task takes you a minute or less then do it.

Doing these small tasks can help set the tone for the day. I find that it helps create a clean, organized environment. I am not thinking about it anymore, because it’s done. I find it frees up a whole bunch of mental space.

3. Have A Spot For Everything
To have a spot for everything means having a proper space to hold your items, whether its a basket, drawer or even a glass container. For me, this is a great way to keep my area tidy and organized. It also allows me to know where things are because I always keep them there.

For example, I always keep my dog supplies in the same specific drawer so that I never forget where the item is when I need it.

4.You Bring In an Item / You Take an Item Out
This tip means what it states, if you buy an item, you have to discard an item. I use this to be mindful of what I buy, which in turn helps me financially. If I don’t have an item in my home that I am willing to part with, then maybe I can wait or not get it.

It is also useful to practice because you become aware of what you are bringing into your space. You consciously know which things you can then get rid of or donate or sell or whatever it may be to make sure that you are not accumulating more things.

5. Setup a Cleaning Schedule
Have a specified cleaning day of the week. A schedule can vary by the person so you may want to clean your home once a week or you may choose to have a scheduled time or day to clean each room. It’s what fits your schedule.

Having a particular day where you know that it is your tidying day can help to keep you organized and on track. One thing I like to do during a tidy day is setting a timer. If I give myself 10 minutes to wash the floors, it gives me the incentivization to keep going. It pushes me to clean because I have a specific time and I know that I am not going to be doing
this for the next few hours.

6. Assess Your Stuff and Start a Donation Bag
Before you start to donate you need to assess your belongings and this often applies to anything. Regularly evaluating the things that you have by going through your living area once a week or once a month and seeing what you can throw out or donate.

If you have a donation bag or bin handy, it helps to keep you mindful of the stuff you assessed but also the things you may notice while you are going about your day. You may put on a pair of jeans that you don’t like anymore or a book you are finished reading. I find that if I don’t have a bag handy that I’m much more likely to shove it back in my closet or not deal with it.

Having a place to discard your items will encourage you to recycle rather than throwing it away or keeping it. What I like to do is schedule a day to drop everything off at GoodWill or maybe try to sell it. Either way, I am making use of the item until it is out of my hands and into someone else’s hands who can appreciate it.

7. Unsubscribe to Unwanted Emails
In my last blog, I wrote about cleaning out your inbox. I find this important to me because I get a lot of emails and most of it I don’t read or even care about the company or topic.

I am bombarded with emails all the time. In 2018 I start the habit to delete them or unsubscribe to emails that I don’t read. If there is an email that I want to get to I will keep it for a week and if I have not addressed it and seems not essential, in the trash can it goes. It does feel so good not to be overwhelmed by a messy inbox. I have nine email addresses, so this particular trick was a massive help in 2018.

It will take time to clean, especially if you have thousands of emails but take your time. You may find that it is such a relief to be organized and coherent to what your email account holds. Finally, it isn’t just freeing your mind but your electronic memory. Emails take up a lot of space on your computer or phone. You will be surprised at how much memory is recovered by deleting those emails.

So, these are the tips I learned in 2018. I hope they are helpful to you in 2019. I am still working on my tidy organizational skills, but I am a lot better than I was a year ago. I hope that you learned a thing or two.

If you currently follow any of these types of tips or if there are any of these tips that you want to implement in 2019, please share your comment. I would love to know what you do to help keep your space clean and tidy.

Some more article that may help you with your tidying journey:
Is it Healthier to Remove Your Shoes at Home? https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-it-healthier-to-remove-your-shoes-at-home-1491649200

10 Creative Ways to Declutter Your Home
https://www.becomingminimalist.com/creative-ways-to-declutter/

25 Housecleaning Tips to Keep Your Home in Tip-Top Shape Year-Round https://www.mydomaine.com/house-cleaning-schedule/slide6

#howto #tidyup #organizationaltip #cleaninghacks #cleaninnngtip #LIFEHACKS

Inbox Detox for 2019: Ways to Clean it Out Your Emails

At the start of 2018, I had over 12,000 emails in my inbox. Most of the time, my inbox felt start crowded, and disorganized. For someone who likes to have an organization, this is a counter-productive and hypercritical way to life. It also gave me anxiety because I started to feel that I would miss an email if I deleted anything in the inbox. It really reduced my productivity.

According to a survey by Adobe Systems Inc., every day, workers spend 6.3 hours checking their emails. One-third of these workers admitted to receiving 100 emails daily, while one in ten said they receive up to 200 emails daily. 44% of these workers bother about missing a crucial email.

Of course, a cluttered inbox is not the fault of the individual, because these emails seem to troop in by the minute. As you step into 2019, here are a few ways of improving your productivity (as well as your sanity) by decluttering your inbox. Below are some ideas that I help to declutter and reduce my digital fingerprint in my inbox.

Be mindful of what you subscribe to:
Before doing anything else, the primary measure you would want to take is to try to prevent the sheer number of emails you get daily by minding what you subscribe to. Many sites lure you to subscribe on different occasions. For example, websites require that you input your email before downloading a free item, such as a free e-book or app.
These sites immediately add you to mailing lists and bombard you with newsletters and various offers. Not only that, they share your email with partner brands/sites, who would also send you unwanted emails. In 2019, to declutter your inbox, you must be picky on what you subscribe to, to declutter your inbox.

Unsubscribe. Unsubscribe. Unsubscribe:
Similar to the first point, whenever you come across a sender who either spams your inbox or sends emails you do not need, instead of merely deleting their email, unsubscribe from their emailing list as well. Ideally, you should unsubscribe from 90% of all these lists.
It takes a few extra seconds to unsubscribe, but those would be seconds well spent. However, you can use a service like Swizzle, which enables you to unsubscribe from multiple lists simultaneously.

Set up Priority Inbox:
Priority inbox boosts your productivity by placing new emails in two locations on your inbox – important and unimportant. Priority Inbox sorts the emails automatically, based on the sender and/or subject line.

With Priority Inbox set up, when you get to work in the morning, you will not be greeted by hundreds of received emails; instead, you will see around 15 essential emails that need your urgent attention. The unimportant promotional emails, newsletters, and so forth will be categorized as ‘unimportant.’

Create Inbox filters:
You can set up filters with many email clients. Filters have multiple essential uses – they allow you to label emails, move emails between folders quickly, delete emails, and lots more. With the aid of email filters, you can push certain emails to specific folders as they arrive. You may check these folders at intervals. Be sure to unsubscribe from irrelevant senders also (see step 2).

Trying Using Boomerang:
Boomerang is a Chrome and Firefox free plugin that improves your efficiency and productivity by giving you superpowers over your inbox. It lets you carry out tasks like scheduling future sending of emails, configuring the movement of emails between folders at specific times (for instance, moving your flight itinerary from a particular folder to your primary inbox, 30 minutes before your departure time), and many more.

We tend to leave emails in our inboxes to remind ourselves of important stuff. This contributes to the cluttering of the inbox. Use Boomerang to clear out your inbox and bring back your emails whenever you need them.

Opt out of receiving social media notifications:
Notifications from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., contribute roughly 25% of the daily emails most people receive. Just like the unsubscribing measure to take to declutter your inbox, you should take out time to opt out of receiving these social media notifications. You would probably check out your social media anyways, so you don’t need to get the same notifications on your inbox. For instance, Facebook notifies you of virtually everything; from comments and friend requests, to even posts by specific people. This would considerably declutter your inbox.

Make use of your calendar: Interestingly, some of the unwanted emails cluttering your inbox are not from external senders but from you. Most people like to store essential tasks on their email. While this might be useful, saving them to the ‘notes’ section of your calendar is far more productive and convenient. Further, if you keep them on your email, they will contribute to the unwanted items there whenever you are done with the task.

Improving your productivity in the new year takes a lot, but seemingly unnoticeable changes such as an organized and uncluttered inbox goes a long way. Implement the above necessary measures to tune-up your inbox, and ultimately your productivity in 2019.

References & More Tips can be found here:
Tips for Taming Your Inbox: http://listhubnews.com/tips-for-taming-your-inbox-2/

DR 133: Inbox Zero–A Simple Strategy to Conquer Your E-mail http://www.doughroller.net/tech/inbox-zero-a-simple-strategy-to-conquer-your-e-mail/

#howto #declutter #inbox #emaildeclutter #tips #hacks #2019