Lesson Planning: Attractive storage and organization

Organization makes me happy! I love searching Pinterest for organization inspiration. Here are a few ideas I have recreated in my bathroom and bedroom:
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I reused some Kate Spade gift boxes to store my hair clips and baubles. They are so pretty. I bought this mini cake stand at the Nordstrom Rack and it is a great way to add a level of prominence to the items it holds. My Tiffany mug looks great with my makeup brushes inside. A small glass heart holds all my perfume samples.
image I found this tiered jewelry holder at Hobby Lobby and it’s great for organizing earrings and bracelets. I also have several small dishes for separating rings and small earrings.
imageWine bottles are a creative way to display and stack bracelets. I also used a split of champagne and an empty candle holder. 
image This mini compote dish matches the cake stand and was also purchased at Nordstrom Rack. It holds my Miracle Blur, Bobbi Brown serum and SPF moisturizer. It makes my everyday products look special.

imageA silver tray quickly organizers products on my bathroom counter. I also used an over-sized martini glass to store all my nail polishes and a glass candy jar to hold cotton pads. 

Pinterest is a great source for organization inspiration. I have a Pinterest board called Organization Makes Me Happy. Click here to see my pins.

Homework: What is your favorite organization tip?

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Lesson Planning: Travel and packing tips and tricks

I’m a little OCD when it comes to packing and prepping for a trip. I’m a planner; I can’t help it! A few weeks ago I went to Vegas for three days and I promised I would share some of my traveling and packing tips and tricks.

Here we go:
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1) Always travel with people who make you laugh! We’ve all been on trips with people who don’t travel easily. I make it point to be a flexible flyer. If everyone is checking luggage, I check my luggage. If my travel partners are carrying on their bags, I carry on, as well. It is so much easier to go with the flow. If I travel with someone who is difficult, I don’t travel with them again.

image2) A week before the trip, I start putting things I am going to bring on the trip in my guest room and hang up clothing options in the doorway. This works especially well with items I know I won’t be wearing in real life. I also put my suitcase, my toiletries bag, etc in the guest room as well. I use this room as a staging area and it’s really nice to have a place to spread out all my choices.

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3) I use Eagle Creek packing cubes to organize my clothes in my suitcase. I bought them at the Container Store during their annual travel sale. I have cubes for:
Daytime outfits
Evening outfits
Swimsuits and coverups
Pjs
Bras and underwear

The cubes keep everything separate and easy to find. If you like to be organized, these cubes are a great investment. I keep them in my suitcase so they are ready when needed.

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4) I also use a laundry bag for my dirty clothes and shoe bags to keep my shoes from getting my clothes dirty. I bought my bags from Flight 101 . The laundry bag is essential because I never want my dirty clothes to touch my clean clothes. These bags were completely worth the money spent. I keep them with all my travel supplies so they are ready to pack at a moments notice.

5) I keep my toiletries bag stocked at all times so I don’t have to think about what I need. I always have sample sized products ready to go. I have duplicates of all make up products, so I keep a separate make up bag that goes between my gym bag and suitcase. It’s nice to have these bags stocked and ready go!

6) I used to pride myself on packing the smallest suitcase, but then I realized that resulted in a heavy carry on bag. Now, I’m not afraid to use a larger suitcase if it means I don’t have a ton of stuff in my carry on. Lugging a heavy carry on around the airport is the worst. Only carry on the essentials!

I hope you find these tips helpful!

Homework: What is your best packing tip?

Lesson Planning: The 7 P’s and the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!

imageA while back I shared an organizational strategy I use called the 7 P’s. Proper Prior Planning really does Prevent Piss Poor Performance! Well, this is an important time of year and I need to be ready for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! I use this sale to stock up on basics, shoes, and accessories for the school year. Many of the items you see me wearing on a regular basis are Anniversary Sale purchases.

Last year, I never received a hard copy of the Anniversary Sale catalog. The Nordstrom customer service agent told me I could access the catalog online and didn’t seem to understand why I was so upset. I tried to explain that part of my “proper prior planning” involved Post It notes and highlighters. She still didn’t get it and I never got a real catalog. As a result, I was a little frazzled while shopping and not as “on point” as I usually am.

Well, I received my catalog on Tuesday and I spent some time on Wednesday doing my initial look-through. I’ve marked items I’m interested in and now I’m ready to compile a list organized by department. I also need to check out the additional on-line options. So far, I’m loving the work outfit options. I’m a little disappointed in the shoe selection, but hoping the online options are better. I’m excited to try on several leather skirts, boots, some lace trimmed items, and a few amazing coats.

I will document all my purchases and keep you updated on how I incorporate them in my ever-evolving wardrobe.

Homework: How do you prepare for an annual sale?

Lesson Planning: Spring Cleaning for Cash

imageMy closet needed an extreme makeover! I recently lost 20 pounds and I owned a few too many things that no longer fit. I had a trip to Vegas planned for spring break and I knew we were going to be stopping at the outlet malls along the way. Could I clean out my closet and make a few extra dollars to spend at the outlets in Barstow and Primm? It turns out, that it is possible. I found a store in Costa Mesa called Crossroads Trading Co. that buys your clothes for cash or store credit. You can earn 35% of the retail price in cash or 50% in store credit.   The Crossroads website had a great tutorial for first time sellers and I found it to be really helpful.  The store only buys in-season clothing, in good condition.  I made three trips to the store and ended up making about $150.  It was a win/win situation!  My closet is cleaner and my wallet is fuller!

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Homework: What can you take out of your closet and sell?

Lesson Planning: Control Paper Clutter and Save Some Money, too!

imageI LOVE magazines! When I was a middle school activities director, I was in charge of our major fundraiser, a magazine sale. All staff received a 50% discount on magazines they purchased. I went wild and subscribed to about 15 magazines.  I was in heaven :). When I left the middle school, I had to wean myself off my magazine addiction. I would buy one or two magazines a week as a treat.  I have a hard time letting go of things and sometimes my magazines would pile up around the house. I also would rip out pages if there was something I wanted to buy or R and D (research and develop). Sometimes I wouldn’t remember why I had torn out a page. So frustrating, and a complete waste of my time!

When my school district had to implement some pay cuts, I needed to find some ways to eliminate my frivolous spending. My magazine “problem” was at the top of that list. One free method to stay connected to my favorite magazines, is to follow my favorite magazines on Facebook, Pinterest, Intsagram, and Twitter. Almost all magazines have social media accounts and they constantly update their feeds with top stories and regular features. They provide links to items they are spotlighting, so I can purchase things on the spot. Reading magazine articles is a great way to kill time when I’m waiting in line or for an appointment.

I do subscribe to one magazine electronically, People Stylewatch. I need to read that magazine from cover to cover on my IPad. I love all the extra features and links, and I feel like I’m turning the pages of a real magazine. It’s worth the annual fee and makes me happy.

Magazines I follow on social media: Shape, Self, People, In Touch, Us Weekly, Marie Claire, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living, People Stylewatch, and Better Homes and Gardens

Homework: How do you control paper clutter?

Lesson Planning: The 7 P’s and how I prepare for a busy week

When I was a middle school teacher, I always told my students that organization was the key to success! As a self-proclaimed queen of organization, I firmly believe that lack of planning, more often then not, leads to less than desired results. That’s where the 7 P’s come into play. Many years ago, I was working as a sales associate at Ann Taylor in the Mission Valley Mall in San Diego. I had a darling boss named Allison, and one day she and her husband needed a ride to the airport. I gladly volunteered, and when I got to their house, I was so impressed by how organized they were for their trip. Allison’s husband, a marine, explained that he followed the 7 P’s philosophy for organization. Intrigued, I wanted to know more. He said it was simple… Proper prior planning, prevents piss-poor performances! I loved it!

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Outfits for the week are ready to go!

So here are some ways that I follow the 7 P’s methodology…

Every Friday afternoon, my office manager gives me my calendar for the next week and I scan it to see if I have any meetings at the district office or anything else that would require an extra special outfit. On Sunday, I usually pull outfits for the entire week. I made cute day-of-the-week tags and hang all the outfits on an over-the-door-hook. If I know the accessories I’m going to wear, I add them to the hanger. I always have a few reserve outfits here as well, in case I change my mind. It just helps simplify my morning routine.

Boot camp clothes ready and gym bags packed.

Boot camp clothes ready and gym bags packed.

If I’m going to boot camp in the morning, I select a workout outfit and put it, along with my shoes and socks, right near my bed. When I’m waking up at the crack of dawn, I don’t want to make any decisions. I just want to brush my teeth, throw my hair in a ponytail, and head out the door before I can change my mind. If I’m also working out at night, I pack my bags the night before and even put them in my car so I’m ready to go.

Lunch packed and breakfast set up!

Lunch packed and breakfast set up!

I also pack my lunch the night before and prep my breakfast. I think a cute lunch bag helps the process. I have two, a cute pink polka dot one for when I’m headed straight to work and put my food straight into my refrigerator and an insulated Tory Burch lunch box for when I need to keep my food cold.

I hope these tips help you follow the 7 P’s!

Homework: How do you get ready for a busy week?