Category Archives: Neat & Tidy

2017 Calendar and Planners

It’s here!!! I’ve had so many requests from friends and readers for the newest version of my annual calendar/planners and I’m here to deliver. Apparently, a lot of you enjoy planning out your life at least a little in advance. (Like me!) And this 2017 calendar and planner are, of course, free for you to download!

2017 Calendar and Planners

Most of the design for this coming year has stayed the same, although there are a few tweaks to the cover.  If you can’t read the writing on this small photo of the cover page, it says “Believe in yourself and you will be unstoppable.” A little motivational quote never hurt anyone, right?

Scroll Printable Calendar Months

Obviously, the calendar is pretty straight forward. I choose to stay with the vertical format and updated all of the dates.

PLANNERS

I’m also including my favorite planners in this bundle.  The weekly planner is great for jotting down all of the specific activities going on during your week on an hour by hour basis. It’s perfect for meetings, lessons, practices, etc.

This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read my full disclosure.

Monthly Weekly Calendar Planners

Black & White Striped Pen

I love using a bill pay checklist! It makes remembering which bills have been taken care of very easy, especially when we pay so many of our utilities and such online.

Bill Pay Checklist Payment Record

I also find that I end up saving money at the grocery store when I plan out all of our meals for the week. I plan everything out on the menu, then can add individual ingredients and items to the shopping list.

Shopping Grocery List Menu Planner

Perfectly Fragrant Rosemary Plant

If you are looking for a way to get your life more organized in 2017, this is a great way to start! Simply click the link below to download.

Download the Free 2017 Calendar/Planners!

All of my printables are currently FREE for download for personal use only. However, this is subject to change in the future, so snag them at no cost while you still can! (View Terms of Use.)

2017 Calendar Planners

I like that this style of calendar is versatile. It can be put inside of a binder or hung straight on a bulletin board. I even added a pretty front cover page to make gifting this freebie a breeze! Wrap the set up with some pretty ribbon or send it off to be printed and bound.

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Psst… I’ve been working hard on a new printables gallery with lots of free goodies for you! I’m hoping to have it up and running in the next month, so check back soon!

How We Sold Our Home In One Day

It has been a little over three months since we closed on The City House and I want to share with you the secrets of how we sold it to the first buyer who walked through (on the first day). Obviously, the title of this post “How We Sold Our Home In One Day” may be a little deceptive. There is a lot more involved in selling a home than just finding a buyer. You must do all of the prep work before listing (we used a realtor), plus getting to closing can take a couple of months or more, depending on negotiations, inspections, loan approvals, etc. However, getting started on the right path can ensure that you get the perfect buyer into your home as soon as possible.

As a former realtor, I think one of the most important parts of finding a buyer quickly is making your home look as appealing as possible before listing. (Picking a reasonable listing price and deciding how willing you are to negotiate will also be very important.) Here are some tricks and tips on how to do it!

How We Sold Our Home

Fix

This should be apparent, but fixing the big and small problems in the house (i.e. small holes in the wall, doors that don’t latch correctly, lighting problems, landscaping issues) should be one of the first things on your to-do list, once you decide to sell your home. Take care of all of the problems you know of and you won’t have to worry about them showing up on later inspections.

Our kitchen counters were looking pretty bad after a failed DIY attempt. So, we replaced them with an inexpensive, yet, nice looking option.

Kitchen Final

Curb Appeal

Buyers will definitely have an opinion about your home before they even walk in. Curb appeal is important since it is the first thing that people see. Make sure to tidy up outside by cleaning walkways, cutting the grass, weeding flower beds. You can even add some potted plants and a seasonal door wreath to pretty things up.

My favorite boxwood wreath hanging on the front door.

Boxwood Wreath

Declutter

Many people don’t realize that cleaning and decluttering are two different things. With decluttering, the point is to remove all of the things that make the rooms look, well, cluttered and busy. Removing mail, tchotchkes, and excess furniture from each room will help the space feel more inviting and open. Decide whether each item you are decluttering should be thrown out, donated, or stored until you move.

We didn’t have a lot of items to purge, but we did move a lot of extra stuff to our Country House and donated quite a few things. If you don’t have space to store items in your home and your budget allows, consider renting a storage unit until you move. You could also ask friends/family if they would mind allowing you to store a few things in their homes until your home is sold.

Our dining table was pretty big for our breakfast nook, so we swapped it out for a smaller one to make the room look a little more spacious.

Dining Room Final

Clean

Again, this should go without saying, but your home should be pretty much spotless. We opted to hire a cleaning company to come in and really deep clean everything. Getting the major cleaning out of the way, saved us so much time and helped us focus on other tasks, like painting the walls.

We were also lucky enough to be able to move our pets to our new Country House before listing. We knew that then they wouldn’t get in the way with showings and it would be one less thing to worry about cleaning up. Pet odors can be a huge turn off for potential buyers! If you must have your pets around during showings, consider crating/kenneling them. Also, make sure their areas (food bowls/litter boxes/etc.) are pristine. Don’t forget to clean rugs and vacuum furniture well to get rid of smells, hair, and dander.

Our kitty Rowan, lounging like he does.

Remove pets during open houses and showings

Stage

For many people, hiring a home stager is not in the budget when they are trying to sell their house. The good news is that you could do a pretty good job at staging your own home. As I mentioned before, decluttering will really help open rooms up to feel more spacious. A few other ideas to consider would be:

  • Room Rearrangements – Move furniture around to be more inviting for conversation, especially in the living/family room. Also, make sure that each room has furniture in it to compliment the exact type of room a buyer may want. If you have 3 bedrooms, but use one as an office or playroom, consider changing it to make it look more like to a bedroom while your home is listed. Also, make sure that large furniture pieces are not in front of windows which may stop natural light from coming in.
  • Neutralize – There are a couple of ways to neutralize your home. First, consider painting rooms with bold color choices a more neutral tone (i.e. changing bright yellow to soft greige.) Second, think about storing some personal items, such as family photos, toys, and collections. You don’t have to necessarily rid your home of every last one of these items, but a buyer will be less distracted if a home is neutralized and it will be easier for them to picture themselves living in the space.

Neutral colors and welcoming furniture placement from our living room.

Spring Fling Home Tour

Good luck!

So, those were the major things we did that we believed to helped us sell our home so quickly. Even though I can’t guarantee your home will be sold in one day, I hope that you can use these tips and tricks to get your home sold as quickly as possible! Selling your home can be so nerve-racking. It is even ranked up there as one of the most stressful life events a person can experience. To say that I’m happy to be done with the selling process, would be an understatement. However, I’m glad that we spent a little extra time preparing our home before listing because it certainly paid off! Best of luck to you too!

Click here to see how we prepared for showings!

Create a Simple and Functional Command Center

With both of my kids in school this year, it was finally time to figure out some sort of organizational system for all of our paperwork. Not that we aren’t organized normally. However, with two rugrats bringing home enough paper to equal half of a rain forest worth of trees, we needed something that would keep everything in check. Enter the command center…

Create a Simple and Functional Command Center

This post contains affiliate links for convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure.

Over the years, I have seen some pretty amazing command centers.

These spaces are usually centrally located in the home and contain everything needed to keep the household running smoothly. Stuff like calendars, clocks, chalkboards, bulletin boards, binders, folders, files, menu planners, and the list goes on. I knew that I didn’t have room for all of that business (just a tiny wall in our kitchen). So I had to figure out how to create a simple and functional command center in a small space.

To cover the basics, I ordered all of our main command center pieces from Ikea. (Ikea didn’t compensate us for any of this; we just really liked the price and how the pieces came together.)

Command Center Organization Station

Our calendar is something I whipped up and had printed as an engineering print (18″x24″) at our local print shop. I placed it in a large Ribba frame (19 3/4 x 27 1/2) with the mat. We can write all of the important stuff we have coming up on the front of the plexiglass and erase it with ease. Hopefully, this will keep us from forgetting dance or soccer practice and all of the things that we need to be available for.

Dry Erase Calendar

I’ve included the PDF file for the calendar, in case you would like to print your own. Click the image below to get yours now!

All of our printables are currently FREE for download for personal use only. (View Terms of Use.)

Calendar Printable

To organize all of our papers and bills, I ordered the Kvissle Wall Magazine Rack. Each of the kids gets one slot for important school papers. The rest are designated for bills, other mail, and etc., which holds blank paper for note taking and a weekly calendar for menu planning.

Hanging File

I placed a cork board (painted with white paint to make stripes) in another smaller Ribba frame so that we can hang up any little bits of fun or info we have until we can file them.

Painted Cork Board

All of the colored dry erase markers are corralled in a small canning jar, along with a few extra pencils, and placed on the counter for easy access.

Marker Pencil Holder

This little wall in our kitchen has turned out to have a huge impact on our family organization and I am feeling a lot less anxiety with this system in place.

IMG_8807Do you have a family command center? How do you keep organized during the school year? We would love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below!

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22 Spring Cleaning & Organization Ideas

22 Spring Cleaning and Organizing Ideas_edited-1

Spring is here and it is time to clean! Today we are sharing 22 Spring Cleaning & organization ideas to help get you in the mood. Enjoy!

Spring Cleaning Checklist
Spring Cleaning 5

Remove Oil Based Primer
Remove Oil Based Primer 1

File Cabinet Turned Garage Storage
File Cabinet Garage Storage 1

Tips for Cleaning Your Clothes Iron
cleanirontips

Industrial Numbered Storage
Industrial Numbered Storage 16

Cleaning Tips and Tricks
Spring Cleaning 4

Numbered Wooden Crates
Untitled

Chalkboard Clothes Pins
Chalkboard Clothes Pins 5

Weekly Cleaning List
April 2014 Printables 1

Toy Organization Toy Organization 4

Mason Jar Paint Storage
mason jar paint storage 7

Closet Organization
Closet Organization 9

Getting Rid of the Excess
Get Rid Of Things 4

Moving Tips
moving tips 1

Toy Rotaion
Toy Rotation 1

Paint Dipped Box Baskets
Paint Dipped Box Baskets 1

Pet Food Canister
Pet Food Canister 1

Workspace Organization
Vanity/Workspace 6

Turn Boxes into Baskets
Basket<

Easy DIY Apothecary Jars
apothecary jars 4

How to Clean Your Make-up Bushes
clean brushes 4

Entertainment Stand Dresser Entertainment Stand Dresser 4