Email Cleanup Challenge Part II-Putting the Plan Into Action

Hi guys!  I took some time to follow up with the plan and now things are better.  Still not perfect, but better.  I’m seeing that it’s taking some time to get this thing under control.  But I do see the light at the end of the tunnel!  I see now that I could be opening an empty (or almost empty) inbox and then just checking a few key folders daily to keep abreast of my day.  I’ve already dumped hundreds of email and it felt SOOOOO GOOOOOOD!

So I’m dedicating the next week to make it happen.  One folder a day.  My plan is:

  1.   Use a search & destroy method:  search by topic, destroy trash messages and then filter the ones I’d like to keep for the future.
  2.   Implement filters.  Any company or person I want to keep mail from will be auto filtered into the necessary folder
  3.   Test and tweak.

I have quite a few folders, so realistically, it’ll be more like 2 weeks.  If there are a small number of messages in the folders I may get done even sooner.  BONUS!!

So have you bought into the great email cleanup?

Weird Stuff To Do To Prep For Winter Weather (That Really Works!)

The weather man is threatening 5-6 inches of snow then freezing rain on top.  Jeez Louise.  Yeah, I’m not happy about that.  But that’s what prayer is for.  No worries!  However, no one likes to be caught unprepared. Try these things (if they apply to you) to get your family ready.man-couple-people-woman-medium

1. Make sure everyone takes a bath 3-6 hours before bad weather arrives. Nothing like a cold shower to make reality hit!  And there’s nothing that will make you turn on a person like staying in close quarters for days with someone who has gag inducing b.o.  Warm up the towels in the dryer or in front of the fireplace for a toasty treat when they get out!

2. Take all the trash out. If you’re snowed/iced in, do you really want to be stuck with that stuff in the house? If you’re like us and have a garage, stash the bags in there if you get snowed in. It’s better to avoid busting your buns slipping and sliding on ice.

3. Charge up all of your devices-EVEN THE ONES THAT DON’T HAVE SERVICE. Why? Because the alarm, calendar and all other basic functions will still work as long as they’re charged. You can use that annoyingly bright screen as a flashlight in a pinch, too. Use it as an alarm clock & anything else that will work instead of using juice from your current phone!

4. Charge your devices in your car if the power goes out.  Yuuuuup!  That goes for tablets, too.  Some of y’all have made your kids game junkies.  Wanna be stuck with your kid for 2-3 hours (of God forbid, days!!!) without them getting their fix of Candy Crush?  I don’t think so.  Oh and a little piece of advice:  don’t waste battery posting on social media.  You may need that juice later.  Also, we’re probably not looking.  Just sayin’.

5. Make an emergency kit with the essentials: flashlights, candles, matches, lighters, batteries, etc. Make sure everyone knows where it is.  Be sure to have backup batteries for the batteries.  If your kids are like mine, they steal (swap out) the good batteries and put the jacked up ones in the battery drawer.  Which is why I wrote the book, How NOT To Kill Your Kids Before They Turn 18.  Good stuff in there.  Go check it out.

6. Pre-stock your kids’ rooms with extra blankets. Not to mention those jersey sheets you stowed away this past summer. They’ll make you sweat like a mule in the wrong season, but it’s time to pull those bad boys out!  Pull out those thermals, long johns, fuzzy socks, etc. while you’re at it.

7. Teach your children about layering. Undershirt, t-shirt, long sleeved t-shirt, vest, puffy coat. Whatever is necessary to keep that core temperature at the proper level. You can even layer gloves and hats. Nothing is warmer than my satin sleep bonnet under my knit cap. Mmm-mmm-toasty!

8. Check everyone’s snot. Yeah, I know you didn’t see that one coming! I have everyone cough, blowBoy Blowing His Nose into a Handkerchief --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbistheir nose, show me their teeth, everything. No way are we going to be stuck and not have the right meds. Clear snot is tolerable, but any other color can be a sign of infection. Stock up on OJ (incidentally, Harris Teeter has a gallon of oj on sale for $2.50!!!-it expires around 1/28/16 or so, so I’m sorry if you see this post after that), tissues, toilet paper, chest rub, decongestants, ibuprophen, epsom/sea salt (soaks can detox the body and pull out fevers), and lots of fiber. My mom, who was premed, taught me that a bulk of illnesses are caused by a dirty colon. Don’t sneeze around that woman. She’d give you a laxative (or other poop causing agent), stat!

9. Think outside the box. We’ve set up a breakfast station with our coffee pot as the main attraction. Did you know you could boil an egg in that thing? We have already put the hot breakfast cereals & drinks there for a quick way to fill up and stay warm in the tummy.

10. Enjoy it. Prep so that you’re not looking like a lunatic in front of your kids. You don’t want them to be afraid, you want them to have what they may need. Make a game out of getting these items ready. Who doesn’t like a scavenger hunt? Play some crazy action theme music to get them in the mood. Try some new recipes (if you know your power is prone to go out, precook as much as possible-nothing like a fridge full of inedible food to create a hostile situation!)  Do some planning.  Finish some projects.  Call some sick and shut ins and check up on them.  Call a long needed family meeting.  You’ve got a hostage audience, right?  Just don’t get too radical.  You don’t want them to turn on you!  You’ve got limited exit options!!  So have a good time making the best out of this situation.  Get those fuzzy jammies, toasty toe socks and rustle up those fluffy robes. Grab some movies & hot chocolate and ride this thing out in style.

I hope something on this list helped you & I pray the best for you during winter weather and any other time too! Let me know what crazy things you do to prep for the storms below.

 

Irresponsible or Unorganized?

Being unorganized can look a lot like being irresponsible.  Think about it:  lack of storage, organization or a cleaning process can lead to being junky.  Junky means you’re not as efficient or productive and can look a lot like being irresponsible (or even lazy)!  Why do I bring this all up?  Well, a few weeks ago I learned the difference the hard way.  I lost a check for a 3 digit sum written to me a day before I was to cash it.  What did I do?  Rallied the troops and tore the house up looking for it, of course!  But while I was looking, I noticed that the problem areas in my home were due to a lack of organization.  And it was a vicious cycle!  The same arguments came up because of the same issues due to lack of process.  One was incoming mail.  Another was kid clutter.  Another was business papers.  Another was laundry.  Why?  No plan in place for how to deal with it.  So I had to sit and think about it and see how we could overcome this dilemma.  I’ll ask you:

If you have a process in place and something disrupts it, how does it make you feel?  Discouraged?

When you don’t have a process for something, how does it make you feel?  Hopeless?

Consider your children.  What always gets put away?  What never gets put away?  What do they groan about putting away?  How easy is it for them to access their storage?  My son had less issues with putting clothes away until I put a tension bar HIS height in his closet.

If your children are dumpers, get bins that are free standing.  you may even give them a dustpan to scoop legos, cars, toy soldiers or other small items.

Now that I’ve asked you some questions, back to me.  I had a revelation.  I’m super efficient at work (in one of my offices) and 90% of the time know where things are.  In my other office & my home office, I’m a hot mess.  God showed me why this morning.  What did I have at the office I love compared to the ones I don’t?  Specific storage.  I have a desk with hanging file folders.  Hanging file folders attached to the desk I’m working are a must for me.  I’ve tried putting them in regular drawers, standing files that sit on your desk and in standing file trays.  They don’t work for me.  Next were the files that I’m grabbing often.  I need stacking trays for those.  One for each situation (incoming, outgoing, to do lists and supplies like paper or notepads).  Now that I know what works, I’ve got to mirror that style in my other work office & my office at home.

I also noticed that when my space was out of whack, so were a lot of other things.  Why was my son doing math with papers strewn everywhere on my office floor?  Because I opted to downsize from a huge desk to one I thought was “cute”.  Now it’s not cute at all with all this stuff everywhere.

My household junk drawers are overflowing for the same reason.   There’s a spot where we put all incoming mail on the corner of the kitchen counter.  The trash can used to be at the end of the counter so when you read mail, you put junk in the trash.  Now there’s a bookcase with plasticware and styrofoam plates and a spot for trash bags down below.  Since I’m upgrading the kitchen, that will have to be reworked.  We’re getting off plasticware (got new silverware-step one) and next is styrofoam.  If we don’t get off it, we at least have to relocate it so the trash can can go back and the junk drawer isn’t full of mail!  So when I upgraded it, I decided to leave the trash cans where they were (the person on the end would be eating besides the trash cans otherwise-eew).  But we got a handy hanging pocket organizer inside the pantry.  We labeled the pockets with everything from bills to house maintenance, a pocket for each child, one for receipts, one for ads and one for catalogs.  OH. MY. GOSH.  You’ve got to try it!  I got it from Amazon for under $20.  Best thing ever.

I redid my closet so my clothes are color coordinated & I can tell what’s missing or how close I am to needing laundry done just by looking.

I redid my storage of clothes so now all the summer & spring stuff is up & away.  Greensboro is a hot mess.  You could wear all 4 seasons of clothes in one day, much less a week or month!  Layering is key.

I need to do my shoes.  Even though the weather is crazy, I was raised that you don’t wear sandals after the lows drop below 60.  Cuts down on colds and other foolishness.

Even my purse got a new process.  I have specific places to put receipts, checks, withdrawal/deposit slips and other items so I will never misplace things again.

My phone got an update.  Ditched some apps and moved some around so they make sense to be grouped together.  I love my phone because you can create folders the home page.  I hate searching for apps!

Now on to email…I’ve got a post about that, too!  So anyway, this post was long.  Almost 1000 words!  So I think I’ve said enough.  Let me know if you’d like to know my storage and organization ideas in more detail.

Until next time, try NOT to kill your kids!

Tonya

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A5Like what you read?  Want to read more?  Well grab my book and get great tips, tricks and prayers for raising your children!  You can even get a sample FREE* to try before you buy!
My latest book, How NOT to Kill Your Kids Before They Turn 18 is available in paperback or electronically on Amazon.com.  It’ll tickle your funny bone and give you over 100 tips, tricks and ideas for parenting.  There’s no need to wait another day.  Find out How NOT to Kill Your Kids Before They Turn 18 today!

*The free sample does not include tips (sorry, that’s how Amazon displays it).  It does however contain some great information & resources, so enjoy!

In this book, Tonya Joyner speaks to issues that make our break our families: communication, relationships & love. Inside you’ll get a free preview of Chapter 1, Parenting Basics. Chapters 2-7 has over 100 tips on parenting challenges ranging from sneaking snacks to sneaking out. It’s a hilarious & heartfelt look at how we can raise our children with love without losing hair, sleep or relationship.
Special topics:

Ways to REALLY find out what your teen is up to
Dealing with fits, temper tantrums & moodiness
Overcoming what I call “Boy Stink”
& much, much more!

You’ll also receive tips for reorganizing your home specifically for your family’s needs & go from distressed to de-stressed!  So grab a copy for yourself & a friend for great ideas on How NOT to Kill Your Kids Before They Turn 18!

 

 

12 Days of Decluttering Update!

Hey guys!

Well, it’s a bit off achedule, but the 12 days are over.  How’d you do??  Don’t feel bad if you didn’t join in the fun. Remember, this challenge can be taken at any time! But, since I said I would update you, here it is! I ended up cleaning out over 150 items from my house. I got rid of everything from handbags, hats and shoes, to toys, books and tonsof old papers. I even got rid of some old wigs! Don’t ask. Anyway, I know I will keep up with this decluttering effort and I hope that if you did give it a shot, that you enjoyed the results. What was the most noteworthy thing that you got rid of? I would have to say for me it was the wigs. Again, don’t ask!

Until next time!

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10 of My Favorite Things From 2015

Yeah, this post is kind of late, but I found some things the last week of the year that I had to test out before I spoke on them. I have great things for home & business, but I’ll keep them separate.

Home
1. This little thing

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I found this little handy dandy organizer this year at Dollar Tree. It originally had Q-tips, cotton pads & cotton balls in it. However, I started swapping items out and ended up putting my plackers (the floss thingies) in one compartment. I pulled out the pink swabs and put in blue ones for the hubby so now we have a great sink organizer that’s super compact. I guess if I wanted to glam it up I could spray it with Krylon paint to make it match our bathroom decor. Hmmm….that just may happen this week!  Oh, I also got another one and use it as a portable hair kit.  I keep 2 kinds of bobby pins (open end & closed), elastic ties & gator clips.  It’s awesome for wash days.  I can take it in front of the tv or laptop and watch a movie & do my hair without having to keep getting up for something!

2. The Color Note app

I think I mentioned this one before, but it does double duty for home & work/business. You can make stickies (on your screen using a widget), create text (great for authors who hate to type), make checklists (grocery shopping is now a breeze). You can share your lists, create reminders for them, share them, sync the app across all your devices & color code them (green for business, red for urgent, blue for bills, etc.). It’s an awesome little tool!  And did you know you can download apps to your devices even if you’re not on the device?  Try it!  Look up an app on your computer and it’ll most likely have a way to download it to your device.  You may have to log into something, but I thought it was too cool not to share.

3. Bloglovin’
I love this app for leisure. I love to read blogs, but hate remembering/visiting/bookmarking them. Bloglovin‘ lets you put all the blogs you love in one place. It automatically updates with new posts and even tells you how many you haven’t read. Even better, it suggests blogs you may like that are similar to ones in your list. Heaven!!!

4. Apple slicer
This is obviously for home, but now my 9 & 11 year old can cut their own apples. Now that’s progress! Over Christmas break I’d probably have cut about 15-20 apples by now. I showed them how to use it and they were off and running. It allowed me to stay focused on my business by not having to get up every time they got snacky. CAUTION: THIS IS NOT FOR SMALL CHILDREN. THE APPLE SLICER IS SHARP! EACH CHILD IS DIFFERENT, SO ONLY YOU KNOW IF YOUR CHILD IS READY TO BE TRUSTED TO HANDLE ONE ON THEIR OWN. IF YOU’RE IN DOUBT, USE IT YOURSELF!! Either way, you’ll be slicing apples like a ninja!  I got it from Christmas Tree Shops for less than $5.  I’m sure you could find ones at Target or Walmart as well.  The link in the title is to a Google shopping search I did.

5. Goodwill Pickup Service (FRREEEEEEE)
Oh. My. God. I don’t have to load all this crap up anymore??!?!?! Jeeeesus, thank ya!!! Y’all don’t understand. We give away at least 50 items per month (remember, we have 3 children), so a monthly Goodwill trip is almost always required. But when I donated a ton of stuff from my business, I found out that they pick up! Could you imagine what it would be like to clean out your garage now? Your storage unit? I just set you free, honey. Yes, I take cash for all that gratitude flowing over you right now.

Business Tips

6. No Crop app
This app saves me so much aggravation.  This thing automatically squares off your pics so you don’t have to crop/resize them. I use it for posting groups of pics on Instagram, FB, Twitter, G+, etc. I love that I can save whatever I create & use it however I want.

7. Textgram app
Textgram is the wing man for the No Crop app. Once I create a great picture, I can write on it or create borders if need be. Maybe I’ll find an all in one app and then I’ll ditch both. If you guys know of one, let me know.

8. Shopify app
This app is the best. You have to have a store through Shopify, but it’s just the absolute bomb. You can see your stats, add/edit/remove products, see your orders & your referrals. You can even see how many items you have listed as out of stock. Best of all, when you get an order, you can see everything about it. No, y’all EVERYTHING! Name, address, shipping, taxes, how they paid, notes they left, line items, if they accept marketing, if they’ve created an account with your, their phone, address, map of their address, directions to their address, and you can copy/open their address, phone or email. Whew! That was a mouthful, but that’s why it’s so awesome!

9. Making over my work space
This is so underrated. You guys simply must do it. Chucking the clutter, getting color coordinated, finding the right spot & putting everything you need into it will all make a world of difference in your productivity. I used to struggle to blog once a week. It seems like I can’t stop now! All those ideas on stickies are finally coming to fruition!

10. Time Tune app
If you need an app to track your productivity, this may be your thing. You can make a regular schedule for a week, a few days or however long you want. For example, I have a different set of goals on set days of the week. I can set schedules for any goals and have them all run at the same time. When I was making my calendar before, I’d try to look at each day & see what I needed to do, no matter if it was family, work or business. Now I can set different schedules, with icons/emoji that tell me what’s upcoming. You can have popups on your screen (instead of missing them in your notification bar) as well as audible reminders. I can’t even do it justice with an explanation. Just check it out. It may be just what you need to keep everything organized. It tracks your productivity, but I just found it about a week ago, so I’m not in that deep yet.

Double Bonus:

11.  My office “coffee” bar
First, I don’t have coffee in there (I have a coffee pot for tea, hot chocolate & for grits) and second, it should have a much cooler name because of how awesome it is! My newest happy space has turned my office into a true sanctuary. Even though it’s small, it’s powerful. It houses my tea station, all the amenities & snacks! So whether I’m working, helping kids with homework or binging on Netflix, I’m all set. I may put a microwave in here one day, but my husband may interpret it as me trying to move out. LOL!!! Anyway, I’ll do an entire post on it so you can see why it’s so special & why I think you should have one in your special space too.

12.  A new attitude about my business
I’m not playing around this year.  I’ve been doubtful in the past (which has caused me to take lefts & rights instead of trudging ahead), but now I’m sure.  I will not take one more webinar, schedule one more mentoring appointment.  God has made it super & abundantly clear that every step I’ve made had a purpose and that I’m right where I’m supposed to be.  I realize that even my errors were in my favor.  I’ve learned & relearned, taught & retaught.  Poured & received.  Given & taken.  I’m not failing, I’m learning.  I’m networking.  I’m building.  I’m strengthening myself & others.  I’m good.  I’m confident.  I’m blessed.  I’m a blessing.  I’m provided for.  I’m secure.  I’m saved, redeemed, delivered, deeply loved & adored.  I’m a child of the King.  I’m at peace.  I’m unstoppable.  I’m in Christ.  There’s no such thing as failure or loss.  It’s the year of receiving all that Christ died to give me.  Everything.

So, those are my favorite things.  Please let me know if you have some favorites you’ve discovered recently.  I look forward to hearing about them!

Until next time,

Tonya

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Business Tip: How To Know When It’s Time To Change Niches

20160103_115637 My business, The Jewelry Lady, is changing focuses. When I opened, I thought I knew what niche I was in (even though all the indicators said otherwise).  After making several (billion) attempts at advertising, marketing, promoting, etc., I finally realized what was wrong.  I hadn’t identified and stayed true to the niche I had a passion for. Don’t get me wrong, I’d made quite a few sales, and many were quite profitable. But too many were of items that were more effort than they were worth.  And my selection was all over the place so it was hard to explain to potential customers what I sold.  That’s not good.  Ever.  So I decided to do something about it!

First and foremost, I won’t be selling much sterling silver at all this year. There are 5 reasons.

1. Too much risk.
Once you finally find what you want, you have to wait for it to arrive, pray it’s the correct item, pray it’s the correct number of them, pray it’s not damaged in the mail, pray you get it in time, pray you can deliver it in time, pray it’s not damaged again in the mail when I send it to the customer & pray they get it at all. Too muuuuuuch. And before you suggest dropshipping, don’t. I don’t believe in my customer getting something I haven’t personally inspected myself. If something goes wrong & there’s no evidence of who messed up, you end up with damaged product on your hands & you lost money. You may also have to reorder and ship again, costing you double!  Oh and I’ve been duped before on some fake sterling silver.  If I can’t guarantee that it’s real to my customers, I can’t continue to sell it.  Too much risk.

2. Too little profit
You see all this work? Was the initial amount charged worth all of that? Most likely not. But you can’t risk pricing yourself out of business, so it’s best to cut anything that’s costing you too much time, effort or money.

3. Too much work
It takes a lot of time to find what people want. You have to find a reputable dealer within your price range, in a reasonable distance, with a return policy & pray they’re not out of stock when you need it. Man, enough!

4. Too much drama
I pride myself on carrying unique styles. I love the niche that I’ve created for myself by doing that. You won’t see my styles in every store & you won’t see it at the price I ask. But what I don’t enjoy is the customer who thinks that there are as many styles in sterling silver as there are in fashion jewelry. No, you’re not going to find many statement necklaces in sterling silver for less than $30. Sorry. And p.s, it’s not me trying to be difficult. Just do a Google search and you’ll see what I mean. If I’m wrong, let me know. But I’m still not the one selling it. You’d do best to go with that business, because they specialize in that.

5. I don’t even wear sterling silver often.
One of the rules of owning your own fashion related business is to be your own billboard. I don’t wear sterling silver that much because it isn’t really my thing. So as much as I hear the mantra, “give the people what they want”, it fades in comparison to the blaring of “stick to what you’re good at”. I’ve given up on running after any and every sale. It’s ridiculous and it never ends well. You know those people in sales who are sharks, bitter or bullies? They’re chasing after money. I choose not to go that route. So I’m going back to wearing what I love, getting compliments on it, passing them a card & receiving sales. Works every time.

My second big issue was that my data didn’t lie.  Near the end of last year I put out a Facebook ad to my customers & very few responded.  I thought they would have jumped at it!  But when I looked at it a month later, I realized there was no synchronicity.  There was a big mish-mash of items that I had in stock.  Even I wasn’t impressed.  I decided to try a different tactic.  I put out another promo just to individuals who wanted to buy what I loved to sell, there was a tremendous response!!  So what did I learn?  Go get the customers who’d been out there waiting for me!  The great thing is, I already had everything in place to handle the mass of customers I’d received, I just needed to put my net where my fish were.  This may mean I may lose a few customers, but my data showed that I’ve got 37 times more potential customers than current ones.  So what am I waiting for??  Nothing.  I’m jumping on those customers who love what I love!

To close, I want to say that I absolutely ADORE my past & current 20160103_120915customers (whether they’re in my niche or not)! I’ve only had to fire 3 without them knowing it (that’s another business secret I’ll tell you about-let me know if you’re interested). I love their energy, the fact that most are gift givers (but they’re usually the one who needs a gift themselves), they’re supportive, patient and a TON of fun! I enjoy them and hearing about how the recipient “ooohed and aaaaahed” over the gift. I love to hear about the tears of gratitude and joy and the tight neck hugs from a much loved present. I really love to hear when they need more for some more people! Hey, I am in business, right? But more than anything, I love the sigh that comes when the burden of the hunt for the perfect gift has been lifted.  Yes, sales can be a ministry if your focus is on serving and not fleecing.

So I’m going back to doing what I do best. No more sidetracking and trying to be a little bit of everything for a little bit of everyone. It’s time to stay true to what I’m passionate about. No apologies, only peace.

Thanks for listening & I hope all the peace & success for you in your business!

Tonya

And if you’re a woman who loves glam everyday,

check out my selection of statement necklaces & other accessories at

www.thejewelryladystore.com.

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How To Keep a Ninja Purse

j0438418Crazy title, right?  I know.  I can come up with some stuff!  So let me clarify.  I HATE to change purses.  I know for some people it’s a lifestyle, and when I used to have a collection of handbags, it was my thing.  But now I don’t look forward to it. After some were stained, torn, one cut off in a robbery attempt (that’s another story) & advice from my chiropractor, I’ve only got 2 right now.  One big, one little.  So what’s a ninja purse?  One you can get and out of like a cool breeze.

In my past purse hoarding life, I’d have a ton of stuff in what I called “the depths of my purse”.  I’d be digging, searching, shuffling, always trying to locate something.  Even when I organized all my items into different colored zipper pouches, I’d be annoyed because there was just too much stuff.  So, to combat some of the drama, I decided to figure out how to keep what I needed where I needed it and to ditch the rest.  Not to mention how to “rotate out” my purses and keep it at a manageable level.

My first trick was to always keep certain staples in my purses.  ALL of them.  Whether I was currently using it or not.

What to ALWAYS keep in your purse:

  1.  Tissues.  Snot happens.  Clean it up.  Not to mention crumbs, grease, tears & chewed gum that needs to be tossed.
  2. Lotion.  Nothing cute about being ashy.  Nothing at all.  Scentless lotion is best because other people have allergies.  No sense in losing all those tissues you just stashed in your purse because you set off someone’s sneezer with your Bath & Body Works super powerful floral scent.
  3. Feminine stuff.  You already know.  You CANNOT RISK being without your monthly battle armor!  If you’re like me, you have emergency kits in each vehicle, your desk at work and your purse.  Putting it in a cute pouch takes some of the eeew out of the whole situation.
  4. Eyeglass kit.  Dollar Tree has great ones with spare nose pads, cleansing cloths, screwdrivers, screws in multiple sizes & magnifying glass.  Super slim & super handy.
  5. Hair stuff.  Bobby pins, elastic bands, etc.  I don’t know what you need for your ‘do, but I know no one wants to know what you look like when you don’t have it.  lol  Put these items in a pouch to avoid digging around for them.
  6. Phone charger cords/banks.  I hate to hear the “beep beep” when my phone’s about to die.  Sometimes I even keep a mini wall charger so I can recharge.  A pouch could be good for these as well.
  7. Gum.  Whether it’s for you or a friend, the world is better with fresh breath.
  8. Hand sanitizer.  I refer back to # 1.  It doesn’t go bad, so you can put one in each purse and just leave it there.

Things to ALWAYS rotate out or clean out on a regular basis

  1. Makeup.  You’ve seen the reports.  Your face WILL rot & fall off if you use old makeup.  You’ve been warned.
  2. Receipts, notes, paper in general.  That stuff you wrote on something about someone has to get to the right place, right?  Clean it out and lighten your load (in your purse and on your mind).
  3. Food. Eeew.  Just eew.  Clean out the cookie crumbs, old muffin wrappers, ketchup packets, or whatever else you’ve stashed in there.
  4. Loose change.  That stuff gets really heavy really fast.
  5. Unnecessary crap.  Sorry, bad word!  You don’t need ONE gym sock, your brother’s old driver’s license expired 5 years ago, 15 royalty cards (there’s an app that lets you store them ALL in your phone) or your kids 50 pounds of toys & lollipop sticks.  Clean it out & be free!

Ok, so I hope this little list has helped you.  If you have helpful hints on how to keep a clutter free purse, please share!  We all need all the help we can get!  And if you’ve been experiencing shoulder pain or tightness, muscle tightness in your neck or opposite side where you carry your purse it may be time to switch sides.  Consult your doctor to be sure.

So what do you have rattling around in your purse?  What’s your must have item?  Your must toss item?  Your “why in the world is this in here?” item?

Can’t wait to hear!

Tonya

Email Cleanup Challenge! C’Mon, We Can Do It!!!

Enough is enough, y’all!  2016 is the year that I’ll no longer dread checking my email.  So before I fix it, I have to figure out why I hate it at all.  At work, I have a certain way my email inbox is set up.  When I open it, my folders are set up by the type of emails I receive.  My daily goal is for the inbox to remain empty.  If it’s not, it should only have flagged items which are on the table or left as reminders.  Granted, my work email is through Outlook.  I am not a fan of Outlook (I haven’t figured out how to easily delete or rename folders so that’s part of it).  Also, to be fair, the reason it’s so much easier is because my work life is much less complicated.  I only have 5 or so folders I actively use at work (one for each class, one for general stuff from the university/department & stuff from previous semesters).  Now at home…Jesus help.  I know I have 15 folders in my yahoo account.  But let’s look at that more closely…

Here’s the folders I have (try to hang in there through this part):

Ads (for stores/groceries)

Bills (receipts/notifications/passwords*/disputes/customer service)

Children (school/electronic grades/projects/interests/field trips/crafts)

Church (devotionals/communications with church/articles)

Husband (sometimes his subscriptions come to the family email)

friends (invitations/events/articles/pictures)

God’s business(this is our family account, but it once housed our business stuff too.  My amazon account stuff sends any receipts-even for business transactions-to this email)

Grocery

Groupon

Job stuff

junk

misc

pics & vids

recipes

Strayer (used to work there 2-3 years ago)

taxes

TJ stuff (pinterest stuff I email myself to print/file)

Voicemail

Yahoo

As you can see, some of this is good, some downright ridiculous!!  No wonder I hate the email notification  on my phone!  Here is a montage of my stages of grief:

work2Frustrated Woman at Computer With Stack of Paperj0433180

Ok, time to clean house.  But I had to ask myself, what do I need all of these folders for?  Do the folders I have really represent what they should?  For instance, do I really need an ads folder AND a grocery folder?  I know I have some grocery ads in that ad folder.  I’m not even going to look and embarrass myself.  So I’ll think about consolidating those 2 folders.  But you know how it is, when you need a grocery ad from this week, you don’t need to be shuffling through Best Buy & Harbor Freight Tools crap.

So you’ll never believe this…I just found out I can create (drumroll please):

SUBFOLDERS!!!!

Oh, it’s ON!!!  But still, before I jump the gun, I want to see if I can get down to 5 main folders & who cares how many subfolders.  And I want/need a way to clean out this stuff at least once a month.  Why?  I have 3075 UNREAD messages in my folders.  That’s not counting the inbox.  Oh yeah, did I mention that I have 4 email accounts beside the work one and the home one?  Yeah, those are our business email accounts.  I have another for when I want to sign up for something to get a discount code but don’t want the tsunami that comes afterward (aka-girl, just unsubscribe after you get the code!)

Ok, so after looking at the plethora of folders, I’m going to narrow it down to these:

Ads (subcategory: grocery, groupon, store)

Bills (subcategories: utilities, receipts, subscriptions, customer service)

Children

Church (devotionals,receipts, communication)

Friends (invites,communication, family)

The Husband folder will be scoured then scrapped.  I’ll forward him the emails then unsubscribe.  He can update his email address with them & take it from there.

The God’s business folder is tricky.  I buy all manner of stuff from Amazon, so I can’t just change the email with them.  I’ll go through message by message & figure it out.

Jobstuff is critical.  My mom taught me to keep a CYA folder.  This is it.  I could put it on a flash drive as well just in case.  You never know.

Junk-um…why is this here??  Junk should be in the trash!  I’ll go through that one too.

Misc-see, this is too suspect.  Search and destroy.

Pics & vids-sort to subfolders

Recipies-will probably keep this as is.  Or maybe do a subfolder from grocery!  All in one place for when I need stuff for the recipe!  Neat!

Now that I think about it, I’ll probably make a “family” folder and keep kids, church, grocery, bills, recipes, pics & vids, taxes & ads.

Strayer will be a subfolder of jobstuff.

Taxes will be a subfolder under bills.

Voicemail will be a subfolder of God’s business.

I think that’s everything.  I’m tired.  I haven’t even done anything.  But sometimes, making the plan is enough work for one day!  Next time I’ll focus on an auto filter so I can get my inbox into a manageable state without dropping and dragging all those messages every time I open my email.

How do you sort your email?  Is it working for you?

 

Take This Challenge With Me! (12 Days of Decluttering)

I recently came across this awesome lady who is a  decluttering coach.  Who doesn’t need one of those, right? Her YouTube channel is called ClutterBug.  Over the holidays she had a series where she tackled an area a day, removing 12 items a day (or more if you like/can) for a grand total of 144 pieces of clutter banished forever!

Here are the areas she conquered:

  1. Kitchen
  2. Bathroom
  3. Bedroom
  4. Clothes
  5. Paper
  6. Closets
  7. Toys (no kids?  Adults have toys too!  Do you REALLY need 15 charger cords?)
  8. Outerwear
  9. Shoes
  10. Freezer
  11. Garage (do a storage room or attic if you don’t have one)
  12.  Junk Drawers & Surface areas

Number 12 is personally my area of weakness.  Y’all pray for me.  I really am not happy about the fact that I am a freaking efficiency machine at work, but at home?  Hobo.  Slob.  Oscar the Grouch’s crib.  Ok, not that bad, but sometimes I feel like this when I look into my junk drawers:

overwhelm

So I’m taking the bull by the horns & getting started.  Now, I don’t want you to think this will be hard.  For you, anyway.  I have a bit of a handicap in this game.  I decluttered before AND after Christmas.  So I’m about to get into the real make/break arena.  So goodbye sentimental T-shirts!  Farewell unnecessary hair items!  So long shoes that I haven’t worn in 5+ years!  Wait…I don’t know about that last one.  But anyway, what do you say?  Want to join me?  If so, let’s do this!

Oh & here’s the 12 Days of Clutter video list.  You can choose to play all or you can use the drop down list at the top left to choose specific days.  Don’t forget to check out her channel and let me know what you think and keep me posted on how it goes!

Enjoy & happy decluttering!!

Tonya