Home Organizing made SIMPLE - just in time for the holidays!

The holidays are officially here, but if you're like me, that may feel a bit different than it has in the past. This year, my focus in December has been a lot less on holidays & gifts and more about people, experiences and how I want to live in 2018. I've felt a strong pull to simplify, streamline & therefore strengthen my life & business. 

After connecting with Emily Hamilton, owner of Gather by Emily, I knew I wanted - no NEEDED - to work with her! Emily is a professional organizer that goes beyond the usual call of duty. Her services spam from client & event hosting to business management to home & office organization. Ummmmmm, yes please?! Emily came over and in LESS THAN AN HOUR my entire home office was whipped into shape. IT WAS A DREAM! Click through the before & afters!

After we finished, Emily hopped on a Facebook Live with me to share her expertise with my Elemental Living Community - you can catch a replay here and check out her top tips below. 

GUESS WHAT?

All services on Gather by Emily are 15% off just for YOU through December, 31!

Emily's Top Organization Tips:

1. Keep it simple - I often meet people who have bought right bins, made perfect labels, and ordered everything from the Container Store, but they still feel totally overwhelmed. Really the solution is to simplify and own fewer things. The fewer things you have to organize, the less time and resources you have to spend organizing them.

When you begin decluttering/simplifying, DO NOT BUY ANYTHING: no bins, drawer organizers, or file folders. You never know what you'll find along the way or what you can repurpose to avoid purchasing even more clutter!

2. Put things that are alike together. This not only helps you easily find items, but also alerts you when you need to buy more. It even prevents you from purchasing extra when you don't need to. 

  • All pens should be in the same place. Go through and test them and throw out the ones that don't work.
  • All batteries should be together, even if they aren't the same size.
  • All stationery, envelopes, stamps, etc should be together. 
  • Throw out or donate duplicates, worn out/broken items, or things you just don't like.

3. Paper and packaging is A PROBLEM.

  • Throw out mail as soon as you get it. 
  • Enroll in paperless billing and bank statements.
  • Go through receipts - toss for items that can't be returned. Scan items that need to be retained for records and save them on the cloud. *I like Cam Scanner.*
  • When you buy office supplies, toiletries, household items, etc, remove any extra packaging as soon as you get home. It takes up more space and and allows you to see exactly what you have easier.
  • Magazines, Toss them! If you have articles/recipes that you want to save, see if you can find them online and save them to Pinterest or a Bookmarks bar instead of saving the whole magazine.
  • Books, if you wouldn't spend your valuable time to read them again, donate them to the library for a tax write off or try to sell them on Amazon.

4. When you begin organizing a space, take everything off & out first. If you're clearing off your desk, take everything off. It will look MUCH WORSE before it looks better, but I promise this is more effective! File or scan papers. Toss old batteries, odds and ends, pens that don't work, etc. Put back only what you consistently use or what brings you joy.

For example, I hate writing with pencils. I don’t hand-write that many things for my job, so there is no need for me to have 20 pencils in a cute cup just because someone gave me a nice monogrammed set. Even though they’re pretty and I like the person that gave them to me, they have no function in my life. So, I put them in a bag and gave them to my friend who’s an elementary school teacher. She has plenty of function for them.

Now, you don’t have to throw out literally everything. Above my computer, I have a note from my best friend that makes me laugh every time I read it and ticket stubs from an event my husband and I attended together. Certainly these things don’t serve a particular function, but they make me happy to see them. That said, you do not need to keep every thank you note you’ve ever received. Encouraging notes and good memories are important, but so is the clear, white space we mentally and physically need for creativity and rest
— Emily Hamilton, owner & organizer Gather by Emily

5. Once you have made a point to HAVE less, make it a mission to BUY LESS. Bring less into your home/office and you'll have less to keep organized. Spend your time and resources on other people, experiences and bettering yourself, not on *things* that you'll use up or wear out.

Lovin' Lately

Hi hi! So, I'm shaking things up on the blog today and sharing the start of a new series:

Lovin' Lately! 

Over the past few months, I've been way more present on IG Stories (@emiliemaynorliving) sharing personal day-to-day tips, fav products, workouts, & thoughts galore! It's been such a fun way to engage with you guys! Between answering your Direct Message questions & the encouragement of my darling clients, Lovin' Lately was born! 

What to expect: things that I've recently discovered or have just really been loving or learning about lately! These are the people, products, travel inspo, tunes, foods and yoga stuffs that are simply rocking my world RN. So, without further ado...

1. Vital Proteins - I'm not wild about protein powders. I've tried dozens and never found "THE ONE." Whey protein doesn't suit my body and most of the plant based ones are soooo heavily processed and make me feel bleh - also, why is EVERYTHING filled with nasty faux flavoring? Um, I'll stick to hemp seeds over that mess ANY DAY!

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptide has been a game changer for me! VP is sustainably sourced, collagen based protein - which is awesome for bone health, skin elasticity and amino acids. TBH, I think collagen is quickly becoming the health & wellness industry's new golden child - STEP BACK KALE!

Vital Proteins helps people feel better and live fuller lives through sustainably-sourced nutrition products, promoting health, fitness and natural beauty. We do that by providing nourishing collagen and promoting our production of collagen - an essential nutrient stripped from our diets by modern food-processing.
— Vital Proteins Website
Vital Proteins Yogurt Bowl

Seriously though... I love that the powder completely dissolves in hot water and it tasteless, so I can add it to my morning tea, coffee, smoothies or even a bowl of yogurt! VOILA!

 


2. Ursa Major Deodorant - This stuff is the BEST natural DO. My friend Morgan runs an awesome shop, Club Duquette, with her husband. They carry everything badass + functional - candles, clothing, travel gear, palo santo, and skin care. I popped in a few weeks ago to try out the Ursa Major DO with pretty meek expectations, because, let's be real - natural deodorant is usually marketing for "hi, sorry I smell."  

So I was crazy surprised when it actually worked. Speaking from someone that spends several hours a day teaching yoga and active outdoors, that's pretty impressive! The product line is super clean and I love that Morgan and Duq are incredibly responsible with how they source product. If you aren't local - no worries! Morgan and Duq are awesome to work with and can ship products anywhere and of course you can order via the Ursa Website!

*also, I recently added a few of their face lotions to my skin care game - so expect an update soon!*


3. Spanish! - I took an 8 week Spanish course and fell head over heels for LEARNING & getting out of my comfort zone. So, I was kind of a late bloomer when it comes to embracing education and my intelligence. When I was a kid, I just didn't really fit into the traditional school system and it took me a LOOOOOONG time to realize that I actually love learning and being a student. Aside from my college degree in Communications, I have gone through 200 hrs of yoga training, a year of holistic wellness certification, another 300hrs of yoga school and now I'm onto Spanish. This class is only 8 weeks, but I plan to continue someway until I'm fluent. My husband is fluent and when we travel (which lately has been a ton!) I hate having to rely on him to get around. Mentally, I'm planning a trip to Ecuador this year - strictly for educational purposes, obvi :)

So even if learning a language isn't your thing, I hope you feel inspired to embrace trying something new in the near future! BTW - if you're looking to try yoga for the first time, my 6 week beginners course is such a fun way to ease in! The next series begins at Villager Yoga on Wednesday, July 19 6-7:30pm

Let me know if you try any of these out! I'd love to hear what you think. 

Much love,

Emilie