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The Essential Guide To a Tidy Space

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15 tips to keep your home organized that can be done in 15 minutes or less!

If you’re like me, you don’t have an endless bank of time to spend cleaning and organizing. But I also cannot stand clutter or things being out of place. I’m not sure what triggered the transition from messy 20 something to overly tidy 32 year old but here I am. I work in infection control and I have an allergy ridden infant also, so i’m kinda (a lot actually) obsessed with making sure everything remains as spotless as possible. Despite this, I don’t ever want cleaning to take away from spending time with my baby and family so there’s a few small things I do everyday to ensure my space remains clear and clutter free. Before I begin, I should say though that I love minimalist decor. I don’t have a lot of standing items in my home beyond those deemed absolutely necessary. There’s lots of floating shelves, over the door hangers, wall hooks and lots a nice free space all around, so it definitely makes my job easier.

Tip #1: Wash dishes after use

This may seem pretty obvious to some but honestly, after a nice meal, most people do not want to deal with dishes, whether it’s hand washing or loading the dishwasher. I promise you however, it’s worth it. A few minutes of cleaning beats dealing with a ton of dirty dishes at the end of the day or days if you really push it.

Tip #2: Do laundry regularly

Throwing in one or two loads as they come beats the overwhelming mountain of clothes needed to be washed, dried, folded and hung if you wait. If you like to do laundry kudos to you, but for me, sitting and folding a ton of laundry in one sitting is the stuff my nightmares are made of so regular washing is key.

Tip #3: Make your bed as soon as possible after waking up

Making your bed doesn’t have to even take more than 5 minutes. Just ensure that you have proper fitting sheets and not too much unnecessary fluff and you’re set! A few good tugs of your sheets in the right directions and all should be sorted out rather quickly.

Tip #4:  Edit your closets ruthlessly and frequently 

Throw stuff away! You’re probably not gonna fit in those jeans again (kudos to you if you do though), that tie dye tank top will not come back in style, and I know you love *NSYNC but it might be time to let go of that old concert tee.

Tip #5: Rehang clothing items not being used

This one is simple, take the time to hang your stuff up, your chair handles, and floor will thank you.

Tip #6: Wipe spills as they happen

This is pretty easy, just keep paper towels at key points around the house. I buy them in bulk and always have them close by since my daughter feels most comfortable when she pukes on me specifically.

I get thisbrand, they’re cheap, soft, and last a very long time.

Tip #7: Clean kitchen counters while cooking

I’ll be the first to admit that I hate cooking. So if you ever see me post a recipe here, my body has been overtaken by someone else. But I have to feed myself so I do use the stove and while I do, it takes only a few minutes to wipe down the counter tops while i’m already in the kitchen.

Tip #8: Keep a mail sorter in the entryway

I really like this one that I found on Amazon. We drop all our mail in there before properly entering the house. At the end of the week we sort and discard what’s unnecessary.

Tip #9: Remove trash each time you leave the house 

My dad always accused me of “making garbage” whatever that means, because i’m always throwing crap out every single day. Now with a baby, I make even more garbage because there’s way more crap and lots of it, so every time we step outside, we through stuff out.

Tip #10: Make baskets and bins your best friend 

I have cute baskets and bins from top to bottom in our closets, there’s sock bins, hair product bins, hat baskets, and so much more. They look nice and they keep shelves clutter free.

Tip #11: Return items to where they belong after use

This tip is key. We all get tired, but unless you live in a massive space, it’s so easy to return items to their rightful place once you’re done with them. It will also make them easier to find once you need them again.

Tip #12: Spray bathroom and toilet with cleaner once per day

I do this while i’m already in the bathroom preparing for a bath. I spray and rinse, it prevents mold, mildew and whatever causes toilet rings from forming. No scrubbing or wiping required if done frequently. I would not recommend using harsh bleach cleaners if you plan to do this regularly, be sure to try an all-purpose (great smelling) cleaner like Mrs. Meyer to get the job done.

Tip #13: Keep racks in bathroom to hang robes and towels 

This makes it easy to keep your stuff out of the way and at your disposal before and after baths. If you don’t have a lot of wall space, over the door organizers are super convenient, easy to assemble and a great space saving option.

Tip #14: Put clothes in laundry hamper immediately after use

I’m a huge fan of attractive laundry hampers and if that statement isn’t a sign of my aging I dunno what is. Anyway, I like them because they make me want to use them. It’s weird but true. The ones I use for my family are here and here, and I don’t know about anyone else but I really like putting my stuff in them instead of just leaving them laying around

Tip #15: Wipe surfaces regularly to prevent dust accumulation 

I actually buy these bootleg Swiffer dusters at the dollar tree and go over my very few hard surfaces regularly. If you do it often enough it will only take a couple of minutes because dust will never actually have a chance to accumulate.

What are some of the ways you keep things organized in your home? Shoot me a comment and let me know!

 

xo

-Nic

Editor’s Note: This post is not sponsored and all items are ones that I actually use and love! However if you do purchase an item directly through the links I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.

Thank you, I appreciate your support.

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The Top 10 Items You REALLY Need In Your Hospital Bag

what to bring

If you’ve ever been pregnant, you’ve probably perused a list or two (or three) to find the ultimate must have items for your hospital bag. If you’re like me, you scoured tons of blogs and Pinterest lists looking for the perfect items to make your hospital stay a comfortable one. Unfortunately for me, I was induced two weeks early and my bag was incomplete despite all of my planning. Of course the hospital provided the essentials and I definitely had all of the baby’s things but there were still 10 key items that would have made my stay a more comfortable one.

1. A LONG Charging Cable

As a first time mom, I anticipated that I would be blissfully sleeping through the night, waking once or twice to feed my baby, and a freshly charged phone in the morning. Boy was I wrong! First of all, I was a tad bit, OK more than a tad bit naive about what it’s like having a newborn. By the second night of our hospital stay, my daughter cluster fed about every half hour over the course of a 12 hour period. She wouldn’t sleep unless I held her, and my phone helped to keep me alert despite the exhaustion, when it died however it was hell, so do yourself a favor and get a pack of these 10 ft. charging cables. You definitely won’t regret it.

2. Favorite Snacks

When I was admitted to the hospital, it was totally unexpected, one minute I’m getting a routine Non-Stress Test and the next I’m being told I’m going to be having a baby in the next couple of hours. I went to my appointment after work and hungry didn’t begin to describe how I felt. The hospital provided a meal but I would’ve liked to have one of my favorite snacks before being induced, it would’ve done a lot for my mood. They would’ve also made my nightly vigils with the baby a lot more tolerable. I distinctly remember aggressive stomach growling at 2:00am that I tried to mask by coughing so my suite mate wouldn’t hear. Amazon has some pretty cool variety packs so you can have tons of options.

3. Wireless Headphones or Earbuds

When I was in labor and was asked if I wanted a private room, I really should have said YES. Unfortunately I decided to share one since it was covered by my insurance. Big mistake. If you’re like me and you decide to share, wireless headphones or earbuds will be your best friend. While you’re up at night admiring your sleeping baby, you can listen to your favorite playlists or catch up on that podcast you’ve been meaning to. It will also drown out the sound of your neighbor’s baby, and visitors.

4. Night Gown and Robe

I actually took two breastfeeding nightgowns and robes with me and I was so happy I did. The hospital gown is confusing af to snap up and it just feels good to finally put your own clothes on after giving birth.

Pro tip: You don’t need to get gowns specifically made for breastfeeding, you can get any regular nightgown with an elastic enough strap (and tummy room) to pull up and down without actually having to snap and unsnap anything. Because who has time for that anyway?

5. Adult Diapers

The mesh panties and maternity pads the hospital provides are a nightmare and a half! The pad shifts, it fills up quickly and changing it is daunting when your baby doesn’t want to be put down in the middle of the night. When I got home my mom got me adult diapers, they were the best, like really comfy, absorbent, panties. They made things easy and helped me to forget the massacre that was occurring in my pants. Do yourself a huge favor and take these to the hospital with you.

6. Soap

While at the hospital I showered with their soap everyday. Honestly with each bath I was just happy to have water on my body, but as a new mama, taking a shower with a nice smelling soap that you love can do wonders for your frame of mind and your skin. Definitely get something organic and soothing to help relax you and won’t expose your baby to harmful ingredients.

7. Pillow

Take your own pillow with you! I repeat, take your own pillow with you. And put a distinctive pillow case on it while you’re at it. Not only are you taking a piece of home with you, hospital pillows kind of suck and they’re more than just a bit uncomfortable to lay on.

8. Portable Fan

While I was in the hospital, I legit wondered if the air condition was broken. I had my daughter in August and it was hot! Also, they keep the maternity suites, relatively warm (not hot) because it’s good for newborns. If you run hot like me, that’s the ultimate nightmare. My second night in the hospital I devoured ice chips because honestly, I forgot I actually had a portable handheld fan in my purse because being pregnant in the dead of summer is hard and clearly mommy brain started early.

9. Boppy Breastfeeding Pillow 

I had a Boppy lounger and breastfeeding pillow at home but did not take either to the hospital. The lounger is pretty unnecessary for your hospital stay but the breastfeeding pillow will make the world of difference especially for a new nursing mom. It helps with positioning and prevents arm fatigue from consistently holding your new clingy best friend. It also adds a nice cushion for the baby to lay on while in your arms, and a comfy baby is a happy baby.

10. Adjustable Infant Swaddle

I’ll be the first to confess I was a lazy swaddler, so by the time I left the hospital, my baby had grown accustomed to not being swaddled at night and it resulted in the nightmare that is now my co-sleeping experience. If you don’t want to be bothered with actually wrapping your baby up in a Swaddle blanket, there are alternatives like the Swaddle Me which reduces the risk of having loose blankets around your baby if he or she is an escape artist like mine. They will make your baby feel safe and make for better sleep for the both of you.

What were your hospital bag must haves? Leave a comment below and let’s discuss!

 

xo

Nic

Editor’s Note: This post is not sponsored and all items are ones that I actually use and love! However if you do purchase an item directly through the links I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.
Thank you, I appreciate your support. 
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The Art of Gratitude

Gratitude

I was recently in the comments of the Shaderoom (lol) and randomly clicked on a commentors profile. She was a Harvard educated attorney, only 25 years old, with a beautiful daughter, living her best life as a single mom in LA. Her latest post however documented her feelings during pregnancy, specifically how she was lucky enough to be able to attend child psychology classes, she had two baby showers, one tea party themed, she got to go to baby prep classes, had maternity shoots and was able to do basically everything that most modern-day moms do or want to do to prepare for their baby.

While reading, I thought “wow, this is everything I wanted to do, down to the tea party themed shower”. Unfortunately I never got to do any of those things, but as she continued on, she wrote about how she didn’t have anyone to share the news about her baby’s gender with, nor did she have a partner to attend her appointments. She didn’t have a late night junk food companion, or someone to rub her back and feet or even cut the umbilical cord…she cut it herself.

Up until I read that post, I thought I had come to terms with the fact that I didn’t do any of the fun baby prep things because I was busy prepping for baby alright but it sure as hell wasn’t what I would call fun! So I felt maybe 1% resentful that I didn’t experience the “fun” things, but as I read on I felt 100% blessed and grateful that I did have my husband by my side throughout my pregnancy. Literally y’all, this man sat next to me in the car EVERY evening as I heaved and threw up into a (thick) plastic bag in the dead of winter with the windows up because I ALWAYS got car sick.

He made me laugh with comments such as “wow, it smells like cheese” and “when did you have rice? That looks like rice” and he was right next to me as I again went at in the toilet upon arriving home. When I started developing the symptoms that lead to preeclampsia, he rubbed my huge swollen feet everyday for hours on end, he even took me shoe shopping while laughing hysterically at the loaves of bread I called feet. We both went to all the ultrasounds, and check ups, we both worried about my ever rising blood pressure and we ate! We ate together and afterwards he would rub my back as I once again heaved into the toilet bowl. 

While I was pregnant, I was tired, overwhelmed even, because we really didn’t want to have our baby come home to our bachelor pad, basement apartment. It was dark, depressing and small. We worked hard, sacrificing warm shoes during blizzards and warm enough coats, just to be able to afford our home and for me to be able to take extended leave from work.

We worked so hard we were exhausted, so exhausted we just couldn’t do the fun stuff. There were late nights packing, and moving and painting to get everything ready. And like clockwork, I started developing preeclampsia the week after we moved in, with our baby girl arriving shortly after that. Again however, he was right by my side. So that 1% of resentfulness faded away as I thought about my experience, in so many ways, we are so fortunate, and I am so grateful for our journey. I promise you, I’m trying extremely hard not to be corny right now, but honestly sometimes, hard paths really do take you to some of the best places and again, I am so grateful.

xo 

-Nic