Tag Archives: entertaining

Life Simplified: 5 Areas to Incorporate Lists

Those of you who have been actively following our blog know that organization is a key commonality for our TK team! We all have our own styles, but we love exchanging tips with each other or sharing new ideas that we come across.

One of the main ways that I stay organized in everything that I do in my busy day is using lists. In today’s age of technology, full of gadget and apps, a good old fashioned “To Do” list seems a bit dated, but for me, it’s a main staple in my personal organizational systems.

Today, I’ll be chatting about five areas you can incorporate organizational lists to help simplify life and decrease stress.

Entertaining: Using a list is a fantastic way to get organized if you’re hosting an event. For those of us that multitask between jobs in both the office and home, our lack of time often leaves us with very little room for error when it comes to pulling off hosting duties. In Hosting My First Thanksgiving Dinner, Meredith shared her method of using a list to plan her event menu, shopping list and event timeline. Whether you’re hosting a few friends for a casual weekday BBQ or the whole family for a holiday dinner, entertaining becomes a little less hectic when you take the time to plan in advance.

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Traveling: Whether you’re a habitual traveler for work or you’re constantly being bitten by the travel bug, let’s face it, packing isn’t exactly the most fun thing to do. However, creating electronic packing lists is a great way to develop templates of common things that you need for your travels. These templates then serve as a baseline for future trips, which allows you to save precious time by not ‘reinventing the wheel’ every time you travel. In How to Make a Dynamic Packing List, Bri shared her method for creating her packing template and how this method saves her time as she travels for work.

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Additionally, lists are a great way to ensure you get everything done around your home before you head out the door. Nothing is worse than running around trying to remember all the little things you have to do to secure your home before your flight leaves. In Trip Planning Checklist, I talked about my process of putting together a list of common things I have to get done before I leave for a trip. This ranges from confirming a pet sitter to taking out the garbage. Implementing this system has certainly helped minimize departure day stress and allowed me to relax in preparation for my trip.

Cleaning: Creating a list system to track your house chores is a great way to not only ensure that you’re keeping up with general home cleanliness, but also to ensure that your chores are balanced and manageable with a busy schedule. In Cleaning Chart in the Cloud, I shared my cleaning chart (conveniently stored on Google Docs), which allows my husband and I to split up chore duties. Whether you’re a small or large household, a cloud-based cleaning chart is a great way to prioritize the chores that need to be done around your house and “share the love” with your housemates.

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NOTE: Since this post, I have updated my cleaning chart to the Todoist app and have been very happy with the results.

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Dining: While we all fondly remember our college kitchen days of macaroni and cheese and hot dogs, chances are you’re getting to a place in life where you’re starting to think a bit more about what you’re eating. Organizational lists are perfect for helping you achieve a healthier diet, through grocery shopping lists and menu planning. In one of her early posts on Menu Planning, Meredith wrote about her method of taking time on Sunday to put together a menu for the week and the corresponding lists of groceries. While this certainly takes a bit of time, meal planning is a great way to relieve weekday stress. Organizational lists eliminate the need to run to the grocery store for the one ingredient that wasn’t in your pantry and minimize the time wasted in your kitchen wondering “What Should I Make Tonight?” Even more so, it’s a great way to stick to healthy eating habits and reduce the impulse to splurge on less healthy options.

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Working: A major place that we use lists is in our daily organization at the office and at home. Even though we all work in different industries, lists seem to work themselves into our daily routines. In Our 2016 Tips for Home and Work, Meredith shared her process of using a standard notebook and day planner to make lists. I am also a huge fan of standard lists in my planner, and have further developed my lists into categories behind these adorable gold foil tabs (and yes, we’re going to THAT many weddings this year, that “Weddings” has its own list!).

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I have started using Microsoft’s One Note program for my day-to-day tasks at the office. I love the ability to cut and paste items and create a written record of my accomplishments.

As you can tell, we love using lists here at TripleKnots and find them to be an incredibly useful tool to stay organized in a very busy world!

Do you have a creative way that lists help save you time? If so, we’d love to hear!

Signature 3 (Mar 2016)

A Stress Free Holiday Starts Here

Th2014-11-25 10_26_16-2014-11-25 10_24_43-BonnieDewkett1 - Paint - Paintis week’s guest blog post comes to us from Bonnie Dewkett, a certified professional organizer who began organizing as a child, and she has been organizing ever since. Her company, The Joyful Organizer, creates and implements organizational systems for the home and office. Passionate about helping others meet their organizational goals, Bonnie loves to see the positive impact that getting organized has on people’s lives.

The holidays are rough. Yes, they are filled with parties, family and friends, food and fun. However, they are often the cause of a lot of stress. If you don’t read anything else this holiday season, read this quick and easy guide to having a stress free holiday!

1. Check your wrapping paper inventory BEFORE you sit down to wrap. So often people sit down to wrap and have nothing OR (and this is even worse!) buy lots of stuff at the store because they don’t know what they have on hand at home.

Wrapping Paper

2. Instead of hostess gifts, have your guests bring canned goods that can be donated to a local food bank. People are relieved to not have to think creatively AND you can make an impact in your community.

3. Ornament, tree, wreath and light organizers are usually only readily available BEFORE the holiday. So while you aren’t thinking about long term storage right now, pick them up throughout the year when you see them (if you need them). Not only are they specialized for the items they are designed to hold, but they are also often holiday themed so you can easily identify them in the storage areas of your home.


4. Create an emergency present bin so you are never caught empty handed. It’s even better if you buy items that you can use after if you don’t end up giving them out. Great items to include are gift cards (iTunes and Starbucks), candles, candy, cookbooks and soaps or lotions.

5. Hire a house cleaner. You are going to be shopping, planning, and cooking up a storm. Treat yourself and have someone clean the house for you. Schedule well in advance for your party or event.

6. If you can’t get around to cleaning, make sure you spend a few minutes on the front doorstep. Step outside with a broom and clean off spider webs, bugs and dust from the lights. Sweep the step and shake out the mat. It will make a great first impression.

7. If you have kids coming to your gathering or party, have an activity on hand. A movie will do, but games and art supplies may keep them entertained longer. If you really want some adult time, hire a college student home on break as a babysitter for a few hours.

8. Buy a self inking address stamp. This makes the card process go much faster. AND kids love to stamp. Set them up at a table with your pile of envelopes. Don’t try to lick all the envelopes! Use a moistened sponge or a specialized envelope moistener (yes, those exist).

9. Set a casual dress code. Everyone gets dressed up for the holidays and with all of the financial commitments and stress going around, make your party easy and comfortable with a casual dress code. OR, if you feel like having a little fun, make it a Christmas pajama party!

10. Share the cooking. Everyone wants to bring something, so let them! Have your guests bring a side dish, plate of cookies, etc. Let go a little bit and enjoy the variety! Make sure you have vegan, nut free and vegetarian options on hand. If you know guests with those dietary guidelines, ask them in advance for expertise.


Additional resources:

Download a free Gift-Buying Worksheet here.

Download a checklist for Christmas Dinner here.

Download a list of Fun Christmas Activities here.

For more information, visit The Joyful Organizer website or email info@thejoyfulorganizer.com.