4 Simple Steps to Declutter Your Home

Do you ever look around your home and feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff you’ve accumulated?

Don’t worry, you aren’t alone.

More than half of the American population— 51.8% according to ebates— engage in retail therapy.

The unfortunate side effect is more things hanging around your home.

I am no different, so I will be using these tips as well.

These are taken from Mind Over Clutter by Nicola Lewis. Grab a copy of the book here.

First, remove everything from the room with the exception of your furniture.

The reason for this is that smaller items can escape this process.

Second, sort through your items and create four separate piles.

Keep the things that you use at least once a month and sort everything else into the three other piles; donate, sell, or throw away.

If you find something in it’s original packaging, you aren’t using it, so get rid of it.

Next, clean the whole room from top to bottom.

Since all the items have been removed from the room, it’ll be easier to clean the insides of drawers and high shelves.

Finally, carefully put everything you’re keeping back into the room.

The whole purpose is bring peace of mind, so take extra care on this step.

Remember, a place for everything and everything in its place.

Until next time.



5 Do’s and Don’t’s for Hydration

Most people would agree that staying hydrated is important.

Staying hydrated keeps everything in working order.

For lack of a better way to put it being hydrated keeps everything lubricated.

It helps keep many bodily functions running in working order, especially in helping your kidneys eliminate toxins.

In this post I am not going to shy away from how hydration helps the body and what bodily functions are affected by it.

You have been warned.

The topic of hydration has fostered a debate on how much is enough and how much is too much.

I am going to give you 5 do’s and don’t’s around staying hydrated.

This first one, I’m just going to dive right in.

Do check the color of your urine.

This is a sure fire way to check your level of hydration and sometimes your health in general.

If it is a dark yellow color you’re probably dehydrated.

If it’s really dark, seek medical attention.

If it’s clear, like the same color as water clear, you’re over hydrated.

If there’s blood in your urine, seek medical help.

Do keep track of how much water you are drinking throughout your day.

I believe that the best way to do this is to get a decent sized water bottle to take with you.

Related: My top 5 favorite water bottles.

I recommend one where the place you put your mouth to drink from is protected.

This is important especially if you’re going to leave it on a surface at work or outside of your home.

Don’t drink water based solely on an arbitrary number.

We have all heard the recommendation to drink 8 glasses of water a day.

Some of us have heard that you have to do some algebra to determine the amount of water you should drink based on your weight.

The problem with both of these is that it doesn’t account for the amount of liquid you are getting from your food.

If you are eating a balanced diet with fruits and vegetables you should be getting some hydration from your food.

This one actually relates back to the first two do’s.

Track the amount of water you’re drinking, and if you find your urine is a decent yellow color you’re good.

Again, if it’s clear you drank too much.

Don’t drink water directly from the faucet.

I know that people survive drinking water from the tap.

However, unless you are checking your city’s water processing I don’t recommend it.

There are many affordable ways to get filtered water at home.

I recommend getting a pitcher with a filter or get one that attaches to your sink.

They even make ones that filter inside the water bottle directly.

Also, more public places are getting filtered water bottle fountains.

It’s for the environment, but also to make sure you’re getting clean water.

Do consume water rich foods.

Usually whole foods are very water rich because, well they were grown using water.

I’m talking about your fruits and vegetables.

Not only will this help keep you hydrated, but you are also providing your body with nutrient rich food.

If you want to read more on the topic of hydration, check out the following links:

Keys to Staying HydratedPolyclinic
Staying Hydrated Staying HealthyAmerican Heart Association
Keys and Benefits of Consistent Hydration– Crisp Regional Hospital

Want to know what I like to use to help support my kidneys? Check out this caffeine-free tea.

If this was valuable to you or might be valuable to someone you know, definitely share this post.

Until next time.



My Top 5 Favorite Water Bottles

A good water bottle is an essential part of maintaining hydration.

There are so many different types out there, and I can honestly say that I have used a fair amount of them.

As far as I’m concerned, getting a great water bottle is a good investment.

In this post, I’m going to cover my top 5 favorite water bottles out of all of the ones I have ever tried.

Pro tip: most lids to water bottles are not dishwasher friendly.

This is due to the fact that the plastic ring that creates a seal can melt off.

When this happens the liquid leaks from the container.

The water bottle from this lunch box set.

This was the closest kit I could find to the one I got my water bottle from.

Believe me, I spent a lot of time looking for the one I have.

Mine is chevron, but this is the exact same type of water bottle.

The water bottle like this one is currently sitting on my night stand which is why it’s first on the list.

The Arbonne Water Bottle

This is another one I use a lot.

I have dropped it so many times, and it’s still good.

What’s nice about this one is that it has the ounces written on the side so you can track your water intake.

This is important because it helps determine how much water you need.

It’s also the perfect size for the Arbonne Essentials Body Cleanse.

Unfortunately it appears to be out of stock, but the Phytosport bottle is a good substitute.

Brita Premium Filtering Water Bottle

This one is great because there is a filter inside the bottle itself.

That’s fantastic because you can get filtered water anywhere.

One problem is tracking when you need to replace the filter as there is no indicator for when it needs to be replaced.

The second is that the filter can become water logged, and so it makes it difficult to drink sometimes.

There are ways to fix it.

Check out this video for tips to help with this problem.

Blender/Shaker Cups

These are great for several reasons.

First, it’s a quick and easy way to take a shake with you on the go.

When you finish your shake, rinse the bottle and fill it with water.

Or simply just use it for water.

Contigo AUTOSPOUT Straw Ashland Water Bottle

This one is great because it comes with a straw.

One of the nice things also is that some versions of this protect the spout when closed so the straw is not exposed.

I love these, but I also went through a lot of them.

That’s partially because in college and in my first couple of years teaching I was REALLY rough with these.

The bottle itself is tough.

The lid is tough.

The straw in the lid though is the problem.

Once you put a hole in that it’s basically done for.

I personally thought they were worth repurchasing because they are convenient and again the ounces are written on the side.

I hope this was helpful to you on your journey of staying hydrated.

Until next time.



What I learned about consistency (video)

In this Facebook Live, I cover what I have been learning and kind of talking about with consistency in my last two blog posts.

I did this because I know that sometimes people like to consume content in video format.

Personally, I like to engage in both, it really depends on the day.

I hope that you enjoy this video as much as I actually enjoyed making it, and I’ll see you next time.



Top 5 Tips for Writing Goals, and the Mindset Necessary to Achieve Them

First of all, I want to give some updates. [I started writing this blog post on Sunday, but I neglected to account for the madness of moving and getting internet set up.]

The movers are coming today. I will do a video showcasing my new office.

On Tuesday I start my LLC paperwork for my proofreading business and make plans to start up my violin studio again.

I’m leaning back on my network marketing business. I was pretty gung-ho on it reaching out to 50 people a day, which turned out to be about 1,500 people in a two month span. I’m still doing the business, but I really enjoy the products and having fun connecting with my team. As with anything my tribe will come.

That said, before I go into the 5 tips, I want to talk about mindset.

I firmly believe in personal development and thought work. However, in order to be successful self-acceptance has to come first.

This means you have to take time to learn to accept the negative parts of yourself.

The basic of this is that all of you is perfect the way you are, the good and the bad. Once you’re good with that, the goals are to simply amplify the parts you like or improve on some of your areas that you determine might be room for growth.

Here are your 5 tips for goal setting.

Tip #1- Define what you want There are at least seven different areas of your life, health, family, career, finance, spiritual, personal development and hobbies.

Think about where you would like to be in 10 years. If you want to go really deep, and far into the future think about what impact you would like to have had on the world after you have kicked the bucket.

However you decide to start, just write. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, etc. at this point, just put what it is that you want or what you want to have accomplished on paper. In education we call this a “brain dump.”

Don’t over think it either, because I am going to let you in on a little secret that most self-help things don’t cover.

There is no shame in being ordinary. If everyone could be Oprah or Martha Stewart that would be cool, but being a regular person in the grand scheme of things is also cool.

If your life vision is to grow tomatoes in your backyard, do it.

If you love your call center job, and you want to be the best darn customer service agent there ever was, by golly do it.

If you love your job at Walmart, be the best Walmart associate you can be.

If you want to be a hot shot entrepreneur, and you’re ready to swim with the sharks, do that.

Even if you just want to be mediocre at them, that’s cool too. It’s okay to be average and do “ordinary” things. 

Goal setting is just the rudder on the boat, whether you want to be Oprah or you love your job as a custodian, goals give you direction.

This will determine your vision and values. This exercise I have taken from two separate books. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a **** by Mark Manson.

Tip #2- Translate what you wrote into SMART Goals

The purpose of this tip is to give your brain dump more detail.
SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.

Now that you have decided to grow your tomato garden, how big do you wnat it? How many tomato plants do you want in it? What supplies do you need? Are the amounts indicated in the previous questions achievable? Do you actually like growing tomatoes? What is a reasonable amount of time to execute your plan?

If you want to grow tomatoes in your backyard, unless you’re really good at tetris having 1,000 tomato plants is not achievable.

The A in SMART I think is important because it helps you to be realistic. If you set unrealistic goals, (like putting 1,000 tomato plants in a suburban backyard), you’re only going to set yourself up for disappointment.

Speaking of setting yourself up for success, I’m going to lead into the next tip…

Tip #3- Reverse Engineer It

Look at all of your long term smart goals. Ask yourself, what do I need to do in 5 years to reach my goal? 4 years? 1 year? 6 months?

Continuing with the tomato garden example, now that you know where you’re going in that first month, you may want to read about how exactly one goes about growing tomatoes.

Once you figure that out, set a date on the calendar for the planting season to yield a great tomato crop. Then think about the supplies you’ll need and where you need to purchase them.

Tip #4- Take action on your plan.

Now that you have clear direction on where you want to go with your life goal, take action.

I’m going to continue with the tomato garden example, because we are in too deep now.

Prepare your yard. Before you get to growing season you have to mark out where you would like to grow them, weed the area, turn the soil, and get stakes and that chicken wire type stuff.

Close to planting season buy your tomato seeds.

Monitor your crop over time. If you did not yeild what you expected review what may have not gone well, and figure out what you will do different next tomato planting season.

By your 5th year, you should have a decent sized suburban tomato garden, and you may even be selling them to your neighbors.

This may not have been in your original plan, but your tomato garden turns into a lucritive business and so you have to start thinking about expanding your garden.

Tip #5- Stay consistent

This is the tough part. Once the excitement wears down from your initial plan, there are going to be days where you don’t want to follow the plan.

You might even think that you have to be motivated to continue on.

However, sometimes simply taking the action (even though you may not want to) will help get you motivated, so the motivation process may actually work in reverse.

The point is, if your tomato crop fails that first season, but you are determined by year 5 to have a thriving tomato garden, don’t give up.

Try again. Occasionally it is good to review the master plan and make adjustments on your time or what you want to do also, but if you stay engaged over time, you’ll get to your goal.

Failure is a stepping stone to success. You may trip and face plant on some of those stones, but whatever you do, get back up and keep going.

I can tell you I have reinvented my blog at least 5 times by now, and it may get reinvented again.

However, I am sticking to it, and that’s what matters.

I hope this helps you with whatever you decide to do.

Classically yours,