Getting Organized: Functional Must-Haves for Any Space

One of my favorite parts of the new year, and colder winter months is getting the inside of my home organized, decluttered and fresh for the year! Once the warm weather rolls around, I don’t want to be stuck in my house organizing a closet. Last January, I tackled my office closet and the year before that our tiny kitchen pantry — and I’m happy to report, both spaces are still clean, organized and most importantly super functional. As I tackle each of these different and unique spaces, there are a few must-have and go-to pieces that are functional and work in a plethora of spaces, especially when creating your own organizational solutions.

Left: Office Closet // Right: Budget Bathroom Makeover

Let’s Talk Shelving Solutions. Ok, so my absolute favorite piece and go-to for a closet space is a cube organizer shelf – these range in a variety of options, but are relatively affordable and provide a variety of storage from clothes, to shoes, to craft supplies! I typically get the 11″ cube, but if you’re wanting something a bit more sturdy with more fabric storage box options, the 13″ cube organizer shelf is the next best thing. These are available at Targets (linked), Lowe’s and even Home Depot, just to name a few. Plus they are great for horizontal or vertical spaces!

I am also all for creating your own shelves to create room to organize for your unique space, especially when it comes to closets. We live in a 100+ year-old home, so our closets are odd shaped and each one is a little different, so you have to get creative and go semi-custom, but don’t let the word custom scare you off or think you have to spend lots of $$$$! A super easy way to create a shelf that also looks nice is, laminate shelf boards (pick your depth, length as needed) paired with a simple L shelf bracket – this is a super affordable option to add custom shelves to a closet. You can get a fancier looking shelf bracket depending on the look like these gold brackets; just remember to check for weight limits, and try to drill into a stud whenever possible! I also have spray painted the simple L shelf brackets, gold (screw heads too) for a higher end look at a much lower price.

Shop Shelving Solutions: Blue Hawk Laminate Shelf, 6 Cube Organizer Shelf, 8 Cube Organizer Shelf, Gold Brackets, L Shelf Bracket

My Favorite Storage Containers. Now that we have our spaces and nooks created, the next best part is all the boxes and baskets to store our goodies. Baskets and storage bins are great for a variety of spaces and contain the goods to a space within your space, allowing ease of use and function. My go-to basket, is the Y-Weave bins from Target — they come in a variety of neutral colors and sizes for all of the things! I use these in my bathroom, hall linen closet and even our kitchen pantry, they’re also affordable and sturdy.

Plastic clear storage bins (without lids) are also a go-to favorite, although a little more expensive these are a clean look and again work in any space. I’m currently working on my accessories closet in our master bedroom and definitely splurged on clear storage solutions! Fabric bins are another great way to give a higher-end look to store craft supplies, scarfs, clothes or toys.

Shop Storage Containers: Y-Weave Medium Basket, 13″ Fabric Cute Storage, Clear Rectangular Organizer, Clear Organizer Bin

Once you have the pieces and parts to help get you organized, it’s also important to sort, purge and consolidate the contents of the space you’re organizing — often times this may need to come first to see what you’re working with, the types of things you need to store and how much you have of everything! Don’t be afraid to find or reuse containers around your house if you can’t afford (or don’t want too) buy all new baskets or matching pieces, it’s 100% ok to work your way to a matching and perfectly organized space.

What spaces are you tackling to get organized to start your year off?

My 2021 Goals

Happy New Year! It’s that time again — that time to reset and refocus our energy, our priorities and look back at successes and even failures from the previous year, things we’ve learned about ourselves. And with that, it’s important to review your previous goals – and if you didn’t have any, you can only go up from here – so here is a quick update on how I did with my 2020 goals.

My 2020 Goals Successes: I paid off my credit card debt, before my 30th birthday — and even better, I’ve kept the credit card paid off. It’s so refreshing and freeing to have that under control. I also successfully completed one of my fitness goal of running 6-races, which proved more challenging because they all got delayed into Q4. We were also able to squeeze in one trip, which I will take for how 2020 went. And, I think that I fulfilled my goal of saying “No” which was also a bit easier, because you know, covid — and maybe one of the few things I’ll thank covid for.

Here are my goals for 2021:

Pay Off My Student Loans by December 2021. With the pandemic, student loans got a break with 0% interest among other things for most of the year — so I made sure to take advantage of that, while also paying more on my loans due to the money I’ve saved without having other expenses (car, gym, spa). With the help of my rain-man hubby, we’ve calculated for me to be on track and student debt free while I’m still 31! Being able to pay these off all by myself, while I’m still relatively young and 9-years post graduation is something I am truly proud of and fortunate to be able to do.

Monthly Volunteering. I unfortunately got out of dog walking volunteering, which I was doing almost weekly pre-covid. I then was trying to get a goal of at least monthly, which I was doing pretty well with, but the end of the year not so much. So my goal is to get back to that monthly volunteering for at least 2-hours, and then if things get better, I’ll start going more frequently. This will also help push me to do more “social” things without actually being social.

Good for the Soul. Focusing on things that are good for the soul and things I enjoy doing is going to continue to be a priority. Things like: Friends, travel, good food, bubbles, saying no, house projects, decorating, speaking my truth, reading, creating, dogs, sleeping in, and watching Bravo. Traveling is always a priority and on our to-do list (& oh so good for the soul), and we already have two trips outlined. This past year has also proven to enjoy the simpler things in life, like hanging out just B and I, playing games, listening to music and laughing the night away — hopefully we can just add a few more friends and family to that scenario.

Continue to Invest in Myself. This is both mentally and physically. Due to affect effects of covid, I’ve found that working out and staying healthy is going to be more of an effort, also sadly, because my former gym ended up closing last year due to financially hardships. So I’ve already started to purchase more at-home fitness equipment to help workouts become more attainable, without an excuse of not having equipment. Mentally, I’ve been needing to find someone to talk too since the spring. Again, I’ve made excuses not being able to find anyone that feels right — but I need to get it started. I spoke to someone in college and it helped immensely.

As you may have noticed, a lot of these goals, seem to be getting back to a normal life and piecing together the after effects from the pandemic (which BTW is still happening). And one of those biggies will be my fitness goals. I’ll be sharing those more specific goals on my upcoming Fitness Friday post — I think it’s important if you want your health and fitness to be a priority and is a personal goal, to make specific goals attainable and specific to fitness without just saying; “stay in shape” or “work out.” And I’ll be sharing my fitness goal failures too.

I also recently did one of those word scrambles, where you look at a bunch of letters and pull out the first four words you see. My four words were: Health, Family, Love and Strength. I think these are good mantra words to hold onto and focus for my new year — even if it’s a silly little internet thing.

What’re your goals? Share one or one of your focus words in the comments below!

My 2020 Goals

I feel like my 2019 goals sort of sucked? Ok, maybe not all of them, but a good handful of them — I look back and am like, HA! Not a good thing, right? Well, that’s why it’s a new year! So, in addition to making my fitness goals a priority, which includes getting six races in this year, I have a few other personal goals that I want to focus on!
goals(2)-beelifeblog Pay off My Credit Card Debt by my 30th Birthday. This has been a goal of mine for… a bit, and it’s been one that I’ve been embarrassed to share, but I know I’m going to get this paid off and I’m damned determined to enter my 30th year with $0 in credit card debt. So that is just about 2-months from today *smiles*

More vacations. I just want to travel, always. I want to see so many places and experience, see new views and taste all the good foods. Our trips for the year are pretty much already planned out. But, I’m hoping to squeeze a few long weekends into a few more getaways beyond the bigger trip we have planned for later in the year. As always, I love sharing our travel adventures and eats with all my Bee readers, so stay tuned for a fun year of new places!
goals(1)-beelifeblogSaying No. I just had an exchange with my mom the other day, as I told her I’m sick of doing things – especially in my free time/weekends – that I don’t want to do. And she responded saying; “Well isn’t that life?” …and I said back to her… “Why does that have to be life!?”  We do things to please other people, because we may feel guilty or it’s just easier to say yes than it is to say no. But I’m over that, so don’t get offended people, or get ready to be offended. *winks*

Being More Present. This is across the board; in personal, professional, friendships, in family and self care.  I find myself being distracted, my mind wandering, picking up my phone to scroll — it’s easy to think of the millions of other things we want to do, already forgot about, or even dream about, but it’s not always easy to be present. And I think another part of that is continuing to be present and staying touch with all those important people, especially my hubby.
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I want to continue spending time with our dear friends, more one on one time, slowing down and just talking — we were reminded of that over the Christmas holiday and it was, refreshing, it was like old times, times I missed. I want to continue fostering my creativity through DIYs, house projects, writing, my career, and through encouragement and support of loved ones around me.

Needless to say, there is no shortage of goals over here in the Bee Life — but the ones above are the top, for now. What’re your goals for 2020? There’s no better time to start working on them, than now!

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My 2019 Goals

New year, new goals – am I right? I am sure the interwebs and your social feeds have been bombarded with everyone’s resolutions, positive mindsets and consistent workout routines and clean diets for the last 8-days.  Well for me – I’ve been really thinking about what I want to accomplish this year, especially coming off of a super normal 2018.
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So as I’ve been thinking and thinking… and then looking back at past goals there were a few that came to mind immediately – traveling and my health routine.  More to come on the health routine – I’ll be kicking off my monthly Fitness Friday posts with my 2019 fitness goals, because those my friends will be a lengthly list as well.  *smiles*  Ok, ok, back to my 2019 goals.

More trips! This is pretty much a goal every year – and last year’s travel goal was a bit lofty, thus our travel game in 2018 was a bit weak compared to years previous.  So this year, I’m going to keep it simple and focus on longer weekend trips that B and I can take together whether it’s a car trip or a cheap flight. The other sub-goal of more trips is trying to fit a few new cities in – we’re repeat vacationers, so I want to make sure we keep exploring new places!

More time for friends.  We have friends that live next door, we have friends that live 1-hour away and we have friends that live hours away — so it’s important to continue to make time with all of the friends no matter how far away they are.  And the key to this is planning ahead!

Spend breaks. I have yet to be successful with this goal – and I know this will be a hard one, but we’ve had friends that have been successful with this and say it really helps! So we need to plan for our spend break(s) and make it happen.

No scrolling before bed.  I’m so guilty of this, and habits die hard – but this is one I really want to work on.  In fact, making it more of a rule, like no social media for an hour before bed as my work-week rule of thumb.

Keeping fitness a priority. As I mentioned, more to come on this – so stay tuned!

Continue being creative. One way that I’m able to express my creativity is through decorating our house and doing DIY projects or up-cycling furniture – and then sharing my projects and creations with all of you! So I want to continue to be inspired, take risks and be creative!

There are of course a million other things I want to work on for myself and do in this next year, but these were the few that stood out to me as priorities for the new year – that are just good for the soul.

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My 2018 Goals

It’s that time of the (new) year again! Time to check-in with our 2017 goals, see where were netted out and set goals for the coming year.  I kicked my 2017 goals’ asses, every single one of them – so figuring out goals for this coming year was a little tricky, especially since I want to continue to challenge myself yet make achievable goals.
2018 Goals - the bee life
Maintain my fitness routine.  I finally reached and exceeded goals this past year, so now I need to maintain and continue to become my best self! I feel so good and confident with myself, I want to maintain that feeling – I want to maintain this through my bootcamp classes and running a few races, maybe another half?

Travel out of the country. And get a passport! Yup. Never had one, need to get one so we can start crossing off bucket list trips. In addition to <hopefully> traveling out of the country, we’d like to explore some more/new cities.

Listen more. I often find myself being distracted with my surroundings or my own thoughts in my head – making a conscious effort to listen more, engage and remember conversations is definitely something I need to work on.  This includes shutting down digitally!

Get out. Of the house! Go to local events, take a road trip, learn new things, visit friends, go to concerts and games, takes classes, go out dancing… have new experiences!

These are just the starting points for my 2018 goals as I’ll continue to reflect and challenge myself this year. One of the keys of having a successful year, is not only reflecting on your goals, but writing them down!

Cheers to another year of new possibilities!

Bye 2015!

We are less than 24 hours away from welcoming in the new year, so let’s take a look back through pictures at my 2015 to get ready to say good-bye.

I didn’t do very well with a lot of my 2015 goals, honestly I didn’t focus on them as much as I should have, so I’m not totally surprised.

My 2015 goals:

  1. Get back into a workout routine – failed miserably, again.
  2. Start the 5:2 Diet – nope, hardly tried.
  3. Travel outside of the country (Dublin 2015?) – not this year
  4. Get a promotion at work – yes!
  5. Run a half marathon – at least 3 other races – ran 2 races, but no half
  6. Read more books – a little success
  7. Don’t sweat the small stuff – maybe?
  8. Live in the moment – maybe

I’ve been thinking about my 2016 goals, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect in the last few months about successes, failures, hopes and wishes, and am truly working on a plan and change. I feel like I’ve made strides within the last few months in comparison to a majority of last year and early this year.  So I’m excited about my new focus and motivation for a positive change.

Cheers to another blessed year and cheers to another year of opportunities!

Fitness Friday

Here are some ways to get a kick start to your New Years resolution before the major holiday weight gain sets in.2

1. Sign up for a race, now! Don’t wait for those prices to go up, spring and summer races are still priced low – so get ahead of the curve and register for a race or two sooner than later. That way you’ll also be able to a jump start and maximize your training schedule! I’ve already signed up for one in April and have my eyes set on one in March.

2. Eat healthy, but still enjoy. Since the month of December is nothing but endless weekends of parties and lavish dinners there is no excuse to not indulge. At the same time, be smart during the week and eat healthy and light. Fresh greens and protein with extra water. The day of your parties? Be sure to eat a good breakfast and hearty lunch, this will help you from snacking too much on hors d’oeuvres or over eating your main meal.

3. Easy on the alcohol. Same rule for the food applies for the alcohol. Cut back on your free days, even if you’re used to having a drink or two. Make sure to drink water throughout your party nights and stay away from shots! Also, the less you drink the more likely you’ll be motivated to get a workout in the next day.

4. Don’t miss a workout. Don’t let a party or house guests get in the way – the second you break your routine the more likely you’ll be to fall off track and your resolution won’t be looking so hot.

5. Switch it up. Start exploring some new workouts and facilities to mix it up and give you a new challenge – starting new habits now will make you stronger tomorrow.

Let’s start getting back and stay on track with that healthy grove and enjoy these holiday parties!

 

New Year, Fresh Start.

I think everyone likes the idea of being able to have a “fresh start” at the beginning of each new year, it’s a time when we can set goals, learn from mistakes, and dream bigger… it’s hard not to get caught up in all of the chatter.

My 2015 goals, are definitely going to be bigger, and after seeing what I accomplished last year, I believe that writing down and setting goals, and seeing them every day really does help you to accomplish and allow them to be in the forefront of your mind.

My 2015 goals:

  1. Get back into a workout routine
  2. Start the 5:2 Diet
  3. Travel outside of the country (Dublin 2015?)
  4. Get a promotion at work
  5. Run a half marathon + at least 3 other races
  6. Read more books
  7. Don’t sweat the small stuff
  8. Live in the moment

A lot of these are similar to my 2014 goals, but I liked them! And I feel that I can always strive to improve on all aspects, whether it’s my personal, work, or health life – and these goals help round all of those out.

Happy New Year! Let this be the year you dream bigger and do better.