UPDATED Essential Monthly Planner

Can you believe it’s been FOUR years since I blogged about my monthly planner and how I keep all my bills and events organized in one place? I noticed recently that it’s getting a lot of hits on Pinterest and I thought I’d post about how I’m keeping my planner now.

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Currently, I’m using highlighters and small post-it notes to keep everything together. I’m not sure where to start, so I guess we’ll go from left to right.

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On the border on the top left I use pink post-its with blog post ideas that I may want to blog about that month.

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Then, once I blog about one of those ideas, I move the post-it to the day that I posted the blog, which isn’t necessary but is helpful in case you want to go back to previous months and look at what you’ve done.

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On the bottom left margin I use these pale yellow (or as I like to call them, smoker’s teeth yellow) post-its with things that I HAVE TO get done during the month. And yes, I moved to PA from NJ back in May and I still have not gone to the DMV to get my license plates transferred. I just REALLY hate the DMV! Anyways, once I get an oil change or get my license plates registered, I’ll move that post-it to the day that I did it.

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In my planner, I write when a bill is due. Since we moved, we’ve got a lot of credit card bills to pay off. So for example, I write down on the 4th that my Home Depot credit card bill is due, then under that I put what the balance is that I still owe. Then under that I write “New Balance” so on the 4th when I pay that bill, I write what the new balance is after making the payment. Then I take that new balance and put it on the next months post-it under “Still Owe”. This makes it easier to know where you’re at with each of your outstanding credit cards without having to look each one up online.

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As for our other bills, like the mortgage, car payments, electric, etc., I just write down on the day that I pay them and then cross them off. I also highlight it in green, or in my case I highlight it in yellow and blue because I don’t have a green highlighter – haha!

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I use these teal colored post-its for any kind of photo sessions I might have. I would just write that appointment in my planner but since moving to Easton, I have not required clients to pay a deposit to hold the appointment, so the appointment days change a lot. With the appointment being on a post-it, I can just move the post-it to any day they may change it to. It keeps my planner pretty so I don’t have to scratch out anything.

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I use the bright pink post-its for fun events like birthday parties, people coming into town, events in the community, etc.

Btw, you can get these convenient post-its on Amazon and they’re super cheap. Pick them up here.

And that’s about it. I feel like my monthly planner has become a lot more efficient in the last four years and I hope it helps make your monthly planner more efficient as well!

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Creating a Home Office/Guest Room!

Well, hello there!

This past weekend I was in Pittsburgh for my little sister’s senior homecoming 😦

I can't believe how big she is now!

I can’t believe how big she is now!

Anyways, my mom works from home 95% of the time and every time I come home I have to be quiet during the day and keep the TV turned down because she uses the dining room as her office. I couldn’t stand how inconvenient it was, not only for her, but for me as well. I knew that she was going out of town the first week of November and I was planning on sneaking into town and turning my sister’s old room into a home office/guest bedroom for her. I got to thinking about it and wasn’t sure if she’d actually utilize it or not, so I figured I would ask first – haha.

This is how the conversation went:

MeMom, do you think if I painted Nicole’s old room and turned it into a home office you’d use it?

Mom – *eyes open really wide**chin drops to chest* Are you kidding? Of course I would! Do you wanna do it this weekend?

MeWell I don’t know about this weekend. I might be a little busy getting Nicole ready and doing her make up and stuff.

MomOh, painting won’t take that long, you could probably get it all done this weekend!

MeOk, I’ve never painted a room before but I’m sure it’s no big deal. Let’s do it!

And the rest is history! My mom gave me a $500 budget. I went to Lowes and spent $70 and got some white paint and some supplies and had to paint over dark blue walls that had purple stars painted around the window and the closet! (I really wish I would have taken a before picture! The room was horrendous!) I thought painting would be fun but it turned into the worst day of my life (ok, I’m being dramatic, but holy shit!). So after two days, three coats of paint, and plenty of cursing, I finished the paint job! It was rewarding to basically do most of it myself, with little help from my sister Rachel and absolutely no help from my youngest sister Nicole. I knew after I painted the room, the fun part would begin!

So on Sunday morning I went to Ikea and got a desk, a desk chair, a bookcase along with some drawers for the bookcase, a lamp, and a cart with wheels! In all, I spent $280 at Ikea. When I got home my sisters and I put everything together which was actually kinda fun. Once we set everything up where we thought it should go we knew it was missing some stuff, so we made a trip to Walmart. At Walmart we got new curtains, new comforter, some throw pillows, a dry erase board, small cork board, and some decorations for the walls. At Walmart we spent about $108.

The next day I went to Target because I felt we were still missing some cool knick knacks and a desk lamp. Little did I know, I was about to have the greatest Target trip of my life!

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The cute blue stool thing had a clearance tag on it that said $24.98. The laser cut metal mirror had a clearance tag for $14.98. The small trash can was on sale for $12.78. And the Threshold white lamp had a clearance tag of $17 something. I get up to the register and the girl informs me that everything on clearance was even lower than the tag price. I THOUGHT MY FREAKING HEAD WAS GOING TO EXPLODE! I told her I might need to call my mom and have her pick me up because I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to drive home – HAHA! My total for all of the things above was originally $50 and some change but with a mobile coupon for $5 off home purchases, I paid $45. Felt pretty good!

So, if you’ve been keeping track of the totals from all my purchases, you’d see I only came in $3 over the budget for this room! Pretty spectacular if you ask me!

The end result was pretty awesome for one weekend of hard work! So without further ado, here’s the new home office!

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My mom loved it and I couldn’t be happier because she deserves it and so much more! I heard her the next day talking to people on the phone and telling them how she was working in her new home office that her daughters put together for her and how it was the nicest thing anyone has done for her in a long time. It feels great to make someone’s day!

It’s almost Hump Day! Happy Tuesday, everyone!

UPDATE: Country Theme Graduation Party Ideas

I’ve been racking my brain to the maximum extreme trying to come up with some more creative ideas for my sister’s country themed graduation party in June. If you missed my first post about it and some of the ideas I had, you can catch up here. I’ve told a lot of my coworkers about the country western themed fiesta to see if maybe they had any good ideas that I can steal use. One of my coworkers mentioned to me that there is a website that has cheap party decorations for pretty much any theme. It’s www.orientaltrading.com. I’ve never heard of this site and I was soooo excited once I checked it out. I have multiple things in my online cart that I’m just waiting to pull the trigger on but before I tell you about those I wanted to let you know that the invites came in the mail and I’m starting to send them out little by little. And what I mean when I say little by little is that I’m waiting for my mom to get me some of the addresses for some of the people that I can’t find on http://www.whitepages.com. Blah! I also got this cute cowboy boot stamp for the back of the invites on clearance at Michaels this week.

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I think it adds the perfect touch considering the invites say absolutely nothing about country themed anything which I kinda regret now.

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I saw these country western photo props. I was thinking about cutting out mustaches and stuff and hot glueing them to a stick so that people can use them in the homemade photobooth that I mentioned in my other post. I was kinda dreading it but now I feel fantastic that I don’t need to do any of that and this comes with more awesome stuff than just mustaches.

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Another item that popped out at me was this luau table skirt that I think would still fit in with a country theme party considering it is basically faux hay. I think it would look nice with a white table clothe with a thick strip of burlap running down the middle. We’ll see.

Getting extremely excited as the days and weeks get closer to the party!

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UPDATE!

To see how the country themed grad party turned out, along with pictures from the photo booth, click here.

Inspiration and Motivation

Since I’ve started this blog I’ve been receiving really great feedback, not only from you, the readers, but also from some of my family members that I shared my blog with over emails and facebook. One of the greatest feelings is knowing that you’ve helped someone make a positive change in order to have a happier, less cluttered life. My mother just recently sent me a picture of a table that’s along the wall in her dinning room. It was cluttered with magazines, mail, reading glasses, iphone accessories, etc. You name it and it could probably be found on this table.

My mom doesn’t ask me for advice often so the fact that she asked me what she should do and the fact that I had so many ideas of ways to clean up the space made my day! I was texting her ideas and links to baskets and boxes on Amazon and just being a super big dork because I was so excited about this. So Sunday she texted me another picture.

What an improvement! It looks so good and I’m so happy that 1) my mom asked for my advice 2) took my advice and 3) was awesome enough to take before and after pictures so I could blog about it! -haha. It’s motivated me to really step up my game around my own house. Some days I feel like I may come off a little “preachy” with some of my tips and solutions when in reality my apartment is no where near perfect! I’ve been sick for the past week and a half so I’ve been slacking a little bit with my Clean Out Your Closet challenge, but now that I’m feeling better there should be nothing stopping me!

My August Plans!

(Not my closet but it might as well be considering it gave me a headache just looking at it)

I’ve decided that over the next couple weekends I’m going to work on organizing my closets.  August will unofficially be my Clean Out Your Closet month. I only have three closets in my apartment so it shouldn’t take me too long (knocks on wood). The only part I’m dreading is the horrid first step of organization… PURGING! I’m really bad at it because I can find uses for a lot of things that other people would consider junk, so when other people have no problem throwing something away, I have to really think about it – HAHA!.. I thought that others may have a problem purging also, so I’ve put together a short list to get you started.

1. You need to find out how much time you want to devote to your organization project. For me and my closet clean out I’ll probably devote a whole weekend but some people may get too overwhelmed. If that is the case for you, just start small. Purge a little bit here and there in 30 minute chunks or maybe take an hour out of your afternoon to get going.

2. You’re going to need to create 4 groups. Items to keep, items to sell/donate, items to fix, and items to throw away. You may also need a pile for stuff that is just out of place and needs to be returned to it’s designated spot. As soon as you’re done sorting out what needs to go where, it’s time to get that stuff OUT! Take the items that you’re throwing away straight out to the trash can. The items that you’re going to donate or give away should go into a box in the trunk of your car. And the items that were misplaced should be put back into their appropriate spots.

3. If you have any items that need to be repaired give yourself a three month deadline. If the items are not fixed within that three months, toss ’em!

4. The same goes for any items that you may have trouble getting rid of. Let’s say that there’s a vase that you like but haven’t used in a long time but you still really like it. Put it in a box and put it up in a closet, in the attic, or out in the garage for a year. If you haven’t taken it out to use it then it’ll be easier for you to throw away or give away once the year is up.

I hope that these easy tips help with any of your organization projects that you have going this summer and stay tuned for my August Closet Clean Out posts!

Convenient Uses for Mason Jars

I love mason jars! I think everyone on Pinterest loves mason jars as well. Recently I was browsing through some posts and came across Food Paradise’s blog and she was painting the inside of jars. I loved the look and normally I wouldn’t even attempt to try it but I thought I’d give it a shot because she made it look so easy.

I got the mason jars at Christmas Tree Shop for $.89/each and the acrylic paint was on sale at AC Moore 2 for $1 so I got a bunch of different colors. One of these small 2 ounce bottles of paint wold be enough for two mason jars.  Then all you have to do is put some paint in the jar add a couple drops of water and then just kind of wiggle it around until all the sides are completely covered.

Once you do that, you want to turn it upside down and let the excess paint drip out. I left mine upside down for about 20 minutes then sat it up right for 15 minutes or so then flipped upside down again for another 20 minutes. After that I just set it up and let it dry overnight.

After letting them dry overnight I sprayed them the next day with a clear cote matte finish acrylic sealer.

I got this at AC Moore also. It was $4.50 but I got it for $2.25 with a coupon. It’s definitely essential to keeping your jars looking nice and protected inside.

Then I put all my q-tips, cotton balls, cotton swabs, and makeup sponges in them and now they live on my bathroom counter!

The colors are great! I really like them. It’s like a little make over for the traditional mason jar. I wanted to use a mason jar for all my makeup brushes but there was too many so I got a small vase and filled the bottom with stones and now that’s on my vanity.

I also use mason jars to store my incense and to hold some pens and pencils.

Mason jars are perfect containers for homemade mod podge!

Mason jars are really cheap and have endless great storage possibilities. Decorating mason jars is also VERY easy and extremely inexpensive. If you’re like me, and not really the type to try a DIY kind of project, you at least need to try painting the inside of a couple mason jars. It’s so fun and gives color to places that may need it!

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Where do you use mason jars? Have any great ideas? Let me know! Leave me a comment or send me an e-mail at kate@coordinatedkate.com

Thank YOU!

Coordinated Kate’s first week on wordpress has been CRAZY to say the least! I’ve started several blogs before and I’ve never started one that had as big of a bang as this one. I’m getting so much love from my followers and random comment posters and I really appreciate it. I’m trying to answer all the emails I’m getting about wanting the template for the spreadsheets so if you haven’t gotten one yet, I promise you’ll be getting them shortly. I also made a note of everyone I’ve been emailing the templates to and when I publish the second part of the spreadsheet known as the ‘Yearly Budget Spreadsheet’ I’m going to automatically send it to all of you. I also want to thank She Makes Cents! She has such an amazing site and great information to share with everyone! She’s reblogged my posts not once but twice and really helped spread my information to a lot of her amazing followers, so I’m definitely grateful for that.

I promise there is more great information and creative ideas coming. So keep checking in!