10 Things to Do on a Snowy Evening

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  1. Give your boots some love. Good maintenance is key in extending the life of your expensive footwear. Shower some extra attention on your boots every once in awhile by wiping them free of snow and salt residue and cleaning with a leather cleaner and/or a spray protector. Store boots in a well-ventilated area with low foot traffic and wait 24 hours before wearing again. (For more tips on this process, click here.)
  2. Start a scrapbook. A creative project that organizes your memorabilia can be both productive and fun and it’s a great way to store your memories in a way that they’re accessible and can be treasured more often. Not into scrapbooking? Create a shadow box, organize a photo album, or create a book online instead.
  3. Dream of summer and plan your garden. Just like a hairdresser needs to plan out a cut before he or she even picks up the scissors, those of us who are fortunate to have green spaces must do advance planning in order to enjoy them. Determine what needs to be done and what improvements you’d like to make to your yard or garden and plan accordingly. Do your research and plan a budget to avoid any unexpected expenses.
  4. Make a Someday/Maybe list. I think wintertime is the perfect time to sit indoors and daydream, don’t you? Take an evening, grab a journal, pour yourself a glass of wine and make your list- books to read, movies to see, music to listen to, restaurants to try, countries to visit, certifications to be earned. The possibilities are endless.
  5. Put together a Command Central binder. If you haven’t done so already, you must. The start of a new year is a perfect excuse to get your organizing system under control and I think there’s no better way to manage it than by using one of these. (I explain how to put one together here.)
  6. Have you done a Yearly Review yet? It’s not too late. Figure out how to do one here and get a firm grasp of what you really want for the year up ahead.
  7. Get your shine on. After all of the glitz and glamour of those holiday parties it’s a good idea to clean and store jewelry pieces carefully for the next round of special occasions. Put on a great playlist, grab your tools and give those goods some elbow grease!
  8. Thank the ones you love. I still believe in the power of a well-written thank you note. It’s a great way to keep in touch and shows people your appreciation and care. Didn’t send out Christmas cards? Sending out non-denominational New Years cards also seems to have become a thing. There’s no reason not to correspond now!
  9. Organize those tax receipts now. Don’t wait until the weather is nicer and you actually want to go outside. Use this period of hibernation as a productive way to get things done!
  10. Pick a drawer, any drawer. That’s it. Dump it, clean it, organize it and make a vow to yourself that you will never, ever let it get disorganized again (or at the very least for another year, until you have another snowy evening on which to organize it again).

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I’ve shared with you some of the ways that I spend my snowy evenings- now I’m interested in hearing how you spend yours! Drop me a line at keepingbusyb@gmail.com or contribute by commenting below. Are you looking for other productive boredom busters? I’ve got plenty of thoughts on organizing here. Looking for something a little more creative? When I’m not busying myself with some project or another I’m reading or whipping up something in the kitchen. Read all about it here and here.

Take Control of Your Life with a Command Central Binder

KBB_colorful_calendar_even_closelierHonest-to-goodness, one of the best organizing strategies that I have used in my life has been the implementation of what’s commonly known among the organizing bloggers as the “Command Central Binder”. It has become one of the most important tools in my workflow system and if I didn’t swear by it, I wouldn’t be sharing mine with y’all today.

I have to give credit where credit is due: this is not an original idea. The idea of a Command Central binder was first introduced to me when I started receiving the Simplify 101 newsletter. (I don’t know anyone who works there I swear! I just troll the Internet for organizing resources because I have a serious addiction to that kind of thing.)

The reason why the Command Central binder is so useful that it is a collection tool designed to allow you more control over the various aspects of your life by keeping all information relevant to you stored in one convenient place. At first I struggled with the idea of creating one because it seemed to be geared towards the busy mother looking to manage multiple schedules, papers, records, tasks and other important information in a place that was at her fingertips. And it is that. But it’s also so much more.

I took the concept one step further and realized I could take the basic principles behind the Command Central binder and adopt them to my own workflow needs. I have a section for all of my to-do lists involving some of the personal and professional projects that I’m working on right now and another section that contains my monthly budget and all of my financial worksheets. The sections don’t have to be strictly utilitarian, either. There’s a section in mine that’s simply for all of books I want to read (the ones that aren’t already logged on my Goodreads profile) and yet another section that tracks future projects and wish lists that I’ve appropriately labeled “Wishin’ and Hopin’”

The key to a making a Command Central binder that works for you is to personalize it as much as you possibly can. It took me of years of tweaking my formula to arrive at the sections that worked for me but because I don’t have children I instead used my Command Central binder as a place to keep track of anything that has to do with my personal and professional well-being and growth. Some of the sections included are the ones I’ve described above; there are a few others as well. I’ll spare you the gory details.

Anything that you need to refer to on a constant basis goes here. Any tools to help your routines, schedules and workflow management belong here as well. Use some of my examples or create your own. Consider including: calendars, school lunch menus, extra-curricular and volunteer schedules, account information and passwords, contacts, chore charts, pantry inventories, budgets, wish lists, to-do lists, membership information, someday/maybe tasks…the list is virtually endless. Once you’ve figured out which pieces of information are most relevant to you, make sure they’re organized in a way that’s easy to use. Refer back to your Command Central binder and revise often to meet your changing needs. I hope you find yours as useful as I’ve found mine.

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Have you adopted a Command Central binder into your organizing system? Comment below and share what worked for you. Or drop me a line at keepingbusyb@gmail.com and I’ll try to include it an upcoming post. Still looking for other ways to get organized? Click here to read more about some of the methods I’ve found useful.