How To Create Organizing Habits

Our first-ever decluttering challenge is complete!  Over 700 people signed up, and we are simply falling all over ourselves… who knew that decluttering was so exciting?!  Just kidding, we’ve ALWAYS thought that.

Our challenge was 20 decluttering tasks for 20 days, all to be completed in 20 minutes or less… in honor of 2020, of course.  

If you were one of our challenge takers, we salute you!  We hope you’re feeling accomplished and ready to take on the year ahead.  And if you missed it, never fear: you can grab the downloadable calendar and task list here and start it absolutely any day that you want. 

Ultimately, our goal was not only for our amazing community to do the challenge but to also start CREATING HABITS, as this is such an integral aspect of living an organized life.  

If you’re in the process of organizing, streamlining or systemizing your own spaces and lives, we have a few suggestions to help you START and also STAY organized: 

COMMIT TO A TIMELINE

It can be easier to create a new habit if you commit to a temporary amount of time at first — and be specific!  Instead of: “I’m going to maintain a tidy home,” consider “I’m going to spend 30 minutes tidying, three times a week.”

Try committing yourself to this new habit for at least a month.  That 3-4 week mark can get you through the initial conditioning phase and help you sustain the change.

Photo by Content Pixie on Unsplash

STAY FOCUSED

We’re sad to say it, but multitasking isn’t always a positive thing.  Our brains are simply not wired to give true focus to multiple items at the exact same time.  And even more sadly, switching our focus from one task to the next rapidly depletes all those necessary brain nutrients. 

So, farewell multitasking!

What we recommend instead, if your lifestyle allows, is to set a timer and stay solely focused on the habit or system that you’re working to create.  Which leads us to our next tip… 

START SMALL

Set yourself up to win!  As you begin, smaller tasks and chunks of time will feel easier to get through.  

Of course, you can build up to the bigger changes you want to make — but starting with 10, 15, or 30-minute tasks will likely feel more feasible to fit into your day at the outset.  

And you deserve that yummy hit of dopamine when you get to cross a task off your list!

GO EASY ON YOURSELF

This tip is probably on every suggestion list we’ve ever created… and for a good reason.  

We spend enough of our time wishing we’d done better or feeling like we’ve failed, and we’re not on board for it.  Ultimately, it’s not productive or motivational for us.   

So on that note, take a moment right now to congratulate yourself.  It doesn’t matter what it’s for — just give yourself a little praise.  You deserve it!

You may not meet your new goals every day.  Give yourself a break if you miss a day or a step.  Just start fresh the next day, no strings attached. 

Let’s commit to feeling good about ourselves, our new systems and the new year!

So, what are the new habits you’re creating for yourself in 2020? 


You Might Not Need A New Year’s Resolution

Dear friends,

We’re 8 days into 2020 and, as always, conversations with our friends and loved ones seem to be all about resolutions.  We even have our own decluttering challenge going on this month.  

But we want to offer you this important and loving reminder: it’s okay not to have a resolution.  

This might be a season where you just need to slow down.  What’s practical for one person may not be possible for another.  If you’re torn between taking on a challenge or taking a much-needed break, choose what feels best for YOU.  

The start of a new year is a great time to plan a little care for ourselves.  Often times, by the end of the winter holiday season, we’ve inadvertently bumped ourselves to the very bottom of our own to-do lists.  And let’s face it, that’s not sustainable!

In support of those of you who need a break or a little self-love in this new decade, we’ve put together a few self-care suggestions that our team members are working to implement in our own lives this year. 

1. Get Outside

We’ve all had those long work days that start and end in the darkness.  And while the days are still short (thanks a lot, January) those days can weigh even more heavily, making it challenging to spend any time outdoors getting some desperately needed fresh air.  

We’re committed to snagging at least a few minutes of time outside each day.  That might mean taking a brisk walk in the morning or after dinner, eating lunch outside or walking to the store instead of driving, when our schedules will allow. 

If you, too, are  wanting to spend a little more time in the fresh air, remember that even five minutes counts!

2. Get Better Sleep

Please note that this is different from “get more sleep,” which is also great but not always as feasible.  This year, we’ve decided to focus on better sleep.  We admit that the things we often do at night are not necessarily conducive to good sleep, i.e. eating late dinners, answering emails and planning social media posts in bed.  

Instead, we’re hoping to add some more routine to our sleeping.  We’d like to try setting a timer for after-hours work, so that we don’t end up falling down a rabbit hole of tasks.  We hope to turn off anything digital at least 30 minutes before we plan to close our eyes.  

Good sleep, we can’t wait for you! 

Photo by Swabdesign on Unsplash

3. No More Must-Do’s

I must exercise.  I must drink more water.  I must eat healthy meals. I must stop…

It’s so much harder to be motivated when we feel like we have to do things.  Of course exercising is great for us, but shaming ourselves for not doing it isn’t that helpful. 

So this year, we’re trying to quiet the “must do, should do” voice in our heads.  Instead, we’re channeling the “want to, trying to.

4. Do What Feels Good

Sometimes lives and schedules and finances don’t allow for many self-care activities.  But most of us do have 10 or 15 minutes a day that we can spare.  

It’s so easy to fill that time with the endless to-do list (there will always be something to do) or mindless screen scrolling when the to-do list is just too overwhelming.  

This year, we’re hoping to use those pockets of time for something that truly feels good, like reading a few pages of a book we love, having a cup of tea in silence, listening to a favorite podcast, writing down our thoughts, sending someone a sweet note, stretching, laughing…  

Our list could go on and on, and your list may look totally different than ours.  Whatever it looks like for you, we’re ALL FOR IT. We’d love to learn what you’re planning or not planning for yourself this year.  Please share with us in the comments below.  

Wishing a beautiful new year (and decade) to you all!

Photo by Stella Rose on Unsplash

Organizing Yourself + Your Business: Productivity = Efficiency

Some links in this post may contain affiliates.  For more information, please read our disclosure agreement.

We each have three children (that's six kids between us!)  And as our families are growing, our time feels incredibly precious and VALUABLE.  We aim to be as productive as possible with the time that we have to work each day.  

We're sharing the basic and necessary steps that we use every day to keep ourselves and our business organized.


If you want even more content about how to organize your business, grab our downloadable – Practically Perfect's Favorite Apps + Products For Your Home-Based Business –here!  


BE SELF-AWARE

It's imperative to determine exactly what kind of environment you need in order to focus on projects.  And that looks different to each person. Like Joni, do you need to have everything in your workspace put away so that it does not overwhelm you?  Or like Kitt, do you like to have things NEATLY accessible so that you won’t become frustrated by the time that you will spend grabbing what you need?  

Consider that time of day can impact your success, as well.  Are you a night-owl like Joni or an early morning person like Kitt?  

Having an awareness of your working style will set you up for a far more productive work day.

Photo by Unsplash – Renata Adrienn

PREP + PREPARE

Spend a few minutes at the beginning of each day prepping yourself for the day ahead.  Create a to-do list. Arrange them by highest priority to lowest priority. Anything that can't be accomplished can simply be moved to the next work day.

Also, consider visual aids.  A visual wall calendar, a desktop checklist, a physical planner — all of these items can help you SEE exactly what needs to be done, which can really help you to stay on task.

DE-CLUTTER

Your workspace does not necessarily need to be perfectly organized, but you shouldn’t have a cluttered desk area.  Take a few minutes at the end of every day to place everything back in its designated space. (Don't have designated spaces?  Desktop organizers, file sorters and drawer inserts help tremendously!)

STREAMLINE

We aim to streamline things and NOT reinvent the wheel.  

For instance, we found ourselves writing many similar emails for our business.  After spending much crafting individual correspondences, we finally created templates (that allow for personalization) for each process and streamlined that workflow.  Much time has been saved!

Think about areas that you can streamline – invoicing, emailing, social media planning and more.  If you can accomplish a month's worth of something in a day, how might that change what each day looks like for you?

DELEGATE

It can feel so easy to play every role in the company.  But is that going to be as successful or satisfying as you'd like it to be?

Build a team of people that you can enlist to help you achieve your goals.  Learn to feel good about letting go of tasks and projects that don't suit your skillset.

Photo by Unsplash – Marcelo Leal

FOCUS ON TIMING

Try setting a timer to complete smaller tasks.  This might sound overly simplistic, but sometimes when you designate a certain amount of time for yourself that you know will be undisturbed, even just 5 or 10 of your time can be shockingly productive.  

And remember to celebrate whatever amount you accomplish in that time.  

ENGAGE IN SELF CARE

A basic but absolutely NECESSARY step to organizing ourselves and our business is taking care of ourselves.

It's so easy to have a never-ending workday — checking emails as soon as you wake up, responding on the weekends, continuing work in bed — because being the boss equals all the responsibility.

But Joni and I both know that we're less productive if we're hungry/tired/sick/insert-your-preferred-adjective-here.  So we remind each other to take breaks and have snacks. We have learned to deeply prioritize our family and personal time and to make sure we get a real weekend as often as possible.

THE TAKEAWAY

You are the master of your time!  And space! And workday! Start paying attention to what's not working for you so that you can make changes.  Create a system that works for you, and then stick to it!

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How To Spring Clean Your Beauty Routine

As we prepare to deep clean our spaces and tackle those back corners of our cabinets and closets, we’re reminded of another area that could use some serious spring cleaning TLC — our beauty products.

It’s easy to forget that our favorite makeup and skincare collections also need a refresh every now and then, for both organizational maintenance and for our health!  We’ve asked our lovely friend and Beautycounter consultant Amy Gallagher to help shed some light on how to (spring) clean our favorite and most often used beauty products to keep things feeling fresh, clean + Practically Perfect!  

Take it away, Amy…

XOXO
Joni + Kitt

Photo by Unsplash – Diana Kavedra

Like Practically Perfect #momtrepreneurs Joni and Kitt, I’m also a mother of three.  The health and safety of my family is my number one priority.

In addition to energizing our home organization for the year, spring cleaning is also a time for us to reevaluate the products that we’re using in our home.  And as a Beautycounter consultant, skincare and makeup are among the first categories that I think to clean up and out.

So let’s get started on my tips for your beauty care spring cleaning!

CHECK EXPIRATION DATES

This one is an easy one to miss!  Each skincare and beauty product has a little expiration symbol on the back – pictured below:

Treat your beauty products like you would your pantry goods… follow that expiration date!  If you have a substantial collection, consider creating a spreadsheet for yourself — or simply label each product with the date you opened it.  Remember that what you put IN your body is just as important as what you put ON your body.

DEEP CLEAN

Makeup brushes, wands and sponges all need weekly sanitization.  You can use a clean dish soap like Better Life (EWG.org has a full list of clean products!) or any of Beautycounter’s liquid washes. Make sure to lay them flat to dry.

Spring cleaning season is also a great time to wipe down your bags and containers.  Give everything in this area of your home a little bit of love!

CONSIDER + RECONSIDER

It’s easy to get into a groove of either (a) buying the same products again and again or (b) sampling a ton of new products each time you need to restock.

Use this time to reflect on the products that you have and consider which ones you really love. Is there anything you’re using solely out of habit? Anything that you’re keeping as a back-up, even though your skin doesn’t respond extremely well to it?

Recommit to buying only what you love and need.  Bonus = this will make your spring cleaning even easier in future years!

REMOVE THE WORST OFFENDERS

If you’re struggling to let go of some beauty products, changing how you view them may help. The ingredients in the products that we use really do affect our bodies!

I’m extremely excited about our Beautycounter Clean Swap Campaign, which is encouraging people to consider the ingredients in their makeup and skincare collections (check out our Never List).

I always want my clients to have safe, high performing products so that they can feel confident in their daily routine.  So here’s my list of the top offenders in skincare and makeup, along with a sampling of a few of my favorite options, if you’re ready to switch it up!

Eye Creams

Many creams are made with preservatives, which can potentially release formaldehyde and cause your immune system to not perform as it should. Get an eye cream that your eyes will truly love.

Face Masks

Traditional facial masks can be formulated with PEGs, which are widely used in cosmetics as thickeners or solvents.  Your masks should have nothing to hide! Check this one out instead!

Body Lotions

Skin is your body’s largest organ.  It is porous and absorbs whatever you put on it.  So it makes sense that body lotions offer the most exposure to potentially harmful ingredients. Let your skin breathe easy.

Lipstick

Since lipstick is applied on your mouth, it’s no surprise that we ingest what we put on.  Keep that in mind the next time you pick the perfect shade!

Mascara

Carbon black, a pigment used in mascaras to create the deep black color, has been linked to a range of adverse health effects. Find a mascara that you feel good about, inside and out!

Sunscreen

With summer fast approaching, think about all the time you’ll spend outside and get prepared! My must-haves are the Countersun line (which Kitt’s kids will be slathered in this all summer long!) and my everyday SPF Moisturizer (Joni never leaves the house without applying this to her face + neck!)

I hope you’re feeling empowered to kickstart your spring cleaning and tackle your beauty products.  Just a few quick steps can help you to feel good about your system and your collection overall.

(SPRING) CLEAN YOUR ROUTINE

Want to see all the products Beautycounter has to offer?  Find them here. And when you use this website to make a purchase, you’ll also be getting a free gift, so make sure you’re shopping with me, Amy Gallagher.  Here’s to #betterbeauty!

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