A Typical Tuesday – The Importance of Routines

Routines feel good to people at any age.

Routines feel good to people at any age.

A Typical Tuesday

Many people have a hard time giving definition to what a “normal” day would look like and although each of us lead very different lives, this is one example of a typical Tuesday.  The relevance of this day-example is to show how a little bit of effort each day can keep most people’s homes in good condition.

A Typical Tuesday

Morning Home Routine:
6:30 am Out of bed, brush teeth, get dressed and make bed
6:40 am Unload dish washer, make coffee, pack lunches, feed pets, prepare breakfast
7:00 am Relax with coffee and enjoy the calm
7:15 am Wake children and everyone eats breakfast
7:45 am Load dishwasher, sweep floor
7:50 am Supervise children getting ready – including preparing backpacks
8:05 am Take kids to school


Morning Work Routine:
8:30 am Work on most important project
9:45 am Check email, social media, and administrative work
10:00 am Work on second most important project
11:15 am Check email, social media, and administrative work


Mid-day Routine:
11:30 am Make and eat lunch, load dishwasher
12:00 pm Exercise or do house/yard work
12:45 pm Shower and get ready


Afternoon Work Routine:
1:00 pm Work on third most important project
2:00 pm Make another cup of coffee, check email, social media, and administrative work
2:15 pm Wrap up projects for the day
2:30 pm End-of-day routine for work: clear desk, set agenda for next day, have everything ready for tomorrow


After-Work Errand Routine:
2:45 pm Pick up kids from school
3:05 pm Run errands to grocery store, post office, dry cleaner, etc.


Evening Home Routine:
4:00 pm Return home and sort and shred mail, put away groceries, scan and shred receipts, unload lunchboxes and other items from backpack, load lunchbox items into dishwasher
4:05 pm Spend time with kids
5:20 pm Put a load of laundry into washer.
5:30 pm Make dinner and get lunches ready for tomorrow, everyone eats dinner
6:30 pm Load dishwasher, run dishwasher, sweep floor
6:35 pm Move clothes to dryer. Everyone does 20 to 30 minutes of general house clean up with special focus on bathrooms. (Mondays – kitchen and dining room; Wednesdays – bedrooms; Thursdays – living rooms; Fridays – remaining spaces like hallways, entryways, and garages; Sundays – meal planning.)
7:00 pm Spend time with family
8:00 pm Bath and bedtime routine begins
8:30 pm Fold clothes, get self ready for bed and feed pets
8:45 pm Hang out with husband or personal growth work
10:30 pm Nighty night!

Finally, try your best to put things away after use and have a permanent storage space for everything you own. These two simple actions can aid significantly in keeping your home uncluttered and organized.

Have a Neat day!

Jennifer Snyder, Certified Professional OrganizerÒ

Neat as a Pin Organizing Experts


Photo credit: miamidentist.com

How To Clip and Organize Coupons

Are Coupons Worth It?

Are Coupons Worth It?

I have said before that paper itself is not what haunts us but what it represents.  Coupons are no exception.  In fact, they are actually more powerful because we see them as valuable dollars in our pockets.  I have been in more than one home with coupons (expired nonetheless) scattered across the floor, in every room.  We feel that we need to do something with them but lack the time, energy, or know-how.  The time and energy are a discussion for another day, but here is the Know-How!

  1.  Make your list. Regardless of the type of where you plan to shop, know what you are going to purchase.  Write it down or add to a phone app but know what you need.  This will give you the added armor to go to battle with all of the marketing offensives you will face upon arrival.  If you buy something you do not need it’s not a good deal, no matter how good the “deal”. 
  2. Date your list.  We are dating our list so that we know what we bought and when.  Hopefully your list is more official than scribbled on the inside of an empty cereal box or on the back of a Sonic receipt.  We are going to keep these lists in a dedicated file folder.  This will be your first line of defense when clipping coupons as you can easily go back and see how long it has been since you purchased toothpaste or corn meal.   Remember: if you don’t need it don’t buy it.
  3. Go through your coupons envelopes to locate coupons for items on your list.  The key here is to establish the list before looking through the coupons.  Doing it the other way around might result in buying a container of baby powder (and you don’t have a baby) that you intend to give to the day care center down the street.  Unless you give regularly to this establishment, one container of powder is going to be far more stress than it is worth, even if you did save 10Ë.

When you clip or print your coupons, store them in a series of plain white paper envelopes.  Don’t over-think this.  For my beloved OCD readers, it will be ok.  We are going to write on the left side of each envelope very general categories: produce, frozen foods, pet supplies, personal care, etc.  You can also sort by expiration date, which is my personal preference.  This will eliminate the forgotten and just expired coupons from cluttering up your system.

What is that, you say?  The paper envelopes will get old and wear out?  Precisely.  If you discover that your coupon source never has coupons for produce, then the envelope can easily be recycled without much guilt.  They can be replaced as needed although they should not go with you to the store.  If it isn’t on your list, you aren’t buying it, right?

For restaurant coupons, keep them either in your car or your wallet.  Make a note on your calendar the restaurants for which you have coupons.  Although they are tucked away, you want them where they can easily be recalled.

Happy Saving and Have a Neat Day!

Jennifer Snyder, CPOÒ

Neat as a Pin Organizing Experts


Photo Credit: Flickr

Creating More Time In Your Day


We are all given the same number of minutes in a day, every day.  No one gets any more than anyone else so how we use those precious minutes is one of the most important decisions we make each day.  Today, I am going to share some ways for you to actually create more time in your day by doing a few little things just a little differently.  You will surely be amazed.

 Mind Your TV Time

We all watch something on TV, whether it is shows, news or the weather.  For every 60 minutes of TV time 20 minutes is commercials.  If you love to watch television, consider using a DVR or TiVo to record them so you can save 20 minutes by fast-forwarding through commercials.

 Turn Off Push Notifications

Push Notifications, whether they are email receipt notifications or Facebook comments are intended to interrupt you.  When you are focused on a task, these thoughtful interruptions are going to derail your focus and slow you down.  Check emails at specific times of the day and notify everyone that a phone call is required for something urgent.

 Make a ToDo List and Prioritize

It is amazing how much you can get done when you know exactly what you have to do.  Document the tasks to be completed at night before going to bed or leaving the office.  Take the time to prioritize what is most important (not the most entertaining) and do those first.  Make sure your tasks are not too large – should be able to complete in one day.

 Avoid Multitasking

When you are focused on too many things, it is the least desirable that suffer.  Unfortunately it is the least desirable tasks that are most important (think cleaning the bathroom).  Focus on one thing at a time doing the shortest first saving big tasks for last.  Also, if you don’t think you have enough time to finish that big project, break it down into small pieces.  80% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

Remember that you are the master of your own time and never sacrifice sleep to be productive as that will hurt much more than help.

Have a Neat day!

Jennifer Snyder

Certified Professional Organizer

Neat as a Pin Organizing Experts


Photo Credit: The Vintaquarian

The Problem With Pinterest

Form over function or function over form?

Form over function or function over form?

The Problem with Pinterest

Where did Pinterest come from?  It is a beautiful and wonderful world of fashion, decorating, cooking and of course, organizing.  Technology has the power to change our world and our perceptions one byte at a time, so what has Pinterest done to us?

Pinterest has added to our growing list of unfinished projects.  Almost every Pinner has a To Do board or a DIY board.  These are lovely crafts and repurposing projects for us to do.  My question is, do you REALLY have the time to do it?  Even if you did, you are spending it browsing photos on the site instead.  I personally have lost entire WEEKENDS on Pinterest; time normally reserved for spending time with my family.

More than getting us further behind and therefore even more disappointed in ourselves from lack of time management and unfinished projects; Pinterest has severely altered what we expect “organized” to look like.  We see pantries that are monochromatic, pristine closets, and desks that are just too cute to be functional.  Here it is folks, they aren’t real!  They are staged areas solely for the purpose of a great photo.  You do not and should not live your life in a photo.

People that I meet are always interested in what my house is like.  “I bet it is completely organized!” they say.  The answer is “sort of”.  I know where things are but we don’t have much.  I have three sons: 5, 15, and 18; two giant dogs, my husband and myself in a house measuring almost 1100 square feet.  Did I mention we only have one bathroom?  We do it.  Clutter is not an option.  Excess is not an option.  Does my house look like something on Pinterest?  Sort of.  I have some finished projects but function overrules form every time.  My point is, LIVE in your home.  Sometimes a pair of sneakers left in the family room is a blessing, just ask the mother that has lost a child.  Sometimes a pile of laundry is simply a reminder that you spent a Saturday at the zoo instead of in the laundry room.

Be flexible and go with it.  Above all else, be reasonable.  If it works for you, it works.  If it isn’t working for you, let’s talk, until then enjoy the beautiful photos.

Have a Neat day!

Jennifer Snyder

Certified Professional Organizer


Facebook & Pinterest: Neat as a Pin Organizing Experts

Twitter: @neatasapin

Photo credit:  countryliving.com

Gifts Needs Homes Too


Happy New Year!

Now, let’s talk about those wonderful presents we got for Christmas. Did you get a new sweater? Bathrobe? Another shirt? Candles? Books? What about the kids? Clothes, books and of course toys…Oh the toys! Christmas morning is so magical and fun!


Now we have to do something with ALL.THE.STUFF.


Back the truck up just one minute. Did she just say put it all away?

That is exactly what I said and no, I do not mean throwing it into the craft room or garage and let it all fend for itself. Those toys just like to party, no way will they put themselves away. Remember we are fighting the war against clutter, and you CAN have the upper hand here. This is how we do it.

One in, One out! Easy, right? Take that new robe and hang it where your old one use to live. Take the old one and add it to your donation station. (You DO have a donation station, right?) I totally understand that your old robe is still perfectly good with a lot of life left in it…just not for you. This really is the ideal time to part with it because nobody wants to buy a tattered old robe at the thrift store – donate it while there is still some use left in it. You just made someone’s day a whole lot nicer my friend!! Now doesn’t that feel good? It’s nice to share.

Remember what I always say…
Only keep what makes you happy!

Let’s review: One sweater in, one sweater out, five toys in, five toys out. Now you’re getting the idea. You are now winning the clutter war. You are WINNING! Clutter has no power over you. It is going to be a wonderfully organized year. Stick around, we are just getting started!

Have a Neat day!
Jennifer Snyder
Neat as a Pin Organizing Experts

Daily Gratitude

The Smallest Things Create The Greatest Joy

The Smallest Things Create The Greatest Joy

As 2013 winds down and our schedules speed up, I would like to encourage you to take a Daily Gratitude challenge. I get it, your life is already so full that adding something else to the mix is unfathomable. With all of tragedies in our world, we should be thankful for the people and things in our life we take for granted.

In the Daily Gratitude Challenge, the simple act of focusing, each day, on just a handful of things that you are thankful for can make all of the difference and help the entire holiday season be more enjoyable. Instead of getting bogged down by the must-dos, we get lifted up by all the little things that make this time of year (and life itself) so enjoyable.

Why not decide to create the habit of daily gratitude starting today? Here are some ways to do it:

• Keep a gratitude journal and jot down your daily thanks each night before bed. Your journal doesn’t have to be fancy—a simple spiral notebook will work just great! (And you may already have one lying around.) You can also keep a gratitude journal on your computer, if that’s more your speed.

• If you love to take photos, consider creating a small photo album with photos of things you’re grateful for.

• Find a friend and do a daily gratitude exchange via email or text. Having a buddy helps keep you accountable!

However you choose to practice it, just remember that the best gift you can give your loved ones this holiday season is your own joy and happiness. Daily gratitude is a terrific way to create joy and happiness any time of the year.

Have a Neat day!
Jennifer Snyder, Certified Professional Organizer
Neat as a Pin Organizing Experts

Photo Credit: bloglovin.com

Holidays With Intention


Like it or not, the holidays are officially upon us and, like so many things, we all feel differently about everything that entails. Regardless of how you feel about the holidays, it is the time of the year when we are all running at full speed. To make the most of this Most Wonderful Time of the Year we need to slow down and be intentional about how we spend our time and money. This means doing only the things that are important to us and our family and eliminating the To-Do’s that are not any personal joy. That means, for me, watching the fun Christmas shows with my kids and not trying to make hand-made Christmas cards.

To be intentional about anything first requires a plan. Ask your family and yourself what is most important to each of them and work from there. I have always wrapped the gifts for my husband and boys in their own paper pattern. By doing this I do not have to tag or bow these gifts simply because my guys don’t care about that. Last year, I decided to buy all craft gift bags and green tissue paper and all of the gifts – for everyone – were wrapped this way. The week before Christmas my husband shared how sad it made him not to have his own paper. My boys agreed so I then had to re-wrap all of their gifts. I never dreamed this would be so meaningful to them, but it is.

Once you know what is most important, plan around those things. Add these to your calendar. If looking at Christmas lights is a favorite of one of your children, set a date to do it. Once the important things are in place, everything can be discretionary.

Decide up front what you are going to cut out. Send cards at another time of the year. I have a friend that sends cards out on their wedding anniversary. Those cards get way more attention than if it were one of a hundred holiday cards received in December. It is not necessary to actually do the baking to send hand-baked cookies to teachers. You can buy homemade cookies from a boutique bakery or even a local college student. You have options, you just have to plan.
Having opened the door to buying what you could make, make a budget and stay with it. Know how much you are going to spend and stick to it. I set a budget for each family member. I ask my children if they prefer few, more pricey gifts or a lot of smaller gifts to open. They each get the same amount of money spent regardless of what they choose.

Know who you need to buy for. I like to keep a spreadsheet (all year long) of gift ideas and can then indicate once they have been purchased. This helps me keep track of my spending and make sure no one is overlooked.
Finally, make time for yourself. Give yourself the gift of an afternoon at the spa or at least a few minutes on the patio at Starbucks with a good book. Keep in mind that you cannot do and be all that you want to everyone else if you can do and be that for yourself.

Here’s to Intentional Holidays and Have a Neat Day!

Jennifer Snyder
Certified Professional Organizer
Neat as a Pin Organizing Experts, Owner

Photo Credits: Daria Gilmore