You can now fill out a bucket list for both of these activities! Maybe I should have been cleaning but I decided it was more fun to create a bucket list printable ABOUT cleaning instead…. and once I made the Clean Home Bucket List, I couldn’t stop so I made another printable for all my creative ideas: the Crafty Bucket List.
Now that both bucket lists are created, it’s time to roll up the sleeves! Want to join me?
Why I like to use a list to get stuff done and organize ideas:
1. When I clearly define what I want to get done on paper, the tasks become more manageable and stop nagging my brain. I stop worrying about forgetting something.
2. I find it so very gratifying to check off items on a list. Seeing the checked off items helps me to feel productive and gives me a sense that I'm making progress.
3. These bucket lists are digital printables so I can print as many copies as I need. Priorities change? No problem! I just print a clean copy!
Do you like to make lists? Are you working on spring cleaning, deep cleaning or decluttering your home? What type of crafts do you like to do? Do you also have many creative ideas all at the same time?
I would love to hear from you in the comments! Thanks!
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As I was browsing Facebook the other day, I noticed a friend’s picture of her adorable daughter all excited about her first day of kindergarten. What?! How can it already be back to school time? We experienced record high temperatures of 108 in Portland last week and this week we are still in the 90’s. This heat wave definitely feels like summer! Well, I realized parents living in other parts of the country are already packing school lunches and wishing kids a happy school day. We still have a couple of weeks to go here in the Pacific Northwest before the kiddos head back but seeing my friend’s picture reminded me that it might be a good idea to start planning for a stress-free transition back to school.
Here is my quick back to school checklist for happy kids and a happy mom:
Purchase school supplies
I looked up to see if the school supply list was already posted on the school website and no way, it was! I printed two copies so each one of my kids could check off items and feel in charge. Before we left for the store, I checked if we still had any school supplies left from last year. To avoid any discussions about wanting vs. needing stuff in the middle of the store aisle, I made sure to set expectations with the kids on what we would definitely not need this year. While our school supply shopping still took forever and my head felt like it was spinning from kids excitedly showing me notebooks and backpacks and lunch boxes and….. all at the same time, I survived the trip and got the job done. Pfff!
When I talked with my mom about the experience, she told me I got “a cookie from my own dough” which is a Dutch expression that means “a taste of your own medicine”. It’s true. I loved shopping for school supplies as a kid!
Get important appointments scheduled
It is so much more difficult to schedule appointments when school is back in session. Between homework assignments, after school activities and other commitments, it can be so tricky to fit appointments into a busy schedule. It doesn’t always work out but I try to schedule our kids’ medical, dental and orthodontic appointments while we are still on summer break. If the timing doesn’t work out due to insurance requirements or spacing between appointments, I look for dates on the calendar when the kids have a teacher planning day or other no school day.
Plan after school activities for fall
Whether you are planning for child care after school or extracurricular activities, it helps to plan ahead. Does your child need new soccer cleats? Now may be the time to find them on sale! Do your kids’ activities overlap or fall on the same days? Are you planning to carpool with other parents? Time to figure out the weekly schedule!
Get our kids on a regular sleep schedule
I’m not always good about getting enough sleep myself but I am a big believer in our kids getting good sleep! Quality sleep makes such a big difference in their moods and everyone knows it’s important for learning. Our kids must have been growing a lot this summer because it seems that all they do right now is eat and sleep! They have been sleeping in really late so the plan is to start getting them back on a regular sleep schedule and waking them up earlier so the shock is not as great when that first day of school alarm bell rings!
This is a silly one maybe but besides a new haircut looking good for those first day of school pics, it is nice to start the school year without having to worry about haircuts for awhile! It’s one of those chores that takes quite a bit of time, but at least is easy to schedule. Much easier than doctor appointments or dental appointments! Those first few weeks of school are always crazy busy though, so you will be thankful when haircuts are checked off the list when school starts.
Mark important dates on the calendar
The calendar fills up quickly so it’s helpful to get important school dates on the calendar now. When are the teacher planning days? Any late openings or early release days? When are teacher-parent conferences? Will school host an open house evening? Getting these dates on the calendar helps to avoid scheduling conflicts which leads to more work on your part. Save yourself the headache of trying to frantically reschedule things at the last minute by getting organized now.
What helps your child transition back to school? What helps you to have a stress-free transition? Any other items on your checklist? I would love to hear from you in the comment section. If you find this back to school checklist helpful, please help other parents stay sane and share! Thank you!
P.S. Did you know I have an Etsy shop with bilingual and educational printables? Especially helpful for those parents with kids who are in a Spanish Immersion program, the bilingual printables can help your child to refresh their Spanish language skills before school starts. Click the button above to check them out!
Any new beginning, but especially a new year, can feel so refreshing and energizing. To me, it feels like a blank canvas with lots of opportunity for continued learning, growing, exploring and experiencing. I also seem to get an extra energy boost for decluttering and organizing after the busy month of December. It would be great if that feeling lasted awhile because our home can certainly use that…
I do love to spend time reflecting on the year past and what goals I have for the next year. This year, I determined that goal setting is an important skill for the kids to learn as well so I created a worksheet to put down our family goals. I wanted to share it with you as a free printable and hope you will enjoy using it with your family in your new year’s goal setting. This printable will help you to write down your reflections and goals in concrete terms or serve as a tool for discussion. The printable is a concise one pager but it would also be helpful to discuss with the kids how they plan on achieving their goals.
To download the free printable, please click on the image below. You will be able to print this family goal setting worksheet as a pdf file.
Good luck on your new year’s goal setting! I would love to hear about your experiences and feedback in the comments. If you like this printable, please share it with your friends or via the social media icons! Thank you so much for your continued support!
How are you doing on your holiday prep? Are you feeling well prepared to enjoy the holidays in a relaxed state of mind or are you feeling stressed rushing around to get everything done on time? December is such a busy month! Every year, I tell myself to start earlier but then the holidays come so quickly again... If you're like me, you will find yourself wrapping gifts late at night right before Christmas!
At moments like that, the last thing you need is finding that you are out of gift tags! After all the effort you put into finding meaningful gifts, you wouldn't want to write who the gift is for with a barely working pen found underneath a pile of your kids' toys and written straight onto the wrapping paper...
If you don't have the energy at that point to run to the store for more printed gift tags, I have another solution! I recently added a gift tag printable with my Polar Bears with Heart design to my etsy shop. These gift tags are super affordable as there is no limit to how many you can print. Plus, like I said, the best part is that you don't have to head out to the store again! The polar bear design works great for any holiday or celebration in winter, whether you celebrate a birthday, Christmas or Hanukkah.
To find this cute gift tag printable, head over to my etsy shop by clicking the yellow button. If you like my illustrations, I really appreciate it if you share with friends! Thank you so much!
Best Wishes for a Joyful and Peaceful Holiday Season!
Just a quick post from me tonight as life has been super busy during these last few days of the school year. Are you feeling it too? Yes, it’s true.... While I was chaperoning an all day field trip today, our kids will be on summer break starting Friday of next week! How did the school year go by so very fast?!
As you prepare for lots of family fun this summer, I just wanted to remind you I have a free printable The Anti-Boredom Kids Calendar to help you out on those days that the kiddos need a bit of inspiration on fun and creative activities to play.
Also, here are a few fun items to bring on your summer camping trips. From water bottles to playing cards and cool t-shirts to personalized string backpacks with your child's name, these camping themed items make great end of the school year gifts!
Our kids love the local library’s summer reading program. This tote bag is perfect for hauling books to and from the library and the stickers are great summer reading prizes if your child is keeping a reading log this summer. Smart feature: You can even fold up the tote bag with a snap closure when you are not using it. So handy!
Do you have any fun plans for the summer? I would love to hear about your family adventures in the comments below. Have a great summer!
As we approach the end of 2015, I’m once again amazed at how quickly this year has passed by. This is exactly the reason why it is important to take time to pause and reflect on the highlights of the year.
I wrote a list of prompts to help in this process and wanted to share it with you. While it can take a bit of time to reflect, I made this list short and to the point so you can fit it in your busy schedule and end up not skipping this important exercise! You will find that you can apply these prompts to your personal life as well as your work life.
Year-End Reflection Prompts:
Here is how I answered these prompts for my creative business:
As we close out the year and start a new one, I encourage you to find some time to look back and celebrate the highlights of 2015. I hope you find my list of prompts helpful. If you do, I would love it if you leave me a comment. I wish you a very Happy New Year! Thank you for your continued support!
Finding a meaningful gift for your family and friends is not always easy. To help you minimize the running around during such a fun but busy season and help make your shopping easier, I have created a collection in my zazzle store with some wonderful gift items for all ages.
What’s great about it?
Click on the image above to see the full collection in my zazzle store and get lots of gift ideas!
Thank you for your support! Happy Holidays!
You made it to Day 10 of the Declutter Game! Congrats!! I hope you found it just as helpful and motivating as I did!
It’s amazing how good it feels to clean out the clutter and create a home that is organized and neat. With the past year focused on healing from surgeries, this project was way beyond due for me! And if I’m honest, it’s still not done but I definitely made progress these past 10 days. In fact, I got rid of 101 items! From clothes I had not worn in a long time to books and magazines I had already read, I was able to donate a carload of stuff. Certainly more than I could have imagined when I started this declutter challenge.
The declutter game has helped me to put a focused short-term effort on creating a clutter free, serene living space. The best part is that with a more organized home, I won’t be wasting time anymore chasing around for lost items and I will have more time to create art!
I want to share a couple more reflections on these past 10 days:
Now the fun part…. Here are some random items I found these past 10 days hiding underneath the bed, beneath piles of stuff and in the back of drawers, spanning many year's worth of family activities, celebrations and holidays from Halloween to Valentine’s Day!
Thanks for playing along! Please leave a comment to share about your experience!
You made it to Day 5 of the 10 Day Declutter Game! Great job! Thank you for playing along!
Just wanted to check in with you to see how your decluttering is going and how it feels to get your home all neat and organized. If you are new here, here is my original post about the 10 day Declutter Game which comes with a free printable that you can print as many times as you need to get the whole family involved. Yes, you can definitely still join in. Please do!
Here are a few things I have discovered these past 5 days:
Here are a couple of images of my "purse, scarf and whatever" drawer. Not difficult to guess which picture was taken before and which one was taken after!
Please share what you have liked about this 10 Day decluttering game and leave a comment to share. Good luck with completing the decluttering game.
Only 5 more days to go!
These beloved books found a spot in our neighborhood's little free library. Hope someone else enjoys these good reads as much as I did!
I’m starting the 10 day declutter game today! I’m so excited to begin the decluttering process, especially now that I don’t have to do it alone! This project will be so much more fun doing it together with you. If you’re just reading this now, it’s not too late to join in! Here is my original post for more details:10 Day Declutter Game.
You may already be a pro at organizing and decluttering but if you’re like me, you may need an extra shove to get started. So here it is! Do these 3 things now:
Yeah! You have started decluttering and everyone knows starting is half the battle!
Please let me know how the decluttering process is going for you. I love hearing your tips and thoughts on what works and what doesn’t. Good luck!
Illustrations and nature inspired, handmade art that celebrates simple joys.