Simple Laundry Solution for Winter Gear & $100 Winner

{NOTE: The winner of the $100 organization contest is announced at the bottom of this post!}


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Tonight I had an epiphany.

My family went sledding after work. Afterward my husband suggested that we go back inside through the basement instead of the kitchen. As in, “Let’s not track in wet snowy clothes all over the kitchen floor.” Brilliant.

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Then we took it a step further. The washing machine isn’t far from the basement entrance so we dumped our wet clothes directly into the machine and turned it on.

No mess in the kitchen. Boots and coats drying downstairs out of the way. Snow clothes are already clean.

So simple. So perfect.

I could also do this with swimwear in the summertime. Or muddy clothes in the spring. Why, oh why have we lived here for nearly 10 years before thinking of this?!

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Would it be going too far if I have everyone start keeping a clean pair of PJs on top of the dryer and just use the basement door after work, too? Come home, toss clothes in the washing machine, put on pajamas. I think I may give it a try.

How do you simplify your clothing & laundry situation?

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Day 24 of 31 Days of Simple Organization.

 Winner Announcement!

The winner of this month’s $100 organizing contest is Lara from Oklahoma! Congratulations, Lara! And a HUGE thank you to Grape Vine Studies for sponsoring this fabulous giveaway! Go here to see all of the amazing before & after photos.

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The Absolute Best Business & Finance Books for Moms

Fear gripped our hearts as we held hands and tried to figure out what we were going to do. Without a dime in savings, my husband and I had both lost our jobs that afternoon. We’d celebrated my 20th birthday just weeks before and I was due to deliver our first baby in less than two months.

With no job prospects in sight, we made a rapid decision to open our own business right away instead of waiting several years like we’d originally planned.

In order to succeed though, we needed to learn a lot about finances. And I do mean a lot. From budgeting to business ownership to handling endless taxes, we quickly learned that we were never going to succeed financially unless we became great managers of our money.

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Those principles are true for everyone, not just business owners: we can either learn to control our money or our money will forever control us. And since those of us who struggle with keeping organized homes often struggle with keeping our finances organized, I want to share these fabulous resources that can help you get your financial clutter under control.

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

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Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover completely changed the way my husband and I view our finances. Like Ramsey says, we can either tell our money where to go or we can wonder where it went. I wish I could give a copy of this book to every person in America, but unfortunately I can’t, so head to your local library and borrow a copy of The Total Money Makeover.

Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job and Your Dream Job by Jon Acuff

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Jon Acuff asks, “What if you could go for broke without going broke? What if you could start today? What if you already have everything you need to begin?”

If you’re in a job you dislike or want to start a career that you love, then you will be able to learn from this incredibly inspiring, gut-wrenchingly honest book. Quitter is about using your current job position, regardless of where you’re working, to help propel you forward in life or your career.

Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work That Matters by Jon Acuff

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Do you want to do something amazing but are terrified to even try? Or maybe you’ve attempted achieving your dream but fear held you back from giving it your all. If so, then Start would be a fabulous book to read.

Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey

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Just like a coach wouldn’t be without a playbook, a business owner shouldn’t be without a solid business manual. Entreleadership is that manual. From hiring (and firing) employees to making financial decisions and working towards business growth, this book covers just about everything a business owner needs to know in order to have a successful and thriving career.

My husband and I read much of Entreleadership together a couple of years ago and his company hasn’t been the same since (in a good way!).

Balanced by Tricia Goyer

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In Balanced, Tricia Goyer shows moms how they can work from home and be present, engaged parents who thoroughly love and enjoy their children.

Tricia didn’t just stop at giving moms permission to work without guilt – she also offered practical tips for how to balance time wisely, how to keep the kids happy while getting through a busy work day, and how to disengage from work when it’s time to put the laptop away.

How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul by Ruth Soukup

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If you’re a blogger, I highly recommend reading How to Blog for Profit! I read this book several months ago and immediately started implementing a few of Ruth’s tips. My readership multiplied tremendously within just the first few days and has been growing steadily ever since.

Do you have any favorite money management books? Which book on this list do you want to read?

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Inspiring Time Management Must-Reads

One thing I’ve noticed with my live declutter series is that many women want to clean their homes but they’re not sure how to fit organization in with their already busy schedules. I completely relate – it is not easy to wear all of the Mom hats AND add decluttering to the list!

That’s why I decided to put together this book list for you – while there is no magic button, the following books were really helpful to me when I needed to figure out how to make time for organization, and I think they’ll help you, too!

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Tell Your Time by Amy Lynn Andrews

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Short and sweet, this is a perfect starter book if you’re new to the time-management genre. Like Amy Lynn Andrews says, “What if you could change your life in 30 pages? And for less than the price of a fancy coffee?” Yes, yes, yes! Buy it now and read it today!

168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam

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Laura tells her readers, “The way I see it, anything you do once a week happens enough to be important to you. This book is about where the time really goes, and how we can all use our time better.”

If you feel like you’re just too busy and don’t know what to do about it, then you must, must, must read this book! 168 Hours truly revolutionized the way I view my time and I haven’t been the same since (in a good way!).

28 Days to Timeliness: Tips and Confessions from a Semi-Reformed Late Person by Davonne Parks

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This book is perfect for anyone who struggles with timeliness. Since I’m a semi-reformed late person, I get it – being on time is tough!

Complete with tips, quotes, embarrassing confessions, and funny success stories (pajama church, anyone?!),  28 Days to Timeliness is a refreshing balance between informative and inspiring, and will provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to begin your own journey towards timeliness.

{Special Note: 28 Days to Timeliness will go back up to $4.99 on February 1st, so get it now while it’s on sale!}

21 Days to A More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine

21daysmoredisciplineThis book is like having a personal trainer for self discipline! I recommend 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life for anyone who wants to develop more discipline in their own life, for those who find themselves caught up in the comparison trap, or for people who (like me!) tend to come up with a fantastic plan, start out at 100 mph, then crash and burn after two days.

The simple chapters are very doable and wonderfully motivating to help the reader make a lasting change.

101 Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms by Davonne Parks.

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From beauty routines to meal preparation to cleaning and laundry, you’ll find tips in this book to simplify your daily approach. And, whether you’re a car-pooling working mom or a stay-at-home homeschooling mom, 101 Time-Saving Tips includes tips that are sure to benefit you, the busy mom.

Best of all, for a limited time only, 101 Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms is FREE to my blog subscribers! Go here to sign up.

What fabulous time management books have I missed? Let us know in the comments! (Bloggers, feel free to leave a link to your own related book reviews in the comments.)


My 3 Favorite Housekeeping Books

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It’s no major secret that I used to be pretty messy. It’s also not a secret that sometimes I’m still messy, because I’m a work in progress.

I have, however, come a long way in the housekeeping department. As-in, we can have company over without me driving my family crazy while I frantically clean. And when I fall behind, I can catch back up in a relatively short amount of time.

There are a few books that were invaluable to me as I learned how to keep my home clean. Here are my three favorites:

The Messies Manual: A Complete Guide to Bringing Order & Beauty to Your Home by Sandra Felton

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The Messies Manual was the first book that helped me unbury my own home from clutter. This interesting and funny read really digs into the heart of why we keep things, it talks about different types of messy people (I’m a perfectionist messy!) and, without being overwhelming, The Messies Manual thoroughly discusses how to declutter and organize the home.

31 Days to Clean: Having a Martha House the Mary Way by Sarah Mae

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I never thought the state of my home had anything to do with Christianity – until I read 31 Days to Clean.

While reading this book, I realized that drowning in clutter was having a negative effect on my spiritual life. In this very raw, convicting, and inspiring book, Sarah Mae didn’t stop at creating a vision for a clean home – each day’s reading is also packed with encouragement that includes a simple Mary (heart-related) challenge and a Martha (specific cleaning) task.

Chaos to Clutter Free: 16 Realistic Steps to an Organized Home by Davonne Parks

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Why am I listing my own book as one of my favorite housekeeping reads? Because this book was my heart’s cry. I used to feel as if I were drowning in clutter and couldn’t find my way out.

Our many possessions no longer felt like a blessing to my family, but a burden. I’d desperately think, There has to be a better way, but I felt unable to find that better way. So after I learned how to create – and maintain – an organized home, I wanted to help others find that freedom as well.

From inspirational quotes, to tips and encouragement, to simple maintenance plans and embarrassing stories, Chaos to Clutter-Free is a simple and realistic guide for restoring (or finding) order in your home.

What fabulous housekeeping books have I missed? Let us know in the comments! (Bloggers, feel free to leave a link to your own related book reviews.)