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Some of My Favourite Organizational Products

LifestyleAmanda Walter | Maple Alps5 Comments

In January of 2018, I shared that one of my favorite books I read in 2017 was The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I went full force tidying out every category in my home and enjoyed every minute of it. I have always enjoyed tidying and cleaning and organizing. Seriously, as a preteen and teenager I was (and still am) a sucker for a good home interiors magazine with an organizational article! Cleaning and reorganizing my room was the most fun I would have on a weekend. I get bored and like to freshen things up sometimes.

Some of My Favourite Organizational Products | www.maplealps.com

This year, with the whole explosion of the KonMari method with the show (has anyone out there seen it yet?), I thought I might share a few (just a few!) of my favorite organizational tools. I’ve used these and I love them for their functionality as well as their style.

 
 

I’ve always gravitated toward products that help me organize every room in my home - especially when they look nice! Honestly, I probably shop more for home things than clothes or toiletries for myself! I just love it when my surroundings are clean and orderly and organized and free of clutter. It clears the mind and does wonders for creativity!

I love how these items help me keep my things in order and seen from my pantry to my dresser drawers!

Related: Essentials For Your Plant Based Kitchen

 
declutter guide free download | www.maplealps.com
 
 

What are some of your favorite organizational tools and products?


 

My Evening Routine

LifestyleAmanda Walter | Maple Alps1 Comment

Earlier this year, I shared some tips for a great morning routines, and as you guessed it, I'm here again to talk about more! This time, I'm just going to share my evening routine. 

There is something about a morning/evening routine that makes one feel accomplished and at peace. It also adds the structure that I need.

Tips for a great evening routine | www.maplealps.com

Tidy Up

This is honestly just so that my morning will go much smoother. I don't think that tripping over articles and coming out to a sink brimming with dishes is the best start to a day, do you? Making sure the kitchen is cleaned and that everything is off the floor is the absolute least I can do to help my morning go well.

Get Ready for the Next Day

Not only does this also contribute to a smooth day, it helps me think about what I will need, and kind of acts as closure for the day's events. I like to pack my lunch for the next day, and even my bag gets packed and gets put by the door. I even choose and set out my outfit. This prevents me from running around in the morning (and waking up my husband!) while looking for the items I need. Although, I forgot my socks this morning and had to sneak back into our bedroom to get a pair. Oops!

Look At To-Do List

I don't know about you, but if I don't look at my to-do list before bed, I wake up (often in the middle of the night) stressed out about what is or what isn't on that list. Looking at it gives me a sort of game plan for the next day and I feel more at ease and in control. Even if the next day does not go as planned, it's alright because I already got the sleep I needed the night before!

Turn Off Electronics

I try to turn off my electronics an hour before I actually sleep. It helps me wind down, and gives me a really good excuse to takle the books and magazines stacked on my nightside table. Honestly, besides the whole electronic screen keeps you awake thing, it's nice to not have time disappear because I was mindlessly scrolling on my phone. I like to keep my phone out of my bedroom. 

Related: What Happened When I Created a Phone-Free Zone

The Basics

Obviously, I brush my teeth, floss, and wash my face! A warm shower helps me sleep, and I cannot go to sleep without getting the day off my skin! Just thinking about everything that gets on me during my day grosses me out, and making sure I get it all off puts my mind at ease (and makes my skin happy).

Pray

I like to end the day the same way I start it out - in conversation with God! I love to fall asleep in Jesus’ arms.


Related: 7 Ways to Increase Your Prayer Life

 

 

What is your favourite part of your evening routine?


 

 

5 Steps to Simplifying Your Closet

LifestyleAmanda Walter | Maple AlpsComment

I used to be overwhelmed with the amount of clothing I owned and I didn't even know it. When I moved away from home and found that living out of two suitcases was actually possible, it changed my life - especially when it came to my wardrobe.

Simplifying my closet has been a lifelong project for me, but for you, it doesn’t have to be. It took me years to let go of the clothing that didn’t flatter me or make me feel good (and to realize that, hey, I don’t actually need to keep it just because I bought it!). I am finally at the point where I can see every single article of clothing at any given time, and I know exactly what I own, and know that everything I have fits me well and suits me.

Today, I want to share with you a basic guide to help you begin with your clothing purging process.

5 Steps to Simplifying Your Closet | www.maplealps.com
 

 

 

 


It's amazing what kind of relief fills your heart when you open the doors to a simplified closet. Why don't you take a chance and try it out?


 

How to Host on a Budget

Lifestyle, MoneyAmanda Walter | Maple Alps4 Comments

After publishing my mini hospitality series and this post here, I was inspired to share some more tips and ideas on the topic of hosting and hospitality. Budget is always something that I try to be mindful of because if I’m not, money starts disappearing. Well, not really, but you get what I’m trying to say.

I am passionate about the topic of hospitality and I so wish it was something that was practiced more! Gathering together is such an encouraging thing - even for an introvert like myself. It’s so important to cultivate the culture or fellowship, and this is one way that is often overlooked in this age of technology.

Today, I want to share some more practical tips about hosting others, but this time on the topic of finances. Is it possible to have guests over and stay within your budget? Absolutely!

How to Host on a Budget | www.maplealps.com

Choose simple meals you are familiar with

When you’re hosting someone intentionally, what food you serve is not as important as how you serve and encourage hearts. Choose a simple, healthy meal that will not leave anyone feeling too heavy. Also, choose a meal you are comfortable cooking - nights you are hosting are not the nights you should experiment with a new dish. You might end up tossing it and going back to something easy anyway, so save your pennies on a simple meal! Some of my favourites are:

Roasted Garlic Pasta, Green Beans, Bread, and a Salad!

Fruit for dessert with some easy cookies or homemade ice cream

 

Meal plan accordingly

There is no need to go overboard with the amount of food you serve. Plan accordingly for your amount of guests (and you!).

 

Set a Budget and Shop smart

Without setting a budget, there will be no boundaries to the amount you spend. That being said, there is no reason to go overboard or over your budget when picking up groceries. Check for coupons, and don’t go shopping when you’re hungry! Also, check your pantry before you leave!

 

Related: How Not to Go Broke From Buying Groceries

 

Pick flowers from your own garden

While not necessary, flowers are nice to have to create a welcoming environment. Depending on the season, rather than buying flowers, clip some from your own garden (or sit outside and enjoy the garden!). You don’t have to buy expensive blooms to have them appreciated.

 

Use cloth napkins

We always host with cloth napkins because we don’t buy paper ones in an effort to reduce our waste production. But the cloth version helps with the budget too! They don’t cost much extra to wash because we just throw them in with the rest of the kitchen linens anyway, and they can be used over and over again! It’s a great plus that they’re pretty! Just make sure they’re nice and clean before giving them to a guest.

 

Consider a potluck if appropriate

If there is no way you can accommodate everyone, or there is an extremely large group coming, consider asking for help! Make it a potluck so no one feels awkward - where everyone brings their favourite side or dish. You can even assign items so you have more control over the menu. It’s always fun to sample different dishes, and most people don’t mind bringing something to share!


 


How do you host on a budget? Any tips?


 

 

Unique Ways To Minimize Your Waste This Holiday Season

LifestyleAmanda Walter | Maple AlpsComment

There is, unfortunately, a lot of waste associated with the holidays. Between gifts, packaging and even food waste and packaging, Americans throw away an average of 25% more trash during this season. 

I know for me growing up, Christmas morning was filled with tons of wrapping paper and such. It was normal to grab a huge garbage bag after opening all of our gifts and stuffing as much as we could in there. Then it would go out to the curb for the garbage man to pick up! And this was normal. 

The good news is that there are a lot of creative ways to make that less. The change can begin with you!

Unique Ways To Minimize Your Waste This Holiday Season | www.maplealps.com

Food

Buy Less - Be Realistic: Plan Carefully so that you know exactly how much to buy. Realistically, not everyone will be eating a full serving of anything if there are a ton of choices, so consider making fewer dishes, or smaller amounts of each option.

Go Small: Use smaller plates and encourage self-serve to reduce unwanted food waste. There is nothing worse than seeing half a plate of food being thrown out!

Use Leftovers: Eat those leftovers, or if you still have a ton of untouched food, consider donating it.

Compost Food Scraps: I think this is pretty straightforward. 

Unique Ways To Minimize Your Waste This Holiday Season | www.maplealps.com

Gifts

Thoughtful Gift Giving: Practice the art of thoughtful gift giving. Don't give others something they won't be able to use, or give just something just because you feel obligated to. 

Give Experiences instead of Things That Can Be Wrapped. This is a great thing that can potentially lead to giving the gift of quality time! Gift things like tickets to something or plan a fun scavenger hunt. Be creative!

Be Creative with Wrapping: Skip conventional wrapping paper that you can find ample amounts of in the landfills every year. Wrap gifts with things such as scarves or newspaper. Try a kitchen towel or even a mason jar for kitchen gifts!

Find gifts that have less packaging: Edible gifts are great for this!

Consider skipping the Christmas Card: I love getting Christmas cards, and I love sending them as well. If you absolutely must send them, choose recyclable paper options. I know that they go in the trash and it's the thought that counts, but it is something to think about. 

Unique Ways To Minimize Your Waste This Holiday Season | www.maplealps.com

Decor

Recycle Your Christmas Tree: It's really a myth that plastic trees are better for the environment, as the material used is generally not good for the landfills. If gettng a tree, opt for a real tree if possible. Do some research about recycling trees in your area - many places turn your used Christmas Tree into mulch or wood chips to be used again. We like to use ours in the summer as firewood in our pit...

Be minimalistic with your decor. Yes, it's adorable to have reindeer chair covers and streamers, but do consider that less is more when it comes to Christmas decor. 

 
 

Being mindful of your waste production doesn't have to be hard over the holiday season! Practice all year, and you'll be a natural by the time the holidays roll through! How do you minimize your waste over the holidays?