How To Stay Organized In 5 Easy Steps, Part I

Just kidding, there's nothing easy about staying organized. GETTING organized can be fun and invigorating (DOES IT SPARK JOY? NO? BURN IT WITH FIRE), but staying organized can be a real kick in the pants. I've learned just about every lesson in my life the hard way, so I'm taking the pain out of it for you and sharing my findings. YOU ARE SO VERY WELCOME. 

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1. Automate everything

Do you run a business or a blog or a household? Yes? DON'T WE ALL, OMG. And how many of us went to business school? Like, 2 of us, maybe. It's HARD WORK figuring this crap out on your own. So listen up: my best, hottest tip is to automate the hell out of everything you do. You'll have hours of your life back. So many hours.

If you find yourself writing the same email over and over again, write yourself a template (in your own voice) and just populate it with the few specific details each time. So much time saved. If you're a business or someone with a higher volume of emails to automate, I recommend MailChimp for this (plus you can do like a thousand other things with it, such as newsletters and cool graphics and easy drag and drop editing). MailChimp is free for most small businesses (until you get a really solid profitable base). In my business, I use Pixifi for almost all of my email automation, because it's powerful and amazing and I couldn't do business without it. More on Pixifi later. 

What else can you automate? Social media posts/shares, groceries, dinner, hair color, your wardrobe, pee breaks...ok, not that last one but I am patiently waiting for someone to invent this. 

Social media automation

  • Buffer. I just started using Buffer recently, so I can't give a full report yet, but the interface is so easy and you can set up schedules with the most opportune times to post to each platform. I'm totally on board to be in love with this app.

  • Tailwind. I've been using Tailwind for a year now and it's invaluable. It keeps my Instagram queue filled and my Pinterest account constantly sharing helpful content.

Grocery automation

I can't really believe we live in a world where I can automate my groceries, y'all. IT IS A GOOD TIME TO BE ALIVE, amiright? My favorite apps:

  • Walmart.Guys, I am a long time hater of all things Walmart. I could write a whole blog post ranting about it. But when they opened a neighborhood market next to my kids' schools and released their grocery pickup app, you best believe I changed my tune ruuuuuuuul fast. I can keep a running grocery list in the app, and add to it all week long as I think of things, or as we run out of them. When I'm ready, I schedule a pickup time and swing by on my way home from school drop off, and a smiling friendly person loads the groceries in my car while we jam out to 90's on 9. What could be better? Well, grocery delivery could be, and they do that too. But pickup is free and I'm there anyway. :)

  • Instacart. I've never used this, but I have friends who swear by it.

  • Shipt. Same as above.

Dinner

AUTOMATE YOUR DINNER. This is the chore I hate most - making dinner. It's so....constant and takes so much mental effort. I don't hate the cooking, I hate the planning and trying to figure out what ingredients we need for each thing. Such a time toilet. I will say that my husband is pretty kickass at this, and he is almost 100% in charge of this aspect of our home's functioning, so that's a huge relief. But meal delivery services are a godsend. Especially when I was adhering to a strictly vegan diet (I'm still solidly vegetarian and probably always will be, but I just missed cheeeeeeeese so much). Here are services that we've tried and loved:

  • Sunbasket.They have a great selection of plans for all kinds of dietary needs; vegan, GF, paleo, etc. The ingredients are all certified organic. The recipes are delicious and easy, and the thing that takes the most time is chopping veggies.

  • Hello Fresh.I think Hello Fresh has been my all around favorite service we've tried. The meals are truly quick to prepare, and the recipes have been consistently delicious. They don't offer the same range of dietary plans that Sunbasket does, which was problematic for the vegan phase.

  • Hungry Root. These boxes are so fun to get. They cover all three meals of the day, plus snacks, and every meal is under 500 calories. They offer the most flexibility in recipes, too, because they send a bunch of ingredients that could go together in a million different ways to create a range of different meals quickly.

Hair Color

Betcha this one took you by surprise, eh? No? OK, I'm just really behind the times then. But I'm in love with eSalon. As someone who is almost entirely gray, I have to color my hair religiously every 4-5 weeks. eSalon customizes a color specifically for your needs and hair texture and complexion, etc etc, and sends it to you like clockwork every month for 10 bucks a pop. Salon color once a month can be up to $150 or more (in my area, anyway). Um, yes please. 

Wardrobe

I know everyone and their mother in law has heard of Stitch Fix at this point, but y'all, they are seriously so great. Since the olden days when they first launched, they've adjusted their plan offerings to be more affordable, and added a huge range of brands (boutique and name brands) and styles. They ALSO (drumroll please) now offer kids' styling AND men's styling. It may or may not have changed my husband's life. They have a range of new ways to interact with your stylist to help pinpoint your style more exactly (an app with a "style shuffle" game, interactivity with your Pinterest boards and Instagram account, etc. I did a few rounds of Stitch Fix ages ago, and was happy but not THRILLED. This time around I have been beside myself with excitement - my Fixes have been spot on. 

That's it for automation - now I want to hear from YOU - what are your favorite ways to automate your life?? SHARE WITH THE CLASS and comment below!!

xoxoxo, 

Emily