Marie Kondo

Marie Kondo

Hello, World.

Toward the end of fall semester, I started feeling like I had too much stuff. I think the feeling was exacerbated by also feeling like I didn’t have enough space to adequately store my stuff. Lack of closet space, lack of bins to put miscellaneous items, etc. all contributed to feeling really overwhelmed. Over the last few years, I’ve said I need to go through my closet but just haven’t made the time to do it. Continue reading “Marie Kondo”

See My Feature – Dorm Decorating Advice with Wayfair

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Hello, World!

I am so excited today because I get to share with you that I was featured in a blogger interview over on Wayfair’s blog. You know “Wayfair, you’ve got just what I need!” I was particularly excited about this feature because I love Wayfair, and a good portion of my apartment is furnished with Wayfair pieces! Anyway, Wayfair asked if I would like to be featured in a blogger interview where various college bloggers offered advice about making a dorm room a home. I decided to participate partially because of my love of Wayfair, but also because I felt I had expertise on the topic. I lived in the college dorms for four years, and decorated four rooms differently!

Here’s a sneak peek of my advice: “My No. 1 tip dorm room tip is to pick decorations that reflect your personality. Storage is important and I believe less is more in terms of packing, but having a room that really feels like yours is what will make you feel most at home in college. The easiest way to bring personality to a room is bringing your style out in the biggest items. This could mean bedding in a fun print or a classic hue, tons of throw pillows that each speaks to an aspect of the person’s life, photos on the desk, a great coffee set-up if caffeine is important, or a gallery wall above the bed. Home is a feeling much more than a place, so bringing out the feeling of home in a dorm room as best as you can is vital to being happy in the dorms!”

If you want to hear my full advice, be sure to check out the post!

Truly,
Callie leigh

Best Planners for School

Hello, World.

Back to school promotions and shopping is in full swing. I shared my favorite bags for returning to college recently, and today I wanted to share my favorite planners. When you go back to school, your planner essentially becomes your life. It’s where you track big assignments, plan events, and coordinate meetings. I always tell people, “If it’s not in my planner, it won’t happen,” because my planner is the place where all my things go. So, I gathered a little round up of the planners that I think the do the best job of juggling a lot, and tracking commitments easily.
planners for 2016
Planners are super important, so they have to be functional, but they can also be cute! The planner I use is the Passion Planner, which is just black leather (and I added a monogram!). Some of the planner pictured above, though, are so cute. I always want to buy seven planner whenever I first start shopping because there are so many fun options.

Lilly Pulitzer Planner | Kate Spade Planner | Ban.do Planner | Blue Planner | Kate Spade Planner | Vera Bradley Planner | Gold Foil Planner | Barnes and Noble Planner

One that’s not pictured, but that I really love, is the new A Beautiful Mess academic planner! SO SO cute! I’d get the floral print, if I didn’t already have a planner.

Truly,
Callie leigh

Effective Tote Packing For Class

Hello, World.

I went school supply shopping yesterday, and it got me thinking about the whole ordeal of school supplies. I told my dad while I was shopping that I’ve finally figured out how I like to organize my classes, my work, and my supplies. I’ve been in school for roughly fifteen years, which is most of my life, and I just recently decided how I like my school stuff organized best. Over Jan Term I used the system I used my senior year of high school, and I remembered why I love it so much. It’s clean, organized, and efficient. Anyway, with the new semester beginning for a lot of people, especially those who have Jan Term, I wanted to share my favorite tote options, as well as how to best pack said tote.
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Potterybarn’s Leather Tote // Monogrammed Longchamp // Vineyard Vines Tote // Vera Bradley // Longchamp tote // Kate Spade Tote

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In my tote or backpack, I am constantly carrying gum, headphones, a phone or laptop charger, and a flash drive because you really never know when you’re going to need any of these items. I also carry my laptop usually because I may need to pull up a file in class, or if I get out earlier from class and have an awkward waiting period until my next class I can get some work done, whether it’s finishing a paper, a daily response, or just researching and blogging. I also prefer rollerball pens, gel highlighters, and these Kate Spade pencils are adorable!! I place all loose material, such as the pens, pencils, highlighters, and flash drive, in a pencil pouch. As for note taking and paper organizing, I carry a binder per class, with dividers labeled “assignments,” “exams,” and “supplemental reading.” In the back pocket I place a legal pad because I simply prefer this method for note taking more than loose binder paper or notebooks. Over the years, I noticed that notebooks get too bulky and unorganized if I do not have a binder to put papers in, but only one binder for all my classes also gets confusing and hard to organize. Organization is key for being efficient and completing all tasks I have in a day, so this is the way I organize! How do you like to organize for school?

Truly,
Callie Leigh

Agendas in the New Year

Hello, World.

I go back to college on Sunday. It’s difficult for me to wrap my head around that fact. It feels like I just turned in my last paper, and headed home for the holidays yesterday. But alas, the sad truth of it is that I must return to early wake-up times, ridiculously late bedtimes, and homework come Sunday. Although, I will get to be with my friends, and I’ll be back in the Bay, which are both lovely, so I suppose it’s not too negative. In the spirit of the New Year, and new beginnings, I thought I would discuss agendas, or planners if you prefer. I’m an agenda nut when it comes to school. If it’s not in planner, it won’t happen. So that term paper due in five weeks assigned the first day of class? Immediately written down in my planner under both the date of the first day of class, and again the day it’s due, then highlighted in pink to show that it’s a deadline. Yes, I color code my planner. I have a type-A personality, and I’m organized to a point of ridiculousness, but I do NOT miss deadlines. Some people like to get a new planner every January, a symbolic fresh start. I am not one of those people, but I do use a planner. So, I thought I would share some great options for planners this January for those who are currently on the prowl for a great one! Image1. Etsy offers these great, compact planners that are decorative, and great for keeping yourself organized! 2. Kate Spade offers this adorable planner covered in strawberries. I know a lot of people who use her planners, and they all swear she provides the best, most organized planners. I’ve never personally used her planners, but I may next year! 3. Moleskin has great journals, and I have the book diary from them that allows me to chronicle all the books I read, and give them a review. Their planners are no different, and are great for getting more organized. They are a bit smaller if you are someone who doesn’t like bulky things in your bag! 4. This planner from Barnes and Noble is the planner I use. In high school I always used this brand, but the weekly version. This year I could only find the version that has a week on the left-hand side and a page of notes on the right-hand side. I don’t like the version I have this year as well, but it’s easier to incorporate my to-do lists and my homework all in one place. 5. Kate Spade does it again. This planner is a great wallet/planner combination. It’s a bit on the expensive side, but has two purposes!

Now, I thought I would share a page from my planner. People tell me I’m organized, so I thought I would share a few tips about how I stay organized during the semester, given that things get hectic. I have three extracurriculars that I’m involved in, and between those three things that take up a lot of my time and classes, my mind can get a bit jumbled. Having a really organized planner helps keep things moving, and my grades up. Image IMG_1430 When I start a planner, yellow means a task completed. So, when I write my homework assignment in on the day of class, after I’ve completed it, I highlight it in yellow to make sure I don’t think I still need to do it. All meetings, club activities, class information (such as a cancellation or room change), etc. are in blue with the date and time. All deadlines are pink. This assures that if I open my planner Sunday night, and see something in pink on my schedule, I can make sure that I’ve either completed or am near completion of that assignment. Also on my notes page are my to-day lists. Although all my homework is listed by class on the left-hand page, I make to-do lists of what I would accomplish on a perfect day in order of importance. This means that if it is Monday, and I still have an assignment due Tuesday, I will put that assignment first, and last would be any homework I can work ahead on, such as assignments for Wednesday or Friday. I also date to-do lists so that I know which days I did which things, this way when I get to the next day, I can look back and see what I accomplished.
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ImageMy agenda is my lifeline during the semester, and I would have some serious mental breakdowns if I didn’t utilize one. Most college students think that iPhone calendars are the best route to a successful academic career. I would have to disagree. At my college, cell phones are strictly forbidden, and so I usually spend the first ten to fifteen minutes of class inspecting my agenda, adding anything my professor announced at the beginning of class, any deadline changes, etc. My professors tend to change deadlines a lot, and I prefer to physically cross out the item, and rewrite the new deadline because it helps me remember versus waiting until after class to change it on my phone. I also have several friends text me for assignments, and I never answer them until i’ve double-checked my planner. I would hate to be responsible for telling someone our paper is 9 pages instead of 7 or 8. One page in college makes all the difference. Anyway, I hope this helps keep you organized in the New Year!

Truly,
Callie Leigh

College Packing 101

Hello, World.

I return to school in a few weeks, and honestly, this fact is a little weird to me. All summer I’ve been looking forward to returning to school and seeing my friends, but now I’m realizing that going back means leaving my friends from home and my family, which I’m not looking forward to, but alas, I’m excited to be back at school. Since Mitchell arrives late Saturday night (3 more days!!), I’m trying to finish packing everything except makeup, hair supplies, and clothing this week. I know that once he gets here I’m going to have zero interest in packing, so I’m organizing everything that needs to be packed and beginning to place it in some stale cardboard, plastic bins, and suitcases. There’s also the fact that all my college stuff is in the guest room, where he’ll be staying for a week. Anyway, as I’ve been packing, I’ve realized that I feel so much less stressed about the whole process than last year. But then again, I had a lot more to pack last year (minfridge, microwave, desk supplies, office supplies, etc). Thank the good Lord for storage units because without the one I currently have in the Bay Area, I think I’d be more stressed about packing. I learned a lot about what you actually need, what you actually use, and how to fit a ton of stuff in half of a room (and a room that is smaller than my bedroom at home, in which I am the only resident).

So what would I tell my freshman self about what and how to pack?

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1)   Do NOT follow the “suggested items” list at Bed, Bath, and Beyond item for item. While it is a great skeleton list to build your own list from, I feel it’s more beneficial to look at the list, or the hundreds of “college packing lists” on Pinterest, and circle items you currently have or that you do not have but will need, but make sure you’re only circling things you know you’re going to use. For example, if you are from Colorado, but are going to school in San Diego, maybe you should leave snow boots at home, and instead pack flip-flops. Chances are, those lists contain way too many things, and a lot of the stuff on them you will never use, and it will just sit in a dark corner of your dorm room until move-out day.

2)   Order your books online from your college bookstore, and check the option to pick them up from the campus store. This will reduce the amount of stuff you have to pack at home and travel to school with. I made the mistake of wanting my books early, and had them delivered to my house last year, and then realized I had to pack some 20 books in my luggage. Rookie mistake. Besides, I also learned that professors, unless otherwise indicated, don’t actually utilize your books until the second or third day of class.

3)   Sometimes a lot of little bags are easier to pack (and move-in) than a few giant suitcases. I’m one of those people that has a lot of odds and ends when it comes to things I bring to college, so it’s often hard for me to pack everything in one big suitcase. Also, since I drive a small car it’s easier to pack little bags, and shift things around to make it all fit than trying to jam a gigantic suitcase in my trunk. When moving in, if you have several small boxes, and you pack them according to a part of your room (i.e., bath stuff, bedding, desk items, clothing), then you can unpack box by box and clear out clutter quicker.

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4)Be mindful about how many clothes you will actually need. I have a bit of a…clothing issue, and I have way too many clothes, probably because I’m terrible at parting with clothing. I keep everything, even things I haven’t worn in years. So, when I went to school I took almost my entire closet, which was a mistake. Dorm rooms are small, and the storage is limited, so I had random items shoved in the back of drawers that I didn’t see and therefore didn’t wear. One way to combat this issue is by going through your closet a week or two before you leave, and weed out any clothes you don’t like or don’t wear anymore. Once your closet has only the clothes you love, it’s much easier to pack. When packing, limit items to a certain number. For example, only pack 2 sweatshirts for the beginning of fall semester, and if you decide you need more once the weather gets colder, have your parents ship them to you. Also, if you’re close to home leave all winter-only clothes at home. You can easily exchange your summer/early fall clothes for you winter clothes when the time comes. This will allow you to get rid of clothes you won’t wear for a few months, and replace them with cold-weather necessities.

5)   Whoever invented Space Bags was a genius. Space bags make packing bedding, towels, your robe, and clothing SO much easier. Bedding is probably going to be your bulkiest item when packing, but space bags make packing bedding more manageable since they shrink it down. I figured out that it’s even easy to put everything in a space bag, and just carry the space bag into your dorm to unpack, without putting it in a suitcase or anything.

6)   If you’re taking a car to campus, or have a free day to make a trip with the family, try to only pack what you absolutely have to bring from home (clothing, etc.), and buy the rest once you arrive at school. This is beneficial because, going back to that list you’re going to make, some of things on it may depend on room layout and storage. So, if you aren’t sure if an over-the-door shoe storage gadget is going to work, don’t buy it until you move in and can see what kind of closet door you have. This method will save you a lot of money because it ensures that you won’t buy things you don’t need or things that won’t actually work given the setup of your dorm room.

7)   Make sure you have a mug. Now I know I have a serious addiction to mugs, but I really do think having a single mug your freshman year is really important. The way I look at it is, everyone drinks in college, whether it’s water to rehydrate after working out, coffee during those late night study sessions, or wine on the weekends, people drink something. So, having a mug is great! You could also invite people on your floor over for coffee or something, and that is a great way to meet people. In my dorm, we had Tea and Cookies every Wednesday, so everyone would bring their mugs, take a study or lounge break, and hangout together over tea and freshly baked cookies. It was one of my favorite traditions, and also a great way to get to know people my freshman year.

So there you have it, seven packing lessons I learned from my first year of college. I hope you learned something, and I hope you’re excited for you first year (or second, or third, or fourth)! Is there anything you’ve learned about packing for college that really helped you?

Truly,

Callie Leigh