Organizing Your Life to Reduce Stress

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Organizing your space is one of the most crucial ways of reducing stress. Having a proficient system to keep track of your appointments and papers can gradually reduce stress-influenced conditions like ulcers, heart disease, and depression.

According to a study by Psychological Science, staying organized can positively impact your eating habits. Learning how to stay organized is easy, but remaining organized is a different matter.

These tips will be helpful.

6 Tips on How to Stay Organized

Make Your Bed Immediately After Waking Up

Undoubtedly, making your bed improves your life in many ways. It might sound like a small matter, but making your bed every morning gives you a great sense of accomplishment. It makes you feel organized and ready to face the day. Spreading the bed is a two-minute task, but it will set the tone of the day. Small but mighty!

After a stressful day, all you want is to get to your bed. But it can be more stressful when you get to your room, and all you see is a messy space with clothes and shoes cluttered everywhere. This kind of situation will drop your mental state. Can you remember your stay in a hotel? You find a tidy room and your mood elevates right away, and you cannot wait to climb into a crisply made bed. Create the same setting and mood at home!


Decluttering is the key to an organizational system that helps in reducing stress. The idea of living uncluttered, simplified life with fewer items sounds attractive. Clearing out the clutter will leave you with fewer items: less debt, easy to clean, less stress, and more energy to focus on greater passions. Organizing your office or home will lift the weight off your shoulders and might inspire you to seamlessly iron your projects.

When you look around, you may find at least 15 items that you don’t need. It could be used pens, nonfunctional calculators, bottles of shampoo, and empty cheese cans. Declutter your wardrobe too by giving out clothes and shoes that you have not used for the last six months.

Plan Your Day the Night Before

If you don’t have a planning framework, you will always leave your house late or leave without everything you need. Waking up to an organized home is captivating and sets your mood right for the day. When you get back to your house in the evening, ensure you set everything ready for the next day.

Sort out your wardrobe and ensure you have all you need. Have a strategic place where you keep car keys and phone. You can also prepare breakfast at night to minimize the time wasted in the morning. Set the alarm to remind you of your appointments. It will help you start your morning in a relaxed and centered mood without rushing around.

Mike Tinnion
Learn to Say No

You should learn to set boundaries. This will significantly reduce stress by having limits and sticking to them. You don’t have to attend every party, serve on every committee, or participate in every activity. It’s time to lose the knee-jerk response of saying yes whenever someone asks you to attend an event or to do something.

You also don’t have to handle every issue that comes your way personally. You would rather say no than burden yourself with additional responsibility. Saying yes to everything will leave you overwhelmed and at the end, you will do a shoddy job.

Always Have a To-Do List

When it comes to a stress-free life, prioritization in organization is paramount. A to-do list helps you set your priorities and keep you focused. However, different lists work differently for each person. Therefore, do not be compelled to do what others do. You can create a weekly to-do list and then break up things to daily tasks.  Avoid making a long list.

Although your list can have easier tasks, don’t overburden yourself. Narrow down to important things and stick by your list. You can do other things only once you accomplish your daily tasks; for example, you can wait to return a friend’s phone call until after you finish clearing your inbox.

Keep Dishes Out of the Sink

A stack of dirty dishes is unappetizing and ugly. Create a routine of putting silverware and plates in the dishwasher immediately after eating. You can even wash them by hand and get them to the shelves to keep them from piling up.

These are just but a few tips that will help you stay organized to reduce stress. By following these ideas and doing them over and over will cement into a habit that will help you remain organized and lead a stress-free life!

My Dream Wedding

I’ve now been engaged for a little over six years and we are finally in the position to do something about it and finally get married. I’ve always thought about what I want from the wedding and have even changed my mind lots over the six years we have been engaged but now the time is probably much closer than before, here’s my current idea for a dream wedding…

The Guests

Now Steve and I both come from extremely large families. It just isn’t practical to invite everyone whilst also expecting to fit some of our friends in – after all, we haven’t seen some of our family in years! We have mostly decided upon immediate family (Jack and Olivia, our parents, siblings and grandparents) and the majority of our uncles and aunts (some will be unable to attend regardless due to distance or ill health). We will also invite the majority of our nieces and nephews (of which there are a few) and some of our cousins but there is no way we could have them all. It will be tough whittling down the list but it has to be done.

The ceremony

We are currently considering getting it done at our local registry office as neither of us are overly religious but the venue is actually still to be decided – it might be the registry office but it might not if we find somewhere absolutely perfect for us.

The flowers

I am lucky enough to have friends who are florists who I will call upon (and pay, of course!) to do my wedding flowers.

The catering

We haven’t yet decided upon a place for a reception yet but it is likely it’d be a venue in the village we live in. In our village we are also lucky enough to have a number of great food establishments who could cater for our wedding so we’d definitely be opting for one of those.

Beatriz Pérez Moya
The photography

I will be hiring a photographer – potentially my good friend Kaye who blogs at The Life and Styles of KLF whose photography journey I have followed from the beginning when we were at school together. However I also love it when friends and family take photos and share them. Wedding Photo Swap makes this so incredibly easy – you set up your own personalised space for your guests to add photos and you can have an unlimited number of albums so you can start from your hen and stag do’s if you so wish!
The app is super user friendly – you just invite your guests by email before the big day or you could have login details available on the tables at your event so they can add their pictures with ease whilst enjoying the day!

It’s a fab way to see your wedding photos from the point of view of your loved ones and the app saves them all in high resolution so you can download them and order prints of all the fantastic photos if that is what you want to do. It is available on the App Store and Android store so most phones will be able to download and use the app on the big day. I definitely feel like this will be something we use on our big day.

The wedding party

Finally, and perhaps the thing we debate over the most, is the wedding party. No matter what, Olivia and Jack will be involved – more than likely as a bridesmaid and a pageboy. Yet I am still debating upon who my maid of honour should be and Steve still isn’t sure on his best man although it is likely it will be his brother. We don’t want a massive wedding party but we also want to ensure that we are giving roles to the right people – it’s a difficult choice.

So that’s my ‘current’ dream wedding – who knows, it might even change a little bit more before we actually walk down the aisle. I was a 22 year old with a tiny baby when I got engaged, I’m now an almost 29 year old mum of two with lots of different tastes to back then so it’s little wonder my dream wedding has changed so much.

What would your dream wedding be like – or have you already had yours?


Smart Tips To Save Energy At Home

We’ve all heard the common ways that you can save energy at home; making sure your devices are switched off rather than on standby and investing in energy efficient appliances. However, there are some energy-saving tips that you might not have considered. Northern Powergrid, who can help with any electric connection around your home, have assembled this list of smart tips for saving energy that may surprise you…

Keep your fridge/ freezer well stocked

To ensure that your fridge and freezer aren’t using too much energy, it’s recommended that you keep them as full as possible, this means that they won’t be overworked. Additionally, if you have any empty shelves, it may be wise to downsize. If you decide to switch models, try to make sure that you choose an A++ model – these have been shown to save around £190 in total energy bills throughout their product lifetime.

Whether you decide to stick with your current model or invest in a new one, make sure that you defrost on a regular basis as this prevents ice buildup – causing increased energy expenditure. You should also clean any dust from around the condenser coils at the back of your fridge, as the dust buildup can lead to using yet more energy.

Be a smart cook

Cooking can use up a lot of energy and you could be using more than you need. When cooking vegetables or rice, remember to only use enough water to keep them covered on the hob and make sure that you use the correct size of pan– cooking a small meal in a large pan wastes energy as you have to wait longer to heat up the contents.

When baking in the oven, you can save on time by baking more than one meal at a time. Each shelf in your oven will be being heated, so you should make the most of the free space and save some meals for later to heat up in the microwave.

It’s sometimes even a good idea to swap your oven for a pressure cooker instead. Cooking chicken using a pressure cooker actually takes about half the time as it would to make the same meal in the oven.

Get smart when showering

You can save energy in the bathroom too, especially if you have a shower. You could start by investing in a more water-efficient shower head if your shower uses hot water from a tank or boiler, as opposed to it being electric. Doing this will mean that you can still enjoy a powerful shower but will reduce the amount of hot water that you are using. It has been calculated that you can shave up to £75 a year off your bill by using this handy tip!

No matter what type of shower you own, it is also recommended that you get a shower timer fitted. By reducing the time that you spend in the shower by just one minute per day, you could see a saving of £7 a year per person in your household.

Use your phone more efficiently at home

Did you know that you can buy plug sockets for around £20 which have been designed so that they can be switched on and off via your mobile?

These will definitely be handy if you suddenly remember you forgot to switch off your TV at the wall and have already left the house. By turning your gadgets and devices off at the plug instead of leaving them on standby, you can save an average of £30 a year for your household!

Get a smart thermostat

You could save up to £80 a year on energy bills simply by turning the heating down by one degree. Investing in a smart thermostat takes a lot of the hassle out of monitoring your household devices. Although these can sometimes come with a large price tag (with some devices costing a few hundred pounds), they could take up to a third off your heating bills long-term. This is because the devices learn how much time it takes to heat up your home and adjust your heating so that it comes on at the exact right time to heat up your home to your required temperature.

Smart thermostats are also designed so that you can control them via your mobile phone even when you aren’t at home – so you needn’t worry about coming in to a cold house.

Use a lower temperature when doing the washing

Your washing machine can also help you save energy. Around 90 percent of your washing machines energy use comes down to heating up the water, so you can help by washing your clothes at a lower temperature. Turning the temperature down from 30 ºC to 40 ºC can save you a third of the cost of running the cycle. Just remember to use a hot wash every now and again to keep your washing machine clean.

Reducing the amount of times you use your washing machine by just one cycle per week can save you £5 a year on your energy bills – which is something to think about the next time you fill up your washing machine to just half way!

You should also try not to try your clothes and garments on the radiator, as doing so means that your boiler will have to work harder than necessary.


Getting Our Garden Ready For Summer

Getting Our Garden Ready For Summer

If you saw my back garden right now, you’d be horrified. It needs some care and attention so bad but the problem is it keeps raining – the odd time we have had enough sunshine to do anything, Steve has been working (he’s currently helping my brother out at his work). It is on the to do list for this weekend if our gardener friend doesn’t come round however we do have a slight problem in that we don’t really have the necessary tools. We have a cheap lawnmower and a very temperamental strimmer which decides to just not work half the time. These were provided by the people we rent from but they’re useless and we don’t currently have the money to buy new tools when the ones supplied should really work.

However if you saw my front garden, you’d be impressed. Steve got really motivated (and a little frustrated) with our front garden this past weekend and decided it needed to finally properly be ready for summer. He used the cheap tools to mow down the grass and get rid of the stinging nettles. We’ve already said that when we eventually move out, we’ll be picking up some good quality but affordable tools from SGS, things we know will do the job properly.

 Annie Spratt

He’s also cut down the bush outside our front door – it grows wildly out of control so quickly, it’s so hard to keep on top of and is a haven for insects, especially ants. Its not nice for us to walk past let alone post workers, parcel delivery workers or anyone else who needs to walk up our path to have to walk past it so down it came. Now I can actually get some sunshine into my living room when I am sitting, working on the sofa like I am now.

Now that our front garden is ready for the summer, its time to get the back garden sorted. I’ll battle through the stinging nettles to get the temperamental strimmer out of the shed and get them cut down and gone. Whilst our back garden certainly isn’t perfect for kids (it goes down in a slope style fashion), it would still be nice for them to have somewhere they can go out and have a kickabout with a football or just somewhere I am happy to hang out washing without wishing I was somewhere else!

Hopefully my garden will soon be ready for summer but I do wish I had some better tools to do the job – I don’t think many people would be happy with strimmers and lawnmowers that decide to give up the ghost halfway through, would they? Is your garden ready for summer yet?


A Photoshoot In Bluebell Woods

A Photoshoot In Bluebell Woods

Photos by Emily Herbert | Captured Moments By Emah

We are very lucky to live in an absolutely beautiful village. Not only do we have a beautiful village green and so many other beautiful green spaces, we also have a wide variety of little bits of nature that are simply lovely to live near to and go and visit.

When one of my best friends Em talked about the beautiful bluebells and asked if she could take some photos of Olivia in the bluebell wood, how could I say no? We’ve been up there twice now (hence the different outfits in the pictures) and I think you’ll agree that Em is super talented. If you live in Hertfordshire, please do consider booking her in for a shoot, you won’t regret it!

Olivia is fairly good at taking direction but also easily distracted, haha! However she loves her Em and was a little sad the first day we took photos that we had to finish – so imagine how happy she was to do some more a few days later!

Now I know I am biased regarding the model but how gorgeous are these images? I adore them and really think that local people should be hitting Em up for her shoots – she has such affordable prices! Get in touch with her on her Facebook page for more information!