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Being Present in the Middle of May

Spring is in full swing now and all the events of the season are coming at us from every direction! Graduations, travel plans, spring performances, festivals, sports tournaments, and end-of-school year parties and events are filling our calendars and brain-space as we try to survive one of the most beautiful months in East Tennessee.

We’ve gathered a few tips to help you be present, enjoy these last couple of weeks and finish the month with success.

Take a break from social media

For the rest of the month, hit pause on scrolling through your social media feeds. There are lots of fun things to post about on your own page - be it your kids, a fun travel spot, a memorable gathering - so go for it! But create a personal rule about not looking at other’s lives for the rest of the month to help you focus more clearly on your own.

Be willing to say “no”

Do someone a favor, and say “no” to an event, volunteer opportunity, or extra appointment and allow someone else the chance to say “yes.” Many of us are natural-born helpers (Enneagram 2’s, you know who you are ; ) ), but we’ve got to allow others the opportunity to help out in the classroom, take some food to a friend, or offer to help with the neighborhood newsletter.

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Schedule (at least) a 30-minute window every day to unplug

Take some time each day to do something without your phone in reach or earshot. I know many of us rely on our phones for our business and to be available for our families, but we also need a break. Just putting it away for short windows to allow yourself to be fully present in some quiet space, especially in such a hectic month, can be very refreshing.

Try to get into bed 30 minutes earlier as often as possible

Sleep is imperative when our brains are in overload, and even if you can’t every night, choose an early bedtime as many times this month as you can. Find a magazine, book of poetry, or an easy read to allow your mind to unwind and lull yourself to a peaceful sleep.

Drink water

Don’t leave home without a full & refillable water bottle. With busy schedules and lots or running from one place to the next, it’s easy to let this simple habit go by the wayside. Plus the weather is moving towards summer, so as our bodies adjust to warmer temps, a little extra hydration is needed.

Lastly, enjoy the moments when you’re in them. This month will be gone before you know it, so hang in there, laugh when you can, hug those you love, and celebrate the milestones of all your people as they graduate, finish a sports season, or start a new adventure this spring.

Wherever you are - be all there.
— Jim Elliot
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Perfecting Your Pantry

Empty it out. 

- Discard all expired items (don't be embarrassed of what "vintage" items you may find!)
- Sort items into categories of similar items
- Throw away partially used open boxes of food

Sort into categories that work for you. 

- Group by meal (breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, desserts)
OR
- Group by type (grains, canned veggies, snacks, etc.)

Contain it all.

- Baskets, bins or containers
- Clear jars add visibility to how much of each item you have on hand (and are typically much prettier than the package the items came in
- Various sizes to fit each shelf space or specific item
- Personal preference: clear, all uniform containers, mix of different styles
- Use vertical space by incorporating stackable/multi-level storage (Two Tier Lazy Susan
- Wire baskets allow fruit/veggies to aerate (Decorative Wire Basket)

Here are a few ideas for containers:

Put it back in an intentionally neat way. 

- Items you use together- store near each other
- Items that you want your little ones to access- store on lower shelves
- Items you rarely use- store up high
- Items you use very regularly- store right at your eye sight level 

Enjoy a little gallery of some pretty pantries we've organized!

Tips to keep order in your pantry.

-Designate a place for a grocery list visible to everyone, so when an item runs out - you put it on the list right then! 
- Storing items with potential to spill in solid bottom containers will make clean up easier, in case of a mess. 
- Invest in labels (or create your own) for your pantry containers, to make sure everything stays in it's place. 
- Give your pantry a deep refresh each season (or monthly if you're able) by purging and rearranging according to what the current season requires. 
- Once a quarter, wipe clean each container to remove the crumbs or sticky handprints that have accumulated. 

Are you overwhelmed by the current chaos in your pantry?
We'd love to help. Give us a call today to schedule your free 30 minute in-home consultation.
865.245.9080