Sunday, July 31, 2016

Coordinated Dorm Decor by Color Scheme with Room 422

One of my favorite parts about going back to school is getting the chance to decorate my room. Although I am no longer in a dorm room decorating my apartment bedroom is equally as exciting as is the thought of decorating our new apartment's living room (more to come on that later). I have always LOVED interior design and used to solely play the SIMS because I could build and decorate their houses. My mom and I were recently talking to someone at a party when she started telling a story about me that I don't remember but sounded far too accurate. After we moved into our house (mind you  I was 4) she left my brother and I in our living room to play and came back to me playing "interior decorator." She said that I would be telling my brother that "this chair would look good in that corner but could also be used in the bedroom" and other statements of that nature. Needless to say, I love going up and down aisles of home decor, scrolling through pinterest, and of course designing a new space. I think that the best part about decorating your dorm room is that you are able to personalize it with what you like and what you think it will feel most like home for you. When doing this, it is important however, to keep in mind what your roommate wants as well. While it's definitely not imperative for your stuff to be identical making sure it doesn't clash is always nice. 

Freshman year my roommate and I both had ideas for what we wanted and were able to achieve a look that encompassed those ideas without being overwhelming to the eyes at first glance. I recently discovered my new favorite site for all of your dorm decor dreams, enter Room 422. Room 422 is filled with bright colors, practical designs, and pieces that you will be able to use long after you lock up that dorm room door for the last time. The best part about their pieces are the fact that there are so many different patterns and colors that you could easily communicate with your roommate to agree on a color and personalize your space with Room 422 to make it look cohesive but still individual.

I have spent more hours than I care to admit brainstorming all of the different ways Room 422's pieces could be combined to create an effortless and cohesive dorm room and thought it would be fun to share how I put together different fabrics and colors to create a room that portrays you and your roommates personalities while still being picture perfect! All of these products can be purchased on Room 422's site where I found these photos! 

So those aren't all of the colors Room 422 offers but they are a few of my favorites offered. I'd love to hear which colors and patterns are your favorite! I would also love to know whether or not you are (or did) planning to match or coordinate with your roommate! 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Recruitment Outfit Inspiration

After sharing my experience and recruitment tips with y'all earlier this week so many of y'all seemed interested in a little bit of inspiration when it comes to outfits for sorority recruitment. After scrolling through countless sites inventory of dresses to save you from the chore of online shopping (ha) I've found a number of pieces that would be perfect for the occasion! Since each school goes through recruitment in a little bit of a different sequence I decided to only include outfit inspiration for the third round (at Furman that's called sisterhood) and preference tear. That's not to say however, that these pieces couldn't be worn on other days depending on how open house and philanthropy rounds work at your specific school! 

I also did something a bit different than usual for this post and you can shop these pieces by directly clicking on them in the image (woohoo). Hopefully this makes looking into purchasing these pieces a bit easier for y'all but if it doesn't work I've included where to purchase the pieces beneath the photo as per usual. I had so much fun making this for y'all since I've never had to prepare outfits for recruitment during the late summer. Because Furman has delayed recruitment I was shopping for pieces that would look cute but still keep me warm come recruitment in January. 

So now for what you came for… my outfit inspiration for third round and pref!

Now for some options perfect for preference tea:

striped // bow dress // drop waist ruffle dress // black ruffle OTS
hydrangea blue lace // layered peach // pink and navy shift // pale pink
blush & black // ruffle bell sleeved dress // white lace // pink bow open sleeves
pink collar cut out // black OTS // sea foam flowy // blue high neck

As promised at the end of my tip and experience post I am answering some of y'alls questions about sorority recruitment that came after uploading that. Here are my answers to the questions I received:

Q: What is your best piece of advice for PNMs (potential new members)?
After going though 10 different pieces in my advice post it's hard to pick a "best" from those since I feel like they are all relevant. If I had to choose one most important I think it would have to be to be yourself. Recruitment definitely isn't the time to pretend to be someone your not and that's something I would recommend keeping in mind throughout the process. With being yourself that involves trusting your gut and thinking about where you feel most comfortable.

Q: What is the best way to stand out in a good way?
The best way to stand out in a good way would probably be to be super engaged with the people you are talking too. There will be a lot going on around you and it can be easy to get distracted but staying engaged with the girl you're talking to and asking questions based on things she is telling you will better develop y'alls connection in a short amount of time helping you to better stand out in her mind when thinking about all the girls she has conversed with on a given day. 

Q: I'm super worried about not receiving a bid at all. Should I be worried?
I feel like this is a common fear that many people have although in reality I don't think it is THAT common of a thing. I know at Furman we have a great rate of pairing girls with sororities and it's pretty uncommon although I can't speak for all schools. I would recommend not to worry about this since it isn't that likely and as long as you try to keep an open mind and a positive attitude you'll be more likely to see yourself being happy in a wide range of sororities making you more likely to continue through the process and receive a bid. 

Q: Were you nervous during recruitment?
I was only really nervous the night before the first day and on bid day. The nerves at both times were definitely a mixture of being anxious but also very excited. It's normal to have some nerves but once I got into it I realized that it was mainly just meeting new people and being conversational so the nerves subsided some! 

Q: Should I only wear preppy stuff? 
Not necessarily. More important than dressing preppy would for you to wear clothes you feel comfortable in. If you're super comfortable in preppy clothes then by all means wear them but if that isn't your style don't feel the need to re-evaluate your wardrobe to be that way. While sororities are often portrayed as super girly, preppy, and colorful that's not necessarily the case. Additionally, the sorority women you talk to during recruitment shouldn't be judging you based on what you're wearing so don't stress about it too much! 

Q: Do you think it is a good or bad idea to like sororities social media posts? Do they even notice? does it make you stand out, or does it make you look desperate?
This is an interesting question especially for me considering when I served as Vice President of Public Relations I ran our sororities social media. In all honesty it doesn't really make a difference. It is likely that the person running the account is spending more time looking at who is liking her personal instagram account than what is happening on the sororities account. Feel free to follow them and like photos as they arise but I wouldn't recommend going through and liking every post they've made since the creation of their account since that seems a little over eager. It's also important to remember the person running the sororities social media accounts probably has the exact same amount of pull as everyone else so you liking all of the social media isn't going to give you an advantage. So feel free to scroll through the chapters accounts but don't go through and follow all of the girls tagged since those are their personal accounts. Also just to note, at Furman as women already in the sorority we aren't allowed to follow or friend PNMs on social media although they are allowed to follow us just so that we aren't basing our opinions on what they are posting on social media but instead our conversations and interactions before and during recruitment.

I'd love to know which of these dresses you'd most want to have in your closet whether you're going through recruitment or not! 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sorority Recruitment Tips plus All About My Experience

(Sorry in advance for all of the pictures (and the length of this post)... I couldn't help but want to include so many when all of them made me smile and help to show what an incredible experience greek life has been for me.)

A question I always receive this time of year is "can you do a post about sorority recruitment?" I love that there are so many of y'all interested in Greek life at your school and am flattered that you come to me wanting advice. I am by no means a pro when it comes to navigating the recruitment process but have had my share of experience when it comes to the positive opportunities being involved with Greek life on my campus.

For starters I feel like it would be helpful for y'all to know a little about how the process works at my school. I am a rising senior at Furman University, which is in Greenville, SC. At Furman we have delayed recruitment, which means that recruitment doesn't happen for us until second semester. While both at the beginning of school recruitment and delayed recruitment have their pros and cons try to embrace what your campus does! At Furman greek life is pretty prominent. With under 3000 students about 60% of our campus is Greek with 7 different sororities (Kappa Delta, Alpha Delta Pi, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Zeta Tau Alpha) to join and 6 different fraternities (Beta Theta Pi, Pi Kappa Phi, Kappa Alpha, Sigma Nu, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Sigma Chi). If you're not interested in greek life but want to attend Furman I can guarantee that you won't feel left out as I know plenty of people who have chosen to invest their time in other organizations and have had an equally rewarding college experience.

The recruitment process as a whole will differ depending on where you go to school and it will be helpful to look for details about how your specific school handles recruitment before you really get started. At Furman ours is broken up over two different weekends where we go through four different rounds (Open House, Philanthropy, Sisterhood, Preference Tea) to narrow down our decisions through a mutual selection process. The second weekend concludes with a day that rivals Christmas, bid day! It is hands down one of my favorite days to be involved with greek life as there is so much excitement (and happy screaming) surrounding the day.


So now that I've shared a bit about how it works at Furman I wanted to briefly talk about my experience with greek life which if you couldn't tell from the paragraphs above has been pretty positive! So, I am a Kappa Delta at Furman and throughout recruitment KD was always my top pick. I was beyond thrilled come my bid day when I opened my envelope containing my bid and saw the green on it inviting me to join KD. I'd be lying if I said that it wasn't hard to have friends join other sororities and at first felt like I didn't have super close friends in the sorority but as time has gone on that has obviously changed and it shows just how important it is to base this decision on your own feelings and not your friends. By investing time into the organization you've chosen to join you'll start to form those lasting friendships that you imagined as you were going through the recruitment process. I've never second guessed my decision to join KD but wanted to make sure you know that you're not alone if it takes some time to really get to know the girls in the organization. Over time I've continually increased my involvement in Kappa Delta. Freshman year I took on the role of banner chair (an appointed officer position), sophomore year I took on the role of Vice President of Public Relations (an executive council position), and junior year I took on the role of President (an executive council position). I will be finishing up my role as president this coming semester and while there are certainly times when it is hard it has provided me with experience to grow as a person and a leader and I wouldn't trade those tough moments and decisions because of that. While obviously not everyone is going to be as enthusiastic to take on leadership roles it has made my experience as a part of the greek community at Furman that much more rewarding and I am positive that it has made me a better problem solver and member of a team.

So one last quick thought before I get into my tips... I feel obligated to let y'all know that Greek Life is more than just parties and functions. You'll have the opportunity to expand your horizons and get to know more women on your campus, become involved with philanthropic organizations on a local and national level, and have the opportunity to take on leadership roles while building a community away from home. Something that Panhellenic (the governing body of sororities) has been focusing on in recent years is making recruitment more values based. With that they have gotten rid of skits and want to be more transparent with the girls going through recruitment about the time commitment Greek life can be. As president of my sorority, Kappa Delta, I have seen first hand how frustrating it can be to see members only want to attend functions and do the fun stuff but you will need to keep in mind that joining a sorority will also involve weekly chapter members, workshops, and other programming that aims to unify and educate members on what is happening both locally and national with your sorority and its initiatives.

1. Don't take things too personally
Sorority Recruitment by default can be a time when emotions run wild. Let's be real, you're surrounded by thousands of girls all the time so people being emotional is kind of bound to happen. If you end up getting dropped by a house you love try not to take it to personally. You're not necessarily being dropped because the house didn't like you but instead because they may realize that you'd be happier or a better fit in a different house. By thinking about it in this way you'll be able to quickly bounce back and have a more open attitude when it comes to visiting other sororities.

2. Choose Your Outfits Ahead of Time
It is so important to wear things that you feel comfortable in and it will be less stressful if you go ahead and pick those things out ahead of time. Your college will probably have some sort of guide when it comes to what to wear but keep in mind that this is an experience that has been prepared for for an entire semester if not longer so it's important to dress respectfully. Also not that I think you need to be reminded of this but just in case, you're dressing for girls, not for guys! 

3. Ask Questions
The point of recruitment is to have a conversation to better get to know the women that are a part of the different sororities on your campus. Try to keep it a conversation and not an interview as this will help to keep you and the person you're talking to more comfortable. Ask questions about the experience they had, how they felt during it, and ultimately how they narrowed down what organization they wanted to be a part of. If you're not asking some of the questions then you'll likely tell your intended major, hometown, and what you did this summer to just about everyone you meet. 

4. Be Yourself
Don't pretend to be someone your not with hopes of impressing the people you're talking to. This isn't going to help you when it comes to the overall process as it may hurt instead of help you when you're trying to find a group where you would best fit in. Feel free to share unique things about you with the person you're talking to and relate to them in a way that is genuine. I never really brought up my blog when I was going through recruitment however looking back it would have been a way to distinguish myself from some of the other girls going through recruitment. I think the reason I left it out of conversation is because I didn't want to be judged for having something different and in reality I wouldn't have wanted to be a part of an organization that would have judged me for that. 

5. Take Notes Each Night
One of the best  things I did during my recruitment experience was take notes each night. I was able to better process my feelings because of this and had I been torn come preference tea this would have given me the chance to look back day by day to better evaluate where I felt most comfortable all along. Now, I love reading back through those notes I took thinking about how nervous I was about whether or not it would work out knowing now that it worked out exactly how it should. 

6. Smile, Have Fun, and Be Positive
A good attitude goes a LONG way when it comes to recruitment. Don't be a negative nelly because if you are your experience may reflect that. It is so important to be positive and smile especially when going through the different rounds as those are the type of people that these sororities want as members. A lot of effort is being put in on both sides so don't take that for granted and spoil it by being negative.

7. Trust the system
Tis was one piece of advice I HATED to hear during recruitment. In my mind I knew exactly what I wanted and would have been so disappointed had things not turned out the way I wanted them to. Going in with an open mind and trusting that the system will work out the way it should is some of the best advice I can give. Even friends who originally may not have ended up in their top choice sorority now see that although they didn't know it at the time the sorority they did end up in has been the perfect fit for them!

8. Get sleep and eat enough
Self explanatory yes but this is crucial. I can pretty much guarantee you'll be getting more sleep than the girls on the other side so take advantage of that and try to go into each day well rested and fed. No one is fully themselves when they are exhausted and hungry so bring a granola bar with you and put your phone down at a reasonable hour each night. 

9. Don't talk negatively about other people, houses, or touchy topics
Leave touchy topics out of any of your conversations! The girls in each sorority are already encouraged to do that so try not to bring up anything that may put them in an awkward place. We've always been told to keep the following "B's" out of conversation; Barack (aka politics), Booze, Boys, and Bible. You don't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable so keeping those out of your conversations will be helpful to both you and the other girl. Additionally, don't talk negatively about other houses you may have seen or people you know as that doesn't paint you in the most positive light. 

10. Don't base your feeling on reputations or join a group filled with people you'd like to be like but instead process your feelings and join a group where you could see yourself fitting in now
This process is based on mutual selection but the only opinions you really need to take into account are your own. Don't base your decisions on what you've heard or what other people have said as that won't necessarily help you end up in a house where you feel most comfortable. Overall you are going to want to be choosing a house that you could see yourself (and the personality you have now) fitting into.

One last little did bit of advice that I didn't know about when I went through recruitment my freshman year is that it is ok to tell a sorority that you like them or that you are torn. Being genuine with your feelings is important while doing this but it can help the person in that sorority frame the conversation to help expose as much as they can about why they felt connected to their specific sorority with hopes of making the decision a bit clearer for you! 

I thought it was important to end this post with a conversation I had the other day with my friend Nell (freshman & senior year roommate who is the tri delta president at Furman).We got to talking about how in many instances going off to college and greek life can be idolized while in high school. During that time when you're experiencing a very different stage in life it's hard not to find yourself looking ahead to what is to come next. Because of this a lot of times you'll find yourself thinking that you'll go to college and join a sorority and everything will be perfect and just like what you imagine in your head. Like with anything your experience in a sorority will have its ups and downs. There have been both happy and sad tears in my own experience and that's what makes it real and a valuable part of my college career. Overcoming those ups and downs is made a lot easier with a group of people who have become your community and some of your best friends make going to college 8 hours away from home not feel so scary.

Whew, I think that was the longest post I've ever written! Sorry to be long winded but I wanted to be sure to share as much about my experience as possible with you to help ease your mind when it comes to going through your own sorority recruitment process. I have created this post in video form and will include it below in case you're not loving the idea of reading my novel of what sorority recruitment is and my tips for it although this post is more inclusive than the video. (It will go live at 10:30 am so if it's not up when you first check be sure to come back!)

I would love to hear your thoughts and any additional tips and because SO MANY of y'all have asked I will be doing a recruitment outfit information post very soon so be on the lookout for that! For now, my fingers need a break and my coffee needs to be refilled!

Lastly, if you have any recruitment or sorority specific questions for me to answer ask them in the comments, on twitter, or on snap chat so that I can answer those for you in my post about recruitment outfit inspiration! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

College Application Tips

It's time to put things into perspective… it has been 4 years since I went through the college application process and that seems unreal. While I am glad that it all worked out how I really wanted it to, I wouldn't be dying to go back through and work on those applications again. On the flip side though, I would love to have a bit more time left to truly enjoy college life and all that comes along with it and that's where I become jealous of all of you currently entering your senior year of high school and beginning your college application process.  

To make this process a bit easier I thought it would be helpful for me to share some of the tips I was told and took to heart when I was in your shoes 4 years ago. I am sure there have been some changes since then so hopefully I am not your final source of information when it comes to this subject matter but I figured my tips and advice could help y'all in some way.

Before I get into the tips I want to start by sharing a few thoughts a friend and I were recently discussing. Nell and I were talking about how caught up people (ourselves included) can get when it comes to their next stage of life. It's the whole idea that the grass is always greener on the other side and in high school it can be hard not to think about college as this spectacular experience that will be everything you've always imagined it to be. I'm generalizing here but I want to remind y'all that in all honesty there is probably more than one college that would be able to provide you with an amazing education and experience simultaneously. I don't however, want to sugarcoat things and do want to remind you that with everything there are ups and downs. If your college is experience is identical to what is in your imagination and absolutely perfect then let me know how you're doing that because we could all take a little advice from you. My own experience has had its ups and downs and while I wouldn't necessarily go back and change those downs I am confident that those peaks and plateaus would be present regardless of where I went. I know Furman has been the right choice for me but a lot of that has been the opportunities and experiences I've set myself up for on my campus. The biggest piece of comfort I can provide you in this process would be that what you choose to do in college is more important than where you choose to go. So even if you end up at a school that may have been in the middle of your list a positive perspective when it comes to the things you'll be able to do on your campus will make a world of difference in your overall experience. 

So now that I've shared a bit of perspective with you now we can focus on my tips!

Since you may be scratching your head after reading some of these hopefully my explanations can help to break this down a bit better…

1. Get the common app done before you go back to school.
This was without a doubt some of the best advice I was given when it came to the college application process. I know you don't want to spend the end of your summer working on this but I can guarantee you that you will feel a lot less stressed when you for the most part have the common app done before the stress of school kicks in. Have your essays written out (including supplements for the schools you are considering applying to that require that) and all of that other information in the systems. You'll already start to feel productive and on top of things and that confidence is a welcome change when it comes to the unknowns and waiting game that applying to colleges can sometimes be.

2. Don't linger when it comes to finally submitting your application.
While I am in no way rushing you to get it done and send it in I would encourage you to do your research. Check to find out if the schools you are applying to accept on a rolling basis and if that is the case you won't want to linger when it comes to submitting those perfectly curated and corrected essays since the sooner you submit the more spots there will be that you could potentially fill! 

3. Don't write about what you think the school wants to hear.
Hear me out on this one! A lot of people feel obligated to write about some moment where their life was changed forever or maybe even share an experience that may seem cliche when it comes to writing their college essays. What can really set you apart is writing about something that makes you unique or will leave a lasting impression on those people reviewing your application. Whatever you write about needs to be something you are passionate about since your voice and enthusiasm will stand out more and you'll appear to be a more persuasive candidate to these schools. Whatever you do just really think through the prompt and how it applies to your life and attempt to connect it though stories that you are excited to tell. 

4. Triple check the word count or character limit on essays before you begin writing.
A little bit self explanatory but I am going to go ahead and try to save you the heartbreak of finishing an essay that is exactly 1000 words and your best work yet only for you to discover the max is 1000 characters. Write  this information down especially if you plan to jump from essay to essay!

5. Find someone to proofread your essays consistently.
The college application process involves a lot of drafts and while you may think that you are a pro proofreader it will be harder to catch your own mistakes when you already know what is trying to be said. Do yourself a favor and find someone who can consistently proofread your essays to make sure they are top notch. With that in mind I would also recommend that the person/people you choose have no problem being honest with you about the structure, organization, flow, and everything else that makes an essay complete i.e. don't choose mom and dad (unless they can guarantee to leave their bias at the door).

6. Apply to schools you can actually see yourself attending.
This will require you to do some research about each school and hopefully will involve you visiting a variety of schools. The more schools you visit the better idea you'll be able to get of what you like and dislike when it comes to college campuses. If you can't see yourself actually attending a school or are applying somewhere just to try to get in you could end up taking the spot of someone who has that school as their #1 choice and would probably be spending an unnecessary amount of time working on an application for it to be worthwhile anyway. 

7. Have a backup or safety school where you could see yourself being happy.
So as you get more into the college application process you'll start to hear things like "reach school" and "safety school." A reach school is a school you want to attend but aren't sure you have the credentials to do so. A safety school is still a school you'd be happy to attend but have no doubt you'll get into. With ll things it is nice to have a backup plan and by applying to a safety plan you can eliminate some of the overall stress of the application process. 

8. Ask people to write your letters of recommendation sooner rather than later. 
Letters of recommendation are a great thing to have however it takes a bit of time to get them completed. Ask your teacher(s) to write them sooner rather than later since it is likely that other students will be going to them asking them the same favor. The sooner they get started on your the less likely it will be that yours is super generic and a generalization of your accomplishments and tendencies in the classroom. Also, ask a teacher who has seen your improvement over time if at all possible that way they can show the colleges you're applying to your growth.

9. Send your resumes to a school even if they don't ask for it.
Resumes are important all throughout your adult life and for professionalism so hopefully you already have one that is ready to be sent (If not I have a post explaining how to make one here)! Because it highlights all of your accomplishments and skills it is a great thing to share with colleges you're applying to even if they don't specifically ask for it.

10. Keep track of deadlines.
Put all of the important deadline dates on your calendar at one time so that you can be sure that you haven't forgotten any. Keeping track of your deadlines will reduce your stress and help to make sure you're timely in your submissions! 

I created this post in video form as well where I go into more depth about the importance and my experience with these various tips and would love for y'all to watch it, especially if you're a senior in high school preparing to apply to schools! 

Definitely help me to keep this up to date by leaving any additional tips or advice you may have to assist others in the comments! Oh, and one last little nugget of wisdom… if you know what you'd like to major in make sure you're looking at schools that offer that major or something similar! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Complete College Packing List

The thought of only having one more time to pack everything up and head to college is so weird to me. I am without a doubt questioning where my time has gone and have officially felt like a parent telling other people "it goes by so fast." In some ways college makes you feel like a nomad since you are constantly packing up to move about. Over the years I've started to better understand the importance of not taking everything I own along with me each time I re-pack to head back to school. Less is most certainly more in this case since it doesn't take long for a small space to feel cluttered. 

With that in mind I am once again sharing my complete college packing list. If you've been following the blog for a while there is a good chance you may have seen this before but I like to think it is worth re-sharing. In fact, I use this list when I am packing up each year just to make sure I haven't forgotten anything to important. If you're traveling far from home this list will also help you to see what stuff you may need to pack and what stuff you can purchase upon arrival in your college town. 

While all of this stuff isn't absolutely crucial when it comes to your survival in college for the most part this is what I bring and enjoy having on hand at a moments notice. I have purposely excluded clothing & food from this list because you'll want to pack the clothes you like that will work for the season and when it comes to food it makes more sense to just get it when you get there. Another note about packing clothing is that it saves a lot of space to rotate your clothes out based on the season. What I mean by that is go ahead and bring any summer and early fall pieces you can wear now to have for a couple of months but come fall break (or parents weekend) pack that up and put it in your closet at home to trade it for your fall and early winter pieces. This saves so much room and will save you some time since you won't be looking through all the clothes you own to find the one summer top that is your favorite.

While I attempted to make this list as complete as possible if you see something I've missed definitely let me know! I highly suggest that if you have a roommate that you communicate with them in order to split up some of the higher price tag pieces that you may want in your room. By doing this hopefully y'all won't show up with a ton of overlapping things and you may even be able to coordinate some room decor if that is something that sounds like fun to you! One last tip would be to look on your schools website to see what is provided in the room. For instance, Furman provided us with a micro fridge so I didn't have that on my list because I knew there would be one waiting for me when I moved in. If your school doesn't provide a fridge and microwave of some sort I would consider purchasing one as they get more use than I would have ever imagined! 

If you didn't see my dorm room essentials post and like this post then go find it here to read up on my top 10 essentials and why I think they are so great! 

Monday, July 25, 2016

How To Stay Organized In The Summer

I have just under two weeks left of summer although I have a solid month left before school starts back and I just can't believe how fast it has flown by. While in some regards I feel like I haven't done a lot in reality I've stayed pretty productive this summer with plenty of opportunities to relax as well. With an ever changing nannying schedule, the determination to get lots of new content uploaded here on the blog and on youtube, and also spending time exploring different places and relaxing with family I wouldn't have been able to do that if it weren't for taking the time to keep things organized.

 If you've been around PIYS for a while then you'll know that I am a tiny bit organization obsessed. For whatever reason I have this constant desire to be productive and a friend put it best that I would be bored if I didn't have some way to keep myself busy as long as that business was productive. In the summer it can be especially difficult to stay organized as you feel like you're always on the go but also may have no schedule at all.

*background image via

Organization is essential when it comes to both scenarios and I completely understand how it can feel difficult to stay organized in the summer so I've come up with some tips to help y'all out. Now is the perfect time to start easing yourself back into an organized mindset so that come the first week of school it doesn't seem like a total shock. By implementing these organization tactics now getting back into a routine come school will be a breeze.

1. Get a planner
Nothing can keep you quite as organized as a calendar of some sort and I am obsessive about mine! Go ahead and write down important dates for the summer as soon as you find them out so you won't miss out on anything. Planners are also great for day to day planning even if you feel like you don't have a lot to do I am always more likely to get everything done if I write out what I need to accomplish in my planner. 

2. Keep a notebook with you at all times & Write things down
I love writing things down and hate it when I have an idea and have to ape it in the notes section of my phone instead of on paper because I've forgotten my notebook. There are all sorts of notebooks on the market that I am sure you'll be able to find some type that you like that is small enough to bring along with you. Keeping a notebook with me to write down ideas, thoughts, or things to do helps me stay on top of those things in an organized fashion. 

3. Don't be afraid of a to-do list even if there are only a couple of things on it
To-do lists are a wonderful thing if you ask me. Writing down the things you need to accomplish will help to ensure that you don't forget to accomplish them and crossing something off of a to-do list sure is satisfying! Even if you only have two or three things to remember to do go ahead and write them on a to-do list to help hold yourself accountable. 

4. Create a schedule for tasks that need to get accomplished weekly
I get it laundry and running the dishwasher are a bore but they are things that need to get done at least once a week if not more frequently. Creating a set schedule for when you plan to do these tasks will help to make sure that they actually get done on a weekly basis. And the best part about doing most of these things is that you can multitask as they are happening.

5. Create your own routine

If your summer schedule is pretty unstructured it can be helpful to create a routine for yourself. While you don't need to plan out each hour of every day having a general time frame of when you wake up and go to sleep it will be a lot easier to adjust back to a set routine when school comes around! 

I hope these tips prove to be useful for you and if you have any additional ones I would love to hear them! 

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