Our Happiness Project // Tip #1: Tackling Clutter with the One-Minute Rule


If you saw this post two weeks ago, you know that Zach and I have started a personal quest for more balance and general happiness based on Gretchen Rubin's best-selling book, The Happiness Project. Basically, we are just following along with the book- one chapter per month- and taking some of Rubin's methods and applying them to our own lives.

We just started the first chapter this month, so there is still plenty of time to join in if you haven't yet! This month's topics are all about energy and vitality. Physical aspects of energy, such as sleep, exercise, and even "faking" energy, are emphasized. But what I really wanted to talk about today is the effects that de-cluttering and organization can have on energy levels.

One of my favorite discoveries in this chapter was the use of the "One-Minute Rule."

The One-Minute Rule: If a task can be completed in one minute, do it now.

Examples of tasks that fall within this rule: hanging up your jacket when you get home, opening and sorting mail as it comes in, putting your dinner plate in the dishwasher instead of the sink, etc. It seems like kind of a "no-duh" concept, but internalizing it and really being aware of opportunities to utilize it can make a big impact. Small tasks really do add up when it comes to staying organized. And furthermore, taking care of simple tasks in the moment helps to lighten the mental load that comes from having a constant list of things to do piling up, put off for a "better time."

I'm using the One-Minute Rule to work on a few things that always pile up for me. For example, making sure to clear trash or accumulated objects from my car and purse at the end of the day or making sure to answer emails that only require a quick reply in the moment instead of planning to go back to them and inevitably forgetting. I've also been trying to use passive time for more multi-tasking. For instance, I've realized that I can unload and reload the dishwasher in just the time it takes to boil water or wait for something to cook in the microwave. I can basically clean the whole kitchen while cooking if I'm really on the ball.


All of these quotes/images are from Gretchen Rubin's blog. If you're not already subscribed, I highly recommend it. It's a daily must-read for me.

If you're also going through the book or just want to keep up on the topic, make sure you're subscribed to get future posts! On the first Monday of every month we'll have an update on how the challenge is going, talk about what prompts are really helping, what was hard, etc. And if you're already taking part, I'd love to hear what's working for you so far!

Do you already use the One-Minute Rule in your life? And if not, do you think it could be helpful?


Five Minute Friday: Using a Ribbon to Solve Your Wardrobe Woes


Do you have a ribbon and a minute to spare? Great, because this simple solution can get your closet whipped into shape with seriously minimal effort!


Have you heard of the ribbon method before? It's a super simple way to get your closet organized- you basically just tie a ribbon at the far end of your closet rod with all of your clothes to one side. Then, after you've worn a piece, hang it back up on the opposite side of the ribbon. After a couple of months of following this system, you'll really be able to see what items you wear and what items might be ready for donation.


The ribbon method can help solve a few major organizational problems:

1. You'll lighten the load. If you know you need to purge your wardrobe but can't seem to part with anything, this eliminates the decision process. Simply set a date (like 6 months out, for example) and anything on the unworn side of the ribbon goes.

2. You'll re-purpose old favorites. You know that designer skirt you found on clearance two years ago that still has the tags on it? Or that favorite old jacket that, even though it's not really your style anymore, you're still hanging onto, just in case? Well, there's nothing like a looming donation deadline to get the creative juices flowing. Now is the time to see if you can restyle those pieces in a new way that you'll love or if it's simply time to pass them along.

3. You'll get organized. If it has been a while since you cleaned out your closet, this is the perfect opportunity to get it back in order. As you are hanging the pieces you've worn on the other side of the ribbon, take a second to merchandise it among the others. If you decide on an organizational method in the beginning (tanks with tanks, jackets with jackets, etc.) and then hang your worn items accordingly, by the time your ribbon has moved down the rack, your closet will be an organized masterpiece!


What do you think? Would you try the ribbon method?


Top 10 Tuesday... It's in the Bag (Inside of Your Other Bag)

If I'm being generous with myself, I could say I'm a fairly organized person. I used to work as a visual merchandiser and that has rubbed off a lot in my daily life. My shower products all face label out, my books are color coded, my necklaces hang on hooks separated by style- bohemian, vintage, etc. But in all my years on the planet I have never been able to keep an organized bag. For some reason, when I'm out and about, it's a complete free-for-all. Receipts, makeup, loose change all form a tight gang deep in the depths of my bag. I was thinking about this need to change my bag lady ways when that very day I saw this post on Cupcakes & Cashmere and also had a meeting with a woman who was using the same exact method: a bag for inside of your bag. A clutch or makeup bag that holds all of the essentials that you need that can just be transferred to whatever bag you're carrying that day. Not only does this eliminate the dreaded ringing phone scavenger hunt, it also keeps the inside of your bag impeccably clean and makes it really easy to swap bags daily.

Here's what I'm keeping in mine...


1. The perfect lip trifecta- chapsticklipstick, and lip gloss. A chapstick for emergency moisture (and preferably some SPF, like the Baby Lips above) and some color to easily go from day-to-night. I personally like a nude/pink lipstick (Airy Fairy from Rimmel is my favorite) and a bright gloss (like this Boots Lip Glace in Jelly Bean) to have a range of color options.

2. Concealer- for emergency touch-ups.

3. Tampons- because whether you or someone else needs them, you'll never regret that you had a couple in your bag.

4. Band-Aids- perfect for a pair of blistery shoes or a screaming kid.

5. Gum or Mints- because if you don't have them it's practically guaranteed you'll find yourself in close quarters with garlic breath, and nobody comes out a winner in that situation.

6. Pain Reliever- for me, migraines usually occur when I'm out and about, surrounded by noise and fluorescent lighting. And again, it's always good to be able to share with a friend in need.

7. Protein Bar- being gluten-free, it's not always easy to find a snack on the go. Plus it's good to be prepared because if you wait to snack until you're starving, your decisions aren't usually at their best. Kind, Luna Protein, and Zone Perfect bars are some of my favorites.

8. Bobby Pins and Hair Elastics- I'd love to tell you about how my hair stays the way I fixed it all day and never expands into a wild lion's mane but that, my friends, would be a lie. Basic blonde bobby pins and black Scunci hair ties are must-haves.

9. Travel-sized Fragrance- a roller ball perfume is a good way to feel fresh (and generally more dressed up) fast. Philosophy Pure Grace is my all-time favorite fragrance, but even the free samples from the fragrance counters would work great.

10. Lotion and Hand Sanitizer- keeping your hands moisturized and germ-free is never a bad thing. My hands seem to be native to the Sahara Desert and need a TON of moisture. Aveeno, in my opinion is the best brand for the job. And you can't beat Bath & Body Works endless amount of fragrance options. Not to mention both of these cost between $1-$2.

*Bonus: an ultra-fab clutch to store your essentials (mine, seen here, is from Stella & Dot).

So there you have it! All you have to do is gather your essentials into a cute small bag, throw it in you bag with your wallet, keys, and phone, and you're good to go! No more digging endlessly for your lip gloss or throwing off your outfit because you don't have time to swap out everything in your purse.


But now tell me, what's in your essentials kit? Tell me what I'm missing in the comments sections!


Plus, it's that time again to spread the positive vibes with Buttons and Birdcages' Link up the Love! Here's a few of my favorite folks this week!

1. My dad has been through more stress than most people can handle in the past several years, but he never lets it get him down. He has the most upbeat and generous personality of anyone I've ever known. I hope I have even some of that in me. :)

2. A woman at work tried a pretty dramatic new haircut and it looks so good! I know she was nervous about it which makes me even more happy for her.

3. I can't imagine it's always fun to work at a grocery store, but the people at my local Kroger are always so nice. I want to make it a point to give more positive customer comments at all of my regular stops.

Have some love to share? Feel free to add your own in the comments or through the link-up!