When You Don’t Know What to Do Next

Lately, I’ve had so many things to accomplish, I’m not sure what to do first.  I spin in circles, sit and do nothing or just do the wrong things because I don’t know where to start.  Have you ever been there?  I’m guessing if you’re the procrastinator type, like me, you definitely have.



Here lately, we have had a lot of things to get done, not just on my blog, but in our family life as well.   The things that we have to get done are not the types of things that we can complete all at once, but things that have to be done in small increments.  Paperwork, appointments, more paperwork, emails galore, scheduling, research and blogging, to name just a few.  It is literally overwhelming to think about sometimes, but amazingly, we keep chipping away at them and slowly but surely, we get things done.  Maybe not as fast as I’d like to, but still they’re getting done.
When I’m in that stage of life, as a mom, I tend to turn to some tips that I’ve learned through the years.   Here’s what I do:


When you Don't Know What to Do Next


1.  Make lists.  I’ve resisted lists for a long time.  I hated lists as a child, so it was hard for me to decide to use them as an adult, but alas, sometimes you just have to.  And sometimes, it feels really good to check things off of that list!  In my email program (Gmail), I am using a plugin called Productive Inbox to help me make a list that I always see in my sidebar when I’m responding to emails.  It is very helpful.  I love getting to check the box that it’s done.  It makes me feel so accomplished.  Here’s a funny story though.  Once, I noticed some things on my list that I knew I didn’t put there.  It turns out, my husband discovered my list and added to it, lol.  It appears he likes my list approach and wanted to nicely remind me of the things he’d been asking me to do as well.


2.  Do Hard Things First.  As written about in the book called, “Eat That Frog”, if you choose to stop procrastinating on the hard things, and begin with them instead, you’ll get more done in the long run.  Just jump in, make yourself start with the harder things and it all steamrolls from there.  It really does work!


3.  Prioritize.  Of course, sometimes, your list isn’t necessarily hard, it’s just abundant.  There’s so many things on your list, you just don’t know where to begin.  That’s when you decide what’s the most important.  What will make the most impact on your day or week if you get it done?  Can you batch the things on your list?  Make all of your phone calls at once, answer all of your emails at once and write all of your blog posts at once?  (Yes, I’m talking to myself…lol.)  Good, then do it!


4.  Be OK with a Rest Day.  Sometimes you’re so busy that you just need to take a day’s rest.  If you take a day to just do nothing, you’ll be able to be more productive tomorrow when you get back to it.  I know it’s hard to take a break when you have so many things hanging over your head, but really it works and you’ll often find that you’re more productive because you took a break.  Depending on your list, I realize it’s not always feasible, but a lot of times it is.  So do it!


5.  Assign.  Get your family or even your friends in on the to-do list.  If it’s simple cleaning tasks that’s on your list, just divide it up between you.  If it’s more complex, you can’t exactly do that, but….you may be able to hire it out, if you have enough extra cash.  Sometimes, just paying someone to get it done faster is totally worth it.  Of course, if you have a limited budget like we’ve had for years, that may not be possible.  Don’t feel bad, just offer to trade with a friend.  Many hands make light work.


What about you?  Do you use these tips when you’re overwhelmed?  Do you do something entirely different?  Leave me a comment and tell me all about it.  Or join in on the conversation on Facebook.

Multi-age Playrooms: How to Set Up a Space Everyone Will Love


If you have more than one child, you will know that toys seem to multiply at an alarming rate. The family playroom quickly turns from your kids’ playtime haven into a chaotic hovel, mismatched toys strewn about with no sense of order or organization. Baby toys and chemistry sets sit alongside each other and you know something has to change. If this situation is currently happening in your house, know that there is hope. Here are a few tips to help you create a playroom children of all ages will love.


Designate zones

As with any good playroom, it’s a smart move to have designated areas for different kinds of play. For multi-age playrooms, creating a space for each child will help everyone easily find their own toys and feel like they have their own room. If you need to, use room dividers or cleverly placed storage to physically separate the room into different areas. Otherwise, keep arts and crafts materials in one corner, dressing up and other imaginative play toys in another, and puzzles, board games, and building toys stored neatly in boxes and shelves. An organized playroom is much more functional and low maintenance than one with piles and piles of random toys.


This clean, organized playroom has dedicated spaces for imaginative play, arts and crafts, and plenty of storage!


Playroom 1

via Modernize

Space to relax

Just because your playroom is full of toys and stimulating projects, this doesn’t mean your children won’t need somewhere to relax and sit, too. Find a functional piece of furniture or two that all your kids will enjoy, or have smaller versions for younger members of the family. Bean bags, oversized cushions, and comfortable sofas or armchairs work perfectly for all ages. Combine this relaxation space with your story/quiet corner if you like, but make sure it remains accessible for everyone.

You can just imagine your kids curling up with a good book in the comfortable, inviting window seat and bean bag chair in this playroom.


via Modernize


Rotate toys

Regardless of age, all children go through phases with toys. Most of us have far too many toys for keep track of, and if we parents think there are too many, our kids will also struggle to play with all of the toys lying around. Once you’ve organized the playroom, take out any broken, unused, or unwanted toys and discard or donate appropriately. If you’re still left with too many toys to store, take a few out for a month or two and rotate them back in when you sense your kids are bored with the ones they’ve been using. This will encourage your children to enjoy the toys they have available (and will also help immensely at cleanup time).


There are few toys on display in this playroom, so they are more likely to be enjoyed often.


Yellow Kids Room

via Modernize



Keep it safe

If you have toddlers or babies using your playroom, make sure any small or potentially dangerous toys are kept out of their reach. Consider storing older kids’ craft and building materials on higher shelves or closed away in bins, and make sure big brothers and sisters know not to leave their Legos lying on the floor. Speaking of storage, make sure any heavy storage units are secure and bolted to the walls if needed, because we all know that every toddler becomes a climber at some stage. Encourage daily tidying with a schedule or regular routine and you are less likely to have any accidents.


This playroom uses clever box shelves and counter space to store delicate and smaller items.



via Modernize


Once you’ve reorganized your playroom to suit everyone, your kids will be ready to get playing. Now comes the really hard part: sharing!


For more ideas and inspiration, head to Modernize.com.


Kaitlin Krull is a writer and mom of two girls living the expat life in the UK. Her writing is featured on Modernize.com and a number of home decor sites around the web. She can also be found blogging from time to time on her personal blog, A Vicar’s Wife.

5 Amazing Ideas to Help You Organize Under Your Kitchen Sink

Once upon a time, there was a girl, “happily” doing her dishes, when she noticed a puddle on her floor at her feet.  “Oh no”, she exclaimed, “Where is all that water coming from?”  The water, was coming from under the sink.  The pipes had come apart, allowing water to escape and drip onto the cabinet below.  That girl was me and this has happened to me several times over the past few years.  In addition to a problem with leaky pipes (that we believe is finally fixed once and for all), under the sink is also one of the places in the house that the mice seem to congregate.  We are surrounded on 3 sides with farmer’s fields and any time the farmer does anything out in those fields, the mice come running straight for our house.


Because of the problems we’ve had under our kitchen sinks, I’ve learned to cut back on the clutter that I keep down there.  That doesn’t mean that I still don’t have clutter, it’s just quickly removable and can easily be cleaned if need be.  I used to keep plastic bags and all sorts of stuff down there, now I mostly just keep cleaning supplies, light bulbs and flashlights.


In trying to figure out just how I’m going to redo my space again, I found a lot of really COOL ideas of how to organize under a kitchen sink.


5 Amazing Ideas to Help You Get Your Kitchen Sink Cabinet Organized!

(affiliate links have been used in this post)

5 Amazing Kitchen Sink Ideas


1.  Try lining the bottom of your cabinet with a piece of laminate or sticky tiles.

That way if the sink leaks, it will not be sitting on wood.  If you choose a light color, you will be able to see if a mouse has been down there pretty easily, too.  Laminate tiles wipe clean very easily and will help you to keep your space clean!


2.  Use Sliding Baskets or Drawers.

By installing a sliding basket, you’ll have easier access to what is under your sink because it will pull out easily.  You could try something like this Rubbermaid basket:

Rubbermade slide basket


or this cute 2 tier sliding basket:


2 Tier Sliding Basket



3.  Use Stacking Drawers

This will help you to utilize your space so much more and will keep everything that you store in them protected.  Be sure to measure your space and maximize the amount of drawer space you can get under there.

stacking drawers




4.  Utilize the Door for Storage

You can attach baskets, door organizers or metal containers.  Either way, you will enjoy having the space to store the things you grab for the most often.


Door Caddy




Door Rack



5.  Use Under Shelf Baskets

I ilke this idea for utilizing all of your space.  This would require you to install a board for these shelves to hang from, as it will not be able to hang from your kitchen sink.  :)  Here’s what it could look like, complements of Crafts Alamode.  (You should check out her whole post of what she did under her sink, it’s amazing!)


Shelves under Sink


You can buy the shelves at Amazon that look like this:

Under Shelf Basket



Which of these options appeals the most to you?


Have you been following me in this get organized series?  Did you know that I often pin my inspiration photos on Pinterest?  One great board right now to follow is my Kitchen Organizing Tips.  I’d love it if you’d follow me there (and pin this post!)


5 Amazing Ideas for Organizing Under Your Sink!  - SIdetrackedSarah.com




We’re going to be going through our kitchen junk drawer(s).  Do you have a great way that you keep your junk drawer organized?  Or does it explode all over the place every time you open it?    What do you keep in your junk drawer?  I’m looking for advice to share with others….and would love to include yours!   Please share here with me, email me or share with me on Facebook, so I can share your ideas.  Pictures are always appreciated, too!

Also, if you want to see what you’ve missed and what’s coming, just go here:  52 Week Organized Home Challenge.

Will you join me in this 52 Week Organized Home Challenge?