How to Keep Your Desk Organized—Whether at Home or at the Office

Whether you work from home or in a traditional office, it takes no time at all for your desk to go from spic and span to dusty and disorganized. Even if you take special care to put things in their proper place, you need the right organizational tools to keep up a tidy workspace. Here are four hacks that will add both style and organization to your desk.

  1. Pick one pen and one pencil. If you're guilty of having an unnecessary abundance of pens and pencils—yet you can never seem to find one when you need one—it's time to downsize….your pencil cup. Pick just one good (working) pen and a single pencil, and keep the rest tucked away in a drawer. Put them in a specific spot and return them to their home as soon as you use them to avoid the clutter of multiple writing utensils.
  2. Hang cute clipboards for paper clutter. Stacks of paperwork aren't exactly a style statement, but hanging clipboards can be—if you decoupage them with scraps of wallpaper first. Then hang them in rows on your cubicle wall and assign each clipboard a specific job—one for junk mail, one for outgoing paperwork, etc.
  3. Organize office supplies with a pegboard. In a similar vein, you can hang a pegboard on your wall and stock it with pouches and pegs for various office supplies. Scissors, tape, maybe even a stapler can all hang in plain view, just keep the arrangement organized.
  4. Opt for accordion folders. Instead of constantly dealing with a slew of manila folders, make the switch to accordion folders. They come in cute colors and patterns, and they can hold the equivalent of many manila folders, which makes them much more useful for organizing.

Office Organization Ideas for Disaster-Zone Desks [Martha Stewart]
10 Good Things for a Highly Efficient Home Office [Martha Stewart]
12 Tips for an Organized Desk [Productivity501]

How to Decorate Using the Principles of Feng Shui

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese belief that states that the way your home is organized will, in turn, influence everything else in your life. From your finances to your inner happiness, the aspects that feng shui influences are limitless. If you want to decorate your home in a way that better serves your feng shui, use these basic principles.

  • Keep things minimal. First and foremost, improve your home’s feng shui by getting rid of everything that you don’t need—including furniture, clothing and even kitchen supplies. This will leave you with more space for movement, creativity, and positive energy.
  • Maximize natural light. Take down heavy drapes and blinds and replace them with sheer curtains that allow in as much natural light as possible.
  • Add plants. Feng shui emphasizes the importance of having green plants to clean your home’s air and add a peaceful look to every room. Try options like jade plants and aloe plants that require little maintenance.
  • Leave entryways clear. Feng shui says that the doors allow positive energy to flow into your home, so be sure to leave yours clear.
  • Face the doors. Important pieces of furniture, such as your desk and your bed, should always face the door of the room without sitting directly in front of it.

Feng Shui 101 for Your Living Space [Wonder How To]
10 Easy Feng Shui Rules You Should Follow [Kris Carr]
Feng Shui Decorating Tips [Real Simple]

How to Add a Pop of Color to Your Existing Decor

While a nice, neutral color palette is a great way to make your home feel chic and polished, things can also feel a bit drab without any color. If you’re looking for a way to add a pop of color to your home at The Boulevard at Town Lake without going overboard, these tips will help.

  1. Add a throw pillow. Even if you already have throw pillows on your furniture, adding just one more in a bright, complementary color may be all that you need. Try one bold shade and keep the others simple by using textures or patterns in neutral hues.
  2. Freshen up your window treatments. Replace your blinds or shades with sheer curtains in a fresh color. If you don’t want to commit to one color, try curtains in a repetitive pattern with an accent color throughout.
  3. Add some bright artwork. If your walls are looking a bit bare, try framing some colorful prints that are much brighter than the rest of your decor. This is a great way to maintain your existing style while still brightening things up a bit.
  4. Add colorful chairs. Update a home office or your kitchen table by swapping out the matching chairs with something in a contrasting shade. You may even want to paint your current chair in a bold turquoise or rich red!

Top 10 Tips for Adding Color to Your Space [HGTV]
10 Surprising Ways to Add Color to Your Home [House Beautiful]
Five Ways To Add Color to Your Home This Week [Apartment Therapy]

How to Bring a Touch of Home to Your Apartment, Even If You’re Miles Away

If you recently (or not-so-recently) moved cities, you may want to incorporate decorative items that showcase your hometown pride into your apartment. Whether you're from the next town over or miles away, these online stores offer state- and city-centric items that will show your guests where you come from.

This shop creates pairs of state prints that not only feature your home state, but also your current state. A heart logo marks the city where you're from and the city where you currently live, so you'll always feel like both places are represented in your home.

Covered Bridges
If your style is more rustic, hang a piece of reclaimed wood wall art in the shape of your home state. Each one is customized with your chosen state and the size that you prefer, so you can fill any empty wall with a little piece of home.

Whether your favorite hometown landmark is your city's baseball field or your alma mater, this Etsy shop creates replica highway signs with the exact number of miles between here and there. You'll also find signs for the highway that leads back to your hometown.

Easy and Effective Ways to Combat Stress

Everyone gets stressed out from time to time, but if it starts to interfere with your day-to-day life, you could be dealing with something a bit more serious. The next time you start to feel those overwhelming feelings creeping on you, try these simple tips for combating stress naturally.

  • Don’t let it go too far. It’s much easier to manage stress when it first begins than when it starts to spiral out of control, so watch out for the warning signs early. If you can tell that it’s going to be a stressful week, prepare in advance so that you can manage your tasks without becoming overwhelmed.
  • Address the physical side effects. While stress itself is mental, its side effects are often physical. When you start to get jittery or your feel your heart racing, do some relaxing stretches, practice breathing exercises, or simply close your eyes and count to 10 to counteract those feelings.
  • Watch your diet. Before you start stress eating or grabbing unhealthy fast food while rushing to work, stop and plan your meals. What you eat can have a big impact on your mental state, so be sure to try to eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins to stay energized. Try to steer clear of caffeine!
  • Do something silly. Take a break from life (even if it’s just for five minutes) to laugh at a silly video or dance it out. Sometimes that’s all you need!

Top 10 Instant Stress Busters [Lifehacker]
7 Best Ways to Bust Stress [SheKnows]
15 Easy Ways to Bust Work Stress [Men’s Health]

Cool and Unexpected Uses for Coconut Oil

Coconut oil may be having a moment in the wellness world, but this do-it-all oil has actually been in many people’s rotations for years now. If you’re looking for ways to really get your money’s worth with that economy-sized jar of coconut oil, here are just a few unexpected ways to use it!

  1. As wood polish. Coffee table looking a bit worse for the wear? Give it a new lease on life by placing a small amount of coconut oil on a soft, clean rag and rubbing it on the surface in small circles.
  2. To season cast iron skillets. If you’re not sure how to properly care for your cast iron skillet, frequently rubbing it down with coconut oil is a good place to start.
  3. To soothe skin irritations. From diaper rash to eczema, coconut oil is a wonderful way to soothe all kinds of rashes and irritations. You can even rub it on minor cuts and burns to prevent scarring.
  4. In place of coffee. Take a small spoonful of coconut oil each morning when you wake up for a quick energy boost that’s just as good as coffee.
  5. As shaving cream. Rub coconut oil all over your legs, face and anywhere else you shave to act as an all-natural shaving cream. As a bonus, it even prevents red bumps and ingrown hairs.

21 Miraculous Uses for Coconut Oil [Wonder How To]
31 of My Favorite Uses for Coconut Oil [Thank Your Body]
Everything You Need to Know About Coconut Oil [Shape]
101 Uses for Coconut Oil [Wellness Mama]

Simple Ways to Cut Costs in the Home — and Out

If you’re looking for ways to cut costs on everyday items around the home and in your day-to-day life, these simple tips can help you get started.

  1. Lower your thermostat. When you leave for work for the day, turn down your thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees (or switch off the air conditioner in the summer). This could lower your bill up to 15% throughout the year. Also, consider applying inexpensive shrink film to your windows during the winter for added insulation.
  2. Stop speeding. To save money on gas, drive the speed limit instead of over it. This can raise your fuel efficiency by up to 17%!
  3. Make coffee at home. This also goes for eating out, grabbing a snack, or going out for happy hour after work—limit these outings to once or twice a week instead of every day.
  4. Check the thrift store. Before you buy something new, such as an air conditioner or a winter coat, visit the thrift store or consignment shop first. You could save a great deal of money on something that’s in perfect condition!

5 big bills you can cut fast [Bankrate]
Lower Your Monthly Bills Checklist [Real Simple]
30 Ways To Cut Your Monthly Expenses [Lifehack]

Reap the Health Benefits of Flax Seeds With These Recipes

Flax seeds are some of the healthiest foods on earth due to their high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and other beneficial nutrients, and luckily, it’s very easy to incorporate them into many of your favorite foods. Here are just a few great recipes that will help you to reap the health benefits of flax seeds!

Oatmeal Cranberry Lemon Cookies [Bob’s Red Mill]
This unique recipe offers the best of both worlds: the sweet, chewy taste of cookies and the bodily benefits of a health food. These cookies are also gluten-free, vegan, and low in calories, making them great for all kinds of diets.

Kale and Banana Smoothie [All Recipes]
Fuel up in the morning or after a workout with this quick and easy recipe that not only uses flax seeds, it’s also packed with fruits and vegetables. Simply blend kale, bananas, and soy milk with one tablespoon of flax seeds for a drinkable snack on the go.

Banana-Flax Breakfast Muffins [Vegetarian Times]
Keep these flax-filled muffins on hand throughout the week for a quick breakfast that you can eat on your morning commute. The combination of bran and flax is great for digestive health, while four whole bananas offer a boost of potassium.

Fresh Rosemary Steals the Show in These Mouthwatering Recipes

Though rosemary is just a simple herb, it often becomes the major flavor in the dishes that it seasons. If you love the taste of pine-like rosemary and want to find more recipes that incorporate it, things like salts, meats, and vegetables are all perfect pairings. Check out these recipes that really let the rosemary shine!

Rosemary Chicken with Zucchini [Real Simple]
Chicken is one of the very best foods to season with fresh rosemary. This recipe creates a fast and easy dinner in just one simple step because it involves seasoning the vegetables, chicken, and potatoes beforehand and freezing them for up to three months until you're ready to cook.

Rosemary Sea Salt [Martha Stewart]
Martha Stewart’s rosemary sea salt enables you to sprinkle fresh rosemary onto just about any dish that needs a boost of flavor. All it takes is one box of kosher salt and two bunches of fresh rosemary to create a long-lasting supply of this savory seasoning.

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes [Food Network]
When it comes to herbs, why mess with a recipe that works? These roasted potatoes are one of the most commonly used rosemary recipes, but that’s because it just takes so perfect. Simply toss some small red potatoes in olive oil, salt, rosemary, and a few other common seasonings to create a versatile side dish that’s great with any meal.

How to Style and Organize a Bookcase

Sure, bookcases are meant to hold your book collection, but that doesn’t mean that yours should look like a jumbled mess. Turn your overstuffed bookcase into a focal point in your home with these simple, designer-worthy decorating tips.

  1. Organize all of your books in an attractive way. Whether you organize them by color to create a rainbow effect or by height for a unique pattern, you should consider book placement before anything else—it is a bookshelf, after all!
  2. Add knickknacks. While knickknacks may make you think of a cluttered grandmother’s house, modern versions will add an artistic flair to your shelves. Hunt for vintage brass or ceramic objects at local thrift stores, pick up small sculptures on your travels, or simply place green plants throughout.
  3. Fill it with frames. For a personal touch, frame photos of your friends or family and place them upright on the shelves. Or, if you want to create a more unique effect, attach the frame with a small nail to the front of the bookshelf where a corner meets.
  4. Step back and admire your work. To ensure that your bookshelf looks as good from afar as it does up close, frequently back up and reconsider the placement of each item.

How to Decorate a Bookshelf [Decoist]
How-to Beautify Your Bookcase [Coastal Living]
22 Ways to Arrange Your Shelves [Real Simple]
Flip for Decorating: The Bookcase [House Beautiful]

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