A Year In Review And A 2014 To Be Giddy About!

Happy 2014!  Do you feel refreshed, renewed and full of excitement for the year ahead?  I always love that feeling of a new 365 days to learn from, grown within and to simply enjoy.

I feel like the days, weeks, months and even years are continuing to move faster and faster!  Maybe it is because I am a mom to three busy boys, but I am always so astounded by how quickly these years are coming and going.  My fingers are crossed I can find a way to slow down time in 2014, and take more moments to just soak it all in.

Every year, I like to take a day to look back on the previous year.  This does two things... Gets the fire lit inside of me to get my organizing booty up and running again after the little holiday break while also allowing for me to reflect and set a few goals for the exciting year to come!  {You can find my previous recaps for 2012, 2011 and 2010} 

By documenting our quest to create a well loved, lived in and organized home, I also have the ability to reflect on the past and set new goals for the future.  I can not begin to express how much fun it has been for me to sit down and sift through the previous few years of projects and stories, many of which we are still loving today, and others that may have been laughed at, learned from and moved on from.  My style and outlook on things has definitely changed and evolved over the years!

2013 Daily PlannerOrganized Entry DrawerGreeting Card OrganizationOrganizing Paper PilesCereal Box Drawer DividersBudget BinderCord LabelsInLinkz.com

Baking DrawerEntryway UpdatesOur Dining TablePantry Shelf LinersPantry LabelsOrganized PantryMeal Planning InLinkz.com
Reupholstered Bench StoolsTraveling with ToiletriesDIY Laminated LabelsMaster Bedroom Updates2013 Easter DisplayDIY Wood Console DeskInLinkz.com
Organizing Under the Bathroom SinkBaby Blake's NurseryStudio Cabinet InstallationTraveling Blogger ToteCraft Storage CartAuto OrganizationBoy's Bedroom HooksPainted Accent WallInLinkz.com
Major Cabinet UpgradesJazzy Shoebox StorageOrganized Sewing BoxHomemade CleanersOur Cleaning PlanDIY Flour Sack Book BagHow We Clean as a FamilyInLinkz.com
Painted Front DoorOutdoor Storage BenchFront Porch RefreshPolka Dot PlantersOutdoor Entertaining CartInLinkz.com
DIY Outdoor Side TableDIY Condiment JarsMy Label MakerStudio Desk OrganizationPainted Dining Room StripesCraft Paint OrganizationOur Patio MakeoverInLinkz.com
Painting the Guest BathroomPainted Bathroom VanityInstalling a Bathroom FloorGold Rub-n-Buff MirrorInstalling Bathroom FinishesGuest Bathroom Makeover RevealSpray Painted LampsBudget WorksheetBack to School OrganizationInLinkz.com
Artwork OrganizationPaneled Closet Office OrganizationDIY Puzzle BoardUtility Room UpdatesDIY Portable WorkstationPaint OrganizationDIY Floral VaseInLinkz.com
Business Card OrganizationDonation TrackerPet Supply OrganizationMini Bathroom RefreshStorage Room OrganizationInLinkz.com
Surprise Laundry Room UpdateFrom School Cubbies to CredenzaDIY Painted HutchDining Hutch OrganizationFinishing Under the StairsMemorabilia BoxesOur Thanksgiving TableInLinkz.com
Party Planning TipsHoliday Planning BinderDIY Washi Tape Organizer2013 Christmas Home TourDIY Gift Wrap StationUnder Stairs Storage & OrganizationInLinkz.com

Although I am happy as a buzzing bee with all we have tackled in 2013, reflecting on the past and previous goals can cause a little bit of nail biting.  Writing down goals and ultimately sharing them with the world allows you to feel instant failure when those goals weren't reached.  We didn't start our kitchen renovation, which I have been dreaming about for years, but we did take on smaller projects that have been nagging us for years.  I didn't get all of my blog updates on my list done, but I did blog 4-5 days per week plus run a shop and manage partnerships.  So although I may not have achieved every last goal I set, I believe in the importance of finding the balance and high-fiving myself for those few unplanned accomplishments while also having the ability to see the positives that caused us to switch up our plans.That said, I have learned that life can take you where you least expect it.  That plans can change in an instant.  That you can never predict how your year will end.   And even with solid goals in place, one small change can cause an infinite trickle effect.  And that change can be very good. 
So for 2014, I am allowing myself to set a few goals for this coming year, however, I am loosening the reigns and allowing them to be flexible.  My goals are general and not as much about completing a specific project, but more about making our life the project. Balance.  That is my key word for the year.  Year after year I find myself saying that I will manage my time better, and year after year I get frustrated that I haven't figured this out yet.  I am sure if I can find the magical solution, I could become a gazillionaire superstar problem solver and everyone would love me and thank me for solving an issue many of us personally struggle with.  I know I am not alone in this and I hear from so many of you each and every day with questions on managing time and balancing it all.  I love that I am typically an energetic "do-er" and that I live to paint, organize, create and work.  Seriously.  I love to work!  But that can get me into trouble at times and take me away from what matters most in my life.  While cleaning out our storage rooms this past year I found so many videos and photos from our past.  Photos of us savoring our home and our time together.  Last year, the only photos I that had printed were my Instagram photos.  In fact, I am grateful I had my phone to capture moments throughout the year, or I fear I wouldn't have at all.  Ditto to videos.  I didn't blog on our family blog one time, but I found myself reading old entries and smiling and telling myself I wish I had more time to get back to that.  Although I know that documenting our projects and home updates are a piece of my current job, it can feel strange to place more focus on documenting that portion of our life than what carries more weight in my heart.  No worries, this blog is not evolving into a family blog, it is just my number one personal goal to find a balance and get back to capturing and locking away those family moments, big and small.  A goal to turn off the computer between the hours of 3:30 and 8:30 while my family is present.  A goal to have the strength turn away opportunities that come my way, no matter how great they are, if I don't have the capacity to take them on.  A goal to focus on my personal health, eating and exercise.  A goal to simplify our routines, our home and our day to day life to give us more time enjoying our home and less time maintaining it.  Although that is a lot of goals in one, it all comes back to the keyword.  This will be a whole different area of organizing that I am no expert at, but I hope to share all of those attempts, ideas and life simplifying solutions along the way.Let go!  Part of being able to balance my time, may mean that I need to be OK letting go of things that I can ask for help with.  That inner organizer and perfectionist have always had a hard time doing this, no matter which job I have held, but I have learned that this is the key to balance.  Letting go.  Trusting others.  Asking for help.  Being OK with not being super mom or having the cleanest house on the block or being able to do it all.  Because by trying to do it all, causes more stress and frustration in the end.  And although I wear a few different hats from blog writer to shop owner to contributor to wife and mom, and I am extremely passionate about each one of those roles, asking for help could allow me to fall in love with them even more.  I have no desire to burn out, so this goal is all about continuing to swim with a giant smile plastered across my face!Big & Small!  Another reoccurring goal that I make year after year and also reverts back to balance is to focus on both the big and the small.  We love our projects, but sometimes it is those smaller moments that create the biggest wins.  And I know you all love those as well.  Finding solutions that take 15-30 minutes to implement yet yield a huge result.  Time to get back to those organizing basics!  I also noticed that I only posted about a few areas of our home last year, and that others were not mentioned even once {cough cough living room}, so a better overall home balance and focus is part of this as well.Enhance.  Without getting into the nitty gritty specifics, I have a lot of ideas and visions of enhancing the overall blog experience and features.  From an updated home tour and product source list to a streamlined sponsorship process and an easier to navigate layout and project gallery to new products in my shop.  I want to make your time with me the best that I possibly can and find ways to simplify everything from my blog layout to organized lifestyle.  I also hope to continue to bring new and fresh ideas and solutions to common, everyday problems.Change is good, but not always necessary!  There are a lot of things I am already lovin' about our home, our life and this little ol' blog.  So although there may be a demand out there for a hip new painting trend or bold kitchens or having the flashiest blog, don't expect things around here to change for the sake of changing.  If there is one thing I have learned through blogging, is that you can easily be sucked into the "trying to keep up" category, but it is important to me to stay true to our roots.  So many of the reasons you come here to say hi each day, will not be going away any time soon.  Including my overuse of the words heart, excited, love, giddy, happy, flutter, etc... 
2013 was a really wonderful year and all I can do is hope that 2014 is equally as awesome in new and thrilling ways!  And speaking of thrilling, 2013 ended on an awesome high with a really exciting feature in the January 2014 issue of Better Homes and Gardens!

I was given a reader dilemma and had the opportunity to provide an organizational solution for their family's entryway.  It was a really fun project that allowed me to shift focus away from our abode to help out another family.  My final goal for 2014 is to be able to balance more of that as well.

So cheers to balance and 2014!  Thank you all for following along on this crazy journey we share and for all of your daily sweetness.  Connecting with you fine folks really keeps me passionate about what I do!

Anyone else select a single word to encompass your overall vision for the new year, and if so, what is driving you to make 2014 the best year yet?  What goals are you most excited to take on in 2014?  Any organizing related resolutions?