30 before 30: First Apartment

30 before 30: First Apartment

I cannot contain myself.  There are a hundred things that I should do right now besides write a blog post.  Yet, I find myself sitting cross-legged on my freshly-slipcovered couch, typing away.

Yesterday I moved into my first apartment, and I cannot wait to share some photos.


In a way, this apartment fell in my lap.  A friend from PIU (whom we will call R) rented a furnished basement apartment from a couple who attends a nearby Baptist church.  R graduated in May, and she moved to another part of town to rent an apartment with friends.  I asked R if her landlords planned to find another renter after she moved out, and the rest is history.


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DIY Lanyard

DIY Lanyard


This school year, I have taken on the supervisor position at the daycare.  Instead of a clipboard, I now carry an armload of communication devices as I check in on the daycare teachers.  I have a walkie-talkie, the daycare cellphone, and my own cellphone in addition to all of my keys and work ID.  It was becoming quite difficult to run from one classroom to the next without dropping a piece of equipment.

My plan was to buy a cheap lanyard and carry everything around my neck.  However, the store only had 3 lanyards in stock, I didn’t like any of the colors, and they all cost more than I was willing to pay.  With a few quick snips and stitches, I made a lanyard that can hold my keys, walkie-talkie, and one of the cell phones (and I finished the whole thing while watching a science lecture for school).

(P.S. – Sorry for the lack of step-by-step pictures.  This was made during my camera-less weekend at home)

DIY Lanyard:


  • 1 piece of material cut 8 x 36 inches
  • Keychain ring
  • scissors
  • thread
  • sewing machine


  • Fold the piece of material in half length-wise (like a hotdog bun 🙂 ) with the printed side facing in.  Sew a straight stitch down the long side.  Turn material right-side-out.  Fold the ends over and sew a small seam.
  • Fold the material in half length-wise again.  Either way you fold it, the pattern will be facing out, but you may want your seams to be on the inside.
  • Repeat step two.
  • Thread keychain ring onto the long strap you have made.  Overlap the two ends of the strap and sew together.  This will form a loop.
  • Pull the keychain ring down towards the end of the loop which you just stitched.  Stitch again slightly above the ring.
  • If desired, decorate your lanyard with buttons, pins, and bows.
  • I put a carabineer on the keychain ring so that I can easily unhook my keys when I don’t need the lanyard.  Also, I use a Vera Bradley Zip ID Case to hold corral my phone, keys, and work ID.  To make your own ID Case, try this tutorial from Thimbleanna.
DIY Dorm Organization

DIY Dorm Organization


With college starting in a few weeks, many freshman are seeking ways to organize their new rooms.  However, purchasing dorm kits can get expensive, and if there is anything that a freshman needs to learn, it is how to save money.

Instead of paying high dollars for the typical dorm kit, use sites like Pinterest and Dollar Store Crafts to inspire DIY organization. Here are a few of my personal tricks.

1. For under-bed storage, wrap shoe boxes with dollar store wrapping paper or contact paper.

2. Buy a second-hand mini-fridge. If you don’t like the color, you can wrap the door (or the entire fridge) in contact paper.

3. Re-purpose high school locker shelves into desktop book storage.

4. Decorate tin cans to store pens, markers, and pencils.


What are your tips for cheap college storage?



Top Ten Tuesday: Organize for School

Top Ten Tuesday: Organize for School


One month from today, I will be heading back to college. Between classes, work, church, and extracurricular activities, college is rushed, hectic, and taxing. However, I have found some organizational tricks to help me live stress-free (or at least stress-reduced). These ten tricks will help organize your time, habits, and dorm room to keep college enjoyable.

Ten Organizational Tricks for School

1. Use a calendar.

I neatly schedule every class, assignment, and activity in a small daily planner.  In order to keep events straight, I color code each class (pink pen for history, orange pen for English, etc.) I also write down my work schedule at the top of each day.  I admit, it may be excessive, but I go as far as to write down what I am going to wear so that I don’t have to make decisions in the morning (I am really indecisive!).

2. Get everything ready the night before.

Before I go to bed, I pull out my handy calendar and prepare for the next day.  I separate out the clothes that I plan to wear the next morning, and I lay out all the jewelry and accessories to match. If I have any pressing matters to deal with in the morning, I leave a note on top of my shoes so that I won’t forget.

3. Start projects early.

You will hear this one a lot, but it is extremely useful.  Starting the project as early as possible ensures that you won’t be running around searching for supplies at the last minute.  Simply brainstorming ideas the first week of class is a great way to start organizing a project.

4. Space out studying.

There are only 24 hours in a day, and you have to find a way to get everything done.  I suggest keeping an “order of importance” list to prioritize your studying.  In between activities, pull out your notes.  Even two minutes can help you prepare for an upcoming exam.

5. Enjoy mealtime.

Do not be so worried about the next thing on your list that you rush through your meal.  Schedule at least 30 minutes (I usually schedule an hour) per meal into your day so that you can enjoy a break.

6. Utilize hidden space.

When it comes to the dorm room, it is important to think outside the box.  Consider every possible way to store something.  Hang coats on the closet door, keep your hamper under your bed.  Hang purses on the wall as artwork rather than shoving them in your closet.  There is plenty of room in a dorm if you get creative.

7. Don’t carry excess.

Only carry the books and supplies you need for a single day.  I usually carry one pencil, two pens, and a highlighter in addition to my Bible, laptop, planner, and books.

8. Write it down.

I keep a pen and piece of paper with me at all times.  If anything pops in my head to be done, I write it down.

9. Buy a smaller backpack.

This will require you to clean out your bag more regularly.  In turn, you will not carry unnecessary junk, and you will save your back.

10.  Close your closet.

When the closet is left open, it seemingly floods your room.  Keeping the doors shut hides the clutter.


What do you do to stay organized at school?