#MoreNewFriends

Me, Dana, and Jenny in college - cheering on the team that filled our hearts with disappointment yesterday.

Me, Dana, and Jenny in college - cheering on the team that filled our hearts with disappointment yesterday.

HEY PARTY PEOPLE! Where have you been?! It’s been exactly 10 months since my last post, so I thought now was a good time to hop back on with the little boost of inspo I got yesterday.

Yesterday, I had brunch with one of my very best friends that lives across the country. She was in town, so she asked me and another friend to meet up for brunch to catch up. Three hours pass by, and we’re in deep conversation about hard life shit. Not the easy “how’s work?” or “have you talked to so-and-so?” I’m talking about the real stuff. I left brunch thinking, “man, I really enjoyed that. I’m really glad Dana was able to connect us all again.” I’ve known Jenny for years, and we’ve been friends since the first time we met. We live in the same city, but we never got to the point in our friendship where we do things one-on-one. However, I really enjoyed talking with her yesterday (just like I do every time). I enjoyed hearing about her life, her struggles, her goals. I enjoyed hearing Dana’s thoughts on the same thing.

I really value perspective. I like to hear multiple sides to a story. I like to hear the why. I like to understand where other people are at in their lives and why they’re doing something a certain way. Had it not been for our mutual relationship with Dana, I probably would have never discussed these things with Jenny.

DJ Khaled and Drake might disagree with my mindset, but have you ever realized how you meet new people? Is it usually through other people? Do you like that, or would you rather stick with your OG group your whole life? As much as I can be anti-social and a total asshole in certain situations, it’s always such a refreshing feeling after I’ve had an interesting conversation with someone new or someone I haven’t spoken to in a while. With each person I devote the time to get to know, even if it’s for a short while, a new perspective I gain. I feel like these are the moments I really reflect on to grow as a person, as a leader, a future mom, a wife, etc. This is where I get the skills to handle certain situations or conversations.

I started to reflect on all of the relationships I’ve developed over the last year or so. Some are because Brandon and I both started new jobs, and I was forced to meet new people. Others are because I joined a friend for dinner and met their other friends. Whatever the situation may be, I consistently learn something new, and that’s how people grow.

I challenge you to take the time to get to know someone new this week. Make a new connection that can help you grow as a person or open your mind to an idea that you’re unsure of. Maybe take your relationship with someone to the next level. Either way - take the time to develop yourself through others.

The Structured Life with a Professional Organizer Wife

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Author: Brandon Grant (Taylor's husband)

So a few months back, my lovely wife, Taylor (the owner and operator of Granting Order), wrote a blog post titled “It’s A Hard Knock Life for a Coach's Wife.”  Now that baseball season has come and gone and the most recent football season has come to an end, I have a chance to write my counter blog about having a professional organizer as a wife.  This blog will show how we combat the challenges of the hectic life of coaching while maintaining order at home with a woman whose life is designed around structure and organization.

Disclaimer: I am an awesome husband,  however, Taylor felt the need to try to change me a bit just like every wife makes an attempt to do to their man at some point.

Most of my life I have been on top of my stuff (or at least I thought so) until I met Taylor.  She promptly showed me that I wasn't as organized and well put together as I thought I was.  Which was annoying at first but eventually proved beneficial.  It started with your basic pointless stuff such as putting the toilet paper on the holder rather than putting it on the floor and learning how to load a dishwasher the “proper” way (by far the one that frustrated me the most). Then we moved to the grand transformation of an organized husband: grocery lists, calendars, live budget documents, routine house maintenance, jacking with my garage and tools -  you name it, she has attempted to organize it.

As annoying as being organized all the time can be and having Taylor constantly shuffling things around that I “mess up,” here are a few things I have learned to enjoy (or at least appreciate) because they really are beneficial.  Some of these are my ideas because, once again, I’m awesome.

Learn to Love a Good Calendar

Even Taylor thinks this part of my life is kind of weird, but she secretly likes it.  My schedule is hectic and leaves no room for down time.  I leave the house at 4:45AM Monday - Thursday when we are in season and quite often work between 12 - 16 hour days 6 days a week.  I love it, but it can be hectic on a family.  So about two years ago I started downloading a yearly calendar from WinCalendars in an excel format.  I enter in all of mine and Taylor's schedules including work, exercise, family events, date nights, dinner plans, etc.  This may seem obnoxious but a few hours of work on a day off can save you many hours throughout the month.  Below is an example of one of my Monthly Calendars.

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Grocery Lists

The calendar transitions perfectly into this!  Taylor hates the grocery store, so I do the shopping to repay her for making her a “Sports Widow” for 8 months out of the year.  At the beginning of the month, I know what items I need to buy at the grocery store for the rest of the month because of the scheduled meal calendar broken down by each week.  I print off the lists at that time and keep them in the kitchen, so it’s a grab and go type deal.  This eliminates guessing and keeps you from buying a bunch of random stuff that runs your bills up each week (such as Blue Bell... I love Blue Bell ice-cream).

Laundry Prep

I am a freak when it comes to laundry.  I wear 2-3 outfits a day due to my coaching and teaching schedules, so, needless to say, we do a lot of laundry.  I also have this weird obsession with wrinkles… I HATE THEM!  So, every Sunday, when I get home from work and finish up film study, I lay out my clothes for the week and iron them all.  This can make mornings much easier; no searching for clothes you need, no wondering what you are going to wear.  I can get out of bed and get out the door in 15 minutes due to this.  Otherwise it takes me closer to 30.  In my life, 15 extra min of sleep is a lot!

Budget

Taylor gets the credit for this one.  Because I'm a teacher/coach and have expensive taste in trucks and toys, we stick to a pretty tight budget each month.  I have taught economics before, so you would think this would be easy to me, but it's not.  Taylor put all our bills and the days they draft out of our accounts into a live Google Sheet (Excel for Google).  I then added our other expected expenses and the money we should have in our accounts after those expenditures. Throughout the month this helps notify us if we have over spent or if we have beat the budget and can put money away in savings.  For example, if our account balance should be 4,000 on December 10th and its $4,231.00, I will move that $231.00 to savings for when I do dumb things like go mudding in my truck and break an axle. 

The budget is the thing that is most important to both of us. I'm married to an amazing woman, but, as any couple will attest to, finances can cause a lot of stress in a marriage.

My advice to the average person that does not have a professional organizer running their house (at least the things inside of it... I wear the pants here):

  • Don't try to do it alone.  Find someone to help - a spouse, a friend, or hire a professional.
  • Look for ways to make your life easier by putting in a little more work on the front-end.
  • Take advantage of time saving organizing tips because you can never underestimate the importance of those extra bits of time you get to spend with your family and friends.
  • If you don't want to manage or maintain your organizing yourself, be willing to hire a professional to “clean you up” about once a quarter.
  • Find what fits your life and avoid doing things you hate!  Compromise with your significant other to find a way to get everything done.


 

Check It Off Your [Christmas] List

Does Christmas shopping make you as anxious as it makes me?  I don't like crowds, so Cyber Monday is where it's at for me.  Keeping things organized definitely helps. 

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Every year, I pull out the ruler and some markers to lay out all of my shopping on one page.  This helps give me the full picture of what needs to be purchased, and I can physically check things off the list as I purchase.  We all know how much I like lists.  I could use the Notes app like a normal person in 2017, but that's no fun for my little organizer self. 

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I put my budget at the top of the list, so it's clear to me while I pick out gifts. I list everyone that I need to buy for on the page, and I also estimate the costs for each person.  Not only is this helpful for staying on budget, but it also helps me make sure I'm spending fairly on each person.  Oh!  And how often do you forget about the stockings until the night before?!  Add them to the graph, so you won't forget them. 

How do you stay organized for holiday shopping?  Share your tips below! 

We're a Team Now, Y'all!

Y'all!  Mom is moving to Austin! 

After years of begging, she's finally joining my brother and me in the prettiest part of Texas.  She couldn't resist the grandkids!  (His, not mine.  Chill.)  And she's joining Granting Order!  Good Bones won't have the only red-headed, mother/daughter duo in home renovations now!  Can't wait to meet her?  Here's a preview: 

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WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE ROOM TO ORGANIZE? 

"The kitchen.  You spend so much of your time in the kitchen, so I like to make that used space as easy to maneuver through as possible.  My second favorite would probably be the bathroom." 

WHO TAUGHT YOU HOW TO ORGANIZE? 

"My aunt Marylon.  Her house was always so free of clutter and clean when I would come to visit, and it was always so relaxing to me.  I like to replicate that feeling for other people." 

WHY DO YOU WANT TO JOIN GRANTING ORDER? 

"Because I want to be in Austin, and I love to organize!  Plus, I taught you everything you know, so it's a natural fit." 

WHAT ELSE DO YOU LIKE TO DO? 

"I like to garden.  I like to sit outside and watch the critters.  I like to decorate.  Oh, and I also like margaritas." 

WHO'S YOUR FAVORITE CHILD? 

"My favorite child?  You're my favorite daughter."  (That's a cop-out, y'all.  I'm her only daughter.)

Want to meet her?  Shoot us an email or give us a call, so we can see if she's the right fit to get your space in order. 

Holiday Decorating - Now's the Time!

Yes, now.  Not 3 days ago... chill.  

Hey, remember when I said I was going to blog more?  I forgot.  Anyway, it's November 25th, and my husband put the Christmas tree up yesterday.  Anyone else have a husband obsessed with decorating for every holiday like mine?  I don't like clutter, so I'm not as into it as him.  If he could, he'd decorate for every. single. one.  This is not a joke.  Either way, we woke up yesterday, and he was in the attic within an hour pulling the tree down.  Despite the fact that our family is still here trying to visit...  I thought I'd share my thought process while putting all of these decorations up.  

Make It Match

Get outta here with your farmhouse/art deco/traditional hodge-podge of decorations.  Sorry, y'all, but it's tacky.  Pick a theme, and stick to it.  Not everyone has to like it, but at least you need to.  I suggest picking a few "themed" pieces that you're into for a few years, but spend the bulk of your money on classics that you can use for a good while.  My theme is a little Dr. Seuss-like, but I dig it.  I went with silver, red, and turquoise.  Why?  Because my year-round pop of color in my common areas are turquoise and yellow, so I just replace the yellow pillows and candles with red ones during the winter.  Now my tree and decorations match the rest of my house and don't look out of place. 

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Less is More

This might be a personal opinion, but it shouldn't surprise anyone.  My mom is here and keeps telling me that my walls are too bare.  I disagree, and I feel the same way about decorations.  Just because you have them doesn't mean you have to put them all up every year.  I accumulate Christmas decorations as gifts every year.  My mother-in-law LOVES the holidays.  That's definitely where my husband's enthusiasm comes from.  I love the contributions, but I never have them all out at once.  You're going to have this stuff up for at least a month.  Swap some items out halfway through.  It'll just keep you into it, so you'll last until New Year's (or December 26th if you're me).  Do I sound cynical? 

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It's Okay to Move Furniture Around

I actually have a pretty hard time with this.  Everything has a place in my house, and moving those places is a pain.  However, it's our only option during the holidays.  Off of my living room has always been a little sitting area that we usually put the tree.  It's the perfect spot.  We turned that area into an office a few months ago, though, so we lost our tree spot this year.  Instead, we took our breakfast table out to the garage temporarily, and that's the tree's home this year.  Because of the layout of our house and the size of our tree, we're pretty limited on options.  This works!  Don't be afraid to rearrange temporarily or pull some pieces into other rooms (including the garage).  How often do you even sit at that table anyway?? 

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'Tis the season, y'all!