Tag Archives: reading

Yearning for Learning: Why You Should Never Stop Studying

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Yearning for Learning: Why You Should Never Stop Studying

Regardless of what stage of life you are currently at, learning is something that you should always be doing. A lot of people think of studying as something that is just for kids or young people at college, but the truth is, is that there are a whole range of advantages that will open themselves up if you commit your life to learning. As well as being a more well-rounded person, you will also constantly be developing new skills that you never know when will come in handy.

Whether you have lessons in something, take an online college course with Find Your Context, or study independently, here are just a few of the reasons that you should commit to lifelong learning:

You Will Become Happier: Studying can be very hard and frustrating, but there is nothing like the feeling that you are actually getting smarter. Even better, is when you can start putting these skills into practice and impressing people with what you have learned. There is nothing like reaching a goal that you have set for yourself, so you should make sure that you are constantly striving for bigger and better things. Having something to work towards is a great way to focus your mind and give you the feeling that you are always accomplishing something. Personal development should get you on the fast track to inner peace and happiness.

You Will Become Irreplaceable at Your Job: If you can show that you bring valuable new skills to your company, you are much more likely to impress your bosses. Not only will this keep you in your job role, but you should also start jumping to the front of the queue when it comes to promotion time. If you do decide that it is time to move onto new pastures, the more skills that you have, the more likely it is that you will end up landing yourself the job of your dreams. The rapid rise of technology means that more people are becoming replaceable; continual learning ensures that you won’t be one of them.

You Will Become More Cultured and Knowledgeable: If you stop learning at a certain point, that is exactly where you will become fixed. A person who is well-read and has numerous different skills finds it easy to carry a conversation on a whole range of different topics with ease. The more you learn, the more avenues of your mind you are opening up and the more well-rounded you will become as a person. Rather than making it seem like you are trying too hard to impress people with your knowledge, people will naturally start turning to you as a source of wisdom and excellent conversation.

Books on books on books

You Will Become More Passionate: The pursuit of knowledge is a major passion in itself, but the more you learn about different topics, the more passionate you will become about them. You may even end up discovering things that you love that you would never have thought of before. Try to be broad with your learning so that you don’t become too fixed on a single area and you will truly get the most out of expanding your horizons.

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Is There a ‘Best Way’ to Read?

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Is There a ‘Best Way’ to Read?

Reading is one of life’s great pleasures. This is probably something that you already know; that’s why you’re on this blog! But, is it true that there are right and wrong ways to do it? This probably isn’t so true when it comes to fiction, especially as fiction reading culminates in a very subjective experience. But when it comes to reading nonfiction, there’s certainly a strong argument to be made that there are good ways to read it and bad ways to read it.

How is this possible? Well, it’s worth remembering that nonfiction – aside from the likes of self-help books and autobiographies – exist in order to educate the reader. And there are ways of reading that will help you absorb and retain more information. Most people seem to forget the majority of what they read – which isn’t great if you’re reading non-fiction for a class, right?

We’re going to take a quick look at the best ways to read a nonfiction book!

O.M.G!

Skimming: Some of you may be wondering why the heck “skimming” would be suggested! Isn’t that precisely what you’re supposed to avoid? Well, if you’re skimming the entire book instead of reading it properly, then yes. But if you skim a chapter of a book first, and then read it properly, then you’re giving your brain a head start with the information. Your brain will retain a lot of the basic information and themes from a quicker glance than you might expect.

Never Read Without a Pencil: Don’t be so particular about your books that you’re afraid to take notes in them! You should take the time to write notes about the material in the margin, as well as underline (or draw a line in the margins next to) sections that you feel are especially important. This can also help you take note of parts of the book that you want to investigate further, in case you initially find it a little confusing or even doubt the veracity of the claim.

A million dollars to whoever knows what book that is! 😉

Make an Effort to Memorize: In general, reading is fantastic for exercising your memory. That’s just one of the top 10 reasons why reading is important. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t actually put work into committing something that you read to memory. The simple fact that you’re reading isn’t going to mean that you’ll automatically remember it in the future! The best way to do this is to take what makes memory tick and apply that to reading. Psychologists believe that memory is built from three components: impression, association, and repetition. Apply these to your reading and see how it helps.

#knowledgeispower

Recite or Read Out Loud: Finally, one of the best ways to recall what you’ve read is to speak that information. You could try introducing someone else to that information by telling them about what you’ve read in conversation. Just make sure that you’re with someone with an interest in the given subject! Something else that you can try is simply reading passages out loud. This may seem time-consuming, but it’s effective. You may even want to record yourself reading out loud and listen to the sound file repeatedly instead of listening to music during your reading break.

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Why Sleep Is The Most Important Part Of Good Health

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Why Sleep Is The Most Important Part Of Good Health

People who regularly achieve a good night of sleep tend to be more healthy. Good sleepers have more energy, a better mood, and far more focus on their tasks. If you’re lucky enough to sleep well most nights of the week, you may also be better able to manage your weight effectively, as well as your relationships. Physical health and mental health rely on good sleep. Yet poor health can lead to sleep loss and exhaustion.

Should you try to sleep more if you are unwell? There are, of course, many benefits of sleeping more. During sleep, the body regenerates and fights germs and infections. Unfortunately, too much sleep outside of your regular routine can leave you feeling groggy. You may even struggle to get back into a good, healthy sleep pattern. It’s important that you sleep well, but sleeping too much at the wrong times may actually set you back.

Should you rely on prescription medications to help you sleep? A healthy, natural sleep is not always achievable once you have taken some of these drugs. Sleep should rest the body and all of your muscles. Some sleeping drugs do this well. Sleep should also permit the brain to reach REM sleep. There are five different stages of sleep. Not all sleeping aids benefit this process. A natural sleep is best if you are able to achieve it.

Why do we need full cycles of sleep? We tend to sleep for about seven and a half hours a night. This is long enough for five cycles of sleep that last about ninety minutes each. Each cycle is different and will go through the five stages of sleep in different ways. Some stages allow for dreaming, while others allow for a deep level of physical relaxation. Healing, regeneration, mental filing, and even preparation for the coming day happen during sleep. Interruptions can lead to confusion, memory difficulties, and a lack of focus.

There are plenty of things that you can do to promote healthy sleep. A healthy lifestyle is the best way to ensure that you can fall asleep at night. Fresh air outdoors and exercise play a big part in preparing your body and mind for sleep. Avoid screens just before you want to go to sleep, as they emit blue light that confuses the brain chemistry into believing it is daylight. Avoid caffeine, too, if you struggle to settle at night. Finally, make sure that you have a good, consistent bedtime routine.

What can I do if I wake up at night? It’s a healthy part of the sleep cycle to wake up before the next one begins. We usually don’t notice or remember it, though. If you wake fully, it can be quite frustrating. Try not to let it bother you. Reset your sleep by performing the last two or three parts of your bedtime routine again. It doesn’t matter if you get out of bed for a glass of water first. If something woke you, consider making some changes to your room for tomorrow night. Earplugs to eliminate unwanted sounds and blackout curtains to remove excess light can be very helpful here.

sleeeep

#Sleepygirlproblems

Should I be this uncomfortable in bed? There is no need to be uncomfortable in bed. Physical ailments can lead to discomfort from time to time. Try not to rely on painkillers as some can alter your sleep cycle. Instead, invest in the best bed that you can buy. Mattresses for great sleep are available from many leading brands. Some are made from memory foam that is designed to hold your body in a supportive posture. This is particularly helpful for people with aches and pains or those nursing an injury.

Is a lack of sleep harmful to my health? Poor quality sleep, or skipping a whole night isn’t just harmful to your health, it’s dangerous. As soon as you start to drive your car, you’ll know you’re tired. Your focus isn’t sharp, and you’re making mistakes. This can become fatal, yet many of us admit to driving while tired. Your relationships can suffer because a lack of sleep makes us moody and irrational. Simple things that wouldn’t usually bother you can become hugely irritating for you. This can lead to some out-of-character behavior.

Beyond the mood swings, your metabolism could also be upset. You’ll feel more hungry and may need an extra meal to get you through the day. This can quickly and easily lead to weight gain if it happens regularly. Your digestive system won’t be as effective, either, so you may notice bloating and indigestion quite quickly. Injuries won’t heal if you don’t sleep and that cold will drag on and on. Good health really does rely on good quality sleep every night.

sleeeeeep

That looks so uncomfortable!!

Why can’t I sleep? There are so many causes of sleep problems. Falling asleep is quite hard to do if you’re not used to doing it. This is why many parents of newborns struggle to help their little ones get enough sleep. It isn’t quite as natural and instinctive as you might think, and being overtired can exacerbate the problem. Preparation is very helpful here. Set up a healthy approach to sleep and a good bedtime routine. This will ensure that your body and mind are both prepared for falling asleep.

During daylight hours, get plenty of fresh air and exercise. Try to avoid stimulants like chocolate, sugar, and caffeine from about 4 PM. Alcohol can also make it tricky to stay asleep, so avoid this for now. At bedtime, switch off your electronic devices and avoid having any in your bedroom. Good sleep hygiene guides recommend using the bedroom only for sleep. Have a warm bath each night and stick to the same tasks in the same order. Once you’re in bed, use a low light lamp to read a chapter or two of your favorite book. If you find that you’re lying awake, simply try the routine again.

Stress is a big problem for many parts of your life, including sleep. Write down what worries you if your mind is spinning at bedtime. Use waking hours to address one thing on that list each day. Over time, your ability to fall asleep will become more natural and you’ll rest well all night long. Sweet dreams!

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Furthering Your Education, Your Career, Your Life

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Furthering Your Education, Your Career, Your Life

Choosing to further your education can be a daunting task. If you have already started in the world of work and have had somewhat of a gap between the last time you sat in a classroom and where you find yourself today, don’t fear – not much has changed in what you need to do to get you to where you need to be; you still need to knuckle down and put in the effort required, as well as the following steps:

Prepare Yourself: Preparing yourself to go back into a world of learning is something that will take a bit of time. You will need to get yourself focused with a clear conscience and the right attitude to tackle any workload. The reason that quite a lot of people don’t think about furthering their education when they’re making their way through adulthood is the whole host of responsibilities that you’ll inevitably have running alongside. This means all of the washing, cooking, cleaning, and bills that you have to uphold whilst still doing school work, plus all of the other jobs that you have to uphold to keep a house running – especially if you’ve got children. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. There are loads of examples of people who have made their way through college or another form of education while still running a successful household.

Get The Materials: There is so much more than a pen and paper that you’ll now need to get yourself through the years that you have committed yourself to. There are must haves such as books, online resources (so you’ll need access to a computer), and other higher-learning materials that you will need to be able to grab a hold of at a moment’s notice to help with essays and other learning projects. Getting the staples such as pens, pencils, and paper will also help, as neolithic as it sounds nowadays! Talk about old school!

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Pretty!

Learn The Code: There is a code of conduct set in place in every educational faculty, and it is up to you to upkeep the core values and morals that it is displaying. There can be disastrous consequences to your learning path if you violate the code – you can find more at Duffy Law about the steps that you need to take should that happen. It’s definitely a good thing to learn ahead of time what is required of you in terms of on campus conduct.

Make Friends: Just because you are studying doesn’t mean that this isn’t a chance to make new friends. People are usually on the same course as you because they have at least one common interest: the subject at hand. It’s good to have study buddies with you regardless of what age you are or how independent you feel; discussing and exchanging ideas about what you are educating yourself on is a great method of making your learning deep-rooted rather than superficial and easily forgettable. When you begin to explain to someone what you know and how to do something, you are further teaching yourself and cementing any rough ideas that you had.

Congratulations on beginning your higher education journey. Now get out there and learn, learn, learn!

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Essential Bedroom Comforts

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Essential Bedroom Comforts

We spend hours of our lives in our bedroom every single day. Fair enough, we’re not conscious for most of that time, BUT we’re still in there! So while we might not notice what photos are on the wall or what color the carpet is, we do notice how comfortable we are. From the softness of the sheets to the firmness of the mattress, our bedroom comforts aren’t completely ignored when we’re in the land of nod. But the room should also be perfect for hanging out before bed – it seems wasteful to have an entire room solely dedicated to your unconsciousness. Here’s some ideas to help you make your room as comfy cozy as possible whether you’re awake or not:

Guarantee A Great Night’s Sleep:

First things first, comfort is primarily to aid relaxation. What’s the ultimate sign that you’re relaxed? You fall asleep, of course! The key to an amazing night’s sleep is a ridiculously comfortable bed. The mattress has to be perfect for you – not too hard and not too soft. If you’re not a great sleeper, chances are your mattress isn’t right for you – check out some guides to a great mattress and find one which will work best. Secondly, you’ve got to have good sheets. Your bed should feel like a cocoon of cozy happiness. Bad quality sheets do not make a cocoon of cozy happiness. Go for the highest thread count you can afford – you’ll never look back before you drift off to sleepy bliss.

Get The Temperature Right:

Everyone knows the pain of trying to sleep in a room which is far too hot or far too chilly – it’s basically impossible until you pass out from exhaustion. Being able to get the temperature right is essential for comfort. A smart thermostat is the solution. Being able to keep the room warmer in the daytime for when you’re kicking back and relaxing, but turning it down at bedtime to an almost-chilly but completely optimum 65 degrees is sure to guarantee you the perfect relaxation environment. And a smart thermostat also ensures that you will wake up to a cozy bedroom, meaning no more cowering in bed after the alarm goes off… Well, you still might because snooze alarm.

Add Somewhere To Sit:

If you enjoy flicking through a magazine before bed, getting lost in your favorite novel, or just scrolling through Twitter, why not include somewhere specific to do that? Many people find that spending time in bed awake and doing things can cause them to get neck or lower back pain, or it makes their bed too warm before it’s time to sleep. A cozy armchair, complete with fluffy blanket, is ideal for some pre-bed wind-down time.

Include Some Fluff (or lots!):

Speaking of a fluffy blanket, every bedroom needs some fluff. Getting out of bed onto a faux sheepskin rug is the ultimate in cozy luxury. A fluffy blanket in the winter is ideal for cuddling up in and fluffy cushions just add a really cute new texture to the room’s decor. Every bedroom needs at least a few soft and cushy items to snuggle up in. If you’re lucky enough to have a pet, you’ve got your ready-made fluffy thing (with added heat, too!) but the rest of us have to make do with a luxurious fluffy/faux fur-y/fuzzy blanket.

Bedroom comforts are all about filling the room with things that feel good to the touch, but that also make you happy. It’s a room in which happiness and relaxation are fundamental, so don’t skimp. Now go and catch some Zs!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

7 Things That Make YOU Feel Special in 2017

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Hi everyone and happy Hump Day! The following is brought to you by my friend, Eve, at Garage Gym Planner. With almost three months of 2017 solidly behind us, it might be easy to fall into a bit of a mid season slump. So, read this article, take some you time, and come back to tackle the rest of your week with a vengeance!

7 Things That Make YOU Feel Special in 2017

In the modern world, it can be easy to lose sight of the big picture and forget about all of the good things in life. Everyone has periods when they feel unwanted, unneeded, and begin to wonder what they are doing with themselves. Fortunately, there are many things that you can do to make yourself feel special. Sometimes a small switch up or treat is all it takes to change your life for the better, like the following:

  1. Develop Self Care Rituals

Often, this is the simplest way to make you feel good about yourself. It is the small things that you do which count, and developing self care rituals is one of the most important parts of staying mentally healthy and making yourself feel special. Having a small, routine thing in your every day life that is designed to reinforce you and build you up can be extremely beneficial. It doesn’t matter what it involves or how you go about it: what matters is that you use it as a way to look after yourself and stay mentally healthy, no matter what.

  1. Exercise

Exercise is very closely linked to mental health. Beginning a good exercise program and exercising regularly is one of the best ways to make you feel special. One of the simplest exercises is squats. They can be completed almost anywhere, with minimal equipment, and by anyone.

The benefits of squats are huge and can include:

  • Great legs which you had previously only dreamed of having!
  • An increased blood flow to your brain, keeping you more alert and mentally healthy.
  • The generally fitter and healthier look which you have always strived for.
  1. Say No To Negativity

Feeling bad about yourself is the exact opposite of feeling special. Saying no to the things that make you feel bad is a big step on the pathway to self-development and to feeling comfortable with who you are. Unfortunately, one of the most common sources of this kind of degradation is your ‘friends’. Yes, I’m sure that you have some real friends who care about you and want to see you be successful. However, there is a high chance that you also have people around you who put you down and who make you feel like you aren’t good enough, which is a major problem.

  1. Do Something That You’re Good At

Being good at something can make you feel special and build your confidence. One of the best ways to get good at something is to get out there and try! Everyone has talents: if you don’t know what yours are, then you need to find out this year. Participating in an activity that you are good at is one of the best ways to boost your self confidence and self love.

  1. Read A Book

Reading allows you to explore worlds other than your own. You have an imagination, so use it! When you are feeling down, crack open a book and conjure a world in which you are the hero. Immerse yourself in a good book and let yourself become the main character, feeling their emotions, taking pride in their achievements, and letting this boost your morale.

  1. Dare To Be Different

Don’t conform to society’s expectations and become just another mindless business person wandering through their meaningless zombie-like life. Dare to be different and be proud of your differences. Doing so will allow you to feel special about who you are and what you are doing. Get out there and chase your dreams. Don’t get stuck in a life that you don’t enjoy. Do something that you really find fun in 2017 – even if it is a bit different.

  1. Go On An Adventure!

Who says that adventures are for kids! Your adventure can be big or small. From taking a hike on a nearby trail to going on a cross country road trip, let yourself explore. Adventures are all about getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing something new. Where can you go and what can you do to tune in to your adventurous spirit?

Thanks again to Eve at Garage Gym Planner for these seven tricks and tips to get yourself feeling special in 2017! What do you do to increase your self worth? Where is your dream place to have an adventure? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How You Can Include Your Bookcase In Your Spring Cleaning Regime

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How You Can Include Your Bookcase In Your Spring Cleaning Regime

Hi everyone and welcome to the next addition of my Think Spring guest bloggers series brought to you by Christie from Christie Adams Writer. When we are thinking spring, one not so fun thing that inevitably comes to mind is cleaning! Spring cleaning to many is a must, though, so this post from Christie will teach you how to incorporate your book (or CD and movie) shelves into your cleaning to do list. Take a look:

How You Can Include Your Bookcase In Your Spring Cleaning Regime (your excuse to buy more books)

Spring is on its way. Well OK, I admit winter is still hanging around, it seems to get later every year doesn’t it? Anyway, a bit of forward planning never hurt anyone. Spring cleaning your home, cleaning the car, yep, ticked that box? How about reinvigorating your bookcases? I’m not talking a quick whizz over with a feather duster, I’m talking a proper spring clean. If your book collection is a library you may need to break this up a bit, but it’s do-able, honest.

  1. Take a good long look at what you have, then take the books off the shelves:

A good way to ‘see’ things clearly, is to take a photograph or two and put them on one side. You’ll need them later. Taking out the books will probably surprise you. You will find ones you never knew you had. Those beloved sneaky books that have hidden amongst much read favorites. To make it easier and less stressful later on, sort them into two piles:

  1. Keep
  2. Maybe I could let these go

 Don’t know where to start? I try to live by William Morris’

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’.

The focus will be to cut at least 10%, if not more. You may at this stage also find the odd one you really don’t like. It may have been a gift or a bargain bucket buy. If so, create a third pile somewhere out of sight. You can bring them back into the room when you get to stage 3.

WARNING – DO NOT start flicking through the pages, if you do, you are doomed and will never finish the task in hand!

  1. Clean the shelves and fix any loose or broken bits:

Think serious Health & Safety here. Books are HEAVY. If your bookshelves are not safe and securely fastened it could really hurt someone, or worse. Yes, sadly, people have been crushed beneath falling furniture.

http://www.wikihow.com/Secure-a-Bookcase-to-a-Wall

Once they’re safe, fixed, and empty, you need to assess if they are what you want. This is the time to get reinspired. Remember those photographs I told you to put on one side? Now get them out and take a good close look. Be critical, be detached. If you saw those shelves in someone else’s house, would you love them? Aspire to own them? Want to embrace them in a big hug? OK, a bit difficult to imagine but you should understand the sentiment.

This is the time to repaint, rebuild, extend, downsize. You could go truly minimalist/tiny house and choose to let go of it all and move to a fully electronic reading habit. If so, jump ahead to stage 3 in this post.

Happy? All done? Fantastic, now on to the hard work.

(You could swap stages 2 and 3 if it suits you to focus on your collection, rather than your space or furniture.)

  1. Create a collection of loved literature and beloved battered books:

Now this can be a difficult bit, because it’s time to sort out what you want to keep and what you can let go. Go back to your books in those tidy piles (you did leave them tidy didn’t you?) and begin the process according to these guidelines:

Keep – you can look lovingly at this one, smile, then move on to the second pile.

Maybe I could let these go – you need to sort through these and divide them again into three piles:.

  1. Sell – if you have rare books, first editions, signed copies, then do your research. Contact an expert. If you’re lucky you could pay for a new book, a holiday, or your house! Otherwise, garage sales or online auction sites are your friend.
  2. Donate to charity or friends – do you love a book but know you’ll never re-read it? Why not write a hand written ‘no spoiler’ review note and place it in the book before you donate it?
  3. Reuse – note, there is not a ‘bin’ pile. If you do have any books that are truly falling to pieces why not create some book art (get on Pinterest people, it’s amazing what you can do with the pages of an old book). Your local school or art college may take them off your hands. Final option? Recycling center.

If you find it difficult, recruit a book buddy or cleaning companion, offer them a brew and get cracking.

If you have an electronic ebook/audio book copy, do you need the paperback? Do you have books about garden design but now live in a small apartment? Will you ever learn to play the guitar? No? Then sideline the ‘how to’ book.

Fashions change. Technology moves on. Maps and text books get out of date. Learn to let go people! This cleansing can take as long as you need but once you start you’ll be surprised by how easy it is. Make sure it doesn’t drag on, be decisive, and reach or pass that 10% target.

  1. Decide on how you will arrange your ‘new’ beautiful bookcase and beloved book collection:

Now, you’ve done the hard bit. You should have a (slightly?) smaller collection. It’s time to decide how you’ll show them off and care for them. Will you go ‘library style’ and sort by genre then alphabetical? How about color, blue next to purple, red next to pink etc? It can look awesome if you embrace the idea fully.

Do you have truly gorgeous bound books, how about those being at eye level so you truly enjoy the sight of them every day? Kids books? They need to be accessible to little hands. On the alternate side, you need to put ‘valuable’ (I know they all are, but stay with me here) books away from direct sunlight and away from little hands.

Libraries put books on end for a reason, it preserves them and protects them. Make room for them all stood up, not lying flat. You can be as innovative or traditionalist as you like. You can scribble down ideas, draw out detailed plans, or just move books into yet more piles so you can keep track. I’ve got a small section of ‘will read then let go’ books, too.

  1. Fill The Gaps! Now is the time to celebrate the space you’ve created, by filling the spaces with new books:

Yes, you’ve done it! Your new clean and empty shelves are calling out to be filled. Dust off your books and put them back in their newly well planned home. I start with the big books, which may only fit on one of many shelves. Also, that’s often the safest. You recall I told you to fasten the shelves securely, this is important. If the shelves are not secured (WHY NOT!!) always start at the bottom when refilling. DO NOT make them top heavy by starting at the top.

Just remember your home should be somewhere that you love. Somewhere you’re proud of. Somewhere you feel at home in. I’d love to see how you got on, and how you display your books. When you’ve finished take a picture and share it with me on social media.

You May Also Like:

http://www.christieadamswriter.com/how-to-organise-your-bookshelf/

Get in touch with me from your next coffee shop or library:

^^^ Thank you so much again to Christie for such a helpful and well thought out post! Again, please be sure to check out her blog and give her page some love! What is on your spring cleaning check list? How many books do you have in your collection? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

PS: Be sure to tune in tomorrow for a gorgeous OOTD from K.M. at Ankhor You!