Organise your medicine cabinet for under $10

One area of my home that has really bugged me for years is our medicine cabinet. It doesn’t matter how many times I clean it out and re-organise it, in a few short weeks it is right back to where it started.

Over the Christmas break out daughter fell quite ill and we spent the good part of 4 weeks in and out of the medicine cabinet. It was driving me absolutely batty. Let’s be honest, there is only so many times someone can get hit on the head by a falling bottle of Panadol. That person was me!

The existing cabinet was above out microwave and although it was fairly wide it was not very deep. There was just too much stuff and the baskets we had didn’t allow me to separate the different categories.

This is what I started with.

 

I had two plans up my sleeve. The first being to source containers that were much narrower to allow for better grouping of our medical items. The second plan was in case I couldn’t find containers to fit the small cupboard. I had an idea to actually relocate the medication to a whole different cupboard in our kitchen.

I have been searching Pinterest for the longest time and had spotted a few ideas that I loved.

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I searched and searched but I couldn’t find a set of drawers or any other baskets or containers that would fit the existing  cabinet. On a whim (without my measurements) I picked up two of these long and narrow roller drawers that had adjustable compartments from Kmart.

At only $5 each they were a bargain. I absolutely love these roller bins. Not only do they come in 5 different sizes but they are stackable too.  This is a new product to Kmart and they have been extremely popular so if you see them, make sure you snap them up because they sell out very quickly. I know that I can use these for so many other projects I have on my list.

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Thankfully when I got them home and tested them out they fit perfectly. Phew!

Then I started to purge. I completely emptied the baskets all over my counter sorting as I went and checking for empty packages and expired products.

 

I sorted in to the following categories.

  • medical instruments (thermometer tweezers, measuring cups etc)
  • cold and flu
  • pain relief (tablets)
  • bottles
  • creams and lotions
  • band aids
  • occasional use

Now that everything was sorted I started adjusting the compartments to make sure everything fit perfectly without falling all over.

With my label maker I made basic labels for the front of the drawers so we knew where everything was at a glance.

There were a few items that do not get used regularly but I didn’t want to let go of just yet. I have a large black box which is a bit of an extension of the cabinet. This is where I keep the ankle and knee braces, heat packs, cold packs, and my husband’s physio things like exercise balls and resistance bands. This is where I chose to store those few items that are still in date and may be needed in the future.

This seriously took about 15 minutes to do and I absolutely love it. Everything fits in the containers nice and neatly  and we can find what we are looking for super easily. Why are the projects we put off for so long end up being the easiest to complete?

So I’d like to know, how many of you are heading to Kmart for those roller bins?

Back To School Series Part 1

 

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Happy New Year everyone. I can’t believe we are already in the second week of January. Before we know it holidays will be over and the school year will be starting. To be honest it is something have been both excited about and also quite nervous. I will be sending Master 5 off to kindergarten this year and while he did attend pre school 2 days a week for the last couple of years, “big school” is a whole different ball game.

I have been planning this back to school series for a few months now to get our little guy and ourselves ready for our first school year experience. Over the next three weeks I am so excited to be teaming up with Nikki from An Organised Home. Together we will be covering 3 areas of back to school organisation and sharing with you how we keep on top of out family schedules, homework, backpack storage, school clutter and storing school papers.

This week will be all about how we organise our family’s schedule and routines.

I have had a few systems in place for a while now that work really well for our family but with the school year approaching fast, I decided to take a look at how I could better organise my family while keeping these tools all in one place. I decided to gather everything in one spot – the kitchen – and create a family command centre. If you have never heard the term command centre before, it refers to one central location where you use various tools to keep your family organised.

If you scour pinterest as I have, you will see a million and one different ways to create a command centre.

Here are just a few that inspired me to set up our own.

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While they all look stunning, you can’t simply choose one and copy it. You have to find what works best for you and apply it.

For example, tools I already use to keep our household organised include:

  • Weekly calendar on our fridge
  • Daily and weekly cleaning schedule
  • Daily filing system
  • Children’s morning and night time routines
  • Chore / reward charts

What I decided to add to our command centre includes

  • Two monthly calendars
  • School In and Out file

The next thing I did was to chose a wall to create our command centre on. I will go into more detail about how I put it all together in a later post.

So here it is in all it’s organised glory! I simply love it.

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Isn’t it pretty?!  Here is a rundown of what I have included in our command centre and how I use it to keep my family organised.

Calendars

First I have two calendars that can be customised, so I can view two months at a glance, the current month and the one following. When any appointments or school events pop up I can put them right on the calendar and know exactly what we have going on now and coming up the following month.

I loved all of the paint swatch calendars I have seen on pinterest and decided to whip a couple up for our command center you can see the tutorial I followed here. They are bright and colourful and because I already had the frames they didn’t cost me a thing to make!

 

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Cleaning Schedule

I love having my cleaning schedule right where I can see it so I can keep on top of all the not so fun things that need to be done around the home. I have my daily and weekly cleaning schedule on a clipboard. I have filled them out and then laminated it so I can tick them off each week with a whiteboard marker and then wipe it clean each Sunday night before the next week begins . I have written about my daily and weekly routines here so you can check it our in a little more detail. Following these check lists helps to keep my house under control on a daily basis. I’m loving these free printable cleaning check lists from Nikki at An Organised Home. You can customise them to suit your needs. Find them here.

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Children’s Routines

I made some simple charts for my kids a few years ago using free images that I searched for on google, it is very simple to do. I have recently however updated my charts to suit a school day, using these charts from iheart organizing. Morning and evening routine charts are a great visual aid for little ones to see what is expected of them each day. These are basic tasks that they need to complete like getting dressed, brushing teeth and packing their schoolbag as well and their night time routine of showering, getting pajamas on, picking up toys, reading stories and bedtime. It has really helped my kids gain more independence as well as keeping our mornings and evenings on track.

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Kids Clip Boards

In the past we have kept reward charts stuck up on the fridge but with two kids and their own behavior and sleeping in bed charts, the fridge gets cluttered fast. Not just that but Miss 2 is forever pulling the magnets off the fridge and I am constantly picking up the charts off the floor. I’m hoping that this will be a solution to this problem.

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School Pocket

I really wanted a designated area to store school notes, permission slips, home readers etc that will need to go back and forth to school. This pocket keeps them separate from our other paperwork so they will not get lost or misplaced.

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Bench Top File

This desk file sits on my kitchen bench just next to our command center and let me tell you this little system is worth its weight in gold. I used to have paper piles everywhere!! I put this together about a year ago to take control over our everyday paper clutter and it works so well for us. When paper or mail enters our house it comes here. It is opened and if it’s not rubbish, its placed in the appropriate folder.

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Once a week I will sit down with this file and:

  • Shred sensitive documents
  • File any paperwork to keep
  • Put our keepsakes in the appropriate file boxes (I will cover these in another post)
  • Pay any bills that are due
  • Go through my “to action” file and add them to my to do list.
Week At A Glance Whiteboard

I have had this for over a year now and I absolutely love it. It is stuck to my fridge where I see it a hundred times a day.

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On Sundays I go to my calendar and write down all appointments, meetings and events that are due to take place that week on this whiteboard. On the right hand side I jot down my meal plan for this weeks dinners. I purchased this whiteboard organiser from Kmart about year ago for about $10. It’s nothing fancy – just simple and easy. I think that is why it works so well.

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So there you have it, that is how I keep my family organised and make sure our house runs like clockwork…….well most of the time anyway. I hope this has inspired you to create your own command centre or to tweak systems you already have in place that are not working as efficiently as they could be.

Check back in on Wednesday because I have Nikki from An Organised Home guest posting about how she organises her own family’s schedule and routines and stays on top of it all during the school year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Cleaning – Kitchen

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Well things have been moving a little slower that I had expected in the spring cleaning department and although I have finished my living room I haven’t been able to move on any other rooms as yet. In return for my lack of cleaning progress, I did however manage to knock about 50% of my jobs off my “Before Christmas” to do list which I am extremely pleased about. Most of that list consisted of painting our living room and with only thing left being the ceiling, I’m extremely happy with my progress.

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So in saying that I am moving onwards and upwards by starting my kitchen next week. The living room and kitchen are the most used areas of the home and the most time consuming in my opinion, so I’m hoping once they are both complete everything else will be easier….right?

So who’s joining me??

You can find your **FREE Kitchen Spring Cleaning checklist HERE  Just click to download.

**Free for a limited time

 

6 Things I Do Every Night That Make Mornings A Breeze

I have been on my organising journey for about 5 years now. Over this time I have discovered that there a few things I can do each night that make my day run so much smoother and allow me to keep the house a lot tidier. These tasks are nothing special, they are not even huge jobs but they are things that make a massive difference to my mornings with very little effort.

So here they are 6 things I do each night to make my mornings easy.

School Bags, Lunches and Clothes

Now my kids are only young but they do attend pre-school twice a week. I always make their lunches and pack their school bags the night before. I also lay out their outfits including shoes and socks. This makes getting them ready so much easier and we are no longer tearing the house up searching for lost shoes.

Kitchen

Do the dishes every single night. Load the dishwasher throughout the day and as you’re cooking dinner. Once you have finished dinner, put the last of the dirty dishes in and start the cycle. Hand wash any large pots or non dishwasher safe items and let them dry over night in the sink. There is nothing better than waking up to a clean and tidy kitchen.

Bathroom

I take 5 minutes to put the dirty clothes in the hamper, pick up the towels and hang them on the hooks, hang the bath mats over the shower screen to dry. I then get disinfectant wipes and quickly wipe over the basin, vanity and toilet.

Laundry

I put a load of laundry in the washing machine and set the timer to start at 6am. By the time I have woken up and had my coffee the first load has finished.

Tidy Up

Once my kids are asleep I take the time each night putting everything away where it belongs. The toys go in the toy box, DVD’s and books go back on the shelf and any other items lying around go back where they belong. Some nights this takes 15 minutes other nights it takes 45 minutes but waking up to a tidy clutter free space just puts me in a good mood right from the get go.

Handy Tip – This is so much easier if you have a place for everything. We have a modest home so we only keep what we have room for, therefore everything has a place to call home and it’s much easier put things away quickly.

Tomorrows To-Do List

Every night before I go to bed I sit down and jot down a list of things that need to be done the following day. When I wake up in the morning I know exactly what needs to be done and I’m able to jump right in.

Although I love organising, being super organised in my daily routine it is not something that has come naturally. I have had to work at it and to be honest I continue to work at it. These are techniques that I have tried and put into place and let me tell you they work! Over time, these little jobs that I “forced” myself to do, have just become habit. They work amazingly well for me and I urge you to give it a try just for one week and see how well they can work for you.

I promise you won’t look back!

 

Got 20 Minutes? That’s all it takes to start getting organised.

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Hi everyone.

I just wanted to share with you a little impromptu organising project and show you how quickly a decluttering session can have a ripple effect on a space.

One particular area that I knew needed a little attention was the glass cabinet, it was busting at the seams. Every time I opened the cupboard this week one of my blender cups has fallen out. This particular morning the kids were playing nicely together so I took the opportunity to tackle the cabinet.

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I told you it was bad!

Like any organising project I first emptied everything out, wiped shelving down and started with a clean slate.

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Now take a look at how much stuff was crammed into that cupboard! That is just craziness. Who needs that many mugs and glass?

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I’ve read many books and blogs about organising and of all the things I have read one thing that has stuck with me is the container theory. We use containers …to contain things. Pretty simple right? So when I’m trying to declutter a space I choose my “container” which in this case is that cupboard. It has a specific purpose and that is to store my glasses, coffee mugs and juicer and mixer. What doesn’t fit neatly, has to go. Once it is organised, the one in one out rule applies. If I buy something else and it doesn’t fit, then I need to get rid an item in order to keep the new one.

Once I put the everyday stuff back into the cupboard, I moved onto my wine glasses. I couldn’t believe when I pulled down a blue box and opened it, that it was a set of crystal wine glasses I got for my 21st over 9 years ago!! That’s right, I haven’t used them one single time. After going through them all I kept all my favorites, including those crystal glasses – which I will start using – and the rest went in the donate box. There was still extra space left on the shelf and here is where the ripple began.

I have always kept the children’s cups, plates and cutlery separate to ours. I call it the Kiddy cupboard and let me tell you although it has worked extremely well, my husband has always hated it. It’s small, it’s in an awkward spot above the bench in the corner and it’s difficult to reach, probably not the smartest place to put it given the fact that we use it a million times a day.

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But after 4 + years it was time to merge all of their stuff in with ours. Not only would my husband be happier but we would gain one extra cupboard for storage. I then emptied out that cupboard put the kid’s cups and plates in with ours and wiped down the shelves. My husband bought himself the kids a snow cone machine on clearance at the end of the summer that has been collecting dust on our bench top for months. So it now has a “home” and has taken up residence in that cupboard until the weather warms up.

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I’m very pleased with the ripple effect this quick little decluttering session caused. Not only did I pair down on our glasses but the kids stuff got a clean out as well AND I gained an extra cupboard of storage in the process. I would call that a very successful day of organising.

And look at all the stuff that left our kitchen!!

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I LOVE getting rid of clutter and I LOVE seeing the end results. Ready for a little before and after?

 

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I hope this inspires you to get stuck in and organise a clutter zone in your house. Even the smallest cupboard can make a big impact and all it took was 20 minutes.

Happy Organising everyone!