My secret motivator that will get you off the couch and actually make you want to clean your house.

We all have those days. You know the days that I’m talking about. When the house is a disaster, your to-do list is a mile long and all you feel like doing is laying on the couch watching Netfix.

So how do you overcome the lack of motivation and drag yourself up off the couch? I recently stumbled upon a not so new craze that is taking over You Tube and that is “clean with me” videos. There are various versions but ultimately they all entail the exact same thing. You watch someone else clean their house.

I know what you’re thinking, it’s absolutely absurd. Why would I sit on the couch and watch someone else clean their house, when my own home is so horrendous? The answer to that question is that they are just so motivating. I don’t know why, but they always give me that kick in the butt I need to get up and get something done.

Today I though I would share with you a few of these motivating “Clean With Me” videos by three of my favourite you tubers.

photoLove Meg

Meg is a wife and a young stay at home Mum to two small children. On her channel Love Meg, she films a variety of videos including fashion, make up, shop with me, Mummy, decluttering, cleaning and organisational videos. You can check out her latest Power Hour video here.

 

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Cass is a wife and Mum of 3 kiddos. On her you tube channel Clutterbug, she covers anything and everything relating to decluttering, routines, organisation and cleaning. She is totally relatable and 100% authentic and absolutely hilarious! Check out her “Dirty 30 – Speed Cleaning” video here. I especially love her little life updates and hilarious stories at the end of each of her videos. ** Warning** You will become addicted to this channel.

 

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Do It On A Dime

Kathryn is a wife and Mummy of two little boys. Her channel Do It On A Dime covers mummy videos, routines, cleaning and organisation. What I love the most about this channel is that it offers affordable ideas and solutions when it comes to organisation, cleaning and home décor. Kathryn is obsessed with the Dollar Tree and does regular shop with me videos and dollar tree hauls. Oh how I wish we had Dollar Tree here in Australia. You can watch her “Night Time Cleaning Routine” here.

So there you have it. Check out each of these channels for endless motivation when it comes to home organisation and cleaning. I hope these videos have inspired you and given you the motivation to get up off the couch, set a timer and make some progress in your home today.

 

 

 

Declutter childrens books without the guilt

Those close to me know that I have no trouble getting rid of excess clutter in my home. It doesn’t matter if it’s clothing, toys or kitchen appliances – if I haven’t used it in a while it goes. Children’s books on the other hand are definitely a weakness of mine. My children have such a love for reading. I have read to them since they were only a few months old. Not only is it great for speech and language development, I live for the snuggles and one on one time with my kiddo’s.

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Books are one thing that I have always had a problem parting with. They are one of those items that can take up very little space and can provide a heap of entertainment for the kids, time and time again. My children have their favourites and of course there are a few that I am sentimental about also. Particularly books that my kids would request every single night for months and months on end. Remembering how my Son had learnt all of the words by heart and the funny way they would pronounce certain words puts a smile on my face.

Over the years our collection has continued to grow. In fact, I am pretty sure I could count on one hand how many books I have ever thrown out. To keep on top of the book clutter my children each have one designated shelf for books in their bedrooms and we also keep a basket of books in our living room. The rest of our library is stored in plastic tubs in the garage and we rotate the books every few months.

 

Bj Books edit

But how many books should you store to rotate in and out? The answer to that question will vary person to person. I guess it depends on how much space you have to store them and how often you change them over. We currently have two 60L tubs and they are packed full. If I am being honest, the truth is that we have never purged books before and I know that many of them never get read and there are heaps that the kids have quite simply outgrown.

A few weeks ago my Son asked if we could change the books so I dragged the two plastic tubs out from our garage and lugged them onto the lounge room floor. We began searching for a particular book that Master B had been asking for and within 10 minutes my carpet looked like this.

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I honestly could not believe how many books we owned and these didn’t even include what was already in the house. Being that school holidays had just started, I took advantage of a stormy Sunday afternoon and began finally purging the kid’s books.

First we brought every single book out to the carpet and I got the children to select a pile of books for each of their rooms. I then chose books for our living room book basket.

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I began sorting them into the following piles:

  • Keepers
  • Donations
  • Maybe keep
  • Baby books / outgrown
  • Damaged / to throw out
  • Sets (grouping all Dora / Thomas The Tank Engine – books together etc.)

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Donations

These were placed directly in the empty blue tub.

Keepers

I placed these on the floor so that I was able to keep track of how many we were keeping.

Baby Books

We had a ridiculous amount of educational books for learning first words, colours, shapes, numbers and animals. I kept only one of each type and donated the rest. I then collected a few of my favourite board books “just in case” we have another baby. (#wishfulthinking) The rest were also donated

Damaged Books

I said goodbye to those damaged books once and for all.

Book Sets

We looked through the book sets and kept the ones we will continue to read eg. Dora the Explorer, Where’s Wally, Winnie The Pooh. I then put the remaining sets in our donation box with the exception of two, which I am trying to sell.

Maybe Keep

I left these until last so I knew how much room we roughly had in our “to keep” box. I was able to be realistic in what I knew we would genuinely use and enjoy. There were obvious purges. These were books the kids have never chose to bring inside.  I also found twelve books that we had two copies of (I’m not even sure how that happened) so all of the doubles were purged as well.

We began packing our “to keep” books back in the plastic container. To my surprise (and relief) they all fit back into just one 60L tub. That’s right, I had achieved my goal and we halved our library – and all of our favourites are still here.

This was my donation pile.

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It just goes to show how much we hold onto purely because we put off making decisions. When you decide to declutter your home, you must be honest with yourself about what you really use. I hate to see so many books in our donation pile but I know that my kids are either way too old for them or are quite simply not interested in them.

It makes me happy to think that these books will make their way to children who will read and enjoy them. And what is the added bonus to our donations? I now have space for our own collection to grow as the kids get older and their interests change.

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If I can get a little serious for a moment when I began decluttering over 6 years ago I never thought I would get to the point that I am at right now. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a long way to go before I reach my end goal. When I looked at those tubs absolutely bursting at the seams the first thing I though was that every room in my house was like those tubs. Absolutely stuffed full with unused clutter.

Conquering The Guilt

I have found that when you are trying to better your home and manage the clutter you have to let go of the guilt. Why hold on to all of this excess stuff that you don’t even use, purely because you feel guilty getting rid of them? And why should you feel guilty for trying to make your home less cluttered and better organised?

I like to think of it another way.

Why am I being so selfish holding onto all of these books? We no longer love or use them and there are other children that could be enjoying them instead. There are many places you can donate children’s books. Schools, day care centres, doctors surgeries, play groups, friends and family at even pay it forward style groups online.

You are taking the necessary steps to live a less cluttered and more organised life. By ridding your home of excessive stuff you are making room for things that you truly use and love and you are making less work for yourself in the long run. No one should feel guilty for trying to enjoy their homes more.

I really feel like a massive weight has been lifted off my shoulders. No really, do you know how heavy those tubs were? We are no longer drowning in books and it feels really great to get another job crossed off the to do list.

I challenge you to tackle the kid’s books and minimise the clutter this week.

8 simple tips to keep your home organised forever

I am always looking for ways to not only get organised, but strategies to help me stay organised. I have introduced many routines and schedules over the years that really help me stay on top of everything. Today I wanted to share these with you.

Here are my 8 simple tips for keeping your home organised forever.

Declutter

Get rid of all the clutter. I find that the reason many people struggle to keep their house organised is because they have too much stuff. Before I started taking back control of my home I would hold on to things “just in case” or because I had spent money on it and didn’t want to just throw it away. The fact of the matter is you are not using it and that money has already been spent.

You have two options here. Firstly you can put the item up for sale.  If you’re trying to sell an item give yourself deadline. If that item hasn’t sold in 1 week it goes! Secondly you can just donate it. It is so easy to pop a bag in the boot of your car and swing past a donation bin. I also keep a box in my garage so that if I find something that I know I don’t use or want, I have somewhere (not inside my house) to put it. Once the box it full, it in the car it goes and off to the donation drop off. Once you start to see results from having less clutter, it really becomes addictive.

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Routines

Set up routines to help keep your home organised. I have shared my routines a little while back and you can check that out in more detail here. I have a morning routine and an evening routine that I stick to every day. Doing these few simple tasks helps keep the house in order and mess to a minimum. Things you may like to include in your routine may include:

Morning Routine

  • Empty dishwasher
  • Do one load of washing and hang out
  • Make the beds
  • Open the house
  • Cleaning task

Evening Routine

  • Load dishwasher
  • Clean the kitchen
  • Tidy bathroom hang towels and mats
  • Pick up all toys
  • Straighten up lounge room
  • Pack anything for the following day

It wont take long for these things to become second nature and you will be amazed at what a difference it makes.

Preparing for the next day

This is such a game changer for making your mornings smooth sailing and especially helpful if you have children. Make lunches and pack school bags the night before. Gather anything you will need for the next day so its ready to go. This includes laying out clothing, shoes and socks so there isn’t a mad rush in the morning. You will never be searching for missing shoes while running out the door again.

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Cleaning Schedule

Make yourself a cleaning schedule. I have a weekly, monthly and yearly cleaning checklist. Every day of the week I choose a cleaning task (or two) to complete, then on the weekend I schedule time to do something off my monthly list. Doing one or two things each day makes it easier to stay on top everything. Alternatively you can choose one day a week to go full pelt and complete all of your weekly cleaning chores. Find what works for you and stick to it. Force yourself to do these tasks now and it will eventually become automatic. I use the fantastic printable from An Organised Home. You can download this printable for your cleaning schedule here and its absolutely free!

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Lists – Weekly and Daily

I can’t function without my lists. Every Sunday I make a list of things I have to do or would like to accomplish that week. Each day I try and knock something off that list. I like to put these weekly goals in my notebook which is either left open on my kitchen bench or goes with me when I leave the house. You may like to write these on your fridge where you see them multiple times a day or find somewhere you can easily view it. This will help keep you on task.

Every night I write my to do list for the following day. This will include errands I need to run, meetings, doctors appointments, extra tasks I need to complete, my cleaning task and phone calls I need to make. I find that writing my to do list the night before not only helps clear my mind before bed but it saves time the next morning. Your list is ready to go as soon as you wake up and you can start getting things done much quicker.

Schedule time to organise

It is so important to schedule in time to organise your home. Having everything organised not only makes tidying up easier, it also makes cleaning a breeze. Make sure that all toys are sorted and have a “home”. Find a specific spot for everything you own and. If you do not have enough space for all of your dvd’s then purge some of them. If your cupboard is overflowing with coffee mugs put some in your donation box.  By setting out 15 – 20 minutes each day to clean and organise a drawer or a shelf, you would truly be amazed how much you can accomplish and what a difference it will make. That adds up to almost 2.5 hours a week. Click the link below to find this weekly printable.

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Set up organising systems

Find your clutter zones and set up systems to keep them under control. Grab a pen and paper and begin writing down the messiest areas of your home and why they are so disorganised. The next step is to think of ways you could better organise the space.

If your living room is constantly covered in toys then find a spot to put them. Every toy in our house has a home but like all children, my kiddos are constantly pulling toys out into the living areas. To solve this problem we bought a storage ottoman that we use to throw toys in at the end of each day. Once its full, the kids have to take all their own toys back to their rooms and put them away. This works so well, as they can bring toys out and play with them for a few days, but every night I can toss the way out of sight.

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Do you have mountains of mail and paper everywhere? Set up a paper system to stop overwhelming paper clutter in it’s tracks. Mine is just a simple desk file with folders for each category listed below.

  • To Action
  • To Pay
  • File
  • Shred
  • Keepsakes

 

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Get into the habbit of opening your mail at the desk file then sort and file it immediately. Add a bin close by to toss junk mail and garbage in as soon as you see it. Keep on top of this by going through ever week or so it doesn’t begin over flowing.

Too many shoes, clothes, dvd’s, books or craft supplies? Tackle each of these areas one at a time by purging, finding a space for what is left and then creating systems to maintain order.

Labels, labels, labels.

Once you have organised a space you need to label everything. Not only will you know where everything belongs, but it will make it easier for everyone else in your home to put things away or find something as well. Adding tags and labels with pictures to your children’s toy storage, closet and drawers will help them identify where things belong if they are unable to read.

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I hope that you find these tips helpful. I have completely taken control of my home using these 8 steps and let me tell you its the greatest feeling ever. We spend so much times in our homes so why not take the time to organise it and enjoy the space you have.

 

 

Simplifying My Life In 2017

It’s hard to believe that January is over and we are well into February already. How does the time go by so quickly? I find that this is the time of year when we all begin to settle back into our regular routines and start getting a bit of normality back to our lives. If you are reading this, then I’m guessing that you are interested in the idea of simplifying your life. The mere thought of this is extremely overwhelming when you feel like you are living in chaos. This is pretty much how I am feeling at the moment.

I love my husband to death but when he is on holidays I get absolutely NOTHING accomplished. Please tell me I’m not alone on this one?

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love having all of that extra family time together. Day trips to the beach and extra activities with the kids have been wonderful and of course the little ones love having their Daddy home so much over the break.  In saying that, I’ll admit that I find it very hard to keep everything in order when the four of us are home together all day everyday for a month straight. Routines get thrown out the window, there are way too many late nights and every day is like the weekend. And if I am to be 100% honest with you I get quite lazy myself – if everyone else is on holidays why can’t I join them?

February is also the time of year that I really start to act on my goals for the year. I know I’m a little late in regards to this topic – I realise that the new year began over 6 weeks ago.

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The holiday season is absolutely insane around here. My Husband and I went on our Honeymoon at the end of November and also celebrated his birthday. Then of course there is Christmas, our Sons birthday, New Year Eve celebrations. Add to that “Party Season” as all of Master B’s little friends birthdays fall in December and January as well as my birthday! To say it’s been impossible to start anything new during this time is a massive understatement.

But now is the time! Hubby is back at work and Master 5 has just started kindergarten. My aim is to simplify our routine so that we can enjoy our day to day activities. I’m also trying to create  a new routine with just Miss 2 and myself at home. I know this will be a major adjustment not just for me, but her as well. She misses her big brother so much.

I don’t know what it is about the beginning of a new year. It’s a fresh start and a whole world of possibilities. As you all know, I love having a decluttered and organised home. While it has taken me many years to get to where I am at this point, I am far from finished I really want to take it further.

This year I chose one word, call it my theme for the year. LESS. I have always aimed to use less, have less, spend less, waste less. In the past I have tried when I remember to, but this year I’m determined to take it to the next level. I’m really excited to share with you my goals for the year.

It’s time to start simplifying my life

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I have officially begun my journey to minimalist living.

Now let me just say that I will never be a “true minimalist”. We will not be selling all of our furniture and electronics. We will not be swapping our couches for bean bags or our beds for a mattress on the floor and we certainly will not be replacing toilet paper for washable cloths.

Yes, I have recently learned that this is actually “thing”. #omg

I have been learning lot about minimalism over the last few months. My time has been spent reading many articles and I have been listening to a lot of podcasts on the topic. I have joined quite few facebook groups where everyday people share their progress, as they begin living with less, simplifying their lives and living with purpose. Let me tell you, the benefits seem to be life changing for some people. I want to be one of those people!!!

There are many interpretations of what minimalism actually is. To me, it’s only keeping things that you need, use and love. Everything else is not needed. I love the idea of living a much simpler life, getting rid of the unnesacery and only having what we need. I truly believe that happiness is not measured by the amount of possessions you own and more importantly I want to teach my kids the same thing. This is incredibly difficult to do these days any way.

During my year of culling I will not be stopping at household items. Minimising waste of food and money by meal planning and budgeting is high on my list of things to improve. As well as cutting costs anywhere I can in the everyday running of my home.

It may come as no surprise that having less stuff makes keeping your house clean, tidy and under control a much easier task. Having too much stuff causes stress and creates so much more work when it comes to running the household. I’m going to tackle it all. Every inch of my home is going to get the minimalist touch and I will be sharing my progress on my facebook page as well as monthly updates here on the blog.

I am so excited about this change we are making and I can’t wait to see how it impacts other areas of our lives.

The Year Of The House

The second goal I wanted to share with you are the projects we have planned for our home. It is really going hand in hand with our minimalist goals. My husband and I have renamed 2017! Yes, you read that correctly, 2017 is now known in our family as the year of the house. Our plan is to do as many updates and improvements to our home as possible. This will include DIY projects and organising projects. If you have seen my Back To School Series part 1 and part 2,  work has well and truly begun.

We have been in our house for eight and a half years now. We have painted a little here and there and made a few changes along the way but we have a long way to go. With our kiddo’s aged 2 and 5 it has been extremely hard to find the time to knock all of these projects off the to do list, as I’m sure many of you out there can relate to.

Truth be told, over last year I have realised that we are very quickly outgrowing our home. Before we bought our house, my husband and I had been renting a tiny two bedroom unit. So when we moved into our 3 bedroom house it felt huge, like seriously huge. Add to that another dog, two kiddos and all the extra stuff that those little people need and we are close to bursting at the seems. This is another reason we will greatly benefit from a more minimalistic life.

Moving will not be an option for us any time soon, so for the time being it’s about making the most of the house that we have. I had so many plans for our home when we first moved in and somewhere along the way it has all been pushed aside. So decluttering and setting up systems to make the most efficient use of the space is at the top of the to do list.

I think of all those years we totally wasted the space in our entry way. It was always a mess because there wasn’t enough storage and with our entry project not only has it completely transformed the way it looks, but it has totally changed the way we use that space.

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On Our To-Do List
  • Laundry update – better storage
  • Declutter while simplifying storage in kids rooms
  • Closet organisation in all bedrooms
  • Finish painting inside
  • Front patio update
  • Garage declutter
  • Garage organization
  • Purging every room
  • Photo Organisation

I’m sure there a million other areas that will need some kind or re-organisation and I’m sure they will be added to our never ending list.

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So this is the starting point. I’m ready for a more simplified life. I’m so excited to get started on ridding our home and lives of all the unnecessary stuff that has no purpose and only having things in our home that we truly need, use or want.

So here’s to a tidier, cleaner and less cluttered 2017!

 

 

 

 

Back To School Series – Part 3

Good morning guys and welcome to my third and final installment to the back to school series.

I can’t believe how fast this month has gone! In just 3 short days I will be sending Master 5 off to his first day at Kindergarten. We are well and truly organized and my little man is totally excited…… me on the other hand…I’m extremely anxious. Deep breaths Hailey, deep breaths.

Before we jump into part 3 of the series, lets take a look back at what we have covered so far in terms of school organisation.

Back To School Part 1

  • Command Centre
  • Family Schedule
  • Cleaning Schedules
  • Routines
  • Calendars
  • Filing System

Back to School Part 2

  • School Uniforms
  • Shoes
  • Schoolbags
  • Lunchboxes
  • School Papers

Today I will be showing you how I organise and keep track of my kids school work. I have been using this system for about 2 years now since my son began pre school.

At the moment my children’s “school work” is any artwork that they bring home. I will continue using this system the same way as they progress through their school years and when they begin bringing home special school assignments and important exams in the future.

My system is very basic and right from the beginning I decided that I needed it to help me limit what I hold onto. You have to be very particular in what you keep or you will be drowning in school papers for the next 13 years. Once that file is full you need to either stop keeping artwork or take something else out in order too keep a new piece. That is the rule.

Supplies used in this project include

  • File box
  • Suspension files
  • Manilla folders
  • Free printables (you can find the links below)

 

I got my file box from kmart a few years back for around $15 but I found this from Officeworks which is very similar.

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I started with the pre school files, labeling them with the year that my son attended day care. Having worked in child care for 8 years before having my kiddo’s, I know how much artwork they can come home with. Funnily enough my son was never a big fan of doing craft once he started pre school – he was far too busy running around and playing outside to stop long enough for craft. So most of his art work was from when I used to do it with him as an infant. I am hoping I get a little more craft work from my daughter.

I then continued to label the remaining files kindergarten, year 1, year 2 and so on, all the way to year 12. (Yikes that is a scary thought…. my baby ….. in year 12)

The files come with little clear clip on label holders and white labels. Of course you can just write on them with a marker but I wanted to make mine pretty so I created my own labels.

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I printed them on a white cardstock then I cut them out and slid them into the clips.

Inside each of the suspension files I have placed one manila folder to hold the school work.

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For the front I created a fun little printable to fill out each year. It’s a place to record your child’s teachers name, their class, what they want to be when they grow up. My little guy  told me he wants to be a skateboarder #adorable. There is also a place for a school portrait for that particular year. It is such a cute little keepsake to look back at in years to come.

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And look how organised it is!

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When the kids come home from school, I search through their school bags and gather papers. Any notes are filled out, important dates are added to the calendars and artwork is put into the keepsakes section on my desk file in the kitchen.

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No name - in file

Once a week or when the file is full, all of the keepsakes are moved to their school file boxes that are stored in our garage.

I store these in the garage for an obvious reason – the boxes are big. I only have one hall closet in our house that serves many purposes. It houses craft supplies, beach towels, gift wrapping items, my household file, warranties and manuals binder and my printer. I honestly couldn’t fit another thing in that closet if I tried.

I love this system because once it is done, that’s it. It is a sealed box so everything inside is protected. It is so simple to just slide school work inside as needed. There are no folders, hole punches or plastic sleeves to worry about.

Having each year contained to one folder really makes you think about what pieces are truly important to you. Lets face it, your kids are not going to want box after box after box of every single piece of art and craft they have ever created, handed down to them when they head off to Uni. I know that for me personally, I keep the little works or art because they are special to me or represent something significant.

The hand and footprints remind me of how little they were at certain stages of their lives. The pictures remind me of how hard he worked to draw that ninja turtle or the page of writing reminds me of how long he sat in full concentration to write his entire name.  Those are the pieces I will keep. Just because you don’t keep every single piece of work, doesn’t mean you love them any less.

 

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I wanted one system that will last the next 13 years. Even with the extra pre school files in there, look how much space there is left!  This is a system that never needs to be updated. That was the goal and that is what I’ve created. Simple, easy, storage.

I hope that this inspires you to set up a school work system for you children and to make the process a little easier I am giving you my file labels and cover pages absolutely free!!

So head over to my shop and download them today.

Download your file labels here.

Download your school year cover pages here.

 

 

 

 

Back To School Series Part 2

part 2

Well hello everyone and welcome back to part two of my back to school series. We are less than 3 weeks away from the first day of school. How on earth is this going so quickly? I mentioned last week that my eldest it starting kindergarten this year and in all honesty I’m crying on the inside – I’m told this passes, quite quickly. Although I’m extremely anxious about the whole thing, I know that Master B is more than ready for school and is totally excited about it too. So I’m keeping myself busy by getting us all organised for when the craziness begins.

Today I will be sharing with you all how I plan to keep all the school clutter organsed once my little one starts school in just a few short weeks. You know what I’m talking about, all those nessecary items that your kiddo’s need – but totally cause chaos within the home. The school bags, shoes, hats, coats, uniforms, lunch boxes and school papers.

I have been working on an update in our entry to accommodate all these extra items as well as setting up a few systems to keep the clutter at bay.

School Uniforms

In order to teach my Son a little independence I have made “setting out uniform” part of his night time routine. I have placed this basket on the shelf in his bedroom where his entire uniform can be set out ready each night. The school uniform is easy wear polo shirts and there will be no ironing involved (#mumgoals) so I wont need it all on hangers. His school uniform will be neatly folded in the basket ready for the following morning.

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Lunch Boxes

Lunch boxes have been driving me absolutely batty for the last 12 months. My husband takes two separate lunch box / cooler bags to work and my Son has been using one for pre school as well. When they walk in the door they are brought into the kitchen to be emptied and cleaned and then they end up scattered all over the kitchen bench and then being picked up and moved around every time they get in the way. I have a very small Tupperware cupboard so they can’t be stored there so I decided that I would buy a basket to store them all in so I don’t have to look at them. Now they have a place to call home. The pretty basket has a spot on the kitchen bench tucked away in the corner and the lunchboxes will stop getting in my way once and for all.

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School Papers

I like the idea of keeping these school papers separate so I know I only have one place to look for permission slips, home readers and canteen order forms. When anything comes home from school it will go straight to my desk file. Any important dates are added to the calendars any permission slips are filled out and are put in the blue school pocket and any artwork is put into my keepsakes file.

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Shoes and Schoolbags

This would have to be my favourite part of my home organisation series. I have been thinking about how I can organise my entry to accommodate school clutter for about a year now- yes really, a full year. I will share the entire makeover process at a later date but this is what I have come up with that works with the space we had available.

In the past I had all of our shoes stored in a clear plastic tub under a hall table that we used to have and it always looked a mess. I recently purchased this shoe storage cabinet from Ikea that holds all of our shoes.  I love it because all of our shoes fit inside and all of the visual cutter is gone. The kid’s shoes are stored in the bottom as it is easier for them to access as well as stash their own at the end of each day.

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We have also recently installed board and batten in our entry that hold 6 double coat hooks. This will be the place to store school bags, hats, jumpers and jackets. These extra hooks will help keep things organised and off the floor.

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I feel like things are finally coming together and we are almost ready for school. By having all of these systems in place before the term begins, I am hoping that it will make the transition – for all of us – a little smoother.

Check back in next week for the last installment in the back to school series.

 

 

How to get organised when you just don’t know where to start.

 

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When most people think of organisation they picture all the images they have seen on pinterest. You know what I’m talking about. The numerous boards that are filled with all the projects you have pinned to complete “one day”. Shelves adorned with matching bins, perfectly stacked and lined up displaying beautiful labels. While these images are absolutely drool worthy, for the everyday person who is desperately wanting to restore some order to their home these pictures can just make the process even more overwhelming. So how do you “get organised” when you have absolutely no idea where to start?

For those of you out there that feel they are drowning in clutter and disorganisation I’ve put this post together FOR YOU! With a few tips and tricks that will hopefully give you that little push that you need.

First things first, if you are waiting for the “perfect” time to get organised I’m here to tell you that there is never a perfect time. You are always going to find an excuse to keep putting it off, that’s how we all wind up in this predicament to begin with, right? We put off making decisions and things begin piling up until it gets to the point of being too overwhelming. Make the choice to start and JUST DO IT!

 

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In the past I have heard people suggest that you start with a small project, a single drawer or cupboard. This may work for those wanting to ease into their organising journey but if you are truly struggling to find peace and order in your home and life, choose the most troublesome area of your home, that area that will have the biggest impact when it is organised.

Toys

If you struggle with mountains of toys that don’t you have nowhere to put or that your kids don’t play with or that they have even outgrown. Start here.

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Kitchen

Is your kitchen so full of stuff that your cupboards are filled to capacity, your benchtops are constantly covered in clutter? Do you have to clear a pile of stuff every time you need to make a meal? Start here.

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Living Room

Are your bookshelves bursting with clutter and toys taking over your living space? If you don’t have a living room that makes you want to sit and actually relax at the end of the day, then start here.

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Routines and Schedules

Do you struggle to get out the door on time….or just in general. Do you forget appointments, work commitments, deadlines and meetings? Start here.

Working on the most difficult area that will make the biggest impact on the way your home functions can be a huge motivation for two reasons.

  1. You will truly notice a difference.
  2. Future organising projects can only get easier.

The reality is that you don’t need all the fancy boxes and bins to be organised you just need to get started. From my own personal experience 90% of the problem is clutter.

Pick up a box or a garbage bag, go for a walk around your house and start picking up obvious clutter. Broken toys, books you’ll never read, appliance you haven’t used, clothes or toys the kids have out grown. Make it a priority to do this weekly. Even the most organised person continues to aquire clutter.

If you have decided to start in a specific space then gather EVERYTHING from around your house that you want to store in that space and get started. There is nothing more frustrating than organising a space and then finding a dozen more things that you need to find a place for.

Group like items together and then get rid of any multiples.  Designate a spot for everything and if it doesn’t fit it has to go. For example if you chose a cupboard for your glasses and coffee mugs and they don’t all fit, purge.

In regards to paper clutter and piles gather every piece of paper from around your house in one big box and begin sorting into piles to

  • File
  • Shred
  • To action
  • To pay
  • Keepsakes

This next tip is absolutely crucial. If you pick up an object and say to yourself “I might need that one day” GET RID OF IT! That sentence is a sure sign you are never going to use this again. TRUST ME!

If you are one of the “I paid good money for this, I’m not throwing it out” kind of people, then try to sell it. Give yourself a deadline and if you haven’t sold it by then, donate it to someone that could really use it. That $900 exercise bike you bought 10 years ago and never use is not making you any money sitting in your garage. You will never get your money back on it so cut your losses and gain some space in your garage you may desperately need for items you actually use or need to store.

You do not need to hold on to excessive stuff to make you feel happy. Is the mess and disorganisation making you feel happy at the moment? I’m guessing its not or you wouldn’t be reading this right now.

Once you have purged and found a spot for all of your stuff, label, label, label.

  • Put pictures on toy bins so you can quickly pack things away at the end of each day or to teach your kids where things go.

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  • Label shelves and baskets in your pantry to keep everything in order.

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  • Put a tag on baskets in your media center or entertainment unit so you can easily access what you need.

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Maintenance

The next step is to come up with your “maintenance routine.” What do you need to do each day to keep things neat, tidy and organised? I have talked a little about my nightly routine here but I have listed few examples below.

To keep your living room in order for example you may want to complete the following tasks each night.

  • Pick up all the toys each night and put them back where they belong or get the kids to do this as part of their routine before bed.
  • Pick up throw blankets and cushions and straighten up the couch.
  • Put any books or magazines away where they belong.

In the kitchen your nightly routine might entail

  • Doing all the dishes every single night
  • Clear the bench tops of all clutter
  • Sweeping the floors

In the bathroom your list may look a little like this;

  • Hang wet towels on the rack to dry
  • Hang bath mats up to dry
  • Take dirty clothes to the laundry room
  • Pick up all bath toys to drain
  • Wipe over the vanity

You have gone to all of this effort to cut down the clutter and organise your space, you now need to put the steps in place to maintain it. If you don’t you will be right back where you started before you know it. These chores don’t take a lot of time but they can make a huge difference to how well your home stays organised. Write a little list of tasks to do each night before you go to bed and you will wake up to an organised and tidy home each and every morning.

My final tip to maintaining a tidy and organised home is to keep decluttering. Things are coming into your home every single day and your children will continue to outgrow clothing and toys, once it’s no longer needed, get rid of it. This isn’t a “do once” kind of thing, it needs to be done regularly. There are several ways you can do this.

Toy Clutter

To keep on top of toy clutter schedule in one day a month to go through children’s toys. Throw out broken toys and those “junky” toys that they played with for 5 minutes aka McDonalds toys.

21 Item Challenge. 

Grab a garbage bag and walk around your house picking up unused or unwanted items. Depending on how cluttered your house is you can do this once a day until its manageable – or every week / fortnight.

Declutter Week

Choose a room each day for one week to go through and collect anything lying around not being used. Do this every month.

If you keep this up regularly you will eventually get to a point where you only have to do this once a month. I actually have a clear plastic storage tub in my garage at all times so that if I come across a clutter item I have somewhere to dump it right away and get it out of my house. Once the tub is full I take it and donate it.

Once you start to see results it really is hard to stop. When your home is calm and tidy it can have a massive affect on your mood and productivity, not to mention being able to find something you need because everything is where it’s meant to be.

I hope this has given you the motivation you need to get started on reclaiming your home. Make 2017 your year to declutter your life. I can guarantee that it will make an unbelievable difference.

 

Spring Cleaning – Bathroom and Entry

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Good morning guys. It has been a little crazy around here this last month or so. Just when I thought things would be settling down leading up to the holiday season it has actually been the opposite.

While Spring is nearly at an end, my spring cleaning is far from finished. I always aim to get our main living areas completed before I decorate for Christmas, this is our living room, kitchen and entry. I’m then free to do the bedrooms throughout December.

This week I’m moving on to our bathroom and entry. I actually did a big clean in the bathroom not so long ago so I’m a little relieved that this wont be a huge job.

So if you are like me and a little behind in the spring cleaning then download your bathroom checklist and your entry checklist and lets get started.

 

Chocolate Weetbix Slice

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Hi guys. You may have noticed that I have been a little quiet here on the blog over the last week or so. I have been trying really hard to get as many things crossed off my many to-do lists before things begin getting crazy around here.

I did however take a little time out yesterday to spend some quality time with my kiddo’s on a cold and rainy day. If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen me post a picture of some delicious weet-bix slice that we whipped up. It was the first time I have made this particular slice and let me tell you that it is totally addictive. I had someone comment on my picture asking for the recipe so I thought I would share it with you.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup of dessicated coconut
  • 3 weetbix, crushed
  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 180g butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • Chocolate icing
Method
  • Pre heat oven to 160 degrees.
  • Add all the dry ingredients together a mixing bowl and combine well.
  • Melt butter and add the vanilla.
  • Pour butter and vanilla into the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
  • Press mixture into a slice pan and bake at 160 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Allow slice to cool completely then spread chocolate icing over the top.

This slice is so easy to make and such an Australian classic. I can’t believe It took me so long to test out this recipe.

I promise you won’t be able to stop at one piece!

 

 

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