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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

An Organised Home – Back To School Organisation – Part 2

 

Hi everyone you may have noticed that it has been extremely quiet around here the last few days. It has been crazy busy around here this week. My little man had his 5th birthday party followed by two other birthday parties the following two days. I can’t remember the last time I was this exhausted. But as party season draws to a close and we are less than two weeks away from the school term starting, we are very much looking forward to some serious down time.

Today I am joined by Nikki from An Organised Home for Part 2 of our Back To School Series. So without further ado I will hand over to Nikki, as she shares how she organises school clutter in her home.


Well, as my holiday is drawing to a close, my thoughts are slowly moving back to reality, and while I am glad that I have put quite a few things in place for the coming year, there is still lots to be done as far as school organisation goes.

Having a high school student definitely has its benefits. He is old enough to unpack his school bag, he knows where his school notes go, and if I can get him to put down his phone long enough, he gets through what little homework he has in a reasonable amount of time.

However, teenagers tend to have to be told 5 times before they do anything!!!

You know how it goes. You have probably seen that meme on Facebook…

The one that goes a little something like this…

Mum: "Could you please pick up your stuff?" 

Child: No response. 

Mum: "Could you please pick up your stuff?" 

Child : No response. 

Mum: "Could you please pick up your stuff?" 

Child: No response. 

Mum: Yelling "Would you turn off the damn TV, get up off your butt and put your stuff away!!!" 

Child: "Geez, why are you so angry?" 

Well, welcome to being a parent of a teenager.

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Image Credit

While the teenage breed is pretty self sufficient, they conveniently lack a certain ability to “remember” to do those things required of them. At least that is what happens in my home.

In this second instalment of school organisation I will delve a little further into how we keep the school clutter organised in a way that makes it convenient to access, as well as out of the school bag and put away.

We live in a small two-story town house. The two bedrooms and bathrooms are upstairs, and the lounge, kitchen and dining rooms are downstairs. We don’t have a laundry, we have a cupboard in the dining room. Yes, you read that right. A cupboard in the dining room.

So as far as storage space goes, we are extremely limited.

It would be pointless for Zac to store his school items in his room, as it would mean dragging things up and down the stairs, which would undoubtedly lead to lost and misplaced items. Add to that the fact that I want him doing his homework at the dining room table, so that I can monitor how much homework is actually being done, and you can understand why the laundry became our designated “school” area. And of course, me being me, I can’t stand things to be left out, so they do need to go away for me to keep my sanity. Or what is left of it.

Basically there are four areas that need to be addressed.

  • Uniforms
  • Lunch Boxes
  • School Papers
  • Shoes and School Bag
Uniforms

With no laundry, and only one dirty clothes basket in the entire house, I need to wash quite regularly. To take a little step sideways, my laundry routine is pretty much wash when there is enough to do that load, with the exception of sheets, bath mats and towels. My towels and bath mats are done every Monday, and sheets get done on Fridays. Other than those items, I just keep an eye on the basket and I can see when there is enough to put on a black load or a coloured load. And to make things easier on myself, I hang all shirts on hangers, and any pants with a pleat down the front by the pant cuffs already folded along the pleats. It does make ironing a breeze.

Now, getting back to uniforms, as Zac goes to a private school, their uniform policy is quite strict. Summer uniform consists of long navy pants and a white shirt that has the school logo on it, and a blazer if it is a bit cooler. Winter uniform is the long navy pants, long sleeved white shirt, school tie, woolen jumper and blazer. The jumper cannot be worn without the blazer, and the children are not to arrive or leave the school in anything other than that uniform. Including their sports uniform, even if sport is the first or last class of the day.

There have been instances where children receive detention for not adhering to these policies, which personally, I really like. The policies that is, not the detention. And with such a strong emphasis on presentation, I do iron all of Zac’s uniforms. I just feel that it is more respectful of the schools policies and of course, I do love that crisp line in the sleeves of the shirts and the legs of the pants. I know, crazy right?

Having said that, I am not afraid to tell you that there have been times that he has gone to school with an un-ironed shirt and pants that still have peg marks on them! Alas, life goes on.

So uniforms are obviously in his wardrobe, and as I am pretty organised with the washing schedule, 99% of the time his uniforms are there ready to go. Zac has enough shirts and pants that, even if I did no washing during the week, as long as it was all completed on the weekend, he would be fine. No further organisation is necessary. When it comes to his sports uniform though, I keep that in a seperate satchel ready to put in his school bag on sports day. Every time his sport uniform is worn, it is washed and folded and put back in the bag in the laundry where the rest of his school stuff goes. There is no point in keeping that in his room, as he never changes into it to go to school, and if it was upstairs, it would mean it was either forgotten or Zac is looking for it at the last minute. I will go more into his school items in the laundry next week.

Lunch Boxes

When it comes to lunch boxes, we are pretty easy. My husband has had the same lunch box for 30 years. Yep, 30 years. They just don’t make them like they used to! Zac and I take which ever lunch box suits what we are taking for lunch.

My biggest problem with lunch boxes is what to put in them. Zac will not take a sandwich for lunch, as it isn’t “fresh” by lunch time. I have tried freezing them, putting ice bricks in with them, and it doesn’t make a difference. Usually he will take a cold meat such as corned silverside, roast pork, roast lamb, chicken, even sweet and sour chicken or a beef stir fry with rice or salad.

For the past couple of years I have been using a lunch box that has a freezable lid which keeps his lunch cold, right up until his break. However, the lid broke a while back and I had a lot of trouble finding these.

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I finally found them here, but browsing the website I came across another lunch box that I really liked also.

This neat expandable lunch box, has a centre tray that can be frozen. When I looked at this, I actually liked it better than the previous one, as I think with food on top and below the frozen tray, his lunch will stay cooler still. The lunchbox is called an Ez-Freeze Expandable Salad Kit, and has an expandable bowl, freezable tray and a dressing container. Check it out here.

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And lastly, from Howard’s Storage World, I found this thermos. Since going on our cruise, Zac has started to try a lot of different foods, and I figured that this would be a great option for soups, pastas, spaghetti bolognaise or casseroles. You can find this thermos here.

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School Papers

High school students really don’t need a lot of help when it comes to storing schoolwork and papers. However when it comes to permission slips or photo forms etc, my son needs to have as little as possible to do with those. This is why I actually keep his schoolwork and anything he needs in the laundry, easily accessible to him, but anything that I need to deal with comes straight to my little command centre file.

I spoke in a bit more detail about this last week, so I won’t elaborate to much more, but depending on the type of note, I take one of three actions;

  1. I complete the form immediately and put it straight back into his school bag to be returned the next day. These are forms such as updated medical information or a note required for his panadol.
  2. I diarise the date of any upcoming events. For example, at the beginning of each new year, there is always a breakfast meeting to go over what to expect for the year. I also do this for excursions, however I usually complete the permission slip immediately and then keep a copy in my school file so that I have all the details needed.
  3. If it is a reference type document like a canteen menu, I will just file it in the school folder. No further action is required.

I also have a really great system that has worked so well for storing schoolwork, however I am going to go into more detail about that next week. We have been doing this for two years now, this will be our third, and it has been an absolute lifesaver. No more lost notes, or “I can’t find my English Assessment Task”.

Shoes and Schoolbag

This one is an easy one for us. Shoes are taken off at the front door. Not only does this mean that we know exactly where to find them the next day, but it also stops anything on the bottom of our shoes being traipsed through onto the carpet. Which in turn means less work for me.

The school bag is quite large, and while I would love to have an entry way like Hailey’s we just don’t have the space. In the dining room on either side of the buffet and hutch is a little space just big enough to hold a bag on either side. Zac keeps his at one end, and my husband keeps his at the other. This keeps the bags out of site (mostly) and out of the way. It is also right where it needs to be each evening when it is packed for the following day.

I hope that helps a little more when it comes to organising your kids for school. Be sure to check back next week, where I show you how I organise the school work itself. Until then, make the most of these last few days with your children before they embark on the next big step in their lives.

Nikki – An Organised Home

An Organised Home – Back to School Series Part 1

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We are back again today with another instalment in my Back To School Series Part 1.

I’m so excited to have Nikki from An Organised Home guest posting today and sharing how she organises her family’s schedules and routines throughout the school year. If you aren’t familiar with An Organised Home, be sure to check out Nikki’s blog  and also click here to browse her facebook page.

So I will now hand you over to Nikki from An Organised Home.


Where on earth did 2016 go?

I swear it only feels like November still, yet here we are in mid way through January already. Right now, while I am writing this, I am off sailing around the South Pacific Islands enjoying a well earned holiday. But not before I have put a few things in place so that the back to school transition runs smoothly when we return.

This post is the first of a three part series that I was asked to participate in. I would like to thank Hailey from Organise It All for asking me to take part in her back to school series.

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Our systems and needs will be very different from each other, simply because of the differing ages of our children. But this in no way means that either of us will be less organised than the other.

A few simple steps taken in advance can really save all of the hassle of the last minute run around the day before school goes back.

Scheduling & Routines

The first part of this series is how we organise our family’s schedules and routines, and I must say for me, this is becoming a little easier to organise, but a lot more hectic to keep up with.

My son, Zac, is starting Year 10 this year. YEAR 10!!! It just doesn’t seem possible. He attends a school where his main course of study, outside of the core subjects, is in the field of Technical Production, Sound and Lighting. He is very fortunate to have already found himself a job at a well known and highly respected lighting company during the holidays, and is quite often required to work on school shows both at school and outside of school.

For us, this requires a high level of organisation and communication to ensure that he is able to be where he needs to be, when he needs to be there. Add to that already busy mix, a HSC course that he is starting a year early, and offsite at a TAFE Campus, and I am thinking that we are not going to have time to scratch ourselves this year.

Moving towards digital organisation.

Our household is very quickly becoming a digital household. Both Zac and I are very computer literate and both of us spend way too much time on computers. And whilst this is something that we need to work on, it is actually a blessing in disguise when it comes to organisation. For us, a digital calendar is a much better approach to our planning and scheduling. We always have it on us, (neither of us would ever be caught out without our phones!) and we can quickly add, edit or remove appointments, etc, on the run.

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I still use my calendars at home on my fridge, and mostly this is for a quick glance at upcoming commitments and for my husband who is not quite as digitally reliant as us. You can download my calendar here.

Digital Diary

The school is starting this year with a digital diary, that the parents can access so we can see any homework that has been set, upcoming assessment tasks or exams, and any other notes or changes that are being made. For example, Zac is quite often pulled out of his Tech class to do the set up for assemblies, shows, open days, etc, which of course all forms part of that class, but this is noted in the diary. If a teacher wants to let us know that he didn’t complete his homework, that is noted in the diary also. And Zac himself, sets up events for anything he has upcoming and sends me an invitation. That’s right… he sends me an invitation to drive him to a show an hour from home, wait around for four hours, then drive him home again. Very considerate, isn’t he?? LOL.

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So, with all of the calendars now covered, that leaves the rest of my scheduling to share.

On the Agenda Today

My to do list will remain the same. I really like using the “What’s on the Agenda Today” sheet that I designed, and possibly in the future I will digitise this. But right now the hard copy works for me. It has space for my to-do’s, things to do while I am out, things to pick up and more. You can download my printable here.

Cleaning Schedules

My cleaning schedules are also still working for me. Though right now, I must say I am absolutely loving having Ryan come to my stateroom and make beds, wash towels and run the vacuum through daily, however he is not too keen to come home with us to continue. I designed a very simple sheet that I laminate and keep handy.

Up the top are my daily tasks and down the bottom are weekly tasks. There are checkboxes for a week at a time in the daily section and a month at a time in the weekly section. Each Sunday after I have filled in the daily section I simply wipe it clean and start over on Monday. And likewise once I have finished using the weekly section.

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This eliminates the need to keep printing new sheets each week, and if you happen to miss a task one day / week, you know that is the first place to start the next day / week.

Command Centre

The last part of my scheduling and routines is my little Command Centre. It has been an absolute lifesaver when it comes to bills and paperwork.

I am not going to go into too much detail here, as I will be doing a post on this in the future. But I will give you a quick run through of how I use it.

This is a very simple desk organiser that I have folders in to keep track of all important documents.

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There are folders for:

  • To pay
  • To Do
  • To File
  • To Scan
  • To Shred
  • Reference

There is also one file for each family member and one for school, along with one for each of the bigger projects that are happening at that time. For example, there was one for the cruise, and one for my dance competitions.

As bills come in I diarise when they are due and set a reminder on my digital calendar. They are then put in the To Pay folder until that time comes. Once a bill has been paid it goes in either the To File, To Scan or To Shred folders. If it is important enough to scan, it is then filed in my Dropbox folder with password protection and the physical bill goes in the To Shred folder. I have very little now that I deem to be important enough to actually keep a hard copy. Only things like mortgage documents, immunization records, house deeds, etc have made it to the file box.

Things that need to be done, something like following up on a incorrect bill or paperwork to be completed, goes in my to do file. Again, once completed, it is either scanned, filed or shred.

The individual files we have is pretty much for paperwork that doesn’t necessarily require action but isn’t ready to go away. Or more realistically, paperwork I want off my desk that the husband and son have not finished with!!!

And lastly the school folder is for upcoming events, permission slips, canteen menus, etc. anything school related that isn’t schoolwork, that I have to deal with or diarise. I also include a copy of Zac’s assessments and exam notifications here so I can keep an eye on the due dates. He has a terrible habit of leaving everything until the night before!

Once a week I go through each of the folders and complete as much as I can. I scan, file and shred and get ready to start the new week with a clean slate.

So that is pretty much it. I have so much more to share with you, so make sure you check back next week for Part 2.

Nikki – An Organised Home

 

Back To School Series Part 2

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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.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Get a jump start on your Spring Cleaning

 

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Spring has well and truly sprung here and while I have definitely been taking advantage of the warmer days and enjoying these first few weeks of the new season, the time has now come to get stuck into the Spring cleaning.

I must be honest and tell you that I don’t particularly enjoy the cleaning part of the process. What I do love is the way my house feels once it has had a really deep clean. After having everything cooped up over winter I’m now looking forward to flinging open the windows and slowly working through my home, room by room, getting it sparkling in time for the Christmas holidays.

One thing that will make the whole process a little more manageable is having all of your equipment ready to go and having a plan in place.

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Items In My Spring Cleaning Kit
  • Toilet cleaner
  • Tough shower foam / spray
  • Drain cleaner
  • Mould killer
  • Bleach
  • Eucalyptus and water (windows and general dusting)
  • Magic Eraser
  • Duster
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Grout brush
  • Tooth brush
  • Sharp tool like a screw driver to clean window tracks
  • Rags
  • Buckets
  • Mop
  • Vacuum
  • Steam Cleaner

Once you have all of your essential items ready you need a plan. I have put together a Spring Cleaning check list that will make it so easy to work through a room without missing a thing and do you want to hear the best part? It’s totally free!

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I have a few projects for on my “Before Christmas to-do list” and quite a few of those are for my living room so this is the room I will be starting in today. I will continue working through a different room each week. I’ll be sure to check in every now and then with my progress as well as a few tips and tricks along the way that I hope you will find helpful.

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

**Free for a limited time

6 Things I Do Every Night That Make Mornings A Breeze

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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.

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 to dry. I then get a disinfectant wipe and run it over the basin and vanity.

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. 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!