Finally done it!

So here it is….. My first ever blog post!

I write this whilst currently battling two kids to go to sleep….one is crying for her Dad after I asked her to get into her own bed and the other is playing the ‘I need a drink/wee/hungry card’.  Basically this means blog posts will usually be written in a semi sleep deprived/harried state and may contain incorrect use of grammar/swear words/general ramblings on and excessive use of exclamation marks!  My life is real, I don’t have time nor energy to sugar coat things.

Anyway, welcome to my little corner of the internet.  I plan on sharing with you my meticulously organised, colour co-ordinated , minimalist life and how you can get one too!….. ok  I lied.  My current situation is that my family are still living out of boxes 6 weeks after we moved house, my kitchen cupboards are in complete disarray and I cant find my jug so had to buy yet another one.  I do like order, organisation and decluttering though so I thought I would share my journey to (hopefully) getting my life that little bit more ‘together’, Lets see if it works!

There will also be general lifestyle posts, skincare products, reviews and mini hauls (ok so Im a wannabe minimalist but with shopaholic tendencies)

Im also over on Instagram at organised_life_happywife

Come join me, it’ll be fun x

 

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Week 3: Kitchen – Day 2: Wall cupboards

Right lets get stuck in!  Today we are tackling all of your wall cupboards.

First things first, pull everything out!  Pile it high on the dining table or on your work surfaces.  As your taking everything out of the cupboards discard immediately the things you know that can be donated/recycled/binned.  The rest of the stuff try and pile into categories.

  • Glasses
  • Mugs
  • Dishware
  • Medicines
  • Food
  • Tupperware etc

Once the cupboards are emptied give them all a good clean.

Next, decide where you want to store everything.  Refer back to your vision and ideas on how you want your kitchen to best work for you.  Perhaps your plates are too high up and need to go in the bottom cupboards?  Do your children help themselves to snacks so they  need to be moved higher?  Are your mugs and glasses at the opposite end of your kitchen to where your kettle and taps are?  Whatever doesn’t work for you, now is your time to fix it!

As you pick up each item ask yourself if you really need it or use it,  is it a necessity? Does it help you or do you often forget to use it?  Do you find yourself reaching past that item for something similar instead.  If it makes your time in the kitchen easier or more enjoyable then keep it, if it doesn’t add value to your life then pass it along to someone who will get more use from it.

Give the items you wish to keep a wipe over and then store them back in the correct cupboard.

There are plenty of fabulous and clever kitchen storage solutions available but always declutter first before you purchase anything.  My advice is to look around your home and see if there is anything you could repurpose rather than spending money on.  Live with your decluttered cupboards for a while and then decide what kind of storage is needed.  Here are some tips for storage ideas:

  • Magazine holders either on a shelf or fitted to a cupboard door to hold cling film and kitchen foil
  • Pan lid holders to hold kids plates (see my instagram)
  • Magnetic or cork board on the inside of cupboard doors (for spices or as a notice board)
  • Use shelf dividers to add an extra shelf inside your cupboards
  • Use undershelf baskets to hold packets which can get lost in deep cupboards

The kitchen should be an enjoyable place to be, its an important room where 3 meals a day (sometimes more in my house!) are prepared and cooked.  That time should be spent stress free, not picking up a thousand Cheerios because the box has fallen out of the cupboard yet again!!

Lets get these kitchens decluttered and back on track!  Good luck xox

Week 3: Day 1 – Kitchen: Visualise/Plan/Prepare

For any big task you need to tackle there are a few key points which will always help you to succeed.

  • Being organised
  • Having a plan
  • Having an end goal and vision.

Sometimes it might seem like a waste of time writing things down or researching how best to organise an area of your life, but those moments spent creating the list or getting ideas are gained back every time your able to find something with ease and without stress.  Being organised and creating a to do list keeps us on track and motivated.  Having a plan on the best way to tackle a situation helps stop us feeling overwhelmed or loose focus.  Having an end goal and vision gives us something to work towards and keeps us motivated on the days we feel like giving in, researching ideas and products enables us to implement ideas we may not of thought of ourselves.

Spending that bit of time at the beginning of each week getting your goals and priorities written down will ensure you get the most out of your time during this declutter challenge.  Good luck everyone, xox

Week 3- Kitchen

Hello Lovelies!  Can you believe we are into week 3 already!  That means we are over half way to a delcuttered home.

Just like the previous weeks we will be doing small challenges per day this time focused on the kitchen.

Friday: Visualise/Plan/Prepare

Saturday: Wall cupboards

Sunday: Lower cupboards and drawers

Monday: Fridge/Freezer and work tops

Tuesday: Clean

Wednesday: Maybe Pile

Thursday: Deliver/Donate

For some of us the kitchen is the heart of the home and for most of us its at least a place where we spend a lot of time!  We can easily get suckered in to purchasing the latest must buy kitchen appliance or tool to make life easier!  Ive seen everything from donut and candyfloss makers right down to a banana slicer!… though I probably wouldn’t say no to a donut maker…..mmmnn donuts!

This challenge is aimed at getting our homes decluttered in just 5 weeks, so that takes us nicely into December with Christmas just on the horizon.  In our home a big family Christmas Day meal is what makes the day special, and with a cluttered and unorganised kitchen that’s sure to bring chaos and stress!  Lets see if we can get things in order before the family descends on us demanding Turkey!

Good luck with this weeks challenges

xox

 

 

Week 2 – Day 7 Donation Day

Whoop well done! Another week almost complete!  Just one little task left and that’s taking that pile of donations to where they need to go.  Lets make a pledge to not spend the next 3 months driving around with bags of old clothes and toys in the boot of the car!

There are so many different places which take donations, I’ve mentioned few previously but the main ones for this week challenge are:

  • Blankets and Bedding: Dogs homes and animal shelters
  • Outgrown school uniform: Take to the school or pass along to someone in the year below.
  • Old Toys: Hospital waiting rooms or Childrens wards (usually only plastic wipeable items but check before you turn up with them because of health and safety issues)  local playgroup, nursery schools, foster carer association, local childminders, toy library, local women’s refuge, you could donate them to the local church or school to sell at their next jumble sale, or you could advertise them on Freecycle and someone can collect them from your home.
  • Charity Shops- If your pressed for time then you can take pretty much anything that’s in good, clean, useable condition to the charity shop of your choice.  If you struggle to get to a charity shop then you can contact the British Heart Foundation and you can arrange for a collection.

I hope that having the places I’ve mentioned in your mind whilst you declutter will give you further motivation to be ruthless and to let things go.

Good luck with today, its the final step to completing this weeks challenge!

Week 2 – Day 6 Organise and Clean

Yay all of the clutter should now have gone and  you should be that step closer to the perfect room you visualised on day 1.

So how can we ensure that our kids bedrooms stay as tidy as possible for as long as possible?

Lets look at some tips for ensuring the room doesn’t get out of control in the first place, and what to do if it does!

You’ve already decluttered so that’s the first step done.

Separate and Containerise like with like:  If you have all of their toys piled high in the corner of their room then chances are by the end of the day (or even in the blink of an eye!) that pile will be spread across the bedroom with your little one actually playing with nothing!  As Ive mentioned previously Im a stong beliver in containerising and putting like with like.  We have the Ikea Kallax units throughout our home and they are perfect for kids toys.  We have a few categories of toys and each gets their own little cube, we have dolls/babies, Duplo, Food for their wooden kitchen, Shopkins, dress-up, figures and playsets.  Each is housed in the Ikea Drona boxes, my children decide which they want to play with, pull the box out (usually tip the contents all over the floor!) and then play.  When its time to tidy up it all just gets scooped back in and put back on the shelf.

Create homes for things and use labels:  Give your children a clear indicator of where things should live when they are put away. Make sure everything can be tidied away without having to move other things or struggle into a space.  Don’t overfill boxes or drawers.  Once things have a home use labels so your children can easily see where things should go.  You can use written worded labels for older children or pictures for younger children.

Don’t tell them to ‘clean their room!’: Sometimes kids will just get everything out, sometimes they may have planned on putting it away but Grandma came for a visit and before they knew it it was bedtime and they hadn’t tidied up, life happens and we cant expect kids to have their rooms perfect all the time.  When its a mess and does need tidying don’t just shout at them to clean their room.  Just like adults, kids get overwhelmed too!  Instead of saying ‘clean your room’, start by working in catergories.  So ‘lets gather all of the cuddly toys up super fast and put them away first’ once that’s done then ‘lets see if we can have all the building blocks gathered up in 30 seconds” and so on until its all eventually put away.  Bite sized chunks and making it fun is so much easier than repeatedly asking them to clean their room whilst they stand staring at it not knowing where to start.

Show them what to do: Sometimes (majority of the time!) it just seems easier to go and clean their room yourself.  The nagging and the moaning and the dragging of feet can just seem not worth it.  BUT, if you always tidy their room for them they will never learn to do it themselves.  Actually show them where things go, and explain to them WHY its important to tidy up, so their toys don’t get lost or broken, so they have more floor space to play, so they can spend more time playing rather than searching for what they want!  Even really young children can help to put things away, the key is to make it seem like a game.  Showing them and helping them until tidying away automatically becomes a habit is such a great life skill to have.  Even at nursery they will be expected to help with ‘tidy up time’ and certainly at school age they will be tidying up and working within an organised setting daily.

Make sure they can be independent:  When thinking about storage or furniture in a childs bedroom think about whether they can access things for themselves.  We have lowered the rail in the wardrobe so my eldest can choose what she wants to wear but also hang things back up, their drawers are arranged so my youngest can access her drawer without having to climb up anything! (Always make furniture is securely fixed to the wall!!)  Their school uniform hangs separately on a free standing rail so there is no confusion or stress (well less stress!) on a school morning.  Their clothes are folded and stored vertically so if they have a specific item in mind they want to wear there is no rummaging through drawers to find what they are looking for.  If you want your children to tidy their bedroom of toys independently then make sure they can access where they need to go safely and without assistance.  Involve your children in the planning of storage and organising, its their room and their stuff and its them who need to take responsibility so ask them what would make tidying up easier?  What creates them the biggest problems?  They may have a solution you haven’t even thought of.

Heres a list of fabulous solutions for toys and clothes:

Ikea Skubb boxes- perfect for separating clothes in their drawers/bottom of wardrobe

Ikea Kallax and Drona boxes- These shelving systems are so versatile and their are many ‘hacks’ for creating fabulous ideas for storage.

Ikea Trofast system- Ive seen these used for crafts and lego, they are incredibly versitile

Drawstring bag- these are canvas bags that can be spread on the floor, the idea is that your child plays on the mat and when they are finished you can pull the bag together scooping all of the little toys they were playing with in one easy go.  Perfect for lego, sylvanian families and shopkins etc

Now we  have a few storage and organisation ideas in place its time to clean!

  • Open the window and let in fresh air
  • Dust inc the blinds, light fitting, the bed frame, skirting boards and any surfaces
  • Vacuum including under the bed
  • Give the windows a clean and if you have time wash any curtains
  • Change the bedding

Phew!  Fingers crossed your now looking at a lovely tidy, organised and fresh room! Well done!

One thing to try and remember is that children are children for such a short amount of time, and the time that they will be into toys is even shorter.  Whilst some children are more naturally tidy and are happy to play with one toy at a time before putting it back some children are like whirlwinds and create a trail of toys everywhere they go!  The main thing is that they are having fun and as the saying goes “Let them be little!”  That saying I do hope these tips do help ease at least some of the chaos

xox

 

 

 

Week 2: Day 5 – Maybe Pile

The Maybe Pile!  I talked about this back in week one but heres a recap.

Anything that made it into this pile be it clothes, toys, bedding, sentimental items etc all needs to be looked at again.  Make sure anything you ‘save’ from this pile has a home to live in and adds value to the room.

If its clothes going back into the wardrobe then turn each hanger the wrong way round, if your child wears it then when you replace it put it back in the right way round, set yourself a time limit for the item to be worn.  When the time limit is up, check the wardrobe, anything still hung the wrong way hasn’t been worn and can be donated.

If you or your child are still really struggling to make a decision on an item then I suggest boxing it up and putting it out of the way.  This challenge is about making quick decisions and working through the home at speed.  The box can always be gone through again at a later date,  by then you will probably have decided that you no longer want the items as once they are out of sight they tend to be out of mind.

I hope now the room has less stuff in it your and your children’s morning and evening routines are a little easier. It amazing how so much stuff one room can hold isn’t it!

Keep up the good work lovelies xox

IG: organised_life_happywife

Week 2: Day 4 – Knick Knacks, Wall Art, Bedding and Blankets

Hello you lovely lot!  How are you finding this weeks challenges?

Today we are tackling all of the Knick Knacks, sentimental ornamets, wall art, bedding and blankets.

Knick Knacks:  Toys such as complete lego sets which are on display, money boxes, photo frames, dvds, computer games and accessories, general ornaments etc all fall into the knick knack category.  If your child likes building lego then Pinterest have some fabulous  ideas for sleek looking storage, if they like building them and then taking them apart (like my daughter) then I have a handy tip shown on  my Instagram, its just ziplock bags holding each Lego set, and that’s within a plastic storage box, all neatly stored under our lego table (which is actually an Ikea Lack Coffee Table)

Sentimental Items: When my children were born they received some amazing and thoughtful gifts which adorned their nursery.  Now they are a bit older those sentimental wall hangings and engraved gifts don’t quite fit into their room anymore.  They will be sorted and decided which hold the most value and why.  Those that we choose to keep will be packaged up and stored away along with a little note describing why we kept the item and who it was from.

Kids Artwork:  If your children like to save every piece of art work they’ve ever created then consider setting up a display area.  Each piece gets hung up for a certain amount of time, when its time is up it gets put into the magic portal in the kitchen (aka the recycling bin) where elves and fairies cart the artwork off for them to enjoy!  If it really is a special piece and not just the type with one pen line from top to bottom (why do they do that, and why do schools feel the need to send that ‘special’ drawing home?!) If it really is a piece you want to keep then make sure it has a home and doesn’t just get shoved in a cupboard.  My children each have a ring binder folder where I store their lovely pieces.  I also take photos of the extra special pieces of artwork or those which are larger than the folder, when I have enough photos I will create a photo album filled with their childhood works of art.

Bedding:  I would say 2 or 3 sets of bedding depending on the age of the child is plenty.  You can donate bedding to animal shelters and dogs homes who, especially in winter are in desperate need for warm blankets.

Don’t forget that a childs bedroom even though it probably doubles up as a playroom should still be a calming retreat when its time for bed.  This means that ideally toys should be stored out of sight as much as possible and the things that remain visually should offer peace of mind, happiness, enjoyment, love, cosiness, warmth and relaxation plus add value to the space where possible.

We are almost done with the decluttering part of the kids rooms! I cant believe how fast this week is going!  Good luck everyone and don’t forget to let me know how your getting on xox