December 2018

Getting Rid of Out Of Date Items

Have you ever gone to your cupboard to reach for that seldom used ingredient to add to your meal, only to find it well past it’s use by date and has now made your food taste funky? Or in a rush you’ve applied what you thought was your every day mascara but it happened to be one that hasn’t been used in years and now you have an irritating itch on the side of your eye?

First rule of clearing clutter.

When working with my clients and starting the de-clutter process, the simplest place to start is by getting rid of those items that are out of date. It just doesn’t make sense to keep those items that are old and don’t work as well as they did when they were originally purchased. So they have to go…

Some examples are as follows:

FOOD ITEMS – the obvious items being the fresh produce in the fridge, then work on the pantry and then freezer.
UNRECOGNISABLE FOOD ITEMS – things that we have stored out of their packets so you can’t actually tell what they are or when they expired.
*TIP – do not throw these items in the bin if refuse collection is still a week away or you will end up with a rotten stinking mess!
BEAUTY PRODUCTS – especially eye makeup as they can lead to nasty infections.
SKIN CARE – old sun cream may not work effectively and old skin care can irritate your skin.
OPENED PAINT TINS – check out my blog post on labelling your paint tins here.
*TIP – check with your local council or shire on how to dispose of these correctly.
CLEANING PRODUCTS – as these can lose their effectiveness over time.
MEDICINES & SUPPLEMENTS – can lose their active ingredients making them ineffective or even dangerous.
*TIP – check with your doctor or medical professional on whether it’s safe to use these past their expiration date.

While out of date items are the easiest place to start, while you’re at it, why not de-clutter a little more. Ask yourself… Do I need it? Do I use it? Is it broken?

Making quick decisions is key. The longer you hold onto something, the more chance you have in talking yourself into why you must keep it.

If your home has out of date items and is overflowing with stuff, then get started on this process today!

See you next time!

Mei x

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Do you keep your items well past their use by date? Send me a comment as I’d love to hear from you 🙂

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December 2018

Get It Done Now!

Do you get frustrated when you spend ages planning something only to procrastinate in getting started? Do you write off the end of the day thinking that you will start fresh the next day? Or does the excuse of your constant distractions keep you from getting anything done?

It could be your time management..

Sometimes we underestimate how long things take to accomplish. Plus we seem to have so many distractions these days that it’s hard to keep focused on the task at hand. We can also spend our days rushing around being crazy busy without actually getting anything done.

Get the planning right.

Start your planning by being clear on what it is that needs to done in your day then make a list – try not to make it too long. Then prioritise the tasks that are most important and need to be done straight away. Then get the hardest task on that list done first.

What are the consequences?

There is no point in planning the itinerary for your holiday in six months if you have a looming deadline that could cost you your job if not done in time. And  that third load of washing can wait until the important paperwork that needs reading, signing and returning is completed – or you risk incurring late fees! Asking yourself what the consequence will be if you don’t get those important things done, should hopefully motivate you to move.

The night before is a great time to plan your day. I like to make a cup of tea and sit for 5-10 minutes to jot down what needs to be done. If I have a lot of phone calls to make, I write down the numbers on my list together with any questions or decisions that need to be discussed to ensure nothing is missed. If I have a lot of emails, I like to allocate time without distractions to get them done. Late at night or early morning is my preference – I then save a draft of the emails so I can just send them during business hours.

This simple plan together with the concept of ‘Get It Done Now!’ should make your days incredibly productive. And lastly, make sure you reward yourself for getting those important tasks done.

Getting things done straight away is a habit well worth the effort.

See you next time!

Mei x

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Are you a professional procrastinator? Send me a comment as I’d love to hear from you 🙂

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December 2018

Labelling Your Paint Tins

Have you ever decided that this is the weekend to touch up those chips and cracks on the walls in your home? You’ve been delaying it for weeks and finally decided to bite the bullet… but you’ve gone to your shed and found about a half dozen paint tins that are unrecognisable as to what colour they are, which room you used them in and unsure of the date they were purchased?

Or worse, you’ve opened a tin with the right colour for the room only to find out after it’s dried that it’s the semi gloss finish you used on the door trims and you actually needed the matt finish for the walls.. I’ve learnt this one from personal experience!?!

But aren’t the details on the tin?

The problem lies in the fact that most paint tins are labelled with the details on the side of the tin. But while you’re focused on finishing your painting project, you haven’t notice that the paint has dripped over this label making it impossible to read.

Create your own label.

I find that the lid is the perfect place for your new label to stay. If you’re not printer savvy, then masking tape will do. Even better, if it’s a white lid then a black marker is all you need.

I like to list the paint colour, paint brand, finish type, date purchased and room it was used in. This information is enough for those touch ups that are inevitable from time to time.

Being able to touch up the marks on your walls, doors and door frames easily, will save you so much time in the long run instead of having to repaint whole rooms. Plus it keeps your rooms looking nice and new for longer. Bonus!

If you have a half hour spare this weekend, then why not get into the garage, get rid of the tins you don’t use and if you can, relabel the tins you want to keep for future use.

See you next time!

Mei x

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Do you have unrecognisable old paint tins in your garage or shed? Send me a comment as I’d love to hear from you 🙂

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December 2018

How To Plan A Party

Do you love to host a party but dread the stress of the planning process? Do you feel like you’re running to the store every few hours purchasing items you forgot to get earlier? Have you ever gotten to the end of a birthday party you’ve planned to find that you don’t have candles for the cake?

This amount of stress can leave you sometimes wondering why you even bother in the first place.

Checklists are the way to go.

By creating a generic checklist with as much info as possible, you can then alter what details are relevant depending on the party. Birthdays, for example, definitely need a birthday cake, candles and a lighter, plus party bags for the kids. Dinner parties will definitely need the right amount of place settings plus chilled champagne or wine.

My standard checklist is saved to my computer so it can be accessed and altered accordingly depending on the event. I have the most commonly required items as follows:

EVENT – date, time, venue, theme
BUDGET – allocated for each category
BIRTHDAY CAKE – candles, lighter
FAVOURS – kids party bags, guest favours
FOOD – platters, finger food, buffet, desserts
BEVERAGES – alcoholic, soft drink, tea/coffee, water, ice
TABLEWARE – plates, cups, glasses, napkins
DECORATIONS – balloons, streamers, flowers, piñata
ENTERTAINMENT – games, sporting equipment, music
SUPPLIES – linens, tables, chairs, picnic ware
GUESTS – guest list, when invites were sent, RSVP’s, gifts received, when Thank You cards were sent
CLEANING – before and after event
TRANSPORTATION – if required
CAMERA – photographer, batteries, charger

Advance preparation.

There are so many things that can be planned in advance that is just makes sense to do this. My family love ice cream cakes – these are so easy to make in advance and can be a lot of fun making different flavours. Certain foods can be made ahead, frozen and just cooked fresh on the day such as sausage rolls, pizza, cheesy vegemite scrolls etc. A lot of items can be purchased in advance and then checked off the list so you know you have it.

Planning a party does not have to be a stressful event. Getting the planning part done right means you can relax and enjoy time with family and friends.

See you next time!

Mei x

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Do you follow a plan when hosting a party? Send me a comment as Id love to hear from you 🙂

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December 2018

Keeping Your Worktops Clutter Free

Do you ever just dump your things on the benchtop the second you walk through the door, with the intention of putting them away or sorting through them as soon as you can? Only to find that when you return, those few things have now multiplied into many… It’s now such a large pile, that the thought of sorting it out is just too overwhelming so you ignore it instead!?

A sure way to lose important items.

Having items all over your counter tops not only makes your house look messy, but makes it impossible to find those important things that inevitability get left there. Think bills, school permissions slips, urgent work that you brought home from the office. It also makes it hard to work effectively around cluttered areas. Keeping them clear can help your mind focus on the task at hand rather than the distractions of all that stuff.

We all have incredibly busy lifestyles so I understand why piles of clutter happen. But double or triple handling your items is such a time waster – not to mention how much time is wasted or how high your blood pressure rises when you spend hours looking for things!

Use a simple two pile system.

While the best system is always putting your items where they belong the first time, I know this is not always practical.

By setting up a two pile system, you can sort your items instantly into whether they are urgent and need to be dealt with straight away or whether they can left for later. This system, however, will only work if the urgent pile is attended to every day or at least every second. Make a habit of sorting through this pile after dinner or when the kitchen is being cleaned or the kids are in bed… whatever suits your schedule. If you don’t set up this habit, you will still end up with clutter all over the counter tops, just in two piles.

When you have arrived home at the end of the day and your kids are doing their after school or evening routine, have them help by sorting out and putting away the non-urgent items in the pile. This way, you are only left to sort through the important stuff that requires decision making. Make sure that you only look at those items when you have dedicated time in doing so. If not you will keep picking them up and putting them down and never really getting anything done.

If worktop clutter is driving you crazy, then why not set up this simple system today.

See you next time!

Mei x

For helpful tips, advice, humour and inspiration on getting organised, subscribe to my newsletter or follow me on social media – click on the links below.

Are your worktops always covered in clutter? Send me a comment as Id love to hear from you 🙂

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