July 2018

Why You Need to Hit ‘Unsubscribe’

It always sounds like a good idea at the time. Your favourite clothing store asks you to register online for their weekly specials and deals. Before you know it, you are receiving numerous emails from every online deal you’ve ever registered for plus countless others from stores you’ve never even heard of. These emails can be so time consuming. I know that I’ve spent a stupid amount of time checking out the current deals on some exotic overseas destination. The biggest problem is that they clutter up your inbox making it hard to actually see the more important things.

What are you missing?

With invoices now being emailed, it is so easy to have that important bill go missing. This in turn can lead to overdue payment fees which cost you money. Even worse, the amount of time wasted scanning through your inbox just adds to the stress and confusion.

You are just a few clicks away from control.

The Australian communications and media authority states that:

“under the Spam Act, every commercial electronic message must contain a functional and legitimate ‘unsubscribe’ facility…”

So there should be, and there usually is, a simple ‘unsubscribe’ button at the bottom of these emails that just needs to be clicked. Maybe you need to click the mouse button a couple more times… but it really is that simple.

Making time to successfully unsubscribe from your emails is worth the effort. For those emails that must be kept, creating a sub folder is a simple solution. This way, emails can be read and either filed immediately into a sub folder or deleted.

If you are one of those people that have avoided tackling you inbox because of the thousands of emails that are currently in there, then it’s time to start NOW! Take some action to get on top of it. Allocate 30 minutes once a week to make a start. Just do it. You will feel so much better once it’s cleaned up. From then on you can easily delete, file or unsubscribe future emails as needed.

See you next time!

Mei x

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July 2018

Cable and Cord Solutions

There always seems to be a never ending supply of cables and cords lying around the house. And you can never actually tell which cord goes to what. Especially when you need it the most. And the mess they make when they get tangled.. yuck!

Avoid those tangled messes.

Setting up your cords correctly the first time can save you from having to detangle a cluttered mess later. And not looking after then properly can damage them, which can then stop them working properly – and waste your money.

There are some simple solutions.

Little cable tags (you can make or buy these) that you attach to the base of plugs, help you recognise which cords go to what – this is really handy for large power boards when every plug looks the same. It’s also quite helpful to have both ends of the cords labelled for things like computers, TV’s etc.

For cords that you need to keep, like charging cables to cameras, I store them in ziplock bags with their instruction manuals and any other relevant info. This is helpful if I ever get rid of them as well as the new owner has all the product details.

Having tubs or baskets where you can keep all your extensions cords, double adaptors and power boards together, will help you know where to go when you need them. If you have quite a few extension cords, labelling their length can be really handy so you don’t unravel a 10m cord when you really only needed 2m.

For the cables and cords behind TV units that just end up tangled and collecting dust, I like to wind them up and use twist ties to keep them neat. It’s so much easier to keep the area clean as well.

If you have a tangled mess somewhere or a box of unrecognisable cables and cords then hopefully some of these tips will inspire you to start getting them organised.

See you next time!

Mei x

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Are your cables and cords a tangled mess? Send me a comment as I’d love to hear from you 🙂

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July 2018

Bathroom Cleaning Made Easy

I must admit that cleaning the bathroom (and especially the shower) is my most loathed household chore. Cleaning the shower while you’re in the shower doesn’t leave you feeling very clean and the normal cleaning process can be quite messy. I’ve never really used harsh chemicals as my lungs and skin don’t cope well so I’ve always tried to find alternatives. Having a hubby who used to clean windows for a living has made me almost a pro at keeping glass and mirrors streak free. There is no better feeling than having a sparkling clean bathroom! Those who squeegee love it and those who don’t, think its the weirdest thing they’ve ever heard of. Hopefully I can convince you that a squeegee is the way to go.

Unsightly bathroom horrors!?

Streaky glass, splattered mirrors and soap scum are not just unsightly but the build up can be difficult to keep clean. The dreaded chore of cleaning the bathroom is an easy one to keep putting off until the tell tale signs of mould creep in telling you you’ve waited too long!

The simple squeegee solution.

I have a squeegee in each bathroom plus one in my cleaning caddy when doing my usual weekly routine. It’s perfect for mirrors, glass splashbacks, glass tables and of course windows. Not only do I squeegee the shower screen after each shower but when I have time, I also do a quick wipe over of the wall and floor tiles too. This is a great way to keep the moisture level down in the bathroom.

Before you think this is too time consuming, it actually only takes 10-15 seconds and goes a long way in keeping your bathroom clean. If you think about trying to scrub off the build up of dirt, grime, hard water marks and mould, then it just makes sense to spend mere seconds getting rid of alot of the source of these problems. I still clean my bathroom (or try to) every week. It’s just in my routine now. But long gone are the days when I would be scrubbing hard in the shower… thankfully!

It’s such a simple task that even my 10 year old does it!

See you next time!

Mei x

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Do you use a shower squeegee? Send me a comment as I’d love to hear from you 🙂

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July 2018

Getting Your Kids to Do Chores

As a child growing up I felt like I was always doing chores. There were five of us kids so I’m sure there probably was a massive list of things to do. These days though, kids aren’t nearly as helpful as they could be. Plus we have a lot more stuff than ever before, bigger houses, more cars… so much more to keep neat and tidy.

It’s about teaching life skills.

When they are young and you can see them struggle with even the most basic of tasks, it’s easy to feel they aren’t ready for helping out. Before you know it though, you have an 18 year old who can’t pick up after himself, doesn’t know how to operate any of the appliances in the home and doesn’t know how to wash his own clothes. Will he ever be ready to move out of home or is he going to live here forever???

A little effort initially goes a long way…

Setting basic age appropriate kids chores early on doesn’t have to be difficult. Yes there is the initial learning phase of teaching a child how to do things while waiting impatiently as they try to do it (all the while knowing you can do the job in the time it took to explain it). But you have to think of the long run – life skills, patience, problem solving. It’s not only a good exercise in teaching your kids to respect and listen to your instructions but about practising tasks, which in the beginning are hard, until they are competent at them.

Age appropriate kids chores:

AGE 2 & 3
🗸 make bed (with some help)                                       🗸 pick up toys
🗸 wipe up mess (with some help)                                🗸 take dirty clothes to laundry

AGE 4 & 5 all of the above with a little help, plus
🗸 clean room (with a little help)                                 🗸 clear & set table
🗸 put away groceries (with a little help)                   🗸 basic dusting

AGES 6-8 all of the above, plus
🗸 vacuum & mop floors (with a little help)              🗸 help looking after pets
🗸 fold & put away laundry (with a little help)          🗸 take out rubbish

AGES 9-12 all of the above, plus
🗸 help wash car                                                              🗸 clean bathroom
🗸 wash dishes                                                                 🗸 use washer & dryer

AGES 13-18 all of the above, plus
🗸 general cleaning inside & out                                  🗸 wash windows
🗸 all aspects of laundry                                                🗸 prepare meals

Whether you agree with it or not, pocket money can be a good incentive to get your kids to do their chores. I like to allocate certain everyday chores as ‘must do without any reward’ and then there are the extras that can be done to earn some extra cash. These chores are listed on a checklist and can be marked off once done. This also helps to define boundaries as once they’re done they can have free time. There is nothing worse then feeling like chore time is going on for hours and hours because mum or dad are calling out chores to do as they remember them.

See you next time!

Mei x

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July 2018

A Simple Solution To Your Paperwork

There is so much paperwork these days! It gets out of control so easily. But some of it is important and therefore requires being stored correctly so you can access it when and if you need it.

Are we at June 30 already?

June seems to arrive early every year. And when the end of financial year does arrive, it really helps to have your paperwork handy so you can lodge your tax return for that much needed refund (fingers crossed!) Maybe you have your heart set on a little family getaway somewhere warm? But without getting your financials to your accountant you can forget about cocktails by the pool.

Find a system that works for you.

Once you know what paperwork you need to keep (it’s a good idea to check with your accountant) then a filing system that works for you is simple to create. Those who really do dread the traditional filing process can use some basic manila folders, binder folder or document tray instead – then just place the relevant paperwork on top. This will automatically create a filing system that is in order of date, providing it gets filed straight away. Remember: once you have the paperwork in your hand, if it’s an invoice that’s been paid or something you need to keep, filing it straight away will save you time and avoid double handling.  For the paperwork you no longer need, make sure it’s disposed of correctly to avoid your sensitive information getting into the wrong hands.

Using a ‘current’ filing system for the financial year means those items on June 30 are easily accessible. Then these can be placed in an archive box or plastic tub to be filed away (or shredded if no longer needed) and the new financial year becomes the ‘current’ year. Labelling your files is a must though. Although your paperwork may be filed, if it’s not labelled you will waste your time searching through piles of folders to find what you’re after.

Some popular filing categories:

An example of regular incoming paperwork:
Bank Statements – savings, credit cards, home loan,
Utilities – gas, electricity, phone, mobile,
Insurance – car, home, health, life,
Taxation – invoices, donations
Home – rates, repairs
Auto – rego, repairs

An example of the important paperwork to keep:
Medical, Birth Certificates, Passports, Will’s, Contracts.

Other filing you should keep are product manuals and warranties. Especially while you still have these items.

For my paperwork, I prefer to store them in lever arch folders with dividers. The prettier the colour, the better for me and I just love fancy labels. I feel this really adds some interest to my office. But having a filing system that works for you and is what you will use is most important. Then ensuring you make the effort to file regularly will keep your office and mind clutter free.

See you next time!

Mei x

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Do you have a filing system or is your office paperwork out of control? Send me a comment as I’d love to hear from you 🙂

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July 2018

Stop Your Fresh Produce Going to Waste

It’s amazing how much we actually throw away. A quick look at the foodwise.com.au website states the following facts.

• Australians discard up to 20% of the food they purchase
• Up to 40% of the average household bin is food
• $2.67 billion of fresh food wasted every year

Wow! This is a ridiculously large amount of waste. There is so much you can do to stop contributing to food wastage in Australia and storing your fruit and vegetables the right way is one of them.

Does your produce rot too quickly?

So you may have started out right. You created your meal plan, you shopped for the groceries, you even had a plan for the leftovers so nothing would go to waste. But you didn’t anticipate ethylene gas turning your fresh produce into a rotting mess. Ethylene gas is a naturally occurring gas that is emitted from lots of fruits and veggies as they ripen but can also speed up the ripening on your other produce too.

There are many solutions available.

The solution is simple. There are many products available with carbon filters that absorb the ethylene gas and therefore slow down the aging process. Some you can just throw into your crisper drawer with only the need to change the cartridge every three months. Then there are complete storage systems with inbuilt carbon filters, humidity controlled vents and clever designs to promote airflow. These special types of containers really do help keep your produce fresh and crisp right up to the point you need to use them.

With a few simple systems in the fridge it’s amazing how much money you can save by avoiding food wastage. Do you freeze any of your fruit and veg? Certain produce can be frozen and then added to meals at a later stage – think of stews or bolognaise or smoothies. I freeze avocados, berries, corn, spinach, kale, mango, pineapple, all peeled and seeded first. Frozen fruits make great smoothies as you don’t need to add any ice! Then whatever doesn’t get used or frozen at my house goes to the compost bin to feed my thousands of hungry worms – very little produce gets thrown in the council bin!

The fresh produce containers that I use are Tupperware Vent Smarts, OXO Greensaver Produce Keepers and the Keep Fresh Cartridges. Spending some money to have a great storage system for your fruit and veg definitely makes it worth the initial investment.

See you next time!

Mei x

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How do you store your fruit and veg? Send me a comment as I’d love to hear from you 🙂

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