June 2018

How to Declutter Everything

De-clutter sounds like a swear word to some people. But after you’ve done it once or twice you soon realise it’s actually an easy process and some even say it becomes addictive. It’s amazing how quickly the areas in your home can build up with ‘stuff’. When you think about it, we are constantly getting new things into our homes but never really getting rid of anything. I like to take the change of seasons as a cue to go through my home, although there are times where it’s more out of desperation than organisation!

The struggle is real!

If you struggle to put things away because your drawers and cupboards won’t close properly, then you can be almost certain that bigger problems are about to come. On a busy morning, stress levels are already high, you’re struggling to get the kids fed, dressed and out the door so you don’t run late to work… and you can’t find your child’s school faction t-shirt that they need TODAY!! There are so many things in those drawers (many of which don’t fit anymore!?) that you are frantically throwing things in the air making an even bigger mess as you go. Something needs to change.

The simple process of de-cluttering.

Kids clothing can be one of the simplest to de-clutter because they grow so quickly that when it’s time to shop for new clothes, it’s obviously time to get rid of the old. My son’s birthday is June and we always make it a rule to go through his toys before his birthday (and at Christmas time) as we know that he will always be getting more.

The simple organised solution I follow is the SOS system:

SORT – get rid of those broken, chipped, cracked, expired, outdated, unused, outgrown, multiple items you no longer need. Then clean the area once it’s cleared out. Ask yourself, do I need it, do I use it, is it broken?

ORDER – now its time to group your like items together and place them in the area’s they are likely to be used. For everyday items, bring them close at hand and where you can see them. Keep those items that aren’t used regularly towards the back or up high. It’s all about location, location, location!

STORE – storing your items in the correct way is important as it helps look after them. Then label everything so it has a place and others know where to find it or put it back. This may need to be edited as you go depending on whether its working for you or as things change.

Most importantly!!

My most important tip is to just get started! Don’t over commit to a large area or space if you are short on time. If you need to work on one drawer or one shelf at a time then so be it. Just get in there!

An incentive to get rid of some of your unused items is to sell them for cash. This is really handy if you have a holiday coming up or you need to convince your kids (or spouse) to get rid of some things. From experience, this can be well worth the effort!

See you next time!

Mei x

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Is it time to de-clutter your home? Send me a comment as I’d love to hear from you 🙂

June 2018

Taming the Junk Drawer

Whether we like to admit it or not, we all have a drawer in our home that is overfilled with ‘stuff’. I like to call this the ‘Junk Drawer’. It’s usually the place where those miscellaneous items that don’t really have a home come to live… or die. And like any area with clutter, it also tends to breed, so before you know it you have a drawer that is barely able to be opened.

The biggest problem with having this area disorganised is the fact that they usually contain things like spare keys, batteries, scissors, torches and other handy items that we tend to need.

Don’t get caught out!?

Imagine being caught out in the middle of a winter storm when the lights go out and you know there was a torch in there somewhere?? Or even worse, the batteries in your remote control are flat and you swear you had more… now you’re frantically trying to remove batteries from your kids toys so you can enjoy some quiet time in front of the TV. Where is a Phillips head screwdriver to get to those batteries??

It’s not that difficult to get organised.

You just need to know what items you are storing in there and then choose a suitable system so it never gets out of control again. The simple organised solution I follow is the SOS system:

SORT – you need to go through everything making sure you throw out any rubbish as you go and once the drawer is empty, it’s time to give it a good clean.

ORDER – now that you have the things you want to keep, it’s time to put the like items together and decide on the location to put them in. Regularly used items to the front with the rest towards the back.

STORE – lastly, it’s time to make sure your items are stored right, so that they don’t get out of control again, and can be easily accessed when needed. My favourite product is the Madesmart junk drawer organiser but any type of trays or basket will do. Anything really that acts as a divider to keep those items in place. Batteries work well in compartment boxes so they are all together and you can see what you have at a glance.

Any extra items that have a home somewhere else need to be put back while doing the sorting process. Double or triple handling items is a real time waster and being organised is about saving you time and your money!

See you next time!

Mei x

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Do you have a junk drawer that is out of control? Send me a comment as Id love to hear from you 🙂

June 2018

How Meal Planning Can Help You

Meal planning is a real passion of mine. I’ve been doing it for years now. It started because my hubby works well past dinner time plus my son was on a restricted diet. This meant I was in the kitchen from 5pm till 8pm most nights making two different meals then having to clean up. It was incredibly time consuming.

But over the years I have learnt some really simple tips which has saved me so much time in the kitchen both with preparation and clean up. There is also time saved in the grocery store because I find when you have a plan and a list it is easier to stay on track. Then there is the money saved by not over spending on groceries or buying takeaway dinners last minute.

I’m passionate about helping as many people as I can put a little thought into their meals and I just love hearing about how it has changed their life.

Are your evenings a chaotic nightmare?

So you’ve arrived home hungry and tired from a stressful day. You panic as you realise you need to prepare dinner. You look in the fridge then pantry and find there is no inspiration of what to cook. The freezer holds something unrecognisable but not knowing what it is or how long it’s been there you decide it’s not worth the risk. Now your stomach is grumbling.

Add to that the constant interruptions from screaming kids demanding your attention or a grumpy spouse asking “what’s for dinner?” and it’s all getting too much… you start to dial your local takeaway store just to ease the stress!

The solution is easier than you think.

Meal planning is so much more than just planning what meals you have each day. The many benefits include; portion control, utilising food specials or bulk purchasing, avoiding food wastage, less stress in the evenings getting meals on the table, less time spent in the kitchen and most importantly spending quality time with your family.

My routine is to plan my meals for the week on a Sunday and get my grocery list ready. Every week I wash and chop my fruit and veggies which are stored in the fridge for easy access (snacks, lunches and salads). My meat is always portioned & frozen with the name and date and sometimes already marinated (Asian sticky ribs). Sometimes I have a full on meal prep fiesta baking different snacks to freeze ready for the lunch box, a basic bolognaise plus a slow cooked lamb all portioned up ready for easy weeknight dinners. You will be surprised at how many different types of meals a basic slow cooked lamb can be made into!?

The simplest types of meal prep are as follows; you may just do one to save a little time or all three…

BUY & PREP – This is your produce washed & chopped, meats prepped & stored accordingly or any additions to make your meal making process easier. Freezer friendly foods like grated cheese, breads & dough, stock, herbs, sauces and certain fruit & veg, can help you avoid food wastage.

PART MADE MEALS – just add sides. Pasta sauce, Mexican, slow cooked meats, curries.

READY MEALS – for reheating on those busy days. Leftover meals, lasagne & pasta, sausage rolls & pies, school snacks, curries & rice, soups & stews, pizza.

Some important tips to remember though is to label and date the contents, store your food right and don’t leave it in the freezer for months on end. After all, the reason we meal prep in the first place is to enjoy a delicious stress free meal on a busy day!

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.

Do you already meal plan or are you struggling to get started? Send me a comment as I’d love to hear from you 🙂