How To KEEP Your Home Organised

Organising your home is one of the most important things you should do in order to live a ‘stress-free’ life! Trust me once everything in your home is organised immediately tidying up becomes so much easier & takes almost half the time It would if your home isn’t ‘organised’.

What does having an ‘organised’ home mean? Let’s keep it simple! I’m not about to go all ‘Marie Kondo’ on you but I will advice you to Live by this motto:

‘Everything in your home should have a home’ – this is something my mother taught me as a child & I still live by it & have implemented it in my very own home.

Once you make a home for something make sure that when it’s used it goes back to its ‘home’. This will ensure it doesn’t end up being stashed somewhere & then turn into ‘clutter’. Teach the kids the same thing. When you use something it MUST go back to where it belongs!

Eg;

• toys go back to their allocated bins/baskets (seperate toys in categories eg: cars, dolls, legos, blocks, stuffed animals, play kitchen items, play dough etc)

• food scraps & wrappings belong in the bin

• dirty clothes belong in the hamper/laundry

• stationery belongs in the office drawers or stationery bin

• books belong in the bookshelf

• towels & bed linen belong in the linen cupboard

• kitchen utensils belong in the kitchen drawer (don’t just leave that long wooden spoon in the lounge room after you’ve used it to pull something from under the couch – I see you!)

• clean washing gets folded and packed in their allocated cupboards

So on & so forth.

This is the basic method of being ‘tidy’ & staying organised. Keep in mind that you may have an even further organisational practice in place. For eg:

• you don’t just return the books to the bookshelf, the books must be placed in order/categories (kids books together, cooking books together etc).

• you don’t just stuff the bed linen & towels in the linen cupboard, the bed linen gets organised by ‘room’ eg: the master bedroom has its own shelf/basket and pillow cases are put in seperate piles to the quilt covers, throws, decorative cushion covers etc. Towels are organised by size, hand towels go together, bath towels go together, guest bathroom towels go together etc

• you don’t just throw the stationary in the stationary drawer – use the divider to seperate pencils, sharpies, erasers, whiteboard markers, chalk, colouring pencils, crayons etc.

• you don’t just stuff clean & folded clothing into random piles in the wardrobe – stack them/ hang them in their correct piles/with like items! Eg: leggings go together, t-shirts go together, jumpers go together etc.

These are just a few examples of the overall ‘method’ that I use to stay organised. Trust me by following this rule of ‘putting everything back in its home immediately’ you will be cutting down ‘tidy up’ time in half! Don’t forget to get the kids involved and ensure when they use something it goes back to its ‘home’ immediately once they’re done playing with it/using it. You’ll thank me later!

Don’t forget to tag me in your beautiful organised homes over on My Instagram @sara_why!

Happy organising!

x

Travel In Style – Preparation, Organisation, Packing

When preparing for a getaway although it’s supposed to be ‘stress-free’ ultimately you begin stressing from the minute you start packing! Some of my tips below are targeted at getaways/vacations which don’t involve flights – however most of the tips can also be applied for international travel too!

Below I will show you an example of how I would prepare, organise & pack for a 5 day Summer family vacation with my 2 year old son. Do keep in mind, I usually only need to take items for my son & I (& Of course hubby) if we are visiting our family holiday home in Port Stephens as we keep all other necessities there already.

However I have still mentioned all other items to the best of my ability as though I were staying in another beach accommodation (like when we visited Kiama for a few nights) to help those of you who literally need to pack everything!

Let’s get started…

Preparation & Organisation

Begin by creating a list of things you NEED to pack, you don’t want to overcrowd your list with extra unnecessary items. Categorise your items to make it easier to pack – For this blogpost they have been categorised in 6 groups:

  1. For Me
  2. For The Little One
  3. Food
  4. Kitchenware
  5. Beach Extras
  6. Comfort Extras

*If you will also be packing a bag for hubby, more kids, a baby etc you’ll need to create a list for each*

When writing the lists ask yourself the following question… How many days are you going for? (This will determine how many outfits to take for yourself (hubby & the kids too) & will also determine how much food you’ll need to pack. You could use an app to create your list or a good old paper & pen!

Here are some example lists you may prepare when packing for vacation! Keep in mind these lists are created based on a 5 Day Summer Vacation:

1. FOR ME

for me

2. For the Little one

Kids tend to always need an extra set of clothing or two especially younger kids. Babies on the other hand will need much more items possibly including bibs, nappies, pull-ups, portable cot, bottles, dummies and so on. These items will need to be considered depending on the age of your child.) Keep in mind kids are kids they don’t want to be wearing lace & pearls on a vacation – trust me! so you will need to consider their comfort above all!

The following example list is catered for my two year old son on a 5 day Summer vacation:

for the little one

3. Food:

For a 5 day trip you’ll need to organise how many days you’ll be making food & how many days you’ll be eating out. This will determine how much food you’ll need to take. Consider breakfast, lunch & dinner.

• SNACKS! Don’t forget to pack lots of snacks for both the adults & kids! These snacks will come in handy for the car ride back & forth as well as the beach days!

• water & drinks

• milk (long life is always best when traveling)

• necessities (some places you stay at may provide plenty of necessities but if not you’ll need to consider bringing your own!) eg: oil, salt, sugar, tea, coffee

Etc.

4. Kitchenware:

If you’re accomodation doesn’t facilitate much kitchenware you’ll need to consider bringing your own, here is an example list:

• disposable plates, cutlery, cups, napkins, foil trays

• rubbish bags

• foil & plastic wrap

• bbq tongs, serving spoons, wooden spoons, fry pan etc

• bamboo skewers for bbq

5. Beach Extras:

• beach chairs

• beach toys/inflatables/floaties

• life jackets if taking a JetSki or boat

• picnic blankets

• foldable/portable table

• coal bbq including coal bags or you may be taking a small portable gas bbq

• beach umbrellas, shelter or tents

• esky (this will be holding all of your food upon arrival to your destination & once emptied in the fridge you can use it to take food to the beach)

• cooler bags (these will be holding all your extra foods and snacks upon arrival & once emptied at your staying place you can use them to take snacks to the beach)

6. Comfort extras:

• Most people hate the thought of sleeping on pillows & sheets that aren’t theirs so you may want to pack pillows or just some pillow covers & extra blankets.

• you may also have access to laundry services and may want to bring your own washing detergent

• if your accommodation place doesn’t provide enough you may also need to bring some extra toilet paper & tissue boxes

• don’t forget all of your tech chargers! Also having a small portable charger in your bag is convenient when out and about taking photos all day

Packing

When packing all of your items begin by tackling each checklist within each category one by one. Tick off each item as you pack it & ensure you use the following tips to save space & make your items easy to use/access:

• lay items flat in suitcases/bags rather than folding in piles! Trust me this saves a tonne of space

• place shoes in drawstring ‘shoe’ bags these can be found at any dollar store & are extremely important to use to avoid the shoes getting in contact with the clothing

• use hangable toiletry bags with multiple compartments to store your toiletries and accessories – once you unpack you can simply hang it behind the door of the bathroom & have it ready to use instead of rummaging through bags trying to find what you want

• ensure you try to only take 1 Bag per person to avoid overcrowding the car

I truly hope this blogpost has helped in easing some of your stresses when It comes time to pack for your getaway/vacation! There could possibly be many more items which have not been mentioned above however the idea is to use it as a guide rather than a compulsory checklist. Use the tips and tricks above to create your checklists and enjoy packing in a calm & organised manner.

Happy Packing & Travels…

Love,

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Creamy Garlic Prawn Penne

I cannot express how delicious this dish is! Filled with Creamy garlic sauciness… yum! Find the recipe below…

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Ingredients:

• 3 cloves garlic (minced)

• 1 brown onion (diced)

• 1 cup chopped fresh coriander

• 1 tsp chilli flakes

• 2 tbsp butter

• 2 tbsp olive oil

• 300g prawns (peeled, tail off & devained)

• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan

• 600ml thickened cream

• 500g penne pasta

Method:

1. In large pot bring water to a boil & cook penne until aldente

2. Heat butter & oil in large pan and sear prawns lightly. Remove prawns from pan & Set aside.

3. Using the oil/butter in the pan sauté the onion until soft. Add the garlic, coriander & chilli flakes & stir until fragrant.

4. Return the prawns to the pan & stir well to coat. Season with salt & pepper.

5. Add the strained penne pasta & thickened cream – fold through & allow to simmer on a low heat for 10 mins or until the sauce has slightly thickened.

6. Fold through the cheese and remove from heat. Serve immediately.

Optional: serve with a fresh grating of Parmesan & garnish with fresh coriander.

Don’t forget to tag me in your Instagram pics if you decide to recreate this dish (I mean, why wouldn’t you.. it’s delicious!).

Love,

Signature

Hospital Bag Checklist

During my first pregnancy I felt like I needed to pack my entire home into my bag in order to make it through my hospital stay however after birth and coming back home I realised how much in my bag I didn’t even end up using! This time around I’ve revised my checklist to only include things that I need plus a few extras for ‘just in case’.

Feel free to use my list as a guide. Print it out and check off the items as you pack them! Hopefully this will help you to feel a little more organised throughout your final few weeks of pregnancy.

There may be items on my checklist which I haven’t included that you may want to pack like for example: a toy from your baby to your older child however in my case these extra items will be brought to the hospital by hubby when needed.

Below is a preview of the checklist, saving this preview for printing won’t give you the best quality. To print the high quality Checklist Click Here !

Sara Youssef - Hospital Bag Checklist

I Hope this Hospital Bag Checklist can make your packing task a little easier & much more organised! Remeber to leave your feedback below or even contact me on Instagram (@sara_why) if you think i’ve forgotten something important!

Don’t forget to Click Here to print this checklist!

Love,

Signature

Fridge Organisation

Sunday’s are my ‘grocery shopping list’ days. After I put Jay to sleep I plan out my meals for the week and write a shopping list accordingly. If I’m feeling too tired to physically go shopping I’ll usually do my online grocery shopping on Sunday as well after I’ve written my list & have them delivered on Monday or I’ll do ‘click&collect’ otherwise When Monday comes around I’ll go & get my grocery shopping done. With that being said, Monday is when my kitchen bench becomes crazy with fridge items! The fridge gets a good clean out & is restocked with all of our weekly yum yums! Keep reading to see what I do to keep my fridge organised/’ easy-to-use’.

• Wash/clean all fruits & veggies & store them in air tight containers – this makes it so much easier to just grab and eat and helps promote fruit & veggie eating (especially for kiddies in the house)

• Keep all clean salad Greens in Tupperware airtight containers to help keep them fresh for longer

• If your bulky juice/drink bottles are taking up too much room in your fridge and you only have a small amount of liquid in them transfer them to smaller jars/bottles to save space (I also do this with pickled veggies & olives)

• I love to harvest small amounts of herbs from the garden and keep them in jars with water in the fridge to use to incorporate in my dishes or to garnish

• I keep all of Jay’s yoghurts in an acrylic fridge organiser from Kmart to make it easier to pull out and choose the flavour rather than rummaging through the fridge shelves/drawers (I also do this with all types of cheese)

• I use clear glass storage containers to store fridge items as I like to open the fridge and have everything visible (this helps ensure nothing goes rotten by forgetting them crammed somewhere at the back) & also makes everything looks more appetising – my clear glass containers are from Kmart

• To deep clean my fridge once a month I empty out the entire fridge & wipe down the shelves/drawers with paper towel & my favourite Eco Friendly Kitchen cleaning products from @thecleancollective. I also place a small bowl of rose water or baking soda with a few drops of lemon or orange essential oils at the back of the fridge to keep the fridge smelling fresh.

Hope you all enjoyed my ‘fridge organisation’ tips! Don’t forget what works for my family may differ for you – use my tips as a guide & use them in a way that’s practical in your household.

Feel free to check out my IGTV or YouTube videos on fridge organisation: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CAIYKDPF3uo/?igshid=jqzasi1rovo6

Love,

Sara