How To Organise Successfuly

Ok, so you may have already read my ‘How to KEEP your home organised’ post but here I will be outlining how to initially get organised. Im always receiving questions on how I go about starting and completing an organisation project wether it’s my pantry, fridge, storage room, kids’ toys, wardrobe, cupboard – Especially when ‘storage solutions’ need to be put in place or new ‘storage containers/accessories’ need to be purchased. A questions I receive often is ‘so, how do I know how many storage tubs to buy, or how many jars to buy etc’… well here is your answer.

Firstly start off by a keeping a handy dandy notepad nearby (lol, you see what I did there😂) – I’m all about using LISTS and I believe they truly keep anxiety at bay. So where was I… YES keep a list nearby & then follow these steps. Your initial list should include all the places in your home you wish to tackle. Let’s pretend your list looks like this:

The reason why I say to begin with a list is because it motivates you to get started! Keep this list on the fridge to keep you reminded! So let’s start checking off this list to help us feel a sense of accomplishment. Starting with the Pantry! Keep in mind, all of the tips I’m about to provide should be applied to all of the projects to wish to tackle, however for the purpose of this post I’ll be using a pantry as the prime example.

Follow these steps:

1. DECLUTTER – this is so so important! Remove the contents from each shelf and one by one go through each item. Make piles including: donate, toss, recycle & keep. Consider the following things:

• expiry dates

• bulky/unnecessary packaging (sometimes you’ll have 4 weetbix left in the box, use ziplock bags to store them and toss the box in the recycle pile)

Once you have done this with every shelf and have your piles go to the next step.

2. CLEAN – wipe down all the shelves (make sure to use an eco friendly spray especially in the pantry where food will be stored)

3. CATEGORISE – you now want to go through your entire ‘keep’ pile and put them into categories. Eg: for the pantry you’ll have categories like ‘snacks, drinks, sauces, rice’ etc..

4. STORAGE – now that you’ve made your piles of categories you will know how many storage tubs/containers/baskets you’ll need. You may choose to get a big basket for all snacks, a bottle rack for your drinks, Jars for your spices, jars for your flour, breadcrumbs & all your dry pantry goods.. look through your categorised piles and see what you’ll need to store each category. Write these things down on a ‘to-buy’ list. Then take a photo of your piles! Now that you have an idea of what you need to buy you won’t go shopping with no clue rather you’ll have a list to work with! You could also refer to your photo to see how big each category is to determine the sizes of the storage items you’ll need. This will help to ensure you don’t over purchase and ultimately end up spending much more money than necessary!

5. ORGANISE – now that you have all of your goods decluttered, cleaned & categorised begin placing your items into allocated tubs/baskets/containers. Place your frequently used items on easily accessible shelves.

6. LABEL – this step is optional however let’s admit, labels make everything look pretty and that extra bit more organised! Once everything has been organised You’ll be able to see which labels you’ll need made up. Again write a list of labels for your jars & storage containers!

I really hope these 6 steps have helped to get an idea of how to go about organising! Feel free to refer to my ‘organisation’ tab on my blog for ideas on organising the pantry, fridge etc & another blogpost on how to KEEP your home organised!

For more tips visit my instagram: @sara_why

Love,

Toy Organisation

For the longest time, Jay’s toys had been giving me anxiety! Everywhere I walk, in every single room there was at least one of his toys scattered around. He had a basket in his room with some of his favourite toys (mainly little cars & dinosaurs), there was a huge felt storage house inside his closet with a huge amount of toys which have accumulated throughout his 2 years of life and then there was a huge wicker basket in the lounge room filled with EVEN MORE TOYS!

It was honestly starting to get out of hand! The toys in the lounge room would always end up under the couches (therefore doubling my cleaning time!) & the toys in his room were just so unorganised, it was a plain mess!

I decided to turn to good old trustee Instagram to ask for some advice! I was so shocked at the amount of other mamas who were also suffering from ‘toy clutter’ because let’s be real here, do kids even know how to play with toys nowadays? I feel like they just throw things around and walk out of the room like they didn’t nothing!

Anywho, back to the organising! Thanks to so many great tips and suggestions of fantastic toy organisation systems I finally settled on the ‘Trofast’ organisation units & tubs from IKEA! Let me just start by saying… THANK GOD! This system has been a life saver! His toys are now all organised, each toy has a ‘HOME’ & everything is categorically packed.

I then had the lovely @h_crafty_creations on Instagram create some labels for the tubs & they were done! However, let’s rewind a little. Before I went out to purchase the units & tubs I had to make sure I knew exactly how many of each item I needed depending on the toys and categories etc.

So here is how it all went down:

1. Gather every single toy around the house and place them in one area

2. Begin placing each toy into categories eg; balls, cars, animals, figurines, trucks, dolls, dress-ups, kitchen, educational etc etc… while you’re doing this if you come across a toys which your child no longer fancies, is broken or you simply just cannot stand that irritating sound it makes put it in the ‘donate’ pile.

3. Once you have all the toys placed in piles of categories take a picture of the lot of them. This will help you determine how many of each size tub to get once you head to IKEA

4. Head to IKEA and figure out how many units you’ll need plus how many tubs of each size. Here is what I went for:

You may need more or less of certain sizes depending on the size of your categorised piles of toys. Take a look at your picture that you took after you organised the toys in categories and calculate how many of each size tub you’ll need. For eg: you may have a lot of trucks so you’ll need the $9 tub, you may only have a few small bouncy balls which will fit in the $4 tub.

5. (Optional) Once you’ve set up your units and tubs at home you’ll need to figure out which labels you’ll need and place your order! You may even prefer to print out some pictures of the content of each tub to make it easier for your child to know what’s in each one or even for easy ‘packing away’. Eg: stick a picture of a Car on the car tub, a picture of a dolly on the dolly tub etc..

I really hope this blogpost helped to organise the toys in your home & keep your anxiety levels at bay!

Love,

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,

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