Beautifully Organised

Sunday, March 26, 2017

How to make sure your kids take everything they need to school each day

This week my lovely sister Melodie Johnston joined me LIVE on Facebook to share how her primary school aged kids remember to take everything they need to school every day - no forgetting soccer stuff, library books, etc..

It's really simple and you can try it yourself as soon as tomorrow!

Watch the video for all the details:

Here are the basics:

Mel made up these daily prints with everything the kids need to take to school that day. Both kids are on the same print, with different columns for each, using different coloured headings so the kids can see at a glance which list is for them.

Each day these get posted at the front door and are checked by the kids on the way out to make sure they remember to take everything they need for that day!

Things to remember:
  • Switch them over each night so you have the correct day (and print the day at the tops of each page so it's easy to double check each morning)
  • Don't put them on the back of the door if your door will be open as the kids leave the house - they won't see it! Instead, post it next to the front door
  • Don't panic if they forget something - it's all part of the learning process and is actually a good thing long term- they learn how to problem solve, ask for help, or accept that life goes on even if they forget a soccer ball one Thursday!

Hope you found it helpful :) 

Don't forget to share your own ideas below or on the Facebook page!

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Friday, March 17, 2017

How to manage school notes and other paperwork - easily!

If you get overwhelmed with the amount of paper that enters your home, if you're sick of losing important notes and being behind on your bills because the paperwork goes missing, or if you just want a simple way to keep all your papers tidy before you action it and file it, you will LOVE this technique!

Grab the Paper Flow book here for more detail and other great ideas: (affiliate link)

This book is GOLD and taught me a really simple way to keep on top of school notes, bills, - everything paperwork in my life and businesses!

Basically, we use an A4 size gift box to corral all of our paperwork. 

We keep the gift box on our kitchen counter, which tends to be where we already automatically 'dump' the incoming papers.

Every time I enter the house with new mail, bills, papers etc - and every time the kids get home from school with notes in their bag, we put them into this box.

The box has a lid on it for 2 reasons:

1. It makes it look neater
2. It sets up a clear guideline on when you have to process the paperwork - when the box is too full to put the lid on, you have to sit down and action everything inside!

Now don't worry too much about the box getting full and overwhelming - in most cases I find this is easy to avoid once you follow the tips in the Paper Flow book and set a regular time to sit down with the box and action the papers inside.

You can do it weekly, or daily. I find daily is easier and takes only a few minutes, and I do it once the kids are in bed.

Give it a try and let me know if it helps you too! And for more information, grab yourself a copy of Paper Flow - you'll love the results you'll get with it :)

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* This post includes an affiliate link to the Paper Flow book

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Looking after yourself as a mother who runs her own blog or business

We spend so much time helping other people - our families, our customers, friends, colleagues.. but who looks after YOU?

Tonight I’m on the Motivating Mum Facebook page (7:15pm Sydney time for 10 minutes!) sharing 3 things you can do to look after yourself as a mother - so you have the time and energy to ENJOY your business, your family and your life - not just struggle through it!

If you can't catch me live or watch the whole video - here are the tips I'm sharing in more detail:

1. Schedule down time and do it consistently so it becomes the “new normal” for everyone: Once you lock it in and do it consistently, everyone - your kids, your clients, your friends, everybody just accepts it. I promise, they do. in my house, we eat breakfast every morning, we have a shower every day, and mum goes to the movies every week. Don't feel guilty about it! It's like the oxygen mask on the plane - you have to put yours on first and stay well so you can then look after everyone else.

2. Set up systems and boundaries to give you back your freedom without adding to your expenses: So much of what we do is repetitive! So let's tackle those repetitive tasks in a way that give us more space.

Life example: 

Systems: I wash my hair once a week and had a pattern for hair through the week - long and straight for the first 2 days, then curls for 2 days, then up in pony tails or a bun for the rest as it got greasier ;)

Boundaries: I'm kind but firm when my kids want to argue. It's not perfect, but most times it cuts arguments short (especially when it's not a big issue and they are mostly tired or hungry). A simple, gentle 'no' works way better than a long explanation of why not. If I keep getting the same complaint, my answer stays the same too.

Business example: 

  • Think habits and templates. Let's use email for this example. 
  • Turn off your email alerts and check it 3 times a day (you can list your response time on your website and in most cases, “urgent requests” that go unanswered often then follow with “don’t worry I’ve figured it out” emails an hour later)
  • Answer with simple replies - 3 lines max, kind tone, but no fluff.
  • Set up common responses as templates (check your Sent items for your most common responses and use those as a starting point). 
  • Then put those responses into an FAQ’s page on your website and enjoy less email! 
  • After a week or two all this becomes the new normal for you and your clients and customers.

3. Build your own village: I promise you're not the only time poor parent trying to juggle work with family life and feeling exhausted and guilty as a resort. So let's find the others who are in the same boat and help each other!

In life: Team up with a few other families in your neighbourhood to handle childcare needs so you can work on your business before midnight or have your downtime  - and they can too. Every Tuesday is "Friends over day" at our house. Family, school friends, neighbours - everyone can come over between 3pm - 5pm and parents can either stay for a cup of tea with me, or drop off and pick up and have a quiet afternoon to get things done or relax. On Thursdays, my kids go to a friends house and I get the down time / uninterrupted work time.

In business: Collaborate with others in your field - don’t stress about competition, there’s room for everyone to succeed!

Look at all the women coming together today thanks to Alli at Motivating Mum! Yes, we are busy mums as well as entrepreneurs - today’s event took 10 minutes for each of us to film and I’m spending a few minutes this morning and this evening sharing some of the other videos with my audience. 

Gather a group of like minded biz mums like yourself and collab, share and promote each other’s work to grow your rich and influence and get yourself in front of new audiences! You can keep it really simple and do it all on Facebook: 

  • Set up a private group so it's easy to keep in touch! then support each other:
  • Share each others videos when they go live
  • Share blog posts
  • Do an interview together!

Try these tips over the next month and enjoy less stress, and more time :)

Don't forget to start with #1! And if you need more ideas or help with blogging or business, you can join us at my Simple Business Facebook group here for free, we're a lovely bunch xx

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Simple ways we save on our weekly grocery budget ($100 for family of four)

Today on Facebook I shared my $100 per week grocery budget shopping tips!

Feel free to watch the whole video for details - lots of extra helpful hints in there! - but if you're in a hurry, the basics of the tips are listed below the video:

1. Only shop one day each week: If we run out of something (or forget to buy something), we just do without until the next shopping day.

2. Shop with a calculator and set a firm budget: I add up as I go using the calculator on my mobile phone and then at the end of each aisle I screen shot my calculator so I don't lose the total in case I press a random button and lose track. To keep to the budget, the first few weeks I used cash only - no debit card. Otherwise I would just go over budget and put it on my card. With cash, I had no choice but to put excess items back.

3. Develop a pattern that leads to less waste (which leads to less buying): We eat salads at the start of the week, and we have frozen veggies for the end of the week. I make soups mid week for my lunch and freeze portions, using the fresh veggies that are about to get too wilted for salads.

4. Use the last dollar (or dollars): If we come in at $98 instead of $100, I'll go back around and buy a can of diced tomatoes and a 99 cent dishwashing liquid and stockpile them, so in the future, I have them available if our budget is even tighter unexpectedly. I always buy basics with this extra money - for example, I'll buy the dishwashing liquid for 99 cents instead of dishwasher tablets for $4.69 - because if I need to save $5 in the future, I can still wash dishes using that stockpiled basic dishwashing liquid and I can put back the dishwasher tablets I would have normally bought that week.

5. Share the workload: We have family dinner with extended family every Wednesday. There are 3 households, so I cook one out of 3 weeks on a Wednesday. Now every third Wednesday, I need to feed 10 people (not our usual 7). So I keep that meal basic - meat, veg, potatoes, and a home made dessert.

6. Super simple back up meals: If our Wednesday family dinner doesn't go ahead one week, I still need to feed the 4 of us. So I always include a simple pantry option for dinner should we need it: Like mashed potato, frozen veg and baked beans, all in a pile in a bowl and I call in volcanos for dinner (thanks Bec from Tupperware for the idea!). Or cheap 2 minute noodles, and I stir fry them with a little soy sauce and some veggies. Or english muffins, we make mini pizzas!

7. Think sustainable: We stopped spending $3 a week on paper towel and now use reusable bamboo towels and wash them. We use less clingwrap (I'd like to completely stop, working on that!), we get eggs from our chickens, and I'm still looking for other eco friendly swaps that will save us money :)

Our simple meal planning program is here if you want to join us!

It includes lifetime access to the video program, plus join us in our private Facebook group and tag me anytime with questions - plus if you don't make your money back in the first 30 days with your grocery savings, you can always get a refund :)

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Declutter with me: Kitchen drawer

I had so much fun decluttering with you all this morning!

We did the second kitchen drawer.. In my house it holds some things we use almost daily.. and some things we almost never use!

For more Simple Decluttering tips check out Less Mess, Less Stress.. and More Calm here:

The price goes up to $67 in April when we upgrade the program - and all existing members get the upgrade for free, so now is the perfect time to get started on your decluttering!

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