Monday, August 24, 2015

How to get your kids to dress themselves - without nagging!

Hello everyone, it's the start of a new week and I hope you had a lovely weekend!

I get a lot of emails from busy mums who are feeling frustrated and overwhelmed, always in a rush trying to get the kids dressed and ready each morning and feeling like they have to get ready for an argument every time.

I'm a big believer in encouraging independence when it comes to the kids getting dressed, and the biggest benefits are:
  • It helps with their gross motor skills (balance) and fine motor skills (buttons, zips)
  • It gives kids a sense of accomplishment as they get the hang of it
  • It frees you up and you feel like a mum, not a slave!
So today I want to share with you my tips for encouraging your kids to dress themselves every day - without nagging.
    You can read my tips below, or if if it's easier for you to listen to them, I have an audio for you too:

    First, know that it takes time and instead of trying to get them to nail it it one go, think about it long term. I like to break it down into 3 focuses: Choice of clothes, taking on and off, and putting away. You’ll start by doing it with your children and then slowly take steps back and just help when you’re asked, then it won’t be long before they can do it all themselves!

    Let’s take a look at each focus.
    • Choice of clothes: Give them freedom to choose but make sure they’re still appropriately dressed. 
      • For toddlers I like to give 2 choices of full outfits and let them choose their favourite for the day. 
      • As they get older, you let them choose a little more. So you might lay out the 2 choices but leave off the shoes and jacket and let them choose that as well. then add more choice as you go along, they choose the shirt, the pants, and over time they get the hang of choosing their own clothing. 
      • If you can, do this the night before when you’re not in a hurry. But you can do it in the morning and if you do it consistently you’ll find it gets quicker each week.
    • Taking on and off: 
      • Again here we go step by step. 
      • Taking clothes off is generally easier so that’s where I like to start. 
      • Break it down into smaller steps. So for toddlers, if you want to start with taking off pants, you break it down into ‘push pants down, sit down, take one foot out, take the other foot out’. Shirts is ’this arm up high, hold your sleeve, arm down and out, then other arm up high, hold your sleeve then arm down and out, then head.’ 
      • Those little patterns start to become automatic and then with everyday practice will get easier and easier. 
      • Once you’ve got the hang of the bigger steps, then go into smaller ones like zips and buttons.
    • Putting away
      • This is the easiest one and also the one that makes the most difference to you as a mum. 
      • When the kids are little you get used to the fact that you’re often doing most of the picking up and putting away. But once your babies are toddlers they’re more than capable of understanding where things go and how to put them there.
      • So again we break into steps. Start with getting undressed for bath or shower - and go with 2 steps, saying it as you do it together each day. ‘clothes off, into the basket’. You’ll be surprised at how quickly this will become a habit and the saying it as you do it really helps cement that neural learning pathway - the idea that the more you do something, the less you have to think about it and the easier and more normal it becomes
      • Once you’ve got that down, we go to mornings and you use your 2 clear steps again ‘get dressed, pjs under pillow.’
      • The key here really is the consistency and the activities becoming a habit rather than a chore.

    So those are my tips for encouraging your kids to be more independent when it comes to getting dressed - without you having to nag them every day!

    They’re available in a free printable for you below, so go ahead and grab that if you want one to add to your house and family binder and if you'd like to learn more about reducing mess and stress as a busy mother check out my email program here.


    Don’t forget to comment below if you give these a try to let me know how you go and I’d love to hear your tips too if you have some that work really well in your house and you’d like to share them with the Beautifully Organised community. Share away!

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    Credits:This post is not sponsored and contains no affiliate links

    Friday, August 7, 2015

    10 tasks you can do while you're on the phone

    A quick audio for you today!

    I thought I'd switch it up a bit this week and record an audio for you to listen to instead of my regular blog posts or videos - handy if you're too busy to sit down and read or watch :)

    Which fits perfectly with my topic this week - I'm talking time management and how to get more done while you're on the phone.

    You might be having an hour long chat with a friend and feeling a bit guilty for not getting some stuff done around the house.

    Or you might be on hold for 20 mins with a call centre and be getting pretty bored by now..

    Whatever the reason, if you're looking to be a little more productive with your phone time (and hopefully free yourself up a bit later on), today I'm sharing my top 10 things to do while I'm on the phone - hope it helps you too!

    Just click on the play button below to listen:

    If you don't have time to listen, here's the 10 in a quick list:
    • Wipe down counters and table tops
    • Pick up stray items and put them where they belong
    • Fold clothes and put them away
    • Get out ingredients for any cooking or baking you're planning when you hang up
    • Declutter a drawer or shelf
    • Give yourself a manicure
    • Clean out your wallet
    • Make your bed
    • Clear out your fridge
    • Wipe down your computer monitor and keyboard

    Bonus: Save these extra 3 for when you’re on hold for ages (you’ll need to focus a bit more):

    • Update your calendar
    • Plan out your meals for the week ahead (give away print)
    • Clear out your computer desktop: organise those pictures and files!

    Now it's your turn!

    Pick 1 of the 10 and see how productive you can be next time you're on the phone :)

    Do you have a favourite job to do while you're chatting or on hold?

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    Credits: This post is not sponsored and contains no affiliate links

    Thursday, July 30, 2015

    Penny Miller Haul and Review!

    A sponsored post from Penny Miller - check out the products I've chosen to help around the house xx

    I have a Penny Miller haul for you today!

    If you live in Australia like I do, I bet you've seen a Penny Miller catalogue on your doorstep a few times and quite possibly wondered what the products were actually like in real life.

    Penny Miller is an Australian owned company that sells home and garden products, tools, clothing, gifts.. and my favourite - household gadgets!

    It's no secret I love anything to do with making life at home easier, so when I got the chance to try some of these products I jumped at it, and I've made you a video showing everything I chose and my thoughts on each product :)

    Click the video below to watch:

    I love everything I chose and the 2 products I'm most excited about are:

    The car vacuum cleaner - because it plugs straight into my car charger and because it packages up so neatly with all the accessories inside! I can keep it in the boot of my car permanently and use it wherever and whenever I need it :)

    The chopping board - it's made veggie chopping so much neater! No more scraps on the bench to clean up :)

    Also, if you're looking to make some extra money, you can apply to become a Penny Miller representative - they have endless opportunities ranging from casual to full time business ventures.

    Have you shopped Penny Miller yet? What are your favourite 'Make life easier at home' products?

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    Monday, June 15, 2015

    Day in the life with a 5 year old and 3 year old.. Follow us around for a day!

    Hello everybody!

    Thought I'd share a bit of a day in the life video with you this week :)

    We get a lot of emails asking if we're going to do daily vlogs again and I'd love to, but just can't seem to find enough time to edit them!

    So here's a quick one for now, and over the next month or so I'll do a bit of a rejig with our daily rhythm / routine to free up a bit more time to do them more regularly.

    Hope you like it!

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    Credits: This post is not sponsored and contains no affiliate links

    Friday, May 29, 2015

    We tried Vegemite Chocolate!

    So Vegemite Chocolate really is a thing here in Australia!

    I LOVE Vegemite on toast, but when we first heard Cadbury was coming out with Vegemite chocolate, I just couldn't get my head around it. Who on earth would want to put that in their mouth?!?

    But then I thought about it and you know what? I also LOVE things like salted caramel, or pancakes with bacon and maple syrup on them - so maybe this would be just another example of something sweet and savoury going well together.

    Hmm, maybe.

    Watch our reaction to Vegemite Chocolate in this week's video:

    So that's what we thought of it when we tried it! But the bad news is, there's still half a block of it in the fridge four days later... so final decision is a NO. 

    Sorry Cadbury! But we still love your fruit and nut chocolate (and peppermint!)

    Have you tried Vegemite chocolate? What did you think of it?

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    Credits: This post is not sponsored and contains no affiliate links. We bought the Vegemite chocolate ourselves :)