Monday, January 4, 2021

20 Super easy ways to save money

(In random order)

  • Wait 48 hours before you buy that thing you’re looking at - most times you don’t actually need or want it anymore
  • Make simpler meals from basic ingredients (don’t spend $12 on new spices for one recipe)
  • Don’t drive when you can walk or ride your bike
  • Get your books, magazines, movies and music for free from the library
  • Shop second hand (op shops, Facebook marketplace, share shops)
  • Snack on homemade snacks or fruit & veg instead of pricey packet snacks
  • Eat your leftovers
  • Put an easy dinner in your freezer ready for nights you don’t feel like cooking. A $3 pizza from Aldi is cheaper than a $40 pizza delivery
  • Cut up your credit card and close the account once it’s paid off
  • Ignore AfterPay
  • Save your coins, deposit them into your local ATM once a month and transfer that money to your holiday/investment/savings
  • Buy the cheaper brands. There’s no special factory for no-name brands, it’s made at the same place as an expensive brand. Only the label is different.
  • Wear your clothes at least twice before you wash them. Half the washing = half the water and half the laundry powder and it adds up over a year. You don’t smell bad, I promise!
  • Wait one more day between hair washes and save yourself the water and shampoo
  • Grocery shop with a list and a budget (and shop with cash to make sure you stick to it)
  • Just keep one streaming service - you don’t have time to watch them all. Switch them month by month if you like! Even better, try the free ones first - 7plus, ABC iView, SBS on demand, 10 Play and 9 Now all have a huge range of shows to watch including some of your all-time faves
  • Take your leftovers to work for lunch and save $10+ a day. Put your leftovers aside before you serve dinner so you know you’ll have enough for lunch tomorrow
  • Unplug your phone charger when you’re not using it and turn your TV off at the wall
  • Ditch your gym membership and go for a walk outside or do a YouTube workout
  • Ask “Is that your best price?” The worst they can say is yes!
I'd love to hear your money-saving tips too - share them with us on Facebook!

x Marissa

Sunday, January 3, 2021

My simple morning routine with a baby and a toddler

I saw a mum ask in a Facebook group this week:

"How do you handle your mornings with babies and toddlers? I can't get up early anymore to get things done or get "me time" because they wake up so early too. I'm finding it hard to get anything done and yet the morning drags on. I spend so much time on my phone and I feel really burnt out."

My kids are older now so mornings are MUCH easier, but I remember what it was like to manage a toddler and a baby and keep the house running and it was NOT easy. And I felt the pull to my phone as well!

What worked best for me to get things done and lesson burnout was to simplify the mornings as much as possible and not cram too much into them, and to follow the same simple routine pretty much every morning:

* Make the bed as soon as I get out of it

* Have breakfast with the kids - we all eat together, toddler in toddler chair, baby in high chair from 6 months

* Make our lunch boxes next and put them in fridge for later  - the kids had full tummies after breakfast so would play well for about 15min which gave me time to make 3 lunch boxes (yep, one for me too!)

* Get everyone dressed, teeth and hair done, shoes on

* Play / read a book together / tv show for the kids while I put a load of washing on

* Next was about and about time to save my sanity! We would go for a walk outside with the pram or head to the local shops and take the lunchboxes with us. I'd also take a picnic blanket if we were going to the park, and if we were at the shops we usually had lunch in the parent room. Not glamourous but very handy! I could eat and also feed the baby while my toddler played with the toys.

* Then it was back home for nap time after lunch and I'd hang the washing and do the morning dishes before trying to relax for a bit.

It wasn’t an exciting routine but it was simple which made it do-able!

Other small things that made a big difference to our mornings:
  • I had to put my phone on silent in my bag and zip it up so that I wouldn’t gravitate to it 
  • Lunches were simple ones like leftovers or a sandwich + fruit + packaged snack like a rusk/muesli bar/pretzels 
  • My babies were bottled fed so I'd make up 6 baby bottles of water at once and keep them in the fridge so I could grab them and make them up quickly with formula when needed. When we were out and about, the bottle would go from cold to room temp and was fine for me to put the formula into at lunchtime and give it to the baby straight away - no need for heating and waiting while we were out.
  • We switched to night time baths and showers for everyone so that it was one less job in the morning - and much more relaxing at night
That's what helped me stay sane when my kids were young, I'd love to know what worked for you. Come and let us know on the Beautifully Organised Mums facebook page!

x Marissa

How to like cleaning

We all love to relax in a nice clean home, right?

The problem is cleaning is NOT fun. There’s never a perfect time to do it, so it’s easy to procrastinate on it.. which only makes it worse because when we don’t clean regularly all the mess and muck builds up.. and then it become a HUGE job that feels really overwhelming!

We know cleaning regularly is easier, and we know that if we enjoy something we’re more likely to do it.

So how can we make cleaning more likeable?

Here’s what works for me.

Listen to something you like while you clean

Listen to music 

Listen to a podcast 

Listen to your favourite YouTuber (lots of videos are people talking - you don’t have to watch, you can just listen

Get motivated before you start cleaning

Watch a Clean with Me video on YouTube before you start cleaning, they are really motivating!

Watch an episode of Hoarders before you start cleaning

Make it a challenge

Set your timer and see how much you can get done in 15 minutes

Make it easier

You don’t have to clean the whole house from top to bottom each day - assign one room each day for deep cleaning in four easy steps (rubbish out, put things away, spray and wipe surfaces, sweep / mop / vacuum floor)

Delegate - Ditch the huge washing basket and give each family member a small one with their name on it. They can do their own laundry (yep even primary school aged kids can do it with a small basket and a stool)

Make it nicer

Create a cute cleaning caddy to carry around from room to room

Wear a cute apron and gloves

Get a good quality duster

Buy a nice looking spray bottle for your surface spray

Teat yourself to a top quality vacuum that works well and is light and easy to carry

When to clean

The earlier the better - clean when you have more energy earlier in the day

As you go - Wash dishes as you cook, pick up something to put away as you walk through a room, clean the bathroom while you run the bath

Change your mindset

Stop thinking “I hate cleaning” and start thinking “I love relaxing in a tidy room”

Say it to your kids too!

Reward yourself

Wine and chocolate work for me! Okay, maybe wine later in the day ;)

Chill out with Netflix

Read a book or magazine

Order dinner in

Go to a movie

Seriously, do something nice for yourself and call it a reward, it means you don’t feel guilty about chilling because you absolutely deserve a break!

Outsource the stuff you hate most

If you have a little extra cash, feel free to hire someone to do the stuff you hate like cleaning the oven. doing the floors every fortnight, cleaning the bathroom, washing the windows, washing your car, mowing your lawns… anything you really don’t want to do!

It’s okay to outsource, you’re helping someone else with their income, they are good at their job, and you already do ENOUGH.

Hope that helps! If you have a tip to share, I’d love to hear it! Join us on Facebook and let me know your tips & tricks for enjoying cleaning more.

x Marissa

How to get your family to help around the house

When Mum becomes the default cleaner in the house, our role changes from mother to servant. 

That’s not what we’re here for! 

Sharing the workload helps you (less burnout and more free time), helps your partner (they become more confident less fumbly about it) and helps your kids (they learn skills they need for life and they act way less entitled and back chatty)/

So having the whole family help around the house is a GOOD thing for everyone, but HOW do you get them to actually help?!?

Here’s what works for me:

  • Stop tidying up for them. Seriously, stop doing it and they’ll stop expecting it.
  • Ask for specific help with a timeframe. “Name, would you please put the bathroom towels on to wash before dinner?”
  • Role model making it more enjoyable so they see its not horrible (tips here at how to like cleaning)
  • Make tidy up time part of the day - e.g every one tidies the lounge room and their bedroom before bed / reading time
  • Do it together - One of the kids can help you cook dinner AND wash dished as you go! You get to spend time together and ashore the workload at the same time
  • Add a put away basket to every room for easier tidying. We talk about this more on the free online workshop - it’s a life changer
  • Use “When and then” when the kids ask you for anything. “Sure honey, once you hang your wet washing I can drive you to the shops”
  • Play to their strengths. If one kid likes vacuuming and the other likes doing the dishes, go for it!
  • Make it easier for them. We switched from a heavy vacuum cleaner with a cord  to a light stick vacuum and the kids have no problem using it (and don’t complain about it anymore).
  • Put a bin in their bedroom. It’s way easier for them to keep it clean that way.
  • Go away at least once a year for a weekend to relax and let the rest of the family fend for themselves. Don’t do any laundry before you go. Don’t grocery shop. Don’t make meals and freeze them. Don’t clean it up yourself when you get home. Let the rest of your family discover what it takes to keep a household running smoothly so they understand why you expect everyone to pitch in!

I’d love to know your tips for getting the family to help out around the house. Join us on Facebook and let me know!

x Marissa

Keep your house tidy easily with 3 simple rules

Having a tidy house keeps me happy and calm. 

When my space is organised and clear, I don't panic when people drop by unannounced, I'm not wasting time searching for lost items, I arrive on time or early when I go somewhere (which is something I never did before!), and I have more time to have fun with my family.

When I help people organise their spaces, I usually get asked what sort of tools they should buy - containers, planners, file folders, desks, cupboards, etc. I say the same thing every time.

Fancy tools, boxes and organising products are fun, pretty and useful and I LOVE them. But they aren't necessary, they're just nice to have.

So before you go out and spend lots of $ on organising products, get the basics covered first, so you're not wasting your money.

To start with, you only need to focus on 3 things to keep your house clear and clutter free.

Three things. That's it!

And you don't need to spend and money on them if you don't want to.

Here's what you REALLY need to do to keep a tidy house:

1. Get Motivated: Something has to get you going, get you interested in tidying your house regularly. For some, it's writing a To Do list and crossing chores off as you go. For others, it's rewarding themselves after the job is complete. You may like to play your favourite music while you work, put up a motivational poster or keep a few inspiration photos handy - pictures of your house when it's tidy so you know how good it looks when it's organised. Clean with me videos on YouTube are great motivators, and podcasts are awesome too! Whatever you choose, it has to be something that appeals to YOU so you're more likely to do it. Personally, I get motivated to tidy when I'm stressed, because a tidy room makes my head feel clearer and I look forward to feeling relaxed.

2. Assign a home for everything: Yep, even the little things. Where do you keep your keys, spare change, any business cards you collect, caps, phone charger, sunglasses, medicines, safety pins? If you give everything a proper place to live, it's easy to put it away, rather than just put it down anywhere, creating clutter. Make it easy for your family to put things away too by labelling boxes, shelves, etc so they know exactly where things belong.

3. Consistency: This is so important. Your house will only stay tidy if you look after it on a regular basis. The easiest way to do this is to get in the habit of doing a quick tidy up every day. The key is to make it part of your daily routine. Even if it's only a 15 or 30 minute activity, it will help reduce the mess so much and you won't have to spend your whole weekend catching up on housework! I usually set my iPhone timer for 15 minutes and go around the house, room by room, as fast as I can - making sure I put things away in the place they belong!
The important thing to remember here is that keeping your house tidy is an ongoing process - it's going to need work every day. But with these 3 ideas, the work won't be difficult or time consuming, you can just cruise through on auto pilot and then relax and enjoy your beautiful home :)

Now, time to share your tips! How do YOU stay on top of your housework? Let me know on Facebook!

x Marissa