Monday, February 10, 2020

How to organise your filing system

I used to hate filing. Every time I tried to organise my filing system I would give up after an hour because:
  • It was confusing (how do I group the paperwork?)
  • It was too messy (I was trying to sort it out on the floor)
  • It took too long (and there was no end in sight)
But without a decent filing system I was losing paperwork - which led to late payments on bills and more money spent as warranties were lost. Anything I didn't lose was just piling up around the house and the mess was driving me crazy.

Luckily I like a challenge, and I love organising, so I spent some time researching filing systems and now I have a system that works well for me - simple and effective. 

Today I'm sharing it with you in case you need help with your filing too! So here it is:

How to Organise your Filing System

You will need:

Write your file labels FIRST: It will make sorting out your paperwork quicker, neater and easier because you can just pick up a pile and sort as you go. You don't need to know every label to use at the start, you can add them as you go along, but if you would like a guideline, you can use my personal filing system categories for free, and just alter them to suit you!

Click here for your cheat sheet 

Attach your labels to your hanging and manilla folders: Make sure the labels are written clearly and placed in easy to read areas on your folders. I like to put the hanging file labels on the left, and each manilla folder label on the right:

Hanging file labels on the left

Manilla folder labels on the right

Sort through your paperwork, filing as you go: If you enjoy sorting your paperwork, you can do this step in one sitting, but if you don't have a lot of time, or find you get interrupted a lot (like I do with the kids), you can do this step in 15 minute intervals. It will take you a bit longer, but you'll be less likely to give up! 

The main point to remember here is that the hard part is already over - all of your papers have a home, you are now just gradually placing them where they belong. Don't forget to have a recycling bin handy so you can rip up and throw out old, irrelevant papers as you go.
    Believe it or not - that's it! Follow those steps and your filing system will be so beautiful you'll be happy to file every new paper immediately from now on :)

    If you think this system will help your friends and loved ones too, please share it with them and help them get on top of their filing too!

    x Marissa

    Wednesday, January 29, 2020

    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?

    x Marissa

    Friday, January 10, 2020

    How to speed clean your kitchen

    Our kitchen is the heart of our home. We’re in there a lot every day, chatting while we bake, make coffee, cook, prep school lunches, so the kitchen always needs some cleaning!

    Like most busy mums, I’m a fan of quick cleaning tips - I don’t want cleaning the kitchen to take all night!

    If you’re the same and you’d like a quick and easy way to clean your kitchen when you’re short on time or just tired after a long day, follow my speed cleaning steps below!

    The truth about Speed Cleaning.

    Here's the most important thing to remember about speed cleaning: There's no magic involved. Speed cleaning is really just about having a pattern to follow that prioritises tasks so that everything is done efficiently. That's what makes the job easier, which is why it can be done faster.

    So you want to to look at the most effective way to do it, at the most ideal time, in order to make it quick and easy.

    When should you clean your kitchen?

    The best time to clean your kitchen is as you are cooking, but let’s face it, that’s not always easy (especially at witching hour when everyone’s starving and cranky).

    So let’s focus on the easiest time to clean instead, which is right after the meal is finished, before you have a chance to sit back and relax.

    I know, it’s a little sucky, having to clean up right after dinner, but it’s so much easier because you haven’t slipped into comfy mode quite yet, and the kids are all happy because their tummies are full - so you should have a clear 20 minute window without interruptions to get it done quickly and easily.

    Here’s my step by step guide to speed clean your kitchen the easy way:

    Click here to download your checklist

    Step 1. Food away
    Step 2. Fill pots and pans to soak
    Step 3. Rubbish into bins
    Step 4. Collect dirty dishes
    Step 5. Wipe down counters
    Step 6. Now let’s get those dishes done!

    If you have a dishwasher:
    • Bowls and plates at the bottom
    • Cutlery in the basket
    • Glasses and cups on the top rack
    • Add detergent / dishwashing tab and you’re done!

    If you don’t have a dishwasher (or you have more dishes than will fit in it):
    • Fill your sink and add dishwashing liquid
    • Wash in this order to keep your water as clean and make it last longer:
    • Glasses
    • Cups
    • Drink bottles
    • Mugs
    • Cutlery
    • Plates
    • Chopping boards
    • Containers
    • Tools (grater etc)
    • Pots & Pans

    Step 7. Sweep the floor
    Step 8. Empty the rubbish bins if they are full
    Step 9. Go enjoy your life - you’re done!

    Want to make cleaning your kitchen even easier? Stick this printable on your fridge and tell your kids to do it!

    Clean Kitchen Checklist

    And here's how I like to make speed cleaning the kitchen more enjoyable:
    • Set a timer for 20 mins and see if you can beat your best time
    • Add music! I love this Spotify playlist for household chores

    What's your favourite kitchen cleaning tip?

    x Marissa

    Tuesday, December 31, 2019

    Diary feature: Collins Debden 2020

    If you're looking for a stylish, easy to use diary for 2020, you'll love the new diaries from Collins Debden!

    Today I'm sharing 3 of my favourites from the collection - the Metropolitan Glasgow B6 week to view, the Vanguard A5 week to view, and the Diva 257 x 182 week to view in white.

    Watch the video walkthrough below or keep reading for photos and descriptions!

    Metropolitan Glasgow B6 week to view

    The Glasgow is a weekly planner made with smooth Japanese paper and a sturdy cover. It's lovey to touch and still feels durable enough to keep in your handbag without worrying about ruining it. 

    It's handy to take out and about with you and is perfect for the mum on the go that needs to write things down and not worry about remembering appointments, to do's and everything else! I love the elastic closure for keeping it all together in my bag.

    It has 2 ribbon place holders, so you can open it up easily to the week you're living in and save another page at the same time - lots of helpful pages are included like goal trackers, yearly planners, etc.

    I love the expandable pocket in the back - handy for keeping school notes, kids party invites, or anything else that normally ends up at the bottom of my bag! Plus it's so easy to write in because it lays flat when you open it.

    The layout is vertical week to view with enough space to fit your daily needs.

    It has so many extra helpful pages too! Monthly goal trackers, conversion chart, even an international apparel sizing guide which is handy when you're shopping for presents!

    Vanguard A5 week to view

    The Vanguard is gorgeous! 

    It's navy, with copper foil on the cover and edging, a ribbon marker to hold your place, and an expandable inner pocket handy to hold notes.

    The pages inside are beautiful, and it has all the features of the Glasgow in terms of page types and space for writing.

    Diva 257 x 182 week to view

    My favourite is the Diva week to view in white! 

    It has a beautiful suede velvet cover and comes with gold metal inlay and gilt edging, plus the paper quality is lovely. 

    There is SO much room inside on the week to view pages and it breaks the day down hour by hour, with a tonne of notes pages for journalling, lists or whatever you need at the back AND a year planner for 2021 as well!

    Looks like I'm all set for an organised year!

    What's your favourite planner or diary?

    x Mrarissa

    Thursday, December 5, 2019

    Cozy Christmas touches in our home

    It's December! I love the holiday season and all the extra warmth and cheer it brings.

    End of year dinners, parties, delicious food and treats, watching Christmas movies with my family, driving around to see Christmas lights in the neighbourhood... I pretty much love the whole thing.

    The only thing I don't love? Holiday season overwhelm.

    It's easy to get caught up in the rush of To Do's, feeling like we are behind compared to others with our Christmas prep, gift wrapping, decorations..

    And while I love dinners and parties, I'm still quite an introvert, and need plenty of opportunities to recharge in a calmer way.

    I want a haven to escape to and relax in.

    So for our house, instead of lots of bright, glittery decorations, I prefer to just sprinkle a little holiday warmth and cheer throughout my home.

    Simple little touches that make me feel cosy and rested :)

    Let's take a little tour of my home, and I'll show you what I mean.

    Lounge room

    This is my favourite piece in our home this year. It's a beautiful wooden tray with small bowls in it, filled with nuts and gold chocolate coins, and the most delicious smelling candle you will ever come across!

    The Elume Christmas candle is vanilla and nutmeg scented and it is divine. It's aromatic and Christmassy without being overpowering, and it looks so pretty..

    After a busy day, once the kids go to bed, I light the candle, add a glass of red wine to the tray and take the whole thing in with me when I go to have a loooong bubble bath.

    It's so relaxing :)

    Onto the rest of the house!

    Kids bedrooms 

    My kids are older so I can't take over their bedrooms anymore.. so I compromise by decorating just one dresser top and keeping it simple!

    I put a Christmas shirt on one of their toys, add a couple of Christmas books and some extra baubles in a glass.. and we're done! 

    Very cute, very easy.


    For the kitchen, I swap out our usual fruit bowl for a Christmas decorated one, and keep the red KitchenAid stand mixer on the counter for the pop of Christmas colour.

    Next, I prop up a cookbook with our recipe holder and open it to a cute page with Christmas baking pictures.

    Oh and I swap out the tea towels for red gingham ones - but I can't show you that photo because I forgot to clean my oven  before writing this blog post ;)


    Okay fine, we've all done it! Here it is:

    We have a few other little sprinkles of Christmas throughout the house that you can see in today's YouTube video - Click below to watch!

    I'd love to hear about your Christmas decor - do you go all out glitz and glam, or do you prefer a cosier feel?

    x Marissa

    Thank you to candles2go for providing the beautiful elume candle for our cosy Christmas!