Operation: Dream Sewing Room 1

If I make it small, you can’t see as good ūüėȬ†

Yep. My sewing room looks like I’ve been robbed. I need to seriously declutter, tidy and organise this room, but it’s soooo easy to put off. Yesterday afternoon – I made a start.

I started by getting organised a Donate section, a take to school section (craft items going to the school chaplains program), a bin bag and finally, I went against everything and I made a “put elsewhere” box and got started.

Of course, Once I’d completed the 1 hour I could dedicate to that task, and the kids had gone to bed, I sat down and tackled Pinterest for inspiration and ideas. Ohhhh a peg board! I want that! I knew I wanted to move my embroidery machine around to make room for my laptop and to set an actual “office space” up, but, I had one cupboard in my future office section, that I’ve been trying to keep clean or sort out ever since I moved my felt in there, off the bench – you know, to make it tidy (hahaha) – but I couldn’t come up with, or find a solution…..

This cupboard has felt sheets, postage stuff, office supplies and god only knows what else in there. I even threw out all my scraps a while ago in an effort to fix the issue. Oh dear. Pinterest and google searches weren’t helping at all. Until I come across a site that mentioned the sheets are “approximately the size of an A4 sheet or slightly smaller”.

There was lots of mentions and suggestions about hanging files and filing cabinets but I thought, they aren’t stiff like cardboard and will easily bend if not full (like some of my paper tends to do) and they will end up piled in the bottom of the folder – that’s no good. Plus my filing cabinet is the other side of the room, I don’t have room to move it, I don’t want to have to keep getting up (lazy much?!) – I need my stuff easily accessible when working. Maybe I could attach something inside the cupboard???

And then it hit me! I had 4-5 large folders with 4 D clips in, that currently holds patterns… I was going to declutter severely down to one or 2 folders (because I have them accessible to me at any time if I REALLY needed them, and most of the time I can’t find the pieces needed or it doesn’t occur to me I already have the pattern printed, so I re-print the pages as I need them anyway).

Inspiration hit РAnd guess what?? MY FELT SHEETS FIT!! I found a Felt Storage Solution that works for me. I can lay the folders down or stand them up. I can sort by colours, and place a different colour sheet in each individual pocket and they are neat, tidy, accessible and functional! I can even put a label on the edge with all the colours in the folder Рeasily accessible and I can view at a glance.

See the fluff that gets on the felt sheets usually?

I’m feeling proud I’ve come up with a Felt Storage Solution that works perfectly for me, using what I already have. I still have a looooooooong way to go for this room. But I’ve made a start – and that’s the important thing.

And I still want that pegboard ūüėČ

Christine xx

 

While the Kettle Boils

Following on from my post about 1 Minute to a Tidier House¬†the other day, I thought I would “time” myself and see exactly how much I could get done while the kettle boils.

I took a photo, filled the kettle, turned it on and made a start.

It’s currently school holidays (week 6 of 6!!!) and kids have block ¬†swimming lessons everyday starting at 9. So I did run out of the house and left everything after breakfast.


Kettle boiled, turned it off, snapped another picture. Now, it may not seem like a huge difference, but usually I would stand around, be all grumpy and upset at the mess, and then just wait until the kettle boiled.
Here’s a closer look at the benches. What I didn’t do while the kettle boiled that I really wanted to do was wipe down the benches. So guess what, before I poured my cuppa, I grabbed the spray, a paper towel and got to work! (I done this step after I took the pic because I wanted it to be an honest representation, not that you can really tell from the pictures)

So today I would like to set a challenge for all you readers out there. Take a photo, start your kettle and when it’s boiled, take another photo. Can you see the difference? Or if you aren’t a tea or coffee drinker, set the timer, any timer for 3 or 5 minutes and do the same thing, in any room of the house.

Christine xx 

PS: It’s official, Happy Little Housewife has¬†joined Instagram. Find me by searching @happylittlehousewife1 or click here. I’m also on Facebook¬†and Pinterest¬†(Pinterest is an all encompassing account that covers my creative and family passions).

1 Minute to a Tidier House

I have spoken previously how 10 minutes twice a day can make a huge difference to your house, well now I want to touch on something that is kind of silly once you think about it properly.

Did you know it takes an average of 4 minutes to boil 1L of water? Some kettles can do it faster, and you may not always boil a full litre, but after you have filled the kettle, switched it on and put you coffee/tea in the cup, what do you do? Generally stand there waiting. Which is where I found myself last night.

I’d looked at that same ice brick at least 5 times during the last 2 days thinking I really must put that in the freezer. Did I do it those past 5 times. No. Then it clicked, you idiot! It will only take you literally 30 seconds to walk to the freezer and put that in. So I did it. And guess what, I rolled my eyes and thought you have spent more time thinking “I should do that” then it took to actually do the job. How annoying.

And then I started unpacking the dishwasher. 2 jobs done in almost the time it took to boil the kettle for a night time cuppa (hubby put the dishwasher on a little earlier last night, so it was dry by the time I was sitting down at 9:30pm to have my cuppa).

So I made a decision. If I catch myself thinking I should do xxx and it takes 1 minute or less, I MUST do it – straight away. If it is more of a “project” or will take 10+ minutes – e.g.: I need to file those recipes in my folder (true story), put it on my to-do list.

This morning I put this decision into full effect. Last night the kids had popcorn while watching a movie and spilt some kernels on the floor, I walked on them last night and groaned, then again this morning. I was waiting on the kettle as well as my eggs to boil and so I grabbed the broom and swept.

If you take little opportunities to complete those items that really don’t take very long, just as you are walking past or when you are waiting for dinner to cook. Those awkward pause moments that aren’t long enough to do anything “significant”, imagine the difference that could make to your house over the course of 1 day, 1 week or even 1 month.

Next time you catch yourself thinking “I should really do that”, try just doing that thing straight away. Don’t let it occupy your brain for longer then it would take to do the job.

Have you had an eye-roll moment after you’ve completed something really simple?

Christine xx

The Newest Addition to our Family

DISASTER – our dishwasher finally gave up the ghost. After being temperamental and only heating on the odd occasion, the door finally stopped closing. Noooooooo.

And of COURSE I had a busy few days, so the dishwasher hadn’t been run the last few days. *Gulp* 3 days worth of dishes to hand wash. I wanted to cry.

Lucky for me, hubby was happy to go shopping and replace it (have I said how much I love him???) and we replaced our Electrolux Dishlex with a Westinghouse. Still stainless steel but super quiet and shiny. 

Stay tuned for an honest review next week after giving it a few catch up loads and while I work out what’s best for our every day load. I’m excited to play with our upgraded features and get back to a clean, no dishes on the sink kitchen.

Christine xx

When Routines “Fail” – or do they??

This weekend was super busy, Gymnastics classes for both kids and myself, I went out with some lovely school ladies for a High Tea raising money for the Breast & Prostate Cancer Foundation on Saturday, then Sunday the kids and I browsed the markets, went grocery shopping, had swimming lessons and then had an impromptu play date at the beach. I don’t even know what happened Monday (I do know that we had 2 school friends over for a play Monday afternoon after school) & Tuesday – no clue, but today….. Today, I woke up and looked around my house and all I saw was MESS! Aghhhh. How did that even happen? So I had 2 options.

  1. I could beat myself up, get cranky that I failed, yet again, at keeping the house clean OR
  2. I could take some photo’s, and get back into my regular routine.
Kitchen’s a mess again – bugger!

Guess which option I chose? Yep. I took some photo’s (because – blog) and decided to just get into it. So I started with an extension of my 10 minute morning routine. It did take a little longer then normal, because I never got around to finishing unpacking the groceries Sunday, so had a rockmelon’s exploded mess on the kitchen tiles – ewwwww. (The photo was taken AFTER I had cleaned up that mess)

I still had a bit of time before the school run, so I started to put away kids clothes and quickly picking up their room and making beds. I also managed to tidy off the bathroom cabinets by putting stuff where they belong and changing over the towels and bathmat (a normal Monday job, which I didn’t get around to doing this week). All in 15 minutes.

With school drop off done, I went for a walk to clear my head, put on a podcast and walked my (not so) little butt off. Come home, changed over my load of washing and had my yoghurt for morning tea while starting this post.

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I swear my laundry exploded. Dirty clothes and towels on the floor/in front of machine & clean clothes waiting to be put away on bench.

So time to tackle the house. 3 loads of washing done and hung out, all other clean clothes put away. Fresh towels and mats in the bathroom, toilet and kitchen. Kitchen bench cleaned off and groceries finished being put away. Floor swept and mopped. Lunch made for hubby & me – and I’m done.

Now, I’m certainly not perfect, and I’m definitely NOT wonder woman. My lounge, dining room & toy rooms still need to be picked up and vacuumed, my sewing room and the spare room still resemble being robbed, but that’s ok.fail quote 2.jpg

Today I made progress. I exercised, have made healthy choices with my food, I’ve written this blog post and my house is that much more cleaner from the effort I have made today. And that’s what this journey is about. Progress. Moving forward.

So no, my routine did not fail. I certainly did not fail¬†Looking back, I made the right choice, I got on with it. Thank god I had those routines in place, because this task wasn’t so overwhelming. But if you haven’t got your own personal routines in place yet, don’t aim to do the whole house, top to bottom and decluttered all in one day, because you won’t. But in saying that, don’t think ‘well I can’t clean it all up so I won’t bother doing anything’. Do something. Make progress. Start. Because tomorrow, it will be just that little bit more easier, more cleaner and tidier and much easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

And if you’re needing more inspiration, or you really get in and clean but never notice a difference – take some before and after pics¬†(see below). Most people have a digital camera or a camera on their phone. It’s amazing to see it in your face even if you feel like you’ve made no progress, and the beauty of it is you can delete these pictures afterwards. (or show hubby when he says “what did you do all day” hehe)

Christine xx

kitchen-before-afterlaundry-before-after

 

 

 

 

Drowning in Plastic Containers.

Plastic Container / Tupperware Cupboards or draws. Man do they suck. I’m certain at one time or another everyone has that chuck and shut manoeuvre down pat. Surely? Or is it just me – eek. I had plastic in the corner cupboard, in the spare room (bed, floor AND in the cupboard) and in some draws as well as ones we were actually using in the pantry & fridge. Not to mention the kids lunch box containers.

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This photo was taken AFTER I had already stopped putting containers back in there a week prior in preparation to attempt this task.

More then one family of 4 could possibly need – or want. BUT I kept buying. Why? Because I could never find that blooming lid, or oh here’s the lid I need, but where’s that blinking container??? We had the lids shoved in baskets, that then turned into 2 baskets (because you know, round and then rectangle/square) yeah right. That lasted all of 5 minutes (ok, probably longer, but it just didn’t work for me long term).

So, I’d finally had enough. First I got rid of all the kids containers. You know those cheap plastic ones you buy in I swear packs of 1000, either that or they breed! Donating all of them, along with the plastic cutlery that come with the package was such a relief. My containers I kept fit neatly, I was even able to put the kids plastic cups in these little baskets because I was sick and tired of them climbing up and standing on my kitchen cabinets to reach their cups.

That was one thing done. It was easy. It was immediate satisfaction and such a difference. YAY! Next – the dreaded PLASTICS……. I seriously felt like I wanted to cry. So the best place for me to start was piling them all in the one place together….

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Yep…. Why in the world did I think we needed more again??¬†

Next I divided them up into brands. Tupperware, Decor, Sistema, other random containers. Then decided what I really needed/should keep. I decided I should keep my Tupperware, as honestly, they are by far the most expensive and I do like them. So they were my number one priority. I found all the ones I did like, and weeded out the ones I didn’t (because let’s face it, 1. they wouldn’t all fit in my corner cupboard, 2. we don’t find all of them ideal, and 3. I am a sucker for that silly “Spend $75 and get a Mystery Pack valued over $100 for only $25” deal) I always end up with at least one thing that I don’t have a use for. But I keep it. Because – well, I have no clue why. I even found a piece of Tupperware STILL IN PLASTIC. Obviously, it’s so well used and loved and I’m scared of breaking it…. or something. Aghhh *rolls eyes*.

Now when I repacked my “Plastics Cupboard”, this time I decided to put them back WITH the lids on. And you know what, it looks FANTASTIC!!!! I’m not cursing or complaining because I can’t find a lid. I reach in, grab what I need and easily close the door. No more chuck and shut!IMG_9954.JPG

I also decided to keep a few Decor containers (Like the clear ones with the green rimmed lid) because I just don’t have Tupperware containers that fit what these are specifically used for. And I’m not going to just buy for the sake of “it has to be Tupperware”. I have also put in my spare cupboard MOST of the Sistema containers, because they are handy as well.

BUT I did get rid of a huge amount. I have some Tupperware that I’m hoping to find lids of once I finish decluttering that dreaded spare bedroom (it’s a work in progress, and a HUGE job). I have a box of “to donate” plastic items. And I¬†don’t miss a single item so far, and this was a few weeks ago. I haven’t even thought about the Sistema ones in the spare room. So they may still (probably will) get sold/donated down the track when I attempt that room.

I’m so glad I tackled this area, I’ve found a happy medium of the amount of containers I can handle, and I can keep it neat, stay on top of it and most importantly, it no longer makes me insane (and no-one is asking me where’s the lid for this). If you have a Plastics Cupboard/Draw that is driving you nuts. Maybe consider why it is doing so. The answer may be simpler then you think!!!

Christine xx

A Less Stressed Home…

One thing I’ve come to realise is that my (still relatively) new cleaning routines/habits have made me enjoy my home much, much more. The changes I made starting September have really made a huge impact on my life.

Life Doesn't Have to Be Perfect - 8x10.jpg
Picture: Dream Big Printables (Purchase the Mega Packs and print from your computer)

Now, my house certainly isn’t perfect, but the more settled I am with my now fairly established routines has made me enjoy my home. I’m happier within myself and feel better about my house. How did I do this? Easy, I started with my Daily Habits¬†– At first these took me quite a while to complete, starting something when you haven’t done this on any type of regular basis¬†does take a long time, but you will get quicker. It seems it’s never ending and you aren’t making any progress. But as I made these my must do’s every day, it’s gotten easier.

The best way to find out what we really need, is to get rid of what we don’t.

Next, I sat down and worked out a house plan, divided my
house into zones – have you ever¬†watched House Rules? Like that, minus the demolition/renovation (although, that would be fun, I honestly believe I may kill my husband in the process haha). I then made up a picture in Excel for a rough idea on what my house looked like, I then compiled a regular cleaning list. This all seems very complicated, but it honestly wasn’t, and you don’t have to use a computer, you can just draw it out on a sheet of paper. It seemed manageable once it was all written down. This is my large master list that I colour in each room as I completely finish it. (Cleaned, decluttered, organised – it’s a work in progress)

My weekly cleaning plan looks like this:

  • Monday – Bathroom
  • TuesdayKitchen
  • Wednesday – Toy Room, Lounge Room & Dining Room
  • Thursday – Toilet
  • Friday – Our Bedroom, Kids Bedrooms (& occasionally the spare room)
  • Weekends – Sewing Room & Laundry Room

Now I don’t always get everything done in one day, especially the first few weeks as I’m decluttering as I go and really getting the initial dusting/cleaning/dirtiness done – but it does get faster each week. I initially got rid of 3 large plastic containers (you know those 55L ones with lids on) from the kids toy room. And guess what, that was the first room I decluttered back at the start of September and they haven’t asked where all those extra toys are even once. And I’ve been able to keep on top of that room much quicker and easier.

My house is less cluttered, things look nicer, I’ve managed to hang a few pretty prints that I downloaded and printed out from Dream Big Printables around the house – which I love. I go to bed knowing my house is relatively tidy and clean, and when I wake up, I’m not having to deal with a sink full of dirty dishes, toys everywhere and it doesn’t have me wondering where to start or why I bother (which is where my head space was at in August). My home is my happy place and I feel less stressed (not quite stress free, because, well, kids haha). I’m now not as concerned for those unexpected visitors because it doesn’t look like I’ve been robbed, I can say oh sorry for the mess, but it’s not a big mess so I don’t feel too bad.

I’ve discovered that the less stuff I have, the easier my home is to look after, which in turn makes my house tidier, more manageable and me less stressed. Ahhhhh ūüôā¬†Welcome To Our Home - 8x10.jpg

Christine xx

PS: Dream Big Printable links are an affiliate link, this doesn’t mean that it costs you any more, it simply means that I’ve referred you and will¬†get a small percentage of any purchases you may make. I will NEVER¬†recommend a product I haven’t personally used and love.

Decluttering – where to start?

This is the biggest thing I’ve seen in groups I’m part of – where do I start? It’s so overwhelming. I was there. Only a few months ago, I was there. I didn’t know where to start, what to do. There was just SOOO MUCH STUFF! Not only did I not know how to start, once I did, I didn’t know how to maintain or I had an even bigger mess.

My biggest hint is start with the easiest stuff and don’t expect that your first attempt will be your last attempt.

Garbage Bag – grab a garbage bag and start walking around your house/room. Put all obvious garbage in the bag. Trash, broken toys, old batteries (or is that one just at my house?!?), junk mail etc

Donation Box – use a cardboard box of some description. Doesn’t have to be massive, if it’s not breakable (like glasses) then it may be ok in a bag. Start walking through your home or even just one room and removing all the obvious stuff you no longer want. If you are wanting to sell it, take a photo and list immediately. In my experience, if I don’t do this straight away, I won’t do it. I also give myself a time frame – if it doesn’t sell in that time frame, I donate.

See my box of “I want to list this” stuff – which is still waiting…. THIS is the reason I now list as I go!

I like to move it, move it –¬†now it’s time to go through the room – yes, again – and start putting stuff where it belongs. Remember, if it doesn’t fit where it belongs, this is your indication that you need to decide what to do with the extra items that won’t fit. Don’t make piles to take somewhere later. Take it there RIGHT NOW. If you don’t, and have a box to “take to other places later” chances are, if you’re anything like me, you won’t. Mums get distracted, kids need to be picked up, lunches made, dinner cooked. Basically stuff happens. And that box of stuff ends up sitting in the corner a month later…..img_9982

Usually, if I’m doing a room, I grab a garbage bag and a donation box and start at one side and move around. I have found doing these steps makes the biggest impact to a room. This way, when I inevitably get distracted I can put the bag in the bin, the donate box back where it belongs and I’ve still made a difference to the room. There isn’t a pile of stuff that still needs to go to it’s proper home. It’s done. (Can you tell from my photos that these are lessons I learnt from cleaning the toy room first)

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Wardrobe Declutter #2

One of my current ongoing “projects” is my personal wardrobe. Every time I put something on I don’t like, doesn’t fit, is uncomfortable or I just go ummmm – it goes straight in this bag by my door. This is the second time I’ve gone through my wardrobe and I love the confidence of now knowing that I love every piece in my wardrobe and it fits! This bag is ready to go straight to the donate bins. In fact, I think I’ll take it there today ūüėČ

Christine xx

Cleaning the Kitchen *groan*

Aghhh time to clean the Kitchen – again!! Tuesday is Kitchen cleaning day. I was busy on Tuesday this week, so while my kitchen is fairly tidy, I committed to at least doing the things on my checklist that I didn’t get around to last week. Because last week’s Kitchen cleaning day took me over TWO HOURS!!!!

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Progress Shot from last week. Dishwasher still dirty, Donation tub sitting in the middle of the floor, kettle and kick boards not clean and a pile of rubbish in the corner.

I timed myself, more then 2 hours. I couldn’t believe it!!! Surely it doesn’t take people THAT long to clean a kitchen! I mean, I’ve been doing my Daily Habits of putting on & unpacking the dishwasher, wiping off the benches and sweeping. Every day! How??

I’ll tell you how. By not regularly cleaning things like the kickboards (they were gross!), the microwave (I even lifted it up and cleaned underneath) and the cupboards (not only the doors but the edges/sides and underneath the bench, you know that little lip part, the underside of that) not to mention those things that were taking up space that I just didn’t ever use, so last week took me what felt like FOREVER! And I didn’t even finish all my tasks on my list.

This week, I went in with the intention of just finishing the things I didn’t do last week, because let’s face it, the kitchen WAS still fairly tidy and clean. And you know what, it took me 15 minutes JUST to clean off the shelf we have in the kitchen. Decluttering, putting things away where they belong, cleaning that disgusting greasy dust that seems to sit on basically every. little. thing in the kitchen, clean off that shelf on top & underneath, and then putting it all back up. Ahhhh much better.

Firstly, I make sure that I’ve done my Daily Habits as they are important and make getting this done much easier to then move onto Tuesday Kitchen cleaning schedule:

  1. Wipe out Microwave – to start with I clean out the microwave. Personally I use a mixture of vinegar & water in a spray bottle with a paper towel/microfibre rag. This includes inside, outside and the glass turntable. The first time, you may need to do the bowl of 2 cups water, 2 cups of vinegar, slices of lemon¬†in a microwave safe bowl and set for 5 minutes. Once it’s finished, leave for another couple of minutes before wiping out with a cloth/sponge/paper towel. I also remove my glass turntable and wash in the sink.
  2. Wipe over the front of the oven and the draw underneath – spray with your choice of spray and then wipe over with cloth/paper towel.
  3. Wipe over cabinets/draw fronts РI do this as I go around from one side to the other.
  4. Wipe over Dishwasher & Fridge – ¬†And while you’re at the fridge, give it a quick clean out of anything obviously rotten or no longer usable/wanted and take any no-longer relevant paperwork off the front of the fridge and put it where it belongs (filing cabinet/bin/folder etc).
  5. Clean stove top & kettle – I put these steps together as we have a gas stove top and a gas kettle. And boy does our kettle get greasy. It certainly took ample amounts of “elbow grease” to clean it off (third time lucky and now it looks brand new!)
  6. Wipe over shelf, window ledge, splash back & bench tops – I do this by moving a section worth of items at a time and make sure I clean from the top down with the bench tops being last. Then, I put the items back where they belong and move onto the next section, move, clean/wipe & move back/put away. If they shouldn’t have been on the bench top/shelf, they go where they DO belong. Where I would logically look for them.
  7. Clean windows Рthis takes next to no time at all in our kitchen, and I REALLY need to make an effort to clean the other side at some point! Window cleaner & newspapers work REALLY well. (Or next time you get a Bunnings or any newspaper type catalogue (today I got a chemist warehouse one that would be perfect), put it with your window cleaner)
  8. Check your canisters¬†– I make sure to check my tea/coffee/sugar canisters on cleaning day and re-fill if necessary. This is another item that isn’t an every week one, but saves me getting to the middle of the week and realising I’ve run out of coffee!!!!!
  9. Clean out sink РI spray all over and wipe from the mixer (taps) to the bottom.
  10. Wipe over bin – For this I use paper towel and throw it out. This is (in my opinion) a silly job because, well, it’s rubbish. But the difference is amazing.
  11. Wash Mat – This probably isn’t an everyone thing. I personally have a mat that says “Keep Calm & Drink Tea” (I really wanted a drink coffee one, but couldn’t find one at the time) and I like to wash it once a week. I also change the hand towel and tea towels out at this time. Even if I had to do it yesterday, or the day before (I usually do this at least once or twice in between), I will do this again, because then I at least know it definitely was done on Tuesday.
  12. Sweep & Mop – Even though I do this every night, the nightly mop is more of a spot clean. A sweep is necessary because of any crumbs or dust that have floated to the floor. I also use my steam mop on Tuesdays (I have a red, triangle head Aqua Laser Steam Mop).

MONTHLY – The first Tuesday of each month I run a clean through the dishwasher and also clean all the kick boards (which is another reason the first week took so long). The second Tuesday of each month¬†clean the fridge shelves and give it a thorough clean out and off. This includes the top especially if it has a habit of “gathering things”.

QUARTERLY – The 3rd Tuesday of the start of a new season (September, December, March & June) I am determined to clean the oven out as well as get up and clean that greasy dust off the top of the cabinets – every quarter. I did clean the oven last month and started on that greasy dust (but quickly got overwhelmed, so it’s down for “another time”) Hint: The baking soda/water/vinegar soak does NOT work when you can’t honestly remember the last time you actually cleaned it (see my embarrassing before & after photos below eek!).

The before and after shots of my oven! EEK!!!!!

¬†For my kitchen cleaning schedule, I personally use¬†Spray & Wipe (the Ajax or Coles version, whichever is better priced) for most spraying, especially the bench tops. But having a spray bottle with vinegar & water is also handy to have on hand. I also purchased some microfibre re-usable towels that I’m intending on using from now on instead of so much paper towels.

And you know what, this whole process¬†took me less then an hour and a half this week¬†to not only do the extra tasks I didn’t finish last week, but also complete all the other tasks. This time also included finding the 2 fish (Thank you Mr L for thinking playing with the fish outside was a great idea). Taking into account that and the bits & pieces I didn’t even consider looking at last week, I think I did pretty well and could probably finish the whole kitchen cleaning day in future for about 30-45 minutes. Except on those rare weeks where I’m needing to clean the oven.

I know that this list will not work for everyone. Not everyone has their kitchen in the same order as I do. And while this isn’t exact, I generally go from top to bottom, start at one side (for me at the Microwave & Oven) and then move to my right until I get to the end of the bench and then move over to the pantry and fridge. It works for me, you may need to do some tweaking to make it work for you. And remember, the first one seems impossible to do every week, but it WILL get faster, and if you don’t finish it all this week, start there next week like I did. I’m looking forward to seeing how quickly I do this next week.

Christine xx

PS: Yes, I have made huge progress on my plastic container situation. I will be sharing this later in the week.

Daily Habits – 10 minutes twice a day?!? I can do that!

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Yes, you read that right – 20 minutes. 2 lots of 10 minutes. Once in the morning, once at night. I started these daily habits in an effort to get myself more organised. Sometimes I can look at the house and feel majorly overwhelmed. But after I do these few tasks, the house looks so much better and I feel like I can get on with my day.


10 minutes in the Morning.

  • Bedrooms – Make the beds. I have 4 beds in our house, 3 that are slept in every night. Pulling up the sheets makes a huge difference to the whole look of the room and
    10-mins-2takes only a few seconds per bed. I change the sheets once a fortnight (unless the kids have had an accident)
  • Bathroom – Put on a load of washing if needed (and while it takes me maybe 5¬†minutes to hang out the washing, I still include this first step in my 10 minutes). I prefer to do my laundry every day to every second day. Some people do their washing weekly, and that’s great if that’s what works for you. Sometimes I do as little as 3 loads of clothes a week.
  • Kitchen – While I’m waiting on my kettle to boil, I unpack the dishwasher. This way it is empty and ready to re-stack during the day as dishes are used.

10 minutes at Night.

  • Toys/Bedroom/Lounge – quick pickup. This takes more time during the weekends 10-mins-3
    when kids are home, but I generally get them to help out with this (this is
    also when I
    pick up any stray dishes). And when you think about it 5 minutes per person in our house = 20 minutes worth of picking up!
  • Dining Room – after dinner, the table is cleared off, wiped down and dishes stacked.
  • Kitchen – Finish stacking and put on dishwasher, wipe down benches, wash & wipe the teflon pans (mine don’t like the dishwasher) and sweep. If there’s spots on the floor I¬†‘mop’ using a flat one that I purchased from Bunnings for approx $15 that has a spray bottle attached. It’s magnificent.

I also put away the clothes during the afternoon. Usually when the kids are having afternoon tea or playing. Because I’m doing a few loads a week, this only takes me approx 5-10 minutes each time.

When I first started this process, it took me maybe 20-30 minutes twice a day. But during my decluttering process and the more I’ve done this, I’ve gotten this time down more and more and can easily do all of this in 10 minutes. (I timed myself this morning and my morning routine took me all of 7 minutes 42 seconds and this included filling the kettle)

These are simple tasks, that seriously take a few minutes but are absolute life savers. I have a made a checklist so that I can check back if I need to. Mostly I don’t need to look any more. But it’s still good to have on my fridge.

Another good idea is to have a cleaning book, or add a note in your diary (I put mine in my Bullet Journal) and time yourself doing tasks. Once you’ve started, it’s easy to see yourself how quickly it is to get simple tasks done or how much quicker you’re getting and that “oh I can’t do anything because I only have 5 minutes” turns into, “wow! I can’t believe how much of a difference that 5 minutes made.” (More on this later)

Now I’m in the process of¬†tidying my plastics cupboard & “the spares” ba-ba-baaaaaaa (i’ll share photo’s – it’s overwhelming!!!)

Christine xx