Tuesday
Mar262013

The Flying Fox Adventure

Last week Client A cancelled last minute and I suddenly had a free day. With all the work projects and tasks going on at that time it was a welcome break to get into more Administration (do I hear a ‘Hooray!’?). Admin is not my favourite task at the best of times but it’s a necessary evil and considering most of my Admin at the moment focuses on business growth, it’s got an element of fun at the moment.

I was relishing the thought of diving into more fun hours at the computer and then I stopped and thought about Mr B. As a shift worker Mr B has random days off and in 2012 I specifically took a day here and there for us to spend time together. 

Whilst the thought of achieving more of my tasks got me drooling I realised how much time I’d been spending at work or work-related after hours functions. I decided to take the day off (hang on, better ask the boss!) and once she said yes, the options of ‘what to do’ were limitless. Should we do a day trip here, spend the day indoors with a movie marathon, or visit long forgotten friends? With nothing particular planned the day approached and we decided to complete a few tasks first. 

A few chores later and the morning was gone. While washing the car and giving it a quick vac at the servo Mr B noticed a tyre problem. So a quick call to good ol’ Bobby J and the car was booked in. While the tyres were rotated and the offending nail extracted, Mr B and I took the opportunity to eat a picnic in a nearby park. 

Which had a flying fox.

We couldn’t resist. With no one else around to see a couple of adults who should really know better, we yelled and yahooed our way down the giant contraption of fun. What elation! To be young again and not have to try to fit the mould – it was pure joy.

If you get an unexpected schedule break, and you can use it to be more productive, that’s great! Getting organised and on top of your To Do list is a great feeling.

If you spontaneously decide to ditch all your chores and have an elating endorphin experience - even better! 

Tuesday
Mar192013

Perseverance is the Key!

A few weeks ago I told you about my new schedules and my terrible first day. I hate to admit that the second day wasn’t much better. People even told me to give up – that it wasn’t worth trying to be more organised! But that strengthened my resolve even more…

I’ve persevered and now the work schedule is working well for me. It’s still a work in progress and I need to adjust my work time slots and reprint at least once a week, but it’s a habit now. I can breathe easy when I think of a work task to be completed because I add it to the list, give it a deadline (urgent or not) and then continue on with my current task. I don’t lie awake at 3am as much any more thinking about all the wonderful ideas that I could do (if I had 500 hours in a week and even more money to invest).

I have two alarms for starting and finishing work (I use these on days I start or finish in the Office) plus a timer for my 30 minute task slots. So if I’m doing Accounts I set a timer for 25 mins and work efficiently only on Accounts. If the timer goes off and I’m still not finished I add another 4-5 minutes and finish whatever I can. I schedule different tasks regularly throughout the week and usually allow myself enough time to complete them in a 30 or 60 minute slot.

I hope this will be an encouragement to you. While I’m a super organised, anal neat-freak with possibly undiagnosed OCD, my time management has always been a stumbling block. But I’ve finally started to get my act into gear. I’ve put a system in place and I’m working hard at maintaining it, being flexible when I need to. 

So today my message to you is – NEVER GIVE UP! When people doubt you, use that as motivation for your determination to succeed and prove them wrong! 

“Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts.”

- Albert Einstein

 

Monday
Mar112013

Garage sales – a dying art?

You see the signs around the neighbourhood every weekend. Garage Sales are held every Saturday and Sunday in suburbs all around Australia. But are they worth your time and effort - or is it time to say goodbye?

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Monday
Feb252013

Getting organised was not a good idea!

Yesterday I made a plan to get more organised with my time. Out of all the facets of organising, time management is the one I struggle with the most (yes – I am human!). I created two schedules – a weekly work and a weekly personal timetable.

I have to admit I’ve been luxuriously lazy and unregulated in my business in the past two years; if I had a client that started at 10am, I’d sleep in as late as possible. If I was doing a day of Administration I would take random breaks to procrastinate (suddenly making taps shiny became very important) and I would finish late at night and still feel like I hadn’t accomplished anything.

But that’s all going to change thanks to this new schedule. My work day is now 9-5pm and is broken into 30min slots, with extra columns for tasks to complete and people to call. I keep this document on my desktop and will print it out each week. It will be the answer to all my problems!

Well, that’s what I thought anyway.

Today was the first day (never start things on a Monday, it’s too difficult!) and it went SO pear-shaped it’s not funny. Of course I stayed up so late compiling the two schedules that I snoozed my alarm 30 mins this morning. I woke up tired and cranky (sorry Mr B) and had to try to eat brekky while driving to Client A (total disaster).

 

I ended up being 15mins late to Client A (who thankfully didn’t mind) and lost track of the session time so stayed an extra 30 minutes beyond our 4-hour appointment. Then driving back to Office like a crazy person (as I was late for the rest of my ‘schedule’) I wasn’t paying attention & got stuck in the wrong lane (thanks Airport Link Tunnel) which landed me behind a car accident (thanks rain) and a 30 minute trip took an hour.

Maybe tomorrow will be better?

Tuesday
Nov202012

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

The Christmas Holidays are a hectic time. Gifts to buy, parties to attend and of course there’s a million end-of-year activities for schools and clubs. You’ve also got that junk cupboard crying out for attention each time you shove another schoolbook in it before ramming it closed. Before you flop to the ground in relief that the year is over, schedule some decluttering time. Make a date and get those big clutter nightmares sorted so that when the new year comes, you’re not chasing your tail.

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Tuesday
Oct302012

5 Steps to Setting Up a Study Space

Need to set up a study space for your child? Here are 5 quick steps to ensure you create a study space that will inspire your child to dream, design and create. No more asking for a rubber, or a power cord to charge the laptop or leaving homework strewn all over your dining table!

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Wednesday
Sep122012

5 Top Tips To Get Your Space Into Tip-Top Shape!

If you’re wanting the ‘Quick Fix’ to getting organised - this is it! These 5 Top Tips will help get your life sorted and keep you in Tip Top shape!

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Monday
Aug132012

Moving: Turning a Nightmare into a Dream

Boxes. Newspaper. Breakables. Heavy furniture. Agitated children.
Cleaning. Sweat, dust and dirt.

Why do we move house again?

Moving house can be one of the most stressful times in our life. Which is why many people choose to stay put in one spot to raise a family. But suddenly, the nest is empty and you and your partner are staring at 3 empty bedrooms and 30 years worth of stuff. Inevitably the large empty house is too much to maintain, too costly to keep and downsizing is the only option. So how do you choose your favourite possessions from 35 years of marriage, 20 years of childrens’ artwork & schoolbooks, and a lifetime of memories?

How much is each item worth?

When you move house, whether it is by a paid removalist or D.I.Y., you are paying to move each item for your home. If you enjoy mathematics, you could work out how much it costs you to move each item. For example, if your move costs $1 000 and you have 40 cubic metres of furniture/boxes, each cubic metre costs you $25. So that ugly vase you received as a wedding gift might cost you $5, the 1980’s set of moth-eaten Encyclopaedias might cost you $15, and the stack of old magazines might cost you $25-50 to take to your next house.
But moving costs aren’t the only price for keeping an item. Not only does it cost you to transport items, it costs you to store them. Whether you are a Renter or a Home Owner, you are paying for the space that each item is stored in. Would you rather pay for the space to be filled with unloved stuff; or to have a home full of beautiful things which make you relax, breathe deeply, and smile with happiness?


So, how do you make moving simple?

We’ve identified FOUR phases:
1. Decluttering
2. Packing
3. Moving
4. Unpacking

1. Decluttering

Decluttering is as simple as you want it to be. As soon as you know you are going to move, start the decluttering process. Begin in one room (i.e. Kitchen) a drawer/cupboard at a time if you are time-poor. If you have chunks of hours (4-6) tackle one room each day. Pull everything out, put back only what you use or love, and donate the rest. Items can go into - Keep, Rubbish or Donate Piles. Don’t have a Maybe pile; make the decision there & then! If your gut says “I don’t love it, but I feel guilty to get rid of it”, appreciate the thought of the item, lock the memory of the person/event in your mind and say goodbye to an item that is costing you storage, transport & brain space.
Within your Keep & Donate piles you will need subcategories - items in your Keep pile might divide into sub-categories of Books, DVDs, CDs. Donate subcategories might be: Charity, Mum, Sister, School. Make sure that you actually donate items to the causes you have specified. Don’t get caught up on wanting to donate bras to women overseas, felt to the local craft group, clothes to an orphanage. Be reasonable as you’re donating your time by driving to these places as well!
 
When you finish one room, celebrate and move onto the next one. Think about how much money you’re saving by not having to transport & store the items that are leaving your home. Getting rid of the old and unloved leaves room for new things to enter our lives. Don’t get so caught up on reliving the past that there is no room for your future.

2. Packing

Once the Decluttering phase is complete, packing becomes a breeze! Before you begin packing, ensure every item in your home is in its rightful place. When you begin packing, start with the rooms you use the least, leaving the kitchen for last so you can still eat while packing and moving. Create a ‘First Night’ box with PJs, toiletries, towels, sleeping bags, favourite toys & set of plastic kitchenware; if you arrive late at your destination you need to be able to eat, shower and sleep.

If you can afford to splash out for removalists to pack for you; do it! They are experts and will get it done in less than half the time, saving you valuable time! For insurance, many removalists will only insure the boxes they have packed, or checked, each box that they are transporting. 

If you are packing for yourself you will need lots of cardboard boxes (hiring is the cheapest option; an Internet search gives you over 1 milllion results), newspaper, bubblewrap or foam pieces (if you can afford it) plus packing tape & a couple of thick permanent markers. For how to tape a box, watch this YouTube Video.


Create a ‘Packing Station’ where all these items are kept during the packing process, with a large flat surface available if needed. Linen is very useful for packing your fragile items, like ornaments, vases & crystal.

 

3. Moving

If you are transporting your items yourself, make sure that you pack your boxes and furniture logically. Keep all the boxes for one room together (number them if necessary), and if you have a team on each end, make sure you clearly communicate how the process will work for both sides. When transporting furniture, ensure you have the right vehicle (a ute or small truck), straps and soft blankets to keep items scratch-free. Don’t lift more than you can handle, and use the correct lifting techniques. For a refresher on how to lift & move heavy objects, watch this video. Your health & safety is the number 1 priority at all times.

4. Unpacking
If you have removalists unpacking for you, you will still need to guide them where to set the items down. Before the removalists arrive at your new destination, you need to know (or work out quickly!) where the furniture and items are going to go. Be decisive on the heavy items especially, as removalists don’t take too kindly to being used as furniture arrangers. Get the furniture in first and then direct them, room by room, where to place unpacked items. Ensure that all shelving/cupboards are clean and dust-free before they start storing your items.
If you’re unpacking items yourself, the first thing you need once you arrive at your new home is your ‘First Night’ box. Put in the bathroom so it won’t get lost in the chaos. Have your children unpack their clothes/toys, give them something useful to do that’s appropriate to their age. You’d be surprised at how helpful they can be at any age; remember how good they are at pulling out all their toys?! Work in reverse order. 

 

Start with the kitchen (wash and clean items that have been wrapped up in newspaper). The kitchen may take awhile, but once it’s done, no matter how disastrous the rest of the house is, you can always prepare a healthy meal to give you energy. After the kitchen move onto bedrooms, bathroom, living room & study/office. If you run a business from home, your office may be a higher priority; it’s important to know which rooms will help you to provide for your family’s basic needs first. Get as much done in a short time as you can. Employ help from friends, neighbours & family. Reimburse them with love, appreciation and a good feed! Any boxes that you leave after the initial unpacking, are not that important. Revisit what’s in those boxes and get rid of any more unwanted items. Stack all your left over boxes together and store in the garage, sell online, or donate to someone else who is moving.

If you begin feeling overwhelmed, out of your depth, or completely stressed out - take a deep breath.
Tuesday
Jul032012

Are You a Hoarder?

You like to keep things. You’re a collector. But your friends and family are saying that you’re a hoarder; that it’s time to let some things go. Find out the real definition of a hoarder - and if it’s time that you take action.

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Friday
May042012

Don't Add To The Problem!

Are you a cleanie living with a messie? Are they driving you up the wall because they just won’t get rid of their ‘stuff’? Here are some great tips for decluttering with your loved ones while maintaining a good relationship.

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