Sunday, 26 January 2014

Organising my pantry

Hi everyone :-)
I have had a few requests for a 'How I organise my pantry' blog and video so I thought I'd get it done now before the baby comes and I don't shop for 3 months! ;-)
Here is a breakdown of how I sort my pantry. This is how it looks all the time. I thought it would be best to show an honest view rather than after my 3-monthly clean and spruce up (so be nice!)

When we brought the house we noticed very quickly that the narrow pantry we had was very limited. It looked big enough but when it was full of food it would spill out and we had to reach really far in to get anything. We also had the problem that because of it being narrow and deep it was almost impossible to find anything and we would forever be re-buying stuff we didn't realise we had and finding out of date items way in the back. Quite frankly, it was costing us a fortune!!
So what I ended up doing was a 1-2 day shop. I would buy what I needed for a couple of days and go again a few days later. Not only was this costing us more money doing it this way but I don't enjoy cooking at the best of times and it was such a hassle that sometimes when Dave and I got home from work we would just have 2 minute noodles, toast or take away!
We needed inspiration so off we went off to Ikea where we found the perfect solution to our problems.  Here we saw pull out drawers for deep narrow spaces like ours. You can pull out the whole drawer/shelf and can get easy access to everything and can see all the way to the back. It was perfect! The only problem was they were not cheap. However, having a carpenter as a husband can be very 'handy' at times I tell you! So when we got home I sent him to work building pull out drawers for our pantry.

The 5 drawers (from the bottom) are all pull out drawers and we left the top two as they were. That space is for items we don't use often as I can't even reach them standing on a chair! The bottom drawer is made out of a thicker timber (and I still need to paint it!) FYI - if you do not have a magnetic knife strip thingie then do yourself a favour and get one! They are fantastic, quick and easy to find which knife you want and gives you extra space on your kitchen table top (and we all need more of that!)

1. If you have a space like mine, get a pull out drawer. They will change your life and ultimately save you money as you know what you have and have easy access.

2. Group items into categories and place them into baskets. This way everything is right where you want it at all times and everyone knows where they belong. The above picture shows all sauces and oils on the left and in the red basket on the right are all condiments. Below is another example where all the packet mix products are upright in their own basket where they are secure and easy to flick through to find what you are looking for.

3. If you have a young child I find it easy to have a 'kid drawer'. Here I know all her snacks are here so I can grab them quick as I head out the door.

4. I try to unbox as much as I can and place into a basket or container so I know how many I have left. It is a pet hate of mine when you go to grab something out of a box to find it empty! Grrrr...

5. Get yourself a tiered stand. Best invention ever!! These little babies give you twice as much room in your pantry and you can see everything so much better. Perfect for cans as you can see in the picture below. You can buy them quite cheap from $2.00 shops (they are not quite $2 but what is nowadays!) FYI - they are also fantastic to use on you home or office desk!

6. If you haven't already, get yourself a labeller. I think my husband thinks it's surgically attached to my arm at times. It not only helps you to keep organised but also the other members of your family. You may know where things belong, but when you label it EVERYONE knows! Less work for you and no excuses from them :-)

So there is a look into my kitchen pantry and how I organise things. Nothing 'world-first' about it all by any means, but it's what is working for us at the moment. If you have any tips on how you organise your pantry please leave them in the comments below as I am always on the lookout for better ways to organise myself!

I hope you are all having a great day!


Sunday, 19 January 2014

2014 Goals layout for my Filofax

I have never been a great New Years Resolution keeper. I would do the typical super keen for ten minutes thing then fall back into old routines and habits but now with the added guilt of not doing what I set out to do and feeling like a failure.
So for this year I thought about goals I really could achieve and tools I could implement to really help with these goals and this is what I came up with.
I created a new tabbed section in the back of my Filofax labelled (you guessed it, GOALS). I have a cover page where I have 4 spaces for 4 different (and achievable) goals that are important to me. Below those sections are 4 sub sections to help nut out those goals. Again I made 4 goals with 4 sub sections only so I didn't spread myself too thin and fail before I even begun.

Then my goals are broken down into months. Small achievable tasks in the areas of: Health, Relationships, Finances, Personal Development, Organisation and Travel & Experiences. I only put 1-2 mini goals in each area. I also include a calendar where I can plot when I can do some of these tasks, counting down days, ticking down the days etc.

I check on my goals each week to make sure I am keeping on track and use these lists to keep me motivated and accountable. So far so good (I have usually given up by now) :-)
I will review this system in a blog mid year to let you know how I am going and whether these templates have helped my goal keeping.

I hope you are all having a great start to the year and as always if you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave a comment below and I'll get back to you.

Enjoy your week!


Sunday, 5 January 2014

Project Management System (filofax series)

Happy New Year everyone!
In this post I will be talking about one of my New Year's resolutions... Project Management. Do you ever have all these awesome ideas to fix up your house or make an awesome craft you saw on Pinterest but find it hard to schedule it all in and life just gets in the way? My biggest problem was getting super excited and starting all these different projects then getting overwhelmed because I took on too much too quickly and so abandoned them all vowing to pick it up again 'one day'...
Well this is my solution to my project abandonment issues - my Filofax Project Management System. Before I categorise everything (because that is what perfectionist me likes to do - attempt to create order), I use a 'brain dump' system. I love that name because I literately dump everything from my brain relating to projects I want to do onto the paper in any order. This brain dump is my 'Master To-Do List' and I just write it on the standard Filofax 'To Do' paper.

Once I have done this I can glance through it and work out what projects I want to be done sooner and what projects I can postpone until later in the year and I break it all down into monthly tasks. This format gets it all clear in my mind and helps me to prepare and break everything into manageable pieces.

* REMEMBER: This is a working document, meaning none of these timelines need to be set in concrete. This Project Management System is to help you do just that - manage projects. You most likely will need to alter the timeline as things pop up in your life. Don't let this stress you out or add pressure to your life, just simply move it to the next month. :-)

Once I have done this I then take 2-3 of the current month projects (no more than that or you will overwhelm yourself!!) and create tabbed sections for those projects in the next section of the Filofax. Here the task is 'nutted out' and broken up into mini to-dos and weekly tasks (if applicable).
Below is an example of some of my projects. The tabs marked ML V (mummylifestyle vlog), OL V (organisedlifestyle vlog) and OL B (organised lifestyle blog) are permanent tabs which house my You Tube and Blog pages and are separate from the regular projects. I included these just to show you if you were interested :-)

 Once each 'mini project' is complete you can tick off the boxes (my guilty pleasure!) until they are all complete and the project is done. I then remove the project and house it in a separate folder for reference. (I have a Kikki-K A5 planner headed my way in the post and will house past projects in there when I'm done).

So, that's how I do it. For more detailed projects (like preparation for Christmas etc.) I add a few more steps. Once my new (to me) planner arrives I will post a detailed blog about how I planned for Christmas Day and all the preparation that came before it.

Just remember, projects are suppose to be fun NOT stressful. Don't try and tackle everything at once. Lay it all out, break it up into manageable pieces and give yourself realistic timelines to complete in order to succeed.

GOOD LUCK and have an amazing week!!