Thursday, 26 June 2014

Do It On A Dime - Organised Cheap Life TAG

Hi Everyone!

One of my favourite YouTubers is Katherine from Do It On A Dime. She is a real down-to-earth home owner who comes up with cheap, classy and creative ways to organise your home 'on a dime'.
The downside is that she is American so all the awesome stores she buys from (Target's dollar store, Dollar Tree, Container Store etc.) we don't have here in Australia. Can you believe they have $1 stores where items are... wait for it... $1!!!??? Last week I went to a $1 store and picked up an item that was $23.95! I gently put it down and walked away. BUT I digress :-)
Katherine created a YouTube TAG called 'The Organised Cheap Life' where she asked 3 simple questions and shared her answers. The link to her video is HERE.
I loved the video and found it really useful, so I decided to do it too! HERE is the link to my video.

1. Name 2 new organisers you are loving at the moment:

i) My Filofaxes - My personal Ochre Malden is beautiful and so helpful! I use it as my wallet/organiser. I LOVE it. Perfect setup for me and perfect size.
My A5 Aqua Malden is my Home Management 'bible' where I keep everything. I would be lost without it. It holds everything from appointments and chores to quotes, journalling and vlog/blog ideas.

ii) My 'What's On' Wall Planner - The perfect simple organiser for the family. I just write all important information and appointments for the family over the following 2 weeks on there and at a quick glance we can all see what is going on. Even hubby knows how to use it  ;-)

iii) I was naughty and added one more item - My Orla Kiely organiser. I ordered this beauty from eBay (as Australia doesn't have a groovy Target like the States do). I have only had it a few days but I think I'm in LOVE! My video on this organiser will be up shortly to show how I am currently using it.

2. Name 2 cheap sale items that you love:

i) My Smash Nude Food containers. I purchased this on a sale from Coles supermarket for $2 and it is so handy and versatile! I use it for everything from my toddlers sultanas, fruit and other snacks to my hair ties and bobby pins (PS - it holds 4-5 rolls of washi tape perfectly!!)

ii) My daughter's green chair. I love this mini couch chair. It's perfect for lounging, sitting like a 'big girl' watching telly and is the only place (other than the high chair) where I can get her to sit down to eat - she like to constantly be on the move!! She's my little whirlwind :-) The best bit, it was only $10! We brought it secondhand off Gumtree (like Craigs List in the States?) I love Gumtree as you can get some real local bargains. Selling things on there is fantastic too because unlike eBay, they don't take a cut of the profit - it's totally FREE to post and sell!

3. Name 2 life improvement items that are working for you:

i) My DIYfish inserts - These have seriously changed my life for the better. I love the style, the layout, the price (and the fact that my friend prints, cuts and folds them for me!) If you are interested in these inserts please feel free to check out my video review HERE.

ii) My toy storage/rotation system - My lounge room no longer looks like a toy minefield and my daughter gets to play with and enjoy all her toys at different times. To learn more about my setup visit my video HERE.

So there it is, my Do It On A Dime TAG for an Organised Cheap Life :-)
I hope you enjoyed and if you would like to take part in this tag please comment below or on my corresponding YouTube video as I'd love to check out your favourite organisation items!

Have a great day!


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Friday, 20 June 2014

Toy Rotation and Storage

Hi All!

This is a bit of a different one - still organisation related but more focussed towards mums and dads with young kids.
We have been lucky enough to have been given toys as hand me downs and as gifts to the girls for birthdays so we have many a toy in our house! As I'm fairly new to this whole 'mum thing' (my oldest is 22 months) so I wasn't sure how to introduce toys to her or which ones she'd like. So I just put them all in a basket in the lounge room and let her take what she wanted.

I learnt pretty quick that was a mistake. Not only did she bring out Every.Single.Toy in the basket and flung them across the entire lounge room (tidy freaks nightmare!) but she also got so overwhelmed with choice that she wouldn't spend time playing with a single toy. She would just jump from toy to toy to toy not really 'playing' with any of them.
My solution was to play to my strengths and organise them!
I started by splitting the toys into 4 different piles so there was only 10ish toys out at one time.
I then placed those toys in a bookshelf I found for $10 from the Salvos.

I placed the bookcase in a corner and created a 'play corner' where all the toys are corralled so at the end of the day when the kids are in bed, we can have some 'adult' space where hubby and I don't negotiate between blocks, cars and dolls.
The only 'rule' with this storage bookshelf was not to put anything except soft toys in the top shelves so she doesn't pull heavy or hard things on top of herself.

We also have a toy rotation system where every week or every other week (depending on how much she is enjoying the current selection), we rotate out the toys for one of the piles stored away.

As she has 'favourite toys for the month' we don't usually rotate out all toys at once.
Below is where we store the remaining toys not in use under the cot. As the side of the cot stays down when she is awake, they are inaccessible to prying hands :-)

Out of sight, out of mind!
Cot rail up

 The toys are stored into plastic bins I purchased for under $5 each from the Salvos. They are both made of very sturdy plastic and have wheels, making them easy to pull in and out from under the cot.

Above is a collapsable washing basket from Ikea where I store her pile of stuffed toys in her bedroom.

This is my favourite Ikea purchase (I also have one in my other daughter's room) These fabric baskets hold her nappies, dirty clothes, some clothes, bibs and her books.

I hope you have enjoyed this blog and again if you have any questions or comments I'd love to hear from you.

Don't forget to visit me on my YouTube channel (here) and Instagram (here)

Have a great day!


Monday, 16 June 2014

DIYfish inserts review - A5 WO2P v2.1

Well I have had a very fun and productive week and a half!
After reading so many positive comments about the DIYfish inserts I thought it may be time to give them a go. It took me a few months to build up the courage to try them though. I say 'courage' because it looked WAAAYYY complicated. Pages that open up and fold in on other pages, weeks that go vertically, monthly and weekly check lists and heaps of blank spaces. I didn't know if I'd be able to use all the sections let alone understand how they'd all fit together!
But I did it. I ordered the 3-month trial. However, I did cheat and got a lovely friend of mine from a Facebook planner group to print, cut and send them to me because I KNOW I would have gotten confused or not had the time or patience to put it all together and I would have given up! (Thank you Stephanie - you're an angel)
Once they arrived to my door, I got all excited, ripped open the packaging and my heart sunk... There were pages and pages in all shapes and sizes. I spent the first 15 minutes just staring at them thinking 'Why did I buy these?' 'How the hell am I going to put this crazy planner insert thingie together??'
But I persisted and watched a few You Tube videos to help me figure it all out. This video (here) from Nadine's Mixed Plate was a great help for understanding and ordering the inserts.
Once I figured them out I tried adding my regular information in the inserts and this is what I came up with...

Underwhelming isn't it! So then I started thinking 'What would I like to have in my planner that I couldn't add in my other inserts?' and I got to work filling out the empty spaces.

I am converted! Turns out I am now IN LOVE with these crazy DIYfish inserts! I now have everything I need all in one planner.
The left side of the Day page I use for to-do's (top-down for things to do at home and bottom-up for things to do out and about), the coloured stickers are for the washing system I use, and the section on the left is a calendar (not a lot on that day I guess!) The right side of the day page are for notes and the bottom half I use as a daily journal about my family and kids. I LOVE this. I have a filofax I used for journalling but only used it every now and again as life would get in the way and I'd forget. As my A5 planner is always open on my desk and always in use, it was much easier to remember to journal. I'm really enjoying it.
I had a good meal planning system, but this new system has made it GREAT. Below is my weekly menu plan:

I use the left side of the table to plan what I am going to make during the week. On the right is where I write all the ingredients needed for that meal. This is very helpful when prepping for my weekly grocery shop so I don't forget anything. As I have 2 young babies, going to the supermarket once a week is hard enough let alone going back a second time! Visit my meal planning video (here) to see my old system which still use the flag system.

I also write my dinner meal in my daily page:

I also enjoy the monthly tracker. I'm still feeling around with how it works and how it will work with my lifestyle. I have ideas to try for July and I will write and video an update later next month. Here it is at the moment:

I also have a section in my planner for a detailed look into my blogs and videos but I wanted to be able to view my next topic really quickly as I'm using the back of the weekly 'flap' and my quick dot point overview of my OrganisedLifestyle topic for the week to keep me on track, organised and easily accessible.

I've also started using a basic colour coding system with these highlighter tabs from daiso. It works great. I can see what I need to at a quick glance of colour with these tabs instead of needing to carry multiple coloured pens everywhere!

So this is it in a nut shell. It looks confusing and overwhelming but if you can get past the initial shock of how much is in here then you may discover how awesome this system is. It is really changing the way I plan for the better.
I. like most of us, am always evolving my planning system and I will do an update again in a few months but I am really enjoying this system so far.

Please visit my YouTube channel or click the link (here) to see the video where I show my DIYfish review in more detail.

You can also find my on my new OrganisedLifestyle Facebook page or Instagram.

Any questions or comments I'd love to hear from you!

Have a great day


Friday, 6 June 2014

My Office Study Nook Setup

Hi guys. Well as we are now a family of 4 and we have a 3 bedroom house, I have lost my study/office room! As I'm still on maternity leave and not due back part time until the start of next year I am handling it but I NEED MY SPACE. So I have created a Office/study nook in the hallway of my house. It is a really nice desk so I don't mind showing it off but as it is in full view of everyone who enters my home it needs to be neat as well as functional. This is a challenge for me as I tend to create 'organised chaos' in my space!
So after some juggling around this is what I came up with.

I took this picture from the walkway from the lounge room which leads into the kitchen. (If you want a better idea of where the space is in relation to the house check out the corresponding video here).
To the left I have a set of 10 coloured drawers which I used previously as my teaching supplies at work. It's not the prettiest thing in the world to be shown in the hall, but for now it works.

Each drawer is labelled with a specific category: catch all (items which don't have a home currently or need to be filed away go here and get cleaned out at the end of each week), post it notes, stationary, misc (stationary items I like but don't use often - items I give away as RAKs or to friends), storage (a place to hold my travel planner bags and pens), laminating pouches, coloured texts and pencils, coloured paper, plastic pockets and immunisation records for the girls.
Sitting on top is my planner tote which houses all my favourite and on-the-go items for my planners I can plan and decorate in any room of the house. I tend to move the tote to under the desk when I have guests over in order to minimise the clutter. If you would like to see a video of the planner tote setup click here

Here is a shot of the top of my desk (a desk handed down from my grandfather-in-law who had it passed down to him). It is such a beautiful desk and just needs a new piece of leather as this piece is getting a bit tattered.
From left to right I have my current planners in use, my washi tape wheel from Costco, my inbox which holds mail to deliver and bills to pay and my iMac in the centre. A jar rack sits to the right of the computer which holds my pen box holder I brought for $1 from The Salvos. I love this rack as it creates another level, doubling my space. Under the jar rack lives my hole punch, sticky tape and stapler. I also have a lamp, a hand sanitiser and some candles (you can see the lighter sticking out of the pen box holder I use to light them). The two planners open are my personal aqua Malden (my wallet/appointment planner) and my A5 aqua Malden (my home maintenance planner). The A5 lives on my desk most of the time open just like this.

A close up of the jar rack and pen box holder
A close up of one of the drawers in the desk.
They are not very deep but are perfect for spare pens, Dymo labeller tape etc.

This is a shot of under the desk. My aim is to have this cleared soon as we are planning to make an above the desk storage unit in the next few months to reduce clutter. The basket on the left holds envelopes, paper and 2 Martha Stewart A4 folders. Next is my A3 laminator. The next box contains extra filofax inserts and dividers as well as my storage space for my planners which house past months inserts to reduce bulk in my current planners. I like to look back on past information from time to time. There is also a tunnel from Ikea for my daughter and a basket which is used as a paper bin.

I hope this has helped you realise that if you are in my situation where you are unable to use a dedicated room as an office then you still have options to create your own nook in your house to call your own :-)

Have a great day!