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10 things to do at home during lockdown

We are currently in Lockdown here in New Zealand due to the Coronavirus, and we are not the only ones. Many countries are also in the same position which means that for a lot of us, we are stuck at home, most of the time. For some it will be a blessing, for others, a curse. Here, I have a compiled a list of 10 things to help you survive this stay at home crisis, and to utilise the time we have been gifted.

Connection and support

Psychologists say that the one thing most associated with emotional resilience is social connection and support. Our mental wellbeing is paramount to our survival during this period. You will need to check in with your family during this potentially stressful time, be kind and support one another. To connect with friends and family outside of your bubble, set up a Messenger or WhatsApp group. Arrange ‘virtual time’ such as a regular coffee catch up, a cocktail hour or even dinner together. It’s important to stay connected and support our loved ones and community – now more than ever.

Check in with your elderly neighbours

I live in a street with a number of people over the age of 70, the age that is the most at risk it seems. We have a member’s street Facebook page, where we can offer or ask for help and it is working well so far. This is a great time and opportunity to share any resources you might have, such as books, puzzles etc, to help pass the time. Again, WhatsApp and Messenger are great for keeping in contact too. For those neighbours who don’t use the internet, we check in on them regularly (keeping a safe distance of course!) to see if they need any supplies or errands to be run. I feel more connected to my neighbours now than I ever have and that in itself, feels great.

Structure

The first thing to do is to create some structure in the day. Of course you will especially need to do this if you have kids! Structure and routines teach kids how to constructively manage themselves and their environments and makes them feel safe. If you’re a bit stuck and need some help, Pinterest is a great place to search for this kind of thing – it’s a fantastic platform with loads of ideas and inspiration. Also check out the App Store and of course Google. Whatever you decide to do, I suggest creating a weekly family calendar, where everyone can see what is happening at each time of the day.

Meal Planning

I am a huge lover of meal planning, especially at the moment. I don’t want to be going to the supermarket too often during this time and by planning in advance, it means that I have everything I need to make a meal. I write all of the meals on our whiteboard and we can choose what we want each night. I promise you it will save you time, energy, money and creates less waste. If you need a helping hand there are free apps such as Foodplanner and Veganized. If you are not a fan of cooking, there is always My Food Bag and Woop for example, who will deliver your menus and produce directly to your front door even during lockdown.

Organising/decluttering

I would have thought that now is the best time ever, to declutter and organise your home, especially if you can’t work from home and therefore have more time on your hands. HOWEVER….. I recently read an article on RNZ that said that we all need to be mindful if we are throwing things out. Marlborough District Council solid waste manager Alec McNeil said “It will only create more rubbish for the team to sort through and add pressure on the staff….” Not only are charity shops in NZ currently closed at the moment anyway, but kerbside recycling in some areas is not operating either. If you are keen to get stuck into some decluttering all the same, just be mindful of what you are getting rid of. If you have a spare room/area in your house, use that to store your charity items until this whole thing has blown over. And recycling? I’m going to continue to recycle but will wait until it is safe to move it on again. Need some help? I have written a number of articles here on the blog page that are designed to help you, so check them out.

Cleaning

When I’m working with clients, I tend to clean as we go – keep this is mind if you are going to get stuck into some decluttering. I for one, am using this time to get into some deep cleaning Here are some ideas:

Pull out the fridge and dishwasher and clean underneath them

Clean walls and wall switches

Wipe down doors and cabinets

Vacuum under the bed and other hard to get to places

Clean your oven

Clean and sort under the sink

Shannon Lush has some great tips here on how to keep you and your home clean during lockdown too.

Paperwork

One of the most dreaded categories for most of us…… it tends to build up so easily doesn’t it? And  creates stress and overwhelm, especially when there is no system in place. Use this time to chip away at it – schedule in time to do it each day or week, or perhaps you would prefer to do it in one foul swoop. Choose a time that will work the best for you and when you are less likely to get distracted. The first thing you need to do is to gather all of your paperwork wherever it is lurking in your home and I mean ALL of it. Then it’s a matter of sorting it – I tend to lump categories together in the beginning to make it easier. Manila folders and post it notes work really well for the sorting stage – it means that if you want to come back to it, you can, easily. Now it is decision time. Make piles of keep, recycle and shred. Once you have done that it is time to create a filing system that will work for you. If you get stuck, check out the book ‘Paper Flow’ which has been written by a Professional Organiser. It’s super easy to read and has simple strategies and tips on how to organise your papers. The next and most important step, is to schedule into your diary WHEN you will action your paperwork! If you don’t do this, the very systems you create will fall apart super fast.

Projects

Photo organising, sorting out the garage, repairing, mending, re-styling, up cycling and the list goes on……how many of us have projects that we have been wanting to tackle but haven’t had the time to? Now would be a great time to action these. Create some space in your week to get stuck into your project(s) – you could even use your family calendar here. You may need to settle your kids into an activity in order to free up some time to do this, depending on their ages.

Home work outs/meditation

Where would we be without the internet?  It is one of our best friends at the moment as I am sure many of you would agree. Whether you are into yoga, pilates, gym workouts or meditation, there are so many platforms out there which allow you to keep fit, focused and positive, in your own home. The benefits of exercise are endless. Among other things, it promotes the release of endorphins and helps to keep your immune system working effectively – super key right now. You Tube, App Store, Facebook and Instagram are awesome go to platforms that I enjoy.

Participate in social media challenges

I for one, LOVE to have fun. Get involved in fun social media challenges – set up your own or join in on a friends. Themes could be: A costume of the day, creative ideas, 3 grateful things, acts of kindness, funny stuff, you get the idea. It stimulates you to be creative while passing the time and connecting with others.

So there you have it. I hope these ideas inspire and help you to not only make your days more enjoyable, but to keep you sane in these unknown times!

Enjoy, stay well, stay safe and be kind 🙂

 

 

 

 

5 steps to organise ANY space in your home!

Yay for Spring! I love this season and have been enjoying getting into some decluttering after what seems like the longest Winter ever. If you’re as keen as I am to get into some of those spaces in your home that need some attention this Spring, my 5 step method will really help you to conquer any of them.

Before you start though, make sure you have some tools on board. Here’s what I suggest:

  • Banana boxes (for charity, recycling and relocate items)
  • Rubbish bags (also great for bulky items that get donated)
  • Cleaning items (so you can clean as you go)

Not sure where to start? Start somewhere small, like a shelf, junk drawer, a cupboard or the likes. Your car is a GREAT place to start! Just don’t start in a sentimental area or an area that is too emotional for you. Especially if you haven’t decluttered in a while.

Finally, create a vision for the space. How do you want it to look, feel and function (function being the most important.) Ask yourself what is working in the space and what is not working?

 

Step 1: Which ever area you decide to start working in, take everything out of the drawer, cupboard, shelf, box, you get the idea. Simply take all of the items out of the space.

Step 2: Put like with like items together. By doing this, you can see exactly how much of each item you have and when they are all together like this, it makes it a lot easier to make decisions on the items, whew!

Step 3: Time to make decisions on the items – pop over to my blog on “10 questions to ask yourself when you declutter” to help you here. Be honest with your decision making and ask a friend to help you if you are struggling on your own. Here’s where you use your banana boxes for charity, recycle and relocate items and the rubbish bags for rubbish and the bulky donate items.

Step 4: Move onto the next shelf, drawer, cupboard and repeat steps 1 – 3. Once you have finished, it is time to reorganise the items you have decided to keep. Reorganise them in a way that makes sense to you and at their point of use. The most important thing to remember is that the area needs to function well. You can always pretty it up later. Keep what is working in the space and change what is not working.

Step 5: Take the rubbish and recycling to your bins, the charity items to your car (rather than sitting around the house as you or others might be tempted to go back into them!) and put your relocate items in their correct place. If they don’t have a home, you will have to create one.

 

 

 

 

If you are struggling to get started, put a date in your diary at a time that will work for you and stick to it. Call a friend to hold you accountable. Get the family on board to help! Doing a little each day even if it’s only ten minutes, will eventually add up. It’s completely okay to do a space in stages, if that is what will work for you. Set a timer and reward yourself when you are done, put on some music and make it fun!

 

Have an awesome Spring, good luck with your decluttering and let me know how you get on 🙂

How to organise kids school papers……

It’s that “Back to School” time of year again already! It’s time to drag out those summer uniforms, purchase the school stationary and get your head back into routine mode……..which sparks me to ask: How organised are you with your kids school paperwork and art? What do you do with their reports, certificates, photos and yearbooks? How about their creative writing work? Does it get shoved into a box or cupboard, in the hope that you might deal with it one day? If this sounds like you, this blog post is for you! If you don’t have a place and more importantly a SYSTEM for these items, they will build up and potentially be forgotten or even lost.

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Kids’ spaces

I recently had the opportunity to share my ‘5 Top Tips’ with one of my favourite magazines Your Home and Garden on how to create practical living spaces for kids. 

“Organise Your Home in a Month” is a great read, where experts are sharing their tips and ideas on ways to declutter and organise your home over 30 days. (more…)

Back to school — my top 5 tips!

Well it’s that time of year again when we are all feeling relaxed and sun kissed from our lovely summer holiday, yet the kids are back to school next week and it’s the last thing on our minds!  It can be a stressful time for everyone and you don’t want to be rushing the night before trying to find everything in a mad panic. Getting organised now will save you time, stress AND money. Here are my 5 top tips that I think will really help you to get back into the swing of school life! (more…)

My 5 top tips for busy mums

Trying to juggle life when you are a busy mum is tricky and difficult at the best of times. Sound familiar? I cannot think of a better time in your life to be more organised! Especially when it comes to getting the kids organised for school. Read ahead for my 5 top tips, to make your life easier.

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Kids artwork — organising and storing

Creative kids – I know, every piece is a masterpiece, and although we truly treasure the masterpieces our budding artists create, let’s face it…without a way to organize and store our children’s artwork, it adds to the clutter in our homes. A refrigerator can only hold so much art!! Here are some tips on keeping on top of your child’s art.

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