Pro tips

01/03/19: Lego storage

Who loves stepping on Lego pieces in the dead of the night? This simple storage technique works best if you can start when you first unbox the lego - bit of a mission to implement if you have an enormous collection in a random jumble. Grab a large ziplock bag and empty the contents of the Lego box, including the instruction book, into the ziplock bag. Play with the contents of the bag, then dismantle the Lego and return to the bag when you’ve finished. Each time the kids (or adults!) want to play, it is like shopping for a new set all over again.

15/02/19: Outsource like a pro

Making the decision to outsource a task can be a biggie for many of us - here are 3 quick steps to help you take the plunge:

  1. Ask for recommendations - ask friends, family or do a blanket shout-out on Facebook looking for professionals to take a task off your list.

  2. Get quotes - invite the professionals around and show them what they’ll be working with. Don’t settle for a quote by email or over the phone. You need to meet these people face to face to build trust.

  3. Communicate openly - once you’ve outsourced a job, provide regular feedback so everyone is on the same page. E.g. text your cleaner after each clean - tell them what looks great, and where they may have missed a spot. They’ll appreciate it, and if those missed spots continue to be left, you’ll know it is time to return to Step 1 above.

08/02/19: Laundry powder storage

If your tumble drier sees a lot of action, chances are your laundry can get quite damp. And if like me, your laundry is in your bathroom, you’re in for double trouble. Sick of laundry powder that needs a jackhammer to break apart? Store it in an airtight container. It keeps the moisture out, and your powder nice, fluffy and granular.

01/02/19: Beauty sample buster

If you’re anything like me, you somehow attract beauty samples like magnets. They go into the bathroom cabinet, and you rarely end up using them. They have a shelf-life! So they need to be used sooner rather than later. I have recently started a lucky dip box in my bathroom cabinet - I put my samples in there, and on Sunday nights I reach in and pluck out a sample to try for the week. It’s been fun! I’m discovering new products (some are a hit, some are a miss!), I’m using up items that would otherwise go in the bin, and I’ve created a lovely quick, easy ritual that helps me practice self-care. Triple win!!

25/01/19: One vs. many

This is a great efficiency and storage technique that can be used all over the home. It’s a simple principle; it is easier and faster to move one item, than it is to move many items. This is the reason that when I’m organising fiddly spaces, I use containers to hold all the fiddly things. It’s especially useful in kitchen pantries and bathroom cabinets, or anywhere we might need to store things at the back of a cupboard. If we put the small fiddly things in a container at the front of the cupboard, when we need to access the things at the back, we can simply move one big container, rather than moving 15 small things. Genius!

18/01/19: Crank through podcasts and pick out the key points

I absolutely love this tip - I’ve long wanted to get into listening to podcasts, but they are just so long and sometimes there is too much salesy stuff before you get to the juicy bits. Listen to them on 2x speed! Life-changing! To do this simply tap the little “1x” button in the podcast menu - you’ll see there are options for “1.5x”, “2x” and “0.5x”. If you need to ease in at 1.5x speed go for it! You can slow back down when you get to a key point and want to really tune in. Bonus tip: use the skip option (it’s a 30 with an arrow circling it) to skip 30 seconds ahead if you feel the host is waffling!

11/01/19: Return your broken stuff ASAP - use your diary!

Stuff that breaks is infuriating (at least to me). What annoys me even more is when I can’t march in immediately to return and replace them - you lose steam, you forget about it, and before you know it they have fallen out of warranty and you’re stuck with a broken item as a permanent reminder of your inefficiency. Use your diary! Schedule in the return-a-thon for the next available day - by putting it in your diary, it is confirming that this is a priority that deserves your attention!

21/12/18: Wrapping presents for kids (especially small ones)

I love this tip - actually one of the best I’ve heard for Christmas. You know how Christmas can be pretty overwhelming for the smallest members of our whanau? So many people, so many presents, so much hype - Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a meltdown of some kind. You can do your bit to ease a bit of the pressure on the little ones by doing the hard yards with any toys in boxes. Before you wrap it, remove the interior packaging - the extra plastic and twist-ties that hold the toy in place in the box are incredibly frustrating for small hands, and when they are just desperate to start playing immediately the agonising wait while someone finishes the job for them can tip them over the edge. If you remove that inner stuff, they can open the box, rip the toy out and start playing immediately. Meltdown averted… Merry Christmas!

14/12/18: A place for everything, and everything in its place

This is an oldie but such a goodie. When you’re tidying up, or decluttering, or trying to reorganise your spaces, the things that take the longest to put away are the things that don’t have a home. It’s a simple trick - once you know where an item’s “home” is, it becomes super fast and easy to return it to its home. I liken it to unpacking the groceries at someone else’s house - it takes way longer than at your own home because you don’t know where stuff lives. Every single piece has a question attached to it, and therefore energy wasted. So - find a home for those niggly items, and if there is no logical place to call home perhaps consider donating it to your local charity store.

07/12/18: Do the tidy wave

This is one of my favourite ways to tidy up when large sections of the house have been obliterated (usually by energetic toddler play). Think like a tidal wave and sweep through your house, moving things as you go and leaving a clean slate behind. Don’t leave one room until it is finished; and don’t leave anything IN the room that belongs elsewhere (I leave things on the threshold of each room, ready to put them away when I move onto their respective rooms). This method allows me to put the house to rights in the evening in about 5 minutes, ready to be turned upside down again the very next day.

30/11/18: Labelling matters

Ever wondered why professional organisers label things like containers, baskets, shelves and more? It is a simple and effective way of ensuring everyone puts their stuff where it lives - because most of us are quite obedient by nature. It is very hard, for example, to unpack your groceries and wilfully ignore the basket labelled “Snacks” and instead put your packet of chips on a random shelf instead.

23/11/18: Dishwasher tablets

Cut (or rip if you can’t be trusted with scissors!) the cardboard flaps off the top of the box, and stow the box underneath your sink. It should be a good size to either sit underneath the sink, or even better in the narrow gap between the sink and the edge of the cupboard.

16/11/18: Kids block puzzles

It’s all fun and games until it’s 8pm and you can’t figure out how to put it back to-bloody-gether! Take a pic of the completed puzzle, save it to the Favourites folder on your phone and you’ll never waste a precious moment of Netflix time trying to figure it out again.