Car Organisation

I spoiled the car today! Full tank of fuel and then a detail whilst I wandered through the homewares and furniture stores nearby. I also washed some items we keep in the car and it dawned on me that I haven’t shown you how I organise it.

Yes, the car gets organised too and it had been way too long between a tidy up, wash and vacuum. She also has a name, Mazzy (genius name I know for a Mazda but we got her when we were very sleep deprived new parents so please don’t judge 🤣).

In the glove box I store our car manual, some pens, the bracket for our iPad holder and an old pair of glasses. I wear contact lenses a lot but sometimes I might lose one and need to put my glasses on to drive home.

In the boot I store quite a few more items.

We have:

  • Foldable chairs.
  • Bucket and spade set x 2 for visits to the beach.
  • 2 x black towels. These are great as blankets for the kids in the car, to mop up messes, to be used for our dog after dog park trips. So good!
  • Picnic blanket for spontaneous and planned picnics.

You call also see that grey box there. It holds:

  • 2 x hats from Kmart for spontaneous park visits.
  • Cleaning and glass wipes.
  • First Aid Kit.
  • 2 x ponchos.
  • Umbrella.

I try and get the kids to help me keep the car tidy by taking everything out of the car, each time we exit. This doesn’t always work and I’ll come out with a rubbish bag occasionally for the balance of any items.

Doesn’t she look all pretty now!

Oh and for anyone wanting to now, Mazzy is a Mazda 6 Turbo Diesel Wagon, 2011 model. We absolutely love her and I can’t see us moving to another manufacturer, we lover her that much!

So, do you have regular routine with your car? Is it something you keep on top of let out of control like I do sometimes?

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, please give it a like. If you have anything to say, leave a comment, I’d love to chat. If you think it would be of benefit to someone, please share. 

Close your eyes it ain’t pretty!

Oh friends… I cleaned out my shameful cupboard recently.  It was bad, really bad.  I forgot to take a before photo but here is a photo of the cupboard empty and here is a photo of all the stuff on our dining room table and kitchen bench.

Pretty overwhelming, huh?

Knowing that this cupboard was in a bad state was causing me stress over Christmas, New Year’s and whilst we were away in Mollymook.  I wanted to tackle it between Christmas and New Year’s but got sick and didn’t have the energy.

One Saturday night I emptied the cupboard out so that I would have to deal with it on the Sunday.  I don’t mind one or two meals away from the table, but I wouldn’t have liked too many more than that so doing this would force me to deal with it.

As with all of us, the end of the year gets hectic.  Christmas presents were purchased and placed in here for wrapping.  School items were placed in here waiting to be sorted/discarded/filing.  Linen was used/washed and chucked in here, not put away properly.  The list goes on and on.

Funny story.  Whilst we were away my brother and his family were over for a BBQ and a swim.  They needed a plastic bag, knew that I stored them in this cupboard, went to grab one and were in shock when they saw the state of the cupboard.  Yep, it was bad! Lol!

So, step one:  Place like with like.  I gathered all the appliances I was storing in this cupboard and placed them together.  All our esky’s and food storage together.  All linen together.  All art supplies together. All party items together etc.

Step two: Now that you have like with like you can see how many items you have within the one category.  We had too many esky bags and picnic sets.  They’ve seen us from when we were just two and to now that there is four.  We decided to get rid of the two person sets, cooler bags that were too small etc.  I did this for each category that I store in here.

Step three: Think about what you want the space to do for you.  As I’ve mentioned before, we don’t have a garage or linen closet so all our miscellaneous items get stored in this cupboard.  I want to be able to open this cupboard and find exactly what I want, when I need it easily and be able to return the item easily.

Step four: Start putting everything back.

On the floor – I store our table linens, spare cushions for extra seating when we are entertaining a crowd, green bags for the supermarket, some plastic bags and my tools and DIY project items.

Shelf 1: – Party items, Gemma (dog) food/items, spare photo frames, sewing kit and sewing machine.

Shelf 2: Art/craft items and baking supplies, miscellaneous items.

Shelf 3: Wine, water, napkins and surplus toilet paper and paper towel (we buy these two items in bulk from Costco).

Shelf 4: Board games and picnic items.

Shelf 5: An “office in a box” for each kid with an “in”tray for each kid for me to place items for sorting/culling/filing.


On the sides of the cupboard we store our spare shopping bags, herbs/spices, art supplies, gift bags and large lanterns which will go outside when we do up our pool area.

And the final picture:


Look, it’s not perfect but it is decluttered.  It is organised.  I have maintained it easily over the past month.  Everything is easily accessible.

Another item to note.

Since commencing the KonMari method we have let so many items go and as a result of this, these containers are currently not required in our home.


Pretty amazing, isn’t it!

So, do you have a disaster cupboard that needs looking at?  Does it cause you stress?  Tell me – maybe I can give you some tips!

How do you live in your home?

I came across this article through Domain last week and shared it through my Facebook page. It has been playing through my mind since, so I thought I would delve deeper and share my thoughts. 

In short, a study was conducted by UCLA’s Centre on Everyday Lives of Families (CELF). It studied the way 32 families live and how they use their homes.

  • Only 25% of families can park their cars in their garage. 
  • Women feel stressed by messy/cluttered spaces.
  • The desire to bulk buy items creates more clutter in the home with the need to purchase more items to store these extra items like a second fridge/chest freezer or shelving. 
  • Each child brings 30% more clutter into the home. 
  • Despite spending up big on pools/spa’s/cubby houses/trampolines/outdoor furniture etc, only 25% of adults and 50% of kids use the outdoor space.
  • People also complained about not having enough downtime, yet spend 70% of that downtime on devices/screens and not utilising this outdoor space. 

Wow! It got me thinking about my personal situation and what I observe of my friends and family. 

I don’t think we have an excessive amount of storage at home. No garage. No linen closet. We do have a double door pantry which I use for a mixture of items. We have a shed for all our tools and garden items ect. We have installed an attic ladder and store our Christmas decorations and camping gear up there. 
Out of my friends and family that I know to have garages, only 20% of them park their cars in them. The balance use it as an extra storage area.

Clutter and mess certainly stresses me out more than my Hubby. Over the Christmas period, the double door pantry got out of control. Stuff everywhere. Stuff that didn’t belong there had been chucked in there because I didn’t have the time to deal with it properly. I knew it was something I had to tackle but didn’t have the energy to do until after we got back from our vacation in Mollymook. It was weighing on my mind as a ‘to-do’ item.  When I checked in with my Hubby about this he said that the cupboard didn’t stress him out, but it bothered him that it was bothering me. 

A couple of weeks back we were going to be home most of the Saturday so I spent Friday night emptying it, forcing me to deal with it on the Saturday. I did it. I got rid of a box of items for charity, a bag of rubbish and put everything away back in it’s place. I immediately felt better with a decluttered space and a decluttered mind. I don’t know that this comes down to gender, I think it comes from a sense of control and order, a need to know where things are and that jobs are done. I know men who feel this way. 

We have a Costco membership. People are often unsure if it is cost effective or not. The savings we make on fuel alone plus savings we get on my contact lenses sees us well ahead of the cost of the membership, let alone what we save on other household items. We mainly only buy toilet paper, paper towel, tissues and some laundry/cleaning products. Occasionally we buy food items. I am able to store these items either in the laundry, under the sink or in a single basket in the pantry. We only have the space for one fridge/freezer in our kitchen. If we had the space? The only time I would like a second fridge/freezer is when we are entertaining a big group but for the couple of times a year we do this, I don’t see the value. I’ll just keep shuffling things around. 

We have gone through various stages in our home. When we first moved in 12 years ago, all we had was the stuff from our bedrooms at home. I felt the need to fill our four bedroom home. And so I did. Two spare bedrooms were set up. A home office was created and we said yes to most items we were offered, filling our cupboards to the brim. Then Miss 5 came along and we took a room back to set up the nursery. Then we took half of the fourth bedroom back to create her playroom. Then we took another room back to create Miss 5’s big girl room so Mr 3 could go into the nursery. Then we took the other half of the fourth bedroom back to create my studio and now we are as we are. I can’t even tell you how much has gone in the bin/to the tip/to charity over the years. But if feels good!

Outdoor vs Indoor time. Like the article says we have spent a lot of money outside. Whilst our pool was already here, we’ve spent lots installing retaining walls, excavation, fencing, plants, furniture, swing set and a cubby house.  The kids are starting to spend more time outside. Daylight savings plays a part in this for us as we are at work through the day. They’ll play before dinner after we get home from work, after school the days I’m home and flit between different activities inside and outside on the weekend. This also depends on whether the TV is on or not. As to how much time my Hubby and I are outside with them, not so much. Realisitically we are on our devices too much but we are also busy studying/cooking/cleaning/washing or taking a moment to watch our TV programs. 

A couple of years back, I fell in love with this beauty. (Images from Barrington Homes). 

Take a look at the floor plan. 

Gorgeous, isn’t she. The house just screams ‘me’ (I felt so at home here, and have visited the display home many times. Family have visited it and agreed and I have taken two girlfriends here who also agree) and I thought it would be the perfect home to entertain in, grow in and give us each some space. We became priced out of the opportunity to build this dream home in an area not too far from our family and I think I am a little bit glad (only a little bit – it still stings a bit to know we can’t build the dream yet).  I hate cleaning bathrooms, and I would have had an extra one to do. We would have had more space for the kids playroom, but would that be at the cost to lost family time?  Hubby and I still have the dream at building a place from scratch, and it might happen one day, but for now we are sitting tight. 

This post has rambled on a bit. For me, the article ignited my passion to help people declutter, to live comfortably within their home, to feel less stressed, to enjoy it and to love it and for it to bring you joy!

How does your home make you feel? Does the clutter stress you out? What methods do you employ to tackle the clutter? KonMari? Ignore the mess?  Please, let me know!!!

Planning Parties

With the beginning of a new year and many birthdays ahead (apologies if your birthday has passed for 2017 – Happy Belated Birthday!), I thought I would share my birthday party planning ideas/tips.  I’ll start with the ideas/tips this week and move onto the actual parties going forward.  All but one of the parties I’ve held have been at home so I will prepare this list as if I am hosting the party at home.


4 months out:

I start by speaking with the person for whom the party is for, a few months out from the event.  I ask them what theme they are after.  My kids have asked for Peppa Pig, Teddy Bears Picnic, Paw Patrol and Doc McStuffins.  Adults generally want colour themes.  This time varies depending on my excitement for the project.  I then hit Google and Pinterest for ideas/inspiration for:

  • invitations
  • food
  • drinks
  • games
  • cake
  • decorations
  • loot bags/guest gift

I also set the date for the party so that I can let key people know (extended family members etc) the date.  I look at the calendar to see when the persons birthday falls.  I check for any public holidays/school holidays as having a party over a long weekend when people tend to go away can prohibit a lot of guests from attending.  I failed to check this properly last year which meant Miss 5’s birthday party was on the same date as one her friends actual birthdays 🙊.

2 to 4 months out:

I fine tune the theme and decide what I will actually be doing from the many ideas I’ve found through Google and Pinterest and spend time purchasing required items from party shops/Kmart/$2 shops/Spotlight/eBay.

I also prepare the guest list and delegate tasks to extended family members. Mum O loves to cook so I always ask her to help with the food.  My SIL prepares a great fruit platter and my Mum makes a mean sandwich so I get her on board with that.  I tend to ask my brother to collect the balloons on his way to the party and my Dad to bring the ice.  By getting help, there is less for me to do on the actual day = less stress =friendlier hostess.

I also prepare and print the invite now.  I have done this a few ways in the past.  I have purchased pre-designed ones from Etsy and eBay.  I have used Martha Stewart’s Apple App and printed through Snapfish and I have also used templates through Snapfish.

1 month out:

I send out the invites to all the guests with the RSVP due a full week before the event.  In the past I have had a friend do the cake as the kids birthday present.  He has since gone and had 3 kids and doesn’t have the time anymore.  As I don’t want to spend a couple of hundred dollars on a birthday cake, I have learnt how to make some pretty fancy cakes myself.  I head to the cake decorating shop and pick up supplies ready for me to commence making the cake when the time is right.

1 week out:

  • Check RSVP’s.  If there is someone who we really want to be there, but hasn’t RSVP’d, we will follow up, otherwise I take these to be final numbers and plan accordingly.
  • I prepare the grocery shopping list and either go myself or process it online for delivery, depending on whether I have time or not to go myself.
  • If any of the decorations need constructing, I tend to do these now and store away until the day before the party.
  • I prepare the loot bags/guest gift.
  • Depending on the cake I am making, I will also start making the fondant accessories for the cake.
  • I contact family and confirm that they are still able to do what I’ve asked them to do for the party.

3 days out:

  • I clean the house.  I grocery shop or have the groceries delivered today.

2 days out:

  • I bake the cake and ice the cake.

1 day out:

  • I do a final clean.
  • I get as many decorations up as possible.
  • I finalise the cake.
  • I ensure the dishwasher is on before I go to bed, ready for party day.
  • I get out all dishes and platters needed for food for the party.
  • Hubby and I move any furniture around that needs moving after the kids have gone to bed.
  • Hubby mows the lawn/poop scoops/cleans the pool etc.

On the day:

  • I empty the dishwasher.
  • I start laying out the dishes/platters ready for the food to be placed on them.
  • I set up any final decorations.
  • I pre-heat the oven ready to keep food warm until needed.
  • I lay out the loot bags/guest gifts.
  • I shower and dress for the occassion, ready to welcome the guests.
  • Welcome guests and enjoy the party, hopefully not spending the entire time in the kitchen!


Are you hosting any parties this year?  Do you do parties every year for your kids? Alternate years?  Big one for you this year?


We are fortunate enough to have enough room in our home for a playroom. When Miss 5 was born, we kept everything in the lounge room but as she grew and received more toys, and then she was joined by her brother, I didn’t enjoy seeing the clutter all the toys brought.

The playroom has been moved around and tidied so many times. At Christmas time the kids received even more toys and whilst we are of course grateful, not everything gets played with and it was time for a cull.

I was unwell over the Christmas/New Year period so I asked Hubby to assist the kids on New Years Eve with completely emptying out the playroom and asking them to sort through and select what should stay and what should go to children who don’t have any toys.


We have the 16 cube Expedit unit from IKEA (now called Kallax), a 5 cube Kallax and a 6 cube shelf (I can’t recall where we got it from).  I use square cubes to store building blocks, musical instruments, one miscellaneous box for each kid etc.


On New Years Day after giving everything a dust/wipe down/vacuum, I spent the morning going through myself and returning the keep toys to the playroom and sorting out rubbish for the bin and toys to go to daycare. My son had a lot of toy cars and toy diggers etc so I selected a few of each and discarded the rest. Some puzzles were too little for them. We had double ups of some books etc.


I think about a quarter to a third of our rubbish bin was filled with rubbish and the large blue IKEA bag was filled to go to Daycare. Costumes/dress ups that no longer fit were passed down to my niece.

Once it was all back and organised, the room felt better and the kids are now able to return everything to its proper place. Even 22 days later.

Do you have a playroom? Do you cull the toys regularly?


I had the most wonderful night on Saturday night!  I held a dinner party fundraiser for my friend Kyly’s daughter who has Cystic Fibrosis.

When out for dinner recently we were discussing the expensive costs associated with treatment for Kyly’s daughter and I suggested we host a Girls Night In (stealing the idea from the Cancer Council) to help raise funds for a new nebuliser or physiotherapy vest.  Kyly loved the idea and so we ran with it.

With 15 invited, 12 were able to make it.  Women all connected to me from different parts of my life.  My Mum, MumO, SILS, friends and Kyly’s Mum, Sister and SIL – all women I have known for 5 to 21 years, plus of course Mum – all my life – der!

Today I thought I would share with you how I prepare for an event like this.  For me, it’s about lists and planning and being organised.

On the Friday the week before the event I planned the menu properly and wrote out my grocery shopping list.  The menu consisted of:

On Monday night I ordered most of my groceries for the event online, to be delivered Thursday morning after school drop off.

On Friday I was up early and cooked the Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce and Chocolate Mousse. After swimming lessons, Mr 3 and I headed to Aldi and bought all these flowers for $25.00. Bargain!

Once home, I made the pastry and lemon filling for the Lemon Meringue Pie.

On Saturday we had swimming and dance lessons. After this was done it was time for home and last minute prep.

I made the meringue, assembled the pie and popped it in the oven for 5 minutes. I then made the Creamy Chicken Pasta. With all the cooking now done, I put the dishwasher on, ready to be emptied before everyone arrived.

It was then time to make the house look pretty. This is how I set my table. Firstly, I needed to seat 12 people.  Hubby has created an extension to add on to our table.  We have 6 dining chairs constantly in use and 4 cheap IKEA chairs I store in the attic when not in use. I asked Kyly to bring the rest of the chairs needed with her. Then I ironed and placed white tablecloths on the table.

As I was serving the main meal and dessert on the kitchen island bench, I set the table, minus dinner plates. I used the width of the chairs to space the cutlery. Bread a butter plates to the right with IKEA paper napkins (didn’t have enough cloth ones) with butter knife and spoons for dessert.


I used glass bottles as vases and placed 4 roses in each. I also used candles to provide soft lighting along the table.


The final touch, a red ribbon in honour of Cystic Fibrosis.


I then got all the plates (bread and butter, main and dessert plates) and servingware ready. We then prepared the salads, cooked the pasta and prepared the antipasto platters.

I like to use my console table with a tablecloth on it as the drinks table. All the glassware goes on top with wine in a large stainless steel dish and I borrowed MumO’s drink stand for the soft drinks.


Lighting – I wanted to keep the mood relaxed so lit candles and lamps.

We were now ready for all our guests.


The evening flowed well with great conversation shared as well as many memories and funny tales. Dishes were cleared away as each course was finished.


Kyly and I worked well after all the guests left, with the clean up and pack up completed within 40 minutes. Plenty of time to sit down for a chat and a cuppa tea before bed!

Do you like entertaining for a crowd?  I love having all my loved ones near me, and all women of different ages sharing stories/memories/experiences?  Priceless!

Christmas Cards

I usually have my Christmas cards ordered by now, ready for me to sign, seal in envelopes and post on 1 December or thereabouts. I’m running a little slow on that this year and it’s due to indecision on my part as to how/what to do this year. 

I enjoy sending and receiving Christmas cards. I love it best when there’s a letter with the card telling us about our friends adventures over the past year. This happens less and less now that we see what most of our friends are up to but I have a few who aren’t on Social Media and it’s lovely to receive their letter. It’s also lovely to receive something in the mail that isn’t a bill or junk mail!Before we had the kids I would just head to the shops and pick a packet of cards that I liked the look of.When Miss 5 arrived though, I wanted to do something more personalised. 
These are the designs we’ve done since 2011:





We did a personalised card in 2015, and whilst Hubby and I thought it was hilarious, as did most of our family/friends, it’s been suggested I don’t share it here. I’ll just say ‘silent night’ and leave it at that. 

I loved how 2012 acted as a baby announcement for Mr 3!
This year with the change in colour theme I think I’ll just do something with no humour in it at all, just a nice family photo in front of our tree. 
What do you tend to do? No cards? Store bought cards? Support a charity with your cards? Make your own? Be sure to tell me!

Christmas 2016

“Argh! Why is she talking about Christmas? It’s not for another 47 days”. Or 7 Sundays.I am talking about Christmas because I’m sure my daughter only started Kindergarten last week and this week we seem to be in Week 5, Term 4. 

Ever since we had kids, days turn into weeks and into months and in the blink of an eye another year is over. So whilst Christmas is 47 days away, it will be here in no time. So now is the time to plan!

Grab your diary. If you don’t have one, pop into your Outlook Calendar and print of weekly or monthly views for November/December. Now go through your text messages, your Events page on Facebook, notes from School/Daycare/Dancing/Sport and write all the dates down. When I did that I started to panic because we have a lot of events coming up in the next two months, some Christmas related, some not, all things we’d like to do. 

Then call anyone else that needs to contribute to this. Hubby/wife/parents etc. I called Hubby at work and although I didn’t intend it to take this long, it took 10 minutes for me to let him know everything that was going on so that he could note it in his work diary, submit any required leave dates or make a note to leave by a certain time on a certain date. If you are hosting an occasion at your home in this time, book in time in your calendar for the housework/grocery shop/prep for the event. 

The next big thing is Christmas present shopping. I made a start on this in September. Ideally, I would have started earlier as we have a crazy amount of birthdays in the second half of the year, but as stated above, the year has gotten away from me. I started by working out the cost. As a rule, we spend around $50 on our parents/siblings/in-laws/nieces/nephews. We spend $20 on most of our friends kids and then I discuss with my Hubby what we’d like to spend on each other and what we’d like to get for our kids. I add these costs up and then divide it over the amount of pay periods we have between now and Christmas. I don’t like the feeling of a financial hangover in January and if I can avoid it, I like to. It feels like we are still recovering from when we bought the kids their cubby house. 

I then create a list of everyone we buy for and brainstorm ideas on what to get them. This year I’ve actually found it quite easy to come up with ideas for most people. Other years it is a lot harder. 

Research and shop online. I spent time in my lunch break and on the train three days a week looking at department store websites/Instagram/Facebook getting ideas. This was great because I had my list and managed to save some money during Spend and Save promotions through some stores, buying things I needed to get anyway!

Another thing to think about is how you want your Christmas to look. By that I mean your Christmas decor, but I may have overwhelmed you enough so I will leave that for next time. 

How are you going with your plans for Christmas?  Have you started shopping?  Got a plan?  Let me know!

Kitchen • Organisation

After a good few weeks of renovation, and having to unpack the whole house out of the storage pod, my goal was to just get everything out of boxes and away. We also had a 6 month old baby who was learning how to crawl. 

Initially, the kitchen wasn’t very well organised. As I got used to this new layout and worked out how I/we used the space, I had a further clean out and rearranged the cupboards.

Above the microwave I store my cookbooks. 
Below the oven I store our frying pans and baking dishes etc. 
Above the stove I store our cooking oils. 
Below the stove I store our saucepans, baking trays and cake tins. 

I store the above items there as this is the cooking/baking zone. 

The next cupboard along I store our Tupperware. You can read about this cupboard here

In the corner cupboard I store our ‘good’ plates and accessories as we only use these every other month. 

Under the sink I store our cleaning supplies and dishwasher tablets/cleaner. This cupboard needs some work but inspiration hasn’t struck as yet!

In the drawers, from top to bottom:

  1. everyday cutlery
  2. utensils
  3. special cutlery
  4. cling wrap, aluminium foil, baking paper, sandwich bags etc
  5. tea towels, trivets etc

In the final lower cupboard on this side, I store our everyday crockery and picnicware.

Along the top we have our wine glasses, display cabinet and our everyday cups/mugs/glassware. We also store some bins, bread and tea and coffee making items in this cupboard. 

Above the fridge is the alcohol and next to the fridge is our pantry and appliance storage. 

The reason why I store our crockery and cutlery here is because this is where the kettle and toaster are, therefore making tea, coffee and toast, and where we plate up our meals. 

I treat the island bench as my prep space so I like to have all the things handy that I use for making meals. In the island bench we have:

  1. Mixing bowls, sieves, chopping boards, scales
  2. Plastic platters, vases
  3. Servingware – platters etc

So, technically 4 ‘zones’ I guess – preparing, cooking, serving and cleaning. 

Do you organise your kitchen like this? Into zones? Do you have an appliance cupboard?

KonMari • Kids wardrobe cleanout

With the warmer weather on its way, I thought I would take the opportunity to go through the kids wardrobes and clean out the old, organise what currently fits and make a note of what we need going forward. 

Miss 5:

So many clothes! Her winter drawer became too cluttered, I couldn’t close the drawer properly!

As with the KonMari Method, I pulled all the clothes out and laid them on her bed. I got Miss 5 into her room to try on anything I wasn’t sure would fit her, discarded anything not fit for passing down to my niece, bagged up items for my niece and returned current items that fit to the drawers/wardrobe. 

From going through this process, I know Miss 5 needs:

  1. Raincoat
  2. Swimwear
  3. Pink converse
  4. Black boots
  5. Black ballet flats
  6. Silver/gold sandals
  7. Thongs

Master 3:
I followed the same system for Master 3 of pulling everything out. A number of items needed to go as they were a size 2 and far too short on him now.  I use the Scubb boxes from IKEA to sort like items together in his drawers. This works especially for my husband as the clothes for daycare go in the larger boxes. 

From going through this process, I know Master 3 needs:

  1. Swimwear
  2. Size 3/4 singlets
  3. Daycare hat
  4. Winter daycare clothes
  5. Home sandals
  6. Thongs
  7. Kicker shoes

Out of their rooms came a bag of clothes each, a bag of shoes from Miss 5, a small bag for a friend from Master 3 and a bag of linen for donation. 

How often do you clean out your kids clothes?  I aim to do it seasonally.