Monday, 22 October 2012

Day 10 - 20 Days to Organise & Clean your home Challenge

I am participating in the The Organised Housewife's 20 Days to Organise & Clean your home Challenge. The challenge has now finished, but it's never too late to start and complete it at your own pace like I am. You can find all the information you need know about Day 10's challenge tasks here.

CLEAN oven
Who actually likes cleaning their oven? Certainly not me! I had made a poor attempt at cleaning the oven a couple of months ago and was never really happy with the results. But doing it properly this time around by following Katrina's suggestions (e.g. soaking wire racks in Nappysan in the bath, sprinking Bi-carb soda inside the oven and then spraying vinegar etc) has left me super happy with the results. My oven is now sparkling! I finished it off by covering the grill tray with foil to catch any drips from landing on the bottom of the oven which will hopefully make cleaning it even easier next time.

DE-CLUTTER kitchen cupboards

For this task, I chose to tackle 3 drawers that we use every day but were overflowing with too many items squeezed into each drawer.
In the top drawer we kept our bowls and plates as well as all of the kids plastic plates, bowls, containers and cups. There was way too much plasticware so I did a cull and only kept items I knew I was using daily. Items that I am not currently using have been packed away in an old nappy box, labelled and put under the house. 
The middle drawer housed all of our saucepans and frying pans. It was working fine at the time and I was going to keep it as it was but in the end it needed to be re-organised to cater for some changes I made to the bottom drawer. Some of my ceramic dishes needed to be swapped with my large pot to enable me to fit everything in.
The bottom drawer also needed some serious culling. I put plastic containers I wasn't using out for recycling, gave the left over baby food from Master one to a friend, relocated a silicon baking form to another drawer and moved some of the ceramic dishes up to the middle drawer. I'm really happy with the changes and they are working for us so far!

ORGANISE Tupperware cupboard

My empty (non-Modular Mate) Tupperware containers are kept in the cupboard underneather our stove. It has a top and middle sliding shelf and a standard bottom shelf.
The top shelf was overflowing (hmm... I think I see a pattern forming!!!) and needed a de-clutter and a bit of a re-think. I got out another old nappy box and put all of the Tupperware that I'm no longer using in it to give away or sell. I've kept some spaces free as my Tupperware shelves are constantly changing depending on what I'm using at any one time.
From the middle shelf I removed my old Bamix (stick blender) and its remaining attachments to the nappy box as I haven't used it since getting my Thermomix. I also got rid of some old cheap plastic ware that was no longer needed which left me with some spare space that can now be used for other Tupperware as I rotate through using different pieces.

NEW HABIT cleaning stove
Wiping down the stove after every cook is a great habit to get into but one which I can easily forget or put off until later (which ends up being never). It makes doing a full stove clean (racks and gas heads) quicker and easier so will now form part of my regular kitchen routine.

5 MINUTES ONLY clean splatters from bathroom mirrors

A little while ago I actually started giving the the bathroom sink/bench top and mirror a quick wipe down while the kids were having a bath. Then when it comes to actually cleaning the bathroom a few tasks are already taken care of.

Well, that's another week down and I am officially half way through the challenge! I'm aiming to have the whole challenge completed by Christmas so I'd better get a move on! Bring on Day 11!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Day 9 - 20 Days to Organise & Clean your home Challenge

I am participating in the The Organised Housewife's 20 Days to Organise & Clean your home Challenge. The challenge has now finished, but it's never too late to start and complete it at your own pace like I am.

I have had a few weeks off challenges due to Master One's 1st birthday party, 3 out of the 4 of us getting really sick and then the susequent recovery/catch up period. But I'm keen to get back on track as the house has really deteriorated and I want to reclaim the clean, tidy and calm house it was becoming at the beginning on the challenge. 

So here goes! I am up to Day 9 and rather than bust my guts to complete each day's challenges in one hit, I'm just going to work through completing all of the tasks and maintaining previous focus areas before moving onto the next Day. You can find all the information you need know about Day 9's challenge tasks here.

CLEAN ceiling fans
This may sound a little crazy but I was actually looking forward to this task after cleaning the ceiling fan in our bedroom. It makes me feel a whole lot better about using them as the weather gets warmer, especially in the kid's bedrooms, knowing they are clean and not just flinging dust around the room.

DECLUTTER junk drawer
Like Katrina, I don't really have a junk drawer but my kitchen utensil drawer was a nightmare! I was barely able to close it and was forever wasting time looking for utensils. I had previously purchased some drawer organising trays from the local discount store in preparation for this task so I was all ready to go. I removed all of the utensils, cleaned the drawer, put in the trays and then only put back the utensils I use at least once a week. The remaining utensils that I use less regularly are going in the next drawer down and the rest are going to charity.
ORGANISE calendar/diary
I use a simple A5 diary showing one week across two pages which fits nicely into my handbag. I also have a calendar at home on the wall near the kitchen.
Each week I note:
- work related appointments e.g. meetings, clients
- pay sheet reminder & pay day (very important!)
- kids activities e.g. swimming, play dates, doctor's appointments
- other activities e.g. book club, dinner club, functions, babysitting
- bills due, birthday's, special dates e.g. father's day
- hubbie's work roster and when he will be away

Maintaining both a paper diary and calendar is time consuming to make sure they are both in sink and I don't forget things so I am very keen to investigate how I can do all of this electronically between my phone and computer.... a new task for my to-do list!

NEW HABIT unload the dishwasher
Oh, this just hasn't been my week! The dishwasher has finally decided to die so as much as I would have loved to only have to unload the dishwasher .... I'm now having to hand wash the dishes and then hand dry them as they never seem to fully dry just leaving them in the rack. I am having major dishwasher withdrawals and seem to be forever at the sink washing dishes! I don't have a nice "after" photo to share of that lovely clear benchtop/sink I was loving so much as I haven't seen it the dishwasher broke :(

But a suprisingly positive note has been an improvement in the condition of my hands as whenever I go to put gloves on to do the washing, I lather them in moisturiser first and the heat helps it to absorb... no more dry, cracked hands for me! Now I just need to keep the moisturising up when our new dishwasher arrives!

5 MINUTES ONLY dust around the lights in each room of the house

Done and dusted ;) but another job had been added to the to-do list and that is to clean inside the lights .... it's amazing how many bugs get stuck in light bowl ... ewwww!

Phew, another week down and I am up to Week 10 .... almost half way!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

My first blogging award - the Liebster Award!

I was so excited that the lovely Allison from UtterleyOrganised: Business + Lifestyle + Events chose to nominate my pre-blog Facebook page for a Liebster Award way back on the 8th August 2012. Life has been a bit hectic since then so I’m just getting around to “paying it forward” now...  oh well, better late than never!

So what is a Liebster Award? The award is given to support and recognise up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers (on their blog) or likers (on their Facebook page). The word “Liebster” apparently has German origins and is reported to mean sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. By following some basic rules (answer 11 questions set by your nominee, write 11 questions of your own and pass the award onto 11 other bloggers to answer) it enables readers to get to know new bloggers and connect with a wider audience.

Allison’s questions for me were:
1. What is your all time favourite movie?

This was a really hard first question for me as I’m not really a huge movie buff. But I do recall absolutely loving The Man From Snowy River growing up and wanted to learn the piano just so I could play the theme song.

2. Did you finish High School?

I completed High School and had no idea what I wanted to do so I enrolled in a Bachelor of Health Science degree but deferred for a year first. I was only 17 and felt I needed a year to get my driver’s licence, get some money behind me and grow up a bit before moving out of home. During my first year at Uni I completed work experience in different allied health fields and decided to transfer across to the Bachelor of Speech Pathology degree which I completed 4 years later.

3. What was your first job?

My first job was as a babysitter and I started this when I was about 14 years old. My mum would drop me off and the people I was babysitting for would drive me home. I sometimes would babysit for up to 6 hours and be excited to come home with a $20 note!!! How things have changed!

4. Are you a bit of a hoarder, or do you like to get rid of everything?

Ha ha ha! Hoarder is such a nasty word, isn’t it? Ok, so I may have too much stuff but since having two children and accumulating twice as much stuff as before I am now on a de-cluttering mission to simplify our home and get organised! I am 9 days into The Organised Housewife’s 20 days to organise and clean your home challenge and I’m loving the results so far. It is certainly a work in progress but I’m getting lots of inspiration and motivation from organising blogs to keep me on track.

5. How many children do you have?

We have two delightful boys – Master two-and-a-half and Master one. They look like twins born 18 months apart but have totally different personalities. Master two-and-a-half is a real thinker just like his Daddy while Master one is a little social butterfly just like me!

6. Do you have a hobby that you pursue?

I love walking, cooking and travelling but since having kids the hobby at the top of my list would have to be reading. It is both something I enjoy for learning and relaxation but I also use it as a sneaky procrastination tool! I love reading books, magazines, blogs, anything! Blogging is a new hobby which satisfies both the reader and writer in me. I’m really enjoying documenting our parenting journey and sharing it with new people but am struggling to find the time to blog on a regular basis.

7. How old were you when you got your first mobile phone?

I was 18 years old and my brother had to go guarantor for me as at that stage I didn’t even have a credit card. It was an NEC Fido and I thought I’d finally grown up when I got one!

8. How often do you see your friends?

We are lucky enough to have quite a few different friendship groups where we live. On average we see our friends 1-3 times a week and that includes play dates with mother’s group/friends, lunch/dinner with friends who also have kids and our weekly Dinner Club where we are the only couple with children.

9. What 3 words would you use to describe you?

(I cheated and asked my hubbie this one) Loving, conscientious, mummy

10. Coke or Pepsi?

I used to drink Diet Coke and Coke Zero but reduced my caffeine intake to one coffee a day while trying to fall pregnant and have since lost the taste for fizzy drinks! I’m now mostly a coffee girl.

11. What is your favourite piece of clothing you own?

I am a fashion tragic! My favourite piece of clothing would have to be the Intimo LBD Skirt. Prior to having my babies I used to wear it as a dress, but during my pregnancies and ever since it has dropped to a super comfortable (and tummy flattering) ¾ length skirt!

My nominees (in no particular order):

Questions for my nominees:

1.      How long have you been blogging/had a Facebook page for?

2.      Why did you start blogging?

3.      What should you be doing right now, instead of blogging?

4.      Name 3 items you could grab from where you are sitting

5.      Are you a morning or evening person?

6.      What book are you currently reading?

7.      Where were you born?

8.      How many times in your life have you moved and where to?

9.      Are you a coffee or tea drinker?

10.   What is the next country on your travel wish list?

11.   Are you spontaneous or a planner?