world’s most organised mum (wannabe)

Newsflash! Whilst I appreciate the fabulous and highly complimentary title of World’s Most Organised Mum, recently bestowed upon me by some media outlets, my reality is more along the lines of Slightly-Frazzled-And-Trying-Really-Hard-To-Be-Organised Mum, trying to make things work for my family. Of course, that headline is not quite so catchy!

Truth be told, I am a naturally organised person, somewhere deep, deep down in my pre-mum self, but the chaos that comes with kids, in my case three of them, seems to have slowly worn down that natural ability to keep things sorted in their special places.

With Littlest starting school this year I knew things had to change. We needed systems and to return our home to one with a “place for everything”.

So as we welcomed 2016 I committed to getting my shizzle together, for the sake of our family’s collective sanity. It’s started with a mini makeover, and huge purge of “stuff” in the boys’ bedrooms, and the now “world famous” School HQ to house all school related goodies.

Now I have seen the success of such systems and we are all enjoying smoother (but not perfect!) sailing on the school run I’m determined to stay on this organisation mission. And I’m going to share each project here so you can come along for the ride.

How does that sound?

marquee light

Shared Boys’ Room Mini Makeover

 

No we have not been burgled. This is the “before” shot of the boys’ room. The aftermath of Christmas, going away on a mini break and general school holiday slack-heartedness (is that even a word)? I know it’s hard to look at, but it’s real and I’m sharing it so we can all be even more excited when I post the “after” shot in a minute.

The first step is to GET RID OF STUFF.  Sort the STUFF into three piles – Keep, Chuck and Donate.

If your kids are anything like mine, they form an immediate and unbreakable attachment to anything that looks like it is headed for the bin.  Mine have even been known to retrieve stuff from the bin and return, hugging it like a long lost friend.  Hence, I find the “chucking out” part of the clean up is best done when the kids are not home, if at all possible.  I am ruthless – if it has unfixable broken parts or missing parts that will never return, it’s gone.

Next step is to donate toys they have outgrown.  We always involve our boys in this as it gives them ownership of the process and also teaches them about community and that good ole gratitude I am always banging on about.

We sometimes choose to sell a few items if the kids are saving for something special, but most are donated on.  We especially like to help families in need who are moving into a new home for one reason or another.  That’s another story for another day.

Once all THE STUFF IS GONE it’s time to find new homes for everything that remains.

The big old chest of drawers was on it’s last legs after serving us well through pre-marriage and the first ten years of parenting.  The shiny new IKEA set (surely they will start sponsoring me soon, right?!) we purchased are perfect for this phase of life. Super dooper affordable, reasonably robust and the deep drawers run smoothly, making my most loathed task of putting washing away almost bearable.  I got a bit carried away organising inside the drawers so I will do another post on that soon.

As this was a mini makeover we opted for some cheap and cheerful linen, some new wooden bunting and a couple of new accessories to freshen things up for the new year.  Add these to the existing original artworks and pieces already in the room and we have the eclectic look we love (OK, the eclectic look I love) without breaking the budget.

Drumroll please as we unveil the boys “new” room …

JW beds after shot

Can we all take a moment to hold virtual hands and focus on the CLEAR floor and CLOSED drawers.   Ommmmmmmm ….

Back to School Organisation

Firstly, I’m sorry I’ve been absent of late however we have been planning and preparing for our “baby” to start school.  Let’s just say it took me a while to come to terms with this giant leap forward.  After cramming in as many “special days” as possible, I finally had to concede that time was marching on and our littlest guy was ready for the next phase, whether I liked it or not.

Apart from the emotional conflict , I was also concerned about how on earth I was going to keep everyone organised once we had three little students under our roof.  The school notes alone make my head spin …

They say necessity is the mother of all invention so my overwhelming need to avoid the usual morning chaos and “Shouty Mama” drove the development of our new School HQ. Ta daaaaah!

School HQ

It’s an easy IKEA hack, completed by hubby and I without any domestic disputes whatsoever! The basic unit is the Kallax, a bargain at $159 (no, this is not a sponsored post, we just love IKEA).  During construction, we (OK, hubby) left out the bottom row of shelves to allow space to hang school backpacks and store school shoes.  We have used stick on hooks to avoid damaging the unit.

School HQ bags

There is a shelf for hats and water bottles, and another to house readers, library books etc.

I’ve made a (not-so) fancy new folder for the millions of notes that come home and previously would be stuck on our already crowded fridge, left in a crumpled mass in the bottom of a school bag, or just lost.  Notes will be filed under the relevant child’s name, or general subjects such as band, sport and finances.

JW memo

Because our printer is currently on the fritz we hacked a Kikki K Kontrast Weekly planner document.  You could, of course, easily make your own personalised version which I believe would be waaaay cuter.

This planner is a prompt so the boys all know what they have on each day, giving them the independence to pack for their own requirements eg musical instrument, sports equipment etc. The littlest still needs help but takes great pride on packing his bag like his big brothers.

Just one week into the school term, we are yet to reap the rewards of our new HQ and I don’t expect it to look this pretty for too long however I do believe it is an important step in saving my sanity whilst teaching my boys to plan ahead.  Fingers crossed.

How do you and your family stay organised for school?

school shoes cropped

handy hints – artwork displays

I have had a pile of kids artworks sitting in our foyer awaiting framing and hanging forever. This week I finally acknowledged I will never find the time for that, so have resorted to this fab quick fix washi tape solution.

artworks

I’m loving it and think it suits our casual little home perfectly. What do you think?

garden project #1

This one requires some forward planning so I am posting it now in the hope you can complete it some time in spring!  I just LOVE the colours and shapes in these amazing garden sculptures made by lids of all shapes and sizes!  This is recycling at it’s best.

lids

Start saving your lids now, plan your design, glue together (using suitable glue to bond plastics and survive outdoors) then voila!

Be sure to send us a photo of your creations.

fab ideas – cupcake paper storage

I don’t know about you, but my pantry is sprinkled with random stacks of cupcake wrappers, left over from various baking crusades. We are LOVING this fab idea of storing them in a spaghetti jar – genius (and good lookin’)!

cupcake wrapper

(Image: toriejayne.blogspot.com)

win! and stop nagging today …

I don’t know about the rest of you (oh, hang on, yes I do! We are all the same boat) but I spend a large part of each and every day gently reminding my children to;

  • Flush the Toilet
  • Wipe the Seat
  • Wash Your Hands
  • Play Nice
  • Share Your Toys
  • Go Play Outside

On average, I probably say each of these phrases, oh, about 76 times a day.

So imagine my delight when I stumbled across this terribly clever artist who prints up my nagging requests and makes fabulous décor out of them.

JG Collage

Oh, just think of the time I am going to save once I have each of these little gems framed and up on the wall …

If you’d like to win one of these fab ‘By Order of Management’ prints for your place, just tell us (in 25 words or less) which little reminder you have to use the most in your house.

  • Winner will be drawn 31 July 2013 at 8pm EST
  • Each image measures: 15.2cm x  25.4 cm including white border
  • All prints from this range are signed and dated on the back (for aesthetic reasons) by the artist.
  • Frame is not included

If you simply can’t wait to get your hands on one (or more) just head on over to my little shop and pick one up.  They are just $24.95 + delivery.

JG Read a Book

cosy kiddy nooks

With the cooler weather setting in around here, I have gone in search of some inspiration for fabulous cosy nooks to create for our little ones to escape to read, chat and relax.

This make shift camp ‘ground’ would have been my ultimate escape as a kid.

image courtesy of pinterest

image courtesy of pinterest

And I always dreamt of an attic space to hide in.  This one would have been perfect! (Image courtesy of pinterest)

image courtesy of blogs.babble.com

This would no doubt become a race car in our house, but I love, love, love the idea.

If, like me, you only have a corner or small area to work with, it’s all about finding the perfect chair.  Yes, make it a statement piece, but be sure it’s comfy too!  Here are some ideas I found on pinterest;

reading chair collage

Do your kids have a reading nook, play nook or special place they escape to?

you asked for it – lego display

Our fab follower Leanne asked us for some ideas on displaying and storing Lego for her little man.  We know this is a common problem (it’s up there with how to store kids artwork!) so we did some snooping around and came up with these inspired ideas.

This one provides a constantly changing artwork for the wall.  Simply remove the glass from an existing frame (or maybe the kids have already done this accidentally for you!) and voila!  Courtesy of 2 little superheroes.

lego display frames

These plain white shelves make the perfect backdrop for all the latest Lego creations to pop, as do the glossy red shelves and black boxes below.

lego white shelves side

lego red shelves

Image courtesy of minifigfun.wordpress.com

Now, I know you will all be rolling your eyes at the thought of dusting these BUT how fabulous do they look??? Image courtesy of ohdeedoh.comlego white shelves bigAnd for storage ideas to help avoid those middle of the night foot injuries, how about this great desk design from IKEA hackers (if you love IKEA furniture be sure to check out this site for awesome ideas on modifying store bought designs);

lego table storage

If your little one is TOTALLY obsessed and the odd framed artwork or storage box just wont cut it, then this may be the answer to your prayers …

lego walls

Image courtesy of http://www.houzz.com

Pheeeew.  That should keep you going for a while, no? x

 

playroom inspiration

I’ve been scouting around pinterest for a while now seeking inspiration for our new playroom.  Yup, call us crazy but we have moved all three boys into one “sleeping room” with the goal of giving them a dedicated play space in the other bedroom.

Here are my favourite inspiring images … you can find them all, including links, on my pinterest board “stuff for kids (home)” …

1. Loving a bit of blackboard action, although will need to stock up on dustless chalk to save my own sanity!

playroom blackboards

2. Gorgeous seating options – we currently have a day bed which will also serve as a spare bed for visitors and sleepovers. More on day beds later.

playroom seating

3. Another staple piece of furniture we have is the IKEA expedit bookshelf.  They are hard to beat when it comes to affordable, stylish storage for kids stuff.

playroom 123

playroom storage

4. Our littlest guy (2) is right into trains at the moment and we love the idea of having a permanent track set up for him (or at least a dedicated table for him to create, and keep, a masterpiece design).  This one is brilliant.

playroom train storage

5. And just for fun …

playroom fun

Do you have a dedicated play space or play room?  What are your ‘must have’ tips?