Saturday, November 22, 2014

Guest Feature with Gemma - Floors and Dusting


This week we are talking 'Floors and Dusting'.  As I've mentioned in most of the other posts, I  'do a little bit all the time' and it never gets out of control or in need of a big , time consuming , clean.

DUSTING::

You can seriously dust your whole house in the same amount of time it takes to boil the kettle and drink a cup of tea. 

Econimising is all well and good but one thing you should never skimp on is Viva (Paper Towel) . I can dust my whole house with just 4 squares , as you can rinse and re use. Once I used an entire roll of paper towel to dust a friends house , and hated every minute. 



I went through the Enjo mitt stage but am back to the old faithful - the damp Viva. 
So I do a whole house dust once a week. Every surface is dusted - cabinets, cupboards, drawer tops, shelving and all the items on them.  If you do them weekly, its such light work. 
I actually do my lounge and kitchen area daily, one square of damp Viva and I'm done! 

Dust is so annoying, it reappears within a day and you wonder why you bother - but it doesn't belong there, so sacrifice one coffee break a week, you'll love it!!


CLEANING UNDER FURNITURE::

Aside from our Theatre room lounge, every other piece of furniture in our house can be vacuumed under. Every bed, couch, armchair, set of drawers etc . That's the way I like it , no dust can hide under anything. 

I love this lounge set up, but I hate that I can't vacuum underneath them daily. So every Monday I move them - its amazing what dust etc. builds up under neath them in 7 days.

Go on, move your low lying furniture and see what treats are underneath - once a week , move and vac and you are winning!!



FLOORS::

I am painful when it comes to floors. I can't stand the sight of any crumb or hair - it certainly is a curse (have you realised I am OCD yet?!)
I simply couldn't survive without my Electrolux 24V Cordless. I use my Dyson vacuum 4 days a week and do the entire house - under every bed and couch and into every corner. On the other 3 days I whiz around with this (almost always with my baby asleep in the Ergo).
I use it throughout the day just to spot clean as well. With food mess ( bigger than crumbs) I use damp paper towel This Electrolux allows me to have clean floors 24/7 - without ever having to sweep. If it was possible, I would marry it!!


I'm a mean Mum don't let my kids eat/drink walking around, they either have to sit at the table or go outside. I am a real 'spot cleaner' with my floor , every spill or drip is wiped up with paper towel. Its because of this that I can get away with only mopping once a fortnight!! That might freak some of you out - but my floors are always spotless.

I use an Enjo mop with no added products. I totally realise there are more important things in life than clean floors, surfaces and bathrooms. BUT ... there are also more important things than TV shows, football games, baking cakes, putting on makeup and shopping (actually there's not a great deal in life that's more important than shopping) . Each to their own I say!

Before there are questions (just email Liz if you have any, or comment on the post) we have Metallic cushioned vinyl (it was by FORBO) and LOVE it!!  But streaking with the mop isn't a problem, I just run the fibre under the tap, roll it up to ring it out and mop away. If it gets too dry , I just use a spray bottle. Similar mops are available from Norwex , but this is Enjo.



My window squeegee , mop fibres , mitts etc are all housed on this wall hook in our laundry for easy access.  And the Electrolux charges below. 




Inside the cupboard isn't pretty but its practical. Storage of our mop, broom and Dyson Vacuum (plus the heater and Christmas/Easter tree) 


Not the most of fun of topics but practical and a necessity none the less!! 
Thanks for having me again 
Happy Cleaning

Gem x



Thursday, November 20, 2014

Organising on A Budget - the Second Drawer




These Organising on a Budget posts were supposed to be coming weekly, unfortunately that idea has gone by the wayside, life is busy. What can I say? 
But .... I do still have a list a mile long of little organising jobs and problem areas around the home that need some attention! 
(Please forgive my gorgeous crappy photos, my beloved DSLR is having issues and has been sent away for repairs. I feel like my arm has been cut off!)

Insert problem area- The second drawer. We all have them . The utensil drawer, the place where all the commonly used items get chucked in a haste while putting dishes away , or rifling through while in search of the perfect tool.

Ours was annoying the beejeebies out of me!! It was getting hard to push the drawer shut!! And we have old school drawers (with gorgeous salmon pink fronts ) that are more than a little bit worse for wear, and no runners to help with the problem.

BEFORE:: 

Our Mess!!


First step? Empty everything out of the drawer. Cull and chuck whatever is old and crappy , rehome the things that really don't need to be there and give everything else a quick wash and dry. 



I didn't want to spend anything to re-organise this drawer and seeing as though we go through a lot of Strawberries and cherry tomatoes, I started to keep the plastic tubs they come in from the shop. Waste not, want not right?! 

A piece of cute wrapping paper cut to size (and secured with double sided tape) , the plastic tubs and some re-organising and the drawer is finished!! 


TOTAL COST =
FREE!! $0 ZILCH!
I already had the wrapping paper (from the bedside drawer project
and the containers are constantly going through our home and rubbish 


Great to look at and user friendly! Lets see how long this lasts! 




Friday, November 14, 2014

Guest Feature with Gemma- Toy Storage


WARNING- this post is photo heavy! Enjoy ;)

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One of the biggest questions I am asked over on my Instagram profile is  "How do you store toys and books?" So I thought it deserved a post of its own. 

BESTA STORAGE IN THE LOUNGE ROOM

These units are so darn awesome! You can join them and stack them, have a couple or a heap , no shelf or three! And everything is hidden behind lovely streamline doors. Check out the BESTA range. 

So this is our living area storage, we don't have a playroom, so this is it. Unfortunately EXPEDIT sized baskets don't fit so I use a range of toy sacks. 



In here we have a sack for - wooden blocks, cars , train tracks, hot wheels tracks, superhero toys and dress ups. 



The third from the left has masks/hats for dress ups. (Dress ups are mighty popular in our house!)




The far right top has paper and puzzles, and the bags keep everything else tidy in this area. Its amazing what these cupboards can hold!


Books- 
This is where we store all of the shared books - picture books like those by Pamela Allen and Kate Lester. Love the width of these units for stacking up the books like this, so easy to flip through. I've also used some baskets (these were from Typo a while back) for their Grug collection and for my childhood books. Ace, Evie and Lola all have their own books in their rooms. 


The IKEA STUVA bench and pull out toy box are the best! Perfect for stashing big, soft, *cough cough ugly* toys. Two together looks awesome but no space for that here (Liz has just installed a double at her house and they look mint, think she will show you soon!). The girls both have one each, perfect for popping playmobil, doll houses, little figure toys on or pillows for a reading corner.

That green cupboard on the left of the pic below, houses a few different types of tins ( I bought these from places like IKEA, T2 etc) . The little tins are awesome for keeping small collections safe. Polly pockets, Strawberry Shortcakes, LEGO figurines etc. 





This IKEA TROFAST unit is in Evie's wardrobe. A tub each for barbies, Strawberry Shortcakes , Baby Clothes/accessories and bags. And the perfect little book shelf space.


This TROFAST unit is inside Ace's wardrobe. We are lucky to have robes in every room ... and I don't hang clothes, so they're perfect for toy storage. This is Ace's loose LEGO pieces, all colour coded. 


And the last TROFAST unit is in Lola's wardrobe. A tub for instruments, books, baby clothes/accessories and puppets. The shelves at the top of the wardrobes act as storage for tubs of clothes, school books and baby items.


This vintage bookshelf is in Lola's bedroom and houses all her favourites , its cute but practical. 


Evie's room has a few smaller cupboards, her large drawers (for clothes and bedding) and a fair few vintage prams (this my be my obsession/addiction)


These cute Down to the Woods wire baskets are super handy for storing our plastic, wood and schilech animals.


Hattie (our youngest at 8 months) has one for her toys.


I absolutely LOVE String Shelves for the display of special stuff . I bought mine from HERE. They are an artwork in themselves but look super cute when combined with collectables and 'precious' items.


This is Ace's room ( he is our eldest and is 6 and a half and a typical boy!) 
He is really into superheros, LEGO , Playmobil and all that usual boy type stuff. 


These printers trays are great for displaying and storing smaller collectables and figurines and they look pretty cool too! I picked mine up from a second hand store and there are plenty floating around. Otherwise try Ebay.


Ace also has this Industrial metal cabinet in his room. Its great for storing all the Playmobil and LEGO items and keeping them safe from his little sisters while he is at school. I bought it from my local hardware store, so try and think outside the box when it comes to storage and the places you look for it!


As you can see, it doesn't always work but it generally keeps Lola at bay! 


And lastly, all the kids craft/paints/pencil items are stored in a IKEA PS unit in the dining area. Its convenient as they sit at the table to create and make mess, and its lockable! 


Seeing as though we don't have a designated 'Toy Area' or room, our toys are scattered through the house but they are still kept neat and tidy . By using baskets, bags and tins it keeps different collections safe and organised. 

The key to organisation and cleanliness for kids toys or anything in general really? 
Everything to have a place and a place for everything! 

Any suggestions on what to post about next? Hit me!!











Friday, November 7, 2014

Guest Feature with Gemma - The Pantry and Fridge


Another Friday means another Gemma Does Housework post! 
If you guys have any requests or suggests, feel free to flick me an email or Message on my Facebook Page, but for now , I'll leave it to Gemma 

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Alrighty, lets do the Pantry and Fridge. Not really my favourite part and not really my forte but its organised, and I feed our family healthy, nutritious meals so I think I am doing ok!

PANTRY

She's not overly glamorous but she is organised to the max! Two words - IKEA and Tupperware. I love the Tupperware Modular Mates. I just wish I had ordered the white lids all those years ago. I've considered replacing them - but that would be a crazy waste of money. 

Jars/ tins organised and lined up and larger items in boxes. Perfect
The Ikea PLUGGIS tubs are great for condiments and unopened bottles/jars.
Along the very bottom shelves (which you can't see) I have the PLUGGIS tubs lined up with stubby holders, torches etc)
The Ikea TROFAST tubs for extra storage up the top.

I use baby wipes to wipe the shelves every now and then - the usual spot cleaning deal . The worst part about my pantry? Filling it!



The Ikea VARIERA shelf inserts are great for small spaces. Practically doubles your storage. They are great for tins, cans etc.



So the Modular Mates for just about everything - baking goods, spices , pasta, nuts, snacks , cereals, biscuits etc. Don't ask me to live without my Pantry mates, couldn't do it!

Everything gets opened and put into containers. Easier, neater , and stays fresher. 




These Trofast tubs are on the floor of my pantry , and they hold plastic plates and utensils, napkins and party supplies. I also have them up the top and they are for things like Fly spray etc and other stuff I need to stash.



FRIDGE

My fridge is typically bare. I drop in at the shop most days, yes I should do one big shop , but dropping in seems to work for us. 
Its simple really, everything has a spot and whenever I unpack shopping , I wipe down the area with a damp Viva (paper towel) or a baby wipe, whichever I grab first. Again , spot clean as you go, easier!

All of the condiments are in the red PLUGGIS tub, all of the pickled veg (olives, gherkins etc) are on the bottom door shelf (which you can't see) and the next shelf is for salad dressings. The door shelves are for small jars. 
I use the Tupperware fridge mates for carrots, lettuce etc and the rest are in the first big drawer. Fruit is in the second drawer. Cheeses and meats are in the pull out tray.

I keep two sets of cups in the fridge so the kids can get their own drinks using the ice/water dispenser, luckily our Lola (nearly 3) can't reach yet! Phew!


If you read the labels, most condiments need to be refrigerated after opening - these PLUGGIS tubs are perfect for stashing and storing. My pantry and fridge would be a wreck without them.


And finally, just a tip - I always de -sticker and wash my apples and pears before putting them in the fridge or fruit bowl.  Saves me time when dishing them out , or the kids sticking them around the house!


Like Liz said, send your requests in, if I can help, I will do a post . 

See ya next week!

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If you missed them , be sure to check out Gemma's previous posts







Thursday, November 6, 2014

Outdoor Equipment Storage


The climate where we live can be pretty brutal in summer. It is over 40 degrees for about 7 months of the year, so when the cooler weather comes, we make the most of being outside.

In our rental, our backyard was feeling like we lived in the middle of a red desert. Hang on, we DO live in the middle of a red desert! Everything is stained by the red dirt, has those lovely cyclone shutters on every door and window (that all serve a very important purpose) and balls and outside toys tossed everywhere. It all looked pretty dismal. 

Something needed to be done! Something organised and something pretty. 
After seeing THIS fantastic project from Jen at I Heart Organizing, I was inspired! So I set to work creating an Outside Storage area for the kids toys and sports equipment/balls. 

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Firstly I worked out what we wanted to store and organise, what size tubs we would need to do it. I also searched high and low for a large racking style system for all the tubs to sit on outside. 
With limited shopping options in town, I could only find a few shelving units from Kmart for $39 each but they work well and I sourced some assorted tubs from Woolworths, Kmart and Red Dot. I decided to stick to a blue and pink colour scheme as it seemed to be the colours I could buy the tubs in at most stores.



After working out what items were going where, I organised and ordered some labels from the lovely Kate at Pretty Paper Label . The larger tubs have the labels directly applied to them, the others I made some cute tags out of card stock and then laminated them . The green gives the area a nice little punch of pattern and colour .

Now everything is all stored in one convenient spot, its kept tidy and it looks pretty  :)

As well as sporting equipment, sand and water toys and a few other play items, we also like to store commonly used items. These include bike accessories (more for my husbands bike) , pumps for balls , Suncreams and Aeroguards, hats and stubby holders (for those sunset brews).






In an effort to mix up the look a bit , as well as the laminated tags, I also needed a few tags for  the Medium sized blue tubs. They had to be water resistant and durable and still sticking to the colour scheme! Hmmmmmm the thinking cap was on!

After seeing a display book in the supermarket, I had an idea. Plastic and not too tough to cut. Perfect!
So I set to cutting out some new tags and applied the labels accordingly.
Done! (The kids have loved playing with the rest of the display book and it was only a dollar or so.



The new organised area has made such a difference to our patio , and to the kids outside play sessions. They love to get out a tub and take it to the lawn area to play and I love how everything is kept organised and tidy!  I think any way you can encourage more outside play and physical activities is a good thing and this makeover has certainly done that! 

And the test? We completed this project over a month ago now and its still working and kept tidy! Win!