Archive for the ‘Save Effort’ Category

Someone’s in the Kitchen

January 16, 2012

Someone’s in the kitchen whipping up a delicious storm… and it isn’t me.

I want to introduce you to a fabulous service, launched by a clever and talented woman.  Vivenda is the brainchild of Sarah Webb, and is the answer to many a prayer.

The hardest work you will do is select from an extensive menu and provide a kitchen for Sarah to work in.  The rest is up to her.

So if meal planning and preparation is just too much, or you want to impress without the stress, this is something for you.

How to Avoid Organising Mistake #5

January 5, 2012

#5 in the list of 7 Common Mistakes of DIY Organising Projects

Let the unwanted stuff hang around

is so easy to rectify.  But first the reasons why you should avoid this mistake at all costs.

You’ve done the hard work sorting your stuff and deciding to get rid of some of it.  Some of those decisions may have been particularly hard.  Your main aim was probably to make some more room at your place.  If you let the unwanted stuff hang around, waiting for

  1. time to take action on the next step – removal
  2. another decision – where or who this stuff is going to
  3. another step – garage sale or eBay

you run the risk of

  1. getting used to the pile of unactioned, undecided stuff
  2. second-guessing your hard-earned decisions
  3. having the piles of stuff to go and stuff to stay getting mixed together
  4. feeling hopeless because all your hard work has not produced the clear space you were hoping for
  5. having to sort it all over again

So, like I said, this mistake is rather easy to avoid.  Just take action immediately.

  • If you’re going to have a garage sale, set a date in the near future and go for it.
  • If you’re going to sell on eBay, either get online and do it, or pay someone to do that for you.
  • If you’re donating it, make a call and get it carted away, or put it in the car and deliver it the very next time you make a trip.
  • If you’re tossing it, toss it.

And make a date – with yourself, someone close or a whole bunch of people – to enjoy the space you’ve created.

How to Avoid Organising Mistake #3

January 3, 2012

We’ve talked about how to avoid organising mistakes #1 and #2.  Next on the list of 7 Common Mistakes of DIY Organising Projects is

Have unclear goals for the space or project

What’s so wrong about having no goals?  Can’t you just launch yourself into sorting and tossing and boxing up?

Well, no.  It’s like heading off on a fabulous holiday without first checking the destination.  Would you start packing without knowing the climate there?  What if you packed all sundresses and sandals when in fact you were headed to the snow?  Would you head off in the car without checking the map first?  Without knowing the final destination, you could head off in the wrong direction and be lost for hours or even days.

When organising, it’s easy to start on the wrong foot, and end up spending hours on a task that could have been eliminated entirely.  Or you could completely miss an important step all together.

Instead of wasting time and effort “getting lost”, take a short time up front to decide on your vision for the space or project.  How will it look and feel?  What will success look like?

Ready Set Christmas – Last Minute Shopping

December 22, 2011

Only a few more days.  Forgotten anything?  Are you sure?

That extra person who got invited to Christmas dinner at the last minute.

The sunscreen so you can take the feast outdoors.

The brandy for the pudding flambe.

The pudding!

It’s likely at some point between now and Christmas morning you will feel the urge to dash out for “one last thing”.  Do yourself a favour, as Molly Meldrum would say (and get well Molly!), and leave the car at home.  Do all you can to fulfill those last minute shopping trips without facing the dreaded carpark battle.

  • Call someone else to pick it up on their way home
  • Walk to the shops
  • Ride your bike
  • Wrap something from the pantry or gift hoard
  • Make something at home
  • Leave it and apologise for the missing ingredient

or not 😉

Ready Set Christmas – Hiding Gifts

December 21, 2011

Do you struggle to find suitable places around the house to hide gifts until Christmas time?  Here are some clues –

  • at the store for as long as possible (e.g. on layby)
  • at someone else’s house – a neighbour or family member
  • somewhere in plain sight.  If there’s chance on earth your children will volunteer to cook or put dishes away, you can easily hide gifts in the pots and pans cupboard.
  • wrap them right away and pop them under the tree

Have you ever been so organised you bought gifts nice and early and then hid them away, only to forget where they were hidden?  Keep a master list, coded if necessary!

or not 😉


Ready Set Christmas – Say Yes Please

December 16, 2011

Are you hosting any meals or parties over the festive season?  Ever heard the phrase, “How can I help?”  And have you ever turned down the offer of help?

Are you crazy???

No seriously, I know it sometimes seems the polite option, or perhaps you’d rather have complete control.

Today I challenge you, when asked if you need help, to say “Yes please”.

And more than that, have a list of things you need doing or foods you’d like brought.

And if people don’t ask, go ahead and ask them!

or not 😉

Ready Set Christmas – Postage

December 13, 2011

If you’ve decided to send cards this year, at least you can rely on reduced rates if you keep your mail simple.

Did you know you can even buy postage stamps online?  Click here to order stamps.

And if you need to calculate postage on something a little bulkier, you can do that online as well, instead of standing in the never-ending post office queue.  Click here for a postage calculator.

or not 😉

Ready Set Christmas – Greetings

December 12, 2011

Are you one of those people who uses Christmas as an opportunity to tell those you care about that they are thought of?

Or are you one of those people who feel obliged to exchange Christmas cards because that’s what you’ve always done and that’s just the way it is… and you secretly wish you didn’t have to, since there are so many things to do and you just don’t have time and besides it costs a heap of money on stamps and cards that get thrown out in January anyway?  (phew!)

Or are you one of those people who has declared to friends that you don’t do cards and would much rather greet them in person or via phone?

No matter which person you are right now, which one would you like to be???  Whatever you decide to do about Christmas cards will be the right decision.

Make it easy on yourself by

  1. decluttering your Christmas card list and only send to those you  have or want to have a real connection with
  2. keeping it simple – no need to give cards to people you’ll greet in person.  A hug and a smile say so much more
  3. sending virtual cards or using an online service to create real cards

or not 😉

Ready Set Christmas – Baking

December 8, 2011

When I was small my mother worked very hard at Christmas.  She wanted to make it “perfect”.  “Perfect” included homemade biscuits in many varieties.

Achieving that perfection nearly drove my mother mad every Christmas, and has left me with some unhappy memories.  She would get so stressed about making biscuits, as well as doing the many other things that made Christmas “perfect” and of course her full time job, that she would often lose her temper and we’d all be miserable with perfect biscuits instead of happy with imperfect or non-existent biscuits.

Can you relate to the story?  I certainly can.  When I was a young mother, I also stressed and lost my cool over insignificant things like Christmas biscuits.

Ok, so here’s my advice based on past experience.  I see a few options.

  1. Let it go.  Forget about biscuits being perfect or having them at all.
  2. If you choose to go ahead, schedule time for baking, and allow plenty of it.  Prepare a list of ingredients and get them well ahead of time.
  3. Buy biscuits or other Christmas treats from your local bakery, market or supermarket.

or not 😉

Ready Set Christmas – Not Gifting

December 3, 2011

For various reasons, you may choose (or wish you could) not to give gifts this festive season.  Or just reduce the number of gifts you’ll give.

Whether it’s to ease the budget, your stress, others’ expectations, landfill or any other reason, NOT gifting is an option.  But how do you break the news?

Feel free to borrow this line from me –

In lieu of gifts, I’ll be exchanging hugs this year.

or not.  By the way, would love to hear how gifting (or not) it works for you.