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10 Tips For Coping During Lockdown

I use these 10 tips for coping during lockdown every single day. They work and help me keep on track of what is a crazy time at the moment.

Make friends with your slow cooker

I’m a bit of a slow cooker connoisseur. I prep my veggies, and get them all cut up and meat ready the night before. Then, in the morning all I need to do is pop them in the slow cooker. After a challenging day of home schooling and wrangling kids and trying to juggle work (and stay sane) I don’t have to think about dinner as it’s done.

 

10 Tips For Coping During Lockdown. Image Ref: ablissfulnest.com

10 Tips For Coping During Lockdown – Image Ref: ablissfulnest.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Batch cooking

If you’re making Spaghetti Bolognese, make a double quantity and freeze the other batch. This week we are having Pumpkin Ravioli, Spaghetti Bolognese and Shepard’s Pie, all out of the freezer. Then all you need to do is cook some veggies or makem a quick salad and dinner is done.

 

10 minutes a day keeps the pile away

Ironing is probably the last thing on your mind at the moment but if you do 10 minutes a day it will keep it in check.

 

I miss my cleaner

Obviously, my cleaner cannot come at the moment and the last thing I have time to do is clean. So, I just do 5 minutes here and there. As soon as I have showered, I wipe out the shower. It’s amazing the difference this makes and your shower won’t need a proper clean for weeks. A quick wipe over the bathroom mirror and vanity after the kids have cleaned their teeth means another job done. Five minutes here and there makes a big difference. Although one of the benefits of lockdown is that no one will be coming to visit you anyway, so maybe cleaning doesn’t need to be high on your list either!!!

Take 10 minutes for yourself

Before the craziness of the day starts I make a cup of tea and go and sit quietly (away from the kids) and take the time to drink it in peace (and whilst it’s hot). Its amazing how you feel if you can just get 10 minutes here and there to yourself.

10 Tips For Coping During Lockdown

10 Tips For Coping During Lockdown – Image Ref: followtheyellowbrickhome.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book that appointment

We won’t be in lockdown for ever (even though it does feel like that some days). So, book that facial or massage now so that when lockdown is finished you have already secured your spot.

 

Plan out your week

Map out those important meeting that you cannot miss and plan your day around them. Let the family know too. If you need to get the kids set up with Google Meets first thing in the morning, then schedule any “must do” meetings in the afternoon.

 

Recharge at night

Be sure to recharge all your device e.g., iPads at night ready for the next day of learning.

 

Bribe your kids

Normally not one that I would suggest but do whatever it takes to get it all done. If you have little kids perhaps start a reward chart for them. They get stickers (and eventually a reward) for doing good things like not coming into the office when you’re on a Zoom meeting, or completing their school work for the day.

 

The last of my 10 Tips For Coping During Lockdown – Up your vitamins and greens

Let’s be honest, we are all probably burning the candle at both ends. So now is the time to up your dose of Vitamins so you can cope. I know I finished work at 11pm last night so I definitely need some extra energy today.

Good luck with lockdown 5.0. Hopefully it won’t be long and we will be back out again.

Want more tips on coping during lockdown? Then check out our blog on: Master Working From Home.  

Whilst we cannot go and do any home organising we are still helping our clients virtually. So if you need some help, we are only a phone call away.

Organising Your Paperwork for Tax Time

Organising your paperwork for tax time can be a time-consuming and stressful at the best of times. But it’s a hundred times worse when your tax documents and receipts are scattered all over the place and in no logical order. So we have put together some tax time tips to help get you organised.

If you are still using the old shoe box storage system or if you have got receipts shoved in your wallet or worse still you have got no idea where they are, then it’s time to review your home office filing system.

Having a well-organised tax record filing system is the key to making the process a whole lot simpler, quicker and hassle-free.
Here’s our 8 tips to help get you organised.

Home Office

Organising Your Paperwork for Tax Time. Image reference: www.kateknowleshome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Set up a filing system

Systems don’t need to be expensive or complicated. A 2-ring binder folder, simple colour-coded manila folders or a concertina file will work if you don’t have a filing cabinet.

 

2. Understand what you can claim

It’s a good idea to talk to a tax professional and get an idea of what expenses you can claim. This is especially important now if you’re working arrangements have changed (and let’s be honest, nearly all of us have had changed working arrangements in the last 12 months).
Have you purchased equipment so you can work from home – a laptop, desk items, stationery etc.? Find out what you can claim and ensure you have the receipts to prove it.
For more detailed information on what you may be able to claim, check with the ATO.

 

3. Organising for Tax Time – Decide on your categories

Possible income and expense categories might include:
Income

  • PAYG Payment Summaries from your employers
  • Interest earned on all bank accounts
  • Dividends received on any shares you own
  • Distributions paid from Trusts or Partnerships
  • Rental income on your rental properties

Expenses

  • Working from home expenses.
  • Work car related expenses
  • Work travel related expenses
  • Other work related expenses, such as printing, subscriptions, stationery. Do note that they must relate specifically to your employment.
  • Donations
  • Education/professional development expenses
  • Cost of managing your tax affairs, ie your accountant’s fee for preparing your tax return

 

4. Collect all the paperwork scattered around the house

You know the ones that have been put in your car, shoved in your wallet, your jacket pocket, in your bedside table or some other random spot.

 

5. Just do it – Once

Papers don’t file themselves. Set time aside to do this. The best option is to file an item away as soon as you receive it. If you cannot do that, set aside a few minutes each week or month to do this. Perhaps make the last day of each month the day when you will do this. Then, you will avoid a big pile of paperwork and emails to file at the end of tax time.

 

6. Go Digital – Tax Time Tip

Don’t want papers and files sitting around. Then perhaps its time to go digital. Create folders on your computer and in your inbox so you can file electronic receipts, invoices, bank statements and other digital tax-related documents in the appropriate folders as soon as you receive them.
There are some great apps and online programs like Xero or Myob if you need something more specialised.

Home office

Organising Your Paperwork for Tax Time: image source: homebunch.com

 

7. The problem with paper

Apart from the clutter that it causes, the other issues with paper records is that once they’re gone, they’re gone. Paper receipts fade and accidents happen. The best way to store receipts these days is electronically. Take a photo and keep it on your phone or laptop or get an app to keep all your receipts in the cloud. Just make sure you set up an online filing and file it logically, so you can find it.

 

8. Book that appointment

Now that your organising for Tax Time is done and all your paperwork is organised logically in one spot, it won’t take long to pull it all together. So book that appointment with your accountant and get your tax done. And hopefully, now that you have all your receipts together, you might get a nice refund too.

 

Running A Business From Home

Running a business from home and need some extra support, setting up XERO or Myob, imputing data or lodging your BAS statements. We work with a great company who can manage all your accounting requirements. Just contact us for more information about them.

Need some help organising your paperwork for tax time? Then contact us. We love organising paperwork and home offices.

Master Working From Home

Master working from home with these tips.

 

Home office

Home office

Declutter your Space

There is nothing more distracting than having a heap of stuff laying around. Whether that’s in the spare room, on the kitchen table or on your desk. A cluttered space creates a cluttered mind. So now is the time to clear out the stuff you haven’t used for a while.

 

 

 

 

 

Home Office Ideas

Home Office Ideas

No PJ’s

No, its not okay to crawl out of bed and still in your PJs start work. Get dressed, get organised, do your hair (and makeup if you normally wear it), ready for your day “in the office”.

 

Home Office Ideas

Home Office Ideas

 

 

 

 

 

 

Set Some Boundaries

This is super important especially if other family members are also at home. Set boundaries with anyone else who shares the home, so they respect your work time.  So that might mean if you are working in a spare room, when the door is closed, that indicates you are at work and you should not be interrupted. Or, if you are working at the kitchen table, family members understand that they should not be interrupting you. Easier said than done if you have kids at home too, so you just need to start the conversation.

Image credit: Williams Cabinets

 

Working From Home

Working From Home

Check your Internet Package

You cannot function without it. You may need to upgrade your plan to ensure you have enough data, especially if other family members are also online.

Image credit: Hayfair.com

 

Organised home office

Organised home office

 

 

Business as Usual

Keep the same schedule you had at the office. So that means getting up at the same time and starting the working day with the same tasks you would have done at the office.

 

 

 

Small home office idea

Small home office idea

Stay Connected

For some, working from home is great. No distractions, no annoying co-workers and office gossip. But after a while you may start to feel a bit isolated. So, to help stay connected, make calls on FaceTime, Skype or Zoom instead.  That’s another good reason to make sure you are dressed, hair and makeup done!

Image credit: The DIY PlayBook

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Office Decor

Home Office Decor

Take a Break

Just like if you were in the office, schedule breaks throughout the day, especially if you are sitting in front of a screen. However, be careful not to get caught up doing “household chores”. All of a sudden that load of washing that you went to put on gets you side-tracked from your actual work and you have lost half an hour.

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy your new work space!

The Lifestylers Group provide decluttering and home organising assistance. We also offer virtual PA services to help people get organised and stay organised.

Clearing out and decluttering an estate

Clearing out and decluttering an estate can be a costly exercise especially if the process is not well organised and planned out in advance.

Here’s 8 of our key tips to help you manage clearing out and decluttering an estate in a cost effective way.

Locate the key financial documents first

Estate Clearing

Estate Clearing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The aim is to make your solicitor’s job easier and ensure you don’t have to replace missing documents.  You may need to find the latest Will, recent bank statements, life insurance policy, Certificate of Title//property deeds, share certificates, tax returns  etc.– all the documents that a solicitor will need to complete the estate administration.

Keep in mind that it’s expensive to replace documents. Currently the fee for replacing a lost Certificate of Title is $189.10, plus an “indemnity contribution” (similar to insurance). This is based on the value of the land and the circumstances under which the paper Certificate of Title was lost or destroyed. Costs could range from $100 to $600, so it’s worth finding these documents as soon as possible, before the declutter and cull starts. Plus, there could be additional legal costs associated with the replacement process.

Keep an eye out for hidden cash

Money hidden inside old shoe boxes or jars still exists. I cannot begin to tell you how much cash we have found when clearing out estates over the years. Be meticulous. Check every pile of paper and inside jacket pockets and boxes.

I often find that the older the client the more money is found. We once found over $5765 in “hidden” cash which had been stored in various/random places throughout the house. Without attention to detail it could have easily been thrown out, but instead it remained with the estate.So when clearing out and decluttering an estate be on the look out.

Organise valuations

Clearing out and decluttering an estate

Clearing out and decluttering an estate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To the untrained eye it’s often hard to determine if a piece of art work is an original or not. You may find yourself asking: is Mums old crystal worth something or not. Organise to have furniture, jewellery, crockery and artworks valued by an expert. Or utilise our estate clearing services and we can help manage the process for you.

Start the cull/declutter process early

Depending on the size of the estate it can easily take a number of days/weeks to declutter and clear.  So start the process early. If you need some tips on decluttering, this blog  might help.

Find cost effective ways to dispose of goods when clearing out an estate

Rubbish removal is one of the biggest expenses in clearing out an estate. Properly managed though, this fee can be reduced down substantially.

We use a 4 step process to rubbish removal, with each step designed to reduce down the actual amount of goods that ultimately need to go into paid rubbish removal. So my big tip here is to think about the process of disposing of goods well in advance. Plus, try and make use of your free council rubbish pick up, if available.

Look at what items can be sold

You can use Gumtree or eBay to sell goods that you don’t want to keep or distribute to family members.  However, just be realistic about the resale value. It does take time to take the photos, measure up items, write the description and list them along with more time manage all the enquires that you will receive.

Do a project plan

Clearing out and decluttering an estate is a big job. However, if you map out a project plan, listing key dates and tasks to be completed, along with a budget, it helps to manage the process. So set some time aside at the beginning of the clear out.

Get professional help

Decluttering an estate is an emotionally draining process, especially if family members are involved, because of the emotional attachment to items. Plus, people often don’t know where to start because they are just so overwhelmed by the sheer size of the job.

Plus, with family and work commitments, often the family doesn’t have a spare four weeks to spend decluttering and clearing an estate. Or there may not be any family at all to assist with this process. This is where a professional organiser who specialises in estate clearing can be a good strategy, both in terms of emotional support and practical experience.

If you would like to discuss how we can help with your estate clearance, please contact Natalie Morey on Ph: 9421 1070 or 0419 754 784.

 

 

6 tips to ensure a stress free relocation to Melbourne

There is no doubt about it, that relocating is stressful. However, when you are relocating from interstate or overseas then it becomes even more stressful. So with a little bit of planning you can make your relocation a little less stressful.

These 6 tips to ensure a stress free relocation to Melbourne cover the key aspects that you will need to consider with any move. I think the biggest tip I can give you is to start planning your relocation well in advance.

Do a moving checklist

Start a moving checklist early, writing down all the tasks that you will need to do. You will be surprised by the sheer amount of tasks that need to be done. When I am managing a client’s relocation, the first thing I do is start a moving checklist. It helps me plan the move, and ensures I allow myself enough time to organise all the services and book suppliers that I need for their move. Plus, it does not feel as overwhelming once everything is written down and you assign a date as to when the tasks need to be completed by.

Select the best removalist to help you relocate

Good removalists book out early, so book yours well in advance. Keep in mind that they always booked out early around Christmas time and public holidays too. Having helped people to relocate since 2005 we have got to know which removalists are good and which ones you would want to keep away from. So don’t be in the situation where you forget to book your removalist and then you find yourself trying to find one at the last minute. Luckily, we have got to know who is good and we often get preferred treatment from our removalists now because we have worked with them for a number of years. If you are looking for a removalist, for a big move it might be worth visiting: https://www.afra.com.au/find-a-removalist/  The Australian Furniture Removers Association is the official body of removals experts that helps regulate the removals industry and they have a list of members you can choose from.

I also do some research and check out the companies online reviews. I check to see how many reviews they have, and how recent they are. This often gives you a good guide as to their customer service levels. My only other tip is to be extremely careful about using “backloading  removalists”.  These companies are removalists that travel from state to state, doing “Backloading trips”. We have a really good backloader that we work with, however there is some shonky operators out there. You may have even seen some of them featured of the TV program, A Current Affair. So my big tip is to do your research and keep in mind that the cheapest removalist is often not the best removalists.

Picking the best time to relocate to Melbourne

For some reason, everyone wants to move in December (to be in just before Christmas) or in January just before school starts. However, the good removalists book out well in advance and there is so much more competition for rental properties around that time of the year.

The best time to relocate is in winter because it’s not as popular. There are more rental properties available to choose from and this really takes the pressure off you. There’s nothing worse than having to sign up for a 12 month lease, knowing that you don’t love your new home. So planning to move house in winter has lots of benefits for you.

6 tips on a stress free Relocation to Melbourne

6 tips on a stress free Relocation to Melbourne

Tips on finding the right rental property

It can be tricky when you are moving from interstate or overseas and don’t know the area that you are moving to. This is when it might be a great time to invest in the services of a relocation agent. An expert that knows the local area, understands how the rental market works and has got contacts with local realestate agents. With your rental brief taken, they will do all the research, speak with agents and shortlist properties for you to inspect. If you are interested in finding out more about how a relocation agent can help you find a rental property, then click here.

If you are not going to use the services of a relocation agent, then you will need to do your own research. Start by searching for local blogs that give you an overview on various areas. Local realestate websites such as www.realestate.com.au, www.domain.com.au and www.realestateview.com.au also have a wealth of information on suburbs. It might also be good to check with your new colleagues to find out where they are living.  Getting the inside knowledge on suburbs from locals is invaluable when you are relocating.

Overwhelmed? Then book some relocation assistance

Imagine this. Your relocation is all organised for you. A reliable removalist booked. A team of lovely ladies will arrive the day before uplift and pack and label all your boxes ready for the removalist. Your vacate clean is booked for the day after you move out and any leftover rubbish will be removed. Then, the same team of experienced ladies will unpack and set up your new home, ready for you to just walk in. If you like the idea of relocating this way, then contact The Lifestylers Group, and we can manage your entire move for you.

Allow enough time to settle into Melbourne

It takes time to settle into any new area and to make new friends. So don’t be too hard on yourself. So allow time for this. Commit to regularly getting out and exploring your new suburb. Write a to do list of all the things you would like to do or visit in your new town and make the most of your weekends. Take the opportunity to join a new sporting group (why not book those golf lessons that you have always been waiting to do).  Or perhaps instead of eating lunch at your desk, ask one of your new colleagues out for lunch each week.