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
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 – 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 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.
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:
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
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 with these tips.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Don’t make these 4 mistakes when decluttering. If you keep motivated and inspired you will achieve great results. Make sure you have a plan and keep focused on the job at hand. Their is nothing more rewarding than standing back and admiring your work, once the job is done. I often find myself going back to a cupboard that I have organised, opening the doors and having a quick peek in to see my decluttering effort.
1. You don’t think there is a problem
Time to declutter and organise your wardrobe
You have become so use to living in a mess that it has become normal. It doesn’t worry you anymore that the dining room table is full of papers and stuff. You cannot see the office floor because of all the paperwork lying around but that is fine because you have just become accustom to it. You get frustrated when you go to get dressed for work because you cannot find anything, but that’s just normal now because it happens every morning.
2. You procrastinate
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the job at hand and just not do anything because you don’t know where to start. If you are struggling then perhaps book the services of a declutter expert to help you. It’s amazing how motivated you become once you know someone is coming to your house to go through your wardrobe!!
3. You don’t have a plan
To do list
You need a vision if you are going to get anywhere. Often clients stand at the door to the room and because they don’t know where to start, they simply close the door again.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed so having a plan or a vision is essential. I always ask clients how they visualize the room once it has been decluttered. It helps them to get inspired and motivated about the declutter process plus they have a goal to work towards.
I also recommend decluttering one shelve at a time. Start small, work through that area then start on the next one. Use these 4 categories as a guide to help you group declutter and group items.
- Cull (throw)
4. You lose motivation
Declutter and get organised
It’s easy to lose motivation especially if you cannot see much of an impact in the room you have been working in.
Decluttering can be a big job especially if you have a room full of stuff. If you are decluttering an office it can be much harder than decluttering a wardrobe because you physically have to inspect each piece of paper in case it relates to tax. Where as you can make a big impact in a wardrobe in a small amount of time by simply throwing out a couple of big, bulky items. Therefore, it’s important to remind yourself that your mess that may have been building up over a number of months or years, is not going to disappear in a matter of minutes. It might take a couple of hours or even a couple of days to see a difference.
It might also be a good idea to get a declutter expert to help you. They make you accountable and they can give you work to do in-between visits. We often give our clients “homework “to do before we come back and see them again. It helps our clients stay motivated because they have a deadline to work towards.
The Lifestylers Group can work with you to declutter and organise any part of your house: the kitchen, pantry, home office, bedrooms or garage.
Being organised is the start of achieving work like balance. So too is commitment, focus and dedication in achieving work life balance. These 8 tips to create work life balance are aimed at helping you to create work life balance. It’s definitely not easy and the wheels are going to fall off every so often, and that’s fine. What’s important is that you stay committed to the goal of work life balance.
8 tips to create work life balance
- Sync your calendars. Consolidate all your personal and work commitments into the same calendar. That way you won’t forget anything and I find it makes me work more efficiently during the work day if they are all stored in the same spot.
- Block out your time. Block out “fun” time in your diary. Get tough and make this “not negotiable”. Don’t let work take over and therefor you miss out on social activities.
- Plan, plan and plan. The key to work life balance is all about planning. Sit down at the start of each month and update your calendar, making sure you have scheduled in all the tasks you need to do and some fun stuff too. Obviously this will keep evolving over the coming month and you will keep adding to it.
- Record key birthdays in your calendar. Put all the key birthdays in your outlook calendar and set them up as repeating events. That way they will show up every year. You will know when you need to be taking time off work to spend with loved ones.
- Start small. Try adding even the tiniest tasks to your daily to do list. Then, when you cross them off the list, you already feel a sense of accomplishment and gain the momentum you need to tackle the bigger more daunting tasks.
- Work out. Did you know that fitness is the driving force that keeps people energised, focused and motivated? Take the time you deserve to do a little bit of exercise every day. Even if that’s 30 minutes at once or 10 minutes at a time throughout the day. Don’t have 10 minutes. Then what about 7 minutes? Have you heard of the 7 Minute Workout? It’s a free daily fitness routine found on the App Store.
- Learn to say no. “Sometimes work-life balance means saying “no”, politely of course. When an opportunity, activity or request comes up that doesn’t fit into your schedule, or is going to put you under too much pressure, sometimes you’ve just have to say no.
- Prepare for the day ahead. Before going to bed, pack up anything you need for the next morning including clothes and a health lunch. Being prepared will help you get out the door quickly. Plus, you can relax going to bed knowing that you are all organised for the day ahead.
If you are struggling to achieve work life balance in your life, then perhaps you need some expert help. The Lifestylers Group is a personal concierge service that can do many of your daily tasks. Our goal is for you to have more free time to do the things you want to do, not have to do!
Whether you call it a professional organiser, clutter buster or home organiser, the names all mean the same thing. A home organiser is a person who helps to organise your home.
The job of a home organiser
You don’t just need to be super organised to be a professional organiser or a home organiser. Whilst that is important you also need some other important skills. You need to be able to understand and empathise with people. You need to be assertive without coming in and taking over. You need to be able to look beyond the clutter and create a vision for a room by simply standing at the door to the room. You need to be a quick thinker, faster worker and motivator.
As a home organiser, our job is not just about coming to a clients home and organising the perfect bedroom, office or kitchen, it’s about more than that. It’s also about giving our clients the necessary tools and strategies so they can keep this space organised once we leave. Therefore, being able to communicate is an important skill that any professional organiser or home organiser needs. Small rooms, the lack of storage and systems in a home or home office means that some nifty problem solving and troubleshooting is also required at all times.
About our home organisers
Luckily, we have a team of lovely and trustworthy ladies who perform our professional organising and home organiser services. They each have different personalities and specialise in different areas of organising. For us, when we start work with a new client, we always like to match them up with the most suitable professional organiser or home organiser (both skill and personality wise). After all, you have got someone coming into your home and going through your wardrobes and belongings with you, so you want to like them. That is one of the benefits of having a range of professional organisers and home organisers. You get the right person, who’s perfect for you and your home.
More than just a home organiser
I also think that is why we have so many repeat clients. (The Lifestylers Group started in 2005 and is growing from strength to strength each year). When you work with a homer organiser who is perfect for you and your home, you build up a level of trust. Once a client experiences what our professional organiser or home organiser can do for them, they often get them back again. For some clients, this might simply be an annual spring clean. For others it might become a regular occurrence, whether that be weekly, fortnightly or monthly until their home is organised. And for some clients the role becomes more than just home organising. It’s more like a private pa, virtual pa or personal concierge service. Basically, whatever is on their list gets organised. One of my team does the most diversified range of tasks for a regular client – things like:
- Paying bills and filing
- Buying the kid’s birthday and Christmas presents
- Booking restaurants and helping to plan holidays
- Organising home maintenance and supervising trades
- Visiting Australia Post
- Running errands
- Planning the kids birthday parties
So if you have a list of things on your “to do list” that you never seem to get done, then perhaps a professional organiser or home organiser might be the solution you need.
If you have ever wondering how a home organiser can help you, then give us a call. We can have a chat and go through the challenges you are facing in your home, office or life. Our home organiser services are available in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.