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.

Declutter your books

When did you make the time to declutter your books? If you’re like me, I’m tipping it hasn’t been recently.

Declutter my house

Declutter your books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Declutter your books in 5 easy steps.

When your books start to build up and create clutter on your bookshelves, bedside table or book shelves its time to declutter. So here’s 5 steps to help make the process of decluttering your books easier.

Set time aside to declutter your books.

You need to set designated time aside if you want to declutter any space. If you don’t have an hour, then just allocate 10 or 15 minutes and don’t stop till the time is up. Just remember though, once you have culled and decluttered your book shelve, bundle the books up ready to be dropped off (also set a date by which they must be dropped off). If you only have 10 or 15 minutes for a declutter session, then also make sure you set yourself a goal as to when you want to have the entire book shelve decluttered.

One shelf at a time.

Like any declutter project you need to start small. So in this instance when you are decluttering your book shelf, start decluttering one shelve at a time. Work from the top down. And if they are spilling out onto the floor, then that is the best place to start your declutter.

Will you really read it again?

I know myself, I had a heap of books that I was never going to read again. So I decided it was time to clear the clutter and let go. With any decluttering that you do, maximum impact is made when you can let go of more items. Plus, it is so much easier to organise and style a book shelve that is not jam packed with books. So keep that in mind with you when you start your declutter.

Why are you keeping those books anyway?

I realised that I was keeping a heap of my old university books. Why? I think it was because of all the memories that they brought back. But the reality was, I was never going to use my Macro Economics book again (I hated the subject then and my opinion has not changed), so why was a keeping it, so they had to go. Declutter and be gone!

Declutter your books and donate.

Feel good about decluttering your books by donating them to someone who can use them. I recently did a declutter for a client and we donated books that were in very good condition to her local library. The library then sold the books and used the money to buy more books.

Other places to donate books to include:

http://www.brotherhoodbooks.org.au/donate/

https://www.footpathlibrary.org/contact-us/ they have branches in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

The Lifestylers Group provides decluttering assistance in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. For assistance with any declutter project (the kitchen, bedroom, office, wardrobes, garage) contact us.

Image credit: http://bliss-athome.com/about/

 

Leave the house, on time, every time!

Organise

Get to get organised

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know about you, but I find it easy to run late if I’m not organised.

I worked with a client recently to help her get organised. Her biggest gripe was that she was always running late. Late to work. Late to pick up the kids. Late to visit friends. Late with dinner. And she wanted to fix this problem.

I know myself, if I’m not organised then I am guaranteed to run late. So I could totally understand where she was coming from. So here’s my tips to help you get out the door, on time, every time.

Planning  

It all comes down to planning. It doesn’t have to be military precision, but the more planning you do, the more likely you will be on time. Plus, the more kids you have, the more planning you need to do. So for example, if you know you are going somewhere tomorrow morning, then work out:

  • What time you need to leave to get their on time.
  • Consider if you need to allow extra time to park or if you will hit peak hour or school traffic.
  • Do you need to get petrol on the way?

Then allow an extra 10 minutes, as a buffer. So if you had planned on leaving at 9.15am aim to be in the car at 9.05am. Easy!

Communicate  

If you are taking the kids then ensure they know what is expected of them in the morning. Explain the night before, that they will need to be up at a set time in the morning.

Allow extra time

 As I mentioned above, factor in a 10 minute buffer zone. I’ve got little kids and it never fails that as soon as you are ready to get in the car, they do a poo. So their nappy needs to be changed. And, if you’ve got big kids, they still need to be managed too.

How long does it take to do one’s hair?

I mean really!

Do you really need to be snap chatting or texting at 8am in the morning!

Most teenage kids only know one pace. Dawdle!

Plus some kids are just not morning risers. So you need to plan for this. Explain the night before what the deal is. What time they will need to be up in the morning. And then stay one step ahead of them by calling them 15 minutes earlier than required.

Organise your clothes the night before

Each night I work out what I am going to be wearing for the following day. It’s out, ironed and ready to go. Then, there’s no procrastinating in the morning about what to wear. If you want to be super organised, plan your wardrobe on Sunday. Iron and hang it some separate so you are organised for the entire week. Easy!

I do this for my kids as well. So, then I’m not running around trying to find their clothes in the morning. Plus it avoids arguments.

If they are at the stage where they want to dress themselves, then get them involved. Get them to choose their own clothes the night before. There’s nothing worse in the morning. You’re now running late. You’re screening at the kids to get in the car and you realise your daughter is dressed like a bumble bee!

Don’t waste time looking for lost keys

Have one spot where your keys and phone get put. Perhaps you need to hang a hook inside the front door. Or set up a “drop zone” somewhere in your house where your keys and phone are put religiously.

Is it in the top draw in the kitchen? A bowl setting on the bench.  Or on the hallway table. Basically whatever works for your home!

Get up 15 minutes earlier than planned

I find this really useful, especially if you have to get kids organised to. Get up, get yourself organised and perhaps even have your breakfast first. You want to avoid shoving cold toast in your mouth as you run out the door…running late again!

The Lifestylers Group is a professional organising and decluttering service, based in Melbourne and assisting clients in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

10 ways to add glamour to your bedroom

We spend enough time in there so why not make our bedroom clutter free, organised and stylish. Here’s 10 ways to add glamour to your bedroom and they won’t cost a fortune either. Plus, with the change in seasons, it’s the perfect time to declutter and organise your bedroom, add some pops of colour and freshen up the space.

 

1. Add a gorgeous headboard

Check out these gorgeous padded bedheads. Elegant and distinctive they come in a range of great colours and totally change a drab bed into a fab one in know time at all. Check out:

http://www.heatherlydesign.com.au/ for some stylish options.

Beautiful Bedroom

Beautiful Bedroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Beautiful bed linen

You simply cannot go past the feeling of beautiful soft linen. You know that feeling when you stay at a luxury hotel and you climb into bed and go “ahha””. 1000 thread count all the way for me! If you plan your shopping well, buy your new linen when it’s on sale so it won’t cost a fortune either.

Visit: www.sheridan.com.au/1000tc-sheet-set-s0ld-b130-c242-749-midnight.html

 

Luxury Bedroom Linen

Luxury Bedroom Linen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Add texture with a beautiful throw

Organised Bedroom

Organised Bedroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A quick and easy way to change the look and feel of your bedroom is with a throw. They come in so many different colours and textures; a throw rug immediately adds depth to any bed. Plus it provides extra warmth on those cold winter nights.

 

 

4. Cushions, cushions and more cushions

10 ways to add glamor to a bedroom

10 ways to add glamor to a bedroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit: https://www.adairs.com.au/bedroom/bedspreads/bianca/rylee-coverlet?colour=White

My husband will tell you that I a mad for cushions. They just finish off a bed. Yes, you do need to take them off the bed of a night so you can sleep, but so what. They look great and finish off the perfect bed.

 

5. Add flowers

Beautiful Bedrooms

Beautiful Bedrooms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh flowers add a lovely touch to any bedroom. It’s a cost effective way to add some style and brighten up any bedroom.

Image credit http://www.thepeakoftreschic.com

 

 

6. Mirror mirror on the wall

Beautiful Bedroom Mirrors

Beautiful Bedroom Mirrors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mirrors help to create the illusion of space in any room. They also add depth and an element of light in your bedroom. As a tip, be sure to check what sort of hook you will need to hang your wall mirror with.

Image credit: www.houzz.com.au

 

7. Burn a candle

Beautiful bedrooms

Beautiful bedrooms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These days their are so many amazing scented candles and diffusers that create beautiful aromas. Perfect for helping you to relax and ease into the perfect night’s sleep.

Image credit: http://lyfestyled.com.au

 

8. Rug up

Bedroom rugs

Bedroom rugs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add depth to your bedroom by including a floor rug. They come in so many amazing colours and styles, you are sure to find something to fit your style and décor.

Image credit: http://www.zgallerie.com/

 

9. Pretty as a picture

Beautiful bedrooms

Beautiful bedrooms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hanging pretty wall art, or pictures adds personality to any room. You can get some beautiful frames and images that will suit any room. Go for gold or silver, or keep it neutral or white, or make a statement with black.

Image credit: www.pinterest.com.au

 

10. Clear the clutter

organising-services

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clear the clutter and surround yourself with meaningful objects. Create a peaceful and relaxing place perfect for rest and rejuvenation. Have you got too much stuff sitting on your bedside table? Is your chest of draws full of things that you never use? Are clothes just dumped on the floor?

Their is nothing better than waking up in the morning to a clutter free bedroom. Commit to do a quick clean up every morning when you are making your bed and that way, clutter will never build up.