Archive for the ‘House keeping’ Category

Because our family are on such a tight budget, keeping our weekly (8 days) shopping bill low is one of my main focuses as a stay at home mum.

One way that I do this is to try and reduce the amount of ‘non-food’ items that we need – so I’ve researched all sorts of ways to reduce ‘cleaning’ costs. In fact it’s been working so well that I can hardly remember the last time I had to push my trolley down that slightly toxic smelling cleaning product aisle.

I’d like to share my findings with you!

Here is my hint for making your dishwashing liquid last twice as long… (as found on Destitute Gourmet)

Mix together:

1 1/2 cups of very hot water
1 heaped tablespoon of washing soda crystals
1 cup of dishwashing liquid

Allow to cool and pour into a spare ‘squeezy’ bottle.

The washing soda crystals  act as a water softener as well as a cleaning agent – double bonus!

Just a little heads up – the liquid is runnier than usual – but just as effective, and I actually only need less.

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…on tidy drawers:

I caught organising fever … I started emptying drawers all over the house. Never mind that it was dinnertime as my family kept reminding me. Dinner could wait. I was changing my life.

…The process was carthatic … afterward, I spent the night wandering among the drawers, opening and closing them, feeling deeply self-satisfied, like you would feel if you had your oil changed, teeth cleaned and a hundred viruses purged from your computer in the same day.

And I learned this: You can have creditors after you, sky-high cholesterol, kids on drugs, and a marriage as combustible as a live grenade, but clean, orderly drawers will make you feel utterly in control.

Marni Jameson, House of Havoc


Ok. So this woman has my number.

Maybe slightly exagerrated, but otherwise right on the button.

I have fallen in love with organised drawers. I too have been opening and shutting drawers for the sheer satisfaction of it.

This is what happened. I revealed my bedside drawer in this post here. Then I got embarressed. Then I read this post here and got inspired.

Poor Chris.

Together we emptied our top drawers on the bed. The rule was if you don’t use it in the evening or morning – it doesn’t belong. So we culled and found homes for tid bits around the house. Now I was down to basics.

Then disaster struck. I decided to wipe down my drawers before filling them again… but there was mould!!! Everywhere.

After many tears, and wiping down with my homemade spray n wipe (with eucalyptus oil and lemon oil as a deterrant) I decided to line the drawers like my mum has always done. Problem is – I had no plain brown paper, which is what she always used.

So I shopped in my own house… and found an old roll of wallpaper left over from my parent’s recent renovation. PERFECT!

Beautifully lined and tidy drawers.

A before and after shot for you 🙂


Now I’m thinking about prettying up the actual bedside top – and adding some practical little boxes to encase bits and pieces, like my nail scissors and files etc, or my panadol etc. Such fun!

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Baby to bed…

Before I start, I must admit that I stole this idea from somebody else! In fact, most of my ideas are borrowed. But this is where my obsession with baskets began….

Each night after Mikey’s bath, I get him ready for bed in the lounge – especially during the winter – this is the warmer room. Naturally, a pile grew – stuffed into some shelves – of all the necessary “bits” for getting ready for bed…

– packet of nappies
– overnap
– a selection of pyjamas
– a selection of singlets, woollen and cotton
– bottom cream
– soft cotton changing mat

ugh the clutter. I tried to arrange them neatly in their shelves, but it never looked neat enough! Especially with tacky nappy packet etc floating around. I wish I had a photo for you – but alas, I hated the mess so much I avoided all photos of that area of our living space!

Then one day I was visiting my good friend who was preparing for her new baby. She had tucked in the corner her changing table, and beneath it were a couple of baskets – holding nappies and changing ‘bits’.

I was sold.

I measured our little shelves … took Chris shopping – and found three matching baskets that fit perfectly – almost as if they were drawers.

I’m so happy with them! Each basket has its dedicated items.

  1. Top for singlets and cloth nappies (for during the day)
  2. Middle for disposable nappiers – removed from tacky packet and stacked neatly
  3. Bottom for pajamas, changing mat and overnap

The best bit is, even though one member of our house hold has a tendancy to ‘chuck’ things away – here he can, and it still looks tidy. I’m able to keep all Micah’s things for bed time neatly tucked away – and saves me from making numerous trips to the bedroom each evening.

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A mass of books…

Meet my son.

While I am quite willing to admit that he’s gorgeous … it’s also quite clear that he’s a menace.

This was happening a minimum of 4 times a day. We’d hear it start from the next room and groan.

The best bit was after we’d put them all away … just as we were slipping the last 3 books into place, Micah would start leaning over us to begin all over again.

The thing is, I hate saying no in this case. They’re his books – and I like him to feel free to play with them, pull them down and read them. Where do you draw the line? Sometimes he would only pull 3 down so it would be fine – sometimes all of them, but I’d notice too late.

So one sleepless night after having been on my hands and knees more than usual stuffing books haphazardly into their shelf, I started to ask myself… “why Kallie, have you chosen to store all those books within his reach? He doesn’t even read half of them!!!”

The next day I was on a mission.

I guess I want this blog to point out that sometimes solutions are simple. They don’t have to be overly sophisticated and complicated.

All I did … drumroll please…. was remove all the paperback books from the shelf.


Micah still tends to accidently rip the paperback books, and they are the most fiddly and timeconsuming to pack back away. So I transferred them to my own book case where he knows is a ‘no go zone’ and left only the cardboard chunky books – which are pretty much a breeze to put away.

So much cleaner looking don’t you think?! Which is a bonus – because this is in our tiny living area, so a less cluttered look equals happier me!

However, the gaping shelf at the bottom needed some work. So I popped a deep basket in to catch together all of Mikey’s balls that had been previously merely floating around the room.

Second bonus – reduce further ‘ball clutter’.

This is one satisfied mum 🙂

As I said. Simple solutions are sometimes all it takes.

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Overload of coupons

There are some spots in my wee house that whenever I lay eyes on them I release an inner sigh. Sometimes when they get really bad, the sigh is actually verbal! They are those little ‘clutterspots’ that just seem to mock you – and no matter how often you ‘intend’ to get round to sorting it out – you never actually do.

I’m the queen of good intentions.

This is one of the little spots that I mean.


Now I know you may not think it looks all that bad  – but to me its just a frustrating shelf that always ends up cluttered with miscellaneous bits and bobs and drives me nutty. And this is after I’d already attempted to put a lot of it away!

In particular, the evergrowing pile of coupons etc on the right were really bothering me. We put all our coupons there so they were easy to grab on our way out – but we never grab them. And when we need them – we’re already out, having left them at home. Heaps of them expire before we even remember we have them.

So walking to Chris in to work one morning, I was dwelling on it. I decided to try and find a little ‘coupon organiser’ or coupon file that could fit in the car. Problem was, I didn’t really know where to get one, and we are trying so hard to watch needless spending these days!

Then I had an “Ah Ha!” moment.

Have you ever heard of “shop in your own house”?   

I hadn’t. Until I started reading this blog that I just love. She has mentioned this concept a couple of times lately and I loved the idea but never really thought I was creative enough to try it.

But as I was walking, I had a vision of my top bedside drawer….

See hidden, floating around uselessly is a gorgeous wee green photo album/brag book that I was given so long ago that I can’t even remember who by or what for. It just sits using up space in my drawer.

It is PERFECT! I can’t believe I just shopped in my own house!

So I’ve whipped up a pretty wee label – and tucked all my coupons in the photo sleeves. It fits perfectly in the door of our car and even Chris thinks it was a nifty idea.

And I spent NOTHING! 

So here’s a little bit of eye candy for you…. my own little coupon organiser.

Isn’t it pretty?!

So now that’s a big pile of coupons gone from my ‘sigh’ spot. Now if only I had a creative solution for the rest of it.

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Run away from home….

So this is a little house keeping / organising tip that I borrowed from my Mum (Mum’s are such a wonderful source of ideas!)

One of the things I love about being a Mummy is that lending and borrowing becomes so much more useful. I have borrowed so many things from friends and family this last year, not to mention how many things I’ve lent out. It cuts costs and also ensures you get more mileage out of your cute/handy baby things!

…but keeping track of it all can get tricky. If I had to tell you now what I’ve currently lent out, I don’t know if I could remember it all.

So, just like my Mum, I’ve whipped up a little chart to help me remember all my things that have ‘run away’ to new homes

No more missing items


I love this because I can use it for my baby things, but also for DVD’s and books – and just tick the returned box when they come home!

Now to just gather up the papers into a wee clipboard and store in bookshelf.

Like mother, like daughter!

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