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How I Started Living With Less.

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living with less
How I started on my journey of living with less…

   Why minimalism?

If I lived on my own I’d have virtually no possessions , no TV , and a very organised and tidy house .

But I don’t , and as I can’t get rid of everyone else’s possessions I have to find a way of dealing with their “stuff” and continue in my quest of living with less stuff.

My partner is a borderline hoarder who still keeps boxes from phones he no longer possesses !
I too battled for years to contain my “stuff “, I would stuff it all in drawers , cupboards and the garage .

The house would be serene looking on the surface but the inner workings were a tangled mess of chaos .

 

   So, what changed ?

So what changed ?

I had the ever pulling urge to get rid of everything I owned, to make my overstuffed drawers and cupboards as clutter free as the surfaces so I started to get rid of stuff and it felt great  but I just kept filling up the newly acquired space with new purchases.

Then one day , I stumbled across a book which put me on a journey to simplifying my life ,  it immediately changed my attitude to shopping and clutter, it gave me a plan , a way to achieve the “click point” in my life , where I can  actively live with less and  everything I own sparks joy .
If you only read one book this year make it this one!
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever

the author takes you step by step through all the categories to help you simplify your life.

Read what happened next!

How To Declutter When You Have Not Got The Motivation, how to motivate yourself in 10 easy steps

How to declutter When Your Partner is not On Board ~ Simple tips to cut through the clutter!

How to Get Rid Of Your Junk Drawer In 1 Easy Step!

My Secret Tip To keep School Paperwork Organised!

 

 

 

 


All my favourite products for a clean home.

 

 


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Posted in family, Organising, parenting, simplicity parenting

How To Create A Calm Morning Routine .

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 how to create a calm morning routine

How do I get my kids out of the door without any fuss?

The answer is by creating a calm morning routine.

We all have those hideous mornings where we stagger into school looking like we’ve just been dragged through a hedge backwards, nerves in tatters and ready to cry.

What is the reason for these hideously chaotic mornings?

It can be anything from

  • missing shoes
  • missing  keys
  •  someone refusing to put their clothes on
  • someone not wanting to put a coat on in mid winter
  • someone refusing to  eat their breakfast
  • refusing to get in the car
  • refusing to get their seat belt on
  • refusing to get their seat belt off
  • refusing to get out of  the car………

Etc etc, but mostly its all of the above, every single morning !

So what can we do to stop these major meltdowns and non compliant mood swings?

Nothing ! Nothing?

Yes, you heard it  nothing!  We can do nothing to get these little people of ours to be more responsive to our many orders to get them out of the door , this will only fall into place as they get out of this ridiculously stubborn phase.

But , we can however smooth out the wrinkles in our morning routine to try to get us into a position to have the time and patience to face these tantrum filled mornings head on,  a sort of head start on the kids!

 

Try these few simple steps to get your kids out of the door with less fuss.

 

Lay it out the night before!  

This means everything!

Here is a list of what I lay out the night before;

  • cereal
  • plates/ cutlery/ cups
  • School bags with books /homework inside!
  • PE kits
  • swimming kits
  • forms /letters /money need for next day
  • drinks bottles ready to be filled
  • vitamins/medicine
  • uniform including shoes upstairs
  • my clothes and shoes
  • lunch boxes made up and in the fridge
  • keys
  • purse

 

My method

The secret  is to not allow anyone down stairs unless they are  fully dressed including their shoes.

This eliminates  both the

  • last-minute lost shoe palava
  • shoe refusal episode

so,  that’s two arguments prevented already!

It also makes the holidays and weekends  special as they get to have a few hours in their pyjamas before getting dressed.

 

No TV or tablets! 

Imagine you’re a child , what better way to start your morning than to zone out watching TV.

Imagine how cozy and relaxed you are.

Now imagine being dragged outside to work on a cold winter morning in the middle of your favourite game or TV programme .

Make it easy for yourself leave the TV and tablets for relaxing !

This might be a difficult habit to break but stay strong the rewards are endless.

Make sure there are toys, books or art equipment to relieve their boredom!

 

Get up earlier than the kids.

I appreciate this is probably impossible for the majority of mums and dads out there . With all the little early risers and the light sleepers there are very few parents who are up before their kids, but if you can , when you can , try to get up before the rest of the house wakes.

This gives you time to get organised, get showered and dressed to your shoes and get any chores such as emptying the dishwasher or doing a laundry load uninterrupted which in turn makes you calmer and ready to face the barrage of demands that ensue the minute your kids open their eyes!

I’m always amazed at how much calmer I am  when I get that rare time to  get ahead in the morning and maybe even get time for a coffee!

I’m currently writing this post at 5.30am while everyone else is asleep!

 

Plan ahead

Keep a weekly planner of all the kid’s after school activities, play dates,  and in school activities and check it every evening.

You can download a  free copy of all my beautiful  family planners here FREE PRINTABLE PLANNER PAGES.

Make sure everything is ready for them to take into school or ready to grab straight after school.

I try to get all sports kits ready for the whole week as soon as they dirty they are washed and packed back into their bags for next time.

I keep sports kits in distinctive  bags in the  kid’s wardrobe and get them to bring what they need down the night before, this makes them have some responsibility for the stuff they need on certain days which means they know what they need, when they need it if on the rare occasion I am ever ill or I forget!

 

  • swimming kit
  • PE kit
  • football kit
  • musical instruments
  • spare clothes for playdate/sports events
  • snacks /drinks needed
  • money for activities

 

If you as a parent minimise the many things which can go wrong and reduce some of the chaos you will find yourself in a position to deal with the tantrums and the obstinate behaviour in a calm and level-headed manner.

If your little one knows he doesn’t get his breakfast until he is dressed he will get dressed  as a routine as soon as he gets up , every morning !

Stick to a routine every morning so your little ones know what to expect and there are no surprises, when they have a little bit of control of their mornings via a planned routine they know what to expect and stop trying to control the situation themselves.

Make sure your child is asleep early on a school night as a tired child is often a grumpy non compliant child !

 

If you liked this post you may like to download my FREE printable    routines checklist.

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Further reading

 

For further reading on parenting in  a calm and simplified way you may like the website Simplicity Parenting.

 

 

how to create a calm morning routine

 

 

The Organizer UK is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to  Amazon.co.uk these small fees enable me to cover the costs of running this blog.

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Posted in Blogging, Free Planners, Free Worksheets, Organising

My Free Blog Planner Bundle.

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free blog planner

 

Why I’m sharing all my blog planners with you.

As a new blogger I needed all the help I could get to keep me on track to create great blog posts .

However I could never find the right worksheets to keep me motivated and organised whilst planning my blog .

Most of the worksheets  I downloaded were  either over complicated, or dull and uninspiring.

So , I  decided to put together a neat little bundle  of my own to help me simplify my blogging day and keep me organised and motivated  right up until the moment I hit the publish button and way beyond !

Today I have decided to share  with you  the tools I use for organising my time and ideas in one handy bundle which won’t cost you a single penny !

I hope you find these worksheets helpful.

In this bundle you will find:

 

 

  • Daily blog planner printable ~  I use this to plan my daily tasks, write a list of things I need to fix or improve, and to check off my social media posts.  I have my sheets printed from Monday through to Sunday so I can plan ahead for the week or look back throughout the week for reference. There is also a spot for any ideas which may crop up .

 

 

daily printable blog planner

 

 

 

  • Monthly blog planner printable ~ I use this to do my brainstorming for the months blog posts, jot down any blog titles that spring to mind, write ideas for social media posts, and  i have created a space for improvements needed to be made on my blog or images for the upcoming month. My sheets are titled  Jan through to December so there is plenty of opportunity for forward planning and scheduling.

 

Monthly blog planner

 

 

  • Blank customisable planner printable ~ this is blank and is used to fill in as spare or customisable pages!

 

blank daily planner

 

 

  • Social media follower printable checklist ~ this is a little checklist  I use to to record my follower growth on Instagram , Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

 

 

  • Social media post planners ~ I use these  simple planners to plan which posts I’d like to schedule to Instagram , Facebook and Twitter and at what time they will be posted.

 

social media planner

 

 

I use the Instagram planner sheet with Planoly to schedule all my posts, here is an screenshot of my Instagram feed.

Using Planoly scheduling allows me to create a beautiful  feed with very little hassle.

 

free blog planner

 

 

  • Password keeper~ this is where I store all the passwords and usernames to all websites connected to my blog.

 

 

 

These worksheets are simple , cleanly designed  and easy to follow , to keep your ideas and thoughts organised and neat,

and the best bit is they’re completely free!

 

 

To download our daily blog planner printable worksheets CLICK HERE!

 

 

If you enjoyed this post you may like to read

 

 

 

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Free blog planner

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Posted in parenting, simplicity parenting

How I Stopped My Child From Hitting.

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How I stopped my child from hitting .

Most kids go through the hitting stage . It can be one of the most challenging, frustrating and embarrassing times a parent can face, one which leaves the parent left with self doubt , blame and guilt .

For a lot of parents the hitting stage can be short lived , for some, like me it can go on for years.

I have two children, my eldest is 9 and my youngest is 5 .

With my eldest the hitting stage included biting and scratching, resulting in  my husband going to work most mornings with scratches down his face and me with bite marks on my hands, all caused by something as trivial as my daughter being carried upstairs for bed time or being given the wrong coloured cup at breakfast.

Now, when I look at my beautiful, kind , gentle 9 year old it seems impossible to remember that this was the same child!

Let me also point out that she never hit another child as far as I’m aware, it was always directed at my husband and I.

We tried everything we could to break the habit,

  • Jo Frost techniques, which were amazing for most other issues but it didn’t help us with this particular issue.
  • Reward charts
  • Explanations as to why she shouldn’t be doing it.
  • Bribery  (on desperate days when we had an appointment to get to )
  • Threats ( “you wont get this”, or ” I’ll take that away from you”.
  • The naughty step which was amazing for other behaviours but ineffective to our hitting issues.

Nothing worked! She was filled with this overwhelming rage which just exploded into a mass of fur and sinew and suddenly she was out of control and I found myself in the middle of a brawl with a 2 year old, it was  terrifying !

I’d like to  tell you that due to my amazing parenting skills,  we managed to change her behaviour ,but that was not the case! We went on holiday with our lovely friends and their amazing little kids and she just stopped doing it over night. I suppose she just grew out of that stage.

There were may have been a few factors which may have contributed to the sudden ending of this hideous behaviour,

  • a different routine
  • being with her friends who although were the same sort of age as her little mates didn’t behave that way to their parents
  • the fact that she turned 3 while we were on holiday.

 

It was a combination of a few things I believe , but I’ll leave that to the experts!

 

 

Now over to my 5 year old!

This is  was a completely different kettle of fish, his rages were completely overwhelming they included kicking, spitting, hitting, shoving , and he  would follow me around the house charging at me as I tried to walk away.

He would smash and throw anything that he could get his hands on. Usually if he couldn’t get his own way.

Again we tried everything, including going on holiday! Nothing worked!

To my knowledge he didn’t direct his at other kids , or my daughter,  again it seemed to be directed at mainly at me and my husband.

It was exhausting and overwhelming, it left me feeling hopeless and like I had failed as a  parent.

Like most other parents I  was tenacious about getting to the bottom of what was going on in his little brain.

I  realised after analysing every single stage of these horrendous tantrums that;

  • He knew it was wrong
  • He knew there were consequences
  • He understood he was hurting people both physically and emotionally
  • He seemed to like a reaction
  • He would get worse if you tried to ignore his behaviour
  • It was not prevented by giving advanced countdown regarding bedtime, bath time etc
  • It was not through lack of routine or clear boundaries
  • He was not willing to apologise afterwards

 

 

The conclusion I came to was, that he needed to  be able see at the end of each day how he had behaved , I some how felt this was the key, I felt that rather than use words if I could have some way of visually letting him know that his behaviour was unacceptable then I’d crack it .

How did I do it ?

        • I firstly decided I needed a warning sign to let him know his behaviour was getting out of line and had heard about the traffic light system, I needed the system to be mobile so I could use it when we were not at home
        • I came across This Behaviour Traffic Light Keyring 

I like this little tool because rather than yelling at him outside or over a crowded room at a party or sports hall, I can just flash him an amber warning card and he stops what he’s doing, likewise if I see him sharing or being kind I flash him a green card with a big smile then, he gets excited and carries on being kind.

If he  did something dreadful  the red one would come out but amazingly I’ve not needed to use that yet as I’ve always caught him when he’s at the amber stage !

 

 

  • Next I needed a visual aid which would let him see for himself how he has behaved, after a lot of research I found
  • this Visual Interactive Behaviour Board   I loved the idea of large clear ticks and crosses and really simple pictures .         

 

I loved the idea of this chart because , he can see how his day has progressed in a clear and precise manner, he can almost see himself hurting people, shouting and breaking things , and the times  that he has behaved amazingly well.

 

  • I knew I needed to be able to reward him for his good days and to be able to reward those green ticks so I decided to set up a reward chart where by he would get a green smily face if he had all green ticks at the and of the day , an amber sticker if it was mixture of ticks and crosses and red face if his chart had more red crosses the end of the day.

 

I used these 10mm Mini Traffic Light Stickers  

 

 

and this Reward chart , I didn’t want to use the stickers which came with the chart as I wanted the  continuity of the traffic light system throughout.

 

How Does It Work ?

  • If I see him doing something well I put a green tick on his chart next to the picture of what he’s done well ~ for instance , good listening, sharing, being gentle.
  • If I see him doing something he knows is wrong he gets a red cross next to the picture ~ for instance kicking, breaking things, shouting.
  • At the end of each day before bed we look at his chart and discuss the pictures
  • If his chart has mostly green ticks , he gets a green  smily face on his reward chart
  • If the chart is mostly red crosses he gets a red sticker on his reward chart
  • If he has an equal amount of ticks and crosses he gets an amber sticker on his reward chart.
  • At the end of the week we check his reward chart if he has mostly smily green faces he gets his chosen treat.
  • Mostly greens and  ambers I’d use my discretion and review how busy our week was , how tired he was , and how his behaviour was, to decide whether he should get his reward.
  • Mostly reds and ambers he will not get his chosen treat.

The Explanation

Although my little man had responded well to reward charts in the past it had never been successful in curbing this issue so I was praying that this would resonate with him.

We went thorough all the little pictures, ticks and crosses, stickers and charts and he found it all very funny, this of course , didn’t fill me with confidence!

 

The first day.

It was the first thing he mentioned when he got up, so we discussed which reward he would like if his weekly reward chart was filled with mostly green stickers, he decided he would like to go to Lyme Park  for a picnic which is one of his favourite things to do.

All went well for a few hours until he pulled the cat’s tail , I asked him to be gentle and he flew into a rage . I calmly put a cross on his chart for shouting and one for not being gentle with the cat.

He was devastated and apologised to both me and the cat immediately without prompting, which was something he always struggled with previously, then broke down in floods of tears.

The rest of the day his behaviour was amazing and he got green ticks to fill up his chart, resulting in his fist green smily face of the week and one step further to his reward. At the end of the night we discussed all the green ticks and the red crosses and he could tell me  how his behavior had made me and the cat feel.

He was so pleased with himself he went to bed a clam and very happy little boy.

The rest of the week

He was very exited to get his ticks

He on the most part filled his chart with green ticks and smily faces , he had a  day where they were mostly red but that was when he was out with grandparents so I think he thought he would be able to get away with it, however my mother in law is great at communicating and continuing with the boundaries we set  when she has the kids, which is a god send .

He was literally devastated that the behaviour he had exhibited out the house with other people would affect his reward chard!

 

Today

He has a few slips now and again , mostly yelling. At the end of the day he has mostly green ticks with an occasional red one dotted in which is most probably for rude behaviour.

How I feel .

I am calmer, feel more in control, I feel respected and relieved that this had broken that awful cycle.

I feel that his behaviour now is more in line with most other 5 year olds and I’m proud of him for that.

 

How he feels .

He is immensely proud of his green stickers and ticks and works very hard to earn them, he has a better understanding of how his behaviour was disruptive and how it was affecting people around him.

He is pausing before acting on impulse now as he knows he’s responsible for getting his green ticks rather than blaming everyone else (including the cat) for his behaviour.

 

Why I think my method works.

The reason I believe my method works so well with my son is because

  • I believe he is a visual thinker and learner.
  • I believe my words both positive and negative were just not resonating with him, I was never actually making any difference to his choices because it was as if he just wasn’t listening and just wasn’t hearing me.
  • The key ring gave him a fair warning visually even across a room that his behaviour was either acceptable, superb or unacceptable
  • He was  able to make the correct choice for himself rather than being told to stop, so he had no one to argue with and fight against
  • It also let him know that I was checking on him even if I wasn’t standing next to him.
  • The chart enabled us to deal with a situation immediately without a punishment therefor it was over and done with in a matter of seconds , no threats, no consequences.
  • It enabled me him to be judged fairly on the whole days behaviour and not just an isolated incident being brought on by hunger, tiredness over stimulation etc.
  • If he did get a red cross on his chart he tried extra hard not to get another, and he realised that his choices determined whether he got his reward at the end of the week, there was no punishment as such just no reward and that seemed to be the turning point for him, he loved his rewards and would do anything to make sure he didn’t lose them.
  • He was able to relate to each picture on his chart to clearly understand what was expected of him, something that explaining, coaxing or scolding had failed at .

 

I am aware each child has different needs, skill set,  abilities and personality.  Age is a huge factor too however due to the simplicity of this system I feel this would have worked on my little boy at an earlier age too .

I’m relieved that this has worked for me after nothing else I’d tried was having an affect, and I’m pretty sure that cat feels the same way !

 

If you enjoyed this post you may like

How I Got My Kids To Love Eating Vegetables.

My Secret Tip To keep School Paperwork Organised!

Why I Allow My Kids To Be In Control Of Their Own Snacks.

 

 

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Posted in minimalist

My Secret Tip To keep School Paperwork Organised!

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Fed up with a pile of school papers ?

Ok so here is a super quick tip to keep all of your school paperwork in one organised place , it is mobile and accessible at any time of the day!

It’s it so simple it really is genius !

Firstly, let’s look at the copious amounts of paperwork which arrives through your door from school.

  • Party invitations ~ these arrive in your house  in copious amounts and either get stuck to the fridge or end up in a heap with all the other piles of paperwork which you need to trawl through and organise. One week before the party you panic that you haven’t replied to the invitation and frantically search though the items in the pile only to find its missing and has ended up who knows where!
  • Parent events and parent evening letters, see above !
  • School sports activities, see above ,you see a pattern forming here!
  • school calendars
  • world book day letters and many other non uniform letters
  • school project with deadlines letter
  • competition letters
  • school trip letters

The list is quite literally endless but they do all have one thing in common, either you need to sign for it, pay for it , attend it or it has a deadline !

Oh and you can multiply the volume of it by the amount of children you have at school!

So how do you keep on top of it all?

I have a 3 point plan to keep it all  organised

  1. Write it straight into your diary , or on the calendar. I prefer to use my phone’s diary because it’s  always with me and I can see at a glance my plans  if someone asks me  something in the school playground.
  2. File those bits of paper immediately ~ I will be showing you the best method to deal with this in a moment !
  3. Reply to any invitations immediately!

 

 

 

My secret to keeping school paperwork organised!

 

 

1) First you will need  a lovely A5 sized  page to a day diary or planner.

I use this page to a day planner from Collins

2) You will need a stapler , nothing fancy just a stapler !

 

3)   Next, check the date on your  school paperwork,  the date on which the event falls!

how to organise school papers
In this case it would be Wednesday 18th October at 4pm

 

4 )    Find the corresponding page in your diary.

5) Fold to A5 size if necessary then staple the invitation or letter etc to the corresponding diary page.

Here is the paperwork stapled onto the corresponding diary page

And that is basically it !

You now have a filing system you can take with you on the go and one which is easily accessible user friendly, and super organised and super cheap!

 

At the beginning of each week make sure you check what is coming up in your planner so you can:

  • Make sure  you have presents bought and wrapped for upcoming parties
  • See which events you have coming up.
  • Put money in envelopes ready to take to school
  • Sign any forms and have  ready to return to school .
  • Double check times and venues of parties and sporting events.

This is my version of a tickle file just without the cumbersome box file!

Any miscellaneous notes which don’t have a specific date but are kept for reference are stapled into the notes bit at the back of the diary !

It’s as simple as that !

 

This system works well with keeping receipts  and coupons too!

If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more about organising you might like

How I Got My Kids To Love Eating Vegetables.

How To Organise Your Kitchen Like A Professional .

If you’d like to read about minimalism and simplifying you might like The minimalists

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Blogging, Free Planners, Free Worksheets

How To Start A Blog Without Spending Money.

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How To Start A Blog for beginners.

So , you want to start a blog?  You’ve got loads of stuff to say, you sit down at your keyboard and you want to write .

Where do you start?

You’ve heard about WordPress , you’ve seen Blogger but you’re clueless as to how to start, you’re not technically savvy and literally have no clue where to begin.

I have been where you are , I had absolutely no clue where to begin, I made lots of mistakes and spent many night time hours trying to learn everything whilst my family slept sweetly upstairs,  tearing my hair out trying to understand what everything meant.

I didn’t pay for courses, I didn’t pay for people to design stuff for me , I did it all myself without spending a penny in the beginning !

If I didn’t know how to do something I looked it up on Youtube and did it a thousand times until I got it right !

But the good news is that you don’t have to do that, as I’m going to give you a very simple guide to the tools I use and a step by step guide  to setting up your own blog.

I will explain the blogging jargon in the most simplified terms I can, so you can get started quickly, without having to wade through tons of information , if you feel you need further explanations of the terms you can always look up more info as you need it .

I give you the free tools you need to get up and running without spending any money !

Although it is possible to blog without spending money you may find that you do want to upgrade to some plans to enable you to grow with your blog , and to take it in the direction that suits you , so I have included in most of my recommendations the reasons why it may be preferable to upgrade,  allowing you to decide if that would be the best option for you .

Step 1

The first thing you need to do is decide who your target audience is and what it is you’d like to tell them!

If you’ve no idea what you’d like to write about, think about

  • The things you are passionate about
  • What you spend hours reading about
  • What you enjoy talking about
  • What takes up most of your leisure time.

It’s easy to waffle on about not very much in the early days of blogging, when you have a niche it helps you stay within some sort of umbrella of topics .

Step 2

Next , you need to decide how you would like your blog to look, for instance:

  • Minimal
  • Feminine
  • Bright
  • Dark
  • Bold
  • Colours you love
  •  Blogs which inspire you.

You also need to decide what your blog is going to be called, it needs to be unique, easy to remember, and preferably  relevant to your topic.

After you have decided what your name will be , it is advisable to purchase a domain name.

Having a domain name is like having an address for your blog and it allows anyone to find you on the internet by typing in your domain name.

Domain names can be bought for as little as £1 and can go up in price depending on where you purchase it from. It’s wise to note that you can purchase your domain and hosting from the same company or from separate companies the choice is yours !

I purchased mine through Go Daddy. 

Step 3

Decide which blogging platform you’d like to use.

A blogging platform is where you write your blog.

I started out with Blogger but soon found that I was quite limited as to how I wanted my blog to look and how I wanted to share my blog on social media , so  I decided to change to WordPress , which I felt was a better fit for me.

WordPress WordPress has many different free and paid themes.

Themes are how your blog looks, you can either go for one of the free themes on  WordPress or you can pay for a theme, depending on your preference.

Weebly is also a site which can help you design your blog if you don’t like any of the other available themes.

Hosting. Hosting is the space where your blog is stored and shared on the internet you will need to find a host to enable your posts to be seen by other people. There are some free options of hosting by WordPress and Blogger but their services can be quite limited. If you pay for hosting you are able to install things such as plugins which

help you do things like

  • share to social media ,
  • check your statistics and visitors to your blog,
  • help you with SEO ( we will cover this later!)

and all sorts of other things , it also allows you to be able to start making money on your blog with affiliate links (we will cover this later too ).

If you decide to self host then you will own your blog and all  of  its content, if you are not self hosted then your blogging platform such as WordPress will own your blog and all its content.

I personally would  think about choosing a recommended host who will give you the best technical  support such as

If you decide not to  self host your blog will have an address which is connected to your blogging platform so for instance my address looks like this www.theorganizeruk.com if I was not self hosted it would look like this www.theorganizeruk.wordpress.com or www.theorganizeruk.blogger.com 

Being self hosted also allows me to have my own personal email adress which looks like this clare@theorganizeruk.com which is useful for communicating on a business level.

Once you are self hosted you will be able to think about monetising your blog using affiliate programmes such as 

Affiliate programs such as these give you commission based on products people purchase after clicking on the special  links on your blog which you create from the affiliate site.

You should choose links which are relevant to the niche you are writing about.

Step 4

Write, write, write !

This is the fun bit !

Keep your own voice throughout your post and remember that people like to be given information in an easy to follow , simple fashion , unless you’re writing a food blog they probably don’t want to know what you had for breakfast !

People like to read about things that they are going to learn something from, so , if you are writing a travel blog they want to hear about great places to eat, visit or how to travel with kids, rather than what happened when you went to visit great Aunty Mary for her 80th birthday !

step 5

Make sure you save it as a draft as you need to add a few extra things to your post before you hit the publish button!

Step 6

If you’ve taken your own photos then this is the time to add them .

Do this by uploading your photos using the “add media” tab at the top of your blog post , make sure that you fill in the “alt text” boxes  with a relevant title for your photos as this will help them show up in a google search .

If you are not using your own photos you will need to use images from a stock photo source, there are

I  used free images when I first started blogging, but I have heard about cases where some bloggers have not been able to prove where their images have come from and have been taken to court sued by fraudsters , so I decided to stay on the safe side and  now choose to purchase my images to avoid this issue.

Tip!

If you do choose to use a free image site its advisable to take a screenshot of the image being downloaded so you could, if needed prove that the image was indeed on a free image site.

Step 7

To give your posts a chance of being seen on the internet and to get lots of traffic (visitors) to your blog you need to have good SEO

To enable you to get a great SEO  ranking (to improve your posts showing up in google) you are advised to add a few things at this stage to your blog.

  • Outbound links ~ these are links to other sites that  you recommend such as a favourite website which is relevant to your post , or your favourite blogger or article.
  • Links to other posts in your blog which may interest the reader , you can link to these once you’ve written more blog posts.

To add links to your other blog posts you will need to click “get short link” under the title of the post you’d like to link to and copy it,

how to start a free blog

Then, you are going to click on the insert link button in your post and paste the short link you have just copied . Your link should now be in your post!

  • Keywords~ these give your post search ability , so you need to pick a relevant key word and make sure your post contains this key word. It should be in your title and at least a couple of times in your post. Do not over stuff your post with keywords as it will make you look inauthentic.

Step 8.

Edit, edit,  edit!  Read and re-read your post, check for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.

Grammarly will help you check any errors you may have made , it is really user-friendly and there is a free option or a paid version depending on your needs and budget.

Step 9.

Hit Publish !

This never gets any easier, it is a terrifying moment but hopefully with the tips I’ve given you, you should get lots of traffic ! As you start to develop your own style of writing , get more experience and confident you should find your audience grows and grows!

The extra little tweaks to help you grow your audience

1) Social media

As soon as I have posted I share my post on

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Stumble upon
  • Google +

This is made easier by using a social share plug-in on WordPress.

2) Graphics

To allow me to create beautiful graphics for my Instagram , Pinterest and Facebook posts I use canva.com , as with most things I recommend there is a free version and a paid  version at the moment I am still using the free version which allows me to create beautiful graphics such as these

 

free blog planner

 

3) Sign up 

To enable me to convert traffic to subscribers on my blog I need to get them to subscribe to my updates.  To enable them to do this I use the free version of Mailchimp

which allows me to send Newsletters, free opt ins, free checklists etc to my subscribers once they have subscribed using the subscribe box on my blog

again this is done via the WordPress Mailchimp plug in !

4) Scheduling

Due to hectic working and family life I’m not always able to post my social media accounts when I want to  so I schedule most things out.

Here’s how I do it !

Instagram

To schedule my Instagram posts I use the free version of Planoly  .

Planoly enables me to use the beautiful posts I’ve created on Canva  to schedule them in a very pretty way as you can see in the photo above. I can schedule up to 30 posts per month on Instagram using the free plan which means that I get to post at least every day , even if I’m busy or on holiday ! If you’d like to schedule more you can check out their other paid plans.

Pinterest

To grow your brand and followers it is advised that you should be pinning  50 to 100 pins per day on Pinterest , 30%  your own pins and 70 % other peoples pins.

A lot of my traffic comes from  Pinterest , so to allow me to post throughout the day to various group boards in my niche I use Boardbooster 

I currently pin approximately 20-40 pins per day and tend to schedule them when I am sitting waiting for the kids at a sports activity! I use the £5 per month plan but its worth it to me for the price of a posh coffee as it frees up my time and does drive a lot of traffic to my site.

Another scheduler I use is  tailwind
I use Tailwind tribes and also the scheduler , but for my needs I find board booster freed up more of my time .

You can  Grab your months free trial by clicking on this link!

Well I hope you have found this a helpful guide and I hope its given you the confidence to hit the publish button ! Drop me a link to your  blog  in the comments if you’d like any advice!

 

If you enjoyed reading this you may like to read

 

This post contains affiliate links which means that I get a small commission if you purchase anything through these links , this allows me to cover the costs of running this blog .

How to start a blog the beginners guide

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Posted in minimalism, minimalist, Organising, parenting

How To Get Ready For Winter

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Getting Winter Ready

 

Let’s just zoom ahead by a month or two …

You’re running out of the door with

  • book bags ,
  • water bottles ,
  • packed lunches,
  • PE kits ,
  • swimming kits
  • all your stuff for work ,
  • musical instruments

Then it hits you…   the great  blast of icy wind

” Why wasn’t I prepared for this? ”  You guiltily ask yourself as you stare at the  thick unexpected  layer of ice on your windscreen.

Panic sets in as you look at your kids shivering beside you.

You haven’t got time to drop the mountain of stuff you’re carrying to dash upstairs to dig their gloves out of storage .

You have no choice but to leave , unprepared, cold and driving whilst looking through a tiny hole in your icy windscreen .

You start believing you are the worst parent in the playground, as everyone else’s children arrive with their gloves, hats, and winter coats on.

You then spend the whole day feeling guilty that you sent your kids to school with no gloves and wearing their summer coat .

You convince yourself those little fingers will freeze and fall off by lunch time, which, prompts you do a frantic Internet search for “frostbite in children”.

 

 

Not this year , this year we are on it and here is how !

  • Go to your cloakroom or coat / shoe area .
  • Take everything out ( yes everything ),
  • Give the room a good clean .
  • Then put into storage all the summer shoes
  • Replace with two pairs winter shoes each . The rest of the shoes  (less frequently worn) , should stay in  wardrobes and returned there after each wearing .
  • Donate any unworn or out grown shoes and coats , make sure these are taken out of the house as soon as possible!
  • Hang up all jackets and coats (except those worn daily) in the bedroom wardrobe.

Ok , now you should have an empty space to work with , so let’s not fill it back up!

Only return these  items to the cloakroom.

 

  • One daily worn winter coat per person
  • Two pairs of shoes per person

Everything else should be stored in the wardrobe and is put away there after wearing .

Next

  • Dig out the hats and gloves from storage
  • Donate unwanted items.
  • Keep  one set per person in the cloakroom and yes you guessed it everything else gets stored in their wardrobe until needed .

The trick  here is to keep this area as streamlined as possible to enable leaving the house a breeze .

The emptier it is , the easier it is to find the stuff everyone needs everyday .

Use this area to store anything needed to grab on the way out to school and work.

 

  • Top tip!
    Buy each child several pairs of gloves in one plain colour, so when one glove goes missing (normally after the first day) they have still got a “pair” .

All my daughter’s are plain grey and my son’s are plain navy blue ,
I normally  purchase several each and usually end up with one full pair each at the end of the winter !

Dig out or purchase a can of  Deicer and an  Ice Scraper  for the car, top up your car’s  Ready Mixed Antifreeze and place some Soft Warm Car Blankets in the back seat for cold mornings and evenings.

Put all wellys and boots on  mud tray.

You’re now ready for the  big chill!

 

If you’d like to read more about organising you might like

How To Organise Your Kitchen Like A Professional . 

How To Stop Hoarding Books.

5 Top Tips For Getting The Laundry Mountain Under Control

 

 

 

 

 

If you’d like to read more on minimalism you may like The Minimalists.

 

 

 

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RESOURCES ~ Bookshop

 

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Posted in minimal, minimalism, minimalist, Organising

How I Banish Visual Clutter From Our Home.

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How to banish visual clutter
How to avoid visual clutter

 

Every day our brain is trying to process billions of messages , trying to define what is important , what needs action , what to dismiss , what to leave until  later.

We have

  • TV
  • iPhones
  • laptops
  • Newspaper headlines
  • adverts
  • books
  • clocks
  • shop windows
  • road signs
  • consumer products
  • cars

Which, are all bombarding us with instructions to follow every second of every day.

Some of us may have  chosen to add “extra” visual clutter in our homes  by having  ornaments which spell out words such as  “bathroom” “love” or “home”.
I wonder how many times a week we subconsciously read the label on our shower gel, toothpaste tube, washing up liquid or moisturizer.

Marie Kondo  in her book “spark joy” suggests we protect our homes from the visual clutter of the outside world and encourages us to remove labels wherever possible from products we use daily .
As a mother of two young children I figured this would be almost impossible for safety reasons,  however  off I went to give it a go .

I started with hand wash , as I figured even my five-year old knows it is soap .

To my surprise it felt better not to read the words ” 3000 mint leaves were lovingly squeezed into this bottle”  on my shower gel bottle , every time I walked into the bathroom .

The process then became addictive , once I started I couldn’t stop .

Another eye-opening lesson for me was, when I peeled the label off my expensive moisturizer it looked no different from any other cheaper brand and I felt annoyed at myself for being drawn into their consumerism and advertising , I felt I’d been duped .

I immediately began to change the way I shopped for luxury beauty products, which were once a weakness of mine , and it felt good, almost liberating.

The  other upside is that no one in the family has washed their hair with conditioner yet, as far as I’m aware but you never know in our house !

Items  I remove labels from are

  • Hand soap
  • Shower gel
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body lotions
  • Face cream
  • Foundation
  • Mascara
  • Lipsticks
  • Teabags
  • Beans and pulses
  • Biscuits and crackers
  • Pasta and Rice
  • Washing powder
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Coffee
  • Nuts
  • Cereal

Please note food stuffs are now stored in glass jars and laundry powders etc are stored in plastic containers.

 

I only remove  labels from bottles if they are easy to remove within seconds and are not dangerous to my kids .

I really love having less packaged products in my home as I think it feels so much more tranquil and clutter free .

 

If you liked this post you may enjoy

How to Spend Less Money!

Is It Finally Time To Unplug And Slow Our Kids Down

How To Organise Your Kitchen Like A Professional . 

 

 

 

CLEAN AND PRISTINE WITH THE ORGANIZER UK ~ get all my favourite products for a clean and healthy home.

EMBRACE YOUR INNER HYGGE, feel good products for a happy home.

RESOURCES ~ Shop for the books I recommend on organising , simplicity and parenting.

The Organizer UK is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to  Amazon.co.uk.

 

 

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How To Get Streak Free Glass And Chrome .

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Is Streak Free Glass And Chrome Eluding You ?

Any  dog owner  or mum to a toddler would probably tell you that  dirty  glass is the bane of their lives.

As both a mother of little kids and a professional domestic , commercial cleaner and organiser I’m here to tell you it is mine too!

If your technique isn’t correct it  can be a lot of graft for a hugely disappointing result , then, you find yourself cleaing it a second time only to find the same thing happens again !

Well , I am going to tell you how to go from streaks to sparkling in a flash!

There’s no great trick to this I’m afraid , it’s all down to the tools you use and technique !

 

Firstly let’s have a chat about cloths …

 

This is the important bit in your quest for a streak free finish .

You need to invest in a “glass cloth”,  glass cloths can be used with only water, but I  prefer to use a glass cleaner which we will talk about later.

My recommended glass cloth, is  an e-cloth, it is lint free and does not leave any residue on the surface of your glass or chrome.

 

 

 

e-cloth £8.56 for 2, click to order.

 Next let’s chat about technique.

There is absolutely no point ordering fancy new cloths to use if your technique leaves a lot to be desired.

It’s pretty simple with glass and chrome just stick to the rules!

  1. The drier your cloth the better your shine, a tiny amount of  water on your cloth should be sufficient.  Should you have a heavily soiled surface, increase the wetness of your cloth.
  2. Spot clean, for mirrors and windows try to deal with the heavily soiled areas first before cleaning the whole area.
  3. Don’t over spray, after removing the crud you should now only need the tiniest spray over the area you are cleaning, the more product you use , the harder it is to clean off and the more time consuming!

 

Choosing the correct product.

There are literally hundreds of glass cleaners on the market , some are horrendously streaky and some are great.

I have tried hundreds of products over the years both professional and domestic and there is one product I keep returning to as  I find it never streaks , Xanto Power Active window and glass cleaner 650ml  £5.24 is by far the best I’ve tried.

 

 

Xanto 650ml £5.24 , click to order.

So there you have it, that’s how the professionals get a streak free finish to windows , doors , mirrors and chrome I also use the same products on glazed tile and all other gloss surfaces such as kitchen cabinets etc.

 

If you enjoyed this post you may like

How To Organise Your Kitchen Like A Professional . 

How to declutter When Your Partner Isn’t On Board ~ Simple tips to cut through the clutter!

What I Keep In My Cleaning Kit ~ Part 1 ~ The kitchen .

 

For further reading about cleaning you may like Flylady

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For EXCLUSIVE access to all our free checklists and printables leave your details in the box below!

 

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Posted in Cleaning, Organising, speed cleaning

What I Keep In My Cleaning Kit ~ Part 1 ~ The kitchen .

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The Organizer Uk ~ what I keep in my cleaning kit ? Part 1 ~ the kitchen

Have you ever wondered what  a professional  carries in their cleaning tool kit ?

Now is your chance to take a peek into the mysterious world of the professional cleaning kit to see what I use to tackle the toughest jobs around !  Just click on the photos from a desktop site if you’d like to purchase any of the products shown !

The Kitchen.

Ok the kitchen is one of my least favourite places to clean, especially other peoples kitchens!

The major headaches for a professional cleaner in the kitchen are

  • Ovens
  • Hobs
  • Extractor fans
  • Grease
  • Baked on food
  • Dried on food
  • Pet food

 

So, lets tackle each of these jobs at a time !

For the oven

These are my go to products to tackle even the cruddiest of ovens and I’ve seen some horrors !

Foamy oven cleaner £9.95

Clean Pro+ Professional Hygiene Systems Oven and Grill Cleaner H17 1 Litre

                

razor scraper £4.82

 

 

Non scratch scrubber £5.99

 

Clean Pro+ Professional Hygiene Systems Oven and Grill Cleaner H17 1 Litre

Get the crud !

This foamy cleaner grips the sides of the oven , so you can walk away and do other jobs while it gets to work! It quickly removes Protein , Carbon and Fat deposits.

For any very stubborn areas  use a wet scraper, and of course a non scratch scrubby for the rest of the oven !

 

 

For Hobs, Extractor Fans And Grease.

My favourite product for these areas is my Heavy Duty Cleaner and Degreaser , I call it my pink juice because I use it for tough jobs all over the house!

 

 

heavy duty cleaner and degreaser £11.09 5 litres

My pink cleaner!

This product cuts through the grease in a jiffy making quick work of those nasty time-consuming areas!

 

 

Baked on food , dried on food and pet food.

We all know that dog or cat who likes to plaster his food all over the kitchen which turns to cement by the time we discover it,  don’t waste time scrubbing, spray on some pink cleaner and scrape away!


     £3.18

The crud buster!

Spray and scrape!

 

 

So now you’ve got no excuse to pull up your sleeves don the rubber gloves and get stuck into the kitchen!

 

 

 

 

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Read what the professionals keep in their cleaning kit!

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