Do you also have 3+ months’ worth of magazines?

I honestly don’t know how I always have TONS of magazines waiting to be read.

I don’t subscribe to a single one. And I only buy the occasional one every two to three months.

A couple of months ago I gave the last of my preggy ones away (and that publisher sent a letter saying, “would you like to renew your subscription?” – clearly a form letter) but I have baby ones, Oprah and some home ones to get through.

I’ve finally figured out how to keep up to date with them.

I simply have to read them immediately.

A very novel concept for me but a couple of weekends ago I bought a magazine because of the headlines on the cover and the feeling it evoked of simplicity.

Why do you buy magazines?


I got home and went about my business (running around after the babies) but the MINUTE the babies went down for their afternoon nap, I jumped onto our bed and started reading.

As I read, I pulled out one or two pages (a recipe that looked easy enough for me to try and a page of inspiration for my Good Ideas flipfile) but actually finished the magazine in about 40 minutes.

I must admit, it does help to keep focussed when you know one baby usually only sleeps for 45 minutes.

I thought that was a fluke but I started using that same afternoon nap every weekend since then to get through a magazine.

And it’s working.

My little basket is getting smaller and I’m loving it.

When I’m done, I toss it into my recycling bag. The bag then gets collected from in front of my house every week by the recycling company.

Do you have a system to get through your magazines? What do you do with the magazines when you’re done?

10 must-have organising tools that won’t break the bank



There are some things in life I just can’t do without. These 10 organising tools are a must in my house and really help to keep us organised.

Notebook and pen

I have notebooks all over the house, one next to my bed, one on the entrance hall table, one in my handbag, one in the car, etc. It is easier to jot some notes down immediately without losing the thought than to have to try to remember it.

Flipfiles


Flipfiles are so useful – in the kitchen alone, I use two – one for my favourite recipes and one for my household organising file (you get this as part of the Organise your home system). We also use a flipfile as our travel file and put all our printables from the internet of tours we want to take, checklists, etc.

Masking tape

I got this excellent tip from Confessions of an Organized Homemaker. I use masking tape for labels everywhere. The tape is really easy to write on with both a pen and a marker. Use in the kitchen to label your leftovers in the fridge and also on your storage containers in the cupboards.

Permanent marker

Use a permanent marker to label virtually everything. This is one of the main tricks to keep your home organised. It is all good and well to have everything nicely sorted but if you can’t remember what’s in each container without having to look inside then it’s a bit useless, isn’t it? My house has a permanent marker in the kitchen, one in my handbag and a couple in the study.

Post-it notes

I use post-it notes for labels on storage boxes. If you use the proper branded ones, they stick on everything and last forever. Don’t waste your time with the cheap stuff. My fridge is labelled with post-its – the same ones stay for upwards of 6 months and still look as good as new. There is no sign of non-stickiness. Use in the fridge, on shelves, shoeboxes, trays, magazine holders, etc.

Clear square or rectangular plastic storage containers

Once you start using clear containers, you will never go back to the opaque stuff. You’ll always know what’s in there and find your food doesn’t waste as often. You can pack more stuff into a space if you use square or rectangular containers than if you use round ones. Use them in the kitchen for food and in the study for paperclips, staples, etc.

Ziploc bags

Use Ziploc bags for sandwiches, freezing food, holding vegetables, for toiletries when travelling, for all your camera or MP3 player attachments, if you’re going on a day trip and need to take some sunblock and mosquito repellent, etc.

Prestik

I use Prestik to stick up shopping and menu lists in the kitchen, a recipe on the cupboard when I’m baking (so it doesn’t get dirty), Christmas cards on the side of the wall unit (so they don’t take up space on a shelf) and to stick up a pen and my goals list in my wardrobe.

Elastic bands

Use to close bags of chips, sweets or vegetables or to keep your gift wrap in a neat roll. They are easier to use on freezer bags than those clips you get in the packets.

Perpetual calendar

Set it up once with all the birthdays, anniversaries and special events, and you use the same one, year in and year out. Diarise to check it around the 27th of every month for upcoming birthdays and you are all prepared! I’ll tell you a secret – I even set up all my birthday emails beforehand and then postpone them to only deliver on the person’s birthday.

Additional tips can be found in a blog series I did called

Favourite organising tools

Do you want to use this article? You may, as long as you include this complete bio with it:

Marcia Francois is a time management coach and speaker who helps busy women break out of overwhelm, make the most of their time and take purposeful and focussed action. Visit http://marciafrancois.com for your free Organising Success Pack.

If you’d like help creating a life you absolutely love, contact me about my coaching services.

I’m in love with these beauties

Look what I found – gorgeous, colourful cutlery caddies.

Of course, cutlery is really the last thing I thought of when I saw these as I immediately had other plans for them.

In the babies’ room this holds their sleep and classical CDs, nose drops (I’d never even HEARD of saline nose drops before the babies were born!) and other such medicinal stuff (lovely and vague, isn’t it?).

I’m not the only one who loves this gorgeous, bright caddy – Connor literally whirls that head of his around to look at this thing if he so much as catches a glance of it. LOL

That was my original purchase.

After a few days of looking at the loveliness, I couldn’t resist and I went back to get another one. Thank goodness they still had some left.

This time for my study/ home office.

I was all about simplifying and increasing space on the desk, especially now that I’ve added a plant.

A plant I received as a gift because, just in case you didn’t know this about me, I do NOT have the gift of growing plants. In fact, it’s more honest to say I kill them. Fortunately my friend bought me a plant that came with instructions so it’s already lasted 4 months which is a BIG record for me.

The caddy now holds a few pens, my camera cable and stapler (don’t you like the way the stapler hangs off the side) and a couple of notebooks I use on a daily/ weekly basis.

Which other uses can you think of for these beauties?

P.S. They’re R49,99 each at Mr Price Home.
P.P.S. Mr P is not paying me a single cent to write about the caddies.

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