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Category Archives: A Housewife’s Guide To

Party planning is a great option to create a stream of income into your home, particularly if you are wanting extra cash, without getting a job out of the home. I’ve shared my top tips on How to start a party planning business + you can WIN one of 3 The Body Shop® Virgin Mojito Ice Bucket Gifts.

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  • Paula Thompson

    The coconut deluxe gift set would be top of my wish list because it is my favourite scent and smells so delicious.ReplyCancel

    • Margaret Quintal

      The top of my list would be any of the pre-packaged Christmas gifts! The ability to not only benefit myself with gorgeous products but to also help a family in Ethiopia have safe drinking water because of my purchase is even more rewarding. Keep up the great work The Body Shop with all that you do and in your WaterAid campaign!ReplyCancel

  • nicole lavanda

    the best product from the body shop that’s on the top of my wish list is their Peppermint Reviving Foot Soak because juggling 2 little ones during the day, studying and working….the thought of stopping at the end of the night to soak the feet sounds magical!!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Harris

    I love the advent calendar in the Xmas catalogue. I think it’s an affordable and fun way to try a range of body shop products. Coconut body butter is my go to product xxReplyCancel

  • Spa of the world luxurious body collection box would be my pick! Looks AMAZING!
    It would make the ultimate gift full of amazing products to keep you feeling relaxed and refreshed! I might just have to keep that one for myself!ReplyCancel

  • Di

    White Musk, I’m just about out and need to top up! Perhaps a white musk body bar too :)ReplyCancel


    All the gorgeous perfume oils, I love, love, love them but really dislike going ‘in store’ because the girls behind the counter are either too engrossed in themselves or their over the top conversations to pay attention or give respect to shoppers (by toning things down and watching their tongues) OR it’s the other extreme and the minute you set foot in store they’re on you and won’t leave you in peace to browse and select the scent for you, insisting that they know your nose better than you do. Body shop at home sounds like heaven to me, for all the products, without the snooty nosed sales assistants.ReplyCancel

  • karina l

    I love grapefruit flavoured everything, especially the body butter and shower gel. I just want to lick myself, it smells divine!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel

    24 Days of Christmas Gifts!

    One for me, one for my mum, one for my sister… but I would have to give them on 30 November so they could begin to open them on the 1st. Hmmm, so then I would need to buy more gifts for Christmas Day. They would love it! And I would love it too because the Advent Calendar is such a great tradition. And maybe I could forgo the chocolate Advent Calendar. Maybe…ReplyCancel

  • I would love to check the carrot moisture facial cream I used through my twenties back in Denmark – and which Body Shop stopped producing some years ago :( – would love to be able to get it again – was just the best.
    As I have not used it for years due to not being able to get it might be why my skin looks old now :(ReplyCancel

  • Anastasia

    The pomegranate skin firming range because at the age of 40 I need to find ways to keep my skin looking youthful.ReplyCancel

  • Louise M

    The Mango Bliss box, I rarely like fragranced products but this smells as good as the mangoes I eat!ReplyCancel

  • kzsupreme

    The pomegranate skin firming range for me,
    hitting 50, sagging skin I see.
    Body shop at home products, sheer bliss
    I can relax, and a sale I cant miss 😀ReplyCancel

  • Naomi

    Hemp hand protector, because it works.ReplyCancel

  • Hildi

    The Advent Calendar from the Body Shop;
    Would make my heart skip and hop;
    Leading to Christmas a surprise everyday;
    Would make this grateful Mummy shout HOORAY!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda Palmer

    The 24 days of Christmas! An advent calendar for mummy! Yes please! Bout time there was one for mummy’s!ReplyCancel

  • Jenny

    The top of my list would be the Shea Butter Tin. I love the way Shea Butter leaves your skin so incredibly soft and silky. Talk about pampering. Really don’t have the time for that, but would love it. I’m always for helping anyone out, especially to give Clean Water for the people of Ethiopia? We should always help out cause there is always people in worst shape then ourselves.ReplyCancel

  • Pam Berkeypile

    Shea beauty bag. I need soft hands!ReplyCancel

  • Kirsty Bunyan

    I’d love the advent calendar, something special just for me to enjoy and count down to Christmas, why should the kids have all the fun! Also it would give me an idea what products I like to purchase full size at the next party!ReplyCancel

  • Mary Preston

    The Mango Bliss Box just screams summer indulgence. Blissfully delicious!!ReplyCancel

  • Angela M

    The cranberry shower gel. I’m sure it smells delicious and it’s absolutely Christmassy! :-)ReplyCancel

  • Adele Smith

    The Argan Deluxe Kit as I’ve used some of these products before and my skin coos in delight when these are applied. The perfect gift to my skin!ReplyCancel

  • Belle

    The Glazed Apple Shimmer Globe caught my eye. I don’t even know what it is but just looking at it makes me feel like it would smell fresh and summery and make me feel all shiny and new.ReplyCancel

  • melanie

    Coco butter body butter! Its time to start getting ready for the warmer weather and theres nothing better than smelling and feeling delicious on a balmy summers evening!ReplyCancel

  • melanie

    Cocoa butter body butter! Its time to start getting ready for the warmer weather and theres nothing better than smelling and feeling delicious on a balmy summers evening!ReplyCancel

  • Elita Hooper

    Hemp body butter only thing that will fix my son’s excemaReplyCancel

  • I would absolutely love the mango bliss box. Mangoes are my favourite fruit combined with great products. MMM heaven all round.ReplyCancel

  • Maree

    Argan oil gift set ticks all my Christmas wish list!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Brazil

    I would love the oils of life box. I was in a store today and tried some under my eyes and it felt so beauiftul. I love all Body Shop products but always seem to be buying them as gifts. Today I treated myself to some of the new SPA scrub and went to bed feeling amazing. Skin is so soft.ReplyCancel

  • margo

    Thank you for the opportunity to win such a lovely gift.

    I would choose the hemp hand cream as my hands need all the help I can get, it works, you can see the difference.ReplyCancel

  • Deb

    Cannot go past the Hemp range it just works – forget all the restReplyCancel

  • Alexandra

    My pick is Spa of the World – what’s better than being transported to amazing places all over the world and being pampered by unique products from your own living room?ReplyCancel

  • Tammy

    The Mango Bliss Box would definitely be on the top of my wish list, I used the mango range at the end of my first pregnancy and when my daughter was a newborn and every time I smell it I can remember those days as if I was living them again :)ReplyCancel

  • Sue Kelsey

    Milk bath – best bath ingredient ever, leaves skin feeling smooth and refreshed.ReplyCancel

  • ooh, for my daughter who is a hairdresser and has issues with her hands, i would get the Hemp Medium Tin… she loves this. and for my other daughter to take to the gym, Strawberry Beauty Bag… that would make me happy, seeing my girls happy.ReplyCancel

  • Naomi

    The Satsuma tin! I’ve always loves that scent and I was so disappointed when they discontinued it. I might need to put it on my christmas wish list… :)ReplyCancel

  • Lauren

    My favourite Body Shop product is the Strawberry hand cream. It comes in a small tube that fits perfectly in your hand bag. You only need the tiniest bit to leave your hands feeling silky and soft and the gorgeous strawberry scent lasts for a good while. Love it!!ReplyCancel

  • Debra Girling

    The White Musk Barrel Gift, my all time favourite Body Shoppe scentReplyCancel

  • Carolyn

    24 Days of Christmas Gifts. I love the idea of an adult advent calendar! Why should the kids get all the present opening fun!!?ReplyCancel

  • Kirsty

    Shea body butter – luxurious on dry skin plus it smells good enough to eat!ReplyCancel

  • Selina Brookes

    The pomegranate series has my name all over it – smells delicious and alas, my skin now exhibits “visible signs of aging”! Can’t go past the gift boxes though with 10 nieces and nephews to buy for this Christmas.ReplyCancel

  • Emma Busuttil

    Jasmine perfume oil or shower gel and body lotion! Most perfumes give me a rash or a headache (Or both) but I just love this fragrance and body shop perfumes are gentle on my skin.ReplyCancel

  • It would have to be any product from the Moringa Range as this scent is just divine, fresh and subtle, but if I would have to pick it would the Moringa Body Mist as it makes me feel beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • jess

    My skin always loves thes strawberry body butter!ReplyCancel

  • Tina

    Easily the peppermint pamper tin! Nothing like a bit of relief for my tootsies after running around on them all day!ReplyCancel

  • Tam

    Is there a non-virgin Mojito range? If so, I’M THERE!

  • Diana

    Any of the Body Butters. My teen girls and I go through them like you wouldn’t believe. We haven’t tried the Mojito, but the Frosted Plum smells divine! Anything fruity!ReplyCancel

  • Allison

    top of my list would be hand cream i absolutely love body shop hand creams :)ReplyCancel

  • Rachel

    Would love to try something from the plum range…a new scent I haven’t seen before! The body shop products are a moment of bliss in my house of boys (hubby and 3 boys). I always suggest body shop products when people ask me for ideas :)ReplyCancel

  • Nikoly Richardson

    I would love the Black Musk EDT or the African Ximenia Scrub.
    What the heck…lets go for both!
    Ooh, but then there’s the…..and the….oh where does it stop?!ReplyCancel

  • Selina Leng

    The new oils of life range- I’ve tried the samples and loved how it made my skin feel, the only hydrating product that’s stopped it flaking and it smells heavenly.ReplyCancel

  • Leanne W

    The Body Shop At Home party
    Would be a marvelous treat.
    The Coconut Deluxe Gift set
    Smells good enough to eat!ReplyCancel

  • Mary Cole

    The Advent Calendar Set, because Christmas only happens once a year, and a box filled with surprises is the way to go for me!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole Hanham

    The “Oils of Life Skincare Gift” is at the top of my wishlist because you’re never too old to become younger!ReplyCancel

  • Shea Body Scrub is always on my must have list.

    Creamy, delicious scent, leaves smooth skin, you get the gist.

    It helps me out every summer, it really is quite clever.

    And now with a baby on the way I need indulging more than ever!ReplyCancel

  • Natasha Horsham

    I love the mango body scrub – it always makes me feel clean or may be I should say to awakens my skin and afterwards love the oils in it so that my skin feels that moisturisedReplyCancel

  • Kristie Newland

    The Satsuma Tin! I fell in love with the scent when I was living in the UK and have only been able to find it once (at christmas) since retuning to Oz :(ReplyCancel

  • Trileen Robson

    There is nothing better than the body shop shower gels/washes, especially the pink grapefruit and coco butter ones. I have very little time to indulge in these products, but this gives me the one optunity to “indulge” in beautiful products xReplyCancel

  • Thelma Roberton

    Since I couldn’t see anything raspberry the next best thing it glazed apple…the sugar scrub is at the top of the list!ReplyCancel

  • Christy

    It would have to be Spa of the World for my daughter & me. Spa is something we both love to do together & to be able to use this amazing product would be a total bliss!ReplyCancel

  • Jodie

    Body scrub at the end of a working week I love to exfoliate the whole body to feel fresh and aliveReplyCancel

  • Kelli

    Top of my Christmas wish list was always the olive body spray…LOVED it and cried fReplyCancel

  • Kelli

    Top of my Christmas wish list was always the olive body spray…LOVED it and cried for weeks when it was taken off the shelves ? I am a big fan of all the body butters…at the moment I am loving the new frosted cranberry body butter!ReplyCancel

  • Donna Lovelock

    I’d have to order the Strawberry Bliss Box as a Christmas gift for myself! I love having a bubble bath using the Strawberry Shower Gel as the bubble bath. Smells amazing & I come out in a much better mood.ReplyCancel

  • Carol

    Black Sea Salt Scrub does an amazing job at exfoliating the whole body. I just love the way your skin feels afterwards – so fresh, alive and smooth waiting for that next layer of virgin mojito body butter that just smells so delicious.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer

    The Shea Butter has always been a favourite of mine. Doesn’t conflict with any of the perfumes I wear and super-moisturising without the greasy aftermath. The fact that it’s responsibly sourced through The Tungteiya Shea Butter Association and goes to help women in Ghana is an added bonus!ReplyCancel

  • Sonia G

    Right up the top of my list will always be the Body Shop’s coconut body butter. No smell conjures up images of warm summer evenings by the pool than that one!ReplyCancel

  • Angela J

    Spa of the World Kit – OMG, just to get lost in the inulgence of it all, even for just a small while! Bliss.ReplyCancel

  • Rachael Maddock

    Top of my Wishlist from the Body Shop catalogue is the Advent Calender Gift (p9) as this contains so many of my favourite products, along with a lot that I haven’t yet tried out.ReplyCancel

  • Laura Scriven

    Body Butter keeps me smooth, because I’m always on the move. Air con and pollution all day, keeps dry, dull skin away.ReplyCancel

  • Helen

    The Satsuma gift set because while growing up in England “Santa” always left a satsuma (mandarin!) at the bottom of my stocking. The smell still reminds me of those freezing cold & dark Christmas mornings! But in a good way!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda

    On top of my Christmas wish list would be the moringa body butter the beautiful fresh smell of this would take me from day to night on a balmy summer’s day in the pre Christmas Party rush. That virgin mojito would also go down a treat dying to try this out!!ReplyCancel

  • Amelia

    Mango Bliss Box. Mango is my toddler’s favourite food. I might get a few more cuddles if I smell like it 😉ReplyCancel

  • Sandra Parsons

    I use Body shop products, and the all in one face base is wonderful as is the moisturizing primer! Both awesome products and the fact that nothing is tested on animals makes me love the Body Shop!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer B.

    A treat for me that might just over-ride the smell of wet dog around this house at the moment in the most exotic of ways… A WHITE MUSK DELUXE GIFT Set!ReplyCancel

Discover one mum’s secrets to being an organised mum. These tips will introduce some calm and order in your home.

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  • So many great ideas – thanks for the tips! xReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Renee was so lovely to share her tips!ReplyCancel

  • Julia K

    My two main tips are 1) to have an excellent wall calendar and 2) my “household organisation” binder

    1) Calendar
    Having a great wall calendar is a help. I have a large calendar on the wall right next to my desk.
    ALL TIME COMMITMENTS are immediately written on this calendar and I also use it to manage our finances.
    Regular time commitments such as dance classes, soccer practice etc are written on the calendar in black.
    Other time commitments (eg picking my husband up from the airport, sleepover dates) are written in blue ink.
    As I receive a bill in the post, I make a note of the amount eg Telstra $250 in red ink on the due date. The bill then gets filed in date order in my “payables” folder.
    I check the calendar regularly and this keeps me organised. I usually pay the bills once a week and this way I know when to move money around in our accounts and I don’t pay late fees or interest on credit cards.
    My children know to check the calendar for any commitments.
    I have experimented with many calendars over the years and have gone back to the “More Time Moms” family organiser. The only downside with this calendar is that it is produced in Canada so all the holidays are North American ones – not Australian. However, I am sad to say that I have not found anything as good locally. The advantages are as follows:
    * The calendar is BIG and has large squares for each day so there is plenty of room to write in all my families commitments
    * It is a 16 month calendar (running from Sept 2015 through December 2016. This is great for when you get all of those notes at the end of the year pertaining to the next school year and avoids having to scribble on the bottom of your December calendar – you can go right ahead and note your January and February commitments down in the proper spot !
    * The calendar has matt finish pages so it is EASY to write on (I hate annoying shiny paper for calendars – so hard to write on)

    2) Household Organisation Binder
    This is simply an A4 sized lever arch binder with a stack of dividers and plastic sheet holders. Each divider pertains to a section of your life eg School, Dancing, Medical, Travel etc. It’s like a huge “pending” tray that holds all of those temporary bits of paper eg notes for dancing, airline bookings, prescription repeats. Eg if I make a travel booking, I’ll note the details on my wall calendar and file the paperwork for the flights / car hire / accommodation etc in a plastic sheet holder under travel. It is great to have everything in one place and I don’t lose things.

    Hope these tips help someone.ReplyCancel

    • Renee

      Hi Julia,
      I recently found a great Large wall calendar at officeworks $18.95 AAG month wall calendar…
      I’ve been searching for a large calendar also.. It’s only 2016 (Jan -Dec) that I have seen but looks like what your after ?ReplyCancel

      • Julia K

        Thanks for the info on the Officeworks Calendar Renee – I’ll check it out.ReplyCancel

    • I’m a fan of those family calendars that have a column for each person – I used to get the Ultimate Family Organinser which had big spaces as well as six columns (one for Reg’s roster, and one each for the four of us, the dog and birthdays) BUT of course, when one has found the perfect calendar, it gets discontinued. I’ve used the Kikki.K one for the last two years and it’s not bad. There’s enough columns, space to write extra stuff on the bottom of the calendar, and it comes with stickers which is always fun. I use that in conjunction with a weekly planner that goes on the fridge (it has rosters, childcare, after school activities, which sheets are due to be changed next, the meal plan… It’s awesome, and I really notice when I don’t update it)ReplyCancel

    • Amanda Palmer

      Hi have you looked at the kikki-k large family calendar? I find that quite good a column for each Hamilton member & a square each for each day? I’m not familiar with the one you use to compare but it’s Australian?ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Great tips Julia a household binder will help to keep everything organised :)ReplyCancel

  • I’ve just recently returned to full-time work, after 19 years of being available and present in our home and for my children. This has required a whole other level of organisation I have required since I had my children!

    The biggest deal-breaker for me was coming home at 5.30-6.00pm and having to cook dinner. I. Just. Couldn’t. My 19yo has taken over this aspect of our family’s routine. She helps me with meal planning (partly a Uni assignment for her) and the shopping, and then she organises getting meals cooked. She is home from Uni two days a week, the other two kids cook one meal each in the week, but she is home by 4.30pm. On Friday’s we are all over the place so everyone gets their own food. This has been such a blessing to me, but it’s also been good for our kids to learn some valuable life skills they’ll need when they leave home.

    As for cleaning, I am about to approach a friend to outsource. We are all capable and competent but we are all majorly failing on this front.

    I still make lunches fresh, first thing in the morning. I hate “old” sandwiches and my kids are right there with me. I do this before anyone else is up, when the house is peaceful and we prevent the “I need all the space” fights in the kitchen. I’ve also found that my 15yo son won’t take lunch if he has to make it himself. It’s one of the last things that I still do for my kids and it feels like one small way I get to remind them I love them in a tangible way. Once they leave high school the deal is over and they figure it out on their own.ReplyCancel

    • I totally agree with outsourcing – I had to let my ‘staff’ go when my partner finished work a bit over a year ago. He’s been working casually for the last six months and I have struggled so badly (because it’s apparently *my* job – sore point, long story, many sighs abound, and I’ve re-hired my ironing fairy). Now he’s back working full time, I am looking into a cleaner because I just don’t want to. Ever.

      Dinner is 70/30 my way most nights, although it would average 60/40 over the course of the week. I cook the vegies and he cooks the meat.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      What a wonderful daughter you have to help you!ReplyCancel

  • Bec

    This seems to work in house. I have four children – 6, 5, 3, 3 years and although they are young they can still help out.

    “Ten Things” – before we leave home in the morning everyone needs to pick up and put away 10 things (sometimes it’s more and sometimes it’s less) This can be their own 10 things or just random things lying around the house. They count as they pick up and I don’t seem to get many complaints and because there are 4 of them, that’s 40 things I don’t have to put away.ReplyCancel

    • Julia K

      Bec – I think your “10 things” tip is brilliant !ReplyCancel

      • Bec

        Thanks Julia! Picking up and putting away is one of my least favourite things!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Love this so much I’m going to go share it on the facebook page, brilliant!!ReplyCancel

When I had my first baby I was 28, I know not that old probably the average age, but by that stage of my life I had really come to a certain routine, a level of organisation & order about life. So of course the biggest thing I struggled with once my first daughter was born was that loss of control of life, the need to change the strict structure routine to a more go with the flow baby’s needs first lifestyle!

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  • Julia K

    I was a full time working mum with my first baby. I went back to work when he was only 10 weeks old.
    After a particularly nasty nappy incident one morning (all over my work clothes – yuck !!) – I soon learned to change the order in which I did things in the mornings. I would give the baby his morning feed, change him and pop him back into his cot for an early nap. Then I’d have my shower, do my hair and make-up, and get PARTLY dressed. I’d put on my underwear, stockings, even jewelry, then put a short dressing gown/robe on. I’d then do the rest of my morning tasks, dishes / beds etc and get everything in the car ready to go. At the last moment – I’d put the baby in the car and then race back into the house to put my suit / dress on.
    Sounds a bit crazy – but hey – it worked !ReplyCancel

  • Amanda Palmer

    Wow you published my tips I’m so star struck! Thanks Kat! XxReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      Hi Amanda, I am so very grateful to you for sharing your tips and being able to help other mums who may be struggling. Thank you so very much xReplyCancel

  • Jessica

    Thanks so much for this Amanda! I have three under three (toddler and 10 month old twins) and I struggle to keep my head above water. When they go to bed at night I just want to flop on the couch because I’m drained. I’ll try and set up for the day ahead of time and see if that helps me :)ReplyCancel

    • Amanda Palmer

      Wow three little ones I’m in Awe! I guarantee your doing a brilliant job even though you don’t always feel it! I hope you’ll find it helps! I just found having control over the things I knew were a given helped my morning! Your guaranteed to need clothes for everyone, breakfast & bits to make breastfeeding easier! Love to know how you went! Make sure you let us know if it helped for a smoother day! XxReplyCancel

  • Hannah

    Hi Amanda, just wanted to say that I wish I could’ve read your tips earlier! You’re doing an awesome job! I also gave birth to my first daughter at 28 and 16 months later, our second daughter arrived. They’re a little older now but I’m still struggling to keep on top of things! Although I don’t have the luxury of a 2 hour nap anymore, I’ll definitely take your tips on board. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

    • Amanda Palmer

      Thank you! I’m feeling so proud & elated that Kat published my email! I’m not looking forward to the day my oldest starts refusing day sleeps! That little bit of quiet & space really fuels me up for the witching hours before bedtime! I like to try get breakfast bits ready the night before now that mine are both eating breakfasts, I chop my nuts for on top of my porridge, weigh out my oats in thermo & shut the lid (leave them dry).
      I love Kats tips on washing days the weathers a bit hit & miss where we are for drying but having a bit of a routine has helped! I couldn’t believe the extra washing going from three people to four in the household! XxReplyCancel

      • Julia K

        Hey Amanda,
        Just a hint for when your little man starts resisting the afternoon nap – when my kids were getting to this stage – I ramped up the morning exercise. Usually this meant a walk to the post office (about 2 km return) – but it did the trick. All four of my children were having afternoon naps up until they went to school.
        I even looked after a friend’s child and she said he didn’t sleep during the day – he did here :) I used to take both my son and my friend’s son to playgroup, then they’d come home and have an hour or so playing outside in the sandpit. I’d then give them a quick bath – we’d have lunch and a story and then NAP time. My friend was amazed – but the exercise and the routine seemed to do the trick.
        You sound really organised and I enjoyed reading your post.ReplyCancel

  • Chloe

    I don’t have the naps. I have a four year gap between my girls. I wish I had enforced a quiet time where she had to stay on her bed and read or puzzle etc. That is my tip going forward for you guys with very little ones. I feel like I never get that little head settle. We are all doing an amazing job. The fact we are trying to improve means we are great parents. I would recommend doing kats 20 day challenge. It helped me a lot.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Thank you Chloe for the recommendation of the 20 Day challenge. My son stopped napping when he was 3 and I tried with all my might to keep him in his room for quite time, eventually after repetitiveness (just walking him back to his room and whispering it’s quiet time, stay in your room) he finally understood and happily played with his toys and books in his bedroom while his sisters slept. I cherished this time to potter around the house.ReplyCancel

  • Always keep a nappy bag packed! Its so hard to get out the door somedays so I found it easier to make sure I always had a bag packed so I just needed to grab the bare essentials and go.ReplyCancel

Not sure where to start with cleaning your home? Join The Organised Housewife’s ‘Organise and Clean your Home Challenge’. Great ideas to clean your home.

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  • Lydia

    count me in, I need all the help I can get. I struggle to know where to start.ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      Fantastic, Lydia! Looking forward to having you join the challenge.:)ReplyCancel

  • Cassie

    i joined this challenge in the 1st round, I can express enough how it helped me with the simplest things around the house. I have 2 kids and found it hard to work out how all these other mums found time to even do the dishes. Kat shares all in very easy step by step detail., and I love the checkboxes she implemented during the last round I can tick in the screen as I have completed tasks. Thank you Kat you’ve made a dramatic change in my household, honestly a simple thank you doesn’t seem enough though.ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      Ooh thank you, Cassie. That is so lovely of you and i am so very pleased to hear the challenge worked so well for you.:)ReplyCancel

  • MoniqueM

    Hi Kat & Kate…
    I’ve done this challenge before and would like to do it again this time. I have 3 questions though :
    1) I can’t find a tab to click on for previous participants
    2) As I have lifelong access am I a basic or premium etc. participant? If I’m just basic can I upgrade and how much extra will that cost? Id like to join the Facebook group this time and receive any new printables.
    3) Are the printables the same as before as i have them still in a binder and will I automatically get the 2016 calendar when it’s ready or do I need to purchase that separately?
    Thanks in advance for answering my queries. I’m just a little confused at the moment.
    Cheers! MoniqueReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Hi Monique. I’d love for you to join in again. You will find the existing members login on the homepage: You signed up in Round 1 which included access to the facebook group, I’ve just checked and you are already in the group, I’ll email you the link along with details on how to upgrade to receive the printable bundle. :)ReplyCancel

  • Nicole

    I want to participate but I’m not completely sure if it’ll benefit me. I don’t have a printer. And only need to establish a routine, got the rest under control (but an extra sweep and clean would be nice).ReplyCancel

  • Colette

    Hi. I was wondering if this would be suitable for a working full time single mum or it more for homes with a full time “housewife” ?ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      HI Colette, it may be too much for you to complete all the tasks in each day, however the beauty of the ecourse is that you can go back whenever you have a few spare minutes. Either use the daily printable and tick the paper once you have comleted each task, or use the virtual checklists and tick ont the screen so you can keep track of where you are. You have lifetime access, so even if you do take a few days to get through one of the tasks, that’s fine.ReplyCancel

  • What a brilliant idea! I really need to do this as my life feels so cluttered and chaotic!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      It will help you Amber to create some routines to help take that chaotic away :)ReplyCancel

  • It seems very interesting. I always wanted my house clean and organized, but don’t know from where i should start and even if i do start from somewhere i don’t get time for next day.
    I would really like to join this challenge and see if that can help me in achieving what i wanted or not.
    Really exited for it.ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      Fantastic! You will get so much out of the challenge, excited to have you join in.:)ReplyCancel

  • Colleen

    Really love reading your posts
    I am retired now and have grandchildren
    But you have motivated me to decluttered
    And lots of great tips
    Thank you

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Hi Colleen, so pleased this has helped motivate you, biggest tip with getting through your clutter, if you are struggling to part with something take a photo and write with it the memories it holds. Sometimes we don’t need the ‘item’ it’s the memories that we truly treasure.ReplyCancel

  • Marianne

    I am interested in joining this 20 day challenge. I do not have the “organizer” gene at all and I desire it. I pray for help all of the time. My question is will the printables have specific tasks? I ask because, I work best when someone tells me exactly what to do and not for me to fill in whatever I think should be done since that is my problem to start with! I have always wanted to get inside the mind of an organized person and figure out how they think. I really, really hope this program will be like that, with you telling me what you do everyday to make your house clean and run smoothly. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

    Hi Marianne, this program sounds exactly like what you are looking for. The ecourse shares how I do things, I share with you my routines and step by step checklists, you can use mine or I have provided blank lists for you to create your own if you don’t want to follow mine. It will certainly help you make a positive difference in your home.ReplyCancel

  • Merilyn

    Hi Kat. Great website. Thank you for all the wonderful ideas. Is it possible to join the 20 day challenge now? I would love to get organised before Christmas! Thanks.ReplyCancel

The only person you should compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday. Stop comparing yourself to others and live more positively

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  • This is so true! Comparison is the thief of joy!
    Lou xReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      I agree, Louise.:) xReplyCancel

  • Hannah

    Right now I compare myself to my friends, we all had our children around the time however I had to return to work due to finances. One of those friends are still at home with their children and another only works part time. I feel like I am missing out on seeing my children by working but after reading this blog I have realised that I am setting a future for my children and then I also have the weekends to do special things with my girls. Thank you Kat, I love this website and check it out everyday (As soon as I get into the office). Hannah xReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      Absolutely Hannah i couldn’t agree more with you! xReplyCancel

  • Bec

    Just this morning in prayer, I spoke with The Lord about comparing. Sometimes, we are very hard on ourselves. I ask for help in my own life to stop comparing myself to one of my very best friends. We women are prone to do this too often.ReplyCancel

  • Kathy

    I learnt a while ago that comparing myself and my family to others is a futile process. I learnt that our family runs the way it does because it works for us and I do things the way I do because it works for me. The comparison problem I have is comparing what ACTUALLY happens with what I think SHOULD be happening , ie I seem to set high standards of doing life for myself and my family, and when we don’t achieve those standards, I sometimes get down on myself and feel like I’m failing. I’m working on this with the help of some amazing friends I have who encourage me and help me to keep things real. Only just this morning I had a friend remind me to not get hung up on stuff and enjoy the journey of life, in whatever form it comes!ReplyCancel

  • Betty

    Thanks Kat.As a mother of twins too, I struggled finding time to clean and do laundry in addition to school runs for the older two kids. But I learnt what the true meaning of the word prioritising. The time to bond with hubby and kids is priceless.
    Each of us needs to decide what is most important at any time in our lives. I chose to devote most of my time to resting and caring for the kids and hubby.This meant only hubbys shirts got ironed , the rest of the laundry was wash, dry and wear for two years. I chose to only clean the kitchen and bathrooms each day leaving the rest of the cleaning to a cleaner once a week. Now that the twins are eight, i do have more time for cleaning.
    Am also back toa full time job and I look back with no regret for spending more time with my kids and hubby instead of cleaning.ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      Betty, thank you! I agree with you 100% Family time is so much more important xReplyCancel

  • Jodie

    Thank You!
    I really love your blog. You are so thoughtful and honest.ReplyCancel

  • leah

    hi – i can’t find the code to enter at checkout to get this download for free??

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Hi Leah, the code is ‘thrivecompare’ enjoy :)ReplyCancel

I love home decor and interior design and always used to strive to have a clean, tidy home with the latest cool decor trends, now that I’m a special needs Mum, the rules have changed. Now being able to relax a little and not worry about what the kids are doing is invaluable.

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  • I would pick a stress-free home any day. I learned a while back that I’d rather have my children make their own messy art to hang around the house rather than fancy looking things that no one can touch.


    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      I agree, Megan. I love nothing more than a stress free home!ReplyCancel

  • What a wonderful mum you are! Your house is a welcoming home for everyone you share it with. Nothing worse than feeling like you’re stepping into a show home and bring on edge. Sounds like a relaxed environment for your children to grow up in and be themselves. Good luck and best wishes xxReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      I agree with you.:)ReplyCancel

  • Kim

    Thanks girls…..we could all do with this reminder every now and again…. Material stuff is just that….stuff…. Family/children and a stress free life is WAY more important, or should be.ReplyCancel

  • Jude

    Thanks Melinda. I used to want to be an interior designer and as a Mum have struggled at times with the dilemma of stylish house vs child-friendly home. I particularly love displays of decorative items.
    So the children often create sideboard displays with Lego, animal figurines, artwork, Sylvanian families or lovely decorative nature finds in season. Some of these have really looked fun, child-friendly and visually pleasing with a few little tweaks. Sometimes a favourite book is displayed with a related “scene” constructed with animals, figurines, dollhouses, papier mache structures, nature items and coloured felt cut out to represent ponds, paddocks, paths etc We have done North America, London, autumn, seaside, France and other themes.
    Visiting children love to see them as they come in the front hallway and often will get up on stools and fiddle around with the little scene. FUN!!!ReplyCancel

    • Brenda

      What a great idea! I love the idea of the kiddies contributing to the decorative displays in the house.ReplyCancel

  • Jude

    …and by the way this won’t suit everyone but it has just been my fun way of enjoying the decorating bug with my children.
    All your children who have such lovely Mums that are willing to come to something that works for the family as a group are so lucky!! Grannyapple hit the spot when she used the words “home” and “sharing”. I think this is what this discussion is all about.ReplyCancel

Use these simple how to keep the house tidy tips, to stay in control of your home when Mum is not feeling well

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  • D young
  • Hi Kat. Sounds similar to my routine for coping with housework when working full time. Then I catch up at weekends. Do you have any other good shortcuts for full time working mums? Mine is to prepare the kids packed lunches the night before so they can easily grab them from the fridge in the morning rush around before school runs.ReplyCancel

    • Karen

      I’m a Mum that works full time also and I too make lunches the night before as there is no time in the morning. I do a meal plan for each week and also cook ahead on the weekend. Soup and anything in a slow cooker are my friends and I make the infamous zucchini quiche often to use in lunches. My 10 year old has a thermos she takes to school with hot soup in (soup I made on the weekend!) which she loves. I don’t stress about washing clothes each day and only do it on the weekend. At the moment it is too cold and wet to hang out clothes so our laundry is full of clothes airers with washing from the weekend on them and we pick off what is dry during the week. Many of the tips here are just not feasible if you work outside the home but you can pick and choose the ones that will work for you and your family. Our home is not perfectly tidy and clean, there aren’t enough hours in the day when you work full time but we are happy, healthy and well fed which I believe is all that is important.ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      Fantastic that you are preparing lunches the night before, this is a big time saver in the mornings. I also use Routine Charts which my kids use for Morning, AAfternoon and Evenings. They can be purchased from my shop. I find them a great time saver. Here is the link for you:

  • PlanetCookeUK

    Hugely disappointed by this article to say the least. It sends the wrong message from start to finish – the notion that hopefully your husband/kids are “willing to do these jobs for you”? Because I’m female, they are automatically all MY jobs?? And I should be grateful of any ‘willingness’ from others to do these jobs on my behalf? Erm no. Perhaps the suggestion that household chores should be undertaken by those that live within that household is a little too 21st century for your author? Sure every family is different but if you perpetually reinforce that dirty laundry, dishes and dinners are mum’s responsibility you’ll continue to stifle the progression of women of not only in our generation but also your daughter’s and her daughter’s. None of them will thank you for it I can assure you.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Hi there, I hope you do read more of my blog, you will learn that my blog is about sharing responsibilities amongst all family members, not just mum. In my post I did say let’s presume you don’t have the support of your partner or kids, because he/she maybe at work, and the kids maybe too young. If you do have the support of kids and hubby than this post would be redundant to that situation :)ReplyCancel

  • granny app

    Similar thought crossed my mind. However, I get where Kats coming from too. Sometimes we don’t realise how much we do until we are unwell. My family are good at taking responsibility and helping out but it can be easy to “make a rod for your own back”.ReplyCancel

  • Jude

    Thanks for some great tips to help make things a little easier for those of us who choose to take on the “housewife” tag. It would be ideal if husband and kids automatically did everything but they don’t always see what needs doing because their usual week revolves around other areas of responsibility. Warm appreciation shown to husband and kids is important. We thank the checkout operator at the supermarket for their service, even though it is their job and they get paid to do it. As the saying goes, you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
    Friends and grandparents may also provide support and help when mothers of young children are sick too. So don’t be afraid to ask for help and develop real-live face-to-face relationships!! Family is the place where children can learn to show thankfulness to their hardworking parents. NB 4 yr olds can peg small items of washing on a clothes airer, age 7 and up are fantastic at so many things and age 11 can probably do most of a meal so its worthwhile to spend time training the children to contribute to the family and as they get older they will be wonderful skills to have and you will be blessed by their love and care.ReplyCancel

  • Great tips Kat! I like the one where the clothes are washed but not put away or folded. You really need to pick your priorities I agree :)ReplyCancel

  • Julia K

    Some years ago – a new family moved into our school and I became an acquaintance of the new mum. We’d had coffee once or twice but we were just acquaintances. I knew her husband worked away and she had a young baby as well as her primary aged son at school. By chance I heard that both she and the baby had been unwell so I made a simple meal (including salad and a dessert) and dropped it into her son’s classroom that afternoon. Little did I know – that simple act on my part was – in her words – an act of kindness that went above and beyond. I didn’t know it at the time – but their family was going through a major crisis and she really was at the end of her rope. She said that that simple meal restored her hope and gave her something to hang on to.
    I’m writing this to encourage other mums to put your hand up and ask for help when you need it. At the same time – reach out and help someone else when you can. The simplest of gestures can really touch others. What goes around comes around and you never know when you may be the one needing help.
    I should add that this lady and I now have a wonderful friendship – who would have thought ?ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      That is really beautiful, Julia! What a wonderful friend you are, all starting with a simple kind gesture.:)ReplyCancel

  • Julia K

    PLANETCOOKEUK – I think you have totally missed the point of this post. This whole blog is aimed at the “Housewife” – be that male or female and the article addresses how that “Housewife” can get by when he or she is unwell.
    In families where there is one party (male or female) working outside the home and the other party (male or female) is primarily responsible for running the home – then the laundry / cooking / cleaning IS their job.
    Try not to get hung up in the male or female side of things and take these excellent tips on board.
    I happen to be the housewife in this family and I’M PROUD OF MY JOB so I’m gonna get back to it :)ReplyCancel

    • Kylie

      Well said Julia K !!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Thank you Julia, hopefully she will read more of the blog and learn my tone certainly isn’t saying women have to only clean the home. It’s far from that.ReplyCancel

  • Kristy

    You are more than welcolme to organise my whole house as I’m a full time working mum with 3 messy kidsReplyCancel

  • Annette

    I think an important point is whether a family member can help by minding the kid/s so the primary organiser of the household can get some rest. I have lost both my parents but my Uncle and Aunt are fantastic and a good friend.ReplyCancel

  • La Hola

    This post is so 1960s! I am going to take a Bex and have a lie down after reading that sexist post.
    Or maybe it is satire? Let’s hope.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Hi there, you may have skimmed over the bit that says lets presume you don’t have the help of your partner or the kids. I shared this from a scenario point of view of mum at home with young kids and hubby is at work. Sick or not, housework should be delegated amongst all family members. Please read more of my posts and you will see I get my kids often to help around the home and share responsibilities with my husband.ReplyCancel

      • La Hola

        #everydaysexism or was the header clickbait??ReplyCancel

  • Joanne

    Thankyou Kat for a very practical and helpful post. I think your tips are great and I will certainly put some of those things into place next time I am sick. I love being a wife/Mum/ homemaker and am disappointed not to be able to do the things I normally do at those times when I am sick. But you have given some very wise and useful strategies for managing those times.ReplyCancel

    • Kate - Kat's Assistant

      My pleasure Joanne.:)ReplyCancel

  • Laura

    Thank you for yet another wonderful post Kat. I am surprised at some of these comments having a go at you. I wish we could go back to the 1950’s when all of the women were able to stay home and not be made to feel guilty about it! (** I say this tongue in cheek, so please don’t get your knickers in a knot feminists!)

    I am a mother of two who works from home and takes care of ALL of the home duties as my husband often works away from home during the week (and even when he isn’t travelling for work he often works 12 – 14 hour days). This works for our family, but I know it isn’t for everyone.

    Keep up the great work Kat.ReplyCancel

  • […] The Organised Housewife Can never go wrong with a delicious lemon and honey combination.  You can also find my top tips to help you keep the house tidy while mum’s feeling sick. […]ReplyCancel

Take a step back and see the kids behaviour as a form of communication rather than taking it personally. Be more intentional and deliberate, managing kids and their needs with Peak-Hour Parenting.

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  • Anne-Marie

    What a beautiful and inspiring story! Thank you for sharing Tracy.

    My children are still quite young 5 & 7 and I also believe that the time and love you put into them, builds them into who they will be. My seven year old son has quite bad asthma and has had several trips to hosptial which i have always been there for. And a few weeks ago an acute pain in my side made me go to hospital. I wanted go by myself and have my husband to mind the kids at home so they were away from the germ filled hosptial, but my son insisted on coming with me because he didn’t want me to be there by myself. I let him come and he was the best company and support for the 5 hours we were there!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Ooh that is just beautiful, Anne-Marie! xReplyCancel

  • Corrina

    Thanks for the share, very inspiring for me. Putting a plan of action in place, is what myself and hubby try to do but sometimes lose sight of that and get caught up in the emotions of the moment as Tracy says. its a never ending battle isn’t it. This inspires me to stay focused on the end goal, a loving, caring, giving, confident young adult to be oh so proud of :)ReplyCancel

  • Angela

    A great practical reflection, thank you! Now it’s time for me to reflect on ‘starting from where you want to end’.ReplyCancel

  • Paulina

    “starting from where you want to end” love it because it is so important and as a parent we want to be proud to say I raised this child and they be a great reflection of us. with so much to do on a daily basis this makes me want to step back and say ok where are and where do I want to go let’s redirect. My babies are still young I have time ! And that’s funny because time is one thing I always say I need more of. Thank you for an awesome post!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      It’s a great read isn’t it Pauline. Yes I always wish I can have more time too. Time for the mundane tasks, but time because I think my kids are growing up so quickly.ReplyCancel

  • Great tips! Bedtime for our 6 year old who lives with high functioning autism can be tricky and the 16 year old is 16! But we hold fast on school daysReplyCancel

  • These are great tips – we are currently in the peak hour parenting with a toddler and a baby! I often think about how structure and routines change as children grow up – but some things (the basics) will always remain the same!
    Bedtime is crucial for us and always will be – sleep is so important – something children don’t understand.

Quite a few of our mums have children with special needs and struggling with the endless cleaning, tidying and battling to get the basics done.

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  • Jean

    Thank you Kat for your consideration on this area, this is a brilliant series idea adding in the element that families with special needs children are different. I just want to say I love your blog it has helped me so much. My son has just been diagnosed and I have been concerned about him socially, what he is eating and yes I want a perfectly tidy home but can never achieve it, it’s a hopeless case. I never stop to consider that I need to lower my expectations, I thought if I found the time somewhere in our chaotic life I will get to tidying it, but I can never find that time.ReplyCancel

  • Great idea! I found charts worked well when I worked with special ed kids. Finished boxes are great too. When they’re finished with an item, it goes in the finished box.ReplyCancel

  • Great tips and ideas and for bringing this topic out in the open. And I love the bean bag idea – really clever.ReplyCancel

  • Gillian McCready

    I have a daughter with special needs who is now 18. It was incredibly difficult when she was young, however she has achieved some remarkable things and gives us so many reasons to be proud of her. I came across this piece of writing many years ago. It gave me hope, and at last felt that someone understood. It still makes me cry every time I read it!

    Welcome to Holland
    by Emily Perl Kingsley

    I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability — to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this…

    When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful vacation plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very, very exciting.

    After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The flight attendant comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

    “Holland?!?”, you say.” What do you mean, Holland? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy. ”

    “But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They landed in Holland and there you must stay.”
    The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine, and disease. It’s just a different place.

    So you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

    It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for awhile and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

    But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say, ‘Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.’

    And the pain of that will never, ever, ever go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.

    But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.ReplyCancel

    • Maddy

      Oh wow I have tears. My eldest has ASD and we have just had a really tough day.ReplyCancel

    • Debbie

      Wow! that really rings true. I’m currently faced with a new and unexpected journey with my 2 year old. With two previous children happy and healthy, my third decided that our lives weren’t busy enough so decided to throw us a curve ball and see our lives totally turned upside down. What worked with the eldest two has no meaning in her life. So we are back on a learning curve and adapting our lives around doing things differently, and I’m trying desperately to convince family and friends that my trashed house is the way it’s meant to be at this point in our lives. I love the writing piece and will remember it when things don’t go according to plan :)ReplyCancel

    • Ana

      My son was born at 23 weeks gestation , he has cerebral polsey , severe language disorder. He is almost 10 years old now and through the years we had lots of challenges lots of ups and lots of downs the downs makes us apreciate all he has achived and always hopeful of what is to came. I mast say there been times when I haven’t seen the light at the end of the tunel and I despair and would of love to go to Italy not holland but then I see that holland has a lot to offer and that I will fight for the right to get the best from holland. Gillian thank you for this entry regards anaReplyCancel

  • Lisa

    My son is now turning 21 he borderline aspergers,ADHA,server anxiety,mild depression,short term memory problems and when he was younger sleep problems and hearing and speech problems but those improved with age. My daughter is turning 15 she is also borderline aspergers,ADD,server anxiety,mild depression,short term memory problems,auditory processing disorder and bowel and bladder problems as well as polycystic ovaries. I must say having kids with multiple problems is very challenging but it certainly not dull, they can make you look at problems from a whole new perspective which can good. There is no hand book that will ever prepare you for this and you will find yourself in a library reading medical journals just to try and make your child’s life a little easier for them and to help them understand why they are more special than other kids and why their talents are different to others. I found what worked for my son did not always work for my daughter as she is on a different level than my son. When he was younger I use to use a photo board to show him what he had to do in the mornings to get ready for school and as he got older charts and behaviour chart worked well, it was also good for me so I could see a pattern in his behaviour and work out when it was going to be a bad or a reasonable week. Well with my daughter charts did nothing, she never had a special toy or activity that would last more than a couple of weeks, so it was a bit more challenging, you had to change the reward or the toy every week just about to get her to stay on track.My son is managing his life pretty well with mum checking up on every couple of weeks he knows his limits and when he needs some help and my daughter is still a work in progress but were getting there with a little help. They just need a little more love and a lot more patience and understanding.ReplyCancel

  • Gayle Ashdowne

    Hi Kat, I have enjoyed following your blog and Facebook page for sometime now. Love that you are introducing new ideas and how you have guest bloggers. I am a mother of a child with special needs and enjoyed reading Cass’ article. Did you know that when referring to a person with a special need that you should always use people first language? So may I request/suggest that you change your heading to reflect this eg. Game plan – Keeping a tidy home with a child with special needs? Thank you.
    Kind regards,
    Gayle mum of Sophie, my child with special needsReplyCancel

  • Karen R.

    I have and autistic daughter who is eight. She is medically complex beyond that. I follow several autistic adultsReplyCancel

    • Karen R.

      Oops! I follow several adult bloggers who prefer to refer to themselves as autistic. I think that I will let my daughter choose her wording herself.ReplyCancel

  • Gillian McCready

    A further thought… It jarred slightly when I saw the photo of a “typical” child playing independently, rather than one of a child with special needs, under the heading for the article. I think that it is brilliant that you are doing this series and offering advice and support to Mums of children with special needs as we are an often ignored/isolated group. However, one of the other challenges is that in many cases, our children look different as well as behave differently, and the more we can see images of those children and adults in the media, the better. Hopefully, people will become more familiar and comfortable with difference as a result.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa

    Thanks Kat and Cass!! That is so nice. I have just spent the whole day planning to get on top of my household chores, budget etc… whilst managing my ASD daughters spills, squeals and adventures (and Dr’s referrals, and a meltdown) whilst at home today. Coming across this article was perfect timing for me, I’d love some help with my game plan. MelissaReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Cass will be sharing some great tips in the coming weeks :)ReplyCancel

One of the biggest struggles I had when the twins were young was every day was the same, wake up, shower, feed kids, wash clothes, play, kids nap, clean house, play, fold washing, feed kids, bath, bedtime. I didn’t go out often, but every day was the same, like groundhog day, eventually it drove me nuts. Something had to change, I made a change in my routine which created a bit of balance.

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  • Bec

    I can’t help myself… You do realise that now it’s seems to be saying ‘wart’ and crafts??ReplyCancel

    • leanne

      THink it will be hard no matter the day, MART, TART, WART, FART…… hehhee oh the giggles my 7yr old will have with it though esp when she shares that reading knowledge with her 5yr old sister!ReplyCancel

  • Pat

    When my kids were primary school age (with one in high school) we had one day outside the home activity and one day at home where we did the housework and prep for our day out.
    I think we only had one lot of school holidays where we only went out one day in the fortnight due to misbehaviour and non-compliance with helping do the chores.
    The amazing part was that was the third set of school holidays that we followed that routine, must have been some adolescent crankiness and teasing from the oldest child. :-) I do remember she was the ring leader.
    Every other school holiday was wonderful. We lived near water at the time, so we would go swimming on hot days or for walks along the lake edge. One winter time we wanted to go to a shop to buy some craft items but there was no where to leave our bicycles safely tethered. I came up with the idea of putting one bike chain through three bikes and a second bike chain from the other end of our four bikes through three bikes. Nobody was going to easily walk off with four bikes at a time.
    There was a lovely bike path near our house and we used it a lot to reach people we visited or the shops or parks for fun and exploring. We would take a picnic lunch or some munchies & water if we went home for lunch.
    We rode at the safest pace for the slowest rider. Which was the youngest child when we started, but later it was me who was slowest and the kids would ride around me in circles.ReplyCancel

my mother told me to be sure to try and do three things that will help to keep a tidy home, they worked for me and now my daughters use these tips too.

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  • Love it! So simple but so trueReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      sometimes it’s the simple things that can make such a big difference 😉ReplyCancel

  • I always feel better if the kitchen is clean and the floors are swept. I always mean to make the beds and it does do wonders but I hardly ever do :/ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      I make my bed after I have my shower, some mornings I may not feel like it, but it’s just something I do now out of habit before I leave my bedroom in the mornings.ReplyCancel

      • Sandra Liddicoat

        I always make my own bed. I grew up doing it everyday and can’t bare to get into an unmade bed. However, making my children’s beds is another story. Whose mother did that for them. My husbands mother did, I think she deserves a medal. I try to teach my children to make their own bed, not always successfully ????ReplyCancel

      • Tane

        I’d love to make my bed straight after getting up but it’s hard to do with the husband still in the bed :)
        (Un)fortunately my mother-in-law does it but not the way I like. She tucks everything in at the foot but it suits her height. She’s almost a foot shorter than me, no covers to for my shoulders to snuggle under unless I pull it all apart again.ReplyCancel

  • Robyn

    Great tip. I live by this rule too but I include one load of washing to my list. If the beds are made, dishes are done and a load of washing is washed and hung up (with yesterdays load folded and put away) than I feel like I have accomplished something, even if i don’t get to anything else.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      I like to do a load of washing everyday too, Robyn. I find it is a greatway of keeping on top of it.ReplyCancel

      • Kirstie

        Omg, you get away with one load a day? I do a minimum of 3 a day and never have a day without any washing to do!
        I need to do these, but the folding one just doesn’t seem doable to me! But I need to fold all my clothes, hubby’s clothes, kids clothes separately or I feel really stressed over itReplyCancel

  • Kate

    I hang clothes on coat hangers on the clothesline, when dry they can be placed straight into the wardrobe, it’s saves handling time.
    Anything that goes into a draw I fold in half before hanging in the clothes line, then it only takes one more fold when removing from clothes line.
    I also place clothes in the basket by family member so when I bring the washing in it doesn’t need sorting, I just walk into each room and place that persons pile in their bedReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Great tips, Kate!ReplyCancel

  • Jude

    Great! Thanks so much, Kay, for sharing. I just treasure those tips from those who have “been there, done that.”

    My Nana had 3 tips too:
    1. Make the beds
    2. Clean up the dishes after each meal
    3. Sweep the verandah.

    When friends of mine got married at their pantry tea we organised to make a book of tips from all the friends, aunties, grandparents etc about housekeeping and marriage. I remember getting all sorts of funny, useful, practical and bizarre tips!

    My Grandma’s tip:
    Don’t put it down, put it away.ReplyCancel

  • Ruth Ward

    Hi Kat,

    my daily essentials top 3 are:

    1- wash, dry and put away dishes

    2 – do the laundry

    3 – empty the bins

    fairly similar!

    Ruth WardReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Perfect Ruth! I too love to get all those 3 done and dusted out of the way.:)ReplyCancel

  • Fiona

    Love these tips – l do an old-fashioned nurse’s practice which helped a lot on busy wards in the past for us. We did a simple “tidy round” which works at home too. A quick tidy-up of surfaces which really makes a difference all over. ?ReplyCancel

  • I always make my bed as soon as I get up.
    I always empty the dishwasher and put the dirty dishes in for the next run.
    I always sweep the floor or do the washing.
    Folding up clothes is always helpful too although the ironing pile always grows out of control.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      I love your daily routine Sue! A great way of staying on top of things.:)ReplyCancel

  • Cammie

    These tips sounds great! I grew up making my bed every day but as a wife and mom now I usually let it go. Just recently started trying again! I’m not sure how my mom got me to make my bed when I was little…she is amazing! I have been trying to do dishes more often too, which makes my whole kitchen look and feel better! I work full-time and so does my husband so that makes its hard to keep up sometimes. Thanks for the simple tip reminder!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Sounds like you are getting back on track and doind a wonderful job, Cammie.:)ReplyCancel

  • Sheila

    I separate twenty minutes every day to rearrange something: drawer, closet, refrigerator …. Another thing that even I who is very tired is how to take the makeup know? I spend a damp handkerchief in the sinks, weights and bench. Collect all that is out of place and put in a basket if not lively to save time. Tidy the sofa cushions and sleep with their house in order. This makes it easier and my life the next day. I learned from a friend of San Diego.It changed my lifeReplyCancel

A checklist of essential items to pack in a nappy bag, plus tips on restocking it so you aren’t left without nappies on your next outing.

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  • Jillian Ives

    Include a spare outfit in a ziplock bag for you! My daughter knocked coffee all over me while we were out. I was able to change into a maxi dress and new undies. My mum has a horror story about my sister and a white outfit and a poonami. So I took her adviceReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Fantastic idea, Jillian!ReplyCancel

  • Julia K

    Years ago now as my eldest is almost 25 – I had a nappy bag which sort of folded out into a series of cubes. I know this sounds totally “over the top” – but I always used to pack it in EXACTLY the same way. Nappies in one section, food in another, clothes in another etc. I was working full-time and when I’d come home – I would undo the nappy bag and know INSTANTLY what needed topping up / replenishing. I would quickly do this and aside from adding bottles / food from the fridge in the morning – I was all good to go.
    My day carer loved it as she too knew EXACTLY where everything was and nothing was EVER omitted. As I said – it sounds over the top – but the more you can do on auto-pilot the better !!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      I love it Julia! You sounded so super organised!.:)ReplyCancel

  • Belinda

    I think you have it pretty much covered Kat but my big tip for new Mums is to always have your bag packed and ready to go. It is hard enough to get out the door with kids without adding the need to pack the nappy bag!! Also, having a little toilet bag with a couple of nappies, wipes and a disposable change mat is useful if going out to dinner as you don’t need to lug the whole bag to the toilet (where there sometimes isn’t a lot of room) also handy when travelling on planes or even in the car.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Wonderful tips Belinda, thank you for sharing.:)ReplyCancel

  • Sandy

    I have a small over the shoulder satchel that I use for my daily run about bag and keep a well stocked nappy bag in the boot at all times which definitely has a change of clothes for me; got caught out once never again. In my satchel I have three nappies, a small packet of wipes, a change of clothes for 2 year old in a ziplock bag, a bottle, two packets of travel formula, my phone which has my cards in it, and in another section I have two balloons, a packet of dome crayons, a couple of sheets of paper folded up, a small bottle of bubbles, a toddlers puzzle and a small book; for when I go out for a meal so she s entertained. And then a heap of snacks and a couple of hot choc drink packets for me.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Love the sound of your well stocked nappy bag.:)ReplyCancel

  • Pat

    My favourite nappy bag was actually a large ladies shoulder strap vinyl handbag. It hung on my shoulder or the pram well.
    It was sort of roll/log shape in large size. It had a side pocket on one long side and zippered pockets that were tall enough for a large baby’s bottle on the two ends.
    The side pocket and one end pocket were my handbag while the big cavity was for nappies clean and used in a water proof bag – I used cloth nappies. The nappy cream went with the water bottle in the end pocket while the change mat was folded, floor side in and went on top of the nappies as I always needed it first.
    Anything else that I needed that didn’t fit in the end pocket went down the sides of the folded nappies. Didn’t need wipes for cleaning up during changes as the cloth nappy handled that.
    I really missed that bag when it fell apart.
    The baby I bought that bag for turned 40 recently. :-)ReplyCancel

Don’t listen to any negativity around you from either people giving it or the thoughts in your head. Change your mindset, think positive and be happy.

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  • Sarah codling

    I feel just as guilty working part time that I either don’t spend enough time with my kids, or that maybe I should work more to make things easier. It is a hard road for all mums, no matter their work status! It took me finally talking to a psychologist to realise that everyone has the same struggles! I was trying to be the prefect mum- work, spend time with the kids and keep my house immaculate- in reality it’s not possible, and I realised that my real friends don’t care if my toilet is clean as they realise I have 3 boys under the age of 7!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Absolutely Sarah, you are so right xReplyCancel

    • Danielle Rego

      As another part time working mum Sarah I felt the same and I too went to see someone before I realised that it is ok if there are days things just don’t get done. We all do the best we can and all mums have struggles of their own – we just don’t always feel like thatReplyCancel

  • Julia K

    The idea of having a series devoted to “Helping Mums Thrive at Home” is a great one and I applaud you Katrina for devoting the time and effort to it.
    I have been married for over 28 years and this time has included us both working, me working F/T and studying part-time – then we had our first son. Having just completed my studies I wanted to gain the fruits of my hard work and so made the difficult decision to return to work when the baby was only 10 weeks of age. It was hard yakka and I felt SO guilty and missed my son dreadfully. I tried to assuage that guilt by rationalising that this was the best decision for OUR FAMILY at that point in time. I wanted more children but CRAVED to be a SAHM and realised that dream when my first son was 10.5 years old and I gave up my job to be a SAHM to him and my new baby daughter. We now have 4 children aged from 24 down to 7 and I consider myself to be lucky to be a SAHM. Our situation has changed again and my husband now lives and works interstate (even though we are still very happily married). There is still guilt – maybe he could move back home into an admittedly lower paying job if I went out and worked also ? But we have made this decision for OUR FAMILY at THIS POINT IN TIME. Even though my children are at school during the day – I am busy looking after the home as DH rarely gets home and when he is here – I want him relaxing – not racing around fixing things. I also love the fact that I am here for the kids after school – I KNOW WHERE THEY ARE at all times and with teenagers – this is a very important thing. So – once again – I remind myself of WHY we have made this decision and that does help with the guilt.
    Another thing I did was to write a card to my husband explaining just how grateful I am for all that he does. It must be so hard for him being away from his family and working long hours. I detailed exactly what and why I am so grateful. It is so important to communicate with your spouse about your feelings (good and bad) and gain reassurance from one another so that you remain on the same page. I encourage other mums to talk to their husbands about how they are feeling. Men don’t always “get it” and they have feelings too. Keep the lines of communication open – so very important.
    I look forward to reading other people’s comments and enjoying the rest of the series.ReplyCancel

  • Karen

    There is “mother guilt” regardless of the decision you make and it is no different for those of us who work be it full time or part time. Working mothers feelings of guilt for not spending enough time with their child, trying to be the best mother and role model you can and also trying to do the best by your employer – motherhood pulls you in all different directions. The best remedy for those days that get you down is to talk to someone. I have found that only another mother can relate to what you are going through, the dumb stuff that you do to cope sometimes and a good laugh can make things seem much better. You aren’t alone we have all been there.

    I don’t wish to hijack this discussion as I do understand that it is specifically targeting SAHM however, as a full time working mother, I have found some of the harshest judgements I have received for my decision to work comes from SAHMs. Believe me, it is no easier being a working mother. We are all mothers and as women we are our own harshest critics. There are challenges for all of us regardless of where we spend our days so how about we support each other instead of trying to pull each other down.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      I totally hear what you are saying Karen, it is so hard finding the happy balance with work and being a mum xReplyCancel

  • Amanda Morris

    I am a working mum of 3 little treasures. My eldest two are now at school (7 & 6) and our youngest will be 1 next week. What a refreshing read Kat. I am a working Mum riddled with guilt but for different reasons, the usual working mum guilt that working Mums feel that we should be at home with our kids, when we take them to child care and OSCH when it is freezing cold and raining when we should be snuggled up on the sofa having cuddles, being rushed constantly, the slapped together dinners some nights, I could go on and on. Then of course there is the work guilt, the late starts, the large number of sick days, unable to give 100% to your colleagues, etc etc. Sadly we are not in a position for me to stay at home. That being said we don’t live in a lavish home, drive an expensive car or have expensive holidays. We are just a family of 5 trying to make ends meet. People can be so judgemental when it comes to working Mums as they make you feel guilty for putting your children in care to make a living and make you feel like you want it all. Yes I have a career but my family comes first always!. I am not one for regrets but I do wish that I had set myself up financially a bit better prior to having children I would be home with them every day in a heart beat. The idea of staying home, looking after our home and being there for my children for every step and precious moment would be a dream come true.

    But it is refreshing to read that what may sound like a dream to me also comes with it’s own set of problems and issues that you have mentioned Kat. Just goes to prove that us mothers do not give ourselves enough credit. As the saying goes damned if you do and damned if you don’t …… I think we all need to stop being so hard on ourselves. They are little for such a short time. It’s sad to think we need to feel guilty and like we are stuffing it up for that time…….ReplyCancel

  • kristy

    There is nothing quite like mothers guilt. Starts from pregnancy i believe. ..did i eat something wrong or when you’re breastfeeding or not or on routine or when they are toddlers are they eating healthy foods and it goes on. I am lucky i stay at home with my beautiful daughters (4 & 2 1/2) but i work from home and have done continually since before they were born. . My work is seasonal so there are quiet times but when its on its flat out. Busy time coincided with the birth of baby no. 1. Crazy busy and i look back and think i should have taken some time but…. We are graziers as.well and my husband is a contractor so we are both self employed with no guaranteed weekly income. My guilt as the girls are getting older is that they are bored and I am constantly saying mummy just finish this work then we can play or i just put on a dvd. Then the guilt comes in about not doing.lots of things and being busy and impatient. … i also donr think we value what we do when we are home with kids. You cant measure your productivity or your achievements like you can in an office or somewhere. And it id so repetitive it can really feel like groundhog day….
    Working from home is really hard. It is so hard to find the.balance between work and kids and the everyday chores our partners and timeout for ourselves.
    I take my hat off to mums. We are all doing our best. Thanks Kat for ypur great blog…ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Ooh thank you Kristy!.:) I agree with you xReplyCancel

  • I sometimes joke that I have two full time jobs. (The joke part is that I’m not actually joking. I have two full time jobs. I work and I am a mother.)

    Sometimes, I feel a tiny bit guilty that I work full time – particularly when I can’t go to school events during the day. But I do my best to go to things, my son knows I’m doing my best and that if I can only come for an hour, the main thing is that I came.

    But most of the time, I accept that I’m not cut out to be a stay at home mum and that working is such an intrinsic part of my ‘self’ that I can’t see ever stopping work in some form. I stayed home for 15 months with my oldest, and the best thing for me and by extension my family was going back to work a couple of days a week. Then work drives me mad with expectations that I participate in night time activities, and while I am within my rights to say no (and I do say no – regularly) the sighs that ensue when I do…

    On the whole though, I’ve made the right decision for me and for my family, and that’s the main thing for us.ReplyCancel

  • i work part time and intend to continue doing so even when my son goes to school. Over the past three years I’ve been presented with a few big opportunities at work that I’ve knocked back because I don’t want to work full time. Being a people pleaser, it’s been hard to say no (especially to the extra income!) but I just remind myself that there will always be job opportunities but my son will never be this young again. I don’t want to miss out on his childhood and I don’t want him to miss out on being with his mum. Part time work is the perfect balance for us.ReplyCancel

  • This is a great post! I’ve just written a blog post on all Mommy Guilt and how dangerous it can be… xReplyCancel

  • Leanne

    I am a sahm with a 5 yo boy 3yo and 8 month old girls. We are on a farm. I sometimes feel guilty when asking for help or time out from my mother in law and husband. “This is my job i should be able to do it” but then i end up having no ‘me time’ as it’s not a 9to 5 job its 247.
    Then as my kids are my everything atm when someone does take them for a while i for guilty for not looking after then …. and i have nothing else (other than clean the house) to do ! Hard to think about/care for myself! Just keeping reminding myself that they will grow quickly and all too soon i will have to get a real job !ReplyCancel

  • My kids are 16 and 14 and I have been a SAHM and worked part time and full time over the years and for most of that time my hubby has been an interstate truck driver so is away alot. No matter what choice you make it is never easy. I found when my kids were little that being at home with them all the time was very socially isolating. We lived in a small country town and there wasn’t much to do for young families. If I am completely honest I went back to work because I was lonely. Now I would love to be able to stay home again and enjoy the last couple of years with the kids before they move into adulthood.ReplyCancel