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This is a guest post by Louise GlendonfromClick.Love.Grow As mums I know we love to record our little one’s special moments, and sometimes it’s fun to take more of a pro-looking portrait, so we have something that’s extra special to keep or to pop on the wall! Whether you’re using a fancy DSLR or your […]

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  • Sam

    Thanks Louise- that was a great story. I’m currently trying to work out which camera to buy so I can take better shots of the kids, rather than my iPhone- would you have any recommendations (up to $400) Thanks SamReplyCancel

  • Some excellent tips here! One of my aims this year is to improve my photography. My first step in this adventure is to purchase a new camera, once I find that, I can look into a photography course, and an online one, sounds like a fabulous idea!ReplyCancel

  • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

    I want to improve too, I’ve switched from Auto but know I need to learn so much more and this course is fantastic for helping with exactly that. Hope you can find a camera you love soon xReplyCancel

Plan activities to occupy the kids through the school holidays, plus use the checklist to help you be organised for when the kids return back to school.

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  • I too am a holiday planner from way back! I find it is the only way to fit it all in. Mine usually takes the form of diary entries, nothing as pretty as your planners. Have a great school holiday with your kids xxReplyCancel

  • Wow… You are really an organized mum.. Planning your kid’s holidays is the best you can do for your kids n yourself as a parent…looking forward to read more of your post…I’m surely going to read the freeZer Friendly lunch ideas as I also have a six year old daughter
    beamingkids.blogspot.comReplyCancel

This year has just been a huge roller coaster of emotions, everything just seemed to happen at once, which has resulted in quite a few teary moments plusmany happy ones too. A follower on Instagram recently noticed that I have been a bit ‘quiet’, which was lovely of her to check in. I have been […]

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  • Michelle B

    Hi Katrina. As someone who has followed you for years, I have always marvelled at your devotion to your family in amongst running such a great blog/website/business. I love how honest you have always been about the challenges you have faced to show the rest of us that even the most Organised Housewife is not perfect ;) You sound like you are making some important adjustments for the benefit of your mental health and your family. Good for you – as always you are a shining example to us all. Us devoted followers aren’t going anywhere and no doubt this change of pace will give you more stories/hints/tips to share with us. Have a wonderful break over Easter.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Thank you Michelle. Until the lovely follower on instagram said something, I didn’t realise I was quiet on the blog, and looking at it I was, no posts on instagram and no real conversation on facebook. I was just concentrating on my to-do list, head down, bum up as I say. I think it’s really important to keep it real and share I am not always 100% on top of it all.ReplyCancel

  • Leanne Evans

    Hi, I think a lot of us empathise with you. When my eldest started Gr 5 last year at a boys school, the first term was very much panic stations. Everything was so different, and that was just for me! These kids went from boys to young men in one massive step and it was a bit hard to handle.

    I recently had a mum at school comment on how calm and collected I always seemed to be even after 2 drop offs in the mornings, I hastily assured her that like a duck, my legs were kicking as hard as anyone else’s under the water!!

    Everything does work itself out eventually and generally for the better. Sometimes we just have to stop, rethink and recharge so enjoy your holiday break.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Kids can be so resiliant, and exactly as you say it was just me and my over thinking and then everything else just made it all very hard. Can’t wait for the holidays, hope you enjoy them too!ReplyCancel

  • Stacey

    Thank you for sharing. I have had the whole roller coaster this term too for various reasons, and then I get anxious about being anxious! I love how you found a “resolution” to your problems, and reading through, I see how practical and logical they are. Sometimes when caught up in the moment I can’t see through to these oh so easy solutions. On the weekend I had a break through and think I am over it all now… it still puzzles me that these things affect me so much when I am normally so relaxed. But it does. And it helps to know it happens to others too (although I wouldn’t wish it on anyone of course)ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      it’s funny how such little things can affect us, I too was surprised of how I reacted, but talking to my friend was my breakthrough. I hope it settles for you soon. xReplyCancel

  • Different reasons for the dips but 2015 has very much been a RollerCoaster for me too. In fact including today when I just resigned from my job to avoid a bad situation. Ah! Life is what it throws at us & all any of us can do is our honest best. I’m nervous about what is ahead but my spirit is lighter already.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      the huge positive out of this Vanessa is you know your limits and gave yourself the power to get yourself out of that situation, go you!!ReplyCancel

  • Oh Kat, how I feel for you. I have been going through very similar to yourself, with 2 of our children starting high school this year. We just seem to be so busy, there is little or no time for the things I used to do. Not that I am a big socialiser, but the occasional catch up with friends is so important to us Mums. We just have so much to talk about, to share and to be sure we are normal! I am so pleased to hear you are feeling better. xxxReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      absolutely Nicole, we have found with the kids school work our afternoons and evenings are out to catch up with any family and friends, Netball from 10am on a Saturday and we are exhausted from being in the sun all day, then comes Sunday and we just want to chill. But I agree the socialising is so important.ReplyCancel

  • Oh Kat, what a rollercoaster of emotions! I am so riding along on the same ride with you… albeit for different reasons. I thought this year would be different. I’m not sure why? But I was filled with so much hope and enthusiasm when the calendar flipped over to 2015. But now? I’m struggling. I’m stressed, overwhelmed and feeling a bit shit. I know this will pass. I’ll get back on track again, but in the meantime I’ve just got to cut myself some slack and keep doing the best I can. Which is exactly what you’re doing too – you’re best. Big hugs to you, lovely. xReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      ooh lovely lady I’m right there with you, I was so ready for 2015, my birthday is a few days before the new year this was the day it started to go down hill, I was sick, which cancelled all my birthday and new year celebations, I was sick for a further week, then website decided to play up and it just kept going. I want a do over!! Can’t wait to catch up, see you soon and have a good chat!! I hope that things start to improve for you, your right, you need to look after you a little, cut yourself some slack! xxReplyCancel

  • Kat, I’m glad you’re feeling more like yourself again :) I go through low patches and it’s always a relief when I see it lifting xReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Thanks Rah xxReplyCancel

  • Jacqui Moore

    Look after you. You can only be there for your kids if you are nutured too. Thanks for sharing, it’s good to know we all have time when we feel overwhelmed. Good to know we love and are loved. Best wishes.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Thank you Jacqui xReplyCancel

  • Mel Bell

    Kat, how brave are you! To recognize you’re feeling a bit flat and then to make such positive changes is awesome. Then to share your experience… you are a gift to all of us. Life can be be tough – I always refer to it as a roller coaster, but if you have more up times than down I reckon you’re doing ok, and I am sure you’re going to be ok! Hugs xxReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Thank you Mel, I’m really pleased I shared this and hearing that so many can relate, I think it’s really important to share the good and the bad, it’s a reality of life and that’s what people are here to read. I can’t wait till 3pm this afternoon, holiday time!!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle

    Hello Katrina, I just wanted to thank you for your refreshing honesty and willingness to share your troubles. I am sure all of us empathise, I am having a bit of a rough patch myself at the moment after missing out on a job I really hoped I would get, and it is reassuring to see that someone such as yourself, with all your hallmarks of success (blog, design, parenting, creative projects etc) can still be thrown off course by life’s issues as much as the rest of us, yet feel free to admit this and continue to work towards solutions. I hope you have a great Easter and find the time you need to reconnect with what is important to you.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      I’m so sorry Michelle that you missed out on the job, I hope another opportunity is coming your way soon. I am so pleased I wrote this post, I woke up yesterday thinking about the follower on instagram that noticed I was a little quiet and thought if I didn’t write the post before the holidays it wouldn’t get done. I thought it was important to share the troubles and show that these curveballs in life happen. thank you for your lovley message xxReplyCancel

  • Sorry things have been so tough for you! Thanks for sharing and being honest. xReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Thank you Kelly, I feel relief knowing holidays start tomorrow!ReplyCancel

  • Danielle

    Hi Katrina, my son started Prep this year and normal routines have all had to change. They are big adjustments and I think as mothers we are prone to worrying about things that our kids aren’t even thinking about. Then I worry I am passing the anxiety on to him!!! This was a great honest blog post and it is really nice to hear that all mothers go through these same periods of doubt or worry. I love your blog and look forward to your honesty and tipsReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Yes Danielle, your right it’s just the mother instinct in us and I was really concerned about the kids seeing me worried and this is why I just stay silent and worry within so they can’t see it. They are coping so well though!ReplyCancel

  • Thankyou for your honesty Katrina. I have only been blogging for 7 months now, but I definitely find it a juggle with 2 young kids (4 and 2), part-time work and trying to start up a business. But I still love it! Sometimes the busy times and roller-coaster emotions are a definite sign that you need to make more time for yourself. Good on you for taking a holiday, you definitely deserve it!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      wow Jo, you do sound like you have a lot on. I think the way around it is to priorities and to-do lists help me with my sanity.ReplyCancel

  • I could not agree more!!! Life is a massive roller coaster!! I just want to reach through the screen and give you a big cyber hug (in a non-creepy way lol!). :-)ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      LOL thanks for the hug Lucy!!ReplyCancel

  • Caz

    Oh Kat! I had tears in my eyes reading that. I so know how you feel!
    It’s been such a busy, but short term. There’s a lot to cram in for a family. The kids are growing so fast.
    I also can be prone to over think things, but it’s just because we want to tick all the boxes & for everyone to be ok.
    I’m very thankful for a few close friends to chat to at those times!
    Happy Easter, enjoy it with your family. :)ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      That’s it Caz our worrying to make sure everyone is OK it’s just the new changes and getting used to it, I’m such a routined person perhaps it was my way of coping with change.ReplyCancel

  • ANNIE

    Kat,
    Such a refreshingly honest and open post. My baby started school this year in Prep and as well as having the two older children at school I felt I was a little lost. But as time has gone on this term with being a relief teacher and actively involved in the school on a voluntary basis I can’t seem to find a spare moment to myself. I’m not sure whether this is a good thing or not but at the moment it’s working for me.

    Our holidays started yesterday, love having the girls at home!!!!

    Enjoy your staycation, that’s what we’re doing this Easter holiday too!!!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      It just flies doesn’t it. I also feel like the kids have grown up emensly this past term as well, with 2 of them taller than me and the youngest ooh so close. Happy Easter to you and your family Annie xReplyCancel

  • Sarah

    Hi Kat. When you read FB posts it seems everyone is leading this amazing life. In reality we don’t post about how we were up all night cleaning up vomit or how you turned up late to your daughter’s cross country race, so it is lovely to hear your honesty. My eldest started high school & my youngest (I have 4 children) started prep so it has been a tough term for me. I’m looking forward to a well earned break and I know next term will be easier.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Sounds like the holidays are well earned for all us Mumma’s too! Your right, we always tend to share the good, perhaps I might try and share some more of the bad, the mess etc just to show it’s happens :)ReplyCancel

  • Anne-Marie

    Hi Kat,

    thank you so much for such a warm, honest, and beautiful post. I too can relate to how you have been feeling this term with my youngest starting a new school. She cried everyday for the first month and it broke my heart. I would be in tears after dropping her off. I had just started a new business, but I couldnt concentrate on anything and it consumed me. It made me question our decision to change schools and of course think, think, and think again. Thank goodness she has settled nicely now.

    I think as mothers, we spend so much time and energy nuturing our gorgeous little people (and running the household) that we often forget about nurturing ourselves. It is important that we too get plenty of sleep, eat well, excerice, and drink plenty of water. We shouldn’t feel guilty if we can’t be everything to everyone, and it shouldn’t be expected either. Sometimes we need to go into ‘recovery mode’ and rejuvenate ourselves so we can keep going. You can only ride on adrenalin for so long before you hit exhaustion. For me I decided for one week that I would put work aside and just do the things I enjoy so I could get back to my usual happy energetic self and be a better mum again. And after a couple of catch up’s with friends, a massage, lots of early nights, and some lovely walks, I felt like I was ready to ride the roller coaster again – with resilience.

    Thank you again for your wonderful post and I hope you truly switch off from work for the school holidays so you can properly rejuvenate.

    Take care :-)ReplyCancel

  • Julie

    Gentle hugs Kat. Being a working Mum is tough and you a clearly doing a great job. Be kind to yourself too. XxReplyCancel

  • Trish

    You’re such a lovely person! Thanks for sharing – it sounds like you’re doing a fab job.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Wheeley

    Thanks for sharing Katrina. I find you willingness to be open and honest about parenthood so refreshing, but also so empowering. You actively seek solutions and are such a reflective person. Thanks also for your blog – helps us all juggle busy lives – planning freezer lunches for Term 2. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Bray

    Kat you inspire me, and I so admire that you have resolved your situations! Brave lovely lady xReplyCancel

Kids are so good at creating messes and accumulating clutter, which usually sends us a little crazy, giving us the illusion it is impossible to declutter and organise your home. However, with a few simple rules it is possible to have kids, a tidy home and keep it that way.

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  • Lisa

    great tips Kat! With a toddler and a baby my house is a constant disaster zone!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Oh thank you Lisa! .:)ReplyCancel

  • I’m inspired to get onto our clutter, but one of our biggest problems is the toys. Do you have any tips to get kids to part with outgrown toys? Or do you just get rid of them without their knowledge? Thanks.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Hi Shell, Depending on how old your children are, i sat down with mine and asked them to donate toys they had out grown and or no longer played with. If your children are quite young you could consider storing them away. Kids like the idea of donating and giving to charity.ReplyCancel

    • My mum tried to smuggle all my soft toys to vinnies when i was in my teens. I caught her and was horrified! I saved as many as i could carry lolReplyCancel

      • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

        LOL i love it, Jacinta.:) x ~ KateReplyCancel

    • Laura

      Leading up to Christmas and birthdays we have a little clean out and ask the kids (5 &3) to pick a few toys they feel they have outgrown or no longer play with to donate to kids that don’t have toys. They are happy to do this as we explain it is a really good thing to do and it will make room for the new toys they will get. We let them pick what to donate so they don’t feel like we are just getting rid of their toys.ReplyCancel

      • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

        A wonderful idea, Laura! I also do the exact same thing. It teaches kids so many wonderful qualities.ReplyCancel

  • I would love to declutter but my house has zero storage space! Will be getting my litte man into cleaning as soon as he can walk though lol Start em early, a cloth and some water.ReplyCancel

  • Shelley R

    My daughter has not started to like polly pocket, Lego and barbi all with some very small bits! I’m walking round the house finding barbi shoes in the carpet! What’s the best way to keep these bits together so they are easy to find and so she knows what item goes with what toys…ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Hi Shelley, I hear what you are saying! Barbie shoes are so little and tend to get sucked up in the vacuum cleaner if not stored away correctly. I have kept all of mine in a plastic container that way they are all there and not like to get lost or misplaced.ReplyCancel

  • Deanne Shannon

    Just wondering if by any chance did anyone else see somewhere a thing about letting kids know what we expect them to do when cleaning their rooms???? I have a nine year old and she just doesn’t get what I mean when I ask her to tidy her room.

    Thanks in advance

    DeanneReplyCancel

    • son

      Deanne, you go in with them the first few times and do it with them. Explain what you are doing or what things are called, I asked my 7yr old to wipe the skirting boards last week and he did his, the hallway our bed room and the kitchen! He said it was so much fun he just kept going!!ReplyCancel

      • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

        LOL i love it! Good on him.:) ~ KateReplyCancel

  • Molly

    i will be taking on board so many of your tips and ideas over the coming weeks. we have just today moved house and i am so overwhelmed by how much stuff we have, even though over the past couple of years i have been culling so much…i have no idea where to start!!!
    im sitting here looking at all our ‘stuff’ and wondering why we have so much. really do we actually need it…i need to get tough and get rid of some. thanks for your wonderful tips!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Hi Molly, I totally understand what you are saying, it can be very overwhelming. Try starting in one room and then moving on to the next once that room is completely finished. I think once the beds are set and made the next room i would concentrate on would by the kitchen and go from there.ReplyCancel

      • Molly

        thanks Kat! i have almost finished the kids rooms now, just a few things to put away and create a school bag nook. started the kitchen and feeling a little more like i have some control. have been cleaning our old rental, so tomorrow i am so ready to tackle our new place and will create a list of what storage i need to get.ReplyCancel

        • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

          WOW you are doing a wonderful job! I bet it looks just beautiful.:) ~ KateReplyCancel

  • Yvonne

    Hi Kat, we are on track with most things but just wondering if you could help with this one. Our granddaughter lives with us, she knows to do her bedroom etc. She isn’t to bad, so yesterday I decided i would get her to do something else and watched her also supervise her clean her bathroom and toilet. Because she has done something extra she wants pocket money. How much should we give her?…she is 12 in July. Should we pay her more for doing extra. What do you do with your twins. ThanksReplyCancel

    • Emma

      Hi Yvonne, as pre teens we started with the bathroom cleaning and pocket money started at $3 per week and went up 50c per year. My parents did buy all necessities. Chores also went up every year. I.e cook a meal do ironing etc.ReplyCancel

      • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

        That is fantastic, Emma!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Hi Yvonne, Okay firstly i want to say it sounds like you are doing a great job raising your grand daughter. With my children i give them $10 a week pocket money, $5 of which goes straight into their bank account and the other $5 is for them to spend. In saying that if they fail to do one of their chores i take 50 cents off them. I personally wouldn’t give extra money for extra chores as i believe at the age of 12 (same age as my daughter) they need to have some responsibility around the home and with every extra chore they will want extra pocket money. Maybe it is something that can be revised every 6 – 12 months. I hope this helps you. ~ KateReplyCancel

  • All great ideas, but have you tried making cleaning games so as to engage your kids in the cleaning process? Recently I came across something called “game theory” and was wondering if anyone has given that a try. My kids are 4 and 6 and me and my wife are looking for a way to make home cleaning a bit more appealing to them. All input will be greatly appreciated, tnx!ReplyCancel

This is a guest post by Christie Burnettfrom Childhood 101 Given my passion for art as a means for children learning and self-expression, I am often asked which art supplies I recommend as must-haves in a home art cupboard. While we definitely have a few favourites on high rotation, these are my top picks for […]

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I’ve re-organised our school bag nook area adding in new charts and hooks for the school hats. I’ve become a little frazzled with all the activities the kids have so these charts are helping the kids and I remember what is happening each day.

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  • Lordy, this would be the *least* sorted I have ever been since my kids started school! The oldest started high school, and they changed the uniform, so that’s been an interesting experience. This year, we had a family holiday in January, rather than my taking leave when school goes back. So, this week has been a case of my running around on my lunch break collecting missing bits of kit (today – white sport socks)coupled with emails to teachers and phone calls and all manner of I don’t need this right nows. However, next week, people will have sport socks, art smocks, display books etc, and hopefully we can get into the swing of back to school properly.ReplyCancel

  • gillian

    Wow Kat! sometimes I think moms should get a university degree in logistics before we become moms. thanks for all your suggestions. I think you have made the right choice for you kiddies to go private, not for the snob factor as I am sure you may get it in the neck for that, but I find that private schools do tend to give children a real feeling of self worth and lots more opportunities. I am glad that they are enjoying it and well done again to you and hubby for being such supportive parents…xReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Ooh thank you so much, Gillian! We are so very happy with the school and the kids are settling in so well.ReplyCancel

Our school mornings are like ground hog day, however following this routine keeps us organised and has made the mornings rush-free. I’ve shared with you our family before school morning routine below with pictures. I started writing this post 18 months (not sure why it has taken me so long to publish it) however, moral of the story is that it still remains the same today!

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  • dimple

    I get things ready the night before. I have their bags ready in front of the door i have their lunch ready in the fridge so i just pop it in the bags.if it needs to be heated i heat it then put it in their bag. Their clothes are all ironed clean and ready on the lounge room couch.they wake up wash their face brush their teeth wear their uniform (this happens all while im asleep) haha. Ones a new prepy and the other is in grade 1. So i wake up get the breakfast ready and do their hair. =)ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Fantastic! Sounds like you have a great morning routine going on.:)ReplyCancel

    • I’m exactly the same…even their uniforms on the couch! Everything ready the night before and the kids do most of it themselves. Makes it much much easier!ReplyCancel

      • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

        Love your work, Jo!! xReplyCancel

  • Julia K

    I agree that a morning routine is essential. I absolutely LOATHE being late and by insisting on a morning routine that gets us all out the door by 7.45 I am hoping to teach my kids that it is important to be on time. This morning there were roadworks in our are, but because we have some buffer built into our routine – we still made it to both schools with plenty of time to spare and no stress.
    I make sure the uniforms are all ironed and in the kids’ wardrobes. As a part of their before bed routine – they are to get their uniforms out and hung on their doors for the next day. This includes down to shoes, socks & underwear. When they get up – they do their chores and then come inform breakfast. I almost ALWAYS cook them breakfast to give them a great start to the day. Other people think this is crazy, but I just make it simple. I prep lunches the night before so they are in the fridge ready to go and that frees me up in the morning to cook breakfast. On Monday this week they had French Toast, yesterday was English Muffins with Baked Beans, this morning they just had buttered muffins & milk. I usually make pancakes once a week and make enough batter for a double batch so they can have them two days in a row.
    After breakfast they brush their teeth and get dressed and I do their hair.
    I agree 100% no TV or electronics before school.ReplyCancel

  • Jenny Mc

    One of my kid’s chores is to set the table with the bowls, spoons and breakfast cereals before we go to bed. Then they rinse and stack their bowls on the sink when they have finished. (No dishwasher) All three kids have one daily chore and one weekly chore to do around the house, and this rotates through the month.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      I like it, Jenny!!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn

    never allow TV in the morning before school – also, we are just implementing a no iPhone/iPad/iPod etc before you’re ready rule too – these things are even more of a distraction than the TVReplyCancel

  • Melinda

    Kat I’m just wondering if you work all day on blog when do you prepare dinner, clean house etc. Always interested how people structure their days..TIAReplyCancel

  • Sonia grandile

    Hello Kat, have been following routines like yours for the school terms and makes the mornings and afternoons easier. I did download 4 routine charts last week and only 3 downloaded correctly. The 4 th came up as an error. I’ve sent a couple of emails but no response yet as to how I can get the purple coloured afternoon routine chart sent through correctly. Thank you
    Sonia. Love your blogReplyCancel

  • I am amazed at what you get done in the mornings. Absolutely no electronics allowed in the mornings at my house too. They are able to distract each other easily enough as is. Having a responsibility chart has helped around here too. I am so glad to not have to nag them any more. They just follow the chart!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      It is so lovely to have mornings running smoothly and stress free.:)ReplyCancel

  • Great routine Kat! It looks like it works perfectly with your family too! :DReplyCancel

  • So admirable! And consistent! I am not nearly as organized in my life and there is only one of me, plus husband of course but I don’t think he would respond well to checklists ???? We are very similar beings. I am mostly spontaneous but in some ways I have organisation envy, you make it look so fun! ???? I’m impressed!ReplyCancel

  • Trish

    This is an excellent post. I don’t have children-I am a teacher! I am going to make some of your lunch box suggestions.ReplyCancel

  • Jay

    Your post of before school routine has saved me today were always running late with three children 6 and under it’s a constant battle just trying to leave the house!

    For getting my tribe to brush their teeth (which was a daily battle). I brought tooth brush timers (sand timers) one for each of the kids now they have no excuse how long to brush them for, it also made it so much easier there is now no more fighting or arguments as they always try to race to be the first to turn their timer! :) something so simple!ReplyCancel

  • Great routines and I love all your printables xReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Naw thank you Caley.:)ReplyCancel

  • The idea for pre-school morning routine sounds amazing! It is a good way to built a habit in your kid to clean and tidy their room. Thanks for the article!Barnsbury Carpet Cleaners Ltd.ReplyCancel

  • These are great ideas Kat! My boys only go to kindy two days a week, but if I have any hope of getting them out of the door in time we also have to have clothes ready the night before, no tv etc. I love your teeth brushing chart too, off to get one now :)ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Fantastic Lauren! They are so handy, we love ours.:)ReplyCancel

  • Janine

    Hi Kat, our morning routine is a nightmare! I have 3 girls aged 9, 6 & 3. Aside from MY OWN disorganisation (a work in progress!) all 3 girls take so long to eat in the morning, it drives me crazy, and I find myself nagging and micro-managing their every move till we race out the door to get to school before the bell goes. I’ve tried routine charts but my control freak nature finds me checking on them, or giving them time reminders all the time to try to get them to hurry through the list of things they have to do. My OCD nature also would like them to eat first so they don’t get food or toothpaste all over their clothes, but this way, the eating part of the golden hour takes up most of the hour! So I want to put eating last on the list so they’ve only got a certain time limit to finish eating before we have to leave. Short of making each of them wear a bib or even an art smock (!!!) so you have any tips for getting them to eat quickly without me feeding them or nagging them. Some days I just want to pull my hair out! Thanks for listening to my rant, cheers, JanineReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Ooh Janine i do feel for you. I know how frustrating it can be. Do they have the TV on while eating breakfast? I would have no TV and maybe get them up a few minutes earlier to allow for the extra time that is needed in the morning. I hope you are able to find a solution that works for you and your family.:)ReplyCancel

      • Janine

        No, definitely NO tv or electronics of any sort, we are very strict with that, even in the after school timeslot. They are just such slow eaters!ReplyCancel

  • Ok, my kids have six things to do every morning. Get up (sounds obvious, but some mornings…) make beds, have breakfast, clean teeth, get dressed and make lunch. The oldest has a few extras as he leaves last (turn off all the lights and lock the front door – I normally lock the back door when I leave. This is fundamentally what happens, just with a lot of “what are you doing?” and “what are you supposed to be doing?” and a few “you clean your teeth in the bathroom. With a toothbrush. And toothpaste.”

    We need to be out the front door at 8am so I can get to work by 8.30am. Some mornings we don’t make it without a LOT of shouting!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Miss Maudy, sounds like you have a great system. I like it.:)ReplyCancel

  • Viki

    Thanks for sharing this! Good to read -wish I could do it almost like you, but often I get confused what and when to do…Always wanted to write down what need to be done -the priority order- but I always forget it…ReplyCancel

  • Melinda

    My girls get dressed, tidy room, make bed. Then breakfast while I pack lunches, I do their hair while they sit at the bench eating. Then they wash face, brush teeth, pack bag, shoes on. Tv or iPad, playing or reading only happens when everything is done. The girls take less than 30mins to do all this so are rewarded with about 15mins of free time before we head off.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      WOW that is fantastic! I love your morning routine, Melinda. Well done to you and your girls.ReplyCancel

  • […] Read more about my families before school routine, here. […]ReplyCancel

When my kids started school all those many years ago as soon as they got in the car I ask them ‘How was your day’? 9 times out of 10 I get ‘good’ as an answer and at times that was it, conversation was over, either they felt they answered the question, they were tired […]

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  • Max

    The key is for your kids to sense you are genuinely interested in them and their experiences. Avoid some of the “closed” questions on this list (i.e. questions that can be answered with a single word) such as “How was your teacher today?” (Good) or “How much homework did you get today?” (None). Open-ended questions that invite a story are much more productive. “Tell me about your day today?” “What happened after I dropped you off at school this morning?” or, from the list, “If you could change one thing about today, what would it be?” If kids find a way to answer with a single word to even an open-ended question, then persist, “Tell me more about that?” “Why would you think that?” Once you get your kids talking, make sure you attend carefully, and explore further!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Love some of these ideas, especially – What happened after I dropped you off at school this morning. Thanks for sharing Max.ReplyCancel

    • Belinda

      It’s important not to make it sound like an interrogation, children need to feel listened to and valued for their ideas thoughts and opinions , I would hope most families would use the great list above as a tool,not a check list, ticking off when they have asked the right questions….it is a means as a tool to support and guide open ended questions. I believe it is more important to laugh and play with your kids even in the teenage years it is in these times children really open up and feel comfortable. Good luckReplyCancel

  • Kelly

    I’m a big fan of your list of after school conversation starters but have just realised I am guilty of asking every one of them each afternoon in quick succession!!! I’m thinking I might need to tone it down a bit! LOL! Thanks for this moment of clarity! My children thank you too… ;)ReplyCancel

  • I love these questions. I do options for my kindy kid so she can choose which option she liked or wants to talk about.
    JulieReplyCancel

  • Tanya

    Check out the following link on 25 Ways to Ask Your Kids ‘So How Was School Today?’ Without Asking Them ‘So How Was School Today?’

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/liz-evans/25-ways-to-ask-your-kids-so-how-was-school-today-without-asking-them-so-how-was-school-today_b_5738338.htmlReplyCancel

  • Rebecca Cleghorn

    I think the Huffington Post article, linked above, has some great questions. Some are “What word did your teacher use the most today?” “Is there anyone from today that you would send to the moon?” (Good question to determine who your child might be having conflict with). I often ask my kids “What was the worst thing that happened today?” That always gets the conversation going!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Fantastic conversation starters, Rebecca! I like it.:)ReplyCancel

Tween Girls Emergency Toiletry Bag, for when their unexpected ‘visitor’ arrives while at school. It’s never to early to prepare them.

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  • Deb xo

    I have this on the go for my daughter, however I use a small pencil case instead of a toiletry bag, much more discreet if it was to be ‘seen’ and a lot smaller, everything still fits in perfectly.ReplyCancel

    • Donna

      Yes I agree, I have twin girls and one got her periods 6 months ago. Her teachef suggested the pencil case, she said there is less chance of being teased.ReplyCancel

    • Rowena Hope

      Pencil case- brilliant. We are not to far away from this season I the moodiness is anything to go by so I have been thinking about this for this year or next.ReplyCancel

  • Belinda Foster

    My daughter has a couple of wet wipes in a snap lock bag as well,ReplyCancel

  • Vonni

    Thank goodness I have boys!!

    That video was priceless though.ReplyCancel

  • Julia K

    My poor DD was in Thailand when she got her first period. It was the day we were leaving and we just had to go to a 7/11 store in Phuket and buy some non-descript brand of pads. Poor darling then had to put up with the flight home…

    Anyhow – after we got home I gave her a gift bag filled with about 8 different brands / sizes of packets of pads and a couple of packs of tampons for when she’s a bit older. I also included a Dolly Magazine and a large block of chocolate. I told her to ask for Panadol if she gets cramps – but the chocolate often works best ! The rationale behind all the different products is that we are all different and it’s up to her to find what works for her. She is a year older now and knows what she prefers so I just make sure we are well stocked. I remember my mum giving me some “old lady” brand of pads (I think they were called “Modess” and they were designed to be used with a sanitary belt (what the ?)). Needless to say – I wanted my DD to have a different experience !ReplyCancel

  • Julia K

    DD is in High School and they have lockers so it’s really easy to have an emergency kit on hand.ReplyCancel

  • Even as older teens it’s advisable to have an emergency kit on hand, sometimes even as 40 something adults, when we are starting to get a bit unpredictable (if you know what I mean) it’s handy. Great tips Katrina, I have given it a share on my FB page for you.ReplyCancel

  • TB

    At our school they were given small black purses from libra for free. Some promotion they do to all schools. Each purse has samples in it. Worth checking out.ReplyCancel

  • Gemma

    Most brands in Australia offer sample kits of their products for free. Just sign up on their websites. A newer product many people are unaware of is menstrual cups like Lunette. Sustainable and affordable.ReplyCancel

  • Karen

    I love the pencil case idea for their school bags. Our 10 year old has started her period though very irregular and very light at the moment, I nearly cried when I saw it. I started at 9 and like you Katrina didn’t have a clue what it was so have made sure that our daughter has a better idea than I did. So sad they are growing up so quick now. Thank you though for the great idea.ReplyCancel

  • Heidi P

    Although pads are generally the less scary option for first timers I’m all for being open about the options available. My mother was very closed minded and only bought granny pads, which were very unsuitable for me. I ended up buying my own tampons and it was ten years before I discovered a menstrual cup. This is the best invention ever and I wish I had known about it a long time ago. So be careful not to let your preferences depict what your daughters will have, give them the option to explore what they are comfortable with.ReplyCancel

  • What a fantastic blog post. I do not have a daughter but I was/am one.
    I got my period aged 11 (still kind of early compared to a lot of my friends back then) and it was still a giggly, freaky thing that made you stand out at the time should your friends find out. I kept it a secret for a long time and who knows, maybe some of my friends did too and I never knew!
    I had to hide my pads and while my mum provided me with all the stuff I’d need (she was awesome), I don’t think we thought to give it a little, discreet bag to keep it all safe together. I think I just hid it in the front pocket of my school bag and prayed no-one would go in there.
    Once, a girl in my year (the bully) teased me mercilessly because I think she’d found my stuff (why I didn’t think to get angry that she invaded my privacy I do not know). Truth is, I think perhaps she had her period too and thought by bullying me, she’d take the heat off herself. I was mortified but just kept denying what she said and hoped it would blow over.
    Please, parents, read this and equip your daughters! We do get our periods quite early sometimes!! I am so so lucky my mum had mentioned it before it happened to me. The morning I woke up with it (such a relief it came overnight and not in public), I knew what it was immediately. I know many of my friends’ parents would not have prepared them in time for grade 6 thinking it was years away!
    The 11 year old me feels grateful to you for covering this topic so nicely :)
    I hope if I ever have a daughter that I’ll be able to make it as easy for her as possible when the time comes xReplyCancel

  • Waverly

    My daughter got her period at 10 1/2. I also had a pencil case put together with a couple of pads, small pack of wet wipes, tissues and a new pair of knickers (still in the packet) for just in case. She carried her pencil case with out needing it for 12 months when a friend got her 1st period at school. The pencil case was very much appreciated not only by the young lady, but also by her mum.ReplyCancel

  • Great idea and something I had planned to do when the time came. I think all parents of girls should do this! I was so unprepared when I got mine at 10 – it was horrific! And there was no discretion after the fact either!ReplyCancel

  • Izzy

    My girls are older and I thought I would share that you can go onto the websites of companies which sell sanitary products and request free samples for young girls. These often come with an appropriate “purse” or case for the items. It’s also a good way for young girls to try a variety of products without you having to purchase them all. That way they can’t decide which type suits them. my girls received some information with these and hav a couple of different packs in bags they use regularly one in the school bag one in the choir bag etc…ReplyCancel

  • Sue R

    Please make sure the school knows of any medication in your daughter’s pack. This could alleviate any problems later on.

    I was 12 when I first got my period, and it was very scary. My mum had, of course told me about it all, but I was still very unprepared. Thank goodness I got them overnight at home.ReplyCancel

  • Susan Hartnett

    I bought my daughter the book the care and keeping of you. I had her read the everything except the period part a few years ago, then here recently at school in a special health class the girls learned all about there periods and making a pouch and that night her bff stayed the night and those two were reading the part of the book and already being grossed out from school and then reading about tampons was hilarious for me not them .as i heard eww that’s gross I just remembered when I started and had to use the pads with the belt I am just really glad times have changed I would not want for my daughter to have to go through that.ReplyCancel

  • Use the P Tracker app! It is a handy, must-have app for girls that has a calendar and ‘predicts’ when the next period is coming, ovulation, etc. It is a great learning tool and very simple to use, plus it helps build confidence due to removals of unwanted surprises.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Fantastic! I will certainly be looking into this app, thank you.:)ReplyCancel

  • Kelli

    i have 3 teenage boys (but constantly have a houseful of boys and girls), and keep emergency supplies in the bathroom cupboard with a discreet note on the door (you can’t miss it from the toilet). I restock as required (pads, tampons, wet wipes, undies of various sizes, nappy bags) no questions asked and have had several girls thank me! My boys are well educated to not questions frequency of bathroom visits, girls not wanting to go in the pool etc. We also have a huge box of condoms, lubricant and safe sex and drug education brochures in the bathroom cupboard (my boys are 16, 17 and 18). All the kids know to help them selves, no questions asked and I restock as required! Better prepared than regretful. I am impressed with how often the safe sex brochures are taken!ReplyCancel

A few days ago I shared 25School Bag Storage Ideas and so many lovely readers sent through images of their spaces, thank you to each of you for sharing, as your images can inspire others to create a space that will work in their home. Please note this slide show below, sharing over 20 different […]

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  • Marni

    this is amazing, thank you kat for putting together such inspiration for us, I’m not sure you realize the impact you make on my life and I am sure many others. now off to install a bag nook!ReplyCancel

  • This is such an inspiring collection – thanks for including my little space too! It is amazing how a previously empty, boring little hallway is now one of my favourite spots in the house – makes me smile every time I walk past and see all the bags hung up and out of the way, hats and bags and gear so easy to access. I guess this is the natural high one gets from being organised, huh ;) (I don’t experience it alllll that often, lol) xxReplyCancel

    • nicole

      I love the hooks for your bags and was wondering where I might be able to find some!! Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • I wish I had more space to use some of these great ideas! Thanks for including my pic. I’ve just noticed though that I need to clear off the pin board ready for the new influx of notes and bits!ReplyCancel

Ihave recentlygiven Miss 9’s bedroom a make over. We moved into this house when I was pregnant with Miss 9, when I found out I was having a girl I couldn’t help myself and painted a pink feature wall in her bedroom. So really I presumed pink was going to be her favourite colour. I […]

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  • LOVE!!! I actually have blog post for Monday about how much i would love to do icecream room. Many of these items are featured. Great minds!! Well done :)ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      It’s just so colourful!! Miss 11 is eyeing off the watermelon and pineapple range, I would have so much fun helping her redecroate her bedroom as I am loving watermelons at the momentReplyCancel

      • Oh i love pineapples & watermelon… i did post other week showing ranges of both. I asked which team readers were on. I wish i had lots of rooms to decorate.. kids rooms are so much fun!ReplyCancel

  • Wow Kat, you truly have outdone yourself, it looks fantastic! I have total (when I was 9) bedroom envy! I will have to head to Adairs to shop for my little girl…she’s 3 & a half and still in a cot! Well her cot turns into a ‘bed’ but it still looks like a cot to me! Thanks for the fantastic tips! P.s your fairy painting is precious!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      LOL I do too Jenni, I was never able to chose the colour and linens for my bedroom when younger so I am really open to my kids picking what they want and feeling comfortable in their bedroom and making it theirs. I love all this colour and I think the polka dot wall just finishes it all off beautifully.ReplyCancel

  • rebecca

    Hi, I love the bed!! where did you get it from?ReplyCancel

    • Tara

      I could be wrong but it looks like it’s from ‘Incy Interors’ReplyCancel

      • Tara

        *interiorsReplyCancel

      • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

        The bed is also from Adairs. It can only be brought in store and not online.ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Hi Rebecca, The bed is from Adairs. It can only be purchased in store and not online though.ReplyCancel

  • Oh this looks gorgeous Katrina! I love the colour scheme and the gorgeous pops of pastel colours. That ice cream lamp is seriously fun too. Great makeover! xReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Thank you Vanessa.:) Colourful and happy.:)ReplyCancel

  • Kate

    Love it! Had to laugh – painted my daughter’s room pink when we moved in and she was 8 months old – now nearly 7 and has declared she wants it green! I am hoping to hold out until after Christmas though :) Think I will start by getting her to choose bed linen, too. Looks lovely Kat!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Ooh thank you Kate! Yes it is beautiful.:) Great idea with picking the linen first, she may just change her mind on what colour she wants to paint her wall. Also trying to match the linen might b harder if you paint first.ReplyCancel

  • Looks so fresh and bright – gorgeous!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Thank you Kez! Miss 9 is thrilled to pieces with her new room.:)ReplyCancel

  • Leesa

    Love the room – just beautiful. Just wondering the purpose of the wire basket under the pink table? and where the pink table came from. Thank you :)ReplyCancel

    • leesa

      Oops – just saw tables are from Adairs xReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Hi Leese, Yes the little pink table is from Adairs and the white basket is for her to put things in ( she likes to put her slippers in there so on a winters morning they are nice and close).ReplyCancel

  • LOVE IT Kat. Well done!
    What an awesome space for a special little lady!
    C xReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Ooh thank you Claire! Yes Miss 9’s room is just so colourful, it is a really happy place.:)ReplyCancel

  • Tammy

    Love the desk! Where isn’t from?ReplyCancel

  • Tammy

    Sorry, “is” not “isn’t” :)ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Hi Tammy, It is so cute isn’t it! The white desk is from Bambino Home. They have a huge selection, i fully recommend them.:)ReplyCancel

  • This room looks amazing and I think that you should become a decorator! Keep going!ReplyCancel

  • Debbie

    Hi there, just wondering if you were able to let me know where you got your daughters I-pod cube docking station? My daughter, also 9 is working on a similar room for herself! We are off to buy the shelving and lamp on Thursday! :)ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Hi Debbie, I got the ipod docking station at Big W a long time ago. Unfortunately i don’t think they sell them anymore as i have looked because i wanted another one for my lounge room. If you come across them somewhere else please let me know.:)ReplyCancel

  • So amazing post! I love the pictures! I have five-year-old daughter and I want to renovate her room. I got some very cool ideas from this article! Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Katrina - The Organised Housewife

      Fantastic, Pamela! I just love the colour dots on her wall. it adds a lot of colour and gives off a happy vibe.:)ReplyCancel