Seven ideas to create that holiday feeling at home

As I ponder our recent holiday, I wonder whether you can have this feeling all the time.

Is it possible to take the pressure off and rid yourself of distractions all the time? I think it may be. Here are my 7 ideas to help you create that holiday feeling at home.

I’m very lucky, last week I
took the opportunity to write this blog post in a little cafe with a fabulous seaside view! I reflected on our week and the fun we’d had but also felt a tiny pang of dread as a I realised that we’d soon have to return home. Here’s what I had to say…

Holidays are a fabulous opportunity to put aside valuable time with the family and make space to relax.

Clutter free

It’s been wonderful to have a little break away, to be able to kick back and relax together, but you know that feeling when you have to go home to normality. They’ll be no food in, a mountain of washing and plenty of jobs to do around the house and garden. And that’s before even thinking about the busy week ahead at work and at home.

It sounds strange but I’ll miss our holiday accommodation. We stayed in a gorgeous house, decorated simply and we only took the clothes and toilettries that we needed. It was cosy but calm. I love holiday accommodation because there is no clutter, no paperwork, no jobs that needed doing, and no toys and stuff to clutter up the space or make you feel disorganised or distracted.

Space to be…

Time away creates the time and space to relax. To play games as a family, spend leisurely mealtimes, read and enjoy ourselves without pressure. I’d planned all of our meals so apart from cooking and cleaning up afterwards, there was no pressure to tidy and no clutter to distract us. I had time to do the things that I valued with my favourite people.

As I sit drinking my lemonade, I wonder: what can you do to create this ‘holiday’ feeling at home? To remove the clutter, the excess and the pressure to free up time and head space?

Here are some of my seven ideas to create that holiday feeling at home!

  1. Designate weekends as holiday time – do as much of the washing and cleaning activities as possible before Saturday morning. Schedule washing loads (Tuesday is dark load, Wednesday towel load, etc) and cleaning tasks for evenings during the week
  2. Do food shopping during the week or arrange for a delivery on a Friday night (the cheapest time of the week for many delivery services)
  3. Have staples delivered regularly so you don’t need to think about buying them (here are a few companies that I love – other suppliers are available!)
    1. Milk and More – a milk delivery is better for the environment and takes the headache out of ensuring a regular supply of milk (includes non-dairy too)
    2. SMOL will deliver washing and dishwasher tablets according to your usage levels
    3. Amazon deliver eco-friendly toilet rolls, liquid soap refills, fabric conditioner and other household products
    4. Abel and Cole – get fresh fruit and veg delivered weekly so you don’t have to think about it. You know what you’re going to receive so can meal plan each week
  4. Focus on making your living areas (kitchen, lounge, dinning room) into your holiday home. Think like you were on holiday what would be the minimum furniture, equipment and possessions you’d need? Anything you identify as not needed for your holiday home can be sold, donated or recycled
  5. Make it a rule that the dining room table is left clear after meals so that you always have space to play games, draw, bake or do crafts
  6. Create storage for items that are needed for work or school in the hallway. This is the ideal spot to store bags, coats and shoes that you will need the following day
  7. Switch off phones, tablets and TV for an agreed period of time. Technology is a huge distraction, emails, social media, news app, etc, they are all designed to keep you interested. Physically removing your tech gives you the opportunity to unplug and focus on your family or just sit and be.

Try this a at home

If you like what you’ve read and try some of these out at home, do let me know how you get on! If you want to revamp your hall storage, I’ve collated my favourite storage products to save you time. Click here…

And don’t forget, I’m here for you if you want help with reviewing or organising your things, your diary or your routine.

About OrganisedWell

Would you like help getting organised?

Laura Williams, Founder and Professional Organiser

If you need guidance, ideas and practical support to make more of your home, organise your possessions in a way that supports your best life or to get started with your decluttering project, then give me a call.

I provide tailored advice and practical support to clients looking to make changes, to create calm, ordered space and free up time and money to focus on the important things in life.

I specialise in organising rooms, garages, wardrobes, paperwork and much more; see my services or get in touch.

Storage Ideas for Children’s Things

School holidays are the perfect time to organise children’s things. You can engage your children in sharing the toys, books and clothes that they’ve out grown and learning important organising skills for themselves.

You can read more about decluttering with children in my previous blog. Here I share ideas for organising clothes and common toys:

Children’s Clothes

Store clothes that you want your child to access easily to get themselves ready, in drawers at their height. It’s a faff the first time, but if you fold everything into small chunks (Marie Kondo style so that they stand up in the drawer) and use small boxes or dividers to separate the vests, tops, leggings etc. It’s really easy to see everything and choose outfits quickly. It’s also easy to maintain.

Hang coats, dresses, things that crease easily in a wardrobe, putting items you rather they didn’t get hold off to the edge, out of the way.

Given that children grow so quickly, I find it’s unusual to have more than a few seasons worth of clothes out at one time, so I tend to hang things in sections – q) starting to grow out of, 2) fits, 3) need to grow into. Use high shelves to stash a clear plastic box of hand-me-downs and clothes you’ve bought in sales ready for them to grow into.

Lego

Lego and other construction toys can be tough to store because there’s so much of it and it gets everywhere. If you’ve looked at storage ideas before you’ll have seen there are lots of ideas from Lego tables, walls, drawers and so on. I think your approach to storage works best when tailored to the way your child likes to play with it. Your main aim is to make it as easy as possible to put away for everyone.

If your child likes to build the individual kits then store in individual bags or boxes of a suitable size and include the instructions too.

If your child likes to create new things from their kits, and you don’t see value in having different coloured sections, a large crate works very well. Everything can be swept into it at the end of a session and new things created next time. We keep the instructions in a magazine file but a clear pocket book is a good alternative.

(Just so you know I’m an Amazon affiliate so receive commission if you shop via these links)

Books

Create a cosy book corner or library area where all books live. Store books on little shelves, in book cases or boxes depending on the volume, size and age of your child. Add cushions, a comfy chair or bean bag and maybe a canopy to make it feel like a safe and special nook for quiet time. It’ll give them the freedom to choose their own stories, read independently and be a great place for your child to sit quietly and relax. Also, it’ll be easy to keep the house tidy – all books are returned to this place.

Crafts things

I love to use clear plastic crates with lids for craft items so that the contents can be easily identified. Large ones work for papers and coloured card. Smaller containers are good for beads, feathers, goggly eyes and the like.

If you have a cupboard to pop these boxes away that close to the table or messy area that works well.

These trolleys are also cute and enable craft materials to be moved around as needed. Pots are fab for storing pens, glues sticks and scissors and making them easy to access and tidy away.

Whatever you choose…

Whatever storage methods you choose, containers, whether clear plastic crates with lids or colourful boxes make sure to choose the shapes and sizes to suit your space. Aim to keep similar items together, creating zones for different toys close to suitable space to play and label as much as you can. Perhaps have a baby nursery in the bedroom and leave craft materials for a downstairs space, where you can supervise their use.

If you can engage your child in creating the labels and use colourful images this will be more meaningful for them and will help them remember where to tidy things back to.

About OrganisedWell

Would you like help getting organised?

Laura Williams, Founder and Professional Organiser

If you need guidance, ideas and practical support to make more of your home, organise your possessions in a way that supports your best life or to get started with your decluttering project, then give me a call.

I provide tailored advice and practical support to clients looking to make changes, to create calm, ordered space and free up time and money to focus on the important things in life. I specialise in organising rooms, garages, wardrobes, paperwork and much more; see my services or get in touch.

The Perfect Time to Organise Children’s Things

The school holidays are the perfect time to review your children’s toys and clothes.

As you all take a breath after the chaos of the term-time routine, you will start to spot the things that your children no longer need, have grown out of and fallen out of love with.

The holidays provide a great opportunity to remove those old toys, unloved items, out-grown books and clothes. Whilst you could whisk some things away while your children are at nursery or school (and I have done this myself occasionally), it’s good to involve them, engaging them in the task, methods and reasons why it’s good to pass things and important to help them create healthy habits that will stay with them into adulthood.

You will help your growing child to make room for new hobbies, new toys (as birthdays come along) and  new interests and it’s a great activity to keep everyone entertained on a rainy day.

A good organising session will also mean you’ll all go into the new term feeling lighter, clearer and better prepared.

Organising our possessions is a valuable life skill we can teach our children - Laura Williams

It can feel daunting but involving your children in the activity gives them:

  • A joint activity to do with you
  • The ability to find what they want to play with easily
  • A sense of responsibility for their own things
  • Skills that will stay with them as they grow
  • Some appreciation of the toys they have
  • Ability to share their things with other less fortunate children
Baby dolls

In the same way you want to be engaged, enjoy activities and understand why you need to do them, so do your children.

How you engage them twill depend on their age and their personality, so here are 10 ideas to try:

  1. Explain what you are going to do together and why
  2. Make it fun with a game, playing music or having a race
  3. Create a competition with a prize for the most well organised room
  4. Talk about children less for fortunate than themselves and get them to imagine what it might be like
  5. Get them to make a list of their most favourite toys so that you can ‘protect’ these
  6. Show them that they will be able to find the things they want to play with more easily
  7. Explain that you’ll be able to store toys close to where they want to play with them so it’ll be easier to play
  8. Ask them to look around a messy room and ask them how it feels, get them to imagine what it would be like if there was clear space to play on the floor, do crafts or dance about 
  9. Show them videos, pictures from websites or leaflets from charities that support children, explain that these children don’t have any toys and will love to receive one of theirs that they no longer need
  10. Explain that there is not lots of room in the house so it’s important than when we no longer need something we give it to someone else to enjoy. Give examples of things you’ve managed in this way

Before you embark on your organising session make sure that you are ready for a declutter first:

  • Get boxes ready for charity donations, recycling and rubbish
  • Choose a room or area (such as area of room, a cupboard) depending on the time available
  • Think about how you are going to remove the items you’ve sorted out from your home before someone find them and changes their mind

Once you’ve decluttered and know what you want to keep, organise items by category, storing them where they’wll be used.

See part 2, coming soon, for storage ideas for children’s clothes and toys.

About OrganisedWell

Would you like help getting organised?

Laura Williams, Founder and Professional Organiser

 

If you need guidance, ideas and practical support to make more of your home, organise your possessions in a way that supports your best life or to get started with your decluttering project, then give me a call.

I provide tailored advice and practical support to clients looking to make changes, to create calm, ordered space and free up time and money to focus on the important things in life. I specialise in organising rooms, garages, wardrobes, paperwork and much more; see my services or get in touch.

My favourite toy organising ideas

Whilst I love having family time and the holidays have been lots of fun, it can be very a demanding and messy time. I’m desperate to create some order out of the chaos and distraction that has been filling my home and my mind! With the children back at school this is the perfect time to regain control and make space for another focus.

Thank goodness! I’ve done the first drop-off of the year, everyone is settled in and I’ve returned to a quiet house. I can take a breath, gather my thoughts and finally tackle those tasks that have been bugging me for a while now.

Whilst I love having family time and the holidays have been lots of fun, it can be very a demanding and messy time. I’m desperate to create some order out of the chaos and distraction that has been filling my home and my mind!

#Freedom-Lady standing in the sun with open arms, feeling free

With the children back at school this is the perfect time to regain control and make space (in our homes and heads) for another focus; a new project, work, other commitments, hobbies, to just feel better prepared or to have time to care for ourselves.

Children seem to have so many toys and spread them all over the house. I think there are probably only a few rooms in our house that don’t have toys or books somewhere (I know I’m going to miss this in a few years!).

I wanted to share my favourite ideas for organising children’s toys:

  1. Have a place for everything! Have labelled boxes and bags so that the children can easily see them and depending on their age, put them away!
  2. Keep toys together in categories so that they can be enjoyed with ease – e.g. keep all vehicles in a crate near to a floor with space to play, store pens and craft materials close to a table
  3. Don’t have too many toys out – rotate items, storing them and bringing them out a few months later to keep them fresh
  4. Give away duplicates, toys that are no longer age specific or no longer played with. Too many toys can be overwhelming and won’t be appreciated
  5. Create a mindset that toys are to be enjoyed then moved on. Encourage your children to help you to give away toys that they no longer play with to other children to enjoy. Good times to do this are after long holidays, before Christmas and birthdays. (If you struggle with letting go for sentimental reasons find pictures of your children playing with those items or take photos before giving them away for someone else to love).

When tackling toys, there are so many ideas out there so I’ve curated some great articles on organising toys for you to read with a cuppa.

How to Organize Kids Toys

Toy organising – how to get ahead of the game before Christmas

Mastering The Kids Stuff!

About OrganisedWell

Would you like help getting organised?

Laura Williams, Founder and Professional OrganiserIf you need guidance, ideas and practical support to make more of your home, organise your possessions in a way that supports your best life or to get started with your decluttering project, then give me a call.

We provide tailored advice and practical support to clients looking to make changes, to create calm, ordered space and free up time and money to focus on the important things in life. We specialise in organising rooms, garages, wardrobes, paperwork and much more; see our services or get in touch.

Call me today!