Monday, 30 November 2009

Book Review & competition :- Escape the Parent Trap; Unspoil Your Kids

We have a great competition at the moment - Within Australia only sorry :)- for a new release called "Escape the Parent Trap; Unspoil Your Kids" by Herald Sun Columnist Cheryl Critchley.

All you need to do is email telling us "What you have done to get back to basics with your family" by the Dec 2nd 2009 for a chance to win a copy.

Here's a blurb about the book and my review of it below. Would love to hear your thoughts on unspoiling our kids - do we need to / how do we need to??

Mother of three Cheryl Critchley, who refuses to let the parenting industry run her life, is on a mission to de-clutter parenthood and bring back the basics. Today's parents are time-poor and confused. We are literally drowning in paraphernalia, from programs teaching babies to read to professional party planners for five-year-olds. We have lost confidence and become paranoid, wrapping kids in cotton wool and spoiling them rotten. Cheryl says it's time to slow down, relax (yes relax!), keep it simple and take charge. Parents need permission to ignore the guilt-trip laid on by marketers pushing $1500 prams and overpriced private schools. They need good, basic advice on how to host a great party without spending a fortune, whether your child is ready for school and what to tell teenagers about drugs. They also need to be wary of kids growing up too fast and becoming slave to the range of new technologies taking over their lives. With expert tips and straight talking advice, in the style that has made Cheryl's Parent Trap column in the Herald Sun so popular, you can unspoil your kids and truly enjoy life with them. It's not too late!

“Cheryl Critchelys’s new book ‘The Parent Trap’ tells you exactly what you need to know, to get the rod out of your back that you inadvertently planted there long ago! This easy to follow guide clearly spells out the areas you need to look at to function more effectively as a parent and most importantly as a family. Your words of wisdom will help countless families get back to basics and regain their lives at the same time.” Claire McFee Author Organize Your Life

till next time,

Happy Organizing
Claire McFee
Organize Your Life Organizers

If you haven't already read our article on how to give your home a makeover by reorganizing it then you will love this article.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Where are your House ‘Clutter Clusters’?

Sarah Wilson from The Age’s Sunday Life Magazine had another interesting article on clutter recently – and in particular Feng Shui / Energy Flow. I’m not sure if Sarah has coined the term but she talks about ‘Clutter Clusters’ in the home and the effect they have, not only on your home but on your life.

Everything in our lives – both physical and mental are all inter-related. If there is too much attention in one area it means another area is missing out. If there is an obvious problem area, it is a sure sign there is a energy blockage somewhere. The more self aware we are the more able we are to recognise this early on – hopefully before the problem gets out of hand and do something constructive about it – say organize your life better!!??.

I know in the past my health has suffered greatly from not having balance in my life – and I’m sure if a Feng Shui consultant came into my home during those times they would have found build ups in the related areas. Where are the main ‘clutter clusters’ in your home? Do you try to organize / declutter these messy areas at least sometimes or are they always there making you feel out of control and overwhelmed? If you have tackled your clutter 'hot spots' successfully, how have you done it?

Happy Organizing
Claire McFee
Organize Your Life Organizers

If you haven't already read our articles on how to organize practically every aspect of your life and home then go to

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

International Buy Nothing Day is coming around again!

It's coming up again - a favourite 'DAY' of mine - International Buy Nothing Day.

So on Nov 23th 2009, try to consciously choose not to buy anything if you can help it. If you must buy something, at least make sure it is a 'must'. The difference this can make is bigger than any of us can imagine.

A lot of people may think - it's just delaying what I have to buy anyway, so what's the point? Well in some instances this is the true but in many cases it is preventing purchases and unnecessary consumerism by stopping you buying something that you otherwise would have.

Let's not forget the Power of the People - collectively we can have an impact Worldwide - especially on day's like International Buy Nothing Day.

So take part and do your bit. I know I will! Being a conscious (and therefore more organized) consumer is a better way to live. :)

Happy Organizing

Claire McFee
Organize Your Life Organizers

Monday, 16 November 2009

How is your Work / Life Balance Going?

Work *Life * Balance – Do you have it or desperately need it?

Finding Work /Life balance has been a hot topic for many years now – not surprisingly since the majority of women have gone back into the workforce sooner and for longer hours after having children. Thankfully the Supermom / Supermum Myth has abated with the media no longer propping up the – you can have it all. Only to result in so many women trying so hard to attain, only to fall in one big heap!

Work / life balance is different for everyone depending on things like the number of children you have; whether you choose to send them to private school; what level of debt you have; how good you are at budgeting; whether you take time out for yourself and also your partner in your 'busy' life schedule; whether you look after elderly parents who are not well; whether you have help from elderly parents who are still more than able to help with looking after the kids; making some meals; how much overtime your partner does; whether you work inside the home or outside the home and whether you have learned how to switch off from work if it is the latter – not easy for most people that’s for sure!

I have obviously found that being pretty organized on the home-front makes a big difference to whether I have a good work / life balance or not. Also right 'up there' is how many hours a week I work. Having spoken to many women over the years about the magic number of hours it is that seems to keep life functioning smoothly, without tipping you and your family over the edge – seems to be around 15-30 hours per week maximum before things start to come apart at the seams.

Managing debt levels is also a key factor in having a good work / life balance. Things like not worrying about buying second hand cars and living in a comfortable home rather than a McMansion like your friends may reside in; Shopping at OP Shops for 'vintage' clothes sometimes rather than always buying brand new; growing your own vege’s rather than buying from expensive supermarkets can really make a big difference – especially when looked at as a whole. Also things like not buying take out food too often, which you are less likely to do if you are not working too many hours in the first place. A lot of people sadly don’t see the connection between working more and how often, the increase in pay is chewed up by the increase in associated work costs. For eg: – clothes; petrol; child care; take out etc. There is a fine line between what makes it worthwhile and what doesn’t. It is a good idea to sit down and really look at the figures to assess whether it is worth it if you are feeling stressed out if you come to the conclusion that your work /life balance is definitely out of whack.

I just find it really sad at how many over-worked, stressed out, frazzled, overwhelmed mums/moms are out there, who know something has to give but can’t work out what or how and it’s not a nice position to be in. When I think back to my mum and grandmother’s day when their role was solely to raise the children and take care of the home – in some ways it sounded like a much easier time. Not as many arguments about who did what –it was a lot clearer!!

Don’t get me wrong though, I love the fact that women are able to choose whether they work and many do because they love it and need it for their emotional wellbeing, but I worry about the growing number who ‘have to’ rather than choose to, just to keep their heads above water and how this is affected them, their partners and of course the wellbeing of their children.

A recent article I read on work/life balance and what the children’s perspective was on their how much time their parents (in most case didn’t spend with them), and not surprisingly most kids simply yearned for more time and attention from their parents – one let alone two!!

Where there is no choice about work hours and whether one or both parents work, more than ever, the time spent as a family is of the utmost importance and giving thought to how you can make the time you spend with your partner and kids quality time – if you’re not too exhausted from work that is!!

Work Life balance is certainly a very complicated topic. What are your thoughts –do you have a good work life balance? What do you think helps to maintain a good work / life balance?

Happy Organizing
Claire McFee
Organize Your Life Organizers

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Subscribe to our Organize Your Life You Tube Channel

Organzie Your life has it's own You Tube channel with lots of How to Organize your Life Tips and info. You can subscribe to the Organize Your Life You Tube channel easily by clicking the link below. You should also be able to see the most recent Organize Your Life Organizing Videos on the You Tube side bar to the right of this page. Wait till and image of Author Claire McFee appears or Organize Your Life and click away. Don't forget to leave a rating -we really appreciate them!

Organize Your Life You Tube Channel

Happy Organizing,
Claire McFee
Author Organize Your Life

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Blogtalk Radio Organization and Balance Interview

Join me on an upcoming interview on Stretch Your Mind and body BlogTalk Radio next Wed 7am EST to help you achieve more Balance in your life - by Organizing your life of course!

Hope you can join me.

If you can't make the live interview you may prefer to check out this great
'Stretch your Mind and Body' Newsletter.

Happy Organizing
Claire McFee
Organize Your Life Organizers

Monday, 2 November 2009

Wonderful Support for Parents of Premature Babies

Having a premature baby must be one of the hardest things imaginable - one of my children was 2 weeks early and he seemed so tiny and helpless as it was! I feel for the parents out there who have their babies prematurely and wanted to promote a wonderful Organisation called L'il Aussie Prems who were on new TV Show 'Money for Jam' Recently.

L’il Aussie Prems was created by Julia Toivonen in March 2007 who is mum to two premature babies, Ronan born at 27 weeks gestation in 2006 & Tristan born at 36 weeks in 2008 at Monash Medical Centre, VIC. Through her experience of giving birth so early to Ronan, a year after his 110 day long journey Julia decided to create L’il Aussie Prems to reach out to parents and offer support and understanding whether parents are still in the NICU/SCN or at home. It has been a major learning curve creating and administrating a website but one Julia has thrived on. To date, the forum has a membership of over 1000 members with a staggering 185,000 forum posts on support and advice from other families.

Have you had a Prem Baby or do you know someone who has? How did you/they get through it?

Happy Organizing
Claire McFee
Organize Your Life Organizers

L'il Aussie Prems also has a great blog too.