Browsing Archive: June, 2011

Labelling is key when archiving

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Office Tips 

Every home or office has loads of paperwork to deal with (despite the move to email) and every so often, you have to make space for current paper. That is why we need to archive and simply throwing it into a box isn't how it's done.

If you want to avoid wasting time looking for documents, the key to archiving is labeling the box you put it in. A blanket description is required BUT add exact descriptions as well, e.g. HR Files 2010 and thereafter, Joe Soap, Jane Doe, Cliff Ric...


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Be responsible - think before you chuck!

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Recycle & Reinvent 

Ideally you should recycle old ink & toner cartridges. According to research done in the USA, each re-manufactured cartridge keeps approximately 1,3 kilograms of metal and plastic out of landfills and saves about 1,8 litres of oil.

Buy rechargeable batteries. It takes 1000 regular batteries to equal the lifespan of one rechargeable battery.

On that note make recycling bins readily available in your home and teach your family the value of recycling. Have a large bin for glas...


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Memory box for kids

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Kids Tips 

Like many children, my daughter likes to keep all those pretty little notes that she got from her best friend or that cute little picture that she drew way back when. Unlucky for her, I can't bear to have it all over her room, so I suggested that she have a memory box that she can use to put all these keepsakes in. Lucky for me, she thought that was a cool idea!!!

So I took an old shoebox and covered it with adorable wrapping paper (but if you don't have shoe boxes on hand, y...


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Keeping the underwear drawer in check

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Home Tips 
When I decided that enough was enough and that I simply had to acquire nicer underwear, I also realised that I needed a better system to keep the matching items together.

So I've placed old shoe boxes in my lingerie draw with panty and bra neatly tucked together (panty in the cup of the bra). Now when I reach for that lovely number I don't have to go in search of the parts that make up the sum...

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Shredded paper for hamster cages

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Recycle & Reinvent 

I have to package a lot of items and it suddenly occurred to me recently that shredded paper would be really useful for this. There is always a small spot in the box that needs to be filled in order to protect the products and I am thrilled to know, that now all the paper I shred, can save me money on packaging. 

Equally as interesting, is the realisation that shredded paper can be used for hamster cages. Again, out of necessity (we had run out of chippings), it occurred to m...


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A few quick recycle/reinvent tips...

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Recycle & Reinvent 

Old tyres painted bright colors make perfect planters for strawberries or flowers.

Old brass headboards make unique garden trellises.

The old aquarium that the kids lost interest in but is still sitting in the garage. Haul it back into the house and use it to plant an indoor herb garden. Aquariums are also just the thing to use to force bulbs so that your winter days can be bright with color.

Attach an old cork to your keys before you go fishing or sailing: if they fall in...


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Take care of them snazzy boots

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Home Tips 

You want your snazzy boots to last a few winters and not loose their shape so keep them upright by placing a rolled up magazine or two into them. They'll keep their shape and be good to go for their next fashion stint.

p.s. you can also use old cardboard poster rolls.


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Use luggage to store clothes

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Home Tips 

Winter is on its way out and soon we'll all be whipping out bikinis and beach towels. But that winter clothing is taking up so much space in your cupboard that you can't fit anything new in.

So, why not use suitcases that you don't often need, to store your winter clothes and shoes. That way you don't have to spend money on storage, and you have space for all those new goodies.


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Old lampshades to hurricane lamps

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Recycle & Reinvent 

Hands up anyone who has moved into a house and inherited glass light fittings from the 60s or 70s? Well, my hand just shot up! But, here is the perfect excuse to get rid of them and buy yourself some modern ones instead.

South Africans love to entertain outside and candles and hurricane lamps are so handy on such occasions. So why not take those old glass lampshades:

  • Turn the lampshade upside down.
  • Get an old CD and super glue it onto the lampshade as a base.
  • Now place ...

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Tips to keep allergies at bay

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : General Tips 

I received a mail from a mom wanting general tidy tips that may help lessen her child's allergies. My son is also allergic to dust so here are a few tips to help keep allergies at bay in your home.

  • Keep the bedroom well ventilated to keep the humidity down.
  • Air the bed daily and wash the bedding frequently at temperatures over 55 degrees. I have also heard that placing the mattress in the sun regularly helps to kill the dust mites.
  • Vacuum and clean the room and b...

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Fun for the kids on your terms

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Kids Tips 

My bathroom has white tiles, so when my kids  (5yrs & 2 yrs) want to paint, I either put them naked in the shower or bath with some poster paint and a paintbrush. 

They have so much fun painting the walls, themselves and each other.  When they are done, I just turn on the shower, wash down the walls and the little people and all the mess is gone in a flash.  They absolutely love it!

(this clever tip sent in by Ronel Lee - thx)
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Identify kitchen zones

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Home Tips 

The kitchen is where we go to 'nourish' our bodies and families and is often a space that is bulging with things. So many different mugs, and pots, and bowls... we have more dishes, more utensils then we have space to house. We think we need all these lovely things but actually, what we really need is to sort through all our things, keep what we really use, give away what we don't and organise ourselves into work zones.

Basically, you need to access what you do in the kitchen...


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Organise hand-me-downs

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : General Tips 

We all have those 'things' that we can't bear to part with. That adorable blankie that our child had or that lovely scarf that once belonged to our grandmother.

There isn't anything wrong with this unless of course you start to hoard everything - even those you don't want to keep. BUT, no matter your outlook, you need to organise your things, so why not start organising the things you don't use every day but want to hand down to your children or significant others?

Archive o...


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Divide your drawers to keep your sanity

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Home Tips 

Most drawers are not deep enough for large jerseys and pants so use them instead for the small stuff that gets completely lost in a big cupboard. But the trick is to keep them altogether in the draw so you know where everything is when you need it.

You can keep like with like by using old shoe boxes, plastic veggie trays, or splurge on the organising dividers - practically anything that will divide the space for you. In these new 'segments', store CDs, make-up (lip sticks, eye shadow an...


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Organise your groceries

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Home Tips 

If your groceries are driving you insane because you don't know where to put them and you keep buying more because you can't see what you have, then these tips are for you.

  • Remove all grocery items from where you are currently keeping them. You need to see the space you have available.
  • Clean the space you will be using and purge what has expired or you know you aren't going to use (remembering to donate where you can).
  • Now group items together: tins, baking suppl...

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Key 'ingredient' to never losing your keys

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : General Tips 

I know it may sound crazy that you have to establish a routine with your keys to avoid losing them, but it really is important. We use our car keys every day, for example, and it makes sense to put them in the same place when you get home.

Often, however, people throw them on the couch, on the coffee table, in their bag or some other place they forget about. But if you came home and put them in the same place every day without fail, you will always know where they are. Your '...


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Promote the toast rack

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Recycle & Reinvent 

Remember those days when toast was made and placed in-between racks to cool down? If you aren't using them anymore, they are just the right size for envelopes so why promote them to desk organiser - keeping bills and letters sorted.


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Carpets in the beds

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Recycle & Reinvent 

Do you have an old carpet at home that you don't know what to do with? Well, I read recently that an OLD CARPET makes a PERFECT "weed mat" for  use on garden beds!

You lay it in and around your plants within the garden bed and it blocks any weeds from growing through but because it is porous, it still allows water through for your plants.


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Turn junk into cash

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Recycle & Reinvent 

If you have decided to tidy up your space, resign yourself to the fact that you will have to turf many things out.

You may feel as if you're wasting so much money but if you focus on what you're trying to achieve AND organise a garage sale, you'll be able to recoup some money. So decide on a date, set the target, advertise in the local press and get it done. You'll feel enormously relieved you did.


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Use newspaper for giftwrap

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Recycle & Reinvent 

Newspapers are everywhere and many people don't bother to recycle them. But years ago, my creative brother decided to use them to wrap Christmas presents and I think it was a brilliant idea.

(If you think it is a little boring, make it look colourful with bows and ribbons and homemade cards.)


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From pillow to glam cushion

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Recycle & Reinvent 

If you have a flat pillow that you want to toss aside for a new model, why not recycle it into a cushion instead? Simply fold the pillow over, stitch it and use it to fill a smashing cushion cover (that you are going to make because you're so creative).


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Need a coaster anyone?

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Recycle & Reinvent 

We all have them in our homes, be it for entertainment or for work, but when they get damaged, we generally just throw DVDs/CDs away. Yet, they could easily be used as coasters when you're entertaining. 

Don't stop there though, if you're the arty type, embellish it with fabric or beads. Go crazy to personalise your CD/DVD, making it the toast of the day!


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New life for jeans (and for shoes)

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Recycle & Reinvent 

Old jeans that you can't squeeze into anymore but really don't want to part with? Well, how about making a groovy shoe bag.

Cut 30cm off the bottom of one leg, sew up one end of this piece and hem the other so it can take a drawstring, thread a piece of cord around the top with a safety pin and pull tight. Voila, your shoes can now travel in your trendy jeans.


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Be creative with paint

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Office Tips 
Think about how you can use old furniture before you just throw it away. You may have a spot for seating in your garden, or perhaps that old table, with a coat of paint could be lovely on the veranda.
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Dress-up clothes for kids

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Kids Tips 

If you have decided to spring clean your cupboard and there are some 'smallish' clothes, belts or shoes that you are considering getting rid of, then why not see if your kids would like to use SOME OF IT as dress up clothes?

Obviously this only applies to the younger child, but there are many children who dress up as jedi knights, princesses and other fantastic characters and you may make their day by giving them some 'props'.


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Mulch with newspapers

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Recycle & Reinvent 
Not only do worms and your garden composter love old newspaper, why not also use it as 'weed suppressor' under mulch. AND remember you can use it to clean windows..
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Odds & sods for school projects

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Recycle & Reinvent 

Last year my sister forewarned me that the older her boys got, the more projects they had at school. She suggested therefore, that I get an old box and fill it with toilet rolls, small yoghurt containers, polystyrene trays, plastic straws, spoons etc etc etc which could be used to build the assortment of projects.

I took her advice and true-to-her prediction, my child needed this and that to build a bridge for technology. I was so excited when I calmly directed ...


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FINALLY - a good use for pantyhose

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Recycle & Reinvent 

I cannot stand wearing pantyhose (and my commiserations to those that have to), so it is nice to finally put mine to good use.

A great place to use them is in the garden, which I did recently when I attached tree orchids to a stump in the garden. You can also use them to tie plants like tomatoes to stakes (keeping them straight and strong).

I have also been told pantyhose comes in handy to make potpourri 'sachets' but I must say, I haven't tried this one.


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Uses for used paper

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Recycle & Reinvent 

We all have to start taking responsibility for our environment and one way to do this is to re-use paper. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Print on both sides of the paper and then shred and recycle what you can. Arrange for Mondi or similar company to fetch your used paper.
  • If you have children, cut up paper and staple the pages together to make small notepads. Recycle these when they've been used (but remember to take out the staple).
  • Give paper to schools in t...

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Jars - to storage - to decor

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Recycle & Reinvent 

These are great for under the shelf storage of nails and other hardware items, beads, buttons and more. Attach the top to the bottom of the undershelf and screw the clear jars on and off as you need them. Great for garages, craft and sewing rooms, or anywhere you need see-through storage.

I also remember these small jars being used once by my child's Montessori school to make lanterns. They attached a wire around the top, made a handle with wire as well and twisted it to secu...


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From beer bottle to vase

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Recycle & Reinvent 

If, like me, you enjoy dressing up your table or having a small flower next to your desk, you can achieve this without spending money.

I first saw this at my sister's house so all credit to her. She took an old, clear beer bottle, and after rinsing it, she used it to put a few flowers from the garden in. When I decided to do the same for my kitchen window sill, I spruced them up a little by tying some lovely coloured ribbon around them. So now I have I nice vase made from a b...


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Organise your time

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Time Tips 

Here are a few helpful tricks to use when organising your time (sourced from the POAA flyer).

  • Keep filing systems simple with only four or five main categories that make sense to you.
  • Do 'it' NOW. Don't procrastinate.
  • Change whatever doesn't work for you.
  • Use only one diary or calendar to record all your appointments - private or professional.

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Prepare for the morning the night before

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Time Tips 

You would think that this stands to reason, but so many people don't follow this advice (myself included). There are some days that I am disciplined enough to prepare for the next day and it ALWAYS sets the tone for my day ahead.

There have been times when I am under pressure to finalise a job for a client the next day and every time I leave it for the morning (to quickly finish), the wheels fall off - a child needs something - the email is down etc etc and suddenly, my lack ...


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To save you time and keep your sanity, consider setting up lift clubs for your kids

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Kids Tips 
Setting up systems in your home or office is devised with time-saving in mind. As such, finding ways to save time should be as important as having a tidy space.

If you have kids, you know that fetching and carrying from school and events is time-consuming. Everyone feels the same as you so consider starting a lift-club with people you know in your area. Share the burden!

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Keep gift tags and wrapping handy

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : General Tips 

Doesn't the cost of wrapping paper and birthday cards annoy you? I know I dislike spending money on this so I decided to get creative. I made up some basic square cards using clipart from Word, and printed these out in colour on thick paper. When I need one, I cut it out, punch a hole in the top and add some thin ribbon (colour depending on the gender of child). I use the ribbon to tie the card onto the birthday present.

Quick, easy and it will save you a penny or two for t...


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Using lists to stay organised

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : General Tips 

I have taken to making lists as a result of my constant 'porridge brain' (you know that syndrome that makes an appearance when you're pregnant and doesn't leave?).

There is the priority to-do list in my diary, the work-around-the-house list on the white board, and the shopping list in the kitchen. I try to place these strategically on the way to the car or the office so that I see them and therefore remember to do what is on them.

I know writing lists doesn't work for ever...


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When you are moving house...

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Home Tips 

Each person in the family should have their own storage box which they can fill with those things they simply cannot pack away and want as soon as they reach their new home.

These could be a favourite teddy bear, a notebook, towels and sheets or that awesome straightening iron! Whatever you'll need as soon as you get there, is what you should put in the box AND each person should be responsible for their box (it isn't mom's fault if it doesn't get to the other side).


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Sheets & towels to animal shelters

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Recycle & Reinvent 

Donate old sheets and towels to a local animal shelter. These can be used to line the cages, clean up messes, dry off wet dogs, or provide warm bedding.


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Prep and freeze homemade food for your kids

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Kids Tips 

Although I cook for my family all the time I do not enjoy cooking. HOWEVER, when my kids were babies and I was working out of the home, I realised that time was not always on my side.

As many other parents out there, I would arrive home late and then would still have to worry about food. So I quickly got into the habit of cooking more than I needed for any particular meal and then freezing the leftovers into small portions. I would stick a piece of masking tape on the outsi...


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Bathroom cleaning in a snap

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Home Tips 

If you have the space available in your bathroom, you can save a lot of time off cleaning it by creating a bathroom cleaning kit that you store in the room. Fill a cleaning caddy with everything you need to clean - not having to search for these things will make cleaning more efficient.


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Purge and breathe!

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : General Tips 

It has been said over and over and yet we don't seem to hear it. STUFF can make it hard to breathe because it just takes up space so it makes perfect sense that getting rid of things will make life easier.

But it seems that we don't like hearing this so we dig our heels in and will not give anything away. I challenge you therefore to do this slowly. Choose a room that is frustrating you beyond belief and start purging. Decide beforehand how you will get rid of that PESKY ST...


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Make that garage work for you

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Home Tips 

Whether you have one garage or two, it needs to be organised otherwise it risks becoming the dumping ground for all manner of household items.  So, if your garage isn't working for you, resulting in you parking one of your largest assets outside, then you need to make a plan!

Start, as usual, by taking everything out so you can see what you have and what you don't need. It is a process, but the best tip, once you have sorted through everything, is to group your items by cate...


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Bring order to groceries

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Home Tips 

My grocery cupboard has been a challenge of late (even though I admit that there isn't always a huge stock in it). So when I recently did a monthly shop, I thought it the most opportune time to sort it out. And here are a few tricks I learnt:

  • Divide cans into categories and try to line them up next to each other. This means that when you only have two cans of the tomato mix available, you know straight away.
  • If your cupboard space is deep, take advantage of this space by ...

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Keep your photos safe

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : General Tips 
I know many of us have moved on to digital cameras so a lot of our photos are on our computers, but either way, they still need to be organised or what is the point of taking them?

I LOVE photos and often find myself spending time flipping through my online database. For me, it is all about habit and as soon as I have taken a lot of pics, I download them, date them and name the album so I know when the pics were taken. I currently have a folder for each child, extended family, ...

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Quick fix for your cupboard

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Home Tips 

The golden rule of organising your cupboard is "if you haven't worn it in a year - toss it". SO, first things first - you have to toss all those clothes that are collecting dust. BUT in the event that you really aren't sure if you should toss an item of clothing, then 'flag' the hanger. During the next 6 weeks, if you wear a 'flagged' item, it is in the clear but after the 6 weeks, toss what is still 'flagged'.


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Beauty samples

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Recycle & Reinvent 

We get given a lot of those fancy beauty product samples but seldom do we actually use them. Recently, when talking to a client about how to save money, she told me that she LOVES beauty products and had quiet a collection so she decided to actually start using them. As a result, she has saved a lot of moola because she hasn't had to buy any beauty products for months! So, take advantage of all those freebies you're hoarding in your bathroom cabinet! (p.s. Thanks for the tip C...


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Letter holder from CDs

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Recycle & Reinvent 

We all have old CDs at home that have been scratched and rendered unusable so why not save it from the bin!

Click here to find out how you do it (could be a great art and craft activity with your kids).


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Preparation is the key to success

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : Time Tips 

Remember when you were at school and you had a project to do? The first thing you probably did was create a spider diagram outlining the process you needed to follow. As adults, we often dive headfirst into tasks, like de-cluttering our space, without planning, so we often land up failing miserably. Whatever goals you have, spend some time on your spider diagram. The process will save you time and frustration.


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Get rid of unwanted paper straight away

Posted by Head Chiquita on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, In : General Tips 

Paper is present everywhere - be it newspapers that you receive daily, mail, flyers, newsletters and notices. Leaving this unchecked can quickly add up to a lot of paper.

You should immediately upon reading it, decide if you're going to:
•    toss it in the bin;
•    keep it for future referral (only if you really need to);
•    recycle (either by dropping off at a depot or throwing it into a compost heap); or
•    shred it (one of the best buys I ever made was buyin...


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Pack of linen

Posted by Head Chiquita on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, In : Home Tips 

I have finally labeled my linen shelves so that I can find what I am looking for but I recently saw a television programme where the presenter stored her sheets by folding the fitted and flat sheet and one pillowcase into a neat square and then placed this into the remaining pillowcase.

This makes it easy to recognise the set and everything is all together when you need it.


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Shower curtain to drop cloth

Posted by Head Chiquita on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, In : Recycle & Reinvent 

We bought a shower curtain for our outside bathroom but had to cut it because it was too wide. BUT, we didn't cut it very straight, so it now seems way too small! Perhaps I could deal with the waste of money if I reused it as a drop cloth for painting - good plan?


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New lease on life for flip-flops

Posted by Head Chiquita on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, In : Recycle & Reinvent 

I was looking up some ingenious ways to recycle! recently and found some interesting reinventions for flip-flops. The one I liked the most was using them to cushion the underpart of tables and chairs to prevent them from scratching wooden floors.

Sounds like a good plan to me.


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Recycle christmas cards

Posted by Head Chiquita on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, In : Recycle & Reinvent 
If your used Christmas cards have a clear design or pattern on them, you could cut that out, laminate it, put a beautiful ribbon on the top and then use it as a Christmas decoration.
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Toothbrush holder without costing a mint

Posted by Head Chiquita on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, In : Recycle & Reinvent 

Looking for a refreshing alternative to throwing away your toothpaste tubes? This easy do-it-yourself project upcycles your empty tubes into a simple toothbrush holder. Recycling materials like these are a great way to reuse without costing a mint.
Click here to find out how.


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Consolidate online passwords in one place

Posted by Head Chiquita on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, In : Office Tips 

My hubbie recently had a hissy-fit because he couldn't log in to his Sanlam account and I am sure this is a frustration many of you share with him. To avoid a tirade keep a list of the website, the login and passwords on hand.

If you need a template, email Neat Freak and we'll send you the free Office pack, as one is included in this.

Happy surfing..


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Dealing with your child's artwork

Posted by Head Chiquita on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, In : Kids Tips 

Dealing with children’s artwork can be a challenge – which to keep, how to store it and how long to keep it for, not to mention the guilt you feel when you throw half of it away. But let’s face it - realistically you cannot keep every little drawing or collage with macaroni stuck all over it! So I was very excited when a participant at a recent Neat Freak workshop said that she takes photographs of her children’s artwork, and only keeps a few special ones (thanks Jenni...


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Keep it at eye level

Posted by Head Chiquita on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, In : General Tips 

It stands to reason that items of clothing you use often, need to be accessible. So store these at eye level or below whilst keeping items you seldom use, higher up. If you don't have a lot of space in your cupboard, then store seasonal clothing like large jerseys or conversely, your swimming gear, in clear and labeled boxes. That way you have more shelf space for the items you need this season.


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Trays for large appliances

Posted by Head Chiquita on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, In : Home Tips 

To save yourself lots of backache, store heavy appliances (liquidizes, mixers, food processors) on a sturdy tray in your cupboard. That way, when you need to use it, you can slide the tray out and get what you need out with minimal strain on your back.


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Get a label-maker

Posted by Head Chiquita on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, In : General Tips 

I have made labels for years on my computer - thus being dubbed the 'label queen'. My family jokes that if they stand in one place long enough they'll be labeled.

What is the big deal you may ask? Well if you label something you know where things are and where they belong. Labels will 'jump' out at you and remind you to put things back where you found them.

SO, if you haven't got one yet, do yourself a favour and get one! Having a label maker makes a world of difference ...


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Tidy up with a timer

Posted by Head Chiquita on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, In : Kids Tips 

I have often read the recommendation of professional organisers to use a timer when tidying up. Although I understood the philosophy behind the suggestion, I wanted to put it to the test so I used it with my kids this week-end.

I told them before I even began, that I wanted to set the timer to ONLY 5 minutes to tidy up their desk and throw away used paper and 'stuff' lying around collecting dust.

So we duly set the timer and off we went with the tic-tic-tic in the backgro...


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Back up and back up some more!

Posted by Head Chiquita on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, In : Office Tips 

I was the unfortunate victim of cellphone theft recently when I was with a client in PMB. Basically, even though the offices have security, someone managed to get in and they proceeded to steal my cellphone from under my nose! No kidding!

I am so lucky that I had all my numbers stored on another phone that I had recently been given with a contract (but didn't want to use) AND I have most of my numbers on my laptop. So despite the fact that I was hug...


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Make a decision then and there

Posted by Head Chiquita on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, In : Office Tips 

We are all inundated with mail (snail mail or email) and we generally leave it to pile up until it is spilling out all over the place. This can be avoided if you make an immediate decision about what you need to do with each piece of paper or email.

When you get the post, open the envelopes immediately, toss the ads you don't want in a recycling bin and place the accounts to pay in a designated spot.

For emails, delete as you go and move them into folders per the subjects (e...


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All-important document archiving

Posted by Head Chiquita on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, In : Office Tips 
The boring jobs seldom get done (and backing up your documents is one of those jobs). Regardless of its lack of appeal, it is essential to do electronic back-ups, so make it part of your routine. Choose a day of the month to do this and keep to it. There is nothing worse than losing all your work!
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Rise and shine

Posted by Head Chiquita on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, In : Time Tips 

The ultimate time-saving tip is WAKE UP EARLIER, although I know there are many of us who simply hate to part from our comfy beds until we absolutely have to.

But consider that you can automatically add 30 to 60 minutes to your day by curbing your dream time. Spend this time answering emails, making dinner for the evening, exercising or doing admin work. You probably will be getting the same amount of sleep because you'll be more vigilant about watching those late-night sh...


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Tackle tasks headon

Posted by Head Chiquita on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, In : Time Tips 

Since I have two businesses to run, I often find myself with so many things to do and sometimes, I find myself putting off the hardest tasks. This is often the worst thing I could do because I get more anxious as the day goes and I actually cannot concentrate on anything.

As a result I try to remind myself that if I get the hardest task over and done with, I am more flexible with everything else requiring my attention.

BASICALLY, it never pays to put anything off. Just ta...


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Balance home and work

Posted by Head Chiquita on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, In : Time Tips 

The modern day parent works long hours and has hectic social schedules. As such, it is very important to achieve balance if you are to keep your sanity.

A few tips are to:

  • Find out if your employer will allow telecommuting for late afternoons onwards i.e. allowing you to go home and work from there. (This may not even be feasible for some but worth a consideration for others.)
  • Define time that is off limits for work. Perhaps consider making 6 - 8 pm a n...

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Centralise daily planning

Posted by Head Chiquita on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, In : Time Tips 

I recently had an experience with a client where she used many small pieces of paper to record her 'to do' items. It became apparent that sooner or later the wheels would fall because pieces of paper can quickly be lost.

It is advisable to ONLY USE ONE DIARY and ONE CALENDAR as then everything is in one place and there isn't guess work about where it is. Then keep all these in a central place and when you have finished using something, put it back in that central place.


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Make time to plan

Posted by Head Chiquita on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, In : Time Tips 

I have been spending a lot of time trying to organise myself and my time lately (yes, the NEAT FREAK also has to do this), and I have to say, that the only way to do this, is to MAKE TIME TO PLAN.

  • If you have a project you need to complete, like planting a new area in your garden, you will need to complete tasks along the way to succeed.
  • Write the ultimate goal down in a clear sentence (and perhaps you should pin this up somewhere you will see it all day to...

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