Sunday, 21 September 2014

5 Simple Ways to Make Your Home Look Bigger Without Resorting to an Extension!

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Even if you live in a home with a seemingly abundant square footage, it’s more than likely that you will sometimes feel claustrophobic and desire more space. There are so many reasons for rooms looking and feeling smaller than they may actually be, but the good news is that there are some simple ways to create a feeling and appearance of spaciousness within your home - without resorting to an extension (like me!).

Clear out and move into storage

Few things are more heartening and satisfying than having a massive spring clean and getting rid of unwanted, unused items. De-cluttering is one of the very best ways to create more space and make your home appear larger.

Chances are, you have many items in your home that you do not want to throw out or give away. Equally though, you may not want them kept at your home. A perfect solution for this is to utilise purpose-built storage space.
 
If you have room and the resources to carry out the project, you could build a storage room within your house. However it’s probably more practical to shift some of these items into a specialised, off-site storage facility. A range of safe, secure, accessible storage solutions are available, with options available depending on how much storage space you need, the types of items you want to store, and your budget. Pop over to Fort Knox to learn more about the offerings of the best quality and favourably reviewed storage providers.

Expand your garage

For many households, the garage is a prized asset that is used for many different purposes – including storage. To maximise the storage space available to you, consider the costs, practicality and advantages of extending your garage. Not only will additional storage space in your garage be of benefit to you, it is sure to be a drawcard for prospective buyers of your house if you ever choose to sell.


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Create a storage room within your house

Again, this option may be costly and impractical, but if building a designated storage room within your house is a possibility, you may never regret doing so. Consider whether there is space and opportunity to convert any areas under your house to storage areas, or if you have any spare rooms, whether these could be converted for to provide additional storage within your home.

Change your bedroom furniture

In many homes, large, bulky bedroom furniture takes up precious space and consumes rooms. There are advantages to practical furniture solutions (i.e. bunk beds) if such a sleeping arrangement is practical for the inhabitants of your home.

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It is now possible to obtain safe and stylish bunk beds and other bedroom furniture that promotes an impression and more effective use of space.

Use light-coloured paint on walls

Many interior designers know that lighter coloured walls are preferable in most homes. While darker colours can create a sense of cosiness, they can simultaneously enclose rooms so that they feel much less spacious.

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The advantage of light colours is that they reflect and multiply light. In contrast, dark colours absorb light. To create space and airiness within a room, opt for colours including: white, cream, beige, pale/greyish-coloured blue and lavender.
 
Most of us crave more space in our homes. A range of strategies can be applied to make homes and particular rooms look and feel bigger. Do you have any tips on creating more space around the home?
 
 
 

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Project Extension Weeks 8 & 9: Damage!

I am actually amazed that we are already over 2 months in to the project and yet so far from where we expected to be at this time. 
 
The last two weeks have seen very little progress (again!), but we are almost there with fixing our garage (cracks and underpinning) and at least that will mean that we can move all of the things that are residing on our deck, in our shed, cupboards, under beds - you name it - back to their homes later this week.
 
If you follow my Facebook Page, you will have seen that I posted these pictures on the weekend.

 
Melbourne was hit with some pretty crazy storms last week and we were out at the time. We didn't think anything of it, until I started to notice a very 'unusual' smell in our lounge on Sunday. Because we have a huge couch covering our large bay window, we did not notice that a current of water must have entered our house during the storms. 
 
This resulted in a lot of damage to our curtains, carpet and walls and windows. Thankfully the windows and the walls are going to be repaired or removed in any case, as this room becomes doubled in size with the extension.
 
We are also getting the same carpet matched up in the new part, but it just means that we had to call our lovely Carpet man in a bit of a panic to add a few more metres on to our order.
 
I guess the saving grace in the extension not being as far along as it should have been, is that there would have been a heck of a lot more damage if the windows were removed while they work on the rest of the room.
 
But at week 9, my patience is starting to wear thin - I want my privacy back, I don't want to have my car blocked in when I am running late to take the kids to an appointment, I don't want to have to get dressed first thing in the morning in case they knock on the door to use the toilet and I want my house and organisation back!!

I am hoping for BIG things in week 10, watch this space!!
 
 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Life Changing Laundry Products from Adairs

Firstly, let me make this quite clear that this is not a sponsored post (I will always pop at the start of the post if it is, just for future reference).
 
Adairs have hit a home run this year as far as I am concerned - you will find me wandering around an Adairs store once every few weeks - the ladies seriously do know me by name! I absolutely LOVE their range of homewears, towels, doona covers and I absolutely adore the Kid's range.
 
Because I am so often found to be at a store, I am also so often 'reminded' by the persistent sales assistant (that knows me by name!) on how much I need to try the Mercer + Reid Laundry range.
 
Now I don't know about you, but I thought that the 'hard sell' was just indicative of a fairly ordinary product and not once did I cave in to buy! That was until I saw that my lovely bargain friend in the know - Chelsea from I Heart Bargains - posted about having tried - and loved- the Laundry Care range.
 
Once I saw this I knew I had to give them a go - Chelsea knows her bargains! I am SO glad that I did, they have literally changed the way that I do laundry! 
 
One bottle retails for $19.95, but they are 30% off (more if you are a Linen Lovers member) most of the time - so expect to pay around $13 odd per bottle. A bottle lasts for 40 washes and oh my goodness - the smell - divine!!

If you have stains (which is frequently me with a bub and toddler!), I just pop a little bit of Napisan in with the wash, or treat it before I wash. You don't need a fabric softener - this stuff does it all. It is also a super gentle product, so perfect for sensitive little skin that is prone to eczema or rashes.

They also have some gorgeous spray products - linen, room and mattress protector spray - that I couldn't resist. You can check out the full range here.

Have you tried this range? What did you think? Are you obsessed with Adairs too this year?!! I have my eye on a few items of furniture while their sale is on.

 

Monday, 8 September 2014

Win a Play Dough Tool Kit Thanks to Little Nest

Happy Monday, hope you enjoyed the weekend!

If you missed it yesterday, Sarah from Little Nest offered up some brilliant ways to occupy toddlers with some amazing Fine Motor Development ideas.

One of the ideas that all Toddlers love is without a doubt the good old Play Dough! Sarah is kindly offering one lucky reader the chance to win one of her fabulous Play Dough Tool Kits (valued at $60). 
 
 
This Tool Kit is definitely on my wish list as Mr B cannot get enough of Play Dough!!
 
For your chance to win, simply follow the Rafflecopter prompts below... 

Enter Here

Terms & Conditions

- The giveaway will be hosted by Rafflecopter and is open to Australian residents only
- The announcement of the lucky winner will be made on the Utterly Organised Facebook Page
- The lucky winner will have 5 days to contact Utterly Organised and claim their prize
- Failure to claim prize within designated period will result in another winner being drawn
- Entrants must like the Utterly Organised Facebook Page and the Little Nest Facebook page. Failure to comply with both entry requirements will result in an entrants entry being disqualified
- Any questions on the competition can be directed to utterlyorganised@gmail.com
 
Don't forget Sarah is kindly offering my readers free shipping on all orders over $50.00 for a limited time. Simply head to her Etsy shop and enter the code FREEDEL50 to take advantage of this great offer!
 
 

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Keeping Little Hands Busy - Fine Motor Development Ideas for Toddlers

Today we have the lovely (and super clever) Sarah from Little Nest Busy Bags here to give you some ideas for keeping your little ones busy - goodness knows I need all the ideas I can get with a very active toddler on my hands...
 
As a mother of three boys under the age of 3, I am always looking for ways to keep my eldest occupied while I run around after his younger brothers!  Last year I launched "Little Nest Busy Bags" after discovering the Busy Bag concept of self-contained, portable, educational activities that keep your little ones occupied for short bursts of time.  Although I worked as an accountant before having children, my inner creative urges have finally found the perfect outlet in developing and creating my own unique Busy Bags for toddlers and pre-schoolers.
 
My Busy Bags are designed to help develop Alphabet, Counting, Colour, Patterning and Fine Motor Skills.  Some activities are better suited to toddlers aged 2 to 3 years, whilst other Busy Bags are aimed at pre-schoolers aged 4 to 5 years.  My oldest son is 29 months old and he has been enjoying playing with my Busy Bags since he turned 2.  It has been great to see the improvement in his ability to name colours, manipulate small objects and count to ten.
 
Fine motor development is a very important part of a child's physical skill set and the level of fine motor control is used to determine their developmental age.  Fine motor skills develop as the neurological system matures and by the age of 6 years, a child's fine motor skills have developed sufficiently to complete writing, dressing and feeding tasks.  It follows that the first 6 years of a child's life are vitally important for developing fine motor skills through toys, games and activities.
 
Playing with Play Dough is a fantastic way to help your child develop their fine motor skills and it also promotes imaginative play.  It is so simple to make your own Play Dough and the 'no-cook' recipes mean that you can whip up a batch in a matter of minutes.  It is great fun experimenting with different colours, scents and glitter!  
 

Sebastian's love for Play Dough inspired me to create a "Play Dough Kit" for him which contains everything we might need for a Play Dough session.  I found the perfect stackable storage case at K-mart and filled it with a rolling pin, cutters, matchbox cars, miniature plastic figures, glass pebbles, buttons, silicone cake cases, googly eyes, shell beads and popsicle sticks.  We use our "Play Dough Kit" every day without fail, and sometimes Seb wants to decorate Play Dough cakes, whilst other times he just wants to drive his matchbox cars across rolled out pieces of Play Dough!
 

I have created a compact "Play Dough Tool Kit" which can be purchased via my Etsy shop.  It contains a wonderful assortment of items to promote some truly imaginative play.
 

I have a whole host of Busy Bags which specifically target fine motor skills and provide toddlers and pre-schoolers with an excellent opportunity to practice this important area of development.
 
The "Australian Animals" and "Jungle Animals" Busy Bags are Colour/Type sorting activities featuring adorable plastic animal counters, but they also include a pair of Gator Tweezers for picking up the counters and developing fine motor skills.
 
One of the newest additions to my range is the "Koala Trailer" Busy Bag.  Although it is primarily a patterning activity, it requires your child to carefully place the koala counters in the plastic trailer and hence practice their fine motor skills.
 
The "Nuts & Bolts" Busy Bag is another activity designed to develop fine motor skills.  It contains 4 nuts and 4 bolts which must be matched on the basis of shape; only matching shaped nuts and bolts will fit together. 
 

A BIG thanks to Sarah for sharing some of her amazing ideas and products which can be purchased via her Etsy Shop. Mr B has several Little Nest busy bags and they have truly been a lifesaver whilst having a baby to feed and a toddler to occupy! If you are not sure what products would be best for your child, Sarah is amazing at offering up advice for your child's age and stage.

Sarah is also very kindly offering Utterly Organised followers Free Delivery on orders over $50 from her Etsy Shop using promotional code FREEDEL50 at the checkout, so it is a brilliant time to buy with Christmas (and long and short haul trips) so close!

And we will also have a giveaway starting tomorrow, so stay tuned for that! 

What activities do you do at home with your Toddlers that they love?