Andrea’s Advice: Time to Get your Home Hacks Together!

If you meet Andrea, you will never imagine that once upon a time she was happily living a “life of order in disorder”, as she now describes it. She comes across as an organised and efficient lady who gets things done! When we had a chat about this blog, she got straight to business: “When do you need the article by?” It has been a long time since I had to manage publishing deadlines and launch dates. This homemaking blog suddenly assumed a sense of urgency.

Andrea only wanted to be introduced as a mother of four who lives in Malaysia, but she is actually a very eloquent lady with many talents, among them: writing and gardening. She is happy to give mothering tips to young mothers, having brought up three fine young men and a lovely teenage daughter. Best of all, she has a great sense of humour.

Home Hacks 101: Organising Chaos

By Andrea Pavee

Organising has never been my forte.

I think the caution “Enter At Your Own Risk” would have been perfect if posted on my room door, but Mum would have none of it.

I was at home amidst the chaos. And in spite of it, was well equipped to locate what I needed, when I needed it, beneath the mounds of scattered papers, books and the assortment of knick-knacks which always found a place in my room.

It worked for years, and I gather it would have worked for many more, but the kiddos arrived. To preserve my sanity and save precious minutes in already fully packed days, I realised it would be in my best interest to get my act together.

 It was time to organise the chaos.

Our home was not a dump, it was organized chaos at its best!

With a moderately large family, we had to watch our dollars and cents closely, and thus did not have the luxury of giving each child their own gizmos and gadgets. In short, we had to share.

Sharing is not a bad thing. But the thing is, when your workspace is shared, things can, and do, go missing. Some misplaced items are inconsequential, but I noticed that, more often than not, I kept losing important things.

Rolling up my sleeves, I got down and dirty to the task of organising, or in some cases, reorganizing my home.

S.U.F.P = Sort, Upload, File & Paste, got me through my days.

First things first, I took to sorting out everything I had, even the old files.

Some papers are best kept in hard copy, such as tax file returns, copies of house titles and agreements.

I put these in individual box files and neatly labelled each one. I cannot tell you how many minutes they shaved off on days when I had to hunt for something right quick.

Some things I could digitise, and hence uploaded them into my phone. Using the Note app, Photo app, my Contacts, and Inbox, I kept my records in order.

Under the main heading of “House”, I split them up into smaller folders to keep track of everything with the mere touch of a button.

The best part?

I do not have scores of files gathering dust on my bookshelves. How good is that!

Papers which need filing were kept in either accordian or box files, all neatly labelled.

Lastly, I pasted contact details of repairmen, plumbers, gardeners, or any other odd job men on the inside door of the cabinet under my sink. If you do not have contact numbers of repairmen, just note where items were purchased. The staff will be able to help you out, when necessary. Alternatively, paste the contact details of repairmen on the bigger appliances for quick reference.

To protect my list from water and what-not, I encased it in plastic before taping it on the door. With cleaning agents stored here, this list would be hard to miss.

Tackling chaos needs time, and patience. I have discovered that the best way of working well is when I do so calmly, and steadily. It also helps to parcel out tasks into bite sized pieces to make things more manageable.

I am still a work in progress, slowly bringing, and maintaining order to the constant chaos at home. With constancy, I hope to win the day, one day.

Posted by Chayo, HomeSkil Editor 1, 23 February 2021

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