Blog: My Life Pack

Welcome to the My Life Pack Blog where you'll find hints, tips, articles and inspiration aimed at helping you get organised for life whether you are a busy parent, a singleton starting out with their first home or you are retired. Enjoy reading and sharing - Louise.

9 Mar 2015: Born Organiser of the Month - February

Categories: Competition , Personal Organiser , Clutter , Declutter , Household

Feb 2015 My Life Pack Born Organiser of the Month

Ian Pinnells deskIt's time to announce our selection for February 2015 Born Organiser and it is Ian Pinnell from Oxfordshire.  Ian lives with his partner in Oxford and he caught our attention with this post on Facebook. "In my world, I produce audio for businesses - and most of my equipment is portable, allowing me to work on location, and pack it away nicely at the end of the day. This is the office where the post-production takes place. I love being organised and tidy, because I work with several files at one go. I worked with a client last year, post-producing a 5 hour voiceover session they recorded elsewhere. The end result, from 1 large file, I had produced over 2,000 mini files at the clients request. Imagine if that transferred to being on my desk rather than my Macbook! Creativity flows in my mind, and organisation and tidiness shows on the outside. It means I'm able to give more to my radio imaging, audio production, copywriting and workshop clients."
We certainly agree with Ian that it saves you time and stress in your daily home and work life if you have a place for everthing and everything in its place in a way that suits your lifestyle. If you'd like to be considered for being one of our My Life Pack #BornOrganiser of the Month then tell us what it is that makes you a #BornOrganiser with a tweet to @mylifepack , or a post on our My Life Pack FaceBook page or send us an email. If you have a photo that shows us how organised you are we'd love to see it whether it's at wotk or at home or how you keep items for your hobbies neat and tidy. We contacted Ian to tell him that he is our #BornOrganiser for February 2015 and he shared his 3 top tips for being organised and has written a short blog: "I’m thrilled to have been chosen as My Life Pack #BornOrganiser for February 2015. I've shared a little of how being organised helps me in my daily life and my top 3 tips which I'll start with" :-

Ian's top 3 tips for being organised

- If the way you are trying to be organised doesn’t work first time, try and try again! You’ll find a way that suits you.

- You can never be too organised - as long as you know where everything is and it works for you.

- Being organised certainly helps with business related tasks like filling in Self Assessment Tax Returns!
Ian Pinnell"I work with audio and words on an almost daily basis, and being organised both physically at my workstation, and on my Mac its self, I believe is key of the successful running of my business, Pinnell Productions. I remember as a child, I would always move my room around, most likely on a weekly basis, keeping it extremely organised and clutter free, and I guess this has just helped me become more organised and love being organised in adulthood. Some creatives don’t have a tidy workspace; it’s not a bad thing - each creative person is different. Some like to have their ideas spread all over, others, like me, like to keep things organised and coherent. I find by having a super tidy desk, with limited items on it, I’m able to expand more on any creative project I’m given.
Sounds silly, but actually, by having a clean desk, there are less distractions, which is vital when you’re trying to remove a singular noise in a very complex audio file. Everything has its place, and this may change from time to time, depending on the project I’m working on. For example, if I’m working on a Copywriting project, I may have neatly organised draft piles of work; if it’s an audio project, I may have portable HD’s placed neatly around, full of SFX and themes, or client briefs. It’s not just my immediate desk that’s organised either. I like to keep the files on my Mac organised and tidy, with nothing out of place. It’s also beneficial for my clients too - when I hand projects back to them via Dropbox, or portable HD, everything they need is in an organised file, which makes it easier for them to quickly access the files they need. This also shows a state of professionalism, and in my opinion, builds a better working relationship between myself and my clients. Overall, all of this allows me to work on projects more efficiently, and provide more of a personal service to clients, being able to answer any queries that come in throughout the day, and helps me plan projects in advance, and allocate time for both business and personal life throughout the day, week, month and year. #lovebeingorganised #organisationiskey #creativity" Here is a link to My Life Pack #BornOrganiser for January 2015 - Dee La Phin Dean

09-03-2015 16:47:40
 

9 Feb 2015: Making chores fun for children 8 and under

Categories: MLP Tips , Parents , Household

Making chores fun for children 8 and under

washing dishes Mother and sonWhether you are a stay at home mum or dad or whether you've been working all day the last thing you need is to be totally responsible for everything in managing the household. You do deserve some ‘me’ time every now and again, but thankfully we’ve got some suggestions. It is hard trying to balance keeping your children entertained and keeping house, so why not mix the two? Getting your children involved with the house work can save you time and teach your child about responsibilities. Here are some fun tips on how to get your young ones helping around the house.

Six ideas for chores for your younger children.

  1. Simpler tasks such as water the plants, dusting or taking sheets off the bed are always a great way to get the children involved.
  2. Turn chores into a game. Creating a ‘chore out of the hat’ or a ‘spin the chore’ for your child to choose from. If you have more than one child, turn the game into a race to who can do the particular chore the fastest.
  3. Sticker charts are also a great way to motivate your child to get involved with the chores with each week ending in a reward. By collecting so many stickers for completing every chore, your child will have the motivation to get to the prize.
  4. Pocket money is also a great way to keep your child motivated – even at the ages of 8 and under. They may want to save their money for some sweets or a new colouring book from the shop. But there are differering opinions on whether children should be paid for doing specific chores.
  5. Baking may not sound like a chore, but it is a great way to get them involved with helping in the kitchen later on in life. Even by baking simple biscuits or cakes for the family desserts, you children will love to get involved.
    6. Have some baskets with the family member's name on or allocate a colour to each person. Before bedtime get them to pop their possessions in their basket and then take them and put them away in the right place - an easy way to keep the house clutter free. If you find things left around the house at other times pop them in the basket and ask the children to put them away when they are home. Younger children will need a hand but you can turn it into a game e.g. how quickly can they gather up their toys, or count their toys as they tidy them away.

If you’ve got any tips on how to get your children involved with chores around the house, get in touch with Louise by email or on twitter or facebook We’d love to hear from you.

09-02-2015 13:36:11
 

6 Feb 2015: January Born Organiser of the Month

Categories: Competition , MLP Tips , Personal Organiser , Clutter , Declutter , Household

January Born Organiser of the Month

Dee La-Phia Dean Jan 2015 Born Organiser blogWe are delighted to announce our first My Life Pack #Born Organiser -  Dee La Phin Dean from Leeds.
Congratulations to Dee for being chosen as My Life Pack first #BornOrganiser. We hope you like the #DucksinaRow Certificate that we have sent you Dee.
Dee had seen our posts on social media looking for born organisers and had read our blog post for more information. She got our attention with the following tweet: “@MyLifePack I'm a passionate #BornOrganiser I love it! I have an idea; schedule; system or plan for everything to bring focus to my life “ Having picked this tweet out as our favourite entry for January 2015 we contacted Dee and asked her for more insights into what makes her a #BornOrganiser 

Dee's Guest Blog on getting organised for life.

Dee shares: "As part of the way I organise I also like to have routine where possible for the day to day tasks so that the day runs smoothly and that enables me to concentrate more on what needs to be done in between. I like to get up early and sit and have time with my diary and planner and bring some order and focus to the start of the day so I have a clear idea of what I can achieve that day as I aim to be as productive as I can be in the day. There is always so much to do and so many projects I want to get on with so I find the key is balance so I make time each week to give attention to everything. There are sometimes where one thing demands all your time and attention and I then go into Plan B mode where I just ensure essential things are attended to but I find that finding a good balance works for me for the most part. I allocate set tasks for set days so that they fit in best with my set schedule. I also do this for the month too for bigger tasks or tasks that can be left longer than a week. For example Spring Cleaning: I do monthly decluttering, clean windows, baseboards etc. and then also have a focus for each day. This ranges from things such as a home task day to planning for events & projects.

Born Organiser Dees desk blogI always have set goals for the year so like to dedicate some time to working on these weekly and then making progress with them. I also like to time block my day to make myself the most productive I can be. Sometimes I have sat down and structured my routines and sometimes they just evolve over time to fit in with the way I like to get things done. Time blocking isn’t just about chores and tasks it’s also making sure I include an allowance for leisure and resting time. I think it is important to wind down after a busy day and sometimes this also helps you take time out to think more clearly

If I was to tackle a physical space in terms of organising it; I would also break that down into manageable sections which I like to call zoning. I would start with decluttering then cleaning and then organising if this creates tasks I add them into my routine. As part of the way I organise I like to make To Do lists. Rather than a master To Do list I find that having them categorised individually works better for me. I can then work them into my schedule. I also find this is a good way to make sense of my thoughts and plans and prefer to have them noted down. I like my gadgets but still love using paper planners. I am delighted to be My Life Pack’s Born Organiser for January 2015 and I look forward to seeing who else gets picked over the coming months." Dee La-Phin Dean. Leeds  UPDATE 9 March : February 2015 Born Organiser of the Month is Ian Pinnell from Oxford

06-02-2015 14:11:17
 

26 Jan 2015:10 Top Tips to use time wisely at home

Categories: MLP Tips , Parents , Time , Household

10 top tips to use time on household chores

Toa of PoohThere is never enough time in the day. Many of us feel we’re operating on a 25/8 schedule, juggling work with home with added bits in between. So, how can you win some time back into your day at home? We’ve got some answers.

  1. Smart meals: Plan your weekly meals before your grocery shop so you’re not spending time deciding what to have when you get in from work. This means that you can also prep as much food as possible on the weekends to save time during the week and money on last minute takeaways.
  2. Shop online: Save yourself an hour or so pushing a trolley around the supermarket by shopping online. This cuts down on both time and money from preventing you to impulse buy. You can also get your shopping delivered at a convenient time for you – hello free weekends!
  3. Divide up the chores: A problem shared is a problem halved so why not half the chores? By dividing up tasks between you and your housemate/other half, you can both have some extra free time knowing that all bases are covered.
  4. One at a time: Free up some time by streamlining cleaning by sticking to one room at a time. If you have children it may also be useful to give them chores to keep their own rooms tidy followed by a reward system.
  5. Online banking: Make life easier by setting up a standing order to pay your bills. Set up within 5 minutes, you will never have to queue in the post office to pay a bill again.
  6. Laundry loads: Wash a load a day to prevent a build-up on the weekends.
  7. Time to talk: Put aside so much time for all your personal calls to be done. It is way too easy to get talking for hours to end up getting behind your to-do list. Keep the conversations to the limited time and you’ll win back at least an hour.
  8. Casual browsing: Set a limit to how long you can browse on your computer, or play on the games console.
  9. Running errands: Make a list of errands which need to be ran and try to combat them all on one day. Having one day to complete the list frees up masses of time from other days you would have squeezed them into.
  10. Personal time: Always allow for date night with your spour or partner or a family night in with your friends or the kids. We work to live, not live to work!

Got any more tips on how to save time at home? Share them with us on Twitter or Facebook or email them to Louise and se will add her favourite to the blog entry.

26-01-2015 00:00:00
 

22 Jan 2015: #DucksinaRow Household Survey

Categories: Competition , MLP Tips , Paperwork , Household

ducks in a row defined

Have you got your ducks in a row?

It's the start of another year when people's thoughts often turn to getting more organised and decluttering to save themselves time, stress and money. So we have started gathering some feedback into how people manage their household admin and paperwork.

We have put together an easy and quick to answer survey using the very trustworthy SurveyMonkey tool.
Our survey is looking for insights into how people manage their paperwork at home and who is responsible for dealing with the household admin and paperwork. It just takes 2 minutes to do and we appreciate your feedback. So have you got all your #DucksInARow?


Update 18 March 2015: from 503 replies so far we have some interesting feedback from our survey that we will share in our blogs in due course as to who tends to be responsible for the hosuehold admin and the large percentage of people who know they should make a will but keep putting it off.  Plus some lovely comments on what you consider to be the most important piece of paperwork you possess. So please keep your replies coming in we have been challenged to get 1000 replies to our survey and every one counts :0) 

 

22-01-2015 12:32:00
 

19 Jan 2015: 10 Incredibly Smart Ideas To Get Your Life Organised In 2015

Categories: Working Life , MLP Tips , Declutter , Paperwork , Household

10 Incredibly Smart Ideas To Get Your Life Organised In 2015

I found this blog from Sharon Greenthal on HuffPost50 and thought you'd like some of these handy tips. I am a member of APDOUK myself and so you can see why I would recommend some of these myself.  I particularly like number 1 as that is advice I have often shared with clients and of course I am bound to recommend a family information centre of some description as it aligns with the My Life Pack Personal Organiser. It's good to have another professional organiser recommending the usefulness of having one. Here are the first 5 tips from Sharon's article:

1. Organize for 15 minutes each day. This could mean anything from sorting mail to throwing out mystery foods in the refrigerator. Just 15 minutes a day can make a huge difference over time.

2. Download Quicken (or some other money management program). Quicken will make your financial life a million times easier to manage. It costs around $50, but its well worth the investment. From Quicken you can pay bills, download transactions from banks and credit card accounts, plan, budget and see what you are spending and what your overall financial picture looks like.

3. Make a simple sorting system for your papers. It's as easy as this:

19-01-2015 19:32:23
 

12 Jan 2015: How to get your teenager give you a helping hand around the house

Categories: MLP Tips , Parents , Household

How to get your teenager give you a helping hand around the house.

The media often paints the picture of lazy teenagers glued to TV and PC screens. It’s nothing new to us that teenagers would do anything to get out of doing chores or helping around the home, but how can you encourage your teen to have a little responsibility at home? Nagging doesn’t work, so you just end up doing it yourself, a familiar cycle. Here are some tips on ways to get your teenage children to take more responsibility and give a helping hand at home.

boys laundryStart them off as you mean to go on by giving them small responsibilities. By the age of ten, you should expect your child to be able to:

  1. Make their bed
  2. Take care of their pet (Changing the cage, bedding, tank, etc.)
  3. Make simple meals, like toast, scrambled eggs or sandwiches and clean up after themselves.
  4. Put out the rubbish or recycling.
  5. Put their dirty laundry in the washing basket and put their own clothes away after they have been ironed
  6. Tidy their own room – of cups, glasses and have a floor not a floordrobe!

The older your children become the more you should expect them to help out and they should understand this too. Explain that everyone has chores to do, including you, but you aren’t responsible for everything.

  1. Set deadlines and time limits. This will make them learn that keeping to schedule is important. If they don’t stick to the deadline think of some sort of consequence – eg less time with gadgets or on social media perhaps.
  2. Have a family chore time. Everyone can tackle some of their chores in this time, so that parents and children work together in the home they share.
  3. Older teenagers can get involved in learning how to make family meals. This will give them a bank of recipes for when they become independent when they move out to university or when they get their own home.
  4. With the aid of a My Life Pack®, when your children are old enough to own their own bank account, Section 4b: Children’s Assets can help them become more financially sound. Learning the importance of managing their money now will help them throughout their life.

Have you got any more tips on how to get your teenager to help around the house? Please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!

12-01-2015 10:52:42
 

5 Jan 2015: My Life Pack is seeking Born Organisers! Are you one? Do you know one?

Categories: Competition , MLP Tips , Personal Organiser , Clutter , Declutter

My Life Pack is seeking Born Organisers! Are you one? Do you know one?

ducks in a row definitionMy Life Pack personal organiser is there to help people get their Ducks in a Row. In 2015 we are looking for the UK’s Born Organisers who use social media and started asking this question just before Christmas 2014 on Twitter and Facebook.
You can either tell us about yourself or nominate someone you know. We want to know what it is that makes you or your nominee a born organiser. And if possible also send us a picture of what being organised means to you.
We will pick one person a month and include them here our website and Facebook page and tweet about them. They will receive a My Life Pack Born Organiser of the Month Certificate.

In January 2016, when we will have announced all 12 Born Organisers for 2015, we will arrange a public vote on social media and the 2015 Born Organiser who gets the most votes will win a copy of My Life Pack … Your Life at Your Fingertips. Whether you are nominating yourself or someone else for Born Organiser of the Month please tell us by sending Louise a tweet at @mylifepack or a Facebook post including #BornOrganiser or email louise@mylifepack.co.uk

Not a born organiser but aspire being one?

We are also interested to hear from you too! Please tell us what stops you from being organised. Is it a habit? Your surroundings? Your work/life balance? Or something else? Let us know on Twitter and or Facebook. We will be sharing lots of hints and tips on our blog to give ideas on to overcome organising challenges.

Update 2nd February 2015:  Here is the winning entry for Born Organiser of the Month January 2015 Dee La-Phia Dean from Leeds who got our attention with the following tweet:“@MyLifePack I'm a passionate #BornOrganiser I love it! I have an idea; schedule; system or plan for everything to bring focus to my life “Having picked this tweet out as our favourite entry for January 2015 we asked Dee for more information and you can read her guest blog on being a born organiser. Congratulations to Dee for being chosen as My Life Pack our #BornOrganiser for January 2015. We hope you like the #DucksinaRow Certificate that we've sent you Dee.

05-01-2015 13:51:00
 

16 Dec 2014: Things people say about My Life Pack

Category: Personal Organiser

Reviews and feedback for My Life Pack Personal Organiser

It's always lovely to get feedback from customers who have bought a copy of our personal organiser either for themselves or for a gift for a loved one or a friend.
This year we were also delighted to receive our first review from a top blogger! The lovely lady in question is writer, business owner and mum of six, Fiona Cambouropoulos; who certainly knows what is needed to juggle all aspects of family and business life. Fiona’s blogging brilliance reached new heights in 2013, when her blog, Coombe Mill, made number 3 in the Top 20 Parent Blogs of 2013 on Tots 100. Here are some of Fiona’s thoughts on My Life Pack and you can choose to read the full review on Fiona's blog

“This is a book that you fill in to make your own reference centre with all the important things in your life. It is huge and leaves no stone uncovered.” “Sit back in the knowledge that never again will you wonder what a password is, when those important birthdays are or who and where the details of your will are held should anything untoward happen.” “This is the perfect way to feel you are really de-cluttering your life with an easy way to manage your finances, your home, your family and your work all in one comprehensive book.”

Filling out My Life Pack

“A Perfect Present”

“My Life Pack would make a thoughtful and imaginative yet practical present for a special occasion. A wedding, anniversary, house move, baby shower for friends or family or a retirement present strike me as excellent opportunities.”

16-12-2014 10:17:09
 

5 Dec 2014: Ideas for Family Xmas Party Games

Categories: Holiday , MLP Tips , Parents , Household

How are you planning to occupy your children and guests over the festive break?

Family at XmasThe Christmas and New Year holidays are such a busy time with family and friends gathering together. But if the weather isn't great then getting out for a walk and some fresh air might not be an option. You might want to get people away from the TV and their gadgets too - not always the easiest of tasks. We found that the website Reindeerland. They have a wide range of Christmas themed resources for you to pick from so you might like to take a look at them here.
They also have many ideas for games to play at Christmas parties and have divided their vast collection of games into various sections so that you can easily locate the types of free Christmas games which will best suit your requirements and the age ranges of the people who will play them. You can choose from their complete selection via their christmas games page.
So you won't be short of ideas of how to keep children and adults occupied throughout the holidays. If you click on the link above you'll go though to the page where you can read the instructions for each suggestion. I remember what fun we had as kids playing a number of these games at family parties and many became family favourites that all ages could enjoy. Which games does your family enjoy playing together?

 

05-12-2014 12:56:13
 
Page 1 of 6
2015(8)
March(1):
  • 9 Mar 2015: Born Organiser of the Month - February
  • February(2):
  • 9 Feb 2015: Making chores fun for children 8 and under
  • 6 Feb 2015: January Born Organiser of the Month
  • January(5):
  • 26 Jan 2015:10 Top Tips to use time wisely at home
  • 22 Jan 2015: #DucksinaRow Household Survey
  • 19 Jan 2015: 10 Incredibly Smart Ideas To Get Your Life Organised In 2015
  • 12 Jan 2015: How to get your teenager give you a helping hand around the house
  • 5 Jan 2015: My Life Pack is seeking Born Organisers! Are you one? Do you know one?
  • 2014(39)
    December(3):
  • 16 Dec 2014: Things people say about My Life Pack
  • 5 Dec 2014: Ideas for Family Xmas Party Games
  • 1 Dec 2014: Grab your 9xTable Briefing Document here
  • November(3):
  • 25 Nov 2014: Festive Ideas To Occupy The Kids
  • 19 Nov 2014:7 benefits of taking part in a 9xTable
  • 19 Nov 2014: 9xTable Raise Your Business Profile on #MBMD 9 Jan 2015
  • October(4):
  • 22 Oct 2014: The Modern Family: who does what around the house
  • 15 Oct 2014: Do you value your time?
  • 9 Oct 2014: A Gift of time for all occasions
  • 1 Oct 2014: 7 More Motoring Money Savers
  • September(5):
  • 23 Sept 2014: Where there's a will there's a way!
  • 19 Sept 2014: Free Wills Month - Oct 2014
  • 15 Sept 2014: 10 ways to add 30 minutes to your day
  • 9 Sept 2014: National work life week 22 to 26 Sept
  • 3 Sept 2014: 6 Things you can recycle for cash
  • August(3):
  • 25 Aug 2014: 7 time savers for your back to school routine
  • 15 Aug 2014: World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month
  • 1 Aug 2014: Remember a charity in your will week
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  • 16 June 2014: 10 tips for petcare this summer
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  • 29 May 2014: Giving Granddad some independence
  • 22 May 2014: Happy Organising Dad ! for Fathers Day
  • 13 May 2014: Eliminate Your Paper Piles -Tips & Tricks 2
  • 9 May 2014: 7 Tips to help save time
  • 6 May 2014: 5 Motoring Money Savers
  • April(8):
  • 24 Apr 2014: Win a pair of tickets to Grand Designs Live
  • 17 Apr 2014: Thinking of spring cleaning your linen cupboard?
  • 16 Apr 2014: Is your Driving Licence up to date?
  • 14 Apr 2014: Keeping Pets Safe While You Are Away:
  • 12 Apr 2014 Useful checklist re Heartbleed
  • Read more...

    March(3):
  • 21 Mar 2014: We LOVE Stationery!
  • 9 Mar 2014: Spring clean your finances
  • 1 Mar 2014: A Mother’s Day Gift Guide
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  • 22 Feb 2014: Check Lists
  • 10 Feb 2014: Cyberwills
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  • 19 Jan 2014: Short of time?
  • 6 Jan 2014: Does your paperwork or filing look like this?
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  • 2 Dec 2014: Where does all your money go?
  • November(2):
  • 19 Nov 2013: Have Pets? Going Away?
  • 10 Nov 2014: Looking for a unique gift?
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  • 24 Oct 2013: Do you like our leaflets?
  • 4 Oct 2013: Digital wills to let you log off in peace
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  • 15 Sep 2013: Managing Your Finances
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  • Aug 2012: We now have our trademark !