Tuesday, 19 February 2019 11:15

Baby steps to a sustainable lifestyle

I say baby steps, because that’s how it starts!

I follow several zero waste bloggers and am constantly inspired by them on my own, slow journey to a waste-less lifestyle. I say slow because it has taken years, starting with recycling newspapers at my daughter’s school 25 years ago.

Thursday, 14 February 2019 07:53


What does it actually mean?

1. Arranged or structured in a systematic way. 
1.1 Able to plan one's activities efficiently.
Being organised is not the same as being tidy – but rather being able to find things in the least amount of time.

For those of you who missed it, this is an organising article that appeared in the June issue of Garden and Home magazine. I had such fun with a colleague, Saskia Wild and the Garden and Home team in the home of a lovely client.

It’s exciting to show off what can be done with a little bit of sorting, decluttering and organising!

I hope you enjoy reading the article as much as we enjoying putting it together. Even more, I would love to know that the article inspired you to get sorted too!

Click here to view the pdf

Tuesday, 04 December 2018 20:23

All my bags are packed, and I’m ready to go

We are staying home this December but we used to go away every year at Christmas while our girls were growing up. We had a cottage at the sea, and would spend the holidays there.

In the early days we would need to do a big shop here before we left, and ensure we had everything we needed. I had lists (I love my lists) to make it easier to organise and ensure we didn’t forget anything.

Packing list, shopping list, ‘things to take with us’ list, and the ‘what to do before we go’ list! Probably the most important list was my PRE-holiday checklist if we didn’t have people staying in our home while we were away.

So, this is my pre-holiday checklist:

  • Trim lawn and tidy garden just before you go
  • Leave keys and contact details with someone nearby
  • Check all taps to ensure no dripping
  • Ask someone to collect post
  • Cancel newspaper
  • Switch off geyser
  • Unplug all electronic equipment
  • Empty bins
  • Clear out fridge and freezer and leave clean
  • Set timers for lights if you can
  • Ask a neighbour to pop in and open windows and curtains periodically

All your lists are ticked, your bags are packed, and you are ready to go! Relax and have a great holiday!

Do you have any more suggestions? It would be great to improve on the list!

Thursday, 29 November 2018 07:10

Pack light, pack right, travel easy!!

Our youngest daughter moved out at the beginning of 2018, which left my husband and I and our 2 dogs rattling around in our family home. We took the opportunity to do some minor changes to our extra space and now rent it out as a holiday flat. We have had lovely people come to stay, some for a few days and others just overnight. The one thing I notice is the amount of luggage they bring with them. Most of the time it seems like a lot!

Tuesday, 20 November 2018 05:58


30 days to Christmas and the silly season is upon us! A month ago, I wrote about preparing and planning well in advance. Here we are 30 days later and you might not have all your ducks in a row yet!

I thought you might like some more ideas on how to enjoy your festive season. Here is a 4-step plan that will help you go from stressful and anxious to stress less and relaxed this year.

Step one: Think, plan and prepare

Take a moment this weekend, grab a notepad and pen and spend some time thinking, planning and preparing. Think about what worked and what didn't last year!

Make a list of everything, I mean EVERYTHING you have to do until the end of the year and allocate time (enough time) to the tasks – and start today!

Step two: Simplify, organise and manage (and delegate)

Now break your long list down into smaller lists. Be specific about gifts, shopping, dinners, lunches and outings, activities and trips.

If it feels like too much – it probably is. Now’s a good time to be realistic and cross out all the things that would be nice, but would complicate your life or stretch you too thin!

Step three: Now put your plan into action (and don’t forget to delegate)

Now you have a plan that feels comfortable and do-able, start with all the shopping you can get done now. Remember that everywhere is going to be busier than usual so give yourself extra time. I like to get to the shops as they open, and get it all done before the crowds descend. Remember too, to factor in some down time!

Have a large daily calendar in a central place with everything on it for the whole family to see. Ask older children to add their plans too!

Step four: YOUR Silly Season Sanity Mantra

Repeat after me:

  • I will share the load and not try to do it all myself (that means I will delegate!!)
  • I will try to avoid the 3 Ó’s: Over-spending, Over-catering and Over-indulging
  • I will keep things simple and pace myself
  • I will be strong enough to say NO when I have to
  • Finally, I will give myself the time to be in the right space to enjoy it all!

So, do you have any tips to stay stress-free this holiday season?

Tuesday, 13 November 2018 06:46

1,2,3,4,5 Gift Giving Ideas With a Difference



1. A thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present.

1.1 An act of giving something as a present.


[WITH OBJECT]  1. Give (something) as a gift.

‘1.1 Present (someone) with a gift or gifts.

I love gifts. I love giving gifts. I love receiving gifts. I love the anticipation and the excitement gifts illicit. The joy of a gift given with love. The thrill of a gift received with a smile. I think we all love gifts, and I think we all love giving gifts!

This year let’s do it differently. Give differently. Change the way you think about gifts and gift giving…

Here are 5 gift ideas I love:

1. Give consumables.

I love giving yummy homemade biscuits from a small business down the road, or lemonade from a farm stall. Wine, homemade preserves, fudge or chocolate all go down well too!

2. Give experiences.

An experience can be shared, and with the experience the memories, joy, and connection without contributing to clutter. A coffee date, a trip to somewhere special, tickets to a show – the list is endless. One of my highlights last Christmas was paragliding with my girls.

3. Give ideas.

A cooking evening, an art class, or a course they would enjoy. I have enjoying tea tastings, cooking evenings, an introduction to mosaics, food and wine parings and many more. Loads of fun and educational to boot!

4. Give back

Instead of giving a gift, sponsor a worthy cause on their behalf. Every year one of my sisters makes up Santa Shoe Boxes for disadvantaged children on behalf of her nephews and nieces. Another sister supports a local shelter with food parcels. It makes such a difference to those who have so little over the holidays.

5. Give you.

Your time and attention are probably the most valuable gift you can offer. Spend real time with your family, visit a friend you haven’t seen in a while, invite someone who has no family to your Christmas meal. Further afield, take a shelter dog for a walk, assist an elderly person with their shopping or chores, volunteer to marshal at a sporting event.

Most of all give with love!

DO you have great gift giving ideas? I would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, 24 October 2018 05:45


Can you believe it?

Christmas is just 60 days away! Christmas jingles ring out in all the shopping malls. Baubles and tinsel and stars and trees adorn shop windows. Before you know it, the holidays will be here! Friends, family, festivities, outings and traditions; so much to look forward, but so much to plan and organise.

I love Christmas with old family traditions along with a whole lot of new ones created over the years while our girls were growing up. I love Christmas pudding, a Christmas tree and Christmas lights. I love family gatherings and get-togethers. I love Christmas day with our South African version of Christmas lunch – delicious cold salads, turkey on the weber, and a gammon waiting to be sliced followed by an ice cream bomb with Christmas spices, watermelon, Christmas pudding and custard! Light summer dresses and bathing suits, dips in the pool and a nap in the shade when it all gets too much! Most of all I love spending time with loved ones and friends.

I don’t like the chaos, the queues, the frenetic to-do list, the stress over menus and venues. I don’t like the stress, the panic that sets in when it’s not going according to plan. And so, I take time to prepare and organise well ahead of time so that it is truly a relaxing and wonderful time of the year!

Here is my 15-step checklist I work off every year starting now, and thought you might find it good to use.

  2. Make a To Do list to take you through to the end of the year
  3. Break it down into smaller lists - Food, gifts, cards, activities etc
  4. Delegate tasks, and cheat where possible - buy your Christmas pudding, don't make it!
  5. Set a budget. Know what you have to spend, allocate and stick to it.
  6. Do half as much as you want to do.
  7. How much is enough? Keep it simple
  8. Spend twice the time and half the money
  9. Resist the pressure of too many invitations, too many expectations
  10. Schedule appointments and dates further apart to allow for holiday traffic
  11. Set boundaries and say no sometimes
  12. Think ahead
  13. Take shortcuts, don't do too much
  14. Remember one stunning dessert is better than a few average ones!
  15. Take some ME time - small breaks just for you

I would love to hear about your tips for a more relaxed festive season…

So often during the course of a downsizing session, we will hear our clients say

“I am leaving this to my son”

“My grand daughter is getting this when I die”

They believe that because they consider them valuable items, are family heirlooms or just precious to them, that their children or grandchildren will value them too. All too often this is not the case. All too often these items just become a burden, overvalued and unwanted. Lifestyles have changed, décor styles are very different with trends and seasons dictating, daily lives in general have become faster and busier. As a result, our children and grandchildren no longer covert our precious silver cutlery or crystal glasses that need careful handwashing. And the same applies to many other heirlooms we want to pass on.

Here are 7 items that are no longer as popular as they were a generation ago:

1. Antique Furniture

The value of antique furniture has dropped dramatically in the last decade. Young people are living in smaller homes, buying furniture with simple lines or perhaps repurposing cheap antique finds. Large, heavily carved dark antique furniture is not as sought after as it used to be.

2. Silver

This applies to silver as well. Tea sets, silver cutlery sets, trays and ornamental items are no longer in vogue. People don’t want to spend time cleaning and shining silver, brass and copper. Displaying these items is no longer in fashion, and most often display cabinets are a thing of the past.

3. China and crystal

You don't see the type of formal dinners people used to host. For the most part, people want dinnerware and glassware that can be stacked in a dishwasher. The market has changed, the demand has waned and so the value of china and crystal has dropped significantly and don’t fetch the prices people think they will.

4. Dolls

One of the few things that I kept well into adulthood was an original 1959 Barbie doll. It was my link to a happy and contented childhood. Neither of my girls wanted it and I was told it was “quite valuable”. Not any more! Barbie dolls, porcelain dolls and doll collections aren't as valuable as they were 25 years ago. And so, my “collectable” 1959 Barbie was donated, along with my daughters’ dolls and soft toys after they moved out of home.

5. Coin and stamp collections

Millennials aren't really interested in collecting coins or stamps and so those collections will land up in a box or cupboard somewhere. Most collections are not as valuable as they are sentimental.

6. Rugs

In the past, everyone wanted to own an Oriental rug. We loved Persians and kilims and hand stitched woven masterpieces bought on our travels. Today decorators follow the trends and we buy rugs that can be replaced when our tastes and styles change.

7. Ornamentals

Our children don’t have an emotional connection to our Beatrix Potter figurines, ornate ornamental items, and collections of owls, frogs or other creatures acquired over decades and lovingly housed in display cabinets, printers’ trays and mantlepieces.

It is wonderfully generous to want to leave your most precious and valued things to your family. But it is kinder still to consider asking them if they want them. Think practically about their lifestyles. When saving items for family members, think: Will they want this? Do they have room for it? Is the item valuable only to me?

The answers will help you with decisions to save for them or to let go now before a household full of heirlooms becomes a burden.

Contact Us

Telephone: +27 (0)82 926 3531
Email: judith@allsortednow.co.za