My Garden She Shed

I had never thought much about having a garden shed, specially for me . I suppose that growing up it was always the Dads that had garden sheds full of tools and things so I was conditioned to think that it was a “man thing” to have a shed. What started to make me re think this was a combination of my Pinterest addiction and sheer frustration of not having a proper home for my garden things. I was seeing these amazing “She Shed” trend as well as Pot Sheds in Pinterest. So I said to Pete….”Hey Babe do you think you could make me a wee garden shed?” “Sure thing” he said… Now I have an amazing shed and I totally love it. I love it so much that I thought I’d share how we (Pete) built it, and how I organised it.

Garden She Shed.png

how we Designed it

To figure out what sort of shed would be best, I needed to be clear on how I wanted to use it . The purpose of the shed was to house all my garden things that I use, tools, pot, feed, sprays etc. Obviously it needed to be handy to the garden so I could access it easily. Additionally I needed the design to be one where I could open the shed and have everything at easy reach from the door.

We had the perfect position for the Shed (albeit needing to get rid of a big old Daphne bush) which dictated the size of the shed . It could not be too large at all, which actually gave us the opportunity to get creative with the plans.

Pete was is charge of the build and in some way the design too, I helped by checking out online Timber Sheds and came across these which were exactly what I wanted. Pete then took the basic design and worked out a plan for our Shed.

A shed that pete Built

Have you heard the term “over engineered”? well that’s how Pete described our shed…in short it’s the place I’m going if we have a tornado. The best way to show the build is in this pictorial and the explanations of each stage.

Wooden foundations for Garden shed.png

Stage 1

Cement in the foundation posts and frame up the floor

Framework for Garden shed.png

Stage 2

Flooring down, Frame work up for the sides, wall lining and bracing in.

Garden shed shelving.png

Stage 3

Putting in the shelving

TIP: Pre stain/paint makes life a lot easier. This stain is just left over from the decking stain , Resene Kwila Timber stain

Garden shed framing and cladding.png

Stage 4

Putting up the external cladding, with Plywood panels

Garden shed roofing.png

Stage 5

Roof and tiling. We used Asphalt Shingle roofing tiles for the Shed.

Garden shed with black stain.png

Stage 6

Final touches, staining to match the house

We used Resene Woodsman stain in Pitch Black

Now most of you know that there is actually alot more to it than those pictures show, so if you are interested in wanting more details on the building of the Shed, Pete has kindly documented out all the measurements and materials and I’ve developed it into a guide with plans on how to build the Shed.

To access the guide just pop your details below to receive your very own copy

FREE Garden Shed Plans

A comprehensive guide including plans to build this small garden shed

    We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

    Powered By ConvertKit

    Shed Organisation

    Now the fun begins! Build done and it’s my time to get my organising socks on!

    I had vision of drawing outlines of my garden tools onto the walls, yip that was a thing, back when I was a nipper, the neighbourhood Dads used to have their tools on the peg board wall at the end of their garage. They would have the shapes of the tools outlined on the peg board just in case they forgot which tool went where. I always thought it was a bit weird until I grew up and became an organising expert.

    Garden Shed inside tools on the back wall.png

    The best part of the shed is the back wall which Pete carefully designed to hold all my garden tools. He even wrote the names of each tool so I knew where to return them. By just putting up a few well placed nails I had all my tools lined up and they remain perfectly organised. 

    On both sides of the shed, Pete installed simple shelves, On these shelves I have my most common reached for items because it’s the easiest to access area in the Shed. All my garden feeders are corralled into a carry all basket so I can pick it up easily and take it outside. I tend to do all the “feeding” at the same time as I mix them with water into the feeding can (on old watering can). This is really helpful over the spring and summer season as you do need to feed regularly to have a healthy crop.

    Garden Shed containers on shelf.png

    On the other side are all my sprays, manly for insects and spiders and other wee creepies. Hint don’t spray into cobwebs directly above your head , you never know what might be waiting in hiding in the cobwebs. I do have to be careful not to muddle up weedkiller with Organic Oil spray so I make sure that I label everything, on lids and the sides. Under the shelves I have all my large spray containers that I use to disperse the sprays. These are again well labelled so I know not to put the wrong sprays into them. Also I have all my weed and pest control spray containers on one side and the liquid organic sprays on the other. I just put up nails which I then place the sprays guns on, so this keeps them well contained and the guns have somewhere to hang. You will notice in the photo that I have used the space in between the frame work for storage. These are awkward items to store, so I thought by just criss-crossing the wall with bungie cord I could manage to have these items stored vertically and not take up too much room. Never forget to use your vertical space if you are tight for room.

    Garden Shed Sprayers and sprinklers.png

    On the other side of the shed I managed to create more shelving with these amazing boxes which I scored from Junk & Disorderly for only $12 each, a total find!!! One holds all my pot plants (indoor) stuff, pots and such like. In the other box are the soil and lawn fertilisers .

    Garden Shed boxes used as shelves.png

    Between the top of the boxes and the shelf there is the perfect space for the bag of pea-straw. I always a have a bag on hand and it’s the perfect spot.

    On top of the shelf I have a couple small baskets that once upon a time were plant baskets. I just use them for storage now.

    One I put my “hand cleaning” stuff in. Often when I am in the shed, I have very dirty hands from the garden so having hand wipes and disinfectant handy is great. I also have a pile of towels I use for two purposes, drying my hands and cleaning off my garden tools. In the other one I have some bits and pieces that I use in the garden, like garden ties etc. In the corner I use a old broken jug to store my pruning tools.

    Garden Shed cleaning kit.png
    Garden Shed shelf with baskets.png

    Now a little awesome idea I had, has turned into my mini garden office!!! The back of the shed door was unused space so I painted it with black chalk paint, and along with a wall magazine rack which I scored at the local hospice shop for $4 , I now have all my books, garden diary and notes on hard. The blackboard is handy to write notes to myself, like when I’ve feed and sprayed and things I need to do next!!. This is great use of vertical space.

    Garden Shed office on the door.png

    Another wee genius ideas of mine was my garden toolkit. It was actually a spare tool kit Pete had (he’s a Tradie) which he wasn’t using. It just seemed to be the perfect size for me. I carry all my essentials in it so I always have these with me when in the garden. I just love it and it has a handy wee trick where you can slide the kit itself along the belt so when bending down it sits on my back and doesn’t get in the way.

    Garden tool kit.png

    And finally the coolest thing of all , is this little seat on the side of my shed which Pete made for me, man he’s thoughtful. It’s where I sit and clean down all my tools at the end of my garden session. Yes I am one of those who looks after her garden tools, always making sure they are cleaned, sharpened and oiled. It is amazing how long things last when you look after them. My loppers, secateurs and hedge trimmers were given to Pete and I when we got our first house, which would be over 25 years ago!

    Garden Shed seat for cleaning tools.png

    Having my own garden shed is fantastic and it’s such a great design and so practical , I just love it.

    Don’t forget to grab the Guide and Plans, above if you are interested in building the shed. Feel free to ask any questions, we are happy to help.

    Also , as always I’ll love your feedback and do share your ideas and thoughts

    Make sure that you follow us on social media, where I share lots more on the garden, just click on the link below

    If you want to get my monthly newsletter with my top 5 favourites and the latest post, just sign up below, love to have you join the Tidies!!

    Happy Tidying and Gardening!

    Tidying with Tania blog post sign off | Tidying with Tania.png

    How I created my Yoga and Meditation room

    One of the benefits of being an empty nester is the ability to turn your spare room (children’s old bedrooms) into spaces you have always wanted…like your very own dressing room or, like me, a Yoga and Meditation room. In fact there are so many things that you can do with spare rooms…they don’t have to stay as “your daughters room”. At home we have three spare rooms that were our children’s rooms. One is in the process of being a guest room, the other will become an Airbnb room and the third is all mine “muhwahaha”…evil laugh and I’m having so much fun making it into my very own Yoga and Meditation space.

    Meditation space in the new yoga and meditation room

    Meditation space in the new yoga and meditation room

    At the moment my yoga mat and meditation kit is in the lounge which is not really ideal. In the mornings I often have my peaceful silent mediation broken by fighting cats or cats leaping onto my lap….not really conducive to a beneficial mediation session. Then the morning Yoga session is managed around the cats showing me how a proper downward dog is done, by doing big cat stretches followed by a clawing of the yoga mat. And that’s just in the morning.

    In the afternoon I again fight the cats and the mat plus I have my husband who likes to partake in my Yoga session, passively mind!!! Giving me critique on my poses. The best of all is at the completion of the savasana session I turn around and Pete’s zzzzzz out on the couch having received the benefit of Yoga by osmosis !!

    Needless to say it did not take much to persuade myself to consider turning one of the old bedrooms into my very own Yoga and Mediation retreat. The room in question was my daughters old bedroom, and due to recent house renovations it has all new, carpet, paint, curtains and blinds and fittings so I didn’t need to do any decorating as such, more just soft furnishings and accessories.

    Design Inspiration

    In my mind I had a bit of a vision as to how I wanted the room to look. I have a few special things that are important to me for my mediation and Yoga sessions and I wanted to incorporate these as accessories into the room. It was interesting, as when I was looking on Pinterest for some inspiration, I noticed that there were a number of posts talking about the similar items but grouping them into;

    • Smell - or rather scents, which includes things like candles, tealights, incense and diffusers.

    • Sound - chimes, gentle calming music and maybe a Tibetan meditation singing bowl. The latter I have not got however rather interested in sourcing one, they do sound so beautiful and restful.

    • Sight - your spiritual inspiration or personal deity or something or someone that brings you a sense of peace and harmony

    • Touch - something tactile that aids your meditation, like mala beads.

    • Taste - water / tea

    My mala beads

    My mala beads

    So when looking at my special items they actually mainly fell into each of these 5 categories…surprise surprise!

    Smell/Scent

    I like to use essential oils and a diffuser, I also have incense and a burner. My favourite oil is Deep Relax from Fire and Ice using a small USB diffuser from Kmart. Trade Aid has the best incense and burners.

    Sound

    I have a very small set of chimes, that make the most delicate sound when they catch the breeze through the window. It’s such a relaxing sound.

    Sight

    I have a few things that I describe as filling my soul so I suppose these are my spiritual inspiration. They are an oil painting of Mt Aoraki which my Mumma gave me , a piece of rock or schist from the McKenzie country that my Sister found and a turquoise Bear from my dear departed Aunty.

    Touch

    My mala beads which I sourced from a local online store Pranachic. My mala beads are essential for me in my meditation sessions.

    Taste

    My morning cup of tea is essential for when I read and journal. I love using my all time favourite set from T2

    The other things that I needed in the room was more for my Yoga. Being able to have my yoga mat permanently laid out would be soooo good. Plus have my exercise weights , just 5kg dumb bells that I am using to help contain my bingo wings.

    Room layout

    The shape of the room itself is a bit awkward but has a lot of windows that get the morning sun. This is perfect for me as I always do my meditation and stretch Yoga session in the mornings. In the evening I do a full Yoga session so do not want lots of sun as it just gets all to hot for this old gal!

    Anyway in my mind I wanted to create two spaces, one for meditation and one for Yoga and I wanted a place to just chill and relax. So this is what I did.

    Relax Space

    Once was two beds now there is one. All I did here was to stack one mattress on top of the other to create a high “day bed” I suppose you might call it. I just used a nice white cover, I think it was from The Warehouse and it was from the spare room, so not in use. I had a collection of cushions that I have kept for the spare room and decided that they would look better on this bed and I think they do. I love how it turned out, it’s super comfy, thanks to the two mattress’s. The bed can easily be made up for guests if needed so I don’ t lose any bedding options by using this room as a Yoga and Meditation room.

    Day beads with heaps of cushions makes the perfect relaxation space

    Day beads with heaps of cushions makes the perfect relaxation space

    Meditation Space

    So this may sound a bit silly, since I do Yoga!! however I have a dodgy old back and in the morning it is very stiff. This means that when I do my meditation in the morning I have to sit with my back supported, so I usually always sit on the floor on a rolled blanket with my back against the couch. So in this room I need to be able to sit against the bed. My meditation space is therefore in front of the bed and I have placed a small table directly opposite that has all my special things on it. It’s really nice now to have a focal point in the room for my meditation.

    meditation space in the room

    meditation space in the room

    Yoga Space

    At the end of the room I have my Yoga mat laid out…permanently.! and just have a full length mirror up against the wall. It can be really helpful to have a mirror to just check your technique sometimes, especially when starting out. And of course I have got some fairy lights for soft lighting. There is plenty of leg room, which when doing Yoga is important.

    my yoga space

    my yoga space

    Accessories

    Art and plants are still a work in progress here, it’s important not to over do it and clutter up the space. There were a couple of plants which I needed to rehouse and lucky for me they were perfect for this room. Over time I will put a few more plants in here, maybe some hanging from the ceiling. The only art that I have in the room at present is my wee oil painting that I have on my meditation table. My beautiful Sis has completed a mindfulness colour print for me which I will frame and pop it up on the wall, the colours go so well with this room. Also my very talented daughter is going to do an oil painting for me too however I think I might be waiting a while for that.

    a few accessories in my meditation and yoga room

    a few accessories in my meditation and yoga room

    A string of fairy lights around the mirror provides some soft lighting and I tell you soft lighting is a must when you get up at the crack of dawn for meditation.

    Mastering your day

    Setting up my own Yoga and meditation space is something that I have wanted to do for along time. Over the past 12 months I have been on a personal development journey and taking little steps each day to help me achieve my goals and dreams. As part of my journey I have developed an approach to my day, of which Yoga and Meditation is a key part, which I refer to as Mastering my day. If you would like to read more about what I do, my routines and how I fit these into my day and the benefits take a look at my post all about Mastering your day





    It’s been a week since I started using my beautiful new room and I would totally recommend doing this if you can create your own space. It doesn’t have to be a whole room, you could easily use empty spaces in your house.

    Oh and lastly if you want more inspiration and ideas on what to do with your space room, just jump across to my Pinterest page for some great inspirational

    Happy Yoga time everyone

    Namaste !

    Tidying with Tania blog post sign off | Tidying with Tania.png

    Don’t miss out on all the extra goodies you can get in my monthly newsletters, just sign up below.

    Find us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest , it’s easy as clicking on the buttons below

    I would really love your feedback and comments , so please free to let me know what you think, just leave your comments below, or just email , link above










































    Decluttering in 3 simple steps

    We all have them, those spaces where you end up piling up boxes and stuff to sort later or store. Ours is under the stairs, for others it might be the garage, up in the attic, in that hall cupboard or even in a spare room. You try and close the door quickly as to not notice how messy and cluttered it is looking. Our space was getting worse, not helped by the kids rummaging through it, as you can see.  I got to the point where I had enough, so decided it was time to attack this. 

    how to sort your cluttered storage space -Tidying with Tania

    I did find that I put the job off for a while as it just seemed so overwhelming...it was such a mess and I just didn't know what to with all the stuff. What I did know is that I wanted the clutter gone and I wanted a really nice space to look at as well as a functional storage area and most importantly it had to be a no spend project. I decided to eat this elephant one bit at a time, planning, sorting and decorating.

    1. Planning

    My starting point was planning out the space, for me this is the motivational part. I decided what I wanted it to look like, well within limits anyway. We have not renovated this part of the house as yet therefore it did not make any sense to do too much or spend any money on this space at this time. However like I say "you should always be beautiful with what you have"

    The room is under the entrance landing and the stairway. I had a black netting type curtain which I used to hang in front the entrance to the space so to block the view of the clutter. However this meant that it was actually fairly dark downstairs and not very welcoming.  My goal was to open it up and bring the light back in. I also wanted to highlight the cool smokey window at the back which brings in heaps of morning sun.

    The space still had to be essentially a place for storage however only for things we actually use, i.e seasonal and occasional items like luggage and picnic hampers. I did not want it to be filled back up with clutter again. 

    The last step in the planning was to work out a timeframe. I gave myself two weekends to complete this job as I knew it would be big. Rushing a job is not a good idea for and I wanted to take my time and do it properly.  So I locked in the next two Saturdays. Lucky for me the first one rained all day so it was a perfect for a big inside job.

    2. Sorting 

    This was really scary, I mean look at all that stuff! What will be the best way to tackle this? When I had previously sorted out clutter I also ended up with piles for rubbish and recycling. So I decided to sort into rubbish, recycling, donations and selling. There was a one last category and that was "misplace" . Basically an item that actually lives somewhere else in the house.

    What I found really important was while I was doing the sorting was to apply a one touch rule. An example is an item of rubbish, touch it and put it on the rubbish bag and when the bag is full place it out for collection. The same applied with recycling. In regards to the donation I put the items straight into the back of the car so I then had to take them.

    I could not believe how much I actually removed. Almost all of the clutter went, mostly going to recycle and donation. The stuff that I have collected....boy oh boy! In the end the only items that I am keeping is our luggage, sleeping bags and picnic hampers. I put all these onto the shelves which meant that the rest of the area was actually free of clutter. Boy did it feel good.

    3. Decorating

    This was the fun part, well some of it. I gave the room a really good clean out and repainted the block walls. Paint left over from previous jobs came in handy here as did the left over carpet from the recent new carpet we had laid in the entertainment room. I just cut it down to fit and used double sided tape to hold it in place. 

    Although the shelving was really efficient for the storage of the luggage it still looked untidy. To solve this I simply put up a curtain in front of the shelves, perfect !. To limit the potential for new clutter to establish itself again, I did two things;

    • set up two bins (old wash clothing bins) for storage

    • placed plants in the room as decor

    The use of the storage bins means that when we place something in them it has to then be sorted into rubbish, recycle, donate or sell.

    There was also method in my madness as to the where I placed the bins and this is solely due to the two fluffy hunters that we have. Yes our cats! they love to bring all their live and dead offerings to us through this space, note the cat flap. Therefore this area has been a corpse collection station at times, much to our horror. Also the dirty little beggars leave dirt marks on the wall when jumping up and down through the cat flap.

    Now that I have done a Tidying with Tania on this space there is no way I was letting the cats mess it up again. Therefore to stop the bringing in of offerings, the cat flap is now only one way, out only, so at least they will not wake us up in the night for a pee. To stop the jumping up marks, I purposely placed the bins in front of the walls. This forces them to jump up and over the plant, on the right of the picture, and walk along the window ledge. I actually watched them to ensure that this worked and yep it did. 

    The house plants are a simple decor idea to establish the space as part of the house and not a storage room to be shut off. 

    Storage room

    I am really pleased with how it turned out. It is such a nice space now and is open and connected to the rest of the house. Best of all it brings me joy!

    What is your cluttered space? Need help with how to tackle the space?

    Let me know, as a problem shared is a problem solved.

    Have a great week

    Post_sign_off.png

    Make sure to follow me on social media to get more great tidying tips and inspiration

     

     

    5 low waste Christmas gift ideas for the home

    To be honest I was not planning on doing a Christmas gift guide as cleaning and organising products are not something that most people would think to give for Christmas presents. However there are a lot of people out there that are starting to think about their environmental foot print and how they can reduce their waste. So I thought that Christmas time is actually the perfect time to encourage this by giving gifts that may start someone on that reduce waste journey. I have identified 5 kits for the home that you can actually easily make and give as awesome gifts for Christmas.

    • DIY Natural cleaning kit

    • Kitchen Kit

    • Laundry Kit

    • Bathroom Kit

    • Home scent kit

    DIY Natural cleaning kit

    home made cleaner in glass jar and baking soda in glass jar

    I recently took part in our work place night market and had to come up with some gifts to sell for fundraising. I decided to make some DIY Natural cleaning kits, and they were a hit, so I thought that these would make great Christmas presents. In my kit I had;

    • General cleaner

    • Scrubber

    • Cleaning cloth

    • Sample of essential oil

    • Jute bag

    They were really easy to make and most items can be found around the home or could be easily purchased from your local supermarket. To make the kit you will need;

    • White vinegar

    • Baking Soda

    • Small jar

    • Spray bottle (glass is preferable)

    General Cleaner - mix a 50/50 of white vinegar and water into the spray container and label it "General Cleaner”

    Scrubber - fill the small jar with baking soda and for extra special treat put a few drops of an essential oil and mix through. Then just label “Scrubber”.

    Don’t forget to provide instructions on how to use and refill so the person can continue to use after the ingredients run out. You can sign up to receive my free guide and recipe printable for the cleaning kits below;

    FREE DIY Natural Cleaning Kit

    Get your free guide on how to make your own all natural cleaning kit.

    We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

    If you are not confident to make up these kits, however love the idea you can just order these fabulous starter kits from Figgy & Co

    Kitchen kit

    Handwash and dishwash in glass jar

    In this Kitchen Kit I have;

    • Cotton Dishcloth - washable

    • Hand wash dispensers - refillable

    • Dish wash dispensers - refillable

    The great thing with the Kitchen kits are that they are not only pretty kitchen accessories, they are also functional and totally reusable.

    To make these kits you just need some dispensers and buy or make the cotton dish cloths.

    If you want to make the dishcloths and don’t know how to crochet here is a great tutorial that will get you going. For those that don’t have the time and just want to buy some here are my fav’s in NZ;

    Don’t forget to check out Etsy which has a great selection of cotton dish cloths.

    cotton dish cloths

    For the dispensers you could just recycle some empty ones that you have around the home. I do have a preference for glass as they do last a lot longer, are easier to clean and good for recycling. There are a few places that stock refillable glass dispensers. I have recently come across this great online store , Packageless Pad that stocks a great selection of glass containers and these Classic Syrup bottles are perfect for using around the home.

    To add a bit of home decor it’s nice to place them on a tray and maybe add in a plant, so you could add these into your kit to jazz it up a bit.

    Lastly don’t forget to fill the dispensers with the soap, for the hands and the dishes. Ideally use a product that is chemical free and obtained from a refillery and or a eco-friendly product like Eco Store from the supermarket.

    Laundry Kit

    For the Laundry kit I just got a selection of jars that you can easily label Laundry powder and Soaker. You could also add in some wooden clothes pegs. Most of these items you can get at a supermarket or find around the home. I sourced my jars at the time from The Warehouse, there is still a good selection. The refillery GoodFor also has a good selection too . Also you could try Figgy & Co as you can get both the jars and laundry product. In fact they have The Laundry Pack which you can purchase.

    My laundry set up is below where I have the laundry powder, soaker and I have baking soda and a bottle of vinegar. Hint a wee mix of soda and vinegar in the wash, especially for towels helps fluff them up.

    laundry products in jars

    Bathroom kit

    One of the exciting things that I came across this year was recyclable toothbrushes and organic toothpaste. As well as better options for dental floss and cotton buds. Eco store has introduced a range which is available from most supermarkets or online. Go Bamboo is also worth checking out too as they have the cotton buds.

    Something else to think about for the bathroom kit is a sample pack for Hair and Face products that don’t come in plastic bottles. The fabulous products from Ethique would make a wonderful present. Oh and please check out Soaps by Roi a fabulous Kiwi making beautiful products based on Rongoa Maori (Maori medicine).

    Once again with the other kits you could put them into storage jars and gift them all set up. Example below is a Bathroom kit.

    Bathroom hand wash and soap kit.png

    Home scent kit

    Who loves walking into those lovely home stores with those gorgeous scents floating around the air, how lovely would it be to give a gift that can make someones home smell like that. All you need is some jute bags, cotton balls and essential oils and scented candles.

    The jute/hessian bags or cotton bags, I source from Spotlight of all places and the cotton balls can be sourced from the supermarket. For essential oils I source mine from doTERRA and an awesome place in Akaroa, NZ called Fire and Ice.

    Just place a drop of oil on each cotton ball and pop them into the bag and hang them in places around the home. I use mine in the wardrobes, linen closet, kitchen and bedrooms.

    Scented candles are the best, but make sure you get quality candles and ones made with Soy. I have been fortunate to have a lovely lady at work who makes the most wonderful soy candles. Also check out Soy Delights Nz as you can purchase from her Etsy store as well.

    Home scents kit.png

    So there you have it 5 Christmas gift kit ideas, which are easy to put together, budget friendly, reusable and produce very little waste and encourage more people to reduce their environmental foot print.

    Have a wonderful Christmas my dears, and enjoy your gift giving.

    Post_sign_off.png

    P.S ….make sure that you follow me on social media, just click on the links below

    Lastly join my newsletter list where I share my latest posts and my top “5”





    Christmas table settings ideas for indoors and outdoors

    It was one of my keen readers that asked “when are you going to do a post on table settings for Christmas?” So I thought, that’s a great idea, and so here we are. I decided to do two settings, one indoor for those of you that live in the colder parts of the world at Christmas time and one outdoors for the likes of myself that experience Christmas in summer and normally celebrate with a BBQ. I also wanted to challenge myself and only use what I had around the house to help give you ideas without having to actually buy much at all. Like we know Christmas is a very expensive time of year anyway. The table settings will be a simple affair as I’m not one for lots a jazz and simple is often a lot cheaper.

    Christmas table setting in dinning room.png

    This blog will be a bit different from my usual approach as I have decided to do mainly photos and explain what I have used for each of the settings. I hope you enjoy and get some great inspiration to help planning your awesome Christmas table setting.

    Indoor table setting

    As I stated above I am keeping these settings simple and low cost and in fact have just shopped my home for all the items I have used. So I challenge you to do the same, it’s amazing what you can find to use rather than find the need to buy yet more stuff.

    Christmas crackers and decorations.png

    First up I raided my Christmas decoration stash and decided on the using the Christmas garland as the main centrepiece and use some decoration accessories to add to it. I also had Christmas crackers that are obviously an important part of the Christmas table setting.

    Next up was working out the plate setting and the cutlery. The plates are part of of our everyday plates, well to be honest we only have everyday plates now….I am long past keeping something for best or special occasions, I mean it’s everyday a special occasion!!!.

    Some time ago we got the big light blue plates from the local Harbour Hospice shop which we got for $20 for the set. They were basically new and from Citta (check out the price per plate!). I did however buy the smaller plates new, from Tony Sly, Raglan Wharf…like OMG I love his stuff and treated myself, like don’t you blame me.

    cutlery in silverwear box on dinning table.png

    Which brings me onto my cutlery set. In our home we have some very special family pieces and one is the writing bureau from my beautiful Nana Anne . She also gave Pete and I a stunning silver service cutlery set for our wedding present. We keep these pieces together. The cutlery set is certainly something that I would like to use more often, however the pieces have to be hand washed and placed back into the box so it’s a bit of a mission. So I’m sad to say in this case they only come out on special occasions…..and of course Christmas is one of those. I do love fussing around and getting them out and using them.

    Christmas plate and silverwear setting on dinning table.png

    So if you have always wanted to know how to set a formal table setting well wonder no more. Above is a simple setting, essentially formal. The secret to these setting is the order of the cutlery lines up to the order of the plates and therefore the courses. You just start from the cutlery on the outside and work inwards and the dessert cutlery is a top the plates. There is a very good post at Real Simple.com with all the details on how to set a table. It’s handy to know this, especially when you are at that fancy restaurant and you have to figure out which fork to use! I always just remember….”outside in” .

    Christmas place setting with napkin under plate.png

    With the place settings I folded up the cloth napkin, again these are ones we use everyday, and placed them under the top plate. It just adds a bit of interest and formality to the setting and is a nice simple design. You will notice that I have done place names, I did this just to show how you could do this if you need to. This is actually helpful if you have a number of people coming. All I did some use some paper envelopes that I had and simply wrote the names on them and placed the flower on the top. Again it was a easy to do and gave a nice aesthetic.

    Christmas table setting with candles.png

    For the centre piece I used the Christmas garland. I didn’t want to clutter up the garland too much however did need to embellish it it a bit. I took a jute ribbon and wrapped it round losly around the length of it then run a small string of battery run copper lights along the top. In the middle of the table I placed three large church candles and at each end placed decorative silver reindeer. All these items I had in my Christmas decoration stash so I did not need to buy anything more.

    Christmas table setting with silver dear.png
    Christmas table setting .png

    Challenge # 1 done for the insider Christmas table setting now for the outside one.

    Outdoor Table setting

    The intent of the outdoor setting is for a very casual, more BBQ style with a touch of Christmas. Again challenge was to shop the home and keep it simple.

    Christmas candles and holy hock in outside table centrepiece.png

    To add a Christmas theme to the centre piece I just laid out a length of jute ribbon (wide) and used that like a table runner. I placed the centre piece on top. All I did here was take the existing outdoors tray and place the decorative candles and holy onto the tray. You will see in my previous Christmas decoration posts how I have done this before.

    One thing that I did was to use what I thought could serve as a double purpose was that of citronella candles. Most of us that eat outside a bit have these as they work really well. I just used ones that I already had. If you don’t have any I totally recommend getting some. You can pick them up from most hardware, garden centres and home stores. I have found, locally, that The Warehouse has a good selection at great prices


    knife and fork tied around napkin for table setting.png

    To achieve a more casual style I used our everyday cutlery and took the napkin (hospice shop finds) and tied them up with string, garden twine in this case. I also used our plan white plates, (easy to replace if one breaks). The other option is to simple stack the plates up and bundle the cutlery together so everyone can just help themselves. The main thing to think about for outside use is the chance of something being dropped and broken. So maybe you could also use some of your plastic picnic wear, there are some really gorgeous outdoor dinning wear, great selection here from Kmart

    Bottles of sparkling wine in tin bucket outside party.png

    The old outdoor fridge is essential for the perfect outdoor Christmas dinning, and you don’t need some flash outdoor mini fridge. We just use this tin container (another hospice find) and fill it up with ice and it keeps the beves nice and cold.

    IMG_3900.JPG

    That’s it folks , my inside and outside Christmas table settings , hope you got some inspiration for your Christmas day…..remember to check around your home to see what you have to make a great table scape.

    For more inspiration follow me on Pinterest as I have Christmas board set up where you can see even more ideas.

    If you want to follow me on my other social media channels just click on the links below;

    Want to stay in touch and get more ideas and tips just sign up to my regular newsletter below;

    Stay tidy!

    Tidying with Tania blog post sign off | Tidying with Tania.png


















    How I organise my Kitchen drawers

    We all know that the Pantry and the fridge are the king of the kitchen when it comes to storage and organisation and always get the most attention especially when it comes to social media!!! Have you seen some of those Instagram pantry pics….wow!. However we can not over look the other areas of the kitchen that are need to be functional and well organised. So this post shares how I organised those “other” spaces. I love the look of cupboards in the kitchen however do not like using them….they are just not efficient and I much prefer drawers. So in my kitchen I have the best of both - drawers behind the cupboards !!! eh what????

    kitchen drawers with glasses and cups

    Cutlery and Utensils

    Between using teaspoons for my cups of tea and knives for Pete’s after work toast , the cutlery drawer probably gets the most use of any space in the kitchen. We are lucky to have nice wide (actually it was part of the kitchen renovation design) drawers side by side. One is for cutlery and the other for utensils.  These drawers work really well and I have organised them with the help of Blum Orga - Line cutlery and utensil trays. They are adjustable and the each section can be placed in the dishwasher. I did use non slip drawer liners, underneath which works really well to keep the utensils from moving around.

    utensil drawer.png
    organised kitchen cutlery drawer.png

    In the cutlery drawer I have two sets, one for the dinning table for meals and the other for everyday use, not sure about your home, but here we always ran out of cutlery for the table at tea time ..sooo annoying. In the utensil drawers I have got all the other usual items, knives, tongs, openers , etc. The only utensils that I don’t have in this drawer are those that we use while cooking, and these are housed in a jug by the gas hob.

    Herbs, Spices and Oils

    Using the same organisers range from Blum Orga-line, our herbs and spices are well sorted, and I have the oils below in the pull out drawers. On the bench top by the gas hob I have our oils that we use regularly in cooking at easy reach. The only limitation with this system is that I have run out of space for the herds and spices so have had to use a drawer above which was originally used as a junk drawer. Yes horror of all horrors I have a junk drawer….but it’s a well organised one. To help organise them and enable them to fit in I have used the spice drawer organiser from Madesmart . This is a great organiser and works really well and is excellent value.

    herbs and spice organisation in kitchen drawer.png
    oil bottles on bench.png

    Rubbish and Recycling

    Pete and I have been recyclers since like ages ago!! so we have made sure that our kitchen waste system has a recycling, organic and landfill system. The recycling and landfill bins are side by side, and in the drawer below we have our compost bin. I picked up this tin container from a hospice shop about 5 years ago and it has made the perfect compost bin. We also store our reusable bags in the same drawer . Tip: to reduce any odours use a small jute bag with cotton balls and place a few drops of peppermint oil (lemon/Wild orange is also good) on the cotton balls. Just pop the cotton balls into the Jute bag and place it by the bin. Now every time you open the drawer you can spell your favourite essential oils, now that’s better than the usual rubbish odour.

    compost bin in kitchen drawer.png

    dinner sets and Serving dishes

    Under the cutlery and utensil drawers we have the dinner sets and serving dishes cupboards and drawers. Nothing very exciting here with their organisation, just the usual. Use of non-slip drawer liner is a must in these drawers as it stops everything from moving when you open and close the drawers. Our dishwasher opens in front of these cupboards and it makes it so easy to put everything into the drawers….great design really.

    Coffee Station

    So to be truthful ,this space is more than a just coffee station , it’s a also a cups and glasses space.

    The cupboards under the Coffee machine house all things for the coffee station plus cups and glasses. There are three drawers in this cupboard, the top one has the tea and coffee containers which are opened several times a time. I love my tea and Pete loves his coffee. I have a collection of tea tins which I just love and use these to contain the loose leave tea and the teabags.

    tea tins in drawer.png

    The next drawer down we have the cups and mugs, followed by glasses. My son recently commented how he thought that the glasses should be the top drawer since he uses these a lot. My point to him was that he is only here on the odd weekend and we have the kitchen set up to Pete and my needs not his!!!. So it’s an important point to ensure that you set things up in your kitchen to work best for you and how you use it….and maybe not everyone else who pop in occasionally!

    mugs and cups in drawer.png

    Hutch

    This area is both for “decor” and function. The top shelves are “display shelves” and in the cupboards I have our cookbook collection, table ware and wine glasses. A bit of an odd and sods cupboard, but it’s perfect for things that I don’t reach for daily.

    Dining table centrepiece

    Lastly, yet not a drawer, is our dining table. I do like to have a nice table centrepiece , normally a plant of some sort and try and change it up with the seasons. So for spring I have got some herbs, coriander and I am also growing some baby house plants. One item that is always there is our condiments basket. In here we have oils and seasoning with napkins and toothpicks, all the things that you need on hand when at the table for dinner. This has always been on the table and when the kids were at home we had the dining cutlery, so there was no need to take things from the kitchen to the table and no fights over who was going to lay the table.

    For the herbs and plants, I planted them into terracotta pots with good quality potting mix. I purchased a couple of small coriander plants from the garden centre. You should be able to pick these up at any garden centre for a good price and they should provide you with coriander all through spring and summer. Just ensure that they get lots of light and water and regularly take some leaves, this will help to encourage growth.

    Dinning table centre setting with spring plants.png

    Before I sign off I thought I just provide the links of the posts that I have already done for our pantry and fridge organisation;

    For more inspiration check out my Kitchen and Pantry Organisation board in Pinterest

    If you want to get more of my tips, ideas and inspiration as well as my top “5” , then make sure that you sign up to my newsletter below;

    Stay Tidy out there !

    Post_sign_off.png


    Follow me and my awesome community on social media



    How to repot succulents in 3 easy steps

    Did you know that Succulents were never really my cup of tea…didn’t really see the beauty in them and kinda thought that they were a plant for “old ladies” garden…Well I must be an old lady coz now I love Succulents and have them added to my collection of indoor plants. The best thing about Succulents are how it’s pretty impossible to kill them as they actually don’t need a lot of maintenance. And I discovered that some produce the most delicate flowers.

    succulent in pots in sunroom | Tidying with Tania

    

    I first started growing them only very recently so am now just having to look to repot them. To be honest I did neglect some and they needed my attention. The poor things came second to the renovation work. As I know not everyone is confident in having indoor plants I thought it might be helpful to take you through how I repotted my succulents. I have tried to keep it to simple steps, well actually these are just what I do as I’m a simple person really.

    succulent with dead leaves to be repotted | Tidying with Tania

    

    Step 1 - Potting mix and pots

    When I say potting mix I do not mean the traditional potting mix. Succulents and Cacti both like alot of drainage and therefore do not cope well with the traditional potting mix. If you are making your own you would be best with a 50/50 potting mix to gravel(small). The easiest solution is to buy potting mix specific for Succulents and Cacti. I actually use this Cacti and Succulent mix from Yates. You should be able to find it at your local garden centre or hardware store. You will not need heaps of it as generally speaking you use small pots for the succulents.

    In terms of pots, well you can pretty much plant Succulents in anything. And yeah people do, like gumboots! I have used small white pots for growing a single plant and these look good when on a narrow window sill.

    small white pots | shallow clay pots | Tidying with Tania

    As I have a number of shoots off one plant, I decided to get a couple of bigger pots but shallow, as Succulents are not deep rooted. I just picked up these simple pots from Bunnings. Don’t forget to get the saucer! As these are shallow they don’t take a lot of potting mix.

    Step 2 - Prepare the succulents

    The next step is to take out the existing plants from their pots and prepare them for the new pots. As mentioned a number of the plants have grown babies/offsets. Added to this I have had not been removing the old leaves so there was a bit of tidying up to do with each of the plants. To start I just removed, gently, the plants from their pot, then again gently removed the babies. I made sure that I had a clear space to place these babies/offshoots so not to damage them.

    Removing the old leaves from under the succulent was a bit more delicate as I didn’t want to damage the plant, I’d suggest that you could use tweezers or your fingers if you are gentle.

    So now I had my babies/offshoots and tidied plants all ready to repot.

    Succulents ready to repot | Tidying with Tania


    Step 3 - plant and place

    My last step was to fill up the pots with the Succulent potting mix. I made sure that I filled the pots to a couple of cm’s from the top with the mix. I then simply took each plant and made a small hold with my finger (or pencil) and place the plant in, continuing until I had all plants repotted. Not a hard job really.

    Finding the best spot to place the pots wasn’t hard as I had a spot all lined up in the sunroom. A perfect warm and sunny spot. The trick to remember to ensure that I give them appropriate water, and not to over water them. Remember they do not like water sitting around them so it must drain well.

    succulents repotted in shallow clay pots | Tidying with Tania

    Ta dah!!! love the new pots and love their new pace.

    That’s it , just a short and sweet post today. Now my next post will be about my spring table setting with baby house plants and herbs, so make sure you stay tuned for this by signing up to my newsletter, below.

    Also make sure that you follow me on social media to see all the other cool pics and goings on in the Tidying with Tania world

    Happy potting everyone

    Tidying with Tania blog post sign off | Tidying with Tania.png
































    Master Closet Reveal

    Our home was built in 1960, and the master bedroom is therefore not very big, however it did have a ‘dressing room’ or what we call now an ensuite. Initially the ‘dressing room’ only had a large wall to wall wardrobe/closet and a sink and mirror. At some stage, probably early 70’s, a shower was put into the ‘dressing room’, however the closet was never removed…eeekkkk !!! So when we purchased the home 5 years ago our only closet for clothes for the master bedroom was literally in the ensuite. Fast forward 5 years and we are finally renovating the house and this “nasty” wardrobe is getting gone…long gone to make way for the beautiful new ensuite…actually to make way for the wall to wall shower. Check out our ensuite reveal post, it’s got lots of before and afters.

    master_closet_LS.png

    Planning and Building

    It was very exciting to think that there was going to be no more wardrobe in the ensuite! However the big question was where to actually install a new one in our master bedroom, remember it’s a small bedroom. The layout of our bedroom, specifically the windows, restricts where you can place our bed (Queen size). Getting the right position for the bed and ensuring space for a wardrobe was a bit tricky. However in the end there was actually only one way it could be done, so it was a easy decision. The wardrobe had to be built along the wall of one side of the room. To maximise the space we ensured that it went floor to ceiling and also agreed that we would need to have a set of 3 sliding doors to enable full access and in glass ti make the space feel more open.

    My dream would have been a walk in wardrobe however, that would take busting out walls and extending the house which, well, just was not worth it to house clothes!!! I mean it is a lot cheaper to just reduce the clothes you have to lessen the space you need…I mean you can only wear one outfit at a time right.

    Our builder also helped us to work out the best placement and size which really helped in the long run with the overall design. He is well experienced and knows all the important details that you need to think about when renovating.

    After the frame up of the wardrobe itself , we engaged Regency Wardrobe Company to make our sliding doors. We actually came upon them at the Auckland home show and was able to access the “home show special” for the doors. They came out to the house to measure and quote. We chose soft closing triple doors in full glass with silver frames. The gave you an option to have them installed or self install. We chose to self install. The doors were made and delivered pretty soon after the measure and quote and delivered on site. The instructions on the self install were very good and easy to follow. Pete installed the doors in less than an hour . I have to say the quality of the doors exceeded my expectations, they are lovely and quiet, weighted well and soft closing, very nice indeed to use.

    At this point we had to do some thinking about the internal closet and the best design in terms of storage. The wardrobe is used by both Pete and myself so needs to accommodate 2 sets of clothing. We did get Regency Wardrobe Company to complete a built-in design and quote, however in the end Pete decided that he wanted to make the closet built-in’s himself. He had actually keep the drawers and the metal runners from the old kitchen which were actually great quality. In short he repurposed the drawers, making new frontages for them and then designed the rest of the built-in’s around the drawers.

    

    We also recycled the metal railing from the old wardrobe and the wooden shelf and used them in the closet….such savings, it was going to cost approx $2600 to have built in’s made. In the end it only cost approx $200 (wood) and we used the left over paint from the renovations. Pete actually designed the closet as well, working out the best size and design to maximise the hanging space , as well as ensuring that I have space for my shoes! He is a good man isn’t he :)

    master_closet_built_ins.png

    I asked Pete about how he went about the design and build and he said that he just measured up longest garments being dressers, also measured up the shirts and jackets and drew out the plans to fit the clothes. He also considered the numbers and types of shoes that had to be stored and created spaces for them as well. He said he just worked out the clothes that we had and what storage was needed for them “the drawers are for jocks and socks” .

    He built the storage in sections and put them together in the closet. Once he had all the components together he prep and painted them.

    You know what I like about this closet and in true Pete style we equally share the space…..no extra space for me just because I am a women and therefore “have more clothes” in fact having equal space forced me to really think about what clothes I really use. I have found that it’s getting easier as I pare down my clothes …far easier decisions to make about what to wear…it’s very refreshing.

    So now Pete has done his awesome job making the closet, it was my turn to “organise “ the clothes in the closet.

    closet organisation

    Oh this is the fun part….in my world anyway. Just like any other organisation job you always start at the very beginning and take all the items out and declutter. Don’t forget to make signs for recycle, donate, sell, dump. Then go through each item making a decision on where to place the garment in one of the 4 areas. I regularly declutter my clothes so it was not a big job for me , however I was still surprised by how many items I left go.. Pete’s clothes also got the once over and the old holely undies and sox’s got the bin treatment. Thanks to Pete’s grand design the closet has lots of hanging space as well as shelving. My goal was to get in all our clothes and not just “seasonal clothes”. I have to confess that I could not fit all mine in so I have keep a small number of off season items in the spare room closet.

    All clothes that could be hung were and I used these thin felt coat hangers. I have used these style of coat hangers for a while now and I love them, you can almost double the amount of clothes that you can hang in a space by using these hangers. As you can see I tend to sort by item type and then by colour. So the trouser, dressers and skirts are in the middle, next to them are shirts and tops and jackets . On Pete’s side it is just trousers and shirts.

    We each have three drawers and these house our smalls. I have my t-shirts and tops in these drawers as well . On my side of the closet I have my scarfs at the top, however this is not actually ideal as I reach for these daily and it’s not always easy to find them. I am hunting out a better option, like a coat hanger for scarfs, like these at Storage box. Any other ideas on scarf storage please share!.

    jewellery_master_closet.png

    

    The next shelf I have my jewellery and I found the perfect velvet tray to display them on , and guess where I got it from? Yep good old Kmart. Next shelf I have my jeans and shorts, then bulky tops (jersey’s etc) . On the bottom shelf I have got a cube container to hold my gardening and house work clothes.

    One of the great design features that Pete put into the closet is a space to place clothes that you may wear the next day, like jeans etc, and my after work clothes. This space is really useful and means that these aren’t hanging around on a chair or on the bed. Under that he has another shelf for my yoga gear which I reach for daily. He really did think of everything!

    Gym_gear_shoes_master_closet.png

    Pete’s shelves are a bit more spartan than mine because…well…I simply have more clothes. He has his jerseys and tops on the top shelf the work gear , followed by a shelf for jeans and shorts and t-shirts on the bottom.

    At bottom Pete designed space for my shoes, even measured them up to make sure they fitted. If you are wondering his are out in the hall cupboard..big stinky man shoes not allowed in the new closet.!

    To ensure that we made the most of the space I have used laundry hampers on the top shelf to store bags and other items that get used less often.

    hampers_master_closet.png

    

    While I was organising the wardrobe, I attacked my bedside cabinet which has three drawers and was full of clutter…nightstand should not have drawers as they just become dumping zones! As these drawers can be a bit ugly , I wanted to brighten them up. So I got some of my left over wall paper and some unused acrylic containers and used the paper as drawer liners. Now the cabinet only has items that I reach for at night or use in the morning. And every time I open the drawers they look so nice “ohh joy”.

    I can’t tell you how much I love my new wardrobe…to the moon and back maybe! It`s amazing what you can make out of an empty space!.

    I hope that this has given you some ideas and inspiration for your wardrobe, even if it is to just declutter it!

    Stay tidy out there!

    email signature mock up.png


    Want to stay in touch? make sure that you sign up to my newsletter, pop your details in below, love to have you join us.

    Follow me on social media , links below