5 ways to be a better neighbour

Not so long ago, I watched as one-by-one, multiple tree branches were lopped and thrown over our fence and back into our garden.

Although English is not my neighbour’s native tongue, what distressed me more than the wayward flying foliage was that he’d withheld his frustrations rather than communicate his apparent grievances with us directly. Rather than explain his perspective, he took matters into his own Edward Scissorhands.

I’m a psychologist – not a mind reader – but what I do know is that it’s near impossible to support one another if we don’t communicate our needs to those around us.


How to share your home with children

I can still remember my delight at being allowed to choose the paint colour of my bedroom when I was nine.

I selected a light blue that reminded me of the summer sky, and I felt empowered because the decision was all mine (and not my parents).

Fast forward a few years and I’d decorated those same walls with a sticky Blutac that proved even harder to remove than my beloved posters of Boy George and his Culture Club bandmates.

Now I’m the mother of two girls, including one teenager, and if I’m being really honest, I sometimes wonder if I’ve offered the same freedom to my daughters when it comes to decorating and styling their rooms.


Save for a deposit (without depriving yourself)

Surely that little piece of cake won’t effect our fitness goal? Surely those new shoes won’t make much difference to my bank balance?

Sound familiar?

I’m going to give it to you in simple terms without the psychobabble: humans like to do things that feel good and, as such, we often choose the short-term, feel-good option over what we know is the “right” thing to get us closer to our long-term goal.


5 tips to cut the clutter

Ever said any of the following to yourself?

Even if I can’t use it, I’ll keep it for someone who can. It was too expensive to get rid of now. It reminds me of a special time or person.

What about these?

  • One day it might fit me.

  • I’ll read it when I have more time.

  • It may look like a mess to others but it’s organised chaos to me.

We use a zillion excuses to justify the physical clutter that collects on our desks, in our wardrobes, on our bench tops and on other unsuspecting surfaces around our homes.


4 ways to manage change

We’re a nation of movers, with many of us living in more than 10 houses in our lifetime, and only 16% of us intent on staying in the home we currently live in. For most of us change is unavoidable. 

Our homes change around us along with our lives. People move in and out. Renovations take shape or fall apart. Disasters strike. Clutter builds up and heads out the door.

It’s important we learn to cope and deal with change.


Retirement: how does it look to you?

Many people spend decades of their working life dreaming of what they want to be when they grow up, while they clock on and clock off all in the name of paying bills, making ends meet or raising a family.

But for some lucky souls, work represents meaningful social connections, a way to express and explore personal values and passions and chances to learn and master new skills.

A range of factors, including whether you fall into camp one or two, will affect how you view and manage the transition to retirement.


Where do we learn about money?

Hands up if you secretly find that some of your adult behaviours seem to share an uncanny resemblance to those you have observed in your mum or dad.

For many of us, helpful and unhelpful patterns relating to the way we work, eat, love, fight, parent or even cook are passed down from generation to generation.

It’s no surprise, then, that our relationship with money is also heavily influenced by the financial commentary we heard, or even unspoken practices we observed, in the home in which we were raised.


3 advantages of living alone

Did you know that more than 12% of the Aussie population aged 15 years and over live alone and that by 2030 that number is projected to rise to 16% which equates to 3.1 million people?

Choice or necessity

The experience of living alone is likely influenced by whether that living arrangement occurs by choice or necessity.

For example after a separation, almost half of all men and 31% of women live alone. Many of those people might not feel great about that situation, particularly if they didn’t instigate it. But living alone doesn’t have to correlate with time spent alone.


4 tips to cut end of financial year stress

Is your dining room table covered with receipts and invoices? Are you waking in the night feeling overwhelmed and out of control?

Have you rekindled your love affair with chocolate, wine or shopping? Is resentment building as you imagine bidding your well-earned dollars goodbye to that tax farm in the sky?

Or is procrastination dominating your days and nights?


Keeping sane during ‘sale’ season

Is it me, or does there always seem to be a sale on in your local interiors/furniture store?

The sale season seems to be in full swing all year round and many of us are being bombarded with alluring emails, colourful catalogues and decoy signage about the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ bargains which promise to transform our homes, ourselves and our lives.

Most of us have at times been lured into bargain hunting by seductive offers of 2 for 1, up to 30% off, or buy 1 get 1 free – and the deals appear to be hotting up season on season.