Everyone wants this mum’s fridge

 

Welcome to Clean Sweep, news.com.au's home organisation series featuring exclusive advice on how to declutter your home direct from Aussies who have spruced their way to success.

 

When Belle Saf posted a picture of her newly organised fridge on Instagram, she had no idea how much buzz it would create.

The 37-year-old Melbourne woman, who runs the Belle Abode blog, said she had researched her fridge makeover for two years before diving in.

The mum-of-two spent time deciding the sorts of containers she wanted, and when she finally settled on the decor range, she slowly chipped away at purchasing them each time they went on sale.

When she did post a photo of the finished project on her Instagram account, it instantly got over 1100 likes.

"I menu plan fortnightly and do weekly top-up shops between," she said, when asked about her meticulously pre-chopped fruit and vegetables.

"When I pre-chop and store like this everything lasts and stays fresh".

Belle's finished product attracted a huge amount of attention. Picture: Instagram/@belleabode
Belle's finished product attracted a huge amount of attention. Picture: Instagram/@belleabode

Belle said every time she posted a photo of her fridge online, "people love it".

"People are now copying my fridge. It's just my food … I don't get it," she said.

"But I guess it's a (home improvement project) that is achievable.

View this post on Instagram

Fridge restock, finally! I don't know what it is, but I'm always happier when my fridge is in order and full of produce. The last week with T starting school hasnt been smooth sailing so I neglected the fridge and cooking but hopefully today is the start of a better week! I get so many message daily about my fridge organisation and my food prep so I thought I'd answer them here:) I buy 2 weeks worth of groceries, except fruit. I top up fruit weekly purely for the fact that my kids finish the fruit quickly so I top it up with a fresh batch every sunday. I shop on Sunday and deep wash all my produce then cut them all up and store in my containers and they usually stay fresh until the next shopping trip (2 weeks) and sometimes even longer (3 weeks). Why I do this? To save time, avoid waste and make life easier. I spend approx 1hr washing, cutting and packing but in the long run I save many hours during the week. When I cook, I simply grab whatever I need and put in the frypan, no washing or chopping which cuts cooking time in half. I menu plan for 2 weeks so i never waste any produce. I always base my meals around the extra veg I have for example i buy 1kg of carrots so I make sure i choose meals that contain carrots so they arent wasted. Be sure to watch my stories today as I will touch on this in more detail and show you examples of menu prep:) Have you joined the #belletribe and started your fridge makeover?

A post shared by BELLE ABODE (@belleabode_) on

She said containers were relatively cheap and the layout was quite easy to mimic.

"People freak out because they don't think of doing something like that," she said.

"They are like, 'Oh my God, that looks amazing', and they're inspired to do something similar."

Belle, who has a background in real estate and event styling, also cited her pantry as a big favourite among her 22.6k Instagram followers.

The pantry, which was completed just this month, has been a year in the making.

Belle took her time to collect Pottery Barn baskets each time they went on sale.

"It takes a long time if you want to get the right pieces for the right spaces," Belle said.

She also decided to wallpaper the pantry to add something a little different - a trend many of her followers are now emulating.

Another incredible project her husband undertook on the property was a cubby house for the couple's two daughters.

 

Belle's husband and his friend built the cubby house from scratch in time for one of the daughter's birthdays.

"My daughters are born 11 days apart, so it was a combined present for them.," she said.

"It took them three months and they built it through winter … poor guys, it was so cold.

"But it had to be ready for the morning of her birthday, and there were no exceptions."

Another birthday party gift for her daughter was a tee-pee party, which also gained a lot of traction on her Instagram.

 

Belle is particularly proud of her girls' cubby house, as it was built to her own custom design.

"People often do Kmart hacks or go and buy one, but this was done from scratch to my design," she said.

"I basically wanted a mini house. When you stand in it it's 2.2 metres high.

"The plan is that when they are teenagers, we can just strip it and it becomes a pool house, as it's right next to the pool."

She says it's important to her that each area of the home she restyles can go the distance.

"Everything I do, it's not a temporary option," she explained.

"I am thinking about how it's going to go down the track."

For instance, Belle said her pantry wasn't designed to be "super on-trend".

"I wanted to do something that would last and suit my house for years to come," she said.

"I don't think, 'OK, everyone's doing this' and just follow that trend.

"I just pick what I like and what I want to stick with."

Belle said having two young daughters - almost six and two years old - can make it difficult to keep her home Insta-ready at all times.

"The children can trash it within three to five seconds," she said.

"The room will be spotless, and you go outside to do something for just one second, and you come back, and it's completely trashed.

"It's typical mum life. I know people think my house looks like a display home all the time, but it doesn't."

To keep her spaces shipshape, Belle has had to introduce rules to minimise the chaos.

"There are certain areas the kids are not allowed to go into, like the lounge room, the living room, the pantry or my study," Belle said.

 

Belle counts her study as one of her favourite rooms in the house. Picture: Instagram/@bellabode
Belle counts her study as one of her favourite rooms in the house. Picture: Instagram/@bellabode

The busy mum explained the family usually spent most of their time in their cinema/media room.

"The kids have a lot of their toys in there, and we don't mind if they spread them all on the ground in there … at night we just clean it all up," she said.

"They also have a playroom … They aren't allowed up into their bedrooms unless it's bedtime."

 

This bedroom is every little girl's dream come true. Picture: Instagram/@bellabode
This bedroom is every little girl's dream come true. Picture: Instagram/@bellabode

But Belle said she hadn't always been this organised.

"My husband is very neat - it's basically his fault that I have become this way," she explained.

"When I got pregnant with my first daughter, that's when I started this crazy nesting.

"I just needed to clean and organise. And it happened again when I was pregnant with my second daughter … every time I get pregnant I just go crazy."

She said she found it easier to live and operate when everything was organised.

 

Share your home organisation story with the Clean Sweep team at cleansweep@news.com.au


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