“Mum! Do I have library today? I can’t find my library book!”
“Mum! Do I go to theatre group this afternoon? What costume do I need to pack?”
“Mum! Do I need to wear formal uniform or sports uniform to school today?”
This is how a typical morning sounds in my home, and it’s enough to send me into rapid, shallow breathing as we race against the clock to get out the door fully clothed and with bags fully packed.
On any given morning you could find me searching for a pair of clean and matching sports socks for my son, while spreading honey on toast for my younger daughter’s breakfast and listening to my older daughter recite her oral presentation.
In short, it’s chaos. But it doesn’t have to be this way!
From morning drama to morning efficiency
After experiencing one too many mornings like mine, entrepreneurial mum of five, Tania Jeffery, developed a stylish organisational system for her home, called the What Wall. She says this simple system revolutionised family life as she knew it.
“Before the What Wall, a typical day in our house usually consisted of me waking up in a state of panic, trying to think of all the things my family had on for the day and what each person needed to pack and organise,” Tania explains.
“The mornings often resulted in me trying to remind everyone of their daily commitments and jobs – all of which usually fell on deaf ears. Subsequently people would forget to take items they required with them for the day and appointments and commitments were overlooked. I was tired and exhausted from feeling responsible for my family members’ busy lives.”
That’s when Tania had her lightbulb moment and she developed the What Wall – a stylish, streak and dust free chalk board with coloured liquid chalks – to help organise her busy family life.
“A day in our house now looks remarkably different,” she says. “With the aid of the What Wall, everyone in our house is encouraged to be responsible for looking at what they have on each day and organising themselves accordingly.
“Even the youngest children are encouraged to plan and organise their day using the icons on the What Wall. Reminders about jobs are written up on the What Wall along with daily messages.”
Tania says she no longer needs to nag about jobs to be done, her children remember everything they need and her husband knows what is happening each day.
From idea to practical tool
After using the What Wall successfully in her own home, Tania noticed that visitors would often comment on it and ask where they could purchase one.
“Gradually I realised that I had a product that appealed to a wide range of people and one that could potentially help them as it had done for me,” Tania says.
“I began to investigate how I could share this product with others and hence the What Wall was born.”
Made in Australia to ensure quality control and support of local business, the What Wall is durable, stylish and available in portrait or landscape orientation, with different wall mounting options.
“The feedback from our customers so far has been very positive,” Tania shares. “One customer, who is both a mother and teacher, said it has simplified her busy household, saved her time and that she found it easy to use and refresh each week.”
“It is great to hear these sorts of comments as I passionately believe that it can assist families to have a more harmonious daily life.”
Providing a visual overview of the week ahead for all family members to clearly see, with the aid of coloured liquid chalk (each family member can be assigned a different colour), the What Wall also allows families to communicate on a personal level.
“In our world of technology I believe there is something special about a handwritten message,” Tania says.
“I use my What Wall not only as an organisational tool but also as a way to express messages of love and encouragement to my family.”
From frantic to peaceful family life
In addition to using the What Wall, I ask Tania for other strategies she uses at home to ensure a peaceful and happy family life.
“I am very fortunate to have a beautiful family of five children ranging in ages from six to 15,” Tania enthuses.
“Life can get very busy with our range of activities and commitments, as it can for most families… I believe that communication is vitally important in ensuring a harmonious family life.
“When fostering good communication, it is extremely important to take the time to really listen to and be truly present for others. In our technologically savvy world, devices such as computers and mobile phones have eaten into the quality time we spend with the ones we love.”
To escape busy timetables and technological trappings, Tania says her family love to spend time together on camping holidays.
“Camping gives us the opportunity to get back to basics,” she explains.
“Without the distraction of computers, TVs, phones and household chores I find we tend to spend quality time together as a family and make connections.”
Tania also suggests dedicating one day of the weekend to family and leisure time.
“Unfortunately our lives today are also so busy and heavily timetabled that free time is very scarce,” she says.
“We have tried to make a commitment in our family to keeping Sundays free from activities to allow us to have some much needed family time and to enjoy some down time.
“During the holidays I have to admit that I really enjoy looking at my virtually clean What Wall. I find it very liberating to know that for a short period of time our days are not planned and we can be spontaneous should we choose.”
But even amongst the busyness of everyday life with a large family, Tania says she wouldn’t change a thing.
“There is always a load of washing that needs doing, clothes that need ironing, and meals that need to be cooked. But there is also lots of laughter, love, precious moments and shared experiences.”
To find out more about the What Wall, visit www.whatwall.com.au.