October 20, 2017

Rain

I find that when the weather turns against us, it's the best time to get in and do some serious cleaning. 

It's raining here in Queensland - and I mean it's really raining big! We're getting a few months' rain in 2 weeks; this mean big numbers on the rain gauges. But of course living in the sub-tropics, this isn't anything really. 

Over the past 7 years, I've seen some serious rain, and I've bought some great things to use when it does arrive - after all, I was brought up here in Brisbane, and we have had all kinds of weather, from huge heatwaves to sleet and almost snow to inch-thick ice on our windscreens. Yep, we've seen it all.

So, when Brisbane flooded way back in 2010-11, I went out and bought myself one of the most expensive clothes horses on the market from Howards Storage World. Believe me, I was happy I did that then and not now as the price of the thing has gone up! And what a great piece it is! I love it! I bought it for $125 (delivery included - so it was $109) and it's served me very well since then. 

However it's not just that which has helped me around the house during those dreadfully wet days. I've found that I do my best cleaning, vacuuming and decluttering when the weather is unfavourable outside. 

I know! That just sounds nutty, doesn't it? 

But it's true!

In the past few weeks, I've finally gotten my vinyl and cd collection indexed and sorted out the music I don't want in my collection too. I've also been able to just look at something and easily say: 'Nope, don't want that anymore.' Years ago, I used to hesitate in the worst possible way. Now, I've easily gone through a bag or two in half an hour and it's done! 

The rain also helps us vacuum the house better - yep, statistics are right on the button there! It's the lack of the dry weather outside which keeps the dust in our houses to a minimum... which is great if you're wanting to vacuum the house! So, the next time it's raining outside and you have the time to clean the house, get out the vacuum and run it over the carpets! Your nose will thank you later. 

Otherwise, here's your first Weekend Challenge:  Get a box and pull out everything from the drawer in your kitchen which has the toys/things you use in your cooking. Put them all in that box. Clean that drawer completely and properly, and then over the next month, only put back what you really use. Whatever's in that box by mid-November, you don't really need. Or if they are things you rarely use, put them into zip-lock bags and put them away so you can lay your hands on them at the right times. 

October 14, 2017

Vinyls & CD's Sorted

I've been working on my house for years... but the detailed stuff has been staring me in the face.

You know the detailed stuff - the collections of things that you walk past every day, the things you love to collect, to add to but you've never gone and put them into any particular kind of order? Well, for me, it was time to look into my vinyl and cd collection. So, the first thing I did was go out and buy large index book. You can buy these at a newsagents for around $10 - they're nothing fancy; so long they've got the index and are in hardcover, you're good.

Now, a few weeks ago, I organised which vinyls/records I play the most, to the ones I play the least - and this has worked to my advantage. This made writing it all out all the more easier. I started with the most-played vinyls, then worked back from there... writing down the artist and then the vinyl (and if I have multiple copies, I put down how many and if one is opened and the other still in wrappings - it makes all the difference in value). 

Well, after 3 days and a couple of nights, I finally worked out my whole collection of music. I pulled out the vinyls I no longer want and put them into a box for my brother... then I pulled out all my cds and wiped them over with a cloth and got all the dust and grease off them from not being played. 

I really didn't know just how much music I really did have... and how many cds have been stolen by my so-called 'friends' over the years. There were around 5 cds I can't account for - and yet I know I bought them... and they were in the collection only about a year or two ago; and yet I haven't loaned them to anyone. So, yes, they were stolen by somebody who has been near my cds. But seeing I don't know who took them, I can't point fingers... I can only replace them.

Anyway, I'm pleased I got all that done. I've separated some cds I really don't want anymore, as well as put away some of them which I just can't part with just yet (but will in the near future as they're from a dear friend who moved away and he hasn't been gone a year yet... I don't know what to do with the cds he gave me). 

But the music is all sorted now. This is good.

Now, onto my book collection! Oh my dear lord! Just how am I going to do that??? There's so many! 

Now, if you have a suggestion to sort books and keep an index of them, please do drop a line in the comments - I'd love to learn about it. Otherwise, how is your decluttering going?  

October 10, 2017

Getting My S**t Together

Okay, okay, I was downright lazy last week - nothing got done.

This past few days, I jumped in feet first and got things done. 

The vinyl collection is halfway through being indexed.
The laundry is almost finished put away - and I mean all of it!
I've organised and reorganised myself for the markets this weekend (yes, this includes my float too!).
I've made sure I washed up every night before going to bed.

The house is beginning to look like a house again; after I've been sitting around and just knitting dishcloths for the market for so long. 

Now, it's becoming hotter here too... so I have to be careful about how much work I get done during the day; as the days are really heating up very quickly - quicker than they normally do at this time year - and so I'm up nice and early getting as much done as I can before I end up doing other organising things around the house.

This is best thing about getting the smaller things done during the day - like the vinyl collection; as it's just sitting and writing down the titles of the vinyls in the cool of my living room. But once that's done, I've got other things to do as well - I've got a Donation Box to fill, the shopping bags to organise (which ones to keep; and which ones to throw away) and the floors to wash as well as the normal chores (cleaning the bathroom and toilets and vacuuming. If the day cools off - as they've promised - I'll get the vacuuming done... if not, it'll have to wait for another day. 

So, how have you been doing in your decluttering? All good? In a week or two, I'll be uploading a few challenges to get us going in decluttering; and we'll see how far we get with them, okay? 

October 07, 2017

Good Planning

Along with good planning is the follow-through. 

I'm great at planning to do things, but sometimes, the following through takes time. It's not that I'm lazy, it's because I have other things going on in my life at the same time.

This is okay - it's how things turn out for most of us.

However, I've planned a lot of things lately, and they've become plain and ordinary things which have sat on the sidelines until I've had to get in and really do them at the last minute. This isn't okay for me. I don't like leaving things like that.

Well, this weekend, I'm hoping to get in and do more around the place which will help me work out next week. And like in one of my other posts, I did say that the devils' in the details, didn't I? It's the small things which turn into bigger things that keep us from getting on with our lives.

So, this is where all of this start to really stop us from doing what we want to do. 

I've got laundry to put away, a painting to wrap in cellophane, a vinyl collection to put into an index book (this is because it's ever-growing and I'll find it easier for insurance and legal purposes to have it all written down). Also, I have to get in and make the bed, vacuum and bedroom, clean the bathroom and toilets (yes, I have two) and then wash the floors of my house as well. 

Like I said, I've left things until the last second; which isn't a good thing. Oh well, it happens to everyone. I have got some planning organised - which is playing well for me. The dishcloths for the market are ready, and I've got the painting all organised, as well as my business cards - these are good things. 

So, how's your place doing? Is it going well? Or have you let it go a little like I have? This does happen to people from time to time. 

September 24, 2017

Office Clean-Out - 2 1/2 Hours

Yesterday afternoon, it was a very hot time of day. So, I plugged in the air-conditioner, grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge and settled in for a good few hours of cleaning out of this here home office again.

Yep, I started on it last weekend or so, and it was left alone for a while - then the mess in here began to really bug the crap out of me.

So, yesterday, I jumped in feet first and really got into one of the bags and tossed out a full bag of receipts that needed shredding; and a bag full of rubbish - that's 2 bags of crap that's been sitting around the place in 'Green Bags'. I then opened up the purple boxes and started adding to them. These purple boxes (just a reminder) are about my life, school, and about me - they're personal things that go into them. Like the fishing competition certificate I scored when I was 7-years-old at Brunswick Heads... my fish wasn't big enough to get into the finals, but it was big enough for me to land on my own (around the 40cm mark if I remember right) and for a little kid like me that a huge!

Then, there were a few paid bills, a couple of bank statements and other things which were added to the yellow bag filled with bank statements and paid bills to be sorted out. I'm going to pull together all of these first then sort them out... it'll be easier for me to file in the end.

Otherwise, I grabbed the three boxes I have under my big block poster of 'What Dreams May Come' and sorted out my bookmarks, postcards and cards. I found that putting the cards - for people - into the black box was best, as I'm always buying blank cards and forgetting to use them; especially at Christmas-time. Then, there's cards from people I get; and love to keep (and I've got ideas for a lovely collage in the future too). Then, there's the bookmarks I can't fit in to the box on top of my desk... yep, there's a box filled with bookmarks and yet, I didn't buy a single one of them. I received those from a project I was doing in 2008, and got more than I expected from everyone on Bookcrossing. 
Well, I had to store them somewhere - and that somewhere was a in a box. So, I have another 40 or 50 bookmarks in that box I've yet to use. I don't think I need to buy or grab another free bookmark for the rest of my days on this planet - honestly, I don't.

By the end of the two and half hours, I had one bag of rubbish, one bag for shredding, had sorted out some of my high school things into a folder marked accordingly, found more bank statement and paid bills, and cleared my Reading Chair and its table next to it! Woah, that's a lot in that short amount of time! 

The Home Office is the last room in my townhouse which really does need a lot of TLC; and this is why it's taking me so long to work on it. This place also has all my personal gear here too... I know that sounds bad, but really, I should have done this years ago, but I didn't. So, learn by my mistakes and don't let your archiving and compiling of personal gear go too late. Do it now and early, so you can just add to it when you want to and need to. 

September 23, 2017

Catching Up

I know my last post seemed kind of menial; but I grew up around a Dad who taught me how to do those things; and my girlfriends who I went to school with had no clue how to change the oil in their cars (they didn't know there was oil in cars). 

So, that's why I wrote it.

I wasn't dissing females or people who don't do maintenance of their places, I was making sure people understood that taking care of their places means to do the hard work sometimes - even if you don't know how to do it.

This post is about catching up with things. 

I've been so darned busy lately that I've let my housework slide. Well, not my laundry - that always gets done - so does the putting out of the rubbish, but the other stuff. I have to vacuum, finish up archiving the files in my office and cleaning it out of the other bags. Then filing the books which are still sitting around the place too.

Yes, there's still so much to do, and I feel as though I'm running out of time - I'm not sure why - but I feel as though there's so much I need to do before something big happens in my life, but I don't know what it is yet.

Now, how strange is that? Have you ever gotten that urgent feeling you just need to get something done, and yet you're not sure why? Yeah, I have that nagging feeling bothering me. Oh well, I'll figure it out soon enough.

But I have been busily working out things lately. I've sent off a book to be read by one of my First Readers, I'm waiting for my new business cards to show up in the mail from Vistaprint and I've got half the Donation Box full of things I don't want anymore; all ready for the next trip to the charity store. There's still things around the home office to be cleared up, sorted out and put away; and the archive boxes sitting around - half-full - aren't doing me any favours.

So, what do you need to do over the next week? What kind of catching up is on your list? I'm hoping to add a few new habits to my life - but I find that when I do, things get really stressful and I have to drop them. Please do leave a comment and let us know how you're doing with your decluttering.

September 19, 2017

Hammering A Nail

Today is going to be a hot day, so I was up nice and early to get in and do some laundry and cleaning up around the house before the heat of the day started up.

I was up at 7am and pulled the sheets off the bed, stuffed them into the overloaded laundry basket and took it downstairs and put on the first load of laundry... then was back upstairs to open up the house, pull back the curtains and brush my hair. 

Then, I unlocked the doors out to the garden, watered the Frangipani cuttings in the yard and looked at my side gate - it really needed to be worked on, as it's got a broken piece on one of the palings. So, I searched through the long garden stakes I have sitting around and found a spare paling from the old fence the tradies didn't take with them, sized it up and knew it would fit! It wouldn't be a permanent fix, but it would do for now.

I hung out the sheets and put on the next load of laundry, organised myself to fix the gate and ate my first part of breakfast - porridge and pushed down my toast. Then I was outside hammering the paling onto the first paling already there. 

Sounds easy enough, right? Well, for those who haven't done this kind of thing before, it's not as easy as you may think. I have seen so many people stuff it up - and when I first did this, I realised that my Dad had had years of practice before I did this.

You see, I own galvanised fencing nails... bought them at Bunnings, as it's always good to have them on hand just in case you need them at some point in time. This is something I've learned over the time I've lived on my own and in my decluttering here. You're always learning how to do something - even if you stuff it up the first few times.

With the paling, this isn't my first rodeo in replacing a paling... so I know how to get it right the first time. I didn't have to take off the old paling, as it was just the bottom of the paling which was broken, I only had to have a paling long enough to cover it over. 

This is a temporary fix until I get a new gate.

So, seeing it had nails already through it - short ones - I hammered the ends back into the wood, turned it over and grabbed about 5 nails, stuck my foot under the bottom (which gives around 1cm space under the gate and enough room for it swing open and shut without grating the ground), then I put then nail about 1cm above the old nail and started hammering it through until it was attached to the old paling.

After this, I didn't need to have my foot under it anymore, and just had to hold both old and new palings in place with my hand with the other nail. This is noisy work. But once you get used to using a hammer - and knowing how far to swing back and how hard to hit a nail, you'll be okay. 

Tapping a nail 500 times gently bends it and you'll be there all day. Hitting hard - with your hand around halfway down the handle of the hammer and your swinging back to just behind your shoulder - will do the trick. Keep your eye on the nail, not your hand, and you'll be good, hard and concise. But if it does bend, tap it up or down depending where you need it go and keep hammering as before. DON'T TRY TO REMOVE IT!

This took me all of 10 minutes and just the two nails, to get done. But the first time I did this it took me around 25 minutes and 5 nails, because I had no idea what I was doing. With practice, it gets easier... but no less noisier. 

After this, I picked up any spare nails, put away my hammer and other nails into my tool chest and had other things that needed doing around the house. I had the mattress to clean (which has another 45 minutes to go with the bi-carb soda before I vacuum it all off) and then, I've washed 2 mason jars for a project I'm going to start this week too for Christmas. Well, that's all for now. What projects and things have you gotten into this week?