January 19, 2018

Regular Housework

Today is Friday and I don't normally do much on this day. But today, I got in and washed some bathmats and two blankets which normally stay in the boot/trunk of my car. They're out on the clothesline right now drying in the hot sun.

But besides that I've cleaned the kitchen sink, swept the kitchen floor (so I can get in and wash it soon) and then folded and put away my shopping bags (I use re-usable ones - instead of the single-use ones from the store).
Then, I bumped out the major doormats from the front, back and side doors and put out the rubbish into the big bin after opening up the house completely.

Yes, today is the regular housework day. 

But I'm also going to be looking at doing out my drinking mug collection... there's so many I just no longer use! So, today, I'm going to be climbing up on a ladder and pulling down the ones I don't use anymore, wrapping them up and putting them into the Donation Box. 
Now, I do collect drinking mugs, but the collection has become a little too big and so it's time cull them back to the ones I love more than others; and this is a good thing for me. So, which thing have you collected to the biggest degree and have had to cull back lately? Doesn't it make you feel good that you've done that? Or is it something you regret doing later on? 

Well, onto the Weekend Challenge: 

Go through your shoes. Pull out all the pairs you have in your wardrobe and figure out which ones you wear all the time; which ones are your occasionals and which ones you don't wear at all - or only once or twice a year - and sort out the shoes you haven't worn in over 6 months. Then find the broken ones (you'll have some there, believe me!).
Put the unworn ones into the Donation Box - once you've cleaned them up - and bin the broken ones. Tidy up the rest of the shoes and make sure you can see all of them so you can wear them more; especially the ones you don't wear often enough, as you'll enjoy them more! 

January 14, 2018

Fridges and Freezers

The fridge is a huge thing to organise and I'd like to cover this for today; as it's Summer here and when you have stinking hot weather, you have to know exactly where things are in this appliance.

And if you keep opening and closing the door of this thing, your other items start going off.

So, to begin with, you have to make sure you have a good day to do this, know that you'll have to tackle one shelf at a time and you may not get the whole fridge and freezer done in one sitting.

Yes, this will take a few times to get clean in hot weather. If you're doing this in Winter, don't worry so much... the cold will allow for more time. 

How I cleaned out the fridge last time was that I tackled two shelves at a time, with a bowl of lukewarm water with dish soap in it and a cloth and I cleaned off one shelf of items, washed it down thoroughly, then wiped it over with a towel and put those things back - after looking at them carefully for used-by dates and making sure everything I put back was within date and edible.

The next shelf is dealt with the same way. 

It's not hard to keep the shelves nice and tidy with a weekly clean out and when the time comes to go shopping, don't be shy to take out the tupperware which you know hasn't been touched in over a week and to throw out the contents into the bin, wash up the containers and put them away.

I have a steadfast rule:  no science projects; and nothing that can make friends (fungus) while its inside my fridge. 

Deal with the freezer the same way. Look on the inside of the door and find out what you can and can't keep for how long. And if you can't recognise it? Well, bin it... it means it's been there too long. 

Remember to clean out the seals of your fridge - as they keep your fridge healthy and make sure the tops of the doors and the handles are clean as well as your crisper and other parts of your fridge door and dairy section. If this is done every week - once a week - it won't take much to keep your fridge working economically. 

Well, that's the fridge and freezer done. Leave a comment below and let us all know how you're doing with your fridge and freezer. 

January 12, 2018

Heatwaves and Freezing Tempuratures

Where I am, in Australia, we've been hit by a huge heat wave. However, I know this blog goes international; and wherever my reader/s are, there's also extreme temperatures where you are as well.

I haven't posted much this week, and there's a good reason for it - it's been so very hot and I'm taking it easy so I don't get heat exhaustion. 

I have been slowly cleaning out the kitchen a little by sorting out my kitchen knives and working out the herbs (as Peter Walsh has kept us on our toes with his daily decluttering challenges); and my Donation Box is brimming with donations for the charity store of my choice (St Vincent De Paul). However, actually getting those items there? Well, that's going to take a little time. 

I have been resorting through my art items for class and organising my living room so I don't have so much sitting around to trip over during the day or night. 

There's still a lot of sorting out to do, and I still have to organise myself to head into the city to donate some old music to the State Library (who have taken an interest in any music I have so they can preserve it). So, this is what I've been up to this week, how about you? Have you been kept busy with your decluttering? Keep us all informed with how you're doing in your endeavours to work with your clutter by commenting below. 

This weekend's challenge isn't too hard though: get all the pens and pencils you have around the house in your phone nook, office and in your drawers and sort out which ones work, which ones don't and which ones you really use and organise them. Toss out the ones which don't work, figure out how many pencils you have - and if you have too many, get them together and donate them to a primary school or your charity store.

Easy! The heat or cold shouldn't affect you with this one. 

January 06, 2018

Back to Normal

By traditional standards, the 6th, January is the 12th Day of Christmas and the very last day to have your tree and decorations up in your house.

So, today, I pulled down my boxes from the wardrobe and put the tree away. 

And seeing that around 2 - 3 years ago, I organised myself to have this all sorted into plastic boxes, I found that the way I decorate my tree and house and put it all away doesn't take half the day. 

It only takes around an hour... and you know, I decluttered some old streamers I had from my late-Uncle I didn't want anymore. So, what I did was added them to the Donation Box while I was putting away the decorations - not bad, right? So, now it's all put away and there's an empty spot where the tree used to be. 

How long does it normally take for you to de-decorate your house? If it's over 3 hours, you may want to look into how much decorating you do. If you're a person who adores Christmas, well, I'm not going to stop ya! Go for it! But I do find that if some of the decorations are getting a little old, it does pay to go and buy new ones and use them; tossing out the old ones. But the plastic boxes keeps your decorations from being eaten by something during the year that they're stored away.

And seeing it's the New Year, and we're back into the decluttering again, the Weekend Challenges are back! I scored this one from Peter Walsh's FB page today.
Go into your sock drawer and pull out your socks. Lay them out onto a flat surface - or your bed - and sort through the holy, stretched out or old ones - and throw them out. Keep the good ones and put them back. Do this in everyone's rooms.

If you're up for a second challenge, here goes:

Go to your bedside table and go through it! Toss out out of date ... um... things and items... sort out the usable things in there. And, no, I don't want to know what's there. Sort out your bedside table and make it nice, clean and usable - and not embarrassing. Let's put it this way: if anyone was to go through it while you were away, would you want them to? Right. Make it so you're not embarrassed about what's in there. 

January 05, 2018

Bedroom Wardrobes

Okay! I'm back into the decluttering again this year! And seeing it's been so hot lately, I'm taking it easy too - just like last year.

Last week, I bought myself a 55 litre plastic box - with wheels - from Variety1 at Arndale for just $8.00. And the other day, I sorted all my craft gear into it! I pulled down all of the small boxes, bags and other items I had craft gear crammed into and found that it all fitted into this plastic box! 

How cool is this?

That's not the best news - nope.

When I pushed the new box of goodies up the top, I found it only took up half the space all of that gear used to! 

This left me with a huge amount of space where I could put my spare pillows up there which normally went on the bed during the day! This is a good thing!

So, I've started on working on this room again - my bedroom - in a more permanent way. 

These plastic boxes will make moving house in the future that much more easier; and less messy. I won't be using as many cardboard boxes and when I get into a 3-bedroom house, these boxes will store away into an art room as easily as they do now. 

So, how have the storage boxes helped you sort through your cluttered gear? Or have you found different ways to use them? If you have, share with us all in the comments below.

January 03, 2018

The Right Way

I'm a member of a few op-shop Facebook pages and there's a running theme which goes through these pages... and it never ends.

It's the donation of goods at the large bins outside the op-shop/thrift stores for the public to leave their goods.

Now that the Christmas Holidays are over, every man and his dog are out there decluttering their homes for the new Christmas gifts they've received. Now, this is a good thing to do - but delivering those unwanted goods is another thing all together.

I have never dropped off my goods for donation at the bins of an op-shop - ever! The simple reason is because while it's next to that bin, anything can happen to it. It could rain, and the bags could leak; thus ruining the clothes I've lovingly washed, folded and put into that bag. And who knows how long they'll be sitting there until a volunteer comes along to pick them up?
Or if it's furniture, somebody of the public could come along and throw it onto the road or sleep on it, urinate on it (thinking it's funny - and yes this happens)... or Mother Nature could play a part again in being herself again and wreck the furniture.

Now, I've been seeing photos of the bags and boxes of items left overnight and all of those boxes and bags have been ripped opened by people who just won't leave things be. It's not theirs to open, and take what they want - and yes, it's called stealing and for those who want to be religious about it, it is a sin - and after you've gotten what you want (or not found what you were hoping to find in that box), it's often something you can't close up again. 

So, the right way to donate your unwanted items is to take it into the charity store of your choice in a box or a bag. 

Wrap the fragile items properly. 

Wash all the clothes and fold them up. 

Mend what needs mending. 

Wipe down all the books you no longer need and take out the bookmarks, photos and money from within the pages (yes I've found money inside books I've bought). 

And most of all, make sure you deliver your preloved items with as much care as you did when you first bought them. 

It doesn't take much to be a good person when it comes to donating your goods. Just be thoughtful about how you go about it, and you'll find that your charity store will pay you back three-fold when you go in there looking for items you need in your house later on. 

January 02, 2018

Op-Shops Are Open Again...

Now, I know this is a decluttering and organising blog, but just to say this is a good thing - in a way.

It gives us the time to get out there and drop off whatever we've been doing during the time over Christmas - you know packing up the old and introducing the new - and take it over to our local op-shop/thrift store to donate.

However, I did this backwards today.

Yes, I went out and looked for placemats for the kitchen table and ended up with a box filled with other goodies I didn't know existed - or I needed.

But when I arrived home, I found that I was decluttering my place without a second thought. I pulled a bottle I haven't used in 3 years which I bought from Woolworths with the honest thought of using when I had visitors - to fill with ice tea or nice ice cold water at some point - but it's just been sitting there doing nothing but gathering dust. 

So into the Donation Box it went - straight away, without me feeling bad about it. I also cleaned up the nice little 3-set canisters and am now using them in the kitchen. The old tea canister will be used to hold my paint brushes and the lid will have to be thrown away as, well, if I take the canister into an op-shop they'll just throw it out. It's better to use the part that is usable, than toss out the whole thing.

I then scored these lovely boxes - one I found and the other was in the store somewhere and I found that after somebody told me about it. Well! they let me have the two for $3.00! What a bargain! Well, I will be using those for my bedroom; as they're just so pretty.

So, I've started decluttering in a big way... so far. And I've also joined Peter Walsh's 30-Day Challenge as well - and I do encourage you do this as well; to kick-start your decluttering year. This is how I got started decluttering my house. 

However, this year, I'm going to make sure this house is going to be ready to have me moving to another house. So, I'll be container ready... yep, things are going to be put away and stored in the readiness to move to another place to live. I can't wait to get in and do this. What are you hoping to get out of this year?