April 15, 2018

Working Out Well!

After being bad last week, I've done the good thing - to balance out the bad - and donated big at my local Vinnies charity store. Yes, I feel better, and yes the place is looking better too.. and yes I did purchase a few things to add to the house - but nothing expensive.

I have to go into hospital this week, and so I'm working on making the house work better than it has done, tidier than it has been and look and feel better for me when I get home. You see, it's only day surgery and I'm not worried about what's going to happen when I get home - so long I can lay down on my bed and snooze if I need to.

You see, my Mum will be coming here to my place and I've been cleaning the house to make sure she doesn't really need to do anything around the place, just hang out and relax. 

The good thing is that there's just a lot of putting away of things and that's about it really. Seeing I've tossed out and given away a lot of things over the past 6 months, I think I've done very well thanks to my wonderful friend Tutasi (who's gone back to the USA unfortunately - but we're still great friends). 

And I think after this week, I'll still be giving away and tossing out more and more things from the house as the year goes on. 

Yes, this big declutter over the past 4 - 5 years has been very good for me... I can't wait to keep it going. How about you? How's your decluttering going?

April 08, 2018

Oh Man, I've Been Bad!

There's been a good lot of weeks where I've gone well with my decluttering. But over the past few weeks, I've just been the biggest collector of crap, so much so I'm ashamed of myself!

I've got books, artwork, canisters, mugs and other things I really shouldn't have around the place and they're all sitting in bags in and boxes awaiting for me to do something with them! 

I mean, oh my god! My main mission statement of this has fallen apart!

And you know, this does happen from time to time with even most devoted decluttering queen/king. They fall off the decluttering wagon and they have a bad lot of days and weeks and the place is a complete mess for around a week or a month and then? Then, as quickly as they have mucked it up, they tidy it up!

The unwanted gear is donated to the nearest charity store, the floors are washed and vacuumed, the wardrobe is tidied up again, the bedrooms are cleaned and the living room and kitchen are back to looking their best.

There's nothing wrong with being a badass with decluttering at times and having the house being a mess - and having it in the inbetween mess at times. I mean, you have to have the place look like tornado has gone through it while you're reconstructing it to make it look its best, right? Well, of course it's not going to look its best when you're decluttering or reconstructing it into a new look.

And when I've been bad in every sense of the word, I know I'm not going to have too much room in my place. But once it's all tidied up and put away, it looks like it did before - nice, neat and tidy. 

Well, that's until the next time I bring in something to make it messy again. 

April 03, 2018

Habits

Over the last year, I've learned new habits in my decluttering. What I need, and what I don't - what will be donated and what will be thrown out in the bin.

However I've also brought into my life habits which I've stuck by. Now, scientists say that it takes 3 weeks to create a new habit and make it stick - so it took time for me to get into this to prove it'll work out. 

And it works! The washing up get done every night and counters are wiped over. I put away my toothpastes in exactly the same spot they were the night before and clean my hair brushes every few days. The bins are emptied every day and the big rubbish bin is put out for collection on the morning of bin day. But these are only the usual habits I've added into my life.

I've still got to get in and make my bed every day and put away the laundry every time I do it. I'm still finding it hard to throw out or donate items - even though I've been doing this decluttering journey for some years now. And now it's an on-going challenge for me to keep the house in some kind of order, I'm hoping to work at saving up some money; instead of going out to op-shops to buy something. 

Yeah, I've been spurging a little too much - and I know it - instead of donating my unwanted gear. But I'm getting there.

So far in the past few weeks, I've posted off three 5kg bags across Australia and have had happy people enjoy the books I no longer want. But I still have books I no longer need; so I'll be looking at donating them to an old folks' home or somewhere else soon.

I have to fix up the back yard and repot my plants this Winter and so I have to get in and stock up on bags of potting mix and then save up big for a few larger pots and then reuse other pots around the place - yeah, it'll be another reuse of old items if I can find them around places or garage sales. 

Getting into the habits of giving and donating as well as bringing things into the home is a delicate balance. You have to remember how much space you have, what you need and what you don't and if you really want to keep all your things in one place. And to make those decisions at the op-shop is good thing; however, when you make the decision and bring it home and realise that item doesn't fit anywhere? Well, it's time to really look at what have; and do you really need it? 

So, what habits have you worked on for yourself to bring your decluttering and organising around to a better place? Leave a comment for us below and we can all help each other.

March 27, 2018

Your Turn!

Okay, I've been talking about this journey I've been on for a little over a year now, and it's been fun. Many things have been organised, thrown out and donated.

The Weekend Challenge has become something of a success for both you and me.

And now, I think it's time for you all to jump in and let us know how you're going on your journey. 

Are you jumping in with both feet and being the organising queen/king of your house? Or is it a little at a time - and you're feeling a little as though you're bogged down with it all? 

If you're feeling the latter, that's okay. At the beginning of this, I felt as though I couldn't let anything go - but then I had to because I wanted to make room for new things and ideas for my own place. So, it was a necessity for me to get rid of a whole lot of things before I added anything to my house. 
And yes, it does look like World War III started up in your living room, home office or bedroom at first. But once you get past the fact that you're gonna have to make a bigger mess to clean the out the junk room or other rooms, it does get easier. 

I'm not saying I don't get overwhelmed - I do! This is why I have a great friend to help me out when I know I'm going to get overwhelmed. It takes a good person to know when you're going to get overwhelmed on a project. 

Other than that, how is your decluttering going? Have you made any progress on your more difficult rooms? If you think they're going to be too hard, just take it one drawer, one closet, one glory box/hope chest at a time. It's the smaller things that make the bigger things a lot easier to deal with once you need to deal with them. 

So, please do touch base here and let us know what you're up to with your decluttering projects. We'd love to know how you're doing, if you need some help or if you'd like to impart something you've found useful in your decluttering progress. 

March 19, 2018

The Basics

You know it's not just the big declutters that make a house tidy. Nope, it's the normal clean-ups that do the greatest things around the house as well.

Like making sure the rubbish goes out every day to keep the bugs and cockroaches out of the house. Cleaning the kitchen sink to keep it nice and tidy every time - as well as the benches so you can use them anytime you wish.

Then, there's the laundry - doing it in small loads so you're not stuck with a huge lot of it and wondering how it got to that stage is a good idea as well. 

I call this stuff the basics. 

It's the ordinary things which keep a house running like an well-oiled machine and make it feel as though there's no effort to what you're doing to keep it feel like it too.

Personally, I keep a shopping list on my phone through the Playstore called 'ShopShop' and it's free! It's a great thing to have and I make a list when my pay is about to come in. The thing to do is to only buy what you need, not what you think you need... so yes, go through that pantry and the fridge and make sure you have enough pasta, sugar and cereal before going out and buying too much of it all; and thus wasting your money.

I've gotten into the habit of making my bed at around 2pm or so. It's so my bed is aired out during the day (no matter what the season) and it's ready for me that night when I do want to sleep in it. 

But really, there's a hundred small habits I've gotten myself to do over the past few years, which I've stuck by, to keep my place running better and to make my life easier. 

What habits have you picked up and utilised to make your life easier? If you think they're useful, please do share with us in the comments below.

March 16, 2018

Big Living Room Declutter!

Yesterday, I had a huge clean-out of my living room and some of its storage items. And what a great success it was!

Now, for those of you who wish to do just this, it's not about jumping in and pulling absolutely everything out and then becoming overwhelmed with it all and putting all back - that's easy to do, but stop, wait and get some back-up; aka: a good friend to help you out!

My great friend is Tutasi (if you can't pronounce her name, say Rebecca, Tutasi is her Samoan name). We go out on Thursdays usually to peruse the op-shops and pick up nice things for our homes - and in turn, we also declutter our homes and throw out and donate what we no longer need. It's a give and take thing; and not a bad way to live.

Well, yesterday was a decluttering day and I really needed the help with my living room. Okay, I got some of it done, but not all of it. The credenza has been a great success, and I've added some more things to it to make it look more lovely too... and the shelves are better now too - not cluttered anymore.

However, I had to clean out behind the living room chairs and the entertainment unit. And I couldn't put that off any longer. You see, I have to go into hospital next month for day surgery... and even though it's just a day, recovery takes a few days; and a messy house isn't a good thing to hang about in. And so, the big clean up of the living room was not only something I really needed to do for myself, but something which was needed for my time soon.

We started with the entertainment unit; pulling out all the things inside there. I have a lot of boxes which are part of 'The Bird Collection' and so, I kept them for when I move house in the future, so the nice items will go in these boxes and not get broken. Then, I pulled out a lazy susan which I was saving for a 'special occasion' - and really, when will that be? - so I put it on the credenza. The second ice box went up there too; to join my bar collection of items to be there when I need it.
This left room for me to get in and sort through my cds I took out of the credenza. I threw out anything with scratches on the cds themselves - and unfortunately there were quite a few of them; of great bands and singers. Bummer, I really liked them too. Otherwise, I put some in the unit and my Mozart cds in one of the towers which still had room.

Otherwise, Tutasi pulled out all of my paperwork from behind the chairs. Yes, I have a bad habit of hiding things like this behind them - and it's something I have to get out of the habit of. Very quickly, in a 'yes and no' manner, I sorted through old receipts and other things I didn't need or had found after months of searching. 

We organised my shoes, books, bags and anything else which needed looking into and ended up tossing out 2 big bags of rubbish, one bag of scratched cds and sorting out old piano music into a box (which I'll be using to store more of until I get to the QSL in the city at some point in my life to donate). Otherwise, we had a wonderful tuna salad for lunch and that night, I made my famous vegetable soup.

Today, I've still got a few things to put away - but then there's the vacuuming and dusting to do and living room will be a better place for me to enjoy and to keep as tidy as I can. 

Okay! Time for the weekend challenge! It's time to sort out shoes. Pull out your shoes... all of them guys and girls... and line them up. Now, we all have a bit of a collection of slippers, cross-trainers, heels and other types of shoes; but we don't get around to wearing all of them - yes we have our favourites. It's time to pick out the ones you haven't worn in about 2 years; this give you the whole 4 seasons to look fully. And if you've just dug out a pair of shoes and said: 'OMG! I haven't even seen these in... um... wow, I don't remember wearing these last year!' it's time to clean them up and donate those puppies! Let us know how you go!

March 09, 2018

Credenza Clean-Out

This week, I've been busy and a little burnt out. Not only have I cleaned out a good lot of my books and am currently giving them away, I also cleaned out my large credenza in my living room and placed in the shelf from it to organise it properly.

It's looking so much better than it did before. 

I took out everything from inside it and used the duster to clean out the dust and dirt. Then, I wiped the whole thing over with anti-bacterial wipes to get into the corners. Then, I cleaned the glass doors on it and made sure it all dried out properly before putting back only what needed.

But first, I had to install that shelf.

When I tried to put the shelf holders in, they didn't fit! I was in a bit of a bind because if they didn't fit, the shelf wouldn't be supported properly... so after a break I looked through some of my art gear and thought that dowel would go well! And it did! I slotted in the shelf and have it looking all sorted out and working now!

The one thing I still have to organise the where the cassette tapes go - I have plans to turn that into a proper little drawer for my coaster collection, so I'm not diving into a box all the time. 

So, this week, I've sorted through books, and have some book bags to send off, and might have some to donate to Vinnies and other charities (I might even send some to other places like a prison if needs be). And I have clothes to donate as well. 

There's still my old sandwich toaster to deal with... do I toss it out or donate it? This is the question rolling around in my head. I have a new one already and it works really well - I love it - but the old one still makes weird noises. 

Okay! I haven't put up a Weekend Challenge for a while. So here goes: it's time to get into your credenzas, china hutches or your hall tables. Anywhere where you store junk. Yes. The junk drawers are getting it this weekend. One by one, empty out the drawers and organise what will go in each drawer. Throw out old batteries, and keep the good ones (make sure you keep them in their original containers otherwise you can cause a fire - honestly you can!) and make sure your family knows what's going on too! Get them into this with their own private junk drawers in their bedrooms - and don't say they don't have one... I know they do.