A Peek Inside

1 Comment

On the weekend I did a bit of organising in the cupboard opposite the office/library.  The catalyst was a Christmas gift – a set of decorated peg magnets.  The are 7 which are labelled for each day of the week as well as some extras.

I decided not to clutter up the door of the refrigerator with them.  Additionally, I felt that they would not be strong enough to withstand the breeze which can be quite strong.

Instead, I opted to mount them inside one of the doors of this cupboard.  First, I had to create a surface suitable for the magnets.

2018-01-04 01

We called in to Bunnings and bought a flat metal bar which GMan cut in half and I mounted them on the door.  The pegs were placed at intervals and it looked great.

2018-01-04 02

Perfect!!  Or so I thought until I shut the door.  I did not realise but if you take a closer look at the first photograph you will see that the vertical divider in this cupboard is not centred.  The door should sit flush against it but the metal bar prevented that.

So, it was back to the drawing board.  I removed my handiwork, trimmed a small amount off each bar, re-drilled the holes at one end and tried again.  This time I placed them almost flush with the hinged side of the door rather than centering the bar.  The final job was to fill the holes from the original screws.  These are yet to be sanded and touched up with paint.  That may be a job for the coming weekend.

Here is the second version of my handiwork.

2018-01-04 03

I am not a great fan of diaries but I do love a list so I have started fairly simply with some small notes for the coming days.  My goal is to write down all of the little things I need to do or remember and each day I can refer to them.

2018-01-04 04

The rest of the cupboard needs some work as it is the mostly the repository for the many photos accumulated over the years which have yet to be sorted, culled and scanned.  That is a a future project.  However, tonight I did tidy one file of the filing cabinet.  It was several old work diaries which I have discarded.  I ripped all of the pages out and bagged them up to take to work tomorrow and they will go in the shredding bin.  It is a small step, but definitely one in the right direction when it comes to removing unwanted stuff from your home.

 

Home Office/Library

Leave a comment

Today I have been revamping the home office/library area in our home.  This is really a follow up post to one I wrote in January which you can read here.

I finally moved the Australian Geographic magazines to the bottom shelf of the shelving unit in the lounge room and finally the bookcase was empty.

003I advertised it on a couple of local Facebook Buy, Swap, Sell sites and it looks as though it will be going to a new home tomorrow.

2011-12-21 01This is what one side of the office looked like a couple of years ago.  The freezer has been moved downstairs and with one bookcase ready to go we now have this blank corner.

009I am planning to get a comfy chair to put in the corner and create a reading nook.

Meanwhile, on the opposite wall we have a folding trestle table which we use as a computer desk.

001This was always only a temporary measure but it has been like this for nearly 10 years!  After much searching I have found this piece at IKEA.  I have only seen it online but hopefully it will measure up to my expectations.

indexThe look of the room has been changed by re-arranging some of the artwork we have.

007These are above the computer desk at the moment but if I end up getting the IKEA desk I will relocate them to the other side so they will be above the reading chair.

Here are a couple of others which have also been changed around.

008The office/library is a rather strange room due to the fact that the house was extended many years ago before we bought it.  This room was originally the main bedroom at the end of the house, however, it is now a walk-through room to the additional bedrooms.  The cupboards in the above photo would have been the original wardrobe.  The right-hand side is my linen cupboard and the left-hand side holds the filing cabinet.

004As you can see from the link in the first paragraph, we downsized from a 4 drawer filing cabinet to a 2 drawer one.  This left plenty of space but it was not particularly functional.  Today, we have cut down an offcut of melamine coated shelving and created a new shelf.

006There is still more to do but I feel as though I a winning the battle to make the office/library into both a functional and pleasant space.

Downsizing the Drawers

Leave a comment

Last month I wrote about looking for a 2 drawer filing cabinet.  You can read it here.  I renewed my quest on Saturday and found a cabinet advertised for $35.  We went and collected it on Sunday morning.  Here is the new cabinet installed in the cupboard.  Everything fitted easily into the cabinet and we have plenty of extra space and The Duke is planning to build an extra shelf.

2015-02-09 01
The next step was to move the 4 drawer cabinet along so I advertised it for $30 on my local Buy, Swap, Sell page on Facebook.  Within 30 minutes I had an interested buyer and within a couple of hours the filing cabinet had gone to its new home.

2015-02-09 02The whole process cost me $5 and I am very happy with the outcome.

 

One Thing Leads to Another

9 Comments

This morning I decided to clean the bookshelves in the office area.  I knew that they were quite dusty and that there was some stuff lying around that really didn’t belong there.

As I started to remove and clean the books I decided to sort them out and see if I could cull any more.  Getting rid of books seems to be fairly difficult for us but in the end there were nearly 60 books that have not made it back onto the shelves.

We have 2 identical tall shelving units from Ikea and it now looks as though one of them may be able to go to a new home.  I am confident that we will never need more shelf space as we both have Kindles and buying a physical book is a rare occurrence.

Here is one shelving unit cleaned and all of the shelves filled with books.

2015-01-17 01These are the 2 boxes of books which will be finding new homes.

002The other unit is a work in progress.

003As you can see, there is quite a bit of spare space on the other shelf which is the reason I think that it can go.  The random books are ones that I am unsure as to whether they should stay or go.  I intend to re-read them and in fact read some for the first time.  Why didn’t I read them when I first got them?  Maybe I did not really like them.  Anyway, I will be working on this pile over the coming weeks and deciding which ones I want to keep long-term and which can go.

The collection of Australian Geographic magazines will need to go elsewhere – probably the bottom shelf of the shelving unit in the lounge room.  There is 23 years worth of them – we stopped subscribing at the end of 2011.  I have never read them all so maybe it is time I did.  I used to joke that I would read them when I retired!!

There is also a shoebox of stationery items which can probably go in the cupboard.  Then there is the pile of photos that need to be sorted any scanned…………one day!!

004This is the cupboard which holds the 4 drawer filing cabinet.  I am in the process of trying to source a 2 drawer one to replace it as we have condensed the contents into 2 drawers.  When this eventuates we will use the top of the cabinet as a shelf and add another shelf a bit higher up.  There will then be plenty of space for the stationery box and photos.

If I had to nominate one room that is difficult to declutter, then the office would be it.  Mind you, we have managed to get rid of quite a bit over the past year but there always seems to be more.

Do you have a particular room or area that is your nemesis when it comes to decluttering?  Please share your stories.

The Culling Continues

6 Comments

I have not written much lately about my decluttering efforts but that does not mean that it isn’t happening.

Today we finally got around to collating the documents we needed to have our tax returns done.  The Duke scanned these and emailed them to the accountant.  On thing led to another and I ended up cleaning out the filing cabinet as well as sorting and tidying the shelves in the cupboard.

We have one completely empty drawer in our 4 drawer filing cabinet and the others are sorted and tidied up.

2014-10-25 01There is a lot less stuff in the top cupboard.

2014-10-25 02The desk is spotless.

2014-10-25 03It is difficult to see but you will have to believe me when I say that we got rid of quite a bit of stuff.  All of the paper has been recycled.  Some went in the recycle bin but most was torn into strips and added to the the leaf litter in the new raised garden bed.  We topped it with a layer of mulch and watered it in well.  This will break down over time.

Things that have gone include:

Tax returns more than 5 years old
Bank statements more than five years old
A huge pile of scrap A4 paper from my old job for which I will never have a need
Old mobile phones
Old phone and computer cables
Empty boxes
Old ‘things’ that add no value to our lives
Warranties and instructions for appliances we no longer own
Information relating to previous jobs
Etc, etc, etc…………………….

Paper is one of the most difficult types of clutter to keep under control so it requires constant work to win the battle.  There will be more to do but I feel that we have made some real progress today.

Gone From the Office

7 Comments

Tonight I decided to get rid of more stuff I can do without.  My office is still the area where there is significant excess stuff.

First, I tossed a pile of ‘scrap’ paper which I use for writing shopping lists, menu plans and so on.  I realised that there was no way it would ever be used up so into the recycling it went.  I still have a small pile of used A4 paper for using in the printer as well as 6 notepads.  They are more user-friendly than what I recycled which included blank pages from diaries back as far as 2006.

Next I did a quick sweep through the filing cabinet.  It is far from finished but I did cull a lot of stuff.  2 books to the op shop bag, then the cards, piles of old catalogues, fliers and brochures (mostly gardening) from 5 – 10 years ago went into the recycling.  I am not sure how they managed to escape previous culling sessions but it just goes to prove that just because you have decluttered an area once that it is done for all time.  Things tend to creep back in as well as our needs and interests constantly evolving.

2 plastic sleeves have gone back into the stash of sleeves, 1 bulldog clip and 2 Post-it notepads will go to work (I use them there but not at home).

I intend to move something out of my home everyday this week.

Till next time.

Piles of Paper

2 Comments

This photo of the study desk which I posted yesterday, is the superficial face of what is lurking deeper.

2011-08-24 02‘Study’ is probably a bit of a misnomer for this room as neither of us are studying anything and haven’t done so for many years.  I should really call it the office as it is the office from which we jointly run the business of our lives and our home.

The business of our income and expenditure includes bank statements, tax returns, superannuation information, rates, utilities and various insurance policies.  We have a filing cabinet in here.

2011-08-25 02Like this…..

2011-08-25 03I have found that simply filing everything is not enough.  We need to regularly check and cull what we keep.  There is no benefit in keeping bank statements from 20 years ago unless you are planning a museum.  My theory is that since tax returns need to be kept for 5 years, it is reasonable to align other financial paperwork by the same criteria.

Each year when the tax is finalised and we receive the paperwork from the accountant, I remove the oldest year and rename the file for the current year so that we can collect any relevant  information in one place.

I sorted through the bank statements and found that they dated back to 2004 which means that I had not cleared any out for at least a couple of years.  This has now been rectified and I have a pile ready for shredding.  I will add bank statements to the list of things for an annual cull at the end of the financial year.

2011-08-25 04I keep folders of instructions, receipts and warranties for all of our appliances and equipment.  I check these from time to time and remove the details for anything we no longer own.

Keeping the paperwork under control seems to require constant vigilance, otherwise it can very easily get out of control.  It is a fine line between hoarding everything and retaining what is required by law, such as tax returns.

What documents do you keep and why?