A Milestone


Today marks the 5th anniversary of this blog – Organised Castle.  WordPress sent me a message of congratulations this evening but I had remembered this morning when I checked back to the date of my first post.


It is interesting that I reach this milestone at a time when I have spent some time debating the future of Organised Castle.  I am definitely planning to continue with the blog but am yet to decide on the direction.


Some blogs have a very narrow focus with quite specific content whereas mine tends to be a more rambling approach to whatever is foremost in my mind.  Over the last 5 years I have covered topics as diverse as decluttering, my small wardrobe, gardening, menu planning, sewing, general organisation, cooking, green cleaning, preserving food and even some political commentary.

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When I started the blog I made a commitment to myself to post every day in order to make it a habit.  Sometimes I stick to this and other times there can be substantial gaps when life gets in the way.  I have considered a less onerous schedule of perhaps 2 posts per week, however, I have decided to maintain the current random posting of whenever I have the time and something worthwhile to say.


While the frequency of posts is entirely my decision, I would love some feedback from you, dear reader, regarding the content.  I have recently posted a number of posts with recipes and preparation of our dinners.  These seem to have been popular and I am wondering if I should do more of this.  What would you like to see in future posts?  Anything I should leave out?  I would love your feedback because although this is part diary it is also about sharing knowledge and skills and I want to keep it relevant for you.


I am looking forward to the next 5 years and what will unfold and time goes by.

Bucket List?


Time to take a break from organising, decluttering and the regular day-to-day activities at work and home.

I keep hearing people speak of bucket lists so I decided to investigate a little further.  I found this definition thanks to Google:

early 21st century: from the phrase kick the bucket ‘die’ (see kick1), popularized by the 2007 film The Bucket List.

There are many bucket list ideas floating around on the internet if you care to look but I think this defeats the purpose somewhat as you are really just following the mob.  I prefer to carve out my own unique path.

Bucket listThe majority of online bucket lists tend to follow a general focus on travel, extreme sports/activities and philanthropy.  Travel is a passion and while we have lots of ideas of places we would love to see both in Australia and overseas, I do not have a specific list of places to go.  Extreme sports or activities would probably go on my list of things that I will definitely not do before my time on earth is ended.  I would love to volunteer and provide support for those less fortunate , especially when I am no longer working full-time.  However, I am not sure that this really fits with a list of things that I want to experience.

I have never considered ever actually writing a list of things I want to do. I think that a list creates the risk that you can become so focused on ticking things off the list that the enjoyment is lost.

That is not to say that I do not have goals and aspirations.  I just haven’t written them down and numbered them as 1 to 100.

Do you have a bucket list?  What are your thoughts?

Friday Filing


As promised, here is my Friday filing post.  Not much has changed since last week.  We get very little mail so there is not much to deal with.

2015-01-09 01The Range News is our local (free) newspaper which is delivered on Thursdays.  I have read it this evening to make sure I am not missing out on any important local news and now it has been filed in the recycling bin.

Other than that, there is a new insurance schedule now that we have had the policy amended to account for our new car.  It has not been filed in the filing cabinet as I need to contact the insurance company as I think the description of the car is incorrect which has resulted in a higher premium than it should be.  I will make that phone call on Monday.

We are both in the process of reading the ReNew magazine about alternative technologies.  I think this is published every quarter and we keep them in a magazine holder for reference after they have been read.

The hand-written sheet is a rough list of some of the things we want to achieve in the house and garden this year so that stays there as a reminder of our plans.

Previously, these few pieces of paper would have been scattered on the bench and really irritated me but I am finding that having them in the basket has reduced the annoyance factor to zero.

Do you have any tricks to keeping on top of the paper clutter and filing?

Digital Deadline


The year is rapidly drawing to a close and it has made me start to think about some of the things I hope to achieve in 2014.

I am well underway with scanning all of my recipes and filing them in a digital format.  The photos are also a work in progress but that will take considerably more time than the recipes.  I also have 2 substantial collections of historical material which would benefit from being scanned and sorted rather than filed away in a box with limited access.

digital files
So one of my goals for 2014 is complete all of these projects.  I see several benefits from transferring these to digital files.

Easy to access
Preserved for the future – able to create several copies in different locations
Reduced clutter
Able to share information

Do you have any particular goals for 2014?

A Year in Review

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Here we are, almost at the end of another year and as usual I try to take time to think about what I have done and my plans for the new year.

I was looking back at some of my posts from around 12 moths ago and although I have achieved a lot this year, some of my lofty ideals did not come to fruition.  You can check out my goals here.  The photo project was an epic failure but everything else (and much besides was done).

The organising for Christmas also fell by the wayside but it was all achieved before 25th December.  My goal is to do better in 2013.

The important thing when you find that the achievement did not measure up to the goal you set is to simply pick yourself up, dust off and try again.  That is what I love about a new year – it is a clean slate.

I have my 2013 diary and have resolved to use it properly this year instead of cluttering my brain with 1001 things I have to remember.  An Excel spreadsheet is set up to record our spending so that we can see where the money goes.  The emails are sorted/deleted/archived/actioned/unsubscribed as required and I will keep this up-to-date each week.

Our holiday in March is planned and booked.

How was your 2012?  What do you plan to achieve or do differently next year?

Budget Review


Just when I thought I was back to blogging in earnest, life threw me one of those curved balls.  There was not enough time or inclination in my days to include blogging but now I am truly back.

We carefully planned our budget for when we were on holidays and stuck to it.  Since we have been back there have been several expenses, such as the doona covers, car service and lawn mower repairs as well as restocking food items after being away but now it is time to get serious again and get the debt reduction heading in the right direction.

We have discussed and set our financial goals for the remainder of the year.  If you break things up into small chunks it usually is less daunting and debt is no exception.  It is 14 weeks till the end of 2012 – that is 7 paydays for most of us.  What can you achieve?

Goals & A Resolution

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I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions but I do have goals and I resolve to achieve them.

My goals so far for 2012 are:

  • Scan and digitise all of my photographs as described in my previous post – I am well underway with all of the items scanned.  Now I have to sort, file and save them which is a mammoth job.
  • Buy Christmas fabric and make reuseable Christmas gift bags in a variety of sizes to suit all gifts.  The fabric is bought.
  • Consolidate all of my addresses, telephone numbers (landline and mobiles) and email addresses into one comprehensive list which is complete and identical in all loactions – hard copy address book, contacts on the computer and the address book on my mobile phone.
  • Have the bathroom renovated.  Spend only on essentials in order to save enough for this project.  I need to start getting quotes and also look for fixtures and fittings.

There will be other things that come up along the way but these are the things I have identified and am determined to achieve.

I am going to read some more of ‘Simplify’.  I am making fairly slow progress as I am usually ready to sleep pretty much as soon as my head hits the pillow at night but I promise I will let you know what I think of it once I have read the whole book.