Decluttering, Again and Again

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Have you ever met anyone, either in real life or online, who has told you that they decluttered their entire home in a weekend?  I have read these kind of stories a few times but I have a really difficult time getting my head around the concept.  Unfortunately, they usually involve a huge garbage skip and wholesale dumping of perfectly useable items.  I find this strategy a disgusting waste and totally unnecessary.

My approach is the complete antithesis – a little bit at time and I often go back to the same area multiple times.  Also, I never dump anything.  I try to find new homes for them using a variety of strategies.

The bookshelves in the study/office is the perfect example of my method.

Once upon a time this is how it looked.

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As the culling continued over several years we whittled it down to one bookcase and sold the other.

The small freezer was moved down to the workshop.

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We upgraded from our folding table.

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To this desk.

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We added a blind to the bare window.  I wanted to create a comfortable reading area/library so we sourced 2 armchairs.

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Fast forward a bit more and we have culled the books even further.  There were some non-fiction ones which have been relocated to the shelving in the living room.

This shelving unit was originally horizontal in the living room but was moved to the spare bedroom/sewing room to store some of my sewing materials and equipment.  We decided to swap it with the light-coloured bookcase which will work better for the sewing stuff and is aesthetically better in the other room.

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Here are 2 views of what I think is the final state of the office/reading room.

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It has been thoughtfully curated over a period of time as our needs and ideals changed.  I certainly could not have achieved this in a single weekend for one room, let alone a whole house.

There has been no waste as all of the items have been reused in our own home or found new homes.

A New Chair

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Last week in this post I mentioned that I had moved the chair from the office desk.  I addition to the arms banging the desk I did not mention that the finish of the upholstery was all cracking a flaking.  The wear on the front edge of the seat was so bad that I had previously made an elasticised fabric cover for the seat and I noticed that the back was showing the same tendencies.

It was definitely time for the chair to go.  I was not hopeful of finding a new home for it but placed an ad on the local Facebook Buy, Swap, Sell page give it away.  Happily, it was just what someone wanted so it has gone.

The dining chair was not a suitable long-term replacement so yesterday we looked for a replacement at Officeworks.

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We were a bit like Goldilocks trying out all of the various options which ranged from very lightweight and uncomfortable to positively luxurious and everything in between.  In the end this is what we chose.  It is sturdy, comfortable and relatively compact.

It fits neatly under the desk and I am very happy with our new chair.

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A New Desk – Part 2

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Well the desk is all assembled but not without a hiccup or two.

This morning we opened the box containing the hutch and it was the wrong colour!!  Yes, we had managed to pick up the wrong one.  So, it was off to IKEA again which really threw our plans for the day into disarray.

The traffic was a nightmare on our way home but we finally made it back and set about assembling the hutch.

Here is the final item all completed and in position.  It is shorter and narrower than the old table so creates a bit more space in the room.  I have been able to conceal almost all of the cables behind the desk which is much neater than before.

2015-07-18 01I moved the pictures that were above the old desk to the other side of the room now that the second bookcase has gone.

2015-07-18 02Now I need to find a suitable chair to place in the corner to create a comfortable reading nook.

I am really pleased with how this room has been altered and redefined.  I have some plans for minor alterations to a couple of other rooms in the future.  No doubt, I will post about those when they happen but please don’t hold your breath.

A New Desk – Part 1

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I have just checked the date and realised that it is 10 days since my last blog post.  I have been busy – in that time my mother has come home from hospital after having undergone heart surgery, I have attended a gathering of my extended family which I organised to celebrate a milestone from my grandfather’s life and been away for a work conference for 2 days.  That has all been in addition to running a household and holding down a full-time job.

There will be some blog posts about some of what I have been doing,but that is enough of my excuses for the moment.

GMan and I both had a day off today and we decided to make a round trip of over 200km to IKEA to buy a new desk for our home office.  I had searched online for either a new or second-hand desk and the one we bought was definitely the best to suit our needs.

indexWe arrived home this afternoon with 3 large packages.

2015-07-17 01GMan and I have spent several hours assembling the desk.  We are very happy with how it has turned out so far.  It is currently sitting in the middle of the office.

2015-07-17 02Tomorrow we will move all of the stuff of the existing desk and position the new one in its place.  The next step will be to build the bookcase/hutch section which attached to the desk.

Watch out for tomorrow’s post in which I hope to show you the completed desk and revamped office/library area.

The Culling Continues

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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.