Back to the Laundry

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It is a while since I have cleaned the laundry thoroughly and it was beginning to show.  The general view of the room looks OK but I was starting to feel that things were just being shoved in the cupboards.  I was finally prompted into action after we went to the Kin Kin markets yesterday to stock up on more laundry liquid and pre-soak/stain remover that are made locally by Felix at Kin Kin Naturals.

005I have 2 storage areas in this room.  One is the cupboards under the bench.  The other is a tall cupboard opposite the washing machine.

This is what the cupboard under the bench looked like this morning.

003Then I pulled everything out.

006I found that I had a couple of half-used bottles of laundry liquid so I condensed these.  I also decided to change the storage container for the dry cat food from a large, round bucket which is never full to a more manageable oblong container.  The spare spray bottles which were living in the rectangular bucket have been removed and will be stored downstairs.

The cupboard, shelves and inside and outside of the doors was wiped down and cleaned.  I was astounded at how grubby the insides of the cupboard doors were.

The finished cupboard is a bit more organised.

008Then it was on to the tall cupboard.  Here is the before photo.

002For a moment, I was tempted to just ‘tidy it up’ but decided to remove everything (including the rack on the inside of the door) and do it properly.

007Everything got the ‘once-over’ before putting it back.  I scrubbed the small stepladder, removed and cleaned the liner of the laundry hamper, washed the plastic bag holders and repaired the rag-bag where it was coming unstitched.  I realised that I barely scratch the surface of the pile of rags in the bag so I sorted through them and have sent a few downstairs to the workshop and thrown a few in the rubbish as the fabric was not terribly good for any sort of cleaning job.

I checked what cleaning supplies I had and made sure that they were all things that I will use – either currently or in the future – before putting them back.  Like every other area of the house, I have been working on reducing the amount of ‘stuff’ that is in here by using it up and in some instances not replacing it.

Once I had refilled the rag-bag and plastic bag holders it was time to put everything back in its place.

013Whilst the overall view is not substantially different, I am happy that I know what is in the cupboard and exactly how much I have.

Doing the Doona

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Do you feel like you’ve just stepped out of the boxing ring by the time you have finished putting the doona/duvet back in its cover?  I don’t know that I would be that dramatic but it is certainly not one of my favourite tasks.

I was recently looking at something on YouTube when I saw a video on how to insert a doona into a cover and then promptly forgot about it.  Since then I have changed the cover to the darker one which I use during the cooler months.  However, I kept the lightweight, polyester insert as the nights were still relatively warm.  I used my usual method which I can do by myself but is easier with the assistance of GMan.

The overnight temperatures have now signalled that it really is autumn so today I decided to change over to the feather doona.  I remembered to take some time to search YouTube for the trick to easily putting the doona in a cover.  There are several to choose from but I thought that the instructions in the following video were as clear as any.

After watching it twice, I decided to test the idea.  The first problem was when I discovered that the doona was nearly 30cm wider than the cover.  I have had this doona for many years and never noticed that before so I just persevered.

Perhaps it is just because I am not overly tall and we have a foot end on the bed, but I found that I walked from one side of the bed to the other numerous times as I was rolling it up.  I had excess doona sticking out from both ends due to the doona being wider than the cover.  I followed the directions and it worked well.  The excess just seemed to disappear into the midst of the doona.

The end result looks much the same as any other method and I am not sure that there was a great deal of difference in the time it took.

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The only real advantage that I can see is that my method does entail lifting your hand well above your head in order to shake the doona into place.  If you have shoulder problems the YouTube method would eliminate that.  I do not think it is worth the effort of turning the cover inside-out and laying it out absolutely flat with the corners of the doona matching.

Will I do it again?  Probably not.

How do you get your doona into the cover?  Would you consider trying the method shown in the video?

Little Bits

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If you haven’t already gathered from the lack of blog posts, this has been a busy week at work.  The next couple of weeks don’t look like being much better, either.

I have been getting along by just doing a little bit each morning and evening.  There are no major achievements but at least the household hasn’t fallen into complete disarray.

2012-01-20 04We have managed to have a home-cooked meal every evening, packed lunches and a healthy breakfast. I at least partly make the lunches the night before while dinner is cooking.

2012-05-05 04The dishwasher is loaded every day thanks to GMan and it only takes a few moments to unload it.

The washing is done and I have ironed enough clothes to see us through the week.  There are a few extra items that I will need to do on the weekend.  Having the clothesline on the verandah means that I can quickly hang washing out or get it in when we arrive home.  It is then folded and put away.

2013-02-15 02Everything has stayed tidy because there is no-one here to make a mess.

I hope to have something a bit more exciting to share with you on the weekend.

One Week

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It is now one week into 2015 and this morning I woke up to the shocking news of a targeted terrorist attack in Paris.  Like many others around the world, I was both sad and angry to hear this news.  However, I was heartened to see the defiance of ordinary citizens in major centres all over Europe.  They took to the streets in their thousands to show their support for freedom of expression.

2015-01-08 01Like them, I have a life to live and am not going to be sucked into the cycle of reporting on this and no doubt future ‘bad news’ stories.

I looked back at this blog post from New Year’s Eve when I wrote, “Meanwhile, I tried to keep my focus on blogging but there were times when I just felt too overwhelmed by events in the world around me to write about simplifying our life.”

One my my resolutions, if you wish to call it that, was that while I would keep abreast of news events here in Australia and also globally, I would not let the news define me.

I tend to deal in reality and don’t lay much store by clairvoyants, horoscopes, tarot cards or any of the other multitude of ways to “see” the future.  I did laugh though, when I read a horoscope (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) in our free Mx newspaper at the train station yesterday.  Normally, this paper would be well in the recycling but I brought it home to finish the special holiday edition of the Sudoku puzzle.  This is what my Aries prediction for 2015 was:

“Random events will continue to occur around you.  There’s no order to the universe.  Life is meaningless.  Stop trying to find meaning where there is no meaning.  You cannot control the uncontrollable, so stop imagining there are arbitrary rules for dividing up and understanding existence by indulging in horoscopes.”

I liked the phrase, “you cannot control the uncontrollable”.  There is definitely some value in that.

Meanwhile, today I will do some paid work as well as ironing, preparing dinner and perhaps some more sewing.

A Little Bit Every Day

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My method of keeping things organised to to do a little bit every day, or in my case every evening.  At the risk of sounding like a cracked record, I work full-time hours and long days because of the distance that we commute but that is our choice.

Last night I did the bit of ironing that was waiting to be done, one load of washing and hung it out then put the next load in the machine.  It was not a full load so when we arrived home this evening I pulled the top sheet off the bed and that made up the load.  It is all washed now and in the basket.

It has been cool and damp here all day so the load that is on the line is not properly dry even though it is under the verandah.  The next load of washing will be hung indoors overnight.

This is a portable rotary clothesline which I find invaluable in the wet weather.

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This hanging rack is usually used to hang shirts waiting to be ironed as well as ones that I have done but tonight I will hang the freshly-washed shirts on here to dry.

Hanging rackI will put the dehumidifier on in the closed room overnight, the clothes will be pretty well dry in the morning.  This eliminates the smell that clothes develop if they are damp for too long.

2012-11-18 03Once the washing is hung out I will finish stripping our bed and remake it with fresh linen.  Then it will be time to crawl into bed.

I am working from home tomorrow and will make it a short day so that I can catch up on a few more jobs here.

By spending a bit of time each evening on household jobs, I can choose what I do on the weekends.

Winning

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While there is always something that can be found to do, it is a great feeling to know that the everyday tasks are all done.

Yesterday I did 4 loads of washing which included the bed linen and towels for both The Duke and I plus our most recent Air BnB guests who departed yesterday morning.  The washing and ironing are all done, I have a meal ready for dinner tomorrow night, the bathroom is clean and beds freshly made.  The dishes are done and lunches partly made for tomorrow.

So, there is nothing left to do apart from settle into bed with a new magazine that my mother passed on to me recently.

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The housework will return soon enough but for now I am going to indulge myself.

 

Mini Moments

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My focus has been on the real world rather than blogging over the past week.

We have had a long weekend here and a house-guest which was lovely.

Much of the time was spent chatting and being social so not too much housework was done.  However it is interesting to look around and see that there was not too much that needed doing.  I think that the trick is to do a little bit frequently.

It only takes a moment to get a few small jobs done.  As you know, we do not arrive home from work until after 7pm.  Last night I made salad while The Duke cooked the salmon on the BBQ. After dinner I hung out a load of washing that I had done before I went to work and brought in the dry clothes from the line and folded them.  I also cleaned the vanity and mirror in the bathroom and re-made the guest bed.

Vanity

This morning I unloaded the dishwasher and tonight will bring in the washing plus finish the ironing.  There are only about 5 items as I did most of it on the weekend.

Hanging rack

I simply do not have the time or inclination to spend huge chunks of time on housework so this method works best for me.  It also means that my weekends are kept reasonably clear for spending time in the garden or more time-consuming jobs like preparing several meals.