A Continuing Tale

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There is no doubt in my mind that decluttering is a long-term and ongoing project. This post from 2017 explains my thoughts in detail.

I have been a bit under the weather for the past few days with a head cold but am definitely much improved today. Since we were in lockdown until 6pm today, I took the opportunity to do a bit of cleaning, tidying and decluttering. I have really just done the bare minimum at home over the last 4 months while my mother was ill and following her death as there were many other more pressing priorities.

As I noted in another old post from 2015:

“Circumstances are constantly evolving as we welcome children into our homes, they grow and then finally leave home.  Later there may be the addition of grandchildren or the death of a spouse.  All of these things require us to adapt what we have and how we use it.  It is easy for the essentials of one phase of our lives to become the clutter of the future so it is wise to review our needs regularly.”

I am not sure of exactly what prompted me to write that 6 years ago but it is certainly relevant to my current situation. Not only have I acquired items that belonged to my mother but I am also reassessing what we really need.

We have been empty-nesters for close to 16 years, however, during that time the lives and needs of our children have become increasingly separate to us. They are now thoroughly independent adults in their mid-late 30s. Even the grandchildren are moving into their teen years.

The impetus for some of my recent decluttering has been multi-faceted.

Acquisition of items from Mum
Items becoming obsolete due to improved organisation
Need to use the available storage as efficiently as possible
Continuing realisation of how much/little I actually need
Desire to give to others who need items
Considering the possibility of relocating sometime in the future

I don’t have many photos for this post but here is one example of what I have achieved recently.

This is a photo of my laundry cupboard back in 2015.

I had one laundry hamper in the cupboard and another mesh foldable one in our bedroom.

About 3 years ago I relocated the vacuum cleaner to the bottom of the linen cupboard and the space on the left-hand side of this photo was home to the portable dehumidifier. This worked reasonably well except I was not overly thrilled with a basket of worn clothes lurking in the corner of our bedroom.

I recently acquired another mesh foldable hamper from my mother’s belongings and this prompted me to reconsider how things were arranged. The dehumidifier was rehomed to a cupboard under the laundry bench and I then put the 2 matching hampers in the tall cupboard. They are now designated as ‘lights’ and ‘darks’ so I can see at a glance when a particular load needs doing.

The cane hamper is now surplus to requirements.

The lid had long since broken and the lining ripped so I had fashioned a removable liner from an old sheet. I really did not think it would be a highly desirable item, however, I listed in on a couple of local Buy, Swap, Sell groups and had several enquiries almost immediately. It is going to be collected tomorrow.

Working Smarter – Laundry

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Increasing productivity and working smarter seem to be a constant catchcry in many of our workplaces but have you ever thought about working smarter at home?

I have been doing the laundry in our home for over 30 years but a few weeks ago had a ‘lightbulb moment’.  Who said that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

We have 2 laundry hampers in our home.  This one in the bedroom.

2012-04-12 01The other one is in the cupboard in the laundry.

2012-04-12 02These are not for any specific items.  They are located for convenience, depending on where you are.

We have a front-loading washing machine and have done for almost 20 years.  The only downside that I find is bending to load the clothes into it.

I have realised that I can easily upend the first hamper of clothes onto the bench.  The hamper is easy to lift as it is nylon mesh.  The second hamper has a cloth bag liner which lifts out and I tip the contents on to the bench as well.

2012-04-12 03I can then easily sort the clothes on the bench with no bending.  I then toss the pile to be washed onto the floor, kneel down and load the machine.  This way there is no bending to drag clothes out of hampers or bending and twisting to load individual items into the machine.

I cannot believe that I had not thought of this before.  Simple, effective and kind to my back.

What tips do you have that make a difference when you are doing physical tasks around the home?