Do It With a Diary


I have never been very good with using a diary but I am hoping that this year will be different.

004When the question was asked on an online forum of what your New Year’s resolution would be, this was my answer:

“I am going to stop trying to squash so much into the available time and learn to allow some slack. Recently, I seem to be stressing about meeting deadlines/arriving by a certain time etc. My mental health deserves better.”

The fact that it was 4 days before Christmas may have had something to do with my response, however, it was something that I had considered several days earlier of my own accord.

Now I just have to work out how to put this into practice.  One of the first things is to use a diary.  This neat A5, day-to-a-page diary was part of a Secret Santa gift which I received so it is definitely going to be put to use.

If I write things down rather than trying to carry a whole load of information in my head it will relieve all of the things I am trying to remember as well as showing clearly what is actually doable in one day.  It also means that all of those little jobs that I think of that I am going to do one day are now allocated to a time and day.  I choose the time to fit my schedule and will then just do them.  No more forgetting the little stuff and trying to squash too much into the available time.

A grand goal and I am really hoping that I can make serious progress on achieving it.

Tomorrow is my first day back at work and I have 2 jobs listed in my personal diary.  Post a parcel and take the apparently faulty iPhone charging cable back to the Apple store as it was only bought in July last year.

How do you feel about New Year’s resolutions?  Do you have any plans to do things differently this year?

Filing Friday (on Thursday)


Welcome to 2015!  A brand new year for you to make of it what you want.

I have been gradually decluttering for several years so there is generally only a few things here and there to leave the house.  However, there are a couple of hotspots that just seem to invite clutter to hang around unless I am constantly vigilant.

In the lead-up to Christmas I was particularly busy at work so things got a bit neglected at home.  Also, our car was badly damaged in a hailstorm at the end of November and was declared a write-off by the insurance company.  So, as well as everything else we had to buy a new car, organise insurance, liaise with the towing company to collect the old car and so on.  All of this resulted in paperwork, notes and phone messages on the desk. Everything was finalised on Wednesday – we have a new, insured car and the old one is gone so this morning I got up and decided that I had to sort out all of remaining paperwork.

I started with the desk, followed by the other hotspots which are the end of the kitchen bench and my dressing table.  It then turned into a major clean-out of the filing cabinet and other folders so The Duke and I spent several hours working through it.  Some papers had been carefully filed for up to 10 years without ever being looked at so we were really ruthless.

Apart from clearing the papers that were in the previously identified spots, I actually have nothing to show for our efforts except that the contents of the filing cabinet have been reduced from 3 drawers to 2.  Everything was relatively neatly stored – it was just that much of it was no longer relevant.

001The desk is mostly cleared – there are just a few more things that I need to put away.

002I just need to set-up the pedometers so we can actually use them rather than be lurking in the bottom of the filing cabinet!

003This end of the kitchen bench is one of the most frustrating hotspots – the pile of papers never seems to go away completely.  It may seem counter-intuitive to put a basket here to dump “stuff” in but my theory is that it will be contained rather than expanding and spreading its tentacles across the bench.  I have also designated Friday evening as “Filing or Fling” so everything that is in the basket by Friday evening will be dealt with accordingly.  In a perfect world the basket would be empty but I will be surprised if that happens.  🙂

So, beginning next Friday (not tomorrow) the blog post will be about the filing or keeping the paper clutter at bay.

I would love to hear of any systems you may have in place to help you manage the clutter hotspots and filing.

2014 – A Year in Review


Bizarre, tragic and downright evil are some of the adjectives which come to mind when looking to describe the events which shaped 2014.

Invariably, the most recent events are those which are clearest in our minds – the Sydney siege, the stabbing murders of 8 children in Cairns and the loss of the Air Asia flight.  Unfortunately, the horrors seem to have been almost never-ending.  Two Malaysia Airlines flights lost in very different circumstances, the untimely death of Phillip Hughes and the tragic death of Luke Batty at his father’s hand.

Two other matters were resolved with trial and sentencing of the perpetrators of crimes against Daniel Morcombe and Alison Baden-Clay.

On a different note the G20 roadshow came to town and despite Mr Abbott’s threats, Mr Putin appeared to depart with his shirtfront intact.

Ferries sank, volcanoes erupted, the Ebola virus rampaged through parts of Africa, we became aware of the appalling agenda of Islamic State and the fighting continued in Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan and Gaza.

It is not exactly a good news story.  I am sure there were some highlights but I am struggling to find them.

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.  There was also a 6 week hiatus while we jetted off to the UK and Ireland for an amazing holiday.  That adventure is documented here.

One of my goals for 2015 is to re-capture the enthusiasm for my simple,organised life and share it with you all on a much more regular basis.

Thank you for sticking with me and may 2015 be all that you wish for.

Happy New Year!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 33,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 12 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Done and Dusted

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Christmas is over, or in the words of Uncle D, “Well, that’s Christmas buggered for another year!”

I must confess that I was anything but organised this year but I am safe in the knowledge that I will have an opportunity to improve in 2015.  I did not even send cards/emails this year but I am planning to do make that a job for the coming week as I am at home and there will be time to make it meaningful correspondence.

We spent time at Caloundra with the family and had a most enjoyable short break.

2014-12-27 01Decorating the tree which we took with us.

2014-12-27 02Gifts under the tree and ready to go.

2014-12-27 03Trying on new hat and sunglasses.

2014-12-27 04Dressed and ready to go out for lunch.

2014-12-27 05Everyone is now back at their respective homes in 2 different states.  The Duke and I have unpacked and things will gradually return to normal.  As always, I am keen make the New Year a great one but more on that another day.

Best wishes to you and yours for Christmas and the New Year.

2014 – A Clean Slate


Well, that is another year done and dusted.

I am pleased to be able to rule a line under 2013 with all of its ups and downs.  Unfortunately, there were quite a few downs last year and I am hoping that this year will be brighter.

Thank you to all of my readers for your loyalty during the past year. I am grateful to you for your comments which really adds an extra dimension to the blog.  I am considering the structure and focus of the blog for this year and would love to hear from you if you have any suggestions.  Some of my thoughts include doing a series on a particular topic for a week or having a regular focus on a particular day of the week such as Project 333 on Monday, recipe on Tuesday etc.  I could simply continue with my totally random posts which are based on whatever pops into my head.  The other conundrum I am facing is whether to continue to post almost every day or perhaps only weekdays or perhaps 2 or 3 days per week.  Please let me know what you would prefer.

Happy New Year
Wishing you health and happiness for 2014.

Revamped for the New Year


I started this blog in March 2011 after a couple of false starts over the previous couple of years.  This time I have generally been successful in maintaining regular posts – mostly daily, however, my efforts at responding to your comments have been less than stellar.  I will try to improve in that department this year but please be assured that I read each and every comment and I really do appreciate you taking the time to let me know what you think.

I have finally updated the blogroll on the right-hand side so please take the time to check out some of the other wonderful blogs which inspire me.  This list is not yet complete and I will also endeavour to make sure that the blogs listed here are all active.  When I get time I will also update the ‘Blogs of Interest’ to include all of the blogroll.  ‘Blogs of Interest’ may also include some inactive blogs.

I would love to hear of any blogs that you may have found of particular interest.  Please leave a comment or email me directly (see ‘About Me’ for the email address).

To my dear readers, thank you all so very very for your interest and comments over the past year and I look forward to continuing the journey.  May 2013 bring you health and happiness.