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As I continue to gradually declutter items which are no longer required, it often becomes evident that alternative locations make sense for other things.

It is quite a while since I had taken anything to the op shop but I had a bag in the cupboard which I had been adding to as I found things.  Additionally, there were a couple of electronic devices which I also needed to pass along.

We are going away on holidays soon and have housesitters coming to stay and they will use the guest room.  I knew that I would have to move the large collection of magazines which I had recently relocated from the floor of the wardrobe in the guest room to the drawers of the dressing table.  I had done this so that we could store a couple of chairs in the wardrobe.

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You can read the full post here.

With the op shop stuff successfully delivered I had a spare shelf in the cupboard in my sewing room.  It was the perfect size for the magazines.  In all honesty, it is going to be easier to access them rather than having them lying in drawers.

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The dressing table drawers are now empty and able to be used by the housesitters and any other future guests.

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While I was in the guest room I noticed that the doors (vinyl finish) were somewhat discoloured and on closer inspection had some mould stains.  Unfortunately, mould is a constant enemy in our climate.

I cleaned the doors using the lightly abrasive home-made cream cleanser and they look much better.  I think it is the first time I have really scrubbed them in more than 10 years since they were first installed.  They are now looking as good as new.

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Project 333 – What Went Back

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As promised, I will share a bit more of my wardrobe clean-up.

This is an overview of the bedroom on Saturday morning before I started.

2015-05-19 01It is not looking the best as I have made it to the end of the full-time working week and now it is time to sort things out.

I mentioned in my earlier post that I removed everything from the wardrobe.  I made the bed and hung up the jackets from the end of the bed before I started so that I had a clear working space.

Although one of the basic ideas behind Project 333 is to actually remove all but 33 items of clothing from your closet I had never actually done that.  I believed that most of my clothes were worn year-round due to our relatively temperate climate.  That is still the case and I have not limited myself to a precise number but as we are approaching our coolest months of the year I removed my summer clothes.

2015-05-18 01Here is the small pile of dresses, sleeveless tops and shorts which I will not wear again until the weather is hot.  This is in addition to those items which I have specifically set aside for our trip to Singapore.

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I took the time to critically examine each garment and try on a few different combinations to discover what worked together and how I felt about it.  A few pieces have been taken by the local recycle boutique on consignment and a couple more gone to the op shop.

This is what I was left with.  I will wear these clothes for the next 3 months with 1 or 2 possible purchases.

2015-05-18 02There are 2 pairs of trousers, a pair of jeans, 2 shirts and a jacket not shown as I was wearing them/they were in the wash.  The pile of summer clothes is bagged and on the top shelf along with a couple of bags and 2 sunhats.

It is now easy for me to see what is ‘missing’ so that I can make considered choices when I go shopping.

One of the things that is obvious from my selection of clothes is that I love prints – florals, stripes, spots, checks – I have them all.  I can now see that this is what has held me back from pursuing a ‘capsule wardrobe’ as many like to describe it.  So many blogs and discussions seem to revolve around plain colours, neutrals and mix’n’match themes.  In general terms, they also lean to what I regard as ‘wishy-washy’ colours – cream, sand, khaki, pale denim which do not inspire me.  I love (and look best in) black and white as neutrals with strong, clear colour accents – red, emerald green, purple and fuschia and my clothes mostly reflect that.

I feel like my wardrobe works for me.

Some Random Stuff


There is no real theme to this post – hence the title.

A couple of years ago I wrote this post about the highs and lows of social media.  One of the wonders of it is the ability to easily connect with family and friends.  Today I have spent some time setting up a group for my cousins and other extended family.  This will allow us to keep in touch across vast distances and generations.  The catalyst was a seed of an idea to organise a get-together on the centenary of our grandfather’s arrival at Gallipoli.  He was not with the first landing on April 25th 1915 but it was significant for our family as a sequence of events that followed this led to him spending time in England where he met his future wife (our grandmother).  I already have feedback from far and wide which simply would not have been possible without Facebook.

As I was taught at school – “new thought, new paragraph”………

The decluttering continues – I have a small bag of a few more things that will be leaving the sewing room.  I generally keep a plastic supermarket bag on the bag of the door in the sewing room and add anything that I find and then drop it off to the op shop when the bag is full.  I also have 2 small cartons of books which we sorted from the bookshelves last month.  They have been sitting on the floor next to the bookcases waiting for me to get organised and find a new home for them.  I have listed them on a couple of local buy/swap/sell sites as well as Freecycle but if I don’t get a taker by the end of the weekend I think they will be going to the op shop as well.  It is a difficult task to balance the desire to have things gone and not hanging around, against finding the perfect home for them.  How do you manage this conundrum when decluttering?

I have also set up a ‘Decluttering’ tab at the top of my blog.  Check it out if you are interested.

Finally, I just wanted to share these couple of photos with you today.  In my next life, I think I will be a dog………….

004or maybe, a cat!

003These photos were taken at about 4.30pm and the cat has been on that chair ALL DAY!

The weather is not looking fabulous here – in fact it is pouring with rain and blowing a gale so I am not sure what the weekend will bring.  I hope you have a fabulous weekend wherever you are.

Sew My Stash Sunday – 5

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Well, this week I have not done any sewing but I have been working on my stash in a roundabout sort of way.

While a lot of my sewing room is quite well organised there is always some that seems to defeat me.  Some months ago I tossed it all in a plastic laundry basket and shoved it under the table until I had time to deal with it.  At the beginning of the week I sorted it into 2 piles – fabric and pattern pieces.

Most of the fabric has been sorted but yesterday I spent quite a bit of time sorting sorting out pattern pieces.  There was a mixture of commercial drafted patterns.  Over the years I have offloaded quite a few patterns and more have gone in the op shop bag.  They are ones that I will never use again – either due to the sizing, being dated styles or simply not fitting with my current style.

2015-02-08 01As you can see from the photo, this is still a work in progress but I am determined to finish it before the weekend as the bed will be needed when Miss O and Izz come to stay for the weekend.

On a more positive note, here are the completed patterns all sorted and stacked.

2015-02-08 02Now that I know what I have it will be back to the sewing and I will hopefully have some more to show you next Sunday.

Project 333 – One In, Two Out


I think we have all heard the mantra of “One In, One Out” in order to keep the clutter under control.  This week I have gone one better.  I made this skirt last week.

003Now I have sent these 2 skirts to the op shop.

2015-02-05 02I bought the navy/white one when we were in the USA in 2012 and it is wearing out.  The lightweight fabric is pulling away from the seams at the sides of the waistband and I noticed that it has actually split along the fold of the hem in a couple of places so definitely time to go.  The red/white skirt is one that I made a while ago.  I attempted to make a pattern from the navy/white skirt.  It was reasonably successful and I have certainly worn it many times but it is far from perfect.  Now that i have a perfect pattern I will be using that for future skirts that I make.  Time for these to go.

Circumstances Change

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One thing to consider when you are trying to declutter is whether your circumstances have changed.  That item which was previously perfect for your needs may no longer fit the bill.

This was brought home to me last week in a blinding flash as I tossed and turned on a particularly damp and humid night.  I had worn this nightshirt to bed and it was sticking to me and I was most uncomfortable.

2015-01-24 01I made this about 15 years ago when we were living in South Australia.  The climate there is much drier and it was perfect.  However, the weather here is often very humid and even when it is not spectacularly hot this satin nightshirt is not comfortable.  So, even though it is still in very good condition, I added to the bag of goodies to go to the op shop and dropped it off today.

I am in the process of making myself another pair of summer pyjamas from fabric that is in my stash so tune in tomorrow to see them and some of the other sewing I have done this week.

Pretty Pillows

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I didn’t get back to doing the follow-up post about the bathroom cupboards so that may have to wait until next week.  I will do the ‘Foodie Friday’ post this evening but in the meantime I wanted to show you something I made the other day.


These are 2 pillowcases I made from some pieces of fabric that were given to me.  The fabric was just wide enough for the cases.  I cut the pieces to ensure that the design was centred on the case.  The darker pink fabric is from a doona cover that I bought from the op shop to use in some patchwork.

I gave them to Miss O and Izz when they arrived last night to stay for a few days.  They are very excited with the new pillowcases for their beds.

Project 333 – A Gent’s Perspective


When I first met The Duke, he owned 6 shirts – one for each day of the week plus one for going out.  His weekend tasks included washing and ironing the shirts ready for the coming week.  Since then the shirt collection has grown substantially and I wash and iron the shirts.  In fact, I managed to score the task of ironing from quite early in our relationship.

Last weekend the ironing did not get done so by the end of the second week his business shirt collection was pretty well exhausted.  Seeing the shirts that The Duke chose not to wear, even when there was almost no choice, helped to confirm that they were shirts that he was not happy with.  In the end these 3 have been earmarked for the op shop.

These 2 that were in the wash are also going because, to quote The Duke, “they have seen better days”.

We are now back to just 5 business shirts plus perhaps 2 others that could do double-duty as casual /business attire.  I think 2 or 3 more business shirts might be in order, if for no other reason than to take the pressure off me having to get the ironing done every weekend.

That is one aspect of retirement that is quite appealing – not ironing business shirts.

A minimalist wardrobe certainly helps to see exactly what you wear and what stays on the hanger from season to season without being worn.

Decluttering 101


I have been decluttering for over 10 years now but I am not really sure when I started.  In fact, I had never even heard of the word until, perhaps 5 years ago and the concept of minimalism only entered my consciousness even more recently.

There are as many ways to approach decluttering as there are people on the planet.

I have heard of instances where people have decluttered their whole home in a weekend.  They ordered a skip, almost stripped their home bare and threw the excess in the skip.  I do not know what their long-term success rate was like but I suspect that it was a bit like a crash diet. The rebound effect brings you back to the same point as where you started or worse.

The slow and steady approach is my way and it also fits with my philosophy of minimising waste and making do with what I have.  I had numerous mini bottles of shampoo, conditioner and moisturiser from hotel visits.  I have gradually used them up until they are all gone.

I have no doubt that the key to successfully decluttering your home is to stop bringing more stuff into it.  Unless you can get rid of the endless stream of possessions coming in, nothing is achieved.  It is time to alter your mindset and cease the constant inflow.

Although I do not write regularly about what I have decluttered, rarely a day goes by without me moving something out. It may be physical items or even that very insidious junk – digital clutter.  When was the last time you checked your email inbox?  Is it overflowing with offers, freebies and emails that you haven’t even read?  Get set with the delete and unsubscribe functions!

Here are some of the things that I have re-homed recently.

Large chest of drawers – sold on Gumtree
2 suitcases – given away via Freecycle
Mirror in frame – given away via Freecycle
2 zips – sent to a friend
Paper napkins – sent in response to an online request
3 men’s polo shirts – given to op shop
Skirt and 2 tops – given to op shop
4 cookbooks – given to op shop

What have you decluttered recently?

Cut Out the Middle Man

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Firstly, my apologies for no Project Streamline post this week.  My busy day yesterday did not include photographing the next lot of clothes so tune in again next week when we hopefully reach the end of the wardrobe confessions.

Meanwhile, I wanted to tell you about some more clothes that I acquired last week.  Don’t worry I am sticking to my plan of keeping a minimalist wardrobe.  One of my work colleagues decided to get rid of a bag of clothes destined for the op shop which had been sitting under her desk for over a year.  I am not sure why taking them to the op shop/donation bin was so difficult but I generously offered to drop them off for her.  When handing over the bag she lightly suggested that I could check if there was anything I could use.  Most of my work colleagues are aware that I sew and refashion clothes.

I selected the following items and so the clothes went directly from her to me without going via the op shop.

This paisley cotton skirt is the first thing I have started unpicking.  I intend to keep the fabric for either patchwork or a summer outfit for Miss O or Izz.  It will depend on what they need.

The fabric from this pink top will go towards my current patchwork project.  The cotton lace is worth saving for when I need it.

I intend to use this pretty border print to make a summer skirt for Miss O.  I love the cool, summery look of it.

Finally, this black singlet top is a very soft, ribbed fabric and I will cut it down to make a singlet for Miss O.

I will post the results when the refashioning projects are completed.