Gone

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Decluttering and streamlining what we own is a recurring theme here.  I have never had a huge cleanout but have tended to gradually reduce what we have by not replacing things as they are used or removing things that no longer have a purpose in our home.

However, I want to share a couple of things that we have re-homed in the last week.

The first was actually at work.  It is nearly 18 months ago that I wrote this post about a bulk amount of paper clips being discarded.  Unfortunately, I received very little support from the sustainability team so the bag of paper clips was still languishing in the cupboard beside my desk.  Every time I opened the cupboard I was bothered by the thought of what was going to happen to them.  Last week I noticed a small bag of assorted paper clips/bulldog clips in the ‘Mail Out’ tray.  These were being returned to the mail room so I asked the courier from the mail room if they could take the bag of paper clips and she was delighted and said they would be so useful.  The quantity did not daunt her in the least!  YAY!!!  The rescued paper clips now have a new home.

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Today my sister and brother-in-law came and collected a pile of old broken pavers.  This post from 3 months ago was about removing the old pavers from an outdoor staircase.  We gave some of the salvaged pavers to our neighbour to make an outdoor path and kept the remainder for a small landscaping project we have to do.  Of course, in the process of lifting them some broke and others had been cut to fit the space.  We did not want these but my brother-in-law was happy to take them for solid fill at his place.  Today was the day that they went to their new home so that is something else gone.

These are some of the good used pavers but the pile of broken ones have been moved along.

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Something New

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Just when you think you have pretty got this organisation game sorted there is something else.

I have several lightweight cashmere/merino cardigans and jumpers which I handwash and then put on a very short spin cycle in the machine.  I generally hang  them on specially designed hangers on the line, however, the past couple of days have been cold and wet here so there was not a lot of point in hanging them outdoors.

So, I decided to hang them inside and was wondering where to put them when I noticed the inside of the door of the clothes dryer and had a lightbulb moment.

Here they are hanging from the door of the dryer.

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And a close-up view.

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The laundry is a small, enclosed room so by turning the dehumidifier on for a few hours I was able to easily get these dry.

You may not necessarily have the same opportunity but this is a reminder that there are many possibilities if we allow ourselves to think outside the box.

 

The Useful Drawer

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Many people have what they refer to as ‘the junk drawer’, however, if you embrace the concept of minimalism in any way or have simply decluttered, there is really no reason to have a drawer full of junk.

Therefore, I actually have a carefully curated drawer of useful things.

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Some of the things are probably a bit difficult to identify so I will list them below.

Top of photo from left to right:

2 boxes of extra-long matches
Set of mini screwdrivers
Candle
Screwdriver with multiple heads
Heavy-duty ziplock bags for reuse
Bread bags for reuse (under ziplock bags)
Small bags for reuse
Brown paper
Teatowel and muslin cloth

Bottom of photo from left to right:

Cut down milk bottle containing twist ties
Cut down milk bottle containing boxes of matches, compass, mini steel measuring tape, rubber bands, tiny ziplock bags, reusable plastic tags cut from an ice-cream container
String tin
Gas gun
Baking paper
Case containing torch and charger
Bag containing pieces of plastic from cereal box liners for reusing to separate food in the freezer
Ziplock bags for reuse

The contents are very useful as evidenced by the fact that my useful drawer is opened multiple times every day.

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Do you still have a junk drawer that looks like the one above?  It is a great place to start decluttering.  Why don’t you try it and see?

The Time It Takes

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Well, it has been a while since I wrote a proper blog post.  I have been busy in the real world as things seem to speed up towards the end of the year.  At least some of it was of our own making as we chose to go to Adelaide for 3 nights about a week ago.

I managed to have the housework pretty well up do date before we left last Saturday but I have not had any free time since arriving home on Tuesday evening to an almost empty refrigerator and the prospect of long days at work for the remaining 3 days of the working week.

It would have been easy to say that I had no time but it really was a matter of making time.  Have you ever considered how little time it actually takes to do some of your regular household tasks?  It only takes me about 6 minutes to hang out a load of washing and about 2 – 3 minutes to get a load of washing off the line.

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So, during the past 5 days I have managed to unpack a suitcase, do a couple of loads of washing, including hanging, bringing it in and folding, plan and prepare meals as well as getting myself to work each day.

Things I do to create time where there does not appear to be any include preparing at least part of the evening meal for the following night while dinner is cooking, putting a load of washing on before I go to work, wiping over the mirror and vanity when I get out of the shower.

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Housework does does not need to be an enormous undertaking.  By doing a little bit often you can keep things humming along with very little time.  Other jobs that take a couple of minutes are unloading the dishwasher, wiping down the sink, cleaning a single shelf in the refrigerator, dusting a polishing a table and so on.  Every small task that you can slip into your routine is one that does not build into an overwhelming project.

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Did you notice the one thing I have not mentioned?  Ironing!  I need at least an hour of clear time to get stuck into a pile of ironing and make it worthwhile.

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How do you arrange your housework into the time available?

Ferreting in the Freezer

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After 5 1/2 years of writing this blog, I sometimes feel like I am just going over same territory again and again.  Tonight I want to share something that came to me in a blinding flash this morning.

I had done a menu plan for the next week and almost everything was from the freezer.  I wanted to check what I had with a view to using some of it up.  The fridge in the kitchen has a sizeable freezer at the bottom which is 2 large drawers and we have a small, upright freezer (the size of a bar fridge) downstairs.

Once I had cleaned the freezer in the kitchen, I had the bright idea of collecting all of the items I need for the meals for the week and put them all together on the left-hand side of the top-drawer.

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There will be no more discovering that there is no pre-cooked rice left or that I need to make a new batch of refried beans and so on.  I am not sure why I did not think of this years ago but I guess it is better late than never.  It means that each week I will do a mini-stocktake of the freezer and locate what I need for meals in the coming week.

The home-made pizza bases are on top of the other containers and the rest of the space on the right-hand side has other meals for future meal plans.  Having them here together means that at a glance I can see what meals I have available.

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I have tried various lists and inventories of my freezer but none have been terribly successful as the state of my freezer is dynamic, a moveable feast, you could say.  I am hopeful that simply having the next things that I plan to use all in the same place will assist in keeping some order in the freezer.

Built for a Purpose

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A very quick post tonight in between trying to catch on on some housework.

I brought the washing in this evening and folded it on the laundry bench.  Now, that may not sound very exciting but I was inspired to take a photo to show you.

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While the bench was not totally clear – a few things in one corner – it was adequate to fold a load of washing.  That was my plan when we had these cupboards built not long after we moved in.  The reality is somewhat different.  There always seems to be a bucket with something soaking in it, handwashing to be done and a myriad of other things.  I end up doing the folding on the spare bed or lounge and neither option is good for my back.

I am definitely going to try to keep this bench clear so that it can be used for folding clothes on a regular basis.

Keeping it Clear

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At the risk of boring you, I have one more post about the new desk.

After years of an open table top with no storage, it is a novelty to have 2 large drawers on the right-hand side of the desk as well as the storage above.  The top drawer has some paper that I salvaged from the IKEA packaging which our grand-daughters will be able to use for drawing as well as last year’s Christmas cards that I need to sort and file.  The lower drawer is designed to hold suspension files and there is nothing in there at the moment.

2015-07-20 01This is a close-up of the left-hand side of the shelving above the desk.  From the top – monitor for solar panels, modem, phone and stationery items (pens,paper clips and bulldog clips).  There are 2 speakers on the centre shelf but the remainder are empty.  How long will that remain the case?

I have a couple of lists and a notepad in the small drawer on the left.  I really like the idea of being able to put them in the drawer so that they are not lying around on the desk.

My plan is to keep the desk looking pretty much as it is and I see no reason for that not to be the case.  It is a great opportunity to start with minimal stuff and keep it that way.