The Time It Takes

1 Comment

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.


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.

2016-02-12 01

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.

2016-03-16 02

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.

2013-02-15 02

How do you arrange your housework into the time available?

No Excuses


I enjoy sewing and for the first time in my life I have an (almost) dedicated sewing room.  However, despite my grand plans I have done very little sewing in recent times.

There always seems to be something more pressing to do – cooking meals, washing, ironing, gardening and so on.  When I sew, I like to do it to the exclusion of the everything else so I have tended not to do it.  The ironing always takes precedence over sewing, especially since I have the ironing board set up in the same room.

Anyway, there can be no more excuses as I have finally got the space pretty much as I want it.

The bed is completely free from any piles of clothes waiting to be folded or ironed.


The wardrobe is cleaned and tidied.


All of my sewing stuff is sufficiently ordered that I can locate what I need.  The iron and ironing board are ready to use.


The sewing table looks untidy but much of it is projects waiting for some action.


My first priority is mending (socks) and some alterations.  I need to take up the hem of trousers I bought in Canada as well as shorten a top I bought there, too.  Next, I will complete 6 pairs of boys shorts which are partly made and are destined to be donated to those who need them.  There is plenty more after that, including, finishing a long sleeved blouse for my daughter, the cover for the mattress on the day bed and dresses and tops for myself.

I will make time to sew.

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?

Time Is The Enemy


We have had a busy few days and my plastic-free challenge has taken a bit of a beating.  On Friday we went shopping and I had my share of successfully avoiding plastic packing.  However, some items were not so easy.

First, we bought sausages at Aldi for a planned BBQ with visitors on Friday evening.  I buy these because a) I like them and b) the sausages are gluten-free.  The downside is that they come in a plastic tray and are covered in cling-film.  I try to limit the damage (marginally) by buying the bulk pack of 24 sausages.  Am I kidding myself?

The other purchase pictured below is some bells in a plastic packet.  I wanted these to make some Christmas earrings as we were going to a Christmas in July celebration on Saturday evening.  They were not an essential purchase but I did share them with a friend and I will store them in the original resealable packaging so that I can use them on other occasions.

2013-07-07 01On the other hand, I did do better with some of my other shopping.  I went to the butcher to buy chicken breast fillets, chicken thigh fillets and minced beef.  All of these were packed into my own containers (plastic) that I took with me to the shop.

The cabbage in the background was bought at the local fruit stall were I shop regularly.  The usually have cabbages cut into quarters or halves and wrapped in cling-wrap.  I asked if I could have a whole cabbage and the owner happily collected one for me from the cool-room.  I did not really need a whole cabbage but I used this strategy to ensure that I did not get one wrapped in plastic.  I will make sure that it is used and not wasted.

The cream cheese was another rare purchase for me.  It was required for a recipe I was making to take to the Christmas in July party.  I made a conscious decision to buy the pack in the cardboard box rather than the plastic tubs.  Inside the box the cheese was wrapped in foil which I carefully washed and dried but then discarded in the rubbish as I was not certain whether it was coated with plastic film.

2013-07-07 02I do not have a photo but I also bought a 500g punnet of strawberries for the recipe as well.  They came in a plastic punnet but it was marked with a recycle symbol so that is where it ended up.  I also bought the larger punnet so that there is potentially less plastic per strawberry.  Perhaps??

What I have learned from this is that the less time you have, the more likely you are to succumb to items with plastic packaging.  If I had more time I would have sought more plastic-free options.  For example, I know that if I drive about an extra 4km I can pick my own strawberries and bring them home in my own fabric bag.  If I had remembered to source the bells last week I could have looked in some craft shops near my work and maybe found some being sold as loose items.  That way I would have ended up with 2 bells (what I needed) instead of 12.  I rarely buy cream cheese but this has reminded to me to look into alternatives which I may be able to buy without plastic packaging.  I also need to look into buying sausages from the butcher.  They will have to meet a couple of criteria – be suitable for my dietary requirements and also that we actually like them.

Any suggestions for avoiding the dreaded plastic would be appreciated.

Making A List…..And Checking It Twice

Leave a comment

Santa Claus certainly had the right idea when it came to being organised.

2012-02-14 01I am doing some paid work at home tomorrow but also have a long list of things to do.  It is essential that I write a list to ensure nothing gets forgotten and also to do things in the most efficient manner.

Things I need to do include:

Put out rubbish and recycling bins for collection

Pick cherry tomatoes at neighbour’s place

2012-02-14 02Pick up parcels from the Post Office
Deposit a cheque
Take poster to the picture framers and choose a frame
Drop off stuff to the op shop
Go to the Co-op to buy tamari, peanut paste, shower gel and face wash
Go to the IGA to buy bacon and salami
Pick up seeds that I have ordered
Meet friends for coffee and to swap/share our produce

2012-02-14 03The list in italics all needs to be done in Maleny which is a 16km round trip so I make sure that I bundle everything together and get it all done in one trip.

2012-02-14 04Now I am off to set up a new bit of household organisation.  More on that tomorrow.