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Home Organisation – Before tours

I made a couple of videos. The first shows the home organisation projects I’m going to be working on this quarter

and the second shows the current state of my home office (study) which is my whole room project for this year.

I’m hoping that showing these areas in all their cluttered glory will help keep me accountable.

There will be updates.

Planning mistakes I’ve made

I’ve been planning some projects around the house and made this video about some of the mistakes I’ve made in the past when trying to get organised.

For me, planning can be both the most interesting and also the most frustrating part of getting things done. All too often planning is synonymous with procrastinating. I also find myself being ‘unsuccessful’ in the projects I’ve planned and begin to wonder whether the process was worth it.

The mistakes I cover in the video are

  1. Jumping in too soon
  2. Not starting with the end in mind
  3. Planning too far ahead
  4. Keeping it all in your head
  5. Trying to do it alone

 

Look back at 2014: looking forward to 2015

Before I made any goals or resolutions for 2015 I decided to reflect on 2014. I usually do this every year but this time I wanted to do it in depth. I’ve been a bit more navel gaze-y recently, which really isn’t like me.

If you look at the goals and resolutions I set for myself at the start of the year, 2014 has been one big fail. But I actually think I had a great year.

My family is the reason I gave up work and I couldn’t be happier with my relationships with my husband, children and close family. Obviously there is no room for complacency here but family will always be my priority and I know that’s going to be very important in 2015.

Is my home immaculate? No. Do I mind? Not really.

I don’t like to think of myself as a perfectionist. Unlike some people I don’t think it’s a complimentary word. But I’ve found a lot of times my procrastination goes hand in hand with perfectionism. If I’ve been planning a task I prefer not to start it until I know the end result will be perfect. Funnily enough though, if I tackle something on the spur of the moment I’m much happier to experiment.

This makes it tricky because I can tolerate a lot of mess. One of my completely useless skills is being to able to look at a mess and estimate accurately how long it will take me to sort it out. So my husband will just see a big pile of mess and I will see a project that will take me 20 minutes to sort out.

My plan for 2015 is to go through my house and look at the ‘messes’ – the areas that need decluttering and organisation then estimate how long each will take to complete. Generally, I’m not going to plan on the basis of whole room projects – except for my home office.

I am and always have been better at working to deadlines, working under pressure so to speak, so I’m going to find a way of setting dates for completion and making myself accountable, even if it’s only on social media.

And my other goals for 2014? Well most of them have become goals for 2015 but, in fairness, they always were long term goals. I just didn’t make much progress on them in 2014.

At the end of this post I’ve linked a video where I talk about my goals and resolutions but if you can’t be bothered to watch –

My goals for 2015 are
1. Lose 20lbs by the end of April 2015
2. Finish my study/home office declutter and organisation by the end of December 2015
3. Complete my Postgraduate Certificate by the end of October 2015
4. Complete the first draft of a 90000 word book by the end of July 2015

I also have some resolutions but too many to list here.

I also decided I would have 2 words for the year. The first relating to performance is CREATIVITY and the second relating to behaviour is INTENTIONAL and I talk a little more about this and how they relate to my goals and resolutions in the video.

This blog and my YouTube channel will hopefully keep more accountable.

Did you make any goals or resolutions this year?

Things that make me go huh? – Skittles separation

When I go to Costco I always buy a box of Skittles packets as a treat.

For some reason, this time round my son decided to empty out all the Skittles into one big bowl. Naturally my daughter started moaning about “urine-mints” which I felt was a completely valid concern, but my son showed us how to use a small glass to scoop up the Skittles, thereby eliminating any urine-Skittles worries.

A few days later I saw my son with one of these glasses, but what was interesting was there were only green and purple Skittles in the glass. On questioning he admitted he’d separated out the green and purple Skittles because this was his preferred colour/taste combination. He then claimed the remaining red, orange and yellow Skittles made a beautiful flame-like image.

IMG_1564The next day I heard my son complaining bitterly because someone had removed all the purple Skittles and replaced them with all the red Skittles.

Now my son does show slight obsessive-compulsive behaviour so it’s not completely weird he’d spend time separating different coloured Skittles. What I find harder to fathom is that my husband, allegedly an adult, spent some of his spare time that night re-separating the colours just to play a joke on my son.

I’m not really sure whom I should be more worried about.

 

Project Declutter – Kid’s bedroom

I recently posted a video on my YouTube channel showing how I decluttered my daughter’s bedroom. I used this as an example of ‘good enough’ organising.

I don’t think I’m a perfectionist by nature but I still like my project to meet my idea of the final result. When it doesn’t, like in this case, it’s hard to remember that although the result wasn’t perfect, it was good enough. I successfully decluttered her room and it’s a completely functional young girl’s bedroom.

It may not be magazine perfect but it’s definitely good enough.

Kitchen Organisation: Food Cupboards

As part of my kitchen organisation, sorting out my food cupboards was a real priority. I have more than enough space to store my food  (though I still yearn for a walk in pantry) but I wasn’t using the cupboards to their best advantage so they always seemed full to the brim. There was also a strong possibility something would fall on my head each time I opened the door. Although this was an urgent project I kept putting it off because I thought it would take a long time to complete. In the end it took me a couple of hours.

It’s still not perfect but it’s very workable.

I now also have “food cupboard purging” as a six-monthly task. – Yes I did have some condiments with expiry dates in 2010!

 

Project Declutter: Teen Boy’s room makeover

The first project I tackled in January 2014 was my son’s bedroom. I loved his room.

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I had it done when he was around 6 months old and the vibrant primary colours were perfect for a toddler’s room.

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On one wall he had his name spelled out in jigsaw pieces, which of course I’m not showing here. But he did keep pointing out he was getting too old for it and really needed a change. After 5 years I finally conceded he was right.

Of course his room also needed a huge declutter and general organisation.

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Choosing the right colour was difficult. Initially he wanted turquoise or black, neither of which I was particularly in favour of. In the end he settled for grey so I had great fun ordering samples from Dulux.

Once he’d settled on a colour I made up a mood board. It also had a carpet sample but that kept falling off.

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It took me a weekend to get his room painted. The jigsaw pieces meant it needed a few coats. Since I’m no professional decorator it’s far from perfect but it was worthy of a hug from my son so I’m satisfied.

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We didn’t buy any new furniture for the room but did change its placement. The only money we wanted to spend was on paint, soft furnishings and, ultimately, carpet

IMG_1047I was concerned I’d need to paint the wooden coloured panels on his built in wardrobes

IMG_1051but I had a stroke of luck while I sourced the striped curtains he wanted.

IMG_1049I managed to find curtains that brought in the dark blue from the wardrobes as well as his grey walls and lime accents.

I realise the door and radiator still need to be painted but it’s fine for now. We will also replace his carpet but we’re going to get him a new bed soon so it makes sense to wait for that rather than dismantle and reassemble his cabin bed now only to have to dismantle it again when the new bed arrives.

Overall I’m delighted with how his room turned out, and he is too, which is the most important thing.

Kitchen Organisation – Tea & Coffee Area

When I’m deciding which home organisation projects to work on, I generally tend to think about tackling small areas or self-contained tasks such as my laundry system or tupperware storage. However I also choose a couple of rooms to ‘overhaul’. This year I decided to work on my kitchen and my study/home office.

In my kitchen, I had two areas which were particularly troublesome and, despite constant decluttering, mess kept building up and the areas quickly got out of control. These were my tea & coffee area and a junk area in my dresser.

In the end I realised I would only be able to prevent the junk area building up if I actually put that space to functional use. I couldn’t immediately see a solution for the tea/coffee area but changing its location seemed to be worth a try. Moving it to the dresser would eliminate both problems at once.  My husband wasn’t too sure when I first changed things around but now he agrees it’s worked out really well.

So the lesson learned from this project is, if an area or system constantly needs to be worked on or updated then it’s worth thinking of trying something completely different. Change the space, change the way it’s used, decide whether it’s really needed.

This video was filmed almost a year ago but I hadn’t started my YouTube channel at that time so I never got round to posting about it.

 

Hello July 2014

I can’t believe the first year of my career break is already over. I worry now I’ll blink and find myself back at work.

I started the year with a list of things I wanted to do and also a list of all the things I felt I had to do. Inevitably I didn’t really do much. And I’ve decided that’s okay.

Sure little projects got done here and there, but nothing substantial and ultimately they made no inroads into my lists.  I thought I needed to be productive so I wouldn’t be bored but I realised two things. The first was that productivity in and of itself does not equal fulfilment. It has to be the right kind of productivity. Secondly I realised I don’t get bored that easily. I am very easily distracted and actually have so many things on the go I can always find something to hold my interest. Part of the problem for my to do lists but perfect for the past year.

July 2013 to July 2014 was my time. Time I hadn’t appreciated I needed to discharge and recharge ready for the next couple of years. I think sometimes we need to be “selfish” in order to be able give the best to others (the subject of a future post perhaps).

And ultimately I think I had an incredibly successful year off. My main reason for my career break was it was in the best interests of my family. As a working mum I used to think I was a good parent and had a decent relationship with my children. I see now how much I was missing. And this isn’t meant to be a controversial comment on working versus staying at home. This is simply my observation and my experience.

My daughter and I were always close but the closeness has become deeper and I think she sees me as a friend as well as a mum. The change has been most obvious with my son. We never used to speak much, no deep and meaningfuls for us. I assumed this was common as he grew older. But over the last few months he’s really opened up, he starts conversations, he tells me how he feels, he sometimes chooses to come and sit with me so we can simply spend time next to each other. And most importantly he comes to me for a hug and to tell me he loves me spontaneously. And I am so grateful we’ve had this chance to develop this new relationship. I feel slightly less nervous about navigating through his teenage years.

I really like my kids.

 

 

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