The next generation…

Miss 6 “I wish my bedroom looked like yours, Mummy.”

Me “Why?”

Miss 6 “Because your room looks so tidy all the time and mine looks messy all the time.”

Well as I am sure you’ll guess, my tidy/organised/decluttered heart of mine nearly exploded. This was my first “client” to practice patience and understanding on! This was my moment to shine – okay – getting carried away lol!

I asked Miss 6 to look at me. I wanted to commence our “consultation” stat before the moment passed. I wanted to pass on some wisdom. I wanted Miss 6 to know this…

“This is your room. This is your space. This space should be a reflection of you and who you are. If you do not like something, then it shouldn’t be here. It shouldn’t be in this room. Even if Mummy/Daddy/Grandparents/Aunties/Uncles/Friends bought it for you. If you do not like it, then it does not stay.”

Growing up, I was pretty much allowed to have my room as I wanted it, but I wasn’t allowed to just throw things away if I didn’t like them, especially if one of the people mentioned above had bought it for me. Mum kept so much of my stuff from my childhood and handed it all over when I moved out of home. Most of it has been discarded. Some of it is sitting in my roof waiting to be dealt with. I don’t want this for my children. 


I wanted Miss 6 to know that she doesn’t need to feel guilty about discarding items. If they don’t bring her joy, then it’s time for them to go. The biggest lesson I’ve learned from reading Marie Kondo’s books. 

So, we started. We gathered all her soft toys. She wanted to move most of these to the playroom. We pulled everything off her dressing table and wall shelves. I grouped like with like and she chose which rocks/sea shells/necklaces/bracelets/craft items etc etc that she wanted to keep. 


We then gave everything a wipe over and started placing everything back. I also let her decide where things were to go, only making suggestions if it was an item her brother may try to break and suggesting it go up high. 


She is now very proud of her room and gave her brother a tour when he woke from  his nap. 

Do you take this approach with your kids?  Had success?  Do you think this may be an approach you’ll try?

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m all parenting/wifying/studying/working at the moment. The housework has not been at the top of my to-do list. But this takes its toll on me and I couldn’t ignore it anymore today. So, some more before/after shots for you 😲😲😲


If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, please give it a like. If you have anything to say, leave a comment, I’d love to chat. If you think it would be of benefit to someone, please share. 

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Close your eyes it ain’t pretty!

Oh friends… I cleaned out my shameful cupboard recently.  It was bad, really bad.  I forgot to take a before photo but here is a photo of the cupboard empty and here is a photo of all the stuff on our dining room table and kitchen bench.

Pretty overwhelming, huh?

Knowing that this cupboard was in a bad state was causing me stress over Christmas, New Year’s and whilst we were away in Mollymook.  I wanted to tackle it between Christmas and New Year’s but got sick and didn’t have the energy.

One Saturday night I emptied the cupboard out so that I would have to deal with it on the Sunday.  I don’t mind one or two meals away from the table, but I wouldn’t have liked too many more than that so doing this would force me to deal with it.

As with all of us, the end of the year gets hectic.  Christmas presents were purchased and placed in here for wrapping.  School items were placed in here waiting to be sorted/discarded/filing.  Linen was used/washed and chucked in here, not put away properly.  The list goes on and on.

Funny story.  Whilst we were away my brother and his family were over for a BBQ and a swim.  They needed a plastic bag, knew that I stored them in this cupboard, went to grab one and were in shock when they saw the state of the cupboard.  Yep, it was bad! Lol!

So, step one:  Place like with like.  I gathered all the appliances I was storing in this cupboard and placed them together.  All our esky’s and food storage together.  All linen together.  All art supplies together. All party items together etc.

Step two: Now that you have like with like you can see how many items you have within the one category.  We had too many esky bags and picnic sets.  They’ve seen us from when we were just two and to now that there is four.  We decided to get rid of the two person sets, cooler bags that were too small etc.  I did this for each category that I store in here.

Step three: Think about what you want the space to do for you.  As I’ve mentioned before, we don’t have a garage or linen closet so all our miscellaneous items get stored in this cupboard.  I want to be able to open this cupboard and find exactly what I want, when I need it easily and be able to return the item easily.

Step four: Start putting everything back.

On the floor – I store our table linens, spare cushions for extra seating when we are entertaining a crowd, green bags for the supermarket, some plastic bags and my tools and DIY project items.

Shelf 1: – Party items, Gemma (dog) food/items, spare photo frames, sewing kit and sewing machine.

Shelf 2: Art/craft items and baking supplies, miscellaneous items.

Shelf 3: Wine, water, napkins and surplus toilet paper and paper towel (we buy these two items in bulk from Costco).

Shelf 4: Board games and picnic items.

Shelf 5: An “office in a box” for each kid with an “in”tray for each kid for me to place items for sorting/culling/filing.

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On the sides of the cupboard we store our spare shopping bags, herbs/spices, art supplies, gift bags and large lanterns which will go outside when we do up our pool area.

And the final picture:

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Look, it’s not perfect but it is decluttered.  It is organised.  I have maintained it easily over the past month.  Everything is easily accessible.

Another item to note.

Since commencing the KonMari method we have let so many items go and as a result of this, these containers are currently not required in our home.

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Pretty amazing, isn’t it!

So, do you have a disaster cupboard that needs looking at?  Does it cause you stress?  Tell me – maybe I can give you some tips!

How do you live in your home?

I came across this article through Domain last week and shared it through my Facebook page. It has been playing through my mind since, so I thought I would delve deeper and share my thoughts. 

In short, a study was conducted by UCLA’s Centre on Everyday Lives of Families (CELF). It studied the way 32 families live and how they use their homes.

  • Only 25% of families can park their cars in their garage. 
  • Women feel stressed by messy/cluttered spaces.
  • The desire to bulk buy items creates more clutter in the home with the need to purchase more items to store these extra items like a second fridge/chest freezer or shelving. 
  • Each child brings 30% more clutter into the home. 
  • Despite spending up big on pools/spa’s/cubby houses/trampolines/outdoor furniture etc, only 25% of adults and 50% of kids use the outdoor space.
  • People also complained about not having enough downtime, yet spend 70% of that downtime on devices/screens and not utilising this outdoor space. 

Wow! It got me thinking about my personal situation and what I observe of my friends and family. 

I don’t think we have an excessive amount of storage at home. No garage. No linen closet. We do have a double door pantry which I use for a mixture of items. We have a shed for all our tools and garden items ect. We have installed an attic ladder and store our Christmas decorations and camping gear up there. 
Out of my friends and family that I know to have garages, only 20% of them park their cars in them. The balance use it as an extra storage area.

Clutter and mess certainly stresses me out more than my Hubby. Over the Christmas period, the double door pantry got out of control. Stuff everywhere. Stuff that didn’t belong there had been chucked in there because I didn’t have the time to deal with it properly. I knew it was something I had to tackle but didn’t have the energy to do until after we got back from our vacation in Mollymook. It was weighing on my mind as a ‘to-do’ item.  When I checked in with my Hubby about this he said that the cupboard didn’t stress him out, but it bothered him that it was bothering me. 

A couple of weeks back we were going to be home most of the Saturday so I spent Friday night emptying it, forcing me to deal with it on the Saturday. I did it. I got rid of a box of items for charity, a bag of rubbish and put everything away back in it’s place. I immediately felt better with a decluttered space and a decluttered mind. I don’t know that this comes down to gender, I think it comes from a sense of control and order, a need to know where things are and that jobs are done. I know men who feel this way. 

We have a Costco membership. People are often unsure if it is cost effective or not. The savings we make on fuel alone plus savings we get on my contact lenses sees us well ahead of the cost of the membership, let alone what we save on other household items. We mainly only buy toilet paper, paper towel, tissues and some laundry/cleaning products. Occasionally we buy food items. I am able to store these items either in the laundry, under the sink or in a single basket in the pantry. We only have the space for one fridge/freezer in our kitchen. If we had the space? The only time I would like a second fridge/freezer is when we are entertaining a big group but for the couple of times a year we do this, I don’t see the value. I’ll just keep shuffling things around. 

We have gone through various stages in our home. When we first moved in 12 years ago, all we had was the stuff from our bedrooms at home. I felt the need to fill our four bedroom home. And so I did. Two spare bedrooms were set up. A home office was created and we said yes to most items we were offered, filling our cupboards to the brim. Then Miss 5 came along and we took a room back to set up the nursery. Then we took half of the fourth bedroom back to create her playroom. Then we took another room back to create Miss 5’s big girl room so Mr 3 could go into the nursery. Then we took the other half of the fourth bedroom back to create my studio and now we are as we are. I can’t even tell you how much has gone in the bin/to the tip/to charity over the years. But if feels good!

Outdoor vs Indoor time. Like the article says we have spent a lot of money outside. Whilst our pool was already here, we’ve spent lots installing retaining walls, excavation, fencing, plants, furniture, swing set and a cubby house.  The kids are starting to spend more time outside. Daylight savings plays a part in this for us as we are at work through the day. They’ll play before dinner after we get home from work, after school the days I’m home and flit between different activities inside and outside on the weekend. This also depends on whether the TV is on or not. As to how much time my Hubby and I are outside with them, not so much. Realisitically we are on our devices too much but we are also busy studying/cooking/cleaning/washing or taking a moment to watch our TV programs. 

A couple of years back, I fell in love with this beauty. (Images from Barrington Homes). 


Take a look at the floor plan. 


Gorgeous, isn’t she. The house just screams ‘me’ (I felt so at home here, and have visited the display home many times. Family have visited it and agreed and I have taken two girlfriends here who also agree) and I thought it would be the perfect home to entertain in, grow in and give us each some space. We became priced out of the opportunity to build this dream home in an area not too far from our family and I think I am a little bit glad (only a little bit – it still stings a bit to know we can’t build the dream yet).  I hate cleaning bathrooms, and I would have had an extra one to do. We would have had more space for the kids playroom, but would that be at the cost to lost family time?  Hubby and I still have the dream at building a place from scratch, and it might happen one day, but for now we are sitting tight. 

This post has rambled on a bit. For me, the article ignited my passion to help people declutter, to live comfortably within their home, to feel less stressed, to enjoy it and to love it and for it to bring you joy!

How does your home make you feel? Does the clutter stress you out? What methods do you employ to tackle the clutter? KonMari? Ignore the mess?  Please, let me know!!!

KonMari • Kids wardrobe cleanout

With the warmer weather on its way, I thought I would take the opportunity to go through the kids wardrobes and clean out the old, organise what currently fits and make a note of what we need going forward. 

Miss 5:

So many clothes! Her winter drawer became too cluttered, I couldn’t close the drawer properly!

As with the KonMari Method, I pulled all the clothes out and laid them on her bed. I got Miss 5 into her room to try on anything I wasn’t sure would fit her, discarded anything not fit for passing down to my niece, bagged up items for my niece and returned current items that fit to the drawers/wardrobe. 



From going through this process, I know Miss 5 needs:

  1. Raincoat
  2. Swimwear
  3. Pink converse
  4. Black boots
  5. Black ballet flats
  6. Silver/gold sandals
  7. Thongs

Master 3:
I followed the same system for Master 3 of pulling everything out. A number of items needed to go as they were a size 2 and far too short on him now.  I use the Scubb boxes from IKEA to sort like items together in his drawers. This works especially for my husband as the clothes for daycare go in the larger boxes. 


From going through this process, I know Master 3 needs:

  1. Swimwear
  2. Size 3/4 singlets
  3. Daycare hat
  4. Winter daycare clothes
  5. Home sandals
  6. Thongs
  7. Kicker shoes

Out of their rooms came a bag of clothes each, a bag of shoes from Miss 5, a small bag for a friend from Master 3 and a bag of linen for donation. 


How often do you clean out your kids clothes?  I aim to do it seasonally. 

My KonMari Journey • Wardrobe

We’re going in!

I first did my wardrobe on 25 June 2015. Marie asks you to gather all your clothing from around the house.  Some homes have coat closets so you would need to empty them out as well.  This was what was amassed on my bed when I emptied out my wardrobe and all my drawers.

This is what I discarded:

Some of it was very easy.  I don’t generally spend a lot on my clothes.  My weight has fluctuated greatly over the last 5 years, so I don’t like to spend too much on each item. Some of it was hard.  There was a leather jacket I bought in Melbourne.  A mistake really, at the time of purchase and only worn once, but the cost of it was ringing in my ears.

So many left over coat hangers.  I donated a bulk of these to Lifeline with my clothes.

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The finished product:

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As I said on Saturday, with the recent release of the KonMari App, I thought I would go over each area again and see if I could improve some more.  

Step 1:  Make your bed. It will make it so much easier to begin with a flat, tidy surface. 

Step 2: Get EVERYTHING out. All tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, socks/stockings, underwear, seasonal wear, bags, hats and belts, shoes and jewellery. 

Step 3: Commence looking at, feeling and assessing each item of clothing. 

As I had already done the clothing category last year, and I have honed my skill in assessing weather something brings me joy or provides a purpose or not, I completed the entire category in 1.5 hours. 

This was what I achieved on the weekend:

Before:


After:


Bags:

I didn’t get rid of any handbags. I like to change my handbag depending on the outfit that I’m wearing. I have used all these bags in the last 12 months. I gave them all a wipe over and returned them to their dust bags.


Shoes:

I have plantar fasciitis and I’m in the process of moving over from the Kmart/Target cheap flats to shoes with better support in them. I have discarded shoes that no longer bring me joy aesthetically and as I replace current shoes with shoes that have orthotic support I will discard my current ones. This will need to be a gradual process due to finance.

Winter shoes:


Summer shoes:


Scarves:

I have a few scarves and I love adding them to my outfits. I only got rid of 2!  This is how I like to store them with this hanger from IKEA:

Jewellery:

I didn’t get rid of any jewellery. It all brings me joy. This is how I like to store my costume jewellery using a key hook from Office Works and 3m hooks:


I can now say that everything in my wardrobe brings me joy.  There are clothes that are too small for me at the moment. I am hopeful that by the summer time they will be fitting me again. If not, I will reassess those clothes in the summer. 

So, one bag of clothing and one bag of shoes have been discarded. There is a small shopping bag of clothes for the rubbish.

You might think that I have too many clothes. You might think I have enough. I am content with the quantity. Certainly, before I commenced this journey I would have to swap my wardrobe around seasonally. I used to have a large storage container where I would put my off-season clothing and place up in the roof cavity.  So pleased I don’t need to do that anymore!

If you have gone through your wardrobe and don’t have anything left, consider reading Unlock Your Style by Nikki Parkinson. Her book is fantastic for teaching you how to build your wardrobe. 

Are you embarking on your own KonMari journey?  

Where are you up to?  

Are you pleased with your progress?

I’d love to see your pics too! Tag #simplyorganisedsimplybeautiful on Instagram, post in the comments on Facebook or message me!

My Konfession

For those of you that know me well, you’ll know what this means. For those of you not in the know, this is it…

I’m a Konvert! I’m following the Kon Mari method by Marie Kondo. You can find out all about Marie and her method here.

Why did I choose to do this method?

I felt like the house was closing in from all the stuff. I think we go through different stages in our lives of collecting and shedding.

My husband and I moved out of our respective family homes when I turned 21, into the home we are living in today. We only had the stuff from our bedrooms so we needed to build the supplies you need for a whole house. With my 21st came traditional 21st birthday gifts, all of which, very well received. Dinner sets, serving bowls and plates, sheets, vases and cutlery. Our mothers then started going through their cupboards and kindly passed on all manner of objects that they thought we needed. I thought so too seeing as they’d had them. We carried on accumulating things for probably seven years.

Our daughter was born in 2011 and we undertook a relatively large renovation. I’ll go into that renovation in another post. The renovation was such that we had to completely empty the house and store all our belongings in a storage pod and house-sit at my sister-in-law’s for three weeks. At this time my tastes started to change. I no longer wanted the beech coloured furniture. I was sick of the hand me down couches that didn’t match and having to constantly fix the blue covers we purchased from Spotlight.

It was around this time that I started to get rid of little bits and pieces. In around August 2012 I came across a spring cleaning/organising group on Facebook which started in September. The checklists on offer for each area of the house were fantastic for going through each cupboard and advising the best way of cleaning the different appliances etc.

I found it hard to keep up with the weekly challenge. Even though it was only one room week, I had upped my days at work from two days per week to four days per week and had recently fallen pregnant with our son. I persevered though, and as I had time, I started cleaning out cupboards with gusto. But some things kept me back from getting rid of as much as I wanted to.

  • I might need that someday.
  • My mum bought that for me.
  • My mother-in-law bought that for me.
  • My husband bought that for me.
  • Someone bought it for me.
  • That cost me $???.

Great excuses, aren’t they?

So whilst a lot of things did leave the home, with two young children the rate of accumulation exceeded the rate of what we were getting rid off.


Now I don’t want you to think that we were hoarders. That is actually a very serious issue, usually needing some form of counselling and the assistance of a specially trained professional organiser to assist them with decluttering the stuff. There was just more stuff in this house than I could handle.

Then followed the usual haze of night feeds, two children under 2 1/2 and everyday life and things stalled again.

It’s probably about a year ago now that I purchased The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo. I bought the iBook version so that I could read it on my phone anywhere I went. Namely on the train on my commute each day. Little did I know, I was helping myself out by not purchasing another physical item that would clutter up my home. I devoured the book. Simply, it just made sense.

The very basic premise of the book is to consider whether the items in your home bring you joy.

Now for those of you that have read it, I don’t empty my handbag out every day. I don’t talk to my clothes. But the act of really thinking about each item and whether or not it sparks joy, really helped in making decisions on whether an item should stay or go.

Remember those excuses? It felt like the book gave me permission to let go of things that other people may have bought me or our family, that didn’t bring me/ my family joy.

The other thing that I like about Marie Kondo’s method, is that you gather all like items from around the home before you commence culling and sorting. Until you see the quantity of clothing amassed together, the ridiculous amount of pens and other stationary items, you don’t really have an understanding of how much stuff you’ve got.

For anyone that has read the book, you know that attending to your own belongings first is the key and commencing with your wardrobe is the first activity. Over the next little while I will show you the results from my KonMari’ing, with my wardrobe up first.