Category Archives: House

Decluttering – still!

I’m horrified to see how much stuff I’ve put in the garbage bin already, and the trash pack is full a week and a half before collection. Of course, there is a fair amount of garden waste in the trash pack.

The back shed is calling me. There are approximately 10 boxes of doom waiting in there for me to fight spiders and pull out ‘treasures’. I did find some very old fanzines that I will keep, and EVEN MORE books. Seriously, how many books does a person really, really need? I figure if I haven’t needed those books which DH put in the shed, then they can go.

I have boxes of books to donate to the Lifeline Book Fair. There are 4 garbage bags of clothes and knick-knacks and kitchen goods to go to a local charity shop. Anything that is not of saleable quality has gone into the rubbish.

I am very grateful for my mother-in-law’s help. She is helping letting people in for cleaning etc as part of the house preparation. This is wearing me out more than I thought it would. I was rather worried this morning, feeling a pain where my gastric band is, and wondering if I had lifted a box that was too heavy. Here’s hoping it’s not serious.

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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in decluttering project, House


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Dashing past

Things are hectic here. Two loads of washing done after coming home from work. One load in the clothes dryer (school clothes I should have done on the weekend but completely forgot). DD has been washed, dressed in pyjamas, fed, read to, done spelling with and lots of kisses.

I have about 2000 words to write by Thursday on fanfic, not to mention several articles I have to speed read.

There’s a pile of washing up, thanks to the dishwasher that decided to cark it a couple of weeks ago. My study is piled high with boxes because I did a half-arsed tidy up of the family room.

I have 3 pairs of tracky daks to hem for DD (who are these gigantic children they were made for?) and also have to wash, dry and hem two pairs of jeans for me. I have to mend a pair of black pants for work – darn seams coming apart after one wear. Pathetic standard of finishing.

Somewhere in that I have to find time to do my rehab exercises, try to calm my mind and spirit before going to bed (ADD means meditation is rarely successful) and then the mad day starts again.



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Our ancient tabby cat seems fine after worrying me about her eye. So what was going on? Who knows.

Our builders have left for the day. We now have a back deck that looks rather nice and the front deck, well, it is a work in progress. Things have been rather delayed due to the builder having an accident. Anyway, here’s hoping that he will continue to have good health and that he will have an uneventful time now.

DD and I made a butter cake and it has been extravagantly decorated with cachoux and pink and white sprinkles.

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Posted by on March 26, 2011 in Food, House


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Housework – Not for Wusses!

That would be my slogan if I had to advertise how good it is to share housework with your spouse or partner or kids.  Many hands make light work, for starters.

But I should add that I’m not advocating that people have to do everything at once. Some things you’re great at, other things you can train your partner to do, oops, I mean encourage your partner. I’m not keen on dusting or vacuum cleaning so those were DH’s jobs. (Yeah, I have to do that all now.)  His extra height and vested interest in a dust-free house because of sinusitis and allergies meant he did a far better job than I did.

Nothing new in the new book Spousanomics, then. I am already cringing at the title. I mean, Freakanomics was pretty awful, Parentonomics slightly better, but Spousanomics turns me off at the cutesy, let’s-jump-on-a-bandwagon title. Ah, the economics side is stressed by using a love heart turned into a pie chart – OMG I can barely bear it.

The authors, Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson, cite comparative advantage as a reason to not split chores 50/50 with one’s partner. Basically, you take on the household chores at which you are relatively better than your spouse, rather than taking on all chores that you’re good at. So if you’re both good at emptying the dishwasher, the one with the superlative skill will get the job. The better one while use their time more advantageously while producing a better result.

If you have kids, you’ll need to re-negotiate. Trade-offs, all that sort of thing. And work out which battles are worth it.

OK, go and buy the book, or get it from your local library. If you find a heap of better arguments in it, please post them here.


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Posted by on February 23, 2011 in House


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To honour myself

I ironed pillowcases today. No biggie for many people. After all, why else would manufacturers make pillowcases that crumple like fine notepaper? But you should know that I am not keen on ironing either for myself or for others. I can’t remember the last time I ironed pillowcases.

The only person I did that for was me, and I am slowly remembering that while I honour my guests when they visit, I don’t probably honour myself sometimes. To show myself the same respect. So today’s big efforts were (1) iron pillowcases so that I have something nice to look forward to the next time I change the bed linen, (2) iron the supposedly-non-iron work shirts so I look more professional, (3) scrub the toilets rather than just cleaning them, (4) cook brownies which deserves a paragraph of its own, and (5) have homestyle linguine tricolore con pesto for dinner.

Now, family members would point out that having pasta on its own for an evening meal doesn’t count – after all, it’s a primo, not a secondo, but honestly, I went to the effort of making sure the pesto was carefully blended with some of the water from cooking the pasta, and stirred con moto. Delicious, and DD even ate it. (Hope she likes the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.)

I have to admit that this effort doesn’t come easily to me on a work day when my energy levels have been sapped well before 5 pm and my pain levels are ramping up rapidly. Today was a public holiday and I had spent my 60 minutes decluttering earlier that day while DD had some play time. We also planted some snapdragons which are in my top 10 list of favourite flowers, watered the pot plants on the patio and all the roses, willing the fertiliser to break down into the soil and decrease the lingering pong, and tipped lots of vegie peelings into the compost heap. The rubbish bin is nearly full and there are lots of old papers that have gone into the recycling bin.

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Posted by on October 4, 2010 in decluttering project, gardening, House, Life Matters


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How on earth am I still doing this? Seriously, I’m going mad.

I have moved various boxes into the study now, have cleaned out two more, and yet the house still looks like crap. The now-spare-room (which was formerly a study) has a bed (made up beautifully, thank you very much), a bedside table with a lamp, three bookcases which can stay there, and, 17 small or medium boxes to be sorted out.

Now, I’ve heard of these wonderful, strong men and women who say “If I haven’t used anything in this box for a year, then I will throw the entire box out”. I say to those people “Can you say, hand on heart, that there are no papers in those boxes which may compromise your identity security?”

The reason I am being rather more particular than I was perhaps 10 years ago is that this exercise has shown me that DH, lovely and adorable as he was, was also quite capable of doing a quick clean-up when visitors came and that clean-up involved picking up things like my bank statements and credit card invoices and more. I’ve found things from 1998 (before we moved to this house), and things from 18 months ago. While I am eager to find the floor underneath the mess, I’m also keen to avoid making unnecessary work for myself, including having to make trips to the bank and so on.

The filing cabinet is being used more. I’m working out which categories I need for each suspension file and I am trying, depression allowing, to read my mail every day and file it as soon as I have read it.

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Posted by on September 11, 2010 in decluttering project, House


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Decluttering Redux

I have been away from this blog for a week. Partly it’s due to Real Life TM being busy and frantic, and partly it’s because when I got two days where I was stuck at home and reliant on low-cost fun with DD, I ended up doing more decluttering. I’ve been working on this for over a year, and now it’s a bigger job than I had thought, thanks to having to clear out stuff from DH’s study.

Friends scoffed at my slowness, thinking that I wasn’t sufficiently ruthless. I disagree – I am trying to avoid sending confidential or work items into general waste, for starters, and DH didn’t shred anything. He kept it instead.

Here is a little list of what I found in the bottom half of a moving box that had been in DH’s study since 2003. I have not embellished or exaggerated this list.

  • 73 comics
  • 1 blue plastic scourer, 25% shredded
  • 1 jar of Vicks Vaporub, 1 teaspoon left inside
  • 1 red flyswatter, never used
  • 2 disassembled cardboard boxes
  • 3 odd socks, black
  • 1 woman’s sock, brown (so that’s where the missing one went!)
  • 4 postcards
  • 1 sympathy card, dated 2005
  • 1 packet of photos
  • 29 travel pamphlets
  • 7 maps
  • 14 plastic bags (now being used to contain sorted out mess and most of these are residing in the trash pack now)
  • 4 AA batteries
  • 2 old calendars
  • 1 nasal spray, empty
  • proofs of an article
  • 7 copies of said article
  • 4 bank statements from our joint account
  • 6 gas and electricity statements
  • 3 telephone statements
  • 1 rates notice

And that’s not counting the manila folders, ring binders, working documents and more.

I find the sorting out of paper to be sort of therapeutic. I can see (sometimes) that I’ve made a dent in the piles, and I can see the full garbage and recycling bins. I also have a bag of papers to be shredded as soon as possible.

Yesterday I went through DH’s wardrobe and had 6 garbage bags of good quality, clean clothes to give to the local church charity shop. These items included brand new shoes and T-shirts. Anything that was wearing out, ragged around the collar or hem, etc. was put on the pile of “Warm items for the cats’ beds”.  My rule of thumb: if it isn’t good enough to offer one of my friends, then it isn’t good enough to take to a charity shop.

The clothes stuff all put me in a bad mood and not able to deal well with DD’s cheekiness and rudeness in the afternoon. I should have done the clothes sorting in the evening after she went to bed. The papers usually don’t have that effect on me; possibly the exasperation at the enormity of the task overpowers any sadness.

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Posted by on April 20, 2010 in decluttering project, House


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