January is over. Poof! Just like that, gone.
February is a month of new beginnings in this house. Most notably the Twinadoes start kinder (preschool) this coming week. I also have high hopes of actually achieving something on the design front in the next few weeks. So with all that in mind this is the month when I am hoping to actually put some of this organisation stuff into practice and to that end I have been on a mission to ‘de-clutter’
Ah yes that word – ‘de-clutter’. I seem to see it around a lot of late, with plenty of people blogging about simplifying their lives, buying less and getting rid of the excess ‘stuff’. I really like this idea. You see in my simple little mind I equate de-cluttering with having less ‘stuff’. Less stuff means less things to make a mess with and therefore less things for me to have to clean up… you see where I am heading with this?
It hasn’t been an easy task and I have wavered from being totally ruthless and just dumping everything just to get it done, to being all nostalgic and undecided. I wouldn’t say I am a hoarder, I don’t have loads and loads of ‘stuff’, but I will admit to keeping things ‘just in case’. That jacket I really love the look of but doesn’t quite fit right- just in case I have to go out somewhere on a cold night and it suddenly looks great on me…. I have trouble differentiating between ‘stuff’ and ‘STUFF’.
I have often felt like I’ve just been moving ‘stuff’ from one place to the next, shuffling it all round in circles and not actually making a dent in the ‘stuff mountain’. We visited the op shop (thrift store – not sure why I am translating for US readers – do I even have any US readers?) during the week and left three giant bags of ‘stuff’ and only came home with one small items. I sent my Mum home with piles of newspapers to recycle (we don’t have recycle service out there) and have filled our huge wheelie bin twice over with rubbish. So I guess that proves that there is some progress, but I still feel cluttered…
Can you ever de-clutter ‘enough’? Does it ever stop?
And how does being frugal come into all this? What if I de-clutter everything ruthlessly and then down the track decide that we need something I have gotten rid of? Then we have to go out and buy it all over again? That can’t be right!
Amidst all the ‘un-stuffing’, we made a day trip to Ikea. Ah Ikea… the blue and yellow monster who lures in those of us who aspire to have a neat and tidy house but who never actually will because it is now full of Ikea ‘stuff’. I do so love Ikea though – the thrill of picking up a bargain bit of Swedish goodness even if you don’t really need it, and in my defence we went with a list and only came home with a few extras!
We went looking for;
1) A second king sized doona cover.
On a whim last year I up-sized our doona from queen to king. We only have a queen sized bed but always argued over who was the cause of the dreaded ‘gap’ you get in the middle that lets to cold air in. So king doona it was, and it was one of my better spare of the moment purchases, even if it did mean all our doona covers were now obsolete. We’ve managed with one now for the past 6 months but washing and drying a doona cover in a day is not always feasible and when some small child spews all over it in the middle of the night… well you get the idea, we needed a second one and Ikea has nice designs cheap!
2) Something to store the Twinadoe’s clothes in.
I have this wild idea that since I hate to fold and put away clothes I should share that task with the rest of the family and get the girls to put away their own clothes. I also have this wild idea that if we separate their clothes into individual storage there would be less arguments about who gets to wear the grey t-shirt with the pink bear and who gets the red one. So we needed child friendly storage that was flexible and easy to use.
After much too-ing and fro-ing and one horrible moment when had to steal the right bits off someone else’s trolley (we are fairly sure it wasn’t actually another customers trolley, just one that a staff member was using to transport things, but hey we needed those bits!) we got what we needed. We’ve put it together (I showed my girls that putting Ikea furniture together is not just the domain of men who don’t read instructions but also of women who can do it while multi tasking and looking after a very tired and cranky baby) and today we sorted their clothes into it. I still need to make and print labels for each draw and test the ‘four year olds can put their own clothes away’ theory so I will let you know how we go.
3) A kitchen draw organiser.
I am sure our utensils multiply of their own accord when they are bored in the middle of the night. How else do we manage to have 7 medicine syringe plungers but only 4 syringe parts? I am yet to cull ‘stuff’ in the kitchen draws but when I do I will need this.
So that was our list, and while wandering through all the Ikea goodness we added the following…
1) Another basket for the bottom of the shelf in the living room
This makes two baskets now for hiding away the toys on the shelf. I am now thinking we should have gotten two more, so maybe another trip is in order?
2) The girls chose two items each.
Zoe turned into a pile of happy-goo when she saw a plush mouse toy. She has long be dreaming of owning a real pet mouse (she has to wait until she is at school and old enough to look after it) so this was the next best thing. To my surprise Izzy also chose a mouse ( I think they are supposed to be rats, but the Twinadoes think they are mice and heaven help anyone who tries to suggest different, just ask the Ikea check out chick!). Then I ‘encouraged’ them to buy one of these mesh-hangy-put-all-your-toys-in thing, one each, in an attempt to get them to embrace the organising bug and I think it may just have worked.
So really I am pretty pleased with our trip to Ikea – makes for a nice family day out and it has encouraged me to do some more de-cluttering. Less ‘stuff’ has to be a good thing right?
Now, just as your brain was about to explode from all these philosophical life questions here’s a quick link the the lovely Lanne’s blog post about her Top Seven Time Saving Tips. Jodie over at Organised Chaos also has a great list of these. Nothing like learning from wise women.