Tuesday, January 19, 2016

#Ditch500 - My First Update!

Posting these photos makes me cringe (hello un-edited, un-beautiful catastrophe!) but this is what raw progress looks like baby! I dedicated the first week of the month to clearing out every cupboard and drawer in my kitchen, and putting back only what I wanted. My shelves are now spacious and oh-so-use-able.


186! (Not all of it is pictured above) I didn't anticipate unearthing quite so many things to get rid of, but that only proves how completely necessary this challenge was for me, doesn't it?

So what have I learnt so far?

Ruthlessness breeds ruthlessness
I started with my baking drawer, which I had been wanting to go through for some time and I knew would be easy for me (novelty baking pan after novelty pan!) I ditched almost half the items in that drawer! Once I cleaned the drawer and put the keepers back in, I was hooked. The drawer became so useable. It gave me the motivation I needed to make some tough decisions all the way through.

If you're ditching it, ditch it now!
Though I plowed through the culling phase in a matter of days, my 186 items ended up sitting on my dining room table for a couple of weeks after that while I tried to source boxes. And I faltered. Some of the items went back and forth a couple of times between table and cupboard ("it fits back in the cupboard after all!" is a terrible reason to keep something, FYI). I would stare at items that had been gifts, and feel sad. I would hesitate over items that were lovely and that I quite like, but have just never been used. The longer they sat, the harder it got. The moment I acquired boxes and packed them up, I haven't looked back. Out of sight, out of mind!

We seriously acquire a lot of crap
You know what I'm talking about. The gadgets. The novelty measuring spoons. Those cute retro things we find at op shops that really should have stayed in the past. The free plastic measuring jug whose measurements you can't even read. The $2 mug your Secret Santa gave you 3 years ago that's been pushed to the back of the cupboard. As of 2016, that stuff has no place in my home.

I will leave you with this quote that I recently came across, and absolutely LOVE: "The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak" - Hans Hofmann. So much yes. That's a truth-bomb I can get behind.

Oh, and what did I do with those 186 items? About 20 items (mostly broken or unusable) went straight in the trash, which means I've effectively been storing rubbish in my cupboards for the last few years. My sister Steph, who has just moved into her own place with her boyfriend took a few things. And the rest I'm trying to get to the Waroona/Yarloop fire victims via the Australian Disaster Volunteers Register.

Have you been thinking about ditching 500? It's never too late to start!!!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Becoming Mum: Time

Have you seen the tale that occasionally makes the rounds on Facebook, called "I'm Going To Bed"? It compares the difference between a man and a woman "going to bed". The woman busies herself with an onslaught of little tasks - picking up toys, putting away dishes, locking the back door, packing lunches, folding clothes - and the man? He simply goes to bed. I'm not posting here tonight to draw a generalized comparison between the sexes, but I will say this: I am becoming that woman! 

Tonight I put Jackson down after his bottle, and thought to myself, "Right! Time to get ready for bed!"
Tonight's bed time routine included, but was not limited to: bringing in the nappies on the line, filling the water bottles, putting away Jackson's clean clothes, changing our bed sheets, cleaning out the sink, packing Chris's lunch, finding Jackson's Child Health folder (4-month shots tomorrow! Wah!), putting away the dog bowls, sticking vinyl decals on Jackson's wardrobe (I've been meaning to do it for weeks!), and now here I am sitting down to write a blog post about it all. Yep, bed is still the goal. Aaaaany minute now. But since becoming a Mum, these energetic bursts at night are how I get things done! Before Jackson, I was more like the man in the tale. After an evening of watching TV with Chris, I would yawn, call it a night, jump in the shower and snuggle up under the sheets. Usually by 9pm. It sounds nice, doesn't it? But the interesting thing is, before Jackson, before I had these designated little pockets of time in which to achieve things, I had a lot less motivation. Dishes would pile up. The sheets would stay, unchanged, on the bed for an obscenely long time. Laundry would happen in a mad panic on a Sunday afternoon when I realized that we had no clothes for the week ahead. The mess would slowly pile up around us. There was always the promise of more time in which to do those things, but instead of using that time, I just imagined that at some point I would.

I'm far from being the perfect house keeper (please do not inspect my floors. Ever.) But I am seeing improvements. I'm enjoying the productivity of it all. And although it's difficult having less time to work with, it seems to be a good thing for me. I know when I worked, if I had one easy job to do for the day, I was sluggish. Easily distracted. I could get to the end of the day and actually, that one easy job might not have been completed. But as soon as I had a lot on my plate, and a short amount of time in which to do it - I was in my element. I could get it all done with time to spare.

How about you? Do you thrive more under pressure? Do you have lots of time (and discipline!) on your side in which to get things done?

Now! I'm going to bed (for real).

Saturday, January 9, 2016

We Love Today

It's a rare overcast day here in Perth, where the sun is generally on crack this time of year. I got out of bed at 5:30 this morning to feed Jackson and as I prepared his bottle I stole a glance at the backyard, and my heart leapt. These grey, dreary days are my favourite, especially in the midst of the hot Summers we must endure year after year.

We headed to May Street Larder for family brunch. Chris and I love May Street Larder. We had an amazing dinner there towards the end of my pregnancy last year, and ordered way too much food (we always do). They specialize in American soul food, which appeals to anyone but especially appeals to my American born and raised husband!

Jackson was a perfect little gentleman...

...except at this moment, when he started chewing on Daddy. It's freaking adorable when he chomps down on your hand and rubs his naked little gums all over your knuckles, but we should probably start deterring this before his teeth come in. I hear people don't like people who bite other people.

We got the beef brisket hash and the chicken waffle sandwich, bacon on the side, and swapped halfway through. So good.

But by the looks of things, Jackson enjoyed his breakfast even more than we did!

Now we've settled into a quiet day at home. Jackson is cooing in his bouncer, the living room blinds are open to show off the grey sky outside, and the creeper cat who hangs out in our front yard and watches us through the window has even stopped by for a bit of a gander!

We love today.

Saturday, January 2, 2016


Happy new year, you guys! Like pretty much every person on the planet, I've been spending some time lately contemplating what 2016 will look like. New years always excite me, because I'm a little bit #basic and get totally sucked into the whole fresh start thing. Every time. So yeah, I have a list of goals I would like to achieve this year. Cut down my Facebook time, read more books, write more... and without knowing exactly how achievable it is, one idea I've decided to commit to is to DITCH 500 THINGS FROM MY HOUSE. I don't feel like we're excessive people, yet our house is absolutely filled with stuff. Filled. With. Stuff. Most of this stuff is not even important to me, most of it (absolutely more than 50% of it) sits on a shelf/in a cupboard/on the floor without so much as an annual touch. A lot of it I don't even see any more; we've had it and ignored it for so long it literally fades into the background (I'm looking at you, white ornamental birdcage that I intended to store a collection of baby pine cones in but sits there holding the same two lonely baby pine cones that I found at uni that one time and no longer even fits my aesthetic but cost $20 at Thingz Home and what a waste of money to just get rid of it because maybe it will grow on me soon).
You guys. Stuff sucks. You have to clean around it, you have to move it from house to house, and I find that it actually gains sentimental value the longer you keep it around. We grow attached to things simply because they are our things. The human is an enigmatic creature.
No more. It's time to simplify. You know I'm serious because I've made it a hashtag. As of Monday I've decided to commit to the Bowl Full of Lemons 14 Week Home Organizing Challenge. My hope is that as I go through each room, I will ditch a bunch of stuff and then maybe Instagram it with my shiny new hashtag, #Ditch500. These Instagram posts will be ugly, I'm not going to lie. There's no way to pretty up a pile of junk. But with a good balance of adorable baby photos I'm sure you can forgive me.
By the end of the year, my goal is to have 500 things out of my life that I no longer need. Join me? I'll let you use my hashtag.