Project 333 – A New Beginning

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Some of you may remember this post from 3 years ago when I first dipped into the world of Project 333.

This is the list of what I chose for that first round.

Floral skirt
Black skirt

Grey trousers
Black 3/4 trousers
Jeans
Narrow-leg jeans
Charcoal travel pants

Pink suede jacket
Black cord jacket
Pink quilted vest

Turquoise cardigan
Black cardigan
Grey/cream polo-neck jumper

Turquoise striped shirt
Blue/white pinstriped shirt
Black/white striped shirt
Black/cream patterned shirt

Black/pink striped top
Black/pink squares top
Pink top
Red/white striped top
Black/white striped top
Black/white striped top

Navy rugby top
Navy/striped rugby top

Bronze/pink scarf

Black handbag (not shown)

Black knee-high boots
Black ankle boots
Black shoes
Red lace-up shoes
Sandals

Of the 32 items listed, only 13 remain in my cupboard.  The black handbag has been replaced with another as have the red shoes and the sandals.  I grew weary of some clothes and others wore out.  My style has evolved over time and some of the remaining items may yet be culled.

I have almost a month to finalise my autumn list as I intend to participate in the next round which will begin on 1st April.  Even though it is officially autumn (fall) we can still have quite warm days so my challenge will be how best to manage a selection of clothing to suit the change of seasons.  Dresses and light jackets or cardigans are a good option for work.

Here are some of the pieces I am considering.

Black dress with white spots2013-02-27 06

2013-02-11 03Dress and jacket2014-10-26 012013-02-11 02

What do you think?

New For Old

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Apart from consumables such as food and to a lesser degree clothing, I do not have a need to buy a great deal of stuff.  Household items sometimes need to be replaced and I think this purchase falls into that category.

I bought a set of two china mixing bowls from Aldi for the princely sum of $10.  It bothers me a bit because how something can be produced, transported across the globe and sold at a profit defies logic.  Someone is losing out and I suspect it is the worker.  This is a good reason to minimise your purchases, particularly of cheap, imported products.

2015-03-02 01They are to replace these two bowls which have seen better days.

2015-03-02 02The white bowl is a Tupperware one which came to me from my grandmother about 37 years ago.  The surface is crazed and discoloured.  The yellow bowl (36 years old) is more of a salad bowl and not ideal for mixing and it has a crack in the surface which makes it impossible to clean properly.  It is time for them both to go and make way for my shiny new bowls.  I hope they stand the test of time as the others did.

Sew My Stash Sunday – 8

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Sadly, I have not done any sewing this week.  I had a particularly busy week at work this week so the weekend was mostly devoted to household chores like washing and ironing.  I probably could have squeezed some sewing in today but instead I helped The Duke build another raised garden bed.  More about that another day.

2015-03-01 01I have also been working on re-installing the photos into all of the old posts.  It is a slow process but I am making progress.

So, I lieu of any new sewing projects I thought I would share this blog post from 2012.  It sounds as though nothing much has changed – I am still trying to tidy up my sewing room and complete some projects!

Tracking 2015 – February

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At the end of January I wrote a post about tracking our spending for the year.

It is now the end of February and we have continued our diligence in order to create an accurate picture of our variable spending.

BudgetingThere was no more holiday spending and our grand total for February was $1,620.92 which is almost exactly $1,000 less than the total for January (excluding bookings for our holiday).  Many, but not all categories were substantially less.  This was not because of any concerted effort, but rather, is an indication of how our costs fluctuate on a month by month basis.

Food made up a much smaller proportion with a spend of $233 in February compared to $633 in January.

Most importantly, if the food and transport costs for the first 2 months of 2015 were averaged out over a 12 month period they work out to slightly less than the figure I put in our budget estimation late last year for the financial planner.  This makes me feel as though I have a pretty good idea of where our money goes and how much it costs us to live.  The proof will come later in the year if the figures continue to stack up.

Get Growing

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If you live in a location with a reasonably warm climate, there is one thing to grow that I cannot recommend highly enough.  Sweet potato.  It is a nutritious, versatile vegetable that will grow with the minimum of fuss.  There is a heap of information here.

I have had them growing for a couple of years and there are almost always some available to harvest.  This is my latest haul.

2015-02-27 01Sweet potato can be boiled, baked, steamed and mashed.  You can make chips or soup.  I grate it coarsely and stir-fry it and serve instead of rice or pasta with chicken stir-fry or bolognaise sauce.  You can even use it to make chocolate brownies.

Keeping Things Tidy

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I saw the following question posed on an internet forum the other day.

“What room do you always like to keep tidy?”

The answers were as wide-ranging as there are people.  My favourite was probably, “The guest toilet – the family are banned from using it”.

Of course then there is the small matter of interpretation.  What do you regard as a tidy room?  Pristine?  Basically clean?  No clutter?

A tidy room in a home with a number of children might be vastly different from a single or two adult household.

The 2 rooms that are always clean and tidy at our place are the bathroom and the guest bedroom.  As one clever person observed, no-one actually ‘lives’ in a bathroom, therefore, therefore it is easier to keep tidy.  After having lived with 2 teenage daughters I would dispute that assertion in some instances.  Our bathroom now is small and sparsely furnished and requires only a quick wipe to look fresh and sparkling.

003I find it interesting to note that the 2 rooms that are the most difficult to keep tidy are the study and the sewing room.  I don’t think that it is any coincidence that these are the areas that still require more decluttering.

001Remember, the more stuff you have, the more cleaning, tidying, storing and organising it will require.

Tables should be clear surfaces ready to be used.

Dining tableThis is the shelving unit in the living room.

2012-11-21 01I always try to keep the bedroom as clear as possible as an uncluttered, calm room is more conducive to good sleeping.

2013-04-18Move the unwanted stuff out and the house will be easier to keep tidy and you will have more time to spend doing the things you enjoy.

What rooms do you always like to be tidy?  What are the challenges you face?  Are there rooms that defy even the best of intentions?

I would love to hear what you think and perhaps we can work together to make some progress.

 

Upside Down Hook

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As I have mentioned before, it can be the smallest things that can make a real difference to organising your home.Here is an example.

I keep the clothes hamper in the laundry cupboard and the small step-ladder fits beside the hamper.  The only problem was that every time I pulled the hamper out to sort the washing, I would have to hold the ladder and then re-position it to stop it falling over.  One day I thought of a solution so the next time we were at the hardware store I selected a large hook which is designed for hanging things in a garage or workshop.

I calculated where it needed to be positioned and The Duke attached it to the dividing wall in the cupboard.

2015-02-24 01You can see that the hook is upside-down compared to how it is designed to be used.  My idea was for it to retain the step-ladder so that it would not tip over when the clothes hamper was removed.

2015-02-24 02It works perfectly and does not impede getting either the ladder or hamper in or out of the cupboard.

This does not look like much but it has saved me an endless amount of frustration.  The key is to think laterally and look for solutions that may be a bit ‘out of the box’.

Do you have any unique organising tips to share?