Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Agonising over Organising

Hi all!

Hope you'll have managed to have some well-deserved rest and relaxation over the holiday period. We had such a special first Christmas for Alex, well 2 to be exact. We drove up to Shane's parents on Christmas day and then to my Mum on Boxing Day. Alex loved spending time with all his relatives and soaked up all the attention and fuss. Shane and I loved it too and while we couldn't see all of our family unfortunately, we loved the time we had with those we did manage to see.

For many Australians, the week or so after Christmas is usually a time to relax by a beach, go camping and fishing or just lie about in the air con watching the cricket or other sports on tv. For me, I generally cant really relax after a move until my home is neat and tidy, the necessary unpacking is done and my To-Do list is completed or at least attempted.

Since our big move about a month ago, I have been feeling very Out of sorts as I just couldnt find the time to get the new place tidy and organised, and it was driving me nuts! I'd be looking around the place at the mess and clutter and agonising about when I would be able to get on top of things! But I have had to learn to be patient and know that in time, things will get done. Alex is very close to 6 months old now, and while he's happy for periods of time on his own with toys, taking care of him is still very time consuming for me. Whether this is the case for all Mums I'm not sure, but I do know that I have an annoying habit of doing things the hard way sometimes! Being an "Older Mum" (at 33), I am quite set in my way I guess and I like things to be done, well, the way that I like them. Everything from the bedtime routine to making up his solid foods, I do in a very specific way for him because that is how I would like it done for myself. A friend told me recently, "its harder for us older Mums because we have done all the reading, and have had time to think about how having a baby will go or what kind of mother we will be. So when things don't go to plan, its very difficult to accept". Aahh SO true, in my case.

Hmm... sounds ridiculous, and especially reading it here, in black and white! LOL But at least I can admit it. SO basically since our move I haven't been able to fully relax. Even late at night I've been up doing dishes or folding clothes or trying to get the kitchen organised so that we can find what we need, quickly.

And Finally.. now, I am happy to say, the place is almost to the stage where I can feel relaxed. The kitchen is organised, the clothes all have homes and there is very little clutter around the place. We are lucky enough to have a large storage area with a built-in cupboard, downstairs next to the garage, so we have kept alot of our belongings packed up in boxes there. Things we don't use at the moment such as DVDs (as if new parents have time to watch a movie!! Ha!), ornaments that I want to keep intact when the little cutie pie is walking and grabbing things; and excess "stuff" that we don't use but may use in the future.

Whenever we move I try to do a big clean out. And if we haven't moved for a while I try to do it on a fairly regular basis as well, at least once a year. The clean out always consists of sorting things into piles. One pile is to keep out (in the home for usage), another pile is to pack away (not being used), another pile for Throw aways, and another pile for Give aways. Its very simple really but the tricky part is deciding which pile something goes into.

I find it useful to turn off the Sentiment, and try to bring out the Logic. (To a certain degree of course. Sentiment always gets first preference when dealing with anything from my beloved Grandma who passed away just before Alex's birth, for example). I think when you are holding something in your hand, and you are trying to decide if you want it or if it can be given to charity, the best thing to do is to think through a few things. Do I LOVE this object? Can I live without it? Will I EVER need or use it again? Could someone else use it? Will I feel terrific when I have less clutter around? Will I feel good about myself when I recycle this object, give it a new home, and do my bit for the environment?

Last week I was doing a tidy up and clean out in the garage. We hadn't had time to sort through everything before the move. I came across a few pieces of furniture and the first pram we'd bought second hand (and hated!) and I made a pile to be given to charity. I was so excited as I called the Salvation Army to come and pick up my growing pile of items to be donated. Sadly they couldn't take all of it. Some of the furniture was slightly damaged, and their standards seem to have risen alot since the last time I donated furniture. Anyway, I now have a bit of a predicament as to what to do with this unwanted furniture. I know this sounds bad, but an idea I have is to take it to the street where we used to live. This street is the kind of place, where you can take out an old vacuum cleaner (for eg), leave it on the side of the road, turn around to wave Hi to your neighbour, and then by the time you turn back the vacuum cleaner has disappeared in a puff of smoke! And the smoke probably isn't coming from something legal. Haha!

So if I took the furniture to this Street, left it there over night and go back the next day to make sure it has been snatched up by some needy person, what's your opinion?? Do you think that is ok? I think its ok, and certainly better than sending the items to land fill! Which is the only other place they could go since the Salvo's don't want them. As long as I go back and check the things have gone to a home or pick them back up, I dont see the harm in trying.

(By the way- I would leave it out the front here at our new place but I suspect someone who lives in the area is on the local council. An old air-con was left out the front and we all promptly received a letter from the council demanding the offending item be removed at once or fines will be given out! To whom they were going to give the fines, I'm unsure of. Otherwise I would have thought That Person would have received the fine already, and the rest of us not receive the Letter!!).

Darn it I am out of time already as Alex is about to wake from his nap. (And by Darn It I actually mean HOORAY as I just love picking up the cuddly little cutie pie from his nap!! How cute is he and Gosh he is getting 4 teeth now up top wierd hey?? I thought bottom's came first).   I might have to leave it here for now, perhaps to be continued.... I'm sure somewhere in this foggy mind I have some more ideas about how to do a successful clean out. Oh yes! I do! Definitely to be continued :-)

P.s I'd like to add a note here to thank you all for the comments on my last few posts. I haven't had time to reply to all of them I'm sorry, but I always read the comments and really appreciate you leaving your thoughts :)



  1. Sarndra we have a practice in our street where if we have something to give away we put it out on the nature strip with a sign that says "Free to a good home". The unspoken practice is to bring it in off the street if it's not gone within twenty four hours.

  2. Hi Rose! Thats such a great practise. Yes good to take it back after a day if it hasnt gone. Its exciting to think someone else will enjoy it isnt it, "one mans rubbish is another mans treasure" :-)

  3. We have several neighborhoods where we can do the same with nearly anything from baby clothes to lumber and plumbing supplies. It's great to be part of a major metropolitan area.

  4. Hi. I had some friends who left something out and were photographed and did get a big fine. So perhaps what Rose said is a safer way of doing it. Otherwise check when Council Pick Up is and leave it til then. We are soo lucky that our council doesn't do a once-annual pick up, but will give every household one free pick up, whenever they need it. Yours might do the same. Or even ebay it. Something the cheaper more damaged things go quicker. Good luck with the rest of the clear out! Eliza

  5. Hi have you thought about Freecycle maybe? Anything is better than more landfill. No wonder there are few bargains to be had at the Sallies these days!

  6. Hi Lynda, That does sound like a good area to live in! It just makes sense doing things that way.

    Thanks Eliza, Yes probably a good idea you have to check with my council. Our Pick Up has just been unfortunately, and it's only once a year. If only I had been organised at the time to put things out for the pick up but I was trying to get the packing done for our move :) I may try ebay.

    Hi, tylasnan. I hadnt thought of Freecycle- thanks! I'm not familiar with it, although I have heard of it. I will check it out. Thanks for the tip!

  7. OH he is so precious... and definitely so worth your attention. The house will all come together; as my husband just said as he walked by "Babies are professional "UN-organizers". LOL Around here if we put stuff to the street WITH our weekly trash pickup it is usually gone by scavengers before the trash trucks come round the next morning.

  8. Oh definitely leave it at your old house :)

    Or do what the other commenter said.

    So weird because this is SOOO not a problem in South Africa - ANYTHING goes and will be gone in minutes too. We unfortunately have such a high rate of unemployment that people are on the look for anything they can use.

  9. Hi Becky! Yes your husband is very right there- Lol!

    Hello Marcia! Isnt the unemployment terrible. We are lucky here. Sorry I haven't visited your blogs for a while! I'm looking forward to a nice catch up read one of these nights (after the 4 teeth have comne through Lol!)

  10. (I'm running back and forth from the computer to his bed here, every time I sit down he cries out for another cuddle!! I know I 'shouldnt' pick him up every time but I just cant leave him crying when he's got sore gums! And whats the go with bonjela? It doesnt seem to make a difference! I have to hold the cold chewy things for him coz he's still not the best at holding things) Xx

  11. Does Alex have a dummy,if he does put the bonjella on that rub his gums with the dummy and then let him suck/chew his dummy.Hope this helps :) Barb.

  12. Hi beautiful! Alex is SO GORGEOUS and is growing so quickly! 6 months?!? Far out time flies with littlies hey!!!
    I hear you on the not wanting to live out of boxes and I also hear you on how little time there is to spend on getting organised when there are little people to look after.
    Anyway, thinking of you and will chat soon lovely!
    Lus x

  13. Perhaps you could ring a church group and see if a woman's shelter etc could use the items. I will soon need to buy furniture as my ex is not good at sharing and the prices in the second hand stores are beyond me for now. Someone must have a use for some of these items.

  14. Hi Barb,
    Yes he does have a dummy, and thats a good idea, might give that a try. Another friend told me SM-33 gel is better. Has anyone used it for their bub?

    Hey Lusi! I know doesnt the time fly!! Thinking of you lots too and will try to get around to emailing you very soon!! Xxo

  15. Thats a good idea to call a womens shelter, thanks Suze. i hope you manage to find some affordable and nice pieces that you need. Break ups can be very tough especially when you have to start again from scratch. I wish you the best xxo

  16. Freecycle is the BEST. I'm decluttering today and stuff is going on FREECYCLE. People come and pick up from you.

  17. Fortunately for us, we can leave things out at the end of the driveway and it is usually gone within 24 hours. Freecycle sounds like your best bet.
    Also a womens shelter is a good idea. I am sure you will figure it out how to get rid of those things.
    Sounds like everything else is well with you and glad you got to get things organized.
    Have a great week!!!

  18. Hi Frugal Down Under, Good for you for getting into the decluttering! I'm so glad to hear Freecycle works- I will give it a go!

    Hi Laurie! Hope you have a great week too! Xx

  19. Some great ideas for giving your furniture a 'new life'.
    Re Bonjela - it never worked for me either. I'll probably receive negative feedback from this but my first country doctor,60 yrs plus when I began seeing him over 20yrs ago, told me to rub whatever drinking spirits I had on my baby's gums. When I nearly went into orbit over this he gently advised me that I wouldn't destroy the child's organs or make it an alcoholic as he was talking about a fingertip wet with rum/whisky, preferably as babies seem to tolerate the taste better than others like vodka/bourbon, and rubbed on the dried gums(that can be an interesting exercise!) as alcohol cools straight away. He also said only when I needed to, as well, as I had just become a single parent with 2 under 2 years and had no handy relief then when my patience and sleep patterns were stretched to the extreme. I have 2 adult children now and an almost teenager and they aren't showing any detrimental effects to a few dozen drops of alcohol during their babyhood teething sessions and sometimes half an hours quiet is all you need to regain your sanity.

  20. LOL, I should have put "during the total time of their babyhood teething sessions" as it otherwise sounded like *each* time they teethed! Whoops.

  21. I too have found the salvos to be very paricular and therefore don't donate to them any more. Try Vinnies, they also do pick up and are great!

  22. HI Robyn!
    Sounds like that worked for you, and honestly I say whatever works to give bub some relief and Mum some peace and /or sanity :-) I've had negative feedback about using a dummy, feeding him to sleep (on the boob), having him in the bed with us, pretty much everything I do as a Mum LOL :-)
    Thanks for your comment!!

  23. Hi Anon,
    I didn't realise the op shops have different standards so I will give Vinnnies a go! Good to know. Cheers!

  24. I'm very impressed that you've managed to sort your house out already! We moved into our house almost four years ago and I STILL have to somehow unearth a room for (our) baby Alex.

    I was delighted when I discovered your blog (via Rhonda's blog), I'm hoping to pick up some tips because THIS year, I will get organised! Now if only my 5-month-old (tomorrow!) would nap so I can get stuff done!

  25. Sarndra - I am a little late with my comment but I would definitely recommend Freecycle. It is a wonderful concept and I have been involved in various groups with much success - both giving things away and I have been lucky enough to receive goodies from other people. It is the epitome of "One man's trash is another man's treasure".