Filling an op shop box…. or two…

Filling an op shop box

Filling an op shop box

Last week, I delivered a huge pile of stuff to our local op shop. There were about three boxes and as many garbage bags full of clothes, shoes and toys.

I know there are books, blog posts and more out there that tells you how to do a massive clean up – I know because I’ve read them. Every time I read something I think “that sounds great, let’s give it a try”. And always very little happens.

What I do now is clean out a little bit at a time so that part of the house works for me. I have an empty cardboard box near the stairs that is marked for the op shop. As I am am sorting things out, I consider whether or not I want to keep different items. In general, I think “would I want to move house with this?” (It’s not as if I’m moving any time soon, but it’s a good way to decide if something should be kept.)

If I decide we don’t want to keep it, it either goes in the bin or in the op shop box. If something isn’t good enough to sell, it goes in the bin – or if I decide I don’t want the boys to remember it exists and want to keep it (like McDonald’s toys). If it is good enough to sell, then it goes in the op shop box.

The sorts of things that end up there are clothes that I no longer wear, shoes that are still good but don’t fit, toys the kids have grown out of, books that we don’t want to read any more (I do keep a lot of books after I’ve read them), and a number of other items, such as the Red Nose the boys got from a Santa visit a couple of years ago.

When the box or boxes are full, we take it down to our local op shop.

I find that doing this makes the job seem a lot smaller than trying to de-clutter the whole house or even a single room in one go. It’s also easy to get the kids involved as they often add things to the op shop box, sometimes without any prompting. It also means that I de-clutter as I go and don’t get overwhelmed by the task ahead. Hopefully when we do eventually move, there will be a lot less junk in the house than the last few times we’ve moved.


Weight loss is NOT a competition

Weight loss is not a competition

Weight loss is not a competition

I have just come back from the gym – yes it’s just over 7am and for the last 3 and a half months I’ve been getting up at 6am 3-4 times a week to get to the gym by 6.30 for a half hour workout.

About 4 months ago, I decided I really needed to lose some weight. I couldn’t fit into some of my favourite clothes and I knew things had to change. The biggest issue was that I sit at a computer all day for work, then come home and sit at a computer to write. I needed to get active – so I joined a gym.

I am losing weight for ME – I don’t have a time goal, though I do have a goal for weight loss and I’m a quarter of the way there. I have 2 boys and 4 nephews to keep up with and I needed to get fitter and healthier. I’m not doing this for anyone else, just for ME.

Lately at the gym they are having a competition – you get points for the number of times you go to the gym and the amount of weight lost. They also give a prize each month for the person with the most weight lost that month. There are also shows like The Biggest Loser where people are losing weight for prizes. These really annoy me.

Weight loss is NOT is competition. If you are losing weight for a prize, will it be sustainable in the long term? For me, it won’t.

The best incentive for me is that I’m now fitting into some of my clothes again, and I’m looking and feeling much better than I was. Mr N has been teasing me about not being so cuddly any more… but I can live with that.

One Cupboard at a Time

Attempting to organise my cupboards

Attempting to organise my cupboards

I’m attempting to get my cupboards organised… many of them are a mess and things are everywhere. To be honest, most cupboards don’t stay organised for long…

I’ve started tackling one cupboard at a time to get them organised how I want them. Different cupboards need different things – some have been filled with Tupperware containers, others with plastic containers from the cheap shop to store medications and candles. Some cupboards just need everything pulled out and put back in some sort of order.

To be honest, there is no system to the cupboards to that are getting organised. I choose the cupboard that is bugging me at the time. My goal is to get these in an order that is sustainable so the cupboards can stay tidy.

I have read many blog posts and books about how to get things organised and I’ve tried their different methods, but none seems to work for very long. By tackling the cupboard that is bugging me the most, it gives me the motivation to get the cupboard organised, and it’s a problem that needs to be solved.

If you are organising your cupboards, you will need to find the way that works best for you. Blog posts can provide inspiration, as well as Pinterest images, books, other people’s cupboards, and more, however when it comes down to it, you need to do what works for you.

I don’t do working bee’s

I don't do working bee's

I don’t do working bee’s

As a parent, there are so many activities to be involved with. Once they get to school, that list increased dramatically with activities the school asks parents to be involved in. From parent’s committee’s to reading with the class, to helping on the cake stall to just about anything else you can think of.

When I was working for myself, I was able to volunteer to help out at the school. The only thing during the school day that I really said no to was the Father’s Day stall, otherwise I was there nearly every second day (or so it seemed) helping out with something. A big advantage I found was that by the time my second started school, the place wasn’t scary for him as he was there a lot.

Now that I am working, giving my time is a lot harder, so I help out in other ways, although I need to draw the line somewhere. For me, it’s Working Bee’s.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the idea – on a Saturday morning, parents, students and teachers gather in the school yard to clean the place up. Often they tackle large jobs that need doing like mulching the garden beds or cleaning our rubbish from the bike sheds to make room for bikes. It’s a great way to maintain the school and get the community involved.

The biggest reason I say no is that on a Saturday morning, we have Auskick, music lessons, and a number of other activities for the kids, and there is only one of me. If I go to the Working Bee, then the kids will miss out on their activities. It’s all about setting boundaries so I’m not running myself ragged, but we still get to do everything we need to.

Your boundaries may be different to mine. You may love working bee’s, or have a partner who can attend while you run your kids around on a Saturday morning event. In order to stop being Super Mum, stop trying to do everything and be everywhere. And if you can’t attend a working bee, you may be able to help with the upkeep of the school in another way, such as donating some money toward a gardener or even doing jobs at other times.

I don’t like cooking…

I don’t enjoy cooking…

I have a confession… I don’t enjoy cooking. It’s not that I can’t cook, or that I’m no good at it, I just don’t enjoy it.

To be honest, I would love to have a personal chef to cook for us every night. I even buy pikelets to put in Mr Z’s lunchbox!

Every now and again, I will get the baking bug and bake some cupcakes, muffins, or similar. But this is rare. When the bug hits, I will bake a big batch and freeze them to use over a period of time. Even when baking, I’ll usually use a packet mix instead of baking from scratch.

I know there are some mother’s who love to cook, but I’m not one of them. And I’m OK with that.

I buy packet mixes and ready made food. I use the same recipe books to cook dinner. I don’t watch Masterchef and those other cooking shows on TV. It’s just not what I’m interested in.

So, there’s my confession for the day – I don’t enjoy cooking.

So sleepy…

So tired today…

Last night, I got hardly any sleep. My brain was not going to quieten down and let me get some sleep.

Somewhere around midnight I finally gave up trying to sleep and put on a DVD to doze in front of. I must have gone to sleep at some point as I woke up around 4 and again at 8.

Because I’m so tired today, I’m taking it easy. I have a long list of things I needed to get done that is getting ignored. Instead I’m sitting on the couch, watching a movie and playing on Facebook. I’m even pinching my kids chips as I feel like eating something unhealthy. Just don’t tell them that!

This is part of my mission to get rid of the “Supermum” tag and look after myself. I’m trying to look after myself and just take it easy instead of pushing to get everything done. I’m going to have an early night tonight in the hope of a good nights sleep.

Time to follow my own advice…

Time to simplify matters…

Life is getting busy and, to be honest, it’s all getting too much. I’ve been trying to be Supermum myself.

It’s time to take my own advice and start to simplify my life. It will happen, little by little, one tiny step at a time, however I’m going to do this.

There are something I know for sure, these include:

  • I need a cleaner, and the sooner the better. I’ve been without one for nearly a year and that’s too long.
  • I have jewellery all over a table in my bedroom and this needs to be organised… I have a basic system and it’s not working for me.
  • We have too many toys. My boys have grown out of many of them and they are just taking up space. We need to get rid of them. The same with many of our picture books.
  • I need to start taking better care of myself. This includes taking proper time out as well as working out how I can fit everything in so that it works for ME.
  • I need to start exercising again. I haven’t done much lately and I really need to get back to it.

This is just a start, and things that I know that need changing. I’ll be taking baby steps. For tonight, I’m going to be browsing Pinterest for jewellery storage ideas – after all, my birthday is coming up… To keep up with what I’ve found, click here.