Monday, December 8, 2008

The Monster in My Closet

You've seen me Doin It Old School, and the resolve is still there. This week I finally have a string of days to myself. By that I mean at home with the children and not gallivanting around town. I am attempting to stay focused on my challenge and not simply take the opportunity to sleep in, catch up on my reading or other self indulgent pleasures. Don't get me wrong, I plan on much indulgence in the coming weeks, but I know that I will enjoy it ever so much more if I feel I've really earnt it. I get a perverse sense of pleasure from little organisational tasks, and just getting all the bills paid and letters mailed can leave me with a little glow.

If you are anything like me, you can clean, organise and fancy things up, but there are always those sneaky boxes and bags of things that remain untouched in the back of the closet. These are the monsters I am trying to wrangle this week. Rather than looking for ways to create more storage, I am trying to create less stuff. But I am finding this a very time consuming process; not through the sheer volume of things that must be sorted, but from the emotional bargaining I do with myself as a part of the process. Suddenly I see value in things that haven't seen the light of day in years. The environmentalist me sees the wastage in letting all these things go, when they are still perfectly good. The optimistic me sees the potential of all those scraps of fabric, old jewelry and Christmas cards. And the idealistic me wants to toss the lot and live in a streamlined, minimalist utopia. The truth is murky and lies somewhere between all of these.

But my baby steps are paying off. I've bought myself a good old paper diary and have been making proper To Do lists. Not the sort I usually do, where I edit it to include the tasks I would most like to do, and some I have already done just for the satisfaction of having something to tick off immediately. I've been writing real lists, full of all those hanger on jobs - and actually doing them all!

The menu planning that I was so enthusiastic about the other week, is limping along. It seems when it comes to food I am more of an improvisor than a planner, but I know that both my purse and my taste buds will benefit from perservering on this one.

Christmas and all its accompaniments are often left to the last minute. Wrapping presents on Christmas Eve, forgetting how long it takes, and trying to pass off store bought treats as home made. But not this year. I spent this afternoon wrapping all my Christmas presents! (cue applause) So this year I may just have the time to make my own ginger bread again, rather than running around swearing at the lack of sticky tape in the house come Christmas Eve.

I just have to keep the momentum. And tonight that means a box of chocolates and a few lovely G&T's.


Nancy said...

Good for you re: the Christmas wrapping! Love your blog by the way...

I cannot think of a better combination..G&T and I must run out and get me some gin!


Hammie said...

I am very impressed at the wrapped up presents, I am afraid I tend to go last minute and gift wrapped in store for my in-laws. and the Ebay fairy is still choosing the Dvds and muppet toys that Santy needs to bring.

I find I go through spats of chuck everything, but I go by the following theory: You cannot buy space,(without moving) so get rid of what you don't need and benefit someone who does need it. And if you find you miss whatever it was; get another one.

(I also cheat by packing everything I don't use into inconvenient spaces like under the stairs, if I havent gone looking for them in 12 months; Goodbye stuff)

Happy Holidays; and my christmastime recipe is Hedgehog. From a 1983 edition of "Cookery The Australian Way"

(they love it over here)


ps. will be in Ballarat for new years.

Anonymous said...

Time to yourself is really lovely isn't it? I'm loving the holidays.
I actually really enjoy cleaning which is rather rare for someone my age.

Too Many Shoes said...

Good for you SKM!

I try very hard not to hoard, but slowly, slowly, the accumulation creeps up on me.

Hence the reason why I'm having a stall at the Camberwell market. No better way to de-clutter and make space for more shoes all in one hit!

Anonymous said...

Ive got a decent menu planning post on my blog under household management, check it out maybe it will give you some motivation. I look to your blog for motivation on wardrobe!

Anonymous said...

I think there is something about the end of a year and the promise of the fresh new year that brings on a spate of organization in us. To be organized is my holy grail, but it takes hard work and thats not my strong point! I agree with you on the paper diaries - one day I dream of having a Smytheson one, with my name printed on the front in gold, le sigh.