June was all about the home office and the bathroom.
Our home office has migrated back inside again. Not that I’m 100% happy about that but at least I’m warm while doing the bookwork and keeping an eye on small people. Hubby & I tend to hoard different things in the office. Me, it’s all about paper and pens. Hubby, it’s computer parts. Upside – I chucked all my pens that don’t work. Hubby sorted and chucked a whole heap of old (& I’m talking really, really old) computer parts, discs and cords.
Next step was the digital clutter, a slow and steady pace on this one. I started with my work email and saved what I really HAD to keep and then binned the rest unless it is something pertaining to current clients. Then I moved onto my blog email. I’ve managed to get my inbox to zero for the first time in ages. I’ve even decluttered a whole heap of emails that are no longer relevant. Go me! Now to start on my personal email
Over the next week I plan to unsubscribe to email lists instead of just deleting them. Only keep what is essential and interesting.
I’m slowly sorting al the files on my computer and 2 main external hard drives. I had so many double (& some triple ups!) and some files I no longer need so in the bin they went. I’m pretty good at backing up photos and files now since I had a hard drive crash last year and I thought I had lost all the photos of our youngest. Not a nice feeling.
Finally we moved onto the bathroom and then makeup. Look – clean bathroom 🙂 (just excuse the soccer gear hanging in the shower)
July is the half way point and sees us moving onto the linen closet and the master bedroom.
May was all about paper work. Our home binder is slowly filling up now and we have better systems in place to deal with all the paper clutter that comes into the house.
We got rid of our home phone a few years ago but I decided to make a message centre to put in our ‘family command centre’. Much easier to remember something I have to let hubby know if he’s out & forgets his mobile.
Bills – we have 2 major bills – rent for our business laptops and our internet/mobiles. Both get taken out on a certain day each month. Any incidental bills are filed into the appropriate folder and made not of in our budget. Due dates are added to the calendar. This system seems to be working ok for us.
I created a ‘family command centre’ in the kitchen under our whiteboard (& in between the Soda Stream and water filter). Notes and invites go on the cork board. This week’s menu is on the whiteboard. Our month calendar is underneath. Our family/home binder sits on the trolley underneath that along with my file for bills/mail that needs actioning (& our hand vac)
Next we moved onto tax items and receipts. Since we run our own small business I keep all our receipts in a lidded plastic box in the office and then after we have been to our accountant, I scan it or file it. At the end of the financial year I shred or burn any receipts we no longer need to keep. Anything that needs to be kept, including the previous years tax return info is kept in lidded file box, arranged by financial year
Our filing system is pretty simple – 2 files for each member of the family. One for important stuff I know we may need to access and one for papers that I want to keep but aren’t super important. The rest of our papers are sorted by what they are – sports, business, house etc Have used this month as a good excuse to go through and sort/shred our filing cabinets.
Challenge 21 was super easy – we rarely get magazines and any newspapers we get are piled in a bag and stored to help start our wood fire in winter. Catalogues get read then binned.
Challenge 22 looked at passwords, warranties and manuals. Since that finishes in June I’ll be back next month with how we are going.
Kitchen update – a bit messy but nothing a quick tidy wouldn’t fix. It’s finally sinking in how easy it is to keep the kitchen cleanish. Still trying to get the rest of the house on board.
April started in the Garage. This is totally hubby’s domain, I’m not touching it because I would throw the majority out LOL so the first few days of April were spent catching up with March, as were the days dedicated to the attic. Oh how I would love an attic!
We then moved onto Contact Information. Our Family Folder now has all this information and it’s up-to-date.
Finally April ended with mail. I’ve now created a mail station where all the new bills are housed.
A nice easy month really and I’m looking starting May with no backlog of previous months 🙂
Hello my decluttering friends. Our decluttering journey in March started in the laundry.
Here’s a before….
and an after….
We got rid of old laundry supplies and things we don’t use any more, created a stain removal kit, created some decor to make the laundry a bit brighter, created a laundry schedule and a system for putting away clean clothes (something we struggle with), and organised and decluttered a pile of odd socks.
Next was creating a cleaning schedule . Now to get everyone on board and actually using it. So far it’s helping me, the kitchen is staying relatively clean. We also created morning & evening routines. We started routines for Miss K last year and are bringing them back so mornings aren’t so hectic. It’s nice to have a routine for us adults too.
Our family folder is slowly getting more information added as we go along and if anyone in the house asks where something is now it’s ”check the family folder first”.
Finally in March was the basement – we don’t have one but it was interesting reading and we can apply some of it to our garage which is a total shambles.
So, accountability and all that. February was a bit of a right off :/ I did bits here and there but didn’t follow along daily. On a positive note, the kitchen is now pretty much decluttered so yay. I’m still struggling to keep the benches clean but it’s better than it was.
Finishing off January – the pantry is still a shambles but the is no out of date food stuff or food we don’t eat, our fridge is clean and more organised and the freezer is better organised (& I chucked a fair bit of unidentifiables). Everything is labelled and dated now so hopefully no more freezer waste. We also have a freezer and pantry inventory set up so we know what we have (& don’t buy what we don’t need = saved $$)
February started off with recipes. I hoard them. I have a huge pile of recipe books and the majority have 1 or 2 recipes that we like/cook frequently. I’ve scanned & printed all the recipes we cook frequently and added them to a Family Favourites binder. I’ve scanned & Evernoted any recipes we want to try – if we like them they’ll go in the binder. Recipe books are in a pile ready to be donated. The ones I use lots (& a couple of sentimental ones like the WW Birthday Cookbook) will be housed somewhere in the kitchen, just not sure where yet.
We’ve set up a better recycling & trash system – much easier when under the sink is clean. Chook bucket and compost bucket live under the sink and are emptied into the appropriate places every second day. We have a bag for recycles in the laundry that gets emptied into our large bin once a week.
As for bins, we have a large one in the kitchen plus small ones in the bedrooms, bathroom and toilet. These get emptied as needed.
Next step is to declutter all our excess plates, mugs and dishes. Challenge 7 was coupons, not something we do here so I may have skipped those days. The rest of the month is looking at menu planning, which we have done for some time but looking forward to picking up some extra tips.
Looking back at all that I’ve actually done ok. Bring on March.
One of the things on my list of 100 things to do this year was to complete the Declutter 365 challenge. The first month is all about the kitchen and, I’ll be honest, is one of the areas I really struggle with. I love to cook but I HATE cleaning. So I’m undertaking this and am blogging as I go, accountability and all that.
To start I found a largish box that was still in good condition after Christmas and have designated that as our donation box. Something we don’t want/need but it’s still in good condition – into the donation box it goes. I’ve put it on the shelving in our hallway so it’s out of the way but still easily accessible.
I’ve also created a household notebook to house (haha) all our important stuff. I may create a separate post about this.
Onto the kitchen *sigh* Here’s some before pictures. Seriously it’s shocking. Christmas and all that, hot weather and honestly it’s the last thing I want to do of a night time. I hate it. I really want to have a clean kitchen. I need less ‘stuff’ in here and honestly just keep what I use frequently. No point asking anyone else in the household because I do the majority of the cooking. Anyhoo…
Seriously feral *sigh* these were taken in early January. I’ve managed to do counters, drawers, utensils, some of the kitchen cabinets, plastics and made a start on the pantry, fridge and freezer. I’m still working on some of the January bits and pieces even though we are now well into February.
Photos will be coming when I finish the January tasks.
Now just to get hubby & Miss K on board with keeping it clean haha
A favourite recipe from my Grandmother
A family favourite and often requested at Christmas time.
Onto week 2…..
KFC Style chicken (also known as popcorn chicken) & potato mashies. Love our KFC style chicken and the mashies are so delicious. A new way to use up any leftover mashed potato.
We actually skipped a day because my inlaws took us out for tea so that was why there was no insta pic on Thursday night.
Friday was Beef and Bacon Pasta bake. Another family favourite. Heaps of leftovers. Really easy to make. Only thing I do different from the recipe is to pre cook my pasta and then stir it into the meat mixture.
Saturday night was Teriyaki Pork Meatballs, Steamed Rice and Vegetables*. Seriously yummy. We hadn’t made this before but definitely will again. The meatballs were really nice and the sauce wasn’t overpowering.
This one is a favourite of mine. Makes heaps. Freezes well. Great for entertaining too. Creamy chicken vol-au-vents
Nearly done. Tonight we had potato topped meatloaf. Must be good, I had 2 helpings. Seriously it is good. And I’m not a huge fan of meatloaf.
Second last night and I swapped out another mince meal for Orange & Ginger Pork. Yummy and something quick and easy.
Wednesday was our wedding anniversary so I wasn’t cooking.
And bringing the first of my 14 day challenges to a close we had beef strog from the EDC. Another family favourite.
I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with the next challenge for myself. I hope you enjoy these recipes I’ve shared.
* this recipe is part of the 2015 ThermoFunkies Club. It’s well worth the $37
Here we are. Seven days into my 14 day challenge and I hope you are looking forward to checking out the recipes.
Bonus recipe – Honey soy meatballs. Wasn’t sure how this one would go but everyone loved it. It made enough for 2 adults, a 5yo and a 1yo plus leftovers (& a few sneaky ones snuck while mum was serving tea but shhh)
Day 1 – Honey chicken with rice. If you like Honey chicken from the takeaway you’ll love this one. Takes a bit of time but definitely worth the effort
Day 2 – Creamy bacon & basil bowtie pasta*. This one is a family favourite. Makes heaps.
Day 3 – Honey beef stir fry & noodles. Yummo. Love this one. Really nice with either steamed rice or noodles (we went with noodles)
Day 4 – Beef pies. New recipe for us. Had tried this recipe previously and it was ok, wanted to try something different. Added a couple of teaspoons of YIAH Veggie dip mix. Next time I’d add a little less. I decided to makes some wedges to go with it. You can grab the recipe (& what I’d change next time) here.
Day 5 – Moroccan style chicken roast with this stuffing and roast veggies. Wasn’t sure how this would go the first time I cooked it for one of the ThermoFun cook a longs but I was so pleasantly surprised. This is another family favourite I cook when we want something different from the usual roast chook. Always gives a moist roast, and if you put it in the oven for a bit, you get crispy skin.
Day 6 – Chicken mornay. Leftovers night! This is just a tuna mornay recipe made with leftover roast chicken. Seriously yum if you add a bit of grated cheese (& a little YIAH Herb & Garlic dip mix) Really nice the next day on toast with a little grated cheese on top.
Day 7 – Devil Sausages and mashed potato. Love this recipe. Love we end up with leftovers for lunch or another night. Bonus is we have enough leftover mash for tomorrow night’s meal.
*ThermomFun member recipe. If you have a thermo cooker I can highly recommend joining the ThermoFun site. A new recipe every week delivered to your inbox and access to a whole heap of helpful documents!