Getting back to basics

One of the great things about staying home is we’re getting to try out a heap of new recipes and are introducing the kids to some basic recipes.

This week we’ve made

  1. our own butter (in the Thermomix),
  2. Apple cider using the abundance of apples of our tree
  3. Milo brownies
  4. fruit leather and dried apple slices
  5. banana cake
  6. chocolate cupcakes

Next week is going to be Easter themed baking in our house. Looking forward to it. Hot cross buns and Easter biscuits *yum*

COVID-19, temporary home schooling and more

So, Covid-19. What a time we are living in! Countries in lockdown. People panic buying (why the toilet paper people???). Physical distancing. Self isolation. Schools closing down or recommending students stay home.

We start our temp home schooling on Monday. School holidays officially start at Easter so we have 2 weeks.
Not sure If I will blog every day but we’ll see how it goes.

In the mean time – Stay Safe. STAY HOME (unless you are an essential worker – in which case THANK YOU!!!!!) Don’t do anything stupid. Be kind to one another.

Here’s a few memes to hopefully brighten your day and I’ll hopefully see you all on the other side.

Meme - I'm having a quarentine party this weekend!! None of you are invited. Half of us are going to come out of this quarentine as amazing cooks. The other half will come out with a drinking problem. Kids complaining they are bored. Bitch please. You lucky this didn't happen in the 80s with only 12 channels no internet, Netflix or xBox! You'd be doing puzzles and playing go fish! I don't like the fact that my chances of survival seem to be linked to the common sense of others.

My Declutter 365 journey – June check in

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)

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July is the half way point and sees us moving onto the linen closet and the master bedroom.

My Declutter 365 journey – May check in

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)

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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.

My Declutter 365 journey – April check in

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 🙂

My Declutter 365 journey – March check in

Hello my decluttering friends. Our decluttering journey in March started in the laundry.

Here’s a before….

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and an after….

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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.

My Declutter 365 journey – February check in

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.

My Declutter 365 journey – January check in

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…

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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