#1029 Getting the Chrissy list sorted

You know where most of the pain of buying Christmas presents comes from?

It’s not from finding the time, or even trying to find the money for it… but rather, it’s knowing WHAT to buy.

That is the real work.

I have about a third of the presents from my list bought already. And that is only 9 days into December.

But better than that, is that I know every single thing that I will be buying for the rest of my list, except for a handful of people.

That is pretty awesome.

The only thing holding me back from going out and buying everything, is of course, time and money…

$$$

And for the other few I have left… I still have 16 days to go before Christmas arrives.

16 days to get organised for just a couple more!

Woo hoo, I’m feeling good ๐Ÿ™‚

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Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

 

 

#994 Happy party prep๐ŸŽ‰

It is a combination of general and specific things making me grateful today, and yet like all religions, they point to the same thing.

Specifically we got floor covering.

Specifically we got drinks.

Specifically we counted chairs.

Specifically I planned out table arrangements.

But in general and as a whole, we were preparing for my Mumโ€™s big birthday bash next weekend.

And it makes me so happy, and Iโ€™m enjoying it, because we are moving at a good pace and getting shit done now… instead of all on Friday night at the nth hour.

And thatโ€™s the way all party planning should go, right?

With organisation, planning and time.

Scoff. Like thatโ€™s always possible.

Hereโ€™s hoping. ๐Ÿคž

 

#932 The Paper cleanse

Maybe it’s because I am a writer, that I hoard so much paper.

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This was the scene earlier today when I was at home and at peace, going through piles and piles of stuff that has been accumulating in random drawers and buffets and shelves, all stowed away for ‘another day.’

And that’s not even all of it.

I have this insane need to keep things and have them documented. It’s part of the reason why I write. I journal. I keep a blog. I have this gratitude blog. And I also keep lots of little bits and pieces, info and notes and documents, all for the ‘what if’ day I need them.

What if?

There’s something else you may not know about me. I have kept EVERY SINGLE CARD I have ever received. Yep. Every one. Birthdays, Christmas, Easter (yep even random Easter cards for the very few that have ever handed them out) special occasions, even ALL of Hubbie and Baby Girl’s cards… ALL OF THEM. They’re in shoeboxes scattered all over the place. And although I will probably forever keep those given to me by my sister, parents and Hubbie, I have been thinking of going through the piles, scanning the cards onto my laptop, and then throwing the paper versions out.

It quenches my need to keep sentimental items, yet also serves the purpose of culling and throwing that I equally yearn for.

Because I really do. As much as I keep things, boy do I love when my throw pile grows bigger and bigger. That is what happened today, in the above photo. I sat in the middle of the room, and started to piece through bit by bit, finding homes for some things, and for others…

BIN!

I have gained an immense amount of satisfaction from just this task today, and that gives me gratitude to no end. Because I have tackled a task that has been nagging me, not just since we moved here, but one that’s been bugging me for years. Years of lack of storage. Years of lack of time. Years of lack of resources. Just years of not being in the right space and time and capacity to sift and throw and itemise, but today, today I was finally going through all those piles and hacking them to pieces.

It feels soooo good.

Most of my stuff now has a home. And the other stuff now lives in my bin.

Ahhh. To be continued tomorrow… ๐Ÿ™‚

 

#868 Sunday’s ‘Bye Bye Boxes’

It’s 5pm on a Sunday. I have had a great day with the family. A great weekend in fact. The day was fun and productive, we were all in good spirits, and yet in the late afternoon, something in me switched.

It helped that Hubbie was geared up to make dinner. He had been talking bacon-wrapped marinated chicken since lunchtime, and with his music blasting out of our mini portable speaker, I knew he would be right.

Just as well, as my switch, could not be turned off so simply.

It was the stubborn OCD switch, and there were boxes that HAD TO BE UNPACKED.

Bye Bye Boxes time.

Ever since we gained an extra kitchen/hallway cupboard, the OCD bug that has lay dormant in me as I tried desperately to not freak out at the sheer volume of boxes and stuff lying crammed all over our house, well, it woke up, and like a can of worms, it cannot be contained anymore.

It doesn’t even have to be a Sunday. Hubbie doesn’t even have to be home. Just earlier in the week I was going apeshit over another hallway cupboard, reorganising it, and putting in things I had just discovered, all giddy with joy, all at the lovely time of 6pm, which is when I really should have been preparing dinner.

But like I said, I CAN’T HELP IT.

“My name is SmikG, and I am recently addicted to clearing out all of our packed boxes.”

After going through about three boxes this evening, I feel great. Plus I re-filled baby girl’s bean bag with more foam beads, which turns into a messy job even when done in the bathtub as suggested, so beware. I have two more boxes on the kitchen floor just waiting for me to get my eager hands into tomorrow, and not only am I unpacking, but I am doing the tough task of deciding, what actually stays. A lot will. But a fair bit will head off as donations, and I have been getting myself into that mental frame of mind, and reminding myself that

a) if it doesn’t give me any joy, move it on

b) just because ‘I feel bad’ about giving it away or throwing it out, does not make it a valid reason to stay

c) who gave it to me, and how long it has been in my life, is also not an indicator of its staying power – if I can take a photo of it and that be sufficient, then out it goes.

It’s a long process, but this OCD girl is finding it a fascinating and exciting one.

Just by saying –

Bye Bye Byeโ€ฆ Boxes.

 

 

 

 

#861 Buy and purge day

It wasn’t the best start to the day.

We’ve all had those days. Those days where upon opening your eyes, it is immediately shit. You lift your head off the pillow with heaviness, dread weighing your feet down as you try to swing them over the sides of the bed. Eyes downcast in sorrow.

It doesn’t matter what the reasons are for these crap starts. I’ve had them. You’ve had them. We’ve ALL had them. And collectively, we could fill a book, or 2, or 20, with all the ways in which a day can start soooo wrong.

On the flipside, we could also create 600 books and more, on ways to turn it all around.

That’s what happened today. You see Hope, it’s a funny thing. It drives me crazy, because no matter what, there is always that little part of me, that is against all odds, HOPING. Hoping for the best. Hoping it all works out. Hoping that my luck will improve.

I rely on Hope heavily. And other times, like today, I HATE it. Sometimes I want to lose it. Sometimes I want to throw in the towel. Sometimes I want to curl up into a ball and shy away from the world.

But then, this freaking little annoying thing called ‘Hope,’ this tiniest of glimmers, pops its head up and asks “but, what if?”

It drives me MAD.

But it also saves me.

Step by step, I turned my day around. Isn’t that what we all do? We have no choice, and on we go…

STEP. STEP. STEP.

And then through the haze and confusion, two separate events helped me to move on.

BUY

Retail therapy. I mean, for such a heavy post, this really is a materialistic no-brainer. If you can, buy your way out of misery. I didn’t go mental or anything, though when I saw a nearby lady about to dig into a huge milkshake/ice cream/sundae, I had the insane urge to borrow my head into her gross and overwhelming dessert.

But I did buy some clothes, and since I’ve been wanting to get some new pieces for my Winter wardrobe, ticking this off the list on such a low day, started to really help.

PURGE

If by some chance you can’t buy your way out of unhappiness, there is one thing you can most definitely do that is FREE. And I think we are all screwed up and over-consumerised in our lives that we can ALL do this:

Get rid of STUFF.

After our shopping visit, I started to head at random, from room to room in our home, getting rid of stuff. There is a pile of ‘stuff’ we had in the corner of the top of our stairs, placed in such an odd spot because I think we thought putting that pile in the already crowded spare room of ‘stuff,’ would somehow overcrowd it.

(Huh. Get that logic. Put stuff in weird place near corner of stairs, but not in the room of actual ‘stuff.’ Anyway).

I worked at getting this pile out of there, using two categories.

Donate

Find a proper home (in the house).

I removed the entire pile, and honestly the donate to keep ratio was about 40/60. I was impressed.

I then moved to other areas of the house, with the added category of

Throw away

This was particularly handy when going through baby girl’s play area. I actually have a work in progress post about toys, the mental anguish parents go through, and how to tackle the problem of space and moving on from them. Watch my SmikG space. But I found it interesting that I didn’t tell baby girl what I was doing as I took various bits and pieces of hers to the bin, yet she somehow knew, because if she saw me pick something up that she liked, she called after me and made sure she retrieved it, yet for the other items, she didn’t say a word.

Interesting.

I did bits and bobs, even putting some things away in our new cupboard adjacent to the kitchen, and by the end of it all, boy did I feel rejuvenated.

Fresh. Lighter. Freer of junk, and freer of unhappiness.

I felt better.

BUY and PURGE. Take your pick, or do both, and get on with it…

STEP by STEP.

#676 The new Pantry

Finally, it appears as if all my Christmases are coming at once.

A late Christmas order I placed two nights ago, that was scheduled to come between 4-7 business days (i.e. AFTER Christmas) came this morning. Score.

A competition I entered a while back on facebook for a free photo shoot valued at up to $1000, well I didn’t win, but I was one of the runners up, which means I still get a voucher to spend on me and my family on a very long overdue family photo update.

Big score.

But no, none of that can quite compare to the other excitement of the day.

Did I win a holiday? That Body Shop Moonshine fragrance suddenly un-discontinue itself? Saved By The Bell is doing a TV reunion show? Angel gets a 6th season?

No no no no.

I restocked our NEW pantry.

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Mammoth score.

I know, right? Thrilling stuff. But seriously, it actually WAS. We have had shit, and by shit I mean all manner of pots pans cups and kitchenware, spread out ALL OVER the house, as well as every single pantry item packed up and out of sight. You can imagine during a house reno how difficult preparing a meal can be. Take that thought, and times it by 500.

For 4 weeks our kitchen has not had a pan or piece of bread living in it. So to be able to put everything back into our new and nicely shelved and organised pantry, neatly, boy oh boy was it satisfying.

And though the kitchen is almost there, I won’t post a before and after yet not only because we still have a few little jobs to complete, but also because I want to make you sweat.

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Feeling really ‘Ahhhh’ right about now. I mean, did you see that empty shelf up there? Go on, have another look…

Ahhhh.

 

 

 

 

 

#614 Mementos from the past

I am in the process of sorting through all the childhood things I left behind at my parents house when I first moved in with Hubbie. So each time I visit, I go through a drawer, a cupboard, a shelf, and I sort into 3 piles:

The throw away pile

The recycle/donate pile

The take home and keep forever and ever pile

I have come across some absolutely amazing things, LET ME TELL YOU. Watch this space carefully. I even came across a note, that nearly made me clap my hands with joy… it’s not with me yet, or else I would have posted about it already.

In due time. ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

But anyway. Along with getting rid of some items today (if I can’t remember where it is from, or it doesn’t spark any interest in me, I remove it from sight immediately in a rather ruthless and cold manner – I have to because I hoard soooo easily) I took home a fair few more.

All little things. Which makes it ok.

But some of the interesting finds were these:

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Bits I had TOTALLY forgotten about. Bits that told a story, of another time, and another place. And Bits that just made me go “huh?”

Bits I had TOTALLY forgotten about

The pale blue rosary. Who gave it to me? I don’t know. Was it a baby gift? I don’t know. Did someone think I was going to come out a boy?

I DON’T KNOW.

But it has always been there, and therefore has always given me some kind of comfort, since I know it has been around for as long as I have.

The Christmas tree pin. It lights up. I think. My mum gave it to me… I think. But regardless of who gifted it to me, it’s Christmas, and so immediately, KEEP.

Bits that tell a story

The blue and pink zig zag choker. When I was 13 and overseas for the first time, my cousin gave this to me. I think I can even remember, that she had made it.

I am not now, nor have I ever been a choker wearer. But I wore it then, several times, both in front of her and away from her, as a kind of experimentation with self, and you know, teenage years. I had completely forgotten about this one. It takes me to a very memorable and significant trip from my childhood, and so this has to stay.

My incognito watch. I wore this in my teenage years, even possibly leading up to, and during my aforementioned overseas trip. I have to say, I had no idea what incognito meant when I wore it. Oh man.

Bits that make me go “huh?”

Those keys on the bugs bunny key chain. You know how you accumulate a thousand and one keychains in your life? No? Well I somehow received a lot. As a present, attached to some gift set, and hey, key chains are an awesome present to give somebody as a holiday souvenir, because who doesn’t want a picture on their keys of some kind of landmark, that they have NEVER been to???!!!

So, I have no idea who gave me this key chain, or if in fact, I got it when my parents and I went up to Surfers Paradise one time. And those keys… like, what? I told my Mum to throw this one out, and then stopped in my tracks.

What would those keys open up?

???

“Maybe you should keep those,” Mum suggested. “It might be to open those brown boxes that kept all those books you used to write in…”

My old diaries. Hmmm. She knew about that VERY well…

So, what a memory blast. As life goes on, I find it fascinating that we used to live a life so long ago, that we can’t remember a lot about. And we come across things, that used to be so regular in our lives, and now, we draw a blank. It’s incredible, and as a child, I used to always say “I’ll never forget,” baffled with adults who couldn’t remember events of their childhood.

I now forget.

You know what might help me though? A watch. I know what incognito is now, and I certainly go by it online… ๐Ÿ˜‰