#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 Bye… 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.

😉

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. 😀 😀 😀

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… 😉

 

#594 10 Minutes to spare

I had about 10 minutes to spare.

I was at the post office a bit too early, the result of being too damn organised, and so I looked around me at the area in which my work resides, wondering how I would fill the time amidst endless cafes, despite being already-caffeinated (but first, coffee, ALWAYS) and yet not being hungry enough to call in somewhere for an early lunch.

There was no point in walking all the way to work, and then coming back…

Then I spotted sun, and glistening water, through the alleyway up ahead of me, and suddenly I knew how to while away the time…

And so minutes later, I was grateful. Generally speaking, we don’t often have the time to just sit and be in the moment, amidst the busy-ness of life, and so to be so organised as to be so early for work as to be so early for the post office, well, I was going to enjoy this moment of peace and extreme organisation as much as I could.

This was my peripheral vision… from my left

To the centre

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And finally the right

A glorious landscape of water, and boats. I sat there in the chilly air, cold, but with my bomber jacket keeping me somewhat warm as I sat close to the water’s edge on a wooden bench, just taking it all in.

The strong ripple of water.

The rowers competing against one another amidst the endless water up ahead.

The sky-scrapers.

Boats of every shape and size.

The freeway far away, with seemingly few cars, for what was a weekend day.

And then to my right I heard some noise, and coming from afar I saw a young boy with what I assumed was his little sister. I felt a pang of longing as I immediately thought of my baby girl at home, but then as this girl scooted around here and there, the boy keeping a close eye on her, I realised if baby girl was here she would launch herself into the water, and so the longing quickly passed replaced by immediate relief.

Phew.

Yet still, I kept a close eye on them as they passed me by. The boy put his younger sister up on the raised garden bed, and she ran off while he kept close to her side.

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I wasn’t with my baby girl, but I could appreciate the sweet sight of another on the last Saturday of this sunshine-y cold September morning.

And just like that, my time was up. It was 10am. I stood up, and with an invigorated swing in my step, I headed off to do my jobs.

#544 Sparkly cupcakes at midnight

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When I am up making cupcakes at night, you know something, is UP.

A party is near.

But when those cupcakes with their finishing touches are being applied at midnight, well then, you know a special cheeky princess monkey’s birthday is near.

It’s actually 12 hours away, and yet I am still not in bed.

I am grateful for the sparkly cupcakes, not only for the future fun and frivolity they promise, but for the fact that when it’s ‘finishing touch’ time of any pre-party preparation, I know the huge day that just was, is finally over.

Ahhh.

Before more madness ensues tomorrow morning.

On that note, goodnight 🙂

#483 Unpacking and Organisation

Today, another Sunday, and another really cruisy and chilled let’s-walk-around-the-house-and-see-what-we-can-find kinda day.

At some point, while Hubbie was taking a nap, and baby girl was watching some Paw Patrol, I decided to head into the wardrobes and check out my unpacked boxes. I didn’t actually unpack any – to be honest, these things sitting in these cardboard boxes, actually make it neater. Out of the box, and a lot of miscellaneous things lying around would only do my head in.

Eventually, I will organise properly, and group ‘like’ things together, also do a MASSIVE culling of ‘things,’ and put the remaining ‘stuff’ into pretty little boxes that make me all warm and fuzzy inside.

I’ve had random boxes in various rooms stacked up on top of each other for a while, those keepsakes that you want to keep, but don’t look at too often; those things that you need, but also, you don’t NEED too often.

All I did today, was go through every box, make sure there was a clear label on the front displaying what was in it, and stacked them up again neatly in the wardrobes.

I cleaned up a little. I condensed a bit. I found some things of interest too. A cute Japanese-style coin purse that I love. Pink wands for baby girl. A crystal candle holder I’d forgotten about. Everything else is neatly waiting in cardboard boxes now for Unpacking Boxes Judgement Day, but just knowing that at a glance, I know where EVERYTHING is, makes me really happy and in control.

Shit like this is super-important for a control freak.

And then at the end of the day, I found a purpose for an empty storage box I had, and turned this pile of baby girl’s DVDs sitting atop our bookcase

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into this neat pile

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It’s not a huge feat, and it didn’t require me to spend hours searching or organising. But in my ‘organisational travels’ today, I discovered where everything was and what I had, including some empty storage boxes, and so when I walked back into the family room hours later and happened to glance upon the pile of awkwardly piled DVDs in a place they shouldn’t be, I was reminded of the felt box that had made me think earlier ‘what can I put in that?’

Some people might balk at my excitement over organising the house, but outer order equals inner peace. I know this, because I am so rapt right now. It is addictive, and I can’t wait to get stuck into MORE tomorrow…