In recent years, my book carton full of video cassette tapes has bothered me. The thing about moving overseas in 2002 is that we were in the crux of a great technological change. I had no idea what lay ahead, how the world would evolve in my time away. Yes, compact discs were emerging but they certainly hadn’t yet dominated the market. So, when I moved, my precious video tapes got boxed up for later. Occasionally when I returned home for visits, I would think about tackling them. But I didn’t make any great strides until last year. How? Continue reading
Film negatives. Also old home movies.
If there was one declutter task I was keen to do once I returned from the Middle East, with a bit of spare cash in the bank, it was to finally, once and for all, get my old negatives and home movies digitalised by a photo service. For one, to declutter negatives, cassette tapes and photos. Two, in case of any emergency or loss, I had a copy. Three, because I wanted to add them to my photobook project, someday that I would tackle that. Unfortunately, it didn’t prove as straightforward as I’d hoped. But, what I did learn was useful because if you’d like to do the same, I’ve got some tips and tricks for you. Continue reading
Small steps make big progress. It’s a fact. All the minimalism and slow living folk talk about it. Joshua Becker. Courtney Carver. Brooke McAlary. The Art of Decluttering podcast ladies call it, micro decluttering. Small actions, when there are enough of them, do lead to a big change. This applies to anything really. Grassroots campaigns sweeping the world even. I live by mottoes of similar mantras “The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step” (Lao Tzu, on my fridge magnet), “A job begun is half done,” my teacher used to say. “Done is better than perfect”, a friend told me last year.
Below are some of my small actions that are getting things done in my life this year and last. File under REPAIR AND REUSE. Continue reading
How many people have an old laptop hanging about with nowhere to go? Phones yes, but laptops? A few years ago, I went through my electronics and cables and was able to get rid of a lot, but I found things like laptops harder to pass on quickly. You have to log on and remove the data; after all, it has to be at factory setting before someone else gets it. Well, finally, I got to tackle it along with a few hard drives. Oh, that was a happy day when they all went! Continue reading
I was a teenager of the nineties. It felt like it then, and maybe it’s a phase that continues today that all teens go through as my niece surely collects them, but teenage girls love teddies. I loved my teddies. I had that cute and cuddly bedroom filled with stuffed animals. I was gifted teddies. I had my precious ones from childhood. And then, in the age of Skill Testers, I mastered the art of winning them. Naturally, my collection grew to be sizeable. But teens don’t stay teens forever, and while I struggled to store them when I lived at home – in nets from the ceiling and an old-fashioned wicker trunk – inevitably I grew up and they all moved into storage.
I think they did move around a little bit. I found them last year in my parents’ spare room still stowed in the wicker trunk. But the time had come. I pulled them all out, gave them a wash and took pictures of those that were the most memorable. Gifted ones with love, still soft and fluffy ones, and my favourites. I knew they deserved a better life, to be seen as real and loved and cuddled by smaller humans. Continue reading
It has taken a lot of hard work and determination, and deliveries from various outlets, but I finally have something resembling a cosy home. I’ve decorated in pinks and greens, and tried to mix up the textures, lots of soft blankets, cushions and rugs to make it feel all girly. But the best joy is coming from the kitchen. Continue reading
I have always been a busy girl. Priorities out of alignment. Letting work or study or clutter take up all my time. Everything else would get an excuse, sit lower down the priority chain. If I could just get X out of the way then I’ll have time for Y, I’d think. But it never happened. When I was last working, life genuinely was busy in my job, always having kids to chase, parents to answer to, my own impossible expectations to meet. I started this idea of making tea, taking that moment while the kettle boiled, to breathe, to do nothing, to think nothing, to be mindful. To notice the sound of the kettle, the smell of my herbal tea bag, the feeling of my feet on the ground, my back pressed against the counter. I didn’t drink hot drinks, especially in the Middle East, so even if I forgot to make or drink the tea, which I frequently did, in boiling the kettle, I started buying into this notion of taking a mindful moment for myself. Continue reading
I moved my stuff in my new apartment the other day. Boxes upon boxes of stuff crowding up my living room. It was stifling. Overwhelming. But full of hope. Here we are five days later and I can start to see the rainbow at the end of the storm. I think, I can see why people have housewarming parties. It’s to celebrate the joy of making it through the physically and emotionally draining process of decluttering and packing up, hauling your worldly possessions to somewhere new, and then unpacking it all, designating new places for things, buying and building new furniture pieces and making a house into a home. Well I’m on the final stretch now and after the lessons learned, and the pain and problems I’ve been through, I’ll be well and truly ready to share the joy when this is over. Continue reading
When I first arrived back from Africa and spent my days in quarantine in a hotel, I was very deeply wrapped up in overwhelm. All this free time lay ahead, but so many things to fill it with! I had new businesses to work on, my storage to tackle at long last, my photo storybook project! But there were also priorities! I needed to work through the stages of my welfare claim, find a place to live, get my car back from my family, call people to continue a sense of connection and reassure everyone I was ok. I had travel insurance claims to deal with. On and on the list went, partly started with the list I began at New Year, but a few new things, more urgent things on the list as well. And I. Just. Couldn’t. Cope. Continue reading
It’s the first days of forever for me. One chapter has closed and another has begun. In the last 20 years, no journey out of Australia for me has been for less than two months (a couple of times), or less than a year or two (most times). I’ve reached a new chapter that sees me settled in Melbourne, no more travels except short holidays. Having a home of my own. Owning actual furniture. Forming habits and routines. Being normal not nomadic. Over the past year, during an almost one year sabbatical of travel, whether I was walking through Europe or riding a truck across Africa, I was listening to the podcast The Art of Decluttering, dreaming up what life would look like settled down. Envisioning my home, my future, and deciding on what podcasters Kirsty and Amy refer to as “visions”. Continue reading