18 May 2020

Order Restored!


I've had a lovely weekend here, slowly putting my bedroom back together after a thorough clean. I've moved some furniture and have been enjoying re-organising the wardrobes and drawers.

Its been quite enjoyable just to fold and sort the clothes when now I only have what fits, what gets worn and what fits in the space. The room feels calm and tidy and there is order instead of overstuffed closets and piles of excess 'stuff' that had no space to be stored.  Today I have just the clothes that need ironing to do and then its complete. I quite enjoy ironing when I'm not in a rush to get it done before work, so in between work commitments today I'll iron a few baskets and then I'm done.

Mortgage Payoff:

I'll be exactly half way through my five year goal on 30th June.My mortgage balance should be $83,999 at the half way mark so I have some catching up to do.

My plan is to pay a full mortgage payment each fortnight on top of our regular weekly payment which would be three payments a month. I'll also put the income from my second job straight to the mortgage. It means a really tight budget but I'm going to do my best to stick to this plan. I got paid for my second job on time this month and have paid it all off the mortgage.

Well its Monday morning here, time to get started with the day and get ready for a day of work meetings. I had been doing some my  day job work in my bedroom but I'm going to stop that as I just want to keep it peaceful and free of stress.

"Your home should be the antidote to stress, not the cause of it" 
Peter Walsh


12 May 2020

Autumn Spring Cleaning & Lockdown changes.

We're still enjoying the beautiful Autumn weather here, cold and foggy mornings with the sun out and blue skies by morning tea time.  The trees are all changing colour and starting to drop their leaves.



Over the weekend I finished the decluttering of our clothes & wardrobes.

I've filled 10 large shopping bags with clothes/shoes etc to be donated when the op shops open up again. Everything has been washed except one basket of woollens that I'll hand wash over the next few days.

My next step in this big declutter will get done over the coming week in between working from home, and basically we'll be doing an 'Autumn spring clean':

  • wash curtains
  • wash wardrobe surfaces & spray with surface spray
  • wipe cedar oil on the  back of chests of drawers
  • fold & hang clothes back into bedroom 
I can't wait till its all done and I will only have the clothing that we actually use. Its going to free up a lot of space and now that I've started I'd like to go through the rest of the house, room by room and be more ruthless with the decluttering. 

I'm ready to just let things go and live with less and being at home is giving me time and energy to get jobs done around the house.

So far there is no talk of any of us returning to the workplace. Some social restrictions have eased this week: 
  • five people can visit a home
  • cafes & restaurants can have 10 seated customers
  • 10 people can gather outside
  • 10 people at weddings
  • 20 people can attend a funeral
  • people are still to work at home if possible
  • travel is still limited
  • many businesses providing personal services remain closed
  • some hairdressers are opening
  • students started attending school one day per week
We still have no new cases in our area and hopefully our numbers stay low as restrictions start to ease a bit. Fortunately state premiers (like governors) are setting their own rules & not rushing to re-open as our Prime Minister would like. 

We will be staying home apart from getting shopping and DH had a coffee with a friend yesterday - they sat in the park. The majority of people are being sensible with the few that aren't getting much more attention in the media than they deserve.

Stay safe everyone xx




6 May 2020

The Great Wardrobe Declutter!

On Monday morning I was doing a bit more sorting in my wardrobe, only planning on spending 15 minutes or so decluttering in the bedroom. Next thing I know a moth flew out of the wardrobe, I shook the clothes and another one emerged.

... and so began The Great Wardrobe Declutter, which is still in progress...

I decided that since I was going to wash everything I might as well downsize our clothes and get rid of at least half of what we own. Fortunately work has been very quite this week so I've had plenty of time to sort, wash, dry, iron clothes. And I'm still not done!

I've kept far too many clothes that no longer fit me in case I lose weight. I'm not doing that anymore, they are all gone. I have kept five pair of black and navy pants for work, that should see me out till retirement. I've kept four dressier dresses that I can wear out, two long dresses in case we ever cruise again and one winter coat.  I had been keeping three other long dresses to sell but I've decided its just time to pass them on and free up space.

I love scarves and have a LOT of them. I wear scarves every day in winter so they all get used. But I bit the bullet yesterday and got rid of about one third of them. I also sorted my jewellery and almost halved it. I do not spend much on jewellery at all, often buying items off aliexpress or op shops. Years ago our house was broken into and all my jewellery was stolen, it wasn't a lot but the sentimental value to me was priceless, every gift my DH had given me, items my mother had owned, my wedding and engagement ring, DH's rings - all stolen. It was really distressing. I did not replace any of it and never will. It would just be a reminder of what was taken. Since then I only buy cheap junk jewellery that makes me happy and I will not miss it if it gone. So I have a lot of it, but now I have much less.

Today I'll sort through my tops and my woollens and my shoes and keep on washing everything. Once I get all the clothes washed we'll clean the furniture and start re-organising it all, it will probably take the rest of the week to get through it all.

I'm really enjoying just being at home and being able to get things done around the house. I am seeing this big declutter as a way of letting go of a lot of things that I will no longer need in retirement and preparing for living a simpler, less cluttered, less stressful life - having Just Baggage Enough.


3 May 2020

Reclaiming morning simplicity

For years I used to start my day with a lovely quiet time in the mornings. I'd do some meditation, some journalling, followed by either reading or watching something uplifting and working on my plans and goals. Its a great way to start each day but somehow over recent months/years its slowly disappeared and I started to turn on the TV to catch the morning news both local and international.

Being home all the time for the last few weeks I've really seen how far we have fallen down the TV hole and how much time it can take up. I enjoy TV, but I have just let it become a constant. I limit how much news I watch about covid but I'm still spending too much time in front of the box.

So from today I'm reclaiming my quiet mornings and starting the day with some simple comforting routines. I want to get back to meditating, affirmations and focusing on creating a simple peaceful home.  I started this morning and I already feel better for it. Time to just sit and be peaceful before the day gets started.

After my quiet time I listened to a podcast while I sorted out a big pile of paperwork that has been sitting on the end of the kitchen bench for months. My kitchen bench is now cleared off completely and looks much better. Today I need do some washing and start decluttering my sewing room.

The sun is shining this morning even though its still quite cold outside so we might walk after lunch. With the change in temperature I'm getting to use some new colours in my temperature blanket



Do you have a quite time in the morning? How do start your day?



"When you arise in the morning think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive- to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love." 
Marcus Aurelius 


1 May 2020

April Progress Report


This last month has gone really quickly!

The month started with beautiful sunny Autumn days and in the last 48 hours we've had our temperatures drop with light snow expected over the weekend. It's time to turn the heater on and rug up ready for winter.

Heres the numbers for April:


Mortgage:
  • current balance:  $95,866
  • down from: $98,709
  • total reduction: $2,843 

Retirement Savings:
  • DH: $302,293
  • me:  $148,019
  • total: $450,312
  • total increase:$7,643 

A slight improvement in our retirement savings this month. We just continue to invest the maximum into our pre-tax contributions each month.  Our emergency fund is up to $500 which is a separate account from our offset accounts. I want to get that fully funded quickly.

Work

We're all still working from home and expect this continue at least till the end of May. I've found as the month went on I feel like there is little separation between work & home - its odd. Work is not too busy, but far more stressful incidents to deal with, made more difficult by the social distancing and the closure of so many support services. Domestic violence and alcohol consumption have gone up and a lot of people are struggling to cope with the social isolation. I've taken today off as I just need a break from it. 

Home

I've done a bit more weeding in the garden. I've hung the curtains in the lounge room, it still needs carpeting but that can wait till later. I've been nagging DH about doing some more painting so I'm hoping that happens soon. I've started sorting my sewing room - thats my goal for May.

Health

We're all healthy and well. There have been no new covid cases in our region for almost two weeks and there is just one active Covid case in our region. Some restrictions ease a little from today such as 2 adults and children can visit other households, schools will start slowly increasing students attending and some public parks/beaches will re-open for exercise only.

So far we've been fortunate in Australia, but there is concern about a second wave so most people are still being sensible and staying home unless absolutely needed. A lot of testing is happening here to try and find any hotspots. Anyone with a cough or cold is tested, they put calls out in different locations for the public to come and be tested, our state (NSW) is aiming for 8,000 tests every day to try and identify any community spread as we head into flu season. 

My goals for May are:
  • cut grocery spending
  • menu plan 
  • declutter & tidy sewing room
  • don't use the credit card!