Sunday, January 31, 2010


In organising my new kitchen I am trying to utilise stations as much as possible.

Previously - I worked by putting like with like - plastics together, pantry items together, crockery togehter.

Now I am trying to think through the activities we do, and put all the things I need to do that activity in a logical place.

For example - this is my coffee and hot drink making station.

It is in a high cupboard, above the kettle. So the placing makes sense.

In the past, I would have put the tea, coffee, sugar etc in the pantry, cups with the plates, travel mugs with the picnic things, tea pots etc in another cupboard for the rarely used items.

Now I have everything I need in one cupboard. If you want a cup of tea you go to the cupboard and the cups, tea, coffee, sugar, teapots, travel mugs etc are all together. The most frequently used things are at eye level, least frequently at the top.

It is a whole new way of thinking for me, and I know it will take a long time for me to get all my stations right, but I think it makes sense and will make my kitchen more functional.

Plus - the added bonus is that if an item is stored in a cupboard that is not a station, it means I have to think good and hard about whether it has a use, or I am keeping it "just cause". I'm hoping it will help me reveal those things that I keep but don't use and love so I can let them go.

My Gran challenge - bed, table +1

My challenge to learn from the wisdom of my Gran is back. Well, it's back now that I can find my table, and all the tools that were on top of it have gone. It was a trifle difficult for a while.

A clean table.

(ready and waiting for Valentine's Day and our Anniversary)

Beds all made.

And I am adding - sink is shined and counters are cleared.

I want to start as I mean to go on.

Just three little things - and my house is one step closer to being tidy all the time.

Baby steps.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ktichen renovation day 7 - the install is about done!

It's taken a week. But the job has been done well. Gene has checked every door, drawer and cupboard is square. If it moved it has been reinforced. It's been a big job and he's done amazing workmanship.

We still have cosmetic things to do. Like a few filler pieces, painting and tiling. And new flooring. And the exhaust fan. And an electrician for the dishwasher.

But it is a world of improvement on the old kitchen.

(sorry for the crooked photo! I must be more tired than I thought)

And like a good flybaby - the first thing I did when everyone left was shine my sink!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Quick! Need kitchen appliance advice!

If anyone has a second - I need opinions.

My stove is in the pics below. It is staying for now.

My fridge is white too.

I need a new microwave, rangehood and my first ever dishwasher.

Do I get white to match what I have? Or stainless steel and gradually change them over?

Pros? cons???

WWYD??? Does white look horribly outdated??
What is hardest to clean??


Kitchen renovation, day 6

Long benchtop is in

Skirting boards are going in

But the most exciting thing ... I HAVE A SINK! With running water!!!

Today's job is to finish the skirting boards and to put the shelves and drawers in. I've already started organising and filling some cupboards.

The door handles will be left off for now, I want to live with it for a week and make sure I am happy with the direction each door opens first.

So excited! It's almost functional at least!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Kitchen renovation - day 5 part 2

All the frames are in.

More doors are on.

The bench is starting to be put in.

We are getting there.
Living in the mess is starting to kill me.
Tomorrow afternoon I see a clean up in store.

On a positive note ... I love love love my benchtops.

And now my benchtops are in I love my cabinets too.
They needed the darker bench I think ... (I hope!)

Tomorrow - the bench. The sink (I hope! I really want plumbing for the weekend ...) and some time soon the top cornice/fascia needs to be fixed.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Kitchen makeover - day 5 - part one

We have benchtops! Makes me happy !

The kitchen renovation - day 4

To me progress seemed slower today ... but there were obstacles to over come!
1) - the kitchen sink was damaged - which has meant several phonecalls and a 2 hour drive to ikea to get it replaced. But we did get a gift voucher for our trouble + 2 meal vouchers ...

2) - we are missing a set of drawers. Ikea never put it on our list to purchase. BUT - since we had to get the sink swapped over - this has been remedied on the same trip

3) - the plumber came - with a lot of delays. What was to be looked at at 7am eventually got seen at noon and started at 3pm. The thing is we are lucky to have found a plumber to help on short notice - so we can't complain - but still delays and phonecalls.

BUT on a good note... the wall cabinets are all done now.
The pantry is in. (next to the microwave cabinet) and doors on.

The frames for about half of the floor cabinets are in.

Tomorrow is my girl's first day of school. But I am hoping for doors on the lower cabinets. And maybe maybe even benchtops. Maybe.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Kitchen - day 3.

All wall cabinets are up.

Microwave cabinet is up.

Doors are on.

I think they are starting to get into the groove here.

Plumber is coming in the morning.
I work tomorrow. Hoping I will be suprised when I get home!

I'm getting excited. So far it looks like it is working. And Gene is doing an amazing job. Never has an ikea kitchen been so reinforced!


Monday, January 25, 2010

Once there was a little girl...

Who had the most beautiful pooh-bear nursery ever ... created with love by her Gran.

Now - that girl is starting school on Thursday ...

And she asked me today if she could take her pooh bear down - because she isn't a baby anymore. She's a big school girl.

Well, who could resist that?

Lucky I had put a few things aside I bought on sale, ready for the day I would create a big girl room for my girl.

It's a work in progress. But she looks pleased!

How do you keep a decluttering blog?

When your home looks like this?

Or this ??

And you feel like you have no control.

Well my plan is to start with what I can control - which is this ...

(bedmaking challenge going well - clean table a huge bust - it is covered with tools ... to be recontinued when the building dust settles!)

And this - emptying hot spots and clutter boxes.

And basically trying to keep out of the way!

I have a garbage bag - my goal is to fill it by the end of the day and I'm just going to potter all day, keep the washing and the dishes up to date (the joy of cleaning up in the laundry sink) and see if i can leave today even just a little better than I found it.

(oh - and kitchen update - the cupboards are going up!

Remote control organisation - courtesy of my husband

We don't use remote controls much here - we watch very little tv.

And we lose the remotes ALL. THE. TIME.

So Paul had an idea. And it's great! He went to Big W and got adhesive velcro dots from the sewing department.

And now the remotes stay where they should.

Simple. And works.

Kitchen makeover - day 2

Today I was at work. Came home to find all the walls ready to go. Paul and Gene (my father in law and an excellent builder) had spent all day replacing, repairing and making sure we were starting with a good base.

Approximate dimensions of all the cupboards have been drawn on the walls. All the pieces (almost) have been sorted and we know what goes where.

The large cabinet (with microwave space) has gone in. And has been reinforced by Gene to ensure it's strength.

A plumber is booked for tomorrow to change the sink over and put in the connections for a dishwasher ...

Things are looking good. I think we may see big changes tomorrow (I hope!)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

During and after- destruction day.

My men at work!
Today I am thankful for my father in law, and good friends. Especially good friends who like destroying things and have a ute. Mick and Liz came to help us and they rock! Especially Mick. Between him and Paul they got almost all the kitchen out on their own.

And the after. Some more tiles to take off, then the repairing begins.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The before ...

Finally! Our kitchen reno begins! It's something I've wanted to do since we bought our home ... and now it is finally happening.

No renovation would be complete without the befores - so here we go!

The kitchen...

The deep corner cupboards - I can't reach to the back corner without some serious acrobatics - this is one thing we are fixing

The pantry. Everthing seems to get lost in it. We had so much food but nothing to eat.

The last remnant of the original dark brown veneer that the whole kitchen was when we bought the house. It was so dark. I think the first thing that happened when we moved in was my mum came in and saved the day with Laminate paint. It worked so well! Completely changed the whole look of the kitchen

I really can't say I am sad to see this go ... but I am a little nervouse that what we are doing will work ...

Pray for kitchen success for us! Oh and for our inlaws. They are coming to help us - brave souls! At least we will have a builder to help!

Friday, January 22, 2010

My fridge cleaning pics

This is the before

You have GOT to be joking! No way I can post a before of MY fridge!

I *may* post an after - but I am part way through.

If you HATE cleaning your fridge - like I do (mainly because it is so overwhelming ... here are my tips.

1. Get ready to be ruthless.

2. Get your timer. Set it for 10 minutes. Every 10 minutes you do - you get 5 (by the timer) to do something you love.

3. Start with the fridge door. Take everything out. Throw anything you don't eat, don't like, are saving because "X" who visits likes it, and any sauces that are even close to their expiry date. (because chances are they will still be there when they expire)

4. Pull out all the shelves in the door. Wash them and dry. Wipe down inside door.

5. Return everything to door. Organise.

6. Then STOP. Take a break. 5 minutes by the clock. Remember - we don't want this to be overwhelming.

Taking it one shelf at a time, repeat. Don't forget, if you get overwhelmed you are taking out too much at a time. One shelf at a time. Be ruthless.

If you are struggling, want to give up, want a coffee ... let yourself have a break. But FIVE MINUTES ONLY. By the clock.

Here is my after.

(why so much jam? because we were gifted a box of gorgeous blood plums. So Paul got to jam making. The jam stays. It is good!)

It took me a whole hour. But anyone who knows my fridge knows how much stuff we had in there.

It's kinda bare looking now ... and I love it!

Part of that hour was spent cutting up fruit so we would eat it and putting it in tupperware. Part was spent finding the tupperware as I've already packed it.

The last step is to pick a day of the week to be fridge cleaning day. Give it a general overview on that day, and wipe it over. It's easier to maintain than to start all over again!

My "Gran challenge - update"

I'm living in a bit of chaos right now . Tomorrow my kitchen will be demolished. Today I am trying to sort us to live kitchenless with guests for a few days.

In the meantime, this challenge is keeping me sane. At least I can control something! I really encourage you, if you are feeling overwhelmed find SOMETHING you can control. Flylady shines her sink. This is working for me.

6.45am Saturday

Table is pretty under control. (note - table runner changed due to unfortunate playdough incident - no permanent harm ... but it made a mess!)

The letters are staying there. I NEED to post them today! If I tidy them away they will be forgotten. Again.

Miss E's toys were put away (by Miss E) immediately after this photo was taken.

The bed is made. And what a difference it makes. I once read the bed takes up 80% of the average bedroom. So if your bed looks tidy, it goes a long way to your room looking tidy.

Kitchen updates and before pics to come later - plus how I have "organised" life so we can still function, sans kitchen!

Oh, and just some Gran love for you today ....

From morn till night, may your life be bright, and misfortune never frown.
May the sweet content of a day well spent, be yours as the sun goes down.

Wishing you all a day that brings you that sweet contented feeling by nightfall today.

And the winners are .....

The winners of our FIRST GIVEAWAY (the sockodiles) are ................

(chosen with a random number generator to be fair!)

Chobs3 from EB


ohboy from EB

with a special bonus prize to .....

City slicker ... cause anyone who can manage a poem out of sock pegs sure deserves a prize!!

send me an email at with your address so I can send out your prizes!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Gran ... and a challenge

When it comes to the home I want to have, this is my hero. This is my Gran. There was nothing fancy about my Gran's home. No fancy trappings. No new furniture. No amazing new organising gadgets.

But it was a home that every single person who ever visited felt welcome in. It was clean. It was tidy. It was uncluttered. Even when gran was finding it tough to get around she still got things done. She just did them in her own time and at her own pace.

Steady as she goes.

She rose early. She always had time for a coffee and a chat. Her home was organised. It was clean. So that when we came around she had the time to make us the most important people in her world. Ever.

Gran's home meant love to me. Love, and time to listen.

That's what I want people to think of my home as.

So, in my sentimental haze today ... I started remembering the advice Gran used to give me. There was a lot of it, never a lecture ... just a little tip dropped here and there.

On one such day she told me the key to having a welcoming, clean home, was always start the day with a well made bed, and with a tidy kitchen table.

So this is my challenge this week. I am going to try (and with a new kitchen coming in I will have to try!) to keep my table clean, and my bed made. That's it. Simple.

I started tonight. My table is cleared, with something I love on it

My bed is made. (and yes I did make it at 7pm at night ... in my defence my husband was still in it when I started this morning!

I miss my Gran. But I am so blessed to have had her. And I know (despite the work I have to do) she would be proud of me. How do I know? I can hear her words now "ALL our kids are wonderful Kathy. All of them". Go hug your kids. They are Wonderful! And we are blessed cause the world has Grans.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I *heart* my timer!

This is the best cleaning invention ever.

Don't want to clean? set the timer for 5 minutes and clean till it goes off. If you want to stop then you can. Normally by then I'm in the groove.

Too busy doing other stuff? Set the timer for 10 minutes. Allow yourself that time guilt free on the net/reading/craft ... whatever. When it goes off. You clean.

Whole house messy? 10 minutes in each room. By the end of am hour we are looking pretty good.

Too hot, too tired, too something else to clean? Timer for 5 minutes. Clean for 5, rest for 5. Repeat. A lot.

I love my timer! Do you?
Let me know how you use yours!

Handbag organisation

I loves me a cute bag or two! (or more!)

And I have a weakness for cute handmade bags too.

Before they were in several different cupboards - I had no real system.

This handbag organiser was about $15. Well worth it. Handmade on one side, leather etc on the other.

The thing I love about it is it places limits too. When I run out of compartments in the organiser, I either need to not buy any more, or start to cull.

And limits are a GOOD thing in MY life!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Our first GIVEAWAY!

I'm so excited! We have our first GIVEAWAY!

Remember my obsession with SOCKODILES?????
If not - go here for the reminder!

Well - to thank all the visitors to my blog (and there seem to be a lot of people interested in how messy my house is) I have two packets of sockodiles to give away.

Just leave a comment to this post. That's it. Nice and simple.
The two winners will be drawn Friday night. Aussie time. International is fine by me. Winner will be announced on this blog so please check back to see if you WON!

Oh - and if you leave a sock story that makes me feel better about our HUGE pile of partnerless socks here I'll give you a bonus entry :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

10 minute challenge ... the junk drawer

Before ...

After emptying (the drawer organisers were a bargain from target! Original price was between $17 and $21 for two. (which in my opinion is ridiculous!) I got them for between $2 and $3 for two.

And after. So much better! I can breathe