Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Great Discovery of Decluttering

A few weeks ago, I decided it was time to de-clutter the family bathroom.  I called my mum (at work) and asked her if there was anything in the bathroom she didn't want thrown away.  She gave me a short list of items that were to be kept.  I had a few things that I wanted to keep.  I started sorting.

Some of the items I found were unexpected.  Some of the items I found were unexpected but not at all surprising to me.  Some of the items I found were not at all unexpected or surprising.  I haven't listed the regular bathroom items - well I listed some of them, so this is an almost complete list of what I discovered on Tuesday when I de-cluttered the family bathroom.

  • 2 plugs for the bathroom sink.
  • 4 ping pong balls- any cat owner probably finds ping pong balls in random locations in their house.  (Tell me you own a cat and have ping pong balls in random places!)
  • 1 set square.
  • 1 chisel
  • 1 bottle of valve oil (used for brass instruments of the musical variety) - with a loose cap. 
  • 1 screw driver
  • 1 pair reading glasses - in the second drawer of the bathroom cabinet - because if you need a spare pair of reading glasses the first place you are going to look is in the second drawer of the bathroom cabinet (yeah, right!).  
  • 11 disposable razors - why do I keep buying new razors?
  • 5 storage baskets (some empty, some half full of random bathroom items). 
  • 1 bag of cat food - not the brand that Shelly likes!
  • 1 tupperware container (no lid).
  • 2 large tubs of petroleum jelly.
  • 3 pressure bandages
  • 1 pair of first aid scissors
  • 1 tube of super glue
  • 1 colour swatch of the laminate that covers our kitchen bench
The bathroom items included (but weren't limited to) the following.
  • various hair products - some used.
  • almost empty deoderant bottles (men and women's)
  • various make up products (all of which were at least a year old).
  • 4 bottles of shampoo.
  • 15 bottles of conditioner (small half full ones that Mum has been saving for... something). 
  • 8 toothbrushes (all brand new)
  • 1 hair straightener.
  • 2 bottles of half full nail polish remover.
  • children's bubble bath
  • 2 large containers of sunscreen (1 very old and 1 almost brand new).
  • 1 small tube of sunscreen - also brand new.
  • a selection of first aid supplies such as sting goes, tea tree oil, peroxide. 
  • 1 hair dying bowl and two brushes.
  • a full set of hair brushes.
  • 2 full sets of hair combs (all those different sizes for all those different jobs). 

The point?  You never know what you mind find when you de-clutter a room.  I have to say that our- my- bathroom is far more functional now.  You gotta laugh at this stuff! 

I finished sorting, throwing away the rubbish and working out was being kept.  Then, I trolled through my own pins on Pinterest and checked out some great pins from other pinners.  Have I mentioned that I love Pinterest? I used all the great ideas that I found to plan the next step in my process- redecorating the bathroom!  I'm not going to show you pictures, because it's boring.  Just trust me- it looks awesome.  I didn't change structure or tiles of the bathroom, I just organised it!  

The drawers are cleaned out and lined with scented paper (I received some for a gift so I figured I would use it- I would never purchase such a ridiculous item).  Everything that I decided to keep has a place and there is room for more of the bits and pieces that bathrooms tend to accumulate (extra tissues, cotton tips, hand cream etc).  The items I use daily are lined up on a shelf beside the basin and the other bathroom items that you want close by but don't use all the time are arranged in baskets and square shaped cups.  Mum was invited on the shopping trip and allowed to have final say on the purchased items (even though she didn't spend a penny and secretly it was what I wanted all along!), so she was happy with the finished product.  

That's that then!! 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

School Holidays: the great sliding slope

It doesn't matter if it's June or December, January or September, my holidays follow a certain pattern that is simply impossible to crack.  

We all know that I have a medical condition that impacts upon many aspects of my lifestyle and wellness.  We all know that sleep is one of the big issues that come with this condition.  So, my dear friends, as intelligent people, you would also be aware that changes in routine tend to have a negative effect on sleep - regardless of your health status.  Of course, because I'm poor and sickly (cough, cough)* even the slightest routine alteration can spell disaster for my sleep and general 'on top of the worldness'... it is so a word.  

*note that I don't have a cough- nor is my medical condition specifically linked to coughing- however it seemed appropriate that someone who is ill would cough - therefore I inserted a cough- fake as it might be- I really am quite unwell.  
You might be wondering where all this is coming from.  You might not, but then, you wouldn't be reading if you weren't at least a teeny bit interested.  

It doesn't matter how hard I try to keep my routine as normal as possible, the holidays just mess everything up.  Shelly wakes me every morning somewhere between 5 and 6 am.  I get up to feed her and then usually feed myself - as is the custom during the school term.  But, when I'm on holidays, there is something inside me that knows I don't have to be anywhere at any particular time.  At the least, I don't have to be ready to leave the house at 7 am.  So, my body tells me that I'm exhausted and I really should go back to bed so I won't feel exhausted.  Since, my brain also knows that I don't have to be anywhere, it has no motivation to tell my body that staying awake and 'getting things done' would be far better for me in the long run.  Therefore, my brain and my body conspire to either lull me into zombie-like television viewing or convince me to head back to bed, "just for a little while."

If this happens on the first day, most people would be okay with that.  Most people would say it is a 'winding down' process that must happen during that weird transition time between working like a crazy person and being on a 2 week vacation.  Some people would say that it takes them 2 weeks to wind down and therefore, there is little point in winding down at all.  These people, are often those who need it most.  I did really well on Monday.  I woke up at 5:30 am thanks to Shelly and I made breakfast, watched Rookie Blue on television, showered and set about getting the house organised for a visitor.  I then hosted a planning lunch with my teaching partner and after she left I had a well-deserved nap.  That night, it was tricky to get to sleep.  

Tuesday, was the beginning of the end.  I got up early (about 5:45 am, thanks to Shelly), made breakfast and watched TV.  I had a bit of a headache and was very tired.  So, I headed back to bed - just for an hour.  An hour and a half later I woke up - thanks to Shelly- showered and went shopping with Nanny.  We had a lovely day out.  When I got home, I laid down for a little while.  I didn't actually go to sleep, I just laid down, I was tired.  We went out for dinner and came home.  It was another long process to get to sleep. 

Wednesday, yesterday, the wheels pretty much fell off the wagon.  Again, I woke up early - thanks Shelly- fed her and me and watched Rookie Blue.  Then I went back to bed for a while.  I watched some TV in my room and fell asleep with relative ease.  Several people woke me up to ask me questions.  Dad brought me the phone because my sister called.  Mum called.  Dad came into my room to get the phone off me.  He came in again to give me the Bible reference for the reading I'm doing on Sunday.  He came in again for something else, but I don't quite remember what.  Nanny came in to ask me a question about something.  I don't remember what that was about either.  Each time I woke up, I simply rolled over and went back to sleep.  So, when I eventually woke up on my own (Shelly was outside playing in the sun while Nanny did a crossword puzzle) it was about 12:30 pm.  I had slept half the day away.  I got up and did a bit of work - although not well- and we went to the movies last night.  It was very late when I got home. 

At 4 am today, Mum and Nanny got up to watch a Wimbledon tennis match.  They were making a great racket (aha, racket, get it?!) and woke me up.  I got up and then went back to bed until 5:45 am when Shelly woke me wanting breakfast.  I have managed to stay awake today - but only just- and so it goes.  I will do my best to dig myself out of this hole, but as you may have noticed, this slippery slope is one that I have slid down before.  As far as I can see, it is easier to wait until you hit the bottom before you start looking for the ladder that goes back to the surface.  Unfortunately, this time, I'm not sure I want to wait. There is far too much fun to be done.  If only, I could keep my eyes open to enjoy it. 

Holidays are important.  Resistance against the sleep monster is futile.  Let it be.  Hopefully, the world will still be here when you wake up. 

Time for a nap!