Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Laughter Is The Best Medicine

Around the Home
Orgainsation changes are still being made around the house and the de-cluttering continues.  Leanne at  cottagetails  found a good website devoted solely to minimalist living.  I found this article about families interesting, clutter busting routines for any family  talks about the following ideas;

15 Clutter Busting Routines that we have found particularly helpful in our home:

1. Place junk mail immediately into a recycling bin. Take note of the natural flow of mail into your home. Placing a recycling container prior to your “mail drop-off zone” can catch most of that junk mail before it even reaches your counter. And as an added bonus, you’ll begin to look through less of it too (think advertisements).  Do that already, I have to walk past recycle bin on my way to the front door
2. Store kitchen appliances out of sight. Toasters, can openers, coffee makers… they all take up space. And while it may not seem like much space by looking at them, the first time you prepare dinner on a counter without them present, you’ll quickly notice the difference. If you think it’s going to be a hassle putting them away every morning, don’t. It takes less than 6 seconds to put each appliance away… once you’ve found a home for it that is.

 From this....to below

 Have put the toaster away - reason 1. not eating toast all day anymore and 2. bench looks clear

 Saturday and the slow cooker is out in use, otherwise the bench is uncluttered

3. Remove 10 articles of clothing from your closet today. Go ahead. If you are typical, it’ll take you roughly 5 minutes to grab 10 articles of clothing that you no longer wear and throw them in a box. Your remaining clothes will fit better in your closet. Your closet will be able to breathe again. And if you write “Goodwill” on the box when you are done, you’ll feel better about yourself as soon as you drop it off. Most likely, you’ll find yourself inspired to do it again. Work in progress
4. Fold clean clothes / Remove dirty clothes immediately. The way I handle clothes these days is one of the biggest clutter changes I have made in my life. Unfortunately, I used to be a “throw-them-on-the-floor” guy. But now I handle each one right when I take it off. Dirty clothes down the clothes chute. Clean clothes back to the hanger or drawer. That’s it. It’s really that simple. How do the dirty ones magically appear clean and folded in my closet you ask… I’m not sure. You’ll need to ask my wife.
5. Kids’ bedroom toys live in the closet. Not on the floor. Not on the dresser. But in the closet. And when the closet gets too full of toys, it’s time to make some room. Hint, it’s usually safe to remove the toys at the bottom of the pile.
6. Kids pick up their toys each evening. This has countless benefits: 1) It teaches responsibility. 2) It helps kids realize that more isn’t always better. 3) The home is clean for mom and dad when the kids are in bed. 4) It’s a clear indication that the day has come to an end. Gosh, you’d think with all these benefits it would be easier for us to get the kids to do it…
7. Fill your containers for the garbage man. Use every trash pick-up day as an excuse to fill your recycling containers and/or garbage cans. Grab a box of old junk from the attic… old toys from the toy room… old food from the pantry… old paperwork from the office. If once a week is too often, do this exercise every other week. You’ll get the hang of it. And may even begin to enjoy trash morning… okay, I won’t go that far.
8. Halve decorations. No seriously, I mean it. Grab a box and walk through your living room. Remove decorations from shelves, tables, and walls that aren’t absolutely beautiful or meaningful. You may like it better than you think. If not, you can always put them back. But I’d bet my wife’s old high school yearbooks that you won’t return all of them.
9. Wash dishes right away. Hand washing some dishes takes less time than putting them in the dishwasher. This applies to cups, breakfast bowls, dinner plates, and silverware. If hand washed right after eating, it takes hardly any time at all. If however, hand washing is just not an option for you, be sure to put used dished in the dishwasher right away. Nobody likes walking into a kitchen with dishes piled up in the sink or on the counter… and it’s even less fun eating in there.
10. Unmix and match cups, bowls, plates, and silverware. Uniformity makes for better stacking, storing, and accessing. If there is a souvenir cup or mug that is so important to you that you can’t live without it, that’s perfectly fine. Just don’t keep 5 of them. Mom, any chance you are reading this?
11. Keep your desk clear and clean. Drawers can adequately house most of the things needed to keep your desk functional. And a simple filing system should keep it clear of paper clutter. The next person who sits down to use the desk will thank you.
12. Store your media out of sight. Make a home for dvd’s, cd’s, video games, and remote controls. They don’t need to be in eyesight, you use them less than you think. And if you remove them from your eyesight… maybe you’ll use them even less.
13. Always leave room in your coat closet. There are two reasons why coats, shoes, and outerwear keep ending up scattered throughout your home rather than in your closet. The first reason is because your coat closet is so full, it’s a hassle to put things away and retrieve them quickly. Leave room on the floor, on the hangers, and on the shelves for used items to be quickly put away and retrieved. The second reason is because you have kids… but you’re on your own with that one.
14. Keep flat surfaces clear. Kitchen counters, bathroom counters, bedroom dressers, tabletops… After you clear them the first time, keeping them clean takes daily effort. Receipts, coins, and paper clutter just keep coming and coming… it’s just easier the second time around.

 Mmmm, our hot spot in the home...the breakfast bar

15. Finish a magazine or newspaper. Process or recycle immediately. If you’ve finished the paper product, process it and rid yourself of its clutter immediately. Good recipe in there? Put it in your recipe box and recycle the rest. Good article that your husband will enjoy? Clip it and recycle.  Article that your friend will enjoy? Clip it, mail it, and recycle (or better yet, search for it online and send it that way). Coupon too good to pass up? Cut it out and recycle. Stacks of magazines and newspapers serve little purpose in life but to clutter a room.

What we do have a big pile of at the moment are library books.  We visit our local library several times a week (in fact we are one of their best customers) and the National Library once a month. The libraries have now been closed for 3 weeks and the reading material here at home has well and truly run out. When I checked my account the return date had been amended to the 1st of May. Is this how long we might have to wait? This is what the website says at the moment:

Until Further Notice: Some Christchurch City Libraries are closed. Please do not try to return any item to us while your local library is closed. We are waiving fines from 22nd February. We will keep you updated on our customer blog http://cclblog.wordpress.com 

Earthquakes and Tsunamis
Like everyone else growing up, earthquakes and tsunamis were events of history or geography that we saw movies about and read insignificant newspaper articles from some foreign land.  Technology and media sources now allow us to actually experience these catastrophic natural disasters as they unfold.  Our own Christchurch earthquake streamed live to the country minutes after it happened.  On Friday night we were able to see pretty much immediately the affects of an enormous tsunami on houses, cars and peoples lives.  I think those images will live with me for ever.  The first thought we all had was would that happen here? nobody could have predicted that Christchurch would be the current earthquake centre of New Zealand? I remember as a ten year old being fascinated with the 1969 movie, Krakatoa East of Java, that had played on TV.  It had everything, volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis (we called them tidal waves back then).

Laughter is the best medicine
Speaking of Movies, some humour was definitely called for over the weekend.  What better silly "boys" movie to watch than Grownups.  Not likely to win any academy awards, however this movie had us all rolling around laughing. The men in the house definitely gave this the thumbs up.


1 comment:

  1. Those are good pointers to follow. If only I had been wiser when my kids were younger and was strict about toys. They are so blessed by grandparents and it is hard for them to part with their possessions. I set a good example, by purging often, but it is still a struggle for them. And yes, laughter helps. This is such a serious time for so many hurting people in our world. It's hard to watch.



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