Bedroom Update

28 07 2009

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I know, I know… this photo looks just the same as the last one I took when I was washing the windows and curtains. But there is one difference – can you spot it?

Yes, the bookcase. There used to be a stack of large plastic storage boxes in this corner – holding clothes that are too big, too small, or too woolly. Now that these have been shifted under the bed, I moved the bookcase into the space. This poor bookcase has moved 4 times in the 5 years we have been in this house but I felt that it matched well with the new bed. Plus purchasing a new bookcase to put in the living room where this one came from will double our bookcase space – essential for keeping things out of reach of inquisitive toddlers. It also meant that we could set up our stereo in the bedroom again which is really nice on the few occassions that we are in there longer than 5 minutes before we fall alseep.

I’d really like to do something about the doonas on our bed. The ones you can see were actually David’s and his brother’s back when they were living in Bundaberg some 15-20 years ago. I have bought a king size doona and some material to make a cover but I’ve put it off because of other priorities and also because, actually, these two single doonas are so practical. I love being able to decide if I want the doona on or not and not having to wake up in the middle of the night because the other person has decided they are hot and thrown the covers off. We use them all year round in Brisbane, with an acrylic blanket in winter and with a cotton blanket in between seasons. Hmmm, maybe I should just make two single covers with the material. I’ll think about that until I find time to actually do some sewing.





Our Free? Bed

30 05 2009

My husband and I have slept together on a double ensemble bed for the last seven years.  There was nothing really wrong with it, we are both small people and it was snuggly and comfortable.  But when my sister-in-law recently downsized she purchased a double bed and offered us her queen bed.  We thought, hey for nothing, it wouldn’t hurt to try it.

Trying it involved hauling the extremely heavy latex mattress into the stationwagon, dumping it on the lounge room floor and sleeping out there for a few nights.  We decided that it was hard but the extra space was nice so we got my brother’s mate to move the bed base over to our place in his ute in exchange for giving him our double bed.  A pretty good deal really – all up it cost nothing and we didn’t even have to get rid of our old bed.

Well not exactly nothing because of course we then needed to buy new sheets, blankets, doona, etc.  One of my current projects is to make a king size doona cover because I haven’t been able to find a pre-made one that suits our bedroom.

The bed didn’t stop being hard either.  I know it’s supposed to be good to sleep on a hard bed but I’ve honestly never slept on a harder bed anywhere before.  After a few weeks of both having very sore backs all day, we were seriously considering buying a whole new mattress.  We tried putting our old queen doona under the mattress protector for extra padding and that seems satisfactory for now.  After a few months of sleeping on it I’ve gotten used to it and will probably find every other bed uncomfortably soft from now on.

Another disadvantage of the new bed are the square top pillars at the foot of the bed which are particularly dangerous for our toddler and my thighs, especially in the middle of the night.

However, one of the big advantages (other than all the extra room) is the extra storage space.  Yay!  It’s quite a high bed and will fit at least 9 x 52L storage boxes underneath it.  With storage places hard to come by in our house, this is a big bonus.  As I continue to declutter and organise the house I’m sure it won’t take long to fill up this extra space.





Shoe Clutter

8 05 2009

Inspired by reading this post I threw out 12 pairs of shoes today.  Now I only have 26 pairs.  My husband, who only has 10 pairs of shoes (including his slippers) thinks this is still far too many.

Some of my sparkly shoes only get worn once a year when I go to a wedding, Christmas party, etc.  Guys, of course, can just add a bit of extra spit and polish to their workday shoes and they are “dressed up”.

I also have a set of court shoes in black, navy and brown that probably won’t get worn much now that I’m not working in an office, but I’m not getting rid of them just yet.  I did concede to tossing my steel-caps, though.  I don’t think I’ll be working on-site again for quite a while.

26 pairs of shoes probably is excessive, given that for most of the day, most of the year, I don’t wear any shoes at all.  I’m lucky to live in such a beautiful climate.





The Sometimes Useful Internet

20 04 2009

I took down my really dusty bedroom curtains, put them through the wash and then hung them out to dry.  If I had brought them in and hung them straight back up I probably wouldn’t have had to iron them.  But of course I grabbed them off the line before a shower of rain and then they spent several days scrunched up in the laundry basket, so I created another hour of work for myself by not being organised and bringing them in earlier.

Ironed curtains in hand, I went to hang them back up and realised I had no idea what to do with the long piece of material that hangs across the top and ties up in the corners.  I had tried to take a mental note of what it looked like when I took them down but no matter what I did I couldn’t make it look right.  I went back and looked at photos I had taken when we first moved into the house which had these windows in them but I still couldn’t figure out how to make it look right.

So I looked it up on the internet.

The internet can be frustrating at the best of times, even when you know exactly what you are looking for.  When I started my search with terms like “hang across the top of curtains” and “rings at the sides of curtains”, I didn’t really expect to find much.

It took a while and quite a bit of reading but I have now learnt all about “scarf valances” (the bit of material that hangs across the top of curtain tracks), “swags” (the hanging bit), “tails” (the bit that hangs down the side) and “rosettes” (the knots in the corner).  I also now know that the rings I have screwed into my wall are actually called “valance creators”.  Internet searching becomes so much easier when you have some decent search terms.  I suddenly found dozens of pages giving me step by step instructions on how to hang a scarf valance and how to use the valance creators to give different rosettes.

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I suppose this is knowledge that would have once been passed down from mothers to daughters.  But so often this chain of learning is broken, particularly in our modern society where people are quicker to pay others for their skills and services then learn them for themselves.  I am thankful I have a mother and mother-in-law who are quite skilled at lots of things around the home and are always happy to pass on their knowledge.  (My mum recently helped me sew my first set of curtains).  I’m taking this chance in my life to learn as many of these basic household skills as I can so that I will be able to pass them on to my kids one day (if they want to learn).  I’m soaking up knowledge from other people I know, from books and magazines, and even from the (gasp!) internet.

Occassionaly I find the internet can be truly useful.  Every so often it stops being an addictive, brain numbing, time-sucker and actually proves its worth.

Thanks to the internet, my scarf valances are satisfactorily rehung and ready to start collecting dust all over again. 🙂

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Really Old Dirt

15 04 2009

When we moved into this house 5 years ago it was really very dirty.  Unlike renters, home owners have no responsibility to leave a property clean when they sell it.  So when we moved out of our rental into this house we were faced with cleaning two houses within a week.  Needless to say I only did what was necessary (like wiping out shelves and cupboards) when we moved in.  Having never cleaned an oven in my life, I cleaned two really filthy ones in the same week.  Then I gave up cleaning and got on with unpacking.

Some things got cleaned over time.  When I looked at the big dirty marks on the walls every day for long enough it started to bug me, so I cleaned them off.  Some jobs were just perpetually postponed.  And the dust continued to slowly build up every day in places unseen, like behind furniture, on top of fans, and in the window frames.

As I was attacking my bedroom windows the other day, and scraping all the dust and dirt from the tracks, I wondered if anybody else had ever done this job, or if the dirt had just been building up since the house was built 40 years ago.

And then I began pondering how much other old dirt there is in my life.

Sometimes I face sins that I need to deal with straight away before I can get on with my walk with God.  Other sins sit and stare at me until my convictions nudge me into making changes in my life.  But how much really old dirt is in my soul?  Slowly building up over time in places I can’t see (or don’t look).

So just as I’m breaking down my cleaning tasks and tackling one room at a time, one window at a time; I’m also breaking down my life and seeing what else there is that needs a good clean.

The comparison between cleaning and sanctification is quite intriguing and I’m sure I’ll reflect on it more in the future.





Washing Venetian Blinds

14 04 2009

Following Shannon Lush’s instructions from Spotless I used a broom and detergent in warm water to clean the venetian blinds.  It did a good job at removing all the dirt and mould.

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After watching me do this for a few moments Ben ran off to get the dustpan and brush so that he could ‘help’.

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He then helped me hang the blinds on the washing line.

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It’s been ages since I’ve used the hose (because of water restrictions) but now that we’ve got a tank we can use it again!

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Kids miss out on so much fun when they can’t play with hoses and sprinklers.

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Starting at One End…

13 04 2009

Now that I’m not working and Ben is becoming easier to care for, I’m having a concentrated effort this year on getting stuff done around the house.  I see this as part of my job as home manager (see later post) but I also want to reduce the stress that is caused by clutter and disorganisation.

In my usual way I have been attacking this project from about 50 different angles and the result is a very messy and disorganised house.  I now have photos strewn all over the house; lots of little piles of paperwork to be filed, shredded or read; bags of stuff to go to vinnies; and ideas aplenty spinning around in my head for ways to rearrange the furniture and store things better.

A number of the blogs I’ve been reading lately about spring cleaning have given the advice “start at one end of the house and move through to the other”.  They make it sound so easy, like something you can do in a week, but I know the state of my house and the time I have available and this is going to be a very long term project.  Perhaps by the time it is spring here I’ll have something to show for my efforts.  But I’m going to give this a go and focus my efforts for now on one room at a time, starting with my bedroom.