Little Steps in Organizing

I have been sick this week. After the boys both had gastro for a week followed by another couple of weeks with asthma, croup, runny noses and the rest, their germs were shared with me in great enough numbers for me to go downhill as well. So the greater part of the last week has been spent in or around the bed, I’ve been confined to base this week- until yesterday and I was feeling pretty miserable for a while before I had to give up some things and stay home.
However life goes on and I’ve found the best way to get some sorely needed organising done is in very small chunks. I had joined in with the Organising Junkie’s 52 weeks of Organising at the beginning of 2011 and I’ve totally fallen off the wagon with that but these small sessions are going to get our house back on track. My biggest challenges right now are the sheer volume of things in our house that need to be more organised so that we can all function with less stress. Even though I’m getting around quite happily now on my previously dodgy ankles I still don’t have the stamina to do huge amounts of organising/tidying/cleaning at once. We are using the timer and doing 10-15 minute sessions with me organising something, the boys clearing out something to help me organise (The bottom of my wardrobe) or the boys problem-solving for one of our big issues.
SHOES. There. That is one of the biggest issues we face. I’ve said it. When it is time to leave for school or go to the park or go anywhere there is always someone who can’t find shoes. They could be in any room of the house, often in the living room, in the backyard beside the trampoline, in my car or A’s car and very occasionally in the plastic crate we had designated for shoes in their bedroom. It clearly wasn’t working and it was causing great angst for everyone, especially when we were rushed.
So, with the help of Eric, I organised a Shoe Docking Station on the back veranda. I thought it was just going to be a place where the shoes were all kept together but being boys, we had to have a docking station and I’m pretty pleased with it.
It isn’t fancy. I’ve just used home made laminated computer labels and stuck them down on an old TV stand we had and there are now designated “parking spots for the important sets of shoes. So school shoes, sports shoes, sandals and thongs have their own spaces with one changeable parking spot to be used for tags for hockey in Winter and runners for Little Athletics in summer.
A has raised the issue of spiders so we are going to practice precautionary shoe thumping. What I really like already is that I can pop outside and know straight away what is missing so they can hunt for exactly what they need. I’ve put some photos in but be warned. It isn’t “pretty” but the boys like it and it is functional and that’s what counts for my family right now.


Four little things to crow about

I’ve lost 1kg this week.
I’ve now lost 5% of my starting weight.
I made it to my first stone. (6.5 kg)
I’m now on a 6 week losing streak.

If Deb can do it…

Perhaps I can too!  This week at Weight Watchers was “Ambassador Week” which meant we got to hear from some inspirational Weight Watchers members who courageously agreed to share some of their story.  At the meeting I attended on Friday morning we heard Deb and Stella speak.  Both were wonderful and Stella is already a dear freind of mine but I found I could relate a bit more to Deb’s story as Stella is at a slightly different life stage to me.

Deb wasn’t into exercise at all when she started but that has really changed now.  It was a great moment when someone asked if she had toned up by going to the gym and she flexed her very shapely biceps in reply!  I could relate to that because I’m currently in the process of moving from absolutely no exercise at all to trying to do at least something each day.  I’ve got many things in mind but haven’t followed through on them all yet.  I have done a couple of sessions at my own gym but until now had stuck to the plan I had worked out with my wonderful physiotherapist.  As of Tuesday that will change because I’m meeting with one of their trainers to work out a proper plan.  I’ve also got my eye on Yoga and Pilates classes, then Body Balance further down the track.  I’ve gone as far as working out the times of the classes and thinking through what might happen if I cannot make it through a class but I haven’t actually got there yet.  They are both on at 7:30pm and I’m still finding that I am very tired by that time of day.  I have considered the Yoga class that is on at 5:45am on a Friday but only for about 10 seconds!  Deb is now being flogged by a personal trainer on a regular basis and I’m certainly not aspiring to that at the moment but it might be possible later on when I am fitter financially as well as physically.

When asked about how she managed to lose weight without exercising Deb insisted that she was “anal” about her food intake.  She counted, measured and tracked fervently in order to reach her goal. So as of today I have gotten myself back on the tracking bandwagon.  I’ve already got dinner in the tracker so that I don’t slip up tonight although there is still room to wiggle this week as I haven’t yet touched my 49 spontaneity points.

Deb looked sensational.  She had curves and wasn’t afraid to show them off in a stunning dress.  Apparently I have curves too but I wondered where they were hiding until I found this photo which had been taken quite some time ago.  They are still there but just hidden temporarily.  I think this photo needs to be displayed on my fridge!



My Craft Projects – A Progress Report – Cross Stitch

There has been very little cross stitch done since I got into knitting and I’ve just realised that I didn’t photograph one of my projects.  It can be updated another day.  My longest running project is the “Tropical vacation Window”.  I’m up to backstitching which is making the design really pop but there is SO MUCH back-stitching.  It will take a bit of true grit to get this one finished.

Then I have “Domestically Challenged”.  I’ve got a couple of other pieces by this same designer so I’m envisioning a trio of cushions one day.  I love the bright cheery colours in this one as well as all the black and white.

My most recent project is “Iris and Blackwork” which I started a few weeks ago when I was fed up with endless garter stitch knitting and needed something different. And different it is!  I’m loving the blackwork and beading but am not looking forward to using the metallic thread supplied.  In fact I will most likely substitute some golden coloured DMC because life is too short to fight with metallic threads.

Last but not least is the beginnings of a Christmas decoration for my smallest nephew. Shhhh!


My Craft Projects – A Progress Report – Knitting















I did take all of these nice photos out in the back yard in the lovely afternoon light but something weird happened to them so you will have to make do with some less pretty ones taken inside!  This is my Textured Throw which only needs the short side edges to be finished and attached.  One is knitted and one is on the needles so it is very close to being finished.

Then comes the Dream Blanket.  I am up to panel 4 out of 5 and I have knitted 3 of the 5 letters.  I’m currently knitting up the blue panel with a delicious purple panel to finish off with.  The knitted letters will be stitched on with some sort of decorative stitch, the five panels will be sewn together.  There will be tassels using all five colours on each end and I have commissioned a very dear crocheting friend to crochet borders along the long sides.  It will be a happy happy day when I finally have this one done and of course it will be photographed at the shop with four of my knitting friends to help.

This week I have been toiling away on my “New Job” vest.  The “new job” has now become an old job but I am flying along with this one in the hope that it can soon be a vest for another new job!  I have the back and two fronts down as well as diamond shaped insert panels for the sides to give it the “hankie hem” look.  Those who I have “helped” with their knitting by ripping it out for them will no doubt be pleased to know that last night I had to frog one of the fronts right back to the armhole because I had created two “left fronts”.  All was restored by this morning and I only need to do the neck band on the front piece, then two long button and buttonhole bands and then I can sew the thing together.  I’ll be excited to finish this one too because when I was listening to Suzie the Stylist a couple of weeks ago I realised that this vest was going to have great potential.

The Intervention

Just when I thought “interventions” were only done on rather scary reality TV shows I found myself the “victim” of a very large intervention on Sunday.  There I was, innocently drinking coffee with a good friend of mine  and relating the events of my week when she announced that we were going to deal with my clothes.  My pleas to finish the coffee and continue chatting were ignored and we were off into the bedroom to begin.

Clothes flew and were flung in all directions in the hours that followed.  Luckily she is a really good friend because comments included “No!”, “Frumpy!”, “Get rid of it”, “What were you thinking?” and “Did your mother choose this?”  I should hasten to say that I owned only one item of clothing chosen by my mother and it has now gone to a  better place.  The final tally was five small gar bags of clothes to go to charity, three small gar bags of stuff that I will fit into soon and best of all, a wardrobe which contains only items that I can wear right now.  It is the first time in my adult life that I can remember having such a wardrobe.  The aforementioned gar bags went into the back of my friend’s car so there were no chances for me to change my mind and the three bags of ambition clothes are going to be boxed up in plastic crates so that nothing nasty befalls them.  The wire coathangers were all dispatched to the garbage bin and the plastic coated wire hangers were deemed to be only good for hanging up my husband’s shirts.  I have most hangers the same the now and all facing in the same direction – revolutionary!

I still have the shoe section to go and a few drawers but they seem easy compared to the task of tackling that overstuffed wardrobe.  I am eagerly anticipating being able to pull out something to wear very easily from those places as well.

The flow on effect from this will be the ease with which I can put together outfits the night before to wear the next day.  I’m intending on having Plan A outfits for days that I am working and Plan B outfits for days that I am not.  The drawback is that I don’t have as many clothes but when I think about it I don’t really have less clothes because the ones that are not there could not be worn anyway.  So it is full of win all round really.

The saying “Knowledge is Power” could certainly be applied to my fateful Sunday afternoon too.  I was lucky enough to attend a High Tea on the previous Saturday where we met Suzy the Stylist.  Prior to that day I never would have thought that I had anything to gain from listening to a stylist given that I am overweight, the majority of my clothes are bargain buys and I usually buy things without trying them on because of time pressures.  Boy was I wrong!

I now know that I have curvy figure (somewhere under there!) and what to do about dressing for that figure.  I know exactly what to look for now in shops and which items of clothing I would like to buy when I next have the opportunity.  Because I was also able to look at things through a “knitter’s lens” as well I now know why some of my projects look good and why some of them should never have seen the light of day.  I am actually having one piece frogged, the wool washed and rewound so that I can knit something else with it!  Best of all when someone mentions a  knitting pattern on Ravelry I know immediately whether it will work for me or not.

So while it isn’t an extensive wardrobe, it is completely functional and even though I needed to sit down for quite a while and collect my thought post-intervention I am really glad that it happened.  And to my dear friend – Thank-you. I needed to be bossed around and I’m truly glad that you did so.

And now dear readers:

Have you ever been part of an intervention? Either intervening or being the “intervenee”?

How do you organise your clothes?

If you are losing weight, what are you planning to do with your clothes?