April Decluttering

In April I started a major decluttering of the house using the KonMarie method (from the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo). It’s going to take a long time – I expect up to a year but you’ve got to start somewhere. I am also moving towards a more minamalist home and am finding real joy in places when I have less stuff.

First job was the wardrobe/closet – which was not too bad a job as made major changes last August.

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I actually forgot to take a before photo but this is the after. It was quickly apparant I needed to buy some clothes (that fit) for Winter.

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And with some new Winter clothes.

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After the clothes, came the accessories.

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With Athena now studying at home, I moved all my stuff out of the study, so she could have the room.

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Looks great now and will be a wonderful place for her to do her school work.

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Of course this meant Athena rearranged her bedroom, getting a queen sized mattress for the floor.

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And it meant a major reshuffle and reorganisaiton of the “scrapbook room”, now to be known at the “study”. And yep, I forgot to take a before photo (too busy trying to film) but it looked a little something like this. Christy has now moved her desk to the other wall and we’ve set up a sewing desk in the corner. I also got rid of most of my scrapbooking supplies – just keeping a small selection for use in smash books and other crafting.

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The ladder that got moved out was repurposed to the girls bathroom to hold all our bath supplies.

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The last job for the month was books. I got rid of over half and now have ALL my cookbook together in the kitchen.

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Kitchen Declutter and Spring Clean

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Well, it’s that time again when I needed to declutter and spring clean the kitchen. If you’d like to see the process you can check out my videos. It took me a good week and half working on just a few cupboards at a time, as time allowed.

I totally forgot to take photos of the before, except for the pantry…. and I’m not even sure you see much difference in the photos.

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I’m really happy with the finished project, but unfortunately it hasn’t stayed looking quite this way… not surprising when so many meals and snacks are prepared here each day :-).

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Project Declutter – The Coffee Table

For a long time I’d been putting off tidying up the coffee table. Be sure to watch the video above for more details.

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In less than 10 minutes I turned this…

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into this…

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and this….

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into this…

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Do you have any projects that you’ve been putting off?

Our household Budget

I did do a blog post almost 5 years about my cash budgeting system and really not too much has changed but since it was requested I thought I’d do another post on the subject. It’s actually pretty good timing as we’ve just gone back to actually reworking and following our budget as we are currently trying to save as much as possible.

Obviously the first step is actually having a budget. There are a number of systems available and spreadsheets aplenty on the internet. I use a program called Simply Budgets (it’s Australian) that I have been using for around 10 years I think. It currently costs $129 but you can get  a 30 day trail for $1. I honestly do recommend this program. It’s such a simple and easy way to set up your budget and as it changes (as it has for me over the years) it’s VERY easy to alter it and the program just recalculates your figures. In your budget you’ll have your fixed expenses, variable expenses and savings (you can also include long term expenses). Be sure to make sure that your budget is actually something you can stick to. No point in having one otherwise.

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However you set up your budget, once you have sorted out your expenses, you’ll need to decide how you are going to stick to it. We’ve tried putting everything on credit card and paying it off in full at the end of the month, but for us this just didn’t work. It’s TOO EASY to put things on credit. We still pay for bills and groceries on credit (as part of our budget) but for our other expenses we’ve been using a cash budgeting system for about 5  years (on and off). We started off with plastic tubs, then went to envelopes, then fancy pencil case things before I finally found something that suits me.

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I bought this cash budget wallet on etsy from A Time for Everything a few years ago and absolutely love it. It’s small and so convenient to carry in my handbag. I just made my own labels but you can buy them on the etsy site.

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I also have a another wallet (from another system I used) that just has money for the kids/school/etc. This stays in my desk.

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Once I have deducted all our expenses I am left with my savings. This we pay straight off our mortgage, as we are able to get the money back out if we need it. But otherwise you should be sure to have a seperate bank account for your savings. It’s great to see the money build up, and you earn more interest plus it means you have to think twice before you withdraw it. And what about the change that accumulates in your purse/wallet? I keep a little tin on my desk and when my purse gets heavy I put coins in here. When it’s full I take it the bank and add to our savings or spend the money on something fun.

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Hope this post is helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Do you have any tips for developing or sticking with a budget?

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