Saturday, 15 March 2014

Challenges and Obstacles to organisation: Part Three of the 'Organise and Beautify' saga

I really want to get the house decluttered, organised, beautiful and peaceful. I have been reading a lot of blogs by proud 'stay at home' people who spend a lot of time organising and making things white and shiny. (Their blog photos also show them beaming with fresh shiny faces and not one hair out of place and not a pimple in sight..yeh bitter i may be...)  From what I can tell, as they do not have 'day jobs' outside of the home they can spend a lot of time in this domestic pursuit of organising and beautifying their homes. 

Please do not misunderstand me, I am not saying these people are NOT working, I am just saying that as their WORKplace IS the HOME and FAMILY fulltime, they can spend the time WORKING on making the house organised and pretty. I acknowledge that they are working and working very hard.

Additionally the How to Organise your house bloggers all seem to have large houses. One blog I read about making the laundry organised and a happy environment, had a laundry bigger than our loungeroom/dining/kitchen/bathroom combined.  Not to mention a blog I read last week about how to organise a loungeroom;  their loungeroom was as big as our house.

These blogs however are inspiring and motivate me to work out how to make our house an organised, pretty and decluttered peaceful home with what we have; and make me think of ways to overcome the challenges of making the place peaceful and organised, while facing obstacles of:

  • not a lot of 'spare' cash, 
  • a very small house, 
  • a house that was a 'flood victim ' in 2011 with no insurance paid out, still trying to replace furniture
  • working full time outside of the home with long commutes (equating to only having weekends to actually do anything in the house).

So let me look at these challenges and think of ways to work with them to success in my declutter/organisation goal.

Not a lot of cash

This means I need to be even more creative by working with things I already own as well as keep an eye out at second hand shops and ebay auctions to purchase things we need at a low cost.

I have been decorating and repurposing old cupboard boxes as storage boxes and I use them for stashing craft supplies, fabric, and stationery. You can read about  my 'upcycling' of old cardboard storage boxes here

We recently purchased second hand solid pine shelving unit from ebay, for $40. New it would have been well over $200. We keep an eye out for good quality storage bargains and sometimes we find great things at a low cost.

A very small house

A small house means, keep the clutter at a minimum, THINK before we buy anything (do we need it, where is it going to be stored, what gets donated/discarded to make room for it).

It also means we need to think of storing UP: taking advantage of walls and putting floor to ceiling shelves in for example, and hanging things up on hooks on the walls to clear floor space.

Lost our furniture in the flood

Okay yep I know, the flood was three years ago, but as the insurance refused to pay anything, we have got by with the generous donations from friends, family, and total strangers. We have re-stained, varnished and repurposed the donated shelves, tables, and chairs, and are doing a lot to make the items we were given look refreshed as well as useful. (it is amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do)

No time

We have almost a four hour round trip each day to and from work, and then an eight hour day in our workplaces, this means that we are exhausted by the time we get home. In order to get us some time, we cook on the weekends and freeze meals to reheat on week nights. That way husband, his son, and I have nutritious meals to choose form and with the flick of the microwave are eating in less than ten minutes.

I utilise my filofax to keep me organised and allot certain tasks to certain days. I do not put times on the tasks, just assign them to block days so i know that sometime that day this needs to be done.

On the weekends we get the washing done, cook meals for the week, and do the basic housework that needs to be done. We need to be organised with our time so that we can manage to find a few hours to relax in a week.

We also assign small ad hoc tasks to ourselves: for example today I am sorting through my clothes, discarding the torn, faded clothes that are beyond repair (assigning them to car rags), and repairing the ones that need and can be fixed; adding any good clothes that i no longer want to a charity bag, and then neatly placing my To Keep clothes on the hanging device i have for them ( i do not have a wardrobe).

To conquer the 'we have no time' to declutter and organise the house obstacle we need to be in control of our time.

Storage boxes i 'prepared earlier' organised in a shelf
I would be very interested in ideas on how others conquer challenges to keeping the house organised and beautiful. Particularly if you, like us, have a small house and need to be inventive on how to organise the things you need or want to keep.

Please feel free to comment.


About Me:
I work full time, I am also studying for a therapist qualification in Naturopathy specialising in Herbalism, I have a small craft 'business', I am co-admin of an auction page on facebook to help other small hobby businesses, i maintain my own 'store' facebook page, I blog at least once a week and I maintain a facebook page created to support small home businesses and hobby sellers
............................................................................................................... Please visit me on etsy! handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! ...Please visit me on etsy! handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy!


  1. I know exactly how you feel! I am enjoying your series of 'Organise and Beautify', would love to see more of your DIY storage ideas as well.

    1. thanks. I will be posting up some more of my DIY storage/ upcycling of boxes and jars and cans things in the next few weeks.


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