Monday, February 28, 2011

Seven Things Week 16

Wow, going away for work for a couple of days really puts a dent in this.  That and I forgot some of last week's ins.

  • 2 metal bowls to use as double boilers for melting and purifying beeswax.  TOF has a heap of beeswax from candlemaking, so I'm going to make some handcream, leather conditioner etc. The price of new double boilers is extreme, particularly as I will only be able to use it for the beeswax, so this seemed like a really good improvisation $2 TIP SHOP
  • 1 Tupperware container (TOF can't help himself  when it's in good knick and a bargain at $2.50 from the OP SHOP)
  • 2 thermals for TOF RETAIL SALE
  • 1 pr shorts for TOF RETAIL SALE
  • 1 Tupperware Rice cooker NEW (for the caravan)
  • 1 piece pantry Tupperware  NEW (TOF's breaking in a new Tupperware distrubutor so we place a small order to compensate for all the replacements we get)
  • 1 sheet $2 SALVOS
  • 1 pr shoes for TOF $3 SALVOS
  • 1 popcorn maker (for coffee bean roasting - based on experience these will break regularly.  We're buying them as we fin them second hand) $5 REVOLVE
  • 1 set sock needles.  Sydney business trip souvenir. MORRIS & SONS
  • 1 bowl - dropped and smashed - BIN
  • 1 glass - dropped and cracked - BIN
  • 9 mismatched socks and gloves (that's all TOF would let me get rid of at his house.  I need to work on this resistance) - BIN
so close, but nothing finished this week - see going away for work excuse

IN 12
OUT 11

Saturday, February 26, 2011

TOF and I sampled the delights of Queanbeyan's four op-shops today.  All but the big Salvos Family Store had half price sales.

Little Salvos had half price on everything; Vinnies, half price on most stuff and Bargain Hunter, half price on summer clothing.

We didn't buy as much as you might expect.

A pair of brogues for TOF and a vintage cotton sheet which may or may not become blouses and/or a skirt next summer.

Still for $5 the lot from the little Salvos, we were happy.
Originally posted to I Op Therefore I am ACT.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Seven Things Week 15

Freecycle could be my undoing.  When someone offered a popcorn maker this week, it was on the proviso we take all the other kitchen stuff they'd decluttered as well.

It was difficult sorting through two large boxes of assorted paraphernalia, much of it new, and getting rid of it.  It was nice stuff and it was free!  However, we were pretty strong.  Some of the mugs are going into work so there is a nice matching set for guests, we've earmarked some items for friends who would like at least first refusal, some we binned and some will make it back to Freecycle and then to the op shop if no one wants them.

We ended up keeping a tea infuser (I have a lot of leaf tea and I can use the infuser for single cups, which is what I make at work so it's really a way of using things up), a pudding basin just because it's a nice thick china, a teatowel because it's a perfectly fine teatowel  and, of course, the popcorn maker.

We buy green coffee beans through Coffee Snobs and TOF has killed a few popcorn makers roasting beans. 

  • 3 lamb fleeces GIFT
  • 1 rain jacket.  TOF got it for me for $1 with the intention of leaving it in NZ later in the year.  We're setting aside clothing for NZ with the intention of leaving it in an Auckland op shop so we have space for fibrey souvenirs.  The wine and Whittakers chocolate will come back on my hips. GIFT
  • 1 jam funnel $15.90 NEW, RETAIL but not the $38 one local shop is asking.  Anyone wanting a stainless steel jam funnel o' bliss go to Butts 'n Brew at Kaleen shops
  • 1 dinner set - TOF's china pattern, a partial setting for 4 (missing two tea cups and saucers) $20 at Vinnies
  • 2 pieces fabric.  $11 Vinnies
  • 1 knife.  Note to self.  Get a footy kit together and put it in one place.  We had to buy a small knife to cut up our cooked chook at the footy.  $7
  • 1 tea towel FREECYCLE
  • 1 pudding basin FREECYCLE
  • 1 tea infuser FREECYCLE
  • 1 popcorn maker to use for coffee bean roasting.  FREECYCLE
  • 20 old jumpers (from the unravelling and felting stash) GIFTS and DONATIONS
  • 4 bead containers GIFT
  • 16 stencils GIFT
  • 8 bags sequins GIFT
  • 1 bag beads GIFT
  • 1 Tupperware container DONATION
another pair of hand-knitted sports socks - but this time in hot pink!

IN 13
OUT 50

Monday, February 14, 2011

Seven Things Week 14

Work is back into full swing and full on.  While I have fewer temptations, there is also less time for de-cluttering.   I'm not home until 7.30pm at the earliest after work and a couple hours of dealing with Mum's needs.  Motivation to do even more work can be low when I've been hard at it for 12 hours by then.

I'm countering the temptation to sit on the couch with a cuppa and my knitting by building in decluttering with normal activity.  It's slower than but ultimately more sustanable than the "must clear this room tonight" method.

So putting the folding away means removing everything from one shelf or drawer, appraising and following through.   I only have to do one container (draw, box, shelf) a night and there is always a cardboard box by the front door ready to receive the outs. 

Realistically this means 4 nights a week at the most and most weeks only three nights, but it all adds to up.

This week the camisole and singlet drawer got the treatment, as did the sewing patterns, a box of jars, bottles and vases from under the house and what I optimistically call my "going out"clothes.

  • 1 camel pack (actually last week, but I forgot) $3 GARAGE SALE
  • 1 nightie - GIFT
  • 1 jumper - GIFT (for unravelling and knitting into socks)
  • 2 shirts for TOF $5 OP SHOP
  • 2 tv series on DVD $2 OP SHOP
  • 1 wheat pack $4 OP SHOP
  • 1 cage to protect veggies from possums and my dogs FREECYCLE
  • 1 belt sander GIFT FOR TOF
  • 2 huge bound volumes of the Sydney Morning Herald (1856 an 1861).  These were a gift from an aunt about 30 years ago.  They lived under my childhood bed.  This week the perfect recipient for something that was really a burden turned up.  So tempting to count every issue out - GIFT
  • 2 dinner sets - OP SHOP
  • 22 decorative jars OP SHOP
  • 2 Tupperware containers GIFTS
  • 1 top - body-hugging green stretch satin, never worn in 18 months (wonder why?!) - OP SHOP
  • 1 tapestry frame - OP SHOP
  • 4 old software installation CDs and associated manuals - BIN
  • 16 balls yarn - OP SHOP
  • 19 sewing patterns - OP SHOP
  • 13 singlet tops, singlets and camis - OP SHOP
  • 1 framed print - OP SHOP
  • 3 books - LIFELINE
  • 1 pr handknitted sports socks (again)
IN 10
OUT 86
SIAA   1

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

White Elephant

This postcard from the Te Papa Museum of New Zealand Picture Library was a gift from The Shopping Sherpa on her last visit home.

It's from the early 1940s and is by Alex McLaren of Canada.  Most likely it is fiscal restraint propaganda from World War II.


Monday, February 07, 2011

Seven Things Week 13

Back at my place for a few nights this week as we're back at work, I've resumed caring duties for Mum and Junior is back at tech.

Yarn destash is at a difficult stage.  Firstly, it is hard to let go of stash.  Really hard.  Secondly, I've lost momentum from not living with it for 5 weeks, and thirdly, I've overloaded my usual recipients of stash. By that I mean people who respect the yarn and whom I trust to do the right thing by it.

To aid the decision making process I dragged several large plastic bins (120 litre bins) from the yarn cellar and left them where they had to be negotiated when I moved almost anywhere in the house.  Boxes were opened and closed; opened, partially examined and closed; opened, fully exhumed and closed; and finally opened and decanted into bags and boxes and loaded into the car.

I considered Ravelry destash but couldn't face it hanging around once the decision was made and the thought of having to deal with people over it made me want to cry, so this week I took yarn to the op shop.

I have not completely abandoned stash.  As I have found from previous attempts to cull the herd; stash has its own level, resents vicious pruning and has it's own way of getting back at me if I disrespect it.  To reassure it that I mean only to rid myself of that which would languish underappreciated and unknit, I have bought (on destash), bamboo blend sock yarn for ToF.

  • 1 ball sock yarn (more bamboo blend for TOF) RAVELRY DESTASH
  • 1 pr boots for TOF (bnwt) replacing the outs from last week $17 OP SHOP
  • 1 Rock 'n Serve $8 OP SHOP  a bit pricey but cheaper than new and ALL of ours are currently in use
  • 1 book $3 OP SHOP.  TOF is trying out Iain Banks.
  • 2 Brumbies members caps FREE WITH MEMBERSHIP
  • 1 cheese knife. $4 OP SHOP
  • 1 pr shorts - GIFT
  • 2 calendars - GIFTS
  • 2 bookmarks - GIFTS
  • 1 pr trousers - fiddly and highly crushable.  I've worn them once this summer, gone to wear them twice and replaced them with something simpler.  OP SHOP
  • 1 bookmark - GIFT
  • 1 magazine - GIFT
  • 51 items of baby clothes that have been hanging around for months - finally off to women's shelter. DONATION
  • 1 drinking glass, smashed in the sink :( BIN
  • 2 cd racks - OP SHOP
  • 272 balls yarn DONATION AND GIFTS
Nothing completed this week.

IN   12
OUT 329

Sunday, February 06, 2011

This Challenge is a, well, challenging

This only buying 12 items of clothing in a year is not an easy challenge.  It's building a new habit, while breaking a very old, ingrained and much loved one.

Although the challenge has positive intent it does have the side effect denying the pleasure of immediate gratification.  The challenge is about less rather than more.

How do I keep motivated and show results?  While the seven things challenge is partially about reduction, there is a cumulative total that helps measure progress.  It is the external indicator of inward progress.

Enter the "savings" jar.  Each time I overcome the temptation to buy clothing which pre-challenge would have come home, the value of the item goes into a jar.  This creates a visual reminder of progress and ensures there will be cash on hand when the perfect garment appears or to pay for repairs I can't make myself or buy materials to transform already owned garments (there are some tops and shoes which need dying).

The money for the three items I only just resisted in January has been thrown in
  • some Very Silly shoes. $7
  • a black top in a favoured brand but which had a couple of buttons missing and some signs of wear. $5
  • an evening frock, BNWT which fitted beautifully and was tempting to have as a standby for the wedding in April as cool weather option.  Despite the great fit the colour was not quite right and could not be dyed so after much debate I left it. $17
When I say these were only just resisted I mean cheating was considered.  Apart from the evening frock, no-one would have been any the wiser if I chose to purchase and not disclose.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

12 into 11 - January Update

I opted into Louisa's challenge of only buying 12 clothing items in 2011.  That makes it roughly one item a month.  Given that I'm already de-cluttering, it seemed a reasonable and possibly aspirational thing to say yes to.

I had already purchased a dress to wear to a family wedding in April.  So that was the January allowance used up.

I've not stopped looking in op-shops; that would be cowardice, but knowing I can only have 12 things in the year has made me look at the racks differently.

If I'm spending one of my precious items, do I really want it to be a cheap, worn t-shirt or really cute ridiculously high-heeled shoes that would be worn once and relegated to the back of the cupboard and eventually an "outs" bag? The answer is invariably "no", although it was a close run thing with those Very Silly Shoes.

I'm also anticipating purchases. Five Ferns is looking for a down-filled jacket for me (can't get one in my size in Australia), as well as some exempt thermals, and there will inevitably be a t-shirt or jersey purchase as a souvenir of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. So really I only have 9 items left for the next 11 months.

Except that I only have 8.  We found two Australian representative grid-iron shirts at the Salvos on half price ($3.50 each).  They are perfect to wear to the Australia v Italy World Cup match in September (over the top of our warm clothes).  They are unneccessary and frivolous and yet absolutely essential.  I was unable to resist.

In January I bought/received/made the following exempt items.
  • a divine hand-knitted cashmere shawl which will go with the dress, so wedding outfit sorted which was a gift from a clever and lovely friend
  • 2 long sleeved t-shirts and a hoodie from Mum as part of her wardrobe clean out
  • 1 hat for protection of fair skin in great outdoors, gift from Tip Shop
  • 1 hat for the footy.  It's a Brumbies bucket hat - I loathe baseball style caps on my head, and won't wear the one that comes with our membership if I can help it.  Gift from TOF
  • 1 oversized men's shirt, gift from my brother to be remodelled.
  • 1 pr sports shoes (brand new without tags from op-shop for $8.  I priced them in a sports shop, originally $120)
  • 1 pr swimmers (brand new without tags from op-shop for $8.  I also priced these - $90)
  • 3 prs hand knitted sports socks.  (A) underwear is exempt (2) handmade is exempt.  Do I get bonus points for hand-making an already exempt item?
I did debate including the swimmers in my 12 but decided they were exempt because they are (kinda) underwear and definitely fit into the safety clothing category - safety for everyone else in the pool, really.  ToF and I do an aqua fitness class once a week, and the tankini rides up and is not much fun when doing strenuous if supported exercise.  The new cossie is much more suitable for actually moving in.