Monday, January 04, 2016

3 ways to make a fresh start

Start with coffee. And a plan.

I envisioned bringing in the New Year with a spick and span house and everything in order. Of course, that didn't come to fruition and that's ok. I find myself attempting to reach that point of completion, where everything is clean and in its place, only to realise that it's a lofty goal and perhaps, one not suited to life with three young children. Our home is in a constant state of flux - jobs finished only to be undone within the hour. It's a dangerous ride if I wrap my emotions and ego up in those jobs because the undoing leads to frustration, disappointment, anger and a general sense of being entirely fed-up. It's not pretty and to be frank, not worth it. It is only housework, after all. 

I've come to the conclusion that I don't want to spend all my time cleaning and tiding and running in a perpetual circle for the next ten years of my life. It doesn't sound appealing and it most definitely isn't inspiring. So, I'm doing what I can, with the time that I have - it isn't perfect but it's relatively done. This new way of thinking goes against all my homemaking ideals but to quote the insightful Ms Gilbert in Big Magic: "Done is better than good." It's a damn good adage for this recovering perfectionist to hold dear.

There have been a few things that I've put to the top of my list over the last few days that have ensured this year (and this home) is off to a fresh enough start for 2016 - small jobs that make a big impact on my day-to-day. Want to join in? It doesn't take long! In fact, it takes less than an hour!

- clear your entryway (15 minutes). Renowned for being a dumping ground for all kinds of paraphernalia, the entryway is the first area in my home to start looking cluttered and messy. It's also the first thing I see when I arrive home and being greeted with such mess doesn't always make for the happiest of homecomings. So, I took to it with vengeance and put everything back in its place - shoes in the basket, hats on the rack, bags in the basket, books back to their rightful shelf and a quick dust and straighten-up.

- sort through your handbag (10 minutes). If your bag resembles a Mary Poppins tote you're not alone. The amount of stuff I was carrying around in my bag (this one for those interested) was nothing short of alarming. There was everything from sequinned cat's ears (dance concert) to teaspoons and a range of hair clips, receipts, pens, bank books and hand creams in between. Then of course there's always the nappy bag which saves me on many occasion. To begin, I sorted out my wallet (receipts for tax, receipts for the bin) and then worked my way through everything else, replenishing the essentials in the nappy pouch, too.

- clean the car (30 minutes). This is a great job to add to the "pocket money job list" if you have a child old enough. I begin by sending Che and Poet out to the car with an empty washing basket. It always, without fail, comes back brimming with stuff. If your children are anything like mine, even the shortest car trip requires books, beloved-can't-leave-anywhere-without-them toys and a range of clothing options in case the weather turns. Once that job is complete (and everything from the basket is in its rightful place) I tackle the car with the vacuum cleaner. As I bend my way around the car seats in the back (it's a tight squeeze with three!) I always, without fail, have trouble comprehending the filth of it all. This diagram will resonate with many of you, I'm sure. Nappy wipes over the dash and in the coffee cup holders ensures the surfaces are good for the next month or so.


  1. Yes, I love this (and that Elizabeth Gilbert quote is a fav too, I need that tattooed somewhere I think hehehe). It took me over a week but I actually got through every room in the house, of course nothing looks show home clean, but now everything is in order and simplified and my goodness I feel so happy for it. One of my fav small jobs that always makes me feel better is to clear the dining table. Five minutes for a blissful moment and a zen spot to have a cup of tea.
    Big love and happy new year to you lovely x

    1. Good on you! I haven't really tried to do the whole house...a restful holiday was more important. Come late-Jan I'll plan a bit of a spruce up (when the big kids are back at school) but for now I'm happy with my small accomplishments. And I must say, when the kids say that they're bored I'm loving handing out chores for them to do. Win win! x

    2. Cleaning off the dining room table always works wonders for how I feel about the house too! A fresh tablecloth and vase of flowers brightens the room too :-)

  2. I have been ruthlessly sorting and cleaning this past week. It feels good to clarify the space but when I am in the throes of normal everyday busyness, as long as the kitchen sink is clean and the lauNdry door is closed, I can find calm :)

  3. Mine was tidy up and clean out the bathroom draws. Only took a couple of minutes but now all the hair ties and Bobby pins are together and have a home for the 50 thousand scattered around the house.

  4. beauty & value in the small achievements.

  5. My Nanna used to say that a house should be clean enough to be healthy and messy enough to be happy.😉

  6. Rhonda Hetzel changed my perspective on housework - she reckons it is never-ending so don't try to finish it! I read that and thought it was brilliant, do what you can when you can and leave the rest until the next opportunity.

    Lovely start to the year, I did my handbag and entry this week too :) Scarily it has already started filling again, although I am trying to empty each steps!

  7. Love this post; great concrete steps to take toward feeling a bit more ready for the new year.


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