Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I'm no longer writing at this blog, but feel free to join me over at The Philosophy of Playdough, where I discuss simple living amongst other things.



Monday, February 6, 2012

One Less: Box of Baby Clothes

I pulled out all of our stored clothes in sizes 0000 through to 4.  

There were a lot of clothes.  About 8 boxes in total.  I counted 35 shirts in size 1, and ten of those had long sleeves.  I live in the tropics!

I don't need to keep it all.  The Big Boy has always had too many clothes, and I have been quite happy with the smaller rotation of clothes The Small Boy has had:  5 or 6 t-shirts and 5 or 6 singlets/vests and 4 or 5 pairs of shorts (he wears just a nappy without shorts around home).  During the cooler months he has also had 2 long sleeved t-shirts, 2 long pants, 2 jumpers and 4 growsuits for bed.    I found as The Big Boy got older he wore singlets less often and t-shirts most of the time, and I anticipate The Small Boy will do the same.

I decided to keep in each size:

- no more than 8-10 shirts
- no more than 5 or 6 pairs of shorts
- no more than 3 long pants
- no more than 3 long sleeved shirts
- no more than 3 jumpers

I kept an extra pair of winter clothes because the toddler years are just that bit messier than the baby years, in my experience.  

The remainder of the items were divided into two piles.  Things I didn't really want to keep because it was used but I wasn't enamoured with it have gone to a charity shop.  Things that still had price tags on (mostly gifts, some stuff that I had bought and put away then not needed) has been listed as bulk lots in each size on Ebay.  A few brand new things I kept because they were given to The Small Boy as gifts and I quite like them.

I managed to get all the clothes down to 5 1/2 boxes, and there is still room for the Size 0 (which the Small Boy is in now) clothes to go into in the next month or two.  

Saturday, January 28, 2012

One Less: Ornamental Spoon

Someone I once knew did woodwork as a hobby, and as a thank you for something I did for him, he gave me a hand-carved wooden spoon.

It looked beautiful, so I put it on display.

After ten years or so, while I was decluttering ornaments and trinkets, I realised it looked kind of ridiculous and cluttery being on display like that and put it in my utensils draw, and now it's my favourite spoon for cooking.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

School uniforms

The Big Boy starts school next week, and needs uniforms.   We have decided to send him to the private school that my husband teaches at, but it means they are a little more particular about uniforms than I want to be!  

He is required to have two different uniforms: day uniform and sports uniform.  (After grade three he'll also need a formal uniform.)   Different shirt, different shorts, different shoes.    At least the hat and socks are the same.  He will also be required to have a house (sporting team) shirt, and a school swimming costume.   This year he can wear his sports uniform all day on the days it is required, but from next year he will need to take it with him and change in and out of it.

Until I actually read the list, I had assumed we would need two day shirts, one sports shirt, three pairs of shorts (interchangeable between day and sports uniforms), a pair of shoes, six pairs of socks, and a hat.   According to my mum, whose seventh child starts high school this year, two sets of uniforms bought on the bigger side should last two years.  No-one wore hand-me down uniforms because she always bought just enough that they'd be worn out before we grew out of them.   However, because we need so many uniforms The Big Boy is not going to wear them out before he's grown out of them.  Hopefully they will still be in good enough condition that The Small Boy will be able to use them.

We have been given some secondhand uniforms, which was kind and generous of the family who was passing them on.   They fit him nicely now, but I anticipate we will be replacing them before the end of the year.  And the quality of the sewing doesn't give me a lot of confidence in their durability.  Mum used to make all of our uniforms, but most schools, including ours, require school logos or specific detailing which means that me sewing uniforms is pretty much out of the question.

He needs to have a pair of black 'academic' shoes, and plain white joggers.  We needed to make a decision whether we should buy expensive shoes, or cheap shoes.  We settled on cheaper black shoes - $25 as opposed to $100 - and mid-range joggers, because plain white are hard to find.   I'm willing to go by trial and error as to whether we should by cheap shoes or expensive shoes, and whether it's better to wear out or grow out of shoes first.   I'm not a big fan of hand-me-down shoes.

But at least we only need one hat!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A new and unusual feeling

I have a gift card that I was given for Christmas.

I don't actually know what I want to spend it on.

I haven't really experienced this before.  Normally I have a list of twenty things in my head I'd really like, but I don't have a list like that anymore.  I don't want any books, because I've got too many unread ones.  I don't need any clothes, or shoes, or other accessories, because I have plenty.  

There's nothing I particularly want at the moment, because I've recognised that I already have more than I want.

I've ordered some sheet music that I've been thinking about for some months now, and I'll probably hang on to the rest until I see a blouse that I like, because the person who gave me the card said they had wanted to buy me clothes but weren't quite sure of my style and they wouldn't be bothered if I wait until I find something that I genuinely like and will wear.

But it sure is a strange feeling!

Friday, December 16, 2011

One Less: stack of empty pots

Today we cleaned out the shed.

I've put off cleaning out the shed, partly because it's full of geckos and who knows what else, partly because the stuff in there represents so much time and money invested in me thinking I could be another Peter Cundall or Jackie French.  

Piles of empty pots ready to propagate in.  Bags of fertilisers and bottles of organic pesticides to treat this deficiency or eradicate that pest.  Seeds past their plant-by-date.  Shovels, trowels, rakes, gloves, hose connector doodads.

It all goes with the pile of barely read gardening tomes inside.

So much money spent, so little return.  Rotting.

I thought that I wanted to be a gardener, but it turns out I just like gardens.  All I need is an easy care yard, with the occasional spectacular flower (there are some of these sprung up at the moment that I'd forgotten about), a little vegetable patch, and a fruit tree or two.  I don't actually want to be spending hours potting around the garden: there are too many fantastic books to read, and I have too many children to play with!