Where to Start?

Little Paddler inspected everything - all is approved - she fits in every press (photo credit: fairweatherpaddler)
Little Paddler inspected everything – all is approved – she fits in every press and the fridge
(photo credit: fairweatherpaddler)

I am so excited! Our new kitchen in our new house is being fitted. This means it has gone from being a house to a home. There’s a kitchen! And it’s beautiful. And I have to make some really tough decisions now; like where will I put the mugs for the coffee and where will all the tea towels go? Do you ever get so excited about a project that you are almost afraid to start? That first pen stroke on paper, or first word on the screen, or first plant in the ground has the potential to make or break the dream.

Yes I realise, I overthink things. I am learning to deal with it.

When we first moved into the garage, we were in a rush. I chucked everything into boxes and bin bags and flung them into backs of cars and onto trailers. If they got labelled we were doing well. I could sort things out afterwards. The problem is that we don’t sort stuff out afterwards. The stuff languishes until the next move. That’s why Mr. Fairweather’s college notes from his first course only went on to the bonfire two summers ago. He still has staff t-shirts from Raging Thunder when he and his college buddies were travelling/working/bumming around Australia. He’s never worn them since because they are hideous but yet I can’t throw them out. It’s probably not fair of me to paint Mr. Fairweather as the only hoarder in this family. I too have some college notes. And I am always putting aside old clothes to mend or repurpose. Whether that happens is another thing altogether.

But new house = new leaf to turn over. I have been reading a bit about zero waste homes. Now, I think for us, that’s certainly a pipe dream at the minute. But I am considering the baby steps I might take to lessen the ‘stuff’ we own and in doing so maybe free ourselves up a bit. I have made an attempt to start by reducing the amount of plastic we have in the house. We still have a long way to go. It’s quite difficult to do the grocery shopping plastic free. Even just the fruit and vegetable shopping. It seems to be easier if you live in a big city. There are little gems of shops that will let you bring your own containers in or sell stuff without packaging or only paper packaging. I could of course try and do a bulk order. But for that I’ll need my pantry ready to store food. And money to buy it. For now maybe, I’ll concentrate on getting the vegetable beds up and ready so that I don’t have to buy so much fruit and vegetables and their accompanying plastic wrapping.

Anna from Made Right (Here) – the not made in China challenge did a lovely blog post about a mini zero waste challenge. I like that idea. Small bite sized chunks to flex my muscles (so to speak). And there’s an end in sight if it all feels like too much. A trip to the big smoke with no waste produced maybe. Or no waste presents for god-children’s birthdays. No new plastic toys for the Little Paddler allowed in to the house maybe. Any suggestions for mini challenges greatly received.

One of the Facebook groups I am in, introduced me to the idea of the capsule wardrobe. Surely I am not the only one who, having somewhere to go out to, opens up the press or drawers only to think I have nothing decent to wear. And absolutely nothing goes with anything. I want to streamline what I do have so that the next time I go clothes shopping I have a better idea of what I need and it’s not another black vest! Also I am thinking that better made clothes will last me longer than the cheapie stuff I usually buy in a panic. Mr. Fairweather could do with something similar. There’s a pile of shirts in there and he only ever wears one of two to weddings, christenings or funerals. And the drawers overflow with grey t-shirts and hoodies.

the tidy corner of my desk - I am too ashamed to show you the rest of the place (photo credit: fairweatherpaddler)
the tidy corner of my desk – I am too ashamed to show you the rest of the place
(photo credit: fairweatherpaddler)

I sit here at the computer desk with sheets of paper piled high. It’s not even organised chaos anymore. It’s just chaos. Knowing that we would be moving soon, having a very mobile toddler and just in general being too busy to tidy, I have let things slide. Mr. Fairweather and I talk about taking our time moving things over. That we only want to put things in the new house that we will actually use and that we actually like. I’m not bringing stuff over because someone gave it as a gift five years ago and I don’t have the heart to move it on somewhere else. As Marie “KonMari” Kondo says “Does it spark joy?” I find the question a bit corny but the thinking behind it great. Life is too short. KonMari’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up has caused waves of excitement here. I have yet to read it. Finger on the pulse of society – not me anyway. But what I have heard has me intrigued. I think I shall see if now that the initial hype is dying down, whether my library has it available to borrow or not.

I am going to have to start moving something though. We can’t live in the garage forever. Mr. Fairweather is already itching to turn it into his boat building workshop. So I think I’ll start by moving the coffee machine over. We can all pile in on one of the beds we got second-hand (now that we have more than one bedroom), get up in the morning, have a hot shower and a cup of coffee. How civilised are we?

doesn't everyone have a qajaq frame as a chandelier? (photo credit: fairweatherpaddler)
doesn’t everyone have a qajaq frame as a chandelier?
(photo credit: fairweatherpaddler)
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8 thoughts on “Where to Start?

  1. Oooooo it is all so exciting!! Beautiful and new…exciting as there is so much wonderful potential of what will or won’t be…and you must know that you both shame as well as inspire me—there is so much culling I need to do in this over crammed world of mine…aka my house….from clothes and everything else in-between—from the attic to the basement—and I will start on the laundry room and work my way out!
    And if the kitchen is any indication–the house is beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Julie! We’re thrilled and overwhelmed and so so thankful for it.
      As for decluttering, I lay a good plan but it’s the follow through I worry about. I think your idea is good though. Start on a small room. And one with no sentimental stuff lurking around waiting to foil your plans.

      Like

  2. Congrats on the kitchen! I feel like we are kindred, right down to the college notes and tee shirts. (I’ve started sneaking my Mister’s old shirts out to use as rags and for scrubbing floors) The kitchen color is great and I think you are on the right track to cutting back. Feel free to come help us when you figure it all out:)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ‘Do you ever get so excited about a project that you are almost afraid to start?”

    Yep. This is basically how I live. Procrastination 101, but in this instance, it’s the type where you’re buzzing with anticipation.

    I’d like to be better at clearing the clutter. It’s an odd thing for a hoarder to say but I’m still waiting for the right words to convince me. I understand the spirit of the phrase ‘does it spark joy?’ but it appears, when it comes to joy, I’m quite easy to please. I also hoard things for many other reasons as there are many reasons for why something brings joy.

    Good luck with the sorting, and arranging your new kitchen. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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