Decluttering

I’ve been on a decluttering kick lately. I’m not sure what inspired it, but I’ve been busy getting rid of anything I find that I know we don’t need or want anymore, broken things, clothes that don’t fit, etc.

The one thing that bothers me, though, is that I keep forgetting to take before and after pictures! So I can’t show off my hard work.

So far, I’ve tidied up Darrin’s clothes corner (he had a LOT of clothes in piles and totally disorganised), the bathroom, the laundry cupboard, the corner of the laundry where we keep the brooms and bins, our bedding, the kids’ colouring and activity books.

This week, since it’s school holidays, we’ll be tackling Chuckie and Micah’s room. They have far too many toys, and more keep showing up every Christmas and birthday. Time to move out the ones they’ve outgrown and make more room for the ones they play with all the time.

Meanwhile, I’d love to declutter the #&#_&#+$ possum that’s living in our wall between the bathroom and dining room. Apparently they hate garlic, but I’m not sure how to get garlic in there to keep it away. And if you manually remove them, you have to rehome them within 50 metres of where you found them. And they’re very territorial, so they’ll just come back again anyway. I wonder what’s the point. Not sure how to plug up where it’s getting in either because we’re not sure where it’s getting in.

So that’s where we’re at right now.

Knee jerk overreactions

So as of today, there’s 5 new cases in South Australia. OH NO!

A mining family who’s come back from Dad working in the mines, and they’ve all got it. One family. So they’re using that as an excuse to bring in even more restrictions on everyone and telling everyone to wear masks and get vaccinated and social distance and work from home and spreading the fear.

I’m not buying into it. I’m so sick of all this crap. And it’s all about a virus that has a 99.7% survival rate. Let that sink in, because our politicians aren’t giving us the whole story. They never do. They want us to blindly obey what they say and not do our own research and make our own decisions based on that research. They want us to be sheep.

I refuse to be a sheep. Won’t you join me?

Of late toddler naps and complicated board games.

Today I had to let my two year old take a nap. At 4 pm.

Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

Darrin was playing a game with Caleb & Chuckie. I took Elijah with me to the shops at 2:30 so he wouldn’t get in their way. He woke up at about 6:30 this morning, so I figured he was going to nap. By the time we were driving home at 4, he was looking really dopey in his seat, and he fell asleep before we got to the other end of our street.

I know he’s going to be up late tonight. But what else could I do? They haven’t played this game in months. It’s been a wet, miserable day, so taking the little ones outside for 2 hours would have been at least messy (not that they would have minded, but I would).

So we sat in the car in the driveway for about half an hour, then I started bringing the groceries in. I grabbed him after I had everything else in, and he still slept. It took him till about 6 to wake up.

Yeah, it’s gonna be a late night, and I can’t just let Darrin stay up with him because he starts work at 7 am. We’ve both lost sleep the last few days because we’re not used to early starts, and even when we tried to sleep in this weekend, we couldn’t! We were both up just as early on Saturday, and I’ve been awake since 6 this morning (at least Darrin got to sleep in till about 8:30, so that’s something).

I’ll try to sleep late in the morning, but no guarantees. If I can’t, well…I can go hide in my room to have a nap while I let the kids watch TV after lunch. And then go to bed early tomorrow night.

But I’ve been missing being able to watch a TV show on my own since Darrin quit his last job, so now some nights I might have the opportunity to do so.

Nine months.

No, I’m not pregnant. That’s how long Darrin’s been out of work. He’s driving buses again, this time for a private company that mainly does charters.

The last two mornings, he’s had to get up at 6 am to start work at 7. So now we have to work out how to be a ‘normal’ family – you know, the kind where Dad gets up and goes to work, and Mum is home with the kids all day.

I’m not sure I know how to do this. The last time Darrin had a job with daytime hours, at least regular daytime hours, was before Chuckie was born. All I remember is how we’ve done things since he’s been working afternoons/nights.

Lots of things will have to change. The meal planning, the homeschooling routine, the fact that now I have to use my own car during the day instead of his (which has much better fuel economy and is WAY more fun to drive). I don’t expect to get the hang of it all in a couple of days. This will be an ongoing process of trial and error, till we find out what works best for us.

The first day went pretty much okay. The second day a little less so. Today…well, we take Fridays off school so at least there’s less to have to remind the kids about. But we take Fridays off because we have activities, which means leaving the house. We shall see.

Everything I hate about this house

I need to have a whinge every once in a while about how crappy this house is, because we desperately need to move somewhere bigger, but:

  • Both of us only have Centrelink income at the moment, which is unlikely to look good on a home loan application.
  • The housing market is pretty hot right now. Even if we sold this house and had a decent amount to put down as a result, how can we know any of our offers would be accepted?
  • Yes, we’ve thought about selling and renting somewhere, but we have cats, one of which uses the lounge room as her toilet. It’s hard enough to find a rental at the moment if you DON’T have pets.

So most of these things could be fixed, yes, but it’s not worth it when we plan to move as soon as we’re able to. A lot of these things would cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to fix. Which is hundreds or thousands of dollars LESS we’ll have when it comes time to buy a new place.

    1. It’s too small. Six people and all their stuff just doesn’t fit in a house that’s no bigger than 90 square metres (about 970 square feet).
    2. We only have two electrical circuits that actually work.
    3. The back door is literally falling apart.
    4. No garage.
    5. No front fence.
    6. Not enough covered space outdoors to hang washing during winter.
    7. The light circuit freaks out whenever a light globe blows and shuts off.
    8. The light fixture in the dining room (which we actually just use for computers) doesn’t even work.
    9. There’s a possum who lives in the wall between the bathroom and the dining/computer room.
    10. Louvred windows in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry, and toilet.
    11. Enormous concrete double sink in the laundry, which should be awesome except…the drain is blocked, so we just pile stuff on top of it.
    12. The heater can’t be set to more than about 18 degrees (64 F) on the coldest nights (when it gets down to freezing or just below), or it’ll throw a fit and shut off completely.
    13. Gravity fed hot water system.
    14. It’s always either JUST too hot or JUST too cold getting the shower temperature just right.
    15. Separate hot & cold taps in the bathroom. So you either freeze your hands when washing them, or start by freezing them and then slowly work up to burning them.
    16. Tiles falling off the wall in the bathroom.
    17. Paint peeling off the bathroom ceiling, because there’s no exhaust fan in there.
    18. I had to convert my built in wardrobe into a second pantry because there’s not enough space in the two cupboards in the kitchen.
    19. Speaking of the kitchen, when we had 3 fully working circuits, I had two power points in there. We had double adapters on both to take it to four (one for fridge, one freezer, one for the microwave, one spare). Now that the third circuit has crapped out, I have zero power points.
    20. Because of where my Thermomix is, I have to run a cable from the dining/computer room into the kitchen.
    21. The kitchen cupboard doors keep falling off, because they’ve fallen off and been put back on multiple times.
    22. We have to run an extension cord from Caleb’s room into the laundry room in order to do laundry, because – you guessed it – the two laundry power points are on the third inactive circuit.
    23. Oh, and we have to run another extension cable from Caleb’s room to power the fridge and freezer.
    24. Because of the electrical circuit situation, I can’t do washing at night or early in the morning when the bedroom heaters are on. Well, I could, if I wanted to trip the circuit.
    25. Everything about this house screams ‘afterthought.’
    26. The side fences are falling down.
    27. The house faces southwest, which is great when the cool change comes in – the fresh breeze blows through the whole house. Well, it does the same thing with all the windows and doors closed when we have a cold northeast wind in the winter. And it’s FREEZING.
    28. The oven door doesn’t shut properly, thanks to a toddler who used to climb up on it and bounce. It’s also coming apart.
    29. Chuckie & Micah’s room has a sliding door, which Elijah knows how to operate, so he gets in and plays with stuff he shouldn’t.
    30. This photo. See that corner with the bench space, next to the oven and the sink section? Do you know what’s UNDER that corner bench? Scroll down to find out…

 

NOTHING! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! What a complete waste of space.

Things I DO like about this house:

  • It’s a great location. Close to public transport, shops, playgrounds.
  • It’s a good sized block.
  • The neighbours are generally quiet.

So have we thought about knocking down and rebuilding? Yes, but…

  • We’d still have to rent somewhere for about 6 months, which would cost a lot of money, and see above about the cat with toilet problems.
  • We’d either have to have a LOT of money saved up to put down on the building costs, which takes a long time, or increase our loan to the point it’s too big a percentage of our income and/or takes too long to pay off.

So yeah. We’re kinda stuck right now. And it sucks.