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  • BETTER HABIT #8

    I was reminded a couple of days ago of the Google quote 'Done is better than perfect'. At the time I was frozen with indecision and these words made me think that my constant desire for things I do to be perfect is really holding me back. So I scribbled the words on a big piece of paper and stuck it on the wall. I've got my long list of things I've been working on and not finialised and I am on a mission to get things done. I mean who knows what perfect is anyway? Just get on and do it!

    READING: Dumbo Feather

    LISTENING TO: Emeli Sande

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  • BETTER HABIT #7

    In the quest to reduce my stuff, last weekend my sister and I had a garage sale. Whilst the lead up was very stressful by the time we had filled the garage on Friday night with our unwanted goods I was already feeling a bit lighter.

    Saturday morning at 7am there were already a bunch of people lined up at the gate. A quick dog walk, erecting our signage along the way, and we were ready to go. From a frenzied start we settled into steady customers and sales. By 2pm it was pretty much all over and we had cleared a lot of things from the garage and driveway.

    Most of the people who came were really nice and I felt happy that my things would be with people who loved them. I now feel ready for another round of cleaning out. I must admit I often feel overwhelmed when I face a heap of stuff that I know I don't really want to keep but can't seem to get the energy/motivation to sort through. I need to remember that everyone feels like this and the trick is to only do a little bit at a time.

    With close to two weeks until I move I have plenty to do but I feel like I am well on my way to 'falling in love with less'!

    READING: Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi

    LISTENING TO: Seventh Tree by Goldfrapp

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  • BETTER HABIT #6

    Last year I sold my apartment and moved into a large rental property. I was astounded at much stuff I had squirrelled away in what I thought was a roomy space but with limited storage. I promised myself I would de-clutter and have got rid of some things but now it’s crunch time! I’ve bought a new place and it’s compact. I don’t want to fill it with occasional furniture and knick-knacks on every surface so I have 30 days to cull and move with only what I really love and want to keep.

    Goodbye to all those things I’ve bought over the years at op shops, garage sales and second hand furniture stores that will be great if I buy a beach shack, a country retreat, a warehouse, a massive house or farm! I’m not buying any of those places in the foreseeable future and that’s a fact.

    Goodbye to a bunch of stuff that has been gifted, handed down or inherited that reminds me of someone special but I don’t really like for its own sake and so keep in cupboards or storage.

    Goodbye to the clothes I don’t wear that I either don’t like on me, love but are worn through/damaged/really out of fashion and those that just don’t fit any more (some I don’t think ever did!).

    Then there are all the projects I plan to do. Craft, sewing, knitting, jewellery making and anything else I’ve seen in a store, magazine or on a blog and thought ‘I can make that’…but I haven’t.

    And so it goes on! Frankly I’ve just got too much of everything.

    So now I begin a serious clean out. I am approaching the job one room at a time following tips from the very clever Tanya Lea, a professional organiser from Declutterhome.

    SORTING - Organise some empty boxes for sorting items. Decide what categories you need and label ready for sorting. For example: items to keep, charity, sell, repair, rubbish, for friends or family, storage (I am not putting anything in storage!).

    RUBBISH BINS - Don’t forget to take the bins out that week so they are empty and ready to use. Check with your local council to see if you get any free hard rubbish collections. Pre-book a rubbish skip bin if needed.

    CHARITY – I have a pile of things to go to charity. Tanya suggests researching your favourite local charity and making sure they are taking donations. Some charities get overloaded with certain items so it’s worth researching options in advance. Take note of their opening hours too!

    SELL – I’m having a garage sale and putting some things on eBay and Gumtree. If they don’t sell they will be going to charity.

    DECLUTTERING/ORGANISING TIPS – Tanya says it doesn’t matter what space she is organising she always follows the same steps: sort, assess, clean, put away, label.

    1. Sort items into categories.

    2. Assess what’s to stay and what’s to go.

    3. Clean surfaces.

    4. Put remaining items away in new logical homes.

    5. Label storage, drawers and shelves to help keep organised.

    Wish me luck!

    WATCHING: DVDs of Entourage

    LISTENING TO: Whistle While You Work from Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs 1937

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  • BETTER HABIT #5

    Each year Australians send around 8 billion (yes that’s right 8 BILLION!) bottles and cans into the environment as rubbish or litter. Environmental scientist and international top model Laura Wells has joined with Greenpeace as part of its push for a national Cash for Containers Scheme to reduce plastic rubbish that is killing marine wildlife and polluting the environment.

    “This rising tide of plastic waste not only leaves our beaches, parks and rivers looking like rubbish tips but is killing marine animals like sea birds,” says Laura.

    “The birds swallow bits of plastic which get stuck in their stomach and build up to the point where they can’t eat properly and starve. It’s an awful death caused by plastic rubbish.

    “A national Cash for Containers Scheme, similar to South Australia, could double recycling rates and greatly reduce plastic rubbish in our parks, beaches and oceans.”

    I guess a lot of us really do need more than just the good of the environment to change our habits – South Australia’s 30-year-old container deposit scheme has delivered a recycling rate of 83% more than double the rest of Australia.

    The Boomerang Alliance of over 20 environment groups including Greenpeace, the Australian Conservation Foundation, Cleanup Australia, and the Total Environment Centre, are calling on state and federal governments to introduce a national cash for containers scheme. Governments are expected to make a decision later this year. Join me in supporting this action by signing the petition here.

    LISTENING TO: The Big Blue Soundtrack by Eric Serra

    READING: Green Pages Newsletter

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  • BETTER HABIT #4

    A few months ago an article by Tullia Jack appeared in The Conversation that got me thinking about how often I wash my clothes. Lately the spotlight’s really been focused on sweatshop conditions, what’s sustainable fashion, the amount of fast fashion ending up in landfill etc. We all want to feel that we are not contributing to bad production practices but I was shocked to read that it seems that everyday washing and drying of our own clothes damages the environment the most.

    The environmental impact of our washing habits apparently outweighs all that was incurred getting the garment to us in the first place. Our compulsion with super cleanliness - don't even get me started on anti-bacterial wipes and so forth!!! – has us washing our clothes after just one wear. Technology has made it much easier for us to wash often and big brands want us to use more washing powder so encourage our obsession - but we are now washing what is really still clean a lot of the time.

    I’m not suggesting you stop washing your clothes in the name of sustainability and saving the planet – but I know I over wash and now I’m going to rethink this habit and look to wash garments when they need it.

    From today I am going to think more carefully not only about the type of clothing I buy and how it was made – but also not automatically throw clothes into the wash basket without considering if I can get another wear out of them.

    LISTENING TO: Soldier of Love by Sade

    READING: The Conversation

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