Tag Archives: organisation

1000 things in winter

30 May

We have too much stuff.  At least that’s what Mr Perfect thinks.  The Drama Queen can’t get enough stuff, the Daredevil is just happy to get any stuff, and I think maybe we do have too much, but I’m also a bit too sentimental when it comes to stuff.  With a little inspiration from Minimalist Living and his great post about The Summer of 1000 Things Challenge, we have decided that we will hold an in house competition to de-stuff a bit.  We’ve had to re-word a little bit, after all we are “down under” so it’s the WINTER of 1000 things.  We’ve also added another level of difficulty, teamed up and challenged ourselves to 1000 things each – it’s boys versus girls, so the first to 1000 wins.  The Drama Queen and I think we have it in the bag, after all we do have the most stuff to get rid of!

I’ve enlisted a bit of help from the team at  Did You Remember the Milk, I’ve written about them before, here.  Brigitte has just released a new e-book – The Biggest Tosser, so the Drama Queen and I will be implementing their expert advice in our de-stuffing quest.  It is “The 7 step guide to a bigger life with less stuff.” Sounds perfect for us, particularly since the claim is that they “do the bossing and you do the tossing”.  I think the girls might need a little bit of hard love along the way.

Part of my rationale for embarking on this challenge is a bit of re-education for the Drama Queen.  As the first child, first grandchild, and more importantly the only girl child in our family, she’s been just a little bit spoilt.  I know I’m guilty of it, Mr Perfect’s guilty of it, and particularly Nanna is guilty of it!  But the Drama Queen generally gets what the Drama Queen wants, and as a result she doesn’t always really value what she has.  She appreciates her stuff, she doesn’t like to part with any of it, but she has a constant quest to get more and more. Now she’s getting a little bit older it’s time for her to work out what is really important and how to let go of stuff you don’t need any more.  Lets face it, I don’t want to see her on an episode of hoarders in 30 years time still holding onto her 30 My Little Ponies because she didn’t learn it was OK to let go sometimes.

The other lesson we will need to teach is how to get rid of the stuff with a little bit of eco-cred.  I don’t want to just toss everything, that’s way too environmentally evil for my liking, so there will be a lot of donating, re-homing and maybe a market stall at the end of winter.

As much as Mr Perfect would love our house to look like this, I don’t think it’s quite us, but we can come closer…


The good news is that the Drama Queen has started stockpiling stuff ready for the 1st of June when the competition begins.  It’s not much but it’s a start.  Anyone feel like joining us?



Little drops of milk.

25 Nov

You might have noticed that last week was the first ever postless week for Drawn Outdoors…or maybe you didn’t, but either way, here’s the story of the post that never was.

Mr Perfect had last week off work.  He left the world saving and environmental super hero work to others and dedicated himself to Drawn Outdoors HQ.  Recently I posted about my need to organise (check it out here) and it has been a bit contagious.  Both of us have been feeling a bit unsettled and needing to reset some roots in our now not so new home.  We both expected to have a few more things done and be a little bit more progressed with some of the “projects” we had set for ourselves, but November came along and when we took a look at what we had achieved we were a little underwhelmed.  So, equipped with pre-prepared “Did you remember the milk” lists plus a new “week of organisation” list we set off on mission declutter and organise.

What did we achieve? How did we fare? Are we both still alive (well, obviously I am!)? and what happened to the missing post?  So many questions and well, plenty of time to answer.

The good news is yes, we are both well and truly still alive, not even a scratch or bruise to either person or ego,which if you know our accident prone abilities is a miracle in itself.

Our major achievement was that the messy room is now the not so messy room and we have made space for a desk and drawing board, so hello Drawn Outdoors head office.  The stumbling block now is Christmas.  The space for my drawing board has been earmarked for the christmas tree, so setting up the office will have to wait until the new year.

I’m super excited about setting up the office and have been planning where shelves, desks and storage will go, and what inspirational words and images I might need to make my business home.  This has been a long time coming.  I first started thinking about my home office a while ago in this blog post, and believe me, the thinking hasn’t stopped, it’s just been temporarily stored on a very pretty imaginary shelf.  Green is featuring in my imaginings at the moment, not sure how much I can use without it becoming too much though!

I don't think Mr Perfect will let me paint the walls green!

From a list of 47 things to achieve in the week we managed to get 32 completed, and during this week I’ve knocked a couple more off the list.  Some of the things still to be done revolve around the gardens, and the weather has kind of kerbed our enthusiasm to get outdoors and dirty.  With only a couple more to do’s to be done I’m calling Mr Perfect’s week off a success!

As for the missing blog post, there were a couple of posts started, a sentence here, paragraph there.  You will probably see them over the coming weeks or months as they are finished, but with Mr Perfect and his determination to “get things done” breathing down my neck, time on the computer became limited.  Posts were thought of, but not given time to flourish and finish and therefore I decided that if Mr Perfect could have a week off from the world, so could Drawn Outdoors.

Back to thinking green offices…


Organise me. Milk it!

26 Sep

I have just spent the morning writing lists.  I love lists, they are my friend.  I have a generally creative approach to life, and I have always been this way.  Some might say it is a bit organic, others find it a bit chaotic.  My Dad thought I resembled Little Miss Scatterbrain, and I can’t deny he was just a bit right. This is why lists are my friend.  They are a constant for my ever racing mind, they record the fleeting thoughts that are inevitably overtaken by something more important or interesting.

I can't deny that I can relate well to Little Miss Scatterbrain

I know I have written about my procrastination and organisation abilities before, you can read about it here.  But I’ve decided to take my list writing to a new level.  I’ve hit a bit of a speed hump, that seems to be turning into a mountain.  We still have boxes to be unpacked, the messy room still hasn’t turned into an office, my design for our courtyard has yet to be done, and my Drawn Outdoors business plan still hasn’t been finished.  Without a bit of determination and dedication I’m fearing these things will stagnate, hibernate and end up buried under a pile of other well meaning and fantastic new ideas.  Even this blog, as much as I love it, has been suffering from my lack of organisation.  It is now time to take action.

My little sister (yes the same one that gave me this book) gave me an organisation folder called “Did you remember the milk”.  (It has a website, so you can check it out).  It has been sitting on the shelf for a while, I pick it up, start implementing some of the ideas, and then it finds a new home on the bookshelf.  Don’t get me wrong, the ideas that have been implemented have been embraced and some are still in use and have become habit and routine, but there are many many more that are there ready to be tried, tested and transform.  As I turned the pages this morning, I could see my haze of to do lists becoming clearer and more organised.  It’s not that I couldn’t have done it myself eventually, but it always helps to have someone holding your hand.

I now have a bit of a plan, some schedules and a direction to head in.  Hopefully I won’t forget that the oven needs to be cleaned, and I’ll be ready ahead of time for next years tax return.  While I’m very good at writing lists and getting them done, they are generally reactive and relate to the relative here and now.  I now have a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual list of things to do.  These are the things that could easily be forgotten or put off because they don’t jump up and bite you.  I’m being proactive, organised and efficient, actions that don’t come easy but need me to be disciplined.

It is spring, and time for renewal and fresh starts, so I’m shedding my winter coat of procrastination, leaving behind the evil winter illnesses that have plagued us and slowed us down.  I’m starting up the steamroller and running down those speed humps, hopefully it’s smooth organised roads ahead.  I just need to leave enough room for a bit of dreaming, I want to make sure those roads have some gorgeous street trees, and meander their way through life.  No super highways here.  While there are the important things that need to be done, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them.

Job number one, time to tackle that messy room!


To do or not to do?

11 Jul

There’s not been much on TV tonight, but I’ve been transfixed.  I’ve dished up and eaten ice cream.  I’ve read a magazine.  I’ve been the queen of procrastination.  So when Mr Perfect put his foot down and told me to get up off my bum and get on the computer – it is Monday and therefore blog day, he told me to blog about something I know about and am very very good at.  So here’s a bit of a story about procrastination and avoidance.

It’s always simple to do the easy things, the fun things and the quick and painless.  Harder are the things that take a bit more time, need decisions, or are just plain boring or unenjoyable.  I’m a firm believer that life is meant to be easy.  It’s meant to be fun and we’re all supposed to be happy.  Yes, I know that to be really happy we need to feel pain, grief and sadness, that we need to experience the full spectrum of emotion to understand and really feel, but lets face it it’s much more fun when we’re happy and those around us are too.

As for the easy and enjoyable tasks, I wish that life was like that.  I would love to sleep in every day, but the Daredevil has a bit to say about that.  I would love to spend my day at the beach in the sun relaxing, building sand castles and reading books, but we have to go through winter to see spring, and I think the beach might get a bit boring after a couple of months of the same thing.  I would love to cook and have someone else clean up (hmmmm Mr Perfect might say I already have that!).  If I could have room service every day, and a regular large income deposited to my bank account every week without having to work for it I would be a very happy girl, but would I really appreciate it?

We need to work at least a little and earn the good stuff.  It’s fine to get some things handed to us on a platter, but to really appreciate things and be proud of our achievements there needs to be a little bit of blood sweat and tears mixed in.  Having said that, I know we need to work to achieve, I know that things are much easier when they’re not left to the last minute and I understand that you need to deal with the yuck to get to the yum, why do I always try to put things off?

I’ve had some great excuses reasons for not doing the “fun” things like washing up, cleaning, preparing tax documents or getting on the phone to any government department.  They are always valid and believable, but most importantly they are creative and quite often take a bit of effort.  But really I’ve just been doing something that I just find much more enjoyable.  For me, the creative part is important.  I am most happy when I feel that I’m creating something, when my artistic juices are flowing, which is probably why I really don’t enjoy the government department phone calls!

I am the queen of lists.  I have a list for what I need to achieve in the day, what needs to be done around the house, what I need to do to finish my Drawn Outdoors business plan, basically a list for everything.  I get great satisfaction from crossing off completed tasks.  There is nothing more pleasing than seeing a completed list at the end of the day, if you have managed to complete all on the list.  This is where I hit a snag.  I should write my list and then work out what are the most important tasks for the day, what needs to be done and then get those things done first.  I don’t.  I pick and choose.  I do the fun stuff first, a bit like having desert before your main course.  You never want to go back for bangers and mash when you’ve had the chocolate mud cake.

I grew up with a father who’s favourite saying was “never put off until tomorrow what you can do today” so you would think I would have learnt, but alas, no.

How can I change this habit of false achievement?  I get to the end of the day and I’ve achieved a lot.  I’ve checked Facebook, prepared my blog post, made some brownies and played with the munchkins (yes, all very important I know) but we still don’t have milk, I’m not sure what we’re having for dinner and the laundry is still sitting in the machine (woops!).

I need to adopt the same discipline I have in my landscape design process to my every day.  I have a list for a design process .  It is methodical, and if I have a set timeframe I know how much time I can spend on the fun conceptual stuff and how much time I need to commit to the not so fun detailing and documentation.  I know I need to finish things in a certain order and at the end of the day I have achieved something creative, unique and generally pretty good fun, despite the yuck bits.

So heres to a bit of prioritisation and discipline so I can really enjoy my place in the sun building sandcastles and catching waves. And heres to Mr Perfect for being… well…. right again!!


Carving out a space for me.

20 Jun

When we moved I was lucky to carve out a space for myself.  I will need an office space to run Drawn Outdoors and I have just been longing for somewhere to call my creative home.  Somewhere that I can start making, drawing or creating and not have to pack up before meal times, somewhere that I can set up a mood board or a visioning board and see it every time I walk past, somewhere that I can actually have a desk and workspace.  How luxurious after our 2 bedroom apartment.

We haven’t been the most organised movers.  We got the big stuff done really quickly, and the little stuff has taken a bit longer.  Unfortunately it is my space that has suffered, it has become, what we affectionately call “The Messy Room”.  It’s where everything that has yet to find a home calls home.  The contents change constantly, and the Daredevil loves exploring and destroying whatever he can get his hands on, but I need to pull my finger out and create a space for Drawn Outdoors to grow from.

My office, affectionately known as the messy room

It has the potential to be a really nice space to work in.  The view out the window is green and I can see what’s going on in the world around me, but the fact remains that I need to get in and do some serious organising.  My drawing board is hibernating at my sister’s place, waiting to be given a new home, I just need to make that home.

So I have been searching for ideas.  I know that I will need wall space for design ideas, inspiration and mood boards, book shelves for my enormous book collection, and storage for paper, plans, pens and supplies.  That’s on top of the basics like a desk and drawing board.  It’s a big ask on a minimal budget, but I’m sure I will get there.  In the meantime I can dream big…

This would be perfect for storage - from http://www.thehaystackneedleonline.com

I'm in love with this colour and the prints on the walls - http://interiordecoratinghome.wordpress.com/

I would like to think that I'm this kind of person - so clean and so organised. Image from http://besthousegallery.com

But really it's more likely to be like this... photo from http://mootee.typepad.com/innovation_playground

But here is the perfect office for Drawn Outdoors…

Well, a girl can dream can't she! photo from http://www.homedecoratingideaspictures.com

Wish me luck!


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