I said I’d set myself a few goals as and when needed. Well, I think it is needed right now. I feel like I am being buried alive by my house. Despite continual decluttering efforts this year (and believe me, there have been many, many sessions), complete crap keeps crawling out of the woodwork. It is leaking out from underneath my sofa, from inside cupboards, out of drawers – I feel like I’m in a horror movie with bad special effects. Not to mention the fact that trying to finish our redecoration project has practically ground to a halt over summer (though I did get a lot done on the bedroom this week).
So. What to do? The One Hundred Day challenge seemed to work pretty well for me, in terms of getting on top of my finances and getting things sorted out (see the page at the top if you’re interested). Hence I’ve been thinking along those lines and have come up with…
50 Home Improvements
Okay – it doesn’t have a jazzy/original/interesting name. But then there isn’t anything particularly jazzy/original/interesting about what has to be done either. The objectives of this project are:
- To finally, completely declutter the whole place (seriously – I don’t understand where it is all coming from. I hardly buy anything these days!).
- To finish the redecoration. This will include everything from painting, getting new carpet laid, getting doors replaced, and generally making it look nice.
- To get around to fixing things. We have random broken stuff around the place crying out for attention.
- To find ways to simplify and get organised. I hate not being able to find stuff or not having a place to put things away. Anything that makes things more straightfoward and less time consuming can go in this category.
I don’t seriously think that everything will get done in 50 steps. Most of the ’50’ will be small things, like finding an hour here and there to sort out a weird corner or paint a shelf. If I can do these things regularly then I should make some real headway. I just need to get going. I’m not giving myself a deadline – I’m just going to make a conscious effort to do 50 things.
You might wonder what this has to do with living on a shoestring…
- Knowing what you have: If you are making an effort to buy less stuff it is really important that you really know (and have easy access to) the stuff you already have. It is easy to think that you don’t have a brown belt/evening bag/mixing bowl when actually you do – it has just been buried behind other crap for so long you forgot you had it/thought you must have thrown it away. If you are on a limited budget, for whatever reason, it is too big a waste to spend what you’ve got on things you already have versions of. Never mind the fact that you can actually use and enjoy the stuff you’ve already got.
- A simpler life: Part of spending less can sometimes go hand in hand with wanting a simpler life. In my book, having everything organised is the key to simplicity. Less is more, less is more.
- Time: A bit like the above really. If everything is sorted out and easy to do, you can concentrate on doing more interesting things with your time than bloody housework.
- Enjoying home: I don’t know about you, but in a sense Husband and I are trapped where we are. We tried to sell but it didn’t happen. The housing market is so crazy right now, we’ve decided to give up and stay put for another couple of years. This was a difficult decision to make because we are really ready to go and our flat is really too small. However. We are staying. So we might as well do everything we can afford to do to make it as nice as possible to live here. Being on a budget often means being at home more, whether we’re having dinner and movie in instead of out or having friends over. Also, any improvements (even small ones like making an area look bigger by rearranging things) are a good investment in time and money if it means someone is more likely to buy it at some point in the future.
I’ll be starting tomorrow…