Summer Plans

Only one day to go until I start three glorious weeks of holidays. 

Twenty-one days. 

Twenty-one nights. 

Twenty-one slow mornings, coffee in hand, ahhhhh… how’s the serenity? 

Though I want to do lots of schlubbing around in the coming weeks, I also have a few things I want to achieve in my holidays. 

The BIG project will be getting my weird storage spaces in order. 

I live in a strange little unit that’s connected to an equally ‘characterful’ place next door, and the rooms adjacent to the shared walls are storage spaces. Mine houses bookcases filled to the brim with books and DVDs, a stack of built in cupboards, also filled to capacity with books, old journals, CDs, cassettes and other random bits of this and that. At last count, there are three chairs jammed in there, as well as a monitor I borrowed from friends a few years back, old baskets, half burnt down candles and some art supplies. 

Then there’s a secondary chamber that houses a freestanding linen cupboard, my filing cabinet, an assortment of half-working IKEA lamps and lampshades, my grandparents’ super cool vintage table lamps, another shelving unit, a couple of buckets, a busted vacuum cleaner, a foot spa, one or two side tables, empty boxes, and an overflowing container of assorted wrapping paper. 

It’s basically the perfect country junk store, jammed between two rental units, deep in suburbia. 

This morning before I left for work, I got a big blue IKEA bag, filled with old text books and other random crap, and hoisted it into the recycling bin. It was SO satisfying! Yes, I’m recycling books. Whatever. They’re my books and I can (recycling) bin if I want to, bin if I want to, biiiiiiin if I want…. 

Fear not, I didn’t put the blue bag in the bin, those things are awesome. 

Over the next three weeks, I want to sort through every book I own, in preparation to re-shelve the keepers and ditch those that don’t make the cut. 

I want to go through all the CDs and DVDs and vamoose the ones I don’t want into a box headed for the op-shop. 

Then I’ll re-arrange the bookcases and maybe dismantle one entirely and donate it. I want to be able to SEE THE FLOOR, and have no fear of tripping over chair legs or vacuum hoses. 

The cherry on top will be emptying these sneaky built in cupboards. They are a trap for stuff I have zero use for. 

Oh look, a handy cupboard, I’ll just stack these books I haven’t read for 15 years in there and close the door. 

That’s what storage space is for, right? WRONG. 

Why do we fill cupboards, simply because they exist? ENOUGH! 

Newsflash: I am under no obligation to keep books that I have no future interest in, just because they’re books. 

I’ve read them. Time to release them into the wild, or the recycling bin. We’ll see. 

If I can complete this mammoth task, I’ll either be exhausted and spend the remainder of the holidays weakly marvelling at my suddenly gargantuan, well organised storage spaces, or I’ll be exhilarated enough to tackle the kitchen next.

Inexplicably, I still have enough mugs to handle smoko for several sunburnt roadworks crews, and once again, the containers cupboard is a complete mess! How does that happen? How? 

There are some ugly hand-me-down platters lurking in those cupboards. Time to go!  

I have too many utensils cluttering up my limited space; be gone damn whisk!

The cupboards under the sink need a ruthless cull. I’m just the woman for the job! 

Sounds relaxing doesn’t it? 

The thing is, nothing makes me happier than being at home. 

When my home is organised and tidy, my love for my poorly constructed, uninsulated roof, my second-hand furniture, my sunken bedroom, and the things that my grandmothers owned increases exponentially. 

Home is where my heart is, it doesn’t need to be where old junk is too. 

I deserve better than that, and I can change it. 

Maybe you can’t imagine anything worse than spending some of your summer on this kind of project. 

While I’m not chomping at the bit to get all sweaty and create a big mess before everything gets re-housed, what motivates me is the results. I know they’ll make me deeply happy. I’m sure an organised and tidy home lowers my blood pressure, and raises my mood. All that reaching into dark recesses of cupboards and sweeping and vacuuming and sorting and binning and donating is a bloody good workout too. 

That’s my summer holiday plan. 

I’ll go to the movies and have lunch with friends too. 

I’ll walk on my treadmill, make art, read books, spend time cooking, and gazing at trees and clouds. 

Twenty-one days is a long time, over 500 hours in fact. I plan to milk those hours for all the restorative goodness I can. 

Don’t fail me now IKEA totes! 

Annette x 


What are your summer plans? 

Got a storage space that needs some attention? Let me know, I’ll cheer you on. 

Do you have a foot spa lurking in a cupboard somewhere too???? #footspahoarders 




Stuff, Stuff, Stuff & Nonsense

We’ve all got stuff. Big stuff, little stuff, every day stuff, every now and then stuff and stuff we’ve forgotten we own. So. Much. Stuff. Today I decided to wrangle the stuff, stuff, stuff and nonsense in my bathroom. 

The first thing I discovered was that the shelves in my bathroom cabinet have an almost limitless depth and a Tardis like capacity for holding bags, tubs and containers filled with stuff. 

And dust. Cough. 

Duly mortified by the state of my cupboard, I wheeled this Tardis-Extension-Unit into my bedroom and proceeded to disgorge the contents on to my bed. It wasn’t pretty. 


Necklaces that I haven’t worn in years, which I remember jamming into a plastic bag maybe six months ago and then instantly forgetting; binned. Why didn’t I just throw them out then? I’m a mystery. 

Earrings that weren’t even fashionable when I bought them 10 or 15 years ago; binned. Sweet relief. 

Tubes of mystery beauty products I’ve never used; binned. 

Ear syringe supplies; binned.  

Lipsticks from boldest red to a ghastly hue called “Heather Shimmer”; binned. 

On and on it went. 

As I sorted, I began to feel embarrassed. 

Why did I have ALL. THIS. STUFF? Drawer after drawer of USELESS CRAP all neatly jammed into my exceedingly small ensuite. 

A completely forgotten hair straightener, which I think I used three or four times. Binned. 

Every mini hotel bottle of shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, plus all the combs, sewing kits, shaving kits, and soaps that I ever got within 4 feet of, binned. 

I think I found about half a dozen mini tubes of toothpaste. I kept those, they’re handy! 

Old nail brush, out it went. 

Old hairbrush, gone to the great salon in the sky. 

Loofahs, manky nail files, dental floss I bought before we’d ever heard the name Barack Obsma… all tossed in the trash. 

One bag. Two bags. Three bags. 

Then I started on the tub of almost empty, almost full, almost gave me a migraine, almost endless varieties of shampoos and conditioners I’d squirrelled away under the bathroom vanity. Down the sink and then rinsed out, out they went, bottle after bottle. 

Four bags. Five bags. Six. 

That feeling again. Embarrassed. A bit ashamed of myself for not realising how much stuff I’d accumulated, quietly, stealthily. 

I often roll my eyes at the hoarding habits of some of my nearest and dearest. Don’t worry, I’m not going to out any of you! Today I thought to myself, I’m cut from the same cloth. Ahem. This is awkward.

Eventually, my Tardis-Extension-Unit stood empty, dusty and defeated. I may take it apart altogether or give it a good wash then use it to hold art supplies, but it will never go back in my ensuite! 


Three empty drawers and all that remains from the contents of my TEU. I have had the woven basket under the cotton buds for years and years. I love it, but I don’t need it. It hasn’t gone in the bin, yet. 


Just one of the bags I filled, knotted tightly and toted out to the rubbish bin today. I don’t wear make-up more than a few times a year, yet I still had all this STUFF, taking up valuable real estate in my small house. That leaves me scratching my head. 

All that remains, of the make-up at least. It’s more than I need. 


Things have such a hold on us, don’t they? 

Some things are precious, tied to special memories or people we love. Some things tied to such memories are still plastic crap that we imbue with value they’ll never have. You’d think the difference would be clear, wouldn’t you? 

As I went through those drawers today, I picked through a silver bag of pretty pink boxes. I scooped those boxes up during my first stay at a four star hotel. I’ve done that three times now and I’m not even 50. Talk about well travelled! 

That hotel stay was an indulgent treat to myself many Christmas Eves ago. I don’t need that sewing kit to remember it, or to recall the view of the city and the river shimmering at night, or the cocktails I drank with a girlfriend in the dimly lit, glamorous bar. As they say in the classics, I’ll always have Melbourne. 

Logically, I know I don’t need things to hold memories, but that silver bag of pink boxes, adorned in fancy cursive script with the hotel name have languished in a drawer for many, many Christmases. Not anymore. 

I want less in my life. I truly do. 

Less excess, less stuff and a lot less nonsense. 

Less time spent organising belongings that don’t serve any purpose. 

Less discarded lipsticks and long forgotten earrings. 

Less books I’m no longer interested in.

Less almost discarded stuff. I seem to be quite good at phase one of decluttering. 

{Note to self: make sure the bags of clothes that recently moved from hangers to bags under my bed actually leave the premises sometime soon!}

Less shoes. 

Less stuff without value. 

I want less. 

And I want more in my life. 

More breathing space. More ease, more physical space in the limited space that I have. 

More room for simply being, for making art, for welcoming friends, and for my sweet young nieces and nephews to spread out when they visit. 

More kitchen bench space so I can cook more good food with less sodium. 

More of what matters. 

I want more. 


Maybe the trick is being less attached to, and more mindful about, the stuff and the nonsense of life. 

I know this for sure, I won’t be on my deathbed wishing that I still owned a lipstick called Heather Shimmer or a plastic comb from a fancy hotel. 

I’ll never be a streamlined, monochrome, does-anybody-actually-live-here minimalist, but I’d like to get closer to that end of the spectrum than I am right now. 

Are you a master of de-cluttering? Teach me your ways. 

What’s your theory about the sewing kits and shampoos? I’d love to know. 


Annette x 




Day 19 – Hoist The Hangers

It’s time for a Hoist The Hangers update. We’re almost two-thirds of the way through the month, and progress is good.

Here’s what I’ve discovered – I had too much stuff. No ifs or buts about it, just too much.

Let me pose you a question. How many pairs of undies does a girl need?

I tell you this, it’s NOT 50.

Oh, for shame, I discovered 50 pairs of jockettes in my top drawer. FIFTY! Not 15, which would be eminently reasonable. I still can’t quite believe it.

Let it go!
Oh, for shame!

And you know that stereotypical thing about some bachelors hanging on to jocks that are more holey than garment-like…. I’m here to tell you, this single gal was guilty of that too! Well, not quite to the same extent as some bachelors I’ve seen (ahem!), but there were some ‘favourites’ in there that grandma would have been MORTIFIED over if I’d been hit by a bus in them. They’ve now been binned. Sorry grandma.

The fruit box that I’m pitching hangers into as I cull my wardrobe is now overflowing. Here’s an art installation I created on the weekend with the spares.

2015-01-16 14.53.14


Proof positive that decluttering and heightened levels of creativity go hand in hand. (Falls down laughing.) Care to count them up? I’ll save you the trouble dear readers, that there is 44.44% of the #99hangers I started with. Woo hoo! I’m really happy with  my progress.

The boot of my car is now weighed down with two very hefty bags of recyclables for the op shop, which I’m hoping will be useful to somebody.

Part of the process of decluttering included venturing into what I had thought would be land mine strewn enemy territory – under the bed – but I’m pleased to report that I found only a few forlorn items hiding under a thick layer of dust, and they all went easily into the designated donations bags, even though I momentarily considered holding on to a long forgotten nana-chic (not in a good way) cardigan. I resisted, and it is in the bag with everything else unworthy of being in my space.

It has been a really interesting process, from seeing how much stuff I had as it flapped on the Hills Hoist, to thinking about why we have so much, what our stuff means to us, the power we give to inanimate objects, and what emotional comfort we draw from our things. Bringing those musings down to a personal level, and considering why I had so much, has been really valuable.

I have been pleasantly surprised to see just how much that was lurking in the back of drawers or shoved in the deepest recesses of my wardrobe or storage room, gave me no little or trouble when it came to discarding things. I think a lot of that was helped by setting my mind to the task before I began. I knew I needed to have a good declutter, and turning it into a bit of a game and hopefully moderately entertaining blog fodder, has made me enjoy it more and feel accountable about following through. I think that’s really important when it comes to a hoisting. Make yourself accountable to someone, set yourself a deadline/goal, whether that’s a time frame or an amount of items.

I had #99hangers and I’ve ditched 44.44% of the items that were hanging on them (special thanks at this point to Clare, my percentages and fractions support guru).

I’ve taken out and examined every skerrick of clothing from my wardrobe’s built-in drawers, and ditched plenty of stuff that was taking up space there.

I no longer have 50 pairs of undies. I think I’ve ditched at least 20 pairs, if not more. I have noticed that it feels like I’m pulling ‘new’ pairs out of the top drawer each morning, now that my holey old faves are in the bin. I don’t think we need to talk about that in any more detail. Sorry again, grandma.

I have found it so encouraging to have a few people comment here, or on Facebook or Instagram, that seeing me hoist my hangers has motivated them to consider their own hoisting. I thoroughly recommend it, especially if you’re suffering from ‘jam-packed wardrobe, nothing to wear’ syndrome. Hoist away!

I’m not done yet though. I still have to face my shoes! I’m confident there are less than #99pairs, but there are plenty that I don’t wear or had simply forgotten about. Again, I’m a favourites girl – the shoes I’m wearing right now are old, old, old Colorados and probably should have been binned years ago… so that will be another challenge.

2015-01-19 17.03.11

I’d love to hear from anyone who has started their own decluttering, hoisting, or has been thinking more about their possessions lately. We can so easily be defined by our ‘stuff’, don’t you think? I for one, do NOT want to be that kind of person. I want to be defined by the stuff in my head, the stuff in my heart, and most of all, the stuff of my actions.

Send me your ju-ju for the shoes chapter of #hoistthehangers please. I’m afeared.

Have a great week. Leave a comment, pop over to my Facebook page or Instagram and say hello, I love hearing from you.


Annette x