Monday, July 18, 2011

Time away from the computer

School holidays give us the opportunity to spend some time away from the computers and enjoy some quality family and outdoor time.  We have just spent the best part of the last two weeks warming up in northern NSW and southern Queensland - temperatures that will be sadly missed with forcasts of snow here tomorrow morning.

We loved the chance to hang out at the beach.... explore some cool rock formations.. find some cool things like this bird nest....

... to enjoy some good unstructured play (we took no toys away with us)...

....explore mystical rainforests...

..climb mountains - our littlest walked over 12km one day!  What a personal goal....

... stare up into the canopies of tall trees...

..and generally have time to explore...

I think the kids are looking forward to our next holiday away again already - but I am sure they will love catching up with their friends and sharing holiday stories over the next week or two.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Finding it hard to keep the decluttering momentum going

It has been a busy time of year with end of year project reporting for work and the finalisation of teaching assessments and marks - so I have not had time to write about what we have been up to on the home sustainability front.  To kick off getting back into things I thought that I would start with a few summaries of where we are up to with what we set out to achieve in 2011. Our big goals were to simplify things (declutter), work on our health, find more ways to reduce our energy consumption, reduce our household waste and commit to buying organic, local or free range meat.

I will begin today with what we have achieved with simplifying things or decluttering.  To be honest the decluttering bug started off well but has slowed down as winter set in and work increased but we have achieved a lot.

I have been mulching the garden with old university notes and my old undergraduate herbarium (pressed plant collection) - that was three draws of a filing cabinet emptied (the final severing of my research past).

We went through the shopping bag cupboard and shorted out some excess bags - we washed these and donated them to one of the local opportunity shops - so I guess a range of customers now have some reusable shopping bags to add to their collection. 

With the kids help we have started the process of shorting through the toys and books and have given many to the local opportunity shops.  A selection of our favourite books and toys have found their way to our newest little cousin (nephew). We have another load of toys ready to be given away when the kids meet their new cousin over the school holidays.

The kids clothes and shoes were sorted and again donated to the local charity shops. Inspired by Tricia at Little Eco Footprints I have been reduced my wardrobe one section at a time.  So far I have been through my underwear and sock draws, my shirts and jeans - and I haven't missed anything that I have found a new home for.

We even went through the kitchen cupboards and reduced what we had here - that has made a huge difference to our ability to fit things in the cupboard and of course our ability to find things in the cupboard.

We are hoping the next half of the year is less busy and maybe we can sort through the shed, the games cupboard or even Dad's shoe collection.

What are your secrets to decluttering and simplifying your life?