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TAKING STOCK - April / May 2017


Welcome to the another 'Taking Stock' post for 2017. If you are new to Teacher by trade, Mother by nature (WELCOME) you can read all of my 'Taking Stock' posts HERE. Pip from Meet Me At Mike is the mastermind behind this series, so be sure to check out her blog. This is something I have been doing since I started blogging and will continue to do this year - I love looking back at previous months. In a nutshell, it's simply taking a step back and 'taking stock' of what's currently happening in your life. 


Here's what's been happening in the month of APRIL & MAY..

Enjoying: my new office space! I decided to move all my teacher resources etc inside and have created a lovely workspace that is functional and 'sparks joy'. Everything I need is right there at my finger tips. I really want to upgrade my chair, so I'm on the hunt for a new one. 

My partner is now happy he has the whole external office space for himself and his gym. Space for him and now I have beautiful space for myself. Win Win!



Looking & Reading: through my daughter's school papers. I organised them into these clear file folders. It's such a nice feeling knowing that it's all in ONE place. You can read more about it HERE.

Getting: in the picture with my Mum (see pic below) & my kids. Did you get in the picture with your kids this month? 


Wishing: my Mum a very Happy Birthday (26th May). Love You Mum.


Buying: a new outfit for a Girls Night Out with my best friends. Top, jeans and earrings from SaveMart (op-shop). Necklace, nail polish and handbag were from KMart. 




Loving: my new 'Mother's Day Journal'. I was inspired by Bernadette at So Freaking Organised, who shared her journal on her blog. Such a great idea. I look forward to future entries from my kids. Have you got a Mother's Day Journal?



Playing: with play dough and rubbish trucks with Master M.

Making: memories with my children. Our tradition for Easter is quite simple. The kids get winter pjs, a small chocolate and we read 'We're going on an Egg Hunt' (I bought this last year). Does you family have any special traditions?


Sorting: through the kids toys! OH MY! What a mission that was. Check out the before and after posts HERE. I also finished sorting through the kids DVDs, Stationery, Crafts, Hobbies and Bedroom decor.  

I have ONE more category to go! SENTIMENTAL - Watch this space!



Admiring: the before and after photos of an organising job, I recently was a part of, at a local school. I was asked by the school to help them organise and declutter their Resource Room. It was a massive job but totally worth it. The staff were very grateful for my help. I love the after photo. 



Feeling: sad. Today we farewelled a dear friend. Fly High L x We will miss you.

Celebrating: our 5 year anniversary. My partner surprised me with this gorgeous bouquet of flowers for our anniversary. The only person he buys flowers for is his Nana, so I felt extremely lucky and loved. Here's to many, many more years together x




Finding: new systems and routines to help tackle our laundry. This hanging system was inspired by Leanne at Organising The Four of Us who shared her laundry routine on her YouTube channel. I've been using it for a few weeks now and I love it! I love not having baskets full of clean washing. This is going to come in handy during the Winter months. 


*********
Now it's YOUR turn...

Tell me, what's been happening in YOUR world? How was APRIL & MAY for you?
Choose three (or more) words from the list and 'take stock' in the comments below.


Have a wonderful week
Charlene



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KONMARI WITH KIDS: KOMONO - DVDS, STATIONERY, CRAFT, HOBBIES AND BEDROOM DECOR.



Welcome to my new series: 'KonMari With Kids'. 
If you have just joined me - WELCOME - I recently completed the KonMari method with my OWN belongings, read 'My KonMari Journey' to see how I did. Now, it's time to get stuck into my kid's stuff - I have two children: Miss B, 12 years old and Master M, 3 years old.

Previously on the blog, I shared how I KonMari'd my kids clothes (Baby, Toddler and Tween), their books., Paper - including Art Work and School Memorabilia, TOYS, and now it's time for the rest of KOMONO (miscellaneous items).

*******

- KOMONO -

Marie suggests children as young as three years old can decide what gives them joy and the key principle is that each person should be making the decisions for themselves. Before you tackle your kids items, she does recommend you KonMari your own belongings first.

I found Komono (miscellaneous items) quite overwhelming, only because there are so many sub-categories within the category. I thought I was never going to get out of Komono, but I did! (You can read about it here

In Kondo's second book, Spark Joy, she mentions that "The key to fast and efficient komono tidying is to know your categories". Once you have identified the categories that exist in your home, you can follow the three basic steps for each one.

  1. Gather all items in that category in one place. 
  2. Choose only those that spark joy 
  3. Store by category.
*******

Today I am sharing: 

KOMONO: DVDS, STATIONERY, CRAFT,  HOBBIES AND BEDROOM DECOR. 

If you are familiar with Marie Kondo or the KonMari Method, then you will know one of the categories is KOMONO. This is quite a big category, as it consists of many sub-categories, depending on your home. When I started this new series 'KonMari With Kids', the biggest Komono item was TOYS, so I tackled it first. Now it's time to tackle everything else...but what exactly fits in this category for KIDS? 

For my kids, I will be covering: 
  • DVDs
  • Stationery/Craft Supplies 
  • Hobby related items (Nail polish)
  • Bedroom Decor
One of the things I have found helpful during this whole KonMari journey is actually sorting everything into the five categories first, according to Marie Kondo: Clothes, Books, Paper, Komono and Sentimental. Going through the boxes and cupboards and sorting everything into piles matching the above categories, so when it came to tackling a particular category...it was all there, ready and I knew I wasn't going to find it anywhere else in the home. 

Once that was done, I was able to begin...

DVDS

When my daughter was younger, we had A LOT of DVDs, however over the years she's grown out of them (GOODBYE DORA!) and we ended up discarding a whole heap when we moved in with my partner, and also over the years during my decluttering journey. 

Nowadays, we tend to borrow DVDs from either my parents for a few weeks or hire them from the video store. My parents have a HUGE collection of DVDs, so they are our go-to place if we want to watch a DVD. We also have Sky and Netflix, and there are a lot of great movies on there, so we record them or watch them on the laptop (I'm going to purchase a Chrome Cast this week - so we can sync the laptop to our 'not-so-smart' TV). 

As you can see our collection is fairly small, nonetheless, it was good to go through them and discard ones that we no longer need or want. 

BEFORE


DONATE 


Add caption

AFTER 
Remember: we borrow movies from my parents and we hold on to them for a few weeks (sometimes months depending if they are popular with the kids or not) and we also record movies on Sky too. It's nice to have a variety, especially if we are on the road or it's a miserable day.


We keep our DVDS in this white rattan basket in our TV cabinet. I keep my parent's DVDs in there until I see them again. I also have the portable dvd player in the basket too, so it's all in one place. We usually take our portable DVD player when we go on long trips - to keep the kids entertained, while travelling. My partner's XBox games are also in tv cabinet too. 


These DVDs belong to my parents and will be returned to them on our next visit. It's also a good time to get some new ones. 


STATIONERY / CRAFT SUPPLIES 


BEFORE


Miss B sorting her KOMONO into sub-categories: DVDS, STATIONERY, CRAFTS, HOBBIES and BEDROOM DECOR. We also found books and clothes (oh dear), however Miss B was happy to discard these items, as she totally forgot she had them.


PENCIL CASES

PENCIL CASES AFTER
(I kept the Arsenal one - it sparked joy!) 

STATIONERY AND CRAFT SUPPLIES (bits and bobs) BEFORE


STATIONERY AND CRAFT SUPPLIES (bits and bobs) AFTER


HOBBY RELATED ITEMS

 NAIL POLISH BEFORE 

NAIL POLISH AFTER

AFTER

This is what is being returned to Miss B's bedroom. So much lighter, and organised. The grey boxes are stored in her wardrobe and everything else Miss B has found homes for. I gave the organisers on the left to my Mum - perfect for her jewellery art (she was very thankful)



DISCARD PILE

We emptied 3 x 60L containers and it feels FANTASTIC.


DONATE PILE

All of this has been donated! My daughter was very relieved to have it out of her space, and knows someone else will treasure these items. 




BEDROOM DECOR

Since I started the 'KonMari With Kids' series, the kids bedrooms have had makeovers. I actually did them in March, however they still look the same today, so KonMari for the WIN! Before I did the makeover on my daughter's bedroom, I got her to take everything out that she no longer wanted in her room - that's all the stuff that is in the BEFORE photo above. Everything that was left in the room, sparked joy - she loves her new room and so do I! 

NOTE: The BEFORE photos (smaller photo) are from Christmas and were taken just before I started this series. What a difference?!

Once I have finished the KonMari With Series, I might look into sharing a full tour of the kids bedrooms (watch this space). 


*******

It feels good to finally share with you the BEFORE and AFTER photos of the KOMONO category. It can be a difficult category, because everything that doesn't belong in Clothes, Books, Paper and Sentimental - belongs in KOMONO and it can be overwhelming. 

However, breaking it [KOMONO] into sub-categories like DVDs, Stationery/Craft Supplies or Hobby related items and Bedroom decor will make this category less daunting, and you will be able to tidy each space/area more efficiently. 

I think it's really important to follow Marie Kondo's basic steps when tidying Komono...
  1. Gather all items in that category in one place.
  2. Choose only those that spark joy
  3. Store by category
My daughter had a vision for her room, so the purging process was easy. A lot of the stuff she had, she has outgrown - some of which she's had since she was 5 years old, so it was good for her to have a really good clean out. She loves her space and takes pride in it. It does get untidy, however now, it doesn't take her long to tidy because 1) there is less stuff and 2) everything has a place. 

So once again...for the KOMONO category, I split it into 5 sub-categories
2. DVDS 
3. STATIONERY/CRAFTS
4. HOBBY RELATED ITEMS
5. BEDROOM DECOR

I hope you found this post helpful. If you did, please feel free to PIN and/or SHARE with your friends and family.

Thanks for reading, 
Charlene


Coming Up Next: KonMari With Kids: Sentimental Items
It's the mother of all categories - SENTIMENTAL! I have been decluttering my daughter's sentimental belongings over for years, however I haven't touched any of my son's - so this is going to be a big task for me. I will probably break it up into smaller sub-categories, like I did with my own Sentimental items - WATCH THIS SPACE. 


I am super excited about this new series 'KonMari With Kids' and would love for you to follow along in this process, better yet, join me - Subscribe to my Blog, so you don't miss a post and together we CAN 'KonMari With Kids'. I will also be sharing my journey on my Facebook page, and Instagram, so be sure to follow me there too.


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KONMARI WITH KIDS - KOMONO: KIDS TOYS


Welcome to my new series: 'KonMari With Kids'. 
If you have just joined me - WELCOME - I recently completed the KonMari method with my OWN belongings, read 'My KonMari Journey' to see how I did. Now, it's time to get stuck into my kid's stuff - I have two children: Miss B, 12 years old and Master M, 3 years old.
Previously on the blog, I shared how I KonMari'd my kids clothes (Baby, Toddler and Tween), their books., Paper - including Art Work and School Memorabilia, and now it's time for KOMONO (miscellaneous items).

*******

- KOMONO -

Marie suggests children as young as three years old can decide what gives them joy and the key principle is that each person should be making the decisions for themselves. Before you tackle your kids items, she does recommend you KonMari your own belongings first.

I found Komono (miscellaneous items) quite overwhelming, only because there are so many sub-categories within the category. I thought I was never going to get out of Komono, but I did! (You can read about it here

In Kondo's second book, Spark Joy, she mentions that "The key to fast and efficient komono tidying is to know your categories". Once you have identified the categories that exist in your home, you can follow the three basic steps for each one.

  1. Gather all items in that category in one place.
  2. Choose only those that spark joy
  3. Store by category.


*******

Today I am sharing: TOYS 


- PLAYROOM TOYS - 

BEFORE 

This is what our playroom looked like a few months ago...it quickly became a dumping ground, and it was doing my head in...I knew something had to change! We also had a buffet side table in our dining/living area filled with kids toys etc...so it felt like toys were all over the place.

I had a vision for our playroom, and this wasn't it. There was too much 'STUFF'! Most toys didn't have a HOME and ended up stuffed in tubs, boxes or dumped on surfaces.





The first step is to "gather all items in that category in one place," and that's exactly what I did. I pulled EVERYTHING out of the playroom and the kids bedrooms, and brought them into the lounge.

Oh my!! I stepped back and just gasped! ALL of this was in the playroom (and a few things were in the kids bedrooms)...I kept thinking...HOW DID IT ALL FIT? The thing I love about the KonMari method and following Marie Kondo's principles is that by gathering everything in one place, you can see the full volume of your belongings, in this case...your kids belongings. WOAH!

WHERE DO I BEGIN?






DURING 

I had a blank canvas to work with, and I was excited about this. The two drawer shelf unit pictured below used to be a part of my son's wardrobe unit, that I pulled down. We did consider selling it, however it has become a great surface and storage space for the playroom - it sparked joy in the playroom, so it's here to stay (for now). 


The next step is "choose only those that spark joy". Because this is all about the KIDS...it's at this step where you need to have your children's input. Now I know it would be so much easier to do this without the kids, but at the end of the day, it's their toys and they need to be a part of this process.

Marie Kondo mentions that children 3 years and over are more than capable of making decisions and deciding what sparks joy for them, so I put it to the test with my three year old. I was pleasantly surprised that there were toys he didn't like, want or made him happy, so they went straight into the donate pile. There were toys he hadn't seen for ages, probably because they were hidden away, however they sparked joy again and so we kept them.

The donate pile was getting bigger and bigger and I could see what toys actually made my son happy, and he would play with on a daily basis.


AFTER

"Store by category"
It took us a few hours to complete, but we got there in the end...and I LOVE our new playroom, so does my son! It appears and feels less cluttered. Everything has a place and I am implementing new systems so that it doesn't get out of control. 

Everything has been moved around to allow better flow and create 'areas of play'. I moved the buffet side table into the playroom, as it provides great storage and a surface to display items. (When we moved into our house, this is where it was, but I moved it out to create more room, however this shelf unit is perfect for the playroom, because at the end of the day we can shut the side doors. 





On the left side of the side table unit we have puzzles and books - the 'quiet' toys. I absolutely LOVE the books arranged by colour - not only does it look good, but its easier for Master M to return books to the shelf once he's finished reading them.


On the right side of the unit, we have cards, magnetic game, play dough toys, Duplo, Dinosaurs, and on the bottom shelf is where we store the board games. I had a clean out of the board games and only kept the ones we absolutely love playing.

The play dough toys, Duplo and Dinosaurs are stored in clear containers I purchased from The Warehouse earlier this year. (I tried to find a link to the product online, but can't find one). They are the perfect size, and the thing I like most about them is that it provides a limit to what we can store in them. 

We bought this kitchen (from KMart) for Master M's 2nd Birthday, and he loves it! He plays with it daily. We have a few kitchen-related items he can use during play - he does enjoy making lunch for Mum.


I love these '3 stacking bins' from KMart - they are a perfect fit for the KMart Play Kitchen.


Master M enjoys writing and drawing, so this low shelf in the middle of the playroom works really well. It's a good height for him to sit down or kneel on the floor and get creative. He also has the option of drawing/writing at the kids table. I keep the supply of crayons, and markers (felt pens) in this 4-bucket caddy (from  KMart), it has a little handle on it, so he can move it around to where ever he wants to draw etc.


Our boy loves his cars, trucks, construction vehicles and trains. I used to have, what I thought, was an awesome storage solution for his cars etc - it was a 9-box storage shelf...however every single day, he would tip them all out, just for the sake of it...so I took it out of the playroom...discarded the boxes and up-cycled the shelf as a shoe organiser by our front door. WIN WIN! So now, all the vehicles are stored in this awesome 'truck' box. 


The train table is one of the only toys I have on rotation. It's usually stored in Master M's bedroom and then moved out to the empty space (where the side table was) in the living/dining area, when we have playdates or if Master M wants to play with it. When he's finished playing with it, I take it back to his room. It's light and easy to move, hence why it's on rotation.


- SOFT TOYS - 

BEFORE 


AFTER


Obsessed with Giraffes! 


Miss B's favourite soft toys


DONATE



- BATH TOYS - 

BEFORE


AFTER 



DISCARD PILE  


- DONATE PILE -

As soon as I was finished, I put everything that was needing to be donated straight into the car and dropped it off. It was such a relief to have all of this stuff no longer in my home! Probably 4x 60L containers worth of toys, and a few extra bits and pieces from around our home that no longer sparked joy - all ready to find a new home.



SOLD!!!

Sadly, one of the things that no longer sparked joy for me, was this library bookshelf. I did love it, however it was no longer needed, and it was just taking up space...so I gave it to my friend, who has two little girls. They absolutely love it and I am glad it has gone to another family who will appreciate it more than we did. 



*******

WOOHOO!! I can finally tick TOYS off my list - what a great feeling! This was a huge task, however I am so glad I used this method to declutter the kids toys. 

These three basic steps definitely helped me and I know they will help you if you are thinking about decluttering your kids toys. 

  1. Gather all items in that category in one place.
  2. Choose only those that spark joy
  3. Store by category.

My son loves his playroom, and loves each and every toy that is in there now, and knows where everything goes. He does mix things up and that's okay because each week we sit down and re-sort his toys, returning items to their place. My son takes pride in his 'playroom', and enjoys helping Mummy tidy up. The Playroom not only sparks joy for him - it sparks joy for me too.


I hope you found this post helpful. If you did, please feel free to PIN and/or SHARE with your friends and family.

Thanks for reading, 
Charlene


Coming Up Next: KonMari With Kids: MORE KOMONO (Miscellaneous)


I am super excited about this new series 'KonMari With Kids' and would love for you to follow along in this process, better yet, join me - Subscribe to my Blog, so you don't miss a post and together we CAN 'KonMari With Kids'. I will also be sharing my journey on my Facebook page, and Instagram, so be sure to follow me there too.


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