Tag Archives: tidy house

Weekend Coffee Share: The Christmas Decorations Edition

Hello and welcome to this edition of weekend coffee share. Let’s have a cup and a chat. Can you believe that it’s November and Christmas decorations are up in the mall already. 6 weeks, or so, to Christmas.

How do I feel about this? I’m fine with it. There are some who complain about the commercialisation of Christmas and each year the decorations are up earlier and earlier. My take on this is that I can enjoy the beauty and ingenuity of the decorations and not be influenced by commercialisation. I will buy something if I want to, not because I feel compelled.

Financially things are tough at the moment in South Africa. I feel like I’m going backwards financially. My money buys less each year. My salary has remained the same for the last 2 years. I am seriously worried about my savings and retirements investments going backwards.  Relocating to another country is an option but a tough decision to make.

Political shenanigans and policy uncertainty means a volatile economy, the country was downgraded to junk status a year or so ago. And yet life goes on. People still buy new cars, on debt, houses, on debt. Still go to the malls, some on debt. Shops are looking for any opportunity to market and promote their products. It is in the malls’ interest to put up Christmas decorations early, because they rely rental income and people coming in to remain open.

Let’s move away from the depressing talk. This week was home, home, work, work, sales meeting, grocery shopping, spring cleaning. My study needs a good revamp and I started today by getting rid of paper-based kipple I no longer need. I also have tons of stationery, most of it I got as part of conference goodie bags or from hotels where I attended training or seminars. I put all that I don’t want into a large shoe box to donate to the church and SPCA. I kept a few items in a very small box – I mean how many pens and highlighters do I need at any one time?

I’ve been spending some time by The Minimalists website, and I want to downscale. I already have on clothes and shoes and bags, and more need to go. I also came across alejandra.tv, and watched one of her videos – I want my house to be organised just like hers! She uses colour to good effect. Check this video out:

Oh well that’s it for today. Because I spent the day tidying up my study our coffee is a short one. I hope you have a great week.

Read more Weekend Coffee Shares here.


House and Home Edition: Is Your Sink Shiny?

Like most people, there are certain things that come naturally to me and others that don’t.

Like keeping my house neat.  Now the cat’s out the bag!

I envy those people whose houses are always so neat. Photos they post on social media show stunning House and Home houses and I wonder where I’ve gone wrong. I don’t post photos taken inside my house because I’m worried that you’ll judge me harshly. My house is certainly not House and Home. Or maybe their house is not House and Home but they keep a special corner in the house neat all the time for photo opportunities.

"Let's take a photo of the family having a braai, and put it on Facebook."

"Ok, quick... to the corner everyone."

In any event, I do wish my house was neater but it isn’t. No matter how hard I try there is always laundry on the couch (the “to be ironed” pile neatly folded to minimise creases) waiting for the lady that works for us once a week to tackle.

There are books piled on the floor next to the couch, ready to be grabbed and referred to.

My handbag and laptop bags are on another chair. It’s easier to grab on my way out of the house in the morning.

Knowing that, I will not stress about it. I would rather be neater with my finances and my photo cataloguing than my lounge.

Off course, it also means that when we have people over we need at least one week to tidy up, where things do go to their rightful places, albeit temporarily.

You know the story about kipple? The word “kipple” was created by the science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick. It refers to the sinister type of rubbish which simply builds up without any human intervention (Urban Dictionary).

Extract from Philip K. Dick's story "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?", aka the 1982 movie by Ridley Scott, starring Harrison Ford, "Blade Runner":

JR - Kipple is useless objects, like junk mail or match folders after you use the last match or gum wrappers of yesterday's homeopape. When nobody's around, kipple reproduces itself. For instance, if you go to bed leaving any kipple around your apartment, when you wake up the next morning there's twice as much of it. It always gets more and more. 

Pris- I see. 

JR - There's the First Law of Kipple, "Kipple drives out nonkipple." Like Gresham's law about bad money. And in these apartments there's been nobody there to fight the kipple. 

Pris - So it has taken over completely. Now I understand. 

JR - Your place, here, this apartment you've picked - it's too kipple-ized to live in. We can roll the kipple-factor back; we can do like I said, raid the other apartments. But - 

Pris - But what? 

JR - We can't win. 

Pris - Why not? 

JR - No one can win against kipple, except temporarily and maybe in one spot, like in my apartment I've sort of created a stasis between the pressure of kipple and nonkipple, for the time being. But eventually I'll die or go away, and then the kipple will again take over. It's a universal principle operating throughout the universe; the entire universe is moving toward a final state of total, absolute kippleization.

Kipple in our house comes and goes, depending on mood and looming visits by friends and family.

Many years ago a friend recommended a site called Flylady which helps de-kippel-ise homes with tips and daily tasks (called FLYing Lessons). It suggests starting the de-kippelisation activities with short bursts to start off with, and then gradually increase it, much like starting an exercise routine. The purpose of this process is to build a habit. It also helps the de-kipple-iser to start feeling a sense of accomplishment.

Such timeboxing is valuable because it forces me to focus on what’s been done already rather than what’s still to be done. That’s still a good matra to have when trying to cultivate a desirable habit.

One of the FLYing lessons is to shine your sink. It’s cunningly clever to start off the lessons with this because in order to shiny up your sink, you first have to empty it of dishes. There is one of 2 ways of doing this:

  1. Hide all dirty dishes under the sink, or
  2. Actually wash, dry and pack away the dishes.

Either of the two will clear your sink so that it can be shinied. But only one is the most useful and productive one.

There is a third option – get a dishwasher but since I don’t have one (yes yes, shock horror!) one of the above two will have to do.

I haven’t tried this technique yet but having a lovely shiny sink does sound lovely!

I know what I like doing and make time for those things – things like reading, blogging, photography and spending time with my husband and family. And playing with my neighbour’s cats (they’re so cute). And swimming. And sleeping…

Those things that don’t come naturally to me to do get put off to be done another day, because I would much rather be blogging or watching The Blacklist.

So now that my secret is out of the bag, tell me, how do you keep YOUR house de-kipple-ised?