2018 life resolutions: how did I go?


You may remember that I posted on my 2018 life resolutions back in January this year (see here), and I thought it would be interesting to come back and look at those so we can see how I'm going.

I also thought I may have forgotten some so doing this post will remind me, and then I can return to it in a few months and see where we're at then.

And yes, it's about accountability. If I'm posting on this, then I'm accountable.

Let's have a look.

Reduce household clutter by 20 per cent

This was the first resolution I made and I think I've done reasonably well with it so far. While I wouldn't say that I've reduced clutter by 20 per cent across the board, I've certainly achieved something like that in many areas.

Last time I mentioned targeting things like clothes, books, packaging, toys, nail files and dead candle jars. All of those things have been looked at and many items have been donated or tossed. I've also sent packaging to my daughter's new kindergarten, since they've asked for boxes etc to be used in arts and crafts.

At the moment we're cleaning each room in the house in readiness for the 40th we're holding for Mex in two weeks, and as I'm doing this, I'm also sending more stuff from the house and packing things away in the attic (eg clothing that my kids have grown out of that I'll eventually pass on). 

So I'd say that I've done well with this goal, but I would like to keep working towards it so I can say that absolutely everything in the house has been looked at. Slow and steady wins the race.

Eat through the pantry and freezer

This is an ongoing battle but we're getting there. One of the things I've done recently is look at the amount we're spending each month on different things, and I've discovered that our worst category is groceries.

Apparently the average Australian family spends around $650 per month on groceries, and somehow we've been spending closer to $900. I'm not entirely sure how that's happened, but I've learned that those who spend more on groceries tend to shop more than once a week (that's us), and they also buy things because they're on special and not because they need them (also us).

Now Mex does more of the grocery shopping these days because he walks past two supermarkets on his way home from work, so it's a lot easier for him to buy things than it is for me to brave the supermarket with the double pram - but the thing is, I've noticed that he tends to buy extras that we don't really need. So we've had some words and we're aiming to reduce the grocery bill from now on.

Anyhoo. We have been eating through the pantry and freezer lately, and the freezer especially is looking a lot better than it did. I would like to keep going with this and my aim is to have most areas bare before the party so there's room for the things we'll be using on the day. After that we'll try to keep a tighter lid on food storage than we have previously.

Worth noting now is that I've met my goal of making sure we eat whatever's here before it expires, and I've been checking use-by dates over the past couple of months to ensure that things get eaten in order. I'd like to keep that going from now on.

Deal with the packaging

I'm a complete packaging hoarder and always have been. If I receive presents in boxes or soaps in pretty tins, I keep them. Some items are on display on my makeup shelves (so we can say they're being 'used') but others are away in the cupboard so I can reuse them for others' gifts.

'Cupboards', I should say. Plural. That's how many boxes I've amassed over the years: they're everywhere. Some of them are too nice to throw out (eg empty subscription boxes, Mecca's yearly festive packaging), but others I've just kept because I don't want to waste them.

I mentioned in my first post that I planned to send as much packaging as possible to my daughter's new kindergarten, and I'm pleased to say I've done that. Those boxes are now being used for arts and crafts etc.

Still, there's more to be done. I need to go through the bag of smaller packaging I've saved (eg boxes that contained face creams) and work out what I want to keep for display purposes, and what can also be sent off to kinder.

We're getting there, but the job isn't finished yet.

Sell or donate the old

I mentioned earlier that Mex is the eBay vendor in this house and he occasionally sells things we're not using or don't need. As I'm going through the house and invariably discovering things that I'd forgotten we owned, I'm sending more things his way to hopefully offload to better homes. So yes we've been selling, but we need to keep doing it.

Same goes with the donating. Last month we sent off a bundle of things to the op shop that had come from all corners of the house, but as I'm going through everything with a fine-toothed comb, I'm of course discovering more that needs to go. Yes some of it is mine, but most of it comes in the form of toys that my kids never used or wouldn't use now because they're older and have no interest in them.

I'm sensing a theme here. Everything so far on this list has been addressed, but there's still more to be done so we're not finished yet. At least we can say that I've done the 'surface' pass and we're now getting into the corners and to the bottom of the drawers.

Get better at managing our citrus overload

I'd forgotten this was on my list but I certainly hadn't forgotten that it's something I want to get better at.

We have a lot of citrus. Too much for one family to ever have a hope of using, and every year I'm sending off bags of oranges, mandarins, lemons and limes to anyone who'll have them. Still, every year there's some waste when it comes to the lemons and limes especially (because you can't eat those whole like the other two), and no matter how many I send away, some always perish.

We're at the point now where most of it isn't ripe yet so I haven't had to worry so much, but soon I'll be waking up to bright fruit every day and wondering what the hell I'm going to do with it.

Maybe this year I'll start sending more into kinder and childcare for the teachers to use. I did that a bit last year but I probably could have done it more often. There's a goal.

Get through the random toiletries and pharmaceuticals 

This is one that I'm happy to say is complete, or at least as complete as it can be for now.

I mentioned before that we've somehow accrued a bunch of hotel toiletries (or the toothpastes and skincare kits that get handed out on planes), and that I wanted to get through them.

I've now finished all those random body creams, body washes, shampoos and conditioners, and I've made my way through most of the mini toothpastes too. So I think we can say that this side of things has been dealt with.

I also mentioned the almost empty tubes of nappy cream that had been cast aside for the newer tubes that are easier to use (they're all gone now too) and also the dead medicines that expired months ago and don't serve any purpose. They're mostly gone too, minus a few medications that aren't long past expiry but that still occasionally get used (eg the Mylanta I needed during both my pregnancies).

So we're done here!

In sum

It's been useful, I think, to go over these again now that I'm currently cleaning the whole house before the party. It's helped to remind me of what still needs to be done and what my goals were for this year.

Hopefully it's been helpful to others, too, and given you some ideas about what you might want to do in your own house. So many of us feel overwhelmed by clutter at times, and it's good to share stories about what we've been doing to stay on top of it - or at least not too far behind it!

Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x

* All images courtesy of unsplash.com

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