week of decluttering

Day 7 of decluttering moved a queen bed sized pure wool underblanket.

The underblanket is heavy and took up quite a bit of space, but now it is in the back of the car. It will be either taken to the Dogs Refuge or put in one of the charity bins that accept items other than clothing.

We got a new underblanket when we changed mattresses as it kept the shape of the previous mattress. It was dry cleaned and put away, and I can’t remember how it got to the blue room. But I’m sure we don’t need a spare underblanket.wool uderblanket


new theme

Day 5 of the Zero to Hero Blogging Challenge was to try three new themes, including one I would never think of using.

Although the assignment did not include writing today, I wanted to record here for future reference the themes that I previewed using Appearance ->Themes from the WordPress.com Dashboard.

I took snapshots, as I couldn’t find them all in the Theme Showcase.

Dilettante as White as MilkThe original theme was White as Milk, which I chose because it was easy to read. The left panel included widgets that I used to browse and search my blog, and links to other blogs and websites that I regularly visited.

My original requirements were the same when looking for a new theme, that is, easy to read and access archived posts. However, one of the adjustments that I will make is to create a page for my Blogroll, as it was too long for many of the newer themes, and also I now have the WordPress Reader.

Dilettante as VisualI changed my theme to Visual. It is a three-column layout, but I like that it accommodates posts with and without images. Once you click on a post or page, the right-navigation menu includes all the widgets that I am used to. However, many of these are redundant now so I will work to reduce and refresh these as time goes on.

Dilettante as ChalkboardOther themes that I considered were Chalkboard and Quentin. It was difficult to choose between Visual and Chalkboard. I liked Chalkboard because it has a very similar layout to White as Milk, just more whimsical. But I went with Visual this time, as I wanted to play with the three-column layout.

Dilettante as QuentinThe Quentin theme originally appealed because of the colour and design elements that made my think of ‘The Olde Curiosity Shoppe’. But I decided that other than this, it was pretty much the same as White as Milk.

I can see that I will need to edit some of my previous posts to fit into the three-column width of the front page, but I’ll figure this out as I go.

counting corks

Day 6 of 365 less things was spent in the blue room counting corks.

The DIY Wine Cork Bath Mat inspired me to see what I had saved in the Veuve Clicquot ice bucket.

cork collection I lost count, but I have over 200 champagne corks, and a handful each of synthetic and cork wine corks, as well as some cork stoppers that I think must have come from port bottles.

If I use the 200 champagne corks I may be able to make a door mat sized mat to go near the back door. I’ll have to play with the idea some more, but I think if I alternated the champagne corks top to bottom, there will be a bit of an edge to stick. Now just have to think what to glue them onto, if anything. counting corks to make into door mat

The ‘ice bucket’ has gone in the recycling bin. It was made of fluted cardboard, and a bit of a novelty when you purchased the champagne many New Years ago.

The corks are now in a cloth bag in the green room. Decluttered from the blue room because they don’t belong there, and into the green room where other UFOs are kept.

Zero to Hero Day 4: Explore the neighbourhood

I found the Zero to Hero Day 4 assignment overwhelming. There are so many great blogs to read and follow, on all manner of topics. What am I going to give up so I can spend more time reading blogs?

But I have followed through on the how-to with regard to the reader, and practised following individual blogs and tags (topics).

I may manage reading and following by reviewing my reading list periodically. A bit like I re-stack the books in my TBR pile next to the bed.


Day 5 of 365 less things may be a bit of cheat really, as I have more than I discarded or re-purposed.

I won a door prize at the local sustainability fair, which enabled me to spend up to $75 at the EcoShop at Environment House. I spent a little over, by exchanging my voucher for a small bar of handmade soap, environmental toothbrushes, Mokosh Face Cleansing Powder, and a six-pack of ecosilk bags.

decluttered_recycling_bagsThe ecosilk bags were to replace the store bought bags which I binned or re–purposed. The store bought bags are made of some sort of synthetic material which either becomes soft or brittle when washed a few times. Because of this, the stitching tears around the bottom of the bag, handles, and the little loop that goes over the peg at the store to retain the bag.

I kept two old recycled bags to use in the garden, although one may have to be binned as the holes in the bottom have torn even further with just a few rose prunings.

The ecosilk bags are heaps better than the shop bought recycled bags. Apart from being bright and attractive, they appear to hook over the stand for the shop assistants more easily.

Day 3: What’s on your mind?

Today’s Zero to Hero assignment is to write the post that was on my mind when I decided to start a blog.

That’s a bit too long ago.

I can’t remember any particular piece that I wanted to write, but the general feeling was that I wanted to write regularly, let my Mam know what I was up to while she was travelling, and create a space to record the various offline and online projects that I was participating in at the time.

However, I do know why I want to re-vitalise the dilettante blog and I hope that participating in Zero to Hero 30-Day Blog Challenge will assist me with that.

I am on leave from my university coursework and will not be doing any units until Semester 2 starting at the end of July. During the next six months, I want to write more regularly so I don’t get out of the habit of researching and writing.

More recently I have been reading 365 Less Things and Becoming Minimalist, and have decided that 2014 is going to be a more concerted effort to declutter. My goal is to declutter one item or spend 15 minutes a day decluttering, whichever comes first.

Dilettante will hopefully be filled with 365 posts about decluttering, as a primary focus – well, I’ll try. There so many items, topics, and things to take delight in.

containers and lids

On day 4 of 365 less things I was determined to clear out the empty food storage container cupboard of any broken and or unpaired lids and containers.decluttered_containers

There was not as much plastic container clutter to discard as I thought. A few take-away containers without lids or containers, some lids that I thought to keep in case any of the others broke, and some ‘saved’ empty water bottle containers. However, these have now been put in the rubbish bin or recycling bin. It is still a mystery to me why lids which are obviously the same plastic material as the container do not have the recycling symbol on them, so I cannot put them in the recycling bin.

I still haven’t found the lid to the burger press and freezer keeper set. But this is still useful by using one of the burger containers as a lid. It may still turn up, as I haven’t turned out all the cupboards, to match up the containers and lids.

Having emptied the cupboard, I sorted containers that have a specific purpose and the pyrex containers into the original cupboard, and put the plastic containers onto a shelf in another cupboard. This shelf had been bare for a while, I think because I collected up all the attachments to the food processor we were no longer using and put them in a less accessible cupboard. Although I don’t use all the attachments for kitchen gadgets, I tend to keep them with the appliance. But I’m always questioning whether to discard the ones I don’t use, or simply store them elsewhere like I have done.

How I have arranged the two empty food storage container cupboards may not work, as I have some containers  in-use in the fridge, freezer, and pantry. But will adapt as we go, knowing that the containers are complete with lids.