Welcome 2012

by kath_red on 01/01/2012

in my life

[pics above – a selection from our year that was]

The start of a fresh year brings a need to reflect on what was and what will be.

Do you stop and have some reflection time at this time of year?

On reflection 2011 was a pretty good year professionally for me — on the personal/family front it has been good too – nothing bad happened (quick touch wood), we went on a really good family holiday, read some great books, made some cool things, started at the gym, the kids all did well at school, I learned some new skills, made new friends and drank some good wine.

I love to plan, reflect and write lists all year round, but this time of year is a particularly good time to really get to the nitty gritty of what you want to do differently – what needs changing. I am not talking about resolutions like getting fit etc. (as they inevitably get broken pretty quickly) but rather some big but achievable goals that you can work towards during the year.

My goals for the year:

  • Spend less time online but be more productive with my online time: – use schedules and lists.
  • Make a few changes to Action Pack (my e-magazine for kids), it was a good year but I think I worked too hard: – pull back a little.
  • I’ll be working on some books and freelance writing projects this year so I need to really manage my time well: – get familiar with time management tools.
  • Simplifying the clutter in my life by getting rid of stuff – not buying a lot of new stuff too: – be ruthless and clear out – don’t buy new crap to fill the gaps.
  • Being eco friendly is important to us as a family – but I fear I have slipped this past year: the solution: – don’t buy stuff with lots of packaging, only buy clothes second hand or make them – and continue to shop at the farmers market.
  • On the more personal front – take better care of myself: – continue to go to the gym, make more effort to avoid sugar and get a hair cut every once in a while.

Please tell me your goals – do these resonate with you or do you have a few different goals?

I have kick started the year by clearing out the old in my life and home — I have chucked out all old and unflattering clothing (for myself and everyone else too!), toys and books that the kids have outgrown, never used kitchen utensils, vases and lampshades that clutter, excess linen that is clogging up the storage spaces… This is what I have been doing in the first day of the new year…

  • Did I use or wear this at all in the past 12 months? Is it taking up valuable storage space? Do we really need all that stuff … it just collects dust, doesn’t get used and makes a mess.
  • What then do I do with all this stuff: Some of it I am not quite ready to throw out .. vacpac it and store it on the top cupboard, give to a family member who might dispose of it / or put it to use for you — advertise some of the better quality goods for sale, but because I can’t be bothered with this I will be giving it all to charity or to friends — is there anyone out there (who lives near me) who would like a treadle singer sewing machine?. I have bundled up bags of unwanted clothing for the charity shop but I may consider later in the year hosting a clothes/white elephant swap day with friends.
  • For all the stuff I am keeping – it needs a home – and if I can’t put it away then I’ll be throwing it away. Kids toys – out of the living room, books – on books shelves, craft supplies – in a box (or two) on a shelf or under a bed, linen – folded and sorted in the linen cupboard. (You might need more storage – get some under bed roller boxes or put up some bookshelves). Then I’ll be making a pact to not store things on the dining table or the kitchen bench or on the couch – if I can keep these areas clear then I am winning the battle!

Once you have a clear space to live in – you will be better positioned to clear your head and think about the bigger picture that is your life. We are making plans this year to make some changes — less work, more play — more travel and adventure in our lives. I am planning for more books, a big trip and a location change — it’s going to be a big and exciting year … I hope you have some grand plans for your year too!


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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jodi Anderson January 2, 2012 at 11:24 am

Great post, Kathreen! I share so many of your goals, particularly the clearing out of unnecessary items and managing time more efficiently, particularly online.

I want to thank you for allowing me to be part of WhipUp in 2011. The calendar and the crafting for health post were two highlights in my year. Plus, this website is such a treasure, both personally and to the craft community at large.

Thanks for all that you do!


2 Lisa January 2, 2012 at 11:52 am

I go into cleanout mode this time of year, too. I am (usually) aware that having too much…stuff, everything…is a big source of stress in my life and especially after Christmas, it feels good to thin out. A friend of mine says she tries to keep her house “like a river, not a pond” where things keep moving through. I like it.


3 Melissa Griffiths January 2, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Be more thankful! I’m going to do a thankful journal – write 3 things (long or short) every night that I am thankful for. I think it will be a great way to see the positive in my life. We are in the middle of a crazy remodel and I don’t even have a kitchen sink. The “whoa is me” comes with it. Making an effort to be more thankful puts things in perspective. Last night I wrote: I am thankful I have a nice bed, hot water in the shower, and a fridge (even if it is in the mud room)!

Here’s to 2012!


4 Margaret January 4, 2012 at 2:06 am

Clutter is the bane of my existence. I tried last year to throw away/donate/give away three things a day. Some days I was more successful than others. The real problem lies in my daughter’s stuff. I can’t convince her to get rid of those stuffed animals that have been in a bin under her bed for three years or her dress-up clothes that she hasn’t touched for 2 years. I resolve to get rid of more stuff this year. Yours in solidarity. :-)


5 Shaz Frantz January 7, 2012 at 7:48 pm

I’m with you Kathreen!
I believe that we think and feel so much better when we are uncluttered!

Margaret, I’m not sure how old your daughter is, but with my 10 year old, we have a little ritual where we thank the item (toy, piece of clothing, art work) for all that it has given/taught us, then we release it (recycling/op shop/friend/bin). My girl is becoming an efficient declutterer.. We still have a little way to go…

Whip up is like an old friend!
Thanks Kathreen!


6 Jules January 11, 2012 at 7:11 am

Hi there
I’m also in de-clutter mode – now have two HUGE boxes of fabric sorted as well as a trailer full of rubbish and four more garbage bags destined for the op-shop. And still, I do need to clear out more. So. Much. Stuff. Having said that, I do live near you, and I might just have a small “thing” for old Singers…


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