The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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A Tisket A Tasket: Week 7

October 21st, 2008 · 2 Comments

Now that we have been Tisking and Tasking for the last couple of weeks, we are finally in the swing of it and it has become a bit of a way of life – shocking I know, surely one would run out of things to turf out – but no, there is always more. Actually it isn’t all that bad some spots, a couple of spots are completely cleared out and others, while still needing attention are no longer out of control – sigh!

As usual, here is a quick introduction to the project and a recap on the past few weeks of tossing and clearing out in our house: A Tisket a Tasket… What’s in My Basket… And project progress was reported here:

Tisk #1: Hood #3 wanted a turn with this project and took on her drawers all alone – good job! Notice they are packed with endless little snips of papers – all letters to countless friends and pictures that to and fro between friends… girls are very different to boys – whose drawers were full of stones and wires, screws and strings. Anyway I should be able to sneak in now and filter some of these papers out of her life.

    Task #1:Dusted and cleaned every little pretty little thing that lurks on the shelves above her bed!



Tisk #2: On to my laptop… and I am fairly proud of this one. My inbox is down to 150 mails, from 3700 a month ago! My podcasts were way out of control and I had reduced them to 15 subscriptions and and about 200 to listen to – well I deleted the whole lot in a fit of deletion. I am so not sorry and have subscribed to a whole se7en podcasts that I always listen to and I have a couple to listen to a week – I only really listen to them when I am doing kitchen chores and I don’t actually spend 20 000 hours a week doing that and if one bit of information doesn’t reach my ears – well the world as we know it won’t come to an end!

    Task #2: I tackled my bookmarks – I left this till last because I thought it would be really hideous… but so many of them were totally redundant – life has changed in the two years since I got my computer and so many were just not relevant! Delete, delete… Now I have a group that I look at every week – no need to subscribe to their newsletters – I am going to look at the site away – so I won’t miss anything! A couple of gems I keep for school over and over again and well that’s it. When it comes to topical stuff I always look for the latest on google, I never go fishing in my old bookmarks – so out they went – easy!

Tisk #3: The father person did a huge clean out in our room called the lab. Last week he did wires and boxes, his weakness! And this week he did papers. WOW! and now we just need to get rid of all the computer clutter, the old scanner, the old printer, the old this and the old that – a really great job! It is so nice to walk into this room and see the floor again. This is before…



And after:


    Task #3: Then he cleaned and packed away all his tools – really this is impressive and lovely to live with.


Tisk #4: I marched along the school workbooks and tossed (how liberating!!!). As we near the end of our school year, a lot of workbooks and notebooks and things accumulate that have been used by the very short people to play school

    Task #4: I got started on the mending basket – actual stitching – really just the odd button or two… but I never do any nice sewing because I always have this burden to do first. Really that was so easy, my sewing stuff is all very organized in a drawer, I just take the drawer out and place it next to me and wherever I am, with the mending bag, and then I have needles, pins, buttons and whatever else I need handy.

Tisk #5: We don’t have a lot of papers lying around our house, I don’t know where they are!!! Everyone always asks how I cope with all the paper – We don’t seem to have that much – maybe I toss it as it comes in. Or it is all lurking somewhere waiting to catch me on a dark night… anyway I marched around the house and picked up any papers and put them where they belong… everything in its place and in so doing lost a whole lot into the garbage!

    Task #5: I have a bad habit of printing things out for my kids that I think they will like while I am browsing… a project they might like to make or a picture to color, a recipe to color. However, I never ever give them to the relevant child… I am saving them for a rainy day…ummm we just had months of rainy days but didn’t use them. And I have a huge ile of printouts, far more than a ream. I sorted them into folders for each kid. When school is out in a couple of weeks I will give each kid a folder of things to explore.

Tisk #6:There is a corner of our house where I have spent a lot of time. It is my sort of inspiration space, stuff that would be on my desk if I had one. It is the changing mat… oh how many nappies (diapers) have I changed in my lifetime! Needless to say it has been looking really grotty. So out everything went…



And back came a whole lot of little treasures from my life… that my kids love to poke around in – but it is my one and only spot – they have to ask first. It is cluttered – but it is my clutter and I reckon we all should have a little controlled clutter somewhere.



    Task #6: I fixed my merry go round… it has been broken for years and in a box because I couldn’t stand to see it broken… but why was it in a box when other nicknacks, that I don’t even like, were scattering my house. Very good question. Anyway I got this for my first birthday, when my family spent time in Switzerland and it is one of thing that has stood the test of time. Also, one of the reasons I started blogging and stopped lurking was when I saw one on Maya Made’s blog.

Tisk #7: Tossed our disgusting old birthday calendar… yeuch – it has survived years of clinging to the fridge with tick tack and then got to hideous so I stuck it behind the lab door – you know that room where we couldn’t see the floor, let alone look behind the door – out it went. Not to mention it is well a little out of date and I am relying on my brain to remember which friends children were born on which day – actually I have no idea – I vaguely know the month …

    Task #7: The birthday calendar epitomises the whole tisket/tasket project… now we are into the maintenance home straight. Which things need to be done monthly (mending), weekly (post purge) and so on. Not to mention which tasks I can delegate – like pool cleaning.


Se7en things I have learnt from this project:

  • Take the first step… it is so much easier to get rid of stuff once you have started getting rid of stuff. Initially it was quite hard to pass things on that may have been hideous, but they were gifts from ancient long departed aunts and so on. You do get better and better at tossing, rather than figuring where to keep all the stuff… Really if I retrace my steps to things that I cleaned out at the start of this project – well now it just takes moments to say: don’t need, don’t want…
  • The easiest way for me to sort stuff out of a space is to empty the space and put back just what I want there. The rest of the stuff has to go… toss it, donate it whatever – go… go… go…
  • Look at your house objectively, things you have put down as you come into the house, that pile of junk mail that mounts up it really looks hideous. The couple of toys on the counter that get dumped in the fruit basket – put them away! Sort it. Chuck it. Move on quite liberated!
  • I love not having to wade through stuff that I don’t even want or need to get to what I am looking for – just go to its spot and get it! Previously it was go to the spot and unpack fifty things to get it! So this is great. I like it, so I can/want to maintain it.
  • There are so many things I want to do that I never do because I always have a long list of tasks to accomplish, but I am sure with all the stuff sorted and a little maintenance, my task list won’t always be an insurmountable mountain… Aha the freedom to have some fun! I am all for that!!!
  • I consider our house to be a lot more under control now and I need to set up a maintenance plan that is easy to stick to. And one or two deeper projects each week for the last few spots. But I will write more about that next time.
  • The Last point: If it is not treasure, toss it. Even if it was treasure but it isn’t anymore, toss it – make space for the new things in your life. New friends to spend time chatting with, rather than sorting clutter. New projects to do, rather than chores. New books to read and dreams to dream, rather than being exhausted by the pressure of smothering stuff.

I guess what this shows is that it can be done, stuff can be sorted and organized and not just appear to be organized! I am so glad we got sorting – it really is pretty much all done now. Until we start over and do it again!

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Tags: Organizing Se7en

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jack // Oct 22, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    SO inspiring, all this tisking. Especially the maths flash cards, that is what got me going a couple of weeks ago already (you mean tisking those is ALLOWED?). My dear daughter M (7) has caught the tisking bug; I am hoping my DH will follow suit like yours. Quick question, what do you do with school journals filled with their work, creative writing etc?To tisk or not to tisk?

  • 2 se7en // Oct 22, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Isn’t it nice to be finally realize we are in charge and out go the flashcards! Relax they will learn their stuff, but there are ways that don’t kill the mother person in the process. Journals: at the end of a school year I toss workbooks and keep a box of journals for a year (prove I am educating them!) but after a while it is easier to toss. I keep only extra special pages in a special box for each kid.

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