Green and Thrifty

So this has been a very uneventful green and thrifty week. I have gone out of my way to do er, nothing new on the green and thrifty front. I have been very busy being very sad and eating lots of comforting buttered toast. I have been doing all the same old, same old. Composting, watering the garden, recycling, not buying things. Some things in particular I have not been buying: things for The Boy to take away with him. I am making a collection of towels, crockery, tea towels and dish cloths that I don't need and putting them on the pile for him to stuff into his little car. He is poring over Gumtree to hunt up a collection of cheap and free furniture once he arrives in his new life. He is a chip off the old block. I told him I spend about $40 per person per week on food, and he told me he's not going to spend anything near that...

This week Posy decided I should clear out her room like I did for Rosy. Posy doesn't ask, so much as inform us what she NEEDS, before taking decisive action. Before I could even begin to say..'maybe next week?' she had mangirlhandled one of her giant bureau drawers out to the dining table and started tipping everything out. It was her 'craft' drawer, which meant it was full of the most enormous mess you have ever seen, every craft project she had started and abandoned over the last two years or so. I always close that drawer and shudder instead of dealing with it on cleaning day.

See those wooden drawers above? Those are our official craft drawers. Each one contains something 'useful' for all the multitude of projects that my girls get up to. We used to have a big 'Useful Box' like on Playschool, but it was a disaster. It got turned into a horrible chaotic mess that nobody could ever find anything in. We also once had a project room for all the arts and crafts and toys etc. Also a disaster. The only way I can corral the creativity is to have the dining table as project/homework table. Projects must be tidied away by the next meal, or the next day, and everything is right there handy. There's a drawer for wool and knitting needles, a felt drawer, stamps, stickers, paintbrushes, glue, a scrap paper drawer, even a 'useful' drawer with bits and bobs.

Then there's a sideboard stationery drawer.

So handy to be able to find everything you need to get every writing and homework job in one place.

And I hardly have to buy any of it. So much stationery comes into this house every day, and I save every single bit of it. Libi mentioned her 'Womble' habit a while ago. Remember The Wombles? They kept Wimbledon Common tidy by picking up everything that ever got left behind there, and using all these discarded bits and bobs to furnish their Womble burrow. I LOVED The Wombles as a child, loved reading about them to the children. I am a bit of a Womble. I just hate waste, as you well know. I have never, to my knowledge, bought a rubber band or a paperclip, and I save every piece of coloured card and paper and stickers and ribbons that just turn up here at birthdays, on cards, on envelopes, as part of old school projects, to feed the children's card-making fetish and homework project requirements. I sort them all into zip-lock bags, and into the wooden drawers. This is where they wait to begin a new life.

It takes seconds to sort bits and bobs into a bag, and then they are all ready for the project du jour.

So, back to Posy's giant craft drawer - it was full of beads and stickers and ribbons, and those craft sets that are popular with little girls as birthday presents - the project gets made (or not), and then there is left over embroidery thread and needles, and felt and buttons. Now it is all in the wooden drawers. Now Posy has a giant empty drawer that we filled with her Lego that grew (magically, I think it breeds in the tub) too big for its container, like The Magic Pasta Pot. So now her floor is tidy, her drawer is tidy (well, full of Lego, but only Lego), and we have all the crafty notions we will need for some years to come now.

If you want to see a better Green and Thrifty that isn't about stickers here's a good one I found today.


Anonymous said…
Hallo Soul Sister. I loved The Wombles. "Underground, Overground, Wombling Free, The Wombles of Wimbledon Common are we." I sing it often. And just Bom bom bom bom bom diddle dee the rest of the song as I can't remember the words.

I'm a womble too, but have been fighting that urge to have a decluttered house. Continually fight the green mindset to collect things for just in case and so they don't end up in landfill and the decluttered mindset.

Hope you are coping the flight of independence of your boy? You've clearly set him on the right path.
I don't really remember The Wombles, must have been before my time (haha). What about The Goodies?
However, I digress. You have done a fabulous job sorting out the craft drawers - what a big project! I do that sort of thing occasionally too, but not often enough.
Hope you are coping, I've been thinking of you during the week actually. Well - thinking too how I will cope in same situation. Hope all preparations going well. cheers Wendy
Jo said…
Lucinda, I introduced Posy to that song a few days ago by showing her the youtube clip of the first episode. Fun fact The Girl told me: Bernard Cribbens, narrator of The Wombles TV show, played Wilfrid, Donna's grandad in Dr Who. Wonderfully, we found a CD of Wombles stories at the library narrated by Bernard Cribbens, which made me very happy.
I hear you on over-collecting though. That's why I like my drawers. When one fills up I can't collect any more..
Boy leaving home tomorrow..
Wendy, I'll tell you how you will cope - if you are anything like me you will cry a lot and eat plenty of chocolate and carbohydrates...
Unknown said…
Oh my Lordy i love those drawers. How useful are they and you are certainly making the most of them. You should run workshops on organising things or with those supplies, craft days. Thinking of you on your sad day. He sounds like a wonderful son and you have every right to grieve his going away. Chomp away on that chocolate !!!
Jo said…
Lynda, I think my family would laugh until they fell on the floor if I suggested running workshops on organisation. Got quite a way to go with that..
And thankyou, all stocked up on chocolate:)
Anonymous said…
I pride myself on being a magpie...I am currently collecting all of the discarded (by rednecks on their way home from work...) beer bottle caps on the side of the road because I found a wonderful garden wind chime made out of them on Pinterest. Earl "looks" like a womble... does that count? ;). I used to save the purple elastic bands from the asparagus that I bought along with any other rubber band that came into the house. I stored them on a cup hook screwed into the door frame in our old home in Riverside and I noticed that my daughters have just kept on with the old tradition as there are nice shiny rubber bands of wonderous colours gracing that same cup hook. At least they are green about rubber bands. Maybe there IS hope for them yet? Your drawers are so neat! If I was honestly going to share my craft wardrobe and lower kitchen drawer (where all of the "stuff" gravitates) You would be forgiven for thinking that I had just dumped everything into them (because that would be exactly what I did! ;) ).
Anonymous said…
Oh, by the way, it will be "moi" dropping off eggs tomorrow so hopefully I don't hurl them on the neighbours porch by accident. I won't be a stealth ninja, in fact you will probably hear me complaining loudly about something or other (probably your ability to grow amazing artichokes in the front yard when mine are wallaby nibbled stumps) or talking to Meg (also loudly, I am afflicted by "loud" ;) ).
Jo said…
Fran, bang on the door and say"Hi", please:) I have artichokes for you. And lemons!
Bek said…
Wow, those are some fabulous craft drawers. I remember we had a craft cupboard, but we just shoved things in, closed the door and pitied the poor next person to open it. Nowhere near as organised as that! I remember being a poor uni student and my food budget was $15 a week. I ate a lot of pasta.
Jo said…
Hi Bek, yes, when we were uni students The Man and I had a budget of $20 each. We were bloated plutocrats compared to you!
got that off my chest.
i love your furniture. those drawers and cabinets are so superstylish. they would make keeping organised a joy!
Jo said…
Dear e, you can relive all the joy on youtube. That's what Posy and I are up to these days:)

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