Have you got a safety pin?

Sounds like a simple request doesn’t it? However, in the morning rush when everyone is trying to get out of the door, why is it that I can never find what anyone asks for? I knew that I’d recently seen a safety pin around the house somewhere, so (knowing that my daughter’s bus leaves in 4 minutes and she has to walk down the road to get it) I tip out a few pots of clutter in different rooms around the house…

… Voila! I find one, in a small glass pot on the bedroom windowsill; however, I have left a trail of mess in the process.

The safety pin was only needed because the skirt that my daughter was wearing for school felt loose and didn’t feel like the one that she wore last week. I knew that I’d seen another skirt somewhere, so baskets of washing were also tipped out all over the beds as I looked for the ‘other’ skirt. I never found it!

As I sit here quietly having my breakfast, I’m wondering why after all of these years I’m not organised enough to find the ‘right’ school skirt and a small safety pin. I felt the urge to write. In an ideal world, I would have clothes nicely hung up in wardrobes instead of baskets in different rooms. I would have safety pins in a little pot called safety pins. Why is it that I’m never at that stage after all of this decluttering? Why is the clutter still all around?

I think that clearing clutter is one thing, but creating places for the things you want to keep is also important. Today, I’m going to create a pot called safety pins and place it in my sewing basket and place the sewing basket in the cupboard.

That’ll be one thing fixed around here.

Does this kind of mad searching happen in your house?  

Until next time…


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Dreaming about a decluttered room

Just over 3 hours ago, I walked into the spare room to do some decluttering (again) and spotted an old CD on top of a pile off other stuff that had accumulated from the last time that I was decluttering in here. The title ‘Begin with the End in Mind’ was staring at me and I wondered if this could be my new approach to deal with all the stuff in here.

I had purchased this title by Steven Covey many years ago in book form and also as part of the box set ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. I have also previously downloaded it from audible. I felt like it was time to listen to it again.

Before I did, I laid back on the sofa and closed my eyes imagining a room that I would be happy to walk into and relax. I must have fallen asleep by accident and here I am 3 hours later not quite knowing what happened.

It made me think… should I just vitalise this room and the stuff in it and work out in advance what I will be doing with it all? I could combine this with Mel Robbin’s concept of the Five Second Rule, a book that I have listened to twice over the last couple of weeks, and just count down five, four, three, two, one…. blast off, and just make a start.

Steve Covey, in Habit 2 Begin with the End in Mind, explains that “To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you are going so that you better understand where you are now, and so the steps you take are always in the right direction”

Let’s make a start…

Until I write again.


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When someone else is cooking…

…you can get on with other things. How very helpful!

Today I mowed the lawn and pottered about the garden pulling out weeds, sweeping up the leaves and now I’m about to eat the most wonderful-smelling dinner… roast lamb with the best-looking roast potatoes ever.

I am grateful to my husband-to-be for spending all day preparing and slow cooking the lamb so that we can all sit down and have such a wonderful family dinner.

And my garden is starting to look tidier.

Until I write again…


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Having compassion for others

Should we always have compassion for others even when they get rude and frustrated with us? This goes for adults as well as children. They sometimes sound out without a care for anyone else… and we react.

I’ve learnt over the years that it’s best not to shout back but instead, calm the fire or disconnect the bomb. It’s not worth adding more fuel when the other person is on fire.

I’ve just walked out of the kitchen having been on the receiving end of my daughter’s anger and frustration with me…. over not much at all actually… I just made her the wrong sort of lunch. I sat on the sofa, sighed, and turned on a movie that had just started called Love Finds a Home. The following words touched me deeply and I just had to stop and write them down…

“Can’t we all get caught up in our own lives at times, and lose sight of the compassion we should have for others?”

It was like I was meant to hear those words.

So often we feel angry and frustrated with others; sometimes silently, by keeping the frustrations inside, and sometimes by losing our temper. It’s difficult to know what to do for the best in the heat of the moment, but after hearing those words above just now, I now know that I will try my hardest to have compassion for others. After all, how could we know what is going on in their heads, or their lives for that matter.

Until I write again…


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How do you motivate yourself to tidy up?

At first I didn’t think that I would be able to relate to the title of this blog. After all, who could possibly need to be motivated to tidy up? I used to think that I would always feel like tidying up if I just had the time.

As the children are getting older I am finding myself with just a tiny bit more time on my hands, but this doesn’t appear to be enough to motivate me, because I see all the clutter as such a big job. Every room needs decluttering making it difficult to do a quick tidy up. Every corner; every drawer; every surface. I have to find a trigger to motivate me…

So, what did I do…

I didn’t wait for the right moment.

I didn’t say ‘I’m going to tidy up later’.

I just started decluttering, but I started small.

I set a timer for 2 minutes…. and something triggered inside me within that time, and i was motivated to come back and carry on for another short spell.

A 2-5 minute pick up, or clear up of your desk can really energise your home and clear your mind.

Look around you and pick some easy wins… bundle like things with like things. Put all books in a pile, or place all carrier bags in one bag. Throw all bits and bobs into an old shoe box for later sorting, if you really don’t know what to do with them.

Tiny steps is what it takes.

I’ve been doing this over the last week. With a few minutes to spare, I just pop into the spare room and take something out or put something in its place. It wasn’t noticeable at first, but this has spiralled over the week, to me spending quite a few hours on the space over the last couple of days. Later pictures to follow…

I’m now sitting down to write, because I all of a sudden I felt the urge to jot down my thoughts… to inspire others to just get started.

Until I write again…


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What happened to me?

I’ve almost finished listing to Mel Robbin’s audio book ‘Take Control of your Life’ and one of the questions that she asks her clients to ask themselves is ‘What happened to me?’ instead of ‘What am I going to do?’ The former question resonated with me particularly in the clutter area of my life.

I used to (and think I still do) want a tidy, decluttered and clean house, but this question made me think that maybe I like talking about the clutter or doing the decluttering more than I actually want to finish it. It got me thinking… what if the thought of decluttering energises me more than sitting in a tidy and organised house with nothing left to do? This surely can’t be the case, because I’ve always wanted to live in a decluttered house; however, I have never totally got there, so how do I know how it feels? The clutter is alway there somewhere in other rooms. Am I keeping it there so that I have something to do?

This morning (just like yesterday) I got up early and started re-decluttering the surfaces and cupboards in the kitchen. Yet again, I moved things into the bin, by the front door to go to the recycling bins later, or to another room in the house, and the sentence ‘What happened to me?’ popped into my head again. I stopped to write, knowing that somehow by writing or researching I might get the answer.

Maybe my family are right, unelsss I throw it all away, I will never shift it all out of my life. The stuff in the garage, in the spare room, lurking in the cupboards… it’s all been there in some shape or form for many years waiting for the day that I do something permanent with it. I do have phases where I get a lot done, but then it piles up again.

I turned 50 a couple of weeks ago and it’s made me think a lot more about life and how long we all have to do the things we want to do. I’ve always envisaged living until I’m 100, so I’m not planning on going anywhere just yet; however, I don’t want to leave this world with a cluttered house. So, the question is, when in my plan will my house be the way I want it to be? What happened to the ‘me’ that wanted it so badly that I’d do anything?

I haven’t got all the answers today, so please watch out for further updates. I’m going to try my best to change the way I am. This won’t just be for me, but for my family who have been living with (and helping me contribute to) the clutter for years and listening to me saying that I am going to do something about it.

They would throw it all away if they had the chance, and maybe they’re onto something. It worked for a client that Mel Robbin’s was coaching in the book mentioned the beginning of this blog. When she questioned her client during coaching, and pushed her to move forward with her ‘stuff’, I reacted the same way that she did. It was like she was coaching me; however, her client eventually did something about it by facing her fears instead of turning away from them or hiding them somewhere.

Until I write again…


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Waking up feeling energised

After a tiring day yesterday, I had a relaxing evening and then a perfect night’s sleep. I woke up thinking that it was a week day and had to go to work. When I realised that it was Saturday I put on my gym clothes and crept downstairs to do a 14 minute interval training program on the Bowflex Max Trainer machine.

Now, this machine sits near the TV and next to the conservatory. All the time I was exercising I was imagining how I could reorganise the furniture in the conservatory so that it looked more inviting from the lounge.

By the time it was 8.30am, I was eating my breakfast looking at the newly arranged conservatory feeling very pleased with my achievements and motivated to do further decluttering.

I have a good feeling about the rest of today, as I have since cleared the kitchen of clutter and am walking around the rest of the house with a bin bag!

Until next time…

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