Reading posts on clutter helps

If you are not sure about what to do with the clutter or you feel alone, try following anyone who has tagged their post with clutter, or add hashtag clutter to your reader in WordPress. I’ve learnt so much in just 10 minutes of reading 6 or 7 blog posts on decluttering.

It also helps motivate me to find new areas to declutter or to continue with the mammoth project in the spare room.

I even got out into the garden today and helped my partner clear away the excess hedges as he trimmed them. Our recycling bin is now full giving me a sense of achievement.

Overgrown cluttered hedges

Don’t feel alone with your clutter. There are loads of us out there doing the same thing. We just need to motivate each other.

Until next time…

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Writing about Life as a Working Mum

An older, wiser mum looks back…

I’d like to think that anything that I’ve written in my journals can be kept not only for me to reflect on but also as material to help others in the future. Just the other day, I found many pages of my journal printed out with a title of ‘Me as a Working Mum’ dated back to over 9 years ago. It made quite interesting reading, particularly when I could clearly see how I’d changed since then. I am no longer rushing around raising my voice, having no idea what the best use of my time was. Instead, I’m much calmer and in control.

All of those thoughts, stresses and ideas that I poured into the computer on those manic school/nursery days, I now realise was just a way of releasing all of the negative feelings and tension that were bottled up.

Would anyone be interested in me using some of the material from my journals as a way of helping and inspiring others?

Until next time…

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Routines are becoming clearer

Coming up with a routine for chores and sticking to it is difficult. You can feel behind very quickly if you miss off a few tasks from the list.

Routines have been better for me since I’ve been listening to Dana K White’s 2 books: How to Manage your Home without losing your mind and Decluttering at the Speed of Life. She suggests just introducing a few routines and sticking to them every day, which seems to be working. I’m mainly sticking to the visible clutter areas.

Completely separate to that, I’ve got into the habit of logging what I’m doing every day in my family calendar. It has six columns but as there are only four of us, I devote the extra two column for chores and meal planning. Nothing fancy, I just write on there what’s been happening e.g. in the chores column for a Wednesday it could say hoovering and recycling, and in the menu column on a Friday it might say lasagne with garlic bread.

Having recorded the chores that I’ve done over the past couple of weeks, I can see patterns. This week I can see a routine forming but I’m not going to make it formal yet. I definitely won’t be getting stressed if I go through a whole weekend without cleaning the bathrooms. I’ll just whiz around with a cloth and spray on a Monday morning before work, and then try and fit in a more thorough clean mid week the following week.

Even my daughters’ rooms are looking better because they know that I’ll be nice and hoover their rooms if the floor is clear. I don’t even mind if they throw the stuff all on the bed or desk. Any stray items migrating off again, will at least fall onto a clean floor. I do like a clean floor.

Yesterday I quickly whizzed around upstairs with the hoover before work and it only took 15 mins! There was a time when just the thought of hoovering would make me not even want to start! My new(ish) hoover helps as it does such a good job of picking up the dirt with minimal effort.

Until next time…

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Decluttering the shoe cupboard

Have you ever watched the rest of the family kick or throw their shoes into the shoe cupboard and then close the door shut before one or both shoes fall out again? I have. I’ve probably done it myself a few times too. Sometimes the shoe gets caught in the door and you have to pick it up and throw it in again quickly before quickly shutting it firmly.

It felt good yesterday when I finally got around to pulling everything out of the cupboard and sweeping all that dirt that congregates around the shoes. I was determined to only put back what we all wear.

It wasn’t a very big job, but very necessary in keeping the decluttering phase moving forward. There’s not a lot of room in the shoe cupboard and stray items such as paint and bike locks seem to have moved in. Even though I keep most of my shoes in my wardrobe upstairs (another decluttering job for another day), I was surprised to find that a lot of them had also migrated into this messy cupboard.

After moving the things that didn’t belong in there and also half filling a charity bag with shoes, I put everything back neatly.

Let’s see how long it lasts.

Until next time…

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Decluttering vs. Organising

I posted a blog recently on Decluttering vs. Cleaning which explains that decluttering is about getting rid of things whereas cleaning needs to be done over and over.

This post is about understanding that you don’t need to organise whilst you are decluttering. THIS IS WHAT I’M LOVING ABOUT THE DECLUTTERING PHASE – I DONT NEED TO THINK ABOUT ORGANISING. This doesn’t mean that I don’t organise – far from it – it just means that I give myself permission to ‘not have to’.

This takes away a lot of pressure and also eliminates bad decisions about buying containers that don’t match to what you need to organise. By getting rid of things first and remaining in this phase for a while, will allow you to all of a sudden see what you’ve got left to organise.

Decluttering vs. Organising

A decluttered shelf that could still be organised better

Whilst in the decluttering phase you can also make notes about how you will be organising things e.g. if you were thinking of buying a set of drawers, start making a list of what you would put in there and keep it to one side. Chances are that as part of all of the decluttering you will find yourself with a drawer or two free and won’t need to buy anything new.

Maybe give it a try, as it’s working for me.

What have you thrown away today?

Until next time…

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Decluttering the Kitchen

I was sitting at the dining room table earlier on, in a completely different chair that I would normally sit at, and I noticed that the kitchen (that I’d cleaned earlier) looked cluttered. It wasn’t so much to do with actual kitchen stuff, but more to do with paper, and other random items.

Why have I not noticed these clutter culprits even though I’ve been succeeding in making sure that the kitchen is clean and tidy at the end of each day? Maybe it’s because I’m handling the daily tasks so well without seeing them as so much of a chore. This is freeing up space in my brain to see the whole picture.

Then I found a photo of when the kitchen was quite tidy around 8 months ago, and I realised that I can keep things tidy if I put my mind to it. Having this new image in my mind, I can add another step into my kitchen routine from tomorrow to remove the random items.

Until next time…

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The Food Cupboard: A Quick Tidy Up

Whilst trying to find something in the messy food cupboard this weekend, I decided that it was time to remove everything and have a re-sort. I didn’t have much time as I needed to go out, but I knew it wouldn’t take long.

This is what I threw away which was mostly out of date stuff and empty packaging. It felt really good…

I ended up with practically one whole shelf free at the end of it, so it gave me a chance to space things out a bit. We might actually use what’s left in the cupboard now, instead of not really knowing what is there and buying more of what we’ve already got.

Less than one hour later…

Until next time…

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