Day 332: A New Pair of Slippers, and a Plan for Weekend Decluttering

I noticed this week that the slippers that I bought back in March had split at the back and were starting to look a bit shabby. It’s probably because I’ve been wearing them most days. So, here are my new ones which had miraculously been reduced to half price after they’d been in my Amazon basket for a few days. They are sooooo comfy…

My new boot slippers

Normally I would have thrown the old ones in the cupboard under the stairs just in case… I actually don’t know why my old self would have kept them. Anyway, because I don’t want a continual clutter build up (I’ll be doing this forever otherwise), I’m actually going to throw them away. The are by the back door ready to go out with the textiles recycling on Tuesday. Well done me!

A tidying and decluttering plan for the weekend

As I’m getting closer to the end of the year, I need a plan. Today, I’ve made a list of what I still need to tidy up and declutter in each room and it feels like a lot, as everywhere seems untidy at the moment. I have routines that I’m sticking to which are helping, but think I need to add more. So, here’s the plan for this weekend:

  • Actually make a list of my daily routines rather than just have them in my head. I was writing them down in my planner, but stopped when I had committed them to memory. However, my thoughts are that I was doing better at them when I was ticking them off.
  • Go through all clothes that I own, trying them on and making a decision there and then if I want to keep them or not (suggestion by one of my dedicated readers Living Everyday, thank you). I’m hoping to free up some space in the temporary wardrobes and drawers whilst we are waiting for the other ones to be built.
  • Finish painting my daughter’s cupboard and wood panelling following the new cupboard being built. Wood primer layer has been done, but we have a few more coats to go.
  • Completely clear the study of clutter that’s been put in there following my daughter moving into the ‘old’ study. It’s a mix of old study clutter and some of her stuff which can be moved into her new room now. I bought baskets for her cupboard which are crying out to be filled 😀.
  • Time permitting, I will deal with the stuff by the back door, but I’m not so worried about that

I think that’s enough for one weekend, but if I don’t commit to doing something that will move me forward, I will just firefight what’s in front of me and not really get anywhere.

Wish me luck!

As for this evening, I have thought about starting on the above list but I think I’m going to put my feet up instead. I’ve had a busy day at work and I’ve cooked and cleaned up in the kitchen so I think I’ve done enough.

Until tomorrow…

Sandra

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Day 331: Thoughts About Living With Less In My Wardrobe

I’m not usually one to lay my clothes out the night before in order to make getting ready easier the next day; however, last night I did because I needed to save a bit of time this morning. It was easy to do this because I’ve been alternating the same clothes to wear.

It got me thinking why I have so many combinations of outfits taking up space in my wardrobe and drawers, when over lockdown my wardrobe choices have been from a limited selection.

At the moment I’ve been rotating t-shirts from a small selection (mostly black, but there is one pink and one red in that selection as well). On the bottom half I’ve worn either a pair of jeans or a denim skirt (the latter paired with tights in the winter). If I’m going out for a walk, I will choose one of two pairs of leggings and I have 2 or 3 hoodies that I tend to alternate. In the summer, I had a few light dresses with a couple of cardigans as an optional layer.

The rest of the clothes have hardly been worn and although I probably will wear them after lockdown, I’ve been quite content and comfortable with the limited selection. Comparing this to when I was travelling over 17 years ago, I had an even smaller selection to choose from. I managed then and I’m doing it again now.

Feeling brave

I wonder if I could reduce my wardrobe now before lockdown is over. This way, I will have less to wash, less to store, less to manage etc. I’ve always kept clothes just in case. Can I really change?

At the weekend I might tackle clothes again and maybe list down exactly what I have and work out what I actually need. I have a charity bag run on 15 December where I’ve committed to ten more bags so I can use that as my deadline.

Have you realised over this year’s lockdowns that you can operate out of a limited wardrobe? Have some of your clothes not seen the light of day this year?

I know that I will struggle to get rid of clothes so any tips would be useful… thank you.

A Busy day… so time to relax

Today’s been busy at work so not much progress on the decluttering side. I also had a coaching assessment via zoom today which is going to determine if I’ve passed the course that I’ve been working on for the past year. Fingers crossed, as I did beat myself up about it afterwards thinking that I could have answered the questions better.

Time for a nice bubble bath to relax. I really need to create some space in my mind.

Until tomorrow…

Sandra

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Day 330: The More You Clear, the More You Learn and the More Successes You Have

Anyone who has been following me for a while will know that I have a lot to clear around my house and every day I am getting closer to my goal of living a more spacious life. Some days I feel nearer to my goal than others but at least I’m heading in the right direction.

Six key pointers that I’m finding helpful are:

  1. To stop bringing things into the house that could end up being clutter one day. I do this by really thinking about new purchases and where they are going to live or how they are going to be used. If I’m not sure, I keep the item on a list for a week before actually buying it.
  2. To have a place for everything, making it easier to put things away. This is difficult if you have surplus stuff, which is what I’ve been working on this year. I do have to be careful not to fill every space just because it’s there. What I need to be focusing on is having less.
  3. To have routines to take care of the everyday processes so that they don’t get in the way of the big stuff. What I mean by this is not letting bins around the house overflow, keeping bathrooms decluttered and clean, making the beds in the morning, going around the house every day putting things where they belong, getting others to follow routines I’ve put in place such as recycling, keeping kitchen surfaces free, and so on.
  4. To lead by example. I find that the more I clear, the more it rubs off on other family members. I was shocked by this earlier in the year. I never asked the girls to clear their rooms, they just did. I also don’t nag them, I just continue to lead by example. If I can’t show them what a clean place looks like, how can I expect them to learn.
  5. To have somewhere in the house where you can get away from the clutter. This doesn’t have to be a whole room, it can just be a comfy chair in the corner of a room with a small table where you can put a drink and sit and think. If you have the luxury of a whole room, shut the door if you can. Make it your priority to declutter this space first before you start on anywhere else. It took me a while to work this one out, but when I did it made such a difference. If my space ever got cluttered (mainly because I moved things into the space), I felt overwhelmed again. Keeping it clear became important to me.
  6. To eliminate items as soon as they become clutter. As explained in yesterday’s post, if an item doesn’t serve a purpose anymore, it’s best to get rid of it. My main issues over the years have been that I hold onto things just in case or if I can’t make a decision about them. I tend to put them somewhere out of sight thereby postponing the decision. All that happens in this situation is that I end up with a massive job to dispose of things and get annoyed with myself for keeping them.

I’m sure there are many other helpful ways to clear stuff and stop the build up in the future. I celebrate the small and sometimes big successes every day and I’m learning loads along the way.

Today I put the food processor away that was sitting on the counter top in the kitchen. My husband asked for it to be left out earlier in the year but he’s hardly used it and I much prefer a clear surface. This large expensive item is now taking up room in the cupboard. I’m going to give it six months and possible consider selling if neither of us use it.

What items around the house are you holding onto that you don’t use?

Until tomorrow…

Sandra

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Day 329: It is Only Clutter When it no Longer Serves a Purpose in Your Life

Just look at these two cute items that I sold today…

Good condition clutter sold

A robotic puppy which was a very expensive Christmas present that was hardly used.

A build a bear santa outfit that the bear probably got dressed up in once.

The families that bought them will not be seeing them as clutter in their homes until their children grow up and no longer need them. It’s the cycle of life I suppose.

I’m so pleased that other children will get to use our unwanted items as they’ve served no purpose to us for many years. It’s taken me a while to realise that I can’t keep things forever even if they still have life left in them. Passing them on will keep things flowing rather than letting them collect dust and stop them being used by someone that can’t necessarily afford to buy them at full price.

My children are happy too as it gives them pocket money to spend on something more useful to them. If this in turn becomes clutter, we’ll pass it on a bit quicker next time.

Once you don’t need something anymore, it tends to do the following:

  1. It gets in the way
  2. It distracts you
  3. It irritates you
  4. It takes up time you haven’t got
  5. It reminds you that you need to do something with it
  6. It takes up valuable space for something you do want to keep

Clutter gets to me every day and I’m longing for more spacious surroundings. Granted, most of the items that I’m selling are in sealed boxes in the garage, but they are still on my mind and I have to go and look for them whenever I get a message to say that someone wants to come round to buy something.

The trip into my garage reminds me how much I have to do in there (that’s a job for 2021 now). I made a good start this year but need to focus on the house for the rest of this year.

So, if clutter is getting to you, it’s important to keep the items in your home to a limit. I’m still working on it as part of my 2020 challenge and determined to be able to walk around my house without constant reminders of things I still have left to do.

I’ve come a long way and hope you will continue to follow me on my journey.

I’ve had a good day today, keeping up with the morning routines, finding long-term places for items and so on. I’ve also had a productive day at work.

I hope this post inspires you to get rid of something you don’t need anymore that serves no purpose in your life.

Until tomorrow…

Sandra

Posted in 2020 Challenge, decluttering, Getting organised, Inspiration, Life, working mum | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Day 328: What’s the Worst Thing You’ve Ever Done to Your Phone?

Cleaning the garage doors… again

When I got back from the school run this morning I noticed how dirty the driveway and garage doors were. I knew that I was going to be busy all day with work so I thought I’d squeeze in a quick half hour job before I needed to log on.

I swept the leaves and sawdust and put them in the skip. I then took a few photos for the purpose of this post and popped my phone into the top pocket of my coat.

Armed with rubber gloves and a washing up bowl full of warm soapy water, I started wiping down the garage doors and front door. If you recall, I did this job a couple of months ago but when the builders were sawing wood out there one windy and rainy day a couple of weeks ago, the dust and dirt flew about sticking to any surface it could, making it look like I hadn’t cleaned out there in years.

I was just on the last bit of the garage door and looked down to rinse the cloth. There in the bottom of the bowl was my iphone… in the horrible dirty water. I rushed into the house and wrapped it in a towel taking the protective case off in the process.

The result

The phone was absolutely fine – no damage at all. Everything was in good working order. I hadn’t even seen it fall from my pocket but it couldn’t have been submerged in the water for long. I was very lucky! I’ve been advised that I should have put the phone in rice to absorb the water but there didn’t appear to be any need.

A busy working day

Work was extremely busy today and I didn’t finish until gone 6pm. I then had the recycling bins to put out including dragging all the cardboard round to the side of the house. I really must remember to do this job before it gets dark as it would make things a bit easier for me.

We were late eating dinner and then I thought about tidying up but changed my mind and rested instead. We watched an amusing film on Netflix called Dead in a Week. It doesn’t sound like a comedy but it was.

Hope you’ve all had a good Monday.

Until tomorrow…

Sandra

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Day 327: A Peaceful Sunday Getting Things Done

I do love Sundays, particularly when I cook a roast dinner over a few hours and use the time to also potter about doing this and that, and tidying up as I go. By the time the dinner was on the table I had the dishwasher on leaving only a couple of pans on the side. The sun was shining and the washing was on the line… things were going well.

Tidying the study

In the afternoon, I moved the large TV into the study and although it’s slightly too big for the space, it will do until I can rearrange the room or something. I’m actually wondering if the TV can be mounted on the wall as it will then sit back a bit and I’ll be able to open the wardrobe door. There’s no socket on that wall either so I’ve had to use an extension lead. Once I had it all set up, I found a feel good film to watch whilst I continued the sorting and tidying.

The tidying bug is catching

As I walked past my youngest daughter’s room, I noticed that she was tidying up as well. The TV had been in her room temporarily so removing it meant that she had more space again. It’s funny how tidying has a knock on effect.

Feeling better in myself

I’m feeling so much more positive about things today as well. It must be all the self-care I’ve awarded myself over the last few days. It’s really paid off.

Putting everything in its place in this house is a slow process, particularly as we’ve had so much work done recently and everything is higgledy-piggledy. I’m working hard every day to return things to where they need to go and I’m keeping an eye on what’s creeping back.

Back to work

It’s a shame that I have to go back to work tomorrow as I could do with a few more days to get on with things. I’ll only be in the conservatory though so I can still catch up on the odd job or two during my breaks.

I can vacuum again!

My new replacement vacuum cleaner turned up today via DPD.

Shark only received the other one back yesterday and must have immediately sent this one out. That’s very good service. I tested it on one small area upstairs and the amount of dirt it collected made me realise that this place needs a really good vacuum after all the work that’s been done recently! I’ll get onto that tomorrow.

A couple of catch up calls

I had a WhatsApp video call with a friend today who is also decluttering and moving stuff around in her house. We shared a few stories and had a laugh. It was very refreshing.

Being Sunday, I had a lovely skype with my mum and dad. The girls popped into the room to catch up with them as well.

Time to wind down

The aches and pains in my shoulders and neck have gone now but that’s not going to stop me having a relaxing soak in the bath this evening.

I hope you’ve all had a really good weekend doing something you enjoy.

Until tomorrow…

Sandra

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Day 326: A Walk, a Chat, a New Audio Book and Your Support, Helped me Move Forward

I would love energy to flow in every room without stuff in the way. Due to the pandemic, I’m in the house all the time facing the clutter as well as being surrounded by it, and it’s not leaving as quickly as I’d like it to.

I do love being at home but this morning I was in need of some inspiration. I needed some new ideas. I needed to have space around me.

I sat in the middle of the study with a headache and just couldn’t think straight. The room felt like a mini version of the garage except warmer.

Comparing it to a room with space

I’ve spent so much time and money on my daughter’s room and en-suite over the last month and it’s all looking beautiful. It’s a space she’s dreamed about for so long. It’s almost how she wants it to be. We have some painting left to do and we need to get some storage baskets for the new cupboard, but that’s about it.

I’ve heard lots of laughter coming from her room as she talks to her friends on Facetime. She’s got complete control over where the furniture goes in the room and she appears so much more free of stress.

With more space around her and more energy flowing, it’s made a difference to her mood. It’s lovely to see. I’m hoping that her design ideas will spill over to other rooms in the house.

Back to talking about the study

I sat in an overcrowded room surrounded by things that we haven’t been able to move to my daughter’s new room yet for one good reason or another. Then there are the things that used to be stored in the old study (now her new room).

I would typically feel quite energised when being faced with a mess to sort out. I’d usually just get on with it; however, today I had a headache and felt really fed up.

From experience I knew the feeling would pass if I just rested but today it was just getting to me. I’ve rested a lot over the last few days but my body was telling me it needed more and I was hesitant to listen to it.

I had got up late this morning and then needed to drive my youngest to the orthodontist because a hook fell of her braces. When I got home it was lunchtime. Half the day had gone.

As I faced the study, it was like I’d forgotten how to tidy up. I couldn’t even find a starting point. I didn’t feel like asking for help. I felt rooted to the spot… I felt stuck.

In the summer I used to get out in the garden and do some easy tidying up or weeding, or go for a walk. The sunshine somehow filled me with energy and happiness. As I wrote those words it gave me an idea.

The Walk

I stopped feeling sorry for myself, downloaded a new audio book (The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker) and went out for a walk which broke into a jog. It was like I was running away from something (or it might have been because it was really cold 😀).

On my return, I sorted out the recycling that had blown about in the garden and swept the patio outside. I somehow wasn’t fazed by the cold.

I walked into the house feeling more positive and my headache had miraculously disappeared.

The Chat

I rang my mum for a chat and talked through how I had been feeling. We had a laugh on the phone like we usually do.

She was doing her second walk of the day whilst talking to me, but instead of going outside, my dad and her were walking around indoors. It made me smile visualising them marching around the house keeping fit. She said it was getting dark and also too cold outside, and as they don’t like missing their exercise they were doing it indoors instead. They are such an inspiration to me.

I talked to my mum about what clutter I had around me and saying it out loud helped me work out what my next steps were.

My readers’ likes and comments

I write blog posts because I love writing. It helps me get things straight in my head and record what I’ve achieved. I also like to look back and see the progress. I never expect anyone to like my posts or comment on them, but today I just want to thank anyone who does (you know who you are). You all inspire me to continue with my challenge and to never give up.

So, that’s all I needed…. some fresh air, exercise, a new book, a chat and your support. Writing this all down helped get it out of my head too.

Finding a starting point in the study

I noticed that I’d piled lots of items in front of the wardrobe which had somehow created a barrier and I didn’t realise how much it was bothering me until I moved the stuff. I was then able to start putting things into the wardrobe that I want to keep (after moving some of my daughter’s clothes out).

Next, I cleared a bit of the desk and put the stuff in a box and took it into my daughter’s room which enabled me to move my printer onto the desk. This cleared room on the chest of drawer…. and so on.

I felt so much better just making a start.

Until tomorrow…

Sandra

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Day 325: New Taps, Some Decluttering, a Film and a Pizza

The flow of water is very slow from the taps in the main bathroom and our en-suite, so we asked the plumber if he could get some similar to the ones in my daughter’s new en-suite. They got fitted today and they work really well.

I pottered around the house after that, starting with my usual routine followed by some decluttering. Apart from recycling leaving the house (there seems to be so much of it), I didn’t really identify anything that I could get rid of. For that reason, l didn’t really feel like I made a dent in it today. I think that I’m getting to that point where what’s left is what I actually want. That can’t be the case can it? I still have so much stuff lying around with no home.

I felt the tension in my neck and shoulders again so I took it easy and had lots of breaks. Even though I’m enjoying the time out, I still feel guilty for not spending time clearing space. I know that having time out and relaxing is somehow going to propel me forward into clearing quicker, because my mind will be clearer; however, it’s not stopping me feeling overwhelmed when I look at it all. I will just have to go with the flow and trust the concept.

I cleared a bit of space on the counter tops in the kitchen today and some recycling by the back door. That made me feel happy every time I walked into the kitchen after that. I didn’t get time to finish clearing but I’m confident that I can get most of it done over the weekend.

I also spent some time going through a pile of sheets and blankets in the study. I discovered that I have bedding for beds that we no longer have or that doesn’t go with current colour schemes.

I also have a lot of blankets which we actually do use in the winter, but do I really need so many?

Late afternoon, I was in the mood for watching a film, so my eldest and I laid on the settee with a blanket and watched Judy (the story of Judy Garland). It was really good. I fell asleep after that for half and hour which I obviously needed and I think it did me good.

The girls suggested Dominos for dinner. I fancied fish and chips but they reminded me that we’d had that a few weeks on the trot, so we went for Dominos.

I’ve had a whole week off and I really could do with another one. I still have the weekend though and hope to get quite a bit done.

Hope you all have an enjoyable weekend.

Until tomorrow…

Sandra

Posted in 2020 Challenge, decluttering, Getting organised, Inspiration, Life, Me time, working mum | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Day 324: Knowing When to Listen to Your Body… and Relax

I didn’t have the best of days today. It started off ok but by the time I’d done the school run and then gone back out late morning to my orthodontist appointment, half the day had gone. Also, how did it get to Thursday so quickly?

The vacuum cleaner saga continues

The part turned up for my vacuum cleaner and when I fitted it, it still made the same low suction noise. My husband seemed to think he knew what the problem was, so I rang Shark and he spoke to them. They ended up saying that as they couldn’t get us a new base (they don’t make them anymore) they would send us a brand new upgraded replacement vacuum cleaner. That seemed far to extravagant but it was the only way apparently and it was free as part of the warranty. We had to send the old one back first though. Something else for me to do!

Finding the box

Guess what? The only box I didn’t crush and recycle from the garage was the Shark one. I must have known! I asked my daughter to print me a label, then I boxed everything up and took it down to our local shop for DPD pick up. I didn’t even wrap the box up, I just stuck the label to the Shark box.

Feeling the tension

I got back and half the afternoon had gone and no decluttering or clearing done and my neck felt tense. I was feeling a bit down probably because it’s almost the end of the week and I don’t feel like I’ve made much progress. Everywhere I looked seemed to be a mess (which looking back isn’t actually true, but it’s how I felt at the time).

I was trying too hard to get things done and I should know better than that. All my body was telling me to do was rest. I thought about watching a film in the lounge but husband had decided to work in there for the afternoon on the sofa! I’m sure he would have moved if I’d asked him to but I’m not very good at asking for what I want.

So, at almost 4pm, I succumbed to my neckache and irritableness and listened to what my body was telling me. I took the small TV that I’d been temporarily using in the kitchen (it was previously in our bedroom) and set it up in the study. To add to the stress, I then couldn’t get the Firestick to work in the TV, do I gave up.

I needed to be by myself

I sat in silence for a while to take control of my thoughts. I knew that a cup of tea, a couple of biscuits and some chocolate would help 😀. I then curled up in a tiny space on the old sofa in the extremely cluttered study and watched a feel good film on Netflix on my laptop. I chose one that I hadn’t seen for a while – You’ve Got Mail – which is one of my dad’s favourites and I love watching it too. Half way through, my daughter came in and cuddled up to me to watch the second half which was so lovely. She needed a break from her school work.

Other similar films that I think I’ll watch this week are Sleepless in Seattle and An Affair to Remember. If you know the films you will know that they are all linked in some way.

It was early evening by the time I’d finished and I felt so much better having rested and also having switched my mind off from the house. I’m slowly learning to release the control and detach myself from the clutter, and my neck and shoulder muscles are thanking me for listening to my body.

I felt so much more energised when making dinner. It was late when we ate, but I felt ok about it. I glanced at the piles of mess everywhere and it didn’t bother me. It will all be there tomorrow and I’ll probably feel more like tackling it then.

Time for a detoxing salt bath and candles – I really need it!

Until tomorrow…

Sandra

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Day 323: A Solution for My Broken Vacuum Cleaner and More Clutter Sold

Facebook Marketplace is serving me well at the moment. I haven’t advertised anything for a couple of weeks due to limiting my contact with people; however, I managed to sell something today that’s been on there for a few months and was so far down the listings that I’d almost forgotten about it. It was a Crystal Growing Kit that never got used by the girls so it was good as new. I sold it for £8. The man collecting it seemed pleased and said that it was a gift for someone. That’s one less item getting in my way and I’m pleased it’s gone to a good home.

Another few quick wins today:

A solution for the vacuum cleaner: I’ve been wanting to contact the company Shark about my vacuum cleaner for a while now but knew that I needed to go through the troubleshooting pages online, receive a fault code, ring them up, wait in a queue and then troubleshoot again with them on the phone.

I did all of that today and only had to wait 10 minutes in the queue. Then another 10 minutes on the phone and the result was that they are going to send me a new part which is actually the ‘main body’. He thinks that the motor is faulty. He said that the part might take a few days to arrive due to the pandemic. This evening I got an email saying that DPD are delivering it tomorrow. What a result! It’s all included in the five year warranty as well.

The sink area in the kitchen: The draining board area has been full of bits and pieces that shouldn’t be there, so today I cleared everything away and wiped it all down. With the nice tidy ‘under sink’ cupboard that I organised the other day, the whole area is now looking clearer and brighter.

Pile of clothes in the study: I really don’t want to start a habit of placing baskets of washing in the new study, so I went through the ones that I’d placed there the other day and put everything away. There’s a pile left that I don’t know what to do with e.g. bedding no longer being used from my daughter’s old bed, clothes that the girls don’t wear. It’ll probably all end up in the next charity shop run. I must get into the habit of getting rid of things straight away.

I made a mini apple pie this evening which went down well with a bit of ice cream. Photos on Instagram.

Now for a relaxing bath and then off to bed early.

Hope you’ve all had a good Wednesday.

Until tomorrow…

Sandra

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