Making Decisions about Clutter

I woke up in the early hours of this morning and when I couldn’t fall back to sleep, I thought about how much clutter I could be clearing in the spare room if I actually had the energy to get up and do it (sad, I know, but it always plays on my mind when it starts to feel out of control).

The reason for the out of control feeling was that I hadn’t followed my usual routines as we’d had a few family days out. It’s amazing how quickly things can get feel on top of you.

Turning things around

I knew that getting the kitchen up straight would make me feel better which didn’t take long. Then I decided to sort through some boxes in spare room, which I’m convinced I’d sorted through before. It sometimes feels like I’m on a snakes and ladders board!

I sat just looking at it all for quite some time, and decided that everything that I still couldn’t get rid of just needed me to make a decision.

I was ruthless with what I placed in the charity bags, as these were items that I’ve put to one side before, just in case someone I know might want them. But then I realised that my spare room was becoming a storage area for ‘people that might want things that I have’… and the funny things is… they don’t even know it.

After a few clutter decisions, I cleared an area of the room. My daughters walked in a couple of hours later and congratulated me, which has motivated me to continue tomorrow.

Until next time…

Posted in decluttering, Inspiration, Toys, mess and clutter | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

View frustrations as treasured moments

Life gets busy when you are keeping the home clean and tidy, and earning money from your day job. So much so, that you can blink and miss the short period of time that the children are small.

There are multiple things going on and when you look back it’s hard to forget the stress of being a working parent during those toddler and pre-teen years.

You think about how they clung onto you when you are out shopping, chatting with friends, or working from home. This may have made you feel frustrated and claustrophobic when you were so tired, stressed and trying to get on with ‘things’.

On reflection

As my girls are beginning their teenage years, I’m looking back at those moments and can see that things have been changing gradually. I knew that the running into my room for a cuddle as soon as they get up, or sometimes waking me up in the middle of the night, wouldn’t go on forever. At the time those sleep interruptions felt like worst thing in the world, but when it stops, you enjoy the quietness for a tiny moment and then… you kind of miss it.

Of course, I am still needed in other ways, for example: ‘Can you help me find my jacket?’, ‘Have you washed my jeans?’, ‘Please can you top up my lunch account?’, ‘Can we watch a film together snuggling up?’ or ‘I just need a hug’. I respond to their asks and treat each of these things as new special moments, rather than look at some of them as frustrations. I want to be there for them and don’t want them to remember me as being stressed when they look back.

Thankfully, my 2 gorgeous girls still enjoy our cuddles, and I’m in no hurry for that to stop. I really look forward to linking arms as we stroll along together or just watching them enjoying the outside world…

A day in Herne Bay last month watching the girls enjoy the sea

I will continue to hold onto the good memories and treasured moments and not taint them with frustrated thoughts.

Don’t miss the ‘small years’.

Until next time…

P.S. My eldest daughter came into my room for a cuddle this morning, which was very apt, since this blog post was just in draft at the time.

Posted in Inspiration, Life, working mum | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Amidst the anger, show kindness….

…at all times. It’s difficult when someone in the family is angry and upset. It’s easy to join in with the party and give your opinion (because everyone wants to be right, right?) You toy with the idea that your way would have been better. She shouldn’t have said this; he shouldn’t have said that.

It would be lovely if it’s happy families all the time but in reality it isn’t. It’s inevitable that there will time of rough patches and arguments. Some last just a few minutes, some go for hours (those hours of silences), and then it’s all in the past and you go back to playing happy families.

Amidst all of that, if you are like me, you will want to know the answer to ‘How should I act right now?’ or ‘What is the best thing to do?’ I could throw my toys out of the pram, I could take it out on the person, or I could get involved (in times where I wasn’t actually involved at all).

When you’re not sure… kindness helps.

Kind words…

Kind gestures…

Cup of tea? A few crackers and cheese?

A hug?

What do you do when it’s all happening in your house?

Until next time…

Posted in Inspiration, Life | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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…

Posted in decluttering, Inspiration, Toys, mess and clutter | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

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…

Posted in Inspiration, working mum | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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…

Posted in decluttering, Household chores, Inspiration | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

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…

Posted in Household chores, Inspiration, Toys, mess and clutter | Tagged , , | Leave a comment