Day 322: A Painting Challenge in the Tricky Cupboard

On the school run this morning, I seemed to get so many lorries going really slow in front of me every road I turned into. It felt like something was telling me to slow down which is quite symbolic of how I want my week off to go anyway. I just went with the flow of it.

When I arrived home, I got myself a hot drink and a blanket, and settled down in the conservatory ready for a call that I’d arranged to have with a friend who I haven’t spoken to for 18 months. We had a really good catch up. It made me realise how important it is to keep in touch with those who we haven’t seen for a while.

A few hours of painting

I took on the challenge today of painting the wall, wood panelling and the corner cupboard in my daughter’s bedroom. Due to the tiny shelves at the back and the sloping wall, it was an awkward space to paint. (I didn’t think about that when I requested the builders to make good use of the space and keep the cubby holes open 😀). I was literally climbing in there wishing I’d painted the plastered walls before the shelves were added. To do the sides underneath the bottom shelf, I was literally lying on the floor. It made me smile thinking about the challenges I set myself.

I painted non-stop for about four hours, and although it was tiring and my arms were aching, I actually had a pleasant afternoon working away at my own pace and listening to music. Painting with wood primer is very satisfying.

I still have a few more coats to do with different types of paint on the walls and wood, but I’ll probably get my daughter to help with that after school one day this week or at the weekend if she’s not busy with homework. She enjoys painting.

I can’t add photos at the moment until I upgrade my WordPress account, but you’ll find some on my Instagram account.

I was so tired after painting that I fell asleep in the study, still in my painting clothes. It might have been all the paint fumes as I was in a confined space for a few hours. I did ventilate the room well though.

Another productive day off.

Until tomorrow…

Sandra

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Day 321: A Productive Day, and a New Under Sink Storage Solution

Having a whole week ahead of you and not really having a plan, means that you can just live in the moment and do whatever you want to do whenever you want to do it.

It’s quite rare for me to get this sort of time so I’m going to make sure that I fit in some self-care this week as well as get organised around the house and have some family time.

After taking the girls to school, I had a leisurely breakfast and pottered around doing this and that. Having no builders in, I was able to get on with my usual routines of emptying bins, making beds, giving the bathrooms a quick wipe around, collecting washing and putting one load on, clearing up in the kitchen, taking out the recycling, etc.

The day went at a good pace without pressure. I got a few ‘quick wins’ done today as well…

  1. Bought light bulbs and fitted them in the lights outside.
  2. Found some old carpet and other bits and bobs in the garage and tucked them into spaces in the skip.
  3. Did some admin that had been on my list for a while. Very satisfying!
  4. Swept out the sawdust in the new cupboard in my daughters room ready to start painting tomorrow.
  5. As it’s bin day tomorrow, I took out the rubbish including bagging up all of the polystyrene that had blown about in my garden (the stuff I took out the skip the other day when I replaced it with wood).

A big organising step

I reorganised the cupboard under the sink back in July and although it did stay tidy for a little while, it was in need of shelving of some kind. Last week when we got rid of the waste disposal unit I found myself with a bit more room and so I ordered some shelving.

It arrived today, and I was going to put off sorting out the cupboard until tomorrow as I thought that it would take a long time, but I was excited and in the mood to do it. It only took about 30 minutes. The pictures speak for themselves…

Before and after organising cupboard

It’s amazing how something so simple can make you feel so organised.

That’s it for today.

Until tomorrow…

Sandra

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Day 320: Should I Have a Plan for the Week?

A calming scene

It’s rare that I get a week off to just get on with things and I don’t want to waste it. Part of me wants to create a plan for this week and part of me wants to just go with the flow and see where it takes me. I need to organise things around here but I also need to rest and recharge.

Today has gone so quickly. Apart from cooking a roast beef dinner and driving to the entrance of the Next store for click and collect to pick up a top that my daugher needed for her dance lesson tomorrow, I don’t feel like I’ve achieved anything.

I did relax and watch a bit of TV this evening, but before that I felt as disorganised as anything and if it wasn’t for me having this coming week off I probably would have been rushing around trying to put things in their places. I keep losing things around the house, for example, I can’t even find the sheets for my youngest’s bed, and I’m starting to think that maybe I used them for covering things when painting 😀.

Fortunately, I know that when I’m starting to feel overwhelmed, it’s usually time for me to slow it right down. So, for that reason, I’m going to take it easy this week. This doesn’t mean that I’m not going to do anything, it just means that I’m not going to stress about getting it all done. I’ll just have regular me-time breaks and take things in my stride.

I don’t have any builders in apart from Friday for a couple of hours so I’m going to get back to my daily routines around the house and maybe add in a few more. This will give me a chance to see what’s not getting done.

I might even walk around making a note of areas that make me feel the most disorganised. I can then pick smaller sub sections to tidy as ‘quick wins’ to make me feel better.

The only room I won’t have to tidy and declutter is my daughter’s new room. There’s a bit of painting that needs doing in and around the new cupboard but that’s about it.

Just writing all that down had made me feel better.

What do you do when you feel disorganised?

Until tomorrow…

Sandra

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Day 319: A Nice Autumn Walk and a Day of Pottering

I enjoyed a 30 minute walk this morning despite the light rain on the way back. It was good to breath in the fresh air.

The walk motivated me for the rest of the day. I knew that the kitchen needed a good tidy up and clean because things had been left since yesterday. So, I did the basics by emptying/loading the dishwasher and wiping down all the surfaces. I then tackled the clutter.

The cleaning products from the cupboard under the the sink were still all over the floor from when the pipework was altered the other day. I temporarily put the stuff back, and measured up for some under sink storage shelving. It’s arriving on Monday… how exciting!

We had lasagne for dinner. It’s something I haven’t cooked for a while so it made a change. It’s difficult coming up with different meals so that the rest of the family don’t get bored.

Today I noticed that I’ve reached 99.4% capacity on my WordPress account, so I probably shouldn’t upload any more photos until I’ve either created some space or upgraded. That’s now on my list of things to do tomorrow 😀.

Just finalised my Tescos shopping order for delivery in the morning – I got a nice piece of slow roasting beef. I have a bubble bath running – a nice soak relaxes me before sleep.

Hope you are all enjoying your weekend.

Until tomorrow…

Sandra

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Day 318: En-suite Bathroom Complete and a Relaxing Evening

New en-suite

The electrics in the bathroom cabinet were fixed today and door put on. This meant that I was able take some photos. Both of my daughters enjoyed testing out the shower last night and said it was really good.

There are just a couple of little tweaks which the plumber is coming round to sort out in the morning. He’s been so quick to respond to anything we’ve noticed. We’re very lucky.

I haven’t done much else around the house today, firstly because I was busy all day with work, and secondly, I’m purposely putting it all off as I am on leave next week and can potter about as much as I like. I am so looking forward to it.

Outside lights

Outside light fixed

Whilst the electrician was here we asked him to have a look at our outside lights that haven’t been working for years. Both my husband and I told him that we’d checked the bulbs and they still didn’t work. He tested the bulbs in there and said they were dead. He then asked me if I had a bulb he could test and I got the one out of my daughter’s new lamp by her bed.

You’ll never guess what…. both lights worked! It was quite embarrassing that we had to get an electrician to change the light bulbs. Luckily for us, he didn’t charge us.

My daughter and I were quite excited that we now have lights outside. I think it makes the house look more inviting when they are on in the evening. We’ll also be able to easily see to put our key into the front door.

What I did notice was that the front door, garage door and light covers are really dusty due to the building work. I’ll give them a good clean one day next week.

The evening

After a quick dinner, I decided to relax with the family and watch a film called Non-Stop with Liam Neeson. It’s an old film from 2014. It was really good!

So, all that’s left before I go to sleep is to have a nice bath, de-stress and think about nothing.

Until tomorrow…

Sandra

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Day 317: Filling the Skip and Getting a New Quieter Central Heating Pump

I was only supposed to work half day today but I was so busy that I ended up working until almost 3pm. I really wanted to get outside and see how much room was in the skip and then start filling it. This is how it looked before I started…

A full skip

Not much room at first glance, so I decided to take out the cardboard that I could easily recycle in our normal bins. There was also a lot of space being taken up with polystyrene that I could throw in bin bags, so that came out too.

I needed to get all of this in the skip…

Stuff to put in skip

Above left is a pile of wood and plasterboard from when our bedroom wardrobes were knocked out by different builders a few weeks ago. Above right is some stuff that I purged from the garage today.

I did ask my husband to help but he had a meeting, and he also said it was too cold outside. So, as I couldn’t wait and just wanted to get it done this afternoon, I made a start and got most of it in the skip apart from the black sacks containing rubble, some large pieces of plasterboard and a few wooden doors.

En-suite and other jobs

The plumbers came round this afternoon after they finished another job and did the following for us:

  • Replace the noisy central heating pump
  • Finish installing new pipework under kitchen sink
  • Finish off the en-suite bathroom (still waiting for electrician to wire up the lights on the mirrored cabinet – he’ll be here tomorrow)
  • Add some silicone sealant to our other showers as a free of charge favour to us so that we didn’t have to do it ourselves
  • Take the protective plastic off the stairs and vacuum bedroom, hallway and stairs (I’d forgotten what the stairs looked like 😀)

When they were leaving I asked if what I’d put in the skip was ok and then showed him what was left to go in. He said that I could put the plasterboard in and then did it for me which was good of him.

When I got back into the house, my husband was making the girls and I pancakes. They were delicious!

Busy day but very productive. I’m also managing to go to bed before midnight tonight!

Until tomorrow…

Sandra

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Day 316: A Non-Stop Day… I Now Need Time for me

I bought a new candle which smells amazing and I am just about to use it in the bath this evening and enjoy a bit of me-time.

Mulled wine candle

The house didn’t get much attention from me today as I had a busy working day. On top of that I had to do both school runs there and back including waiting in the car for an hour between each of my daughters finishing (it was after school dance class). That gave me some lovely time with my youngest though and allowed me to relax for a bit.

The en-suite

The electrician has been postponed until tomorrow to sort out the mirrored cabinet, so no pics yet until he’s done that and put the door on. The plumber turned up late afternoon as planned after another job and fitted the toilet seat, radiator and added some more silicon sealant.

He’s asked me to go round the bathroom tomorrow and create a snag list of any issues. He’ll then come back and fix it all. It’s looking pretty perfect to me so far but I will inspect when I have more time tomorrow.

I only did what was important this evening… dishwasher, dinner, washing… it’s neverending.

I’m so looking forward to sleeping.

Until tomorrow…

Sandra

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Day 315: The Day We Tried to Fix the Insinkerator, and How I Ended up With More Space

When I got back from the school run, I found a toilet outside my front door. It made me laugh. Our builders were here working hard all day apart from a short break at lunchtime to pick up the shower screen. Toilet, shower and screen are now all in place.

Decluttering morning

I had the morning off so decided to use the time to continue some decluttering… popping into the garage to put things in there and taking other items back to their places around the house. The sun was shining, which meant that I could hang out the washing. It was all going well.

Insinkerator Troubleshooting

On one of my trips into the garage, I brushed past the box that the Insinkerator (food waste disposer) came in.

I’d destroyed most other boxes but some reason I’d kept this one. Maybe it was because I didn’t know how it worked and there were a few diagrams on the box, and plastic piping and instructions inside. I took it into the house because there was a phone number on it. I thought that I’d take the opportunity to call the company and see if they could help me fix it as it was making a loud grinding noise the other day and had eventually ground to a halt.

The lady told me about a reset button which at least got it running but it was still making a grinding noise. She then asked me to get a 6mm allen key. I always have allen keys in the utility room but didn’t know if I had a 6mm one. I tried the ones that I had but they didn’t fit, so I went upstairs to ask the plumber who loaned me his.

I started turning the allen key from underneath the unit and when it had done a full turn, she asked me to try and switch it on again. It still made the sound so she asked me to see if anything was lodged in the chamber. She didn’t suggest putting my hands down there (which I’m going to confess that I have done before!). It was at that point that my husband came into the kitchen and I asked him to help.

Between us we couldn’t find anything lodged. Then he noticed a couple of tiny screws lodged in the blades. We said to the lady that we’d continue to find ways to get them out and ring back if we were still struggling. My husband ended up disconnecting the whole waste disposer unit and and trying to open it up. I was wishing that I’d never started the job. The kitchen was a mess, the cupboard door was off, all of his tools were all over the hallway upstairs, and everything from under the kitchen sink was on the floor.

The good thing was that he got one tiny screw out and then the other one got lodged and when we tried to get it out it went beneath the metal plate.

There was no way of getting it out. In fact we even rang the company back and they didn’t know so they gave us a number for a service engineer.

We couldn’t use the sink for the rest of the afternoon. We had two options (1) completely get rid of the unit and put in a normal sink strainer or (2) Put it all back to how it was and pay to get a qualified Insinkerator service engineer in (and put up with a slow draining sink for a while). We went for option 1 as the disposer unit has caused us so many problems over the years snd we didn’t want to spend money getting a replacement one. We put all of our food waste in our small lidded bin now anyway.

Our plumber sent me a link to the exact sink strainer that I needed to get from B&Q. As he needed to get on with our bathroom, he said that if I picked the part up, he would fit it this evening. I ordered it via click and collect and picked it up after I’d finished work.

This evening he fitted the sink strainer and connected it to the main bit of piping and got it working. He said that he’d come back tomorrow and connect it to the overflow and finish it off.

I have extra space!

The most exciting part about all of this is that without the large disposal unit under the sink, I have more room to put all of the cleaning stuff. It was always crammed in and I couldn’t buy those shelf units that I see other people using to organise their cupboards. Watch this space for a tidy cupboard under the sink one day!

The en-suite bathroom

I know that I said this yesterday but the ensuite bathroom is nearly finished. Just a bit more silicone sealant and other fittings. The electrician is coming back with them tomorrow to wire up the mirrored cabinet and radiator. We’re nearly there and I should be able to share updated photos with you tomorrow. Apparently the shower is ready to use in the morning if we want to.

I felt so exhausted after the afternoon we’d had and still had lots of work to do which I’ve been doing this evening. I didn’t have the energy to cook so I went and got fish and chips.

Tomorrow is just as busy, so I’ll try and have a relaxing bath and go to bed.

Until tomorrow…

Sandra

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Day 314: Ensuite and Cupboard Almost Finished, and Overcoming My Fear of Throwing Clutter in the Skip

The builders were here when I got back from the school run this morning and one of them had made a start on the silicone sealant and painting and the other one was building the sink unit and installing the sink.

By the end of the day, they had almost finished the bathroom but they need another day so that things dry. Tomorrow they’ll be adding the toilet, mirrored cabinet, shower screen and so on. It’s looking really good.

New sink being installed

Before dinner this evening, I found myself with a bit of time whilst I was watching Boris Johnson’s update regarding the news about the Covid-19 vaccine, so I sorted out the papers on the kitchen counter. It was quite satisfying seeing it clutter free again (when things get back to normal around here, I’ll be able to get back to my routines).

The carpenter turned up late afternoon to finish the cupboard, adding the frame and a hinged door. He also replaced the wood panelling so that it all matched along that wall.

He didn’t have a handle for the cupboard door, but I remembered that I found a pack of handles in the garage last week and new exactly where they were. He added that on. The plasterer will be finishing off around the edges tomorrow but here’s how it looks so far.

Unpainted wood panels and door

We will be painting it at the weekend to match the rest of the room.

Around 6pm this evening I just wanted to freeze the moment. My husband was cooking and the carpenter was vacuuming. I was assisting with getting things that they needed but I wasn’t the one responsible for doing what was being done. The moment didn’t last long but it made me smile 😃.

At 7pm I realised that I hadn’t emptied the bins and put out the recycling… oh well, back to reality. Whilst I was outside, I took the opportunity to throw a few things in the skip.

Clearing by using a skip is new to me

So far this year, I’ve got rid of things by donating, selling, throwing or recycling. There’s now another option for me, as we still have the skip at the side of the house that the builders have been using since they started our en-suite renovation.

You may remember me mentioning around a month ago that I have a fear of skips which is why I haven’t got one myself. Ever since it’s been here I’ve been nervous about the rest of the family putting stuff in there that I want. I was worrying about nothing of course because no one ever did put anything in there, and now I’ve completely changed how I feel and want to put things in there myself. It might be because there’s not much room left in the skip so I know there’s a limit to what can go in there, ha ha. Nevertheless, I’m feeling proud of myself.

I noticed yesterday that someone had put an old carpet in there which doesn’t belong to us. As the job is almost finished, I thought that I would throw the small trampoline and old garden chair in there. I want to put more in tomorrow before someone else does. It’s a good way of clearing stuff in the garden and garage. I’m quite looking forward to it.

Hope you’ve all had a good Monday!

Until tomorrow…

Sandra

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Day 313: Lots of Sleep, a Brisk Autumn Walk and a Little Bit of Clearing

This morning I woke up naturally without an alarm, feeling quite refreshed. I looked back at the data on my fitbit app and realised that the last time that I had as much sleep as I did last night was in May! I got a sleep score of 91% with a total sleep of 8 hours and 14 minutes. Also, the deep sleep portion was 1 hour and 43 minutes which is pretty good. I must make a conscious effort to get to bed earlier more often.

Autumn colours

The first thing I did when I woke up was my usual morning stretches and then I looked out of the window and was drawn to going out for a walk. Everything looked calm and peaceful and I knew that doing a bit of exercise would make me feel energised for the day. I do love autumn walks with the different coloured leaves. It’s so beautiful.

I had toast and tea when I got back and then started Sunday lunch which was roast chicken. I do love pottering about the kitchen when I’m cooking and it’s so easy to do that when doing something like a roast.

I wanted it to be one of those days where I got things done but I also rested, so after we’d eaten I really felt like watching a film. Then my youngest said that she’d never seen Harry Potter before and asked if I would like to watch it with her. We carried the large TV to her bedroom (as you do) and snuggled up on her bed with cushions and a blanket and watched it together.

More sleep

Typical! As soon as I sit down and relax, I tend to fall asleep. Next thing I knew it was 4.45pm and I think I only watched half of the film. I hadn’t realised how tired I was. My daughter said that I didn’t even make it half way through the film. You would have thought after all the sleep last night I wouldn’t have needed it. My body must be trying to catch up. It felt good though.

Some tidying up

I always try and skype my mum and dad on a Sunday, so carved myself out a little bit of space in the new but untidy study. We had a good chat for over an hour and afterwards I felt motivated to make a start on clearing the desk, moving the chest of drawers and putting the sofa in a vertical position (it’s been lying on its side for a couple of weeks). Success! I can now sit at the desk.

There’s still more to clear but I’m waiting for my eldest to move the rest of her stuff out which she can’t do until the bathroom and cupboard have been finished in her new room (fingers crossed that will all happen this week).

I’m not going to sleep quite as early as last night, but it will be before midnight.

Hope you’ve all had an enjoyable weekend.

Until tomorrow…

Sandra

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