Monday, 30 January 2012

Delegation.....Thats What You Need!

Some of the jobs that need doing in my home are not things that I could be bothered would be able to tackle myself.  We have long wanted to have our drive block paved and to generally spruce up the front of the house.  Obviously we have concentrated on improving the inside of the house and apart from a new garage door I've done nothing since I bought the house in 2005!  Does it notice?

We also have realised that our landing banisters aren't very safe now that Sophie is on the move......
Look at that perfect child sized gap, a direct route to downstairs!

We have decided to investigate the cost of replacing these with spindle style banisters, again something we wouldn't attempt ourselves!
This week I'm setting myself the task of actually making the calls to make these things happen, being disorganised and promising myself to 'do it tomorrow' doesn't seem to be working!

Another call I made today was regarding my kitchen cabinets.  The kitchen is not really very old, It was fitted about four years ago and almost immediately the doors started looking a bit worse for wear, I kept meaning to follow it up but never got around to it and they got worse!

Yes that is the laminate completely separated from the door!

A few days ago I saw an advert for the company I bought it from stating a 15 year guarantee on their kitchens so popped into the local store and got the number for their customer service centre
The lady I spoke to was really helpful and said that I'm still covered by a 5 year warranty (for the doors) so she is sending out a form for me to detail the damage and they will replace the doors.  I'm not sure if we will replace with the same doors as I'm not convinced of the quality but we are hoping we can pay the difference and choose something else.  I'll keep you updated!

If you could delegate any job in your home what would it be?

Lots of Love xxxx

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Stolen Time....

I'd love to say the week long gap in posts was because I'm spending my time flying ahead with lots of lovely decluttering to tell you all about but unfortunately that is not the case!
On Monday night intruders broke into our house while we slept, fortunately we were not disturbed and knew nothing until the following morning when James' car was missing from the driveway.  A few easy to grab items were missing from the house but the worst thing about the whole incident is what they left behind.  A feeling of uneasiness in my own home.  Yes we have changed the locks and are having an alarm fitted but The fact remains that they were in our home when our daughter was asleep in her room.  I'm trying not to scare myself and the police have assured us that the car was the target and the other items were just chance. 
Focusing on positive we have had a scare but no one was hurt and we can replace the stolen items.

This post is to ask you all, that while we are all busy decluttering our homes remember to look at your house security to make sure the things you do value remain in your possession! 

I'm now even more motivated to continue what I have started, partly to try to rid myself of this feeling of violation and partly because in the back of my mind I'm thinking if the stolen items were put away they may not have been taken.
Sorry for the grim post but I really wanted to share in the hope that I could prevent the same happening to any of you.
I'll not let these cowards keep me down though and I'll be back next week, we have lots of plans so its going to be a busy week!

Lots of Love xxxx

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Getting on Top........

Things haven't been going the way I planned recently!  I would have expected to have shown you a finished kitchen by now but it's been slow going and I'm giving it the final clean today so will be sharing on Monday so be sure to pop over for a nose!
While time hasn't permitted me to get into any major jobs I have been concentrating on keeping on top of the general upkeep of the house.  I didn't want to concentrate on decluttering the kitchen while the rest of the house went into decline!  

I really feel as though I'm building some good habits already, I'm so organised with the laundry and dinners that James keeps asking if I'm OK!!!

 Lots of Love xxxx

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Learning To Fly..................

After reccomendations from 3 bloggy friends I finally found my way over to FlyLady and immediately signed up to recieve a daily digest!
Thank you LissyLou, Laura @ Domestic Doris and Tracy @ Mad About Bags I think this will really help to keep focused and I just had to say................

Check out the shine on that!

 Lots of Love xxxx

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Oh Baby........

They might be small but they certainly bring a lot of accessories with them! 
Our kitchen has no less than 3 dedicated 'baby' cupboards.  Recently I have noticed that, as Sophie grows, there is less and less 'stuff' we use from them, yet they are getting messier and messier!

The food cupboard

Sophie Doesn't really eat 'baby food' anymore so, bar a few emergency meals and her cereal, cleared and tidied.  I gave the items that Sophie won't eat to a friend for her baby.


And after:

The 'milk' cupboard
 What a mess!! I haven't even looked on that top shelf for weeks! 

Bibs and bottles

Most of the things in this cupboard haven't been used for months and months, the bottles and teats and muslin squares are no longer needed, after throwing away anything below par I popped the rest into storage.  We also bought some new bibs in the sales so anything stained or grubby looking went!



So far so good!

Lots of Love xxxx

Friday, 13 January 2012

Old Mother Hubbard the Update...........

Last week I set myself the challenge of using up the contents of our bulging food cupboard and freezer and so far so good!

Remember this?

Well here it is now.....

Much better, out of date items gone, like with like and most important, I know what is there!
After checking the freezer and fridge I compiled a menu for the week and the following shopping list:

Butternut Squash
Tuna in spring water
Cheese sauce
Garlic bread
Orange juice


Fish cakes with mini jackets and broccoli

Lamb, roasties and roast vine tomatoes, there was enough meat left to make Sophie 3 portions of her fave lamb casserole too!


Chicken katsu curry (and yes I made the curry sauce myself!)
I also turned this....

Into this......


Beef chili with grated cheese and potato wedges


Gnocchi with tomato sauce (served this with garlic bread but forgot to cook it so we ate it after!)

So there you go a whole weeks meals and there is still enough for more meals!
The challenge continues!

Lots of Love xxxx

Monday, 9 January 2012

Where To Start........

When I planned to declutter the house I gave myself just 3 rules:

1. One room at a time.

2. One cupboard/drawer/area at a time.

3. Never try to do more than can be done in the time available
I didn't want to set strict rules or put pressure on myself and figured that I would gradually, as I got into the process of  letting go, find my way.
I have decided to start with the kitchen.  My 'Mother Hubbard' challenge has meant that I've already made a start so it seems natural to continue. 

Without further ado let me introduce you to my tiny kitchen (no quick tidy ups, I promise!)

As you can see it really is a small room and if I'm honest isn't in that awful a state.  The usual kitchen 'trouble spots' apply here.  There are a few 'dumping' areas where receipts and leaflets collect and the cupboard under the sink is home to a wonderful collection of cleaning products!

Enough chat lets get going!

Lots of Love xxxx

Friday, 6 January 2012

Old Mother Hubbard...........

You know the nursery rhyme right?  

Well if her cupboard is bare our food cupboard is completely the opposite!
Are you ready? 
(cringe!!! I had to resist the urge to have a tidy before I took this photo, but I want to share the truth!)

I know one might not naturally think of food as clutter (after all we need it don't we?) but when you don't use your 'store cupboard' foods (or can't because they are so far out of date!) that is exactly what it is!

James and I don't shop regularly, we work shifts so aren't always around to do a proper food shop.  We usually buy a few days meals at a time depending on who is at home.  This never works out, of course, as we will forget what was intended to go with what and end up not using everything we have bought.  
These unused foods either sit forgotten of get thrown away, out of date, when the next lot of badly planned shopping gets put away.

As part of my decluttering challenge I have decided to take control of the situation and set myself the task of taking stock and using up the food we have stored in our larder and freezer.  
Obviously I will have to buy a few fresh ingredients and the odd item needed to complete a meal but I intend to use mainly ingredients we already have.

I will, of course, share my endeavours with you next week!

How long do you think it will all last!

Lots of Love xxxx

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Dipping a Toe...............

My handbag and purse are two places I try to keep organised thanks to the advice of my good friend Victoria, who once told me to empty the contents of both at the end of the day and only put back what you need for the next day.  
I have done this (not daily I'll admit but regularly) for quite a while now and when they get messy its the first sign to me that things are starting to slip!  
As you can see, things have slipped!   


No effort and a few minutes later took it from this

to this!  
How easy is that, now why didn't I do it before?

Maybe you could check your bags and let me know what you find?

Lots of Love xxxx

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The Plan.....


I thought about buying a book about decluttering and then remembered I already have several cluttering up on my bookshelf!  I know what I need to do and that I need to do it my way and fit it in with my life or, as previous attempts have proved, I just won't achieve my goal!

Thinking about my past dalliances with household organisation I can identify several obstacles that seem to get me every time:

Time:  Not giving myself enough time to get the whole job done, or attempting too much in the time  available means I end up shoving the leftover mess somewhere to 'deal with later'.  Obviously this doesn't happen and the disorganisation grow from there!

Boredom:  After pulling out the entire contents of any given room with much enthusiasm after a few hours it's not so exciting!

Scale: Sometimes when a job seems too big/daunting I can put myself off!
In order to save myself from, erm well, myself I will follow theses 3 rules:

1. One room at a time.

2. One cupboard/drawer/area at a time.

3. Never try to do more than can be done in the time available

Deep breaths.................lets get started!

Lots of Love xxxx

Sunday, 1 January 2012


To the new year, a new blog and, for me, a new challenge!

I have set myself the slightly panic inducing challenge of decluttering my home and therefore (hopefully) my mind.  

The Confession......
I've mentioned decluttering so many times in the past at 'Kelly's Recipes For Life' that I should have my home organised to within an inch of its life, sadly this is not the case and no matter how ruthless I am I still find myself searching for what I need.  I still feel that, despite the wardrobe full of clothes, I have nothing to wear.  I'm fed up with being late or forgetting things because I'm just not that well organised!
My house is far from an imminent visit from Kim and Aggie, it is (usually) spotlessly clean and  to the naked eye it is tidy enough, I never feel that I can't invite people inside but I know that if they just opened that drawer or looked inside that beautiful sea grass basket they would see the real me and heavens forbid they asked me to find my keys!  

I have, on countless occasions, ruthlessly culled my belongings, and each time the house improves to a point but obviously as life changes what we value does too and I suppose this is just another stage in the journey.  I'm a Mum now and my little baby is growing into an inquisitive, mobile toddler, and like many women in my position, family is the focus of my attention leaving less time for me to indulge in the hobbies from my distant past. 

The Challenge.......

I have given myself a realistic timescale of one full year to properly explore and assess what I own and 'use it or loose it'.  Obviously (given my previous experiences) outing as much as possible over the course of a week or two just isn't the answer, I also am not prepared to forfeit time spent with my little girl for the sake of a tidy garage.  I will dispose of all items in as an environmentally friendly way as possible, that being donating to charity, selling or giving to a new owner (who really has a use for it!), recycling or simply making sure the items are used up rather than cluttering up!

I was reluctant to incorporate this latest endeavour into my 'normal' blog and hope you agree that this subject is worthy of a blog all of it's very own!
I am hoping that, at least, some of my followers from 'Kelly's Recipes For Life' will visit me here and offer the encouragement and tips or even join in if you feel like I do!

We might even have fun along the way!!!