Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Week 9: Laundry Room Organisation

Monday: Read Organized Home Challenge #9: Laundry Room
Tuesday: Declutter laundry room around washer and dryer
Wednesday: Declutter old/unusued laundry supplies
Thursday: Declutter laundry room shelves and cabinets
Friday: Declutter and organize ironing board and supplies
Saturday: Create stain removal kit
Sunday: Add fun decor to your laundry room

All has been done, apart from Sunday's task. And that isn't happening. The laundry room isn't a place I want 'fun decor'; it's a place of work that's tucked away at the back of the house - practical and functional. It needs to work well, not look pretty.

Project 333: The Next Phase

My winter season is two weeks away from completion. It was a short season of 6 weeks because of the point I joined the project. With two short weeks to go until I enter the spring season, my mind is going towards the clothes I will be wearing. I was sorely in need of new white tops, and so bought three yesterday when I saw them. My current ones will be retired. Other things required are new shoes, new jacket/blazer, and trousers.

As I'm going to be wearing the same clothes again and again for three months I want the clothes I wear to look good.  It's time to ditch the ones that have seen better days and are worn out and old!  

Monday, February 27, 2017

And it's done!

At last the cabled infinity scarf has been completed!  It's done.  Yarn has been decluttered into a useful finished item.  Huzzah!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sofa Migration

Just before Christmas, the sofa migrates from the bay window in the sitting room through 90 degrees to the perpendicular wall. This allows the Christmas tree to be in the bay window, looking shiney and bright. Then, at some random point the sofa migrates back to the window position. Sitting right by the window means there's much more light for reading, craft work and life in general. Today was migration day.

Also, half of the sitting room has been involved in a spring clean.  

Get that project finished!

The problem I had with my hands and wrists in the summer has almost all gone (it's my left arm now!). However, not having knitted for a long time has sort of knocked it out of me. I no longer automatically reach for my knitting. It is a decision I have to make, and one I don't often make.

This has been coupled with a decision to work one one project at a time, only moving on when the project has been completed. I've had enough of the infinity scarf I'm making for The Offspring. I want it done. Today is the day!


Well...  I tried.  I've managed to get half of the final panel completed, and have knitted for about two hours.  That's enough for today.  I'll try again tomorrow and with a bit of work, a dollop of hope, and an audio book, it will be done.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Food, glorious food!

A tidy kitchen, the recipe book challenge and the menu one have resulted in us being far more ready to to try new recipes.  It also means we are eating far more fresh vegetables.  This is a good thing, a very good thing.  Oh, and baking.  More baking and less bought in goodies.

Oh the weather outside is frightful

And this is causing my joints to be frightful too. I'm tired, sore and cranky. No new cluttering or organisation has taken place.

However, the new status quo has been maintained. The kitchen is tidy, dishes have been done, laundry is happening, things are being picked up and put away after use.  It's just nothing new is happening.

I suspect part of the reason is I have already done all of the daily challenges and I simply can't be arsed making up new challenges to keep me going.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Smears or smut

The windows in the sitting room have been cleaned. However, there's lots of smears.  What's worse, smears or smut?  I think streaky clean is better.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Oh Noes!

I am falling behind! I am slipping out of the paths of righteousness and into the ways of complacency.

Setting up weekly routines for cleaning feels rather beyond me at the moment. It is something I want to be able to do, but I not quite ready for it. Perhaps in a few months I will be able to do it. In the mean time, I need to schedule some guests to come to visit. Cleaning will be done then.

Hold on!  I'm not behind! I'm just not doing extras. Cleaning is happening on an ad hoc basis.  I'm getting there.  

Next week takes me to the laundry room. It was decluttered and tidied relatively recently, but I'm happy to head back there again and have a second pass at it.  

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Week 8: Meal Planning and Weekly Cleaning

Monday: Read Organized Home Challenge #8: Meal Planning

Tuesday: Begin meal planning 

Wednesday: Fill out menu planning ideas form for inspiration for meal planning

Thursday: Create a menu board so everyone knows what's for dinner or other meals

Friday: Create running grocery list 

Saturday: Create weekly list of errands and shopping list

Sunday: Declutter and recycle batteries and light bulbs


We have used a running grocery list for quite some time, and it's brilliant. Some things are added to the list when we are running low (eg loo roll). Others are added when the last one is started (sauce), and others when the last one is finished (bananas). This means there is always a stock of the essentials.  

From the start of the year, we have been menu planning. This is also brilliant. The decision of 'what do you want for dinner?' no longer happens at the end of the working day, but at a relaxed time. When the menu has been planned, we check the fridge, pantry and freezer if an item is needed it's added to the shopping list.    

This week, I'll be working on creating a weekly cleaning list. One of the side effects of decluttering is the cobwebs, dust and grime is far more visible!  This needs to be tackled.  My plan is to concentrate on one room/zones each day. entry/stairs, sitting room, kitchen, vestibule/laundry/shower room, bathroom/loo, and bedroom.  At some point, the dining room will be added to the mix, but it needs to be decluttered first!

Sunday will be kitchen day.  

Saturday, February 18, 2017

15 Minutes Organisation: Creating a Bullet Journal

A little while back I came across the idea of bullet journals, and thought 'That's cute', and promptly allowed it to dribble out of my brain. The examples I had viewed had too many drawings, fancy decorations and it didn't seem something that would be useful to me. The name 'journal' also put me off. To me, it has overtones  of writing a touchy-feely diary. I haven't done that since I was a teenager.

Then, a youTuber mentioned it, and I re-examined it.  I tried it out at work, in a simplified version, and it went well.  I've now set up my personal bullet journal, using the method found here. It is at one and the same time more complicated, and also simpler than my work one.  When I was doing it at work I was half remembering the set up instructions.  On Monday, I'll add in the sections I need to bring it up to speed.  I had also a rolling bullet point list. This will change on Monday.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Kitchen Goodies

My child has labelled me a hipster as I have just bought three sets of these lovely glass jars, that's 15 jars in total.  They will not be used to serve up sausage and mash, or trifle, but will instead be used to store such things as flour, sugar, oats, pasta, lentils, etc. I love the look of them, and they are so practical.

Another kitchen goodie is my new oil dispenser. I had been pouring oil from a two litre plastic bottle. The bottle dribbled and always glugged out too much oil. This oil dispenser does not dribble, and gives far greater flow control.

My kitchenware style can be summed up as glass, silver, uncluttered and simple.

Project 333: 17th February 2016

I am loving Project 333.  I'm finding it liberating.  Having a restricted palette means decision making is so very much easier.  There's a few pieces that don't go together.  The plum skirt and top are not a good mix, and neither are the green cardigan and teal tops.  Black and navy are not a combination I like. The navy trousers can really only be worn with the navy cardigan or the green one.  This is a bit limiting.  In the next cycle I will make better choices.

My choice of clothing for today is almost identical to the 13th of February, white top, purple skirt,  black cardigan, purple scarf, black shoes, and the twist is grey tights.

It was useful at the start of this project to keep a list of the clothing I have been wearing.  However, I'm no longer feel it to be useful.  I'm going to stop creating a daily list, and instead post only when I have something to say about it, or when a new cycle starts.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

15 Minute Declutter: Packing up a Bedroom

A start has been made on packing up The Elder's books and CDs. It is going to take time to pack away and remove all of her belongings.

Project 333: 16th February 2017

Green and Blacks, makers of lovely dark chocolate, but also today's colours.

Black top, black sweater, black trousers, socks and shoes. Green cardigan and scarf.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

15 Minute Declutter: Crafting materials dumped

Over time, crafting materials have been dumped in my bedroom.  It transformed into a huge, intimidating mound. I feared each item would be require a decision, and a decision filled with regret. It might be regret because of a poor purchase. It could be the regret was for items started, but not finished. It could even be general regret.

Hmm... about half of the mound has been sorted, and the emotion filled thing didn't happen.  There's one bag of rubbish, another of materials to be donated to the Children's Centre, and a third I wish to keep.  Well, keep for now. Things might look different when I start work in my craft room.

Project 333: 15th February 2017

Black top, grey merino sweater, black skirt, black tights, black shoes, rainbow scarf.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

15 Minute Declutter: Packing Soft Toys

My elder child went off to university just over 3 years ago. Up until this Christmas she still had her room at home, full of her things.My younger child is moving into the 'Teal Room', but it's still full of Number 1's stuff. Over the next few days (weeks), I'll be packing up a bedroom full of stuff. Her belongings will be put away in boxes, and the boxes labelled. She can then decide what to do with them. Today, it's the turn of the soft toys.

Project 333: 14th February 2017

The Beloved gave me this brooch for my birthday last year. It works its magic holding my shawl in place. Today's shawl is purple, and it's being worn with a black top, black skirt, black tights, black shoes and black cardigan. Whilst at work a grey sweater was also being worn.

Monday, February 13, 2017

The 30 Day Wait and Buy Happy

A great tip I came across whilst watching video clips on decluttering and minimalism is to have a 30 day waiting period before making unplanned purchases. It's a chance to slow down and consider the purchase. There's no point in decluttering only to restock your home with new clutter.

During the decluttering of the linen cupboard at the start of January, I realised we only had one spare/guest bath towel. I added 'big fluffy bath towel' to the 30 Day list in the back of my journal. Whilst shopping for new tights at the start of this month, I realised 30 days were up on the bath towel, and bought it. Having a general browse around the shop I spotted this clock.
"Ohh!" thought I. "I like it," and it had been marked down from £89 to £45.  So it was added to my 30 Day list.  The temptation was there to buy it immediately, especially as it was half price!   

Last night, I bought a new Kindle (my old one is old, and is starting to wheeze and groan). The model I have just bought isn't the newest, but there was a 30% reduction, and it does all the things I need/want it to do. As I was removing the Kindle from my 30 Day list, I thought about the clock. I do like it, and it would look good in my home. But, I don't love it. The clock was removed from my list.

Another useful tip I picked up was "Buy Happy". Too often we buy things to cheer ourselves up, rather than because we need, want, love, or even like the item. If you are not happy, then stay out of the shops. Only buy when you are happy and content.

Week 7: Coupons, Gift Cards and Loyalty Cards

When a good system is set up it needs to be able to accommodate the needs of many people. This week's challenges will be just right for some people, but almost completely redundant for me.

Clipping coupons is a big thing in the USA, but it is almost none existent on my little island. With my store/credit card I accrue points when I shop. Periodically I am sent vouchers and special offers. Recently I received £24 in vouchers and a few 'earn triple points in X department'. This is the extent of my couponing.

Monday: Read Organised Home Challenge #7: Coupons

Tuesday: Gather coupons and declutter 

Wednesday: Separate coupons into categories and organise them

Thursday: Create grocery price book
We are in the very fortunate position of not needing to track sales, or the price of apples.

Friday: Declutter excess stockpile from couponing

Saturday: Declutter and organise gift cards and loyalty cards

Sunday: Declutter Valentine's Day cards, candy and decorations
The Beloved and I don't go in for Valentine's Day, and so there's nothing to clear up afterwards.

15 Minute Declutter: Bathroom

Three quarters of the bedroom has been decluttered. The Beloved has had a massive clear out of the things on top of his chest of drawers. And I have stalled with the crafting materials in my bedroom. I suspect it is simply I don't have a lot of brain power, and there are too many decisions for me to handle.

To simplify, I ventured into the bathroom today. Making decisions about old toothbrushes is far easier than deciding the fate of crafting materials. (I kept one as toothbrushes are useful for scrubbing small areas like around the taps on the sink.) Old bathroom products and toothbrushes were bid a fond farewell. A few bits of bed linen left lying around since the linen cupboard declutter were added to pile of things leaving the house. The sink, shelf, mirror and storage shelves were cleaned. There's more cleaning to do, but the room is looking better.

Project 333: 13th February 2017

White top, purple skirt, black cardigan, black tights, black shoes, purple scarf.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Project 333: 12th February 2017

A change from the norm today, navy was worn!  Navy spotty trousers, long navy cardigan, teal t-shirt, silk/merino socks,  and black shoes.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Project 333: 11th Feb 2017

Grey merino sweater, black trousers, black socks, black shoes, black cardigan, red mini shawl.

Interesting! These shoes were too tight for me a while back. Now they fit rather nicely.

Friday, February 10, 2017


What's happened to the daily updates on decluttering? Tiredness, a grumpy body, and extra sleep have thrown decluttering out of the window!

However, meals have been cooked, dishes have been wash, clothing has been laundered, and the house is running smoothly. The Beloved has been engaging a little with decluttering. Progress hasn't ground to a halt. We are still moving forward, just at a very slow pace.

Project 333: 10th February 2017

Teal top, black cardigan, black skirt, grey tights, black boots,  green Borromean scarf, waterproof jacket and fleece.

The fleece was most definitely required at work today. Instead of my usual 8.30am start, it was 8am. The heating had not come on, and the office was at 12C.  

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Project 333: 9th February 2017

My clothing choices were made almost in the dark last night. In the cold light of day, various substitutions were needed. The plum top does not go with the purple skirt, and it only fits in with the rainbow scarf. These changes have left me with plum top, rainbow scarf and black everything else (cardigan, skirt, tights, shoes).

The rainbow scarf was finished just after the news of Robin William's death came in. I had been wondering how to finish it off, and decided the thicker band of the rainbow would be a reminder of the braces Robin wore when he was playing Mork from Ork.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Project 333: 8th February 2017

Merino sweaters are great. They are wonderful for layering, and they are warm and snuggly. The previous ones were thicker than my current ones, and I'm on the look out for some new, thicker ones. The ones I'm wearing this season have been darned and could do with being replaced.

My black merino sweater is being worn with a black top underneath, a deep purple skirt and a lighter purple shawl. Thick grey tights and black boots finish it off. There's a pair of hand knitted purple socks too. The boots hide them from view, but they keep my feet toasty on a cold day.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

15 Minute Declutter: Large Chest of Drawers

Some areas become magnets for clutter. The top of the chest of drawers in one such place. This needs to be tackled.

Actually, there's a bigger problem just in front of it. There's a load of crafting materials in bags and boxes. These need to be taken upstairs to my craft room. It's not a craft room at the moment, more a bit of a dumping area. I am so not looking forward to tackling that area. But I am looking forward to a tidy bedroom.

The Beloved has a load of stuff on his chest of drawers. Perhaps a bedroom decluttered and tidy apart from his chest of drawers might spur him on?

Project 333: 7th February 2027

One of the great joys of a capsule wardrobe is that almost everything goes! I love this scarf so much. The base colour is white, and it's broken up every 12 rows with a ridge of colour. No matter which item of clothing I put with the scarf it will go. Black, grey and navy are neutral contrasts. The colour of today's green cardigan is echoed beautifully in the scarf.

Along with the scarf and green cardigan, there's a black top, black skirt, black tights, black boots and grey merino sweater. (It's cold in the office today.)

Monday, February 6, 2017

15 Minute Declutter: Medicines

Another off-piste challenge, but still in the bedroom.

We don't have a medicine cabinet, instead we have a drawer in the bedroom where medicines, plasters, dietary supplements are kept. This drawer is sorely in need of a hefty clear out, and today's the day.

Out of date medicines and ones no longer required will be set to one side and then taken to the local pharmacy for disposal.  

Project 333: 6th February 2017

I had been wondering if I had made a mistake in selecting my boots for inclusion in this period's 33 items.  Nope, nada, no way.  My boots are currently keeping my feet warm.

Other items of body covering are black long sleeve t-shirt, black woollen skirt, black tights, hand knitted socks, grey merino sweater and a shawl made from the yarn in the image above.  My body does like being swathed in wool when it cold and cranky.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Week 6: Recycling

I'm getting ahead of myself this week. I'm making the switch from working four days to five days a week. Previously, Mondays were my day off, and the day I would make a good start on the list of tasks.

Monday: Read Organised Home Challenge #6: Recycling Centre & Trash Cans

Tuesday: Create home recycling centre

Wednesday: Place trash bins throughout house;

Thursday: Declutter plastic grocery bags and switch to reusable ones
Done. We have a holder for carrier bags. The bags are reused and reused. We are also fans of folding crates, and keep a couple in the boot of the car. These are brilliant when grocery shopping. They are easier to carry and so much sturdier than plastic bags.

Friday: Declutter plastic silverware and other take out supplies
We've had to buy extra take away meals as I was running out of containers. They are brilliant for packaging up extra portions of dinner, freezing and using for lunches at a later date.

Saturday: Declutter water bottles

Sunday: Declutter kitchen drawers
There's two drawers left, both have cake decorating supplies in them. I'll have a look in there next weekend and see what I want to do.

15 Minutes Cluttering: Under the Bed

There was not a lot to declutter under the bed. Two items of crafting have been relocated and dust bunnies have been evicted. The only things under the bed now are two large suitcases (too big for me to lift on top of the wardrobe) and a plastic storage box for my finished crafty projects. This is a place to store gifts and items for charities.

Moving from the kitchen into the bedroom raised some feelings of unease in The Beloved. He sees me as head chef, and himself as sous. I get to decide what happen in the kitchen. The bedroom, on the other hand, contains some of his stuff. He was concerned I might start decluttering his belongings. This is far from the truth; I will not throw out or give away his possessions. I would hate it is someone was to do that with my things. Therefore I would never do that to someone else.

The Beloved's shoes, trainers and slippers have been put on display. My inclination is to put his slippers in the bottom of the wardrobe. He only uses them when he is ill and during non-ill times they sit under the bed gathering dust. I'll ask him to sort through his footwear and decide whether anything should be shown the bin.  

Project 333: 5th February 2017

Adoring Maghouin Beg today: 
teal t-shirt, black trousers, black socks, grey slippers and grey sweater. The sweater is being worn causally across the shoulders as I'm too hot after the decluttering session.

A trip out in the afternoon added a waterproof/windproof jacket, a fleece and a Borromean Rings cowl in three shades of green.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Project 333: 4th February 2017

Ah, the weekend. Time for a change of colour and style. Today is a day for navy - a navy cardigan, navy socks and navy, spotty trousers. This has been teamed with black shoes, and my white scarf with rainbow stripes.

15 Minutes Declutter: Kitchen drawer

I'm uncertain as to why this task wasn't done at the same time as the rest of the kitchen, but it's been done now.

My most used kitchen utensils are metal and hang from a rack beside the cooker. In one drawer there are wooden spoons, lemon reamer, potato ricer, chopsticks and a range of other random things. This is the drawer receiving attention today. Everything has been removed, the drawer and tray washed. I've selected the things I wish to keep and The Beloved has done the same.  The Offspring will also be given a choice as to what they want to keep.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Creative Cluttering

Some much decluttering has taken place.  I need to start 're-cluttering'. Being very specific, I need to add more hand crafted goodies to the storage box under the bed. This is my stash of completed projects. With the baby blankets sent of this morning the box is almost empty.

My wrists were very bad over the summer, and I've fallen out of the habit.  With the friend's connection to the drop-in centre for refugees and asylum seekers I now have a new outlet for my knitted and crocheted items.

It will also declutter my stash of yarn.

Project 333: 3rd February 2017

Being worn today are:
white jersey top, purple skirt, black tights, black shoes, black cardigan, purple and cerise silk scarf and purple waterproof jacket.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Mini Declutter: Items for Refugees

A friend helps at a drop in centre for refugees and asylum seekers. Two of the women are pregnant, and are finding it very difficult to prepare for the arrival of their babies because money is so tight.

I keep a box under my bed of finished knitting and crochet projects. These are things made to give away to who ever needs them There's two crochet blankets in that box, just waiting to be sent to my friend. My hope is that these baby blankets will be a little sign of hope. It's nice to get something brand new for a baby, and to know someone has put hours of work into making it. I hope they will not just be used to keep babies warm, but be treasured.

Also being added to the blankets are 10 pairs of socks and knickers for small children. These were bought to be sent to refugees in Greece, but we got the got the timings wrong and the shipment had been sent. They were bought for children who were in difficult situations. What does it matter if they are in Greece, or England! Every child deserves to be loved, and to have clothes.

Project 333: 2nd February 2017

Today's sartorial choices are:
black t-shirt, black woollen skirt, thick grey tights, black shoes, black cardigan, red mini-shawl and purple waterproof jacket.

Last night, again, dirty laundry was placed in (not thrown towards) the laundry basket, and clothes that can be worn again were put away. Then an outfit for today was selected.  

This is evolving into a bedtime routine. It's rather lovely getting to a place where routines and patterns are in place as they ease my way through the day. Things get done.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

15 Minute Declutter: Bedroom Sofa, part 2

The bedroom sofa has been cleared. There were a few items of clothing left, two odds socks, a hand knitted mini-shawl, random crafty bits. The crafty bits are being moved up into the guest room/craft room. The crafting materials will be sorted at a later stage.

At the weekend, the futon sofa will be vacuummed and fluffed up, but it's too heavy for me to do by myself.  The Beloved's assistance will be required. I'll bake him some flapjacks by way of thanks.

Project 333: 1st Feb 2017

Clothes for a morning in the office are:
black jersey top, black woollen skirt, thick grey tights, black shoes, green cardigan, rainbow striped scarf, glass earrings and purple waterproof jacket.

These items were selected last night and laid out on the partially cleared sofa. Then, wonder of wonders happened, the items that could be worn again (cardigan and scarf) were hung away. January's new habit was laying out my clothes at night for the next morning. A very sensible extension for February will be to put away the clothing that does not require laundering. This would have a positive impact on the tidiness of the sofa, and the room.