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How I Started Living With Less.

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living with less
How I started on my journey of living with less…

   Why minimalism?

If I lived on my own I’d have virtually no possessions , no TV , and a very organised and tidy house .

But I don’t , and as I can’t get rid of everyone else’s possessions I have to find a way of dealing with their “stuff” and continue in my quest of living with less stuff.

My partner is a borderline hoarder who still keeps boxes from phones he no longer possesses !
I too battled for years to contain my “stuff “, I would stuff it all in drawers , cupboards and the garage .

The house would be serene looking on the surface but the inner workings were a tangled mess of chaos .

 

   So, what changed ?

So what changed ?

I had the ever pulling urge to get rid of everything I owned, to make my overstuffed drawers and cupboards as clutter free as the surfaces so I started to get rid of stuff and it felt great  but I just kept filling up the newly acquired space with new purchases.

Then one day , I stumbled across a book which put me on a journey to simplifying my life ,  it immediately changed my attitude to shopping and clutter, it gave me a plan , a way to achieve the “click point” in my life , where I can  actively live with less and  everything I own sparks joy .
If you only read one book this year make it this one!
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever

the author takes you step by step through all the categories to help you simplify your life.

Read what happened next!

How To Declutter When You Have Not Got The Motivation, how to motivate yourself in 10 easy steps

How to declutter When Your Partner is not On Board ~ Simple tips to cut through the clutter!

How to Get Rid Of Your Junk Drawer In 1 Easy Step!

 

 


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Posted in minimalism, minimalist, Organising, parenting

How To Get Ready For Winter

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Getting Winter Ready

 

Let’s just zoom ahead by a month or two …

You’re running out of the door with

  • book bags ,
  • water bottles ,
  • packed lunches,
  • PE kits ,
  • swimming kits
  • all your stuff for work ,
  • musical instruments

Then it hits you…   the great  blast of icy wind

” Why wasn’t I prepared for this? ”  You guiltily ask yourself as you stare at the  thick unexpected  layer of ice on your windscreen.

Panic sets in as you look at your kids shivering beside you.

You haven’t got time to drop the mountain of stuff you’re carrying to dash upstairs to dig their gloves out of storage .

You have no choice but to leave , unprepared, cold and driving whilst looking through a tiny hole in your icy windscreen .

You start believing you are the worst parent in the playground, as everyone else’s children arrive with their gloves, hats, and winter coats on.

You then spend the whole day feeling guilty that you sent your kids to school with no gloves and wearing their summer coat .

You convince yourself those little fingers will freeze and fall off by lunch time, which, prompts you do a frantic Internet search for “frostbite in children”.

 

 

Not this year , this year we are on it and here is how !

  • Go to your cloakroom or coat / shoe area .
  • Take everything out ( yes everything ),
  • Give the room a good clean .
  • Then put into storage all the summer shoes
  • Replace with two pairs winter shoes each . The rest of the shoes  (less frequently worn) , should stay in  wardrobes and returned there after each wearing .
  • Donate any unworn or out grown shoes and coats , make sure these are taken out of the house as soon as possible!
  • Hang up all jackets and coats (except those worn daily) in the bedroom wardrobe.

Ok , now you should have an empty space to work with , so let’s not fill it back up!

Only return these  items to the cloakroom.

 

  • One daily worn winter coat per person
  • Two pairs of shoes per person

Everything else should be stored in the wardrobe and is put away there after wearing .

Next

  • Dig out the hats and gloves from storage
  • Donate unwanted items.
  • Keep  one set per person in the cloakroom and yes you guessed it everything else gets stored in their wardrobe until needed .

The trick  here is to keep this area as streamlined as possible to enable leaving the house a breeze .

The emptier it is , the easier it is to find the stuff everyone needs everyday .

Use this area to store anything needed to grab on the way out to school and work.

 

  • Top tip!
    Buy each child several pairs of gloves in one plain colour, so when one glove goes missing (normally after the first day) they have still got a “pair” .

All my daughter’s are plain grey and my son’s are  plain navy  blue ,

I normally  purchase several each and usually end up with one full pair each at the end of the winter !

Dig out or purchase a can of de-icer and a windscreen  scraper for the car, fill your car with de-icer and place blankets in the back seat for cold mornings and evenings.

Put all wellys and boots on a mud tray .

You’re now ready for the  big chill!

 

If you’d like to read more about organising you might like

How To Organise Your Kitchen Like A Professional . 

How To Stop Hoarding Books.

5 Top Tips For Getting The Laundry Mountain Under Control

 

 

 

 

 

If you’d like to read more on minimalism you may like The Minimalists.

 

 

 

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Posted in minimal, minimalism, minimalist, Organising

How I Banish Visual Clutter From Our Home.

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How to banish visual clutter
How to avoid visual clutter

 

Every day our brain is trying to process billions of messages , trying to define what is important , what needs action , what to dismiss , what to leave until  later.

We have

  • TV
  • iPhones
  • laptops
  • Newspaper headlines
  • adverts
  • books
  • clocks
  • shop windows
  • road signs
  • consumer products
  • cars

Which, are all bombarding us with instructions to follow every second of every day.

Some of us may have  chosen to add “extra” visual clutter in our homes  by having  ornaments which spell out words such as  “bathroom” “love” or “home”.
I wonder how many times a week we subconsciously read the label on our shower gel, toothpaste tube, washing up liquid or moisturizer.

Marie Kondo  in her book “spark joy” suggests we protect our homes from the visual clutter of the outside world and encourages us to remove labels wherever possible from products we use daily .
As a mother of two young children I figured this would be almost impossible for safety reasons,  however  off I went to give it a go .

I started with hand wash , as I figured even my five-year old knows it is soap .

To my surprise it felt better not to read the words ” 3000 mint leaves were lovingly squeezed into this bottle”  on my shower gel bottle , every time I walked into the bathroom .

The process then became addictive , once I started I couldn’t stop .

Another eye-opening lesson for me was, when I peeled the label off my expensive moisturizer it looked no different from any other cheaper brand and I felt annoyed at myself for being drawn into their consumerism and advertising , I felt I’d been duped .

I immediately began to change the way I shopped for luxury beauty products, which were once a weakness of mine , and it felt good, almost liberating.

The  other upside is that no one in the family has washed their hair with conditioner yet, as far as I’m aware but you never know in our house !

Items  I remove labels from are

  • Hand soap
  • Shower gel
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body lotions
  • Face cream
  • Foundation
  • Mascara
  • Lipsticks
  • Teabags
  • Beans and pulses
  • Biscuits and crackers
  • Pasta and Rice
  • Washing powder
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Coffee
  • Nuts
  • Cereal

Please note food stuffs are now stored in glass jars and laundry powders etc are stored in plastic containers.

 

I only remove  labels from bottles if they are easy to remove within seconds and are not dangerous to my kids .

I really love having less packaged products in my home as I think it feels so much more tranquil and clutter free .

 

If you liked this post you may enjoy

How to Spend Less Money!

Is It Finally Time To Unplug And Slow Our Kids Down

How To Organise Your Kitchen Like A Professional . 

 

 

 

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Posted in minimalist

How To Get Streak Free Glass And Chrome .

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Is Streak Free Glass And Chrome Eluding You ?

Any  dog owner  or mum to a toddler would probably tell you that  dirty  glass is the bane of their lives.

As both a mother of little kids and a professional domestic , commercial cleaner and organiser I’m here to tell you it is mine too!

If your technique isn’t correct it  can be a lot of graft for a hugely disappointing result , then, you find yourself cleaing it a second time only to find the same thing happens again !

Well , I am going to tell you how to go from streaks to sparkling in a flash!

There’s no great trick to this I’m afraid , it’s all down to the tools you use and technique !

 

Firstly let’s have a chat about cloths …

 

This is the important bit in your quest for a streak free finish .

You need to invest in a “glass cloth”,  glass cloths can be used with only water, but I  prefer to use a glass cleaner which we will talk about later.

My recommended glass cloth, is  an e-cloth, it is lint free and does not leave any residue on the surface of your glass or chrome.

 

 

 

e-cloth £8.56 for 2, click to order.

 Next let’s chat about technique.

There is absolutely no point ordering fancy new cloths to use if your technique leaves a lot to be desired.

It’s pretty simple with glass and chrome just stick to the rules!

  1. The drier your cloth the better your shine, a tiny amount of  water on your cloth should be sufficient.  Should you have a heavily soiled surface, increase the wetness of your cloth.
  2. Spot clean, for mirrors and windows try to deal with the heavily soiled areas first before cleaning the whole area.
  3. Don’t over spray, after removing the crud you should now only need the tiniest spray over the area you are cleaning, the more product you use , the harder it is to clean off and the more time consuming!

 

Choosing the correct product.

There are literally hundreds of glass cleaners on the market , some are horrendously streaky and some are great.

I have tried hundreds of products over the years both professional and domestic and there is one product I keep returning to as  I find it never streaks , Xanto Power Active window and glass cleaner 650ml  £5.24 is by far the best I’ve tried.

 

 

Xanto 650ml £5.24 , click to order.

So there you have it, that’s how the professionals get a streak free finish to windows , doors , mirrors and chrome I also use the same products on glazed tile and all other gloss surfaces such as kitchen cabinets etc.

 

If you enjoyed this post you may like

How To Organise Your Kitchen Like A Professional . 

How to declutter When Your Partner Isn’t On Board ~ Simple tips to cut through the clutter!

What I Keep In My Cleaning Kit ~ Part 1 ~ The kitchen .

 

For further reading about cleaning you may like Flylady

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Cleaning, Organising, speed cleaning

What I Keep In My Cleaning Kit ~ Part 1 ~ The kitchen .

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The Organizer Uk ~ what I keep in my cleaning kit ? Part 1 ~ the kitchen

Have you ever wondered what  a professional  carries in their cleaning tool kit ?

Now is your chance to take a peek into the mysterious world of the professional cleaning kit to see what I use to tackle the toughest jobs around !  Just click on the photos from a desktop site if you’d like to purchase any of the products shown !

The Kitchen.

Ok the kitchen is one of my least favourite places to clean, especially other peoples kitchens!

The major headaches for a professional cleaner in the kitchen are

  • Ovens
  • Hobs
  • Extractor fans
  • Grease
  • Baked on food
  • Dried on food
  • Pet food

 

So, lets tackle each of these jobs at a time !

For the oven

These are my go to products to tackle even the cruddiest of ovens and I’ve seen some horrors !

Foamy oven cleaner £9.95

Clean Pro+ Professional Hygiene Systems Oven and Grill Cleaner H17 1 Litre

                

razor scraper £4.82

 

 

Non scratch scrubber £5.99

 

Clean Pro+ Professional Hygiene Systems Oven and Grill Cleaner H17 1 Litre

Get the crud !

This foamy cleaner grips the sides of the oven , so you can walk away and do other jobs while it gets to work! It quickly removes Protein , Carbon and Fat deposits.

For any very stubborn areas  use a wet scraper, and of course a non scratch scrubby for the rest of the oven !

 

 

For Hobs, Extractor Fans And Grease.

My favourite product for these areas is my Heavy Duty Cleaner and Degreaser , I call it my pink juice because I use it for tough jobs all over the house!

 

 

heavy duty cleaner and degreaser £11.09 5 litres

My pink cleaner!

This product cuts through the grease in a jiffy making quick work of those nasty time-consuming areas!

 

 

Baked on food , dried on food and pet food.

We all know that dog or cat who likes to plaster his food all over the kitchen which turns to cement by the time we discover it,  don’t waste time scrubbing, spray on some pink cleaner and scrape away!


     £3.18

The crud buster!

Spray and scrape!

 

 

So now you’ve got no excuse to pull up your sleeves don the rubber gloves and get stuck into the kitchen!

 

 

 

 

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Read what the professionals keep in their cleaning kit!

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Posted in Healthy eating, Organising, parenting

Why I Allow My Kids To Be In Control Of Their Own Snacks.

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Why I give my kids a snack box
Snack time

How I stop my kids from constantly asking for food.

The holidays are a fabulous time for re connecting with the kids . However it can be a time when the demands (especially for food ) get ramped up a notch or two .

My kids normally start the “can I have ” barrage three minutes after eating breakfast. They would happily eat all day if I let them .

As a parent I obviously want to give them treats but still want to give them a healthy balance of fruit and veg . I also want to curb the constant request for snacks .

How do I stop them mithering ?

Enter the snack box !

What is a snack box ?

It’s a bag or box which I fill at breakfast , it usually has mainly healthy snacks in ,with one or two treats depending on what we have planned for the day .

healthy snack ideas

  • Raisins
  • Dried apricots
  • Dried figs
  • Dates
  • Prunes
  • Cucumber
  • Carrot
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Grapes
  • Apple
  • Crackers
  • Bread sticks
  • Dried apple
  • Dried mango
  • Yogurt

treat ideas

  • Banana chips
  • Biscuits
  • Crisps
  • Sweets
  • Doritos
  • Savoury cheese snacks

I tend to pick two snacks from the healthy list and one from the unhealthy list .

The kids are given the bag at breakfast and they are responsible for when they eat the contents. They are aware that when they have eaten all the snacks there are no more between meals . My five year old makes sure he keeps his treat for watching tv after dinner !

How does it work ?

  • They are in control of when they eat.
  • It takes the guesswork out of snack time.
  • They don’t constantly ask for snacks because they can visually see what is available for the full day .
  • The bags  are portable so we do not get caught out with nothing to eat when we are  out .
  • They can differentiate between the healthy food and the treats .
  • It is a good way to monitor the amount of treats they are having in a day .
  • The kids get excited to see their bags in the morning!

I do not include snacks for after school activities such as swimming , martial arts , rugby etc as I usually take separate snacks for these times.

The great thing is the flexibility and portability these bags give me , and of course the lack of nagging !

I hope you’ve found this helpful , if you’d like to read more tips on healthy eating for your little ones you may like to read How I Got My Kids To Love Eating Vegetables.

Or if you need some motivation for simplifying your kids toys then you may like The Simple Guide Stop Toy Clutter.

I have many healthy recipes and organising ideas on my  Pinterest page, you could also join our friendly Facebook group for daily tips and answers to any organising and cleaning questions you might have .

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in minimal, minimalism, minimalist, Organising

How To Organise Your Kitchen Like A Professional . 

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kitchen organisationHow To Organise Your Kitchen Like A Professional.

Have you always wondered how  the professionals keep their kitchens organised and running smoothly ? Here are some tips that will help you find the sweet spot in your kitchen!

 

Kitchen Organisation.

Utensils.

I have an incredibly tiny kitchen , there is barely any room to swing a mouse let alone a cat!  Cupboard space is very limited with 4 cupboards and 3 drawers, and one tiny counter top .

Coupled with the fact that I am a kitchen gadget fan , this can be quite taxing at times.

 

In my very tiny kitchen you will find :

  • A spiralizer
  • A popcorn maker
  • A slow cooker
  • A juicer
  • A blender
  • A toaster
  • A toastie maker
  • A actifry chip maker

All of which are used on a regular basis.

 

I have a kitchen drawer which holds 

  • 2 steak knives ,
  • a wooden spoon,
  • a pizza cutter,
  • a garlic press,
  • a multipurpose knife,
  •  8 knives , 8 forks, 8 spoons and 3 teaspoons, (the other 5 were thrown in the bin by my 5yr old each time he’d finished his yogurt !)

 

A hanging rack which holds

  • A sieve which my other half won’t discard even though we have a collinder .
  • Measuring spoons which double up as serving spoons
  • A knife sharpener (again my other half’s , I would love to throw this away)
  • Bottle opener.
  • Scissors
  • Fish slice
  • Potato peeler

 

I also own 

  • 4 pans
  • 1 oven tray
  • I casserole dish
  • 1 lasagne tray
  • 1 frying pan
  • 1 muffin tray
  • I cake tin
  • Drinking bottles (stainless steel)
  • Cats dishes (stainless steel)
  • Glasses too many
  • 6 mugs
  • 8 plates, 8 side plates, 8 bowls
  • 2 sandwhich boxes for school
  • Copious amounts of cleaning products (my weakness)
  • I mixing bowl
  • I salad bowl
  • I collinder

Everything else is food .

I do admit to being a slight food hoarder and I’m still trying to work on that .

As I’m writing this list I’m itching to throw some of it away !

 

 

Why am I telling you what I own ?

Because even though I have quite a lot of gadgets and a limited storage, everything is neat and tidy and can be found easily. The kitchen counters are totally clutter free and only have the kettle on top , unless my other half has been using the kitchen!

As you go through my list of things you will notice that , I don’t have hundreds of things I don’t use, this is the key to staying organised. When I open my kitchen drawer I only have one knive to choose from , and I know exactly where it is , I don’t need to rummage through a drawer full of unused stuff to find my favourite knife .

How To Organise Your Kitchen.

After getting rid of:

  • Duplicates
  • Unused gadgets/ utensils /baking trays
  • Broken / items
  • Out of date food
  • Unused food (food bought on a whim which is very unlikely to be eaten)
  • Decorations / nic-nacs
  • Cookery books ( unless used frequently then  please store on the book case with other books )

Clean the area thoroughly.

  • Look at your space and decide what you need by each area for convenience. For instance pans near the cooker. Cups near the kettle and coffee.
  • Stuff used infrequently goes towards the back of the cupboards or up high .
  • I put plates  glasses and  cutlery near the dishwasher as these are washed more often than other items so it’s quicker to put them away .
  • Store washing powder next to the washing machine.
  • Keep everything off counter tops and windowsills.
  • Do not over stack shelves .
  • Decorative items are not for the kitchen they get greasy then dusty, save the decor for somewhere else if you must!

 

Kitchen organisation.

Food.

Food is something we need to keep on top of and one of my personal struggles . Things can quickly go out of date and can  be forgotten about at the back of the fridge and cupboards.

 

Cupboard stock . 

  • Don’t overstock , it’s easier to see what you need if you’ve not got loads of stuff in your cupboards .
  • Get rid of any food you don’t use on a regular basis .
  • Put lesser used food towards the back of the cupboards.
  • Make sure everything is sealed and labelled (preferably in Tupperware) after opening to prevent spillage .
  • Bring stock forward and  place new items behind old after shopping .
  • Wipe the bottom of jars after use before putting away.

 

Fridge Organisation.

  • Always shop the day after you have cleaned out your fridge, this makes it easier to use up leftovers and to unpack fresh food.
  • Use your juicer to use up fruit and vegetables, this can be frozen and added to stews , casseroles and pasta or curry sauces as you need it.
  • Keep a basket in the fridge for food specifically for packed lunches, such as yogurt tubes, fruit, cheese, spreads ( portioned in easy to grab bags for speed in the mornings.)
  • Use a chalkboard or wipe board to write down the  use by dates of fresh food going into the fridge, so when meal planning you can use shorter dated food first at the beginning of the week.

Kitchen rules!

  • No paperwork in the kitchen!  (unless you have a work station in the kitchen keep all paperwork out of there! )
  • Don’t stick things to the outside of the fridge!  Keeping the fridge clutter free makes it easier to clean.
  • Keep the surfaces clutter free at all times, its quick and easy to clear up immediately after every meal when the surfaces are clutter free, the added bonus is that your kitchen will always look immaculate if you follow this rule!
  • Empty the bin daily even if it’s not full, this prevents the less house proud members of the family stacking stuff on top or even next to a full bin ! It also prevents flies and nasty smells!
  • Deal with the dishes after every meal , snack or meal prep, Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink !

If you try to introduce a few of these steps at a time you should start to notice a difference almost immediately.

 

Recommended reading

How To Declutter When You’ve Not Got The Motivation, how to motivate yourself in 10 easy steps

How to Get Rid Of Your Junk Drawer In 1 Easy Step!  

For further reading on minimalism  check out

 The Minimalists

 

 

 

 

CLEAN AND PRISTINE WITH THE ORGANIZER UK ~ get all my favourite products for a clean and healthy home.

EMBRACE YOUR INNER HYGGE~ feel good products for a happy home.

Resources ~ Shop for the books I recommend on organising , simplicity and parenting.

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Protected: Behind the scenes at The Organizer UK HQ. 

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How To Stop Hoarding Books.

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  I Was A Book Hoarder.

I had books everywhere ,

  • stuffed under the bed
  • shoved in the wardrobe
  • in the car
  • anywhere I had space

Every time I passed a bookshop the chances were , I’d buy a book.

I would be offended when people advised me to buy a kindle,  I wasunable to understand why anyone would not prefer the physical version of a book .

I was a book snob . I judged people by their bookshelves and assessed their personality by the book they were reading on the train or the beach .

Then,  I had kids and my days of curling up for hours with a book came to an abrupt end .

I would just about manage to read two pages at bedtime before nodding off into an exhausted sleep.

Unfortunately my book addiction didn’t end and my collection of unread books continued to grow at an alarming rate.

So , how did I eventually reduce the amount of books I physically owned from over 200 to 10 ?

I followed these simple steps.

 

  • Unread books were the first to go . I decided that unless I had rushed home and read the book straight after buying it, was unlikely I was going to read it at all unless it was a reference book .

 

  • Cookbooks were next. They all were donated … Everything was available on the internet so that made it an easy decision for me .

 

  • Next up was books I’d already read. This was not so easy but I figured  that out of  perhaps the 100 books I’d already read, only two had ever been re read by me , so the logic was to donate them .

 

  • Reference books , I kept the ones we used ,nothing else , this too, was relatively easy.

Now, I all I own is

  • a collection of Charles Dickens hardbacks,
  • a handful of reference books ,
  • a few books I’ve re-read
  • And a couple of childhood books .

 

However my book hoarding days are not over , I now have hundreds unread books on my kindle .

I do prefer a physical book  and a  lazy afternoon visiting a beautiful bookshop,

but also like being able to read in the dark, and of course to have an invisible library stuffed to the rafters .

 

For more reading on simplifying

The Minimalists are a great place to start.

 

For further reading you may like

How to declutter When Your Partner Isn’t On Board ~ Simple tips to cut through the clutter!

Is It Finally Time To Unplug And Slow Our Kids Down?

 

 

 

 

 

 

HYGGE ~ let’s get cozy!

SHOP recommended cleaning products

RESOURCES ~ Bookshop

 

 

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How to declutter When Your Partner Isn’t On Board ~ Simple tips to cut through the clutter!

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how to declutter when your partner isn't on board

 

How do I declutter when my partner isn’t on board ?

How do I get my partner to declutter? 

What do I do when he tells me he likes me in everything I want to   throw away ? 

These are all questions I get asked on a regular basis .

It seems that a lot of us “declutterers” and organised people, live with people who will not throw anything away . And talking from exp