Posted in minimalism, minimalist, Organising, parenting

How To Get Ready For Winter

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  Deicer and an  Ice Scraper  for the car, top up your car’s  Ready Mixed Antifreeze and place some Soft Warm Car Blankets in the back seat for cold mornings and evenings.

Put all wellys and boots on  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.

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 . 

 

 

 

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

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How To Organise Your Kitchen Like A Professional . 

kitchen organisation

How 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 any fruit and vegetables, this can then 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 chalkboard or a  wipe board  to write down the  use by/ best before 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 quicker and easier 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

 

 Check out these kitchen timesavers to help you keep your family eating healthy meals every day with little effort.


 

 

 

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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Posted in minimalism, minimalist, Organising

How To Stop Hoarding Books.

 

  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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Posted in minimal, minimalism, minimalist, Organising

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

 

 

 

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 experience there’s nothing more frustrating!

So what do we do when we live with someone who just won’t simplify?

Throw away their stuff and hope they don’t notice ?

Nag them consistently untill they comply?

Argue constantly about their clutter ? 

Of course none of these are the answer although I bet most of us have tried them in vain ! My favourite  decluttering and tidying guru Marie Kondo covers this very subject in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying and  Spark Joy: An Illustrated Guide to the Japanese Art of Tidying

Her theory is that if we just concentrate on our own “stuff” we will soon realise that other people’s stuff is not the real problem .

So, I tried it and guess what ? It became totally apparent that his stuff was a tiny proportion of the clutter in our house .

Marie guides us through our clutter step by step working through every single possession we own in the following order:

  1.  Clothes,
  2.  Miscellaneous,
  3.  Paperwork
  4. Then, finally sentimental .

She tells us to pile everything on the bed and hold each item , if it brings you joy you keep it, if it doesn’t , you don’t it’s as simple as that .

how to declutter when your partner is not on board

I tried this method and became hooked very quickly

  • I discarded or donated approx 70 % of my stuff
  • I only kept approximately 30% of my original possessions .
  • Everything that made it into the 30% of keepers were things I loved and this in turn made me happy .
  • With that , came space , clarity, serenity and tidiness .
  • Everyone else  in the house  kept the  empty spaces tidy and stopped piling stuff up .
  • No one left anything lying around
  • People in the house including the kids seemed to  start to declutter their items without being asked to.
  • Toys only took a few minutes maximum to tidy up each evening before bed.
  • Cleaning the house was quicker and easier.

Getting your partner to declutter is simply not the way to tackle things at this stage, start on your stuff, move on to the kids stuff  and watch how the whole house seems to get tidier as people notice the empty spaces!

To my surprise I learnt that if I keep my stuff in order everyone else will too!

What do I do when he tells me to keep something I don’t wear because he likes it ?

This is a tricky one and one only you can decide but my rules for this would be to donate if

  1. It doesn’t fit
  2. It is uncomfortable in any way.
  3. It doesn’t make you feel a million dollars
  4. It is old,worn and generally grotty
  5. you don’t love it !

I would never tell my spouse what to wear and I wouldn’t expect him to tell me what to wear so its an easy one for me ! Luckily my other half doesn’t notice what goes in and out of my wardrobe so that helps !

 

If you’d like read more in depth about these decluttering methods you can read how to here.

Another method I love is  the  Flylady , I love this method because she breaks things down into 31 baby steps and I like bite sized pieces especially when someone is  also guiding  me when to do something!


                   Todays favourite products !

      1. Dettol Original Liquid Antiseptic Disinfectant I use this daily and it is definitely my go to product for keeping the house smelling fresh. Use it in the areas you have decluttered to really give yourself a fresh clean space ready to organise.
      2. Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner . I love this little machine as it is so easy to use , lightweight and portable with no cord !  It enables me to get into all the little nooks and crannies,  it also gives me approx. 40 minutes of cleaning time and doubles up as hand held for the car or the kid’s mess. I find it really powerful and it covers all my decluttering jobs with little effort.
      3. Dyson Groom Tool attachment for dogs . This is a fantastic product which attaches to most Dyson upright models and grooms your dog as the all hair gets sucked straight up the vacuum! Please note this is not compatible with the cordless Dyson Vacuum cleaner. Let’s keep that freshly decluttered floor free from pet hairs!
      4. Chilly Bottles Double Walled Reusable Bottle – 18hrs Hot & 24 Cold – 260ml) I wouldn’t be without this little fella, it’s  my favourite water bottle and I’ve got it in several colours. It keeps water icy cold for 24 hours and hot drinks hot for 18  hours so it is a really versatile bottle which is a go to in any season. My kids love them . They are great for those of us who are trying to live a more conscious  lifestyle as they are stainless steel and save on waste , they are sturdy and will outlive most other plastic bottles. I have found them easy to carry in a bag as they are condensation free. That said , it’s my go to bottle for having at my side  to keep me hydrated as I go through my many jobs of the day !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in minimal, minimalism, minimalist, Organising

How to achieve your summer minimal wardrobe. 

capsule wardrobe

So now is a great time to dig out the summer clothes and organise a nice little summer capsule wardrobe !

Decluttering

 

  • Step 1. Empty your wardrobe of anything you know you will not wear untill next winter We will be heading towards making a wardrobe which is both winter and summer compatible but I shall be doing a seperate post on that at a later date . So for now empty everything on your bed . Now is a good time to assess what hasn’t been worn , what was uncomfortable , what didn’t make you feel a million dollars , or anything you don’t love . If it fits any of those catagories donate immediately !
  • Step 2 . Wash but don’t iron as you’ll end up doing it again next winter ! Make sure to put it all away in storage.
  • Step 3. Get out all summer clothes . Go though each item . Do you love it ? Does it fit ? Does it make you feel fabulous? If not donate it !

 

 

If you’re struggling with letting go  of any items you may like to read this post

  1. How I Started Living With Less.
  2. How To Declutter When You’ve Not Got The Motivation, how to motivate yourself in 10 easy steps

 

  • Step 4 wash and put everything back in your wardrobe .

You should now have heaps of space to view your minimal wardrobe and should be able to create many more outfits with the clothes you have kept .

  • Step 5 repeat steps 1-3 with coats , boots and shoes !
  • Step 6 . Assess the gaps in your wardrobe, decide the key items which would complete your outfits . Write them down and keep in your purse so you buy things you need rather than impulse bargains next time you shop
  • Step 7 decide on 3 basic colours to have  as your base colours and add one splash of colour .

My basic colours  are:

Charcoal grey

Navy

Black

And my splash of colour is bright red.

Only shop within your chosen four colours !

Stick to this rule when shopping for clothes and you will find shopping so much simpler.

My recommended reading on the subject of minimal wardrobes are http://www.unfancy.com and http://www.theminimalists.com for amazing inspiration and advice on how to live with less items in your closet!

 

 

 

 

CLEAN WITH THE ORGANIZER UK ~ all my favourite products for a clean home.

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Posted in frugal living, minimal, minimalism, minimalist, simplicity

How to stop buying more stuff!

how to stop buying more stuff

How to stop buying more stuff

Whilst sitting in the doctors waiting room yesterday I picked up a glossy magazine  and the headlines screamed out…….

  • “The must have hand bag! “
  • “Why I can’t live without velvet! “
  • “Life changing eyeshadow pallet!”
This got me thinking , why is it a “must have handbag ?”

So let’s break it down ,  it’s  literally just a handbag that someone has decided you must have!

  • If you want a handbag  choose one that you like, not because someone in a marketing office has told you it’s a must have .
  • You have your own style and don’t need a “must have” hand bag to validate that .
  • The “why I can’t live without velvet” … person  has a serious issue, I urge them to try to live without velvet , I’m pretty sure that they’ll  survive!
  • As for the “life changing eyeshadow pallet ” in my opinion , becoming a parent, losing your job, moving abroad are “life changing ” events an eyeshadow pallet is not life changing in most cases!
  •  The headline which really caught my attention for all the wrong reasons was
    “the lipstick to make you beautiful” , as if any one product could make anyone person beautiful .

I agree with Audrey Hepburn who said that “the most beautiful thing anyone can put on their face is a smile “.

Gratitude , kindness empathy and humility make a person beautiful , these are qualities which shine from within , these are the lessons we should be teaching our children .

So how  do we stop buying more stuff?

What to do right now to see your money grow!
  • Stop falling for the constant consumerism  mumbo jumbo that advertisers are constantly bombarding us with, read between the lines!
  • Bear in mind we don’t  need anything other than the basics to keep us alive!
  • Stop buying “stuff” which will end up in the charity shop in six months time .
  • Start instead to save your  money.
  • Start a small emergency fund to cover any repairs or breakages.
  • Pay off your debts.
  • Never spend more than you earn.
  • Get rid of the credit cards.
  • Follow the principle that  ” a penny saved is a penny earned”

 

Try this for a month and you’ll be surprised exactly how different things can be by wanting less. After a short time you will have more financial freedom to  do the things you really love and  to create memories.

 

If you enjoyed this post you may like

 

 

 

 

CLEAN WITH THE ORGANIZER UK ~ all my favourite products for a clean home.

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Posted in minimal, minimalism, minimalist, Organising, parenting

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Posted in minimal, minimalist, Organising

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

junk drawer organisation

 

We have all probably got one or have had one …

The junk drawer, aptly named because it’s the drawer where you stick all the stuff you can’t be bothered to put away .

We use the excuse that we need to keep “it” in this drawer because it’s “handy” . Not so handy having to dig through reams of other junk when we need “it” though is it ?

  • Let’s examine the typical contents of the junk drawer.
  • Tape measure .. Should be in the toolbox .
  • Phone chargers …. Should be at the charging station .
  • Sticky tape … Should be with the stationary.
  • Pens … Should also be with the stationary .
  • Nail clippers …. Should be with the nail stuff.
  • Random keys … Should be on the key hook.
  • Random cables … Should be in the cable box .
  • Hair bobbles . … Should be in the bedroom
  • Medicine …. Medicine cabinet
    You catch my drift…..

 

How to get rid of the junk drawer in one easy step !

Everything residing in your junk drawer belongs somewhere else in the home .
Tip it all out and go and put it all away . No more trying to organise the junk drawer, just  go and put it all away.
Now , use the newly empty drawer to get something off your counter tops or surfaces and out of sight and voila you’ve killed two birds with one stone !

 

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