Friday, 30 August 2013

Friday Inspiration

Short week this week due to the bank holiday Monday, I almost forgot to write this post as didn't think it was Friday yet...

Off to a wedding fair at our venue this weekend, and starting the big declutter!

Of course I've still been looking on Pinterest (it helps that we have a new laptop - more on that next week)

I love this oven, and the shelf above adds some nice detail
This just looks so cosy!
This is the view from someone's kitchen! Seriously click through this one the place is gorgeous
Have great weekends all xx

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

This is how we do it

It's Friday night, and I feel alright....had that song in my head all day! Any way this is how we get started on the decluttering mission.
I think most people (excepting the few super minimalist tidy people) get the feeling sometimes that their home is just too full of stuff, and it gets frustrating trying to store, organise and clean all of it. When you think about it do you really need half of it? Most likely the answer is no, so how do you go about getting rid of what you don’t need?
The first step is accepting that you want to get rid of your clutter and that getting rid of possessions is a positive thing, the house will be tidier, easier to clean, look better and you will have more freedom to decorate without lots of junk in the way. If you’re anything like me you have loads of things you have been meaning to get rid of or do something with but they have just ended up hanging around because decluttering the whole house seems such a huge job and it’s easy to get discouraged or not find the time for it.
I originally found this method here and just adjusted it to fit our home. It’s not rocket science, but the key is to break everything down into really small areas and do them one per day, allowing just 15-20 minutes per day. Allow more than one day for things that will take longer than 20 minutes. This keeps me on track and I don’t get bogged down into spending hours at a time going through one area and losing sight of the goal.
It also helps to find the time if it’s only a 20 minute task, plan around days when you know you won’t have time. If you don’t get to it just try to do it the next day, don’t be tempted to do more than one area at a time though. The aim is to make this easy and kind of fun and piling up the jobs until the weekend will just make it seem daunting and like a big task. It helps to do them in order as it keeps you on track rather than putting off the bigger stuff, but last time I did this I sometimes substituted smaller jobs on days when I was unexpectedly busy. If you start an area and realise it’s going to take longer than 20 minutes just add on another day for it.
Set up 3 boxes or areas for ‘bin’, ‘sell’ and ‘donate’ and put things into these each day. The goal is to put things into these boxes every day, so to get rid of something from every area you go through. It might be more from some areas than others but you must put something in at least one of these boxes every day. Rather than having to make loads of trips to the tip, charity shop or car boot sales it worked better for me to get rid of everything at the end, and it’s such a morale booster to see the piles getting bigger!
Really be ruthless and try to keep the image of your new clean, tidy and clutter free home in your mind! If something isn’t useful, beautiful or sentimental then it goes. Think about what other lovely things you can put in place of things you never use or don’t really like.
It’s useful to have a ‘maybe’ box for stuff you aren’t sure what to do with, as it’s better to remove them from their place to see if you can live without them rather than leave them in place to decide later as 9 times out of 10 I will just end up leaving it there! Also I tended to put stuff in there of Toms which I wanted to check with him first, and stuff which I didn’t think was ours and needed to return to whoever I had borrowed it from or whoever had left it at ours. I also had a small ‘repair/projects’ box, for things like clothes that need mending, stuff you’re keeping for a project you haven’t gotten round to yet, or stuff you are keeping to repurpose or renovate. Give yourself a deadline for each thing to be out of that box and either fixed or gotten rid of, and be realistic on how likely it is that you will get round to it – if you’ve been keeping it for a long time and haven’t found a use for it how likely is it that you ever will?
The list for our flat is:
1.       Hallway – Books
2.       Hallway – Cupboard
3.       Hallway – Small ottomans
4.       Hallway – Music equipment
5.       Hallway – Shoes
6.       Hallway – Surfaces
7.       Hallway – Misc
8.       Dining – Table
9.       Dining – Boxes on tank
10.   Dining – Pet supplies
11.   Dining – Misc
12.   Bedroom – Chest of drawers
13.   Bedroom – Kate’s wardrobe
14.   Bedroom – Tom’s wardrobe
15.   Bedroom – Makeup and cosmetics
16.   Bedroom – Ottomans
17.   Bedroom – Ottomans
18.   Bedroom – Under the bed
19.   Bedroom – Under the bed
20.   Bedroom – Trunk
21.   Bedroom – Drawers
22.   Bedroom – Surfaces
23.   Bedroom – Misc
24.   Living room – DVD’s
25.   Living room – Corner by DVD’s
26.   Living room – CD’s
27.   Living room – Corner by CD’s
28.   Living room – Box under coffee table
29.   Living room – Ornaments, frames, candles
30.   Living room – Coffee table
31.   Living room – Misc
32.   Kitchen – Top of microwave/fridge
33.   Kitchen – Cupboard by fridge
34.   Kitchen – Cupboard under sink
35.   Kitchen – Cupboard by oven
36.   Kitchen – Drawer
37.   Kitchen – Worktops
38.   Kitchen – Tops of cabinets
39.   Kitchen – Food
40.   Kitchen – Misc
41.   Bathroom – Drawers
42.   Bathroom – Shower caddies
43.   Bathroom – Cupboard – cleaning supplies
44.   Bathroom – Cupboard – Towels, medicine box, misc
45.   Bathroom – Surfaces
46.   Bathroom – Misc
47.   Garden – Pots
48.   Garden – Plants
49.   Garden – Under steps
50.   Garden – Under tarpaulin
51.   Garden – Misc
52.   Whole flat – Furniture
53.   Whole flat – Ornaments, frames, candles etc
54.   Whole flat – Misc
Who wants to play along at home? We can compare tidy clutter free homes at the end :) The original list included a lot of things I didn’t need like kids rooms/toys etc and second bathrooms and bedrooms etc so modify it for your home and schedule. Leave the furniture until last because once you’ve gotten rid of a lot of stuff you may be able to get rid of furniture you didn’t think you’d be able to. I also added a ‘misc’ day for each room on the end of that room, so once you have done all the areas you can think of just pass over that room again to pick up any things that you might have missed or didn’t fit into a category.
At the end of the list (Or when we run out of space to keep the stuff waiting to go) we go to the tip with the ‘bin’ stuff, start on selling the things in the ‘sell’ box so list a load of stuff on EBay or in the paper or do a car boot sale, then do a trip to the charity shop with the ‘donate’ pile. Last time anything that didn’t sell at the car boot sale went straight with the ‘donate’ box to the charity shop. Anyone not from the UK or not familiar with a car boot sale it’s kind of our version of a yard sale, we take all our stuff to one of these sales and park up and sell it from the boot of the car.
I’ll probably need to do this once a year as the clutter does build up pretty quickly, but each time it should get easier and I’ll try to keep the amount of junk we keep to a minimum and do this more informally as I go along rather than letting it build up.
I'm going to get started this weekend and cannot wait to start getting stuff sorted out!

Monday, 26 August 2013

Before the big declutter

I'll post our list for the big declutter on Wednesday, so if you're playing along at home get ready to get rid! See last weeks post here on the method.

I thought I'd share some before photos today because A.the whole flat is clean after a bank holiday housework blitz and B. I'm hoping it will look a bit different in a few weeks!

The Kitchen - Problem areas:
Top of the microwave
Food cupboard
The thing on top of the hob is the oven shelves soaking in the overnight oven cleaner
The Living Room - Problem Areas:
Box under coffee table
Corners by the bookshelves

The dining room/hallway (not really sure what to call his room now it's no longer the 'office') - Problem Areas:
Shelves under the turtle tank

The Bathroom - Problem Areas:
Built in cupboard

The Hallway - Problem Areas
Music Equipment
Computer Equipment
Chairs (we have 4 dining chairs and an armchair in here and never sit on any of them!)

This box is also still here, Tom needs to sort it out or it will just be labelled 'Sell' and become the start of the car boot pile...
The Bedroom - Problem Areas:
Under the bed
The bag on the bed is full of clothes that were on ebay and ended yesterday and I'm either sending off or if they didn't sell getting rid of elsewhere

So that's our flat as of yesterday, pretty clean and tidy but cluttered in some areas. I can't wait to get rid of some things and make some room!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Friday inspiration

Pretty good week here, we had a great outdoor bouldering session on Sunday, I was terrified as its the first time I've been outside the boulder room and it was pretty high up, but I made it to the top of both climbs.

Action shot!

I look like I'm moving there but doubt I am, I was probably hyperventilating and trying to make myself go for the next hold. Sounds like I don't enjoy it but I promise I do! Just need to get used to being high up.

Any way this week has been pretty climbing heavy with that and 2 boulder room sessions, but still found time for some home inspiration.

The lavender is drying nicely so I'm looking at different things to do with it, I'll make some drawer and wardrobe fresheners but something like this is also an option
I love this bright airy living room, the white back ground and bright colours are really cheery and informal, and the midcentury furniture is gorgeous!
This kitchen is so colourful and different, not something I'd chose myself but if I inherited it in a house or it was in somewhere I was staying I'd love it!

Looking forward to a quiet and productive weekend, hope you all have a good one!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013


I won my first ever blog give away prize recently and they arrived on Monday!

The give away was from sfgirlbybay and the prints are by Emily Barletta, from Mammoth and co. I'm debating where to put them at the moment, any ideas? I might wait until after the big declutter to find them the perfect the moment they are pretty safe on the radiator but once we start using the heating again the cats like to sit up there and would just knock them off. I never win anything though so I'm pretty chuffed to have them!

Monday, 19 August 2013

The Plan

When we moved it seemed like I got rid of half of our possessions as we were downsizing, yet we are still overrun with stuff! I don't think the issue is that the flat is too small, 2 people should be able to live in a large-ish one bedroom flat without struggling for space. The problem is we have too much stuff. I think most people do (people I know anyway) and although I'd love to be minimalist I just keep too much of life's detritus and most of it is stuff I could live without.

I knew we needed to get serious about getting rid of stuff last year before we moved when we started looking at town centre flats, while we had a garage, spare room and attic full of stuff. I'd pinned this a while before '8 weeks to a less cluttered home' which as we had been given 2 months notice worked out perfectly! You can go to the website here.

The Plan

I want to do this decluttering method again as we still have too much clutter. When I did this last time I didn't know where we would be living, and we brought stuff with us that we don't need.

The approach is to really break down your home into areas, not just 'bedroom' but into really small areas, like doing the drawers one day, the wardrobe another then under the bed last. I adjusted her way a little as it has days for kids rooms, second bathrooms (I wish) etc, but I used the days I wouldn't be doing these areas on the areas I thought would need more than the days allocated (our attic and garage mainly). It really helps to have this plan and to tailor it to your home, I had it stuck on the fridge and ticked off each day once I had done.

Breaking it all down also makes it a little less scary, instead of worrying that you are chucking too much stuff out you're only putting a few things a day into the 'bin' 'sell' or 'charity' piles. However, the pile of stuff to get rid of grew so rapidly and we made £60 at a car boot sale and made numerous trips to the tip. I also had the rule that anything that went into the 3 piles didn't come back out, anything that didn't sell at the car boot got donated and didn't come back into the house.

I'm going to adjust the list again for our home and will share it next week, and I'll hopefully get started soon on getting rid of all of our clutter! It might be fun (My idea of fun anyway haha) if you want to play along at home and we can compare our lovely clutter free homes at the end  :)

Friday, 16 August 2013

Friday Inspiration

How has everyones week been? We had a great weekend, busy but fun with a bit of (not very successful) outdoor climbing in the forest and a barbecue. We're hoping to try somewhere more suitable for some outdoor climbing Sunday if the weather isn't too terrible (I hear it's not meant to be great) and off to macgicland on Saturday taking my niece for her birthday present.

I've not really been on Pinterest this much so this first one is a bit of a 'golden oldie' that I pinned ages ago, it was brought back to my attention this week by a flurry of repins. In our old house I had wanted to paint the walls a soft green colour like this, but I also really liked the bookshelf in the alcove and the orange patterned bedding. I wouldn't ever think to pair orange and green but it works here.
I really liked the inside/outside vibe in this house, and the fluid curved line of the ceiling above letting in more light from above is a really great feature
I'm not usually one for a rustic style bathroom (see last Fridays post!) but the aqua colour here caught my eye, we used to have a slanted loft ceiling in the bathroom in an old house which worked really well.
Have great weekends all, we're going to be busy which is great but also means tonight I'll be trying to do all the housework!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

If we owned our flat

If we bought our flat tomorrow I'd rip this out asap
It's a pretty good idea having a built in doormat but it gets dirty pretty fast and is really hard to clean. Other doormats I've had I've just been able to put in the washing machine when they get really gross, I tend to have a bristly one outside then just a mat inside. The bristles catch on the hoover or any cloth I try to clean it with and all come out so every time I clean it I just end up with a hoover or cloth full of bristles and the mat looks no better. I tried to shampoo it once and it soaked up all the shampoo and went all lumpy so I had to dry it out with a dehumidifier! Anyone have any tips?

Also the cats pee on it, they rarely ever wee anywhere outside the litter tray (usually if they do it's our fault like if we accidentally shut them in a room away from the tray) but I think the texture and deep pile is inviting to them. This means we have to keep the hallway door closed all the time when it would be nice to have it open more often to open the space up a bit. I've doused it in the cat repellent spray to try keeping them away but that wears off after a while and then I'm back cleaning up cat wee!

Monday, 12 August 2013


Before we moved I got rid of tons of stuff, and I'll write a post on how we did that as I followed a pretty effective method and I'm planning to redo the process soon, however that'll be a pretty wordy post and I had a busy weekend! So today we have the second phase of 'the big declutter' (yeah I gave it a project name), following the bedroom sort out and clothes cull I was on a roll so was looking for more stuff to get rid of.

The entrance hall is another room that just seems to collect junk, so first to get the bin liner treatment were the coats on the door.
We (I) have loads, and really I only need one winter coat, one light summer jacket and one blazer/smart jacket. I had 3 winter coats, 2 blazers and 3 summer jackets. Most of these went in the charity shop bin liner and now it looks like this.
Then onto the wardrobe, we got it for storage but it had gotten a bit packed with stuff all just shoved in haphazardly so it was hard to get anything else in there and it was hard to get anything out. So after a reorganise it was all stacked nicely and there's room for more. Sometimes you don't even need to get rid of things just arranging them properly makes more space (It was a bit like tetris only heavier, more awkward and a lot less fun).

Then onto this box. This box has been in here since we moved (9 months ago), you can just about see it tucked under the chairs in the photos above. This box does not contain anything that belongs to me. This box is full of things that were mostly never used at our last house and I am reasonably confident will not be used here.
I pulled it out from under the chairs and the items in there need to actually be used or put somewhere that is not  a cardboard box on the floor or they will go in the bin...enough said I think!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Friday Inspiration

Pretty big week for us, we set a date for the wedding :)

There' s a post on the wedding blog about choosing a venue, we had fun going round all the places and having a nose - it helped it was in the middle of the heat wave and we got some nice day trips out of it! The last few days we've been finishing booking our holiday as well so lots of nice things being arranged in this household!

This weekend I'm going to for lunch with my mum tomorrow for her birthday, then to Toms mums for a barbecue. Sunday we're hoping to go and do some outdoor climbing in the forest so fingers crossed for good weather.

On to the home inspiration...

Another pin that started as a wedding one but would be good in the home as well, these painted wooden vases could easily be DIYed or they are pretty reasonable in this etsy shop
Looking through my past pins it appears my taste in bathrooms is pretty clear, I like a classic bath (claw foot is best), dark wall colours with classic and simple yet luxurious detailing...perfect example
This is about as opposite to our basement flat as possible (It's a loft), I'm quite jealous of the light and the double height ceilings but the exposed brick just finishes it off.
Have a fun weekend everyone!xx

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Bedroom Brainstorming

The bedroom is the room that I most dislike in our flat, the new wardrobes help but the rest of the furniture is so mismatched as it just always looks such a mess as nothing has a home and just seems to be out all the time.

exhibit A
The trunk just collects junk, we got new pillows and want to keep the old ones as spares but they were waiting for us to find somewhere for them. We got memory foam pillows when we got the new mattress and we love the mattress but the pillows are very hard and we never really got used to it. So we got the 'super bounce' overstuffed pillows from silent night and love them!
This side of the room is also really cluttered and my hair products, makeup and jewellery seems to have spread over 2 areas although I don't actually have that much!
We also have to leave the drawers out from the wall a little so we can get to the window to open and close it, so it just kind of floats in the middle of the space
 It's full of clothes, tops in the middle drawer and dresses in the bottom
However I also have dresses in my wardrobe, which is looking a little crowded, but I thought I could maybe get all my dresses together in the wardrobe.
 I had a brutal clothes cull, the pile is for Ebay, one bin liner for the bin and the other for charity
I bought a few vacuum bags from the pound shop a while ago, so also vaccum packed a few things (like winter clothes and holiday stuff) and slid it under the wardrobe
I then swapped the drawers and chest around, much better! I can step on the trunk to open the window so it can go right up against the wall. This was actually all I set out to do that day and it kind of spiralled into a complete reorganisation of all my stuff!
It's nicer to have less furniture going on in this corner, it looked a bit crowded with all the drawers.
I've got all my clothes together on one side of the room as well as all my hair stuff and makeup which is nice.
Although my shoes, bags and belts are still in the trunk

I managed to get all of my makeup jewellery and hair stuff together here after a bit of a throw out, I'm not a big makeup wearer yet still had tons of it! So now all I have is makeup in the bottom drawer of the wicker drawers, hair stuff in the top, my glasses are in the silver bucket with my hairbrush. Underneath are my jewellery boxes and larger hair stuff like cans of hairspray, my hair dryer etc.
 I also cleared the top of these drawers so Tom can have a bit of room for his stuff
And look, empty drawers! I'm not going to fill them for the sake of it and keeping them for if we need space, the top one is Toms man drawer, and the second one has all my glasses cases and a few random things in. I managed to get all my underwear and socks and tights which were in here into the chest of drawers in place of the dresses (which I did manage to get into the wardrobe) so all my stuff is together in one place.
It looks so much clearer and cleaner in here now, the mismatched furniture is still a slight issue but we will eventually get a new bed and I will do something with those drawers above I just need to figure out what. I've debated painting them, covering them, just getting rid of them (reluctant to do as we struggle for storage in some areas), moving them to another room...but nothing has really clicked or inspired me yet.