Thursday, 24 April 2014

What happened to the declutterung?

OK, next time I make a big declaration on here I must think it through. I started the big declutter last September. Then we went on holiday for 2 weeks in October and although I managed to stay on track a bit between that and Christmas it has just stopped since then, even I was wondering wtf happened to it so you may have thought I'd just given up! But no, I just lost track of time and all of a sudden it's May next week and the decluttering is still not done. The last post was here in December.

A few things I really couldn't plan for, like deciding to climb 2 mountains this year and therefore having to start training and working on fundraising in January, kind of hijacked all my time. However I was so close to the finish line, I had pretty much finished the list, with only the furniture left to go and then rearranging all my new empty space to look gorgeous! To get to the furniture I had to actually get rid of the boxes piled up waiting to go though. The last photo I shared was this, for scale that pile of boxes came to my shoulder height. 
Not a lot happened then for a few months, but in Jan I threw a bit of a strop about this stuff STILL being in the hallway and Tom took 2 boxes of books, DVDs and random stuff to the charity shop. I got rid of the cream chairs of freecycle in January, as we now have our benches. with the dining table. Then last week I got rid of the old turtle tank filter, the old tent with a broken zip and some bubblewrap on freecycle. Now there isn't much left. I took the old computer to my sister last week, and sold the armchair and chest of drawers on Gumtree for £15 so we are really getting there. There is one box still left of random stuff, mostly electronics and Toms old man cave stuff (i.e. an old broken xbox, approx 500 pairs of headphones and random cables) which have lived in this box since we moved in together, but we used to have an attic to keep it in so it was OK, but now it's got be used or got to go.

We are slowly getting there with getting rid of stuff, then last weekend I started moving the furniture around out there. I moved the music equipment from the little drawers in the corner into boxes in the now empty bookshelf, then moved the wardrobe round to by the door and the bookshelves to the opposite wall.
 That's a bouldering mat leant on the wall, nowhere else to keep it for the moment.
All the music equipment that was in the small chest of drawers is in the butterfly boxes (£2.99 from B&M), the gloves and scarves are in the bottom one too.

Look at all that space in the middle!! As a reminder this is how it looked before:

All of the chairs are gone, the small drawers are gone, the brown bookshelf next to the door is now inside the wardrobe, the guitar cases are on top of or inside the wardrobe and half of the books are gone. The only thing I want to do in this room now is get a better shoe rack, one which is enclosed so the shoes don't look so messy and also one that is a bit more sturdy as ours is a bit wobbly.

Now the hallway is full of things for a jumble sale at my fete on 17/5 in aid of Maggie's Centres, so the decluttering has stopped again but I am contributing a load of my own stuff to the jumble sale so hopefully that will be the last and I can share some more before and after pictures!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

If we owned our flat

I hope you all had a good Easter and nice relaxing long weekend, don't forget to enter my Easter giveaway!

This month I have been spending more time outside, and I think if we owned our flat I would spend a bit of money on the garden. It's ok as it is but I would like to add a few more things to maximise the space and make it easier to use.
Nothing too exciting, but I would probably either paint it or lay a patio over the concrete floor and would add in some trellis or hanging baskets to make use of all the vertical space since it is enclosed by 3 walls. Plus some places to attach a washing line would be amazing as we currently just put the clothes airers outside and they fall over if there is anything more that a breeze. I'd also build in some bench seating like these
Then we could get rid of the small patio set and just have built in benches, which we could put plant pots on when not being used as often it is just us 2 in the garden but we do like to have a BBQ every now and then and it would be useful to be able to seat more outside. Something where the seat lifts up for storage inside would also be great to put the hosepipe, gardening tools, gas for the bbq etc inside to make the most of our space. I'd love it to be like an outside room...with seating, pillows, lots of hanging baskets and lights.

I will share an update on the garden soon as a few plants are coming back to life...I think I'll keep a bit more simple this year as I overcrowded the space a little last year but we'll see.

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Friday, 18 April 2014

First Giveaway!

Sorry for not being around so much the last 2 weeks, the 3 posts per week schedule has gone a bit awry but I hope to be back on track next week. I'm super busy sorting out my charity fete (more info here) and confirming vendors for the craft sale part...also making things for my own stall. I've been making lots of candles, and also these fridge magnets.
Perfect for attaching notes or kid art as demonstrated by the Easter card from my niece Grace, who coloured and wrote it all herself, growing up far too fast!

Which brings me to this, my first ever blog give away! I wanted to do one for a while as a thank you to you all for reading the last year or so and while I was making these I thought they would be perfect.
The winner will get to pick a set of 4 in any pattern or the glittery ones, or you can mix and match :)

How to enter
You just need to be a follower of this blog on a blog reader or by email, and comment on this post where you follow. It's that simple. If you don't want to sign up for a blog reader like bloglovin or feedly or blogger then you can follow by email in the toolbar on the right.

The give away ends on the 1st of May, leave your email in the comment for me to contact you if you win!

Happy Easter!

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Sunday, 13 April 2014

Weekend Inspiration

Busy week again this week, so apologies for the lack of posts! I'm arranging a charity fete and craft sale on the 17th of May, I've been confirming vendors this week and generally publicising the day. It is shaping up to be a really good day, so if you're local come and join us - more info here.

Lots of home inspiration to be found though (no matter how busy I am I'll still browse pinterest on the bus!)

This is such a simple idea to brighten up the kitchen and would be so easy to do!
This cozy but muted room looks like somewhere I could spend a Sunday, in front of the fire with a good book.
This is a really great way to bring colour into a bedroom in a non permanent way, ideal for tenants! Now we have our picture hanging arrangement in the bedroom I'd like to try to tie in some colour.
I hope you are having a great weekend so far I'm off for a walk and then climbing later on with Tom for the first time since he sprained his ankle back in Feb, which he is definitely excited to get back to!

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Thursday, 10 April 2014

Renting with Pets – Part 3 – New Home

No post since Sunday, how did it actually get to be Thursday evening already?? I'm arranging a charity event which I'll tell you more about soon and it has taken up a lot of my time this week! For now part 3 of the renting with pets series, you can see part one here and part two here.

I'm not a vet or an expert, but here are my tips on moving to a new rented place with a new pet or an existing pet and how to minimise the stress for you, your pet and your landlord!
  • Moving to a new home will be stressful for an animal, give them space and allow them to get used to their surroundings slowly. It may help to make them a hiding place that they can go to if they feel overwhelmed, Jazzie hid under our built in TV unit for weeks at our last house. Make sure this place is not somewhere they can chew cables/wee in/get stuck though.
  • Even if they know you and you are just moving house it will still be stressful for an animal, so make sure to give them some extra love and attention if they need it. Our cats followed me round like shadows for the first few days in our new flat, and I made sure to reassure them when I could and tried not to get too annoyed with them being under my feet all the time!
  • I’ve found on moving day it’s best to move the pets last, as you can leave them at home for as long as possible where you don’t have to worry about them and they’re comfortable, then bring them to the new house once you have it all moved and they can explore without getting underfoot while you are moving furniture in. Especially with cats as you need to keep them inside for a few weeks at the new property, and while some dogs might happily stay in a crate while you move stuff around them our cats hate being in the pet carriers. We did our last 2 trips with the pets when we moved last time, the turtle tank went in the last run with the van, I carried the turtles in a plastic box in the cab then set up the tank again at the other end and got them into it while Tom and his Dad unpacked the last of the boxes and stuff from the van. I then followed Tom back in the car while he returned the van and we went to pick up the cats as the last job. This was about 9pm and we were almost passed out from tiredness but it made it much easier for us and the cats not to have to worry about them all day until it came time to take them over.
  • Putting pets into a kennel or cattery or having someone look after them while you move is also an option, especially if you’re moving a long distance, aren’t moving straight into your new home or have children or relatives to think about as well.  For us it’s an added expense and we don’t like to put them in a cattery unless we can help it (and we’d still have the turtles to think about any way) but we’ve only ever moved within a half hour drive, if it was longer we’d definitely think about it.
  • Keeping cats inside – Our cats hate being kept inside, Jazzie especially, but I always keep them in for at least 3-4 weeks after moving to make sure they’re settled and know where they live before letting them loose, and wouldn’t let them out until all their jabs were up to date when we first got them. Always make sure they have access to a scratching post or mat while being kept inside or they will take it out on your furniture or door frames!
  • Set the rules from the start. Especially if you get a rescue animal (I always will) they can come with the previous owners bad habits, for example our cats had lived in a house for about a year with nobody living there just someone coming in to feed them. They had come to associate human contact with food so constantly begged and mewed for food (don’t worry they weren’t underfed, the opposite if anything), even if there was food in their bowls every time you went near the kitchen they mewed constantly at you. Eventually they learned that they would get fed regularly and that we were not going to give in and feed them every 10 minutes! They also had become quite desocialised (not sure that’s a word) and walked on the kitchen counters, tried to eat off our plates, wouldn’t come near us for a while etc but we started as we meant to go on and chucked them off the counters every time and we never feed them from our plates so they soon learned not to beg.
  • If your pet is new to you, remember that you are new to it too and let it get used to your habits and the new rules slowly, try not to get frustrated if they don’t want to cuddle straight away or they have a few nervous wee’s on the carpet if they get scared. Trial and error is often the best solution, if they seem to be unhappy with something change it or try to give them an alternative, give them time to get used to the situation and to get used to you.
  • If you live in a flat or have any shared outside space once you start letting your cat or dog outside then it might be a good idea to let the neighbours know that it’s yours, just so they know it’s not lost and if there are any issues they can come to you. For example, our cats sometimes poo in the landlords garden, but they just let us know and we go clean it up, it helps keep neighbourly relations good as we can’t really stop the cats going to the toilet there but don’t want them to have to clean it up.
Next month will be the last in the series, on long term things to think about having a pet and being a tenant. 

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Saturday, 5 April 2014

Weekend Inspiration

Trying to sort fundraising events this week and it is getting a bit stressful! So this weekend I am just sorting my life out, including sorting out the flat so watch out for some finally finished decluttering!

I want this for my living room. This exact one. A mid century style sideboard or credenza. I can never find anything remotely as nice in second hand shops and the new ones are all very expensive...
I'd really like a dining nook in my dream kitchen one day, and this one looks versatile - you could have a family dinner, or an intimate meal or for 2, or a leisurely breakfast...
This dining room fits into a slightly awkward looking space (the photo is taken from the stairs up to the first floor and the patio doors to outside cover the other wall) so well and is so simple yet stylish.

Off to sort out the hallway now, have a great weekend everyone!

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