Sunday, 31 October 2010

Best Before? Better After!

The next thing I tackled on my tidying spree was the kitchen cupboard.  In my last post I wondered where I'd house the crisps recently evicted from the board game cupboard (yes, I know, clearly not where crisps should live!).  My friends said they keep all of their food in the kitchen (they are very smart people) so I figured I'd try and find room in the cupboard for my crisps to live.  

Annoyingly I didn't take a picture of the cupboard before going tidying crazy, but it was about as full as this one here if not worse.  There were quite a few things in there that I'd kept for the occasions when I cook for myself if Ian's out - but those occasions NEVER happen, we eat together every night (or I eat out and he gets take away), so I figured it was time to throw them all out.  We found stuff in the cupboard with best before dates in the year 2007! Why on earth did we move all of this stuff from our flat into the house?! 

Here is the new cupboard, all ready to welcome the crisps (which are non-existent now because they were also past their best before dates!). 

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

If it's broke... throw it away!!

The book talks a lot about broken things, and how, if after a month or two, you've not fixed it, chuck it. It got me thinking about broken things round our house. There's the camera my sister murdered about a year ago, Ian's laptop where the fans are bust, the phones (yes, multiple) with the broken screens, all waiting to be fixed. 

Then there's the non-fixable things. We got new plates when we moved and put the old, chipped ones in a cupboard for emergencies. We have 8 good plates, so I brought up the topic with Ian about chucking the old ones. He mentioned Christmas and pancake day when we have lots of people over, how would we cope with just 8 plates?! I thought to myself though, which is worse, no plate or an old chipped plate? And why do I have to waste a whole shelf in my cupboard for something I may only need two times a year? 

So, at about 10pm, whilst in bed on my iPod, I reserved another plate set from Argos to match our good plates.  Now we have enough plates for emergencies, and they can live in the same cupboard as the good plates! Problem solved....although, where shall I put my crisps now?! 
Yay - new plates!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Clutter Control

Well, my friend is back from America, and, being the good friend I am, I've suggested staying at home to get over the jet lag instead of coming over to inspect my tidying! She probably knew I'd never get it done in time but I think she appreciates that I've made an effort at least and there is improvement.  To help increase the level improvement, she bought me back this book - 10 minute Clutter Control Room by Room.  

I'm still reading the introductory chapters about what my clutter says about me, and general tips to decluttering, but I'm then going to attempt using it on a room to see if it works.  Most of it makes sense to me, and there's some good ideas on how to make tidying a game (although as Ian is upstairs in bed ill, I think I'll let him off having to play).  But some things I just don't get (and maybe this is where my clutter problem comes from!)  How can I throw away all my letters? I love receiving mail and so I keep it all - sometimes to remind me to reply, but mainly just because - is that wrong?  If someone takes the time to write to me - who am I to throw that out? Obviously, I'm not talking about typed letters here - maybe that's what this tip in the book is referring to - I understand that I can throw those away, and I do.  What do you think?

I decided to walk through the house and find something to chuck - the book says find 10 things, but it's the first night so I figured baby steps were acceptable.  I found a whole bag of word fridge magnets that I acquired from my student days.  They've been on the top of my fridge for a while now - mainly because I think I prefer the uncluttered look of the fridge door this way, and I'm past writing silly things with them too.  And yet they've still lived for 17 months on top of the fridge! Why?! So... off to the charity shop they go.  

While I was removing them from the top of the fridge, I wondered about the rest of the stuff on the top of the fridge too - and I decided it annoyed me, but I'm at a loss as to what to do with it.  On top of the fridge is kitchen roll, tissues and toilet roll.  Where do you keep these things in your homes? (I should point out the fridge is next to the bathroom, so it's not all that weird having toilet roll there).  It just looks messy - I'm happy with the convenience of it, and the proximity to the desired end points of each item, but how can I make it look nicer?

I suppose just the fact that I'm wondering these things is a good sign! Right - back to reading my book I go - I promise I'll get back to food soon! 

Monday, 18 October 2010

Tidying Fun

Ha - fun?! And tidying? Never!

I don't like tidying, but I'm fed up of living in a cluttered home.  I don't want to get rid of anything (I love my stuff), but I'd like it to all have homes.

So, 3 new cupboards built, one bookcase, over 3500 photos sorted into albums, about 5 bags of stuff to take to the charity shop (OK, there is some stuff I don't need) and I'm slightly closer to utopia.  But not quite there yet.  I've still got piles of paperwork to home, a whole bunch of crafty things to box up nice and neatly, about 3500 more photos to sort, and a small backlog of washing to get through and put away.  There's also a massive pile of CD's in the study to go through, kitchen gadgets to find homes for, and all the hoovering and dusting still to do. 

We have actually had some fun along the way - yesterday we put some of the spare duvets into vacuum bags to store in the monks bench in the bedroom.  It was pretty fun to watch the bags slowly shrinking, and we decided that one of our cuddly toys might enjoy the experience so we put him in and suffocated him! 

Don't worry, we let him back out shortly after and he's perfectly fine, chilling upstairs with his friends.

See - tidying can be fun!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Too Busy To Blog

When we moved back in May 2009, we had a lot of stuff.  Seriously, tonnes.  Some of this stuff is still in boxes in the back room of our house.  The rest either has a home, or is cluttering up the surfaces and floors of all the other rooms in the house.  

This is some of the stuff all packed ready to go
My dining room after we moved in

My friend has gone on an American road trip for three weeks, and I challenged myself to sort out all this clutter and mess while she was gone.  She's been gone a week and a half and I'm starting to panic.  It started out well, I purchased some new flat pack storage to help give some of the clutter proper homes.  Ian made the bookcase, and I decided that I'd store my photo albums on it.  This opened a big can of worms, because I had a large box of photos waiting to go into said albums sat around, and so, instead of just putting the albums in their new home, I spent 4 days sorting photos.  I'm yet to complete this photo sorting task, but I have 11 full albums for my bookcase so that's progress at least!

I've still got so much to do so I'll not really be blogging until it's done.  To be honest, if she gets back and it's not done, I'm pretty sure she wont shout at me (actually, she might!)  But I'll definitely shout at myself.  If I had a tidy house, think of all the time I'd have to do things I want to do.  Like, just sit reading my magazine without noticing the clutter and feeling guilty.  And having people round at short notice without getting stressed out.