Cupboard Sort Out – Before and After

 

It’s been a while since I’ve done a decent job in sorting, decluttering and tidying. The whole house is starting to feel a bit neglected, and messy.

This Sunday afternoon, with the school holidays just two weeks away (and more mess and chaos imminent), I decided to do a quick clear out of the left side of the upstairs cupboard. I realise that to some my cupboard will already look pretty tidy. It has been a long journey to get here and we are still downsizing and learning to live without so much excess. However, we have already let go of so much (and feel so much lighter for it), that it may look as though we have no need to sort through again.

What I will say though is:

a) things have a habit of accumulating when you are looking the other way,
b) it is good to regularly question the value of things you don’t touch from year to year, and
c) there is never really an ‘end’ to living a more minimalist lifestyle.

Needs and wants change with the seasons and years, and the ebb and flow of our possessions reflects this. But if it is all arrival and never departure then gradually your life becomes fossilised as layers and layers of stuff that (let’s be honest), are going to be someone else’s job to sort through when you die.

So, out of the cupboard today came:

  • Sony laptop box – to sell with the laptop as I have a desktop and really don’t need both.
  • Large baby floor blanket – donate
  • Spare cushion – replaced the old one downstairs
  • Picture that C painted when he was 4 that I love. I put it in the frame properly, not perfect (perfectionism is something I’m trying to overcome), but just got it done, then hung it on the wall. C loved having his picture put on display (and it was a 2 year-old job off the list).
C’s picture, kept in a frame to protect it for two years but never finished off. Until now!
  • Portraits of my mum, and several old relatives from my Dad’s side. Put up the ones of my mum, Emanuel (my great great grandfather), and Amelia (my great grandmother). Stored two others behind these in the frame.
Portraits in the cupboard. It’s unfinished projects like this that create mental clutter.
  • Baby carrier – to sell
  • 4 moses basket sheets – donate (Now,  some things are harder to say goodbye to than others. They brought back such memories… but, I’d rather they were used for a lovely new baby than being left in a cupboard gathering dust, so off they went after some sentimental brushing against my cheek).
  • Baby blanket, bought for us when I had my first son and used for all three but still in very good condition – donate
  • Two horrible, old, spare, white pillowcases – recycle
  • 4 out of 6 plastic-backed cot sheets. They are spares on top of the four normal ones in the event of serious vomiting episodes. Decided I only needed 2 – donate 4
  • 2 out of 4 spare cot sheets. Decided 2 was fine (I have four others I use regularly) – donate 2
  • 2 out of 4 moses basket blankets. Useful for cool nights and car trips – donate 2
  • 4 out of 10 muslin cloths. I donated around 40 of these last year, but have used only a couple on a couple of occasions since – donate 5, recycle 1 stained.
The pictures were framed and went up, with some slightly dodgy ladder-on-the-stairs DIY. The photo wall is coming along nicely. I’ve got some smaller frames to go in the central vertical gap, but that’s for another day.

Into the cupboard went:

  • The storage box for a fan we are currently using (crazy hot weather). Most of the year the fan goes in the box and the box goes in the loft.

And there we have it. Probably a couple of hours work in between doing everything with the children at home, but SO nice when finished. I then refolded the remaining linen, just because it looks nice 🙂

This Week’s Goals – Week 3

this weeks goals

Last week was a tough one. I had a lot on and baby F was sick late on Thursday night (sigh). She was very grisly and clingy all weekend. I think I over-estimated what I could achieve as I felt quite stressed out by the end of Sunday and very behind on everything. I absolutely hate the feeling of overwhelm I get when the house is in chaos (it is), and there are a billion things that need to be done (there are). I don’t deal well with disorder. I ran a 5k race last week, and attended a business breakfast meeting, plus I’m in the middle of a project for a client, so all in all it was a week to be reckoned with.

This week I’m going to try to scale it back a bit, and I’m seriously thinking about cutting everything down to work on literally ONE thing at a time, super-intensively, until it is done. I’m wondering if that might just be a more productive way of getting through things.

On the agenda this week:

  1. Collect together ALL the paperwork scattered ALL over the house and make sure there is nothing urgent in there
  2. Get back to inbox zero for business account
  3. Three runs
  4. Completely clear the table and the floor area around it
  5. Think about moving from Omnifocus to Things 3, because Omnifocus is just not working that well for me anymore

Here’s how last week went:

  1. Carry on getting photos sorted out on Mac/Phone – Done. Thank goodness. I’d been putting this off for a whacking 9 months.
  2. Get back to inbox zero, for both personal and business accounts – Done for personal, not done for business.
  3. Three runs (one of these is a 5k race) and one strength session – Did three runs (and great times), but no strength session, again.
  4. Get to the bottom of each of the washing baskets and put the mountain of outstanding clean clothes away – Done.
  5. Plan out shopping, meals and cooking for the start of the 3 week healthy eating challenge I’m doing from Saturday Monday – Done. I’m a bit nervous about this as it requires lots and lots of chopping and prep (you know how it is with healthy food).
  6. Keep within a £60 budget this week for food (no spending until Wednesday as that’s when I get some money!) – Fail! I went miles over budget after buying my healthy food on Sunday for the first three days this week.
  7. Send Dad the book I bought for him – Done.
  8. Business goals: decide where/how/if to blog about these, but in the meantime get a quote out, do design changes for current project and get new email list up and running – Done. Did changes, quote and set up email list, and have decided not to blog about weekly business goals just yet as the summer holidays are approaching and it will be too stressful trying to keep up with it all!

This Week’s Goals – Week 2

weekly todo list

I am really easily distracted. My brain runs at about 100mph from the minute I wake up, so having a little public to-do list like this worked brilliantly last week for making sure I got the right things done.

I think each week I need to make sure I always add one procrastination-prone goal to the list (this will inevitably be something I have been putting off for ages). It’s really good to clear these kind of things as it just gives you a bit more mental get-up-and-go when you get them done. I also need to balance it with things that are easier/more enjoyable. Last week was a good mix, so let’s see if I can repeat that again this week.

On the agenda:

  1. Carry on getting photos sorted out on Mac/Phone
  2. Get back to inbox zero, for both personal and business accounts
  3. Three runs (one of these is a 5k race) and one strength session
  4. Get to the bottom of each of the washing baskets and put the mountain of outstanding clean clothes away
  5. Plan out shopping, meals and cooking for the start of the 3 week healthy eating challenge I’m doing from Saturday
  6. Keep within a £60 budget this week for food (no spending until Wednesday as that’s when I get some money!)
  7. Send Dad the book I bought for him
  8. Business goals: decide where/how/if to blog about these, but in the meantime get a quote out, do design changes for current project and get new email list up and running.

And here’s how last week turned out:

  1. Start my tax return (yawn!) – Done! Did the whole thing and got a £15 rebate, which will go straight towards debt reduction when it arrives.
  2. Do not buy any food except bare essentials like milk and bread (I am trying to use up everything in the cupboards/freezer/fridge as part of a money saving drive) – Done!
  3. Do two more runs – Done. And got a PB at parkrun on Saturday.
  4. Ring up and check what happened to my pension (I got a statement and its value had gone down by 20%) – Done. This was a paperwork error, the value has actually gone up. Phew.
  5. Start sorting out my photos (oh lordy – I am in a mess with these. My phone isn’t syncing with my desktop and everything is all over the place) – Done. I’ve fixed the corrupt library issue I had on the Mac, so getting it updated is now underway.
  6. List baby carrier and pro microphone on eBay – Not done. I decided to keep both of these items as the sling works as a back carrier (which I didn’t realise), and I’m not 100% sure I’m ready to sell the microphone in case I use it to develop any online course material for my business.
  7. Think about adding household accounts to YNAB (I am a total YNAB convert – it is the best personal budgeting tool I have ever used!) – Done! I thought about it and did it. I’ve added the household account and the mortgage account to a separate YNAB budget. The husband is going to transfer the TV licence over to the household account (he’s been paying that on the side for years), and I’ll be able to save any money from the household account that we don’t need each month and put it towards a) a kitchen/holidays/emergencies fund and b) mortgage overpayments. We’ve been working really hard at getting the mortgage paid off and are hoping to see the back of it within the next six years.