Blog…

Chores, Cleaning, Clutter, declutter, home, ideas, organising, organizing

Paperwork!

I’ve had a few requests on how to handle paperwork so let’s set up an amazing paperwork routine to stop any cluttering in the future and get to grips with getting rid of the piles we already have!

First of all, let’s get a routine in place. How do you currently handle paperwork? As soon as any mail drops through the letterbox we have to ensure it gets sorted straight away! Recycle junk mail and ensure you’re only keeping one menu of your favourite takeouts, if a new one pops through, recycle the old one immediately! So get yourself somewhere to put your recycling and sort through and put away those menu’s! I use a 3 way bin in my kitchen, one for general waste, one for paper and card, and one for tins and glass. I use them religiously and empty them into the relevant bin outdoors as soon as they are full.

Catalogues and brochures are a no no too, most things are online if you need them so recycle all of those catalogues and directories!

Bills need to be dealt with then filed for your records for 6 months, so I suggest using a file like this to store your paperwork. Shred all paperwork older than 6 months old unless it is a proof of purchase, a legal document or a warranty or other document which requires to be kept.

If you have piles and piles of paperwork to sort through I suggest you set up your new routine first then tackle a small pile of papers each day until all paperwork is sorted. Ensure you sort all papers that enter your house immediately so as not to build up any further piles. Set aside a morning or a set time each week to action paperwork which needs your attention, to make sure you stay in control and on top of your new system.

Would you like a copy of our FREE decluttering booklet? Get yours here! x

children, Chores, Cleaning, Clutter, declutter, home, ideas, kids, organising, organizing

Sorting through Clothing.

A good place to clear out is our clothing stock piles!! This is so very easy to build up and get out of hand as it’s easy to keep things that look beautiful ‘just in case’, even if they’re the wrong size, not our usual style, etc.

When sorting through Clothing, do it all in one go, it is going to be a big task but this one is such a rewarding one! I suggest getting all clothing items together for one person, either on the bed or somewhere where you can sort them easily. As you go through them, ask yourself the following questions to decide whether to keep it or not;

  • Is it my size?
  • Does it make me feel good?
  • Does it fit my style now?

Put the obvious keeps away, for anything you’re not sure about make a ‘maybe’ pile, and for the obvious no’s make another pile. Try to be ruthless, don’t keep items because you used to love them or they bring back memories, keep only what makes you feel good now.

For everything in the ‘maybe’ pile, try it on. Use the above questions, if any answer is no then get rid, put all keeps away straight away.

So you should be left with a good pile of ‘get rid’s’! You have a few options now, eBay or another way of selling the items on to be able to make some money, or donate. Just make sure you don’t start sneaking the items back into your wardrobe! Get the items out of the house as quickly as possible!

I love the feeling of having all clothes I know I’m going to use, not having to rifle through stuffed drawers and wardrobes to find something you only feel mediocre in anyway is a fantastic feeling, now you’re clothes are streamlined to items that work for you! Why don’t you follow the above tips again to streamline your handbags, shoes and coats? Your space will look amazing and you could have some extra money in your pocket too!

Clutter, declutter, home, ideas, organising, organizing

What causes us to keep clutter?

 

So here we are, surrounded by things, some of which may not have been looked at for years, but we still can’t bear the thoughts of parting with it, some things have probably never even been used, but still we don’t want to part with it! Why do some of us find this so difficult? Why should we feel attachment to something we don’t even have a use for? It should be simple to only own what we need surely?

Well I’ve been doing some research, and I’ve came up with a few reasons we tend to hold on to our things, hopefully you’ll be able to spot yourself amongst them and move forward in working towards a clutter free future!

  • We can’t resist a bargain! – A lot of the time if an item is cheap or free I can’t help the thoughts flooding in that ‘I could get this for when…’ or ‘at that price you may as well’ and end up with no end of items I didn’t really need at all but I thought were a good idea at the time! Then I can’t get rid of them because they are still useful and it’s a shame to throw it away so I end up keeping it whilst sort of trying to make a decision on what to actually do with it, ending up doing nothing but cluttering the place up! This drives me bonkers!
  • We Feel guilty to let go of it! – We feel guilt, especially with sentimental items or items that were gifts. If you’re anything like me you have a memory box somewhere with sentimental, absolutely useless items in, or a box full of old greetings cards/kids homework that you never look at but can’t bear to part with! It is one of the most difficult areas to tackle, but is fundamental in the process, not only to free up space and improve your surroundings, but also to work through the feelings that items bring and to move on.
  • We might need it! – This is another difficult one! Getting rid of useful items that might come in handy. a) It might well come in handy if you keep it, bit also it might not, b) There will be somebody that could really do with this useful item now! Wouldn’t it be great to help someone else! c) We don’t have the physical space to be able to own one of everything we may need one day, so choose wisely.
  • We don’t know what clutter is! – A lot more common than you think! A lot of clutter is caused by not understanding that it is even clutter! I didn’t realise how cluttered my kitchen was until I threw a load of it out, it was like a breath of fresh air, but I would have been shocked if anyone had told me they thought it was cluttered beforehand.
  • We don’t know how long to keep things! – Paperwork is the monster where this one is concerned! Clothing, make-up and cosmetics, food and books can all be culprits too. Try to come up with a system for each so you can stay on top of what you don’t need anymore.

    There can be many reasons we hold on to items, but you will truly set yourself free if you realise why you are doing it, and make a conscious effort to address the problem and change. Remember not to beat yourself up over it, you’re not the only one and we’re all working through this together!

    If you would like a copy of my FREE de-cluttering booklet, go and get yours here, also come and give us a like on Facebook to see all our hints, tips and support! xx

    Cleaning, Clutter, declutter, home, ideas, organising, organizing, printables

    5 Tips for a beautiful hallway

    hallway01

    Having a clutter free, welcoming hallway is an absolute must in my opinion! (if you’re even lucky enough to have a hallway!)

    Walking in to a clean, clear room straight away is so welcoming not only for guests, but for you too, it makes you pleased you came home!

    I am currently writing my in depth task lists for completing the hallway and it got me thinking about what an important step in the de-cluttering process this is! It sets the benchmark for the rest of the house, is a small enough space to not cause too much of a problem, it makes clearing the rest of the house easier as you now have a clear exit for your belongings, it gives you a sense of achievement each time you walk in making you feel bright and motivated instead of dread and overwhelm. You’ll feel inclined to carry on with the rest of the house!

    So as I am writing my piece, I have came up with 5 great tips for a clutter-free hallway, do you use any of these? Have you got some tips you’d like to share? Get in touch and let us know!

    1. Have shoe storage – Before you know it you can be falling over a mountain of shoes, leaving dried mud and grass all over the floor in its wake! Having proper shoe storage is great as it keeps the hall clear, looks after your shoes, keeps you organised so you know where to find things, and a massive one for me: minimises critters crawling into your shoes thinking ‘what a great place to sleep’ scaring the pants off you the next time you go to put them on!
    2. Remove ANYTHING that isn’t meant for the hallway – Don’t let this little welcoming space turn into a dumping ground for odd bits and bobs! Get into the habit of putting things away and keeping surfaces clear in there to keep on top of it and making less work in the long run.
    3. Create a place for winter woolies – You could use a little box or a bag for all of your hats, gloves and scarves to keep them all together whilst keeping them out of the way. Make sure you don’t keep too many and stick to just the ones you love!
    4. Remove/store things depending on the season – Don’t keep all of your winter jackets hanging when you aren’t going to use them for months in the summer, hang them in your wardrobe until they are needed again.
    5. Get yourself a routine for incoming mail – Don’t let the papers pile up, sort it as soon as it drops on the mat! If it’s junk – recycle it immediately, if it’s something that needs immediate attention – pin it to your notice board and get it dealt with, if it’s information you need to keep – file it away in the proper place, if it’s donation bags – either fill them and return them or pop the bag straight outside again for the collectors to use again.

    Once your hallway looks beautiful and exactly how you want it, try to take immediate action once things need doing so as not to let the jobs pile up again and make it overwhelming. I suggest putting a plug-in or some sort of scent in there too, it makes it a lovely place to walk in to!

    Please come and grab your copy of our FREE de-cluttering booklet here

    Happy de-cluttering!

    Shelley xx

     

    Cleaning, Clutter, declutter, home, ideas, organising, organizing, Uncategorized

    Keep, toss or donate?

    clean bedroom

     

    Dealing with the decision of whether or not to keep items can be extremely difficult no matter how determined you feel. There can be so many reasons we keep hold of things even if the item is not enriching our lives. During my own decluttering process, and through a lot of research, I have found that analysing the object and asking yourself a few questions about it can be massively beneficial in making clear cut decisions.

    Don’t overwhelm yourself, do a small section at a time, or a given amount of time, don’t take on too much and commit to decluttering an entire room at once! Start somewhere you most want to see clear so that you can start to feel the benefits of what you are achieving.

    With each item, ask yourself the following questions to help you decide whether the item still adds value to your life…

    Is this item currently in use? – If the answer is no, then has the item been used in the past year? If not then it could be time to go.

    Is this something I love? – No? Then it also may be time to go. For example, if it’s something a relative bought 5 years ago that,s still in it’s box and being kept out of guilt, then it’s time to go!

    Is the item sentimental to me? – Is it a relatives belonging or an item from your childhood that you’re keeping just for the sake of having it? Why don’t you consider donating it? Having an item stuffed away somewhere is such a waste when somebody else could love and use the item properly.

    Am I keeping this item because of the money I’d have wasted getting rid of it? – But the money has already gone! The item is unused and sat round wasting money if you keep it, it’s just cluttering up your home and making you unhappy too! Set yourself free and give it to someone who could make use of it!

    Do I have multiples of this item? – Do you have 4 hairbrushes in your bag? 3 pairs of kitchen scissors in your utensils drawer? More than likely you don’t need all of them so decide which are your favourite and throw/donate the rest, my bet is you won’t even notice they’ve gone!

    Am I saving this item Just-in-case? Or for some future plan? – A lot of stuff is kept because “one day I”m going to … with it”, or “one day I might need it” honestly, yes you might, but it is taking up so much precious space and also taking time to clean and maintain it, liberate yourself and get rid of it, if you ever do need one in the future, borrow one, then it won’t be taking your precious space. I got rid of a lot of items I was going to get to do one day, my grand plans of knitting that scarf, learning to crochet, refurbishing that old table, the truth is, it’s never going to happen, so get rid and move on.

    Could this make someone else happier than it makes me? – If the answer is yes, consider letting the item go. It’s always so much easier to say goodbye to items knowing that they will benefit someone else. Do yourself and someone else justice and donate!

    Does wearing this make me feel good about myself? – Obviously this one is just for clothing! Does it make you feel confident and is it flattering? If the answer is no then it needs to go! Those size 8 jeans you used to fit when you were 20 are just sitting there making you feel bad about yourself every time you set eyes on them, Tat top with the labels still on that you don’t really like the style of, get rid of it! If it’s not for you don’t waste your time on it! Embrace your current style and size and your wardrobe can be all things you love and makes you feel good!

    bedroom happy

    Decluttering will make you feel so much better! If you would like more ideas and support come and join me on Facebook, for printables and my full decluttering guide head on over to the shop and see what we have on offer to help you! Which is the room you would most like decluttered and why?

    Come and grab our FREE de-cluttering ebook here!

    Thanks for visiting! x

    Chores, Cleaning, home, ideas, iron, ironing, residue

    My nightmare this week!

    So after much searching and some epic fails this week I have finally managed to clean the sticky residue from my iron! 

    What started as what I thought was a fairly simple task, turned into a bit of a string of disasters!

    My partner and I are professional chefs so our work uniforms are extremely important to us, must be pristine and look smart. Sticky gunk on the iron is not what you need when trying to get your chef whites looking professional. It has been leaving black marks on the creases and the cuffs and has been driving me potty!!

    So, I thought a quick Google search could bring me to some amazing, simple trick someone devised to easily get rid of it, and I was spoilt for choice!

    There were a few options on YouTube to choose from, and here’s my findings:

    Toothpaste does not work – unless I am using the wrong brand or sort or something but all it managed to do for me was coat my iron in a thick, white, minty mess which I now needed to get off too!

    Baking parchment does nothing at all – putting your iron on a high heat setting and rubbing over baking parchment does absolutely nothing.

    Salt and baking parchment- again, not really worth the time, all you’re essentially doing is making the residue non stick, instead of actually getting it off and starting fresh, this, however, would be brilliant after the residue has been removed.

    I then tried having it on full heat, to continually rub over a cloth to try to melt and rub off the residue that way, to discover I had the wrong type of cloth and it melted to my iron! 

    In the end, I discovered that if you heat your iron on full power, scrape the residue off with a wooden spatula, then rub iron plate over a cotton cloth repeatedly to remove thin residue. Turn the iron off and allow to cool. Make a baking soda paste with two parts soda to one part water and rub and excess residue off. The iron plate can now be rinsed with water and should be good to go! 

    It was an extremely frustrating process but it is working a whole lot better! I hope this helps somebody not have to rifle through the tips like I had to!

    If you have a particular topic you would like covered please get in touch here, or come and join us on facebook. Come and take a look at our store too for handy printable and ebooks which are being updated regularly!

    children, cooking, dinner, food, ideas, lunches, meal ideas, meal planner, Uncategorized

    Family Fish Pie

    11 on table

    You Will Need:

    2 packs Sainsbury’s Fish Pie Mix

    4tbsp Butter or Margarine, 2tbsp for the sauce and 2 tbsp for mashing potatoes

    1 Cup frozen peas

    4 tbsp Plain Flour

    1.5pt Milk

    1/2 cup Fresh or dried parsley

    250g Potatoes for mash

     

    Method:

    Peel the potatoes and halve, put into a large saucepan and cover with cold water, put on high heat to cook for mashing.

    Pour the milk into a large pan and heat gently. Add the fish pieces and cook gently for about 10-15 minutes or until the fish is firm, take care not to scorch the milk.

    01 fish in milk

    Once cooked remove the fish from the milk using a slotted spoon, keep the milk on a low heat and drain the fish in a colander. Once drained spread the fish evenly over the base of a flat dish. Preheat Oven to 400°F/200°C/Gas Mark 6.

    02 fish in tray

    Sprinkle the frozen peas over the fish ready for covering.

    03 add peas

    Add the parsley to the milk ready to make a parsley sauce.

    04 add parsley

    In a separate pan melt 2tbsp butter/margarine gently then add the plain flour, mix well making a blonde roux, add bit by bit to the milk stirring continuously to make a thick smooth sauce (you may not need to use it all, it keeps in the freezer for next time in some cling film)

    06 add roux

    Once the sauce is a desired thickness (make sure it’s slightly thicker than desired as it will thin whilst cooking in the pie), pour the sauce over the fish and peas in the dish until covered evenly, leave to cool slightly. so the sauce thickens.

    07 cover with sauce

    Once the potatoes are ready, drain and mash with the remaining butter, and using a pallet knife or spatula, spread the mash over the top of the fish pie mixture.

    08 pallet knife

    Using a fork, fluff the top of the mash.

    09 ruffle mash

    Put in the oven at 200C until golden brown, serve immediately with vegetables of your choice, or salad.

    Enjoy! x
    Thanks for visiting! Please come and join us on Facebookget in touch and come and take a look at our shop for our organising printables. Thank you!