cleaning, decluttering, drEAming, nEAtening, organising, random thoughts, rEArranging, simplifying

simply reading and planning and doing…

What a shock to the system being back at work this week and how tired I have been each night  – far too tired to blog.  The good news though is that my working Thursday is now a thing of the past – I will be doing Monday to Wednesday at work and Thursday to Sunday at home – a much better balance in my opinion. I couldn’t wait to get started.

It was quite a long holiday break that we had this year well over 2 weeks and it is surprising how difficult it has been to pick up my routine now we are home – I say that like I have one – I do for the most part!

Now I need to develop a new routine to take me forwards so I have been thinking that Thursday will be my official cleaning day.  That does sound like I don’t ever clean on the other days of the week and sometimes this might be correct on a busy week but I usually manage bits and pieces of tidying rather than cleaning as well as the basic chores of washing up and making beds.  After a few days sitting in the office at the computer I find it is quite nice to do something active and domestic so cleaning will fit in well.

Over our holidays I have been doing a lot of reading – you know the kind of book that is titled –  ‘help I need to get my life and home sorted out and in balance’.  I have a stack of books on the subject by my bed – some from the library and others from my book shelf for a reread or on my Audio books to listen to while I dust.  I am especially into a little book I discovered in the library called ‘L’art de la Simplicite – How to live more with less by Dominique Loreau,  it can seem a bit repetitive in places but I am liking the approach to ‘simplism’.

I apologise in advance for the poor photo quality I was dog tired when taking these pics last night.  I think Thursday may be the designated cleaning day but Friday is going to be the designated recovery day.

The areas I am looking to improve are housekeeping or house management (if you want to encompass the whole of running a house and its upkeep), health, finances and fitness.  I am looking for ways to make each category simple and less time-consuming to deal with.

From my reading there is a common thread running through the advise and that is to have less stuff to deal with – back to the decluttering then.  The other common thread is routine and habit – even in the area of fitness choosing just 2 exercises to do daily is better than nothing and gets a routine and discipline going.  I decided this is just the approach I need together with my leaning towards the Lean and 5S  that I have spoken about here before.


To get stuck in on my first designated cleaning day I decided that I would perhaps fall in line with the fly lady zone but when I went on her website it was the living room this week and I felt our main bedroom needed a good going over more urgently and decided on this instead.

I emptied each of the drawers and the wardrobe – cleaned everything down and had a bit of a declutter and I found a few items that I hadn’t used since the last clear out so decided they were for the charity pile.

Everything looks neater and fresher and a bit of a sparkle now.

I have been using Neal’s Yard frankincense Intense face cream and serum since Christmas (a bit pricey but worth it and goes a long way) – this was part of my Secret Santa gift and I am well impressed – I can feel the serum working straight away and it glides over my skin easily.  I think the texture has improved all though the blemishes and freckles I accept will never go away.  The sun damage to my fair skin was probably done much earlier in my childhood when the effects of the sun were not as well understood.  Anyway back to the story – I picked out everything I am using each day in creams and lotions and potions and any leftovers of stuff I will not be repurchasing are to go in the use up box.  If unused and unopened they will go to charity.

So in my drawers now I only have what I like and use.  It is very liberating to do this and I aim to do the same throughout the house – no more hanging on to things just in case – not even the free sachets.

Sorting the current selection of clothes in the wardrobe was harder as I confess I found 3 items I have bought recently and not yet worn and shock horror still have tags on – I think too late to return though.  It isn’t that I don’t like them but I am thinking if I haven’t managed a day to wear them yet after 6 weeks perhaps they are not exactly my favourites.

One of the tops in particular was a bit of a mad buy as it reminded me of my Art college days – a summer weekend at Reading Festival sleeping out under the stars listening to Genesis dressed in flowing embroidered cheesecloth with my long tousled ginger hair and probably no suncream in sight but not a care in the world other than how to get through the mud to the washroom!  The top I bought in Sainsbury’s 25% off week is a fine cheesecloth like cotton, gypsy style with embroidered panel and probably represented this memory – I have put it on 3 times now to go out in it and then changed at the last moment – I am no longer this free-flowing gypsy person!  I think it is going to be a charity gift.

Of course I have only been able to do my own clothes and so I just arranged OH’s ties neatly on the rack fixed to the inside of the wardrobe door knowing that a lot of them will not be worn again but at least they look ‘organised’ until I can get OH to look through them.

I will have to revisit the wardrobe again but I have given those ‘I’m a bit unsure’ items a final chance to be worn – if not they will go out at the end of the summer.  I sometimes find that there is a reason for not wearing something apart from it feeling tighter and if something does not feel quite right then I am not happy wearing it.

By the time I had done all the sorting I only managed to vacuum the walls, the carpet and the surfaces and didn’t get to move the furniture out – that will have to be another time.

Of course because I will not be working Thursday the figure on my monthly pay slip will be much reduced from now on and I shall have to economise further to take into account this drop in income.  Our fridge at the moment is virtually empty – this is good as it means we have manage to eat up everything we bought for the week.  I am sure I could scrape a couple of meals together from the store cupboard and freezer but there would be little fresh veg – home-grown courgettes, carrots and frozen peas are left over and I have a tin of sweetcorn and maybe an egg or two – perhaps Fritters!

Just off to plan my other days off now – have a good weekend.

21 thoughts on “simply reading and planning and doing…”

  1. ooooh it all looks very organised in your house! I am currently trying to muster the energy to de-clutter….I am such a hoarder it really is time I had a clear out….my job for the school summer holiday…..just after I’ve read this page and drank my tea!


  2. Everything looks amazingly orderly. Your wardrobe is full of wonderful light colours, the exact opposite to mine, which is full of dark colours. Good luck with making Thursday your new cleaning day. I look forward to hearing how you get on.


  3. Down to 3 work days a week from 4 – nice! I also like to cram housework and errands on my morning off rather than save it all for the weekend. I really like your jewellery case and alarm clock. Alarm clocks are seen as retro now that everyone sets an alarm on their iPhone! But I still have one. I wore my vintage cotton gauze top a couple of times this summer even though it’s far from my usual style – just for fun!


    1. I remember and I loved that top in fact I bought a printed t-shirt for the summer with a slightly vintage look and have worn it many times but with this embroidered one may just have to cut my losses – will give it another go and try it on again first though.
      I don’t have any electrical items by the bed usually other than the lamp as I cannot be sure the EMR did not add to my Thyroid cancer. I ban all TV / mobiles etc and hence the old fashioned alarm.


  4. The only time I’ve ever managed to stay organised for any length of time was with the fly lady, but living with my brood would test the patience of a saint and these days I find I just do the minimum to stay under control and hygienic – perhaps once the girls leave home it may improve but then again I wonder who I’m kidding 🙂 x


  5. I love your goals. I think they mirror mine – health and time and organised living. I too have been tempted by clothes reminiscent of my youth. As you say, it’s the carefree time that really attracts us.

    I looked up your treat face cream. It is expensive. More so for us here as I found the price of cosmetics, meaning cheaper brands, much more expensive in the Boots we went to in London. Ask an Aussie, sun protection is the key. We look older than our northern hemisphere sisters because of no protection in the 70s and 80s. Now Aussies cover up and it is the visiting English who are darker than us. We “tsk tsk” at the tourists who don’t cover up.

    Of course, too late for us now. And nice cream is such a treat. I like to splurge on makeup. The packaging as much as the contents draws me to Chanel makeup. Love the uniformity.


    1. I recently managed to get some Neal’s Yard at Waitrose when they did a 3 for price of 2 and I had an £8 coupon off a £40 spend. The creams have lasted about 5-6 months. By the time I finish this new batch it will be Xmas again and I can add them to my wish list!
      My granddaughter is very fair and I keep banging on about sun cream. I tell mum and dad if I see a freckle I will know they have missed a bit. Freckles used to be thought of as cute but some of mine don’t look cute now as one or two have become larger and dark – just hope they don’t turn malignant but not much I can do to reverse it. I was usually quite good at putting sun cream on but it was only thought of as a holiday necessity at that time – I wear a 50 block every day now in the summer a bit less in the winter. My colleagues still go on sun beds here or don’t wear any protection unless going abroad – a tan is everything for some people!


      1. I can see why mostly you wouldn’t need protection in England. But I see quite there were a few sun burns in your recent heat wave. (I sometimes watch The Last Leg.) Sun beds are banned here.


        1. It is now recognised that you need protection all year mostly for fairer skins like mine. Generally our face creams have enough UVA stuff added for the winter sun between 15 and 25% but for summer you definitely need to add a proper suncream. We still have people here who look as red as a beetroot after a heatwave. They are in denial about skin cancer – I feel sorry for the babies and children of these families who are not protected either with sunscreen or a sun hat.


  6. I don’t know how I missed this post but I did. I agree simplifying things is the main ingredient for a better life (for me). I love your drawers and wardrobes. I have recently been through my drawers etc and written a list of things that I need to replace. I wish hubby understood simple and organised when it comes to the garage!


  7. Hooray for the long weekends!
    I agree that it is liberating to be honest and remove those things that are never going to be used or are no longer “you”. As well as cluttering up the place it gets rid of that guilt (or whatever the word is) around spending, past selves that we no longer are, current/future selves that we’ve decided we don’t want to be (I’m thinking of the tons of craft stuff for projects I’m never going to tackle). It’s very freeing and the things that remain are refreshed in some way because the things we want are right there, to hand, everything is there to help rather than get in the way.


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