cleaning, decluttering, decorating, drEAming, general chit chat, homestEAding, nEAtening, rEArranging, simplifying

weekly review – more cleaning and clearing

A normal week this week so I finished work on Wednesday night and then did a bit of a shop in Sainsbury’s taking advantage of any items on offer – so now one of those huge 1kg tubs of Lurpack butter sits in my fridge as it was the only one available on offer and I never buy butter at full price.

Last time this happened we got the butter dish out of the cupboard and kept decanting slabs of butter into it.  It is actually quite nice to have a proper butter dish on the table and the saving on buying the very large size is really good at 60p for 100 grams against 75p per 100 grams for the smaller size – I might buy this size again even though it almost fills a shelf by itself!

When I came to put the food away I was too tired to do any more than just pushing it in where it would fit with the intention of sorting it out later so my first job on Thursday morning was cleaning and sorting the two fridges.

We have a small under the counter one in the kitchen now 30 years old and showing its age but still going strong and a larger one in the laundry room where we keep our vegetables, salad and fruit.  We invested in this a few years ago because our veg goes off quickly in either the kitchen or the garage.  I still store potatoes and onions in the garage though.

Whilst sorting and cleaning I decided to wash and chop some of the veg and put it into bags so that it will be ready when we want to make a meal.

I don’t usually do this but the idea came to me because we already pre-prepare a large bowl of mixed fresh fruit for our breakfast and salad for our lunch or my packed lunches.


So I prepared Leeks, Celery and Spring onions as I find these most time-consuming.

I keep the prepared salad in these ‘handy’ containers  – I nickname it our ‘Salad Bar’  – the deep one with 3 sections is great to take any combination of radish, cucumber, tomatoes, grated carrot, peppers etc but I would never put the chopped spring onions or beetroot in here as they would end up making the container smell or stain.  The larger square container has a plastic rack that sits on the bottom to keep the lettuce crisp and fresh and it does seem to work.

…and voila all sorted!  If this works I might try to pre prepare a lot more of our veg now I have a bit more time at home.


Whilst in the kitchen I moved on to cleaning the herb and spice rack.  My collection of four little chickens had become a trifle dusty and some of the herbs past their best by a few years.  I tend to use fresh herbs that have been frozen more than the dried ones so they end up well out of date before I get to the end and eventually smell and taste of very little.


I will need to replenish some of them and also buy some of the spices I will need for bonfire night and Christmas (I did whisper that word!).

There is something special about the taste and smell of the spices that mark this season – warming ginger for the Parkin and Ginger cake, mixed spice and cinnamon for the Christmas cake and cloves that will be used for my pomanders.

I always buy organic when I can but find that the Whole food shops sell it in bags that are far too big a quantity for us so I get the smaller packets from Waitrose.  As luck would have it a coupon has just dropped through my door for £10 off a £50 spend!  I shall make a list and maybe go on Saturday when we are out and about.


In between all this cleaning and clearing I managed to get our double mattress protector washed and hung on the line for a good blow before the next rain shower.

Whilst I was out in the garden I realised how much is still in flower even though summer is well and truly over.  I took a couple of pictures to capture the last of the colour – the vibrant red of the Kaffir lilies against the deep blue of the geraniums…


…and I just love the mustard yellow seed heads bobbing around with the finely cut Monbretia petals which are a softer orange than most and contrast well against the mauve of the hydrangea.

For anyone reading my last post about clippings these are my binders full of ideas – I even have one called Clippings – this is just a place to put any interesting newspaper and magazine articles about the area our cottage is in.  When we had the flood we hit the local newspapers!  One day soon I will go through them and try to reduce the amount.



If you have been following my recent decorating posts you will know we have just finished one bedroom and are about to start on the middle bedroom which belonged to my elder daughter and now used by my mum when she comes to stay.  So I thought I would show you the before pictures.  As you will see it is well overdue a complete overhaul.

The pictures are cheap ones bought when we ‘styled’ my mum in laws house to sell.  Rather than just take them straight to charity I put them up in here but they won’t be going back as they are not really my taste.  I might keep the silver frames and put new pictures in.


I am clearing the room bit by bit as the wardrobes are being dismantled to make way for new ones that will hopefully  be more space effective and only have two doors rather than three as at the moment there is always a bit you cannot get to easily creating pockets of wasted space.  Eventually this wardrobe will give mum some hanging space when she visits and hold our out of season clothes as we will be losing six drawers.

The two sets of Ikea drawers will be going up to my daughters new house with the single bed and mum will be getting a bigger double bed and this can then be used when either daughter and partners stay over too.

The retro nursing chair was my mum-in-laws – it was meant for the cottage so I am having to store it here now until the cottage is ready.  I am still undecided about keeping it, it needs recovering and estimates have been about £200.  Once we have the new bed the chair will not fit back in here so I need to make a decision soon.

Tomorrow we will be resuming our hunt for reasonably priced sliding doors – I am really out of touch with prices for furniture but the estimates we have been given seem far too high for a spare bedroom.  The ones we are removing were less than £90 from MFI in early nineties!  They have to be sliding doors as there isn’t enough room for opening doors in this room.

Well that is my update hope your weekend goes well.

15 thoughts on “weekly review – more cleaning and clearing”

  1. What a lot of work – you have done well! I’ve always found it funny that in the UK, you use only the white part of the spring onions, and here, we use only the green tops. I had to look up Parkin and what it had to do with Guy Fawkes. Here we make a soft gingerbread cake (any time) but don’t celebrate bonfire night. Our Thanksgiving is in mid-October followed by Halloween two weeks later, so of course it’s pumpkin spice everything. I love your salad prep system and your plans for the spare room!


    1. I had to look up the connection with Guy Fawkes and Parkin! Very interesting – I had never questioned why we eat Baked Potatoes, Treacle Toffee or Parkin on Bonfire night before. I never knew it was mainly a Yorkshire ritual either – you learn something new everyday blogging!!


    2. PS When I was young Halloween was barely acknowledged but the American influence is making it quite a celebration now with lots more kids dressing up and going out trick or treating – the shops are really pushing the event now to make money and are already full of both Xmas and Halloween ‘stuff’ to buy.


    3. I’ve never heard of Parkin cake. We don’t celebrate Guy Fawkes Night either. Our bonfire and cracker night used to be celebrated on the Queen’s Birthday public holiday (and before that Empire Day). We no longer have either crackers or bonfires. Both made illegal for safety reasons.

      I use most of the spring onion, except we call them shallots. I leave the very top out for … I know not why. Habit?


      1. Parkin is great but very sticky and no doubt originally the poor mans gingerbread in this country. I chop all the white and into most of the green usually of the spring onions – it just so happens in this batch the greens had started to wither a bit because they were getting a bit old!


  2. I love your salad bar idea. I’m sure it would make me more likely to eat more if I put it into practice.
    A good clean and tidy is on the cards here too. My house is in chaos. X


    1. I will soon be making more winter salads using carrot, shredded cabbage and items that are more seasonal. I was just getting into a cleaning routine but will be on holiday next week so I will have to get back into the swing of things again on my return.


      1. Oh, that is lovely, that you have had a look at my blog, too! I need to become more organised. I’m fairly organized but I collect books and never part with my magazines (I was brought up in a newsagent’s shop, my parents being newsagents, and my love of printed matter stems from there, I’m sure!). I have recently weeded some bookshelves (I posted about this) but only got rid of about 30 books. The last weed, about three years ago, I managed about 300 books and a charity shop sent a van to collect those! I don’t think I could ever be minimalist, I love my china and books and paintings far too much. But on the other hand, I dislike unnecessary clutter!
        Margaret P


        1. A newsagents – that would be a heavenly place to grow up. I often dream of being locked in a Library overnight! We know that one day we will have to downsize and the books will have to reduce so we are being really ruthless even though it is hard. I just hope they bring someone else as much pleasure. I haven’t mentioned my china yet – I have a thing for little dishes and jugs – so I know where you are coming from but as I have reduced our stuff I am loving the space too.


  3. I love your organised prepared veggies. I should try the same. May help me reach for healthy snacks. Normally I come back from shopping exhausted and couldn’t be bothered. Then its back to work and I’m time poor. Ironic, as the veggies still have to be prepared at some stage.

    I look forward to seeing your renos. You have a great eye for lovely details.


  4. I need to give my fridge a good clean and sort out, you have given me the little kick that I need. Love your salad bar! Sometimes, I will make salads in a jar and leave in the fridge. I should get back into doing that again.

    You have been so busy. There is something so satisfying about getting all those niggly little jobs done. And I love that you prep veggies in advance.

    Stocking up on spices is something I start doing at this time of year, getting ready for Christmas! I Grammed a photo of some I bought from Sainsbury’s recently, they were just £1, and I love their packaging!


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