decluttering, rEArranging, simplifying

rEArranging…the magazines

 

When we had the flood at the cottage in Scotland (for any new readers click here) I was quite pleased to find that my collection of Coast magazines had survived undamaged.  I always looked forward to the walk along the beach to the village store to buy my copy and buying local helps keep the shop running as it is the only one left now (the Post Office closed down last year and is now part of the general store) and it is 15 miles into the nearest town.  As we have never had a TV there I would read and reread each copy on an evening whilst listening to the radio.

Since the flood it seemed a bit pointless buying the magazine any more and to be honest I haven’t really missed it as a lot of the features are just repeated like any other magazine so I thought long and hard about why I was hanging on to this great stack of old magazines going back to 2005 and I couldn’t really come up with a good enough answer to warrant keeping them.

I had already taken any useful coastal gardening features out a while ago, as these were the most interesting articles for me, the recipes were mainly for cooking fish (and as you know I am vegetarian), and I had also torn out any decorating ideas that might inspire me in the future.  I decided that if I needed any of the information in the future about the featured Seaside towns and walks or seabirds and animal life I could always find something in other places like the internet or local library so last night I sat and poured through each one, pulled out any remaining features that I might want to refer to…

 

Coast Magazine

and here they are all ready for the charity shop or recycle bin.

Down Your way

I kept half a dozen of the earliest copies together with a handful of local magazines called Down Your Way which have nostalgic contributions written by Yorkshire folk and my mum always likes to read these when she visits.

Coast Magazine

The old Lloyd Loom bedside cabinet now housed on the mezzanine of the newly decorated bedroom has a handy ledge to display my much reduced but more manageable collection.

I actually feel quite relieved that I do not have to find a space to store all those magazines now and it is another step on my way to a simplified life.

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organising, rEArranging

rEArranging…organising the sewing projects

When we decorated the mezzanine bedroom recently we put in new shallow wardrobes and one side has become my linen cupboard with a drawer reserved for my sewing projects and fabrics.  I am determined to use up these fabrics over time and finish the half-started projects, it is just a matter of making some time.  As I was going through and decluttering the pile I finished two simple ones in about 30 minutes which was quite encouraging  as they had been hanging around for ages – you can read about it here.

It is so much nicer to be able to pull open a drawer (rather than rummaging in a storage box) and see at a glance my fabric collection and even the half-started or half-finished projects depending on your point of view.  If I am feeling optimistic I would say they are half-finished but I am not sure that is strictly accurate anyway to get back to the organising – in an attempt to organise my sewing projects in some way I bought some large plastic Ziploc bags to separate and contain each of the half-started projects. The bags will allow me to keep all the necessary bits and pieces and patterns together and when I have the time I can just select the project I want to progress and in the meantime everything will remain in one place and stay clean.

The grey fabric with the cute printed hens is actually a tea-towel set I bought from Sainsbury’s ages ago with the intention of making a tea cosy.

Projects

The bag to the right contains a knitted cushion cover that my mum made for me last year but needs sewing together and the bag at the top left contains the surplus bunting flags from the wedding (2 miles of bunting for the marquee seemed adequate – you can view it here), but I intend to go ahead and make up the left overs into bunting with a view to selling or hiring it out.  Lastly, the final bag has some Christmas fabric and the pattern to make more stockings now that our immediate family has expanded – I am aiming for this Christmas – we shall see!

I decided that if I keep one project at a time in sight and near to hand it will (might) encourage me to pick it up and deal with it but I was not keen on having a ‘pile of stuff’ developing in a corner of our living room.  A basket or crate didn’t seem to be the answer  – I have various ones in various sizes but none seemed quite right so I was quite delighted when I came across this little cotton rope container in Next and I thought it was perfect to contain the project I am currently going to work on (the knitted cushion), and it is decorative enough to keep by me in the living room so I can dip in and out of it whilst watching TV.

Sewing basket

It is also a useful place I have found to keep my current Country Living magazine!

PS does anyone know the best way to sew a knitted cushion together – do you make a small seam allowance like with fabric?  Answers on a postcard please!

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

slow progress…

As you can tell I have been having a bit of a play around on my blog and fancied a bit of a change – a bit like decorating.  I will be updating my blogroll as a lot of the sites I used to follow are sadly no more or do not blog anymore.  There seems to be quite a few people who have given up recently and I really enjoyed their blogs but I can understand the time pressures of life get in the way and I think once you have a gap it is hard to get back into the routine of blogging – I know this from experience having had a good year off in 2016.  One of the hardest parts is not so much writing on your own blog but having to catch up with the news on everyone else’s.  So much had happened in that year.

I am continuing my quest for a simplified life and continuing the good sort out at home – and I am loving it every time I declutter a space I feel a sense of the whole place feeling lighter and more manageable.  I even felt I needed to do my blog as well and perhaps get rid of any clutter that has collected here so you may see things disappearing along the tabs as these have never worked for me  – I may keep the craft tab as it is a record of the few things I manage to make at Christmas.

As I am simplifying and trying to pare down to the bare minimum we need (or really want to keep in the case of items that are more sentimental than useful) I am starting to ‘beautify’ each area.  I am not sure this is the right descriptive word for what I am doing but it is close enough.  In essence I am looking at each space I clear and the decorative quality of how my possessions are displayed and how it makes me and the room feel.

Rather than going out shopping for anything new I am firstly shopping at home – reviewing what I already have then swapping things around a bit, putting decorative items together in different rooms.

Our new ‘guest room’ is coming along slowly but progress is being made and we are still planning that it will be ready in November for my mum’s visit to go Christmas shopping.  OH has now dismantled the 1980’s MFI mirrored sliding wardrobes and a very nice man has been to measure up to fit new ones which will also have sliding doors because of the tight space.

I was amazed at how much bigger the room looks without the wardrobes but wardrobes are a bit of a necessity and this is the only place that is suitable to put them.  They will be slightly shorter in width but slightly deeper in-depth and so we have had to move the double socket a bit more to the right and then repair the wall.  Whilst doing this a new double socket has been added on the other end of the same wall and the bed will fit comfortably between them.  We have also had the single socket on the window wall made into a double.  Six sockets should surely be enough for anyone and any amount of technology/electrical appliances in the future.

Sockets

With that job done we are now moving on to filling the holes and cracks.  There is, I can assure you, a Polyfilla for any job – fine cracks, big holes, cracks that have movement – I think we have got the whole Pollyfilla range in the garage!

Decorator's Caulk

I had been undecided on the colours I would have for this room – the base colour will be the same soft pale grey of the previous room.  The wardrobes are also grey but slightly deeper than the walls and the accent colour I first thought of was a blue probably duck egg maybe turquoise or teal, however, I have had a big change of heart and I have now settled on a soft vintage pale blush colour and natural linen.

I still intend to keep the room in a Scandinavian style but with a tiny bit of blingy metallic added here and there.  Sparkle is not my usual style but will suit my mum – she is not a blue fan either but loves that dusky pink colour so I think she will like the room when it is finished.  Whilst in TK Max the other day I came across some pretty pink and grey patterned storage boxes which have a silver strip across the lid closure and go perfectly with my chosen colour palette.  I also came away with a candle in a pink tinged silver jar.

I am now looking for a bedside table of modest price – I came across a rather unusual Scandinavian style retro ones on the Sue Ryder site but they are not the right colours.

So I continue to browse around.

Have a good week everyone x

 

drEAming, general chit chat, getting things done, managEAble, rEArranging, simplifying

decluttering my inbox…

My intention today was to have a really good clean in the house but by the time we had seen the man who came to measure up for our new sliding wardrobes in what will be the guest room, when we have decorated it, the urge to get scrubbing had waned and I became sidetracked by checking my emails.

Then somehow I have managed to spend most of the afternoon clearing out old emails from my inbox all 755 and doing a bit of reorganising of folders.  I now have zero emails in my inbox (but that won’t last long) and anything that needs some further consideration is in a follow-up folder at the top of the folder list.  I have fifteen follow-up items to deal with, some of which require an email answer.  Anything I need to keep goes into an appropriate folder.

I have also unsubscribed from a number of those emails that arrive in my inbox and I find that I never open them – just delete them – but often they begin to stack up if I don’t log in to read my emails everyday and especially when we are at the cottage and do not have an internet connection.

I actually feel much better in myself for doing this task – it was prompted by something I read yesterday in the book How to Get Things Done by Richard Templar

Basically he suggests that you don’t work a week behind and gave emails as a prime example.  You can deal with today’s emails or last Wednesday’s emails it takes the same amount of time but one keeps you on top of the game and is more efficient.

 

This made absolute sense to me as I find I am often reading last weeks emails and sometimes last months.  In the big clear out I unexpectedly found an email received in August and still unread from my insurance company which had got lost amongst the many subscription emails that come in daily.

So now with less junk I should be able to spot the requests for the meter readings or the insurance renewal more easily.

Yes, I definitely feel good tonight after that major declutter- all I need to do now is make sure I leave 10 to 15 minutes a day to check on my inbox and read and deal with the new items.

I am looking at other areas of my life where I might be working a week behind – do you have this problem?

Have a good weekend. x