appEArance, beauty, fEAsible, my goals, organising, rEArranging, simplifying

Focusing on Simplifying my space update #1…

I don’t know about you but getting ready for work in a morning has to be a very smooth operation and it often feels like I am a contestant  in that well known game of Beat the Clock.  I hate to be rushed in a morning and my  preferred style of  getting ready is ‘Beautify and Stroll’ rather than ‘Primp and Scurry’ quite amusing terms I once saw in a magazine.  However I do find myself often primping and scurrying rather than strolling due to a lack of organisation.
So to help me in getting ready on time everything I need has to be in the right place.  My morning routine is very simple so it easy to stay on automatic pilot until I am fully awake.
However, there is always room for improvement and I am hoping that as my Focus on Simplifying develops my routines will become so streamlined I can sail through the day.
Of course getting up and getting ready in the morning really begins the night before when I should (note the should!) make sure my bedroom is tidy, my clothes for the next day are chosen, my bags packed, my To Do list printed, and any other errands I have to do are noted and prepared for.
One other important task is to estimate how much time I need working backwards from the time I want to leave the house and then set the alarm clock accordingly allowing for 3 snoozes before I have to get out of bed.

Organising my beauty essentials

One way of making my morning routine simpler has been to reduce the amount of clutter in the bedroom starting with my dressing table drawers.  I have been through them item by item and identified those I use everyday and those that I may only use every now and then like foundation cream and anything that I found I hadn’t used has been put on the out / use – up / charity pile. 
As I sorted I also cleaned not only the drawers but the items themselves which always adds a nice sparkle.  So I am really down to the basics now – no rummaging around and nothing in here that isn’t used at least 20% of the time, in fact I would say that 80% of the contents are used 80% of the time.

Drawer 1

Dressing Table Drawer
In the top drawer I have my skin care, makeup and fragrances –
  •  face cream 2 for daytime and two for night time
  • Nivea for really dry patches
  • Cuticle massage cream from the Sally Hansen range
  • foundation creams
  • sponges, cotton wool and towelling headbands
  • everyday makeup – mascara and lip sticks / gloss
  • makeup brushes and pair small scissors
  • eau de cologne and deodorant
Everything is neatly laid out and ready to go and kept in a series of Muji containers with a small flat box of Kleenex tissues perching conveniently on top.  I also keep my Thyroxin medication to hand in here as taking my tablet for the day is the first thing I have to to do when I wake up.
Dressing Table Drawer

Drawer 2

The items in this middle drawer are less used – perhaps weekly rather than daily – I keep
  • much reduced selection of nail polish
  • cotton buds
  • small emery boards in case of a quick repair to a snagged nail.
Dressing Table Drawer
This is also where I keep more specialised creams for occasional use – I find I prefer keeping them here to the bathroom cabinet as this is where I would apply them at night.
  • Calendula
  • Tea Tree
  • Traumeel
  • Arnica Gel
  • and essential oil mixes for massage
I also keep my ‘Sunday’ Thyroxin in here (which is a lesser dose) and needs to be kept separate from my main dose.
Dressing Table Drawer
I have also a collection of eye make up and blusher cases for special occasions and a mini massage roller and soft skin brush.  Again everything is contained in the clear perspex containers from Muji with movable sections.
Dressing Table Drawer

Drawer 3

The bottom drawer is where I keep my hair styling bits
  • soft rollers for a bit of bounce
  • hairdressing scissors
  • brush and comb
  • travel hairdryer
  • extra rollers hidden away at the back.
Dressing Table Drawer
The brushes just rest neatly on top of the tray which was from Ikea.
 Dressing Table Drawer      
My main stock of creams are kept in the shower room cupboard and bulky paper goods such as tissues and cotton wool in the airing cupboard – this keeps my drawers free of unnecessary duplicates.  I like the ever increasing minimal look of the drawers and feel that this is probably is as far as I can go.
Of course there are always the annoying bits and pieces that do not fit into the drawers and I have 3 of these
  • hair Mousse
  • fine pump style hairspray
  • Aveeno body lotion in a pump container Mismatch items
None of them are particularly appealing in respect of the packaging design, they do not co-ordinate in anyway and are not a pretty addition to my dressing table top and until I can come up with a solution I just have to live with them.
There are only a few days left in February and I am finding that I am not able to declutter at any speed and this months focus may just spill over into next month.  This week I am going to concentrate on the office.  After focusing on our finances I realised there are a few systems I want to change so that the finances are easier to track.
To read about my grocery spending and see what I bought this week click here and it will take you to my other blog Re-routed.
being thrifty, daily routine, decluttering, getting things done, managEAble, nEAtening, rEArranging, trEAsure, trEAsury

The Friday Fling…

Having thought long and hard about the problem I have with ‘stuff’ and my longing to have both space and a simple but beautiful collection of things around me that I need and use or love and cherish I have decided that I am going to be ruthless and really, really get rid of all the things that I do not use or do not need and this will include those someday I might items – you know the ones – someday I might use it – someday I might need it – don’t we all have them?  Maybe I am the only person in the world who does and that is a scary thought.

So I am introducing you (and myself for that matter) to the Friday Fling.  Friday because it is my day off and Fling because I am going to go through my whole house (but not all today!) inch by inch seeking out those things I do not need or want and Fling them for good. So be warned ‘stuff’ I will find you –  there is no hiding place!

If you would like to join me I would love to here from fellow travellers out there wishing to organise and simplify their stuff too – especially if you have any useful hints and tips.

Making a start

For want of a better place I will begin in our bedroom with my dressing table drawers.  I know it is old fashioned to even have a dressing table but I do like to sit down on the job and have a mirror in front of me and everything I need to hand ready for any major indulgent pampering session I may undertake or just to make my daily routine getting ready for work a smoother operation.

Bearing in mind I only went through these drawers a couple of months ago for a clear-out, I did not expect that I would find very much to fling but with my new mind-set in action, I discovered I was wrong and I have plenty to throw out.  I use the word ‘throw’ loosely as you know me I cannot see good things go to waste and that is probably why they are still here and have missed being cleared out for the last few years!   So for any environmentally obsessive readers like me take note that if it is at all re-useable it will not go in the bin to landfill I will find it another home – just not in my house.

So from the first drawer here is my collection of items of old nail polishes and a couple of make up compacts that I have had for ages and felt that I might use someday.  Some are brand new and some so old they have most likely gone off.

They are ALL GOING OUT and the good point is, apart from 2 bottles of nail varnish, everything else came free in one way or another – so I can feel relieved that I am not getting rid of anything that cost me hard-earned cash in the first place (another of my pet hates!)

Like a capsule wardrobe my new streamlined collection now looks like this…

A small select selection that includes a French manicure set, a very dark polish for parties, a rich Fuschia colour for pretty toe nails for summer and an all-purpose pearly pink for everyday finger nails.

Add in a hand scrub and hand cream, cotton buds and toe separators…

all neatly contained in a Muji container…

…but there is always something that doesn’t quite fit!!

– this really bugs me when I cannot keep everything together because one item is too tall or too fat, too long or too short – you know what I mean.

So on to the next drawer and these are now my keepers…

my useful massage and skin brushing implements

a selection of eye makeup compacts

three types of foundation – a light one for everyday with sunscreen, one light mousse without for parties and do’s and a tub of The Body Shop mineral face powder with brush.

moisturisers for both day and night-time, for body, face and feet and a moisturising vitamin mask for once a week to re-hydrate my skin. These are all decanted into these handy little tubs which stack neatly.

An assortment of skin toner, eye make up remover, basic Calendula and Tea Tree cream for skin repair (spots and rough elbows!), under eye rescue cream and gel (for my bags in other words.  Everything stored in clear Muji containers.

In the final container – cotton wool pads (indulgent luxury not ordinary), make up sponges, make-up brushes, mascara – brown and a small trial adventurous blue for summer, lipsticks and gels and not forgetting the cover up stick,

and a couple of basics.

So there you have it what more could a girl need?

Everything I am keeping are things that I know I use constantly (everyday in most cases), with the odd item specially for occasional use – and although there still seems a lot of stuff I am not sure I could  limit these any more unless I was going to be dropped off on a desert island where I had to choose only 3 products – now there’s a thought.

appEArance, beauty, being thrifty, trEAsury

Waste not… want not…

My ‘use up’ box

Below are the oddments of beauty products from decluttering my cupboards back in February and that for different reasons I am using up at the moment.  I have put them together in a Muji container on my dressing table so that I do remember to use them as I can’t bear to waste things even when I am not too happy with them.

The Umberto Giannini Shapely Body Mousse has been great it is the only aerosol I allow myself as they are not very ‘green’ but I haven’t found a natural mousse equivalent yet.  However, when I went into Boots recently for another can I couldn’t find it.  Their range now is different and all I could find is ‘Sex Bomb Massive Hair Mousse’ in an all black container – well Umberto I actually liked my pale green one with the shiny chrome top and as I cannot fit it into my drawer I am very particular about the items I have to display on my dressing table and shiny black just does not fit with the decor!.

The cellulite oil although quite nice I have already replaced with a bottle of Weleda Birch Cellulite oil that I have seen recommended in a few health magazines now and thought I would give it a try.

The tiny pot of Protect and Perfect Night cream came as part of one of those free promotional gift bags.  It is amazing how long they last and I am hoping it will last me to the end of the month.  I quite often buy the Neal’s Yard Frankincense Nourishing Cream to use as a night cream – it has excellent reviews and leaves my skin very soft and moisturised.

I bought the Bio-Oil after I had surgery to remove my Thyroid in 2008 to try and help the scar around my neck to fade. It does work quite well however I do prefer the product below – Rio Rosa Mosqueta.This is completely natural and I thought worked even better than the Bio-Oil.  I bought the Rio Rosa oil discounted from a health food shop that was sadly closing down and as soon as I have used up all the Bio-Oil so as not to waste it I will definitely buy another bottle.

The Weleda Natural Citrus Deodorant is one of my favourite buys.  I do not use it everyday as it is a wet spray which takes time to dry and quite different to the usual deodorants but I love the fresh smell and the reason it is in my ‘use up’ box is because I decant some into a small handbag size bottle to keep with me when I need to freshen up.

So there you have it my small attempt at being thrifty – I always feel quite delighted with myself when I have squeezed and scraped every last drop out of the jar or bottle.  It is a bit like using up all the left over bits of veg in the fridge and turning them into a delicious soup and gaining an extra free meal.

appEArance, beauty, drEAming, random thoughts, trEAsure

Dry heels and a lightbulb moment…

I love giving myself a pedicure – not that I have a foot fetish or anything but I like my feet to feel smooth and look good. With my family genes I have not been blessed with the best looking feet in the world and as you know at the moment I am having a lot of foot pain so pampering them does make them a bit better.

I usually do the pedicure on a Sunday evening whilst watching TV and I keep a Muji storage container handy with all the necessary tools and potions and lotions for my feet.  I quite often buy new products to try and presently I use Neal’s Yard Seaweed and Arnica Foaming Bath as a foot soak (although expensive a little goes a long way – and I always have it on my Birthday wish list) together with a sprinkle of Epsom Salts.

Recently in one of my magazines I noticed an advert for Flexitol Heel Balm which is for dry rough feet and cracked heels and thought I would give it a try.

I always prefer natural products and so I bought the Natural formula version over the usual one.  It is best to use it morning and evening and it certainly does what it says on the tin.  My heels looked smoother within days. I can certainly recommend it.

It was during this rigorous daily program that I had one of those lightbulb moments as I noticed that giving this area a lot of care and attention everyday produced quick and amazing results and that if I applied the same kind of focus to anything I did then I could not fail to see changes happening and just like applying the heel cream twice a day soon became a habit then anything else would work in the same way.

Of course I couldn’t keep adding and adding to my daily routines with everything I do as there would not be enough time during a day to do them all so I will have to figure out what are the routines that I want to put in place that will give me the quickest and most long-lasting results.

As my heels are so much better now a daily application is all that is necessary and maybe this will reduce even further to a weekly maintenance application – in a similar way I suspect that I could reduce the intensity of focus of a lot of other routine tasks once a result has been obtained.

I just need to figure out what is the best task for me to focus on next – it could be something from my household, finance, self and health or work categories or something even more general.  As usual lots to think about.