Monday, 31 January 2011

Big Unit

This is our "Big Unit." Sometimes when my husband refers to the Big Unit I cannot be entirely sure he is talking about this piece of furniture, but I give him the benefit of the doubt else I'd get a complex. Look! Mister Maker is on the TV!

Now, this was a genius buy intended to banish all clutter from our living room forever. We would just close the doors on it and forget about what was lurking inside while we watched Dr. Who or whatever. Unfortunately, being messy by nature, the Big Unit hasn't really fulfilled that role. Yet.

At the moment it's more of a "clutterattractamatron". Due to the shelves being really high up and out of the reach of our curious toddler, we end up sticking everything on there for now. Illustrated pretty well on the above photo. In fact, this photo shows an improvement cause we previously had all the top shelves open. I bought two new doors in order to reduce the cluttered space. It does look loads better, especially for the short time it is free from rubbish.

Now, I know you're as nosy as I am - why else would you be here!? :o) So I have some photos of what does lurk behind those doors...

Okay, so this was a typical messy day before adding those extra doors. As you can see, the abandonment of stuff is not limited to the shelving, we also leave random objects on the top.

These drawers will likely just stay how they are. The wires and things are fine in the right and drawer and we need the nappies within easy reach, so they can stay in the left-hand drawer for now.

Need I explain what is pictured below? The clothes were the Eldest's next size ones waiting to be ironed. They've now gone into her room. The rest is mostly man stuff.

This is my crap. Obviously, the main ironing pile belongs with my things, being the wife and all... ;o)

You're not going to get closure on this today because I have no photos of what it looks like now. I've tidied the top shelving, sorted out my side and rearranged the ornaments so less is more. The hubby's side remains pretty much the same. Meh. I'll leave him to it.

So, I will take some pics and get them posted soon.

Well, it's the end of January and you know what? I am pleased with what I have done! I have managed to get started on a lot of little organising and decluttering projects that were really starting to grind me down. I may have flitted a little too much and not managed to finish a lot, but it is only the first month!

By the end of February, I expect we will have finished our son's nursery and made a good start on our next big decorating project - the living room. Yikes! It is badly in need of it, but boy am I not looking forward to that task. It's a pretty big room, not to mention having to work around two young kids. EEP!

Other smaller things I have planned for the near future are,
1. Organising a place to store all my daily essentials - diary, breast pads, phone, etc.
2. Sorting out an essentials pouch for my handbag / nappy bag.
3. Getting together a kiddies essentials pack for keeping in the car.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

I have been busy. Honest!

It's been a fair while since I posted anything, but that's because I was thinking that I should wait until something gets finished before telling you about it. Then it occurred to me today that if I always do that then this blog will just be a series of massive gaps with the occasional "here's what I've got done" posts. Rubbish!

So, here's what I have been up to this past few days...

I decided to tackle the airing cupboard at the top of the stairs and see if I could find a cheaper alternative to the expensive three-section laundry basket I was coveting from Next. 

As you can see from the next photo, the inside isn't very tidy and could do with some thorough organisation and the relocation of several redundant or weirdly placed items. The plastic box on the middle shelf is actually my sewing stuff. I have no idea why this is kept with the towels, so don't ask. There must have been a logical reason at the time of putting it there!

Well, no thrifty alternative was forthcoming, so I splashed the cash and paid the £30 for the laundry basket. So far I am very impressed!! In fact, it could be the best £30 I've spent and that makes me depressed. Seriously though, it's amazing. Once the hubby was trained with regards to which colour clothing goes in which section (no I'm not joking) the system works really well!

No more having to sort the washing to find out that you don't have enough for the load you wanted to do. Just peek inside the cupboard and if the washing reaches the top of it's hamper section then it's ready to go! But there's no need to transfer the washing into a separate laundry carrying basket - oh no! Simply pick up the relevant section using the handles and carry it to the washer that way. Brilliant!

I am in love with this laundry basket.

Yes, you may mock me. I am aware of how sad that is.

Looking at that last photo it would seem that my airing cupboard would benefit from a little freshening up. I feel a lick of paint coming up, and maybe some flooring...

Speaking of painting cupboards. I've been doing the inside of my baby boy's cupboard/wardrobe/closet to make it all nice and clean looking. The husband has kindly adapted and added shelving to make it more practical and he's also knocking up some new doors from sheets of MDF.

Here's what it looks like right now:

It just needs a coat or two more of paint on the inside, the shelves need painting and the doors need painting and putting on.

This is our first priority right now cause our little boy is rapidly getting too big for his moses basket and needs to be put into his cot in his room very soon.

Here's what his room looks like right now. A mess! :o)

Well, I've run out of steam for this evening, but I have more photos to show you of half-finished projects we're on with at the moment. There's also the inside of my daughter's newly rearranged clothes drawers and a forthcoming large decorating project to tell you about.

Til next time! It won't be as long this time. I'm still learning! :o)

Mwah! x

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Flitty McFlitterson

You know what I'm doing? I'm flitting. I do that. A LOT. I start one thing full of enthusiasm and before you know it I've had a really fabulous idea for something else and *blink* I've flitted onto that thing, leaving the first thing half done.

So far I have loads of half done organising and decluttering projects on the go. The office was the only thing I kind of finished and even then, the cupboard in that room has been left on the sidelines.

My son's room will be the next thing to finish, which is fairly big. We have pencilled in this Friday to make a start on the cupboard remodelling. My husband will measure it to get the extra shelving I need and when that's in I will just paint it all white to freshen it up. I've bought the 'drawers' i needed to use as storage. I just need to get a couple more on my next trip to IKEA.

To whet your appetite here's a photo of my son's cupboard/wardrobe/closet and nursery before I started to get everything in place.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

My Bunch of Keys

It's a silly little thing, but one with a decent enough impact. My bunch of keys was getting stupidly big. Each time I got a new key I would simply add it to the bunch with little regard for what was already there. I had too many keyrings, too many of those metal ring doodads and duplicates of keys where I only needed one.

So, I sat down for 5 minutes and took the whole thing apart to rebuild it. Now I just have the essentials - one front door key, one back door key, one key that is for something I've forgotten about and need to track. One keyring with my daughter's bounty photo in, my Clubcard barcode and a key club keyring for if I lose them. Job's a good un!

You may not be able to tell much of a difference, so I sexed up the second image a bit. The first image was taken with the flash on with a crap background. The second image was taken in natural light in a sexier setting (is a keyhole sexy?)

What's that you say? "My word what a difference! What once was a mightily shoddy bunch of keys is now a shining example of lock opening implement organisation!"

Oh yeah baby!

Okay, so I know that doesn't really make up for a week of silence, but truth be told I have been very busy with my decluttering! I am on with my daughter's drawers and working through filtering out all her too-small clothes. Our baby boy's nursery is almost finished and I will be ready to share a photo of that soon, followed a couple of weeks later by the gorgeously new tidy wardrobe/cupboard in his room. Oh, it's all going on!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Craft Room / Guitar Room / Home Office Overhaul

Remember this?

Well, a couple of hours, a couple of recycling boxes, a couple of binbags and a couple of strops later it's been decluttered, cleaned and organised to perfection!

This room is our combination craft room, guitar room, and office space and it is actually what used to be our old kitchen. If I get some time later I'll post photos of the old room and pictures from when it was being renovated. The vintage wallpaper we uncovered is worth a post all on its own!!

So, without further ado here are the before and after photos from my latest decluttering and home organising mission:

 You may notice in that last one I had a little helper. Not much help mind - he was asleep! Tut!

Now for the after photos. Please try to ignore how wonky some of these photos are. I think some of it is lens distortion and some is just because I was stood in a cupboard to take the photo. 

Ta daaa! I am very pleased, even if I do say so myself!

The only downside from sorting out this particular room is that I found nothing that I am able to put on eBay. However, I did manage to throw away tons of paper recycling and filled a binbag with normal rubbish, so not too bad.

Remember that cupboard I stood in to take photos? It's the door to the left of the desk. Inside is our boiler and other household bits and bobs. You would think that it would be a useful cupboard, and it kind of is except it's not really big enough for the clothes horses (yes, we need two) to fit in as well as the ironing board and hoover. I do have plans though, so watch this space!

Friday, 7 January 2011

I'm Coveting This Laundry Hamper

This would make life a lot easier! No more bending into the one basket to lift out mixed up clothes, sorting into three piles then discovering that you don't have enough in any pile for a load...

Actually, that's not happened to me in years. Usually, I find I have too many of one colour section to do one load. In which case this is still a good item to have! Everyone puts their washing in the right basket so all I have to do is glance to see whether any of them are full enough for a load to be done, rather than having to empty and sort the one basket to see. Easy peasy!

There's a catch though. It's £30 in Next and I think that's a bit much to pay. I'll get my thinking cap on and see if I can come up with an alternative solution based on this idea.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Bringing Out My Daughters Next Size Of Clothes


Now my little lady has turned two I have gone into the loft to bring down her stash of clothes that are the next size up. Thanks to a very kind friend I had a lot of clothes in waiting that have been passed on from her little girl. 

Since I have sensed Eldest growing out of her clothes for a while I decided to "catch" those things that are too small as they came through the laundry and ironing. I then had three boxes set up. One for things to pass along to my friend for her daughter and another for those things I can sell on eBay. The third box wasn't really a box at all, it was just the bin - for those clothes that didn't survive this particular stage of toddlerdom.

On principle, I would never try to sell anything that had been given to us by anyone. I think that would be tacky and would feel wrong, so everything that was passed to us I will pass along again. The eBay box will only contain those things we have bought ourselves that I feel will sell well - sets, 'better' brands, etc.

So here are some photos of Eldests clothes storage before. First her chest of drawers...

This is her top drawer - Socks, hats/scarves/gloves, sleepsuits/PJs, tights, blankets, big girl pants. There is a lot in there and I'd like to declutter that drawer a little.

The middle drawer - home to long and short-sleeved tops, vests and knitwear. Too much in here too!

Bottom drawer - home to all "bottomy" types of things - leggings, trousers, jeans, dungarees, skirts, and shorts.

Last but not least...

The wardrobe! I have never understood why they don't fit children's wardrobes with either a second rail halfway down or some integrated drawers or something. Such a waste of space! This is why there are those plastic drawers in there.

In this wardrobe, we have dresses, jackets, and coats as well as my wedding dress at the end there. This should be moved really, but there's no room in our wardrobe right now. That's a whole other blog post for a whole other day!

On top of the drawers are a random cardigan and her bath box from when she was a baby. This needs sorting out now too. Have I opened up a can 'o' worms or what?! It's full of cotton wool balls, hair clips, bobbles, baby bath stuff, etc. A real mish-mash. 

Stuffed down the side of the drawers is the pillow from her bed (doesn't like it) and her old nappy bag. 

The drawers contain a whole array of things such as breast pump, instructions for the nursery furniture, a foot moulding set, sling, nappies, knickers for under dresses, wipes, plunger (yep, plunger), shower gels and probably more random things that I've forgotten about. 

So far I managed to weed out all of the clothes that are too small and reorganise her drawers to fit the new things in. 

Here's what her room looked like mid-session...

This girl has more clothes than I do!

I haven't finished this little mini-project yet, so no after photos for you until I'm done. Nooooo! Cliffhanger! ;o)

In the meantime, I'll give you a little taster of my next mini-project to get your fingers itching for a sort out (or just to do your head in).

Monday, 3 January 2011

Selling Books on Ebay

I am a book addict! Specifically books about vampires and werewolves. You know, the kind of thing that is all the rage at the moment. In my amazon account, I tend to preorder the latest paperback release in those series' I like the most. Then I can get my hands on a copy as soon as it is published.

The sheer amount of books I devour means I would have a LOT kicking about the house if I kept them. Last year I got together all the books I didn't want to keep and sold them all on eBay. Now I continue this by listing each book I have read as soon as I have a batch of 4 or 5 to go on in one go.

Not only does this help to keep clutter out of the house, but it means I get some of the money back from the purchase price I originally laid out. Everyone wins!

Books are pretty easy to list on eBay. You don't even have to use your own photograph of the book if you use their system to enter the ISBN number and bring up the details. I prefer to take my own photographs though. It helps to describe the book so that people are clear on the condition. I also make sure I explain the condition in writing too.

My prices on eBay usually always start at 99p since I think that attracts more interest, apart from the fact that it's free to list at 99p or less since I am a private individual. Also, in my opinion, items will tend to find their own correct value provided you have used a decent photo and described it well.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Decluttering to Ebay

Today's job was to upload those listings I'd already added to Turbo Lister. That included the bag 'o' socks. I tell you what there's going to be a bidding war over those!! Since I had some time this evening too I also listed some maternity wear and baby clothes.

Each time I organise a cupboard or tidy a shelf I will be thinking about things that I could list on eBay. This will help declutter our living space as well as raise funds for home decoration and storage solutions for all my home organising wizardry! :o)

Organising My New Diary

Happy New Year!! :o)

Yesterday was a day for a minor organisation. I always find the updating of a new diary to be a fun experience. It's like a fresh start. This year I will remember all birthdays and make sure I use my diary efficiently to effectively run my family's lives. Yeh. ::nods::

To warn me of upcoming birthdays I have counted back 10 days before each one and added a note forewarning me so that I have time to buy or make a card and post it out if necessary. I've also put my weight and vital statistics in there as measured on 29th December so I can refer back when I'm skinny.

This feels so good! I'm never this organised at home!! :o)
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