Organisation and ‘what success means’.

Warning: Slight Chance of Philosophy Ahead.

Hello there. Another week has flown by with no discernable house progress.  The to-do list is fairly steady, although I did manage to sort a bunch of stuff out that’s just been hanging around.  We’ve had a hire car for a few weeks whilst mine was in the shop.  That meant we had to take everything out of our car, which in turn, meant I had to sort out everything in our car.  There was a broken steam mop and half a rice cooker in there.  A fun afternoon of sorting was had.  I’m only mostly being sarcastic here-I genuinely enjoy sorting and organising.  Mr E always jokes that I have a thing for containers, and he’s absolutely 100% correct.  I love a good jar, and it was with great glee that I finally sorted out the world’s smallest pantry.  Well, it’s a cupboard, but I can call it a pantry.
I’m calling that success.  We were talking about what success means to us, and came to the conclusion that it’s really simple.  Being Happy.  I feel pretty damn successful at the moment.  I don’t earn a ton, but I spend time with my little man.  I don’t have a massive house, but my flat is full of exactly what I want.  I like my job, I’m happy with my self image (shock!) and the few friends I have are ace.

Mostly though, I like to open cupboards and see things all neatly arranged.  It certainly makes baking much easier.  This weeks’ TOTW wasn’t that great.  I made baked doughnuts but they were a bit too heavy and cakey for my liking.  Perhaps I’ll resort to frying again.
Already so interested in the record player.  This was a calm Sunday morning playtime shot, and he decided he wanted to climb.

Here’s to the freakin’ weekend…

I’ll drink to that.  It’s been a relatively calm weekend so far, the biggest moment of productivity being re-organising my kitchen cabinets. On Sunday we’re going to change out all of our light flex for  beautiful aquamarine cloth covered flex from Etsy.   TodayI treated us to some fantastic white, high thread count bed linen, gorgeous grey pillow cases, and a grey and white throw. Tomorrow is the day I’ll take photographs of 46.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to start the day with pancakes and bacon, fresh OJ, REAL coffee, listening to Beatles records, and reading design and shelter blogs.  Rock and Roll.

Also, I’m working on a commission for Movement for Hope, so keep your peepers peeled over on the design pages to see what I get up to!

Cupboard Shame

Good Evening all,

I’ve finally been shamed into sorting out the cupboard which serves as a loft in my apartment.  Now, it’s important that you know that I am married to a hoarder, and we pulled about 8 boxes of CABLES, myriad broken laptops, access points, projectors and whatnot out of the cupboard.  In all fairness, not a great deal of the ‘stuff’ in there was mine, but there is a pretty hefty pile heading to charity shops tomorrow.  We also shifted 4 binbags of junk and 3 of recycling.  Yep, there was a place in our house dedicated to storing out of date pizza menus…

Without further ado, I present some pretty shameful before pictures…

It was, as I believe the kids say, a hot mess.

So, after about 8 hours and a trip to the local Staples, it started to look a bit more like this…

Finally, once everything was out and I could hoover, we had the fun of fitting it all back in.  I’d been ‘editing’ as it all came out, so I was faced with a  MUCH reduced amount of stuff to cram back in.  There were a few ‘Tetris’ moments, but on the whole it is SO much better!


The Great Wardrobe Experiment

Good Evening!

Over the years I’ve tried and failed so many times to keep my wardrobe in order.  Even living in an amazingly small space didn’t kept me in check.  But this time I vowed to try harder, and I think it’s working.  Our bedroom has a bizarre nook with a higher ceiling than the rest of the room, and it’s in here that we have installed some IKEA Stolmen poles and a small chest of drawers.  For a very long time (Read:Several Years) it looked like this:

Having enough of ironing my clothes both when they went in and when they came out I developed a Plan.  I wrote myself a plan for getting the beast tidy, and some ‘rules’ for keeping it that way.
Getting Tidy
1.  Sort out the clothes.  I took everything back and followed the old ‘6 month’ rule.  If I haven’t worn it in 6 months, it goes.  Yep.  Harsh, but it works.  Now everything in my wardrobe is something I love.
2.  Work out what works.  I find it easier to have stuff hanging, the Mr likes things folded.  Once you figure out where you’re likely to put stuff when you finish with it, you can work out where it needs to be in the first place.
3.  Put everything back!
Keeping it That Way
My simple rule is to put things away.  Even if I don’t feel like it first thing in the morning, I will fold up my pyjamas and put them in the drawer.  That skirt I want to wear tomorrow?   Back on the hanger, not slung over a chair.  Belts?  Hair accessories?  Necklaces?  They all head into the cute tin pail, and stay there.  
There were a few changes as we figured out what worked…The big box for shoes, and the tin pail for ‘stuff’.
It seems to be working so far-and I’m ironing much less. 🙂

Make Do and Mend…

A bit of a cheeky DIY post today (with poor photography-sorry).  I’ve had some old blue box files kicking around for a while that I think must have crept home with me from work once upon a time.  I DO use them, but I hide them away because they are pretty awful.  I decided today that I would cover them with a nice paper.  I took a trip to John Lewis and picked up a roll of Orla Kiely Multi Stem wrapping paper, and covered the aforementioned boxes.

Much Better.  We’ve got a few plans for the dining room this year, meaning that more things are going to be on display.  We got a new table last month-which finally replaces the one from Homebase, and there are a few more things on the To-Do list.  We’re going to repaint, get rid of my huge desk and we’re finally going to get around to putting up shelves in there.  This means all the files, vases, magazines and who-knows-what-else will be on show.

Unfortunately, John Lewis is a dangerous place, as I instantly fell in love with these Sagaform glasses

They would look very nice on the new shelves….

Things for 2011.

I never make any New Year’s Resolutions for the simple reason that I never seem to be able to stick to them.  I always say ‘This year I’ll x,y,z…And I MEAN it this time…” But it never happens.  The only year I succeeded in keeping my resolutions was when I decided to drink more, start smoking and bite my fingernails.  That was a good year.  The moral of this story then?  I’m going to put into words my New Year’s Resolutions, and then call them something else.  Simple.
So.  Things for 2011 then.
First of all (and I really, really mean it this time) I need to get myself more organised.  I think the only way to do this is to figure out just how much actual stuff I have, how much of it I use, and how much of it I like.  We have no loft space in our apartment, but we do have a large, walk-in cupboard built right into the eaves.  Last year Mr E built bespoke shelving with the intention of coralling all the ‘stuff’ that ends up in there.  I don’t even know what’s in there any more.
This cupboard is number one on the list.  It will be neat, it will be useful.  It will contain blissfully folded towells, stacks of neat, ironed sheets in bundles ready to be grabbed should we have unexpected guests.  It will huose the emergency food and tools, it will, in short, be amazing.

This cupboard will then start a chain reaction, I feel.  Although everything is always ‘away’ in our apartment, nothing really has a home (except the rice crispies).  We have enough storage, but everything always seems to be in the wrong place.  Hopefully, when the cupboard is sorted, the Christmas china can go up there, freeing up space in the dining room for the lesser used casserole dishes and cake tins, freeing up space in the kitchen for…you get the picture.  Hopefully having a coherent plan of HOW we use the apartment will help us to understand where our stuff needs to be.

Secondly, I think we need to look at the stuff that we bring into the place, almost mindlessly sometimes.  I am terribly guilty of impulse buying, only for things to sit on a shelf somewhere before eventually being given to charity.  I therefore ‘resolve’ (whoops, oh well, it’s down now) to think about every little thing I aquire, and not just grab everything that takes my fancy in TK Maxx.  If we need one and we don’t have one I will buy one.  If we have one and I find a nice one, I will buy one-but give the old one away.  At one point last year, we had no fewer than FOUR yucky plastic measuring jugs, as well as one nice on and a glass one.  This is what I’m talking about.

I guess the mantra for 2011 is THINK!