Saturday, 31 July 2010

momentum building...

My in-laws have come to stay and it wasn't stressful!!! The bathroom was already clean (I don't feel like I've cleaned it for weeks, swish and swipe makes such a difference!), the spare room was ready (although I spent 10 minutes just making it better!), I did a weekly home blessing so the place sparkled and I felt like I had time so went out for coffee with a friend! Wow! What a difference. I don't think that I ever thought that I would achieve this.

Today the four of us spent the day working on the garden. Since we moved in we haven't done much so it had become an overgrown mess. We stripped back some of the beds, saving the few plants that I love. The men then did two trips to the tip (once we'd filled our wheelie bin!) and my M-I-L and I went to the garden centre to buy some herbs and some lavender. We also put down some slate for pots to go on. It looks so much better and I now feel that I might have the confidence to go and do 15 minutes regularly to keep it looking good and to start work on the areas that we haven't done. I need to add it to my routines.

We finished about 4pm and I then had a bath and got ready an hour early for our meal out to celebrate my husband's birthday. So now I am ready to go but can relax and not rush. That is a culture change for me! It feels so much better. I am usually the sort of person to think "I'll just do this, then that" then I end up being rushed and late!

Also my study is slowly taking shape. We had some furniture arrive for the lounge, so I was able to move some books down, giving me a bit more space. I also put a few reading books in the spare room, freeing up more space. As ever there is still a lot to do but if I can't spend a lot of time in here I just walk in and deal with one item. I have also started dealing with some clutter in the kitchen. These are all things that were in drawers in the last house, but we don't have the space here and are just piled up. A lot of really is junk and not needed.

To finish, my M-I-L gave me a tea towel yesterday with the following quote:

"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful" William Morris

Thursday, 29 July 2010

getting started!

The week has been going well. The house is mostly tidy and it's staying clean. The most difficult part was starting decluttering my study. It felt really overwhelming and I didn't know where to start. After putting it off and doing lots of cleaning elsewhere in the house I eventually did 5 minutes. I just picked up a few things that could be binned. The following day I did a few things more and I am now able to see a bit of a difference. There is still a lot to do but it is beginning to feel like it might happen. Somehow though I need to get a lot out as the room is much smaller than in the previous house and I want it to be a much tidier room.

Just doing a little bit at a time is a change of culture for me. I am the sort of person who would declutter all day and be exhausted. So I am finding it difficult but it is nicer than being exhausted and still not finishing it. I just hope that I will get there soon!

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Monday, 26 July 2010

having fun!

I really enjoyed pottering on saturday morning. I managed to get a few rooms looking better. I then went out to help set up at church for the holiday club.

Sunday wasn't a great day. my husband had a migraine. but I did what I needed to and relaxed.

This week I have a routine set up to get things done and also have fun. Each morning I am going to set up the sound system for the holiday club. I am then coming home to do home blessings (housework for those for not familiar with flylady) before going back to put it away. This should leave me with the afternoons to do what I like. Yesterday I got lots done in the morning and then in shopping for my husband's birthday presents (which he loved -i went to his favourite deli and wine merchants to get nice things). This afternoon I have a friend who I haven't seen for a year coming round for coffee. She only lives a 10 minute walk away. I feel bad that we haven't caught up!

Today I am sat enjoying my clean lounge and will work on my study later. It does feel nice having things tidy and clean around me. And by getting things done it feels good and leaves me time to have fun!

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Saturday, 24 July 2010


this is the first blog post I have written on my phone so please excuse any mistakes!
I am sat curled up with the cat, enjoying the first saturday of the holidays. unfortunately this is the first weekend in ages where I can not work and my husband has had to go in to work. :|
Yesterday I went into work for some training, which was useful and then I spent a couple of hours tidying up my classroom. I have found it overwhelming but I took one corner and just worked there. I was pleased with the result, although there is still a lot to do.
Today my plan is not to do too much but I do want to do normal routines and maybe some gardening and my weekly home blessing. I haven't listened for ages to flylady's radio show so I think I need to get the wireless headphones out! I am really looking forward to a day of pottering! Happy saturday!

edit: I just remembered some other things that I was pleased that I managed yesterday. For a couple of weeks I have been meaning to fill the car up with petrol on Fridays. Yesterday was the first time that I remembered and did it! It felt odd filling it up when it wasn't empty! I also cleaned out my purse/handbag. It really needed it. I don't usually manage these tasks, and I am determined that I will get into the habits on Fridays!

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Thursday, 22 July 2010

So school has finished for the summer holidays. Unfortunately that doesn't mean that my work is done. At work my classroom and office are in a mess. I have lots of paperwork that need doing, and there is filing to be done. On top of that I have lots of aspirations for the holidays at home.

You see I am in the habit of saying to myself "I'll do that when I'm on school holidays". Both at work and home, and then when I get to the holidays I know that I am a bad manager of my time. Plus I need to relax (this year more than most!).So I'm hoping that by sharing it with you I will get a handle on it!

At home I am hoping to really keep up with the flylady routines, including working through the zones as they come up. I'm hoping that by doing that I will start the new term with a clean house. I am also planning to get all of that done in the mornings, leaving my afternoons to having coffee with friends etc. I know that there will be some days where I will have plans for the whole day, but that won't be everyday.
I also have two projects that I want to complete. The first is a tidy-up and declutter of my study. Since we moved in I have had too much stuff in it, and there are mounds of paperwork which need sorting. It is really bugging me, so I want to make it nice. Here are some before pictures, so that you will see the difference:

The other project is that I want to finish sanding down our staircase. I started before we moved in, but it was so hard work that I didn't finish it. It is a nice open tread wooden staircase, but I want to sand it down and treat it.
I know that it is babysteps that will help me get there. I don't want to burn out anymore than I am already. But I do need want to feel that I have accomplished something over the time off.

We are not having a holiday this year, but DH is taking a week off so that we can do things together. I don't want that to become doing things around the house! So I want to complete all this in the other weeks (including all the school work!). I am hoping to keep my blog updated so that both you and I can see the progress!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010


Hmmm..... It has been a month since I last updated this. Big apologies, I have many excuses, but I won't bore you with them.

I will however, tell you about some of the wonderful things that have happened in that time, including me dealing with some of my perfectionist tendencies.

I didn't think that I was a perfectionist, but when I came to the end of the flylady 31 days babysteps, I decided to look back at what I hadn't managed to do, and think about why. That way I could build on the good habits I've formed from babysteps and continue to improve. The big things that I don't do are:

5 min room rescue
2 min hotspot clearup (although I am much more aware of my hotspots now!)
Kelly's mission (or any zone work -often I don't know which zone we are in!)
swish and swipe

Most of these things are just a case of getting the other routines in place so that I end up with the time to add a room rescue etc. But one really bugged me, because a year ago I really tried to get it, and just haven't managed to get it. That was swish and swipe.

For those not familiar with Flylady, the swish and swipe is a quick wipe down of the bathroom everyday so that you don't have to do big cleans, and it is always company ready. I used to keep a cloth in the bathroom, wipe it down everyday -but because I wiped the toilet seat I would want to take the cloth down to the laundry and get another, but I would often forget to bring another cloth up. I also found it difficult to do it everyday. I couldn't see any dirt, so what is the point? I'd tried to master swish and swipe a few times, but ended up always giving up. It is such a fab idea, but I couldn't do it.

Anyway, after my month of babysteps I started to think about what is holding me back. The lightbulb came on, it was the cloths! In my ideal world I do all my cleaning with these cloths and wash them. It works for most things. I don't like the idea of wipes because of landfill. BUT I decided that if I am going to make this a habit wipes would be the best idea. I bought some anti-bacterial wipes, I have been using them now for 2 weeks and I have had a clean bathroom for 2 weeks. It really makes me smile everyday to see it shining, and when I had someone to stay I didn't have to clean the bathroom first.

Maybe, once this is a real habit I will be able to switch to cloths, but I'm not going to get hung up on it. I'm saving water, by not having to use it to clean, and wash the cloths. I'm just going to concentrate on establishing the habit.

What is your perfection holding you back from? My next aim is to get hotspot clearing a real habit.