Posts Tagged ‘clutter


I meant to complete the morning routine in the morning. And it’s no longer morning.


Mind you, I did complete it. This is a significant achievement for me. I think since the start of the year I have successfully done this maybe, um, once or twice. Let’s look at the list again:

Get Dressed to Shoes including Hair/Face, Brush Teeth
Did that before the school run, you’ll be relieved to know

Make Bed
This was quite a challenge because our bedroom is such a mess. Here’s a ‘before’ picture


But a quick, focused tidy got it to this state in under ten minutes.

So I’m quite pleased about that. (The cats were less so, since they like to snuggle under the heaps of rumpled duvet. See the look of dismay on her face)

Swish & Swipe
Right, swish and swipe is a term for ‘swishing’ the toilet into a respectable state, and ‘swiping’ the washbasin. The idea is, you do it every day and then it never gets bad. I have a feeling flylady has never seen what my kids do to the toilet, because if she had, she would allocate more than two minutes per bathroom for this task. As such, I couldn’t bring myself to offer any ‘before’ pics. But here are some nice shiny ‘after’ ones instead.



Empty Dishwasher
In a family of five, we often run the dishwasher twice or three times a day. So not doing this first thing is catastrophic. So I have actually established a habit of always doing this before breakfast. And I generally do eat breakfast eventually. Phew. (oh, I usually refill it too. Otherwise eating your breakfast in last nights scummy leftovers is pretty unpleasant.)

Reboot Laundry (a Load a Day Keeps CHAOS Away)
Yes! I have rebooted! The wash I put on yesterday is now all dry, and folded and sorted. And I put a new load on. See? My halo is almost intact.

Check Your Calendar
And now my halo is broken again. It’s my nephew’s birthday, and with a rather eventful week his birthday presents are still upstairs un-posted. And with sick children I can’t go out and post them today. Or tomorrow, as loved one is away. So his pressie will be at least 4 days late. Sigh

Check Your Control Journal
What’s one of those…? It’s a place to keep your todo lists. Flylady likes to put them in clear plastic wallets and tick stuff off with dry wipe markers. I keep losing the markers. So I stick with the normal to do lists these days. Or without, which makes for more excitement, but not necessarily in a good way. Thankfully, I am sent an email telling me what chores need doing today, so I flick back to that when I need to.

Anyhow, halo intact or not, the morning routine is done at last. Yay!

Now for the ‘during the day’ routine. Flylady does all this on her Mondays:

* What’s For Dinner? (work out what you are going to eat tonight)
* Drink Your Water (not a bad idea)
* Declutter for 15 Minutes (in my case, that really needs to be two hours and fifteen)
* 15 Minutes of Loving Movement (a nice euphemism for exercise)

Monday is also the day for Weekly Home Blessing Hour. An hour dedicated to mopping floors, hoovering, dusting, changing sheets, cleaning windows and mirrors, emptying bins and getting rid of old magazines and newspapers. I am going to revise that to something more manageable. I will mop floors and hoover. I will empty bins. And I won’t do any more because I need to add my own stuff to the list.

1 tidy the hall
2 tidy the lounge
3 tidy smallest one’s bedroom
4 tidy the other rooms in the house.

I’m not expecting to manage the 4th, but if I don’t do the first three I am not going to be able to hoover anywhere at all, so that’s why I need to put them in.

I will report back soon! And if I don’t, please come and check I haven’t been buried in clutter.


We have come to the conclusion that if people are going to look at our house and, in spite of it being pristine, still say that the bedrooms are too small, we need to prove to such people that the bedrooms are actually just fine.

The bunk bed is not helping.

Somehow, bunk beds, in spite of their enormous usefulness in turning a single room into a twin room, have the power to make even a single room look half the size.  Something to do with having a large mass at eye level, I imagine.

As such, when the estate agent gives viewer feedback that the bedrooms are too small for the third time, we reluctantly come to the conclusion that we will have to do something about this if we want the house to sell any time this year.

Loved one did most of the work, I have to admit, but dismantling an Ikea bunk bed is not an easy task.  Nevertheless, somehow we managed to put the kids to bed in the rooms that they once had prior to smallest one’s arrival.  And smallest one has a corner of the study for now.

I have my suspicions that with the dismantled bunk bed shoehorned into the garage, it would only take one curious cat to make the whole thing explode, sending splinters of bunk bed and all sorts of long-forgotten items (not to mention a startled cat) flying in all directions.

(I tried to find a suitable photo, but none of the garage images I googled had anywhere enough clutter to compare. Let alone a flying cat)

Anyhow, we now have four beds in four bedrooms in our four-bed house.  Let’s hope it’s worth the hassle and people stop saying how small the bedrooms are. Even better, let’s hope they say, yes! We’ll buy it!

Well, we can but hope.

Decluttering.  If you’re not sick of her by now, this is a buzz-word of the Flylady, who is, as you may be aware, queen of decluttering.

It’s something I aspire to but am really hopeless at.  I become cowed by the sheer volume of what needs to be done.

Until, that is, it becomes an absolute necessity.

bulldogza / freedigitalphotos.netI’ve done cheat’s decluttering before.  You know, when you have people round and have less time to tidy up than you thought.  You start decluttering with great intentions.  Then you realise they’ll be here in less than five minutes, stuff everything into a bag and hide it in one of the rooms out of sight.

Now, that’s all very well when it comes to having friends round.  They don’t nosey on round upstairs.  Well, the kids might, but they don’t care and won’t judge…  Whereas people viewing a house want to see every nook and cranny.   Hiding stuff out of sight isn’t an option, unless you have a very large cupboard with a lock on it.  And no, we don’t have one of those.

I have already admitted to being fairly hopeless on the decluttering front.  So I have called in the cavalry.  Well, not exactly cavalry as such, but a couple of friends of a friend who do cleaning jobs here and there.  We have had one intensive afternoon of decluttering (two of us) and cleaning (one of us), and are poised to do another, the day before we get all the estate agents in to value the house.

We are only halfway through, yet it feels like the house has taken a large breath of fresh air.

Somewhere around the place there’s a saying along the lines of, cluttered house, cluttered mind, uncluttered house, uncluttered mind.

Well, if there isn’t, there ought to be.   I feel my soul being cleansed.

Yes, another fairy.

The House Fairy™  is a phenomenon I came across after I discovered the wonders of Flylady.  One of the Flylady’s friends is the House Fairy.

The House Fairy is Santa’s sister, and she lives with him at the North Pole.  If you contact her, she’ll visit your children’s rooms and leave a surprise if the rooms are tidy.  If they’re not tidy, all she will leave is fairy dust.

The House Fairy

She even has her own child-friendly website.

The House Fairy came yesterday.  The children’s rooms were not tidy.  There was fairy dust on the bed.    (Actually there was fairy dust in the living room too.  Very funny, House Fairy, but it’s tidy now at last.)

Turns out the fairy dust is itchy.

But I guess that’s an extra incentive.  The carrot of the surprise, and the stick of the itchy fairy dust… The House Fairy is full of surprises!

I’ll report back soon on whether the House Fairy is working out for us.  Watch this space.

(Maybe I’ll get a surprise one of these days.  Please?)

Let’s go to France for Easter.

General whoops of delight.  Until…

Errmmm… I don’t suppose you know where my passport is…?

I need my passport as soon as possible.   Babies need passports these days.  And baby number three hasn’t got one yet.  Namely because I couldn’t find mine, and I need mine before I apply for hers.

And you know that if you don’t apply waaaay before you need it, it won’t arrive in time.  So I was getting anxious.

I knew it was in a heap of papers somewhere in the house.

Only problem is, I am an expert in collecting heaps of papers.  (If only everything that came through the door could be instantly scanned into my laptop I would have no trouble finding anything; my laptop filing is meticulous.  Actually I used to work somewhere where they really did that.  And I was the one doing the industrial-scale scanning.  That was 10 years ago.  Why haven’t we all caught up?)

Thankfully I just so happened to deal with a pile of papers for the first time in, um, years, this morning.

And amazingly my passport just turned up.  In the first pile.  See? Good karma.  Maybe it’s making up for the avocado incident just before Christmas.

Sacha's long lost passport

Sacha's long lost passport

But now I have no incentive to sort through the other piles.


Unless!  I promise to my lovely blog readers that I will have sorted out another pile by this time next week.  Yes!  Consider it my sincere pledge to tell you, within a week, what delights my second pile of papers has to offer…

This is my mission. A christmas where the only clutter is the tinselly, christmassy sort and everything else is clear.

I feel the only reason why I get stressed at Christmas is because of the mess.

But the mess accumulates so quickly. You turn your back on a single child with a single present and – hey presto – you turn back to find paper everywhere, and little bits of toy all over the place.

Even less helpful when you have a baby who puts everything she can find in her mouth…

So my mission today is to get everything in our living room and hall clean and tidy. And then to re-clutter with good old Christmas tat. You can’t beat it!

I just have a feeling that I’ll be having to do this several times a day until twelfth night…