Tag Archives: Cleaning

Testing Out Six Tidying and Decluttering Methods.

Testing Out Six Tidying and Decluttering Methods

It’s been the talk of the town recently; today’s post is all about decluttering and general organisation. It’s something that I’ve made a goal around so I thought it would be the perfect time to test out different methods and find out what works for me. 

If you read my “New Year’s Resolutions: January and February Goals” you’ll know that one of my goals for the next two months is to develop a cleaning routine. This is something that is very important to me because while I have always been a messy person, I don’t want to be. (It’s got to the stage where my Mum has to come and help me with cleaning sometimes, which is really nice but I feel like I have failed because I asked for her help). I have learned that in order to have a clear mind, I need a clear space and the most important space to tackle first, is my bedroom. 

Before I start to create a cleaning routine, I need to work out what method works for me. Let me talk about the methods I have tried over the last few weeks and see how they worked: 

10 Minutes A Day

How it works: it’s what it says on the tin. You take ten minutes to organise and clean. It’s as simple as that; you can monitor your time either by an alarm or a podcast that you know is the ten minute mark. 

How did it go? A ten minute alarm comes by fast, I have learned and I also found it depends what you listen to. I found I was more focused with a podcast on in the background rather than music. I found this method much more useful in the kitchen, bedroom or the bathroom because my daily clean ups are usually in these spaces and I’m trying to focus my energy on cleaning daily in these spaces. 

Will I keep it up? 100%. It was amazingly helpful, much more helpful than I thought it ever would be and more of the time, I found that I tended to set another alarm after the first one went off and that can only be a good sign. 

Three MIT’s (Most Important Tasks)

How it works: Your three MIT’s are your most important tasks for that day. This can be used for any aspect of your day whether that’s appointments or work tasks but we’re going to use it for cleaning specifically. 

How did it go? I found this one quite difficult simply based on priortising how important each little mess was to me. I picked three areas to focus on each day but I’m not sure if they were the most important tasks. For daily or every other day tasks, this isn’t ideal but I would say if you’re doing a massive clean, then this is much better for you. 

Will I keep it up? I feel like this is an overall organisation technique for the house and not including your daily or every other day tasks, then I think it works perfectly. I will keep it up but I know that it will require a little more knowledge on each individual task and how often I need to keep up with it, then I can write this list out. 

Four Box

How it works: You set four boxes out in front of you; throw out, give away, relocate and sell. They can be any sized boxes that you have but preferably keep them all the same size as each other. 

How did it go? I used my IKEA boxes for this because I had different coloured ones so it’s easy to lay out what I was going to do with each one. I found this was a very effective method because of the visualisation; I was clearly able to see how much I had in each box and mentally, I felt like I was moving somewhere. 

Will I keep it up? Simply because of how easy it was to see what box was what based on the colours, I will definitely be using this method more often. It didn’t seem like a chore when I done it this way and that’s how I want cleaning to feel, not as a chore. 

Konmari

How it works: Marie Kondo has various different methods in her routine but we‘re going to concentrate on one for the mean time. We’ll use clothes as an example; you bring in every single item of clothing from everywhere in your house and place it in the same room. From there, you sort through what sparks joy (meaning you would like to keep it) and what doesn’t spark joy (which means you either donate it or throw it out). If you aren’t keeping it, you thank the item for giving you joy during a past time and then you let it go.   

How did it go? I didn’t get through this method at all, not even close because for me, it’s very overwhelming. I did try my best with it but even trying to find all my clothes seemed like an impossible task. 

Will I keep it up? I’m definitely going to try this again sometime but I don’t think I will start from the beginning like Marie suggests. If I choose a certain genre that appeals to me the most, I feel like I would be more connected to continuing with the method. 

12-12-12 Challenge

How it works: This method is simply finding 12 items to give away, 12 items to throw away and 12 items to relocate to another space in your home. 

How did it go? My favourite method by far! This is going to sound realy cliché but it’s like a game to try and get everything to 12 and it didn’t take too long after. I struggle with putting things away to tidy them up so I would say I didn’t like that part but this was the easiest method and the one I enjoyed the most. 

Will I keep it up? Absolutely! I found it to be the most effective method to use in my bedroom or the spare room but I wasn’t able to do it in the kitchen or the living room because I already have limited items in there. 

365 Less Things

How it works: This is another method that is quite self-explanatory; each day you either donate or throw away one thing. 

How did it go? Because it’s only one item per day, I feel like I didn’t get anywhere fast. It was nice to know that I could find another item each day but it wasn’t a very easy process for me. 

Will I keep it up? I think it is perfect for someone who already has a clean home and is looking to minimise but not do it all at once. For me, it was a very slow method and if I only did this, it would take me years to clean my home. 

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The reason I chose six methods is because I could test out a method out over a few days and I know they are all not in balance but that’s what I wanted to show. This challenge was for me but it’s also to demonstrate that there are so many other methods that aren’t all decluttering all at once. We don’t all live and breathe the same mess and it might be overwhelming to do Konmari just yet so the 12-12-12 might be a better fit. 

Have you any other recommendations of what I could do to help me develop my cleaning routine further? I would absolutely love to hear about any video, books or blog post recommendations that you have. Let me know either in the comments below, over on my Twitter or my Instagram. Thank you so much for reading and I hope you have a great day! 

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New Year’s Resolutions 2019: January and February Goals.

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Happy New Year! Welcome to my first post on the blog for this shiny New Year! I’m really excited for what this year will bring for the blog so I hope you’ll stick around with me. Today’s post is all about this year’s goals and what I’m choosing to focus on for the first two months of the year. 

In my last post, you’ll know that I’m trialing out a two month time frame instead of three month time frame, and I’m focusing on two goals this time around rather than three goals. This is to enable me to focus more intentionally on less goals and not give myself too much time either. I believe that for me, three months was too long a time frame and that’s why I tended to fall off the wagon with the habit I was trying to create. 

(What do I want to start in 2019?)
Creating a house cleaning routine. 

Cleaning is something that I love to hate. I love the feeling I get afterwards but during it, I can’t stand it. It’s something that I’ve struggled with ever since I can remember; even when I was leaving at home, I would be told to put something away and I would procrastinate until I had no choice but to put it away. It’s different now in terms of mentality; I would see a list of chores I had to do and get completely overwhelmed so much so that I didn’t do anything. I’ve managed to work through this through CBT and I know when I can push myself and when I can’t. It’s something that has taken a long time to work through but it’s been one hundred percent worth it. 

While I was off work during the Summer, I got very overwhelmed because I had a lot of free time but I almost had too much. There was so much I needed to do and wanted to do, but because there was so much that I had planned, I felt very anxious about it all. Now that I’m back at work, I’ve noticed that I don’t make enough time to clean apart from the weekend. I don’t want to spend my weekend cleaning my house but I tend to find that I make the excuse that I’m too tired to clean after work. Now, I’m very cautious of saying excuse because for me, it’s not an excuse, it’s something that I live with on a daily basis, I’m always tired. I don’t live with a chronic disease thankfully because I know how it can affect you when you do deal with something like that but from a very young age, I have always been tired. I’ve learned when to push past the tiredness and when I need to rest, because there is a true difference and you know the difference yourself when you come across it. 

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My plan going forward is to create a house cleaning routine that I can implement on weekly basis. I want to choose a number of tasks I can put into place around five days a week and it doesn’t have to be a big list; they have to be something I can do after work, that won’t take too long but they still make an impact on the house cleaning overall. Now this does correlate with another one of my “stop” activities which is “not cleaning up on a regular basis” and it’s something that I wanted to combat it alongside with the cleaning routine.  

There will be particular tasks that I’ll have to complete on a daily basis; cleaning the bath, emptying Audrey’s litter, freshen up the toilet and brushing the living room floor. Those are just a few examples of daily tasks but that is something that I will need to work into each day plan. 

(What do I want to stop in 2019?)
Not getting up straight away when my alarm goes off. 

This is one that I believe I am in the middle of conquering. In general, when Scott and I plan to go to the gym during the work week, the majority of the time, I do get up with my alarm. However, when we haven’t planned a gym session during the work week or when we plan something early at the weekend, that’s sometimes a different story and it’s a story I would like to change. 

A lot of us get into the mindset of “five more minutes” but in reality I’ve found that five more minutes in bed doesn’t make me feel any better. In fact, when I’ve had this attitude during the work week; I’ve ended up rushing to work, not having a great breakfast and starting the day off as great as I would like. 

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I don’t think this will be an easy task to start doing, but I believe I’ll be able to become more adaptable in the mornings if I see it as “five more minutes won’t give me as much satisification as I may think”. I don’t like being stressed, I don’t like not having time not to make my breakfast or my lunch properly and I prefer to control my morning, not my morning taking control of me. 

In terms of the weekends, we’re all very precious with our weekends, and why not? With working nine-to-five Monday to Friday (for me at least) it’s our time of the week where we’re not plaque with doing tasks involved with our job so it’s not unsurprising that many of us enjoy a lie-in. I love one, but I believe I’m going wrong with not going to bed early so I feel the need for that extra sleep in the morning. However, if I went to bed early continually, then I wouldn’t feel the need to want those “five minutes”. 

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I have to say I’m looking forward to introducing both these habits into my life because they are two things that I know I need to incorporate into my daily life. I tried to choose two activities that I know would be the most important to add in or change right now, and I’m looking forward to seeing how these first two goals pan out. 

Have you any tips on how to create a cleaning routine or waking up early every day? Let me know in the comments, on Instagram or via my Twitter. I hope you have a lovely day, and Happy New Year! (again). 

The Two-Minute Rule That Helps Me Stop Procrastinating.

Procrastination is something I believe we all struggle with at some point and I am no different. It’s been very prevalent for me at the moment but it’s something that I have been trying to get better at. In today’s post, I’m going to be discussing my relationship with procrastination and how I have found a quick tip to help me combat it.  

joshua-ness-225844-unsplash.jpg(Photograph by Joshua Ness on Unsplash)

Something I talked about briefly in my recent quarterly goals post was the two-minute rule and for those who don’t know about it, it’s a rule that has been around for many years that simply gets you to do smaller tasks that should take two minutes or less. In doing this, it means that you try and get those smaller tasks done right then and there, leaving less room for procrastination. 

I know why I do it, and it’s not so simple to explain. I have dealt with perfectionism for so many years; meaning that certain tasks that I do, have to be perfect. For example, I wasn’t happy with only cleaning one room of my house, it had to be the entire house or nothing at all. It’s that all-or-nothing thinking that came into play and that would take over so much that I didn’t see the point in cleaning at all if I couldn’t do it all at once. It sounds ridiculous when you read it, right? But that how I seen so many tasks for years; from school work to absolutely anything I got involved with and it stayed into my adult life.  

We’ll take cleaning the house as an example for this, I would procrastinate cleaning because I told myself that I had to wait until I had a full free day to clean the house. When I was working, that day only happened at the weekend but sometimes I would be doing other things at that time and by the time the work week had rolled around again, I didn’t have time. The cycle then began again waiting for the “perfect time” to clean an entire house and when that time did eventually come, I couldn’t clean it all in one day by myself so I became angry and frustrated.  

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With this cycle never ending, I became annoyed at myself but after talking to my therapist and having heard her say this a lot, I knew I was being too hard on myself. I knew something had to change but change is very hard sometimes, especially when you’re doing something for such a long time. I decided to implement the two-minute rule into small sections of my life and I want to share a few examples of how I have done this: 

Making my bed in the morning. 

I talked about this briefly in the goals post but it’s something that is so simple that it almost seems silly that I put it off. This doesn’t even take one minute to do, never mind two. As soon as I get up in the morning, I make the bed because it can be so tempting to get back in after breakfast. Plus, there’s no better feeling than getting into a made bed in the evening. 

Washing the dishes after I have used them. 

Not exactly two minutes depending on what you have cooked, but I find it much easier to do the dishes straight away rather than wait until the evening or the next morning. I would be really lazy and they would end up sitting for days, it made the kitchen look very bland and not as fresh. I’ve started to feel more organised getting them washed, dried and most of the time, put away too.  

Prepping vegetables for a main meal. 

I tend to stick to a small selection of meals so I know the exact portions of vegetables I need for each one and that really helps when I’m going to the shops to get what I need. Now, I tend to cut up my vegetables a few hours after buying them and putting them into boxes in the fridge or freezer. It means when I come to making the meal that day or even the next day, it’s very easy to put the already chopped vegetables, into the pot and start the process. This takes longer than two minutes, depending on the amount, but it’s a rhythm I’ve been loving lately. 

It’s so strange to imagine how a few simple changes to your routine can make such an impact but it does. I don’t have a complete day routine as of yet but those changes definitely help with building it up again. It’s also made me realise that I don’t need to clean the entire kitchen in a few hours, I can take it little by little and still feel good about it. Being a perfectionist, it has been hard but it’s all about working through that, isn’t it? 

Let me know if you’ve ever used this technique before or if you have a better one I can try, I’m all about trial-and-error with these type of things. Thank you for reading today’s post! 

April to June Reflections and July to September Goals (2018)

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We’re now in the third quarter of the year which means it’s time to look back at my goals from the past three months and to set myself some new goals for the next three. I spoke about changing my perspective with New Year’s Resolutions back in January so I wanted to play around with three month goals instead.  

(Number One) Begin my research into growing my blog. 

I didn’t even begin to start this one, it’s something I have wanted to do for about two years now but it’s something that I haven’t sat down properly to do yet. Maybe it’s a sign that it’s not a priority at the minute? 

(Number Two) Note down my spending for one month. 

I started to do this at the beginning of April and it lasted until three weeks in but I didn’t get until the end. So I didn’t complete this but at least I started it, which is something, right? 

(Number Three) Try a new fitness class. 

Yes! I did this and it was defintely an interesting experience. Scott and I went to a kickboxing class together for six weeks and we really enjoyed it. We even signed up to the next level class but on the first week, it was completely out of our comfort zone and we didn’t enjoy it as much so we decided not to go back. He did buy us a pair of gloves each though so we can have our own sessions in his garden if we wanted to. 

So on to the next three months; this will cover July, August and September then I’ll be back at the beginning of October to tell you about my progress for my latest goals and what I have in store for the next three months after that.  

(Number One) Write a “Top Three Tasks” list every day. 

This was something I used to practice quite regularly for a few months but it suddenly dropped off my radar and I want to pick it up again. It was very helpful for me to minimise stress so instead of creating a huge to-do list, I had to choose the three most important things I would like to get done that day. If you feel overwhelmed like I do when it comes to to-do lists but you still love them, I would try out this technique to see if it can work for you too. 

(Number Two) Be satisfied with my home. 

I’m a perfectionist and while my handwriting is very pretty (I do love it and it’s one of my traits I’m very proud of), it comes at price when it comes to other aspects in my life. I never feel satisfied with my home; I always feel like there is something to clean or put away and that’s partially true because it’s never felt truly clean. My spare room was a complete bomb site for over a year and I want to get to the stage when it’s clean, spacious and I don’t leave everything to the point where I need to do a huge clean. It will be challenge but I’m willing to try it; I want to be proud of my home and right now, I’m not. 

(Number Three) Practice “Good for them” rather than being negative towards myself. 

Jealously or envy is something that I don’t hear about all that often and my perspective on it is very similar to comparison. We seem to be more open about talking about comparing ourselves to other people especially in the online world and I believe envy slots into the same category. When I hear about someone’s success, I want to be able to say “Good for them” rather than think “I wish I was good enough to do that” because I don’t want to be negative about myself simply because someone else is doing better than me.  

Let me know what you think of goals; are you more of a New Year’s Resolutions person that focuses on all year-round goals or do you like to split them up like me? ❤

January to March Reflections and April to June Goals (2018)

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Back in January, I talked about changing my perspective on New Year’s Resolutions and how I’m now looking at goals in a three-month basis rather than all year round. We’re now in the second quarter of the year and it’s time to not only reflect on the last three months but to look ahead to the next three. 

(Number One) Clear my spare room. 

I haven’t completed this one yet, I’m getting there but not just yet. On the positive side, I have filled six large black bin bags and given away four bags of items away to charity with more bags still to be filled. So while I haven’t completed this particular goal, I’m much further on than I was at the start of the year.

(Number Two) Finish my nutrition course.

I have my final exam to take and then I will be finished. I’ve been working hard the last few weeks to give myself time in the evening to study so to be so close to the finishing point, I’m so pleased!

(Number Three) Read fifty pages a week. 

I kept track of this for the first few weeks of January but that very much slipped so I don’t know how many pages I have read since the start of the year. I know that I have however, read two books and listened to two full audiobooks. By the way, how did I not realise the beauty of audiobooks until this year? With four books altogether, I know that was more than I had read altogether last year so I’m very pleased already with that number.

So on to the next three months; this will cover April, May and June and at the beginning of July, I’ll be back to tell you about my progress for my latest goals and what I have in store for the next three months after that. 

(Number One) Begin my research into growing my blog. 

This particular goal has been something I have been thinking about for possibly two years. I want to have my own domain name, I want to build my own media kit and I want to be able to curate my blog design to how I would like but it’s not something you can change in a day. I know research will be required for what host I use, what website do I go through for the domain, the type of service I want and whether I want someone to build me a design. There are so many more things to think about so while I’m not committing to changing everything in three months, I want to at least look into everything I want, estimated costs and how much time it will take too.

(Number Two) Note down my spending for one month. 

Note that I have only said one month, simply because I feel like I only really need to do it for one month to see an average spend. The last number of months have been expensive months in terms of special occasions but these next three aren’t too bad so that’s why it was a perfect time to do this. My main purpose is to be able to start saving money again because I like to have my own “just in case” money and even if It’s not a large amount I can save, it will at least be something.

(Number Three) Try a new fitness class. 

I’m not a huge fitness class person. I prefer to work out by myself and the furthest I go is a run with my boyfriend. I went to a spin class before but I didn’t enjoy it; despite this, I wanted to push myself outside my comfort zone so my boyfriend and I have both signed up for a kick boxing six week class. I’m really excited because I’ve been looking for a boxing type class for a while but they all seemed to be “contact” classes and I didn’t want to get punched in the face, and this new class is pads and bag contact, so no injuries for me!

Let me know what you think of goals; are you more of a New Year’s Resolutions person that focuses on all year-round goals or do you like to split them up like me? 

SS: Sunday Saves (#89) Decluttering.

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Good morning all, happy Sunday and welcome back to another edition of Sunday Saves. If you haven’t been following me on Twitter, you won’t know that I have started on a clear out of my spare room which means decluttering is in full swing. That’s why I have decided to make decluttering this week’s topic because I couldn’t pass up the opportunity, right?

1) I Don’t Bend That Way (Is Decluttering The Key To A Stress Free Life?)

Your environment plays a large role in your mood; if your bedroom is filled with clutter then you won’t be able to shut off at night, or at least that’s what they say. Anne has also indicated that decluttering could potentially decrease your stress and it all adds up when you really think about it. She gives three very simple tips on how to get started and one of her tips is even “where to start” because when you have one room in particular like I do, it can be overwhelming and you haven’t a clue where to begin that process,

2) Ann Marie O’Connor (These Four Tips Will Guarantee A Clutter Free Closet)

Anne Marie is coming from a different angle in her post where she discusses not so much the cleaning and decluttering aspect of this world, but she gives four tips on how to help with it. These include how avoid distractions which if you get distracted easily especially when trying to clean, you’ll want to give that a read.

3) Live Your Decluttered Life (9 Simple Strategies for Decluttering Your Family Home)

Now to give you a warning, these next two posts from Suzie and Rebecca could be seen as quite similar posts and while there are tips that overlap, there are lots of fresh ones too. More specifically as we talk about Suzie’s post, she is coming at this from the family home perspective. Now, while I don’t have children, sometimes you would think I do with the amount of time I spend trying to clean the place, despite only living her with my cat. Some of her tips include decluttering in small pieces (which I’m guilty for not doing and trying to tackle all at once), start with the broken toys (or any home interiors that you feel you couldn’t put out on display in my case) and choose a category each time (which is the most helpful for me because when it comes to writing a list, categories are the most effective way to help me understand which part to start next).

4) Savvy Sassy Moms (12 Simple Tips For Decluttering Your Home)

Again very much like Suzie’s post, Rebecca is talking about the family home but I wanted to include it because it has a lot of great, helpful tips that I know that I didn’t think about before. Included in some of her tips are check the dates (which didn’t occur to me when I wasn’t throwing out food but I’ve started to look at beauty products for this too) and five minutes a day which sounds absolutely perfect to me. I am guilty of saying that I don’t have enough time but we all have at least five minutes where we can spend tidying in some space or form. Getting the kids involved is another tip that both Suzie and Rebecca suggested and while I don’t have kids (yet) I believe it’s important in getting them involved as early as you can because it will teach them a set of skills that they may not learn in the classroom but will be completely invaluable as they’re growing up and starting their own lives in their own homes in the future.

5) Nourish and Nestle (Where To Take Your Decluttering Discards)

I thought it would be quite apt to finish off with Lynn’s post on where to discard our rubbish, if it is recyclable. Many of us try our best with recycling and it’s absolutely fantastic but sometimes there are too many options so Lynn has helped gather it into one post so we don’t feel so overwhelmed. I can tell you that charity shops will be benefiting majorly on my behalf from my declutter.

Well that’s all from this week’s Sunday Saves, I hope you enjoyed this week’s edition and remember to give all the links a little click to share the love. If you have any other suggestions around this topic, please let me know on either Twitter or Instagram. Have a great week!

Changing My Perspective on New Year’s Resolutions.

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To me, New Year is quite special. We’re told that it’s cliche to think of the New Year as a fresh start but for many it is, and that’s how I view it to a certain extent. I’m very goal oriented and I love challenging myself but over the past year, I’ve seen how resolutions and goals haven’t worked “their magic” on me (so to speak). I need a new perspective on them, but I don’t want to give up on them completely so I need to change my mindset on them instead.

Smaller goals in three months?

This idea came from one of my favourite YouTubers Muchelle B. She posts motivational, inspirational, minimalism and organisation content on her channel and lately, she’s my go-to whenever I feel like I need a boost of motivation. I would write a slightly larger list of resolutions every year not really thinking about the true meaning behind them, and because the list was very large, it was hard to keep up. Muchelle’s video called “10 Tips To Actually Accomplish Your New Year Goals” helped me on the right track to breaking down my goals into smaller chunks, therefore making them more achievable.

(Number One) Clear my spare room.

I’ve been living on my own for one year now and yes, my spare room still looks like a bomb hit it. I haven’t had a large chunk of time to clean it all, organise it and tidy through it and when I would do it in little chunks; the amount of work I knew I needed to do became so overwhelming that I would close the door. It’s been a year, and quite frankly, every time I clean the house I never feel satisfied knowing that the little room upstairs is still a mess.

(Number Two) Finish my nutrition course. 

If you don’t follow me on social media, you won’t know that I signed up to a nutrition course. This is something that I’ve been looking at doing for the last few years and towards the end of last year, I took the plunge and signed up. The course has now finished but I haven’t; I became really busy and luckily for me, it’s the type of course that doesn’t have an end date so I’m going to be catching up over the next three months so I can get my certificate. It’s video and textbook based so it’s a longer process but if I really get stuck into it, I feel like my three month goal will be easily achievable.

(Number Three) Read fifty pages a week.

Every year I tell myself I want to read more and more often than not, it was always “read one book a month” and I can tell you that it never lasts that long. Not to put any pressure on myself, I decided to look at it from a different perspective and break it down into smaller chunks. Fifty pages a week is more sustainable; I can read ten pages an evening during the work week or if I have some free time at the weekend, twenty five pages in the afternoon each evening would be just as achievable.

Yearly reflections?

I’ve decided not to reflect back on last year’s resolutions; I normally would and have done for the last few years but because I’m going in a different direction with my goals, resolutions or whatever we want to call them, I’m choosing not to reflect. Sometimes it’s okay not to look back. Within this, I’m also taking a step back from my monthly intentions. Going back to the start of my post, I wanted them to be “little sprinkles of magic” to kick start me each month but it didn’t work out as well as I had intended it would.

What are your resolutions or goals this year? Do you believe in setting yourself goals? Let me know on either of my socials, Twitter or Instagram and I hope you have an amazing start to the New Year