Sunday, 20 July 2014

10 a day - Day 9

After Wednesday's upset about my cat dying unexpectedly, I've been very much out of sorts and I've not been keeping up and recording my daily de-clutter items. However, I have done a little bit of catch up and tried to get back on track with it.  Yesterday a furniture collection service picked up for free an old coffee table and chair, these are the largest items so far to be de-cluttered on this challenge and  I've been de-cluttering smaller items as well.

The house is still feeling a little bit upside down, we have the plasterer coming in tomorrow to put a ceiling back in the bathroom. The workmen have finished sanding and varnishing the hallway and back-room, the next job is for us to paint the hallway and gloss the skirting boards in the backroom.


Whilst the hallway and backroom are looking very spacious without any furniture in them, the same can't be said for the front sitting room, which is currently housing furniture out of the hallway and backroom.

We've managed to squeeze in the dresser from the hallway and the backroom TV stand, coffee table, various lamps and a nest of tables. 

I mentioned to the other half yesterday that if Bella were still here, she would have had a field day ay by now in the front room, she would have been sitting in the drawers which are currently sat on top of the dresser and would have squeezed herself inbetween the rest of the furniture.  She was one of those cats that would "pop up" anywhere and everywhere in the house, life is just not the same without her.

Bella snuggled up in the duvet at the bottom of the bed, one of her favourite sleeping places in the house.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

A beautiful mystery

....she left us in the same way she found us, full of mystery and in an unpredictable fashion.

Two years ago this week, a beautiful little stray cat turned up on our door-stop and decided to make her new home with us.  Despite already having a cat and two dogs, this didn't deter her in the slightest on moving in and whipping her new owners into shape.

She had a short life, but the life she had with us was full of love, joy and curiosity. We named her Bella when she first arrived, these are the first pictures I took of her:

She was indeed a cat full of curiosity, one of favourite places was to be in the kitchen, and if there was a cupboard door left open, she would be in it.

After making herself at home in the spice cupboard, I quickly nick-named her "Spice" as this fitted her personality much better.

Where she came from and what her past held was full of mystery.

Her passing was full of mystery.

One of the workmen found her outside our front gate this morning, he didn't want to move her so quickly found my other half (Mark) who picked her up and realised all was not well. I had gone out shopping and had just driven up outside the house to see her in her Mark's arms, I ushered him into the car and drove to the vets, but by this time it was too late, she had passed away.  There wasn't any visible signs of injury to her body, we don't think she could have been hit by a car thankfully. She must have died from natural causes is the only conclusion we can arrive at.

She managed to get herself home to be found, she was once lost, then found.

Dear Spice, you have given us all such wonderful happy memories of you. I feel very honoured that you chose us to live out your days with us. You were deeply loved, and brought me much joy, but I suspect you already knew that, that's why you chose to stay.

For a small cat, you have left a massive hole in my heart, and it is me who is now feeling a little lost without you. 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Day 4 of the 10 a day

I forgot to post yesterday, here's what I decluttered:


And today's items:

I'm a fan of The Hoarder Next Door, which is a documentary on Channel 4. Psychotherapist Stelios Kiosses and a team of expert de-clutterers come to the aid of extreme hoarders in a bid to change their lives and homes.  There are many reasons why people hoard,  one reason is because of emotional attachment, the object has an emotional meaning. This takes many forms, including the sentimental association of things with important persons, places, or events, something most people experience, just not to the same degree. Another common form of emotional attachment concerns the incorporation of the item as part of the hoarder”s identity getting rid of it feels like losing part of one's self.

I thought about why I declutter, there are many reasons, one of those reasons is stress brought on by house renovations.  A few days ago, we discovered a leak in our bathroom, the source of the leak was from our wet room in the top floor en-suite. The other half decided the easiest option was to take down the entire  bathroom ceiling as he already had to dismantle part of it to try and ascertain where the leak was coming from. 

This is what my bathroom looked like on Saturday:

We took all the debris to the local tip on Saturday and I started the clean up job yesterday, 3hrs and 30 mins later of non stop cleaning meant the bathroom was pretty much restored to its original condition, with some exceptions, namely no ceiling in place and a dirty carpet which I can't get clean.

I found this unexpected leak stressful as we are currently having a bit of upheaval "downstairs" as we have had to cram furniture out of the back room into the front room as workmen arrive tomorrow to sand the back room floorboards and hallway.  It was interesting to note what my triggers are around de-cluttering and maybe if Stellios ever decides to do a programme on extreme "de-clutterers" I may feature in it! ;o) 



Sunday, 13 July 2014

Day 2 of 10 a day

In today's 10 items to declutter, I included a stash of newspapers, foil cartons, a small selection of baking ware, a small paint match pot, a toy mouse, stash of plastic bags.

 Clearing out the foil cartons and baking ware from my pan cupboard prompted me to give it a clean out and tidy up, it's looking cleaner and more spacious:

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Getting back on track

I often notice that I will start challenges of various kinds and find it very hard to maintain them, whether that be art challenges, diet or exercise challenges. Maybe it's because some of the challenges I've set myself in the past aren't hitting my core values, and, to be honest, I think my list of core values needs to be revisited so I will do some journalling/visioning work around that. 

One core value that always keeps popping up for me is space and tidiness, I always feel so much better when my living space is de-cluttered and tidy. This has been a bit of a challenge recently with both young adults being back at home for the holidays and managing a 9 month old puppy who loves to drag her toys around the house and dump them wherever she chooses. Not to mention the other half of the act who leaves his tools around the place when he is doing DIY!

A guiding phrase  I set myself for this year was "White Space" and this has involved alot of decluttering, including letting go of bookcases, alot of books and decorating, it's a work in progress. To keep myself aligned with the core values of  my guiding phrase, today I decided to commit to two challenges for this month:

  • declutter 10 items a day for the next week
  • do not bring any new plastic bags into the home for the rest of the month

These are the items I decluttered today, which have found their way into a bag to go to the Charity shop.

Monday, 7 July 2014

A day when we decide to listen to our hearts

"There comes a day when each of us decides to put fears and excuses aside. A day when we decide to listen to our heart – and follow it. And a day when we decide to take those first small steps towards making our wildest dreams come true.

Let today be that day for you."

I saw the above image and words from the Do What You Love blog.

If I were to listen to my heart and follow it I would:

* downsize
* move to a more rural setting
* have a really big garden/small piece of land to keep chickens, grow fruit/veg and flowers for cutting
* have a small floristry business using my home grown flowers
* have a therapy room in the garden
* have a hot tub
* have a pond
* a waterfall
* a herb garden
*a garden swing hanging from a large tree
* tree-house
*own or have a part share in a canal boat
* own a vintage sports car
* have a garage to house said vintage sports car
*write a fairy story with my own illustrations
*learn to play the cello
*be part of a sewing bee

                                      *And So It Is*

What do your dreams look like?..........I would love to know

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Home for nature

I came across an advert for the RSPB in a magazine yesterday entitled "If there's no home for nature"

I was particularly struck by the image of the starling overlooking a concrete jungle and I was reminded how lucky I am to have a garden to help nature along a bit.

I planted a delphinium in the garden the other day as they attract the bees and found this little bee yesterday busy doing what bees do!

I love to watch my garden visitors from my kitchen window and I have noticed this lovely little female blackbird has been a regular visitor to the bird table over the last couple of weeks. She has a poorly claw which stops her from putting her weight on it for more than a few seconds, and some of her feathers look a bit bedraggled so I'm not sure if she got herself  into a bit of a scrape. 

Another regular is this cute little fellow:

And this afternoon it was time for the big guns to arrive: