The return of the de-clutter has appeared, the loft has loads of space.

A few weeks before Christmas a friend of mine was told her landlord wanted to re insulate the loft… she had 30  years of clutter up there… her house made mine look minimalist..  It took them two weeks and two empty bedrooms to get everything down and sort it all out ready to be done…

That got me thinking… we had stuff to go up in the loft but the loft was full right up… floor to ceiling  and that was just ten years worth of stuff, Anyway Allan recruited the help of a friend of ours to come over and help him gets stuff sorted up there..  

so David and Allan and I went up there the day before  yesterday and slowly moved things around… we had about 6 dvd players  4 video players… two old tv’s  old pc monitors and that was just a few bits…

Yes I know there is a fair amount of Christmas tree’s and decorations up there and of course our tents and loads of camping stuff.  and of course loads of other bits that were my mums but there was also a lot of stuff we didn’t even remember we had…

Why had we kept convector heaters that had a foot broken?  then we got to the baby stuff…  

Now I admitted to myself a few years back that I wasn’t having any more kids so did pass on all the baby equipment to a couple of friends who were having babies…   I kept a cotbed and the hexagonal room-divider /playpen for any future use by grandchildren.. however the one thing I have never been able to part with was baby clothes for some reason… bearing in mind some of the stuff every one of my children have worn.. I had a togs grey baby grow that  was even put on Michael for a few hours, so it’s very special…

Yes I confess I kept that and a few of the very prem stuff i had  that are now a couple of carrier bags full but  The Attic is now devoid of six huge fit to burst black bin sacks full of baby clothes… It may have taken me 26 years to part with some of the bits but the time is right….. Besides there is another special little girl who can wear them now and any little brothers or sisters she may have in the future.

It all went to Charlotte for Shelby~Anne  so in a way I guess i feel ok about it as I know it may seem weird but I will see them worn now…..  I feel like a chapter in my life has closed but I don’t actually feel bad about it…    Now after two tip runs full, boxes of stuff to freegle,  and a landrover full of stuff that went to David and Charlotte’s (along with the clothes) not to mention a land rover full of old tvs and stuff and old metal beds that went to Ambers boyfriend for scrap metal.
I was going to do a boot fair but really we just want it out the way asap… we have this huge space in the middle of the loft…… and I’m already planning on what can go up there now out of my way… the next step is declutter my room and then work on swapping the boys and Ambers room over…  so she is in the smaller room and they are in the bigger one..   this is work in progress but I am so impressed how much stuff I have convinced Allan to part with ..
So all the stuff that we have decided to keep is now stacked tidy on the sides and all the cardboard boxes were flat packed and Allan took them to the recycle point with the rest of the cardboard he has collected for the scouts… (will go into detail another day but he is now a scout leader and does all the driving of the scout van collecting paper and cardboard for the scouts to recycle and the money is split between the beavers, cub’s and scouts for any equipment they need) oh and I have a front garden fill to take up the tip…..

Watch this space……… soon this will no longer be the house of the hoarders we will be organised but with probably more stuff than anyone else lol

Christmas Has Left the Building!

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After a fun and food filled Christmas holiday with friends and family,

 

New years eve was spent with Allan’s family The nice normal ones on his dad’s side and not the Evil ones from the dark side…….. Ie… His Mother and Evil Sister……..

 

It was a great evening filled with laughter, food, and karaoke ….

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Funny enough this is the first time we have been out and the boys haven’t wanted to leave early… they are loving spending time with their cousins…. I think we are really going to have to make an effort to have regular family get togethers….. They really do lack any family contact…… Ironic considering how many bothers and sisters they have… I know Alex knows he has older brothers and sisters but hasn’t actually asked about them but I can see it happening soon…….. Anyway… as I was saying… Christmas and New Years Eve and New Years Day are over now…..

 

The kids have a room full of rubbish and Now I need normality to prevail yet again..

As Normal as possible in this house.

I just needed the clutter and the chaos to be gone. Like that is ever going to happen but I live in hope.

Yes, the house is a mess but the kids are happy and everyone had a great time! well I hope they did.

 

Even though I do admit that the house was hardly like Santa’s grotto like it usually is In comparison to previous years, due to me not being well, it was quite minimalist without any big tree as I have said before….

 

ironically Now Christmas and New Years is over I actually feel ok, except maybe a little tired and the legs and hip are playing up but If I’m honest its the extra weight I have gained (yes I will do something about it soon)

and the cold damp weather oh and getting older that cause that.

 

I woke up this morning and thought Now it’s time to take the necessary steps in order to cure that Christmas Hangover of over eating, drinking and just excess of all that is good edible and yummy.

All I could think about is getting our house back in order after the craziness that was Christmas.

I just needed the clutter and the chaos to be gone. ok the Christmas Clutter and Chaos….

 

I did mention this to Allan and like a shot he was all for the idea……. By the afternoon there was not a decoration to be seen, Not only that everything was up in the loft again as well, Well everything but the Christmas door wreath which of course was out of sight out of mind…

But that will go in the loft up tomorrow.

I have never known him so keen to get up in the loft and put stuff up there… Usually I have to nag for weeks to get bits put away.

 

Problem is now I look at bare shelves and wonder what was actually there before……. Ok one shelf that is bear had a hamster cage but I’m not mentioning that incase the boys decide they want another one…

What I do have a strong compulsion to do is change the furniture about…… Now we don’t exactly have a lot of room to play with in the front room but even so I need to change things around… Years ago I was known for changing furniture around on a regular basis but with Ali the way he is I tend to leave things the way they are because he really hates change….. but the changes I have planned are small and I’m hoping that this time he wont kick off as much as he did last time I moved the front room about..

 

This year I want to de-clutter……… A friend is going to go up in the loft with Allan and de-clutter up there… I think even Allan is willing now to admit there is far too much junk up there…

Plus at some point we want to swap the boys and Amber’s rooms around… When the boys had the small room to sleep in and the big room was a play room and junk room and exercise room it was fine… but now Amber has the big room and the boys have to share the smallest room in the house and to be honest I don’t think that’s fair…… So the plan for future is move the boys bunk bed over and her bed in the small room… plus that way I never need to go in there as I have never known anyone make so much mess as she does.

 

once the kids rooms are done I want to do ours….. yes de-clutter there as well… and then we will work on downstairs……..

 

New Year New Start………..

 

I will probably be saying the same thing about moving bits around and sorting them out this time next year…….. The hoarder in me is slowly seeing the light, I so want to have a normal house like normal people instead of stuff everywhere……..

 

Now if Allan could be the same we would be well away…. My first treat to myself when I get the cash is some stair baskets to store bits in that end up being put on the stairs….

maybe once everything is de-cluttered we can actually get around to decorating… Of course finances allowing… because as usual, decorating and putting new carpet on the stairs etc cost money…… and with bills mounting up and the cost of everything doubling… finances are not stretching as far as they did before……

I have a feeling this year is going to be a hard year for all concerned… Especially us…..

But for now………. one day at a time…..

 

 

Minimalist christmas (Well it is for us)

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I was asked today why my house is not like Santa’s grotto so I replied,

I am decorating less this year, and will enjoy it more.

That’s  bollocks really, it’s just my way of convincing myself we have to have a very minimalist Christmas this year when it comes to decorations, What I really mean is

I have little desire to take everything I own related to Christmas decorating out of the attic to stick it around the house. We have a puppy that chews anything that it can get its teeth into

and we have very little space available to put anything anywhere due to the furniture layout this year.

So I have sorted out some of the storage crates, took out ONLY what I wanted, and then that is it.

The rest is going to be packed away and stored properly and labelled after Christmas is over with but for the time being it was just put back up in the loft.. Yes that loft that Allan has promised me in Jan he will sort out and

de-clutter yes of course  you know it, It’s hoarders paradise up there …

Anyway as I was going to say, Christmas will be simply and tastefully done,

That’s if you can have tastefully done with a jubilee tree. :/  this is a close up of the balls I have on the Arthur tree
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Every time the puppy goes to catch something or chew a wire I realise I made the right choice.,

Hence my decision not to put up the big tree this year..

But in a way I do miss not having the big tree up

Next year will be different of course…  The furniture will be moved about, Molly the puppy will be older and not chewing , I can live in hope can’t I?

Take my word for it The grotto will return.

 

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The Birth of the Man Cave.. Well in this house!

You may wonder how after me not having time to blog for ages lately I have been able to ramble on quite freely,

The reason being Allan has now got his only little private Man cave! If you are not up on what a man cave is it’s basically A room, space, corner or area of a dwelling that is specifically reserved for a male person to be in a solitary condition, away from the rest of the household in order to work, play, involve himself in certain hobbies, activities without interruption. This area is usually decorated by the male that uses it without interference from any female influence.

 

In Allans case it’s a corner in our bedroom… Yes we de-cluttered it eventually and he can now get to the desk by his side of the bed.. he has moved in an office chair and built up the desk with a little shelf and cupboard unit we had up in the loft and in this man cave he can now build and paint all the Airfix models (and yes he has lots ) and fix ds’s and every other thing that was brought to him for daddy to fix it.

 

Anyway with the exception of when Arsenal are playing or there is a few programs on the tv he wants to watch Allan now vanishes upstairs to his little man cave… or maybe I should call it his Man corner and plays for a few hours… Thus giving me time to blog or facebook away to my heart’s content once the boys have gone to bed!

 

If I had known I would get this peace I would have let him build his cave years ago!

Christmas…………. Yes I said it outloud… I’m thinking Christmas Already!

No Seriously We are nearing the end of September and I’m starting to plan Christmas already.
Yes don’t laugh I know I’m the queen of procrastination but when it comes to Christmas, Easter and Halloween I seem to get organised early so I can sit back relax and watch everyone else panic… its great!! 

Well Decorations that is….

Mary has said she has a black tree in her loft that she don’t want any more so I’m thinking I rather like that idea…

This year I fancy a change..
The trouble is a black Christmas tree presents the equally unusual dilemma of how to decorate it.

To disprove the notion that you’ve gone completely off your rocker, I have never been a coloured lights fan but I’m now wondering if I go coloured lights and bright colours and go really garish or do I go slightly sophisticated… (If that’s all all possible when we are talking Christmas decorations ) and go for the Silver and white look.

 

Of course it will mean that I will have to buy all new decorations as I’ve not done the silver and white theme before at Christmas I’ve always stuck to the cream and gold but that is what I’m trying to get away from. I am not a decorations snob… I am more than happy to go to the 99p shops and £ shops to pick up the baubles etc.. ceiling dangly things, maybe even some tinsel this year , Even Asda’s and places like that do some great ones…

It’s like the front room window I would love to get the icicle type Christmas lights for the window so do I go white or blue? you see this is why these things need to be planned in advance…

I need to start picking bits up… Allan may be pleased because it would mean that he wont have to get any of the erm hundreds of decorations out of the loft lol  ( yes I have all sorts of colour themes up there) actually its just reminded me I do have some silver bits from when I had a purple and silver bauble decorated tree in my huge kitchen when I was in Faversham.

But sod it if I start picking up bits now I wont need the stuff out the loft… I’m not bothering with the wall 4ft half a tree this year as I don’t want to move the furniture..  I think I may even pick up new tree lights when I decide what I want…  Seriously its so much easier than trying to get stuff out of the loft…… The problem of being a christmas decoration hoarder is that we have boxes upon boxes of decorations up in the loft and I hate sorting through them all.  I did have a really good sort out a couple of years ago and got rid of the tat I would never use again lol
I think it will just be the tree in the corner a few bits on the shelf below the tv and of course ceiling bits

There you see that’s Christmas decorations planned already… Of course that all depends on my getting the black tree….  But then Last year I did see some funky red ones for sale in Wilkinsons …..

Right what does that leave to plan now….
I guess it all depends on how many we have for Christmas dinner…  The more the merrier usually:

Baking.
Well this year I’m only making a cake… I’m not bothering with puddings at all, or the Christmas Kransekake, I will make the ginger bread house as the kids love it…

Mince Pies are a must of course… sherry trifle etc.  
Food:
Last year we had beef, pork and turkey and the turkey went first so this year I think I will just get a small 9lb Turkey and a nice joint of Pork…
Usual Veg and roast pots , Boxing day will be the usual , leftovers and salad lol
Crackers I have up in my bedroom… Seriously I have two packs that I bought last year for the summer Christmas meal that was planned that never happened for Boo and in the end we never used them. I have wrapping paper upstairs as I got loads of rolls for 5p each at Asda’s lol yes I’m cheap when it comes to stuff like that… honestly why pay fortunes when its only going to be ripped off anyway.

Presents
Well I already have a present list in mind but that’s all I’m willing to say at the moment although yes again I’m prepared as I already have picked up some bits.
Allan’s main present is membership to Arsenal Football Club He’s wanted to be a full member for years…….  And its already taken care of..
Boys I have promised myself I am not going to go mad this year… Ali doesn’t do toys in fact he doesn’t do presents. I think he gets overwhelmed by the whole Christmas affair but he does do Tech so I’m thinking along those lines for the boys and maybe a personal dvd player each for in the car.. ive seen some cool ones that you can even run from usb flash drive or sd cards as well as dvd disc’s   great for car journeys, plus a couple of games they like.. and little stocking fillers I may think of along the way.
I’ve picked up some bits for Amber already and She keeps saying she wants a new laptop and has seen a nice red one she likes for £699… well one things for sure finances will not stretch that far but Im sure we will be able to sort something out for her.
Then there are the miscellaneous presents such as secret santa and a few other people I want to buy for… Sorry folks but due to lack of finances again these will be cheap and cheerful! but there will be a lot of thought put into them. I am keeping these kind of gifts to the under a Tenner price bracket.. well secret santa is £10 with postage.

So that’s Christmas just about organised.

Now that’s planned the next thing to plan which is before Christmas anyway is Halloween………..  Oh and Alex’s Birthday on the 21st of December… Now that is the hard one…………….

 

 

 

 

 

Domestic havoc

Looking around this house and it’s messy…..again.

The party of summer is over, and the groove of school is upon us. we are in the the third week back now…

Anyways  My house is a mess.  A time-consuming, fixable mess that I resent having to clean.
Everywhere I look I see visual chaos – stacks of books on the landing, clothes that need to be folded and put away upstairs now I have brought them in from the washing line.
I have said it before but I fear that I am one pile away from being a guest star on Hoarders.
You may say I am slightly exaggerating . It really isn’t that bad but to me It is.

I spent hours cleaning, folding washing and feeling organised on the weekend only to turn around and find it messy again. 

In fact yesterday I cleaned up again, but you wouldn’t know it today. There’s popcorn, paper, clothes and towels all over the floor and dishes to be done (I just loaded the dishwasher last night, how did they all get dirty again?).

I have bed wetting washing to do….Again (when will that ever end I have had all these kids and not one was a bed wetter until I had Ali, ). I have been told its a possibility because he is autistic… I know its not every night in fact its only once every couple of weeks, just when we think we have cracked it.. we get the accident, 😦

I really don’t want to do any of it and am feeling quite overwhelmed by the constant chores that seem to invade my life. I have Allan at home with me at the moment and yes he helps but not much… he will do an odd DIY job for me and then make twice as much mess as there was before, he never puts anything away… he will start big jobs like sorting all he books out on the shelves in our room… stack 100’s up on the landing to go into the loft and that’s as far as its got. Having a teenager girl… Well 20 next march is not much help either as she just makes more mess, I have never known anyone trash a bathroom like she can when she has a shower… she used soap… I mean WTF.. who uses soap nowadays?? we all use shower gel or bath cream but not her she uses soap and its always covered in hair. EWWWEEE!

I know how my parents felt now as she gets up, showers, goes out… (I used to work but she just goes out with friends and boyfriend) she comes in late at night and I’m talking 2 or 3 am and has her dinner.. I leave he’s in the microwave so at least I know she has eaten something. an old saying was brought to my attention the other day by a friend… “you treat this place like a hotel” I am now holding back from saying it as I remember my mother saying that to me.

Oh And then there is the washing just put by the machine for it to magically be done for her ready to wear next time. I can feel the annoyance kicking in and these feelings simmer within me as I attempt to clean and clear up and am continually met by extra demands of the boys, the man, the step daughter. I am desperately trying to stay calm and not take my annoyance out on the kids honest, but I feel my attempts becoming very strained. This anger and annoyance is sitting in my throat, just waiting to escape by way of yelling, slamming something down, or simply falling apart momentarily.

I’m hormonal after a fact in that I am nearly 50 but still not gone completely through the change.. (that’s not helping), I’m annoyed, I couldn’t be bothered and all I want to do is sit down with a cup of tea and watch a dvd or go on the pc and go on facebook,  in the comfort of a nice clean house and no interruptions. In an ideal world we would win the lottery and I would have “Staff” clear up after everyone So what do I do? Firstly, stop. Right now, stop in my tracks, take a few deep breaths and reflect on what I’ve been thinking. Look at this opening paragraph. It is full of conversation that is in conflict with the reality of what is presently going on and the reality of life as a parent. It is this resistance of reality that is causing my stress and the simmering emotion of anger. Anger is caused because we enter into these conversations in our minds about how something shouldn’t be the way that it is. We are in conflict between what is and what we believe it ‘should’ be. The house is messy right now! This is reality. As part of the agreement made between me and my partner when he was in full time employment, and how we share the workload, I am responsible for the upkeep of the house, him the garden and the DIY jobs,

This is reality. The kids need me to help them with things. This is reality. As a mum there is lots of tasks that I need to do. This is reality. This is not the only part of my life. It is just parts of the goods and bads that come with everything in life. That is also reality. There is no point allowing myself to enter into conversations in my mind about how it should be different to the way that it is and how I don’t want to do it, because this is only going to cause me to feel angry and resentful. Do I really want to feel angry or resentful? Do I enjoy having these feeling? Of course not I love my boys more than anything in the world. So if the reality is that you have to do the housework and are regularly interrupted, how are you going to stop feeling angry or resentful? Change the way I think about it.

The first thing I need to do when I start to notice how bad I feel, is to shift my focus from what isn’t happening, to the reality of the situation, and then on to what I’m going to do about this new reality. So how can I look at this situation differently? What are the good aspects to my life that I can focus on? I get to be a stay at home mum. I have a partner who doesn’t care about a bit of mess here and there and doesn’t pressure me to keep it pristine clean. I have two healthy, happy boys. I am grateful that I even have so many things that it can make a house messy. I have a roof over my head. There was a time when I had the clothes I stood up in and nothing else.. I had lost the lot. This is good.

I can feel that heavy feeling in my body starting to lift. This part of my life is not the only part of my life. I went out the other day, I met up with friends for coffee, I had a bath the other night and relaxed, last night the kids were in bed early and I got to watch Master chef and the cupcake girls, sometimes my house is clean,

I always make sure I cook or provide a proper meal for the boys, that I am up to date with the washing so they wear clean clothes to school every day, I get quiet time 5 days a week when the kids are at school but then I have to go out, be it shopping or socialising. So what am I now going to do? Well because I changed my thinking to being back in alignment with reality and have consciously decided to look at the situation from a different more expanded perspective, I am now ready to tackle the reality of the messy house again.

Do I like it? No.

Am I going to all of a sudden love doing housework and chores? No. But I’m not feeling angry and overwhelmed by it. The house may be untidy at times, but then my boys are happy, we go out as a family, I get to see my friends, I don’t have to spend hours every day totally cleaning the house top to bottom because that is what is expected of me. I have stopped expecting it of myself. Yes it gets me down when the place looks like a bomb has hit it and no one does anything to the point where they would rather step over a book back or pair of shoes on the floor rather than pick it up.. ok in all fairness Allan does help out especially when I was ill. but then he is also guilty of making a lot of the mess.

Do I intend to spend my whole life picking up after them… NO… will I try to make time to tidy up when they are at school… Probably… Maybe……. It depends…

Now, time to stop writing and start cleaning! or I could just do something else!!  I’ll get to it later.


4 weeks left of the summer holidays wow time is flying fast.

Really Fast, We have been away and come back, Earlier than planned but in a way its a blessing in disguise,   I don’t know how many more late nights the boys could have lasted as they were both exhausted.
The weather was fantastic.. we got caught in one five min rain shower…

ok torrential rain shower where we got soaked through but once we had nipped in the chippy, had something to eat and then gone to the amusement park we soon dried off..

The boys loved every second of their mini holiday from the moment we got there to the trip home where they fell asleep exhausted in the car…..

surprisingly they loved the sooty and sweep show… of course they loved the big space show… (the geeky side of them) and the circus….  went swimming every day which we have had to promise to carry on at least once a week. as well as loads of other stuff…

When we got home we got the wardrobes over from Jo’s that I had bought off her,  one for our room and one for Ambers, 
and then discovered that our one didn’t fit in our room so we moved a chest of draws into ambers room and a book case……  the other book case ended up on the top landing.
we still have loads of books to stack on the shelves.. and of course all the cook books.  but hey we will get this house sorted one day.  Yes he is even a hoarder of books… thankfully he has agreed that I can get rid of some.

Anyway my peace had been disturbed as Alex has now woken up…

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