Feb 212015

I know loads of us are still merrily decluttering with Marikondo ….. all day I have seen facebook posts of “before and afters” as clothing gets pared down and bin bags head off to charity shops.

But what about the “other stuff” ….. too good to skip but too heavy to schlep to the charity shops?

Well, have you joined your local Facebay group? They are all over.  Local groups on Facebook that sell within your community.  Its a bit of a faff – but so much less than selling on Ebay with all that packaging up, excessive fees and heading off to the Post Office … oh and don’t forget the disputes and hacked accounts.

You pop up a photo, a suggested price (can be cheaper as  you have no packing and postage) and a time for collection …. and today I have had a steady stream of people arrive at my door … cash in hand … ready to rehome my once loved treasures.

IMG_1234 Like the toddler table and chair set that has seen me through both boys … heading off to a Primary School not far from here for the P1’s to enjoy.  What a great thought that all of those kids will get the benefit.  IMG_1235 A Maslin pan … sold for three pounds ….. went in twenty minutes.IMG_1236 Ditto two shortbread moulds that I was gifted from old Burns night talks …….. I have kept my favourite and these two are heading off to a lady who works at a local NT place.  I bet the next time I am in there I am eating shortbread made with these moulds.IMG_1237 An easi-yo ……. off my hands in ten minutes for four quid!!!  Oh and a quick lesson in how to make yoghurt not using the sachets but by using some live yoghurt as a starter.IMG_1238 Blue wellies – well you always need wellies up here and the kids feet grow so fast that you hardly ever wear kids ones out.

IMG_1239A “Singing Kettle” and matching mug .. with a Bagpuss one thrown in as well – they are a local singing group and most kids go through a total obsessional stage.

So a few photos and a gentle stream of being collecting has netted me £24 today for very little effort.

Not a bad result for a Saturday recovering from being out till 1am last night drinking whisky and eating haggis (I was speaking at a Burns Dinner last night and had a total blast).  Not exactly “hungover” but feeling a little more tired than normal :-)

So … if there is a pile of stuff you need to shift .. why not make a few quid clearing it using facebay?  I have a rule that if it doesn’t sell in two days it moves out into the car to go to the charity shop …. what I don’t want is another pile of clutter stealing my energy because “I’m planning on selling that!!”  If it does not go quick its still leaving the house and can find its forever home elsewhere.

The money is being saved up to buy paint so that I can decorate later in the year – but another few days like this and I will be at target – YAY!!!

So … how is your decluttering going this weekend?  Anyone up for a bit of online wheeling and dealing?


Feb 122015

My crazy friends who run marathons have told me about this thing that happens part way through … where your body just tries to quit on you and your brain tells you to “Stop or you are going to die”

OK – that may be a little overdramatic … and Mum I don’t want you phoning in a panic that I am about to pop my clogs but about an hour ago I totally reached that point.

All week I have been stuffing bags and sorting categories …… beedling along quite happy about letting go of everything.  Filling bags and dumping them in a room downstairs where I could shut a door on  them and ignore them for a while.

DSCF1779 Well …. when the black bags are beginning to meet you at the door then it is time to start to move them into the car and out of the house for good.DSCF1781 So a mate who had the afternoon off suggested that if I supplied the coffee and cake – she would supply the strong arms and legs and carry all this stuff to my car so that it could be finally got rid of.

Seems like a fair trade to me … don’t you think?DSCF1782 Getting all these bins to the local Charity Shop .. the one that supports local causes of course.  DSCF1783 And a wee swing around the skip to get rid of the few bags that have stuff only fit for landfill :-( DSCF1784 Not to mention a mega run to the glass recycling bank … I had inherited a mates stash of jars to add to my own when she moved …… but seriously!!! How many pots of jam do I think I am going to be making this year??

DSCF1780Which should just leave me this one desktop of things that I need to find a home for (mostly kitchen stuff and I haven’t really got into all the cupboards in there yet)

So coffee was drunk .. and cake ingested (Cherry loaf … Mmmmm)…… for energy doncha know??

And we loaded up the car and I hit the Charity Shop and by the time I  got back the next load for the skip was on the kerbside ready to go … and by the time I got back from there the glass was all organised ….

I didn’t have time to think …. it was an afternoon of taking action.

And we “high-fived” and drank a pot of tea and she headed home to cook dinner for her kids.

…………….. and I hit the wall!!

I felt like a plug had been pulled …. completely drained of all energy and it built into a headache bordering on a migraine. I felt shaky and sick and unsettled and trembly ….

Now I am a fairly strong, relatively fit lady of a certain vintage.  I knew I hadn’t overdone the carrying and the feeling wasn’t of overworked muscles or strained body.  The core of me was aching. I felt like I couldn’t put one foot in front of another.  I was done.


So I went and stood at the door to the bedroom that just a few hours earlier had been jammed full of clutter …….

…………….. and the feeling just kind of drained away from me …………….

You  know I don’t even remember what was in all of the bags … but I do like looking at the nice clean and tidy room .. and the other areas in my home that are beginning to feel so much better.

I think though I won’t save up the bags again …. I think getting rid of everything in two hours was a energetic shock to the system .. so from now on in the bags must head straight out to the car when filled and dropped off every day or two.

But first … a VERY large Gin …. cos I really think that I have earned it today – don’t you?



Feb 072015

Who would have thought that such a little wee book would have caused such a stir in our midst.

Konmari book

My feeds have been alive all say with people merrily filling bin bags and folding t-shirts .. only one has confessed to thanking her socks (but she is a runner so enough said – already a bit odd :-) )

I know that what it has done has got some of us up and taking action – so even though I secretly think the author is as mad as a box of frogs …. she has got us moving and for that I applaud her.

So what have I been up to?  Well NOT spending money … my whole day has been spend working on sorting and stacking the kids clothes and the usual hokey cokey of the weekly wash … you know, you put one load in, one load out, one load in and you shake it all about!!!

IMG_1191 Just a note to Grandad ….. the Red Head probably doesn’t need any more T-shirts in this size …. just saying LOL  I have a wonderful Dad who loves to pick up cute things for his wee red-head … and he has really found some crackers but I am thinking a size or two up may now be the way to go!!

Amazing how much space you can free up by folding the kids stuff this way.IMG_1192 The big lad was amazed when I found and folded all of his favourite sweatshirts and tossed the too-short and too-tight ones into the Charity Bags.  Now he can see how many cool ones he has to choose from it was so much easier for him to let go of the old favourites.IMG_1194 He even kondoed his own boxers ….. I tell you this stuff is catching.

Don’t mean to brag but he is through in his room right now decluttering his desk!!  Already he has found his watch and £20 in £2 coins … so he had a better day than I did for sure.IMG_1186 These are the too small ones before I packed them ready for Tuesdays Charity Shop run…. and this time he was happy enough to let them go which makes me think that she may actually be on to something!!

So many lovely clothes that he has simply outgrown .. but I know they are always short of decent stuff in teens sizes so these should shift really fast for her.IMG_1190 My spillover collection of bin bags for the skip …. this is the real kibble – nothing of any value and nothing worth recycling.IMG_1184 These winged their way out of my door thanks to facebay … although I am happy to donate clothes to the local Charity Shop that supports local causes anything that is too heavy I am hoping to shift on facebay.  If others collect then I don’t have to carry which is fab … and I got a fiver for these drawers.IMG_1185 And for these videos that also left the building …………………IMG_1187 ……….. and these unworn school sweatshirts too.  Not a fortune but enough to create a nice balance in what I bin, donate and sell.
IMG_1188And just because I can …. this was my view out of my bedroom window just before dinner tonight … how amazing was the colours in the sky tonight …. gorgeous!! I had to just take a quick snap .. so glad the picture looked remotely like the reality did.

So … can I confess I am not at the stage of thanking my socks for all their hard work … although in removing my bra tonight I did thank it for all its support Boom! Boom!!

So ……. what have you been tossing and folding today my busy lot??


Feb 062015

My dearest wish is that someone (anyone!! … are you listening Mother?) would just come into my house and whisk away everything that we do not need and leave us with a plain and simple way of living.

But I have kids, and pets and lodgers and I craft  and I work from home and it seems that the level of contents of this house grows every time I turn my back.

“Getting organised” feels a bit like re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic .. simply moving a pile of something into a neater pile somewhere else.  But something has been gnawing at me .. something shouting that there must be another way.  Other people I know have stylish, organised homes that they can leave to go to work or travel without the niggling suspicion that someone will be killed by a landslide of clutter.

A fellow “Mindstorer” and regular reader on here sent me a link to this book on Amazon yesterday … and she suggested that I find a way to afford it before I attempt to declutter any more.  Now she is a lady that I listen to … so I spent the very last of my Amazon Vouchers on a kindle copy.


There is even a thread about this very book on the OS Forum on MSE .. hop over HERE.Konmari book Oh my Giddy Aunt!!!  My whole life I have been going about this all wrong.

The author suggests not a baby-step approach to clutter but a “once in a lifetime” process of removing all the kibble you don’t love and putting what does make your heart sing into its proper home.

This is “Black Belt De-cluttering” … and I literally had nightmares last night  where I was chased down the street by flapping bin bags.  I was utterly convinced that I was not ready to do “The Final Clean-out”

But this afternoon, this caught my eye .. this sagging tower of clothes in the corner of my room.  Now the plan is that when I have decluttered that there will be a built in wardrobe constructed here so these ugly drawers are temporary (and have been for 18 months now :-( )IMG_1172 So .. she suggests that you start with your clothing … and I figured that I had started clearing out my clothing before I went to China .. so that might be an easy peasy place to start.

I figured there would be very little to remove .. just some gentle organising.  Listen – when I am wrong I am wrong!!!

So I had to start by tossing all my clothes into one pile ….. was feeling quite smug as there wasn’t a 5 ft pile there anymore.IMG_1176 But an hour later .. this is what I was left with …………………..IMG_1177 ……………. and this is what was destined for the charity shop!  EEEEEEP!!!!IMG_1178She recommends that most things are stored in your drawers .. and gives you a very specific way of folding clothing that minimises creases … and maximises storage.

Those neat ranks are thermals, cardigans, vests and tops .. then in the bottom drawer, scarves, jeans, skirts and PJ’s.  Blimey you get so  much into your drawers when you pack them like this!!
IMG_1180 My “hanging stuff” is reduced to a one foot section …… dresses, floaty skirts, smart shirts and trousers.IMG_1182 TADA!!! Can you spot the difference … no clothes piled up cos they didn’t fit in the drawers.  Erm – no ugly little chest of drawers sitting on top either!!!IMG_1183 In fact within an hour these were downstairs, cleaned and on Facebay .. they will be perfect for someone else they just don’t make my heart sing!!!

IMG_1184I know it sounds odd to be so excited about a book .. especially a book about “tidying up” .. but her philosophy rang so many bells with me that I really can’t wait to get back into my attic over the weekend and start “The Final Clear up” from the very top of my house all the way down.

I feel that someone has let me into the secrets of keeping a gorgeous home that only proper grown-ups know.

I know I have a long way to go … fingers crossed that I can keep on track and finally have a home I am proud of.

Is it sad that I am excited about letting my house breathe and the prospect of uncluttered surfaces and shiny areas?  What do you think?



Feb 052015

Did an hour or so on the “Fling it February” Challenge today …. aided and abetted by my glamourous assistant “Puss” ……………. well you can never have enough pictures of cats on the internet can you??

IMG_1165 I have decided to start at the very top of my house and work my way down to the front door – which meant pulling out the ladder and tossing stuff down from the attic.

I was in a grumpy mood anyway cos I am still all stuffy and snotty with the cold – so decided to go with what I thought would be a “hard” stash to bust … my knitting wool.

Also I knew that the Church Craft Group was meeting at 2 pm so I had a deadline to work to and nothing this Ex-Stage Manager likes better than a deadline.

In the end I decided to only keep one basket of colours that made my heart sing … and my box of sock wool.  Hey I am an OS Mummy who discovered the secret soothing pleasure of knitting socks.  I have the right circular needles and my little stash of sock wool to keep my fingers happy and out of the biscuit tin.


The theory was that I could let the rest of the yarn go and spread happiness with others who would be inspired by the colours and textures of the gifted wool that they would fill the charity knitting boxes to the brim.

Although I did waver at one point and think … I should sell these balls (but that was just chicken Elaine clucking a little) … seriously, all this yarn is heading off to make toys and clothes for kids who really need it.  So instead of sitting in my attic it would go off and do some good in the world – gotta be worth more than the hassle I would have raising a tenner by selling random balls on Facebay – right?

This is all about creating space for new adventures to arrive …….. “Let it Go!!! Elaine, Let it Go!!!!”
IMG_1168 Ahem!!! did I mention that although I saved one basket of colourfull yarn and one drawer of sock wool … I “Let Go” of:

1 box

3 Black Bin Liners

4 carrier bags

Full of various fibres ……… hangs head in shame at size of unloved stash!IMG_1169 Look! – that was a whole car boot full!!  Mind you the ladies at the Craft Group were OOhing and Aahing all over my bags when I popped them around and I  know the wool will be put to great use… some of it went into use immediately.

It still hurt a little to let it go though ……. The crafters amongst you will recognise the little pang of regret you have when some of your stash goes off to enliven someone elses life.IMG_1170 My Mammy came to look after the Red Head tonight – Parents Evening at the Big School doncha know?

So she came bearing gifts … can  you tell she reads this blog? …. “Fling it February” Supplies LOL  135 odd bin bags …..IMG_1171

and plenty cleaning clothes and scrubby sponges to get into all the corners and clean after I have decluttered.

I know – some Mums would come bearing flowers … but you guys know I would prefer a bag of flour to a bouquet!!  Practical is where its at this month ….. so off to bed now so that I can tackle something easier tomorrow … and then when I am feeling super strong I will go and sort the fabric stash (although I am certain that this will break my heart).

So when it comes to “letting go” .. what is it you find most difficult to clear?


Feb 022015
Declutter snip

So all the chatter today has been about de-cluttering and getting a hop on Spring Cleaning by getting rid of the “stuff” lying around our homes.

I know we have done 30 day declutter challenges in the past – and so I was asked to run something similar throughout February to help us get a little traction and find our motivation again.

So what to do?  Our “Fling out Five” was great fun … but this time I wanted to feel that we could stretch ourselves a little further … take some baby steps to begin and then then build up some momentum.

So the “February Fling Challenge” was born … here are the rules …..

On the first day of the month you throw out ONE item, on the 2nd you throw out two ….. right through to the 28th where you will be throwing out 28 items.  The greatest thing is that if you stay the course then by day 28 you will have liberated yourself of 406 items of clutter .. imagine the difference that could make to one room, to your whole house, to your office, to your craft room perhaps??

So to keep you on track – there is a printable to post on your fridge – just give yourself a smiley face for every piece of clutter you manage to get over to door during February.

Declutter snip


Now to keep me on track – cos I have so much clutter busting you would not believe I have set up a thread in the forum under CHALLENGES for us all to chip in.

So the challenge is to hit your daily target and then pop onto the forum to brag and motivate the rest of us.  To see the thread – another wee blue linkie :-)




I have a whole house to declutter this year and renovate to make it look more like a home and less like student lodgings .. all on a budget of course .. but the first step is to turf out everything that is not needed and maybe even make a little money too through selling my unwanted treasures.

So – who is game???

Oct 062014

Just a quick one …………cos I have found a position that is not too bad for typing :-)

Seriously  though – my back is on the mend and I am down to taking the proper painkillers only at night so that I get a good nights sleep. Mind you I had forgotten the weird dreams you have on codeine …………. last night I dreamed that the church bells of St Johns were ringing at midnight.

St Johns

Turns out ………… well it turns out that they really were ringing and I got such a shock I had to fire up the kindle to go online.  I think I  thought the Queen had died or something …………… turns out it was some young men climbing the scaffolding and being numpties.  I mean you are up a Church Tower ringing bells at midnight and you seriously expect to come down and the police are not going to be there?

Idiots!!!  Mind you I bet I was not the only one awake in town that was calling them names :-)

My poorly back , well its kind of scuppered this weeks plan of lots of frugal cooking and plenty of frugal crafting .. instead I am left to report that I simply  haven’t spent anything – but considering I have done nothing either  that is not too impressive is it?

So I am practicing my “Attitude of Gratitude” as I stretch over my exercise ball every hour and walk calmly around the flatter streets of town ( walking seems to help me realign everything after I have pulled my back) so plenty of deep thinking time going and surprisingly enough a feeling of calm after the frantic pace of the campaign has returned.

I am still utterly gutted by have resolved to consider this as “not just now” rather than “never going to happen”.  Its a small shift but a powerful one.

Its also made me appreciate that the wonderful summer has now slipped away … and it has been a remarkably temperate summer up here.  Long warmish days, very little rain and so much camaraderie and fellowship.

Today however – it howled and hollered and the rain came at me sideways and the sudden drop in temperature sent me shivering for another layer.  Its the sudden shock that made me cold … its not actually that cold yet it just feels like it. I walked the street today and it was like I was the only person on the planet.

So – hot water bottles have been filled tonight ……….. new duvets are planned for next week and we will try our hardest not to cave in and throw the heating on until November itself comes around.

So what other frugal “getting set for winter” preps do you think we should focus on this Stoptober??