Saturday, 5 February 2011

Day Two

I said last night I was going to make a start on the en-suite. So off I trotted to tackle it. My en-suite is not like most peoples en-suite, I have my washing machine in mine!
A little background - {TH} had an accident at work a few (7) years ago. He suffered with break to his pelvis, fractures to his hip and some other minor injuries, this makes walking, sitting for long periods, standing and climbing stairs (among other things) difficult for him. Things were getting harder for him in the house we lived in so we moved to a house that had a downstairs bedroom and bathroom. This meant he didn't have to climb stairs several times a day. 
Now as lovely (and big) as our house is, there was no way I could get a washing machine and dishwasher in my kitchen. Not without ripping my kitchen apart and as we rent I'm not sure my landlady would be impressed with that. So with some clever additions to the existing pipework (thank you B&Q) in my en-suite we managed to get the washer plumbed in there. It's actually quite handy
So cleaning the en-suite means also cleaning the washer too.

Here are some (very untidy) before shots of my en-suite. I must add I took these yesterday, you can see the wicker basket (thats now under my desk) on top of the washer. I took it in there to give it a quick spray with some frebreeze and while there decided to take the pics of my bathroom hehe as I knew it was next on my hit list!

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First, I cleaned off the top of the washer, wiped it all over with some all purpose cleaner. Wiped all the bottles and the washing powder tub and put them back on top. The I took the powder drawer out and scrubbed that clean. Before than went back in I wiped down the front of the washer too.
I then realised my mistake.
All the bottles from the end of the bath needed to go somewhere so I could clean the tiles. So I took all the bottle off and wiped them down and popped them on the washer, this left me with a nice clear surface to clean. As I was doing this properlythat meant cleaning all the tiles. My en-suite is tiled floor to ceiling. So onto the bath I jumped and set about cleaning all the tiles. BIG MISTAKE.
The bath was still a little damp, meaning I now had wet trainers and was balanced on the sides of the bath, so I bet you can guess what happened next.
Yep, thats right, I lost my footing and ended up on the floor in some pain. There was nothing to grab hold of to break my fall, so I just fell. {TH} came and picked me up off the floor and checked me over. I was then instructed to go and sit down while {TH} made me a cuppa, he also told me what a daft cow I was! So my evenng of cleaning ended there. 

I'm feeling much better today and have managed tackle the rest of the en-suite today. My back is much better, however I have a little twinge in my wrist, nothing major though and it could have been much worse.
Back to the en-suite. I still had some tiles along the wall I needed to clean, but decided to grab a chair and stand on that instead to finish. It was quite surpising how much filth was on those tiles, it wasn't noticable till I started cleaning them.
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I then worked my way round the bathroom, throwing away junk and cleaning I used a multi-purpose cleaner to clean everything, except the loo with got a good dose of Bloo Loo (lime) which leaves the bathroom smelling really fresh.
I scrubbed the sink with washing powder first as the soap and toothpaste was welded to the sink. I got rid of the various cups that cluttered my bathroom and found another bucket to pop toothbrushes in. I found and cleaned all the razor bed so they don't need to be loose on the sink/bath or in a cup. Een though {TH} told me to throw one of them away I kept it. The blades for his Gillette razor are really expensive compared to this Wilkinson Sword one. However I know at some point the Gillette ones will be on offer somewhere. So I kept the razor handle for such a time. 
An hour or so later and I have a sparkling en-suite. The only problem is, that in my fall yesterday I managed to rip half of the shower curtain down with me. So it's a little brken now. Half of it is still attached the other half isn't. So I just tucked it behind the towel rail, it will have to do until I can grab another next week.

I am now just waiting for the floor to dry so I can sweep it out and remop. I also need to desperatly replace the flooring in my en-suite. The marks in front of the bath just refuse to come clean, so a new floor is needed.

Now my plan of action was to sort the bedroom out after doing the en-suite, but I have tickets for gig tonight. I've not been to a gig in years. {TH}'s aunty has got tickets for a few of us to go tonight, so we're having a proper girlie night out. Which means I need to beautify myself. Now this would be 100 times easier if my bedroom wasn't so cluttered, BUT my goal with all this is to clean properly and de-clutter, if I start doing that now I won't have enough time to make myself stunningly sexy for my girls night out and that just won't do. I know you agree with me. So my camera is on charge, my clothes are hung waiting to have the iron ran over them and I'm having a weel earned cuppa before I whip the kids up a quick tea and start getting ready

Will continue with my task and the 21 days challege tomorrow (if I'm not too hung over lol)

Friday, 4 February 2011

Day One

Which really should be day 2, but I got sweet FA done yesterday. 

I got back from my morning placement at school to be told by {TH} that our hoover was bust! Half way through him hoovering the lounge, so after sitting down eating lunch and discussing which hoover we wanted, we finally decided and ordered the standard Dyson. I wanted the DC32 Animal (it's purple!) but {TH} explained that for the extra £100 we would be paying, we were only really getting an extra couple of attachements (that we don't need or want) and it's the ball version. My new Dyson (pictured below) should be here Monday morning. 

So until then I can't hoover, I'm a little upset by this (shock, horror!) but I had planned to spend this weekend doing as much cleaning and de-cluttering as time/kids would allow. I was also totally goosed and in bed by 9:30pm!

Fast forward to today.........
After dropping {B}, {S} & {LM} at school, I headed into town to collect my new glasses. I saw my optician on Tuesday as my glasses were hurting. The last time I saw the optician I didn't see my normal guy I went to one of these big opticians, you know the ones, that give you your test and you pick your glasses up an hour or so later. Anyway, I told my optician then when I was wearing my glasses (as I need to for using the pc and reading) they felt kinda foggy and hurt. After doing my test, he took a look at my glasses and told me that I had the same prescription lens in both sides, when I didn't need it! My left eye is alot stronger than my right so doesn't need such a strong prescription. No wonder I was in pain! last time I go to that shop. Anyway, I grabbed and paid for my lovely new glasses and picked up a few bits I needed from town. 

When I got home I knew exactly what I wanted (and needed) to do. I wanted to tackle Day One from A Bowl Full of Lemons 21 day challenge. The Junk Draw! Now I have 3 junk drawers and a Man Draw. I decided to I would tackle 2 of the junk drawers as they live in the same unit.
Please excuse the mess hehe

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2 Delightful, full of junk, junk drawers lol

I didn't follow the instructions to the letter, I tipped both drawers contents right onto my floor 
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I wiped the drawers out with a damp cloth sprayed with a multi purpose cleaner, so they were clean 
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I then sorted everything into piles.
1 - cross stitch patterns/ 1/2 done cross stitch kits
2 - Game related bits (pads/wires/memory cards)
3 - Pills 
4 - Misc items inc a plug, european power lead for my pc and other junk

I found an old ice cream tub in the kitchen and popped all the pills into that (minus their boxes - they are only various painkillers) and stuck a post it on the top (sellotaped down). I then put things back in the drawers. All gamey type stuff in one drawer. In the other draw went my cross-stitch kits, my 'Make Me Better' tub, {TH}'s quit smoking things (that he made me keep!) and my online banking chip & pin thingie-me-bob.
Leaving me with 2 nice and neat drawers :)
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I'm guessing that the game drawer will not stay so neat and tidy once the kids get near it....but IF I can get them to put the stuff back in the drawer in a semi neat fashion I'll be a happy mum :)

I didn't leave it there, oh no, I carried on. I tackled Day 2's challenge, The Desktop. The challenge was to just do the desktop, but after looking at my desk I decided i would go the whole hog and do the whole desk.
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 As you can see a total mess! Not the worst I have ever seen it but it's un-organised. Papers, notes, books all over the place. Also the tower being right underneath got in my way sometimes when I needed to get the sockets behind it. So it had to be moved too. The monitor also needing a bit of re-jigging. I needed to create as much space as possible. I use my desk to work on the pc and to study, so I needed to create space to be able to study and I don't think having the mouse and keyboard, dangling by it's cord off the desk is a good idea 
I took everything of the desk (apart from the keyboard which was propper up against the wall)
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You couldn't see my chair for all teh stuff I put on it that came off my desk. All my files and notebooks were chucked stacked on the floor
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Again I know this isn't the way to do it, but it's a way that works for me.
I then moved the tower off the desk bottom - OMG how dusty was that!!!
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I wiped the tower down with a damp cloth to get rid off all the dust. Then dried it off with a dry cloth so it was all shiny again. My PC was only bought in October last year and it still has the plastic on the front.
 I then set about cleaning the actual desk. I wiped it over with a damp cloth and a few srays of Anti-Bac spray. Then wiped it again with a micro fibre cloth to remove any smears.
It was then time to go through all the stuff on my chair and work out what I actually needed on my desk. I have various files, folders and notebooks for my college work and governor stuff. No matter how hard I tried these never stack or stand nicely, they always fall over. I asked {TH} to put a shelf above my desk but he said I have to wait till we have the money to put shelves in both alcoves. So I needed to work out something for my files, I have to keep them close to the PC as thats where I work. I then remembered a wicker basket the girls had in their bedroom, it wasn't be used for any real purpose and was the perfect size to hold my files and stuff. So I pinched borrowed took that and put it to good use. Also as I had moved my tower to the side of my desk, the basket fits neatly under my desk - made to measure. You can just see the tube of colouring pencils (belonging to {S}) at the side. These have since been rehomed with the other colouring/crafty stuff in another room.
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So that was the bottom of the desk sorted - now for the top 
What did/do I really need on the top of my desk? 
Well obviously I need my keyboard, mouse & mat and my monitor, but I need to be able to move my keyboard and mouse so I can work (woth pencil & paper). So I put the monitor right at the back of the shelf (as far basck as it would go without tipping over), which leaves enough room for my keyboard and mouse to be moved too. 
Obviously I need my post its, but maybe not all 4 colours hehe. So I opted for 2 colours, stacked neatly (at angles so it looks better) in front of the monitor. My windrider cub has to live on my desk. I used to play WoW and my mum got me him for my birthday, so he has to stay there, but he fits snuggle beside my monitor.
That was it or the top shelf......onto the main 'working' area. The biggest problem area I think.
I have a cup that {TH} got me a few years ago for my birthday or was it christmas? Anyway, it's too big for a cuppa so I keep pens in there, however I have too many pens to all fit in there without having to cram them in, so I divided them into 2 piles. Writing pens/pencils, colouring pens/highlighters/glitters pens. Then went on a mission rount the house to find another pot. I'm a hoarder so I knew I would find a jar of some sort in the kitchen, but I found a bucket instead! I bought some small buckets a few years ago to go on my kitchen window sill, they don't live there anymore (since we moved house) so after a quick scrub it looked good as new and held all my colouring type pens. Leaving my mug to hold my writing pens and pencils. Almost there now :D
Lastly were my planner, small notebook and 2 boxes, 1 was made year before last by {LM} for me for mothers day and the other came with socks in but I love the pink and red hearts on it. I placed my boxes next to the pole of me desk and put my planner and notebook (at angles) on my desk. One last thing I forgot, my pencil case hehe

The pictures were taken with my desk in working (paper & pencil) mode which is why my keyboard is up top and my notebook/planner at the bottom. When I'm using the pc (like now) my planner/notebook sit at the top (angled of course)

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Nice and neat me thinks :) The only thing I really, really hate about this desk is WIRES!! I hate wires.

So thats day 1 and 2 done and dusted! And I feel so much better for it. The kids are now in bed so I'm going to make a start on the en-suite...hopefully tomorrow it will be done and I can share before and after pics of that! 

On a side note...I was browsing some of the other awesome blogs and saw something I though was totally fantastic. Jen over at IHeart Organizing showed some before and after pics of her office space and she has this neat little pole with pots hanging off it. Now I think this is something you can buy in the states, but I'm in the UK. Does anyone know if you can get this sort of thing over here? I think these would so cool for various places in my house but have no idea where to even start looking for them
{Pic from Jen @ IHeart Oraganizing - click to see her original post}

Night all x

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Getting Started........

Where do I start? I don't think any room in my home is organised :( so where do I start. 
It seemed pretty simple to start at the beginning

I've decided to do the 21 day challenge, as seen on A Bowl Full Of Lemons blog. Although she started this on January 1st, I'm starting it now - hey better late than never. I will aldo be 'trying' to complete the weekly challenges too.  

I also have my list of things I want to complete (I will add this to the blog asap) and can check them off once they are done. I am part way through working out a weekly cleaning rota (again I will add this to the blog), doing a few small jobs each day and hopefully I will be able to keep on top of that (as well as everything else).

Above everything else, I am determined to suceed in my challenge to change my life-style. Who knows, I may yet, achieve my dream of being a domestic goddess :)

WonderWoman? I Doubt It.....

....for many reasons, one being that thanks to my little darlings, I no longer have the figure for than awesome costume WW wears, it would do nothing for me except show the whole world (and his wife) all my lumps and bumps. I don't like the hubby seeing those let alone total strangers! lol

There are so many awesome blogs out there in blog-o-sphere and so many of them are there to help the lost souls (like myself) achieve the small things in life so many take for granted. I am not and to be honest do not ever see myself being the domestic goddess I dream to be. My organisation skills leave alot to be desired, in fact I think I have zero on that score, ok well maybe not a zero, as I do manage to get my children off to school in a clean ironed uniform each day, so I must have some organising skills albeit on the very low end of the scale.

However, I do dream to one day be a domestic goddess (as well as a wife, mum and Teaching Assistant - more on that in a min) taking it one baby step at a time, afterall one has to learn to walk before one can run, and I need to learn to crawl first.

Over the course of the next few months (I hope) to have myself more organised and have a nice little system so everything that needs to be done, actually gets done (and not at the last minute hehe) As I mentioned there are lots of blogs out there to help me tackle this, one day at a time. Due to my own personal life I may do things a little differently but I really hope to get there. 

I am also hoping that all this will help me manage my time better. I am first and foremost a mum to 4 delightful little devils...hehe known as The Brat (my 17yr old son), Boo (my 9yr old daughter), Scoop (my 7yr old son) and Little Miss (my 5yr old daughter). I am a first year student, studying to become a Teaching Assistant (TA), this involves one night a week at college, 2 mornings at my childrens school (not in their class') and various hours spent staring at paperwork and the pc, completing my assignments. And just in case I 'thought' I had some spare time...I am also a parent governor at mychildrens school, this again involves time on my part, reading through minutes, attending meeting, observing class' (I am the numeracy governor) and spending time in my 'adopted' class. Add to this the fact that homes do not run themselves and that leaves a very tired Fi at the end of most days lol.

So I am in for an entire life-style change. If I can get my home running smoother, then I feel (and hope) the rest will fall (or get gently pushed) into place, leaving me with slightly more time on my hands, less stressed and of course organised!