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Decluttering! Where do I start??

January 5, 2020
how to declutter your kitchen home life

On December 31st 2019 at 6pm I sat down with a glass of water and I decided to lose weight, get fit and organise my life in 2020. I had spent the day looking at social media friends galloping around the British countryside, taking fabulous photos of trees and interesting ‘things’ or grinning in country pubs. If I had posted pictures of my day you would have seen me elbow high in jumpers, rolling knickers the Marie Kondo way, sorting long and short leggings and packing away summer clothes.

January 1st: I got to bed at 2 am, got up at 8am, walked the dogs, poured myself a cup of coffee, the phone rang and next thing I knew I was heading over to my mum’s to help her out. No more time or energy for my stuff.

Decluttering! My New Year’s Resolution failing already. Where do I start??

Would you believe it… Instagram. 2nd January 2020: I found out that Ashley Jordan, the one and only @fairygodperson, is going to grant my wish for a tidy home and mind. Ashley is posting a decluttering tip or job a day for 30 days on her Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn feeds. These are bite sized jobs that will build up, so that by the end of January our clutter will be under control and we can all focus on stress free living. Today, I spoke to Ashley and asked about her New Year’s Resolution campaign that’s going to help us all to de-clutter and reclaim our space in 2020.

30 days to declutter your home on Instagram with @fairygodperson

“Time to sort out your fridge!”

@fairygodperson Day 1 – 2nd January

When I read the first tip and did it, I felt a real sense of achievement. A planned declutter of my home, taking it one step at a time, is really going to help me get freed up the stress of thinking ‘I’ve done this and that for others but I haven’t even done my own home’. Doing that one little thing on day one really helped me clear out the dregs of Christmas and helped me to free up my stress levels. Ashley who has devised the 30 day declutter campaign is a professional organiser. I asked her how she came up with this plan that really understands what we are looking for a the start of a new year?

“January is always my busiest time of the year. People’s …New Year’s resolution is to do a clear out …it’s what’s been annoying them. They’re thinking ‘Right, got to tackle it. I’ve got to get my house in order’ “.

“I’m running this across Instagram. LinkedIn and Facebook. I’m reaching out to young professionals…to the children of parents who might be moving, or people who need to organise their own home so they can help their parents better. I can help everyone get organised.”

The biggest thing that people say to me when they want to do a clutter clear – I didn’t know where to start… The essence of these 30 days of tips is helping people know where to start because it breaks it down for them. Where do I begin? At the beginning!

“I do know that people are not going to do everything.. they are going to be at work or doing things on some days so they can’t do everything that I suggest because some of these tips will be a big job that takes a whole day. At least it’s there to do in the future. This will help people to break it down.”

“my specific thing is helping in people’s homes, helping them to de-clutter or to help when people are downsizing or moving home.”

I asked Ashley how she discovered she had the superpower of organising.

She told me that working in offices she found that when she started to look at the systems and ways of working she naturally re-organised and set up systems that made everything easier and saved money, she would tell her employers “…why things weren’t working and how they can work better and I was always able to re-organise everything ”

Ashley set up One Stop Organisers to “organise things for other people and over the years it’s morphed into being specifically for the older generation and people with disabilities…the house move side of things for them and making their space…work better.”

“When I first started I was helping my best friend and her husband …with filing and sorting out their paperwork… and he designed my logo adding a halo because “I thought about how it make me feel when you’ve been in. I feel so much at peace, you have been angelic. It’s as if you have waved your magic wand.”

My ideal client is someone who is downsizing, over 65, downsizing from a large home into something smaller and they don’t know where to start, because they have probably lived in that house for 20, 30, 40, 50 years.

Ashley told me about the stress of de-cluttering, how she helps people get through the stress of deciding what to get rid of when de-cluttering and downsizing and about the moments of satisfaction when a job is done.

You must also find some moments of joy? Finding something you had forgotten about, awakening really good memories.

“Absolutely. I find people stories of their lives. Because you are going around their home decluttering …every part of their house has a story. I find it a privilege to be able to find out what those stories are as we go round, and people have that space to talk about their life and all the things that they have done.”

But right now I’m on Day 2 and loving Ashley’s advice, it’s really simple and has left me feeling really positive that, with her help, I can make this New Year’s resolution a reality: “As with your fridge, make sure that like things are stored like with like and use baskets and storage trays so things are easier to find and get out. Storage jars are great if you have a lot of room but if you don’t then they will take up more room than they save. Instead keep packets in them and then you can have 2 or 3 half packets in one.”

It’s never too late to start on the One Stop Organiser’s 30 day Clutter Campaign, you can catch up by clicking on one of these links: Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook. Once you have completed a declutter job, share your comments and post photos of your achievements. See you on the @fairygodperson sites!

Weekend Away: R&R and Inspiration in Lewes

March 9, 2016

 

the dogs starting out SMALL

A few weeks ago my husband booked an on-the-spur-of-the-moment weekend away. To make it simple, he planned a dog friendly trip that would distract, relax, provide inspiration for my blog and give us some ‘us’ time. We packed up the car and escaped London for Lewes in East Sussex.

I have found that being a carer for someone is rewarding and satisfying, it can be done out of loyalty, friendship, love or because it’s the only way. With the feeling of satisfaction and joy there are times when everything becomes stressful, tiring, frustrating and all that multi-skilling leaves your nerves jangling. I’m not special: 1 in 8 adults (around 6.5 million people) are carers, almost half of those juggle care and work.

This post is about caring for the carer, how 2 days in Lewes mooching about with my husband and two dogs changed me from from being an at-the-end-of-my-tether, stressed out wreck and got me back on track.

I’m sharing with you the visual inspiration of Lewes, my delight at new ideas and possibilities, appreciating people’s attention to small design details, people’s generosity, all these things that took me out of myself.

We stayed at the Blue Door Barns ‘where rustic meets rustic chic’. I would add, where chic meets warmth, thoughtful details, clever design and a fantastic breakfast . We stayed in the Sailors’ House a tiny gem of a barn that never felt small. The walls, and ceiling were painted in shades of soft, soothing grey. The tall ceiling gave a sense of space. The floorboards and details were shades of gentle blue and aqua. And everywhere details that were novel and delightful. Inside our barn we were in a very special world.

The bathroom was full of clever space saving ideas: a sliding bathroom door and the bathroom sink unit, a room that felt comforting and inviting, exotic oriental patterns on the floor tiles and the black slate tiles in the shower were exactly what Marianne Shillingford had talked about in my previous blog post.

In the dark, our heart beat slows and we begin to properly melt into a pre-sleep state. Small dark spaces in our homes become sanctuaries in which we can truly unwind.  Something it’s worth sacrificing a bit of light for – especially if you have a full on stressful life.

room

The Sailors’ House, Blue Door Barns

Lewes is in East Sussex, apparently it has more beautiful, independent shops than anywhere else, it has a castle, lots of dog friendly cafes and pubs, a steep high street and wiggly side streets dropping away to the river.  It has its own brewery, Harvey’s, a lovely pint (apparently) and a beer called The Kiss.. after all this town was the home of Rodin’s Kiss sculpture . The town is made up of some very, very old houses and buildings, some build in flint, some timber framed and some painted sugar almond colours. This seems to be a town that is comfortable and enjoys its history and arts, there are loads of artists, craft shops, print shops, antique shops, music shops, book shops and interiors and every style of homeware… everywhere.

BLUE and WHITE

My first stop was at Baltica at the top of the High Street. This shop is full of the most amazing range of Boleslawiec Polish pottery.  This is spongeware with the most vibrant blue and fun decorations, they are easy to mix and match across the patterns because the colour is so consistent and what makes them practically bomb proof is that they are made to go in the dishwasher, oven, microwave, aga and even the freezer. Easy life. We had two shopping trips to Baltica, we bought cornflower rice bowls and star covered spoons for presents. This shop was our first experience of Lewes friendliness, we chatted with Will Rogers who owns and runs the shop, he tells a good story and knows so much about the Boleslawiec potteries. A must.

boleslawiec shop

Some of my favourite designs of Boleslawiec, in the Baltica shop, Lewes High Street

BRITISH STYLE

Everything in Freight HHG  is beautiful, everything is beautifully made and most of it made in the UK. I love the black, copper, linen textiles and warm wood. The design of their products as well as the styling of the shop is inspirational, their branding continues to their packaging, their labelling is handritten- check out their website.

freight shop

FREIGHT shop Lewes High Street

LEWES VINTAGE STYLE

On Saturday morning as we headed out for a day of beach walking and then shopping, Bryony from Blue Door Barns gave us some biscuits that she had baked that morning. Packed in a heart shaped tupperware with a stripy paper napkin this summed up the Lewes Vintage Style. Thoughtful, generous, honest and fun. I love the Lewes Vintage Style, you can shop it in the Lewes High Street: there’s  Tom Paine printing press, a working metal press producing cards and prints. A tourist information centre with local crafts in the window. Wickle, the tiniest ‘mini department store‘ a relaxed, welcoming, dog friendly homeware shop with beautiful cards, children’s toys and clothes, a cafe, restaurant.

And Closet & Botts with its bicycle, pots, baskets and bunches of flowers and lavender parked up right outside. There is something for anyone in here: printed ephemera, glassware, clothes, characterful books. Its a magpie’s nest of vintage treasures, old and new.

 

vintage shops

LEWES ANTIQUES STYLE

There are so many antique shops, antique book shops and flea markets in Lewes that you can rummage in, we looked at the arcades and shops in Cliffe High Street and in the High Street as it was easy with the dogs. The Famous Lewes Flea Market in Market Street is in a converted Methodist Chapel. There is even an Auction House in town. Just look at some of these pictures and see for yourself!

antique shops Lewes

BEACH STYLE

Lewes is surrounded by the South Downs but it was the nearby beaches that we headed for on Saturday and then Sunday morning. This is the most wonderfully calming landscape. Wrapped up warm, the sea wind blowing out the cobwebs, dogs scampering across the pebbles, beach huts, cups of tea and coffee. This is the colour palette that underpins so much of the Lewes style and that’s what makes it calming and soothing.

beach colours

I returned to London, my head buzzing with new ideas, refreshed and optimistic.

If you are a carer there are a couple of good websites with a lot of supportive information such as Carers UK  www.carersuk.org/news-and-campaigns/alone/how-we-can-end-carer-isolation

or Age UK  www.ageuk.org.uk.

You can see more pictures and get inspiration from my trip to Lewes on Pinterest Build Mumahouse or go to my Instagram Buildmumahouse.