Tag Archives: cleaning

The Grand Total

Since my last post about reorganising the closets, we’ve given away a whole lot more! The grand total now stands at 10 garbage bags and one large shopping bag worth of clothing, fabric, towels and home accessories. Decluttering is an amazing thing, it frees the space and it frees you. I haven’t missed anything that we have donated. I’m truly enjoying the bits and pieces we decided to keep. I took great pleasure in making a loaf of bread yesterday, on countertops that were practically devoid of clutter. It’s very cathartic and something this little dollhouse and us were desperately in need of.

Six Bags

Six bags. Six garbage bags: each one filled to the brim with clothes that are now too big for us, since we started running. Six garbage bags filled with clothes, shoes and winter coats that were swallowing us whole. Six garbage bags that we’ve donated to charity.

The house feels empty; in an odd way. No one but us ever sees what’s behind the closet doors or inside the dresser. Now, they are incredibly streamlined. Everything has been organised so it is easily visible when you open the drawer. It feels empty, but it feels so good. And we have a list of a few items that need to be replaced, in smaller sizes.  It was a mentally and physically exhausting process that took us two days to complete.

Nevertheless, I feel exhilarated!

Friday

I’m late out for my walk this morning. I normally go when it’s still dark, but I got caught up in doing things around the house. I’ve mopped the bathroom and kitchen floors and replied to a few e-mails and chit-chatted with my postmen after he knocked on our door with a bundle of parcels in his hands for us. It is one of those days where I can’t seem to get ahead. I’m doing things, but that creates another pile of items to be sorted. I’ll get there in the end.

It’s damp outside and raining, it feels like a Friday. The air has that feeling. I’ve been singing along to Christmas tunes while I clean. It makes my heart happy. The weekend is up for grabs. We have a few errands to run on Saturday and I’m working on a grocery list for the week ahead. I have a new recipe that I want to try from a cookbook that Mr. Michie surprised me with.

Mr. Michie had a late school night last night and so when he got home, we ate breakfast for dinner. I made brown sugar and maple syrup roasted apples and sausages with clementine zest, cheese grits and a pan of buttermilk biscuits. He was very happy. After dinner we cozied up on the couch and watched Love Actually. That movie always puts me in a good mood.

Here’s to the weekend! Long may it last!

It’s Thursday, Alright!


Well,  it’s a Thursday alright! We’re doing a major overhaul in the cottage. Cleaning, gutting and downsizing. I made two trips to one charity store this morning to bring them two side tables we were getting rid of. Mr. Michie helped me make the other trip before work, to a different charity shop, that will take electrical items. I’ve dusted high up places and low down underneath places that haven’t been dusted in awhile and in doing this my vacuum broke. It hasn’t been very happy for a bit, so I guess it thought today was a good day to go.

Well, I just had to laugh, because this would only happen to me. So, even though it is just the first of December and not the first day of Christmas, I started singing, as I often sing and talk to myself: “On the first day of Christmas my true love bought for meeeee, a new-eww vaa-ac-uuummm!”

I’ve been a very good girl this year, so there is one winging it’s way to me now as I type. So, I thought I shall take a five minute break, catch my breath, re-work my plan of attack for the day and share something with all of you. I saw this gem on Monday and it is just pure Wes Anderson happiness. So, here’s to the first of the month and here’s to Thursdays, let them be short, so we can move on to Fridays and then on to the merry weekend! And, wherever that train is going, I want to ride within it’s mint green walls and rattle down the tracks.

Spring

Victoria Magazine Spring Quote

Yesterday, we heralded in the “First Day of Spring”. Yet, it doesn’t feel very “Spring” like outside. The sky is a lavender grey and there’s a chill in the air. It was so dark by four o’clock today, I had to turn the lamps on! But, there are already little touches here and there if you know where to look. The bulbs are starting to shoot up from the earth and the fields are turning greener and greener.

After my Friday break, I went back to spring cleaning today and attacked the bathroom. Getting rid of anything out of date or finished with. Now, it too has joined the list of organised spaces in our cottage. Decluttering is a wonderful feeling!

School breaks up this week and we have a few Easter plans. We’ve pretty much nailed down a menu for Easter Sunday and we’ve put a few things on our “To-Do” list for when we are off. Going to the garden nursery is one of them, I’m ready for a lot more colour outside of our door, so re-planting the garden pots it is! I’m also hoping for my first spring walk through Regent’s Park, one of my favourite places to spend a lazy strolling day.

{Quote from Victoria Magazine}

Taking A Break

Vintage Housewife

It’s crisp today with a silvery grey sky. I don’t mind, I’m staying cozy inside. My candles are lit, I’m listening to music and working on a weekend menu. Tonight we’re having a big Greek salad and home made tiropitas. One of my favourites! My mom has always made them and I learned how to do it through her. They remind me of Spring and being little. The taste of warm salty feta oozing into your mouth as you bite through the buttery crisp pastry, makes my mouth water.

I’m taking a break from decluttering and downsizing and working on a personal project. We now have two more large bags of items to donate to the charity store and I know that there will be more to come, once I tackle the bedroom closets. It is a refreshing change to be able to easily walk into the pantry and grab a cookbook or mixing bowl without having to complete a yoga balancing move to get what you are after. I have yet to miss anything that we have donated or recycled.

I have secretly worried that I was one step away from being on the TV show Hoarders, but considering that I am an excellent de-clutterer, organiser and cleaner and can make these decisions myself without someone putting all of my possessions in my front yard to go through, I think I’m doing alright.

We’re each planning for a quiet weekend, doing things around the house, completing a few work tasks, eating good food, going for walks, listening to music and just being. Here’s to the weekend, long may it last.

Dust? What Dust?

Dust? What Dust?

I think I need a blindfold like this! I’m in the process of thoroughly gutting our pantry. This is no small undertaking. Especially when I discovered that some of my beloved art history books had been ruined by mildew. Because, unbeknown to us, we had a damp problem along the side wall of the pantry, where the bookshelf is. Now, those gorgeous books are in the recycling bin as they are completely and utterly in disrepair.

We have been living in and amongst chaos all week as most of the pantry is sitting in various piles in our den. We live in a very tiny cottage, in fact, so tiny, we could have started the “tiny house” movement that is all the rage today. But, as I write this a storage bin we have ordered is winding it’s way to me through the streets of London today. So hopefully by nightfall, I can have everything neatly and safely stored and the pantry more organised, so you don’t have to move like a Ninja to grab something.

It is exhausting yet cathartic completing this process. It’s amazing to realise how much crap you accumulate and I’m not ashamed to say that a good portion of it was mine. I have cleaned off my “crafting” shelf and all the little magazines and scraps I’ve kept for so long, have now been gone through with precision. There is no point in keeping an entire magazine for only one page, is there?  I’ve been ruthless.

We are pairing down, stripping back and streamlining. By the end of today, we should be nearly there and then I can take a break before starting our next room overhaul, to work on a project that is very dear to me. I’m keeping my fingers, toes and anything else that can be crossed, crossed, in the hopes to be published soon.

Here’s to Wednesday, we’ve almost made it through the week!

{Image: Anne Taintor}

New Hair, Hot Soup and Party Lights!

Jennifer Michie Wonton Soup

Yesterday, I pampered myself to a hair cut, mani and pedi.  I work hard for my money and I think that everyone has the right to treat themselves once in awhile.

I have been through a ton of hairdressers since living here and I have finally found the right one! And it isn’t just the hairdresser, it’s the atmosphere as well. My hair salon of choice in London is the Aveda Spa in Covent Garden. I have been going there for over a year now and I always walk away happy. It is an oasis of serenity.

I hadn’t had my hair cut since the beginning of December. Between my work schedule, weekends being pretty busy and my lovely hair stylist being fully booked, it meant I had to wait ’till this Saturday. But it was well worth the wait! I got a lot of hair chopped off and I LOVE IT! I had numerous compliments; one by a complete stranger that passed me on the street, which made my day!

To celebrate the weekend and a new haircut, Mr. Michie took me out on a date. It was so very cold yesterday and all I wanted was some soup, so off to Cha Cha Moon we went. I had a delicious, warming bowl of wonton soup and a glass of their lemon iced tea. Heaven!!

We spent today, re-organizing all the Christmas decorations. I ordered some storage bags and they arrived this week, so we went to work. It was another downsizing exercise, just keeping what we need and donating the rest to charity. The house has been thoroughly Spring cleaned. It was a lot of work, but it was well worth it. I’ve put out a few of my Copenhagen surprises and a set of very happy party lights are now adorning the mantle.

One bag of unsorted items remains, but it will have to wait until next weekend. It holds the key ingredients to three separate packages that I plan to mail home. Still, I’ve accomplished a lot, so now I’m sitting back with a glass of wine, next to Mr. Michie, staring at our new lights. Here’s to weekends!!

Online Cleaning

Vintage Dish Ad

I feel that it is just as important to re-ogranize your house as it is to re-organize and evaluate your online presence. I have spent a bit of time doing just that throughout December and January. Culling through my Feedbin account and removing blogs that I was no longer reading as well as sites that hadn’t posted anything in over a year.

I have also done the same with my Twitter account. I had over 700 people I was following and I have now reigned that in to just over 300. I’m streamlining. I’m trying to keep things simple in order to be more productive and not have such a digital crowded space. As Martha would say, “It’s a good thing!”

Cleaning House

Jennifer Michie Red House

We spent a part of our weekend cleaning out our bedroom. I know, I know, it’s the old January organizing cliche, but I love cleaning house. We went through the closets, the jumbo sweater and blanket bags and the storage bags underneath our bed which we managed to downsize the sheets and towels that we need to one bag. By the time we were done, we had a giant box, two XL paper bags and two garbage bags worth of items to take to the charity shop.

We are really working on downsizing. It is wonderful! I find it very therapeutic and mentally cleansing. It’s funny, because the things we got rid of you can’t really see, they are behind doors, but yet when we came back in the house, Mr. Michie said it just felt “lighter” in the cottage, and it did.

I love when we declutter and organise. Little by little we have been doing this in the cottage, choosing one area to tackle and working through it. It means our house only has what we need. Everything has a purpose.