Decluttering and Minimalism

Just recently I have had a bit of a breakthrough with my attitude to the clutter and collections of stuff I have. My house is heaving with craft stuff, books, ornaments, clothes, stuff other people gave me to get rid of…..which I hung onto, just in case.

We are about to start the process of replacing the kitchen and our DD is off to uni in a few months time. This means we can thnk about down sizing. To do that we need to move a lot of stuff.

My relationship with stuff has been a life long affair. We didn’t have much as children but boy could we shop…….at the local jumble sale. Charity (thrift) shops were too expensive.

Over the years I have upsized and so has the amount of stuff I hauled about. I arrived in Derby with a suitcase and a carrier bag, and a lot of the case was taken up with books and pictures for my wall.

My house is now four bedroomed with large shelves all over. Things are stashed in nooks and crannies, under beds and sets of draws, in and on wardrobes across the whole house.

I can’t blame any one else, nearly all of it is mine.

Soooo things are achanging. With DD leaving and may end up living abroad after uni, I am realising that some of the stuff I have has been sitting around for an awful long time. It is time it went. Which is the problem.

I am not a thrower. I can let things go well enough but items have to go somewhere usful or be recycled. I have rubbish sheets I can’t let go because I don’t want them to go to landfill. Old quilts well past their usefulness but sitting waiting to be rehomed; you get the picture.

A few weeks ago we cleared the garage and emptied out most of the loft. This was a great thing to do. We got rid of a load of rubbish to the tip but was left with a few choice items.

Since then we have listed a load of stuff on Gumtree. I never bothered before after my experiences with ebay. I grew to hate selling online. Well things are going out the door fast, and for real money. I can’t believe it.


Dummy1Round Mirror2

A set of drums went to a requester on Freegle.


In addition to larger items for sale I am finding homes for lots of craft stuff. The hospital dementia care team have taken card, buttons and ribbons. Wool I gave to my MiL is going to make fiddle muffs, also for dementia patients.

This is the sort of thing:


A load of fabric items like sheets and shirts are labelled up to go to my local Cancer Research shop labelled as rags.

I gave my MiL four bags of bits for her church summer sale and a further four to the local charity shop.

Most charity shops won’t take old sci fi and fantasy but a local church hall has agreed to sell them for the upkeep of their building.

I know I sound all excitable but it really is a relief to not have this stuff rotting away, dying in storage or just gathering dust.

The best thing is that I have missed nothing that has gone so far. This shouldn’t be a surprise but it still annoys me that I took so long to get started.


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International Nurses Day


Image result for royal college of nursing nurses day

A friend posted this so I thought I would pass it on to you although its a bit late. I am a nurse and proud of it. I have also been a patient in the last few years and have received care that is second to none.  Each day I see my colleagues going above and beyond to make sure everything is done the way it should be. Power to your elbow friends. The NHS is a great organisation despite its problems made so by the people who work in it.

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Current Themes – An Update

A brief look at how things are going and where I want to be with life.

Health and Fitness:When I wrote last month I had started using antidepressants to help me sleep. Well they did ok but I was too sleepy next day and they didn’t reduce the hot sweats which is what I was after.

I have been feeling better though, a bit more energetic. This has been achieved by going to bed earlier and getting a catnap in before DH comes up. Not ideal but better than nothing.

I have a long term back problem which I set off with overdoiing it with my new battery powered strimmer. I was laid up for a few days but amd now nearly back to normal. Iknew I was going to suffer after an hour of strimming but I was having such a good time


Making Money: Had a good month with the surveys again but best win this month has been the child benefits that has been repaid following it being stopped in March. That money really makes a difference to our finances.

I have been looking to the future and realise that I can pay off the mortgage in three years time, about 6 years before intended. All part of my FIRE (Financial Independent Retire Early goals).

Prepping: At the moment this is base around decluttering and minimising. I would like to downsize when my DD has left home and so have five years or so I think to prep the house and clear all the stuff she will never want.

Decluttering and Minimising: Massive decluttering going on here. Tioday a van seat and a drumkit are going. I hope to have sold a mannequin which I got for a never done project sold in the next few weeks too. I am using Gumtree.

I found 2 good places for my other craft clutter. Some is going to the dementia care worker at the hospital for craft sessions and some is going to the local Scrapstore:

Also this week I found out that my local Cancer Research charity shop takes bags of poor quality fabrics and clothes for rags. They get about £4.00 for a binliner. I am so happy about this as I have a pile of unloved sheets that are of no use to me but not saleable. I already have a box of rags for cleaning and sheets for decorating.

Personal Growth:  Each passing month I feel more confident. I ‘clicked’ when giving a teaching session a few weeks ago and seem to have lost my fear. Not something I bargained on but lack of confidence has held me back all thses years, and now it doesn’t.

I have a lot more to say so I am going to break it down into some posts over the next few weeks.

Posted in decluttering and minimalism, Health and Fitness, Making Money, menopause, miscellanous, personal growth, Prepping, sleep, Uncategorized, Update on current themes | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Current Themes – An Update

A brief look at how things are going and where I want to be with life.

Health and Fitness:

After taking an age to get an appointment with the GP I finally got to talk about my sleep issues. He prescribed me a mild anti depressant. This is not because I am depressed it is just to help me sleep through the wakefulness. I am happy to report improved sleep although my fit bit tells me I am moving around as much as I was, I don’t notice it as much or care about it.

Eating and tiredness have always gone hand in hand with me. Since starting the pills my appetite has reduced to a more normal level, so I hope it leads to some steady weight loss.

I had my blood pressure done and it was up. I have done it at work since and it is back to normal, a case of ‘white coat syndrome’ I guess.

I was talking to a breast cancer friend last week who was moved off tamoxifen onto something else which improved the menopausal symptoms. If they offer me this I will try it; I may be able to lose the anti depressant altogether then.

I just have to look at how I was this time last year to realise how far I have come.

Making Money: Had a good month with the surveys but light nights are drawing me outside so I may be taking a break for a while from them. Did get a several hundred pound rebate from my car insurance provided because they had charged me twice for my husband to be on it over the last four years. Very happy with that.

Prepping: Wills now done and signed off. next is a contact sheet for me, DH, FiL and MiL in case the worst should happen.

Decluttering and Minimising: DS1 has moved out again but the room of doom remains a mess. DS3 and I got a load of stuff down from the loft a few weeks ago. I am slowly trawling though it and burning, binning and bagging for the charity shop. Four big boxes of books are slowly being sorted and given away. It is handy working in the hospital as I am delivering a bagful here and there to different departments for their booksales.

Personal Growth:  I have been on a further date on the leadership course plus doing a session called an Action Learning Set. This is where a small group bring issues and problems for you to work through. It has a coaching element where you come up with your own answers rather than them giving advice. Also had the first of three coaching sessions. I found this a bit more difficult. Overall I am recognising that I have grown a lot over the last few years, not just because of the cancer, it started before then.

Posted in cleaning and clearing, decluttering and minimalism, Health and Fitness, Making Money, menopause, personal growth, Prepping | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Charity of the Month – Disasters Emergency Comittee

Its Mothers Day here in the UK.

As a mum I would be devastated to lose my DD. In Africa war and drought is in the process of decimating the lives of millions of children and their families. Thankfully there are many organisations trying to help. The DEC is an umbrella organisation for about 13 UK charities that work together to tackle these sorts of Crisis.

If not these please donate to one near your heart.

Image result for Disasters Emergency Committee images


Here is a link to the website:




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Current Themes – An Update

A brief look at how things are going and where I want to be with life.

Health and Fitness: Walking further, doing more, getting some fresh air. All good steady progress.

No weight loss as I haven’t been trying.

Hoping to get an appointment with my GP tomorrow re the menopause symptoms, specifically the hot flushes that are still keeping me awake. The last few nights have been 45 minute nights, e.g. waking every 45 minutes, and that is unsustainable. Talking to others about my sleep issues has revealed that many people I know do not sleep well at all. There are many reasons but most people I speak to still haven’t worked out what the problem is.

Making Money: Still doing well although the reason I wanted to make money, travelling, has been put on hold. I do want a new kitchen and the downstairs of my house reorganised so it is worth continuing. As it gets lighter and warmer though I will stop online stuff as I prefer to be out in the garden or on the allotment.

Prepping: Nothing to report this month.

Decluttering and Minimising: DS1 moved back in so all decluttering on hold as he is in the spare room/dumping ground. Had a party last week though and the decluttering has meant the house is easier and quicker to clean. What would once have been six hours of hell; tidying and cleaning has now turned into half an our of dusting and vacuuming. What a relief.

Personal Growth:  I started the leadership course last month and find that I actually enjoyed it. The excercises were interesting. It is good to reflect on what you are actually good at and observing others. I also find that I am less accepting of what I see or hear. I see that most people, like I was, are followers. Seeing how I was a only two years ago and how I am now I can see that I have made progress. I can also see that I have more to do.


Posted in cleaning and clearing, decluttering and minimalism, Health and Fitness, Making Money, menopause, personal growth, Prepping, sleep, Update on current themes | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Waiting: Recovery From Cancer

I had a realisation the other day. I had been feeling a bit sorry for myself for some time, not depression as such but no mojo. I lay a lot of the blame for this on tiredness of course. Still got to get that sorted.

I was pondering why I was unhappy. I am a girl with a plan, usually. I know where I am going and what I am doing to achieve it. Lucky me, eh?

I was having a bit of difficulty with the plans. I didn’t want to start anything; I couldn’t see the point. Why bother? I thought. No particular reason or cause occured to me, just cantbebothereditits.

The other day I was involved in an incident at work. I was very upset afterwards. I think this is the first time I have felt really emotional about anything. Like I was holding back. I am well known (at home anyway) for my crying at movies, adverts, anything really. Lately I haven’t been shedding a tear over anything. Of course you don’t always realise a change until something metaphorically slaps you around the face.

In a moment, later on in the week, when I was processing and reflecting on what had happened; it hit me. I was on hold, waiting for something to happen. This isn’t about the incident, that was just a catalyst. The incident; really that happened to someone else, I was just there.

Thinking about it I am one of  those people who handle a crisis at the time and deal with it emotionally later. With the Cancer and treatment going on so long I think I was still holding on, dealing with the crisis, waiting for something more to happen. After all, from lump to end of treatment it had been a rollercoaster of ups and downs and then I returned to work, so jumped from one rollercoaster to another. Only now am I letting the wall of protection down and letting in grief.

I feel that the response I had from the above incident was grief for the pepole involved, but it resonated with my own sense of loss. I am not trying to be dramatic but I have been through a lot. Bits of my, both physical and pshycholigical, have gone or changed. The whole process of treatment requires you to hold it together or you wouldn’t get through it.

I didn’t realise that recovery was such a long drawn out process. I am still being held back by my overall physical health. I was told once that the psychological response can occur long after the treatment ends, and this has been the case for me. I had a chat with a colleague who has also been on the cancer rollercoster and she agrees.

There is an expectation for yourself and others that now you have had teatment and survived that you should be thankful (I am) and to then ‘get on with it’. As a complex human being though I realise it doesn’t work like that.

Despite all this I am fairly happy. I am not in a quagmire of misery, just in a rut. The realisation certainly made me feel as if a weight had been removed from my shoulders.

So my usual response to a situation like this is to analyse, as above, and then get a plan together to deal with it. Happily, I have plenty to do now the weather has improved and I can get over the allotment to start prep for sowing and the spring. That is my plan along with continueing projects and a course at work. It is enough.

If anything comes from all of the above, it will be my understanding of the process of serious illness and how people can feel later on. This is a new understanding for me, opportunity for empathy which I didn’t have before.



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