Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Nearly there....

I am delighted to announce that my kitchen cupboards have all been de-cluttered and re-organised. I am not totally happy with some aspects, but until I can think of a better solution I am going to stick with it.

My main sticking point is the cutlery drawer and utensils storage. I am waiting for a magnetic knife rack to go up on the wall, which will clear some space and I can then work with what I have left to organise.

There are a couple of spots that need a bit of finishing off - on top of the fridge needs clearing, I want a shelf put up above the tumble dryer, my metal shelves need to be better organised, and I want to give the kitchen a good clean before I am finished in there for January....but I am pleased with my progress and it is definitely so much better than it was!

I haven't yet sorted out a cleaning schedule, but will soon. I am giving myself this weekend to get the kitchen project complete.

I already have my project lined up for February....but more on that soon.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

How my life will be...

I read a blog post a little while back where the blogger had said that she had done it. She had successfully organised her life, that everything was in the right place, she had menu plans in place, spent quality time with her family & friends, mornings went smoothly.... And then ended with 'And then I woke up...'


I will look for the post to add it here, but I wanted to write one of my own. A post to remind me why I am on my pursuit.


EDIT: here is the post!


Here goes....


I wake up in the morning, before everyone else and head downstairs for a coffee & to check my Filofax. While the kettle is boiling I fold the dried clothes, move washed clothes to dryer and put a load of washing on. I empty the dishwasher, then sit down with my coffee to check my emails & plan the day. The kitchen is tidy, as we out everything away last night.


My breakfast is planned, all of our lunches are pretty much ready to go - usually a 'bento' lunch that Evie (and I) enjoy. I eat breakfast - with a glass of water - then head upstairs to get ready. I wash my face, cleanse, tone, moisturise, brush my teeth. Get dressed, I have a few outfits planned so I have a choice, including accessories. Likewise Evie's clothes are ready to grab. My wardrobe is tidy, so I can see what I have, and can easily put away the clothes I pulled out of the dryer this morning. I make the beds, open the curtains, do my hair and put on make up. I update my Filofax as I go.

I spend some time with Evie, having breakfast and chasing her round the house to get her dressed!

I go to work, where I am inspired and excited to try new recipes and cake designs. We have some events coming up, so lots to work on, but feeling organised and in control.

I get home from work at the same time as hubby & Evie. Matthew is in charge of dinner, so me and Evie have a bit of playtime - I leave my phone, iPad & computer alone until she goes to bed! We have dinner together at the table, not every night, but when we can. Then we watch a bit of TV together, get Evie in her PJs, read a story and she goes to bed. The kitchen is cleaned ready for the morning, and I do any cleaning that needs doing and prep for the next day.

This is when I can get on with a bit of work, possibly have a glass of wine, or spend time with hubby. Finally, I make sure to have half hour of downtime, reading or knitting or TV before bed. I make sure to leave my Filofax ready for a quick glance the following day. I go upstairs brush my teeth, remove make up, cleanse, tone, moisturise & go to sleep.

I have a flexible weekly cleaning schedule, and a monthly one, that I can pick up and dive into when I have cleaning time. I put everything away when I am finished with it, which is easy, because everything has it's own home and is accessible. All surfaces are clear, except for additions which are pretty or meaningful. Everyone does their own thing - Math has darts and rugby, I have wine club. We have friends for dinner regularly and date nights every now and then - not scheduled in, but we make an effort to arrange one evey now and then. We plan

When I do 'fall off the wagon' and something slips, I don't panic, or give up, but get straight back onto it. I keep my monthly projects, because it's nice to have something to focus on.

I have a list of activities for me and Evie to do on our time off together. We have a joint craft room and study, that we can all use for work, art or some alone time.


Sounds pretty good. I feel more organised just having written it. Let's check back in 11 months and see how I've got on.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Staying on track

I have slipped the last few days. Little bits here and there. But enough to make me feel guilty. 

This is a little reminder that I need to get back on track. That it isn't a fail. 

If you are in the same position, remember all is not lost. We can catch up. Just get back to it as soon as you can.

For me, it's tomorrow. Sunday is catch up day!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Meal Planning Filofax

Part of my kitchen organising includes improving my eating habits. I am a bit rubbish at eating breakfast, often forget about lunch, and then eat dinner. Working in a cake shop often means I'll be snacking all day sampling different recipes, plus I do find it difficult to turn down a scone... All in all, not the healthiest of diets.

I have also noticed that I am losing weight, which is not something I need to do - I'm not boasting, I'm just small and have been lucky enough to not have to worry about my weight.

My hubby does most of the cooking in our house. He enjoys it and is following the WeightWatchers diet, so it's easier for him to sort out what he wants to eat for evening meals and I'll just go along with it. Evie will try whatever we have, so I don't need to make anything different for her. Thursday is my night for cooking so I can get dinner ready for when hubby gets back from rugby training. I plan to work my way through Jamie's 30 Minute Meals. I know it's had mixed review, but some of the menus look lovely.

I decided I needed a way to plan in my breakfast and lunch and make it or prep it ahead of time, so that I do eat something. I sat down on Sunday with my recipe book, iPad and dug out an old pocket Filofax.

It's a work in progress, but so far is working for me. I do plan to make it a bit prettier at some point, but right now it's function over form!

First here is the inside cover holding 2 mini highlighters, bought from Wilkinson. They are the perfect size for my pocket Filofax and will be used to cross off list items. It's cleaner then drawing lines through everything.

Next are some shopping list pages. These are kept at the front, so I can access them quickly when on the move. Items can then be knocked off usingthe highlighters.

Next I have 4 blank sheets. Each side has the day of the week (the 8th side has 'next week'), then Breakfast Lunch and Dinner as headings. Below each of these is a little sticky note showing what I'll be having for each meal. This should make the pages and meals re-usable to some extent so I'm not wasting loads of paper. (Side note: I have now purchased some smaller fine liners to better fit.)
Here are some more pages so you can see it at work...

This is one of my favourite stickies so far!

Next section is a list of what we have in the freezer. Again, this can be updated with the higher. I will also be adding lists for in the fridge and in the pantry, for quick reference when planning.

Here is a list of the meals in Jamie's 30 Minute Meals so I can keep track of which ones I have done. I have assigned numbers so I can do a quick random number selection when I can't make my mind up!
Finally there is a little pocket to keep my sticky notes included.

I love it so far, and I am pleased to say that I have eaten pretty well this week. I have also been buying some new lunchbox accessories to make lunch more exciting....but more about that another day.

I plan to add some useful charts - temperature and unit conversion charts, and I need to include some pages to store my not in use sticky notes, plus maybe a favourite page for quick access. So what do you think? Genius or overkill?


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Cook book swap


Four shelves in our kitchen housed some of our vast cookery book collection. A few we regularly turn to, like Delia's Complete Cookery Course and Rachel Allen's Home Cooking, but many that just haven't been put anywhere else.


So I had a purge and got rid of the ones we don't use regularly.


And kept the ones we do use or that are new (Seasonal Baking & Cook Like a Man)


This exercise has led to the arrangement of a cook and recipe book swap to be held at The Raspberry Cakery in conjunction with the Oxfam Book Shop on Saturday 22nd February. You bring your books along, and for each one you bring can swap for another one. Or you can buy a book for £1. All proceeds will be going to Oxfam.
More details coming soon.



Sunday, January 19, 2014

An organised update

My intention today was to organise one cupboard. It was the one I have been dreading the most. The one full of piles of serving dishes, ramekins and the dreaded Tupperware containers.

Here it is before I started.

What a mess!! So I emptied it all out. The crisp and snack box (top left) found a new home in the pantry. I sorted everything else into piles and threw away any Tupperware that didn't have a lid or we're cracked. Then I put most of it back in.

Having started, I knew there were a few other bits that I wanted to keep in this cupboard - measuring jugs etc, so I decided to carry on and sort a drawer... This went on for a while. In the end I de-cluttered and re-organised 5 drawers & 4 cupboards. 

Here is the cupboard above after:

The under shelf basket and the extra shelf bit make me more happy than they should!

As I was in full flow I didn't take before photos of every space I sorted. But here are the after photos.

This cupboard used to house a load of baking stuff, and was empty before today. Now it contains serving dishes (top), baking bits (middle) and lunchbox making stuff (bottom).

This drawer used to hold everything that didn't really have a home - Measuring jugs, gravy jug, BBQ tools, jelly moulds, electric whisks, ladle, chopping boards... It was a nightmare space. Now it's for saucepans.

Along with this cupboard which used to hold the mandolin, slow cookers (yes, 2 of them) and meat mincer.

The saucepans used to live in this corner cupboard. Now it holds the tools and machines we use less frequently. Everything mentioned above plus our kitchen aid attachments and sieves.

Next were the cutlery and utensils drawers. Before it was hard to see what was going on. Now it isn't much better, and I'm not particularly happy, but until I have a better idea this is how it is. 

This was our junk drawer. I have decided we don't need one in the kitchen. So for now it holds our knives - until our magnetic knife rack gets put up. 

Finally this drawer was tidied up. Again it needs some more organising but it's progress!

That's what I did today!! And I am very happy with it. I only have 2 cupboards left to sort now. It looks like I'm on schedule to have my wonderfully organised kitchen by the end of the month.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Where to start organising

Just a quick post to share this article with you:

We'll worth a read if you don't know where to start, just wish I had written it myself! 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Start with one thing every day

This is my little tip for you. The one that has so far made the biggest difference to me. The one that I have managed to stick to pretty religiously - even over the Christmas break!

Find one thing that annoys you or you want to get on top of, and do it every day. 

For me it was the laundry.

I remember my Mum would spend all day Sunday getting everything washed, dried, ironed and put away. But Sunday is my only day off. It's the only day we spend together as a family during the week, and I don't want to spend it doing laundry. So I make sure I do a load of laundry every day.

In the morning I empty the tumble dryer, if it's full, fold the clothes, and check the filter and water tank in the tumble (we have a condenser dryer). Then move the washed clothes from the washing machine into the dryer, and put a new load in the washing machine. 

It takes maybe 10 minutes. 

When I get home from work I do it all again. And will sometimes put the clothes away too. This is my sticking point at the moment. Clothes will often stay for a day or so on the dining table, or on the floor in the wardrobe waiting to be put away. I also iron on demand. 

This is what I have to work on next. The main reason for this is that the wardrobe needs sorting out & I need to get a wardrobe for Evie - again working on the principle that everything needs a place which will make it easier to put everything away. 

This morning I had just enough washing to do a load. This made me smile. Small thing, I know, but it felt like a win for me. 

What would you like to get on top of? What one things every day makes a difference to you?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Getting back on track

It's been a few days since my last post because I have been away for the weekend - my birthday weekend. I had a really lovely weekend staying in my auntie & uncle's pub with lots of family around. 

This has meant that obviously I have done no sorting, no blogging, no sticking to my routine. The key thing now is to not let this distract me, but to get straight back into it. I'm still pretty determined, so haven't lost the will just yet. And I can see how much easier the routines do make everything, I 'just' need to persevere. 

My plan for this week is to get all of the kitchen cupboards de-cluttered and re-organised, while sticking to my daily routines. I'll keep you posted! 

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

A catch up post

I was doing pretty well - I thought - but I did miss yesterday's post. I have my reasons. But instead of making excuses and feeling guilty, I will post twice today. Lucky, lucky readers. ;-)

The main point of this exercise is for me to get back into blogging, I have no real intention of becoming a daily blogger, not just yet anyway. To get myself writing and interacting a bit more,  which is today's homework - to comment on and interact with other blogs. 

My first link for you is @nat_reynolds' blog, A Thirty Something in Wales. Who is starting a 30 day Instagram photo challenge today. 

There's also the #100HappyDays challenge where you take a photo of something that makes you happy for 100 days. I have managed 7 days so far.... Follow me on Instagram for pictures. 

I am also making an effort to blog more on the raspberry cakery blog.

I enjoy writing and want to do more of it, I do want to make this blog useful rather than (just) my ramblings, and again I am going to put it down to setting a routine. Hopefully once I have childcare arrangements sorted, a little office or writing space set up, a decent bedtime for Evie & a wonderfully organised house that keeps itself clean I will have time to write some decent posts. ;-)

I'll post a kitchen organising catch up post later on this evening. 

EDIT: Due to a poorly little munchkin I won't be posting twice. Normal service will resume tomorrow.

Monday, January 06, 2014

A day off

I've left my blogging until a bit late today. Because I haven't had a chance to sit down and properly plan a post (but when does that usually stop me?) and because my little munchkin isn't feeling very well.

I'm taking a day off. 

Sunday, January 05, 2014

My morning routine

Aside from all of the wonderful organising I have been up to lately, I am looking forward to getting some semblence of a routine going.

I have had a sort of morning routine going for quite a while, and I tend to dip in and out of it as it suits. What I need to do is make sure I do more of it more frequently.

Here is what's on my moning routine checklist:
  • Get up by 6:30am
  • Coffee and check to do list
  • Drink water
  • Breakfast
  • Dishes
  • Laundry
  • Face, teeth, moisturise
  • Dressed, hair, make-up, accessorise
  • Make bed
  • Evie dressed
I don't do all of it every morning. I definitely didn't get up an 6:30am this morning! Sometimes I miss the laundry, or the dishes don't need doing. Mostly its there as a reminder, something to aim for.

My morning routine is currently set up in my Wunderlist app. Morning routine is the task, with the items in in as subtasks.

The main problem I have with this is that once I 'complete' the morning routine, at least as far as I am going to that day, it will automatically tick off all the sub tasks. So I can't look back and see how much of what I missed, if that makes sense! I don't know how often I will want to do it, but in the early stages it's quite nice to know.

If I miss a day, or forget to mark it off, I then need to go through and mark the previous day as complete. So again I don't have a reminder that I missed it. So while it is handy and pings me a reminder, it isn't as helpful to me at the moment as I'd like it to be.

I have a filofax I am working on at the moment, and I will be adding a day per page planner to it, with my morning routine on, so that I can keep track of what I do and don't do, along with notes. Just as a bit of backup for now while I try to make these routines habit.

Hopefully I will get it done today ready for Monday's new start!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Some cake shop organising

I haven't done (and don't intend to do) any house sorting today. Although I have cleared the dining table - part of my 'hot-spot busting'.

Instead I want to share some of the organising I have done in the Cakery over the last few days. It is all thanks to Pinterest, and the wonderful ideas it leads me too.

First of all, I purchased a trouser hanger for 89p in B&M homestore to store our ribbons. (See this pin!)

So much better than storing it in a time as we had been, now we can see at a glance what we have. Now I plan to attach a pair of scissors close by and some measurements so we know how much we need to go round the different sized cake boards.

Next is our newly organised shelves. We had these sorted but they looked untidy - it's amazing what some well-sized boxes and luggage labels can do....

So much neater and we can see at a glance what is in each cubby!

This is a combination of stuff I've seen, so no direct source, but thank you if you inspired!

Finally, we have hung all of our cookie cutters on a cork board in the pantry. Again we can see at a glance what we have and as everything has a place it's easy to put them away again later.

See this pin!

I can't wait to bring some of this organising back home to the house. The shop feels so much more organised already....time will tell though! 

Friday, January 03, 2014

My proudest organising moment so far

Well, look at me - blogging 3 days on the trot! Feeling quite pleased with myself, although yesterday's effort was a bit poor. 

At the moment I have many organising projects on at the same time:

- organising the kitchen
- re-organising in the Cakery
- setting up my organising planners, Filofax and devices
- de-christmassing the house

Plus trying to stay in top of general cleaning, going to work, dealing with a drop in child care assistance, and getting myself sorted. 

And then yesterday our boiler packs up. Wonderful. 

What this meant is that I had to empty the cupboard the boiler hides in, which is in the kitchen, and so dictated where I started in my kitchen. This cupboard held cat food & pet supplies, our spice rack, a pile of cat blankets, shoe cleaning supplies and light bulbs. A strange collection! I kind of wish I had taken a before photo... Anyway. I sorted all the shoe supplies and put them in a plastic basket to go back into the cupboard. The cat food & supplies have gone into asmallercupboard all of their own. Light bulbs will be finding a home elsewhere in the house. Cat blankets too. And the spices I sorted through, binned any past their best before date, combined any we had multiples of, and put them in an old biscuit tin, labelling the tops. 

My proudest organising moment this far! 

The spices will live in the pantry. 

The cupboard that now houses cat food used to contain oil & vinegar. Again I binned anything past it's best, put the oils we use regularly into their new home & the rest in the pantry. 

Today we had our new boiler installed, this meant I couldn't really do any sorting so I started to get the Christmas decs down instead. It's wonderful how clean and decluttered our living room looks now.

I also started going through my Filofax... But more about that again. 

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Day 2

I couldn't miss day 2!

I did start the kitchen sorting, mainly because our boiler is broken and leaking so I had to empty the cupboard to get to it. This included sorting our spices out and swapping some cupboards around. 

I'll write better details tomorrow, as I'm not going to do it justice tonight. 

I also printed out a month on 2 days planner for my Filofax, I'll be cutting it out tomorrow ready to use. 

We also spent today re-arranging the furniture at the Cakery to make it a better space for what we want to use it for. It looks good & I am really excited by what we have coming up. 

I'll do better tomorrow, promise. 

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy New Year

So here it is. 2014. The year I will get myself organised. I will be efficient. A good mum, wife & friend. A Domestic Goddess. A successful business woman.

I am still enthused by my project, and I think the key is to not launch myself into it as I would normally, but to take it a little at a time. So I have been planning & scouring Pinterest. Finding handy tips and resources. I did find some challenges, to help with the de-cluttering, setting routines, and blogging, but nothing was quite right - obviously they weren't written for me. They don't take into account my house, my time, how I work. So I'll be winging it. Doing it all by myself -  much as we probably did before the internet and wonderful days of Pinterest. ;-)

On Monday I printed out a little menu planner on scrapbook paper & put it in a frame on the kitchen wall. 

To further help with getting organised I have my iPad mini, which is already proving invaluable - especially for blogging, my Filofax will be used for personal goals and lists, I have an A5 binder which will become my home 'control' file, and a family organiser on the wall in the kitchen so we know where we are all meant to be. Each of these will be covered in more detail in their own posts.

To get started I have a few goals for January. 

1. To blog every day. Even if just a photo or quick tip or something I are found, to get myself regularly visiting this blog & interacting with it.

2. To have my kitchen de-cluttered, with everything in it's own place. Plus a working cleaning schedule.

3. To have February's tasks planned.

4. To take a photo everyday of something that makes me happy as part of the #100HappyDays challenge. 

See you tomorrow!