Chief nourisher in life’s feast

Hope you won’t be disappointed to learn today has nothing to do with food waste.  No, today, not going to try to focus on what stuff needs to be done or how to do it. Today going to muse on the impact of weariness on the ability to function wisely or at all. Macbeth was the text studied at school, the words repeated so often and made such an impression that decades later they still come to mind even when too tired to think. Macbeth is they say one of the great tragedies relating to the idea of unchecked power and the consequences of blind ambition. The weakness of Macbeth set against the ‘strength’ of Macduff. Be that as it may, Macbeth does murder sleep – the innocent sleep , sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care…. I often felt his punishment to be deprived of sleep far worse than being hung,  drawn and quartered. Lack of sleep may surely drive us mad.

Where is this going . Well a blog post may be the start or end of a google wander. So, here an article on sleep as the new status symbol. Make of it what you will. But I will also share with you what I have discovered on this journey so far. A good night’s rest however achieved will make tackling stuff easier and of course stuff tackled will make it easier to get a good night’s sleep. It is for you dear reader to decide where to start. Chicken or egg. Egg or chicken.  Enough philosophy,  no blog is complete without a cute cat appearing at some point so here it is.

Sweet dreams or happy uncluttering or both.


To do or not to do

Some days, it gets too much. It’s been nearly half a year since we declared war on clutter, yet we’re still up to our ears in it. The blogging & tweeting have been fun. We’ve learned a bit along the way… which plastics can’t be recycled, how to avoid food waste, why helium balloons should be banned… but we seem to have lost track of our initial plan. We are still… possibly more than ever, now we throw nothing away… Drowning in Stuff.

Back from my summer holiday in an achingly beautiful and hauntingly empty corner of England, today I was feeling totally discouraged. What on earth could I blog about, aside from my failure to progress?

I decided simply to post a video from years back, one that always makes me smile; a guy who dances like nobody is watching (and as if he doesn’t care about the state of his house.) Could I find it? Nope. I dug out an old hard drive where I thought I’d stored a list of fave music videos. Instead, in a file marked “Lists” I found “To Do, 2014” and thought I’d share it with you:

No more magazines! Recycle the lot & don’t buy any more.
Scan all the family photos/ sort out existing albums & loose pictures.
Find a frame for hare artwork.
Clear out all articles saved for future reference (& then never referred to again.)
Book cull. Serious.
Figure out how to empty the attic.
Watch the kitchen roof fall in.

My first thought: Who knew I was a Stuffoholic three years ago? My second: Some of those things have been completed! My third: Most haven’t.

And there’s the rub. It’ll always be a work in progress. Some of it will get done. Hey, I’ll even be optimistic and say all of it will get done. Eventually.

But for now I will sit and admire my framed hare artwork and rejoice that the kitchen ceiling was replaced before landing on our heads.

Enjoy the video…


Use your loaf!

Today just enjoy the view as we pause on our journey. Time to take a staycation leaving our stuff behind and other cares. The millstones though a reminder of how flour and water have been sustenance over the ages all over the world. We couldn’t then leave without a thought on wasted food, bread sadly the biggest source of food waste in the UK.  A staggering equivalent of 24 million slices of bread just thrown away every day. There are many tips out there – store it properly, freeze it , buy smaller loaves, to name just three but here six uses for stale bread and a blog you can browse through while we enjoy that view.

It’s not rocket science ….

albert-einstein-its-not-rocket-scienceThe  more I read to find the secret of unclutterment the more I think simple is the key. So simple you think why aren’t I doing it that way already. For example the answer to stopping stuff hiding at the back of fridge only to be found when well past its use by date is to ……  Check the fridge once a week. Amazing. I  can no doubt programme smartphone to tell me to do this and annoyingly remind me again and again when I press snooze.

Next ‘secret’ is to buy no more of a food than can use before it will go bad and/or  will be sick of eating it. If wish to start getting sophsticated/complicated then can also freeze stuff which may allow a little more time/less waste  …. as long as don’t let it hide there instead.  Smartphone needs to remind regularly to check what’s hidden in fridge too. There is a little more but you get the idea. Here a link to a checklist and method developed by SimplyBeingMum. Her weekly #foodwastefriday ritual can help stop you wasting food. Following a weekly plan every week till it becomes as habitual as cleaning your teeth really is key to success.    Of course if you’re a real Stuffoholic your cupboards will be prepared for famine too. Just check them as well and learn that an empty cupboard can be a thing of beauty and not a cause for concern. Tricky balancing trick but it can be done… or so I’ve read.

I would be remiss though to leave it at that without a warning about potential pitfalls. Food plays such an important part in our culture it is not only seen as a means to keep us alive. For example, that desire/need to be hospitable or accept gifts graciously may put you off track. I’ll say no more but remember this picture and these words. How you handle lapses from your plan will determine whether you happily get back on the less food waste trail or decide after that takeaway/box of chocs/impulse buy it’s not for thee.

Food though isn’t really top of my ‘clutter that’s drowning me’ list.  I therefore wondered whether I could apply any of the food waste tips to reduce my ‘real’ stuff stash. My first response was , of course not , after all this stuff doesn’t have best before and use by dates it can’t go bad, it’s not rotting sitting in that corner/cupboard/space. On further consideration though I decided there just might be something in this approach. Do you remember that other stuff on my desk  I’m going to slap on that stuff ‘use by’ labels  for 3 months hence and if it’s not shifted by then consign it all to the bin. Well maybe not the bin but will at least as we head to winter ask and answer the question is this item like a tin of beans preparation for the apocalypse and can have an extension or akin to a (now) mouldy piece of cheese which will have to go in bin but could have been eaten by someone else if I’d given it away 3 months ago. Like any plan this needs to be fuelled by hope and chocolate. Enough for today let me start sticking on those labels.

you just never know when you’ll need/repurpose a broken …….


Under the Bed

Recently the Stuffoholics have been thinking about things on a global level- from consumerism to littering to excessive packaging- but this week I’m bringing our blog back home. It all started with this tweet by @easydecluttering:


Magazine buying is a habit I’ve (mostly) managed to kick, but my home still has an accumulation of assorted reading matter. Rather like the books, I find it difficult to part with anything I’ve not quite finished or might want to return to some time. Which brings me to my bed:

There are many, many magazines under there. And many other things too. One thing’s for certain, there’s definitely no room for monsters to hide under there! Deep down, I knew @easydecluttering could see straight through me; I was never going to make use of this stuff.

So, out it all came…

Some highlights: 1)Pretty boxes I thought might come in handy one day. 2)Lush pots, save 5 to get one free- I have 4. 3)Broken glasses waiting to be donated to a recycling scheme. 4)So many nail varnishes. 5)Shoes I loved which are broken & shoes I hated which don’t fit. 6)Growing Soldier, who’s been outgrown. 7)Badge making machine (wondered where that went.) 8) Festive candle holders (forgot to bring them out for Christmas.) 9)Lots of letters.

Oh, and some magazines…

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Over 150 of them. The oldest was dated 1995. It was quite sobering to think I’d owned that particular magazine for 22 years, especially as it really wasn’t all that interesting. There were also 50 writing magazines (15 never removed from their plastic cover.) “Out of sight out of mind” springs to mind.

What now? Well, I expect some of that stuff will be going back under my bed. Where else would I keep my nail varnish/ seasonal tealight holders/ badge machine? But the gardening magazines have been given away. Maybe the Mslexias will sell on eBay. And I can leave random magazines at a local Give & Take, or on the free book shelf in my local train station.

As for the rest, who knows? I’ve made a start. And, at least for now, there’s a yawning space beneath my bed. I’ll be checking for monsters tonight…


That’s where my lens cap went!