4. Study

????so much stuff??????????????????

Start where? why? what? Start Somewhere and Start Now !! Today life advice for most situations not just how to regain your space. Fellow stuffoholic was fair but firm. I had committed to regaining this space. Decided to Start Small and tackle the mantlepiece. Before

How? Well sorted swiftly stuff into two piles . Stuff to keep and the stuff that needs to be re-homed, recycled or even thrown away! Did not spend time agonising over what went in which pile. Today’s mantra  is Do Something and Do it Now. A decision made can still be changed but I tried hard not to cheat and default everything to the keep pile.

Voila. The tale of two trays.

First the Keep Tray every item justified . I won’t bore you with why this is so,  it is suffice that it is not all the items on the mantelpiece. I also won’t explain why they were all (except the make up brush and Su Doku book ) relocated in a shoe box to be reviewed on another day. I never claimed this was a one step process.


Stuff to Keep

And so to the other tray …


Stuff NOT to Keep

What treasure did I find? More importantly why had I kept stuff  so valuable but never used.  The paint brushes a reminder of a creative hobby that after several decades I finally accept is never going to happen. The brushes will go to a neighbour who runs art classes at home so they will finally be put to good use. The little book of Keep Calm and Carry On never helped me but will go to local little free library – set free. Broken mug heading to recycling , only need so many containers for pens and stuff. Tempted to keep it for a mosaic project but the look given me as I voice that thought speaks volumes. Old cards for recycling too . Toothbrushes , deep sigh, only so many you need for tricky corners.  Lastly, the over sized nail file , given to me as a well meant gift , never used and is no use at all now I cannot reach my feet. Surprisingly,  it is just what my fellow stuffoholic needs. Result!

So how does it now look.  Bare but there’s plenty still in that room so don’t fret it is now time to Stop (for today).


Room with a View

spring clean

I woke up two days ago feeling Out of Sorts. I had this completely uncharacteristic urge to tidy, to Spring clean, to declutter… basically, to chuck out all the stuff which has been weighing me down for so many years. Did I start with my Drawer that Shall Never be Opened, or the equally daunting Kitchen Drawer of Unidentified Objects? Did I crawl under beds or tackle the coffee table which rarely has enough space for a coffee cup?

Oh no- I decided to Go Big. I was ready to face the attic. Thirty years of accumulated stuff awaited me and I wasn’t turning back!

48 hours later, I’m thinking there’s a pretty good reason I only get these urges once every thirty years! The results have been startling, both in a good and not so good way…


The shredder has been filled & emptied ten times. Paperwork squirrelled away for decades is now in the compost heap. Children’s games which haven’t been played in over ten years are now destined for the charity shop. Dozens of books are leaving my house. I can sit at my desk once again, gazing out the skylight whilst pretending to work. I’ve spent hours rediscovering old photos, school projects, my children’s artwork, letters from friends, souvenirs from long forgotten holidays. And after a weekend of hard work, I can see the carpet again!


Not So Good

I am dust-clogged and aching. Though the attic looks great, the rest of my house is completely wrecked. Boxes of stuff await sorting in just about every room. So many things which were evicted from the attic now need new homes.boxes


That’s the trouble with tackling the big stuff; it all has to Go, or Go Somewhere.


But I’m not letting it get me down. Look what I’ve found…




Waste not Want not

Another day, another blog, this year already feels it’s going to be both different and the same. This year less talk and more action. Well probably just as much talk but definitely more action no matter what life throws our way.

So far Started on that study/office  to regain our space and we’ve completed Wayne Dixon’s   #7daychallenge   so our streets are less littered.  We are also still committed to reducing our  food waste and action counts more than words. We know buy less is key but  what do you do when you find you have stale croissants  and marmalade jam that apparently has reached its use by date even when kept in the fridge .  Feed the birds/ (compost) bin. Of course not you adapt a recipe for bread and butter pudding .


Here we go, croissants already pretty high in butter but a little more won’t hurt and a dab of marmalade too. Layer croissants in dish. We treated this as a creative exercise so squareish shapes for bottom layer and rings for top. This is not necessary but we “eat with our eyes” or so they say. At this point hope you greased dish before you put in croissant bits and didn’t have to take it all out and start again. Marmalade

Then mix milk ( we used soya but any milk will do – food waste ethos is to use whatever you have to hand) and eggs and whisk. Pour over croissants and leave for 10 minutes (or 30 minutes if your croissants are as stale as ours). If necessary add a little more milk/egg mix if you’ve misjudged just how dry those croissants were. Any doubts as to whether they were usable as croissants had been dispelled by this point.  By the way in case you wondered why didn’t we go for something even simpler. We did but unlike stale bread you cannot turn stale croissants into croutons or we would have done.

Ready for the oven

Don’t worry about brown bits in pic should have mentioned half the croissants were filled with chocolat . Mmm .. this post about food waste, never claimed this was a low calorie treat. Shame the whisky flavoured double cream  (intended for Christmas pud but put aside given the excess intake already on that day /week) was well past use by date or that would have been added too.  Despite already a calorie count that would allow us to take squares of this as  supplies on a trip up Mount Fuji we then sprinkled a few spoonfuls of brown sugar on top for good measure.

Oven for 40 minutes or till set and golden brown . #FoodwastefridayNow all that was left to do was eat it . Fortunately, disappeared swiftly so no need to write a blog next time on what to do with left over Croissant and marmalade pudding.

As a famous chef might have said at this point – Happy Days!!