Friday, 3 January 2014
How to live in a small home.
Hello Dear Reader,
I'm still getting used to my house. It like having a new car, it's a car but requires different pressure on the throttle and finding where the clutch bites or which gear to drop when driving up that hill on the way home. There are some fundamentals I have taken with me and used in every house I've ever lived in.
An untidy house or at worst, a dirty house messes with my head. I can't think straight unless the house is clutter free, organised, clean, smells nice and I know where everything is. I still have boxes that I haven't opened yet as I haven't clearly thought through where I'm going to put everything that is already out of a box. If I haven't missed what ever is in those boxes in a few months then I'm just going to recycle what ever is in there! I'm developing new systems for the house I'm in and I have a few already that I'm writing down so I own them and I can use them every day.
1. Get rid of anything and everything I don't use almost every day. I live in small house and a whole lot has to go. Daily, I look for something I can get rid of and take it to the car. This means on my way somewhere or on my way to work, I can take it to the recycling bank. Even if it's just one book or one baking tray, if I keep doing this every day, then I will have more space in no time at all.
2. Decide what every cupboard is for. I have a lot of storage in my attic bedroom. I need to work out how to use it to the maximum. I think it's perfectly OK to have a stacking box with the bread machine, the food processor and so on in my bedroom. I don't use those items every day so I can store them in there. I also think it's OK to use stacking boxes to store long life food items in a 'kitchen' cupboard in my bedroom. I also think it's OK to have a tool cupboard in my bedroom. We have the most storage in the eaves of our attic bedroom so it make sense to choose a cupboard and decide what's going to go in it.
3. I've already rearranged the kitchen cupboards and I have condensed all my pots and pans into one cupboard. Anything I didn't use every day was recycled to the charity shop. I didn't keep the Kenwood Chef so some lucky soul would have been able to pick that up in the Sally Army shop. In fact, they often give electrical items away to anyone who needs them. I now have one larder cupboard, one for glasses, one for crockery and so on. The fridge freezer has gone into the cupboard under the stairs and DB has made air vents so it doesn't over heat. To keep the kitchen clean and tidy I have a ruthless turn round system on loading and emptying the dishwasher and keeping the worktops clutter free and easy to wipe down. The next job is to cull the mug cupboard and I will be off to the charity shop tomorrow with anything I can get rid of.
4. A small house gets dirty easily and it needs a surface clean every day. I start at the top and work my way down and just wipe over all surfaces with a damp cloth every day. I also vacuum the house every day and by using an extension lead means I can plug it into the downstairs hall way and clean every room in under ten minutes. I'm sweating and ready for the shower afterwards but the house gets a peripheral clean every day. I also keep cleaning supplies around the house. The upstairs cleaning resources are in a bathroom cupboard. A quick sprinkle of bicarbonate of soda around the sink and shower and a wipe and a rinse means the bathroom gets a clean every time we use it. I use Ecover products once a week but the rest of the time it's just cheap old favourites. I keep a 'squirty' bottle with water and half a cup of white vinegar, half a cup of Ecover washing up liquid ready to clean surfaces such as skirting boards, door frames and floors. I clean every day so a quick wipe down is all it needs.
5. Keep it tidy. We haven't quite managed this yet. Some cupboards are still disorganised. Some rooms still have boxes in the corners. Needless to say, the mess is still messing with my head and it's still work in progress! I keep the kitchen, laundry, bathroom and my bedroom tidy and I'm working on the rest.
Over to you Dear Reader. Help me out here? I need all the advice you can muster for living in a small space. Share with me you sorting and tidying ideas. Share your systems that keep your house running smoothly. Also, what eco cleaning products do you use? What do you make yourself? Has anyone ever used soy scented candles? Who uses essential oils around their homes? Does anyone have an oil burner to scent their home?
Thanks for your help and advice. As I said, I'm still learning to drive this house.
Love Froogs xxx