As we are entering the final week of the February 2021 Challenge - where has the month gone?! - here is another weekly recap of how I have got on.
Tuesday was all about discovering our Danger Zones. Finding those areas in the home where we tend to drop things, intending to come back to them but actually not!
The bedside table is my personal Danger Zone although it has been under control for a while now. I do still have to watch myself though, make sure I take mugs downstairs and put my book and journals away after I have finished them.
I have also managed to reduce the amount of clutter accumulating on the kitchen counter! I have put the tea, coffee and sugar canisters where the piles used to sit.
No space to put things down = no piles of clutter!
The hall table is less easy to manage, however. Although there are dedicated containers for paperwork and the 'covid protection kit', other items tend to accumulate there on their way to somewhere else. Living in a house of 5 adults this is likely to happen and as long as the item is actually on the way to it's destination eventually it pays to be flexible! The current item on it's way somewhere is a computer monitor!
The dining room chair is generally coats that weren't taken off in the porch ( I am as guilty of this as the rest of us) and my office bag. Ooops - that is me. To solve this I need to find a permanent home for my bag. I need to have access to it because it contains my business diary and notebooks which I need to get to if I have a phonecall in the house. It also needs to be available for when I go to my office. We have an ottoman under the hall table which holds our bags for life and I think that putting my office bag on here might be the most easily accessible and central place for it to go.
The purpose of having this Danger Zone list is twofold. Firstly so that we are more conscious of where we put things down in the home, and secondly, it allows us to find solutions which could remove the Danger Zone all together.
Wednesday was 'Catch up with a friend online' Now I have to admit I didn't do this but I am in the middle of writing a letter to someone. I think it's the catching up part which is important here. We have been through an awful year and I think it is so important that we try to keep in touch with people who mean a lot to us but who we don't keep in regular contact with.
On Thursday we went into the kitchen to wipe down all the small kitchen appliances. A few months ago I set up a 'Coffee Station' in a small area of the kitchen. I would probably say it is now one of the most used areas in there now!
The two first pictures are before and to be fair they certainly don't look too bad compared to how they can get! There is often ground coffee on the counter and coffee rings from the bottom of coffee mugs! It really doesn't take long to whizz around with a couple of cloths and wipe down these small appliances, especially if this is part of a weekly routine!
Now we move onto lotions and potions.
There was definitely more to be got rid of here than I thought there would be! I am so much better now than I used to be at actually getting to the end of something before I buy new. The only unused or little used item here is a hair product.
Saturday's challenge was probably the biggest of the week for me but it still took less than 10 minutes. It was sorting through our First Aid Kit. We are all adults in this house and so I keep our Kit in a kitchen cabinet. If you have young or vulnerable people in your house make sure your First Aid Kit is accessible but safe.
Ours is kept in two containers. One is a First Aid Kit 'proper' for wound dressing etc. The second box is where we keep painkillers, cold remedies and allergy medicines etc.
This is the total contents of both boxes and the out of date items I found ( Deja-vu for me as I work in a Pharmacy! ) I then printed off a First Aid Kit Checklist from firstaid.org.uk and went through seeing what I already have and what I need to buy to complete the list.
I actually do have scissors but they get used for other things so I need to make sure there is a dedicated pair in the First Aid Kit.
I then sorted through what was left.
These fell into three categories - painkillers, cold remedies, other dressings and other. These were all in date and went back in to the box. Have you found that the cold remedies are going unused in this strange pandemic year? Face masks for the win!!
Sunday we went back to emptying bins. Nice and straightforward. I have added this to my Monday house cleaning routine to make sure I keep on top of it all.
Into the final week and it's clean hairbrushes. Another less than 10 minute challenge as long as you don't count the drying time!
I used some shampoo in a bowl of water to wash my brushes. One of my brushes actually comes apart - I discovered by mistake once! It makes it very easy to clean though!
And that's week 3 done!
How have you got on with these challenges? Keep letting me know, and if you have any suggestions for future challenges you can contact me through Facebook, Instagram, by email or via the chat bubble on my website! They are all linked below.
Next weeks blog will be another round up along with a look at all the daily decluttering bonus challenges I have completed!
You can contact me via my email firstname.lastname@example.org or using the chat bubble on my website, I would love to help you!
You can message me on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Linda-J-Harper-Professional-Declutterer-and-Organiser-107805011001601.
I am also on Pinterest and Instagram if you need some inspiration! https://www.pinterest.co.uk/adnilenaj1314/boards/