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Hello Again

Well, after a long break from blogging – 6 months – I’ve finally got enough time to myself to contribute some more thoughts…
In the time I’ve been away lots has happened: I have tried very hard not to aquire more stuff, ethically reduce the amount of stuff I have already, and to live as lightly as possible. But I have fallen off the wagon a bit and need to refocus.
I will be blogging over the next few days about each of my goals/interests and also introducing a couple of new things into the mix.
I’m using my work laptop just now so don’t have many photos available to make this post a bit prettier but I’ll have a browse now for something.

The Beach at Holkham, Norfolk - one of my favourite places.

The Beach at Holkham, Norfolk – one of my favourite places.


Lovely Evening in Norfolk

I have spent a lovely evening at home here in Norfolk, UK. I didn’t do anything special or different but it was an evening where I felt so happy and at ease and blessed by what I have.
The weather was nice, kind of sultry with a storm in the air as the dusk fell. The air is beginning to smell ‘harvesty’. That lovely high summer, grass mowings, cereal crops ripening, flowery sweet atmosphere.
I spent a bit of time wandering in my garden trying to photograph some bees and butterflies and just soaking up the contented feeling.
I think we should all try and stop from time to time and just take a few minutes to reflect on the good things in our life, stop worrying about the future and regretting the past and concentrate on how good right now actually is.

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Where do all the hours in the day go?

Well I’m back again after a short break from blogging.

I haven’t been idle during my absence (chance would be a fine thing!). I have continued to rid my home of unneeded items as I’ve come across them but still feel far from minimalistic.

I have found that I need to involve my family as much as possible with my new way of living. I spent a week noting down how long I spent on each task I ‘have to’ do. – I know, I know, sometimes I can be very sad! It proved to be interesting. I was already aware that I don’t have enough hours in the day to do what I ‘have to’ do let alone what I actually WANT to do but this has clarified where all the time goes. I’ll give you an edited version of my findings:

Laundry – 12 hours per week. I have modern laundry equipment and detergents so I’m not having to carry it down to the river and scrub it all by hand so why does it take up so much of my valuable time? 2 reasons I think: 1. The children put clothes on and then get changed more than once per day sometimes. At the end of the day they just chuck it all in the wash so a lot of what I wash isn’t even dirty. 2. A lot of my time is spent folding and putting away clothes. So, now I’m trying (and partially succeeding) to get them to keep one set of scruffs to put on after school and only put their clothes in the wash when they need it. – Do the ‘look at the front and back test’ followed by the ‘sniff test’. I’ve also been putting a pile of each person’s clothes on their beds and they can put them away themselves. This also helps them to know where all their clothes are when they’re looking for something. Husband’s clothes now look like the leaning tower of Pisa on top of the chest of drawers.

Tidying Up – 9 hours per week. This is just simply picking up things which have been left out and putting them away. This has had to stop.  Each day I now spend 10 minutes walking around the house, picking up anything that has not been put away and piling it all on the culprit’s TV chair/beanbag. They can then not watch TV until they have put all the stuff away. This has worked quite well with the children. They have been trying to keep their things more tidy and have sorted out their books and toys to reduce the amount of stuff they have cluttering up their playroom and bedrooms. We did a big tidy up which took 2 days and they now know where everything ‘lives’ and are spending 10 minutes per day picking up their stuff and, on the whole, their space (and the rest of our home) is a far less cluttered place to be. The person who ends up with the most stuff on his tv chair every day is my husband. He is not really getting it yet. After a week of having a great big heap of stuff to put away every evening before he can watch the world cup, each new day’s pile doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller. It is certainly true that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks ha ha! My tidying up has now gone down from 9 hours per week to 4.

Work – 24 hours. This is my ‘proper’ job as the finance director of our company. This varies depending on the needs of the business and was quite a short week.

Childcare – 12 hours. This is mainly ferrying them around and driving them to and from school. It also includes ‘persuading’ them to do their homework, testing spellings etc. I don’t begrudge any of this but it can be exhausting.

Other Work – 24 hours. This covers cleaning, cooking, filling/emptying the dishwasher, washing up, dog care, shopping, putting out the rubbish, home paperwork/admin. Boring but necessary.

So my working week was 81 hours. 13 hours per day Monday – Friday, 8 hours per day at weekends. No wonder I’m knackered.

My leisure time was a total of 24 hours. This seems a lot but it included sleeping before 10pm or after 6am, eating, showering/bathing, getting ready to leave the house (dressing, makeup, hair etc.), time spent with husband/friends/children, tv, beekeeping, gardening, walking the dogs, time spent online…..what I would really like is some time spent doing absolutely nothing at all.

I think the worst thing is I feel as if I’m on a treadmill, doing the same old stuff which I feel I have to do and never being able to get off it to follow my dreams. I’m 50 next year so I’d better get a move on!

So, apart from the laundry reduction and tidying revolution above, what else can I do to reduce the workload? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Holkham Beach Nofolk

Holkham Beach Norfolk – wish I was there!




Well, here goes!


My first post – I doubt whether anyone else will be interested but, just in case, I should introduce myself.

I’m a 49 year old woman, living in Norfolk in the UK. I am married with 5 children – 4 girls and 1 boy – 22, 21, 8 and 6 year old twins.

My husband and I run our own business supplying corrugated cardboard packaging to manufacturers and other companies in many different industries. He does the sales and I do the accounts. We also employ 3 other people.

We have 3 dogs and live in a rural semi-detached cottage with a couple of acres of land.

For some time now I have been thinking that I need to change the way I live my life. For as long as I can remember I have put the needs of others before my own. I am a chronic people-pleaser always agreeing to do what other people ask of me, even if that goes against my own wellbeing. This way of being has become so ingrained that I no longer really know what my own passions are. It has even affected
my health.

I have been reading the posts by minimalists such as Leo Babauta ( and Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus ( and quite a lot of what they talk about resonates with me.

I have therefore decided that I will start to get where I want to be (wherever that is) by reducing the amount of  ‘stuff’ in my life. Rather than keep thinking about what it is I want to achieve I will ‘just do it’.

So, I have started a 30 day declutter plan as suggested by The minimalists:

Day one – get rid of 1 thing, day two – get rid of 2 things, day 3 – get rid of 3 things and so on up to day thirty – get rid of 30 things. By the end of the 30 days I will have got rid of over 600 items from my home which I no longer need or want. I will try and donate, give away, sell and, as a last resort, recycle everything.

I will post here each day to try and keep me accountable and motivated.

Today  – day one – I have thrown away a chipped ramekin dish which I have no idea why I was keeping. It was so badly damaged that unfortunately it has had to go into landfill.

Honey Bee