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Day 20 and BEES!

Today is very exciting for me. I have taken delivery of 2 hives, each containing 15-20,000 honey bees. They are now happily buzzing around in my garden collecting nectar and pollen and doing the things bees like to do. My 2 lovely queen bees are called Elizabeth and Victoria and are already busy laying loads of eggs. I will leave them to settle in for a week or so now and, when I next go into the hives I will take some photos of them to post on here.

Despite acquiring 35,000 new “pets”, I have managed to remove 20 things from my house which I don’t need:

  1. A pair of waterproof trousers (I have another pair which fit me better and how many pairs of waterproof trousers does one woman need?)
  2. A set of baby reins – youngest children (my twins) are now 6 1/2 so I don’t think they’d be prepared to be seen in them, even if I could squeeze them in to them.
  3. A pair of bath taps – been in the garage for about 5 years.
  4. Another shoe horn – where have they all come from?
  5. A decorative tin which is very nice but not fabulous.
  6. A too small jacket.
  7. Some too small hats.
  8. A body fat gauge. I can see it without making myself feel any worse by measuring it.
  9. A cleaning smock. Bought with good intentions but never worn and there’s no point keeping something which I ought to use but don’t.
  10. A too small rugby shirt.
  11. Some odd paper party plates
  12. A DVD which we have another one the same.
  13. An old baby blanket. (but no babies).

All of these things have gone to the charity shop.

I have thrown away:

  1. Some bent coat hangers.
  2. Some rusty nail scissors.
  3. A holey hoover pipe.

I have put in the recycling:

  1. 3 out of date calendars
  2. A pile of magazines which I will never have time to read.
  3. A tatty old coat – I know I could wear it in the garden but I have another, slightly less tatty old coat which will do that job.

I have chopped up for firewood:

  1. A broken wooden high chair – was it going to repair itself and become safe for all my babies?

So 13+3+3+1=20!

What on earth will I manage to find to clear out tomorrow?

I will spare you another photo of my overcrowded house today so here is one of my lovely dog, Ivy who has been dressed by my daughters, Esther and Martha. Ivy is scared of me in my beekeepers suit! Hopefully she’ll get used to it.

Princess Ivy

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Day 19 – this is getting more difficult!

I had to accept defeat today – an old sofa, 2 armchairs and 2 mattresses were collected by our local council. I had offered them to charity but they were too old to have the proper fire hazard warning labels as demanded by the EU so they couldn’t take them. I then tried Freegle 3 times but had no takers. Unfortunately in this throw away society when people can buy a new sofa and pay for it over 4 years for about £20 per month no-one wants to bother recovering an old but quality suite. It cost me £48 to have the things collected which I didn’t mind but I can see why now so many of these kind of things end up dumped in our country lanes. – 5 items.

One of our local charity shops has received some more things from me:

A box of books, a kettle, a gift box from menorca containing a cards/dice set, a key ring, an electric typewriter, a dressing gown, a coat, a child proof socket cover, some children’s wall stickers and a hat. – 10 items

I put my collection of milk bottles out for the milkman at work. – 1 item

I took a pack of whiteboard marker pens to work – we don’t have a whiteboard at home. – 1 item

I threw away some birthday card badges and a pair of broken sunglasses. – 2 items.

My photo today is of my old home office. It is a small, narrow room and it soon evolved into a junk room and I no longer use it as my office because I can’t get in it. Every one of the drawers is stuffed with stuff!


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Day 17 and 18

I didn’t have time to blog yesterday. Busy Saturday with the family which was great. We went to Knettishall Heath in Suffolk which is near where I grew up and had a picnic, a lovely long walk with the dog and ended with an ice-cream. Knettishall Heath is one of my favourite places to visit. Beautiful countryside with plenty of space for the children to run around, an ancient tumulus to scare them with stories of ancient warriors buried there, a river to splash in and lots of wildlife to spot – we heard a cuckoo which was both happy and sad: This was the first my 3 children aged 8 and 6 had heard despite living in the countryside in Norfolk. When I was young I can remember hearing the cuckoo every year. It was a sign of the approaching summer, like the return of the swallows.

Anyway, yesterday I managed to get rid of my 17 things – they are:

A child’s coat, 3 waterproof rain jackets, a pair of kids overalls, 3 waterproof splash suits (all outgrown), a pair of inner soles which had been kicking around for ages, a non-slip bath mat, an unloved vase and a magazine rack – 12 items to the charity shop.

2 old bags (no, not 2 grumpy old ladies) actual old, worn out shopping bags – thrown away.

Some more odd socks – I bet I find the matching ones to most of these now -, a worn out tshirt and empty inkjet cartridges – 3 things recycled

Total = 17.

Today I have a load of stuff ready to go:

To the charity shop; Some swimming armbands, a swimming float, 3 coats, a pair of plimsolls and a bag of lampshades – 7 items

I have sold the bike trailer via a local website for rehoming unwanted things. – £35 to my charity collection.

I have thrown away; a holey hat, an odd glove, a pile of floppy discs with rubbish on them and a pile of out of date business cards. – 4 items

I am now off to the local recycling centre with the above charity shop stuff (they have one on site for things worth selling) and also a computer monitor, printer and speakers which don’t work. I’m also recycling into the roadside collection bin a pile of Next catalogues (can only just lift them so goodness knows how many there are and a pile of old newspapers. 5 things recycled.

I also have a name tag attaching device and some little attachments which I have given to my friend who uses the same type of tags for her child’s clothes. Unfortunately, my sensitive little flower says they are “too lumpy”.

Here is a picture of my living room looking quite minimalist…..


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DAY 16

V quick post – just a list of the 16 things I have rehomed today!

  1. Kids sandals – worn out – recycled
  2. Kids slippers – worn out recycled
  3. Map of Dominica/St Lucia – charity shop
  4. Dog Collar(would fit a mastiff or something!) – Charity Shop
  5. Belt – charity shop
  6. Used Wine corks (100s – why?) – kindling box
  7. Keys which fit old locks – recycled
  8. 2 Necklaces I don’t like – charity shop
  9. Old TV remotes (pre 1980s!) – recycled
  10. Electricity usage metre – given to friend
  11. Beer bottle tops – binned as daughter already has (see below)
  12. More beer bottle tops – given to daughter for her collection
  13. Bath mat – charity shop
  14. broken wine bottle stopper – bin
  15. scratched dvd – bin
  16. Shoe horn (how many shoe horns does one family need?) – charity shop

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DAY 15

Half way there – well half way in time – day 15 of 30. But only 120 items removed from my life out of a target of 465. About 26%…

Yesterday I sorted out some old toys, games and puzzles which my children had outgrown. The ones which were still in good condition I gave to charity. I was left with a few broken toys which were not recyclable and had to go into landfill and some puzzles with missing pieces. The ones made from card were put into the recycling but I was left with a wooden jigsaw puzzle which had several missing pieces.

Today I worked out what to do with it. It was either compost or use as kindling for my wood burning stove. I have ended up putting it into the kindling box. It looks like it will do a fab job of getting the fire going next autumn. – 1 item.

I sorted out my crockery cupboard today. I have several chipped and cracked plates, bowls and cups which I always avoid when setting the table. They have been at the bottom of the piles of crockery for years and never get used. So today they have gone into the dustbin. – plates/bowls/cups 3 items.

I also have lots of children’s plates and bowls which my lot are too old for now. Most of the plastic ones have warped in the dishwasher, making them unsaleable but the ones that are still in good condition have been passed on to the charity shop. – plates/bowls thrown away – 2 items. Plates to charity shop – 1 item.

I’ve also sorted out the shoe cupboard. What I have been keeping all the worn out and outgrown shoes for I have no idea? I sent 2 pairs of crocs to my friend who has a little girl a few years younger than mine, a pair of wellies to the charity shop and 3 pairs of shoes, a pair of trainers and a pair of slippers to the recycling bin at waitrose. 8 items.

Today my photo is of the area under my stairs. This is where the sports clothing/equipment gets stored and there’s tonnes of it.


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This is still not as hard as I thought it would be. Just shows how much superfluous stuff I have been keeping.

The make-up sort out wasn’t as fruitful as I had hoped. I had a big clear out 6 months ago which I had forgotten about. Still, I managed to find; a lipstick which was all stuck in the bottom of the lid with bits of something in it (?); a lipgloss which had gone so sticky, if I’d put it on it would have stuck my lips together like superglue (my husband would probably say this wouldn’t be altogether a bad thing); an eyeshadow in a colour which made me look ill and some face powder which felt like I had been dusted with scouring powder. – 4 items.

I also found 4 toys, 2 games and a box of children’s’ books which went to the charity shop. – 7 items.

I dug out few broken toys which had to go into landfill, a game and some puzzles which were too shabby to give to anyone and had to go in the recycling. 3 items.

So that’s my 14 for today.

My photo is the playroom again – other end. My children are obviously taking after their mother and filling their space with STUFF! I need to save them before it’s too late.


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Day 13

OK, so day 13

4 more bottles from my overstuffed bathroom cupboards: bubble bath, body lotion, conditioner and a posh gift set which makes me itch.

A dell injet printer which has stopped working properly passed on to a handy chap called Stuart who asked for it on Freegle. He can fix it and I can’t so he will make good use of it. I had just bought new cartridges for it which is always the way so I left those in the box for him too.

I have sold 4 pairs of old wooden school chairs which my littlies had in their playroom and have now outgrown. I delivered them to their new homes today and made £40 for charity.

I gave a bottle of conditioner to my gorgeous daughter. Why I have so much conditioner when my hair is only about an inch long is beyond me…

I put a pile of old coffee cans in the recycling bin which I had been keeping because they looked like they might be useful sometime.

I gave a paperback novel which I had read to my Mum.

And I found some vintage mascara which I threw out. This has given me the idea of going through my makeup for pre 1980 stuff which I can throw away. I will do this tomorrow.

My photo today is of the playroom. The two children lurking in the gloom had better watch out or Mummy might put them in the recycling.



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DAY 12

12 more things gone:

  • Body lotion x 4
  • Bubble Bath x 2
  • Shower Gel x 2
  • Hand Cream x 1
  • Body Puff x 1
  • Conditioner x 2

All passed on to a lovely lady called Emma via our local Freegle community. Emma is on a low income with young twins and a teenage daughter who she was really pleased to be able to treat with some of my unwanted toiletries. Freegle/Freecycle is fantastic, local resource for the rehoming of anything/everything.

My photo today is my extremely cluttered desk.


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Well, my clothes clear-out was so successful I’m now on day 11 already! I’m beginning to feel kind of lighter if that makes sense. My house doesn’t look a whole lot tidier yet but I think the reduction in stuff is making me feel psychologically less overwhelmed.

My 11 things are as follows:

A whole set of Pilates DVDs. Had them for 4 years – looked at them 3 or 4 times, actually followed the exercise program for about 1/2 an hour. Fed up with feeling guilty about good intentions which come to nothing. My lovely grown up daughter has asked to have them so I’ve willingly given them to her!

ANOTHER pair of rubbish, uncomfortable socks. – recycled.

A pair of my trousers which don’t fit properly, kid’s top and jeans – outgrown, a cupcake stand (what’s wrong with a plate?), and a fruit bowl which I don’t like – all to the charity shop.

A broken flower pot, broken tupperware container and 2 chipped cups – landfill.

I have had requests for the things I put on Freegle and have also sold the children’s chairs and bike trailer. They will be going to their new homes in the next couple of days.

My photo today is of my dining room.DINING ROOM


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Day 7, 8, 9 and 10

Ok day 7, 8 9 and 10.

I’ve been ruthless today with sorting out my clothes. I am not the kind of person to spend loads of money on clothes. I don’t like clothes shopping and tend to buy things as I need them. Despite this I have accumulated a lot of things which I don’t love but don’t hate enough to get rid of. Also I’m not quite as svelte as I once was and quite a lot of my clothes are a bit on the tight side.

So I’ve gone through my wardrobe and each drawer with the mantra “If in doubt, chuck it out”. My daughters have been the lucky(?) recipients of lots of stuff – they are students so don’t have a lot to spend on clothes. I have stressed to them that, if they don’t like something I won’t be offended if it ends up in the charity shop or passed onto one of their equally penniless friends.

Because I have such a lot of unwanted clothes, I have actually got rid of 3 days worth of stuff! This is my list:

Given to my daughters:

  • Shorts x 3 – too small and not much opportunity to wear them. I now only have 3 pairs which is plenty in this climate/with my figure.
  • Corset top – will look much better on my daughter than me…
  • Jumpers x 2 – bit tight.
  • Thick tights x 1 – never worn, had them about 3 years.
  • Jeggings x 1 – too tight.
  • Cardigans x 4, wrong shape for me – cropped/short/ not flattering with baggy twin tummy.
  • vest top – too small
  • Sports bra – too small
  • Shumper – too tight
  • Cord jeans – wrong shape for me
  • Jacket – too young for me
  • Dresses x 3 – too young/small for me.
  • top which I’ve gone off.

The charity shop has been the lucky recipient of:

  • men’s shirts x 2
  • joggers x 1 – make me look chavvy
  • jumpers x 2 – itchy
  • catsuit/jumpsuit – don’t like it but too old for my daughters
  • Evening dress – not their style (or mine)
  • A pair of jeans which are too short for me and too wide for my girls.

I have recycled:

  • 2 scruffy pairs of joggers
  • 2 holey jumpers and
  • 1 pair of trainers

Total: 34 items of clothing – 7 + 8 + 9 + 10.

I’ve also put some unwanted toiletries, a typewriter, a 3 piece suite and an un-working inkjet printer on freegle and some old small school chairs, a car dog guard and a toddler bike trailer on a local ‘for sale’ site. I will add them to my list if/when they sell/get given away.

My photo today is the other end of my untidy kitchen.P1030144