Why Do I Procrastinate?

I have a house that needs some serious decluttering. There is ‘stuff’ everywhere.

The kids’ toys need a sort out, their craft bits and pieces are all mixed up in a pile on the dining table and my desk has layers going back to this time last year. Our bedroom is a dumping ground for everyone else’s rubbish and everyone’s clothing needs a sort through.

Our house is not too dirty as we have a cleaner twice a week. The poor woman tries very hard to impose some order on the chaos but there is a limit what she can do. I really need to get my A into G and do ‘something’. read more

Soft Toys Want To Take Over My House

The invasion started innocently enough with a brightly coloured toy clown. It was given to DD1 shortly after her birth by I-can’t-remember-who, and featured quite prominently in her first year of life. It seems hard to believe that for almost a year that clown was the only soft toy in the house.

But then, for her second Christmas, we bought her a huge, soft reindeer. I don’t know what we were thinking; it wasn’t a soft toy that a 1 year old would be attracted to and she ignored it for years. It did make a good pillow for the dog though.

With the arrival of DD2, the flood gates opened and I can remember we acquired, among other things, an enormous clown fish that terrified both the girls and the entire  cast of the teletubbies. read more

Good Day/ Bad Day

It’s Friday and I find myself wondering if today’s going to be a good day or a bad day.

Being Friday is a point in it’s favour, surely? Friday being the gateway to the weekend and all.

Not that weekends are restful anymore. When you have school age kids, weekends are for parties and activities and shopping trips to buy stuff the kids just have to have.  But for us they are a family time, and DH is home to help with the kids, so that’s got to be a bonus. read more

Our Dishwasher Is Broken.

Halfway through its cycle on Thursday night, the error code F13 started flashing on our Miele dishwasher’s display panel. My blood ran cold. I’m not fond of housework in general, but washing dishes is a particular horror of mine.

I suffer from hand eczema and at the merest hint of dishwashing liquid, my hands become criss crossed with patches of reddened, thickened and cracked skin. And it hurts. In an emergency, I will don a pair of gloves and get stuck in, but I find that my skin also hates the wet and wrinkled effect you get from a pair of marigolds. So unless there is no other option, you will not find me slaving over a sink full of hot water. read more

To List Or Not To List.

I know a lot of very organised people who swear by lists. They say that writing everything down they have to do that day helps them stay efficient and organised. And apparently ticking off or crossing out completed tasks is a highly effective form of positive reinforcement. Apparently.

Of course I like the sound of this; I’d love to become a Guru of Organisation and live by The List. It would be wonderful knowing I had everything I needed to do written down somewhere. My poor old brain would be so grateful.

At the moment I write quite a lot of stuff down in my diary, but it’s by no means a definitive list. For example, I have appointments written down at the relevant times on the appropriate days, and a short list of more urgent, date-sensitive tasks such as compare home insurance, sort out MOT for car and make GP’s appointment, on the side.

But there are numerous other jobs that I dare not write down, because if I do they will somehow become more real.  And this list is about five times the length of the one that I’ve written down. I’m not sure I could cope with committing these all to paper, let alone working through them all so I could cross them off.

These are things like; wash the car, clear out the wardrobes in our room, wipe down the skirting boards, put together the shelf that is still living in bits in the hall two weeks after I bought it and  declutter that cupboard under the stairs etc. All these tasks I tend to ignore until I am confronted by the evidence of my laziness, in not having tackled these jobs any time recently. Then I notice what needs to be done, fret about it for the short period of time that it’s right there in front of me, move on to something else, then forget about it completely shortly afterwards. Until next time.

I’m sure it would not surprise anyone to learn that the jobs that I am most likely to complete are the ones that I have written down for completion by, or at, a certain time. I am also reasonably likely to get items on the non-specific list done. But items on my non existent list, the jobs that I consider to exist only in my brain; they are destined to get sorted only when I can ignore them no longer.

It might not work for everyone, but it somehow works for me.

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Growth Spurts.

A couple of weeks ago I went through DS’s clothes and made 3 piles: too small, just right and too big.

DS will be 4 in a month, and is not short or small.  He seems to have a long body in comparison  to his legs so his 2-3 tops were getting a bit short, but his size 2-3 trousers were the right length for him. Any trousers sized 3-4 were too long, so I put those away in a cupboard.

Yesterday, he woke up and it seemed that overnight his 2-3 year old trousers had become too short for him. There was at least an inch of ankle between the bottom of his cuff and the top of his socks. It’s not great weather to have any bare flesh showing, so I pulled out his 3-4 stuff. And they fit perfectly. read more

Strike Chaos.

So yesterday, some of the teachers were striking.

Fair enough, in my opinion. If people feel strongly enough about something, they should be entitled to strike. I wouldn’t want to bring my kids up in a country where this wasn’t allowed. But many people do use school as free childcare, so it’s inevitable that school closures will force a lot of parents to take a day off from their job too. Either that or fork out for extra childcare.

I work from home, around the kids, so from that aspect the strikes were no skin off my nose.

My problem was that only two of the girls were supposed to be off. DD2’s teacher was NOT striking and so she was expected to go to school. More to the point, I was expected to get her there. read more

What Goes Missing In Your House?

Maybe it’s just our house?

I’m not the tidiest person in the world, and our house is undeniably cluttered but I usually know where most of the important things are.

DH and the kids know they can come to me and ask ‘Have you seen the XYZ?’ and often I’ll be able to say ‘Oh, it’s downstairs , in the kitchen, under the pile of papers on the left-hand side of the radio.’

Of course, to do this I need to have

a/ seen the object and

b/ registered that it’s important to someone. read more

Things I Will (Hopefully) Do In November.

It’s going to be a short one this month because of the first thing on my list;

1/ Write A Book.

I’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo, so I’ve got 30 days to write 50 000 words. That’s 1667 words a day. It would help if I could include my daily blog word count, but apparently that’s against the rules.

So that means I’m going to have to find 2-3 hours a day that I can spend writing. This is going to be particularly interesting on days where I have no childcare, am at a conference or have other work to do. I still have the dogs to walk, house to keep from going completely feral and children to taxi around.

I’m not convinced I’ll make it to 50 000 words by the end of the month, but I have a plot and some characters so we’ll see what happens.

Obviously I’ll be blogging about my experience, but I’ll try and keep it to a bare minimum. Would a weekly update be too much? read more

Clutter.

I hate it. It depresses me to see piles of stuff in corners and on surfaces. We have cupboards stuffed with things we don’t use and a garage filled with stuff we don’t need.

So why don’t I do something about it? That’s the question isn’t it? I feel I’ve tried. At last count I had three paperbacks on the shelf, and one book on my kindle about clutter and how to banish it. I’ve read them all and I understand the theory, but have I done anything about it? Well, I’ve usually managed to get fired up enough to tackle a couple of areas with each book. Maybe the answer lies with buying a couple of dozen more books on the subject? read more