The Good Things #2: A bit of a tidy-up

Last week Elizabeth from Margot and Barbara kicked off her link-up series about The Good Things. Keen to exploit this opportunity for a bit of positivity, I linked my piece about my 100th blog post. It was uplifting to write about something good and it turns out that these blog link-up thingys are pretty sociable, both on Twitter and the blog, which only added to the joy of the whole experience for me.

Now, as anyone who reads my blog knows, I am about to embark on Plastic Free July (OMG!) and my focus for July will be on all things – or rather, no things – plastic. However, I couldn’t resist sneaking in another Good Things post, while I have time. Plus, last week Elizabeth tweeted that she’d continue The Good Things link if she got at least three people linking. Last time I checked, she got 7 – pretty good I reckon! I’m keen to join in again after JuIy, so I figured another little post today might increase my chances of others reading about the topic and spreading the word….thus keeping the whole project alive into August! Fingers crossed!

So…on Sunday I spent about three hours tidying our house. That’s my Good Thing.

I know… tidying is a dubious subject for a post about good things! Where does it fit on the scale of positivity? I’ll give you some context.

I am no domestic goddess. Prior to having children, the cleaning in our home got done in marathon sessions (maybe five hour blocks) when we invited friends round. Sometimes, if the place got really messy, we arranged for visitors to come, just so we didn’t drown in dishes and dust. Life in those days was about work, socialising and more soap operas than I care to admit to – I used to do any necessary chores, in short bursts, during the ad breaks…

Fast forward a few years and things are different. The soap operas have gone – in fact, any TV that doesn’t have mummies, daddies or talking vehicles in it, is but a distant memory. My friends still come over but nowadays they are accompanied by small children and, while I do tidy up before their visit (not for five hours), it is obligatory that, at this stage in my life, any visitors leave the place twice as messy as they found it. Sigh.

Nowadays, I don’t hate tidying up, I appreciate it because, well…I just don’t get the chance to do it that often!

Tidying up, and I’m talking a good, proper tidy – not putting the dishes in the dishwasher or running around with the hoover, the things you kind of just have to get on with – is at the bottom of my list of priorities.

At the weekend I had a few child-free hours, which is a reasonably rare occurrence. The time was my own to do with what I pleased. Usually I’Il choose to go into town or get out the laptop – but this time, all I really wanted to do was to put some order into my life.

I won’t bore you with the details but I managed to get into the zone. When I’m in the zone great things happen – I blitz mess with enthusiasm and determination. My mission is to restore order, kill dust and reclaim our space against an approaching army of large plastic toys, which have silently and sneakily descended the stairs over time. Nothing can stop me – sometimes Katy Perry or Gwen Stefani accompany me around the house blasting positive messages and pushing me harder. I have been known to charity shop things that are still in use if I can’t find the right place to store them. In the zone I’m ruthless.

Tidying, cleaning, sorting, disposing of rubbish…they are not a pleasure for me, but a calling. (Albeit a calling that doesn’t, you know, call me that often.)

I’ll never be that person that that arranges anything in alphabetical order, I don’t have the patience. Although I dream about an immaculate house with everything in its place, skirting boards you could run a white glove over and a bathroom of gleanming tiles, I’ll never have it. If I’ve got some time to spare, I’ll be on the couch with the kids sitting on me, in front of the laptop or in the garden with a hotwater bottle* and a good book.

Anyway, what a difference a few hours made. The house looks better, to me at least, and it feels great.

Next month, I am going to be busy. Aiming towards living sans disposable plastics for 31 days is going to be a lot of work. There will be much more cooking, baking, shopping and, of course, I’m hoping to fit in as much blogging about the whole experience as time will allow. I suspect that my housework is going to slip as a result. Add to that that almost all cleaning products come in plastic bottles or packets so all grime will have to be dealt with by this little beauty!

photo (397)
 Bicarbonate of soda in cardboard box

My tidying session at the end of June, therefore, was definitely a good thing!

*I’m always cold plus I live in Scotland

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12 thoughts on “The Good Things #2: A bit of a tidy-up

  1. You’ve made me smile – if i ever have spare time, I’d rather spend it with a book than a duster, that’s for sure! Living with a dedicated minimalist has definitely made me better at tidying though, because if it’s not it the right place or demonstrating its value to us, it gets sent to charity. Actually, minimalism helps with the tidying and cleaning, because there’s so much less to deal with.

    Plastic free July is going to be so interesting. I shall be reading with interest, and hoping to pick up some tips. I aim to continue reducing, but I know already that I’d fail if I tried to give it up completely. But I’d love to try some home-made cleaning products, so I’m really interested to see how you get on with them.

    Thank you so much for linking up with The Good Things and being number three this week, which means it’ll stay alive for a week longer! :)

    • So glad you’ll keep it going a bit longer! :-)

      Minimalism is interesting and (perhaps unsurprisingly) a lot of people interested in what I write about are interested in minimalism. I like to remember that people are important, not things. If you really believe that, then I think it’s a lot easier not to hang onto (or acquire) things.

      I will definitely be ‘failing’ Plastic Free July in that there’s no way I’ll not use some plastics but I’m hoping to make some big changes and gain a new and lasting awareness of where I use disposable plastics. Check out plasticfreejuly.org if you want some recipes for cleaning products and general tips.

      Well done with your link-up – I love writing about positives!

  2. As a fairly new parent myself I understand exactly what you mean about how tidying up changes. I think I do tidy now a lot more than I used to, it just looks like I tidy less.

    • Yes!! Me too! Sometimes I can tidy for a few hours and my OH doesn’t see a difference. I know it’s been done though and it does make a difference. One I have some child-free time regularly I’ll no doubt get more on top of it, but I’m treasuring family time just now :-)

  3. Good luck with the plastic free July that’ll be quite some challenge, looking forward to reading how you goy on and you never know there may just be some good things in there that you weren’t expecting to discover!

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