Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Embracing the New Year

Even though it’s only a date and another day, the new year feels different. I’m excited at the year to come, and full of optimism of how I can better myself.

We have been away on holiday. Our shop was closed for ten days and we were staying at a lovely, sleepy beach town a short drive from where we live. Mr Atlas had a week in the country with my Poodle Rescue and retired poodle breeder friend Faye.

A beach town yes, but a beach town which has a twelve level luxurious (to us) high-rise resort/apartment building, one block from a beautiful swimming beach and with Indian restaurants, a grotty yet fun bar and various shops within a two minute walking distance. That’s my kind of beach town. The picture above is the view from our level five apartment.

As much as I’ve enjoyed our end of year holiday (I typed most of this post in my bikini before going for a late morning swim) my head is full of possibilities at home.

Coming back home from being away somewhere (whether it’s a decent length of time or a long weekend) I am always itching to get back home and get stuck into all the little projects I am planning (and have half-finished). I think it’s imperative I go away on a regular basis just so I get things done!

My focus this year is ORGANISATION. By being more organised at home I can be more:


And many more good ways to be.

I started decluttering within the last two years, and have gained a lot, but clutter creeps up on you doesn’t it? My husband calls it recluttering when I come home from the Salvation Army charity store with a new candle, rustic basket or book.

And having my 40th birthday in October and then Christmas - both times in which I’ve been given lovely gifts of course. Well, our small home is now bursting at the seams. I know, it's a very Western society problem to have when you have too many gorgeous things and can't move for them.

I am full of the possibilities of making our home very similar to the luxury high-rise apartment we stayed at the beach in. From the nature of holiday accommodation it isn’t filled with the ‘stuff’ we have in our homes. It even has floor length white gauzy curtains which blow softly in the breeze, a la my ideal French girl Sabine’s Paris apartment.

And of course I have Edith Piaf playing in the background while I dream of our sparsely furnished home where every cupboard and drawer is neat and organised.

This year I will have a ‘Slim Pantry’ like Anne Barone’s. I have streamlined it fairly recently, but you can’t do it once, it needs ongoing maintenance to straighten out and find unused items which can be incorporated into a meal.

I will also have a wardrobe in which I divide into three sections:

Clothing which looks fabulous and is comfortable on me right now.
Clothing which I love but is maybe a little... snug... to be put away and tried on at a later date.
Clothing which looks frumpy and plain on me at any weight and/or is a scratchy fabric. This clothing is being boxed up and shipped out.

Over the coming months I will be visiting every cupboard, drawer and storage hidey-hole. I will be refining my possessions and using up what I’ve got, before going out to any store. I will be examining how I spend my time, and how I think.

Even though I could move right into a French-style decorated home, and have a number of gilt-type pieces around the house now, I am inspired most by simple, plain and airy homes like Tara Dennis shows. I have her book ‘Home – Classic Essentials for Easy Living’. I will keep it to hand to remind me what I am aiming for.

I will not decide when I’ve made a small improvement that that is enough. As a procrastinator and a perfectionist I have to be bold and trust that I know best!


  1. I'm a fellow procrastinator and perfectionist and can identify with your result to refine your possession and use up what you have before going out to any store!

    Thanks for the reinforcement...it's encouraging to know I'm not alone.

  2. Isn't clutter amazing? I am trying really hard to live by the "something comes in, something goes out" rule with any and all purchases, gifts, etc.

    How nice that you had such a lovely, long vacation. It looks stunning where you stayed. Although we are doing a "staycation" right now, I am hoping we will be swinging a tropical paradise excursion later in the year.

    Happy to have you back!

  3. I admire the fact that you are able to wear a bikini...that in itself sounds chic to me.
    The decluttering continues here as well...having a small house necessitates this activity on a regular basis.
    My thoughts are if something new comes in, something else must go out.

    Enjoy the fresh start to the new year...so nice that you had some time off from work and that you had a lovely holiday!

  4. Oh, to have it be summer at Christmas time - the view looks lovely! Great goals for the new year. I hope to hear more about the slim pantry.

  5. Rebecca, I heard someone describe themselves with those two words a few days ago (and on a decluttering/house cleaning reality tv programme no less). It made me think... that's me too.

    H, I clearly haven't gotten the hang of 'something in, something out' have I? I wait until my stress levels are sky-high and THEN do something about it. Enjoy your staycation.

    L, funnily enough, I think that bikinis can be more flattering (and definitely youthful) than a one-piece pair of togs. Just don't go for anything pale or skin tone. Some women looked naked (or just plain washed out skin-tone wise) at the beach. Bright or dark is the way to go.

    Juhli, I will have a think about writing on the Slim Pantry. I love Anne Barone's name for it.

  6. hi dear fiona,

    i love your plans. and you are right, living in a small space requires constant decluttering. i just finished up a clothing project that i wore the same 33 items for 3 months and it was a real eye opener for me. i really don't need much. i have more than i need really and would love to pare it down further. i'm thinking i may learn to sell on ebay. i've never done it before but maybe i can learn.


    ps - love that you wear a bikini. i do too (don't tell anyone as i am way past the age) xo

  7. I am not certain if I have commented yet, if I haven't I have wanted to. Your vacation sounds very nice, and I agree with your other comments about the bikini! How great for you that you wore one.

    I am curious what the average temperature is there? I know it is warm now.

  8. Fiona! Even though it hasn't been very long...I've missed your posts! Ugh...clutter is like an ongoing battle. And, it just creates a stress-inducing environment. I like your tips...especially the three categories of clothes. ;)

  9. Your holiday sounds wonderful. It is definitely necessary to get away, no matter how far to feel refreshed. I have been decluttering all week and it feels wonderful to have everything organized for the New Year! Enjoy each moment! xxoo :)

  10. Always inspiring Fiona. I'm newly motivated to start my de-cluttering mission. How is it that things have a way of creeping back in?


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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