Wednesday, March 18, 2020

30 Chic Days at Home - Day 1 - The Joy of Getting Things Done

My happy pantry before the big stock-up :)

Don't know if you've noticed, but I have been hibernating away, introvert-style.  It just comes over me and I want to hunker down in my home with minimal contact with the outside world.  It feels a bit impolite but sometimes it's the only thing I can do.  I'm learning (slowly) not to judge it, and just  flow with it.  It feels like I'm playing hooky.

What I've been doing with my time though is, leading on from my posts late last year about making my home ‘show-home-like*’, I have been continuing to simplify, declutter, organise and streamline my surroundings.

[*I’m not sure what you call it where you live?  A show-home here in New Zealand is one of those styled homes that is usually brand new to showcase a new property development, but more recently can be a home that is staged to show the ‘perfect’ lifestyle.  I am always inspired by a visit - even if virtual - to one of those places.]

At first to get a handle on everything that would make my life feel free and easy, I brainstormed a big list of  'loose ends and bothersome things' (that's actually what I called it).  My financial paperwork was messy; I needed to get my tax information to my accountant for her to complete my end-of-year financial statement; my food areas – pantry, fridge and freezer – needed an inventory and a clean out where I commit to making meals out of what I already have in stock; mending to be done; visits to people I hadn't seen in ages; replacing my laptop before it died; getting a new iron and microwave, unjam my overlocker (serger) and tidy my sewing room (yes, again. Sewing rooms are never tidy for long, or at least mine isn't).

It was refreshing to create this list because it was no longer clogging up my head.  Even the littlest things building up can slow me down mentally.  They hang over you like a grey cloud, even if it’s a tiny weeny grey cloud such as making a phone call to book a dental checkup (which is still on my list).

After feeling stuck and not knowing where to start, I had the inkling to choose the one item that bothered me the most.  Looking through my list I saw an online order where I wasn’t happy with the quality.  I was just going to put the items away and chalk it up to experience, but in that moment I decided to do an instant chat with the company concerned.  Within a short time they had issued a credit and I didn’t even need to return the items.

This win gave me the oomph to choose another thing from my list, and another.  I haven’t finished yet, but I have done so much over the past several months and it feels fantastic.  Each mini-achievement spurs you on I have found.

Here are the kinds of things I have been working on most recently:

  • Sent tax information to my accountant for last financial year.
  • Fully up to date with this financial year’s information and will be ready to hand it over after the 31st March year-end date.
  • Loads of paperwork either filed or shredded
  • Getting a plumber in to fix a number of issues that were small but irritating. None of them were big enough for a job by themselves, but when we had several it was such a joy to see them all fixed within a day.
  • Cleaning out my email Inbox and setting up rules for the few mailing lists I am on.  Emails from those people go into a folder which I can browse at my leisure.  I’ve had ‘getting control of my Inbox’ on my wish list for years.
  • Food supplies organised and being used, but… then I did a stock up early this week just in case, so my pantry, fridge and freezer are all full again, however I know this is only temporary and it has made me appreciate having space to breathe in my kitchen! (I am also grateful I can stock up, I know some don’t have the funds to do that.)
  • Committing to not buying something until I use the last one up.  Body products are a big one for me.  I love pretty soaps, body lotions and fragrance.  Our bathroom may or may not resemble a retail store… it’s tough for me to say no to a new purchase but it feels good to make the space over time so I am being strong.

At the moment when we are all going out less, it’s a great chance to do these kinds of things.  It's incredible how good it feels to clear out the clutter of your mind and remove things from your To-Do List, even if it's just deciding that you don't want to follow through on that item anymore and can simply cross it out.  

And instead of feeling shut in, why not take pleasure from making your home orderly and a nice place to be – let it a sanctuary for you and your family.

xx Fiona



  1. Hi Fiona - Good for you. Wonderful feeling to get things done and "off of your brain". Doing the same here...and enjoying the time as we are self isolating...I am enjoying "playing house" just as I did as a little girl. Making things nice and tidy and enjoying the quiet time. Glad you are back to posting - you were missed.

  2. Definitely! I started on a deep clean (for example, moved the piano and vacuumed the back of it, something I don't do often because it's too heavy). And there's the garden. All these activities that we often don't have time to do, but that make us feel so much better.

  3. Hi Fiona, This is such a lovely article. I have actually been quite stressed at the feeling of being shut in as everything is closing down. However you words have inspired me, as always, to take a look at the situation in a positive way and focus on improving my own little sanctuary. Thank you xxx

  4. I've been missing your posts, Fiona!
    Good idea to make a list just to get everything "off your mind." Continually thinking about things that need to be done can make me feel frazzled, but a list helps me stop fretting and put my mind to getting things done. And crossing things off as they're finished is always fun too!
    What a good reminder to use this "shut in" time in a positive way.

    Stay well, everyone!

  5. I love this. I am taking a similar approach. I'm trying to make this as pleasant and productive a time as possible.

  6. I think things have changed quite a lot since you posted on 18th March, Fiona, especially here in the UK. We are now in lock-down but we are happy to do this if it slows the flow of this deadly virus.
    You say you won't buy anything until you use up something. This could mean that you might be left without if whatever you need is in high demand. I order something the moment I open a new product, say, a bottle of rapeseed oil. Then there is always one waiting in the wings.
    I admire your concentration on your paperwork! Well done, girl!
    Margaret P

  7. I thought I'd left a comment way back when, but apparently not. I am getting ready to play catch-up with all your amazing posts. I am late but I am still excited to read all of them. In a row. This post woke me up to the fact I need to make a list of "bothersome things" - which, in itself, is a bothersome thing - yikes! Nan


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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