Minimalism Series: Beauty Stash

Hi guys,

In today’s post I am talking all about clearing out the beauty products and how to not buy more. Easier said than done right? Yes! I am obsessed with beauty products. Love them. I don’t appreciate the sheer quantity that cluttered my home. As part of all of the work I am doing on decluttering and minimalism, I thought I would share with you my progress.

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It doesn’t look a lot pictured here but I have around eight further drawers filled as well as endless amounts in the ensuite bathroom and further products in the family bath too. One has a shower and how has a bath and I tend to use the bath more often.

I believe you need to declutter and establish what you are working with before you can go any further. The first step was to gather everything together. I emptied all drawers, pots, cupboards etc and brought the whole lot into my dressing room onto the floor separated into categories – into bath/makeup/hair/skin etc.

I then further split each of those categories up one by one. I would start with makeup and do eyeshadows/foundations etc. If you don’t have a massive collection, it may be easier to split into eyes/face …

When I look at each item I will decided to BIN, GIFT or SELL.

I then look through each one and get rid of anything out of date (BIN) or anything that I opened and tried but didn’t like (BIN or GIFT to a friend – have to be careful with certain beauty products). Mascaras that have dried up, bubble bath that left your skin too dry, I then look at brand new products that I have had for a while but haven’t ever used (GIFT or SELL) and then finally look at what I am left with. I think about how much I actually use. For instance, I use a tube of foundation for about six to eight weeks. So if I have 6 tubes, that is enough for a whole year. Do I need more than a year’s supply at a time? Don’t get rid of items just to get rid and don’t throw away to just have to replace again within a couple of months – that’s not the point!

It’s hard to be ruthless and I think the little girl who wanted to dress up in us always wants more of this type of product but the older girl in you now wants a streamlined life and a clutter free life. Always single out your favourite items first so you know what it feels like to have those products in your stash, you should then use that feeling to get rid of the other products! Be sensible with your stash – keep what you love and keep what is essential.

BIN – obviously try and recycle where you can but putting things in the bin is a must!

GIFT – does a family member want any of your items? Can you give a friend something to add to their collection? The goal isn’t to weigh them down with belongings but to gift them a product they might have purchased anyway.

SELL – Ebay/Shpock/carboot sale are all good ways to try and recoup some of the money you have spent on these items. Try to be realistic in your pricing but also do your research to see what these items are selling for.

Going forward?

Well just like any area of the home, going forward the idea is not to spend the money you have created on extra stuff into the home or fill the space you have emptied so take heed with your purchases. It’s so easy when you go into Superdrug or Boots to spend £80-£90. I have done it myself several times! However, what I have learned is that in the end, these things often end up BIN or GIFT or SELL, not KEEP. I am basically wasting money.

I now buy essentials only or replace when it comes to buying beauty products. I currently have three mascaras. When I am onto my last one, I will start to research a new one or replace one of them I loved. Same with the rest of the products. When it comes to essentials I am looking at wipes (although I may switch to a face eraser cloth instead – still testing and much cheaper), toothpaste, cotton pads, cotton buds and deodorant. These are the key items I will probably have to buy in the coming months. Shampoo/shower gel/conditioner are also must haves for me but these items I have in excess due to Christmas so I won’t need to buy these for quite a long time.

Has this helped you? Do you have any tips for me?

Rachael xox

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20 steps to self care …

Hi guys,

After the crazy of Christmas and miserable January, I thought I would share with you my favourite twenty ways of spending some “me time”. Taking time for your self care is so important. Not all of these things will be applicable to you – but this is how I pull myself back around.

  1. A nice hot bubble bath with a bath bomb or bubble bar
  2. Reading a book curled on the sofa with a hot chocolate
  3. Boxsets in bed with a cuppa
  4. Spa day – Bannatyne’s do good deals
  5. Spending time with friends
  6. Spending time with family
  7. A long walk on the beach
  8. Day trip to Whitby
  9. Pamper night – face mask, paint nails etc
  10. DVD and a glass of something fizzy and a bucket of popcorn
  11. Eating out at an Italian (my favourite)
  12. Going out for a coffee – alone – and writing on my blog or reading a mag
  13. Decluttering – love the feeling afterwards
  14. Shaving my legs, moisturising and tan
  15. Visiting the hairdressers
  16. Taking the dogs off to the dog café
  17. Road trip to anywhere
  18. Writing – I feel like sometimes if I write it can transport me to another world
  19. Colouring book – so therapeutic it is unbelievable!
  20. PJ day – whether it’s tidying round, pampering etc, everything feels better in PJs

What do you do to make yourself feel better?

 

Rachael xox

 

Food prep & meal planning …

Hi guys,

I wanted to share with you my thoughts how food prepping and meal planning and the benefits of doing both. As you know, 2018 was a big year for me. I made a lot of positive changes practicing minimalism and trying to spend less money. While it wasn’t easy, I definitely found many benefits from being super organised.

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Benefits

  • Healthy eating – as you can see from my photograph, I often eat with the Slimming World plan in mind. I don’t attend a group. Instead the £5 a week, I save into a tin and weigh myself every Saturday morning. By meal planning healthy meals, prepping in advance means I am unlikely to then pick up the phone for a takeaway or eat a pizza and chips out of the freezer. When I have prepped and defrosted, I then eat that food otherwise it becomes a waste.
  • Less waste – Prepping food means batch cooking and then freezing portions to be eaten later. By practicing this method, I basically plan ahead around what is in my fridge and freezer and cupboards and stir up a batch of something. Sometimes a “throw everything in stew” or “fridge soup” is planned!
  • Time saving – when you both work full time at home and full time hours means long days out, early starts and later getting home the last thing you want to do is to start a meal from scratch and have to spend a long time prepping and cooking a meal. By prepping in advance and knowing what you are going to eat, you can defrost or prep in the slow cooker and then cooking time is minimal when you arrive home on the night.
  • Money saving – by prepping in advance not only are you having less waste meaning less other products having to buy, you are also getting more out of each batch you cook up for freezing for later. You are also saving money on the use of the oven or hob. It is common knowledge that a slow cooker uses very minimal energy so pre prepping a batch of something will be a lot cheaper than prepping that meal 4-6 times over a month. You can also buy in bulk and bigger packs which costs you less in the long run.
  • Organised – there is nothing like the feeling of being organised. Especially when working full time or having a family, knowing that you have your food taken care of, your shopping list is easy to follow and you are in and out of the supermarket is a great thing. Moreover, everyone in the house knows what the meal will be that evening – either via a calendar or a menu board at home – so whoever is home first can easily start the meal off ready for everyone.

How to meal plan

Getting started is easy. You need to make a list of everything in your cupboards, pantry and fridge/freezer. The fresh products are where you need to start off. Whatever needs to be used up first needs to be the first meals you plan around and start from there. There are plenty of websites you can type a couple of ingredients and then meal ideas come up. Look at where you can prep everything in advance – can you make these things on a Sunday afternoon and refrigerate or freeze? Can you get more than the portions needed for one night? Can you leave any of it for lunches the next morning?

If you are starting from a place of nothing and need a food shop, plan ahead with what you would like to eat each night and then shop according to that list plus your usual cleaning, drinks and snack essentials. Then you can spend an afternoon baking or cooking everything in advance and stocking up your freezer.

Make sure you take off any evenings that you are going out, have friends round etc.

I buy the plastic reusable tubs (used to by the foil but non recyclable and non reusable) and use these for meal prep and for packed lunches and can be used over and over again. You can easily see what’s inside. If mega batching in advance, you may want to write a date on, in which case you can use a sticky label or permanent marker on the bottom.

My favourite meals I prep in advance

  • bolognese sauce
  • pasta bake (any flavourings)
  • lasagne
  • campfire stew (SW recipe)
  • chicken curry
  • turkey curry
  • sweet and sour chicken
  • chicken casserole
  • beef casserole
  • chilli
  • leek and potato soup
  • butternut squash and sweet potato soup
  • vegetable soup
  • chicken soup
  • pancakes
  • Yorkshire puddings (prefer home cooked so pre cook and then freeze and need warming up)
  • Slimming world chips/roasties (cut potatoes to size and then boil with a little salt water/dry off and then in packs – cook when needed)
  • Slimming world pasties – cheese and onion/steak and mushroom – made in a wrap – cook then freeze
  • Slimming world calzones – tomato and then any flavouring inside – made in a wrap – cook then freeze
  • Pizzas – premake your favourites with dough or sw friendly with a wrap then freeze
  • boiled eggs – in fridge for salads (I also pre chop lettuce cucumber and tomato and keep in plastic tubs)

Have you got any favourite meals to prep in advance?

Rachael xox

 

Minimalism & your phone …

Hi guys,

So technology makes our life so much easier but it is just as easy to have a phone full of clutter than it is to have a coffee table drawer or under the stairs cupboard. Clearing out your phone can be so simple to do – while you’re watching TV, on a train on the way to work, in your lunch break. Clutter wears you down, it can burden you and make you feel heavy in weight. Doing a simple cleanse will ease some of this and make your phone much more manageable.

  1. Phone Contacts

Contacts in your phone should be cleared out every six months to get rid of those you don’t speak to or those one offs you have added. I like to do both my work and personal phone at the same time. Often I will have numbers for tradesmen, random acquaintances or people I have only spoke to once or twice.

2. Images

Anyone else out there screenshot photos like it’s going out of fashion?! I take so many screenshots of things I want to read, films I want to see, places I want to go. I keep an excel document of those things so transfer over to this (sad I know but hey!) and then when I am looking for something to read or a film recommendation I go to here and have a go. I also use travel recommendations and save them for when I book a holiday. Any pics from family hols or personal pics I upload to Instagram and facebook as well as transfer them to a separate hard drive and then erase them from my phone. Pinterest is such a good tool to create your boards and add all of the recommendations too. I have one for travel, one for event ideas, one for renovation ideas for my home. Once uploaded, I delete the originals and not only does it make for a decluttered phone, it also frees up your memory.

3. Memo pad/note pads – make sure to clean these thigs out as often as you can. If you are creating task lists then make sure you are ticking these things off. Try and condense things down and delete those things that you no longer need.

4. Texts – oh my goodness the bleeding texts I have deleted before. I make sure to delete these very often as it is unbelievable how many you accumulate. I often get them from my bank, credit card provider with updates as well as businesses and then the one offs from window cleaners etc. I make sure I log any info like appointments or addresses and then delete the text messages. I also make sure to save the numbers if it is someone I will be communicating with often.

5. Files – Have a look at your “my files” section of your phone. If like me you get a lot of info emailed over to you, you will be mega surprised exactly how much of this accumulates. I make sure to have a major clear out of this every now and then as it uses so much of your phone memory. Save the ones you want to keep on your phone if you need them there, transfer anything else that you don’t need on your phone to an external hard drive to keep them safe!

There we have it, some quick and easy clear outs to do on your phone to make it nice and clutter free. Minimalism comes in more forms than just clearing out your bedside drawers and cupboards. Practicing it in all forms of your life will make you such an organised person and allow you to think more clearly!

Any decluttering tips?

Rachael xox

Minimalism & your tech …

Hi guys,

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So today’s post is all about keeping your tech minimalistic and decluttering when possible. Practicing minimalism is difficult and takes lots of practice as well as a lot of time. It isn’t just about getting rid of “stuff” it’s about changing habits of hoarding and collecting stuff in order to live a less stressful and more organised life.

So how do we declutter our tech?

Social Media

Wow social media gets really cluttered. I often have clear outs on all forms of social media that I use as I feel it’s so important to be able to pinpoint exactly what you want to look at and have a “tidy feed”.

Pinterest – a nice and easy one as you keep everything you like on your own boards anyway. You just need to follow those pinners, the ones you are actually going to get something from. Keep your boards relevant to you – I currently have A LOT relating to the reno that we are planning on the house but I won’t ALWAYS want these things so I will delete once I am done.

Facebook – delete those people who you don’t speak to or don’t bring you value in your life, delete old messages on messenger, delete photos – those you have been tagged in or stuff you have shared that you don’t want to keep any longer. Tidying up your account makes it easier to manage.

Twitter – as above, unfollow those who hold little interest to you so your feed is full of people you actually want to talk to. Check your DMs and delete those you no longer need or junk items.

Instagram – I follow so many people on Instagram that it’s quite difficult sometimes to keep up with your favourite accounts.

Phone

Clearing out your phone is probably one of the most important bits and pieces on your tech clear out list as you use it in your every day life and especially if you are running a business or a blog, the less clutter on there, the easier it is to have your phone streamlined. If you want to see a bigger guide to decluttering on our phone, click here. The other part of a phone to declutter is your Apps. Apps have a funny way of piling up and if you have a couple that are used for the same thing, make sure you clear them out quite often. You are freeing up a lot of valuable memory by doing so.

Ipod

If you have an ipod or any mp3 player, then I bet it is full of songs that you absolutely love, right? If not, then have a cull. Get through the songs and have a total clear out. Music tastes change and space is always limited on these things. I work on the principle that if I pop some new songs on, I get rid of some of the old ones.

Laptop

My laptop is a clutter free zone! I delete old files, delete old documents that I have randomly saved as well as declutter the images too. Any files you want to keep but don’t need daily or weekly access to could be stored on an external hard drive. You also need to check out your “download” section as this is the area that often causes the most of your memory. Files that were quickly used but then forgotten about! Look at your programmes too – are you actually using all of the programmes on there or can you create some space and get rid of some?

Kindle

If, like me, you are a book hoarder, you definitely need to take action on your kindle! I buy so many series that I just never EVER get through them. What I have been actively trying to do is to get through the full series I have before tackling any of the individual books from other series. I always make sure to send my “read” books to the archive and also permanently delete those that I will never read again.

For more info on decluttering then you can check out my ultimate guide to minimalism.

See you soon, Rachael xox

Minimalism: Decluttering the Clutter Hotspots!

Hi guys,

So as part of my minimalism series, if you have been following along and taking part – then you should have now made some headway in the house and be on our path to be clutter free and trying out minimalism in your home!

Here is the list of the worst cluttered areas – if we can clear these “hotspots” for clutter, we are well on our way to a clutter free zone!

  • wardrobe – terrible for clothes that don’t fit, have holes, stained, brand new with tags on but never worn, shoes that need heeling, jewellery missing a chain, a pendant or a pair, handbags that have seen better days and an underwear drawer with old holey knickers or socks in need of darning – GET RID
  • Stationary – one of my worst possible areas. Get rid of dried out erasers, pens, felt tips, highlighters, half used notebooks. Give away or donate things you have too many duplicates of.
  • Xmas decs – how much of our loft space is taken over by xmas decs that actually we don’t use anymore or we have left in the loft each year when we get them out to put up at Christmas time.
  • Living room drawers – batteries, excessive pens, scraps of paper, remotes, chargers, spare keys, post both junk or otherwise.
  • Beauty – dried up mascaras, dried up foundations, broken up powder compacts, empty bottles, nail varnishes that have lost their pigmentation, broken up eyeshadows, pencils that have no room to be sharpened, moisturisers that have run out of date – GET RID
  • Perfumes – do you use them all? do you like them all? If no, re gift or donate!
  • Hallway & landing area – absolutely the worst hotspot for clutter as well as any table surfaces. Make sure shoes, coats and bags are put away and not left out to clutter up the hallway. Ensure landings are free of laundry, rubbish bags or charity bags to donate
  • Bathroom – Beauty products really build up in the bathroom area, clear out the body lotions, body butters, foot creams, hand creams as well as anything you don’t like the smell of, that you won’t ever use!
  • Home office – Stationary builds up but so do documents that you will never use! You need to shred anything with personal data on but get rid of manuals, old warranties and receipts that these things that you have never checked and you need to get rid of. Old house bills, bank statements and mortgage statements that you no longer need – shred and bin!
  • Magazines/newspapers – we all have the ability to let these stack up. Read them and recycle or give to a friend. Get rid of the clippings too – make sure you don’t have any of these adding up. If you see something to look up later, take a photo with your phone and refer to later.
  • Jewellery – Clear it ougt! Get rid of anything without a pair, back, stone missing, pendant missing, clasp broke, tied up in a knot and can’t get it loose – throw it out or try and sell!

Happy decluttering, Rachael xox

 

 

Minimalism Series: The questions to ask yourself …

Hi guys,

This post is for those of you who STRUGGLE to let go!

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  1. Is this something I use often?
  2. Is this something I love?
  3. Am I keeping this because I think I should?
  4. Am I keeping this out of obligation?
  5. Am I keeping it “just in case”?
  6. Do I have more than one item?
  7. Could something else I own do the exact same job?
  8. Is the item broken?
  9. Is the item worth the time spent cleaning it?
  10. Do I really have the storage space for it/can I use this space for something else?

 

Happy decluttering, Rachael xox

Minimalism series: 80 things you can declutter right now …

Hi guys,

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I decided to write this post all about the items you can declutter right now from your home! There are so many little bits and bobs that clutter up your home but we all need a big clear out every now and then. Sometimes the task can seem absolutely massive but like anything BIG you need to break it down into smaller chunks to be able to achieve it. I thought I would start by writing a list of the things you can get rid of out of your house TODAY!

Wardrobe

  • Clothes with holes in
  • Underwear drawer – anything out of shape, baggy or with a hole in esp. socks with no pair
  • Shoes with poor soles or broken heels
  • Broken bits and pieces of jewellery
  • Clothes with tags on that have never been worn
  • Clothes you haven’t worn for six months +
  • Spare buttons
  • Clothes that DON’T FIT
  • Excess PJs

Bathroom Cabinet

  • Dried up makeup
  • Out of date makeup
  • Out of date tablets/old prescriptions
  • Plasters and first aid items out of date
  • Toiletries you will never use (hand cream, body lotions, foot cream)
  • Perfumes you never use
  • Old sun lotions
  • Old reading glasses

Kitchen

  • Plastic cutlery
  • Old paper plates
  • Cutlery that doesn’t match your current set
  • Rusty cutlery
  • Fridge – anything past it’s date
  • Cupboards – check for anything past it’s date
  • Spices/sauces you never use
  • Gadgets you NEVER use – that pancake/ice cream maker you bought?
  • Chipped crockery
  • Old mugs that never get used
  • Condiment packets
  • Tupperware tubs with no lids
  • Old teatowels with stains or heavily soiled
  • Cooking books you have never used
  • Anything that is on your kitchen counter that can be put away in a cupboard or drawer
  • Magnets all over your fridge

Home Office

  • Old pens or felt tips that have dried up
  • Pens that don’t write out anymore
  • Dried up erasers
  • SHRED SHRED SHRED – old documents that you DO NOT NEED!
  • Half used notebooks
  • Old magazines or newspaper
  • Torn out pages from above
  • Manuals and guarantees for products you no longer have
  • Receipts for items you no longer have/won’t be taking back
  • Loyalty cards
  • Vouchers
  • Clear out your “to read” pile if you actually won’t read it

Linens

  • Old towels
  • Old bedding that is never used
  • Flannels that you NEVER use
  • Excess Pillows
  • Excess Blankets

Technology

  • Email subscriptions
  • Delete old emails
  • Facebook friends – only keep those you are actually interested in
  • Netflix – thumbs down anything you don’t want to see
  • Clear out Insta – make your feed what you actually want it to be
  • Delete old files on your laptop
  • Kindle – archive books you don’t want to finish or books you have read and won’t read again
  • Clear out contacts you don’t need in your phone
  • Delete old photos and videos if you have already uploaded to social media
  • Old remote controls

Other

  • Check your junk drawer
  • Old DVDs/CDs/Games (particularly fitness DVDs)
  • Unused fitness equipments
  • Tins of paint when you no longer have those colour walls
  • Old batteries/lightbulbs
  • Cables/leads you are keeping “just in case”
  • Old greetings cards or “memory box” items you have never looked at.
  • Old baby items if you are finished having children
  • 90% of your loft?
  • Xmas decorations you don’t put out anymore
  • Anything you have two of
  • Plastic bags if you have more than a caddy of
  • Anything you have “borrowed” – return it
  • Garden plant pots you never use
  • Old tools
  • Scraps of wrapping paper
  • Old gifts that you have never used
  • Phone chargers for phones you no longer have

What to do now?

You have FIVE options …

BIN – put the broken items//out of date foods into the bin – excessive amounts will need to be taken to the tip

REGIFT – regift any old unused items that you no longer want but think someone else will benefit from

GIVE BACK – return any items you had previously borrowed from others – you don’t need these things cluttering up your home

RECYCLE – anything plastic/paper etc can be put into the recycling bin or those big bins in parks or at your local tip.

GIVE TO CHARITY – Giving to charity is an amazing thing and we should all support the charity stores. Some will even come along and pick them up so you don’t need to drop off. If you have holey clothes or anything ripped or stained, stick them in a separate bag labelled “rags” and they will recycle them for you and get a bit of money!

 

 

 

Dressing Room Diaries… February

Hi guys,

There wasn’t much added to my dressing room in Feb – I am on a budget now saving for holidays, extensions etc and also, I am actively trying to lose weight with Slimming World so I don’t want to build up too many pieces in my wardrobe to then have to go buy more when I have lost weight.

This hat is an absolute essential from Next. I adore a hat for holidays and this one was in the sale and mega cheap! “To the beach …”

I got this skirt from Matalan and I love that I can wear with sandals, ballet pumps, tights and boots and even bare legged with a chestnut boot to match the shades in the skirt.

I bought this red top as I already have it in black and wear it to death – I think it was only £8. Perfect for work and for casual!

I have wanted a blue and white stripe top for quite a long time. I can’t wait to wear this with some tan accessories and a trench!

This top from F & F is such a cutie – it has gorgeous frill detail and again, I love the blue and white. However, I have had to return it as it just doesn’t look good.

I don’t know whether there will be a dressing room diaries for March as again, trying not to buy anything! However, we’ll see!

Rachael xox

Five March Mini Goals …

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Hi guys,

So following on from my February Mini Goals – here are my goals for March.

I achieved all of my Feb mini goals so looking forward to seeing how I get on with the March list!

  1. To continue with my frugal february and aim to spend as little as possible in March. I want to save £350 this month to put towards my Mexico holiday. I aim to do this by only buying essentials.
  2. Minimalism March .. so I have already been clearing out by closet, my cupboards, my whole house but this month I aim to go back through the full house and just see if there is ANYTHING I can get rid of – either by donating to the charity shop, selling on Ebay or giving to friends and family.
  3. Meal prepping – I plan on trying to prep meals as much as possible this month. It worked so well when I tried in Feb although it was only for a week. I am hoping to keep it going for a couple of months as it really helps with Slimming world.
  4. Reading – similar to last month I am trying to get through all of my books in my closet. I want to read my next Sue Grafton novel and read at least 2 others of my paperbacks in the closet.
  5. Fitness – I am trying with fitness and will get back on the treadmill this month. I am going to make the effort to keep my fitbit charged up and track my steps. It really helped with monitoring my sleep and keeping me moving whilst I was sat still at work quite a lot!

Have you got any goals for March?

Rachael xox