I think the world could use a bit of extra kindness right now. This morning I tried to do a little random act of kindness but it didn’t quite go to plan!
This day didn’t start well. The kids, who are usually awake before 7.00, decided to have a lie in! We woke up 45 minutes late. It was a panic to get ready for school and preschool. I turned into shouty mum! We somehow got out of the door at a reasonable time. It was absolutely pouring with rain. We got completely soaked on the walk to school.
On the way we saw two young women stood at a junction dressed as pizza boxes advertising a takeaway pizza place. They were getting drenched and looked really sorry for themselves. I was having a crappy morning but at least I wasn’t in fancy dress in the freezing rain!
After dropping the kids off I decided to buy coffee for the pizza box women to cheer them up. I grabbed two takeaway lattes and headed back to where I’d seen them. Only they weren’t there anymore! Now I was standing in the rain with more coffee than I could drink myself and no one to give them to.
Still wanting to spread a little kindness I decided to give the coffee to a stranger. I stopped the next person I passed and asked her if she wanted a cup of coffee. It was a little awkward! She looked very confused but took the drink and said thank you.
I drank the other coffee myself as I hurried home to get into the warm and dry! At least I tried – even if it did turn out a bit more random than I’d planned.
I’ve have had the free version of the Headspace app on my phone for about a year. I haven’t managed to establish a daily meditation habit but I I find it invaluable in moments of extra stress. Life with 3 young kids comes with plenty of stressful moments. When I read that Headspace had developed for children I was quite intrigued. Could my twins sit still for long enough to find some inner calm? Would some meditation skills help my daughter as she faces the coming years of SATs and secondary school.
My husband, on the other hand, thought it sounded ridiculous. There were mutterings about over anxious middle class parenting! Always happy to try out a new idea (especially if there is an opportunity to prove my husband wrong) I decided to give it a try.
How does Headspace for kids work?
You need an adult Headspace subscription to access the kids content. The annual cost of this is £59.99 with no extra cost for the children’s sessions.
Sessions are available for under 5s, age 6 to 8 and ages 9 to 12. There are sessions on:
For each topic there is a 2, 4 or 6 minute option.
What does each session involve?
The relaxing voice of Andy gives simple instructions guiding you to breath deeply and to imagine different images. The language is well tailored to children. For example you imagine breathing deeply so that your tummy blows up like a balloon. The sleep session gets you to imagine saying goodnight to your toes.
Does it work?
Quite late one Saturday night recently Sofia came into the living room a bit teary that she couldn’t get to sleep. She has often told me that she finds it hard to drop off. I thought using Headspace might help. Every night for about 3 weeks now I have done a Headspace session with Sofia. We do it right before she goes to sleep. It is proving to be such a peaceful way to end the day. We listen to either a calm or sleep session. After a few minutes of winding down we both feel quite sleepy. The only downside is that I have to try and wake myself up again so as not to be asleep at 8.00!
We have tried the kindness and wake up sessions too. The kindness session made us feel really happy. You are directed to think of a family member or friend that you would like to be happy and imagine doing something that would make them feel great. We both finished our 6 minutes smiling.
An interesting side effect of using Headspace is that it has opened up an opportunity to talk about mental health. It is so important that we talk about mental health in the same way as we discuss physical health. Sofia described doing our Headspace sessions as exercise for your brain.
Can under 5’s meditate?
My experience with Sam and Leo have been less successful. Sam was more intrigued and did a sleep session at the end of one day. Leo on the other hand took against having something different added to his bedtime routine. He also had a bit of a strop that the Ipad was being used for something other than watching youtube! I will leave it a little while and have another try to see if they take to it.
Would I recommend Headspace for kids?
I’m really enjoying using Headspace with my 8 year old. It is something that we can do together everyday. It is helping Sofia relax and get to sleep. For younger children I think it would depend on the temperament of your child as to whether they would take to the sessions. My hyperactive 4 year olds are just not ready for meditating.
I think the Headspace subscription is good value if you are also making use of the adult sessions yourself. I have been using the adult sessions more frequently now that I have got into the meditation habit with Sofia. If you are buying the subscription purely for the kids content I think it is a bit on the expensive side. Headspace for kids is a simple and practical way to teach children to relax and focus. Vital skills for our increasing stressful world.
I love having a challenge on the go. This year I’ve signed up to do the Walk the Moon Half, Half Moon Challenge. This is a half marathon event raising money for Breast Cancer Causes. I saw an advert for the event in a magazine a couple of weeks ago and was instantly inspired to take part.
On the night of the 13th of May I’ll be in central London with two friends plus with hundreds of other people ready to Walk the Moon.
I’ve run a marathon and a half marathon in the past but these were a number of years ago. I haven’t done any long distance running for years but I love the idea of doing a walking event. I walk 4 to 6 miles everyday getting my kids too and from school and preschool. Being such a walker I think the Moon Walk will be right up my street.
Half Marathon Training
Today I dusted off my trainers to do my first big training walk. I chose a 10 mile route. 5 miles into Cambridge and back. The bonus was I got to have a very quick trip around into a couple of shops in town. It is always a treat to have a quick browse without my kids in tow!
Overall it went quite well. I realised that I need to wear my proper running trainers rather than my day to day trainers. I’m also going to invest in some double layer running socks to help prevent blisters. I will bring along my headphones next time so that I can listen to some motivating tunes when I am flagging. I had a few aches towards the end of the 10 miles but nothing too worrying.
To keep myself entertained I made a little video of my training walk. It is not brilliant quality (I forgot to film in landscape) but shows a little bit of the area that I was walking though. The stripey pavement that you can see is called the DNA path. Such a Cambridge thing to have a path celebrating genetics!
Body confidence challenge
The trade mark of the Walk the Moon Challenge is that you take part wearing a decorated bra. This year the theme is the Roaring Twenties. This is to celebrate 20 years of the Moon Walk Event. Now this is as much of a challenge for me as the walking. Having had 3 kids has left me with a few body image hang ups. The idea of being seen in public wearing a bra makes me feel a bit queasy! I am still trying to find peace with the over stretched and damaged skin on my stomach. I could just wear a T’shirt but I want to embrace the event to the full and face my body confidence fears.
My solution – I’m currently searching the internet for the perfect running leggings with a slightly high waist to cover my stomach skin issues. My secret weapon is going to be 1020’s style fringing. I’m trying to find some long fringing to customise my bra with. Hopefully a bit of fringing will help to hide my midriff!
I’ll post a little training update on my training and costume in the build up to the day. It would be amazing if you could sponsor me, I will be so grateful for any amount that you are able to donate.
I wrote a dreams list years ago and we write a family bucket list every year. I love thinking of things to I’d like to achieve and making plans. However I’ve found when looking forward I tend to forget the incredible things I have already done. I thought it would be fun to write a reverse bucket list. It’s been a chance to celebrate some amazing experiences that I have already had. I’d really recommend writing a reverse bucket list. I have remembered so many things that I haven’t thought about for years. There are a lot of things here that I’m really proud of and lots of happy memories.
Run the London Marathon
Cycled in Amsterdam (it was a bit nerve wracking as I was pregnant with the twins)
Run a half marathon (the Great North Run) to raise money for the Red Cross
Raised £2000 for Unicef
Got married in Ecuador (after taking a week to plan our wedding)
Done a tandem skydive
Spent time in New York and been to the top of the Empire State building
Watched Olympic opening ceremony (I auditioned and was selected to perform but had to pull out as I was pregnant with the twins)
Abseiled down a cliff
Been an English teacher in Ecuador (I lived in Ecuador for a year in my early twenties)
Been to the top of the Shard
Co-founded an English language school in Ecuador
Been an exchange student (to Germany when I was in secondary school)
Seen shows on Broadway and in the West End
Fed fish to a penguin
Backpacked around Cuba with Rolando and danced salsa in Havana
Walked 50 miles in 24 hours for charity (the event is called the Sheffield Spider Walk)
Taught myself to use a sewing machine – I’m still learning but I’ve made some skirts for Sofia, bags and cushion covers
Given a speech in Spanish (terrifying!)
Seen the Queen when she visited Cambridge
Camped on a beach in Venezuela
Learnt to dance salsa
Taken Sofia to Ecuador when she was 6 months old
Traveled in Europe
Climbed a waterfall in the jungle in Ecuador
Worked as a volunteer in the Andes mountains (doing drama workshops with village children)
Had a little story published in a magazine
Hiked and camped in the Alps
Learnt to speak Spanish
Been white water rafting
Taken Sofia to a Christmas market in France
Taken part in a demonstration
Taken a helicopter flight over London
Stayed in an Eco-lodge in Ecuador
Got through pregnancy with my twins
Taken the kids camping
Given birth to my daughter and my twins (via a c-section)
Survived the first year with twin babies!
Been whale watching, we saw migrating hump backed whales
Worked for a charity in Venezuela as an intern (sponsored by British Airways)
Flown business class (the perks of being a British Airways sponsored intern!)
Been pony trekking in the cloud forest in Ecuador
Seen a hummingbird
Snorkeled in the sea (even though I was stung by a jellyfish!)
Visited Columbia. We went to see an incredible church called Las Lajas which is build in a canyon
Fed a giraffe
Thrown a pot on a potters wheel
What would be top of your reverse bucket list?! Go on write one it will bring back happy memories!
I’m feeling really positive about the progress that I’ve made on my money saving mission for 2017. I have wanted to improve my finances for a long time but with pretty mixed results. In January I wholeheartedly committed to working to improving my money management. No more vaguely wishing that my money would go further! I decided to get very specific about what I was aiming for financially. I wrote down an amount of money I wanted to have in my bank by a specific date and went for it! It has really focused my mind seeing every pound that I spend is a step away from my money goal. Here’s are a few things that have worked so far………
I have been diligently planning our meals at the beginning of the week. No more mealtime winging it from now on. I had been popping into our local supermarket, Tesco Express, nearly everyday. Buying bits and pieces everyday soon added up. It was especially expensive as they mainly sell branded and premium products. I also wasn’t paying attention to the cost as it was happening in lots of smaller transactions.
Menu planning hasn’t just been financially beneficial it is making life so much easier! It is so much more relaxing knowing what we are going to eat each day. I don’t have that moment of standing in the supermarket wracking my brain for food inspiration. We are eating more varied meals because I’ve put a bit more thought into what we are going to eat. I think we are also eating more food cooked from scratch as I have thought ahead and got the ingredients.
I love not having to take the kids round the supermarket everyday. Who needs all that nagging for treats and magazines, running off, eating things, deciding they need the loo………..and on the worst days lying on the floor and screaming! (the boys not me!)
Feeding a family of 5 can be really expensive so any money that we can save on food shopping makes a big difference. We are now doing one big shop a week and have switched from shopping at Tesco to shopping at Aldi. I have been really impressed at the quality of the products that we have tried so far. On average works out around 40% cheaper. The results have been great – I am spending at least £100 less per month on food.
Curbing the cafe trips
I’ll be honest this hasn’t been my favourite money saving measure but it has saved an absolute tonne of money. I had been going to my works canteen or a nice cafe near my office most work days. I also popped out for a cheeky latte whenever I was in the office. I was taking the kids out for lunch at least once a week. I was eating a tonne of money! I’ve scaled right back to the occasional cafe trip. Although it pains me to admit this it is actually more enjoyable now that it is a genuine treat.
Switching energy providers
I spent a bit of time one Sunday evening looking into how much we were spending on gas and electricity. It turned out we could get a much better deal with a different provider. I suspected we could save money on our utility bills but thought it would be boring and complicated to sort out. It was surprisingly quick and easy to do. I’m kind of kicking myself that I didn’t do it sooner as this should save us around £200 per year.
I have found the biggest benefit of my money saving efforts has been the change in my thinking about money. It has taught me that you don’t need to splash tonnes of cash to have really lovely family experiences. It does take a little bit of planning and researching to get good deals. For example if we are having a day out or eating out I will quickly google for a voucher code beforehand. We have had lots of gorgeous picnics with the kids on sunny days, which have been just as lovely as going to a cafe.
When you stop looking for the next thing to buy it opens your eyes to what lovely things that you already have. I have been finding as many little pleasures from everyday life as I can. It is so satisfying to wear my good perfume on the school run and eat my morning toast off my nicest plates and use my luxury Spanish hot chocolate flakes for a bedtime treat. It has made me appreciate more than ever that the best things in life are things that money can’t buy.
I’m sure there are lots more tricks and ideas that I can try out. Next on my hit list is seeing if I can cut my mobile phone bill and reduce the cost of our Sky package. I will do another update in a couple of months about how my money saving mission is going. If you have any ideas of extra things that I can try please let me know in the comments section.
This morning is all about tissues and tea! When I started my blog I decided that I would be very honest about my experience as a mum and include some of the less shiny happy moments. In this spirit of honesty I can say this morning I had a mini mummy meltdown. Bear with me if this is a bit of a self indulgent post!
I was in charge this morning (as Rolando had an early morning work commitment). The kids were all tired. Sam even snuck back into bed when I wasn’t looking. There was a bit of “just get dressed shouting” on my part. Despite this we got to school and preschool on time, with all the right kit. So far so good.
Just as the door to preschool opened Leo told me he didn’t want to go in. He then clung to my hand and begged me not to leave him. I tried to get him engaged in an activity but as soon as I got up to leave he started to cry. This is really unlike him, apart from his first few days at preschool, he has never been reluctant to stay.
Seeing Leo upset plus a build up of tiredness and general stress (about various things) all merged together into a feeling of being really upset and overwhelmed. I walked home in tears. It is totally normal to have moments when as a parent you feel a bit crap – mine ambushed me unexpectedly this morning.
So here I am with tissues and tea. I’m going to let myself feel a bit rubbish for a few moments. I’ll cross a few things off today’s to-do list to give myself a bit of a break. Then I will put the kettle on again, pull myself together and just keep going!
My name is Sarah and I am a hula hooping addict! Let me explain…………
I’m no stranger to exercise I do loads of walking, running after my kids and cycling which all helps to keep in shape. I’ve blogged before about my post baby body and how I would love to tone my abs and lose my mum tum.
It’s a bit of a logistical challenge to fit in exercise alongside my 3 kiddos. Anything that needs lots of kid free time isn’t going to happen. I like running but I don’t get a chance to do it regularly anymore. Fitness DVDs haven’t worked out brilliantly. It’s impossible to work out effectively with the kids trying to jump on you. I struggled to fit in a weekly Pilates class once I went back to work. I bought a top of the range slender tone belt but didn’t take to it. There is something quite joyless about trying to electric shock your stomach into shape.
I stumbled across an article in the Times about fitness hooping and thought it might be worth a try. Hey if it works for Beyoncé maybe it could work for me! I was also inspired by my friend Kerrie who is a Power Hooping instructor in New Zealand. She gave me some helpful pointers to get started.
Choosing a hoop
The only equipment you need is a fitness hoop! There are a few different choices of fitness hoopavailable. You can buy a cheap version from Tiger for £10, mid range versions for around £20 from Argos or a Power Hoop costing between £35 and £55 available from Power Hooping UK.
As I wasn’t sure if fitness hooping was for me so I bought a cheap hoop from Tiger just to try it out. It weighs 1.1kg. It has a slightly wavy shape to help it fit to your body. Now that I have really got into hooping I’ll invest in a Power Hoop Deluxe. The advantage of this hoop is that you can add extra weights to make the workout more challenging.
The only other thing that you need is a fair bit of space. My house is small so I can only really hoop in my living room. If the weather is nice I will do my hooping in my garden.
Is it easy?
Because the hoop is heavier than a normal hula hoop it is easier to get it spinning. It took me a bit of practice to get the hang of it. There are some handy videos on YouTube that are worth a look. I found that when I was learning I dropped the hoop quite a few times after only a few spins. I did get a few bruises on my hips when they got a bit bashed as the hoop fell. However I got passed this stage really quickly – in about 3 days. I could defiantly feel that my stomach muscles had been working.
I found it harder to hoop to the left than to the right. However it is important to hoop in both directions so that you develop your muscles evenly. It has been fun to try and get the technique working in each direction. I feel quite satisfied when I do a full session without dropping the hoop.
It is worth checking out the Power Hooping UK website that has details of hooping classes in the UK.
How much do I do?
I’ve been religiously hooping for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening every day. 5 minutes in each direction at each session. This doesn’t seem like much but it really adds up. I’m consistently doing 2 hours and 20 minutes of ab toning exercise per week.
Why I like it
I’ve found I can easily fit in two sessions of 10 minutes per day, even on the busiest days. In the mornings I either do my hooping before the kids wake up or when they are at school/preschool. During the summer holidays we all tend to get up at the same time. I’ve found I can quickly do my 10 minute workout while the kids watch a bit of TV. In the evening I do my hooping once the kids are in bed.
Its fun! I’ve enjoyed getting better at fitness hooping. It reminds me of hula hooping as a kid. I like that I can do it in my living room while watching TV. Who doesn’t love working out while watching a box set! I don’t need to get changed into workout gear so I can get going really quickly. Even if I’ve left it quite late in the evening I can always fit in my 10 minutes.
The crucial question – does it work?
I wasn’t sure if 10 minutes twice a day was going to be enough to make a difference to my mum tum. After 3 weeks I can see that my little and often approach is proving really effective. My core muscles feels noticeably stronger. I am really happy that my stomach looks and feels a lot more toned. I have lost 1.5 inches from my waist, without making any other changes to my diet or exercise routine. It probably would have been helpful to include a before and after photo but the internet isn’t ready for photos of my stomach (toned or not)!
Have you tried fitness hooping? Does it work for you?
Are you ever too busy to enjoy the tiny moments? I realised this weekend that I wasn’t paying attention. There was a tiny moment of wonderful happening. I nearly missed it!
I was in a bit of grump on Sunday. I hadn’t slept very well. The kids had woken up early and I was really tired. I was also annoyed that my husband Rolando was working on Sunday.
We were lazing in our pyjamas in our messy living room. I was drinking lots of tea. Sam weed on the floor; potty training completely slipping his mind again! I came close to breaking our no TV on a Sunday rule. Instead we were playing with Lego. The boys were excited to use Sofia’s proper Lego, instead of Duplo. It got tipped all over the floor.
Sam climbed onto my lap for a cuddle. Hugging my son and watching my other two kids playing happily it struck me. This is a golden moment. Ignore the mess, overcome the tiredness, forget about being annoyed.
I will miss these moments when they’re gone. It wont be too long before my kids don’t want to hang out with their mum in their PJs. The years of building Lego rockets are so short. It was a tiny reminder pay attention, to live in the moment. Enjoy the tiny moments. Cherish the ordinary. These moments of everyday wonderful are what life is all about.
P.S Rolando did redeem himself by going tent shopping with us later in the day (when I knew he’d rather be breaking the no TV rule and having a rest!)
We’ve all seen the images in magazines and on the TV commenting on woman’s body’s once they have had children. Sometimes celebrating how amazing a new mum looks or marvelling at how quick they have lost weight. Sometimes pointing out woman’s post baby flaws. I sighed when I saw Kim K’s naked bathroom selfie all over social media (although I was probably more envious of her very tidy bathroom than her body!) I remember seeing pictures of Kate Middleton on the steps of the maternity hospital in a gorgeous dress looking groomed and amazing. I did wonder though if she’d rather be wearing yoga pants and snuggling with her new born than having her hair and makeup done to keep up appearances. It has all got me thinking about how I feel about my body after having 3 children.
It blows my mind that my body has created and nurtured 3 children. My body has given me my beautiful children, keeping them safe, providing for them exactly what they needed – the battle scars were a small price to pay for that. In a lot of ways having my children has changed the way I think about my body. It shifted my focus from what my body looks like to what my body is able to do. Having my three children has taught me what my body is physically capable of.
After having my twins I felt a bit broken, my body had taken quite a battering. In the early days after having my c-section I really noticed how easy it was to move again. I think all of the pain of carrying twins made me appreciate this in a way I’d really taken for granted before. In the longer term it took physiotherapy over quite a number of months and lots of post natal Pilates to start to heel my damaged abdominal muscles (here’s my earlier post about my post pregnancy abs). Though far from perfect I am happy with the improvement in my abs and core strength. It’s something that I really want to continue us to work on.
I’ve worked really hard to get back to a weight that feels natural to me. After having my daughter I ran a marathon to get back in shape. I realise this is quite extreme but giving birth made me feel a bit invincible! (Here’s my post running a marathon v giving birth, which is harder?). After having my twins I had to take things slowly, I needed to recover and heel before I could think about getting back in shape. I lost weight slowly and steadily over quite a long period of time, mainly by following the 5:2 diet (I’ve previously written about my experience, Does the 5:2 diet work?)
Looking after my kids have made me strong. I get a workout everyday, whether I want to or not (no skipping a day at the gym of life!). I walk and cycle a lot doing the school run and taking my kids out and about. Walking with a double pushchair is the best exercise I’ve ever done. My boys are at the age where I still lift them quite frequently, in and out of their beds and pushchair and carrying them when they get tired – it is amazing for my arms.
It’s has taken me some time to accept the damaged, over stretched skin on my stomach. It has been something that really bothered me especially after having my twins. If I could wave a magic wand get my skin back to its pre kids state I would in a second. Over time I have more or less made peace with the fact that it is something that can’t be fixed without surgery. Some days its a bit of an uneasy peace. I’ve also learnt that I need to buy good bras and have a fitting every time I buy one (how did it take me so long to realise this). I will never wear a bikini again and I’m still a bit sad about that. However I like the way I look in my clothes and I think that’s a happy place to have got to.
There are parts of my post baby body but I’m not crazy about but I’ve gradually got to a point where I don’t spend too much time dwelling on them. I’ve learnt to pay attention to and appreciate the things I like about my appearance as much as I can. Its taken me around 3 years to find a kind of balance, working on the aspects of my body that I can improve and making peace with the things that I can’t.
Don’t worry I’m not going to be posting any naked selfies any time soon!
I’m a woman obsessed! Anyone who follows me on Facebook and Twitter will have had me spamming them with photos of newly tidy bits of my house. I’ve discovered konmari and I’m completely hooked.
What is Konmari?
Konmari is a system of de cluttering and organising your home. It was invented by Marie Kondo who wrote a best selling book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying. As soon as I started reading this book I couldn’t put it down. I finished it in 2 days.
There are a few key principles (I’m really just giving a tiny taste of how it works I would completely recommend that you read the book to get the full idea).
Tidy your house by category not room by room – starting with clothes, books etc.
Focus on sorting through each category one at a time
Only keep the items that you really love or love using – the items that give you a spark of joy, this makes you think about your possessions really differently.
Discard everything that you don’t love before you start storing items.
The items that you have chosen to keep are then all assigned a specific place to live
The book suggests that you will end up with about a third of your original belongings.
Drowning in possessions
My new devotion to tidying is a bit out of character. I have messy genes. I struggle to keep on top of the never ending housework even though I live in a small house. Over the years we have accumulated a lot of stuff. The kids magnetically attract stuff. It is getting trickier to put things away as a lot of our cupboards and shelves are very full. The boys are into everything and scatter stuff all around the house daily. They are constantly break things they get hold of. We always seem to be loosing stuff. Tidying and cleaning the house eats up way too much of my time.
Could KM be the answer to living a zen like, joyful existence (even with three kids)? I’ve been trying it out to see.
Category 1, clothes
First up was the kids clothes. I was getting fed up with their overflowing clothes drawers and no one being able to find anything to wear. I hated putting washing away so clean washing often built up on an arm chair in the living room which looked really untidy.
We started on my daughter’s clothes. Sofia completely embraced the idea of only keeping things she absolutely loved. She gleefully chucked scratchy jumpers and unloved T-shirts into the discard pile (I think she was delighted to get to exercise her opinion). I blitzed through the boys clothes getting rid of an incredible number of items that were too small, damaged or that the boys don’t like.
It was trickier to go through my clothes. Probably because I’ve paid for all this stuff plus I was worrying that I wouldn’t have any clothes left! I found that if I sorted through things quickly and really trusted my gut feelings I could decide what gave me sparks of joy. In the discard pile went a very expensive dress from Coast (that never felt right), a gap coat, a leather jacket, lots of boring dull clothes and things that don’t suit me since having kids. It reminded me that I love colourful clothes!
I donated everything that was still wearable to charity. This made it a bit easier to part with clothes that were in good condition but that we didn’t love. We ended up with 6 bin bags in total plus about 8 pairs of shoes.
A revelation is the km way of folding and storing your clothes. You arrange all your folded clothes so that they stand up, rather than stacking things on top of each other (as in the photo below). Opening my drawers now makes me happy! You can see everything at a glance so it is much easier to find things.
Category 2, books and magazines
Next up for the cull was books. Sofia helped me with this category too. We binned anything that was damaged and donated all of the books that no one liked (and the ones that I can’t stand reading!). It was a bit harder to decide which adult books to keep. I only kept books I genuinely think we will re-read. It helped that I generally read on my kindle these days so I don’t buy many books anymore. For magazines we just kept current issues and recycled handfuls of old ones.
Category 3, toiletries
I had somehow accumulated an insane number of creams and cosmetics. I had a lot of things that didn’t suit my skin type or makeup that I didn’t like. Some of this was cluttering up my bathroom and some was stashed away in pretty boxes in my bedroom. It was quite cathartic pile it all up and bin anything that I don’t use, although it felt a bit wrong to chuck out full bottles of stuff. I threw away nearly a bin bag full of things.
Verdict so far
Even though I’ve only just started I’m totally convinced by km. You need to be quite committed to ruthlessly sort each category. It has almost given me permission to get rid of stuff that I know I don’t like or need, it is a bit sad to admit I’ve bought lots of things that turned out to be mistakes.
It is generating a lot of rubbish. I think we have binned/donated about 10 bin bags worth of stuff so far. My wheelie bins are full to bursting. I anticipate a lot of charity shop trips to come.
The areas that I have km-ed like the bathroom and our clothes storage look amazing and are much easier to clean. I’ve found lots of lovely things that I’d lost or didn’t even remember we owned. My treasured items have space to breath now, I can see them and appreciate them more. My wardrobe only contains clothes that I genuinely love. My washing is 100% easier to put away and we are wearing more of our clothes as everything is easier to find. I haven’t missed anything that we’ve got rid of so far.
I think some of the categories still to do are going to be quite hard. I’m not looking forward to going through papers or tackling the kids toys plus there is a lot of general bits and bobs that don’t really fit into a category that need sorting out.
I think it will take me at least two months to fully km my house but I’m excited to really go for it. I’ll do some follow up posts along the way to document our km progress. I would really recommend this book. I’ve just started reading the follow up Spark Joy for further km inspiration.