Seeing Clutter... Decluttering and Zone Cleaning - Zone 3 Bathroom

Sunday, January 26, 2020

This is my second pass at Zone 3 when I first discovered FlyLady and Zone cleaning this is the zone they were in.

Initially, I was going to set up my own zones but after a couple of days of reading it seemed sensible to follow the zones as they had been set.

I’ll include a few pictures of what it was like originally if anything we just have far too many things for the size of the room. This makes keeping on top of cleaning and tidying very overwhelming. Last year we decided we were going to start using the product we’d got in gift sets rather than saving them for best. We moved them into the bathroom, but we did keep buying regular products. We also seem to buy lots of duplicates when we find something we like. 

The first time round I concentrated on products. I tried to group like items and give gave the surfaces a wipe over. There was no deep cleaning but as the room is tiled it doesn’t take much to clean it’s just getting to the surfaces.

Whenever you read about cleaning the say to clean clockwise and while this does work I found that I miss a part of the room every time I clean.

For this months Zone three, I decided to go Anticlockwise. Meaning I started with the section I hadn’t done last time and I did manage to get through the whole room.

I started with the wire rack we have under the sink. I bought some little plastic boxes which just fit in each rack meaning that things won’t fall through. Next time I want to tackle the rust on this unit. I know it shouldn’t take much to sort it out but I decided just to tidy this rack now more than deep clean. 

Next up was the cabinet, between the first time of getting through the zone and starting again. I did do little bits. I found a pot to put my dad’s razors in and I’d moved things around. cleaned and I even cleaned the window.  

This time I pulled everything out and just the Pink Stuff spray cleaner to wipe down each shelf. I’d not used this cleaner before and it’s super cheap 89p from Savers. For the price it’s ace. I will be buying more of it but I will not stock up on it!

The next areas were just a general clean. Shower screen, shower windowsill which I tided and cleaned and I even cleaned the window.

I decided to change up the products on the shelves and baskets. Between the first time around and now we’d managed to go from 4 baskets to 2 on the back of the bath. The wire baskets are now being used in the kitchen. I had put the skincare on a shelf but I’m not sure we were using it so I pulled everything off the shelves and baskets, cleaned them all and put things back in a slightly different order. I did get rid of a few items but not too much. It was more a case of making sure like items are together. 

We are committed to using things up and only buying things we need. We have enough showergel to last about 2 years and I have more in my room plus as basket full of bathbombs! I think we just have to use things or if we hate them pass them along. There is one lot of bath foam that I hate the smell of but I thought my mum liked but it turns out she doesn’t like it so we’ve given it to my dad to take to work. (he doesn’t have baths there but he’ll leave it out for people to use as showergel)
It’s an ongoing process and one day I’m sure we’ll be in a place where we only have what we need rather than having lots of duplicates of things. 

We also switched out the tub we’d been using for cleaning products to a rack which had been in the kitchen. This is handy as it just fits down the side of the loo and has 2 shelves.

The final step was to mop the floor, I bought a mop which uses large wipes as the bathroom floor space is tidy and the steam mop is too big to fit and at least this way it saves dragging it up and downstairs.

Overall it was a good week spent in the bathroom and it’s nice to see it looking tidier than it’s been for a while. It’s never terrible but it can be overwhelming and it’s much easier now it’s been organised.

I’m sure I’ve missed something but if you want to see a bit more you can watch my video. 


Seeing Clutter... Decluttering and Zone Cleaning - Zone 2 Kitchen

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Zone 2 – Kitchen

This Zone was more successful than Zone One. I was more eager to get started and we had a bit of a catalyst to start a day early.

On Saturday we bought some new baking trays as a lot of ours were old and scratched and Sainsbury’s had a special offer on homeware. When we were looking at places to store them, I ended up pulling everything out of the cupboard under the oven.

I did record some of it but because I started a day early, I wasn’t quite prepared! I did take a before picture, but I didn’t check it and it’s so blurry. 

We also had a massive clear-out and declutter of a lot of the things that we don’t use or have duplicates of (6 loaf tins) apart from one occasion making some stuffing in one of the silicon one.
I haven’t taken a new photo but almost two weeks after we reorganised that cupboard it’s still looking the same. 

Every time I did a bit in the kitchen, I seemed to work on three cupboards at once. As I was dealing with the items in that cupboard, I found a handheld blender and I know we own 2 of them and I knew there were other parts in another cupboard.

The plan was to pull only those items out but before I knew it the whole cupboard had been emptied.

One of the rules is not to pull out more than you can deal with, this might have been a step over the line. Although I hadn’t set a timer as all I was doing was getting rid of the old trays and putting the new ones in their place.

I only spent an hour on it and I had three cupboards organised about 5 bags of rubbish and a pile of things to send to the charity shop. Sadly, these are still sat on the worktop but we did get my dad to take all the rubbish to the tip so that was a massive win.

In the double cupboard or as I call it Tupperware corner, I decluttered and resorted it so we have kept some sentimental items, some cute bowls that I’ll probably never use and managed to find a space for the nice Christmas dinner service. There is also space left and I have some ideas what I want to move into that cupboard. 

Feeling motivated I managed to tackle quite a few cupboards but I have left the more daunting ones. Manana, manana. One of the things I found was I felt like I wanted to do things and a little bit of accidental tidying and decluttering happened. One night I was looking for some stock cubes and I ended up pulling everything out, purging out of date items, sorting and putting back and moving things to other cupboards and sorting them out as well.

It has been a three cupboard at a time but hopefully, it will mean like items are together. I also changed the use of one of the cupboards from an overspill tea and coffee cupboard to hold cereal and snacks.

I’ve been using the control journal a lot, I’ve learnt that I need every part of the kitchen labelled so rather than putting a set of drawers I need to list all of them individually. Especially while I’m in the declutter phase. As you can see from the photos of my kitchen page I wrote on additional items on the paper under the plastic page divider. I also know I said I wasn’t buying dry wipe markers but they are working out really well. 

I also did a map of the kitchen on excel. with each cupboard on it and I've coloured them in as I go, I like the visual representation of completing an area. 

There is still a long way to go and we have accumulated the things over a long period of time and we also have a lot of items we used to have at the caravan and when my granparents house was sold after they passed away we brought a lot of their things home, which is one of the reasons for so many duplicated items, but it's time to let go. Make room and get orgaised. 


Seeing Clutter... Decluttering and Zone Cleaning - Zone 1

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

As 2020 rolled around so did Zone One of FlyLady Cleaning System (is it a system?)
The idea of the Zones is you spend a week in different areas of your home and if they need decluttering you declutter. One of the things I like about it is that you don’t have to pull everything out like Marie Kondo recommends you only pull out an amount you think you can go through in the time you set yourself.

It is recommended that you set a timer for 15 minutes and declutter, clean. You can set the time for longer, but the idea is when the timer goes off you stop.

When I discovered the system just before Xmas I did do a lot of time settings and often when it went off I had almost finished the area I’d set myself so I did carry on but only for a few minutes not hours.

In Summer I Marie Kondo’d my clothes and it took me a long time. A few reasons. I do have a lot of clothes. I had a spare room to put them all that didn’t get in the way of life and it was very overwhelming, and I cried. (more than once). It was an excellent way to see how much I had and to line up my 12 almost identical black tops and cut them down, but I knew I couldn’t do the whole house in the same way. I would 100% declutter my clothes this way. I might do it in sections such as summer holiday clothes as I know I have things in three storage boxes and Ideally, I want like items together (and to have it in less than 3 boxes)

Zone One – Porch, Stairs and Diningroom. 1st – 5th January 2020

It felt good to be back at the beginning and start zone one. I was itching to start zone one when I discovered FlyLady but at the time they were one Zone 3 so I stuck with that knowing new year, zone one would feel good. 

The Porch I decluttered one pair of beloved but wrecked Ecco boots. It was hard to throw them away but it was way overdue and now I can start to wear other shoes and boots that I have and enjoy wearing but the others always got picked over them. I might sound sad that I had to get rid of them but I got my money's worth out of them it feels so good to declutter. 

The stairs have been stripped of wallpaper ready to be decorated so this is an area of the house I ignore. It is a very small space so it's almost forgotten about. In this section, I dusted the window, Used some cleaning spray on the windowsill and skirting boards. I also dusted the windowsill a couple of times during the week. 

The dining room we had a mad clean before Xmas and tbh it was still looking pretty decent. The dresser needs a good declutter but it’s something me and my mum need to sit down and go through together as it has a lot of things from my gran's house as well as our own items.

Xmas Day Ready

The only area I spent any time on was the desk. My dad is the only person who uses it so it’s hard to declutter it as the first Rule of Flylady is not to get rid of other people’s items.

I had a look through the drawers. Tried all the pens to see if they worked and moved things between drawers. I also reshuffled some loose papers and half-heartedly dusted the visible bits of desk!
I don’t feel like it was a very successful Zone one, but it wasn’t a full week and it was that strange period between Christmas and New Year.

It doesn't matter that I haven't done so much, this Zone will soon come round again. That's the beauty of the system, there is no need to come back to it now until February, it will all get sorted as the months go on. 

I have higher hopes for Zone 2. 


Seeing...Clutter - I've Discovered the FlyLady Cleaning System

Sunday, January 12, 2020


Long-time no blog. I’m not sure what happened in 2019 but the blog wasn’t something I managed to do.

I did manage to put out a lot of content on Youtube (and lose followers) – Luckily, I’m not looking for YT fame.

At the end of 2019, I found myself like Alice, down a rabbit hole but instead of the Cheshire cat and Mad Hatter, I found the FlyLady cleaning system. I haven’t watched any of the FlyLady herself but I discovered Steph the Secret Slob and Diane in Denmark. I use the FlyLady Website but it’s not easy to navigate and it’s a bit click heavy and I seem to find more pages every time I look at it. It’s a rabbit hole in itself.

I’m a hoarder or well no, Ok yes probably. When I find something I like, I buy multiples. Clothes, food, accessories. I also like keeping things for best and with every clear out I seem to end up with less space.

The FlyLady system has a lot of elements but I feel like I can adapt it and take on board the part that works for me. I am still very new to it but most of the things I’ve read so far have clicked.
Me and Marie Kondo work in parts but I bought her book and I haven’t ever been able to bring myself to read it. It makes me feel anxious at the thought of it. I have Marie Kondo’d my Wardrobe and that worked as a massive declutter but I’ve never felt able to apply the theory to the rest of the house. One of those reasons is this isn’t my own house. I share it with my parents (Yes, I am a million years old and I have no plans to move out)

When you start the FlyLady system they recommend you follow the 31 baby steps. I started these but I skipped ahead. I was raring to go. This might be a mistake, but I was itching to declutter.
One of the big things with FlyLady is that you split you house into 5 zones and concentrate on that zone for a week.

The rest of the house isn’t neglected as you have a weekly routine where you still do some key housework tasks but you only spend an hour in total on these as my gran calls it you have a tickle round. This includes things like vacuuming and dusting but it’s not full-on moving furniture out or pulling out every item in a room and the idea is once you have decluttered and deep cleaned everywhere this is enough to keep on top of the home and when it’s that Zone’s week it’s not a huge effort to give it a bit of a deeper clean.

There is also a daily routine list, you can put on this anything you need to do daily but should include Shine your sink, dress to shoes (I don’t do this – I’m up and out in the week but at weekend I dress to socks. I hate wearing socks. I normally walk around with these in a pocket and only put them on at the very last minute, so this is my compromise). On the website, it does mention having a Morning and evening routine but I’m out the door at 7am so I have just created a daily routine and tick them off as I go. As I go further into, I might split them out but for now, it’s one.

Daily Routine

My daily is very simple I’ve made a tick list in my control Journal and while it looks like a lot it doesn’t take long and I like to tick them off.

Clean loo & Bathroom sink – This is just wiping them over and making sure there is Duck Fresh disk in the loo

Kitchen Sink – Rinse it out and give it a quick bleach spray, our sink is white and quickly discolour which is why we use a bleach spray. I will look into other ways of cleaning it in the future.
Dishwasher – stack and start

Make Lunch for work – I have good intentions but usually end up buying lunch so having a tick is a nice feeling.

Dust Bedside Table - my dumping ground so helps me to keep it tidy.

Tomorrow’s Clothes – This is something that I’ve always half done but I’ve been putting out underwear as well as outerwear which isn’t something I’ve done before. It’s not perfect but the couple of time I’ve not liked or felt happy with the top I’ve picked out it’s been easy to grab another top without having to think of a whole new outfit.

Weekly Routine

This isn’t really in place yet, it’s mainly been cleaning round in the bathroom, but I will revisit this as I work my way around the zones and work out what chores to add.


Zone one – Porch, stairs and Dining room
Zone two – Kitchen
Zone three – Bathroom
Zone 4 – Bedroom
Zone 5 - Livingroom