Recycle Less Find and Update

Earlier this year we had holiday vacay in the USA. Hawaii and Northern California. I was so excited to see what Wholefoods Market had in the way of plastic free kitchen cleaning utensils, cosmetics. Okay, I was excited for the whole shop. Here Europe we hear a lot about how good it is. The London one a few years ago I was impressed by so I was hoping the range would have grown. Just before going I had found an online plastic free shop, stalking a few items I thought I could get in America cheaper. I’ve come to the conclusion I have to stop thinking that organic shops are onto plastic free alternatives unless they started catering for plastic free alternatives demand. 

To be honest, Wholefoods was a little dissapointing. Not from the kale point of view. So many varieties and a large stock of it. Here it goes quickly. The Wholefoods near Sand City the cleaning isle I walked down a few times without noticing. I wasn’t looking for products I was looking cleaning and kitchen utensils and they were just added bits hanging of the shelfs. The Wholefoods near Redwood Shores was better. The time we got there after out exploring we had just enough time to race around the produce sections. 

Our last morning before returning we stopped by Half Moon Bay and oh my. New Leaf is like Wholefoods on speed. The best vegan BLT sandwich and huge cosmetic section. Again the cleaning utensils still not as plastic free as I’d hoped however I had to put things back as the suitcases were already full. A long winded way of saying the best place to buy plastic free utensils is still online. Edit: while editing I’ve found a few plastic free stores in Barcelona. You bet in phase 2 I’m dropping by. I’ve already checked their online shops and this girl’s excited.

What I did find:

Patch Natural Bamboo Strip Bandages. Light Bamboo Hypoallergenic Breathable Bandages

I’ve yet to use these, but I’d been stalking them online. I think I did a happy dance inside finding them! Everything, packaging to the plaster itself is biodegradable.  New Leaf  Plastic Free Shop

Continue reading “Recycle Less Find and Update”

What I Learnt Hand Washing For 6 Weeks

Leave it to my washing machine to have a breakdown in a lockdown. For various reasons I didn’t via the landlord get a new machine until a few weeks ago, making in about 6-7 weeks of hand washing. With my 6-7 weeks experience of hand washing I’m sharing what I learnt manually washing clothes, towels and linen. Exciting huh?!

Source Giphy

Washing machines revolutionised the world. They free up time. They do the dirty hard work. All you have to do is pop the load in the machine, press a few buttons, leave it to do it’s thing, you go do other stuff until it bleeps all done, either air dry every thing or tumble dry. Done. I line dry which requires:

Timing. I couldn’t wring all the water out. It’s physically impossible. Not even a washing machine can unless it tumble dries too. I had to check the weather a few days ahead to plan laundry days for drying on the balcony. Thankfully I have a bath and the washing rack fitted in the bath to catch the run off. However leaving like that overnight nothing dried. I could have put a towel underneath the rack and let it air dry in the living room, but that would result in parquet water damage. Thankfully there were only a couple of stormy days and I wasn’t wearing much. Clothes were on repeat in lockdown and it was mostly lounge clothes. No pretty outfits. 

I already hand wash my bras so I thought I had how to hand wash down. Nope. You need buckets. A few buckets. I already had a bucket and salad spinner for help drying my bras (trust me. It’s a game changer!) but soon realised I need another. Thankfully my local big supermarket, the cleaning bucket isle wasn’t tapped off out of bounds. With 3 buckets, bowls I learnt:

You have to run an little bath with liquid (preferably environmentally friendly laundry detergent. I use magnesium balls (I use another brand) learning buying the gentlest for sensitive skin liquid detergent again is expensive) then add the clothes. Rather than dump them all in, each individual item you swish around a little, rub fabric together to start to lift dirt, repeat a few times like how a machine does. When all the items are in, swish them around some more. I found with towels I had, dump the water and start again with the detergent. One ‘wash’ wasn’t enough. I then left them overnight for the detergent to I dunno, lift anything else with enzymes. That was the easy part.

Source Giphy

Rinsing is the harder part. I’m dreading the next water bill. Although it’ll be interesting to see if hand washing vs washing machine uses more water. To ensure all the detergent is removed you have to rinse, rinse, rinse baby. I found the easiest way again was individually as each item and type of fabric holds the detergent at different rates. Cotton Continue reading “What I Learnt Hand Washing For 6 Weeks”

Brush Egg

I have a confession. When I first saw the Brush Egg in Sephora about a year ago, I hadn’t clue what it was. I came across it by the checkout outs (Sephora and their mini products by the checkouts. Always they nearly always get me!) and all in came in was a cellophane wrapper with a bar code. No description. Nada, but something said you’ll use it, so get it. 

Thinking it was a manual exfoliator I put in the queue with the other manual facial exfoliator/make cleansing better Continue reading “Brush Egg”

Things I’m Discovering Decluttering

Decluttering again. Yep! I’m about 1/2 way decluttering my belongings via the KonMari method (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying, Marie Kondo). In a nutshell you go through your belongings seeing if they spark joy in a certain order.

I first read about the KonMari Method from Julie of Peanut Butter Fingers. The title jumped out at me, I was intrigued enough to buy the book and I’m glad I did. Many of Marie Kondo’s clients after putting their belongings and house clutter free discover their calling so to speak. Clients have switched careers, found happiness, gained confidence in themselves, experienced increased fortune.

You start with a vision of how you’d like you home, lifestyle etc to be. One thing in my vision was to feel free. So many times I feel the apartment and previous apartments have dragged me down with constant cleaning and a feeling of crowded thoughts. I don’t want to spend my life cleaning! So I’d though it’ll be fun to share what I’ve ‘discovered’ far:

My handwriting’s messy. I’m making a conscious effort to tidy it up or at least make it more readable.

My signature, WTF. I’m embarrassed now every time I sign it. I did some Goggling on what your signature says about you. Maybe that was how I was, not who I am now. I’ve been playing with changing it. I even signed a receipt with a new style (few shops check now thanks to chip and pin). I felt a slight flutter of rebellion as I wrote not scribbled away like usual. I read up on changing your signature and it’s fine to. Just have to inform banks, etc.

I can see at a glance everything in my wardrobe. This hasn’t happened since I don’t know when.KonMari Method Wardrobe

Pockets of space are opening up. I can feel energy air flow changing. My mind’s beginning to feel calmer. Still crazy thoughts running around, it’s not as chaotic or claustrophobic up in there.

When she says you have all the storage you need, you do. I got a few larger cardboard storage boxes for my clothes and a couple of smaller boxes for my cosmetics, but I’m finding the more I tidy the more storage boxes I have free.

I found the correct lead for the external hard drive after using a substitute for 3 years.

Anything can become anything. Old bags you can’t throw away as they bring too much joy, they can be used as a dust cover for electric fans in the summer (idea taken from her 2nd book Spark Joy) Jewellery boxes become storage boxes. Shoe boxes rule.Cosmetic drawer

Vertical always stores better than horizontal.

Marie Kondo speak’s my language. I was 2 chapters in her 1st book and couldn’t wait to starting tidying. I like her no nonsense take on dealing with tidying as dealing with life.

It’s contagious and it’s addictive. P when he was here over Christmas and New Year, sorted out all his belongings. Once an area or category’s been sorted out, the only way to describe the feeling is an organisers high. A buzz of excitement.

The amount of stuff I’ve accumulated and actually need. I’m throwing out as nearly as much items as moving. I’ve moved 4 times in the past 5 years (I’m not counting 2016 it’s just begun and it as it makes me feel old realising that 2011 while it feels like yesterday, it was 5 years ago. Free wifi was in it’s infancy). Each time throwing out more and more. I’m recycling, donating just as much yet unlike previous times I don’t feel I’m keeping things because that’s what you do. One thing I love about travelling is how few items I take *cough* with me. I’ve always wanted to have a huge guilt free clear out, I just didn’t know how. The KonMari Method’s is my opportunity to.

Embarrassed by how much I have. How can 1 person have so many things!

I’m putting things away and dealing nagging to do list items, phone calls, emails etc sooner. I’m not leaving them laying around for later which only sparks feeling claustrophobic, crawling in head feeling to put them away/do. It’s easier to deal with my gym bag and bags straight away after getting in (or after feeding the cats to avoid protests). Most nights. There are still the occasional nights, bags wait until later.

From this: Stationery items and last electrical items. Stationary and electrical sort out

To this: Pens awaiting allocated storage space. I’m finding that as I go along and especially after reading Spark Joy, I’m reediting categories done. As for the marbles. They make a great DIY foot spa. Place them in a bucket, large plastic bowl with shower or bath gel, warm water and wiggle your feet over them! They should go in the bathroom, but they’ve always seemed to live in ‘stationery’ for some reason. Stationery sorted

Stationery after

I’m beginning to treat the vacuum cleaner with more respect. It’s not an item or chore that brings joy. Vacuuming I only like when it’s done but we get along better now I appreciate the vacuum cleaner more. It doesn’t bump wall corners or the lead getting caught under doors as much.

I don’t feel silly saying thank you to items I’m throwing out. Knowing that gifts, items I purchased but not used, yet feel guilty for not using I’m not just carelessly discarding. I get it’s a physiological thing (maybe not as everything’s made of stardust and it’s all connected), but saying thank you, go make someone else happy, reinvent yourself makes it easier.

People who know me will laugh at this. That it some way I’ve always been drawn to tidy, the Japanese way of orderly lines. I’m not sure if this is you do what your parents do. My Mum’s hoarder. She’ll never admit it, but she keeps everything and yet she’ll make comments. You kinda follow your parents. When I’ve done clear outs with her growing up, it was always, you might need this, keep that, but you it suits you so well, things I wanted to keep went out, you get the picture. I am noticing the more I tidy up, I’m looking like my mum or beginning to come out with her expressions. My Mum’s a great lady, but let’s just say there’s only 1 of my mother and that’s how I’d like to leave it. I’m not sure I’m thinking this way, because I’m tidying up, throwing out items I hear her saying, keep it and it’s my counselling. Maybe it’s me unconsciously consciously not being like her. We all have odd families. Going back to the Japanese orderly lines, I guess I’m drawn to it as it feels minimum, less crowded. Complete opposite of what I’m used to. Like being outdoors with a vast open sky.

Does anyone still use paperclips?Spark Joy, Marie KondoHave you sorted out your home KonMari Method style? What did you discover at the end? Did you feel silly saying thank you to items no longer sparking joy or saying hi to your house?