Update on this month’s challenges

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my study before the spring clean and declutterI have the ultimate picture to make you feel so much better about the state of your home to the left here. Yes, this is my ‘study’ before these challenges took place! Shocking, eh?

I may have been away from blogging for a while, but I’ve kept the challenges in mind wherever possible! (and you’ll be pleased to here that the study no longer looks like this).

Nature Mom’s Green Spring Clean challenge

On day 1 I cleaned out the car and then cleaned the beast itself, which was strangely satisfying. I don’t think I’ve actually cleaned a car by hand before. I usually visited a car wash about once a year when my number plate was no longer legal.

For day 2 I did a little detailed cleaning. I de-cobwebbed the hall, stairs and landing and used some water and vinegar to clean the glass panels on the dining room door. Then I went around the dining room plug sockets and light switches and cleaned them. Geesh – they were BLACK! Let me point out that ‘dining room’ here at Chez Green equals open plan kitchen, dining room and conservatory. So it’s quite a big space.

My top tip for green cleaning is to get an eMop system. These little fellas make cleaning easy and effortless. You get two different heads – one for the cobwebs, which easily reaches a high ceiling and one for mopping. They are made from the wonder microfibre, which really does attract dirt and keep it there. For the floors I just spray a mix of essential oils on and then wipe with the mop. Easy!Little Miss green discovering which pens work and which ones don’t

Day 3 we did our computer desk. The amount of dust that comes from, I don’t know where, behind Mr Green’s computer has to be seen to be believed. Everything came off the desk and was cleaned, including the computers themselves. It felt great in there and I’m sure my faithful laptop is running faster 😀

Poor Mr Green has suffered the dreaded hard drive crash. Bless him. My heart goes out to him as that would have to be one of my worst nightmares come true. I’m a bit of a fanatic for backups (I can highly reccomend Micrbackup for this by the way – mine sits quietly in the background and backs up every hour onto a flashcard in the PCMCIA slot) but now I feel my paranoia is well-founded as I’ve seen him lose two years work. Ouch.

One minute the machine is working, the next – it’s all gone.

After that I got a little bored of writing everything down, but suffice to say for the first time since I moved into this house every room is not reasonably tidy. I did a blitz on Little Miss Green’s room with the idea that an ordered room would lead to an ordered mind (she’s having trouble sleeping at the moment) and I feel on top of things for the first time in many years.

It’s a good feeling!

Crunchy CHicken’s Buy nothing month

This has gone reasonably well. My top tip to anyone wanting to do a Buy Nothing day / month / year is never to go shopping with a child. Little Miss Green and I called into the farm shop, where she kept picking things up and, with pester power in full flow was asking me for everything in sight. I did end up buying a yogurt which I really didn’t need. We never buy flavoured yogurt; we always buy the natural probiotic stuff and chop fruit into it, but I relented to one pot of yogurt at an extortionate 60p and then grumbled about the non-recyclable packaging throughout the checkout. (I got louder when the checkout woman started placing two bags of alfalfa sprouts and one yogurt into a plastic carrier bag) (We left without the bag as you might have guessed).

Other than that, it was regular food shopping. It was very tempting as this was our bimonthly visit to Lidls and they do have some bargains to behold. But I resisted everything and got through the checkout relatively unscathed.

I’ve put five pounds in a friend’s child’s Birthday card this week. Yes, I could have made something, but I’m very cautious of pushing my views onto other people. If their values does not revolve around the effort and love gone into handmade gifts, then I just end up feeling like a skin flint. I figured it was better to stick a fiver in a card for the child to choose something she actually likes and will gain pleasure from, that to make something and have it dumped in the landfill.

decluttering our wardrobes for the charity shopsI did buy two crystal pendants for myself. I do turn to my crystal brothers and sisters when I need help and I have been ill, ill, ill since I last wrote. So a piece of blue lace agate and a rainbow fluorite pendant it is. So much for buy nothing, but they will be with me for life………

To make up for my penance, I sold some stuff on eBay. Will you let me off now?!

Chile Chew’s Cut the crap challenge

I thought, I looked, I planned, I felt overwhelmed and did nothing for a few days.

But then I got past my inner child who was sitting sulking and procrastinating and loaded up some goodies in eBay. I did ok with that and felt further motivated to release some things to the charity shop. Their gain, my gain. I have space, they have things to sell for funding.
I’m slowly working my way through the house and am going to put some things on Freecycle this week.

Sell stuff and makes lots of lovely loot challenge

I’ve discovered that our closest village has a monthly table mart. You go along with your goods, grab a table, sell your wares and give 10% of what you take to the hall. The rest is your scrummy profit to keep. Over the next month I’m going to make some things to sell like homemade massage oils, hand cream and perhaps some baking. It will get me through all the packaging I have saved up which will be part of the decluttering challenge.

I’ll get Little Miss Green to sort through her things too. I’ve been promising we will do a car boot sale this year, but a table sale in a warm village hall with beautiful views over the hill sounds much more civilised and enticing.

I have heaps more to write, but will pace myself as I have a big workload at the moment. It’s all good 🙂

Oh yes, and this week we put out HALF a swing bin liner for the dustmen – how about that?!

How is everyone? Tell me your latest news 🙂


  1. Alana on April 10, 2008 at 10:05 am

    You’re doing a great job with your challenges – very inspiring!

  2. Mrs Green on April 10, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Thank you Alana. Curbing the spending is the hardest one. I am frugal by nature, but then I’ll splurge on something on eBay or similar. I don’t know why that is really; I’m certainly not someone who needs a ‘thing’ for a quick hit or to bring me any satifaction.

    I don’t think I’m that bad though; I hardly ever buy the usual clothes, make up, hair cuts, holidays, shoes that most of the female population buy 🙂

    How are you doing?

    Mrs G x

  3. Fr. Peter on April 10, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Good to have you back Mrs. G,, we have all missed you!


    PS Loved the picture of the pens test, our son used to use the walls for his…

  4. Mrs Green on April 10, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    HA! 😀
    Excellent. In that case I have a treat in store for you. I’ll post up a picture of her bedroom wall sometime this week……….
    I don’t believe in stifling the creative talents of children 😉

  5. Chile on April 11, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Ooo, the monthly table mart set-up sounds great. I hate doing too many of my own yard sales because I have crappy neighbors. For the last one, we hauled everything to a friend’s – she lives in a better area and we had better sales.

    Keep up the good work!

  6. Joyce on April 11, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    Here I thought you were going to rest! What you’ve accomplished in a week exhausts to think about!

  7. Mrs Green on April 13, 2008 at 2:41 am

    Hi Chile,
    I think I too, would have a bit of a problem with a garage sale. Not to mention we live in a village, so don’t exactly have a ‘passing trade’! I think it’s far easier to sell to strangers than friends and neighbours. I end up giving things away, which, is no bad thing, but sometimes you’ve gotta eat (or buy pretty things) ya know 😉

    Joyce – a week of rest would kind of be a real hardship for me. I think I meant I was taking a rest from daily blogging and all that it entails. I’ve been ‘out there’ rather than sucked in cyberspace – the internet is wonderful, but you do get pulled in and there is no end point with it; there is always more that can be done; looked at, commented on, you know?

    Good to see you both,
    Mrs G x

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