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Saturday 20 January 2018

Light Touch 2018 - The Bathroom Tweak

I chanced upon an article by Margareta Magnusson in last week's Time magazine.  It's about Doedstaedning. That won't mean anything to you unless you're a Swedish speaker.  She translates it as Death Cleaning but I think it's translation is broader than that, like Death Placing or Preparing.

Anyway, semantics over, I had great empathy with her article as I've found myself of late looking around the house and thinking that I don't want someone to have to clear up my mess, you know, "when I'm gone".   And it seems I'm not alone in this.  It's something we do.   It must be similar to that surge of cleaning and organising one's supposed to have just before giving birth.  Instinctive.  Primeval.  Only at the other end of life.  And without the pain.

In the last year or so I've had a few surgettes of decluttering and organising but they were just that, little surges.  What's kicked off a more serious approach, the Death Cleaning, is a situation we found ourselves in last autumn, when TP by default was charged with the clearance of the two homes of a departed relative.

The experience took my concerns for Death Cleaning to a whole new level.  So I've walked through the house, identifying the areas of mini-hoarding which need decluttering, cleaning and re-organising.  And there are a few!  But my Light Touch 2018 approach allows me to make this an easy and hopefully pleasant journey, tackling one area at a time.

Without any real planning on my part, the upstairs bathroom was the first area to get my attention before Christmas.

 We hadn't used it that much in recent years; the area was without organisation and, as you can see from the pic on the left, a bit of a dumping ground - towels mixed with spare toiletries, spare toilet brushes mixed with toilet rolls.  So without any real game-plan. I tidied up the area as best I could.

I tidied up skin care items into a basket, and after this pic fitted a toothbrush arrangement on the wall.

This was but a bathroom tweaking, a light touch tidy up.  There's a bit more sense to the room now.    But I still needed to find a home for the towels, seen here stored in cubes.  I realised that the under-eaves cupboards would be perfect for towels and spare toiletries, but they were, errr, rather full, but more on that tomorrow!  Yes my dearies, I fully appreciate that your lives are busy and you've probably had your fill of me by now, so I've split my post in two.  I'm keeping the second part of this shaggy dog story until tomorrow.  

Come by again Sunday to find out what was in those innocuous looking storage cupboards.
And I'm sorry but you'll have to wait till then to find out why I was wearing a suede waistcoat to go to the cinema!

A la perchoine.


  1. So funny, I never heard of the concept of "death cleaning" till last night when I watched the t.v. show "The Middle" and the over-fifty female character talked about it. I've been doing this myself, but not for that reason. After 25 years of living in the same home, things just need to be updated. So I've been doing one room a year, cleaning, redecorating, and getting rid of stuff we don't need. I love the changes you made in your bathroom.

    1. Thanks, Amy , I'll post pics when the tweaks are finished.
      Well, I hadn't heard it before the article but seems Death Cleaning must be mainstream. It's what we do at a certain age, pretty morbid but practical. I like your approach, one room at a time. Loved your hotel bedroom makeover last year. Looking forward to your next project! Hugs, x.

  2. Dear Pout, this is so odd, firstly I read something, somewhere about this Death Cleaning book and I cannot recall where for the life of me (joke not intended). Then someone I know mentioned the article you have read and then lo and behold I read your post just now and ta da, you mention it. Coincidence or what? We downsized two years ago from a 4 bed house to a two bed house and when we moved we got rid of so many things we have amassed over the years, mostly to charity shops (we completely re-stocked the local hospice shop three times over) it was amazingly liberating. Now we have a rule one new thing in, one old thing out - this applies to clothes (gulp), books, furniture etc, in fact any belonging whatsoever. We have stuck to this rule steadfastly which we are both amazed at. Don't think we are minimalist - we are not as we both like our own, familiar "stuff" around us, it is after all what makes home feel like home, but now there are a lot less possessions to find storage for and much, much less for our dear sons to have to sort through when we pop our clogs. Think you have worked wonders with your upstairs bathroom. I await with anticipation your post on the brown suede waistcoat. By the way having just read your post on Beef Wellington, I now see you are not only a fashion guru but also a culinary goddess - I am totally awe struck. Regards Sue H xxx

    1. Oh Susan, you flatterer, you are a delight to read! Yes, how spooky about the death cleaning. I think the concept naturally gets into our heads at "a certain age" but now it's been given a fancy Swedish name. Well, I expect it saves a bit of explanation when others asked what you've been up to lately.
      You did well to downsize, contents as well as rooms, otherwise it gets just plain messy! It's surprising how much money is made from our clutter. When we moved TPs contents from Devon to Sussex we filled a few boxes and gave them to a British Legion co-ordinator friend. Nothing much, just a few boxes of superfluous odds and ends. Next visit we found she'd raised £1400! So just think what you've contributed to your favourite charity by stocking them three-fold!
      Am I a Jacqui of All Trades? Beef Wellington I can create, but I may struggle to perform a quadruple heart bypass :-) !!!
      Your one in-one out discipline is impressing me greatly, BTW, maybe that's my next challenge ...
      Hugs to you, x.

  3. Well friend, you have mastered the art of the cliffhanger! Of course I'm one to speak since I NEVER have done a full post on my kitchen reno. Ugh, looks like I need to make myself a to-do list!

    1. Oh my sweet friend, you are so nice with the compliments. But in so doing, look how you've left yourself exposed with your kitchen cliffhanger. Now I'm going to be nag, nag, nag, until you post the full six-pack kitchen reno post. I feel sorry for you, being on the receiving end of my nagging is not nice, so TP tells me.
      Hugs to you, my faithful Floridian friend, x.

  4. I'm doing what I like to think of as retirement cleaning. Similar but I want to simplify my life. So I resigned from a trusteeship last year and am decluttering sensibly. I'm very pleased we have decluttered the dining room I have to say and I'm determined it's not going to be a dumping ground...again. is the basket for toiletries that contraption under the sink? Our bathrooms don't have cupboards at all. We manage badly so standalone storage is being sought.

    1. Well that's such a good point, AM, it's not just things that need decluttering, it's commitments too and anything that makes our lives more cluttered than they need be. I occasionally ask TP to start with a blank page and write down how he thinks his retirement would look, in a perfect world. The page is still blank. Maybe I should kick-start this by describing mine ... for WHEN I retire!
      You and me both on the bathroom storage/surface challenges. The "basket" I mentioned is the tiny one on the glass shelf. The contraption below is a Lloyd Loom laundry basket from my Gran's house which I upcycled. Now that the bathroom is finally cleared of cuckoo-clutter, I am going to think seriously on surfaces and pretty storage. Let's work together on that one maybe, help each other out a bit?
      Hugs to you, my similar-bathroomed twin! x.

  5. I am not very good on the interior front! I'm just about to make up my own dressing room and have no clue where to start! Your batheroom looks magazine worthy Mary. I love it xx

    1. Oh that's so sweet, Laurie, it's a work in progress but hopefully it'll get to 25 Beautiful Homes by the end of the year! Your dressing room from scratch sounds so exciting. A whole room for clothes and dressing!! Have you lingered around Pinterest? You'd get some great ideas for a pinboard there. Warning - you surface hours later and realise you haven't even brushed your teeth yet!
      Hugs my beauty, x.