What to do with things that drive you insane and a little peek at my new loft space

A few weeks ago I shared 4 things I do to keep me sane through the busy-ness of life as a self-employed, full time mother of 3 homemaker. This time I thought I would share the opposite: things that drive me insane and what I do to manage them…

1. Cleaning

When I was a couple of months pregnant with my second child and also had a 5 month old at the same time {!} I found the perfect excuse and reason to convince my husband to have a cleaner: I could no longer cart the hoover up the stairs. I have never looked back since then. So my tip is to outsource, especially if you hate cleaning; outsourcing takes the stress away!

The paradox of having a messy home with kids is that everything is within reach and at the same time you just cannot find anything. Funny but true.

london family photographer home interior design abstract painting lily sawyer photo

Seriously, in terms of getting the house looking tidy and clean in-between proper cleans, the trick is keeping the floor litter-free. There is something about a clear, tidy floor that makes us think all other clutter is superficial and short-term – even if they are not.

My 3 kids went from sharing a tiny bedroom – where the bunk bed hogged the space and I could hardly see the floor from all their clutter – to having their own bedrooms {yes!} now that we have converted our loft. Suddenly it feels like we can breathe. I could see the floor. The rooms are habitable. And I am more motivated to keep the house tidy. The real challenge is how to get the kids to do it themselves…

london family photographer home interior design abstract painting lily sawyer photo

Check out this very helpful link that offer some super cool strategies on how to get kids to tidy up their bedrooms in 10 minutes

2. Clutter and piles of paper

Often I feel like I’m drowning in paper – literally. Not just the piles of junk, bills and letters {often not ours!} that come through the door, my kids come home with some school letter most days. And three being 3 of them, I get 3 copies each time. These papers get dumped on my desk already piled up with paperwork.

A quick rummage through my desk reveals my crazy life: a bit of sandpaper, half-chewed chocolate m&m, unsharpened pencils, pens that no longer work, a plastic sleeping beauty {or is it cinderella? whoever is the pink princess}, hairbands, a strip of lace, a few sweet “I love you” notes form my eldest daughter,  tea bags, stickers, headphones, measuring tape, green metallic colour silicone stretchy lizard with forearms cut off, nail polish… exactly why I need number 1.

So what do I do about this? I have some closed cupboards where I stuff unsightly things in. It is literally jampacked with indescribable miscellany, I often tremble at the thought of opening them!   But I also have open shelving and areas where I display some “intentional” clutter arranged into nice vignettes to give the feeling of a home lived-in.

london family photographer home interior design abstract painting lily sawyer photo

3. Cold floors

No no no not good especially in winter. But carpets are equally not great as they are dust hoarding monsters if not hoovered regularly. If someone is allergic to dust mites in your home then it is so much better not to have wall to wall carpets if you have the choice. Apart from the stairs and landing in our house which are carpeted and our kitchen with cold black slate with no underfloor heating, everywhere else in the house has laminate flooring.

london family photographer home interior design abstract painting lily sawyer photo

The solution: rugs skimming the floor. Admittedly this has not been easy for me…I have struggled finding the right ones but I keep trying. I like woven rugs and I heart sheepskin. Layering sheepskin on top of rugs makes the room feel so cosy.

4. As this list has turned out to be an alliteration of Cs, I might as well end it with a fourth C: Conflict

I really hate arguments and shouty conflicts. My kids seem to bicker a lot since they have reached school age and there is much arbitrating to do and daily managing their battles. Most of these are very petty little things. I guess these are what siblings do. Don’t get me wrong – we do have peaceful and happy times! During times of conflict, I keep having to learn to pick my battles, always trying to be fair and firm and being as passionate about showing outward affection as committed to disciplining in love. Parenting is tough. The irony is that I sometimes end up shouting at them to stop their bickering and fighting. What a vicious cycle and it stresses me out.

london family photographer home interior design abstract painting lily sawyer photo

So how do I deal with this conflict? I’m not sure I’m dealing with it very well because I would rather have it stop immediately than hearing everything and everyone out especially when the issues are all so petty.

The good news is, that now they have their own bedrooms, they now have somewhere to go to for time-outs when they don’t have to speak to or see each other for half an hour or so.  And if I keep their rooms peaceful, calm and welcoming, it helps them simmer down quickly and takes their minds off whatever the issue was. I find they then start playing with their toys, reading their books, enjoying their own space and soon enough they regain their joy and happiness ready to be together again….

london family photographer home interior design abstract painting lily sawyer photo

Life. So many seemingly petty things that can have such huge impact on our emotions and state of being.

So there you have it, 4 things that drive me nuts and how I deal with them {or not} and little peeks of some of our loft space.

Do comment or make suggestions if you have some. Helpful ones would be much appreciated!

↑ Back to the top of the article ↑