Styled vs Reality

After my post in January on feeling the blues, I’ve been trying to take stock and figure out the things that stress me out and I’ve been taking tiny steps to eliminate the triggers from my life, or find ways to deal with them if they won’t simply go away.

Huge thanks to everyone who sent me messages, commented and shared my January Blues post, it was the second most read post on my blog so I think it really struck a chord.   It meant so much to know that I’m not alone, cant tell you how much the support helped. The biggest comment was about social media and how it skews our view on reality. So I’m trying to make my posts a little more real from now on.

A few thing that get to me.
1. Housework
2. My hoarding
3. Perfect lives of others
4. Lack of time to look after myself

As I’m incapable of asking for help I realised there’s only me that can do something about all of the above, so I’m really trying to pull myself out of the hole I seem to get myself in every year. It’s taken until the end of February to feel like I’m getting somewhere.

Problem: I never understood how people had a clean house, full time job, family and seem to be in full control of everything. I never had the house clean all at the same time, I would do a room at a time when I could fit it in. #busyfool

Solution: I’m my own boss right? So I’ve given myself every Wednesday off to do the things other people seem to do so easily. I clean the house all in one go. I also now don’t start work until 9.30 every day and spend half an hour just picking up socks, folding blankets, quick hoover and emptying the dishwasher. I’ve actually had a clean house now for 5 weeks in a row, it’s a bloody miracle!

Problem: This is maybe the hardest one and causes the most arguments in our house. Every upcycler knows you need to keep broken and unwanted things ‘just incase’. I’ve actually lost a whole room in our home to clutter so it’s time to reclaim the Room of Doom. I could have a whole craft room!

there’s a desk under there

Solution: I spotted a post on instagram about giving up clutter for lent so thats what I’ve done. I started the #40bagsin40days challenge. One bag a day seems doable and so far so good. I’ve cleared out my wardrobe and drawers, made a start on my sons wardrobe, sorted the kitchen pantry, and so far I’ve managed a bag a day – let’s hope I can keep it up until Easter.IMG_1028.jpg

Perfect lives of others
Problem: We’re all guilty of this – everyone else’s life is perfect, they have the perfect family, homes to die for, amazing work life balance… Wrong. Nobody has the perfect life, but we’re all guilty of posting the highlights and sharing the things we want people to see to portray our best selves.
Solution: I also started the #myhousethismonth challenge over on instagram and while doing this I made the decision to share the real life side to my home too. Here are some of my #StyledVsReality posts, I’m going to keep this up as it’s really helping me and hopefully helping others to realise we all live busy lives and its ok to not live in a show home.

hiding things out of shot

the reality of sunday mornings

magazine shoot and the real life of running a business

cropping in to show the best bits

magazine shot – real life tea making corner

gorgeous blankets versus washing day

Lack of time to look after myself
Problem: It’s hard running two businesses, keeping up with the social media that is part of my business, running a family, running a house, keeping up with family and friends, it’s really hard.
Solution: On my new day off I’m also trying to look after me. I’m trying to not feel guilty about reading a book, getting my nails done, meeting friends for coffee. Once the house is clean I’m looking after me. I’ve also started a mini exercise routine on a morning with my son. Working from home for three years hasn’t helped my waistline! So each morning me and my son do a few exercises before breakfast. It may not be much and may not help lose weight or tone up but it’s getting me into a routine and I think that’s really helping. I can also now do a 70 second plank!

Follow me on instagram for more #styledvsreality posts and watch me try to keep sane in the manic world we live in.

Thanks for reading

9 thoughts on “Styled vs Reality

  1. I’ve enjoyed your style vs reality posts on Instagram. I’m guilty of cropping out the messy bits, you’ll notice my Insta feed has a lot of close up crops!
    The only time I have a completely tidy house is when we have guests at Christmas and even then, our bedroom is still messy. Downstairs gets a good clean once a week before friends come over, and anything else I manage to do is a bonus. My friend has an immaculate house, it was always so clean, what she didn’t tell me or anyone else was that she had a cleaner go in twice a week! Believe me, everyone is just as messy when no one is looking.
    I love the idea of the bag a day declutter challenge, I’m not too bad with clutter but it’s amazing the amount of thiings I find when I really go looking.
    Well done for making time for yourself, it’s so important – much more important than a tidy house!

    1. I’m not sure I ever used to have a clean house all at once. I would clean the rooms that people would go in if I had friends round. But shove all the mess in cupboards and other rooms! Now I’ve allowed myself to have one day a week off I’m using the time to clean the house. My stress levels have reduced loads. I still hate cleaning and I’m not the best at it, but I feel much better for keeping on top of it and I don’t feel guilty for taking time out for myself if the house is tidy. x

  2. Love this Cheryl! I’m with you on most things. I think tidy house, tidy mind. Cleaning makes me happy! and I can’t believe it’s taken you this long to declutter. I am a massive non-hoarder. I throw everything away. Once thing that was really theraputic for me the other week was opening the dresser where we keep all the kids ‘artwork’ from school. You literally had to force the door shut to put stuff in. We sat down with the kids and chose the ‘best things’ which they liked doing. chucked all the pics that were literally one line of scribble and put the rest in files (one file each) now they’re all neatly stored and it was lovely going through the cupboard and looking back on the past 7 / 4 years of art attacks! now the dresser is a craft cupboard for all of the craft materials so they can make more……..oh

    1. I’m the exact opposite, as an upcycler I keep everything ‘just incase’ I can use it to make something else. I have panic attacks when I think about decluttering and clearing the house so doing the bag a day challenge is helping as its just something little every day which doesnt seem to bad. Chris has to take things out of the house once I’ve cleared though incase I get cold feet and keep it all!

      Cleaning doesn’t make me happy, I still hate it but now I’m on top of the housework I don’t feel so guilty when I take time out for myself.

      Love the idea of getting the kids to help with their artwork though, that’s a huge thing in our house too, I’m going to do this at the weekend. Good tip thanks! x

  3. Ahah this is so true!! Every time I’m getting a really stylish picture I now take a backstage one just so people can see what’s around ^^

  4. I’m clearly late to this post but really love the essence of it. I think sincerity / reality and just being our true selves is seriously lacking in the current culture. And most of us are now literally worshipping an image!

    A year ago I rented a normally unfurnished house but the first decluttering task was to slowly sell off / give away or chuck all the previous tenants unwanted left behind furniture. I also upcycle furniture for sale so tend to keep lots of things that I never touch but seem to move with me from house to house. Paperwork (tax receipts, interiors & fashion cuttings, colour charts, old used up notebooks), clothes (that I can no longer fit into but obviously keeping for that day in the next 5 years when I finally lose weight and go back to a size 12), craft items and broken objects (e.g. jewellery, lamps, buckles, fixings etc that I might be able to use for “something'”) were my biggest bugbears. And then when our landlord did damp-proofing to the house in Feb and then refurbed the kitchen in May, it left a bunch of materials and appliances that needed ditching as well as a lot of post-building cleaning to do before I could even start to put my stuff back. It was a right nightmare. I would move from room to room and see clutter, brown cardboard boxes and piles of things that had to be sorted out and felt really down. Then one day I just got so revolted about the situation that I stayed up till about 6am to get it done (starting with the notebooks) and was willing to even bin ‘useful’ stuff that I didn’t need just to be free. Anyway, I’ve finally done the bulk of clearance now – gave stuff, sold stuff and threw a little. And I tell you the feeling – pure joy – is unbeatable. I like to see floor space and I feel so good already that it motivates me to keep going. Literally, the more I get rid of the better I feel. It’s like a rush – so I keep asking myself, what else can I get rid of. I aspire to being a homely minimalist with artwork, rugs and cushions to stop the place looking sterile. Less stuff, best quality. The only big & horrible task now (saved for last of course) is the paperwork & files – to scan and bin everything. Then on to the digital and email filing. Aaaah. The aftermath will be pure joy. And once I reach it, I will NEVER again allow myself to be surrounded by clutter. It really is a mood changer. Thank you for keeping it real!! 🙂

    1. Hi Esther, Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to reply. I’m inspired by your decluttering! I’ve just about hit the point of no return in my house and need to make changes quickly before the house caves in! Once the school holidays are over its my mission to sort out my spare room first of all and reclaim it as a spare bedroom rather than a dumping ground. I’ll be posting my finished room once I get it done!

      Thanks again
      Cheryl xx

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