Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Tuesday 12 February 2013

A very satisfying morning's work

One thing about the return of a bit of sunlight - it does show up the dirt and the dust...!

Looking around yesterday morning I realised our sitting room - the heart of our home - was looking more than a little dusty and cluttered.


The throws were all crumpled, the cushions needed de furring ( we have cats!)and a fine film of dust ( well mainly fine woodash) covered most surfaces. A woodburner is a lovely thing to have but it does cause a small amount of mess :-)

And as for the table end of the room - well you can tell I have been busy with crochet and sewing for the last few weeks!  I can't actually see much of the table surface as there is so much stuff on it! Added to my clutter were books and papers and pencils and writing and crafts of Compostman's and Compostgirl's - all largely left where last used and you can see it was getting a bit - well - cluttered.

It all showed that we three have been inside a lot more than normal and have left a lot of stuff around.

Now, I really am not bothered by a bit of surface mess, in fact I think it shows we are all a creative lot, both with "things" and with our time, but when I can't actually even put down a mug of coffee becasue there is so much stuff on the table - it is time to do something about it.

So - the throws and cushions came off the sofa - and the sofa was moved out from the wall. The rug was rolled up and put outside for a shake and then a vaccumn.

I cleaned all three windows and took all the plants and ornaments off the window sill and cleaned them and the sill. I use a water/vinegar spray for the windows and a microfibre cloth for polishing them clean. The sills were damp mopped with a home made cotton flannel cloth ( very old and worn out  t shirts or sheets are ideal for this!)  and hot water with a few drops of lavender essential oil. I use this for most wiping down type  jobs, where soap is not needed, and also for a final rinse.

I dead headed and watered all the plants -some went into the polytunnel for re potting and some were moved to other places in the house.

I removed all the items from the surfaces of all the furnature and dusted it all with a just damp, cotton flannel cloth.  I then gave all the wood a  good polish with beeswax polish and buffed it all to a shine. I use different cotton cloths for polishing and cleaning jobs and yes! They are colour coded to show what they are used for :-).

Having put back what I wanted, and put away other stuff where it lives (and had a bit of a declutter into the charity shop box/recycle box/bin as well) I gave all the throws a good shake outside - put them in the wash and put clean ones on the sofas - I vaccummned the cushions and then the floor.

Having got the floor clear of "stuff" I then moved the furnature around so I could wash the wooden floor - I used a small amount of linseed floor soap for the washing followed by a clean rinse (water with a few drops of lavender essential oil) to do a final damp mop.

The final job (after the floor dried) was to tackle the table...

From this...

to this

And this is the other end of the room after cleaning up.

That is a lot better! I sat and had a cup of tea and enjoyed the cleanliness - it won't last long but it did look nice at the time :-)

I even de cluttered my handbag and had a clear out of old reciepts and stuff while I drank my tea.


  1. Gosh...you earnt that cup of tea :-)

    A job well done.

    Sue xx

  2. There is something energising about a deep clean and a lovely fresh feeling to everywhere when you have finished.

  3. It didn't last long ( the cats came in trekking mud paw prints over the floor) but yes it felt good for a while!

  4. Looks good. It's a shame that these 'tidy ups' don't last but I agree with you that a bit of mess shows that the home is being used.
    Love from Mum

  5. That was a LOT of work! Good for you...

  6. Funny you mentioned that about the cats - HRH did that exact same thing last night after I'd cleaned the bathroom!
    I'm trying to work round to the idea of keeping on top of the tidying so that just ten minutes here and there does the trick. It's an uphill struggle though!


Hello! Thank you for reading my blog and for commenting. I try to reply as quickly as I can and I really appreciate your interest in my life and doings here in The Compost Bin.