La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France at the time. We chose it while on the road, moving house the first time round, from Ireland to France with 2 dogs and 7 cats in the car.
This blog began its insignificant life as a recipe book for friends and family who would ask me repeatedly for a recipe of this, that and the other.
Since then it has taken many different directions, like we did and like gypsies tend to do. Sometimes making a U-turn and revisiting familiar roads and taking a break when necessary.
You'll find recipes here, but also musings about the places we've called home, the gardens that we've established, not always successfully, the homes we've improved and the environments we've lived in. Currently, after yet another stint in Ireland, we're back in France @ Le Mas d'Ayen

Monday, October 03, 2016

Little by Little...

And I mean very little by very little, I am organising (or trying to) the house from top to bottom.
After living in this house for 3.5 years it is time, isn't it ?
You move into a house that is actually not suited to your lifestyle (and clutter) and you dump all your belongings wherever you find a place. Then after building an extension onto the original house you get so used to things being stored in the wrong drawer, cupboard, wardrobe, room, which inevitably leads to days spent looking for this or that. 
But it has been niggling me for so long, I can't stand it any more. Thus, I made plans (in my head) to tackle one drawer at a time, one cupboard, one chest freezer....

I started with the medicine cabinet. They were stored in one of the original (deep) kitchen cabinets that now resides in the pantry. Too deep to find the things in the back and generally often used items ending up in the front to the extent that when you opened the door the lot would fall out. Bert I'm looking at you !
We have installed wall cabinets above the freezers and one of them is now the medicine cabinet.

It has made such a difference already, it is hard to imagine. And such a little thing.
All the meds for the pets are now also separate. No more rummaging through everything to get to a paracetamol for a splitting headache (not that I have many of these, luckily).
The wall cabinets above two chest freezers in the pantry. Note to self : paint walls.

Staying with the pantry, I've concocted a system for storing the eggs.

I found a sturdy piece of cardboard and glued  egg boxes onto it. First I cut away the lids of the boxes 

The eggs are pencil marked with the date and we fill from the left at the back and keep going, always from left to right.

Empty egg cartons are stored just above, where the medicines used to be.

We have 3 chest freezers, 2 in the pantry and one in the center of Bert's office.
They also got a sorting through (read, emptying and filling). One of them is now for pork, another for chicken, lamb and other meat. The third one is for vegetables, ready meals (homemade, of course) soups, cheese, .....

The kitchen was from the start reasonably well organised. The only thorn being the drawer with plastic containers. We found another unopened box in the attic which said plastic containers, still unpacked after more than 3 years. 

So far, so good. It's been tidy for several weeks now. I love those yoghurt pots. They are ideal for freezing soups and whatnot.

Something I did, before I received my surprise sewing machine was organise the sewing boxes.

 I just can't resist temptation when I shop at Lidl's and there are sewing materials on special offer.

It won't stay this tidy forever, I know, but it will for a while at least.

Have you organising tips to share, bar getting rid of all your stuff  ? I'd love to hear from you.

Patricia xxx...x


  1. I have no tips but I am slowly doing the same, declutter and organising better. Yours is look good.

    1. We've had a good declutter before we moved here. A lot of 'good stuff' that I wanted to keep has gone to recycle and dump.
      I don't believe I am a hoarder (although my mother would disagree), but living out here in the sticks there is always a use for anything and everything.
      Anyway, we are not part of the throw-away club. Lol.

  2. If only...! This reminds me of my days at boarding-school, followed by the Army. Everything had to be Just So.

    1. Boarding school and army is a bit too much organisation for me. I still like to feel comfortable and let's face it, a home is for living. :)

  3. if its plastics like saved take away cartons that we havent used for since we moved a year and a half ago, still in an un opened box in the garage *clears throat*, its going to the dump. Later this week. I doubt we will stay in this house, it has become too big. I refuse to give mental head room to these things any more.

    Saying that, I thought I was going to have to hunt high and low for a new mirror 40cm x 4ocm. In our last house the people had a mirror and shaving light/socket in the middle of the kitchen?!? When looking for a hook for the back of a door, I found it in the garage (are you noticing a pattern here? everything is in the garage?). And would you believe it, it is exactly the right size. Just saved myself at least £30!!! not to be sniffed at.

    hope you are having nice weather!!!

    1. There you go ! You have your own little shop in the garage ! Lol. And everything is for free.
      Yes, we have lovely weather. But not today. It is hosing it down and the wind is mental. xxx...x

  4. It's looking very organised. You've done a great job. I'm trying to get the other half on board with a good tidy and clear out but it's proving a little difficult. X

    1. It's difficult when the other half isn't on the same page at the same time as yourself. I'm just doing mine and the general house stuff.
      Bert is quite good at organising his own office and tool shed (most of the time). xxx...x

  5. Hi's my first time to your blog and I'm so amazed and impressed with your organized way. Although this post has put me into shame, but as they say, it's never too late...I can still make it for I have learned and seen how you organized your freezer and the egg inventory! the idea of freezing dough...You're a genius. Thanks for sharing this on your blog:) Count me as one appreciative reader:)

    1. Thank you so much for visiting and leaving a comment, Annie's Journal !
      I don't want to burst your bubble, but I have to be honest here. I am not a genius really. I've only recently discovered the convenience of frozen pizza dough (homemade) myself and I must say : It works a treat !
      The other thing is, I'd like to be very organised, but I'm not. I live my life fully, surrounded by clutter until I've had enough. Then I have an organising spree and keep it that way for a while till I've forgotten the pain of the process and the cycle of living and organising continues.
      We have pork from our own pigs and it is all vacuum packed. Very large freezer bags are then used to contain for example only sausages, or chops, bacon.... These bags are closed with an easy to open and close clip. It makes finding food a lot easier. :)


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