Michael and I have always tried to stay light on our feet.
We learnt pretty soon after having our four kids that you have to be careful what you choose to keep and what you throw away, as it doesn’t take long for the clothes, toys and books to pile up against the walls.
Of course, sometimes the best laid plans get the better of you and soon you find yourself cramming clutter away into wardrobes and banishing boxes to the loft where they can be forgotten about until a later date. We had to face our last great moving challenge after leaving our family home in Manchester, USA for our new home across the pond. We thought that we’d been smart, we thought that we were ready to leave, but we were woefully unprepared.
It turned out that the amount of stuff that we had to move was much larger than that we’d initially guessed and choosing what to leave behind was a much harder process that we’d initially expected. After having such a difficult time moving from the US, we both vowed to remain constantly vigilant about any new purchases, so that we would never find ourselves in the same situation again. Remember what I said about ‘best laid plans’?
Sure enough, two years into our new lives here in the UK we’re already looking around for cardboard boxes to tidy the clutter away and the wardrobes are getting worryingly full – we can’t even blame the kids this time around! Thankfully we’ve got much more spare time on our hands than we used to and (always looking to improve ourselves) we thought we could teach ourselves how to live a less cluttered life whilst on our next B&B trip.
We found a professional organiser in Surrey that offered personal appointments and then set about planning a weekend trip in the local area. Besides wanting to change our hoarding habits for the better, we also fancied visiting a traditional pub and visiting a garden park.
We chose to stay at Swallow Barn B&B in Chobham, a lovely little place on the outskirts of the village surrounded by some lovely landscapes. Our hosts were very welcoming and gave us a brief tour of their lovely rural property which included an acre of garden, grazing horses and even an outdoor swimming pool (which we weren’t about to hop in any time soon!). After quickly unpacking we headed out to our appointment with our declutterer. The afternoon was spent learning about the mentality of tidiness and we came away with some really practical advice about how to move forward without burying ourselves in useless stuff.
We rewarded out efforts with a pub lunch at The Four Horsehoes, a pub that had elevated itself above the norm to become a dining room that was truly a cut above the rest. Established in 2013, this very modern take on a pub was just the place for us to refill and prepare for a long afternoon spent walking around Windsor Great Park. Just a short drive away from our B&B, Windsor Great Park offered some spectacular views and was the perfect end to our lovely stay in Surrey.