About the Author
I’m a 35 year Project Manager; organizer, and crafty individual living in Didsbury village with her boyfriend and cat Molly.
With complete honesty this site came about from my personal planning obsession. I am very organised person. I naturally spend my time planning; organizing and finding a home for everything. I’m also a Project Manager in my professional life so thankfully someone pays me to be organised. In my home life I’m not quite as controlled but I have built up over the years a of catalog of ‘lists’ I always go back to. These lists are everything I plan and do. It’s a mix of the practical including how to find a solicitor through to a slightly whimsical elderflower champagne brewing recipe. After a few requests from family and friends for certain recipes or a share of my plan on ‘How to throw a baby shower’ I decided one day that I’d try and put all these items together as a type of ‘How to guide’.
From being a very young girl I started the process of cataloging. I watched cooking shows and wrote down my favourite things to eat in my diary. I watched my dad plant vegetables in the garden and kept packets of seeds, scribbling on the back of the packet what he did with them. I will point out that at this point that I didn’t do any cooking or gardening but was just fascinated and jotted down ‘the how’ in case I ever got chance to do it. Today I continue this cataloging and organising. In their physical form these are handwritten recipe books with torn out magazine cuttings; digital planning spreadsheets I can access anywhere and television recorded shows with instructions on how to do just about anything.
The main difference today is that as an adult I now have the freedom and more importantly the funds to execute any plans I wish to. I can often be found pouring lemon scented wax into homemade candle holders because I’d recently come across a candle I wanted to replicate or I’m teaching myself how to make Spanish meatballs from the internet. I research through many mediums including the internet; family and magazines. The digital content available now is limitless but also unstable. I have previously been upset searching for a recipe used before only to find the content no longer available. I now regularly store everything I use. I annotate my findings in spreadsheets or even ‘post it note’ form. I want to remember how I did something and what I found during the process.
Throughout my life I’ve had fixed records such as an address book. As a teenager this was a physical book but then as digital technology came along this became a mobile phone register and now a ‘Gmail’ directory. With a similar method I had a paper book I kept my bank account in and now I have a spreadsheet that has every bill I need to pay, that tells me how much left I have to spend on wine a month. My annual Christmas shopping list; log of my weight for my various slimming classes and holiday packing list all came down the same digital journey with me. In my professional life I build and execute plans so when I was asked to plan a “Bastille Day Party” or my friend’s wedding, my plan format and methods were the only easy way to execute it. I have included these within my catalog over time.
For Christmas last year a friend thought I’d really enjoy ‘Mrs Beeton’s Household Management’ by Isabella Beeton. The book is a catalog. It’s a ‘how to’ guide originally released in article printed form but it reminded me of my plans.
One of the main thing Isabella Beeton is criticized for is not creating unique content herself but cataloging the content of others; trialing them (in most cases) and documenting them. This is exactly what I do. I am not a professional chef; gardener, lawyer, crafter or any other trade that executes what I attempt to do in an amateur fashion. I am however a professional organizer. Therefore, I want to thank every professional; non-professional, friend or family member that inspired me to write my catalog. They are extensive and in lots of cases I don’t even remember the original source. I believe the roast potato tip came from Nigella Lawson and I’ve been heavily influenced by crafters such as Kirstie Allsop or Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s ‘River Cottage’. Thank you to everyone who had even the smallest of influence.
I should also note that there are topics or categories of life you may think I’ve missed out and I have. I have for example, no children so you won’t find a section on how to clean fabric nappies but I hope you’ll forgive me as I’ve not yet had need to catalog that. Maybe one day I will..