Lynn O’Rourke: ‘Little and often – the former should be easy enough’

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I VENTURED out into the garden last week. Not for long, admittedly, but I feel it’s a positive step in the year that I really do mean to do something constructive out there.

I was wielding the bird feed I had just found, which I had bought weeks – possibly even months – ago, and had then put somewhere safe in an uncharacteristic bout of organisation. So, the birds were dealt with, the blown-about buckets and spades and skipping ropes and balls were gathered up again and stashed under the sandpit – had I been able to find the key, they might even have made it to the shed.

I retreated, made a cup of tea and stared out the window, convinced the little improvements had made a difference. I decide this is going to be my new approach to dealing with home organisation – little and often. Clearly the first part of this new mode of operation should be easy enough for me, but I may have to work on the latter. In keeping with my new way of thinking, I stumbled across the January Cure (applicable any month apparently) on the Apartment Therapy blog. Daily tasks are set and, if completed, will result in a more organised home at the end of the month. I have to start by making a list of everything that needs done. I start making mental notes and realise it might take me longer than a month. I might need the whole year.

This week we get the fascinating story behind the construction of a passive house in North Berwick, an airtight building with high insulation levels that results in seriously low energy bills. The results are on page 4. We also hear how a sketch Dairmid Baird had done when he was just 12 years old was at the heart of his self-build project in Dundee years later. You can see how it turned out on page 10. And lighting expert Sally Storey talks us through her own home renovations on page 14. k