Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Not Achieved Much This Week

I had hoped to be able to show you the playroom or the rest of the Big Unit. Or even my nice newly decluttered kitchen nightmare spot. These are all the things that were next on my list to do. However, this week has flown by with barely a chance to flick a duster about!

This is what chaos looks like. Yes, my son is wearing a hat and purple gloves inside. What of it? ;)

You might wonder why on earth I am showing you these embarrassing photos of our home in disarray. Well, bloggers, I want to prove to you that this really is a journey for me. None of us here are naturally tidy. We are all bloody messy to the extreme! Our home is clean because although I don't enjoy it, I always do it. However, i just can't learn to see the small messes until they turn into huge catastrophic messes like these!

The worst of all rooms is the hallway. I dump things there when I come in the house and I dump things there that the kids aren't supposed to touch because there is a stair gate stopping them from getting in. I dump things that I mean to take upstairs with me next time I go and I dump things that need to leave the house with us when we go out. It's a general dump, as you can see.

These are the main reason I hate winter. I can tolerate the cold weather and the miserably short, bleak days to an extent, but I cannot stand having washing all over the house 24/7. I used to have a pretty good system, but then we gave the kids a playroom and that meant sacrificing my efficient and very effective inside clothes drying strategy. I really do need a new solution before it drives me mental.

So, let me just fart out the contents of my brain in relation to where i need to go next with this project... In no particular order...

I need to finalise the Big Unit organisation including,
  1. Declutter and organise CD's
  2. Arrange the open shelving so that it doesn't look like the bric a brac shelf in a charity shop
  3. Stop piling things on top of it, it looks horrendous, especially when you look in our front window from the street!
  4. Use the empty spaces - drawers, top left cupboard
The kitchen needs decluttering really badly. The surfaces are so full of junk I have forgotten what the worktops look like.

Arrange the living room furniture so that it doesn't look like a corridor.

Decorate daughter's bedroom pink! :)

Finish the playroom.

Paint the internal doors. It's been forever!

Put some photos in my photo frames. It's not a design statement, it's just lazy.

Do finishing touches in the master bedroom - art on other walls and cushions.

I can have this all done by Christmas, right?!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

I've Been Featured!

I can't tell you how excited I am to have been featured for the first time. Not once, but twice! I swear to you now I was sat right here with my husband next to me and when I saw I let out a massive "YEY!" and both arms shot straight up in the air. Both times. Honestly! My husband wondered what the heck was going on and the kids jumped out of their skins!

So now I get to have "I've Been Featured" buttons! I feel all proper now! I'm going to have them in my sidebar and everything.

Apart from feeling like a real live blogger, those features have validated the work I have done so far. It's such a boost and a wonderful motivator for me to keep going. So thank you so much to Pamela at BeColorful and to Leanne at Organize and Decorate Everything. I am honoured to have been featured by you both, and really, really giddy too!

Organize and Decorate Everything

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Hidden Mini Home Office - In An Ikea Besta Unit

Can you remember Big Unit? Well, we have now moved our home office-y type of things inside it. Like so...

This was born out of necessity really. We used to have a full room for an office space which housed a desk and all of my crafting things. I would craft in there and I would also work from home (before I was made redundant - boo!) Now obviously we don't need the office space for me to work at my now none existent job, and I haven't done any crafting in a looooooong time.

The room which was once the office is currently being cleared out to make way for the kids' things. Sigh. These blinking kids take over don't they?! :) More on that later though. I am sure I will let you know how that transformation goes.

So this is what the inside of this cupboard looked like only a couple of days ago.

AAAAAHHHH!!!! Does that make your eyes itch? It does mine.

The top shelf held some of the kiddos crafting supplies, and the bottom space was home to my husband's gibble. It was never really planned that way particularly. We just needed to put glue up high out of their reach and my dearest husband decided that he needed to put his deodorant on and his contact lenses in while standing at the Big Unit. As you do.

I cleared away all of that stuff and gave the shelves a good old clean. The crafting things are in a box in the old office just waiting to be re-homed somewhere more sensible, and my husband's gear has been stored somewhere more appropriate.

Here's what it looks like now!

Proud as punch I am! Let me go through everything with you.

Starting top left...

These drawers used to sit on my desk for crafting bits and pieces in. I bought them from Wilkinsons. Although I'm pretty sure they don't do these same ones anymore. However, they might do something similar.

Pretty AND functional. I keep my clips, pins, Tippex, date stamp, USB pens and blu take, etc in there. 

I made practical labels for my magazine files (from Ikea - Kassett i think). I had a huge stack of magazines in the cupboard opposite.

So I thinned them down, choosing only magazines dated within the last few months, or those with particular articles or tutorials I am interested in. 

The current projects file contains paperwork for whatever project we happen to be focusing on right now. Then the Address and Birthdays file has my birthdays book, my address book and any greetings cards I have waiting. There is one spare magazine file with nothing in it. I am sure it won't be empty for long though!

To the right of those are a few books and a super cute pen pot.

The pen pot was also from the Wilkinsons Nostalgia range of stationery supplies. I love that whole range, it's so pretty!

Guess where my family organiser calendar was from? Wilkinsons - you got it! Can you tell I love that shop, almost as much as I love Ikea? The calendar doesn't start until January and I need to go through it and add all the important dates, but for now, it just looks cute. I used a calendar hook from Wilkos too and it was really simple to stick on. The instructions said to wait 24 hours before hanging on it, but I got excited and did it right away. It seems to be holding well. 

Okay, so here's the bottom shelf. The "catch all" box is where we throw all those things that you can't be bothered to deal with straight away. Previously everything used to land in two wicker baskets on the open shelving. That was okay, but it was too out in the open. I really need to keep that kind of thing hidden away. No one wants to be confronted by a display of take away menus, till receipts and wires when they come visiting. 

See? No one needs to be seeing that.

As you can see I am not too good at stamping, but I put the wording on here myself none the less. I am telling myself I kinda like the crazy, splodged look... 

The black folder you can see behind the box is where I keep receipts. I dump them all in here out of my purse and out of the catch-all box every now and again. Then periodically I will go through and throw away all the ones I no longer need. Neat!

Lastly, but by no means least. Here is where I keep my spare office folders (punched pockets, presentation folders, etc), my gift wrap supplies (sheet wrap, tags, tissue paper) and my printer supplies (ink, sheet labels, paper). 

And that concludes the tour of our shiny new hidden home office space. I know it's compact, but it works for us right now. 

And because i like em, here's a before and after...

Thanks so much for visiting me! 

I've linked up to these super parties:

Becolorful Sumo's Sweet Stuff My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Organize and Decorate Everything shabby creek cottageThe Shabby Nest

Making the World Cuter - Monday Link Up Party
Debbiedoos - Power of Pinterest Party
We Are That Family - Works For Me Wednesdays
New Nostalgia - Anti Procrastination Tuesdays
A Bowl Full Of Lemons - One Project at a Time
Adorned From Above - Wednesdays Link Party
The Artsygirl Connection - Pinspirational Thursdays
Between U & Me - Crazy Cute Link Party
30 Handmade Days - Friday Pity Party
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating - Flaunt It Friday
French Country Cottage - Feathered Nest Friday
It's a Hodgepodge Life - Hodgepodge Friday
It's Overflowing - Overflowing With Creativity
Positively Splendid - Saturday Seven Party
Too Much Time - Get Schooled Saturday
Lovely Crafty Home - Lovely Crafty Weekend
Funky Junk Interiors - SNS

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Storage Problem - We Have Too Much Of It!!

I know what you're thinking... How can a family of four possibly have too much storage?! Well, it is an integral part of my nature to be pragmatic. Especially when buying furniture. That's why I love Ikea so much! It's cheap, because what's the point in spending lots of money on beautiful furniture pieces that will likely end up crayoned on? But, I also like it because the furniture is so functional. I never buy anything without first considering how much stuff we can hide in it.

Because of this, I have ended up with lots of empty drawers in the living room. Storage in the living room presents a problem anyway, as I can only store things here which are child friendly. My kids are old enough now that I leave them playing in the living room while I cook in the kitchen next door or run some laundry upstairs. We all know how little time it takes for kids to wreak havoc on some fun new "toy" they just found.

I'd really like to store my wrapping and parcel papers in the long drawers of this bureau. Those little drawers would be perfect for pens and tape, and the drop-down section could hold stationery, cards, and things. Can you imagine the fun the kids would have with that?! For now, one drawer keeps our fleece blankets and throws neat, because although it is irritating to have to fold blankets several times a day it's a better option than trying to re-roll paper onto a dented telescope.. erm... megaphone... erm... paper roll.

The wicker baskets in this IKEA Expedit would hold lots of things, but the kids frequently go in there and pull out their contents. So, for now, they just hold bibs, scruffs, mopping up towels and hats and scarves. Half of them are empty and a couple only have one or two things in there.

Expedit number two holds some of the kids' toys. We used to have all their toys in the living room, but we changed that for our sanity. I'll talk about that later.

Lastly, we have the "Big Unit". My relationship with Big Unit is a love/hate one. I love that we can store things up high out of the children's reach and I love that no one can see what clutter lies behind those doors until they open them. I hate it because it is massive and dark and takes over the room. It's also a clutter attractamatron. Everything gets put here. I am working on a solution to that though, which I am pretty excited about.

So my mission of the moment is to streamline the things we have in these cupboards already - I am sure there is a TON that can be relocated or thrown away. Then I will work on finding childproof items to store here which will free up space elsewhere. It may not be ergonomically ideal, but I guess you have to make concessions when you have young kids.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to let me know what you store in your family living room.

I linked up to Furniture Feature Friday
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