If you are like me, hanging on to ‘memories’ is becoming a big problem at home. Boxes of keepsakes, the kids first shoes, shells from the walk on a beach 5 years ago. Yes I have all of those things. My home is a small Victorian terrace, a traditional two up two down. With four people living here, space is at a premium, and those keepsakes, unwanted gifts, outgrown clothes need to go!
So you can picture it; small house, growing kids, too much stuff!
Every couple of month’s I like to go through the house, room by room, and sort through the piles. I am becoming quite strict with myself, using the mantra ‘If it hasn’t been used for the past 4 months, then it’s going’. Ruthlessly sticking to that rule, I have taken bags of items to the charity shop, sold many things on social media and put the rest into storage.
It’s time for me to go round again. It is now Summer, all those Winter things can be stowed away. Large bulky duvets, blankets, thick jumpers and winter boots – all perfectly useable and useful, but not for another six months. These, I have packed up and taken them to the Storage unit.
I must admit I am a storage convert. I used to see it as another place to hoard my stuff, but no. It is a clever use of one’s space. Allowing the home to be a clean, calm and organised. That is the biggest draw – organised. Knowing where everything is. Passports? Birth Certificates? PE kit – all in easy reach. No searching for hours to find things in countless number of draws.
So once you have gone through the piles of belongings, where should you keep the things you need? I’ve recently invested in a couple of Ikea kitchen wall units. White, basic and cheap. Instead of using them for the kitchen, I have repurposed them as floating sideboards in the lounge. Here, all of the boys gaming paraphernalia is hidden away, along with photo albums, laptops and large books. All neat and tidy.
With Summer now here my home has moved into ‘Summer mode’. In the boys bedrooms they can access reference books about the beach, British hedgerows and rock pools. Wetsuits, sandals and of course waterproofs (we are British after all) are in the under stairs cupboard. I have even pulled out our bell tent and all of the camping gear, ready for some festival fun later in the school holidays.
Come September, when the kids are back to school, I’ll go through the house once more, putting the tent, wetsuits and other ‘summery’ things back into storage, and return the warm blankets to the beds. Having the storage has made my life so much easier, I feel on top of things and able to focus on family fun, rather than rummaging and getting flustered when I can’t find things.
Is my home an organised, calm oasis – no way! But it’s better than it was. I still have a long way to go, I don’t think it will ever be fully sorted, but that’s just life as a family.
Littlegreenshed is a lifestyle & travel blog written by Lou Archell, a writer, photographer and mum-of-two. Littlegreenshed features travel & adventure both near and far, botanical inspiration and practical advice on simple living.