Clear out

I think the experience of emptying out the kitchen wardrobe may have gone to my head. It was really incredibly soothing to find I could empty an entire piece of furniture into the house, and then dispose of it (it sold on ebay today! I’m hoping the winner will come and take it off my hands in a matter of days) and find I could create space, seemingly out of nothing. Like when you arrive home after Christmas with a car full of luggage and presents, then put all the things you’ve gained into their proper places, the suitcases and bags are finally empty, and the house seems to sigh a little breath of relief.

So I turned my attention to an offending corner of our front room.

The offending corner of our front roomThere we have it. There are several problems with the current set-up. One being that the lower shelves of the bookcase are totally inaccessible. One being the fact that our bin lives on top of the Trofast Ikea storage unit. It moved up there one day when India was newly mobile and I came into the front room to find she’d found the bin, and tipped it over, and was chewing something from it happily. But the main problem is because the bookshelves are so hard to get to, the girls climb up the sofa, stand on the arm precariously, and leaf through the available books to choose one they want. They do this in spite of my having created a floor level book basket, the contents of which I vet and rotate. Nope. No interest. Straight onto the sofa arm for my budding gymnasts.

So I turned my eye to the Trofast and decided that something had to go, and it would be first. Stupidly, I had this thought before I’d even contemplated blogging about it. So you can quite clearly see in this picture that the drawers are empty. But you’ll have to believe me when I say that they were full of stuff. Nappies, mis-matched pyjamas, swim nappies, about three different types of nappy cream. All sorts. But I was unafraid. The girls were romping the garden. Oli was mowing the lawn. I saw my window of opportunity, rolled up my sleeves, and got stuck in.

And here is all the stuff I cleared out. One carrier bag of stuff for Rosa’s room, one for India’s room, and some random other items that will go elsewhere. Note, if you will, the three ‘nearly empty’ bottle of Oilatum. Because obviously, when you nearly reach the end of a bottle or tube, the sensible thing is to move on to the full one….

But that is as nothing compared to the ‘nappy change / post bath stuff’ basket that I pared this little lot down to…

Yup, that’s it. From that entire Trofast unit down to this little basket (I do love baskets) which can live in our dresser. I decided early on that really all we needed was a small amount of nappy change paraphernalia, and everything else could go elsewhere. I won’t try to describe my feelings when I edited more than two carrier bags’ worth of things down to this, but you will have to believe me when I say that for a moment my troubled soul was very VERY soothed.

Which leaves us here. The Trofast (so handy! So cheap! And yet…. not really very attractive looking) has been consigned to the basement where its utilitarian capaciousness will be turned to organising our DIY stuff. The bin – controversially – has been moved to the floor. It is still entirely possible that India will try to eat and/or play with whatever is in it, but I suppose we will have to brazen it out, just like we do with the Christmas tree every year. (We’ve always had a Christmas tree, and I’ve always put one up no matter how mobile and curious and strong the girls were, just because I believed we should have one, and believed – against all available evidence – that I could keep it upright and the decorations intact simply by force of will. It has kind of worked so far. But there’s always next year….)

It’s not really an after picture, as you can see several problems remaining. The principal of which is the bookcase itself, which was one of Oli and my first purchases when we moved in together. It was the cheapest bookcase we could find, and appears to be fashioned of wood-effect corrugated cardboard, held together with staples. It needs to go. And that pile of magazines and sticker books on top needs throwing away editing. My plan is to get a bookcase for the alcove on the other side of the chimney breast, which means all the children’s books can go in there, leaving me with a question mark about what goes here long-term. I will still need some storage for board games, and puzzles, and etc. And frankly I am a believer in future-proofing storage, which is to say you should always wherever possible buy a bit more than you need, partly in case you carry on getting more stuff (just, say) and partly so that you can arrange what you do have in a relaxed and pleasing manner, rather than shoving it all in tightly and getting stressed about it.

We can move the sofa over a bit more to the left than it is here, which gives us a few more options. So I was wondering about some kind of coffee table with storage underneath? Something a bit like this, maybe? Not the most beautiful thing, but look at the storage potential! I have been admiring the ottomans with storage inside them at Young House Love, and wondering if this might be the answer? Who knows. I will ponder it. For the moment, though, the Trofast is outoutout, and I am feeling wonderfully soothed. Not bad for half an hour’s work.

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4 Responses to Clear out

  1. Matt says:

    This is brilliant, we have the Trofast as well, sat in an ungainly position in the lounge. I wish we could build up the courage to have a rummage through it!

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  3. Parsley says:

    I love looking in other peeps houses via blog!

    • rachel says:

      Thanks Parsley – me too! (I sometimes worry that I only blog because I am so nosey about other people’s houses, and want to encourage them to carry on sharing their stuff…)