DIY or die

I've tasked myself with a project for autumn and winter 2013  - to make my living space a more calm place than it currently is.

We live in a 2-bedroomed London flat and have enough stuff for a 2-bedroomed house. You do the maths, it's going to be a disaster zone, right? RIGHT. My place is waaaaaay too full, there's not even room to swing a new-born kitten, never mind the proverbial full-grown adult cat.

So when autumn started rolling in, I made the decision to not only deep-clean the place, but go through each room individually, clear out the stuff that hasn't been touched in the 10 years since purchasing the property, get the tape measure out and start considering clever storage solutions for our 2-bedroomed paradise.

On limited space, you learn to be very clever with your storage or forever live in clutter. I cannot live in clutter for very long, it makes me twitch. I know how Mrs. Hudson must have felt every time she walked into 221B. Sorry Sherlock, but your shit would not sit well with me. I need order. I need things to have a home. I need clear kitchen surfaces for kitchen adventures, books tidied onto shelves. One of my previous managers used to have an office like something out of a Conan-Doyle book; we referred it as orgasnised chaos. It looked like hell but she always knew exactly where everything was when she needed it.

Don't touch, Mrs Hudson! Everything is in its proper place, as per usual.

Obviously my free time is limited (Spend every weekend at home being domesticated? Are you kidding? When would I go out with the girls, drink beer and eat cake?) so I attacked this project on a 'one weekend on, one weekend off' approach. Therefore I was going to do things as efficiently (and if I'm really honest, with as little effort) as possible.

I've also been throwing my money at Ikea. I've bought new storage for my bedroom, living room and most importantly - my kitchen. My kitchen really is the focus of my affection right now, it needs some love and I want to make it so beautiful. I've pulled out the contents of every cupboard and rearranged it, incorporating my new storage into making it a better place to be.

It's funny how small things make a massive difference. I bought a metal frame shoe rack and put a basket on it (originally given as a gift from a friend full of food, it was a brunch wedding basket) and decided to throw all my spare bits of 'around the house stuff' in there. It looks pretty and I can fill the shelf underneath with cleaning stuff.

I also bought this shelving unit for a thrifty £10.

It's not to everyone's tastes, I quite like exposed metal in a kitchen, it feels professional chef-ish. Anyway, it's extra storage for many things (the massive basket on the top is cookie cutters, cupcake cases and icing kits - in my next life I'm coming back as an artisan baker!) and has allowed me to give my cupboards some more breathing space. If I hate it in a week I'm going to cover it in Washi tape. :)

The upshot of this is is that my kitchen side is now totally free. Maybe I should get on with some of that artisan baking now.

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