Home Front: Space and Storage

BAGSDESK Storage areas and how we use our space are my constant preoccupation now and for a long while to come as we continue to adapt and grow as a family.

Desk Job: where do you open and process your letters? I know we have come a long way and have paperless options for many things plus email has overtaken writing real letters which is sad. I always had a desk from my school days and took it for granted but it got taken over by the home computer when I reached my 20’s so I moved off to the dining table. But it was a pain to have to gather everything up during meal times. Once my kids arrived, it was even more crowded with all their school books, arts and crafts masterpieces, homework and of course 3 lots of any school correspondence. I moved my stuff off to the kitchen table which was smaller. I piled letters/leaflets of interest on a nearby shelf unit. But you know it doesn’t give a good impression when you return letters to teachers with gravy or other cooking/food stains on them! Despite my best efforts, the pile on the shelf unit got higher and higher still. Then I resorted to keeping the post etc that I needed to deal with in my bag … turning it into a wearable filing cabinet. That was when I finally realised things had to change.

So in the new house I wanted to claim back A DESK, one that’s separate from the computer where I have the space to open post, a dustbin, calendar, pens etc.. and a shelf close by to file away papers as necessary. In the reshuffling and reasignment of furniture in the move, it has thankfully worked out for me and right next to it is a smaller desk for the computer. For the record, most of the correspondence is to do with my kids and their schools – permission slips, letters about forthcoming trips, raffle tickets, reports if it’s the season and party invites. It feels my life has been so dominated by education that I still view the end the year as being the Summer and the start of the next from each September!CARDSSorting through old cards from one of the boxes.

I’ve always loved stationery. If WH Smith and Paperchase had loyalty cards when I was young, I’d be one of their best customers! Plus whenever I travelled I liked to add a souvenir notebook or cards. In the decade when I was busy having and rearing children, email was everything and my stationery supply gathered dust in boxes. The main issue was that I had nowhere to put them and they ended up being scattered around the old house: some in my bedroom, the rest in the living room and kitchen. It’s only been in this house that I’ve put them in one place to access. It was so nice to use the notelets and cards to write to let various people know of our new address! And better still they have responded in kind! It would have been quickest to send a group email but this is the thing I mentioned here – I want to take the time to do things now.

Storage, storage, storage! A pet peeve of mine 🙂 In our experience, usually there may not be enough space for large, traditional wardrobes or dressers or shelving anymore. If there are built in cupboards, they sometimes further limit the possibilites of other furniture arrangements so it can be a hindrance instead. Most houses we’ve lived in and viewed didn’t even have a big enough hallway to start with so space had become a pritority for us over the years. At the same time I am conscious about not ‘abusing’ what extra space we do have now and try to use it all as effectively as possible. That means the outside too but that’s a whole other process to go through.CLOSET32014We need somewhere in the hallway to dump the keys etc.. and thought of a narrow table but now will try a simple shelf or even a row of little cupboards to hide the clutter instead. The bonus is that it’s easy to clean the floor below without crashing the vacuum cleaner into the legs. I don’t have space in my bedroom for a dressing table so my lotions, potions and make up are cluttering up the top of drawers where I need to store other stuff. Perhaps with some clever positioning, adding some shelves to my shower room may allow me to free up the space in the bedroom. Can anybody tell me why built in wardrobes never seem to be floor to ceiling? Why must there be a completely useless not mention ugly gap? I mean is there some engineering or other technical reason? Because I cannot imagine it! The same for kitchen cupboard units? It’s just a waste of space gathering dirt. If ever I get a bedroom or kitchen refit, you’ll know my first request 🙂

If the shelves work, I may put some in the spare room and kitchen all along one wall and high up so they’re not in your field of vision unless you’re 8 feet tall of course. In the kitchen, high shelves mean the floor isn’t cluttered, light in the room is not compromised and the stuff will be easier to access – this is also important of course. I’m relunctant to store my own clothes and accessories out of sight because I simply forget what I have. Storing things by season doesn’t really work either for me – at least not for the UK climate because we can sometimes endure several seasons in the same day! Also I prefer for shoes to be in boxes. I haven’t found the solution yet so a lot to be continued

Thanks for reading!


11 thoughts on “Home Front: Space and Storage

    1. silkpathdiary Post author

      Thank you! You know, I’ve always liked shoe boxes – plus I actually don’t want the contents to show because that would look messy to me lol! I did explore the option of clear shoe boxes before and decided against for a couple of reasons, my shoes are so small yet the boxes are standard size to fit much bigger shoes so I could ironically be using up more space plus I have a mix of different styles from thong sandals to ankle to knee boots and wellingtons so I know I’m going to be using original boxes for those larger footwear anyway. I think it would look best to see mostly the same uniform clear boxes. I still like the differences in my boxes though and have to say some of them are really pretty in their own right.

  1. Anne Allen

    Can I suggest the hall table has a drawer so that keys can be thrown in out of sight & can’t mark the table surface.

  2. happyface313

    🙂 OMG, I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about! There is never enough space!
    Once I moved to a 1 room flat when I worked for a couple of months in a different city. I had shelves put everywhere you don’t see them – over the kitchen and the bathroom door that you’ll only see when inside, where towels, toilet paper etc. could be stored. Yes, you’ll need a tiny ladder (like me, I’m not very tall either), but that does help.
    Now the Mr. and I each have tiny “walk in closets” and we had shelves put in there from floor to ceiling, so that we can get everything out of the way. However, there’s still not enough space, plus we need extra space for all the PAPER that accumulates day after day. I too, am looking for a small desk, where I can sit down and write and leave my things if I’m not finished before dinner…
    HAPPY Sunday and good luck with your sorting 🙂 xo

    1. silkpathdiary Post author

      Thank you! I have my own personal stool in every room lol! I have a friend who is even shorter than me – I know can – you believe it – she has to have one even in the kitchen to cook – now THAT would annoy me. I’m so glad you found the high shelves a good solution! It means I’m on the right track.
      But yes, paper everywhere – I have to be so ruthless now and making more use of the dustbin as a file!
      Good luck with a little desk of your own – it’s essential 🙂

  3. gk

    I’m obsessed with clutter and organising and I share your frustration at cupboards and wardrobes not reaching the ceiling. I think unless you have custom installed cupboards, they come in standard sizes so we are stuck with the gap near the ceiling, but baskets can make attractive storage options for less often used items up on top (plus a step stool to reach them!).
    In a previous home, we had a very narrow entrance and we ended up installing Ikea medicine cupboards (very narrow ,glass fronted and modern) on the wall and they worked really well for keeping things stored and accessible.
    It’s really nice to carve out space for yourself isn’t it? Even just a desk and some drawers makes a big difference in terms of feeling organised.

    1. silkpathdiary Post author

      Thank you! Very helpful information – thank you! I think I will have to resort to some pretty baskets for the gaps because they’re accessible also maybe clear boxes too. This will also work on the high shelves in the spare room. I think the medicine cabinet is the best solution for my shower room for function and looks (unfussy). I could still have shelves above and/or below.

  4. gk

    Forgot to add – clear plastic shoes boxes stack really nicely and make it easy to find what you are looking for (I don’t like out of sight storage either!). And hooks! Hooks everywhere are my solution to most everything.
    I like the way your handbags look hung on the chair and hooks over your doors or in your wardrobe would serve the same.
    Btw, your new blog design looks really nice!

    1. silkpathdiary Post author

      I think if I had more space or rather less shoes the plastic boxes could work but currently as I replied to PAPP above, it would take up more space and not look uniform enough. Fortunately there were a lot of hooks already so made use of them straight away! I will have the bags I’m currently using on rotation slung on the back of the chair or on my table and it’s nice to be able to appreciate them almost as decoration like that as well.
      Glad you like the new look blog – thank you! Was long overdue and still tweaking ….

  5. Pingback: Home Front: Space and Storage Part II | Silk Path Diary

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