Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Getting Organised: Under the Stairs

As I mentioned in this post last week, storage is a major problem in our household. It's a great house, especially as we rent on quite a tight budget for our area, we have a good amount of living space (you should have seen our previous house!). So we're really happy here, but there isn't really anywhere to store stuff. Which is why those dead areas like under the stairs are really important - but all too often they become dumping grounds! Like this:  
I actually started clearing this space before I thought to take a photo so this is better than it was!
But my mum created a cardboard box playhouse for Ruby, which was the perfect motivation for having a clear out and turning this into a usable space. I wanted to shift some of Ruby's toys into this area so that she can actually access them (they were all just languishing in a huge toy box, never to be seen or played with), and I wanted to create a small desk area for me and my blogging stuff. 

I also wanted to make it look a bit fresher and attractive - this is part of our open plan living/dining space and so often the dining bit just becomes a dumping ground (hence the lawnmower!). I figured if I could make this a play space / desk area then we would use it better and maybe eventually even dine in there (stranger things have happened!).

So, after much sorting and moving things around, we found the perfect home for Ruby's playhouse and it started to take shape! Here's the finished result:

We had to do some disguising work when it came to a huge box of paperwork that we need to keep - but a quick play around with a white sheet and a quilt and we had a little seating area for the teddies. 

All of Ruby's imaginary play things are here and she gravitates towards it much more than she did previously.

 I'm also quite happy with my little desk space. Alright, so I haven't put a chair there just yet - the under the table area was too valuable for storing the printer and various other stationery bits, once I've invested in some new furniture that might change. But it looks nice, and it looks tidy and productive.

Now, a quick tip for you: We live in a rented house and are not allowed to put nails and picture hooks in the walls which has been really annoying because I have so many lovely pictures. I've tried pretty much every 'no more nails' type product going and nothing seems to work - if your frame is even slightly weighty (as in it's not paper), then it won't hold. UNTIL NOW!

Command Picture Hanging Strips are the best things I've ever seen. They're a bit complicated to describe, but essentially you end up with a strip on the wall and a strip on your frame and the two cleverly lock together - giving them a stronger and more supportive hold. I'm going to go and buy loads - watch out walls, you're filling up! So, that's how I fixed my notice board to the wall, in case you were wondering!

I have to say, this little exercise has inspired me to sort and transform all the different wasted corners of our house to maximise the space, de-clutter and get organised. I'm going to try and do a little bit every day...

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