Living room – progress pic

We have a living room and separate dining room in our house, the dining room was barely used so we turned it in to a playroom. That never really worked as I like her playing where I can see her and to be honest having such a large toy space meant we just filled it up. We’ve been slowly ditching the excess in the two rooms in preparation for the wall between them coming down for a few months and 3 weeks ago it finally came down!

These are all taken from roughly the same point in the room so you can see how it’s opened up.

It still needs the walls patched up and a fresh coat of paint and we won’t hang pictures until after that. We have a different curtain pole to go up so it matches the window at the other end and I have a new sideboard coming tomorrow, it’s a bright colourful retro style and the storage fits board games, our current one doesn’t.

Here’s the other side:

And after we realised moving the bookcases would make the space look tidier:

There’s so much more space now and it looks so light and airy. I really love it, it’s better than I expected and a Tabi has been running circles through the two doors since the day the floor went down!

We’d still like to change the triple window at the dining end for a bifold door at some point but the quotes were too high so that’s on hold for now.

We may also replace the dining table for something bigger. I’d like to start hosting Sunday lunches and this table just won’t do, again that’s something for later when we’ve saved up a bit.

Lost the plot

Missed my usual Project 333 and discardia posts this week!

I’ve been really busy and we’re planning some work to the house that’s taken up all our time.

We’ve decided that instead of editing our rooms in their current form, we’re going to change the layout of the house. That means bringing down the wall between the playroom and living room and turning the two rooms into one big open plan living/dining room with doors at each end allowing a ‘flow’ in and out of the rooms. We’re also going to turn the large living room window into a bifold door way instead, which will go out to the garden.  Outside the new doors we’re having a raised deck area so the floor level inside and outside will be exactly the same with no lips or steps for the baby to trip over. The raised deck area should only be one step up from the grass and will cover a duff patch of garden which gets no sun. We’ve lived here for 4 years and this one section of garden just will not work. We’ve returfed it 3 times, tried planting shady shrubs… it’s still a sodden muddy mess.

Since it’s not useable as grass, covering it makes the most sense and the decking will give us a space for Tabi to play on (which is more kid friendly than the patio) even when the grass is damp.

That gives us a large living and eating space that goes straight outside and keeps toddlers out of the kitchen (the only access to the garden currently) and loses the pretty ridiculous playroom. I mean, what 1 year old needs a whole room for their toys? I want to create family space, not storage space.

The last 2 changes we’re making are to the front garden (moving the front path and extending the fence) and my husbands study. His study is a tiny room and has the only storage cupboard in the house tucked away at the back making his room an elaborate corridor, rather than private man cave. We’re moving the cupboard door so it’s accessed via the cloak room and then painting the study and splurging on a new desk.

That means packing up basically all of our downstairs furniture, which isn’t too bad because then we’ll only unpack what we need, leave the rest in the garage and then get started again on clearing out, but with the house in a ‘finished’ state. Possessions reduced, excess out the door… to the end of the garden, sure but at least it’s all in one place and we can sell the big stuff or ferry off to charity shops from there.

It’s a little extreme, upending the whole house in the pursuit of minimalism but I really want to feel like I’ve reached a stable point at home. Clear and functional, not in a perpetual state of overhaul.

Oh! In reference to my blog name, you want to hear about a failure in minimalism; remember my konmari wardrobe post? Well I gutted my underwear drawer with very little thought to the fact that I, y’know, need underwear, wound up with only 4 pairs of pants and last week, had to wear a pair for a second day while I went to the shops to buy more. D’oh!

Discardia – Week 4

Loads of stuff jettisoned this week.

I couldn’t be bothered listing on eBay anymore, there was just too much stuff and I’m so time poor right now that both work and uni are suffering. By the time I added up how long it would take to photograph, list, answer questions, package, post, deduct PayPal and eBay fees… it just wasn’t worth it, I’d effectively be working for about £3 an hour.

Basically, its a clothes purge week. A whopping 12 bags of clothes and shoes donated.


I also streamlined our crockery. We used to have 12 of everything but some bits got broken so we had 12 of some, 10 bowls, 9 plates… I took everything down to 8 of each.


While I was sorting the plates and bowls, I spotted something out of date in one of the food cupboards and wound up gutting all the food too!


And then I found out what a pancake 2 months past it’s best before looks like


It had slipped behind some plates and been left there. Ick.

 Lastly, a piece of furniture has left the building! Ok it hasn’t actually left yet, but someone is picking it up tonight so it’s almost gone.

 Money earned this week £20

Kon Mari – Clothes

I was going to write a review about The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which I read ages ago, and then I realised there was no point writing about it if I didn’t actually try it out.

So this afternoon, I rounded up all of the clothes in the house belonging to me and my husband and dumped them on our bed. The only clothes I didn’t get were the white load in the washing machine (mainly the baby’s clothes), the small wool load in the washing basket and my wellies, which live in the garage.

I’m still not sure what ‘joy’ feels like in this context. I basically just evaluated by whether it fits, if it’s damaged, if I regularly pass over it for something else. I have no idea what my husband’s thought process was, but he very politely sat while I read the sections on joy, tidy order and clothes out loud so he may well have tried to find joy.

I didn’t think I would toss very much and I thought my husband might ditch a bag full. We got rid of quite a bit more…


They’re all going to the clothes donation bins tomorrow but we need to replace some items. My husband for example, realised that he didn’t have a complete suit where he fitted both the jacket and trousers so he needs to buy 2 new suits next month, he’s already bought a few shirts and I think he needs a new tweed blazer but he’s reluctant to part with his current one (even though the back lining is shredded and he can’t use the pockets because they’re ripped through). I might need a pair of shoes, definitely jeans and underwear and some hot weather clothes in the next month or so.

I haven’t folded my socks, I haven’t done the kon mari folding much at all because we only have a wardrobe in our room, no space for drawers. I’ve folded some things but it’s just not practical to fold everything.

We have managed to clear the drawers in our 2nd bedroom so I’m going to list them on gumtree this weekend and then get started on the next section, books!

DVD clear out

This is the second DVD clear out in as many years and it was so much easier this time round!

Basically we have a PS3 which we got free with a new mobile phone almost 10 years ago and it’s on its last legs so instead of buying a new DVD player (all it’s used for) we decided to see if we needed one at all.

We usually just watch Netflix and we have a handful of favourites purchased via iTunes so I pulled out all the DVDs:

And then looked them up on iTunes. The first clear out had gotten rid of the DVDs we weren’t fussed about so this time we were starting with films and TV shows we knew we’d want to watch again.

I added all that were available to my iTunes wish list (I’ll only buy as/if we want to watch them) and put the few which weren’t available back into a box.

I started with 3 shelves of DVDs, I’m down to one shelf now.

The box on the left might be going later, these are DVDs that I consider my husbands so he can choose if they stay or go, the right are DVDs not on iTunes plus my numbered Harry Potter box set.

We’re using the space gained in the bookcase to experiment with my daughters toy hoard. If she’s happy with these toys and these toys only for one month, the rest get donated!

A room full of fancy expensive electric toys and the ones she spends most time on have turned out to be the cheaper wooden ones from Ikea!