Shed tidy-ups and storage

* This is a paid collaborative post

If you’re anything like me your shed is a place to cram things into over the winter, which come spring is something to be sorted out.  It always starts out as being a Really Good Idea, but rapidly goes downhill part-way through, and of course that’s usually when some bright spark - yes that’s usually me - has suggested we empty the whole shed, and our garden ends up looking something like this:

Everything out - but how did it fit in there in the first place

In my defence, MOH is a rummager.  And it drives me potty.  However as the shed is supposed to be his domain I try not to let it bother me too much. Then there’ll be a point where he admits he has no idea where he put the thing he’s after, unless it’s bike stuff of course, he uses that more regularly so has a better of idea of where that is.  But when he says the shed needs a sort out, then I know we’re in for an “everything out” kind of tidy up.

It’s no bad thing either.  We often find all sorts of things we didn’t realise we still had. There’ll be many diversions of wondering if this fits that, or if it could be used for something else and it’s then that I remember why I keep these chairs.  Every time we discuss their fate, and they live on the edge, but survive the cull.  It’s when I remember their usefulness during shed sort outs, when one of those diversions take place, that I’m always grateful we kept them.  I’m learning from experience though, now I even set one up ready for use,  I’m not even kidding…

garden furniture and somewhere to take a break

Once everything is out, I can often be found marvelling at how much stuff came out of a relatively small space.  Quickly followed by wondering how on earth even a reduced amount is going to fit back in.  At times I wonder if we should buy another shed, something like the concrete sheds from Lidget, so that we have space for everything, although I think like many people we would fill whatever space we have - but that’s normal right?

On the whole the contents does go back in, and looks neater than when we first started so that’s always good.  We know now to choose a day that’s at least going to be dry as this is a process that takes place over an elapsed time period, for many of the reasons given above, but also because when it comes to Operation Refill there’s as much discussion about what should go where and how much it’s used. 

My logic says if it’s not used so much then it can go at the back and can have things stored in front of it, as there’s not space for everything to be right at the door, and never will be.  But then again, if it’s not used much, do we need it at all.  Like pruning plants, pruning stuff can be addictive!

In our latest tidy-up I’ve tried a radical approach to storage.  Instead of having our shelving racks around the edge of the shed, we’ve filled a quarter of the space with racks which are stacked three deep. So now it’s really important to know what’s used, and what needs to be gettable, and have this on the front, open rack or placed on the ends which are just about accessible.

Fitting it all back in

MOH took some convincing, but went with it, and I’ll admit it’s not usual. But it leaves us with plenty of space for the lawn mower and other garden tools, and bikes, including mine, and all the paraphernalia that comes with them, the sun loungers and parasols, and even a ladder.  That’s not bad going either really, when you consider we also needed to find homes for our latest paint tins additions following all that work on the conservatory too. 

But we got it all in, and I think I pretty much know where things are, down to at least to which rack and often which shelf.  It’s the sort of brain I have and a ‘skill’ that MOH thinks is peculiar, but then again as I said before he’s a rummager, which is probably about as far apart on whatever kind of scale this is, that you can get.

So tell me,  have you got a shed tidy planned, and is your approach similar or quite different?

* While this is a collaborative post, all views and opinions remain my own.

Reflecting on my week #66

After managing to survive my first five day working week of the year relatively unscathed, the weekend called for some taking it easy. Like most of the population I’ve been trying to get January off to a healthy start, and for me that’s involved walking to and from work each day and so most days I’ve clocked up a healthy 4-5 miles.

After watching a recording of the Twinstitute, where they pitched one of two sets of twins to lose weight through diet, and the other through exercise to see which fared better, both did well, but with diet just tipping the scales I realised something I already knew deep down. And that’s, this year as well as getting more active - I mean, I am seriously threatening to actually make it to the swimming pool this month - we probably should look at what we’re eating, or more specifically our portion sizes.  So maybe a fortnight or so after everyone else we’re getting on the healthier eating bandwagon.

We've fallen into a bit of a rut, especially with the lunches we take to work so I’m looking to branch out from our failsafe rolls, which if I’m honest can be quite dull, but easy to put together of a morning. It’s going to take more planning, but it’s entirely doable and if we work it right our lunches will be tasty, and good for us, and not leave us starving!

Getting organised 

My craft supplies drive MOH mad, well not mad exactly just a little exasperated. He doesn’t get them, and doesn’t see why there’s so many, or why I keep things just because they might be useful one day.  On one level he does have a point (there’s no need to let on, is there?) and I do need to have a bit of a sort out as everything is everywhere, it’s all mixed up somehow and I’m struggling to find what I want, which is hardly conducive to a productive and mindful craft session.  

Oh, and I want the storage to look pretty too, surely that’s not too much to ask. On Saturday I rounded up the ribbon I’ve saved and wound them securing with pegs, real size or miniature depending on the quantity and dropped them into this glass storage jar, which is now on display.

I bought the jars originally to use in the kitchen a good few years ago, and while I regularly use the smaller size, I  use this larger size less.  I think it’s worked well and is much nicer than having the ribbons shoved out of sight. I’m not sure if MOH has clocked it yet, so there’s no verdict from him as yet...

Russian doll and a jar of ribbons

I don’t mind having my supplies split between our two upstairs rooms, but I’m as keen as MOH that they don’t take over - and with wool for crochet and knitting projects, materials and threads for all sorts of sewing projects and card making loveliness too, that’s quite possible.  I’ve been hatching a plan to get items for the same crafts together to make it easier for a little while now, but I’ve needed some of MOH’s DIY skills as the plan only works if I’m able to access the storage space I have. 

And that’s meant fixing the shelves to the shelving unit, rather than balance them on the boxes. lt’s a small thing, but it’s radicalised my craft supply storage. The shelves have been cut for a while, and the boxes and baskets have been storing stuff. It’s just that, in the case of the boxes I’m not sure exactly what and finding out has been a palaver.  

baskets shelves and boxes makes me happy

But no longer. Now the shelves are attached to the units - like proper shelves - I can get the boxes out easily, and that’s meant card blanks and envelopes can be stored in the grey boxes, and other “they’ll be useful” items, like maps and music can for the first time be stored together in the larger cream boxes.

All of which makes me inordinately happy.  

music and maps

During this latest sort through I rediscovered all my momentoes from London 2012, including tickets and maps from the events we attended and much from my time volunteering as a London Ambassador. So many memories, some of which I’d forgotten all about, but all of which came flooding back with extraordinary detail once prompted. These included my pink and purple uniform, walking maps, pin badges and my ID, along with the handbooks of useful information and the celebratory teamwork baton presented once the Olympics and Paralympics had completed. What a great time, and experience that was. 

I’ve a couple more spaces to sort out - not craft supply spaces (at the moment anyway!) - and who knows what memories they’ll provoke, I’ve no idea, but I’m quite interested to find out.  MOH is just pleased that his DIY skills were much appreciated, and happy for them to be stood down for the next phase, I’m sure.

And the best bit? Once the organising is done, the crafting and card making can begin again - yay! 

Furniture that's stylish, and good for the environment

Often at Grand Designs you find things you wouldn’t find at other shows, and often they’re things that, especially at Grand Designs, are good for the environment, but often they make you stop and admire them too. So that’s quite something, and the furniture in this post is all of those.

It was the lockers that made me look twice at the X-Ply stand, both their finish and the uniformness of the design appealed. I think they’d work really well in a hall, or a utility room, or even a craft room. I don’t have either of the first two, I’m closer to the second but there’s no room for any additional storage, sadly, but I think they’d be a great addition on their looks alone.

x-ply lockers sustainable storage

When I learnt more about the ethos of the company, I liked them even more. The company are committed to reduce the single use of plastics and so the X-PLY range has been developed using only recyclable materials - plywood, aluminum and steel - and doesn’t use any plastic in its construction.

They’re aimed at a more business market, but could be adapted for a home use too, whether that’s the desks in a home office or the lockers just about anywhere really. The desks come with pre-cut cable holes, which is a great way of getting rid of messy leads and something that’s usual in office spaces and less so in home environments, but there’s no reason why, is there?

x-ply desking plastics free furniture

The team desks - basically large desks that more than one people could work at - would be great in a large home office, or even as an informal dining table. And thinking about it more it’d also be great in a craft room for laying out quilts, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here though, it’s not as if I’m a mega-quilter is it, I’m still making slow progress on my scrappy quilt…

x-ply desks adorned with succulents

So what do you think, could you, or would you incorporate these into your home?