I think it’s maybe a combination of turning 30 and moving into a new flat (which is part of The Official 5 Year Plan to move somewhere way better), but I am currently obsessed with having a lovely home.
At least I feel very focused on what I want to do and be in all ways at the moment – which boils down to a basic philosophy of ‘making the most of yourself’. You know, we only have one life so I don’t want to waste mine being unfit or having willfully rubbish hair and unpainted toenails or living in a total shithole. In the past few years, I have spent too much time concentrating on the future rather than the present – constantly starting excuse-making sentences with things like ‘when I sell my book…’ or ‘when we can afford to buy our own place…’.
Well, no more . I don’t feel like waiting around any longer to make my life more beautiful, so I’m going to stop making excuses.
Some of the actions I have taken towards this are very simple (and boring, like taking out household insurance and getting broadband, even though I always said it was pointless in a rented flat when we might move at any time).
I read an article recently that used the acronym ‘CHAOS’ to mean ‘Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome’ – which is a state I lived in for a good few years. It suggested never having your flat more than ten minutes away from being guest-ready – which doesn’t mean keeping it immaculate, but just clean and tidy enough that it never needs more than a quick once-over, and always having some good snacks and drinks in store. It’s simple but great advice and I’m looking forward to doing a lot more entertaining in the new place. This is helped by the fact that we have introduced an official weekly Cleaning Night into the household schedule (rather than previously, when we would wait until something became unbearable before one of us did it), after which we reward ourselves with Takeaway Curry Night!
We’ve also bought a couple of inessential but useful items, now that we’ve got the usable space – a proper desk for Jimmy to keep his 24-tracks on and work at (I’ve got the dining table, which is a real treat as it’s my favourite piece of furniture and had to be crammed in a corner where it could barely be used in the old place) and industrial filing cabinets for music and art storage; our new bookcase, which is actually big enough to house all of my books (once I took about four bags’ worth to the local chazza); a lovely vintage drinks trolley, which adds some much-needed extra storage space in our kitchen, providing a home for bottles and glassware and anything pretty I might want to display outside of a cupboard.
It turns out Gumtree is our friend!
Plus, I’m still pretty beside myself with excitement at actually having a working shower and space for a bedside table (yep, for four years in the old place, I had to have a handbag hung on the bedpost to contain my alarm clock and book!).
Next, I am planning some extra (hopefully pretty) storage for the bathroom – to include a magazine rack (that isn’t one of those atomic-style ones, which seem to be the only ones around); some good rugs to hide the ugly brown-and-white-mottled office-style carpets; an ottoman or some sort of vintage trunk for extra clothes and linen stashing, when we can afford one. I’m sure then the list will grow.
So, the thinking is that while this might not be my dream home it might as well be a nice home. Anyway, it’s all good practice for when we can actually move to the country and have a dog and a spare room.