I live alone in a pretty small studio flat. I have found whilst living here that every inch of space is very important. Luckily I have a separate bathroom but the one room equals my living room, kitchen and bedroom. So when I received an email asking if I would like to participate in #HomeImprovementHero for moneysupermarket.com I jumped at the challenge. £50 to improve the home. Why not. I always liked Changing Rooms. And Challenge Anneka.
I hate looking at that wall.. and there’s no where to put anything! Argh!
But then my heart started to sink. I knew what I needed to do.. and I know what I wanted but could I really do it on such a small budget? Because to be honest what I want and what I can have are two very different things. For instance what I want is the Faktum Super Unit with sliding doors so powerful that just the slight whistle of the breath eases them open bringing with them a certain joy only super units can give an owner. However…what I could probably afford is the rickety pine shelving that are ok when you’re a certain age and do their job – but bring no joy to the eye visually. And I want a life full of joy and visual stimulation. I’ve learnt.. life is too short for bad shelving. CUE CHROMEO:
God. I love that song.
So I had to focus. And stop looking at stuff I couldn’t afford. Or did I?
I had decided that storage would be the most important thing to improve my living space. As a ‘young’ professional in London – plastic boxes have been key for my belongings. From living in flatshares to warehouses over the years I have tried to keep my things packed into confined spaces in this transient city. I can’t remember the last time I actually put a picture frame on the wall. But it’s time. It’s time to invest.
I saw what I wanted on the Ikea website. Some Expedit Shelves looked like they would do the job. But at £120 plus £25 (ish) delivery on top they were out of my price range for this challenge. So I started to scour Ebay and Gumtree looking for similar units. I found quite a few… but delivery was a problem. Most of the units seemed to be on the other side of town. Did I want to fork out on a taxi too?
I started to get a late night obsession with Gumtree. I was starting to become intrigued at the bargains to be found on there. Perhaps the transcience of this city was a good thing after all. AND THEN.. BAM.. right round the corner from me were the exact units I wanted coming in at a price of £65.
A few emails later I was on my way round to look at them and put a deposit down. When I got there the man I was buying from had already taken the shelving unit to pieces. I couldn’t view them in full form first. Hmmm. I was planning on trying to haggle with him. But I was alone, and didn’t want the shelving to go to someone else. He had said ‘he’d had quite a lot of interest’ and I was desperate for them because of their location. He had me on my desperation of ease. ‘I’LL TAKE THEM I’LL TAKE THEM!!” was most probably what my body language was screaming. I didn’t know what else to do – and I wanted the units.. so I trusted the guy anyway. I don’t think I was going to get a better bargain than this anytime soon.
And then came the painful part. I was lucky enough that a friend helped move the shelves in her car round the corner. But I live on the top section of the building, with no lift and her being pregnant I was on my own with the heavy lifting.
This is a bit painful.. there’s not enough room in here!
So up and down, up and down, up and down the stairs I carried pieces of wood and to be honest I was glad I bought these shelves second hand. I hadn’t realised how heavy or hard they were going to be to put up and I really recommend that if you buy them – get a friend to help. I dropped them quite a few times and I think if I’d have bought them brand new and scratched them I would have been a bit upset.
A new fantastic point of view!!
Gosh what a difference!
I decided whilst I was at it… to decorate the back of the wardrobe that separates the bed and the shelving unit because it looks ugly and it’s been ruining my inner peace a little. I bought the wallpaper reduced from £13 to £3 in Homebase.. (glue and paintbrush £5).
So all in all – I spent £72. And although the process was painful – when I woke up this morning and opened my eyes – I felt pleasure at my handy work. *HIGH FIVE MONEYSUPERMARKET.com*
*Sigh* there’s always something! I need to get rid of that TV too…eurgh…
Peace out, BeckiBx