I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m addicted to shopping, but I do have rather a propensity for… buying things. If I’m bored on my lunchbreak I’ll walk to town and rarely come back empty handed, if I’m feeling a bit down I find myself drawn to a little online window shop on ASOS, and if I’m starting a new hobby I can’t help but go slightly crazy buying ‘all the gear’ (I own more items of gym clothing than I have probably ever been to the gym, and more cookbooks than I’ve almost actually had hot dinners).
The end result is that our house is rather bursting at the seams, and clutter fills every space, drawer and wardrobe. I’m currently fighting a losing battle with my shoe collection, books are stuffed both on top of shelves, on top of other books and piling up on my bedside table, and magazines, papers and cardboard boxes are filling my office like some sort of stationer’s version of Day of The Triffids.
It’s no surprise that for someone who likes order and tidiness at home that this has begun to drive me a little bit batty. I’ve decided this year to focus on owning things that actually make my life a little easier and contribute to me being healthier, happier and more at ease at home. I’ve tentatively agreed to a 100 day spending ban on clothes, shoes, skincare and make-up, with the exception of things for the wedding and honeymoon (it starts tomorrow – more on that later). We are obviously also saving for the wedding and honeymoon itself, so I really should stop being frivolous and put all of my effort into saving over the coming months.
So when John Lewis asked me to try an item as part of their ‘Prepare for Christmas’ campaign, I was particularly excited. Our plans were to spend some time before Christmas and pre and post-New Year being at home and generally relaxing and being cosy. Now, one of my huge bugbears about relaxing in the lounge has always been that it’s usually full of clothes airers and feels a bit like we’re sat on the sofa watching TV in a laundry. We tend to put washing on a lot as Tom washes a lot of work gear (he works outside a lot so has a lot of outdoor clothing and kit), I wash a lot of my gym and running gear, and I tend to only wear work clothes once before washing them. As a result, our washing machine was over-burdened and the smell of damp washing was permanently permeating our house.
Enter stage left, our new favourite belonging….
// John Lewis washer/dryer – £599*
I know I’m losing some major cool points by getting excited about a washer/dryer, but it has made a massive difference owning it. It’s a condeser dryer so it doesn’t matter that our utility room doesn’t have an outside wall, and it totally solves our problems of forever having rooms full of drying washing. The steam anti-crease setting is my new favourite thing; even the ironing board hasn’t been out since we got it! Due to a little mixup we didn’t actually get it before Christmas but it’s definitely helped us prepare for going back to work last week and generally made life a lot easier!
Another item that’s been on the list for a long time and we finally added to our lounge is a fire. We were desperate for a wood-burning stove but after two surveys of our chimney we discovered that our chimney is lined with asbestos so we can’t have any kind of open fire or wood burner. After a lot of disappointment we gave in and went for an electric fire and it is perfect. It’s a Dimplex Courchevel and it does look like a real stove (it flickers and casts a lovely orange glow into the room). Even without the actual heater on it’s make you feel warm just looking it!
We took the tree and cards down this weekend so it looks mich tidier and neater now and we’ve had a good declutter of the living room. I absolutely love our lounge now – it’s the perfect place to relax and get cosy!
Have you made any rather grown up additions to your house lately?