For most of 2019, I was struggling to adapt to life inside a smaller bedroom and without sacrificing the generous accommodation of my double bed. That change may come in another couple of years, when my memory foam mattress nears the end of its recommended life expectancy (they generally say seven to eight years). When I moved in to my previous flat, I swiftly bought a 4ft high tallboy off Gumtree and those drawers gave me plenty of storage space for clothes. But I’ve struggled to accommodate both this and my poor man’s wardrobe (a clothes hanging rail) in my current place.
My decision was to downsize and, after weeks of online browsing and contemplation, I decided to return to Ikea (yes, I’m using that word again).
After moving in to a smaller flat last year, I quickly realised that I didn’t have the space for two of my Ikea Ivar shelving units. One was sold locally and, although I managed to squeeze the other in to the bathroom cupboard space, I soon decided that it was excessively deep and warranted downsizing. With that second Ivar unit sold, I had the funds available to purchase something more compact; again from Ikea, I went for the Hejne shelving unit.
Since 2012, my collection of Ordnance Survey maps has steadily grown. They’d always lived within an unfashionable cardboard box, before I recently made an alternative solution from 12mm thick birch plywood.
This is a project that I completed in February of this year, although the official start date leaps back to the beginning of 2017, when I ‘sourced’ the materials from the off-cuts pile at the company I used to work for.
I hold to an intention and hope of finding a new workshop this year. I won’t even begin looking until these dark and chilly months have passed but, when the time does come and I’m physically able to walk through that door, I will be looking to add a few tools to my arsenal. If not immediately then, sensibly, over time.
I recently made reference to the fact that I spent a weekend working at a friend’s house in early October. This largely involved sanding the wooden floors in two rooms and attending to the near-disastrous state of alcove shelving in the living room (some people should be banned from owning hand saws).
Let’s start by looking at the big job: sanding. Lots of sanding. Then again, downstairs.
Last weekend, I was working at a friend’s house for the whole two days. This meant lugging a portion of my tools (mostly hand tools) and accessories from their storage location, in to my car, to and from the house and then back again, once the job was complete.
I quite like being able to do jobs for other people but I’ve never been a fan of physically moving tools back and forth.
Some of you may remember how, earlier this year – before the summer that appears to have come and gone so quickly – I erected a fairly straightforward freestanding, temporary fence to keep my mum’s puppy from wondering off along the shared driveway.
Inevitably, I was asked to do the same again alongside the garden to the rear of the property. This is a job I actually completed in July and, as I sit down to write about it now, I’d like to indicate that I had to make a couple of slight alterations for the same idea to function in its situation.