I mean, really, I could have sat on the couch and read a book. That's how the girls entertained themselves all afternoon. But it is the second week of the school holidays, and I felt an unaccustomed itch to achieve something. This basket of towels has been annoying me for months. I unpacked my towels into this laundry basket the day after I moved in, and it has sat there ever since, in the little alcove next to the bathroom, getting in the way. Lacking a linen closet I have been eyeing off storage options around the house. Should I tip out Posy's teddies from their large, lidded cane basket and use that? ("NO!" shrieks Posy..) Should I get some dedicated storage built in somewhere? I could turn that entire alcove into a large storage cupboard.. but really? I am much more comfortable with my 'less is more' mantra, and using what I have.
Today I decided to move the towels into the chest of drawers behind them. That chest of drawers was the hall table at my old house. So of course it contains, you've guessed it, a lot of useless crap. The bottom drawer contained all the things I have borrowed and need to return to friends. This was actually kind of useful at my old house, because I would check the drawer every time friends left the house. But here? These drawers are nowhere near the front door, and I haven't even looked in them since I moved in. That drawer was easy. Pile everything in it next to the front door. Done. Next drawer was piles of paper tossed in when I opened mail or emptied bags. Again, easy. Everything recycled or filed. These days far more gets recycled than gets filed. I am learning that I do not need to hoard every piece of paper that walks through my front door..
This leaves.. the thing drawer. Who doesn't have a thing drawer? So handy, just to pop 'things' into when it is too hard to decide where to put them really.
This one was sheer agony. Hundreds of tiny things in there, which no more have a home now than they did when I threw them in there over the years at my old place (yes, I really did just throw them in a box and bring them with me from the old house. Then I tipped them straight back into the same drawer when I arrived). Lots of them have gone to bin heaven now. Or recycling heaven. I am pretty fierce about letting crap into the house these days, so the very tiny drawer I decanted the essentials into will be enough (essentials: stamps, pens, pencils and other stationery. Phone books. Address book because I am old school). This was a desperately boring exercise, so I had to take little breaks every ten minutes to do something interesting, like walking the dog, and going to get my hair cut. But finally..
We have a cupboard for towels.. only eight towels, mind you. I had to get rid of some of them too. Not that one ever gets rid of towels. They are too valuable for drying the dog and cleaning up when the roof leaks. But then you store them in the rag pile, which luckily has space to spare. There was no space for flannels or hand towels in the chest of drawers, but this inspired me to man up to a task I have also been wrestling with since I moved in. The bottom drawer in this ridiculously adorable bathroom vanity (made out of an old chest of drawers) has been stuck closed all this time due to being painted in by the previous owners, who clearly did a quick touch up paint job before they left. So far, all I have managed to achieve was to pull off the drawer knob.
The thing I love most about this vanity is that the mouldings on each of the drawers is different. I like to think the long-ago cabinet-maker was having a whimsical afternoon..
So here ends my small triumph for today. A storage solution that hasn't involved buying anything, and has encouraged me yet again to think about living with less. What I have gained - another laundry basket, less clutter, and an unfortunate case of piles - no, not a medical condition. Bags of stuff at my front door, including, but not limited to: nine pairs of 3D glasses to go back to the cinema, piles of books to return to friends, a dance costume that we borrowed three years ago for a ballet performance, keys that may possibly fit the doors of the cabinet I gave to my dad, a bag of dead phones, chargers and batteries to be recycled. Tomorrow will be the day for schlepping.
Tell me about your thing drawer. Is it scary? Go on, I know you have one..