Over the past eighteen months, I have lived in four different homes. It's not exactly how I planned things, but it is the way things have worked out.
Late last year, I found out that I'd been chosen to take part in a new IKEA project around Lagom, which literally means 'enough, sufficient, adequate'. Not necessarily perfection, but a Goldilocks-style 'just right'.
LiveLagom means working alongside IKEA to select products for our home to improve our daily lives. This isn't about ostentatious luxury purchases, rather an opportunity to make the most of what we've got. With a budget of £500 to spend, our shopping list had to reflect the reality of our current family situation and that meant taking stock of where we are now.
Where we live right now is seven of us in a modern house that was chosen for its four bedrooms, and its proximity to school and train station. Turns out there aren't many houses that fulfil these criteria within our budget! Rewind a few months and our housing requirements were different - three of us living in a three bedroom period house.
So when we approached the IKEA project it was with some trepidation, in that we didn't know quite where we'd be living this year. That meant that any product choices had to be flexible enough to come with us wherever we ended up.
With that in mind, our decisions were based on the following three areas.
With kids living here only half the time, meal planning isn't easy. We either had too much food that didn't get eaten or we had nothing in the house and hungry, complaining children. Enter IKEA's amazing kitchenware: Kilner-style preserving jars, glass food storage boxes, lovely containers in a range of sizes and colours.
Planning and shopping in advance
Having a better idea of what food is in the house
Preparing food for the freezer
Preserving seasonal foods for the larder
Reduce the amount of food waste by making better use of leftovers
A long time ago, we had an allotment. We were useless at it and were asked to leave! Whoops. Because of that, I've always thought of myself as a terrible gardener and haven't really bothered to attempt to grow anything much. My kids, however, are really into the idea of growing from seed.
Give it a go using IKEA’s easy growing kits
Spend more time in the garden
Plant a small fruit tree or two
Help a friend out on her allotment
3. Rented house quick fixes
Our landlord is fairly relaxed about what we can and can’t do in this house. As a result, we plan to paint and decorate, to hang pictures and to do what we can to make over the kitchen. But we have a budget and so it’s important to choose to invest in things that can come with us next time we move.
Build storage that is transportable
Use what’s already in the house, complemented with items such as the Sinnerlig bench that allow for flexilbility
Change all lightbulbs to energy saving bulbs
Reduce reliance on central heating by investing in curtains and blinds, blankets and rugs
So we’ll be back in three months to let you know how we’re getting on in our efforts to LiveLagom, and in six with our final thoughts on the project.
Meanwhile, do you have any tips for our three resolutions?
Disclosure: We are working with IKEA on the LiveLagom project for six months, and have received products in order to be able to fulfil this brief.
Thank you for supporting the companies that make this blog possible.
Images: Death to the Stock Photo