Need space-saving ideas for living in London? Or space-saving ideas in general? Then this is the post for you.
I am fast approaching a whole year of being a Londoner, which to me is mad. It feels like only yesterday I was majorly downsizing like my life depended on it. I had to fit 29 years worth of life into a space that was literally a third the size.
Its also been a major lifestyle adjustment. I have had to be ruthless. There is no room for frivolities. Clutter. Even birthday cards at the moment!
And this got me to thinking, or in a way reviewing, the habits that I’ve picked up from living in London this way.
If you want to live in central London, in the land of Spare Room, flatmates, house-shares and sky-high rent with not a lot of space, I think living minimalistic kind of comes hand in hand. In fact its survival.
So here are a few things that I’ve found work really well, and hopefully will inspire you if you are feeling a bit stuck.
Wall string lights instead of extra lamps!
We all (hopefully) have walls. Those who have already seen my room tour on YouTube (click here if you haven’t and don’t forget to subscribe!) will know I have absolutely no space for a bedside table. This creates a problem, both for ambient lighting (instead of the harsh one we all have in the middle of the ceiling) and for bedside winding down times at the end of the day. Cue wall string lights. I’ve made sure these cover the feature wall behind my bed and the light they throw out is incredible! You can find them on Amazon, and I chose to hang mine with Command strips and hooks.
Invest in a Kindle
As you can probably guess by now I have no room to store books. I mean I’m lucky I can just about squeeze in a cook book. But I like to read on occasion and this really puts a dampener on my goals for the year (and my new ‘year of life’ goals which you can read about on my previous post) to read more. Enter the miracle that is the Kindle! This little device can store more books on it than I care to imagine! You don’t even have to wait for your next book arrive, just download and get started on a new adventure whenever the mood strikes you!
Just a disclaimer I’m not sponsored by Kindle but would be entirely happy with that if they are reading.
Sometimes I want to re-read books but don’t know when that will be. With the Kindle it really doesn’t matter because that can literally be whenever you want, you don’t have to worry about storing it for later. Plus something about this device just makes me want to read more! I think its because I appreciate a good bit of tech so much. Anyway, having a Kindle means that I can still read without the hassle of storage for now. One day I will covet and buy books again, I can’t wait to have a reading nook, with bookshelves, in a place of my own, but for now, the Kindle feeds my soul without me needing to worry about storage.
Get an Ottoman
I’m lucky, as this time round my room came with an Ottoman, and for good reason as there would literally be no storage options without it. This is so good for those awkward items we inevitably have to store like suitcases, summer fans, folders and textbooks full of important stuff that you need to have to hand but don’t have the luxury of space to store. This has also been great to store a winter or summer duvet, winter coats or thick pieces of clothing, and this actually leads me on to my next top tip which is….
Reduce volume with vacuum bags
Again Amazon is a godsend as it was there I found these giant space saver vacuum bags that come with a lifetime guarantee (which is mad but I’ll totally take it). This reduces the volume of duvets and coats to at least a quarter of the size.
Ditch a bedside table for a bedside tidy
This is quickly turning into a “things from Amazon that have saved my little space” post but here we go again, another Amazon special. This bedside tidy ties onto the side of my bed and there I can store my kindle, journal, eye mask, hand cream and basically all of the stuff I would have in a draw beside my bed. It takes up no space meaning my door can still open (if you’re confused again, please watch this YouTube video).
Rules Rules Rules!
Now this is the toughest bit. Clothes. London very much has a social culture, events, things to do and drinks to attend. Now I’m not making excuses here but since moving to the city I have noticed myself paying a little bit more attention to my appearance, and in particular my wardrobe. The wardrobe in my room is a bit of an enigma to me. It looks like a wardrobe, it acts like a wardrobe…that is until you want to close the door. Then it starts to have a reverse “Mary Poppins bag” effect, where it looks like its going to work but actually you have to start squishing all the hangers sideways, limiting room in the dam thing further and well basically making any gal panic. So I now have to be super strict. If I haven’t worn it, if it doesn’t make me feel good or (yes I’m going to say it) “bring me joy” – its going. If I want to buy something new, I’m going to have to get rid of any duplicates, doubles or make room somehow. Otherwise I will become swamped. You have to be practical. It will pay off. Look into the theory of a capsule wardrobe and make sure you make your clothes work hard for you with multiple uses. Also, fold like a Marie Kondo pro!
You’d be surprised how you can re-purpose things for storage. Muji has loads of stationary storage that doubles as amazing make up storage. Here is an example of me finding room for some handy clips on my lamp. Think outside the box and utilise ever nook and cranny of your space!
Go up and high, not down and out!
The last thing I want to share, and that I’ve learnt the hard way, is it’s always better to store on top and up, than on the floor and out. I had the thought one day of “where do we store all the in between clothes”? You know, that pair of trousers or a top that you’ve worn once, its not yet ready for the wash, you can definitely get another wear out of it, but you don’t want to put it back with the clean clothes and it doesn’t belong in the laundry bin either. So where does it go? A lot of people have a chair for this, with clothes draped over as the week goes on. But in my London pad I was finding my clothes were ending up more and more on the floor and considering I don’t have much of that it was all starting to look a bit of a mess. So I did what every adult loves to do, and went to IKEA. There I picked up this plant pot stand (much to my plant baby’s delight) and now have a shelf dedicated to these clothes. More storage, taking up less space, with a solution to a problem thrown in for good measure. Sorted.
And there you have it. Tips, tricks and space saving solutions for living in a small space in London. Let me know what you think in the comments and share your top space-saving, London living hacks!