Making my home office a space for me

When we first chose the style of new build home we wanted, we knew that the downstairs study room would end up being a playroom for Freya and the 4th bedroom would be my home office. After changing jobs in April to a role that allows me to work from home a lot more, I spent a couple of months working from the dining table until we moved and I was able to finally start working on my space.

*Post contains gifted items*

The home office was a real project as I didn’t want to spend a load of money on a desk and furniture. I browsed Ebay, Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree for days on end looking for a second hand desk until one day I spotted a bargain for £20. I now have a large corner Ikea desk that would have cost over £100 new and despite a few scratches, it’s in great condition. I was lucky enough to be bought an office chair from my mum and brother as a birthday present so I didn’t need to worry about comfort when sitting for the most part of the day.

The desk area and stool when I first set up the office prior to getting my nice comfy office chair to sit on.

Then it came to adding more touches to making it a real office space that allowed me to focus on work and be creative when it comes to my blog and crafting. I chose some pieces from Yes I Want It, that I knew I would love looking at day to day. My desk is usually pretty disorganised as I work in an organised chaos most times but I’m still moving things around position wise and really making it into a creative space.

As I said before, I’m still playing around with the position of the scratch map as the corner it sits in will be a crafting corner for me. I keep moving my planter around as I’m still unsure where I want that to sit shelf wise so it’s probably wise that I don’t fill it until I’m sure. I love the Prosecco sign so much and it’s made me want even more Neon in the house. Not sure I will get my husband on board with that one but I’ll leave it a while before I try to get any more in.

If you haven’t checked out Yes I Want It’s site then I would highly advise you to. I’ve already got my eyes on some board games and some of their fab Friends range.

Laura x

*Post contains Gifted Items*

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Living Natural with Norfolk Natural Living

With the ever growing media attention (for good reason) on the Environment, we have been trying to be more mindful about our choices at home and living more sustainably. One of the swaps I have been consciously trying to make is the cleaning products that we use around the home.

Gone are the days where I watch cleaning Instagram stories or videos about the many products people are using to clean their homes. I can count on one hand the amount of products we have in the house for cleaning now as I made a point of using up what we had, and not rushing out to buy products for the sake of products.

Norfolk Natural Living recently reached out to me to review a couple of their wonderful products and without a moment of hesitation, I hopped onboard and offered to write a blog post in exchange for the products.

*Post contains Gifted Items*

Norfolk Natural Living are nestled in a small historic town in Norfolk where the bottle every formulation by hand in their workshop. All of their natural cleaning and garment care products are biodegradable, non-toxic, free from chlorine and bleach, use plant based ingredients and yet, are gentle enough for even a baby’s delicate skin. Even better is that they use PET packaging as it’s 100% recyclable and you can refill your bottles at their store in Holt if you are local.

The two products that I was sent to try out were the Garment Refresher and the Scented Vinegar. The first thing I noticed about the Garment refresher was the lavender scent that came from it. I have been trying to cut down on the number of washing loads we do in a week so this product has allowed me to wear a jumper multiple items without fear of it starting to smell a little worn.

I have successfully managed to reduce our washing machine usage in the last couple of weeks as a result of using this product and have genuinely only been washing clothes that need it. Win, Win!

Next up I tried the Scented Vinegar. I am no stranger to the cleaning powers of white vinegar and usually have a bottle at home to spray down toilet, plugholes to reduce limescale build up. This lovely product has a rose scent meaning it’s far less overpowering that your usual white vinegar smell. Picture me spraying loads into the toilet bowl and having to open windows as wide as possible. Well no longer!

A quick spray of this and it does the job and also leaves the bathrooms smelling great. I also found the best use in our house for this is for cleaning the induction hob and splashback which are both shiny surfaces. I found in the past that wiping them with a cloth still left a residue or marks on the surface which were very apparent in the light. Since using the scented vinegar, I have noticed no streaks or residue as a result and it only requires a small amount which is even better. A little certain goes a long way with this product.

Whilst I know these small changes aren’t the biggest impact right now, I know that we as a household are on the right track and with companies like Norfolk Natural Living putting in such hard work behind the scenes to create these wonderful products, it is even easier. I’ve already spied a few more products on their site that I want to get my hands on and transform the way I wash our clothes as well.

Laura x

*Post contains gifted items in exchange for a blog post*

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8 Key Moving Tips For First Time Home Buyers

You finally did it – you finally have your first house! This is quite a feat in terms of financial independence, as this proves you can really achieve your financial goals given the right habits and strategies. So, what’s next? What exactly do you do now, and how exactly do you conduct a successful house move? Here are some tips you can follow:

It’s all about location. Take note of your new home’s location very early on into the house move, so you can identify the locations of interest that might benefit you during your move. These include relevant government offices, recreational establishments, and places to go to in times of emergency.

  1. Identify where relevant places and infrastructure are early on in the moving process. Where’s the nearest hospital and police station? Where can you stay while waiting for movers to go to your location? Knowing these early on can help you save time during move day.
  2. Check permits you might need for a move in your new home. This is especially if you’re hiring professionals like long distance movers, as they might not be allowed to move and transport things in your new area.
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Remember your home design. While you plan, take into consideration the kind of home design you want your new house to have. This pretty much helps dictate the kind of stuff you need to move, and stuff you have to potentially buy.

  1. Remember to clarify the design motif the new house will be having, so everyone in the household is aware of the kind of things to watch out for. For instance, if you’re going for a nature-inspired design, a decorative plant that can be thrown out may be salvaged. 
  2. Try to check your belongings if you have items of the sort that fit your design tastes. If not, try to list and specify what sorts of items you still need to buy.

Make an inventory of everything you own. Regardless if you’re moving alone, with a partner, or with family, make sure you have an inventory of everything you own. This can be a physical or digital inventory that has everything you own. Having an inventory can help you keep track of what you want to move, if they’ve moved, and if they’ve been unpacked properly in your new home.

  1. In this inventory, take note of the belongings you want to be transferred, the quantities of these belongings, the make and materials, as well as relevant notes. Take note of things such as a category, the destination room, and other things you want to find out during the move. Make sure this is updated all the time.
  2. If you’re hiring long distance movers, this inventory can be very helpful especially during the initial quotation. Moving companies tend to estimate moving costs depending on what you want to bring, so this inventory can be very handy in the process.

Check your belongings. Assess your belongings in the inventory, and take note of things you want to throw away and sell. Not only can this help you save money, but it also lets you sort out things you want and not want prior to the move. This can save a lot of space on your end as well.

  1. If you’ve sorted out the items you want to throw out, consider donating them to relatives or institutions instead. This not only helps you save perfectly good pieces of furniture or accessories, but this also helps you help out others.
  2. If you plan on selling items, consider selling them in buy-and-sell groups, or even a garage sale. Try seeking out home buyers as well, as they’re very likely to be looking for good furniture at the same time they’re looking for a new home.

Buy your equipment and materials early on. Once you’ve checked the sorts of packing things you need, consider buying them immediately. This saves you time and money when going to the store, as hopefully, this step helps you avoid going there for a second time.

  1. List the kind of materials you need. Try to base this on the materials you have. If you have fragile materials, check what sort of packaging would best suit these.
  2. Buy these materials in one go as much as possible. If you have an extra budget, try buying twice as many materials, so you don’t have to go back to the store for another trip.

Involve the family. If you’re moving with a family, it can save you time and resources if you involve them in the process as well. This not only gives them a sense of responsibility and ownership over their things, but this can be a good bonding time as well.

  1. Try to have a family meeting to discuss the sort of things you have to do during the move. Clear out your schedules as much as possible, and instead of going to the mall during family time, try allocating this to packing.
  2. Teach everyone the preferred way of packing objects and belongings. This ensures everyone knows how to pack without supervision.
  3. Assign and delegate tasks across the household. Try to assign rooms to their respective owners, so they can have a sense of ownership to the room they’re staying in.

Make a schedule consistent with your routine. Just because you’re moving doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice your work-life balance. While, yes, you need to allot time to pack and move stuff around, try to make sure your schedule still works with the way your life goes so far. Don’t sacrifice your job for a move, and don’t sacrifice your rest days for the move as well.

  1. Take note of “free time” during your current schedule, which includes off days, the time you spend commuting, or time you spend hanging out with friends. If possible, try to replace these with “packing hours,” so you can focus on packing stuff for your move.
  2. If you still have leaves, use them wisely. Another option to do when preparing for a move is to use your leave days – but make sure you use them properly. Try to allot a day or two (2) for packing, and make sure you focus on packing your things. Maybe you can ask your boss or supervisor for extra tasks in exchange for a paid leave, so you can have a leave that won’t compromise your salary.

Hire professionals to help. Just because you’re young doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t need help. If you’re having a bit of trouble in any step of the moving, perhaps moving companies can aid you in the moving process. They’re professionally trained and skilled in packing, transporting, and unpacking equipment, so they can guarantee the safety of your belongings.

  1. A mover in your area, or a moving company (if you’re in the US) can also help you find materials you can use to pack your belongings, especially if you want fragile things like glass furniture and accessories transported.
  2. When communicating with these companies, make sure you’re clear with the costs of their service, as well as what their service packages contain. During your negotiating process, try to ask if there are “surprise” costs like food and gasoline allowance, or if you already have these paid in your payment. 

Moving Requires A Good Plan

Just like how you’ve followed a game plan when saving up for your first house, you also have to formulate a plan in order to conduct a successful move. The tips above would hopefully be able to help you fix a schedule, arrange your inventory, and manage all the elements you need for a successful house move.

Laura 🙂

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