I’m livin’ in a box… No truly, we are! Our one bed flat is 34m2 and while we’re incredibly grateful to own a flat in London, and have an excellent commute by some standards, there are some things we’ve had to get used to – like lack of storage space… So here’s a review of all the clever storage furniture we used to squirrel away our belongings and still keep some open space so we didn’t feel too claustrophobic!
- Ikea double sliding door wardrobe £180 (or godsend as I like to refer to it)
This is a must for small flats because the doors slide sideways – perfect for our tiny bedroom where The Hubby has to walk sideways around the perimeter of the bed! It’s also incredibly deep (and high) so keeps all my clothes and the majority of The Hubby’s gear too. It has 2 very handy hanging sections and for added storage space, you can even put stuff on top. For £180, it literally is a steal. The added bonus is that it comes with a full door mirror. We highly recommend this item.
- 7 drawer tallboy £99
I searched high and low for this one as I couldn’t find many 7 drawers items, let alone drawers that offered more than a sliver of space. I really am so surprised that generally, these types of drawers aren’t made deeper by suppliers. Note to retailers: opportunity here!!!! However, this Scandinavia option from Argos fits about 5 folded shirts or two thicker jumpers (at least), and doubles up as a bedside table..
The deal is over but we bought this bed for its price and under bed height, which like the 7 drawer tallboy, is a rarity. We then bought these legs with extra height to replace the original legs, and add a few cm’s. The bed now stands high enough to get golf clubs, bags, a Christmas tree and a gazillion other bags underneath it (but we still need to pick the bed up to get stuff in or out). Doh! It’s unfortunate that the ottoman storage beds just lacked enough meaningful depth for anything other than linen or thin items. There’s another opportunity for retailers… Overall, the bedframe has been a good, solid option but we bought a better mattress though because you gotta get a good night’s sleep!
Clever solution to hide our Henry vacuum and dustbin away!
These blinds have been fantastic! So affordable compared to competitors (we were quoted £1,200 by another company) and great quality. They really open up the room and let the light in. I measured them myself for a bay window using their easy to follow instructions and they arrived exactly to specification and were quickly installed by The Hubby.
- Homebase tallboy for the bathroom £120 (not the exact item but very similar product)
Sadly, I think Homebase has stopped making this product as I couldn’t find it anywhere on their website or on google, in fact. The item I’ve linked to here is close enough (just doesn’t have the mirror on the top door which ours has). Great option for space as it has 6 shelves as well as the middle drawer, and is slim enough to fit in the small space we have available in our bathroom.
- Henfield storage unit 50m2 = 3 months upfront at £45 pm + refundable deposit £49. Thereafter £58 + insurance £9.50 pm (they have different deals all the time).
Friendly service, competitive deals if you’re on a budget but mind out for the slightly inconvenient hours (closes at 5pm on weekdays, 1:30pm on Saturdays, 11:30am on Sundays). We’ve frustratingly forgotten to check at least twice and arrived in the afternoon when it’s closed.
- Step stool £5
I bought ours for £5 from the Mica near Tooting Broadway. It’s been a handy little accessory to have instead of a ladder which was too big to store in our flat. The Ace Mica shop is also a treasure trove for any hardware item and the owners are knowledgeable and helpful.
Great for home office working and folding away when not. Also great for using as an ironing board (with a blanket)! Although I bought it years ago and seems only to be available from China now (search under Tradett).
This guy folds up and slides in/ hides neatly behind our sofa. It’s also super sturdy and takes a full load of washing.
Now let’s talk about keeping all your goodies safe! We use Sheila’s Wheel’s for our home and contents insurance and I cannot recommend them enough! Make sure you get the Home emergency care included (but I think it comes as standard). Their service has been exceptional to date (including covering us when we needed it and not being like some insurers who have exclusions on just about everything). They are also by far one of the best price wise – even when renewing. Depends how much you insure for, but on contents insurance to £20,000 it’s been around £340 per annum. For home and contents insurance we’ve paid £450. I cannot fault these guys and am a loyal, raving fan! And note, it’s not just for girls – I don’t think.
I also want to give a nod to Freecycle. Just register for your area and it’s amazing what you can find. We used Freecycle to both give away stuff we couldn’t keep in the flat, and also bring in as interim furniture while we decided what we needed. Some excellent advice I was given by a friend was wait before you buy new furniture in a new home. Give it a few weeks to test the layout and how you use the space before you commit to your purchases. Tip: You should make your first activity on the site a giving one rather than just taking. It’s this spirit of generosity that makes it work.
And finally, if nothing else, having a small space generally makes you save money as you won’t have the space to put all the new stuff. So happy saving! 🙂