Note: this blog post endorses products that were received from Ikea, as part of the Live Lagom project.
Indoor Plants, Organised Cupboards, and Time to Enjoy the Present: a Live Lagom Update
Now midway through the Ikea Live Lagom project, we’re getting used to new routines and habits and we’re beginning to see the rewards.
If you’ve been following the project here, or via my Instagram stories, you’ll know that we set a New Year’s Resolution to ‘enjoy the present’ and we’ve been taking part in challenges along the way, too.
After receiving our products to help us live more ‘Lagom’, the first thing we did was to introduce more plant life in to our home. We bought plants of all sizes, from teeny-tiny cacti, to huge palms, focusing first on filling the spaces we spend the most time in. If you’re looking for ways to style your plants, Vogue Living has some inspirational images on their site, here.
What a difference plants make! Not only do they clean the air, they’re tactile and auditory, as you brush past, or they sway in the breeze of an open window, and, when you remember to water them (I’m still figuring how much and how often), they add a sense of vitality that can, admittedly, sometimes be lacking when your interior decor is entirely monochromatic (I love it really).
Something we’d started before the Live Lagom project, and have properly executed now, is organising our kitchen cupboards.
If, like me, you live to cook and bake, your cupboards are probably bursting with half-open packets and boxes of every variety of flour, sugar, nuts, seeds, pulses, grains, and pastas, then, like me, you need to get organised. I was forever buying ground almonds when we already had three open packets, and thinking I had a whole box of Demerara sugar, when really, there was only ever a spoonful left.
Decanting everything in to jars means less mess, and you can see exactly what*, and how much, you have, which has resulted in rediscovering ingredients I’d forgotten we ever had, and (I think you’ll agree) orgasm-worthy cupboards.
*If you can’t differentiate between flour types (can anyone?) you can easily label your jars with chalk-pens.
One day, I’ll have a pantry like this, and I’m so prepared for it, but until then, we’re making the most of what we have.
Another simple and yet invaluable thing we purchased, is our step ladder (we got this in black and it makes a great plant stand, too). With it, we can utilise the vast amount of space that lives on top of our cupboards; I can finally reach up there now and the stool is always good for sitting on for a mid-cooking-the-roast glass of wine. Little pleasures like these, are far too underestimated.
Of course it hasn’t all been cupboard porn and wine swigging.
The hardest part of upholding our resolution has been to really live in a way that reflects what we’re doing all of this for – making things work for us, so we can ‘enjoy the present’.
When planning, organising and list-making is your jam (or marmalade, I’m more of a marmalade girl), it can be a feat to relax, be in the moment and enjoy the present.
I’m the type who, if left un-checked, is always working: on work work, or a project, an idea, a new blog… I’m a grafter and I like working (the curse of having your first job at 14), but, like everyone, I need down time, too. It’s when we process our thoughts, come up with solutions to our problems, and refresh our creativity, so, it’s a must.
So, I really have to force myself to do nothing. And, I’m getting better at it. Slowly.
What I find helps, ironically, is to plan chunks of time within the week to just do nothing. Having come from teaching, where my only time off was a Saturday, shaking my routine up has helped to reposition my perspective, and I’m also, finally, able to divide my time between what needs to be done, what I enjoy, and time where I don’t plan anything – time to be spontaneous, to be surprised, and to go with whatever it is I’m craving.
Just enough of what you crave is as good as any feast