DIY Friday – paper storage bag for toys

Since immigrating to Canada, as you’d expect, we’re starting from the beginning with everything. Furniture, accessories and food [like, spices. You don’t realise how long it takes to build up your cupboard until you have absolutely nothing]. We’ve been here 2 months and while it’s going to take a lot longer to get everything we need, I am able to start thinking about small projects to work on. One of them was some kind of storage for Cora’s toys. 
I looked online for secondhand trunks and storage boxes but I didn’t fall in love with anything so I continued tossing Cora’s toys into the corner of her room. Then through an ad on Instagram, I was suggested a paper storage bag for toys. I thought it was cute, light and soft but at $30 [plus tax and shipping], I was unfortunately put off a bit [see first paragraph about how expensive the past few weeks have been].
A few weeks passed and on our way home one day we passed a driveway with paper yard waste bags from Canadian Tire waiting to be collected. I saw them and immediately thought, “How perfect would they be for storing Cora’s toys! If I painted one white, it could sit unassumingly in our living room and chaos would be restored to every aspect of our lives.” Perfect.

The next time I visited our local Canadian Tire I bought a pack of 5 bags for $2.69, headed home and began painting one white [which, by the way, was A LOT harder than I thought it would be]. That’s when I realised I was basically just making one of those paper storage bags I saw online a few weeks earlier. I was hesitant about sharing my project because it looks so simiar to the branded versions and I didn’t want it to seem like I’m copying them, but at the same time, I did think of the idea by myself too. After an overwhelming response to my Instagram stories poll and 100% of the vote going to “YES! BLOG IT!” [vs. “NO, YOU’RE A BAD PERSON”], I decided to blog it!
I’ll be honest in that it was pretty tricky at times trying to paint the bag [it continually collapsed while I was trying to paint the sides and I had the added bonus of teething toddler hanging out of me], so I wouldn’t blame you for wanting to buy one online and save yourself some hassle. BUT, if you’re like me, and like doing stuff yourself, my version cost me $0.53 for one bag [I used white paint I already had]. Not bad for something that Cora might literally tear through one day. 

‘How to use Instagram’ – Sunday Independent feature

If you turned to page 5 of yesterday’s Sunday Independent Property Suppliement paper, you would have found Cora’s cheeky little face alongside a lovely piece by Nathalie about Instagram parents who went against typical design trends when it came to designing their little ones nurseries, and who found Instagram and Pinterest places of inspiration. 

It’s a really sweet piece and I’m so glad and count myself very lucky to have been included in it. Or should I say, that Cora’s been included! Because let’s face it, she steals the show these days [not complaining]. 
I really miss Cora’s room these days and I find myself saying to myself “Oh I’ll paint Cora’s room a nice muted grey … No wait, I can’t do that AGAIN“, but we’ll see. It was such a lovely combination of colours and was such a calm room for her, I might recreate it a bit in her new Ottawegan bedroom. Thank you again Nathalie, and thank you Yolene for nabbing a copy of our feature and photographing it for me 🐃😜

Renting tips – how to store your landlord’s stuff

If you’ve ever rented in Dublin [or Ireland], chances are, you moved into a furnished apartment or house. This will sound strange if you live somewhere where apartments and houses come unfurnished as standard, but here in Ireland, when you move into an apartment you acquire a lot more than just a lease. An apartment can come with furniture, accessories, knick-knacks, and depending on your landlord, a spectrum of interesting things.

Our current apartment came with a lot, most of which we found we wouldn’t need. Knowing what to do with our landlord’s things took some planning, so I figured if I had this problem, there might be other people out there in the same situation. There were things like vases, framed prints, photographs, pottery sets, curtains, objet d’ art and kitchen accessories that either weren’t to our taste or we didn’t need, so I carefully packed them away for storing. As the years went on, there were larger things we didn’t need either [a shelving unit and a double bed], so I spent some time planning how to store it all. Our apartment has very limited storage, so I looked to the unused areas of our home to store our landlord’s stuff …

The larger pieces like the double bed that was in Cora’s room before it became a nursery and the unused middle shelving unit in our living room were both disassembled and carefully placed under our bed. It was the perfect space to store both disassembled pieces. 

TIP! If you don’t have instructions for a piece of furniture, photograph each step as you disassemble it so later when you reassemble the piece, you can look back at your photos and can be put it back together in the right order. 

The top of the wardrobes in our bedroom and in Cora’s nursery took a lot of secret storage. It’s only when you stand at the far side of each room and look directly at them that you can see there’s stuff up there. I managed to hide quite a lot above each cupboard. There’s everything from pots and pans to mirrors carefully wrapped in newspaper to a samurai sword.

TIP! Make a list of what is in each box so if you need to find something quickly, you know exactly where it is.

Above the cabinets in the kitchen was another great place to store things. I took empty printer paper boxes, painted them white [this was during my nesting period], and was able to carefully store quite a lot. The boxes seem pretty obvious in these pictures, but our kitchen is very small [and DARK and impossible to photograph], so from the living room you don’t see these boxes as there’s a wall between the kitchen and living room, except for the door opening.

This has been another one of those blog posts where I’ve thought, people are going to think I’ve lost my mind because this is boring as hell, but I always find if I have a problem like this, there are other people too with it. Knowing what to do with your landlord’s extra stuff can be overwhelming, but all it takes is planning and a bit of creativity!