Archives for the month of: December, 2016

I thought I would share with you the next steps in  our Lagom journey. My main focus is to get my house organised so that it is easy for everyone to recycle things and live in a healthier way; the main thing stopping us was the crazy piles of stuff everywhere waiting to be recycled.

In my head I do recycle, in actual life I just don’t throw anything away. There is a ‘bit’ of a problem between intention and action in my recycling habits.

I do regularly recycle paper, glass, tins, plastic bottles, green waste and food waste as they are collected fortnightly by the council.

I do sporadically recycle other plastics and plastic bags- when I remember to take them to the supermarket and put them in the bins there.

I do hardly ever recycle tetrapaks and tinfoil as I always forget to take them  when dropping daughter at Guides, the carpark there is the only place I have found that has recycling bins for them.

I do next to never (or never) recycle batteries, other WEEE items and scrap bits of metal  and yet I keep them all in my house in a separate box next to the general bin- and they keep getting in the way.

I also keep bottle tops and yogurt pots because I might have a great idea about what to do with them (see the rubbish crafts in the early blog posts for examples).

So my house has – or had- many special places to store, and ways of storing things to be recycled. Here is a picture of the corner of my kitchen taken just over a week ago.wp_20161216_16_40_29_pro

I also have this area by the washing machine for plastic bags, plastic and paper. This is how it looked just over a  week ago….

This is a very hard working area, it is the first thing you see when you come in the back door. It is a narrow corridor with coats on one side, washing machine, washing, recycling,shoes, tools and cycle helmets on the other.


And this is how it all looks now….

Almost all ready to start living Lagom. The shoe rack is made from the SPONTAN magazine racks and work really well. The boxes are SORTERA and seem to be a good size to fill up and then take to the right place to be emptied, I need to make labels for them. The baskets are the right size for a full load of washing and have already been brilliant for sorting out a big bag of holiday washing. We still need to add a shelf for ‘secondary storage’ (google it- its a real thing), hooks for cycle helmets and locks and the GLASNVA curtain to stop the drafts from the door.

I will post again when the work is finished and can give you more detail about the difference this small amount of organisation has made to our lives.

Until then Happy Christmas and don’t forget to #livelagom



So after the shopping list it seems sensible to tell you about my shopping trip to IKEA to purchase the things on the shopping list.

It went well, we got everything on the list – except the LED candles (which actually didn’t really fulfil out sustainable brief, they have been added to Father Christmas’ list and sent up the chimney to the North Pole)- and came in just under the £300 budget. It was lovely, walking around the show room with Chayten and Marta helped give us lots of ideas for when we have finished the extension (this is a long way off as we don’t even have a builder lined up yet). Some of the room sets and storage solutions that Marta showed us were amazing, I don’t think I ever appreciated quite how much thought goes into everything on display.

Here is the obligatory picture of our shopping haul.



The first thing we did when we got home was look at the smart meter to see how much energy we were using at that moment, with no lights on. (100w)

Then we turned all the lights on and looked at the usage. (520w) 9and then turned the lights off.

Then we changed in the LED bulbs and the adapters. Most of our ceiling lights needed the KOPPLA adapators as they were bayonet type light fittings, and IKEA LED bulbs are screw in. Then we turned all the lights on again. The usage was now only 280w.

Quite frankly I was amazed, especially as we only changed some of our bulbs, we purposely didn’t change them in rooms we are losing or changing in the build. As you can see from the photo most of  the lights we changed out were the supposed energy saving ones that we were all putting in a few years ago. We replaced 8 bulbs in total (we bought more, but realised we already had LED lights in some places) and reduced our usage by 140w. If we were to keep the lights on for 6 hours a day this would be 0.84kwh a day saved- over a month this would be 25.2kwh, on my current tariff (10.76p per kwh) this should save about £2.70 a month. Whilst this might not sound much it is about 9% of my usual electricity cost – pretty good going for one small change.

We had to change several of the bulbs around after we put them in as they didn’t provide the correct type of light where we had put them. This was a really interesting thing to do, but I will save the details for another post.

The MULIG clothes airer is already up and in use- frankly I don’t know how I managed without it. I no longer have to hang clothes from the curtain rail. It is big enough to dry bedding inside the house, which with the weather we have been having is invaluable. The FNISS and FILUR bins have gone into the necessary rooms and the children are slowly beginning to put the recyclables in one bin and non-recyclables in the other (except for yesterday when T had them upside down in her room and was using them as dragon mountains).

It will take us longer to bring some of the other purchases into the house. I need to do some painting before we can use the SORTERA boxes or the BLASKA clothes baskets.

I will post before and after pictures when there is an after to show.

What is becoming painfully obvious is that this is actually only the beginning of a very long journey- I am half way to Lagom, I am trying to reduce my energy consumption (in what I spend and the day to day choices I make) but I also need to think about the environment I live in. Time to consider the clutter we have built up and to reduce it a bit, I think this is going to be the painful – or at least the  most difficult- part.


It is my personal shopping day on Monday. Last Wednesday evening we all went to IKEA as a family and wandered round finalising ideas. I have created my shopping list and emailed it to IKEA Reading. I thought the best way to share my Lagom ideas with you is to share my list and talk about the things I have chosen. I am hoping that this will give you an idea about where my New Years Resolution is coming from.

So here goes, in no particular order (or more precisely the order it appears in my IKEA shopping basket).

IKEA LADDA rechargeable battery The battery is ready to use. IKEA STÖPEN LED block candle

Firstly some LADDA batteries and 2 STOPEN LED candles-these are my bribery objects for the children. It took us about 90 minutes to finish looking at everything we wanted to- 5 minutes (at least) was spent turning these candles upsidedown to turn them on and off again. “Mum we need to get some of these.” I will see (I am not sure they are on the list, but they are LED lights, so they might be OK).

IKEA FILUR bin with lid Easy to clean as the corners are rounded.IKEA FNISS waste bin Plastic is a durable material which is simple to wipe clean.

Lots of bins: two for each bedroom, two for the lounge and one more for the bathroom. In every room we will have a bin for recycling and bin for general waste (sweet wrappers and tissues mainly).

IKEA LADDA battery charger Provided with indicator light – clearly shows the charging status.IKEA LADDA rechargeable battery The battery is ready to use.IKEA LADDA rechargeable battery The battery is ready to use.

Battery charger (and batteries) will cut down on our consumption of single use. We do already have a battery charger and some batteries, but we had so few that the children had to take them out after they had used them so preferred to use the single use ones instead. When we have more they will be able to use them just like single use ones (except for the throwing away part).

IKEA TERTIAL work lamp

A new work light for the lounge, one that will take a LED lightbulb, means we don’t always need to turn main light on in lounge if we are just crafting or colouring whilst watching telly.

IKEA GLANSNÄVA curtain liners, 1 pairIKEA RÄCKA curtain rod The length is adjustable.IKEA BETYDLIG wall/ceiling bracketIKEA RAFFIG finials, 1 pair

A curtain and fittings. This is going to go across the back door, which is draughty- hopefully kitchen will be warmer in winter.

IKEA TJUSIG hanger for door/wallIKEA SPONTAN newspaper rackIKEA HJÄLMAREN double hook Space between the hooks for a label or name tag.IKEA BLASKA clothes-basketIKEA SORTERA waste sorting bin with lid

All these will help me organise a general dumping ground in my house, so that it works as a recycling, laundry and cycle accessory storage area. It will be easier for everyone to find the right place for recycling- everyone can get involved and less will go into general rubbish. Thanks to Marta at Reading Live lagom for the ideas.

IKEA MULIG drying rack 3 levels, in/outdoor Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

New clothes dryer, this one is huge. It will be nice to have enough indoor drying space to properly dry bed clothes and towels, it means I can wash larger loads- saving energy- and things will need less ironing- saving more energy (and my time).

IKEA LEDARE LED bulb GU10 400 lumenIKEA LEDARE LED bulb E27 1000 lumenIKEA LEDARE LED bulb E27 600 lumenIKEA KOPPLA B22 to E27 bulb converter Converts B22 socket to E27 socket.

LED lightbulbs and adapters, seems to be fairly standard for Lagommers lists.

IKEA SOCKER greenhouse Provides a good environment for seeds to sprout and plants to grow.

And last a mini greenhouse, my son and I spend a lot of time planting veg seeds, I often have trouble propagating them properly. I hope this will help. I looked at the VAXER system but right now don’t have space to do it properly- I think it will be on next year’s Christmas list.

So that is my shopping list, and my New Years Resolution is ……..

to get organised to make it easier for my whole family to live sustainably.

I want this whole experience to be something everyone in the home can be involved in (this explains the LED candles, I hope). It is almost the most important part of the whole thing to me-helping my children to view sustainable practices like recycling and using less as a natural, normal way to live.