Mini interior sample stash for designing on the go

This is a trick I’ve used a few times so far and figured if I found it handy, someone else out there in the process of [ s l o w l y ] updating their home might also find it helpful!

What I started doing was collecting samples of the main colours and fabrics in our home to keep in one place; a swatch from our Article sofa, sample strips of CIL’s Kitten White and Burgundy paint, some cardboard with Coal Black Fusion Mineral Paint and Pure Gold spray paint from Rust-Oleum and a sample of my faux marble contact paper. Then I neatly stashed them all in a black envelope. This way when I’m heading out to look at something for our home I grab my black envelope, toss it in my bag and I can easily see if whatever I’m looking at will match what I already have.

I especially find this handy when I’m looking at something burgundy. I’m so picky when it comes to burgundy and I really love the shade in our home, so if I find something that’s a shade of red that I’m unsure of, I can quickly see if it’s the good kind or bad kind of clashing. It’s a minor design hack, but one that I use a lot! More importantly, it makes me feel like I have my shit together for a few minutes each day. Worth it.

Spring decluttering top tips

This is not the first year I’ve shared this list. Or the second. But every spring I can’t help but feel like decluttering all of the things and start to get ready for warmer weather. I’m [yet again] sharing a list of the tricks I’ve used for four years now and still use to this day, every day. These are what work for me and keep me decluttered in my brain and IRL. Adapt them to suit you in whatever way you like …

THE BASICS – my original spring decluttering blog post from 2014 is the best place to start. I wrote about my top five tips for staying motivated while decluttering and how to not fall off the wagon.

THE BASICS 2.0 – the following year in 2015 I wrote five more tips on decluttering to give you an extra boost if you’re feeling overwhelmed as well as touching on the mental health benefits of decluttering; something that’s really important for me.

THE EARLY BIRD – since writing about it in 2014, I’ve done my 10 minute morning tidy routine every day … up until I had Cora. This now works for me in the evening after Cora goes to sleep so when I wake up in the morning we’re ready to start the day and I don’t start the day overwhelmed by dishes. Either way, 10 minutes of tidying will keep you on top of things and in the long run will save you time and energy.

DAY-TO-DAY – my two tips for staying organised on a day-to-day basis and it’s something I strongly think everyone should practice; using a diary [whether digital or paper] and religiously organising your inbox.

EXTRA READING – I interviewed Sarah Reynolds of Organised Chaos for Image Interiors & Living a few years ago and we got very nerdy about organising. You can check out the full article here – Cut the Clutter: six steps to a calmer, cleaner, happier home.

Bring on the spring decluttering.

GoFor – building material (and furniture!) delivery service review

I first heard of the GoFor app from a friend when we first moved to Ottawa. She recommended GoFor as a service that not only collects and delivers building materials for contractors and DIYers [actual terminology used on their app, so you know I’m in], but as a company that you can also use to collect almost anything [ie – furniture] and have it collected and delivered from one place to another.

We didn’t have a car [and won’t for another few months], so it wasn’t long before I called on GoFor’s assistance. The first few weeks we lived in Ottawa all we had was the clothes in our suitcases, Cora’s crib, a pan for cooking porridge and empty fast food containers to eat out of and store our food in. After three weeks of using our clothes as a mattress and pillows, I planned a trip to IKEA and went with a list of everything we needed. A mattress, pots and pans, plates, glasses, pot scrubbers, you name it. All the basic essentials you don’t realise you really need until you don’t have them.

When I was finished my behemoth IKEA shop, I placed an order on the GoFor app to collect all my drama and within an hour, everything was delivered to our front door.

I’ve used the GoFor app a few times since and while I’ve only used it for collecting secondhand furniture / design related pieces for our home (vs. building materials), I have to say it’s been an invaluable service for us.

When you’re using the app, you can select from a number of different vehicle types depending on what you need collected and there’s the option for an additional fee if there’s more involved [meaning, if it’s not door to door and if you need their help to carry anything upstairs]. I was more than happy to opt for additional help as it meant I had help carrying our secondhand French Provincial sofa set and dining room hutch [details on that soon to come!] up two flights of stairs. Something I wouldn’t be able to do myself [as stubborn / as amazing as I like to think I am] as most deliveries were arranged during the day when Robert was in work.

Through the app you can see where your driver is at all times and it updates you through the different stages of delivery. I found that feature very handy as I could not only see how close they were to collecting a piece of furniture so I could give the third party a heads up of their arrival, but I could also see they’re about half an hour away so I have time to do a few things, or, they’re just around the corner, I better get my shit together.

No, this is not a sponsored post with GoFor. I wanted to share my experience of using their app as we’ve benefited from their service many times already and the guys who work behind the scenes are down to earth and very helpful. It’s an excellent service, speaking as someone who has a newfound penchant for buying large heavy pieces of furniture without any means of being able to collect them myself. So if you’re in the same situation as we are, I would highly recommend checking out their app.

GoFor is currently available here in Ottawa and in Nashville, Tennessee, and will be available in more cities soon. You can download GoFor on Google Play here or from the Apple Store here!