2020 was a year wasn’t it? It was the year none of us saw coming and a year that changed up everything. It was a year where I thought I would do so much of which I ended up doing none of it, but then I ended up doing so much more instead. I thought to really see 2020 off I would share 10 things that made an uncertain year more bearable.
Finding out we are having another baby
If you didn’t see my pregnancy announcement and my first trimester round up then surprise – we’re having another baby. It was definitely our biggest decision of 2020 for sure. Prior to the craziness of 2020 we didn’t think we wanted any more children and then last year happened and it turned all my previous thinking on it’s head!
Creating a calm and inspiring bedroom
One of the best things we did around our home in 2020 (and there were a lot – lockdown life) was create the most calming space in our bedroom. The funniest part about this renovation was it was completely unplanned. I was busy painting white in our hallway when I suddenly decided I wanted our bedroom white instead of the pale pink it currently was. We had decided to splurge and get ourselves new wardrobes (our dream Ikea Pax wardrobes) after our temporary solution started to fall apart. So before they arrived I painted the half of the room they would be in, before doing the second half of the room a little while later. I grabbed these dalmation print decals from Amazon and was able to create this really effective feature wall. Also from Ikea were the two picture shelves, frames and fake plants, and I printed the prints at home. Aside from the wardrobes it all came together at a really reasonable cost.
In November, after being desperate for a new bed for ages, I was lucky enough to win an Instagram competition for a super king from Heavenly Beds, enabling us to upgrade from our tiny double. It arrived just before Christmas and we managed to get it up just before the new year. It was the icing on top of the cake for our bedroom and finally finished it off for good.
Decluttering. A lot.
As well as doing a lot of DIY this year we also decluttered. A lot. It is also something I want to bring into 2021 with me, because I know there are still a few small areas of our home where we could do even more. On the whole though we have been able to declutter so much within our home this year. We live in a smaller home and we really don’t want to move and take on everything that comes with that (a bigger mortgage, more expense etc) and so decided that instead what we really want is to work on better becoming debt free and not load ourselves up further. We love our small home and embrace small home living, and decluttering was a huge part of that. Now we have a small home and still plenty of space to grow. Stay tuned though, because I intend to keep going this year and I will be sure to document more soon.
Embracing a more minimalist lifestyle
After deciding that we actually love small home living and decluttering massively throughout the year, it felt so good. We really reduced what we have by a lot and it felt so good. Moving it on by donating it and trying to send as little as waste as we could was a big goal too. We’re now working towards living more minimal (or what our version of minimal will look like – which is what minimalism is too me – and I think it looks different for everyone) and decluttering was a huge part of getting started on this journey. As I mentioned above this means our home doesn’t feel cluttered or full, we have space to grow where we need to and it’s nice to not feel at capacity.
Spending the spring and summer on our beautiful balcony
Our balcony is my favourite space in spring and summer. We live in a split level flat so it’s basically like a house but with no garden, which suits me fine as we have our wonderful balcony and live surrounded by fields, and still have all the benefits of house living, including a garage. Throughout the spring and summer I recreated our little outdoor paradise to see us through the summer. This coming spring/summer will see it properly renovated as we create a space for our daughter and eventually our sibling. We have some safety proofing to do first, but what I home to create is a small world out there where we can enjoy outdoor time, all year round.
More time spent outside
We spent all year in lockdown due to a personal situation which had us on and off shielding all year to protect a family member, so while much of the country was enjoying a little more freedom after the first lockdown we stayed put. Despite not yet having any freedom from staying home it has meant that we have embraced some of the more simplier things, one of those being able to spend more time outside. As mentioned above, we live surrounded by fields and it was a wonderful place to spend our time last year.
Creating our daughters Montessori inspired bedroom
Another home renovation we undertook last year was to create a toddler and beyond bedroom for our daughter. We don’t follow a specific learning style in our early years play-based home education, but we wanted to create a Montessori inspired bedroom, with a few differences. We first painted it white, and much like with our own bedroom renovation I picked out some decals for the wall, these ones were triangles and looked brilliant on the white bedroom wall.
We also picked out a low custom made bed from Shorty Beds. We opted for this over a floor bed for a couple of reasons. Firstly after bedsharing with us for so long, and being used to low bed rather than on the floor, it seemed like a good progression. She is used to getting herself into bed with ease and has been used to this for a really long time, so it was just natural to keep it that way. Also, living in a small home, and her not actually using the bed yet enabled us to form a support bubble and take care of a family member after major heart surgery in mid-2020. This was much easier with a normal bed rather than having them try and get into a floor bed, this would have been impossible.
We have also created low surfaces and spaces, as well as everything at her height. She loves the room and although she doesn’t yet sleep in there as we bedshare still, she loves playing and enjoying the room. I am so pleased with the space we created for her.
More intentional time spent together as a family
The enforced isolation hasn’t always been easy but spending time together as a three has been invaluable. As we decided in mid-2020 that we would add another baby to our family I know that in years to come I will always cherish these times we had together as a family of three.
Created a study nook for me
As you can probably tell it was the year of the home renovations for us and another fun space I created was a study nook for us. Embracing small home living is so fun, because you get to be so creative with space and find incredible ways to use your home, often sometimes in multifunctional ways. We have excess space in our hallway and so we decided this would be a great spot to utilise somehow. By purchasing a desk that fits to the wall and folds away, along with a fold up chair, we create a quick, easy and fun workspace, and this meant that we were able to use a space we were previously wasting but also it all folds away when we don’t need it.
Spent more time baking
I am, in general, not much of a baker, but 2020 got me a little more creative in the kitchen. Not with anything particularly exciting but I carried on creating stuff for Hadley and us.
As you can see it was a busy year despite spending most of it isolated but we spent it in ways that still bring us a lot of joy. What helped you through 2020?