Three Months of Our LiveLAGOM Project with IKEA and Hubbub

At the start of the year, we began our  LiveLAGOM project with IKEA and Hububb. We were incredibly excited to be selected as ambassadors, to see if we can live a more sustainable life, with the help of £500 worth of IKEA products. Being a huge IKEA fan, I didn’t need asking twice!

The idea of the project is to live a more LAGOM life, which comes from the Swedish phrase ‘lagom är bäst’ (the right amount is best). So enjoying what you love, while not taking more than you need.

So we set to making a list of issues we wanted to address, and the products that would help us. Then it was shopping time!

Thea showing off her IKEA shopping list

So how are our LIVELAGOM resolutions going?

1. Improving access to our recycling (for junk modelling) and cooking gadgets, to help me cook more efficiently.

We used to have this ugly old storage unit next to our fridge, which housed a mass of junk, both for the girls to use, and also just stuff we hadn’t sorted out. We now have a lovely new BESTA cupboard, which has turned chaos into order, and looks a darn sight better too. Eventually, I think we will add more units above, to create even more storage.

The drawers are home to cereal boxes, toilet roll inner tubes, pens, paints, scraps of card and paper and anything else the girls find that they want to make into something new.

They have had such fun with their junk modelling, and especially enjoyed making are out of the boxes the BESTA unit arrived in!

The cupboard also houses my food processor, slow cooker, blender and other cooking gadgets, meaning I actually use them now! Before, they were hidden at the back of the under-stairs cupboard so rarely saw the light of day.

Easy access to my cooking gadgets

All my cooking gadgets are easy to access.

Now I don’t give up my meal plans at the first hurdle (finding the right equipment) and have been cooking better meals. We planned to store the bread maker in this cupboard too, but then when I used it, a load of black stuff fell out of the bottom, and the smoke alarm kept going off, so we had to throw it away. Then we borrowed one from Ryan’s mum, and it blew a fuse. So we have decided we are not meant to make our own bread and have abandoned that idea for now! You win some, you lose some, right?

Our dining area is now a much nicer place to be, and we have a new LED blub in the light which is much brighter than the old one. So the girls are spending much more time here, meaning I can spend more time cooking from scratch.

2. Reducing food waste and planning meals more effectively. 

I am now using my compost bin, and that has really helped scare me into wasting less food. I had to put a whole bunch of forgotten asparagus in it last month, which made me feel dreadful. But I am generally planning our meals better, and composting all of our peelings, Thea’s half eaten bananas, and literally hundreds of tea bags. I didn’t know I drank so much!

3. Being more energy efficient, to help reduce our carbon footprint, and to save money.

If you have read my blog before, you’ll know I have a few issues with the kitchen that came with our house. Apart from the barely working cooker and horrible orange tiles, it also has awful energy gobbling lights. So replacing them was an obvious way to save energy.

My husband Ryan has replaced the lights beneath our kitchen cupboards with a series of OMLOPP LED worktop lights, and they are brilliant. Without them, I cast a shadow over the worktop from the main overhead kitchen lights, (like on the left) and now I can actually see what I’m doing (on the right)! They don’t get hot, and melt the contents of the cupboard above (like the old ones) and they cast a nice even glow. We love the remote control and the fact that you can have two levels of light.

Of course we still have the hideous tiles (in fact you can see them better, ha ha) but the kitchen is so much more functional, it’s amazing what a difference lights can make!

We have also bought some inset spotlights, to replace the monstrous overhead lights, but as they need to be installed by an electrician, and will leave two whacking great holes in the ceiling, we are waiting until we can afford to get a new cooker and have it all done in one go.

We are using our new rechargeable batteries and charger and have teamed them with a STOTTA light for Ava – it clips on to her bed frame so she can turn it on if she needs to get up in the night, and we don’t need to worry about it being left on as it switches off automatically. The energy saving batteries don’t last as long as normal ones, but they are so easy to charge and we haven’t had to leave any out for the recycling, or buy any new ones, so I think it’s well worth it.

4. Making our home office more cosy, and not use the heating so much.

As a freelance copywriter, I often work from home, and get really cold. I had been turning on the heating but felt guilty about how wasteful it was when I only really needed to heat that little room. Thanks to my new sheepskin rug and snug monochrome blanket, I am much more cosy. I put the rug over the chair so it keeps my back warm, and drape the blanket over my lap. Yes, I look like an old lady, but I am warm so I don’t care.

Our home office made cosy with a blanket and sheepskin rug

Pretty much everything in our office is from IKEA but was bought before we started this project.

We have also been chitting potatoes in the office, ready to go into our freshly dug vegetable patch.

When we were deciding how best to use our LiveLAGOM budget, we seriously considered getting an induction hob, as our ancient old cooker is the number one thing that wastes energy in our home. But this meant getting a new oven and replacing the worktop, as the old one is a push in, all-in-one cooker.

Orange oak kitchen with old electric oven

The cooker needs to go, which means new worktops and tiles.

So that plan is on the back burner until we can afford a more extensive renovation. In preparation for our new future hob, I bought a new OUMBÄRLIG stock pot, which is induction hob-friendly. My old copper-bottomed pan won’t work on an induction hob, and it is not safe for the oven either, so I have given the pan, and my casserole dish to my sister in law, as the new pot replaces them both (also saving cupboard space, hoorah!)

It seems to cook food much faster, and because it’s so tall, the ingredients don’t splash out like they did in the old one.

So far, it’s not just the physical changes to our home that we have noticed (as great as they are) it’s the changes to our attitude that have made a difference, and will hopefully continue to do so!

I am trying to declutter, to give us more breathing space, and to give our unused stuff away. We held a really fun and successful Swishing Party where my friends and I swapped clothes, gave a lot to charity, and raised money for another charity. I’m also trying to be bit more green fingered, and have bought some little succulents. I figure these are the most likely to survive!IKEA succulents, helping us liveLAGOM

So we still have a way to go, but  I can already see the difference in our lives. It’s clear it’s going to be much more of a longer-term change.

Don’t forget to search for #LiveLAGOM on Twitter and Instagram, to see what all the other ambassadors are up to! I’ve been really inspired by everyone’s stories.

*IKEA have given us £500 worth of products to help us live a more sustainable life, but all opinions are my own, as always.

I’m linking up with:
This Mum’s Life and Pink Pear Bear for #BigPinkLink
MrsCraftyB for #MakingHome
Mummascribbles for #TwinklyTuesday
RunJumpScrap for #BestAndWorst
The Twinkle Diaries and Mummy of Boy Girl Twins for #HomeEtc
Motherhood the Real Deal and Mum Muddling Through for #CoolMumClub

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35 Comments

  1. 26th April 2016 / 10:13 am

    Such an exciting and interesting project and ideas and love everything you have shown. I too work from home and feel guilty for turning the heating on! You’ve done a greta job 🙂 Jess xx #HomeEtc
    mummyofboygirltwins recently posted…Why Carrie had such an effect on meMy Profile

    • 28th April 2016 / 4:24 pm

      Thanks so much Jess, I de feel a bit smug about not turning the heating on, I must admit, he he. xx

  2. 24th April 2016 / 4:59 pm

    It’s literally the best inventive there is at the mo — I love it. I love the fact that it’s making you think in a different way — such a fantastic opportunity too!! Clever old IKEA — they really do think of everything don’t they? I absolutely cannot WAIT to re-do our kitchen — we inherited it and it’s an absolute horror. No storage, no workspace whatsoever. I’m super jealous of your junk modelling cupboard!! Ours is all in bags — we don’t have enough cupboards for kitchen equipment, let alone junk!!! 😉 Thanks for linking up with us lovely xx #HomeEtc
    Caro | The Twinkle Diaries recently posted…On white sofas, being mindful and my love of bagging a bargainMy Profile

    • 25th April 2016 / 9:18 pm

      Thanks so much Caro, I am so thrilled to be a part of the project, and even more so with the results! xx

  3. 22nd April 2016 / 2:08 pm

    I absolutely love this, i’m really conscious of waste and energy efficiency, i think it’s really important that we all try and live more sustainably. What a difference that unit made to your kitchen and life, amazing what a small change can do. I’m also even more in love with IKEA now. Fab post lovely!

    Cydney x
    #homeetc

    • 22nd April 2016 / 3:47 pm

      Thank you so much Cydney, I have been an IKEA fan for donkey’s years but love it even more now! The store team have been so helpful and kind too, really engaged with the cause! xx

  4. 22nd April 2016 / 9:22 am

    I love this campaign and it’s whole concept and this is a fab post with great tips! I am a big fan of being thrifty and reducing waste.

    • 22nd April 2016 / 4:05 pm

      Thanks so much Annie, as you can tell, I’m really excited about the whole thing! And our compost heap is growing nicely, so that’s great as we never really bothered before – I’m sure our garden will be thankful once it breaks down! xx

  5. 22nd April 2016 / 5:44 am

    Wow. I am a HUGE fan of IKEA – such an iconic Brand. You must be very proud to have been chosen as an ambassador!
    I take an annual trip with my sister in law, leaving the men and kids at home, and we have been known to spend 8 hours in IKEA!
    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub – there are some great ideas in here x

  6. 21st April 2016 / 11:09 am

    This is such a brilliant idea, my colleague is Swedish and I’m learning so much about all the brilliant ways of their lifestyle. Love your ideas and that it’s been something that you can get the whole family involved in too X #HomeEtc

    • 21st April 2016 / 2:54 pm

      It’s such a great idea isn’t it, and the girls are getting stuck in too, which I love. Thanks for popping by xx

  7. 21st April 2016 / 9:10 am

    This is such a great campaign, it’s so important to help raise awareness about sustainability and you have proved it’s not difficult at all! I bet they had so much fun doodling on the boxes!

    #HomeEtc

    • 21st April 2016 / 9:38 am

      Thanks Nancy, yes they love nothing more than a cardboard box! I love how great it is for their imaginations, and it’s recycling too, win/win! xx

  8. 20th April 2016 / 9:05 pm

    What a fab project, I could write a list as long as my arm of improvements to save space and energy what a fab idea x

    • 21st April 2016 / 9:34 am

      Thanks so much Sarah, making a list is a great way to start- it made us really focus on where we were doing OK and where needed some improvement. It makes you feel great! xx

  9. 20th April 2016 / 7:16 pm

    What a great campaign from Ikea and fab that you are taking part in it too! I have read that induction hobs are amazing so I will be very interested to read how you get on if you get one 🙂 #HomeEtc
    Emma recently posted…Transforming a room for under £15 with box shelvesMy Profile

    • 21st April 2016 / 9:37 am

      We are saving up but don’t hold your breath for an update, we have a long way to go as it’s turning into more of a big project. But I know it will be worth it! xx

  10. 20th April 2016 / 7:00 pm

    What an amazing project to be involved in and you have done so many things. Congrats! I love that storage unit and your work area, which looks so cosy. Just simple things like a more economic pan is a great idea. Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst xx
    Sarah Howe (@RunJumpScrap) recently posted…Best and Worst Week #46My Profile

    • 21st April 2016 / 9:37 am

      Thanks so much for hosting Sarah, I’m so happy to be able to share our progress, and that it has made such a difference to us! xx

  11. 20th April 2016 / 4:59 pm

    Great campaign from IKEA, and looks like some positive changes for you. I too am cold in my home office, reluctant to turn all the heating on for me, and so I bought that sheepskin for my chair too last time I was at Ikea. #greatminds 🙂 #HomeEtc
    Molly recently posted…Make Yourself At Home – Part 1My Profile

    • 21st April 2016 / 9:36 am

      Thanks Molly, the rugs are great aren’t they? I find a hot water bottle helps too to really complete the old lady effect xx

  12. 20th April 2016 / 1:27 pm

    Wow you have been busy, the cabinet looks brilliant and it is so mucn nicer having appliances to hand, I can’t wait to do that more when we move.

    • 21st April 2016 / 9:35 am

      It’s amazing what a difference it has made, i honestly can’t believe it! We are so lucky to be part of the project. Good luck with your move! xx

  13. 20th April 2016 / 6:37 am

    This is really interesting…it’s also reminded me I need to sort the lighting out in my kitchen as it’s horrendous!!! I do love me a bit of IKEA! #BESTANDWORST

    • 20th April 2016 / 8:29 am

      Thanks Rachel, I think I could have even fitted these ones myself (though Ryan did it) they were really easy and I’m amazed at the difference – really reasonable price too. Apart from the £100 you end up spending on all the other irresistible bargains on your way round! xx

  14. 19th April 2016 / 6:22 pm

    Ooooh, I so needed this post today! We are drowning in clutter and I have been saying for months that I need to sort it out but I don’t actually know where to even begin! It makes me want to cry some days!! 😀 I love the idea of living a simpler life. My friend gave me a badge once that had this quote on; ‘all these things of which we have no need’ and I’ve never forgotten it. Thanks for linking up with us! #bigpinklink

    • 20th April 2016 / 8:31 am

      I find the battle against clutter is relentless, and so exhausting isn’t it! I totally understand how you feel, I have shed tears in the past due to being totally overwhelmed! One of my friends helped me with my wardrobe ages ago, and it helps to have someone else’s (honest) opinion I find! xx

  15. 19th April 2016 / 8:01 am

    I can not tell you how excited I am that you are the person who linked up before me at #twinklyTuesday. I have been seriously looking into making some changes in our lives towards living a simpler and more sustainable life, so I loved reading this post! You have inspired me further!

  16. 19th April 2016 / 7:36 am

    He he yeah a baby and a wine cupboard could cause quite a lot of stress! We are really excited to be involved, especially as we can see it’s making a difference to us, and the other families involved. Thanks so much for your comment xx

  17. 18th April 2016 / 7:27 pm

    Wow, fab resolutions. Love that Besta unit – anything that successfully hides away kids craft materials is a winner for me! And I love that you’ve also managed to find space for your kitchen gadgets 🙂

    • 19th April 2016 / 7:37 am

      Thanks Eb, I am currently wondering what other rooms would benefit from another Besta unit – I think it could be perfect for our hall to hide some of the twenty plus coats we have! xx

  18. 18th April 2016 / 10:50 am

    Remote control? Two levels of light? I am SO going to check out that worktop lighting! Thank you for sharing 🙂 Sue J via #MakingHome

    • 19th April 2016 / 7:38 am

      I know, right?! And you don’t need to be an electrician to install it as it plugs in to a normal socket. I LOVE them! Thanks for popping by xx

  19. 16th April 2016 / 5:40 pm

    What an exciting project and all very thoughtful things. I love the stuff you chose and sounds like it really is making a difference!
    I love the idea of a junk modelling cupboard or drawers, and will have to think of doing that for my 2 x

    • 17th April 2016 / 8:20 pm

      Thank you Mary, we are so thankful to be part of the project, it has made such a positive difference to our lives, in some fairly unexpected ways. I really recommend the junk modelling storage – it’s great for when you get those “I’m booooored!” moments! xx

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