the secret diary of a memory hoarder;

Of course, with the benefit of hindsight, I was never going to be able to stick to Apartment Therapy’s August “Style Cure” given that I was on holiday for much of the planning stage. I love the concept though: every day for a month you’ll receive an email containing a simple task to help you plan, style and celebrate the makeover of one room in your house. It’s a programme the site also ran in January, which I think was when I initially signed up (I failed then too, admittedly) – so if they repeat it in the new year, maybe I’ll have better luck then.

I’m trying not to beat myself up about it – the way I live my life, it’s no surprise that things often get in the way – but I told myself that things were going to be different in our no-longer-quite-so-new home. Although we lived in Monkey Towers for six years the place never really felt like ours in all that time, perhaps because it was full of furniture that we never picked for ourselves. Although we’re still renting, the flat we’re in now was unfurnished so everything in it is ours – and it also came with at least two hideous walls that you’d think would be all the encouragement one needs to redecorate. That and the red wine stain halfway up the kitchen wall. The broken bottle might have been my fault, or it might have been Scooter-cat’s; but it was that early in the morning it was never properly dealt with.

I feel like I’m ready to start – even if it’s just a case of planning, rather than actually doing anything right now, for money or time reasons – and that’s something I’m hoping to work on next week when Stringer is in the States on a Very Exciting Business Trip. The biggest problem I foresee is how small the new place is, even with its additional room: we’re not terrible hoarders, but the slightest mess looks awful. Our large collections of CDs, books and DVDs; my clothes and shoes and kitchen and bathroom storage call for innovative storage solutions, so that’s something to think about.

I have very little space in my wardrobes, and what floor space there is is currently occupied by large crates full of memories: old diaries, photo albums and newspapers I could get rid of if I had a better means of storing my cuttings. The internet has replaced my diaries and photo albums, as much a result of convenience as any enthusiastic embrace of newer technologies: much of the online journalling of my late teens and early 20s began on paper, and I kept all my photographs in albums like this neatly dated and annotated. Despite the lack of storage space I wish I still had the time to do this: it doesn’t feel the same looking back at your holiday snaps captured on Instagram, does it?

Benidorm Beach at night

Benidorm Beach at night

Paella Day at Hotel Sandos Monaco

Paella Day at Hotel Sandos Monaco

A lucky capture at Parque de L'Aigüera

A lucky capture at Parque de L’Aigüera

A Balcony Scene

A Balcony Scene

What holidays are made of...

What holidays are made of…

The Spanish New Music Awards-winning Amy Winehouse

The Spanish New Music Awards-winning Amy Winehouse

This post is sponsored by John Lewis. Funnily enough they had absolutely no hand in the above rambling.



  1. Lisa-Marie
    August 16, 2013 / 9:44 am

    I did it with some success in January, for the whole flat, but it badly needs it again. I’m going to use my long weekend and evenings before NY to blitz it. I’d like to cone home to vague organisation!

    • August 16, 2013 / 10:20 am

      Ah, it was you who introduced me to Apartment Therapy! I suspected as much! x

      • Anonymous
        August 16, 2013 / 4:04 pm

        And me, also! Although I failed the January Cure this year too. There’s a page in my Moleskine with “Day 1: Make a list of projects” neatly headed at the top, and “18th March: …so, yeah, that ain’t happening right now” scrawled in biro underneath, which Eleanor found hilarious.

        I’m saving up the Style Cure emails for after payday, when I intend to make an earnest attempt to get working on my bling bathroom. There’s no excuse for having lived here 10 months and still not having a towel rail or a toilet roll holder 🙁

        • Sarah Sea
          August 16, 2013 / 4:06 pm

          (Um, that was me… forgot my deets aren’t pre-loaded when I comment from mah phone!)

  2. August 16, 2013 / 1:02 pm

    I am hoping to introduce some order in the chaos. The day we got the keys to our place, M’s gran died, so understandably he was not so keen on doing a big sort out or anything like that.

    Maybe next time we move? In the meantime I am beginning to think about doing a clear out – that is almost the same as doing it right?

    • August 16, 2013 / 2:22 pm

      Yes! You have to start somewhere, after all. And with the clutter gone, I’m sure you’ll feel more motivated to do the other things.