Over the past few months, I’ve been working on a project with the friendly people from Ikea – Live Lagom.
If you want some background on what I’ve been up to, you can read my first two posts (Living Lagom in 2016 with IKEA and Live Lagom – the Story so Far) but as the project is now coming to a close, I thought I’d highlight some of the lessons I’ve learned so far…
1. Timer switches are a total revelation
Amongst the hoard of brilliance that we collected during our Ikea visit was some brilliant string-lights (low energy, of course) and some time switches. At the time (pun intended) I wasn’t really that sure how useful the timers would be – little did I know, they’re a marvel when paired with the aforementioned light strings. If, like us, some of your plug switches aren’t exactly the easiest things to reach, a time switch is a great way to avoid having to scramble about trying to switch them on and off. The lights in the photo below are in my children’s bedroom, and come on at about 6pm (or later, depending on the time of year) and go off about 7.30, when they should be going to sleep. Genius!
2. My fingers may be greener than I realised!
One of the workshops I attended with the Ikea team included a session where we designed and planted our own arrangements of low-water plants – you can see my effort below, on the left. As well as being a fun activity, it inspired me to get a little bit more hands-on in the garden this month – though I’m still a long way from Monty Don!
3. Recycling is easier when you make the space
One of my favourite purchases from our project store visit was a pair of large, easy-carry recycling bags, one of which now stands proudly next to our regular bin and makes recycling a lot simpler. Our previous recycling solution was a small box which needed to be emptied several times a week – nice in theory, but in reality this just served to make me resent the action of recycling. Having a nice, enclosed and very smart bag in its place has made the whole process a lot simpler!
4. Ikea bags have a surprising number of uses
Despite having no space for a vegetable plot in our current house, this spring has seen us trying our hand at some vegetable growing with the kids – including Basil, Tomato and Tobacco (don’t ask – Robert picked those!!). With the tomato seedlings now having grown big enough to need potting, I employed a trick that one of my fellow Lagom’ers taught me during out last workshop. Namely: Ikea bags make great planters when you need space in the garden!
5. The best rugs for warmth are the lovely thick ones
The rugs now keeping us warm in our living room and the children’s bedroom are lovely and thick – something I’ve always avoided in the past when choosing rugs. What I failed to realise though, back int the day, was how lovely and warm a thick rug can be – even if it does mean a stray Lego minifigure can get lost amongst those thick strands!!
At the start of this project, I set my main target as saving money on our energy bills – something which I suspect I have. I won’t find out the true saving until I get my itemised Spring energy bill (I’ll let you know!) but what I’ve take out of this project has been so much more than just a money saving. If you ever get the chance to learn about Ikea’s sustainability goals, or how they can help you to ‘Live lagom’ yourself, I can highly recommend it!