Simplify 2018: Sorting Mugs and Under the Stairs

Earlier this week, Chris came upstairs carrying an empty mug in one hand with his index finger on the other hand stuck out like he was pointing at something. On the end of his finger was a small piece of chipped mug. He’d gone to get it out the cupboard to make a drink and the mug had got chipped. Once again, my one word was going to come into play. How do we simplify the mugs cupboard? How do we store things and what needs to be cleared out?

Too many questions for my brain when I wasn’t entirely ready for the day.

That same morning, while Jaxon ate his breakfast I stood in front of the mug cupboard trying to figure out which ones of mine we could get rid of or use elsewhere. There’s the one I was given for Secret Santa at a networking event, then there’s the birthday one that my Mum’s friend gave me. There’s then the two that Chris bought me for my 18th birthday (I turned 31 a few weeks back!) Lots of the mugs some how had a story. How am I going to narrow down the mugs that we have in the cupboard?


Simplify has been my word of the year since the beginning of 2017. We’re still working on losing some of the clutter. Sometimes it’s easier than other times but I’m sure we have less stuff than we had before.

While I’m pondering this over my breakfast, storage in a bigger way was rattling round my brain. Our summerhouse/shed in the garden is a bit of a dumping ground – it always has been! The owners before us had a home office down there, and as much as I love the idea of turning it back into an office so I physically have to “go to work” in a way to run my business, do I want to be down there in the middle of winter when the house is warmer?

Anyway, I am a huge fan of flat pack furniture. When my friends are complaining about assembling the furniture. I’m there having a field day! Isn’t flat pack furniture like Lego, Meccano or k’Nex for adults?

How clever is this storage option for under the stairs?
Image from

I love looking at Pinterest for clever storage ideas. Other than the mugs in the cupboard dilemma, the other one I’m trying to figure out is under stairs storage. We keep the vacuum cleaner and ironing board under the stairs amongst other things but it’s definitely not a good use for the space. In an ideal situation I’d love to open it up and create something like below (probably with doors to hide the clutter!). But from what I understand, part of the cupboard is a supporting wall for the staircase. Therefore it’s not as simple as just taking the cupboard out. So, I’m thinking of more effective uses of the space (between all the other things I think about!)

But what if it’s not a case of just rearranging a cupboard or putting a new shelf? What if you need more storage, maybe away from your house or flat? I love the tool on the Shurgard website. You can select the items that you want to put in your unit and it will estimate how much space you will need. That way you can make sure you’re only paying for the size storage you need. So whether you need to store all your possessions while you have a round the world adventure or just temporary storage between moves – you can figure out the size you need easily. Clever right?

So back to the mugs, how I narrow down which to keep and which to get rid of? And when it comes to under the stairs, where do I start?


    • Hannah says:

      You’d have to keep your Starbucks ones! They are all memorable right? I stood in the Starbucks at Gare d’Est in Paris and wondered whether I could safely get a Paris or France one home in my bag and then mailed to you in one piece. I figured you may already have it and then the worries about it breaking overtook so I didn’t get it. However I might be going to Dublin next year so if you don’t have that one I may have to at least try!

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