Clown illustration for SCCR by Hannah Foley. All rights reserved (

I have been making draw string bags for the kids to hang on their coat pegs in the hall and store their seasonal gear in. I’m so tired of bundles of scarves, hats and gloves being wedged on top of the radiator and slowly getting lodged down the back. Eventual retrieval involves wiggling with a long stick and the stuck object emerging covered in a thick layer of dust (I am seriously tempted by one of these from Lakeland – I do love Lakeland). My friend Penny has a shelf of pigeonholes and I am green with envy. It is the perfect hall storage solution for seasonal kit. Unfortunately it requires some serious drilling to put it up and I’m not sure our landlord would be too impressed.

I don’t think houses in the UK do entrances for families very well at all. I love the Japanese Genkan – so sensible. In my perfect world I’d have a sort of antechamber before you even got to the hall, and I’m not just talking about a porch here. It would be full of pigeonholes and shelves for all the paraphernalia we seem to need in order to leave the house (obviously coded by season). There would be plenty of room for storing a muddy buggy and muddy bikes and scooters. In fact, I would have some sort of winch system so I could hook them up, turn a handle and they would be strung up in the roof. That way nobody could suddenly be inspired to start scooting all over the lounge and we wouldn’t be constantly tripping over them. There would also be lots of benches so that everyone could sit down to take their shoes off. No more of this absurd thing we all seem to do in the UK where we hop around on one leg to take our shoes off while everyone else stands outside in the rain waiting to come in.

In my antechamber there would be a special seat for Finch with a harness, like the ones you get in swimming pool changing rooms. That way I could tie him down as soon as we got in and he wouldn’t have the chance to run all over the house in his wellies before I’d managed to get them off him. I would probably go further and install a shower so that I could just sluice him down straight away. In that case then, I’d better have a washing machine in there too so I don’t have to lug all the muddy clothes through the house. Oh and a loo, we’d need a loo. For all those heavily pregnant women and grandparents with enlarged prostates who must go immediately on returning home or there’ll be an accident!

I can dream. Until then, there are drawstring bags. Sadly, even this paltry solution to my storage woes didn’t get very far. The doorbell rang mid-seam. I leapt up, tripped over the electric cable, and knocked my beloved Janome to the floor with an almighty crash. On setting it upright again, it made a sad little whirring noise and nothing moved. It has gone to the wonderful sewing machine hospital in town and hopefully it is fixable. In the mean time I feel as though I have kicked one of my children. My mum assures me that this storage-obsessed stage of my life will pass as the kids grow up. I can’t see it personally. There’s still Big Dreamer to contend with.


By the way, this is my favourite character from the work I did from the SCCR commission. I love him!

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2 Responses to Storage…again!

  1. Natalie says:

    Absolutely the same here! In our new house, the entrance is straight into our kitchen and there is a tiny cupboard to stuff boots, etc in to the left of the door, however the boiler is in there and takes up most of the room! I would love benches with storage and a place for everything. In the meantime, i’ve found those over the door hooks to be a Godsend!
    Hope your Janome is ok! Mine has been staring at me reproachfully as if to say ‘YOU HAVE NOT USED ME SINCE AUSTRALIA WOMAN! PULL THY FINGER OUT!’ but there just never seems to be the time…

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