Later that day, after Bill’s statement that he didn’t feel at home, he made just two more. The first was to say he would pay off Kat’s credit card one last time, but this was her last chance. She was to use this as a fresh start. The second statement was made without uttering a word. He went to their bedroom, collected his pyjamas and dressing gown, and took himself off to sleep in the caravan.

Kat’s first reaction was relief. She really was grateful for him taking the financial burden off her shoulders. Her second reaction was shock. How could Bill say their house wasn’t a home? All she ever wanted was to create a home for her family and fill it with memories.  How could she turn this around? Her mind raced. His words echoed through her head.

He’d mentioned the bathroom shelf, and the bedroom, and the chairs. He said the place looked like a storage facility. And something about fire. Where could she find the answer? Well, the internet of course.

Kat went to the Apartment Therapy website. What she needed was a place for everything and everything in its place. She also needed clever storage ideas for small spaces. She searched for articles about bathroom storage first, hoping to create a bathroom transformation. The top four articles already gave her hope. There was This Customizable (and Stylish!) Bathroom Organizer Features an Ingenious Jar System That’ll Double Your Storage Space, and The $39 Find That’ll Add So Much Extra Storage Space to Your Tiny Bathroom, and The $20 Shelf That Saves My Small Bathroom from Countertop Clutter, and finally The Ultra-Stylish Bathroom Organizer That Transforms Tight Spaces Into Extra Storage. The last one also said Hurry: It’s Selling Out Fast!

Kat's Bathroom TransformationQuick as a wink, Kat whipped out her newly paid off credit card and made the purchase before it was too late. Bill would get such a surprise when the bathroom shelf was whipped into perfectly organised shape. The $47 freestanding shelves would make such a difference. After that purchase, she bought some acrylic shelves to attach to the wall next to the basin to lift everything up off the counter. They were only $20 each, so she bought three. She spotted a stylish – and very organised looking – toothbrush holder and bought two of those. She chose coordinating colours. The bathroom would look like it belonged in a luxury hotel when she was done. There was just one more thing. They needed new fluffy white towels to really make it resemble a luxury hotel. She felt better already.

All she had to do now was wait for the parcels to arrive. While she waited, she did some more research about stylish storage. She certainly didn’t want her home to look like a storage facility. The only answer was to get prettier storage. That would take a bit longer to find. But if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing perfectly.

In the meantime, she hunted around in the linen cupboard for something specific. It wasn’t easy. Things kept getting mixed up and falling down, but eventually she found what she was looking for. As she took her mother’s linen floral tablecloth to the bedroom, she smiled. Seeing it now brought back memories of Christmas as a kid. Her mum would be so proud that Kat finally had a use for it. She pushed the boxes and baskets and piles on Bill’s side of the bed together as much as she could. (She did see Bill’s point. Why hadn’t she thought of this before?) When she’d gathered things together as much as possible, she draped her mother’s tablecloth over the heap and declared it an improvement. Now it looked more homely.

There was just one more thing she needed to get to really make Bill happy. She ordered a small fire extinguisher for each room in the house.

A week later, Bill was still sleeping in the caravan, but the parcels had all arrived and Kat started on her bathroom transformation. She could soon show him the big reveal.

She unpacked each box, being careful to keep the packaging. That would come in handy some time. The freestanding shelves were smaller than she’d envisaged. She really thought it would hold more. She moved a pile of magazines from next to the bath to create a place for them. They could find a home somewhere else. She put shampoos on one of the shelves, conditioners on another, and body lotions on the third. But there was still so much to organise.

Lucky she had those three acrylic shelves for the wall. Installation was easy, just peel and stick. She put Bill’s shaving stuff on one of the acrylic shelves. Honestly, it wasn’t just her stuff taking up space. Makeup and hairbrushes filled the remaining shelves. By the time she finished, the only things left on the countertop were the two new toothbrush holders. The final touch was the new towels and they looked lovely. She crammed the old ones into the linen cupboard and shut the door quickly and went to summon Bill.

“Bill, I’ve got a surprise for you. It’s a bathroom transformation. Come with me.”

Bill followed her and noticed a new pile of magazines in the hallway. Kat opened the bathroom door with a “Ta da!” and waited for his response. Bill took in the view. There were still clothes filling the bathtub and a row of perfume bottles on the top of the shower screen. There were six half used bottles of shampoo. He opened the cabinet underneath the basin and saw that it was still full of tanning lotions, deodorants and three hair dryers. But yes, he did admit that the basin countertop looked nice.

He said, “Well Kat, it looks like your bathroom transformation cost a lot of money just so you can putter with your clutter.” And as he turned to leave the acrylic shelf holding his shaving stuff fell off the wall.



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