Packing Up

packing up feature

Packing up my studio in Maastricht was no easy feat, let me tell you! I thought it would be no big deal, but I was severely mistaken.


When I first moved in back in September 2016, I received the apartment empty. Over the following weeks I slowly bought the necessary things that made it a home, and thoroughly enjoyed creating this space. I wish I had filmed this process, but I wasn’t really on my vlog hype back then, but I did take plenty of photos. Below is the work in progress.  I think it’s right you see how it was built, so watching it come apart is all the more satisfying!


my empty room my empty room mumma helping me clean

There it is! All empty and beautiful. September 2016. This was the first time my Mum came over to visit me, and I got the keys to the new place. Was very happy to get her seal of approval on the new diggs.


my blow up mattress

My modest starter bed. Air mattress sent by Grandmother Gray. My favourite part, it was one of those plug in and blow up ones, I was very impressed and touched.


mattress a la sheet

Kitted out with some equally modest makeshift bedding to start.

bed upgraded to the gods

Then after my first HEMA trip… bed all decked out and upgraded to the GODS!


panorama at early stages

A curtain, some bunting, and some hanging of clothes from various nails already in the wall later…the room started to feel more homey.

ikea girl we are family

IKEA Heerlen and I got formally acquainted! I even joined the family. I brought home all the accouchements I could carry, and selected the larger items I would order for delivery. Bed, table, wardrobe etc. I was stupidly excited for delivery so I could get my tool kit out and start building!


IKEA boxes

My IKEA delivery!! Well half of it. Funny story. Well, actually, not funny at all at the time. Two lovely delivery men brought these boxes up to my studio two floors up. I looked at it and was like ‘Wooo, can’t wait to get started’. When the delivery men left, my roommate told me not to forget to unroll my mattress. I looked at my box collection and there was nothing immediately visible to the eye that needed to be unrolled. Then it dawned on me, it must have still been in the truck! Stupid me had forgotten all about it and signed for delivery thinking I had everything!


The next half hour was a panicked me trying to get in touch with IKEA. Tweets, Facebook, unanswered calls to the dutch call centre. I was freaking out! But by some grace from above, the delivery men came back in around an hour. I’d never been so happy.


‘Thank you so much, I completely forgot about the mattress!’ I exclaimed,  as I opened the door. In they brought it, in its shiny packaging, I was pumped to unroll it. But then to my surprise, they proceeded to unload another 25+ boxes, and four folding chairs. Both I, and them, had forgotten a lot more than the mattress! Did I mention how happy I was that they came back?


So all in all, this was the task that lay ahead of me once I had the WHOLE delivery.

whole IKEA delivery

It was time to get stuck in! first up unrolling. The mattress needed 3 days to puff up.

unrolling rolling rolling rolling table done!

Boom….table. Done!

Next up the wardrobe, and shelving units. I built along to Gossip Girl on Netflix which was a blast. Drama and flat pack assembly – perfect weekend!

building wardrobe standing wardrobe kallax building

I planned to leave the bed till last as I figured it would be the hardest to build. This thought was absolutely correct. It was rough. I had thought I could get everything done over my long weekend, Thursday to Sunday, but the bed absolutely broke me. Firstly I put a key piece in the wrong way, which threw off every following piece. Once I realised, I returned to fix that and everything went smoothly, until the drawers. Those bloody drawers!

bed parts bed frame meze sustenance break

Meze sustenance break.

building bed victory shot

Slats, slatted. Drawers, fitted. Pure glee.

the finished article

Blood, tears and sweat later. Bed done. I had never been more ready to lie down and go to sleep.


/ / / / /


And that was it, this was my room. My haven, my shelter in the storm, where I spent many a happy hour, day, night, and weekend. So many wonderful memories.


my haven


Now, watch me take it all apart!




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Charlotte Gray
Charlotte Gray

Thanks for spending some time Up and Away with me!

I’m writing here to keep track of not only my travels to new places, but also my daily journeys through learning, loving and life.

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