Kitchen Storage Solutions – Cupboard Organizer – Raised Shelves

Kitchen Storage Solutions  Cupboard Organizer  Raised Shelves

I don’t know about you lot, but we always seem to run out of space in our kitchen. Everything seems to be nicely in order and then we buy something new and bah no space to store it 🙁

Our kitchen furniture is the standard ones; the ones off the “shelf” and not made to measure or to any special order, which means that we didn’t choose the size of our cupboards. They are not so deep but they are tall. In an ideal world I would prefer them to be totally different – or at least not as tall as they are at this moment or maybe just having more shelves inside them, but we do not live in an ideal world so we have to deal with what we have.

But where there is a problem there is also usually a solution to it… we resolved our “problem” of wasting storage space with a range of raised shelves. They simply go inside your cupboard and double your space.

I find this solution brilliant. It is so much easier to reach for things when they aren’t stacking directly one on top of each other. So they offer more storage and ease of use and I love them!

Kitchen Storage Solutions  our Cupboard Organizer  Raised Shelves

We only use the straight inserts – the ones with just one extra surface but if you look around you will be able to find special stacking shelf racks which look like a step ladder (they might be especially useful for small cupboards filled with things like jars of preserves or spices). There is also a range specially designed for corner cupboards.

Kitchen Storage Solutions – Cupboard Organizer – Raised Shelves

But this is not the end of the uses for this lovely little insert. We also use them outside of the cupboards. Mark likes to have his essential cooking things always handy, so they were taking valuable worktop space, but no more… we bought a range of narrow inserts and placed them along the side of the wall. This space wasn’t really used anyway as it is below the upper cupboards so access to this space isn’t all that great. This way we have doubled the storage space we would have without them and I think they look nicer too. On baking days he also tends to dismantle one to use it as a tent frame with a T-towel to cover breads and doughnuts as they are rising!

Kitchen Storage Solutions  Cupboard Organizer and Raised Shelves

We even have one for our toaster, so we can hide a sandwich maker below 🙂

There are an infinite number of useful applications when you start to think about it.

My Kitchen Storage Solutions – Cupboard Organizer – Raised Shelves

Do you use raised shelves in your kitchen?

Do you have any space saving tips you would like to share?

De-cluttering the House – Phase Two

As you all know we have been in the midst of an epic journey to de-clutter the house, a journey of both epic proportions and huge psychological conundrums. I say epic because it doesn’t ever seem to end and conundrums because you end up spending hours holding objects in your hands arguing in your head, do I really need this, yes I do, why? This internal argument can go on far longer than your ability to maintain a desire for de-cluttering the room, trust me, many days have ended to the sound of the clichéd “I’ll finish this later”.

So there I was the other day, a rain soaked windy day heralding the inevitable arrival of winter, a day when venturing outside the house is only desirable if absolutely essential. As there is at present no essential reason to go and get cold and wet I turned my attention to the front room. The first thing that struck me was that Mark has always had a habit of slipping DVDs into the shopping cart, a new release here,  one from the bargain bin there, or even a box set whilst proclaiming how much we will enjoy watching it and that it is an essential buy. I am sure you have had the same experience, and thus the experience now facing me, a wall of DVDs, we have hundreds squirreled away on shelves, in piles and on top of things. This will not do! Time to thin the herd, weed out all those films that as the credits roll we looked at each other and mumbled “Well there goes 2 hours of my life I can’t get back.

Time.... to thin... the herd...
Time…                                                   to thin…                                         the herd…

A quick flick through the piles highlighted around 50 DVDs that we deemed “a waste of money”. Neatly stacked we looked at the new pile and wondered what to do with them. “EBay them” said Mark as he wondered off thinking that he had discharged that job successfully, a short sharp “No” brought him to a halt. Now, I am the eBayer in the house, this task falls to me and I love doing it, the thrill of selling something you no longer want coupled with the lottery of how much you will make, for me it is addictive. Though as with chocolate cake, you can sometimes have too much of a good thing, and listing 50 DVDs, most of which will probably only sell for the 99p starting bid, and for some they probably wouldn’t even make that, coupled with wrapping 50 parcels and dozens of trips to the post office, this is definitely far too much chocolate cake for me.

Time for the cliché… “I’ll finish this later”.

Then a case of serendipity hit me, musicMagpie wrote to me to ask me to highlight their new service for buying our old DVDs, I couldn’t help but smile to myself. What a perfect timing! With all my buying and selling online it actually didn’t cross my mind to look into services which specialize in helping you “recycle” your unwanted goods for cash.

So if you are thinking of starting your own epic journey, or just want to clear out some DVD space so there is room for the new ones Santa Clause will bring you, or just wanting to raise some money that doesn’t involve a payday loan at 5000% APR, give this a thought. Selling dvds online is a great way to earn extra cash  and with Christmas just around the corner I bet we all need all the help we can get. Ok, you probably will not get the full money you could selling them yourself, but that is more than offset by the convenience, time and effort saving, hassle free life style, not to mention the “job jobbed” satisfaction feeling.

*Post written in collaboration with musicMagpie.

De-cluttering the house – eBay, car boot sale, charity shop

A few months back we found ourselves facing a huge challenge – we had to make our 4th bedroom usable. You may think “ok, so what’s a big deal?” The big deal was that we bought the house over 5 years ago and never used it, which means this bedroom became a dumping ground for all the stuff which we were not sure what to do with, spare items, seasonal items etc etc

This is just one corner of the room
This is just one corner of the room

The job was huge; huge to the point that I had to request help from my cousin Kate. She come for a week and yes, we did some “cleaning” and sorting but it wasn’t even close enough to what we should have done. We still were not able to enter the room freely, not to mention that there was still nowhere near enough free space to put a bed in. So Kate came and left and we were still left with a room, now half full of clutter.

Next help came in a  form of my sisters partner… he is much more strict with getting rid of stuff so we sorted out some more of our beloved belongs… but he left and we still had room full of stuff and the impending deadline for our bedroom to be usable and finished. It seemed as if the more we tidied the more stuff appeared, and everything we wanted to keep and thus found a new home for merely displaced some other stuff, that ended up in the fourth bedroom, it was a catch 22 in the making.

Then good fortune smiled on us and Roman (my sister boyfriend) returned to us a few weeks later. This time we had a plan to sort out everything. The plan was to make the room totally empty ready for painting and decorating. This plan was good and our execution was going rather well. So what was the plan? Basically we decided to split all “magic” items in this room into a select few groups:

  • eBay – things which we didn’t want but had some high value and were saleable
  • Car boot sale – all items which could bring us some small money and we thought may sell
  • Charity – all items which were in good condition but unsuitable for eBay or car boot due to size for example
  • Keep – this group had some restriction, we only kept things which had some personal value for us or could be classified as sentimental value items… everything else had to go into one of the other groups, simply put as we needed the space
  • Loft – we kept seasonal or same spare items which we would most likely need in the future, like few new kettles, which aren’t needed at this moment but one day they will
  • The tip – everything else which didn’t quite make any of other 5 categories, due to missing parts or bits broken.
Our Car Boot Sale Store
Our Car Boot Sale Store

So one Saturday we packed the car and off we went to sell our treasures at the car boot sale. The day was rather nice so sales were going pretty well. We made almost £100 and got rid of half of our load. On the way home we left all that didn’t sell at the car boot at the charity shop (we specially picked a Saturday car boot sale so we could do that). We returned home and packed the car with charity shop items and tip stuff. A mere 1 hour later we return home with an empty car.

Our room was finally clean and ready for its make-over. I feel so happy that this monstrous task is finally behind us. I am sad that I had to say good bye to so many things, but it had to be done!

Are you a collector or you are keeping a rather minimalistic approach to stuff?

Good Housekeeping – The Socks Drawer

We all have our ways of dealing with socks. I used to roll them into balls…but no more…

Last time my cousin Kate come to visit us she showed me a new method of keeping the socks storage problem at bay. I have always complained that they are taking far too much space… yes, I know that the easy solution would be just to get rid of some of them but I love me socks and wanted to keep them all!

Now, I still have all my lovely socks and even some space in my drawer (sock shop here I come…).

This is how my socks draw used to look like*
This is how my socks draw used to look like*
And this is how it looks now
And this is how it looks now
My socks folding method before and after Kate’s visit
My socks folding method before and after Kate’s visit

Most of the time I think that I know it all (as I do…) and that my way is the best and the only way (cause it is…) but how wrong was I in regards to my socks. Kate’s method is far better. Her folding system gives you flat ironed socks as a result, which means that they take much less space once placed in the drawer. Once I re-made all our socks drawers Mark laughed at me and told me that this change isn’t going to last, he gave it 1 week tops. He was wrong! (again…) It is coming up for the  2nd month of keeping Kate’s system in place and I have no intentions of going back to my socks balls way.

These easy to follow instructions will show you how to get nicely folded flat socks every time.

Collect matching pair of socks
Collect matching pair of socks
Place one sock on top of the other, right side up
Place one sock on top of the other, right side up
Fold socks in half
Fold socks in half
Hide them inside one of the socks, making flat packet
Hide them inside one of the socks, making flat packet

This works with all socks, including huge fishermen’s one. Depending on the size of your sock drawer, you may want to fold the large sized or very long socks over a few times, before folding them up all in one packet (I fold Mark’s biking socks over 3 times before I pack them in together).

Have fun if you decide to re-arrange your sock draw. It is a boring process (if you have huge selection of socks), but once it is done, keeping it this way is very easy. Or you can break yourself in gently by folding the new fresh washed socks in the new system and the old socks will be replaced as they are used. This method is also good for identifying any lurkers that you never wear, so you can discard them making even more valuable space.

*Picture source