By a tiny majority, inventory posts were the ‘winner’ category in my recent poll (not too late if you haven’t completed it!). Lucky, cause you’re about to get a whole week of them! Get excited. See what’s in those cupboards and drawers… And feel free to ask where something is, or why something is where it is!
One day, I’ll publish my house’s inventory. But it would be one L-O-N-G post, and so I’ve broken it down, and I’ll share snippets over time. Then, in the end, you’ll have the whole picture.
Today, let’s look inside my kitchen cupboards – scroll to the bottom if you want to orient yourself with my kitchen in a photo, but you could just let me draw a little sketch for you:
The reason there aren’t more cupboard to the right is due to the kitchen and cabinetry being built into/under the stairs. It’s an effective use of otherwise dead space!
First, I’ll be showing you the two stacked cupboard to the right of the fridges. The first selection of pictures are for a set of two cupboards, with two shelves in each. The top shelf houses the microwave, then under it is baking tins. In the second cupboard is saucepans on top, and miscellaneous on the bottom.
The cupboard under the ‘thin edge’ of the wedge under the stairs is a little multipurpose. It holds my wired appliances with lower rotations, such as
the food processor,
the hand food processor/whizz stick and
Of those three items, two were 100% free from freecycle – I’m sort of proud of that! I also store my grandma’s old china – not for sentimental reasons, but for big parties etc. I’d prefer stockpile china than use single use.
I also store ‘excess’ bathroom products such as hand wash, perfume & facewash (the last two were gifts). The cardboard box holds all my plastic tupperware (mainly former yoghurt pots and take away containers). Whilst I’m mostly anti plastic, it can be useful to ‘gift’ things in reused plastics. It’s also good for small quantities of leftovers.
Let me break that down some more with some snapshots of ‘areas’:
OK I give up counting here, where I get to the catch all!
26 ceramic plates
5 stick blender attachments
3 items to the blender
Where, you ask, are all the eating things? Bowls? Well, they are all on my open shelves, which are pretty self explanatory:
(73 items on shelves, not incl pen jar 7 contents. 7 items in hanging rail)
If I was more minimal, I’d not have a mandolin slicer. Or a blender + food processor + stick blender. And I’d probably just not entertain and do away with additional plates. And beer, well I don’t need it, so it shan’t cross the threshold. But compromising is part of life. And I like how the ‘tools’ make things easier than doing it by hand – I seriously get a sore wrist from grating and I can’t imagine slicing as finely as the mandolin, even after my knife skills course!
Is this a lot of stuff, or a little? What can’t you imagine doing without, and what would you toss if you took over my kitchen?
I usuall carry a pretty large handbag, cause it fits my work files in it nicely. However, in my opinion, there’s not all that much IN the bag otherwise, and I can easily down size most of it for a night out and a smaller handbag. Here’s everything laid out:
Let’s look a little closer at ‘the bag of everything’
And it all laid out in the open:
What I like about this collection is that I feel ‘confident’ I have ‘everything I need’. I can do my face up no matter where I am (cause I don’t wear make up at work, being that I’m in muddy holes and the like). I also keep some loose tissues and a pair of earplugs in a side pocket, should I find myself needing to sleep away from my stash at home. Two phones are sort of a requirement that I like, because smart phones die. Thankfully having the charger in the bag nowdays saves BIG dramas. And where would I be without my moleskin list book? Many a blog post idea (and work to do list) end up in that lovely book of cubed paper. Swoon.
As part of my house inventory, I have decided to document all the art that hangs in my house. All of it provides great memories of my travels. Some of it, you may have seen snippets of in other posts, but the best place to see where they live in my house would be to look at my House Tour
When I say pantry, I do extend it to my fridge where I store condiments. I won’t be listing the stuff that rotates through regularly. Generally speaking, I keep a bare fridge, but a stocked pantry, with a varying level of stuff in the freezer (often leftover meals, and sometimes prepared vegies or similar).
GF Self raising flour
Self rasiing flour
GF plain flour
brown rice flour
Bi carb soda
Baking add ons (in the teal tray to right of the photo above)
Peanuts – whole
Peanuts – chopped
“Sugars” see photos below, above herbs/spices
Icing sugar (powdered sugar)
Palm sugar (cubes)
1 x black beans
2 x cannelini beans
2 x coconut cream
1 x coconut milk
2 x anchovy tins
1 x tuna (HUGE)
2 x mussamun curry paste
1 x caramelised onions (such a cop out, but a great thing to have on hand!)
2 x tinned tomatos
1 x tomato paste
1 x thickened cream UHT carton (small)
Beef stock cubes
Taco spice sachet (another cop out!)
Ground gloves jar
Chinese 5 spice
Mustard seeds – brown
Paprika – sweet
Liquid condiments – oils, sauces etc
Canola oil spray
Red wine cask
White wine cask
Rice wine vinegar
Red wine vinegar
Tomato sauce – never eat this, but guests you know
BBQ sauce – as above
Sweet chili sauce
Kecap Manis (Sweet soy sauce)
Speculoos paste (smashed up biscuits you get with coffee in Europe)
Crushed garlic – cause sometimes I just can’t be bothered!
Lime juice – laziness again!
Ikea mustard/sauce thing
Olives – currently black AND green!
Parsley (in a tube)
Red curry paste
Kaffir lime leaves
Tomato paste squeezy (beats the one I have stored in the cupbaord!)
There is something very very wrong with me, that I get excited about doing a clothing inventory! It was wonderful! I was inspired by other bloggers and their recent posts: Dar at An Exacting Life with her Year-Long Wardrobe Project Complete! and Kim at Extra Organised planning her inventory, with a nod to her ‘number’ with her Life, Unplugged post
The inventory thankfully dovetailed nicely with my summer to winter transition, but being Australia there’s a lot of ‘all year round’ stuff – like singlets that layer under longer sleeves. And jeans. Without further ado…. (drum roll please!)
[Oh with respect to my photos. They are horrible! No one will be asking me how to take such nasty photos, not ever. Be nice, I live in a cave. And it’s approaching winter here. And the sun only really shines for 2 hours in my apartment, and both those hours I’m at work. So… they’re my excuses!]
Accessories, shoes & outwear = 64
Shoes: 20 (includes slippers, boots, thongs) see the complete inventory here
Hand bags: 7 (1 formal clutch, 3 Longchamp pliages, 1 ‘satchel’ style, 1 teal suede bag, 1 unused oversized tote)
Hats: 4 (cap, and 3 hats bought in anticipation for my head shave!)
Belts: 7 (cause I’m lazy and like to leave them in my pants/shorts etc!)
Coats: 4 (1 wool, 1 trench, 2 cheapies (grey, black))
Gloves: 2 (long leather & possum wool)
Intimates = 147
Knickers: 45+ (you should see my list – the high number is due to YEARS of undie shortages through the boarding school wash system. From scarcity to hoarding! The plus accounts for some that are in the continental drift 😉 )
Sports Bras: 4
Socks: 30 (9 pairs unopened, for future ‘circulation’)
Hosiery: 9 (5 pairs of stay ups, 3 pairs of footless tights, 1 pair of true tights)
House dresses: 9
Bed wear: 6
Winter house clothes: 5
Dressing gowns: 2 (winter, sexy ;))
Work out pants: 10 (includes all leggings, even if I wear them in normal circulation)
Work out tops: 9
Casual swimsuits: 2
Sport swimsuits: 2 (for playing water polo)
Bottoms = 38
Shorts: 3 (denim, white, navy)
Skirts: 9 (2 x demin – light and dark, 3 x striped – lime/white, black/white, pink/white, 1 x floor length casual, 3 x ‘going out’)
Pants: 4 (white linen, 2 x beige, white dressy)
Jeans: 5 (incl 1 pair of cords)
Work pants: 5
Work skirts: 8 (almost ALL the same style in different colours/fabric + 2 more casual/church appropriate styles)
Uniform work pants: 4
Tops = 78
Singlets: 14 (aka tank tops or camisoles)
Short sleeved: 7
3/4 sleeved: 12 (3 x geometric print, 2 x navy, 1 x teal etc – more variety in this category)
Long: 13 (2 x black, 1 x white, 6 x striped, etc – they go under ever thing in winter)
Cardigans/summer jumpers: 5
Work tops: 5 (button up ‘blouses’)
Thin winter jumpers: 6 (wool or cashmere)
Thick cardigans: 3
Uniform work shirts: 6
Waterpolo shirts :3
Work wet weather gear and jumpers/jackets as they live in the car. Scooter gloves and wet weather pants that live in a box in the garage – but I did include the scooter jacket as it lives in the house.
GRAND TOTAL: 343
What could go?
Let’s be honest, for the last 2 years that I’ve had a uniform 4 days a week. The fifth day is either a rostered day off, or I go casual, jeans + almost any shirt! So all that ‘work’ gear (18 items) is close to unworn mostly! I have far too many socks, but some are out of rotation til the current ones die. I also have far to many pairs of knickers, but I’m OK with that. I’m certainly ‘into stuff’ when it comes to scarves, they just jazz up my wardrobe so much! I used to have a handful of dresses, when I was studying at uni (with boys/men) so pants were more common. There’s definitely been a recent explosion of dresses in my wardrobe which could be trimmed down a little.
I complete a more detailed inventory listing EVERY item, and then adding them up. What I noticed was there was a heavy use of certain colours: beyond black and white (and stripe and pattern with these two colours), there’s a lot of teal, navy blue, other blues and greens and grey. There’s only 4 clothing items that are pink, and 2 or 3 scarves! There’s nothing yellow, orange, or even red (save for a belt with one side that’s red!). Interestingly I used to have a handful of res shoes, but evidently that phase is well and truly over! There’s a fair bit of stripey action going on too!
I’ll definitely admit there’s more in my wardrobe than perhaps I ‘need’ especially seeing I wear a uniform. However, when I travel, I realise I wash less often (and have less access), so I have ended up with a greater stock pile of ‘staples’. I also have stockpiles of singlets, socks and knickers – all of which I’m more than happy with. I know what I like, and I like to have them on hand, as they all ‘wear out’ from heavy use.
So how about you? How do you go with your clothes? I know Dar at An Exacting Life is only about 10 items more than me in her total. Kim is down at 200! I have no hope of that. If I was to do Project 333 (33 (or less!) items for 3 months) I’d need an annual count of 132 (pft, spluter, yeah no hope there!) I wonder what mochimac at Spend Save Splurge comes in at, cause she loves clothes!
When I did my house inventory (which I will one day publish, when I work out the best things to include/exclude. Perhaps I’ll start with clothing?), I went through receipts. I suddenly realised how much I’d spent on Command 3M hooks: $72.88. They are expensive, but so alluring for their ‘no damage’ mantra. So here’s where they’ve been put into service in my place:
1. Spice storage
Count: 15, with more to come, since I just bought some more spices
2. Paper bag storage
3. Hanging binder clips of rosters, take away menus etc
4. More bag storage
5. Dustpan storage
6. Bra hanging
Sorry, they don’t like as nice as at Victoria’s Secret, but then again, I’m not trying to sell you my bras!
7. Sports bra hanging
Sexy huh? Hey, a girl’s gotta run!
8. Gently worn ‘house’ clothes
Again, so carefully styled so you think my home is swoon worthy (*not*)
That’s 42 adhesive 3M hooks holding on for dear life there! That makes it about $1.70 per hook, though I do have a few still in my hardware drawer. Seems I’m the ultimate brand ambassador (perhaps they’ll contact me and offer me millions, but I’m not holding my breath. Though… I wouldn’t say no!).
I also have metal 9 screwed in hooks at my entryway for jackets, scarves and hats, and another 3 on the back of the bathroom door!
That’ll bring me to 54!
It seems interesting to me that there’s no pictures/picture frames using these hooks. I have tried them in a number of locations – both on tile and on my normal wall surface with very limited success. Naturally the humidity in the bathroom caused issues. Then a few ‘jumped’ off the walls – breaking a frame in the process! After that, I went the route of nailed in picture hooks for all my pictures, save for one where I used the 3M velcro strips, as I wanted the piece flush with the wall. After some initial teething problems with the strips, they seems to be holding well now. There’s another inventory I can bring you – all my wall art!
It’s lighting. I almost cause accidents driving past lighting stores. It’s just so alluring.
So where’s there’s a love, there’s a way? I created a need – I like to read on the sofa but the light isn’t great from my flowery overhead Ikea pendant light, so I thought of what might work in my space. I figured I wanted a lamp that would dramatically arc over the sofa, so I could read easily without the overhead light on. Essentially, I wanted the Arco lamp.
But there was NO way I was paying $425 for a lamp (click to see the Australian sales ad). Yes, I pay $300 for shoes, but not $425 for a lamp. Logical? Perhaps not. So on the weekend, whilst watching TV, I got surfing on Gumtree for lamps. (Gumtree is the most used service for buying and selling used goods, like Craiglist in the US). Here’s what I found, for $60:
Now, with a 60kg base, there was NO way I was getting this to my house alone. I love a DIY project, but I needed a partner in crime. Oh, dear, what had the BF got himself into? That marble base is *heavy*. And the seller had it up three flights of stairs! First we had to get the sucker dismantled. No mean feat, given the seller was at work, and his flatmate had no idea. Rest assured, I worked it out, separated the marble from the metal rail that makes the arm, and condensed the arm back into itself (all without jokes about screwing and dark holes). It seriously is a marvel of design (and engineering!)
Once back home, we took a break for pizza (and a beer for the BF) before we tried to get it into my place. Thankfully I can go from the carpark to a lift to my apartment without any stairs. Lucky, cause it’s unlikely the bf would have considered stairs after the three flights at the seller’s place! To get it from the car to my apartment, we went super posh style – using a rolly suitcase. Use what you got people! There aren’t trolleys in my little loft. It wasn’t a perfect fit, but between the two of us, we got the lump of marble into place with relative ease, and less arm/back strain than before. (Who am I kidding, I didn’t even TRY and lift the thing, not once!)
I was so excited I was skipping around the place. No word of a lie. So even though the lighting in minimal, I had to get some candid shot done straight away.
The best thing was, the next morning I had a later start, so I could get some lovely ‘daytime’ light photos for you too.
That wasn’t enough? You want more. Oh, why, of course!
When I showed the ad to my bf on the weekend, he asked me ‘will it make you happy?’. My response was ‘no silly, things don’t make you happy (and I stand by that). But golly gosh, I’m giddy and all in love with my newest addition!
If you don’t read An Exacting Life, you’re missing out! She’s inspired so many of my posts. Today, I was a little stuck on what to write. Nothing I’d drafted felt right or finished, and I just lacked the drive to know what to write (so, if there’s something you’d like to know, feel free to send me an email with what you’d like to know livetolist(AT)gmail.com). And then whoosh, An Eaxcting Life’s post comes and I think ‘oh, I could write a whole post on that, rather than just commenting!’. So here goes:
Firstly, I live alone, so my ‘stuff’ ratio is at least 1/3 of what a couple with one child would have. However, I likely earn as much as these couples, based on my rudimentary knowledge of US salaries and my salary. So I have the means to have as much as these families, if not the time in life to have bought it all (I’m 28, I’m not sure how old the respondents were).
Interestingly, if I was to participate in a program like this, I wouldn’t react with ‘Oh no, I don’t want someone poking through my house’ (probably explains why I blog!), or even ‘I need to clean first’. Sure there’s dust on the skirting boards at the moment, but overall I’m content to show strangers a few bowls in the sink.
I also have nothing on my fridge – I think the advent of stainless steel fridges has made that more and more common. No one has ever said anything about it being ‘empty’. I do have a magnetic noticeboard nearby, and that’s where invites and cards go, as well as some nice subway map magnets.
To some extent, my house is a cultural museum, almost all my ‘art’ is from my travels (I plan to catalogue all my art in a blog post in the future). Actually, I buy almost all my clothing overseas too. I plan and save for trips and have the time to shop thoughtfully. If homewares weren’t so heavy, I might also partake in buying those too (I didn’t even know there was Zara Home til I got to Dubai. I was in HEAVEN! ) I don’t display anything related to my religion. Religious art sort of creeps me out. And if it creeps me, imagine all my non religious friends’ reactions!. I don’t have any trophies at all, and I don’t display my certificates. As to photos of family: I have none! I have a photo strip of my best friends and myself from the day of my first date – but none of the said date, now bf! I LOVE making photo albums for my brother’s 21st and my grandmother’s Christmas present last year, but I don’t display photos. They age quickly. And… I don’t know. Perhaps it’s all those years at boarding school, it was too painful (at the height of homesickness) to see a reminder?
With technology, I have two phones (work and personal). The work phone tends to live in my handbag at the front of the house. My personal phone follows me around, and it charges at the foot of my bed. I watch a bit of TV, particularly when I’m home alone. But I try to pick programs rather than just watch for the sake of it. Cause I have book reviews to get too as well! And I actually quite like the radio on, and often feel conflicted when I have to turn it off!
I do not stockpile food – I don’t have the space! I have a 10L water canteen just in case, and lots of grains, so I can eat from my pantry should I have to. But I buy all my meat and fruit/vege fresh as it’s just outside my door. I can’t imagine having an additional fridge or freezer, as I grew up in a family of five without one. I always cook in my own kitchen, and about 50% of the time I cook with the bf’s help at his place. He can cook by himself, and I’ll leave him to it, but happy to help as requested. (So blessed to have a man that cooks… something I need to teach one of my brothers!)
I don’t have a backyard. I have a comically small balcony. I have one fold up chair. It’s sad – the size, but I knew I wouldn’t utilise a balcony, or bother keeping it clean and nice, so it’s probably good I didn’t waste money on a place with a bigger outdoor space. I’m lucky to have a communal rooftop, that’s super sunny with an awesome view, and soon a pool and BBQs – all of which I don’t have to maintain!
In my bedroom, I think it’s spartan, similar to a hotel. But there’s more colour than a hotel – at least in the bedding. White bedspreads are a little scary to me. In my house inventory, I spend roughly 4% on my bedroom in the past 16 months, but I don’t include soft furnishings in that (that’d add 10% or so in actual costs). When I look at replacement cost of the furniture (I owned by bed when I moved in), it’s closer to 11% of the total costs on the place. The electrical items (ie ANYTHING with a power cord: fridge, phone charger etc) and the living room are the highest ‘stuff’ costs.
My car space is almost totally for my car, and my unridden motor scooter. I have a metal tool box, with all the scooter accoutrements, and some paperwork that I seldom need, but keep.
I think I have a minimal home, mainly because I was mindful when I ‘filled’ it when I moved in at the start of 2012. It helps that it’s small, so I don’t have space to ‘hide’ stuff. I also sit around thinking ‘where do I have too much stuff’ and look to thin things out regularly. And I’m happy to defend my choices when I compare my stuff to others, such as extreme minimalists like Zero Waste Home.
How about you? (Don’t worry, if you already comment over at An Exacting Life, I’ll be reading eagerly!)
I love my loft apartment, mostly. But I can’t help thinking ‘one day’, I’ll move and these are the things I wish my house to have
lots of natural sunlight: a loft with a single double height window doesn’t allow a lot of light, and given the orientation of my place, and the garden beds, I don’t get a lot of light, and only for an hour or two in the morning.
a fireplace: Sydney gets cold! And I love the smell of other people’s fires in winter. And it’s a great way to dispose of paper/tissues/wood
a garden: even with a bigger, sunnier balcony I could go back to growing things, I loved growing sweet peas (the flowers and the vegetable!), and keep seeing awesome little ways to grow other things I’d love to have on hand
gas: for both cooking as well as heating/water heating. Currently I only have it for water heating.
natural ventilation: firstly a bathroom window! The style of my loft makes that impossible. It was on my wish list when I was househunting, but some things you have concede. My next place will hopefully have more than just a bathroom window, but windows everywhere!
And hopefully it’ll have things I already have in my little loft
a good sized pantry
a linen cloest
an entry area – with places to store ‘grab and go’ items (umbrellas, name badges, coffee cup), somewhere to process mail, dump handbags, put things for delivery when next out etc.
What do you have on your future home’s wish list? What did you used to wish for, and no longer need/want/wish for?
Coincidentally, in a 24 hour period I read about washing habits of two different bloggers – The Manly Housekeeper and An Exacting Life. I was shocked that the Manly Housekeeper can do 6 loads of washing in a day – that’s more clothes than I’d own I think! I also realised he’s not from the Sydney suburb Manly, he’s just a man.
– I do a dark load and a light load per week
– I separate lights and darks with two washing hampers
– I hang gym clothes over my bathroom tension rail, on hangers, til they are dry, then I put them in the hampers. This stops the constant need to wash wet and dirty clothes
– I wash in cold (except the occasional hot wash for sheets and towels – but that’d be about once a month)
– I always wash overnight (I have metering that makes it cheaper to do this)
– Everything gets hung out on a rack, or over my ‘balcony’ from the upstairs of my loft
– I treat stains, mainly with a little soap stick. It works well
– I do delicate washes as needed – either in my washing machine under a special setting or by hand (such as silk)
– I iron uniforms, cotton shirts and pillowcases (a habit I’m trying to get out of!)
– I fold everything as I take it off the line – making what can be two jobs at my parents, into one job.
– use a dryer (therefore the weight of my clothes has never been a big consideration)
– use fabric softener
– use store bought washing liquid
Overall, washing isn’t a chore in my head. I enjoy having everything clean and sorted. Actually, I take it upon myself to fold and put away, or hang out washing, when I see it. It just makes me zen. Perhaps it’s genetic – my friend’s child calls my father the ‘washing monster’!
How do you do your laundry? Can you see room for improvement in my routines? I wouldn’t mind alternative to shop bought wool wash, plastic wrapped stain remover, and the oxidising agent (that I use sparingly, I have more than a box, and I’ve had it a year) – any thoughts?