What’s in your (bathroom) drawers?

Do people have the British sense of humour in my title.  Oh well, if not, I’ll just amuse myself with my dad jokes at the ripe age of 28 (and being a female!)

Here’s another look into what I have.  I’m not sure why I am so fixated on tracking and documenting everything, but I just can’t help myself – I hope you enjoy the sticky beak as much as I love preparing these posts, and then having them all there, on display!

In my bathroom, I have that lovely cabinet you’ve seen before, when I re-papered the back of it.

Over sink bathroom cabinet
Over sink bathroom cabinet

Well, in addition to that, I have a four shelf and four drawer skinny little cabinet (which came from Howard’s Storage if you’re an Aussie and you’re wondering).  I think it was a kind partial gift from a friend one year – meaning it cost me half as much!

The shelves of my bathroom storage - mainly for jewellery!
The shelves of my bathroom storage – mainly for jewellery!

Shall we dive in and see what I have where?

Top drawer

This is the drawer for hair accessories.  Back in the day, I had long hair that I always wore up.  Needless to say, since I shaved it, this drawer sees very little action.  But that’s ok, the hair is growing and one day Rapunzel will be jealous!

Before: Top Drawer
Before: Top Drawer

Second drawer

Not every day do I need ‘one night only’ fake tan.  Or the palette of eye shadows etc that Grandma gave me (I’m not sure I’d ever have bought a palette, but it sure is useful every once in a while!).  There’s even a stray nail polish in there – the others live in the sewing box near the sofa – which is where I’m most likely to paint my nails.  Which is… well close to never prior to the bf!

Lesser used make up
Lesser used make up

Third Drawer

If you’re ill, this is where you should start (if you don’t find it in my handbag!).  I regularly check this drawer and dispose of anything out of date.

The drug stash
The drug stash

Fourth Drawer

I like to keep mini bottles here, as well as a packing list (which is a pre-printed pad.  A little bit of an impulse buy but a helpful reminder).  The wrist watch hangs here too, as I only ever use it on long haul flights when my phone should be off.  Extra eye masks used to live here, til I freecycled the surplus.  I am hardly going to need 5 or 6, now am I?

Travel stuff: little bags and bottles and my wrist watch (seeing I only use it travelling)
Travel stuff: little bags and bottles and my wrist watch (seeing I only use it travelling)

What do you think?  Room to thin out my supplies more?  A few sneaky plastics in there, which you all know I’m not the biggest fan of in my quest for zero waste!

One buffet, so many uses!

At the front door, I have a buffet with three drawers, and a cupboard with two shelves on either side.  It is the key to organisation in my house!  Shall we have a look what’s inside?

Top drawer

This drawer holds: church collection envelopes, my name tag, a small folding fan.  In winter it also holds gloves and delicate scarves.  It holds my ‘keep cup‘ (best business model ever – I don’t know anyone who works for a big company who hasn’t been ‘gifted’ one!).  A few pens.  My journal/notebook, some little post it notes.  I stash out of circulation keys too (like work car keys on weekends, or my shared car’s keys when it’s at it’s other home).

Before: Top Drawer
Before: Top Drawer
Top Drawer After
After: Top Drawer

Middle drawer
This is where I keep all my socks and hosiery – right opposite the shoes. It just seemed sensible and I haven’t yet thought of a reason why I wouldn’t want my socks here!

After: Middle drawer
After: Middle drawer

Bottom drawer

In an apartment, sometimes there is no ‘back shed’ or ‘basement’.  And I like to have things on hand for a quick fix etc.  So I store close to all my hardware needs in this one drawer.  Only some grouting and caulking tools live in my car space tool box.

Before: Bottom drawer
Before: Bottom drawer
After: Bottom Drawer (the Toblerone is 'hiding' (from me) during Lent
After: Bottom Drawer (the Toblerone is ‘hiding’ (from me) during Lent

How to work kitchen drawers in small spaces

No waste Wednesday this week, but back next week I promise.  This is also my 92nd post! I hope to do a ’20 questions+’ for my 100th post, so please feel free to email questions to me at livetolist@gmail.com  It’s ok, I won’t reveal who asked what, and I’m a pretty open book, so feel free to ask whatever you’d like.  If I don’t get any takers, I’ll just share some random facts!

Who’d have thought kitchen drawers would have so many uses?  See, when you live in a smaller place, you need to think beyond the confirms of the room and it’s function.  You need to make what storage you have work for you, even if it’s not ‘conventional’.  You’ll see what I mean…

Just in case you didn't know where my drawers were, they are shaded here!
Just in case you didn’t know where my drawers were, they are shaded here!

The drawers are all 600mm wide, with each drawer being roughly the same height.

Top Drawer

Sure, I have my cutlery (flatware) in the top drawer, but I also have my recipe binder and my measuring tape.  Cause that’s a mighty handy drawer and I ALWAYS seems to be measuring something!  See, there’s even a plastic ruler on the left hand side (cause I can’t recall the dimensions of my cake tins)

Top drawer: Cutlery (or 'flatware'), recipe display books, tape measure. Excess matches (cause I bought the paper wrapped bulk amount over plastic wrapped for less)
Top drawer: Cutlery (or ‘flatware’), recipe display books, tape measure. Excess matches (cause I bought the paper wrapped bulk amount over plastic wrapped for less)

Second Drawer

You’re starting to wonder if I’m really that strange – ok, maybe I oversold you on that.  This is just regular old utensils.  Save for the three hanging on my rail, this is all I got.  Oh and my two knives live on my one shelves – where I can safely see them and not slice my hand off rummaging for other things

Second drawer - utensils.  When there's a colour choice, I go blue :p
Second drawer – utensils. When there’s a colour choice, I go blue :p

Third Drawer

Manuals go here. And those pesky single use items, like alfoil and parchment paper.  Neither compare to the sins of cling film/wrap or saran film but I’m still not happy that I have these 🙁

Manuals, manual and more manuals mixed wtih very seldom used paper towel, baking paper and alfoil, with some zip lock bags (reused from other purchases) and abeego wraps.
Manuals, manual and more manuals mixed wtih very seldom used paper towel, baking paper and alfoil, with some zip lock bags (reused from other purchases) and abeego wraps.

Fourth Drawer

You what?  You store electrical items in your kitchen drawer? Well why not? I don’t have a study or a proper entertainment unit.  And I like to charge my phones on the power point directly above the set of drawers.  It just makes sense to toss spare batteries in there too.

Fourth drawer - from the top left and circling round: adapters (international and USB to SD), AA battery chargers x 2, excess batteries for torch and excess cooking utensils (there's a red spatula hiding, wouldn't match my colour scheme in drawer 2!), mobile phone packaging, trash bags for church flowers, hand mixer
Fourth drawer – from the top left and circling round: adapters (international and USB to SD), AA battery chargers x 2, excess batteries for torch and excess cooking utensils (there’s a red spatula hiding, wouldn’t match my colour scheme in drawer 2!), mobile phone packaging, trash bags for church flowers, hand mixer

Bottom Drawer

Somehow I’ve broken with my mother’s (counter) convention, and my bottom drawer does have tea towels in it (I think they may be quaintly called kitchen towels on the mainland US of A).  I also store my microfibre cloths – which are a god send!  There’s a magic eraser, good, but not God sent.

Fifth drawer - tea towels, serviettes (mainly fabric, but the remnants of paper ones), microfibre clothes, a magic eraser and shoe cleaning stuff
Fifth drawer – tea towels, serviettes (mainly fabric, but the remnants of paper ones), microfibre clothes, a magic eraser and shoe cleaning stuff

If you’ve missed it, I’ve also shown you inside my pantry, and my cupboards here and here.

There you go – that’s my kitchen drawers. Anything you wonder – where does she store ‘x’? How do you organise your drawers?  Anything strange lurking where you someone might not expect?

Mixed use kitchen cupboards

I did my pantry inventory, and then I followed up with ‘what’s in your cupboard‘. But I missed a few cupboards that I didn’t feel fit into either ‘food’ or ‘functional’. Here’s where they are, relative to everything:

Sketch of the cupboards doing double duty
Sketch of the cupboards doing double duty

The electrical + alcohol cabinet
This is where light bulbs go that I can reuse, or are new. It’s also where liquor goes. (oh handy tip/explanation: CFL light globes don’t like the oils in your hands, so use a sock to easily remove or install bulbs) Yes, that is a small cabinet. Wine has another home.

Electrical + alcohol cupboard - weird right?
Electrical + alcohol cupboard – weird right?

Breakfast zone
This cupboard sits to the left of the fridge, so it’s perfectly located above prep area for breakfast. The black box holds pills/tablets like vitamins, and even some painkillers. I also have an egg cup tucked in the back, as well as regular additions to porridge – pysillium husks and cinnamon powder. There’s also the home of the toaster and the kettle. There’s tea and the coffee plunger on the top shelf with the bulk storage of oats. Having all this in one place makes morning clean up so simple.

Everything for breakfast in one place - kettle, oats and tea selection with the toaster underneath with supplements
Everything for breakfast in one place – kettle, oats and tea selection with the toaster underneath with supplements

Do you have some cupboards housing a hybrid of things?

What’s in your cupboard? (My Kitchen Inventory)

Galley kitchen in a loft apartment

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:

Galley kitchen in a loft apartment
Sketch of the kitchen, with today’s cupboards shaded

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.

Microwave, with baking dishes underneath
Microwave, with baking dishes underneath

Bottom shelf / upper cupboard:

10 items

IN the baking cupboard, there is: 2 cookie sheets, a dozen patty cakes pan, a brownie pan, a square cake tin, and smaller round cake tin, a loaf tin, a small 'cookie sheet' (for nuts etc), two lidded Pyrex dishes
IN the baking cupboard, there is: 2 cookie sheets, a dozen patty cakes pan, a brownie pan, a square cake tin, and smaller round cake tin, a loaf tin, a small ‘cookie sheet’ (for nuts etc), two lidded Pyrex dishes

Top shelf of lower cupboard:

6 items – see this post for the bigger frying pan’s lid

Saucepan cupboard - not how I usually store things, but so you can see everything
Saucepan cupboard – not how I usually store things, but so you can see everything
Really how I stack them, cause this suits the use more (the little flying pan and lid are not 'hiding')
Really how I stack them, cause this suits the use more (the little flying pan and lid are ‘hiding’)

Bottom shelf of lower cupboard:

4 items

Cupboard below the pots and pans - colander and bowl, ceramic jug, pyrex jug mainly for stock), seldom used pie dish
Cupboard below the pots and pans – colander and bowl, ceramic jug, pyrex jug (mainly for stock), seldom used pie dish

Thin edge of the wedge cupboard (Catch all!)

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
  • the blender

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.

A overview of 'everything else' cupboard under the stairs
A overview of ‘everything else’ cupboard under the stairs

Let me break that down some more with some snapshots of ‘areas’:

Top Shelf:

OK I give up counting here, where I get to the catch all!

The food processor is out so you can see to the back.  There's the excess toliteries to the left, and then some serving platters under the food processor attachements
The food processor is out so you can see to the back. There’s the excess toliteries to the left, and then some serving platters under the food processor attachements
The blender jug is also out for simplicity - but there's some excess beer (for guests) and the blender's base.
The blender jug is also out for simplicity – but there’s some excess beer (for guests) and the blender’s base.

26 ceramic plates
5 stick blender attachments
3 items to the blender

Stick blender storage
Party plates, and the newest addition, the stick blender (with all the attachments, which I didn’t need… :()
Cheap tupperware storage solution
Reusing a paper box makes for a ‘pull out drawer’ to store my plastic containers. Mainly reusing store bought goods containers, which are great if you can’t ‘bring’ something home with you. Oh and my mandolin slicer (I’m lazy!)

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)

Everything within arm's reach and in regular use here
Everything within arm’s reach and in regular use here

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?