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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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…
The drawers are all 600mm wide, with each drawer being roughly the same height.
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)
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
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 🙁
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.
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.
There’s a twist to these weekly posts. I’ll still ‘weigh in’ but I’ll also share a zero waste changes with you, so you can get on board if something seems easy enough! This week, it’s coffee cups.
My bf loves a coffee, and you don’t need to twist my arm too hard to get one either! However, as I’ve mentioned before, even if all the parts of the take away cups are recyclable, there’s one better. A totally reusable cup! I’m pleased I’m moving away from this:
I can 95% recommend Keep Cup. (the other 5% is that the bottom of the cup is shaped a little like a wine bottle indent, making it an incy bit harder to clean than I’d like). Let me just say, I’ve not tried any alternatives, but I like that it’s light (being made of the big bad wolf, plastic), and it’s got a great lid that seals. A used cup in my bag’s not spilt it’s last drops into the protective zip lock bag, so maybe I don’t need to worry as much? And that one you see above, that’s for my bf! Yes, he duly noted it matched most everything in my life/house (check out the house tour if you want to see more), but that was strategic in case he rejects my generosity, I’ll have a lovely new cup!
The best thing is, there’s different sizes too! See I thought mine was big, but bf’s is *HUGE* (and there’ll be no complaints there!)
I can’t help but share the cute, 100% recyclable packaging either:
And if all just seems too hard, this was a great thing I found when I was image hunting
Now for my usual weigh in (for past week’s posts, head to my Zero Waste page)
This week something sad happened right before weigh in.
I opened the dishwasher and a precariously placed Pyrex bowl fell out and smashed. Sad sad face. That stuff isn’t recyclable, so it had to be trashed. So I have a ‘pre’ weigh in at 95g – a mere 6g increase on last week’s adjusted total. Last week, I reported in at 112g, but adjusted down to 89g – see why
And a radically heavier weigh in at 607g (518g adjusted – making 512g a pyrex bowl and the associated vacuum fluff and glass shards)
I’ll miss my smaller pyrex bowl and might try to find an op shop replacement. Otherwise I’ll be back to the outlet nearby for a new one.
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.
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!
Following on from yesterday’s post, which ended in the bathroom, I thought I would continue to show you some of the innovative storage and organisation solutions I have for my jewellrey. Everything is stored in the bathroom, as it’s where I put on make up (and then jewellery) and where I take it off when I remove make up or shower. The bathroom is also conveniently close to the front door, so if a last minute checks deems the need for some ‘bling’ it’s oh so close (rather than upstairs with my clothes/bedroom/wardrobe).
Earrings – Frame one
Some of my best ideas aren’t really mine! I see something out shopping, and I think, wow, I could MAKE that! I’d seen jewellery organizers made with ornate frames and the glass removed and replaced with mesh. So one bored weekend, I raided my parents collection of surplus frames. Given this was my first attempt, I didn’t really go for the prettiest, just one that I thought would fit all the earrings I owned.
Finding the ‘mesh’ was harder than it should have been. See, I thought I could find something in an auto like shop – like a decorative mesh plate. Sadly nothing seemed to suit what I was looking for. I could also have used vent covers, as I’ve seen since on lovely blogs – but vents aren’t as common in our warm little country! In the end, I settled for fairly rigid insect mesh! You can by this by the meter (or less) making it an affordable project. I have enough left over that I could make another few for friends (add that to the ‘one day’ list).
I cut the mesh to size with scissors and then attempted to nail in the mesh. It was a little a hard to hold and nail in the small recessed bit of the frame where the glass once sat flush against. So then I tried a staple gun. This also provided a bit of a fight, as getting the pressure for the staple meant pushing onto the mesh, and given the mesh isn’t 100% rigid, well, things didn’t always staple effectively. Lastly, I tried some PVA glue around the edge. IN the end, a combination of these three methods got the frame to ‘near enough is good enough’ (for me).
I quickly transferred all my earrings across. I realised I could hang bracelets too – initially i used bent paper clips, but they weren’t standing up well! In the end, a sliced cork and a thumb tack (to hold the cork to the mess) worked a treat. However, I soon realised that my stud earrings would be a bother to always put in, as I’d have to secure them with their backs through the mesh. So the led me to a new solution…
And then sometimes the solution to a problem comes from another problem. My parents have a growing collections of wine corks. So I did what any good pinterest fan would do, and I searched for projects. There were some amazing ideas, but eventually, I stumbled onto the idea that an intact cork could happily be ‘pierced’ with my studs, without having to worry about removing and reattaching the backs. There’s enough length on the posts so be inserted into a cork, with the backs still on. And when I can’t be bothered with that, I just place the loose earrings in the velvet lined case, where the cork also lives. Happy home for all the non dangley earrings.
I wear a few bangles, but I did buy a collections of Indian bangles when I went to India a few years ago (yikes, are they noisy when you wear them all – and you shower glitter everywhere!) Anyhow, seeing they are mostly ‘unworn’ than worn, I thought it would be nice to display them in a way that looks good (reminding me to wear them), but also keeps them neatly stacked together. And seeing I’ve done a floristry course, I have a few vases more than your average, just sitting around. So I decided to put one to good use! (you can also use vases to store excess toilet rolls!). And seeing those Indian bangles get the least wear, it’s not that inconvenient having them at the bottom!
Necklaces and rings – Frame two
With all my earrings safely stored, it left necklaces and rings to be equally ‘stored’ and ideally displayed in a way that would increase how often I thought to wear jewelry. I’m an engineer, and by nature not girly, so I take some visual prompting! Spurred on my my earring frame, I thought I could do the same for necklaces, but I knew I’d need something firmer and more rigid than mesh. And besides, how would I hold the necklaces onto the mesh? So I asked the freecycle community for a long thin frame, something that would suit my longest necklace. Of course, the Gods of freecycle delivered. I decided I’d update the picture using some excess paint cards (cause of course they are in my favourite colours which happen to match the bathroom tiles). Lastly, some small 3M hooks stuck onto the glass for each of my necklaces. When I noticed I had some space at the bottom (and some rings that were not yet on display) I added some small hooks to include them. I could also include my few bracelets, however, I have more space on the dangley earrings frame, so I settled with putting them there.
In terms of wear and tear, not everything stands up to being in a moist bathroom. However, most of the my jewellry is from cheap stores, so I’m not too concerned about most of it. The few real bits of jewelry are made of metals that can be cleaned and polished.
Sometimes, you just want life to be easy, or at least easier. There’s a number of things I’ve implemented to streamline my house.
Anexactinglife just updated her spices into nice new colour coded jars. Whilst I love the idea, I know the maintenance of it might be what gets me down. Plus the ‘waste’ of the containers they were purchased in – even if they were recycled. So, with that in mind (and a few years of frustrations living at my parents’ home), I came up with a solution that was simple, expandable and makes it easy to find what I’m looking for.
I can add more when I need to (I started with just 10 hooks when I moved in). Of course, I alphabetise them too!
Frying pan lid storage
Firstly, I like to nest pots and pans where I can, but I don’t like that lids have no where to to sit if you do this. So, I’d seen this idea somewhere (most likely Ikea displays!) and thought I could ‘hack’ it to suit my bigger fryer pan lid. (Ikea’s lids are ‘flatter’ meaning they need less clearance between the wall and the railing). I did flirt with over sized door handles to do the same thing, but they didn’t offer enough clearance for the ‘height’ of my lid. (all I can say is thank goodness Ikea returns, as I tried a lot of their handles with no luck!) Instead, my solution came whilst strolling around my favourite hardware store. I took a towel rail bar, and the two ‘ends’. I measured different mounting brackets to see what clearances each offered. I cut down the towel rail to suit the dimensions of the inside of the cupboard door. Initially the pots were in another cupboard, but I realised that the pictured cupboard was closer to my cooking area. It also happened to have a door that was wide enough to house my frying pan’s lid.
My family stores all the ironing in an ‘ironing’ basket or on a hook on the back of the laundry door. This didn’t work ideally. The hook can only hold so many coathangers. The basket ‘hides’ the amount of laundry to be done. The basket sometimes contains excess hangers, but usually not, so finding hangers must occur before ironing starts. All this seemed a little too bothersome in my opinion. So when I moved into my place, and noticed the recessed area for my washing machine, I had a perfect solution in mind.
I used a tension bar to avoid damaging my tiles, which run from floor to ceiling. The advantages of this rail started to present themselves once it was installed. Not only are excess hangers stored there, along with ironing, I also hang guest towels (or my water polo towel and swimmers) over the rail. It also conveniently holds up one of my jewelry organisers (topic for another post) though you can’t see it in this photo. (topic for a future post).
Toilet Paper Storage
Whilst I’m in the bathroom/laundry, I’ll share with you how I store my toilet rolls. Sadly I don’t have ‘built in’ cabinets in my bathroom, other than above the sink. And that cupboard is pretty shallow, only a bottle or so deep. So I needed a way to store toilet paper rolls (and ideally somewhere convenient, cause I live alone, there’s no one to help if I run out and they’re not handy!) It took some lateral thinking, but I’m pretty happy with my solution!
What ways have you innovatively solved storage issues? Made something that was a bother that much easier (like finding the right spice sachet)?
I read an interesting post that I’d missed when it was first published at Extra Organised. It was all about how you can make decisions in your home to help you have less work (or cleaning!)
Firstly, I agree that vertical blinds limit dusting, but I just can’t stand them! So that’s one thing I won’t be implementing. However, I do know I’m lazy with closing (and opening) my roller blinds out to the street. They are my only source of natural light into my loft apartment, so it’s easier to leave them open (especially when I often leave for work in the dark). Given that pedestrians can see into my apartment makes my laziness a problem. It’s also an area where ‘break and enters’ aren’t entirely uncommon. So I decided to ‘make less work’ for myself by getting the windows frosted. This was I don’t have to open and close blinds – no one can see me, and my assets, and I have natural light streaming in! Win Win! (save for the finances – I did outsource to the fantastic two person team at Bannerama (also incredibly local) this due to the double height windows).
My fridge was chosen from the short list (that fitted in the existing space), because it didn’t have in built gadgets – like built in ice trays. Or a cheese drawer. With a 248L fridge I didn’t want single purpose spaces eating into the ‘general use’ space.
Things live where it’s ‘easy’. Whilst it might seem puzzling to strangers, my water polo bag lives in the entry buffet. This makes sense to me – the swimmers and towel dry in the bathroom, only a step or two away. I never usually ‘get changed’ at home, so it makes sense to grab the bag out of the cupboard on training or game days. Likewise, I have a drawer in the buffet for socks – cause my shoes all live at the entrance, so there’s no point in putting socks anywhere further away! This is also a great place to store things I need to take with me when I leave the home – letter, things to return etc. It’s even where the handbag & shopping bags live (with the other handbags in the cupboard below). Gotta love having a landing strip!
Sadly, I do have some clothes that require dry cleaning, but I have been recently thinking of limiting my ‘dry cleaning’ purchases to outwear, which tends to need washing less often. I also buy hand wash/delicate wash stuff as well. But none of this really bothers me enough, and I love the fabrics that require this care. I also have a great way to deal with ‘partly worn’ clothes, and things to be ironed. I installed a tension rod above my washing machine, and conveniently around my storage cabinet – as I wrote about here.
Don’t get me wrong, these things all make life easier and more streamlined, but there’s still dusting and cleaning to be done, and ways to improve and make other processes more efficient.