Inspired again, by An Exacting Life, I decided I should do a house inventory. Over a few months, I’ve share a number of posts, and this is the post that links them all together in one place.
What also prompted me to do this fiddly task was the fact that when my contents insurance came due, I asked about what the insured value was. It seems they annually increase the amount insured. A smart idea for most people. But I wondered when I first got the policy if it wasn’t a little overstated on the contents value – so I was wary when it increased again for the next year.
I worried ‘what if they know something I don’t know’. I thought I could sit down with a nice spreadsheet, and work room by room to work out what I have, what I paid for it, and what it might cost to replace. The bulk of my ‘stuff’ was purchased in the last 18 months, since I moved. In 90% of those cases, I have the receipt filed.
Some was bought prior to 2012, such as my bed, the mattress and other ‘bedroom’ stuff. I was lucky to be ‘gifted’ some appliances, and I took all sorts of things from Mum and Dad’s house (with permission of course). Where things were purchased in the past, or ‘stolen’ – I’ve worked out the replacement costs. From privacy’s sake, I’ve not shared the cost of items in my posts, but there’s lots of lovely photos.
Living room: 2 sofas, 1 wooden coffee table, 2 Ikea teal stools, 1 Ikea entertainment unit. All other items in the ‘electrical’ post
Dining area: 6 chairs and a Ikea dining room table (there’s an Ikea post)
I did not include my stationary as it was of negligible value. In the event my place burnt down, the replacement of these items would be on an as needed basis. Also, a lot of the stuff was from when i was a student, and I ‘worked’ from home. Now that I work in an office, my access to stationary is sufficient at work that I need a much smaller collection at home.
Lastly, this post is of my stuff – there’s more now that we’re two households, and I’m planning a cheeky poem to outline the duplication (in the form of ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’).
What do you think I might have missed? I certainly haven’t counted all my screws, but they are pictured in my ‘buffet drawers’ post.
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)?