Saturday, 11 June 2016

Back Cupboard part 1: The Cupboard That Time Forgot!

Disclaimer: I have not been paid to recommend any products, just wanted to share our latest organizing project, hugs x

Hi Honeys 
I hope you're well and having a fabulous weekend.  I thought I'd share the organizing project Hubby & I spent almost four days working on last week :) 

In our home, directly facing the back door, is a large-ish cupboard.  This cupboard has a history dear ones.  Back when the houses were built, in the mid 1950s, and for some years afterwards, when most homes were heated by a coal fire, homes would have their coal delivered.  The coal would be deposited into this cupboard facing the back door to be scooped into a pail and taken to the fireplace as needed.  

In an age of central heating this cupboard tends to become a "catch-all" for assorted stuff from around the home that doesn't have a designated place to be. In others words honeys, our cupboard was a junk cupboard :)   
Our latest organizing project
What a waste of valuable storage real estate!  This had to change and change it did :) OK, before we start, why not take a moment and fetch yourself a coffee? and maybe a cookie :) 

OK, this is shameful but I share it in order to let you know the task facing Hubby & I when we started this project last weekend. Here it is honeys, in all it's shameful over-stuffed-ness.  Our back cupboard before a (major) declutter and organization...
Seriously I can't believe I'm sharing this mess but here goes...
Ugh :/  When a space isn't used properly, or doesn't have a set purpose it just accumulates stuff.  It's all very depressing and when you're desperately trying to organize your home (one wee project at a time) it can just be the living end to find a cupboard as absolutely stuffed to capacity as this one was :/

There is a reason this project took up almost four ful days of our joint holiday time from work honeys.  First job of course was to empty the cupboard.  Cue lots of hey! I wondered where you went! and lots of  "eh?..." moments but (eventually) when the cupboard had been emptied and its contents had been sorted into keep, donate and bin it was time to start work on the cupboard itself yaaay!!

First task was some lovely fresh paint on the walls.  Next Hubby removed all of the packaging and put together the Hyllis shelving unit we bought from Ikea two visits ago and which has been sitting by the front door since then. A daily reminder of this project and waiting for our vacation time to roll around for us to be able to make a start.  While Hubby was putting the unit together I asked him to cover the shelves with some fablon (the plastic contact paper) we had upstairs and in no time the Hyllis unit (and the cupboard) looked like this....
Ikea HYLLIS shelving unit with daisy Fablon
That photo so makes me smile!  It was such a lot of work to get the cupboard to this stage but what a difference compared to how it looked before we started.  Even though the door frame etc still needed painting to freshen it up, we now had a useable space instead of an over stuffed cupboard.

Have I ever said how much I loved daisies?  At the top of this page there is a "search this blog" box and if you type "daisies" into it (at the time of writing this) you will be given 273 results! I'd say I loved daisies :)
Daisy fablon
So, now we had a shelving unit (with daisies :) in the newly improved and far more user friendly cupboard we could start to add other things...
The cupboard starts to take shape
As you can see we added a smaller shelf unit to the side of the Hyllis unit as well as smaller items which would eventually make their home in the cupboard such as my little pink electric cupcake maker (it's so adorable even seeing the box makes me smile :)

The clear plastic basket sitting on the shelf next to the cupcake maker has a mini vacuum with it's attachments.  The lower shelf of the Hyllis unit has two flasks sitting on it and towards the front of the photo are two (huge) boxes of washing powder.

I do an awful lot of laundry and use a lot of washing powder. I love laundry, it's my favourite home making job. Don't judge me :)

Little by little we filled the cupboard with items we wanted to live there until our little cupboard looked like this...
Finished cupboard details
So much work to get this cupboard to this point honeys.  Would you like a tour?  Starting on the right hand side of the cupboard then....
Cupboard organization

Right Hand Side of Cupboard

  1. Basket containing spare light bulbs 
  2. Basket containing a bottle of Brasso (for cleaning the brass numbers & letterbox on our front door) as well as two tubs of stainless steel cleaner for the sink. 
  3. Basket containing three packs of spare straws I'm a straw girl :) There is a container of straws in the kitchen, so these are spares :) 
  4. The  second shelf of the Hyllis unit has been used as a home for pots (and my much loved wee egg poaching pan which sits on the top shelf of two combined (one large & one small) Variera shelves from Ikea.
  5. (in a chrome "under shelf" basket) Snack trays :) I love these little plastic trays :) There is a little round indent (large enough for a cup or a can of soda/juice and the rest of the tray can be used for a sandwich or whatever else, fab :)
  6.  A little blue basket with coasters. We have the place mats on another of these chrome under shelf baskets sitting under the worktop in the kitchen.
  7. Cake pop moulds and another two small pots.
  8. Spare Istad bags. Again, there is a box of each in our kitchen. I adore these bags and use them for so many things.  They're great for making advance smoothies all ready to store in the freezer.
  9. Large (soup) pot with a steaming basket insert.
  10. A collection of colanders and mixing bowls all sitting on a little lazy susan turntable. 
  11. The mixing bowls are sitting on a wire "cupboard shelf" from asda (exactly like the one the soup pot is sitting under on the Hyllis shelf) Under this shelf is a large plastic tub I'm using as home to what's left of our plastic ware, with lids.  We threw so much of this away honeys. Does everyone have too much plastic ware? 
Phew!! On to the middle (or back wall) of the cupboard now then honeys.  This is mostly taken up by a pocket storage organizer which used to live on the inner door of the cupboard.  We had exciting plans (which I'll share in my next post) for this inner door space though so the pocket storage was removed and placed here. I so love these pocket organizers :)  It's contents are pretty much the same as they were but will we have a look?      
Pocket storage

Wall Mounted Pocket Storage Contents:

  1. Large box of kitchen matches. kept here just in case we need the next items (ie: power cuts)
  2. A box of domestic candles.Nothing fancy or scented or anything else. Basic emergency candles in case of a power cut :)
  3. Another box of candles. Well, you never know honeys :) Oh and a small head paint roller for some reason lol :) 
  4. Small battery powered torches. Just in case :) 
  5.  A "magic eraser"  So many uses for these. 
  6. Spare washing line in case one of mine breaks.  I told you honeys I love laundry :) This pocket also has a small glass bottle of mahogany wood stain (for repairs.) 
  7. A tube of "no more nails" again so many uses, so good to have a tube handy. 
  8. A spare box of tumble dryer sheets.
  9. Assorted packs of household wipes/sheets ie: one pack has orange oil furniture polish sheets. 
  10. Spare mop head. 
  11. A pack of spare bags for the large vacuum cleaner. 
All necessary items honeys, so not very exciting, but great to know exactly where they all are when (or if, as in the case of the candles etc) they're needed. 

On now to the lower part of the cupboard...     
Lower cupboard details

Lower Cupboard Details 

  1. Basket containing mini vacuum cleaner and attachments 
  2. Tub acting as a "drawer" under the shelf and containing what's left of our plasticware collection.
  3. Spare furbaby bowls :) Sitting in front is a small can of stuff to repair a drip from the drainpipe above our kitchen door.
  4. Hubby's power drill.
  5. Collection of Hubby's most used tools & accessories such as sandpaper etc. 
  6. A halogen cooker in its box. 
  7. That adorable cupcake maker again :) 
  8. Two vacuum flasks. 
  9. A mandolin slicer in its box.  These look so easy to use on tv, be careful if you try one honeys I gave myself such a nasty cut on my finger with it. Ouchie :/
  10. Two huge boxes of washing powder. Like I said I really, really LOVE laundry :) I do! Why doesn't anyone ever believe me when i say that? :)
  11. A Variera plastic bag dispenser firmly screwed (standing on the floor) to the wall is re-purposed to act as a stand for mops, brooms & long handled duster etc 
Which brings us to the upper part of the cupboard dear ones.  Do you need a re-fill for your cuppa yet? If so, go get one. I will too and I'll meet you back here in a mo... 
Upper left hand side of cupboard
Currently standing on top of the large boxes of washing powder is a plastic box with more spare assorted anti bacterial surface wipes and on top of that is a little (empty right now) treat tin for our furbaby. This will probably go upstairs to Hubby's den/man cave when we get that organized (it's our next project) so that he has treats to give Jade when I'm at work and she's keeping Daddy company while he's shooting things or managing international football teams on his Playstation :)
Upper Cupboard Organization
We used another of those Ikea plastic bag dispensers to coral lots of assorted rolls of Fablon or contact paper.  This is in the corner as you can see.  Hanging on a hook is a foam kneeling pad for garden work and in front of that is a small blue basket which is home to the various attachments for our steam cleaner.

So honeys, what do you think?
Cupboard before and after
This has been such a lot of work but the result is so worthwhile.  I love that the cupboard, once such a waste of valuable storage space, is now a working extension of our kitchen.  I can open the door and literally put my hand on whatever I'm looking for and since things have a designated space it will be so easy to upkeep too.  I'm ridiculously happy honeys :)

Next post I'll share what we did to the door.  I'd been planning it for a while and it's such an easy transformation to make but has made such a wonderful difference :) More on that next time dear ones but for now I have to dash to work I'm afraid.  Have a fabulous day and I'll see you next time.  Till then, smile lots and hug even more :) Huggles always xx

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