Book inventory

I love blogging! I drafted this post, and then I thought, ‘it’s a little disjointed’, ‘why this book isn’t with that book?’.  So after completely reorganising my books, hopefully now they are stored in a way that makes sense to you – it certainly makes more sense to me!  Oh and I decluttered two books that I wasn’t entirely proud to have listed :p

Firstly, books are largely hidden in my home, after spending a time in a room with a wall lined in books. I just find the visual too cluttery. So here’s what’s on show in my home:

Beside the radio

Radio - with CD players and a retro tape deck!

Radio – with CD players and a retro tape deck!

In the same shelves, above the radio

Ring binders

All my paper filing is in these two binders

And on the bed ledge

These are the ‘plan to read’ books.

These books have been there for at least 1 year.  Maybe they'll never get read?

These books have been there for at least 1 year. Maybe they’ll never get read?

  1. Israel is Real, Rich Cohen
  2. Each peach pear plum
  3. An intelligent life
  4. Holocaust sites of Europe

And here’s what’s hidden behind closed doors

Wardrobe

Some French novels, and some texts.  Even a 'how to get a job in 12 steps'

Some French novels, and some texts. Even a ‘how to get a job in 12 steps’

French Books (in French or about France)

  1. 12 steps to find a job
  2. The game master (Le maitre du jeu)
  3. Objectif Paris
  4. If it is a man (Si C’est un homme)
  5. Bonjour Tristess
  6. Bonjour tristesse
  7. Improve your French
Books that don't fit the other categories!

Books that don’t fit the other categories!

Gifts

  1. Poland <- a gift from a Polish friend when I studied in France
  2. The Bronze Horseman <- from an Aussie friend who visited Russia.  I read Paulina Simons ‘The Bronze Horseman’ and so I asked for the original poetry.  But I can’t read cryllic!

Other books

  1. Honeymoon with my brother – Franz Wiesner
  2. The Christmas Mystery – Jostein Garder
  3. Plan B – L.R. Brown <- all about alternative ways in life.  Like no flush toliets, and Chinese meat consumption and global warming

The Back Row

To the left, there's mainly holocaust books, to the right there's spirituality/mental health

To the left, there’s mainly holocaust books, to the right there’s spirituality/mental health

The book end to the back row - all holocaust themed

The book end to the back row – all holocaust themed

Holocaust Books

  1. The holocaust odyssey of Daniel Bennahmias, Sonderkommando
  2. Night, E. Wiesel
  3. Eyewitness Aushwitz, F. Muller
  4. Among the righteous, R. Satloff
  5. Ester and Ruzya – Masha Gessen, Masha Gessen
  6. The Seamstress – a memoir of survival, S. T. Bernstein, L.L. Thornton & M. Berstein Samuels
To the left, there's mainly holocaust books, to the right there's spirituality/mental health

To the left, there’s mainly holocaust books, to the right there’s spirituality/mental health

Holocaust Books

  1. Parrallel Lines
  2. Hiding Edith
  3. Mosaic
  4. The Messanger
  5. Auschwitz, Auschwitz, How can I forget you
  6. Human Smoke
  7. Safe Passage – Ida Cook
  8. American Heroine in the French Resistance

Spirituality/Mental health

  1. Mister God, this is Anna
  2. Affluenza
  3. Growing to Maturity
  4. Finding happiness
  5. The mindful way through depression
  6. The invitation

Linen/pantry closet

The top left hand shelf on my pantry/linen closet hybrid holds all these binders and books.  There's 3 travel journals, two stamp collecting binders and all sorts of university and floristry course notes

The top left hand shelf on my pantry/linen closet hybrid holds all these binders and books. There’s 3 travel journals, two stamp collecting binders and all sorts of university and floristry course notes

  1. Striped book – Inspirations book from 2006
  2. Spiral bound black book – more inspirations
  3. Photo album from high school
  4. Blue display book (empty)
  5. First travel journal from 2006
  6. Second travel journal from 2006
  7. Third travel journal from 2007 onwards
  8. Plastic case of brochures for future employers etc
  9. Binder of bank statements from France – 2006 onwards
  10. Empty binder
  11. Stamp collection (Australian)
  12. Stamp collection (foreign)
  13. Binder of floristry assignments and remaining notes
These are the more readily used books, living in the linen closet too

These are the more readily used books, living in the linen closet too

  1. Tax envelope for this year’s receipts
  2. Receipts of clothing spending, electrical items, scooter related costs
  3. Writing paper and envelopes
  4. Lists book
  5. Atlas
  6. The Sweet Poison Quit plan
  7. Humourous check list
  8. Journal from 2011-12 (with lists to move house etc)
  9. Emergency

There you go, I think that’s about all of the permanent resident books in my house. There’s a constant cycle of library books, of course.  I pretty much won’t buy a published book now days – between the library, my mother’s house (which feels like a library) and my uncle owning a book store, I have an endless source, it would seem!  I will only buy 2nd hand books when I am heading overseas, and leave them there.  How do you think I did?  Minimal?

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?

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

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?

Linen closet audit

I’m not sure what it is about Bea at Zero Waste Home that sometime rubs me up the wrong way. I’m sure she doesn’t mean to make me feel inferior (actually, only you have the power to change how you feel).  But I see some things in her life, and flat out reject that it could ever be me!  So her recent Facebook photo has riled me up, and when my comment got eaten by an e monster, I figured I’d rather type out a whole blog post instead!  Here I look at her (very white) zero waste linen closet, and look at my (not so white) line closet.

Bea, at Zero Waste Home's linen closetsource: www.zerowastehome.blogspot.com

Bea, at Zero Waste Home’s linen closetsource: http://www.zerowastehome.blogspot.com

 -VS-

Linen closet. Top shelf (r to l): Doona covers and matching pillows case, pillow cases & cushion covers, surplus fabric Bottom shelf (r to l): Bath towel, bathmat, box containing hand towel and face washers

Linen closet.
Top shelf (r to l): Aqua doona covers and matching pillow cases, guest sheets and pillow cases, pillow cases & cushion covers, surplus fabric
Bottom shelf (r to l): Bath towel, bathmat, box containing hand towel and face washers

My sheets:

1 set on the bed (with two pillowcases), 1 set in the cupboard (with two pillow cases).

Justification: I air dry everything, so I need sheets the night of washing day.  I won’t compromise on owning a dryer.  And I don’t have central or other heating to ‘speed’ things along.

Linen cupboard off site storage. Sheets lives in the top of my wardrobe cause sheets dry upstairs AND get used upstairs, so why store them downstairs?

Linen cupboard off site storage. Sheets lives in the top of my wardrobe cause sheets dry upstairs AND get used upstairs, so why store them downstairs?

My ‘other’ sheets:

1 single pink flat and fitted sheet – there’s a small stain on the flat top sheet, so I avoid using it.  With two pillow cases.

1 double pale blue flat and fitted sheet – there’s no need for the fitted, but I use the flat with the pink sheet above. With two white pillows cases

Justification: I have a single foam mattress for guests.  Need to return the blue set to my parents I think – no need for it in my house! <- drafting posts works wonders, I’ve done this already!

My bath towels:

2 white towel: 1 in use, 1 in the cupboard

Justification: I don’t wash daily, more like weekly.  As soon as the towel noticably smells, it goes in the washing basket til I generate enough washing to run a white load

My ‘other’ towels (guests included)

3 small blue towels – one for guests (ie BF, therefore in regular use), one for water polo, one excess (currently for my use at the BF’s place)

1 small navy towel (damaged) – gym towel (or spills etc at a pinch) <– this is headed to an animal shelter, I never like it when I use it, cause of the hole

1 large navy towel – additional guests, spills, mishaps, protect furniture as needed

Justification: I don’t wash the polo or gym towel after each use, therefore they are single purpose. I could perhaps have 1-2 less towel though.

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

Towels in action at my house recently!

Why was my towel in the kitchen? Well I usually hang it upstairs but I didn’t want to wake the sleeping guests.

Bathmats, hand towel and face washers

2 blue bathmats

3 blue hand towels

3 blue face washers

My doona covers:

1 on the bed – Navy and white + 2 pillow cases *usually on my bed*

1 for whilst the other dries – Aqua stripe + 2 pillow cases

1 that’s become a drop sheet – Black and white check (bless your hearts, professional painters, I’m not sure what I was paying for!) + 4 pillow cases!

My blankets:

1 cotton queen sized aqua blanket *lives on the bed whilst the weather warrants it – 9 months of so*

1 thick knitted grey wool throw *this lives on the sofa in winter, and on the foot of the bed in summer*

1 knitted teal throw *this lives on the sofa in summer (and likely winter too, it’s new and I love it)*

1 single sized quilt cover (signature quilt from school) *this lives on the bed in winter and the sofa in summer*

Overall, I have some excesses – duplicate doona covers and sheets.  And a lot of pillow cases!  Writing this list has promoted me to donate some excess bathmats, and return a sheet set to my parents.  I could have one less face washer and hand towel, but they aren’t ‘nice enough’ for the local op shop, so I’ll just ‘use them up’.

How about you? How’s your linen closest supplies?

Making less work

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).

No frosting

Sunny day without frosting

With frosting

With frosting on a more overcast day

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!

Entry buffet to the left, shoes to the right.  Socks in the second drawer and wate rpolo bag in the left cupboard.

Entry buffet to the left, shoes to the right. Socks in the second drawer and wate rpolo bag in the left cupboard.

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.