Simple storage solutions – spices, frying pan lid, ironing & toliet paper

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.

Spice ‘rack’

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.

Spice cupboard, with room to expand

Spice cupboard, with room to expand

Close up of my spices

Close up of my spices

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.

Towel rail as a pot lid holder

Towel rail as a pot lid holder

Ironing rail

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).

Tension Bar in the laundry

Tension Bar in the laundry

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!

Proximity of the toilet to the railing

Proximity of the toilet to the railing

Proximity of the railing to the toliet

Storage of the toilet rolls

What ways have you innovatively solved storage issues? Made something that was a bother that much easier (like finding the right spice sachet)?

Need more great ideas? How about my jewellery storage ideas?

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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.