Friday, December 28, 2012

Post Christmas Purge

So there we are for another year.  Christmas has come and gone.  I hope everyone who celebrated the holiday had a wonderful day. 

Now that all the fuss is over and I still have 3 weeks off work, I have been feeling a little lost.  Christmas is such a busy time, (well, I am my own worst enemy) where you have to rush about, cook all sorts of things you wouldn't normally cook any other time of year, clean your house ready for your visitors, make space in the refrigerator for all the extra food and drinks... (You feelin' me?)

The visitors have since left and the house is still in wearing its Christmas party dress - I never take my decorations down until New Years Day, its just a superstition, though I am kind of wistful that the excitement and anticipation is over for another year.

Yesterday I started off feeling really lazy.  Here is a rundown of my morning.
  • I watched  'Love Actually', 
  • I watched Australia beat Sri Lanka in the Boxing Day Test cricket and then
  • I got a serious bug up my butt and totally went nuts on my kitchen pantry.
As you do.

 My pantry has been bothering me for a while.  Since I moved in.  More so the last few days, where it has become a kind of irritating focus that I can't seem to function with the thought of it in the back of my mind.  It has served me well, however the whole 'Hardware store purchases trying to mimic an industrial look' has become a little messy and unsightly.

Unless I could resolve to neatening and sorting through the shelves every other day, or only purchasing items that looked the part (chances are they would be either too pretty to use or expensive to want to eat), I figured I needed to find a different solution to disguise my ugly pantry and the items on show within, without it looking like it was wearing a Groucho Marx mask.

I did indeed try this with some colourful drapes I whipped up on my sewing machine the day before, but in my kitchen, this really didn't work.  It looked like I was trying to hide something.  My original idea was to make it look fresh and carefree!  It was like putting a band aid on a gaping wound.  Boy, who was I trying to kid!

The original pantry that was in this house when I moved in all those years ago has had a few reincarnations around the house.  Firstly, the doors were falling off the hinges so I took them off.  This became my start of having an open pantry.  Then, after a while I decided that it just looked way to ugly.  So it found its way into my laundry and did time in there as a junk cupboard.  After another possibly seasonal attack of OCD I revamped my laundry and said cupboard became a neat and tidy linen press.  As for its ugly exterior, cheap mouldings made the cupboard look more like updated shelving than the sad, sorry, chipped, clapped-out thing it was.  It even made its way opposite the entry way so it was the first thing you could see when you walked in or past the room.  So I had a lovely little cupboard with my good towels and a couple of chic baskets that made me smile whenever I looked at it.

After spending a few hours laying upside down on my couch looking at posts about pantry at 'Houzz', 'Pinterest' and 'Apartment Therapy', a light bulb went off in my head which caused me to leap up, stride confidently into the kitchen and pull apart my old pantry with the maniacal view to swapping the laundry cupboard for the kitchen shelves.  Genius! was what I was thinking at this point.  I wish I had a before photo of how my kitchen looked during this brainwave.  Why does cleaning always make a mess!

It was a struggle to get the cupboards switch-a-roo'd but with a little help,(and a thorough vacuuming of the chipboard breadcrumb trail the poor disintegrating cupboard left behind), I got there. 

I have to glue a little more moulding onto the sides, where the damage still is, but as long as it is left alone, there shouldn't be too many tears.  I think I ought to get rid of that ugly sticky tape repair (not mine!) as well while I am at it.  Nothing a little Spak Filla won't fix!

So here is the project as it stands right now.  Everything looks so much neater and visually pleasant.  I am able to stow away all the packages and cans into my baskets.  My jars look much more part of a display, than a mess.  I even re purposed my three candy jars to hold sugar, and I think these look really sweet!  (Pardon the pun).

As for my laundry, I  think the metal shelving came up okay in the space.  I even strung up my curtains.  They won't win any design awards, though I think they add a little colour and whimsy to soften the look of the metal. 

What makes me so happy about this little project was that it cost me nothing.  I re purposed what I already had in the house, I just had to think outside of the box to do it.  My intention was to create a neat, contained display of my pantry items.  I was able to do it with bottles, jars and baskets I already had on hand.  I didn't have to rush out to the department or dollar store to buy anything, all I had to do was use my imagination.  I figured I would try and do whatever I could with what I had on hand, before feeling the need to just go out and buy for the sake of buying.  I even found that some of the things are now fulfilling their purpose, rather than just 'filling in' or on display.  

I will probably re evaluate the smaller spice jars which contents are probably overdue for a toss or refresh, but I know that things look so much better than before I started.  I have much more room, I know where everything is and I am inspired to keep it tidy and best of all, cook!

Next job, kitchen cupboards and drawers.  Time to do some kitchenware purging!  Wish me luck!

Until next time...
Kitty xx


  1. You are a fascinating person. Being a guy, I'm not sure I would have bothered, especially since I'm not really a do-it-yourselfer like you (though my Dad taught me to be), but the new arrangement does look a lot better.

    I have slowly started cleaning my apartment (more a re-org of computer things that are all over the apartment now) and I would just be happy with more floor space when I'm finished! Not a hoarder, just don't organize well. Perhaps I'll make that one of my 2013 New Years Resolutions!

    1. Thanks Andy! I love the feeling I get when things are in order. I have read so much about organising and the same thing always comes back to me - when you can unclutter your home, you unclutter your mind. It makes sense because then your thoughts are positive about the great space you have, rather than the dread of what to do about it.

      Slow is a good way to start, don't overwhelm yourself and just do little projects (like a drawer or a small pile of paperwork) first. Make yourself a cup of coffee, put on the TV or some music and it makes it seem less of a chore.

      Another problem I get is to lose the emotional attachement to things I don't need. Once you can 'let go' of things that are just 'stuff' it's easy!

      I find websites such as "Apartment Therapy" really helpful as they give you motivation and the readers contributions let you know that 'real' people have organisational issues - just like me! If you have a look at their site, you can subscribe to their 'new year's cure' like I did! It is a plan where you get a daily email to help motivate you to make your place the best it can be.

      Good luck!

      Kitty x