Getting my House in Order # 3 – Behind closed doors…

First off I apologise for the shocking quality of the photos in this post. One of the reasons I’ve never really shared any photos on here that have been taken inside our home, is that the light just isn’t conducive to decent photos. So, well, sorry!

If you’re a regular reader you’ll be aware that normal sewing activity has been put on hold for the summer as we spruce up our home and try and get it working for us in the best way possible. We live in a very small property with practically no decent storage built in. When we moved here we had to try and fit in the contents of a 3 bedroom detached house into our 2 bedroom bungalow. Add to that the ever growing collection of toys the Little Tornado seems to accumulate, and you can probably understand that STORAGE is an ever present dilemma. I hate clutter and mess. I find it oppressive and find myself getting agitated. (You wouldn’t like me when I’m agitated. Heck, I don’t even like me when I’m agitated!) The old adage “a place for everything, and everything in it’s place” is sooooo true. I find that if things have a “home” I find it easy to keep things tidy. The problem with a property that has little or no built in storage (and little space to add any), is finding a home for everything. You just end up with random piles of “stuff” dotted around with nowhere to go. We all have a junk drawer/cupboard/bowl (delete as appropriate) somewhere in our homes, right? Receipts, packs of cards, Euros from last years holiday, earphones, screws that we might need one day, chargers for phones we no longer own…….rummaging through stuff to find a screwdriver or some batterries that I know I’ve seen somewhere….. well I decided some time ago that enough was enough.

I’ve been on an “organising” drive these past few weeks and have been finding creative ways to maximise the storage that we do have. One of the conclusions that I’ve come to is  that the humble old cupboard door has storage potential just waiting to be unleashed. With a few screws and fixings I’ve used the insides of our kitchen cupboard doors to organise and make it easy to access the stuff that we use on a daily basis, and free up storage space inside the cupboards in the process…

With a few screws and miniature bulldog clips at 15p each from our local post office; I’ve put an end to hunting around for J’s prescriptions and hospital appointment letters. The shopping list is at hand for when I open the cupboard and find out we’ve run out of something, and money off vouchers are there to grab before I head off to the shop. Now I just need to print off an A5 size planner to pin up and fill in at the start of each week and we’re good to go….

Left: These cutlery holders from Ikea (erm mine were only 50p each from the charity shop though, hehe! fixed to the inside of the door keep all my everyday cleaning materials to hand, and free up space under the sink (that part I’m still organising!)
Middle: I used tool clips and cup hooks from my local hardware store to keep everyday diy tools to hand so that if a little job crops up I can do it there and then instead of putting it off because I can’t find the  screwdriver. The miniature screwdriver kit is velcro’d to the door and is in constant use with Elliott’s toys constantly needing repair or new batteries
Right: A simple cup hook to store chopping boards, racks etc

Tool clips, cup hooks and bulldog clips. Cheap as chips to buy but are now my new sanity saving heroes. Erm, if you do fancy organising your cabinets like this, a word of warning from someone who learnt the hard way. Don’t eyeball it. Double check the length of your screw against the width of your cupboard door. Wouldn’t want a hole right through to the outside would you….ahem! (Yes. Yes I did. It’s only a teeny one though and I don’t think J has actually noticed yet. Shhhh!)

And what about this canny idea for your fridge door…….

Haven’t had to rummage around for a pen since. Not mine this one. I shamelessly copied it from here….

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  1. Sonia August 16, 2012

    Great ideas. I’ve been thinking of putting a spice rack inside my food cupboard door to free up some space – think I saw it on Pinterest somewhere. Am sooooo impressed that you don’t have any cupboard locks on your door – my two boys would be in heaven if they could get access to screwdrivers and hammers!!!! Sx

    • Miss P August 16, 2012

      He he!!! Elliott has it ingrained in him that the kitchen is a no go area AND we don’t have any handles on our kitchen cabinets. We just never put them on when we fitted the kitchen so it’s never really cropped up. We recently put the handles back on our living room sideboard though, and he’s in and out of there constantly now. Can’t resist it!! So I guess the kitchen cabinets will staying “sans handles” for the forseeable!!

  2. MrsC August 16, 2012

    So clever!

  3. Jane M August 16, 2012

    Sometimes limitations make me think more creatively….after I’ve gnashed my teeth in frustration for a long time. Great ideas….I especially like the mustard tin with magnets. I will use that one soon.

  4. Living Vintage August 17, 2012

    I also love that mustard tin!!

  5. Corrine August 17, 2012

    A girl after my own heart! Great ideas. I started using the back of my cupboard doors some time ago because I need a place to hang schedules, certain recipes, etc. I like your ideas better, and of course the labels! I label everything! Could never live without my P-touch. You have inspired me, tomorrow I will be reorganizing!

  6. Thrift Bee August 17, 2012

    We also live in a small space and finding homes for everything is a continuous
    process. I have open shelving in most of my kitchen so using the backs of the doors is limited.

    I love the mustard tin/magnets that is a new one on me, and thanks for the tip on checking depth of door, i could so see me doing that.

  7. Anonymous August 17, 2012

    Love your organizing ideas!

    I downsized from 3,000 square feet to 700 square feet two years ago and periodically have to completely reorganize due to the lack of storage. I finally used some old cabinets from my former studio to make a room divider between the living room and dining room, which helped a great deal. I’ll be adding some shelving hidden by draperies – finally received written permission from the management company (rental apartment) to install the hardware. That should take care of the large items that I don’t want in plain view.

    I’m going to have to try to find some small tins to add magnets for storage on the side of the refrigerator. A very practical idea! 🙂


    • Miss P August 17, 2012

      Wow, that’s quite a downsize! The room divider sounds like a great idea though!

  8. Helen August 17, 2012

    Thanks for the ideas! Really inspiring!

    Your labelling system is fab. My dad used to use the same system to label his tapes (music cassettes) when I was a child! Love the look of it, as its a real nostalgia trip! Can you still buy the machines and the tape? And what are they called, so I can google them and buy one!

    • Miss P August 17, 2012

      Hey Helen, it’s called a Dymo labeller. I got mine from eBay for around £8. Be careful though. They’re addictive!

    • Helen August 19, 2012

      Great thanks! I was always itching to use my dad’s and was rarely allowed, so can already imagine how addictive it could be! X

  9. Kylie August 18, 2012

    Great ideas Portia. I love the way you’ve stored your cleaning products (does the door still shut easily?) and that mustard tin pen holder is genius. Pretty and practical.
    Still no parcel from you I’m afraid. Bloomin posties! I’ll keep you posted x


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